Joani began her academic career in the small town of Princeton, NJ. She graduated from Princeton summa cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and minors in Humanistic and European Cultural Studies. As an undergraduate, she founded and led Princeton’s interdisciplinary Humanities Mentorship Program, which has grown and flourished since her departure. After Princeton, Joani went on to earn two Masters degrees as a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford. At New College—one of Oxford’s oldest and most prestigious colleges—she studied Victorian Literature and Eighteenth-Century European History. Joani is currently pursuing her PhD in English Literature at Harvard University as a Beinecke Scholar.
Joani advocates for the power of interdisciplinary literary research to spark educational change today—not only in her degree programs, but also in her career as a curator of rare literature. She uses her research on Victorian girls’ intellectual agency and imagination to inspire academic libraries’ public engagement and literacy outreach. Joani has helped curate exhibitions and direct public engagement at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center, Cotsen Children’s Library, Penn Museum, and National Constitution Center. In 2018, she led the curating and outreach teams for the Bodleian Library’s “Curious Cabinets Exhibition,” which displayed children’s literature and literacy-inspiring toys from the early nineteenth century. Now, Joani is employed to develop public engagement, exhibitions, and reading room supervision at Harvard’s Houghton Rare Books Library.
Outside of the library (and occasionally within), Joani loves to sing classical music. She has performed with the Choir of the Queen’s College, Exeter College Choir, and Princeton Glee Club—and recorded albums with all three groups. Her most recent album, with the Choir of the Queen’s College, was released with the 2019 BBC Christmas magazine. When not immersed in an artistic or academic project, Joani is often underwater, training and meditating in one of Harvard’s swimming pools.