Lizzie Stallings

Freelance writer, researcher, teacher, & visual artist. Graduate with an M.A. in Comparative Literature Studies from the University of Granada in Spain; B.A. in English Literature & Global Development Studies from the University of Virginia. 5 years of experience writing for print and online publications in blog and essay form; Focus on politics, history, pop culture, lifestyle and travel.

Articles on Youth Culture, Theology, Science, and Film: Mockingbird Inc.

Misunderstanding, Misunderstood: The Sylvia Plath Who Wrote For Children

At 17, I read The Bell Jar. After grimacing through the suicide attempts, the shock therapy sessions, the nervous breakdowns, and the general darkness, I closed the book, appreciated the work, and then thought, “Damn. This woman was crazy.”At 21, I thought my life had become The Bell Jar. I felt the same suffocating dread Plath expressed in her characters’ fears of “settling.” I wallowed in my failures, was crippled by indecision, felt misunderstood, tired, and nervous. About everything. Plath was my female masthead, unapologetically vocalizing every one of my rite-of-passage fears with poetic authenticity.

The Graduates (Almost): Thoughts on College, Leisure, and Uncertainty for ‘Millennials’

Emily Dickinson once wrote, “I have perfect confidence in God and his promises & yet I know not why, I feel the world holds a predominant place in my heart.” As students, David and I have often felt this same conflict; we have confidence in God—or, at least, confidence that we’ll eventually find [unwavering] confidence in God—and yet, uncertainty, a paralytic indecision that creeps in as we begin to consider “What’s next?” “What should I be doing?” “How will I find success?” “Should I even seek success? Stability? Fulfillment? Adventure?”

The Pomade Won’t Save You Now: Salvation and Sorrow in "O Brother Where Art Thou?"

Redemption, it seems, is a product of self-reliance. And a palm-sized jar of pomade.  At least, this logic applies as far as Ulysses Everett T. McGill is concerned. In the Coen Brother’s Depression Era adaptation of The Odyssey, Everett (McGill) and his two accomplices, Pete and Delmar, escape their labor sentence on a penal farm in Mississippi with the intent of re-capturing Everett’s hidden treasure, a sum worth 1.2 million dollars. The three covertly travel through cornfields, farmhouses, town squares, and railroads, traversing the all-too-familiar path of the impoverished American South while adopting a series of misconstruing identities to throw off the law that pursues them. 

The Stuff of Yore: The Myth of Casual Dating, the College World, and the Colossal Fear of Rejection

I’ve always been fascinated with myths—Medusa, Hercules, Big Foot, Blackbeard—these ancient fables provided some magic and mystery to my fairly ordinary adolescence. However, in recent years, I’ve added something else to my list of legends. Now belonging to “The Stuff of Yore,” I have begun to include the storied myth of “Casual Dating.”

Chimerical Humanity, Ants, and a Letter Back to E.O. Wilson

I even had the pleasure of meeting a television host who could “hear snakes breathing” from more than five feet away, a talent revealed in a bizarre twist of fate that placed us drinking coffee together over a fence. (He pointed in the distance, asking if I could hear “it.” “Hear what?” “That animal. A snake. Breathing, over there.” Upon closer inspection, he was pointing at an isolated shrub entirely devoid of reptiles—a ghost snake, perhaps? This was inarguably one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced, but I digress.)

Constructing Identity One Bookshelf at a Time, Or, What I Learned Living Out of My Car

There is a certain restlessness that stems from living out of one’s car. Daily games of I-Spy become the modus operandi, resulting in frequent conversations with oneself—along with a staggering degree of comfort in talking quite audibly to no one: “Where are my shoes? Ah, yes, under that box of oatmeal. But then, where is my wallet? Oh…here, wedged in the spine of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—with my headlamp! Perfect!