The 2015–16 Proseminar Cohort
Chelsea Adewunmi is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Princeton University, where she focuses on performance studies, material culture, and twentieth-century American literature. Her dissertation explores the triangulation of text, textile, and texture in sartorial performance and literature. Through sites as varied as museum exhibitions, African American drama, and folk quilts, her project examines how haptic epistemologies shape feeling in both affective and embodied terms. A graduate of NYU’s Performance Studies Program, her interdisciplinary training has influenced her work within academic and nonacademic fields, including dance dramaturgy, performance curation, and script consulting. As a scholar-practioner, she is interested in how advanced study in the humanities can inform diverse career paths, particularly in cultural institutions and the arts.
Kesi Augustine is a fourth-year doctoral candidate at New York University. Her dissertation focuses on contemporary African American young adult literature as both an expression of canonical literary techniques and a representation of the expansion of consciousness that will push all readers toward our diverse future.
Malkah Bressler is a doctoral candidate in English literature at Fordham University specializing in eighteenth-century British and transatlantic literature. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Ecologies of the Novel: The British Novel in Caribbean Narratives,” explores how conventions of the novel—the picaresque, the sentimental, and the gothic—influence mid- and late-eighteenth-century travel narratives and journals about the Caribbean and, in particular, the representation of plantation society and the natural world of the Caribbean islands. Malkah has a long-standing interest in nonacademic careers for academics. As the vice president of Fordham University’s Graduate Student Association, she is excited to relate her experiences with the proseminar to Fordham’s graduate students as well as to the administration at Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Catherine Burton is a doctoral candidate in English at Lehigh University, where she teaches undergraduate courses in composition, literature, and publishing. She is currently completing her dissertation, and her research focuses on human/nonhuman relationships and the ethics of representation in Victorian and postbellum American literature. She has published on coal-mine canaries and the risks of recognizing sentience in fin de siècle Britain. Catherine is committed to interdisciplinary modes of inquiry and practice, and she looks forward to establishing productive connections between literary studies and other disciplines, programs, and communities.
Tara Coleman is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at Rutgers University. Her dissertation uses poetic and film theories from various Chinese and Western sources to analyze how lyricism becomes the formal basis for an alternative historicism in contemporary film and poetry from mainland China and Taiwan. Previously, she completed an MPhil in English literary studies with a comparative focus at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In conjunction with her experience teaching English as a second language, her broader research interests include translation, world literature and world cinema, and questions of transnationalism, especially the dialogues these areas of inquiry open up among scholars, artists, and their audiences.
Anita Durkin holds a PhD in American literature from the University of Rochester, with interests in identity politics and aesthetics. Her publications include articles in African American Review, Arizona Quarterly, and an upcoming work in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, as well as poetry in various reviews and anthologies. She has taught full-time at Boston University and has held part-time teaching positions at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut and at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. She is a first-generation university student, born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. She previously worked for the Working Families Party, where she petitioned for the party’s official recognition by the state of Connecticut. Her interest and activity in politics and public policy, especially women’s health policies, economic inequity, and systemic racial disparities, continues unabated.
Elana Hornblass Dushey is a recent PhD from Fordham University, having specialized in late American and Jewish American literature and subspecialized in modern Hebrew literature and French New Wave film. Her dissertation examined Jewish American approaches to Israel in contemporary fiction. While earning her degrees and working as a teaching and senior teaching fellow, Elana taught undergraduate courses in composition, literature, and film at Fordham University and St. John’s University. She earned her master’s in literature from St. John’s University in 2005 and her bachelor’s from Yeshiva University / Stern College in 2002. Currently, Elana works part-time as director of communications for Hornrock Properties, a real estate development company, and lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.
Manoah Finston is a seventh-year doctoral candidate in French literature at New York University. His thesis examines Honoré de Balzac’s novel approach to chronicling the complexities of object-human relationships across the texts of La Comédie humaine. The thesis posits that in response to Balzac’s innovations authors working in and around the movement of realism became sufficiently interested in quotidian objects that their narratives began to grant ever greater ground and authority to the place of “things” in modern experience, opening a literary discourse that continues into the twenty-first century.
Manoah has taught literature, philosophy, and French language at NYU since 2010. Last year, he celebrated the publication of the landmark Dictionary of Untranslatables (Princeton UP, 2014), a volume in which he is credited as executive editorial assistant. Manoah is also a guru tutor with Cambridge Coaching, working with high school, college, and graduate students in a variety of disciplines.
David Franco is a PhD student in the department of French at Rutgers University. Before joining the program at Rutgers he completed an MA in Hispanic literature at Villanova University, where he was also employed as an instructor of Spanish. His research interests are French existentialism and modern narratives of disenchantment. As an undergraduate, David studied journalism at Universidad Javeriana in his home country of Colombia. He then spent the next two years working for a hispanophone newspaper in the Philadelphia area. He began a PhD in French in 2013.
Sarah Goldberg is a PhD candidate in Latin American and Iberian cultures at Columbia University. Her dissertation, “Entertaining Culture: The Rise of Mass Culture and Consumer Society in Argentina,” explores early-twentieth-century Argentine celebrity, amusement park attractions, variety shows, home entertainment, and mass-circulation periodicals of varying degrees of sensationalism. She was the recipient of the Ángel del Río Prize for her dissertation chapter “Caras y Caretas: An Entertainment Pioneer.”
When she is not researching, writing, or teaching, Sarah is an editorial assistant for the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies and a sometimes assistant at a Manhattan-based literary agency. She recently interned at Columbia University Libraries, where she collaborated with the Digital Humanities Center and completed a case study on Argentine e-books. She is always game for a good read on the history of science and may often be found talking genre fiction, music, and research adventures on Twitter.
Sarah Ruth Jacobs is a doctoral candidate in American literature at the Graduate Center, City University of New York; an adjunct lecturer at the New York City College of Technology; and a founding editor at the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Her dissertation research centers on long-term sociological perspectives on American literary reading in comparison with the consumption of other media.
Claire Kaup is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the East Asian Studies Department at Princeton University. Claire’s major field of interest is the intersectionality of law and postwar Japanese literature, with particular focus on war responsibility and the “performance” of guilt and innocence in the novel. Implicit in this research is the question of how shifting notions of legality and “justice” affect literary works produced by individuals who carried out terrible acts during the war. Claire’s interests also include queer theory and the legal regulation of sexuality and gender identity in modern Japan.
Claire graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a JD and an MA in Japanese studies. Her thesis is titled “Lost in Transition: Legal and Social Emergence of the Japanese Trans Community.” Outside of her academic pursuits, Claire enjoys musical theater, finding new ramen restaurants, and talking about her hairless cat at length to unsuspecting colleagues.
Parfait Kouacou is a French PhD student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His research interests explore African literature and international human rights law. He received a master’s degree in law from the University of Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire, and a master’s degree in French literature from Arizona State University (ASU). Parfait previously worked as a journalist and a human rights officer for the United Nations in Côte d’Ivoire. He also taught French at ASU, the Graduate Center, and City College of New York. He is currently a graduate teaching fellow at Brooklyn College and an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College. In the summer of 2015, he completed an internship with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, during which he worked on a database for public statements of the office’s senior officials and designed, among others, a project pertaining to the promotion of human rights in New York colleges.
Matthew Krumholtz leads the communications division of Caritas Partners, a mission-oriented Wall Street firm. In this role he designed and developed the first investment platform for impact brokering. He oversees all marketing, public affairs, strategic communications, and brand building. In addition, he is responsible for developing innovative social impact platforms to drive multistakeholder engagement. His work focuses on building partnerships and collaboration across sectors (private, public, not-for-profit) to address targeted social issues, particularly within three areas of focus (education, global health, development). Matthew holds an MA and PhD in English from Princeton University. His dissertation, Talking Points: American Dialogue in the Twentieth Century, uncovers the lost origins of the twentieth century’s most popular and powerful forms of communication, from straight talk to the hashtag. He holds a BA in comparative literature and history from Brown University.
Molly Mann is a doctoral candidate in English at St. John’s University, where she also serves as assistant dean for the Graduate Division of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and as an adjunct instructor for English 1100C: Literature in a Global Context. Molly holds a master’s of library science from St. John’s and a bachelor of arts in English literature with honors from Adelphi University. As a hybrid administrator-educator, Molly is passionate about creating alternatives to the traditional tenure track and about translating the valuable knowledge and skills developed within the academy to society at large. She is currently working to promote interdisciplinary education at the graduate level and looks forward to sharing and exploring ideas through the Connected Academics proseminar.
Maria Seger is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Connecticut. In her dissertation, “At All Costs: Property and Extralegal Violence in American Literature and Culture,” she argues that as the United States economy became increasingly market-based over the course of the nineteenth century, literary portrayals of extralegal violence articulated, challenged, and transformed notions of property and ownership grounded in hierarchies of race, class, and gender. Her article “Ekphrasis and the Postmodern Slave Narrative: Reading the Maps of Edward P. Jones’s The Known World” appears in Callaloo. She is a former assistant editor of MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States and a founding organizer of the Graduate Employee Union–United Auto Workers Local 6950.
Beth Seltzer defended her dissertation on Victorian detective fiction in June 2015 at Temple University. She has worked as a project manager at the Early Novels Database, a research assistant at Paley Library’s Digital Scholarship Center, and a program assistant in Temple’s First Year Writing Program. Throughout graduate school, she has been amazed by the sharp minds and strong work ethics of the graduate students she has encountered, and she wants them all to find fulfilling careers—on, alongside, or apart from the traditional path. She looks forward to thinking through alternative models for graduate study, exploring online learning and digital scholarship, and brainstorming extravagant plans for a better academy.
Chadwick T. Smith is currently a visiting assistant professor of German at New York University. Since earning his PhD from NYU in 2012, he has also taught at Rutgers University and Barnard College. His research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century German literature; science, technology, and society; and media studies—in particular with regard to intersections of literature and science as manifest within discourses of human and civic rights. From 2013 to 2015, Chadwick was an associate at NYU’s Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies Program, working with academics from clinical psychology and the humanities to find innovative ways of addressing questions of violence. He has published widely on Vilém Flusser and Friedrich Kittler and given numerous invited presentations on human rights literature in the German Confederation. Chadwick is also the translator of Sigrid Weigel’s Walter Benjamin: Images, the Creaturely, and the Holy (Stanford UP) and Helmut Müller-Sievers’s The Science of Literature (deGreuyter).
Andrew Statum was born in northern Virginia, lived a few different places, and wound up in Brooklyn, a place he has called home for going on ten years now. He has been at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, since 2008 and, after a few hiccups along the way, has decided his work is mostly about how and why nonstudent readers learn higher-order literacy skills. He records people talking about their experiences in book clubs and writes about what it all means. When he is not doing that, he is worrying that his dog doesn’t love him as much as he loves her, eating ice cream, thinking about getting back to the gym, and wondering if he is the only one seeing what he sees.
Benjamin VanWagoner is a fifth-year PhD candidate at Columbia University, where he is working on a dissertation titled “‘Doubtful Gains’: Articulating Maritime Risk in English Drama, 1601–1642.” Early on, Benjamin resolved that his doctoral research would contribute to economics (in which he holds a BA) by explaining some of the cultural calculus behind investment; he would dig around the roots of early modern risk in terms of maritime phenomena such as shipwrecks, piracy, insurance, and conversion. His other work has ranged widely, but it often returns to economics. He has delivered papers treating artisanship in Thomas Dekker and collective action in Piers Plowman; his master’s thesis on the polyphonic social organization of Coriolanus and T. S. Eliot’s Coriolan won Columbia’s Rachel Wetzsteon Prize.
Benjamin has a particular enthusiasm for the application of humanities research to other fields: what can our skills in archival research, intellectual organization, and qualitative analysis add to finance or business, so consumed by their own sorts of analyses?
The 2016–17 Proseminar Cohort
Miriam Atkin grew up in Buffalo, New York, where she studied poetry, first through a lucky proximity to writers convening around local bars and bookstores, and then through the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. In 2008 she began an MFA in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and, later, a PhD in English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, both of which helped open her creative practice to collaborations in video and performance. Since then, and as a result of four years teaching composition and poetry in the City University of New York system, she has been developing an approach to writing pedagogy that treats the defamiliarizing effects of aesthetic experience as the grounds from which a student might create an autonomous space for writing-as-thinking. Her conception of a liberatory education sees learning as a casual process that arises from the accidental urgencies of everyday living, which formal instruction only serves to support.
Natalie Berkman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University, currently working on her dissertation, under the direction of Professor David Bellos, on the mathematical methods of the Oulipo. After completing her BA in mathematics, creative writing, and French literature at Johns Hopkins University, she chose to pursue her PhD in French literature to examine the Oulipo’s unique interdisciplinary marriage of mathematics and literature. Her dissertation examines the influence of various branches of mathematical thought—set theory, algebra, combinatorics, algorithms, and geometry—on the philosophy and production of the Oulipo and the reception of Oulipian texts. Given her scientific background, Natalie is also highly involved in the digital humanities: she programmed Oulipian texts as one of the inaugural projects of the Princeton Center for Digital Humanities and coordinated the transcription team for the Oulipo archival transcription project as an associated member of the ANR DifdePo.
Patrick Butler is a doctoral candidate in medieval studies at the University of Connecticut. His primary research interests are in Middle English romance, paleography, and manuscript studies. In his dissertation, “‘And Sore Hem the Kings Blod / That It Schuld Be Spilt So’: The Resonance of Violence on Politicized Bodies in Fourteenth-Century English Romance,” he seeks to unsettle monolithic assumptions about bodily violence in romance in order to reimagine a genre usually regarded as “escapist” literature as an imaginative space for the exploration and confrontation of political anxieties. In addition to his graduate studies he works as an archival assistant at the University of Connecticut Archives and Special Collections in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
Valeria G. Castelli is a 2016–17 College Core Curriculum Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at New York University. Valeria holds a PhD in Italian studies from New York University (2016). Her dissertation is entitled “Rhetoric, Politics, and Ethics in Contemporary Italian Documentary Film.” Valeria received her laurea (BA) in lettere moderne (modern literature) with a specialization in modern philology from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano and her MA in Italian studies from University College London. Her research interests include documentary film studies, media studies, social movements, artistic activism, and social change. Valeria was a 2015–16 Public Humanities Fellow at the New York Council for the Humanities and the Center for the Humanities at New York University, where she designed a public humanities project in collaboration with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.
Francisco Delgado is a doctoral candidate in English at Stony Brook University. His dissertation examines how Native American authors and their Asian American contemporaries use the dystopian genre to critique interracial relations from the 1990s to the present. Before coming to Stony Brook, he earned an MA in English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and a BA from the University at New Paltz, State University of New York. He is also the recipient of a Public Humanities Fellowship at the New York Council for the Humanities, for which he is working on an interactive Web site to teach the language and promote the culture of the Seneca Indian Nation, of which he is an enrolled member. He lives with his wife, their son, and their dog in Queens, New York, where he writes poetry and prose—though not as often as he would like.
Cynthia Estremera is a doctoral student in English at Lehigh University and teaches undergraduate courses in English and in Africana studies. She is also an instructor at the Lehigh University Summer Scholar Institute, which is dedicated to transitioning first-generation students of color to the academic environment. Cynthia’s dissertation research explores racialized identity politics in order to create a more nuanced recognition of the fluid, transnational embodiments of blackness that range across fraught geo-socio-political subjectivities with distinct connections to citizenship in the United States. She has published on Latina feminist praxis at The Feminist Wire and hip hop scholarship on presidential allusions in rap music in The Hip Hop and Obama Reader (Oxford UP, 2015). Cynthia is interested in exploring code-switching and in developing versatile skills that can cross academic borders at this year’s Connected Academics proseminar. She is committed to social justice work that enhances visibility for Latina and underserved communities.
Will Fenton is the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Dissertation Fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia and a doctoral candidate at Fordham University, where he specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and digital humanities. His dissertation, “Unpeaceable Kingdom: Fighting Quakers, Revolutionary Violence, and the Antebellum Novel,” examines the discrepancy between fictional representations of fighting Quakers and their historical practices of pacifism and political participation. He is also creating Digital Paxton, a digital critical edition to the Paxton pamphlet wars (1764).
Will has served as the director of the Writing Center at Fordham University Lincoln Center, as editor of Eloquentia Perfecta, and as a teaching fellow. He is the recipient of a Haverford Gest Fellowship, a HASTAC Scholarship, and Fordham’s Innovative Pedagogy Scholarship and Digital Start-Up Grant.
Emil L. Cruz-Fernández was born in the Dominican Republic and emigrated to the United States as an adolescent. He is currently a PhD candidate in Spanish at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His dissertation focuses on aljamiado-morisco literature of the Spanish Golden Age, where he explores the characterization of the Prophet Mohammed as a mono-mythical figure and the notion of perennial philosophy in aljamiado texts of the 1500s. He received his master’s degree in Spanish literature from Lehman College, City University of New York. Emil has also traveled abroad to study art history and languages at Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Spain and at the Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies (CALES) in Sana’a, Yemen. He is a public school teacher, an actor, a theater director, and a passionate lover of learning who has dedicated his life to the arts and to passing on the light of knowledge to others.
Sarah Hildebrand is a PhD candidate in English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a former climbing arborist. She received an MA in English from the University of Washington, Seattle. Sarah’s research takes place at the intersection of ecocriticism and the medical humanities, examining spaces and ethics of care in twentieth- and twenty-first-century graphic memoir and life writing. She is also interested in exploring the ways nonacademic experiences inform academic work. Through the proseminar Sarah hopes to help reduce the stigma of academic “failure” for PhDs who choose to be adventurous in their career paths.
Amanda Lerner is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. She specializes in science fiction as both a genre and a mode. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “In Dialogue with the Future: Time Travel in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian Fiction,” focuses on how a traditionally generic device such as time travel can complicate and supercede the generic distinction of “science fiction.” She uses time travel as a means to explore the creation, and ultimate destruction, of the Soviet identity. In addition to writing, researching, and cuddling with her dog, Amanda works at the McDougal Center for Graduate Student Life, where, as a graduate student life fellow, she coordinates events for the graduate and professional student community at Yale.
Josephine Livingstone is a writer, editor, and academic. She holds a PhD in English from New York University (2015), where she wrote a dissertation on race and landscape in medieval European culture. She is currently a postdoctoral lecturer in New York University’s Expository Writing Program, and has previously taught medieval literature as an adjunct at New York University and Columbia University. Outside the academy, Livingstone works as a book critic and essayist for The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Guardian, and many others. She writes a column about academia for The Awl called Lab Reports, profiling unsung researchers and exploring issues in contemporary university life. Livingstone also works as program coordinator at n+1, a magazine of politics, literature, and culture, and as the editor of Websafe 2k16. The latter is an online database, founded in 2015 by Livingstone and two collaborators, of memories about the pre-broadband Internet.
Yiyi Luo completed her BA in Chinese literature at Fudan University in 2008 and her MA in Asian studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2011. Her research interests are medieval Chinese literature and history, with a primary focus on medieval Chinese poetry. She is also interested in the court culture and religions in medieval China. Yiyi Luo’s MA thesis explores the complexity of intertextuality in medieval Chinese literature by examining various motifs and tropes related to Mount Beimang, a well-known graveyard, in different types of medieval Chinese poetry. Informed by similar issues related to intertextuality and the interrelation between literature and religion, her dissertation focuses on the poet Yu Xin (513–581) and considers how one specific authorial image of him became dominant, despite the diverse body of poetic voices in the literature attributed to him.
Alexandra Méndez is a third-year PhD student in Latin American and Iberian cultures at Columbia University and is also completing the certificate program at Columbia’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She studies narrative and the circulation of information in sixteenth-century Iberian worlds and is interested in the intersections of visual, literary, and material cultures. Before beginning the PhD, she spent 2013–14 on a Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellowship in Seville, Spain, carrying out research and creative writing. She is currently a graduate fellow with the cultural review Public Books. She holds a BA in history and literature from Harvard University.
Keyana Parks is a fourth-year PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation explores the proliferation of satire in contemporary African American fiction and the attendant debates around post-blackness in connection with African American cultural production. She contends that examining satire in conjunction with a post-black rhetoric offers new ways of thinking about the political, social, cultural, and structural value of blackness in a society that operates under the auspices of color blindness, interrogating both conservative and liberal, intra- and interracial expectations of black identity and representation. This fall she will be teaching a junior research seminar entitled Black Humor: Comedy and Satire in African American Culture. As copresident of the University of Pennsylvania’s Fontaine Society and as the community relations vice-president of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (BGAPSA), Keyana looks forward to imparting her proseminar knowledge to other graduate students.
Brian Pietras is a doctoral candidate in English at Rutgers University. His dissertation, “Evander’s Mother: Gender, Antiquity, and Authorship in Early Modern England,” traces how the Renaissance rediscovery of ancient women writers and their fragmentary bodies of work led to the formation of new theories and practices of English vernacular authorship. An article drawn from this project has appeared in Renaissance Drama; another is forthcoming in Spenser Studies. While at Rutgers, Pietras has received the Dean’s Research Award, the Bridget Gellert Lyons Prize, and an award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.
Cathal Patrick Pratt is a second-year doctoral candidate in English literature at Fordham University, specializing in Irish literature. An immigrant from a multinational family, he is particularly interested in diasporic communities and postcolonialism. Cathal is a recent graduate of New York University’s Master of Arts Program in Irish and Irish-American Studies. During his coursework at Glucksman Ireland House he examined Irish-Argentine literary interactions. His research interests include modernism, postmodernism, travel literature, Irish literature, Argentine literature, and theater. Cathal received his BA in English from the University of Utah in 2011. Outside of academia, he has lead a varied career as a professional musician, histotechnician, and banking consultant. He is an avid folk musician and regularly volunteers with Irish language groups in New York City, where he currently resides.
Peter Raccuglia is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the English department at Yale University, specializing in nineteenth-century American literature. His research focuses on the emergence of environmental vocabularies in geography, cosmography, perceptual psychology, and literature. He is the recipient of a 2014–15 Mellon fellowship in the digital humanities. Before beginning his graduate work, Peter was an acquiring editor at Northwestern UP.
Jennifer Rhodes is a doctoral candidate in Italian and comparative literature at Columbia University, where she specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European literature. She is particularly interested in sites of interchange between literature and the visual and performing arts; her dissertation explores Richard Wagner’s influence on the twentieth-century novel. Jennifer teaches Masterpieces of Western Literature in Columbia’s Core Curriculum and spends a great deal of time scheming ways to incorporate Metropolitan Opera excursions into her syllabi. During summers she indulges her operatic obsession on the staff of the Santa Fe Opera, where she writes subtitles for seasonal productions.
Carolyn Ureña is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at Rutgers University and a 2016–17 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow. Her dissertation project, “Invisible Wounds: Rethinking Recognition in Decolonial Narratives of Illness and Disability,” brings the racial-phenomenological perspective of revolutionary Martinican psychiatrist Frantz Fanon into conversation with discourses of black lived experience and bodily disruption in US and Caribbean literature and film. She earned her MA in English language and literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2011, and her AB in comparative literature from Princeton University in 2008. As an interdisciplinary researcher she is passionate about building on the links between the humanities and medicine. In her work as a fellowship advisor at GradFund, the graduate fellowship advising office of the Rutgers Graduate School–New Brunswick, she enjoys helping graduate students across the disciplines secure external research funding through individual peer mentoring meetings and grant writing workshops.
Sara Curnow Wilson is a doctoral candidate in English literature at Temple University, where she also writes and photographs for the College of Liberal Arts marketing department. She specializes in twentieth-century British literature and the history and theory of the novel and plans to defend her dissertation in the spring of 2017. Her dissertation explores the influence of literary naturalism on 1930s British modernism, arguing that writers like Samuel Beckett, Jean Rhys, George Orwell, and Virginia Woolf adapt naturalist conventions during the decade in order to create a literature that is more socially and politically relevant than 1920s British modernism. Sara believes that it is important for all graduate students to be aware of the opportunities inside and outside academia. She grew up in the mountains, lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and her cat, and is happiest near the water.