Skip to main content

Carson Watlington

September 20, 2021

Degrees

2020, BA English and Visual Arts, University of Richmond

Bio

Carson Watlington is a PhD student in the department of English & Comparative Literature and the Graduate Assistant for Film Studies. Her work is rooted in 20th/21st century American Literature, with a particular attention to minority and ethnic texts.


Audrey J. Gibson

September 16, 2021

Degrees

2021, BA English, Centenary College of Louisiana

2021, BA French, Centenary College of Louisiana

Bio

Audrey Gibson is a first-year PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is broadly interested in 20th century American literature, with particular emphasis on Southern and multiethnic writing. Her previous research has focused on French-language poetry, particularly Afro-Creole literature, situated in New Orleans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. This research explored the construction of identity and community through language, publication, education, religion, and political involvement.


Madison (Madi) Hester

August 24, 2021

Degrees

2018, B.A. English Literature, Colorado Mesa University

2020, M.A. English, Colorado State University

Bio

I am a Ph.D. student and teaching fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature. I research recent contemporary American literature from 2000 to present, and am absorbed by questions about mixed-race identity, and how multiethnic and multicultural subjects “rightly” identify themselves and are identified. I also examine what makes writing literary, who creates literature, and how digital media challenges and expands those definitions.


Sarah Lofstrom

August 9, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA English, Mount Holyoke College

Bio

My scholarly interests naturally converge around questions of trauma, ethics, affect, and divergent subjectivities in narratives of resistance and reconciliation. My work is grounded in an intersectional feminist hermeneutic lens to explore the role of gender, sexuality, and settler colonialism in texts by contemporary American multiethnic women writers. I am also interested in speculative imagery and it’s significance in illuminating historically silenced facets of subjectivity. Psychoanalytic criticisms surrounding haunting and trauma, in conjunction with an exploration of queer women’s psyches as sites for potential violence or intimacy are also uniquely compelling to me. My work asks how/why ‘deviant affects’ are labeled as such, and why the burden of silencing those affects largely falls on “marginalized” folks, i.e. queer and trans women of color?


Meleena Gil

July 12, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA English Literature, University of Central Florida

Bio

Meleena (they/she) is a disruptor, PhD student, and teaching fellow in the department of English and Comparative Literature also earning a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Meleena is the administrative research assistant for the Sexuality Studies Program and the co-director of Social Media in the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab. Additionally, Meleena was a recent recipient of the Fall 2021 Latina/o Studies Program teaching affiliate fellowship. Meleena’s research focuses on contemporary LatinX literature, queer theory and sexuality studies, and the environmental humanities. They are interested in the impact of environmental degradation on at-risk communities, debility, and rhetorics of advocacy. Their work is attuned to alternative ways of knowing and botanical epistemologies, specifically looking at what minute lifeforms can teach us about futurity. Also within their scope is the evaluation of sadomasochistic paradigms in the construction and understanding of the sociopolitical subject. Meleena describes their apparently disparate interests as being the connective tissue of their larger project: healing; however, and wherever it can be created. Outside of academia, Meleena is a nature enthusiast, a friend of strays, and a celebrator of quirks and kinks. They aim to create a space for meaningful experiences and mutual acknowledgment.


Teaching Awards

Fall 2021 Latina/o Studies Graduate Teaching Affiliate Fellowship


Nathan Andrew Quinn

January 21, 2021

Degrees

2016, BA English, Princeton University

Bio

Nathan possesses a strong interest in late 20th and 21st century American literature, with a particular focus on contemporary works with magical realist and “hysterical realist” elements. This interest has led him in the direction of postsecular theory and the philosophy of language.


Jonathan Albrite

September 22, 2020

Degrees

2008, BA English, James Madison University

2020, MA English, James Madison University

Bio

Broadly interested in posthumanism, ecocriticism, and affect theory, John’s research explores how nonhuman agents have shaped the literature and film of America’s long twentieth century. At the same time, he studies the productive tension between posthumanism’s push to consider nonhuman lives and the ongoing work of critical race, gender, and disability scholars, who advocate for the human lives ignored by systems of power.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Rose Steptoe

September 22, 2020

Degrees

2019, BA English and History, University of South Carolina Honors College

Bio

Rose Steptoe is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the graduate communications editor for the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab housed within UNC’s ECL Department. Her focus is in film studies, and she is interested in exploring questions of gender and sexuality, affect, authorship, and genre in audiovisual media. Her recent research has focused on women directors within the horror genre.


Krysten Voelkner

October 28, 2019

Degrees

2018, MA English, Wake Forest University

2016, BA English, Drexel University

Bio

Krysten is a PhD student and teaching fellow in the department of English and Comparative Literature. Her research interests reside at the intersection of environmental humanities and contemporary LatinX literature. Topics which she finds exciting relate to the rhetoric of environmental advocacy, the myriad of emotional responses to the threat of climate change, and the ways in which LatinX writers and artists create environmental epistemologies through their works. Outside of the academy, she enjoys nurturing all forms of human and other life through her passion for plants and pets.


Publications:

  • “Memory, Temporality, and Communal Realization: Reading the Nomadic Subject in Rivera’s ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, vol. 45, no. 2, 2020.

Teaching Awards

  • UNC Latina/o Studies Program Teaching Award (Fall 2020)

Awards

  • H. Broadus Jones MA Student Award for Excellence in English (Spring 2018)

Thomas Eric Simonson

September 18, 2019

Degrees

2019, MA in English, Wake Forest University

2017, BA in English, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Bio

Thomas Eric Simonson divides his time between literature of the early modern era, especially drama, and 20th century transatlantic studies and literary theory.