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Eleanor Rambo

November 10, 2021


2020, MA English, Boston College

2016, BA English, Case Western Reserve University


I study twentieth-century American and Russophone literature, and I am also interested in urban studies. In my academic research I focus on things ranging from American movie musicals to postcolonial theory, and I write literary reviews of works in translation.

Teaching Awards

  • UNC Latina/o Studies Program Teaching Award

Cate Rivers

September 24, 2021


2019, BA English, North Carolina State University


Cate Rivers is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2019 with a BA in English and minors in history and Japan studies. Her main area focuses are the Southern United States and Japan. Her interests span trauma studies, nationalism, memory, gender and critical race theories, modernism, cultural representations of mental illness, mysticism, and Buddhist literature. Her ongoing research project frames 20th century Japanese novels and novels from the Southern Renaissance as social histories, with particular attention to war memory, family history, culpability, the construction of “family,” and the relation between national identity and self-conception.

Carson Watlington

September 20, 2021


2020, BA English and Visual Arts, University of Richmond


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


2021, BA English, Centenary College of Louisiana

2021, BA French, Centenary College of Louisiana


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


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

2020, M.A. English, Colorado State University


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


2019, BA English, Mount Holyoke College


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


2019, BA English Literature, University of Central Florida


Meleena (they/she) is a first-generation US-American and college graduate now working towards a doctoral degree in English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. Drawing from queer theoretical and environmental humanities frameworks, Meleena specializes in the portrayals of children’s narratives in contemporary Latinx literature. 

Meleena hopes to unite their service work and their research by partnering with various organizations on and off campus to invigorate their pedagogy and foster more formidable local ties. 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


2016, BA English, Princeton University


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


2008, BA English, James Madison University

2020, MA English, James Madison University


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

Krysten Voelkner

October 28, 2019


2018, MA English, Wake Forest University

2016, BA English, Drexel University


Krysten Voelkner is a third-year PhD student in the department of English and Comparative Literature and serves as the Web Coordinator for the UNC Latina/o Studies Program. Her primary interests reside at the intersection of environmental humanities and contemporary Latinx literature. Recent publications of hers can be found in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy. She is currently at work researching for her dissertation, which investigates the ways in which Latinx writers experiment with aesthetics of horror, dread, anxiety, and other ‘bad’ affects associated with the climate crisis. In this regard, she hopes to explore the affective ecologies of Latinx environmental literature and film as they offer ways of thinking within and beyond the Anthropocene.


  • “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)


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