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Grace Derenne

October 5, 2022


2019, BA Classics and Literature, University of North Carolina Asheville


Grace Derenne is a first-year Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include horror studies, sexuality studies, film and media studies, and depictions of the child in literature and film.

Anna Merz

March 16, 2022


2020, MA English Literature, Virginia Tech
2015, BA English Literature and Education, Roanoke College


Anna Merz is a second year PhD student interested in literature of the long, undisciplined nineteenth century, Anna’s past research projects have centered literary depictions of Victorian education and childhood. Her early-stage dissertation research focuses on depictions and illustrations of “bad” children in Victorian literature, especially the ways in which “badness” as a label is often gendered and racialized.

At UNC, Anna works closely with the Jane Austen Summer Program, a public humanities outreach program, and in the William Blake Archive—a Digital Humanities project cataloguing Blake’s works.

Teaching Awards

  • Richard Hoffman GTA Teaching Award for Excellence: Virginia Tech English Departmental Award, 2020
  • Michael J. Sandridge Education Award for Excellence: Roanoke College, 2015
  • English Department Teaching Award for Excellence: Roanoke College, 2015


  • Caroline Pace Chermside Award for Best Master’s Thesis: Virginia Tech, 2020
  • Dickens Universe Fellow, 2020
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2015
  • Briethaupt Scholarship for the Scholarly Study of Literature: Roanoke College, 2014

Elisabeth McClanahan Harris

June 15, 2021
Photo of Elisabeth McClanahan


2019, MA English, George Washington University

2012, BA Humanities, Columbia International University


Elisabeth studies 19th century American literature and medicine, focusing on how changing theories of mental illness and its treatment were encoded in congregate care institutions over the course of the century. Her research, which draws on a varied archive of patient memoirs, journalistic exposes, and fictional depictions of congregate care, investigates entanglements of race, gender, and disability in questions of mental healthcare.


“Conversion and Countermemory: Jarena Lee, Maria Stewart, and the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary Magdalene.” Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Theologies of the Afterlife: A Step Closer to Heaven, edited by Emily Hamilton-Honey and Jennifer McFarlane Harris, Routledge, 2021.


  • Robert Bain Award for scholarship in American Literature, UNC English Department, 2021
  • Southern Futures Graduate Award, 2020
  • McCandlish Endowment Fellowship, 2017-2019
  • PEO Continuing Education Grant, 2018

Katherine Stein

August 5, 2019
Photo of Katherine Stein, taken by Emily Youree


2019, Honors BA English Literature and History, Marquette University


Katherine Stein is a third-year PhD student whose work is absorbed in the lines between historical fact and fictional narrative, with a special focus on Victorian historiography and the figure of the child.  Reaching forward from the Victorian period into the early twentieth century, she has interests in historical fiction, national identity, and children’s literature.  Katherine’s work is invested in the public humanities; at UNC, she works with the Jane Austen Summer Program, a public humanities outreach program, and also works in various public-facing communications roles.


  • James Peacock REACH Fellowship, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs, UNC (2021)
  • Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities, UNC-Chapel Hill (2020)
  • Outstanding Scholar of the Year, Marquette University English Department (2019)
  • Walter C. Boden Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Marquette University History Department (2019)

Edward Hyunsoo Yang

April 23, 2018


2012, BA English Literature and Political Science, Loyola Marymount University

2015, MA English, Claremont Graduate University


My research interests include the history of the novel, narrative performance, and authenticity. Drawing from British novels of the Long Eighteenth Century and Twentieth Century American novels, I hope to produce a project that examines narrative interruptions: moments in a text when a voice, distinct from that of any other character, enters the narrative.

Some of my past research examines: the performance of authenticity in The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zoey, competing narrative frames in Frankenstein, a blending of genres in The Castle of Otranto, resistance to introspection in Mumblecore films, and the role of authenticity in Hip Hop.


  • Fulbright, English Teaching Assistantship (Germany), 2016-17

Curriculum Vitae / Resume