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Timothy Gress

August 19, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA Philosophy and Religious Studies, Manhattan College

2021, MA English and American Literature, New York University

2021, MLIS Rare Books and Special Collections, Long Island University

Bio

Tim Gress is a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Fellow in the department of English & Comparative Literature. His research focuses primarily on the literary and cultural history of Britain during the 19th century, especially as it relates to the history of the book. Other interests include lesser-known woman writers of the late-Romantic and early-Victorian periods, the history and development of the novel in English, descriptive bibliography, and book collecting. Tim also works as a Graduate Assistant in the Rare Book Collection at Wilson Special Collections Library.


Publications:

  • A Collector’s Zeal: Treasures from the DeCoursey Fales Collection at Manhattan College. (Riverdale, New York: Manhattan College, 2020).

Awards

  • William T. Buice III Scholarship, Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2020
  • Director’s Scholarship, Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2019
  • Edward Branigan Scholars Grant for Research in the Humanities, Manhattan College, 2018

Isabel Grace Thomas Howard

August 5, 2021

Degrees

2020, BA English, Trinity College Dublin

Bio

Isabel (they/them) is a second-year PhD student at the University of North Carolina. Their research broadly focuses on the intersections between language, textual culture, and queer theory in medieval literature. Medieval theories of language and rhetoric inform their investigation, alongside structuralist and post-structuralist criticism. Ambiguous words, semiology, and narratives concerning sex change are of particular interest to their research.

Isabel’s reading of queerness in medieval literature is twofold: they seek to locate queer instances in both didactic religious texts, such as the trans saints in medieval hagiography, and in secular narratives like the 13th century Le Roman de Silence. In both secular and religious frameworks, Isabel is concerned with how language informs structures of sexuality and gender and how these structures are often unsettled and displaced through language. In their reading of queerness in medieval texts, Isabel desires to experiment with how we recognize and interpret ‘queerness’ not as a fixed identity, but as acts, events, and performances in dialogue with identity-formation.

They are currently working on two projects: one entitled ‘I kan nat glose’: Queering Illegible Signification in Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale,’ which analyzes the infamous pear tree sex scene in Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale as a culmination of unintelligible semiotic exchanges of letters and of sexual organs, and the other, “Needle as Queer Instrument of Authorship in Chrétien de Troyes Yvain,” which considers the implications of the textile worker as auctor.


Awards

CARA Summer Scholarship, The Medieval Academy of America, 2022


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

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.


Brendan Chambers

September 11, 2019
Photo of Brendan Chambers

Degrees

2019, BA English, Boston College

Bio

Brendan is a PhD student studying 20th century American literature.  His interests lie at the nexus of literature and phenomenology, exploring how writers across genres represent consciousness and perception in their writing.


Publications:

  • “Phenomenological Reproduction in Thompson and Mailer’s New Journalism.” Dianoia. (Spring 2019)

Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa, Boston College, 2019

David Hall

August 23, 2019

Degrees

2018, BA English & Computer Science, University of Virginia

Bio

The focus of my studies in the English Department is on video games and understanding how stories get told in this new, developing medium. I am particularly interested in questions of agency, empathy, and virtuality in video game narratives, and how these questions provide interesting and useful lenses outside of the video game medium. I also work on questions of legitimacy and pedagogy surrounding games, and how the physical space of gameplay is important to the inclusion of video games into the academic sphere.


Awards

  • 2019 Center for Faculty Excellence – Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant

Jillian Kern

August 19, 2019
Photo of Jillian Kern

Degrees

2017, MSt English 650-1550, University of Oxford

2014, BA English and Medieval/Early Modern Studies, University of California, Davis

Bio

Jillian is a first year PhD student and teaching fellow in the department of English and Comparative Literature. She is a medievalist with a focus on the post-conquest period ca.1100-1300. Her previous research projects have centered on the lais of Marie de France and other Anglo-French texts. Additionally, she is interested in exploring the transmission of medieval texts and medievalisms. Her research approaches include digital corpus linguistics and Natural Language Processing, feminist and gender theory, virginity studies, and queer theory.

Jillian is a recent transplant from rural Northern California to the Research Triangle, where she is working to rapidly fill her new living space with houseplants. In addition to research, she is passionate about teaching and providing student support.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Doug Stark

July 1, 2019

Degrees

2016, MA English, Loughborough University

2014, BA English, Loughborough University

Bio

Doug Stark is a Ph.D. candidate in the English program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research and teaching concerns twentieth- and twenty-first-century philosophy, cultural theory, literature, film, art and new media – specializing in the history and theory of games. Doug’s dissertation, Gaming as a Way of Life: Towards a Biopolitics of Play, addresses a present phenomenon that confounds traditional theories that define play by its autonomy from everyday life, namely, a preponderance of the game structures that saturate our contemporary world purport to exercise proficiencies pertinent beyond the scene of play — such as the apps on our phones that offer points, dangle badges, and display leaderboards to motivate exercise, language-learning, task-management, and even sleeping. By way of chapters on the British Empire’s implementation of cricket to “civilize” the colonized, the video game’s derivation from military-industrial training tools, the quotidian practice amateur gaming entails, and the professional esport athlete’s regimen, the dissertation demonstrates that the organization of life by games is not novel and that the activity of play recurs in recent history as a central, often tacit, means of adapting players to new technologies, economies, and systems of governance. It argues that the common sense that play is “free” not only belies this operation of power but also precludes harnessing the life organizing propensity of games to inhabit the world differently. Doug’s writing appears in journals ExtrapolationJournal of Gaming & Virtual WorldsPost-45EludamosQui Parle and Leonardo, as well as edited collections Playing the Field and Encyclopedia of Video Games.


Publications:

  • Stark, Doug. “Exercises in Humility: Gregory Bateson on Contingency, Croquet, and Revising Habits of Thought Through Play.” Leonardo, special section on “Indeterminacy After AI,” forthcoming 2022.
  • Stark, Doug. “Better Problems: Neoliberalism, Strategic Achronicity, and the Experimental Games To-Be-Made.” A review essay concerning Patrick Jagoda’s Experimental Games (2020). Qui Parle, vol. 30, no. 2, December 2021, pp. 399-419, https://doi.org/10.1215/10418385-9395334.
  • Stark, Doug. Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology and Art of Gaming, 2nd ed., edited by Mark J. P. Wolf, Greenwood Press, 2021, pp. 1104-1107.
  • Stark, Doug. “Training for the Military? Some Historical Considerations Towards a Media Philosophical Computer Game Philosophy.”
    Eludamos, vol. 11, no. 1, 2020, pp. 125144, https://eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/view/vol11no1-8.
  • Stark, Doug and Teresa O’ Rourke. “The Lost Futures of BoJack and Diane.” Post45, special cluster on Leaving Hollywood: Essays After BoJack Horseman, 2020, https://post45.org/2020/11/the-lost-futures-of-bojack-and-diane/.
  • Stark, Doug. “Reimagining Play with Lewis Carroll’s Croquet.” In Media Res, March 2020, http://mediacommons.org/imr/content/reimagining-play-lewis-carroll%E2%80%99s-croquet.
  • Stark, Doug. “Unsettling Embodied Literacy in QWOP the Walking Simulator.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, vol. 12, no. 1, 2020, pp. 49–67, https://doi.org/10.1386/jgvw_00004_1.
  • Stark, Doug. “‘A More Realistic View:’ Reimagining Sympoietic Practice in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series,” Extrapolation, vol. 61, no. 1-2, 2020, pp. 151–171, https://doi.org/10.3828/extr.2020.10.
  • Stark, Doug. “Ludic Literature: Ready Player One as Didactic Fiction for the Neoliberal Subject.” Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies, edited by Sascha Pöhlmann, De Gruyter, 2019, pp. 153-173.

Awards

  • Hobby Departmental Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Chapel Hill, Fall 2022
  • IAH Grant, UNC/KCL “Media Aesthetics” Speaker Series and Working Group, Fall 2022
  • Game Studies Research Award, DLC lab, UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2022, Fall 2022
  • Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Fellow, UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2022
  • IAH Grant, UNC/KCL “Digital Aesthetics” Speaker Series, Fall 2021
  • Games and Cultures Humanities Lab Fellow, Duke University, 2019-2020
  • Santander Postgraduate Scholarship, Loughborough University, UK, 2014-2016

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Nicole Berland

May 23, 2019

Degrees

2005, BA English, Psychology, Plan II Honors, University of Texas

2008, MA Humanities, University of Chicago

Bio

Although I came to UNC to study later-Victorian monster fiction, my obsessive Star Trek fandom redirected my research interests toward science fiction television seriality. As an educator, I likewise encourage my students to leverage their passions toward their academic work. I have taught several composition courses at UNC, including Writing Across the Disciplines, Writing in the Social Sciences, and Writing in the Humanities, in addition to designing and teaching sections of Literature & Cultural Diversity and Film & Culture. I’ve also been afforded the opportunity to TA for Matthew Taylor’s Literature, Medicine, and Culture and Gregory Flaxman’s Film Analysis classes. My auxiliary interests in social justice, music, and visual art also keep me busy with a number of UNC-affiliated and community-based groups and projects.


Teaching Awards

Betts Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2021

Undergraduate Teaching Award (SUTASA), UNC-Chapel Hill, 2020

Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018

Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015


Awards

Frankel Departmental Dissertation Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2021

UNC-King’s College London Global Partnership Grant, 2019

UNC-King’s College London Global Partnership Grant, 2017

Graduate and Professional Student Federation Travel Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015

George Hills Harper Summer Research Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2013-2014

M.A.P.H. Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2007-2008

Phi Beta Kappa, University of Texas, 2005


Paul Blom

May 6, 2019

Degrees

2010, MA English, DePaul University

2008, BA English, Birmingham-Southern College

Bio

Originally from LaGrange, GA, Paul is primarily interested in American literature from 1865 to the present and its intersection with medical humanities, especially trauma studies. He is primarily interested in the ethical and political implications of depictions of trauma in literature and other media. In addition to his scholarly work, he also teaches sections of ENGL105, tutors for the athletic department, and currently serves as the Fiction Editor for The Carolina Quarterly. He also writes original pieces of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and drama as well as scripts for promotional videos and short narrative or documentary films.


Publications:


Awards

  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2021
  • Departmental Summer Fellowship Service Award to provide administrative support at the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab, 2020
  • Departmental Travel Grant Award Recipient for travel to present at annual MELUS Conference in New Orleans, LA, April 2020
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2020
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2019
  • Recipient of multiple grants for “Popular Narratives and the Experience of War,” UNC-Chapel Hill, from The Graduate School; Humanities for the Public Good; The College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Fine Arts & Humanities; The College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Social Sciences & Global Programs; Carolina Veterans Resource Center; Department of English and Comparative Literature; Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense; Department of History; and Center for the Study of the American South, 2019

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Jane McGrail

April 25, 2019

Degrees

2017, BA English, College of the Holy Cross

Bio

Jane McGrail is a PhD student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. Her research interests include the public humanities, cultural rhetorics, feminisms and rhetorics, community literacy studies, and engaged pedagogy.