Nora Katherine Augustine

September 9, 2019

Degrees

2011, B.A. in English Language and Literature (Honors), University of Chicago.

Bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST), specializing in mental health rhetoric research (MHRR), feminist studies, and community literacy. In recent years, I have taught courses in WGST, health/medical rhetoric, popular culture, LGBTQ+ studies, and several variants of composition in/across the disciplines. I have also held research positions in public policy, developmental psychology, and urban education.

My current research tracks the circulation of “mad genius” rhetoric in contemporary American culture, investigating how popular media—especially auto/biographical narratives—imagine a link between mental illness and exceptional creativity, intelligence, and other gifts or talents. My dissertation, “Extra/Ordinary Minds: ‘Mad Genius’ Topoi and Memoirs of Mental Illness,” draws from MHRR and feminist studies to explore sociocultural factors (i.e., disability, gender, race, and class) that compel persons with mental illness to construct mad genius personae in life writing. Through case studies grounded in Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted, Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind, Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, and Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s Willow Weep for Me, I examine four basic mad genius topoi: 1) genius leads to madness, 2) madness confers genius, 3) madness and genius are both innate and indistinguishable, 4) madness and genius share a common source in external trauma. Reading these best-selling memoirs as individualized responses to systemic rhetorical exclusion, I argue mad genius topoi are apparently effective, yet ultimately unsustainable frameworks through which to cope with significant psychic pain.

Outside the walls of UNC, I strive to be an advocate for community literacy and the public humanities—especially initiatives that position personal writing as a source of healing. Since 2016, I have served as a volunteer support group facilitator at a women’s center in my community, designing and leading ~100 hours of writing/art/discussion-based support groups for survivors of domestic violence. As a 2019-2020 Maynard Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities, I am researching new methods for integrating MHRR and textual analysis into the para-therapeutic activity of support groups.


Publications:

  • “Broken Promise: Depression as Ex-Gifted Girl Identity in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation.” In The Faces of Depression in Literature, ed. Josefa Ros Velasco (Peter Lang, forthcoming).

Teaching Awards

  • Krista Turner Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, 2019.
  • Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2019.
  • Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2018.

Awards

  • Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities, 2019–2020.
  • Summer Research Fellowship, UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature, 2019.
  • Travel Award, American Comparative Literature Association, 2019.
  • Blyden Jackson and Roberta Jackson Graduate Fellowship, 2013–2014.

Savannah Foreman

July 29, 2019
Photo of Savannah Foreman

Degrees

MA English (Rhetoric and Digital Humanities), Texas A&M University, 2019

BA English, Lamar University, 2017

 

Bio

Savannah Foreman is a first year PhD student at UNC at Chapel Hill in the English and Comparative Literature department. Her research focuses on theories of communication dealing with emotions, mental illness, and the rhetoric of health and medicine through digital, rhetorical, and neurorhetorical lenses. She hopes to further investigate the ways that emotions are communicated and translated through the body, and how this affects the ways that digital tools are programmed to identify instances of affect.


Publications:

  • 2018, “Edgar Allan Poe and the Detective Character.” Pulse.

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. student in the English and Comparative Literature Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Doug’s dissertation explores the epistemological pre-conditions for forms of play and game in both the post-war military-industrial complex and the post-war avant-garde: paradigms of thought that shaped not only the video game and so-called gamification as we know it today but also contemporary experimental artistic practices. Otherwise, his research concerns twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film, and new media always with an eye to questions of embodiment, mediation, and constructions of the human. He has publications/forthcoming work on the video game’s influence on the novel, neoliberalism’s concomitant relationship with ludic logics, and Octavia Butler’s troubling Afrofuturism.

Prospective ENGL 105 students should know that the course will be oriented around video games and other forms of play.


Publications:

  • “‘A More Realistic View:’ Reimagining Sympoietic Practice in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series.” Beyond Afrofuturism: A Special Issue of Extrapolation. (Forthcoming 2020)
  • “Video Game Novels” Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology and Art of Gaming, 2nd. ed., edited by Mark J. P. Wolf, Greenwood Press. (Forthcoming est. 2020)
  • “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

Games and Cultures Humanities Lab Fellow, Duke University. 2019-2020.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume