Nora 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 interests across a wide range of academic disciplines. In the past, I have held research and/or teaching positions in literature, composition, women’s and gender studies, LGBTQ+ studies, popular culture, health/medical writing, public policy, developmental psychology, and urban education. My current research tracks the circulation of “Mad Genius” mythology in twentieth-century American culture to now, investigating how popular media—especially auto/biographical writing—has imagined a link between psychiatric disability and exceptional creativity, intelligence, and other gifts or talents. My dissertation, “Extra/Ordinary Minds: Confronting ‘Mad Genius’ Mythology in Contemporary Women’s Memoirs,” draws from feminist critiques of science and medicine to explore the sociocultural factors (i.e., systemic sexism and ableism, but also class privilege and white supremacy) that compel women writers with mental illness to construct romanticized Mad Genius personae in their best-selling memoirs. Through readings of Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted (1993), Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation (1994), and Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind (1995), I argue that women’s autobiographical literature depicts Mad Genius mythology as a deceptively effective, but ultimately unsustainable framework through which to cope with psychic pain.


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

  • Summer Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature, 2019.
  • Travel Grant, American Comparative Literature Association, 2019.
  • Blyden Jackson and Roberta Jackson Graduate Fellowship, 2013–2014.

Emily Long

September 9, 2019
Photo of Emily Long

Degrees

2019, B.S. Biology, Second Major in English with Highest Honors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bio

Emily is a Master’s student in English with a concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture. She combines her dual interests in medicine and literature through her work in the medical humanities. Emily’s current research focuses on pre-trauma theory in nineteenth-century American literature.


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

Ian Sawyer

July 29, 2019

Degrees

2019, BA English, Ithaca College

Bio

I am a first-year PhD student in the Department of English & Comparative Literature. My interests include 20th and 21st century American literature, transatlantic modernism, and critical theory.


Doug Stark

July 1, 2019

Degrees

Bio

Doug Stark is a PhD student in the English program at UNC, Chapel Hill. His research appraises the role of play and experimentation across literature, film, video games, and new media. Drawing on his background in game studies, Germanophone media theory, and continental philosophy, Doug’s thinking concerns the conditions of possibilities for forms of play transhistorically and transculturally. He asks: what are the epistemic, cultural, and technical preconditions for the emergence of forms of play? For example, why do we have computer game play as we know it today? Why the ostentatious play of baroque wigs in the late eighteenth century? Across time and space, Doug contends, we can see a complex enmeshment of cultural values, forms of knowledge, and technical development refracted through the medium of play. Currently focusing on post-war aleatory aesthetics, Doug is particularly interested in forms of play that seem to operate in excess of epistemic paradigms of thought.

Doug also has forthcoming work on video game literature and Afrofuturism.

Prospective ENGL 105 students should know that the content of the course will engage in some way with games and play.


Publications:

  • “‘A More Realistic View:’ Reimagining Sympoietic Practice in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series.” Extrapolation. (Forthcoming)
  • “Video Game Novels” Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology and Art of Gaming, Second Edition, edited by Mark J. P. Wolf. (Forthcoming)
  • “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.

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 and Writing in the Social Sciences, and in the Fall of 2016 I designed and taught a section of a course entitled Literature and Cultural Diversity. 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 tae kwon do also keep me busy with a number of UNC-affiliated and community-based groups and projects.


Teaching Awards

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

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


Awards

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


Abigail Lee

December 5, 2018

Degrees

2016, M.F.A. Poetry Writing, University of North Carolina — Greensboro

2008, B.A. English, University of Virginia — Charlottesville

Bio

Abigail studies contemporary multiethnic literatures, with a focus on TV, film, music videos, and digital media. She holds an MFA in poetry writing and has taught courses in composition, American literature, and contemporary poetry.


Publications:

  • “Blue can be a place/ please can it be a place” finalist for 2015-2016 Mid-American Review James Wright Prize, Vol 36, no. 2 (spring 2016).
  • “somebody or other pretended a revelation” in Prairie Schooner, vol. 90, no. 3 (fall 2016).
  • “and while he told the sands of his hour-glass, or the throbs and little beatings of his watch” in Bayou Magazine, vol. 65 (fall/winter 2016).
  • “The library of July” in CALYX, vol. 29, no. 1 (winter 2016).
  • “Two Face reads that batman has returned” in Barrow Street, (winter 2014).

Awards

  • Humanities for the Public Good, Professional Pathways Award, project developing curricula for UNC correctional education courses, summer 2018
  • Richard Bland Fellowship, Center for the Study of the American South, summer 2017

Christine Johns

November 13, 2018

Degrees

2015, M.A. Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University

2013, B.A. English, University of Central Florida

Bio

Christine is a doctoral student who studies critical theory, environmental literature, and science fiction. Her current research interests include literary and visual expressions of posthumanism, political theory, questions of community, and theories of space and/or place.


Maxim Tsarev

October 1, 2018

Degrees

2018, BA German Literature, Philosophy, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin

Bio

I study twentieth-century German, Russian, and American literature & film. My current research interests lie in Horror and Liminality, Critical Theory, and Film Studies. Currently I am researching depictions of space and time, as they relate to constructions of gender and sexuality.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Hannah Skjellum

September 11, 2018

Degrees

BA of English Literature, Auburn University, 2017

Bio

My area of study lies in 20th century African American literature with a focus on gender and sexuality studies. I like to say I live in Harlem Renaissance, but I’m also poking out into the later 20th century as well as into film of the 21st.