Grad Interest: Film and Media Studies
2011, B.A. in English Language and Literature (Honors), University of Chicago.
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.
- “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).
- 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.
- 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.
2019, B.S. Biology, Second Major in English with Highest Honors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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.
2018, BA English & Computer Science, University of Virginia
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.
- 2019 Center for Faculty Excellence – Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant
2019, BA English, Ithaca College
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.
2016, MA English, Loughborough University
2014, BA English, Loughborough University
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.
- “‘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.
Games and Cultures Humanities Lab Fellow, Duke University. 2019-2020.
Aesthetics | American Literature to 1900 to the present | Contemporary American Literature | Critical Race Studies | Critical Theory and Cultural Studies | Digital Humanities | Disability Studies | Film and Media Studies | Literature and Philosophy | Literature and Science | Media Studies | Posthumanism | Science Fiction | Visual Culture and Arts
2005, BA English, Psychology, Plan II Honors, University of Texas
2008, MA Humanities, University of Chicago
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.
Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015
Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018
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
M.L.A. Humanities, University of North Carolina Asheville, 2010
B.A. History, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2006
Moira Marquis is an eco-critical decolonialist studying contemporary Anglophone novels. Her dissertation, The Dialectic of Myth: Creating Meaning in the Anthropocene, examines how contemporary Anglophone novelists are using traditional myths to tell stories about ecological destruction and climate change which offer alternatives to techno-fix futures or the apocalypse. She is also interested in the Irish language and other minor languages abilities to foster ecological understanding. Her interests are in decolonialism, eco-criticism and environmental humanities, eco-linguistics and myth.
“Human to Humus: Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille and Eco-linguistics as a Decolonialist Strategy,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, forthcoming
2019 Equity in Teaching Institute, Center for Faculty Excellence, UNC CH
2017 Senior Teaching Fellowship, Department of English, UNC
2016 Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature, UNC
2015 Future Faculty Fellowship, Center for Faculty Excellence, UNC
2015 Professional Development Award, English Department, UNC
2019 NeMLA Graduate Student Travel Award
2019 Arts Everywhere Fellowship, UNC Chapel Hill
2019 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant, UNC Chapel Hill
2019 Summer Dissertation Research Fellowship, UNC Chapel Hill
2019 NeMLA Summer Research Fellowship Award
British Literature from 1900 to the Present | Comparative Literature | Contemporary American Literature | Contemporary Multiethnic American Literature | Critical Race Studies | Critical Theory and Cultural Studies | Film and Media Studies | Irish Literature | Literature and Religion | Literature and Science | Post-Colonial Literature and Theory | Posthumanism | Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy | Science Fiction | Science Writing
2016, M.F.A. Poetry Writing, University of North Carolina — Greensboro
2008, B.A. English, University of Virginia — Charlottesville
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.
- “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).
- 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
Office: Swain 214
African American Literature | Asian American Literature | Contemporary Multiethnic American Literature | Critical Race Studies | Critical Theory and Cultural Studies | Film and Media Studies | Genre Theory | Media Studies | Pedagogy | Performance Studies | Poetry and Poetics | Post-Colonial Literature and Theory | Posthumanism | Queer Theory | Transatlantic Studies | Visual Culture and Arts
2015, M.A. Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University
2013, B.A. English, University of Central Florida
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.