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Anthony DiNardo

September 28, 2020

Degrees

2020, BA English/History, Mary Baldwin University

Bio

Tony DiNardo is a first-year PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. His research currently focuses on the theological and devotional writings of Britain from Wyclif to the Glorious Revolution, Stuart historiography, and applications of queer theory in the literature of the English Renaissance. An avid, lifelong reader of fantasy and science fiction literature, Tony also has an interest in the growing body of criticism surrounding those genres, particularly where it explores the medieval and early modern roots of the speculative and fantastic modes. Other interests of his include religion in the Victorian social novel, the poetry of the Irish literary revival, labor writing, and video game narratives.


Jonathan Albrite

September 22, 2020

Degrees

2008, BA English, James Madison University

2020, MA English, James Madison University

Bio

Broadly interested in posthumanism, ecocriticism, and affect theory, John’s research explores how nonhuman agents have shaped the literature and film of America’s long twentieth century. At the same time, he studies the productive tension between posthumanism’s push to consider nonhuman lives and the ongoing work of critical race, gender, and disability scholars, who advocate for the human lives ignored by systems of power.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Rose Steptoe

September 22, 2020

Degrees

2019, BA English and History, University of South Carolina Honors College

Bio

Rose Steptoe is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the graduate communications editor for the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab housed within UNC’s ECL Department. Her focus is in film studies, and she is interested in exploring questions of gender and sexuality, affect, authorship, and genre in audiovisual media. Her recent research has focused on women directors within the horror genre.


Adhy Kim

September 1, 2020

Degrees

B.A. Lawrence University

Bio

Adhy Kim is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. His research areas include speculative literature, colonialism and post-colonialism in Japan and Korea, race, and American Cold War empire. His dissertation examines literary intersections between Cold War memory and speculative natural histories.


Publications:

“Looking Back on Colonial Korea: Nostalgia and Anti-Nostalgia in Park Chan- Wook’s The Handmaiden,” The Journal of Global and Postcolonial Studies 7:2, special issue on postcolonial nostalgia, eds. Simon Lewis and Giusi Russo (2019)

“Japanese Melancholy and the Ethics of Concealment in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being,” Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal 52:4 (Dec. 2019)


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:

  • “Facilitating Rhetoric: Paratherapeutic Activity in Community Support Groups.” In Mental Health Rhetoric Research: Toward Strategic Interventions, ed. Lisa Melonçon and Cathryn Molloy (Southern Illinois University Press, forthcoming).
  • “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, 2020).

Teaching Awards

  • Professional Development Award, UNC Writing Program, 2020.
  • Krista Turner Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (Inaugural Recipient), 2019.
  • Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2019.
  • Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2018.

Awards

  • Humanities Professional Pathway Award (Senior Fellow), UNC Humanities for the Public Good, 2020.
  • Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities, Carolina Public Humanities, 2019–2020.
  • Summer Dissertation 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.

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

2016, MA English, Loughborough University

2014, BA English, Loughborough University

Bio

Doug Stark is a Ph.D. student in the English Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Broadly, Doug’s research addresses various ways in which media devices and media systems problematize subject-centered conceptualizations of thinking and acting, posing new political and ethical challenges but also serving as means to experiment with alternate modes of relationality and socio-technical organization in complex ecologies. Mostly in conversation with discourses on media theory/philosophy and critical race theory, his writing and teaching concern twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, film, and new media with a specialism in the history and theory of (video) games.

Doug’s dissertation—tentatively titled Thinking Games—focuses on the implementation of games and play to address epistemological and aesthetic problems in the early- to mid-twentieth-century US. In this period, he explores how games and game-like scenarios served as (proto-)cybernetic epistemic mediators in the computational and human sciences as well as how artists used the metaphor and practice of play for aleatory experimentation. Contributing to histories of art, media, science, and technology, the dissertation re-positions gamification (the application of elements typical to game playing) not as a contemporary phenomenon but as a pervasive historical a priori for a number of significant cultural developments. In analyzing incidents of games assisting in solving specific problems, he makes the media philosophical claim that game-player complexes engender unique capacities to think—an argument he extends to include early computer games.

He has forthcoming and published work on Afrofuturism, neoliberal gamification, videogame literature, walking simulators, and croquet in Extrapolation (2020), Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies (2019), Encyclopedia of Video Games (est. 2020), and the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds (2020), In Media Res (2020) respectively.


Publications:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stark, Doug. “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)
  • 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

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


Curriculum Vitae / Resume