UNC English & Comparative Literature

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

  • Humanities Professional Pathway Award, 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, UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature, 2013–2014.

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.

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

Erica Sabelawski

August 12, 2019
Photo of Erica Sabelawski

Degrees

2012, BA English, Saint Michael’s College

2018, MA English, University of Colorado at Boulder

Bio

Erica studies women’s literature from the Romantic era and the American Civil War with a focus on infrastructure, the history of the book, memory and trauma studies, and intellectual history.


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

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 in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include historical rhetoric, the theory of knowledge, 19th Century British literature and culture, the Victorian novel, and women writers.


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

Margaret Maurer

November 19, 2018

Degrees

2015, M.Phil. Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Cambridge University

2014, Pedagogy, Brooklyn College (non-degree)

2013, A.B. English Literature & Theater, Brown University

Bio

Margaret Maurer’s research focuses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and science, especially alchemy and chymistry. She explores the interaction between literature and science through manuscript and print culture, the material book, and book history.


Publications:

  • “‘The undiscovered country’: Shakespeare, Star Trek, and Intertextual Narratives in Station Eleven,” Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (vol. 48, issue 134, p. 32-44), November 2019.
  • “Receiving Alchemical Knowledge”The Recipes Project, 2018.

Teaching Awards

  • UNC Writing Program Professional Development Award, Fall 2018 & Spring 2019

Awards

  • The Languages of Nature: Science, Literature, and the Imagination, Folger Shakespeare Library, September 2019
  • Ruth Rose Richardson Award for Outstanding Record in the First Year of Graduate Study, Department of English and Comparative Literature, UNC-Chapel Hill, August 2018
  • A Folger Orientation to Research Methods and Agendas, Folger Shakespeare Library, May 2018
  • Incubator Award, UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries, 2018
  • Digital Rolls and Fragments Graduate Workshop, Beineike Library, November 2017
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies Small Research Grant, MEMS UNC, 2017
  • Millie Helen Hicks Premium, Brown University, 2013

Jessica Ginocchio

October 16, 2018

Degrees

2016, M.A.T. Secondary English Education, Duke University

2013, M.A. Slavic Languages and Literatures, UNC-Chapel Hill

2011, B.A. Slavic Languages and Literatures, UNC-Chapel Hill

Bio

Jessica is a PhD student in Comparative Literature and teaching assistant in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She focuses on 19th and 20th century Russian and Eastern European literature. Her MA thesis (2013)  explored the role of death in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Her current research interests include animal studies, atrocity, utopias/dystopias, revolutions, and the concept of death.

 

 


Awards

  • FLAS Fellowship, Summer 2012 (Russian)

Matthew Scott Duncan

August 8, 2018

Degrees

BA English, Clemson University

Bio

Matt Duncan is a second-year PhD student and teaching fellow at the UNC Chapel Hill. His research explores the unique role of digital tools in shaping the composition classroom, with an emphasis on a low-bridge approach to the application of technology in writing curriculum. He is also Co-Editor of Fiction for Carolina Quarterly and is a Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative Project Management Fellow.


Awards

  • CDHI Project Management Fellowship
  • CDHI Recruitment Fellowship
  • Fred W. Shilstone Memorial Award
  • Lucy K. Rollins Award

Curriculum Vitae / Resume