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Anna Merz

March 16, 2022

Degrees

2020, MA English Literature, Virginia Tech
2015, BA English Literature and Education, Roanoke College

Bio

Anna Merz is a second year PhD student interested in literature of the long, undisciplined nineteenth century, Anna’s past research projects have centered literary depictions of Victorian education and childhood. Her early-stage dissertation research focuses on depictions and illustrations of “bad” children in Victorian literature, especially the ways in which “badness” as a label is often gendered and racialized.

At UNC, Anna works closely with the Jane Austen Summer Program, a public humanities outreach program, and in the William Blake Archive—a Digital Humanities project cataloguing Blake’s works.


Teaching Awards

  • Richard Hoffman GTA Teaching Award for Excellence: Virginia Tech English Departmental Award, 2020
  • Michael J. Sandridge Education Award for Excellence: Roanoke College, 2015
  • English Department Teaching Award for Excellence: Roanoke College, 2015

Awards

  • Caroline Pace Chermside Award for Best Master’s Thesis: Virginia Tech, 2020
  • Dickens Universe Fellow, 2020
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2015
  • Briethaupt Scholarship for the Scholarly Study of Literature: Roanoke College, 2014

Eleanor Rambo

November 10, 2021

Degrees

2020, MA English, Boston College

2016, BA English, Case Western Reserve University

Bio

I study twentieth-century American and Russophone literature, and I am also interested in urban studies. In my academic research I focus on things ranging from American movie musicals to postcolonial theory, and I write literary reviews of works in translation.


Teaching Awards

  • UNC Latina/o Studies Program Teaching Award

Cate Rivers

September 24, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA English, North Carolina State University

Bio

Cate Rivers is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2019 with a BA in English and minors in history and Japan studies. Her main area focuses are the Southern United States and Japan. Her interests span trauma studies, nationalism, memory, gender and critical race theories, modernism, cultural representations of mental illness, mysticism, and Buddhist literature. Her ongoing research project frames 20th century Japanese novels and novels from the Southern Renaissance as social histories, with particular attention to war memory, family history, culpability, the construction of “family,” and the relation between national identity and self-conception.


Carson Watlington

September 20, 2021

Degrees

2020, BA English and Visual Arts, University of Richmond

Bio

Carson Watlington is a PhD student in the department of English & Comparative Literature and the Graduate Assistant for Film Studies. Her work is rooted in 20th/21st century American Literature, with a particular attention to minority and ethnic texts.


Audrey J. Gibson

September 16, 2021

Degrees

2021, BA English, Centenary College of Louisiana

2021, BA French, Centenary College of Louisiana

Bio

Audrey Gibson is a first-year PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is broadly interested in 20th century American literature, with particular emphasis on Southern and multiethnic writing. Her previous research has focused on French-language poetry, particularly Afro-Creole literature, situated in New Orleans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. This research explored the construction of identity and community through language, publication, education, religion, and political involvement.


Madison (Madi) Hester

August 24, 2021

Degrees

2018, B.A. English Literature, Colorado Mesa University

2020, M.A. English, Colorado State University

Bio

I am a Ph.D. student and teaching fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature. I research recent contemporary American literature from 2000 to present, and am absorbed by questions about mixed-race identity, and how multiethnic and multicultural subjects “rightly” identify themselves and are identified. I also examine what makes writing literary, who creates literature, and how digital media challenges and expands those definitions.


Ryan Carroll

August 4, 2021

Degrees

2020, BA English, George Washington University

Bio

Ryan Carroll is a PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He is interested in mediation, information culture, documentary storytelling, and truth-telling in 19th-century British and Transatlantic literature. His interests also include modernism, literary theory and aesthetics, hermeneutic phenomenology, queer theory, and magical realism.

Outside of academia, Ryan writes on theology, particularly queer and liberation theology. His work has been published by theology publications and the Jesuit Conference of Canada and North America.


Publications:

Carroll, Ryan. “The Pilgrim’s Book.” The Jesuits, https://www.jesuits.org/stories/the-pilgrims-book/, 2021.

Carroll, Ryan. “Fragments of the Eschaton: Queer Christian Soteriology.” Macrina Magazine, https://macrinamagazine.com/issue-8-general/guest/2021/09/11/fragments-of-the-eschaton-queer-christian-soteriology/, September 11, 2021.

Carroll, Ryan. “An Ongoing Revelation: Endings and Poetics of Missingness in the Novels of Virginia Woolf and Gabriel García Márquez.” Portals: A Journal in Comparative Literature, July 12, 2020.


Awards

  • 2022 Ruth Rose Richardson Award

Meleena Gil

July 12, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA English Literature, University of Central Florida

Bio

Meleena (they/she) is a first-generation US-American and college graduate now working towards a doctoral degree in English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. Drawing from queer theoretical and environmental humanities frameworks, Meleena specializes in the portrayals of children’s narratives in contemporary Latinx literature. 

Meleena hopes to unite their service work and their research by partnering with various organizations on and off campus to invigorate their pedagogy and foster more formidable local ties. They aim to create a space for meaningful experiences and mutual acknowledgment.


Teaching Awards

Fall 2021 Latina/o Studies Graduate Teaching Affiliate Fellowship


Nathan Andrew Quinn

January 21, 2021

Degrees

2016, BA English, Princeton University

Bio

Nathan possesses a strong interest in late 20th and 21st century American literature, with a particular focus on contemporary works with magical realist and “hysterical realist” elements. This interest has led him in the direction of postsecular theory and the philosophy of language.


Anthony DiNardo

September 28, 2020

Degrees

2018, AA Liberal Arts, Northern Virginia Community College

2020, BA English/History, Mary Baldwin University

Bio

Tony DiNardo is a PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Their main area of research deals with the value positionings of, and the cultural work performed by, the fantastic from the medieval romance to modern genre fantasy and science fiction. They have also done more conventional work in medieval and early modern theological and devotional thought from Wyclif to Donne. Other interests of theirs include Stuart historiography, faith and labor in the Victorian social novel, the poetry of the Irish literary revival, and video game narratives.