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

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


Benjamin J Murphy

May 6, 2019

Degrees

B.A, Humanities, Houghton College. Houghton, NY. 2014 

Bio

I am a PhD candidate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I study American literature of the long nineteenth century (1830-1914). My research focuses on prose narratives (fiction and non-fiction) in relation to science, critical theory, biopolitics, and race. More broadly, too, I am interested in genre fiction (especially horror, science fiction, and weird fiction), intellectual and social history, and the history of science.

My dissertation centers on literature and discourses of crowd psychology at the turn of the century. Considering novels, short stories, essays, and scientific writing, I argue that American writers between the end of Reconstruction and the start of WWI found in the complicated notion of the crowd a means to justify as well as to resist racial inequality. Whether claimed as the embodiment of democracy itself or shamed as a primitive resurgence, the crowd was for both white and black constituencies a pliable, powerful instrument.

My research on related topics has been published in Mississippi Quarterly and Configurations. Other writing, including essays and reviews, appears with The MillionsPopMatters, boundary2 online, symplokeGulf Coast, Full Stop, and The Carolina Quarterly. (Visit my website for links to my writing.)

As a Teaching Fellow in the English department, I regularly teach courses in composition and rhetoric. I have also taught ENGL 144: Popular Genres, served as a Teaching Assistant for ENGL 268: Literature, Medicine, and Culture, and been a Graduate Research Consultant for ENGL 344: Literature of the American West and CMPL 142: Visual Culture. 

Additionally, I have served in various editorial positions and am currently an editorial assistant for the journal American Literature. 


Publications:

  • Not So New Materialism: Homeostasis Revisited” Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 27.1 (Winter 2019) Forthcoming
  • “The Lasting Impressions of Biopower,” Review of Kyla Schuller’s The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century [Duke University Press, 2018] symploke 26.1 (Forthcoming 2018)
  • “Exceptional Infidelity: James Dickey’s Deliverance, Film Adaptation, and the Postsouthern”Mississippi Quarterly 69.2 (Spring 2016) [Published Summer 2018]
  • “The Universes of Speculative Realism,” Review of Steven Shaviro’s The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism [University of Minnesota Press, 2014] boundary 2: b2o review (June 1, 2017) Web

Teaching Awards

  • Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2018
  • Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2018
  • Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Award (SUTSA), 2017

Awards

  • Hobby Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Department of English, Fall Semester, 2019

  • Summer Research Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Graduate School,  2019

  • Best Graduate Student Essay, South Atlantic MLA (SAMLA), 2016

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

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.


Jacob T. Watson

October 15, 2018

Degrees

PhD, English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Defending 2018

M.A. English, University of Georgia at Athens, 2011

B.A. English, Philosophy Minor, University of Georgia at Athens, 2009

magna cum laude

Bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate specializing in critical theory, film and media. I’m currently thinking about the discourses surrounding audiovisual technology in the mid-twentieth century as they pertain to the history and prehistory of American broadcast television. My other interests include graphics, speculative fiction after World War II, image theory, information theory, and screen archeology. I have taught courses on contemporary literature, digital literature, film and visual culture. I’m also an avid hiker and obsessive music lover.


Publications:

“The Suffusion of the Televisual in The Crying of Lot 49.” Style 51.2 (2017).


Teaching Awards

  • 2017-18           UNC-CH English and Comparative Literature Distinguished Teaching Fellowship
  • 2015                UNC-CH English and Comparative Literature Senior Teaching Fellowship

Awards

  • 2016-17           UNC Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • 2016                The Eliason Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2015                The Carol and Edward Smithwick Summer Research Fellowship
  • 2015                The John R. Bittner Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Literature and Media

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Sejal Mahendru

October 9, 2018

Degrees

B.A. English, 2010, University of Delhi

M.A. English, 2012, University of Delhi

M.Phil, English Literature, 2014, University of Delhi

Bio

Sejal Mahendru is a Ph.D. student at UNC-Chapel Hill with an interest in postcolonial studies and ecocriticism. Her research focuses on the environmental and geopolitical implications of nuclear warfare and their representation in literature. She has also taught at the University of Delhi, and her MPhil dissertation was on contemporary American Theatre.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Hannah Montgomery

September 11, 2018

Degrees

2018, BA English, University of Tulsa

Bio

As a Ph.D. student, I study Medieval and Early Modern British literature, but my interests vary widely. I like the Classics, Romanticism, folklore, Gothic, Neo-Gothic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and fairytale retellings. I’m particularly interested in the overlap between cultures and time periods, such as Anglo-French interactions, medieval themes reflected in contemporary work, or the transitional periods between arbitrary temporal divisions. In past research projects, I have traced heroes, examined loyalty, and explored and experienced the sublime in literature and in real life, such as paragliding through clouds over the French Alps, where I worked this summer as an au pair. I have studied French, Latin, some Old-English, and beginning Gaelic. I want to learn Italian, German, Norwegian, and possibly many more languages. In my free time, I write, craft, watch and collect Disney and Marvel movies, bake (my superlative in my undergraduate writing club was “most likely to be held hostage for her brownie recipe”), sing, and travel.


Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Travis Alexander

August 13, 2018

Degrees

2013, BA English and Plan II Honors, The University of Texas at Austin

Bio

Travis is broadly invested in postwar American fiction, film, and visual art. His research specifically clusters around portrayals of the HIV/AIDS epidemic from the 1980s to the present in literary, filmic, and theoretical domains. Travis is particularly interested in the extent to which scripts governing racial representation inform these portrayals.


Publications:

PEER REVIEWED 

  • “Long Live the Old Flesh: AIDS and the Americans with Disabilities Act at Quarter Century,” symplokē (forthcoming December 2018)
  • “‘A hint of industrial espionage in the eye’: Orientalism, Essayism, and the Politics of Memory in Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video (forthcoming November 2018)

REFEREED REVIEWS

  • “Deregulating Grief: A Review of Dagmawi Woubshet’s The Calendar of Loss: Race Sexuality and Mourning in the Early Era of AIDS (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015),” boundary 2 (2017) (Web.)

Teaching Awards

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award, Spring 2017


Awards

Short Term Fellowship, The Huntington Library, 2019

Summer Research Grant, Provost’s Committee on LGBTQ Life, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018

Graduate Student Research Award, Program in Sexuality Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018

Ruth Rose Richardson Award for Outstanding Record in the First Year of Graduate Study, Department of English, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015

Dean’s Distinguished Graduate, College of Liberal Arts (12 students chosen from 2,983 graduates), The University of Texas at Austin, 2013


Anneke Schwob

August 7, 2018

Degrees

2010, S.B. Literature (21L), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2010, S.B. Science and Humanities (21S), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bio

I am a doctoral candidate whose research interests include American literature and science, the birth of American conservation movements, periodical studies, and natural history. Archival portions of my research have been supported by fellowships from the Science Fiction Society, the Graduate School at UNC, and the Mary and David Harrison Institute at the University of Virginia. My dissertation, In Situ: Environmental Management and the American Literary Imagination, explores how popular, serialized narratives used the scientific project of wilderness exploration and conservation as a tool of literary nationalism in the decades immediately preceding the foundation of the National Parks Service. My research is informed by my background in the biological sciences and a deep personal interest in backpacking and mountaineering.


Awards

  • UNC Graduate School Dissertation Travel Fellowship, 2017
  • National Humanities Center “Humanities in Class” Internship, 2017
  • UVA Lillian Gary Taylor Visiting Fellowship in American Literature, 2017
  • SFS Mullen Research Fellowship, 2016
  • Robert A. Bain Award for Excellence in 19thCentury American Literature, 2014

Curriculum Vitae / Resume