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.

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

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

Moira Marquis

April 2, 2019

Degrees

M.L.A. Humanities, University of North Carolina Asheville, 2010

B.A. History, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2006

Bio

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.


Publications:

“Human to HumusMáirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille and Eco-linguistics as a Decolonialist Strategy,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, forthcoming


Teaching Awards

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

2014 Presidential Scholars Program Distinguished Teacher Award


Awards

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


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

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

Stephanie Kinzinger

July 20, 2018

Degrees

2016, MA English, University of Virginia

2013, BA English, University of California Berkeley

Bio

Stephanie Kinzinger is a third-year PhD student, who focuses on nineteenth-century American literature and science. Her background in both areas of study informs her research on how scientific and technological advancements during the nineteenth century engendered significant shifts in interpreting reality and consequently in writing fiction.