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Eleanor Rambo

November 10, 2021


2020, MA English, Boston College

2016, BA English, Case Western Reserve University


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


2019, BA English, North Carolina State University


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.

Audrey J. Gibson

September 16, 2021


2021, BA English, Centenary College of Louisiana

2021, BA French, Centenary College of Louisiana


Audrey Gibson is a second-year PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is broadly interested in 19th and 20th century American literature, with particular emphasis on Southern and multiethnic writing. Her research is mainly focused on French-language poetry, particularly Afro-Creole literature and newspaper writing, situated in New Orleans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. This research explores the construction of identity and community through language, publication, education, religion, and political involvement.


Tempêtes et Éclairs: Poésies d’Adolphe Duhart, écrivain créole de la Louisiane by Adolphe Duhart, edited by Audrey J. Gibson, Éditions Tintamarre, 2022.

Madison (Madi) Hester

August 24, 2021


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

2020, M.A. English, Colorado State University


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.

Sarah Lofstrom

August 9, 2021


2019, BA English, Mount Holyoke College


My scholarly interests naturally converge around questions of trauma, ethics, affect, and divergent subjectivities in narratives of resistance and reconciliation. My work is grounded in an intersectional feminist hermeneutic lens to explore the role of gender, sexuality, and settler colonialism in texts by contemporary American multiethnic women writers. I am also interested in speculative imagery and it’s significance in illuminating historically silenced facets of subjectivity. Psychoanalytic criticisms surrounding haunting and trauma, in conjunction with an exploration of queer women’s psyches as sites for potential violence or intimacy are also uniquely compelling to me. My work asks how/why ‘deviant affects’ are labeled as such, and why the burden of silencing those affects largely falls on “marginalized” folks, i.e. queer and trans women of color?

Meleena Gil

July 12, 2021


2019, BA English Literature, University of Central Florida


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

Anthony DiNardo

September 28, 2020


2018, AA Liberal Arts, Northern Virginia Community College

2020, BA English/History, Mary Baldwin University


Toni DiNardo is a third year PhD student in the department of English and Comparative literature. A “medievalismist,” in the words of one colleague,” Toni’s work is predominantly concerned with the reception of medieval thought and perceptions of the Middle Ages as they have been mediated in modern genre fantasy. In particular, they explore the ways in which various audiences attempt to recuperate the Middle Ages through fantasy in order to construct and sustain identities, from queer rehabilitation of the medieval to white nationalist idealization of the Middle Ages as a putative ethno-nationalist paradise. They are also interested in the subjective experience – particularly among queer players – of the tabletop fantasy role-playing game. Other interests include the role of sexuality in Jacobean historiography, the queerness of faith in Donne’s ouevre, and anything to do with Margery Kempe.

Nicole Berland

May 23, 2019


2005, BA English, Psychology, Plan II Honors, University of Texas

2008, MA Humanities, University of Chicago


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, Writing in the Social Sciences, and Writing in the Humanities, in addition to designing and teaching sections of Literature & Cultural Diversity and Film & Culture. 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 visual art also keep me busy with a number of UNC-affiliated and community-based groups and projects.

Teaching Awards

Betts Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2021

Undergraduate Teaching Award (SUTASA), UNC-Chapel Hill, 2020

Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018

Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015


Frankel Departmental Dissertation Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2021

UNC-King’s College London Global Partnership Grant, 2019

UNC-King’s College London Global Partnership Grant, 2017

Graduate and Professional Student Federation Travel Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2015

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

Paul Blom

May 6, 2019


2010, MA English, DePaul University

2008, BA English, Birmingham-Southern College


Originally from LaGrange, GA, Paul is primarily interested in American literature from 1865 to the present and its intersection with medical humanities, especially trauma studies. He is primarily interested in the ethical and political implications of depictions of trauma in literature and other media. In addition to his scholarly work, he also teaches sections of ENGL105, tutors for the athletic department, and currently serves as the Fiction Editor for The Carolina Quarterly. He also writes original pieces of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and drama as well as scripts for promotional videos and short narrative or documentary films.



  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2021
  • Departmental Summer Fellowship Service Award to provide administrative support at the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab, 2020
  • Departmental Travel Grant Award Recipient for travel to present at annual MELUS Conference in New Orleans, LA, April 2020
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2020
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Program Professional Development Award Recipient, 2019
  • Recipient of multiple grants for “Popular Narratives and the Experience of War,” UNC-Chapel Hill, from The Graduate School; Humanities for the Public Good; The College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Fine Arts & Humanities; The College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Social Sciences & Global Programs; Carolina Veterans Resource Center; Department of English and Comparative Literature; Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense; Department of History; and Center for the Study of the American South, 2019

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Jane McGrail

April 25, 2019


2017, BA English, College of the Holy Cross


Jane McGrail is a PhD student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. Her research interests include the public humanities, cultural rhetorics, feminisms and rhetorics, community literacy studies, and engaged pedagogy.