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Portrait of Sean DiLeonardi


M.A. University of Colorado, Boulder

B.A. Illinois State University


Sean DiLeonardi teaches and writes about contemporary American and African American literature, especially with respect to race, technology, science, and mathematics. Sean’s research emphasizes the disciplinary specificity of literary studies, even as it charts affinities with subjects often thought inimical to aesthetic inquiry. 

Sean is currently completing a dissertation called Improbable Realism: The Postwar American Novel and the Digital Aesthetic. He has taught courses at UNC on American literature, rhetoric and composition, film, and digital humanities.



  • “Cryptographic Reading: Machine Translation, the New Criticism, and Nabokov’s Pnin,” Post45: Peer-Reviewed (Jan. 2019).
  • “Nabokov and the Mathematics of Language” in Vladimir Nabokov et la Traduction (forthcoming from Artois Presses Université).

Teaching Awards

  • Carl Hartsell Award, for teaching excellence, 2018


  • Hunt Award, for demonstration of “exceptional ability,” UNC, 2020
  • John Robert Bittner Award, for best doctoral work on literature and media, UNC, 2019
  • Course Development Grant, Digital Learning Center, UNC, 2020
  • Summer Dissertation Fellowship, Dept. of English, UNC, 2020
  • ACLA Travel Grant, ACLA, 2020
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Graduate School, UNC, 2019-20
  • Leland Bellòt Summer Research Fellowship, the Graduate School, UNC, 2019
  • Dean’s Graduate Fellowship, Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC, 2018-19
  • Diana Hobby Dissertation Fellowship, Dept. of English, UNC, 2018
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship, the Graduate School, UNC, 2018
  • Rose Fellowship, Stuart A. Rose Library, Emory University, 2018
  • Maynard Adams Fellowship, Carolina Public Humanities, 2017-18
  • Robert Bain Award, for scholarship on American Lit., Dept. of English, UNC, 2016
  • Roy C. Moose Travel Grant, Graduate Student Federation, UNC, 2014

Curriculum Vitae / Resume