Congratulations to Dissertation Year Fellowship and Prize Winners!

Graduate Center Dissertation Year Fellowships

  • Courtney Chatellier Supervisor: Duncan Faherty
  • Elizabeth Weybright Supervisor: Nancy Yousef
  • Iemanja Brown Supervisor: Wayne Koestenbaum
  • Elizabeth Goetz Supervisor: Wayne Koestenbaum
  • Rebecca Fullan Supervisor: Kandice Chuh
  • Kaitlin Mondello Supervisor: Alexander Schlutz

Outside Fellowship

  • Danica Savonick
    ACLS Dissertation Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies.
    Supervisor: Kandice Chuh

English Program Dissertation Year Fellowships

  • The Milton F. Steinhardt Memorial Fellowship
    Melissa Coss Aquino
    The Communal “I”: Representing and Resisting Communal Identity in American Autobiography
    Supervisor: Nancy K. Miller
  • The Lynn Kadison Dissertation Year Fellowship [rewarding excellent scholarship and dedicated service to the English Program]
    Hilarie Ashton
    Unsung Heroines in Black and White: The Influence of Sixties Girl Groups, 1961-2016
    Supervisor: Nancy K. Miller
  • The Morton Cohen Dissertation Year Travel Grant
    Tayt Harlin
    The Art Prose of Renata Adler, Joan Didion, and Elizabeth Hardwick
    Supervisor: Wayne Koestenbaum
  • The Robert Adams Day Dissertation Year Fellowships
    Talia Shalev
    “words are found responsible”: Poetry’s Jurisdiction in an Age of Rights
    Supervisor: Kandice Chuh
    Julia G. Fuller
    The Sportswoman and Altheticized Female Bodies in Victorian Literature, 1862-1915
    Supervisor: Talia Schaffer

The Jane Marcus Dissertation Year Fellowship on Twentieth Century Women Writers

  • Lynne Beckenstein
    The Weight of Being Well: Feminist Aesthetics and the Ideology of Mental Health in U.S. Literature, 1980-2016
    Supervisor: Kandice Chuh

The Alumni and Faculty Dissertation Year Fellowship given this year in memory of Frank Duba

  • Amelia Greene
    Alienation and Belonging: Affective Environments in Romanticism and Speculative Fiction
    Supervisor: Joan Richardson

The Millennium Dissertation Year Fellowship

  • Stephen Spencer
    The Assurance of Joy: Radical Protestant Affect in the Age of Milton
    Supervisor: Feisal Mohamed

The Calder Dissertation Year Fellowship

  • Thiruvarangan Mahendran
    Territory as Justice: Postcolonial Cosmopolitics in South Asian Writing and Activist Discourses
    Supervisor: Peter Hitchcock

Dissertation and Teaching Prizes

  • The Diana Colbert Award for Innovative Teaching
    Chris Campanioni
    Title of course: Writing II: Identity, Image, & Intimacy in the Age of Internet & Celebrity, Baruch
    The course explores language and identity in American culture, paying particular attention to identity as it relates to culture, race, gender, work roles, and ethnicity, as well as our relationships with each other in the age of insta-intimacy and the absence of privacy. From day one, students are asked to question their own cultural norms and rules in an effort to be more self-critical and in doing so, engender a degree of empathy as well as critical thinking.
  • The Melvin Dixon Prize for the Best Dissertation in African American Studies
    Kristin Moriah
    Dark Stars of the Evening: Performing African American Citizenship and Identity in Germany, 1890-1920
    Supervisor: Robert Reid-Pharr
    With meticulous examination of archival materials, Moriah demonstrates that black performers in Germany developed wide creative networks as they sought opportunities beyond the racist circumscription of the American popular stage. In the same stroke, African American artists contributed to Berlin’s self-conception as modern metropolis: their performances became emblematic of modernity, globalization, and imperial might for German audiences at the turn of the century.
  • The Robert Adams Day Prize for the Best Dissertation Involving Interdisciplinary Work
    Rachel Kravetz
    The Art of Cognition: British Empiricism and Victorian Aesthetics
    Supervisor: Tanya Agathocleous
    In a study spanning art history, philosophy, and literature, Kravetz maps an undercurrent of idealism within British empiricism. She examines how a range of authors in a range of genres import artistic images into theories of mind, whether the philosophy of John Locke and the Earl of Shaftesbury, the art criticism of John Ruskin, the fiction of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, or the anthropological scholarship of J.G. Frazer. Each reveals differing skepticism about the explanatory power of idealism and empiricism.
  • The Irving Howe Prize for the Best Dissertation Involving Politics and Literature
    Jason Baumann
    ‘The Monster They’ve Engendered in Me’: Gothic Strategies in African American and Latina/o Prison Literature, 1945-2000
    Supervisor: Robert Reid-Pharr
    In this timely engagement of the politics of mass incarceration, Baumann argues that African American and Latina/o prison writers in the post-war period consciously transform Gothic themes in order to critique the prison-industrial complex, and to reconfigure conceptions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and justice. Such reimagining of Gothic conceptions of monstrosity challenge these writers’ dehumanization by the state.
  • The Alfred Kazin Prize for the Best Dissertation in American Literature and Culture
    Sean Gerrity
    A Canada in the South: Marronage in Antebellum American Literature
    Supervisor: Eric Lott
    In a significant revision of antebellum literary and cultural studies, Gerrity examines a counter-archive of US literature that imagines marronage as offering spaces of freedom, refuge, and autonomy apart from the unidirectional South-to-North geographical trajectory of the Underground Railroad. Maroons challenge this geography in creating alternate spaces of fugitive freedom within slaveholding territories, thereby complicating fixed notions of sectional freedom and mobility.
  • The Monette Prize for the Best Dissertation in Lesbian/Gay Studies
    Timothy M. Griffiths
    Bricolage Propriety: The Queer Practice of Black Uplift, 1890-1905
    Supervisor: Robert Reid-Pharr
    Griffiths’ project expands our knowledge of the queer-of-color cultural imaginary in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, while also offering a significant contribution to present-day queer theory. Through literary analysis and archival research on recognized, and less recognized, figures of Post-Reconstruction African American culture, this dissertation demonstrates the importance of late-nineteenth century black uplift novels to current queer studies.
  • The Timothy Healy Prize for the Best Dissertation on Twentieth-Century Poetry and Poetics
    Lara Rosanna Rodriguez
    The Strains of Confessional Poetry: The Burdens, Blunders, and Blights of Self-Discipline
    Supervisor: Wayne Koestenbaum
    This project reconsiders two poets within the confessional canon, John Berryman (1914- 1972) and Anne Sexton (1928-1974), and also expands mid-century confessional poetry to include the Black prison poet, Etheridge Knight (1931-1991). In this careful study of the poetics of, and critical response to, confessionalism, Rodriguez demonstrates how it has traditionally privileged gendered and racialized forms of personal experience, and in the same stroke revises its canon toward greater inclusivity.
  • The English Program Prize for the Best Dissertation in Postmodern Studies:
    Jennifer Chancellor
    Mad Men of Letters: Advertising, Masculinity, and the American Postmodern Novel
    Supervisor: Marc Dolan
    Pointing especially to the career in advertising that is a common experience amongst novelists of the latter half of the twentieth century, Chancellor persuasively argues that the American postmodern novel must be understood as expression of a dominant masculinity threatened, not by women or people of color, but rather by changes in postwar business and consumer culture. These concerns differ markedly from those visible in the work of contemporaneous American postmodernists, such as Ishmael Reed and Kathy Acker.
  • The English Program Prize for the Best Dissertation in Early Modern Studies:
    Roya Biggie
    Ecologies of the Passions in Early Modern English Tragedies
    Supervisor: Tanya Pollard
    In this significant filiation of affect studies and ecocriticism, Biggie argues that early modern dramatists imagine bodies as humorally vulnerable to other bodies, both human and nonhuman, within dynamically affective environments. She thus illustrates how the period’s drama presents the porous fluidity of the Galenic body—its embeddedness within ecologies composed of material objects, plant life, and other bodies.
  • The Calder Prize for the Best Dissertation in Composition Studies:
    Sean Molloy
    SEEK, Shaughnessy, and the Rise of High-Stakes Testing at CUNY
    Supervisor: Sondra Perl
    In a study combining scholarly care with remarkable readability, Molloy shows how advances in the struggle over racially exclusive admissions in the CUNY system quickly turned into new struggles over instructional and assessment standards. Playing a pivotal role in the latter was Mina Shaughnessy, who conceived, developed, designed, and promoted CUNY’s massive, high-stakes testing system, which has now inflicted devastating harm on close to a million incoming CUNY students.
  • The Calder Prize for the Best Dissertation in Victorian Studies:
    Meechal Hoffman
    Knowing Others, or Not: Performing, Caring, Foreboding, and Acknowledging in Nineteenth Century British Fiction
    Supervisor: Talia Schaffer
    In an important contribution to studies of affect in nineteenth-century British fiction, Hoffman shows a pervasive concern with question of knowing others tends to lead to an epistemological and ethical impasse productive of pleasure and of valuable negative affects. Bad feelings can thus be turned to delight and instruction for characters and readers in the novels of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Wilkie Collins, and George Eliot.
  • The Alumni and Doctoral Faculty Prize for the Most Distinguished Dissertation of the Year
    A.W. Strouse
    Literary Theories of Circumcision
    Supervisor: Steven Kruger
    In this arrestingly learned, wide-ranging, and critically sophisticated study, Strouse investigates the foreskin as a conceptual metaphor organizing literary experience. In writers from the patristic era to the present day, textuality is often figured as a foreskin and interpretation as circumcision, a literary theoretical formulation traced from Saint Paul through medieval, early modern, and modernist writers. The prepuce is found to contain an alternate literary history, one that queers received understanding of phallocentric writing.