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CALS Grad Fellows Land Assistant Professorships

Two CALS Dissertation Award Fellows will begin new assistant professorships in the fall of 2015.

Robert Volpicelli, winner of a 2014-2015 CALS Dissertation Award, used the fellowship to finish his dissertation ahead of schedule and enter the difficult job market. “Working on a dissertation gets more intense the further along you go,” he said. “The time and space that CALS provided was a huge deal.” Volpicelli’s dissertation project, “Transatlantic Modernism and the U.S. Lecture Circuit, 1880-1945” traces the development of literary modernism through the lecture tours of celebrated writers like Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and W.H. Auden. According to Volpicelli, the lecture circuit was fundamental to modernism because it changed how the American public perceived literary modernism as well as how the authors themselves understood it. Starting in the fall of 2015, Volpicelli will be an assistant professor of English at Randolph Macon College, where he will teach twentieth century American Literature.

Ethan Mannon, winner of a 2013-2014 CALS Dissertation Award, used the extra time and funding provided by CALS to travel to Ohio State University to explore the archives of Louis Bromfield. Bromfield was one of America’s most influential conservationists and is often mythologized as the pioneering “father of sustainable agriculture.” Mannon’s research paints a more complex picture of a farmer—and businessman—who often partnered with coal companies and sought financial support from industrial giants like Monsanto to help fund his agricultural research. “Bromfield's story reminds us that pairing sustainability and profitability is really difficult,” says Mannon. “It was hard sixty years ago and it’s hard today.” His research directly translated into a chapter in his dissertation, “Reading the Earth Workers: The Georgic Mode in Twentieth-Century American Writing.” Beginning in fall 2015, Mannon will start an assistant professorship at Mars Hill University in North Carolina where his teaching duties will focus on American literature and Appalachian literature.

Congratulations to Bob and Ethan!

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