Funding Opportunities

Pre-2022 CALS Dissertation Fellows

Previous CALS Dissertation Fellows

2021-2022 Award Winner

Katie Warczak, Being Human: The Intersections of Animality, Race, Disability, and Eugenics in Modernist Literature (directed by Michael Bérubé and Keith Gilyard).

2020-2021 Award Winner

Aaren Pastor, Magicians Unbound: Modernism’s Counterhumanist Challenge to Man 

2019-2020 Award Winners

Akash Belsare, Humanimal Narratives: Genre and Animality in Contemporary Ethnic Literatures

Liana Glew, Documenting Insanity: Institutional Narratives in Psychiatric History 

2017-2018 Award Winner

Jace Gatzemeyer, These United States: Modernism and the Regionalist Imagination in American Literature, 1914-1945

2016-2017 Award Winner

Nathaniel Windon, Gilded Old Age: Inheritance and American Literature, 1877-1918

2015-2016 Award Winner

Erica Stevens, Social Lives: Nineteenth-Century New Orleans in Literature

2014-2015 Award Winners

Abe Foley, By What Channels: Assembling Contemporary Literature

Bob Volpicelli, On the Circuit: Transatlantic Modernism and the U.S. Lecture Tour, 1880-1945

2013-2014 Award Winner

Ethan Mannon, “Reading the Earth Workers: The Georgic Mode in Twentieth-Century American Writing”

2011-2012 Award Winners

John Belk, “Persuasive Verse: Poetry as Political Discourse in Twentieth-Century America”

Mark Sturges, “Dwelling on the Land: The Literature of Place from Jefferson to Thoreau”

2010-2011 Award Winners

Peter Collins, Reimagining the Free Market: American Literature and Economics from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression

Jeffrey Gonzalez, Necessary Fictions: the U.S. Novel in the End of Ideology

Dustin Kennedy, The American Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Fiction

2009-2010 Award Winners

Brian Neff, Frightening Masculinity: Gothic Affect and Antebellum Manhood

Eric Norton, Queer Mobs and Other Freaks: A Theory of Literary History

2008-2009 Award Winner

Amy Clukey, Plantation Modernism

Smith Headshot

Justin Smith, a past CALS Graduate Research Assistant and recipient of CALS travel funding, has accepted a position at Randolph-Macon College, where he will serve as an Assistant Professor of English and Black Studies. Congratulations, Justin, on this fantastic job market success!

Evans Headshot

Sabrina Evans, winner of the 2022 CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship, has accepted a faculty position at Howard University, where she will serve as an Assistant Professor of English specializing in African American Literature. Howard is home to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center, whose archives are central to Sabrina's research. Congratulations, Sabrina, on this outstanding job market success!

Glew Headshot

Liana Glew, former CALS Dissertation Fellow and CALS Graduate Research Assistant, has accepted the role of Prison Education Program Manager with the Penn State College of Education's Restorative Justice Initiative. The RJI eliminates barriers to educational access and civic engagement for those who are currently and formerly incarcerated; since its founding in 2015, the initiative has worked with and provided resources to over 200 incarcerated individuals. In her new role, Liana will work to recruit and train additional instructors as part of the RJI's Higher Education in Prison program. Congratulations, Liana, on your job-market success—an important reminder of the range of meaningful, impactful work one can do with an English doctorate!

nathaniel windon

Nathaniel Windon, a former CALS Dissertation Fellow, has accepted a tenure-track position beginning in Fall 2022 at Xavier University, where he will serve as Assistant Professor of English (specializing in pre-1900 American literature). Nate earned his PhD in 2018 under the direction of Christopher Castiglia. In addition to serving as a CALS Dissertation Fellow, Nate was also awarded a CALS Graduate Research/Training Award to support  research for his dissertation, now his first book project, entitled Superannuation: The Making of Old Age in Nineteenth-Century America. Congratulations to Nate, and to Christopher, for this job-market success!


Leland Tabares has accepted a tenure-track position beginning in Fall 2022 at Colorado College, where he will serve as Assistant Professor of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies. Leland earned his PhD in 2018 under the direction of Tina Chen. While completing his dissertation--now his first book project entitled Professionalizing Asian America: Race and Labor in the Twenty-First Century--Leland earned funding support from CALS in the form of a CALS Graduate Research/Training Award. Congratulations to Leland, and to Tina, for this job-market triumph!


Akash Belsare has accepted a tenure-track job beginning in Fall 2022 at University of Illinois—Springfield, where he will serve as Assistant Professor of English. Akash earned his PhD at Penn State in 2021 and he completed his dissertation--Humanimal Narratives: Genre and Animality in Contemporary Ethnic Literatures--under the direction of Tina Chen while being supported by a CALS Dissertation Support Award. Congratulations to Akash, and to Tina, for this outstanding success on the job market!


Transatlantic Modernism and the US Lecture TourRobert Volpicelli, a PSU Alumnus and CALS Dissertation Fellow -- who now serves as Assistant Professor of English at Randolph-Macon College (VA) -- recently published his first book, Transatlantic Modernism and the US Lecture Tour, with Oxford University Press. Deriving from his dissertation project, Transatlantic Modernism is the first comprehensive study of modernist authors on the US lecture tour, a widespread phenomenon that accounted for many Americans' first encounter with international modernism. Attending to these encounters, the volume reroutes our understanding of modernism away from the magazines and other mass media that have so far characterized its circulation and toward the unique form of cultural distribution that coalesced around the tour. Congratulations, Robert!

Justin Mellette

Justin MelletteJustin Mellette, Visiting Lecturer of English at Northeastern University and a former recipient of a CALS Travel Grant, has published Peculiar Whiteness: Racial Anxiety and Poor Whites in Southern Literature, 1900-1965 (University Press of Mississippi, 2021). Peculiar Whiteness engages key issues in contemporary critical race studies, whiteness studies, and Southern studies through discussions of authors including Charles Chesnutt, Thomas Dixon, Sutton Griggs, Erskine Caldwell, Lillian Smith, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor. Congratulations to Justin!