Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Funding Opportunities

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CALS Dissertation Support Awards

CALS Dissertation Support Awards

The Center for American Literary Studies, in collaboration with the College of the Liberal Arts, sponsors annual Departmental Dissertation Release Awards and Center and Institute Grants. These awards supplement the automatic dissertation semester release (Fall or Spring) from teaching or related service with the title “CALS Fellow,” and a research grant.

Humanities students named CALS Fellows will not only be excused from teaching or related duties (by means of an automatic Department Dissertation Release Award); they will also:

  • receive an additional grant of $1000 to support their research and related activities;
  • be affiliated with CALS and have opportunities to participate in and plan its activities;
  • share common experiences with others affiliated with CALS, and share work in progress with faculty and other graduate students;
  • profit from stimulating research environments and gain recognition for their affiliation with a Center or Institute.

How to Qualify and Apply

Students who wish to be considered for a Center and Institute Fellowship Award should forward an application to the Associate Dean’s Office care of . D. Scott Bennett, Associate Dean for Research, will review the applications and send them to centers and institutes for consideration.

Applications are due on the first Monday of April (April 5). Visit the Liberal Arts website for a full description of the program, its eligibility requirements, and the application process.

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

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

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!

Robert Volpicelli, PSU Alum and Past CALS Fellow, Publishes First Book

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!