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Previous CALS Summer Graduate Fellows

Previous CALS Summer Graduate Fellows

Justus Peña Berman

The 2021 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Justus Peña Berman, for his dissertation titled Technoracialization: Race, Technology, and Media in Contemporary Latinx and Asian American Literature, directed by Tina Chen.

Justus Berman

Yi-Ting Chang

The 2020 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Yi-Ting Chang, for her dissertation titled “Independence’s Others: Decolonial Taiwan in the Transpacific.”

Yi-Ting Chang

Sean Weidman

The 2019 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Sean Weidman, for his dissertation titled “Modernist Hospitalities: Modern Culture and the Politics of Welcoming after Empire.”

Sean Weidman

Patrick Allen

The 2018 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Patrick Allen, for his dissertation titled “A Practice of Print: Race, Doctoring, and Medicine in Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem Black Print Culture.”

Patrick Allen

Jace Gatzemeyer

The 2017 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Jace Gatzemeyer for his dissertation “These United States: Modernism and the Regionalist Imagination in American Literature, 1914-1945.”

Jace Gatzemeyer

Ryan Marks

The 2016 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Ryan Marks. Marks used the fellowship to work on his project entitled, “Drop the Subject: Ranting and Inappropriation in Contemporary American Literature.”

Ryan Marks

Robert BirdwellRobert Birdwell

The 2015 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Robert Birdwell for his dissertation, The Radical Novel: Utopian and Scientific.

Tyler Roeger

The 2014 CALS Summer Graduate Fellow was Tyler Roeger. Roeger’s dissertation project is entitled, The Gothic Goes to Town: Reading the Gothic City in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

Tyler Roeger

Jason Maxwell

Jason Maxwell, a Ph.D. candidate, was the recipient of the 2013 CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship. Maxwell reflects on his fellowship:

I’m greatly indebted to CALS for awarding me its Summer Graduate Fellowship. My dissertation, “Professing No Longer,” explores the numerous intersections between literary theory and composition studies since their concurrent rise in the 1960s. I argue that the emergence and success of these subdisciplines must be understood in terms of broader changes affecting higher education since the end of World War II. In addition to research and writing, I spent a portion of the summer condensing one of my chapters into an article, which is currently under review at the journal Postmodern Culture.

Jason Maxwell

Katie Owens-Murphy

2012 was the first year CALS awarded a Summer Graduate Fellowship. Penn State graduate student Katie Owens-Murphy was the recipient for her dissertation project, “Lyrical Strategies: The Poetics of Fiction in the 20th Century American Novel.”

On receiving this award, she writes,

I’m very grateful to CALS for the Summer Graduate Fellowship that enabled me to complete my dissertation ahead of schedule. My project, “Lyrical Strategies: The Poetics of the Twentieth-Century American Novel,” takes a comparative approach to genre by examining twentieth-century American novels in relation to the lyric, rather than the narrative, tradition. I argue that many novelists from this period abandon the defining characteristics of narrative fiction for rhetorical aims that we typically associate with lyric poetry– structural repetition, rhythm, figurative meaning, dramatic personae, and apostrophe. Thanks to CALS, I was able to make good progress on this project over the summer and I completed it just in time to look for jobs in the fall.

Katie Owens-Murphy
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!