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Funding Opportunities

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Graduate Awards for Research or Training Seminars

Graduate Awards for Research or Training Seminars

In order to encourage and facilitate Penn State graduate students’ professional engagement with academic peers across rank and discipline, the Center for American Literary Studies annually awards up to $700 each for one to two students to attend Summer Seminars or Institutes. These seminars and institutes provide students with long-term opportunities for intellectual exchange and development in the study or teaching of American literature, culture, and history, broadly defined.

Previous winners have attended seminars such as the Dartmouth Institute for Future Studies and the Amsterdam Summer Seminar on Black Europe and have greatly benefited from and contributed to these collaborative events.

How to Apply

Graduate students interested in applying for a stipend to support attendance at a summer seminar or institute should submit a one-page statement that includes the following information:

  • Seminar or Institute to which you are applying
  • Relevance to current research or dissertation project
  • Estimated budget

Applications should be signed by the student’s dissertation advisor or by another qualified faculty member. Applications are due on April 1. Awards will be made upon return from the seminar or institute; receipts are required.

Possible Seminars and Institutes

Many research institutions host such seminars; a few representative summer programs are listed below, although there are various other possibilities. Be sure to consult your advisors for more specific recommendations.

Note: Penn State is affiliated with the Futures of American Studies Institute; the Institute will reserve space for any Penn State graduate student receiving institutional support.

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!