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2021 First Book Institute

The 2021 First Book Institute--the second hosted virtually--was co-directed by CALS Director Sean X. Goudie and Priscilla Wald, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English and Women's Studies at Duke University. Institute faculty included Penn State faculty Tina Chen, Christian Haines, Aldon Nielsen, Janet Lyon, Hester Blum, Matt Tierney and Judith Sierra-Rivera, FBI alumni Adrienne Brown, Sunny Xiang and Lindsay Thomas, and Penn State Press Editor-in-Chief Kendra Boileau.

fbi opening shot 2021
2021’s Participants: Top Row (L-R): co-director Sean Goudie, CALS R.A. Eunice Toh, Alison Glassie, co-director Priscilla Wald; Middle Row (L-R): Lindsey Grubbs, Nancy Quintanilla, Alyssa Hunziker, Ayasha Guerin; Bottom Row (L-R): Matthew Scully, Lukas Moe, Chad Infante.

Congratulations to the eights successful applicants to this year's institute! They were:

  • Alison Glassie, Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities, University of Virginia

Project Title: Atlantic Shapeshifters: Sea Literature’s Fluid Forms

  • Lindsey Grubbs, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay

Project Title: Moral Disorder: A Literary History of Mental Diagnosis in the Nineteenth-Century United States

  • Ayasha Guerin, Assistant Professor of Black Diaspora Studies, Department of English Language and Literatures, University of British Columbia

Project Title: Making Zone-A: Race, Nature, and Resilience in New York’s Most Vulnerable Shores

  • Alyssa Hunziker, Assistant Professor of English, Oklahoma State University

Project Title: Histories in Common: Native American Literature, U.S. Empire, and Archival Form

  • Chad B. Infante, Assistant Professor of English, The University of Maryland

Project Title: Cool Fratricide: Murder and Metaphysics in Black and Indigenous U.S. Literature

  • Lukas Moe, Alumni Fellow in English, Yale University

Project Title: Archives and Afterlives: U.S. Poetry’s Radical Generation, 1935—1968

  • Nancy Quintanilla, Assistant Professor of Hemispheric American Literature, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Project Title: Discourses of Failure: Empire and Crisis in Contemporary Transnational American Literature and Culture

  • Matthew Scully, Affiliated Faculty, Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing and Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College

Project Title: Democratic Anarchy: Figures of Equality in United States Literature and Politics

Opening Reception
In lieu of an opening dinner, the opening reception event was a sharing affair with the goal of getting to know one another better. Co-director Sean Goudie brought in a video of Donna Summer singing “I Feel Love.”
tues morn
Tuesday’s morning discussion was led by Lukas Moe (bottom middle row, right) and Alyssa Hunziker (bottom row, left), who together posed questions inspired by the influential articles they had shared with the group.
Wed morn
Alison Glassie (middle) shared a video for Wednesday's morning discussion on materiality and metaphor.
adrienne brown
First Book Institute alumna Adrienne Brown (middle row, middle) joined the group to discuss the introduction of Ayasha Guerin’s (middle row, right) book project.
lindsey grubbs
The group found the chat function useful for sharing book and article titles with each other. Here participants recommend resources during Lindsey Grubbs’s (middle row, left) introduction workshop, a session joined by PSU Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Janet Lyon (middle row, right).

sunny xiang
FBI alumna Sunny Xiang shared her experience of publishing a first book during Thursday’s publishing roundtable.

The closing celebration on Friday evening was filled with laughter and camaraderie as participants reminisced about the week’s takeaways.