Letters

Letters

Fall 2009, Vol. 18, No. 1 (requires Adobe Acrobat)

2009-2010 Warren Center Graduate Student Fellowss

ELENA DEANDA-CAMACHO, the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow, is a doctoral candidate in Spanish, writing her dissertation on the inquisitorial censorship of discourses perceived as obscene in Spain and New Spain during the eighteenth century. Her dissertation, "To Pious Ears: Poetics and Politics of Obscenity in Inquisitorial Spain during the Enlightenment," proposes a political reading of literature that was considered "obscene," as well as a poetic reading of inquisitorial censorship to show how these seemingly opposite discourses can be suspended and converged. She interrogates how issues such as colonial difference, gender, or race, helped to delimit what should be called obscene and thus what should be censored.

GESA FRÖMMING is a doctoral candidate in German whose dissertation, "The Musical Moment," is an exploration of how the ancient trope of melancholy's musical redemption is re-inscribed into late eighteenth-century thought. Her work examines how, in an age that increasingly locates melancholy's causes in the defects of social and political life, a phantasmagoric male subject emerges to which the hope for melancholy's political overcoming is bound. Analyzing moments of musical catharsis in a variety of works, she argues that this anti-melancholic sovereignty reveals itself in the very moment of its musical overcoming to be inseparably blended with ideals of rigid self-control that themselves prove to be responsible for the melancholic malady in question.

PATRICK JACKSON, American Studies Fellow, is a doctoral candidate in history whose dissertation is entitled "Evangelicals and American Political Culture, 1925-1978." He is interested in the interchange where philosophy, religion, and politics meet, and his dissertation investigates American conservative evangelical political thought and action in the years between the Scopes Trial in 1925 and the election of Jimmy Carter as U.S. President. Jackson presented a talk entitled "Martin Luther King Jr. and the ‘Stonewall' of Presuppositionalism: The Historical Imagination of the Religious Right" at the 2008 American Historical Association annual meeting.

SARAH E. KERSH is currently a doctoral student in English. Her dissertation, "Naked Novels: Victorian Amatory Sonnet Sequences and the Problem of Marriage," examines the ways nineteenth-century sonnet sequences reshape expectations of Victorian desire, love, and marriage. Through readings of British poetry from the mid-nineteenth century through the fin de siècle, she draws connections between the strict formula of the sonnet and the strict bond of Victorian marriage so as to problematize both the poetic form and the legal institution. Prior to being named a Robert Penn Warren Fellow, Sarah received funding for graduate school through the Jacob K. Javits Foundation.

GAIL MCCONNELL is a doctoral candidate in English literature at Queen's University, Belfast, who will be affiliated with the Warren Center's Graduate Student Fellows Program for the 2009-2010 academic year. Her thesis examines religion and theology in contemporary northern Irish poetry. Drawing on theology and critical theory, her thesis seeks to critique sectarian and secular investigations of the relationship of poetry and religion, within Irish literary criticism in particular. It develops a theological critical perspective with which to read the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, and Derek Mahon, and examines the significance of New Criticism, Catholic iconography, Calvinism and negative theology to their work.

ELIZABETH S. MEADOWS is a doctoral candidate in English. She studies Victorian literature and culture, visual culture, and theories of gender and sexuality. She has received the Robert Manson Myers Graduate Award in the department of English. In her dissertation, "Morbid Strains: Obsession and Spectacle in Victorian Literature from In Memoriam to The Picture of Dorian Gray," she argues that an important grouping of Victorian authors use morbid themes and forms to work out the relation between the aesthetic and the social in a culture increasingly dominated by new forms of production, reproduction, and circulation.

RACHEL NISSELSON is a doctoral candidate in French literature. Her dissertation, entitled "Forgetting the Future: Memory and the Future of Israel/Palestine in 20th-and 21st-Century Francophone Literature," focuses on the works of several French-speaking authors who treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rachel's project seeks to demonstrate that by highlighting the dissonances between memory and history, as well as between personal and societal narratives, these texts convincingly argue against one-sided historical accounts in favor of the recognition of a multiplicity of narratives of the Middle East region.

MATT WHITT, George J. Graham Jr. Fellow, is a doctoral candidate in philosophy. His dissertation rethinks the importance of geographical territory to modern ideals and contemporary practices of sovereign statehood. In it, he argues that territoriality has long facilitated sovereignty by occluding and stabilizing essential ambiguities in the relations between political authorities and their subjects. As contemporary forms of globalization destabilize territorial criteria of political belonging and subjection, these ambiguities become increasingly legible and offer new possibilities for the democratic self-constitution of political communities. In addition to his work in philosophy, Whitt holds an M.A. degree in Inter-disciplinary Social and Political Thought.

Letters Archive Index

For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.


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