Graduate Fellows

  • Claire Grandy

    2019-2020 GRADUATE FELLOW

    Claire Grandy is a fifth-year doctoral candidate with the Department of English. Her research focuses on 20th-century documentary poetry, photography studies, and British romanticism. Her dissertation, "Documentary Poetry and the Photographic Record from Wordsworth to Lewis," tracks the rise of a documentary impulse in Anglophone poetry in relation to photography, not as a singular technological invention but as a theoretical object that both responds to and prescribes ways of seeing the world. This project traces a history of visual and discursive “photo-poetics,” poetry that grapples with ideals and problematics of record-keeping, through the works of writers including William Wordsworth, Gertrude Stein, Charles Reznikoff, Dionne Brand, Robin Coste Lewis, Susan Howe, William Carlos Williams, and M. NourbeSe Philip. Examining how these poets account for the complexities of intentional perception that finds aspects of the world already rendered discursively significant, this project considers racialized perception, mediated ethical encounter, and the form and function of captions in poetry that struggles with a desire to record, even as it upends the possibility of language functioning as a receptacle and container of experience.

  • 2019-2020 GRADUATE FELLOW

    Dennis Hogan is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature. His dissertation project, “‘La Reina de dos mundos’: Crisis and Creation in the Central American Transit Zones, 1848-1914” examines the literature of transisthmian transit at the end of the 19th century, exploring how changing material conditions shaped literary and intellectual expression, and how writers and intellectuals took part in ongoing struggles about the political futures of Central America. Focusing on writers from Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, Britain, and the United States, the dissertation argues that interactions within and among national, isthmian, hemispheric, and Atlantic networks helped drive the emergence of modern Central America. By examining canonical works from Soledad Acosta de Samper, Joseph Conrad, Rubén Darío, and Anthony Trollope alongside lesser known but equally innovative ones, the project asks how poetry, novels, political theory, scientific surveys, and travel writing worked to render the region knowable, both figuratively, by bringing it into the consciousness of the global political, economic, and intellectual classes, and literally, by recasting it as the object of new scientific and technical knowledge.

  • Brigitte Stepanov

    2019-2020 GRADUATE FELLOW

    Brigitte Stepanov is a sixth-year graduate student with the Department of French Studies. Her research focuses on representations of atrocity in French, Maghrebi, and Rwandan literature and cinema. Her dissertation, “In-Human: Visions of Cruelty in Twentieth and Twenty-First-Century French and Francophone Texts,” explores excessive forms of violence in warfare and their representation in fiction. She argues that the concept of cruelty is fundamental to any discussion of political instability, warfare, and crimes against humanity, and uses her work to examine the broader questions of the evolution of warfare over the last fifty years in addition to shifting conceptions of what it means to be human in the face of universal manifestations of violence.