Statements of Interest (2017 Co-Chair Elections)


Madison Chapman (University of Chicago)

I am Madison Chapman, a second year English Literature PhD student at the University of Chicago. I work on British Romanticism (with a focus on poetry) and I also have an interest in the Gothic. My research questions most often emerge from gender and sexuality studies, queer theory and the history of medicine. My decision to become a Romanticist was shaped in part by my experience as an undergrad at NASSR’s 2014 annual conference in Bethesda so now I am interested in expanding my involvement with NASSR. I was overwhelmed by the vivacity of conversations emerging from panel discussions and I was moved to pursue graduate school in order to involve myself in such exciting scholarship.

I believe I am well qualified to serve as a co-chair given my history of maintaining responsibilities through long term academic service commitments. As an undergraduate, I served on multiple departmental committees over two years, and at the University of Chicago I am the Humanities Division Graduate Representative on the Library Student Advisory Council. I currently serve as the co-chair of social activities for my department, I am co-coordinating our 2017 graduate student conference, and I am a regular participant at UChicago’s Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Cultures Workshop. In addition to my specifically academic experiences, I can bring website and event planning skills to this job. I have freelanced for my hometown newspaper for seven years and worked on multiple web and blog-based projects. In my gap year before graduate school, I worked full time in the Career Center at American University where I helped develop marketing plans and maintain web communication for professionalization events. These past experiences will inform my ability to plan the pub night, assist with the NGSC web presence, coordinate the professional roundtable, and liaise with graduate students and faculty mentors. As co-chair, I hope to balance interests in promoting scholarly development for graduate students alongside publicizing professionalization opportunities. NASSR has already played an important role in my own academic journey and I would be thrilled to take on this active role in cultivating a strong graduate student community.

Stephanie Edwards (McMaster University)

My name is Stephanie and I am a first-year PhD student in the department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Under the supervision of Dr. David Clark, I completed my MA in English at McMaster as well, writing a thesis that investigates the ways in which Mary Shelley’s final novel, Falkner, engages with the figure of the palimpsest in regards to other texts in Shelley’s oeuvre, within the diegetic of the text itself, and towards larger social and political concerns of women creators in the nineteenth century. I plan to continue my work on the palimpsest during my PhD, using my dissertation to explore how the palimpsest, as a methodology, can create a more generative space to think of, talk about, and listen to the visible minorities of Romanticism. If elected as co-chair, I would like to extend my passion for participating in and supporting open, inclusive spaces to the NGSC and to continue the work of the co-chairs before me of making the NGSC a diverse space to lift up, showcase, and challenge the important work being done by graduate students in our field and beyond.

As a member of the McMaster Graduate Professionalization Committee I have knowledge of what graduate students are interested in learning about, both within and outside of the academy, as well as experience in promoting and running successful professionalization workshops. I have also been a blogger for the NGSC blog for the past year, which I believe shows my commitment and growing interest in the dissemination of our research and pedagogy, and how they relate to and complicate the world we live in today. Additionally, I believe that my background in social media and brand management — while completing my BA at Lakehead University, I worked for three years in the Marketing and Communications department — makes me a unique candidate for this position and would enable me to enhance and increase the NGSC’s online presence. Overall, I am incredibly passionate about engaging with and supporting fellow graduate students and it would be a wonderful experience to be elected as NGSC co-chair and be able to turn that passion into action.

Sarah Faulkner (University of Washington)

Hi everyone, my name is Sarah Faulkner, I’m a fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate in English with a certificate in Textual and Digital Studies at the University of Washington. I’m currently working on a dissertation on Romantic women writers (specifically Jane Porter, alongside Lady Morgan, Maria Edgeworth, Christian Isobel Johnstone, and Susan Ferrier), print culture, and the national-historical novel entitled:  “Authorship and Authenticity: Jane Porter and the Romantic National-Historical Novel.” Building off of the amazing work by NASSR Grads thus far, my hope is to encourage further connection through social media and through connecting interested grads in small cross-university communities to share resources for teaching, conferences, publishing, and the ever-dreaded job market. Possibly even a cohort trivia competition at NASSR next year?

In addition to my studies, I’m the Lead Coordinator of the 18/19C Graduate Research Cluster at the UW, the Organizer of JaneFest 2017, new NASSR Blogger, the out-going Executive Officer of the English Graduate Student Organization, UW in the High School Liaison, Project Coordinator for Rare Books at UW, and the Coordinator for the Mentorship Program for the Second World Congress of Scottish Literature, in addition to teaching 200 level classes at UW. I am passionate about service, connection, and innovation within our field. I enjoy organizing, both social events and hairy logistics, and like wheedling people to come to the things I plan. I hope to serve as a point of connection in a larger web of support for all the incredible Romanticist grads, and to selfishly enjoy meeting all of you.

 Travis Lau (University of Pennsylvania)

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania working at the intersections of the 18th and 19th-century British literature and culture, the history of medicine, and disability studies. My diss project is a literary and cultural history of immunity and vaccination in relation to the rise of the security state and population health. As such, my research and teaching have always been interested in thinking across disciplinary and period lines, and I hope to be able to foster such conversations during my term as co-chair. I think these conversations, especially given our turbulent political climate, need to happen in ways that make our scholarship not only more public but accessible. As a community, NASSR can facilitate this in conference spaces (conference theme, panel design, papers selected and given) but also through digital forums and non-traditional forms of publishing, as well as mentorship among grads and between grads and scholars at different stages of their career.

In the past, I have served as the organizer of Penn’s Restoration-Victorian reading group. I am currently the co-chair of ASECS’ Disability Caucus. Beyond these organizational positions, I serve in a number of editorial roles with publications like The Review of Disability Studies and frequently write for publications geared toward public scholarship like the very recent Medical and Health Humanities organized by one of our, Arden Hegele. I hope to be able to share these kinds of experiences with the NASSR grad student community and work to expand grad voices in the field and beyond.

Caroline Winter (University of Victoria)

As an NGSC Co-Chair, I would help strengthen our community through social media and liaise with the NASSR board to ensure graduate students’ concerns are heard and addressed. I am a PhD Candidate in the English Department at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. My dissertation investigates Romantic Gothic literature in its economic contexts; my other research interests include women’s writing, print culture and book history, and digital humanities. I am starting my second year as the Managing Editor of the NGSC blog, and wrote regularly for the blog for a year before that. I also helped organize and chair the professional development panel at the NASSR conference in Ottawa this past August.


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