Graduate Student Spotlight

Kelly Hill

Dr. Kelly Hill’s dissertation is a historical novel titled A Home for Friendless Women that reimagines the lives of the women who lived and worked in the Louisville institution by the same name in the late nineteenth century. The critical portion of her dissertation is a lyric essay titled “But What Was She Wearing?,” which explores the problematic ways Victorian and contemporary society discuss women’s clothing, bodies, and sexuality.

As a graduate student, Kelly was an intern at the Filson Historical Society, as well as the graduate research assistant for the Jewish Studies program. During her time in the program, she published short stories and articles in both literary and academic journals and delivered various lectures, most recently at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. When she’s not writing or reading about Victorian women, Kelly can be found spending time with her husband and two teenagers.

Jordan Neumann

Jordan Neumann completed his MA in Humanities the fall of 2020, concentrating in philosophy and religious studies—particularly Buddhist studies. His directed study project was titled “The View of No Views: Doxographical Distinctions between the Svatantrika and Prasangika Schools of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka ‘Middle Way’ Philosophy.” This work explored the philosophical distinctions between two subschools of thought that were developed throughout time by early Indian and later Tibetan philosophers and practitioners within the Madhyamaka system of philosophy, as founded by the early Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna.

Lauren Olson

This May, Lauren Olson completed her MA in Humanities with a linguistics concentration. Her directed study project, “The Pulaar Poetry of Kaaw Elimane Touré: A Voice Intervening in History to Restore the Human Dignity of a Nation,” won the 2020 Grady Nutt Award for Most Creative MA Project in the Humanities.

While working in Mauritania as an English teacher, Olson learned French and also Pulaar, a language spoken by many Afro-Mauritanians. Pulaar is a variety of the Fula language, which is spoken across the Sahel region of West Africa by approximately thirteen million people. There, Olson learned of the widespread atrocities that were committed against Pulaar speakers and other Afro-Mauritanians in 1989.

Her MA project examines these events through poems written by a witness to this tragedy, Kaaw Elimane Touré, who memorializes its victims and condemns its perpetrators through poetry.

Eric Shoemaker

Eric Shoemaker

Eric Shoemaker is a second-year student in the Humanities Ph.D. Program and a University Fellow. He is a poet, a translator of Federico García Lorca, and is working towards a dissertation focusing on magical poetics and the creation of community and lineage through writing.

Eric’s work explores praxes including anamnesis, bibliomancy, and other poetic strategies as embodiments of magic in creative writing.

A paper Eric wrote for one of his courses at U of L is being published in the journal Signs and Society in November: Congratulations, Eric!

After After Lorca: Anamnesis and Magic between Jack Spicer and Federico García Lorca
Signs and Society
vol. 7 no. 3, Fall 2019

This essay first came into being as my seminar paper for Dr. Susan Ryan’s Cultural History of Authorship course in Fall of 2018. Dr. Ryan was integral to the development of this paper and I cannot thank her enough for helping get this to publication. After the seminar draft was completed, I presented the paper at the Kentucky Philological Association Conference in Pikeville, Kentucky in the spring of 2019 and then was awarded the Maddox Prize from the University of Louisville’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for the paper. I presented the essay, now fully evolved, at the award ceremony and finalized the submission to Signs and Society shortly thereafter.

Treva Hodges

Treva Hodges

Treva Hodges began her graduate studies in the fall of 2015.  In addition to completing her Humanities Ph.D. coursework, she completed requirements for graduate certificates in Women and Gender Studies and Public History. While working on her degree Treva was the recipient of the Celeste M. Nichols research grant (Fall 2016), the Anne Braden Institute Social Justice Research Paper Graduate Award (Spring 2017), and the Carolyn Krause Maddox Prize for top graduate paper in Women and Gender Studies (Spring 2018). Treva’s dissertation explores the cultural relevance of the traumatic captivity narrative of Cynthia Ann Parker, an Anglo woman who entered into a kinship relationship with her Comanche captors before being returned to her Anglo family twenty-four years later.

Treva lives happily with her husband and many furry and feathered friends in southern Indiana and has put her academic career search on hold temporarily in order to run for Mayor of her home city. She hopes to graduate in August, 2019 and win in November.

Erin O’Reilly

Erin O’Reilly

Erin O’Reilly is a Humanities Ph.D. candidate who is working on her dissertation entitled Anxiety and the Book: How Shakespeare and Cervantes Negotiate the New Printed Word. Erin is one of the twelve graduate students across the country selected to participate to the 2018 Dissertation Seminar for Scholars of the History of the Book in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, presented by the prestigious Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

The seminar is open to graduate students in the early stages of the dissertation process, who have written at least a prospectus or first chapter, and class meetings will be tailored to each student’s research project. The seminar is led by Dr. Adam Hooks of the University of Iowa, who specializes in Shakespeare and early modern printing, and Dr. Michael Johnston from Purdue University, who focuses on late medieval England and the manuscript book.

Nadeem Zaman

Nadeem Zaman

Nadeem Zaman graduated from the PhD in Humanities at U of L in 2017 with a creative dissertation, a historical novel entitled In the Time of the Others, set against the backdrop of the civil war of 1971 that led to the birth of Bangladesh as a nation.

After a year spent in Dhaka, Bangladesh, teaching and doing archival research for his fiction, Nadeem's debut novel is here and is being released by Picador India: congratulations, Nadeem!

Bamba Ndiaye

Bamba Ndiaye

Bamba Ndiaye, a doctoral candidate in the Humanities Ph.D. Program, won the 2018 Barbara Harlow Prize for Excellence in Graduate Research at the University of Texas at Austin's 18th Annual Africa Conference with a paper entitled "African American Evangelic Missions and Social Reforms in The Congo: The Activism of Reverend William Henry Sheppard."

His paper analyzes the impact of African American missionaries on the African continent following the Second Great Awakening of the late 19th century. Bamba's essay demonstrates how Sheppard (who settled in Louisville at the end of his life) became an entrusted ally of the Congolese peoples during his time in the region (1890-1910). Additionally, the paper highlights Sheppard's use of photographic images and attention from the press to publicize Belgian atrocities in the Congo. These actions galvanized Pan-Africanists throughout the African Diaspora, who began denouncing the Belgian empire and advocating for justice on behalf of the Congolese peoples.

See a list of finalists

Treva Hodges

Treva Hodges

Treva Hodges is a Humanities Ph.D. student working on traumatic captivity narratives and their persistent appeal in the American imaginary. Her research focuses on the narrative of the life of Cynthia Ann Parker as a case study.

Treva has been invited by a descendant of Cynthia Ann Parker and the Quanah Parker Society to participate in a memorial service in Parker's honor in April 2018 at the Pease River site, the site where Cynthia Ann Parker was taken back into Anglo-American custody.

Next September, Treva will present her research at the National Cowboy Symposium co-organized by the Quanah Parker Society. She will have the opportunity to receive feedback from the Comanche tribal members who are direct descendants of Cynthia Ann Parker as well as from other historians.

Photo of Sarah Moffett

Sarah Ivens Moffett

UofL School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies recognized Humanities Ph,D student Sarah Ivens Moffett in the January 2018 spotlight.