Graduate Student Spotlight

Artist William Schwedler in his New York City studio, circa 1971 — one of the artists Jonathan Judd researched and wrote on for the exhibition catalogue.

Rasheed Ismaila, Jonathan Judd, James Richie, and Chad White

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Rasheed Ismaila

Rasheed’s submission titled: “The New Nigerian Thespians and the Booming Skit Genres in the Age of Social Media” has been accepted for presentation at the 10th Annual IU International Conference on Africa, held at Indiana University-Bloomington on 22nd – 23rd March, 2024.

Jonathan Judd

Jonathan finished a two-part contract with the Whitney Museum of American Art to research and write biographical content on nine of the artists that will be included in an upcoming survey exhibition on American art from the 1960s. Tentatively titled Sixties Surreal, the exhibition will feature over 70 artists and 200 artworks with the aim of achieving a major reappraisal of the prevailing conceptions of American art during this period. Jonathan’s research and writing will be included in the catalogue, which will feature an in-depth timeline citing major events in the assembled artists' careers and creative development during the 60s. Currently, the exhibition and catalogue publication are slotted for Spring, 2025.

James Richie

This month, James presented at the University of South Carolina’s Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference: “Violence.” James’s presentation “Colonialism’s Literally Me: Audience Identification in Carajita and Only God Forgives” analyzed the two films through recent developments in psychoanalytic film theory and postcolonial studies. James Richie’s translation “Offering” (a translation of the poem “Ofrenda” by Víctor Cabrera) was selected to be published in a forthcoming issue of Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation, affiliated with Roger and William’s University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Chad White

Chad presented a paper, titled “Nazi Knights: Heinrich Himmler & Rewriting the Medieval Past in WWII Germany,” at the Newberry Library’s 2024 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference in Premodern Studies. This paper examines Heinrich Himmler's systematic revision of German history to align with romanticized conceptions of antiquity and medieval history, and Nazi ideology, highlighting his alteration of historical narratives and physical landmarks to mirror an Aryan past. Landmarks such as the Wewelsburg Castle and Quedlinburg Chapel stand as testament to this, as does the framing of the SS as spiritual successors to the medieval Teutonic Order. It explores the impact of these distortions on contemporary perceptions and the persistent challenges they pose to historical integrity and the fight against extremist ideologies.

The Filson news magazine

Nancy Jones and Hayley Salo

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones’ article "Sufism and Showbiz: Rumi the Musical and the Possibility of Global Adaptation" was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Persian Literature. Also, her essay "Federal Theatre Project in Cincinnati: A Case Study in Local Relevance)" within the book, Federal Theatre Project (1935-1939): contexte & enjeux just came out published by Sorbonne Université Press. 

Hayley Salo

In the Winter 2023 edition of The Filson news magazine, Hayley Salo published a browsing essay on the Baer Fabrics Collection held by the Filson Historical Society. She processed the collection's manuscripts and photos as part of an internship that began in May 2023. This article is a culminating project that introduces readers to the collection and to Baer Fabrics, a local Jewish-owned business that operated for 103 years. The internship and article were supervised by Abby Glogower, the Curator of Jewish Collections.

Katie Cross Gibson at Gurney Fest!

Katie Cross Gibson, Rasheed Ismaila, and Elizabeth Pope

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Katie Cross Gibson

Alongside fellow UKY alumni and current students, MA student Katie Cross Gibson was invited to read poetry during the November 2023 Gurney Fest!, a two-day celebration of Appalachian writer, documentarian, and advocate Gurney Norman (picture attached).

Rasheed Ismaila

Rasheed Adedoyin Ismaila's abstract/paper titled, "The Benin/Gaza Punitive Expedition of 1897/2023: Historical Recurrences in the Dramatic Works of Ola Rotimi and Ahmed Yerima," has been accepted for presentation at the 49th annual meeting and conference of the African Literature Association, May 23-25, 2024, at the University of Louisville, KY. The conference theme is “Filiations and Affiliations: Bonds, Entanglements and Social Networks in African Literatures and Cultures."

Elizabeth Pope
Elizabeth Pope's scholarly essay on Forough Farrokhzad was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Persian Literature and is forthcoming this winter.

2023 UofL Pride Talk, Chad White

Rasheed Ismaila, Nancy Jones, Beau Kilpatrick, James Richie, Hayley Salo, Flora Schildknecht, and Chad White

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Rasheed Ismaila

Racheed’s article titled, "Mohbad, Record Labels, and the Nigerian Music Industry" was published in The Guardian! Article link: https://guardian.ng/opinion/mohbad-record-labels-and-the-nigerian-music-industry/

Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones’ performance review, titled “Enter Ghost: An Immersive Haunted Hamlet Experience by Kentucky Shakespeare (review),” was just published in the Shakespeare Bulletin, Volume 41, Number 2, Summer 2023, pp. 285-288, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Link here: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/51669

Beau Kilpatrick and Flora Schildknecht

A big congratulations to Beau Kilpatrick and Flora Schildknecht, who both received Dissertation Completion Awards from the Graduate School for Spring 2024! Beau’s dissertation is titled “The Affable Raphael: Milton’s Surrogate Teacher in Paradise Lost,” and his committee is chaired by Dr. Matthew Biberman. Flora’s project is titled “The Impersonation Artist: A Novel with Critical Afterword: Displacement and Dissent in Fiction and Art,” and is being co-directed by Dr. Ian Stansel, who is directing the work on the novel, and Dr. Ranen Omer-Sherman, who is directing the critical afterword.

James Richie

This month, ANMLY Journal published two poems by Víctor Cabrera translated by James Richie. This is especially exciting, as it is the first time Cabrera’s work has been published in English. James first started researching and translating Cabrera’s poetry in Dr. Clare Sullivan’s SPAN 664 course (Literary and Cultural Translation). Link here: https://anmly.org/ap37-translation/

Hayley Salo and Flora Schildknecht

A recent article from University of Kentucky News quotes Hayley Salo and Flora K. Schildknecht as interviewers for the new oral history collection, “Climate Research, Policy and Activism in Kentucky.” The project was led by the Kentucky Climate Consortium (KYCC) research team at the University of Kentucky, and faculty, staff and student researchers from UK, the University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University collected more than 40 interviews, which included more than 100 hours of audio. Article link: https://uknow.uky.edu/research/uk-oral-history-project-documenting-climate-change-empowering-kentuckians?j=651673&sfmc_sub=251374181&l=20875_HTML&u=25278125&mid=10966798&jb=3009

Chad White

On Monday, October 16, 2023, the Departments of Humanities and History hosted a special panel on Queer research, coinciding with the University of Louisville's Pride celebration. The event was organized by Dr. Elise Franklin, Dr. Katie Kleinkopf, and Chad White, who is a History Department administrator and a PhD student in Comparative Humanities. Speakers covered vital topics including "The AIDS Epidemic & Louisville's Queer Community Response: Memory & Activism" by Olivia Beutel, "The Religious Gender-play, Camp Activism, and Radical Fun of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" by Tessa Pickle & Katie Kleinkopf, “Louisville’s Leather Community” by Vincent Young, and "Forgotten Members of Our Community: LGBTQ+ Youth Experiencing Houselessness" by Tobias McDaniels. Additionally, Healthy Cards presented on Sexual Health and Relationships. This successful event may become an annual platform for undergraduate and graduate students interested in Queer research.


Beau Kilpatrick and James Richie

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Beau Kilpatrick

Beau’s paper "The Intersection of Humanism and Religious Thought in Milton’s Epic: Raphael as the Central Figure of Paradise Lost" was accepted for publication by the Kentucky Philological Review vol. 37 (Spring 2024).

James Richie

This semester, James started peer reviewing papers on Chilean and Mexican literature for the Spanish and Portuguese Review. He completed multiple evaluations in September.

Effort is a Choice, Joy is Ephemeral, digital drawing by EVPL

Nancy Jones and Erica Von Proctor Lewis

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Nancy Jones

Nancy published two pieces in August. In Theatre Journal, "Comédie Française: Molière's 400th Anniversary," A Performance Review of Le Misanthrope by Molière, and: Le Malade Imaginaire by Molière, and: Le Tartuffe ou L’hypocrite by Molière, and: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière, and: L’avare by Molière (review). In Harold Pinter Review, "Ionesco in Paris," A Performance Review of La Cantatrice Chauve, La Leçon, and Les Chaises by Eugene Ionesco. Nancy thanks Dr. Janna Segal who worked with her on her Book Review project last summer. Thanks to her wonderful mentorship, three of the reviews Nancy worked on with have been published in the last year.

 Erica Von Proctor Lewis

One of Erica’s digital drawings from their series "Our Quarantine" (2021-22) was accepted into a local exhibition titled Seeing the Invisible: Perspectives of Mental Health at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. The exhibition opens September 9th and runs until September 23rd.

Greg Clark, Sangeeta Dave, Beau Kilpatrick, and Diana Wilder

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Greg Clark

Our recent graduate Greg Clark has just accepted a one-year assignment with AmeriCorps in Austin, Texas. Greg will be assisting the city's government to draft a plan to communicate its resources and services to its immigrant and refugee communities in times of disaster and emergency. Greg Clark’s dissertation (directed by Dr. Julie Peteet) was titled “Reaching Syrians in Need: An Analysis of Humanitarian Aid in the 21st Century.” This is a great opportunity for Greg to put his doctoral studies in humanitarian aid to work in the field and for us to celebrate the success of our graduates and their contributions in the world.

Sangeeta Dave

Sangi won a scholarship award through the SREB-DSP (Southern Regional Education Board, Doctoral Scholars Program) for dissertation support, which is $20,000, tuition remission, and healthcare for 2023-2024 plus a conference trip to Tampa, FL this fall.

Beau Kilpatrick

Beau was awarded a Student Champion certificate this summer.

Diana Wilder

Diana’s works as part of her internship at the American Printing House is detailed in this blog post: https://www.aph.org/running-a-marathon-moving-a-museum-collection/.


Design by Theo Barthes and Erica Von Proctor Lewis

Andrea MilesAndrea Miles


Theo Barthes, Erica Von Proctor Lewis, Katie Cross Gibson, Andrea Miles, James Richie, Hayley Salo, and Flora Schildknecht

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Theo Barthes and Erica Von Proctor Lewis

In June, Theo Barthes and Erica Lewis (EVPL) collaborated on a small run of Queer letterpress pieces at Lewis' home print shop, articulating their experiences in Kentucky as a transmale writer and a nonbinary printmaker. All four of their designs were accepted to be exhibited at Zygote Press in Cleveland, Ohio as part of their show titled, We’re Here, We’re Queer! Letterpress Exhibition. The show runs July 14th through September 2nd.

Katie Cross Gibson

The UofL College of Arts and Sciences was well represented at the inaugural bell hooks Symposium, "Dissident Feminisms" held June 16-18, in Berea, Kentucky. Katie Cross Gibson, M.A. student in interdisciplinary humanities, and the following faculty presented their research and creative work: Shelby Pumphrey, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and Pan-African studies; Katherine Marklein, assistant professor of biological anthropology; Hilaria Cruz, assistant professor in linguistic and Native American religions, comparative humanities; Catron Booker, assistant professor of theatre arts; Cara Snyder, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies; and Luz Huntington-Moskos, associate professor and director of the community engagement core for the Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences.

Andrea Miles

The American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum (APS) announced that Andrea Miles has received the David Center for the American Revolution Predoctoral Fellowship. This fellowship seeks to fund and promote scholars in all fields who show a demonstrated need to use the APS’s collections for their projects. Andrea previously won a short term research fellowship at the American Philosophical Society. She has also held fellowships at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, The Newberry Library in Chicago, the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in Winterthur, Delaware.

James Richie

James Richie contributed a chapter to the book Cross-Cultural Influences between Japanese and American Pop Cultures: Powers of Pop, edited by Dr. Kendra Sheehan, which was published this June. James’s chapter, “Strategies of Cultural Mediation: A Reading of Japanese Influences on American Hip-Hop Audiovisual Production” discusses the influence of both anime and Buddhism in American hip-hop music videos, while looking at theories of intercultural communication as a means of analyzing this influence. Link to the book here: https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-1281-8

Hayley Salo

Hayley was accepted into the North American Victorian Studies Association's Fall 2023 conference in Bloomington, Indiana. She is presenting a paper on art created within nineteenth century asylums in England and Canada. Drawing on the work of Nicole R. Fleetwood, the paper argues that the embroidery samplers of Mary Frances Heaton and the diary of Mary Heustis Pengilly are forms of carceral art: they are shaped by and respond to conditions within the asylums.

Flora Schildknecht

This June, Flora K. Schildknecht presented her paper, “‘Garments Shed by Ghosts’: Magical Realism and Trauma in Short Stories of Displacement,” and read from her fiction at the International Conference on the Short Story in English at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.


Erica Von Proctor Lewis

 James Richie

 Hayley Salo

Erica Von Proctor Lewis, James Richie, Hayley Salo, and Diana Wilder

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Erica Von Proctor Lewis

Erica is showing work at an exhibition curated by UofL MA student in Critical & Curatorial Studies Abby Howerton called Art for Silliness's Sake, running June 2 - August 4. Erica also has a relief print and a silkscreen print from her residency last summer that will be exhibited June 16 - July 14 at the Attleboro Arts Museum (Attleboro, MA) titled USED.

James Richie

James Richie’s 5 original English-language translations of poems by Víctor Cabrera (from the book Un jardín arrasado de cenizas) were selected to be presented at the 46th American Literary Translators Association Conference in Tucson, Arizona in November 2023. The reading is part of the Café Latino event (readings of literature by authors from Latin America) in the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series. James was also named as a Student Champion by the Office of the President.

Hayley Salo

At the end of May, Hayley was hired as a summer intern at the Filson Historical Society. She is working with Abby Glogower on the new Baer Fabrics collection. The work includes processing the collection and researching/writing about the company's history.

Diana Wilder

Diana started her internship at the American Printing House for the Blind Museum this summer. The internship will provide a broad perspective on museum collections work, proper use of archival storage materials, archival description, and condition reporting. She will serve as part of a collections team to de-install the Museum’s current exhibits and move them into storage in preparation for a major construction project. She may also work with specialized collections in the museum’s Thomas Carroll papers, the AFB Helen Keller Archive, and legacy audio-visual materials. 


Katie Cross Gibson

 Rasheed Ismaila

 Nancy Jones

 Jonah Larison (pictured at far right)

Ashley Bittner, Katie Cross Gibson, Chelsea Giovacchino, Rasheed Adedoyin Ismaila, Bob Jones, Nancy Jones, Jonah Larison, James Richie, and Flora Schildknecht

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Ashley Bittner

Ash received the Sara-Jean McDowell Award for Fiction/Creative Writing Award for Poetry this April.

Katie Cross Gibson

Katie (picture attached) is the 2023 graduate student winner of the Carolyn Krause Maddox Prize for her paper “’Sugar in the Knees’ and Hellfire on Your Heels(/Hills): Examining Appalachian Christian Queerphobic Rhetoric’s Reach via the OutSouth Oral History Collection.” The prize is awarded annually by the UofL Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department and includes an honorarium and community presentation, which was held April 13.

Chelsea Giovacchino

Chelsea was selected to receive a Graduate Dean’s Citation in recognition of her superior accomplishment in our MA program.

Rasheed Adedoyin Ismaila & Nancy Jones

Rasheed and Nancy presented at the Comparative Drama Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Nancy Jones.  “Sufism on Broadway?: Rumi, Theatre, and the Possibility of Global Adaptation”

Rasheed Adedoyin Ismaila Otun. “Dramaturgy, Play Adaptation, and Spin Off: From Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun to ‘King Asagai’” (a drama in progress)

Bob Jones

Bob has a book chapter going to press this month.

Robert A. Jones. "Wings Across the Silk Road: The Art of the Flying Horse in Early China and Beyond." In Branka Franicevic and Marie Nicole Pareja, eds. Imperial Horizons of the Silk Roads: Archaeological Case Studies. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2023 (in press).

Jonah Larison

Jonah and other students in Hilaria Cruz’s “Endangered Languages” course (Linguistics 590), Department of Comparative Humanities, recently published a series of vignettes in the Louisville Political Review, a student-run newspaper at UofL, on the global phenomena of the disappearance of languages, the diminishing of smaller languages, and language revitalization across the globe. Read more.

James Richie

James had a short response piece published in the journal Translation Review. The essay is a response to the article “Metaphors in the Space Between” by Dr. Clare Sullivan. James worked with Dr. Sullivan while writing this piece for excellent professional and academic guidance. Link to the article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07374836.2023.2179797.

Flora Schildknecht

Flora was named a finalist for the inaugural Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award. This new, university-wide award was open to all graduate teaching assistants in all departments. Flora also completed the Graduate Certificate in Public History.


Cody Gault


Eduard Ghita

 Bob Jones

 Chelsea Giovacchino

Congratulations to Our Spring 2023 Graduates: Emily Denton (PhD), Cody Gault (PhD), Eduard Ghita (PhD), Robert Jones (PhD), and Chelsea Giovacchino (MA)

It gives us immense pleasure to end the 2022-2023 academic year with a celebration of our graduating students! Each one of them has engaged with the Humanities in an interdisciplinary, creative, and original way. 

Together they showcase the breadth of our program, they exemplify the full range of our wonderful student body, and with their projects, they highlight the complementary strengths of our faculty.

Please read below the fascinating projects that they brought to our program and that they promise to share with the world at large. We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, are so proud of you!

Emily Denton

Dr. Denton's dissertation is "The Red Deeps: A Retelling of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss." According to Dissertation Committee Chair Dr. Deborah Lutz, "Her dissertation, called 'The Red Deeps,' is innovative, vivid, and important. Based closely on George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, the novel explores, in part, copper mining and the resulting environmental disaster in Ducktown, TN in the 1980s. Using great skill, Emily draws characters and settings, in particular a feminist depiction of a thoughtful girl struggling with narrow ideas about gender, out of Eliot’s novel and translates them into a 1980s U.S. setting. Emily underscores and complicates Eliot’s depiction of the Anthropocene’s effect on the landscape by comparing Eliot’s mid-Victorian mill culture with 20th-century U.S. mill culture. She has researched both Eliot’s life and time and that of the Tennessee town and its people, thus weaving a riveting narrative."

Cody Gault

Dr. Gault’s dissertation, "The Well-Tempered Android: Philosophical Posthumanism in Science Fiction Cinema," examines several sci-fi movie universes through the lens of philosophical posthumanism. In doing so, issues of embodiment and violence become important to consider just how much the works explore ideas about the future, and how much they reflect the cultural moment of their creation. In the end, philosophical posthumanism not only proves to be a useful tool for cultural analysis and critique, but also has important lessons for the contemporary world and future, with the meteoric rise of AI, climate change, and other issues facing the world in the age of the Anthropocene.

Dr. Gault graduated from the University of Louisville with a triple undergraduate major in art history, English, and humanities in 2011, and a Master's degree in art history from Indiana University Bloomington in 2013. Since 2015, he has taught at a variety of schools including UofL; Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City, Iowa; Ivy Tech Community College in southern Indiana; and Central Texas College’s continental campus at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. He is currently a full-time Academic Counselor, Sr. for UofL’s Honors Program, where he advises Honors students, coordinates the President’s Council Mentoring Program, and works with first-year Honors LLCs. In the rare event he isn’t at UofL or somewhere teaching, he’s usually at home reading with one – or both – of his Bengal cats Dormammu and Frank curled up in his lap, or outside in his garden tending to a growing collection of English roses.

Eduard Ghita

Dr. Ghita’s dissertation, "Paragons of Art and Nature in Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetic Theory," examines the interaction of nature and art as objects of aesthetic appreciation in eighteenth-century Britain, with special emphasis on the aesthetic theories of Anthony Ashley-Cooper-3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Joseph Addison, and William Gilpin. In it, he traces a movement away from theories in which the superiority of nature to art was recognized to theories where this aspect was complicated, contested, and reversed, and argues that this transformation was deeply interwoven with complex and changing notions of artistic imitation, conceptions of the sublime, and aspects of natural theology that were then an integral part of the aesthetic. By showing that the supersession of nature by art was already contained within Gilpin’s notion of the picturesque, Ghita offers a historical antecedent to Hegel’s radical exclusion of natural beauty from the scope of philosophical aesthetics.

Dr. Ghita received his BA in English from the University of Bucharest and his MA in Cultural Studies. He was a research assistant for the grant “An Intellectual History of the Imagination in the Early Modern Period: Bridging Literature, Philosophy and Science in Early Modern and Enlightenment England.” He made a research visit to the Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen and presented papers at workshops and conferences at the Universities of Bucharest, Oxford, and Louisville.

Robert Jones

Dr. Jones' dissertation, "The Conceptual Compression of Space and Time as Intimated in the Depiction of the Horse in China, Circa 1250 BCE-CE 400," explores the effects that the adoption of the horse and horse-riding in early China had upon royal and imperial administration, and upon social concepts of space and time, especially upon early Chinese society in particular, as shown through evolving language and art. 

Dr. Jones' interest in Chinese history and culture spans fifty years of study and travel. He obtained a BA in Chinese Studies from San Francisco State University in 1979 and a MA in Chinese Archaeology from National Taiwan University in 1984. After moving to Louisville, he developed a Chinese language program in a local high school, which is still ongoing. He retired in 2018. 

Chelsea Giovacchino

Chelsea's thesis is titled "Japanese Purity and Pollution Beliefs as Indicators of Social Change." Chelsea's area of interest is Japanese religion and culture, however she does incorporate quite a bit of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary methods in my research. Her thesis is a theoretical application of Mary Douglas' pollution theory and Grid/Group theory to Japanese religious belief and ritual. She analyzes the status of Heian period women and the attribution of pollution to barr them from practice in religious ritual, Heian period emperor protection rituals performed by urabe practitioners, purity beliefs used in Japanese WWII propaganda to foster nationalism, and the negotiation of social roles in contemporary Japanese funeral practices.


Beau Kilpatrick

Katie Cross Gibson, Derek Hemmen, Beau Kilpatrick, Erica Von Proctor Lewis, Hayley Salo, and Diana Wilder

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD and MA students! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate our students on their hard work and achievements.

Katie Cross Gibson, Derek Hemmen, Erica Von Proctor Lewis, Hayley Salo, Diana Wilder

In Dr. Felicia Jamison’s Introduction to Public Humanities course at the University of Louisville, undergraduate and graduate students collaborated with each other as well as community organizations to research and tell the history of enslavement at Oxmoor Farm. See the attached flyer for more information.

Beau Kilpatrick

Beau recently presented a paper at the 2023 Kentucky Philological Association (KPA) conference at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The paper is titled: “The Intersection of Humanism and Religious Thought in Milton’s Epic: Raphael as the Central Figure of Paradise Lost.” That paper is currently under review at the KPA journal.

Erica Von Proctor Lewis

Erica’s series of silkscreen fabric sculptures is on display (14 April - 18 May) at the Ann Arbor Art Center in Michigan as part of the Awake! Printmaking in Action! exhibition for contemporary printmakers. Erica also has their month-long residency coming up in May at the Louisville Free Public Library. They will have studio hours 12-5 MW and host the following workshops: Relief Printing (May 17th 6:00-7:30), Letterpress (May 18th 6:30-8:00), Cyanotypes (May 27th 1:00-2:30). On May 13th (10:00-3:00), Erica will also be participating in the How-To Fest at the Main Library, which has a lot of local makers and instructors who teach the public about their interests and skills.


Erica Von Proctor Lewis

 


James Richie

Erica Von Proctor Lewis and James Richie

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD candidates! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate Erica and James on their hard work and achievements.

Erica Von Proctor Lewis' artwork recently graced the cover of Unsettling Archival Research, a collection of accessible, interdisciplinary essays that explore archival practices to unsettle traditional archival theories and methodologies. The book was edited by scholars from UofL other universities. The artwork information is: Trapped. Screenprint with Pen. 6.75in x 9.75in. Spring 2018. More on the book here: http://siupress.com/books/978-0-8093-3896-2.

James Richie co-organized the panel “Translation as a Process of Creative/Counter-Writing” at the LCLC with Humanities alumnus, Eric Shoemaker, and current Spanish MA student, Thomas Lawrence. In the panel, James presented a bilingual reading of two of his translations of poems by Víctor Cabrera. Additionally, James’s review of the book Chilean Cinema in the 21st Century World (2020, Eds. Vania Bazarra Carl Fischer) was selected to appear in the next issue of Vernacular: New Connections in Language, Literature, and Culture, which will be available in April. James completed this book review as part of his Humanities 653 project with Dr. Manuel Medina.

Christopher Rickels

Congratulations to our recent graduate, Dr. Rickels! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, are so proud of you!

Dr. Chris Rickels' dissertation explores the challenges of public engagement with and public understand of science. In it, he argues that current approaches to public engagement with science are incomplete and he proposes a novel, revisionary model of public engagement with science which he calls the participant-centered model of science engagement. Relying on American pragmatist conceptions of democracy and contemporary education studies theory, Rickels presents six strategies which map a new way forward for science engagement professionals and science communicators.

Dr. Rickels received his MA in Philosophy from the University of Toledo and BA from Thomas More College. He is Associate Professor and Dean of Business, Information Technology, and Professional Studies at Gateway Community & Technical College in Northern Kentucky. He resides in Newport, Kentucky with his wife, Kayla.

Kathryn Lafferty-Danner

Congratulations to our recent graduate, Dr. Lafferty-Danner! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, are so proud of you!

Dr. Kate Lafferty-Danner's dissertation uses an interdisciplinary perspective to explore how different media representations attempt to ameliorate abortion stigma, focusing on social media, comics, and television. She is currently collaborating on a grant-funded project focusing on the barriers people face accessing abortion in Kentucky. In addition, Dr. Lafferty-Danner dedicates time to volunteering as an abortion access hotliner for Kentucky Health Justice Network.

Dr. Lafferty-Danner also received her MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities while completing her coursework for her PhD, providing her with a unique background to explore the intersections of medicine and humanities. She recently was hired as an Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities and Community Engagement at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, PA where she resides with her husband and three cats (with a baby on the way!). 

Andrea Miles
Andrea Miles

 

Robert Eric Shoemaker
Robert Eric Shoemaker

Andrea Miles and Eric Shoemaker

We are so excited to share good news from our PhD candidates! We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, congratulate Andrea and Eric on their hard work and achievements.

Andrea Miles was just awarded a prestigious research fellowship from the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Andrea’s dissertation, titled “Black Rebels: African American Revolutionaries from North Caroline During and After the War of Independence,” is about free Blacks in North Carolina who joined revolutionary forces during the American War of Independence. Andrea works with Dr. Daniel Krebs (History) as her primary advisor, and her committee members are Dr. Glenn Crothers (History), Dr. Thomas Mackey (History), and Dr. Charlton Yingling (History). Her Outside Reader is Dr. Dewey Clayton (Political Science).

Robert Eric Shoemaker has just accepted a position as Digital Archive Editor at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, the independent literary organization that is home to Poetry magazine, one of the most well-known and respected poetry magazines in the world. A primary role of Eric’s position is to curate the selection of poems and poets and develop an annual strategy for the online selection of poems. He has also earned Graduate Certificates in Public History and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Eric will defend his creative dissertation on March 24, 2022. The creative portion is titled “A Planetary Spell” and the critical section is titled “As Above, So Below: Magical Poetics and Queer Alchemy.” Eric works with Dr. Alan Golding (English) as his primary advisor, and his committee members are Dr. Natalie Polzer (Humanities), Dr. Susan Ryan (English), and Dr. Kristi Maxwell (English). His Outside Reader is Dr. Peter O’Leary from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Scott Bonham


Chatino Anthology


Magdalena Welch

Scott Bonham, Mary Griffin, and Magdalena Welch

It gives us an immense pleasure to end 2021 with a shout-out to our MA faculty and students!

We have a record number of MA graduates this Fall, and each one of them has engaged with the Humanities in an interdisciplinary, creative, and original way. Congratulations to Scott Bonham, Mary Griffin, and Magdalena Welch!

Together they showcase the breadth of our program, they exemplify the full range of our wonderful student body, and with their projects, they highlight the complementary strengths of our faculty.

Please read below the fascinating projects that they brought to our program and that they promise to share with the world at large. We, in the Humanities Graduate Programs and in the Department of Comparative Humanities, are so proud of you!

Scott Bonham, an Associate Professor of Physics at Western Kentucky University, took the unusual challenge to join our MA program in 2018 to become a student again! He took classes in Humanities, Philosophy, Sociology, and Linguistics and completed his MA in Humanities this December. His Directed Study Project was titled “Comprehension of and Engagement in Socio-scientific Issues” and was directed by Professor Elaine Wise.

This project involved creating an interdisciplinary course, which he is currently teaching at WKU seeking to help students develop their capacity to think about socio-scientific issues (origins, climate change, race, technology, etc.) in an interdisciplinary way in order to develop evidence-based arguments that could bridge cultural and social differences. To design his course, Scott studied the “original” controversy of heliocentric vs. geocentric models of the cosmos—and in particular Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Chief Two World Systems—to explore the different social, cultural, and scientific dimensions of such conflicts.

This is what Scott Bonham had to say about his experience in the Humanities MA program:

“The best part of my experience was being able to interact with faculty in a wide range of subjects and develop new ways and complementary ways of thinking about things. After two decades of teaching physics, it helped me get out of an intellectual rut.

“The thing the program gave me that is particularly meaningful is an intellectual breadth, both in my own knowledge and understanding, and also having the academic credentials to teach courses that study both culture and science.

“One of the great things about the MA in Humanities at the University of Louisville is that it is a very flexible program that allows one to take a wide range of classes, which means that it is fairly easy to tailor the program to fit one’s professional goals.”

Mary Griffin is another champion of our program. A retired teacher, she joined our MA program in 2019 with a wealth of experience which she shared generously with her fellow students. She took courses in Humanities, Women’s and Gender Studies, Linguistics and Endangered Languages, and completed her MA in Humanities with a Directed Study Project entitled “Documenting a Spoken Language: Encountering Chatino in an Endangered Languages Course” directed by Professor Hilaria Cruz. Mary’s project complemented another project, led by Dr. Cruz, to publish a collection of children’s stories in an indigenous language. The stories were created in Dr. Cruz’s course in Endangered Languages in Fall 2019. The project resulted in the first published anthology of children’s stories in Chatino, a project that has the important goal to revitalize the Chatino language, an indigenous language spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mary’s critical essay makes a compelling case for writing children’s narratives with and for speakers of Indigenous and minority languages.

Mary had this to say about her experience in the Humanities MA program:

“As a non-traditional student, the best part of my experience working towards a MA in Humanities was challenging myself to read more, becoming more confident in communicating ideas, and learning how to integrate what I knew from my non-academic life and work experience with what I was learning in courses taken here. My thinking has matured and become more sophisticated. My culminating Directed Study Project allowed me an opportunity to work closely with Professor Hilaria Cruz in a project to create and publish six Chatino language children’s books.”

Magdalena Welch completed her MA this Fall in record time, having blended the BA with the MA through the Accelerated Study Option! Her Directed Study Project was titled “Modern American Culture: America Through a Gothic Window” and was directed by Professor Michael Williams. In her project, Magdalena explores a new interdisciplinary way in which American Modern Culture can be taught in higher education—through the lens of the Gothic genre. She designed a course that would give students a more rounded consideration of the role of the Gothic in American culture through the use of an interdisciplinary methodology. While working on this project, Magdalena was also able to “try out” her approach by teaching several classes within a Humanities Modern Culture course.

Here is what Magdalena had to say about her time in the Humanities MA:

“During my experience within the Humanities MA program, I was not only able to form meaningful relationships with faculty members across the different departments of the Arts and Sciences, but I also found strong support systems and made lasting friendships with the other graduate students in the Humanities Graduate Programs. Not only does the Humanities department provide a well-rounded education that extends beyond the world of the classroom, but it culminates in deep interpersonal relationships, creates a compassionate environment for education, and champions empathy and diversity. This MA program is one I will continuously recommend to other students.”

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.