You may remember English PhD candidate Phil Miletic from previous posts, such as “A Week in the Life of a Graduate Student” and “Rewriting Gertrude Stein.” Well, now he has defended his dissertation, “Only Connect: The Virtual Communities of Gertrude Stein and David Foster Wallace,” and he is DOCTOR Phil Miletic. Congratulations!
Dr. Miletic has been active with UWaterloo’s First Person Scholar as well as our graduate student association. His publications have appeared in African American Review, Canadian Review of American Studies, and The International Journal of Comic Art and he has a piece forthcoming in Biography. His dissertation research was supported by a SSHRC award as well as the President’s Graduate Scholarship.
Dr. Miletic’s supervisor was Dr. Aimée Morrison, and his committee members Drs. Kevin McGuirk and Marcel O’Gorman. The internal examiner was Dr. Ian Milligan; the external examiner was Dr. Lori Emerson, University of Colorado at Boulder. Phil’s description of his dissertation follows.
“Only Connect: The Virtual Communities of Gertrude Stein and David Foster Wallace”
My dissertation compares Modernist imaginations and applications of early radio with Late Postmodernist imaginations and applications of the early internet. The American authors that I focus on and compare in my dissertation are Gertrude Stein, a Modernist, and David Foster Wallace, a Late Postmodernist. My dissertation asserts that Stein and Wallace each incorporate the techno-cultural imaginations and feelings of community through the democratic poetics and aesthetics of their work. Both Stein and Wallace engage with facilitating literary communities that form around emerging mass media––for Stein, the radio, and for Wallace, the blog––and provoke readers to participate in auto/biographical practices as a mode of discussing American identity, community, and democracy. Where the orality of Stein’s texts invites readers’ auto/biographical engagement, Wallace’s written depictions of mental health, addiction, and loneliness prompt readers to share auto/biographical narratives/disclosures related to those topics in the reading group discussions. Altogether, my dissertation engages with a unique media archeological combination of literary analysis, media studies, and critical media production in order to suss out the dynamic exploration of identity, community, and democratic participation these authors and their readers feel for within the mediascape of their respective eras.
Congratulations to UWaterloo English’s Dr. Victoria Lamont and PhD candidate Meghan Riley, who have together received a Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) Grant for the project “Changing Bodies, Changing Minds: Utilizing Speculative Fiction to Teach Intersectional and Postcolonial Theories.” The project, which runs from fall 2018 through August 2019, will “investigate innovative approaches to enhancing teaching and learning” by examining students’ awareness of the interrelated aspects of identity based on race, sex, class, and gender, as well as how discrimination is often based on multiple intersecting identity markers, through science fiction, fantasy, horror, and alternate history. The intent is to “foster deep student learning” through engaging students in a consideration of how shapeshifters – human characters who can change form and assume different races and sexes – are indicative of race and gender as social constructions. Moreover, it will pair speculative fiction literature with popular speculative fiction television, appealing to students’ interests across media and increasing the likelihood that students will use course concepts to analyze speculative fiction TV.
Image credit: Deviant Art
Congratulations to UWaterloo English PhD candidate Monique Kampherm. She was one of many UWaterloo English scholars participating in this year’s Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric conference at Congress. Monique’s paper was titled “Democratic Prosopopoeia: The Rhetorical Influence of Embodying a Political Statement Online” and resulted in her being named the RhetCanada 2018 Graduate Student Prize Winner. As the judges write:
Monique’s paper drew from a wide variety of rhetorical critics and adroitly integrated figurative analysis, digital technology studies, and political studies to examine the rhetorical effects of image filter use on social media during the 2015 Canadian election. While her paper drew on a specific case, it also spoke more generally to the rhetorical implications of how text and image are integrated on social media.
Congratulations to PhD students Rebecca Anderson and Devon Moriarty, who have both received awards from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to fund their dissertation research. The awards are on the national level. Rebecca and Devon are also very active in the graduate student society (SAGE) serving as President and Vice-President, respectively. SSHRC.
In faculty news, Drs. Dorothy Hadfield, Linda Warley, and Aimée Morrison have won outstanding performance awards from the University of Waterloo. Congratulations to all!
UWaterloo English PhD candidate Tommy Mayberry is having a bumper April. First, he accepted a position as an Educational Developer, on the Educational Development team at the University of Guelph. And he has won an Innovation in Education Award, from The University of Pittsburgh’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) for “The Science Library Project.” Tommy shares the award with Dr. Sarah Ruffell , an Assistant Professor of Biology in the Division of Biological and Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh – Bradford, and a Waterloo alumna (PhD in Biology, 2017) as well as graduate of our Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program at CTE.
A description of the project:
To emphasize the importance of public outreach and science communication within STEM, and to foster in students a greater appreciative understanding of the scientific content within their courses, the Science Library Project has students creating children’s books about key course content. At the end of this project, the student writer-publishers are able to display their critical and creative work as they collaborate with local teachers in a networked conversation about science and multimodal communication. This innovative pedagogical approach to assessment is important both inside and outside of the Sciences because it participates in High Impact Practice (HIP) pedagogy to have students invest a significant amount of time and effort over an extended period of time as they participate in frequent, timely, and constructive feedback and, most importantly, have the opportunity to discover the relevance of their learning through real-world applications in the public demonstration of their book projects. The Science Library Project activates written and visual communication modes to motivate Science learners to engage with course concepts in deeper and creative ways.
Images reproduced from student work with permission. Sarah and Tommy both are sharing this work as a poster presentation at our UWTL conference on campus today–stop by to learn more!
The spring awards announcements continue with news that Dr. Ashley Mehlenbacher has won the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. Congratulations!
We’d like to congratulate Dr. Heather Smyth, a 2018 recipient of the Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. Some of you may have had Dr. Smyth as a professor; others may know her through her extensive service work, as a past undergraduate chair of English, as part of the United Nation’s HeForShe initiative, or as Associate Chair of Arts First (you can read her recent report on ArtsFirst here). It’s an impressive roster, demonstrating Dr. Smyth’s dedication to students and student experience. Congratulations again!