English Awards & Accomplishments 2018-19

Highlights of our faculty, student, and alum news
Professor Douglas Kearney teaching undergraduates; he's talking and holding a laptop


Charles Baxter was recognized with the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Senior Lecturer Eric Daigre received the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the University’s highest honor for undergraduate teaching.

Douglas Kearney (pictured above) received the Cy Twombly Poetry Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; he is only the second winner of the $40,000 prize. He also won the COGS Advisor Award from the Council of Graduate Students, nominated and voted on by graduate students.

Josephine Lee was awarded a $60,000 2019 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for her work-in-progress “Blackface and Yellowface: American Theater and Racial Performance.”

Julie Schumacher received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education, the University’s highest recognition for teaching graduate students. She also gave the 2019 Commencement Address to College of Liberal Arts graduating undergraduates.

Rachel Trocchio will join the English faculty next fall as assistant professor with a specialty in pre-1900 American literature. Trocchio holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley; her current book project is “American Puritanism and the Cognitive Style of Grace.”

Amit Yahav was awarded the College of Liberal Arts’ Talle Fellowship, given annually to 8-10 associate professors across the college for outstanding projects in research or creative activity.

Faculty Publications

Elaine Auyoung, When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Ray Gonzalez, Cutting the Wire: Photographs and Poetry from the US-Mexico Border (University of New Mexico Press, 2018)
Douglas Kearney, That Loud-Assed Colored Silence: Turntablism poetry chapbook (A Container Press, 2018)
Nabil Matar, The United States Through Arab Eyes (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)
Christopher Pexa, Translated Nation. Rewriting the Dakhóta Oyáte (University of Minnesota Press, 2019)
Katherine Scheil, Imagining Shakespeare's Wife: The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Julie Schumacher, The Shakespeare Requirement (Doubleday, 2018)

Read more faculty news.


Rachel Drake, English Coordinator of Advising and Undergraduate Studies, received the first annual Oracle Award from the University’s Academic Advising Network (AAN).

English Majors

Megan Filzen and Holly St. Clair won 2019 President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards. Read about these exemplary students.

Caleb Conway and Olivia McGovern received 2019-20 Selmer Birkelo Scholarships, awarded to approximately 16 students annually in the College of Liberal Arts.

Miki Schumacher received a US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Japanese in Japan.

Read more English major news.

MFA Students

MFA students Theodosia Henney, Kathryn Savage, and Mihret Sibhat received 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants of $7,000 to 10,000.

Gesell Awards for Excellence in Creative Writing went to May Lee-Yang (fiction), Gao Vang (nonfiction), and Theodosia Henney (poetry).

Damian Johansson received the 2018 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Award (MFA).

Chelli Riddiough won the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize.

Summer funding in the form of fellowships, research grants, and awards is supporting the following MFA candidates:
Clare Boerigter, Ellie Garran, Ember Johnson, May Lee-Yang, Mariela Lemus, Amanda Minoff, Zining Mok, Dylan Reynolds, Connor Simons, Greg Smith, and Hannah Suchor.

Read more MFA student and alum news.

PhD Students

Elisabeth Alderks received the 2018 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Award (PhD).

Jenna Dreier was awarded a 2019-20 Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF). She also won a Darwin Patnode Fellowship.

Elizabeth Howard was awarded the Samuel Holt Monk Prize for the Best Article by a Graduate Student for “‘To Admire and Do Otherwise’: Hopkins’s Modified Translations of Shakespeare’s Casket Song,” Victorian Poetry 45: 2, summer 2018.

Grace Miller's dissertation “Babel’s Apology: Religious Nostalgia and Literary Engagement with the Postsecular Age” won Honorable Mention for Best Arts and Humanities Dissertation at the University of Minnesota. Her faculty advisor was Dan Philippon.

Aleisha Smith won the First Year Writing Graduate Instructor of the Year Award.

Summer funding in the form of fellowships, research grants, and awards is supporting the following PhD candidates:
David Andrews, Christopher Bowman, Adam Burchard, Ashley Campbell, Abhay Doshi, Stephen Ellis, Elizabeth Howard, Bomi Jeon, Jennifer Jodell, David Lemke, Melissa Merte, David Rodriguez Martinez, Laura Scroggs, Sungjin Shin, Brett Sigurdson, and Yon Ji Sol.

Read more PhD student and alum news.


English BA, MFA, and PhD alums received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship, three Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships of $40,000, two Loft McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers of $25,000, and seven Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants of $7,000 to 10,000.

Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students
Creative Activities
Research and Creative Work
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