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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

J.K. Barret

Assistant Professor Ph.D., 2008, Princeton University

J.K. Barret

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-8390
  • Office: CAL 310
  • Office Hours: T 11 AM-1 PM & by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000

Biography

J.K. Barret is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book project, Untold Futures: Time and Literary Culture in Renaissance England, investigates Renaissance literary constructions of the future, the complex relations between futurity and narrative, and the emergence of novel accounts of Englishness that turn on looking to the future rather than the past in the works of Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare and Milton. She has received fellowship support from sources including the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA's Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Whiting Foundation, the Josephine de Kármán Foundation, and the Huntington Library. She has also received funding to participate in seminars at the National Humanities Center and the Folger Shakespeare Library. In addition to time and the future, her research and teaching interests include poetry and poetics, drama, literature and the visual arts, early modern legal theory, antiquity in the Renaissance, pastoral, romance, translation studies and narrative theory.

Interests

Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature; the Renaissance future; time; literature and the visual arts; early modern legal theory; classical reception; narrative.

E 603A • Composition/Reading World Lit

34970 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 210
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Description:

This course will emphasize the extraordinary power of literature to startle us and make us question ideas and assumptions on which we thought we could depend. In the first half of this class, we will immerse ourselves in some of the most influential, beloved, surprising and strange literature that has ever been written. Our fall reading begins in antiquity and ends in the Renaissance. We’ll read epics and romances—stories of ambitious, deliberate, goal-oriented journeys and the unexpected, sometimes dangerous, wanderings that disrupt them. In the spring, we will focus on fictions that use literary language to push the boundaries of reality and aim to redefine experience. Travel, displacement, reflection and formal experimentation are characteristic features of the always alluring, sometimes disorienting, texts that will bring our reading list up to the twenty-first century. As we wander the globe and traverse centuries this year, we will also develop an understanding of literary influence, imitation and innovation—how these varied literary texts speak not just to us, but to each other.

Texts/Readings:

Fall                                                                            

Virgil, The Aeneid (first six books)                                  

Ovid, Metamorphoses                                                    

Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon                           

Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing                           

Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (selection)                                

Spenser, The Faerie Queene (Books I-III)                       

Milton, Paradise Lost                                                     

Cavendish, The Blazing World                                        

Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station

Spring

Behn, The Fair Jilt

Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Books I, II and IV)

Sterne, Tristram Shandy

Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Bolaño, The Savage Detectives

Assignments:

This course assumes that the students who take it are already good readers and writers. Over the course of the year, we will work together to strengthen both of these skills. The class will be largely discussion-based so that we can develop ideas, questions and approaches together. Your active, engaged participation is crucial and will account for a substantial portion of the course grade. Attendance is, of course, required. Each semester, you’ll also have several written assignments: a brief, informal daily reaction (100 words) about each reading assignment; 2-3 short papers (1-2 pages each) aimed at developing skills in research and close reading; 2 analytical essays (5 pages each). Peer essay review and opportunities for revision will be built into the essay assignment schedule throughout the year. A brief, in-class presentation will also be required.

About the Professor:

J.K. Barret works on Renaissance literature. She holds a doctorate in English from Princeton University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in English and minored in Classical Studies. She has been awarded several national fellowships (including the Solmsen Fellowship, the Josephine de Kármán Fellowship and the Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellowship) that provided support for her research project on conceptions of time and the future in the literature of Renaissance England. She has also received fellowship support to study French and Italian abroad. Her academic areas of interest include the intersection between word and image, temporality, performance, narrative, translation, and the influence of antiquity on Renaissance writers. She is an avid traveler, and has lived in Spain and visited Europe, Latin America and (briefly) Morocco. 

E 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

35960 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 310
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Instructor:  Barret, J

Unique #:  35960

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Restrictions:  English Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Enrollment in or completion of at least one honors section of an English course, admission to the English Honors Program, and consent of the honors adviser.

Description: According to the Honors Thesis Manual, a thesis is “a sustained examination of a central idea or question, developed in a professional and mature manner under the guidance of a faculty supervisor and a second reader.” That sounds easy enough, but how does one get there from here? This course offers something of a roadmap. Over the course of the term we will examine literary criticism from the “inside out” and hone skills essential to a successful honors thesis.

Along the way, we will address a number of questions, both practical—How do I use the MLA Bibliography? What’s the difference between a footnote and an endnote?—and theoretical—What does it mean to make an argument about literature? Who has authority in an act of interpretation? This course will: first and foremost prepare students to write an honors thesis; interrogate methods of literary and cultural interpretation; consider what it means to make literary arguments and conduct literary research; help students to improve their research, critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.

Texts: Wayne Booth, et al, The Craft of Research (Third Edition) (University Of Chicago Press, 2008). #978-0226065663; Marjorie Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies (University of Washington Press, 2003). #978-0295983448; Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Norton, 2005). # 978-0393924091.

Requirements & Grading: (assignment logistics, rationales, and approaches will be discussed at length during class)

Final Thesis Prospectus (4-6 pp.) & Annotated Bibliography (20-25+ items)            40%

Writing Sample (15-20 pp. section or sections of your actual thesis)            30%

In-Class Performance (quality & consistency of discussion; preparation; engagement;

informal writing; writing-process & bibliography tasks; peer feedback; Symposium)            30%

On-time Attendance (note: every absence beginning with #4 will reduce grade; NC at #9)            Required

On-time Completion of Reading, Writing-Process, Research, & Peer Feedback Assignments            Required

Plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade of the course. The university does not recognize the grade of A+. Evaluation percentages approximate & subject to minor change.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

35825 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 300pm-430pm MEZ 1.210
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Instructor:  Barret, J

Unique #:  35825

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course provides an introduction to Shakespeare by focusing on plays that span the course of his career. We will pay particular attention to language to consider how Shakespeare tells his stories. Plays in this course will be paired with short readings from Shakespeare’s literary and historical sources as we consider Shakespeare’s imitations of and allusions to other texts (including his own). We’ll ask what Shakespeare’s representations of re-telling throughout his career can tell us about his art. Along the way, we’ll consider issues of gender, sexuality, education, class, race and rhetoric. We will develop a vocabulary for discussing Shakespeare’s poetic and dramatic form, discuss scenes from film adaptations, and look at early printed versions of Shakespeare’s works at the Harry Ransom Center. Likely plays will include Titus AndronicusA Midsummer Night’s DreamJulius CaesarRomeo and Juliet, Richard IIIOthelloMuch Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline

Requirements & Grading (tentative): This course will be discussion-based. Both you and your copy of the play are required at every class. Unexcused absences will lower your course grade. Attendance at one on-campus evening Shakespeare performance is required in November. In addition to active participation, this course requires short research exercises (1-2 pages), essays (5-6 pages), one creative assignment, and a memorized recitation.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

35675 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 210
(also listed as LAH 350 )
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Instructor:  Barret, J            Areas:  I / D

Unique #:  35675            Flags:  Global cultures

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  Honors

Cross-lists:  LAH 350            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course focuses on Shakespeare over the course of his career. We will pay particular attention to language to consider how Shakespeare tells his stories. Plays in this course will be paired with short readings from Shakespeare’s literary and historical sources as we consider Shakespeare’s imitations of and allusions to other texts (including his own). We’ll ask what Shakespeare’s representations of re-telling throughout his career can tell us about his art. Along the way, we’ll consider issues of gender, sexuality, education, class, race and rhetoric. We will familiarize ourselves with research tools and resources throughout the course. Whether developing a vocabulary for discussing Shakespeare’s poetic and dramatic form, completing short research exercises, reading supplementary critical essays, discussing performances, or looking at early printed versions of Shakespeare’s works at the Harry Ransom Center, critical methodology will be an integral part of the course and of our collective discussion. Likely plays will include Titus AndronicusA Midsummer Night’s DreamJulius Caesar, Romeo and JulietOthello, Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline.

Requirements & Grading (tentative): This course will be discussion-based. Both you and your copy of the play are required at every class. Unexcused absences will lower your course grade. Attendance at one on-campus evening Shakespeare performance is required in November. In addition to active participation, this course requires short research exercises (1-2 pages), essays (5-6 pages), one creative assignment, and a memorized recitation.

E 392M • Early Modern Temporalities

36150 • Fall 2013
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 323
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This seminar will investigate conceptions of temporality in the literature of Renaissance England. Students will be introduced to a survey of texts from the period in the course of tracing and examining various technologies and interpretations of time. Our investigation of time will necessarily intersect with areas of inquiry familiar to early modern scholarship: classical reception; conceptions of novelty; linguistic debate; metrical experimentation; religious reform; daily practice; sovereignty. In addition to detailed engagement with dramatic and poetic texts, we will examine theoretical approaches concerned with temporal questions (performance studies and lyric theory, e.g.). Students will develop skills in approaching research and argumentation guided by a broadly conceived thematic. Primary readings will likely include texts by: Edmund Spenser (The Faerie Queene;  The Shepheardes Calendar); William Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline); John Foxe (Actes and Monuments); Isaak Walton (Compleat Angler); Ben Jonson (Bartholomew Fair); Andrew Marvell (selected poems); George Herbert (selected poems); John Milton (Paradise Lost).

E 349S • Edmund Spenser

35500 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 302
(also listed as LAH 350 )
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Instructor:  Barret, J            Areas:  I / H

Unique #:  35500            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  n/a

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: This Honors seminar focuses on Edmund Spenser’s infamous, unruly and influential poetic masterpiece The Faerie Queene. Placing the poem in both its historical and literary-historical context, this course will explore questions of artistic representation, nationalism, religious reformation, classical and Biblical allusion, genre, and linguistic innovation (to name but a few relevant topics). This seminar culminates in a research paper, so we will familiarize ourselves with research tools and resources throughout the course. Whether developing a vocabulary for discussing Spenser’s poetic form, reading supplementary critical essays, looking at early printed versions of our primary text in sessions at the Harry Ransom Center, or completing short research exercises, critical methodology will be an integral part of the course and of our collective discussion.

Requirements & Grading: In addition to active participation, this course requires short research exercises (1-2 pages), close-reading essays (3-4 pages), one creative assignment (an original Spenserian stanza, accompanied by an explanatory paragraph), a paper prospectus (1 page), and a final research paper (approx. 10 pages).

E 350E • Mirrors/Doubling Renais Poetry

35615 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 105
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E 350E (Topic: Mirrors and Doubling in Renaissance Poetry) and 379S (embedded topic: Mirrors and Doubling in Renaissance Poetry) may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: What do we see when we look in a mirror? Beginning with the myth of Narcissus, this question has haunted art and literature for centuries. This course examines the mirror, and the process of doubling, in Renaissance literature. As we approach a broad sampling of texts that represent reflection, we will consider a variety of questions: For example, does the mirror inspire a unique poetic voice? How does the double figure in, or complicate, poetic performance? We will consider both doubled characters and doubled words as we trace images reflected in the Renaissance mirror.

Texts: Selected shorter poems: Petrarch, Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare; Ovid, Metamorphoses; Thomas Sackville, A Mirror for Magistrates: The Induction; Chapman, Ovid’s Banquet of Sense; Spenser, The Faerie Queene.

Requirements & Grading: A combination of quizzes, essay and an in-class presentation will make up the bulk of the final grade. Attendance and engaged participation are mandatory.

E 392M • Renaissance Romance

36000 • Spring 2011
Meets W 600pm-900pm PAR 310
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Renaissance Romance

This seminar will introduce students to the romance in Renaissance England through engagements with influential sixteenth-century examples (Sidney’s Arcadia and Spenser’s Faerie Queene), some of its most influential predecessors and continental counterparts (Virgil’s Aeneid, Heliodorus’s Aethiopika, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata), and some unruly early seventeenth-century incarnations (Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Wroth’s Urania). By the late sixteenth century, romance had already been derided as an unfit literary form, a corrupter of youth and a waste of time. This course will consider the ways in which romance was and is understood as a literary kind, and what this might reveal about the ideological valences of genre. Supplementary critical reading will include contemporary secondary and theoretical texts attentive to these issues. We will also pay some attention to Renaissance debates about genre, including those in the prefaces to English translations of continental romances (available at the Harry Ransom Center). We will examine the category of romance (as genre, as descriptor, as mode, as counterpoint to epic) to inform our discussion of literary genre as a tool for interpretation and for examining both national and literary histories. The reading load for this course will be heavy, but also fast-paced and absorbing, as Don Quijote would surely attest. Students will be required to give one in-class presentation and to write a research paper of 20-25 pages.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

34475 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 105
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Course Description: This course provides an introduction to Shakespeare by focusing on plays that span his whole career. Our texts may include Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline. Though we will undoubtedly discuss how the plays we read might be performed on stage, our focus will be on close reading as we consider how Shakespeare tells his stories. We will pay particular attention to the idea of re-telling within these plays, focusing particularly on Shakespeare’s imitations of and allusions to other texts. Plays in this course will be paired with short readings from Shakespeare’s literary and historical sources. We will address some of the following questions: How are familiar literary or historical stories represented dramatically? How do characters represent their own lives through the stories they tell about them? What happens when re-telling disrupts the experience of what we hear and see as audience members? What can Shakespeare’s representations of re-telling throughout his career tell us about his art?

Grading: (tentative) Both you and your copy of the play are required at every class. Unexcused absences will lower your course grade. This class will be discussion-based; engaged, lively participation is essential. There will be several unannounced quizzes. No make-ups will be permitted; your lowest quiz score will be dropped. You will be required to schedule one conference with me (preferably during office hours) to perform, and briefly discuss, a memorized recitation of approximately 30 lines.

Quizzes (10%); Close-reading exercise (10%); Midterm exam (30%); Final exam (35%); Memorized recitation (5%); Class participation (10%)

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 350E • Literature And The Visual Arts

34700 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm PAR 105
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Previously offered as E 320M (Topic: Literature and the Visual Arts).

Course Description: In this course, we will consider a question that has remained central to aesthetic culture from antiquity to the twenty-first century: What is the relation between words and images? Though the majority of readings for this course will come from Renaissance England, we will also explore this pervasive topic by examining words and images across a broad historical sweep. In addition to examples from the visual and verbal arts, we will read theoretical works that attempt to define the nature of poetry and of the visual arts. Particular attention will be given to the pictorial impulse within literature, but our inquiry will also allow us to consider topics including: the competition between the “sister arts”; the representation of time; verbal and pictorial narrative techniques; mythography; the figure of the artist; the intersection of ethics and aesthetics.

Texts: Readings may include works by Shakespeare, Homer, Leonardo da Vinci, Horace, Spenser, Sidney, Chaucer, John Keats, Elizabeth Bishop.

Grading: Both you and your copy of the text are required at every class. Absences will lower your course grade. Memorized recitation (5%); Blackboard posting (5%); Close-reading exercise (15%); Midterm exam (25%); Final exam (35%); Class participation (15%)

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 320M • Literature And The Visual Arts

34640 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm PAR 208
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ENG 320M (34640): Literature and the Visual Arts 

Parlin  208 TTh 11-12:30
Professor Barret, Calhoun 305
Office Hours: W 11:30-1:30 and by appointment

 

320M: Literature and the Visual Arts

The relationship of literature and the visual arts in English and American literature from the Renaissance to the present. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Grading Policy:

Because participation contributes to the class grade, attendance is strongly encouraged. Plus/minus grades will given, and determined on the following basis:

Participation = 10%; Quizzes = 10%;  Memorized Recitation = 5%; Memorization Response Paper = 15%; Midterm Exam = 25%; Final Exam = 35%

Requirements and Assignments:

There will be several unannounced quizzes. Students will schedule one individual conference to perform, and briefly discuss, a memorized recitation. After the conference, students will write a short, close-reading response paper (2 pages) discussing the memorized passage. Two examinations on our topic will be given (see below for specifics) .

Required Texts (available at the University Co-Op):

  • Metamorphoses of Ovid, trans. Allen Mandelbaum
  • Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon, trans. Tim Whitmarsh
  • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene Book III and IV, ed. Dorothy Stephens
  • William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, ed. David Quint
  • Leanne Shapton, Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry
  • A required Course Packet will be available at Jenn’s Copies (2200 Guadalupe; 512-473-8669)
  • NB: Some additional materials may be handed out in class or made available on e-Reserves.

Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct.

Scheduling of the final exam is done by the University; please consult the Registrar’s page for details: http://registrar.utexas.edu/students/exams/index.html

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 374K • Elizabethan Poetry And Prose-W

35000 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 101
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ENG 374K (35000): Elizabethan Poetry and Prose           Parlin 101, TTh 2-3:30        

Professor J.K. Barret, Calhoun 305. Office Hours: W 11:30-1:30 and by appointment

374K: Elizabethan Poetry and Prose

Renaissance thought and culture as revealed in the lyric and narrative poetry and in the prose masterpieces. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Grading Policy:

Because participation contributes to the class grade, attendance is strongly encouraged. Plus/minus grades will be given, and determined on the following basis:                   


Participation: 15%

Blackboard Postings: 10%

Memorized Recitation: 5%

Memorization Response Paper: 10%

Paper #1: 15%

Paper #2: 20%

Paper #3: 25%

 

Requirements and Assignments:

 Students will write ten Blackboard postings (approx. 200 words each) and three papers (approx. 4 pages each). In addition, students will schedule one individual conference to perform, and briefly discuss, a memorized recitation. After the conference, students will write a short, close-reading response paper (2 pages) discussing the memorized passage.

Required Texts (available at the University Co-op):

Sixteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology, ed. Gordon Braden
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene Book II, ed. Erik Gray
Sir Philip Sidney, The Old Arcadia, ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones
Metamorphoses of Ovid, trans. Allen Mandelbaum

Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct. Some course material may be available via library e-Reserves.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 374K • Elizbethn Poetry & Prose-Hon-W

35210 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CAL 221
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Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

 

Publications

Barret, J.K. "Chained Allusions, Patterned Futures, and the Dangers of Interpretation in Titus Andronicus," forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance 44.3 (2014) 452-85.

Barret, J.K. "Vacant Time in The Faerie Queene," ELH 81.1 (2014) 1-28.

Barret, J.K. "'My Promise Sent Onto Myself': Futurity and the Language of Obligation in Sidney's Old Arcadia" in The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe (Routledge 2010).

Awards & Honors

Awards & Honors

  • NEH Summer Seminar, "Researching Early Modern Manuscripts and Printed Books," New York (2013) 
  • Solmsen Fellowship, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011-12)
  • Clark Library Short-Term Fellowship, Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies, UCLA (2012)
  • Junior Fellowship, British Studies, UT Austin
  • Faculty Development Program Fellowship, Center for Women's and Gender Studies, UT Austin
  • Summer Research Award, UT Austin (2010)
  • National Humanities Center Summer Institute in Literary Studies, "Shakespeare in Slow Motion" (2009)
  • Francis Bacon Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library (2008)
  • Josephine de Kármán Foundation Fellowship (2007-08)
  • Mrs. Giles Whiting Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities (2006-07)
  • Noah Cotsen Junior Fellowship, Princeton University (2005-06)
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