Jill Anderson wins PEO Scholar Award for 2008-09
Posted: August 16, 2008
English Ph.D. candidate Jill Anderson will receive a P.E.O. Scholar Award for the 2008-2009 academic year. The P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) established the P.E.O. Scholar Awards in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are either pursuing a doctoral level degree or engaged in postgraduate study or research at an accredited college or university.
Jill is writing her dissertation, entitled "Re-Reading the American Renaissance in New England and in Mexico City," in Mexico City. Her project revisits the history of literary nationalisms in the US and Mexico during the nineteenth century in order to render more visible the bi-national cultural relations between the two countries and to re-read their national project(ion)s in conversation. She re-reads William Cullen Bryant and Guillermo Prieto, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ignacio Ramirez, and Henry David Thoreau and Mariano Otero in conversation to demonstrate the coeval textual concerns that illuminate the paradoxical mix of cooperation and conflict across the US-Mexico border. Finally, she turns to a fellow re-reader, Maria Cristina Mena, the first Mexican-born woman to publish short stories in English in the United States, to learn from her literary synthesis of the US and Mexican cultural legacies of the nineteenth century. Jill chose to live and work in Mexico City so that the local and national realities of present day Mexico might inform her scholarship. It has been an exercise in avoiding abstractions in favor of relationships, and it has been both fruitful and challenging. She is currently studying with professors at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and volunteering at the Casa de los Amigos Peace Center and Guesthouse where she lives with several friends and her family.