2015-16 Public Fellows
Ashley Lonsdale Cook
Taliesin Preservation, Inc.
Ashley Lonsdale Cook is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History specializing in medieval art and Anglo-Saxon studies. Her dissertation “Monstrosity in Anglo-Saxon Art” looks at representations of monstrosity throughout various periods and media from the Anglo-Saxon Era with a focus on early medieval attitudes towards the body. The dissertation includes chapters on early medieval armor and jewelry, Insular gospel books, the hell-mouth motif in 11th-century manuscripts, and the Wonders of the East text. Ashley is a graduate of Rockford University (formerly Rockford College) earning a BA in Art History and an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to her training in medieval art history, she is also an affiliate of the Buildings, Landscapes, Cultures (BLC) Program through the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The BLC Program emphasizes research on the built environment and architecture, prioritizing field experience along with tradition classroom methods. This year Ashley will be working as the Tour Coordinator at Taliesin Preservation, Inc., helping to evaluate current tour offerings, reviewing tour demographics and developing new methods of sharing information at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
A PhD candidate in the Department of English, Devin Garofalo specializes in British Romantic and Victorian poetry. She explores these topics and more in her dissertation, “Open Worlds: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, Cosmological Forms, and the Politics of Fissure,” which looks at the intersections between nineteenth-century conceptions of “world” and a poetic experimentation with the open forms of the cosmos. She is also Co-Coordinator of the university’s Middle Modernity Group. A 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Devin conducted research at the Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton as a Visiting Fellow in June 2014. In 2014-2015, Devin managed the Great World Texts program, assisting over 500 Wisconsin high school students in examining and interpreting Rousseau's Confessions. In the fall semester, Devin will help facilitate educator workshops for the 16th-century Chinese novel, Journey to the West.
Lisa Hollenbach is a PhD candidate in English Literary Studies with research interests in American literature, poetry, and sound studies. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Literature (June 2015) and A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). Her dissertation, "Alternative Networks: Recording and Broadcasting American Poetry after 1945," investigates how poets, independent record labels, FM radio networks, and readers and listeners made poetry central to the sound of dissent in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2013-2014 recipient of a CLIR-Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources, Lisa has a love for libraries, archives, and reel-to-reel tape. As a Public Fellow, she will work with Rabble (co-founded by former Public Humanities Fellow Kelly Hiser) to connect public libraries and local music and arts communities through open-source software.
Overture Center for the Arts
Katie Lanning is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, "Volatile Forms: The Variance of Printed Prose, 1700-1830," studies the material and formal volatility of eighteenth-century literature, exploring the ways in which changing conceptions of nation, gender and power were registered in the shifting relationship between literary form and print format. She is a co-coordinator of the UW Middle Modernity Group and the PR coordinator for the English Department Graduate Student Association. In 2014, she performed research in the eighteenth-century periodicals archives at McMaster University as a McMaster-ASECS Fellow. This year, Katie will work with the Overture Center for the Arts to develop and evaluate public events, and research national and international trends in arts programming.
Wisconsin Humanities Council
Faron Levesque is a PhD candidate in the History Department, and specializes in social movements and the cultural history of gender. Her dissertation, "The Secret History of School: Alternative Academies, Revolutionary Imagination, and Educational Activism," begins from the premise that school is a contested site unlike any other in the United States, and examines how activists and workers have transformed the politics of schooling in 20th century North America. Her work reveals that a vast spectrum of activist women generated a long-lasting radical education movement, beginning with WWI and continuing throughout the 20th century. At UW, Faron founded the Radical Teacher Collective, and in May 2014 received the Department of History Meritorious Service Award. As a Public Fellow, Faron will work with the Wisconsin Humanities Council to play a leading role in designing and implementing a statewide initiative titled The Working Lives Project: Making a Living and Making a Life in Wisconsin.
Goodman Community Center
A PhD candidate in the Department of History, Chong Moua was born in Laos and came to the U.S. as refugees with her family in 1989. Her family settled in California where she grew up with six sisters and two brothers. Her research interests span questions of immigration, empire, race, gender, and citizenship during the Cold War. Her dissertation details a study on the ways in which Hmong refugees complicate the nationalist discourse of the United States as a nation of refuge for displaced immigrants. Recruited by the CIA as guerrilla fighters in a “secret army” to fight covertly in Laos during the Vietnam War, the Hmong suffered a loss of 30,000 lives but were later displaced as refugees along with their families. Chong configures the refugee citizen as “refugee” in its forced and violent displacement because of its military activity and “citizen” because of its ability to legally occupy as well as reinforce the bounds of citizenship. The (Hmong) refugee citizen figure exposes the dual framing of U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as one of both military and humanitarian necessity to, paradoxically, spread democracy through violence. This year, Chong will work with the Goodman Community Center to evaluate their existing program offerings, work to enhance connections with existing constituencies, and develop a method to collect stories and highlight the Goodman's ongoing community impact.
Manuel Herrero-Puertas is a PhD student in English (Literary Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Entitled Crippling the Body Politic: Disability and Nation-Making in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, his dissertation realigns disability studies and American studies by arguing that US identity is rooted in the centrality of the disabled body in the national sensorium. In his research, Manuel examines representations of disability in nationalist and imperialist contexts, recuperating the silenced subjectivities of people with disabilities whom political discourse has reduced to flat symbols. Other areas of interest include: travel narratives, early African American literature, and Childhood studies. His work has appeared in ATLANTIS and his essay “Freak Bodies Politic: Charles Stratton, Dred, and the Embodiment of National Innocence” is forthcoming in American Quarterly. In 2015-2016, Manuel will lead the Great World Texts in Wisconsin program as it tackles the 16th-century Chinese novel, Journey to the West.