Class of 2021 Kling Fellows Announced

The Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship is excited to welcome its 2019–21 cohort. The seven fellows, accepted as sophomores, will pursue two-year independent research projects in the humanities or humanistic social sciences under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

The breadth of projects — from examining the relationship between typography and linguistics to ethnographic studies of trans-exclusionary practices in contemporary North American Paganism — reflects the commitment of the Center for the Humanities to interdisciplinary inquiry and collaboration. The new cohort of fellows will participate in a weekly seminar to workshop and review drafts of one another’s work and interact with faculty and graduate fellows at the humanities center. They were selected for their scholarly excellence and promise to conduct original research.

Class of 2021 Kling Fellows. Not pictured: Elizabeth Schwartz.
  • L Cohen (Linguistics and Communication Design) will study a potential relationship between the graphic form of letters in the Latin alphabet and their phonetic categorization (vowel or consonant).
  • Grace MacArthur (Sociology and Comparative Literature) will study the intersection of transphobia and cissexism with feminist spirituality in Pagan literature, online discourse, and lived experience.
  • Nicci Mowszowski (German and International & Area Studies) will explore the role that memorial language plays in constructing and reflecting distinct cultural memories of the Holocaust. 
  • Efua Osei (African & African-American Studies and Political Science) will examine illustrations of Black love and Black romantic relationships through popular Black cultural productions of the ’90s to investigate depictions of femininity, respectability politics, and the romantic realities of Black women.
  • Elizabeth Schwartz (English and History) will examine the commodification of authors of color in the global literary marketplace and the possibility of metafictional narratives to subvert those trends. 
  • Kaysie Wachs (Religious Studies and Classics) will analyze how Mary Magdalene was portrayed in early Christian texts and how she is used by modern feminists scholars to debate women’s authority in Christianity.  
  • Hannah Ward (History and Art History & Archaeology) will research ethical methods practiced by museums surrounding the possession of these pieces of art in American museums and investigate why some of these pieces have not yet been returned.

The cohort’s projects will almost certainly change over the course of the fellowship, part of the process as each one sharpens and often reorients their research questions and goals. We look forward to seeing everything the new Kling Fellows will accomplish!

Seth Blum is program assistant for the Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Program.