The NVSA Diversity Mentorship Program seeks to enrich the field of Victorian studies by paving the way for a more inclusive professoriate that is representative of the populations we teach and serve. The program is especially geared towards graduate students of color, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and trans/non-binary scholars whose work engages with critical race theory, postcolonial and transatlantic scholarship, disabilities studies, or related topics. Each cohort of mentors and mentees will provide a mutual support network while offering a platform to discuss professionalization issues and working towards equality in the field.

The program pairs graduate students with a faculty mentor in October. Students will receive feedback on a piece of scholarship and attend the annual NVSA conference in April with registration, travel, and lodging expenses defrayed. Students should submit one conference- or article-length paper and will receive comments from their mentor prior to the conference. Mentees will also be offered the opportunity to publish their revised paper online at the V21 Collective in a forum with responses.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in an M.A. or Ph.D program, and the work submitted must be in the field of long nineteenth-century studies. Please note that an application to the Mentorship Program is wholly separate from a submission to present a paper at the NVSA conference itself. Graduate students are most welcome to apply to both, and their applications will be considered independently.

Click here for complete details of the NVSA Diversity Mentorship Program for 2019-2020

Click here for the NVSA Mentorship Application for 2019-2020

Applications are due September 15, 2019!

2018-19 Mentees:

Xinqiang Chang is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University of Rhode Island. He is currently working on his dissertation titled Fantasizing Reproduction: the Biologization of the Desire for Progress in Victorian Literature. His doctoral project investigates the significations of reproduction in Victorian literature through the lens of temporality.

Beth Hightower is a Ph.D. student in English at Rutgers University specializing in the Victorian novel. Her research interests constellate around character, narration, psychoanalysis, trauma studies, and ethics.

Sungmey Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University, having previously completed her MA at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Her dissertation examines mid- to late- nineteenth-century novels that nostalgically look backward to the pastoral mode to engage with shifting conceptions of Englishness in the period. Relying on anthropological and psychological discourses that gave rise to the Victorian novel’s continued imagination of the pastoral revival in the 1850s to 1890s, her project identifies the nostalgia for the pastoral as the site where racial, national, and imperial attitudes are expressed. She was awarded the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship to teach the course “Mind, Body, and Materialist Science in Victorian Literature.” She has also taught “The Literature of the Fallen Woman” in the English Department and courses in the Expository Writing Program.

Yangjung Lee is interested in the formation of national and imperial identity in nineteenth-century literature, especially in terms of Britain’s informal empire in Latin America. Her current research investigates the legacies of Britain’s compensated emancipation (1833) in the Atlantic world.

Christian Lewis is a second year Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work mostly explores the intersections of disability, gender, and sexuality in Victorian literature, with a special focus on sensation fiction. He teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Christian is also a theater critic published in Huffington Post, Medium, Broadway World, and American Theatre Magazine. 

Austin Lim is an M.A. student in English at San Francisco State University. Austin’s thesis explores nineteenth-century understandings of Singapore and its archipelagic contexts. Austin is currently interested in race, globalization, and equitable writing center practice.

Tani Loo was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her interests include contemporary fiction, Asian American literature, and 18th and 19th-century British literature.

Margaret A. Miller is a Ph.D. student in English literature at the University of California, Davis and an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Literatures and Languages Department at Mills College. Their research areas include queer theory, ecocriticism, narratology, and postcolonial theory.

Leslie Pearson is currently working on her dissertation in the English department at the University of South Carolina where she teaches courses centered on ethics and advocacy. Her teaching and research both attend to the development of dominant discourses and the ways in which those discourses are taken up, circulated, and contested at the level of the individual. Specifically, her dissertation focuses on the development of maternal ideals during the long nineteenth century and how those ideals were consolidated around the breast as breastfeeding became a sign of proper middle-class motherhood. She is excited to be part of the introductory cohort and looks forward to applying her experiences as a first-generation college student to her teaching in the hopes of continuing to diversify higher education.

Bianca Perez-Cancino is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University’s English department. She is working on a dissertation that examines captain/sailor dynamics in Victorian maritime fiction. The project considers the ways middle-class sailors managed, through a shifting concept of disobedience, to assert themselves as self-governing men while also staying within the accepted norms of institutional authority. She has presented on topics such as Victorian generational dynamics, naval masculinity, and domesticity at sea, and she teaches courses that focus on the relationship between sports and society.

Eun (Sam) Shim is a Master’s student in English Literature at Sogang University (Seoul, South Korea), and she is currently writing her thesis on Charlotte Brontë’s Villette. Shim is passionate about conducting research that challenges Eurocentrism and is interested in how Victorian Studies may provide insight into contemporary issues. Shim has presented her research at several conferences, including PAMLA and MMLA.

Yumi Dineen Shiroma is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Rutgers University. Her interests include postcolonial theory and literature, theories of the novel, realism, and postcolonial transformations of and responses to the Victorian novel.

Sezen Unluonen is a PhD candidate at the Harvard English department. Her research is located at the intersection of nineteenth-century theories of art, novelistic practice and historiography. She is also the author of the Turkish novel, Kiymetli Seylerin Tanzimi (The Arrangement of Worthy Things).

Krithika Vachali is a Ph.D. student in the English Department at Cornell University. Her work looks at the interplay between collection practices, natural history, and British imperialism in the long nineteenth century. Recent projects have included creating an index for The Foreign Quarterly Review using digital text analysis methods to make the category of “the foreign” more legible to modern readers and work on botanical classification, gender, and imperialism situated in British botanical gardens in the nineteenth century.