Rigorous summer programs at prestigious Ivy League institutions were the focus this summer for two University of Mississippi doctoral students in English.
Tara McLellan of Montgomery, Ala., participated in the Future of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College, while Sallie Anglin of Monticello, Fla., studied in the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University. Selected from a competitive field of applicants from across the nation and around the world, the women agree their experiences were “intense, yet ultimately satisfying.”
“The weeklong institute was extremely beneficial to me in my research,” McLellan said. “I found the scholarly discussions fascinating and am sure data I gathered will prove very useful in my study of contemporary Southern literature and religion in the Global South.”
Anglin, who is studying Renaissance and medieval studies, described her experience in much the same way. “My six weeks in the school was a fabulously exhausting intellectual labor,” she said. “I was given the opportunity to study with Leela Ghandi of the University of Chicago, and several other scholars whom I highly respect.”
The FASI continued its four-year focus on “Reconfigurations of American Studies.” Participants were both scholars who are well known as Americanists internationally and those whose theoretical frameworks, objects of study and disciplinary inclinations promise to transform the field’s self-understanding.
In its 14th year, the institute is designed to provide a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participant’s work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential scholars. Over the past 10 years, plenary speakers have recommended participants’ work to the leading journals and university presses within the field of American Studies, and have provided participants with recommendations and support in an increasingly competitive job market.
Anglin joined faculty and graduate students from around the world gathered at the SCT this summer to study literature, the arts, humanities and related social sciences exploring recent developments in literary and humanistic studies.
The SCT was founded in 1976 by a group of leading literary scholars convinced that an understanding of theory is fundamental to humanistic studies. Today, in an unparalleled summer campus experience, the school offers professors and advanced graduate students of literature and related social sciences a chance to work with pre-eminent figures in critical thought, exploring literature’s relationship with history, art, anthropology and the law; examining its role in ideological and cultural movements; and reassessing theoretical approaches that have emerged over the last 50 years. Cornell also offers participants the use of its research library, one of the greatest research libraries in the U.S.
Ivo Kamps, chair and professor of English at UM, praised both McLellan and Anglin as being exceptional students.
“Sallie Anglin and Tara McLellan are two of the English department’s most talented Ph.D. students,” Kamps said. “Their recent success bears witness to the growing strength of our department.”
McLellan earned her bachelor’s from Millsaps College and her master’s from the University of Iowa. President of the UM Graduate Student Council, she is a member of the Southern American Studies Association’s Executive Board and the American Studies Association Student Committee. She teaches courses in both freshman English and Modern American literature, having previously taught English at high schools in Montgomery and Charlotte, N.C. Her research subject is “Charismatic Christianity in Literature of the Global South.”
Anglin received her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and her master’s from the Hudson-Strode Program for Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. She volunteers in the Ole Miss Writing Center, teaches yoga classes at UM’s Turner Center and is redesigning the English department’s Web site. She teaches courses in Shakespeare and early British and world literature. She previously taught at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C. Her research subject is “Generative Space: The Body, the Self and the City in Early Modern Stage”.
Both McLellan and Anglin, who are preparing for their comprehensive examinations this fall, said the English department’s national reputation for quality, along with its caring and professional faculty, drew them to the university.
“I had a teaching assistantship at the University of Iowa, but after only a few months there I knew it wasn’t the right place for me,” McLellan said. “Once I visited Ole Miss, I fell in love with everything about it.”
Likewise, Anglin said, “My professors continue to provide me with an absolutely amazing educational experience. It’s like being part of a family where I receive both the support and the constructive criticism needed to enhance my professional growth.”
For more information about the Department of English, visit https://www.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ or call 662-915-7439.