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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature

Bilinski Fellowship Awarded to Four English Department Graduate Students

Dean Clement, Anthony Stagliano, Michael Weisenburg, and Erica Fischer awarded the Bilinski Fellowship

This year’s Bilinski Fellowship, a highly competitive award, goes to Dean Clement, Erica Fischer, Anthony Stagliano and Michael Weisenburg, all graduate students in the English Department working on the last stages of their doctoral dissertations.

This significant research grant will afford them the opportunity to devote themselves exclusively to research and writing for the duration of the 2014-2015 academic year.

“The Bilinski Fellowship put my graduate school goals within reach,” says Dean Clement who is working on his thesis entitled Anarchic Wills: The Individual and Political Authority in Shakespeare and Milton, which examines the interplay of political philosophy and imaginative literature in the seventeenth century to explain the period’s emerging notions of individualism.

Michael Weisenburg, whose dissertation explores issues of national allegiances and the images of British American loyalists in nineteenth-century American literature, says that becoming a Bilinski Fellow means “the opportunity for me to focus on my research and write the best dissertation I am capable of. In addition, I will also be able to revise and prepare parts of the manuscript for publication in national journals in my field.”

Erica Fischer expects to complete her Ph.D. thesis, Exceptional Modernisms: Conceptual Writing in Composition-Rhetoric, during this grant period. Her research addresses the question of how rhetoric and composition needs to re-conceptualize its understanding of modernism in order to foster productive pedagogies in step with the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Anthony Stagliano’s dissertation, Tactical Encounters: Material Rhetoric and the Politics of Tactical Media, is an innovative work of scholarship on digital culture which will add its important contribution to the emerging theories of material rhetoric that suggest that matter, body, space, place, and even technological objects all have an active role in the process of rhetorical change.

“I feel deeply honored and fortunate to have won this fellowship,” was Anthony’s response to the news of being selected for the Bilinski grant. “I believe my work will be infinitely deepened by having this fellowship. I am thankful to the department, the Dean’s office, and, of course, the Bilinski Foundation for this award and vote of confidence.”

“Getting into a great program like South Carolina is hard, but so is getting out!,” Dean Clement pointed out. And he might be representing feelings shared by the other Fellows as well when he says, “The time and money the Bilinski has given me will help me finish a dissertation I just wouldn’t have been able to write otherwise; and a dissertation that is well researched and well written will mean a lot for my academic future after I finish the Ph.D.”

The Bilinski Education Foundation’s grants are offered by invitation only to top-ranked public universities and awarded to students in English, History, and Linguistics.