Please note that the deadline for the ALSCW Dissertation Fellowship and for the ALSCW Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center (for creative writers and translators) is February 15th. Below you’ll find information on both fellowships, as well as a short note by Florian Gargaillo (sponsored by Bonnie Costello, Boston U.), who was awarded the dissertation fellowship in 2017. Please share this information widely.
2018 ALSCW Dissertation Fellowship
The annual fellowship is designed to support an individual whose doctoral dissertation involves literary history and/or aesthetics (broadly defined) by providing a three week residency at a cabin nestled on nine acres in the mountains of West Virginia. Preference is given to candidates whose dissertation is at an advanced stage. The cabin is fully equipped and has Internet service. The dates of the residency are flexible and to be determined by the fellowship recipient in consultation with the ALSCW. Applicants must submit a C.V., a chapter of their dissertation, a two page description of the entire dissertation, and a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s dissertation adviser. Materials should be submitted online to email@example.com with the heading ALSCW Fellowship on the subject line of the email. Additional references and an occupancy agreement may be required. All applicants must be members of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member of the ALSCW. The deadline for submission is February 15th. The recipient of the fellowship will be notified by mid-March. Membership information is available on on our website.
Note from the 2017 Dissertation Fellowship recipient, Florian Gargaillo:
“Last summer, I was fortunate to spend nearly a month writing in what can only be described as ideal conditions: a house to myself, in a beautiful setting, free of distraction (in this age of distractions). As with most experiments, the prospect was a little intimidating: though I liked to think of myself as fairly independent, I had assumed that being by myself for three weeks, several miles from the nearest town, would be a challenge. (After eight years in “the States,” I have become pretty well Americanized, save for the fact that I still do not know how to drive.) Yet once there it was remarkably easy to settle into a routine, writing in the morning and afternoon, and going for a walk midday to clear my head. The cabin was at the top of the highest mountain in the county, with a sweeping view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which constantly shifted colors—just the right kind of distraction when I found myself stuck on a page and needing to step back.
What this fellowship gave me was the space—and the mental space—to devote myself solely to writing. This would seem intrinsic to graduate school in its last stages, but is in fact quite hard to come by. Not only was there more time to write, and fewer other tasks to attend to, but I was able to really, fully inhabit the project, so that even my midday walks became a part of the day’s work, allowing me to keep thinking until I was ready to write again. By the time I left the cabin, I had a complete dissertation and felt ready for the next stage. I am deeply grateful to the ALSCW for the opportunity, and hope the fellowship will continue well into the future.”
Florian Gargaillo is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Boston University, where he studies modern and contemporary poetry. His dissertation, Echo & Critique: Poetry and Political Doublespeak after World War II, analyzes how postwar poets responded to the political doublespeak of their era by taking specific phrases (such as “transfer of population,” “service the target,” or “revenue enhancement”), and then drawing out their implications and complicating them within a poem. At the same time, Echo & Critique argues that poets used this technique to weigh their own susceptibility to the clichés of public discourse. Beyond the dissertation, Florian has published articles (or has articles forthcoming) in Literary Imagination, MLQ, Essays in Criticism, The Yale Review, and The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. He has also reviewed contemporary poetry for PN Review, Chicago Review, and Rain Taxi.