Cates Baldridge

Cates Baldridge

Plowswords: Literature and the Agricultural Trap from Shakespeare to Coetzee 
(University of Virginia Press, July 2024)

“Race and the Human Origins Debate in Frankenstein” 
(The Journal of Literature and Science, forthcoming 2024)

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Timothy Billings

Ezra Pound Society Book Prize
for Ezra Pound’s Cathay: A Critical Edition (Fordham UP, 2020)


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Dan Brayton

Named a Visiting Fellow in the Blue Humanities at Sea Education Association of Wood’s Hole, MA for February-March, 2024.

“Bugs Aquatic: Water Striders from Moffett to Marine Science.”
In Lesser Living Creatures of the Renaissance: Volume 1, Insects, eds. Keith Botelho and Joe Campana. College Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2023. 216-229.

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Megan Mayhew-Bergman

How Strange a Season (2022) 
Featured as a New York Times Editor’s Choice and in the New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022 list, and long-listed for the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates Fiction Prize and The Story Prize.

Can a Museum Embody Environmental Justice? 
In The Guardian. 8 Feb. 2023.

How Allan Gurganus Became a Writer
In the New Yorker. 4 Apr. 2023. 

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Spring Ulmer

Tupelo Press 2022 Dorset Prize

for Phantom Number: An Abecedarium for April


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Sam Gordon Wexler ’23.5

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

The Thomas J. Wat­son Fel­low­ship is a one-year grant for pur­pose­ful, inde­pen­dent explo­ration out­side the U.S., award­ed to grad­u­at­ing seniors.

Engaging with different end-of-life care practices and funeral traditions, Sam plans to understand the cultural and social attitudes, and the healthcare systems, that shape how we die, to catalyze changes in care that redefine a ‘good death.’ As of right now, Sam will be traveling to the United Kingdom, Ghana, India, and Switzerland beginning in August.

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Emma Tzotschew ’23.5

James M. Meyer Grant (2022)

The English Department awards annually up to two Winter Term travel stipends of $2,000-$4,000 each for students who wish to pursue a nonfiction creative writing project during January.

“While Catalina [California] was a new landscape to explore, I also explored the landscapes of emotion and memory, with attention to the ways in which familial tension, understanding, and memory are then mediated through the physical landscape.” 

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Tasha Deen ’25

Kellogg Fellowship
Awarded to support senior work and original research in the humanities related to a student’s major program of study.

Tasha received the fellowship in support of her thesis in English Literature, ‘Finding Ourselves: Women’s Voices in Twentieth Century Irish Short Fiction’. She will spend part of the summer living in Dublin, Ireland, studying the short stories of Mary Lavin and Edna O’Brien. Advised by Professor Graves, Tasha’s critical thesis seeks to explore Irish women’s lives and subsequent narratives written by women during the mid-late twentieth century.

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Sydney Jaazer Smith ’24.5

Ingram Senior Work Award (Fall 2024) 

The Ingram Senior Work Award of up to $1000 will support activities associated with students’ senior work, including but not limited to trips to museums, archives, libraries, conferences, or other specialized workshops. Money could also be used for software or other necessary equipment, or for specialized training.

“Examining Ann Radcliffe’s oeuvre, I intend to use the author’s aesthetic distinction between ‘terror’ and ‘horror’ to contextualize the gendered anxieties presented in the Female Gothic. Engaging with these literary works through a postcolonial lens, I hope to interrogate the gendered constructions of Radcliffe’s characters and provide a framework through which we can better understand the enduring objectives, implications, and significance of the Female Gothic.”

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Maya Teiman ’25

Dissolution Writing Competition Winner 

Inspired by her Environmental Literature Workshop class with professor Spring Ulmer, Maya received this award in recognition of one of her short stories on community interactions with renewable energy. The winning essay “The Turbines” focuses on the issues faced by a rural community in Northeastern Brazil due to the sounds of nearby wind turbines. This essay is a part of a bigger project in development, aiming to showcase how communities around the world interact with the energy transition. 

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Abigail Hillebrecht ’24

Henry B. Prickitt English Prize
Awarded to a graduating senior whose work in the Department of English has been outstanding.

Professor Spring Ulmer writes: [Abby’s] nonfiction thesis is a complex work that deserves recognition. What a labor of love it is! Over the years [she’s] been my student, I’ve come to know [her] hometown of Stafford almost as well as I’ve come to know [her]. [Abby’s] memoir-in-essays, and the absolute surprise to later find [herself] winning a scholarly prize at Oxford, demonstrates [her] own humble steadfastness.

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Acadia Klepeis ’24

Mary Dunning Thwing Prize
Awarded to a female student who, in her junior or senior year, has done the best work in English composition, prose, and poetry.

Professor Cates Baldridge writes: “Working with [Acadia] was a joyful voyage of discovery which resulted in a critical work of which [she] should be immensely proud.  As for the larger English Department, the Thwing Prize represent[s] both our thanks to [Acadia] for being such an exemplary and inspiring student, and our confidence that [her] subsequent life in letters will be a productive and rewarding one.

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Arthur Lyu ’24

Reid L. Carr Class of 1901 Prize
Awarded to the senior man who has shown the greatest proficiency in English literature.

Faculty in the department agree that Arthur is an accomplished scholar, he writes clearly and beautifully, and he is forthright about his interests, yet takes criticism gracefully. 

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Margaret Mead-McCaughan ’24

Stolley-Ryan American Literature Prize
Awarded to the graduating senior majoring in American literature whose work in the department best reveals the greatest understanding and appreciation of the issues central to the American literary tradition.

Professor Brett Millier writes: “I have never had a more thoughtful student or worked with a more natural scholar.  Every paper [Margaret] wrote was a revelation to me, and several of my colleagues say the same.”  

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Natalie Penna ’24

Donald Everett Axinn ‘51 Annual Prize
Awarded by the writing program faculty to a junior or senior student whose work has been distinguished and warrants special encouragement. 

Professor Karin Gottshall writes: Natalie’s thesis, Hyena Songs, is incredibly accomplished. The synthesis of personal, historical, and cultural grief is beautifully calibrated in the collection—but she also offers a great deal of hope. She investigates and creates possibilities for meaning and wholeness through gestures of curiosity, careful attention, and empathy.

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Kate Sadoff ’23.5

Charles Baker Wright Prize
Awarded to students for meritorious work in English.

Professor Spring Ulmer writes: Kate’s dedication to creative writing—from her Covid-era online Advanced Nonfiction Writing class to the absolute sheer force of her scientific, art forward nonfiction thesis investigation into lithium mining in the Salton Sea region—is truly wondrous. 

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Madeline Shean ’24

Charles Baker Wright Prize
Awarded to students for meritorious work in English.

Professor Will Nash writes: “I have seen [Maddie] grow as a reader, thinker, and writer across [her] years at Middlebury; I will treasure memories of lots of deep, thoughtful, and energizing conversations about African American literature and art. Simply put, [Maddie is] the kind of student who makes this job so very worthwhile.”

Kaela Loftus ’24.5

Kellogg Fellowship
Awarded to support senior work and original research in the humanities related to a student’s major program of study.