Meet the Fellows: 2016 Newcombe Fellow Annie Galvin

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This is one of a series of posts featuring Fellows from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation network.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for Ph. D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values. The 2016 class of Fellows includes University of Virginia doctoral candidate Annie Galvin, whose mixed interest guides her work in English:

I’ve always been equal parts bookworm and visual media fan, trying to reconcile my perspective of how the world looks inside the pages of a novel with how reality gets refracted through photographs, films, TV shows, and the varied flotsam and jetsam of contemporary Internet culture. I currently research representations of political violence in novels and visual media, and the difficulty of reconciling these different modes of viewing, ethically grappling with the world, preoccupies me and drives my work. My interest in this particular topic grew out of experiences living, working, and studying literature in Ireland, where histories of violent conflict haunt the culture, the landscape, and current politics. Volunteering in a therapeutic organic farming community in rural Kilkenny one summer, I recall trying to square the tranquil plot of land we were planting with the poems I was reading by Seamus Heaney, who compares a spade to a pen to a gun in a single stanza. We live today awash in images of conflict and disaster, yet so much else happens out of sight. I am hopeful that by remaining open to a constellation of different ways of encountering the world—through literary texts, visual representations, political theory, personal narratives, and other approaches—we can think about how to engage more responsibly and ethically with the conditions in which we find ourselves and others.

On another note, I’m also interested in how academics can communicate beyond our own fields and profession. When I find time, I like to write about music, books, and theater for various journalistic outlets. Every now and then, it’s fun to do work that gets me out of the office, classroom, or library!

Ms. Galvin’s dissertation title is Violence and Visual Media in the Contemporary Global Novel. For more information on the 2016 Newcombe Fellows and to see a list of their dissertation titles, click here.


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