Department of English

Scholarship Awards

Thu, November 1, 2007
Michelle Ty, Patrick McKelvey and Philip Johnson have won the Rapoport-King Fellowships AND Michelle and Patrick have also won The Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award.

Included are their thesis titles and short descriptions. Congratulations to all!

Michelle Ty ''Theory is a Theory is a Theory: The Ethics of Experimental Narrative in Virginia Woolf's The Waves and Gertrude Stein's Ida, A Novel.''

This project places ethics and literary theory in dialogue with one another through readings of two modernist novels, Virginia Woolf's The Waves and Gertrude Stein's Ida, a Novel. I argue that certain aesthetic choices—the ''plotlessness,'' the contradictory temporal order, the uncharacteristic detachment of the narrator, and the resistance to generic classification—were, in fact, theoretically motivated. These formal innovations not only have consequences for contemporary narrative theory— such as the challenge they pose to the separation of story from discourse —but they also direct our attention away from plot and toward acts of storytelling. By foregrounding these narrative transactions, they ask us to understand narrative acts as ethical acts, and in doing so, dismantle the theory-practice divide.

Patrick McKelvey ''Strange Legacies of Thought and Passion'': Oscar Wilde, Affective Archives, and Late Twentieth Century Queer Public Cultures

My thesis unites three necessarily eclectic texts--a musical (A Man of No Importance), a glam rock film (Velvet Goldmine) and a multi-genre book (Who Was That Man?: A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde) in a scholarly conversation for the first time, arguing that they collectively comprise a queer archive in which contemporary queer men negotiate their affective relationships to queer history through their idiosyncratic (and often obsessive) preoccupations with Oscar Wilde.

Philip Johnson

''Franz Kafka's American Critical Reception and Later Postmodern Reinterpretations.''

In my thesis I intend to explain how Franz Kafka, a Czech who wrote stories of intense alienation and finished only one of his novels, has carved such a prominent place in the minds of the American readership over the past seven decades.

The Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarships honor Audre and Bernard Rapoport and Robert D. King, former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Audre and Bernard Rapoport of Waco, Texas have provided an endowment that enables the College of Liberal Arts to provide scholarship and research support for those students who are writing a thesis in one of the Departmental Honors Programs the year they apply.

The Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (URFs) is to provide support for scholarly research projects conducted by UT Austin undergraduate students. Fellowships are intended to cover costs associated with independent research projects.
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