Department of English

Graduate Student Katharine Beutner Wins 2010-2011 AAUW American Fellowship

Tue, June 22, 2010

The English Department congratulates graduate student Katharine Beutner on being selected by the AAUW to hold a 2010-2011 American Dissertation Fellowship. The $20,000 fellowship is part of the AAUW's oldest and largest grant and fellowship program. Since 1888, the American Fellows program has supported female scholars as they complete doctoral dissertations, conduct postdoctoral research, or finish research for publication. Fellowships are awarded to qualified candidates on the basis of scholarly excellence, teaching experience, and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research. American Fellows have long maintained a legacy of important contributions to scholarship and society; previous Fellows include writer Susan Sontag, psychologist Joyce Brothers, and astronaut Judith Resnick.

Katharine will also receive the Philanthropic Educational Organization's $15,000 Scholar Award. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, established in 1991, provides educational awards for women of the United States and Canada who are either pursuing a doctoral level degree or are engaged in postdoctoral study research at an accredited college, university, or institution. In selecting recipients of these competitive, merit-based Scholar Awards, the board of trustees for P.E.O. Scholar Awards evaluates each application based on scholarly excellence, academic achievements, academic career goals, and the potential of applicant to make a significant contribution to her field. Katharine won the additional honor of being designated one of six P.E.O. Named Scholars, earning the title Carolyn Lindley Cooley, Ph.D., Named P.E.O. Scholar for 2010-2011.

Katharine Beutner completed an MA in creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is currently a PhD student in eighteenth-century British literature. Her first novel, 'Alcestis,' written during the MA program, was published earlier this year. In her dissertation, entitled "Writing for Pleasure or Necessity: Conflict among Literary Women, 1700-1750," she is examining autobiographical works by female authors such as Delarivier Manley, Martha Fowke Sansom, Eliza Haywood, and Laetitia Pilkington. In spring 2010, she received a Maureen Decherd Fellowship from the English Department to support her dissertation writing. Thanks to the PEO Scholar Award and AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship, she will spend the 2010-2011 academic year completing her dissertation and working on a new historical novel, tentatively titled 'Killingly,' about the disappearance of a Mt. Holyoke College student in 1897.

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