2020-2021 Bilinski Fellowship

2020-21 Bilinski Fellowship

Posted: June 9, 2020

With a fifth gift of $470,000, the Bilinski Educational Foundation will continue to recognize excellent doctoral students in the humanities at UNM. Forty-six doctoral students have already completed their dissertations and degrees supported by the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowships.

The seven dissertations now being written by the 2020-2021 UNM Bilinski Fellows stand out for their potential impact on both scholarship and community.

Candolin Cook (History), focuses on social and cultural histories of the American West, with an emphasis on myth, memory, and popular culture. Her dissertation provides a microhistory of an incident that took place in the Arizona-Sonora border region in the late 1920s, involving the kidnapping of a Mexican boy by Apaches, the American expedition to recover him, and the media frenzy that ensued.

Jerry Lavin (English), focuses on the interactions between textual and oral cultures in the middle ages. His dissertation analyzes the use of oral rhetoric in the works of the Venerable Bede, arguing that the introduction of literacy did not present a binary choice, but rather functioned as one disruptive element among many within the established but dynamic oral culture of seventh-century England.

Marcel Lebow (Philosophy), is developing a critical interface between the earlier works of the 19th century German philosopher F.W.J. Schelling and some of the contemporary research done in the philosophy of mind. Central to his dissertation is the claim that Schelling offers a prescient articulation of a theory of mind investigated today under the heading of “panprotopsychism,” arguing that Schelling’s theory offers a cohesive set of technical solutions to several interrelated problems within recent research.

Lauren Perry (English), analyzes the work of prominent environmentalists and animal activist writers of fiction and creative nonfiction that, through animal studies readings, also establish critical conceptions of animal counterparts in the environment. Her dissertation, “Animal Texts: Critical Animal Concepts in Environmental Literature for the Anthropocene” illustrates the critical contribution environmental literature makes to animal studies and animal conservation and redefines the Humanities’ role in environmentalism.

David Puthoff (English), examines how in several key texts African American authors theorize and practice solidarity in the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras. Drawing on political philosophy, historical context, affect theory, African American print culture studies, and above all, the primary texts, his dissertation explores how authors such as Frederick Douglass, Francis Harper, Harriet Wilson, and Martin Delany imagined characters recognizing common interests across class and race lines and contributes to a still-emerging scholarly understanding of solidarity as a political emotion and a social practice.

Idris Robinson (Philosophy), presents and inquiry into the role of paradigms and logical morphology in both the early and the mature philosophical contributions of Ludwig Wittgenstein. In particular, his dissertation aims to elucidate the realist and materialist ontological status of paradigms throughout Wittgenstein’s corpus and to explain how it figures in an expansive and rigorous philosophical methodology based on analogy and comparison.

Moises Santos (History), explores the use of newspapers, theater, and independent schools by Chicanx activists in the mid-20th century to educate their communities. His dissertation argues that the history of these alternative educational mediums adds to the history of the struggle for equitable and culturally relevant education among Chicanx communities and adds to the understanding of the historical and ongoing struggle to reform and resist racist, oppressive, and marginalizing institutions of learning in the American Southwest.

The University of New Mexico invites advanced doctoral students in the UNM graduate programs of American Studies, English, Foreign Languages & Literature, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Spanish & Portuguese to apply for a Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship. These newly established fellowships in the College of Arts & Sciences provide valuable financial support for top, meritorious doctoral students with demonstrated financial need who are conducting research for, and or completing, their doctoral dissertations.