English Doctoral Candidate Wins 2019 Hudson Doctoral Award in the Humanities

Luis Paganelli Marin

Luis Paganelli Marin

Luis Paganelli Marin, doctoral candidate with the Department of English, has been awarded this year's Hudson Doctoral Award in the Humanities by the Graduate School and International Education.

The award of $1,500 is given each year to an exceptional doctoral student in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, English, History or Philosophy, who has only the dissertation left to write and defend and who is approximately one year away from graduation.

Paganelli Marin's dissertation, "Empire Rules: Cultures of U.S. Imperialism in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S.," reckons empire and culture within a literary space to specify how contemporary American literature reflects and constitutes imperial and colonial legacies while illustrating specific decolonizations of U.S. empire. 

Tracing the cultural movements of empire in contemporary multi-ethnic literature of the U.S. challenges the absence of imperial and colonial histories and the presentism of popular cultural narratives that limit or reify "American" history, politics, race, gender, sexuality and citizenship.

Using postcolonial theory as a framework, Paganelli Marin's dissertation aims to bring historical and social context into close proximity with contemporary American literature as a way to exemplify how these legacies are closer to our present moment than we think.

His dissertation analyzes cultures of U.S. imperialism in twenty-first century fiction and poetry from major traditions within American literature, including African American, Native American and Latinx literature.

Since U.S. empire has a specific relationship with each of these traditions, part of his methodology is performing archival research to better contextualize his interpretations of Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, There There by Tommy Orange, and The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, among others.


Leigh Sparks, assistant director, graduate programs
Department of English
479-575-5659, lxp04@uark.edu


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