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2016 International Fellows

Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research

International Fellows

WIHR was proud to host two international fellows who joined the University of Wyoming for scholarly activities in the autumn of 2016:

Kerstin Schmidt

Professor of English and Chair of American Studies at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

K. Schmidt pic

Cathryn Halverson

Associate Professor, Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen

C. Halverson pic

Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Schmidt was full professor of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Siegen/Germany. Kerstin studied at the Universities of Freiburg and of Massachusetts/Amherst (USA) and taught at the Universities of Freiburg and Bayreuth, at the University of Munich's "Amerika-Institut" as well as at Weber State University in Ogden, UT (USA). Scholarships and research stipends have brought her to Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Life and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, to Indiana University/Bloomington as well as to the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia/Vancouver in Canada. She is the author of The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama (Postmodern Studies 37; New York: Rodopi, 2005) and has published on modern American drama, ethnic literatures in the US and Canada, the Harlem Renaissance, race and Diaspora studies, as well as on media theory, especially on American radio culture. She co-edited the essay collection America and the Sea (2004) and has edited and contributed to Space in America: Theory History Culture (2005). She is also a founding member of the women's studies journal Freiburger FrauenStudien. Together with Martina Leeker and Derrick de Kerckhove, she edited McLuhan neu lesen: Kritische Analysen zu Medien und Kultur im 21. Jahrhundert (2008).

Prof. Schmidt is currently working on a book-length manuscript called "Negative Space and the Making of Modern America: Concepts of Space in American Literature, Architecture, and Photography (1850-1920)," investigating how notable reconfigurations of spatial aesthetic arrangements in American architecture, photography, and literature have shaped early modern American culture and contributed to a larger cultural aesthetic transformation that may have been instrumental to a shift towards a more open and democratic design in U.S. society and eventually to the making of modern America.

Dr. Cathryn Halverson received her B.A. in English at Williams College and Ph.D in American literature at the University of Michigan. Her first tenured job was at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Kobe, Japan, in the course of which she published Maverick Autobiographies: Women Writers and the American West (Wisconsin UP, 2004).  A research/teaching Fulbright in 2008 at the University of Bergen, Norway led to her present position as an Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; her second book, Playing House in the American West: Western Women’s Life Narratives, 1839-1987, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2013.  She is looking forward to writing about the West while actually living there.


Her book project, “Faraway Women and The Atlantic Monthly,” explores the texts, lives, and authorial careers of a group of working-class women writers from the American West who published their life narratives in the nation’s most prestigious literary magazine, The Atlantic Monthly.  Ellery Sedgwick, the editor they shared, dubbed these unlikely Atlantic contributors “Faraway Women.”  The study’s main subjects include Elinore Pruitt Stewart, a Wyoming homesteader; Opal Whiteley, an Oregon diarist; Hilda Rose, a farmer in Idaho and Alberta, Canada; and Juanita Harrison, an African American traveler based in Los Angeles and Waikiki.

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