Spotlights

Elizabeth Polcha

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Fields: Early American and Caribbean literature, digital humanities, and feminist theory

Dissertation: “Redacting Desire: The Sexual Politics of Colonial Science in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World”

Selected Achievements: Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year; Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; 2018 Northeastern University Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Teaching


Elizabeth Polcha is a doctoral candidate whose research interests include early American and Caribbean literature, digital humanities, and feminist theory. Her dissertation, “Redacting Desire: The Sexual Politics of Colonial Science in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World” (directed by Elizabeth Maddock Dillon), theorizes the redaction of interracial sexual encounters in colonial Caribbean writing. Liz draws inspiration for her dissertation research from her work on two digital projects housed at Northeastern: the Early Caribbean Digital Archive and the Women Writers Project.

Elizabeth was awarded the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality’s 2015 Mother Board Writing Prize for the best essay written by a graduate student in the Boston consortium. Elizabeth received the award for her paper, “Fiction as Archival Data: Building a Feminist Transatlantic Genealogy from Zora Neale Hurston to Erna Brodber.”

In 2017, Elizabeth was awarded a Helen Watson Buckner Memorial Fellowship to pursue research at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island. During her two-month fellowship, Elizabeth worked on her project, “Joanna, Johanna, Giovanna: the Circulation of John Gabriel Stedman’s Surinam Marriage.”

Most recently, Elizabeth was awarded a prestigious Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year. She has also been named a Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for the coming year. In April 2018, Elizabeth was honored with a 2018 Northeastern University Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Teaching.

Published On: June 13, 2018