Our new CMRS-CEGS Supplemental Recruitment Fellowships to departments assist in the process of bringing new graduate students to UCLA. The awards, consisting of up to $5,000 a year for two years, will help support newly admitted graduate students for the 2021-22 academic year. The student must have expressed a commitment to pursue studies in some aspect of early modern studies and plan to study under the mentorship of a CMRS-CEGS faculty.
Jonathan Pieter Van Niel is an incoming English PhD student from University of California, Riverside, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English in Spring 2020. His research interests include critical race studies, early modern drama, performance studies, premodern travel literature, theater history, visual arts and material cultures, rhetoric, and embodiment and affect. As a Shakespeare student, he deals with portrayals of “Black” characters on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages and elucidates how whiteness engages in confirmation bias of racial stereotypes through these performances. He is the recipient of a University Doctoral Fellowship. He also received a travel grant to attend “Appropriations: A RaceB4Race Symposium,” was a panelist for the Shakespeare Association of America’s “Teaching American Moor in American Classrooms,” and was a co-discussant for Race and the Premodern Period’s “American Moor: A Conversation about Racial Trauma.” He plans to pursue a dissertation focused on constructions of race in early modern English culture.
Peter Thomas is an incoming History PhD student studying the history of European political thought–and thought in general–chiefly in those centuries we have learned to call “early modern.” At bottom, he asks how politics emerged and metamorphosed as a discrete, historically-constituted sphere of knowledge and activity in this period. To date, he has written mostly on the political thought of the English Renaissance and Reformation. His undergraduate thesis, “Aristotelianism and English Political Thought: Variations on an Elizabethan Theme,” won the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and the Creative Arts at Stanford University. An essay on the common law mind of the 16th-century barrister Christopher St. German appeared in the Tufts Historical Review in 2020. His interests range broadly, conceptually and geographically, encompassing the history of early modern republicanism (classical or not), humanism (civic or not), theories of liberty (positive or negative), and political thought of the Italian Renaissance.