Graduate Center English Alum Awarded NEH Summer Grant

Courtney Chatellier (Ph.D. '18, English) with her son, Luca

Courtney Chatellier (Ph.D. ’18, English), who currently teaches in the writing program at New York University, was awarded a summer grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to support two months of full-time work.
Chatellier will devote the time to working on her monograph, American Literature and the Politics of Translation in the Age of Revolutions, 1789-1815, which started out as her dissertation. “The literature of the early U.S. national period — the things that Americans were reading, not just what they were writing — included a lot of books imported from Europe, some translated, some in their original languages,” Chatellier says.
This linguistic diversity is often not recognized when considering early American literature, she says. Her book will examine early U.S. literature’s relationship to France during the era of the French and Haitian revolutions, a period when ideas about the meaning of equality, freedom, representation, and democracy were being debated. A large part of that discussion happened in French or in translations from French.
Because of the pandemic, Chatellier has been teaching remotely since mid-March. “It’s very strange because I was on maternity leave in the fall, so the first half of this semester felt like a return to a way of life that I had understood to be normal,” she says, “whereas it seems clear now that a lot of things that I took for granted were not the eternal structures I took them to be.”

Submitted on: APR 14, 2020

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