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English professor awarded fellowship at The British Library


 
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SUMMARY: English professor Katey Castellano was awarded a visiting fellowship at The British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies, where she will track the influence of the Black British writer Robert Wedderburn.


Katey Castellano, a professor of English, was awarded a visiting fellowship at the British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. The Eccles Centre advances new research in North American literature, history, politics and culture. The award will support a month-long residency at the British Library.

Castellano is particularly interested in how Black Caribbean strategies of communal, land-based freedom migrated to London in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. During her residency, Castellano will track the influence of the Black British writer Robert Wedderburn through rare pamphlets and ephemera, such as handbills and broadsides. She will also investigate depictions of Jamaican communal “provision grounds” in natural histories and maps in The British Library’s Caribbean collections. 

The research undertaken at The British Library is for her book project, Romantic Commons: Literary Resistance to Enclosure in Great Britain and the Caribbean, 1750-1850, which brings to light transatlantic literature that protests the growth of large-scale plantation agriculture. The project reframes Romantic literature’s focus on nature and the “common man” by focusing on influential but underexplored Black and lower-class writers who advocated for common, shared, subsistence-based communities.

Castellano received one of 29 fellowships from a field of over 180 applicants. The residency will take place when British Library reopens and it is safe to travel (before April 2023).

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Published: Thursday, September 24, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, September 25, 2020

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