Graduate Fellows

The NeMLA Graduate Fellows Program provides graduate students with a unique opportunity to get practical experience in the working of a large academic convention and non-profit organization, as well as to establish professional connections with scholars across the Northeast.

2023-2024 Graduate Fellows

Jessica Lowell Mason.

Jessica Lowell Mason is a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in the Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University at Buffalo. During the 2020-2021 year, she was a graduate fellow with the College Consortium and the Coalition for Community Writing’s Herstory Training Institute and Fellowship Program, a year-long program in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University. In 2022, she served as the Hospitality Graduate Fellow with NeMLA and was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at the University at Buffalo. Jessica has taught courses in composition, rhetoric, and communication at Carl Sandburg College, Spoon River College, Western Illinois University, and Buffalo State College. She currently teaches courses related to writing and rhetoric, literature, gender, sexuality, culture, media literacy, and public policy at the University at Buffalo and through the Bard Prison Initiative. She is the author of Straight Jacket (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and co-editor of Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art (Vernon Press, 2022). Her essay, "Making Bedlam, Making Mayhem Method: Toward a Trauma-Informed Mad Feminist Literary Theory and Praxis" is forthcoming in Humanities (2023). She is the co-founder of Madwomen in the Attic, a feminist mental health literacy organization in Buffalo, NY and is the co-facilitator of an ongoing weekly writing workshop in partnership between MITA and the Herstory Writing Workshop, titled “Memoirs to (Re)Imagine Mental Healthcare.”

Sam King-Shaw.

Sam King-Shaw is a PhD student and teaching assistant in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Their research focuses on twentieth-century U.S. Black queer cultural production, examining the common themes, approaches, and social and political concerns that link cultural and artistic works across time and space. Sam is a Schomburg Fellow at UB and served as a UB Social Impact Fellow in 2022. Sam is also a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter All The Time (BLMA) Research Collective and PhotoVoice project, dedicated to highlighting the multidimensionality of identities and experiences of Black undergraduate students at predominately white institutions of higher learning.

Marie Dufay-Verbie.

Marie Dufay-Verbie comes from Paris, France. She is a 4th year PhD candidate in French and Francophone Studies at the University at Buffalo. Her research explores the intricate relationship between laughter, power, and violence in 19th-century French literature, as well as the contemporary manifestations of these themes in film and cultural studies. She is especially committed to understanding how laughter and its dynamics shape social power structures, challenge norms, and reflect broader cultural shifts. As a NeMLA Graduate Fellow, Marie is eager to collaborate with other scholars, contribute to the vibrant intellectual community, and actively participate in NeMLA conferences and events. 

Marietta Fernández López.

Marietta Fernández López is a PhD candidate at the University at Buffalo, SUNY in the Spanish Language and Literature program. She holds a MA in Caribbean Studies from UB and a B.A in Art History from the University of Havana. Her research interests include Caribbean literature and arts (20th and 21st centuries); Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean cultural theory; ecology, language and aesthetics; literacy and language pedagogy.

Gillian Wood.

Gillian Wood is a Ph.D student in the English program at Tufts University. Her research interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature, affect theory, and the aesthetics of memory.


Brooke Bastie is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Buffalo. Her academic work focuses on contemporary American and Indigenous poetry through the lens of spatiality.