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Simeral Grant

English student awarded research travel grant
[3/21/2019]

TAMPA, Fla. – USF Literature MA student Scott Simeral was awarded this semester a competitive William J. Hill Visiting Researcher Travel Grant from the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

Simeral will conduct his research on American author Cormac McCarthy’s unpublished screenplay “Whales and Men”; the Wittliff Collections has the sole existing manuscript of this work. The Wittliff is a gold mine for McCarthy scholars, boasting many other manuscripts of published and unpublished works and related papers.

When asked how he learned about McCarthy’s unpublished “Whales and Men” and its possible comparison with “Moby Dick,” Simeral responded, “I was searching for American authors (other than Melville) who have written gothic fiction on whales, and McCarthy's name came up. Secondary sources on ‘Whales and Men’ contained excerpts from the manuscript, which contained parallels to philosophical themes I researched in ‘Moby Dick.’”

USF Literature’s Americanist and Digital Humanities Scholar Dr. Kristin Allukian explained how Simeral’s strength for this research proposal emerged from course work on Melville. She stated, “In his final seminar paper on ‘Moby Dick,’ Mr. Simeral moved away from common readings of the text and instead read for moments in which Melville subverted capitalist values of the time in favor of environmental activism. This paper is evidence of his ability to survey the field of literary criticism and offer contributions to the field that move the scholarly conversation forward.”

Allukian encouraged Simeral to apply for this grant. Dr. Jessica Cook, MA Advisor, also supported him. He explains, “Dr. Cook helped me by providing oversight and quality assurance to my application process.” 

Simeral plans to write and publish a comparative article on Melville’s “Moby Dick” and “Whales and Men” when he returns.



Filed under:English Arts and Sciences    
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Author: Dr. Susan Mooney
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