2023-25 Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship cohort announced

Seven sophomores join the competitive humanities research fellowship

The Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship is delighted to welcome its 2023–25 cohort. Over the next two years, seven new fellows from the Washington University Class of 2025 will pursue their own independent research projects in the humanities or humanistic social sciences, explore the public dimensions of humanistic work and enrich the intellectual life of the Center for the Humanities.

Left to right: Jeffrey Camille, Andrew de las Alas, Joy Hu, Lena Levey, Melina Marin, Cecilia O’Gorman and Aja Topps-Harjo. 

The incoming Kling Fellows’ proposed projects range across (and between) numerous disciplines in Arts and Sciences, with overlapping thematic interests in the fundamental humanistic categories of identity, religion and literature.

Jeffrey Camille (Global Studies major) will identify and deconstruct how gender and race play into the phenomenon of “empty consent,” in which people consent to undesired interactions.

Andrew de las Alas (Global Studies major, Asian American Studies and Sociology minors) will investigate how Filipino Americans in St. Louis use Roman Catholicism to build community and navigate their own racial and ethnic identities.

Joy Hu (American Culture Studies and Economics majors) will develop a comprehensive cultural history of cryptocurrency, especially but not exclusively in its American cultural context.

Lena Levey (Religious Studies major, Writing and Spanish minors) will examine the Biblical account of Noah and the flood in both premodern rabbinical texts and modern literary retellings, especially with respect to contemporary themes such as white supremacy, climate change, and the misuse of technology.

Melina Marin (English Literature and French majors) will explore horror media in Cuba as an artistic and creative response to Cuba’s revolutionary and post-revolutionary periods.

Cecilia O’Gorman (English Literature and Romance Languages and Literatures majors) will create a trans rereading of the nineteenth-century French novella Sarrasine.

Aja Topps-Harjo (African and African American Studies and Psychological & Brain Sciences majors) will theorize how African American women navigate intersectional identities in the pursuit of legal careers.

The Kling Fellowship looks forward to supporting these talented undergraduates and watching their research interests evolve and mature. We are proud to contribute to the innovative research conducted by humanists across Washington University.

Read more about the fellowship and its goals: Research, revise, repeat: Training the academy’s next scholars