2018 Schiff Travel Grant winners announced

Thanks to the Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, the John Updike Society was able to offer grants to scholars to help them travel to Serbia to present their work at the 5th Biennial John Updike Society Conference in Belgrade, June 1-5, 2018.

The society is pleased to announce the recipients of the $1500 Schiff Travel Grants for young scholars under 40 and also the recipients of the $1000 Schiff Travel Grants for members to help defray travel expenses so they can share their projects in Belgrade:

2018 Schiff Travel Grant Recipients ($1500)

Matthew Asprey Gear (“Mustered Opinions: John Updike’s Non-Fiction Collections”)

Natia Kvachakidze (“‘Words, words words’ Or Some Peculiarities of the Georgian Translation of John Updike’s ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth'”)

Lynn Leibowitz-Whitehead (“The Religion of Sex: An Evaluation of Its Effects on the Family Unit in Updike’s Couples“)

Gideon Nachtman (“Artificial in Essence”: Reevaluating the Critical and Academic Reception of John Updike’s Light Verse”)

2018 Schiff Travel Grant Recipients ($1000)

Louis Gordon (“Updike’s Middle East”)

Jon Houlon (“The Ballad of Henry Bech”)

Wei Lun Lu (“Translating, Rendering and Reconstructing Updike’s Stream of Consciousness: The Case of ‘A&P’s Translations into Mandarin”)

About the Recipients:

Matthew Asprey Gear is the author of At the End of the Street in the Shadow: Orson Welles and the City (Wallflower/Columbia University Press, 2016). He is presently preparing an annotated critical edition of the essay collection Urgent Copy (1968) for the Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess. He lives in Edinburgh.

Natia Kvachakidze was born on March 14, 1981 in Kutaisi, Georgia. She is a member of English Philology Department at Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University. Having completed a Ph.D. course at the same university, Natia successfully defended her dissertation on Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories on December 23, 2017. The short story is the genre she mainly works on and John Updike’s short fiction is another field of her interests. Natia is a member of the Hemingway Society and is honored to have been accepted as a member of The John Updike Society as well.

Lynn Leibowitz-Whitehead is a licensed social worker who is in the process of changing careers, pursuing a second Master’s degree in English at Mercy College. Literature is her passion, and she is a constant reader whose goal is to become an English professor. In addition to her membership in the Updike society, she is a member of the Hemingway Society and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. She lives in Liberty, N.Y.

Gideon Nachman received his B.A. from Harvard in 2016, where he wrote his undergraduate honors thesis on John Updike’s Early Stories. An edited excerpt of this thesis will be published in the Winter 2018 edition of The John Updike Review. He is a co-recipient of The John Updike Review‘s Annual Emerging Writers Prize, and currently resides in London. He is very excited to attend the upcoming John Updike Society Conference in Serbia as it will be his first academic conference.

Louis Gordon holds a Master’s in Professional Writing (Fiction) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. He teaches Middle East Politics in the Department of Political Science at California State University at San Bernardino, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. His work has appeared in such publication as The Forward, International Journal of Comic Art, Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem Report, The Journal of Israeli History/Studies in Zionism, Midstream, Middle East Quarterly, New York Sun, Pasadena Star-News, Tikkun and Times of Israel. His chapter “Three Voices or One, Philip Roth and Zionism” appeared in Claudia Bruehwiler’s and Lee Trepanier’s Political Companion to Philip Roth (University Press of Kentucky, 2017). He is the co-author with Ian Oxnevad of Middle East Politics for the New Millennium (Lexington Books, 2016).

Jon Houlon is a Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter and bandleader of two groups:  John Train (a folk-country outfit) and the Donuts (a pop-rock combo).  With these bands, he has released 12 critically acclaimed albums of his original compositions and performed both nationally and internationally.  Jon has been a member of the John Updike Society since its inception and has attended all four conferences.  At the 2014 conference, he performed his song Talkin’ Rabbit in the John Updike Childhood Home in Shillington.  In 2016, his short film of Talkin’ Rabbit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE2Nvm2vN9c ) premiered at the JUS conference in Columbia, South Carolina.  Jon looks forward to performing his Ballad of Henry Bech at the SUC conference in Serbia in Jun 2018.  More information about Jon and his musical endeavors can be found at www.trainarmy.com

Wei-lun Lu is currently Research Fellow in the Center for Chinese Studies of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Dr. Lu holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from National Taiwan University. Prior to his appointment at the Center, he was a Fulbrighter to Rice University (2009-10), U.S.A., Guest Researcher at Leiden University (2011-12), The Netherlands, Assistant Professor at National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences (Fall 2012), and Research Fellow in the English Department of Masaryk University (Spring 2013-Fall 2015). He adopts a linguistic (discourse-analytic) approach to cross-cultural pragmatics and stylistics. He mainly uses translation of world masterpieces in his research. Stream of consciousness in John Updike’s works is one of his recent research interests.

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