Yonina Hoffman (PhD) has won the 2017-2018 Presidential Fellowship, an award given each year by the Ohio State Graduate School. The Presidential Fellowship is the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School and only a select few are chosen each year. To be chosen, a student cannot directly apply; they must be nominated by a graduate studies committee chair.
As a reward, Hoffman will receive one year of full-time financial support, including a stipend to support the finalization of her dissertation, entitled, Narrative Voices in David Foster Wallace: Comic, Encyclopedic and Sincere. Hoffman’s dissertation seeks to interpret David Foster Wallace’s work, specifically dividing his writing into three periods and analyzing the way his writing transformed over the course of his life. Hoffman’s larger body of academic work focuses on narrative theory, sound and rhythm, stylistics, aesthetics and the experience of reading.
This past summer, Hoffman traveled to Scotland to deliver a keynote address at the David Foster Wallace Research Group Symposium at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, at the invitation of Professor Stephen Burn, convener of the symposium and one of the world’s most respected authorities on David Foster Wallce. Professor Brian McHale, who has been advising Hoffman her dissertation, underscored that “this is a signal acknowledgement of the high regard in which Hoffman is held by the international Wallace research community, and an unprecedented honor for someone at this early stage of her scholarly career.”
Last year, two other Department of English students, Suzannah Showler (MFA), advised by Professor Angus Fletcher, and Michael Harwick, Ph.D. student, advised by Professor Aman Garcha, won the award. Showler was one of the seventeen students chosen that fall to receive the award, and the only working in the field of humanities. Harwick was awarded the Presidential Fellowship in the spring of 2017.