Catching Up With HH Graduate Students

Despite more than a year of remote work, Holding History graduate students continue to teach, research, write, develop new programs, and generally work to creatively share their ideas with others.

Kaydian Campbell

After completing an MA in Information Studies & English Literary Studies, Kaydian Campbell now

holds the position of Cataloging and Metadata Librarian for Distinctive Resources at the UW-Madison Libraries. In this role Kaydian catalogs distinctive materials in Memorial Library, Special Collections, and UW Digital Collections. For Kaydian, the work is a reminder of how important access to library materials remains.


Marek Makowski



Literary Studies student Marek Makowski has written prolifically in the past year, covering a diversity of topics, from Proust to the Adidas Yeezy. Of special significance is “A Farewell to Adam Zagajewski”, a tribute to the Polish poet, who died in March of this year, in World Literature Today. Noteworthy as well is Marek’s “Olga Tokarczuk’s Radical Tenderness”, a meditation on reading Tokarczuk during a pandemic that appeared in The Yale Review in February.


When not teaching or writing a dissertation on the intersection of disability studies, feminist science studies, and memoir, Iseult Gillespie produces content for TED-Ed, a platform that brings together scholars and artists to create beautiful educational videos for learners of all ages. Iseult is particularly interested in presenting global mythology and folktales faithfully and then transmitting them through new formats. TED-Ed is an excellent platform for digital storytelling, and writing these scripts allows Iseult to appreciate the visual aspects of learning and education. For a good introduction to this work, check out "The myth of Loki and the deadly mistletoe” and “The Japanese myth of the trickster raccoon”, which was recently plugged in the Japan Times Daily Newsletter.

Iseult Gillespie

With Thom Van Camp, Iseult has recently received a HEX Grant from the UW Center for the Humanities. The two Literary Studies students are partnering with Black Umbrella, a local collective working to dismantle institutionalized racism; this project will aid in the establishment of a library at BU’s headquarters and document that process. “Building the People's Revolutionary Library” is a direct response to BU’s call for educational material focused on racial justice, equity, and financial literacy. In the long term, the library will act as an organizational hub: a space for community education and consciousness-raising.

Thom Van Camp

Thom also recently published an article in Arizona Quarterly titled “Language of the Unreckonable: James Wright and Necropolitics” in which the work of Ohio poet James Wright is reread through the lens of Necropolitics.


We are happy to share this recent work from a few of our graduate students and graduate alumni. They continue to forge ahead with creative research, writing, and archival work that serves their university and their community.