"I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated with a B.A. in Russian Literature from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in the spring of 2008. My previous experiences in Russia were faciliated by the ACTR and Smolny programs in St. Petersburg. A class I took at Smolny gave me my first serious experience with Silver Age poetry, and in particular the poetry of Nikolai Gumilev. The discrepancy between Gumilev's somewhat weak reputation and his sophisticated later work fascinated me, and after returning to Wesleyan I undertook a close study of several of the most interesting poems from the great collections "Bonfire" and "Pillar of Fire" in my senior thesis.
During my Fulbright year, I hope to use the human and archival resources available in Moscow and at Moscow State University to continue the work begun in my thesis by examining some of the less studied writings from Gumilev's mature period. This poetry, which deals with Africa, a continent he visited several times during his youth, unites the themes of his earlier, more straightforwardly autobiographical poetry with his later approach and techniques.
I'm eager to return to studying Gumilev, but I'm also excited for the opportunity to acquaint myself with Moscow, and I hope to visit St. Petersburg again, as well as other Russian cities. At the end of my Fulbright year, I plan to enter the Ph.D. program in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University."