Jillian S. Caddell is an experienced writer, researcher, and teacher, who currently is a member of the Humanities Faculty at Glenelg Country School. In 2015, Jill received her Ph.D. in English at Cornell University, where her dissertation received the Guilford Prize for Highest Achievement in English Prose. She specializes in American literature of the long nineteenth century, with a focus on issues of geography, genre, race, and gender. In her research and teaching, Jill is interested in understanding the relationships between literature, history, and place. Her dissertation, for example, examines literary confrontations with the Civil War to ask how the war affected Americans’ sense of place and national belonging. (See the Research page for more.) Work from her project has appeared in the June 2014 issue of New England Quarterly; the collection Literary Cultures of the American Civil War (University of Georgia Press, August 2016); Apollo: The International Art Magazine; and J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, among other publications. She is also the creator and host of The Book Light, a podcast dedicated to illuminating works of classic literature. Read more about the podcast here.
As an instructor, Jill has developed and taught courses in a variety of subjects at both the college and high school levels that take up the questions that guide her research, including seminars on monuments and memory, girlhood in the nineteenth century, Southern literature, and mystery stories. (See the Teaching page for syllabi and more.) Her teaching philosophy is grounded in a historicist and culturally contextual approach that asks students to delve deeply into close readings of texts while also considering the broader historical contexts and conversations in which they participate. She has also served as a volunteer language arts instructor in the DC public schools and has worked with elementary school kids on a statewide literary contest.
At Cornell, Jill was an active member and leader of the Nineteenth-Century American Reading Group, where she planned an annual conference and brought many Americanist speakers to campus. In addition, Jill served as President of the English Graduate Student Organization and attended the Cornell Library’s inaugural immersion program for humanities students. She has won several university awards, including the Shin Fellowship for Excellence in Research and Pedagogy, the Alan Young-Bryant Summer Dissertation Research Fellowship, and the Moses Coit Tyler Prize for best essay in history, literature, or folklore.