Hannah Silverblank '12
Hannah Silverblank ’12 Wins Lionel Pearson Fellowship
Hannah Silverblank ’12 has been awarded the 2012/13 Lionel Pearson Fellowship. The fellowship, which is given annually by the American Philological Association (APA) to one senior undergraduate, provides up to $25,000 to an American or Canadian classics scholar to fund academic, housing, book or travel expenses during a period of study at an English or Scottish university. Silverblank, a comparative literature and Latin double major, will use her fellowship to earn a Master of Studies in Greek and Latin Literature and Language with a specialization in Reception Studies at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford next year.
“I'm really looking forward to joining a community of classicists who focus their work on the reception of Classical literature in later texts,” she says. “I caught a glimpse of this community when I was at Oxford during my junior year abroad, and so I can't wait to enter a community of scholars whose work engages with my own.”
According to Assistant Professor of Classics Bret Mulligan, who nominated Silverblank for the Pearson, she is the first Haverford student to ever win the honor, which is only one of two awards that the APA offers to undergraduates.
“Hannah is a superlative student,” says Mulligan. “She is already a sophisticated reader and writer, and has real potential as a scholar. Hannah's course of study will focus on reception, or how subsequent artists and cultures interpreted, translated, rewrote and reconsidered the cultural inheritance of ancient Greece and Rome. Reception Studies are flourishing in England, and the opportunity to study there will be of particular benefit to Hannah.”
Silverblank, who is the editor-in-chief of the Haverford journals Body Text and Margin and who recently helped organize the Divas Conference on campus, is especially grateful for the help that her classics professors (William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature Deborah Roberts, Assistant Professor Robert Germany and Mulligan) offered her not just in the fellowship application process, but also in her course of study here at Haverford.
“I didn't know that I was interested in the Classics until I studied Latin with Professor Mulligan, so he really opened that door for me,” she says. “[He] approached the Classics with consistent energy, enthusiasm and passion, and his love for the subject was infectious. Professor Roberts, who is my advisor, has guided me through my double major and has had a profound effect on my studies. She has consistently helped me to push my writing and thinking to new levels, and because we share so many interests, she has been able to help me specialize my particular fields of study in Classics.”
After completing her year abroad, Silverblank hopes to return to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in comparative literature and/or classics, and would eventually like to be a professor. But for now she is busy finishing up her senior year and making plans for her time in England.
“I’m really looking forward to punting on the Cherwell,” she says, referring to Oxford’s iconic boating sport and river.