Caitlin Palo is Program & Events Manager at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington, as well as webinar host and video editor for the Humanitarianisms speaker series. If you have any questions about registering for Mellon Sawyer Seminar events, accessing webinar recordings, signing up for announcements, or any other logistical or technical questions, she can help get you to the right place. At the Simpson Center, Caitlin works with faculty and graduate students across the College of Arts & Sciences to create and run events that advance crossdisciplinary understanding, collaboration, and research. Her professional background includes Writing Program and Writing Center administration, and teaching writing in the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
While Caitlin’s work with the Sawyer Seminar is primarily administrative, the series also relates to her personal and intellectual interests. From 2014-17, Caitlin was a core member of Palestine and the Public Sphere, a Simpson Center funded project that brought together faculty and graduate students for critical and cross-disciplinary conversations and activities concerning the cultural, political, and economic situation of Palestine and its framing in U.S. academic and public spheres. The research group explored the discursive structures that limit the conditions of debate on this topic and how these structures reveal the relationships among knowledge, power, and politics. She and core participants in the research group wrote and published articles in a special feature in The South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 117, Issue 1 (January 2018).
Caitlin completed her Ph.D. in English at UW in August 2020. Her dissertation examined the genre of the author-published familiar letter to consider the ways in which people come to understand themselves as part of a public, and as actors who might rhetorically affect the shape of that public at pivotal political moments in 18th century Britain and 20th century America. Central authors in her study include Alexander Pope, Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dodie Bellamy and other writers of the New Narrative School. Future directions of this work include studies of Gothic logics of political discourse, modern forms of epistolary social connection, and digital editing of primary documents.