Nikki Floyd and Kiara Maria Vigil Named Bolin Fellows

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 29, 2010 — Williams College has selected two Gaius Charles Bolin Fellows to teach at the college for the next two years while they finish advanced degrees. The fellows Nikki Floyd and Kiara Maria Vigil began teaching at the college this fall.

Floyd, a Ph.D. candidate in Japanese literature at Yale, is the Bolin Fellow in Asian Studies. She is currently writing her dissertation on “Japanese Proletarian Literature and the Korea Question.” Floyd has studied at Seoul National University in Korea and the Inter-University Center in Yokohama, Japan. She has experience teaching Elementary Japanese I & II, Literary Modernization in Japan and Korea, and Modern Japanese Fiction. Floyd received her M.A. in Japanese studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2004 and her B.A. in history from Ohio University in 1999.

Vigil, Bolin Fellow in American Studies, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her dissertation is titled “Stories in Red and Write: Indian Intellectuals in the American Imagination, 1880-1930.” Her teaching and research interests include American literature, especially from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century; literature of minority racial and ethnic groups, especially Native American; American literary history and Native American cultural history; and feminist, queer, and postcolonial literary theory and criticism. She received her M.A. in liberal studies (cultural studies) from Dartmouth College in 2006 as well as her M.A. in the teaching of social studies from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1998, and her B.A. in history from Tufts University in 1997.

The Bolin Fellowships were established in 1985, on the centennial of the admission of the college’s first black graduate, Gaius Charles Bolin. The fellowships are designed to promote diversity on college faculties, encouraging students from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, first-generation college graduates, women in predominantly male fields, and disabled scholars, to complete graduate degrees and pursue careers in college teaching. Up to three scholars are appointed each year, and each scholar teaches one course in each of the two years at the college. The program was enhanced in 2009-10, before which the fellowship lasted one year and was only open to Ph.D. candidates. Post-MFA artists are also encouraged to apply under the enhanced program.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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