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Rebekah Waalkes

Dissertation Fellow
Department of English

Bekah Waalkes is a writer, researcher, and graduate instructor in the Tufts University First Year Writing Program. Her dissertation project, “Simultaneous Fictions: Reading Form and Attention in the Contemporary Novel,” examines the limits of contemporary discourse on focus and distraction, considering how these concerns about readerly immersion come to work on the form of contemporary novels. Following the models of contemporary novels she examines in her dissertation, Bekah suggests we might instead see the experience of distraction as one of simultaneity, of overlapping bids for our attention and presence, a hyperconnection made possible by the technological advances of the internet age. Bekah’s work has been published by public and academic venues alike, including recent book reviews in The Washington Post, Cleveland Review of Books, and The Brooklyn Rail, and essays in Avidly, Post45, and Electric Literature, where she served as an editorial intern in 2022. As a Dissertation Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year, Bekah is looking forward to collaborating across disciplines part of the Center’s intellectual community.