Every year, the UCLA English Department hosts an event called UCLA Marathon Reading. The Los Angeles community joins UCLA students, alumni, and faculty at the iconic Powell Library Courtyard for a 24-hour long marathon of reading. Multiple full-length novels are read aloud in the courtyard, where all guests are encouraged to come lay under the stars and take a moment to appreciate literature.
This year, live readings of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series will begin at noon on May 9th and run through noon the next day. It’s our hope that sharing these thought-provoking and relevant works will open up discussions on reproductive rights, race, religion, and the social impact of environmental change.
While the Marathon Reading itself is funded through donated goods and services, we are, like many endurance events, also a fundraiser. With the money raised through this crowdfunding campaign, graduate and undergraduate students' independent research on these topics will be funded—and that’s where you come in!
Giving to the Marathon Reading crowdfunding campaign will provide financial support for undergraduates and graduate students’ English research through The Marathon Reading Summer Research Fellowship (MRSRF). The fellowship enables three English Ph.D. students and one undergraduate English major at UCLA to spend their summer committed to their own research. Donations will cover research funding, travel, and living expenses.
Last year, donations through this page enabled our two graduate fellowship recipients, Efren Lopez and Thomas Garcia, to pursue summer research projects in the UCLA Department of English.
Efren Lopez is from the San Gabriel Valley and majored in English at UCLA, later completing a masters in the same subject. A recipient of the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship, his project examined the literature of racial and ethnic contact zones in the U.S. 19th century.
“I explore literary history through a lens that emphasizes minority ethnic groups...Money can be a huge source of stress for me, especially as a first-generation college student. It is impossible to overstate how significant and important this support is, and truthfully I might not have an academic career without fellowships such as this one. I plan to apply to many teaching jobs and live out my goal to be an educator in an underserved area.”
Thomas Garcia is from Pharr, Texas, and majored in English at Princeton University.
“I chose UCLA for its strong focus on American Literature and interdisciplinary studies. My academic research is 20th-century American Literature with focuses on counterculture, mobility, speculative fiction, and Chicano Literature. Marathon Reading Summer Research Fellowship enabled me to spend summer 2018 expanding my research interests and writing analyses of different mobility novels...I would not have been able to read and write as prolifically if I had to work. After completing my degree, I plan to teach and conduct research at a public university. I also intend on seeking public office.”