English Master's Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship
English Master's student Ian Fetters (English, '15) has been awarded the S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship to study the literature of horror-fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft.
The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $1,500 for for up to two months of research at the John Hay Library at Brown University — home to the largest collection of H.P. Lovecraft materials in the world. Fetters competed with advanced graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to be the sole fellowship recipient for 2017.
“I have been a fan of Lovecraft's work since I was a first-year high school student," Fetters said. "I decided I want to read all his works and write about them. He is really one of the reasons I ended up studying literature."
Fetters began his two-month fellowship on July 1. The research and findings he compiles during that time will be summarized in a presentation at the conclusion of the fellowship. "The intention is to use archival material to develop a project for presentation at a public lecture alongside a panel with other Lovecraft scholars," Fetters said.
"The project I pitched to the committee this year is titled 'Lovecraft's Dark Continent: At the Mountains of Madness and Antarctic Literature.' I'm interested in looking at why Lovecraft chose Antarctica as the setting for his only novel, At the Mountains of Madness."
Fetters will spend the majority of his time at Brown trying to answer that question before returning back to Cal Poly in the fall to complete his Master's degree.
Although Fetters' fellowship only lasts the summer, he believes he owes it to himself to keep on studying Lovecraft well after his time at Brown.
"I think my next step is to actually go to Antarctica," Fetters said. "Lovecraft never made it there, so I feel almost duty-bound to do it for myself."