Meet the 2023-2024 Woodruff Fellow – Alexis Mayfield

This is the third and last post in a series of interviews conducted by the Woodruff Library with the 2023-2024 Woodruff Library and Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) Fellows. Funded by the Laney Graduate School, the library and ECDS award fellowships to advanced graduate students expecting to complete their dissertations by the end of the fellowship period. Fellows are placed within the Woodruff Library and ECDS to work in an area related to their subject specialization or interest, culminating in a formal presentation in the spring.

Alexis Mayfield is a 6th year PhD candidate in the department of English. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Black feminist theory, Black femmes’ survival strategies, diasporic literature, and Black spirituality. Her multimodal dissertation “I feel therefore I’m free: Black Femme Interiority, Sensuality, and Spirituality” draws from novels and films and includes a visual album interlude of her own making. Alexis’ fellowship is a joint collaboration between the Emory Writing Center and the Instruction and Engagement team, and her projects, including the Dissertation Bootcamps, will reflect that collaboration.

Alexis Mayfield

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?


What’s your favorite book? 

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

What’s your favorite thing about Emory/Atlanta? 

My favorite thing about Atlanta is the rich Black history and artistic community.

What are you researching for your dissertation? 

Black femme strategies for survival as seen in the literature of 20th century Black women writers.

What interested you about the Woodruff Library Fellowship? 

I thought working with Emory Writing Center and the Woodruff library would present a great opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the library while helping to share that information with others within the Emory community.

What will you be working on this year for your Woodruff Library Fellowship? 

As the Instruction and Engagement fellow I lead the weekly LGS dissertation writing group, spearhead the LGS dissertation boot camp each semester, and I am piloting a mini conference called a Podcast-athon