Department of English
On the Books
Graduate Alumni Newsletter
Letter from the Director

Welcome to the first electronic edition of the newsletter of the Villanova Graduate English Program! Our hope for this newsletter is that it will keep you in touch with what’s happening in the program as a whole as well with individual faculty members, current students and alumni. In it, you can learn about some of the highlights of our past year, from the recovery project that Jean Lutes, PhD, and some of her students have started, to an appearance by El Duderino in the Ecopoetry and Environmental Criticism seminar taught by in Lisa Sewell, PhD, to awards that our students won. It’s been a packed year!
Careers in Publishing Alumni Panel
Join us for a panel discussion with alumni representing both book and magazine publishing on Monday, November 11, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. in Garey Hall, Room 10A

  • Bob Bender ’70 CLAS, Vice President and Executive Editor, Simon and Schuster
  • Cece Ryan ’88 CLAS, Senior Vice President, Publisher, People, Meredith Corporation
  • Gary Urda ’86 VSB, Senior Vice President, Sales, Simon and Schuster
  • Kelly Moran ’19 CLAS, Publicity Assistant, St. Martin’s Press

Registration for this event is through Nova Network November. Select the "Careers in Publishing Alumni Panel" when completing your registration.
22 nd Annual Literary Festival
In its 22 nd year, The Villanova Literary Festival again brings major writers from across the US including, Brenda Shaughnessy, MFA; Dinaw Mengestu, MFA; Bryan Washington, MFA; and Robin Coste-Lewis, MFA. All readings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.

Faculty Highlights
Uncovering a Lost Work

With the help of her student research team, Jean Lutes, PhD, is preparing to produce a first-ever critical edition of an unpublished short story collection. The collection was written between 1899 and 1901 by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, a ground-breaking African-American journalist, poet, fiction writer, dramatist, memoirist and educator, whose extensive archive is housed at the University of Delaware. Tentatively titled, “The Annals of ’Steenth Street,” the story collection features vividly imagined children and parents living in poverty in an urban neighborhood.

Meeting the Dude

Those Students in the Ecopoetry and Environmental Criticism class—taught by Lisa Sewell, PhD—who attended an on-campus screening of the documentary Living in the Future’s Past were treated to a special event. Two of the documentary's luminaries, director Susan Kucera and producer/narrator Jeff Bridges, met with Dr. Sewell’s class via video chat to discuss various aspects of the film, including filming strategies, creative visual choices, the film’s tone and more. You heard that right: the group got to virtually “meet” The Dude himself!

Faculty Publications

Alice Dailey, “‘Little, Little Graves’: Shakespeare’s Photographs of Richard II,” Shakespeare Quarterly 69.3 (2018): 141-166.
Heather Hicks, "Smoke Follows Beauty": The Femme Fatale and the Logic of Apocalyptic Affiliation in Claire Vaye Watkins's Gold Fame Citrus, ASAP/Journal 3.3 (2018): 623-651.

Brooke Hunter, Forging Boethius in Medieval Intellectual Fantasies. Routledge, 2018.
Kamran Javadizadeh, “The Atlantic Ocean Breaking on Our Heads: Claudia Rankine, Robert Lowell, and the Whiteness of the Lyric Subject.” PMLA, vol. 134, no. 3, 2019, pp. 475-490

Jean M. Lutes, "Lovelorn Columns: A Genre Scorned," American Literature 91:1 (March 2019): 59-90.

Mary Mullen, Novel Institutions: Anachronism, Irish Novels and Nineteenth-Century Realism. Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

Megan Quigley, “Reading The Waste Land with the #MeToo Generation.” Editor and Introduction, print plus cluster for Modernism/modernity. March, 2019.
Lauren Shohet edited the essay collection Gathering Force: Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1557-1623 (Cambridge University Press). The book includes her essay "Old Rituals, New Forms: Masques, Pageants, and Entertainments." She also published “Reading Milton in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” in Milton Studies (Penn State University Press).
Catherine Staples, “In a Hurry,” “Hurricane,” and “After Seeing the Irish Dance Theatre’s Lear.” The Yale Review, vol. 107, no.1, January 2019, 49-51.
Student Spotlights
A Cause to ReJoyce

Alexandria Einspahr '19 MA won the Rosenbach Museum's Bloomsday Essay Contest for her paper, “The Tap-Dancing Tuning Fork: Disability and Narrative Structure in Ulysses.” The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and awards two prizes, one for a graduate paper and one for an undergraduate paper.

Interrogating Empire

Avni Sejpal, a current graduate student, was awarded a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship for summer 2019, which took her to the British Library in London. For her project, "Indentured Imaginaries," she studied postcolonial literary narratives and memoirs alongside colonial records of labour and migration archived at the British Library in London.

Student Publications and Conference Presentations

Our graduate students have published their work in Concept, Villanova's interdisciplinary journal for graduate students, and presented at conferences like the Northeastern Modern Language Association, the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association Conference, and the American Conference of Irish Studies South.
Alumni News
Recent Alumni in doctorate programs

  • Joseph Alicea '19 MA, University of California Santa Cruz 
  • Stephen Reaugh '18 MA, Washington University in St. Louis 
  • Casey Smedberg '18 MA, University of Connecticut 
  • AnneMarie Jakubowski '17 MA, Washington University 
  • Laura Tscherry '17 MA, Indiana University
  • Caitlin Moon '17 MA, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Kenneth Roggenkamp '17 MA, Binghamton University 
Congratulations to our 2019 Graduates

  • Joseph Alicea '19 MA
  • Timothy Austen '19 MA
  • Brian Borosky '19 MA
  • Alexandra Brodin '19 MA
  • Angela Christaldi '19 MA
  • Ashley DiRienzo '19 MA
  • Alexandria Einspahr '19 MA
  • Sara Kolojejchick '19 MA
  • Christie Leonard '19 MA
  • Nicholas Manai '19 MA
  • Cassandra Modica '19 MA
  • Sarah Morgan '19 MA
  • Amelia Mrozinski '19 MA
  • Elena Patton '19 MA
  • Kyle Traynham '19 MA
  • Elizabeth Wood '19 MA
Other Alumni Activities

James Butler '17 MA had a short play included in the 2018 edition of NC 10 by 10: A Festival of 10-Minute Plays. He also had an essay published in the August 2019 issue of the online film magazine Bright Wall/Dark Room.

Don James McLaughlin '09 MA was awarded the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, 2018-2019, for the purpose of conducting research in their collection of early American newspapers, rare books and manuscripts, as he turns his dissertation into a book. He was also awarded the Diane Hunter Prize for best dissertation in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Zachary Wright '10 MA was named Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2013 and has written many articles for Education Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Education Leadership.
If you have a story, publication, conference presentation or job update you would like to share in a future newsletter, please reach out.
Giving to the Graduate Program in English

Please consider giving back to the Graduate English Program by making a donation online. Your support makes it possible for students to attend academic conferences, a valuable opportunity for them to present and engage in scholarship.

Click here and enter “Graduate English Conference Travel Fund” in the designation box.
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