You are here

PhD News 2018-19

Check out what our students and alums have published, presented, and been awarded!
June 18, 2019

Dissertations Defended

Elisabeth Alderks, “‘Not the truth, but the way’: The Ethics of Irony in World Literature” (advisor: Timothy Brennan).

Yuan Ding, “Capitalizing Race: Diasporic Narratives and Global Asia” (advisor: Josephine Lee).

Samantha Majhor, “We Are All Related: Contemporary Native American Literature and the Nonhuman Turn” (advisor: Josephine Lee). Majhor accepted a position as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University.

Grace Miller, “Babel’s Apology: Religious Nostalgia and Literary Engagement with the Postsecular Age” (advisor: Dan Philippon). The dissertation was awarded Honorable Mention for Best Arts and Humanities Dissertation at the University of Minnesota.

Robert St. Lawrence, “The Good Life: Weakness in the Survival Years” (advisor: Jani Scandura).

Students

Elisabeth Alderks won the 2018 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Award. She presented “Very Serious Jokes: The Ethics of Literary Irony” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Washington, DC, March 2019.

Amanda Alexander presented “Dining with Marie Antoinette and H.P. Lovecraft: Literary Games, Nostalgic Horror, and Role-Playing Alternative Universes” at the Pop Culture Association & American Culture Association Joint National Conference, Washington, DC, April 2019.

David Andrews received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “Through Either End of the Telescope: Exilic Aesthetics and the Ethics of Scale in the Work of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson” (project faculty advisor: Timothy Brennan).

Bridget Bergin presented “Spatial Realism as Contingency in Middlemarch and Adam Bede” at the Northeast MLA Convention, Washington, DC, March 2019.

Clara Biesel was awarded the Audrey Christensen English Library Acquisition Prize. She also received support to attend the Newberry Dissertation Seminar on the History of the Book, Newberry Library, Chicago, in October and November 2018, and February and April 2019. She presented “The Hand as an Actor in Helkiah Crooke’s Mikrokosmographia: A description of the body of man” at the January Newberry Graduate Conference and “Reading the Exterior: Imagining Impropriety and Performing Conformity in Early Modern Drama” at the Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2019.

Amy Bolis presented “Appropriating Othello: Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor and Questions of Black Masculinity” at the Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2019.

Christopher Bowman was awarded a Thesis Research Travel Grant from the University of Minnesota Graduate School for summer 2019. He published “‘This Is the Whole’: Ecological Thinking in John Steinbeck’s The Pearl” in Critical Insights: The Pearl, edited by Laura Nicosia (Grey House Publishing, forthcoming in 2019). He presented “Ditching Dystopia: Reading and Writing a Better Anthropocene” (Midwest MLA Convention, Kansas City, MO, November 2018); “‘It Is Immoral to Be a Pessimist’: Subverting Dystopia in Jostein Gaarder’s The World According to Anna” (“We Need Utopian Cli-Fi, and We Need It Now” Roundtable Presentation, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Conference, Davis, CA, June 2019); and “‘The Western Land, Nervous’: Ecocriticism, Climate Change, and The Grapes of Wrath” (International Steinbeck Conference, San Jose, CA, May 2019).

Adam Burchard received a Department Research Grant for spring-summer 2019 for research on Thoreau, at Antioch College, Ohio.

Ashley Campbell won the Marcella DeBourg Fellowship for summer 2019.

Moinak Choudhury presented “Lessons for the Modern Prince: Civil Society in Gramsci’s Philosophy of Praxis” at the Historical Materialism Conference, London, November 2018.

Samantha Crain passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Stacey Decker presented “Women’s Graphic Resistance: Surrealism and Medicine in Barnes, Carrington, and the Baroness” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Washington, DC, March 2019.

Yuan Ding was awarded the 2018 “Best Essay Prize” of the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies. She presented “The City and Its Refugees: The Geopolitics of Non-Places in Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Exit West” at the Verge: Global Asias 5 Conference, Penn State University, State College, PA, April 2019.

Abhay Doshi received the Gary Paernick Fellowship for summer 2019.

Jenna Dreier won a Graduate School's Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2019-20 for her dissertation “‘As you from crimes would pardoned be’: Prison Shakespeare and the Practice of Empowerment.” She also was awarded the Darwin Patnode Fellowship for summer 2019. Her essay “From Apprentice to Master: Casting Men to Play Shakespeare’s Women in Prison” has been accepted for a forthcoming Humanities special issue, “Humanities in Prison.” Her article “Shakespeare with Survivors: Learning from Incarcerated Women in the #MeToo Era” was accepted for a forthcoming MLA Book Series volume, Teaching Literature and Writing in Prisons. She presented “From Apprentice to Master: Playing Shakespeare’s Women in Prison” (Renaissance Society of America Meeting, Toronto, March 2019) and “Prison Shakespeare and the Open Secret of Abuse” (Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2019) and was an invited showcase presenter at the College of Liberal Arts 150th Anniversary Closing Celebration (University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, Minneapolis, MN, June 2019).

Jennifer Easler presented “‘He hadde a spirit of trewe prophecye’: Amphiorax and the Undermining of Truth in The Siege of Thebes” at the Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies, Toronto, March 2019, and “Prophecy, Persuasion, and Poetry: Cassandra and Futility in Lydgate’s Troy Book” at the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature, Moorhead, MN, April 2019. She passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Stephen Ellis was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (Russian) for summer 2019 and for 2019-20. He passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Jonas Gardsby presented “A Spell Unbroken: Shakespeare’s Skepticism of Performance in Antony and Cleopatra” at the Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2019.

Andrew Hamilton presented “‘We Are Going to Be with Our Relatives’: Occupation, Recognition, and Radical Inhabitation in Tommy Orange’s There There” at the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) Conference, Cincinnati, March 2019, and “‘We Are Here Thousands of Years’: Refusing the White Possessive in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead” at the Western Literature Association Conference, St. Louis, October 2018.

Katrina Healey presented “Lost Compson Boys: A Jungian Analysis of The Sound and the Fury and Peter Pan” at the Faulkner and García Márquez Conference, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO, October 2018.

Margaret Heeschen presented “Apposed Space and the Dragon’s Lair in Beowulf” at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2019, and “The Mercian Space of the Beowulf-Poet” at the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Meeting, Albuquerque, NM, July-August 2019. She received the Audrey Christensen English Library Acquisition Prize.

Elizabeth Howard passed the PhD Preliminary Exams. She won Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “Stitched Verse: Dun Emer Industries, Publication, and the Manipulation of Gender Expectations” (project faculty advisor: Andrew Elfenbein). She also was awarded the Samuel Holt Monk Prize for the Best Article by a Graduate Student for “‘To Admire and Do Otherwise’: Hopkins’s Modified Translations of Shakespeare’s Casket Song,” Victorian Poetry 45: 2, summer 2018. She published “Gorged with Proof: Rebellion and Internal Disorder in Hopkins’s ‘A Soliloquy of One of the Spies Left in the Wilderness’” in Religion and the Arts 20:5, fall 2018, as well as a review of Jason Rudy’s Imagined Homelands (2017) in Victorian Periodical Review 51:4, winter 2018. She presented “Borrowed Grief: Transnational Repurposing of Consolation Verse in the Nineteenth Century, A Case Study” (University of Pescara, Pescara, Italy, May 2019); “The Classics Professor: Reading Hopkins’s Influence on Irish Education and Identity” (International Hopkins Society, Roehampton, London, June 2018); “Exchanging Greek Particles and Articles: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Henry Browne, and the Value of Classics in Late Nineteenth-Century Irish Education” (Midwest American Conference for Irish Studies, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, October 2018); and “Honoring Hopkins,” in which she co-led a poetry reading and discussion with Dr. Lon Otto for the centennial celebration of the publication of Hopkins’ Poems (1918) (Anselm House, St. Paul, MN, December 2019).

Bomi Jeon received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “‘Bombarded with words’: Vernacular Language and the Postwar West Indian Circle in the Novels of George Lamming and  Samuel Selvon” (project faculty advisor: Siobhan Craig). She presented “The Spectacle of the Racial Body and Affective Spectatorship in Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon” at the Comparative Drama Conference, Orlando, FL, April 2019.

Jennifer Jodell was awarded the Garner-McNaron-Sprengnether Fellowship for summer 2019 and the Ruth Drake Dissertation Fellowship for fall 2019. She presented “Bodies Must Live: The Animating Energies of the Empathic Cyborg in Postmodern SF” (Science Fiction Research Association Conference, Milwaukee, WI, July 2018); “Naked Before the New: Celebrities as Mediating Bodies in Mid-Century Written Science Fiction” (CSCL/MIMS Graduate Student Conference: Politics and Aesthetics of Obsolescence, Minneapolis, MN, October 2018); and “Revolution or Resilience?: The Ambivalent Empaths of Television’s The OA and Sense8” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, March 2019).

Marc Juberg presented “Satire and Self-Knowledge in As You Like It” at the Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2019.

David Lemke won a Department Research Grant for spring-summer 2019 to attend the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. He also received CLA RIGS Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019.

Charlotte Madere published “Colonial, Relational Selfhood in John Borthwick Gilchrist’s The Orienti-Occidental Tuitionary Pioneer to Literary Pursuits (1816)” in Aligarh Journal of Linguistics, Volume 8, Special Issue, 2018. She presented “‘[T]his story must be told in my own way, or not at all’: Authorial, Colonial, and Female Power in Eliza Fay’s Original Letters from India (1817)” at the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Meeting, Tempe, AZ, February 2019.

Samantha Majhor presented “Native Americans IRL: The Urban Indian Online According to Tommy Orange and Tommy Pico” at the Native American Literature Symposium, Shakopee, MN, March 2019.

David Rodriguez Martinez won the Beverly and Richard Fink Summer Fellowship for summer 2019.

Katelyn McCarthy presented “The Unstable Abject and Impossible Virtue in The Tragedy of Mariam” at the Renaissance Society of American Conference, Toronto, March 2019.

Melissa Merte received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “Formally Entangled: Plotting Economic and Romantic Desire in Victorian Narratives” (project faculty advisor: Andrew Elfenbein). She presented “‘On the Edge of Some Labyrinth’: Possibilities of Time and Closure in Margaret Oliphant’s Hester” at the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, October 2018.

Grace Miller was awarded Honorable Mention for Best Arts and Humanities Dissertation at the University of Minnesota, May 2019.

Caleb Molstad presented “What Not to Wear at a Feast: Rewriting Cleanness as an Aristocratic Value in Cleanness” at the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature, Moorhead, MN, April 2019.

Scott Nelson presented “Bringing Chaos to Order: Kurt Vonnegut and a Postmodern Resistance to Colonialism in the United States” at the Kurt Vonnegut Society, American Literature Association (ALA) Conference, Boston, May 2019

Amanda Niedfeldt published a review of Christopher Moran’s Company Confessions: Secrets, Memoirs, and the CIA (2016) in History: The Journal of the Historical Association, April 2019. She was co-organizer of the international conference Arts Patronage in Modern America at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, June 2019.

Jacqueline Patz presented “More, Faster: The Temporality of Contemporary Media” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Georgetown, March 2019.

Zoe Rodine presented “‘I am the Foam’: Woolf’s Waves and Modernist Embodiment” at the Louisville Conference on Literature Since 1900, Louisville, KY, February 2019.

Laura Rothgeb passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Laura Scroggs received the Darwin Patnode Fellowship for summer 2019.

Shavera Seneviratne presented “The Performance of Imperialism and the Romantic-era Museum” at “Bodies”: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, April 2019.

Sungjin Shin received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “Placing Romantic Time: Examining the Theories of Temporality” (project faculty advisor: Brian Goldberg).

Brett Sigurdson was awarded a Department Research Grant for spring-summer 2019 for research on Jack Kerouac, in Boston. He passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Aleisha Smith was named First-Year Writing Graduate Instructor of the Year, 2018-2019. She presented “The (Im)possibility of Being Both and Neither: Multiracial Characters in Speculative Fiction,” Children’s Literature Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN, June 2019.

Yon Ji Sol received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2019 for the project “Julia’s ‘Native Air’: Soldier-Artists, Female Critic, and Historical Novel in Guy Mannering” (project faculty advisor: Andrew Elfenbein).

Robert (Jesse) Stratton won the Aaron and Anna Beek Graduate Student Teaching Award. He presented “Recovery and Deferred Conversion in The Sege of Melayne” at the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature, Moorhead, MN, April 2019.

John Van Overbeke passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Andrea Waldrep passed the PhD Preliminary Exams.

Passed Masters Final Exam

Delaney Fitzpatrick
Anne Floyd
Miranda Peery

Alumnae/i

Ariane Balizet (PhD 2007), Associate Professor of English Literature at Texas Christian University, was awarded the Dean’s Teaching Award in April 2019. Three teaching award recipients are recognized annually for their extraordinary creative teaching at TCU. Balizet is Co-Chair of TCU's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI). Her second book, on Shakespeare and Girls’ Studies, is forthcoming from Routledge.

Julie Eckerle (PhD 2002) co-edited (with Naomi McAreave), the anthology Women's Life Writing & Early Modern Ireland (University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

James Gallant (ABD 1965) won the sixth annual Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature for the story collection La Leona and Other Guitar Stories, which will be published by Schaffner Press in 2020. The award is presented annually to a work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry that deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence. Gallant plays classical guitar and is the author of Verisimilitudes: essays and approximations, The Big Bust at Tyrone's Rooming House: A Novel of Atlanta, and Whatever Happened to Ohio?

Eunha Na (PhD 2016) accepted a position as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of English, Seoul National University. Her advisor was Josephine Lee.

Asa Olson (PhD 2018) accepted a position as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of English, Southern Arkansas University. His advisor was John Watkins.

Trenton Olson (PhD 2014) won 2018 George Eliot Essay Prize. The George Eliot Fellowship invited him to present a paper at the bicentennial conference at Leicester in July.

David Pink (PhD 1999) passed away August 2018. A poet, he taught literature and writing at MSU Moorhead and more recently at Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL, where he was a tenured professor. Working with the Creative Writing Program, Dr. Pink this year established the Pink Fellowship in Poetry and the Pink Poetry Prize, the latter to be aligned with English's literary journal Great River Review.

Emily Todd (PhD 1999) was named the founding Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Since 2010, she has been Chair of the English Department there.

Got an update for us? Email your news to sutt0063@umn.edu