PhD News 2019-2020

Publications, presentations, and awards by our doctoral candidates and alums
Photo of grad student's computer and desk set up at home
PhD candidate Shavera Seneviratne getting ready to teach The Tempest this spring

PhD Dissertations Defended

Amy Bolis (advisor: Katherine Scheil), “Exporting Othello: Shakespeare, Race, and Adaptation in America (2008-2018)”

Ashley Campbell (advisor: Katherine Scheil), “Just Trash”

Jenna Dreier (advisor: Katherine Scheil), “‘As you from crimes would pardoned be’: Prison Shakespeare and the Practices of Empowerment.” Dreier has accepted a position as Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in English and Writing, University of Minnesota.

Amy Fairgrieve (advisor: Andrew Elfenbein), “I’ve Got a Bad, Bad Feeling: Rethinking Negative Affect in Literary Studies"

Marc Juberg (advisor: Katherine Scheil), "Satirizing the Audience: Shakespeare and the Uses of Obscurity, 1594-1601"

David Lemke (advisors: Timothy Brennan and Ellen Messer-Davidow), "A Critique From Within: The Early African American Utopian Tradition and Its Visions of a Better Society"

Charlotte Madere (advisor: Brian Goldberg), "Creating Indian and British Selves: Life-Writing and Colonial Relations, 1794-1826.” Madere has accepted a position as Instructor at King's Academy, Jordan.

Katelyn McCarthy (advisor: John Watkins), “Reading the Double Bind: The Death of the Good Woman in Early Modern Literature.” McCarthy has accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New England.

Melissa Merte (advisor: Andrew Elfenbein), “Formally Entangled: Plotting Economic and Romantic Desire in Victorian Narratives”

Michael Rowe (advisor: Lois Cucullu), “Aliens and Animals: Notes on Literary Lifeforms After Darwin and Freud”

Yon Ji Sol (advisor: Andrew Elfenbein), "To Enlist or Not, for the Empire: Citizens of the British Isles and Stories of War”

PhD Candidate News

Amy Bolis’ paper “‘Haply for I am Black’: Examining Representation in Shakespeare’s ‘Problematic Plays’ as a Means of Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the College Classroom” was accepted for presentation at the Shakespeare Association of America Conference, Denver, April 2020.

Christopher Bowman was awarded Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020.

Eunkyung Cho received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020.

Moinak Choudhury was awarded a Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World (CSPW) Dissertation Development Fellowship for spring semester. Choudhury presented "'The Reasoning Jargon of Unreasoning Fools': John Clare’s Autodidacticism and Sensus Communis," Nineteenth Century Studies Association Conference, Rochester, New York, March 2020.

Erica (Stacey) Decker presented “’Pale Horse, Pale Rider’ and Ravensong: Epidemics, Healing, and Contingency,” Modernist Studies Association Conference, Toronto, October 2019.

Jenna Dreier won the 2019 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Award and the Monk Award for the Best Article by a Graduate Student, for “From Apprentice to Master: Casting Men to Play Shakespeare’s Women in Prison,” in a special issue of Humanities on “Humanities in Prison” (8:3, 2019). Dreier’s article “Decolonizing Pedagogies in Prison Performance Programs: Making Shakespeare Secondary” was accepted for a special issue of Research in Drama Education on “Carcerality, Theatre, Rights.” Dreier was the co-organizer for the session “Pedagogy for the Justice-Involved: Teaching English in Jails and Prisons,” Modern Language Association, Seattle, January 2020. Dreier will be the inaugural Department of English Postdoctoral Fellow in 2020-2021.

Jennifer Easler presented “The Futility of Prophecy: Helenus, Calchas, and Poetry in Lydgate’s Troy Book,” 36th Annual Illinois Medieval Association Conference, Notre Dame, Indiana, February 2020, and "Useless Counsels: Helenus in Lydgate’s Troy Book and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida," 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo. Easler’s presentation “'She gan first smyle,' 'Sche gan to waile': Cassandra in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Lydgate’s Troy Book," 2020 Biennial Congress, New Chaucer Society, Durham, UK, has been rescheduled for July 2020.

Stephen Ellis was awarded an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for 2020-2021, for his project “Making the Case: Legal Curriculum, Literary Culture, and the Cold War.” Ellis also received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (advanced Russian) for summer 2020.

Jonas Gardsby presented "The Law on Trial: Anarchy in Montaigne's Essais," Shakespeare Association of America, April 2020 (conducted digitally), and "Unsettling Science at the Dawn of the Essay," Renaissance Society of America, Philadelphia, March 2020.

Andrew Hamilton passed PhD Preliminary Exams. Hamilton presented "Burdened Beauty: Race, Landscape, and Aesthetic Judgement in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye," Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Boston, March 2020.

Margaret Heeschen passed PhD Preliminary Exams. Heeschen received a Saltus Grant from the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World (CSPW) to attend the 2020 Summer School in Scandinavian Manuscript Studies at the University of Iceland. Heeschen presented “The Mercian Space of the Beowulf-Poet,” International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, 19th Biennial Meeting, Albuquerque, July-Aug 2019. "A Lesson in Pitch: The Influence of Bede’s In Genesim on Genesis A" was accepted for presentation at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2020,

Elizabeth Howard received a Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World (CSPW) Dissertation Development Fellowship for spring semester and a PEO Women’s Scholars Fellowship of $15,000. Howard published the “Habit of Perfection” study guide on the International Hopkins Association website, fall 2019. Howard presented “Catastrophic Glories: Natural Disasters and G.M. Hopkins’ Aesthetic Theodicy,” Ecology and Religion in 19th-Century Studies, Baylor University, Waco, September 2019; “Observation by Circulation: Krakatoa, Citizen Science, and the Competition of Epistolary Evidence, 1883-1886,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, Los Angeles, March 2020; and “Stitched Verse: Dun Emer Industries, Publication, and the Manipulation of Gender Expectations,” North American Victorian Studies Association, Ohio State University, October 2019.

Youngbin Hyeon’s paper “Explaining Asian American Father-Son Conflict through Labor: Inheritance of Alienation in Frank Chin’s The Year of the Dragon and Julia Cho’s Durango” was accepted for presentation at the Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Washington, DC, April 2020.

Bomi Jeon received the Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2020-2021 for the dissertation “Looking Through the Everyday: National Space, Time, and Experience in British Fiction and Cinema after 1940.” Jeon also was awarded a Hella Mears Graduate Fellowship in German and European Studies, summer 2020. Jeon presented “Everyday Space and Carnivalesque Strategies in Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners (1956),” Northeast Modern Language Association conference, Boston, March 2020.

Melissa Johnson presented “Fandom, the Force, and Shakespeare’s Female Characters: The Rise of Claire McCarthy’s film Ophelia and ABC’s Still Star-Crossed in Popular Understanding of Shakespeare’s Plays,” Blackfriars Conference at the American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, Virginia, October 2019.

Hannah Jorgenson was awarded Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020. Jorgenson published "Engaging with Austen" in Engaging the Age of Jane Austen: Public Humanities in Practice, edited by Bridget Draxler and Danielle Spratt (University of Iowa Press, 2019). She reviewed "Emotional and Scribal Communities in the Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" by Robert Phiddian and Jean McBain in the spring 2020 issue of The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats. Jorgenson will present "Love and Marriage: Women's Reproductive Autonomy and the Law in Eighteenth-Century Britain," Roundtable: Reproductive Justice, C18-C21, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (transferred from 2020 to 2021 meeting).

Marc Juberg will publish “Stomaching Satire: Poetaster, Troilus and Cressida, and the Hermeneutics of Hypocrisy” in the autumn 2021 issue of English Literary Renaissance (51: 3).

Jennifer Kang co-presented “Center for Writing’s League of Extraordinary Consultants,” Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference: Leap into Global Learning, University of Minnesota, February 2020. Kang’s presentation “The ‘Wandering’ Jew: Migrating Individuals and Black-Jewish Relations in Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives” was accepted at ACLA, Chicago, March 2020. Kang’s article “De-Provincializing Liolà: Pirandello, Futurism, and Dialectics in Gramsci’s Cultural Writings” is forthcoming in an edited volume by Palgrave-Macmillan.

David Lemke presented “Black Empire: George Schuyler’s Cynical Black Nationalist Utopia,” Society of Utopian Studies Conference, East Lansing, Michigan, October 2019.

Jen-chou Liu presented “’Caverns, Gulphs, Pits, and Precipices’: The Precarious and Feminine Sublimity of Frances Burney’s Authorial Identity,” Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association, Chiayi, Taiwan, November 2019.

Charlotte Madere reviewed Walter N. Hakala's Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia (2016) in Studies in People's History (6:2), December 2019.

Melissa Merte’s article “Plotting an Economic and Romantic Path Forward: Miss Matty’s Tea Shop and the Gendered Cycles of Cranford” is forthcoming in Texas Studies in Literature and Language (62:3). Merte presented “Envisioning Creation and Reproduction as Metaphors of Motherhood in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette,” Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference, Rochester, New York, March 2020.

Keelia Estrada Moeller presented “Resisting Patriarchal Domination: The Female Gaze and Medusa Figures in The Awakening,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, March 2020.

Caleb Molstad passed PhD Preliminary Exams.

Scott Nelson presented "Ancestral Indignation: The Temporal Ambiguities of Colonial Resentment in LeAnne Howe's Shell Shaker,” American Comparative Literature Association, Chicago, March 2020.

Jacqueline Patz DiPiero received the Audrey Christensen Library Acquisition Prize and Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020. Patz DiPiero  presented “The Oblivion of Repetition,” American Comparative Literature Association, Chicago, March 2020.

Kyle Riper’s paper “Alien-ated Labor: Walls, Robots, Death, and Capitalism in Pacific Rim” was accepted for presentation at the Pop Culture Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, April 2020.

Zoe Rodine received Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020, as well as a Ruth Drake Dissertation Fellowship in fall 2020. Rodine presented “Geometric Chimaeras, Electric Ladies: Modernist Embodiment from Mina Loy to Janelle Monáe,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Chicago, March 2020. Rodine’s paper “Vampires, Circulation, and Rewriting the Body in Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories” was accepted for presentation at the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) conference, New Orleans, April 2020.

David Rodriguez Martinez was awarded Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020. Rodriguez Martinez presented “La terra trema and the Half-life of Fascism in Sicily,” Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, March 2020.

Shavera Seneviratne presented “Joanna Baillie, Romanticism and Theatrical Pedagogy in British Ceylon,” NASSR 2019, Chicago, August 2019. With Brian Rejack and Alexandra Milsom, Seneviratne reviewed “NASSR Panel: Beyond the Pale: New Directions in Transnational Romanticisms” for Romantic Circles.

Sungjin Shin presented "Reading Two Tracks of Time in 'Michael," Midwest Modern Language Association, Chicago, November 2019.

Aleisha Smith was awarded a 2020 MLA Career Development Boot Camp Fellowship for the 2020 Modern Language Association. Smith presented "The Best of All Worlds: Empowered Multiracial Characters in Young Adult Speculative Fiction," Modern Language Association, Seattle, January 2020.

Yon Ji Sol presented “Writing for the Nation, Healing the Nation: Soldierly Domesticity and the Genre of Reform in Rural Rides and Bleak House,” North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 2019.

Karen Soto passed PhD Preliminary Exams.

Robert (Jesse) Stratton passed PhD Preliminary Exams.

Kerstin Tuttle’s paper "Adam and Evolved: Religion and Science in Kurt Vonnegut's Galápagos” was accepted for presentation at the American Literature Association Conference, San Diego,  May 2020.

John VanOverbeke was awarded Graduate Research Partnership Program support for summer 2020.

Andrea Waldrep’s paper “The Affect of Reading Drinking Horns in Beowulf” was accepted for presentation at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 2020.

MA Student News

Marcia Riopelle passed the English Literature Master’s Final Exam.

PhD Alum News

Elisabeth Alderks (PhD 2019) has accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor, Macalester College (advisor: Timothy Brennan).

James J. Berg (PhD 1996) is the co-editor of Isherwood in Transit (University of Minnesota Press), published June 2020. The volume includes an essay by Professor Emerita Lois Cucullu.

Daniel Birkholz (PhD 1999) published Harley Manuscript Geographies: Literary History and the Medieval Miscellany with Manchester University Press.

Steve Healey (PhD 2009) published the poetry collection Safe Houses I Have Known with Coffee House Press, and it was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.

Karen Woods Weierman (PhD 1999) published The Case of the Slave-Child, Med: Free Soil in Antislavery Boston with University of Massachusetts Press.

Jewon Woo (PhD 2013) received a $40,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as one of 26 inaugural Mellon/ACLS Community College Fellows. Dr. Woo is Associate Professor of English at Lorain County Community College in Ohio. Read our interview.

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