Welcome to the official blog for Villanova's Graduate English Program! Come back often for updates on conference opportunities, guest speakers, student accomplishments, alumni news, and more.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

17th Annual Literary Festival

The Villanova English department is hosting the annual Literary Festival this upcoming semester. Write these on your calendar now, as you will not want to miss them!

James McBride, author of Good Lord Bird: February 3
Bruce Smith, author of Devotions: February 19
Claire Kilroy, author of The Devil I Know, March 17
Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah: March 31
Jay Cantor, author of Forgiving the Angel: Four Stories of Franz Kafka: April 16

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The "Great CATsby" English Department Promo Event Attended by Over 100 Freshmen

On Thursday, October 7, over a hundred undergraduates gathered to take in a presentation about the Great Gatsby. Dr. Lutes performed a miracle of precalculation to order pizzas, we moved the chairs out of the way to make room for whomever might come, those of us in costume read our parts over, and then all we had was to wait. We started being surprised at around 50 students, but in the end over 100 students showed up.

The goal of the evening was to remind them of what they knew of the Great Gatsby, and perhaps to challenge them to think about it in new ways. Dr. Lutes gave a quick presentation on new possibilities for reading The Great Gatsby, especially reminding the students how pronounced race is in the text. The four volunteer readers read a passage from the novel, the scene in which Gatsby shows Daisy his shirts and she bursts into tears. Then we broke into groups.

The discussion was lively! Each student was eager to contribute what they remembered to the discussion, and Dr. Lutes's prepping of the discussion leaders had given us some good ways to elicit reactions. My group focused primarily on the motivations of Daisy and Gatsby, understanding them as seeing each other more for what each represented, rather than for who they were, although that was complicated a little bit as we kept chatting. I found my group of (all girls!) ready to dialogue with each other.

There was a collection of majors present, and with the main goal of moving them toward a major in English, it did seem that the event was exciting to everyone, regardless of the path they will take. Just opening up anyone's eyes to the idea that talking about literature can happen over pizza and among friends, and can include pop culture references, was I think entirely eye-opening for some of these freshmen! 

The English Department Takes a Break

On October 6, the Villanova English Department took a collective study break in the form of our newest tradition - Coffee Break! Dr. Hicks, Dr. Radcliffe, and other professors were in attendance, along with undergraduate and graduate English students, for conversation and the all-important ingredient: truly good coffee.

Dr. Lisa Sewell Wins the Tenth Gate Prize

LISA SEWELL is the WINNER of the First Annual Tenth Gate Prize!

English department professor Lisa Sewell has won the 2014 Tenth Gate prize for her poetry manuscript, Impossible Object. The prize includes a cash award of $1000 and book publication in the spring of 2015. The imprint was founded to honor and publish mid-career poets.

Impossible Object is Sewell's fourth poetry collection, following the chapbook Long Corridor (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009), and full-length collections Name Withheld (Four Way Books, 2006) and The Way Out (Alice James Books, 1998).

Says Series Editor Leslie McGrath, "Lisa Sewell's poems are shot through with an adhesive intelligence born of the accretion of craft, discernment, and engagement with the world. This is exactly the kind of collection for which the Tenth Gate prize was developed."

Sewell is also co-editor, with Claudia Rankine, of two essay collections that focus on 21st Century North American poets. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Paris Review and Harvard Review. She has been awarded a Leeway Foundation Grant and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the first annual award of the Tenth Gate Prize, an imprint of The Word Works. Impossible Object will be available by advance order for $17 plus $4 shipping and handling at The Word Works website (click here) or from SPD.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Coffee Break Monday, October 5 at 4 PM

The English Department Invites You to a Midterm Coffee Break!

Come hang out with English majors, graduate students, and faculty and enjoy free cookies and gourmet coffee.

Monday, October 6th at 4:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Lounge of Falvey Library (Located in the back area of the second floor).


Monday, September 29, 2014

Dr. Lennon Meets with Director of the National Theatre of Ireland

A group from Villanova University, led by President Fr. Peter Donohue, went to the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland, to meet with the Director, Fiach MacConghail, Chair of the Board, Dr. Bryan McMahon, and Abbey staff. Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of the Irish Studies Program and a professor in the English Department, along with Tony Ponturo, Broadway producer and Villanova alumnus '76, discussed the coordination of the Summer Studio, a joint 3-week, Villanova-Abbey Theatre summer program, as well as a possible Abbey Theatre residency at Villanova University. To read our post about Dr. Lennon's meeting with the president of Ireland, click here.

Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University
and Fiach MacConghail, Director
of the Abbey Theatre

President Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., Villanova University and
Fiach MacConghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre

L-R: Oonagh Desire, Director of Public Affairs and
Development; Tony Ponturo, Villanova alumnus '74, Dean of Arts and
Sciences's Advisory Council Member; Fiach MacConghail, Director of the
Abbey Theatre; President Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., Villanova
University; Dr. Bryan Mc Mahon, Chairman of the Board for the Abbey
Theatre; Mike O'Neill, Vice President for Advancement, Villanova
University; Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova
University; George Kolb, Vice President for Alumni Relations.

Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University;
Oonagh Desire, Director of Public Affairs and Development; Tony Ponturo,
Villanova alumnus '74, Dean of Arts and Sciences's Advisory
Council Member

Fr. Peter at the Abbey

Dr. Joseph Drury Lecture in the Fedigan Room - 12:30 PM Today

Dr. Joseph Drury will be giving a lecture on Matthew Lewis's The Monk this lunchtime hour in the Fedigan Room. Please join us!

Joseph Drury
“Twilight of the Virgin Idols: Iconoclash in The Monk”
Monday, Sept. 29
in the Fedigan Room.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"The Great Catsby" Recruiting Event

The English Department is hosting a recruiting event, coordinated by Dr. Jean Lutes, for undecided undergraduates to experience being an English major for an evening. The event will be a fun and accessible way to approach a familiar text. The evening will be facilitated by upperclassman English majors as well as Graduate English students, who will perform a dramatic reading of a passage and then lead breakout discussion groups.

More graduate students are always welcome to assist with discussion groups. Let Dr. Lutes know if you are interested!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dr. Joseph Lennon Meets with the President of Ireland and the Irish Prime Minister

Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Villanova Irish Studies and Associate Professor of English, has just returned from a trip to Ireland with a retinue of Villanova administrators, including Father Peter Donohue. The visit included meetings with both the President and the Prime Minister of Ireland to discuss the ongoing work of Villanova's Irish Studies Program.

L-R: Teresa O'Neill, friend of Villanova University and wife of Mike O'Neill
Mike O'Neill, Vice President for Advancement, husband of Teresa O'Neill
Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University
President Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., Villanova University
Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins
Ronnie Delaney, Villanova alumnus '58, Chapter President Ireland's
Villanova Alumni Association
Tony Ponturo, Villanova alumnus '74, Dean of Arts and Sciences's
Advisory Council Member
George Kolb, Vice President for Alumni Relations
Dr. Mary Madec, Director of the Villanova Center, National
University of Ireland, Galway

Front Row L-R:Senator Eamonn Coghlan, Villanova alumnus '76
Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Prime Minister of Ireland)
President Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., Villanova University
Back Row L-R: Harry Purcell, incoming Villanova freshman on track
and field scholarship
Teresa O'Neill, friend of Villanova University and wife of Mike O'Neill
Mike O'Neill, Vice President for Advancement, husband of Teresa O'Neill
Dr. Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University
Tony Ponturo, Villanova alumnus '74, Dean of Arts and Sciences's
Advisory Council Member

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Graduate Certificate in Education

A new certificate program in Education is now available. This option permits students who are especially interested in teaching secondary school to take coursework from the Villanova Education Department in tandem with their English coursework. Through the certificate courses, you can develop advanced teaching techniques, learn about lesson planning, and familiarize yourself with the uses of classroom technology, as well as cultivate more specialized knowledge in a range of areas of pedagogical theory and practice.

The certificate includes three required courses and two electives, one of which can be satisfied by a graduate English course. To learn more, see the online brochure.

You can also direct questions to Dr. Edward Fierros, the Graduate Director of the Education Program, at edward.fierros@villanova.edu.

New Gender and Women's Studies Certificate for English M.A.

The graduate school just introduced an interdisciplinary, graduate-level Gender and Women's Studies certificate. This option permits you to pursue specialized graduate coursework in Gender and Women’s studies while also earning your M.A. in English. The interdisciplinary 15-credit certificate program permits you to take courses focused on topics related to gender and sexuality from a wide range of graduate programs at Villanova, including History, Communication, Theater, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Political Science, and the Law School. Two courses from your English M.A. can also be counted toward the certificate. To learn more about this program and how to apply, click here: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/gws/academics/graduate-certificate.html.

If you have questions, you can contact Dr. Lutes at jean.lutes@villanova.edu.

English Department Outreach Event - Volunteers Needed

Interested in The Great Gatsby? Want to get some experience planning an event centered on a literary classic? The English department is hosting an event designed for first-year students, and we need students to help us.

The English Department has started doing more outreach to the undergraduates (especially freshmen) to be sure that our department and major remain visible to them now that there is no freshman English course in the core requirements for the university.

Last year we held a very successful event called "Wildcat in the Rye" in one of the freshmen dorms. The concept was to talk about a book that is taught in high school and explore how it is approached differently at the college level. A faculty member talked briefly about Salinger's novel, and then there were breakout discussions run by graduate students. Around 90 freshmen attended the event (which also included free pizza and cookies).

This year, we're going to have a similar event, "The Great Catsby"--no, that is not a typo--in which our very own Dr. Jean Lutes will be talking briefly about, you guessed it, F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, and then we'll have the breakout sessions again. We'd love to get help again this year from you, our graduate students. I've included an email below from Dr. Lutes, and we hope some of you will volunteer.

Come to a planning session with Dr. Lutes Monday Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the English department lounge. Email her to let her know if you're coming -- OR if you can't make it but you want to be involved: jean.lutes@villanova.edu.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Spring Liberal Studies Graduate-Level Study Abroad Course Open to Graduate English Students

Graduate English students are welcome to enroll in this Liberal Studies graduate-level study abroad course as an elective to supplement their MA in English.

Graduate Liberal Studies presents
Currents in GreekHistory: a semester long odyssey into the Greek past and present.
Course Code LST 7201-001

In addition to selected readings for in-class discussion of Greek history and culture, students will travel to Greece for two weeks to visit ancient, Byzantine, and modern sites and to use facilities of the Harvard Hellenic Center in the beautiful city of Nafplion, first capital of Modern Greece. In addition to tuition, the approximate cost per student is $2750.

The course will be offered in the spring semester, 2015. Those interested should contact Dr. Alexander Varias at Alexander.Varias@Villanova.edu to arrange meetings and interviews in the early fall, or the Director of Graduate Liberal Studies, Dr. Marylu Hill at Marylu.hill@villanova.edu about
enrollment details.