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. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page for more updates.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Spring 2018 Liberal Studies Course Offerings

The Tragic Sense of Life: Survey of Greek Tragedy
LST 7100 (Foundation/Ancient)
Dr. Brian Satterfield
R 5:20-7:20

Greek Tragedy originated as a genre in a religious festival for Dionysus some 2500 years, but has transcended its particular circumstances and become synonymous with a view of life. In “The Tragic Sense of Life: Survey of Greek Tragedy” we will read major works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as authors who have attempted to work out a theory of tragedy, including Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, and Nietzsche, with a view to better understanding the characteristics of Greek tragedy and the tragic sense of life it engendered. 

Paris, City of Order and Anarchy
LST 7203
Dr Alex Varias
T 5:20-7:20

This course focuses on the history and cultural transformation of Paris since the French Revolution. The perspective will be on Paris as a city hovering between the fixation on order and the forces creating volatility and chaos. Creativity and art emerged from both aspects of the metropolis which was caught between tradition and the modern. Among the subjects included in our scrutiny are: Paris in revolutionary times; the rebuilding of the city; Impressionism and the Eiffel Tower as emblems of modernism; literary and philosophical change; the city’s experience during the two World Wars; and the challenges and visions of hope since. Requirements include oral reports, a book review and a research paper. There are no exams.

The Challenge of Peace: Modern American Perspectives
LST 7302 (Peace and Justice Studies)
M 5:20-7:20
Dr. Guy Aiken

This course will trace various antiwar, pacifist, and nonviolent movements and philosophies in the United States from what is often called the birth of the American Empire in the Spanish-American War to its haggard middle age in the present. What challenges have the partisans of peace offered American imperialism and militarism over the past 120 years? What challenges have American pacifists, antiwar advocates, and nonviolent activists faced as they defy the organized violence of the state? To answer these questions and more, our primary readings might include speeches, essays, and books by Mark Twain, William James, Jane Addams, Reinhold Niebuhr, A. J. Muste, Dorothy Day, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Luther King Jr., among others, as well as various memoirs by young men imprisoned throughout the twentieth century for draft resistance and conscientious objection. Our secondary readings might include Stephen Kinzer's The True Flag (on Twain and Teddy Roosevelt), Michael Kazin's War Against War (on resistance to the Great War), Lynne Olson's Those Angry Days (on FDR and the isolationist Charles Lindbergh), Kip Kosek's Acts of Conscience (on Christian nonviolence), and Guenter Lewy's Peace and Revolution (on American pacifism during the Vietnam War). Finally, Chris Hedges's War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning will frame the course with its unflinching account of the perennial attractions of war, reminding us that the greatest challenge of peace might be overcoming our instinctual fascination with violence.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spring 2018 Course List Now Available!

Check out our upcoming courses (descriptions on the grad English program website), ranging from topics in science fiction, civil war literature, epistolary writing, and much more.

Dr. Kevin Dettmar's Joyce Lecture

On Tuesday, the Villanova English community was treated to a fantastic lecture on Joyce's correspondences from guest speaker Dr. Kevin Dettmar. Dettmar discussed the profuse use of correspondences throughout Joyce's fiction, the mode of the correspondences Joyce himself wrote during his lifetime, and, in particular, the illuminating importance of the letters exchanged between Joyce and Grant Richards, his publisher.  Dettmar also discussed his in-progress project: the gathering, transcription, and publication of a massive collection of Joyce's previously unpublished letters. Thank you to Drs. Megan Quigley and Kamran Javadizadeh for organizing!

English Colloquium faculty and guest speaker Dr. Kevin Dettmar / Prof. Megan Quigley / Prof. Kevin Dettmar (Pomona) / Prof. Mary Mullen / Alex Brodin / Prof. Kamran Javadizadeh / Prof. Paul Saint-Amour (Penn) / Christie Leonard (behind camera)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our Very Own Stephen Reaugh in Villanova's Production of Godspell

By Angela Christaldi

Stephen Reaugh, a second-year graduate student studying English literature, didn’t plan on pursuing the theatre, especially in grad school. However, a few months in Ireland changed his mind.

While studying English as an undergraduate at Allegheny College, Reaugh spent “almost all [his] time” in the theatre department, performing in shows like Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” He hadn’t walked through the doors of Vasey Theatre, though, until he was persuaded by his fellow Abbey Theatre Summer Studio students.

“I hadn’t done a lot of theatre [since undergrad] until this past summer,” Reaugh said. “I did the Abbey Summer Studio. There were some theatre students, who were also part of the class, and as part of the Summer Studio, at the end of your time in Dublin you put on a devised show at the Abbey Theatre at the Peacock Stage…After two weeks, I kept thinking, ‘I forgot how much I love this.’”

The show that Reaugh and his peers devised was called “I’m All Wounds.” He describes it as “a series of brief scenes, interacting with the Irish theatre we had read up to that point. We were making fun of it sometimes, and paying respect to it other times.”

After realizing how much he’d missed being on the stage, Reaugh started to think about auditioning for this fall’s show at the Villanova Theatre: “Godspell.” He got a little push from the theatre students he befriended in Dublin, saying he was “lovingly coerced” into auditioning. He wouldn’t change a thing.

“We had so much fun rehearsing [Godspell]. It’s the most banal thing to say, but we actually enjoyed it,” Reaugh said. “That doesn’t often happen in shows--we had so much fun. We just played. ‘Godspell’ is all about playing, trying to reckon with this crazy narrative of Jesus’ life. They do this primarily through clowning through it. We took that and sort of ran with it.”

Reaugh performed in the ensemble, portraying the character of Herb, who he describes as a class clown type.

“He has one moment where he gets serious and he sings this beautiful little solo,” Reaugh said. “I had a lot of fun doing it. It came at a point in my life where I really needed it…It’s been light and really fun.”

While “Godspell” is known for its revolutionary nature, Villanova Theatre took it even further, choosing to do a gender-blind casting. For those unfamiliar, that means that the directors chose whoever was best for the roles, regardless of if their gender corresponds with the character’s written gender. At Villanova, this choice led to the two main characters, Jesus and Judas, being played by women.

Reaugh said that the company’s choice to do a gender-blind cast was “particularly useful,” especially in our current political climate, and mentioned that Villanova Theatre has a history of pushing boundaries.

“Villanova Theatre isn’t afraid to shake boundaries, and they’re definitely aware of when they do it…This show, in particular, was a good choice because it showed how important it is to hear voices that don’t often get heard,” Reaugh said.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Call for Papers: College at Brockport’s 4th Annual SEGUE (The Symposium for English Graduate Students)

Graduate students are invited to take part in the College at Brockport’s 4thAnnual SEGUE—The Symposium for English Graduate Students, which will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Visit the post on our Conferences Opportunities page for more information!

As always, remember that if you decide to submit proposals to any conferences, be sure to consider applying for Conference Travel Funding.

Call for Papers: "Exploring Resistance through Medieval and Early Modern Culture"

The Early Modern Colloquium at the University of Michigan invites abstracts for papers for their interdisciplinary graduate student conference, "Exploring Resistance through Medieval and Early Modern Culture,” at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 16-17, 2018. Visit the post on our Conferences Opportunities page for more information!

As always, remember that if you decide to submit proposals to any conferences, be sure to consider applying for Conference Travel Funding.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Delightful "The Love Song of J. Alfred Wildcat" Get Together

Grads and undergrads alike recently spent some time talking to other students about English and reading some T.S. Eliot. Junior English major Alex Forgion reports: "The event had a great turn out and it was a lot of fun! After we read the poem aloud, professors Javadizadeh and Quigley shared some fascinating background information about the poem and T. S. Eliot. Then, we broke up into groups and discussed specifics about the poem. All of our conversations were very productive and insightful; hopefully we inspired some people to declare English as a major!"

Thanks to all who participated!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Our ReJOYCEful Outing to the Rosenbach

Members of Dr. Quigley's Joyce classes (grads and undergrads) ventured into Philly this past Saturday for a special viewing of Joyce's Ulysses manuscripts, letters, and several notebooks. The presentation was packed with facts about Joyce's extensive revision process for the book--some pages went through as many as twelve rounds of revisions!

First edition!
Alex was a fan. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

English Department Adventures, Day of Service Edition

This past Saturday, faculty and grad students from the department traveled to The Academy @ Palumbo in South Philly for the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service. We spent the day doing various improvement projects across the school, including painting columns in the cafeteria and guidance counselor offices. BIG shoutout to our group coordinator, Nick Manai, who did a phenomenal job getting us organized, answering questions, tracking down more paintbrushes, successfully finding band aids, etc.

Dr. Yumi "Paint Tape Pro" Lee in action

Angeline and Lia!
Our group was part of the 5,000 other Villanovans who volunteered their time to various service projects at more than 100 sites across Greater Philadelphia. Thanks to everyone who came!

Call for Abstracts! NeMLA

Attention grad students: The Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) has issued a call for abstracts! Visit their site to submit. And don't forget, you can request conference travel funding.

The Northeast Modern Language Association's 2018 keynote speaker will be Professor Rob Nixon, the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment at Princeton University. He is the author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, which won numerous awards, including the International Studies Association for the best book in environmental studies.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Alumni News

Ted Howell, class of 2010, was recently published in the Modern Language Quarterly!

Planted throughout E. M. Forster’s Howards End are the seeds of many dramatic forms of climate change that subsequently dominated the twentieth century. Howards End gathers together major strands of its contemporaneous ecological thought, where distressful events (rural decay, deforestation) are perceived; nostalgia for a pastoral past is honestly felt but recognized as impractical; devastation on a national, imperial, and even global scale is foretold; and hope for the earth’s future comes in a form largely symbolic or mythical—as vision more than prediction. Forster’s awareness of the potentially global significance of local environmental change emerged in concert with the environmental philosophy of his era, specifically the “back to the land” movement and theories of climatic determinism, and was developed in a 1909 short story, “The Machine Stops,” that he wrote while beginning Howards End, a novel best read within its environmental history and contemporaneous reactions to environmental change and together with a work of speculative fiction that helps account for the aura of impending apocalypse that saturates it.

MLQ Volume 77,  Number 4:  547-572. 2016
For full article: http://mlq.dukejournals.org/content/77/4/547.full

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thanks for Joining Our Game of Thrones Conversation

Thanks, all, for coming to our recent panel discussion, "Winter is Coming: A Conversation About Game of Thrones,” led by Drs. Joe Drury, Brooke Hunter, and Travis Foster. It was packed!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Job Opportunity with AMC Networks

AMC Networks is hiring a Social Marketing Content Producer, see link below for more info!

You love the Internet. You love keeping up with the ever-changing social media
landscape. You know the difference between a fan and a Liker. You inherently
understand the difference between the audiences on Instagram, Snapchat Discover, and
YouTube. You understand why designing for social is different from designing for banner

You would gladly nerd out over the differences between designing for print, motion, and
for the Internet, AKA maximum shareability.

You create memes in your sleep.

You want to tell stories through the art on our pages, and understand how that story
across channels ladders up to a bigger narrative.

You think that testing and engagement data can lead to more compelling creative
executions for our fans.

The Social Content Producer works hand-in-hand on the Social Marketing team with the
Social Marketing Manager who writes all social copy, manages the communities,
develops the social strategy and voice. Also working closely with the Creative Director,
the Social Content Producer will develop a cohesive look and feel for a set of shows
across all social channels. With the support of a Jr. Designer, s/he will create all of the
social assets for the show, including pre-premiere, in-season, and bridge content.

Content includes, but is not limited to, static images, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and
microvideos. Channels include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and

Thursday, September 14, 2017