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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kathleen Hynes on Atlas Shrugged

Kathleen Hynes won third place for her submission to the 2011 Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest hosted by the Ayn Rand Institute. Congratulations Katie for standing out from over 2,200 submissions!

Click here to view the list of winners and contest information.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Graduate English Holiday Party

Graduate English students, along with a guest, are cordially invited to a holiday open house on Sunday, December 18th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the home of Dr. Lauren Shohet. Please RSVP via email to Dr. Hicks by Friday, December 9th.

Professional Research Option (PRO)

The Graduate English Department is happy to introduce a new Independent Study option, which permits students to research and share information about non-academic career options for students with an M.A. in English. Below is a description of the Professional Research Option (PRO). Please let Dr. Hicks know if you have questions about this 3-credit independent study. Students who would like to register for this option can contact Susan Burns.

The Professional Research Option (PRO) is a three-credit independent study in which students identify one or a cluster of jobs or professions in which an advanced degree in literature is beneficial. In the course of the semester, students will research the career options of interest, identifying one or two fields as the focus of their work. They must generate a research paper that explores the history and future prospects of the field of interest, as well as current information about the requirements of the work, geographical information about centers of activity for the profession, and desirable employers. This research should include at least two meetings with professionals who work in the field. The paper must also analyze how advanced study of literature serves to enhance the students’ desirability in the profession in question. As part of their final project, students must develop a cover letter outlining the ways their particular training makes them suitable to work in this field. Students will make their research available to other students in the program by uploading their final project onto a special section of the Graduate English Program blog. Potential fields of research include the following:

E-Book Industry
Public relations
College admissions
University administration
Arts administration
Library science
Technical writing
Testing industry
Tutoring industry
Entertainment industry work
Web design
Rare book broker

Poor Jane Almanac: The Life and Opinions of Benjamin Franklin's Sister, an 18th century tale of two Americas

This Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center, Harvard Professor Jill Lepore will be giving a talk entitled "Poor Jane Almanac: The Life and Opinions of Benjamin Franklin's Sister, an 18th century tale of two Americas." Dr. Lepore is the rare academic who straddles the worlds of academia and the mainstream press, and her talk should be fascinating and engaging. Along with being a prolific author of scholarly books and articles, she is also a staff writer for the New Yorker. Refreshments will be offered immediately following the talk.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thesis and Field Exam

If you are in the process of drafting your Thesis or Field Exam proposal, of if you are just interested in the process, here are a few exemplary Thesis and Field Exam proposals for you to review:

Thesis Proposal model 1
Thesis Proposal model  2
Field Exam Paper model
Field Exam Proposal model 2
Field Exam Proposal model 3

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thesis and Field Examination Workshop

The Graduate English Department is hosting a Thesis and Field Examination Workshop on Tuesday, November 29th at 7:30 in SAC 300.  Lots of information about the thesis and field examination process will be provided, followed by a question and answer session. Pizza and drinks will be served.

Please RSVP to Dr. Hicks by Wednesday, November 23rd at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dramatic Recital this Friday

This Friday afternoon, November 11th, at 4:00 in Vasey Theater, well-known Irish poet Eamon Grennan is staging a dramatic recital by two actors of a verse play he has written called “Hunger.” The play has had great reception where it has played, and it runs less than an hour. Please consider kicking off your weekend with this major cultural event!

Monday, November 7, 2011

2012 Villanova Literary Festival Lineup

The 2012 Villanova Literary Festival lineup has been finalized, and we are in for a great round of readings this spring. All of the readings will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Connelly Center.

February 2: Poet C.D. Wright
Her poetry includes One with Others (volume; 2011 Lenore Marshall Prize); Rising, Falling, Hovering (volume; Griffin Poetry Prize); One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (volume; 2003); and Deepstep Come Shining (book-length; 1998). Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Bunting Institute.

February 21: Poet and Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair Juan Felipe Herrera
The son of migrant farm workers, he attended UCLA, Stanford, and the University of Iowa. His work includes Half of the World in Light (2008 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry; 2009 PEN/Beyond Margins Award) and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border (2008 PEN West award). Among his honors are two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

March 13: Author and Villanova Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies Hugo Hamilton
He the best-selling author of The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood (Prix Femina Etranger in France, Premio Giuseppe Berto prize in Italy, appeared on the New York Times list of notable books) and Hand in the Fire (2010). In 1992 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

April 12: Fiction writer and Orange Prize winner Téa Obreht
At only 26, her writing already has been published in, among others, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. The New Yorker named her one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty. Her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife (2011), won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

April 26: Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction William Kennedy
A few of his novels and screenplays include Legs, Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (novel), Ironweed (novel; 1984 Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award), and Grand View (screenplay). His awards include the Literary Lions Award from the New York Public Library, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Governor’s Arts Award, and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

Click here for more complete author biographies.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Africana Studies Upcoming Event

Africana Studies is sponsoring a lecture by Dr. Tess Onwueme, University of Wisconsin Professor of Global Letters. As the seventh annual Senghor-Damas-Cesaire lecture in Africana Studies, she will be presenting "Erupting Silences: Dr. Tess Onwueme Speaks/Performs the Soul of Africana" on November 14 at 4:00 pm at the Connelly Cinema.

Click here to view the event postcard

The event is co-sponsored by the Cultural Studies Program and the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 Ph.D. Forum

Mark your calendars for the annual Graduate English Program Forum on applying for the Ph.D. On Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. in SAC 300, our two newest faculty members, Dr. Joe Drury, who received his Ph.D. at Penn, and Dr. Kamran Javadizadeh, who received his Ph.D. at Yale, will talk about the decision to pursue a Ph.D. and the nuts and bolts of applying. One of our recent graduates of the M.A. program, Don James McLaughlin, who is now pursuing his Ph.D. at Penn, will also talk about life in a Ph.D. program. Please email Dr. Hicks to R.S.V.P. by Friday, November 4th at 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Irish Studies Upcoming Events

Irish Studies has lined up a semester full of great lectures, readings, theatrical performances, and film screenings. On October 17, Patrick Mason, one of Ireland's leading theatre directors, will give the inaugural lecture for the Villanova-Abbey Theatre Exchange. His lecture, focusing on the new Irish Theatre, will be held at Dougherty West Lounge at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a reception. Click here to view the event poster!

On November 1, Booker Nominated Novelist Patrick McGuinness will host a reading at 5:30 pm in the Falvey Library Lounge.

Click here to view the Irish Studies fall 2011 event calendar

Check back for future events, or visit the Irish Studies website for more information.

"Entanglements of Matter and Meaning" Seminar

As part of our arrangement with the Women's Studies Consortium of Greater Philadelphia, Villanova Women's Studies is bringing Dr. Karen Barad to Villanova to run a seminar on "agential realism" on Wednesday, November 9th at 1:30 in the afternoon in Room 200 of the Health Center Building.

Dr. Barad is a Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research topics include feminist theory, physics, twentieth-century continental philosophy, epistemology, ontology, philosophy of physics, cultural studies of science, and feminist science studies. Barad earned her Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics.

Her topic for the seminar is "Entanglements of Matter and Meaning" -- agential realism as an ethico-onto-epistemological understanding of mattering; what is entanglement?; why and how do entanglements matter; how to think with phenomena rather than objects; how to simultaneously acknowledge the importance of material and discursive elements; why objectivity requires accounting for issues of social justice.

 If you would like to attend, you must RSVP to the Director of Women's Studies, Dr. Lisa Sewell at lisa.sewell@villanova.edu.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dr. Shohet appointed the first Luckow Family Endowed Chair holder

Congratulations to Dr. Shohet, Associate Professor of English, for being appointed the first holder of the Luckow Family Endowed Chair in English! The Chair supports a nationally recognized scholar and highly-regarded teacher who enhances the scholarly reputation of the department, college and university, while also advancing the education of Villanova literature students.

As Chair holder, Dr. Shohet hopes to draw international perspectives together, especially expanding English majors’ and graduate students’ opportunities to consider international dimensions of their studies. Dr. Shohet also plans to explore interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary opportunities within the department.

Click here to read the full article.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference on Gender and Women's Studies will take place starting at 1:00 on Thursday. The conference features presentations by both undergraduates and graduate students who have done research on gender and women's studies. The keynote address will be by Dr. Noel Sturgeon, who is a Professor of Women's Studies and American Studies at Washington State University. Dr. Sturgeon, who received her Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will be presenting on the political vision of James Cameron's film Avatar, using the film to explore questions about the potential of popular culture to function as a mode of activism.

The schedule of panels is as follows:

SESSION I: 1:10-2:10
Postmodern Approaches to Feminism - DEVON ROOM
Women's Agency in Literature - BRYN MAWR ROOM
East-West Perspectives on Women in Society - ROSEMONT ROOM
Performance of Oppression in Everyday Contexts - RADNOR ROOM

SESSION II: 2:20-3:10 - Theatrical and Musical Review - Cinema

SESSION III: 3:20 - 4:20
Critical Feminist Biography/Autobiography, DEVON ROOM
Discourse & Relationships: Woman to Woman, Woman to Man, BRYN MAWR ROOM
Women's Place in Society, ROSEMONT ROOM
Androgyny and the Body, HAVERFORD ROOM
Drama and Performance, RADNOR ROOM

We hope to see you there!

Thank You!

On Saturday, April 2nd, Villanova's Graduate English Program hosted our 2nd annual Thesis and Field Exam Symposium. The event was well-attended by current and prospective students, as well as members of the faculty. We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all those who came in support of our presenters, and give a special thank you to those who presented, Mary Beth Harris, Jessica Fullerton, Chris Bollini, Kelly Vass, Katie Prilutski, and James McAdams.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2nd Annual Graduate Thesis and Field Exam Symposium

The second annual Thesis/Field Examination Symposium will take place on Saturday, April 2nd from 10:00 to noon in SAC 300. This event is conceived as an opportunity for students who are completing the program to present their research, while also giving first-year students a sense of the sorts of projects that are undertaken as master's theses and field examinations. We hope to have two consecutive one-hour sessions, in which students offer ten-minute presentations of their research. The event is structured so there is plenty of time for comments and questions by audience members and other presenters. Copious amounts of delicious gourmet coffee will be served before and during the event, and after the second session, there will be a catered lunch. We hope to see you there!

English Department Essay Awards, Deadline April 8, 2011

The English Department announces the following $100 prizes to be awarded for the best essays written for English classes. Essays can be entered by faculty or students. They should be emailed to Susan Burns, English Department secretary, (susan.burns@villanova.edu) The deadline is April 8, 2011.

(1). Undergraduate Award - The Jerome J. Fischer Memorial Award, given to the most distinguished scholarly or critical essay written by an undergraduate student at Villanova.

(2). Graduate Award - The Margaret Powell Esmonde Memorial Award, given to the most distinguished scholarly or critical essay written by a graduate student at Villanova.

The two prize-winning essays will be published.

Both competitions are open only to students taking courses at Villanova University, including night school courses. To be eligible, essays must have been
(1) written within a year preceding the deadline
(2) written either for a Villanova English course (2100 level or higher) or for a Villanova Honors course (2000 level or higher) that was taught by a member of the Villanova English faculty. Work submitted for a senior Honors thesis or an M. A. thesis is not eligible.

Format & Requirements:

•In addition to their essay, students should include a cover page including the course and professor for which the paper was written, as well as their local address, email, and telephone number.

•Students should also submit the essay assignment or an approximation of the assignment.

•Essays should be formatted in Times New Roman, 12 (or equivalent font) and double-spaced; graduate essays should be no more than 20 pages long; undergraduate essays are limited to 12 pages.

•Only one submission per student is allowed.

•Notes should be organized in the parenthetical form recommended by the third edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

•Judges are looking for argumentative originality and rigor, elegance of writing, and interpretive incisiveness. Winning papers tend to engage sources in addition to the primary text.

Send submissions as an attachment to susan.burns@villanova.edu
The deadline is April 8, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Summer Program in Irish Studies in Dublin

Each summer, the Univeristy of Notre Dame offers a three-week Irish Studies Seminar in Dublin that has a very strong national reputation. Tuition and housing are usually around $4,000 per student. This year, the seminar has offered a special "two students for the price of one" deal to our students. One student has already expressed interest in the program. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Heather Hicks! Here is some more information regarding the program:

The IRISH SEMINAR 2011: Irish Modernisms

20 June – 8 July 2011

Modernism, marked by a strongly self-conscious rupture with tradition and a formal and conceptual inventiveness, is often understood as a vigorous reaction against established religious, social and political views. Informed on one hand by the horrors of the Great War (1914-18) and governed on the other by a belief that our world is created in the very act of perceiving it, no absolute truth existed to provide guidance or solace. Dominated by a relativistic aesthetic, Modernists turned inward to examine the sub-conscious, advocating individuality and celebrating interiority. The crisis of representation, the rise of the cosmopolitan, cultural dislocation, the subconscious, memory and sexuality all found expression in European modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Modernism exerted, and still exerts, a profound pressure on contemporary culture, literature, cinema, art and scholarship.
The Irish Seminar 2011 convenes a stellar cast of international scholars to examine Irish Modernism in its varied manifestations, as well as their interrelationships with Western and global Modernism. The contribution of Ireland’s English-language authors to Modernism is unparalleled: Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen, and O’Brien. Recent criticism has engaged with issues of national, regional and local origin to construct a ‘Modernism of the Margins’. A three-week series of seminars, lectures and events probes the paradoxical and opposed trends of revolution and reaction (1916, War of Independence, Civil War), the struggles of nascent political parties in their clashes with established forces and older vested interests, the attrition of traditional elites and the emergence of new states north and south.
Yet Modernism, no less than Ireland itself, cannot be reduced to a caricature or stereotype. A key concern of the Irish Seminar 2011 is the interrogation of the standard account. In addition to exploring Modernism of the margins, the Seminar examines minority languages, vernacular culture, the local and the national, and gendered identities in the Irish Modernist experience.
As well as concentrating on historical and theoretical issues, the Seminar will focus on modernism as a mode of creativity that emphasizes disruption and fracture, questioning expressiveness, originality, tradition, revolution, gender, sexuality, language and identity. Exploring the constant tension between nihilism and enthusiasm, energy and ennui that emerged in Ireland between 1880 and 1940, and which sparked this efflorescence of modernist works, the Irish Seminar 2011 will provide challenging perspectives on Irish modernism in its multi-faceted dimensions.

Full Information is available at: http://irishseminar.nd.edu


Executive Director: Brian Ó Conchubhair (Notre Dame)

The 2011 IRISH SEMINAR faculty includes: Joe Cleary (Yale), Seamus Deane (Notre Dame), Wes Hamrick (Notre Dame), John Kelly (Oxford), Declan Kiberd (Notre Dame), José Lanters (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Joseph Lennon (Villanova), David Lloyd (Southern California), Barry McCrea (Yale), Bríona Nic Dhiarmada (Notre Dame), Emer Nolan (NUI Maynooth), Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway), Kevin Whelan (Notre Dame).


Participants will stay at UCD Summer Residence, Roebuck Hall, located close to Dublin’s city centre and within easy reach of the city’s many amenities. UCD is just a short 10 minute bus ride to the city centre via a direct route. Its superb location, just on the edge of town on an attractive green-field campus, provides easy access to an abundance of restaurants, as well as Dublin’s attractive coastline and the Wicklow mountains. Onsite facilities include a pharmacy, medical centre, banks, post office, delicatessens, newsagent, gym, launderette and mini-markets. The apartments are spacious and fully furnished to a high standard. There are 6 single en-suite bedrooms in each apartment. All accommodation has self-catering facilities, including kitchen, laundry and a living room. Guests have the option of being totally self-sufficient during their stay, although it is comforting to know that there are extensive catering facilities on campus and close-by. The residences at UCD are carefully integrated into their setting. Maintained to a high standard, they are an ideal home away from home. Features include: modern furnished apartments with en-suite toilet and shower in each bedroom – generous sized living area, including a fitted kitchen/dining area – free wifi – secure controlled access to each apartment.


Website: http://irishseminar.nd.edu

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Director of the Abbey Theater Comes to Villanova

At 1:00 PM on Thursday, February 17th, Fiach Mac Conghail, the director of the Abbey Theater, is speaking to Irish Literature classes. The event will take place in the Villanova University Theatre and we encourage you to attend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Terminus" at the Annenberg Center

On Thursday the 17th of February, the Annenberg Center will be hosting the Abbey Theatre's production of "Terminus" by Mark O'Rowe. The event will take place at 8:00 PM and those graduate students who wish should attend should contact Dr. Joseph Lennon. Some free tickets are available!

Upcoming Irish Studies Event

At 4:30 PM on Tuesday, February 15th, the Irish Studies Program will be hosting "James Joyce, Pioneer of Page and Screen." There will be a lecture given by John McCourt of the University of Trieste, followed by a film. McCourt is a world-renowned Joyce scholar who has written about Joyce’s time in Trieste in his biography, The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste, 1904–1920. The event will take place in Room 300 of the St. Augustine Center and we encourage you to attend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Call for Submissions for the Spring 2011 issue of "Anamesa": Deadline February 18th

Anamesa, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal of graduate student writing and art based at New York University, is now accepting submissions for its Spring 2011 print issue. Graduate students across all disciplines are encouraged to send in writing including but not limited to:
~Academic essays
~Creative non-fiction
~Short stories
~Other unclassifiable prose creations, and art of all sorts (such as photography, drawings, paintings, film stills, posters, prints, etc.).
Anamesa considers material from diverse subject matter, and publishes creative and intelligent works that exemplify the transdisciplinary spirit of
the graduate community.

Submission guidelines for papers:
Include complete paper (up to 6000 words), abstract (up to 200 words), and cover sheet. Academic papers must adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style. All
paper submissions—both non-fiction and fiction—are blind-reviewed so there should be no author-identifying information in the text of the paper. Although the publication will be in English, we are also interested in texts in translation.

Submission guidelines for art works:
Visual art submissions must be in digital format with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI and no smaller than 5 x 7 inches.

Send submissions and queries to anamesa.journal@gmail.com. Please include in the body of the email: your name,departmental affiliation, expected degree and date, telephone number, and email address. We accept multiple submissions, but we ask that you place each submission in a different email message with the subject heading listing the relevant genre (e.g., “essay,” “fiction,” or “photography”). All works MUST be produced by members of the graduate community (student
or faculty) and failure to disclose university affiliation will result in the rejection of your submission.

For further information and to view previous issues of Anamesa, visit www.anamesajournal.org. Printed copies of Anamesa are available at the office for the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Humanities and Social Thought at 14 University Place.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

James Joyce Birthday Celebration

On Thursday, February 3rd the Villanova Irish Studies Program helped celebrate James Joyce's birthday at Flip and Bailey's. There was Irish music, dance, and readings at the open mic from works by James Joyce and other Irish writers. The Villanova Irish Dance Club also performed, as did musicians from Villanova and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Thanks to all who attended and performed!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Villanova Literary Festival

We are pleased to announce the schedule for the 13th annual Villanova Literary Festival, which will include a distinguished group of fiction writers and poets. The festival will begin on Tuesday, February 17th, with a reading by Monique Truong. Truong’s second novel, Bitter in the Mouth, was recently released by Random House. Her first novel, The Book of Salt, was a New York Times Notable Book.
On February 17th Terrance Hayes will be reading his poetry. His most recent book, Lighthead (Penguin, 2010), has been short-listed for the 2010 National Book Award.
On March 10th, novelist Colum McCann comes to the festival. McCann is the author of Let the Great World Spin, which won the 2009 National Book Award for fiction. His is also the bestselling author of the novels Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections.
On March 24th, poet Eleanor Wilner will read from her work. Wilner has published six collections of poems, most recently The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (Copper Canyon, 2004).
The Festival will conclude on April 12th with a reading by fiction writer John Haskell, who is the author of Out of My Skin, American Purgatorio, and the short-story collection I Am Not Jackson Pollock. Haskell is also a contributor to the radio program The Next Big Thing.

For further information, you can visit the Literary Festival Website at http://www.villanova.edu/artsci/english/news/festival.htm.