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.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dr. Chiji Akoma Wins Grant for Nigerian Research Trip

Reposted from Villanova's English Department Blog.

Dr. Chiji Akoma has been named one of the recipients of the 2013 Faculty Development Grant. The grant will fund his trip to Nigeria to do archival work at the Nigerian Television Authority headquarters library in Abuja in the summer of 2014. Dr. Akoma is conducting research for a monograph on the development of popular theater in south eastern Nigeria, using as his primary source the television show Icheoku, which ran on both regional and national networks in the 1980’s up to mid-1990’s. The show is set in the late 19th century colonial era and features the daily interactions between a British colonial administrator who doubles as a magistrate and his half-literate Nigerian court clerk and interpreter. Dr. Akoma is using the television series to explore the idea of cultural agency and the development of popular theatrical tradition in south-east Nigeria, especially in light of the resulting interface of orality and literacy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Graduate Student Lounge Open 24/7

A new graduate student lounge has opened on the third floor of Old Falvey. The lounge has been fully renovated, is well-heated, has afternoon sunlight, and is blissfully silent except for the turning of pages and the clicking of typing keys. Additionally, it is open 24 hours a day. Graduate students must scan ID cards to enter. We expect to see English graduate students accumulating here as paper writing ramps up.

Katie will not move from this spot until the semester is over.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Graduate English PhD Forum Preps Students for the Next Step

This post by guest blogger Christine Lairson.

The annual Ph.D. Forum for hopeful English Ph.D. candidates took place on the evening of Monday, November 11th. Dr. Heather Hicks served as moderator. Three speakers shared their insight and advice on applying for and completing a Ph.D. in English, as well as realistic statistics about the job market and potential careers after acquiring the degree.

Each speaker expressed enjoyment and appreciation for the experiences in his or her respective Ph.D. programs. Dr. Brooke Hunter, who received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in medieval literature, discussed statistics regarding job growth (and stagnancy), employer's bias in gender, age, and race, and the importance of funding and networking. Following Dr. Hunter's perspective, Dr. Kamran Javadizadeh, who received his Ph.D. in English from Yale University with a specialization in modernist poetry, shared anecdotes of his own job search and the struggles of his colleagues to land tenure-track positions at universities. Although Ted Howell, who completed Villanova's English MA program several years ago and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Temple's English department, was unable to attend the event, he sent a handout listing his tips for the curious, current MA students. He focused on the application process, encouraging prospective students to apply to as many programs that fit their research interests as possible and to be careful in crafting personal statements.

While they feasted on pizza, the students participated in a lively Q-and-A session, making inquiries specific to the individual's interests and concerns. The evening concluded with those in attendance feeling much more prepared for the decision ahead: whether or not to pursue a doctoral degree. The overall consensus is that the event successfully cultivated a warm, comfortable environment where students could express their hopes and anxieties regarding a career in academia and receive advice and support from those in the department who recently completed the process. This community is just one of the reasons why the English MA program is beloved by its students.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Graduate English Student Feeling Inspired by Budding Modeling Career

Second-year graduate English student Corey Arnold was recently featured on Falvey Library's advertising materials due to his good looks and well-known ability to imitate a person deep in thought. Corey's recent celebrity has led to him being asked to make his "inspired face" all across campus and to make soulful poses in front of his own effigy. We look forward to seeing where Corey's modeling career will take him next. You inspire us all, Corey Arnold.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Modern Poetry Class Visits the Rosenbach Museum's Marianne Moore Archive

This post by guest blogger John Dodig.

On the brisk afternoon of Sunday, November 3, a dozen students from Professor Kamran Javadizadeh’s graduate-level modern poetry class met at the Rosenbach Museum and Library. The Rosenbach, which sprawls across two interconnected townhouses on Delancey Street in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, is the unlikely home of the Marianne Moore Collection, including poetic manuscripts, letters, notebooks, photographs, papers, and even furniture from the life of the important modernist poet, who spent most of her life in New York City after graduating from Bryn Mawr in 1909.

The class began in the research library of the Rosenbach, where the museum’s assistant director of education Farrar Fitzgerald passed around a lengthy letter Moore received from Ezra Pound and a copy of Moore’s response. Pound’s message, typed with his characteristic purple typewriter ribbon, asked the slightly younger poet about her age, her compositional process, and the formal elements of her work, along with providing some gentle suggestions for alterations (like transposing the order of poem’s final three words). Moore’s “A Graveyard,” later renamed “A Grave,” prompted this letter from Pound, who was living in London at the time. Appropriately enough, the class then got to examine both handwritten and typed drafts of the very same poem, along with several other manuscripts and letters, including a note from Bryher, an Englishwoman who was Moore’s friend and patron for many years.

Fitzgerald then passed around various first editions of Moore’s books, including William Carlos Williams’ copy of her debut, Poems. By looking at multiple published versions of the poem “Poetry,” the class could see how relentless a reviser Moore was, making minute alterations to punctuation in the few years after its first run before eventually whittling the multi-stanza work to a scant three lines in her final years. Students also had a chance to look at facsimile versions of Moore’s personal notebooks, many of which contain the germs out of which some of her major works grew. For example, the class passed around a reproduction of a book Moore took with her on a trip to Mr. Rainier in the early 1920s that contains the origins of two of her longest and most important poems, “An Octopus” and “Marriage.” Much of the material in the Rosenbach’s Moore Collection wound up in scholar Linda Leavell’s new biography of Moore called Holding On Upside Down, the first to be authorized by her estate, which the class also had a chance to see.

After interacting with several of these artifacts in the research library, the students moved on to a more intimate space, foreshadowed by portraits of Moore both by herself and with contemporaries like W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Delmore Schwartz. The contents of Moore’s Greenwich Village living room—writing desks, photographs, baseballs autographed by Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, paintings, a trapeze bar, William Blake drawings, hundreds of books (including a first edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost), Moore’s Smith-Corona typewriter, and tchotchkes ranging from a velveteen elephant to a wind-up crow—are installed in a comparably-sized room on the third floor of the museum, allowing visitors to see the space in which she lived for the last six years of her life as it would have looked in 1972. The class even had the rare opportunity to read a poem aloud while looking at the item that inspired it (the aforementioned wind-up crow).

While the Moore Collection was the reason for and the highlight of the trip, the class also got to take a look at some of the museum’s other materials, like a room full of Maurice Sendak drawings and paintings that would eventually become Where the Wild Things Are. Students also got to poke around the Rosenbach’s library, which contains rare books like first editions in both English and Spanish of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and a 1678 first edition of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The museum’s collections, some of which were on display, also include a handwritten manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses, portions of handwritten drafts of Dickens’ works like Nicholas Nickleby and Pickwick Papers, outlines and notes for Dracula by Bram Stoker, and letters and papers from figures as diverse as George Washington, Lewis Carroll, William Blake, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Conrad, Phillis Wheatley, Dylan Thomas, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dr. Alice Dailey's Account of Her Trip to Cambridge and London

Dr. Dailey in front of Fellows' Hall, where John Milton
 lived when he was a student at 
Christ's College, Cambridge.
Over the fall break, I traveled to England to give a scholarly talk and to pursue new research. My first
stop was Christ’s College, Cambridge, where I shared my current work on corporeality and real presence with the Medieval-Renaissance Faculty Colloquium of Cambridge University. I was treated to a wonderful tour of Christ’s College, alma mater of John Milton and Charles Darwin. There I saw the hall where Milton lived and sat in the beautiful room in which senior fellows of the college, like Darwin, have for centuries drunk wine, talked, made friendly wagers, and kept hand-written accounts of their consumption. These bound ledgers, some including Darwin’s hand writing, are still stored in the room and brought out for nightly record-keeping.

After my time in Cambridge, I spent three days in London studying Michael Landy’s Saints Alive, an exhibit of contemporary collage and sculpture at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibit features 14-foot-tall automata of well-known Christian saints and martyrs that Landy has constructed from old machinery and from body parts copied out of the National Gallery's vast collection of
Michael Landy, Doubting Thomas (2013). 
Mixed Media.  National Gallery of Art, London.
Renaissance religious paintings. When set into motion, these mechanized sculptures enact their own persecutions repeatedly, some of them gradually deteriorating as the exhibit has progressed. Landy’s sculptures are complimented by a stunning group of collages that reconfigure heads, hands, wounds, and weapons out of saint and martyr art into fantastical contraptions of penitential suffering. My favorite piece in Saints Alive was a large pencil and paper drawing called Saint Catherine Wheels found dumped outside the National Gallery, drawn from a collage of the Gallery’s 36 partial images of Saint Catherine’s emblem, a spiked torture wheel.

Michael Landy, Saint Jerome Beats himself 
while contemplating Christ's Suffering (2012).  
Photographic paper and watercolor pencil on 
paper.  National Gallery of Art, London. 
My research concluded with two other exhibits. I saw the life-sized wax and wood funeral effigies of English monarchs collected in the Westminster Abbey museum. The effigies date from the 14th to the 18th century and include both the original 1603 effigy of Queen Elizabeth I and the ornate wax remake dating from 1760. Lastly, I visited the recently opened exhibit on Elizabeth I and Her People at the National Portrait Gallery, which features royal portraits; Elizabethan coins, jewelry, and artifacts; and paintings of aristocrats and subjects from Sir Walter Raleigh to John Donne. The exhibit included three fascinating portraits that my Elizabethan Literature students have studied this semester: the full-length Ditchley Portrait, the Ermine Portrait, and the Procession Portrait.

Funeral effigies of Queen Elizabeth I, 1603 (left) and 1760 
(right).  Westminster Abbey Museum.

While in London, I saw the new theatrical production by Punchdrunk, the company who created Sleep No More, which several students in the English grad program have seen. Sleep No More is a wildly successful immersive theatre experience that spans six floors of a warehouse space in New York City. The production borrows elements from Macbeth and several Hitchcock films to create a labyrinthine, nightmarish meditation on guilt, madness, and witchcraft. Punchdrunk’s new production, The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable, is inspired by Georg Büchner’s play, Woyzeck. Like Sleep No More, it is a self-guided, walk-through theatre/dance/art installation experience in which audience members are masked. However, The Drowned Man occupies twice the physical space of Sleep No More—200,000 square feet of the old post office next to Piccadilly Station—and is even more ambitious in its vision and set design. One full floor of the space is a sand-covered desert, and another floor features pools of water and a working movie house. The sprawling size of the production makes it difficult to follow narrative or character threads, but The Drowned Man is nonetheless an eerie, unsettling, and captivating cautionary tale about what happens when our identities are effaced by the masks we wear and the roles we play.
The ledger of the Senior Combination Room, Christ's College, Cambridge.  
A wager between Charles Darwin and a Mr. Baines is noted on February
 23, 1837.  The two men bet a bottle of wine over the height of the room's 
ceiling, and Darwin lost.  His name was crossed out when he settled the bet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

National Science Foundation Awards Villanova Grant for CAVE System

This summer, the National Science foundation decided to award Villanova a grant of $1.67 million to build a CAVE system in Old Falvey. The CAVE is a room-like enclosure which has walls, floor and in some cases a ceiling made of rear-projection screens, allowing viewers inside the room to experience and interact with 3D immersive environments. The CAVE will be able to hold 10-15 students for research and classroom experiences and will be integrated with a mobile robot platform which will be developed at Villanova for telepresence experiences.

Dr. Klassner has been spearheading this interdisciplinary project. The overall vision for the use of the CAVE includes technologically enhanced teaching and will allow Villanova to foray into the Digital Humanities.

See the figure for a cutaway schematic view of the proposed CAVE facility.

Villanova has invited professors from all disciplines to attend two luncheons to learn about the CAVE's capabilities and to develop ideas for using the facility in teaching and research on campus.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Interview with Emmy Winner, PhD Student, and Villanova Alumnus Alexandra Edwards

This past September, current PhD student and Villanova Alum Alexandra Edwards stood onstage to accept a Creative Arts Emmy® for Original Interactive Program. She and her teammates were recognized for their work on the multimedia online project, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. We were able to email Alex and ask about her experience with the show, her current studies and her time at Villanova.

The YAWP: Congratulations! Did you EVER envision yourself as an Emmy winner?
Alex: NEVER. Never ever. Not even when I was standing onstage getting the award. It's amazing, but it still hasn't sunk in. Probably because I'm still doing the same stuff I was before: reading, writing papers, procrastinating on writing papers, the whole grad student thing.

The YAWP: Lizzie Bennet Diaries is categorized as an "Interactive Media" project. What exactly does Interactive Media mean when it comes to entertainment?
Alex: Interactive Media a big catch-all term for any kind of entertainment property that encourages fans and viewers to interact—usually online. For The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, it meant that we didn't just produce a webseries; our characters also 'lived' online via various social media profiles, where they would interact with each other and with fans. We specifically call this kind of interactive, multi-platform storytelling "transmedia," a term that Henry Jenkins has made popular in the last 15 or so years. 

The YAWP: At what point (or in what role) did you get involved in the project? Did you have any specific sources of inspiration as far as the use of media, or the direction you went in adapting the story to center around a modern-day teenager?
Alex: I joined the LBD production staff in late July 2012, so the show had been running for about 4 months at that point. I was hired by Jay Bushman, the transmedia producer, to serve as his second-in-command with the totally made up title of "transmedia editor." That meant I handled a little more of the organizational side of the project—keeping track of storylines and accounts—but I also did a lot of the writing, especially as the show went on. Jay hired me specifically because I was already familiar with social media but also because I was closer to the age range of our characters (mid-20s), and therefore was easily able to channel their voices.

The YAWP: Did Villanova have anything to do with your development as a writer and transmedia editor, or your affection for Jane Austen novels?
Alex: It definitely did! I didn't get to study Austen while I was there, but so much of my understanding of narrative and how stories make meaning comes from my time at Villanova, studying under the incredible English department faculty. Beyond that, my graduate assistantship at Villanova involved writing and running social media campaigns for Falvey Library, so it was a great chance to develop and hone the skills that I used in a different way on LBD. I also got to serve as the show's unofficial grad school expert, since Lizzie Bennet was in the midst of getting her M.A. on the show and I had just finished getting mine!

The YAWP: What is the balance between PhD student and coordinator of online entertainment? Did your academic areas of interest inform the Lizzie Bennet Diaries? Do these roles interplay for you in other ways?
Alex: It's very tricky finding the balance, but I try to just focus on whatever task is right in front of me—so some weeks I'm concentrating on writing papers, and some weeks I'm concentrating on writing scripts. I'm still working out how to incorporate the experience of LBD into my academic work. Since I focus on early 20th century American literature, the links aren't readily apparent. But I've also been asked to speak about LBD in academic settings, so I'm working on figuring out how I can translate all this work into something that informs what I do academically.

The YAWP: At what point did your project go from "Let's see how this works" to "Oh wow, this might actually be big"? What was that moment like for you?
Alex: Well, coming in after 4 months meant we were already sure that we were going to keep making the show. I think for the rest of the crew, those first 2 months or so were more, "Let's see how this works." But we did have several moments on the show when our audience and the buzz about our project exploded. One of those was when Darcy finally appeared after 59 episodes; the other big one was the happy accident of Lizzie going to Pemberley during January 2013, the first month of the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. It's very surreal to work on something on my computer in a tiny college town and then suddenly see it featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. I still don't know that I've really wrapped my head around that.

The YAWP: Did you have a favorite moment or character in the show? Anything that worked out better than expected?
Alex: My favorite character was definitely Gigi Darcy. In our adaptation, she was a 22 year old girl who loved music and always posted the songs she was listening to online. Anytime I got to express Gigi's emotions through her song choices—those were my favorite moments. Trying to find modern pop songs that express how it feels to watch your brother's love interest's sister run off with your evil ex-boyfriend was an especially fun challenge.

The YAWP: What is next? I have heard whispers of Hamlet??

Alex: You have indeed heard whispers of Hamlet! Jay Bushman is developing a modern, multi-platform adaptation entitled Hashtag Hamlet, which is being workshopped at the Sundance Institute's New Frontiers Story Lab right now. The series will use social media to create a modern political thriller feel to the story. We're not in full-scale pre-production yet, but I am attached to the series as transmedia producer, and I'm really excited about it.

We do wish Alexandra Edwards all the best with whatever she turns her multi-talented hand to next.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Villanova Master's Alumna Alexandra Edwards ('12) Wins Emmy®

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Villanova Master's alumna Alexandra Edwards ('12) with a Primetime Emmy® for her work on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an interactive, multi-platform adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Edwards and the other two members of the transmedia team took home the Emmy® for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media—Original Interactive Program. The team accepted their award live onstage at the 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards and were featured in the cable broadcast version of the ceremony.

This fall, Edwards continues her work with Pemberley Digital, the production company behind The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. She serves as the transmedia producer for Emma Approved, the recently launched interactive adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. She is also attached as the transmedia producer for the upcoming interactive webseries Hashtag Hamlet. The project has been invited to the 2013 Sundance Institute New Frontiers Story Lab.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

English Department Hosts "Wildcat in the Rye" Workshop

On October 3, Dr. Kamran Javadizadeh and a group of Villanova English majors and MA candidates hosted the "Wildcat in the Rye" event, the English department's first book discussion geared toward an audience of freshmen. Close to eighty students gathered on the second floor of Good Counsel Hall (with some spillover on the overhanging balcony) to eat pizza and discuss J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Dr. Javadizadeh opened the evening by sharing his first experience with the book: an older friend read him a passage in which a speaker at protagonist Holden Caulfield's Pencey Prep (modeled on Valley Forge Military Academy, which Salinger attended) gave a speech and interrupted himself with a bout of flatulence. Dr. Javadizadeh then read one of his favorite passages, in which Caulfield discusses his attraction to the American Museum of Natural History and the way in which nothing there changes no matter how many times one visits. He then described how the book still speaks to him and reminded students that, depending on the circumstances of their lives, different aspects of the book will resonate with them at different points as well. He then turned the floor over to an enthusiastic team of graduate and undergraduate English students who presented a reading of chapter fifteen and then dispersed to facilitate lively discussions with the younger students in intimate groups. Despite some attendees having never read the book, they were willing to engage with the text, and most importantly, with each other, in meaningful ways.


Dr. Lauren Shohet's Essay Published as Part of Chelsea Art Show

Lauren Shohet's reflective essay "The Unruly Pearl" is included in the catalogue for the show Christopher Cook: A Sign of Things To Come," on exhibit at the Ryan Lee Gallery in Chelsea (527 W. 26th St) Oct 10-Nov 16. This English artist currently works mostly in graphite, a medium he describes as between painting and drawing. Dr. Shohet's essay considers relationships between Cook's work and the Baroque.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thesis and Field Exam Workshop

On September 26th, second-year grad students as well as curious first-years gathered to go over the timeline of thesis deadlines, in order to get a feel for what the process will be like. Pizza was eaten and questions asked as the second year students started to get a picture of what the next few months will look like. Students also had plenty of time after Dr. Hicks' talk to chat, share experiences and stories, and laugh together about rising stress levels.

Class Trip to the Barnes Foundation

Megan Quigley's Modern British Novel course visited the Barnes Foundation at its new location downtown in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 4th. Seeing works by Matisse, Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani and many others helped to bring home the parallel stylistic experimentalism in fiction in the early twentieth-century. What a great resource nearby!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Graduate English Reception

A reception will be held on Friday, September 13 for all Graduate English students. A library orientation will begin at 3:30 PM in Falvey Library Room 204, and the reception, which includes dinner, will begin at 5 PM in the main English Department offices. Contact Heather Hicks (heather.hicks@villanova.edu) if you have not yet RSVPed so we can see you there!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Graduation 2013

Congratulations, newly minted M.A. students!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Paper for the People

Falvey Library’s recent rediscovery of a collection of dime novels, reprint libraries and other late-19th century popular materials has sparked new interest at the library, and they want to share this exciting moment with everyone. To do so, Falvey is hosting a popular culture conference on June 10 called Paper for the People. The first in a series of popular cultural conferences entitled VuPop, this year’s conference is broadly construed so presentations about the history of story papers, newspapers, or early popular mass literature are all welcome. Michael Foight, one of Falvey's Special Collections Librarians, especially invites English Graduate students to attend the event and even consider presenting.

Click here to visit the VuPop website.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Library Day of Conversation

On May 14th Joe Lucia, the head of Falvey Library, is hosting a day of conversation about future directions for the library as a key component of the academic environment. The theme of the day is "Library Transformation and Academic Life in the Digital World" and will include various speakers addressing the topic. While everyone is invited to attend this event as audience members, Lucia is also looking for speakers to give "lightning talks" on what they believe a library should be (and/or what Falvey Library should become), and he would love for a graduate student or two to volunteer. Dr. Hicks will be one of the faculty speakers, and she would be happy to hear your thoughts about Falvey, which might help to shape her comments.

As a kickoff in the morning, the university will formally receive the 2013 Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Award for Excellence. Fr. Peter will be on hand to accept the award from ACRL President Steven Bell.

At the end of the day, there will be celebratory reception in the Old Falvey Reading Room. Members of the greater Philadelphia academic library community will be invited to join with their Villanova library colleagues for this event, which will also be open to the Villanova University community.

A feature of the evening will be a performance by Lucia’s musical ensemble, Marc Fields & Bad Data, which is comprised of librarian musicians from the Mid-Atlantic region.

We hope to see you there, and please let Dr. Hicks know if you are interested in participating as a graduate student speaker.

Check back for further details!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Merchant of Venice

The students of Shakespeare in Performance (HON 5753) invite you to our free public performances of The Merchant of Venice on May 2 and 3. After a semester-long literary and dramatic exploration of Shakespeare's play, led by Dr. Alice Dailey (English) and Dr. Shawn Kairschner (Theatre), the honors students are pleased to present an hour-and-twenty-minute production that features the work of eleven student actors, original music, and a post-show talk by the cast.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Graduate Liberal Studies Lecture Series

The Graduate Liberal Studies lecture series begins on Tuesday, April 16th with a multidisciplinary panel discussion on the theme "Community and Identity."

The panel is comprised of the following faculty members:

Valentina DeNardis (Classical Studies)
Crystal Lucky (Africana Studies)
Paul Rosier (History)
Fayette Veverka (Theology)

Click here to see the official event poster.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

18th Annual Philosophy Conference

The Philosophy Department has just announced their lineup for their annual conference!

The conference is free and open to the public, and will be taking place April 12th and April 13th in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. Click here to learn more.They are asking that you indicate whether you plan to attend to help them manage attendance.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

24th Annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference

Presenters, faculty, and friends gathered after another successful Elizabeth Cady Stanton conference to hear testimonials from alumni and a senior Gender and Women's Studies major - and to applaud some well-deserving essay winners!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Diane Gilliam Fisher Reading

Poet Diane Gilliam Fisher, PhD, will be on campus tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m., to give a reading at Falvey Library as part of the 15th Annual Villanova Literary Festival. Dr. Fisher’s most recent book, Kettle Bottom, tells the story of the West Virginia coal mine wars of 1920-1921 through the individual perspectives and voice of characters affected by those events.

The reading is the second in this year’s Literary Festival, sponsored by the Department of English. Along with Dr. Fisher, the festival will bring major writers from all over the country to Villanova’s campus, including Junot Díaz, a recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Keep an eye on the Department of English blog and homepage for future announcements regarding festival events.

This event will be held in the Speakers’ Corner of the Library, and will be followed by a book sale and signing.

Click here to read more about Dr. Fisher and the upcoming event.

Graphic Design by Joanne Quinn

Friday, February 15, 2013

English Grad Alum Lands New Library Internship

Don't be surprised if you see a new face in the library this semester. Alexander (Alex) Williams, a Drexel University iSchool graduate student, is serving a six-month internship with Falvey's Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance teams. Alex is an alum of our Graduate English Program, earning his degree with us in 2011. Now, he is focusing on information services although he is also interested in competitive intelligence. He expects to graduate from Drexel in 2013.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature and religious studies from Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. While a student at Stonehill, Alex worked as a circulation aide in the library, an early indication of his future interests.

Click here to read more of Alex's story.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dr. Alice Dailey

Congratulations to Dr. Dailey, whose book, The English Martyr from Reformation to Revolution, was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in December, 2012.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dr. Hugh Ormsby-Lennon

Congratulations to Dr. Ormsby-Lennon, whose book Hey Presto!: Swift and the Quacks has been selected by Choice magazine as a 2012 Outstanding Academic Title in the “Humanities, English and American” category. Check it out here!

Friday, February 1, 2013

James English Lecture

 As part of the English Department's Luckow Endowed Chair Graduate Speakers Series, Dr. James English, John Welsh Centennial Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered a talk to students and professors on the fascinating and encouraging information he has gathered in researching his book, The Global Future of English Studies.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kensington Riots Project

“Who gets to be an American?” ask Jebney Lewis and Maria Möller, two Philadelphia artists whose work lays bare the violent nativism and xenophobia present in the history of the city. They will be giving a talk at Falvey Speakers’ Corner on Monday, January 28 at 6:30 PM and will discuss their Kensington Riots Project, a site-specific experiential art project that recalls two violent anti-Irish Catholic clashes in 1844 in which churches (including Old St. Augustine’s Church) and buildings were burned and destroyed with cannons; twenty people were killed; and over a hundred more were wounded. This episode was one of the most serious race riots in the country’s history, and was set off by debates about economic and employment opportunity; fear about religious freedom and religious education; governmental control; and community and national identity.

The piece was informed by the urgency of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street and involved a six-week workshop in which Arab-American teens created protest signs displaying historical, contemporary, and personal messages in both English and Arabic about experiences of race, nationalism, and personal alienation — connecting past to present. The entire process was documented through photography, video, and social media, and the signs and other related pieces were then displayed at a presentation in the Kensington neighborhood where one of the riots took place.

Möller and Lewis have spoken about this piece at Villanova before, and signs from the project were on display in Falvey Library last semester. Falvey Special Collections holds several artifacts such as books and artworks on the riots, and the exhibition’s web site can be accessed here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Graduate Student Journal

It's that time of year again! CONCEPT, the interdisciplinary journal sponsored by the Graduate Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is now accepting both article submissions and volunteers to serve as editors and peer-reviewers. 

The author of the best article in the 2013 issue will receive the Graduate Student Research Prize.

Authors should register with the website, and follow the instructions for posting their submission (authors may submit no more than 1 article for consideration). Those interested in serving as editors and peer-reviewers should consult the job descriptions posted on the website.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

James English Lecture

On Monday, January 28th, at 7:30 in SAC 300, Dr. James English, John Welsh Centennial Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, will be delivering a talk as part of the Luckow Endowed Chair Graduate Speakers Series. This series is designed to address professional questions concerning the discipline of English. Dr. English will be speaking about the fascinating (and encouraging) information he has gathered in researching his book, The Global Future of English Studies. Here is a link to his book: http://www.amazon.com/Global-English-Studies-Blackwell-Manifestos/dp/0470654945.

Please email Dr. Hicks to RSVP.