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.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Polis Lit Mag

Friday, October 11, 2019

Call for Papers: Body Studies Journal

The Body Studies Journal (bodystudiesjournal.org, ISSN 2642-9772), a peer-reviewed, open access journal for the inter-/trans-disciplinary field of Body Studies, welcomes submissions for its second issue. They are specifically seeking articles that contribute to defining the field of Body Studies.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

Social and Cultural Perspectives of the Body
Body image
Mental health and the body
Gender and Sexuality
Race and Colonialized Bodies
Religion and the Body
Diseased/Aging Bodies
Regulation of the Body
Technology and the Body

Please submit your contact information, abstract, and paper (using the citation style appropriate for your discipline) as a word document to Michelle Filling-Brown, Ph.D. at michelle@bodystudiesjournal.org. Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2019. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Villanova MA's are Not Afraid of Virginia Woolf

A Villanova MA alumna and a current Villanova MA student will be presenting at a forthcoming panel sponsored by the International Virginia Woolf Society at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900.

Laura Tscherry, '17, now a Ph.D candidate at Indiana University Bloomington, will be presenting "'Isn't it odd how much more one sees in a photograph?' -- Words, Images, and Action in Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas." Current Villanova master’s student Sarah Beth Gilbert will be presenting "Virginia Woolf's Fantastical Feminist Sci-Fi: Orlando, Gender Subversions, and the Critique of Identity."

The conference will take place from February 20th to the 22nd, 2020.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

CFP: Masculinities Symposium at Villanova

Gender and Women's Studies Program is partnering with the History Department to organize Villanova's first Masculinities Symposium on Friday, January 31st, 2020 at the Inn at Villanova.
The Symposium provides a platform for Villanova Faculty and Graduate Students from any discipline to present their recent or ongoing research projects to an audience of peers and interested public through 20-minute presentations.
Presentations can focus on a wide range of topics including but not limited to fatherhood, female masculinity, hegemonic masculinity, contemporary or historical enactments of masculinity, and different cultural forms of masculinity.
The Masculinities Symposium invites abstract submissions from Villanova Faculty and Graduate students. Abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words and be submitted via email to kelly-anne.diamond@villanova.edu by November 15.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Just Published: Dr. Kamran Javadizadeh on Claudia Rankine and Robert Lowell

Professor Kamran Javadizadeh was recently published in PMLA, the official publication of the Modern Language Association. His article, “The Atlantic Ocean Breaking on Our Heads: Claudia Rankine, Robert Lowell, and the Whiteness of the Lyric Subject,” arose for Dr. Javadizadeh when he was reading Rankine's Citizen.
"I noticed," said Javadizadeh, "that, tucked into the middle of her book, and in a moment that seemed to me like a reference to the Middle Passage and the history of slavery, Rankine used a phrase—'the Atlantic Ocean breaking on our heads'—that she was clearly (to me at least!) lifting and adapting from a poem by Robert Lowell. But I had no idea what the two moments had to do with each other—and no idea, therefore, why Rankine was turning to Lowell’s language to evoke the history of slavery."
Javadizadeh started digging, and what he found surprised him. "It was when I went back to Lowell’s archive at Harvard and looked at drafts of the poem that my jaw dropped. Race, it turned out, was all over the early drafts of the poem. Rankine—who had never seen these drafts—had nevertheless intuited something genuinely lurking within the poem. She was right! And I could see, as Lowell revised those drafts into the published poem, how much of his poem’s explicit references to race—and all of its references to blackness—had been scrupulously cut away. I felt like I was seeing a poet whom I thought I knew very well through new eyes. And I had Rankine’s poetry to thank for that."
Here is the abstract for the paper:
In Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine discovers new forms of lyric subjectivity by rerouting the expressive lyric’s investment in the singular self, recognized in well-­established lines of American genealogy, into a sustained and historicizing attention to dispersed networks of black kinship. She does so in a revisionary allusion to Robert Lowell’s Life Studies and thereby lays bare the fact that his landmark book, which she treats as a paradigm of the expressive lyric tradition, relies on the (usually unspoken) whiteness of its lyric subject for the force of its autobiographical disclosures. Rankine’s Citizen thus not only helps us see confessional poetry—and the expressive lyric tradition for which it serves as apotheosis—in a radically new way but also develops an introspective lyric mode that remains alert, dispersed, and open to the political, social, and racialized formations that govern the lived experience of contemporary American life.

Just Published: Dr. Mary Mullen on the Irish Famine and Fast Days in Victorian England

It's been a busy month for Dr. Mary Mullen: not only has Edinburgh University Press just published her book Novel Institutions, but her article, "'A Great Public Transaction: Fast Days, Famine, and the British State,"" was just published in the journal Victorian Studies.
The article considers the National Day of Fast and Humiliation, observed in 1847 on the occasion of the Irish Famine. Dr. Mullen studies the literature that fast days produced—poems, pamphlets, newspaper articles, political cartoons—as well as how fast days become a narrative device in fictional narratives like Elizabeth Gaskell’s Lois the Witch (1859) and historical accounts like Charles Trevelyan’s The Irish Crisis (1848). Ultimately, she suggests that fast days help us think about conceptions of the public in Victorian Britain. Although fast-day literature works to foster public unity during times of heightened social divisions, it ultimately distinguishes between publics and populations: groups of people that find expression through the state and groups of people that are managed by the state. Trevelyan’s The Irish Crisis reveals the inherent violence of this distinction. Through his representation of the fast day, Trevelyan works to integrate Ireland into a British public in order to justify the devastating population loss of the Famine.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Adjunct Teaching Opportunity

The University of Delaware
Adjunct Faculty, Department of English

The English Department seeks qualified instructors of English 110: Seminar in Composition. ENGL110 is the only course required of all undergraduates at the University of Delaware. Its goals and outcomes are outlined at https://www.english.udel.edu/undergraduate/engl110/engl110- goals-practices.


The successful applicant will be responsible for teaching a first-year composition course. There is no standard syllabus for ENGL110 so faculty members are responsible for developing their own syllabi and course materials in accordance with the programs goals and practices. A willingness to utilize active learning strategies is essential. Adjunct faculty must also be available for office hours outside of class as part of their agreement to teach ENGL110. Successful applicants also attend two program meetings at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters, as well as have annual reviews with directors. These and other ongoing professional development opportunities are integral to our program and important to part-time faculty success.


Candidates should hold an MA in Rhetoric and Composition, English, or English Education. PhDs are preferred. Candidates must also have at least two years of experience teaching academic writing at the college level.


These are part-time, non-benefitted positions. Rate of pay is based on level of education and experience.


To apply, please send the following materials as a single PDF document to Cheryl Rodriguez at cherylr@udel.edu. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis as positions become available.

  • A cover letter and CV.
  • A one-page outline of the course you would teach. This outline should be clearly related to

the goals and practices of ENGL110.

  • A writing assignment that you would use in your course.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Employment offers will be conditioned upon successful completion of a criminal background check. A conviction will not necessarily exclude you from employment.
The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity Employer which encourages applications from historically underrepresented groups and Veterans. The University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination can be found at http://www.udel.edu/aboutus/legalnotices.html

Monday, September 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Thesis and Field Exam Workshop

Thanks to Dr. Evan Radcliffe for hosting the Thesis and Field Exam Workshop last week. Current grad students met last Thursday evening to get information about the thesis and field exam process, including timelines, requirements, and examples from previous graduate students (which can also be found here on the YAWP). Students also enjoyed pizza together while they got more details about what the thesis or field exam entail.

Some important dates to keep in mind for grad students planning on finishing their degree in Spring 2020:
December 13: Last day to submit a spring thesis or field exam proposal to Mike
January 31: Last day to apply for May graduation
April 24: Last day for students writing a spring thesis to defend and submit
May 1: Last day for students taking a spring field exam to complete the oral component
May 4: 10th Annual Thesis and Field Exam Symposium, at 5:30pm in SAC 300!

Best of luck to all grad students starting work on their theses and field exams!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Publishing Matters Event

Thanks to all who came out to the Publishing Matters: See Your Name in Print - Publishing 101 event this past Wednesday! Celebrated author Robin Black and editor Travis Kurowski held a panel discussion alongside student editor Tia Paris, moderated by Dr. Adrienne Perry. 

Just Published: Dr. Tsering Wangmo on the "Tibetan Question"

Congratulations to Dr. Tsering Wangmo, whose article, "Dialectics of Sovereignty, Compromise, and Equality in the Discourse on the 'Tibetan Question,'" was just published in the journal boundary 2.

In her article, Dr. Wangmo observes that since 1950, the Chinese government has determined the status and position of Tibetans, but it has not won the battle for Tibetans’ hearts and minds. On the contrary, ongoing Tibetan resistance under Chinese rule points to serious fissures in the Chinese state’s ideological and cultural project of “liberating” Tibet. Wang Hui’s article “The ‘Tibetan Question’ East and West: Orientalism, Regional Ethnic Autonomy, and the Politics of Dignity” analyzes the March 2008 “riots” in and around Lhasa in order to understand the impediments to a real solution to the crisis in Tibet. Although Wang Hui offers productive ways of moving beyond the status quo, Dr. Wangmo suggests that his analysis of Tibet is limited by multiple ideological contradictions that ultimately fail to lift Tibet out of the advanced/backward binary that typifies late nineteenth-century orientalism.

Dr. Wangmo also travelled to Columbia University in New York last week to give a talk at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Her presentation, entitled "Reenacting Homecoming," discussed literature produced by Tibetan refugees and exiles in the 1960s-70s and their relation to place. She looked at literature as a logbook of events where the function of memory was not simply to recollect but to attempt to recover and to recreate the meaning of place outside the lost territory, and spoke of the function of literature in relation to the production of history and nation in exile.

Dr. Tsering Wangmo

Monday, September 23, 2019

Villanova English Department in Local News

Check out this report about Friday's climate change demonstration in the Delaware County Daily Times, featuring comments by Villanova English professor Dr. Jean Lutes and senior English major, Molly Bonini.
This is not the first climate activism involving Nova's English department. Grad students and faculty also participated in a climate strike last year.

Villanova students marching for the environment

Just Published: Dr. Jean Lutes on Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop

Congratulations to Dr. Jean Lutes, whose article, "Legendary Affect: Intimacies in Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop," was just published in the latest issue of the journal Studies in the Novel.

Dr. Lutes's essay uses affect theory to better understand Willa Cather’s master experiment with legend in Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927). Treating emotions not as interior to individuals but as dynamic impressions within social networks, she connects the novel’s deliberate, nondramatic continuity of feeling to Cather’s understanding of the legend as a genre. The novel articulates the value of legends repeatedly, and Cather viewed Archbishop itself as a legend. The novel’s serene, inexorable narrative of incomplete intimacies celebrates bonds of faith and love, even as it documents failures of understanding and the weaknesses of personal attachments as a form of resistance to oppression. Discovering what she calls “legendary affect” at work does not absolve Archbishop from complicity with racist regimes and colonial enterprises, and the speed with which the text moves on can act as a silencing mechanism. Yet its resolute pace allows Cather to register some of the most elusive and disturbing dimensions of cross-cultural encounters.

The essay evolved from research Dr. Lutes conducted with the help of her First-Year Match student Amanda Gerstenfeld, now a senior English major and a member of the department's Student Advisory Council.

Dr. Lutes

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dr. Alice Dailey in the Inquirer

Check out the front-page story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer to see Villanova English's own Dr. Alice Dailey discussing the amazing discovery of a Shakespeare First Folio annotated by John Milton, which had been hiding in plain sight in the Free Library of Philadelphia since 1944.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New Job for Nova Alumna

Dr. Cara Saraco, Villanova English Alumna ('13) recently became Director of Academics at Sacred Heart Academy in Bryn Mawr, PA. Prior to coming to Sacred Heart, she taught English at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware for several years. According to the Sacred Heart Academy News, as a female teacher in an all-boys school, Dr. Saraco chose to focus her doctoral research on the intersections of feminism and critical literacy in her classroom.
Dr. Saraco stated, "I am very excited to take on this new role of leading the academic program at Sacred Heart Academy. I love that our curriculum is designed to educate the whole person and that our mission is woven into everything we teach. I look forward to being part of the team that sets up our girls for bright, successful futures, helping each girl find her unique voice and gifts to share with the world."
You can read more about Dr. Saraco and the school in this article.
Way to go, Cara!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Graduate Student Research Symposium 2019

Our own Avni Sejpal will be presenting at the Graduate Student Research Symposium on September 13th at 3PM in the Haverford Room of the Connelly Center.
Here is the abstract of her presentation:
“Indentured Imaginaries: Global Migration, Worldmaking, and Postcolonial Literature examines neglected colonial narratives and bureaucratic archives of indenture at the British Library. It puts historical records into conversation with postcolonial literary narratives to produce an account of nineteenth-century globalization. Little attention has been paid to the ways in which dispossessed communities engaged with transnationalism. This project corrects that oversight by studying globalization from below. It shows that impoverished colonial subjects, forgotten by history, did not merely experience the world at large, they actively produced it. Finally, it demonstrates that this transnationalism necessarily transforms contemporary notions of both globalization and world literature.”
Way to go, Avni!