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 17, 2012

Corey Waite Arnold

Corey graduated from Transylvania University in May 2009 with a BA in English. As an undergraduate he focused on film and drama, and spent time in the Kansai region of Japan where he studied Japanese film, language, and literature. After graduating, Corey returned to Japan to teach English in a small rural community for two years. His academic interests include cultural studies, literature in adaptation, genre fiction, and Japanese literature. Corey writes fiction and poetry, plays board games constantly, and is slowly developing an unhealthy obsession with the movie Blade Runner.

Lydia Browning

Lydia graduated from Messiah College with a BA in English Literature in 2009. She is an unashamed anglophile who hopes to deepen her knowledge of British Literature while at Villanova, although her current focus runs the gamut from 19th century Regency writers to the 20th century Inklings (C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams). She enjoys academic writing, conference-presenting, and looking at the ways theological beliefs and philosophical movements inform and shape fictional texts. She currently teaches enrichment courses at a community college in Maryland and hopes to continue teaching and writing academically post-graduate school. Nonprofessional interests include dirtying all of the dishes in her kitchen, stalking health food blogs, subsisting on hot tea, and pretending that her collection of BBC period dramas opens a portal to the past.

John Dodig

John earned a BA in English from Connecticut College in 2011 where he also served as chair of the English Student Advisory Board, opinions editor of The College Voice, and general manager of the local radio station WCNI 90.9. His primary academic interest is James Joyce (specifically his last two books), but he also really likes American writers like Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace and hopes to tackle Infinite Jest in his thesis next year. He likes cultural studies, movies, and television. He does not like writing about himself in the third person and lives in Philadelphia. Outside school, he likes live music, alternative comedy, and a nice, well-balanced India pale ale.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adam Hembree

Adam graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2010, majoring in English and Italian Studies. He spent the last two years teaching seventh grade special education through Teach for America in Phoenix, AZ. His current academic interests include Critical Theory, Shakespeare, Performance, and Philosophy in Literature.

Rebecca Hepp

Rebecca graduated from Bucknell University in 2008 with a BA in English and Classics. After a brief stint in NY and PA legislative work, she escaped to the freedoms of literature in Villanova's Graduate English Program, where she has focused her studies on early American literature and Gothic fiction. As a second year student, she is formulating her thesis project around early American novelist Charles Brockden Brown his use of the Gothic genre to explore the potential for sexual deviancy in the early Republic. Between classes and her position as assistant editor for Merion Publishing, she catches up on CSI episodes, consoles her husband during Eagles games, and restocks her pantry with baked goods.

Theodora Hermes

Theodora graduated from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA in May of 2012. During her undergraduate career, she doubled majored in English and Sociology and served as the Student Director of the Women's Services and Gender Resource Center. At Villanova, she continues to merge her interests in academia and activism by pursuing a MA degree in English while working as the graduate assistant in the Gender and Women's Studies department. Her interests include American literature, contemporary women's literature, and Cultural Studies. Outside of academia, she enjoys practicing Yoga, hiking, cooking, following politics, and thrift-store shopping.

Caroline Lees

Originally from southern Pennsylvania, Caroline received her BA in English Literature and History from Franklin & Marshall College in 2010. Her research interests include Gothic fiction and interactions between music and literature, a topic that took her to London for research as an undergrad. She currently works as a copywriter for the home and garden brand terrain, where she loves playing with all the product samples. In her free time she enjoys traveling, freelance music writing, horseback riding, and shopping.

Frank Mcdevitt

Frank graduated from Saint Joseph's University in May of 2012 with a BA in English. During his undergraduate career he focused on literature, specifically contemporary British and South Asian literature, and postmodern literature with a focus on narrative and time. He also worked as the Arts & Entertainment editor for the Hawk newspaper, where he provided profiles, interviews, and (most frequently) film and music reviews. During his time within the Master’s program at Villanova, he would like to explore his interests in postmodernism, contemporary fiction, film studies, and postcolonial fiction. His general interests include the Best Show on WFMU; comedy (stand up and otherwise); rock criticism and film criticism; and Chris Onstad's Achewood. He strongly identifies with a cartoon cat named Roast Beef Kazenzakis. Don't ask.

Susan Pedersen

Susan graduated from The College of New Jersey (just down the road from Princeton) in 2009. She wrote her undergrad thesis on Gulliver's Travels and abuses of rhetoric, which will probably inform her graduate studies at least obliquely. Other academic interests include Derrida; Vladimir Nabokov; the strange, wonderful world of Twin Peaks; and making Derrida, Nabokov, and Twin Peaks converge in some sort of brave, edifying way. When she's not mixing media or aspiring to be that high school English teacher who changes her students' lives, Susan enjoys crosswords, MythBusters, and dancing to the various recordings of "Sleepwalk[ing]."

James Tressel

James grew up in Maine, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania. In 1999, he graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. While studying film-making and photography in his twenties, he worked a variety of Kafkaesque temp jobs, volunteered for arts and anti-violence organizations, tutored writing and English, created documentaries for public access television, helped run a college darkroom, and spent a summer living in Seville and Berlin. After moving to Philadelphia, James worked for five years as the special order specialist at The University of Pennsylvania's bookstore. His current interests include modern classical music, weird fiction and silent film. He performs with the experimental/improvisational rock band Horsey and is constantly tinkering with compositions in his home studio. James also writes fiction and poetry; he was proud to have his first chapbook, Furnace, published by Turtleneck Press in January of 2012.