Graduate Students

Literature Graduate Students

Abdul Aijaz

Abdul Aijaz

Graduate Student

  • aaijaz@indiana.edu

My research explores different ideas of water and rivers in the Indus Basin. Using postcolonial ecocritical and new materialist theories, I try to understand the simultaneous instantiation of the Indus rivers as gods and machines in colonial and postcolonial India and Pakistan while also asking the crucial questions of knowledge production and power relations on local and global scales. By using fiction, folklore, and scientific texts together, the research destabilizes the fact-fiction and word-world binaries to make the deity in the machine visible. Interests are: Postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, vital materialism, south Asian literature.

Sami Atassi

Sami Atassi

Graduate Student

  • shatassi@iu.edu

Sami H Atassi is a native Houstonian and PhD candidate in English Literature. Sami's primary research is on the aesthetic use of terror in American satires written during the antebellum period. His other interests include studying Arabic, dissolving the line between "low" and "high" meme art, and indulging in the mysteries of Agatha Christie.

Rory Boothe

Rory Boothe

Graduate Student

  • rtboothe@indiana.edu

I came to the Department of English in the fall of 2016 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where I completed research on the black queer aesthetics of the Harlem Renaissance as I read it in Wallace Thurman's novel Infants of the Spring. My research interests revolve around 20th-century American and transnational queer narratives and the ways in which they deal with aesthetics, environment, and regionality, in general. I am also interested in late 19th and 20th-century continental philosophy and its connections with theory of visual culture.

Anne Boylan

Anne Boylan

Graduate Student

  • anboylan@iu.edu

I am a Literature M.A./Ph.D. student minoring in Victorian Studies. My research interests center on Victorian women writers and feminist narratology, and specifically questions around the productive uses of silence, withholding, and equivocation. 

Jordan Bunzel

Jordan Bunzel

Graduate Student

  • jbunzel@indiana.edu

Jordan received his B.A. in English literature with a correlate in classics at Vassar College. He is a Literature M.A./Ph.D. student interested in nineteenth-century novels, classics, disability studies, and embodiment. Currently, Jordan studies depictions of the classicist’s body in late Victorian works by Mary Augusta Ward and George Gissing.

Julie Chamberlin

Julie Chamberlin

Graduate Student

  • jkchamb@indiana.edu

Julie Chamberlin is a medievalist pursing her Ph.D. in English literature. Her research interests focus on the intersection of medieval law and literature of the 12th and 13th centuries and how this intersection illuminates premodern understandings of subjecthood and agency. She has taught three sections of a self-designed composition course, W170: Dystopia in Popular Culture, and won the first-year Teaching Portfolio Award in 2015. Julie currently serves as a member of the Graduate Student Advisory Committee, which organizes the IU Interdisciplinary Conference in March.

Sam Chirtel

Sam Chirtel

Graduate Student

  • schirtel@iu.edu

Sam is an MA/PhD student, science fiction writer, and former biophyicist. His research will probably focus on late twentieth century and early twenty-first century British and American science fiction, particularly space-noir, the Singulatiy, and cosmic horror, but who can predict the future? He is also developing an interest in Victorian Spiritualism to round things out. Before coming to IU, Sam received a B.A. in Biophysics from The John Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Colorado Boulder. A lifelong animal lover, Sam dreams about the giant squid, misses the moose in Colorado, and is the proud parent of a three-year-old American Bulldog named Panda Bear. 

grad student phil choong photo

Phil Choong

Graduate Student

  • pchoong@indiana.edu

My research argues for rhetorical education's centrality to contemporary defenses of the humanities. In the face of demagoguery and neoliberalism's encroachments in both the university and civic life, I theorize a rhetorical education that emphasizes reading and listening as complementary yet distinct practices capable of cultivating students' ethical attitudes. At Indiana University, I have taught a range of courses including first-year composition, public speaking, detective fiction, science fiction and rhetoric, and podcast analysis and production.

grad student christie debelius photo

Christie Debelius

Graduate Student

  • cbdebeli@indiana.edu

Christie Debelius is a PhD candidate studying British Romanticism. Her dissertation explores the role of Romantic women poets in theorizing media and mediation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, asking how ideas about gender and authorship affected poets’ notions of the means by which their texts were preserved and transmitted for their audiences. Christie is also interested in pedagogy, media studies, and popular culture; she has taught composition courses about representations of science and technology and about the formal qualities and gender politics of reboot films. She holds a dissertation fellowship from IU’s Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Benjamin Debus

Ben Debus

Graduate Student

  • bdebus@indiana.edu

Ben Debus is a Ph.D. student studying medieval literature in English. His research interests include allegory, dream visions, and aesthetics, and span the historical range of the medieval period. He also holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Indiana University, and he has taught courses in Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition.

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Samantha Demmerle

Graduate Student

  • sjdemmer@iu.edu

Samantha Demmerle is a Ph.D. student and the Albert Wertheim Dissertation Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year. She is studying the phenomenon of minor characters in early modern drama, and her dissertation, entitled "Character at the Margins: Formulating Minor Characters on the Early Modern Stage" analyzes how Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights use minor, anonymous characters to shape and influence the character networks of the stage. 

Zachary Engledow

Zachary Engledow

Graduate Student

  • zacclift@iu.edu

Zachary Engledow is a native of Alabama where he received an Honors B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montevallo. While at Montevallo, he completed an Honors thesis exploring moments of beheading, penetration, and castration as queer, suggesting that the medieval romance is in itself a queer genre. He is a medievalist in the M.A./Ph.D. program and his research interests include: medieval romance, queer theory/history, and the relationship between modern queer identity and the medieval past. He is also interested in exploring Germanic and North Sea literature and culture in relation to queerness and transmission. 

Samuel Evola

Samuel Evola

Graduate Student

  • sevola@iu.edu

Samuel Evola specializes in Victorian fiction as a student in the M.A./Ph.D. program. He received a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and is a former high school teacher. His research interests include narrative theory, cognitive science, and the social and moral changes that accompanied industrialization.

Daniel Fladager

Daniel Fladager

Graduate Student

  • dfladage@indiana.edu

My research centers around the relationship between mapping technologies, land policy, and literature in the colonial and post-colonial spaces of the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. I have taught a variety of courses, including Adventure Literature, Professional Writing, and a course entitled “Wilderness, What is it Good For?”  

Maggie Gilchrist

Maggie Gilchrist

Graduate Student

  • magilch@iu.edu

Maggie Gilchrist is a PhD student specializing in late medieval literature. Her work primarily deals with representations of death and the (un)dead, especially with regards to the ways in which dead and dying bodies convey meaning to and for the living​. In addition, her research explores the corpse as a site for working through both personal and cultural traumas.  

Tess Given

Tess Given

Graduate Student

  • tjgiven@iu.edu

Tess Given is a PhD student of English literature and associate composition instructor. They graduated Grinnell College with a BA in Biology and English, and have a MA from the University of Kentucky in English. They are mainly interested in the transatlantic eighteenth century, focusing on reproduction and futurity through the lens of queer theory, critical race theory, and trans- and post-humanism. They try to bridge contemporary theoretical conversations with eighteenth-century texts and with their pedagogical practice.  

Molly Hamer

Molly Hamer

Graduate Student

  • molhamer@indiana.edu

Molly Hamer's work focuses on late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American literature, with a particular emphasis on women's writing and discourses of modernity. She is writing a dissertation exploring the publication of women writers of color in the mainstream American periodical press at the turn of the century.

Sami Heffner

Sami Heffner

Graduate Student

  • srheffne@iu.edu

Sami Heffner received her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, where she majored in English as well as History. She is now an MA/PhD student with interests mostly to do with the poetry of the long nineteenth century, ranging from William Blake to Wilfred Owen. She also likes to think about homesickness, nostalgia, and feelings of displacement as they developed throughout the nineteenth century, with a particular interest in how war plays a role. She also likes to think about how texts can be queered, and the role poetry played in a century that would become dominated by the novel.  

Zoë Henry

Zoë Henry

Graduate Student

  • zlhenry@iu.edu

Zoë Henry is a journalist and MA/PhD candidate in Literature at Indiana University, where she focuses on modernism and psychoanalytic theory. In particular, she explores how marginalized artists—namely, queer women (H.D., Virginia Woolf)—have used language to map a creation of the ‘self’ onto paper and, thus, in the world. She earned her BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 2014, and spent her years prior to IU covering the intersection of politics, business and technology for publications including Inc. magazine, Slate, Business Insider and the Huffington Post. She is enthusiastic about her cats, Ginsberg and Mapplethorpe; tearing down Donald Trump’s fascist vision for America; and transgressive cinema, particularly the work of directors Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch. Find her on Twitter @ZoeLaHenry, where she is sad in all the right kinds of ways.

Milo Hicks

Milo Hicks

Graduate Student

  • milohick@iu.edu

Milo Murphy Hicks is a PhD candidate in English, with a minor in Cognitive Science, who studies 20th and 21st century writing that exists at the limits of genre. Their master’s work at McGill University was in British modernism but has recently shifted to a Post45 American context with the stories of Diane Williams and other writers influenced by Gordon Lish. Milo's research is informed by the phenomenology of reading; consciousness, affect, perception, and sensation; philosophies of mind, language, and embodiment; the unit of the sentence in short stories; as well as formal experimentation.​ Milo is also part of Fritz Breithaupt's Experimental Humanities Lab.

Kristina Krasny

Kristina Krasny

Graduate Student

  • kkrasny@iu.edu

My primary area of study is Early Modern literature and drama, although I also have an interest in the Victorian Era and modern adaptation. My secondary interests include existential and natural philosophies, particularly with regard to how philosophical discourse shapes both literary culture and the broader academic community. Additional areas of focus in my work include psychology, disability studies, and pedagogy. More specifically, I am deeply interested in the pedagogical practices used at all levels of education to teach literature to underrepresented groups, including the Deaf community and first-generation students.

Hoi Na Kung

Hoi Na Stephanie Kung

Graduate Student

  • hkung@indiana.edu

My research examines the intersections between embodiment and citizenship in twentieth-century century African American and Asian American literature. Drawing upon affect theory, theory of the senses and critical race theory, I investigate the ways in which embodied subjects maintain desire, attachment, and sense of belonging to the national body-politic in the face of ongoing material, political, and psychic exclusion. I am also interested in considering alternative models of citizenship that do not deny and disavow embodied existence, but turn to embodied acts as contestations of exclusion. My research also asks after the political significance of American ethnic texts beyond their representative value. To this end, I attend to ethnic texts with modernist and postmodernist aesthetics in order to explore how the materiality of sights and sounds of a text can express political agency and resistance.

Ryan Lally

Ryan Lally

Graduate Student

  • rlally@iu.edu

I am a Literature M.A./Ph.D. student with a B.A. in English from Samford University. My research interests include genre conventions in twentieth century American poetry, with a particular focus on odes. Prior to enrolling at IU, I was a Writing Coach and developmental English lab instructor at Southern Union State Community College in Opelika, Alabama.  

Sarah Le

Sarah Le

Graduate Student

  • hble@indiana.edu

I focus primarily on 16th and 17th century British drama and poetry, with emphasis on texts that deal with intersecting issues of colonialism, race, gender/sexuality, subjecthood, power, and agency. I am also interested in pop culture Shakespeare and theories of adaptation, cultural commodities, performance, and visual culture.

Evan Leake

Evan Leake

Graduate Student

  • ejleake@iu.edu

Evan Leake is an M.A./Ph.D. student specializing in twentieth century American literature. He is specifically interested in studying imperialist cultures through the ideological frameworks of collective identity, individualism, progress, and historicity. His other research interests include postcolonialism, mass media, and the intersection of art and politics. Prior to attending IU, Evan graduated from West Point in 2014 and served as an Army officer for five years.  

Meg Lebow

Meg Lebow

Graduate Student

  • mlebow@iu.edu

Meg Lebow is an MA/PhD candidate focusing on the Victorian novel. She is especially interested in early detective fiction and nineteenth-century narratives of crime and criminality. She received her B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she primarily studied Shakespeare (before she picked up the copy of Middlemarch that changed everything). When she is not reading, she is probably out walking her beloved hound dog, Josie (not the Dalmatian puppy in the photo. That's just another great dog). 

Sarah Line

Sarah Line

Graduate Student

  • smline@indiana.edu

Sarah Line is a literature M.A./Ph.D. student who focuses on medieval literature. Her research interests include anything and everything Viking, particularly legendary sagas. She focuses primarily on perspectives of heroes and monsters and how these perspectives change throughout various medieval texts. She also spends a great deal of her time daydreaming about Valhalla.

Jennifer Lopatin

Graduate Student

  • jlopatin@indiana.edu

Jennifer Lopatin is a PhD student specializing in medieval literature. Her dissertation focuses on instances of secular prophecy in medieval narratives, such as Merlin, and investigates how those instances put pressure on various types of authority as they invoke wonder. Her broader research interests include Arthurian and Celtic literatures, temporalities, and prophecy.

Sara Loy

Sara Loy

Graduate Student

  • sarloy@iu.edu

Sara Loy is an M.A./Ph.D. student in English Literature with a minor in Rhetoric/Composition. She is a Victorianist interested in constructions of childhood and the bildungsroman, particularly during the Golden Age of children's lit. Broader interests include imagination studies, fairy tales, contemporary YA, and composition pedagogy. Currently, she is Assistant Book Review Editor for Victorian Studies​. 

Stephanie Luke

Stephanie Luke

Graduate Student

  • smluke@indiana.edu

Stephanie Luke is a Ph.D​. candidate whose concentration is in nineteenth-century American literature. Her research interests include special collections and archival research, science and medicine, criminality and asylum culture, and the history of mass media and sensational journalism. Her dissertation questions the concepts of public and private by exploring liminal spaces that decentered the era's ideology of separate spheres as well as the traditional model of the self-determined, liberal subject. 

Caitlin Mahaffy

Caitlin Mahaffy

Graduate Student

  • mcmahaff@indiana.edu

Caitlin Mahaffy is a fourth-year Ph.D candidate who works at the intersection of late medieval and early modern English literature. Her particular interest is in texts that engage with the topics of animals and animality. Much of her research investigates the relationship between animal studies, posthumanism, and queer theory. Her first article, "Melodious Madrigals: A Study of Animal Musicians in Early Modern England" is forthcoming in The Ben Jonson Journal. 

Trevor McMichael

Trevor McMichael

Graduate Student

  • tamcmich@indiana.edu

Trevor McMichael (tamcmich@indiana.edu) is a Ph.D. Candidate who specializes in Romantic and Victorian literature and culture. His dissertation, Revenge and British Romanticism, examines the ways in which Romantic writers like Joanna Baillie, William Wordsworth, Letitia Landon, and William Hazlitt formally and aesthetically conceptualize types of revenge that accord with everyday life around the turn of the nineteenth century, and that consequently depart from conventional generic and thematic elements found in revenge literature, such as plot, violence, spectacle, and tragedy. He was Book Review Editor of Victorian Studies for two years, and he currently holds a dissertation fellowship through IU’s Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Chris Mendez

Chris Mendez

Graduate Student

I am a Literature M.A./ PhD student minoring in Gender Studies. I received my BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. My research interests include ethnic American literature, LGBTQ+ studies, and media studies, with a focus on the representation of race, class, and gender in TV, film, and literature. I enjoy watching and reading material that examines how systems of power act upon multiple aspects of identity to maintain racial and class-based hierarchies.  Recently, I have conducted research on the portrayal of gentrification as a form of racialized consumption in contemporary Latinx TV shows and films.          

Sean Mier

Sean Mier

Graduate Student

  • smier@indiana.edu

Sean Mier received his MA in English from University of Colorado-Boulder and is currently pursuing a PhD with emphases in Victorian literature and studies in the history of the book. His past work has considered the intersection of nineteenth-century print technologies and conventions with more embodied modes of communication, like handwriting. 

Chelsey Moler Ford

Chelsey Moler Ford

Graduate Student

  • cmoler@indiana.edu

Chelsey Moler Ford is a M.A./Ph.D student specializing in eighteenth-century and Romantic British literature. She currently serves as the Assistant Managing Editor of Victorian Studies. Her interests include theories of trauma and violence, narratology, the rise of the novel, amatory fiction, and women’s literature of the eighteenth century. Chelsey has taught several first-year composition courses centered on feminism, race, and gender.

Joseph Morgan

Joseph Morgan

Graduate Student

  • jhmorgan@indiana.edu

Scholarly interests: Medieval literature from England, in particular works touching on Marian piety from 1350-1500. Teaching Interests: Middle English language and literature; history of the English language; digital humanities; writing pedagogy and composition.

Steve Nathaniel

Steve Nathaniel

Graduate Student

  • stnathan@iu.edu

My research interests include twentieth century poetry and poetics, and their correspondence with science. Specifically, I try to explain how poets negotiate the scientific developments that underpin modernism’s most fruitful aesthetic problems. Currently, I am studying the theories of sound that often furnish modern aesthetics, such as in Gertrude Stein’s invocation of rhythm. In the past I have drawn on my experiences as a mechanical engineer to investigate the effects of idealized efficiency in 19th and 20th century poetics.

grad student brooke opel photo

Brooke A. Opel

Graduate Student

  • bopel@indiana.edu

Brooke A. Opel is an English Literature Ph.D. candidate focusing on nineteenth-century American and transatlantic literature with research interests in gender and sexuality, feminism, early psychology, sentimental and domestic fiction, and theories of reading. Her dissertation explores the ways in which American sentimental novels engaged with early nineteenth-century mental sciences, such as phrenology, mesmerism, and physiological psychology. She is a Teaching Fellow at IU and former Book Review Editor for Victorian Studies (2016-2018). Brooke also represented Region 4, Great Lakes as a regional delegate on the MLA Delegate Assembly from 2016 to 2019.

Sarah Parijs

Sarah Parijs

Graduate Student

  • slparijs@iu.edu

Sarah Parijs is a Ph.D. student and Associate Instructor with a concentration in American literature specializing in Literature and Science. Sarah received her B.A. in English minoring in Creative Writing from West Texas A & M University and her M.A. in English from the University of Texas-Arlington. Her research interests focus on issues of ecocriticism, new materialisms, and animal studies in 19th century nature writing and contemporary science fiction.

Maddie Parker

Maddie Parker

Graduate Student

  • mp13@iu.edu

I am an M.A./PhD candidate and a fellow of Indiana University’s Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies.  While I focus primarily on the poetry and prose of the Romantic era, I am also interested in exploring how eighteenth-century events like the French Revolution shaped the ideologies of Europe’s literati.  This correlation between literature and political thought encourages my further interest in the expatriations of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European writers to the new milieu of early America.

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson

Graduate Student

  • mjr1@iu.edu

Matthew Robinson is a PhD student with interests in 20th-century American poetry. Particularly, he researches queer poets’ relationships to visual culture, transnational aesthetics, and the historical avant-garde.

Eric Rosenbaum

Eric Rosenbaum

Graduate Student

  • esrosenb@indiana.edu

My research is in late 19th and early 20th century American literature. I am especially interested in the sociology of literature, or how literary genres target and help to cohere different kinds of social groups. Authors I focus on include Herman Melville, Maria Ruiz de Burton, William James, Frances E.W. Harper, Mark Twain, and Frank Norris.

Nathan Schmidt

Nathan Schmidt

Graduate Student

  • schmidna@iu.edu

Nathan Schmidt is a Ph.D. student who works on American literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. As a scholar of the environmental humanities, he works at the intersections of critical theory, animal studies, and the history of science. Specifically, he engages with the critical paradigms of biopolitics and new materialism to investigate the relationship between the development of environmental consciousness and material infrastructures in America across the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Key literary figures for him include Whitman, Melville, John Muir, and Nikola Tesla; important critical figures include Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari, Giorgio Agamben, and Karen Barad. He has also taught and designed the W170 course "From Dog Tales to Bear Necessities: Human and Animal Relationships in Arts and Culture."

Sarah Schmitt

Sarah Schmitt

Graduate Student

  • sjschmit@iu.edu

Sarah J. Schmitt is a PhD student at Indiana University, with an MA from Michigan State University. She is interested in both early modern and Victorian conceptions of morality and virtue, with specific attention given to Milton and his influence on later women writers. 

Anushka Sen

Anushka Sen

Graduate Student

  • senan@iu.edu

Anushka got her BA and MA in English Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She spent two more years in her home city brooding, teaching some very energetic children, and coming to the conclusion that she wanted to work on modernism--specifically, on how narratives of urban modernism are complicated, enriched and made strange by the presence of the nonhuman. She loves taking courses outside her field, and is always hungry for new poetry from about any period or place. She spends most of her spare time (loosely defined) listening to music, thinking about ethical, effective pedagogy, and trying to maintain rigorous politics in relation to her homeland as well as her current habitat.

Evan Sennett

Evan Sennett

Graduate Student

  • evjasenn@iu.edu

Evan Sennett is a first-year graduate student in Literature, hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. In 2019 he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toledo, where he double-majored in English Literature and Film. His research interests include nineteenth-century American non-fiction and environmental literature. Following this theme, Evan has also been known to venture into the twentieth-century to explore Kentucky and Ohio River Valley Agrarianism. 

Katie Shy

Katie Shy

Graduate Student

  • kshy@iu.edu

I am an M.A./Ph.D. candidate focusing on 20th century British literature. Before coming to Bloomington, I completed a B.A. in English and Classics at Yale. Over the next few years, I am excited to spend time with modernist novels and realist novels, particularly exploring the depiction of domestic life, family relations, and women writers. 

Ellen Stenstrom

Ellen Stenstrom

Graduate Student

  • ekstenst@iu.edu

Ellen Stenstrom is a M.A./Ph.D student planning to specialize in 20th and 21st century American literature. She earned her BA from Miami University of Ohio in May 2019 with double majors in Literature and Creative Writing and minors in Rhetoric and Education. Her general research interests include experimental fiction, postmodernism, critical theory, and classroom pedagogy, and extend more specifically into mental illness narratives, trauma theory, and narratology. Besides reading and writing, Ellen enjoys visiting coffee shops, doing craft projects, organizing and cleaning, music and musical theater, and all things Disney and Harry Potter. 

Kortney Stern

Kortney Stern

Graduate Student

  • ksstern@iu.edu

Kortney Stern is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in medieval literature. Her persistent focus has been on gender and sexuality throughout the Middle Ages. More specifically, her scholarly work assesses sound--both bodily and non-linguistic, female speech acts and silences, (female) authority, trauma and (female) acts of resistance. 

Sam Tett

Sam Tett

Graduate Student

  • stett@iu.edu

Sam Tett is a PhD candidate specializing in the long nineteenth century. Her dissertation project, Paramnesiac Selves, is broadly concerned with (not) feeling at home in nineteenth-century British and American literature. Taking a psychological approach and intersecting with nostalgia studies, her project examines representations of alienation in contexts of ostensible belonging--that is, of being at home, but not feeling at home--delving into some uniquely Victorian psychological phenomena, such as deja vu and (its opposite) jamais vu. Her other academic investments are wide-ranging, and include queer theory (particularly queer kinship patterns), gender studies, cultural studies, and cosmopolitanism. She is also teaching a self-designed course on romantic love, which begins with Jane Austen and ends with Call Me By Your Name. In addition to mentoring incoming students and serving as the representative for Graduate Funding on the Graduate Student Advisory Committee, she also founded and directs a Victorian Studies Critical Reading group, and has served as the Managing Editor for Victorian Studies.  

Gregory Tolliver

Gregory Tolliver

Graduate Student

  • gretolli@iu.edu

Gregory Tolliver is a medievalist and Ph.D. student in English literature. His research focuses on developing alliances among ecomaterialism, queer theory, and late medieval literature. He is especially interested in developing a theory for reading the relationships between time, temporality, and non/human identities and relationships in premodern genres. Gregory received M.A. degrees in English literary history from Ohio University and English literary and cultural studies from West Virginia University.

Mary Helen Truglia

Mary Helen Truglia

Graduate Student

  • mtruglia@indiana.edu

Mary Helen Truglia is a PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow in Literature, focusing on Early Modern English women's writing with an interdisciplinary minor in Renaissance Studies. Her dissertation examines the interplay of gender and genre, using feminist and queer theory to investigate these intersections in Early Modern lyric poetry, prose romance, & epics. In addition to her undergraduate teaching, she also served as an Assistant Director of Composition from 2017-2019. Her other academic interests and specialties include poetry and poetics, the epic and romance tradition, Shakespeare, Milton, gender and women's studies, literary and filmic adaptation studies, YA literature, teaching composition, and teaching Early Modern literature.

Laura Tscherry

Laura Tscherry

Graduate Student

  • tscherry@iu.edu

I joined the department in 2018 after receiving a BA in German and English from the University of London and an MA in English and Gender and Women’s Studies from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. My research interests include the twentieth-century novel, the relationship between literature and visual art, and the baffling and elusive figures of collaboration and collective life. When I’m not thinking about modernist writing, I’m likely cooking, hiking, or handling manuscripts at the Lilly.

Denise Weisz

Denise Weisz

Graduate Student

  • daweisz@iu.edu

Denise is a Literature M.A./Ph.D. student who came to Indiana with a B.A. in English and Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Before starting her doctorate, she earned a TESOL certificate and taught English in the Czech Republic. She specializes in late nineteenth-century American fiction, especially dialect literature written by immigrants and African Americans, depictions of speech disorders in text, the role of orthography and lexicography in the formation of American nationalism, and ecocritical conceptions of the American frontier. 

Miranda Wojciechowski

Miranda Wojciechowski

Graduate Student

  • mkwojcie@indiana.edu

Miranda Wojciechowski is a second-year Ph.D. student in the program. She is interested in 19th and 20th century British literature, Victorian Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies, and her current research focuses on the figurations of reading and disease as entangled social phenomena during the Victorian period.

M.F.A. Graduate Students

Janan Alexandra

Janan Alexandra

Graduate Student

  • jas13@iu.edu

Janan Alexandra is a Lebanese-American poet in her third year at Indiana University. Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, Janan has spent her life creating home in many different places—a central theme and preoccupation of her work. She is interested in how poems can help us write more truthful histories: personal/political, familial, and collective. Janan is the recipient of fellowships from the Martha's Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. She currently serves as Poetry Editor of Indiana Review. You can find her work in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, The Adroit Journal, Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab-America, and elsewhere.

Austin Araujo

Austin Araujo

Graduate Student

  • amaraujo@iu.edu

Austin Araujo is a writer from northwest Arkansas. Currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University, his poems are published in or forthcoming from Shenandoah, Memorious, The Rumpus, Four Way Review, and elsewhere.

Kat Carlton

Kat Carlton

Graduate Student

Kat Carlton is a poet who places home in Colorado and California. Before becoming an M.F.A. candidate at Indiana University she earned her B.A. in English literature and creative writing at the University of Colorado Denver, and worked with social justice initiatives for sexual education, assault prevention and care. As a writer she is interested in prodding traditional forms and playing to surrealism as she explores womanhood, ancestry, the body as container, connection and surveillance.

Meredith Carroll

Meredith Carroll

Graduate Student

Meredith Carroll is an MFA candidate in fiction. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she received her BA in History from Grinnell College in 2016. Her work, which includes memoir and poetry as well as fiction, explores how characters navigate and define themselves by memory, loss, and the natural world.

Laura Dzubay

Laura Dzubay

Graduate Student

  • ldzubay@iu.edu

Laura Dzubay is an MFA candidate in fiction. After growing up mostly in Bloomington, Indiana, she got her B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she received multiple Hopwood Awards for short fiction and a prize for her senior thesis, a collection of short stories. She is interested in journalistic writing as well as fiction, and currently writes freelance music and film reviews following three years of arts writing and interviews for The Michigan Daily. Her other recent projects include working with literary magazines Midwestern Gothic and The Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, and co-writing and filming a full-length dramedy TV pilot in the fall of 2018. Her fiction has previously appeared in Bad Pony, Blue Earth Review, Belle Ombre, and elsewhere. In addition to writing, she loves good food, hiking, and haunted places.

Shreya Fadia

Shreya Fadia

Graduate Student

  • safadia@iu.edu

Shreya Fadia is an MFA candidate in fiction and currently serves as the Associate Editor of Indiana Review. She was born in Mumbai, India, but has since called many different places home—including, briefly, a tent on the Appalachian Trail. She earned her B.A. in English and history from Cornell University and received a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Prior to attending Indiana University, she practiced civil litigation at a law firm in New York City. Her recent writing has explored immigration, place, family, isolation, and the natural world and has drawn on fairy tale, dark fantasy, and horror.

Michelle Finkler

Michelle Finkler

Graduate Student

  • michfink@iu.edu

Michelle Finkler is a third-year MFA candidate in Fiction. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Hobart and Joyland Magazine. She was a 2019 recipient of Indiana University’s Writer in South Asia Project Fellowship, and she was a summer 2019 writer in residence at Art Farm Nebraska. Michelle is currently at work on a novel-in-stories set in her hometown of Chicago. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her rescue pup named Rita.

Cameron Forrest

Cameron Forrest

Graduate Student

  • caforr@iu.edu

Cameron Forrest is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry from North Carolina. He received his BA in English from Lincoln University of Missouri where he was a recipient of the Lock-Heinen Scholarship in English and the Cecil A. Blue Award for Creative Writing. His work combines the mystery inherent in the personal and the use of the body as an anchor in descriptions, both those of violence and of remembrance.

Sabrina Ghaus

Sabrina Ghaus

Graduate Student

  • sghaus@iu.edu

Sabrina Ghaus is a Pakistani-American poet, gardener, and community organizer working to elevate grassroots power for social change. They graduated from Tufts University in 2014 with a BA in International Relations, studying and creating South Asian feminist, anti-colonial historiography. As a first-year MFA candidate in poetry, they are interested in archiving life at the margins, ​cataloguing the collusion between nature and the precious experience of our lives, and understanding the relationships between memory, imagination, and belonging.  

Joseph Hohman

Joseph Hohman

Graduate Student

  • johohman@iu.edu

Joseph Hohman is an MFA candidate in Fiction at Indiana University. He received a BA in Biochemistry with a minor in Anthropology from the University of North Texas in 2015. His work explores art, science, dreams, mythology, and nature, with a focus on experimental structures. His writings can mainly be classified as magical realism.

M. Caroline McCaulay

M. Caroline McCaulay

Graduate Student

  • mcmccaul@iu.edu

M. Caroline McCaulay is a third-year MFA candidate in Fiction at Indiana University. She received a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she completed a minor in Conflict Studies and participated in the Media Fellows Program. Her writing reflects an interest in complicated families, mental health, restorative justice, and international experiences. She previously worked for Universal Cable Productions and is an avid consumer of all things television.

Tyler Raso

Tyler Raso

Graduate Student

Tyler Raso is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Indiana University. After graduating from Kenyon College with degrees in English and Religious Studies, he taught elementary cooking classes in Chicago Public Schools and grade 6-8 nonfiction writing at Northwestern Center for Talent Development. His recent writings center on the queer childhood, apocalypse theories, and cryptozoology. He enjoys making poetry by hand, occasionally painting on poems or sewing on poems or writing poems on poems, and he'll frequently dismantle books for collage work. You can find some of his poetry in Lunch Ticket, One Magazine, The London Magazine, burntdistrict, and elsewhere. He was born in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany. 

L. Renée

L. Renée

Graduate Student

  • lrh1@iu.edu

L. Renée is a poet and nonfiction writer from Columbus, Ohio. She is a third-year MFA candidate at Indiana University, where she has served as the Nonfiction Editor of Indiana Review and as Associate Director of the Indiana University Writers’ Conference. She is the recipient of the 2020 Indiana University Guy Lemmon Award in Public Writing, the 2019 Indiana University Writers in South Asia Award, the 2018 Alumni Award Fellowship from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and a National Silver medal in poetry at the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Her work has received support from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and Green Mountain Writers Conference. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Tin House Online, Poet Lore, the minnesota review, Appalachian Review, Southern Humanities Review, Poiesis, New Limestone Review, and the Women of Appalachia Project’s Women Speak anthology. She holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she received a Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with honors from Roanoke College. Most importantly, L. Renée believes in Black joy and preserving the stories of her ancestors.

Danielle Richardson

Danielle Richardson

Graduate Student

Danielle Richardson is a first-year MFA candidate in Fiction at IU Bloomington. She was born and raised in the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin and earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) with a minor in Film Studies from Florida State University. Her writing typically uses magical realism to explore matriarchy and Black girlhood.

Alex Sagona

Alex Sagona

Graduate Student

  • asagona@iu.edu

Alex Sagona, originally from Rockford, Ill., moved to Chicago at age 17 to pursue a career in video production, working for networks such as HGTV, TLC, G4, and Nickelodeon. He holds a B.A. in English from Loyola University Chicago, where he received The Gerrietts Prize. After undergrad, he spent two years working in clinical psychology as a research assistant for "Saving Lives, Inspiring Youth" and "The 3Ms Study." He is an MFA candidate in fiction.

Sophie Stein

Sophie Stein

Graduate Student

Sophie Stein was born in Chicago in 1995. Her short fiction has won awards from The Hypertext Review and december magazine; her work has also appeared in The Briar Cliff Review, The Tangerine\ and The Quarryman. She earned her M.A. from University College Cork and her B.A. from Northwestern University, where she was the serial recipient of the Edwin L. Shuman Award for best short story. She is an alumnus of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and is in the first year of her MFA at Indiana University.

Alison Stoos

Alison Stoos

Graduate Student

  • astoos@iu.edu

Alison Stoos is a first-year MFA candidate in Fiction. Originally from Southeast Texas, she received dual BAs in Theatre and English from The University of Texas at Austin. Her current literary interests include elements of the fantastic paired with emotional truth, and her recent work revolves around themes of place, belonging, and metamorphosis. Professionally, she has spent the past few years working as a barista and can pour some pretty sick latte art. She enjoys cooking, being outside, and any kind of dancing.

Alberto Sveum

Alberto Sveum

Graduate Student

Alberto Sveum is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Indiana Review. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of Northern Iowa.

Dereka Thomas

Dereka Thomas

Graduate Student

Dereka Thomas is a young writer from Fairburn, Georgia. She is currently earning both her MFA in Creative Writing—Fiction and her MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in English: Creative Writing at Colorado College. In her writing, Dereka enjoys exploring the nuances of the Black experience as it relates to gender, sexuality, religion, and romance. Dereka has previously been published in Nectar Poetry.

Bernardo Wade

Bernardo Wade

Graduate Student

Bernardo Wade is a poet/artist from New Orleans, LA. He holds BAs in English and Philosophy from the University of New Orleans. He also moonlights as an Equity and Justice advocate.

Jenna Wengler

Jenna Wengler

Graduate Student

  • jwengler@iu.edu

Jenna Wengler is an MFA candidate in fiction at Indiana University and the former Fiction Editor of Indiana Review. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, she earned a BS in Secondary Education and English from Vanderbilt University and taught high school English in Tennessee. Her story “Brief Candle” received the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature and appeared in Hunger Mountain. She is currently at work on a YA fantasy novel.

El Williams III

El Williams III

Graduate Student

  • ew11@iu.edu

El Williams III is a St. Louis native. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Journal, River Styx, Vinyl and elsewhere. He has received fellowships and scholarships from Cave Canem, Community of Writers, Tin House and the Watering Hole. Currently he lives in Bloomington where he is an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University and serves as the Creative Nonfiction Editor of Indiana Review.

Gisselle Yepes

Gisselle Yepes

Graduate Student

Gisselle Yepes is a Puerto Rican and Colombian first-year poet from the Bronx. They hold a BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University with a concentration in Caribbean Studies. Their focus in Caribbean Studies often frames the islands of and in their poems while holding the oceans that pass through their archives, in their body, intuition, memory, and ancestry. Their writing was highly commended with Wesleyan’s Winchester Fellowship and the Sophie and Anne Read Prize. They were, with four students, the CT Poetry Laureate of 2019-2020 within The CT Poetry Circuit. Their work has appeared in iō Literary Journal, Voicemail Poems, Wesleyan’s POC Publication – The Ankh, and Harvard’s Latinx Publication – PALABRITAS. Currently, they are a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal and Indiana Review. Gisselle is also the founder and editor of the virtual editing platform, Gisselle Edits. They currently live in Bloomington, where they are a MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University. 

Rose Zinnia

Rose Zinnia

Graduate Student

  • rwehren@iu.edu

Rose Zinnia (she/her, they/them, ze/zir) was born in Akron, Ohio and is the author of the chapbooks Golden Nothing Forever (Nonbinary), Abracadabrachrysanthemum, Hands, and River (with Ross Gay). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Tenderness Project, The Ocean State Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Monster House Press, Peach Mag, Bad Nudes, & elsewhere. They live with their wolfdog, Kiki, in Bloomington, Indiana where ze are an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Indiana University and a book/graphic designer. Ze co-edit w the trees + poiesis

Rhetoric Graduate Students

Sarah Fischer

Sarah Fischer

Graduate Student

  • samafisc@iu.edu

Sarah Fischer is a Rhetoric Ph.D. student interested in multilingual writers and writing centers. Originally from Miami, Florida, she earned her BA in English from the University of Florida in 2018.

Millie Hizer

Millie Hizer

Graduate Student

  • amhizer@indiana.edu

Millie Hizer entered IU’s MA/PhD Program in Rhetoric and Composition in the fall of 2018. She received her BA in English from The University of Florida in 2017. Her research interests include community writing and literacy, disability rhetoric, composition theory and pedagogy, and classical rhetorical theory.

Eryn Johnson

Eryn Johnson

Graduate Student

  • erynjohn@iu.edu

Eryn is a PhD student studying rhetoric and composition. She came to IU with a background in literary studies and communication studies. Eryn’s current research interests include the intersection of rhetoric and ethics as it comes to bear upon the narrative paradigm (and vice versa) and the role that ethics plays in rhetoric as a teaching tradition. ​ 

Benjamin Luczak

Benjamin Luczak

Graduate Student

  • bluczak@iu.edu

Benjamin Luczak is a Rhetoric PhD student whose scholarly interests include the rhetoric of space and public memory as well as theories of the public sphere. He received an MA in English with a composition emphasis from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.

Jason Michálek

Jason Michálek

Graduate Student

  • jasomich@iu.edu

Jason Michálek entered IU’s doctoral program in rhetoric in the fall of 2018. His research interests have been historically broad with a BA in English language & literature and linguistics from Grand Valley State University, and an MA in American Studies from The George Washington University. His current foci are in semiotics, digital ontology, rhetorics of communion, and fragmented publics.

Becky Ottman

Becky Ottman

Graduate Student

  • bottman@indiana.edu

My scholarly interests include multilingual pedagogy and placement practices, first-year composition theory, and classical rhetoric. I am intrigued by how multilingual students are categorized according to traditional placement practices and how such categorization affects the development of their writing processes. My research considers rhetorical approaches to current placement strategies for multilingual students entering college composition in efforts to evolve and improve these areas. My areas of interest in teaching include first-year composition and multilingual composition.

Laura Rosche

Laura Rosche

Graduate Student

  • lrosche@iu.edu

Laura Rosche is a PhD candidate in English, with a concentration in Rhetoric. Her dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies women use when narrativizing their experiences as survivors of sexual violation. By prioritizing diverse female voices, Rosche's research focuses broadly on the enactment of feminist ethos, the development of rhetorical listening skills, and the theorization of empathetic communicative practices. Other interests include composition pedagogies, digital rhetorics, and autobiographical rhetorics.