Graduate Students

Literature Graduate Students

Abdul Aijaz

Abdul Aijaz

Graduate Student

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.

Jerrell  Allen

Jerrell Allen

Graduate Student

My work focuses on descriptions of cephalophoric Saints in Middle English literature, with particular attention paid to representations of persecuting societies of the past. My research explores the question of how Catholic Europe imagined itself as belonging to a lineage of persecuted religious minorities while simultaneously holding social and political hegemony in the High and Late Middle Ages. My other research interests include hagiography and devotional literature of Western Europe, critical race theory, psychoanalysis and the history of Judaism.

Sami Atassi

Sami Atassi

Graduate Student

Sami Atassi is a native Houstonian and Ph.D. candidate in English Literature. Sami's primary focus of study is the aesthetic use of terror for comedic effect in Antebellum American literature. His other interests include studying Arabic, developing a critical theory of social media, and indulging in the mysteries of Agatha Christie.

Jaclyn Bitsis

Graduate Student

I work on 20th century British literature and culture with a particular interest in pop culture. My dissertation investigates constructions of Englishness through representations of popular music in film and the novel; its primary texts range from dub reggae to popular wartime cinema to the modernist novel. I argue that these texts' representations of music make possible a re-imagining of the spaces that determine the meanings of Englishness, but that these experiments in form greatly vary in their degree of success.

Molly Boggs

Molly Boggs

Graduate Student

My research theorizes the Victorian lodging, rather than the Victorian house, as a key cultural influence on ideas about domesticity, sexuality, and space in nineteenth-century England. I’m interested in the relationship between interior space and literary form, especially in fiction about spaces considered marginal to the middle-class home—for example, drafty garrets where sisters huddled in a shared bed, dormitories where shopgirls slept bunk to bunk, and stuffy back bedrooms where bachelors hid their tea from snooping landladies. My interests also include Victorian ghost stories and detective fiction, and I’m an avid reader of George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, and Anthony Trollope.

Jon Booth

Jon Booth

Graduate Student

Jon Booth is a doctoral candidate studying Romanticism and 18th Century literature with an interest in phenomenology, aesthetics, and medical theory.

Rory Boothe

Rory Boothe

Graduate Student

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.

Mary Borgo Ton

Mary Borgo Ton

Graduate Student

Mary Borgo Ton is a Ph.D. candidate in Victorian Studies who explores travel literature, nineteenth-century screen technologies, and the digital humanities. Her digital-born dissertation, Shining Lights: Magic Lanterns and the Missionary Movement, 1839-1868, illuminates the global history of early screen culture through digitized journals, diaries, and letters written by missionaries who brought projectors with them to the South Pacific and Africa. As the Digital Pedagogy Specialist for the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities, she adapts digital approaches to archival material to build research skills and promote digital literacy in undergraduate and graduate classrooms.

  

Shannon Boyer

Graduate Student

Shannon Boyer is a Teaching Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in English literature. Her focus is on early twentieth century American and British literature particularly literary modernism and its intersection with the sexual and mental sciences of the period.

Anne Boylan

Anne Boylan

Graduate Student

I am a Literature M.A./Ph.D. student with a B.A. in Literature from Bard College. My research interests center on Victorian women writers and feminist narratology, specifically the ways in which women writers use silence, performance, and equivocation in the novel to subvert the Victorian marriage plot.

Jordan Bunzel

Jordan Bunzel

Graduate Student

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.

Bronwen Carlisle

Bronwen Carlisle

Graduate Student

A native Hoosier, Bronwen is an M.A./M.L.S. student in Literature and Library Science (dual degree with the department of Information and Library Science). She received her B.A. in English Literature, Writing, and TESOL from Huntington University in 2016. In addition to pursuing graduate studies, she works for Indiana Humanities, the state humanities council, and is particularly interested in using this dual degree to strengthen her work in the public humanities. Her research interests include medieval literature and manuscripts, theological approaches to literature, the history of the book, and archives management.

Julie Chamberlin

Julie Chamberlin

Graduate Student

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.

Michael Chambers

Michael Chambers

Graduate Student

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Literature with a concentration in Victorian Studies.  Broadly, my research interests span nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and American literature.  My dissertation explores how Victorian realist conceptions of reality and the human experience of it evolved through an engagement with aspects of the period’s empiricist thought, specifically regarding limits to knowledge, and the nature of reality and human consciousness.

Phil Choong

Graduate Student

Phil Choong is a Ph.D. student working on literary studies' recent turn towards surface reading and other models of post-critical engagement with texts. This project brings together ongoing conversations in literary criticism and ethics, and situates them in the context of rhetorical studies by asking how this re-imagined relationship between authors and readers might have consequences for the relationship between teachers and students, and composition pedagogy more specifically.

Mallory Cohn

Mallory Cohn

Graduate Student

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Literature, specializing in nineteenth-century Britain, childhood studies, and disability studies. My dissertation explores the construction of precociousness within and across Victorian religious, medical, educational, and eugenic texts and discourses. I’m interested in the ways in which precocity emerges as a nineteenth-century disability or “disease of modernity” that many commentators attempted to pathologize and contain, as well as in the spaces where exceptional children were recognized as possessing authority and agency, complicating the usual narrative of the child doomed by her own capacity and independence. I eventually hope to connect my work to the contemporary discourse of “giftedness.”

Adam Coombs

Adam Coombs

Graduate Student

My research interrogates the role of entrepreneurship within African American literature and culture. I track how business ownership and culture provided a form of uplift and civic engagement during the Progressive Era that extended to and inspired writers of this period.

Dalia Davoudi

Dalia Davoudi

Graduate Student

Dalia Davoudi is doctoral candidate studying nineteenth-century American literature with specialization in Literature and Science. Her broad interests lie in the relationship between fiction, epistemology, and politics, and her dissertation focuses on abolition/women's reform movements of the antebellum period, studying their attachment to natural sciences like astronomy and geography. She has taught courses on the subjects of genre, visuality, science fiction and film, apocalypse fiction, and contagion narratives.

Christie Debelius

Christie Debelius

Graduate Student

Christie is an MA/PhD student studying British Romanticism. Her interests include Romantic conceptions of fame, immortality, and audience—particularly in Keats. Most recently, her research has focused on reading, print media, and violence during the Romantic period. Christie has taught several sections of first-year composition and is currently teaching a composition course about originality and reboot films in popular culture.

Benjamin Debus

Ben Debus

Graduate Student

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.

Samantha Demmerle

Samantha Demmerle

Graduate Student

I am a third year in the department and my intellectual interests include Early Modern literature, new Science Fiction theories, Materialism, new Materialism, new Formalism, and Actor Network theory. All of that jargon simply implies that I am fascinated by the intersections of subjectivity, science, and technology, and how literature can explore and develop new ways of framing those networks. I try to work these questions into my teaching as well, and for the past year I have developed a W131 curriculum that uses the crux of sleep in the modern 24/7 lifestyle to interrogate different subjectivities with my students.

Derek Dimatteo

Derek DiMatteo

Graduate Student

A scholar of C20/21 American literature and culture, Derek DiMatteo is writing his dissertation on Higher Education Protest Literature.  Scholarly interests include university fiction, transnationalism and migration, African American literature, and critical pedagogy.  At IU, Derek has taught composition courses (e.g. W131 and J101), including a course of his own design W170: Representations of Schooling in US Culture, and has been nominated for an outstanding teaching award. Derek holds an MAT in English education from Tufts University and taught in Japan for over eight years, including four years at Lakeland University’s Tokyo campus.

Zachary Engledow

Zachary Engledow

Graduate Student

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

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.

Jessica George

Jessica George

Graduate Student

My research interests include American environmental history and the history of science and medicine. My dissertation focuses on representations of miasma theory and miasmic spaces in 19th- and early 20th- century U.S. literature. I am also interested in literature and pedagogies of climate change. I am currently co-Assistant Director of First-Year Composition at IU.

Savannah Hall

Savannah Hall

Graduate Student

Savannah Hall is a Ph.D. Candidate and the Albert Wertheim Dissertation Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. Her areas of focus include performance and theatre studies, American modernism, African diaspora studies, and 20th century African literature. Her dissertation, "Fashioning Africa: Racial Imagination in American Modernism and the African Diaspora", examines fashionable Africanist performances in literary and visual culture from the 1920s through the 1970s. Her project considers the stage as a contact zone on which various conceptions of a fashionable, modernist African subjectivity develop in the United States as well as in Western and Southern Africa during the 20th century.

Molly Hamer

Molly Hamer

Graduate Student

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.

Zoë Henry

Zoë Henry

Graduate Student

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

Milo Hicks is a PhD candidate in English Literature 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, particularly the experimental short stories of Virginia Woolf and their formal investment in perception and attention. Recently, Milo’s research has shifted to a Post45 American context with the stories of Diane Williams and her sentence-oriented aesthetics. Regardless of the material, their research is heavily informed by an interest in the phenomenology of reading; consciousness, perception, and sensation; philosophy of mind, language, and embodiment; the role of the sentence in prose (esp. the short story); as well as formal experimentation.

Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

Graduate Student

My research interests center on medieval literature. I practice comparative philology, so Anglo-Saxon as well as Old Norse, Middle Welsh, Medieval Irish, and Latin. I also work on the philosophy of hermeneutics, eschatology and theology, cognitive approaches to literature, Late Antique Apocrypha, and medievalism (especially J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and M.R. James). I explore all but the last of these in my dissertation, "The Infernal Dialectic Laboratory: Vernacular Infernal Apocrypha and Early Medieval Theological/Cognitive Experimentation." Check me out on academia.edu: https://indiana.academia.edu/StephenHopkins

Tracey Hutchings-Goetz

Tracey Hutchings-Goetz

Graduate Student

Tracey Hutchings-Goetz is a doctoral candidate specializing in long eighteenth-century British literature, and a dissertation year fellow through IU’s Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her dissertation, Touchy Subjects: An Eighteenth-Century Anatomy of Haptic Sensation, offers a corporeally structured revaluation of the sense of touch—and, by extension, the other senses—in eighteenth-century Britain. Organized around four forms of touch (nerves, skin, hands, and invisible hands), her project suggests connections between the experience of embodiment and the narrative and epistemological structures of the period.

Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler

Graduate Student

I study nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture. My work engages with scholarship on modernism and modernity, critical race theory, temporality, place and space, new southern studies, and eco-criticism. I’m also interested more broadly in American cultural and intellectual history. My dissertation, “Wary Travelin’: The Antimodern Impulse in African American Literature, 1890-1918,” examines black American writers’ critical engagement with processes and narratives of modernization at the century’s turn. My teaching interests include American and world literature, children’s literature, composition, analytical and creative writing, technical communication, and service learning.

Patrick Kindig

Patrick Kindig

Graduate Student

Patrick Kindig is a dual M.F.A./Ph.D. candidate in literary studies. He works with American literature from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his general interests include queer theory, affect theory, and phenomenology. He is particularly interested in the role played by fascination—a phenomenon that overwhelms and inhibits rational thought—in both modernist and antimodernist aesthetics.

johae koo headshot

JiHae Koo

Graduate Student

I am interested in late 19th-early 20th British lit, in particular the relationship between science and literature.

Kristina Krasny

Kristina Krasny

Graduate Student

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

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.

Sarah Le

Sarah Le

Graduate Student

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.

Mi Jeong Lee

Mi Jeong Lee

Graduate Student

My field is British modernism, specifically the modernist novel. My dissertation focuses on distance as a central critical concept in the modernist novel, and argues that modernist writers re-imagined the form of the novel so that it is no longer predicated upon the kind of distance that is complicit with an imperialist world-view.

Sarah Line

Sarah Line

Graduate Student

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

My research interests focus on intersections of political and/or secular prophecy and jesters/wise fools in medieval contexts to examine how these intersections inform, reflect, and extend questions of knowledge, boundaries, and proto-nationalism. I am currently focusing primarily on Arthurian literature and the figure of Merlin in particular to explore these questions. I will present a paper titled on the prophesying jester in Chretien de Troyes’ Perceval at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo in May 2016. I have successfully taught multiple sections of freshman composition and received the Composition Program Teaching Portfolio Award in the spring of 2016.

Sara Loy

Sara Loy

Graduate Student

Sara Loy is a 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 literature. Broader interests include fairy tales and fables, the place of domesticity within empire, contemporary YA, and composition pedagogy. 

Elizabeth Maffetone

Elizabeth Maffetone

Graduate Student

Elizabeth Maffetone is a medievalist whose work focuses on Chaucer, gender, narrative, and misrecognition.

TJ Martinson

T.J. Martinson

Graduate Student

T.J. Martinson is a Literature PhD student. His interests include 20th/21st century American literature, new materialisms, and Marxism.

Trevor McMichael

Trevor McMichael

Graduate Student

I am a Ph.D. student specializing in Romantic and Victorian literature, and my work is informed by theories of gender, queerness, violence, and narrative. I have published on connections between gender and patriotism in late eighteenth-century epistolary fiction in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation (2015), and I am currently pursuing work on Romantic-era representations of revenge and eroticism as well as on Victorian historical fiction depicting or set during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. From 2017-2019, I will serve as an editorial assistant for the journal Victorian Studies.

Chelsey Moler Ford

Chelsey Moler Ford

Graduate Student

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

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

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.

Brian O'Connor

Graduate Student

My dissertation, “Narrative Posturing: Delimiting the Author-Index in the Contemporary American Novel,” defines a hyper-form of authorial self-insertion prevalent in recent U.S. fictions, a device I call the author-index. Author-indexical literature, I show, challenges conventional models of fictionality by radically rethinking fiction's relationship to the real, to the self, and to truth. Accordingly, my work seeks to rethink theories of reference and identity as they have historically informed theories of fictionality. Examining the device as used by Philip Roth, John Wideman, Lauren Slater, Tim O’Brien, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Dave Eggers, I show the ways in which contemporary literature conceives of fiction as a powerful means for accessing and making sense of reality and experience

Brooke Opel

Brooke A. Opel

Graduate Student

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 represents Region 4, Great Lakes as a regional delegate on the MLA Delegate Assembly (2016-2019).

Sarah Parijs

Sarah Parijs

Graduate Student

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

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.

Alex Penn

Alex Penn

Graduate Student

I study feminist materialist poetics, posthumanism, and the intersections of science and poetry, particularly in 19th and 20th century transatlantic poetry. My dissertation examines lyric observation, considering how lyric poetry imagines and materially produces practices of observation alongside the rise of science as a dominant way of seeing and knowing in the 19th and 20th centuries. I have taught courses in both composition and literature. My First Year Composition courses guide students to analyze cultural objects--films, photographs, and essays--as representations, and I frequently teach courses themed around gender, science, and technology. My Introduction to Poetry Course teaches skills of close reading while guiding students to define what poetry is (and isn't) for them. I am also interested in Online Writing Instruction, particularly in the use of synchronous video conferencing to create engaging, discussion-based classroom experiences for students who could not otherwise have them.

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson

Graduate Student

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

My research focuses on the political form of the small group in American literature between 1880 and 1914. Many Americanists write about literature in this period from the perspective of “nationalism” or “individualism,” but they often overlook the significance smaller forms like the association, the corporation, the church, or the small town. My research also revolves around pragmatism (from William James to Richard Rorty) and sociology of the group (from Georg Simmel to Niklas Luhmann).

Nathan Schmidt

Nathan Schmidt

Graduate Student

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."

Grace Schmitt

Graduate Student

Grace Schmitt is a Ph.D. student in the literature program. She specializes in 18th-century British literature, with research interests in sexuality and consent.

Anushka Sen

Anushka Sen

Graduate Student

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.

Whitney Sperrazza

Whitney Sperrazza

Graduate Student

Whitney Sperrazza is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in early modern poetry and drama, with secondary research interests in digital humanities and gender studies. Her dissertation, titled  "Perverse Intimacies: Reading the Early Modern Female Body," examines the triangulation between reading, intimacy, and violence in English poetry and drama (1560-1660). Framing these literary inquiries within the theories and practices of early anatomy, her project constructs a mode of formalist literary analysis rooted in the textured and somatic emphasis of early modern anatomical representations.

Heidi Støa

Heidi Støa

Graduate Student

Heidi Støa (Ph.D. candidate) is a medievalist focusing on Middle English and Old Norse/Icelandic literature and culture. She is writing a dissertation on liveliness and animation in a series of Middle English and Old Norse texts and has published on Old Norse translated romance. Her interests include the transmission of texts in the medieval North Atlantic (the British Isles, Scandinavia, Iceland), medieval and modern aesthetics, image theory, medieval theories of memory, translation, and the history of books and manuscripts. Before coming to IU, she worked as a curator in the Manuscripts Collection of the National Library of Norway.

Kortney Stern

Kortney Stern

Graduate Student

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

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

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

Mary Helen Truglia is a graduate student and Associate Instructor in the English Literature program, focusing on Early Modern English Women's Writing with an interdepartmental minor in Renaissance Studies. Her other academic interests and specialties include English Renaissance poetry, the epic and romance tradition, Shakespeare, Milton, gender and women's studies, Austen studies, literary and filmic adaptation studies, YA literature, teaching composition, and teaching Early Modern literature.

Laura Tscherry

Laura Tscherry

Graduate Student

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.

Andrea Whitacre

Andrea Whitacre

Graduate Student

I study medieval literature with a focus in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse. My research examines medieval conceptions of subjectivity and the body through a posthumanist lens. My teaching interests include the culture and literature of the Middle Ages as well as medievalism in pop culture, science fiction, and fantasy.

Miranda Wojciechowski

Miranda Wojciechowski

Graduate Student

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.

Shannon Zellars-Strohl

Graduate Student

Shannon Zellars-Strohl specializes in late-Victorian fiction and is completing her dissertation on the relationship between religion, science, and the supernatural during this period. She has presented her work at such conferences as NAVSA, ACLA, NCSA, and INCS. Shannon currently serves as a Lecturer at RISD in Rhode Island, teaching classes on Victorian fiction, Literature of the Supernatural, and Horror Films.

M.F.A. Graduate Students

Janan Alexandra

Janan Alexandra

Graduate Student

Janan Alexandra is a Lebanese-American poet in her first year at Indiana University. She was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and has spent her life thus far creating home in many different places. For the last three years she has taught poetry and creative writing with The Telling Room in Portland, Maine. As an undergraduate student she helped to run the Smith College Poetry Center, graduating with a BA in African-American Studies and Poetry from Smith College. She was also a 2013 poet in residence at the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and has published in such places as the Adroit Journal and Rusted Radishes, a literary journal coming out of Beirut, Lebanon. She believes in the truth-telling power of poems and is interested in disrupting linear narratives, creating new language, and loving the heart.

Austin Araujo

Austin Araujo

Graduate Student

Austin Araujo is a poet from Northwest Arkansas, where he graduated with degrees in English and Spanish from the University of Arkansas in 2018. Now an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University, he aims to catalog family history in as many interesting ways as possible.

Soleil David Headshot

Soleil David

Graduate Student

Soleil David was born and raised in the Philippines. She received her B.A. with high distinction in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a 2017 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and a Graduate Scholars Fellow. Her poetry and prose have been published in Our Own Voice, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Santa Ana River Review and The Margins.

Noah Davis Headshot

Noah Davis

Graduate Student

Noah Davis was awarded a Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference.  In addition, he was awarded the Jean Ritchie Appalachian Literature Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University. He has poetry published with North American Review, The Hollins Critic, Atlanta Review, Water~Stone Review, and Chautauqua among others. Davis has received Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry from both Poet Lore and Natural Bridge. His prose is published in Kestrel, Chariton Review, The Fly Fish Journal, Anglers Journal, The Drake, Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, and American Angler.

Michelle Finkler

Michelle Finkler

Graduate Student

Michelle Finkler is a first-year MFA candidate in fiction. A native of Chicago, Michelle holds a BA in journalism with a concentration in magazine writing from Columbia College Chicago. Professional experience includes working as an editor, reporter and graphic designer in the newspaper and travel industries. Current literary interests are female sexuality and fertility, domestic relationships and self-forgiveness.

mariah gese headshot

Mariah Gese

Graduate Student

Mariah Gese is a musician and MFA candidate in fiction at Indiana University, where she also serves as the Associate Editor of Indiana Review. She is from a historic village in New York known for making wooden toys, so as you can imagine, she mostly writes horror. You can find her work online at The Offing, Cleaver Magazine, and in mirrors by chanting her name at midnight.

Meredith Irvin Headshot

Meredith Irvin

Graduate Student

Meredith Irvin is a first-year M.F.A. candidate in Poetry at Indiana University with secondary research interests in sociolinguistics, gender & sexuality studies, and contemporary feminist theory. She received her B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis where she minored in Writing. As a graduate student in Psychology at The Ohio State University, she examined how acute stress influences childhood language development. Her current poetry orbits themes of intersectional identity, astronomy, and mythic reclaiming in relation to the internal self. In her free time, she enjoys charcoal drawing, playing piano and long distance running.

Soo Jin Lee

Soo Jin Lee

Graduate Student

Soo Jin Lee is an MFA candidate and the Fiction Editor of Indiana Review. A North Carolina native and graduate of Oberlin College, she previously worked in Seoul as an English test developer and an EFL teacher. Her current literary interests circle around the Asian American experience, cross-cultural relationships, and storytelling in video games.

Anni Liu

Anni Liu

Graduate Student

Anni Liu is a writer and translator from Xi'an, Shaanxi, and Bowling Green, Ohio. Her honors include an Undocupoets Fellowship and a Katherine Bakeless Nason Scholarship to Bread Loaf Environmental Conference. Her work is published or forthcoming in Pleiades, Waxwing, cream city review, Third Coast, The Journal, and elsewhere. She likes to play music (especially Schumann and Bach) and is a proud plant mom.

Essence London

Essence London

Graduate Student

Essence London is working on a book-length poem that is surreal & Afrofuturistic; she also has a novel in the works. She makes books & letterpress prints & wants to start a small press in her hometown North Little Rock, Arkansas. A few poems of hers are floating around on the internet at Kinfolks Quarterly, Vinyl, joINT., and The Watering Hole. In addition to Indiana University's M.F.A. program, she's spent time at: Texas Tech's English graduate program, Oxford American, The Field Office, and Cave Canem. She also has a really energetic son named after a river.

Caroline McCaulay

Caroline McCaulay

Graduate Student

M. Caroline McCaulay is a first-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. 

Gionni Ponce

Gionni Ponce

Graduate Student

Gionni Ponce is a Macondista prose writer who claims both Phoenix and Detroit as her homes. She aims to create literary space for traditionally marginalized stories in her writing as well as in her work as the Associate Director of the IU Writers' Conference and as the Nonfiction Editor of Indiana Review. Her work is published in Kenyon Review Online, CRED Philly, The MFA Years, TakePart, and La Vida Magazine. To learn more, follow her on Twitter: @GPisMe.

L. Renée

L. Renée

Graduate Student

L. Renée is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. She is a first-year MFA candidate at Indiana University. Her poetry often explores how trauma – its physical, historical and emotional wounds – shapes the way we see and speak to ourselves and others. She also writes about Black family narratives, including what is passed down, what is lost to history and how imagination acts as a stand-in for what we’ll never know. She won the 2018 Alumni Award Fellowship in poetry from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and was a National Silver medalist in poetry at the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics in 2002. For nearly a decade in another life (and with a different byline), she was a journalist. She has previously worked as a staff reporter at the Chicago Tribune and Newsday, covering breaking news, crime, local government, arts and entertainment. She earned 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, where she received a David S. Bittle Scholarship. In her free time, L. Renée is probably singing, listening to jazz, gospel and R&B, or making up a new recipe.

Alex Sagona

Alex Sagona

Graduate Student

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.

Wendy Lee Spacek

Wendy Lee Spacek

Graduate Student

Wendy Lee Spacek has published one book of poetry, PSYCHOGYNECOLOGY (Monster House Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Blotterature, Monsterhousepress.com, Didactic and in LVNG Magazine by Flood Editions. She earned her BFA in Poetry from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Prior to moving to Bloomington she spent 5 years in Indianapolis managing and facilitating art programs for youth, where she also curated the Soft River Reading Series from 2011-2016.

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan

Graduate Student

Dan "Sully" Sullivan is a Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award Recipient and has appeared HBO's Def Poetry Jam. His first book of poems, The Blue Line Home, was published on EM-Press in 2014.

Alberto Sveum

Alberto Sveum

Graduate Student

Alberto Sveum is a first-year MFA candidate in Creative Writing, Poetry. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy, with a minor in Creative Writing, from the University of Northern Iowa. His work has recently appeared in Ink & Letters, Star*Line, and The Wild Word. Lately, his writing has focused on black metal, phenomenology, and jubilation.

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

Graduate Student

Hannah Thompson grew up in Western Washington, in a town known by the local police as Methlehem. They've spent years trying to leave this place behind, but it returns again and again in their dreams, worldview, and poetry. They graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in English in 2013 and they're currently pursuing an MFA in poetry writing. During the Summer they live in Portland, Oregon with their spouse and two cats. You can find their work under Hannah Thompson or Hans Kesling in The Same, Arkana Magazine, T(OUR) Magazine, Oregon Poetic Voices, on Talking Earth, and in Gobshite Quarterly.

Jenna Wengler

Jenna Wengler

Graduate Student

Jenna Wengler is an MFA candidate in fiction at Indiana University. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, she earned a BS in Secondary Education and English from Vanderbilt University and taught ninth-grade English in Franklin, Tennessee. She is interested in fiction that uses the unreal to illuminate truth, and her current work explores Middle America, intergenerational female relationships, and teenage coming-of-age stories, often through magical realism.

Irene Zhao

Irene Zhao

Graduate Student

Irene Zhao is an MFA candidate at Indiana University Bloomington. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in English and Creative Writing. She writes stories about the comedy of Chinese-American experiences, New England winters, and animals up to no good. Her latest project is a novel about AIs, espionage, and Mars.

Rhetoric Graduate Students

Collin Bjork

Collin Bjork

Graduate Student

Collin Bjork is a Ph.D. Candidate in Rhetoric and Composition. His dissertation develops the idea of "cumulative ethos" and reveals a) how character accretes over time and b) how non-kairotic conceptions of time complicate rhetorical theory. He has taught courses in visual rhetoric, service learning writing, online composition, multilingual composition, and cross-cultural composition. Collin also worked as an Online Instructional Designer and as a Program Assistant for Multilingual Composition. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, he taught at the University of Montenegro in Podgorica. For more information, visit www.collinbjork.com.

Sarah Fischer

Sarah Fischer

Graduate Student

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

Millie Hizer is a first year Rhetoric and Composition MA/PhD student and native Hoosier. She received her BA in English from The University of Florida in 2017. Her research interests include human rights rhetoric, disability rhetoric, composition and pedagogy, and classical rhetorical theory. 

Jennifer Wargel Juszkiewicz

Jennifer Juszkiewicz

Graduate Student

I specialize in composition theory and spatial rhetoric, and my dissertation focuses on simultaneously virtual and material public spaces for writing. At IU, I am in the Composition, Literacy, & Culture Program with a minor in pedagogy. I hold a Master’s degree in literature from the University of Notre Dame and have published and taught with scholars from other fields, including mathematics and religion. I am a co-Assistant Director of the W131 Composition program.

Benjamin Luczak

Benjamin Luczak

Graduate Student

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.

mccabe headshot

Rachel McCabe

Graduate Student

Rachel McCabe is a PhD Candidate in Composition and Rhetoric. Her dissertation uses rhetorical theory to examine the ways in which productive discomfort with texts can be utilized to help students use affective engagement as a starting point for their writing. This relationship with texts allows students to transfer their reading experiences toward improved genre awareness in reading, viewing, and writing. Her work has appeared in Textshop Experiments and ROLE. For more information, visit: www.rachelmccabe.com.

Jason Michálek

Jason Michálek

Graduate Student

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 the semiotics of electronic media, digital ontology and affect, and the rhetoric of cyberculture.

Becky Ottman

Becky Ottman

Graduate Student

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

Scholarly Interests: New media and digital rhetoric; composition pedagogies; issues of writing transfer; disability theory and rhetorics; autobiographical literacies Teaching interests: Contemplative pedagogies; first-year composition; disability studies and pop culture.

Jon Williams

Jon Williams

Graduate Student

Jon Williams is a native of Chico, California and first-year MA/Ph.D student in Rhetoric. His academic and intellectual project at Indiana University is to bring the canon of contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism to bear on the current rise of reactionary right-wing movements in the United States.