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Graduate Students

Manzur Alam

        Doctoral Student
        Graduate Teaching Assistant
        307 Colson Hall

B.A., University of Dhaka, Bangladesh 
M.A., University of Dhaka, Bangladesh 

Ecocriticism, South Asian literature, 20th century American literature, psychoanalysis

Muhammad Manzur Alam’s research focuses on exploring issues of political ecology in South Asian novels. He has made conference presentations and publications on areas such as South Asian literature, political discourses, ecocriticism and the Indo-Caribbean writer V.S. Naipaul.

Bryan Alukonis

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
G19 Colson Hall

B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

19th- and 20th-Century American Literature, the American Romantics, Trauma Studies, Popular Imperialism, Print Culture, Critical Theory, Humor Studies

 Bryan Alukonis’ work broadly examines the literature of the American 19th and 20th centuries. Narrowly it examines the ways that print and popular cultures intersected to reify and expand the imperial project of the United States; how print was (and still is) used as a means of resistance within imperially exploited communities; and how this intersection anticipated the rise of meme/reproduction culture by some 160 years.
His current teaching is focused on objects, sites, and hierarchies of waste in 19th and 20th century literature. He and his students consider what is waste, what is not, how the world can be/is constructed by what is thrown away, and how literary hierarchies of garbage construct our opinions of “good” and “bad” culture.
While working toward his B.A. and M.A. degrees, Bryan also managed a pizza shop, worked as a line cook, and was a full-time carnie at an amusement park outside of Pittsburgh.
“Three Hundred Years of Terror: A Discourse on the Imaginative Scope of Fear.” College English Association Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, Spring 2015.
Bhushan Aryal
         Doctoral Student
         Graduate Teaching Assistant
         G19 Colson Hall

B.A., Tribhuwan University, Nepal (June 2000)
M.A., Pokhara University, Nepal
M.Phil., Pokhara University, Nepal 

Histories and theories of rhetoric, composition theories, professional and technical writing, constitutional rhetoric, republicanism, cross/transcultural rhetoric and writing, rhetorical genre theories

Dissertation: “Constitutional Rhetoric: Genre Performances of the Written Constitution in Transnational, Transcultural Contexts”

Bhushan’s dissertation places the written constitution in radically different contexts such as the eighteenth-century United States, the nineteenth-century Cherokee nation, and twenty-first century Nepal; and examines what purposes the users found in developing, appropriating, and deploying the genre in their historical contexts.

Bhushan has taught College Composition, Professional and Technical Writing and Early American Literature at WVU. He served as WVU Undergraduate Writing Program Assistant Coordinator in 2012-13. Before coming to WVU, he taught several graduate and undergraduate courses in English such as Business/Technical Writing, Translation Studies, Discourses in Disciplines, Postcolonial Theories, Survey of British Literature, and Critical Theory in Nepal. As a content-expert on critical theory, he also trained hundreds of college English teachers of Tribhuvan University and Nepal Sanskrit University in 2008-2011.

 “A Case of Difficult Textuality: Queer as Everyday Normal in Edward Albee’s The Goat.” The Apollonian: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, September 2015, pp. 116-125.

 “Being a Man: Rethinking Vulgar Masculinity in Boyz N the Hood.” Literary Studies (Nepal), vol. 29, March 2016, pp. 3-7.

Dominique Bruno

Hatley Clifford

Doctoral Student 
Graduate Teaching Assistant 
345 Colson Hall

B.A., Virginia Military Institute
M.A., Virginia Tech

Dissertation: Urban Exile: City Poetry by Modern American Women

American literature, American modernist poetry and drama, ecocriticism, urban studies, and women and gender studies

 My current project brings much-needed attention to the city poetry of modern American women. I reveal a common state of urban exile: my term for a state in which women living in cities are restricted, endangered, and physically and psychologically harmed by urban life. My project also redresses the canonical exile of two important, yet overlooked American modernist women, Evelyn Scott and Lola Ridge, and expands existing scholarship on Millay and Lowell by considering their representations of body and the urban environment.

 “Revising Relations to Poetry and the Nonhuman: A Study of Marianne Moore’s ‘An Octopus.’” Modernism in the Green. Eds. Julia Daniel and Margaret Konkol. Rutledge, forthcoming.

Mariah Crilley

      Doctoral Student
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 

M.A., Duquesne University 
B.A., Chatham University 

Provost Fellow, 2013-14

Early American literature, new materialism, disability studies, medical humanities

 I’m interested in how diseases act as material and historical agents; how diseases’ agencies affected and were thought to affect diverse human bodies; and how disease agents inscribe themselves not only into bodies, but also into language, metaphors, and texts.

 Themed courses: Disease, Disability, and Disorder (ENGL 132)

“Design Principles for Health Wearables.” With Catherine Gouge and John Jones. Communication Design Quarterly 5.2 (2017): 40-50.

“Material Disability: Creating New Paths for Disability Studies.” The CEA Critic 78.3 (2016): 306-311.

“Drawing Disability: Superman, Huntington’s, and the Comic Form in It’s a Bird….” Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives. Eds. Chris Foss, Jonathan W. Gray, and Zach Whalen. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Michael Green

      Doctoral Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      208 Colson Hall

B.A. University of Delaware 
M.A.L.A. St. John’s College, Annapolis MD 
Provost Fellow, 2015-2016

My core scholarly focus is centered on the intersection of the modern weird tale (from Lovecraft and Machen to Mieville, Kiernan and Barron), American and British science fiction of displacement and the uncanny (Ballard, Le Guin, Delaney and Wolfe), American and French 20th-century post-modern literary experimentalism (Pynchon, Barth, Barthelme, Queneau and Perec) and 20th-century German and French existentialist-phenomenological theorizations of embodied alienage/alterity (Merleau-Ponty, Harman, Trigg) and the ontological uncanny (Heidegger, Thacker, Withy).

I hope to bring all these elements (and a few more) to bare on what is at the moment a much-needed clarification of the genre tentatively titled “the weird” as a genre. I plan on accomplishing said task by identifying a core set of affective dispositions relevant to Lovecraft’s synesthetic of the weird, which will, in turn, provide a fuller and more productive understanding of what I feel to be weird fiction’s (both the old and the new) genre-defining uncanny cosmicist ontology.

I have also pursued my interests in all things “weird” through the teaching of two sections of E257 Science-Fiction and Fantasy Literature and Film, along the way gathering a veritable cult of followers (i.e., students) willing to plumb the dark abysses and psychological ambiguities of everything from Lovecraft’s Innsmouth, Gene Wolfe’s shapeshifting abos, Blade Runner’s and Ghost in the Shell’s hybrid beings, The Dark Knight’s ethical ambiguities to China Mieville’s steampunk nightmare city, New Crobuzon, and beyond. I hope to carry on this “experiment” through a variety of other teaching opportunities offered me during my time with WVU’s English department.

My other scholarly interests include  American, British and German Gothic literature; British and German Romanticism; German Idealism, Kantianism, and Pessimism; Continental aesthetics and epistemology (from the pre-Socratics to the post-modernists), Theory of the Sublime (from Kant to Deleuze), Japanese weird tales, science fiction and post-modern cinema, silent film comedy, British alternative comedy (e.g., Monty Python, The Mighty Boosh) and the French, Italian, Czech and American “new wave” cinemas of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Madison Helman

       Doctoral Student
       Graduate Teaching Assistant
       330 Colson Hall

B.A., Campbell University  
M.A., North Carolina State University
19th-century American, ballads, folklore, southern American literature, archival work

I am currently interested in Appalachian murder ballads, specifically the intersection between history and memory within the songs. I have also done work on Eudora Welty and Charles Chesnutt. I have worked in and operated a writing center at a community college.

“We Are What We Pretend to Be: Nostalgia and Collective Memory Manipulation in Murder

Balladry.” Southern Atlantic Modern Language Association, Jacksonville, FL, November 4-6, 2016.

“Come Home, Come Home, My Little Ones”: The “Ballad of the Lawson Family” and Community Control and Power. University of Pittsburgh Film Graduate Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October 1, 2016.

Rachel Hoag

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
G05 Colson Hall
Samuel Horrocks

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
309 Colson Hall

B.A., St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 2011 
M.A., West Virginia University, 2014

My writing explores the connections between literature, agriculture, and economy across the globe, but especially within the American agrarian tradition. Performed within the broad perimeter of ecocriticism and informed by my work as a market gardener in Preston County, West Virginia, my research seeks to elaborate and interrogate an agrarian vision for the 21st century.

My rhetoric and composition courses use a frame of Appalachian Studies to offer practical lessons geared toward the type of writing my students will likely encounter in their future careers, but with the critical insight offered by rigorous literary-cultural study. Students may expect discussion-based classes organized around daily readings, and to write three essays: a literary-rhetorical analysis of Appalachian fiction, a research report presenting a plan for ameliorating a local problem, and a concise op-ed.

I also teach American literature survey courses and introduction to literary studies. My literature courses are writing-intensive; students may expect to write and revise a number of literary-critical and creative essays and to discuss drafts in individual conferences.

“Planting-out after Blithedale: Transcendental agrarianism and ecocritical economy.” Resilience. 4.1 (2017): 44-59.

“Agrarian and Industrial Ecologies in Faulkner’s Fugitive Vision.” Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Detroit, Michigan, June 2017.

“Recalling the Cosmic Economy in Sandburg’s Cornhuskers.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Raleigh, North Carolina, November 2015.

“Sympathetic Violence in the Agricultural Poetry of Robert Burns.” Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Moscow, Idaho, June 2015.

The Choiring of the Trees in Donald Harington’s Biogea: Posthuman ethics in an agrarian landscape.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2014.

“Community, Civilization, and the Fall of Crevecoeur’s American Famer.” American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Williamsburg, Virginia, March 2014.

“A Reassessment of Working Class Outcomes in the Politicized Introductory Composition Classroom.” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Vancouver, Washington, October 2013.

Adrienne Izaguirre

      Doctoral Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      330 Colson Hall

B.A., University of Pennsylvania 
M.F.A., Chatham University

Science fiction and the supernatural, object-oriented ontology, textual studies, material culture

Adrienne Izaguirre has an undergraduate degree in biology and an MFA in creative nonfiction. She worked as managing editor and production editor for Autumn House Press, a small independent literary publisher, and then as the editor of Squirrel Hill Magazine, a neighborhood quarterly published by a local nonprofit. She also worked for years as a freelance writer, publishing essays and articles ranging from profiles to travelogues to memoir, and collaborating on various book projects. Her ongoing obsession is with decluttering household objects and possessions, and she’s pleased to see there are finally academic fields that address this.

Frank Izaguirre

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
G19 Colson Hall

B.A., St. Lawrence University 
M.F.A., Chatham University

Ecocriticism, environmental canon formation, literature of the rainforest, creative nonfiction

Frank Izaguirre’s primary research interest is to bring ecocritical attention to the wealth of exploration and natural history narratives of the Neotropical rainforest. He is also interested in examining and expanding what is considered the canon of American nature writing. Most recently, he published an article on Thoreau’s use of the senses in Walden and its impact on American nature writing. He also regularly publishes in birding magazines like Birding and Bird Watcher’s Digest and is an active member of the community. Outside of academia, he has recently become interested in learning to identify moths by sight and orthopterans by call.

Henry David Thoreau, American Subversive: Sensory Balance in Walden,” Nineteeth-Century Prose, vol. 44, no. 2, Fall 2017

“Green Letters for the Green Republic: The Role of Environmental Literature in Costa Rica’s Rise as a Conservation Paragon,” Ometeca, forthcoming

“‘Good God! The tambochas!’: Ants and Environmental Vengeance in José Eustasio Rivera’s The Vortex,” Ecological Policy and Narratives, Literatures and Cultures, forthcoming

Sharon Kelly

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
G23 Colson Hall

B.A., University of North Carolina–Greensboro 
M.A., University of North Carolina–Greensboro

Dissertation: “Sexuality and Spiritualism: The Place of the Paranormal in Queer Erotic Partnerships”

Victorian literature, queer theory and sexuality studies, LGBT studies, women writers, religion and spirituality, fantasy and science fiction, cultural studies

My current work applies the historical and theoretical framework of my dissertation project to the Showtime television show Penny Dreadful to evaluate its pairing of queer sexualities with occult magic and other metaphysical phenomena.

Themed courses: Fandom studies (ENGL 102), Space: The Final Frontier (ENGL 258)

“Bradley, Cooper, Sappho: Three Generations in Michael Field’s Long Ago.” British Women Writers Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, June 21-24, 2017.

“Women’s Rights through Women’s Education: A Lesson from Gloriana.” Victorians Institute Conference, Raleigh, NC, October 14, 2016.

“Science and Magic: Experimental Work.” Victorians Institute Conference, Spartanburg, SC, October 3, 2015.

“Rowling the Storyteller and Teachable Beedle.” Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, Harrisburg, PA, April 6, 2014.

“The Queer Orientalism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.” Queer Studies Conference, Asheville, NC, April 5, 2013.

Battlestar Galactica and the Madwoman in the Attic: The Interruption of the Apparition.” International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 23, 2013.

Augustine Kim

       Doctoral Student

B.A., The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina 
M.A., The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and The College of Charleston

Provost Fellow, 2015-18

Known as “Augee” to his friends and colleagues, Augustine Kim has the perhaps regrettable tendency always to choose the path of greatest resistance. After earning a BA in History, Augee accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Cavalry, and deployed to Afghanistan in the Fall of 2007 as Cavalry Scout Platoon Leader in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, conducting over 350 combat missions. In 2010, Augee deployed to Afghanistan a second time, this time being injured during a vehicle accident while working as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force.

It was while assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., that Augee decided to continue his education. However, Augee’s studies were interrupted in 2012 by another deployment, this time to Kosovo as part of the NATO peacekeeping mission. In Kosovo, Augee served as the Operations Officer for Joint Regional Detachment-East, a multi-national task force responsible for operations covering 12 municipalities spanning 2,491 square kilometers including a 107 kilometer stretch of the Administrative Border Line with Serbia, and with a population of over 485,000.

While in Kosovo, Augee also served as the Senior U.S. Gender Advisor (GENAD) to NATO, working in cooperation with NATO security forces and the government of Kosovo, as well as local women’s organizations, NGOs, and IGOs, such as the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to improve gender equity and representation throughout Kosovo.

Upon returning from Kosovo, Augee resumed his studies, earning his MA and teaching at Trident Technical College. At WVU, Augee’s research has focused on interdisciplinary explorations of transnational/postcolonial ideologies and the Global South, as well as gender, sexuality, and intersectionalism; and he has completed a graduate certification in Women’s and Gender Studies. Some of his main topics of interest include hybridity, transgression, subversion, separatism, violence, insurgency, and revolution. Some of his projects have involved the re-assessment of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland saga, feminism in ALIEN film series, and intersections between race, neo-liberalism, imperialism, and violence in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, as well as works of creative non-fiction.

Augee is also the Veterans Outreach Coordinator with the WVU Libraries Veterans Outreach Program, serving Student Veteran needs at WVU, and continues to actively serve in the South Carolina Army National Guard, assuming command of Company D (Heavy Weapons), 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment (Light), in Marion, South Carolina in July of 2016. 

Over the years, Augee has worked as a research assistant, freelance writer, editor, artist, and illustrator, and tutor, and has written for the Charleston City Paper, and has given conference presentations at The College of Charleston, Pennsylvania State University, and the Ohio State University.

“Nightmare Fuel: [Dis]embodied Violence in ALIEN, with Thanks to H. R. Giger.” The Ohio State English Graduate Organization 2015 Conference – Violent Bodies. Columbus, OH. October 2015.

Tabitha Lowery

       Doctoral Student
       Graduate Teaching Assistant
       G23 Colson Hall

B.A., Southern Arkansas University–Magnolia 
M.A., Texas Tech University–Lubbock

W.E.B. DuBois Fellow, 2014-17

Tabitha Lowery’s research interests include cultures of literary circulation for print and manuscripts, canon formation, and African American literary history. She is currently working on a project that reevaluates the ways mainstream anthologies have reprinted mainly the slavery-based works from Phillis Wheatley’s, Frances Harper’s, Olaudah Equiano’s, and George Moses Horton’s oeuvres, and how that bears on our interpretations of these key figures. Tabitha’s work sets out to trace the circulation histories of these authors’ works to develop a better understanding of the writers and their reading publics.

“Coloring the Black Subject and Visual Language: Richard Ligon’s Color Rhetoric and the Black Subject’s Resistance.” Society of Early Americanists Conference, Tulsa, OK, March 2-4, 2017.

“Anticipating the Past: Timelessness and Liminality in Silko’s Ceremony.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Durham, NC, November 13-15, 2015.

“‘I Am a Citizen of Somewhere Else’”: Anglo-American Identity and Present Absence in The Scarlet Letter.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Durham, NC, November 13-15, 2015.

James McDonald

      M.A. Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      308 Colson Hall

April McGinnis

      Doctoral Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      G23 Colson Hall

B.A., Appalachian State University 
M.A., Appalachian State University

Ecocriticism, British and American Romanticism, aesthetic theory (especially the sublime)

In her M.A. program, April McGinnis studied aesthetic responses to mountain landscapes in Romantic poetry. As a doctoral student, she is particularly interested in the ways in which the unique characteristics of landscapes influence the actions and responses of those who inhabit them.

Aaron Percich

Doctoral Student
G05 Colson Hall

Dustin Purvis

       Doctoral Student

B.A., Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis 
M.A., University of Idaho

Provost Fellow, 2016-19

20th-Century US Fiction, Material Ecocriticism, Posthumanism

I study modern and postmodern U.S. fiction and the environmental humanities. My research asks how stories, taxonomies, daily routines, popular culture, and art mediate our relationship to complex ecological issues.

“‘Then, What is Life?’: Vitality, Veils, and Questions that Must Remain Unanswered in the Writings of Percy Shelley.” Allures 3 (2014): 122-141.

Katherine Richards

       Doctoral Student

B.A., Campbell University 
M.A., Duquesne University

Provost Fellow, 2012-13

Dissertation: “Medical Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century Britain”

Katherine Richards’ dissertation examines the intersection of the professionalization of medicine and the rise of the modern celebrity in the eighteenth century. Her interests include celebrity culture, medical humanities, drama, theater history, fashion studies, queer theory, and gender studies. In addition to teaching surveys of British literature, Katherine has also taught literature and pop culture focusing on queer themes in modern and contemporary fiction, fashion influence on American popular culture, poetry, and drama.

“The Middle Shore.” With Lara Farina. Digital Medieval Literature and Culture. Routledge Handbook Series, forthcoming 2017.

“The Middle Shore.” Co-edited with Lara Farina. Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures. Electric Press, forthcoming 2017.

“‘Her Mind Had the Happy Art’: The Creation of Alternative Space and Performance in Ann Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest.” SLI: Studies in Literary Imagination 47.2 (Fall 2014). 

Aaron Rovan

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
345 Colson Hall

B.A., St. Francis University 
M.A., Duquesne University

American local color writing, American modernist writing, women's folklore, ethnic studies

I’m interested in how women have made contributions to the way we perceive white ethnic identity in America today. If you look back over the scholarship that's been produced about American ethnicity, you’ll notice that most of it focuses on men's experiences, mostly because those are the most easily accessible. So I’m excited to explore what women have done in literary and folkloric ways to shape the way we think about ethnicity today.

Themed courses:  American Ethnic Literature (ENGL 132)

I served as president of the Slovak Heritage Association of the Laurel Highlands from 2009 to 2013.  Our mission is to preserve, study, celebrate, share, and teach the Slovak traditions, focusing mainly on west-central Pennsylvania.

“Rebecca Harding Davis as Local Color Writer.”  American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 25-28, 2017.

“Touring the Mountain Folk in Woolson’s ‘The French Broad’ and Davis’s ‘The Yares of Black Mountain.’”  Conference of the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society, Charlotte, NC, Mar. 2-4, 2017.

“Creating Monsters from Mothers in Charles Perrault’s “Little Poucet.”  American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, Mar. 31-Apr. 3, 2016.

“Escaping Slavery and Liminality in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 4-8, 2015.

“Cather’s Environmental Ethos: Finding a Home Space for Immigrant’s in O Pioneers!” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 21-24, 2015.

“Gender Bending at the Start of E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand.”  Conference of the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society, Washington, D.C., Feb. 19-21, 2015.

Hannah Rubenstein

      M.A. Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      332 Colson Hall

B.A., Queens College, CUNY

Victorian literature, genre studies, English pedagogy

Hannah Rubenstein has a dual degree in English and secondary education, and hopes to encourage an appreciation of literacy as a teacher. She recently presented a paper at a Queens College colloquium on her research of science fiction and dream theory, and assisted in a Teachers College project on Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) groups.

Beth Staley

Doctoral Student
G23 Colson Hall
Christopher Urban

Doctoral Student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
G23 Colson Hall

B.A., American International University of Germany/University of Maryland University College at Schwäbisch Gmünd 
M.A.T., Fairmont State University 
M.A., East Carolina University

The Long Nineteenth Century in British Literature (1790-1900); Transnational Romanticism; Women’s & Gender Studies, Theory of the Sublime; Inter-Arts Poetics; the Gothic; Sense Studies; Monster Theory; Rhetorical Theory; Pedagogy

Christopher’s research and instruction are broadly connected to his interests in cross-cultural exchange and social justice, stemming in part from his experiences in the United States Peace Corps and AmeriCorps’ VISTA programs, where he served with distinction. His endeavors in education have ranged from teaching ESL at Fairmont State University, to managing testing administration at Pierpont Community & Technical College, to working for US Army Child & Youth Services. In addition to teaching undergraduate writing and literature, he has taught English at the middle and high school levels, in both West Virginia and North Carolina. His work as a Teacher-Counselor in West Virginia’s juvenile placement system earned him the honor of “Teacher-Counselor of the Year,” from the American ReEDucation Association.

Christopher’s scholarship centers on the long nineteenth century in British Literature. His projects have centered on intersections between text, image, and gender in Romantic and Victorian works, where he is particularly interested in investigating the operation of a dialectic sublime. Christopher currently serves as the Editorial Assistant at Victorian Poetry, and has recently begun work updating Rare Books Pedagogy, an on-line resource established by Dr. Marilyn Francus, extending teaching methods for archival materials to the classroom.

“‘The Parley of Eyes’: Space, Place and Gender Mapping in Behn’s Oroonoko. Aphra Behn and the Burney Society. Pittsburgh, PA. November 2017.

“Capital Pulp: Lily’s Annihilation and the Commodity of Gender in Penny Dreadful.” Console-ing Passions. Greenville, NC. July 2017.

“Art & Anarchy: Wilde’s Ekphrastic Sublime.” ALSCW. Washington D.C. October 2016.

“Damned Image: Ekphrasis and the Gothic in Lewis’ The Monk.” ICR. Colorado Springs, CO. October 2016.

“Coleridge’s Female Sublime: ‘Christabel’ through Wollstonecraft’s Eyes.” ICR. Colorado Springs, CO. October 2016.

Themed courses: “Artful Influence: Illustrating the Violent Body” (ENGL 131), “The Monster in the Mirror: Distant Places, Other Faces” (ENGL 261)

Katelynn Vogelpohl

      Doctoral Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      208 Colson Hall

B.A., University of Mary Washington 
M.Ed., College of Mt. St. Joseph

Katie Vogelpohl has been teaching literature and writing at the university and high school levels for the past 8 years. While at West Virginia University, she has taught classes in American Literature, Business Writing, and Composition. Her Short Story and Novel course for the spring 2018 semester is titled Narrating Madness and examines the techniques used by classic and contemporary authors experimenting with “abnormal” voices.

Katie’s current project focuses on postpartum narratives, investigating the physical changes, as well as societal and emotional influences that effect new and soon-to-be mothers in American literature. This project is supported by her work with the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a non-profit organization that sends books to incarcerated peoples, where she is honored to be able to assist with the book club at the local women’s correctional facility. Working on their first manuscript of collected writings from the group, there is an overwhelmingly number of narratives composed to or about either absent parents or children, as these women await their return to both society and family.

When not at school, Katie is probably reading terrible mystery stories or watching British cooking competitions with her husband, Jacob; pup, Branwell; and tortoise, Ichabod.

‘She Didn’t Kiss Me When She Said Goodbye.’” Midwestern Modern Language Association Conference, Cincinnati, OH, November 2017.

“Improving Student Motivation and Combating Learned Aversion.” Midwestern Modern Language Association Conference, Cincinnati, OH, November 2017.

Kelli Wilhelm

      Doctoral Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      345 Colson Hall

B.S., Frostburg State University 
M.A., Salisbury University

19th-century British literature

Kelli Wilhelm is currently interested in portrayals of women’s silences in 19th-century Britain, as well as silent heroines found in 18th- and 19th-century fairy tales and their contemporary rewritings. She is additionally interested in studying contemporary American popular culture and is subsequently working on an essay that examines food in the popular television series Supernatural.

“Once Upon a Mother” (panel), American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, March 31-April 3, 2016.

“Seeing Red: Cultural Awareness of Little Red Riding Hood through Eighteenth-Century Periodicals.” English Graduate Student Union Conference, West Virginia University, April 2015.

“Rejecting Nostalgia During Revolution in Charlotte Smith’s The Old Manor House.” English Graduate Student Association Conference, University of North Carolina–Charlotte, January 2015. 

Jeffrey Yeager

      Doctoral Student

B.A., Concord University 
M.A., Ohio University

19th- and 20th-Century American Literature

My dissertation project surveys literary representations surrounding the debate about the professionalization of medicine in 19th-century America.  It especially investigates how the politics of professionalization shaped numerous literary genres, including the gothic, realism, naturalism, and satire.  Beyond my dissertation project, most of my research has covered John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy.  

“Just Remember that the Things You Put into Your Head Are There Forever’: The Influence of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road on the Playstation Videogame The Last of Us.”  Carrying  the Fire: Cormac McCarthy’s the Road and the Apocalyptic Tradition.  Ed. Rick Wallach.  Miami: The Cormac McCarthy Society, 2015.  Forthcoming.

The Letter Arrives at its Destination: A Zizekian Analysis of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.”  The Cormac McCarthy Journal.  Forthcoming.

The Social Mind: John Elof Boodin’s Influence on John Steinbeck’s Phalanx Fiction: 1935-1942.”  The Steinbeck Review 10.1 (Spring 2013): 31-46. 

“How This World is Given to Lying!”: Orson Welles’s Deconstruction of Traditional Historiographies in Chimes at Midnight.  Selected Papers of the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference 4 (2013): 80-94.

Themed courses:  American Horror in Literature and Film (ENGL 258), The American West in Literature and Film (ENGL 258)

Elena Zambori

      M.A. Student 
      Graduate Teaching Assistant 
      208 Colson Hall

B.A., West Virginia University

Elana Justine Zambori has a particular passion for 20th century American women writers. Her work has been featured in feminist magazines such as It’s Tillie and Fembot Mag. Most recently, her poetry was published in an anthology titled Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets.