The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University


Graduate English Student Profiles

This page is currently being developed.  If you are a current grad student, please send your profile to Jon at so that we can add yours to the page.

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Leslie Allison, Ph.D. student, 20th Century American Literature and Feminist Theory


Leslie earned her B.A. in English from Auburn University in 2006. She researches and writes in the area of 20th century American literature and feminist theory, where she explores the body's role in negotiating discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. She is especially interested in women's writing during the early postwar period. This spring she will be presenting a paper on Wendy Law-Yone's The Coffin Tree at the Northeastern Modern Language Association.


Michael Blancato, Ph.D. student, Film, Media Studies, and Critical Theory

Michael earned his B.A. in English and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2009. His research interests include the cinema of Hong Kong, documentary filmmaking, television and electronic culture, psychoanalytic approaches to literature, and the study of composition. He has taught composition and will be lecturing in an American Studies course.

Nicole Cesare, Ph. D. candidate, African Literature and Postcolonial Theory

Nicole, the 2011-2012 Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Humanities at Temple, is currently working on her dissertation, "Spaces in Motion: The Dynamic Cartography of the Contemporary African Novel."  Her research interests include the semiotics of maps, postcolonial travel writing, theory of the novel, and the intersections of cartography and literature.  In 2011, she presented papers on Moses Isegawa's Abyssinian Chronicles at the African Literature Association annual conference and on the travel writing of Bernard Dadie at the Northeastern MLA conference.  Nicole serves on the executive board of the Graduate Student Committee for the African Literature Association. In 2008, Nicole received Temple's Newton and Beebe Awards. Nicole received her B.A. in English and Spanish from Eastern University and her M.A. in English from Villanova University.


Kara Clevinger, Ph.D. candidate, 19th C. American Literature and Print Culture

Kara earned her M.A. (2006) and B.A. (2000) in English from Temple and is also finishing up work for the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. For the 2008-09 school year, Kara has been awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship with the Center for the Humanities at Temple where she will continue research for her dissertation on motherhood in nineteenth-century American literature and culture. This project examines the complex relationship between antebellum models of motherhood and national discourses of identity, expansion, and borders in women’s periodicals, domestic manuals, and fiction. Her study of Sarah J. Hale and Godey’s Lady’s Book will be published in a forthcoming collection of essays on sentimentalism. Kara teaches courses in the Honors program and in American literature, women’s writing, and college composition.



Meredith Collins, Ph.D. candidate, Victorian Literature and Sexualities

Meredith earned her B.A. in English, with departmental honors, from The College of Wooster in 2004 and her M.A. in Literature from The University of Pittsburgh in 2005. Her research interests include Victorian pornography, Michael Field, English Aestheticism and Decadence, the Pre-Raphaelites, Vernon Lee, Late-Victorian women's popular fiction, fin de siecle visual culture, and nineteenth century formulations of queer identity. Meredith has presented work on British and American literature and pornography at several conferences in the United States and in England.


Gabriel Cutrufello, Ph.D. candidate, Composition and Rhetoric, Rhetoric of Science


Gabriel received his B.S. Ed. in English Literature from West Chester University in 1998 and his M.A. in English from San Diego State University in 2006.  His research interests include the history and rhetoric of science, writing program administration, writing center studies, literature and science, and science fiction literature.  His book reviews have appeared in American Book Review and Extrapolation.  In the 2010-2011 academic year, he was awarded a Graduate Associate Fellowship in the Center for the Humanities at Temple.   Currently, he is writing his dissertation on the intersection of aesthetics and the rhetoric of science in 19th Century America.  He has presented his research at the Modern Language Association’s Annual Convention, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the Council of Writing Program Administrators Annual Conference.  Gabriel’s teaching experience includes college composition, introduction to literature, introduction to fiction, and business writing.  From 2007-2009 and again in the 2010-2011 academic year, he was a Graduate Assistant Tutor in the Temple University Writing Center.  Gabriel was also the Composition Assistant for the English Department’s First-Year Writing Program in the 2009-2010 academic year.



Tiffany DeRewal, Ph.D. student, 19th/20th C. American Literature and Film Studies


Tiffany DeRewal graduated summa cum laude, Honors in English, from Messiah College in 2007, and she received her M.A. in English from Villanova University in 2010, with a thesis on monstrosity and adaptation in nineteenth century American nautical fiction.  She is a member of the third cohort of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program based in Valparaiso, Indiana.  Her research interests include American gothic fiction, intersections of literature and religion, and film and cultural studies.  She has presented on Virginia Woolf and cinema, feminism and American religious culture, and composition pedagogy at international and national conferences, and her co-authored essay "John Shade's Duplicate Selves: An Alternative Shadean Theory of Pale Fire" appeared in the Nabokov Online Journal in 2009.



Jon Gagas, Ph.D. candidate, Transatlantic Modernism and Critical Theory


Jon earned his B.A., Honors in English, from Ursinus College in 2007, and his M.A. from Temple in 2010, with a paper on trauma in John Banville's novel The Book of Evidence.  He is working on a dissertation on the trope of the schizophrenic and anxieties about popular culture in late modernist fiction and aesthetic theory, and will discuss his chapter,  "'Adultery of the brain': Cultural Politics and Ambivalent Spatial Comedy in Between the Acts and Virginia Woolf’s Late Non-Fiction," at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association convention this November.   Jon has presented work on cultural displacement in twentieth-century British, Irish, and African American fiction, as well as strategies for using pop music to promote inclusive pedagogy.  He followed his paper on prophetic vision in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, presented at the 2010 Northeast Modern Language Association convention, by chairing a panel on Blake's influence on twentieth-century culture at NeMLA 2011.  His reviews have appeared in The Schuylkill and Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and his biographical entries on translators will appear in the forthcoming Oxford History of Literary Translation in English: Vol. 5The Twentieth Century



Sarah Gardam, Ph.D. candidate, 20th C. American Literature, Psychoanalytic and Feminist Theory, and Aesthetics

Sarah Gardam is a PhD candidate at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Her research interests include Aesthetics; 20th Century American literature; psychoanalytic and feminist theory;  the American novelist Willa Cather, and Asian American fiction. Her dissertation work explores Tragedy in 20th Century Asian American Novels. Sarah’s publications include an article entitled “Subverting the Male Gaze: Willa Cather’s Lena Lingard and William Faulkner’s Lena Grove” which appeared in the 2007 collection Violence, the Arts, and Cather; an essay called “Maggots in the Rice: Women as a Sex Class in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior” which can be found in the volume Narratives of Community: Women’s Short Story Sequences, also published in 2007. Another essay, “Default[ing] to the Oldest Scar”: A Psychoanalytic Investigation of Subjectivity in Anne Enright’s The Gathering, appears in the spring 2009 issue of Etudes Irelandaises, a French Irish Studies Journal.


Ted Howell, Ph.D. student, Modernism, Critical Theory, and Ecocriticism

Ted earned his B.A. in English and Honors from Eastern University in 2004, and his M.A. from Villanova University in 2010. His M.A. thesis explored the aesthetic, religious, and nationalist sense of the "soul" in the fiction of James Joyce. His current research interests include modernist fiction, environmentally-minded literary studies, and literary and philosophical realism. He has presented on the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Tufts University English Graduate Conference and on the 30-Minute Writing Center Workshop model at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association annual conference. In June of 2010 he presented a paper on Joyce and Vitalism as the XXII North American James Joyce Conference.


Kate Huber, Ph.D. student, 19th C. and Early American Literature

Kate earned a B.A. with honors in English from Penn State University in 2005 and an M.A. in English from the University of Delaware in 2008. She is beginning work on a dissertation about translation in antebellum America. Kate holds a University Fellowship and has presented papers on Nathaniel Hawthorne and children’s literature and the idea of translation in Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno.”


Caitlin Hudgins, Ph.D. student, 19th/20th C. American Literature, Ethnic-American Literature


Caitlin graduated summa cum laude in 2006 with a B.A. in English and Spanish from Emory University.  Her undergraduate honors thesis focused on the formation and fluctuation of identity in T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."  After receiving the English Department's scholarship to attend a graduate seminar in aesthetics and culture in Rome, Caitlin completed her coursework early to begin exam preparations in 19th and 20th C. American literature.  Her research interests include character and identity, multicultural studies, and border theory.


Kathryn Ionata, MFA candidate, Creative Writing (Fiction)

Kathryn Ionata graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Temple in 2009. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Philadelphia Stories, Wisconsin Review, Hawai'i Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications. She is a recipient of Temple's William Van Wert Award and Outstanding Instructor Award. Kathryn has taught creative writing and composition. She is currently at work on a novel. 


Daniel Ryan Morse, Ph.D. candidate, Global Modernisms, Media Studies, Critical Theory

Daniel researches and writes on Irish, Indian, and British modernist fiction with special interests in media, empire, and nationalism. His dissertation, "Fiction on the Radio: Remediating Transnational Modernism" examines the adaptation and promotion of modernist literature by writers working at the BBC as well as formal and thematic responses to broadcasting in modernist fiction. As the 2010-2011 Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Temple, Daniel traveled to the UK for dissertation research at the BBC Written Archives Center in Caversham, Reading and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In the past year, Daniel has presented his work at conferences organized by the Modern Language Association, the Modernist Studies Association, and the Penn Humanities Forum. His article, "Only Connecting? : E. M. Forster, Empire Broadcasting, and the Ethics of Distance" was recently published in the Journal of Modern Literature.


Nick Moudry, Ph.D. candidate, 20th/21st C. American Literature, Translation Studies

Nick earned a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa (2000) and a M.F.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst (2004). He is currently completing a dissertation on the ways in which U.S. poets, translators, critics, and anthologists shaped Anglophone perceptions of modern French poetry to suit domestic cultural agenda. Nick received a literature fellowship in 2008 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and was a Senior Doctoral Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Temple in 2009. He has written widely on modern poetry and translation.


Daniel Nutters, Ph.D. student, American Literature and Culture, Critical Theory


Daniel received his B.A. in English from the University of Michigan (2008). He also holds an M.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo (2009) and currently studies American literature with an emphasis on the American Renaissance and Henry James. His research interests consider how literary texts imagine the place of material culture and labor under the broader umbrella of U.S. cultural and economic imperialism. In order to sort through the complex elements that fit under that “umbrella,” Daniel has a strong interest in cultural studies, especially thinkers such as Raymond Williams, Antonio Gramsci, Walter Benjamin, and Edward Said. He will be presenting a paper this spring (2011) on Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain.


Abby Orenstein, Ph.D. student, Composition

Abby has a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Cum Laude from Brandeis University and a M.A. in Teaching English from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her interests are in community literacy, sociology of knowledge, theories of argumentation, history and philosophy of education and mind/body healing in the African American novel.


Jaclyn Partyka, Ph.D. student, History and Theory of the British Novel, Narrative Theory, 20th and 21st C. Transnational Literature

Jaclyn earned her B.A. with Honors in English and Phi Beta Kappa from Ursinus College in 2006 and her M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2008. She has presented writing on William Faulkner's narratives of the outsider and nonverbal language in N. Scott Momaday. Most recently, she presented a paper on Algerian film and the DVD paratext at the Global Fusion 2011: Power, Resistance, and the Media conference in Philadelphia. She is a recipient of Temple University's Outstanding Instructor Award (2010) and has participated in a number of teaching and pedagogy workshops and panels throughout her graduate career. Her current exam research is in the history of the novel, the boundaries of narrative representation, and genre and transnational studies.


Tatum Petrich, Ph.D. candidate, 20th C. American Literature

Tatum is working on her dissertation, a formal and thematic study of community in the works of the women Beats. She is also completing a certificate in Women’s Studies, and has written book reviews for Women Writers: A Zine. Tatum’s teaching experience includes First Year Writing, Literacy and Society, Introduction to Fiction, Dissent in America, and American Literature and Society.



Alison C. Rollins, Ph.D. student, African American Literature, 19th and Early 20th C. American Literature

Alison earned her Bachelors of Science with Honors in Psychology, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Howard University in 2009. Her research area of interest is 19th-early 20th century African American literature.


Erica Schmid, Ph.D. candidate, Contemporary Fiction, Feminist & Queer Theory

Erica is working on her dissertation, “‘Hey!  That’s My Phallus!,’” which attempts to demonstrate the ways in which seemingly masculinist authors—specifically Frank Lentricchia, J.G. Ballard, and D.H. Lawrence—can be read as reinforcing feminist and queer imaginings of identity. Erica’s teaching experience includes Non-Western Literature, Introduction to Fiction, Writing for Business, and English 098, 101, & 102 at various community colleges.  Erica currently teaches English full-time at a New Jersey public high school and adjuncts at different area colleges. 


Shiladitya Sen, Ph.D. candidate, Renaissance literature and Drama

Shiladitya earned a B.A. (1996) and M.A. (1998) in English from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India), before obtaining an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech in 2000. He is currently working on his dissertation, "Metatheatricality on the Renaissance Stage," which argues that the ubiquitous nature of metatheatricality in Renaissance drama can be directly linked to the nature of the Renaissance stage, both its concrete physical form and its more theoretical existence as a social and philosophical construct. Shiladitya teaches courses in college composition, Mosaic, British literature and drama (especially Shakespeare).


Elizabeth Seltzer, Ph.D. student, Victorian Fiction

Elizabeth Seltzer graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Brandeis University. Her research interests include Victorian sensation and proto-science fiction novels and the mystery novel. She recently participated in a roundtable discussion on Jane Austen adaptation at the Northeast Modern Language Association convention.



Lindsay Steuber, Ph.D. student, Contemporary & 20thC. Poetry

Lindsay earned her B.A. in English from Douglass College at Rutgers University in 2004, concentrating in Creative Writing - Poetry.  While at Rutgers she worked closely with Anselm Berrigan at the St. Mark's Poetry Project in NYC.  She earned her NJ Teaching Certification at the commencement of her seven year high school teaching career, and she currently adjuncts at local Philadelphia colleges.  Her M.A. was earned at the College of New Jersey in 2010 which culminated in a thesis titled "The Influence of Zen Buddhism in Joanne Kyger's Poetry."  She has presented on topics such as Buddhism and Beat poets, ecofeminism, and sexuality/gender roles at various conferences.  Her research interests include contemporary and 20th century poetry, Buddhism and poetry, and ecopoetics.  She  attends poetry events in the Philadelphia and NYC areas, and is a regular contributor to APIARY Magazine, a Philadelphia-based print and electronic poetry publication.



Donovan Tann, Ph.D. student, 16th C. English Literature, 17th C. Transatlantic Literature


Donovan Tann, a Ph.D. student in Temple University’s English Literature program, is currently developing a prospectus that reflects his interests in the relationships among religious belief, forms of knowledge, “devotional” writing, and gender in seventeenth century England and early America.  His exam areas were 16th century English literature and 17th century transatlantic literature in English.  Tann was the recipient of Temple’s 2010-2011 Richard Newton award for best essay on pre-1900 literature and culture for his “Subjectivity, the Body, and Community Membership in Taylor’s Preparatory Meditations.”   He most recently presented his work on Thomas Heywood’s Woman Killed with Kindness in an interdisciplinary panel at the Renaissance Society of America’s annual meeting in Montreal.  Donovan Tann graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Tann was a member of the 2008-2011 Lilly Graduate Fellows Program based in Valparaiso, Indiana, which includes annual conferences and a biweekly colloquium on the relationship between the Christian tradition and higher education.



Megan Walsh, Ph.D. candidate


Megan Walsh is completing her dissertation, “Inconspicuous Consumption:  Objects, Publics, and Visible Patriotism in Early American Literature, 1770-1800,” which argues that eighteenth-century American writers represented their political and social affiliations through their descriptions of a rapidly expanding consumer culture. Her research interests include early American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, aesthetics, and material and visual culture.



Sara C. Wilson, Ph.D. student, 20th C. British Novel

Sara received her B.A. in English, concentration on 20th C. Literature and Culture, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Her paper on the resistance to work in Beckett's Murphy won Temple's 2010 Beebe award. Her research interests include Joyce, Beckett, and high modernism. She has had creative pieces published in the Independent Philadelphia zine 4,000 Flavors.

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Amy Woodworth, Ph.D. candidate, 20th C. American Literature and Film 

Amy received her B. A. in an individualized major (English, American Studies, and Photography) from New York University and her M. A. in English from Rutgers University at Newark.  Her current research interests include male melodrama, film comediennes, and film exhibition studies. She is also completing a certificate in Women’s Studies. Her work will appear in the forthcoming collection Situating the Feminist Gaze and Spectatorship in Post World War II Cinema (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).