English graduate studies update (fall 2021) -

English graduate studies update (fall 2021)

This year has been one of the most vibrant for Department of English and Creative Writing graduate students.

Virtual innovations

Having to study, teach and interact virtually has, at times, been challenging. But this makes it all the more inspiring to recognize the new technologies and forms of collaboration with which our students have become familiar. Even more valuable, we have all come to appreciate the crucial benefits of face-to-face engagements and being part of a community. Our graduate students have taken the opportunity to engage in virtual online events, become part of international academic networks and build portfolios characterized by pedagogical innovation.

a web banner promoting a student conference entitled Panic! Textual Reactions to Extreme Moments in Time
Call for proposals for EGSA’s 2021 symposium

The English Graduate Student Association even hosted its own virtual symposium, inspired by recent research and creative events addressing the Tulsa Race Massacre. The conference – on the theme of “Panic!” – brought together graduate students from Oklahoma and beyond to address issues of crisis and anxiety in literature from across the centuries.

A bounty of work experiences

woman in an orange blouse and glasses smiling while seated at a desk
First-year M.A. student Angela Ray preparing to teach her first class

A dozen new students joined our graduate program in September 2021, and the TU community stepped up with perhaps the most diverse set of employment offerings ever. We wish to thank everybody who committed the time and money to make this happen.

Most of our students are employed and getting much-appreciated training as teachers and tutors through the University Writing Program, helping all TU students gain confidence as effective communicators and diligent researchers. Other students, meanwhile, are getting experience in fields such as administration, marketing, communications, digital humanities, professional writing and editing. TU departments where our students are currently employed include the Dean of Arts office, the creative-writing journal Nimrod, the Office of Integrative and Experiential Learning and Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Major milestones

Our students continued to have the wind in their sails for another successful year with graduations, scholarly events and a string of professional opportunities. Congratulations to all the students who have recently defended their comprehensive exams, completed coursework, submitted their thesis abstracts and proposals and made headway on their dissertations.

The heartiest of congratulations go to our graduates from the past year. The 2021 M.A. graduates are Danielle Calhoun, Amber Drew and Muriel Unseth.

The Ph.D. graduates from the past academic year, along with the titles of their dissertations, are:

  • Clay Cantrell (PhD ’21), “Features of a New Lyric in Nineties Language Poetry”
  • Blake Connelly (PhD ’21), “Their Bonds Asunder I Shall Tear”: Female Romantic Voices and the Structures of Hierarchy”
  • Annie Page (PhD ’20), “Party Girl: The Modernist Party and Women’s Social Performance”
  • Marie Sartain (PhD ’21), “Team Up: Superhero Comics, Collaboration, and Convergence”
  • Laura Thomas (PhD ’20), “William Dean Howells in Transition: Realism, Regionalism, and the Search for an American Aesthetic”
woman standing next to a large statue outdoors
Muriel Unseth (MA ’21) and a statue of the god Radegast in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, Czech Republic, where she is currently a Fullbright fellow

Congratulations to Muriel Unseth, who is now studying and working in the Czech Republic on a Fulbright Fellowship, as well as to Dayne Riley (PhD ’20) and Laura Thomas for being chosen as postdoctoral fellows in the department for 2021-22.

And we couldn’t be happier for those grad students who have most recently found employment, including Carlos Acosta Ponce (PhD ‘20) – assistant professor at Buena Vista University; Marie Sartain – senior copy editor at the American Pharmacists Association; and Danielle Calhoun – undergraduate academic advisor at the University of Texas.

Congratulations all! Your success is our pride and inspiration.

Are you interested in exploring your passion for literature and culture at the graduate level? If so, an M.A. or Ph.D. in English at TU could be ideal for you.