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Current Students

Student Profiles

MA Students

Elizabeth Elmore
I am a first year MA student with a BA in English Literature and Writing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. My research interests include feminism and gender in contemporary media and popular culture, with a particular focus on the roles of women and gender and sexual minorities in recent novels, comic books, television, and film.

Molly Hunter

Mark Mowls
I have BAs in English and in Film Studies from Ohio State University (2002) and interests in film studies, visual culture and rhetoric, and British and expatriate American modernism. I am a second year MA candidate with academic interest in poststructuralism, film, queer theory, and the effects of technology. I hold a BA in English from Ohio University  (2011).

Aaron Perine
I am a first year MA student. I have a BA in English from CWRU (2012). My research interests include visual rhetoric, 21st-century material culture, print culture, journalism, and identity formation.

John Rooney
I am a first-year MA student with a BA in English from Case Western Reserve University (2011) and a JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (2014).  My interests include Romanticism, poetry and poetics, lyricism, and poetic subjectivity.  I plan to focus at least some of my research on deconstructing and reexamining the theories of the voice and subject in lyrical poetry heretofore proposed or assumed.

Joseph Rooney
I am a first-year MA student with BAs in English and Religious Studies from Case Western Reserve University. In my graduate career here at Case, I wish to explore my interests in narratology and biblical exegesis. Of special concern to me are the ways in which authors of English works of literature draw upon biblical narratives in the construction of their own narratives. My “post-secular” research goals will hopefully allow me to uncover the theological agendas embedded in these works of literature.

PhD Students

Erin Blakeslee
I am a third-year PhD student in the Writing History and Theory (WHiT) program. Prior to beginning my studies at CWRU, I taught writing for several years at Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. I earned my BS in Cinema and Photography from Ithaca College and my MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Purdue. My research interests include writing pedagogy and genealogical writing, storytelling, and archival conventions. My studies focus primarily on writing situations that occur outside of the classroom and the workplace: in community writing groups, in family archives, in queer feminist performance spaces, and on hobbyist websites.

Cara Byrne
I am a PhD student whose academic interests include children’s literature, African-American literature, gender studies, feminism and ESL pedagogy.  I earned my BS in Education and my BA in English from Bowling Green State University (2009) and my MA in English from Case Western Reserve University (2011). I am also licensed to teach middle school and high school integrated language arts in Ohio.

Evan Chaloupka
I am a first year PhD student whose research interest include disability in literature, medical rhetoric and disability, and contingent labor issues in higher education. In 2012, I earned my M.A. in English  from The University of Akron. In 2010, I earned my B.A. in English from The Ohio State University. I am a member of the Ohio Part-time Faculty Association’s organizing committee and have taught composition at Lakeland Community College, Lake Erie College, and Ursuline College.

Michael Chiappini
I am a second-year PhD student whose research areas include classic and contemporary rhetorical theory, medical rhetoric and the rhetoric of science, and literature concerning HIV/AIDS. Specifically, I am interested in how HIV/AIDS emerged as not only a socially stigmatized disease but also an identity category that shaped and continues to shape the lives of LGBTQ people and their literary, artistic, and rhetorical responses to the disease.  I am invested in a pedagogy that undoes the harms of normalization and assimilation by being public about privacy.

Thom Dawkins
I hold an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Chatham University and an MTS from Vanderbilt Divinity School. My research interests include early modern literature, theological studies and expressions of illness and disease in the period, as well as poetry and poetics in general.

Kate Dunning
A PhD candidate focusing on 19th- and 20th-century American poetry, my interests include ecocriticism, W. S. Merwin, Emily Dickinson, feminism, and creative writing. I hold a BA in English and French with a minor in Spanish (2008), as well as a Master’s in Library Science (2009) from the University at Buffalo. I also spent the 2009-2010 academic year teaching English at the University of Maroua in Cameroon (Central Africa) as a Fulbright grantee.

Eric Earnhardt
I hold a BA in English from Geneva College (2006) and an MA in Literary History from Ohio University (2011). I am a second year PhD student focusing on ecology and literature, critical theory, and issues of environmental and social justice in American literature.

Catherine Forsa
I am a doctoral candidate studying early American and nineteenth-century American literature, women writers, and science writing. My dissertation examines the intersection of literature, science, and aesthetics in nineteenth-century America. This interdisciplinary research informs my teaching, especially in courses for the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) writing across the curriculum program at CWRU. I have also taught courses in literature, composition, foundational writing, and professional and technical communication. I received my MA in English from Seton Hall University and my BA in English from Fairfield University.

Miriam Goldman
I am a PhD student focusing on Post-War, primarily American literature. My research foci are narrative and rhetorical theory, technical and professional writing, and issues of agency, identity, and the body. My teaching is as important to me as my own work. In the classroom, I undertake to deploy experiential methods and create classroom communities based on trust and co-decision making whenever possible.

Megan Griffin
As a second-year PhD student, I am focusing on completing my coursework and preparing for my qualifying exams.  My main area of specialization is in Early Modern literature, with a particular focus on issues of genre and on the development of the rhetoric of sovereignty from the English Reformation to the English Civil War.  I also have a secondary interest in 20th and 21st century sci-fi /fantasy literature and television.

Raymond Horton
I am a third-year PhD student, and my interests include 19th- and 20th-century American literature, contemporary fiction, religion and literature, phenomenology, and aesthetics. This year, I am starting my dissertation, tentatively titled “Religion as Device in American Literature.” This project will address the persistence of religion as a formal device in American writers from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Focusing on writers such as Mark Twain, Willa Cather, James Baldwin, Don DeLillo, and Marilynne Robinson, my dissertation explores the ways in which secular disenchantment renders religious backgrounds newly available for an aesthetics of quotidian experience. Beyond my dissertation, I am interested in interdisciplinary approaches to teaching American literature, critical pedagogy in teaching composition, ESL pedagogy, critical university studies, and the role of graduate students in addressing issues of shared governance and academic labor.

Lara Klaber
I am a first-year PhD student in the Writing History and Theory (WHiT) program, with BAs in Communication, Film & Digital Media, and English, and a MA in English, from Cleveland State University. I take a cross-disciplinary approach to my work, combining elements of rhetoric and composition, literary theory, film theory, and communication theory in my analyses. My Master’s thesis focused on “the Monster as Romantic Hero in Contemporary Fiction,” and I am particularly invested in the use of popular fiction and media to interrogate cultural norms and values. Additional interests include multimedia narratology, technical communication, interactive composition, and the use of contemporary young adult fiction to promote higher literacy rates. I also harbor a great love of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery genre writing.

Kristin Kondrlik
As a fifth year PhD student participating in the WHiT program, my research interests include medical rhetoric, literature of the period between 1880 and 1920, print culture studies, and gender studies. My dissertation focuses on the ways British writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries used various genres of print culture – specialized periodicals, popular periodicals, and novels – to bolster the rhetorical ethos of female physicians in the decades after women’s legal recognition as medical professionals. I received my BA in English and Political Science from Canisius College (2008) and my MA in English from Case Western Reserve University (2011).

Daniel Luttrull
I earned a BA in English and Writing from Indiana Wesleyan University (2009) and an MA in English from Baylor University (2011). Currently, I am a first year PhD student interested in American Romanticism, religion, and the histories of nineteenth-century periodicals.

Michelle Lyons-McFarland
I hold a BA in English and Humanities from the University of Washington (2010) and an MA in English from Case Western Reserve University (2012). My area of focus is 18th-century British literature. Academic interests for me include thing theory, gender and sexuality studies, gothic literature, games and new media, reader/author/publisher communities and relationships, and composition. student focusing on 18th-century British literature.

Marcus Mitchell
I earned my BA in English from Illinois Wesleyan University (2008) and my MA in English from Case Western Reserve University (2011). I am currently a fifth-year PhD student focusing on Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture. My research examines conflicting attitudes toward women’s muscularity and athleticism in Victorian fiction and the periodical press, as well as the significance of these attitudes in relation to the gender ideologies underpinning Victorian physical culture.

Andrea Nienstedt
I am a second year PhD student, with both a BA and MA from Oakland University in Michigan. My research interests are primarily in 19th-century transatlantic literature (mostly British/Irish and American). Within this period, I’m especially interested in representations of things like female stereotypes, womanhood, femininity, female sexuality, spinsterhood, etc. I like to utilize information from traditionally non-literary period documents, like advertisements and newspaper articles. I’m currently researching the use of gendered mermaid imagery in 19th-century literature and culture.

Michael Parker
I am a PhD student focusing on queer theory and Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Utopian literature. My primary areas of interest are queer temporalities, utopias, aesthetics, and orientations. I received my BA in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 and my MA in English from Case Western in 2011.

Melissa Pompili
I am a second year PhD student whose research has historically focused on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century transatlantic women’s writing. My theoretical interests include gender and sexuality studies, affect theory, and biopolitics. I am especially interested in the intersection of these theoretical approaches as they relate to conditions of embodiment and social organization. I hold a BA from Lourdes University and an MA in Literature from Eastern Michigan University.

Jessica Slentz
I am a fourth year PhD Dean’s Fellow focusing on digital rhetoric and the rhetorics of display. My dissertation is an ethnographic study that will use observation and interviews to investigate the rhetorical experiences composed by and through interaction with digital haptic interfaces in spaces of cultural exhibition, particularly my two research sites: The Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. My secondary research interests include new media and digital literacies, digital writing research, multimodal composition, visual rhetoric, and professional and technical writing. I hold a BA in Professional Communication and Information Design from Nazareth College, an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University, London, UK, and an MA in English Literature from the University of Rochester.

Megan Weber
I am a first-year PhD student with a BA from Wittenberg University and an MA from the University of South Florida. My focus is Restoration and 18th-century British Literature. My primary research focuses on the development of language through the period, examining shifting gender roles and definitions of masculinity. Using plays and novels, I explore the gap between the public and private, and the different language used in each.

Scott Weedon
I graduated from Loyola University of Maryland with a BA in English and from Case Western Reserve University with an MA in English. I am a PhD student and I focus on professional communication, rhetorical theory, and narratology.