Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Graduate Students

AY 2024 - 2025

PhD

Candidates

PhD

Students

MA

Students

Abigail Palmisano
Anthony Shoplik
Aleks Galus
Courtney Walton
Danielle Nasenbeny
Emily L. Sharrett
Emma Horst
Joe Hansen
Krislyn Zhorne
Ray Kietzman
Samantha Lepak
Victoria O'Dea
Xiamara Hohman
Ashley Judy
Anna Parlato
Bella Fiorucci
Berenice Rodriguez
Dan Cheung
Fatima Hasnain
Jack O'Briant
Kandace Garcia
Kylie Lazzo
Rayne Broach
Rebecca Dickman
Marwa Nour
Nicole Salama
Will Sikich
Yasmeen Ayoub
Amanda Castillo
Almudena Rincón Sáez
Alyssa Romero
Charlie Vigil
Eden Link
Ella Barry
Haley Ramirez
Jamie Yu
Ja'Vonna McClendon
Jeremy Schmid
Maura Joyce
Melissa Martin
Morgan Acord
Morgan Stuckey
Orion Elrod
Spencer Hatcher

 

 

PhD Candidates

Abigail Palmisano

  • Program Area: Medieval Literature
  • Research Interests: Medieval Angelology and Hagiography, Cognition, and Old English Language and Literature
  • Degrees: BA in English from Taylor University (2017); MA in English from Illinois State University (2019) 
  • Dissertation Summary:
    My dissertation examines literary depictions of cognition throughout the English Middle Ages. I first examine how conceptual metaphors of movement in Latin texts are translated into metaphors of fixture in Old English. I connect these changes to distinctions in cultural epistemologies and wider matrices of conceptual metaphor which imagine fixture or enclosure as a form of proper religious and moral deportment. I then follow the inheritance of these ideas in Middle English and investigate the continuing evolution of vernacular epistemologies (and their religious implications) alongside classical, scholastic ones in writings of Julian of Norwich and Chaucer.  

Anthony Shoplik

  • Program Area: Modern and Contemporary American Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Modernism, Literature and Identity, and Poetry and Poetics
  • Degrees: BA in English from John Carroll University (2018); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2019)
  • Dissertation Summary:
    The Conservation of Races: Environment and Racial Formation in American Literature, 1880-1980: This dissertation seeks to examine a term, the “New American race,” and the model of racial identity that made the idea of an American race available to writers in the early twentieth century. I argue that in this period environmental thinking played a crucial and conceptually enabling role for the production and conservation of racial difference. Committed to the belief that environments were a critical component and agent of racial, cultural, and civilizational formation and maintenance, writers in this period transformed American environments, previously believed to be a racial liability (e.g., colonists’ fear of “Indianization”), into a racial resource.

 

Aleks Galus

  • Program Area: Contemporary American Literature
  • Research Interests: Haunted Houses, Ghosts, and Narrative Theory
  • Degrees: BA in Art and English from Elmhurst College (2010)

Courtney Walton

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Twentieth-Century African American Literature, Critical Race Theory, and Critical Whiteness Studies
  • Degrees: BA in English and Secondary Education from Eastern Illinois University (2015); MA in English from Eastern Illinois University (2019)

To view Courtney's LinkedIn, click here!


 

Danielle Nasenbeny

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: British Modernism, Victorian Literature, Ecology, Object Oriented Ontology, Animal Studies, and Digital Humanities
  • Degrees: BA in English Writing from Dordt University (2013); MA in Literature from Northern Arizona University (2016)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    Vital Environs: Ecologies of Modernism and the Nature Tradition follows the ways British authors around the turn of the 20th century modified existing perceptions about “Nature” and the role of humanity within Nature. The dissertation investigates how this new understanding of Nature changes the land rhetoric of rural England, London urbanity, the seaside, and the Lakes District through cultural artifacts and the writings of Richard Jefferies, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, H. D., and Daphne du Maurier, among several others.

To view Danielle's professional website, click here!


Emily L. Sharrett

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Early Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Environmental Humanities; Premodern Critical Race Studies; Classical Reception in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English Literature, especially Shakespearean Drama; Premodern Women Writers; Performance Theory; Posthumanist Theory; Ecofeminist Theory
  • Degrees: B.A. in English Literature and Political Science from Miami University of Ohio (2016); M.A. in English from Loyola University Chicago (2017)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    In Eternal City, Earthly City: The Reach of Rome in Early Modern English Literature, Sharrett examines how the reception of Roman classic writings shaped debates about social ecology occurring on the stage and page in early modern England, especially in Shakespeare’s Roman plays and narrative poems. Sharrett concludes that these plays and poems interrogate and harness relationships among human and environmental forces in response to religious and secular writings from classical antiquity which had cast human relationships with the natural environment in political and ethical while occluding physical terms.

To view Emily's professional website, click here!


Emma Horst

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Transatlantic Studies, Aesthetics, Sentimentalism, Pre-Raphaelite Art, Sensation Fiction, and Aestheticism
  • Degrees: BA in English and Secondary Education from Loras College (2016); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2020)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    My project traces sensational scenes and various visual modes of sensation within nineteenth-century British and American fiction by Julia C. Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Louisa May Alcott, Hannah Crafts, and Wilkie Collins. I argue that these authors complicate, expand, or criticize patriarchal ideas of idealized white womanhood in their works through their various appeals to visuality across their novels—from extended descriptions of women’s bodies in portraiture to characters’ use of visual artifice (cosmetics, wigs, false teeth, skin whitener). Although united by their aim to complicate and/or challenge the dominant patriarchal and racist ideas of womanhood, I aim to demonstrate how each work constitutes race and gender differently. 

Joe Hansen

  • Pronouns: he, him, his
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Queer Theory, the Gothic, and Ecogothic
  • Degrees: BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from Carthage College (2020); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2021)

To view Joe's LinkedIn, click here!


 

 

 

Krislyn Zhorne

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Early Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Textual Criticism, Editorial Theory, Paratextual Studies, and Book History
  • Degrees: BA in English from the Unversity of North Carolina, Wilmington (2014); MA in English from Morehead State University (2017)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    My dissertation explores a specific type of early modern paratext that was directed at consumers and commonly labeled “To the Reader,” which arose in England during the early sixteenth century. Although largely untitled at the outset, I argue that the inauguration of this device provoked a burgeoning tradition in print that diversified and eventually solidified by the end of the century. I not only examine the prominent discourses in and rhetoric of paratexts of this nature but also track the evolution of this type of preface and postface in both epistle and verse form.

To view Krislyn's professional website, click here!


 

Ray Kietzman

  • Pronouns: they, them, their
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature
  • Research Interests: British and American Literature, Globalization, and Occult Studies
  • Degrees: BA in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College (2014); MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University (2016); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2018)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    My dissertation is about the birth of American horror fiction in the long 19th century out of American Gothic fiction. I argue that horror, a genre marked by a fascination with themes of fear and revulsion, serves as a laboratory to explore the crises of categorization which erupt from the failure of Enlightenment ideals in the formation of American identity. My dissertation is primarily concerned with themes of gender and race, and with how the cluster of texts I read as early American horror fiction engage in the monsterization of the racial and gendered other.

 

Samantha Lepak

  • Program Area: Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Research Interests: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Trauma Narratives
  • Degrees: BA in English from the University of Minnesota, Duluth (2014); MA in English from the University of Minnesota, Duluth (2018)
  • Dissertation Summary:
    Modernism’s Mythic Mothers: Queering Motherhood Through Classical Matrilineage
    I position this dissertation at the intersection of modern/contemporary literature, queer/feminist theory, and classics in the hopes of better understanding the spaces in which they meet, engaging with writers from the late modernist era to the present to highlight the connections between theories, themes, and practices of queerness from the modernists forward.  Using the work of H.D. and writers following in her footsteps, I argue that exploring adaptations of Greek classics written primarily by female and gender-variant authors from the modernist era forward illuminates the extent to which the classics enables writers to think queerly.  I argue instead for a palimpsestic model of lineage that follows women and mothers in order to queer the discourse with a subverted temporal perspective and focus.

To view Samantha's Taskstream, click here!


Victoria O'Dea

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Archive Studies, Affect Theory, Epistolary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Temporality, and Textual Studies
  • Degrees: BA in English and History from the University of Virginia (2011); MA in English from University College London (2012)

To view Victoria's LinkedIn, click here!


 

Xiamara Hohman

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Poetry, Transnational Theory, American Poetry in China, and Chinese-American Literature
  • Degrees: BA in English from the University of Dayton (2008); MA in English from the University of Dayton (2010)
  • Dissertation Summary: 
    In my dissertation, “China-making”: American Poetry and Chinese Mythology, I argue that by appropriating Chinese mythologies, U.S. writers and artists have colonized the imaginations of a generation of Americans and that we can see this payout in U.S. communities of Chinese immigrants, geopolitical relations, and literary trends. As I am defining it, a myth is a narrative that gives meaning to a lived experience. It explains what we commemorate and worship and renders meaningful both celebration and life. In the first half of my dissertation, I discuss the ways in which Chinese myths and cultural practices have been appropriated by American poets and artists of non-Chinese descent in order to contend with normative constructions of gender and femininity and racism against Black Americans. I then pivot to the ways in which American poets’ engagement with East Asian spiritual practices produced a cognitive disconnect that allowed the American readership to abstract itself from the plight of Chinese immigrants to the United States, even as it produced an interest in the literature, religion, and mythology of classical China.

To view Xiamara's Taskstream, click here!


 

PhD Students

 

Ashley Judy

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Early Modern Literature
  • Research InterestsArthurian Literature and Medieval literature, Shakespeare Studies, Thomas Kyd and Christopher Marlowe.
  • DegreesBA in English from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2023)

 

Anna Parlato

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Research InterestsGender Studies, Women Authors, Feminist Theory, Gothic and Horror Genre, Nineteenth-Century Fiction.
  • DegreesBA in English Literature from The University at Buffalo (2022)

Bella Fiorucci


 

Berenice Rodriguez

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program AreaModern and Contemporary Literature
  • Research InterestsQueer and Chicanx global feminist studies, Cultural alterity within Mexican indigenous history, Deconstructing and disrupting normalized teaching methodologies, and Pedagogical practices that speak to intersectional audiences
  • Degree: BA in English with a minor in Gender and Women Studies and TESL from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2022)

 

 

Dan Cheung

  • Program Area: 19th- and 20th-Century American Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Literary Realism and Naturalism, Poetry and Poetics, History of American Political Thought
  • Degrees: BA in English from Allegheny College (2017); MFA in Fiction from the University of Oregon (2022)

 

Fatima Hasnain

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Memory Studies, Trauma Theory, Gender Studies, African-American Literature, and South Asian Literature
  • Degrees: MA in English from University of the Punjab (2017); MPhil in English from Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) (2019)

 

Jack O'Briant

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Contemporary Literature, and Religion and Secularity in Modernist and Postmodern Fiction
  • Degrees: BA in Christian Studies from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (2014); MA in English from Azusa Pacific University (2019)

 


Kandace Garcia


Kylie Lazzo


 

Rayne Broach

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Textual Studies, Digital Humanities, Genre Studies, and Literary Architecture
  • Degree: BA in English and Creative Writing from State University of New York at Oswego (2019); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2023)

Rebecca Dickman


 

Marwa Nour

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Program Area: Nineteenth-Century Literature, African American Literature
  • Research Interests: Contemporary Middle Eastern literature, Black Studies, Egyptian cultural studies, Arabic literature and issues of national identity, political expression and historical representation.
  • Degree: BA in English from Indiana University Northwest (2014); MA in English from DePaul University (2020)

 


 

Nicole Salama

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Poetry and Poetics, Trauma Theory, Childhood Studies, and Textual Criticism
  • Degrees: BA in English, Business, and Accounting from Baylor University (2021); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2022)

 

Will Sikich

  • Pronouns: he, him, his
  • Program Area: Contemporary Literature
  • Research Interests: Fantasy, Medieval Folklore, Neopaganism, Occult Studies, and Film
  • Degrees: BA in English and Creative Writing from Augustana College (2021); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2022)

 

 

Yasmeen Ayoub

  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Temporality and Narrative Studies, the Southern Gothic, African American Literature, Cultural Studies, Postmodernism, and Critical Theory
  • Degrees: BA in English Literature and Liberal Studies from Portland State University (2019); MA in English from Loyola University Chicago (2023)

To take a look at Yasmeen's website, please click here!


 

 

MA Students

 

Almudena Rincón Sáez

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature
  • Research Interests: Women Studies, Feminist Theory, Modernism, Spanish Literature and Culture, Transnational Literature
  • Degrees: BA in English and Journalism from Loyola University Chicago (2019)

To view Almudena's LinkedIn, click here!


 

Alyssa Romero

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers
  • Program Area: Undecided
  • Research Interests: Feminist Pedagogy, Shakespeare, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Translation Theory, Rhetorical Analysis, Construction Grammar, Plath
  • DegreesB.A. in Secondary Education and English (expected May 2024)

  


 

 

Eden Link

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers, they, them, theirs
  • Program Area: 20th-Century American Literature
  • Research Interests: Jewish American Literature and Diaspora Studies
  • Degrees: BA in English from Cleveland State University (2021) 

 

Ella Barry


 

Haley Ramirez

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Program Area: Undecided
  • Research Interests: Renaissance and Medieval Literature
  • Degrees: BA in English Literature from St. Edward’s University (2022)

 

Jamie Yu

  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Program Area: Modern Literature and Culture
  • Research Interests: Contemporary Asian American literature, Asian transpacific cinema, contemporary Asian horror cinema, Korean cinema, literary trauma theory, psychoanalytic criticism, critical race theory
  • Degrees: BA in Comparative Literature from University of Washington (2019), MA in Humanities from University of Chicago (2023)

 


 

Ja'Vonna McClendon


 

Jeremy Schmid

 


 

Maura Joyce


Melissa Martin

  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Program Area: Contemporary American Literature
  • Research Interests: Queer theory, feminist theory, female gothic literature, queer and feminine trauma represented through haunted houses, Stephen King, the abject.
  • Degrees: BA in English Secondary Education from Bradley University (2023)

 

Morgan Acord


 

Morgan Stuckey

 


 

Orion Elrod

 

 


 

Spencer Hatcher

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Program Area: Literary - Southern Gothic, 20th Century, diarists/journalists, confessional writing
  • Research Interests: Robert Hayden, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, Yukio Mishima, Anais Nin
  • Degree: BA in English from Agnes Scott College (2017 to 2021)

To see Spencer's LinkedIn, click here!

To see Spencer's website, click here!