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Graduate Students

Graduate students in the English Department at UB are experienced teachers and active researchers. Below is a list of current UB English graduate students and some of their accomplishments.

7/1/14
Kristen Angierski's primary interests lie in the realm of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. At Cornell University, she completed an honors thesis entitled "Victorian Fiction and the Contemporary Eating Disorder Novel: The Endurance of Anorexic Cultures." This project deepened her interest in issues of embodiment and in the symbolic power of food in fiction. She has also written extensively on Sylvia Plath and experimental women poets. Kristen’s poem Purge was published last year in Rainy Day, Cornell’s premiere literary magazine.
6/19/14
Leah Benedict is the recipient of the Riverrun Teaching Fellowship, as well as the Gender Institute and the Opler and Doubrava Dissertation Fellowships. Her dissertation, "Impotence: the Anatomy of a Passion" considers descriptions of the male sexual failure written between 1660 and 1800. As the head of the Humanities Institute’s Workshop for Queer Theory, Leah co-coordinated “At the Hip:  Conjoining Queerness and Disability” in the Spring of 2011, a symposium devoted to the uncomfortable intersections between Queer Theory and Disability Studies.  During the 2012-2013 academic year, Leah will be attending a seminar at the Folger Institute and conducting research in the Folger Shakespeare Library.
6/19/14
Shayani Bhattacharya is a third-year PhD student working on Twentieth Century fiction; primarily experimental fiction, transnational avant-garde writing and Cultural Studies. She has completed her Masters in English Literature from Jadavpur University (India) and has presented papers at Pop Culture Association 2012 on Paul Auster ("That Is Not My Real Name": The Endless Reflections of the Self in Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy) and at Modern Languages Association 2013 on Nietzschean nihilism in Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch ("Precogs, Hallucinogens and Free Will"). Her paper on Turkish identity in Orhan Pamuk’s novels My Name Is Red and Istanbul ("Why Am I What I Am?") has been published in the SUISS Symposium's annual journal in 2009. Shayani is also interested in South Asian theatre and modern theatre studies. Her interest in theatre extends to the proscenium where she has acted in several award-winning plays by Indian theatre groups Tin Can and Ensemble.
7/1/14
Claire Brown is a PhD candidate working under Dr. Hershini Young. Her primary research is on slavery, queerness, the American “citizen,” and the messy entanglements of selfhood, family, and capital that those histories produce. Her dissertation, tentatively titled "Gothic Intimacies: Close Encounters with American Blackness and Queerness in 'Gothic' American Literature" explores the centrality and contour of intimacies and relations that, while effectively described as tropes of the gothic form, also represent constitutive formations of American black and queer subjectivity. Claire presented the paper “Violent Vanishings in Octavia Butler’s Kindred” at CUNY’s November 2013 conference, “Disappearance: Spatial and Temporal Horizons”; she is expanding that paper into an article titled “Not Just A Villain, But Family: Patriarchal Failure and The Burden of Family History in Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Carolivia Herron’s Thereafter Johnnie”. She teaches English composition at SUNY Buffalo, and is active in the Buffalo chapter of Black and Pink, an organization devoted to supporting incarcerated LGBTQ people, and the abolition of the prison industrial complex.
7/23/14
Seth Cosimini is a PhD student whose research interests include literature and culture of the African diaspora, especially rap music and hip hop studies. He engages various theoretical approaches such as cultural studies; black, Third World, and transnational feminisms; afrofuturism; and performance studies. His current research examines the relationship of monstrosity, the body, perversity, and power in rappers Nicki Minaj and Tyler, the Creator’s performances of raced sexuality and in (white) consumption of their black bodies. He is also an editorial assistant for contemporary poetry magazine the New York Quarterly.
6/19/14
Ronan Crowley is the recipient of a Robert and Carol Morris Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2012-2013. His dissertation project, "Gifts of the Gab: Quotation, Copyright, and Irish Modernism" explores the writ of intellectual property in Ireland between the Acts of Union and Irish accession to the European Union. It addresses legal and extralegal dimensions of authorship and ownership in the Literary Revival and Joyce’s Ulysses and concludes with the cultural afterlife of Irish modernism in the plastic arts. Ronan is the postgraduate representative on the IASIL Executive Committee (the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature), 2011-present, and has published in the James Joyce Quarterly.
6/19/14
Kristina Marie Darling is a PhD student in the Poetics Program, where her research interests include Modernist poetry, experimental women's writing, and feminist literary theory.  She is the author of eight books of poetry: Night Songs (Gold Wake Press, 2010), Compendium (Cow Heavy Books, 2011), The Body is a Little Gilded Cage: A Story in Letters & Fragments (Gold Wake Press, 2012), Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Palimpsest (Patasola Press, forthcoming in 2012), The Moon & Other Inventions:  Poems After Joseph Cornell (BlazeVOX Books, forthcoming in 2012), Correspondence (Scrambler Books, forthcoming in 2013), and Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, forthcoming in 2013). Kristina is also the editor of a forthcoming anthology, narrative (dis)continuities: prose experiments by younger american writers (Moria Books, 2012).  She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.  Visit her online at http://kristinamariedarling.com/
6/19/14
Robert Dewhurst is studying contemporary lyric, New American, and New Narrative poetics. He is interested in the theory and history of the lyric, affect and emotionality, queer theory, textual criticism/editorial theory, and print culture. He is an associate editor for Semiotext(e), and publishes a chapbook series under the imprint Scary Topiary press. From 2007-2010 he edited the small magazine Satellite Telephone, and from 2009-2011 he co-edited the graduate-student scholarly journal Wild Orchids (with Sean Reynolds). An essay of his on the 70s tabloid Gay Sunshine will appear in the volume Porn Archives, forthcoming from Duke University Press and co-edited by Tim Dean, David Squires, and Steven Ruszczycky. He is completing an editorial dissertation that will collect the complete poems of John Wieners.
6/19/14
Andrew Dorkin studies 19th, 20th, and 21st century poetry and poetics, with a particular interest in poems that experiment with medium and materiality. This calls for a flexible and diverse set of approaches, including textual criticism and editorial theory, media studies, and visual art history, in addition to philosophy and literary theory. Specifically, past and current projects have focused on material play and humor in Stephen Crane’s The Black Riders and other lines, the textual and editorial history of Emily Dickinson’s poems, archival work on Ed Dorn’s Gunslinger manuscripts, and the philosophy of Michel Serres.
6/19/14
Heather Duncan's interests fall within digital media studies, digital humanities, and science and technology studies. She is specifically interested in literary and media representations of artificial intelligence and the cultural reception of 20th and 21st century technologies. She is currently working on a project with Prof. Alex Reid and Daniel Schweitzer that involves interviewing current digital humanities practitioners about the evolution of the humanities as a discipline, the results of which will be discussed at an MLA roundtable in January and will soon be available online. Heather has also served as EGSA President and is currently a TA mentor.
6/19/14
Sara Eddleman's literary interests include (transnational) Modernism, pornography, and representations of apocalypse; her theoretical models come from queer theory, disability studies, and psychoanalysis. She is working on a dissertation that examines sites and scenes of breaking from American literature (rather broadly conceived, ranging from Flannery O'Connor to Kathy Acker), and posits that such scenes provide a sort of resistance to larger totalizing projects that "make meaning."  Most recently, she presented a paper entitled "Neither Broken Nor Fixed:  Avoiding the 'Tragic' in Contemporary Queer Tragedies" at the Queer Places, Practices & Lives Conference at Ohio State University.
6/19/14
Soma Feldmar's interests lie in the relationship between language and ethics, with a focus on particular poetries and poetics as ethical. Her understanding of ethics and language is based on the work of Levinas, Kristeva, and ontological theories of ethics. Working with these ideas and building her own theory, Feldmar’s dissertation will explore the work of Rosmarie Waldrop, Robin Blaser, and Barbara Guest as poethical. Her first book of poetry, Other, was published in 2009 by CUE Books. She has served as both Treasurer and President of the Graduate Poetics Group, and co-organized a graduate symposium, UB Poetics @ 20.
6/19/14
Kyle Fetter entered the department initially as an MA student and is currently a PhD candidate. While his literary focus is centered upon the Victorian novel and prose in general, and the work of George Eliot and George Henry Lewes in particular, his theoretical interests are rooted in psychoanalysis, dialectics, and the question of literary form. Kyle also works in The Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture and is a longtime member of the Umbr(a) editorial committee, having co-edited the journals 2011 issue, “The Worst.” His dissertation focuses on the conjunction between developing biological theories of organic form in the nineteenth-century and their relation to literary form and authorial style in the Victorian novel, and how these intersections reflect anxieties pervading nineteenth-century developments in scientific, social, and psychological discourses, particularly in relation to questions of self-identity and habit. Recently, Kyle has also had the privilege of attending the 2012 Dickens Universe Conference in Santa Cruz, California.
6/19/14
Nicholas Frangipane is interested in reflexive novels of the long twentieth century and the way they intersect with—and sometimes articulate—narrative theory. He likes novels that question their own ability to know the events they recount, especially when they deal with the limits of literature, language and memory. He is also interested in postmodern theory and film adaptation. Nick has given papers on Ulysses at the 2009 North American James Joyce Symposium and the 2012 Mid-Atlantic American Conference for Irish Studies, and on memory and neuroscience in the work of Alice Munro at the 2013 North East Modern Language Association conference.
6/19/14
Martin Goffeney is a PhD student whose research focuses on speculative/science fiction, psychoanalysis, and materialist philosophy. He is especially interested in the ongoing discourse on speculative realism and object-oriented ontology. Before coming to UB, he earned his BA at Kalamazoo College, and MA at Eastern Michigan University, where he had the opportunity to serve as a first-year writing instructor, and to deliver lectures on posthumanism and psychoanalysis. Recently, he gave a paper at the 2011 M/MMLA Annual Convention entitled “René Meets the Robot: Cartesian Feedback and the Reflexivity of the Posthuman.” He blogs at http://www.conblogeration.wordpress.com.
6/19/14
Eleanor Gold is a PhD student whose research interests center on genre theory, posthumanism, and theories of hybridity in postmodern and contemporary American literature. She is particularly interested in the ways in which contemporary novels engage—explicitly and less so—with their own influences and cultural history. She recently gave a paper at the 2nd International Literary Conference on Don DeLillo entitled "Generic Spaces, Generic Interfaces: Cultural Space, Genre, and Commodification in White Noise," and she is currently working on a paper, co-authored with Dr. Christopher Leise of Whitman College, on Suzan-Lori Parks’s novel Getting Mother’s Body. She writes book reviews for the online magazine Full Stop.
6/19/14
Erin Grogan is interested in the ways that masculine, feminist, and queer readings of a text combine to form a complete gendered reading. Primarily focusing on masculinity theory, she is drawn to edgy, political literature that confronts the line between criticism and social justice. Before coming to UB, Erin majored in English and psychology and minored in gender studies.  Her first publication, a review of James Penner’s Pinks, Pansies, and Punks: The Rhetoric of Masculinity in American Literary Culture, will appear in the Fall 2012 issue of the James Dickey Review.
6/19/14
Sara Gutmann’s primary area of research is Renaissance drama from the early Tudor to the Stuarts, inflected through eco-criticism and the study of sovereignty, politics, and law. Her dissertation, “Borders Maritime in Early Modern Drama and the English Geopolitical Imagination” explores how the littoral zone both literally and metaphorically challenged legal, psychological, epistemological and subjective formations and demanded an improvisational model of action exemplified by theatrical and navigational practice. She has published an essay on her other interests in medieval poetry and critical animal studies titled, "Chaucer's Chicks: Feminism and Falconry in 'The Knight’s Tale,' 'The Squire’s Tale,' and The Parliament of Fowls” in Rethinking Chaucerian Beasts" (Palgrave, Fall 2012).
6/19/14
Joe Hall is interested in how place and social relations mediate one another, the poetics of ritual, and utopian literature. He is the author of two books of poetry: Pigafetta Is My Wife (Black Ocean, 2010) and the forthcoming The Cathedral Tent (Black Ocean, 2013). With Chad Hardy he co-authored The Container Store Vols. I & II (SpringGun, 2012). He regularly reviews fiction for The Colorado Review.
6/19/14
David Hillier is a PhD student drawn to fields that provide a forum for investigating the creation and dynamics of communities, whether they be specific literary groupings or broadly defined public-spheres. Most at home with textual oddities from the twentieth century, David researches transnational modernism, permutations of the avant-garde, and unique narrative/semantic structures. His work often also leads him into the realms of disability studies and critical theory.
6/19/14
Lara Hubel studies late nineteenth and twentieth century American novels, especially those concerning finance, corporate capitalism, fraud, forgery, and falsified identity in the United States. Of particular interest are the ways in which women are (but mostly aren’t) included in both fictional and nonfictional discussions of these subjects. Lara primarily employs Marxist and New Historicist theories and Cultural Studies in her observations of this (fe)male/fraud relationship, which can perhaps best be termed “gendered fakery.” She has served as Secretary of the English Graduate Student Association and (intermittently) writes a blog about fraud at thefakery.blogspot.com.
6/19/14
Adam Katz researches twentieth century and contemporary avant-garde lyric (especially Berkeley Renaissance and Language writing), theory and philosophy, American transcendentalism, and early Buddhism.  His article "Deconstructing Dickinson's Dharma" appears in the special issue of the Emily Dickinson Journal, "Pearls in Eastern Waters."  He has published poetry in Abraham Lincoln, Aufgabe, and elsewhere.  He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.
6/19/14
Shosuke Kinugawa is working in the area of mid 19th to early 20th century American Literature. His dissertation focuses on Mark Twain and the intersection between metaphysical motifs, wordplay, and the detective fiction genre in his writings. His article, "The Ring and the Gaze: Robert Browning’s 'Love Among the Ruins'" was published in the journal The Explicator, which has recently been reprinted in the textbook series Poetry for Students Vol.41 (June 2012). "The Agency of Awareness: Masculine Performance and Authorship in Louisa May Alcott's 'Behind a Mask'" was published in ZAA: A Quarterly of Language, Literature, and Culture 61.4 (2013). An article on the motif of death in F. Scott. Fitzgerald's short stories written during the 1930s is forthcoming in The F. Scott. Fitzgerald Review, Fall 2014. He teaches English Composition. As a Japanese/English bilingual, Shosuke is also interested in literary translation. He is a current recipient of the Fulbright graduate studies scholarship.
6/19/14
Hyeon Jeong Lee’s interests are currently focused on African-American literature, contemporary American literature, and discourses of forgiveness, which will be crystallized in her dissertation project "A Quest for the Fleeting Moments of Racial Forgiveness in William Faulkner and Toni Morrison." In her project, considering the various forms and levels of racial forgiveness that she locates in the two writers’ novels, she claims that while in Faulkner forgiveness develops into something that is desired but, eventually, impossible, in Morrison it is imagined as a necessary part for African-Americans to rebuild their identity and humanity, and a precarious step to establish a new relationship between the two races. Hyeon Jeong is also interested in translating Korean literature into English.
6/19/14
Nick Lindsey is a student in the PhD program interested in exploring American literature through the lenses of postcolonial and critical race theories. Throughout his work, he is always interested in focusing his interrogations on the intersections of artistic form and content. As an undergraduate at CU-Boulder, Lindsey’s BA Thesis, "A 'distinctly communal nature:' Community Building in Erna Brodber’s Myal and Louisiana," investigated questions of historicity, identity, and post/neo-colonial politics. He also presented a paper, "The Male Gaze of Watchmen: Subverting Contemporary Feminism" as part of CU-Boulder’s 2010 Crossdisciplinary Consortium Conference.
6/19/14
Ajitpaul Mangat’s interdisciplinary work sutures the disparate fields of literary modernism, critical theory, disability studies, evolutionary anthropology, and artificial intelligence. In his dissertation, he will prove the Derridean proverb that “the future belongs to the ghosts” by bringing back to life the long-repressed and tarnished specters of Jean-Paul Sartre and György Lukács in order to engage with the so-called realism debate of the 1930s. Another of Ajitpaul’s academic interests is East Indian culture and speculative fiction, co-running, with Professor Walt Hakala, the Foundations in South Asian Studies reading group. His other campus activities include serving as president of the English Graduate Student Association, and on the editorial committees of umbr(a) and theory@buffalo. Ajitpaul is also very active in Buffalo’s mental health community, working at both the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
6/19/14
Rachel McCabe’s area of focus lies within the post-war American literature of World War II and Vietnam, particularly on the preoccupation of post-war writers on issues of gender politics and identity. She is also interested in the application of psychoanalytic theory to this area of literature, particularly the work of Lacan. Rachel has written an undergraduate thesis entitled, “Flannery O’Connor: The Other and Terror in The Complete Stories,” which engages the theories of Lacan and Kristeva with O’Connor’s short fiction.
6/19/14
Jesse Miller studies 20th century literature with particular interest in the ways modernist fiction theorizes about the mind and registers the aesthetic, ethical, phenomenological, and political implications of these theories. These questions of self, sensation, epistemology and embodiment are examined through a variety of lenses including the history of psychology, psychiatry, and technology, physiological aesthetics, and disability studies. Recent papers have focused on the work of Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, and Eudora Welty. Jesse is also a Reviews Editor and contributor at Full Stop (www.full-stop.net).
6/19/14
Amanda Montei is a PhD candidate interested in affective permutations of modernism, feminism, transnationalism, and avant-garde poetics. Primarily focused on (re)conceptions of identity, citizenship, and aesthetic theory, her recent research has involved East African experimental theater, the politics of mourning, representations of forgiveness (and resentment) in post-genocide communities, and revisions of the sublime. Her critical work has appeared in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Performing Ethos: An International Journal of Ethics in Theatre & Performance, and Ms. Magazine. Her poetry has recently appeared in Explosion Proof Magazine, Delirious Hem, PANK, Joyland, and others, and her manuscript The Failure Age was recently named a semifinalist for the Annual Slope Editions Book Prize. Her installation Mzungu, a collaborative erasure project created from testimonies given by young Ugandans, was featured last September at PACT Zollverein in Essen, Germany, and she has presented work on feminist conceptual poetry at MOCA Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, where she instructed a course on 20th Century avant-garde art movements. She has also taught, in varying contexts, in Los Angeles, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
6/19/14
Nicolas Mugavero's interests are in American Modernism, Tragedy and psychoanalysis.  He is currently working on a dissertation, tentatively titled, “The Reemergence of Orpheus: Tragic Spaces in the Modern Novel”, which seeks to rethink the persistence (or lack thereof) of Ancient Tragedy in the Modern literary tradition, specifically as it relates to the question of “space” as a mythopoetic construct.
6/19/14
Dustin Parrott is a PhD student working with advisor and mentor Dr. Tim Dean. Dustin graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he completed a thesis on queer sexual praxis and the ethics of bug-chasing. Here at UB his work is constellated by literary modernism, contemporary queer literature, and queer theory. In particular Dustin is interested in the intersections of sex and death; aesthetics and ethics; theory and praxis in queer life. His paper “Going Down on Modernism: Leavitt, Forster, James and Queer Literary Discretion” was accepted to the 2012 Northeast Modern Language Association conference, and his “Watching Queerness Happen: Straight Dudes, Gay Sex, and ‘Straight Guys for Gay Eyes’ Online Porn” is forthcoming in Porn Archives from Duke University Press.
6/19/14
Marion Quirici works on Irish Literature, Modernism, and Disability Studies. Her disability-themed composition course attempts to bridge the curricular gap between the liberal arts and applied fields by offering a humanities perspective on lived experiences of difference. Marion coordinates the Finnegans Wake reading group and participates in the Modernisms Graduate Group. She has presented her work at conferences in Boston, Buffalo, London, Prague, Vienna, New Orleans, and Montreal, and attended the James Joyce summer schools in Dublin and Trieste. Her reviews appear in the Irish Literary Supplement, the Dublin James Joyce Journal, and the James Joyce Quarterly. Most recently, she contributed a book chapter to a forthcoming collection from Cork University Press, Flann O’Brien: Contesting Legacies.
6/19/14
Justin Ramm enjoys studying thematic entanglements of silence, hesitation, elegy, memory, and the grotesque in literature and visual art. He is particularly interested in the ways that cinema and collage aesthetics inform American poetry of this persuasion, and also curious about parallel motifs in Southern fiction and Greek drama. Tactile work, typography, and creative alternatives to the digital evolution of texts all excite him.
6/19/14
Matthew J. Rigilano is a PhD student interested in 18th century British literature, the novel, psychoanalysis, literary criticism, and contemporary philosophy (particularly speculative realism, transcendental materialism, and Badiou’s materialist dialectic). He is writing a dissertation titled “Prosaic Materiality in British Writing, 1653-1769,” which interrogates the relation of the subject to prose in 17th and 18th century prose fiction. The dissertation argues that enlightenment prose has a profound connection to materiality (and ontology), a connection that is often eclipsed by the still advanced claim that prose is transparent (and thus in the service of epistemology). Matthew is active in the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture and he is co-editor of the 2011 issue of Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious, “The Worst.” Recent conference presentations include a paper on Badiou, McKeon, and the event of the novel at the 2011 NEASECS and another on thermal touch and the drive at the Cornell Psychoanalysis Reading Group 2012 conference.
6/19/14
Martha Sawicki's interests reside within England’s late 16th and 17th Centuries. She is most interested in the blending of history, biography, and texts, as well as authors’ creative relationships with and influence on one another. During her graduate studies, she hopes to continue studying the life and works of Alexander Pope and his cohort.
6/19/14
Jacob Schepers' interests lie in American poetry from 1945 onward and in psychoanalytic criticism. He is pursuing his MA in English and is a member of the Graduate Poetics Group here at Buffalo. A 2012 Calvin College graduate with honors in English, he is a two-time recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Student Poetry Prize and a past presenter at the Conference on Christianity and Literature with his essay entitled “‘Instead of the cave?’: A Charitable Audience for John Berryman’s The Dream Songs.
6/19/14
Samuel Share's work has focused on the cross-disciplinary applicability of psychoanalytic theory. His paper, “The Name of the Mother: John Gardner’s Grendel and Lacanian Theory” was presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at Ithaca College in 2011. His undergraduate thesis, “Beyond Nothing: Exploring Lacanian Psychoanalysis with Zen Buddhism and Mystical Religious Philosophy” won the Wells College Koch Prize for best senior research paper.