The Saint Rose Theatre Presents Fun Home

This Friday is opening night for the Saint Rose Theatre production of Fun Home. Come out and support the show.

Fun Home, a musical based on a memoir by Alison Bechdel, in which the author explores her own sexuality, coming out to her parents, and her relationship with her father, who is gay.

The show runs October 25 through 27 and November 1 through 3 in the Campus Theatre, 996A Madison Avenue, Albany. “Fun Home is the beautiful coming out story of Alison Bechdel, and how she finally gained the courage to reveal her authentic self as a gay woman. What makes her journey so tragic is that it is juxtaposed with the story of her father, who spent his entire life struggling to keep his homosexuality masked from the outside world,” said Angela Ryan-Ledtke, instructor of acting at Saint Rose. “The story is told through multiple versions of Alison during key times throughout her life, all interwoven and symbolically pushing forward rather than looking back. She pieces together the relationship with her dad to make sense of his suicide. While she climbed a metaphorical mountain to claim her identity and freedom, her father lost grip with his self-made reality, plunging him toward his untimely death.”

Saint Rose students appearing in the production include:
Helen: Aileen Burke, a political science major from Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Medium Alison: Emily Paolicelli, an ASPIRE-English major from Croton-On-Hudson, New York
Bruce: Freddy Quinonez, a music education major from Middletown, New York
Joan: Alma Gonzalez, a music industry major from Chicago, Illinois
Roy/Pete/Mark/Jeremy: John Schwabb, a music performance major from Brooklyn, New York
Alison: Shaunessy Lambert, a music education major from Westfield, Massachusetts
Other members of the cast include:
Small Alison: Olivia Ledtke, a seventh-grade student at The Doane Stuart School
Christian: Teagan Susco, a sixth-grade student at Blue Creek Elementary School
John: Sophia Ledtke, a third-grade student at Abram Lansing Elementary


Ben Railton to Present Visiting Scholar Lecture November 15

This year’s Visiting Scholar Lecture will be held next month when the English Department welcomes Ben Railton, Professor of English and American Studies, Fitchburg State University, who will present a talk entitled “We the People: The 500-Year Battle Over Who Is American.”

Friday, November 15
3:00-4:30 PM
Free and open to the public
Carondelet Symposium
Lally Building, Third Floor
The College of Saint Rose
1009 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
Facebook event page

Ben Railton is Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of American Studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. He writes the daily AmericanStudies public scholarly blog, is a prolific public scholarly Tweeter with more than 38680 followers, and is a frequent contributor to websites such as HuffPost, Talking Points Memo, We’re History, the Washington Post’s Made by History blog, and the Saturday Evening Post, for which he has written a biweekly online column since January 2018. Ben Railton is Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of American Studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Dr. Railton’s most recent book is We the People: The 500-Year Battle Over Who Is American (Rowan & Littlefield 2019).

Alumni News: Tony Geras

Tony Geras (BA English ’11) writes in with an update. After Saint Rose, Tony went on to earn an MA in English from SUNY New Paltz in 2015. 

What are you up to these days? 

I work for New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services. I work in a business office, mostly assisting in human resources administration.

I am also involved in local politics, and am the campaign manager for this year’s Democratic candidate for Montgomery town supervisor.


Do you have any thoughts on your English major, now that you’re out in the real world?

An important skill that English majors learn is interpretation. ‘Reading between the lines’ isn’t just for literature! It may feel like second nature to you, but it is actually a rare and valuable ability. 

And more importantly, learn how to market yourself! You will have plenty to offer to future employers, but you have to know how to put your best foot forward!

Well said, Tony!

Any news to share with the English Department community? Use the Submit News form to share your updates about publications, jobs, fellowships, awards, etc.

Barbara Ungar Reads from New Book at Northshire Books, Open Door, and Book House

Professor of English Barbara Ungar will read from her new new book for three dates this weekend–Thursday, Friday, and Sunday–with poet Michele Battiste. Dubbed the “Two Hungarian Dames Mini-Tour,” the pair will read Thursday at The Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, Friday at Saratoga’s Northshire Books, and Sunday at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany.

Ungar’s new collection, Save our Ship, was selected by Mark Jarman for the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize. It’s just out from Ashland Poetry Press. The collection was inspired by “The Diverse Vices of Women, Alphabetized,” a renaissance alphabet intended to teach women to avoid sensual pleasure, particularly that of speech. In these diverse poems, alphabetized, #MeToo meets Global Weirding, and women do not mind their tongues, or their Ps and Qs.

Joining Ungar will be Michele Battiste, winner of the Louise Bogan Prize for the collection Waiting for the Wreck to Burn.

Thursday, October 10
The Open Door Bookstore
Schenectady, NY

Friday, October 11
Northshire Books
424 Broadway
Saratoga SpringsNY 12866
Facebook event page here

Sunday, October 13
The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza
Albany, NY

National Day On Writing Celebration October 22!

National Day On Writing Celebration October 22!
Come out to the Events & Activities Center for the College’s National Day On Writing celebration!. There will be writing-related games and activities, prizes, and candy. Yes, candy!

Tuesday, October 22
EAC Main Lounge
For more information, contact Kelly Chase, Director of the Writing Center, at chasek [at]

About National Day On Writing
The National Day on Writing®, an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English, is built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration.

You see, people tend to think of writing in terms of pencil-and-paper assignments, but no matter who you are, writing is part of your life. It’s part of how you work, how you learn, how you remember, and how you communicate. It gives voice to who you are and enables you to give voice to the things that matter to you.

For the past eleven years, we’ve seen thousands of people share their responses and engage in activities around the theme of #WhyIWrite. Their collective voices are raising the volume on this issue. Now in our 11th year of the celebration, we look forward to our best National Day on Writing yet!

Photos from “Meet the Majors” Event

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Photos from the “Meet the Majors” event on campus today, where English faculty and students met up, talked about classes and books. And, perhaps most importantly, we ate cookies.

This continues our (young) tradition of hosting a meet-up with our new majors enrolled in English 112. As Professor David Morrow says, “it’s a good way to make first-year students feel part of the English major community early in their first semester.”

Faculty Works in Progress on October 16: Rone Shavers and Daniel Nester

The English Department Faculty Works in Progress afternoon talks continue this year, and kicks off Wednesday, October 16 with Rone Shavers and Daniel Nester. The talks begin at 2:40pm in Albertus Hall, Room 305.

Rone Shavers, Associate Professor of English, will read from “Crônicas and other creative works.” Daniel Nester, Associate Professor of English, will present “Recently published and forthcoming flash nonfictions.”

Bring a lunch! Have some snacks! Q&A follows. For more info, email nesterd at

And mark your your calendars for our November Faculty Works in Progress afternoon talk, when Barbara Ungar, Professor of English, will present “Poems from Save Our Ship,” and Eurie Dahn and Brian Sweeney, both Associate Professors of English, will co-present their talk on “Hidden Selves: Mesmerism, Race, and Of One Blood.” That talk will take place Wednesday, November 13, in Albertus 305, 2:40pm.