Graduate Advanced Projects and Presentations

Eleven English Graduate students will complete their advanced projects this semester. Some of the students who completed projects in fall 2011, as well as some of those working this spring, will share their work on two nights, Thursday, May 3rd and Thursday, May 10th. Both of these presentation celebrations will be held at 6:30pm in Albertus 369 (369 is a large room towards the Science Center side of the 3rd floor of Albertus). All are welcome to attend the presentations!

Presenting on May 3rd: Kaitlin Affrunti, Melissa Archambeault, Tony Carrano, Lisa Christopher, Mary Catherine Owen, Steve Woosley.

Presenting on May 10th: Jonathan Hall, Ashley Healey, Sarah Lahue, Emily LaPointe, Briana St. John.

The following is a list of the students working on advanced projects this semester:

Melissa Archambeault, Literature. “I’m using the Horror/Gothic genre and looking at Lacanian Mirror Theory as a way to interpret the meaning between protagonist and monster in a piece.”

Tony Carrano, Writing. “I’m looking at literary aesthetics and the possibilities opened up by Experimentalist approaches.”

Lisa Christopher, Literature. “My tentative title for my advanced project is “Behind the Social Tapestry: Race and Class in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” I’m writing about the portrayal of race and class in the novel, arguing that race and class are collapsed together, and ultimately signify each other. Lily Bart, the protagonist of The House of Mirth, has trouble interacting with characters of a lower class than her own because she fears the contamination of her own status and bloodline.”

Jonathan Hall, Writing.  “I’m working on a collection of poetry that explores the relationship between people and the places and buildings in which they live.”

Ashley Healey, Literature. “For my advanced project I am focusing on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and 2 Henry VI.  I will be exploring how Shakespeare creates characters that are constantly performing gender in different ways, which demonstrates how there is not one fixed definition of gender.”

Sarah Lahue, Literature. “My advanced project looks at the character of Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron’s screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho as an example of the performativity of gender.”

Emily LaPointe, Literature. “My project, “Captivity in ‘Asian America:’ On Susan Choi’s American Woman,” facilitates a conversation between Asian American discourse and the American Captivity narrative genre via Choi’s novel.”

Meghan McCormick, Literature. “My advanced project is focusing on William Faulkner and the Postbellum South using the text Absalom, Absalom! I am analyzing the character’s storytelling style in comparison to Southern sermons of the Antebellum time, arguing that Faulkner uses traditional sermonic storytelling as a tool to produce a modernist text.”

Mary Catherine Owen, Writing. “My advanced project is a collection of personal essays that explores the nature vs. nurture question of personality.”

Briana St. John, Writing. “My advanced project experiments with the form of fairy tales. I try to break away from some of the more standard formulas used to tell these stories, using present tense instead of past, direct address instead of third-person point-of-view, and using panels to tell the same story from different perspectives. Fairy tales are constantly evolving, being added to and subtracted from as they are passed down, and I try to extend that tradition by shifting the focus of my fairy tales from content to form.”

Steve Woosley, Literature. “My project is entitled “Cutting a Bloody Swathe through History: Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and 16th century Samurai Culture.” I’m looking primarily at the film Throne of Blood and grappling with critics that say the film is nothing more than an adaptation, appropriation or transposition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth into 16th century Japan, arguing instead that if someone looks at the historical context in which the film is set, that person can see that the story of Throne of Blood (and also Macbeth to an extent) is unfolding and has unfolded repeatedly already.”


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