Michelle Lyons-McFarland at Daniel Defoe Society Biennial Conference


Ph.D. candidate Michelle Lyons-McFarland presents her paper “Rising Up: Roxana and Social Mobility” at the Daniel Defoe Society Biennial Conference in New Haven, Connecticut, September 7-9 2017.

Image result for defoe societyThe Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Defoe Society is titled “Tolerance and Intolerance in the Age of Defoe.” The conference description from its website states, “In one light, late seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century Britain might be said to have been an age of tolerance: a degree of toleration of religious dissent became the law of the land; and in the world of letters, many authors sought to cultivate a posture of rhetorical moderation and urbane cosmopolitanism. At the same time, of course, the age was marked by bitter factionalism and biting satire. Social and political upheavals created new opportunities for confrontation as well as for incorporation, for hostility as well as for hospitality. Such tensions led writers like John Locke and Daniel Defoe to address questions of tolerance and toleration directly.”


Leah Davydov Featured on “Cringe” Podcast


Dacre Stoker, author and great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker

Earlier this summer, first-year Ph.D. student Leah Davydov appeared as a co-host of the Cringe podcast. Cringe is an interview program that host Marc Van Bulck describes as “something I wanted to do – sit down with people I think are interesting – nerds, artists, and theologians – and ask them the questions that I’ve always wanted to ask but that I rarely hear in other interviews.”

Davydov, who recently completed her M.A. in English literature at Cleveland State University, has research interests at the intersections of medicine and literature, particularly during the late nineteenth century. She is also a vampire scholar, studying the work of Bram Stoker (author of Dracula), as well as other vampire literature and mythology.

The Cringe episode Davydov co-hosts features guest Dacre Stoker, the great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker. According to the podcast’s website, “Dacre has devoted himself to the academic research and preservation of his famous great-grand-uncle’s literary legacy. He joins the podcast to discuss how Bram Stoker’s real life experiences growing up may have inspired some of the terrifying images and story in Dracula.”

Stream or download the full episode, with its discussions of Romanian castles, Vlad the Impaler, and adaptations of Dracula in television, film, and other media, here:


Commencement 2017


Congratulations to the newest English graduates: Jack Rooney and Joey Rooney earned M.A. degrees and Ray Horton, Michael Parker, Jess Slentz, and Jonathan Scott Weedon earned Ph.D.s.

Case Western Reserve University’s Spring Commencement 2017 was held Sunday, May 21 at the Veale Convocation Center.

from left to right: Associate Professor Kurt Koenigsberger, Jack Rooney, Joey Rooney, Associate Professor T. Kenny Fountain, Jess Slentz, Jonathan Scott Weedon, Michael Parker, Ray Horton, Professor/Chair Department of English Christopher Flint, and Associate Professor Kim Emmons.

Read The Daily‘s story about this commencement, featuring an address by iconic civil rights lawyer and university alumnus Fred Gray, here.

The EGSA cheers all our graduates (as well as their loved ones and the faculty and staff who supported them along the way) and wishes them well in their next adventures!

2017 Graduate Awards Ceremony


The 2017 Graduate Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 3 in the Tinkham Veale University Ballroom, and the following awards were celebrated:

Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship:
Kimberly Grogan, first-year M.A.
Megan Weber, third-year Ph.D. Dean’s Fellow

Adrian-Salomon Dissertation Fellowships:
Michael Chiappini, third-year Ph.D. Dean’s Fellow
Megan Weber, third-year Ph.D. Dean’s Fellow
Megan Griffin, fourth-year Ph.D.

The Neil MacIntyre Essay Prize:
Megan Griffin, fourth-year Ph.D.

Timothy Calhoun Prize for Poetry:
Blaire Grassel, first-year M.A.

Graduate Dean’s Instructional Excellence Award:
Ray Horton, fourth-year Ph.D. Dean’s Fellow
Michelle Lyons-McFarland, fifth-year Ph.D.

Photos from the event are forthcoming.

Congratulations, everyone!