Writers House Hosts Dinner with EGSA Speaker Regina Martin


On Thursday, March 8, 2018, several English graduate students joined visiting scholar Regina Martin for conversation over a delicious dinner at Washington Place Bistro & Inn. Martin is the 2018 EGSA-invited colloquium speaker.

This dinner discussion was generously funded by Writers House, an initiative to construct a university-wide hub centered on the act of writing in all of its rich permutations. Writers House is also a co-sponsor of Martin’s colloquium. John Orlock, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities, currently serves as the inaugural director of Writers House.

Dr. Martin is Associate Professor of English at Denison University, where she teaches and researches 19th- and 20th-century British literature and literary and cultural theory. Her research interests in British literature have focused primarily on modernism, contemporary literature, economic criticism, and the history and theory of the novel. Her articles on the novels of Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, Charlotte Lennox, Jean Rhys, Samuel Richardson, H. G. Wells, and Edith Wharton have appeared in PMLA, Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literature, and The Eighteenth-Century Novel. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Modernism and Finance Capital: British Literature, 1870-1940,” which interprets British modernism as a historical moment of financial crisis very much like our own. She has also begun work on her next book project, tentatively entitled “Literature and Professional Society,” which is a study of the rise of the professional classes in Britain during the twentieth century and their influence on that century’s literature. Martin earned a B. A. and an M. A. from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. After completing a post-doc at The Georgia Institute of Technology, she joined the English department at Denison in the fall of 2012.

Martin discussed her own academic career and research and shared advice on teaching, writing, tackling the academic job market, and approaching interdisciplinary work. Students enjoyed her and one another’s company in advance of Martin’s colloquium the next day.

“Finance Capital and British Modernism”
Date: Friday, March 9, 2018, 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Location: Clark 206

In the late nineteenth century, the profits in British manufacturing declined and capital flooded into London’s international banking networks. “Finance Capital and British Modernism” examines how the transition to a financialized economy infuses British literature between 1870 and 1940. For example, Virgina Woolf’s The Waves imagines a new form of value resembling the accumulation of value under finance capital, and Joseph Conrad’s imperial novels, Lord Jim, Nostromo, and Victory, bear witness to the rise of the modern corporation, whose development was catalyzed by financialization. “Finance Capital and British Modernism” argues that finance capital is not just a form of capital accumulation that greases the wheels of commodity production but a complex historical process involving the development of new forms of value, class and institutional structures, and the new novelistic poetics of modernism.



English Graduate Students Enjoy “Chili with the Deans”


Doctoral student Raymond Horton, president of the Graduate Council of the Arts and Sciences, joined Dean Cyrus Taylor at the student social.

In celebration of April’s national Graduate Student Appreciation Week, the College of Arts and Sciences recently hosted a lunchtime “Chili with the Deans” event, a casual gathering of CAS students—graduate and undergraduate—and academic deans. It took place on April 6, 2016 in Tomlinson Hall. GSAW recognizes graduate students’ intellectual, teaching and cultural contributions to the Case Western Reserve University community.

Several English graduate students enjoyed the event and appear in the College’s online photo album here.



Jess Slentz, Kristin Kondrlik, Ray Horton, Aaron Perine, Megan Weber, and Liz Elmore mingle.


Announcing the EGSA’s Peer Mentoring Program


by Catherine Forsa

When we founded the English Graduate Student Association in September 2011, we envisioned it as an organization that would help graduate students support other graduate students in the department. Our mission statement emphasizes this goal:

  • To provide sustained support for current and prospective graduate students in the Department of English at CWRU in all aspects of graduate life, including but not limited to coursework, M.A. comprehensive exams, Ph.D. qualifying exams, dissertation writing, professional development, and teaching pedagogy.

With this mission in mind, we identified mentoring—both informal and formal—to be at the center of the organization. And, over the past four years, we have seen an informal support system become more robust. Our graduate student lounge provides a space for informal meetings, and EGSA-sponsored events have helped to facilitate conversations among graduate students.

Last year, the EGSA commissioned a taskforce to provide more shape to these conversations. Officers wanted to explore opportunities to strengthen the peer network at the heart of the graduate program. How could we enrich conversations about research, teaching, and professional development? Volunteers gathered input from our fellow graduate students, talked with faculty members familiar with mentoring practices, researched peer mentoring programs at other universities, and assessed current mentoring opportunities in the program.

After several months of planning, the EGSA launched a pilot peer mentoring program in May 2015. We are pleased to share its successes as we reflect at the end of the first semester.

We envisioned the program as taking a different form than a traditional mentor-mentee relationship. While some mentoring programs typically see one person as an expert, we believe that all participants have expertise to share. We believe that each person in the pairing could offer advice, support, and encouragement. As soon as we announced the program, we had a high level of interest, and that interest continues to grow. We have participants from the master’s program and all years of the doctoral program.

Mentoring takes several forms, but discussions often center around four main areas:

1. Answering practical questions about English graduate studies at CWRU (e.g., help with registering, planned program of study, fellowship courses).

2. Discussing program requirements (e.g., guidance on experiences with preparing for MA/PhD exams, creating teaching portfolios).

3. Discussing professional practices (e.g., identifying, applying, preparing for conferences, thinking about publications/relevant journals, applying for Ph.D. programs).

4. Additional issues of support (e.g., work-life balance, time management).

The program supplements the mentoring we receive in the program from professors, research advisors, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of Composition, teaching mentors, and other resources across the university.

We are pleased to report that this program has provided opportunities for new friendships to develop, as students learn more about each other’s interests and share in each other’s good news. As the program continues, we will work on making it a permanent part of the EGSA.

The EGSA’s 2nd Annual Murder Mystery Gala


Following the success of last year’s inaugural Murder Mystery Gala, the EGSA’s Second Annual Murder Mystery Gala – “Til Death Do Us Part” – was another hit!

The wedding-themed event boasted over 80 attendees (even more than last year!) from all over the CWRU campus and the Cleveland community.

Photos from the event are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128476179@N05/collections/72157648799455558/