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Conference Acceptances

Congratulations to…


Cara (MacNeil) Donoghue has been accepted to present her work at the Shakespeare and Our Times conference at Old Dominion University, to be held April 14-16, 2016. Her paper “The Sad Story of Poorly Performing Kings: Gender Fluidity and Power in Richard II” is a section of her MA Thesis written under the guidance of Dr. Jo Carney that explores a new interpretation of feminist Marxism using Althusser’s conception of society and Judith Butler’s conception of performative gender to posit that kings who do not perform “gender fluid” roles inevitably fail and are deposed. Congratulations, Cara!

Congratulations to Aisha Jabbar! Her paper entitled “Veiled Woman as Human Panopticon,” written in the Feminist Theory class, has been accepted as a poster presentation at the 2015 NJCA Divisions with Vision Conference: Unifying and Strengthening the Profession, a counseling conference united by the theme of “Girls to Women: A Multicultural Celebration: Honoring Women’s Sacred Journey Through a Multicultural Lens,” to be held on October 23rd at the Mercer County Conference Center. The conference is aimed at exposing counselors and future counselors to new material, insights, and perspectives, something that the author hopes her paper and work will accomplish through the theories of Michel Foucault and Edward Said. Aisha’s presentation focuses on how the veiled woman may not be aware of the power she has, and it is a counselor’s responsibility to help the veiled woman to see this power so she can more comfortably live her life. The problem roots into the mind of the westerner, who searches for answers hidden behind the veil, and blames his failure on the “deceptive” nature of the common veil. Her veil is her shield against the Western gaze, and her unassigned power subconsciously leads others to resent her.

Ryan Gerber and Lauren Makrancy presented their papers at the Vagantes Medieval Graduate Student Conference February 19-21, 2015 at the University of Florida. Ryan’s paper “Chaucer’s Fabliaux and Social Impossibility in The Canterbury Tales”  presented as a part of the panel entitled, “Literature and Society in the Late Middle Ages.” His paper discusses the integral literary form of French fabilaux plays in the production and negation of politically subversive spaces in The Canterbury Tales, seeing how this may affect the overall reception of the work. Lauren presented her paper, “The Power of the Female ‘Elsewhere’: Christine de Pizan and The Book of the City of Ladies” on a panel entitled “Beyond Herstory: Dynamic Women.” She explores the work through the theoretical lens of paradoxical space in order to demonstrate how progressive and aggressive the author is as a medieval female writer resisting the power of masculinist hierarchy.


Erika Schultes presented at the 11th annual Université de Montréal English graduate conference, “The Economies of Future Past: Redefining the Space(s) of (Post)Memory,” in March 2014. Erika’s accepted work is entitled “‘The Person Who is Always in Between:’ Ruth Behar’s Longing for Memory in Evocative Autoethnography.” In this paper, Erika describes how Behar uses her unique position as a subject on the margin between insider and outsider in order to maintain the legitimacy of her research method and her portrayal of the Jewish Cubans she encounters, and, while maintaining a focus on the people she interviews, this allows Behar to write a reflection of her self.

Congratulations to Cara MacNeil! She presented her paper, “The Rape of Demetrius: Domestic Domination and the Victory of the Female Gaze in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’”, at the “Making Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Culture” conference at UNC Chapel Hill in April 2014. Her work challenges the “happy” ending of Shakespeare’s comedy, suggesting instead that Helena actually rapes Demetrius with the aid of the love potion. By applying a modified version of Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze, Cara goes on to explore gender roles and to weigh the implications of the shocking realization that a woman’s “bad behavior” goes unpunished in Shakespeare’s seemingly male dominated world.


Melanie Frances presented her research at a conference in early October at Notre Dame University. The conference, sponsored by The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, was on the theme of “The Postnatural.” Melanie’s presentation was about an essay and short film she composed during work in a class taught by Professor Holly Haynes during the fall of 2012 — “Spectacle, Desire, and The Body.”  The essay, “Reclaiming Desire’, combines theories focused on in Dr. Haynes’ class as well as research completed during an independent study with Professor Michele Tarter during the fall of 2011 in which she archived the personal scrapbooks of a famous witch from the 20th century. We share her excitement over this culmination of several years of work in the English MA program.

Chris Hornyak presented with the “Video Games and Virtual Encounters” panel at the Dis(junctions) Conference. The conference was held at the University of California Riverside from April 5th to 6th. Chris presented his paper, “Reaching for the Moon: Agency, Linearity, and Gender within Portal 2,” which focuses on how video games can be used to allow a player to inhabit and empathize with a character that does not share their same level of privilege or agency.

Nicole Magno’s critical paper, “Embodying Sex and Differance in Postmodern Fairytales” was accepted into the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference and won 2nd place in the Other: Critical Essay category. She wrote her paper for Dr. Carney’s graduate course on Postmodern Fairytales and presented it in Portland, Oregon from March 20th-23, 2013.

Furthermore, Nicole Magno presented with the Thornton Wilder Society at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston from May 23-26, 2013. The title of her paper is “Carnivalesque Havoc and Gendered Stages in Wilder’s The Matchmaker and The Eighth Day.”

Lindsay D. Rogers also presented with the Thornton Wilder Society at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston. The title of her paper is “Contesting Heteronormativity and Constructing the Essential Woman in Wilder’s Three Plays.”

Courtney Polidori presented at the Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society Roundtable at the American Literature Association conference in Boston from May 23-26, 2013. The title of her presentation is “It Becomes Bars!: Teaching Charlotte Perkins Gilman in a Women’s Maximum-Security Prison” and is based off her work co-teaching a memoir-writing class this semester at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, NJ.

In addition, Courtney Polidori chaired a panel at the South Atlantic MLA convention in Atlanta, GA from November 8-10, 2013. She titled this year’s panel “Rhetoric of the Wisewoman and the Madwoman: Perspectives on Confined Women Throughout History.”


Melanie Frances was invited by the South Atlantic Modern language Association conference in Durham, NC on November 9, 2012, to present her work, Doreen Valiente: Forklore and Faminism, at a second session. The paper was presented during conference’s session entitled Intersections of Text, Image, and Research.

Melanie Frances shared her paper, “Doreen Valiente: Folklore and Feminism,” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference in Durham, NC on November 9, 2012. The paper was presented during the conference’s session on Women in Film and Media.

Melanie Frances’ paper, “Doreen Valiente’s Scrapbooks: Folklore and Feminism,” was accepted for presentation at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature conference in Portland, Oregon May 11-13, 2012. Melanie wrote this paper based on her independent study work with The Museum of Witchcraft (Boscastle, England) and under the mentorship of Dr. Michele Tarter.

The AAR/SBL Conference is an academic gathering that looks at the role of women in ancient religion and explores cross-disciplinary intersections between religious ideas and the constructions of gender and sexuality.

Courtney Polidori presented her paper, “Ecofeminists in Solidarity: Gioconda Belli’s Literary Vision of Reconciliation,” at the NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association) conference in Rochester, NY, March 15-18. She wrote this paper for Dr. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle‘s Latin American Literature as History seminar.

Courtney Polidori presented her ecocritical interpretation of Christina Rossetti’s1862 poem “Goblin Market” on the Victorian Conviviality panel at the SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Language Association) convention November 9 – 11 in Durham, North Carolina. The title of her project is ‘Twilight is Not Good for Maidens’: Decadence, Debauchery and the Grotesque in Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.” Her presentation was based on a paper she wrote for Dr. McCauley’s graduate class called 19th Century Green.