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Ph.D. Students

Current Ph.D. Students per Cohort  –  AY 2020-2021

Grace Foster

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M.A. (2017) English - Georgetown University 

B.A. (2013) English - Presbyterian College

Fields of Interest: film & media studies, cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, 19th century public and engaged humanities, and feminist and gender studies.

Grace is the co-founder of Bold Type, a training firm specializing in professional writing skills development. She teaches elite soldiers, corporate and non-profit professionals, and, as an adjunct lecturer, non-traditional college students at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. Her essay “‘An Exquisite Filmic Haze’: The Complicated Politics of Reportedness in Zero Dark Thirty” was published in The Velvet Light Trap in 2018. Her work has also appeared in Cinema Journal and Smithsonian Insider. She has presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, the College English Association, and more. 

 

Nicole Polglaze

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B.A. (2020) English - Grinnell College

Fields of Interest: Early Modern Literature (esp. drama), Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, and Performance Studies.

Nicole (Cole) Polglaze is an incoming first-year Ph.D. student in 2020-2021. Her research interests lie in feminist theories in early modern literature, with a focus on female friendships and bonds.

 

 

Reich, Nick

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M.A. (2017) English - University of Alabama, Birmingham

B.A. (2014) English - University of Alabama, Birmingham

Fields of Interest: Queer Ecology, Rurality, Energy Humanities, Appalachia, Film & Media, Diaspora, and Waste Studies.

Nicholas Reich is entering his first year in Vanderbilt’s English Ph.D. program in 2020-2021. To use queer ecologist Nicole Seymour’s turn of phrase, he considers himself a ‘bad environmentalist.’ Nick’s essay “Bottom Terror in Poe’s ‘William Wilson’” was recently published in the spring 2020 issue of The Edgar Allan Poe Review. This essay melds issues of canonicity, sexual insurgence, affect, and queer time. Nick has presented at a range of conferences, including the Modern Language Association, The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, and The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.

 

Waluvengo, Justine

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M.A. (2019) English, Ball State University

B.A. (2015) Linguistics & Literature - University of Nairobi

Fields of Interest: African/African diaspora literary & cultural studies, African American women novel, and Postcolonial Theory.

Justine Waluvengo will enter her first year in the English Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt in 2020-2021. In 2016, Justine spent a year as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant at Tulane University.

David Brandt

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B.A. (2018) English - University of Vermont

Fields of Interest: 19th-Century American and Transatlantic Literature, Democratic Theory, and Political Liberalism and Its Critics.

 

 

Ethan Calof

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M.A. (2019) Germanic & Slavic Studies - University of Victoria

B.A. (2013) Russian - Dalhousie University

Fields of Interest: Contemporary Jewish Cultural Studies & Literature, Jewish Diasporic Identity, Holocaust Memory Narratives, Cyberculture,  Fanfiction and Other Fan-Generated Texts, and Young Adult Fiction.

In 2020-2021, Ethan will enter his second year at as a Ph.D. student in the English Department at Vanderbilt University. His 2019 Master’s thesis was titled New Men for a New World: Reconstituted Masculinities in Jewish-Russian Literature (1903-1925)

 

Savannah DiGregorio

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M.A. (2019) English - University of Mississippi

B.A. (2015) English - Middle Tennessee State University

Fields of Interest: Environmental Humanities & Ethics, Critical Animal Studies, Critical Race Studies, Critical Plant Studies, Literature & Science, The Global South, Literature of the American South, and 19th- and 20th-Century Literature.

 

Sarah Hagaman

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M.S. (2018) History - University of Oxford

B.A. (2016) English Literature - University of Tennessee

Fields of Interest: 20th Century Literature, Medical Humanities, Autotheory, Postmodernism, Madness Narratives, and Genetic Privacy & Identity.

In 2020-2021, Sarah Hagaman will be a second-year Ph.D. student within the Department of English at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on intersections of medicine and literature; specifically, she analyzes gendered mental health narratives, genetic privacy, and identity in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, as well as autotheoretical texts and female embodiment.

 

Maren Loveland

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B.A. (2019) American Studies - Brigham Young University

Fields of Interest: American Studies (Literature & Film), Environmental Humanities & Ethics, Water Studies, Multispecies Studies, Energy Studies, and 20th- and 21st-Century Studies.

 

 

William McGehee

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B.S. (2011) Theatre Performance - Northern Arizona University

Fields of Interest: American Military Literature, Global Military Literature, Contemporary Conflicts, and American Social Justice Literature.

 

 

 

Erica (Paige) Oliver

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M.A. (2019) English - Sam Houston State University

B.A. (2013) English - University of Texas, Austin

Fields of Interest: Long 18th-Century Literature, Philosophy & Educational Treatises, Women Writers (esp. on Female Education), Intersections of Culture, Gender & Education, Early Feminist Texts, and 18th-Century Philosophical Notion of the Mind.

 

Kelsey Rall

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M.A. (2018) English - University College Cork

B.A. (2017) English - Bryn Mawr College

Fields of Interest: Queer Theory, Victorian Literature, 19th-Century American Literature, and Irish Literature.

Kelsey received her B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College in 2017. She then obtained her MA in Irish Writing and Film from the University College Cork in Ireland. In her undergraduate and MA research, she focused primarily on queer theory and gender and sexuality studies, specifically in the work of Virginia Woolf and late Victorian Anglo-Irish authors. Her current research focuses on the ways in which spinsterhood complicates notions of gender, identity, and time, especially in late Victorian and Modernist novels. 

 

Ben Schwartz

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M.A. (2016) English & Comparative Literature - Columbia University

B.A. (2013) American Studies - Brown University

Fields of Interest: African American Literature, Representations of teaching, humor, and music.

Ben is a former Middle School English teacher who received his BA in American Studies from Brown University and his MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Benjamin's master's thesis explored the use and transcription of ad libs in contemporary hip-hop.

 

Djenanway Se-Gahon

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M.A. (2019) Creative Non-Fiction - California College of the Arts

B.A. (2017) English - Santa Clara University

Fields of Interest: African-American Literature, African Diaspora Studies, Afro-Surrealism, and Black Atlantic Studies.

 

Luke Vines

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B.A. (2019) English - University of Georgia

Fields of Interest: 18th-Century Literature, British Literature, Genre Studies, Epistolary Form and 18th-Century British Culture.

In 2020-2021, Luke Vines will be a second-year Ph.D. student within the English Department at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses broadly on eighteenth-century literature and more specifically on manifestations of class instability within the 18th-century novel. Luke is also interested in literary criticism composed within the long eighteenth century, the suicide note and narrative control, and the epistolary form.

Julianne (Gigi) Adams 

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.St. (2017) English - University of Oxford  
B.A. (2014) English - Columbia University

Fields of Interest: 18th-Century Literature, Women's Literature and Amatory Fiction, Celebrity Culture, Bibliography, Film Studies, and Digital Humanities.

 

Wesley Boyko

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2018) Comparative Literature - UC Berkeley

Fields of Interest: Early Modern Literature (Classical Influences), Intertextual Practices & the Development of Modern Narrative Devices, Psychoanalytic Theory, Structuralism, Phenomenology, and Narratology.

 

Victoria (Tori) Hoover

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2016) English - Kenyon College

Fields of Interest: 20th- and 21st Century American Fiction & New Media, Representations of Race & Gender in a Digital Landscape, Narratology, Media & Mediation and Feminist Theory.

In 2020-2021, Tori Hoover will be a third-year, joint-Ph.D. student in English and Comparative Media Analysis & Practice (CMAP). After obtaining her B.A. from Kenyon College in 2016, Tori worked in digital advertising as a social media specialist, an experience that influenced her interest in digital narratives and processes of online self-creation.

 

Huntley Hughes 

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2018) English - Bucknell University
B.A. (2016) English - Appalachian State University

Fields of Interest: 19th and 20th Century American Literature, Gothic Literature, Literature of the American South, Political Theory (Marxism and the Radical Left), and Literary Theory.

 

 

Joshua Roling

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.S. (2011) Spanish - United States Military Academy, West Point

Fields of Interest: 20th- and 21st-Century Creative Non-Fiction (esp. American, English, and German-life narratives in the First World War), Contemporary war life-narrative, 20th- and 21st-Century American Novel, American Poetry, and African-American Literature.

Joshua Roling is a first-year Ph.D. student within the English Department at Vanderbilt University. His academic interests include American modernism, World War I literature, and contemporary work generated from the Global War on Terror.

Katelyn Sheehan

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2016) English - Bryn Mawr College

Fields of Interest: Early 19th-Century American Literature, Contructions & Narratives of the Experience of Time, Gender, Sexuality & Queer Theories, and Interdisciplinary American Studies.

 

 

Micaiah (Kya) Johnson

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M.A. (2019) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2016) Creative Writing - Rutgers University
B.A. (2013) Creative Writing - UC Riverside

Fields of Interest: Race & Robots in the Long 19th Century

 

 

Marcie Casey 

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2017) English Literature - Auburn University
B.A. (2015) English - Alabama State University

Fields of Interest: Queer speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, New Media Studies, Technoscience and Systems of Oppression, Identity, Embodiment, Body Politics, LGBTQIA Historiography, Temporality, and Futurity.

In 2020-2021, Marcie Casey will be a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate whose interdisciplinary work resides at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality studies and technology. She explores how social constructs are inscribed upon scientific technologies and juxtaposes contemporary technological advances alongside science fiction's renditions of artificial intellgience systems, robotics, and cybernetic organisms.

Cameron Clark

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M.A. (2017) English Literature - Michigan State University
M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2013) English Literature - Maryville College

Fields of Interest: Queer Theory & Global Queer Literatures, Post-45 Global Film History, De/coloniality, Diaspora & Black Studies, and Environmental Humanities.

In 2020-2021, Cameron Clark will be a fourth-year, joint-Ph.D. student in Vanderbilt's Departments of English and Comparative Media Analysis & Practice (CMAP). His article, "Grief, Ecocritical Negativity, and the Queer Anti-Pastoral," was awarded the 2019 Chris Holmlund Society for Cinema and Media Studies Queer Caucus Graduate Student Writing Prize. It was subsequently published in the peer-reviewed journal, New Review of Film and Television Studies. In addition to SCMS, Cameron has presented conference papers at the American Studies Association, the National Women's Studies Association, and the ICI Biennial Symposium on the Environment, the Anthropocene, and the African Diaspora.

Jennifer Gutman

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2011) English - SUNY College at New Paltz
B.A. (2009) English - SUNY College at New Paltz

Fields of Interst: Post-45, Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, Theory of the Novel, Digital and Media Studies, and Environmental Humanities.

In 2020-2021, Jennifer Gutman will be a fourth-year, joint-Ph.D. student in English and Comparative Media Analysis & Practice (CMAP). Her work explores experiments in contemporary fiction and the anglophone novel, especially at their intersection with digital media and the environment. Related research interests include theories of reading and critique, network aesthetics, and the Anthropocene. Jennifer received a 2019-2020 Mellon Graduate Student Fellowship in the Digital Humanities. Her article “Cyborg Storytelling: Virtual Embodiment in Jennifer Egan’s ‘Black Box’” is published in Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction.

Webster Heath

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2016) English Literature - California State University, Northridge

Fields of Interest: Hip-Hop Aesthestics, Diasporic Studies, Black Spectatorship in the Digital Age, and Afrofeminism.

In 2020-2021, Webster will be a fourth-year Ph.D. student within the English Department at Vanderbilt University. In pursuit of a joint-Ph.D. in Comparative Media Analysis and Practice (CMAP), Web also works to create content that incorporates his studies in the digital humanities.

 

Alex Jones

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.Phil. (2017) English Literature - University of Sydney
B.A. (2015) English Literature - University of Sydney

Fields of Interest: 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature, Late Modernism, Periodization, and Transnationalism.

 

Willnide Lindor

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2016) English & Comparative Literature - Queens College

Fields of Interest: Early Modern Poetry and Drama, Protestant Reformation Thought, Tudor-Stuart History, and Postcolonial Studies.

 

 

 

Amanda Wicks

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M.A. (2018) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2014) English - University of Missouri
B.A. (2012) English - Clark Atlanta University

Fields of Interest: 20th and 21st-Century African American Literature and Culture, Black Popular Music Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Black Feminism.

 

Courtney Brown

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M.A. (2017) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2016) English - Rice University

Fields of Interest: 20th- and 21st-Century African-American Literature and Visual Culture, Identity & Interiority, Racial Ambiguity & Notions of Authenticity, Performance & Performativity, and Community, Boundaries & Belonging in the Digital Landscape.

Born in California, raised (mostly) in Texas, and now living in Tennessee, Courtney Brown will be a fifth-year English Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt in 2020-2021. Her research takes on questions of media, genre, and form, on the ways that texts themselves can perform or negate their own content.

 

Lucy Kim

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M.A. (2017) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2013) English Literature - Ewha Womans University
B.A. (2009) International Studies & English Literature - Ewha Womans University

Fields of Interest: 18th- and 19th-Century British Novels, Trajectory of Novelistic Narrative, Intersection of Credit, Fiction, Money & Virtue, Literary Theory, and Political Philosophy.

Danielle Procope Bell

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M.A. (2017) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2016) Comparative Literature - University College London
B.A. (2014) English & Philosophy - University of the Pacific

Fields of Interest: U.S. & Anglo-Carbbian Slave Narratives, 19th- and 20th-Century Black Women's Literature, Postcolonial Theory, and Black Feminist Theory.

In 2020-2021, Danielle Procope Bell will be a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate within the English Department at Vanderbilt University. She has received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt for 2020-2021.

Joseph Jordan

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M.A. (2014) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2011) English - Northwestern University
M.A. (2008) English - University of London
B.A. (2007) English - University of Wolverhampton

Fields of Interest: Postcolonial Theory, British Cultural Studies, Speculative Fiction, Black Intellectual History, Cultural Memory, and Post-Foundational Thought.

Katie Mullins

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M.A. (2016) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2015) English Literature - Wright State University
B.A. (2013) English Literature - Wright State University

Fields of Interest: Long 18th-Century British Literature (1660-1830), Philosophies of Sense Perception & Aesthetics, 18th-Century Visual Experiments (Studies of Blindness & Microscopy), and 18th-Century Representations of Synethesia, Sensory Deprivation & Darkness.

Stephanie Straub

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M.A. (2014) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2011) English - University of Kentucky

 

 

Terrell Taylor

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M.A. (2016) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
M.A. (2013) English - Georgetown University
B.A. (2011) Philosophy - Mary Washington College

 

 

 

 

Nadejda Webb

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M.A. (2016) English Literature - Vanderbilt University
B.A. (2015) English Language & Literature - CUNY Hunter College

Nadejda I. Webb will enter her sixth year with the English Department at Vanderbilt University in 2020-2021. Nadejda is an immigrant mother and scholar. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University, pursuing a joint-Ph.D. in English and Comparative Media Analysis and Practice. Her dissertation focuses on visual media and its role in maintaining the system of white supremacy in the United States.