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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Graduate Students in American Literature

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Alejandro Garrido

Alejandro is astudent in the M.A./Ph.D. Program and a recent alumnus of The University of North Texas, where I double majored in English (with a focus in Literature) and Social Sciences with a minor in Chinese. As a McNair Scholar, he has conducted research on the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, focusing on an interpretation of the exoteric/esoteric levels of meaning that link the author’s prefaces to his romances. Alejandro presented this research project at several different conferences and is interested in continuing to work on this project, but also considers himself open to taking up new projects in the general area of American Literature that engages with politics and citizenship.

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Chris Hennessy

Chris is studying post-World War II gay poets, Gay Liberation poets, contemporary gay poets, and queer poetics. I hope to begin my dissertation soon. He is the author of the debut collection of poems, Love-In-Idleness (Brooklyn Arts Press), which was a finalist for this year’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. He has also published Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets (University of Michigan Press).Chris holds an MFA from Emerson College and am a longtime associate editor for The Gay & Lesbian Review-Worldwide. My poems, reviews, and interviews have been published widely.

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Carly Houston Overfelt

Carly is a PhD student working with representations of dialect and so-called "non-standard" speech in American literature, especially in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century texts. She received her MA in English and MA in Linguistics from Purdue University.

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Ruth A. H. Lahti

Ruth A.H. Lahti is a graduate fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation, “Transnational Gestures: Rethinking Trauma in US War Fiction,” remaps the ethics of American war writing through a focus on characters’ bodily gestures as they evince the transnational dimensions of war. Her research interests include American war fiction, transnational fiction and theory, feminist theories of embodiment, and trauma theory. At UMass Amherst, she teaches classes on American literature and culture, the modern novel, and gender and sexuality in global literature. Her articles have appeared in The Journal of Transnational American Studies and Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa.

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Christine Maksimowicz

Christine is a Ph.D. candidate in English specializing in 20th- and 21st-century North American literature. She is a recent recipient of the Joseph L. Boscov Fellowship. Her work is situated at the intersection of gender studies, trauma theory, psychoanalytic theory, and the critical analysis of social class. Christine is presently completing her dissertation, "Who Do You Think You Are?": Recovering the Self in the Working Class Escape Narrative, a project that explores how classed injury is embodied in and psychically negotiated through narrative. Her research seeks to widen conceptions of what constitutes trauma, identifying embedded trauma and social suffering within ordinary classed relations rather than as occurring exclusively within a space of exception.

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Kate Marantz

Kate Marantz received her BA in English from Skidmore College and completed her MA in English at UMass Amherst. She is currently working on her PhD in American Literature with a focus on twentieth century women's fiction. Her research interests include feminist theory and history, theories of space and the body, and the politics of movement. Kate has presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference and the UMass English Graduate Conference. Kate is also pursuing the Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies through the Women Gender Sexuality Studies department at UMass.

“‘The Meaning of the World’: Proportion, Space, and Global Awareness in Mrs. Dalloway.” World Literature/Global Empathy Panel. Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference. Rochester, NY. March 2012.

“Truth, Trump, and Trick: Racial Appearances, Identities, and Realities in Pudd’nhead Wilson.” Forming and Performing American Identities Panel, UMass English and Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, Amherst, MA, April 2011.

"The Work of Ambiguity: Writerly and Readerly Labor in Carol Shields' The Stone Diaries." Forthcoming in Narrative, Autumn 2014.

John Hicks Prize for best graduate essay on a literary subject exclusive of Shakespeare 2012.

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Anna Waltman

Anna Waltman received her BA in English Literature and Political Science from Goucher College in 2008, and her MA in English and American Literature from UMass Amherst in 2012. She studies American political poetry from 1900-present, and has recently begun to focus her research on the long 1970s through the early aughts. Her academic interests include contemporary Marxist critical methods (especially surplus value theory and queer, postcolonial, and feminist interventions), US labor history, cultural and economic geography, and the evolving role of academia and the MFA in constructing poetic norms and trends. Anna currently serves as co-chair of the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW2322) and was recently invited to join the American Association of University Professors Subcommittee on Professional and Graduate Studies.

"Looking for a New New Jersey: Tracing the Commodification of New Jersey's Working-Class Consciousness from Springsteen to Snooki." Ideal-ic Roots: Dreams, Discontents, and Consciousness. Citizenship and its Discontents: Belonging in a Global World/UMass Amherst English Graduate Organization. March 2013.

---. English Graduate Organization Colloquium. November 2013.

"Building Vibrant On-Campus Coalitions as a New Co-Chair." Coalition Building. Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions Annual Conference/University of Iowa Coalition to Organize Graduate Students. August 2013.

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