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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Graduate Students in British and Post-Colonial Literature

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Sohini Banerjee

Sohini Banerjee received her M.A. in English Literature from Jadavpur University, India. She is currently in the first year of the PhD program, finishing coursework towards her degree. Her research interests include 20th century British literature, modernism and modernity, contemporary world literature, the Novel, feminist, narrative and transnational theory.

Contact Sohini Banerjee

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Rachael Dworsky

Rachael Dworsky received her BA and MA from Sonoma State University. She is currently working on her PhD in English (literature) with a focus on American and British modernism. Her research interests include: modernism, visual culture, philosophies of perception, and war. The title of her dissertation is "Seeing Blindness: The Visual and the Great War in Literary Modernism."

Contact Rachael Dworsky

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Andrew Fox

Andrew Fox received a BA in English and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin, and an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. He is currently at work on a dissertation focusing on the twentieth century Irish short story. Other research interests include postcolonial and narrative theories, modernism and empire studies. Forthcoming articles include: “Transnational Displacement: ‘Native American Material’ in Paul Muldoon’s New Weather” in New Hibernia Review, and “Samuel Beckett: The Last Naturalist” in Writing from the Margins: the Aesthetics of Disruption in the Irish Short Story, Ed. Catriona Ryan. Andrew presents regularly at the American Conference for Irish Studies, and has published fiction in the Dublin Review, Prairie Schooner and the Massachusetts Review. His first play won the 2012 RTE PJ O’Connor Award for radio drama.

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Annaliese Hoehling

Annaliese Hoehling holds a BA in English (Henderson State University), MA in English Literature, and MFA in Literary Translation (University of Arkansas).  After receiving her MFA, Annaliese worked for several years in the nonprofit sector before returning to pursue her PhD, with a focus on British Modernisms and fin de siècle fiction, in the fall of 2013.  Her interests include narrative and feminist theory; transnational inquiries and readings; cosmopolitan/metropolitan modernity; and textual facilitation of encounter.  Currently teaching freshman composition in the Writing Program at UMass, she has previously taught Basic Writing, Advanced Composition, and World Literature. She has served as an officer for the Graduate Students in English at the University of Arkansas, and was co-director of the Arkansas Writers in the Schools (WITS) program from 2003-2005.
“Eucalyptus, Dead and Burning in the Sun” by Patricia Suárez, Translated from the Spanish.  AGNI Online 2004.
“Arugula” by Patricia Suárez, Translated from the Spanish. New Orleans Review May 2004.
“An Encounter on a Train” by Patricia Suárez, Translated from the Spanish. The Literary Review Winter 2004.

Contact Annaliese Hoehling

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Nirmala Iswari

Nirmala Iswari received her BA (2007) and MA (2009) in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai, India. She is currently in the PhD program at UMass Amherst. She is still working on defining a focus for her dissertation in which, broadly put, she will be situating some early twentieth century African-American texts in a transnational context where ideas about blackness and democracy circulated, reading them as a body of political thought.

Her broader interests include approaches to reading American literature in transnational contexts, postcolonial approaches to reading literature, with particular attention to the literatures of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora (primarily those written in English), and intersections between (creative / non-theoretical) literature and political theory (particularly those with special attention to democracy in global contexts).

Contact Nirmala Iswari

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Joy Hayward-Jansen

Joy Hayward-Jansen is a third-year MA/PhD student who received her BA in English at University of Tennessee Chattanooga and her Masters in Teaching Secondary English at Western Carolina University. Her research interests are in the intersections of queer and postcolonial studies, postmodern and postcolonial narrative form, transnational feminism, and South African literature.


"Ibn Fadlan: Crossing Over and the Nature of the Boundary." American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting. New York University, NY. March 2014.

“ ‘where bodies are their own signs’: Censorship, Narrative, and the Body in J.M.Coetzee’s Disgrace.” Imagined Others, Invented Voices. American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting. University of Toronto, Canada. April 2013.

"Constructing the Postmodern Unconscious: ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Tuesday’s Women.’” Comparative Literature: Non-Western. Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Meeting. Boulder, Colorado. October 2012.
"A Critical Reading of Foe: Towards A Politics of Resistance.“ J.M. Coetzee's Crisis of Representation. British Commonwealth & Postcolonial Studies Conference. Savannah, Georgia. February 2010.

Contact Joy Hayward-Jansen

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Amy Lanham

Amy is a PhD student in the English Department. Recently, she spent a year in the School of Education earning her Secondary Education License as well. Her research interests include trauma and memorial sites in WWI, writing under the influence of alcohol and opium in Victorian Literature, and social justice in education.

Contact Amy Lanham

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Rohit Lanez-Sharma

Rohit Lanez-Sharma received his BA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, City Universities of New York and completed his MA in English, with a concentration in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, at Fordham University.  He is currently working on his PhD in English Literature with a focus on British literature of the long eighteenth century.   His current research interests include eighteenth-century British women writers, materialism and consumer culture of eighteenth century Britain, satire, and the colonial literature. 

Contact Rohit Lanez-Sharma

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Kate Perillo

Kate Perillo received her BA in Studio Art (minor in English) from Clark University in 2009. In 2010, Kate then earned her MAT from Clark University’s Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education. She is currently working on her MA/PhD in English at UMass-Amherst, where her research interests include twentieth century literature and transnational/postcolonial studies. Side interests also include speculative fiction and intersections between science and literary studies. She is active in the English Graduate Organization and serves as co-chair of EGO’s 2014 interdisciplinary graduate conference, “Close Encounters: Remapping Discipline through Genre.”

Contact Kate Perillo

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Neelofer Qadir

Neelofer Qadir received her BA in English and Film & Screen Studies from Pace University (NYC) and her MA in English from UMass Amherst. Her research and teaching interests are situated at the intersection of empire studies, postcolonial studies, and transnational studies of the Indian Ocean. In particular, her current work combines inter- and multi-disciplinary theoretical models, history, fiction, and film to explore migrancy and labor within contemporary capitalist formations. Neelofer has taught College Writing--a required writing course for first year students--and served as TA for English department courses. In addition, she has co-designed and co-taught a writing workshop, "Writing as Social Action"--selected through a juried process. In Spring 2014, she is teaching "Roots and Routes: World Literature(s) in English," a course that draws from her current project on migrancy and labor. Neelofer is a graduate student representative to the Academic Honesty Board at UMass Amherst and a Board Member of the Society of Fellows at Dyson College (Pace University). Previously, she has served as co-chair of the  interdisciplinary graduate conference, "Citizenship and Its Discontents: Belonging in a Global World" (2013); was a representative to the graduate studies committee (2012-13); and co-chaired the English Graduate Organization (2010 - 2012). .

"’Where Shall We Go?’ Martin Delany’s Search for a Black Nation." Memoria Historica, Identidad, Resistencias y Practicas Culturales en El Caribe. Casa del Caribe’s Festival del Caribe Annual Conference. Santiago de Cuba. Panelist. July 2012.

“Performing Knowledges, Narratives, and Poetics: The Body in Response.” Forces at Play: Bodies, Power, and Spaces. University of Massachusetts Annual Interdisciplinary English Graduate Conference. Chair. March 2012.

“Convergence in the Classroom: Exploring New Media Composition.” Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Meeting. St. Louis, MO. Workshop co-organizer. March 2012.

“The Specter of Citizenship: Gender, Labor, and Migration in Nadine Gordimer’s The Pickup.” Transnational Literatures, Gender, and State Power. Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Meeting. Rochester, NY. Roundtable participant. March 2012.

“Movement and Gesture in Dance and Literature.” Caught in the Act: Performance and Performativity. University of Massachusetts Annual  Interdisciplinary English Graduate Conference. Chair. April 2010

Contact Neelofer Qadir

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Amanda Waugh

Amanda Waugh received her BA in English and Philsophy from Dickinson College and completed her MA in English at UMass Amherst. She is currently working on her PhD in English literature, focusing on twentieth-century and contemporary postcolonial literature. Her research interests include postcolonial literary theory, narrative form, and the relationship of time and history in the narrativization of independence in postcolonial fiction. Her article "'Willing Liberates': Nietzschean Heroism in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions" was published in Pacific Coast Philology. Amanda has presented papers at conferences for the Modern Language Association (2014), the International Conference on Narrative (2014), the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference (2013), the Northeast Modern Language Association (2012, 2013), and the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (2010).

"Reconciliation Revised: Narrative Closure, Truth, and Trauma in Nuruddin Farah's Maps." Conflict, Resolution, Narrative. Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. March 2013.

"Revising the Narrative of Failure: Reconsidering State Failure in Nuruddin Farah's Knots." British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Assocation Conference. Constructing and Deconstructing the State. British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. Savannah, Georgia. February 2012.

"Colonial Contagions: Labor, Sickness, and Scars in Charlotte Yonge's The Clever Woman of the Family." Literature's Sick Bodies. Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference. Rochester, NY. March 2012.

"Cosmopolitan Commitments: Beyond the 'Nation' and the 'Meantime' in Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup." Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism (April 2011).

"'Willing Liberates': Nietzschean Heroism in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions." Pacific Coast Philology (2011).

Special Mention: Postgraduate Essay Prize, Postcolonial Studies Association. 2013.
Special Mention: Postgraduate Essay Prize, Postcolonial Studies Association. 2011.
John Hicks Prize for best UMass graduate essay on any literary subject excepting the Renaissance. 2011.
Charles Peters Prize for best UMass Graduate Essay in Renaissance Studies. 2012.

Contact Amanda Waugh

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Heather Wayne

Heather Wayne received her BA in English and Art from Furman University and completed her MA in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies at the University of Central Florida. She is currently working on her PhD in Literature with a focus on nineteenth-century American fiction. Her current research interests include transnational approaches to American literature, studies of commodity chains and "thing theory," and intersections between the literary and visual arts. Heather has presented at the Conference for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, the British Women Writers Conference, and the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference.

“Citizens of a Cotton and Cochineal Nation: Global Commodities in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s The Story of Avis.” Women and Economic Discourse. Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference. Denver, Colorado. October 2012.

LeeAnne Smith White Prize for best UMass graduate essay in American Studies. 2013.

Contact Heather Wayne