Literature Graduate Student Profiles

Sarah Afzal

Sarah Afzal is a PhD student in Literature focusing on Postcolonial literature and Gender Studies. She is particularly interested in exploring the marginalized, othered, and socially and politically repressed voices and identities in postcolonial societies and the shift from grand narratives to individual voices. Sarah has an MA in Literature from Florida State University and a Bachelors in Humanities from Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan. She currently teaches composition and literature courses in the English department.

Desire Ameigh

Desire Ameigh is a second-year MA student who is primarily interested in modern and contemporary American literature. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in Psychology from Florida State University. Currently, she teaches composition courses in the English department.

Kimberly Tate Anderson

Kimberly Tate Anderson is a PhD candidate who specializes in Medieval literature with a minor concentration on manuscript studies and early print culture. Her special research interests lie in Middle English Romance and cultural shifts post-Norman Conquest. She has presented papers at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Southeastern Medieval Association, and Medieval Association of the Midwest. She serves as an assistant editor for the Spring 2016 issues of Hortulus: the Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies.

Heather Bailey

Heather Bailey is a PhD candidate in Literature who focuses on early modern literature. She holds a BA in Political Science from SUNY Oneonta and an MA in Renaissance Literature from the University of York in the United Kingdom. Her specific areas of interest include medicine and classical reception. She teaches composition and literature courses in the English department.

Anna Bighta

Anna Bighta is a PhD student in Literature. She studies Romantic and Victorian literature and is part of the History of Text Technologies program. She received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Georgia in Athens. Her interests are book illustration, realisms, and the development of the 19th century British novel.

Emily Childers

Emily Childers is an MA student in Literature with special interest in postcolonial and feminist literature. She earned her BA in English literature from Florida State with a minor in psychology.

Ashley Christensen

Ashley Christensen is a PhD student specializing in 20th century British Literature with an emphasis in Contemporary Literature. Her research interests include adaptation theory, popular culture, and current female authors, such as Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Pat Barker, and Geraldine Brooks. She received her BA in English with a minor in Psychology in 2012 at Northern Arizona University, followed by her MA, with distinction, in Literature in 2015, also at Northern Arizona University. She was the vice-president of the Graduate English Organization at NAU and presented various papers titled "Isolation and Censorship in Pat Barker's Regeneration" and "Testimonies of Sexual Violence in Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things and Laura Gray-Rosendale's College Girl" at the Peaks Interdisciplinary Conference in 2014 and 2015. She recently presented "Adapting Jane Austen: Through a (Post) Traditional Lens" at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia.

Taylor Clement

Taylor Clement is a doctoral candidate in Renaissance literature and History of Text Technologies. She is a recipient of a 2017-2018 ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her dissertation project "Visualizing Verse in Early Modern England." Her article, "Moveable Types: The De-Individuated Portrait in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," was published in Renaissance Studies in June 2017.

Amber Cresgy

Amber Cresgy is a PhD student in African American Literature and Cultural Studies. Her research interests include slave narratives and neo-slave narratives, black speculative fiction, whiteness studies, and pop culture studies. Most recently, she has presented her work at the National Association of African American Studies and the Southern American Studies Association. She received her MA in English from FSU.

Philip Grech

Philip Grech is a PhD student specializing in American literature and culture before 1900. His research interests include politics, revolutions, insurgencies, philosophy, social sciences, affect theory, and crowd theory. His article, “The Science of Psychopathy and Poe’s ‘The Man of the Crowd,’” is forthcoming in The Edgar Allan Poe Review. He has presented papers at the Northeast Modern Language Association and others. He teaches composition and American Literature courses. Philip has an MA in English from Florida State University and a BA in English and philosophy from Flagler College (St. Augustine, FL).

Antonio Hamilton

Antonio Hamilton is a first-year Master’s student with a literature focus. His main area of interest is medievalism, with interests also in ancient literature and the study of comic books/graphic novels. Specifically, he is drawn towards Chaucerian texts and wishes to study the Beowulf Manuscript further. He has presented at the Comic Arts Conference (2015) attached to the San Diego International Comic Arts Convention and the Pacific Rim Conference of English Studies (2017). Antonio received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Spring 2017, and received the English Department’s award for Outstanding English Major.

Christopher Jensen

Christopher Jensen is a PhD candidate in medieval literature with research interests in text reception, adaptation, and the construction of national and personal identities through narrative tradition. He has presented research on Boethius, Margery Kempe, and the Arthurian legend--among other subjects--at numerous international conferences and has forthcoming publications on performative subjectivities and C. S. Lewis's rendering of Merlin. He lives in Tallahassee, FL with his cats, Arthur and Margery.

Madeleine Kahl

Madeleine Kahl is an MA student in Literature specializing in experimental fiction and queer studies. Her research interests include feminist and queer theory, silenced voices, and various dialects. Maddie received her BA from Florida State University, with a double major in Women's Studies and English Literature.

Heejin Kim

Heejin Kim is a PhD student in English literature focusing in early modern plays. He received his BA and MA in English Literature from Seoul National University.

Molly Marotta

Molly Marotta is a PhD student in Literature with a focus on Restoration and 18th century British literature. Her research interests include gender studies, travel narratives, and all things gross. She received her MA in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College. Most recently, her work has been featured at the SEASECS and SCSECS conferences. Her work is forthcoming in gender forum and 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era.

Margaret S. Mauk

Margaret S. Mauk is a third-year PhD specializing in 20th-century transatlantic literature and modernism. Her work has been featured in publications such as Mythlore, Marginalia, and The Modernist Review. Her research interests include motherhood, violence/eugenics, and political identity formation. Her work has been presented at Feminisms and Rhetorics, the North American James Joyce Conference, and the University of Portsmouth. She is a recipient of the May Alexander Ryburn fellowship. Margaret received her MA in English from the College of Charleston and The Citadel after earning her BA in English and Communication + Media Studies from Fordham University.

Emilie Mears

Emilie Mears is a third-year PhD in twentieth-century American literary and cultural studies with a concentration in Environmental literature/studies. Her research interests include natural/artificial environments, class boundaries of natural disaster, and landscapes of trauma. She has work published in Confluence. She has most recently presented Ecocritical work at PAMLA (2016), SAMLA (2016), SASA (2017), and ASLE (Association for Studies in Literature and Environment 2017). Her work has also been featured at the 2014 Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Program Conference and the 2015 Summer Institute of American Philosophy Conference. She is a recipient of the May Alexander Ryburn Fellowship at Florida State University. She graduated with her BA in Humanities and MLS in Liberal Studies from Rollins College.

Hannah Menendez

Hannah Menendez is an MA student in literature. Her interests lie in postcolonial and transnational literature, specifically the contribution of migrant and refugee narratives to multiculturalism. She graduated with a BA in English from the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Danielle Mercier

Danielle Mercier is an MA student in nineteenth-century American literature. Her research focuses on women's literacy along with their participation both within the private sphere and the public sphere. In addition, she focuses on the issues surrounding the segregation narrative and the portrayal of mixed-race characters in literature. She is presenting a paper at the 2016 SAMLA Conference. She has a BA in History from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Chris Michaels

Chris Michaels is a third-year PhD student in post-1900 literature with a focus in modernism and critical theory. He is a recipient of the May Alexander Ryburn Fellowship. In 2014, Chris received the George Harper travel grant to attend the Samuel Beckett Summer School at Trinity College in Dublin. He also attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University in 2016. He is currently at work on co-editing a collection of essays on William S. Burroughs and the archive, and has worked extensively on the FSU Burroughs digital archive. He recently presented some of this work with a team at the Modernist Studies Association conference at Pasadena in 2016.

Rita Mookerjee

Rita Mookerjee is a PhD candidate specializing in contemporary literature of the Caribbean with a focus on gender and food studies. Her current research deals with the fiction of Edwidge Danticat and Shani Mootoo. She received the 2017-2018 Edward F. and Marie C. Kingsbury Award and the May Alexander Ryburn Fellowship in 2015. Her recent critical work has been featured in the Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, the Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory, the Routledge Companion to Food and Literature, and Palaver Journal.

Patrick Osborne

Patrick Osborne is a PhD candidate in post-1900 American literature and cultural studies. He received his BA in English from the University of Georgia and earned his MA at Georgia State University. Much of his current scholarship examines representations of deviance in contemporary American literature and popular culture. His articles, "Evaluating the Presence of Social Strain in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV," and “Finding Glee in a High School Hell: Social Bonding as Salvation for the Adolescent Pariah” appear in Studies in Popular Culture. His article, “Becoming the One Who Knocks: Innovations as a Response to Social Strains in AMC’s Breaking Bad,” can be found in Popular Culture Review and “Breaking Contract/Keeping Covenant: Rediscovering God’s Grace in George Lillo’s The London Merchant” is available in Literature and Belief. His most recent publications, “Constructing the Antichrist as Superstar: Marilyn Manson and the Mechanics of Eschatological Narrative” and “‘I’m the Bitch that Makes You a Man’: Conditional Love as Female Vengeance in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl,” appear in Persona Studies and Gender Forum.

David Potsubay

David Potsubay is a PhD student in Literature focusing on post-1900 American literature, and more specifically on modernism and postmodernism. Other research interests include Japanese modernist literature, East Asian religion, politics, continental philosophy, post-human studies, and ecocriticism. He has presented papers for the Pennsylvania Association of State System Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Interdisciplinary Association of Philosophy and Religious Studies, the International David Foster Wallace Conference, and the Northeast Modern Language Association, along with several others. He holds a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in English from West Virginia University.

Wayne Reed

Wayne Reed is a PhD student studying the cross-section of literature and politics in the early republic and antebellum periods of the United States. He has presented papers at the Southern American Studies Association and the Charles Brockden Brown Society Conference. He is researching the figure of the demagogue and how it is featured in the cultural imagination in the US during the early republic. He received his MA in Literature from University of New Mexico.

Alex Ruhsenberger

Alex Ruhsenberger is a PhD student studying American literature with an interest in Postmodernism, irony, and digital culture. He completed his MA in literature at Montana State University and his BA at Western Washington University. His latest publication was for the Normal 2016 David Foster Wallace Conference and is titled “Infinite Jest, Postmodernism, and Irony: A Brief Guide to Happiness in Our Contemporary Age.” He teaches composition at FSU and is currently writing the next great American book about existential desire, romance, and living in the twenty-first century.

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is a MA student in Literature specializing in early modern literature and working towards obtaining FSU’s Publishing and Editing Certificate. She earned her BA degree in English Literature and Classic Civilizations from Florida State University and her AA degree from the College of Central Florida.

Rosalyn Stilling

Rosalyn Stilling is a first-year Master's Student. She received her B.A. In English Literature from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Her areas of interest are: 18th and 19th Century Gothic literature, Romanticism, fairy tales/ folklore, gender studies, and modern feminist poetry. She is a 2017 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship recipient (The Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi).

Thomas Tooley

Thomas Tooley is a PhD student in English Literature, specializing in post-1945 transatlantic/transnational fiction. His research interests include modern and contemporary fiction and poetry, gender studies, cinema, and literary/cultural theory. Thomas earned his BFA in film studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and his MA in English literature from the University of Colorado Denver, where he graduated with an emphasis in modernism and gender studies. He is the recipient of the Elliot Butt Loyless doctoral fellowship, the Harmon-Bickley Travel Award, and a tuition bursary from Trinity College Dublin for their annual Samuel Beckett Summer School. Prior to his work at FSU and during his MA, Thomas also worked as a high school English teacher in Arvada, Colorado.

Michael M. Wagoner

Michael M. Wagoner is a PhD student specializing in early modern drama and performance. He is finishing his dissertation "Defining Dramatic and Theatrical Interruptions: Shakespeare, Jonson, and Fletcher," a study of interruptive structures and their affective connecitons to power dynamics. His work has appeared in Shakespeare Bulletin, New Theatre Quarterly, The Journal for Contemporary Drama in English, and the collection Shaping Shakespeare for Performance (Farleigh Dickinson UP, 2015). He completed his MFA and MLitt in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University and was a member of Roving Shakespeare, the program's first Company Model MFA. In the theatre, he is a director, dramaturge, and actor not only for productions of Shakespeare and his contemporaries but also for modern and contemporary drama. Most recently he dramaturged a production of Cupid's Revenge by Beaumont and Fletcher (Bad Quarto Production, New York, NY).

Nathan Walters

Nathan Walters is an MA candidate in Literature specializing in Southern literature and culture, particularly the expression and representation of gender, sexual, and racial identities within these contexts. He is also interested in Victorian, Romantic, and early American fiction. He received a Bachelor's degree in Literature from Florida State University.

Kelsey Ward

Kelsey Ward is an MA student specializing in post-1900 American literature. Her research interests include the correlations between expatriation and gender. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University.

Cocoa M. Williams

Cocoa M. Williams is a PhD student in African American Literary and Cultural Studies with a minor concentration in American Modernism and Black Diasporic Modernism. Her research interests include African American women's literature, black modernity, modern African American art, folklore, and African American writer's relationships with the classics, among other interests. She has a BA in English (2005) and a BA in Philosophy (2005) from Valdosta State University. She completed an MA in English at Clemson University in 2007. Cocoa Williams is the recipient of the Ruth Yost Memorial Scholarship, the Leslie N. Wilson-Auzenne Assistantship, and the Bryan Hall Teaching Award. Cocoa's scholarship is forthcoming in the MLA Options for Teaching: Teaching the Harlem Renaissance. Ms. Williams is also a published poet. Her poetry is forthcoming in Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose and december magazine. Cocoa serves on the Graduate Student Library Advisory Board and also the Graduate English Student Organization (G.E.S.O).