All posts filed under: Uncategorized

Confessions of a Grad Student: I (Still) Don’t Know What These Words Mean

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I am two seminar papers and one e-portfolio away from finishing my first year of graduate school, and that seems significant. But while reflecting on all the fulfilling, thrilling, liberating, and life-altering stuff I’ve learned this year, I can’t help but think about all the stuff I still don’t know. In fact, I’m beginning to think that the point of education is to teach you things you didn’t know that you didn’t know. I never […]

Female Friendship in the Academy

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Sometimes I wonder if there are any spaces conducive to positive friendships between women. I will not presume to speak for all women, but I have always recognized that genuine friendships between us can be tough to navigate. We are socialized to see each other as competition—for the man, the clothes, the jobs. And the media loves to portray female friendships as catty, competitive, and dramatic. I learned this at a young age; I watched […]

Advice to (not) Follow: One Way to Get Through the Reading Semester

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The first bit of qualifying exam advice is not to follow anyone’s advice. If you are reading, prepping to read, procrastinating reading, complaining about reading, behind, ahead, or on schedule for reading, then you are probably already in the whirl of veterans telling horror stories of broken computers, interrupting undergrads, crying, absurd laughing, and days of either sleeping too little, or far too much. This is often paired with the sage and almost deranged eye-twitchingly […]

LSJ Conference Round 4!

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Get excited for the 4th Annual LSJ Conference happening this weekend (March 2-3)! If you don’t already have this marked down on your calendars, you should do so ASAP. The LSJ committee has been hard at work prepping for this conference, and we are stoked to hear from different graduate students, independent scholars, public humanists, and educators about the role of literature, and the arts and humanities in addressing inequality and building just communities. This […]

5 Tips to Start (or Continue) Creative Writing in Graduate School

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Whether we like it or not, we’re people who are building our resumes and careers on the written word. However, this work is often confined to the scholarly side of writing and publishing. What about the creative side of scholarly publishing? If you’re a potential short story teller, poet, novelist, creative nonfiction wizard, or just someone who is interested in writing creatively, this post is for you!

What Have We Wrought?

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I was eighteen years old on April 20, 1999, the day of the Columbine High School massacre. The world stopped. People were stunned—and in pain—for days, weeks. The story was the lead on every news show, in every newspaper, for days, weeks. The footage of Pat Ireland falling out of a second-story window into the arms of two police officers is forever burned into my consciousness. This was a national tragedy. More children died last […]

Moving Forward With Hope

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In an essay on Octavia Butler titled “The Only Lasting Truth,” Tananarive Due calls attention to the necessity of utopic thinking, hope, and desire. It is an important reminder in a political present that is charged with an incessant appeal to catastrophism. The dystopian rise of Donald Trump has drawn on people’s fear and offered minority groups as scapegoats to provide a seemingly simple solution to our problems. Catastrophism worked for Trump, but in order […]

Gothic Reading Group: Laughing in the Dark

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October 27th marked the second meeting of the Gothic Reading Group.  Of course, fall is the perfect time to be diving into the haunted material usually associated with the gothic. However, the group took a different turn for this month’s reading. Instead of diving into Frankenstein, Dracula, or other traditional texts, we took a trip to the past and found ourselves face-to-face with the stories that haunted us as children. Nope, it’s not Goosebumps. Our […]

Parent. Student. Scholar.

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When one of my college professors told me years ago that the best time to write a dissertation is while bouncing a baby with one hand and typing with the other, I scoffed at him.” Easy for him to say,” I thought. He had a partner and an extended family at home to help. He was able to take time away from his family when necessary to get work done. And, unless he chose to […]

Monday Meet and Greet: Claire Silva

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Tell us about yourself! Hi! I’m Claire, and I’m a first year MA student. I have a BA in English from Penn State. I’m originally from Bethlehem, PA, so I’m really excited to be experiencing my hometown through a whole new lens. I’m primarily interested in the ways class is portrayed in American literature and the effect literature has on a reader’s class consciousness. In my spare time, I used to enjoy cooking and baking, […]