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Asha Azariah-Kribbs received her B.A. summa cum laude with honors in English and French from Salisbury University. Her interests include British and American Romanticism, and Victorian literature.

Asha Azariah-Kribbs

Liana Bayne earned her B.A. in English with a Technical Writing concentration, and with a double-major in Spanish language, from Virginia Tech in December 2012. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked as a journalist, reporting primarily on crime, and, later, on long-form feature stories, at newspapers in Roanoke, Charlottesville, and rural Southwestern Mississippi. While between freelancing jobs, Liana began working at a public library, and there rediscovered her love of English literature alongside a new love of library science. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, race studies, intersectional feminism, public history and library sciences, and the digital humanities. She is a G.A. with JMU Libraries in the new Madison Academic Library Associates program, and also works as a night/weekend supervisor at JMU Libraries.

Liana Bayne

Taylor Broughfman is a second year student who completed her undergraduate career at JMU in 2015. Her areas of interest include race and gender studies, and race in the novel. Having found interest in the entertainment world and minoring in music industry during her time as an undergrad, attending law school in pursuit of a JD in entertainment law is her long term goal. In her free time, Taylor enjoys working out, going to concerts, and writing the occasional haiku. She is currently a tutor in the University Writing Center."

Taylor Broughfman

Julian Dean is a retired high school teacher who has decided to pursue graduate studies in Irish literature and postcolonial theory. He is currently interested in ideas of the utopia as inscribed in the Celtic Revival. Julian has two sons, Declan and Finn, who he will brag about endlessly. In his spare time, which is mostly a theoretical conceit, Julian enjoys running. Julian has lived all over the eastern seaboard but has never been further west than Austin, Texas. 

Julian Dean
Paige Evans earned her B.A. in English from James Madison University and felt very relieved that she could stay in the beautiful town of Harrisonburg while working towards an M.A. While studying, she focuses on African and African American literature with an interest in feminist and postcolonial theories. While not studying, Paige spends her time watching movies and working at the university radio station, WXJM. Paige Evans

Alissa (Hall) Cruz is originally from Alaska but now resides in Virginia.  She earned her undergrad degree from Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia.  She is a feminist, a mother, and is passionate about the environment.  One of her greatest passions is literature.  She specifically enjoys anything that she can view through an ecofeminist lens. 

alissa cruz
Karisa Harris-Cleary - 

I am from the Pacific Northwest and received my Bachelor's degree in English, Writing and Film from Portland State University in 2016.

My interests generally surround Transatlantic Modernism, particularly the works of James Joyce and Ezra Pound, and post-colonial theory. I am especially drawn post-colonial nuances in modernist texts, and the presence of the law/prisons in such texts. I am also interested in theories of Deconstruction and cultural studies.

My secondary interests are in contemporary film studies, particularly regarding cinematic melodrama from the '80s. From serial prime-time television to bad horror, I am intrigued by tensions between the middle-class wife and/or mother and the physical home.
Karisa Harris-Cleary
Esther Nafziger is originally from a small town in Ohio, but moved to the Valley to complete her bachelors degree in English, with a secondary education teaching license, at Eastern Mennonite University ('12). She is currently completing her final year at JMU. Her scholarly interests include psychoanalysis, trauma studies, and 19th/20th century American literature. She hopes to continue researching the mind/body relationship as it is presented in 19th and 20th c. texts, the role of body-memory in trauma, and the blurred line between fact and fiction that opens up and allows for the possibility of alternative histories. Esther Nafziger
Megan O'Neill is completing her second year in the M.A. program, having earned her B.A. in English from JMU in 2015. Her studies focus mainly on intersectional feminism, queer theory, and British Romanticism--and how those topics interact with one another. She spends most of her free time with her cat, Rosie. After attaining her Master's degree in the upcoming spring, she hopes to enter into the publishing/editing field. Megan O'Neill
Austin Shifflett grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and loved it so much he decided to continue his education here. He is primarily interested in African American literature, British Romanticism, and Gothic literature. Outside of studies he is also a musician and member of the Harrisonburg-based band Many Nights Ahead. Besides music, he also enjoys eating, hiking, and trying to figure Kierkegaard out. He is currently a TA in the English department.   Austin Shifflett
Douglas Stephens IV graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Koine Greek from Liberty University, where he was selected as the school's first Rhodes nominee in 44 years.  The topics he is NOT interested in include Myers-Briggs methodology, Yiddish grammar, and cottage cheese; everything else is fair game.  He works as a GA in the English Department at JMU, slowly resigning himself to the fact that he will never read all the books he owns."

Douglas Stephens
Kathryn Stephens is originally from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania but has been spent most of the last five years living and studying in Virginia. She received her B.A. in English from Liberty University in 2014, and is currently in the second year of her Master's studies here at JMU. Her research interests are focused around questions about reading strategies and practices. Specifically, she's interested in critical reading strategies that move beyond the hermenuetics of suspicion toward something more constructive (e.g. Sedgwick's Repairative Reading, Warner's Uncritical Reading, etc.).

She works as the G.A. for the Office of Research and Scholarship, where she manages the office’s social media pages, assists with general office duties, collaborates on event planning, and writes news articles on the Research and Scholarship achievements of JMU students, faculty and staff.
Kathryn Stephens


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