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John Albrite grew up in Harrisonburg and graduated from JMU in 2008. In the years since, he worked as an event coordinator and restaurant manager, and he is returning to James Madison to pursue a career researching literature, film and culture. His primary interests include the development of New Journalism in the mid-twentieth century, the role of dread in the works of women writers such as Joan Didion, and the influence of traditional forms of speculative fiction, especially horror, on the popularity of the true crime genre in today's media. His favorite writers include Didion, Christopher Isherwood, Evelyn Waugh, James Agee and Tina Fey, and in his spare time he enjoys creative writing, studying classic film, and pretending to exercise.

Albrite

Katie Arthur is from Yorktown, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison with a degree in English. Keezell Hall is such a charming little building that she decided to continue her education here, and looks forward very much to plumbing more of the depths of narrative theory (particularly, the creation of fictional consciousness), children’s literature (particularly Winnie-the-Pooh), and Harrisonburg’s rich pizza scene (particularly Benny’s). Ideally, she  would also like to use these two years to explore the physicality of a story’s experience, how the craft of the book itself informs the content inside, with the hopes of coming to some innovative way of meshing the art of sculpture with the art of verbal language.

Arthur

 

Tessa Nin Crosby grew up in upstate New York, but now resides in Richmond, Virginia. Since receiving her Bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY New Paltz in 2009, she has worked in trade publishing and the wine industry. Now returning her focus to the academic sphere, she is interested in studying power dynamics and class structure as they are expressed in 20th and 21st century literature. Her primary interest is in literary and social theory that dissects the process human valuation (and devaluation), such as feminist theory, and postcolonial and decolonial studies. She loves to read speculative and science fiction, magical realism, and poetry. She is also passionate about visual arts, particularly craft art, and spends much of her free time in her small textile art studio.

 

Crosby

 

 

Amy Haupt was raised in Louisville, Kentucky but graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama with a B.A. in English and Creative writing. She is most interested in Postmodern American Literature focusing on war-time and interwar anxieties and tensions in society and how they were reflected in Literature of the time. Her favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut but also loves Raymond Carver’s short stories. Amy is an avid scuba diver, movie watcher, and traveler and looks forward to the rich history and beautiful scenery the state of Virginia offers. She works as a Graduate Mentor for the Centennial Scholars Program at JMU.

 

Haupt

 

Taylor Jarrell is from Northern Virginia. His background is in classical language and literature, especially Greek Tragedy. His most interests include, restoration theatre, the early modern period, and bibliographical methodologies.

He is particularly interested in issues of translation in Ancient Greek literature and philosophy as well as pursuing contemporary critical applications of the classics. His work focuses on the reading experience, textual agency, and the history of the book. Currently he works for the Reformation Journal.

jarrell

 

Born in D.C. and raised in Virginia, Rob Porter is a recent graduate of JMU with a BA in English and a minor in film studies. He is particularly drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of literary studies, with an interest in contemporary theoretical debates and Marxist literary criticism especially. Rob is heavily influenced by the legacy of continental philosophy and critical theory and the impact these movements have had on the humanities. He is also focused on the intersection of culture and materialism at the center of emerging Anthropocene narratives. In addition to being a proponent of oppositional art in general, Rob enjoys film and film criticism. He has been known to wax poetic about filmmakers such as R.W. Fassbinder, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the various New Wave tendencies.

 

 

Porter

 

Marina Shafik grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from James Madison University with an English B.A. in 2018. Her academic and research interests are in Black Studies, Postcolonial Literature, and Critical Race and Gender Theory. She is passionate about social justice and dogs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and ever-changing Netflix shows.

Shafik

 

Hannah Snyder is from Northern Virginia and graduated in 2018 from Christopher Newport University with a BA in English Literature. While she is passionate about many periods and forms of literature, she is most interested in Modernism and Postmodernism, as well as media and film studies. Outside of studying and reading, she enjoys watching films, cooking, and playing the occasional video game. 

Snyder

Mitchell Teal - From Columbia, South Carolina. Graduated from Wofford College with a BA in English. My main focus is on 20th and 21st century American literature where I explore issues of criminality, violence, marginalization, and the social structures in which these issues come into being. Particular authors of interest include Cormac McCarthy, Philip K. Dick, Richard Wright, William Faulkner, J. M. Coetzee, Vonnegut, Bukowski, and Thom Jones.

In the work of these authors I'm also concerned with the use of intertextuality which includes both their relationship to other texts and their relationship to American culture (and mythos). Additionally, I'm curious about the relationship between high- and low-brow literature and culture and I see some of these authors as prime candidates for exploring movement between the two.

My secondary interests include film (New Hollywood, in particular) and television studies, sociology, and ethnography. In these latter two fields, I've been particularly influenced by Erving Goffman, Guy Debord, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, and the ethno-journalistic work of David Simon. I find the work in these fields to be particularly helpful for thinking about both material realities and the processes by which our conceptions of the world become reified (and ossified).

Karisa Harris-Cleary

 

Camilla Wilkerson hails from Swoope, Virginia. She completed her B.A. in English at Bridgewater College in 2017. Her interests lay primarily in 20th century American literature, and while she tends to look at texts using a feminist lens, she is also interested in the textuality of certain works, primarily those by Finley Peter Dunne.

Austin Shifflett

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