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Matthew Archibald

Before coming to JMU, Matthew emerged from the swamps of Houston where he graduated from Rice University in 2020, then stayed to teach AP Literature in a Northeastern high school during the COVID-shaped 2020-21 school year. He is very interested in anything involving gender, labor politics, rethinking pedagogies, and Flannery O’Connor. When he’s not (dutifully) studying, he enjoys running, taking little walks to 7/11, thinking too much about fashion/gender identity, and watching Swedish movies (with the subtitles, but he really wishes he knew Swedish).

CJ Bevins

CJ Bevins is from Georgetown, Kentucky and graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in English. He spent his undergraduate career working as a writing center tutor, studying literature from the Irish renaissance through the University College of Dublin, and researching Restoration theater and the birth of the novel at the University of Oxford. He plans to further pursue both of these interests while working towards a PhD, focusing more on the development of film and theater as popular culture and giving particular attention to female playwrights of the period such as Aphra Behn. In his free time, he tends to watch classic film (especially works directed by Wong Kar-wai or Terrence Malick), play video games, hang out with his adorable cat, and read postmodern fiction from writers such as Philip Roth and Thomas Pynchon.

Kayleigh Bishop

Kayleigh Bishop grew up in the rural town of Riner, Virginia just a few miles away from Virginia Tech. She is a graduate from James Madison University in 2020 with a BA in English Literature and minors in Creative Writing and Asian Studies. In the year that she took off from her studies, Kayleigh spent her time as a long-term substitute teacher for her home county schools. She is passionate about late 18th through the 19th centuries in British Literature and is particularly fond of Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens–the works Jane Eyre and Dombey and Son being just a couple of her favorites. Kayleigh plans on continuing her education with books and reading in the field of Library Science where she hopes to work in archives and special collections. In her free time, she enjoys reading, binging a new Netflix series, and playing with her cat, Quartz.

Jessica Carter

Jessica Carter grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from James Madison University in 2020 with a BA in English Literature and minors in Creative Writing and African/African-American/Diaspora studies. She is passionate about all forms of speculative fiction, and its propensity to enrich interdisciplinary criticism. She is both grateful and enthusiastic to continue her work with the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Besides learning, she enjoys watching and reading horror, writing poetry, and painting.

Aaron Cosner

Aaron Cosner is a native of the Shenandoah Valley. He graduated from Bridgwater College with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and currently teaches English, Debate, and The Bible as Literature at Harrisonburg High School. His academic interests include Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and the influence of continental Rationalism on the Modern and Postmodern periods. When he isn’t in the classroom molding the minds of Gen Z, he enjoys woodworking, hiking, and life at home with his wife and three kids.

Morgan Lyle

Morgan Lyle is originally from Churchville, Virginia, a small town just outside of Harrisonburg. She is a recent graduate of James Madison University, graduating with a BA in English along with minors in Theatre and Creative Writing. She is particularly interested in exploring the various mediums of literature and the creativity each has to offer. Throughout her undergraduate career, she wrote several short stories, a screenplay, and a full-length play. She also fell in love with Ecocriticism and the study of cultural and global change through literature. She hopes to continue her creative studies through exploration of narrative structure in various mediums. In her free-time, Morgan enjoys playing guitar and tending to her zoo complete with two chinchillas, Leonardo and DaVinci, a fish, and her cat (Cleopatra).

Madeline Marsh

Madeline Marsh is from the small farm town of Middlebrook, which is nestled in the Shenandoah Valley. After graduating as an English major from James Madison in 2018, she spent a year working as a journalist at a newspaper in Lexington, Virginia. She maintains specific interests in literary theory, medieval and Renaissance literature, and folk lyric; however, really, she is excited to explore everything. Additionally, she is interested in applying narratological concepts to news writing and considering the narrator and reader relationship, especially as it relates to truth perception. In her downtime, you will find Mattie fiddling in bluegrass jams or playing with her pet goat, Bean.

Bailey McInturff

Bailey McInturff grew up in southern West Virginia where she consumed a steady diet of books that took her over the river, through the woods, up to the mountaintops, and onto the path she walks today. She recently graduated from Fairmont State University with a BA in English and a minor in French. During her undergraduate career, Bailey pursued a wide range of research interests from epic literature to Parisian bookstore culture to the theme of home in Toni Morrison’s novels.

Bailey also participates in the creative side of literature study. She served on the reading staff of Whetstone, Fairmont State’s undergraduate literature and arts magazine, and she has had a handful of pieces published in Whetstone, Ghost City Press, Rue Scribe, and The Kraken’s Spire.

When she isn’t reading (either physically or over audio), Bailey enjoys listening to podcasts, crocheting, and hiking with her dogs.

Kara Miller

Kara Miller grew up in Elkton, VA (just 30 minutes outside Harrisonburg). She graduated from JMU with a Bachelor’s in English in 2019 with minors in secondary education, Spanish, and philosophy. As an undergraduate, she also led a student writing organization Word is Born Writers’ Society, which is associated with Furious Flower here at JMU. Kara went on to attend JMU for a Master’s in Education, graduating in 2020. She currently works as an 8th grade English teacher in Albemarle County. Her love for English literature is rooted deeply in postmodernism and 19th century British literature, specifically anything and everything Oscar Wilde related. Kara is a first-generation college student and is hoping to earn a doctorate degree in either English or education. In her free time, Kara enjoys spending as much time as possible surrounded by her pets, including her dogs, cats, fish, and chickens. She also enjoys reading and playing games (PC, Nintendo Switch, board games, card games).

Rebecca Paulisch

Rebecca Paulisch is from Browntown, Virginia, a small and sleepy town in the Shenandoah Valley. Since she graduated from William and Mary in 2020 with a BA in both English and Hispanic Studies, she finds herself interested in combining these two areas of interest by exploring the subject Early Modern English, specifically  Renaissance drama, in a Hispanic context. She also maintains an interest in Latinx literature and postcolonial theory. She hopes to continue her academic pursuits after JMU and get her PhD in English so that she may teach at the university level as a professor. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, you can find her trying and failing to copy the recipes from the Great British Baking Show or enjoying a challenging hike. 

Jeslyn Pool

Jeslyn Pool graduated from Corban University in May 2020 with a BA in English, and a concentration in Communications. Although her university did not offer any Spanish degrees or programs, she finished with the equivalent of a Spanish minor largely due to her semester abroad study in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Jeslyn's research interests are varied and sometimes seem unrelated (even to her). She loved studying Feminist Lit, Diverse American Authors, Latin American perspectives and histories, Spanish, and theology (especially as it pertains to women). She loved writing her BA thesis on the Theology of Sor Juana Inez De la Cruz --a Mexican Nun who is considered by many to be the first published Feminist in the American Hemisphere-- because she was able to tie all of these research interests into one project. She looks forward to studying the theology of William Tyndale as a research graduate assistant at JMU and deepening her understanding of American Hemishperic Lit in her classes as she earns her MA with the ultimate intention of obtaining a PhD someday.

In her freetime Jeslyn writes fiction, reads, keeps an art journal, delights in gardening (or growing green things in general), and cuddling her sweet cat named Rosemary.

Bri Sage

Bri Sage grew up in the city Roanoke, Virginia. She enjoyed reading from a young age and decided to major in English when she entered her undergrad years at James Madison University. She graduated from JMU in 2020 and is now pursuing her masters degree in English. Her main interests include British literature, particularly the Victorian era, and exploring the subject of girlhood. She hopes to one day teach at a college level. Her other hobbies include writing, hiking, and listening to podcasts. 

Abbey Sandhovel

Abbey Sandhovel grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia, a large suburb right outside of Richmond. She graduated from Longwood University in 2020 with a BA English and a minor in business administration. She is passionate about British Romanticism and Regency-era literature and enjoys creative writing when she’s not lost in a book. Abbey plans to continue her education in pursuit of a PhD, and dreams of being a college professor. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, drawing, and writing fiction.

Evan Sizemore

Evan Sizemore is a graduate student in the English department at James Madison University. His academic focus is using phenomenology to break away from normative readings and the unjust devaluation of various texts. After graduation he hopes to become a secondary school teacher and an advocate for linguistic equity in public education. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and not being able to paint.

Grace Thomsen

Grace Thomsen was raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in English. She is particularly interested in the Early modern period to the Victorian era with a focus on female authors and playwrights. She hopes to continue her studies by exploring the role of narrative theory paired with fictitious autobiographical accounts to discuss women author's resistance to genre classification and how this challenges their attempts at realism. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and reading. 

Leslie Truax

Leslie Truax spent her formative years bouncing between Texas, China, and Taiwan before journeying to JMU. After obtaining her B.A. in English and M.A.T. during her time there, she has taught eighth grade English and coached Debate at a high school in Shenandoah County, Virginia for two years. She greatly looks forward to returning to JMU to continue her studies as she continues working with her students. Her literary passions include Medieval and Renaissance literature, Victorian literature, and studying the intricate relationship between culture and the literature born from it. She enjoys devouring books of all kinds, playing video games, traipsing around Scottish festivals, and spending time with her husband and two cats: Penny and Merlin.


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