PhD News



Academic Year 2021-2022

Jess Van Gilder (4th yr PhD) will present "Metacognitive Disruptions in Wieland: The Dangers of Thinking in Crisis" at the 2021 Charles Brockden Brown Society Conference, Providence, RI October 2021.

Megan Pillow (PhD '20) published an essay, "Living Memory," in Guernica, and was named by Longreads as one of their Top 5 Longreads of the Week. Her short story "Long Live The Girl Detective," published last year by Electric Literature and introduced by Booker prize finalist Brandon Taylor, has been selected for The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022.

Brandon West (4th yr PhD) has a book, Revulsion, Repetition, and Revenge: The Problem of Sexual Violence in Contemporary Horror Cinema, forthcoming from Under contract with Vernon Press; and the article, “Murky Waters: Loch Ness and Herzogian Notions of Truth” forthcoming in The New Review of Film and Television.


Academic Year 2020-2021

Caitlin Coultier (2nd year PhD) presented “Who Paved “These Mean Streets”: The Development of Hardboiled Fiction in Response to Melodramatic Detective Novels” on panel Anna Katharine Green and the American Detective Story at the Midwest Modern Language Association (originally November 2020, pushed to November 2021).

Daria Goncharova (3rd yr PhD) has an article, “’Workers of the World, Unite!’ Huck, Jim, and the Cold War’s Racial Tensions,” forthcoming in Post45 Vs. The World: Global Perspectives on Literature and The Contemporary from Vernon Press.

Katie Kohls (3rd yr PhD) presented “Beyond the Single Story: Freshmen Researchers Exploring Institutional Histories in the Archives” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Digital Poster Presentations. April 2021. She co-published “Piloting an Oral History-Based CURE in a General Education Writing Course for First-Year Students” in Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, Winter 2020, Vol. 4, No. 2.

Claire Lenviel (PhD '21) has an article, “Vulnerable Youth in Richard Wright’s Protest Fiction,” forthcoming in Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 2, 2021.

Leslie Malland (PhD '21) co-edited The History of the International Grasslands Congress, 1927-2020, forthcoming from the International Grasslands Congress. She published a review of Assisted Death in the Age of Biopolitics and Bioeconomy by Anna E. Kubiak in Mortality, and the article “Denied the Rights of Citizenship: Biopolitical Rhetoric and Anti-Semitism in Nashe’s Unfortunate Traveller,” in Arkansas Philological Review, vol. 45, no. 2. She presented “‘The Rest is Silence’: Embodied Rhetoric and Anatomy in Hamlet,” at The Renaissance Society of America. Dublin, Ireland, *virtual, Spring 2021; “Othello’s Duality: Religion in the Soul and on the Body,” at the Shakespeare Association of America. Panel, “Religion, Race, and Bad Humour in Early Modern Drama,” led by Kimberly Ann Coles, *virtual, Spring 2021; and “Questions of Citizenship Upon the scaffold,” at The Death and Culture Network. St. John University, University of York, *virtual, Fall 2020.

Katie McClain (5th yr PhD) presented “Adapting Outdated Literary Rebels: Upton Sinclair, E.L. Doctorow, and the Potential for 21st Century Advocacy Claims in Chris Bachelder’s U.S.!” at the SAMLA Conference/Association of Adaptation Studies, Online Conference, Fall 2020.

Alex Menrisky (PhD '19) has a book, Wild Abandon, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. He  accepted an offer as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, starting in July 2021.

Jenn Murray (5th yr PhD) presented “Mengele’s Twins, Ravensbruck’s Rabbits and the Myriad Abuses against Women during the Holocaust” at the Northeast Modern Language Association, Virtual Conference. March 13, 2021.

Emily Naser-Hall (4th yr PhD) published “A Woman of Obvious Power: Witchcraft and the Case Against Marital Rape in 1980s America” in Screening #MeToo: Rape Culture in Hollywood, forthcoming from SUNY Press, 2021; and “We Ate Them To Destroy Them: Carnivores, Cannibals, and the Critique of Mass-Market Feminism in the Age of Consumption,” in Popular Culture Studies Journal, forthcoming 2021.

Megan Pillow (PhD '20) has a Distinguished Story in the Best American Short Stories 2020. She has accepted the position of Co-Editor of Roxane Gay's new newsletter The Audacity

Shelby Roberts (2nd yr PhD) co-published “Piloting an Oral History-Based CURE in a General Education Writing Course for First-Year Students” in Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, Winter 2020, Vol. 4, No. 2.

Hannah Schultz (1st yr PhD) presented “The Problem of the Infidel’s Fidelity: Eligibility for Conversion in The Renegado,” at the English Graduate Student Organization Spring Symposium: University of Kentucky. March 20, 2021.

Jess Van Gilder (3rd yr PhD) presented "How the Game of Self-Reflexive Fictionality in Post-Revolutionary America Loses Its Innocence in Today’s Era of Fake News and Fact Checks" on the Perspectives on Fictionality Panel at the 2021 ISSN Narrative Conference, Virtual May 2021; and "Navigating Narrative Battles: Pedagogical Challenges of 'The 1619 Project;" at the 2021 UKY EGSO Symposium, Lexington, KY.

Brandon West (3rd year PhD) was selected to receive the UK Association of Emeriti Faculty Fellowship. His book, At the Edge of Existence: Liminality in Horror Cinema Since the 1970s, is forthcoming with McFarland. He will present “Murky Waters: Loch Ness and Herzogian Notions of Truth” at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA), Online, June 2021; and presented "Cultivating Paranoia: The Conspiracy as Political Tool” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Online, November 2020.

Ben Wilson ('21) presented “’This is the World’: Robert Penn Warren’s Poetic and Democratic Visions,” at the Robert Penn Warren Circle Annual Meeting, April 2021 meeting (rescheduled from 2020 meeting).

Jillian Winter (4th yr PhD) presented “Give Yourself to Death: Charitable Giving as Addiction in Frances Burney’s Cecilia” and “‘Depend upon it, it is not you that are wanted; depend upon it, it is me’: Renegotiating Mrs. Norris as the (Awful and Philanthropic) Hero of Mansfield Park” at ASECS Conference. Virtual. April 2021.


Academic Year 2019-2020

Shannon Branfield (4th year PhD) presented at the Midwest Conference on British Studies,"'They Watched Each Other': Marital Surveillance in Sensation Fiction," and attended the Dickens Universe.

Caitlin Coulter (1st yr PhD) presented “Where the Wife May Not Go: Exploring the Impact of World War I on Female Sexuality in Literature” on the panel of Feminist and Counter-Feminist Topics in (Post)Modern Fiction at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900,(February 2020). She also presented  “Examining Political Possibilities through Felt Theory and Longmire” on the panel for Rhetorical Activism Across Disability, Indigenous, and Queer Studies at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, (November 2019).

Jake Ferrington (4th yr PhD) published “Affect and Immediation: An Interview with Brian Massumi” in disClosure, vol. 28.

Rick Halkyard (2nd yr PhD) presented “Thunderings of Battle: War Fervor & William Dean Howells’ ‘Editha’” at the 48th Annual Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900.

Kendall Sewell (3rd year PhD) presented a paper called "Zombies and Us" at the Annual Conference of the Cultural Studies Association, held this year at Tulane University.

Andrew Beutel ('19) was nominated for the 2019 Teachers Who Made a Difference Award, sponsored by the UK College of Education. 

Kyle Eveleth, along with co-editor Joseph Michael Sommers (Central Michigan University), published an edited volume on the graphic works of Neil Gaiman: The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows (University Press of Mississippi).

Margaret  Kelly (3rd year PhD) received the Outstanding Literature TA of the Year Award. She presented “Navigating Haunted Housing in Brooks’s Maud Martha & Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones” and “Gothic Girlhood: Intersecting Identities Across Gothic Traditions,” (Panel Organizer & Chair) at the Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, March 2020. She won the NeMLA Graduate Student Caucus Travel Award.
Katie Kohls (2nd yr PhD) presented "Racebending and (Re)reading Whiteness: Adapting the Canon to Critique Imperialism and White Nationalism” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, GA, November 2019.
Leslie Malland, (4th year PhD) was the recipient of the Ben Wathen Black Memorial Graduate Scholarship in British Literature, as well as a UK Summer Stipend. She presented “Biopolitics and Early Modern England’s Necro-Culture” at the Association of the Rhetoric for Science, Technology, and Medicine preconference of the National Communications Association. Fall 2019. Baltimore, MA.

Katie McClain (4th yr PhD) presented “‘Awakened by Silence’: Narrative Sound and Silence in John Rechy’s City of Night and Samuel Steward’s Parisian Lives” at the Conference/Association of Adaptation Studies, Atlanta GA, Fall 2019.

Emily Naser-Hall (3rd yr PhD) published “The Ghost Dance: Accessing and Accepting Intersectional Identity Through Spectrality,” Proceedings of the Third Purdue, Linguistics, Literature, and Second Language Studies Conference, edited by Libby Chernouski and David O’Neil, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019.
Jannell McConnell Parsons was the first place winner of this year's GradTeach Live competition! Her talk -- "Centering Student Agency: Target Public Audiences and Oral Histories in Appalachia" -- came out of a WRD course she teaches in partnership with the Nunn Center and discussed how she and her students work together to create meaningful projects with real-world audiences. 

Jenn Murray (4th yr PhD) published “Embracing Madness: Elie Wiesel’s Madmen and Their Roles in His Works” in The Struggle for Understanding: Elie Wiesel’s Literary Works. Eds. Victoria Nesfield and Philip Smith. SUNY Press, August 2019.

Shelby Roberts (1st yr PhD) presented “‘No heroes, no oracles’: Appalachian Fatalism and the American Grotesque,” at UK's 2020 EGSO Conference.

Brittany Sulzener (5th yr PhD) published “Night of Death, Morning of Rebirth: Maria W. Stewart’s Apocalyptic Futures" in Nineteenth Century Contexts, vol. 41, no. 5.

Jess Van Gilder (2nd yr PhD) presented "The Deadly Spectrum of Mind Misreading in Clarissa" on the Situated Minds Panel (Panel organizer and paper presenter) at the 2020 ISSN Narrative Conference, New Orleans, LA; "I Saw the Sign(posts): Reconciling Rhetorical and Signpost Approaches to Fictionality through Fictionalization" (Co-author of paper) at the 2020 Narrative Conference, New Orleans, LA March 2020; and "Mobilizing Hope in Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative to Create an Affective Truth" on the Affective Truths Panel (Panel organizer and paper presenter) at the 2020 UKY EGSO Symposium, Lexington, KY February 2020.

Brandon West (2nd yr PhD) presented “The Aesthetic of Disgust: Rape-Revenge Fiction's Moral Shortcomings” at the International Conference on Narrative, New Orleans, March 2020.

Ben Wilson ('21) pubilshed “Global Modernist Literature and Metropolitan Unreality,” in Tropics of Meta, 16 January 2020.


Academic Year 2018-2019

Rachel Carr (4th year PhD) was one of the recipients of the Rappis Endowment for Graduate Student Research, she also won the Provost's Outstanding Teaching Award, and  accepted a position to join the faculty at Lindsey Wilson College, as an Assistant Professor of English.

Daria Goncharova (1st yr PhD) presented “Queering Divine Apocalypse in John Rechy’s City of Night,” at the Cultural Studies Association (CSA) Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 2; and “’Whose Huck is it?’: Mark Twain and His Legacy During the Cold War,” at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention, Washington D.C., March 2019.

Zach Griffith (3rd yr PhD) published “Images, Silences, and the Archival Record: An Interview with Michelle Caswellin," in Disclosure: A Journal of Social Theory vol. 27, no. 1. He also became co-editor of Disclosure. He presented “‘We Never Shape the World’: Slave Geographies and the African-American Archive in A Mercy” at the MELUS Conference in Cincinnati. 

Margaret Kelly (3rd year PhD) presented at NeMLA.

Katie Kohls (1st yr PhD) presented “Fostering Critical Flexibility: Designing Peer Mentor Programs that Help New TAs Make It Work,” College English Association of Ohio Conference, Findlay, OH, April 2019.
Leslie Malland, (4th year PhD) received a UK Travel Grant, and was a finalist in the 3MT.
Emily Naser-Hall (end year PhD) presented "A Girl Is No One: The Spectral Woman in Game of Thrones and You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine" at 50th Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association. She also  presented at the Popular Culture Association of the South Conference and the Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, and she was the panel moderator for the Horror: Gender and Race panel at the Popular Culture Association of the South Conference. She was the winner of the Gary Burns Graduate Student Paper Award for ""A Girl Is No One: The Metaphor of the Spectral Woman in Game of Thrones and You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine."

Anna Bedsole (5th year PhD) won the “People's Choice Award” at the final round of the Regional 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, Knoxville, TN. Anna was the only Humanities candidate in the entire competition which included 45 competitors from universities across the south. Of the 45 competitors, only eight candidates went into the final round. She also won 1st place in the 3 Minute Thesis competition.

Tanner Underwood (2nd year PhD) published his short story, "Roadhouse," in Kentucky's Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction, from Z Publishing. 

Jessica Evans ('17) had a chapter on "Redefining the Gothic Child: An Educational Experiment" published in Literary Cultures and Eighteenth-Century Childhoods by Palgrave Macmillan. 

Jenna Goldsmith ('16) published a chapbook of poems, genesis near the river, from blush books.

Kadee Whaley will be presenting a paper, "Embodied Knowledge and the Rhetoric of Access," at the 2019 Conference on College Composition Communication in March. 

Shannon Branfield presented a paper at the 47th annual Victorian Institutes Conference, and presented Midwest Conference for British Studies.

Jennifer Murray has a forthcoming publication, “Embracing Madness: Elie Wiesel’s Madmen and Their Role in His Works” in The Search for Understanding: Elie Wisel’s Literary Works (August 2019, SUNY press).

Megan Pillow Davis was a finalist for The Baltic Writing Residency's Kentucky Writers Fellowship and had new essays, stories, and poetry published in Electric LiteratureSmokeLong Quarterly, Memoir Mixtapes, Mutha Magazine, The Cabinet of HeedCoffin Bell Journal, Moonchild Magazine, Collective Unrest, and Jellyfish Review. The Electric Literature essay was an Editor's Pick on Longreads and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Amanda Salmon presented at the Popular Culture Association of the South conference in New Orleans.

Rebecca Wiltberger Wiggins ('18) began working full time as a high school English teacher at Villa Duchesne, an independent Catholic all-girls high school in St. Louis (and she got married in July!).

Cambridge University Press