English Graduate Alumni Profiles

"The mentorship I got from faculty — not just my advisor or my committee but almost everyone in the grad faculty — remains important to me today."

— Michael Dwyer, G'10

Our graduate students, both M.A. and Ph.D., have gone on to successful careers both inside and outside academia. To read about how we prepare our students for life after graduation, click here. To see a full listing of Ph.D. job placements, click here.

Read more about the success stories from some of our recent alumni below:

Peter Katz (G'15)(+)

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Peter Katz

Peter entered the English PhD program in Fall 2010 and graduated in Summer 2015, and is now Assistant Professor of English at Pacific Union College. His dissertation was titled Reading Bodies: Associationism, Empathy, and the Ethics of Sensation in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, which is serving as the basis for his first book, and he received a Certificate in University Teaching during his time as an ETS Teaching Associate. He recently became faculty mentor for the Alpha Delta Delta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

What was your area of research as a graduate student?
I studied Victorian literature and culture, affect theory, and history of the book.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
I was active in the English Graduate Organization and served as the graduate-student representative to the agenda and graduate committees. I was also the inaugural editor of Metathesis. And I was involved in Aikido Club and Taekwondo.

What was your first job after graduation?
I was offered the job of Assistant Professor English at Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA (in Napa County), in Summer 2010.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
Not only did the department teach me how to be a proper scholar, it also taught me how to be a colleague and professional. From pre-professional workshops to the English Graduate Organization, the department showed me how to navigate and succeed as part of a community of scholarship.

Peter lives in Northern California with his partner and their two cats. Outside of work, Peter enjoys hiking and cycling in the Nor Cal hills, and is a rather accomplished martial artist and an only slightly less accomplished gamer (both board and video).

Kelsey Flint-Martin (G'15)(+)

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Kelsey Flint-Martin

Kelsey graduated from the English MA program in 2015 and is now a PhD candidate in English at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Her research explores the ways in which geographic space impacts the representation of mysticism in 20th Century African-American literature; she is also interested in the appearance of similar connections in MELUS literature, including Native American, Chicano, and Asian American literatures. She is a member of South Central MLA, and she is currently preparing for her comprehensive and oral exams, and working on an article and multiple conference papers.

What was your dossier about?
The title of my MA dossier is A Place of Belonging: The Influence of Geographic Representation on Racial, Cultural, and Vocational Identity. While two of the essays in my dossier focused on the role geography plays in the representation of racial identity — Pauline HopkinsOf One Blood and Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby — the third essay explored the impact that Western urbanization had on the dime novel detective and vigilante figures.

What activities were you involved in on campus?
As part of my time at Syracuse, I taught Writing 105 and Writing 205 in addition to working in the Writing Center for multiple semesters. I also worked for the Writing Center over the summer, helping high school juniors enrolled in the summer scholarship program.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
Syracuse was my first experience in the graduate level of academia. While this was a bit of shock coming straight from my undergraduate program, the expectations of professors and the work load showed me what I was capable of achieving. The work ethic I developed at Syracuse has made balancing the professionalization of graduate school with classes and teaching much more manageable. My writing quality also improved tremendously. Finally, I am deeply appreciative of Susan Edmunds and Patty Roylance for being an amazing support system as they worked with me over the two years I attended Syracuse, and of Terri “T” for always being there and having the answers to everything!

Kelsey currently lives in Columbia, SC, where she is reading almost non-stop in preparation for her comprehensive exams. When she is not reading, she likes to bake and cook, watch football (or any other sport that is on at the moment), and drink excessive amounts of coffee.

Auritro Majumder (G'14)(+)

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Auritro Majumder

Auritro graduated from the PhD program in 2014 and is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Houston. His dissertation was titled Insurgent Imaginations: Culture, Postcolonial Panetarity, and Maoism in India, and he participated in the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory (2012) and served as a Goekjian Fellow in the Maxwell School of Citizenship (2011-2012). He is currently working on his first book, which explores literary and cultural representations of the Maoist movement in India; a second book project is in preparation, examining the intersection between anticolonial nationalism and Western progressive literary politics in the inter-war era. He is a member of the MLA and the ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association).

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I studied Global Anglophone literature, postcolonial studies, and European literary and social theory.

What activities and groups were you involved in on campus?
I served as the English Graduate Organization’s representative to the Graduate Student Organization.

What was your first job after graduation?
I received the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.

How did your experience as a grad student at Syracuse help you to succeed?
I had the opportunity for training in interdisciplinary and transnational literary and cultural studies. I took regular classes in Geography and History, with Professors Don Mitchell and Subho Basu, and worked with Professor Basu for my dissertation. Also, working with Professor Crystal Bartolovich as my dissertation advisor was instrumental in leading me toward multiple conversations in the literary and cultural studies, and situating my work in relation to existing and emerging scholarship.

Auritro’s hobbies include listening to music and, sadly, more book reading.

Angela Ko (G'14)(+)

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Angela Ko

Angela graduated from the English MA program in 2014 and is currently a communications manager at Citigroup in New York City. She also mentors high school students in the Bronx and volunteers with New York Cares.

What was your research about?
When I began my studies at Syracuse, I had a mild interest in hyphenated American identities. As I progressed in the program, I began to build on this interest and started to explore the question of cultural belonging. As a result, I became more specifically invested in understanding how Asian American female subjects negotiate the contradictory positions that result from bifurcated identities. My dossier examines the idea of performance as a way to create an alternative space in which one can escape social boundaries and constructs.

What was your first job after graduation?
I often used marketing case studies in the classroom to teach my students how to think more critically, and this is how I began to develop an interest in marketing as a career. I moved to NYC after graduation to pursue this interest. I started as a Communications Coordinator at FUSIA Communications, a marketing agency in Brooklyn, where I worked directly with the COO to rebrand the company and expand its community outreach efforts.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
Breaking into a field I had no education or experience in was at first a daunting task, but my MA in English helped me move quickly into a new career. I got my first marketing job at FUSIA because of my strong writing background. The company needed a versatile writer for various needs, including press releases, ad copy, web content, and copyediting. After a year at the agency, I was hired as a consultant at Citigroup where I managed email campaigns. Eventually, I moved into my current role where I manage large-scale projects to revamp the company's library of communications. The job entails looking at communications with a critical eye and directing copy changes to agencies, and my writing-intensive studies and my experience teaching writing composition courses have prepared me for success in my professional life.

Angela enjoys going to concerts, cooking for friends, and hosting events for her women's social group.

Ashley O'Mara (G'14)(+)

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Ashley O’Mara

Ashley O’Mara entered the English MA program in Fall 2012 and graduated in 2014, and is now a PhD student in English at Syracuse University, where she studies the queer aesthetics and politics of Catholicism after the English Reformation. She has held a number of executive positions in the English Graduate Organization (EGO), and she is currently serving as the Admissions and Recruitment intern and webmaster for the Department of English. She also blogs for EGO’s Metathesis and serves as a curator and contributor with the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project.

What was your area of research as an MA student?
I came to Syracuse to study contemporary US minority literature, became a Victorianist after my first semester, and finally settled down as an Early Modernist (where I still am today, by the way).

What was your dossier about?
My dossier was titled Materializing the Sacred: Catholic Authors, Identity, and Textual Embodiment. I was interested in the idea of sacrament as the meeting of the material with the spiritual or ideal — the word made flesh, as it were, which I looked for in poems by Michael Field and Richard Crashaw, and an early-modern Jesuit Mexican missal.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
I served as MA co-facilitator in EGO, and also helped coordinate two public marathon poetry readings co-sponsored by EGO.

Where are you at in your graduate studies now?
I’m in my third year of my English PhD at Syracuse, which means I’m reading for my qualifying exams. I’m hoping to write my dissertation about the queer politics and aesthetics of celibacy and anti-/Catholicism in post-Reformation English literature.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
I came in as a first-generation grad student with very little understanding of how academia worked and only a vague sense of what I wanted to study, and one month into my studies I wanted to quit. Now I’m a third-year PhD student, I’m starting to see the outlines of my dissertation, and I have held many different service positions. What happened in the middle is outstanding mentorship. My professors showed me their strong interest in my ideas about Catholicism and queer sexuality early on, which encouraged me to pursue them as legitimate subjects of inquiry. My current advisor practically made me start participating in campus activities, putting me in contact with important Renaissance scholars, and now I’m an (eager!) active contributor to department culture — not only serving in EGO, but also working for our public-humanities blog Metathesis and mentoring new English grads at orientation. And the community I’ve found here among my fellow English grad students has been the most supportive I’ve found anywhere. We take care of each other, which for me means I’ve had the best peer mentors, and I hope I can be the same for junior students.

Ashley lives with her bunny, Toffee Touchstone, in Central New York, where she enjoys biking through autumn leaves and waits impatiently for the next season of the BBC's Sherlock.

Sandeep Banerjee (G'13)(+)

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Sandeep Banerjee

Sandeep graduated from the English PhD program in 2013, and is now Assistant Professor in the Department of English at McGill University in Montréal, QC. His dissertation was titled Landscaping India: From Colony to Postcolony. Currently, he working on his monograph on the role of literary landscapes in shaping the idea of an Indian nation in colonial India; a second project — on the colonial Himalaya and the literary imagination, 1800-1950 — is also underway, funded by a grant from the Fonds de recherche du Québec–Société et culture (FRQSC). He is a Faculty Fellow (2016-2018) at McGill University’s Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI); he is also a member of the MLA, the ACLA, and the Marxist Literary Group.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
My research areas included postcolonial and world literatures; Marxism; aesthetics and uneven development; production of space and nature; nationalism; and the cultural responses to British imperialism during the Long Nineteenth Century, especially in South Asia.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
As a Syracuse University Dissertation Fellow, I organized a public lecture and seminar as part of the Humanities Center Dissertation Fellows Symposium. I was an active member of the English Graduate Organization (EGO) and served as the elected Graduate Representative (2010-11). I was also a nominated Graduate Student Representative at the Promotion and Tenure Committee of Syracuse’s College of Arts and Sciences.

What was your first job after graduation?
I was offered the position of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of English at Colgate University (Hamilton, NY). I declined it for the position of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of English at McGill University.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
At Syracuse, the exceptional training and encouragement I received, especially from the faculty members I worked with, helped me immensely for a subsequent career in the academe. The opportunity to take courses outside the English department — I took several courses in Geography — led me to fascinating interdisciplinary conversations that helped frame my dissertation project. I had the opportunity to teach my own courses and design my syllabi while having faculty mentors I could turn to for help and feedback. The Future Professoriate Project workshops (conducted by Dr. Crystal Bartolovich during my time) were excellent venues to raise questions on these, in addition to discussing teaching strategies, grading criteria, curriculum design, and overall pedagogical goals. EGO's Negotiations provided an ideal place and atmosphere to present papers and get feedback from departmental peers and faculty. The workshops conducted by departmental faculty on various academic issues were extremely useful. I also planned academic events and worked out how to fund them; debated with colleagues — and sought to build consensus — on how best to advocate our interests with faculty; and (as EGO’s representative) voted on key departmental decisions. All of these are essential training for a life in the academe.

My dissertation was co-supervised by Dr. Crystal Bartolovich (English) and Dr. Don Mitchell (Geography). They were demanding mentors who were always critically engaged and profoundly supportive, intellectually and professionally. They helped me grow as a scholar, and enabled me to situate my project in relation to extant and emerging scholarship both within and outside my home discipline of literary and cultural studies. Dr. Donald Morton was generous with his time and learning, introducing me to the stimulating and challenging world of “Theory.” Dr. Kevin Morrison was a delightful interlocutor, who helped align my interest in British imperialism with Victorian literary and cultural studies. They were always readily available and provided thoughtful academic and professional advice, clarifying conceptual issues besides helping me meet the demands of coursework, qualifying examinations, academic publishing, grant-writing, conferences, and – crucially – the academic job market. As an international student at Syracuse, the unfailing assistance of Terri Zollo, the English Graduate Coordinator, was invaluable for navigating various administrative hurdles.

Sandeep lives in Montréal where he has an evolving relationship with the poutine. He is planning to learn French, the clarinet, and driving.

Adrienne Garcia (G'13)(+)

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Adrienne Garcia

Adrienne graduated from the ETS program in 2010 (with a second major in political science) and the English MA program in 2013. She is currently a Financial Aid Counselor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she will be treasurer for the Chicana/Latino Faculty Staff Association for the 2016-2017 academic year. She is a member of NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and WASFAA (Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators).

What was your area of research as an MA student?
I studied representations of race and class in film and literature.  I studied representations of race and class in film and literature. My dossier looked at counter narratives as influential and significant forms of protest. I was interested in different forms of activism and protest literature, the role of the academy in them, and the possibilities that emerge with engagement with these kinds of texts.

What activities or groups were you involved in?
I served as MA co-facilitator for the English Graduate Organization in my second year.

What were your first jobs after graduation?
My first job was as part-time faculty at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. I started working in the Writing Center with students in developmental English classes. My second semester there I worked in the Writing Center and taught sections of English 101. The following year, I worked at Allan Hancock College as a Writing Center Staff member and taught many sections of freshman composition courses at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Now I am a financial aid counselor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After working at the community colleges, it was a difficult choice to leave teaching, but I was anxious for a career that had many opportunities for advancement and some kind of stability. I’m glad I still see students on a daily basis and am still able to develop connections with them.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
As an English graduate student, we spend our time reading and writing. And reading. And writing. And occasionally watching things. And writing. This turned out to be surprisingly relevant to my current career path working with federal and state financial aid, which require close reading and interpretation of sometimes byzantine regulations. The classes at Syracuse helped polish my skills in assessing texts and articulating responses. As an M.A. student, I also had to teach two classes a semester, and this teaching experience was invaluable at launching a career working with students. My time teaching at Syracuse really solidified my desire to work with students in higher ed. I loved teaching, and I am able to use this skill during financial aid workshops and other outreach events. Finally, one of my favorite parts of being at Syracuse were the professors, who were kind and generous with their encouragement and time. I think I’ve taken a class with most of the current Syracuse English faculty during my undergraduate or graduate career. From each of them, I learned how to be a better instructor, how to be more compassionate, how to think about the world in a critical way. And they taught me a sense of social justice. This informs my involvement with campus issues at Cal Poly. Still fighting the good fight as much as I can.

Adrienne enjoys attending local trivia nights, listening to Hamilton, cooking, and going to coffee shops because some grad school habits die hard.

Gohar Siddiqui (G'13)(+)

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Gohar Siddiqui

Gohar graduated in 2013 and is currently Assistant Professor of English and the Film Minor Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Her dissertation was titled Déjà Viewed: Nation, Gender, and Genre in Bollywood Remakes of Hollywood Cinema. As a graduate student at Syracuse, she won the James Elson Teaching Award (2011) and the Outstanding TA Award (2011); she was also a University Fellow. Gohar is currently working on the book manuscript for her dissertation, along with an article that considers Indian-American identity on US Television. She is a member of SCMS, NWSA, and PCA, and is in the process of reviving the international film festival at UW-Platteville in Spring 2017, for which she has recently obtained the Tournées Film Festival grant.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I was interested in remakes, docudramas, popular Hindi cinema, and transnational feminism.

What activities were you involved in?
I was involved in the English department’s Film Studies Reading Group, and I worked as a Teaching Mentor for the Graduate School’ All-University TA Orientation Program. I also participated in the Future Professoriate Project, for which I earned my Certificate in University Teaching.

What was your first job after graduation?
I was hired by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as Assistant Professor of English and Film Minor Coordinator.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
I cannot count how many times people have told me that they are envious of the support and preparation I got at Syracuse as a graduate student. I wouldn’t be here without the mentorship of my teachers at Syracuse. I owe a lot to the English department, the WGS department, and our film studies reading group for preparing me with the breadth of knowledge necessary to develop my research on remakes and on docudramas.

At Syracuse I got plenty of amazing opportunities that have all helped me prepare for the job market and eased my way in my new job. An invaluable experience for me was serving on the hiring committee. It gave me an insight into how the job market works, what all committees look for in a candidate, and how faculty view a future colleague.

One of the best learning experiences for me at Syracuse was the TA training I got from professors when I was a teaching assistant for film, popular culture, and gender courses. Their guidance and feedback prepared me well for all aspects of teaching. I designed and taught my own courses in film, popular culture, literature, and gender at Syracuse, and it has been fairly easy for me to develop new and diverse courses at UW-Platteville.

Gohar lives in Dubuque, IA, with her main support system that helped her through grad school — her partner and her stress-busting trio of cats. They love watching films and TV shows (for research purposes, you know), but often find themselves procrastinating by binge-watching cute animal videos on YouTube.

Elizabeth Stearns (G'13)(+)

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Elizabeth Stearns

Elizabeth graduated from the English PhD program in 2013, with her dissertation titled Jailbreakers, Villains, and Vampires: Representations of Criminality in Early-Victorian Popular Texts. She is a globe-trotter, and she recently co-edited a critical edition of The Skeleton Crew; or Wildfire Ned (1866-1867), published by Victorian Secrets in 2015.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I studied nineteenth-century British literature, with a focus on texts popular with the lower classes.

What was your first job after graduation?
I worked as an adjunct instructor at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO, for two years.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
After a near-miss for a full-time position at a community college in Denver, my husband and I decided to travel around the world. For nine months we journeyed to ten different countries — Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, the Galápagos Islands, Peru, Morocco, Spain, Belgium, Thailand, and Japan — trading labor for food and board, and gaining exposure to alternative modes of living. Having returned, I'm considering getting back on the tenure track job search, but it's more likely that I'll start building a career in the non-profit sector as a grant writer. The research, analytical, and writing skills I developed while at Syracuse are directly applicable to this type of work, and I think I would find it very rewarding. Most importantly, my experiences at Syracuse molded me into a sharp critical thinker finely attuned to the ways that power, broadly speaking, impacts our lives and the lives of those around us. This training, coupled with my subsequent experiences, has helped me strip away certain complacencies with "the way things are," and to actively seek positive change that I can implement, at the very least, in my own life. I may not end up as a tenured professor, but I still see the PhD program as tremendously valuable for how it shaped me personally.

Elizabeth is currently in flux, temporarily in Kansas but with sights on living somewhere in the northeast where they have four seasons, good soil, and space for a dog and some chickens. She writes poetry and knows how to make killer sauerkraut.

Mark Celeste (G'12)(+)

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Mark Celeste

Mark graduated from the English MA program in 2012, and is now in his fourth year of studies for his PhD in English at Rice University. Building on his archival and historicist training at Syracuse, his research deals with maritime networks and exchanges in the British long nineteenth century. At Rice, he is head student copyeditor for SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 and is also a teaching assistant in the first-year writing program. He is a member of member of the MLA and INCS (Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies), and has now participated twice in the annual Dickens Project week-long conference.

What was your area of research as an MA student?
At Syracuse, my research dealt with soundscapes and embodiment in the Victorian era, as well as historicism and archival theory.

What was your dossier about?
I titled my dossier The Politics and Poetics of Noise, Memory, and Beards: A Dossier of Studies in Cultural Histories and Textual Representations. As my (rather clunky) title suggests, I was interested in the relationship between text, context, and representation. My first section tracked the dialectics of music and noise in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, reading it alongside the acoustics of London’s East End. My second section examines how female forgetfulness shifts from an innocent dramatic event to a standard, male-enforced plot device across three early modern revenge tragedies (Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger’s Tragedy). And my final section proposes a cultural history of Victorian facial hair, arguing that British men grew beards not only to naturalize a rugged masculinity, but also to put that masculine performance into service for the empire: beards, moustaches, and whiskers, I suggest, serve as a form of national identity and imperial self-fashioning.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
On campus, I participated in English Graduate Organization meetings and events. Also, I received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award during my second year of the MA program.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
Syracuse taught me how to be an effective and professional scholar. My two years in the program laid the foundations that will serve me for years to come. Beyond the knowledge of content (texts and contexts, theories and trends, etc.), the Syracuse MA instilled both a strong work ethic and a strong intellectual curiosity. Moreover, at Syracuse I made personal and professional contacts with whom I still keep in touch, and I know that I can reach out to these people if I ever need them.

Mark lives in Houston with his fiancée (who, coincidentally, also earned an MA from Syracuse) and two cats (who, alas, did not earn MAs from Syracuse). When he’s not reading (for work or for pleasure), Mark enjoys making music, playing complicated board games, and swimming.

Michael Dwyer (G'10)(+)

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Michael Dwyer

Michael entered the English PhD program in Fall 2004 and graduated in 2010, and is now Associate Professor of Media and Communication at Arcadia University. His dissertation was titled Back to the Fifties: Pop Nostalgia in the Reagan Era, and served as the basis of his recent book, Back to the Fifties: Nostalgia, Hollywood Film, and Popular Music of the Seventies and Eighties (Oxford UP, 2015). He is a member of SCMS and recently completed a three-year term on the SCMS IT Committee, where he helped to establish a mobile program/conference app for the Society. He is also a member of IAMHIST (International Association of Media and History) and the International Media Nostalgia Network.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I enrolled at Syracuse thinking I was going to do research on early 20th century American literature, cultural studies, and theories of subjection. I wound up doing a cultural studies/film studies dissertation on nostalgia in Hollywood film from 1973-1988.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
I was pretty involved in the English Graduate Organization from my first semester on — I was on the agenda committee, the graduate committee, facilitator for two or three years, and the website manager for a time. In my first few years we re-started Negotiations, founded a speaker series, got the funding situation straightened out with GSO, built a TA Archive ... I was a Teaching Fellow in the Graduate School and I also was a leader for the Fulbright Program's orientation. I organized the English Department's intramural soccer teams back in the day; I was also pretty faithful to Trivia Night at the Inn Complete. I was in a bunch of reading groups, as well.

What was your first job after graduation?
I was offered the job of Assistant Professor of English, Communication and Theater Arts at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA (right outside of Philadelphia) in the Spring of 2010.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
I am very adamant about this: Syracuse prepared me to do the work of being in the academy by not shielding me from the work of being in the academy. At Syracuse I taught classes of my own design (in composition, in film, in cultural studies, in literature), I did curriculum design and teacher training, I planned and funded academic events, I debated with my colleagues about the best strategies to advocate for our interests in the department, I cast votes on hiring and sat on an admissions committee, and I researched university policies to make sure our graduate program was in line with them when the curriculum changed. These things weren't "extras" that "distracted" from my progress in the program. They are the program, and in many cases these sorts of things matter more to your function as a professor than your writing projects do. Syracuse is unique in that it has a history of radical democratic participation from its graduate students in departmental governance. That's a legacy that was hard-won, and it's important to continue, not only for reasons of principle for but our grad students' development.

I should also say that I had amazing colleagues working with me and challenging me and fighting me all along the way, and that kind of vibrant culture of what the EGO collective, inspired by former Syracuse prof Bill Readings, used to call "cooperative dissensus" became a fundamental part of my identity as a scholar and as a human. And many of those colleagues remain dear friends. Just yesterday my partner (also a Syracuse English PhD) spent the day with friends from out of town that we met in the Syracuse English department twelve years ago. And the mentorship I got from faculty — not just my advisor or my committee but almost everyone in the grad faculty — remains important to me today. 

Michael lives in Philadelphia with his partner Rachel, where they eat pizza, drink beers, and get into extended, wonderful arguments about the sustainability of the Paris Commune or why the Veronica Mars movie was so bad. Some things haven't changed since grad school. 

Jon Singleton (G'10)(+)

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Jon Singleton graduated from the English PhD program in 2010 and is now Assistant Professor of English at Harding University. His dissertation was titled The Suspension of (Dis)Belief: Novel and Bible in Victorian Society. He is currently researching how transformations in religious faith and spiritual experience are reflected in nineteenth-century literature, as well as trends in secularization and religious resurgence today.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I studied nineteenth-century literature, religion, and culture; theology; and cognitive theory.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
While at Syracuse, I was a Humanities Center Fellow, Teaching Mentor for the Fulbright Teaching Fellows program, a Teaching Fellow and then a Graduate Consultant for the Teaching Assistant Orientation Program, and an active member of the English Graduate Organization.

What was your first job after graduation?
After I graduated with my PhD from Syracuse, I was hired immediately for a one-year adjunct Assistant Professor position at Le Moyne College (Syracuse); by the end of that term, I had landed a full-time faculty position as Assistant Professor at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
Graduate English studies at Syracuse equipped and then launched me into a successful and highly satisfying career. Syracuse's rigorous and demanding yet constantly supportive faculty opened up doors I never even expected to find: doors to serendipitous discoveries in London archives, to networking with major scholars at international conferences, to working effectively and easily with colleagues and administrators amid the many tensions of a university, to publishing original and fulfilling scholarly work. I had a wonderful experience and received world-class training in every aspect of being a scholar — in research, writing, teaching, and service to our profession.

Though still a New Yorker at heart, Jon lives in the small college town of Searcy, Arkansas, with his wife Julie and their three children. Outside his work as a professor, he enjoys puttering in their small vegetable garden (a new pursuit for him, since moving to Arkansas), painting, and learning classical guitar.

Emily Shortslef (G'08)(+)

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Emily Shortslef

Emily Shortslef graduated from the English MA program in 2008 and went on to complete a PhD in English at Columbia University. She is now Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Currently, Emily is working on a book project, tentatively titled Shakespeare and the Drama of Complaint, that explores the connections between scenes of lamentation, accusation, and supplication in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, early modern discourses of and about “complaint,” and theories of tragedy. She is a member of the SAA and the RSA.

What was your area of research as an MA student?
I was interested in Early Modern drama and poetry, with a focus on questions of form and drama.

What was your dossier about?
The papers were all concerned with the relationships between particular metaphors or tropes (fantasies of sight in Middleton and Dekker’s The Roaring Girl, grafting as a metaphor for writing poetry in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and the Babylonian exile as a figure for the Puritan settlement in New England in Anne Bradstreet’s poetry), and the larger literary and cultural fantasies or anxieties those texts articulate.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
In my second year, I served as an officer in EGO.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
I began graduate school with a very strong desire to get my MA and PhD, become a professor, and write books — and very little knowledge about what academia was like or how to survive, let alone succeed, in it. I simply can’t overstate how intellectually and professionally formative my time at Syracuse was for me, largely due to the faculty members who mentored me, trained me to do scholarship, and provided me with opportunities for networking and professional development.

Emily lives in Lexington, KY, with her fiance and their two cats. She enjoys good food and bad television, preferably at the same time.

Brinda Charry (G'05)(+)

Brinda Charry 

Brinda graduated from the English PhD program in 2005, and is currently Professor of English at Keene State College. Her dissertation was titled Threshold People: Representing Chang and Exchange in the Contact Zone. She has written about Shakespeare’s The Tempest for the Arden Student Skills: Language and Writing series (edited by Dympna Callaghan) and co-edited with Gitanjali Shahani the collection Emissaries in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Mediation, Transmission, Traffic, 1550-1700 (Routledge, 2016); she is also an accomplished novelist. She is currently working on the Arden Guide to Renaissance Drama and an article on Ariel in The Tempest, and is a member of the Shakespeare Association of America.

What was your area of research as a PhD student?
I studied English Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare.

What activities and groups were you involved in?
I participated in the International Students group, and I also worked as a Teaching Mentor for the the summer Teaching Assistant Orientation Program.

What was your first job after graduating?
I was hired as Assistant Professor of English at Keene State College, in Keene, NH, where I’m still working today as Professor.

How has your experience as a PhD student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
I benefited tremendously from the variety of courses and critical approaches. My teachers were wonderful and Dympna Callaghan was a tremendous mentor. When I began my full-time teaching career I realized how much I’d learned from my experience as a TA — the teaching mentor program was also very useful. And the Syracuse weather … it prepared me for a lifetime of New England winters … 

Brinda lives in beautiful Keene, NH, which has to be among the most pleasant towns in the country. Nothing gives her as much pleasure as walking its winding trails in the fall.