Our faculty and students are deeply engaged in shaping the field of English studies.

Faculty Publications

Alice Dailey holds her recently published book

Alice Dailey, PhD, In How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol (Cornell University Press, 2022), offers a study of Shakespeare’s English history plays that initiates a radical break from the interpretive practices that have dominated literary criticism for the past several decades.

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Alan Drew recently published a new novel

Alan Drew, MFA, who teaches in the English department and directs Villanova's Creative Writing Program, has published The Recruit (Random House, 2022) a new suspenseful thriller. The Recruit is his third novel, following his critically acclaimed Shadow Man (Random House, 2017) and Gardens of Water (Random House, 2008).

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In Genre and White Supremacy in the Postemancipation United States (Oxford University Press, 2020), Travis M. Foster, PhD, associate professor of English and academic director of Villanova’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program, offers an important new study of popular literature’s role in refashioning and resisting white supremacy in an emergent post-emancipation climate. In his book, Dr. Foster discusses how popular literary and cultural genres influenced how Americans understood their social and political affiliations, their citizenship, and their race. In the wake of emancipation’s failed promise, two key developments unfolded: white supremacy amassed new mechanisms and procedures for reproducing racial hierarchy, and black freedom developed new practices for collective expression and experimentation. This new “racial ordinary” came into being, his book argues, through literary and cultural genres, including campus novels (novels whose main action is set in and around a university campus), the Ladies' Home Journal, Civil War elegies, and gospel sermons.

In Novel Institutions: Anachronism, Irish Novels and Nineteenth Century Realism (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), Mary Mullen, PhD, claims that novels by Irish writers like Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton, Charles Joseph Kickham, and George Moore help us reinterpret novels by English writers like George Eliot and Charles Dickens. In her bookDr. Mullen examines anachronisms in realist writing to redefine British realism and demonstrate how institutions constrain social relationships in the present—and limit our sense of political possibilities in the future.

Brooke Hunter, PhD, published a new book Forging Boethius in Medieval Intellectual Fantasies (Routledge, 2018). Dr. Hunter's book examines the influence of the thirteenth-century Pseudo-Boethian forgery De disciplina scolarium on medieval understandings of Boethius (died 524 CE). Tracing the popularity of De disciplina’s vision of Boethius in the middle ages in relation to its current scholarly neglect, Dr. Hunter shows how medieval schoolmen saw themselves and the past, and how modern scholars imagine the medieval past. In exploring this alternate Boethian persona through a variety of different works including texts of translatio studii et imperii, common school texts, the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, and humanist writings, Dr. Hunter's book reveals a new vein of medieval Boethianism that is earthy, practical and even humorous.

Joseph Drury, PhD, is the author of the book, Novel Machines: Technology and Narrative Form in Enlightenment Britain was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. It argues that many of the most important formal innovations in eighteenth-century fiction were critical responses to the new prominence of machines in Britain’s Industrial Enlightenment. His second project explores the representation of idolatry and iconoclasm in eighteenth-century culture. He is also currently working on an essay on "Science" for the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Samuel Johnson.

Chiji Akoma, Oral Literary Performance in Africa: Beyond Text. Co-edited by Nduka Otiono. London: Routledge, 2021.

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, PhD, Revolute, Albion Books, 2021.

Travis Foster, “The Effeminate Man,” Gender in American Literature and Culture, ed. Jean Lutes and Jennifer Travis, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

Kamran Javadizadeh, PhD, “Can Rilke Change Your Life?” The New Yorker, 26 May, 2021.

Heather Hicks, "'Enough to Change a Planet': Feeling Extinction in Contemporary Literature." Reconsidering Extinction in Terms of the History of Global Bioethics. Ed. Stan Booth and Chris Mounsey. New York: Routledge, 2021. 1-26.

Yumi Lee, PhD, “Ever-Pending: U.S. Literature of the Long Korean War.” The James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies Korean Studies Colloquium. 7 Oct. 2021, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. See more here.

Jean Lutes, PhD, “A Queer Tale of Two Endings: Alice Dunbar-Nelson and ‘His Heart's Desire.’” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Vol. 9, No. 1, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021. See more here.

Lisa Sewell, PhD, Birds of North America: Drawings by Susan Hagen, Poems by Nathalie Anderson and Lisa Sewell. Drawing Room, 2021. See more here.

Lauren Shohet, “Mediation, Media, and Milton’s Eve,” Milton Studies 63.1 (special issue on “Milton Now”), 2021, 11-24. 

Kimberly Takahata, Annotating Grainger, a digital project.


Student Spotlight

Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon, grad students at a conference

First-year Villanova University English MA graduate students Hannah Kahn and Caitlin Salomon recently presented at The Conference on Christianity and Literature’s (CCL) 2022 Western Regional conference, “Literary Geographies – Space, Place, and Environments,” held at Biola University in La Mirada, California, April 7 to 9, 2022.

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Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Department Chair
Professor Heather Hicks