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Welcoming English's New Faculty and Students

September 15, 2020 English

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We are glad to greet the new academic year with additions to our community.

New Faculty

John E. Drabinski is a Visiting Professor jointly appointed in the Department of English and the Department of African American Studies. He the author of four books, most recently Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minnesota 2019) and Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh 2012; winner of the Frantz Fanon Book Prize from the Caribbean Philosophical Association). He is completing a book-length study of James Baldwin entitled, "'So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic" and a short work on the idea of “the afro-postmodern” tentatively titled "What is the Afro-Postmodern?"

Marisa Parham is a Visiting Professor of English at the University of Maryland, where she serves as director for the African American Digital Humanities initiative (AADHUM), and is the associate director for the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). She also co-directs the Immersive Realities Lab for the Humanities, which is an independent workgroup for digital and experimental humanities (irLhumanities). Parham's current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality.

Cecilia D. Shelton earned her PhD in rhetoric, writing and professional communication from East Carolina University, where she was the graduate assistant director of the University Writing Center. She has authored articles for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy and Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. She is a member of several professional organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English and the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

Alan Montroso completed his dissertation “Subterranean Archives: Surfacing Resilience in the Middle Ages” at George Washington University in 2019. His work has appeared in postmedieval and Arthuriana, as well as a number of edited collections. In 2017, Dr. Montroso earned the Writing in the Disciplines Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award, and he cultivated this expertise at GW and NOVA teaching literature and writing courses guided by such exciting themes from “Myths of Britain” and “Monsters and Marvels” to nature writing and posthumanism.

Cameron Mozafari is welcomed back to UMD after graduating in 2019 and completing his dissertation “The Feeling of Persuasion: A Cognitive Rhetorical Perspective on the Rhetorical Appeal” under the direction of Drs. Michael Israel and Vessela Valiavitcharska. Dr. Mozafari has published his work in collaborative teams in such journals as Communication Design Quarterly and Textual Cultures. At Central New Mexico Community College, Dr. Mozafari has taught basic and first-year writing. At UMD, he taught courses on style, rhetorical theory, grammar, and academic writing.

Incoming M.F.A. Students

Sebastian Bronson Boddie (M.F.A., Poetry) is an incoming MFA student in poetry with interest in poets who explore memory, family, and ancestry. With their work, they strive to do the same and delve into their own family’s deep history and puzzle out the questions that arise.

Meghan Collins (M.F.A., Fiction) grew up in Michigan and Indiana before moving to Massachusetts to study Comparative Literature at Williams College. For the past two years, she has been working in a grocery store in Boston while finding a little bit of time to write fiction, mostly short stories. She is currently living in eastern Washington, where she just tried mountain biking for the first, and probably last, time.

Yahaira Galvez (M.F.A., Poetry) is the daughter of immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador, a Washington D.C. native, and a recent Bucknell University graduate in Creative Writing, though she had originally planned to major in Biochemistry. She was part of the 2019 Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, as well as the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She dreams of being a poet, chef, and neuroscientist someday.

Kate Hansen (M.F.A., Fiction) is a fiction writer from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She enjoys long walks, chocolate, bird-watching, and other remarkably boring things. And now, a fun fact: she is very excited to be at UMD!

Mack Marsden (M.F.A., Fiction) is a fiction writer originally from southern Oregon. They got their B.A. in English at the University of Oregon in 2012 and since then have lived in Boston and the Czech Republic, working as a bookseller, HR rep, barista, and English teacher. Their fiction focuses mainly on people with bad jobs and apartments.

Cecilia Smith (M.F.A., Poetry) is a first-year poetry M.F.A. student from Chicago, Illinois. Her interests include translation, medieval poetry, and Russian literature. When she's not attending zoom cocktail hours, you can find her brewing beer, rock climbing, or watching cooking shows on Netflix.

Incoming M.A. Students

Dominique Joe is a native of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, and she received her B.A. in English from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. She has a particular interest in 20th to 21st Century African American literature, especially that which came out of the Harlem Renaissance.

Bianca Licitra is a native New Yorker and recent graduate of St. John’s University, holding a B.A. in both English and Psychology. They are particularly interested in questions of gender, sexuality, Queerness, and community in Victorian and Modernist literature.

Incoming Ph.D. Students

Fernando Duran studies Latinx literature and culture and environmental literature. He researches the ways that ecological crises are represented in contemporary literature in order to think about place, identity, and political structures. His current work centers on the intersections between Central American migrant narratives and the environment. He received his M.A. in English from the City College of New York and his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Erin Green is a graduate from the University of Montevallo and holds a BA in English literature. They study African American literature and culture with primary interests in critical theory, Black speculative fiction, and Black queer pop culture and rhetorics. In their free time, they play the viola and manage a punk magazine.

Tyra Griffin graduated from Muhlenberg University with a B.A. in English and Media & Communications. Her work focuses on African Diasporic Literature, especially gender and sexuality.

Natalie McGartland is a Ph.D. student studying book history and print culture, with an emphasis on publishing history and digital and information studies. Her current work focuses on British fine presses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She recently completed her MA in English at Georgetown and received her undergraduate degree in English and Latin at the University of St Andrews.

Diana Proenza is a recent graduate of the New College of Florida, receiving a B.A. in English Literature and Art History. Her research pertains to the intersections between literature and visual/material culture, particularly in relation to 20th and 21st century women/gender studies and print history. Her recent undergraduate thesis explored feminist reconfigurations of subjectivity amidst post-WWI industry, fashion, and machinery in the little magazines of New York Dada. Her other areas of interest include multiethnic and global modernisms, archival/textual studies, indigenous and postcolonial theory, and trauma/memory studies.

Rachel Stroup holds an M.A in English (rhetoric and composition) and a graduate certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Ohio University. Her master's essay, “’The Brilliant Entrance to Hell Itself’: Dance Halls, Moral Reform, and Rhetorics of Space in the American Progressive Era (1890-1930)" is pending publication; this project received several awards, including Ohio University's Three Minute Thesis® (3MT) 2nd place and people's choice award. Her current research interests include rhetorics of space, history of the Progressive Era, film studies, rhetorical historiography, historical women's rhetoric and collaborative learning.