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Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a restful break. I want to wish you all a very happy and stress-free spring semester.

As the semester gets underway, please do not forget about our annual EGSA symposium on March 11th and 12th. This is an opportunity for us all, but perhaps especially you first and second year students, to work through a paper that we might want to publish or expand in some way. In keeping with tradition, there is no theme to the EGSA symposium. We welcome submissions on all topics and themes. We will generate panels based on overlaps and affinities where we find them (unless, of course, you want to propose a panel). 

In other EGSA Symposium news, we are delighted to announce that Angel Matos will be one of our keynote speakers this year. Angel completed his PhD here at ND with a graduate minor in Gender Studies in 2016 and has since gone on to work in tenure track positions at San Diego State and now Bowdoin College. Angel’s work focuses on young adult and children’s literature, queer studies, and pedagogy. He will be talking about his current research project as well as how this research intersects with his trajectory from ND to postdoc to the tenure track. Let’s welcome him back to ND (digitally of course) with a full and enthusiastic audience. I know I am very excited for this.

The other thing I wanted to mention is a slight schedule change for our EGSA board meetings. Instead of meeting at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of the month, we will be switching the time to 2 p.m. So if you want to swing by for the 10-minute public comment period at the top of the hour, please remember our new time.

That’s it for now, but remember to be patient with yourself and with others as we start what promises to be another very challenging semester.

Beir bua,


New Student Spotlight

Mary Rose Dwyer
First Year MFA

Q: What have you learned about yourself through the writing process?

A: Lately, I've noted how the processes of observation and intellectual/emotional gestation are probably the most important parts of my writing process. I used to think that churning out words was the only productive thing. Also, I've learned that I often need parameters to reel me in--traditional forms or page margins have been really transformative containers for many of my poems. 

Q: What are the artworks, books, musicians, films that have influenced you and your work?  

A: Artworks: Anything surreal or uncanny - Magritte and Dahli were my first exposures to that kind of work, but I know there are many others whose names don't come to mind immediately. Always looking for suggestions! I find Medieval art really fascinating, too--anything with weirdness, myth, and alchemy. 

Books: Italo Calvino's The Complete Cosmicomics, W.S. Merwin's The Lice, Yusef Komunyakaa's The Emperor of Water Clocks, Srikanth Reddy's Facts for Visitors, Sinan Antoon's The Book of Collateral Damage, Eugenio Montale's Ossi de Sepia. And lots of children's books. I love nursery rhymes.

Musicians: Always changing but here are some tops: Odetta, Lead Belly, Mulatu Astatke, Etta James, Talking Heads, Steeleye Span.  

Films: Basically anything Hitchcock, Persona by Ingmar Bergman, Soleil O by Med Hondo, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby by Roman Polanski, and The Stepford Wives by Bryan Forbes (that's the 1975 version, not the 2004 camp-fest with Nicole Kidman). It seems I've developed a fascination with movies that have a creepy, patriarchal and claustrophobic gaze.  

Q: What does success mean to you? 

A: Living in a community of people who care for one another, create together, grow things, and commit to trying to make life better for everyone. Many communal dinners cooked with love. I'll consider myself successful if I can someday put all of my cookbooks to better use. 

Q: If you could map out your emotional landscape, what kind of animals and trees would we encounter? 

A: Let's say a mix between a redwood forest and a coral reef--lots of tall, snaky water plants and different colored fish and birds, and dark spooky pockets of cold water next to sunlit brambles. Probably a lot of big spiders scuttling around, weaving their fragile webs. Octopuses, bees, birds, frogs, belugas. Lots of cats, free-roaming and looking, alternately, for curiosities and nap spots. 

Q: Who would you cast to play the lead role in the biopic of your life? What would it be called? 

A: I think I'm going to go with Lorraine Bracco, not because she actually bears any resemblance to me but because I love everything she has ever done and I think she can capture the essence of New Jersey/New York-ness very well. Maybe it would be called, "My Double Life as a Mobster's Wife." 


In order to get prepared (and excited!) for EGSA’s Symposium, we will be hosting several events designed to support your professional development as a conference participant:

Abstract Writing Workshop
February 5th @ 11am

Thinking of submitting to EGSA’s symposium, but not sure where to start? Procrastinating your abstract and need accountability? Ahead of the CFP deadline we will be hosting a workshop to support you in writing your conference abstract. We’ll look at models, talk about what makes an effective abstract, and spend time workshopping ideas in breakout rooms.

You can pre-register for this event here

“More of a Question Than a Comment”
w/ Dr. Susan Cannon Harris
March 5th @ 11am

We’ve all sat through a tedious Q&A, with more long-winded comments than interesting questions. But how do we make sure we’re not the windbag when we speak up after a conference panel or lecture? Dr. Harris will provide us with best practices for coming up with intelligent, substantive, effective questions during conference Q&A, and avoiding common pitfalls.

Registration form coming soon


In addition to these Symposium-focused events, we will also be hosting our annual

Exam Prep Panel
February 10th @ 1pm

for those preparing for (or looking ahead to) comprehensive exams. Please bring your questions, worries, hopes & dreams, as we pass along the sage wisdom of those who are on the other side of exams! 

You can pre-register for this event here

EGSA Symposium

The Symposium is a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback from peers and faculty in the English Department as you prepare your work for other conferences, the dissertation, or journal submissions. It is also a wonderful chance to learn what those outside your main area of research are working on. Since this will be a virtual symposium - this also gives you the opportunity to practice giving your work in a new format compared to the traditional conference paper.

Similar to last year, our CFP will have two different links as we are allowing panel proposals. If there’s a topic you particularly want to see being discussed in this year’s Symposium, and you have identified students who share your same research interest across periods/areas of studies, we encourage you to organize and propose a themed panel along with your peers.

This is a great opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations! We will be selecting two student-created themed panels, one for each day of the Symposium. In your proposal, you must list at least 3 participants (including who will be chairing, if the chair is also presenting a paper) and the information regarding their respective papers (title and abstract for each one).

Lastly, in an effort to make the abstract submission process as stress-free as possible, this year our wonderful EGSA Board Officers have agreed to participate in abstract workshops where we will be offering help in brainstorming and drafting abstracts. We will be hosting an Abstract workshop on February 5th at 11:00 am. You can pre-register for this event here

IMPORTANT: The CFP portals will be open until Sunday, February 14th at 11:59pm. We will not be accepting abstracts after this date, to allow for a better and smoother organization of our Symposium.

If you are submitting an individual presentation, please access the following portal:
Individual Presentation Proposals
If you are submitting a themed panel, please access the following portal:   
Graduate Student Panel Proposals
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our President, Julian Dean (, or reach out to any of our EGSA Board Officers. 
We want to hear from you!
Do you have any announcements or messages you would like to share with all of us? Send our President, Julian Dean (, a quick email so we can feature your announcement in our next newsletter.  
Also, don't forget to visit our website! Here you will find information about our goals and even a copy of our constitution, keep up-to-date with our events by following our Google Calendar, find incredibly useful links and resources shared by our different chairs, and more!
EGSA Website
Those are all our announcements for now. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to reach out to us any time. Follow us on Facebook too, where we will be posting updates and pictures of our activities. 
We hope to see you in all our events! 

The English Graduate Student Association Board
President: Julian Dean
Vice-President: Oliver Ortega
Treasurer: Joshua Wright
PhD Professionalization Chair: Sara Judy
MFA Professionalization Chair: Valerie Vargas
Quality of Life Chair: Jake McGinnis
GSU Representatives: Marie Burns & Kyriana Lynch
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