Faculty Research Interests


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Annalisa Castaldo

My current research interest is how magic was performed on the early modern stage and how magic interacts with gender norms. I also enjoy the work of editing editions of early modern plays.

Michael Cocchiarale

Michael Cocchiarale

Chair of English and Creative Writing

I have two main research interests: sports literature and flash fiction. I am interested in how fiction writers and poets use sports to explore issues of identity, gender, race, class, psychology, competition, and civic pride. More recently, I've become interested in flash fictions extremely short narratives typically less than 1,000 words.

Mark S. Graybill

Mark S. Graybill

Director of the Honors Program in General Education

My scholarly projects have tended to explore three occasionally overlapping areas: 1) southern fiction and postmodernism, which extends work done for my dissertation, but with a sharper focus on humor (and a less dogmatic application of postmodern theory); 2) the intersection of rock music and literature/literary theory; and perhaps most significantly, 3) the art (and aesthetic philosophies) of Flannery O'Connor, which I have striven to approach from what might be called 'undoctrinaire' perspectives.

I have published several articles on O'Connor, as well as other authors, including Don DeLillo, James Dickey, William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, and Walker Percy. I've also published on Bruce Springsteen, and I am co-editing a collection of essays on explorations of evil in rock music.

Jessica Guzman

Jessica B. Guzman

Assistant Professor, Co-Coordinator of Creative Writing Program

My research focuses primarily on all things poetry and poetics. My book, Adelante, is a collection of poetry that examines the relationships between place and loss, juxtaposing the death of my Cuban father with the suffering and resilience of the natural world. I am also interested in global poetic forms and ekphrastic modes. Other creative pursuits include creative nonfiction and place-based writing. My critical interests include immigrant, Latinx, and Caribbean literatures, and I have presented scholarship on writers such as Eduardo C. Corral and Derek Walcott. Whether crafting original poetry or critically engaging literature by others, I am interested in how images conceal and reveal ideas.  

leah f norris

Leah F. Norris

Assistant Professor of English

I research transatlantic modernism and feminist science fiction. My central interest is in how experimental literature encodes and enacts social change.

Jayne M. Thompson

Jayne M. Thompson

Associate Teaching Professor of English

My research interests include fiction writing and narrative theory. In addition, I hear the cases of juvenile offenders in Chester, and I taught one class a day at Chester High School for the school year. I am concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline, juvenile sentencing practices, and mass incarceration.

Diana Vecchio

Diana Vecchio

Assistant Teaching Professor of English

My research interests are literature of the Middle Ages, particularly Arthurian Literature, 19th-century writers, and the correlation between literature and popular fiction and film.

Christine M. Woody Profile Image

My research focuses on the Romantic period, examining how what we think we know about authorship at this time is challenged and rewritten by the wealth of periodicals--magazines, book reviews, and newspapers--that dominated the market at this historical moment. In my book project, "Publishing Personality: Romantic Periodicals and the Paradox of Living Authorship," I argue that periodicals understand authors not simply as legal constructs supported by copyright, but as personalities publishing in real time. The periodical therefore emerges as a site of both dangerous and utopian possibilities, as its writers explore what it might mean to practice authorship in an iterative, conditional space. Underlying this exploration is a shift in what the author represents, from being an exception to the everyday person to a model for them. Recent new work examines in more detail the dynamics of periodical production. Focusing on William Gifford's editorship of the Quarterly Review, I explore the workflows necessary to produce a quarterly periodical, as well as how the circumstances of Gifford's chronic illness and disability lead to innovations in periodical style.