English Department at UNLV


Graduate Applications

Applications for admission to the English Department’s graduate programs are submitted through the UNLV Graduate College. Official GRE results should be sent to the English department (institution code: 4861; applicants should not enter a department code).

Department News

Course Descriptions: Fall 2015 graduate and undergraduate-level courses are now available online.

Check here for upcoming visiting speakers, details on semester deadlines, and other news of interest to our department.

Spring 2015

Commencement 2015: Congratulations to new alumnae and alumni!

On Saturday, May 16, at UNLV’s annual commencement ceremony, the Graduate College and the UNLV Department of English proudly awarded degrees in English to 57 new alumnae and alumni. The Graduate College and the Department awarded 2 PhDs, 9 MFAs, 6 MAs, and 40 BAs. Pictured here are new Master of Arts recipients Aisha Ratanapool, Tynelle Olivas, Ariel Santos, and Victoria Smith:

Left to right: Aisha Ratanapool, Tynelle Olivas, Ariel Santos, Prof. Evelyn Gajowski, and Victoria Smith.

Congratulations to all our new alumnae and alumni!

Bella Victoria Smith wins Calvert Award

Congratulations to Bella Victoria Smith for winning a Calvert Award. She earned degrees in English, Honors, and Interdisciplinary Studies (Summa Cum Laude) at Commencement on Saturday. Her Honors Thesis is titled, “‘Or what you will’: Presentist, Non-Binary Interpretations of Crossdressing in Early Modern Drama.” She plans to continue her work in Shakespeare, early modern English drama, and gender/sexuality theory in her graduate studies at Ohio State University, supported by a fellowship and a GAship, in the fall.

UNLV English Undergraduate Manuela Bowles Wins Undergraduate Research Award

We at the Department of English are ecstatic to announce that undergraduate Manuela Bowles has been awarded a 2015 University Libraries Lance & Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Award in the Emerging Scholar Category.

Manuela Bowles

Bowles’s project is entitled “Margaret Atwood and the Implications of the Word Love.” The Lance & Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Awards were established in 2006 so that UNLV Libraries may “support and recognize sophistication and originality in student research.” In addition to having her project published through Digital Scholarship@UNLV, Bowles will also be awarded a $750 cash prize and a certificate.

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

College of Liberal Arts Honors Convocation

The Department of English had six faculty members recognized for outstanding achievement at the recent College of Liberal Arts Honors Convocation, more than any other department in the College. Donald Revell (Regents Creative Activities Award), Julia Lee (UNLV Emerging Scholar for 2014), Jane Hafen (UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award), John Bowers (BMI/COLA Research Fellowship Award), Evelyn Gajowski (BMI/COLA Research Fellowship Award), Claudia Keelan (BMI/COLA Research Fellowship Award) were all recognized for their accomplishments.

In addition, graduate student David Armstrong won the Nevada System of Higher Education Regents' Scholar Award. Fifty other department majors also were recognized for various awards.

Timea Sipos, winner of the Barton Family Scholarship, the Jerry Kalafatis Lodge Scholarship, and the Malcolm G. Moses Scholarship, with her parents at the College of Liberal Arts Honors Convocation.
Department Chair Richard Harp (far left) and Associate College of Liberal Arts Dean Jennifer Keene (far right), with a number of the Department's Convocation Honorees

New Faculty and New Courses in Fall 2014

The UNLV English Department is happy to introduce two new members joining our faculty for Fall 2014: welcome to Assistant Professor Emily Setina and Post-Doctoral Fellow Jessica E. Teague.

Dr. Emily Setina

Dr. Emily Setina teaches and writes about modernism, poetry, and 20th and 21st-century American literature. Writers’ archives and writing’s relation to visual media and visual practices, especially photography and painting, are at the center of her research. Her current book project, The Woman in the Darkroom, tells a literary and cultural history of modernism and photography through the works and archives of three women writers: Virginia Woolf, Stein, and Marianne Moore. Other recent projects include essays on modernist revision, the politics of post-war translation, and Proust. She has taught previously at Baylor, Connecticut College, Yale, and her alma mater, Davidson College. We’re pleased to announce that in the upcoming Fall 2014 semester, Dr. Setina will be teaching a senior/graduate level course focusing on modernist and post-modernist American poetry:

ENG 462C/662C: Modern American Poetry

Poetry makes nothing happen, wrote poet W. H. Auden. Making poetry that mattered in an age of two world wars and rapid social and technological change was a challenge that provoked feats of imagination and radical experiment from America’s poets. The careers of eight modern poets and two post-modernists – Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Ashbery – structure this class. We read substantial selections of each writer’s poetry, giving some attention to work in other genres, drafts, and revisions to consider how a poet's stated aims and otherwise hidden evolutions extend our sense of the poet and of poetry . . . [Read More]

Dr. Jessica E. Teague

Dr. Jessica E. Teague received her PhD from Columbia University in 2013 and specializes in Twentieth-Century American Literature. Her other scholarly interests include sound studies, modernism, jazz, new media studies, and African-American Literature. Her book-in-progress, Ears Taut to Hear: Sound Recording and Twentieth-Century American Literature, explores the ongoing relationship between American modernism and sound reproduction technologies. In 2011, an article titled “The Recording Studio on Stage: Liveness in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom appeared in American Quarterly’s special issue on sound. She has taught courses in literature and writing at Columbia University and UNLV. It's our pleasure to note that in the upcoming Fall 2014 semester, Dr. Teague will be teaching a senior/graduate level course focusing on jazz and American literature 1918-present:

ENG 453B/653B: American Lit 1918-Present: Jazz and American Literature

This course will survey twentieth-century American literature with a special focus on the ways jazz music has influenced and inspired literature from the Harlem Renaissance and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “jazz age” tales to the present. The class will incorporate live and recorded jazz performances to help us to understand how the blues, swing, improvisation, and other musical elements inflect the form and themes of writing. Texts will include fiction, autobiography, poetry, essays, and recordings by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Zora Neal Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Billie Holiday, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, and others. [Read More]

Welcome to the faculty, Dr. Setina and Dr. Teague!

Prof. Donald Revell named ΦΒΚ Poet for Harvard Commencement!

Prof. Donald Revell

The English Department is happy to extend our congratulions to our own Prof. Donald Revell, who has been chosen as this year's Phi Beta Kappa Poet for the annual Literary Exercises at Harvard University's commencement. Poets so honored in the past include Robert Creely, Allen Ginsburg, and Seamus Heany. Revell currently is writing a poem specifically for the occasion. Its over-arching theme will be the reason of poetry and the ways in which poetry is a language more rational (difficult sometimes, but never obscure) than the language of day-to-day exchange.

Donald Revell is the author of 11 collections of poetry, most recently The Bitter Withy (2009), A Thief of Strings (2007) and Pennyweight Windows: New & Selected Poems (2005), all from Alice James Books. Winner of the 2004 Lenore Marshall Award and two-time winner of the PEN Center USA Award in poetry, he has also received the Gertrude Stein Award, two Shestack Prizes, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim foundations. He has been a poetry editor of Colorado Review since 1996. 2014 is the 224th year Harvard's Literary Exercises have taken place.

Prof. Amy Green to deliver TEDx Talk on Video Games and Big Ideas, Friday, April 11.

Prof. Amy Green

We’re happy to announce that our own Assistant Professor-in-Residence Amy M. Green will be presenting her talk entitled “Changing Expectations: Video Games and Big Ideas” as a part of the inaugural TEDxUNLV event on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Watching the talk: Although tickets are sold out for TEDxUNLV, viewers may watch the entire schedule of events streamed online via tedxunlv.com. (Note: It is not necessary to create a viewing party — closer to the event, there will be a link available here to watch the broadcast live.)

Fall 2013

New Upper-Level Courses for Spring 2014: Dangerous Travels to the American Frontier and Early Twentieth Century African American Literature and Film

This upcoming Spring semester, the English Department is happy to offer special-topics upper-level undergraduate course and graduate course from our newest faculty members, Prof. John Hay and Prof. Julia Lee.

This Spring, Prof. Hay will be teaching a course for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students, ENG 452B/652B on “Dangerous Travels to the American Frontier”. Prof. Hay specializes in nineteenth-century American literature, and his current book-in-progress, The Postapocalyptic American Frontier: Uncanny Historicism in the Nineteenth Century, examines how American writers traveling west located the nation’s position in history. Spring semester’s Dangerous Travels course will focus on the literature of the frontier West:

Americans have a long tradition of traveling west for profit and adventure. In fact, in addition to statesmen like Washington and Jefferson, the nation's first legendary heroes included backwoodsmen such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. The frontier they inhabited was a murky borderland, at times a natural preserve and at times a contested warzone. Western travels were often dangerous excursions into violent, lawless regions, yet many writers (both men and women) enthusiastically sought to describe the wonders of these locales to an eager audience. This course will examine a short set of texts that feature travel to the frontier, texts including The Last of the Mohicans, The Oregon Trail, and the autobiography of the Native American warrior Black Hawk. We will discuss the rise of action stories, the role of environment, and the relationship between Native Americans and the U.S. republic. . . .

Prof. Lee will be teaching a graduate course of ENG 795 on Early Twentieth-Century African American Literature and Film. Prof. Lee specializes in African-American literature and transatlantic studies. Her book, The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Her current research is focused on racial representations in the comedy series, “Our Gang.” Her Spring semester African-American Literature and Film course will look at representations of the “Old Negro” versus “New Negro” in film and literature from the first half of the twentieth century:

. . . At the same time as W. E. B. DuBois, Alain Locke, and James Weldon Johnson were calling for a New Negro Renaissance, film was developing into a powerful tool of mass communications, disseminating stereotypical images of African Americans derived from blackface minstrelsy, vaudeville, and popular literature. This course begins with D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915) and tracks cinematic representations of African Americans into the sound era, the Depression, and World War II. It focuses on the comedy series, Our Gang (later known as The Little Rascals), which both perpetuated and revised popular cinematic and literary images of African American children.

For more information on their respective courses, contact either Prof. Hay or Prof. Lee. If you’re interested in taking the course, you can register online through MyUNLV.

Sigma Tau Delta Scholarship News

The English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, offers a variety of scholarships and academic awards valued at up to $5,000 each. If you’re not yet a member of the honor society, think about joining!

Scholarships and Academic Awards

Application Deadline: November 11

Individual Awards, Chapter Awards, and Project Grants

Application Deadline: November 4

Individual Awards are offered for leadership and personal websites or blogs. Chapter Awards include: outstanding chapters, Sponsors, literary arts journals, and blogs or websites. Chapters may also apply for Project Grants of up to $500.

For more information: Contact the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at UNLV (Epsilon Rho chapter).

Debut Novel by UNLV English Alumna Alissa Nutting.

Congratulations to UNLV alumna Alissa Nutting (PhD, 2011) on the publication of her novel, Tampa (New York: Ecco/HarperCollins). This is her debut novel, following the publication of her acclaimed short fiction collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls (Starcherone/Dzanc Books, 2010).

Alissa Nutting was born in rural Michigan. She received an MFA degree from the University of Alabama and completed her PhD in Creative Writing with the UNLV English Department in 2011. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, BOMB, and Conduit; her essays have appeared in Fence, the New York Times, and other venues. She is now an assistant professor of creative writing and English literature at John Carroll University.

Welcome our new English Department Faculty!

The UNLV English Department is happy to introduce six new professors joining the department faculty in the Fall 2013 semester: Assistant Professors John Hay and Julia Lee, and four new faculty-in-residence: professors Amy Green, Scott Hollifield, Heather Lusty, and Andy Nicholson.

Dr. John A. Hay specializes in nineteenth-century American literature; his scholarly interests also include the history of ideas, the history of science, literary realism, and narratology. His current book-in-progress, The Postapocalyptic American Frontier: Uncanny Historicism in the Nineteenth Century, examines how American writers traveling west located the nation’s position in history.

Dr. Julia Lee specializes in African-American literature and transatlantic studies. Her book, The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press; her current project is on racial representations in the comedy series, Our Gang.

Dr. Amy M. Green received her Ph.D in Literature from UNLV in 2009. She specialized in Shakespeare and 19th Century American Literature. Today, her work has evolved and she focuses on popular culture studies, especially with regards to literature, film, and video game analyses. She is especially interested in the expanding presence of video games as a compelling source of narrative, one that is necessarily participatory by nature.

Dr. Scott Hollifield was born in Detroit and resides in Las Vegas. His doctoral work was on the presence of Chaucer in Shakespeare’s narrative poems and plays; he has published articles on World Literature and film, worked on an instructor’s guide to accompany The Norton Anthology of World Literature (3e), and is developing the Shakespeare and Film Theory volume of a forthcoming series from the Arden Shakespeare.

Dr. Heather Lusty specializes in twentieth century literature, modernism, and postcolonialism. She has written on architecture and cultural nostalgia, WWI and trauma, and constructions of national identity. Her other interests include British empire literature and culture, cultural collecting and practices, contemporary international antiquity issues (repatriation), science fiction, and chaos theory. Her edited collection examining areas of congruence in James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence is forthcoming through the University Press of Florida’s Joyce Series.

Dr. Andrew Nicholson’s poems have appeared in magazines and journals including Colorado Review, Eleven Elevent, and Spinning Jenny. In the summer of 2013, he was an Artist-in-Residence at the Palazzo Rinaldi in Noepoli, Italy. He is currently working on translations of the French poet, Pierre Reverdy.

Welcome to the Department, Professors Hay, Lee, Green, Hollifield, Lusty and Nicholson.

Spring 2013

New Members welcomed to Sigma Tau Delta international honor society in May 2013

Last Friday, May 3, 2013, the Epsilon Rho chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society held an Induction Ceremony to welcome new members here at UNLV. Welcome to the 28 new inductees honored at the induction ceremony: congratulations to Michelle Abraham, Matthew Buyachek, Maria Brophy, Alex Carlone, Joan Castle, Alexandria Daniels, Ceasare Filipelli, Grace Funcion, Analelli Gonzalez, Kara Hall, Stephanie Kasheta, Caitlin Keisker, Erik Kluever, Kristen Koop, Darel Mally, Amanda Miller, Molly O'Donnell, Cole Peterson, Fantasi Pridgon, Yelena Protopopova, Aisha Ratanapool, Katie Ross, Timea Sipos, Bella Victoria Smith, Anthony Stahl, Kristen Tardio, Amy Townsley, and Richard Warren.

Here's a photo from the Induction Ceremony

Back Row (left to right): Christopher Decker, Amanda Miller, Anthony Stahl, Timea Sipos and Kristen Tardio. Front Row (left to right): Richard Harp, Alex Carlone, and Vincent Perez.

Sigma Tau Delta (ΣΤΔ) is the International English Honor Society. Founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University, ΣΤΔ strives to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies; to provide, through its local chapters, cultural stimulation on college campuses and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities; and foster all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing. The Epsilon Rho chapter of ΣΤΔ is active at UNLV. Information about joining can be found online at www.english.org/sigmatd/members/scholarships/index.shtml.

English Department Spring Open House, April 10

The department of English would like to invite you to attend their spring open house. There will be faculty and staff on hand to answer any questions you may have about English classes, university requirements, careers for English majors, and much more.

We'll also have fall course descriptions and snacks. Drop by and say hello if you have a chance!

This open house is free and open to the public.

When: Apr. 10, 2013, 10am – 3pm

Where: Flora Dungan Humanities (FDH), Room 608

Congratulations to Prof. John Bowers

It’s been a great season for English faculty awards. The English Department at UNLV is happy to congratulate our own Professor John Bowers and Professor Ed Nagelhout on their recent awards honoring their outstanding research and teaching.

Professor John Bowers is this year’s winner of the William Morris Award for Excellence in Scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts. Professor Ed Nagelhout is the winner of the Division of Educational Outreach Faculty Excellence Award. Congratulations to our award-winning faculty!

Here’s a photo of

Prof. John Bowers, winner of the William Morris Award for Excellence in Scholarship

Here’s a photo of

Prof. Ed Nagelhout, winner of the Division of Educational Outreach Faculty Excellence Award

Megan Becker-Leckrone Wins Regents Teaching Award

Executive Vice-President and Provost John White has announced that Megan Becker-Leckrone has won both a UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award for 2013 and—in a further extraordinary achievement—was the sole winner of the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award. The Provost’s message:

I am delighted to announce that a statewide faculty and student committee has recommended that the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award for four-year institutions be awarded to a UNLV faculty member, Megan Becker-Leckrone, Associate Professor in the Department of English. Dr. Becker-Leckrone is also one of four winners of the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award for 2013.

Congratulations to Prof. Anne Stevens, new University Second Year Seminar Coordinator

Professor Anne Stevens has been appointed by Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Carl Reiber as the University’s Second Year Seminar Coordinator. This is a key role in UNLV’s continuing development of its General Education Reform. Anne will consult with various of the University’s eleven colleges to help them develop a SYS, which may often be done within the framework of the English Department’s World Literature course. She is superbly qualified for this role. She has been a guiding member of the Faculty Senate’s General Education Committee, which approves all First and Second Year Seminars, and is well known throughout the College of Liberal Arts as an effective spokesperson for liberal education. Anne will continue to teach in the Department as well as serve as Undergraduate Director while fulfilling her new duties, which begin immediately.

Far West Popular and American Culture Associations Conference

The twenty-fifth Annual Meeeting of the Far West Popular and American Culture Associations will take place February 22–24, 2013 at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas. Details available at fwpca.org.

Fall 2012

Congratulations to Award-Winning English Department Faculty!

The English Department at UNLV is happy to congratulate Professors Kelly Mays and P. Jane Hafen on their recent awards recognizing their out­standing teaching and research.

Kelly Mays has received an NEH Grant for calendar year 2013, which carries a stipend of more than $50,000. She will use the grant to finish her book on how the nineteenth-century Victorians viewed themselves as fashioning history and society. Some of Prof. Mays’ work has already been published in peer-reviewed journals, which one editor described as an “ingenious study based in archival database research of the Victorians viewing themselves as agents of history. Early reviewers have also found appealing and appropriate that she is writing from UNLV in Las Vegas, a city that has fashioned itself, as they note, as a place of cosmopolitan culture, much as the nineteenth-century Londoners that she is studying were attempting to do with their own culture. UNLV Provost and Executive Vice-President John White commented that Prof. Mays should “be quite proud to be in the top 7% of [all] applicants” for this coveted award.

Professor Jane Hafen was recognized in Spring 2012 as the winner of the College of Liberal Arts William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching, which carries a stipend of $1,000 and a plaque. Dean Christopher Hudgins said the “competition for this award is always intense” and that “it is a great tribute to your skill and accomplishments as an instructor to be chosen for this award.” Prof. Hafen has developed, basically by herself, an extremely important area of study for UNLV students—that of Native/Western American literature—has taught well and often courses required for the English department’s major as well as those for the General Education core (World Literature), and has also developed and taught courses in African American Literature, all the while mentoring with great success graduate students in her varied areas of specialization.

Celebrating Felicia Campbell’s 50 Years of Teaching at UNLV

On Friday, November 9, the English Department was delighted to gather in the TAM Grand Hall and Trent Lounge to celebrate the 50th year of Dr. Felicia Campbell’s career at UNLV.

In her career at UNLV, Dr. Campbell has traversed areas from traditional literary studies, to Gambling and Risk Taking, from Asian Studies, to Popular Culture. She has been KNPR book critic, President of the Popular Culture Association, founded NOW in Las Vegas and the UNLV Women's Caucus, organized what is today the UNLV Faculty Alliance and is now Executive Director of the Far West Popular Culture Association and Editor of The Popular Culture Review. In her often controversial career she has traveled from the Mojave to the Himalayas. Her enthusiasm for adventure and teaching remain unabated.

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