Graduate Student Bios

Brady, Amy

Amy received her BA in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas, her MA in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and is now working on her PhD in English here at UMass-Amherst. Amy is in no way related to the quaterback, and though she is originally from Kansas has never seen the man behind the curtain. Her work focuses on 20th c. American working-class literature and agit-prop drama. She also loves 1930s comics and cartoons and justifies time spent with them as "research" on the decade. Amy is not above this.
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Burrell, Julie

Julie is a PhD student interested in Performance Studies and American theatre. She received her MA from West Virginia University.
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Carr, Amanda


Amanda received her BA from Union College in 2002, where she majored in English and minored…in English. She is currently beginning work on her dissertation on childhood in contemporary (post)colonial literature with geographical specialization in South Africa, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and India. Classes that Amanda has instructed include World Literature, Major British Writers (1700-1900), and Gender and Sexuality in Literature, among others, and she currently holds a Research Assistantship for ISHA (Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities and Fine Arts) under director Stephen Clingman. She spends much of her free time researching on Lostpedia. ude.ssamu.hsilgne|0racja#.adnamA liamE

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Garner, Ann

Ann Garner received her BA from Providence College in Theater and English. She worked in the theater for a number of years as an actor, director, stage manager and playwright. Although she is indiscriminately in love with all drama, Ann has decided to commit to the Renaissance for her PhD. She likes to tell people she's clicking along on her dissertation which examines the intersection of English Renaissance Drama and conduct literature. She reads Jane Austen for fun (yep, this girl knows fun).
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Genung, April


April received her AB from the University of California, Davis, where she majored in English and minored in Comparative Literature. As a west coast native, April is enjoying living where there are truly four seasons. April is the Editorial Assistant for the Sidney Journal, and spends a lot of time at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. This spring (2010) April will be participating in a seminar at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., during which she will focus on early modern cookery. April's academic interests begin with Jacobean drama and end around Tristram Shandy. Within this period she is interested in masculinity and sexuality, clothing and consumer culture, and domesticity. In her spare time April likes to knit, bake—sometimes with period recipes, take pictures of her cats, read 18th-century novels, and explore western Massachusetts (and Vermont!). April is not accustomed to writing in the third person. ude.ssamu.hsilgne|gnunega#lirpA liamE

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Gramling, Valerie

Valerie has a BA in Theatre from George Washington University and an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Before coming to UMass, she worked for several years in theatre in New York, DC, and Alaska as a director, adapter, actor, stage manager, etc., and it was her original production of 'Between the Mysts' on the legends of Morgan le Fay that eventually led her to pursue a PhD in medieval literature. She is currently writing her dissertation on skin as a shape-shifting device in the medieval mystery plays. She continues to keep her hand in theatre, and this spring (2010) will be working with the Renaissance Center Theatre Company on both an experimental production of Everyman in and around the lovely third floor of Bartlett Hall (really!), and The Harrowing of Hell as part of the Chester Myster Cycle traveling around Toronto in late May.
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Henry, Kajsa


Kajsa is a third year doctoral student with a concentration in American Studies. She graduated in 2002 with a BA from Florida A&M University and a MA from Florida State University in 2006. Her major areas of study are 20th Century African American literature with a focus on themes of loss, memory, mourning, and trauma. She has also a special interest in Black Atlantic Studies and Ethnic American literature that focus on similar themes of loss, space, race, and memory.
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Lahti, Ruth

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Lone Fight, Darren


Darren Lone Fight is often confused for Darren Long Flight when he's at the airport. Darren studies immigration culture, loves radio & podcasting, and digs on groovy tunes. Darren has a BA in Philosophy & Religion, an MA in American Studies, and a North Dakotan's sense of cold. moc.liamg|thgifenolnerrad#nerraD liamE.
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Luders-Manuel, Shannon

Shannon received her B.A. in English at Southern Oregon University. She is in her last year of the Master's program at UMass where she studies biracial literature, focusing on identity formation, liminal spaces, and hibridity. Shannon teaches Freshman Literature online through the Continuing Ed department and hopes to make a career out of this new and exciting educational venue. She also writes book reviews, screenplays, and rambling emails, and has an article published in AmeriQuests entitled: "Captive America: Smart, Rowlandson, and the Colonial Sentiment."
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Mason, Joe


Joe Mason earned his B.A. in English at Southern Connecticut State University and is finishing up his fourth year at Umass. He currently teaches College Writing and will continue to do so in the fall of 2009. In spring of 2010, he is teaching his first very own literature course: Gender, Sexuality, Literature, and Culture. He is currently working on his areas, which include postcolonial and transnational novels of the latter 20th century to the present. More specifically, he plans to write on the intersections of class, race, gender, and national citizenship, including the ways individual and collective agency are enacted in oppressive contexts. He is indebted to Umass faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates for contributing to his intellectual growth and finds the valley a rather lovely place to be… ude.ssamu.hsilgne|nosamj#eoJ liamE

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Palmer, Phil


Phil Palmer received his B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2005. He is currently in his fourth year of the M.A./PhD program at UMass, specializing in English Renaissance Literature. Like most grad students at UMass, Phil teaches Freshman Composition in addition to the occasional lit class. He is also the Curator at The Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. His research interests include the representation of travel and remote space in Early Modern drama and poetry, the literature of travel, and the history of the book.
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Reardon, Stacy

Stacy graduated from Oberlin College with a dual degree in English and Sociology. She spent two years living and teaching English in Kunming, China before enrolling in the English graduate program at UMass Amherst. Here she has specialized in contemporary Latino and African American fiction, with a special focus on the literature of war. Stacy holds an assistantship with UMass's Office of Information Technologies (OIT).
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Storey, Lisha

Lisha received her B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She is interested in public rhetoric and critical theory, and engages with American novels and poetry of the 20th century. Lisha enjoys combinations of cycling, beer, and pancakes, as well as knitting and snowboarding.
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Waltman, Anna

Originally from the barren marshes of southern New Jersey, Anna received her BA in 2008 from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, where she double-majored in Political Science and English Literature. She recently finished her third year in the MA/PhD program. Anna primarily studies the politics of contemporary American poetics; her work draws heavily on Marxist and post-Marxist criticism, as well as feminist theory and queer theory. She also has an interest in transnational and post/colonial interpretations of American literature and culture. Outside of class, Anna enjoys experimenting with bread baking methods, running, knitting needlessly complicated hats and shawls, loafing with her two exceptionally lazy housecats, playing the mountain dulcimer, and occasionally making glass marbles and jewelry with some Pyrex rods and a bench-mounted propane torch.
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Zajac, Timothy


Tim Zajac earned his BA at Providence College in Providence, RI, where he majored in English and minored in Political Science. He earned his MA in English from the University of Virginia, completing a Masters Thesis entitled "The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare, Hobbes, and the Changing Nature of Kingship, 1600-1650." He's currently in his third year of PhD work at UMass, beginning work on a dissertation that examines early modern English drama and the role of imported consumable goods in the formation of English national identity. Tim is a co-organizer of the Early Modern Graduate Reading Group and helps out at the Massachusetts Center of Renaissance Studies annual graduate conference. He's also a Tech Fellow in the Writing Program this year, and will experiment with podcasting and literacy with his Spring composition class. His favorite grad class was James Freeman's Greek & Roman Foundations of English Literature. ude.ssamu.hsilgne|cajazt#.yhtomiT liamE

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