Graduate Student Directory | Department of English | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Caterina Bernardini is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches and works as an editorial assistant for the Walt Whitman Archive. Her interests include nineteenth-century and early modernist American poetry, reception studies, comparative literature, and translation studies. Her dissertation treated the reception of Walt Whitman's poetry in Italy, as seen within a larger transnational frame. She has published articles in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Willa Cather Newsletter and Review, and in several collections of essays. As a graduate student, from 2013 to 2017, she worked as an editorial assistant for the Willa Cather Archive.
Erin M. Bertram is a Ph.D. student and Chancellor’s Fellow in Creative Writing: Poetry, with a specialization in Women’s & Gender Studies. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a certificate in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a Teaching Fellow and Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She has also done continuing education work through Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. The author of eleven chapbooks, including Memento Mori, her poems and lyric hybrid texts have appeared in Leveler, So to Speak, Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness, as a published finalist in the 2013 Diagram Essay Contest, and elsewhere. She has received a Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Writing Fellowship and a Summer Faculty Research Grant from Augustana College, a John Woods Scholarship from Prague Summer Program, and a 2015 Pushcart Prize nomination. The former drummer for Busted Chandeliers, she lives with her partner, is on the board of the Lincoln Zen Center, and is an OutSpeaking volunteer with UNL's LGBTQA+ Resource Center.
Jonathan Cheng is a direct-admit doctoral student specializing in digital humanities and new media studies. He came to UNL after majoring in English with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign. Jonathan has worked on several text-analysis projects including “Mapping Mutable Genre in Structurally Complex Volumes”. Currently, he works at the Walt Whitman Archive and writes about computer/videogames in terms of literary theory.
Daniel Clausen is a Ph.D. student specializing in nineteenth-century American literature, with particular interest in agrarian narratives as a way to understand work, nature, and place in literature and culture. He is a Center for Great Plains Studies graduate fellow, a member of the department's Place interest group and 19th century studies interdisciplinary program, and blogs with the Watershed blog collective. He has taught courses on Science Fiction, Wikipedia as a writing community, Introduction to Literature, and writing argument.
Before coming to Nebraska, he received his M.A. in Literature at Boise State University, in his home town of Boise, Idaho. He has presented work at conferences of the International Walt Whitman Week, Western Literature Association, and the Association of the Study of Literature and the Environment, and published reviews in ISLE, WAL, and ESQ. He also enjoys translation and received the Gutekunst Translation Prize from the Goethe Institute of New York in 2012.
Photo (left): Observing the Nebraska Sand Hills
Ángel García is currently a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing-Poetry. He earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Redlands and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Riverside. Ángel’s work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Miramar, McSweeney’s, Huizache, and The Good Men Project among others. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers-Squaw Valley and Vermont Studio Center. In addition to his creative work, Ángel is also the founder of a non-profit organization, Gente Organizada, that works to educate, empower, and engage communities through grassroots organizing.
Linda Garcia Merchant is a second year Ph.D. scholar concentrating in U.S. Latina and Chicana Literatures, and Digital Humanities. Linda focuses on the restoration and reconstruction of the counter narrative as an aid in rehabilitating the discourse of resistance and social movement.
As the Technical Director of the Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, Linda and Dr. Maria Cotera of the University of Michigan have produced over 125 filmed oral history interviews and collected more than 7,000 documents and ephemera from iconic figures of the Chicana and Feminist movements. In April 2012 Linda, coordinating an effort with Dr. Andrea ‘Tess’ Arenas of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin State Historical Society began the Somos Latinas Oral History project to collect and archive the historical narrative of Wisconsin Latina activism. In January 2014, Linda partnered with Dr. Elena Gutierrez of the University of Illinois Chicago to launch the Chicana Chicago/MABPW Collection project, collecting the histories of Latina leadership in Chicago.
An award winning Chicana filmmaker, whose films, Las Mujeres de La Caucus Chicana (The Women of the Chicana Caucus), Palabras Dulces, Palabras Amargas (Sweet Words, Bitter Words), Yo Soy Eva, and Thresholds, are shown in courses on women of color feminism, global feminisms, queer and social movement both nationally and internationally. In 2014, Palabras was featured in Dr. Bill Johnson González’s article, "The Limits of Desire: On the Downlow and Queer Chicago Film" for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Linda is currently working on An Evening with La Tess, an experimental documentary on the life of award winning Chicana poet, activist and scholar Andrea "Tess" Arenas.
Linda continues to write, guest lecture, and present on Chicana Feminism, Chicana Filmmaking, community archiving, visual historiography, and short form filmmaking. She has written articles and blogposts in Dialogo, Mujeres Talk, The Chicago Reporter, Viva La Feminista and La Bloga.
Matthew Guzman is a Ph.D. student focusing on nineteenth-century American literature with an emphasis on critical animal studies. His work takes an interdisciplinary approach - often incorporating history, philosophy, science, cultural anthropology, and literary studies - in order to further understand not only the literature, but the actual nonhuman animals of the nineteenth century as well. Matthew holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Gabi Kirilloff is a doctoral student interested in digital humanities, new media studies, and early 20th century American literature. She has worked for several digital projects including the William Blake Archive, the Willa Cather Archive, and the Walt Whitman Archive. In addition to her work on archival projects, Gabi has also worked on several large scale text analysis projects. Gabi currently works as the coordinator for the Nebraska Literary Lab, an organization that facilitates student research in the digital humanities.
Regan Levitte is a first year M.A. studying Composition & Rhetoric. She is interested in writing center studies, language acquisition, working with English-language learners and beginning writers, and writing as a social activity. She graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a B.A in English Language & Literature, and French Language, with a minor in Writing.
Ilana Masad is a fiction writer and book critic, with work published in The New Yorker, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Joyland Fiction, StoryQuarterly, and many more. She's the founder and host of The Other Stories, a podcast featuring new, emerging, and established fiction writers.
Keshia Mcclantoc is a first year M.A. student focusing on Composition and Rhetoric. She is is particularly interested in the intersections of gender studies, popular culture, and rhetoric. She earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with double minors in philosophy and technical writing, from University of Montevallo in Alabama.
Kevin McMullen is a Ph.D. student specializing in 19th century American literature, with a particular focus on Walt Whitman and literary responses to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. He is also pursuing a specialization in Digital Humanities. Kevin hails from the far-away land of Bettendorf, Iowa, and received a B.A. in both English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, and his M.A. from UNL. Kevin is a Senior Assistant Editor at the Walt Whitman Archive, and the editor of Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, an online project working to digitize the newspaper writings of 19th-century columnist Fanny Fern.
Katie McWain is a Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric. Her scholarly interests include feminist rhetoric, composition theory and pedagogy, teacher development, literacy studies, and community literacy. Katie received her B.A. in English and Writing from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri and her M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her research has been featured at Feminisms and Rhetorics and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Katie is always fascinated by the intersections of gender, writing, teaching, stories, and politics.
Anne Nagel is a Ph.D. student whose interests include nineteenth-century British literature and literary theory. She holds a master of arts degree in English and a certificate in nineteenth century studies from UNL. Her master’s thesis invoked Deleuzian affect theory and historical conceptions of dreaming to explore the intensity of the Gothic dream in nineteenth-century British novels. Her dissertation will expand this project beyond the Gothic. As an undergraduate at UNK, she double-majored in English and philosophy, minored in French, and earned a second bachelor's degree in secondary education.
Xavier Navarro Aquino was born and raised in Puerto Rico. His fiction is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and has appeared in Guernica, The Literary Review, and Day One. He has published poetry in The Caribbean Writer and is forthcoming in an anthology that will be realized by Peekash Press. He was a work-study scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2014 and received a travel scholarship to Ghana, Spain, and Morocco in 2014 from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras where he earned an M.A. in English Caribbean Studies. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Maria Nazos is a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing-Poetry. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, and has an M.F.A in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry engages the natural landscape, the people who inhabit it, and the question of what it means to be human. She has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Marge Piercy selected her chapbook “Trailer Park heart” as runner up for the Providence Philbrick Poetry Project Award. Wising Up Press published A Hymn That Meanders, her first full-length collection of poems, in 2011. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southern Humanities Review, The Florida Review, The New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. In addition to poetry writing, her interests include gender studies.
Raul Palma is a diversity fellow at Ithaca College. He is also a fifth year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is pursuing a specialization in ethnic studies. His research areas include Narratology, Chicana/Latina Theory, Americanity and the American Novel, and Creative Writing Pedagogy. He serves as fiction editor for Prairie Schooner. Most recently, his work appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Alimentum, and Sonora Review. His fiction was distinguished/notable in Best American Short Stories 2016. Additionally, his work has been supported with fellowships and scholarships from the CubaOne Foundation, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the Santa Fe Writer's Conference, Sewanee Writer's Conference, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. He is currently completing his dissertation, Manteca, a novel set in 1980s Miami at the tail-end of the race riots and drug wars, and just as the HIV/AIDS surfaces. He is also at work on a collection of stories, In This City of Ultraviolet Light, which was a runner-up in the Indiana Review Blue Light's Book Prize, and notable in others.
Katherine Pierson is a first-year M.A. student in 19th-century studies. She has worked as a writing center consultant, a developmental English instructor, and an LPS student mentor. She is a volunteer with Lincoln Literacy Council and is married with two young children.
Lydia Presley grew up in Omaha, NE, and she has lived all over the United States, from Florida to Hawaii. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Music Performance from Eureka College in Eureka, IL and her M.A. in English with specializations in Great Plains Studies and Ethnic Studies from University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She is currently a first year Ph.D. student and Othmer Fellow studying English Literature at UNL. Lydia's research and interests center on Native American literature. Specifically, she studies boarding school narratives and the survival and resistance found in them. Her current projects are working with the gossip columns in the Genoa Indian School's newspaper, The Pipe of Peace, and the creation of a digital humanities project that will allow for the preservation and accessibility of stories told by the students at the Genoa Indian School.
Emily J. Rau is a doctoral student in the English Department and a Graduate Fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She works full-time in the library as the Assistant Editor of the Willa Cather Archive, and also serves as an editorial assistant for Western American Literature. She has published an article in two parts in the Summer 2016 and the Fall/Winter 2016 issues of the Willa Cather Newsletter and Review, and a co-written piece with Gabi Kirilloff in the collection In the Country of Lost Borders: New Critical Essays on My Ántonia, published in 2017 in France. Emily's research focuses on American literature of the long nineteenth century, interweaving those texts with the work of contemporary ecocritics and spatial theorists. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities from UNL and an M.A. in English from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
Shawn Rubenfeld is a first-year Ph.D. student in Creative Writing-Fiction. A native New Yorker, he earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Idaho, where he received a Writing in the Wild Fellowship and the university’s 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award. His fiction appears in such journals as Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Portland Review, Thin Air Magazine, and Pine Hills Review. He has an essay forthcoming in the journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture. Outside of writing, his research interests include composition and creative writing pedagogy, Jewish-American literature, and graphic literature.
Ivan Young is a doctoral student in creative writing (poetry) and a recipient of the Othmer Fellowship. He holds and M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of South Carolina, as well as a B.S. in Zoology from Clemson University. He is the author of Smell of Salt, Ghost of Rain (Brick House Books, 2015) and A Shape in the Waves (Stepping Stones Press, 2009), and won the 2008 SC Poetry Initiative's Chapbook Contest, received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award (2011), and won the 2013 Norton Girault Literary Prize. His work has been published in Passages North, Southeast Review, North American Review, Cream City Review, The London Magazine, Fourteen Hills, Hayden's Ferry Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Zone 3, among others.