Welcome to the blog for the Villanova English department! Visit often for updates on department events, guest speakers, faculty and student accomplishments, and reviews and musings from professors and undergraduates alike.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Recent Alumni Profile: Christa Chirico

Christa Chirico has started her second year teaching English at her alma mater, Villa Joseph Marie High School, in Holland, Pa. In addition to her regular teaching, she created her own course, “Fantasy & Reality,” which she is teaching this semester.

Here's Christa's description of the course:  "Reality vs. Fantasy is a new English elective course focusing on two distinctly different, yet unexpectedly similar genres of literature. With this course, we are seeking to make connections about stories, and to analyze the “real” and the “fantastical” together in order to uncover life’s universal truths. Through students’ reading, discussing, and writing about seminal works of nonfiction (from our Founding Fathers to present-day creative nonfiction) in conjunction with the standouts of the fantasy genre (from Harry Potter to The Hobbit), this course will enable students to analyze their own world within the context of the many other rich worlds that exist between the pages."

Adds Christa, "I'm extremely excited about this class because it gives me a chance to guide my students in reading, analyzing, discussing, and writing about very different texts. I also have found that building this course allows me to incorporate pretty much all of my favorite things in one place (Virginia Woolf! Pope Francis! St. Augustine! The Federalist Papers! J.K. Rowling! The list goes on and on...). If nothing else, I'm hoping my enthusiasm for the subject material will rub off on my students a little bit and challenge them to read more, think more, write more."

Christa (with wand) in her classroom with some of the books from "Reality vs. Fantasy"

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Villanova Night at The Abbey Theater: O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars

On Fri., Oct. 14, Villanovans have a special opportunity to see the renowned Abbey Theatre's production of Sean O'Casey's play The Plough and the Stars for only $15.00.  The play will take place at 8:00 pm at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.  Contact the Annenberg Theatre for more ticket information: (215) 898-3900.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fringe Festival Events

Senior English major Christie Leonard reports that there will be a series of panel discussions, plays, and films in the Philadelphia Fringe Arts festival on gender, race, and national identity.  A performance of Third World Bunfight's Macbeth, for example, will be set in the Congo and star an all black cast.  Click here for more information.  Christie learned that student tickets for rehearsal performances of the play are $15.

The Fringe Festival, presented by FringeArts, is a 17-day, city-wide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance. Each September, the Festival explodes into every nook and cranny in neighborhoods across Philadelphia and online with more than 1,000 artistically daring performances, including national and international performances curated by FringeArts, and works that are produced by independent artists and promoted by FringeArts.

Another Fringe event of interest to English majors is Scarlet Letters, a one-woman play by Patrick Ross that revises Hawthorne's classic novel.  Click here for more information.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Recent Alumni Profile: Danielle Sekerak (2015)

Danielle Sekerak is beginning her second year of law school at the University of Pennsylvania. She was unanimously selected by the deans of the law school (dean of the school, dean of admissions, dean of students, etc.) to represent the student body in a speech at the National Constitution Center welcoming new first year students and introducing the dean. Her message: “While the first year of law school can be stressful, remaining a good person is the most important thing. …People get caught up in being #1, and sometimes they forget to be compassionate. That is devastating in such a stressful environment.”

Danielle also received a job offer for next summer from Latham and Watkins in NYC, one of the most prestigious and profitable firms in the world. These summer jobs are supposed to lead to full-time employment after the third year of law school.

Danielle delivering her speech at the National Constitution Center.
Danielle at the NCC dinner.