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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Anthony Faranda ('12) on Guatemala

Former Villanova English major Anthony Faranda recently published his article "Encountering Guatemala at the age of ten" in Travelmag.  He originally wrote the article for Prof. Karyn Hollis's Travel Writing course.  Click here to read the article.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Reception Pictures and Remarks

Prof. Evan Radcliffe's reception remarks:
In “How to Avoid a Bonfire of the Humanities” a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (25 October 2012; p. A17), Michael S. Malone tells what happened when he invited his friend Santosh Jayaram to talk to his students. Jayaram, Malone writes, “is the quintessential Silicon Valley high-tech entrepreneur: tech-savvy, empirical, ferociously competitive, and a veteran of Google, Twitter and a new start-up, Dabble.” So Malone was worried that Jayaram might discourage students in an English class. But, as Malone writes, “Santosh said, ‘Are you kidding? English majors are exactly the people I'm looking for.’”

Malone describes Jayaram’s reasoning: “Twenty years ago, if you wanted to start a company, you spent a month or so figuring out the product you wanted to build, then devoted the next 10 or 12 months to developing the prototype, tooling up and getting into full production.” But “Most products now are virtual, such as iPhone apps,” and lots of people anywhere in the world can construct them. The most important thing happens before you built the app, because you need to find investors and partners, explain to them and to coders what you want to build, and think about marketing your product—“and you have to do all of that without an actual product. ‘And how do you do that?’ Santosh said. ‘You tell stories.’ Stories, he said, about your product and how it will be used that are so vivid that your potential stakeholders imagine it already exists and is already part of their daily lives. Almost anything you can imagine you can now build, said Santosh, so the battleground in business has shifted from engineering, which everybody can do, to storytelling, for which many fewer people have real talent. ‘That's why I want to meet your English majors,’ he said.”

Malone concludes: “Asked once what made his company special, Steve Jobs replied: ‘It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.’”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prof. Lauren Shohet Lecture

This Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 4:00 p.m. Dr. Lauren Shohet will deliver a lecture entitled “Othello’s iPad: Editing, Adapting, Translating.” The lecture will focus on Dr. Shohet’s work on Othello in a variety of exciting contexts, including her recent task editing the play for an iPad app. Dr. Shohet is the Luckow Family Endowed Chair and professor of literature in the English department here at Villanova University.  The event will be held in the Speaker’s Corner on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library, and in the tradition of previous Scholarship@Villanova events, it is free and open to the public.

The event is part of the Scholarship@Villanova series, a string of lectures highlighting bold publications and research from distinguished faculty members at Villanova. The library will host five more Scholarship@Villanova events before the end of the academic year.

Dr. Shohet truly works on the cutting edge of her field. Focusing on topics of adaptation, materiality, and the digital humanities, she often examines the relationship between form and history. These are subjects of particular relevance to Dr. Shohet, as a scholar of Shakespeare and Milton who often works in a digital context.

But the lecture will focus on more than just the digital; it will also examine Othello in translation, as a common component of high school curricula, and in the context of some of its adaptations from around the world. The lecture will illuminate the many lives of this classic play and is sure to inspire conversation. The audience will even be invited to play with the materials Dr. Shohet helped develop for the Othello iPad app.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prof. Gail Ciociola and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Prof. Gail Ciociola on first seeing the 1966 film version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?:
I had just graduated from high school in June and was spending a lot of time with friends on Wildwood's beach that summer. We were looking for something to do one night and I pushed for the Elizabeth Taylor movie playing in some rundown boardwalk movie house.  For one, I was a big fan of Taylor from my mother's uncensored habits of taking me to see everything, regardless of subject matter (see Suddenly, Last Summer) starring Old Violet Eyes.  But there was another motive, as well: I had read several accounts that this movie was even more adult and more shocking; and, thus, in a time of more closely guided morality before the advent of what we actually mean today by "the 60s," it appealed to our fairly traditional Catholic schoolgirls' desire to do something a bit daring. So we went to the 10p feature in a grateful era in which MPAA ratings did not prevent our entry and, by the end of that night, I was irrevocably changed.  Even at a tender 17 years old, I knew that I had seen something very different from every film before it, something very imaginative and very edgy.  I knew in words that I didn't have for it then that I had experienced an infinite possibility for a new order in movies and literature. And Elizabeth Taylor? She was never the same for me again.  She had become Martha forever.
Elizabeth Taylor as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Click here to see all Spring 2013 English courses with full descriptions.

Remember to check in with your advisor before registration. If you haven’t, you run the risk of missing your registration time because you don’t have your PIN or of ending up with courses that aren’t the right ones for you.  Your advisor can best help you if you have prepared ahead of time. Before you see your advisor, remind yourself about your requirements, review the requirements you have already taken care of, and think about what courses you want to take next semester; you’re the one who finally is responsible for choosing the right courses for you. Since you probably have the choice of taking some electives, think about things like what excites you and what you wish you knew more about. Don’t be afraid to explore.

Autumn view from the 4th floor of SAC

As you may know, the department also has “A Guide to Advising for English Majors.” Click here to see the newly revised version.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prof. Alice Dailey's New Book

From Prof. Alice Dailey:
I’m pleased to announce the release of my first book, The English Martyr from Reformation to Revolution, currently in production at the University of Notre Dame Press and due out in mid-December.  This book studies the development of English martyr literature from the late Middle Ages to the execution of King Charles I in 1649.  Martyrdom, I argue, is not a kind of death but a kind of story—a retrospective interpretation that follows a long-established narrative form.  In the Christian tradition, the ideal martyr story is one that replicates as closely as possible the persecutions of pious biblical figures, namely the Maccabees martyrs of the Old Testament, Jesus, and persecuted apostles like Stephen and Peter.  In the violent upheaval that marked the Protestant Reformation in England, both Catholics and Protestants labored to inscribe their suffering believers into the paradigm of Christian martyrdom, often under circumstances that did not match those of biblical persecutions.  This book is interested in how the martyr genre attempts to reconcile the broad range of individuals, beliefs, and persecutions seeking legitimation through claims of typological suffering.  I argue that the genre changes in response to the complex contingencies of the English Reformation and, more significantly, that the events of history are themselves shaped by the pressures of this important literary form.

Click here to see the Amazon listing of the book.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Editorial Internship Winter/Spring 2013

The Philadelphia Business Journal seeks college students for its paid editorial internship. Candidates should have some previous writing experience and be able to commit to 20 hours a week for the term. An interest in business is desirable but not required. Editorial internships pay $8/hr and include opportunities to write bylined features and report daily news on the website.

The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. Starting and ending dates are negotiable but preference will go to the candidate who can begin in early January and work through the end of May.

The Philadelphia Business Journal is a weekly local business newspaper serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. We were named Newspaper of the Year by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Foundation in 2012, 2008 and 2006. In 2005 and 2009 we received the general excellence award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Also in 2009 we were one of only 14 publications nationwide to receive a “best of the best in business” award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.  The Philadelphia Business Journal is owned by American City Business Journals, a publisher of 40 newspapers across the country, and is a subsidiary of the Advance Publications publishing company, which also owns the Condé Nast magazines.

If interested, please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the Business Journal, résumé, clips and the names and emails of three people who can comment on your work or writing to Sonja Sherwood, 400 Market St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106, email: ssherwood@bizjournals.com. No phone calls, please.

Remember that to receive credit for an internship, you must apply at the Internship Office (click here).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Career Center Newsletter

Click here to view the Career Center newsletter.  Among its many postings you'll find possibilities for signing up to meet corporate recruiters (some even invite juniors to sign up), information on workshops and sessions on how to interview, and tips on creating a resume.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Books by Karen Abbott

Former Villanova English major Karen Abbott is the author of Sin in the Second City and American Rose, both New York Times bestsellers.  She is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine’s history blog, Past Imperfect, and also writes for Disunion, the New York Times series about the Civil War. A native of Philadelphia, where she worked as a journalist, she now lives in New York City with her husband and two African Grey parrots, Poe and Dexter. She’s at work on her next book, a true story of four daring (and not entirely scrupulous) Civil War spies who risked everything for their cause.  Click here to visit her homepage.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

English Table at Oct. 5 Majors Fair

English majors Jen Bradley, Anne Stohlquist, and Erin Weaver at the English table
Anne and Erin talking with prospective majors

Villanovan article on English Blog

Click here to read Ted Winston's October 4 Villanovan article, "English department scripts new blog."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lauren Peachey ('13) on Being an English Major

Being an English major has provided me with a comprehensive education that has strengthened my reasoning skills, communication abilities, and creativity. I have had wonderful professors who have challenged me and provided the tools to succeed throughout my studies. The English courses at Villanova are student-focused. In all my English courses here, my ideas and questions have been encouraged and valued.

I have had two internship experiences. The first was with the Penn Foundation, a behavioral healthcare non-profit organization, where I worked as a Public Relations Assistant. I interviewed, researched, drafted and submitted press releases which were published on the Penn Foundation website and in the community newspaper; created brochures for the community members; and worked with the Board of Directors to plan their annual fundraising events. My second internship was with Progressive Business Publications where I worked as an Executive Education Intern. At PBP I created online courses for business professionals, drafted a “story-telling marketing” campaign, submitted weekly reports for the sales team, and helped to redesign the company website by creating employee interview video clips.

My study abroad experience was greatly beneficial and added a new perspective to my studies. I went to Sicily, Italy, during the fall semester of my junior year at the Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences. I learned how the Sicilian mafia systematically functions in my political science class and the components of Sicilian literature in my Criminal Fiction Narratives class. My travel writing course encouraged me to reflect on and record my experiences in a creative way. In addition to my studies, I learned many local customs, including the traditional way to make Sicilian cheese, the best strategy for navigating the colorful markets, and how to assimilate into a foreign culture. I encourage all undergraduate students to spend a semester or summer abroad, because I believe the benefits of living on your own in a foreign culture exceed any other experience.

Lauren (center with dog) in Sicily

Thursday, October 4, 2012

FUSE Conference 2012

On November 1, 2012 at the Mansion in Cabrini College, the Forum for Undergraduate Student Editors (FUSE) along with Cabrini College will host the first ever FUSE Conference with the theme of Gatekeepers and Visionaries: Undergraduate Publishing and Editing. Students and faculty members who have been involved in the various facets of the undergraduate publishing community are invited to propose papers on a range of topics. The conference will also feature trips to the Wharton Esherick House and an optional day trip to Philadelphia, along with a plethora of speakers on the topics of undergraduate publishing.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Safe as Houses

Former Villanova English major ('99) Marie-Helene Bertino will have her debut collection of short stories, Safe as Houses, published in October.  One of the stories, "Great, Wondrous," was inspired by Bertino's experience as a student at Villanova. Bertino was the winner of the 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award for her collection.