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, March 26, 2013

Meghan Ross ('12) Award

2012 English grad Meghan Ross won a first-place and an honorable mention in the 2013 Keystone Press Awards of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association for her work as a reporter with Montgomery Media. The first place award recognized her series of stories on drug addiction and rehabilitation in the Souderton, Pa., area. She also won an honorable mention in the Investigative Reporting category for her story on prescription drug abuse.

2012 English major Meghan Ross

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prof. Jeff Silverman Award

Prof. Jeff Silverman was awarded third place in Non-Daily Features in the Golf Writers Association of America's annual writing contest.  Prof. Silverman was recognized for his article "Book Worms" in Golf World, about avid collectors of books on golf.

from Prof. Silverman:
The fun part about writing non-fiction for a living is where it can take you--even Cleveland.  When Golf World asked me to snoop out a piece about golf books and the folks who collect them, I knew I’d find my Mecca on the shores of Lake Erie--in the 22,000 volume library amassed over more than 40 years by Alastair Johnston, the agent who’s represented Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player for decades.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The whole gang was there, from the valuable wellsprings--the first printed reference to the game and the first book devoted to it--straight down to the ephemera of yesterday’s news, including six books of my own, neatly arranged on a shelf three from the bottom in the “S’s.”  If the printer doesn’t run out of ink, he’ll be adding a seventh, Merion: The Championship History, in the fall.

Fall 2013 Registration

Click here to see all Fall 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.

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Domestic Violence Presentation

The 24th Annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference

Welcome: 1:00 pm Connelly Cinema

Panel Sessions 1: 1:10-2:10 pm, Connelly meeting rooms

Student Performance Showcase: 2:20-3:10 pm, Connelly Cinema

Panel Sessions 3: 3:20-4:20 pm, Connelly meeting rooms

Keynote Address: 4:30 pm Connelly Cinema:  Stephanie McCurry

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Reception: Pictures and Prof. Radcliffe's Remarks

Prof. Evan Radcliffe's reception remarks:
In “The Starbucks Myth: Measuring the Work of the English Major” (ADE Bulletin 152 [2012], pp. 36-46), Sheryl I. Fontaine and Stephen J. Mexal report on a survey of alumni who had been English majors at California State University, Fullerton.  They found not only a low unemployment rate, but also that these former majors had a high degree of satisfaction in their work and that they often use what they learned as English majors:  “The vast majority . . . saw a high degree of crossover between the skills they cultivated as an English major and the skills they now deemed important to professional success.”

Besides what you’d expect—such as the value of writing and of analytic reading—these alumni referred to other skills that were very important to their professions: “the ability to learn independently,” “the ability to consider things from others’ perspectives,” “the ability to entertain multiple conflicting views,” “the ability to think logically,” and “creativity and imagination”—all of which they reported developing to a great extent as English majors.

The alumni also found their work to be “meaningful and remunerative”  Here are the (rounded) figures for alumni being very satisfied or satisfied with various elements of their work: 84% with the “substantive content of [their] work,” 84% with the “overall direction of [their] career,” 66% with their “current salary.”  “Most, nearly 74%, felt that their English degree had been ‘extremely important’ . . . or ‘very important’ . . . in their professional lives.  Given the chance to do it all again, an overwhelming majority of respondents (96.8%) said they would recommend the English major to others, and less than one percent (0.65%) said they would recommend instead a ‘more practical’ major, like business.”

Finally: “business was the most commonly reported major from which students changed to become English majors.  Yet despite choosing English as an apparent escape from business, many of our alumni ended up working in business in one form or another.  Perhaps their inclination toward business was not redirected away from a major in business so much as it was rerouted through a major in English.  As one alumnus explained, ‘Developing more cultural literacy [as an English major] in many areas has been so important. It has helped me to understand the world around me, the times we live in, and to appreciate the richness of life.’”

In sum: English allows you to do meaningful things in your career, but it’s also about much more than that.  It’s about your full life.

Greg Watry ('13) review of Sleep No More

There’s a haze to the room.  The walls and seats are covered in what looks like red velvet.  The candles on the tables appear to be the only source of light.  They cast long, dark shadows along the walls.  It’s a bar, no, more of a speakeasy.  It has an air of secrecy, a certain hushed vibe.  On the stage, a jazz quartet plays the closing bars, while a blonde beauty in a sparkling silver dress sings the finishing lyrics to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”  If I could best summarize my experience at Sleep No More in a statement, that song title would aptly fit.

Through my senior seminar class, "Renaissance Revenge Tragedy," I was recently given the opportunity to attend the interactive theatre extravaganza, Sleep No More.  The immersive play takes place in a five-story building in New York City, fictitiously referred to as the McKittrick Hotel.  But the play is just as much inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as it is by Hitchcock’s film Vertigo.  Patrons of the hotel are given a playing card with a specific number and led through a dark, claustrophobic hallway to the bar area, where they are encouraged to relax with a drink and ease into the experience.  Soon, groups are called by playing card number to the elevator, where they don carnival masks and are encouraged to separate from friends and family, as the play is more of “an individual experience.”

Part performance art, part haunted house, the play encourages theatre-goers to explore the various rooms of the five intricately planned floors.  At one point, I was in an insane asylum, where nurses attended to phantom patients.  At another time, I was in a foggy forest where, behind closed doors, a wooden hut hid a secret gathering of witches.  I skulked through a graveyard scene, skimmed through books, leafed through handwritten letters, examined the contents of a room dedicated to taxidermy, and even ate edible candy from the jars of a dilapidated sweet shop.  Actors entered and exited rooms at top speed, engaging one another in seductive dance.  Groups of masked patrons followed various players.  There was a storyline, it was freeform and loose, but it was there.  Regardless, each individual person comes away from Sleep No More with a unique experience.  The play encourages the audience to become the ghosts of the McKittrick Hotel.  We watch scenes of love, lust, violence, and revenge play out in front us.  The masks only further add to the experience, allowing the audience to take part in the anonymity of being a fly on the wall.

There’s no perfect way to describe Sleep No More.  To truly know, one has to experience it.  Leaving the building, I had more questions than answers.  There was more to explore, more scenes to watch unfold, more drawers and desks to sift through.  Today, I find myself thinking back on my experience.  The play—the whole experience—is an enigma, and remains stuck in my mind, like a fly in a spider’s web.  There’s a lot more to unpack with this incredibly unique adaptation of Macbeth, and I certainly plan on returning to plunge deeper into the abyss.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Turner Broadcasting Summer Project Assistant Program

Progressive Business Publications Internships

The English department has been told that Progressive Business Publications "is VERY interested in hiring Villanova students.”

Progressive Business Publications has 3 paid internships posted to GoNOVAJobs for Juniors and Seniors interested in IT, Editorial and Marketing. Progressive Business Publications (PBP) is a leading B2B subscription publisher and business information provider. PBP has quietly built a unique, customer-focused company that serves well over 150,000 companies of all sizes - including the entire Fortune 1000. Apply now on GoNOVAJobs for these exciting internships!  For more information about PBP internships, click here.

Remember that to receive credit for an internship, you must apply at our Internship Office;  click here for the link.

Philadelphia Magazine Internships

Philadelphia magazine has expressed to us a particular interest in English majors.

About Philadelphia magazine:
Philadelphia magazine is an award-winning city and regional magazine that provides topical, in-depth reports on issues confronting the region, from business trends to local politics. It also provides critical reviews of the area's culture, sports, dining and entertainment scenes.
About the editorial internship:
The duties of a Philadelphia magazine editorial intern include, but are not limited to, fact-checking articles, researching for staff writers and editors, transcribing interviews, and reporting articles for both the the magazine and our website. Editorial interns collaborate daily with our editorial staff, and are able to participate in informational sessions to learn about and discuss various aspects of magazine writing and publishing. The internship provides its participants with the opportunity to gain perspective on, and participate in, the production of an award-winning monthly magazine.
The ideal candidate will have strong research, writing, and reporting abilities. We are looking for detail-oriented individuals that are self-starters. Previous reporting experience, as well as a major in English, communications, or journalism are preferred.
Candidates must be enrolled in school to participate in our internship program, and must be able to work a minimum of three days a week at our Center City office. Internships are unpaid, but may be used to receive academic credit.

Be Well Philly Internship
Bewellphilly.com, the health and wellness website of Philadelphia magazine, covers all things health and fitness in Philadelphia. Content runs the gamut from breaking health news to service guides to profiles to reported articles, covering everything from weight loss tips to cancer research. We leverage Philly's extensive network of health resources—including the city's vibrant healthcare community—to find and share the most interesting and newsworthy stories in town. The website serves as a companion to the wellness section of the monthly print magazine and the annual Be Well Philly publication.
About the Be Well Philly internship:
Be Well Philly interns will have the opportunity to write articles for the blog, learn how manage the back-end of a website and blog, attend (and cover) local health and fitness events, and work regularly with our health and wellness editor. Past interns have also contributed to the print magazine on occasion.
Interns should be motivated, detail-oriented self-starters with a strong interest in health and wellness topics and excellent writing and reporting skills. A background in English or journalism is preferred.
Candidates must be in school in order to apply, and able to contribute a minimum of three days per week at our Center City office. Internships are unpaid, but may be used to receive academic credit.
To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and at least two published clips to research editor Annie Monjar at amonjar@phillymag.com. 

Prof. Lauren Shohet: Othello's iPad

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Public Affairs Internship

As you'll see from the information below, this internship specifically targets English majors.  Remember that to receive credit for an internship, you must apply at our Internship Office;  click here for the Internship Office.