Graduate Student Profiles

M.A. Students


Md. Sayed Ali

  • B.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • M.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • Research Interests: Feminism and cultural studies, Gender, Race and Sexuality , post-colonialism, Existentialism, Cultural Hegemony
  • “I have always been drawn to literature, especially novels, and my quest for knowledge in this area has led me to explore further. I am always open to discussing differing opinions and thoughts in a friendly manner, while avoiding personal attacks.”

Shelley Aschliman

  • B.A. in Honours English - Cultural Studies, McGill University (Montréal , Canada)
  • M.A. in Education - Teaching of English, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Research Interests: feminist and gender studies, body politics, race and ethnic studies, regional literature, religious narratives, environment and culture(s) in text

Emma Bacak

  • B.A. in English, University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
  • Research Interests: Dystopian literature, with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic literature.
  • “I was raised in College Station, Texas and completed my bachelors in English with honors at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas! I am very excited to continue my study of literature and explore Fayetteville and the Ozarks.”

Emily Birtwistle

  • B.A. in English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Research Interests: Southern American literature, Modern American literature, feminist and gender studies, and Shakespeare
  • “I started reading when I was two years old, and I haven't been able to put a book down since! After graduating from UNC, I worked as a sixth grade language arts teacher in Raleigh, NC, to help connect younger students with their own love for literature. I hope to continue that mission at UARK, and eventually become an English professor myself!”

Amber Black

  • B.A. in English Literature and History, John Brown University (Siloam Springs, AR)
  • M.A. in History of Warfare, King's College London (London, England, United Kingdom)
  • M.A. in History, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: Previous research focused on the Cold War; planning to continue that focus by researching the writings of Kurt Vonnegut in a Cold War context. 
  • “I have just finished my second MA in history. I hold a double BA in English literature and history. I am passionate about the humanities and enjoy roller skating and reading in my spare time.”

Collette Bliss

  • B.A. in Liberal Studies - English Concentration, Lee University (Cleveland, TN)
  •  B.A. Thesis: “Intimations of Naiveté: Second Naiveté as Framework for the Immortality Ode”
  • Research Interests: Spirituality, philosophy, folklore, post-secularity, and Transatlantic Romanticism
  • I believe that story helps us to connect with ourselves and others, and to get a fuller sense of what it means to be human. For me, being human mostly looks like nerding out over a newfound intellectual interest, dancing around my kitchen, getting way too emotionally invested in one or another tv show, and enjoying life both at home and outdoors with my wonderful partner and our two precious cats.

Teyaira Bonds

  •  B.A. in English and Psychology, Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR)
  • Research Interests: African American Literature, Pop Culture, Feminist Studies, Young Adult Fiction 
  • “Originally from Arkansas with a love of reading and education. My hope is to continue learning and teaching, honing my craft through what literature can teach me.”

Taylor Brown

  •  B.A. in English Education, Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, MO)
  • Research Interests: feminist studies, gender and sexuality, folklore, regional literature, horror and gothic literature, Modern American literature, religion and spirituality
  • “I was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas and earned my bachelor's degree in English education in Southwest Missouri. After four years, I'm so glad to be back home and to continue furthering my education in the subject I am so passionate about. I love how stories bring us together and I believe that we are made kinder and more understanding through literature's recognition of our similarities and its celebration of our differences.”

Camden Burris

  • B.A. in English/Creative Writing, Arkansas Tech University (Russelville, AR)
  • Research Interests: Celtic Studies, Folklore, and YA Literature
  • “I’m a Fayetteville native, cat mom, and thrifting enthusiast. When I'm not reading or studying for class, you can find me glued to a fantasy novel or exploring a new walking trail.”

Mitchell Carabio

  • B.A. in English Language and English Language Teaching, Hong Kong Metropolitan University (Kowloon, Hong Kong S.A.R)
  • M.A. in English, The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, S.A.R.).
  • M.A. Dissertation: “Marginalization and Social Inclusion in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
  • Research Interests: Gender, sexuality and literature, culture and literature, Asian literature, American and British literature, postcolonial literature
  • “I was born and raised in Hong Kong to second generation Filipinos. I have always been an avid reader and developed a profound interest in novels written by authors of Asian descent. By being in this program, I hope to explore more texts of varying genres and expand my literary repertoire.”

Jenna Carey

  • B.A. in English, College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, MO)
  • Research Interests: Feminist and Psychoanalytic Literature, Gender Studies, Shakespeare, Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Neo-Victorian Literature, and Classical Christian Literature
  • I grew up bouncing around Missouri towns and even went to undergrad in Southwest MO, so I am excited to finally explore a new state! In addition to studying literature, I enjoy snuggling with my mini-boxer, Baxter, while drinking wine and watching my favorite shows. I hope to gain insight into the publishing world as I embark on this new grad school adventure. I also cannot wait to begin teaching more students the joy of reading and writing!

Charlotte Cassidy

  • B.A. in English and Theatre, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • Post-Baccalaureate focus: Psychology, Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Research Interests: Victorian Literature, Science Fiction, Adaptation Theory, Psychoanalysis, Horror, and Gothic Fiction
  • “My name is Charlotte and I have a pig named Wilbur and a pig named Waddles; my guinea pigs. I am a singer, writer, actress, film buff, and theatre nerd. In melding my creative arts interests with my research interests I intend to focus on what changes need to be made in adapting literature to the stage and to film. I am also interested in researching fear. Science fiction, crime fiction, and horror fiction are three genres that give us insight into what different societies and cultures are afraid of, as do a culture's myths. I suggest that people are most afraid of the unknown. The unknown as a fear seems to me to transcend cultural differences. I would, if possible, include how scientific discoveries make people afraid, even when the developments are meant to improve life. Societal frictions often appear to be struggles between those who believe in science and ideas as positive potentials, and those who fear the new as other and risky.”

Aura Comer

  • B.A. in English and B.A. in Sociology, University of Arkansas

John Hannon

  • B.A. in History, Criminal Justice, and Sociology, University of Arkansas
  • I'm in the process of writing my first novel, it's historical fiction set in the early 1100s. I got into reading about that period about 2 years ago and fell in love with it and that's in part what led me to want to go back to school and study it in more depth and detail. My research interest pertains to more or less the period from 1000-1200, the period of history that Dr. Smith is an expert in. That's the main reason I wanted to study here, to benefit from his expertise on the long 12th century.”

Md. Abul Kasem

  • B.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • M.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • Research Interests: Postcolonial Literature, Diaspora Studies, Literary Theory, Feminism, and Cultural Studies
  • I love to watch movies, and I am a fan of Leonardo DeCaprio and Johnny Depp. Besides, I like traveling and watching soccer games. I don’t want to miss a single game of the Champions League. 

Blake Laird

  • B.A. in English, B.A. in Political Science, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • M.A. in Political Science, Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR)
  • Research Interests: Political Theology and Modern American Literature
  • “I am a family-oriented person. When I am not hanging out with my family, I like to wander around libraries, visit coffee shops and read in solitude. From a social standpoint, I enjoy going to academic presentations that are related to my research interests as well as starting/joining reading groups. Lastly, I enjoy deep sea fishing and being out on the water in general.”

Olivia Lynch

  • B.A. in English, Lyon College (Batesville, AR)
  • Research Interests: 20th century American literature, gender and sexuality studies, genre fiction—particularly romance novels 
  • “I’m originally from Alpena, AR. In my spare time I like to knit, play D&D, and eat breakfast food as often as possible.”

Molly Mingo

  • B.A. in English, Williams Baptist University (Walnut Ridge, AR)
  • Research Interests: world literature and cultural literature, as well as rhetoric and composition
  • “I graduated from Williams Baptist University with a Bachelor’s degree in English. After graduating, I taught English as a second language in South Korea for 18 months. I’m looking forward to continuing my studies at the UofA and hopefully get into the editing/publishing field after graduation!”

Abigayle Money

  • B.A. in English, College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, MO)
  • Research Interests: English Renaissance literature, American Romanticism, Southern Gothic literature, and Religion
  • “I’m originally from Southern Illinois, but my decision to pursue higher education led me to the Ozarks, which has been my home for the past four years. When I’m not in class, you can find me either training for my next marathon, doodling in one of my many unfinished sketchbooks, or watching overly pretentious films. By continuing my education at UofA, I hope to one day become a humanities professor.”

Lauren Phillips

  • B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Washington & Jefferson College (Washington, PA)
  • Research Interests: Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism, Gothic Literature, Poetry and Poetics, Trauma Studies, Theater and Drama, Gender and Sexuality
  • “I grew up in the Gettysburg area, and one of my favorite memories is sitting atop Devil’s Den with my best friend as we debated the logistics of Thestral’s appearances in Harry Potter. I’ve always found great purpose in reading and poetry, and I hope to apply my studies to my goals of becoming an English professor and better understanding, connecting, and empathizing with myself and those around me. When I’m not reading and writing, I often find myself watching and performing in plays and musicals, hiking and biking, and investing a bit too much time into video games and movies.”

Abigail Reese

  • B.S.E. in Secondary English Education, Williams Baptist University (Walnut Ridge, AR)
  • Research Interests: Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Studies; Gender Studies; Southern Literature; and Modern American Literature
  • “I originate from and grew up in a small town nestled in the Missouri Ozark Mountains. I graduated with a B.S.E. in English Education from Williams Baptist University whilst playing the sport I love, soccer. I intend to pursue a specialist in Cultural Studies. My interest in this specific field stems from a desire to understand the complexities of how social and political views differentiate from location to location and manifest into a beautifully unique culture.”

Ashleigh Severson

  • B.A. in English - Creative Writing, University of Arkansas
  • I’m from Rogers, AR and where I still live with my partner, nine-year-old daughter and one year old son. I completed my undergrad at the U of A where I received a BA in English-Creative Writing and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Fulbright Honors Program. My passion for African American studies and race relations have influenced my research focus in Cultural Studies and Modern American Literature.”

Lydia Sharpe

  • B.A. in Secondary English Education, Oklahoma Baptist Universty (Shawnee, OK)
  • Research Interests: Medieval/Renaissance literature or Classical literature
  • “I am originally from Washington State; my family lived off of Hood Canal near Seattle. I prefer quiet coffee shops and being outside to pretty much anything else.” 

Ahsan Tohel

  • Grew up and educated in Sylhet; lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • B.A. in English, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • B.A. Assignment: Magical Realism in Gabriel García Márquez’sStrange Pilgrims
  • M.A. in English, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • M.A. Monograph: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye: A Psychoanalytic Reading
  • Research Interests: English Language and Pedagogy, Media and Culture, Modern American Fiction and Drama, British Classics, Modern British Drama, South Asian Literature
  • The best is yet to come. The best piece of work is yet to be done. The best of fictions is yet to be penned. We can always get beyond our limit in excellence. We can always leave behind the supreme legacy as humans.

Victoria Trammell

  • B.A. in English/Journalism, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: Medieval literature, The Classics (Namely Greco-Roman), and Various Mythologies
  • “My love for literature began when I learned to read, and never stopped growing. Because of this I want to study how ancient and medieval literature has molded the literary world. Aside from literature my true passion is my cat Pudding.”

Mohi Uddin

  • Born in Sylhet, Bangladesh
  • B.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • M.A. in English Literature, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sylhet, Bangladesh)
  • Research Interests: Postcolonial Literature, Modern American Literature, African-American Literature, Critical Theory

Ph.D. Students

student picture

Emmy Aguayo

  • B.A. in Spanish, University of Arkansas
  • B.A. in French, University of Arkansas
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Translation, University of Arkansas 
profile picture

Tate Aldrich

  • originally from Laconia, NH
  • B.A. in English Teaching, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
  • M.Ed., Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH)
  • Research Interests: 20th Century American Literature and Gender Studies

Jessica L. Allee

  • originally from Grand Junction, CO
  • B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: rhetoric and composition pedagogy and Medical Humanities

Anson Andrews

  • B.S. in Secondary Education, University of Louisiana (Monroe, LA)
  • M.A. in English, University of Louisiana (Monroe, LA) 
student picture

Gracie Bain

  • originally from Searcy, AR
  • B.A in English and Philosophy with a minor in Women and Gender Studies, Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR)
  • M.A in English with specialization in Gender and Sexuality, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. Thesis: “Feeling Clumsy, Feeling Alien: Gender and Affect in Victorian Sensation Fiction
  • Research Interests: Nineteenth-century British literature, Feminist and gender theory, Neo-Victorian literature, Female criminals/monsters in literature

Dana Turner Blair

  • B.A. in English (with an emphasis in Creative Writing), University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: multiliteracies, composition pedagogy, Writing Program Administration, and teacher education
profile picture

Elizabeth Bonkoski

  • originally from DeKalb, IL, but grew up in Springfield, MO
  • B.A. in Theatre Studies, Missouri State University (Springfield, MO)
  • M.A. in English Literature, Missouri State University
  • M.A. Thesis: “Breaking the Wheel of History: Gender and Hegemony in Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • Research Interests: pop culture, literary theory, literature for the young, and early-mid-20th-century American literature
student picture

Heathermarie Brown

  • B.A. in English, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK)
  • M.A. in English, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK)
  • M.A. Thesis: “Stop Reading Over My Shoulder: Finding Meaning in Romance Novels”
  • “I am vested in adding more diversity to the English Canon; the more diverse and inclusive the reading, the more likely we are to hear each other. My research focuses on romance novels as a means to invite more conversations, especially topics often deemed too controversial, or uncomfortable, for public discussions. I like to ask ‘why not’ and I encourage other students to ask the awkward questions.”

Janette Byrd

  • B.A. in English and B.A. in Anthropolgy/Sociology, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in Applied Anthropology, Oregan State University (Corvallis, OR)
  • M.A. Thesis: Serving Amid Institutional Camouflage: The Invisibility of School Food Service Workers
  • Research Interests: Narratives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, children, and men in Oklahoma, and gun violence in Arkansas.
  • “My research interests are rooted in developing narrative literacy and how it is used for social and cultural change. What narratives do we use to solve social and cultural contradictions or controversies that serve the status quo, how do those narratives intersect with power, and how do we construct new narratives that disrupt what is and usher in what can be? What tales do we tell ourselves and others to make sense of unjust acts or systems, and how do we learn how to ‘read’, interpret, internalize, and leverage them into actions?”

Olivia Cash

  • originally from Pindall, AR
  • B.A. in English and Writing, Drury University (Springfield, MO)
  • M.A. in English (Specialization in Ethnic and Regional Studies), University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: American South, Global South, Ecocriticism, and Medical Humanities

Bethany Cole

  • B.A. in Philosophy, Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, OK) 
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: fantasy, the soul, religion and literature, mythology, translation, sacramental literature, Tolkien studies, liturgy
  • “I previously earned a M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas and am thrilled to now be working towards a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies. I am passionate about the ways art shapes our souls as human beings, especially literary art. When I am not studying, I love to paint, take photographs, and go on long hikes with my beautiful Australian Shepherd named Baer.”
profile picture

Tiffany Elder

  • originally from Tarkio, MO
  • B.A. in English, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK)
  • M.A. in English (focus in literature), Northeastern State University
  • M.A. Thesis: Through Teutonic Eyes: Returning the Germanic to The Wanderer 
  • Research Interests: religious studies, Norse Mythology, Anglo-Saxon literature, commonalities across world mythologies, rhetoric of space and place, and multi-modal composition

David Farris

  • I was born and raised in Fayetteville, and I have always loved this place that I call home. My hobbies are playing video games, watching a ton of TV shows, and collecting manga. My favorite shows are usually game shows or some reality television. I want to understand the world more and hope to contribute to how others understand the world around them.
  • B.A. in English and Music, Lyon College (Batesville, AR)
  • M.A. in English, Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO)
  • M.A. Thesis: “Jesus, Mary, and ...Joe?: An Archetypal Criticism of William Faulkner's Light in August
  • Research Interests: Faulkner, Southern studies, modernism, psychoanalysis
Sharon Fox

Sharon Fox

  • originally from Dundee, Scotland
  • B.A. in English and B.A. in History (with minors in Gender Studies and Medieval/Renaissance Studies), University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. Thesis: “Dandy as Disease: Gender Hygiene and British Nineteenth-century Literature”
  • Research Interests: Victorian Masculinities, Gender Studies, 19th-Century Dystopian Literature

Jesse Greenhill

  • B.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Translation, University of Arkansas

Scott Hendry

  • B.A. in Religion and Philosophy, Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, OK)
  • M.A. in English, University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
  • Research Interests: Literature of the Great Plains and the North American West, rhetorics of place and space, geocriticism, phenomenology, spatial theory, and environmental poetics.

Tyler Houston

  • B.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • “My interests, both personal and professional, are centered around the intersection of current technologies and literary form. The ways in which technology both redefines how we tell and interpret stories, as well as what impact those interpretations have on individuals and society, is at the center of my research. I hope to keep my focus at the forefront of the technologies that are continually developing the way we tell stories.”
student's picture

Michel LaCrue

  • B.A. in Rhetoric and Writing, University of Arkansas--Fort Smith
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. Thesis: “Establishing Influence and Authority in Ancient Civilizations and Modern Politics: The Rhetoric of Oracles and Oracular Maneuvers of Political Action Committees”
  • Research Interests: curriculum development and pedagogy in the First Year Writing classroom, Writing Program Administration, and student literacy

Kaitlin Leathers

  • B.A. in English, with a minor in linguistics, California State University (Bakersfield, CA)
  • M.A. in English, California State University (Bakersfield, CA)
  • M.A. Thesis: “Metamorphosis and Metaphysics: An Exploration of Man and Beast, Good and Evil, Christian and Pagan through Dichotomous Werewolves of the Middle Ages”
  • Research Interests: Medieval languages and literature (Old English, Old Norse, Old Irish), outlawry, monster theory and folklore, animal studies, gender and sexuality

John McManus

  • B.A. in English, Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR)
  • M.A. in English, Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR)
student image

Samantha Meeks

  • originally from Sheridan, AR
  • B.A. in English, Arkansas Tech University (Russellville, AR)
  • M.A. in English, Arkansas Tech University (Russellville, AR)
  • Research Interests: 18th- and 19th-Century British Literature and Utopian/Dystopian Studies

Michael Menase

  • B.A. in German Studies, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • M.A. in History, University of Alabama
  • M.A. in German, University of Alabama
  • M.A. in Philosophy, Oklahoma State University
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. Thesis: “Ghosts and Ethics in the Early Works of James Joyce”
  • Research Interests: Modernism and Shakespeare
profile picture

Skye Oliver

  • grew up in Elizabeth, WV, and have spent my adulthood in Boston, MA, and Charleston, SC
  • B.A. in English, Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
  • M.S. in Library and Information Science, Simmons University (Boston, MA)
  • Research Interests: the voices of women and people of color in medieval literature; the intersection of medieval and postcolonial diasporic texts; and digital transmissions of medieval texts in the modern period

John Plavcan

  • originally from Arkansas
  • B.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: examination of medievalism in modern media

Nicole Rikard

  • originally from Dallas, TX
  • B.A. in English, Texas Woman's University (Denton, TX)
  • M.A. in English - Literature, Missouri State University (Springfield, MO)
  • M.A. Thesis: “The Third Generation and the Multiplicity of ‘Indianness’”
  • Research Interests: Contemporary Native American poetry, fiction, and memoir; Native Studies; Ethnic Studies; Postcolonial Theory and Literature

Andrea Rogers

  • originally from Tulsa, OK
  • B.A. in English, University of Tulsa
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing, The Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)
  • M.F.A. Thesis/Creative Work: “How Not to Write About Native Americans” / Man Made Monsters, A Short Story Collection
  • Research Interests: American Indian literature and history, Indigenous lit

Abby Ross

  • B.A. in English (Political Science and Education minors), Austin College (Sherman, TX)
  • M.A. in English (Ethnic and Regional Specialization), University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: American Regional Studies, Southern Literature, and the Southern Gothic

Mitchell Simpson

  • B.A. in German, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas

Jordan Savage

  • B.A. in English, University of Arkansas--Fort Smith
  • M.A. in Enlgish, University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS) 
student picture

Zoë Townsend

  • Originally from Napa, CA
  • Dual US/UK citizen
  • Mother of three loud children
  • B.A. in English and Theology, Durham University (Durham, England)
  • B.A. Thesis: “The Chronicler's Use of Festal Language”
  • Master of Studies, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, England)
  • M.A. Thesis: “The Effect of the History and Culture of the ‘converso’ on Modern Jewish-Christian Relations in Spain”
  • Research Interests: The interfaith encounter in literature, Religion and literature, Austen and language, the British Metaphysical poets of the 17th Century 

Russell Webb

  • B.A. in English, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK)
  • M.A. in English, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK)
  • M.A. Thesis: “Emerson: The Perennial Bard”
  • Research Interests: American Literature, Transcendentalism, The Beat Generation, Post-Counter Culture Literature, High Weirdness, Indigenous Studies, Esoteric Literature, Taoism.
  • I am an Army veteran and former Green Beret with over eight years of service. I find my soul and my serenity in nature. It is this same connection with nature that exists in most indigenous paradigms of the world and is also found in Western spiritual movements, such as Transcendentalism. I view my connection to the earth in this same spirit.”
Taylor Weeks

Taylor Weeks

  • B.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • M.A. in English, University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: Rhetoric and Composition Studies