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    Fr. Rene Kollar, O.S.B., Dean
    School of Humanities and Fine Arts
    Phone: 724-805-2343
    Fax: 724-805-2812


Home > Majors and Programs > English
  • The School of Humanities and Fine Arts 

    The English Program  

    English News 

    The SVC English Department faculty, students, and alumni meet with success in diverse arenas. Here you will find some recent news about faculty publications and awards, student activities and accomplishments, and alumni achievements. See our Career Possibilities page for more information on what graduates have done with an SVC English major, as well as our various pages that spotlight particular students and their stories. 

     Meg Matich(1)Megan Matich (C’11) earned a bachelor of arts degree in English, minoring in German, at Saint Vincent College before pursuing her master’s degree.

    Now, Megan works in financial journalism for a Fortune 500 company, has published two books and has just received a Fulbright Fellowship to translate Icelandic poetry. Learn how Saint Vincent College prepared her and other young alumni for success: http://bit.ly/1SK0PrG
     Dr. McDanielDennis McDaniel, Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department, has published a article in the April 22-May 5 edition of The National Catholic Reporter. His article, “Did Distorted Memories Form the Gospels?,” reviews Bart D. Ehrman’s latest book, Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Stories of Their Savior.
     Zach Noble, a 2013 graduate, Creative Writing concentrator, and former Editor of The Review, will attend Georgetown Law School beginning in the fall of 2016 on a partial scholarship. Zach is presently a staff writer for FCW, an online journal that covers civilian federal workforce issues. Previously, Zach served as assistant editor at the news site TheBlaze. He has also written for The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.
    Michelle Gil-Montero Michelle Gil-Montero, Associate Professor of English, is one of nine recipients of a $33,000 fellowship from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation. The fellowships are awarded for the 2016–17 academic year in the fields of literary translation, literary study, and creative nonfiction. She will use the grant to continue her project on the first translation of poetry by Argentine writer J. C. Bustriazo Ortiz.

    Established in 1952 at Brown University, the Howard Foundation annually awards approximately 10 fellowships to early and mid-career recipients who have achieved recognition for at least one major project. The fellowships provide artists and scholars in the creative arts and critical studies with time to complete their work.
    Meg Matich
     2012 SVC English alumna Megan Matich (MFA, Columbia) recently received a joint grant with the Icelandic Ministry of Education and Culture and the Fulbright Commission to study Icelandic as a Second Language at the University of Iceland as a part of a three-year program. This auxiliary project sprang from her recent work translating several Icelandic poems from Magnús Sigurðsson that were featured in the publication Words Without Borders, which earned her a PEN/Heim translation grant. Megan will utilize the Fulbright grant to translate and edit an anthology of a variety of Icelandic poets. The anthology will include a critical introduction that elaborates on poetry as an arm for social progress and as an important fixture of everyday life in Iceland, an astoundingly literate country. Megan will be supervised by two translation studies scholars, Ástraður Eysteinsson and Martin Regal, as well as her mentor and friend Gyrðír Elíasson, whose poems she is currently translating. She will concurrently intern with two small publishing houses, whose catalogs she hopes to populate with translated literature.
    Kat OrdiwayKathryn Ordiway, a senior English major from St. Mary’s, PA, has received the first William Stubbs Creativity Award for her collection of integrated stories entitled, On Loyals Haven.

    Ordiway’s story collection is--to quote from the Stubbs Creativity Award criteria--“a celebration of imagination, restlessness, free expression, and creative risk-taking.” The stories demonstrate a remarkably profound insight into the human condition and the diversity that exists within a small community--and, by extension, all communities--as experienced through the eyes of the residents of the coastal, Catholic town of Loyals Haven.

    Kathryn employs the experimental technique of narrative and perceptual fragmentation and also uses elements of the surreal as she focuses on grief, the perplexities of family life, and the ripple of effects caused by a single, sudden death. Her stories address various societal pressures and the ways in which cultural norms encourage people to make decisions they would not otherwise choose to make, the ways in which family members privately react to each other, and the ways in which these individuals interact with one another in the public eye. Using fluid language and almost poetic descriptions of places and situations, Kathryn's stories particularly concern themselves with the quiet, unspoken divisions that exist between people, even those close to each other because of familial or social circumstance. Her work is a lovely, un-skeptical, un-ironic look at interior landscapes in front of an exterior landscape any sensitive reader will immediately recognize.

    The William Stubbs Creativity Award, according to its criteria, “recognizes outstanding student work that displays ingenuity and social consciousness” and its winner receives a $300 prize. Submitted work is reviewed by a panel of internal and external judges. The award is named after the late SVC English professor, who possessed a “spirit of engagement in literature, culture, and community inspired students to think broadly and take creative risks in their scholarly endeavors.”

  • Alumni Joseph Carroll Publishes Essay

     Joseph A. Carroll 

    A big congratulations to Joseph Carroll, SVC English major who graduated 2014.

    His paper, “Screw-turn-izing the Governess’s Touching Story: Pedophilia in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw” was published this month in Sigma Tau Delta’s yearly journal The Review. This prestigious undergraduate journal received more than 1000 submissions!

    Carroll’s essay is much more than witty wordplay. He digests a mass of scholarship on Henry James’s most famous story to make sense of the lacuna, narration, and social critique of this puzzling novella. Departing from its frame as a ghost story, Carroll argues that the embedded narrator, the Governess, is viciously deceptive. He explains, “this essay argues that the Governess can be reasonably read as a child molester who hopes to either conceal her abuse of the children with her deceptive manuscript or convince herself that she did not commit such atrocities. In providing this disturbing interpretive possibility, I show that James’s psychological thriller locates evil neither in the paranormal nor in the corruptibility of innocence but in the tangible, dreadful reality of deviant human behavior and adult perversions.” Carroll shows James moving beyond representing childhood in Victorian splendor by critiquing adult investments in childhood purity at the cost of corruption.

    Two Grads Talk About Literary Translation

    Meg Matich 

    Alison Macomber, a 2013 graduate studying Literary Translation at Queens College, interviews 2012 grad Meg Matich in this article in Words Without Borders. The interview was centered on Matich's work in the translation of Icelandic poetry as well as the literary translation theories that she practices. She currently works primarily with the poems of Magnús Sigurðsson, a highly accomplished, young Icelandic poet, whose works typically offer still-life images of the natural world. However, she has also been working on the translation of other Icelandic poets, some of whom are in the June 2015 feature of Words without Borders.

    To read the entire interview, click here: http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/dispatches/article/interview-with-the-translator-meg-matich-talks-to-alison-macomber 

    Meg Matich Publishes Five New Poems

    2012 graduate Meg Matich has published five new poems in the Alice Blue Review. Each of these poems relate to the subject of cold, whether it is the feeling of being cold, descriptions of animals that live in cold climates, or the scenery associated with cold weather. Here is one of her poems entitled "Cold":  

             "Imagine the moon
             coated in snow

             from its surface.

             to the earth, midnight
             to the sea."

     You can see the rest of the poems here: http://www.alicebluereview.org/twentyfive/poetry/matich.html  

    Senior Thesis Presentations

    Senior Thesis PresentationsLast Tuesday, December 8, 2015, our senior English majors presented their senior projects in the Coverlet Gallery. The presenters included Bridget Synan, Ashley Likar, Jessica Kissel, Kathryn Klawinski, Morgan Stout, Jordan Frodente, Kathryn Ordiway, and Alexis Zawelensky. Each presenter summarized their senior theses in an 8-10 minute presentation in which they choose to utilize PowerPoint’s or to read a passage of their papers. The theses dug deep into popular works in order to contemplate interesting arguments about a particular novel. 

     Both Bridget Synan and Alexis Zawelensky argued a rethinking of the love plot in the American classic The Great Gatsby.  Some of the topics that our presenters explored in this broad analysis of the novels were: Is novel really a story about love? Or is it a commercial enterprise, an elaborate advertisement for a lavish and glorious American project that relishes breaking the rules in sexy indulgence? Does Daisy believe in Gatsby? Do you? Or, is The Great Gatsby a war novel more like Hemingway's universe of tortured impotent men and frisky manly women than some jazzed up Horatio Alger? 

    Our seniors with a creative writing concentration produced a compilation of short stories as their senior theses with a similar theme throughout the work. We heard from Jordan Frodente about the parallel universe Laborte where magical objects reveal how charmed or damned our lives can be. 

    Ashley Likar wrote her thesis on how Faulkner imagines a religious struggle in his atheistic world where ordinary characters attempt to work the promise of Easter's resurrection. Jessica Kissel considered how Homer pits his conventional hero, Odysseus, against the divine Athena, pointing toward a moral rectitude that reinvisions power. The other theses covered topics of attaching buttons over children's eyes, mutilating mermaids, and beetles eating out pianos, trees, and, well, basically, brains. 

    The night was filled with literary contemplation and criticism that can only be found in the English Department. Congratulations to all of our seniors who presented their theses last week!   

    Dr. McDaniel Presents Paper at Conference

     Dr. McDanielDr. Dennis McDaniel presented the paper “Towards an Aesthetic of Rock Criticism” at the Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Conference in Philadelphia on November 6.

    His paper argues that literary popular music criticism demands recognition as a distinct prose nonfiction art form that may be appreciated apart from its object of criticism. Such critical writing translates the attitude, rhythm, and sound of rock and pop into prose style that has an autonomous aesthetic existence. Canonical literary rock critics like Richard Meltzer, Lester Bangs and Nick Tosches established this literary style, which has been taken in new directions by contemporary critics like Danyel Smith, Greg Tate, and Joanne Fury. Ultimately, Dr. McDaniel’s paper considers whether the critics who inspired both writers and musicians deserve to be enshrined in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Much of the research for Dr. McDaniel’s paper was funded by a Saint Vincent Faculty Research Grant.