Literature and Cultural Theory Students

Ibtisam M. AbujadIbtisam M. Abujad

Degree: PhD
Prior Degree: MA, UWM 2016

Interests: Arab and Arab American Fiction, Contemporary Transnational Fiction, American Muslim Literature, Gender/ Women’s Studies, World Literature, Poetics of Childhood, Motherhood Studies, Memory Studies, Narrative Theory, Islamic Feminism

Conference Presentations

International Conferences:
“I am All of These Things Some of the Time: The Intersection between Ethnicity and Race in the Autobiographical Narratives of Second-Generation American Muslims.” AWS 2016: Third International Conference on Advances in Women’s Studies. Buffalo, New York. 30 July 2016.

National and Regional Conferences:
“Transnational Topographies of Subversive Muslimness.” SAMLA 88-Utopia/Distopia: Whose Paradise is It?. South Atlantic Modern Languages Association. Jacksonville, Florida. 4 Nov. 2016.

“Universalism and Mutual Recognition: The Holocaust in Palestinian Discourse.” Middle East Dialogue Conference. Policy Studies Organization. Whittemore House, Washington DC. 27 Feb. 2014.

“Society and Cultivated Racialization.” Rocky Mountain Modern Languages Association Convention. Vancouver, Washington. October 2013.

“Dear Abby,” “Al-Hayata (The Wall),” and “No,no.” College English Association Conference. St. Petersburg, Florida. April 2011.

“Colonial Discourse and the Scarlett Letter.” National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Ogden, Utah. April 2010.

Teaching Experience: Arabic Literature in English Translation: The Modern Arabic Novel (currently taught at Marquette University); currently Instructor of Arabic Language and Literature at Marquette University

Norah Alsuhaibani

Degree: PhD
Prior Degrees: BA, King Saud University 2010, Saudi Arabia; MA, DePaul University 2016, Chicago, IL

Interests: 18th century British literature, utopian literature, classical and cultural theory, Arabic novels and poetry

Conference Presentations:
“Reading Kafka Through Foucault and Butler” English Graduate Students Association, Loyola University Chicago, April, 2014.

“A Close Reading of The Pilgrim’s Progress” English Graduate Students Association, Depaul University, May, 2015.

Suchismita Banerjee

Degree: PhD

Interests: postcolonial theory, literature, and film, transnational feminism, theories of labor, and diasporic literature

Conference Presentations:
Chair, “(Re)negotiating Debt.” Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA), Cincinnati, November 2012

“Transnational Solidarity: Resisting Imperialism in India and Ireland.” Modern Language Association (MLA), Boston, January 2013

“Creating Alternate Voices: Exploring South Asian Cyberfeminism.” Modern language Association (MLA), Boston, January 2013

“Performing “Agency” in (Re) casting Female Subjecthood in Rabindranath Tagore’s Strir Patra or The Wife’s Letter. South Asian Literary Association Conference, Seattle, January 2012.

“Transgressing Domesticity: Problematizing Agency and Subjecthood in Rabindranath Tagore’s Strir Patra or The Wife’s Letter.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, November 2011

“(Re) positioning the Myth of the Vampire in the Light of Patriarchy: A Gendered Analysis of Coppola’s Dracula and Romero’s Martin.” Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA), Chicago, November 2010

“Ways of (Un) Belonging: Interrogating the Question of Citizenship in Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel, Cracking India, “Beyond Citizenship: feminism and the transformation of belonging” at Birkbeck, University of London, London, June 2010

“Interrogating the Ambivalence of Self-Fashioning and Redefining the Immigrant Identity in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine.” Asiatic. 6.1(2012):10-24.

“The Legacy of Indian Upheaval: A Socio-Political Study of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.” The Fogdog Review. 2 (2008): 73-77.

“The Inner Eye: Evolution and Transformation of Ray’s Women in Teen Kanya.” Proceedings of the First Graduate Research Conference, March 30-31, 2007: The Graduate School, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN. 2007: 17-23.

“Theatre of Protest: A Post Colonial Perspective.” Journal of the Department of English, University of Calcutta. 2 Feb. 2003-04: 8-12.

Michael Beebe 

Degree: PhD
Prior Degrees: BS Syracuse University 2006 (Television Radio & Film); MA New York University 2010 (Irish & Irish-American Studies)

Interests: Irish studies, literary modernism, modernization/modernity, cultural studies, political philosophy, biopower/biopolitics, postcolonial studies

“‘Duties in the Home’: John McGahern’s The Dark and the Formative Spaces of Irish Gender.” Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies 5: Special Issue on Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality (Forthcoming, 2016).

Master of None and Serial Storytelling in the Binge-Viewing Era.” PopMatters Mag., 14 Apr. 2016. Web.

 “Out of the Dark: Liam O’Flaherty’s Darkness, edited by Brian Ó Conchubhair.” Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies (2014): n. pag. Web.

Awards and Fellowships:
Graduate Student Conference Scholarship, International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, University College Cork, 2016

Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship, The Graduate School, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2015-16

Graduate Participant Fellowship, The Irish Seminar, O’Connell House (Dublin, IE), University of Notre Dame, 2014

The Chancellor’s Golda Meir Library Scholar Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2013-14

Travel Award, The English Institute, Harvard University, 2013

Nominee, Excellence in Teaching Award, First Year Writing Program, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2013

The Chancellor’s Graduate Student Support Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2010-11

Public Lectures: “James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Birth of Modern Irish Subjectivity”
The Scholar and the Library Series 2013-14, Golda Meir Library, UW-Milwaukee

Conference Presentations:
“Sean O’Faolain and Postcolonial Tourism in Provincial Ireland.” International Association for the Study of Irish Literature 2016, University College Cork, Cork IE.

“‘The Irish Bringing Gifts’: Beckett and the Transnational Biopolitics of the Irish Red Cross.” American Conference for Irish Studies 2016, University of Notre Dame, South Bend IN.

“Narratives of Progress: Master of None and Serial Storytelling in the Binge-Viewing Era.” Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2016, Milwaukee, WI.

“Dumpster Babies, Garbage Pail Kids: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, and Post-Bourgeois Existence in the Trash.” Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2015, Milwaukee WI.

“Celticism and Biopolitical Modernity: Yeats’s Celtic Twilight and the Ascent of the Urban Crowd.” American Conference for Irish Studies/Canadian Association for Irish Studies 2014, University College Dublin, Dublin IE.

“Call and Response: John McGahern’s The Dark in Critical Dialogue with the de Valera Ideal.” American Conference for Irish Studies 2013, Chicago IL.

“Leopold Bloom’s Funeral Tram: Ulysses and the Imagination of the Modern Irish State.” Hybrid Irelands 2012, University of Notre Dame, South Bend IN.

“The Shade of the Modern State in ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room.’” American Conference for Irish Studies 2012, New Orleans LA.

“Cultural Studies and Personal Agency in the Writing Classroom.” Emerging Compositions 2011, Milwaukee WI.

“Discourse and Privilege: Appropriation in First-Year Student Writing.” Those Who Can, Teach 2010, Milwaukee WI.

“Rural Peasant Autonomy in the Novels of Liam O’Flaherty.” American Conference for Irish Studies 2010, State College PA.

Teaching Experience: ENG 215: Intro to English Studies; ENG 227: Irish Modernism; ENG 306: Survey of Irish Literature

Kayla M. BlodgettKayla M. Blodgett

Degree: MA
Prior Degree: BS in Secondary Education in English from Northern Michigan University in 2013

Interests: postcolonial studies, feminist theory, critical race theory, American Lit, religion/spirituality

Teaching Experience: Currently teaching high school English while studying at UWM




Andy Freeburg

Degree: MA
Prior Degrees:

  • BS Secondary Education, English and Speech Communications-UW La Crosse, 1997
  • MA Education-Viterbo University, 2007

Interests: modern poetry, Tennessee Williams, Yusef Komunyakaa, fables, 80s Brat Pack literature, formalism

Related Activities/Experience: Teaching high school English


Thad Furman

Degree: PhD

Interests: 19th Century Victorian Literature, Postcolonial Theory and Literature, Ecology, and Queer Theory

Conference Presentations: Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference (MIGC). UWM Feb. 20th – 21st. Theme: Unbearable. Paper presented: “War, Gore, and the Unbearable: Attack on Titan’s Brutality.”

Teaching Experience: English 215, Spring 2017

Kyle T. Henrichs

Degree: PhD

Interests: Contemporary American Literature, Ecocriticism, Narratology

Teaching Experience: English 21

Emily Jones

Degree: MA
Prior Degree: BA, English, Hamline University

Interests: Women’s studies, feminist literary theory, queer theory, cultural studies

Julie Kaiser

Degree: PhD
Prior Degrees: BA, Loyola University Chicago, 2012; MA, Western Illinois University, 2016

Interests: New Media with an emphasis in Comic Studies, Cultural Theory, Transnational Literature

Conference Presentations:
“Trials of Our (Grand)Fathers: Transgenerational Trauma in Lucy Knisley’s Displacement.” Michigan State University Comics Forum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, February 27, 2016.

“Trials of Our (Grand)Fathers: Transgenerational Trauma in Lucy Knisley’s Displacement.” English Graduate Organization Annual Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, November 7, 2015.

“Did You Hear That?: Typography and Sound in Graphic Novels.” Society for Textual Scholarship and the Association for Documentary Editing Joint Conference, Lincoln, NE, June 17-20, 2015.

“Making Noise: Creating Sound in Graphic Novels.” Graduate Research Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, March 6, 2015

“Making Noise: Creating Sound in Graphic Novels.” Southwest Popular Culture Association Regional Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 11-13, 2015.

“Rhetoric of a Bully: Power and Abuse on 4Chan.” English Graduate Organization Annual Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, October 25, 2014.

The Ron and Leslie Walker Graduate Fellowship for Literary Studies, 2015

John Mahoney Research Fellowship, 2015Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, 2016

Syndy M. Conger Essay Award, 2016


Sarah Beth Kiliman

Degree: MA

Interests: Contemporary Irish fiction, postcolonial studies, narrative theory, folklore studies, myth in contemporary fiction, video game studies, science fiction

Conference Presentations:

Hamlet’s Titular Character: Through the Lens of the Chinese Confucian Tradition.” Midwestern Conference on Language, Literature, and Media. Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL. March 2015


Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, UWM, 2016-17

Dean’s Award for Service to the English Department, NIU, 2015


Yasmine Lamloum

Degree: PhD

Interests: Critical Race Theory, Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Literature, Caribbean Literature, Transnational Literature, Magical Realism, Womanism, Psychoanalysis, Languages

Fulbright FLTA 2013-2014

2015-2016 Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award

Yousuf Mamoon

Degree: MA
Prior Degree: Double BA in English and Comparative Literature from UWM

Interests: Postcolonial theory, transnationalism, critical race theory, the Pakistani-Indian Partition

Randolph Marcum III

Degree: PhD
Prior Degree: BA, West Virginia State University, 2012; MA, West Virginia University, 2016

Interests: Ecocriticism, speculative fiction, 20th-21st Century American Literature

Shanae Aurora Martinez

Degree: PhD w/ Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate

Interests: Indigenous American Literatures, Social Justice Narratives, Decolonial Praxis, Transnationalism, Trans-Indigenous Resistance, Feminist Alliances, Tourism


“Listening to the Good People,” a review of Weweni: Poems in Anishinaabemowin and English by Margaret Noodin. cream city review 41.1, Spring 2017 (forthcoming).

“Capitalism and Cannibalism in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead.” The McNair Scholars Journal of the University of California, Davis IX (2009): 53-59.


Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) Fellow, Graduate School, UWM, 2016-2019

Dr. Tomás Garrett-Rosas Research Award, Graduate School, UWM, 2016-2019

D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies Summer Institute Fellow, Newberry Library, 2011

Chancellor’s Graduate Student Support Award, Graduate School, UWM, 2010-2011

McNair Scholar, UC Davis, 2006-2008

UC Davis English Department International Education Travel Award, 2008

Conference Presentations:

“Intervening in Academic Tourism: Indigenous Narrative Agency in Deborah Miranda’s Bad Indians” presented at Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) Landbody Conference 2016

“Bad Latin Americans?: Negotiating Indigenous Narrative Spaces” presented at North Central Council of Latin Americanists (NCCLA) Conference 2015

“cream city review Celebrates Returning the Gift: Native American Writers” reading ft. Kimberly Blaeser, Janet McAdams, Margaret Noodin, Laura Tohe, & b:william bearhart, presented at Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference 2015 (co-organizer)

“The Grandmother Epistemic in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead” presented at Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference 2012

“Imagining Our Grandmothers, Imagining Ourselves in Ray A. Young Bear’s Black Eagle Child and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead” presented at the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies Graduate Student Conference 2011

“Capitalism and Cannibalism in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead” presented at MALCS Summer Institute 2007

Teaching Experience:

English/American Indian Studies 276: Introduction to American Indian Literature: Transnational and Inter-Tribal Perspectives, UWM, Fall 2014 and Fall 2015

English/American Indian Studies 276: Introduction to American Indian Literature: History, Literature, & Sovereignty of Wisconsin Tribes, UWM, Spring 2015

English 215: Introduction to English Studies, UWM, Spring 2014


Vice President, AFT-CIO Local 3535, The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP), UWM, July 2016-Present

Peer Reviewer, Feral Feminisms, 2013-Present

GPC Student Representative, Graduate Policy Committee, Department of English, UWM, Fall 2014-Spring 2016

Managing Editor, cream city review, Fall 2012-Spring 2014

Kacee Mariah McKinney

Degree: MA

Interests: Motherhood studies, postmodern literature, feminist studies from the latter half of the twentieth century

Sarah O’Connell

Degree: PhD

Interests: British Modernism, Disability Studies, Irish Studies, Feminism, Crip Theory, Critical Race Theory

Conference Presentations:
“Resistant Reading: Teaching American Indian Literature at the Intersection of Race and Disability Midwest Modern Language Association St. Louis, Missouri. November 2016

“See How She Looks: Disability, Parallax, and Pleasure in Ulysses” MAD Lit Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. 27 February 2015

Book Review: Rev of Literary Aesthetics of Trauma: Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson By Reina van der Weil Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 48.1 (2015)

Teaching Experience: 215: Intro to English Studies; English 150: Multicultural America

Michiaki Ogura

Degree: PhD

Interests: 19th c. American literature, male friendship, intimacy, queer theory

“Cuba in the American Imagination: Melville and the Putnam’s Magazine.” in Monroe Doctrine and Hemispheric Imagination. (2016): 95-123. (Japanese)

“Beyond Nationality: Intimacy in Israel Potter.” Rikkyo Review 42 (2013): 15-28. (Japanese).

“Ambiguous Crows: Class Conflict, Slavery, and Disunion in Melville’s Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!” The Journal of the American Literature Society of Japan 10 (2012): 41-58. (English).

“Melville’s Ambivalent Attitude toward Nationalism: The Representation of the Sea in Moby-Dick.” Kanazawa English Studies 27 (2010): 67-81. (Japanese).

Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship (2016)

Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award (2014)

Fulbright Grant (2013-2016)

Matt Schneider

Degree: PhD

Prior Degree: MA-English/Creative Writing, Northern Michigan University, 2006
Interests: Twentieth-century American literature; science fiction; modern literary theory; utopian studies; prophecy; historiography; cinema; game studies; creative writing

Publications: “Translating the Unthinkable: Global Weirding in A Dark Room.” Paradoxa, no. 28, 2016, pp. 164-183 (forthcoming)

Conference Presentations:
“Roundtable on Global Weirding.” Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Atlanta, GA, November 2016

“Letters from a Ugandan Farmer: The Prophetic Scope of the American Jeremiad in Caesar’s Column.” Midwest Conference on Utopian Studies, Valparaiso University, March 2015

Teaching Experience: Graduate Teaching Assistant, UW-Milwaukee, 2014-present – English 215 – Introduction to English Studies

Nicole Solakiewicz

Nicole Solakiewicz

Degree: MA

Interests: 20th and 21st century American literature, women’s literature



Alison Sperling

Degree: PhD
Prior Degree: MA from San Francisco State University

Interests: 20th century american modernism, eco-criticism, feminist materialisms, queer theory, disability studies, nonhuman theories, theories of temporality, plant and animal studies

“Second Skins: A Body-Ecology of the The Southern Reach Trilogy.” Paradoxa, Vol. 28, forthcoming December 2016.

“H.P. Lovecraft’s Weird Body,” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, forthcoming 2016. Reprinted in Lovecraft Annual, no. 10, ed. S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2016.

“Freak Temporality: Female Adolescence in the Novels of Carson McCullers,” Girlhood Studies, Vol. 9, Issue 1: “Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives,” pp. 88-103, March 2016.

Fellowships and Awards:
Tinsley Helton Distinguished Dissertator Fellowship, UW-Milwaukee, Spring 2017.

Frederick Hoffman Best Essay Award, “Freak Temporality, Adolescence in the Work of Carson McCullers,” UW-Milwaukee, Department of English, 2015.

Teaching Excellence Award, UW-Milwaukee, Department of English, 2014.

James Sappenfield Fellowship, UW-Milwaukee, Department of English, 2012.

Conference Presentations:

“Global Weirding:” a Roundtable, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Emory University, Atlanta, 2016.

“Weird Life: Djuna Barnes and the Vegetative Body,” Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Europe, University of Stockholm, Sweden, 2016.

“Weird Literature, Weird Methods: A Roundtable,” panel organizer and chair, MLA, Vancouver, Canada, 2015.

Weird Modernism: Transformative Bodies, Transformative Sexualities.” Graduate Humanities Conference: Trans*, Tufts University, Boston, 2013.

“Weird Modernism.” The Weird Conference: Fugitive Fictions, Hybrid Genres, University of London and Birkbeck Center of Contemporary Literature, London, 2013.

“Monstrous Youth: Weird Childhood in Modernism,” MMLA, Milwaukee, 2013.

“Modernism and the Question of Attachment: Intimacy, Affect, and Time,” panel chair, Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA), Houston, 2013.

“Addiction, Queerness, and the Will: A Short Reading of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room,” Modern Studies Association, Las Vegas, 2012.

“Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge Production and the Question of Democracy,”     panel co-chair, Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Sorbonne University, Paris, 2012.

“‘The Body (In)Visible’: Trans-Territorial Embodiments,” HERA, Salt Lake City, 2012.

Photographic (Pre)Mediation: Osama Bin Laden’s Death and the Evidences of      Pleasure,” Midwest Popular Culture Association, Milwaukee, 2012.

“Hemingway’s Flight from Civilization and Search for the West: For Whom the Bell Tolls,” HERA, San Francisco, 2011.

“The Orlando Case: Sex, Gender, and the Patriarchal Worlds of Woolf’s Orlando and Freud’s Dora,” HERA, El Paso, 2010.

“T.S. Eliot’s Black Mask: Belonging, Identity and Community in the Language and Imagery of Eliot and Noir,” Peaks Conference, Northern Arizona University, 2009.

“Dave Eggers’ Humor in Memoir: Destructive or Instructive?” NEMLA, Montreal, 2009.

“The Distorted Faces of Noir: Measuring the Interpretative Spaces of Film and Literature Noir, ” Grad. Literature Association Conference, San Francisco State University, 2009.

Teaching Experience: English 215, LGBT 200, WGS 20

Veronica Toth

Degree: MA

Interests: Victorian literature, Victorian feminist studies, American transcendentalism, creative nonfiction

Andrew Carlyle Urbanurban-photo

Degree: PhD

Interests: Antebellum American literature, liberalism, modernity, political theory, Marxism

Teaching Experience: English 215: Introduction to English Studies; English 223: American Writers to 1900; English 224: American Writers: 1900 to the Present