Fall 2021 Newsletter

A Note From the Chair

Hello, English Department Community, and a special welcome to our new majors and minors!

I appreciate seeing everyone in person this fall on campus! And I’m grateful as always that we’ve been able to continue our work. Hope to see those of you on campus at our English Department Open House on October 20th. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this thought from writer Richard Rodriguez.

“I have come to think of myself as engaged in writing graffiti. Encouraged by physical isolation to reveal what is most personal; determined at the same time to have my words seen by strangers. I have come to understand better why works of literature—while never intimate, never individually addressed to the reader—are so often among the most personal statements we hear in our lives.

Writing, I have come to value written words as never before. One can use spoken words to reveal one’s personal self to strangers. But written words heighten the feeling of privacy. They permit the most thorough and careful exploration.”

-Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. Dial Press, New York, NY, 1982.

Happy reading & writing, and I hope you and yours are safe and well

Kathryn Rhett

Chair, Department of English

Faculty news

Professor Sushmita Sircar

How has your first semester teaching at Gettysburg College been for you so far?
It has been wonderful to be back in the classroom with students, in Gettysburg College of course, but also, just in this late phase of the pandemic! It is a tremendous pleasure to be able to read together and develop our ideas in conversation with each other. I am also discovering for myself all the benefits of a liberal arts college I’ve always heard about—small classes, the charming campus, run- ning into people everywhere!
For those who are unaware, could you please explain what the Mellon Fellowship is?
The Mellon Fellowship supports one year of teaching a one course per semester load, giving the fellows more time to develop those courses but also to focus on their research. After this year, Mellon Faculty Fellows transition to a tenure- track assistant professorship. I’m grateful for the opportunity the fellowship affords to devote time to research, begin work on my book project and adjust to life in Gettysburg!
What does the research you are conducting entail?
My research is in the field of postcolonial literature and the anglophone South Asian novel. Specifically, I focus on the figure of the “revolutionary”—the terrorist, the student, the dissenting soldier, among others—in the anglophone novel, to think about how they position themselves against the nation-state. I ask what histories they claim for themselves, what futures they imagine, and what kinds of relations to each other (comradeship, brotherhood) they need to position themselves against the state. Some of the novels I examine are Neel Mukher- jee’s The Lives of Others, Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field and Pankaj Mishra’s The Romantics.
What courses are you teaching this year?
I am teaching an introductory course on world literature that focuses on translation in world literature. We are reading some contemporary prize-winning novels and poetry that theorize translation as a condition of global cir- culation. In the spring, I am teaching a course called “Asian International- isms,” which looks to Afro-Asian solidarities, Indian Ocean imaginaries, and transnational anti-colonial networks to expand our idea of what Asia’s borders looked like over the course of the twentieth century.

Faculty news

Professor McKinley Melton

Professor Melton will be teaching a new course this spring, Literature of the Civil Rights Movement, that will be offered T/R 2:35pm-3:50pm.


Professor Aristides Dimitriou

Published in the Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory (Volume 77, Number 2, Summer 2021) titled:

“Outlaw Aesthetics: John Rechy’s Narrative Epistemology of the Borderlands.”

“This article examines how John Rechy's outlaw sensibility not only mobilized an early form of Queer Chicanidad but also inspired an experi- mental narrative discourse to critique the neo-imperial governance of the US-Mexico borderlands in the mid-twentieth century. Juxtaposing the recurrence of discrimination against marginalized groups in the United States with the reemergence of empire in the borderlands, Rechy's work articulates a historical genealogy of transnational displacement and migration, which shows how the ostensible freedoms of the present remain rooted in the unfreedoms of the colonial past. Rechy offers a narrative epistemology of border-thinking: a disclosure of trans- national consciousness, positioned between temporal and spatial borders, which highlights the unavailability of existential freedom and the need for political struggle. In exploring the contours of Rechy's outlaw aesthetics this article offers a new understanding of Rechy's work that helps expand the fields of global modernism, postwar American literature, and Chicanx studies.”

Alumni news

English Major and History Minor ‘18

Nicole Cvjetnicanin’18 graduated Gettysburg college with a B.A in English and a minor in History. After graduating from Gettysburg, she began a Master of Science program in Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her graduate program, she was also a graduate research assistant at Wilson Library on the UNC campus. From 2018-2019, she held a position in the archival processing section of the library. And from 2019-2020, she was transferred to working on archival digitization in the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. In 2020, Ms. Cvjetnicanin received her masters degree from UNC. Currently, she is located in Madrid, Spain, where on October 1, 2021 she began working as a Teacher’s Assistant teaching English in a secondary school. In this position, she will be in charge of helping students improve their existing English language skills while simultaneously teaching them about American culture and assisting the teachers in their duties.

How do you think your degree helped you in your endeavors after graduating from Gettysburg?
My degree from Gettysburg College helped me to become a well-rounded individual with knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. Because of the liberal arts education I received at Gettysburg, I was able to enter graduate school and excel in an array of different subjects and disciplines, which is extremely helpful in the library science field. Because I took classes in so many different depart- ments at Gettysburg, I feel prepared to work as a librarian/educator in more subjects than just those that I majored and minored in.
Were any of your English classes at Gettysburg particularly impactful, or any of your English professors particularly influential?
During the fall semester of my senior year at Gettysburg College, I took a course entitled "Victorian Aesthetics" with Professor Suzanne Flynn. The highlight of the class was a fall break trip to London to visit museums, galleries, and monu- ments that pertained to our course material. It was so incredible to be able to have this hands-on experience and to see in person the art and architecture that we had been learning about in class. I also took my senior seminar with Professor Flynn and she always made the material accessible and gave us a wealth of knowledge concerning the context for everything we read and studied. In both "Victorian Aesthetics" and the Thomas Hardy Seminar, our classes felt like one big family. Professor Flynn always invited opposing viewpoints and intellectual diversity into her class discussions. We always felt comfortable sharing our opinions and thoughts on the material, and she always challenged us to dig deeper into those viewpoints.
While at Gettysburg, were you involved with any activity/activities outside of the classroom that helped you gain valuable experience? If yes, please explain.
I worked as a student assistant at Musselman Library's Special Collections and College Archives. My work was one of my favorite parts of my college experi- ence. Not only did it help me realize that I wanted to go into the field of library science, but I had so much fun every day working with the incredible staff in Special Collections and Musselman Library as a whole. My supervisors were so open to making the experience the most valuable it could be for my professional develop- ment. During my senior year, I coordinated with my supervisor to let me take on an existing project of processing and digitizing our extensive collection of historic sheet music from the 19th and 20th centuries. All week I would look forward to the hours I would spend sorting through and discovering these amazing pieces of histo- ry and culture. I still consider that project one of the crowning achievements of my educational and professional careers.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My advice to every college student that I talk to (especially Gettysburg stu- dents) is to branch out and take courses that may not fall under your usual scope of interest. There are so many amazing courses and professors at Gettysburg College, and they all can add to the well-rounded education for which Gettysburg College is known and revered. This willingness to try new things will also serve you well in your future educational and career endeavors and help you to be suited to a wide variety of disciplines.

Student News: Featured Internship

English Major with Writing Concentration &Theatre Arts Major ‘22

“I worked as a Fashion and Music Journalist Intern for The Garnette Report, an entertainment publication dedicated to linking the gap between up-and-coming and established artists.

The internship was fully remote, but the company is based in New York City.

I was responsible for writing three articles per week for their website, covering current fashion and music news. If they hadn’t assigned a story to me, I’d do some research on current topics under those genres and find a relevant story to cover. Then, I’d upload them to the website, including pictures and captions.

Some of the assignments from the editor came with official PR emails from the artist or fashion designer. I thought it was so cool to see the publicity materials firsthand and learn how to turn these press releases and photos into news stories.

I think my experience with the English department has made me a better writer and critical thinker. Being a journalist requires an innate curiosity about the world, and as an effective reporter, you have to think, “What’s this topic about?” or “What are the implications of this in society and the world?” Ultimately, when you’re sharing news with the world, you have to look at it with a critical eye and write in such a way that anyone will understand or learn something from. At Gettysburg, I learned to extract important information from texts and communicate it effectively, and I used that every day in my internship.

I loved the opportunity to dive into the world of entertainment writing this summer. This experience made me a more versatile writer and encouraged me to write almost every day in a concise and clear manner on a deadline. I’ll take that with me this semester and beyond."

Student news:

Class OF 2022 Honors Students

We are looking forward to hearing about your amazing topics!

  • Cameron N. D’Amica

    Topic: Three women from Shakespeare’s comedies: Portia, Viola,

    and Rosalind.

    Thesis Advisor: Professor Chris D’Addario

  • Esmeralda Orndorff

    Topic: The relationship between religious institutions and female agency in Gothic literature.

    Thesis Advisor: Professor Joanne Myers

  • Hannah Evans

    Topic: An experimental collection of poetry and creative non- fiction essays centered on ideas of identity formation, multidimensionality, connection, and growth.

    Thesis Advisor: Professor Kathryn Rhett

  • Mirabelle Cohen

    Topic: Haunted houses in the 20th century

    Thesis Advisor: Professor Elizabeth Duquette

  • Phoebe M. Doscher

    Topic: A collection of creative non-fiction essays about life, love, loss, growing up, and growing through traumatic times.

    Thesis Advisor: Professor Kathryn Rhett


Writing Center Hours: 9/5-12/9

Sun. 4-10 p.m. Mon. - Thurs. 4-10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Closed

In-person, we have TWO locations: the main Center on the ground floor of Breidenbaugh and the Annex on the lower level of Musselman Library. Appointments are encouraged, but we’re happy to take walk-ins as we are able!

Please note that the Breidenbaugh and Library locations use different calendars—if your desired time isn’t available in one, check the other.

Online, you can either 1) schedule an online appointment to meet synchronously with a tutor for 25 or 50 minutes or 2) select eTutoring and upload your draft to receive asynchronous feedback at the end of your appointment time (50 minutes only).

For online and eTutoring options, it doesn’t matter which calendar/ location you select.

To make an appointment and for more information about The Writing Center, please visit the landing page on the Gettysburg College website!

On the Calendar: Writing House Series

  • November 9th, poet Shara McCallum (hosted by The Gettysburg Review), 5 pm, The Lyceum

  • November 18th, poet Marcus Jackson, 5:15 pm,

Joseph Theater in Breidenbaugh

Casagrande Corner

Students and faculty may apply for funding for academically related travel, including attendance at virtual conferences. Email krhett@gettysburg.eduif interested.

Department PLA: Cam D’Amica

Hi, my name is Cam D’Amica, and I will be the English Department PLA for the 2021-2022 school year. I’m a senior English Major with a Writing Concentration and Business Minor. Please reach out to me via email (damica01@gettysburg.edu) in order to schedule an appointment if the dates on the sign-up sheet do not work for you. I can be available via Zoom or in person. I look forward to hearing from you!


A Word’s Worth of News, written by:

Lureann Semple ‘22

Caroline Kurtt ‘23