Fall 2018 Master of Arts in English Essay Presentation

Graduate Students present their capstone projects.

Current students, faculty, alumni, family, and the local community are invited to hear graduating M.A. in English students present their master's essay.

Date & Time:

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, O'Shaughnessy Room 108

Current students, faculty, alumni, family, and the local community are invited to hear graduating M.A. in English students present their master's essay. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us in celebrating our summer and fall 2018 graduates. Come back later in the semester for student titles and abstracts.

Katelyn Brunner

"SUDEP and the Rhetorical Ecology of Grief"

This essay explores the rhetorical ecology formed by the disabled community’s exploration of the Epilepsy Foundation website. Specifically, I focus on the resources available for epileptics to learn about sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The SUDEP ecology is not a healthy one, and its negativity can be detrimental to the physical well-being of some members of the epileptic community. Epilepsy is often accompanied by fragile mental states, like significant cognitive impairment or poor mental health. The Foundation has a duty to minimize the trauma that negative language can do to impressionable members of the community by presenting it carefully and safely. In SUDEP resources, they do not do that. 

My argument is practical as well as theoretical; I aim to use this essay to petition for the restructuring of the website.


Kerry Kraemer

"Establishing a Future by Creating in the Present: Reading Resistance in the Literature of Indigenous Futurisms"

This paper looks at the Indigenous Futurisms movement, specifically literature, and the ways that it can serve as a tool resistance for Indigenous Women. By creating stories within the movement, Indigenous Women are actively resisting a dominant patriarchal society that has tried for centuries to destroy them. The writing, publishing, and reading of these stories reaffirms the power and presence of Indigenous women in the past, present, and future when they are so often seen as museum props, relics of the past. Indigenous Futurisms is important for how it reworks and interrogates literary tropes of the SciFi genre. In my essay I analyze the ways that Science Fiction hiders and helps Indigenous writers - giving them space for imaginative creation but also profiting from stories that eerily echo that harsh colonization of Indigenous peoples. I look at Indigenous Futurisms as being made up of waves, with different texts defining the ideas of the movement at that time. The two texts I look at in this paper represent different waves of the genre: Celu Amberstone’s short story “Refugees” would make up the first wave while Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse makes up the second and current wave. Indigenous Futurism literature by women is about creating, healing, and resisting. These stories assert an Indigenous presence in the present and future.

Keelia Estrada Moeller

"Resisting Patriarchal Domination: The Female Gaze and Medusa Figures in The Awakening"

This essay explores patriarchal standards and the male gaze in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, specifically the impact of these standards on Edna Pontellier. It examines how Edna resists the standards placed upon her despite constant surveillance from the male gaze, and also analyzes the ways Edna resists the patriarchy; she distances herself from her role as a wife and mother and develops her own authoritative female gaze. Edna's female gaze becomes more authoritative through sexuality, silence, and elements of cinematography, and her character can ultimately be interpreted as a Medusa figure who embodies a direct threat to patriarchal standards because she can see what the male gaze is incapable of seeing. And in the same way Medusa is slaughtered or tamed in popular legend, the male gaze consistently seeks to discredit the authority of Edna's female gaze, explaining her resistance as either folly or madness.

Hannah Sajban

"Resistance, Growth, and Self-Critique in the Jewish Newspaper Press, 1881-1889"

In this paper, I directly engage with the Jewish newspaper press in London from 1881 - 1889 to explore the ways it resists anti-Semitic discourse often found in the mainstream British press while simultaneously growing itself, despite seemingly constant internal and external conficts. My main objective for this project was to juxtapose our present-day landscape, where fake news often feels inescapable, with London's 19th-century East End through the use of creative formatting, firsthand research, and palimpsest. Along with contemporary concerns, I also aimed to move the spotlight onto the wide web of editors, writers, and readers that created the 19th-century Jewish newspaper press, a network I knew little about before this project. In engaging directly with the articles and correspondences from the Jewish World and its counterpart the Jewish Standard I was captivated by a narrative of resistance, growth, and even self-imaginative literature while also navigating the changing currents of the press in the form of the New Journalism and facing their own constraints in areas like gender. Their story may help us engage with issues like fake news, anti-Semitism, sexism, and anti-immigration rhetoric while also finding hope in their resistance. 


Please RSVP to gradenglish@stthomas.edu
All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.