Roots: Tradition & The New

The University of St. Thomas English and Catholic Studies graduate programs will hold an interdisciplinary conference on Friday, April 27, 2018.

Date & Time:

Friday, April 27, 2018
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM


McNeely Hall (MCH 100), Room 100
Graduate Student Presentations in MCH 110 and 111

The University of St. Thomas Graduate English & Catholic Studies Programs will host an interdisciplinary conference on Friday, April 27, 2018.

9 - 9:30 A.M.

Registration & Breakfast
McNeely Hall, Lobby and Room 100


9:30 - 10:45 A.M.

Session I: McNeely Hall, Room 109
Geneologies: Gender & Sexuality

Scott Larkin, University of St. Thomas
"You said to say I was a heathen": Pagan/Christian Tensions in Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

Kristen Grant, University of St. Thomas
"Love is Strong as Death: The Sacrament of Matrimony in Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter"

Haley Graffunder, University of St. Thomas
"Establishing Lesbianism and Destroying Binaries in Nella Larsen's Passing"

Maria Capecchi, University of St. Thomas
"The Genealogy of the Pre-Modern Woman: Unpacking Gender Constructs in Marlowe's 'Hero and Leander' and Sidney's Astrophil and Stella"

Session II: McNeely Hall, Room 118
Ecologies of Culture: Colonialism & Race

Chia Lor, University of St. Thomas
"God, Culture, and Colonialism: Reflections on the Christian Distinction"

Rachel Fergus, University of St. Thomas
"Wangechu Mutu and the Black Female Body"

Anne Floyd, University of Minnesota
"(Re)defining the Mid-Twentieth Century African-American Protest Novel: Racialized Sexual Myths in Native Sonand The Street"

Joseph Putnam, St. Olaf College
"Black Atlantic Earth: Ecological Personhoods of Caribbean and U.S. Slave Narratives"


11 A.M. - 12:15 P.M.

Lunch & Plenary Panel
McNeely Hall, Room 100

Roots: An Interdisciplinary Discussion

Dr. Andrea Kaston Tange
Macalester College, English

Dr. Billy Junker
University of St. Thomas, Catholic Studies

Elizabeth Howard, PhD Student
University of Minnesota, English


12:30 - 1:45 P.M.

Session III: McNeely Hall, Room 106
Rootlessness and Power: Crises of the Self

Sarah Pavey, University of St. Thomas
"Gustave Doré and Milton's Satan in the Romantic Era"

Cali Mellin, University of St. Thomas
"Love and Violence in Salvage the Bones"

Amy Vander Heiden, University of St. Thomas
"Rooted Realities: Seeing and Hearing 'Life in the Iron Mills'"

Andrew Carlyle Urban, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
"Melville and the Dilemma of Modernity"

Session IV: McNeely Hall, Room 111
Nourishing Growth: Theories of the Self

Aidan Putnam, St. John's School of Theology
"Instruments of the Soul: oikonomia and Bodily Asceticism"

Mitch Mueller, Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity
"Stoic Roots of Psychotherapy and Christian Asceticism"

Zach Howard, University of St. Thomas
"Scattered Time and Scattered Self: Augustine's Dual Use of Distentio in Confessions Book 11"


2 - 3:15 P.M.

Session V: McNeely Hall, Room 106
Regeneration: The Eucharist, Body, and Spirit

Emily Lehman, The Augustine Institute
"'The wine of love and the bread of friendship': Keats and the Desire of Communion"

Laura Romaine, University of Michigan
"Summe Harde Thinges in Understandinge: Reading Early Texts through the Fullness of Mystery"

William Sipling, University of St. Thomas
"Divine Work as Sacramental Theology in Euthyphro"

Mary Catherine Adams, University of St. Thomas
"Melville and the Dilemma of Modernity"

Session VI: McNeely Hall, Room 111
Rootedness and Mobility: Community and the Individual

Katherine Stultz, University of St. Thomas
"Rootedness in Friendship: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis"

Bridget Gallagher-Larkin, University of St. Thomas
"Confronting Visual Constructs: Thomas Hovenden, Quakerism, and the American Gilded Age"

Mary McCartney, University of St. Thomas
"Exploring Mother/Daughter Bonds in Mary Shelley's 'The Swiss Peasant' and 'The Parvenue'"


3:30 - 4:45 P.M.

Session VII: McNeely Hall, Room 106
Personal Roots: Children's Literature

Meaghan Scott, University of St. Thomas
"'Peter's Creation of Neverland: J.R.R. Tolkien's Escapism in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan"

Kendra Tillberry, University of St. Thomas
"Opening Nursery Windows: Understanding the Shadow of J.M. Barrie's Grief in Peter Pan"

Peter Mikhail, University of St. Thomas
"A Small Mischevious Star Blows Open a Bloomsbury Window: Peter Pan and the Modern Canon"

Mackenzie Balken, Baylor University
"In Search of a Homeland: The Orphan in Twentieth Century Children's Literature"

Session VIII: McNeely Hall, Room 111
Branching Out: Rising Technology

Elena Sottilotta, University of St. Thomas
"Fairy-tale Visions from Southern Italy: Adapting the Grotesque from Giambattista Basile's Lo Cunto de li Cunti (1634-36) to Matteo Garrone's Tale of Tales (2015)"

Noelle Geyer, University of St. Thomas
"Transhumanism, Haraway, and Ex Machina: Deconstructing Fear of Technological Progress"

Andrea Stewart, University of St. Thomas
"A 'New' Network Analysis: Tracing the Roots of Margaret (Storm) Jameson as the 'Invisible Aunt' of English Letters"

Alyssa Adkins, University of St. Thomas
"Searching for the Politicized Aesthetics of Social Media through the Lens of Benjamin's 'Work of Art' Essay"


5 - 6 P.M.

Session IX: McNeely Hall, Room 106
Virgil and the Tradition

Shannon Dickson, University of St. Thomas
"Virgilian Ethos in Augustine's ConfessionsBook 3"

Kathleen Goerke, University of St. Thomas
"Virgil in the Purgatorio as Natural Law Personified: Dialogue between Dante and St. Thomas Aquinas"

Lilia Draime, University of St. Thomas
"Virgil, Mary, and Motherhood in Dante's Comedy"

Session X: McNeely Hall, Room 111
Movement and Place: Transnational Women's Writing

Transnational Women's Writing Roundtable
Students from Dr. Young-ok An's graduate English course will present a keyword related to transnational women's writing.


6 - 7 P.M.

Reception: McNeely Hall, Room 100
Drinks, Appetizers, Conversation


Join us to wrap up the conference with light appetizers, drinks, good conversation, and a book exchange. Take a book, leave a book, or both.

All events are free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. For accessibilty requests contact: (651) 962-6315.

Building location and parking:


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