2016 Undergraduate Literature Conference

The Ninth Annual Pitt English Undergraduate Literature Conference April 1, 2016

Schedule of Events

SESSION ONE: 9:00-9:50 AM  

1. Epiphanies and Existential Crises in the Short Story Genre

Room 501

Moderator: Sreemoyee Dasgupta


Victoria Bovalino, “Epiphanies in Russian Short Fiction”

Tom O’Conner, “Flannery O’Connor’s Grotesque Comic Violence”

Elizabeth Withers, “Existential Choice in the Stories of Richard Wright and James Baldwin”

Katherine Mentecki, “Moments of Revelation from Katherine Mansfield and Nadine Gordimer”


2. Subverting the Hero

Room 512

Moderator: Kathleen Davies


Alison Moore, “The Masters of Manipulation in Shakespeare: Hamlet, the Designing Dane, and Iago, the Machiavellian Ensign”

Jessica Sider, “Rebel, Hero, or Revolutionary: Analyzing the Exploits of Sarah Edmonds”

Geethika Reddy, “Wherefore art thou a hero?—Exploring the Hero Archetype in the Harry Potter series”


SESSION TWO: 10:00-10:50 AM  

 3. Shakespeare’s Characterizations of Women

Room 501

Moderator: Sarah Schaefer


Emily Bower, “Desdemona’s and Emilia’s Marriages in Othello”

Karla Feeley, “Cleopatra: An Egyptian in England”

Sarah Loser, “Women and Authority in Shakespeare’s Plays”


4. Representing Historical Violence

Room 512

Moderator: Schuyler Chapman


Amanda Spencer, "House/Home Antagonism and the Articulation of Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved"

Will Edwards, "Critique of Historical Violence in Blood Meridian"

Juliana Stresing, “Mythic Masculinity and the American West: The Men of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West

SESSION THREE: 11:00-11:50 AM 

5. Harry Potter: Blood, Power, Culture

Room 501

Moderator: Sarah Choflet, Undergraduate Teaching Asst.


Cara Rigdon, Elsie Zuch, and Bennett Overmyer, “Religion and Harry Potter”

Meghan Byrne, Emily Frigon, and Heather Schafer, “Race and Harry Potter”

Anjuli Das, Katherine Dute, and Rebecca Wallace, “Ethics and Harry Potter”


6. Framing Women in the Long Nineteenth Century 

Room 512

Moderator: Amanda Awanjo


Gianna Murabito, “Postulations on Feminism and History: Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House

Allison White, “The New Woman: Male Anxieties towards Progressive Females in Bleak House 

Brian Murray, “A Social Crusade: Feminism and Sexuality in The Turn of the Screw



LUNCH: 12:00—12:50 PM




A. Lit @ Pitt

Room 501             

Come learn more about opportunities to get involved with Lit @ Pitt! This session features a short presentation from an active campus organization, Pitt Potter Project, as well as a New Major Q&A session with department advisor Lori Campbell discuss the department’s launch of the new English major, its features, and requirements.


B. So You Wanna Go to Grad School?

Room 512

Curious about graduate school? Interested in pursuing a master’s degree, a master of fine arts, or a doctoral degree? Come join us for a discussion and Q&A session with University of Pittsburgh graduate students. Feel free to bring any questions you have to learn more about applications, the process, the work, and the life as a graduate student.

SESSION FOUR: 1:00-1:50 PM


7. Naming the Invisible

Room 501          

Moderator: Maggie Roby


Jenny Park, “Tracking Repetitions in Song of Solomon: The Bridging of Names and Identity”

Katherine Mooney, “Hedley and King: The Stem of Jesse and the Branch”

Victoria Stevans, “‘Bitches Ain’t Shit but Hoes and Tricks’: Invisible Women in Invisible Man


8. The Art(s) of Literature

Room 512

Moderator: Jessica FitzPatrick


Margaret Mass, “Poe and His House Made of Art: The Role of Artwork in “The Fall of the House of Usher”’”

Maura Kay, “Sister on Stage: How Theater Establishes a Formula for the Coming-of-Age Trope in Sister Carrie

Mashal Wakilpoor, “Melding of Genres: An Expository Analysis of Genre in The Woman Warrior and In an Antique Land


SESSION FIVE: 2:00-2:50 PM 


9. Heroism, Gender, and Violence in Modern Fantasy and Science Fiction

Room 501

Moderator: Kaitlin Miller, Fantasy Studies Fellowship


Presented by members of The Fantasy Studies Fellowship

Sadie Digon, “It’s Okay to Cry: Deconstructing the Stoic Hero in The Hunger Games

Olivia Lapinski, “Pale silk and candle flames": The Female Hero and Traditional Femininity”

Sandra Saba, “Blood on Our Children's Hands: Suzanne Collins's Criticism of Violence through Violent Children in The Hunger Games


10. Shaping an Audience

Room 512

Moderator: Matthew Overstreet


Maureen Crammond, “Forms of Coping: Emotional Responses in Reading and Writing Slaughterhouse-Five

Katy Mullins, “Music in the Teenage Years: Implications of Marketing Strategies and Music Sharing”

Stephen Juma, “Technology: The Unstoppable Menace in Dave Eggers’s The Circle



SESSION SIX: 3:00-3:50 PM  

11. Secret Pittsburgh

Room 501

Moderator: Amanda Chapman


Katee Coleman

Jonalyn Pezzuti

Kaitlin Kiernan

This panel will discuss the collaborative work and research of the class, Secret Pittsburgh. They will share their digital guidebook of Pittsburgh and a display featured on the ground floor of the Hillman Library as informed by the class’s local site visits, archive work in the Pitt ULS Archive Center, literature, and individual research.


12. Victorian Experience of Silas Marner

Room 512

Moderator: Marlee Fuhrman


Julia Stein, “The Changing Value and Subsequent Morality of Silas Marner”

Thomas Lederer, “Radicalized Religion: A Corruption of Christianity in Silas Marner

Kelly Yagatich, “Romantic Influences and the Female Orphan in Silas Marner



Room 501 

Remarks from Dr. Amy Murray Twyning, Lecturer and Literature Program Assistant. Join us for conversation and refreshments to celebrate a successful and invigorating conference!


Image removed. Join the ULC on Facebook for photos and news about the conference.