Writing a Great Conference Abstract

Conferences are, to my mind, one of the best perks of being in academia. In a department/university like ours, which is able to partially or fully fund travel, conferences turn into a treat. As I like to call them, academic vacay! You get to go to a cool place you’ve likely never been and meet interesting people (grad students and faculty!) from all over. So, how do we get to this magical land?


Emily Shreve moderating the “Activism and Public Humanities” panel. Photo credit: Adam Heidebrink-Bruno

Continue reading

Posted in Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet and Greet: Mariel Caputo

Once again we return to our Meet and Greet Series to introduce another member of the newest cohort.  Mariel Caputo is working on her Masters degree here at Lehigh, and answered a few questions so that we could get to know her a little better!

Mareesa Miles: Hello!

MM: Tell us about yourself!

Mariel Caputo: I received my B.A. from Drew University, where I majored in English and minored in Italian. My honors thesis focused on single women in the novels of Charlotte and Anne Brontë


Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drown Recap: Preparing Your New English 2 Workshop

As October thoroughly kicks our butts with readings, papers, and teaching, we have one more thing to accomplish this October: Proposals for the English 2 class we want to teach next semester. And at a time when the department is changing what we do with English 2, this can seem especially challenging. How on earth do we create a proposal for a class we have little to no experience in teaching and structuring?


Thankfully, the department held a workshop to help with just that, and Drown Unbound was there to capture it for all of you, our lovely readers. Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts from an LSJ Conference Veteran

In a short two and a half weeks, Halloween will be upon us. More importantly, abstracts will be due for the third Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference being held at Lehigh on March 10-11, 2017. Fear not: I’m here to tell you that submitting to the conference is much less bloodcurdling (and anxiety inducing) than it seems. Though I’m just starting my PhD here this fall, I’ve been a part of the LSJ conference since its beginning. For the past two years, I’ve presented papers, and I am now on the committee (as Art Director/Graphic Design/Marketing Guru, no less!) for the third iteration. In the midst of our planning, I have been reflecting a bit on my involvement as a presenter, and I wanted to share this experience with you all here on the blog.


Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community, Literature & Social Justice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meet and Greet: Sam Sorensen

Here at Drown Unbound we continue our series by introducing the first member of the newest graduate student cohort, Samantha Sorensen.

The hope is that these brief introductions will encourage you all to take a moment to say hello and find out more about these fresh faces in the community. Read on and discover the reasons that you and Sam should already be talking.


Mareesa Miles: Hello!

Sam Sorensen: Hey! What’s up hello!

MM: Tell us about yourself!

SS: I’m a first-year PhD student interested in post-WWII American lit, feminist theory, and varying fields of philosophy. I am that person that always asks to pet other people’s dogs.

MM:Why did you choose Lehigh?

SS: Surprise! I chose Lehigh specifically for the emphasis on literature and social justice. Throughout a lot of my work since my junior year of undergrad, I kept noticing my writing headed toward this focus, even when it wasn’t my intention. It was the summer before writing my MA thesis that really solidified this route.

MM: What is your favorite book outside your field of study?

SS: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I reread it every season, and there is no other text that repeatedly makes my heart swoon. I also have part of “Song of Myself” tattooed on my thigh. The dedication to Uncle Walt is real.

MM: What are you most looking forward to this year?

SS: Right now, I’m looking forward to pacing break and apple picking! But, I’m really looking forward to a few things: planning more of my PhD path, seeing how my Comp students grow over the course of the semester, and learning. (I missed being in the classroom.) Cheers!

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lehigh Spaces: The Women’s Center

To continue the wonderful conversation about Lehigh Spaces, including Laura Fitzpatrick’s exploration of Linderman and Laura Casale’s reflection on Farrington Square, I wanted to add some thoughts about one of my new favorite places (and incidentally, my current work space), the Women’s Center. Established 25 years ago, the Women’s Center has changed locations a few times in the past quarter of a century, eventually settling on the second floor of the University Center, in UC 207. However, despite the Women’s Center’s rich history, it remains a kind of hidden gem. Many students (undergraduate and graduate alike), faculty, and staff are unaware of its location, much less ways in which they can utilize the space. Part of my role as the current Graduate Assistant is to increase outreach and find new ways to involve those unassociated with the Center, so here are some fun facts about the space:


First and foremost, the Women’s Center is for everyone, regardless of one’s sex, gender, sexuality, orientation, or beliefs. Our staff is composed of both men and women-identified students, and we encourage everyone to stop by to eat lunch, take a nap on one of our comfy couches, listen to a discussion, or grab some safe sex supplies. Our discussions are also open to all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their previous knowledge about a given topic. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Happening?: October 2016

October is upon us. The leaves are turning colors, the weather is cooling down (finally), and the amount of essays that are due is terrifyingly appropriate for the month of horror. Nevertheless, there are many events to supplement your busy semester (and maybe even help you relax!).

So, without further ado, here are the events for this month:

Film Club: High and Low
Time: 6 PM to 9 PM Friday 10/7
Place: Drown 019

Akira Kurosawa is best known for his spectacular samurai films including Throne of Blood and Seven Samurai, but he also made movies set in his own time and place, like High and Low. Based on the novel King’s Ransom by Ed McBain, High and Low tells the story of a rich man and a poor man and the barriers between them. It’s also a thrilling kidnapping story! Toshiro Mifune fans will get a kick out of seeing him as the head of a women’s shoe factory while anybody interested in LSJ will find plenty to talk about by the end of the film. All are welcome. Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film Club Review: Young Frankenstein


If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go where comedy sits? Puttin’ on Young Frankenstein is a guaranteed cure to your mid-semester despair. Combining the immense talents of Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, and Peter Boyle, the film really aims at the laugh-a-minute target and it hits most of the time. Gene Wilder’s over-the-top brilliance is on full display throughout as his Frederick Frankenstein (but, you know, pronounced all funny) redoes his ancestor’s reanimation experiment to similarly disastrous results. Brooks goes out of his way to recreate the look and feel of the classic Universal version of the tale, shooting in black and white and with spectacular sets and fog effects. When doing a genre satire such as this, ensuring that the movie works like the sources is key to making the most out of the situation. Though there aren’t any scares in this spoof of old-school horror films, it at least apes the aesthetic enough to feel spooky in some scenes. Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Avoiding a Stressful Application Semester

By Kyle Brett and Megan Bruening


Are you applying to Ph.D. programs? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by trying to balance work, apps, and your much needed social life? Sometimes the application semester can get the better of you and you can, sadly, end up like this:


Fret not. All of your professors, not to mention the department full of current Ph.D. candidates, and Ph.D. students, made it through this process intact. Which is to say that you can do it. Yes, it might be stressful and, at times, mind-numbingly infuriating as you get closer to your deadlines, but take solace in the fact that you are surrounded by friends and colleagues who, like you, felt similar amounts of stress during the application period. Continue reading

Posted in Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film Club Review: Modern Times

Roger Ebert said that movies are empathy machines. It is difficult and some would say impossible to see through a character’s eyes and not begin to develop empathy with them. Movies can bypass the language barrier that writing necessarily can’t, and no body of work proves that better than Charlie Chaplin’s. As writer, director, actor, and composer, Chaplin retained complete control of his films, especially towards the end of his silent period when he made four all-time classics in a row: The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Lights, and Modern Times, which became our first film in the newly formed Movie Club series.

Continue reading

Posted in Lehigh Culture & Community, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment