Student Beat Fall 2023 Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 1

Student Beat is the semiannual newsletter to inform students about the English department. From stories by students to student/teacher updates, Student Beat is the place to find everything about the Wayne State University Department of English! Edited by Nyana Allen xB.A. '24.


Did you know?

The English department has four journals for students to submit several types of written work for publication?

Rushton Journal of Undergraduate Humanities Research

Inaugural Issue to be published in winter 2024

The English department is proud to announce the first issue of the newly-developed Rushton Journal of Undergraduate Research. Throughout the fall 2023 semester, Wayne State students started work on this new journal, developing publishing policies, reviewing over twenty manuscripts for the first issue and assembling digital and print versions of the journal. The goal with the first issue was to identify well-written arguments that are intellectually compelling to students and members of Wayne State University, as well as the broader Detroit community. Students interested in taking part in the journal should contact its coordinator, Joe Torok at, for more information.

Consider these courses for spring/summer 2024


ENG 5035: Topics in Gender and Sexuality. Advanced course on issues of sexuality and gender as mediated through literary and cultural study. Attention to critical theory as well as various literary and cultural forms.

ENG 3140: American Literature After 1865. Historical survey of American Literature from the Civil War to the present. Understanding the range and variety of our national literature as it has developed.


ENG 8998: Prospectus and Dissertation Chapter Workshop. Intensive workshop in creating a dissertation prospectus and/or dissertation chapter. Attention to invention, development, peer support and developing material for academic publishing audiences.

Extra-curricular opportunities

  • Serve on the new Wayne English Grad Organization board.
  • Suggest themes for monthly graduate workshops.
  • Attend Knit Lit, Warrior gaming and/or Kino Club 313 meetings.

Contact Dr. Chera Kee ( for more information.

New positions

  • Dr. Walter Lucken, Ph.D. '23, associate professor, Queens College, CUNY
  • Dr. Kevin Ball, Ph.D. '19, associate professor, Wesleyan University

2022-2023 graduates

  • Elia Newsom, Ph.D.
  • Mariel Krupansky, Ph.D.
  • Walter Lucken, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Plante, Ph.D.
  • Sukayna Davanzo, M.A.
  • Katie Green, M.A.
  • Elisa Gurule, M.A.
  • Ken Jackson, M.A.
  • Kalimah Johnson, M.A.*
  • Lynn Losh, M.A.
  • Saima Mirza, M.A.
  • Keiko Narisako, M.A.
  • Grace Walter, M.A.
  • Lena Hakim, M.A.*
  • Nariman Hawily, M.A.*

Asterisk * denotes continuing in Ph.D. program.

New faces

  • Hired: Dr. Ola Oladipo, Ph.D. '23 UW-Madison, English RWS post-doc
  • Admitted: Six new Ph.D. students and two new M.A. students started in the fall

Department updates

The 10th floor Lounge and large conference room were cleaned, painted and re-carpeted for a fresh new look. A CZUR book scanner was installed in the English front office and a Meeting Owl was purchased to facilitate multi-speaker Zoom calls from anywhere!

Publications and presentations

  • E. Carbonara presented a paper at the Shakespeare Assoc. of America Conference.
  • K. Johnson presented on a panel at the Northeast Modern Languages Conference.\
  • KM Begian-Lewis presented a paper at the Conference of Collegiate Composition and Communications.
  • A. Wright attended the Conference of Collegiate Composition and Communications.
  • V. Perrone and I. Pickell attended the Association of Writers and Poets conference.
  • C. Hart attended the Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute.
  • M. Spalter attended the American Comparative Literature Association's annual meeting.
  • H. Tuinstra presented a paper at the SCMS conference.

Department accolades

  • Professor Walter Edwards was named distinguished service professor.
  • Professor Ljiljana Progovac was named distinguished professor.
  • Professor Jonathan Flatley was appointed to the Wayne State University Academy of Scholars
  • Professors Hilary Fox and Michael Okpanachi were awarded Josephine Nevins Keal Faculty Fellowships.
  • Professor Kelly Plante won the Women's Caucus Editing and Translation Prize.
  • Professor Grace Williams received the 2023 General Education Teaching Award.
  • Professor Natalie Bakopoulos was awarded the 2023 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Professor Natalia Rakhlin received the 2023-2024 Career Development Chair Award.
  • Professor M.L. Liebler was awarded a 2023-2024 Board of Governor's Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.
  • Professor KM Begian-Lewis received a fellowship to Ithaka S+R.
  • Professor Jaime Goodrich was selected for membership in the 2022-2023 Academy of Teachers.

Contact with events and news items for our next issue.

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