Saint Louis University

Student Involvement

English Graduate Organization (EGO)

Each year, English graduate students elect a board of officers to act as representatives of the English graduate student community both within the Department and at the University level. EGO promotes the advancement of English graduate students as scholars, professionals, and educators in organizing workshops, events, and lectures on pedagogy, conferencing, publication, and research. In addition to holding monthly board meetings open to all English graduate students throughout the academic year, EGO officers advocate graduate student welfare as representatives to the Graduate Committee, Undergraduate Committee, Research Committee, Department of English Faculty Meetings, and Saint Louis University's Graduate Student Association (GSA). EGO contributes to the Department's research colloquium series, Textual Revolutions, in selecting speakers for and chairing each semester's graduate student sessions; supports the Athenaeum, Woode-Walkers, Rhetorica, and South Asian/Postcolonial Literature reading groups; and assists with the promotion of the Graduate Department and the recruitment of prospective students. Likewise, EGO coordinates and sponsors social events, including the Welcome Picnic each fall, "Kudos" celebrations of graduate student achievements at each semester's close, and an annual graduate student Humanities Mixer--all to strengthen ties between graduate students, faculty, and staff in the Department of English and between English graduate students and their peers in the College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, please contact the current EGO president, Geoff Brewer at


President: Geoff Brewer
Vice President: Heather Bozant Witcher
Secretary: Alex Ocasio
Event Coordinator & Treasurer: Angela Blumberg
Graduate Student Association Representatives: Byron Gilman-Hernandez, Christina Hildebrandt, and Amy Nelson
Graduate Committee Representatives: Anessa Kemna and Lauren Terbrock
Undergraduate Committee Representative: Carolyn Hogan-Downey
Research Committee Representative: Blanca Santonja Gonzalez

The Kudos List is a listing of accomplishments by graduate students during the semester. It is read at the end of the semester EGO reception.

American Literature Reading Group

The American Literature reading group invites graduate students and faculty interested in American literature and culture to discuss, usually once a month, a piece of American writing. We pick readings from any genre and time period and base our selections on members' suggestions (often linked to exam preparations or dissertation reading material). We also share thoughts on background information about and theory approaches to the primary readings. The group does not have officially designated presenters for the sessions, but rather takes the shape of one big group conversation. If you have any questions about the American Literature reading group, please contact Ina Seethaler at

Athenaeum: 19th-Century British Literature Research Group

This is a collection of graduate students interested in British and American literary and non-fiction works of the period, central theorists, and the critical conversation surrounding these various works. The group welcomes all interested graduate students throughout the humanities, from those just beginning graduate school to those writing the dissertation, as well as post-docs and faculty. This network also functions as an area for exploring issues of professionalization by conducting workshops pertaining to the state of the academic field, grant writing, job talks, etc. In addition, the group is cognizant of the need to conference and publish, and will hold mock conferences, readings/reviews of each others' work, and sponsor settings for individuals to discuss works and ideas in progress. Schedule: bi-monthly meetings, with one meeting focused on a reading and the other meeting focused on professionalization; days and times will accommodate members of the group. For more information, contact Natalie Monzyk (, Carolyn Hogan-Downey ( or Blanca Santonja Gonzalez (
You can also visit

South Asian/Postcolonial Literature Reading Group

The South Asian/Postcolonial reading group is open to all genres, time periods, and geographic regions within South Asian or Postcolonial Literature. We examine issues relevant to race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexual orientation, within this cultural matrix. We typically meet 2 or 3 times a semester, and welcome students and scholars from all disciplines. Please contact Saher Alam ( or Joya Uraizee ( for more information.


The Rhetorica reading group is a bi-weekly gathering of students and faculty interested in all things rhetoric. We read and discuss significant theoretical and historical texts as well as contemporary rhetorical artifacts in politics and culture. The reading discussion is led by one member of the group, rotating responsibility throughout the semester. In addition to reading conversations, we discuss professionalization and developments in the field, including upcoming conferences, publishing opportunities, and current debates. Rhetorica also hosts monthly writing group meetings and occasional social events. For more information, please contact Lauren Terbrock (, Lauren Kersey (, or Byron Gilman-Hernandez (

Welsh Reading Group

The Welsh Reading Group is a group dedicated to the learning and translation of Middle Welsh. We do so by reading and translating Welsh texts, primarily the Mabinogi, and other selections from the Medieval Welsh canon. While our focus is Medieval, no official academic affiliation with that period is required; if you're interested, we would love to have you. Prior knowledge of the language is also not required, as we are all learning as we go. Each member of the group is assigned a small set of lines every week, and we meet and work our way through our translations, acquiring grammatical knowledge, vocabulary, and tackling the ever-tricky task of learning how to pronounce the language. Translation is a collaborative effort; we are all relative beginners, and all trying to learn from each other. The group meets weekly, on a date agreed upon by the members. For more information, please contact Anessa Kemna,

The Woode-Walkers Medieval Reading Group

"He moste needes walke in woode that may not walke in toune."
(The Tale of Gamelyn, line 672)

The Woode-Walkers are comprised of graduate students interested in medieval literature, as well as critical and theoretical approaches to these texts and to the field of medieval studies more broadly. This group thus reads a variety of both literary and historical texts in addition to current critical theory, and will often refer to the two medieval Doctoral Reading Lists when selecting literary readings as a way to facilitate preparation for the M.A. and Ph.D. exams. Regular writing/research workshops also take place throughout both semesters for the reading and review of individual members' works in progress. The group meets for bimonthly sessions, typically on an alternating schedule of reading-based discussions and research workshops, and is open to any interested graduate students. They take their name from a 14th-century English romance, in which Gamelyn must take to the woods while living the life of an outlaw. Woode is a pun on "woods" and the Middle English term "wode," an adjective that describes individuals who are excited, senseless, or just plain mad, much like grad students! For more information, please contact Amy Nelson (

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