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English Graduate Student Involvement

Saint Louis University’s graduate program in English provides multiple ways that you can get involved on campus.

English Graduate Organization

Contact: Colten Biro

The English Graduate Organization (EGO) advocates for and supports all graduate students in the English Department at SLU.

Each year, English graduate students elect a board of officers to represent the English graduate student community within the department and in the University. EGO promotes the advancement of English graduate students as scholars, professionals, and educators by 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 for the welfare of graduate students and represent the graduate perspective on 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, by offering an honorarium to each semester's graduate student sessions. The organization supports Athenaeum, Quire, Rhetorica, Disability Studies, Old/Middle English, Contemporary American, and 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 and "Kudos" celebrations of graduate student achievements at each semester's close—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.

Graduate English Reading Groups

Athenaeum: 19th-Century British Literature Research Group

Contact: Colten Biro

Athenaeum is an association of graduate students, post doctorates, and faculty members interested in British and Transatlantic literary and nonfiction works of the period, including central theorists and the critical conversation surrounding these various works. In addition, Athenaeum functions as a writing and review collective, facilitating critical peer feedback on members’ work for conference, publication, and research-in-progress. These literati hold monthly meetings which accommodate the schedules of the members; Athenaeum meetings can be found with their topic listings on the official SLU English Dept. calendar.

Postcolonial Reading Group

Contact: Ahlam Jaber

The Postcolonial Reading Group is open to all genres, time periods and geographic regions within South Asian or postcolonial literature. The group examines issues relevant to race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexual orientation within this cultural matrix. It typically meets two or three times a semester and welcomes students and scholars from all disciplines.


Contact: Lauren Terbrock 

The Rhetorica reading group is a bi-weekly gathering of students and faculty interested in reading and discussing 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.

Quire: Medieval and Early Modern Reading Group

Contact: Sarah Burt

Quire is comprised of graduate students interested in medieval and early modern literature, as well as critical and theoretical approaches to these texts and to premodern studies more broadly. This group reads a variety of both literary and historical texts in addition to current critical theory. Quire will refer to the doctoral reading lists when selecting literary readings to help English graduate students prepare for the M.A. and Ph.D. exams. The group will also choose to read and discuss texts that feature in individual members' research in progress, allowing them to talk through their research and offering insights. The group meets monthly and is open to any interested graduate students. The group also hosts mock exams for any graduate students prepping that year.

Contemporary Transatlantic Reading Group

Contact: Sydney Lindsey or Ryan Prewitt

The Contemporary Transatlantic Reading Group meets once monthly, date dependent on members’ availability. This group selects readings based on student members’ interests and faculty input, giving special attention to works receiving widespread critical attention in the moment. Works included on exam lists will also be given priority, depending on group membership. The goal is to include works from a diverse array of authors and styles, including emerging genres and forms. The reading group will also function to keep each other informed on opportunities in the field including conference and publication opportunities. The ultimate goal for the contemporary American reading group is to keep group members informed on trends in the field and provide consistent support for their research interests and development.

Disability Studies Reading Group

Contact: Katie Eck

The Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Reading Group is dedicated to the integration of disability studies and pedagogy in both post-secondary education and academic research. In examining the ways disability intersects with gender and sexual identity, class structures, and racial inequalities, IDS rethinks social and medical concepts of disability from a disability justice perspective. All graduate students and faculty in the humanities are welcome to participate in reading group sessions, which occur two to three times per semester.

Old/Middle English Reading Group

Contact: Sarah Burt

The Old and Middle English reading group is focused on building reading and interpretive proficiency in these languages for grad students interested in the study of the Premodern and the history of the English Language. This is a no-prep reading group, meaning that students show up and work through texts together at the meeting. Often, there will be assistance in the form of textbooks and Language and/or English faculty presence. Currently, the group meets weekly, focusing on the language and mechanics of Old English.