Each year, the department offers a handful of graduate research and graduate teaching mentorships, contingent upon Graduate School funding and applications from sponsoring faculty members. These mentorships allow interested MA and MFA students to work closely on a research project with a faculty member or to team-teach with a faculty member an undergraduate course in literature, rhetoric, or creative writing while receiving training in course design, pedagogy, and assessment. Interested students should contact the graduate program manager, Juli Shelley, for details about specific mentorships and their application deadlines.
Mentorships: Winter 2023
Emron Esplin & Nick Mason
Teaching Mentorship, 13 hours per week
Professors Emron Esplin and Nick Mason seek to hire an MA student with prior classroom experience to assist with the 6-credit section of ENGL 294 they will teach in Winter 2023. The mentee’s responsibilities will include helping to design and assess the course, completing all assigned readings during the semester, attending all class sessions, teaching the entire 60-student group 2 or 3 times, leading 3-4 breakout sessions with 15–20 students, grading roughly 1/3 of the papers and exams, and meeting with students during office hours. This mentorship will prove especially valuable for students planning to pursue a PhD in American, British, or transatlantic literary studies.
Applicants should be a current graduate student in English at BYU. Special consideration will be given to those with prior teaching experience (including in WRTG 150), a declared emphasis in British or American literature, and plans to pursue a PhD in literary studies. Those considering applying are encouraged to contact one or both of the supervising professors if they have questions about the nature of this position or their potential fit.
Prior to the announced deadline*, applicants should apply online and upload a document that includes:
- A 300–500-word letter of application explaining your interest in and qualifications for this position.
- A cover form listing your:
- Name and email
- Year, program, and emphasis (e.g., 2nd-year MA student in American literature)
- Sub-specialization and, if known, general thesis topic (e.g., Victorian literature; writing thesis on graphic satire in serialized fiction)
- Professional or educational plans post-MA (or MFA) (e.g., adjunct at UVU for 2 years before possibly pursuing a PhD)
- Undergraduate courses you have taken in British, American, and/or Transnational Literature (specify course number, semester, topic, and instructor)
- Graduate seminars you have taken in British, American, and/or Transnational Literature (specify course number, semester, topic, and instructor)
- Relevant teaching experience (both at BYU and elsewhere.
*The deadline for this mentorship has been extended. Interested students should contact Emron Esplin and Nick Mason.
Research Mentorship, 5 hours per week
I am writing an article with Garrett Sullivan at Penn State entitled, “Living and Dying in Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.” We plan on submitting this article (~10,000 words) to English Literary Renaissance, a leading Renaissance literature journal, sometime next year.
While critics of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus have long been preoccupied by two key questions (when and why is Faustus damned?), they have forgotten an equally important question: when does Faustus die? Early modern concepts of life and death were not tied exclusively to biology (as they are now). I am working on an article-length project that examines how Marlowe imagines a new dramatic form that stages a hero who, instead of tragically succumbing to death by the end of the play, is dead from the very beginning. I am looking to mentor a student in how to plan, organize, and synthesize research from secondary resources related to living, dying, and tragedy in early modern England.
Teaching Mentorship, 10-13 hours per week
Build experience teaching Shakespeare. While experience with Shakespeare is a plus, it is not required for this mentorship, especially if the graduate student has interest in retelling, adaptation, narrative, and/or film. The mentee will assist Dr. Harris with one upper-division section of ENGL 384R, Shakespeare, Winter 2023, 12:30-1:45PM Mondays and Wednesdays. The class is subtitled “Tales of Shakespeare.” We will study five plays that represent different approaches to the genre of a tale as well as adaptations and appropriations of those plays. The graduate student will develop teaching skills, including teaching partial and full lessons to the class. This mentoring relationship includes helping organize and teach the class, grading, student conferencing, and corresponding with undergraduates. Dr. Harris and the mentee will meet at least once every two weeks. This role requires someone who is thoughtful, articulate, interested in students, and well-organized.
Teaching Mentorship, 8-10 hours per week
Build experience teaching in literary theory. The mentee will assist Dr. Harris with one upper-division section of ENGL 450R, Studies in Literary Criticism and Theory, Winter 2023, 9:30-10:45AM Mondays and Wednesdays. The class is a concentrated focus on the theories of performativity and provides an excellent opportunity for a graduate student to hone his/her knowledge of literary theory and develop teaching skills, including teaching abstract concepts. This mentoring relationship includes helping organize the classes, grading, student conferencing, and hosting student reviews. Dr. Harris and the mentee will meet at least once every two weeks to plan and exchange feedback. This role requires someone who is thoughtful, articulate, interested in students, and well-organized.
Mentorships: Spring 2023
Teaching Mentorship, 20 hours per week
This mentorship will provide a qualified graduate student an opportunity to plan and deliver a literature course in a culturally and historically rich setting. The student will work closely with the professor preparing a syllabus and assignments with a particular focus on the kind of experiential learning a study abroad program provides. The student will gain firsthand experience building a course from the ground up, participating in everything from text selection, scheduling, and assignment and rubric design, to lesson planning and delivery. The student is required to enroll in and pay for the study abroad program, though there are some funding opportunities through the department and college.