Greetings! My name is Jenna Guitar and I am a second year Ph.D. student in the English department. I am also working on a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. As I am nearing course completion, I am actively attempting to narrow the topics of my academic interest. However, I can broadly say that my interests lie in contemporary literature, film, television, pop culture and trans* theory.
In the past I have presented several papers at the National PCA/ACA. Past conference papers have been “Exploring Non-Normative Desire in Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Identity as a Fluid System in Glee,” and “TheOriginals: A Pop Culture Examination of Colonialist Discourse.” Next year I will again be attending PCA/ACA in Seattle and presenting my paper “GenX Takes the Stage: Exploring Trans* Agency in ‘90s Musicals” a paper that grew out of Professor Mandel’s ENG 590 Special Topics course on GenX Literature and Culture. Additionally, I have published a chapter in an edited collection: Glee and New Directions for Social Change. My chapter was entitled “Glee Goes Gaga: Queering Concepts of High School Identity Formation.” I am the co-chair of URI’s freshly launched Professionalization Committee along with Elyse Nelmark. The professionalization committee has been responsible for creating and curating a Sakai site that hosts a wealth of information including but not limited to: samples of exam lists and rationales, job market materials, conferences, teaching syllabi examples, etc. The Professionalization Committee has also held two panels, one in the spring covering how to prepare for exams and summer productivity, as well as a panel this fall concerning publishing. Both events allowed URI faculty and graduate students to have detailed and focused conversations about the ins and outs of these important career moments.
I am also the co-chair of the URI Graduate Conference for 2016 along with Serap Hidir. The Graduate Conference Committee is currently working hard to organize an exceptional conference for the spring of 2016. Our theme for the conference is Trans(form): New Insights and New Directions. I look forward to providing everyone with more information as the conference grows and develops. Last year for the Graduate Conference I served on various sub-committees as well as presented my paper: “The Monstrous Feminine: Understanding Lady Macbeth’s Body.” I am excited to be even more closely involved with the conference planning this year.
I received my MA in English at SUNY New Paltz where I also taught Composition for 2.5 years. Prior to that, I have two bachelor’s degrees from New Mexico State University in Theatre Arts and English. As a native New Mexican, my time in the ocean state has been quite a new experience, water!? In my free time, I enjoy hiking and exploring the beauty of Rhode Island with my husband Mike and enjoying as much live theatre as we can see. I am also the proud cat Mom of two fantastic felines, Crookshanks and Moo.