The Digital Literature Review is edited, produced, and published by undergraduate students in the English Department at Ball State University. The staff is divided into three teams: Editorial, Publicity, and Design. Please direct all contact to

Dr. Vanessa Rapatz
Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University.

I teach courses in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, including a course on Renaissance Utopias. I have publications on the works of playwrights such as Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. And I’m currently working on an article that puts Shakespeare’s The Tempest in conversation with the HBO series Westworld.

“At last, when the Duchess saw that no pattern would do her any good in the framing of her World; she was resolved to make a World of her own inventions.” -Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World

Leah Heim
Teacher’s Assistant

Major(s): English-Literature
Minor(s): Anthropology and French

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
–Joseph Brackett, Shaker dancing song

Editorial Team

Jacob Garrett
Lead Editor (journal)

Major(s): History and Literature
Minor(s): Creative Writing and Political Science

“He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, 1984

Marlee Jacocks
Lead Editor (blogs)

Major(s): English (Literature)
Minor(s): French, Political Science, and Philosophy

“I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.” – Shelby Foote

Ben Sapet

Major(s): Writing and Rhetoric
Minor(s): Literature, Creative Writing

“Live by the [harmless untruths] that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy”

Katrina Brown

Major(s): English Literature and Sociology

“For things will never be perfect, until human beings are perfect – which I don’t expect them to be for quite a number of years!” -Thomas More, Utopia

Samantha Kubiak

Major(s): English Literature
Minor(s): Sustainability

“The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal” -Kurt Vonnegut, “Harrison Bergeron”

Troi Watts

Major(s): Creative Writing
Minor(s): Professional Writing & Emerging Media AND Film/Screenwriting

“Utopia means elsewhere.” – John Malkovich

Kylie Poling

Major(s): English & Language Arts Education, concentration in Communications
Minor(s): Communication Studies and Linguistics

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Sammy Bredar

Major(s): Public Relations
Minor(s): Film Screenwriting

“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.” -Rick Riordan

Taliyah Jarrett

Major: Creative Writing
Minor: French

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people” – V for Vendetta

Stephanie Alana

Major(s): Creative Writing
Minor(s): Screenwriting and Professional Writing & Emerging Media

Take pride in your pain; you are stronger than those who have none.” – Lois Lowry, Gathering Blue

Alyssa Malott

Major(s): English Literature

“None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.” -Theodor Adorno

Publicity Team

Filasha Finley

Major(s): Public Relations

Minor(s):  Professional writing and emerging media

“The utopian candy shell melted away to a hard center of bizarre reality.” ― Mandy Ashcraft, Small Orange Fruit

Rachael Carmichael

Major(s): English Studies

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends.” – Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Maggie Mayer

Major(s):Creative Writing
Minor(s): Telecommunications, Film and Screenwriting

“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?”
― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Design Team

Natalie Kuss
Lead of Design Team

Major(s): English Studies

”Every utopia – let’s just stick with the literary ones – faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?” – Margaret Atwood

Allison Akers

Major(s): Creative Writing
Minor(s): Professional Writing and Marketing

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” -George Orwell

Kirsten Cooper

Major(s): English Studies

“If you actually succeed in creating a utopia, you’ve created a world without conflict, in which everything is perfect. And if there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading!”  -Veronica Roth

Marisa Sloan

Major(s):English with a Creative Writing Concentration
Minor(s): Art History and Professional Writing and Emerging Media

“I’m fascinated by the extent to which people don’t run away, and I think, if you look around us, that is the remarkable fact, how much we accept what fate has given us.”-Kazuo Ishiguro