- Major: English
- Hometown: Lackawanna, New York
After taking an honors seminar on critical theory, English major Patrick Riedy knew that that he had to minor in comparative literature.
Patrick’s community service work in Buffalo helped him to discover the Queen City Bookstore.
“I took Critical Theory with [department chair] Shaun Irlam,” said Patrick. “I read the description, and I had never been exposed to anything like that in high school. I took it, and I was blown away by it.”
“It made me feel like I was in college—it was beyond high school. It wasn’t, ‘We’ll learn this for a Regents exam or a test.’ It was actually challenging—learning something to better your understanding of English and the world around you.”
Patrick always knew he wanted to major in English, so when he considered his college options, UB really stood out from the pack. “I started looking at English programs and found that UB’s is pretty amazing. And compared with the stereotypical research university, you get that close-knit community feel—no more than 30 kids in a class. I found that really interesting. And also the collections—the James Joyce collection is here—and all of the other resources you have.”
A writer with an interest in poetry, graphic novels and pulp fiction, Patrick experienced another epiphany with an assist from the Honors College. While completing his honors colloquium community service project in Buffalo’s University District, Patrick discovered the Queen City Bookstore and its exhaustive supply of comic books and graphic novels.
“I did Meals on Wheels. I went to the area where we were supposed to meet, and I passed the bookstore,” Patrick said. “I walked in, and I have been going there ever since.”
Delivering for Meals on Wheels.
Patrick’s trips to Queen City aren’t just a diversion, either. He thinks that graphic novels are worthy of serious academic exploration, and he’s very happy that the English department thinks the same way.
“There are courses at UB where we read graphic novels. Even English 201, they read ‘Watchmen’—it’s that expansive,” Patrick said. “It’s a respectable genre that I often think gets overlooked.”
Someday, Patrick would like to produce his own graphic novels. In fact, his two brothers are artists, and they’re thinking about collaborating. He’d also like to try his hand at crime fiction as well.
“Crime fiction, hard-boiled fiction is something that I find really interesting, and I don’t want to re-create that as much as modernize it.”
Last updated: January 12, 2015 4:42 pm EST