Patrick Mello, a member of the Literature and Religion working group, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. His dissertation, "Toleration, Persecution, and the Novel,” is directed by Margaret Doody and it argues that both the difficult history of religious persecution in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and the pluralistic reality of England’s ever expanding empire ignited novelistic experimentation throughout the eighteenth-century. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from California State University, Chico.