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Recent Dissertations


Faith Elizabeth Barter
Chair: Colin Dayan
Title: "Human Rights: Deciphering Legal and Literary Personhood, 1830-1860"

Russell Joseph Boutelle
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "The Race for America: Blackness, Belonging, and Empire in the Transamerican 19th-Century"

Anne Margaret Castro
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "The Sacred Act of Reading: Spirituality, Performance, and Power in Afro-Diasporic Literature"

Stephanie Erin Higgs
Chair: Jay Clayton
Title: "Invisible Threads: Fictions of Cotton in the Atlantic Triangle, 1833-1863"

Lucy Kwabah Mensah
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "Designing Cities and Men: Urban Renewal, Black Masculinity and the 20th Century African American Aesthetics"

Killian Colm Quigley
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Nature's Spectacles: Ornament, Performance, and Natural History in the Long Eighteenth Century"

Petal Kimberly Samuel
Chair: Colin Dayan
Title: "Timing to Descant: Sonic Temporalities of Slavery in Caribbean Literature"


Kathleen Rose DeGuzman
Chair: Colin Dayan
Title: "Economies of Entanglement: Reading Radical Cultural Work in Anglophone Caribbean and Victorian Britain"

Dan Fang
Chair: Jay Clayton
Title: "The Enchantment of Victorian Things: Magical Objects as Objects of Fictionality"

Andrew Joseph Hines
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Understanding Criticism: An Institutional Ecology of US American Literary Criticism"


Emily Maude August
Chair: Jay Clayton
Title: "Cadaver Poetics: Surgical Medicine and the Reinvention of the Body in the Nineteenth Century"

Adam Jason Miller
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Enframing & Enlightenment: A Phenomenological History of Literature, Science, and Technology in Eighteenth-Century Britain"

Megan Lynn Minarich
Chair: Paul Young
Title: "Hollywood's Reproduction Code: Regulating Contraception and Abortion in American Cinema, 1915-1952"

Aubrey Kimball Porterfield
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "Modernism's Choreographies of Stillness: How American, British, and Japanese Authors Politicized the Inert Body, 1897-1937"

Nicole Adeyinka Spigner
Chair: Hortense Spillers
Title: "Niobe Repeating: Black New Women Rewrite Ovid's Metamorphoses"


Michael Alijewicz
Chairs: Leah Marcus and Kathryn Schwarz
Title: "Nothing is But What Is Not: Subjunctive Aesthetics in Early Modern England"

Elizabeth Barnett
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "Aboriginal Issues: Indianism and the Modernist Literary Field"

Matthew Duques
Chair: Dana Nelson
Title: "To a Certain Degree: Northern Education Reform, Settler Colonialism, and the Early U.S. Novel, 1782-1872"

Heather Freeman
Chair: Carolyn Dever
Title: "Marketing 'Proper' Names: Female Authors, Sensation Discourse, and the Mid-Victorian Literary Profession"

Caroline Hovanec
Chairs: Jay Clayton and Mark Wollaeger
Title: "Zoological Modernism: Literature, Science, and Animals in Early Twentieth-Century Britain"

Amanda Louise Johnson
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Romances of the New World: Race and Creole Identity in British America, 1689-1840"

Christopher Pexa
Chair: Dana Nelson
Title: "Translated Nation: Writing Dakota Kinship and Sovereignty, 1862-1934"

Donika Ross
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Reading Against Genre: Contemporary Westerns and the Problem of White Manhood"


Diana Bellonby
Chair: Carolyn Dever
Title: "A Secret History of Aestheticism: Magic-Portrait Fiction, 1829-1920"

Destiny Birdsong
Chairs: Ifeoma Nwankwo and Hortense Spillers
Title: "The Mother's Mark: Matrilineal Inscription, Corporeality, and Identity Formation in Mother-Daughter Relationships in Black Women's Literature"

Matthew Eatough
Chair: Mark Wollaeger
Title: "Affective Transnationalism: Writing Anglo Decline in the Afro-Celtic World-System, 1880-1980"

Erin Garcia-Fernandez
Chairs: Jay Clayton and Mark Schoenfield
Title: "Delicious Plural: The Editorial 'We' in Nineteenth-Century Fiction and Periodicals"

Emily Hines
Chair: Jay Clayton
Title: "Referential Worlds"

Derrick Spires
Chairs: Dana Nelson and Teresa Goddu
Title: "Black Theories of Citizenship in the Early United States, 1793-1860"

Jane Wanninger
Chair: Leah Marcus
Title: "Confessing Subjectivity: Power and Performance Agency in Early Modern Drama"


Elizabeth Covington
Chairs: Mark Wollaeger and Jay Clayton
Title: "Reclaiming Memory: Literature, Science, and the Rise of Memory as Property, 1860-1945"

Kimberly McColl
Chair: Paul Young
Title: "Something Mechanical Encrusted on the Living: Modernity, Embodiment, and Empathy in American Slapstick Film, 1895-1929"

John Morrell
Chair: Cecelia Tichi
Title: "The Dialectic of Climate Change: Apocalypse, Utopia, and the Environmental Imagination"


Beau Yancy Baca
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Situating Pathos in English Drama of the Long Eighteenth Century"

Chu-Jiun Alice Chuang
Chair: Mark Wollaeger
Title: "Re-Imagining the Jewelled Isle: England, Media, and Literature in the World War II Period"

Charlotte Amanda Hagood
Chairs: Michael Kreyling and Vera Kutzinski
Title: "The Domestication of Environmentalism: Science, Democracy, and the Ideological Origins of the U.S. Environmental Movement"

Justin Haynes
Chair: Vera Kutzinski
Title: "Carnival: Transformation, Performance, and Play in Caribbean Festivals"

Sarah Erin Kersh
Chair: Carolyn Dever
Title: "Naked Novels: Victorian Sonnet Sequences and the Problem of Marriage"

Elizabeth Shih Meadows
Chair: Carolyn Dever
Title: "Morbid Strains: Obsession and Spectacle in Victorian Literature from In Memoriam to The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Bethany Marie Packard
Chair: Leah Marcus
Title: "Problem Children: Troping Reproduction and Development in Early Modern England"

Sa rah M. Passino
Chair: Dana Nelson
Title: "Pirating Human Rights"


Rebecca Renee Chapman
Chairs: Leah Marcus and Kathryn Schwarz
Title: "Rehabilitating Shakespeare: Cultural Appropriation and Queer Subjectivity"

Sarah Louise Childress
Chair: Dana Nelson
Title: "Common Interests, Competing Subjectivities: U.S. and Latin American Avant-Garde Film Theory and Practice"

Frances Dianne Henderson
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "(Re)Claiming Self: Motive Forces Contributing to Migration in African American Literature by Women"

Lauren Wood-Hoffer
Chair: Carolyn Dever
Title: "That Inevitable Woman: The Paid Female Companion and Sympathy in the Victorian Novel"

Jennifer A. Krause
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "From Classical to Postmodern: Madness in Inter-American Narrative"

Donald C. Jefferson
Chair: Lynn Enterline
Title: "The Ghost Complaint: Historiography, Gender, and the Return of the Dead in Elizabethan Literature"

Christina Maria Neckles
Chair: Jay Clayton
Title: "Defensive Adaptation: Managing Social Anxieties in Literature and Film"

Miranda Garno Nesler
Chair: Leah Marcus
Title: "Performing Silence, Performing Speech: Genre and Gender in Stuart Drama"

Brian James Rejack
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Gluttons and Gourmands: British Romanticism and Aesthetics of Gastronomy"

Daniel Frederick Spoth
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "The Wandering Eye: Dreaming the Globe in Faulkner and Walcott"

Nafissa D. Thompson-Spires
Chair: Paul Young
Title: "Think Canada: Locating the Canadian Presence in U.S. Youth Television"


Brian Daniel Deyo
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "We Have Never Been Human: J.M. Coetzee, The Enlightenment, and the Lives of Animals"

Joshua Benjamin Epstein
Chair: Mark Wollaeger
Title: "Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer"

Katherine A. Fusco
Chairs: Paul Young and Cecelia Tichi
Title: "Time Material: Temporality, Narration, and Modernity in Silent Films and American Naturalism"

Benjamin Thomas Graydon
Chair: Cecelia Tichi
Title: "Marketing Fictions: Product Branding in American Literature and Culture"

Persephone Emily Harbin
Chair: Mark Wollaeger
Title: "Transforming the Race-Mother: Motherhood and the Eugenics of British Modernism"

Christian Bradley Long
Chair: Paul Young
Title: "The Wages of Sprawl: The Experience of Suburban Form in American Film and Fiction"

Jeffrey Michael Menne
Chair: Paul Young
Title: "The Birth of the Auteur: The Counterculture, Individualism, and Hollywood Cinema, 1967-1975"

Nicole E. Seymour
Chairs: Paul Young and Carolyn Dever
Title: "Foreign Bodies and Anti-Bodies: Queer Bodily Transformations in Post-World War II Literature and Film"


Charles Kinian Cosner, Jr.
Chair: John Halperin
Title: "Neither Lye nor Romance: Narrativity in the Old Bailey Sessions Papers"

Elizabeth A. Festa
Chairs: Cecelia Tichi and Teresa Goddu
Title: "Precious Specimens: Public Museums, Popular Culture, and American Literary Modernism"

Jeong-Oh Kim
Chairs: Jonathan Lamb and Mark Schoenfield
Title: "A Sense of Place and the Uncertainty of the Self"

Brianna O'Riordan McCoy
Chairs: Carolyn Dever and Jay Clayton
Title: "Migrants and Cosmopolitans: Travel and the Reconciliation of England and Ireland in Nineteenth-Century Literature"

David L. Smith
Chair: John Halperin
Title: "Under Lock and Key: Securing Privacy and Property in Victorian Fiction and Culture"


Jennifer Clement
Chairs: Leah Marcus and Lynn Enterline
Title: "Significant Others: Devotion, Divinity, and Authority in Early Modern England"

Susan Crisafulli
Chair: John Plummer
Title: "Women of Kynde: The Construction of the 'Natural' and the Natural World in Medieval Courtly Narrative"

Brian Scott Hicks
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Re-Farming the New World Order: Imaginations of Agriculture in Global America"

Melanie Butler Holladay
Chair: Cecelia Tichi
Title: "Individualism Possessed: The Supernatural Marriage Plot, 1820-1870"

Dean Anthony Masullo
Chair: Cecelia Tichi
Title: "The Penumbral Frontier: Landscape, Modernity, and the Subterranean Imagination in New York City Literature and Culture, 1609-2001"

Beccie Randhawa
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "An Elicit Proximity of Geography: Creoles and Colonial Hospitality in Eighteenth-Century Transatlantic Literature"


Andrea Bradley
Chair: Jonathan Lamb
Title: "Wanted: Advertising in British Literature, 1700-1830"

Hyeyurn Chung
Chairs: Cecelia Tichi and Tina Chen
Title: "The Color of Masculinity: Racialized Masculinities and the Reconfiguration of American Manhood"

Shalyn Claggett
Chairs: Jay Clayton and Carolyn Dever
Title: "The Science of Character in Victorian Literature and Culture"

Melissa Hull
Chairs: Leah Marcus and Kathryn Schwarz
Title: "Reproducing Texts, Reproducing Bodies: Aberrant reproduction and Print Culture in Early Modern England"

Michael Karounos
Chair: John Halperin
Title: "Tropes of Time and Space in Johnson, Burney, Edgeworth, and Austen"

Lisa A. Niles
Chairs: Carolyn Dever and Jay Clayton
Title: "Unproductive Productivity: Aging and Literature in the Nineteenth Century"

Laurel A. Young
Chair: John Halperin
Title: "(Re)Inventing a Genre: Legacy in Women's Golden Age Detective Fiction"


Mark Barr
Chairs: Mark Schoenfield and Jerome Christensen
Title: "In Search of Justice: Blake, Coleridge, and the Romantic Conflict Between Legal and Literary Discourse"

Tikenya Foster-Singletary
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Revolutionary Romances: Romantic Love in African American Literature by Women"

Aisha Francis
Chairs: Michael Kreyling and Sheila Smith McCoy
Title: "Hometraining and How to Be: Black Conduct Literature and the Politics of Identity in United States Culture"

Ellen Levy
Chair: Vereen Bell
Title: "Poetry was Declining / Painting Advancing: The Dialects of Dominance in the Institution of Modern Art"

Karissa McCoy
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Re-Writing Region, Reconstructing Whiteness: Appalachia and the 'Place' of Whiteness in American Culture, 1930-2003"


Daniel Turner
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "Sustaining Power: The Poetry of the Contemporary American South"


Tommy Anderson
Chairs: Leah Marcus and Lynn Enterline
Title: "The Claims of the Past: Traumatic Events, Compensatory Narratives, and the Formation of Identities in Early Modern England"

Lisa Barnes
Chair: Cecelia Tichi
Title: "Politicians in Print: American Women Writers and the Landscapes of Nationalism, 1839-1894"

Sean Heuston
Chair: Mark Jarman
Title: "The Dialect of the Tribe: Ethnography and Modern Poets"

Ashley Trice
Chair: John Plummer
Title: "Capturing Christ: Representations of the God-Man in Middle English Religious Lyrics"

Anthony Wilson
Chair: Michael Kreyling
Title: "The Shadow and the Shelter: The Swamp and Constructions of Southern Identity"