Recent PhD Dissertations


  • “The Object of Affection: Metamorphosis and the Unbound Subject in Early Modern English Literature" (Emily Barth, Spring 2020. Chaired by Professor Joseph Loewenstein)
  • "Race and Species: Reimagining the Ethics of Comparison in Contemporary American Fiction" (Samantha Pergadia, Spring 2020. Chaired by Professor Anca Parvulescu)


  • “Postwar Redux: The Recirculation of Postwar American Literature and the Rise of Networked Readers in the Twenty-First Century” (Melanie Walsh, Summer 2019. Chaired by Professor William Maxwell)
  • “Democratic Portraiture: Imagining Equal Selves in Melville, Whitman, and Douglass” (Paulo Loonin, Summer 2019. Chaired by Professor Abram Van Engen)
  • “Transcultural Capital: Anglo-Islamic Traffic on the London Stage” (Corinne Zeman, Summer 2019. Chaired by Professor Robert Henke)
  • “Seeking Asylum: Communities of Madwomen in Post-1945 American Novels” (Rose Miyatsu, Spring 2019. Chaired by Professor Vivian Pollak)
  • “Network Poetics: Studies in Early Modern Literary Collaboration” (John Ladd, Spring 2019. Chaired by Professor Steven Zwicker)
  • “Masculine Narratives of Failure and Nostalgia in British Fiction 1865-1928” (Heidi Lim, Fall 2018. Chaired by Professor Gary Wihl)


  • “Unsettling Geographies: Primitivist Utopias in Queer American Literature from Walt Whitman to Willa Cather" (Benjamin Meiners, Summer 2018. Chaired by Professor Vivian Pollak)
  • “Iconic Works: How Catholicism Shaped Eighteenth-Century English Fiction” (Margaret Tucker, Summer 2018. Chaired by Professor Wolfram Schmidgen)
  • “Altered Egos: Counter Histories in Twentieth-Century British Biographical Fictions” (Merrill Turner, Summer 2018. Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry)
  • “Writing Churches: Race, Religious Institutions, and Nineteenth-Century American Literature” (Hannah Wakefield, Summer 2018. Chaired by Professor Abram Van Engen)
  • “‘Dying Worlds’: Environment, Ecology, Empire in British Literature 1878-1919” (Susanna Williams, Spring 2018. Chaired by Professor Dillon Brown)
  • “The Nets of Style: Shaping Modernist Literary Narrative” (Kelly Oman, Fall 2017. Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry)


  • “Troubling Truth in the Auchinleck Manuscript” (Amy Reynolds, Summer 2017. Chaired by Professor Jessica Rosenfeld)
  • “Before the Chicago School: Literature, Gender, and Modernist Sociology in America, 1892-1930” (Claire Class, Summer 2017. Chaired by Professor Anca Parvulescu)
  • “Contrite Hearts: Lay Clergie in Late Medieval England” (Sara Fredman, Spring 2017. Chaired by Professor David Lawton)
  • “Gospel Writ in Steel: Puritan Genealogies in the Abolitionist Imagination” (Kenyon Gradert, Spring 2017. Chaired by Professor Robert Milder)
  • “Fatal Books: Dangerous Reading in Victorian England, 1850-1900” (Amanda Farage, Spring 2017. Chaired by Professor William McKelvy)
  • “Pleasure in the Past: Queer Nostalgia in the Gay American Century” (Elisabeth Windle, Fall 2016. Chaired by Professor Anca Parvulescu)
  • “Tempo and Temporality in Anglo-American Modernist Literature” (Yuki Tanaka, Fall 2016. Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry)


  • “Mortal Verse: Embodied Memory in Early Modern Poetry of Love, Grief, and Devotion” (Annelise Duerden, Summer 2016. Chaired by Professor Joseph Loewenstein)
  • “Breaking Bread with the Dead: Social Radicalism and Christian Traditions in Twentieth-Century American Literature” (Jonathan McGregor, Summer 2016. Chaired by Professor William Maxwell)
  • “The Solid & the Shifting: Darwinian Time, Evolutionary Form and the Greek Ideal in the Early Works of Virginia Woolf” (Joseph Kreutziger, Spring 2016. Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry)
  • “Spectacular Skepticism: Visual Contradiction on the Early Modern English Stage” (Lauren Robertson, Spring 2016. Chaired by Professor Joseph Loewenstein)
  • “Queer Accounts: Victorian Literature and Economic Deviance” (Margaret Dobbins, Fall 2015. Chaired by Professor Miriam Bailin)
  • “Science and Nature in the Medieval Ecological Imagination” (Jessica Rezunyk, Fall 2015. Chaired by Professor David Lawton)


  • “Lines of Descent: Family and the Art of History in Puritan New England” (Jennifer Romney, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor Wayne Fields)
  • “‘An Ineffaceable Stain’: Interracial Marriage and White Masculinity in American Fiction, 1830-1905” (Lauren Barbeau, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor Rafia Zafar)
  • “Disabling Modernity: Disability and Sexuality in British Literature, Film and Culture, 1880-1939” (Courtney Andree, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry)
  • “Alternative Histories: Imagining Ancient Britain on the London Stage, 1560-1642” (Meredith Beales, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor Joseph Loewenstein)
  • “‘We Average Unbeautiful Watchers’: Reflexive Fans and the Readerly Stakes of American Sports Narratives” (Noah Cohan, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor William Maxwell)
  • “Gothic Literature and the Politics of Indistinction” (Nicholas Miller, Summer 2015. Chaired by Professor Wolfram Schmidgen)


  • “‘Spontaneous and Leaderless’: The Anarchist Impulse in Twentieth-Century Anglo-American Fiction”  (Michael O'Bryan, Summer 2014. Chaired by Professor William Maxwell)
  • “Among the Modernist Ruins: British Writing and the Architecture of the State” (Ashley Maher, Summer 2014. Co-Chaired by Professor Vincent Sherry and Professor Marina MacKay)
  • “Heritage Fictions: The Country-House Novel, Preservation, and the New Britain” (Rin Henderson, Summer 2014. Chaired by Professor Dillon Brown)
  • “‘Round the Corner’: Pawnbroking in the Victorian Novel” (Jennifer Becker, Summer 2014. Chaired by Professor William McKelvy)
  • “A ‘Living Political Dialect’: The Science of Language and the Victorian Epic Impulse” (Barbara Barrow, Summer 2014. Chaired by Professor Willam McKelvy)