Recent Graduates: Doctoral Defenses

Below we list Ph.D. dissertation defenses in English and Medieval Studies, from 2003 to the present.

AY 2016-2017

Joanna Asia Rowe’s final Ph.D. Defense, Sept 30, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “Commonplace Dissidence: English Renaissance Humanism and its Skeptics” (Semenza, King’oo, Deans)

Maria Seger’s Final Ph.D. Defense, Aug 5, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “At All Costs: Property and Extra Legal Violence in American Literature and Culture” (Duane, Eby, Vials)

AY 2015-2016

Christiana Salah’s Final Ph.D. Defense, Apr 29, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “The Popular Invention of the Victorian Governess, 1815-2015″ (Higonnet, Semenza, Winter)

Shawn Higgins’s Final Ph.D. Defense, Apr 14, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “Literary Soundscapes: Nationalism and U.S. Literature, 1890-1940″ (Schlund-Vials, Cutter, Vials)

Todd Barry’s final Ph.D. Defense, Mar 10, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “From Wilde to Obergefell: Gay Legal Theatre, 1895-2015″ (Murphy, Breen, Burke)

Steve Mollmann’s final Ph.D. Defense, Mar 9, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “Visions of the Victorian Scientist” (Recchio, Bedore, Winter)

Tara Harney Mahajan’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jan 25, 2016 THESIS TITLE: “Claiming Queer Inheritances: Alternative Genealogies in Irish and Indian English Women’s Fiction”   (Burke, Coundouriotis, Hogan, Mahoney)

Chad Jewett’s final Ph.D. Defense, Dec 3, 2015, THESIS TITLE: “Aesthetic Activism: Race, Ethnicity, Literary Experimentalism and The U.S. South” (Makowsky, Eby, Schlund-Vials)

Gordon Fraser’s final Ph.D. Defense, Oct 5, 2015, THESIS TITLE: “American Cosmologies: Race and Revolution in the Nineteenth Century” (Harris, Duane, Schlund-Vials)

AY 2014-2015

Jared Demick’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jun 23, 2015, THESIS TITLE: “Alien Comforts: The Languages and Foodways of Chinese Americans and Hawaiian Locals in U.S. Popular Culture”(Harris, Eby, Schlund-Vials, Vials)

Laila Khan’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jun 22, 2015, THESIS TITLE: “Traumatic Modes: Sentiment, Sympathy, and the Sublime” (Mahoney, Higonnet, Semenza)

Christina Henderson’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jun 10, 2015, THESIS TITLE: “Cities of the Future: Literary Utopias, World’s Fairs, and the Making of American Progressivism” (Harris, Schlund-Vials, Winter)

Michelle Maloney-Mangold’s final Ph.D. Defense, May 28, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “Under the Table: The Precariat in Contemporary U.S. Culture” (C. Schlund-Vials, P. Bedore, K. Capshaw, K.Knapp, C.Vials)

Kim Armstrong’s final Ph.D. Defense, May 14, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “Repackaging American Women’s Literature, 1850-1920” (Harris, Eby, Gross, Recchio)

Chantelle Messier’s final Ph.D. Defense, May 1, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “The Pedagogy of the Garden: Forming Gender and Sexuality in Romantic Literature” (Mahoney, Breen, Codr,Winter)

Pam Swanigan’s final Ph.D. Defense, Apr 22, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “’I shall live for ever and ever’”: Ecological Perspectives on Immortality in Children’s Fantasy” (Capshaw, Ford-Smith, Pickering)

Joseph Darda’s final Ph.D. Defense, Apr 21, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “When Is Postwar? American Narratives in an Age of Permanent War” (Schlund-Vials, Eby, Vials)

Emily Cormier’s final Ph.D. Defense, Feb 25, 2015 THESIS TITLE: “New Agrarianism in American Children’s Literature” (Capshaw, Higonnet, Major)

Matthew Mroz’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jan 30, 2015: “Rhetoric and Relationship in Milton’s Paradise Lost” (Semenza, Kneidel, Winter)

Christopher Bertucci’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jan 28, 2015: “Diseases of the Soul in Early Modern English Drama” (Semenza, Kneidel, Marsden)

Kathryn Kornacki’s final Ph.D. Defense, Jan 21, 2015: “Margaret Fuller’s Conversations: Self and Other in Nineteenth-Century Literary and Intellectual Culture” (Franklin, Duane, Makowsky)

Matthew Salyer , Dec 12, 2014:  “As we was kings”: Britain’s Empire and the Rise of the Anglo-American Historical Novel” (Franklin, Bercaw-Edwards, Codr, Mahoney)

Jennifer Ryer,  Dec 10, 2014:  “The Good Imperialists: Empire, National Identity, and Gender in British Theater, 1660-1790” (Marsden, Codr, Mahoney)

Kofi J. Adisa, Dec. 1, 2014: “But They Mean To Do Right:  Stories of African-American Male Teachers” (Litman, Hogan, Pelizzon)

Patrick Lawrence, Oct. 15, 2014:  “Obscene Gestures: Representations of Sexual Transgression and Late Twentieth-Century American Political Culture” (Schlund-Vials, Capshaw, Cutter, Lambert, Vials)

Ramon Elinevsky, Sep. 11, 2014: “For the Wild: A Critique of Civilization” (Schlund-Vials, Bystrom,  Pelizzon, Vials)

Abbye Meyer, Aug. 14, 2014: “Accidents, Freaks, Fruits, and Wallflowers: Representations of Disability in Adolescent Literature” (Capshaw, Eby, Higonnet)

Brandon Hawk, Aug. 5, 2014: “Aprocryphal Narratives in Old English Sermon Collections” (Biggs & King’oo, Hasenfratz, Johnson, Olson)

Pamela Longo, Aug. 5, 2014: “Voices of Great Authority: Framing History, Reforming Community in the Reigns of Richard II and Henry VI” (Somerset, Biggs, Tonry, Johnson, Olson)

Tiffanie Itsou,  Aug, 1, 2014: “Truth Itself in the Supremeness of Its Perfection: The Influence of Photography on Edgar Allan Poe’s Writing” (Tilton, Anselment, Capshaw)

AY 2013-2014

Matthew Simpson,  May 14, 2014: “Personal and Political Disunity in Early Modern Literature” (Semenza, Kneidel, Marsden)

Leah Schwebel, Dec. 6, 2013: “Re-telling Old Stories: Chaucer and an Italian Poetic of Intertextual Commentary” (Somerset, Benson, Hasenfratz, Marsden, Masciandaro)

Jorge Santos, Nov. 14, 2013: “Religion, Race, and Rupture: Re-Reading the Civil Rights Era” (Cutter, Sanchez, Schlund-Vials, Vials)

Jeremy DeAngelo, Oct. 18, 2013: “Unsettling: Transgression and Travel in the Literature of the Medieval North Atlantic” (Hasenfratz, Biggs, Kane, Olson)

Amber West, Sep. 25, 2013 “Fourth Way: Feminist Hybrid Poetics Beyond the Page” (Pelizzon, Murphy, Schlund-Vials, Bell)

Mandy Suhr-Sytsma, Jun 25, 2013: “Collaborative Sovereignty: The Visionary Work of American Indian and Canadian Aboriginal Young Adult Literature” (Tilton, Schlund-Vials, Capshaw, VanAlst)

AY 2012-2013

Erin Haddad-Null,  May 22, 2013:  “Family Stories: Narrating the Nation in Recent Postcolonial Novels” (Coundouriotis, Bystrom, Hogan, Phillips)

Ivy Stabell, May 1, 2013: “Children’s Bigraphy and American Identity, 1620-1865” (Capshaw-Smith, Harris, Higonnet)

Emily Dolan, Dec. 7, 2012: “Unhappily Ever After: The Troubled Conclusions of Postbellum Women Writers” (Harris, Eby, Higonnet)

Peter Chidester, Nov. 28, 2012: “A Land Choice above All Others: The Importance of the American Wilderness to the Rise of the Mormon Church” (Phillips, Pickering, Tilton, Recchio, Duane)

Mary Isbell, Nov. 7, 2012: “Amateurs: Home, Shipboard, and Public Theatricals in the Nineteenth Century” (Winter, Eby, Murphy)

Michael Jones, Oct. 17, 2012: “The Secret History of Romance Masculinity: The Byronic Hero and the Novel, 1814-1914.” (Mahoney, Pelizzon, Winter)

Patricia Taylor, Oct. 5, 2012: “Writing with the Word: Post-Reformation Authorship in England, 1546-1671” (Semenza, King’oo, Marsden)

AY 2011-2012

Monica Dimauro, Jul. 10, 2012: “Mary Chudleigh’s Stoical Philosophy and Its Importance for Women” (Marsden, Recchio, Kneidel)

Jennifer Holley, Jun. 22, 2012: “The Child Elegy” (Mahoney, MacLeod, Pelizzon)

Sarah Rasher, May 21, 2012: “Dirty Old Mentors: Homoeroticism, Greekness, and Mirth in Early Modern Drama” (Marsden, Bailey, Roden)

Jonathan Kotchian, May 2, 2012: “Satire and Authorial Distinction in the English Renaissance, 1573-1644” (Semenza, Hart, King’oo, Kneidel)

Lauren Davis, May 1, 2012: “Declarations of Independence and Acts of Union: Gender and National Identity in US and Irish Literature, 1780-1860” (Harris, Franklin, Lynch)

Amanda Smith, Apr. 25, 2012: “‘A Keen Sense of the Ridiculous’: Humor in Fin de Siècle Feminist Fiction” (Barreca, Higonnet, Marsden)

Lindy Brady, Apr. 20, 2012: “Mutuable Boundaries in the Medieval Literatures of the British Isles” (Biggs, Hasenfratz, Kane)

AY 2010-2011

Mary Elizabeth Lough, Jul. 29, 2011: “Staging Death: Representing the Corpse in Renaissance Drama” (Semenza, Hasenfratz, Marsden)

Emily Wojcik, May 13, 2011: “‘No Compromise with the Public Taste’?: Women, Publishing, and the Cultivation of Trans-Atlantic Modernism” (Hollenberg, Hufstader, Murphy)

Andrew Pfrenger, Apr. 19, 2011: “The Wisdom to Choose: Emotion and Authority in Old English Literature” (Biggs, Hasenfratz, Olson)

Sean Forbes, Apr. 13, 2011: “’Providencia’: A Book of Poems with a Critical Preface” (Pelizzon, Bloom, Breen, Litman, Schlund-Vials)

Denise Lovett, Dec. 1, 2010: “Economic Exchange and the Discourse of Contract in the Victorian Novel, 1846-1875” (Winter, Higonnet, Marsden)

AY 2009-2010

Kenneth Cormier, Aug. 24, 2010: “Sounding the Audiophonic Imagination” (Pelizzon, Bloom, Higonnet, Litman)

Tanyss Ludescher, Aug. 11, 2010: “’The Orient is ill’: Kahlil Gibran and the politics of nationalism in the New York Syrian Colony, 1908-1920” (Makowsky, Hogan, Tilton)

Denise Feikema, Jul. 6, 2010: “School Days and Family Ways: Education in African American Literature, 1901-2005” (Smith, Eby, Murphy)

Molly Ferguson, May 13, 2010: “The Ghost in the Irish Psyche: Ghost Stories in Contemporary Irish Literature” (Shea, Higonnet, Burke)

Rose Novak, May 3, 2010: “Writing Ireland’s Wrongs: Nineteenth-Century Irish Women Poets and the Discourse of Violence” (Higonnet, Burke, Marsden)
Rebecca Devers, Apr. 2, 2010: “The Iron Curtain in the Picture Window: The Cold War Home in American Fiction and Popular Culture” (Murphy, Hollenberg, Phillips)

Kisha Tracy (Medieval Studies) Feb. 26, 2010: “Writing memory: Reinvention and the Tradition of Confession in Middle English Literature” (Benson, Berthelot, Hasenfratz, Johnson)

Barbara Campbell, Dec. 16, 2009: “Under the Ivory Tower: Labor in the American Academic Novel, 1929-1940” (Eby, Murphy, Semenza)

Karen Renner, Dec. 4, 2009: “Perverse Subjects: Drunks, Gamblers, Prostitutes, and Murderers in Antebellum America” (Phillips, Baldwin, Tilton, Harris)

AY 2008-2009

Peter Sinclair, Aug. 27, 2009: “Narrative and Eschatology: Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Spark and the Theology of Narrative Endings” (Hufstader, Coundouriotis, MacLeod)

Becky Caouette, Aug. 3, 2009: “Reflecting a History, Charting A Future: A Rhetorical Analysis of Composition Anthologies” (Recchio, Deans, Marsden, Winter)

Frank Napolitano, May 1, 2009: “The Rhetoric of Counsel and Miracles in the English Mystery Plays” (Winter, Jambeck, Recchio)

K. Randy Laist, Apr. 28, 2009: “Amercian Environments: Technology and Subjectivity in the Novels of Don DeLillo” (Pelizzon, Bradfield, Phillips)

Erin Heidkamp (Medieval Studies), Dec. 18, 2008: “A Local Community, A Community of ‘Locals’: The Cistercians of Altenberg Abbey, 1133-1539” (Olson, Jambeck, Roe)

Christopher Dowd, Dec. 12, 2008: “Huck Finn’s Brethren: Irish Characters in American Literature” (Burke, Eby, Murphy)

Jason Berger, Nov. 17, 2008: “Antebellum at Sea: United States Maritime Narratives and Constructions of Fantasy” (Phillips, Franklin, Tilton)

Karen Li Miller, Oct. 9, 2008: “Locating Reproduction: The Chinese in Nineteenth-Century American Literature” (Makowsky, Higonnet, Phillips)

AY 2007-2008

Dawn Goode, Jul. 31, 2008: “An ‘Excess of Amity’: Women’s Relationships on the Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Stage” (Marsden, Breen, Murphy for Turley)

Maureen Tuthill, Jul. 11, 2008: “Medical Aesthetics of the Early American Novel” (Harris, Franklin, Tilton)

Wendy Hoofnagle (Medieval Studies), May 10, 2008: “Creating Kings in Post-Conquest England: The Fate of Charlemagne in Anglo-Norman Society”

Ernest Cole, May 8, 2008: “Post-Apartheid and Its Representation: The Interregnum as Motif in Selected South African Novels” (Coundouriotis, Phillips, Recchio)

Lois Coleman, May 8, 2008: “Michelle Cliff: History, Fiction, Agency, and Frontier Consciousness” (Makowsky, Coundouriotis, Phillips)

Katie Peel, Apr. 9, 2008: “’Unsuitable for Narrative’: Working Women in Victorian Literature” (Marsden, Breen, Higonnet)

Reginald Wilburn, Dec. 18, 2007: “Milton and the Gospel of Black Revolt” (Semenza, Phillips, Murphy)

J. Aaron Sanders, Dec. 4, 2007: “Black Witness: Avenging Angels, Heroes and Apostates”(Bradfield, Pelizzon, Pickering, Tilton)

Randall Cream, Oct. 23, 2007: “A Stoic Practice of Sentiment: Eighteenth-Century Moral Theory and the Subjectivation of Habit” (Marsden, Simpson, Turley, Recchio)

AY 2006-2007

Joseph Stephenson, Jul. 19, 2007: “Drama and Dutchness from Shakespeare to Dryden” (Semenza, Hart, Marsden)

Jon Dietrick, Apr. 30, 2007: “Bad Pennies and Dead Presidents: Money in American Drama, 1935-2001” (Murphy, Phillips, Tilton)

Aaron Mushengyezi, Apr. 25, 2007: “From Orality to Literacy: Translating Traditional Ugandan Oral Forms Into Texts for Children” (Higonnet, Haring, Smith)

Jennie-Rebecca Falcetta, Apr. 13, 2007: “Poet Descending a Staircase: Literary Modernism’s Aesthetic Engagement with Avant-Garde Visual Art” (Higonnet, MacLeod, Phillips, Shea)

John Sexton, Dec. 8, 2006: “In the Saint’s Embrace: The Sanctuary Privilege in Medieval Religious Writing” (Hasenfratz/Olson, Benson, Biggs)

Matthew Cella, Dec. 7, 2006: “Bad Land Pastoralism: Land Use and the Biocultural Landscape in Great Plains Fiction” (Tilton, Franklin, Makowsky)

Bill Dalessio, Dec. 4, 2006: “Food Preparation, Food Consumption, and Identity Formation in Twentieth-Century American Immigrant Literature” (Makowsky, Bloom, Sanchez)

Jason Courtmanche, Dec. 1, 2006: “Sin and Salvation: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Typology of Evil” (Tilton, Hogan, Pickering)

Laurie Cella, Nov. 29, 2006: “A Radical Romance: The Intersection of Conversion Narrative and the Romance Plot within Proletarian Novels, 1862-1939” (Murphy, Harris, Recchio, Tilton)

James Donahue, Nov. 28, 2006: “Rewriting the American Myth: Post-1960s American Historical Frontier Romances” (Tilton, Franklin, Phillips)

Anita Duneer, Oct. 16, 2006: “The Steamboat and the Petticoat: Revisions of the Maritime Romantic Ideal in American Literature” (Murphy, Phillips, Tilton)

AY 2005-2006

Tonya McArthur, Aug. 24, 2006: “A Devotion of Resistance: The Revisiting of English Female Monasticism in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British Literature” (Marsden, Higonnet, Recchio, Roden)

Amanda Cagle, Jun. 28, 2006: “’Pushing From Their Hearts a New Song’: The (Re)Construction of the Feminine in American Indian Women’s Poetry” (Tilton, Makowsky, Gibson)

Walter Nott, May 10, 2006: “Melville’s ‘Bartleby the Scrivener,’ ‘The Encantadas,’ and ‘Benito Cereno’ and the Discourse Community of Putnam’s Monthly” (Meyer, Bercaw-Edwards, Phillips)

Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby (Medieval Studies), May 6, 2006: “’Wormys mete is his body’: Enacting the Diseased Spirit of Herod the Great on the Late Medieval English Stage”

K. Doug Anderson, May 5, 2006: “Don’t Rub Your Eyes: A Memoir of the Vietnam War and its Aftermath” (Higonnet, Pickering, Recchio)

Christopher Anderson, May 4, 2006: “Nothing Lowly: The Anti-Picturesque in American Nature Poetry” (Gatta, Tilton, Hollenberg)

Aparna Gollapudi, May 1, 2006: “The Reform Plot in Comedy: 1696-1747” (Marsden, Turley, Phillips)

Joshua Eyler (Medieval Studies), Apr. 21, 2006: “Conditioning the Soul: Spritual Athleticism in Medieval English Theology and Literature”

Cherie Ann Turpin, Dec. 16, 2005: “Narrative, Erotic Power and Black Womanhood in the Works of Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and Dionne Brand” (Phillips, Breen, Eby)

Lori Beste, Dec. 9, 2005: “Margaret Fuller and National Culture: Political Idealism through Self-culture” (Meyer, Pickering, Tilton)

Mara Reisman, Nov. 18, 2005: “’Mind You, They’ll Say Anything’: Fay Weldon and the Cultural History of Feminism, 1967-2002” (Barreca, Coundouriotis, Lynch)

M. Wendy Hennequin, Sept. 21, 2005: “Battle-Brave beyond Women-Kin: Women Warriors in Medieval English Literature” (Hasenfratz, Biggs, Johnson)

AY 2004-2005

Kristina Knobelsdorff, Jul. 20, 2005: “Re-readings of the Book of Job in American Life and Letters: Debate and Dissent within Bounds” (Gatta, Higonnet, Tilton)

Karen Henck, May 26, 2005: “’Reader, I Married Him’: The Spiritually-Responsible Heroine in Charlotte Bronte, Anne Bronte, and George Eliot” (Higonnet, Coundouriotis, Fairbanks)

Chandra Wells, May 26, 2005: “Befriending the Other(ed) Woman: Fictions of Interracial Email Friendship” (Makowsky, Bloom, Higonnet)

Chad W. Stanley, May 2, 2005: “Uncivil Defenses: The Nuclear Fictions of Philip Wylie” (Barreca, Shea)

Kathrine Aydelott, Feb. 28, 2005: “Maine Stream: A Bibliographical Reception Study of Sarah Orne Jewett” (Bloom, Bleiler, Makowsky)

Robert Curry, Nov. 19, 2004: “Nature and Holism: Barry Lopez’s Integral Natural Philosophy” (Gatta, Phillips, Tilton)

Michael Menard, Nov. 18, 2004: “Building an Ethical Life: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Sense of Brotherhood’ and the Need for Social Engagement” (Gatta, Bloom, Tilton)

Kurt Heidinger, Nov. 16, 2004: “Edward Abbey’s Geography of Freedom: A Writer’s Attempt to Inhabit Jefferson’s Promised Land” (Gatta, Pickering, Tilton)

AY 2003-2004

David Rice, Jun. 17, 2004: “Mediating Colonization: Indians in the City and the Twentieth Century Native American Novel” (Hollenberg, Phillips, Tilton)

Joshua Masters, Jun. 14, 2004: “The Image of the Book and the Act of Writing in the American West, 1803-1893” (Phillips, Coundouriotis, Tilton)

Margaret Mitchell, Jun. 10, 2004: “Reconfiguring Gender: George Gissing and Social Progress” (Barreca, Coundouriotis, Higonnet)

DeAnn Finkel, Jun. 9, 2004: “Telling Time: Time Chronology and Change in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio and Jean Toomer’s Cane” (Phillips, Hollenberg, Murphy)

Allison Singley, May 19, 2004: “’Spurious Delusions of Reward’: Innocence and United States Identity in the Caribbean of William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Russell Banks” (Eby, Coundouriotis, Phillips)

Joanne Cordon, Apr. 26, 2004: “Twin Strangleholds: The Blathering Irishman, The Simpering Miss and the Invisible Irishwoman” (Marsden, Recchio, Turley)

Jennifer Spinner, Mar. 19, 2004: “On Women and the Essay” (Bloom, Marsden, Pickering)

Elizabeth Bidinger, Mar. 18, 2004: “Inventions and Reinventions In Working Class Autobiogaphy” (Bloom, Makowsky, Tilton)

Genevieve Brassard, Dec. 15, 2003: “Becoming a War Heroine: Feminist Revision and Cultural Resistance in Women’s Literature of the First World War” (Higonnet, Barreca, Coundouriotis)

Kate Laity (Medieval Studies), Dec. 5, 2003: “Local Heroes: The Sociocultural Context for the Development of Vernacular Saints’ Lives in Old Irish, Old Norse, and Old English” Karen Cajka, Dec. 3, 2003: “The Forgotten Women Grammarians of Eighteenth-Century England” (Marsden, Fairbanks, Jambeck)

Brian Cremins, Nov. 5, 2003: “’A World of Secret Affinites’: African American Novelist Oscar Micheaux and the Frontiers of American Popular Fiction, 1913-1947” (Eby, Meyer, Phillips)

Stephanie Roach, May 2, 2003: “A Rhetoric of Crisis: A Historical/Rhetorical Analysis of the Emergence of the WPA and its Continued Identity Formation” (Recchio, Murphy, Pickering)

Moira Casey, Mar. 17, 2003: “The Lesbian in the House: Irish Lesbian Fiction” (Lynch, Breen, Shea)