Dissertation Archive + Job Placement Record

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Dissertation Archive

Dissertations published by doctoral awardees in English Language and Literature have addressed an immense variety of topics, ranging widely in history, geography, genre, and method.

Doctoral students in English at Cornell typically begin work on their dissertations after their third year in the program, following completion of their Advance-to-candidacy exam. Students draw on a corresponding range of faculty expertise both within and outside of English and their special committees frequently include faculty from multiple departments.

The following is a list of published doctoral dissertations from the last 5 years, in order of year published, including the alumnus’ and their special committee chair’s name:


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Marquis Bey The Blacknesses of Blackness: Fugitivity, Feminism, and Transness Dagmawi Woubshet
David Cosca Demonizing Unions: Religious Rhetoric in the Early 20th Century Strike Novel Eric Cheyfitz
Jane Glaubman Deplorable Cultus: Populism, Globalization, and The Lord of the Rings Amy Villarejo + Jeremy Braddock
Amber Harding        The Not So Great House: Domestic Space, Subjectivity, and Homecomings in the English Modernist Novel Ellis Hanson                                      
Nasrin Olla Reaching for Opacity: Contemporary Afrodiasporic Literature Jonathan Culler +
Margo Crawford
Zachary Price Molecular Terror: Medical Vision, Biopolitics, and Visceral Effects in Contemporary Cinema Ellis Hanson
Ruoji Tang Nature's Persistence: Romanticism and the Rhetoric of Implication Cathy Caruth
Katherine Thorsteinson Narratives of Disposability: Race and Ecology in Contemporary Media Elizabeth Anker
Claire Whitenack Poison and Disease in Anglo-Saxon Medicine and Metaphor Samantha Zacher


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Jessica Rose Abel Teaching Joyce's Ulysses Daniel Schwarz
Christina Susanna Black Wits, Shits, and Crits: The Problem of Digestive Interpretation in Pope, Swift, and Fielding Fredic Bogel
Nicolette Shannon Bragg Creature of Theory: Maternity amongst the Ghosts and Strangers Jane Juffer
Jesse Aaron Goldberg The Excessive Present of Abolition: The Afterlife of Slavery in Law, Literature, and Performance Margo Crawford                     
Matthew R. Kibbee The Mind Transfigur'd: Brain, Body, and Self in the Drama of Shakespeare and Marlowe Rayna Kalas
Lena Krian "Nothing Can Contain this Story Now:" Incarceration and Contemporary Native American Literature Eric Cheyfitz
Shilo Rae McGiff "Out of the Heart of Spring": Virginia Woolf and the Changing Shapes of Pastoral 1928-1938 Neil Saccamano
Mee-Ju Ro Entangled Testimonies: Technologies of Subjecticity in Asian American Women's Writing Shelley Wong
Sara Joan Schlemm 'Pygmalion's Frenzy': The Organic Opulence of Romance in Early Modern England Jenny Mann
Yee Hang Tam Modernism in Love Ellis Hanson
Katherine Lonsdale Waller Occupying Televisual Narratives: Metaphors and Models for Imagining Beyond the Cultural Machine Amy Villarejo
Mariam Louka Wassif "Poisoned Vestments": Romanticism, Rhetoric, and Material Culture Cathy Caruth


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Ezra Dan Feldman Flat Narratology: Surface, Depth, and Speculation in Contemporary Metafiction Elizabeth Anker
Lauren Alexandra Harmon The Spirit of the Law: The Haunting of U.S. Federal Indian Law in the Contemporary Western Eric Cheyfitz
Molly Rachel Katz Figuring the Female Spectator Rayna Kalas
Matthew Clinton McConnell Women's Gathering: the Auchinleck Manuscript and Women's Reading in the 14th Century London Andrew Scott Galloway
Kaylin Anne O'Dell The Mind On-Stage: Crafting the Self in Anglo-Saxon England Samantha Zacher
Nancy Quintanilla Archives of Failure: Missing Bodies and the Practice of Recovery Mary Pat Brady
Daniel Matthew Radus Writing Native Pasts in the Nineteenth Century Eric Cheyfitz
Emily Katherine Rials Brackets and Bodies: Punctuated Physicality in Modernist and Contemporary Fiction Kevin Attell
Aaron David Rosenberg The Scale of the Modern Novel: From Realism to the Genres of Deep Time Jeremy Braddock
Kristie Ann Schlauraff Sounding Bodies and Voices in Nineteenth-Century British and American Gothic Fiction Shirley Samuels
Matthew Esteban Spears Hunting for the Subject: Human Animals and Animal Humans in Anglo-Saxon England Thomas Dana Hill


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Elizabeth Blake Eating and Feeling: Pleasure and the Modernist Body Nicholas Salvato
Anna Rose Casey Aesthetic Impropriety: Properties of Law and Politics in Postcolonial Literature Elizabeth Anker
Ingrid Giorgia Diran Mutinous Muteness: Radicalizing Illegibility in Twentieth-Century African American Literature Amy Villarejo
Shyla Cherrelle Foster Telling Girlhood: Girls’ Studies, Reparative Trauma and 20th Century U.S. Popular Culture Shirley Samuels
Bernadette Sharyn Guthrie Untimely Interference: Anachronistic Temporalities in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry Jonathan Culler
Danielle Morgan What's So Funny?: Satire and African American Literature and Culture in the Twenty-First Century Margo Crawford
Stephen Thompson Modernism From Text to Work: Personality, Poetic Development, and the Study of Literature Jeremy Braddock
Christine Yao Feeling Subjects: Science and Law in Nineteenth-Century America Shirley Samuels


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Jacob Benjamin Brogan Some of the Parts: Fragmentary Literature and Queer Politics Ellis Hanson
Jillian Spivey Caddell An Exchange of Territory: Geography, Literature, and the American Civil War Shirley Samuels
Noor Adhaar Desai Unruly Lines: Poetic Measure and Dramatic Convention in Early Modern England Rayna Kalas
Noor Hashem Creative Ritual: Embodied Faith and Secular Reason in Contemporary Muslim Fiction Elizabeth Anker
Kamila Janiszewska The Unlikely Literature of the Civil War: Miniature, Literary Experimentation,
and American Women Writers, 1860-1875
Shirley Samuels
Jane Elizabeth Kim Poetic Theology: Dante and the British Romantic Poets Reeve Parker
Adin Esther Lears Noise and Knowing in Late-Medieval England Andrew Galloway
Daniel Nathan Sinykin After the Boom: Apocalypse and Economics in American Literature f the Neoliberal Period Kevin Attell and 
Jeremy Braddock
Lynne Stahl Unhappy Medium: Filmic Tomboy Narrative and Queer Feminist Spectatorship Amy Villarejo
Susan Melissa Winders Reading Medieval Courtesy Andrew Galloway


Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Kaelin Alexander Turning in the Grave: Ambivalence, Queer Loss, and the Victorian Novel Ellis Hanson
William Cordeiro A Double Capacity: Self-Parody In Britain's Long Eighteenth Century Laura Brown
Sarah Lynn Coté Great Affectations: Camp Parody in the British Long Eighteenth Century Laura Brown
Daining Lily Cui Desolate Theatricality: Staging Feeling and Consciousness in the Late Novels of Henry James Ellis Hanson
Danielle Aberle Haque Secularism Narratives and Arab American Fiction Mary K. McCullough
Nicholas Tobin Roth Potential Cinema: Closet Film in Twentieth-Century Fiction Kevin Attell
Avery Slater Apparatus Poetica: The Question of Technology in Mid Twentieth-century American Poetry Jonathan Culler
Brant Michael Torres Occult Feelings: Esotericism and Queer Relationality in Nineteenth-Century US Literature Shirley Samuels
William Auther Youngman Rewriting Old Age from Chaucer to Shakespeare: The Invention of English Senex Style Andrew Galloway
Brad Bozidar Zukovic Reflexive Figurality in the Poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Ashbery, and A. R. Ammons Cynthia Chase


Job Placement Record

Cornell PhDs in English pursue a wide range of careers, within and outside academia.  In recent years, our graduates have gone on to careers in college teaching and research, academic administration, secondary education, library science, humanities and arts foundations, and university publishing, to name only the most common examples.  We have a designated faculty placement advisor, and we tailor our job placement mentorship to the needs of individual students.  We are particularly eager to foster our graduate students’ commitments to education, research, arts and humanities advocacy, public service, and social justice.

There has been a sharp decline in advertised faculty positions in literature departments since 2007-2008 (https://apps.mla.org/pdf/rpt_jil_1314web.pdf).  In light of these challenges, our department is distinguished by its commitment to transparency about the career outcomes of all of our graduates, as well as our expansive sense of the range of careers that our doctoral program equips graduate students to pursue.  The list below conveys the diverse paths pursued by our most recent graduates.  The majority of students who have reported their job outcomes to the department continue to pursue academic careers.  Between 2012 and 2017, approximately 85% of our graduates found initial employment in higher education, including tenure-track positions, postdoctoral fellowships, and visiting or temporary positions.  During that same period, approximately 60% of our 2012 graduates accepted tenure-track positions.  These statistics indicate that graduates from Cornell’s PhD program in English outperform the national average on the tenure-track academic job market.

Name Initial Position Year Current Position
Abel, Jessica Project Coordinator in the Department of Information Technology - University of Texas, San Antonio 2019 Project Coordinator in Information Technology / Lecturer, Writing Program - University of Texas, San Antonio
Bey, Marquis Assistant Professor - Northwestern University 2019  
Cosca, David English Teacher - Monte Vista High School 2019  
Olla, Nasrin Post-doctoral Fellow, 1 year - Brown University 2019  
Schlemm, Sara Faculty Member - Collingwood School 2019  
Thorsteinson, Katherine Assistant Professor - St. Thomas University 2019  
Brangan, Michaela Visiting Assistant Professor, 3 year - Amherst College 2018  
Goldberg, Jesse Visiting Assistant Professor, 2 year - Longwood University 2018  
Harding, Amber Upper School Faculty - Linden Hall 2018  
Harmon, Alex Assistant Professor - Montana State University, Bozeman 2018  
McGiff, Shilo Visiting Assistant Professor, 2 year - Wells College 2018  
O'Dell, Kaylin Assistant Professor - Suffolk University 2018  
Quintanilla, Nancy Assistant Professor - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 2018  
Rials, Emily Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow, 2 year - Stanford University 2018  
Tam, Ben (Yee Hang) Visiting Assistant Professor, 3 year - University of South Florida 2018  
Waller, Katherine Contingent Technical Writer - Medtronic PLC 2018 Technical Writer - Medtronic PLC
Whitenack, Claire Lecturer, Writing Program - University of Shanghai 2018  
Feldman, Ezra Visting Assistant Professor, 3 year - Williams College 2017  
Radus, Daniel Assistant Professor - SUNY Cortland  2017  
Blake, Elizabeth Visiting Assistant Professor - Haverford College 2016 Assistant Professor - Clark University
Casey, Rose Assistant Professor - West Virginia University 2016  
Diran, Ingrid Instructor - Pacific Northwest College of Art 2016 Assistant Professor - University of Michigan
Foster, Shyla Adjunct Professor - Montclair State University 2016  
Guthrie, Bernadette Professor of Practice - Tulane University 2016  
Morgan, Danielle Assistant Professor - Santa Clara University 2016  
Rosenberg, Aaron Post-doctoral Fellow, 1 year - University of London 2016 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, 2 year - King’s College, London
Schlauraff, Kristie Post-doctoral Fellow, 3 year - Villanova University 2016 Lecturer + Co-Director, University Writing: Readings in Medical Humanities - Columbia University
Stahl, Lynne Bilingual-Spanish Access Services Assistant - Multnomah County Library 2016 Humanities Librarian - West Virginia University
Thompson, Stephen Upper School English Teacher - Harvard-Westlake School 2016  
Yao, Christine SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellow - University of British Columbia 2016 Lecturer, Tenure Track Equivalent - University College London
Alexander, Kaelin Visiting Assistant Professor - Washington & Lee University 2015 Communications Associate - University of Colorado, Denver University Communications
Caddell, Jillian Spivey Lecturer - American University 2015 Lecturer, Tenure Track Equivalent - University of Kent
Cui, Lily Upper School English Teacher - Charles Wright Academy 2015  
Kim, Jane Assistant Professor - Biola University 2015  
Lears, Adin Assistant Professor - SUNY Oswego 2015 Assistant Professor - Virginia Commonwealth University
Sinykin, Daniel Visiting Professor, 1 year - Grinnell College 2015 Assistant Professor - Emory University
Winders, S. Melissa Program Coordinator, Office of Development, Principal Gifts - Yale University  2015 Program Manager, Office of Development, Major Gifts - Yale University
Black, Alex Post-doctoral Fellow - Rutgers University 2014 Assistant Professor - Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Bucemi, Matthew Creative Editor and Narrative Designer - The Zharmae Publishing Press 2014 Instructor - Hanson College
Cordeiro, William  Lecturer - Northern Arizona University 2014  
Desai, Noor Adhaar Visiting Assistant Professor - Bard College 2014 Assistant Professor - Bard College
Fielder, Brigitte Assistant Professor - University of Wisconsin, Madison 2014  
Hashem, Noor Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow, 2 year - Johns Hopkins University 2014 Lecturer, CAS Writing Center - Boston University; Independent Scholar and Author 
Rogers, William Lecturer - Case Western Reserve University 2014 Assistant Professor - University of Louisiana, Monroe​
Roth, Nick Writers' Production Assistant, "One Big Happy" - NBC Television 2014 Writers' Assistant, "American Housewife" - ABC Television
Slater, Avery Presidential Excellence Post-doctoral Fellow - University of Texas, Austin 2014 Assistant Professor - University of Toronto
Torres, Brant Assistant Professor - University of San Francisco 2014  
Zukovic, Brad Senior Lecturer - Cornell University 2014  
Bennett, Chad Assistant Professor - University of Texas, Austin 2013  
Boynton, Owen Visting Assistant Professor - College of the Holy Cross 2013 English Teacher - Morristown-Beard School, New Jersey
Cote, Sarah Visiting Lecturer - Alfred University 2013 Clinical Assistant Professor - Alfred University
Dewey, Colin Assistant Professor - California State University, Maritime Academy 2013  
Fellion, Matthew Assistant Professor - St. Francis Xavier University 2013  
Haque, Danielle Director of College Writing, Non-Faculty - American University of Central Asia, Bishtkek 2013 Professor - Minnesota State University
Maupin, Giffen Assistant Professor - Hendrix  College 2013  
Mihara, Yoshiaki English Teacher - Ochanomizu University, Tokyo 2013 Associate Professor - Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Perlow, Seth Assistant Professor - Oklahoma State University 2013 Assistant Professor - Georgetown University
Pinkerton, Steven Post-doctoral Fellow, 2 year - University of Texas, Austin 2013 Lecturer, Full Time - Case Western Reserve University
Ramesh Sankar, Nandini Assistant Professor - Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad 2013  
Robbins, John Post-doctoral Fellow, 2 year - Tufts University 2013 Post-doctoral Fellow, 3 year - University of Pennsylvania
Swanson, Cecily Lecturer - New York University 2013 Director of Studies - Mathey College, Princeton University
Alkemeyer, Bryan Assistant Professor - Wooster College 2012  
Brogan, Jacob Adjunct Professor - Georgetown University 2012 Assistant Editor - Washington Post
Coombs, David Assistant Professor - Clemson University 2012  
DeGooyer, Stephanie Assistant Professor - Willamette University 2012  
Ensor, Sarah Assistant Professor - Portland State University 2012 Assistant Professor - University of Michigan
Keiser, Jess Visiting Assistant Professor - CUNY Baruch College 2012 Assistant Professor - Tufts University
Penner, Erin Post-doctoral Fellow - University of Oxford, Rothermere American Institute 2012 Assistant Professor - Asbury University
Senchyne, Jonathan Assistant Professor - University of Wisconsin, Madison 2012  
Brown, Julie Visiting Faculty - Whitman College 2011 Assistant Professor - Virginia Military Institute
Glaser, Benjamin Visiting Assistant Professor, 2 year - Skidmore College 2011 Assistant Professor - Yale University
Gniadek, Melissa Lecturer - Rice University 2011 Assistant Professor - University of Toronto
Hicks, John Assistant Editor - Getty Research Institute 2011 Associate Editor - Getty Research Institute
Joosten, Julie Visiting Assistant Professor - Williams College 2011  
Kennedy, Virginia Outreach and Development Director - Delaware Highlands Conservancy  2011 Director of Sustainability Programs & Curriculum/English Teacher - West Nottingham Academy
Lakhi Mangharam, Mukti Assistant Professor - Rutgers University 2011  
Léger, Natalie Post-doctoral Fellow - Rutgers University 2011 Assistant Professor - CUNY Queens