Dissertation Archive + Job Placement Record

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:

2022

Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair

Seth Koproski

Did We Believe in Dragons?: The Physiologic Tradition, Wonder and Ethnicity in
Early Medieval Britain and Ireland

Samantha Zacher

Molly MacVeagh

Maintenance Work: Climate Fiction and Process Biology

Elisha Cohn

2021

Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair

Mariana
Alarcon

Living in Excess: Narrating Violence and Presence in Native American
and Chicana Literature

Mary Pat
Brady

Elizabeth
Alexander

Dirty Computers: Erotic Data Poetics

Kate
McCullough

Malcolm
Bare

Implied Shelters

Caroline Levine

Christopher
Berardino

Multitude Modernism: Democratic Epiphany in
American Interwar Literature

George
Hutchinson

Pichaya (Mint)
Damrongpiwat

Fictions of Materiality in the Eighteenth-Century Novel

Laura Brown

Olivia
Milroy Evans

Archiving Otherwise: The Rhetoric, Ethics, and Poetics of Contemporary
Documentary Poetry

Roger Gilbert

Gabriella
Friedman

Speculative Pasts, Radical Politics: Historicizing in Black and
Indigenous Fiction

Elizabeth Anker

Grace Catherine
Greiner

The Poet's Matere: Materiality, Temporality, and the Making of Literary
History in Chaucer and Lydgate's Inset-Lyric Poems

Andrew
Galloway

Noah Lloyd

Caught Up in the Arrangement: Forms of Literary Life in the
Eighteenth Century

Laura Brown

Madeline
Reynolds

Anthropomorphic Representations: Blurring Animal-Human Boundaries
in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

Elisha Cohn

Bojan
Srbinovski

Figures of Catastrophe: Tragedy, Law, and Lateness in Victorian Realism

Ellis Hanson

Elisabeth
Strayer

Victorian Microcosms: Environmental Formalism in the Novel

Elisha Cohn

Hema
Surendranathan

Species and Psyche: Anthropomorphism and Environmentalism in 
Human-Animal Metafiction

Laura Brown

Brianna
Thompson

"The Kinship of Her Pain": Intimate Healing in American Women's Fiction

Shirley Samuels

2020

Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Mariana Alarcon Living in Excess: Narrating Violence and Presence in Native American and Chicana Literature Mary Pat Brady
Elizabeth Alexander Dirty Computers: Erotic Data Poetics Kate McCullough
Malcolm Bare Implied Shelters Caroline Levine
Christopher Berardino Multitude Modernism: Democratic Epiphany in American Interwar Literature George Hutchinson
Pichaya Damrongpiwat Fictions of Materiality in the Eighteenth-Century Novel Laura Brown
Olivia Milroy Evans Archiving Otherwise: The Rhetoric, Ethics, and Poetics of Contemporary Documentary Poetry Roger Gilbert
Gabriella Friedman Speculative Pasts, Radical Politics: Historicizing in Black and Indigenous Fiction Elizabeth Anker 
Grace Catherine Greiner The Poet's Matere: Materiality, Temporality, and the Making of Literary History in Chaucer and Lydgate's Inset-Lyric Poems Andrew Galloway
Noah Lloyd Caught Up in the Arrangement: Forms of Literary Life in the Eighteenth Century Laura Brown
Madeline Reynolds Anthropomorphic Representations: Blurring Animal-Human Boundaries in the Nineteenth-Century Novel Elisha Cohn
Bojan Srbinovski Figures of Catastrophe: Tragedy, Law, and Lateness in Victorian Realism Ellis Hanson
Elisabeth Strayer Victorian Microcosms: Environmental Formalism in the Novel Elisha Cohn
Hema Surendranathan Species and Psyche: Anthropomorphism and Environmentalism in Human-Animal Metafiction Laura Brown
Brianna Thompson “The Kinship of Her Pain”: Intimate Healing in American Women's Fiction Shirley Samuels

2020

Alumnus Title of Dissertation Chair
Kristen Angierski Fictions of Empathy: Embodied Ethics in Contemporary Anthropocene Literature Elizabeth Anker
Esmeralda Arrizón-Palomera The Trope of the Papers: The Coloniality of Citizenship and the Turn to the Undocumented in Black and Chicana Feminist Thought Mary Pat Brady
Gregory Brazeal The Hero & the Victim: Narratives of Criminality in Iraq War Fiction Daniel Schwarz
Amelia Hall   Epigraphic Encounters and the Origins of the English Novel Ellis Hanson   
Matthew Kilbane The Lyre Book: Modern Poetic Media Jeremy Braddock
Stephen Kim Racial Fictions in Early Modern England Jenny Mann
Jonathan Reinhardt Political Secrecy and Theatricality in Marlowe and Shakespeare Phillip Lorenz

 2019

2019

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

2018

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

2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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
Vachali, Krithika Postdoctoral Associate, Humanities Scholars Program, 1 year-Cornell University 2022  
Veltfort, Sophia Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts- University of Chicago 2022  
Bare, Malcolm Instructional Technologist in the Department of Information Technology - University of Chicago, Booth School of Business 2021  
Berardino, Christopher Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2 years - University of California, Riverside 2021  
Damrongpiwat, Pichaya Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship - New York Public Library + Writing/Composition Lecturer - University of California, Irvine 2021  
Friedman, Gabriella Visiting Assistant Professor, 3 year - Appalachian State University 2021  
Greiner, Grace Catherine Postdoctoral Fellow, 2 year - University of Texas, Austin 2021  
Kilbane, Matthew Assistant Professor - University of Notre Dame 2021  
Lloyd, Noah Technical Writing Internship - Lacework 2021  
Lu, Becky Upper School English Teacher - Germantown Friends School 2021  
Reynolds, Madeline Postdoctoral Fellow, 1 year - Cornell Society for the Humanities 2021  
Strayer, Elisabeth Specialist Product Marketing Manager for Content - Lacework (summer internship became a full-time position) 2021  
Thompson, Brianna Visiting Assistant Professor, 1 year - Kenyon College 2021  
Angierski, Kristen English and Environmental Humanities Teacher - South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics 2020  
Arrizón-Palomera, Esmeralda Postdoctoral Associate, 4 year - Boston University 2020 Postdoctoral Associate, 1 year - University of Pennsylvania
Brazeal, Gregory Assistant Professor - University of South Dakota Law School 2020  
Kim, Stephen Curriculum Specialist and Lecturer, Intergroup Dialogue Project - Cornell University 2020  
Price, Zachary Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2 year - Oregon State University 2020  
Abel, Jessica Project Coordinator in the Department of Information Technology - University of Texas, San Antonio 2019 Director of Digital Customer Experience / 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 Postdoctoral 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 Postdoctoral Fellow, 1 year - Penn State University
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 Postdoctoral 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 Visiting 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 Wisconsin, Madison
Foster, Shyla Adjunct Professor - Montclair State University 2016  
Guthrie, Bernadette Professor of Practice - Tulane University 2016  
Kehoe, Kamila Janiszewska Adjunct Instructor - Onondaga Community College 2016 Assistant Professor of English - Roxbury Community College
Morgan, Danielle Assistant Professor - Santa Clara University 2016  
Rosenberg, Aaron Postdoctoral Fellow, 1 year - University of London 2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2 year - King’s College, London
Schlauraff, Kristie Postdoctoral 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 Upper School English Teacher - Montclair Kimberley Academy
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 Postdoctoral 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 Postdoctoral 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 Story Editor, "American Housewife" - ABC Television
Slater, Avery Presidential Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Texas, Austin 2014 Assistant Professor - University of Toronto
Torres, Brant Assistant Professor - University of San Francisco 2014 Strategy Consultant - Crimson Education
Zukovic, Brad Senior Lecturer - Cornell University 2014  
Bennett, Chad Assistant Professor - University of Texas, Austin 2013  
Boynton, Owen Visiting Assistant Professor - College of the Holy Cross 2013 Associate Director of Curriculum and Professional Development - 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 Associate Professor - Georgetown University
Pinkerton, Steven Postdoctoral 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 Postdoctoral Fellow, 2 year - Tufts University 2013 Postdoctoral 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 Wisconsin, Madison
Keiser, Jess Visiting Assistant Professor - CUNY Baruch College 2012 Assistant Professor - Tufts University
Penner, Erin Postdoctoral 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 Postdoctoral Fellow - Rutgers University 2011 Assistant Professor - CUNY Queens 
Williams, Crystal (MFA) Associate Professor, Reed College 2000 President, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
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