Kathryn Harlan-Gran


Kathryn Harlan-Gran is a PhD candidate in the Department of Literatures in English. Her research focuses on contemporary American literature and culture with a focus on ways that popular culture, new media, and genre fiction intersect with studies of race, gender, and sexuality. Her dissertation, "Pop Potentiality: Renegotiating Networks of Power and Relation through Contemporary Speculative Fiction," turns a critical eye to various popular media forms and speculative genres to examine how new and rapidly evolving narrative modes circulate concepts about power and relationality in the American cultural consciousness. She argues that the creators she studies present alternate networks of relation in order to denaturalize and refigure oppressive hierarchies rooted in white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. Kathryn’s research is also forthcoming as a chapter in The Routledge Research Companion to Toni Morrison.

In her teaching, Kathryn leverages the familiarity and accessibility of pop culture objects, encouraging students to critically engage with familiar materials and to develop transferrable skills for approaching more challenging or unfamiliar works. Her teaching has been recognized with the Gertrude Spencer Prize in 2019 and the Shin Yong-Jin/Harry Falkenau Graduate Teaching Fellowship in 2022-2023. Outside of the classroom, Kathryn has served as a graduate correspondent in partnership with local community colleges, was lead designer and editor for a literary journal at Cayuga Heights Elementary School, and has been a peer reviewer for the Cornell Undergraduate Research Journal.

Research Focus

  • 20th and 21st century American literature and cultural studies 
  • Popular Culture and New Media
  • Speculative Fiction and Genre Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Ethnic Studies/Critical Race Theory
  • Pedagogy 

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ENGL Courses - Fall 2024