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Maggie O’Leary

Maggie O’Leary

Educational Background

Cornell University, MA
Portland State University, MA
University of North Dakota, BA



Maggie O'Leary is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Literatures in English. Her primary research fields lie in world/postcolonial literature and body politics. 
Currently, her dissertation examines the importance of “splanchonological forms” in contemporary world literature. She argues that world literature, and literary studies more broadly, continue to be troubled by 1) Eurocentric disciplinary norms and 2) a lack of engagement with the more private, concealed, “gross” valences of material embodiment—a lack which can also be traced as parallel to the governing colonial principles that continue to structure our “world.” The stomach, she contends, operates as a thematic and formal organizing principle in contemporary world literature because this organ is an under-theorized position from which to reexamine the “duress” of colonial violence. She does so via an analysis of the stomach’s unique capacity to desire, digest, and metabolize. Ultimately, she argues, the political “horizons” we must create that confront and challenge violent colonial duress need to be thought of as a process of taking in, breaking down, and reconstitution, a process given language to by the stomach.


  • Literatures in English


  • Contemporary global literature
  • Postcolonial literature and theory
  • Body politics
  • Disability studies
  • Affect studies
  • Pop culture 


Fall 2021


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