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Current M.A. & Ph.D. Students

Name / Email Research & Teaching Interests

Sarah Barkin


Sarah began the PhD program in 2009. (M.A., English, Syracuse University; M.A., History, SFSU).  Her research and teaching interests involve visual culture, focusing on the ways in which documentaries, graphic narratives, and photography engage with the interplay of history, memory, geography, and trauma in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. In addition she is interested in Jewish and Arab diasporas, gender, social problem films, and pop culture.

Christopher Barnes


My research and teaching interests focus on postcolonial and trauma theory and their intersections in representations of September 11th and the War on Terror in film and literature. I am also more broadly interested in discourses on terrorism and political violence and how they are produced and represented through different texts.

William Bond

My research and teaching interests centre on poetry in Britain and Ireland in the early twentieth century, and I’m particularly interested in the development of W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound, and in the intersection between the anti-rational trend in modernist poetics and their political contexts. I am also interested in the relationship between religion and literature, focusing on the connection between Christian ideas of confession and the role of confession, and intercession in the twentieth century novel, particularly in the case of Joseph Conrad.

Amy Burnette


Amy entered the PhD program in 2010 (M.A., English, Appalachian State University). Her research and teaching interests focus on early modern English literature and the aesthetics of memory.

Vicky Cheng  hcheng01@syr.edu

Vicky entered the Ph.D. program in 2013 (B.A., English, Furman University). Her research and teaching interests focus on nineteenth-century British Literature and culture, with a specific focus on queer and feminist readings of Victorian texts. She is also interested in contemporary film representations of Victorian period characters in regards to portrayals of class, gender, and sexualities. 

Peter Delgobbo


Peter entered the MA program in 2012.  His research interests include the post-1945 novel, world cinema, global/transcultural studies, posthumanism, and Marxism.  He is particularly interested in the ways in which political thought and aesthetic creation interact and the role of literature and the arts in the twenty-first century's unstable geopolitical climate.

Steven Doles


Steven began the PhD program in 2007. His research and teaching interests include documentary and essay films, the Hollywood social problem genre, and popular culture; he is especially interested in the ways in which films become relevant to their audiences in larger social and political contexts, and attempts to understand the spectator in active rather than passive terms. Drawing on these interests, his dissertation argues that social problem films function as “assertive fictions,” and that audiences recognized these films as making claims about the extratextual, historical world.

CJ Dosch


C.J.’s research interests include Native American literature, American literature of the long nineteenth century, the American West, and literary realism and naturalism.  His dissertation traces the contradictory construction of a modern Native American subjectivity in the autobiographical writings of three Red Progressives. The project examines these writers’ strategic exploitation of Euro-American genres as they weave their autobiographies into the familiar boys-book tales, outdoor educational guides, and progressive journalism of the era to establish indigenous literary spaces that affirm Native American humanity and present counter-narratives to the “vanishing Indian” model of assimilation. He has taught composition, American literature I & II, Introduction to Native American literature, Interpretation of Fiction, and introductions to film and popular culture.

Kelsey Flint-Martin


Kelsey began the M.A. program in 2013 (B.A., English, University of New Mexico). Her research and teaching interests center around the twentieth-century American novel, with a specialized focus on the postmodern. Her latest research  has involved the works of Toni Morrison and her use of magical realism in postmodern America. She is also interested in Marxist feminism, and how these readings change across time and cultural backgrounds.

Lindsey Frank


Lindsey began the Ph.D. program in 2010. Her dissertation focuses on the resurgence of the post-2002 British horror film and the relationship between conceptions of national cinema and genre hybridity. Her research interests involve film and popular culture, particularly the horror genre, British films, theories of national cinema, zombies, and genre hybridity. She also works on feminist and LGBT issues surrounding representations of embodiment, maternity, and paternity in US romantic comedies post-2000.

Evan Hixon

Evan entered the MA program in 2013.  His research interests include Medieval and early modern British Literature, with a specific focus on the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare.  His other research interests include classic and modern literature.

Peter Katz


Peter entered the Ph.D. program in 2010. His current research project examines the relationship between Victorian novels' depictions of reading, embodiment, and social reform. Research interests include: Victorian liberalism and social reform; Victorian print culture; embodiment and affect in conversation with sympathy and empathy; the emergence of novel-reading practices; Victorian science (specifically biology and physiology). Theoretical interests include: History of the Book; Deleuze, Foucault, and theories of affect; feminisms (history of and practice of); historical reception studies; cognitive and neurological literary studies.

Emily Kaufman


Emily began the M.A. program in 2013 (B.A., English, Niagara University). Her research interests include nineteenth-century American literature, American Gothic fiction, women writers, and the anxieties of artistry. Her previous research examines the intersection of literary history and psychological development to explore the anxiety of authorship endured by nineteenth-century women writers, namely Elizabeth Stoddard. She is also interested in Victorian culture and aesthetics, reader-response criticism, the beat generation, and the interplay of philosophy and literature.

Angela Ko


Angela entered the MA program in 2012. Her research interests include gender studies and feminist theory, particularly in eighteenth-century literature. Her interest in the female condition also bridges into contemporary literature, with a concern for the cultural effects on it in the domestic.  

Adam Kozaczka


Adam Kozaczka entered the PhD program in 2012 after receiving a Master's degree in English also from Syracuse University. He studies the internal colonialisms visible at the intersections of British literature and history in the long nineteenth century. His work attempts to locate Scotland as a colonized partner in Empire that was enfranchised through a series of measures that made their marks on the literary and visual cultures of the Romantic and Victorian periods. His research relies heavily on crossing disciplinary boundaries into history and art history, and his Comp. Lit. BA from Fordham means that French and Polish-language sources make appearances in his work. He enjoys watching South Park, and has taught a second-year writing class focused on the critical issues raised by the show.

Auritro Majumder


Auritro Majumder (MA, Jadavpur University, 2009) joined the PhD program in 2009. He specializes in postcolonial, global Anglophone and transnational literary studies, particularly South Asia. His dissertation project is on the Maoist Naxalite movement in South Asia, and explores the politics and aesthetics of its representation in culture, the global circulation of cultural forms, and their constitutive relation to the notion of representative post-colonial citizenship. He has published/has forthcoming articles in Critical Asian Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Critique of Naxalism (Routledge). In line with his research, his teaching broadly aims to incorporate interdisciplinarity and a critical awareness of transnational contexts in the study of 20th C literatures and cultures. Majumder has presented at Eng. Lit, Comp. Lit and interdisciplinary conferences in the US, Mexico, Finland and India; and has received among other awards, a departmental fellowship to attend a critical theory school at Cornell University, and university research grants for archival research in India. 

Jesse Menn


Jesse’s interests include literature of the long eighteenth century (particularly about India) and digital humanities. A current project involves writing computer code to detect poetic meter in items from a corpus of all available poetry since 1660. He earned an MA in English from CSU Long Beach, and entered the PhD program at Syracuse in 2012.

Ashley O’Mara


Ashley O'Mara (B.A. Le Moyne College) entered the M.A. program in 2012. Her primary research interest lies in representations of queer Catholicism in British literature (Victorian and Renaissance periods). She is interested in how authors use Catholic theology and religious language to articulate nontraditional genders and (a)sexual relationships, mystically and subversively. More broadly, she is interested in the intersections of queer theories and religion; she's also interested in feminisms and New Historicism, with a special interest in Jesuit philosophy. In the past, she has taught a composition class on gender and the politics of world religions.

Jackson Petsche


Jackson entered the PhD program in 2010. His research and teaching interests include Animal Studies, Victorian literature and culture (as well as Victorian social and cultural history), Marxist theory, aesthetics/aesthetic theory and cultural theory.

Patrick Riedy


Patrick entered the PhD program in 2013. His research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century poetry and poetics, avant-garde European and independent American films, experimental colleges, archives, as well as publishing and distribution. He received his BA from the University at Buffalo in 2012 and also runs a small poetry and fiction press under the name PressBoardPress.

Ruma Sinha


Ruma entered the Ph.D. program in 2011. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial and anticolonial studies, critical race studies, and gender studies. She is especially interested in the works of Frantz Fanon; diasporic literature; subaltern studies; and Indian Literature(s) in English with particular focus on Dalit literature.

Rachel Snyder-Lockman


Rachel began the PhD program in 2013.  Her research and teaching interests include nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with a particular focus on women writers, first-wave feminism, and reform writing.  Other interests include women and religion, the reclamation/ reinterpretation of sacred texts for feminist and progressive ends, literary biblical criticism, feminist studies, and writing pedagogy.

Staci Stutsman


Staci began the Ph.D. program in 2011. Her research and teaching interests involve film, new media and visual culture. She is especially interested in questions of authorship, participatory culture and fandom. Her other interests include contemporary American literature.  She teaches introductory courses in film and popular culture.

Melissa Welshans


Melissa began the program in 2008. Her dissertation will examine seventeenth texts which deploy traditional Biblical narratives to argue for progressive (or radical) social change in their own contemporary moment. Of particular interest to Melissa are anachronisms and temporal play as such techniques are deployed to increase the validity of author's arguments. Authors of particular interest include John Milton, Aemilia Lanyer, Gerrard Winstanley and John Donne.

TJ West


T.J. began the Ph.D. Program in 2011, having also received his M.A. in English from Syracuse University with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women‘s and Gender Studies. His research focuses on historical drama film and television, particularly the construction of gender, sexuality, and the family as inflected by and through film studio and television network branding. He is especially interested in the ways in which these films and television series construct ideas and figurations of historical knowledge, even as they negotiate, reflect, and articulate contemporary cultural anxieties regarding gender and sexuality. He has written about such films and television series as Quo Vadis, Gladiator, Agora, The Other Boleyn Girl, and The Tudors. T.J. has also recently written about the television historical documentary, as well as the intersection of critical animal studies and posthuman theory in the film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He also maintains interests in feminist, gender, and queer theory more generally, masculinity studies, body studies, and The Golden Girls. He teaches introductory courses in film, popular culture, and gender.

Thomas Witholt


Thomas began the PhD program in 2009 and researches film, TV, and other forms of popular culture through several vectors, including industry production, marketing, and reception studies. He focuses on gender, genre, and melodrama, with many tangential interests including adaptations and problems in time (time travel, anachronisms, and apocalypse). He teaches introductory courses in film and popular culture.

Jordan Wood


My research interests include video games and new media, exploitation film, erotica, genre theory, popular culture, Internet communities, and nineteenth century American literature, especially with regards to ekphrastic texts, i.e. The Marble Faun. I’m frequently conversant with the works of Derrida, Ian Bogost, Espen Aarseth, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Andrea Dworkin, Robin Lakoff, Terry Eagleton, and Adrienne Rich. I look to the constructive power of language and text in terms of creating political, social, and digital realities.