Current Students-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Aqdas Aftab

Aqdas Aftab

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: aaftab@andrew.cmu.edu

I received my B.A. in English Literature from Smith College, MA, where I became interested in examining subaltern subjectivities and modes of resistance. My research interests at Carnegie Mellon University revolve around the intersections of postcolonialism, feminism(s) and queer theory. I study how colonialism, neo-imperialism and transnationalism have affected women and queer subjects; I also examine how non-normative gender performances have informed anti-colonial struggles. In addition, I am interested in issues of women’s migration and transnational labor. While I focus mostly on 20th century texts from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, I also study literature of the Empire. I teach in the First Year Writing program at CMU.


David Cerniglia

David Cerniglia

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: dcernigl@andrew.cmu.edu


Marisa Colabuono

Marisa Colabuono

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies


Jacob Goessling

Jacob Goessling

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: jgoessli@andrew.cmu.edu

My interest in literary and cultural studies lies in both twentieth century American culture and cultural theory. Broadly, I focus on issues related to the development of the American landscape during the rise and collapse of industrialism as a dominant mode of production.

More specifically, I study how underlying currents of environmental consciousness intersect with labor issues in rural and working class communities. Before entering Carnegie Mellon’s doctoral program, I earned a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in English at the University of Louisville, where I also taught first-year composition.


Steven Gotzler

Steven Gotzler

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: sgotzler@andrew.cmu.edu

My research centers on the study of intellectuals and their publics. While I maintain an interest in 20th century intellectual and cultural history generally, I am particularly interested in exploring the culture and politics of intellectual life in the US and Europe during the immediate post-war period (1945-65). In this vein, I have related interests in mid 20th century political economy, literary history, film studies and musicology. My research is also informed by an engagement with, and concern for, the politics of academic life. More specifically, I am interested in examining the history of cultural studies itself as both a unique field of study, and a site of intellectual and political struggle. Originally from California, I graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a B.A. in American Studies and received my M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kate Hamilton

Kate Hamilton

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: khamilton@cmu.edu

Kate Hamilton is a Ph.D. student in the English department at Carnegie Mellon University, focusing on eighteenth-century British literature and gender studies. In particular, her research interests include celebrity, theatrical performance, urban culture, and modes of gender and sexuality as represented in the eighteenth-century novel. Her dissertation explores how the novelist and diarist Frances Burney (1752-1840) discusses gendered models of celebrity in her life writing, novels, and plays. She has published articles in The Burney Letter (Fall 2014), Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2013), The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer (2013), and the Burney Journal (2011). She is also the recipient of the Catharine Macaulay Prize from the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) (2012) and the Hemlow Prize in Burney Studies (2009).

Kate has taught 76-101 (Interpretation and Argument) since 2009. Her course topics include Gender and Media, The Politics of Genocide, Privacy and Technology, and most recently, Etiquette in Context. She has also taught an upper-level course on Gender and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Introduction to Gender Studies. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut (2009) and a M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon (2010). Her CV can be found at: https://carnegie-mellon.academia.edu/KateHamilton

J.D. Ho

J.D. Ho

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: jho1@andrew.cmu.edu

I am interested in how readership and print culture affected scientific writing in the eighteenth century, more specifically how members of literary circles read, discussed, and helped to disseminate scientific ideas and how, on their side, those performing research and experimentation tried to create believable narratives in order to provide evidence for what was not previously known or understood.

Before attending Carnegie Mellon, I received a B.A. in English from Williams College and an M.F.A. in Writing from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin.


Kate Holterhoff

Kate Holterhoff

Ph.D. Candidate, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: kholterh@andrew.cmu.edu

Kate Holterhoff is a Ph.D. Candidate in Carnegie Mellon University’s Literary and Cultural Studies program. Her research focuses on the ways in which evolutionary science impacted Victorian and fin-de-siècle romantic fictions. Holterhoff has published several scholarly essays including “The Reception and History of Charles Darwin's Hypothesis of Pangenesis” (The Journal of the History of Biology, 2014); “Beauty As a Terministic Screen In Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man” (Victorian Network, 2010); and “Liminality and Power in Bram Stoker’s Jewel of Seven Stars” for Critical Essays on Victorian Gothic and Sensation Fiction from Wollstonecraft to Stoker (McFarland, 2009).

She co-edited with Deborah T. Meem critical editions of Eliza Lynn Linton’s The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland (Victorian Secrets, 2011) and Sowing the Wind (Victorian Secrets, 2015). In 2015 Kate is co-editing with Nicole Lobdell a special edition of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies on the topic of “Illustration and Gender.” She is also the editor of Visual Haggard: the Illustration Archive, a digital archive intended to preserve, centralize, and improve access to the illustrations of popular Victorian novelist H. Rider Haggard.


Robert Kilpatrick

Robert Kilpatrick

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: rkilpatr@andrew.cmu.edu

My work on contemporary American literature seeks to address both broad trends (genre-bending, representations of 9/11) and individual authors (Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Lethem, Sam Lipsyte, David Foster Wallace). I am currently building a study of family narratives set across the postwar period—from Richard Yates' and John Updike's portrayals of suburbia to the post-9/11 familial depictions found in novels by Don DeLillo, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Ken Kalfus, among others. Additionally, I have a burgeoning interest in science fiction, and am keen to understand generic conventions and concerns both in terms of the theories and practices of science fiction studies and in relation to the piecemeal adoption of the genre by so-called literary authors (e.g., Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Jennifer Egan, Gary Shteyngart). Born and raised (for the most part) in Switzerland, I am a graduate of McGill University (B.A. in English) and Carnegie Mellon University (M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies).

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: mmlamber@andrew.cmu.edu

I received my B.A. in Literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and my M.A. in English at the University of South Alabama.  In my current work, I am focusing on how American writers and filmmakers of the 1930s appropriated the pastoral mode to explore intersections between a nascent environmentalism and issues of social justice concerning class, race, and gender during the period.   My interest in pastoralism includes its use in a variety of different geographic landscapes—from the urban and rural to the suburban, wild, and frontier.  I am also interested in science fiction and hard-boiled fiction and have taught courses on the American road film and the African American crime novel.  


Daniel Markowicz

Daniel Markowicz

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: dmarkowi@andrew.cmu.edu


Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: mrnelson@andrew.cmu.edu

I'm a Ph.D. Candidate in the Literary and Cultural Studies program. My field is 20th/21st century American literature and culture with a particular focus on mid-century and contemporary texts. My dissertation is a literary and cultural history of the American sports novel from 1980 to the present. In addition, I'm interested in the relationship between fiction and history, how space and place shapes identity, and contemporary developments in gender studies. I've presented work in these areas at a variety of conferences. I've taught courses on a wide range of topics including: The Politics and Discourse of Genocide, The Culture of Sports Fandom, Where are you from?: Space, Place, and Identity, and Introduction to Gender Studies. Outside of research and teaching, I've been involved with planning and coordinating guest lecturers, serving as a workshop leader for the Odyssey program, and working as a tutor at the Global Communication Center.

Previous Degrees
BA with majors in English, American Studies, minor in Anthropology from the University of Iowa
MA in American Studies from California State University Fullerton


Juliann Reineke

Juliann Reineke

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: jreineke@andrew.cmu.edu

I am a PhD Candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies.  I received my B.A. and my M.A. in English from The Ohio State University. My dissertation explores how the sailors were depicted in 18th century British literature and culture. I examine a variety of texts, including sea songs, poems, novels, plays, treatises, and broadsheets in order to create a complex view of the many perspectives of sailors and sailing and how those views changed over the course of the long 18th century. I am also interested in how space influences identity, particularly how the space of the ship affects performance of a sailor identity and the eventual stereotyping of men who went to sea. My teaching experience includes 76-101 Interpretation and Argument, 76-809 Writing Research for Graduate Students, 76-270 Writing for the Professions, and 76-203 Pirates and Prostitutes in the 18th Century. Last but not least, I am Assistant to the Director at the Global Communication Center where I have the pleasure to train new tutors and help clients refine their communication skills.

D.J. Schuldt

Ph.D. Candidate, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: dschuldt@andrew.cmu.edu

My primary research interest is the importance of the seventeenth-century English Revolution for understanding literary production and political discourse in the early Romantic period. Specific figures of interest for my research include the writings of John Milton, James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, John Toland, William Godwin, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Joseph Priestley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I am also interested in the cultural evolution of comic books, from their birth as a medium to the economic structures of distribution. I enjoy balancing my research with my teaching. I have taught 76-240: Milton and Popular Culture, 76-327: Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and I have taught numerous sections of 76-101: Interpretation and Argument, one of which is on the comic book in American culture. I am also the Assistant Director of the Pittsburgh Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and sit on the Student Advisory Council to the university's libraries. I hold a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and an M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University.


Salita Seibert

Salita Seibert

Ph.D. Candidate, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: sseibert@andrew.cmu.edu

By the end of the seventeenth-century a newly coherent discourse of economic theory had developed. The economic discourse played an important role in defining the proto-class structure of eighteenth-century England. My project examines the formation of criminals in eighteenth-century England as a discrete class with a distinct population of people characterized by their perceived and actual relationship to forms of labor and social hierarchies. The poor and the criminal-the express subjects of social control-play a central role in the texts I examine. My work starts with the Restoration period and end in the 1750's. There are several questions that this project asks including who was criminal? What did it mean to be criminal? When was criminality understood as an experience within poverty and when was it not? How were poverty and criminality theorized as economic problems, social problems, or class problems? At what moments and in what sorts of texts do these problematics overlap? The first conclusion I have come to based on the texts I have examined at this point is, economic exigencies implicitly or explicitly inform all articulations of the problem. My second conclusion is that the fundamental connection between criminals is the relationship to labor. The poor are valorized for being industrious-laboring to support the state, however, criminals are condemned because their industry directly benefits informal economies and only indirectly the state.


Kitty Shropshire

Kitty Shropshire

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: kshropsh@andrew.cmu.edu

Before joining Carnegie Mellon’s Literary and Cultural Studies PhD program, I did my undergraduate work at Smith College in Northampton, MA and at the University of South Carolina, ultimately receiving a BA in History with a focus in Cultural History. While there, I developed my interest in participatory and consumer cultures. I am particularly interested in how readers/viewers/users interact with and appropriate text. My work considers how race, sexuality, gender, and class intersect with our understandings of and relationships with mediated texts (both “new” and “traditional”) and their forms.  


Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: jmatty@andrew.cmu.edu

I have received degrees from John Carroll University (2009, B.A. in English Literature and Writing) and Boston College (2011, M.A. in English Literature) where I first became interested in eighteenth-century British literature, history and culture. My dissertation explores the intersections between religious and gendered identity in British novels of the 1790s, particularly works that engage in revolutionary ideology and rhetoric. Specifically, I consider how an interdisciplinary approach between performance studies and religious studies can reveal vexed notions of gendered identity in the revolutionary period. My research and teaching interests additionally include the Gothic, Shakespeare, and trends in commercial and popular literature.

Craig Stamm

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: cstamm@andrew.cmu.edu


Natalie Suzelis

Natalie Suzelis

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: nsuzelis@andrew.cmu.edu

I’m interested in utilizing interdisciplinary methods and frameworks to investigate economic and social shifts in the early modern period, including the digital humanities, postcolonial theory, the history of books, Marxist theory, globalization studies, gender, sexuality, and performativity studies, as well media studies and investigations of the public versus the private. Currently my work centers on the cultural effects of converting from use to exchange value in the early modern transition from feudalism to capitalism, and the long-term cultural consequences of emerging bourgeois values winning out over Tudor and Stuart aristocratic values.

Pavithra Tantrigoda

Pavithra Tantrigoda

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: pkt@andrew.cmu.edu

I received my B.A. in English at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and my M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. My research is committed to a transverse examination and interconnected understanding of law, human rights, ecosystems and socio-political-economic contexts to reveal concealed hindrances to achieving social and ecological justice.

My dissertation is informed by postcolonial approaches to the Anthropocene debate and examines how hegemonic, as well as alternative discourses on human rights and ecological justice inform legal doctrine and postcolonial aesthetic discourses. More specifically, I examine how human rights discourses in European juridical thinking collude with scientific and philosophical discourses of ‘green imperialism’ in producing the taxonomy of man and nature and the ways in which literature by South Asian novelists contests this process by reincorporating nature as a subject of rights and trope for human rights abuses. Additionally, I am interested in issues of gender and class in a context of globalization.

 

 


Bret Vukoder

Bret Vukoder

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: bvukoder@andrew.cmu.edu

I received a B.S. in Business Administration with majors in Public Administration, English, and Political Science and a minor in Cinema Studies at the University of Tennessee. Continuing at Tennessee, I earned a Masters in English Literature. Broadly, my research concerns film—particularly American film—and the extent to which it forms, reinforces, and disseminates cultural practice. More specifically, I am interested in both Hollywood and state-sanctioned/produced films that were constructed and appropriated as ideological weapons during the Cold War, the conditions of production behind many of these films, and the channels by which they were conveyed.

Christopher Wike

Christopher Wike

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: cwike@andrew.cmu.edu

I am a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (2010, M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies) and Clarion University of Pennsylvania (2009, B.A. in English). My areas of research interest are modern and contemporary American literature, the institutional position of literature and the role of English studies in canon formation, and the American university. Currently, I am working on expanding research I conducted during my Masters year which ties together my interests in contemporary American fiction and the institutional position of literature in an attempt at updating Richard Ohmann’s "The Shaping of a Canon: U.S. Fiction, 1960-1975." In this project, I am attempting to construct a descriptive, rather than a prescriptive, canon of contemporary U.S. fiction by examining the course syllabi from the U.S. News and World Report's list of the top graduate programs in literature.

Pierce Williams

Pierce Williams

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: mpwillia@andrew.cmu.edu

I received a B.A. in English with specializations in the philosophical tradition and history from the University of Texas Arlington in 2008. I earned my M.A. in English Literature and Language from Loyola University Chicago, with a focus on material culture and textual criticism, in 2013. I am interested in the intersection of literature, science, and technology in the transatlantic eighteenth century.

Jessica Wilton

Jessica Wilton

Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies

Email: jwilton@andrew.cmu.edu

I came to Carnegie Mellon's Literary and Cultural Studies Program after earning my B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston, MA.  My interests are situated broadly in the field of British and American literary and cinematic modernism. My research examines the historical intersections of modernist literature, design, and film. The question of how these fields contributed to the development of an economy based on creative labor drives my inquiry into this history. I specifically want examine the effects of modernist aesthetic and economic ideals on contemporary corporate ideals of streamlined and individualized design, autonomous labor, and the democratization of creativity. These interests allow me to incorporate a broad range of authors and texts into my work such as Bertolt Brecht, Ralph Ellison, Steven Soderbergh, and Steve Jobs. I have taught several music and film-related topics in 76-101, Interpretation and Argument. I have also taught Introduction to Film Studies and more specialized upper-level film studies courses. I am in involved in several community organizations in Pittsburgh, primarily targeting educational reform and public art.