Carnegie Mellon University
June 06, 2016

Johns Hopkins University Accepts LCS Masters Alumnus Into Ph.D. Program

Nathan Doherty (LCS'15)Nathan Doherty (LCS'15)

This fall, Nathan Doherty (LCS’15) will experience a few firsts. He’ll begin his studies in Johns Hopkins University’s Ph.D. in English Literature Program and his first journal article will appear in the leading interdisciplinary law journal, “Law and Literature.”

The article started out as a paper for Associate Professor of English Christopher Warren’s course, ‘Literary Cultural Theory Law: Law, Culture and Humanities.’ With Warren’s encouragement and support in revising the paper, Doherty turned it into the journal article it is now. In his article, he focuses on the fantasy novel, “The Scar,” by contemporary Marxist theorist and writer China Miéville. Doherty attempts to bring Miéville into a conversation with neo-liberal legal theorists.

“It is an incredible achievement for a master’s student to produce such high-level work, but I was not at all surprised that ‘Law and Literature’ accepted Nathan’s manuscript,” said Warren. “Nathan found in Miéville a deeply erudite, allusive and speculative mind, one similar in many respects to Nathan’s own.”

He added, “Just when I think two thinkers could never be seen as similar, Nathan shows me key linguistic echoes and shared metaphors that open things wide open. Nathan revels in identifying ever-deeper patterns of connection and congruence, and the work he produces is altogether captivating and original.”

Doherty’s research interests include critical theory, aesthetics, ecocriticism, media studies and early modern literature. He takes an eco approach to life as well—he’s a carpenter by trade and builds things with reclaimed materials.

“Nathan's depth of curiosity about art and ideas is matched by his mastery of the English sentence and the essay form,” said Professor of English Peggy Knapp. “His originality and precision mark him as a craftsman in academic argument and also in furniture design.”

What attracted Doherty to the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies Program is its intense training in theory and the opportunity for students to do additional theoretically informed course work in literature, film, and media and other aspects of culture.

“The program bridged the gap between media studies and critical theory,” he said.

Doherty said a combination of three courses including the course he took with Warren, English Professor Jon Klancher’s ‘Sociology of Culture: Theories of Modernity & the Anthropocene’ and Knapp’s ‘Early Modern Non-Shakespearean Drama,’ inspired him to apply for Johns Hopkins’ Ph.D. program where he will be able to study early modern literature and the Anthropocene.

“Nathan brought scholarly erudition together with a creative and acute theoretical mind as an M.A. student here. He'll be doing cutting-edge research at Johns Hopkins,” said Klancher.

Doherty, who holds bachelor’s degrees in math and philosophy from Penn State University, hopes to land an academic position after graduating from Johns Hopkins University.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies Program.
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By: Amanda King

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