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Selected Dissertation Defenses


Nat Hodes

The Muses' Method: Logic and the Moral Function of English Renaissance Poetry

June 4, 2014
Committee: Ramie Targoff, William Flesch, and Leah Whittington (Harvard)


Megan Hamilton

Glamour, Good Money, and Glossy Magazines: The New Yorker, Esquire, and 20th Century Magazine Fiction

April 11, 2014
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Carlo Rotella (Boston College)


Jodie Austin

The Poetics of Pestilence: The Plague in Early Modern England and the Writing Culture it Produced

April 8, 2014
Committee: Ramie Targoff, William Flesch, and Mary Crane (Boston College)


Lisa Rourke

The Phantom of the Author: Literary Analysis Reconsidered

February 10, 2014
Committee: Susan Lanser, William Flesch, and Sue Kim (University of Massachusetts: Lowell)


Martin Moraw

The Early Modern Tragedy of Revenge and the Question of Sovereignty

November 18, 2013
Committee: Ramie Targoff, Thomas King, and Paul Kottman (The New School for the Liberal Arts)


Christopher Wells

The Wrongs of Man: Moral Sense and the Development of Gendered Morality in Eighteenth-Century British Novels

August 6, 2013
Committee: Thomas King, Susan Lanser, and Shawn Maurer (English Department, Holy Cross College)


Scott Moore

American Aristocracies: The Failure of Meritocracy in Nineteenth-century U.S. Literature

June 27, 2013
Committee: Michael Gilmore, John Burt, and Philip Gould (English Department, Brown University)


Nicholas Van Kley

American Fiction, Bodies, and Social Knowledge During the "Era of Sociology," 1890-1912

May 28, 2013
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Maurice Lee (English Department, Boston University)


Doug Kirshen

Six Weeks –– The New Man and the London Theatre Season of 1895: Henry James, Henry Irving and Oscar Wilde

April 8, 2013
Committee: Paul Morrison, John Plotz, and Matthew Buckley (English Department, Rutgers University) 


Cory Elizabeth Nelson

The Politics of Identity in Contemporary American Theater

March 19, 2013
Committee: Thomas King, Caren Irr, and Noe Montez (Drama & Dance Department, Tufts University)


Lydia Fash

American Narrative Beginnings: Time and the Nation in Antebellum Short Fiction

March 7, 2013
Committee: Michael Gilmore, Susan Lanser, and Meredith McGill (English Department, Rutgers University)


Shayna Skarf

Visible Primitives: The Imagined Past and the Embodied Present in English and American Literature of the 1930s

July 23, 2012
Committee: Paul Morrison, John Plotz, and Ellen Schattschneider (Anthropology)


Joe Wensink

Literary Philanthropy: The Pulitzer Prize, Oprah's Book Club, and Contemporary U.S. Fiction

June 22, 2012
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Sean McCann (English Department, Wesleyan University) 


Njelle Hamilton

Sound Writing: Music and Memory in the Contemporary Caribbean Novel

May 16, 2012
Committee: Faith Smith, Ulka Anjaria, and Donette Francis (English Department, Binghamton University)


Kyle Wiggins

Lethal Measures: The Politics of Revenge in 20th- and 21st-Century Fiction

May 23, 2012
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Laura Tanner (English Department, Boston College) 


Mikel Parent

Long Poems of the Short Century: Ideology and Form in the 20th-century Epic

February 2, 2012
Committee: Caren Irr, Paul Morrison, and Aaron Fogel (English Department, Boston University)


John Turner

Modern Time: Repetition in James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf

November 2, 2011
Committee: Paul Morrison, Laura Quinney, and Marjorie Howes (English Department, Boston College)


Bendta Schroeder

Natural Kinds: Botany, Aesthetics, and the Taxonomy of Families in British Literature, 1760-1807

July 6, 2011
Committee: Sue Lanser, John Plotz, and Lynn Festa (English Department, Rutgers University)
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Lauren Ellis Holm

Staging the Novel: The Victorian Novel and the Rise of Adaptation

April 26, 2011 @ 3:00pm
Committee: John Plotz, Thomas A. King, and David Kurnick (English Department, Rutgers University)
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Amy Easton-Flake

An Alternative Women's Movement: Antisuffrage Fiction, 1839-1920

April 8, 2011 @ 10:00am
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Betsy Klimasmith (English Department, University of Massachusetts at Amherst)


Jessie Stickgold-Sarah

The Textual Body: Genetics and Dystopia in American Fiction

April 8, 2011 @ 1:00pm
Committee: Caren Irr, Ulka Anjaria, and Amy Boesky (English Department, Boston College)


Roselyn Farren

"Let Wonder Seem Familiar":  Objects of Affection as Other Minds in Shakespeare

December 10, 2010 @ 10:00am
Committee: William Flesch, Thomas King, and Caroline Bicks (English Department, Boston College)


Andrew Albin

Auralities: Sound Cultures and the Experience of Hearing in Late Medieval England

December 6, 2010 @ 10:30am
Committee: Mary Baine Campbell, Thomas King, and Stephen Nichols (English Department, Johns Hopkins University)


Ivana Cikes

Portrait of the American Author:  Photography and Identity in 19th Century and Early 20th Century American Literature

November 8, 2010 @ 2pm
Committee: Michael T. Gilmore, John Plotz, and Nancy Scott (Fine Arts Department, Brandeis University)


Brian Chalk

'Raptures of Futurity':  Monumentality and the Pursuit of Posterity of Early Modern Drama

July 2, 2010

Committee: Ramie Targoff, William Flesch, and Yu Jin Ko (English Department, Wellesley College)

Ryan Wepler

Laughing Matters:  Humor in the Post-1945 American Novel

June 16, 2010
Committee: Caren Irr, John Burt, and Joseph Boskin (History Department, Boston University)


Sean Witters

Literary Authenticity:  The Author and the Logic of the Brand in the Modern American Novel

April 12, 2010
Committee: Michael T. Gilmore, Caren Irr, and Stephen Whitfield (American Studies Department, Brandeis)


Melanie Doherty

Networked Subjects:  Technologies of Interiority in James, Ellison and Pynchon

March 26, 2010
Committee: Michael T. Gilmore, Caren Irr, and Thomas Doherty (American Studies Department, Brandeis)


 Stephanie Shirilan

Mimetic Sympathy in Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy

June 17, 2009
Committee: Mary Baine Campbell, Thomas King, and Carla Mazzio (SUNY Buffalo)


Bridget Chalk

The Passport Effect: Negotiating Identity in Modernist Narrative

June 18, 2009
Committee: Paul Morrison, John Plotz, and Jed Esty (University of Pennsylvania)


Rachel Kapelle

Seeing the Past's Future: Prophecy in Romance

May 19, 2009
Committee: Mary Baine Campbell, Ramie Targoff, and Kathryn Lynch (Wellesley College)


Sari Edelstein

The Novel and the News: Women's Writing and the Politics of U.S. Print Cultures, 1792-1892

March 24, 2009
Committee: Michael T. Gilmore, Susan Lanser, and Christopher Wilson (Boston College)