Brenden O'Donnell

Brenden O'DonnellPhD
MA English and Women's and Gender Studies Joint Degree, Brandeis University, 2012
BA Duquesne University, 2010
University Writing Center Co-Director
Office Location: Rabb 205


Queer Temperance: Addiction and Sites of Voluntarity in Lesbian and Gay Literature (1948-1979)


Professor David Sherman

Research Interests

LGBTIA literature, pulp fiction, new queer cinema, critical addiction studies, disability studies, theories of mourning and melancholia


“Modeling Addiction: Teaching The House of Mirth in the Context of Critical Addiction Studies,” Forthcoming in Teaching Edith Wharton’s Major Novels and Short Fiction. Ed. Ferda Asya. Palgrave MacMillan.

“Surveilling Lesbians: Hitchcock, Narrative Cinema, and the Criminalization of Sexuality,” Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture. Vol. 5, No. 1. Spring 2020

"Gore Vidal's Moral Program: Homophile Spirituality in ONE Magazine and The City and the Pillar," Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Vol. 61, No. 1. Spring 2019.

"Writers Beat Addiction in Out of the Wreck." Chicago Review of Books. 12 January 2017. Web.


“Audre Lorde’s Inheritors: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Work of Integrity.” GCWS Graduate Conference “Interrogating Self-Care: Bodies, Personhood, and Movement in Tumltuous Times.” Cambridge, MA, 29 March 2019.

“Why Boyhood Never Grew Up: Substance and Free Will in American Independent Film.” Presented as guest lecturer to Professor Caren Irr’s American Independent Film class. Waltham, MA, 16 November 2016.

“Rereading the Lush: a Queer Ecology of Midcentury Gay Pulp.” Presented at “Rethinking Posthumanism” graduate conference at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. 1 April 2016.

“The Icy Blonde and Lesbian Desire in The Birds.” Presented as guest lecturer to Professor Paul Morrison’s Hitchcock class. Waltham, MA, 13 April 2015.

“Laughing at the Apocalypse: Conflicted Comedy and 90s Queer Cinema.” Presented at NEMLA 2014. Harrisburg, PA, 3 April 2014.


Department Prize Instructorship, 2018-2019 

University Prize Instructorship, 2017-2018

Mellon Dissertation Research Grant, 2017

Outstanding Teaching Fellow, Brandeis University Writing Program, 2015-2016

Classes Taught & Assisted

University Writing Seminar - 21st Century Addiction: Stories, Policy, Medicine (Spring 2020)

Literature Between Habit and Addiction (Spring 2018)

University Writing Seminar - Bad Habits in Literature (Spring 2017)

University Writing Seminar - Queer Pulp Fiction (Fall 2015 & Spring 2016)

American Independent Film (Dr. Caren Irr, Fall 2016)

The Films of Hitchcock (Dr. Paul Morrison, Spring 2015)

Hipsters on Trial: Irony in the Digital Age (Dr. Kyle Stevens, Fall 2014)

Favorite Work

"Mrs. Dalloway"