Ph.D. in English Literature
In addition to our nationally recognized strengths in Modernism, American literature, and early British literature, we have faculty interested in gender studies, the history of the book, ecocriticism, material culture, theater, poetics, and other interdisciplinary topics. A strong mentoring program helps students acclimate to life in graduate school and guides students in their academic and professional pursuits. All accepted students receive a teaching fellowship and tuition remission. Located in the heart of vibrant downtown Pittsburgh, our department offers small classes, individual attention from dedicated professors, and an energetic and welcoming graduate community.
PhD Candidate Allie Reznik presented her work on the spiritual aesthetic in Solomon Northup's 12 Years a Slave at the 10th International Word and Music Studies Conference on words, music, and the moving image, at Fordham University this fall.
"My dissertation focuses on the often tense and ambiguous representations of Christianity in contemporary American Indian literature by women. I examine how Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich, Diane Glancy, and Joy Harjo engage in or resist cross-cultural reconciliation in the wake of Christianity's involvement in colonization and its perpetuation of patriarchal hierarchies. Ultimately, I argue that imaginative writing makes space for dialogues of reconciliation that are otherwise stifled in the midst of complex and historically tense cultural and socioeconomic circumstances. My methodological approach is deeply historical and cultural, enhanced by archival research on the history of missionary interactions with Native Americans, cultural immersion experiences, and interviews I conducted among American Indian women in Oklahoma about the relationship between faith, gender, and culture." - Rachel Luckenbill, PhD Candidate