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Current Students

Below is a small sample of our PhD students' work and interests...

Ashley Kunsa

Education:
BA English and History - University of Pittsburgh, 2004
MLIS University of Pittsburgh, 2006
MFA Fiction - Penn State, 2009

Research Interests:
Contemporary American literature, women's literature, and contemporary fiction

Recent Publication:
"History, Hair, and Reimagining Racial Categories in Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 54.2 (2013): 211-24. Print.

Erin Rentschler

Education:
BS English Education - Wheaton College, 2001
MA English - Duquesne University, 2007

Research Interests:
20th Century American Literature and American Narratives of War: WWII-present

Recent Presentation:
"Teaching Narratives of War, Re-Examining the Document." 39th Annual Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture since 1900, University of Louisville, Kentucky, February 2011.

Michelle Gaffey

Education:
BA English - Duquesne University, 2002
BS Education - Duquesne University 2002
MA English - Duquesne University 2004

Research Interests:
20th Century American Literature and Documentary Poetry and Poetics

Recent Presentation:
"Looking at Student Sketches and Campus Rooms to Encourage Critical Thinking." Northeast Modern Language Association's 42nd Annual International Convention: Image as Argument Roundtable. New Brunswick, NJ: 7-10 April 2011.

Maureen Gallagher

Education:
BA Liberal Arts - St. John's College, 1999
MA English - Georgia State University, 2004

Research Interests:
British and American Modernism, 20th and 21st Century Poetry, and Feminist and Gender Theory

Recent Presentation:
"The Temptation to Look Away: The Textual Erasure of the Traumatized Fallen Woman in Austen's Sense and Sensibility." EC-ASECS Conference, November 4-6, 2010, Pittsburgh.

Matthew Heilman

Education:
BA English - University of Pittsburgh, 2003
MA English - Duquesne University, 2007

Research Interests:
British Romanticism, Gothic and supernatural literature, Victorian literature, and the influence of classic literature on underground alternative and heavy metal music

Recent Presentation:
"The Shaping of Unstable Material: Antonia White's Modernist Appropriations of the Gothic." College English Association. Richmond, VA. March 2012.

Jade Higa

Education:
BA English - University of Hawaii, 2008
MA English - Duquesne University, 2010

Research Interests:
18th Century Gothic Drama, Women's and Gender Studies, Studies of the Maternal and Motherhood

Recent Presentation:
"The Maternal Prostitute and the Victorian New Woman: Negotiating and Complicating Female Stereotypes in Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession" Echoes: Across Disciplines, Texts, and Times; March 2011.

Rachel Luckenbill

Education:
BA English - Lebanon Valley College, 2002
MA English - Villanova University, 2005

Research Interests:
20th and 21st Century American Literature and Christianity in American Literature

Recent Presentation:
"Breaking Silence and Building Community: The Role of Confession in Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior." Duquesne English Graduate Organization Conference: Pittsburgh, PA, March 18-19, 2011.

Cheryl Read

Education:
BA English - University of Minnesota, 2009
MA English - University of Minnesota, 2011

Research Interests:
Book History and 20th Century American Fiction

Recent Presentation:
"Book History and the Undergraduate Research Paper." Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention. Teaching the History of the Book to Undergraduates Roundtable. Boston, MA. March 2013.

Mike Smith

Education:
BA English - Sacred Heart University, 2006
MA English - Boston College, 2010

Research Interests:
20th Century and Contemporary Literature and Religion

Recent Presentation:
"Carrying the Holy Fire: Father and Son as Perpetual Pilgrims in McCarthy's The Road." Pilgrims in Place. Mideast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature. Grove City, PA.

Alexandra Reznik

Education:
BA English - Catham University, 2011
MA English - Duquesne University, 2013

Research Interests:
Cultural Studies, Critical Race Studies, Performance Studies, Word and Music Studies, African American and Afrodiaspora Literature, C19 American Literatures

Recent Presentation:
"Dissonant Colonization and Harmonious Resistance in Bessie Head's The Question of Power" for South Central Modern Language Association Conference on "Sound and Story: Rhythms of Language" in Nashville, October 2015. 

Carol Fox

Education:
BA English, History  - West Virginia University, 2012
MA English - West Virginia University, 2014

Research Interests:
20th and 21st Century British Literature, postcolonial theory, and graphic novels

Recent Presentation:
"Hybridity and the Crtique of Imperial Narrativization in Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1," PCA/ACA's annual conference Seattle Washington, March 2016. 

Sara Tavela

Education:
BA English, Psychology - Queen's University of Charlotte, 2007
MA Human Development and Family Studies - University of Connecticut,  2009
MA English - Duquesne University 2012

Research Interests:
Long Eighteenth Century Studies, Psychological and Medical Discourses, Women's and Gender Studies, the Novel 

Recent Presentation:
"'A Notable Promise of Entertaining the Town:' Charlotte Charke's Subversive The History of Henry Dumont, Esq.; and Miss Charlotte Evelyn," The Actress as Author: Chawton House Library Conference. Hampshire, UK. July 2015.

Josie Rush

Education:
BA English - Seton Hill University, 2012
MA English, certificate in Women's and Gender Studies  - Duquesne University, 2014

Research Interests:
Gender and Sexuality, Popular Culture, Contemporary American/British Literature 

Recent Publication:
"Picturing a Better Future: Media Literacy in Holocaust Education." Challenges for the Future: The Ethel LeFrak Proceedings, 2014. 

David Young

Education:
BA English - Heidelberg College, 2010
Graduate Certificate of Modernist Fiction and Contemporary British Literature - Exeter College, University of Oxford, 2010
MA English - John Carroll University, 2013

Research Interests:
Modern and Postmodern Literatures, Narrative Theory, Film and film theory, Violence in literature and film, Literature and film of the Holocaust

Recent Presentation:
Participant in "Reading Contemporary Fiction: Ali Smith's How to Be Both" (Seminar). Society for Novel Studies Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2016.

Whitney Sandin

Education:
BA English - Rice University, 2009
MA English - West Virginia University, 2014

Research Interests:
20th Century American Literature, Gender and Sexuality, Class 

Recent Presentation:
"Acting Human: Clones and Humans as Simulacra in Never Let Me Go." Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. Louisville, Kentucky. February 2016.

Marla Anzalone

Education:
BA English, Biology - Wittenberg College, 2011
MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction focus - Chatham University, 2013
MA English - Duquesne University, 2014

Research Interests:
19th century American literature and cultural studies, Civil War literature and medicine, archival texts, and women's and gender studies

Recent Presentation:
"Civil War Nurse as Civil War Nurse as Information Intermediary: The Transfer of Knowledge in Louisa May Alcott's Hospital Sketches and Maria M.C. Hall's Letter Correspondence." INCS: Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies, 2015. Atlanta, GA.