Adriane Bezusko's dissertation, “Trafficking in the Spaces of Poverty: Reading the Post-War Wars of American Literature and Culture,” directed by professor Rosemary Hennessy, arose out of her abiding interests in 20th-and 21st century American literature, Marxist criticism, and social justice. The dissertation explores how a series of late 20th century wars, and corresponding policy initiatives, managed the domestic crisis of unmet needs through discourses of freedom and home.
After graduating in 2014, Adriane went on to a position at UT Austin as a Curricular Innovation and Education Outreach Specialist. Starting this fall, she will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Tulane University’s English Department.
Samhita Sunya's research interests include world film history, Asian cinemas, intersections of (old and new) audio-visual media and literature, sound studies, and postcolonial literature.
Working with Prof. Betty Joseph, Samhita completed her dissertation, “Love in the Time of Cinema: The Global Tracks of Hindi Film/Songs," and went on to a position at the American University in Beirut. She is now Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Virginia.
Alexander Adkins graduated with a PhD in English in 2016, after completing a dissertation focused on postcolonial literature and satire. His dissertation, “Postcolonial Satire in Cynical Times,” was directed by Prof. Betty Joseph.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Alexander was Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice's Program in Writing and Communication (PWC), as well as the Special Projects Manager and Researcher for the Humanities Research Center (HRC). The latter involved facilitating research and conferences between the School of Humanities and other areas of Rice. Alexander will be beginning his new job as Assistant Professor of English at California State University, Fresno, in Fall 2017.
A scholar of Chicana/o literature, American literature, and ethnic studies, Amanda Ellis completed her PhD in English in 2016. Her dissertation, "Detrás de Cada Letra: Trauma and Healing in Contemporary Chicana/o Literature," was directed by Prof. José Aranda.
After graduation, Amanda went on to a postdoctoral position at the University of Houston; she will be beginning a tenure-track position there in Fall 2017.
During her studies in the English PhD program, Abby Goode focused on early and 19th century American literature, sustainability studies, transnational American studies, and women's gender, and sexuality studies.
In support of her dissertation, “Democratic Demographics: A Literary Genealogy of American Sustainability", written under the direction of Prof. Caroline Levander, Abby was awarded the 2015 Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies.
Abby was also recognized for her teaching. She was awarded an Outstanding Graduate Instructor of Record Award for 2015-2016 by the Center for Teaching Excellence. She is currently Assistant Professor of English at Plymouth State University.
Jennifer Hargrave received her Ph.D. in English from Rice University in 2016, where she specialized in British Romanticism and its global entanglements. While a doctoral student, she was the recipient of a 2015–16 American Fellowship awarded by the American Association of University Women as well as a 2015–16 Lodieska Stockbridge Vaughn Fellowship from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Rice, one of five university-wide fellowships awarded to graduate students whose record shows evidence of outstanding achievement and promise.
She was also awarded the Department of English Chair’s Best Dissertation Award for her dissertation, "The Romantic Reinvention of Imperial China, 1759–1857" (directed by Prof. Alexander Regier). Additionally, her research has been published in Eighteenth-Century Studies, SEL Studies in English Literature 1500–1900, European Romantic Review, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts.
Following her graduate studies, she held a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in Rice’s Program in Writing and Communication. Jennifer is currently Assistant Professor of English at Baylor University.
Matthew Walker wrote his dissertation,“Tomboys & Sissies: Queer Childhood in the Fiction of the Southern Renaissance, 1929- 1961,” under the direction of Professor Scott Derrick. Matt's interests include twentieth-century literature, Southern literature, queer and gender studies, contemporary science fiction, and pedagogical theory.
In Fall 2017, he will be starting at Galveston College as an Assistant Professor of English, and will also serve as the Program Coordinator of the Developmental Writing Department.
Meina Yates-Richard is a scholar of 20th- and 21st -Century African American literature, African diasporic literature, and American literature and culture.
In 2016, Meina successfully defended her dissertation, "Echoes of the Future-Past: Slavery & Sonic Testimony in African American Literature 1845-Present," under the direction of Prof. Nicole Waligora-Davis.
In the same year, she also won the 2016 Norman Foerster Prize for the best essay published annual in American Literature, awarded for her essay “‘WHAT IS YOUR MOTHER’S NAME?’: Maternal Disavowal and the Reverberating Aesthetic of Black Women’s Pain in Black Nationalist Literature.”
After graduating from Rice, Meina Yates-Richard took a position as Assistant Professor of English at Syracuse University.
Lindsey Chappell’s research interests include time, narrative, Romantic and Victorian travel writing, nineteenth-century historiography, and literature and science. Lindsey completed her dissertation, “Temporal Forms in the Nineteenth-Century British Mediterranean,” in Spring 2017, under the direction of Prof. Helena Michie, from which she has published three essays.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, Lindsey was awarded the Mellon-Council for European Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowship as well as travel and research fellowships from various sources. Lindsey also served as a Hobby Editorial Fellow at SEL Studies in English Literature 1500–1900 from 2012 to 2017.
Upon completion of her degree, Lindsey was selected as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program in Writing and Communication at Rice, starting Fall 2017.
Sophia Hsu's dissertation, "Victorian Biopolitics: Life and the Novel in a Liberal Age", is a culmination of her work and research interests in the English PhD program at Rice. Successfully defended in Spring 2017, Sophia's dissertation was directed by Prof. Helena Michie.
Sophia was awarded a Public Humanities Initiative Graduate Fellowship by Rice's Humanities Research Center (HRC), and taught a course in medical humanities for the HRC and the Program in Writing and Communication, where she now serves as a postdoctoral fellow.
Lorena Gauthereau’s 2017 dissertation, “Class, Race, and the Coloniality of Power in Mexican American Literature,” was written under the supervision of Professor Jose Aranda. Her fields of scholarship include Chicana/o Studies, class analysis, affect theory, and postcolonial theory.
Lorena holds an M.A. From Rice in Hispanic Studies, and undertook, as a graduate students, a series of digital, recovery, and translation projects, including the Americas Archive.
In Fall 2017 she will take a position as a CLIR/DLF-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Houston's Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project (Recovery Project).
Derek Woods works on twentieth-century literature and theories of the relation between nature and culture. His book project 'What Is Ecotechnology?: Biopolitics and Trophic Writing in U.S. and Canadian Cultures of Science' applies media and systems theory to ecological criticism, arguing that a fundamental engagement with technology characterizes the cultural reception of the ecosystem following the Second World War. Each chapter gives a different answer to the project’s central question, addressing topics such as the influence of cybernetics on ecology, the terrarium as a setting in Octavia Butler’s novels, the terraforming genre in science fiction, and the biopolitics of industrial chemistry in the work of Rachel Carson and Richard Powers. Derek is also writing a book about the techniques through which writers and artists represent scales outside the human sensory world. 'The Poetics of Scale' is an anatomy of these techniques, emphasizing their relationship with concepts of scale from the philosophy of science and new materialism. Derek’s work as a graduate student has been supported in part by fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Center for Energy and Environment Research in the Human Sciences at Rice, and the Humanities Research Center. He is the author of ten published and forthcoming articles, and will take up a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Dartmouth Society of Fellows in 2017.