Current PhD students (click on name for photo and more information)

Samina Gul Ali     Alok Amatya     Jonquil Bailey     Nagendra Bhattarai     Sarah Cash    
Diana I. Dabek     Suchismita Dutta     Tiffany L. Fajardo     Jared Flurry     Marta Gierczyk    
J. Andrew Gothard     Allison N. Harris     Karla Heusner     Barbara Hoffmann     Rebecca Hu    
Lesley Kamphaus     Alex Ledgerwood     Raymond Leonard     Paige Miller     Benjamin Moats    
Julia Mollenthiel     Alexandria Morgan     Gillian Mozer     Lauren Petrino     Brad Rittenhouse    
Sarah Ritcheson     Tarika Sankar     Anne Schmalstig     Bryant Scott     Kerri-Leanne Taylor    
Ruth Trego    Spencer Tricker     Oliver Wallis     Becca Yahr


Samina Gul Ali (email) received her BA in English and Women's Studies from Penn State University, and her MA in English and Multimedia Arts from Duquesne University. Her research areas include Islam and Caribbean Diaspora, feminist theory, and digital humanities. She is currently the graduate research assistant for Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.




Alok Amatya (email) is a sixth-year PhD student. He works at the intersections of global Anglophone literature and environmental humanities with a particular interest in depictions of mining conflicts. Alok received the UM Center for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship 2016-2017 for his project Framing Resource Conflicts: Indigenous Environmental Justice Struggles in the Global Anglophone. He presented a paper titled “‘The Company has Swallowed it’: Framing Indigenous Resistance against Corporate Mining in India” at the eleventh biennial conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) in June 2015. He is a founder/organizer of the graduate student-led Eco-Cinema Discussion Group on campus.


Jonquil Bailey (email)  is completing her final year of the PhD program. Her research interests center on the role of self deception in representations of slavery and its aftermath in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature.




Sarah Cash (email) is a fourth-year PhD student. Her research interests include music and gender studies. Currently, her dissertation project focuses on the way different authors use music to subvert gender conventions in literature of the long nineteenth century.  





Diana I. Dabek (email) is a fifth-year PhD. Her research interests include early American literature, Atlantic theater and performance, and transatlantic print culture. Her dissertation project examines how Americans used print and performance drama to establish a national identity throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


Suchismita Dutta (email) is a second-year PhD student. She did her Masters in English from the University of Delhi, India. She is interested in exploring the connection between sexual identity and racial formation in contemporary Indo-American and Indo-Caribbean immigrant literature. She recently presented her paper, “Reimagining Culture through Chutney Soca and Bhojpuri Vivaaha Geet in the Caribbean” at the 10th Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, Purdue University.




Tiffany L. Fajardo (email) is Assistant Editor at the James Joyce Literary Supplement. She is pursuing research in gender studies, speculative fiction, mysticism, and mourning. Her article on parapraxis in Joyce’s Ulysses, “The Discovery of Bloom’s Misreading,” has appeared in the New Hibernia Review.



Originally from Austin, Texas, Jared Flurry (email) is a second-year PhD student and active-duty Army officer. He came to the University of Miami in order to study Caribbean Literature and will soon begin teaching literature and composition at the United States Military Academy. He is particularly interested in European representations of West Indian soldiers in the First World War.




Marta Gierczyk (email) earned her MA in Polish Literature and Linguistics from the University of Silesia, and her MA in English from the University of Miami. Her research focuses on contemporary immigrant literature and urban studies, African diaspora studies, and critical race theory. This year’s recipient of the graduate teaching fellowship in the American Studies Proram, Marta currently teaches Introduction to American Studies through the frame of global U.S. cities.



J. Andrew Gothard (email) is currently finishing a dissertation on working-class novels of the British Isles, from 1900-1920. His most recent publications appear in New Hibernia Review and Salem Press’s forthcoming Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick. His research interests include working-class fiction, British and Irish modernisms, modern drama, and film studies. He is currently employed full-time at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, FL. 




Allison N. Harris (email) is a PhD candidate at work on her dissertation, “Cartographies of Social Death: Abjection and the American Dispossessed." The project considers the state-sanctioned dispossession of minorities in the United States as mechanisms of social death that create institutional marginalization, natal alienation, and abjection. Reading African Americans, Native Americans, Appalachian Americans, and Caribbean immigrants, the project maps the borders of abjection created by legislative dispossessions and theorizes a process of intersubjective abjection as resistance to the state of degradation.



Barbara Hoffmann (email) is in her 6th year of the PhD program working on her dissertation preliminarily entitled "Over the Edge of the World: Convict Transportation and National Identity in Australia and Ireland." In it she looks at the shipboard journals of Irish convicts transported to Australia in the 19th century, as well as at contemporary Australian novels about Irish convicts, and suggests that Irish nationalism and Irishness influenced the fledgling Australian national identity, helping as well to re-frame the view of Australia's convict heritage from a stain to a symbol of pride and righteous resistance. Her interests include Anglophone literature, postcolonial literature, queer theory, Shakespeare, and James Joyce -- she currently organizes the monthly meeting of a Finnegans Wake reading group and was editor of the James Joyce Literary Supplement from 2014-2016. She has a bachelor of science in English education and a bachelor of arts in political science, both from Boston University, and a master of public policy from the University of Sydney. Before joining the program, she taught high school English for 8 years in Boston.

Rebecca Hu (email) is currently finishing up her dissertation on early modern Englishwomen and alternative epistemologies. Her work focuses on how the creation of knowledge can take forms beyond the rational and empirical, and how these nontraditional ways of knowing are expressed in different kinds of writing, particularly in the context of seventeenth-century women. In her classrooms, Rebecca strives to broaden the definition of knowledge and scholarship for her students in order to encourage thinking across disciplines.

Lesley Kamphaus (email) completed her M.A. in English at University of Central Florida and is currently a fourth-year PhD student. Her research interests include seventeenth-century British literature and print culture, queer theory, feminism, and affect theory. Her dissertation focuses on narratives of monstrous birth in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama, poetry, and pamphlets.




Alex Ledgerwood (email) received his BA in Humanities from Bluefield State College and his MA in English Literature from the University of Miami. His research focuses on affective histories of shame/pride in narratives of queer identity in mid- to late-20th century British, Caribbean, and African literature.





Raymond Leonard (email) is a third-year PhD student. He focuses on narratives of race and imperialism in the early American Atlantic.





Paige Miller (email) is a second-year Ph.D. student. She holds a BA in English and Spanish from Texas Christian University and an MA in English Literature from Saint Louis University. Her research interests include 20th-century British literature, Irish studies, modernism, and ideologies of language.



Benjamin Moats (email) is a first-year PhD student. Originally from Nebraska, he obtained a BA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City and an MA from The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). He then worked at UMKC as a lecturer and is now pursuing a PhD at UM. His academic interests include postcolonial literature, African American literature, and critical race studies.




Julia Mollenthiel (email) is a first-year English PhD student. She earned her bachelors degree in English with a minor in Political Science at Howard University. After her undergraduate career, Julia served three years with Teach for America teaching English in North Miami. She is primarily interested in race theory, cultural theory, American literature, and African-American literature. 



Alexandria Morgan (email) is a first-year English PhD student, interested in feminist issues such as gender and sexuality, specifically in Early Modern women's writing.





Gillian Mozer (email) is a fourth-year PhD student who works on queer theory, eco theory, and British Modernism. Gillian completed a concentration in Early Modern Studies, and has been the editorial assistant for Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal since January 2016. Gillian is also an organizing member of GradOUT, the UM community for LGBTQ grad students.


Brad Rittenhouse (email) works on nineteenth-century American literature, particularly on the works of Herman Melville and Walt Whitman. He is interested in the ways literature aggregates, stores, and aestheticizes information. Brad was the 2015-2016 UGrow Fellow at the Center for Computational Science, and is working on a digital humanities project to identify and quantify the use of data in literature.




Tarika Sankar (email) is a first-year PhD student. She received her BA in English and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in feminist critical theory, Caribbean feminisms, and literature by Indo-Caribbean women. 





Anne Schmalstig (email) is a third-year PhD student. Her research interests include the Gothic novel, Eco-criticism, climate fiction, the Anthropocene, and digital humanities. Her dissertation project forges connections between supernatural and hyper-emotional elements in the Gothic novel (which allowed authors to comment obliquely on politics, class, and race) and speculative, futuristic aspects of climate fiction (which, she argues, similarly allow authors to comment on controversial ecological, political, and racial issues). 



Bryant Scott (email) is a third-year PhD student. He has recently studied Arabic at the University of Haifa, and completed Harvard’s Institute for World Literature 2016 program. He has recently presented at the Caribbean Studies Association Conference, the American Literature Association Symposium, and the Annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. He has a forthcoming essay in the collection Through the Looking-Glass: Literatures Uniting Regions and Nations. In November, Bryant will be chairing, co-chairing, and presenting at the South Atlantic Modern Literature Association Annual Conference.


Kerri-Leanne Taylor (email) is a first-year PhD student. Originally from Stockport, England, Kerri received her BA in English and Communications from Virginia Wesleyan College, Va. Her academic interests include feminism, women writers and transatlantic studies.





Ruth Trego (email) holds a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with an English concentration and worked as a high school/middle school English teacher for 3 years before coming to UM. She is now in her second year of graduate studies and is working toward a PhD with a concentration in 20th-Century Southern American literature. 



Spencer Tricker (email) is a PhD candidate specializing in American literature of the long nineteenth century. His dissertation, Transpacific Communities: Racialization and Literary Form, 1838-1912, examines American, Asian, and Asian-American literary imaginings of the Pacific as a superregional, geocultural space for mediating race and community in a climate of emergent globalization. Recently, he organized a panel on U.S. Imperialism and Nineteenth-century Pacific Narratives at the 2016 ALA Conference in San Francisco and presented his work at the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College.



Oliver Wallis (email) is a fourth-year PhD student. His research focuses on the composition and mediators of modernisms. Other areas of interest include science/technology studies and Irish literature.





Becca Yahr (email) is a third-year PhD student. She received her BA in History and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (2014), and her MA in English Literature from the University of Miami (2016). Her research currently focuses on Early Modern literatures, with specific interest in queer, gender, and affect theories.