Current Graduate Students

Meet some of our current M.A. and Ph.D. students and learn about their areas of interest.

AbujadIbtisam Abujad, Ph.D. candidate
Area of Interest/Study: Transnational Cultural Studies, with a focus on migrancy, gender, race, and the burgeoning field of Critical Muslim Studies

Ibtisam M. Abujad has published a number of scholarly articles and book chapters, a list of which can be found at Her creative and poetic works can be found in journals such as The Nasiona, The Pointed Circle, Route 7 Review, Rigorous, Blue Minaret Literary Journal, and Cream City Review, among others.  

No ImageMatthew Burchanoski, Ph.D. candidate
Area of Interest/Study: 20th/21st-century Anglophone literature; critical theory

BurgessHolly Burgess, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, gender and LGBTQ+ studies, and film studies

Holly Burgess earned her M.A. in English at Marquette and returned to the Ph.D. program in 2018. Burgess's dissertation examines police brutality, revolutionary violence, and hip-hop from The Black Power Movement to The Black Lives Matter Movement. In 2021, She presented a paper on Sara and Tegan Quin's memoir High School at MMLA. Her poetry is published in Straylight Literary Arts Magazine and Marquette Literary Review. 

No ImageWendy Fall, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Gothic literature, drama, fantasy and science fiction 

Wendy is an advanced doctoral student who recently completed a year of archival research at the Bodleian, British Library, University of Virginia, and the New York Public Library with fellowship support from the Smith fellowship and a Buice Scholarship (Rare Book School, University of Virginia). She has presented her work on gothic literature and archives at international and national conferences this year and has four forthcoming publications in a range of venues from Studies in Gothic Fiction to The Handbook of Horror Literature.  She edits the well-known Gothic Archive, a digital collection of Gothic chapbooks begun by Dr. Diane Hoeveler.


Alex Gambacorta, M.A. candidate

Alex Gambacorta earned her B.A. in Writing Intensive English and Social Welfare and Justice from Marquette in 2018 and returned for the M.A. program in 2021. She is conducting research on trauma-informed pedagogy with the Education Preparedness Program (EPP) and working as a Teaching Assistant for the “inside” course, Poetry and Community.

SuarezJose Intriago-Suarez, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Post Colonial 20th-century Anglophone literature and its humor, contemporary popular culture, Flann O’Brien, and critical theory


LandwerSusan Jones-Landwer, Ph.D. candidate

Areas of Interest/Study: 19th-Century Women's Literature with a focus on the antebellum women's experience. 

No ImageMaggie Patchet, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature, War Literature

Maggie is writing a dissertation on writings by female combatants in the Iraq War. She recently gave a conference presentation from this project at MMLA entitled “Repurposing Real Stories: The Function of the Frame in Helen Benedict's The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq.” In her time here, Maggi has served as an editorial assistant on Marquette’s Renascence journal.

SimmererCatherine Simmerer, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 19th- and 20th-century British literature; Catholic literature; war literature and trauma theory; narrative and chronology; disillusionment and nostalgia

Catherine earned her M.A. in English at Marquette and returned to the Ph.D. program in 2018. She has presented research on Arthur Conan Doyle and Austen’s Emma at the MWCBS. Additionally, she published a short biography of Father Brown in Eric Sandberg’s 100 Greatest Literary Detectives.

SpauldingPeter Spaulding, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: English Renaissance, American Modernism, and the encyclopedic novel 

Peter joined the Ph.D. program in 2018 after completing his M.A. degree here in the spring. In his doctoral work, he hopes to explore the theodicean question in Paradise Lost. Last summer, Peter presented “Infinite Jest, Lewis’s Tao, and the Escape from Solipsism” at the fourth annual David Foster Wallace Conference. This paper will be published in 2019 in the book David Foster Wallace and Religion.

ThomasonJannea Thomason, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: Gothic Literature, Medical Sciences in Literature, Motherhood Studies, Systems Literacy, Ecocriticism, Feminist Theory, SOTL studies.

Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach between literature, history, and medicine to create scholarship on reproductive matters still relevant today. Her dissertation is on the representation of contraception and reproduction in English novels of the long nineteenth century.                       

KellerEmily Workman Keller, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: British Romanticism, Gothic novels and chapbooks, the literature of British imperialism, and Britain's national identity 

ZastrowAmanda Zastrow, Ph.D. candidate
Areas of Interest/Study: 
Late 19th-/Early 20th-century American literature with research interests in gender studies and place studies

Amanda Zastrow is studying pioneer narratives and American literature of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. She has presented at various conferences and has published in journals such as Pleiades, Pivot, and has a book chapter in the Representing Rural Women edited collection.