Graduate Students

Nina Moon Ahn is a second-year doctoral student in the English department with a focus on 18th-century British literature. She is particularly interested in women’s writing, the intersections between proto-feminism and Britain’s colonial project, and conceptions of political and sexual consent. [email protected]

Ryan Burns is a sixth-year graduate student in the History department. He specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, tracing the emergence of contractual theories of government and assessing the challenge posed by dissident groups to the authority and integrity of the state. Ryan holds a BA in History and Political Science from Kenyon College and an MPhil in early modern history from the University of Cambridge. [email protected]

Clay Cogswell is a third-year doctoral student in the English department. His research focuses on the 19th-century British novel, with particular emphasis on the rise of detective fiction. He is currently working on the emergence of the concept of the alibi and its role in structuring fictional space in the multiplot Victorian novel. He is currently co-chair of the Long Nineteenth-Century Colloquium at Northwestern. [email protected]

Ruby Daily, a doctoral student in History, studies gender and sexuality in modern Britain, with an emphasis on violence and sex in popular culture. Ruby holds a BA in History from Wittenberg University and a Master’s in History from the University of Vermont. She is a recipient of the Kinsey Institute John Money Fellowship and was a 2016 DPDF fellow of the Social Science Research Council. She is also currently co-chair of the Long Nineteenth Century-Colloquium at Northwestern. [email protected]

Brian Druchniak studies modern British history, with a particular focus on empire and legal history. His dissertation, provisionally entitled “Giving the Devil His Due: Law, Nationalism, and Reputation,” is a study of the laws of sedition and libel in the era of Indian and Irish nationalism, c. 1880-1922. He holds a BA in History from the University of Michigan, a Master’s in History from UIC, and a Master’s in History from Brown University. [email protected]

Gil Engelstein, a second-year doctoral student, is examining British history and its international aspects. His research interests include the history of migration, cultural exchange, and sexual cultures in the 20th century. Gil earned his BA in history and literature at Tel Aviv University, where he also wrote an MA thesis entitled “‘Once I Was One, Now I Am Many’: Life Histories of Transgender Women in Israel, 1948-1986.”
[email protected]

Laura Ferdinand Feldmeyer is a student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama. Her research interests in the relationships among constructions of childhood, wartime propaganda, and imaginative play were sparked by her time as Resident Stage Manager at Town Hall Children’s Theatre. Her adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan explores the creation and evolution of Barrie’s iconic myth from his journals, letters, and archive. She is president of Northwestern’s Graduate Improv Team, SPG, and received her BA and Master’s in Theatre from Miami University, where she served as adjunct instructor of Theatre. [email protected]

Menglu Gao is a doctoral student in Comparative Literary Studies and English. She is currently examining representations of addiction in Victorian fiction and how it introduces into British realism a different conception and measurement of time-space. As a comparitivist, she is also interested in extending the specific problem of addiction in Victorian fiction into a global modern attribute by tracing the intimacy between addiction and the Other in the nineteenth-century Chinese novel. [email protected]

Johana Godfrey is a first-year doctoral student in the English department specializing in Victorian literature. She is interested in material culture and intellectual history; more narrowly, in how emerging literary forms and aspects of print culture responded to pervasive uncertainties about imperial and urban expansion. [email protected]

Emma Goldsmith, a sixth-year graduate student in History, is currently researching the social history of the British Atlantic port cities of Liverpool and Glasgow. Her dissertation examines those living at the top of the social scale in these cities between 1870 and 1930. Her website is [email protected]

Alícia Hernàndez Grande is a third-year student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama. Her research interests include the development and representation of national and regional identity through theatre and sport culture, with a special emphasis on post-WWII Europe. She earned her BA in English Literature and Theatre from Rice University and her Master’s in Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy from the University of Houston. [email protected]

Megan Housley is a first-year student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama. A British national, she received a BA in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from the University of Cambridge and a Master’s in English Literature from the University of Warwick. She also holds a DipGrad in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Megan’s research interests span several periods and focus on the influence of sudden political systemic shifts on formal developments in British playwriting. She maintains a foot in the study of modern and postmodern dramatic forms, though her doctoral work is increasingly turning to the study of dramatic literature and political thought during the seventeenth-century English Civil Wars. [email protected]

Lisa Kelly is a seventh-year graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Theatre and Drama. Her research focuses on the rise of celebrity culture in nineteenth-century Britain and how actresses used participation in philanthropy and social organizations to change their social status and advocate for social causes. [email protected]

Brian Leahy is a doctoral student in the department of Art History studying contemporary art. He focuses on the relationships among contemporary art, economics, and the state, particularly during the 1980s. A central interest is the history of Irish art, including issues of intra-European colonialism, transatlantic migration, racialization(s) of the Irish in the United States, and contemporary Irish economic policy. [email protected]

Sarah Mason is a doctoral student in the English Department specializing in 19th- and early 20th-century British literature. Her research interests focus on British preoccupation with invasion, influence, and disease. She is particularly interested in Victorian fears of bodily invasion (microbial or otherwise) and the mental and physical corruption that ensue. [email protected]

Laura McCoy is a fourth-year doctoral student in History specializing in women’s and family history in the Anglo-American world through 1865. Her dissertation project, provisionally entitled “In Distress: Family and a Marketplace of Feeling in the Early American Republic,” follows American merchant families to Britain and China. It explores the emotional history of capitalism in the early United States by analyzing familial and familiar networks of both financial and emotional support in periods of personal, national, and international distress. She holds a BA in History from Vassar College, and an Master’s in History from Northwestern. [email protected]

Todd Nordgren is a doctoral student in the English department studying British modernist literature. His research interests focus on avant-garde European novels that demonstrate innovative narrative forms and concepts of text-as-body, to elaborate feminist and queer approaches in the early 20th century. [email protected]

Sarah Roth is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department studying 19th-century British novels and nonfiction. Her broad research interests include women readers, the concepts of text-as-body and body-as-text, and the cultural management of gender and sexuality. With the support of an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, she is currently writing her thesis, “An Interesting Situation: Reproduction and the Undomestication of the Victorian Novel,” on narratives of reproduction in early and mid-Victorian Britain. [email protected]


Shannon Blaha, Ph.D in History (2014). Mutual Interest: A Study of Cultural Cross-Border
Cooperation in Ireland, 1938-1968 (Chair:  B. Heyck).

Will Cavert, Ph.D. in History (2011): Producing Pollution: Coal, Smoke and Society in London, 1550-1750 (Chair:  E. Shagan). Current position: Assistant Professor of History at St Thomas University in St Paul, Minnesota.

Teri Chettiar, Ph.D. in History (2013): The Psychiatric Family: Citizenship, Private Life, and Emotional Health in Welfare-State Britain, 1945-1979 (Chair: A. Owen). Current position: Collegiate Assistant Professor and Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, the University of Chicago.

Zirwat Chowdhury, Ph.D. in Art History (Spring 2012): “Imperceptible Transitions”: The Anglo-Indianization of British Architecture, 1769-1822 (Chair: S. H. Clayson). Current position: Visiting Faculty Member in Visual Arts, Bennington College.

Anna Fenton-Hathaway, Ph.D. in English (Fall 2012): Novel Perspectives on Victorian Britain’s “Redundant” Women (Chair: C. Lane). Current positions: Lecturer in Chicago Field Studies, Northwestern University, and Managing Editor of the journal Literature and Medicine.

Christie Harner, Ph.D. in English (Fall 2010): Character Science and Its Discontents: Victorian Literary Interventions into Debates about Phrenology and Physiognomy (Chair: C. Herbert). Current position: Development Officer in Quality in Learning and Teaching Development, Newcastle University, UK.

Darcy Heuring, Ph.D. in History (2011): Health and the Politics of “Improvement” in British
Colonial Jamaica, 1914-1945 (Chair: A. Owen). Current position: Assistant Director and Earl S. Johnson Instructor in the Masters of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Emily C. Hoyler, Ph.D. in Musicology (Spring 2016): Broadcasting Englishness: National Music in Interwar BBC Periodicals (Chair: L. Austern). Current Position: Lecturer in Liberal Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Maha Jafri, Ph.D. in English (Spring 2016): Between Us: Gossip, Sociability, and the Victorian Novel (Chair: C. Lane). Current position: Assistant Professor of English at Sewanee, the University of the South.

Hosanna Krienke, Ph.D. in English (Spring 2016): The Afterlife of Illness: Narratives and Practices of Convalescence in Victorian Britain (Chair: J. Law). Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Northwestern University.

Alexandra Lindgren-Gibson, Ph.D. in History (Spring 2016): Working-Class Raj: Renegotiating Class, Sexuality and Race, 1858-1914 (Chair: A. Owen). Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Northwestern University.

Jason Lusthaus, Ph.D. in English (Spring 2016): Victorian Reincarnations: Jesus, Religion, and Doubt in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Chair: C. Lane).

Elizabeth Caitlin McCabe, Ph.D. in English (Spring 2013): How the Past Remains: George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and the Victorian Anthropological Doctrine of Survivals (Chair: C. Herbert). Current position: Lecturer in Chicago Field Studies, Northwestern University.

Laurence Robbins, Ph.D. in History (Spring 2013): The Foundations of Education: Charity and the Educational Revolution in Tudor and Stuart England, 1560-1640 (Chair: E. Shagan). Current position: Teacher of Social Studies, Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, NV.

Aileen RobinsonPh.D. in Theatre and Drama (Summer 2016): Technological Wonder: The Theatrical Fashioning of Scientific Practice, 1780-1905 (Chair: T. Davis). Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.

Chris Vickers, Ph.D. in History (Spring 2013): The Economics of Crime in Victorian England (Chair: J. Mokyr). Current position: Assistant Professor of Economics, Auburn University.

Winter Jade Werner, Ph.D. in English (Spring 2014): The Gospel and the Globe: Missionary Enterprises and the Cosmopolitan Imagination, 1795-1860 (Chair. C. Herbert). Current position: Assistant Professor of English, Wheaton College, Mass.