Bu Dissertation Abstracts

PhD Dissertation Titles, 2000-2011

2011             John Barnard

Project: “Icarian Exceptions: Race, Revision, and American Myth.”

Readers: Susan Mizruchi, Maurice Lee

2010             Matt Borushko

Project: “Shelley’s Romantic Nonviolence: Aesthetics, Politics, Ethics.”

Readers: David Wagenknecht, Charles Rzepka

2010             Steven Wandler

Project: “Moral Luck and American Fiction: Identity, Aesthetics, History.”

First reader: Leland Monk

2009             Anna Boyagoda

Project: “Representations of Community in the Poetry of Eric Roach, Derek Walcott, Wallace Stevens, and Elizabeth Bishop.”

First reader: Laurence Breiner

2009              Mina Zdravkovic

Project: “Aesthetic at Its End: Late Style in the Works of Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, and W.G.Sebald”

First Reader: Aaron Fogel

2009             Eric Johnson DeBaufre

Project: “A Globe of Countries: Carto-Geographic Consciousness and the Production of Early Modern English Literature, 1516-1616

Readers: Carroll, Siemon

2009             Eoin Cannon

Project: “The Politics of Redemption: Addiction and Conversion in Modern Culture”

Readers: Mizruchi, Carlo Rotella (Boston College)

2008             Jane Zwart

Project: “The American Initial at the End of the 20th Century: Rewriting The Scarlet Letter and the Romance of the American Origin”

Readers: Breiner

2008            Jennifer Airey

Project: “‘I Would Have Kill’d Myself With A Knife’: Sexual Violence, Courtroom Broadside, and The Restoration Stage”

Readers: Winn, Murphy

2008             Lisa Hinrichsen

Project: “Moving Forward, Looking Past: Trauma, Fantasy, and Misrecognition in Southern Literature 1930-2001”

Readers: Matthews, Patterson

2008             Belisa Monteiro

Project: “The Pleasures of Comic Mischief in Jane Austen’s Novels”

Readers: Brown, Winn

2008              Sara Pearson

Project: “Religion, Gender and Authority in the Novels of Charlotte Bronte”

Readers: Brown, Herbert Rosengarten (Chodat, proxy)

2008             Shawn Normandin

Project: “The Opacity of Renunciation in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Readers: Levine, Green

2008             Jason Pearl

Project: “New Words and New Worlds in the Age of Crusoe and Gulliver”

Readers: Winn, Breiner

2008             Keith Johnson

Project: “The Ethics of Form and the Form of Ethics: Experiments in Literature and Philosophy”

Readers: Fogel, Wagenknecht

2008             Elisa Oh

Project: “Defining Absence: Reading Female Silence in Early Modern Literature 1580-1640”

Readers: Carroll, Elaine Beilin (Framingham State U)

2007             Sara Sullivan

Project: “Coming Home to History: the Domestic Interior and the nation in Twentieth-Century Literature”

Readers: Preston, Smith, Brown

2007             Alex Bove

Project: “Dickens’ Dream-Representations: Image and Character Beyond Mimesis”

Readers: Wagenknecht, Brown

2007             Joseph Navitsky

Project: “‘Words with Words Revenged’: Religious Conflict and the Rearticulation of Late Elizabethan Satire”

Readers: Siemon, Martin

2007             Evan Willner

Project: “Imminent Communities: The Epistomological Challenge of Twentieth-Century Experimental Poetry”

Readers: Fogel, Costello

2007             Emily Rohrbach

Project: “Historioraphy of the Subject in Austen, Keats, and Byron”

Readers: Wagenknecht, Rzepka

2006             Joseph Linitz

Project: “Versions of Pastoral in Modern American Fiction”

Readers: Patterson, Matthews

2005            Reena Sastri

Project: “James Merrill: Knowing Innocence”

Readers: Costello, Riquelme

2005            Randy  Boyagoda

Project: “Imagining Nation and Imaginary Americans: Race, Immigration, and American Identity in the Fiction of Salman Rushdie, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner.”

Readers: Matthews, Breiner

2005            Sharifah Osman

Project: “Bandit Queens and Eastern Sisters: Byronic Heroes and British Nationalism, 1770-1840”

Readers: Rzepka, Wagenknecht

2005              Amy Weintraub Kratka

Project: “Cynthia Ozick’s Sacral Aesthetic.”

Readers: Korobkin, Brown

2005            Daniel  Silverstone

Project: “Urban Topographies: Controlling the Movement of People in Fictions of Dublin, London, and Los Angeles”

Readers: Fogel, Matthews

2005            Melanie  Benson

Project: “Disturbing Calculations:  The Economics of Southern Identity.”

Readers: Matthews, Patterson

2004            Laurel  Corelle

Project: “Elizabeth Bishop and Christian Literary Tradition”

Readers: Costello, Hawkins

2004            Wade  Newhouse

Project: “Home/Front: Domesticity, Nationalism, and the Narrative of Civil War from Reconstruction to the 1930s”

Readers: Matthews, Patterson

2003            Jennifer Ann Ho

Project: “Consumption and Identity in Asian-American Coming-of-Age Novels”

Readers: Mizruchi, Patterson

2003            Kirk Bazler Melnikoff

Project: “Professional Drama in the Twilight of the Elizabethan Clown: Playing and Professional Playwrighting in the Late 1580s and Early 1590s”

Readers: Siemon, Carroll

2002            Christopher Stuart Chapman

Project: “The Last Southern Gentleman: A Critical Biography of Shelby Foote”

Readers: Matthews, Patterson

2002            Peter Frederick Anderson

Project: “Against Silence: Poetry in Prison Under Apartheid”

Readers: Breiner, Fogel

2002            Sohui  Lee

Project: “Pens of the Democratic Party: Nationalism, Politics, and Creative Literature in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, 1837-1845”

Readers: Mizruchi, D. Wagenknecht

2002            Ann  Keniston

Project: “Overheard Voices: Address and Subjectivity in Postmodern American Lyric”

Readers: Costello, Monk

2001            Peter Green Lurie

Project: “Vision’s Immanence: Film, the Gaze, and Popular Narrative in Faulkner’s Modernism”

Readers: Matthews, Monk

2001            Jonathan David Mulrooney

Project: “The Subject of Theater: Theatrical Criticism and Poetry in Britain, 1798-1832”

Readers: Rzepka, D. Wagenknecht

2001            Kaara L. Peterson

Project: “Pathology and Performance: Representing Hysterical Disease in Early Modern England”

Readers: Carroll, Martin

2000            Lisa Ann Rodensky

Project: “Minds, Acts, and Crimes: Charles Dickens, George Eliot, James Fitzjames Stephen, and Victorian Criminal Responsibility”

Readers: Ricks, Korobkin

2000            Jean Follansbee Quinn

Project: “Democratic Aesthetics: The Discourse of Social Justice in American Literature, Criticism, and Philosophy of the 1930s”

Readers: Mizruchi, Matthews

2000            Naomi Ziva Sofer

Project: “Rites of Authorship: Gender and Religion in the American Literary Imagination”

Readers: Mizruchi, Korobkin

Doctoral (PhD) Dissertation Defenses

As you plan to defend you doctoral dissertation please note the steps/dates/deadlines that you will want to follow as you prepare to conclude your program. Largely, all of the forms and deadlines are outlined and linked to in the GRS Graduation Calendar.  The GDRS handbook and GRS Bulletin discuss the procedures for Writing and Defending the Dissertation.  The GRS has also prepared a guide for completing your PhD requirements that outlines much of the information stated below.

Please note that in order to graduate at the end of any given semester, you must file an Intent to Graduate Form at the beginning of the semester.  Please see the current graduation calendar for the diploma application deadlines.

Forming your dissertation committee (quoted from the GRS Bulletin)

“The examining committee is composed of five or more professorial faculty members, including the readers and a committee chair who is not a designated reader. A designated reader is defined as those committee members who sign the final dissertation approval page; all committee members are expected to read the dissertation prior to the final oral examination even if not appointed as a designated reader… A special appointment, approved by the dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, is required for those committee members who are visiting, adjunct, and emeritus faculty; Boston University employees not of professorial rank; and examiners from outside Boston University. A majority of the committee must be Boston University professional faculty members who do not require a special appointment. The membership of the committee must be approved by the department chair/program director or the director of graduate studies. All committee members are required to attend the final oral examination. Up to one committee member, who is not the chair of the committee, can attend via audio/video communication without a proxy during the final oral examination. A proxy must be in attendance for any additional committee members who attend via audio/video communication.”

In addition to the GRS requirements, the GDRS requires that a majority of a committee be composed of GDRS core faculty.

See the GRS Final Oral Exam Committee page for additional rules and instructions.

Formatting your Dissertation

Please review the entirety of GRS formatting guidelines document and Preliminary Pages Formatting document and make appropriate changes to your dissertation.

In addition, you must email a copy of your dissertation to the GRS Records Officerat least 3 weeks prior to your defense in order that they may review the formatting of your dissertation.

Scheduling the Defense

Well in advance of your ideal defense window, consult with all members of your committee to find a date or dates that are acceptable for everyone involved.  The defense should be expected to last at least 2 hours.

Most defenses in the GDRS are held either in the Religion or adjoining Judaic Studies building.  To reserve a room for your defense, contact the Program Coordinator with the date(s) and time(s) agreed upon by you and your committee.  He will then add your defense to the GDRS internal calendar and confirm the scheduled location.

Students are responsible for any technology and communication needed for the defense.

Abstract Approval

After you have confirmed the date, time and place of your defense, and at least 3 weeks in advance of your defense, forward and a copy of your properly formatted abstract (preferably in word format) and a completed Schedule of Defense with Abstract Approval Form to the Program Coordinator.  Please have your adviser review your abstract and sign the approval form before returning it to the Coordinator.  The Coordinator will then ensure that the GDRS Director and the Director of Graduate Studies review and approve the abstract before it is sent to the GRS. Once the Dean approves your abstract, GRS Records will contact you directly.

Defense Guest Policies

If you are planning on having guests accompany you to your defense, please keep in mind the following current GDRS policies.  Non-student guests are not allowed to sit in on defenses.  Student guests can only attend with the advance permission of your Defense Chair and are limited in number to five.  Student guests are not allowed to sit in on the evaluation portion of the defense.

After the Defense

The Chair of your dissertation committee will be provided with paperwork by the GRS to record the outcome of your defense and will be responsible for completing the forms and submitting them to the GDRS Program Coordinator.  The student will be responsible for submitting an original copy of the dissertation signature page to the GDRS Program Coordinator. Signatures must be originals. Neither a proxy nor another faculty member may sign for a reader. A scanned version of the Dissertation Approval Page should be included with the dissertation itself. Therefore we suggest that you have at least 2 original copies of the signature page- one for you to keep and one to submit to the Program Coordinator. Successfully defended dissertations, with any changes required by your readers, must be electronically submitted to the GRS office.  In order to qualify for graduation at the end of any given semester, a student must meet specific deadlines.  Please see the current graduation calendar for this academic year’s deadlines.

In addition to submitting their dissertation electronically, a student must also submit the following items:

Contact Information Form

Library Processing Fee of $115 in the form of a money order

Survey of Earned DoctoratesThe deans request that all PhD students participate in the Survey of Earned Doctorates. After completing the survey, please print the Completion Certificate and bring it to GRS with all of the materials listed above. If you don’t wish to participate in the survey simply make that known at your final appointment with the records administrator.


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