Graduate Research Excellence

Our graduate programs are designed to provide you with a comprehensive and immersive research experience. Dive deep into your chosen field of study, working closely with faculty mentors to develop expertise and contribute to the scholarly community.  Engage in interdisciplinary research and connect with fellow students from diverse backgrounds. Our vibrant community encourages the exchange of ideas and perspectives, enriching your research experience.


Masters and Doctoral Research

The Master's Paper
The master's student will develop a thorough understanding of existing knowledge and the ability to apply that existing knowledge to a problem of interest. The MA Paper requires independent research at the graduate level in a sustained consideration of a critical project. The MA paper may build on work produced in coursework but must also include significant new work.

The Dissertation
The dissertation must show originality and demonstrate the student's capacity for independent research. It must embody results of research that constitute a definitive contribution to knowledge.

Recent Doctoral Research

What they wrote about and where they went ...

Jessica Jorgenson (PhD, 2016) ... now Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages at Pittsburgh State University
First-Generation Pedagogy: A Case Study of First-Generation College Students in First-Year WritingThe purpose of this research was to examine the motivations and attitudes first-generation college students held toward classroom interventions and written assignments. This classroom research took place during one semester ...

Justin Michael Atwell (PhD, 2017) ... now Lecturer, Department of English, Colorado State University, Boulder
In this Together: Consubstantial Ethos in Writing in the Sciences Classrooms 
"In This Together: Consubstantial Ethos in Writing in the Sciences Classrooms" explores the ethos of instructors tasked with instructing STEM students how to write in the sciences. Building on the importance of ethos in ...

Massimo Verzella (PhD, 2016) ... now Assistant Professor of English at Penn State-Behrend
Reclaiming the Place of Translation in English Composition and Technical Communication: Toward Hospitable Writing
Abstract: The defining characteristic of a pedagogy informed by philosophical cosmopolitanism is a focus on the dialogic imagination: the coexistence of rival ways of life in the individual experience which incites us to interrogate ...

Neelam Jabeen (PhD, 2016) ... Teaching/Research Associate, International Islamic University of Islamabad (IIUI), Pakistan
Women and the Environment of the Global South: Toward a Postcolonial Ecofeminism
In this study I claim that mainstream ecofeminism is inadequate to translate the experiences of the women of the Third World and propose postcolonial ecofeminism. The study focuses on the ecofeminist assumption of women's ...

Heather M. Steinmann (PhD, 2015) ... now Assistant Professor of English at Western New Mexico University
Energetic Space: The Affect of Literature in a Composition Classroom
Rhetorical and critical theory have both prescribed and proscribed the way scholars view affect. With the exception of Reader Response Theory, literary and rhetorical theory tend to use a more long-term and permanent ...

Steven R. Hammer (PhD, 2014) ... now Assistant Professor of Communication at Saint Joseph's University
Writing (Dirty) New Media: Technorhetorical Opacity, Chimeras, and Dirty Ontology
There is little doubt that emerging technologies are changing the way we act, interact, create, and consume. Yet despite increased access to these technologies, consumers of technology too seldom interrogate the politics, ...

Karen J. Sorensen Schroeder (PhD, 2013) ... now Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Winona State University
Carl Sagan's Cosmos: The Rhetorical Construction of Popular Science Mythology
Using Carl Sagan's Cosmos as a case study, this dissertation explores the intersection of science with popular culture and builds a new framework for rhetorically analyzing popular science programming. The arguments and ...

Recent MA Research

Fawzia S. Riji (MA, 2017) Literacy Narratives of Pre-Literate and Non-Literate Adult Refugee Women 
This study focuses on the Literacy Narratives of Pre-Literate and Non-Literate Adult Refugee Women in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Personal interviews were conducted to gather data. The recorded interviews were then ...

Margaret E. Silvernail (MA, 2017) Dancing through Issues of Class and Race in the Composition Classroom 
Within the writing classroom, teachers (and students) tend to understand writing and rhetoric as a mental activity, rarely considering the body’s role in effective communication—even more rarely do they incorporate the ...

Jesse R. Wagner (MA, 2017) Reprinting Russia: Anti-Imperial Discourse in Elias Boudinot’s Cherokee Phoenix 
While much work has explored American Indian print resistance to the encroaching United States, little scholarship has explored reprinting as a method of resistance. Building on Meredith McGill’s argument that reprinting ...

Emilee C. Ruhland (MA, 2017) “Your Legacy Is Yours to Build”: Defining Leadership in Beowulf and Its Adaptations 
This paper analyzes how narrative choice and media affect the depiction of leadership in Beowulf by studying three texts: the medieval Beowulf, the 2007 Hollywood film of the same name, and Beowulf: The Game. While the ...

Holly Hagen (MA, 2016) Christabel’s Complexity: Coleridge’s View of Science, Nature and the Supernatural 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s unfinished poem, “Christabel,” follows the meeting and interaction of a young maiden and a deceptive demonesque woman. This paper explores the interactions between the natural, supernatural, and ...

Kai J. Thorstad (MA, 2015) Literalized Metaphors in China Mieville’s Bas-Lag Novels 
In this paper, I will be discussing hybridity, Othering, and agency in China Miéville’s fantasy novels set in the world of Bas-Lag. I will be expanding upon Joan Gordon’s concept of “literalized metaphors” which suggests ...

Emily Bartz (MA, 2014) Female Heroism and Leadership in the Anglo-Saxon Judith 
In this paper, I argue that the Anglo-Saxon Judith frames its titular character’s simultaneous adoption of sacred femininity and masculine heroic violence as the acceptable and necessary response to despair in the face ...

Recent MA and PhD Conference Presentations

Banasik, Jasmine. "Surpassed Heracles and Unto Zeus: Norse Cults in William Shakespeare's Hamlet." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Banasik, Jasmine. “I Know Thee Not: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Sex and Sin in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.” Women’s Week Conference AND Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Banasik, Jasmine. “Waiting for the Makers’ Return: Effects of Post-Human CUlture in Angelic” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Belmihoub, Ibtissem. "What to Expect when you Don't Know What to Expect: International Student Expectations at the Writing Center." Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), 2017.

Belmihoub, Ibtissem. "International Collaboration: A Case Study." Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project Conference (TAPP), 2016.

Bergh, Rio. “The Fantasy of Virtuous Labor: The Accretion of Bodies and the ‘Grey Area’ in Venture Smith.” Midwest Modern Language Association’s 60th Annual Conference, 2018.

Bergh, Rio. “A ‘Monster of Wickedness?’: Sexual Anxieties of the Eighteenth Century in The Confessions of Patience Boston.” Red River Graduate Student Conference, 2018.

Bergh, Rio. “‘Free from Our Feasts and Banquets Bloody Knives’: Food, Consumption, and Power in Macbeth Adaptations of the 2000s.” Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association’s Annual Conference, 2017.

Chinwongs, Luc. "Beautiful Boy Soldiers: Karou Shintani's Area 88 and the Negotiation of Japanese Post War Masculinity." Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), 2017.

Chowdhury, Rowshan.“Restriction and Resistance in Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley’s Works: A Feminist Interpretation.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) Triennial Conference, Colorado, 2018.

Chowdhury, Rowshan. “Concept of Hospitality and Levitical Strangerhood: A Retrospective Analysis of the Poems of Phillis Wheatley.” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Copeland, Adam. "The Not-So-Simple-Way: Examining the Disparate Rationale of Two Leaders in the Simplicity Movement." Media, Religion, & Publics, International Society of Media, Religion, and Culture, Seoul, Korea, 2016

Crisman, Rebecca. "Beauty and Her Needs: Understanding the Appeal of an Abusive Relationship in Beauty and the Beast." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Devroy, Shaibal. “The Dream of Emancipation in the Poetry of George Moses Horton, a Poet in Bondage.” 32nd Annual MELUS Conference, May 2018.

Devroy, Shaibal. “History of George Moses Horton Criticism.” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Devroy, Shaibal. “License to Rape—the Rhetoric of the Raped Rohingya Women: A Study of the Interviews of Refugees in Bangladesh.” Department of Women and Gender Studies: Red River Women’s Studies Conference, 2017.  

Fincel, Abigayl. "Heroic Cinderella: Expanding Definitions of 'Proper" Heroinism." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Gomes, Shane. "Shaken, But Not Yet Stirred. The Persistance of Institutionalized Misogyny in the James Bond Series." Literary Conference, Denver, CO, 2015.

Gomes, Shane. “Unweaving the World: Militant Eco-Feminism in Beautiful Darkness.” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Gomes, Shane. "'Everything That Ought to Have Remained Hidden': Sublimation and the Uncanny in Anya’s Ghost." North East Popular Culture Assocation Conference, Amherst, MA, 2017.

Gomes, Shane. "Empathic Teaching: A Deployment of CCT Informed Pedagogy." Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Kansas City, MO,. 2018

Gomes, Shane. "'Whiteness Never Has To Speak Its Name': The Rhetorical Construction of Race in Linden Hills." VIII International Gothic Literature Congress, Mexico City, Mexico, 2018.

Grider, Rachel. "Speak! An Exploration of Non-Human Language and Identity Through a Linguistic Content Analysis of Richard Adams' Watership Down." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Gullickson, Lee. “Individuals, Interpellation, and ‘Fake’ News.” Comparative World Literature Conference, Long Beach, CA, 2017.

Gullickson, Lee “Understanding Divisive Digital Rhetoric.” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Noel, Taija. "Taking Back the Lady: The Neoplatonic Authority of Intellectual Agency in Comus." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Olson, Jordan. "Purgatory, Marriage, and Arrested Development in A New Woman Fiction." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2016.

Petts, Ashleigh. “WPA-GO Anti-Racist Assessment Workshop” (with Sara Lovett and Amanda
Presswood). Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) Conference, 2018.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Crafting a Rhetoric of Response: Making Sense of the West Virginia Water Crisis.” Rhetoric Society of America (RSA), 2018.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Facilitating Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Technical and Professional Communication.” Academic Writing Across Cultures, Belgrade, 2018.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Race, Linguistic Diversity, and Proposing Change: Towards an Antiracist Writing Pedagogy in Professional and Technical Writing.” Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Annual Convention, 2018.

Petts, Ashleigh (with Krista Aldrich, Abby Fincel, and Hannah Stevens). “The Ethics and Praxis of Grading Contracts in the University Writing Classroom.” Minnesota Conference on Writing and English, 2018.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Writing and (Re)Reading Julian of Norwich into the Rhetorical Tradition.” Feminisms and Rhetorics, 2017.

Petts, Ashleigh. “‘The Play’s the Thing:’ Mimetic Adaptation in Olivier’s Henry V and Hamlet.”
Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA), 2017.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Workplace Feminism and Women’s Leadership: A Response to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.” Red River Women’s Studies Conference (RRWSC), 2017.

Petts, Ashleigh. “A Rhetoric of Raising Hell: Mother Jones’ Charleston Speeches.” 34th Annual Women’s Week, North Dakota State University, 2016.

Petts, Ashleigh. “Rewriting the Body: Appropriating Technical Communication Genres for Medical Legitimacy.” Great Plains Association for Computers and Writing, 2015.

Rinehart, Kathryn. "Breaking the Girl: The Pre-Feminist Nightmare of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.

Stevens, Hannah. “’…I can get you anytime I want’: Violence as a Societal Commentary in the Slasher Film”. The Film and History Conference, 2018.

Stevens, Hannah. “Live as a Force to be Reckoned With: The Destruction of Individuality, the Deliberate Miscarriage of Justice, and the Dystopian in Naylor’s Linden Hills.” Red River Graduate Student Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Stevens, Hannah. “Roundtable: Grading Contracts”. Red River Graduate Student Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Stevens, Hannah. “Workshop: Grading Contracts in Praxis.” Red River Graduate Student Conference (RRGSC), 2018

Stevens, Hannah. “The Ethics and Praxis of Grading Contracts in the University Writing Classroom.” A Minnesota Conference on Writing and English | University of Minnesota. Minneapolis MN (MnWe), 2018.

Stevens, Hannah. “’In the Space Between Chaos and Shape there was Another Chance’: Transitions from Theorist, to Activist, to Teacher, to Scholar.” Women’s Week (NDSU), 2018.

Stevens, Hannah. "Multi-dimensional Female Characters: How the Slasher/Horror Genre Gives Rise to Female Voices and an Analysis of the 'Final Girl' in the Movie Hush." Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2017.  

Stevens, Hannah. “’I Stuck a Blender on His Head and Killed Him’: Heroism, Violence, and Feminine Representation in the Slasher Film.” Red River Women Studies Conference (RRWSC), 2017.

Watts, Amanda. “A Muse of Fire: Translating the Role of Chorus from State to Film.” Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature, 2018.

Watts, Amanda. “Power Over Gods: The Anthropomorphism and Destruction of Buddhist Figures from Hadda.” Red River Graduate Studies Conference (RRGSC), 2018.

Watts, Amanda. “The Essential Role of the Chorus in Film Adaptations of Shakespeare’s Henry V.” Mid-Atlantic Popular American Culture Association, 2017.

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