Literature Student Profiles | Department of English

Literature Student Profiles

Anum Aziz

Anum Aziz is a 5th-year Ph.D. student in postcolonial literature with a specialization in postcolonial Marxist feminism. Her paper, "Agency of Silence: An Intertextual Study of Identity Construction in Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven" was accepted for publication in 2022 by Pakistan Journal of American Studies. She loves cats, makeup, music, and cooking.

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Nicholas Brush

Nicholas A. Brush is a disabled queer veteran whose scholarly interests meet at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and food in early modern drama. His/Their dissertation is tentatively titled, "Dietary Deviants: Eating Queer in Early Modern English Drama." Nicholas received his/their B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from Cameron University and his/their M.A. in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Nicholas' poetry has been published in The Gold Mine, Cuento Magazine, Dragon Poet Review, and petrichor, among others, and has been anthologized in The 580 Mixtapes, Volume 1: An Anthology of Lawton Poetry. Nicholas' scholarly publications include articles in The Journal of the Wooden O, The Central Dissent, and Philological Review. His/Their extracurricular pursuits include reading and collecting comic books, building and collecting LEGO®, online gaming, and watching and writing about horror films.

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Shannon Couey

Shannon Couey is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century British literature. She is working on her dissertation--tentatively titled, "Sonic Bodies, Sonic Sex," which explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, sound, and embodiment in non-realist texts at the turn of the twentieth century. When she is not teaching or working on her dissertation, you can find her at home snuggled up with her pug, Shakespeare, and her husband.

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Jamini Hariharan

Jamini is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English literature. She graduated with an M.A. in Advertising from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has worked as a copywriter at various media companies, such as Young and Hungry, Globein, and Carol H. Williams Advertising. Her work focused on creating multicultural brand strategies and solutions to help companies better connect with their diverse audiences. Jamini aims to bring this experience to her research on the roles of the minority in media.

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Frazier Johnson

Frazier Johnson received his B.A. in English with a certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from UNT in 2017. He is currently pursuing his M.A. in medieval literature. His novel, The Lost King, was published in 2020 through a Texas company, FyreSyde publishing, and he hopes soon to publish academic works. In addition to pursuing his graduate degree, Frazier works at UNT in the admissions office as a Graduate Recruiter.

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Takuya Matsuda

Tak Matsuda is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at the University of North Texas. He is currently working on a dissertation, which examines representations of the Pacific theater in the Second World War in ethnic American literature, with a focus on its rendition of U.S. and Japanese racism and imperialism in the mid-twentieth century. His scholarly articles have appeared in The South-Central Review and The Japanese Journal of American Studies.

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Ayesha Murtza

Ayesha Murtza is a Ph.D. student in English Literature at UNT. She moved to Denton from Pakistan to pursue a doctorate to study language, postcolonial literature, and cultural criticism. She is invested in exploring how language, poetry, linguistic signs, and storytelling shape and affect human existence.

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Joel Najera

Joel Najera is an M.A. student at UNT, who specializes in Black literary studies, and the current secretary of the South Central MLA African American literature panel. Joel earned his B.A. at UNT and received the Distinguished Honors College Scholar Award in recognition of his undergraduate honors thesis, "Beyond the Hold: The Evolution of the Ship in African American Literature." Joel's current research stems from this work, and he aspires to pursue a doctorate in the future. Outside of UNT, he is the single father of three bright, young children.

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Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson is a Ph.D. candidate in literature. She studies twentieth-century American women's literature using disability studies and mad studies frameworks. She also tutors graduate students in the UNT Writing Center.

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Md. Saifur Rahman

Md. Saifur Rahman is a Ph.D. student and Teaching Fellow at UNT. He completed both B.A. and M.A. from the Department of English at the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He taught as a faculty in the Department of English at Premier University, Chittagong, and at the Department of English at Chittagong Independent University. He was a Fulbright FLTA at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. His research interests include postcolonial literature, climate justice, film studies, etc. He intends to use an eco-centric lens in postcolonial studies, focusing particularly on South Asian culture and literature.

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Paria Rahmani

Paria Rahmani is a Ph.D. student and Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas. Her primary concentration is Modern and Postmodern Literature, with a specific focus in novels and novellas. Her secondary concentration is Persian- and Iranian-American Literature and Poetry. When she is not on campus, you can probably find her at a coffee shop nearby, writing articles and album reviews for her music criticism portfolio she has been updating for nearly a decade.

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Christa Reaves

Christa Reaves is a Ph.D. candidate in English literature and a teacher of early British literature. Her specialization is in Renaissance drama with a secondary emphasis in modern American drama. In her own words, she works with "all plays, all the time." Her dissertation examines the influence of Ovidian mythology on Shakespeare's works and how that translates on the modern stage. She was the proud recipient of the UNT Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award in 2021.

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Monique Sheppherd

Monique Sheppherd is an M.A. student in Victorian literature. She previously earned her B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from UNT and went on to earn her M.S. in Library and Information Science. Outside of her studies, she enjoys writing with a curated playlist on loop, large mugs of tea, and collecting Funko Pop figures from her favorite series.

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Leslie Stewart-Gordon

Leslie Stewart-Gordon is a Ph.D. candidate studying literature. Her primary interest is modern and contemporary American drama. She has previously served on GSEA, GSC, and currently serves on the FYW team. She lives in Denton and has a daughter and three cats.

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Marissa Zerangue

Marissa A. Zerangue is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas. She received her Master of Arts degree in the Spring of 2019 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in English Literature. Her thesis centered on domestic noir in contemporary fiction, specifically in author Gillian Flynn's work. She plans to continue her research into true crime and crime noir across a wide array of media, including not only fiction and film but also podcasts and other emerging genres.

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