Literature Student Profiles | Department of English

Literature Student Profiles

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, "Queer Sonic Spiritualism"--which explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, sound, and spiritualism in non-realist texts at the turn of the twentieth century. When she is not working or writing, you can find her at home snuggled up with her pug, Shakespeare, her husband, Jack, and her son, Zeke.


Jamini Hariharan

Jamini Hariharan 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.


Ayesha Murtza

Ayesha is a 4th year Ph.D. scholar in English Literature. Her research focuses on post-colonial literature, intersectionality, feminist disability studies, and environmental justice. She has passed her comprehensive exams with distinction under the supervision of Dr. Anna Hinton, Dr. Aja Martinez, and Dr. Joanna Davis-McElligatt and currently working on her dissertation.

Prior to coming to UNT from Punjab, Pakistan, she completed her M.A. and M.Phil. in English Literature and Linguistics and won Excellence Achievement Award during her MA. She has presented her research works at NWSA, NeMLA, ASLE+AESS, ICLAP, and other conferences.

Ayesha is fluent in Urdu, Punjabi, and English. She has received many awards, including Graduate Academic Achievement Scholarship (2022), International Affairs Pakistani Student Scholarship (2023), The Veta Watson Percy Scholarship (2023), International Affairs Pakistan Student Scholarship Fund (2024). Her published works include her "Counterstory," published in Writers: Craft and Context, a book chapter about #MosqueMeToo in the edited volume, The Other #MeToos (Oxford University Press 2023). She is currently engaged in a translation project.


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.


Paria Rahmani

Paria Rahmani is a PhD student in English Literature. Her focus is on 20th century American modern and postmodern novels and novellas depicting human embodiment/experience and temporality, with specific interests in affect theory in order to identify and analyze complex emotions in literature such as grief, envy, and rage. Born in the U.S. to Iranian parents, her other interests include Iranian-American literature, poetry, and media. When she is not on campus, you can probably find her at a coffee shop writing articles for her music criticism portfolio she has been updating for nearly a decade.


Arpita Sen

Arpita Sen is a current Ph.D. candidate and a Teaching Fellow at UNT. She has completed her B.A. in India from the University of North Bengal and earned an M.A. in English from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She also holds a Diploma in Digital Marketing and has worked as a content writer and social media manager. Her research interests are in the field of feminism, gender dynamics and postcolonial literature. She hopes to continue researching and exploring representations and ideologies of femininity within the written word and its effect on societal structures, with a specific focus upon South Asian literature and culture.

In her spare time, she enjoys being snuggled up in a blanket listening to music, or penning down short writings or poems as a hobby.


Francesca Silva

Francesca is a PhD student and a Teaching Fellow. Francesca earned their B.A. in English from Sam Houston State University and M.A. in Literature from the University of North Texas. Their research interests include multicultural women's literature, magical realism, rhetoric, and feminist and queer theory. Their current research focuses on feminist literature in tandem with magical realism and how it can create realities in which women, Black and Latin American women are able to question, challenge, and resist their oppression and patriarchal systems. Francesca hopes to continue their research within similar fields of study and also explore more literature and theory that centers not only on women of color, but queer non-binary and genderfluid people as well. When they aren't researching or teaching, Francesca enjoys listening to horror and true crime podcasts, reading fantasy novels, and taking long walks with their dog Sky.


Rachel Sullivan

Rachel Sullivan is a Literature PhD student and teaching fellow. She specializes in contemporary speculative fiction and fictional representations of motherhood. She earned her BA in Literature from SUNY Empire State College in 2016 and her MS in Library and Information Science from Texas Woman's University in 2020.


Laura Yeck

Laura Yeck is a Ph.D. student and Teaching Fellow for the University of North Texas. She enjoys exploring symbolic connections between literature, art, and pop culture. She is delighted to continue her journey of teaching and learning at UNT.


Marissa A. Zerangue

Marissa A. Zerangue is a Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas. Her scholarly interests meet at the intersections of gender, race, and crime in American literature. Marissa received her M.A. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2019, and her thesis explored domestic noir in contemporary fiction, focusing specifically on the work of Gillian Flynn. Her dissertation will examine true crime and crime noir across various media, including fiction, film, graphic narrative, podcasts, and other emerging genres. Marissa enjoys reading, taking care of her house plants, and watching TV in her spare time.