Curriculum vitae

Derek S. McGrath

Ph. D., English Literature / @dereksmcgrath /




Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Ph. D., Department of English

Dissertation: “American Masculinity and Home in Antebellum Literature”

Ph. D. advisor: Susan Scheckel

Readers: Andrew Newman, Jeffrey Santa Ana, Michael Kimmel



Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL

B. A. with honors Major: English

Thesis:  “ ‘Is the World, Then, So Narrow?’  The Simultaneous Need for Home and Travel in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter’”





Northeast Modern Language Association, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Director of Marketing and Communications




This study critically assesses a range of authors who defined models of masculinity by building upon, rather than only dismantling, prevalent domestic ideology before the Civil War: Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sojourner Truth, George Copway, and Mark Twain. This study traces the permeable boundary between the supposedly masculine public and supposedly feminine private spheres to identify the opportunities and challenges that the home provided to United States writers, men and women, and across the spectrums of race, class, region, and religion.





Early to twenty-first-century American literature and popular culture. Gender studies. African American literature. Native American literature. Digital humanities and pedagogy. Visual and material culture. Comic books and graphic novels. Writing and rhetoric.




Edited Volumes

In press

“Teaching Bad Romance: Poe’s Women, the Gothic, and Lady Gaga.” Teaching Tainted Lit: Popular American Fiction and the Pleasures and Perils of the Classroom. Ed. Janet Casey. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press


Web-Based Publications


“Preparing for Your Conference: For Presentations in Literature, Language, and the Humanities.” Derek S. McGrath.

“Writing Your Abstract for Conferences in Literatures, Language, and the Humanities.” Derek S. McGrath.





Marilyn and Ira Hechler Endowment Award, Stony Brook University

For successful defense of a noteworthy dissertation that contributes to the department and a better understanding of literary analysis



Meyer Graduate Award, Stony Brook University

For exceptional academic service as scholar, instructor, and mentor in the English Department



Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Stony Brook University



Outstanding Award for Undergraduate Thesis, Florida Atlantic University




“Bad Romance:  Teaching Poe’s Women with Lady Gaga.”  New York University.  “Inspired by Poe”:  Showcase at the Poe Room.  Manhattan, New York.  March 2012.  Attendance:  100




Panels Organized


“Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 30 to May 3



“Can The Subaltern Be A Superhero? The Politics of Non-Hegemonic Superheroism.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 3 to 6



“Show and Tell: A Roundtable of Comic Book and Graphic Novel Creators.” Northeast Modern Language Association. March 21 to 24

“Panels and Pedagogy: Teaching the Graphic Novel.” Northeast Modern Language Association. March 21 to 24



“Masculinity in Superhero Comic Books and Films.” Northeast Modern Language Association. A session of the Women’s and Gender Studies Caucus. March 15 to 18


Papers Presented


“For the LOLz: Comedic Reinterpretations of the Superhero in Online Fan Communities.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 30 to May 3

“Detecting the Complementary Poles of Sentiment and Sensation in Poe’s ‘The Oblong Box.’” Poe Studies Association International Conference. February 26 to March 1

“Can My Dissertation Just Be On Fandom? Pursuing a PhD in American Literature While Watching Too Much Anime.” Modern Language Association. January 8 to 11



“Sojourner Truth’s Household Lessons and Domestic Activism at Freedman’s Village.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 3 to 6



“Boyish, Feeble, and Altogether Deficient: Hawthorne and Poe’s Publications for Godeys Ladys Book.” Modern Language Association. A joint special session of the Hawthorne Society and the Poe Society. January 9 to 12

“ ‘To the Fireside of the Paleface’: Boston and Domesticity in Copway’s Running Sketches of Men and Places.” Modern Language Association. A special session of the Indigenous Literature Society. January 9 to 12.  Boston Globe report



“The Question Before the House: Sojourner Truth’s Public Home.” Underground Railroad Conference. April 17 to 19



“ ‘I Won’t Feel a Thing’: Affectless Masculinity in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog.” Popular Culture and American Culture Association.
April 20 to 23.  Whedonology report

“ ‘I Won’t Feel a Thing’: Ironic Masculinity in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 7 to 10

“Ante- and Postbellum Sarcasm as Indicator for Men’s Emotional Orientation in Poe and Twain.” Northeast Modern Language Association. April 7 to 10



“ ‘Shrinking from My Father’: Disguises and Dickens’s Darwinism in Our Mutual Friend.” Modern Language Association. December 27 to 30

“Definitions of Home in Terms of Immobility and Movement in Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative.” Northeast American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. November 5 to 8

“ ‘So It Was Just a Story’: DNA as Insufficient Narrative in Gates’s African American Lives.” Northeast Modern Language Association. February 26 to March 1



“ ‘Is The World, Then, So Narrow?’ Hawthorne’s Simultaneous Need for Home and Travel.’” Modern Language Association. December 27 to 30



“A Distorted Midwest: A Comparison to the Valley of Ashes in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.” National Undergraduate Literature Conference. March 30 to
April 1




“Domestic Impressions:  The Visual and Material Culture of the American Family Home, 1750-1890.”  American Antiquarian Society.  The Center for Historic American Visual Culture.  Worcester, Massachusetts.  July 2013


Broward College

Composition I (Fall 2014, five sections)


Stony Brook University


Major American Writers: Edgar Allan Poe (Upper-division, Summer 2010, Summer 2012). Syllabus.  Tumblr course page

Literary Analysis and Argumentation (English major foundation course, Spring 2011, Fall 2011). Syllabus

American Literature I: 1607 to 1865 (Survey course, Summer 2011)

American Literature II: 1865 to 1914 (Survey course, Summer 2011)

Literary Representations of the Human Body (Summer 2010).  Syllabus

Gender and Domesticity in the American Romance (Fall 2010). Syllabus


Introductory Writing (Fall 2008)

Intermediate Writing (Spring 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012). Syllabus.  Tumblr course page


Teaching Assistant (Designed and sole-taught some class sessions)

American Literature I: 1607 to 1865 (Fall 2009)

American Literature II: 1865 to 1945 (Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2010)




Editorial assistant to Elizabeth Abele, Nassau Community College, Home Front Heroes: The Rise of a New Hollywood Archetype, 1988-1999 (McFarland, 2014). Edited content, conducted search of recent publications to complete research review, and cleared legal rights for reproduction of all movie stills and other images.



Research assistant, Susan Scheckel, Stony Brook University. Catalogued research on antebellum medical conditions of nostalgia and melancholia as related to slave narratives, and catalogued issues of postbellum Native American photographic newsletters including The Southern Workman at the Hampton Institute and The Red Man at the Carlisle School.




Stony Brook University Safe Space GLBTQIA program



Graduate student union representative, Stony Brook University



Treasurer, English Graduate Conference, Stony Brook University



Senator, Graduate Student Organization, Stony Brook University



Graduate liaison to English department faculty, Stony Brook University



Publishing layout and design

Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress, Scribus

Photograph and digital art (GIF creation, image editing)

Adobe PhotoShop, Paint Shop ProSelect, GNU Image Manipulation Program

Video editing and publishing

Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut, Avid Editor

Web site design

HTML/CSS technologies: Intermediate knowledge

Java: Intermediate knowledge

Proficiency with academic platforms: Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Digication

Example web designs

NeMLA newsletter:

Edgar Allan Poe course:

Composition course:

Pop culture analysis forum:




Spanish: Excellent reading knowledge, good speaking ability, good writing ability

French: Good reading knowledge, good speaking ability, can write with a dictionary

Japanese: Can read with a dictionary



2007-present   Modern Language Association

2009-present   Northeast Modern Language Association: Women’s and Gender Studies Caucus

2014-present   Nathaniel Hawthorne Society

2014-present   Poe Studies Association

2014-present   Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association



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