Hillary is a doctoral candidate in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. Her dissertation, under the direction of Robert S. Levine, is titled "The Art of Unemployment: Women's Authorship and Discourses of Labor in Nineteenth-Century America." It explores how nineteenth-century women writers employ various models of female authorship to influence conceptions of occupation for women throughout the century. The dissertation reads women's artist narratives in prose and poetry with respect to debates about the changing nature and conditions of women's employment from antebellum to postbellum to argue that the Woman Writer becoems an arbitrating figure for the bounds of and membership to the employed sphere. Her research interests include domestic fiction, transatlantic poetry, labor history, and the professionalization of the literary marketplace. Hillary has also served as a site project manager for the Dickinson Electronic Archives, edited by Dr. Martha Nell Smith.
Before becoming an advisor, Hillary worked for the English Department in a variety of roles. As an instructor in the department , Hillary taught a range of courses including, LGBTQ Literatures (ENGL/LGBT 265), Children’s Literature (ENGL 257), American Literature 1865 to Present (ENGL 222), What Is Poetry? (ENGL 243), Introduction to the Short Story (ENGL246), Academic Writing (ENGL 101) and the Writing, Research, and Media Internship for Dickinson Electronic Archives (ENGL 388D). Hillary also worked as the editorial assistant for the journal Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation and as a project manager for Dickinson Electronic Archives.
Before pursuing her Ph.D. at UMD, Hillary earned her B.A. from Texas A&M University at College Station, where she majored in English (Literature concentration) and minored in History. As an undergraduate, Hillary balanced her coursework with working as a peer consultant at the University Writing Center and playing violin with the Texas A&M Orchestra.
Texts that affect me most profoundly: “Work: A Story of Experience” by Louisa May Alcott, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Harriet Jacobs, “The House of the Seven Gables” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy, “Hunger” by Roxane Gay, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.
#1 piece of advice for students: Be an active participant in your education. Being at a large state university provides many opportunities but also requires greater independence and initiative to take advantage of those opportunities. Your academic journey is yours to chart, but remember you have support along way (like advisors!).
What I wish I knew as an undergrad: Rather than striving for perfection, aim instead for satisfaction, personal growth, and building relationships with other people.
Ask me about: Requirements for the English major, what you can do with your English major, organization/productivity skills, and writing across different contexts and careers.