Graduate Faculty

Thomas Anderson


Interim Dean, Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences

  • Ph.D. 2002 Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. 2000 Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. 1998 Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A. 1990 English Literature, History, Vanderbilt University

Shakespeare, Critical Theory, Early Modern British Literature

Thomas Anderson specializes in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British literature, especially drama from Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He teaches undergraduate and... more

Ted Atkinson

Associate Professor

Editor of the Mississippi Quarterly

2010 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2001 Louisiana State University
  • M.A. 1996 Mississippi College
  • B.A. 1990 University of Mississippi

Southern studies; U.S. literature, 1900-present

Ted Atkinson joined the MSU faculty in 2009 and has served as editor of Mississippi Quarterly since 2012. His areas of research and teaching interest include southern studies... more

Ander Beristain-Murillo

Assistant Professor

2515 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2022
  • M.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2018
  • B.A. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 2016

Hispanic Linguistics, Romance Linguistics, Basque Linguistics, Phonetics, Phonology, Second and Heritage Language Acquisition, Statistical Methods for Linguistics

Ander specializes in articulatory and acoustic phonetics, bilingual phonologies, and second and heritage language acquisition. His goal is to advance the knowledge of the... more

Lourdes Cardozo Gaibisso

Assistant Professor

2503 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D., Language and Literacy Education, University of Georgia

Systemic functional linguistics, science literacy for minoritized populations, culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogies, and TESOL

Lourdes specializes in systemic functional linguistics, science literacy for minoritized populations, culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogies, and TESOL. Her... more

Shalyn Claggett

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

2505 Lee Hall


  • Ph.D.  2005  Vanderbilt University
  • M.A.  2001  Vanderbilt University
  • B.A.  2000  Truman State University

Nineteenth-century British literature, literary theory, science and literature

Shalyn Claggett teaches courses on nineteenth-century British literature and literary theory. Her book Equal Natures: Popular Brain Science and Victorian Women's Writing (... more

Peter DeGabriele

Associate Professor

269-C Allen

  • Ph.D. 2009 The University at Buffalo-SUNY
  • M.A. 2006 The University at Buffalo-SUNY
  • B.A. 2002 The Australian National University

Eighteenth-Century British Literature; Literary Theory

Peter DeGabriele specialises in the study of eighteenth century literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the relation between literary texts and the political... more

Lara Dodds


2304 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2004 Brown University
  • A.M. 1999 Brown University
  • B.A. 1997 DePauw University

Milton, Early Modern British Literature, Early Modern Women’s Writing, Research Methods

Lara Dodds specializes in seventeenth-century literature, with a particular focus on Milton and on early modern women’s writing. She teaches undergraduate and graduate... more

Saddiq Dzukogi

Assistant Professor

2012 Lee Hall

Becky Hagenston


2006 Lee Hall

  • M.F.A., University of Arizona, 1997
  • M.A., New Mexico State University, 2000
  • B.A., Elizabethtown College, 1989

Creative writing, fiction

Becky Hagenston grew up in Maryland and received her MFA from the University of Arizona and her MA from New Mexico State. She is the author of four award-winning story... more

Holly Johnson


2005 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2001 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A. 1989 The University of Maryland
  • B.A. 1987 The University of Maryland

Old and Middle English Literature

Holly Johnson teaches courses in medieval English literature and specializes in late medieval sermons. Her recent volume, The Grammar of Good Friday: Macaronic Sermons of... more

Michael Kardos


Co-Director of Creative Writing

Editor of Jabberwock Review

  • Ph.D. 2007 University of Missouri
  • M.F.A. 2003 The Ohio State University
  • B.A. 1992 Princeton University

Creative writing, fiction, 20th/21st century American literature

Michael Kardos co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State. He is the author of the novels Bluff, Before He Finds Her  and The Three-Day Affair , an Esquire... more

Matthew Little

Associate Professor

2510 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 1975 University of Chicago
  • M.A. 1972 University of Chicago
  • B.A. 1971 University of California at Berkeley

American literature, Legal writing

Matthew Little received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1972, and his Ph.D. from the University of... more

Meg Marquardt

Assistant Professor

Lee Hall 2007

Ph.D.,  University of Wisconsin-Madison, Composition and Rhetoric
M.A., University of Nebraska-Omaha, English Studies
M.A.,  Johns Hopkins University, Science Writing
B.S.,  Creighton University, Physics

Rhetoric of Science, Technical and Professional Writing, Writing with Sound

Meg Marquardt studies the way science is used to make arguments. She has spent time in labs, as a science journalist, and as a technical editor for the U.S. Geological Survey... more

Kelly Marsh


Faculty Associate, Center for Teaching and Learning Mississippi State University

2504 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 1997 The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A. 1993 The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A. 1990 Dartmouth College

Contemporary literature, the British and Irish novel since 1900, women and literature, narrative theory

Kelly Marsh teaches courses on British and Irish literature since 1900, contemporary literature, women’s literature, and narrative theory.  She is a Faculty Associate with... more

Elizabeth Miller

Assistant Professor

270-D Allen

  • Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park. 2016.
  • M.A. University of Alabama. 2011.
  • B.A. Mississippi College. 2009.

Rhetorical history and theory, digital rhetoric, and academic writing.

Elizabeth Miller’s research interests include rhetorical history and theory, public writing, and genre studies. Her current book project examines civil rights mass meetings,... more

Bonnie O'Neill

Associate Professor

2508 Lee Hall

  • Ph. D., 2003, Washington University in St. Louis
  • MA, 1997, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BA, 1995, Hamilton College

Early American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, American women writers, American culture studies

Dr. Bonnie Carr O’Neill teaches early American literature and nineteenth-century American literature. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature and... more

Catherine Pierce


Co-Director of Creative Writing

  • Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2007
  • M.F.A., The Ohio State University, 2003
  • B.A., Susquehanna University, 2000

Creative Writing, poetry, 20th and 21st Century American literature

Catherine Pierce co-directs MSU's creative writing program and teaches classes in creative writing and American literature. She is the author of four books of poems: Danger... more

Ginger Pizer

Associate Professor

Director of Undergraduate Studies

2305 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2008 University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A. 2002 University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A. 1994 Brown University

Linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology

Ginger Pizer teaches courses in linguistics and linguistic anthropology. Her research combines approaches from sociolinguistics and first language acquisition to investigate... more

Daniel Punday


Head of the Department of English

2004 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 1995 The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A. 1990 The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A. 1988 University of Pittsburgh

contemporary American Literature, literary theory

Dan Punday began his service as Head of the Department of English at Mississippi State University in July, 2016. He has previously served as Head of the Department of English... more

Donald Shaffer

Associate Professor

Director, African American Studies

Mentor, Shackouls Honors College Presidential Scholars

  • Ph.D. The University of Chicago

African American literature

Dr. Donald Shaffer holds a joint appointment to the English Department and the African American Studies Program. more

Megan Smith

Assistant Professor

2502 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. Second Language Studies, Michigan State University, 2016
  • M.A. Applied Linguistics, Texas Tech University, 2012
  • B.A. New York University, Linguistics and East Asian Studies, 2007

Second language acquisition, linguistics, psycholinguistics, language teaching methods

Megan Smith is a linguist with an interest in second language (L2) acquisition, and particularly in L2 syntax and psycholinguistics. Her research focuses on whether non-... more

Andrea Spain

Associate Professor

2506 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2009 University at Buffalo, Comparative Literature
  • M.A. 2004 University at Buffalo, Comparative Literature
  • M.A. 2000 Colorado State University, English
  • B.A. 1994 Colorado State University, English

Postcolonial Literature, World Literature, Critical Theory, Film

Andrea Spain specializes in late twentieth-century and contemporary postcolonial literature, with a focus on post-apartheid South African Literature and culture. She teaches... more

Dhanashree Thorat

Assistant Professor

2310 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2017 University of Florida
  • M.A. 2013 University of Florida
  • B.A. 2011 Kennesaw State University

Post-doctoral research: Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas.

Ethnic Literature and Digital Humanities

Dhanashree Thorat situates her research at the intersection of Asian American Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Digital Humanities. Broadly, she examines how colonial and... more

Eric Vivier

Associate Professor

Faculty Fellow, Shackouls Honors College

2002 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. 2014 University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MA 2007 University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • AB 2005 Duke University

Shakespeare, Early Modern Literature, Satire

Eric Vivier specializes in early modern English literature, with a particular focus on satire. He teaches classes on Shakespeare, early British literature, and the Honors “... more

Jervette Ward

Associate Professor

269-B Allen

  • Ph.D., University of Memphis

African American Literature, Contemporary Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and Women’s Literature

Dr. Jervette R. Ward is the editor of Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV (Rutgers University Press, November 2015). Her research and... more

Robert West


2008 Lee Hall

  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. Wake Forest University

American, British, and Irish literature after 1900

Robert West is the editor of The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons, published by Norton.Robert West (B.A., Wake Forest; M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill... more