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Jessica McCort, Ph.D.

Instructor of Writing
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
English Department

College Hall 627
Phone: 412.396.4115


Ph.D., English, Washington University, St. Louis, 2009
MA, English, Washington University, St. Louis, 2002
BA, English, The Pennsylvania State University, 1999

"Sleeping Beauty Awake: Sylvia Plath through the Looking-Glass." Forthcoming in Plath Profiles 2012.

"Alice in Cambridge: Sylvia Plath, Little Girls Lost, and Stone Boy with Dolphin." Plath Profiles 1 (2008): 175-186.


ALA National Conference, May 2012
Paper Presented:  "The interrupted story: Childrens Literature and Elizabeth Bishop's Exploratory Aesthetics"

PCA/ACA National Conference, April 2012
Paper Presented: Off with her head!: Childrens Literature and the Wonderland of Horror

SWTX PCA/ACA Regional Conference, March 2012
Paper Presented: "'The Interrupted Story': 'Hansel and Gretel' and Elizabeth Bishop's Aesthetics"

Girls Culture Studies Seminar, Annual Conference of the American Cultural Studies Association, New York University, May 2008
Presented work-in-progress as panel member in seminar on Girls Culture Studies at the Annual Conference of the ACSA

Sylvia Plath 75th-Year Symposium, Oxford University, October 2007
Paper Presented: Alice in Cambridge: Sylvia Plath, Little Girls Lost, and Stone Boy with Dolphin
Panel: Sylvia Plath and Female Identity

(Dis)junctions 2007, University of California Riverside, April 2007
Paper Presented: "Sylvia Plath and Fairy Tales"
Panel: Sylvia Plath


Dr. Jessica McCort joined the full-time faculty of the Duquesne English Department in the 2011-2012 academic year. She received her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 2009, specializing in American literature and women's writing. Here at Duquesne, she teaches primarily in the first-year writing program, working closely with the Orbis Learning Community.

Dr. McCort's scholarship focuses on the appropriation of children's literature, particularly Grimm's and Andersen's fairy tales and Lewis Carroll's Alice books, by women writers. Using scholarship devoted to children's literature, childhood and girls' culture studies, and women's appropriation of the fairy tale and fantasy story, she explores how female authors employ children's literature and examine girls' reading practices and authorship in order to come to terms with questions of identity, femininity, sexuality, psychological trauma, and both literary and familial inheritance.  She is especially interested in how the children's book becomes embedded in confessional aesthetics and women's representations of girlhood and womanhood, particularly in the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton.  Dr. McCort also serves on the editorial board of Plath Profiles, an interdisciplinary journal for Sylvia Plath studies.

Outside of Duquesne, she enjoys spending time with her two young daughters, Magdaline and Sophia, hunting for art, antiques, and quirky jewelry at local festivals, and going through the looking glass - in other words, reading children's books that make her feel like a kid again.


UCOR 101 and 102
Learning Community: Orbis
ENGL 300-W: Critical Issues in Literary Studies
ENGL 204-03: Literature for Children and Young Adults