Matthew Ussia

Teaching Assistant Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

625 College Hall
Phone: 412.396.6431


Ph.D., English Lit. and Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2012
M.A., English Lit. and Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2003
B.A., English Literature, Saint Francis University, 1999

Matthew Ussia has been teaching literature, composition, and speech at various institutions since 2005 and became a full-time instructor at Duquesne in 2013.

Dr. Ussia's areas of specialty include literary theory, pedagogy, North American Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and contemporary global literature. His classes tend to focus upon the intersection between the academy and broader global trends. His scholarship focuses on how globalization, consumerism, and other factors of modernity influence the construction of individual, local, and national identity.

Matthew Ussia is also a humorless music geek and collector of vinyl. He once hit a home run at a department softball game and refuses to let anyone forget that it happened.


UCOR 100

UCOR 101

UCOR 102 IHP 104

IHP 105 - The Shock of Modernity

ENGL 212 - American Underground Literature and Popular Culture

ENGL 434 - Literary Theory

Presentations and Projects

Matthew Ussia has presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association, National Council of Teachers of English Conference, the College English Association Conference, and the New England Educational Research Organization Conference, as well as several regional conferences. Recent presentations include:

*"'Structural Silences' of the Classroom Space - Examining the Hidden Curriculum" Mount Aloysius Conference on College Teaching. 2018.
*"On "Zero-Drag" Students and the Specter of "Book Club" The Mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication. 2018.
*The Infinite Terror of Open Spaces" Center for Qualitative and Interpretive Research, Duquesne University,
*"Benevolent Deceptions: Shocking True Stories from Metacognition's Bait and Switch." The Mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication. 2017.
*"Safe Spaces, Punk Spaces, and the Public Sphere." 2017 Northeast Modern Language Association
*"Of Voyeurism and Exhibitionism: Nakedness, Security, Vulnerability, Intimacy, and the Privatized Person." 2016 Northeast Modern Language Association
*"Tarantino's Counterfactual Histories as Weapons against Historical Simplification." 2015 Northeast Modern Language Association
*"QR Codes in the Syllabus: A Five Part Manifesto" 2015 Northeast Modern Language Association
*"Viewer as Voyeur and Victim: Cautionary Tales of Surveillance from the Former East Germany." 2014 College English Association
*"Countering the Voices of Neoliberalism Within: Constructing the Limits of the Myth of the Empowered Individual." 2013 Countering Contingency: Teaching, Scholarship, and Creativity in the Age of the Adjunct
*"Letters for the Living Lonely: Teaching Composition in an Age of Violence and Isolation." NCTE 2010 Reading the Past, Writing the Future
*"Children of Reagan: Troubling Pleasures for the Era of Privatization" NEERO 2010
*"Indifference and the Death of the Enlightenment as Sellable, Teachable Moments in the College Literature Classroom." NCTE 2009 Once and Future Classics: Reading Between the Lines
*"From Brothels and Weed to Firebirds and Ice Cream: Pleasure as the Blinding/Designing Force behind Critiques of American Materialism" CEA/PCEA 2009 Design

Dr. Ussia's article entitled "The Folly of Fallen Futures: Reading and Teaching Edward Bellamy's Looking Backwards after 'The End of History'" has recently been published in Future Humans in Fiction and Film. He has a monograph about privatization's impact on higher education and popular culture under consideration. He is also in the process of editing a collection entitled Punkademia: Spaces and Access based on a panel he chaired for the 2017 Northeast Modern Language Association conference. Dr. Ussia was also recently accepted to chair a panel at the 2019 Northeast MLA conference entitled "Cosplaying Working Class ‘Authenticity.'" "The People I Have Pretended to Be in Order to Stay in Academia" was published in Specialists: Passions and Careers. He is also working on a collection of poetry..