Contact Information


Erin Johns Speese has been with Duquesne University for approximately 10 years as a Teaching Associate Professor in the English Department. Erin primarily teaches our First-Year Writing courses as a part of the Bridges curriculum, helping our newest students learn to write at a college level.  Dr. Speese is also the Director for our Center for Women's & Gender Studies, helping undergraduate and graduate students expand their studies through unique perspectives for their future careers.

The most rewarding aspect of teaching at Duquesne for Erin is when students suddenly grasp a concept that they had never considered before or that they had never learned before. She finds it so fulfilling when students start to see the world in a different way based on the discussions they've had in her classes. Not only does she enjoy helping students learn new ideas, ways of writing, and ways of thinking, but she loves when students do the same for her in return. She believes that she learns as much from her students as they learn from her.

Her primary research focus includes British and American modernism—particularly the modernist novel. Her current book project, "The Modernist Sublime: The Intersubjective Sublime Subject in Faulkner, Forster, Lawrence, and Woolf," explores how modern novelists reimagined the sublime as an intersubjective experience between two Victorian parents. She is also working on a second book project entitled "The Chemistry of Literature," which looks at the relationship between the language of scientists as well as creative writers in Britain and the United States from the 19th century forward. Dr. Speese has taught various courses in a wide range of topics from literature, writing, and popular culture, including: "Modernist Identities and the Aesthetics of Form," "Science, the Mind, Identity, and British Literature from Romanticism to the Present," "Dystopian Spaces and Individual Identities," and "Superheroes, Super Geeks, the Supernatural, and the Magical as Cultural Critique."


  • Ph.D., English, West Virginia University, 2013
  • M.A., English, West Virginia University, 2007
  • B.A., English Literature, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • “The Friedan Mystique: Feminist Revolution and Betty Friedan’s Jewish Identity.”  Feminist Modernist Studies. 6 (2023): 73-77. 
  • "Aren't We Guilty Too?: The Censorship of D.H. Lawrence in the Ivory Tower." Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. 26 (2014). Web.
  • "‘Our feelings become impressed with the grandeur of Omnipotence': Mary Somerville's Feminine Scientific Sublime." Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism. 35.2 (2013): 171-188. Print.
  • "Raping Prejudice: Mary Hays's The Victim of Prejudice, Gender, and Rape." Work of Romanticism: Proceedings from the 2008 International Conference on Romanticism. Ed. Christopher R. Clason. Lewiston: Mellen P, 2011. Print.
  • "A Flip of the Coin: Gender Systems and Female Resistance in the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men." No Country for Old Men: From Novel to Film. Ed. Lynnea Chapman King, Rich Wallach, and Jim Welsh. Lanham: Scarecrow P, 2009. Print. With Kristin Smith.
  • "Welcome to Stars Hollow: Gilmore Girls, Utopia, and the Hyperreal." Gilmore Girls and the Politics of Identity: Essays on Family and Feminism in the Television Series. Ed. Ritch Kalvin. Jefferson: McFarland, 2008. Print.