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School of Arts and Sciences

Jessica McCort, Ph.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, COMPOSITION AND RHETORIC
COORDINATOR, WRITING INTENSIVE PROGRAM

Pictured is Jessica McCort, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula
CONTACT INFORMATION

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Pennsylvania State University
  • Master of Arts, English and American Literature, Washington University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, English and American Literature, Washington University

COURSES TAUGHT

  • College Composition
  • Honors College Composition
  • Fairy Tales: Visions and Revisions
  • Feminist Fairy Tales
  • Major American Authors: Bishop, Plath, Sexton
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Haunted America
  • Writing Studio

BACKGROUND

Jessica McCort, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of composition and rhetoric at Point Park University. In addition, she is coordinator of the University's Writing Intensive Program. McCort earned a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in American literature and women’s writing. McCort's scholarship focuses largely on the appropriation of children’s literature, particularly Grimm’s and Andersen’s fairy tales and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, by American women writers. She is also the editor of a compilation of essays concerning the intersection of the horror genre and children’s and young adult literature and culture, titled Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture.

CURRICULUM VITAE

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Gothic and Horror in Children's and Young Adult Literature and Culture
  • Fairy Tales and Fairy-Tale Revisions
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Girls' Cultures and Girls' Reading Practices

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • "'Open Alice’s Door’: Elizabeth Bishop and Sylvia Plath Under the Influence of Alice," Modernism and Wonderland, Clemson University Press. Forthcoming.
  • "Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children's Literature and Culture," University Press of Mississippi, July 2016.
  • “Breaking the Glass Slipper," The Flourishing Academic, Duquesne University Center for Teaching Excellence, May 2015.
  • “Edward Gorey: The Humour in Children’s Horror," Inis: The Children’s Books Ireland Magazine, Winter 2013.
  • "'A Red-Blooded American Girl’: Gender, American Culture and Sylvia Plath," Critical Insights: Sylvia Plath, Ipswich: Salem, 2013. 

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • "'Poisonous Fruit’: Cannibalistic Fairy Tales in Twilight and The Hunger Games," PCA/ACA National Conference, New Orleans, La., April 2015.
  • "'A New Chapter of Torture’: Gothic Horror in The Hunger Games," PCA/ACA National Conference, Chicago, Ill., April 2014.
  • Sylvia Plath Commemoration, featured speaker, West Chester University Poetry Center, October 2013. 
  • “Bringing the Fairy Tale Back to the Horror Realm: Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm," Speaker, Colloquium, Duquesne University, October 2013.
  • “Edward Gorey: The Humor in Children’s Horror," PCA/ACA National Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2013.
  • “The Importance of Being Frightened: Gothic Elements in Children’s Literary Culture," American Literature Association Symposium on the Gothic, Savannah, Ga., February 2013.

SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Student Essays Selected as First Class Winners, Duquesne University, Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2013
  • Student Essays Selected as Learning Community Essay Winners, Duquesne University Fall 2012 and Fall 2013
  • Washington University Dissertation Fellowship, 
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Washington University 2003-2004
  • Washington University Graduate Scholarship
  • Summa Cum Laude with Highest Distinction, Schreyer Honors Program
  • Penn State Nominee for Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships
  • College of English Student Marshall 

LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

  • Member of Editorial Board, Plath Profiles, 2011-present
  • Coordinator of IHP 104, Honors Program, Duquesne University, 2014-2015
  • Coordinator of community-engaged learning, Orbis Learning Community, Duquesne University, 2011-2015
  • Coordinator of University Writing Assessment, Washington University, 2006-2007

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