Moira Marquis


Greenlaw 404

Teaching Fellow

PhD Candidate

Editor in Chief, Carolina Quarterly Literary Journal

I am a fourth year PhD student in contemporary Anglophone literature at UNC Chapel Hill. My dissertation, “Everything and Nothing: Myth, Planetarity and Climate Change in Contemporary Anglophone Novels” focuses on six novels from the West, Africa and Pacific Islands that engage with traditional myths in response to the existential crisis and apocalyptic threat of human induced climate change. The novelists in this study see the root causes of human induced climate change in socially accepted beliefs and values that circulate as truth and thus acquire status as myth. These authors assert that a change in society wide beliefs and values is necessary in order to cease environmentally destructive activities. These novels approach myth self-consciously and critically, acknowledging that myths are constructs that are nonetheless necessary in order to create and maintain human communities. Myths are complex fictions that express fundamental, human truths. By debunking, interrogating and revising various myths these authors seek to expose all systems of beliefs and values as equally mythic and thus undermine the hierarchy of knowledge that asserts certain knowledge as truth and all other ways of knowing as falsity. Critical reading of these novels offers an insight into the myths that enable human worlds. They reveal, once again, how humans are shaped by our stories.


I teach composition to UNC Chapel Hill and High Point University freshman. Previously, I taught sophomore composition at Western Carolina University and English and history in seconday schools. I have been an educator for over ten years and wrote the North Carolina Essential Standards curriculum for American and World Humanities courses, used in high schools throughout North Carolina. I am National Board Certified in Young Adult/ Adolescent Literacy through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. I am the Editor in Chief of the Carolina Quarterly, a flagship literary journal of UNC since 1948. For the past ten years I have worked for the education of inmates in the South, first with the Asheville Prison Books Program and most recently as a literacy tutor at Orange County Correctional through the Orange County Literacy Council.


Teaching Awards

2016 Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature

2014 Presidential Scholars Program Distinguished Teacher Award



Research Groups and Interests

Group IX - Critical Theory and Cultural Studies
Group VIII - British Literature from 1900 to the Present
Group XIV - Postcolonial Literature and Theory