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2014, BA English & Psychology, Wesleyan University


Rachel Warner is a PhD candidate and teaching fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her research interests include twentieth-century American literature, women’s and gender studies, queer of color critique, and animal studies. She has completed two peer-reviewed publications: one explores Black feminist theories of embodiment and nature in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, forthcoming from Society & Animals; and the other offers an archival analysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s brief tenure at UNC and NCCU, published by North Carolina Literary Review in May 2020. Rachel also co-directs the graduate working group Literature, Medicine and Culture Colloquium (LMCC) which explores topics in health humanities. Finally, Rachel regularly teaches courses in rhetoric and composition, LGBTQIA+ literature and culture, and the history of horror literature and cinema. She is currently working on her dissertation, a literary and cultural history of female masculinity in American modernism.



“Zora Neale Hurston in North Carolina: Drama, Education, and Contemporary Activism.” North Carolina Literary Review, no. 29, August 2020.

“‘A Winged but Grounded Bird’: Morrison’s Mixed Treatment of Animality in The Bluest Eye.” Society & Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies. (forthcoming spring 2021)

“A Crisis in (Female) Masculinity: My Ántonia & the Imaginative Recreation of the Western Frontier.” The Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture, edited by Lydia Cooper and Joana Conings. (forthcoming spring 2021)

““The Poems and the Dances of the Shades’: Destabilizing Psychological Theories of Grief in The Year of Magical Thinking.” Death Within the Text: Social, Philosophical and Aesthetic Approaches to Literature, edited by Adriana Teodorescu (2018): 10-27.


Eliason Dissertation Summer Research Fellowship, 2020

MLA COVID-19 Emergency Grant, Modern Language Association, 2020

Graduate Student Travel Fund, ECL Department, 2020

Paul Green Prize, North Carolina Literary Review, 2019

Student Learning Circle Grant, UNC Center for Global Initiatives, 2019

Winchester Fellowship, Wesleyan University, 2018

Deborah W. Shelton Endowment for Graduate Travel Awards, ECL Department, 2018

Winchester Fellowship, Wesleyan University, 2017

Albrecht B. Strauss SAMLA Awards Fund, 2016

Graduate Student Travel Fund, ECL Department, 2016