Maria Capecchi

PhD Graduate Candidate

Maria Capecchi  (she/her) is an English Ph.D. candidate and General Education Literature (GEL) instructor at the University of Iowa, where she studies early modern poetry and drama, with additional concentrations in performance, book studies, and critical race theory. Maria’s research includes cross-disciplinary work with the UI Department of Theatre Arts and with the UI Center for the Book, where she has earned a graduate certificate. Her dissertation, “Performing Early Modern Women: 1620–1680,” explores the work of early modern women writers and performers who ventured outside sanctioned patriarchal public contexts to craft their own audiences and performance spaces, and shows how these white women challenged patriarchy and used their works to reify systems of race and class for their own advancement. Excerpts from her research have appeared or are forthcoming in the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association and the Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies.

Maria is currently writing her dissertation with the support of the Marcus Bach Graduate Fellowship. She has also received the Post-Comprehensive Exam Research Fellowship and Graduate College Summer Fellowship from the University of Iowa. In 2019 Maria received the Council on Teaching’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and the W.R. Irwin Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has served on the University of Iowa’s Pedagogy Initiative Committee and the Association of American Universities Education Initiative. Maria’s writing has been awarded the Midwest Modern Language Association’s Graduate Student Paper Prize and first place in the Humanities at the Jakobsen Memorial Conference.

Before joining the University of Iowa’s English Department in 2018, Maria earned both an M.A. in English, studying contemporary poetry, lyric theory, and postcolonial theory, as well as an M.A. in Teaching at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She also worked as a high school English and theater teacher in Minnesota public schools and holds a MN teaching license in Communication Arts and Literature (grades 5-12).