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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Maxwell Cassity

Maxwell Cassity portrait

Graduate Student

PhD Candidate and Teaching Associate



401 Hall of Languages


  • Degree: Began PhD program in 2014
  • Concentration: American Literature (20th- and 21st-century)
  • Advisor: Susan Edmunds

Maxwell Cassity is a PhD student studying 20th- and 21st-century American and world literatures with a specific focus on novels, short fiction, and the influence of minority writers on critical conceptions of modernism and postmodernism. Although Mr. Cassity’s scholarship primarily concerns the American novel, his other scholarly interests include fiction, poetry, film, and narrative games. Mr. Cassity’s proposed dissertation will examine how works of fiction have approached epidemic disease and cultural understandings of illness, contagion, and virality. Finding its foundation in the concepts of biopolitics and biopower, this project seeks to investigate how race and class difference have been incorporated into the discourse of disease and how structures of power mobilize the ideology of racialized disease to reinforce social hierarchies, isolate minority populations, and justify power over life and death in 20th-century U.S. society.

Mr. Cassity has taught a wide range of discussion courses throughout his graduate career, including 18th-century British literature, modern and contemporary literature, film, and screen studies. His Fall 2017 class ETS 118: American Literature, 1865-Present will engage with the literary tradition of U.S. culture and engage the question. “How has literature shaped our understanding of U.S. society and culture?”

  • MA English Literature, University of Colorado Boulder
  • BA English Literature and Writing, University of Northern Colorado