Deirdre McMahon, PhD

Associate Teaching Professor of English

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Office: 5039 MacAlister Hall
Phone: 215.895.2703


  • PhD, English Literature, The University of Iowa, 2004


My research centers primarily on 19th-century British literature and culture, often with an eye toward empire, critical race studies and analyses of material culture. I have published and presented on the jingoism of late nineteenth-century “books for boys”; the narrative construction of maternity in an imperial context; the imaginative work of tea as Britain’s national drink; and the construction of 19th-century British identity through domesticity. My teaching interests extend much farther. I believe that writing well and with confidence is a hallmark of successful education, so I am pleased to contribute to Drexel’s First-Year Writing Program as well as to the Writing Center. I am currently developing a special topic in “Literature of Conscience” for ENGL 103: Analytical Writing and Reading. In addition, I teach British Literature II, focusing on what it means to be British in a post-industrial age, and Young Adult Fiction, a course that combines study of literature for tweens and teens with analysis of age-appropriate pedagogy.


  • “‘Quick, Ethel, Your Rifle!’: Portable Britishness and Flexible Gender Roles in G.A. Henty's Books for Boys.” Studies in the Novel. (Winter 2010).
  • Response to John Streamas, “Closure and ‘Colored People’s Time.’” Kronoscope: Journal for the Study of Time. (Summer 2010).
  • “‘My own dear sons’: Discursive Maternity and Proper British Bodies in Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.” Claudia Klaver and Ellen B. Rosenman, eds. Other Mothers: Maternity in the Nineteenth Century. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2008: 181-201.
  • “Gender, Contingent Labor and Writing Studies.” Academe: Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors. (Nov/Dec 2008).