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Deirdre McMahon

Deirdre McMahon, PhD

Teaching Professor of English, Department of English and Philosophy
Assistant Dean of Online Education, Drexel University Graduate College
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5039 MacAlister Hall


  • PhD, English Literature, The University of Iowa, 2004
  • MA, English Literature, University of Virginia
  • BA, English Literature, Swarthmore College

Research Interests:

  • Long Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • Victorian Literature & Culture
  • Material Studies; Race and Empire Studies
  • Postcolonial and Global Anglophone Literatures
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature


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. In addition, I teach a wide range of upper-level courses for the Department of English and Philosophy, including British Literature II, Victorian Literature, The War to End All Wars: WWI Literature, Young Adult Fiction, J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman, Women and Literature, and Literature of Disability, among others. To support the Pennoni Honors College, I also teach seminars on great works such as Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend.

I also serve as the Assistant Dean of Online Education for the Graduate College. My work in and beyond the classroom has given me important insights about the Drexel student experience in multiple instructional modalities (face to face, online, and hybrid) and at multiple levels (undergraduate, continuing, and graduate). In AY 2021-22, I served as a Provost Fellow, contributing to projects and initiatives on Program Innovation, particularly but not solely in relation to online and remote learning in the post-pandemic context. I also contributed extensively to the Middle States Standard V Committee and continue to serve on university committees and initiatives associated with strategic planning, curricular innovation, and online teaching and learning. With Dean Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, I co-chair the University Council on Online Quality and Standards. I serve on several Drexel 2030 Strategic Plan subcommittees. With SVP Nadine Ezzat, I co-chair the US News & World Report Rankings Committee for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs. I also lead the university’s Drexel Online Test Drive efforts.

Selected Publications: