Faculty Profiles - English
Dr. Patricia Garcia – English Renaissance Poetry & Drama, and Mexican American Literature & Culture
DR. PATRICIA GARCIA
Academic Background: Ph.D. & M.A., English, Texas A&M University – College Station, TX; B.A., English, The University of Texas at Austin
What made you decide to go to graduate school?
I was encouraged by my parents to continue my studies, so I went back to graduate school with some hesitation. But, once I was back in school, I remembered how much I loved the conversations about literature and culture and, even more, how much I enjoyed the process of discovery, even in the dusty libraries.
What was your dissertation topic when you were in grad school?
My dissertation examines Catholic writers and reading audiences in early modern England. I analyzed various religious pedagogical texts such as rosary guides and devotional poetry as methods used to help maintain a Catholic identity during a time of persecution.
What is your area of specialization?
While my primary area of research has been in the English Renaissance, specifically poetry and drama, I have also developed a specialization in Mexican American literature and culture.
What topics do you teach at UT?
I teach British literature survey courses, Shakespeare, Mexican American literature, and a class on Chicana Feminism.
What is your current research focus?
I am beginning a research project that will examine the work of Mexican American quiltmakers, especially the development of an aesthetic. This will most likely involve a collection of oral histories as well as images and, hopefully, examples of these works.
Is there a hot topic currently being discussed by English scholars in the U.S. or around the world?
We are constantly evaluating what we mean by literature itself, especially as more forms of texts surround us everyday in the media. Traditional notions of literature have moved beyond books and now includes film, hypermedia, and popular culture among many genres.
Did you participate in a research project as an undergraduate? And would you recommend research for undergrads?
I did not participate in a research project as an undergraduate, but as a faculty member, I have been involved in a few. Based on the experience of my students, I would highly recommend it as it not only provides tremendous opportunities to learn about your subject matter, but it also connects you to scholars in your field.
What makes a good grad student?
An inquisitive and earnest nature, patience, and a sense of humor.
What are your top three tips for students interested in applying to an English graduate program?
- Do your research on the programs so that you find what you want and can state as such in your application.
- Look at both small and large programs to see what sort of options they offer.
- If you can, correspond or meet with a faculty member in the program to figure our your own expectations as well as theirs.
What are the top five U.S. graduate programs in your area?
Stanford University, Yale University, University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, and University of Chicago.
What careers do alumni generally pursue after graduation from the program?
Many find teaching and research positions in universities and community colleges. Or, they work as archivist or research librarians. Some also move to the corporate world as consultants, editors, or publishers.