Our featured alumna is Marissa Bullis, ‘18, a former English major who is now completing a postgraduate degree in Enlightenment, Romantic, and Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Read more about her experience at UMBC and her journey to graduate school below:
At UMBC, I double majored in Ancient Studies and English Literature. Studying these subjects in tandem helped me identify my research interests and indulge my passion for travel. In 2017, I joined the Ancient Studies Department on a trip to Spain where we toured Roman ruins. I spent the following year at King’s College London living in Southwark, an area which featured prominently in Dr. McKinley’s seminar on Pilgrimage and Material Culture. Studying at King’s solidified my passion for the UK and its many museums and galleries.
After graduating from UMBC in 2018, I worked for a few years as an HR Manager to fund a move back to the UK. In 2022, I settled in Scotland and started an MSc degree in Enlightenment, Romantic, and Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Currently, I am preoccupied writing my dissertation and making plans for a future after graduation. My passion for interdisciplinary research encouraged me to choose the interface between melodrama and realism as the focus of my dissertation. To examine these two forms in conjunction, I have selected George Eliot’s novels, specifically Romola, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda as my primary material. I am looking forward to completing my dissertation [U.S. equivalent “Master’s degree thesis”] and working for a year before pursuing a PhD.
I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my professors at UMBC, particularly Kathryn McKinley, Raphael Falco, Timothy Phin, and David Rosenbloom, who made my time at UMBC special and who encouraged me to pursue a postgraduate degree.