Kayla Harr Doucette

Kayla Harr Doucette is a doctoral candidate in English literature who studies materiality and perception in British and transatlantic literary modernism. She is currently working on her dissertation, which examines the theorization of perception in modernist literature and Gestalt psychology.

Before advising, Kayla taught courses including Literature of Science and Technology: Unnatural Selection (ENGL 255), Reading Women Writing: Structures of Sanity and Sickness (ENGL 250/WMST 255), Introduction to Shakespeare (ENGL 206), English Literature 1800 to the Present: Self-Relation (ENGL 212), and Academic Writing (ENGL 101). She also served as a teaching assistant for Acting Human: Shakespeare and the Drama of Identity (ENGL 289I) and The Rites of Discovery: Science, Law, and Literature 1492-1992 (ENGL 289B)

While earning her Bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University, Kayla was an English major with creative writing and French minors. She also worked as a writer in several capacities at her university: as a reporter for the school newspaper, as communications director for the OSU Open Source Lab, and through a variety of internships with the University Marketing and Web Communications departments, the College of Liberal Arts, and the school’s research magazine. She wrote a senior honor’s thesis on the poetry of T.S. Eliot and graduated cum laude before coming to the University of Maryland to pursue her Ph.D.

Texts that affect me most profoundly: “Preludes” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

#1 piece of advice for students: Find a way to experience what it’s like to actually do the work you’re studying for. Whether that means working in a lab, volunteering, or finding an internship, hands-on experience is a valuable way to connect the material you’re learning as a student to its real-world applications. Doing so can enrich your understanding, make you a more desirable job candidate, and help you determine whether you’d enjoy pursuing that work on a daily basis in the future.

What I wish I knew as an undergrad: That you don’t have to be locked into one path to be successful, but can explore multiple options and weave different kinds of experiences together to build the education and career you want.

Ask me about: Requirements for the English major, creative writing and whether a minor is a good fit for you, what you can do with your English major, and writing across different contexts and careers.