Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Mary Zaborskis

2017 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Heather K. Love
"Erotics of Education: Queering Children in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Boarding Schools"

Assistant Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies, Penn State Harrisburg

A.B. English and Psychology, Bryn Mawr College (2012)
M.A. English, University of Pennsylvania (2013)
Ph.D. English, University of Pennsylvania (2017)

Mary Zaborskis is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies at Penn State Harrisburg. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania with a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies in 2017. She works at the intersection of queer, critical race, and childhood studies in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and culture. Her book project explores productions of queer childhood in boarding schools established for racialized, criminalized, and disabled children in the Progressive Era. Her work has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, WSQ, Journal of Homosexuality, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Her work on Native American boarding schools published in the special "Child Now" issue of GLQ received the Crompton-Noll Prize for Best Article in LGBTQ Studies from the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association. She is a series editor at Public Books, where she edits the Shoptalk and Quizzical features. From 2018-2020, she held a Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

At Penn, Mary was a Fontaine Fellow and the recipient of the Francis Hopkinson Fellowship, Phyllis Rackin Fellowship for Feminist Scholarship, Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student, and the inaugural Ben Talks Humanities Prize. She was the 2015-2017 Graduate Associate for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GSWS) Program and was also the GSWS Social Media Outreach Coordinator. She served as president of the Graduate English Association, coordinated the English Department's Gender and Sexuality Studies Reading Group, Prospective Students Visit, and was a graduate advisor to the Latino/a Studies Search Committee. Mary helped organize the Fall 2013 Queer Method conference and spearheaded organization for the Spring 2016 GSWS graduate conference, Protest. She also served as graduate mentor for Bryn Mawr College's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program.

Mary has taught courses in gender, sexuality, and women's studies and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, Vanderbilt University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Penn State. She also taught in UPenn's Pre-Freshman Program and served as the Writing Coordinator/PennCap liaison.

Courses Taught