Dr. Sarah Cornish is from Ojai, California. After completing her undergraduate work at UC Irvine, she went to Boston College for her MA in English Literature and Irish Studies. After teaching at several area colleges, she decided pursue a Ph.D. in English. She completed her doctorate at Fordham University in New York City in 2013 and came to UNC after living in Brooklyn, NY for the past seven years. Her research focuses on interwar, transatlantic modernism in metropolitan centers like London, Paris, New York, and Berlin. For the English department, she teaches courses in both 20th century British Literature and Film Studies, and in all of her courses, she incorporate projects infused by the digital humanities and urban studies. She is also the advisor of the International Film Series.
Dr. Cornish’s work centers on recovering modernist women writers who have been under-represented in scholarship or have fallen out of print. Currently, she is researching a fashion designer named Elizabeth Hawes. She discovered Hawes when her friend's grandmother passed away and left a scrapbook that had a 1936 letter from Hawes Inc. that explained ways to break into the fashion business. Elizabeth Hawes wrote nine books, all of them progressive, feminist, activist manifestos that broke conventions and encouraged social change. Hawes lived in Paris and New York City, the Caribbean and Detroit, and in all those places, she learned from the people around her about how to shape culture for the betterment of women. Dr. Cornish hopes to recuperate Hawes' works and make them available to readers.
In relation to her interests in women’s literature, Dr. Cornish also works with the Orlando Project, a group that has created a text base for women's literature from the British Isles. She was recently instrumental is subscribing UNC to the Orlando Database (Cambridge, UP), and it can be accessed through Michener Library's Databases. The group is also organizing a conference to celebrate the project's 20th anniversary and feminist work in the digital humanities to take place next May at the University of Alberta.
When she is not thinking about modernist writers, Dr. Cornish is either practicing yoga and working on my arm balances or cooking or reading her favorite contemporary writers--Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Colum McCann. She also really likes vintage hats and enjoys scouring Colorado's antique stores in search of particularly excellent ones.