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Department of


Mary Hotz

Associate Professor, English

Sister Hotz is on sabbatical leave for the academic year 2013-2014.

Sister Mary Hotz, a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart, came to USD in 1996. She received her PhD from The University of Chicago in 1997, with a concentration in Victorian literature. Her central interests include nineteenth-century British literature and culture, Native American literature, and the development of the novel. Her most recent project, Literary Remains: Representations of Death and Burial in Victorian England, explores the unexpectedly central role of death and burial in Victorian England by locating corpses at the center of a surprisingly extensive range of Victorian concerns: money and law, medicine and urban architecture, social planning and folklore, religion and national identity.


Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., University of Chicago
B.A., College of St. Catherine, English

Scholarly and Creative Work

Selected Publications: 
- Literary Remains: Representations of Death and Burial in Victorian England. SUNY Press, 2009.
- Precious to Grace: Necessary Desolation in Pope's Eloisa to Abelard. Renascence, Volume 53, No. 3 (Spring 2001): 207-226.
- A Grave with No Name: Representations of Death in Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary BartonNineteenth-Century Studies, Volume 15 (2001): 37-56.
- Down Among the Dead: Edwin Chadwick and Burial Reform Discourse in Mid- Nineteenth-Century England. Victorian Literature and Culture, Volume 29, number 1 (2001): 21-38.
- Taught By Death What Life Should Be: Representation of Death in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and SouthStudies in the Novel, Volume 32, number 2 (Summer 2000): 165-184.

Teaching Interests

Sr. Hotz has long been interested in the range and intersection of materials produced by a culture. Literary texts, then, do not exist in isolation from the cultural context from which they emerge at the moment of production; they are texts among other texts that together create a nexus of meanings. This assumption informs Hotz's research and teaching of nineteenth-century British culture, the development of the novel, and American Indian literatures and cultures.