Megan O’Donnell knows that the humanities are better together, and she believes that building community begins with communication. As the inaugural communications officer for the Whitney Humanities Center (WHC), Megan embraces these principles to shape the center’s vision and impact. Her role extends beyond crafting compelling content and polishing prose. Working in collaboration with offices throughout the University, Megan guides the development of humanities-wide communication strategies, directs communication campaigns for the WHC, and advises WHC leadership on enhancing graduate student relations. She envisions innovative approaches to amplify the voices of Yale scholars across all ranks and disciplines within the humanities, curating meaningful conversations through various media. Additionally, she co-leads two fellowship initiatives for graduate students: the WHC Graduate Fellows in the Environmental Humanities and the WHC Graduate Outreach Fellows.
Megan earned her Ph.D. (2022) in English from the University of Delaware and her B.A. (2014) in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. Her dissertation, “Imagining Ecology: Species/Energy/Dimension in Nineteenth-Century Speculative Fiction,” explores the degree to which British speculative fiction cut across nineteenth-century domains of knowledge—from biology to physics to mathematics and beyond—in ways that invite ecological perspectives. Weaving together close readings of novels like Frankenstein (1818) and Flatland (1884), with analyses of scientific textbooks and thought experiments, her dissertation shows how examining British speculative fiction and science through one another can generate new ecocritical insights on well-worn and understudied texts alike.