Maria Dikcis

Maria Dikcis (she/her) is the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Emerging Voices Fellow, and serves as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Mass Incarceration and Policing Fellow at the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. She holds a PhD in English from Northwestern University and an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago. 

Dr. Dikcis’ research interests include 20th- and 21st-century American literature, critical race and ethnic studies, the history of media and technology, and critical prison studies. Her current book project traces a comparative literary history examining how African American, Asian American, and Latinx poets have utilized a range of print, audio, broadcast, and digital technologies to innovate new forms of racial representation and political critique throughout the post-1965 era. Her work is published or forthcoming in Chicago ReviewASAP/Journal, and The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry and Politics Since 1900.

From 2020-21, Dr. Dikcis was Director of the Cook County Jail Partnership for the Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP), where she developed a curriculum of in-person, correspondence, and online liberal arts courses for incarcerated students in the Cook County Department of Corrections. She also collaborated with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to institute NPEP’s first class at three Illinois Youth Centers, which will be an ongoing partnership that advocates for incarcerated youth’s access to higher education. 

As the ACLS Mass Incarceration and Policing Fellow, Dr. Dikcis is developing and supporting various initiatives of the Pozen Family Center’s Human Rights Lab, including justice internships undertaken by Mass Incarceration Working Group Fellows, the Institute on Memory and Human Rights, the Humans of Life Row Project, and the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project’s Think Tank. At the University of Chicago, she will also teach a course focused on the intersection of critical race studies, digital media, and activism in the United States.