Mariaelena DiBenigno


Email: [[e|mdibenigno]]
Research Interests: American Literature, Public History, Museum Studies, Tourism and Spectrality Studies


Mariaelena DiBenigno is a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies Program. After several years as a middle school teacher, she completed her English M.A. at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington; her thesis concerned the relationship between folklore and tourism in the coastal Carolinas. Current research interests include intersections between spectrality, memory and public history; popular American narratives about war; and death commemoration in the United States. Mariaelena has presented her work at the annual conferences of the Southern American Studies Association, the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association, and the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.


M.A. in English, The University of North Carolina Wilmington (2011)

M.A. Thesis: “I am not alone in my fascination”: Cultural Fear and the “True” Wilmington Ghost Story

B.A. in English, The College of William and Mary (2003)

Professional and Public History Experience

Preservation Virginia Volunteer, Historic Jamestowne (2014 to present)

Archival Intern, The Mariners’ Museum Library (2013-2014)

Daytime Historical Interpreter, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (2012–2014)

Curriculum Intern, PEN/Faulkner Foundation (2012)

Instructional Experience

AMST 205/GSWS 2015 Sexuality in America, Teaching Assistant (Spring 2016)

AMST 410 The Williamsburg Documentary Project, Teaching Assistant (Spring 2015)