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Reid Makowsky
Ph.D. in Religion and Literature
Waco, Texas

When asked why he decided to come to Baylor to pursue his degree, Reid Makowsky could give several answers. A Waco native, Reid received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Baylor before returning to pursue his Ph.D. "I'll start with the graduate program," he says, laughing. "I chose to come here for grad work mainly because of the Religion and Literature program. I knew that I would be able to study Christian and non-Christian literary texts alike with people who have an interest in theology and the ability to combine those two disciplines in a way that would enable me to do the kind of scholarship that I want to do."

The kind of scholarship Reid wants to do wasn't always English. As an undergraduate, Reid was an anthropology major and didn't add English as a second major until the summer before his junior year. "I actually added English because while I was working at the bookstore, I was usually hunkered down in the English aisle reading books. I thought, huh, all these books are so interesting; maybe I should study them." And he is still studying them, focusing his research on Victorian and early 20th century British literature, with Old English as a possible minor area.

In Baylor's Religion and Literature program, Reid is able to focus his research through a theological lens. "I think that there's a lot of literature that is difficult to unlock without a deeper understanding of Western culture and Western theology, specifically," he says of his approach to literature. "I think that's my avenue to help students understand literary texts." Reid intends to do that by becoming both a teacher and researcher.

"I want to both teach and contribute to scholarship in my field, however I can," he says. "As of right now, I don't know what that balance would look like, since I don't know where I'll be working." His ideal job, which he jokingly calls a "pipe dream," would be a research-focused position with a light teaching load at a faith-based liberal arts college. "I don't think I would be as happy at a state school. I would prefer to be at a school with a faith orientation," he explains. "I would be much more comfortable at a university where they acknowledge that faith is integral to what we do and who we are."