Melissa M. Gniadek
Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Department of English, July 2021 – present
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Department of English, July 2015 – June 2021
Lecturer, Rice University, Department of English, August 2011 – June 2015
Ph.D., English, Cornell University (2011); M.A., English, Cornell University (2008)
Specialization in nineteenth-century American literature and culture
M.A., English, University of Auckland, New Zealand (2005)
A.B., magna cum laude, History and Literature of America, Harvard University (2002)
Current Projects in Progress
Unsettled Times: Temporalities of Settlement in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (monograph)
“Typee and Trees” (book chapter)
Oceans at Home: Maritime and Domestic Fictions in Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Writing (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021)
“The Times of Settler Colonialism.” Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, Forum: “Emergent Critical Analytics for Alternative Humanities.” 6:1. Spring 2017.
“Americans Abroad: Melville and Pacific Perspectives.” New Global Studies, Special Edition, Editors’ Forum: Reimagining Transnationalism in the Global Academy. 9:3. December 2015.
“‘Outre-mer adventures’: Caroline Kirkland’s A New Home, Who’ll Follow? and the Maritime World.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 32:2. Winter 2015.
“Mary Howard’s Mark: Children’s Literature and the Scales of Reading the Pacific.” Early American Literature 50.3. Fall 2015.
“Artistic Anachronisms: Pleasure Reading the Patent Office Building.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 2:2. Fall 2014.
“Seriality and Settlement: Southworth, Lippard, and The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley.” American Literature 86: 1. March 2014.
“The Captivity of Translation: The Legacy of William Barrett Marshall’s Personal Narrative.” International Journal of Francophone Studies, special issue, “Oceanic Routes.” 11:4. 2008.
“The Art of Becoming: Sherwood Anderson, Frank Sargeson and the Grotesque Aesthetic.” Journal of New Zealand Literature 23:2. December 2005.
“Pym, Mammoth Cave, and (Pre)Histories of the U.S. Interior” in Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America, eds. Gesa Mackenthun and Christen Mucher. The University of Arizona Press, 2021. 71-88.
“Sentimental Premonitions and Antebellum Spectacle” in Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture, ed. John Hay. Cambridge University Press, 2020. 110-121.
“‘You will observe…’: Letting Lippard Teach,” in Teaching Tainted Lit: Popular American Fiction in Today’s Classroom, ed. Janet G. Casey. University of Iowa Press, 2015. 17-29.
Review of Dale M. Bauer, Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Serial Novels. Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 38. 1-2. 2021. 167-169.
Roundtable review of Arielle Zibrak, Guilty Pleasures (in conversation with Sarah Danielle Allison, Rita Dashwood, and Arielle Zibrak). Edith Wharton Review, 37.1. 2021. 82–90.
Review of Ezra Tawil, Literature, American Style: The Originality of Imitation in the Early Republic. Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 33.1. Fall 2020.
Review of Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion, ed. Hester Blum, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 45.1. March 2018.
Review of Gillian Silverman, Bodies and Books: Reading and the Fantasy of Communion in Nineteenth-Century America. Textual Practice 28:5. 2014.
Review of Trevor Bentley, Captured by Maori: White Female Captives, Sex and Racism on the Nineteenth-century New Zealand Frontier. “The New Zealand Listener,” October 9-15, 2004.
Selected Honors and Awards
Co-winner, Richard Beale Davis Prize for the best essay published in Early American Literature in 2015, for “Mary Howard’s Mark: Children’s Literature and the Scales of Reading the Pacific,” 2015.
Honorable mention, Norman Foerster Prize for the best essay published in American Literature in 2014, for “Seriality and Settlement: Southworth, Lippard, and The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley,” 2014.
Guilford Prize (Dissertation displaying highest excellence in English prose), Department of English, Cornell University, 2012
Martin Sampson Teaching Award, Department of English, Cornell University, 2010
Dean’s Prize for Distinguished Teaching, Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2010
Journal of New Zealand Literature Emerging Scholar Award in recognition of an outstanding first contribution to the field of New Zealand literature, for “The Art of Becoming: Sherwood Anderson, Frank Sargeson and the Grotesque Aesthetic,” 2005
Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for Outstanding Senior Thesis, Harvard University, 2002
Selected Grants and Fellowships
SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) Insight Grant, 2022-2026 ($35,819 CAD). Project title: “Unsettled Times: Temporalities of Settlement in Nineteenth-Century American Literature”
University College London-University of Toronto Joint Research Projects and Exchange Activities Grant, with Xine Yao (UCL), 2019-2020 ($23,895 CAD). Project title: “Comparative Settler Colonialisms in Global Contexts”
Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto, 2016-2018 ($9,788 CAD)
SSHRC Institutional Grant, 2016-17 ($2,272 CAD)
SSHRC Institutional Grant, 2015-16 ($1,425 CAD)
Cornell Society for the Humanities Dissertation Writing Group Grant, Group Chairperson, 2009-2010
Sage Fellowship, Cornell University, Department of English, 2005-2006; 2008-2009
University of Auckland Fulbright Scholarship, 2004-2005
Fulbright Graduate Student Fellowship, 2003-2004
“‘A Polysensuum’: Archipelagic Visions through Mardi’s Trees,” Melville’s Energies (International Melville Society Conference), Paris, France, June 2022.
“A New-England Tale: Landscape, Indigeneity, and Histories of Conservation and Village Improvement,” Catherine Maria Sedgwick Symposium: Two Centuries of Sedgwick, Stockbridge, MA, June 2022.
“Rome and the Rock: Settler Colonialism and Metonymy in Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop,” C19: Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Conference, Coral Gables, FL, April 2022.
“‘The next we present before you are things very appalling’: William Apess and Lydia Maria Child on ‘King Philip’,” American Literature Association Conference, Boston, MA, July 2021.
“‘A Green Old Age’: Melville’s Pacific Overstory,” MLA Annual Convention, (virtual), January 2021.
“‘Doubting, dreading, fretful guest’”: Transoceanic Anxieties,” Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference, Denver, CO, November 2018
“Sinking Eden: Cooper’s The Crater, Allegory, and Terraqueous America,” C19 Americanists Conference, Albuquerque, NM, March 2018
“Settler Colonialism’s Temporalities: Here,” MLA, New York, January 2018
“Stoddard and Spofford’s Oceanic Gothic,” Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference, Bordeaux, France, July 2017
“Re-thinking Settler Colonial Temporalities in U.S. Contexts,” Revolutionary Time Symposium, Victoria College, University of Toronto, March 2017
‘“my life is one long sad dream”: Elizabeth Craw’s Diary and Forms of Grief,’ Society of Early Americanists Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 2017
“Re-writing Pasts of Place in Mammoth Cave,” C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Conference, State College, Pennsylvania, March 2016
“Islands and Archipelagos: The Forms of Melville’s Pacific,” Panel organizer and presenter, International Melville Conference, Tokyo, Japan, June 2015
“Enfleshing the Kennewick Man: Excavating America’s ‘Pre-history,'” North American Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, New York, May 2015
“Geographies of Memory in Nineteenth-Century America” roundtable, Co-organizer and panelist, MLA Annual Convention, Vancouver, Canada, January 2015
“Transatlantic/Transtemporal” panel, Co-organizer and panelist, Third Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, On the Beach, Santa Barbara, California, October 2014
“Serial Pasts in Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, New York, March 2014
“New Zealand in New Hampshire: Print Culture and Pedagogy,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference, Houston, Texas, March 2014
“Artistic Anachronisms: Remembering in the Patent Office,” International Melville Conference, Melville and Whitman in Washington: The Civil War Years and After, Washington, D.C., June 2013
“Settlement’s Terraqueous Plots in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Crater; or, Vulcan’s Peak: A Tale of the Pacific,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Toronto, Canada, April 2013
“Duaterra’s Tattooing; or, New Zealand in New Hampshire,” Society of Early Americanists Conference, Savannah, Georgia, February 2013
“Serial Fictions and Panoramic Pasts,” C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Berkeley, California, April 2012
“‘Picture it all, Darley’: Illustrating Sensation in Antebellum America,” Picturing the Nineteenth Century, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, March 2012
“America’s Oceanic Gothic,” American Literature Association Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, May 2011
“Fluid Forms: Spaces of Historical Narration in Black Hawk’s Autobiography and Melville’s The Confidence Man,” C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, State College, Pennsylvania, May 2010
“‘The Strange Faculty of Dreams’: Antebellum Popular Reform Literature, Collective Performance, and Individual Imagination,” American Studies Association Conference, Washington D.C., November 2009
“Edgar Huntly, the Gothic, and the Epistemological Crisis of the Travel Narrative,” Rethinking Empire and Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, University of Maryland Graduate Conference, College Park, Maryland, November 2008
“‘A Task of Delicacy, Difficulty, and Even Danger’: William Barrett Marshall’s A Personal Narrative of Two Visits to New Zealand,” New Zealand Studies Association Conference, “Travel Texts: New Zealand and the South Pacific” section, Birkbeck, University of London, June 2007
“Poe, Lippard, and Visual Culture,” Poe and His Circle, Opening of the exhibition “Nevermore: The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane,” Kroch Library, Cornell University, September 2006
“The Art of Becoming: Sherwood Anderson, Frank Sargeson and the Grotesque Aesthetic,” Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand, July 2004
Research and Teaching Interests
American Literature to 1900; Travel Narratives; Settlement Studies; The American Novel; Gothic and Sensation Fiction; Oceanic Studies; Australasian/Pacific Literature; History and Literature; Geography, Space, and Literature; Visual Culture; Publication Forms and Histories.
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Early American Literature
Nineteenth-Century American Literature
The Nineteenth-Century American Novel
Work: Literary Labor
African American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance
Sea Stories (Undergraduate Research Seminar)
University of Toronto, St. George
Archipelagic American Studies (graduate seminar)
Settler Colonialism and U.S. Literary Studies (graduate seminar)
American Literature: Temporality Studies (graduate seminar)
Introduction to American Literature
American Literature Before 1860
American Literature: 1860-1910
American Literature and Culture: The Bizarre, Strange, and Uncanny in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
American Literature and Culture: Sea Stories
Melville’s Americas (capstone course)
Sea and Land: Unsettling Narratives of Travel and Settlement (graduate seminar)
Time Travels in American Literature
American Literature and Culture: Horrific Journeys
Building a Better Britain?: Literature from Australia and New Zealand
The Mystery in the Story
Writing 7100: Teaching Writing – co-facilitated with Katherine Gottschalk, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines
Selected Academic Experience and Service
Currently a member of six Ph.D. committees, University of Toronto, ongoing. Member of one successfully defended dissertation committee.
Past reader for MELUS, Journal of Transnational American Studies, and European Journal of American Studies.
Member of C19 Podcast Subcommittee, March 2017–August 2019
Supervised graduate-level directed reading in pre-1800 American Literature, Spring 2015
Job Placement Officer, English Department, Rice University, April 2012 – August 2013
Faculty Associate, Will Rice College, Rice University, September 2011 – June 2015
Named a Distinguished Faculty Associate at Will Rice College for the 2011-2012 academic year
First Year Mentor, Will Rice College, Rice University, August 2013 – June 2014
Presenter, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Orientation for New Teachers, May 2010
Presenter, Cornell English Department Meeting for New Instructors, February 2010
Invited to speak to first-year graduate students about designing and teaching courses.
Co-organizer, Cornell English Department Nineteenth-Century Colloquium, 2008 – 2011
Cornell Nineteenth-Century American Reading Group, 2007 – 2011
Research Assistant – to Cornell Professor Shirley Samuels, 2007 – 2008
Cornell English Department Roundtable
Coordinator – Responsible for overseeing all aspects of this “works-in-progress” forum, 2007 – 2009
Committee Member, 2006 – 2007
Auckland University of Technology, Refugee Tutor Scheme, 2004 – 2005
Selected Academic Development
Member of Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group “Visual Cultures of the Circumpolar North,” 2021–2023
Member of Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group “Nineteenth-Century Time,” 2016–2018
Participant/presenter in seminar on “Settler Colonialism and Territorial Expansion,” C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, State College, Pennsylvania, March 2016
Participant in “Just Teach One” national online project on teaching a recovered text: Humanity in Algiers (1801), November 2013
“Get Started in Digital Humanities,” MLA pre-convention workshop, January 2013
Futures of American Studies Institute – Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 2012. Presented “Serial Fictions and Panoramic Pasts”
American Antiquarian Society, CHAViC Summer Seminar, “Picturing Reform: How Images Transformed America, 1830-1880,” June 2011.
Futures of American Studies Institute – Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire June 2008. Presented “Dreams of Knowledge, Nightmares of Encounter: Edgar Huntly, the Gothic, and the Epistemological Crisis of the Travel Narrative”
Cornell, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Peer Collaboration, Spring 2007, Fall 2006