Department of English

University of Toronto

Gniadek, Melissa

Melissa GniadekMelissa Gniadek
Assistant Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto Mississauga
Office Phone: 905-569-4559
UTM Office Location: MN 5248
UTSG Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 903 
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: UTM all year: Mondays 3:15pm-4:30pm and Wednesdays 3:15pm-4:00pm (and by appointment) 
Winter Term, JHB: Tuesdays 1:30pm-3:00pm
Melissa Gniadek's Homepage:

Teaching and Research Interests:
American Literature and Culture to 1900; Travel Narratives and Settlement Studies; American Literature in Global Contexts; Oceanic Studies; Australasian/Pacific Literature; The Nineteenth-Century American Novel; Gothic and Sensation Fiction; History and Literature; Geography, Space, and Literature; Visual Culture; Publication Forms and Histories. 

Degrees: B.A.(Harvard), M.A. (The University of Auckland), M.A., Ph.D. (Cornell).

Melissa Gniadek teaches American literature and culture with a focus on the nineteenth century. Her research is motivated by questions about how relationships to place are negotiated through literature and through historical writings. More specifically, she is concerned with how the problems of settler colonialism—the problems inherent when colonizers from an “old” world seek to inhabit a “new” one already inhabited by others—are represented formally or aesthetically. Her work examines settlement as a problem that manifests itself across literary genres and cultural forms.

Her current book project, Unsettled Spaces, Unsettled Stories: Temporalities of Settlement in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, argues that settler colonialism, while often considered primarily in relation to territory and property, also manifests itself as a temporal problem in a range of nineteenth-century texts. A second project, Oceans at Home in Nineteenth-Century America, demonstrates how ideas about distant places like New Zealand circulated in the nineteenth-century U.S. This project contributes to the growing awareness of the place of the Pacific and the oceanic more generally in American literature and culture. 


“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.

“‘Outré-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. (This essay was the co-winner of the Richard Beale Davis Prize for best essay published in Early American Literature in 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. (This essay received an honorable mention for the Norman Foerster Prize for the best essay published in American Literature in 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. 2005. (This essay was awarded the JNZL Prize for New Zealand Literary Studies in 2005.) 

Book Chapter
“‘You will observe…’: Letting Lippard Teach,” in Teaching Tainted Lit: Popular American Fictionin Today’s Classroom, ed. Janet G. Casey. University of Iowa Press, 2015.

Book Reviews
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.


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