Melissa Gniadek

Associate Director, MA; Associate Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor
Maanjiwe nendamowinan Building, Room 5248, 1535 Outer Circle, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6. Jackman Humanities Building, Room 903, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • 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


Melissa Gniadek teaches American literature and culture with a focus on the nineteenth century. In general, her research is motivated by questions about how relationships to place are negotiated through literature and through historical writings.



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. (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 Chapters

"Mammoth Cave, Poe, and (Pre)Histories of the U.S. Interior" in Decolonizing "Prehistory": Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas, 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: 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.

Book Reviews

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.


BA, Harvard University
MA, The University of Auckland
PhD, Cornell University

Administrative Service

Associate Director, MA.