19th & early 20th century American Literature; American Women Novelists; Mystery & Detective Fiction.
Melissa McFarland Pennell, Professor of English, specializes in 19th and early 20th century American literature. She has secondary interests in mystery and detective fiction and in New England regional writers. Her book The Historian’s Scarlet Letter: Reading Hawthorne’s Masterpiece as Social and Cultural History was published in 2018 by Prager/ABC-Clio. She has also published Masterpieces of American Romantic Literature (Greenwood, 2006), an introductory critical text for students and general readers; the Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne (Greenwood, 1999) and the Student Companion to Edith Wharton (Greenwood, 2003). She co-edited a collection of essays, American Literary Mentors (UP Florida, 1999) with Irene Goldman-Price. She has published numerous book chapters in scholarly texts as well as articles and reviews in a variety of journals. She volunteers as a consulting scholar at area museums and regularly delivers public lectures and workshops on American literature and culture.