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Melissa Pennell

Melissa Pennell
Melissa M PennellProfessor
  • CollegeCollege of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • DepartmentEnglish
  • Phone(978) 934-4198
  • OfficeO'Leary Library - 483
  • EmailMelissa_Pennell@uml.edu

Research Interests

19th & early 20th century American Literature, American Women Novelists, Mystery & Detective Fiction

Education

  • BA: English and Sociology, College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA
  • MA: English, Brown University - Providence, RI
    Supporting Area: American Literature, British Literature
  • Ph D: English, Brown University - Providence, RI
    Supporting Area: American Literature (Colonial to Modern), American Regional Literature, British Literature (Neo-classical to Modern)

Biography

Melissa M. Pennell is a Professor of English. Her field of expertise is 19th and early 20th century American literature. She has secondary interests in mystery and detective fiction and in New England regional writers. Recently, she published Masterpieces of American Romantic Literature (Greenwood), an introductory critical text for students and general readers. She is also author of the Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne (Greenwood, 1999) and the Student Companion to Edith Wharton (Greenwood, 2003), as well as co-editor of American Literary Mentors (UP Florida, 1999). She has published numerous articles and reviews in a variety of journals and has served as a peer reviewer for The Edith Wharton Review and for Pedagogy. For the last several years she has been a contributor and content developer for the Hawthorne in Salem website (http:www.hawthorneinsalem.org) and served on the editorial board for production of "The Literary Map of Massachusetts" through the Massachusetts Center for the Book. She is a consulting scholar at area museums and regularly delivers public lectures and workshops on American literature and culture.

Awards and Honors

  • Honors Program Faculty Mentor Award (2012) - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society) (2008)
  • Faculty Recognition Award (2002) - National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAA)
  • English Department Teaching Excellence Award (1998)
  • Inducted into Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society) (1998)
  • Exemplary Faculty Volunteer (1994) - University of Massachusetts Lowell Office of Community Service

Publications

  • Pennell, M.M. (2012) " Justice to Edith Wharton? Early Critical Responses," Cambridge U P pp. 93-102
  • Pennell, M.M. (2007) "Masterpieces of American Romantic Literature," China Renmin University Press
  • Pennell, M.M. (2004) "Review of "Monuments and Memory: History and Representation in Lowell, Massachusetts" (review)," Biography 26:4 pp. 760-762
  • Pennell, M.M. (2003) "Student Companion to Edith Wharton," Greenwood Press
  • Pennell, M.M. (2003) "Review of The Life and Works of Betsy Chamerlain by Judith Ranta," The Women's Review of Books pp. 25-26
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Alice Brown," ANB/Oxford U P
  • Goldman-Price, I.C., Pennell, M.M. (1999) "American Literary Mentors," U Press Florida
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Herbert Dickinson Ward," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "James Oppenheim," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Louis A. Godey," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Phoebe Atwood Taylor," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Sophia Hawthorne," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne," Greenwood Press
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "The Mentor's Charge," U Press Florida pp. 34-46
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "The Unfortunate Fall: Women and Genteel Poverty in the Fiction of Hawthorne and Freeman," UMass Press pp. 191-203
  • Pennell, M.M. (1999) "Thorne Smith," Oxford U P
  • Pennell, M.M. (1995) " Review of The Uncollected Short Stories of Mary Wilkins Freeman," American Literary Realism pp. 92-93
  • Pennell, M.M. (1994) "Through the Golden Gate: Madness and the Persephone Myth in Gertrude Atherton’s ‘The Foghorn’.," U Press Florida pp. 84-98
  • Pennell, M.M. (1991) " The Liberating Will: Freedom of Choice in the Fiction of Mary Wilkins Freeman," G. K. Hall pp. 207-221
  • Pennell, M.M. (1990) "A New Spiritual Biography - Domesticity and Sorority in the Fiction of Sarah Orne Jewett," Studies in American Fiction 18:2 pp. 193-206
  • Pennell, M.M. (1989) "Charlotte MacLeod," Salem Press pp. 1177-1183

Presentations

  • ,
  • The Crime and Detective Fiction of Dennis Lehane, June 2013 - Merrimac, MA
  • The Many Lives of Sherlock Holmes, June 2013
  • Mystery and Detective Fiction: Traditions and Innovations, August 2012 - Hooksett, NH
  • Surveillance and the Dynamics of Power in Edith Wharton's The Old Maid - Edith Wharton in Florence Conference, June 2012
  • The History of Mystery and Detective Fiction, March 2012 - Amherst, NH
  • Reinventing the Hard-Boiled Tradition, June 2011
  • Scandals, Scoundrels, and Spoils: Houses in the Fiction of Henry James with Dr. Marie Frank (Cultural Studies) - Sigma Tau Delta Forum, November 2010
  • Cooking Up Crime: Culinary Detective Fiction, October 2010 - N. Chelmsford
  • The Mystery Novels of Dennis Lehane, July 2010 - Tewksbury, MA
  • The Legacy of Robert B. Parker, June 2010
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne: His Life and Fiction, Workshop Leader - Seasonal Ranger Training Sessions, May 2010 - Concord, MA
  • The Mystery Novels of Dennis Lehane, March 2010 - Chelmsford, MA
  • New England Mystery Novels, June 2009
  • Teaching Research and Writing, Session Discussion Leader for Vertical Alignment Workshop, February 2009
  • , November 2008 - North Andover, MA
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, August 2008 - Concord, MA
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, July 2008 - Concord, MA
  • Armchair Travel/Armchair Detection, June 2008
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, June 2008 - Concord, MA
  • The Joys of Being a Life-Long Student, or, Why I Read Literature - Convocation Address, September 2007
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, August 2007
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, July 2007
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, June 2007
  • Birds of the Merrimack Valley - Honors Program, Pizza with a Prof Night, September 2006
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, August 2006
  • Hawthorne, Salem, and the Seven Gables, July 2006 - Salem, MA
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, July 2006
  • Massachusetts Mysteries, June 2006
  • - NEH Funded Landmarks in American History Series, June 2006
  • Teaching Hawthorne Using the Hawthorne in Salem Web Site, February 2006
  • Crime is a Laughing Matter: Detective Fiction and Humor, July 2005
  • - Eminent Women, 2004 - Concord, MA
  • To Live by the Clock and the Bell: Lowell's Female Operatives, 1830-1855 - Summer Conversation Series, July 2004 - Concord, MA
  • Hawthorne as We See Him: The Evolution of Hawthorne Biography from Henry James to the Present, June 2004 - Minuteman National Park, Concord, MA
  • Hawthorne at 200: Teachers' Seminar", panel moderato - Hawthorne Bicentennial Celebration, June 2004 - Concord, MA
  • Mysteries and History, June 2004
  • Whose House Shall Stand? Walden's 'Economy' in the Context of Women's Advice Literature - American Literature Association Conference, May 2004 - San Francisco, CA
  • Subverting the Subversive: Hawthorne's Containment of Female Character - Hawthorne and the Woman Question, March 2004 - Salem State College
  • Student Engagement and Retention, Conversation Dinner, March 2004
  • Reasons to Consider Project-Based and Service Learning - Winter Institute, Beyond Lectures, Exams, and Essays: Exploring Project-Based and Service Learning, January 2004
  • Lois Larcom, Boardinghouse Keeper, staff development workshop, October 2003 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Literature and Reform, workshops - Teaching American History Program, October 2003 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Literature and Reform, workshops - Teaching American History Program, August 2003 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • All the Learned Ladies': Intellectual Women in Emerson's Circle, Co-organizer - Summer Conversation Series, July 2003 - Concord, MA
  • Art, Music, Museums and Murder, June 2003
  • Edith Wharton and Her World - Literary Society Colloquium Series, April 2003
  • Not Just a Poor Little Rich Girl: Edith Wharton and American Fiction - Honors Colloquium, November 2002
  • Not Just a Poor Little Rich Girl: Edith Wharton and American Fiction, October 2002
  • New Directions in Mystery Fiction, June 2002
  • Social Capital and The Problem of Benevolence in Howells's Annie Kilburn - American Literature Association Conference, May 2002 - Long Beach, CA
  • Mentors and Friends of Louisa May Alcott, April 2002 - Concord, MA
  • Overview of her course "The Family in American Literature" and how it meets Gen Ed diversity requirements - Faculty Winter Institute, January 2002
  • Meet Lois Larcom, A Boardinghouse Keeper in Lowell, a living history presentation and discussion - Honors Colloquium, November 2001
  • Elizabeth Peabody and Early Childhood Education - Life is My College Summer Series, July 2001 - Concord, MA
  • Friendship as a Source of Social Transformation in Louisa May Alcott's Fiction - Summer Series, July 2001 - Concord, MA
  • Edith Wharton's Life and Writings, June 2001
  • Mill Girl Lecture, workshop for teachers with Sheila Kirschbaum - Primary Source, May 2001 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Edith Wharton and 'Roman Fever', April 2001 - Salem, MA
  • Constructing and Using the NEH Hawthorne Web Site - NEMLA Conference, March 2001 - Hartford, CT
  • Helen Hunt Jackson and Indian Rights" in the session "Mightier than the Sword: American Women Writers as Activists - Lowell Women's History Conference, November 2000
  • Literary Responses to the Industrial Revolution, lecture and discussion - Honors Colloquium, September 2000
  • To bring her face to face with her people: Woman, Ownership, and Power in Wharton's Fruit of the Tree - Edith Wharton Society Conference, June 2000 - Newport
  • Language and Gender Issues, panelist at a conversation dinner - Council on Diversity and Pluralism, April 2000
  • Duty's Child Revisited: Young Women in the Early Fiction of Sarah Orne Jewett - NEMLA Conference, April 2000 - Buffalo, NY
  • The Task Force For Quality Advisint: A Communication Network That Work with Sheila Riley-Callahan and Kim Vitchkosk - NACADA Regional Conference, March 2000 - Portland
  • "Language and Gender-Coded Stereotypes", Panelist - UMass Lowell Symposium on Diversity and Pluralism, March 2000
  • What's a Mother to Do? 19th Century Advice Literature and American Fiction, March 2000
  • , June 1999
  • Responses to the Industrial Revolution, workshop for middle school teachers, February 1999 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Keeper of the House, Workshop Session - Lowell Women's History Conference, November 1998
  • Two workshops for teachers as part of a DOE Summer Institute - The American Industrial Revolution, July 1998 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • What are We Doing? Where are We Going?: The Future of the English Major - NEMLA Conference, April 1998 - Baltimore
  • Four New England Poets, January 1998
  • Staff Development Workshop - Women's Captivity Narratives, January 1998
  • Staff Development Workshop - Anne Bradstreet: Windows into a 17th century Woman's Life, November 1997
  • Workshop for Teachers - Literary Responses to the Industrial Revolution: Using Primary Sources, November 1997 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Redefining Space and Reclaiming the Self in Alice Brown's 'Joint Owners in Spain' - New England Voices Conference, October 1997
  • , September 1997 - Haverhill, MA
  • , April 1997 - North Reading, MA
  • Beyond Concord: Literary Influences and Inspirations for Louisa May Alcott, March 1997 - Concord, MA
  • Moderator for Lecture Series - Women Writers: Sources of Inspiration, March 1997
  • The Sonnet: Traditional and Modern, January 1997
  • New England Diarists, July 1996
  • Women in Mystery Fiction, May 1996 - Salem, MA
  • Berneice Bobs her Hair (Fitzgerald) and The Music Room (Updike), April 1996 - North Reading, MA
  • - Nantucket Public Library, March 1996
  • - North Andover Public Library, March 1996 - North Andover, MA
  • Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors, February 1996 - North Andover, MA
  • New England Poets Past and Present, Part II: Frost to Kenyon, January 1996
  • Workshop for Teachers with Dr. Mary Kramer - Literary Responses to the Industrial Revolution, October 1995 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • 'A Net Flung Wide': Mother Voices in Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones - Women Writers of Color Conference, October 1995 - Ocean City, MD
  • Being Boys and Girls: American Childhood in Little Women and Tom Sawyer, July 1995 - Concord
  • New England Poets Past and Present, Part I: Bradstreet to Dickinson, June 1995
  • American Literature in the Era of Moby Dick - Literary Society, April 1995
  • Workshop for Teachers - Work and the American Identity, April 1995 - The Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
  • Mythic Transformations in Joyce Carol Oates' Black Water - NEMLA Conference, March 1995 - Boston, MA
  • Talk with Dr. Alice Walters - Women in Detective Fiction, March 1995 - Lowell, MA
  • University's "Guest Teacher" program at area high schools, 1994
  • The Fiction of Margaret Atwood - Literary Society, October 1994
  • Living History Program, portrayal of Elizabeth Hoar, October 1994 - Concord, MA
  • Workshop on The Graduate School Application Process - Literary Society, September 1994
  • American Fiction by Ethnic and Minority Writers, August 1994
  • - Fictional Models of Change for Working Women, March 1994
  • Myth and the Runaway Female: Lydia Maria Child's Hobomok - NEMLA Conference, March 1994 - Pittsburgh
  • Labor Fiction in America, January 1994
  • - What Color Was her Parasol?: Women, Work, and Wages in 19th Century New England, January 1994 - Lowell, MA
  • University's "Guest Teacher" program at area high schools, 1993
  • Discussion on College Writing and other issues in English Education - Literary Society, November 1993
  • - Hawthorne's "The Prophetic Pictures", October 1993 - Concord, MA
  • Workshop on Preparing for Essay Exams - Literary Society, October 1993
  • Best Sellers: Are They Literature?, August 1993
  • Faculty Presenter - University's Strategies for Success Program, August 1993
  • - Ellen Craft, July 1993 - Concord, MA
  • Dressed to Kill: Dress Reform and Women Writers in 19th Century America - Conference on Scholarship on Women in Society, June 1993
  • - Mother's Day: From Sacrifice to Sentimentality, May 1993
  • "Meaningful Work and Social Reform in the Fiction of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps" - 19th Century Feminist Strategies for Nonviolence Conference, March 1993
  • - Dressed to Kill: 19th Century Clothing and Women's Images, March 1993
  • From Victim to Victoria: Women in Detective Fiction, January 1993
  • Writing Resumes and Cover Letters - English Department Career Day, October 1992
  • Taking Essay Exams" and "The Term Paper, October 1992
  • Faculty Presenter - Strategies for Success Program, August 1992
  • New England in Fiction, July 1992
  • - Eminent Women: Private Lives/Public Spheres, May 1992 - Concord, MA
  • Age and Authority in the Fiction of Alice Brown - NEMLA Conference, April 1992 - Buffalo, NY
  • What do Students Read Today? The PC Debate, February 1992
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and New Discoveries, December 1991 - Nashua, NH
  • Faculty Presenter - Orientation, August 1991
  • The Life and Work of Mary Wilkins Freeman, August 1991 - Concord, MA
  • The Rise of the Novel & Its Development in America, August 1991
  • , April 1991
  • Artifacts tell tales That Women must Interpret: Revivifying the Past in the Fiction of Alice Brown - Southern American Studies Association Conference, February 1991 - Williamsburg, VA
  • Tough Molls and Gumshoes: Hard-boiled Detective Fiction, January 1991
  • Mystery Fiction and Judeo-Christian Values, June 1990 - Lowell, MA
  • Mystery Fiction and the Christian Tradition, April 1990 - Nashua, NH
  • The Power of Women's Narrative in Eudora Welty's Delta Wedding - NEMLA Conference, April 1990 - Toronto
  • The Gospel of Matthew and Typology and The Gospel of Matthew and Greco-Roman Literature, April 1990 - Nashua, NH
  • Beyond the Plantation: Constructing Images of the Black Community in the Fiction of Ruth McEnery Stuart - American Studies Association Conference, November 1989 - Toronto, Ontario
  • Meditative Poetry, September 1989 - Nashua, NH
  • Entering the Underworld: Madness and Power in Gertrude Atherton's 'The Foghorn' - NEMLA Conference, March 1989 - Wilmington, DE
  • Is Turnabout Fair Play? Gender, Language and Social Norms in Thorne Smith's Novel of Manners - Twentieth Century Literature Conference, February 1989 - Louisville, KY
  • Redefining the Elect: De-centering the Ministry in the Fiction of Harriet Beecher Stowe - Mid-Hudson MLA Conference, November 1988 - Poughkeepsie, NY
  • The City and the Shore: New England's Popular Culture in the Detective Fiction of Charlotte MacLeod - New England Popular Culture Association Conference, November 1988 - Hartford, CT
  • A New Spiritual Biography Domesticity and Sorority in Jewett's 'Miss Tempy's Watchers' and 'The Passing of Sister Barsett' - NEMLA Conference, March 1988 - Providence, RI
  • "Dark Lady Triumphant: Innovations in American Romance in Charles Fenno Hoffman's Greyslaer" - Mid-Hudson MLA Conference, November 1987 - Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Rest ye Merry: The Christmas Motif in Mystery and Detective Fiction, November 1987 - Portland, ME
  • - Resume Writing Workshop, October 1987
  • From Hell fer Sartain to Kingdom Come: John Fox Jr.'s Preservation of the Masculine Ethos, March 1987 - Montreal
  • Clarissa in America: Preliminary Findings - Seminar on the History of the Book in American Culture, June 1986 - Worcester, MA
  • Mark Twain's Huck Finn - Twain/Huck Finn Centennial, November 1985 - Lowell, MA

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • "Inventing America: Lowell And The Industrial Revolution" (2008), - NEH
    Pennell, M. (Other), Montrie, C., Kirschbaum, S.
  • "Inventing America: Lowell And The Industrial Revolution" (2007), - NEH
    Pennell, M. (Other), Montrie, C., Kirschbaum, S.
  • Cultural Economy Grant for the Urban Village Arts Scene (2007), Grant - UMass President's Office
    Pennell, M. (Other), Szczesiul, A.
  • "Inventing America: Lowell And The Industrial Revolution" (2006), - NEH
    Pennell, M. (Other), O'Connell, P., Kirschbaum, S.
  • "Inventing America: Lowell And The Industrial Revolution" (2005), - NEH
    Pennell, M. (Other), O'Connell, P., Kirschbaum, S.
  • (2000), - NEH
    Pennell, M. (Other), Whitney, T.
  • Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities Planning Grant for the Literary Map of Massachusetts (2002), Grant - Massachusetts Center for the Book
    Pennell, M. (Other), Shaloo, S.
  • Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (1998), -
    Pennell, M. (Other)
  • A Faculty Development Grant (1994), -
    Pennell, M. (Principal)
  • A Task Force on Teaching and Learning Excellence Grant (1994), -
    Pennell, M. (Principal)
  • Public Service Endowment Grant (1994), Grant -
    Pennell, M.
  • NEH Grant: "Why Concord?" (1993), Grant -
    Pennell, M. (Other)
  • Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (1994), -
    Pennell, M. (Other)
  • CITA Grant (1993), -
    Pennell, M. (Principal)