Melissa Purdue, Ph.D.

Professor | English Literature & English Studies

Address: 201C Armstrong Hall (AH 201C)
Phone: (507) 389-5510


  • Ph.D. in English from the University of Kentucky
  • M.A. in English from Illinois State University
  • B.A. in English and Religion from the University of Iowa


Purdue has published New Woman Writers, Authority, and the Body (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) with Stacey Floyd and a critical edition of Rosa Praed’s Fugitive Anne: A Romance of the Unexplored Bush (Valancourt, 2011). She has also published articles in various journals like The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies and The Wilkie Collins Journal, and book collections. Her current research focuses on late 19th-century supernatural fiction, human-animal Studies, and eco-gothic fiction. She is editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies and is a board member for the British Women Writers Association. Purdue’s teaching specialties include 18th, 19th, and early 20th-century British literature, Gender Studies, Gothic literature, postcolonial literature and theory, and human-animal studies.

Recent Publications

Anna Kingsford.” Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, edited by Lesa Scholl, 6 April 2022. 

Anna Kingsford’s Spiritual Thunderbolt.” Journal of Victorian Culture Online, 13 Jan. 2022.

The Transformation of Victorian Monsters: Wilkie Collins’ Heart and Science and Gail Carriger’s Neo-Victorian ‘Parasol Protectorate’ Series.’” The Wilkie Collins Journal, Volume 18, 2021.

"‘His Eyes Commanded Me to Come to Him’: Desire and Mesmerism in Rhoda Broughton’s ‘The Man with the Nose.’” Reassessing Women’s Writing of the 1860s and 1870s, edited by Carolyn Oulton & Adrienne Gavin, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 183-193.

Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf: A Cautionary Tale for the Progressive New Woman.” Revenant, vol. 2, Winter 2016, special issue edited by Janine Hatter and Kaja Franck.



  • ENG 275W: Introduction to Literary Studies 
  • ENG 316: Gothic Literature 
  • ENG 319: Animals and Literature 
  • ENG 321: Survey of British Literature II 
  • ENG 402: Gender and Literature 
  • ENG 403: The Bronte Sisters 
  • ENG 426: British Modernism 
  • ENG 606: Graduate Seminar in British Literary History and Criticism 
  • ENG 609: Graduate Seminar in British Literature from 1800: Victorian Visual Art & Literature 
  • ENG 612: Graduate Seminar in Gender and Literature: The British Fin de Siècle 
  • ENG 654: Teaching Literature at the College Level  
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