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 the editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies ( and is a board member of the British Women Writers Association. Purdue’s teaching specialties include 18th, 19th, and early 20th-century British literature, Gender Studies, Gothic literature, environmental humanities, and human-animal studies.

Recent Publications

  • “‘Embowered in a mass of vegetation’: Confinement and Predatory Plants in Fin de Siecle Fiction." Victoriographies, vol. 13, no. 1, March 2023, pp. 42-59.
  • “Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf: A Cautionary Tale for the Progressive New Woman.” Epilogue, The Were-Wolf by Clemence Housman, Mexico City, MX, Perla Ediciones, 2022.
  • Netta Syrett.The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies, vol. XI (Summer 2022).
  • “‘That tree gives me the creeps!’: Tales of Vampiric Plants.Journal of Victorian Culture Online, 28 July 2022.
  • 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.


  • ENG 275W: Introduction to Literary Studies 
  • ENG 316: Gothic Literature 
  • ENG 319: Animals and Literature 
  • ENG 317: Literature & the Environment  
  • ENG 322: Topics in British Literature-Literature & the Environment
  • ENG 322: Topics in British Literature-Monsters and the Monstrous 
  • 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 609: Graduate Seminar in British Literature from 1800: Gothic Literature
  • ENG 612: Graduate Seminar in Gender and Literature: The British Fin de Siècle
  • ENG 651: Introduction to Graduate Studies 
  • ENG 654: Teaching Literature at the College Level
  • ENG 671: Literary Theory - Ecocriticism
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