Melissa Adams-Campbell

Melissa Adams-Campbell

Associate Professor
Early American Literature, Transatlantic and Transnational Colonial and Romantic Period Literature, Gender Studies

Office: ZH 1006

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Indiana University, Bloomington, 2009
  • M.A. Indiana University, Bloomington, 2003

Professional Interests

I strive to foster ongoing scholarly and classroom discussions of American identities through historically grounded, transnational and intercultural approaches to American literature and culture. In both my teaching and research I seek to expand narrow definitions of American identity by looking beyond the national borders through which we traditionally imagine "American-ness" taking shape. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on transnational approaches to early American literature as well as Native American and multiethnic literature courses. I also lead the NIU honors study abroad program in Montreal, Canada.

My monograph, New World Courtships: Transatlantic Alternatives to Companionate Marriage, (Dartmouth College Press, “Re-Mapping the Transnational: A Dartmouth Series in American Studies” ed. by Donald Pease), uses a transnational feminist framework to recover geographically diverse eighteenth and nineteenth-century “comparative” marriage plots by authors such as Lydia Maria Child, Frances Brooke, Leonora Sansay and others. These novels challenge popular claims that the British system of companionate marriage is more progressive by comparing it with alternative systems for arranging marriage and sexual relations in the Americas. New World Courtships has received positive early reviews at American Literary History andWomen's Studies.

My second book project, "Native to Literary History," recently won research support from NIU's Schriber Scholar Fund for the study of women's literature and language at NIU. The book argues for the cultural significance and social importance of Native women's domestic roles in the production of settler colonial domesticity at the heart of canonical early American writing. 

Recent Grants

  • Schriber Scholar Award. 2015. $10,800.00
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellow. "From Metacom to Tecumseh: Early Native American Resistances Movements." Newberry Library, 2010
  • Northern Illinois University Summer Research Grant: “Choosing a Husband or a Chief: Gender, Politics,and Marriage Customs at the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation.” 2012. $8,272.00 

Selected Publications

  • In Progress: “Native to Literary History” (Second monograph)
  • New World Courtships: Transatlantic Alternatives to Companionate Marriage, in “Re-Mapping the Transnational: A Dartmouth Series in American Studies,” series editor, Donald Pease, Dartmouth College Press, 2015.
  • “Writing Pocahontas: a Transatlantic Approach to Romantic Women Writers and the Rescuing Indian Maiden.” In Transatlantic Literature and Transitivity in the Nineteenth Century: Subjects, Texts, and Print Culture ed. Kathryn Gray and Annika Bautz (forthcoming at Routledge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature).
  • Co-authored with Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa Api, “Sanitizing ‘Indians’ in America’s Thanksgiving Story.” QSE: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 29, no. 5 (2016): 655-669.
  • Co-editor, special feature on "Indigeneity and the work of settler archives" in Settler Colonial Studies 5, no. 2 (2015).
  • Lead author, co-authored with Ashley Glassburn Falzetti and Courtney Rivard, “Introduction: Indigeneity and the work of settler archives.” Settler Colonial Studies 5, no. 2 (2015): 109-116. 
  • Life of Black Hawk: a Sauk and Mesquakie archive.” Settler Colonial Studies 5, no. 2 (2015): 145-157.
  • “Romantic Revolutions: Love and Violence in Leonora Sansay’s Secret History, or The Horrors of St. Domingo.” Studies in American Fiction 39, no. 2 (2012): 125-46.
  • “Sympathetic Transports: Reading as Imaginative and Emotional Travel.” Les Carnets du Cerpac n°5, ed. by Michèle Lurdos and Judith Misrahi-Barak, Service des Publications: Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III, 2007.