Faculty and Staff
Melissa Ryan
Professor English
Alfred University Contact Info
Office Location: Seidlin Hall Annex 210
Department: English  
Phone: 607.871.2166  
Melissa Ryan
B.A.: Literary Studies
Middlebury College, 1993

University of Arizona, 2000

University of Arizona, 2004

Teaching Interests

American literature

Race, class, and gender in American literature

Literature and the environment

Social Justice Studies

Writing I & II

Selected Publications

“Dangerous Refuge: Richard Wright and the Swimming Hole.” African American Review 50.1 (Spring 2017): 27-40.

“Quicksand, Passing, and Idlewild: Black Bourgeoisie in the Wilderness.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 23.4 (November 2016): 770-97.

“Others and Origins: 19th Century Suffragists and the ‘Indian Problem.’” Women and the Struggle for Equal Rights: Challenges, Complexities, and Variations in 19th-Century Female Activism. University of Rochester Press (2012).

“Rena’s Two Bodies: Gender and Whiteness in Charles Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars.” Studies in the Novel 43.1 (Spring 2011).

“Republican Mothers and Indian Wives: Lydia Maria Child’s Indian Fiction.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 56.1 (2010): 33-70.

“The Indian Problem as a Woman’s Question: S. Alice Callahan’s Wynema: A Child of the Forest.” ATQ: American Transcendental Quarterly 21.1 (March 2007): 23-45.

“At Home in America: John Fante and the Imaginative American Self.” Studies in American Fiction 32.2 (Autumn 2004): 185-214.

“The Enclosure of America: Civilization and Confinement in Willa Cather's O Pioneers!” American Literature 75.2 (June 2003): 275-303.

“Civil Bodies: Legal Language and the Ritual of Sacrifice.” Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 19 (1999): 67-98.

Honors and Awards

Kruson Award for Excellence in Teaching, Alfred University, 2005, 2007, 2011

Abigail Allen Award, Alfred University, 2016

Florence Hemley Schneider Dissertation Prize, University of Arizona, 2004 

Phi Beta Kappa