Melissa McCoul



Areas of Interest
Victorian, Romantic, childhood studies, periodical studies, play theory

Michigan State University, BA in English; Michigan State University, BA in Elementary Education; Michigan State University, MA

I am currently writing a dissertation entitled "Come Play with Me: Theorizing Child's Play, Narrative World-Building and Imaginative Embodiment in Literature, 1749-1911." Each chapter engages with a particular conjunction of imaginative and physical play, arguing that Victorian and Romantic authors of childhood are united in privileging play that is composed of these two mutually-reinforcing elements. During the Fall 2015 semester, I am also currently teaching a History of Children's literature undergraduate course, serving as Professionalization Chair for the English Graduate Student Association, and co-chairing Gender Studies Research workshops. 

Recent Scholarly Activity

“Playing in the Garden: Empathy, Imagination, and Exercise in Late-Victorian Girls’ Fiction.” SENS 18/19C Seminar. University of Notre Dame. October 14, 2015.
“Female Complaints: Syphilitic Circulation and the Female Body in Late-Nineteenth Century Print Culture.” RSVP 2015. University of Ghent. Brussels, Belgium. July 10-11, 2015.
“Running Wild: Imaginative Play, Physical Health, and the Mobile Girl's Body in Victorian Fiction.” INCS 2015 “Mobilities.” Georgia Institute of Technology. Atlanta, GA. April 16-19, 2015.
“What Dreams May Come: Childhood Temporality and the Dream of Backward Evolution in Peter Ibbetson.” Fun with Dick and Jane: Gender and Childhood Conference. University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN. December 4-6, 2014.
“Maternal Vision and Structures of Affection in Wollstonecraft's Letters Written During a Short Residence.” 2013 International Conference on Romanticism. Rochester, MI. September 26-29, 2013.
“'What Do They Know of Death': Uncanny Children and Natural Epistemology in the 1798 Lyrical Ballads.” Wordsworth Summer Conference. Grasmere, UK. July 30-August 9, 2012.