B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, 2010
Melanie is a doctoral candidate specializing in sixteenth-century poetry, drama, and literary history. Her dissertation, “Adolescent Poetics: Narratives of Development in English Literary Culture,” establishes the significance of the paradigmatic “ages of man” in the way early modern poets understood their place in a vernacular tradition they often regarded as nascent. With attention to writing by Skelton, Gascoigne, Spenser, Sidney, and Shakespeare, “Adolescent Poetics” traces a series of often uncomfortable identifications with the figure of the child or adolescent, and argues that a pattern of regression—to an earlier stage of life and to a prior historical moment—provided a paradigm for literary production at a time when the English tradition was coming of age.
Her other teaching and research interests include feminist and queer theory, childhood studies, nostalgia, psychoanalysis, and historical poetics.
At Princeton, Melanie has precepted for courses on Shakespeare, a survey of English literature from Chaucer to Pope, Contemporary Fiction, and Children’s Literature. From 2013 to 2016, she was also a Teaching Fellow for the Princeton University Preparatory Program, which serves high-achieving, low-income students in nearby Trenton.
She has served on the department's Working Group on Graduate Issues and is a former co-organizer for the Renaissance Colloquium.