Melissa Homestead

Professor's Profile Image
Professor (402) 472-0323 336B Andrews Hall
  • Smith College, A.B. 1985 (magna cum laude with high honors in English)
  • University of Pennsylvania, A.M. 1987
  • University of Pennsylvania, PhD 1998
Areas of Specialty
American Literature and the History of the Book from the Early Republic through the early 20th century, with a focus on women’s authorship; the American novel; Catharine Sedgwick; Willa Cather

Professional Activities

  • Coordinator of Assessment, English Department

Selected publications


  • American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005 (pbk 2010) (chapters on Catharine Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, Augusta Jane Evans, and Mary Virginia Terhune).
  • With Ellen Foster, co-editor Clarence; or, a Tale of Our Times (1830) by Catharine Maria Sedgwick. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2011. Honorable Mention, Society for the Study of American Women Writers Edition Award, 2012.
  • With Guy Reynolds, co-editor Willa Cather and Modern Cultures. Cather Studies 9. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2011. Introduction available at
  • With Pamela T. Washington, co-editor, E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist. U of Tennessee P, December 2012. Introduction available at

Digital Projects


  • “Willa Cather, Sarah Orne Jewett, and the Historiography of Lesbian Sexuality,” forthcoming in Willa Cather and the Nineteenth Century (Cather Studies 10). Forthcoming 2015.
  • "American Novelist Catharine Sedgwick Negotiates British Copyright, 1822-1857," Yearbook of English Studies, topic: Book History and Literature, editors Stephen Colclough and Sandro Jung. Forthcoming 2015.
  • With Terry Heller, "'The Other One': An Unpublished Chapter of Sarah Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs," J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 2.2 (2014): 133-167. Edition of manuscript accompanied by substantial essay.
  •  “Willa Cather, Edith Lewis, and Collaboration: The Southwestern Novels of the 1920s and Beyond.” Studies in the Novel 45.3 (2013): 408-431.
  • “From Periodical to Book in her Early Career: E. D. E. N. Southworth’s Letters to Abraham Hart.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 29.1 (2012): 115-47. Available at
  • “The Shape of Catharine Sedgwick’s Career.” Cambridge History of American Women’s Literature. Ed. Dale Bauer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. 185-203.
  • “Edith Lewis as Editor: Every Week Magazine and the Contexts of Cather’s Fiction.” Willa Cather: A Writer’s Worlds. Cather Studies 8. Ed Robert Thacker and John Murphy. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2010. 325-52. Available at
  • With Camryn Hansen, "Susanna Rowson’s Transatlantic Career.”Early American Literature 45.3 (2010): 619-54. Available at
  • “Did a Woman Writer the Great American Novel?: Judging Women’s Fiction in the Nineteenth Century and Today” (review essay of Elaine Showalter’s A Jury of Her Peers). Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 29.2 (2010): 447-57. Available at
  • “Middlebrow Readers and Pioneer Heroines: Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Bess Streeter Aldrich’s A Lantern in Her Hand, and the Popular Fiction Market.” Crisscrossing Borders in the Literature of the American West. Ed. Reginald Dyck and Cheli Reutter. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009. 75-94. available at
  • With Anne L. Kaufman. "Nebraska, New England, New York: Mapping the Foreground of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis’s Creative Partnership." Western American Literature 43.1 (2008): 41-69. available at
  • “The Beginnings of the American Novel.” Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature, ed. Kevin J. Hayes. New York: Oxford UP, 2008. 527-46. available at
  • "The Publishing History of Augusta Jane Evans's Confederate Novel Macaria: Unwriting Some Lost Cause Myths." Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures  28.3-4 (2005): 665-702. available at
  • "When I Can Read My Title Clear: Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Stowe v. Thomas Copyright Infringement Case." Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 27 (2002): 201-45. available at (a revised and expanded version appears my book)
  •  “Behind the Veil: Sedgwick and Anonymous Publication.” Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Critical Perspectives. Ed. Lucinda L. Damon-Bach and Victoria Clements. Boston: Northeastern UP, 2002. 19−35. Available at
  • "'Every Body Sees the Theft': Fanny Fern and Literary Proprietorship in Antebellum America." New England Quarterly 74 (2001): 210-37. available at (a revised and expanded version appears in my book)
  • “‘Links of Similitude’: The Narrator of The Country of the Pointed Firs and Author-Reader Relations at the End of the Nineteenth Century. Jewett and Her Contemporaries: Reshaping the Canon. Ed. Karen L. Kilcup and Thomas S. Edwards. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 1999. 76-98. available at

Introductions and Bibliographies

  • Introduction, The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. New York: Signet Classics, 2007.  Available at
  • Lucinda L. Damon-Bach, Allison J. Roepsch, and Melissa J. Homestead. “Chronological Bibliography of the Works of Catharine Maria Sedgwick.” Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Critical Perspectives. Ed. Lucinda L. Damon-Bach and Victoria Clements. Boston: Northeastern UP, 2002. 295-313. Available at
  • Melissa J. Homestead and Vicki L. Martin. “Chronological Bibliography of E.D.E.N. Southworth’s Works Privileging Periodical Publication.” E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist. Melissa J. Homestead and Pamela T. Washington, eds. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2012. 285-306. Available at