Melissa Ganz

Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow
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Office Location: 
3-C-6 Green Hall

Melissa J. Ganz is an Associate Professor of English at Marquette University.  She works on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, with a particular focus on the relationship between literature, law, and ethics. She also has broad interests in gender studies, transatlantic studies, and the history of the novel. Her research is driven by a desire to understand how debates about law and justice have shaped literary texts in the past and how literature can help us think through questions of law and justice that remain of concern to this day. Melissa’s first book, Public Vows: Fictions of Marriage in the English Enlightenment (University of Virginia Press, 2019), offers a new account of the marriage plot, arguing for the centrality of nuptial law to early fiction and of novels to nuptial regulation.  She has also written on legal and ethical questions in novels by Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and on courtroom storytelling in nineteenth-century America. Her current projects include a study of eighteenth-century British literature and penal reform, a study of nineteenth-century fiction and criminal responsibility, and a series of essays on Romantic women writers’ engagements with moral philosophy.  She is looking forward to joining the UCHV community.