Melissa Bailes Associate Professor Department of English Tulane University

Melissa Bailes

Director of Graduate Studies & Associate Professor of English
Norman Mayer 216


Melissa Bailes specializes in British literature of the long eighteenth century (1660-1830), the history of science, Enlightenment philosophy, transatlantic and transnational studies, and women's writing. She has published on these topics in journals such as ELH, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Studies in Romanticism, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Eighteenth-Century Life, and European Romantic Review.

Her first book, Questioning Nature: British Women's Scientific Writing and Literary Originality, 1750-1830 (University of Virginia Press), won the British Society for Literature and Science 2017 Book Prize, “awarded for the best book in the field of literature and science published that year,” and was runner-up for the British Association for Romantic Studies 2017-19 First Book Prize. Bailes's second book, Regenerating Romanticism: Botany, Sensibility, and Originality in British Literature, 1750-1830 (Virginia), was shortlisted for the British Society for Literature and Science 2023 Book Prize. She is currently working on a third monograph, tentatively titled, Nature's Clockwork: Science, Travel, and Time in British Literature, 1759-1859.

Bailes has been awarded long-term fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the American Association of University Women, and the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, as well as short-term fellowships from organizations such as Yale's Lewis Walpole Library, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, the Linda Hall Library for Science, Engineering and Technology, and the Chawton House Library in the UK.

Book cover for Questioning Nature by Melissa Bailes
Cover of Melissa Bailes' book Regenerating Romanticism