Lori A Merish


Associate Professor


Department of English
General profile


+1 202-687-7518




Office hours

Spring 2017: M 3:30-5:00pm & by appointment


Lori Merish is an Associate Professor of English. Her research and teaching interests are in U. S. literature and culture, especially 1800-present; feminism and women's writing, including contemporary women's fiction; multi-ethnic and working-class U. S. literatures; cultural studies; literature and material culture (including "thing theory" and critical approaches to commodity culture); cultural theory, especially theories of gender, race, sexuality, class, and nation; and literature and economic justice.

She earned her M. A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from the College of William and Mary.

Publications include: her book, Sentimental Materialism: Gender, Commodity Culture, and 19th-C American Literature (Duke UP, 2000); and articles on Anzia Yezierska, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edith Wharton, Caroline Kirkland, John Rollin Ridge, Frank Webb, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, class and sexuality, and the feminization of poverty in U. S. literature, as well as essays on the literature of poverty and theoretical approaches to class subjectivity.

She is currently completing a book on antebellum working-class women and popular fiction, entitled Laboring Women and the Languages of Class: Race, Sex, and Working Class Women's Writings, 1830-1860; the book is will be published by Duke University Press. She is also at work on projects on theoretical approaches to class "identification" as figured in 19th- and 20th-C U. S. literary texts and film; and on nineteenth-century poverty narratives.

Merish also has won a number of honors, grants and awards, including: a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship; a Mellon Fellowship, English Department, Stanford University; a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship; a U. C. Berkeley Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities Fellowship; and the A. S. A.'s Constance Rourke Award for best article in American Quarterly (1993).


  • Ph.D. and M.A. () University of California, Berkeley,
  • B.S. () College of William and Mary,