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Melissa Parrish

Assistant Professor of English Language & Literature


Wright Hall 218


Melissa Parrish specializes in multiethnic American literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, and literary representations of public crises from the Cold War to the present. She is currently at work on Situation Normal: Emergency Poetics and the Rise of the National Security State, a book manuscript that queries poetry's relationship to the way national security has shaped the handling of all public emergencies in the U.S. Prior to coming to Smith, she was a postdoctoral lecturer in the English department at Rutgers University, where she also completed her doctorate in English. Originally from Kaneohe, Hawaii, she holds prior degrees from Georgetown University and from the United States Military Academy, where she was an all-conference selection in NCAA Division I softball and later served in the US Army.

Office Hours

Spring 2024

Friday 10-11:30 a.m.
and by appointment.


Ph.D., Rutgers University