Curriculum Vita

Download this CV in the following formats


Susan Scott Parrish

Department of English                                                                 
University of Michigan                                                                          (734) 649-7294
3164 Angell Hall                                                                                   
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Stanford University
Ph.D., Department of English, 1998

University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Department of Rhetoric, 1990

Princeton University
B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1986
Major in English
Elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society

Academic Employment

2005-2012         Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Michigan

2006-2007        Jointly appointed with the Program in the Environment

1998-2005         Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Michigan


External Honors and Fellowships      

2011                  Lester J. Cappon Prize for “Richard Ligon and the Atlantic Science of Commonwealths,” awarded annually by the editorial board of The William and Mary Quarterly to the best article published the previous year (co-winner).
2006                Ralph Waldo Emerson Award for American Curiosity.  This prize is awarded to one book annually by the Phi Beta Kappa Society “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”
2005                 Jamestown Prize for American Curiosity. The prize is awarded by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, University of North Carolina Press, the College of William and Mary, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation every other year “to an exceptional book-length scholarly manuscript pertaining to the history and culture of the Atlantic World circa 1450–1815.”
2003                 Stephen Botein Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society

    1. Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Fellowship,      Harvard University
  1. National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship

1998                 Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture’s Richard L. Morton Award for 1997 William and Mary Quarterly article
1998                 Honorable Mention for the South-Eastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ Percy Adams Prize for 1997 Quarterly article
1996-1997          Thomas and Carolyn Killefer Fellowship
1995-1996          Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship
1990-1995          Stanford University Fellowship
1989-91             Jacob K. Javits Fellowship

Internal Honors, Fellowships, and Grants

2013                  Michigan Humanities Award
2010                 University Undergraduate Teaching Award (given to only two individuals on the University of Michigan faculty in a single year)
2008-2009        Institute for the Humanities John Rich Fellowship, University of Michigan
2006-2007        Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute Fellowship, University of Michigan
2006                Teaching with Technology Initiative Grant, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan
2006                Instructional Development Fund Grant, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan
2001                 Horace H. Rackham Faculty Fellowship, University of Michigan


American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/UNCP, 2006).

            Awarded the Jamestown Prize and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award

            Reviewed in: American Historical Review, American Literature, Early American Literature, Early Science and Medicine, Environmental History, Isis, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Itinerario, Journal of American History, Journal of American Studies, Journal of the Early Republic, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, New England Quarterly, Reviews in American History, William & Mary Quarterly, Winterthur Portfolio

Book in Progress

“Noah’s Kin: Southern Floods and Forms of Modern Experience.”  This book project deals with the cultural responses to and environmental history surrounding two major southern floods: the Mississippi flood of 1927 and the Lake Okeechobee (Florida) flood of 1928. Readings of mostly southern authors (Hurston, Wright, Faulkner, Sterling Brown, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, William Alexander Percy, W.J. Cash, Howard Odum, Hodding Carter) placed in relation to forms of national culture—newspapers, blues ballads, musical theatre, intellectual circuits—will link southern engagements with modernity to issues of environmental justice.

Edited Volumes

Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia (1705) (forthcoming OIEAHC/UNCP, 2012).

Articles and Chapters in Journals and Collections
“Faulkner and the Outer Weather of 1927,” forthcoming in a special issue of American Literary History 24.1 (March 2012) entitled “Sustainability in America.”

“Zora Neale Hurston and a Biotic Citizenship of Chance” in eds. Joni Adamson and Kimberly Ruffin, American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commonswith an Introduction by Philip Deloria (forthcoming, Routledge Press, 2012).

“Embodying African Knowledge in Colonial Surinam: Considering Two William Blake Engravings in Stedman’s 1796 Narrative” in eds., Agnes Lugo-Ortiz and Angela Rosenthal, Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World (1599-1889) (forthcoming, Cambridge UP, May, 2012).

“Science, Nature, Race” in eds., Nicholas Canny and Philip D. Morgan, The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World, 1450-1850 (Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2011).

“Richard Ligon and the Atlantic Science of Commonwealths,” William and Mary Quarterly (April 2010).  This article was awarded the Lester J. Cappon Prize for the best article in the Quarterly in 2010.

“Rummaging / in and out of Holds” in a jointly released issue of American Literary History 22.2 (March 2010) and Early American Literature (Summer 2010).

“William Byrd II and the Crossed Languages of Science, Satire, and Empire in British America” in eds., Ralph Bauer and José Antonio Mazzotti, Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas: Empires, Texts, Identities (OIEAHC/UNCP, 2008).

“Diasporic African Sources of Enlightenment Knowledge” in eds., James Delbourgo and Nicholas Dew, Science and Empire in the Atlantic World (Routledge, 2007)(reprint).

“Scientific Discourse” in ed. Kevin J. Hayes, Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature (Oxford UP, 2007).

Biographical and Bibliographical Essay on “William Byrd II” for The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume I, 4th Edition (2002).

“Women’s Nature: Curiosity, Pastoral, and the New Science in British America,” Early American Literature 37.2 (July 2002), 195-238.

“The Female Opossum and the Nature of the New World,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Series, Vol. LIV, No. 3 (July 1997), 475-514 (lead article).  This article was awarded the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture’s Richard L. Morton Award for 1997 and an Honorable Mention for the South-Eastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ Percy Adams Prize for 1998.

Book Reviews and Review Essays
Review of Andrew J. Lewis, A Democracy of Facts: Natural History in the Early Republic (UPennP, 2011) in Journal of American History (forthcoming, 2012).

Review of Bryan Waterman, Republic of Intellect: The Friendly Club of New York City and the Making of American Literature (JHUP, 2007) in Modern Philology (August 2011) 109:1.

Review of Richard W. Judd, The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Spirit of Conservation in America, 1740-1840 (Cambridge 2009) in Agricultural History (2010).

Review of Leonard Tennenhouse, The Importance of Feeling English: American Literature and the British Diaspora (Princeton UP, 2007) in Eighteenth-Century Studies (2009).

Review of Sara S. Gronim, Everyday Nature: Knowledge of the Natural World in Colonial New York (Rutgers UP, 2007) in The William & Mary Quarterly (July 2008).

Review of James Delbourgo, A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders: Electricity and Enlightenment in Early America (Harvard UP, 2006) in Journal of American History (2007).

Review of Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World, edited by Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan (U of Pennsylvania P, 2005) in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2006).

Review Essay: “The ‘Hemispheric Turn’ in Colonial American Studies,” Early American Literature 40:3 (2005) 545-553.

Review of William Merrill Decker, Epistolary Practices: Letter Writing in America before Telecommunications (UNCP, 1998) in Modern Philology 99.3 (February 2002).

Review of Victoria Dickenson, Drawn from Life: Science and Art in the Portrayal of the New World (UTP, 1998) in The University of Toronto Quarterly 69.1 (December 1999).


Conference Presentations and Invited Lectures

“Noah’s Kin,” invited lecture, Department of English, Tulane University, October, 2011.

“How to Tell a Southern Flood Story,” for the Division on Late-Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century American Literature, Modern Language Association Conference, Los Angeles, January, 2011.

“Zora Neale Hurston, Folk Epistemology, and Ecological Modeling,” Invited lecture, Program in American Civilization, Harvard University, October, 2010.

“Zora Neale Hurston’s Environmental History” at the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, March 30, 2010.

 “The Environmental Science of Commonwealths: Richard Ligon’s True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (1657)” for the panel, “Ecological Citizenship,” linking the Early American Matters Caucus with the Environment and Culture Caucus,  American Studies Association, November, 2009.

“Rummaging / in and out of holds,” University of Illinois, September, 2009 (invited talk).

“Richard Ligon and the Atlantic Science of Commonwealths,” Society of Early Americanists, Bermuda, March, 2009.

“Zora Neale Hurston’s Environmental History,” University of Miami, American Studies Program, October, 2008 (invited talk).

“Science and Sensibility in the Caribbean,” Stanford University, Department of History, October 12, 2007 (invited talk).

“Zora Neal Hurston and the Hurricane of 1928” at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment conference, Spartanburg, SC, June 12-16, 2007.

“Robert Beverley’s Atlantic History” at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/Society of Early Americanists Conference, Williamsburg, VA, June 7-10, 2007.

“Environment, Knowledge, and Slave Portraiture in Colonial Surinam: Considering Two William Blake Engravings in Stedman’s 1796 Narrative” at the Johnson Society Annual Conference, Indiana University, May 12-13, 2006 (invited talk).

Presentation for panel addressing “Science and Sensibility in the American Enlightenment” at the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Montreal, March 30-April 2, 2006.

“The Authority of Local Knowledge in British Transatlantic Science” at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, June, 2005.

“Fitting Time to Place: Almanacs in the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods” at the Society of Early Americanists Fourth Biennial Conference, Old Town, Alexandria, VA, March 31-April 2, 2005.

“Representing New World Africans within the Cultures of Natural History” at “Invisible Subjects? Slave Portraiture in the Circum-Atlantic World (1660-1890),” Dartmouth College, Center for Transcultural Visual Studies, October 22-23, 2004 (Invited talk).

“African Magi, Slave Poisoners,” at “In Comparable Americas: Colonial Studies after the Hemispheric Turn,” The University of Chicago and the Newberry Library, April 28-30, 2004 (Invited talk).

“Colonial and Early National Almanacs,” the American Antiquarian Society Fellows Seminar, 2003.

“Colonial Natural History,” American Society for Literature and the Environment Conference, Boston, June, 2003.

“Nature and Knowledge in Colonial American Slave Societies,” Junior Faculty Forum Lecture, University of Michigan, March, 2003.

“The Humours of New World Science” at the History of Science Society Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November, 2002.

“Slave Epistemologies: Poisons, Cures, and the Un-Pastoral” at “Bacon to Bartram: Early American Inquiries into the Natural World,” an Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Special Conference, March, 2002, and at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Seminar, Harvard University, February, 2002.

“Sagacity and Secrets, or, How Colonials Framed Indigenous Knowledge of the New World” at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conference, Glasgow, July 2001.

“Colonial Women, Knowledge, and the Importation of Science Texts and Fables” at the Society of Early Americanists Conference, March 2001.

“Poisoned Knowledge and the Curious Body in America” for the Early Modern Colloquium, University of Michigan, November 2000.

“Curious Women and Environmental Signs in Eighteenth-Century British America” at the Mid-Western American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, November 2000.

“Natural Gifts from British America” at the Citadel Conference on the South, April, 2000.

“Unsettling Curiosity: William Byrd’s Histories of the Dividing Line” at the American Studies Association Conference, October, 1999.

“Female Curiosity in British America” at the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture Conference, June 1999.

“’There Is in the Little Box’: Natural Gifts and Specimens from the British American Colonies” at the Modern Language Association Conference, December 1998.

“The Performance of Curiosity in Colonial British America” at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, April 1997.

“Homosocial Science and the Marsupiale Americanum” at Mid-Western American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, October 1995.

Panels Organized
Organized a panel on “Modes of Truth in the Early Modern Atlantic World” for the Modern Language Association Conference, January, 2011.

Organized a panel on the “Pre-racial?” in the colonial Americas before 1800 for the Modern Language Association Conference, December, 2009.

Organized a panel on “Science, Technology, Literature in Early America and the Atlantic” for the Modern Language Association Conference, December, 2008.

Organized two panels at the Society of Early Americanists Conference (Alexandria, March, 2005) on “Geography, Genre, and Communal Identity” and “Native Places and the Place of Natives in the American Settler Imagination.” 

Workshop organizer and chair at the “Beyond Colonial Studies: An Inter-American Encounter” at Brown University (November, 2004) on “Epistemologies and Environments in the Colonial Americas.”

Organized panel at the OIEAHC Conference (Glasgow, July, 2001) on “Environmental ‘Improvement’ and Classification: Local and Transatlantic Perspectives.”

Respondent on Conference Panel
Respondent to a panel, “Early American Biopolitics,” at American Studies Association Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 2011.

Respondent to musicologist Cynthia Schmidt’s documentary on circum-Atlantic African musical retentions, “The Language You Cry In,” at the “Rhythms of the Atlantic World: Rituals and Remembrance” Conference organized by the Atlantic Studies Initiative, UM, March 16-17, 2005.

One of a panel of respondents to Julie Ellison’s Cato’s Tears and the Making of Anglo-American Emotion (Chicago, 1999) at the Society of Early Americanists Conference, April, 2003.

Respondent for panel, “Science and Letters in the Colonial Americas” at the Society of Early Americanists Conference, April, 2003.


Professional Activities and Service

Editorial Board, American Literature, 2012 forward.

Editorial Board, Early American Literature, 2010 forward.

Editorial Advisory Board, Oxford University Press’s Oxford Bibliographies Online on the History of the Atlantic World.

Executive Committee, MLA “American Literature to 1800” Division, 2007-2012.  Secretary, 2010; Chair, 2011.

Council member, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2010-2013.

Contributing Editor for Heath Anthology of American Literature, Fourth Edition (included biographical and bibliography essays on William Byrd II).

Reviewer of applications for National Endowment for the Humanities, the OIEAHC Postdoctoral Fellowship, the UM Humanities Institute Faculty and PhD Fellowships.

Reviewer of manuscripts for Atlantic Studies, Early American Literature, Isis, Nineteenth-Century Literature,Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (UNCP), University of Chicago Press,and William and Mary Quarterly.

Departmental Service
Director, Undergraduate Studies, 2007-2008, 2010-2011
Member of the Executive Committee (1999-2000, Fall 2000, Fall 2002, 2004-2005, 2006-2008, 2009-2011)
Graduate Advisory Committee, 2009-2010
Third-Term Review Committee, 2011
Search Committee, Lecturer III Position, English/Program in the Environment, 2009
Head, Search Committee, Director of the New England Literature Program, 2008
Director, Honors Program, 2005-2008
Salary Committee, 2007
Conference Organizer and Fundraiser, “Responding to the Natural World: A Conference in Honor of John Knott,” April 7-8, 2006; see for information
Search Committee for Fiction Position (Winter 1999 and 2003-4)
Search Committee for Multiple Position Hire (2004-2005, 2006-2007)
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (Winter 1999)
Job Placement Officer (2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2004-2005)

College of LS&A, UM Service
Executive Committee, Institute for the Humanities, 2010-
Advisory Board, LSA Honors Program, 2007-2012
Lecturer Review Committee, Program in the Environment, 2011
Advisory Board, Atlantic Studies Initiative, 2006-2008
Third-Year Review Committee, Organizational Studies Program, 2008
Lecturer Review, Sweetland Writing Center, 2008
Panelist, UM Career Center/Rackham/Center for the Education of Women, “Parenting in the Academy,” 2008

Teaching and Advising
Current Graduate Examinations and Dissertation Committees
Nadia Baadj (History of Art)
Christopher Barnes (English)
Alison Carr (Chair, English)
Alyssa Chen (Program in American Culture)
Andromeda Hartwick (English)
Walker, Christine (History)

Completed Dissertations
Lauren LaFauci (2009): “Peculiar Nature: Slavery, Environment, and Nationalism in the Antebellum South.” (Chair) (Assistant Professor, Simpson College)
Laura Ambrose (2008): “Plotting Movement: Epistemologies of Local Travel in Early Modern England.” (Assistant Professor, St. Mary’s College)
Gavin Hollis (2008): “The Absence of America on the Early Modern Stage.” (Assistant Professor, Hunter College of the City University of New York)
Sabiha Ahmad (2007): “Technologies of Mettle: The Acting Self and the Early Modern English Culture of Metals.”
Holly Dugan (English & Women's Studies, 2005): “The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England.” (Associate Professor, George Washington University)

Daniel Livesay (2010): “Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Migration from the West Indies to Britain, 1750-1820.” (Postdoctoral Fellowship, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, William and Mary)
Catherine Cangany (2009): “Frontier Seaport: Detroit's Transformation into an Atlantic Entrepot, 1701-1837.” (Assistant Professor, History, University of Notre Dame)
Michelle McDonald (2005): “From Cultivation to Cup: Caribbean Coffee and the North American Economy, 1765-1805.” (Associate Professor, History, Richard Stockton College)
Amanda Moniz (2008): “'Labours in the Cause of Humanity in Every Part of the Globe': Transatlantic Philanthropic Collaboration and the Cosmopolitan Ideal, 1760-1815.” (Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, History, American University)
Rebecca Brannon (2007): “Reconciling the Revolution: Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Community in the Wake of Civil War in South Carolina, 1775-1860.” (Assistant Professor, History, James Madison University)
Erika Gasser (History & Women's Studies, 2007): “Manhood, Witchcraft, and Possession in Old and New England.” (Assistant Professor, History, University of Cincinnati)
Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor (2003): “The Measure of the Market: Women's Economic Lives in Charleston, SC and Newport, RI 1750-1820.” (Associate Professor, History, UC, Davis)
Joseph La Sala (2001): "‘Heavenly Merchandize:’ An Archeology of Culture and Consciousness in Puritan New England.”

Courses Taught
William Faulkner and Zora Neale Hurston
Hazarding the Atlantic in the Long Seventeenth Century
Transatlantic Epistemologies: 1584-1763
True Histories of the Atlantic World, 1600-1800
American Literature to 1830: Key Texts
The Environmental Imagination in American Literature    

American Literature to 1830
Travels and Travails in New Worlds, 1600-1860
The Environmental Imagination in American Literature, 1492-Present
Southern Natures: Race and Environment in the early 20th-century U.S. South
William Faulkner
Southern Fiction of the 1930s
The American Novel
Introduction to Literary Studies
Honors Seminar: Faulkner, Hurston, and Wright: Authorship, Environment, and the Jim Crow South
Honors Seminar: American Novels in Critical and Historical Contexts
Honors Thesis Writing Workshop


Society of Early Americanists
American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies
Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
American Literature Association
American Studies Association
Modern Language Association
American Antiquarian Society (elected 2007)