Melissa A. Goldthwaite, Ph.D.

Professor (Sabbatical 2014-2015)
Disciplines Taught: Animal Studies, English, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Faith-Justice Studies
Office: Merion Hall 135
Phone: (610) 660-3396


  • B.A., Messiah College, 1993
  • M.F.A. The Ohio State University, 1997
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2001

Professional Experience

General Fields of Professional Interest

rhetoric and composition


creative nonfiction--essays and memoir

literature and the environment/nature writing

literatures of food and food writing


Pedagogical Style

My courses in composition, creative writing, and literature all emphasize the connections between rhetoric and poetics and the capacity of words to evoke actions, emotions, and change. I utilize a variety of classroom activities to help students better understand and appreciate their relationship to language and to audience. My teaching includes craft talks and short lectures on the material, detailed written comments on student work, and one-on-one conversations in conferences. We learn collaboratively through peer response groups, full-class workshops, small group work, and class discussion. And students in my classes demonstrate their own knowledge and hard work through response papers, more formal writing assignments, and creative projects.

Other Information

Member of the National Council of Teachers of English, Modern Language Association, the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, Rhetoric Society of America, and the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

Courses Taught

  • English 1011 (The Craft of Language)
  • English 1021 (Texts and Contexts)
  • English 1811 (The Poet's Voice)
  • English 2621 (Creative Nonfiction)
  • English 2661 (The Essay)
  • English 2841 (Nature Writing in America)
  • English 2901 (Literary Forms and Styles: Books that Cook)
  • English 2931 (Poetry Workshop)
  • English 4015 (Rhetoric Then and Now)
  • English 4275 (Style)


Selected Publications

A Guide to The Norton Reader, twelfth edition and shorter twelfth edition (with Anne Fernald and Charles Hood). New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

The St. Martin's Guide to Teaching Writing, 6th edition. (With Cheryl Glenn) New York: Bedford/St. Martin's P, 2007.

“Playing with Echo: Strategies for Teaching Repetition in the Writing Classroom.” Refiguring Prose Style. Eds. Thomas Pace and T.R. Johnson. Utah State UP, 2005. 119-29.

"On Seeking fullness in Academic Places." (with Wendy Bishop). A Delicate Balance: Teaching, Scholarship, and Service in the Twenty-First Century English Department . Eds. Joe Hardin and Ray Wallace. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen P, 2004.

"From Correct to Effect: Revising Alternate Styles." Acts of Revising . Ed. Wendy Bishop. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook/Heinemann. 51-60.

"Into and Back Out of the Box: Redefining Essays and Options." Writing on the Edge 14.1 (Fall 2003): 69-88.

Surveying the Literary Landscapes of Terry Tempest Williams . (Ed. With Katherine Chandler) Salt Lake City: U of Utah P, 2003.

"Rhetoric + Feminism = Williams's Poetic Means: transforming Triptychs of Body, Form, and Faith in Leap." Surveying the Literary Landscapes of Terry Tempest Williams . Salt Lake City: U. of Utah P, 2003. 123-51.

"Confessionals." College English 66.1 (September 2003): 55-73.

"This, Too, Is Research." The Subject is Research . Eds. Wendy Bishop and Pavel Zemliansky. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook/Heinemann, 2001.

Poem: "Wildflower Composition." In Praise of Pedagogy. Eds. Wendy Bishop and David Starkey. Portland: Calendar Islands Publishers, 2000.

"Terry Tempest Williams." Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Nature Writers . Eds. J. Scott Bryson and Roger Thompson. Gale Group Publishing, 2003. 344-51.

"Reading, Teaching, and Writing (at) Disciplinary Intersections: Oars, Wars, and a Place to Stand." Reader 47 (Fall 2002): 38-60. 

News and Alerts Events