UMass Boston


Sari Edelstein

Wheatley Hall Floor 06


I am a scholar of ninteenth-century US literature and culture with particular interests in women's writing, ecocritical approaches, the Bildungrsoman and age in the novel, and feminist and queer theory.  I am the author of two books, Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of Women's Writing (Virginia 2014) and Adulthood and Other Fictions: American Literature and the Unmaking of Age (Oxford 2019), and I serve as co-editor of ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. My current project, "Beach Reading: A Literary History," charts the emergence of the beach as a cultural institution and site of leisure over the course of the nineteenth century.


Area of Expertise

Nineteenth-century US literature and culture, women’s writing, environmental humanities, critical age studies, feminist and queer theory


MA, PhD Brandeis University

BA, Northwestern University

Professional Publications & Contributions


Recorded Projects

  • Are You There, Judy? It’s Me, Your Reader – an Audible Original, available on Amazon, 2024

Edited Journal Issues

  • Guest editor, with Ross Barrett, New England Quarterly. Special issue: “Representing Oceanic England.” (forthcoming 2024).
  • Guest editor, with Melanie Dawson. Studies in American Fiction. Special issue: “Critical Approaches to Age in American Literature.” 46.2 (2019).

Recent Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “‘Nature Abhors the Old’: Emerson’s Transcendental Ageism.” Oxford Handbook to Ralph Waldo. Ed. Christopher Hanlon. Emerson (Oxford UP). Forthcoming 2024.
  • “Reading The Awakening after Hurricane Katrina.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (forthcoming 2024).
  • “There is No Such Thing as ‘the Elderly’: Reading Age in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.” Critical Humanities and Ageing: Forging Interdisciplinary Dialogues. Eds. Marlene Goldman, Kate de Medeiros, and Thomas Cole. (New York: Routledge, 2022): 41-50.
  • “Teaching Moby-Dick in the Anthropocene.” Radical Teacher 119 (Spring 2021).
  • “Society to Encourage Studies at Home (in a Pandemic).” co-authored with Danielle Coriale. ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture 67.1 (2021): 346-256.
  • “Not Feeling Right: Queer Encounters with American Women’s Writing.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 37.1 (2020): 145-153.
  • “‘Good Mother, Farewell’: Elizabeth Freeman’s Silence and the Stories of Mumbet.” The New England Quarterly 92.4 (December 2019): 584–614.
  • “‘Now I Chant Old Age’: Whitman’s Geriatric Vistas.” Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life 19.1 (Spring 2019). Special issue: “Revisiting the Whitmanian Body at 200.”
  • “Over the Hill and Out of Sight: Locating Old Age in Nineteenth-Century American Culture.” Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life 17.1 (Winter 2017).
  • “Reading Age Beyond Childhood.” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture 62.1 (March 2016): 122-127. Invited contribution.
  • “Louisa May Alcott’s Age.” American Literature 87.3 (September 2015): 517-545.
  • “‘May I Never Be a Man’: Melville’s Redburn and the Failure to Come of Age in Young America.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 59.4 (Spring 2013): 553-584.
  • “‘Metamorphosis of the Newsboy’: E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand and the Antebellum Story-Paper.” Studies in American Fiction 37.1 (Fall 2010): 29-53. [Winner, Pro-Quest-RSAP Prize for best article on periodicals by a pre-tenure scholar]
  • “‘Pretty as Pictures’: Family Photography and Southern Postmemory in Katherine Anne Porter’s ‘Old Mortality.’” Southern Literary Journal 40.2 (Spring 2008): 151-165.
  • “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Yellow Newspaper.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 24.1 (June 2007): 72-92.

Additional Information

Courses Taught


  • ENGL 200: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 202: Six American Authors
  • ENGL 205: One Book in the World (Reading the Whale: Moby Dick and its Worlds)
  • ENGL 372L: American Women Writers and Culture
  • ENGL 379: Literature and Journalism
  • ENGL 408: American Romanticism
  • ENGL 463: Adulting, or Coming-of-Age in Literature
  • ENGL 465: Oceanic Currents in the Literature of the Americas


  • ENGL 606: Books, Manuscripts, Libraries
  • English 646: Critical Ocean Studies
  • ENGL 651: Nineteenth-Century American Literature
  • ENGL 652: American Romanticism
  • ENGL 659: Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory

Professional Affiliations