(Residential Fellow, 2020-21)
Nature’s Clockwork: The Natural History of Time in British Literature, 1759-1859
Melissa Bailes is an associate professor of English at Tulane University, specializing in British literature of the long eighteenth century (1660-1830), the history of science, transatlantic and transnational studies, and women’s writing. Her first book, Questioning Nature: British Women’s Scientific Writing and Literary Originality, 1750-1830 (University of Virginia Press), won the British Society for Literature and Science 2017 Book Prize. She is currently working on her second book, Nature’s Clockwork, which investigates concepts of time that dramatized this era’s tensions between mechanistic and organic ideas of nature and appeared in both scientific and imaginative texts in such forms as geohistorical vertigo, botanical clocks, and environmental nostalgia.