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Faculty Spotlight: Susan (Scotti) Parrish

Title: Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Degree:
Ph.D., Stanford  1998
Parrish

Contact Info

Office:

4200 AH

Phone:

734-649-7294

Uniqname:

sparrish

email:

sparrish@umich.edu

Departmental Profile:

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Website:

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Research Interests

Primary Interests

Broadly conceived, I am interested in the interrelated issues of race, the environment, and epistemology in the Atlantic world from 1492 up through the twentieth century, with a particular emphasis on the plantation zones.  My early work involved a study of the Anglophone transatlantic networks and rhetorics of knowledge production around nature in the Americas, up to the time of the American Revolution.  I have recently written articles on such Anglo-Atlantic figures as William Byrd II, Robert Beverley, John Gabriel Stedman, and Richard Ligon.  My current book-length project is titled "Noah's Kin: Southern Flooding and American Modernity." It is a cultural and environmental history of the most publically engrossing American flood of the twentieth century: the Mississippi Flood of 1927.  Not only was it foundational to the literary careers of Richard Wright and William Faulkner, a node in the journalistic careers of W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Walter White and H.L. Mencken, and a signal event in the histories of Vaudeville and Blues music, but it also gave public urgency to questions about North-South relations, the status of African Americans, Federal environmental stewardship, and the very nature of nature.  

Secondary Interests

Southern Literature; Environmental Justice; non-fiction genres

Publications

Monograph
American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World (OIEAHC/UNCP, 2006).  Winner of the Jamestown Prize for 2005 and Phi Beta Kappa's Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize for 2006.
 
Book-in-Progress 
 
Noah's Kin: Southern Flooding and American Modernity
 
Edited Volumes
 
Robert Beverley’s The History and Present State of Virginia (1705) (OIEAHC/UNCP, 2013).
 
Articles and Chapters in Journals and Collections
 
“Zora Neale Hurston and the Environmental Ethic of Risk” in eds. Joni Adamson and Kimberly Ruffin, American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons with an Introduction by Philip Deloria (Routledge Press, 2013).
 
“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) (Cambridge UP, 2013). 
 
“Faulkner and the Outer Weather of 1927,” American Literary History 24.1 (March 2012) special issue entitled “Sustainability in America.”
 
“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; paper 2013).
 
“Richard Ligon and the Atlantic Science of Commonwealths” (April, 2010, William and Mary Quarterly). Co-winner of the Lester J. Cappon Prize for best article in the WMQ for 2010.
 
“Rummaging / in and out of Holds” in a jointly released issue of American Literary History 22.2 (March 2010) and Early American Literature (Spring 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).
 
“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 (UNCP, July 2002), 195-238.
 
“The Female Opossum and the Nature of the New World,” The 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.
 
 
  • The History and Present State of Virginia: A New Edition with an Introduction by Susan Scott Parrish
  • American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World

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