Michelle Neely

Michelle Neely

Associate Professor of English,
Director of American Studies

Joined Connecticut College: 2013

B.A., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Irvine


American literature to 1900

American Studies

African American Literature

Environmental Humanities

Food Studies

Animal Studies

Feminist Theory

Michelle C. Neely's research and teaching focus on questions of nature, culture, and democracy in American literature before 1900. She is the author of Against Sustainability: Reading Nineteenth-Century America in the Age of Climate Crisis (Fordham University Press, 2020). Against Sustainability demonstrates how nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture can help us rethink contemporary environmental paradigms in order to imagine more just and environmentally sound futures. Professor Neely’s essays have appeared in journals such as American Literature and The Concord Saunterer, and edited collections such as Thoreau in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Before joining Connecticut College in 2013, Professor Neely was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute, where she also taught courses in the English department. At Connecticut College, Professor Neely has translated her expertise in American literature and environmental, animal studies, and food studies into a wide range of courses for the English Department, the American Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, and the GSIS Department. Recent courses include “The Pursuit of Happiness,” “Humans and Other Animals,” “Literatures of the Anthropocene,” and a senior seminar on Whitman, Dickinson, and their literary afterlives.

Professor Neely is the Director of the American Studies Program at Connecticut College, and the 2022-2023 Senior Faculty Fellow for the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment. 

Professor Neely is currently at work on a new project on literature and utopias.

Visit the English department website. 

Majoring in American Studies.

Majoring in English. 

Majoring in Environmental Studies.

Visit the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology and the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment websites. 

Contact Michelle Neely

Mailing Address

Michelle Neely
Connecticut College
Box # ENGLISH/Blaustein Humanities Center
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


322 Blaustein Humanities Center