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Meredith Farmer, an Associate Teaching Professor at Wake Forest University, received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in December 2016. Her current research focuses on Herman Melville's surprisingly unexamined relationship to science—

or, more aptly, the way a set of scientific narratives (biology, chemistry, meteorology, electromagnetism) enabled Melville to think differently about the idea of the “person.” Her project, Melville’s Leaks, is under advance contract with Northwestern University Press. She is also at work on a short biography, which details Melville’s remarkable education in what we now describe as "STEM fields," and (with Jonathan Schroeder) recently completed an edited collection, Ahab Unbound: Melville and the Materialist Turn, which was published by the University of Minnesota Press. 

As a teacher and scholar Meredith's focus is, increasingly, on the ways that antebellum America shaped the present moment. Her current teaching and future research interests include the history of slavery in our community in Winston-Salem, NC and the ways that rhetoric about nature in the nineteenth century contributed to our current climate crisis. Her next project, "Reading the Weather," will be a scientific, cultural, and literary history of attempts to forecast weather and model climate change. 

You can learn more about Meredith’s research and teaching at—or from a recent profile in Smithsonian Connect.


Department of English

Wake Forest University

P.O. Box 7387

Winston-Salem, NC 27109


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