Marissa Elizabeth Grunes
PhD, English, Harvard University
Current Position: Associate of the Department of English, Harvard University
Marissa Grunes is a literary scholar and science writer focused on nineteenth-century American literature and visual culture, environmental history, and Antarctica.
Marissa earned her PhD from the English Department at Harvard University in the Spring of 2019 with a dissertation on the interrelation between picturesque architectural trends and early environmental consciousness in the United States. Her interdisciplinary work also led her into an ongoing interest in Antarctic studies. As an Environmental Fellow, she began work on Incognita: A Portrait of Antarctica, a work of narrative nonfiction about Antarctic natural and scientific history from early exploration to the present day. Incognita tells the dramatic story of how we know what we know about Antarctica, and how human life has become intertwined with this remote, hostile, and shockingly fragile place.
Marissa’s teaching and writing follow her interdisciplinary interests in Antarctica, environmental history, the visual arts, and American literature and culture of the long nineteenth century. She has taught at Harvard, Tufts, and at MCI-Concord State Prison with the Emerson Prison Initiative. Her academic writing can be found in Women’s Studies, The Robert Frost Review, and Leviathan, and she has published general readership articles on science and the arts in venues including Atlas Obscura, Nautilus, The Paris Review Online, Connecticut Magazine, and The Conversation. One of her greatest joys is scuba diving—including in New England.
James Engell, English