English and Creative Writing

Photo of Meredith Lynn Goldsmith
Photo of Meredith Lynn Goldsmith

Meredith Lynn Goldsmith

Meredith Goldsmith is a professor of English, specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century US literature.

Goldsmith has published numerous articles on late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American literature in scholarly journals, including  Legacy: A Journal of US Women’s Writing,  American Literary Realism, American Literary History, Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature, and modern fiction studies. She is the editor of three scholarly collections, American Literary History and the Turn toward Modernity (UP of Florida), Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (UP of Florida), and Middlebrow Moderns: Popular Women’s Writing of the 1920s (Northeastern UP. In the English Department, she teaches courses on19th- and 20th-century American literature, the New Woman, and Methods in Literature. A frequent teacher in the Common Intellectual Experience, she also created the Common Intellectual Transition, a version of CIE tailored to the Ursinus transfer student experience. She regularly advises first-year students, including the Rev. Charles Rice Scholars, a cohort of first-year students dedicated to social justice.

Goldsmith has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships for her institutional and individual work. She served as co-PI on Ursinus’s Andrew W. Mellon Grant for Faculty Career Enhancement (2010-2014) and in 2015, held a Mellon-funded  Humanities Writ Large Fellowship at Duke University. Her work has also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Scholarly Communications Division, and the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts/Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Goldsmith is the founding director of the Teaching and Learning Institute. She has also served as assistant and associate dean of academic affairs, special assistant to the president, and chief strategy and innovation officer, supporting the development of the Quest for Success strategic plan.




  • B.A., Columbia University
  • M. Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University


  • Common Intellectual Experience
  • Methods in Literature
  • American Literature of the 19th and 20th centuries

Research Interests

  • Late 19th- and early 20th-century American literature
  • Women’s writing of the interwar period
  • Ethnic American literature
  • Histories of consumer culture
  • Theories of gender, sexuality, and affect

Recent Work

“Single, White, Female: Incest, Miscegenation, and Reproduction in Twilight Sleep.” Bloomsbury Handbook to Edith Wharton. Ed. Emily Orlando. Cambridge, UK: Bloomsbury Press, 2022. 20-33.

“Trouble on the Homefront: Men, Militarism, and Masculinity in The Beautiful and Damned.” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned: New Critical Essays. Eds. Kirk Curnutt, Bill Blazek, and David Ullrich. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2022. 185-206.

“White Skin, White Mask: Passing, Posing, and Performing in The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby: Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 2021. Ed. David J. Alworth. 449-473.

“Wharton’s Wayward Girls.” The New Edith Wharton Studies. Ed. Jennifer Haytock and Laura Rattray. Cambridge UP: 2020. 217-230.

American Literary History and the Turn toward Modernity. Co-edited with Melanie Dawson. Gainesville: U of Florida P, 2018. (Hear me and Melanie talk about the book on the New Books Network podcast.)

Public Conversations about Literature:

Fitzgerald Summer School webinar on F. Scott Fitzgerald and Race: “Artificial Colors and Racial Fictions”, June 2021. Fitzgerald scholars discuss some of his most interesting—and challenging—representations of people of color, Jews, whiteness, and white supremacy. We shed light on some well-known texts, including The Great Gatsby, and encourage readers to delve into others, like The Beautiful and the Damned and Tender Is the Night.

Discussion of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome with NPR’s Diane Rehm. February 2012. Nothing says cold, winter, and repression like “Ethan Frome,” yet this novel continues to intrigue readers more than a hundred years later. Discover why in this lively discussion with teachers, readers, scholars and fans of Edith Wharton, led by master facilitator Diane Rehm.