Texas Tech University

Elissa Zellinger

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Office: 435
Email: elissa.zellinger@ttu.edu

Dr. Zellinger's research interests center on lyric poetry and liberal political philosophy and the way this connection has been fostered by the conflation of poet and poem, specifically in nineteenth-century American women's poetry. Her book project, Lyrical Strains: Lyric, Liberalism, and Women's Poetry, 1820-1920, examines how poetry by women allowed writers and readers to “strain” against and thereby clarify the assumptions of liberal selfhood in the U.S. during this period. Her interest in exploring how poetic communication inflects the formation of political identities has also inspired a second project examining the poetic performance of Native American identities from contact to the modernist era. Dr. Zellinger received her Ph.D. in nineteenth-century American Literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before joining TTU she was a Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA.

Head shot for Dr. Zellinger

Book Project

Lyrical Strains: Lyric, Liberalism, and Women's Poetry, 1820-1920. This work chronicles the simultaneous and interdependent consolidation of the modern lyric and the liberal self in American poetry from 1820 to 1920. In progress.


  • “'Force them into fair dealing': Poetic Professionalism in Elizabeth Akers Allen's Letters.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 35.1 (Forthcoming, Summer 2018).
  • “Stephen Crane and the Poetics of Nostalgia.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 57.3 (September 2015): 305-324.
  • “Edna St. Vincent Millay and the Poetess Tradition.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 29.2 (December 2012): 240-262.



  • 2018, Alumni College Fellow, Humanities Center, Texas Tech University.
  • 2015, Research Support Grant, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, ME.
  • August 2013, C. Hugh Holman Award, in recognition of outstanding scholarship in the field of American Literature, Department of English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill.
  • 2010-2011, Stanley Paterson Research Fellowship, Friends of the Longfellow House, Cambridge, MA.