Dr. Melissa Knox-Raab


Dr. Melissa Knox-Raab

E-mail melissa.knox-raab [at] uni-due.de

Dr. Knox-Raab stopped working with UDE at the end of December 2022.


Research Interests

Melissa Knox-Raab's research focusses on psychoanalytic interpretation of the ways in which writers' lives influence the style and substance of their work. Her first book explores Oscar Wilde's belief that the artistic life is "a long and lovely suicide." Her second evaluates research and criticism about Oscar Wilde between 1990 and 1999. Her research interests include Gender Studies, Women and Literature, and British literature of the late nineteenth century. Her essays on American and British writers have been published in psychoanalytic journals, literary journals, and newspapers.

She studied at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, both in New York. After finishing her doctoral work in nineteenth-century British literature at Columbia University in 1992, she became a tenured Associate Professor of English at Saint Peter's College in New Jersey. She has taught at Columbia University, Barnard College and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City as well as The Catholic University of Eichstätt and the University of Bielefeld in Germany.

Academic Honors


National Endowment for the Humanities grant for summer seminar, "Nineteenth-and-Twentieth Century Biography: Theory, Practice, History," led by James E. B. Breslin, June-August, University of California, Berkeley

1993, 1997

Faculty Resources Network Summer seminars, N.Y.U.


Fellowship, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, U.C.L.A., for eight weeks of study in the Oscar Wilde collection


Columbia University fellowship


President's fellowship, Columbia University


CBS Educational Assistance Program fellowship


1. Books

Oscar Wilde: A Long and Lovely Suicide . New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994.

Reviewed in Victorian Studies, Review of Psychoanalytic Books, English Literature in Transition, 19th-Century Literature, masculinities, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Psychoanalytic Association of New York Bulletin, Times Literary Supplement. Paperback: 1996. Translated into Japanese.

Oscar Wilde in the 1990s: The Critic as Creator. Rochester, NY and Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: Camden House, 2001.

2. Essays & Articles

“Personality in Creative Criticism: The Example of Oscar Wilde.” In Major Genres, Forms, and Media in British Literature. Ed. Katy Stavreva. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2017. Gale Researcher.

 “Homo Ludens: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy,” In Philosophy and Oscar Wilde, ed. Ed. Michael Y. Bennett. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017: 107-131.

"Three Comedies and a Funeral: The Endgame of The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's Society Plays, Ed. Michael Y. Bennett. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015: 95-110.

"I'm Done": Philip Roth, Serio Ludere, Narcissism, and Nemesis, in Readings: A Journal for Scholars and Readers, April, 2015.

"Protean Identity: Religion and Contemporary American Autobiography," in fiar: the journal of the international association of inter-american studies Vol. 6 No.1 (May 2013 / Mayo 2013)

"A Method For Using Biography in the Teaching of Oscar Wilde's Comedies," Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde, Ed. Philip E. Smith II. New York: Modern Language Association Publications, 2008: 108-16.

"German Ingredients in American Cooking," Die deutsche Präsenz in den USA/The German Presence in the U.S.A., Ed. Josef Raab und Jan Wirrer. Münster: LIT-Verlag, 2007.

"Ryder Haggard's Queer Geographies: Colonizing Sheba," The Psychoanalytic Review. Vol. 93, no. 6 (2006): 953-76.

"Wilde, Oscar," The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, Ed. Michael Groden, Martin Kreiswirth, and Imre Szeman. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. 929-31.

"Mr. Pine's Mixed-Up Signs," In-Between: Essays & Studies in Literary Criticism, vol. 13, no. 1 (2004): 3-6.

"Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'," The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature , vol. 2. Jay Parini, Editor in Chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 289-91.

"Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady ", The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, vol. 2. Jay Parini, Editor in Chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 311-14.

"Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie," The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, vol. 4. Jay Parini, Editor in Chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 420-22.

"Edmund Wilson," The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, vol. 4. Jay Parini, Editor in Chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 452-56.

"Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman ," The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature , vol. 3. Jay Parini, Editor in Chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 145-48.

"Charles Robert Maturin," (1780-1824). British Writers . Supplement 8. Ed. Jay Parini. New York, NY: Scribner's, 2003. 197-210.

(with Josef Raab) "Tony Kushner," American Writers . Supplement 9. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Scribner's, 2002. 131-49.

"Anais Nin," American Writers. Supplement 10. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Scribner's, 2002.

"Paul Monette," American Writers. Supplement 10. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Scribner's, 2002.

"Dorothy Parker," American Writers. Supplement 9. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Scribner's, 2002. 189-206.

"Harold Pinter," Scribner's British Writers Retrospective. Supplement 1. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Scribner's, 2002. 215-28. 

"Reading Yeats Between the Lines," Yeats Eliot Review . 17.3 (2001): 18-27.

"Masters and Johnson: Two Names That Came to Symbolize Sexpertise," The Philadelphia Inquirer. 10. Jan. 2000, Commentary page.

"Eichstätt and Germany's Past," Northeast Corridor. Issue 7 (2000): 266-69.

"Arendt and Heidegger: A Union of Guilt, Denial and Self-Deception," The Philadelphia Inquirer. 27. Sept. 1999, Commentary page.

"Oscar Wilde's Anatomy of Autobiography," In-Between. vol. 7, no. 1 (March 1998): 59-71.

"A Walk on the Wilde Side," The Georgia Review. vol. 49, no. 3 (Fall, 1995).

"Wilde and Syphilis," Times Literary Supplement. 3. Feb. 1995: 15.

"Losing One's Head: Wilde's Confession in Salome," in Rediscovering Oscar Wilde, ed. C. George Sandulescu. Gerrard's Cross: Colin Smyth, 1994. 232-43.

"Beltraffio: Henry James's Secrecy," American Imago. vol 43, no. 3 (1986): 211-27.

Excerpted in Psychoanalytic Quarterly. vol 57, no. 1 (1989).

"Self-Deception in the Autobiographical Writings of Thomas De Quincey," The Psychoanalytic Review, vol. 72, no. 2 (1985): 313-35.

"An MLA Review," The Marlowe Society Newsletter. vol. 4, no. 1 (1984), 13-14.

3. Non-Academic Writings

Personal Essays

"The Gods," The Wax Paper, Vol. 2, Issue 1. February, 2017. http://thewaxpaper.com/the-gods-mk

"Through the Wardrobe," in Brain, Child August 15, 2015. https://www.brainchildmag.com/2015/08/through-the-wardrobe/

"The Intervention," Gravel, 2/12/2014.http://www.gravelmag.com/melissa-knox.html


"Miscarriage at Ten Weeks," The Mom Egg Review, Vol. 14, "Change," 2016.

"Snow Blight," NonBinary Review, Zoetic Press, Issue #1, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, June 2014. PDF.

"Mary Shelley: My Mother’s Monsters," in The Feminist Wire, October 8, 2014. http://www.thefeministwire.com/2014/10/poem-suite-monsters/

"Rape," "In a Bavarian Cemetery," "A Christmas Visit," "Cut the Blue," "In the Garden of Love and Terror," "Demon Lover," in Underground Books/The Kitchen Poet, 2/10/2014. http://www.undergroundbooks.org/the-kitchen-poet/6-poems-melissa-knox

4. Book Reviews

"Men Are From Uranus," Review of Philip Healy with Frederick S. Roden (ed.): Marc-André Raffalovich’s Uranism and Unisexuality: A Study of Different Manifestations of the Sexual Instinct. Translated by Nancy Erber and William A. Peniston. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2016. The Oscholars, March 2016 https://oscholars.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/knox-on-raffalovich.docx

Unspeakable Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Culture by Esther Rashkin. The Oscholars No 49: March/April 2009 https://oscholars.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/knox-on-rashkin1.docx

"Belletristic Biography Boxes Brilliant Bestseller?" in Revaluing and Re-evaluating Richard Ellmann's Oscar Wilde The OSCHOLARS, Special Issue, Autumn 2007 http://www.oscholars.com/TO/Specials/Ellmann/Ellmann.htm

The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain 1650-1950, by Roy Porter and Lesley Hall. Men and Masculinities.

Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, by Marjorie Garber. Men and Masculinities.

The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Deviance, Morality, and Late-Victorian Society, by Michael S. Foldy. Journal of the History of Sexuality. vol. 9, no 1-2 (Jan./April 2000), 190-92.

Gender Blending, ed. Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough and James Elias. Men and Masculinities. vol. 2, no. 1 (July 1999), 106-107.

Oscar Wilde Revalued, by Ian Small. In-Between. vol. 7, no. 1 (March 1998), 91-95.

Museums of the Mind: Magritte's Labyrinth and Other Essays in the Arts, by Ellen Handler Spitz. The Georgia Review. vol. 50, no. 2 (Summer 1996), 414-17.

Portents and Parallels: The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s, by H. W. Brands. The New Leader . vol. 79, no. 1 (29. Jan. - 12. Feb. 1996), 18-19.

Sufferings of a Born Poet: Christina Rossetti:  A Writer's Life, by Jan Marsh. The New Leader. vol. 78, no. 9 (4. Dec. 1995), 28-29.

Purely Human Growls: Fire: From "A Journal of Love:" The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin 1934-1937. The New Leader. vol. 77, no. 6 (17. - 21. July 1995), 18-19.

Drag: A History of Female Impersonation in the Performing Arts, by Roger Baker. Men and masculinities, vol. 3, no. 3 (Fall 1995).

5. Conference Papers & Talks

"The Student as Writer," University of Augsburg, December 7, 2017

Alexandra Fuller’s Americas: The Implied Colonial at De/Colonization in the Americas: Continuity and Change, 6-8 August, 2014, Pontíficia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú. Third Biennial Conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies.

"Who Am I Anyway? Is My Religion My Resume? Religion and Autobiography in Contemporary America," IASA WORLD CONFERENCE – American Configurations, July 27, 28, 29 of 2011, at the Gragoatá Campus, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro.

"German Ingredients in American Cooking," Symposium "Die deutsche Präsenz in den USA/The German Presence in the U.S.A." Zentrum f. Interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld, 2004.

"Oscar Wilde and Autobiography," The Oscar Wilde Autumn School, Bray (Ireland), October 2000.

"Oscar Wilde" on The Connection, with Christopher Lyden und Ken Ruta, National Public Radio in Boston, 5. March 1998.

"Gross Indecency," an Interactive Discussion, American Psychoanalytic Association, December 19, 1997.

"What Does A Woman Want? The Questions of Sheba Who Must Be Obeyed in King Solomon's Mines," Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, December 1997.

"Psychoanalysis and Literature," Beaver College Graduate Colloquium, February 1997.

"Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and the Banality of Evil," Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, April 1997.

"A Terrible Beauty: Yeats, Wilde, and Irish Heroic Martyrdom," Yeats Society, National Arts Club, May 1995.

Oscar Wilde, Leonard Lopate, WNYC, National Public Radio, February 1995.

"Oscar Wilde's Salome: A Secret Autobiography," Rediscovering Oscar Wilde Conference, Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco, May 1993.

Courses Taught at the UDE

  • 20th and 21st Century American Women's Autobiographies
  • A Survey of British and American Poetry
  • American Children's Novels
  • American Immigrant Writers
  • American Myths and Folktales
  • American Women Writers
  • Coloniality in Anglophone Literatures
  • Culture and Revolution in 19th Century Britain and America
  • Dorothy Parker and Her World
  • Gay, Lesbian and Queer Literature from the 19th Century to the Present
  • Going Crazy in America: The American Tradition of the Madness Memoir
  • Great American Girls' Books
  • Great American Poems
  • Great American Short Stories
  • Jewish-American Women Writers
  • Literary and Cultural Analysis: An Intensive Writing Workshop
  • Literature of the American South
  • New York Writers
  • Popular American Women's Culture from the 1960s to the Present
  • Race and Racism in American Culture
  • Religion in American Culture
  • Representations of Women in the American Short Story
  • Teaching American Literature to Adolescents
  • Teaching Children's Literature in Grade 5 through 10
  • The Broadway Musical
  • The Dystopic American Dream
  • The Frontiers of Confessionalism in American Autobiography
  • The Writings of Edwidge Danticat
  • The Writings of Oscar Wilde
  • The Writings of Philip Roth
  • Twentieth-and-Twenty-First-Century American Immigrant Writers
  • Women in 19th-Century British and American Literature

Courses for the Summer Semester 2022

  • Anti-Racism and America
  • Dorothy Parker and All that Jazz
  • Love, Lust, Broken Hearts: The Erotic Impulse in British and American Poetry
  • Going Crazy in America: Memoirs about Madness