Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Nancy F. Sweet, Ph.D. | Department of English

Title: Associate Professor of Literature

Office Location: Douglass Hall 217

Email: nsweet@csus.edu

Office Phone: Please contact Dr. Sweet via email.

Mailing Address: California State University, Sacramento | 6000 J Street | Sacramento, CA 95819-6043

Office Hours: Spring 2014: Mon & Weds 3:00pm-4:00pm


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  • Ph. D. Columbia University, New York, NY, 2005
  • M.A. Columbia University, New York, NY, 1996
  • A.B. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1989

The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review

Dr. Sweet is Associate Editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, a scholarly journal featuring articles, book reviews, and an annually updated bibliography related to the life and works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.


“Renegade Religious: Performativity, Female Identity, and the Antebellum Convent-Escape Narrative.” Nineteenth-Century American Women Write Religion: Lived Theologies and Literature, Mary Wearn, ed. (Ashgate Press 2014, ISBN 978-1472410429).

“A Woman with a Cross: The Transgressive, Transnational Nun and Anti-Catholic Fiction.” The Transnational Gothic: New Directions in Dark Romanticism, Monika Elbert and Bridget Marshall, eds. (Ashgate Press 2013, ISBN 978-1409447702).

“Pragmatic Politics and the Dream of Heroism: Hawthorne’s Life of Pierce and Tanglewood Tales,” The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review  (Spring 2010): 138-164. 

Review of The Cambridge Introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe, by Sarah Robbins. New England Quarterly 81 (2008): 369-372.

“Dissent and the Daughter in the Early Works of Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Lydia Maria Child,” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 22 (2005): 107-125.

Review of Writing for Immortality: Women Writers and the Emergence of High Literary Culture in America, by Anne E. Boyd. New England Quarterly 78 (2005): 469-471.

“Abolition, Compromise, and ‘The Everlasting Elusiveness of Truth’ in Melville’s Pierre,” Studies in American Fiction 26 (1998): 3-28.


“‘Wild Dreams of Another Land’: The Runaway Protestant and the Convent,” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 24, 2013.

“‘In a Cell for Life’: Henry James’s The American,” American Literature Association Gothic Symposium, Savannah, GA, Feb. 22, 2013.

“‘Half a Catholic’: Hawthorne, the Popish Religion, and the Lost St. Peter’s,” Conversazioni in Italia: Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Florence, Italy, June 10, 2012. 

“The Transatlantic Convent Narrative: Harry Hazel’s Nun of St. Ursula,” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 29, 2011.

“Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers,” (Panel Chair) American Literature Association, San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2010.

“Religious Rebellion and the Antebellum Convent Narrative: The Case of Josephine Bunkley,” Society for the Study of American Woman Writers, Philadelphia, PA, October 2009.

“Sanctioned Sisters: Runaway Nuns in Antebellum Romance,” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 24, 2009.

“Reading the American Romantics in New Contexts,” (Panel Chair) American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 24, 2009.

“Hawthorne’s Life of Pierce and Tanglewood Tales,” The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Summer Meeting, Bowdoin, ME, June 2008.

“The Supernatural Light in the Captivity Narrative of John Marrant,” The American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Portland, OR, March 2008.

“‘Wrestling in the Shadows’: Religious Doubt in the Poetry of Rose Terry Cooke and Henrietta Cordelia Ray,” Modern Language Association, Chicago, IL, December 2007.

“Banned in Boston,” (Panel Organizer and Chair), American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 2007.

“‘As a Brand from the Burning’: Children, Warfare, and Displacement in Hope Leslie,” Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Philadelphia, PA, November 2006.

Invited Talks

"Hawthorne's 'The Birthmark.'" Sacramento Public Library, Sept. 2014 (check back for dates). 

“‘Open Wide the Door’: Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven.’” One Book 2013, Sacramento Public Library, Sept. 2013.

"Lily Bart and the Furies: Seduction, Terror, and Self-Destruction in The House of Mirth." Notable Books Lecture Series, Sacramento Public Library, Sept. 9, 2012.

“Having It All in the Gilded Age: Women, Wealth, and Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” Notable Books Lecture Series, Sacramento Public Library, Aug. 12, 2012.

"Teaching the Short Story, Featuring Ray Bradbury's 'The Veldt.'" Capital Council of Teachers of English, Oct. 15, 2011. 

“‘Talking Horrors’: Women, Children, and Ghosts in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.” Notable Books Lecture Series, Sacramento Public Library, Sept. 11, 2011.

"'You Naughty': Jane Eyre and the Gothic Heroine of The Turn of the Screw." Notable Books Lecture Series, Sacramento Public Library, Aug. 14, 2011.

“Runaway Nuns and Sensational American Fiction,” Critical Reinscriptions Lecture Series, CSUS, Feb. 19, 2009. 

"Geraldine Brooks: A Preview Lecture," California Lecture Series, Crest Theatre, Feb. 9, 2009.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Provost Research Fellowship, CSUS, 2013-14
  • “Best of Proposals Submitted” Distinction for Sabbatical Proposal, CSUS, Awarded for Spring 2013
  • Research and Creative Activity Fellowship, CSUS, Awarded for 2011-2012
  • Best Essay, The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Spring 2010
  • 2009-2010 Finalist, Outstanding Teacher Award, CSUS
  • CSUS Multi-Cultural Center Recognition Award, Spring 2011 & Spring 2010
  • Pathfinder Award, College of Arts and Letters, CSUS, Awarded for Spring 2010
  • Research and Creative Activity Fellowship, CSUS, Awarded for 2008-2009
  • Whiting Fellowship, Columbia University, 2001-2002
  • President’s Fellowship, Columbia University, 1996-2001

Courses 2013-14

Fall 2013

  • Engl 100Z: Topics in Literary Theory
  • Engl 150P: The American Gothic

Spring 2014

  • Engl 150B: American Romanticism
  • Engl 250D: Hawthorne & Melville

Registered students can find syllabi and course material by logging onto SacCT


Charles Brockden Brown

Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810)

Emily Dickinson (probably!) (1819-1886)

Emily Dickinson (probably!) (1818-1895)

Henry James

Henry James (definitely!) (1843-1916)

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)