Associate Professor of English

Dr. Tom Nurmi
Tom Nurmi joined the Department of English, Philosophy & Modern Languages in 2014. He teaches American literature and  courses for the Environmental Studies and Native American Studies programs.

Professor Nurmi's research examines the intersections of literature and environmental science in nineteenth-century America, particularly how developments in life and earth sciences altered the trajectory of U.S. literary history. He recently co-edited the anthology Melville among the Philosophers (2017), featuring an afterword by Cornel West, and his first book, Magnificent Decay: Melville and Ecology, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2020. 

Recent Courses

The Environmental Vision

American Literature I

American Literature II

World Literature: Money, Media & Modernity


Office: LA 425
Office Hours: Spring 2021, Thursdays 2-5pm via Webex (or by appointment)


Magnificent Decay Cover

Magnificent Decay: Melville and Ecology. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2020.


“Mineral Melville.” J19: Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 7.1 (2019): 155-83.


Melville Among the Philosophers. Ed., with Corey McCall. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.


“Shackle, Sycamore, Shibboleth: Material Geographies of the Underground Railroad.” Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literacy. Ed. Karen Elizabeth Bishop. London: Routledge, 2016: 111-132.

 Melville Among the Philosophers Cover

“Stranger in Japan” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 18:1 (2016): 128-130.


“Shadows in the Shenandoah: Melville, Slavery, and the Elegiac Landscape.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 17:3 (2015): 7-24.


“Wallace’s Choice.” The Wire in the College Classroom: Pedagogical Approaches to the Humanities. NC: McFarland Press, 2015: 160-178.