Lucinda L Damon-Bach

Lucinda L Damon-Bach

Professional Details

Title: Professor
Office: MH-114
Phone: 978-542-6377

Fall & Winter Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
1651 03 ENL250 American Literary Studies I
1652 04 ENL250 American Literary Studies I
1691 01 ENL353 Literature for Young Adults
1692 01 ENL362 Women and Fiction

Professional Biography

I have been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Salem State since summer 1998. Previously, I taught writing at Boston College (1 year) and at Harvard University (5 years), and various writing and literature courses during my graduate work at the State University of New York at Buffalo (4 years).

I also taught grades 8-12 for two years at Chelsea Public School (K-12) in Chelsea, Vermont, volunteered in a special education classroom in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and completed my student teaching at Montera Jr. High in Oakland, California (8th grade) and at Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA (9th and 11th grades). I began my licensure course work at my undergraduate alma mater, University of California, Berkeley, and finished it through the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Before all this, I thought I would become a doctor, went to Kenyon College in Ohio and studied biology and music, then served as an apprentice oceanographer on board Research Vessel Westward--a 125' staysail schooner, doing research in the Caribbean--where, despite a horrible experience in high school English, I discovered that I loved Shakespeare. While reading The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet (from the ship's small library) I decided that I would change my major to English, teach high school, and coach cross-country and track and field. After several years of that, which I loved, I started graduate school to focus on Shakespeare, then discovered 19th-century American women writers and haven't looked back. As Emerson once put it, "The voyage of the best ship is a zig zag line of a hundred tacks." I'm looking forward to the next zigs and zags.


Ph.D. in English, State University of New York at Buffalo. 1995

M.A. in English, Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College. 1989

M.A. in English, State University of New York at Buffalo. 1989

B.A. in English with Highest Honors, University of California at Berkeley. 1981

Professional Interests

19th-century American literature; English education pedagogy; women's writing including autobiography/memoir; young adult/children's literature; literature of the sea; literature of the environment; travel writing; Shakespeare; poetry.  

Founder and current president of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, since 1997.

American author Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) published many short stories and novels as well as non-fiction. The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society promotes the study and awareness of Sedgwick's life and works. It aims to increase availability and access to her writings and offers a forum for established and emerging scholars, as well as others interested in Sedgwick, to exchange ideas, research, and pedagogical strategies. See

Selected Publications


Damon-Bach, Lucinda, and Victoria Clements, eds. Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Critical Perspectives. Foreword by Mary Kelley. Boston: Northeastern UP, 2003. Print.

Transatlantic Women: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Great Britain. Co-edited with Beth Lueck and Brigitte Bailey. Durham: U of NH Press, 2012.

Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Life and Letters. (Working title; first comprehensive biography.)

Selected Recent Articles:

“Inspiration or Competition? Catharine Sedgwick’s Influence on Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Preliminary Investigation.” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, forthcoming, Spring 2015.

“Catharine Sedgwick in England: Private Letters, Public Account. Transatlantic Women: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Great Britain. Co-edited by Lueck, Bailey, and Damon-Bach. Durham: U of NH Press, 2012. 21-48.

“Catharine Maria Sedgwick.” Solicited entry for biographical Dictionary of Early American Philosophers. Ed. John Shook. Continuum Press, 2012. 931-36.

“Beyond the ‘Common Course’: Exploring and Teaching Walden on Foot.” The Concord Saunterer, N.S. Volume 12/13, 2004-2005.

“To ‘Act’ and ‘Transact’: Redwood’s Revisionary Heroines.” Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Critical Perspectives. Co-edited with Victoria Clements.  Boston: Northeastern UP, 2003. 56-73.

Selected Presentations

A sampling of recent conference presentations:

“Catharine Sedgwick’s Influence on Hawthorne.” Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Conference, N. Adams, MA, 11-15 June 2014.

“Transatlantic Translation: Slavery, Tuscan Agriculture, and Reform.” Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, 7th Symposium, St. Louis, MO, 4-7 June 2014.

"Catharine Sedgwick's Emancipation Proclamations: In the Parlor, the Pulpit, and the Press, 1827-1836.” American Literature Association, Washington D.C., 23-25 May 2014.

 “Translation, Gifts, and Gaps in Catharine Sedgwick’s Sixteen-Year Correspondence with J.-C. L. Simonde de Sismondi (1827-1842).” Roundtable. American Literature Association, Washington D.C., 23-25 May 2014.

Roundtable presentation, “Exchanges: Building Common Space in Print and Internet Essay Collections.” With co-editor Beth L. Lueck. C19 Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, 13-16 March, 2014.

 “Revolutionary Meets Reformer: The Transatlantic Friendship of Gaetano de Castillia and Catharine Maria Sedgwick, 1837-1842.” Transatlantic American Women Writers II, Florence, June 2013.

“Faith, Freedom, and Marriage: Catharine Sedgwick’s Redwood and the Hancock Shakers.” Society of Early Americanists, Savannah, GA, March 2012.

“In the Archives: Editing the Letters of Catharine Maria Sedgwick—A Workshop.” With Patricia Kalayjian, California State University-Dominguez Hills. Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Denver, CO, October 2012.

“To Be ‘Rational, Responsible, and Self-Depending Beings’: Catharine Sedgwick’s Contributions to Early American Philosophy.” American Literature Association, San Francisco, May 2012.

"From the Ground, Up: Five Conferences in Ten Years for Sedgwick and Her Contemporaries." Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference, Philadelphia, October 2009.

"Money Matters: Catharine Sedgwick on Fiscal Responsibility (or, Advice on How to Thrive Even When You've Lost Everything)." American Literature Association, Boston, May 2009.

"Catharine Sedgwick in England: Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home." Transatlantic Women: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe. Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, Oxford UK, July 2008.

"Changing the Face of American Literary History: Catharine Maria Sedgwick, 180 Years Since." Abernethy Lecture (invited), Middlebury College, March 20, 2008.

"Transforming the Canon of American Literature in Your Classroom," with Teresa Sutton, John Jay High School. New York State English Council Conference, Albany, NY, October 2005.

"Teaching Melville, Douglass, and Sedgwick." Roundtable. Melville Society International Conference, New Bedford, MA, June 2005.

Personal Interests

Travel, creating music (hammered dulcimer, penny whistle, recorder, piano, bassoon, flute), yoga, outdoor activities (kayaking, hiking, horseback riding), baking, experimenting with new recipes, farmers' markets, child development.