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Derek Pacheco

Derek Pacheco

Associate Professor // English

Affiliated Faculty // American Studies // SIS

Research focus:
Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Children’s & YA Literature

Office and Contact

Room: HEAV 405


Derek Pacheco (Ph.D. at UCLA, 2006) is Associate Professor of English at Purdue. His research and teaching interests include: nineteenth-century literature; children’s & young adult literature; print culture and book history; race, class, and gender in nineteenth-century literature.  

Prof. Pacheco teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate literature courses. Recent classes taught include Ways of Reading; Young Adult Literature; Literature for Children; Technology and Play; American Literature to 1865; Beyond English (career capstone); Antebellum American Literature; Later Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Teaching Literature at the College Level; and Scholarly Writing & Publishing.

 Accolades include the English Department’s “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” for 2011-20 and “Excellence in Graduate Teaching Awards” for 2013-2017. He also received the English department’s “Overall Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” for 2013, the College of Liberal Arts’ “Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award” for 2015, the Kenneth T. Kofmehl Award, the College of Liberal Arts’ highest honor for undergraduate instruction, in 2016; and the Charles B. Murphy Undergraduate Teaching Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor, in 2019.

Prof. Pacheco is also the Sandra K. Biggs and Harriet M. Crews Director of The Big Read in the Department of English. The Big Read enriches the Greater Lafayette community through reading and discussion of timely, relevant works of literature. Since 2017, it has distributed over 10,000 books to libraries, high school English Language Arts classes, and college courses, as well as local civic organizations. As part of its annual program, it has also sponsored over 70 community events or activities.



“’Funny Queer Fits’: Masculinity and Desire in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.” Children’s Literature Quarterly, fall 2021, volume 46, number 3, pp. 263-282.

“Hawthorne and the American Revolution.” Hawthorne in Context, edited by Monika Elbert, Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 35-45.

“Engendering Fantasy in Romantic Children’s Fiction.” Romantic Education in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, edited by Monika Elbert and Lesley Ginsberg, Routledge, 2015, pp. 211-228. 

Moral Enterprise: Literature and Education in Antebellum America. The Ohio State University Press, 2013. Paperback reissue – July 2017.

“‘Dwarves and Hobgoblins’: Hawthorne, Gothic Children’s Literature, and A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys,” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, volume 38, number 2fall 2012, pp. 47-71.

"‘Vanished Scenes…Pictured in the Air’: Hawthorne, Indian Removal, and The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair,” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, volume 36, number 1, spring 2010, pp. 186-211.

"‘Disorders of the Circulating Medium’: Hawthorne’s Early Children’s Literature," ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, volume 53, number 3, fall 2007, pp. 282-319.


Special Issue of Journal Edited:

Demson, Michael and Derek Pacheco, eds. Transatlanticism and The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, volume 42, number 1, spring 2017.