Derek Pacheco

Derek Pacheco

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor // English

Affiliated Faculty // SIS // American Studies

Office and Contact

Room: HEAV 329


Phone: (765) 494-8408



Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Derek Pacheco (Ph.D. at UCLA, 2006) is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in English at Purdue. These days, he spends his time recruiting students, mapping curriculum, establishing internships, promoting study abroad, organizing outreach activities, and generally acting as departmental busybody. His research and teaching interests include: nineteenth-century literature; children’s literature; print culture and book history; race, class, and gender in nineteenth-century literature.  

His first book, Moral Enterprise (Ohio State, 2013), uses the transcendentalists to examine an ethically redemptive and potentially lucrative definition of antebellum author as educator. He is working on another book entitled Hawthorne’s Literary Offspring, which puts Hawthorne in conversation with a variety of ante- and postbellum writers engaged in constructing and deconstructing the children’s fantasy genres.  

Prof. Pacheco teaches all sorts of courses from gateways to capstones, including introduction to literary theory, literary genre studies, historical surveys, career development, and more. Courses taught include YA Lit; Ways of Reading; Literature for Children; Beyond English (career capstone); American Literature to 1865; Gender and Literature; Antebellum American Literature; Later Nineteenth-Century American Literature; and Teaching Literature at the College Level.

Accolades include the English Department’s “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” for 2011-18 and “Excellence in Graduate Teaching Awards” for 2010-2011 & 2013-2017. He also received the English department’s “Overall Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” for 2013-2014, the College of Liberal Arts’ “Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award” for 2014-2015, the Kenneth T. Kofmehl Award, the College of Liberal Arts’ highest honor for undergraduate instruction, in 2015-2016; and the Charles B. Murphy Undergraduate Teaching Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor, in 2018-2019.

Finally, Prof. Pacheco is the faculty director of the English Department’s “Big Read,” a common read program designed to bring together the Purdue University and Greater Lafayette readers.


“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 2, fall 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. 


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