Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Melissa Littlefield

Associate Professor of English

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Contact Information

  • Address: 102d English Building<br />608 South Wright St<br />Urbana, IL 61802
  • Telephone: 217-244-6926
  • Email:

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Ph.D. English and Women's Studies, Penn State University, 2005

Teaching Interests

literature and science, science fiction, body studies, feminist/science studies


Engl 120: Science Fiction, Engl 300: Writing about Literature (Margaret Atwood), Engl 475:Literature and the Forensic Sciences, Engl 582: Topics--Writing Bodies of Knowledge, Kines 249: Sport and Modern Society , Kines 442: Body, Culture, Society, Kines 594: Representing Bodies

Research Interests

literature and science, science & technology studies, critical neuroscience, forensic science, science fiction, disciplinarity

Selected Publications


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Book Contributions

  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "From Handwriting to 'Brain' Writing: Graphology and the Neuroscientific Turn." Writing Posthuman Writing. Anderson: Parlor Press, 2015. 214-233.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M., and Michael Black. "Critical Reception: Reading Technology and Literature in the Twentieth Century." Critical Insights: Technology and Humanity. EBSCO , 2012.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "Matter for Thought: The Psychon in Neurology, Psychology and American Culture, 1927-1943." Neurology and Modernity. Ed. Laura Salisbury and Andrew Shail. New York: Palgrave, 2010. 267-286.
  • Squier, Susan M., and Melissa M. Littlefield. "Feminist Science Studies ." Routledge Companion to Literature and Science. New York/London: Routledge, 2010. 312-322.

Edited Books

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Journal Articles

  • Littlefield, Melissa M., Martin Dietz, Des Fitzgerald, Kasper Knudsen, and James Tonks. "Being asked to tell an unpleasant truth about another person activates anterior insula and medial prefrontal cortex." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.553 (2015): 20 Oct. 2015. < >.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M., Des Fitzgerald, Kasper Knudsen, James Tonks, and Martin Dietz. "Contextualizing Neuro-Collaborations:Reflections on a Transdisciplinary fMRI Lie Detection Experiment." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.149 (2014):
  • Fitzgerald, Des, Melissa M. Littlefield, Kasper Knudsen, James Tonks, and Martin Dietz. "Ambivalence, equivocation and the politics of experimental knowledge: A transdisciplinary neuroscience encounter." Social Studies of Science 44 (2014): 701-722.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "Historicizing the CSI Effect(s): The Real and the Representational in American Scientific Detective Fiction and Print News Media, 1902-1935." Crime, Media, Culture 7.2 (2011): 133-148.
  • Johnson, Jenell, and Melissa M. Littlefield. "Lost and Found in Translation: Popular Neuroscience and the Emergent Neurodisciplines." Sociological Reflections on Neuroscience 13 (2011): 279-297.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "Response to Susan Scott Parrish." American Literary History 22.2 (2010):
  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "Constructing the Organ of Deceit: The Rhetoric of fMRI and Brain Fingerprinting in Post-9/11 America." Science, Technology &Human Values 34 (2009): 365-392.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M., and Susan M. Squier. "Introduction: Feminist Theory and/of Science." Feminist Theory 5.2 (2004): 123-126.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Littlefield, Melissa M. "Technology and Representation." Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.


  • Littlefield, Melissa M. Rev. of Book review: Haia Shpayer-Makov, The Ascent of the Detective: Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England Crime, Media, Culture 9.3 (2013): 324-326.
  • Littlefield, Melissa M., and Anne Pollock. "“Troubling with ‘The Ethics of the Thing’ in Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’." Rev. of Hannah Landecker's Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies and Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksSocial Studies of Science 41.4 (2011): 609-618.