Selected Book Publications

Cactus Thorn Cover

In the 1980s Melody discovered in the Huntington Library collection a novel by Mary Austin that editors had rejected in the 1920s as too radical. She convinced the University of Nevada Press to publish the novel, which has become a feminist classic. It is still in print, with a preface and afterword she wrote.

“In Cactus Thorn, Austin has combined the clear, bone-deep prose of her finest landscape writing with a complex psychological portrait of a love affair, producing what must surely rank as a new classic of western American literature.” –San Francisco Review of Books

“Formal in its dialogue, passionate and romantic in its evocation of the Southwest, where the central action takes place, this slender novella is at heart a feminist tract. . . . Written in 1927 and never before published, the story is timeless in setting and moral tone. Like Austin’s other novels (Earth Horizon, Land of Little Rain), it is a powerful enactment of a woman’s need to choose between a man and the land she loves.” –Publishers Weekly

“. . . to paraphrase Graulich’s summation: this book liberates a woman’s wit, anger, and imagination.” – Judy Nolte Temple, University of Arizona"

Deadwood Cover

This compelling collection of essays on Deadwood is a significant contribution to studies of the memorable HBO series but also to studies of the western genre more broadly, while making interesting interventions in fields that range from deconstruction to disability studies. It also contains perhaps the most interesting interview the show’s creator David Milch has given. What the collection mainly aims to do – to approach Deadwood through literary complexity rather than questions of historical authenticity – sets this apart from many other discussions of the show. - William Handley, University of Southern California

The opening essay by Melody Graulich offers a solid introduction to the volume. It captures well some of the central tensions between historical and literary/cultural criticism of the U.S. West without belittling or overly valuing either field. Rather, Graulich shows the merits and possibilities of both approaches while explaining why the show’s literary debts and obsessions need to be considered on their own terms through textual studies. This essay is written with such grace and clarity that it stands on its own as a treatment of the politics of representation and the aims of intertextuality, and thus will likely be cited as an important contribution to studies of the American West on its own. - Susan Kollin, Montana State University, Bozeman"

Earth Horizon Cover

Earth Horizon

Exploring Lost Borders Cover

Exploring Lost Borders

Journeys' Ending Cover

Journeys' Ending

New West Cover

"Know this . . . Anyone who carefully considers these essays will never read, teach, or think the same about Owen Wister's The Virginian"—Richard W. Etulain, Western Historical Quarterly (Richard W. Etulain Western Historical Quarterly )

“What has Owen Wister’s The Virginian (1902) have to say to the twenty-first century? A great deal, on the evidence of this sprightly, intensely informed, and thought-provoking collection. . . . This volume makes a major contribution to western American studies, not just for what it says about one novel but for how it thinks about relationships among popular writing, cultural power, and critical debate.”—Christine Bold, Western American Literature

“Given the importance of the West in the American cultural imaginary, this volume is more than just a centennial collection of excellent new essays. It is also a timely way of thinking about American ideology and identity as it is currently being performed on the world stage. Read it and smile!”—Helen M. Dennis, American Studies"

Search for Common Language Cover

At the beginning of this millennium, scientists sometimes took opposing stances on key environmental issues. These challenges—global climate change, disappearing species, and natural resource preservation— created strong divisions, especially among those with different academic, cultural, and political backgrounds. In response to this conflict, Paul Crumbley and Melody Graulich, two English professors at Utah State University, decided they’d like to begin a conversation about the future of the Earth and talk about the environment from both scientific and humanistic perspectives, in the hopes of finding a “common language.” They invited experts from numerous disciplines to Utah State’s 2002 O. C. Tanner Symposium and asked them to share their insights. Crumbley and Graulich combined the presentations from the symposium into the book The Search for a Common Language, published by USU Press in 2005."

Trading Gazes Cover

North American Indian Studies/Photography/Gender Studies: “The authors provide us with rich and original insights into the complex relationships of Euro-Americans and Indians at a moment in time when increased restrictions on Indian lives and cultures opened up possibilities for New Women seeking to escape traditional gender constraints.”—Lois Rudnick, author of Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture

“This book offers a new lens through which to view the histories and cultural exchanges of whites and natives in North America from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Rich, exciting, and important insights emerge from this collaborative venture.”—Priscilla Wald, author of Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form

“This book sets the standard for scholarship recovering women’s creative work. Making available photographs of Native Americans far more intimate and varied than those with which most of us are familiar, the authors address the photographs, and the women who took them, in ways that are historically informed, judicious, and extraordinarily illuminating.”—Sandra A. Zagarell, Oberlin College

The Story of Westering Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been told most notably through photographs of American Indians. Unlike this vast archive, produced primarily by male photographers, which depicted American Indians as either vanishing or domesticated, the lesser-known images by the women featured in Trading Gazes provide new ways of seeing the intersecting histories of colonial expansion and indigenous resistance. Four unconventional women—Jane Gay, who documented land allotment to the Nez Perces; Kate Cory, an artist who lived for years in a Hopi community; Grace Nicholson, who purchased cultural items from the Karuk and other northern California tribes; and Mary Schaffer, who traveled among the Stoney and Métis of Alberta, Canada—used cameras to document their cross-cultural encounters.

Trading Gazes reconstructs the rich biographical and historical contexts explaining these women’s presence in different Native communities of the North American West. Their photographs not only record the unprecedented opportunities available for Euro-American women eager to shed gender restrictions, but also reveal how women’s newfound mobility depended on the increasing restrictions placed on Native Americans in this era. By tracing the complex, often unexpected relationships forged between these women, their cameras, and the Native subjects of their photographs, Trading Gazes offers a new focus for recovering women’s histories in the West while bringing attention to the complicated legacies of these images for Native and non-Native viewers.

Trail Book

Trail Book

True West Cover

Melody is an editor of the series Postwestern Horizons at the University of Nebraska Press. This collection, published in that series, includes her essay, "’Cameras and photographs were not permitted in the camps’ : Photographic Documentation and Distortion in Japanese American Internment Narratives."">

Yellow Woman cover

Yellow Woman