Dr. Jessica Martell

Dr. Martell is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in literature, food, film, and the environment. Multiple research fellowships in British archives supported her book Farm to Form: Modernist Literature and Ecologies of Food in the British Empire (University of Nevada Press, 2020), which investigates the relationship between the industrial food of empire and the emergence of literary modernisms in Britain and Ireland.

She is also the co-editor of Modernism and Food Studies: Politics, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde (University of Florida Press, 2019), a transnational exploration of global food chains and the modernist arts.

Dr. Martell teaches interdisciplinary courses in the Global Studies program and Watauga Residential College. She is also the Executive Board Vice-Chair of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a non-profit dedicated to building an equitable and sustainable local food system in North Carolina’s High Country.

Prior to joining the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Martell was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the ASU English Department, Assistant Professor of English at Lincoln Memorial University, and a graduate instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned the Earl Hartsell Award for Outstanding Teaching.


Farm to Form: Modernist Literature and Ecologies of Food in the British Empire. University of Nevada Press, 2020.

“The selection of writers and texts alone will make this book a must-read, and no one, to my knowledge, has explored to this extent how the rapid transformation of food production, distribution, and marketing touched the choices that writers made in shaping their work.”  -Bill Conlogue, author of Working the Garden


Modernism and Food Studies: Politics, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde. University of Florida Press, 2019. Co-edited with Adam Fajardo and Philip Keel Geheber.

“This delicious collection traverses the globe—potatoes in Ireland, eggs in New Zealand, mangoes in Bengal—and explores the sensuous qualities of artistic modernism in its many forms—cinema, short story, manifesto, cuisine. A bold and clear case for the theoretical and historical importance of food studies to modernism.” —Catherine Keyser, author of Playing Smart: New York Women Writers and Modern Magazine Culture


Other Recent Publications

“Vorticism in the Age of Climate Change.” Modernism and the Anthropocene. Eds. Jon Hegglund and John McIntyre. Forthcoming in Lexington Books’ Ecocritical Theory and Practice Series.

“Farm Noir: Agriculture, Empathy, and Genre in The Grapes of Wrath and Border Incident.” John Alton: Essays on the Cinematographer’s Art and CraftEd. Leon Lewis. McFarland & Co., 2020. Co-authored.

“Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Bogfolk’: Apocalypse, Fertility Rites, and Irish History in The Road.” Swamp Souths: Literary and Cultural Ecologies. Eds. Kirsten L. Squint, Eric Gary Anderson, Taylor Hagood, and Anthony Wilson. Louisiana State University Press, 2020.

“Potatoes and the Political Ecology of James Joyce’s Dubliners.” Modernism and Food Studies: Politics, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde. Eds. Jessica Martell, Philip Keel Geheber, and Adam Fajardo. University Press of Florida, 2019.

“Food Sovereignty, the Irish Homestead, and the First World War.” Modernist Cultures 13, no. 3 (Autumn 2018): 399-416.  doi:10.3366/mod.2018.0219.


Recent Courses

GLS 4000: Manifestos and Global Movements

GLS 2000: Screening the Postcolonial World

WRC 1103: Critical Perspectives on Food

Title: Assistant Professor, Affiliate Faculty, Center for Appalachian Studies, Member of the Graduate Faculty
Department: Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-3177

Fax: (828) 262-6400

Office address
114-LLA, Living Learning Center
Mailing address
305 Bodenheimer Drive
ASU Box 32080
Boone, NC 28608