College of Arts and Sciences
Melissa D. Birkhofer is an instructor in the English Department and Director of the U.S. Latinx Studies program. She has facilitated the Josefina Niggli Latinx Speaker Series since 2016 bringing many influential speakers to campus to discuss a variety of issues important to Latinx communities in Western North Carolina. She teaches in the Latinx Learning Community and the Global Food Learning Community. She edited a special edition of <i>Label Me Latina/o</i> on the life and work of Judith Ortiz Cofer and co-authored with Paul M. Worley the article “Latinas/os in the Attic: (Erasing Latina/o Presence and the) Policing (of) Racial Borders in Faulkner’s <i>Light in August</i>” in <i>The Comparatist</i>. She is the contingent faculty representative for SECOLAS (Southeastern Council on Latin American Studies) and the President of SEACS (Southeastern Association of Cultural Studies). She is the 2020 recipient of the Inclusive Excellence Faculty Award as well as the 2020 recipient of the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for Faculty. She is the faculty advisor to the student organization: Mujeres con un propósito and the faculty advisor to the first Latina sorority at WCU, Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority.
Latinx Studies<br>Contemporary Latina narrative<br>Indigenous studies<br>Latinx Learning Community<br>Global Food Learning Community
Latinx studies, cultures, and literatures <br>Multiethnic American literatures <br>Border Theory <br>Indigenous studies <br>Hemispheric studies