Skip to main content
Photo of Laura Halperin, taken by Sarah Boyd

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Comparative Literature, 2006.

M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Comparative Literature, 2001.

B.A., Brown University, Comparative Literature, 1996.


My research, teaching, and service are all important to me, and they all focus on issues of equity. My research interests center on 20th and 21st century Latinx literary and cultural studies. My first book, Intersections of Harm: Narratives of Latina Deviance and Defiance, is an interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of contemporary novels and memoirs by Latinas. It maintains that the individual psychological and physical harm experienced by Latinas must be understood in relation to the collective histories of aggression against their communities, and it claims that hope can be found in the remembrance of and resistance to this harm. To some extent my current book project begins where my first one ends: with a focus on Latinx voice. In this interdisciplinary project, I am examining the expression, suppression, and development of Latinx voice, as I explore how our schools silence and/or nurture Latinx students, and as I argue for the need to affirm Latinx voice. This research is connected to my teaching and service commitments. I primarily teach undergraduate courses that contribute to UNC’s minor in Latina/o Studies and graduate courses about women of color feminisms. I also am actively involved in promoting Latina/o studies and Latinx student success. To this end, I have served on UNC’s Latina/o Studies board since 2007 and on the MLA executive committee of the forum in Chicana and Chicano literature for the past five years, I periodically review articles for Latino Studies and MELUS, I currently serve as academic director of the N.C. Scholars’ Latinx Initiative (a leadership, mentorship, and educational program that partners UNC undergraduates with Latinx high school students), and I regularly give talks to Latinx student organizations on UNC’s campus.



Intersections of Harm: Narratives of Latina Deviance and Defiance. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2015.

Rutgers University Press webpage for the book:



“Not No Rapunzel: The House on Mango Street’s Revised Ever After.” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Volume 18:1, Spring 2019.

“Censorship and Latino/a Texts.” Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature. Eds. Suzanne Bost and Frances Aparicio, Routledge Press, September 2012. 495-505.

“Still Hands: Celia’s Transgression in Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban.” Latino Studies, Volume 6:4, Winter 2008. 418-435.

Teaching Awards

Chapman Family Teaching Award, 2018.


Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship, Spring 2018.

Latino Diamante Award for Community Involvement, Awarded to N.C. Sli, 2016.

University Research Council Publication Grant, 2014.

Postdoctoral Scholars Award for Research Excellence, 2007.

Carolina Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity, 2006-2008.

Courses Taught:

ENG 861: Third World Feminisms

ENG 467: Educating Latinas/os: Preparing SLI Mentors

ENG 364: Introduction to Latina/o Studies

ENG 359: Latina Feminisms

ENG 267: Growing Up Latina/o

ENG 63: First-Year Seminar: Banned Books

Curriculum Vitae / Resume