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Madison (Madi) Hester

August 24, 2021

Degrees

2018, B.A. English Literature, Colorado Mesa University

2020, M.A. English, Colorado State University

Bio

I am a Ph.D. student and teaching fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature. I research recent contemporary American literature from 2000 to present, and am absorbed by questions about mixed-race identity, and how multiethnic and multicultural subjects “rightly” identify themselves and are identified. I also examine what makes writing literary, who creates literature, and how digital media challenges and expands those definitions.


Meleena Gil

July 12, 2021

Degrees

2019, BA English Literature, University of Central Florida

Bio

Meleena (they/she) is a PhD student and teaching fellow in the department of English and Comparative Literature also earning a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Meleena’s research focuses on contemporary LatinX literature and cultural production, queer theory, and the environmental humanities. They are interested in botanical epistemologies, ecological kinships, and futurity. Outside of academia, Meleena is a nature enthusiast, a friend of strays, and a celebrator of quirks and kinks. They aim to create a space for meaningful experiences and mutual acknowledgment.


Teaching Awards

Fall 2021 Latina/o Studies Graduate Teaching Affiliate Fellowship


Krysten Voelkner

October 28, 2019

Degrees

2018, MA English, Wake Forest University

2016, BA English, Drexel University

Bio

Krysten Voelkner is a third-year PhD student in the department of English and Comparative Literature and serves as the Web Coordinator for the UNC Latina/o Studies Program. Her primary interests reside at the intersection of environmental humanities and contemporary Latinx literature. Recent publications of hers can be found in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy. She is currently at work researching for her dissertation, which investigates the ways in which Latinx writers experiment with aesthetics of horror, dread, anxiety, and other ‘bad’ affects associated with the climate crisis. In this regard, she hopes to explore the affective ecologies of Latinx environmental literature and film as they offer ways of thinking within and beyond the Anthropocene.

Publications:

  • “Memory, Temporality, and Communal Realization: Reading the Nomadic Subject in Rivera’s ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, vol. 45, no. 2, 2020.

Teaching Awards

  • UNC Latina/o Studies Program Teaching Award (Fall 2020)

Awards

  • H. Broadus Jones MA Student Award for Excellence in English (Spring 2018)

emilio Jesús Taiveaho Peláez

April 23, 2018

Degrees

  • 2017, BA Critical Studies in English Cultures, Literatures, and Film, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • 2017, BA Latin American Studies, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Bio

emilio Jesús Taiveaho Peláez is a first-generation migrant and a PhD. student—in that order—through the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. As both poet and scholar, their work engages the intersection of aesthetic experience and political discipline, blending critical, creative, and archival inquiry. Focusing on 20th-century hemispheric experimental poetry, their dissertation (tentatively titled Ojos de Hierba: Walt Whitman’s Children & the American Lyric) probes the shared literary and philosophical history of the Américas through the lens of Neobaroque aesthetics, tracing dissonant and dissident relations in the life and work of figures such as Federico García Lorca, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Néstor Perlongher, and Cecilia Vicuña. emilio’s first book of poetry, landskips (words are a hard look), a latinX exploration of the sonics and optics of our contemporary American Landscapes, is forthcoming through The Concern Newsstand.


Publications:


Teaching Awards

  • Latina/o Studies Teaching Grant – 2020

Awards

  • 2017 – Present: Mellon Fellow

Marcy Pedzwater

April 23, 2018

Degrees

2017, BA Literature, BA Spanish, University of North Carolina Asheville

Bio

Marcy Pedzwater studies twentieth and twenty-first century North and Latin American literature. Her current research focuses on the intersections of race, gender, and colonialism/imperialism in Post-dictatorship literature of the Americas. She is also interested in the function of memory, archive, and trauma in these texts. She teaches English 105, Spanish 105, and Spanish 203.


Publications:

  • Review of Forms of Dictatorship: Power, Narrative, and Authoritarianism in the Latina/o Novel, by Jennifer Harford Vargas, Chiricú, Fall 2019.
  • “Thinking with José Revueltas and Roberto Bolaño: Philosophical Literary Approaches to Latin America.” Review of José Revueltas y Roberto Bolaño: Formas genéricas de la experiencia by Alejandro Sánchez Lopera, A Contracorriente, vol. 15, no. 3, Spring 2018.
  •  “Not of this World: Divine Radical Inclusivity as a Foil to Worldly Wisdom in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away,The Sigma Tau Delta Review, vol. 14, Sigma Tau Delta, Spring 2017.