Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue


Melinda BackerMelinda Backer

Faculty, post-doc lecturer



Melinda is a Post-doctoral lecturer with her doctorate from the University of Tennessee in English with a concentration in Contemporary and Postcolonial literature.


  • 20th and 21st Century novels
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature 
  • Ecological Literature


  • Ph.D. University of Tennessee, 2019
  • M.A. University of Cincinnati, 2010
  • B.F.A. Thomas More College, 2008
  • B.A. Psychology, Thomas More College, 2008


  • “Review: Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements.” ASAP/J, December, 2018.

Professional Service

  • 2018       Evaluation Committee Member, “Experienced GTAs
  • 2018       Hodges Award Committee, “Experienced GTAs”
  • 2018       Nexus Conference Chair
  • GSE Communications Director 2016
  • Writing Center Tutor/Online Tutor for UT's Writing Center 2015-2017
  • Beale Editorial Assistant for ASAP/Journal 2017
  • Managing Editor of Online Content for Grist 2017
  • Graduate Students in English PhD Representative 2017
  • Sigma Tau Delta, Vice-President 2007-2008
  • Scholastic Writing Awards Judge, 2007

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • John C. Hodges Excellence in Teaching Award 2017
  • Norman J. Sanders Dissertation Fellowship 2017
  • Dean's List, Thomas More College,  2005-2008
  • University Scholarship, University of Cincinnati, 2008-2010

Associations & Organizations

  • Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
  • Modern Language Association 
  • Sigma Tau Delta 
  • Psi Chi 
  • South Atlantic Modern Language Association
  • Graduate Students of English, UT

Invited Lectures

  • “Responding to Student Writing,” The Writing Program Workshop Week, University of Tennessee. Co-presenter with Coralyn Nottingham and Kimberly Turner, August, 2017.
  • “First Day Writing Assignments” The Writing Program Workshop Week, UTK. Co-presenter with Tawnysha Greene August, 2016.

Conference Presentations

  • “N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy” ASAP 11, University of Maryland. Baltimore, MA. October, 2019.
  • “Nonhuman Justice: Relational Agency in Linda Hogan’s Power,” SAMLA 90, Birmingham, AL. November, 2018.
  • “Destabilizing the Animacy Hierarchy in Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon” SAMLA 89, Atlanta, GA. November, 2017.
  • “Translating Otherness: The Queer Women of Marvel’s X-Men” Translation Theory Today Conference, CUNY Graduate Center. NY. May, 2016.
  • “The Power of Caribbean Women: Redefining the Role of Women in Nation Construction” Crystal Queer Graduate Conference, Indiana University; Bloomington, IN. March, 2016
  • “Check This Out: Stories from a Public Library” The Last Word, Cincinnati OH, June, 2010"Check This Out: Stories from a Public Library" The Last Word, Cincinnati OH, June, 2010.
  • "The Next Time" Word Without End, Cincinnati OH. November, 2009
  • "Sleeping Beauty" Sigma Tau Delta, Louisville, KY. March, 2008
  • "The Time It Takes to See Magic." Sigma Tau Delta, Portland, OR. March, 2006