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Melinda Backer

Melinda 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 UTK'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, UTK

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
Melinda Backer

Contact Information

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