B.A. in English, Columbia University
M.A. in Spanish, Columbia University
Ph.D. in Spanish, Columbia University
Office: Chambers 2256
Davidson, NC 28035-6961
Melissa Marie González joined the Hispanic Studies Department in 2010. She specializes in US Latina/o and twentieth-century Latin American literature and culture, gender studies, and queer theory. Her teaching interests include pre-1950 and contemporary US Latina/o literature and culture, Latin American and Spanish film, performance art and public protest, transnational LGBTQ culture, non-normative genders, the history of representations of heterosexuality, literary theory, and cultural criticism.
At Davidson, she has taught courses such as "U.S. Latino Culture," "Introduction to Latin American Studies," and the senior seminar "Latino American Sexualities." Her teaching has deeply informed her thinking about academic theories of power and subject formation, and her pedagogical practice has played a fundamental role in the development of her research interests.
Her current research focuses on the sexual politics of globalization in the American hemisphere and studies how the new acceptability of some transgressive sexualities creates alternative frontiers of exclusion. For example, the inclusion of predominantly white or criollo, upper-middle class, and fashionable gay men within the imagined communities of the large metropolises of the Americas is represented as an advancement of human rights but excludes and silences those queer subjects less assimilated into a bourgeois lifestyle, including some trans and gender non-normative people, racial minorities, immigrants, and the poor. A related research project undertakes a comparative examination of the discourse of gay marriage and the queer critiques of its normativity, throughout the Americas.
She has presented papers at academic conferences on topics such as the transnational queer sensibility of Pedro Lemebel, the representation of straightness in Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, trauma in the work of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and the "novela de la selva" genre and Alejo Carpentier's Los pasos perdidos. She has published "The 'Fatal Allurement' of Local Color: María Cristina Mena's Mexico in American Magazine and The Century Magazine" in Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage: Volume VI (Eds. Antonia Castañeda and Gabriel Meléndez. Houston: Arte Público, 2006).