Announcements, Presentations

Several Attend MELUS Conference

Pictured, from left to right: Melina Vizcaino-Aleman, Jeslyn Pool, Laurie Lawrence, Noreen Rivera, Leigh Johnson, Amy Gore, Erin Murrah-Mandril

The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature (MELUS), held its 38th annual Conference hosted by the Southern Methodist University English Department in Dallas this year, and featured paper presentations from various UNM alumnae, graduate students, and faculty.

Current graduate student, Jeslyn Pool presented, “Feminist Aesthetics of Form within M. Nourbese Philip’s Archival Destruction: Zong!” Jeslyn is a first-year PhD student in American Literary Studies and will also be presenting at the 2025 Modern Language Association. Chrysta “Kit” Wilson, also a PhD student in ALS, presented “Bodies Beyond Borders: Alienation and the Border Worker in Lunar Braceros and Keep Me Posted: Logins from Tomorrow.”

Of our UNM alumnae, Dr. Erin Murrah-Mandril (PhD 2014) co-organized the conference and is currently Associate Professor in the English Department at UT, Arlington. Dr. Diana Noreen Rivera (PhD 2014) presented “Afro-Mexican Roots, Routes, and ‘Resistance’ in Américo Paredes’s George Washington Gómez” and is Associate Professor in the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies at UT, Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Amy Gore (PhD 2019) presented “Written Off: Global Histories of Indigenous Paper and Papermaking” and just published Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History (U MA 2023); she is Assistant Professor in the English Department at North Dakota State University. Dr. Laurie Lowrance (PhD 2021) presented “Storytelling and Collaboration as Resistance and Resilience: Helen Sekaquaptewa’s Me and Mine” and is Assistant Professor in the English Department at Schreiner University. Dr. Leigh Johnson (PhD 2011) presented “Tenuous Roots/Routes: The Border, the Patrol, and the American Dream” and is a faculty member in the English Department at Western Kentucky University. 

Finally, Dr. Melina Vizcaíno-Alemán, Associate Professor and outgoing Director of ALS, presented “The Southwest as Biosphere: Estela Portllo Trambley’s Desert Poetics.”

For more on the 2024 MELUS Conference program, visit