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Tereza Szeghi


Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: English


Email: Tereza Szeghi
Phone: 937-229-3443
HM 215


  • Ph.D., English Literary Studies, University of Arizona
  • M.A., English Literary Studies, University of Arizona
  • B.A., English Literature, University of Cincinnati


Dr. Szeghi earned her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona (located in one of her favorite places on earth: Tucson). While she went to graduate school knowing she wanted to study Indigenous literatures, it was only while pursuing advanced degrees that her interest in literature as a form of activism took center stage. A consistent theme of Dr. Szeghi’s scholarship has been addressing ways that Indigenous/Chicanx/Latinx writers use literature as advocacy for a range of human rights, particularly related to land, culture, the environment and gender. Dr. Szeghi’s recent scholarship addresses how Muscogee (Creek) writer Alexander Posey crafted his Fus Fixico letters to shape his peoples’ political views during the allotment era in culturally specific ways, as well as how attention to maternity in Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona reveals persistent biases that undercut her advocacy for Indigenous peoples and their land rights. 

Professional activities

  • Association for the Study of Indigenous Literatures
  • National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  • Western American Literature Association

Courses taught

  • Latinx Literature
  • American Indian Literature
  • Survey of Early American Literature
  • Survey of Later American Literature
  • Literature and Human Rights
  • Literature and Theory of the Americas
  • First and Second Year Writing

Research interests

  • Indigenous Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Chicanx/Latinx Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Literary Activism
  • Human Rights
  • U.S. Literary and Cultural Studies;
  • Ecocriticism

Selected publications

Articles and Book Chapters 

“Culturally Responsive Persuasion in Alexander Posey’s Fus Fixico Letters.” Native American and Indigenous Studies. Eds. Tsianina Lomawaima& Kelly McDonough. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press. 10.1 (Spring 2023): pp. 28-59.

“Identity Formation and Dislocation: Transnationalism in The Mixquiahuala Letters and The Guardians.” New Transnational Chicanx Perspectives on Ana Castillo. Eds. Karen Roybal and Bernadine Marie Hernandez. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P. Spring 2021, pp. 86-99.

“National, Transnational, and Human Rights Frames for Teaching María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don.” Teaching Western American Literature, Eds. Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P. June 2020, pp. 227-250. 

“Fighting for Indigenous Rights in the Trump Era.” OpenGlobalRights, March 15, 2018, web.

“Literary Didacticism and Collective Human Rights in U.S. Borderlands: Ana Castillo’s The Guardians and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House.” Western American Literature, vol. 52, 4, Winter 2018, pp. 403-433.

“Leslie Marmon Silko and the Novel as Testimony.” Gale Researcher, American Literature. Ed. Mary Pat Brady, vol. 7, web. 2018. Cengage Learning.

 “‘Why don’t you just go back where you came from?’ or ‘Slight yams’: ‘Pangs’ of Regret and Unresolved Ambivalence in Joss Whedon’s California,” with Wesley C. Dempster. Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies 15.1 (Winter 2017): Web.

“Humility, Otherness, and Immersion: Reflections on Traveling in South America.” Perspectives on South America: Reminiscence of the University Global Education Seminar. Web, 2015.

“Tokenizing the Indian in the Classroom: The Possibilities and Pitfalls in Teaching Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Multiethnic American Literatures: Essays for Teaching Culture and Context, Ed. Helane Androne,McFarland & Co., November 24, 2014, pp. 72-99.

“Weaving Transnational Identity: Travel and Diaspora in Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo.” MELUS (Multiethnic Literature of the United States) 39.4 (Winter 2014), pp. 162-185.

“Charles Lummis and the Goldilocks Complex: Scientific Racism and the Search for ‘Home.’” Intertexts: a Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection 17.2. (Fall 2013): 91-112.

“With ‘cheekbones and noses like eagles and hawks’: Indigeneity and Mestizaje in Ana Castillo’s The Mixquiahuala Letters and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead.” Comparative Literature 65.4 (December 2013): 429-449.

“The Vanishing Mexica/o: (Dis)Locating the Native in Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It? and The Squatter and the Don.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 36.2 (2011): 89-120.

“The Injin is civilized and aint extinct no more than a rabbit”: Transformation and Transnationalism in Alexander Posey’s Fus Fixico Letters. Studies in American Indian Literatures. 21.3 (2009): 1-35.

Selected presentations

“Centering Indigenous Voices & Cultivating Accountability in Catholic Responses to Boarding School Legacies.” NEH-Sharp Grant Conference: Accessibility, Archives, and Native American Boarding Schools, Tucson, Ariz., March 25, 2023.

“Severing Ties to Indigenous Mothers & Indigenous Lands in Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona.” Western American Literature Association Conference, Santa Fe, N.M., Oct. 22, 2022.

“Radical Chicana Motherwork as Literary Theory/Criticism in the Works of Ana Castillo.” National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies conference, Virtual, April 22, 2022.

“Charles Gibson & Indian Territory’s Periodical Press.” Social Practice of Human Rights Conference, Dayton, Ohio, Dec. 2, 2021. 

“Teaching Western American Literature Roundtable.” Western American Literature Association Conference, Virtual, Oct. 22, 2020. 

“Literary Didacticism in Indigenous & Latinx Human Rights Literature.” The Social Practice of Human Rights. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio. Oct. 3, 2019.

“Alexander Posey's Crafting of Fiction in the Interest of Creek Sovereignty in the Dawes Era.” Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand, June 27, 2019.

“Interrogating Transnational Identity, Movement, and Politics in Ana Castillo’s The Mixquiahuala Letters and The Guardians.” National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Association, Albuquerque, N.M., April 6, 2019.

“Indigenous Rights in the Trump Era,” The Social Practice of Human Rights, University of Dayton, Nov. 9, 2017. 

“Water Protectors in Multiple Media: Gender and the NoDAPL Protests.” Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2017.

“Gender and (Anti)Colonial Rhetoric in the Dakota Access Pipeline Debate,” Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Symposium, Miami University, Feb. 17, 2017.

“Modern-Day Saints and Literary Activism in Ana Castillo’s The Guardians.” National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference, Denver, April 8, 2016.

“Decolonizing Indigenous Lands and Indigenous Women’s Bodies.” International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, May 20, 2016.