Tereza Szeghi

Contact Information

Tereza Szeghi

Associate Professor; Director of the Graduate Program in English

  • Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Szeghi earned her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. One focal point of her scholarship is culturally specific views of appropriate land use and just land ownership in American Indian, Latina/o, and Euroamerican literatures. Dr. Szeghi approaches this topic, along with the use of literature as social protest in contact zones, by placing writers of different cultural backgrounds into conversation with one another. With her current research project Dr. Szeghi is building upon this previous work by addressing the ways in which indigenous peoples throughout the Americas use literature as a means of advocating for their human rights and articulating a conception of human rights that conflicts in critical ways with those contained in Western human rights discourse. Dr. Szeghi's current project is funded by both a Peter McGrath Human Rights Fellowship and the University of Dayton's Global Education Program (which focuses on South America during the 2012-2013 academic year).

The Faculty Perspective

One of UD's distinctive qualities is its commitment to social justice - a commitment reflected, in part, in its curriculum and social outreach. Issues of social justice are at the heart of the materials I teach, the research I do, and my personal aims as a global citizen. I am, therefore, delighted to be a faculty member at UD and, moreover, to be a part of an academic community that is exactly that: a community.

Courses Taught

  • The Novels of Isabel Allende
  • Ana Castillo and Leslie Marmon Silko
  • American Indian Literature
  • Representing Nature: Explorations in Multimedia
  • American Literature to 1865
  • Latina and Latino Coming of Age Literature
  • Freshman Composition: Coming of Age Across Cultures
  • Literature and Human Rights
  • Gender in Fiction
  • Early American Literature
  • Survey of American Literature


  • Ph.D. University of Arizona, 2007
  • M.A. University of Arizona, 2004
  • B.A. University of Cincinnati, 2000

Research Interests

  • Indigenous Literature of the Americas
  • American Indian Literatures
  • Latina/o Literatures
  • Ecocriticism
  • Theorizing Forms of Colonization
  • Anti-modernism
  • Human Rights

Selected Publications and Presentations


"Tokenizing the Indian in the Classroom: The Possibilities and Pitfalls in Teaching Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." Approaches to Teaching American Ethnic Literature in the 21st Century, Ed. Helane Androne, McFarland & Co., forthcoming.

"Weaving Transnational Identity: Travel and Diaspora in Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo." MELUS (Multiethnic Literature of the United States) 39.4 (Winter 2014).

"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.


"Literary Arguments for Migrants’ Human Rights in Ana Castillo’s The Guardians and Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway." Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Symposium. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, February 21, 2014.

"Writing and Theorizing Human Rights." Rites, Rights, Writes. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, November 5, 2013.

"Indigenous American Literatures: Advocacy, Rights, and Sovereignty." The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the frontiers of research and advocacy. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, October 3-5, 2013.

"Addressing the Diversity Outcome in English Composition Classrooms." University of Dayton’s English Department’s Composition Workshop Series, April 11 & 12, 2013.

"Chicana/o Literature: A Critical Tool in the Global Quest of Universal Human Rights." National Association for Chicana and Chicano Literature Conference. San Antonio, Texas, March 20-23, 2013.

"'Pangs' of Vengeance, Regret, and Resignation in Joss Whedon’s California." Western Literature Association Conference. Lubbock, Texas, November 7-10, 2012.

"Teaching Pre-1900 American Indian Literature," Roundtable. Western Literature Association Conference. Lubbock, Texas, November 7-10, 2012.

"American Indian Literary History & Human Rights Discourse: Diane Glancy's Pushing the Bear." Native American Literature Symposium. Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 29-31, 2012.

"Intersections of Labor and Environmental Justice in Chicana Literature." National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference Chicago, Illinois, March 14-16, 2012.

"Weaving Transnational Identity: Implications of Travel in Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo." National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference. Pasadena, California, March 30-April 2, 2011.

"Tokenizing the Native in the Literature Classroom." Native American Literature Symposium. Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 4-6, 2010.

"Transformation and Persistence in the Works of Alexander Posey." North Eastern Modern Language Association Conference. Boston, Massachusetts, February 26-March 1, 2009.

"Mixedblood and Mexican Indigeneity in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead." Native American Literature Symposium. Mystic Lake, Minnesota, March 27-29, 2008.

"Amateur Anthropology and Cultural Authority in Charles Lummis' A Tramp Across the Continent." Western Literature Association. Tacoma, Washington, October 17-20, 2007.

"Mimicry in Francis La Flesche's Life and Work." Native American Literature Symposium. Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, April 6-8, 2006.