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Tereza Szeghi

Professor; Director of Graduate Studies in English

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: English


Email: Tereza Szeghi
Phone: 937-229-3443
HM 261


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


Dr. Szeghi earned her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. In her scholarship she performs comparative analyses of American Indian and Latinx Literatures, with a particular focus on land rights, human rights, cultural identity, and travel. Her most recent work focuses on varied forms of violence against women in U.S. borderlands (from the U.S.-Mexico border to reservations). She is particularly interested in how indigenous writers use literature as a means of advocating for social and political change.

Faculty Perspective

"When I arrived at UD, I already had a firm commitment to issues of social justice, and therefore found a ready home here. However, during my time at UD, I have received a variety of opportunities to cultivate the human rights dimensions of my scholarship (including receiving a Peter McGrath Human Rights Fellowship and participating in the biannual Social Practice of Human Rights Conference) and, in this way, extend the scope of my work into related but also different and challenging areas."

Courses Taught

  • Survey of American Literature
  • American Indian Literature
  • Latina/o Literature
  • Early American Literature
  • Ana Castillo & Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Literature and Human Rights
  • Literature and Theory of the Americas
  • Gender in Fiction

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications

“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, forthcoming.

“‘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.

“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.

“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.

Selected Presentations

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

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

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

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

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

“Colonial Sexualities and Sexual Violence in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House.” Women’s and Gender
Studies Colloquium. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, September 15, 2016.

“Intersections of Latino and Native American Identities.” Rites, Rights, Writes. University of Dayton,
Dayton, Ohio, October 5, 2015.

“Literature and Human Rights Violations in U.S. Borderlands.” The Social Practice of Human Rights.
University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, October 2, 2015.