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Laura Halperin

Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature
  Greenlaw 403

My research, teaching, and service are all important to me, and they all focus on issues of equity. My research interests center on 20th and 21st century Latinx literary and cultural studies. My first book, Intersections of Harm: Narratives of Latina Deviance and Defiance, is an interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of contemporary novels and memoirs by Latinas. It maintains that the individual psychological and physical harm experienced by Latinas must be understood in relation to the collective histories of aggression against their communities, and it claims that hope can be found in the remembrance of and resistance to this harm. To some extent my current book project begins where my first one ends: with a focus on Latinx voice. In this interdisciplinary project, I am examining the expression, suppression, and development of Latinx voice, as I explore how our schools silence and/or nurture Latinx students, and as I argue for the need to affirm Latinx voice. This research is connected to my teaching and service commitments. I primarily teach undergraduate courses that contribute to UNC’s minor in Latina/o Studies and graduate courses about women of color feminisms. I also am actively involved in promoting Latina/o studies and Latinx student success. To this end, I have served on UNC’s Latina/o Studies board since 2007 and on the MLA executive committee of the forum in Chicana and Chicano literature for the past five years, I periodically review articles for Latino Studies and MELUS, I currently serve as academic director of the N.C. Scholars’ Latinx Initiative (a leadership, mentorship, and educational program that partners UNC undergraduates with Latinx high school students), and I regularly give talks to Latinx student organizations on UNC’s campus
Laura Halperin