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Rachel Levitt

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Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies department and has completed a graduate certificate in Women Studies here at the University of New Mexico. Rachel came to the American Studies department in 2010 having completed an M.A. in Communication Studies and a B.A. with a double major in Communication Studies and Women’s Studies from California State University, Northridge. While working on their M.A., Rachel served on the Queer Studies board that created a Queer Studies minor at California State University, Northridge. Prior to their time at UNM, Rachel worked as the Assistant Director of the Women’s Resource and Research Center at California State University, Northridge and worked as both a college and high school debate coach. Rachel’s dissertation, The Death of the Queer explores the recent emergence of “the bullied subject” as a social type. Their work explores the subjects and objects of queer liberation and contemplates what is at stake in the ways queer politics negotiate the racialized gender and sexual possibilities and impossibilities of alterity. Their specific research fields cover postcolonial queer studies, feminist theories, queer Native studies, queer of color critique, legal theories of identity, and poststructural critiques of subject formation. Rachel has taught classes across the university from graduate level pedagogy classes to introductory American Studies courses. Presently, Rachel teaches advanced undergraduate courses for both Women Studies and American Studies that include: Feminist Theories; The Color of Violence; Queer Theories; Women, Cultural Violence, and the Violence of the Normative; Feminist Readings of Foucault; and Sex, Race, and Citizenship. In 2013 Rachel was awarded a Feminist Research Institute grant to support their dissertation research and the Office of Graduate Studies “Graduate Student Mentor Award” for their work supporting other graduate students.