Melanie Abeygunawardana is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Penn. She received a B.A. in English Literature and Literary Arts from Brown University, where she worked as a Writing Fellow. Melanie’s current research lies at the intersection of affect theory, critical race theory, and queer studies in 20th and 21st century Asian American and African American literature. Her dissertation, titled Dissenting Flesh: Racial Feeling in an Age of Colorblindness, tracks changing modes of racialized affect, form, and materiality across a developing history of American racial liberalism. She served as a coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Reading Group at Penn from 2017-2019.