Melissa E. Sanchez
Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Director, Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies
Director, Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Office Hoursfall 2021
Tu 1-2 and by appointment
Melissa E. Sanchez received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Her research and teaching focus on feminism, queer theory, and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, and she is Director of Penn's Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies and Penn's Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program. She is currently editing the Routledge Companion to Queer Literary Studies (under contract) and co-editing (with Stephanie Burt and Drew Daniel) "All the World in Thee": An Historical Book of Queer Poems (under contract, Columbia University Press). She is also completing two books-in-progress: "What Were Women Writers?" and "Assuming Guilt."
Professor Sanchez is the author of three books. Queer Faith: Reading Promiscuity and Race in the Secular Love Tradition, which was awarded the honorable mention for the MLA Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies, reassesses key texts of the pre-history of modern monogamy—from Paul to Luther, Petrarch to Shakespeare—to show that writing assumed to promote fidelity in fact articulates the perversity of desire and the elusiveness of self-knowledge (NYU Press, "Sexual Cultures" series, 2019). Shakespeare and Queer Theory introduces students and scholars to the fields of queer theory, Shakespeare studies, and the interchanges between them (Bloomsbury Arden "Shakespeare and Theory" series, 2019). Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers used scenarios of erotic violence and cross-gender identification to explore the origins and limits of political allegiance (Oxford University Press, 2011).
In addition, she has edited three volumes of essays. With Ayesha Ramachandran she co-edited a special issue of Spenser Studies on "Spenser and 'the Human,'" which brings together essays that examine Spenser's complex relationship to the category of "the human" and which thereby both draw on and contribute to current discussions in humanism, posthumanism, animal studies, and environmental studies (2016). With Ania Loomba she co-edited Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality, a volume of essays on the current state of feminist studies of the early modern period, which received the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) Award for Best Collaborative Projet of 2016 (Routledge, 2016). And with Ari Friedlander and Will Stockton she co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies (JEMCS) entitled "Desiring History and Historicizing Desire," a collection of essays discussing the relations between queer and historicist methods of reading (2016).