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"I read to lose myself and find myself at the same time." - Imani Mosley

Five new professors join English program

July 13, 2020
UC Merced hires top-notch scholars and teachers

Five new colleagues are joining the UC Merced department of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures in 2020 and 2021, and will teach classes in English, Chicanx Studies, the Global Arts Studies Program, and CRES, as well as the Interdiscplinary Humanities Graduates Program.

They are:

Fatima Burney, assistant professor of English, is a scholar of global romanticism and world poetry. Her current research examines the discourses of nature and natural expression that influenced the emergence of the romantic lyric model. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies project at SOAS from 2017-2020. Dr. Burney teaches Introduction to Poetry, Emily Dickinson, and courses other courses on poetry, global romanticism, and eco-poetics.

Weisong Gao, assistant professor of English, specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century transnational literature, particularly Asian Anglophone and LGBT literature. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and brings feminist, queer, disability, affect, and performance theory to the study of twentieth and twenty-first century literature. He holds his Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida, and a Master’s degree in the Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Dr. Gao teaches LGBT literature, Asian and Asian-Americna literature, Introduction to Literary Studies, and world literature.

Mai-Linh Hong, assistant professor of literature, is a scholar and teacher of Asian American and Asian diaspora literature and critical refugee studies, and also specializes in 20th/21st-century American literature, contemporary poetry, race and ethnic studies, and law and humanities. Having trained as both a lawyer and a literary scholar, Professor Hong integrates multiple disciplines into a dynamic form of cultural studies. Professor Hong holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also completed an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a B.A. in Literature at Yale University. Professor Hong teaches courses including Literatures of Asian America; Race, Law, and American Literature; and Poetry and Justice.

Felicia Rhapsody Lopez, assistant professor of Chicanx Studies and English, is a builder of bridges and a teller of stories. Coming from the field of Chicana/o/x Studies, she is inspired by Borderlands theory, and in that tradition, her scholarship builds bridges across disciplinary lines and between diverse ancient and contemporary cultures. Her published work focuses on the Visual Culture of Indigenous Nahua of Mexico and Central America, as well as neighboring Indigenous people, specifically through the decipherment of glyphic texts. Felicia Lopez earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her PhD from UC Santa Barbara. She has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, in Native American Studies at UC Davis, and in History at UC Los Angeles. Dr. Lopez teaches Native American Memoir, Mesoamerican Literature and Culture, Chicanx Literature, and other courses on borderlands, and Chicanx and indigenous literature and culture. 

Paul Prescott, professor of English (beginning 2021), joins UC Merced from the English and Comparative Literary Studies program at the University of Warwick, UK, where he taught for fifteen years and was a two-time winner of the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence. His main research interests lie in Shakespeare in performance, Applied Shakespeare, eco-Shakespeare, theatre history, the theory and practice of arts criticism, festival culture, and undergraduate pedagogy. He holds a PhD from the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham (UK), and an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford. Professor Prescott will teach classes in drama, theatre, literature and ecology, and Shakespeare. 

Learn more about all our faculty here.