Adena Rivera-Dundas



Assistant Professor

Adena Rivera-Dundas

Contact Information

Office Location: Logan (RWST 204A)


Adena Rivera-Dundas’s research examines how Black American scholars, poets, and novelists deploy personal archives to disrupt oppressive epistemologies. Working at the intersections of personal narrative, Black feminisms, and affect studies, she examines the ways in which authors such as Jesmyn Ward, Saidiya Hartman, Claudia Rankine, Kiese Laymon, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Marquis Bey use embodied experience as evidence to create intimacy with readers while simultaneously resisting easy, unearned access to Black subjectivities. As she argues in her current book project, “Intimate Scholarship: Black Feminist Epistemology and the Contemporary Autobiographical Turn,” this deployment of the personal illuminates the embodied production of knowledge within and as a means of challenging oppressive systems. By foregrounding the body—in particular the Black female body—as the starting point for engaging with critical questions of race, gender, and justice, she destabilizes generic expectations in pursuit of new modes for reading and writing intimate scholarship. Building on her article titled “Ecological Engagement in a Pixelated World” (Ecozon@ 2017), her next project extends her explorations of embodied Black feminist epistemologies into the realms of speculative fiction. As a professor, Dr. Rivera-Dundas encourages students to create communities of caring that empower students to bring their complete lived experiences to classroom discussions. By adopting a philosophy of evidence-based teaching practices drawn from the pedagogy of bell hooks and Paulo Freire, Dr. Rivera-Dundas’s classes center the emotional, mental, and intellectual health of students. She teaches classes that focus on building and refine the tools of literary analysis (2600) as well as the newly-created upper level class focused on African American literature (4380).