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Shaila Mehra

Shaila Mehra, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Sociology

Shaila Mehra
Shaila Mehra, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology and Office of the Dean
Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building, Room 013
200 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-3251 | shailamehra@vt.edu

Shaila Mehra joined Virginia Tech in July 2020 as both the assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and as an associate professor of practice in the Department of Sociology.

As assistant dean, Mehra will contribute to improving critical thinking, reasoning, and awareness of inclusion and diversity through the university’s Pathways general education curriculum, and she will participate in the university’s strategic planning to attract more students from underrepresented groups.

Mehra’s own research focuses on African American women, with a specialization in black feminist theory.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Mehra had most recently served as director of the Center for Africana Studies and a teaching assistant professor of English at Oklahoma State University. She earned her doctorate in African American literature from the University of Rochester.

  • African American Women
  • Black Feminist Theory
  • African American Literature
  • PhD in English (African American Literature), University of Rochester
  • BA in Art History/English with Honors (dual degrees), Rhodes College
  • Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Fellow, National Endowment for hte Humanities Summer Institute, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  • Dudley Doust Teaching Fellowship, University of Rochester, 2008–09
  • Provost’s Fellowship for Underrepresented Graduate Students, University of Rochester, 2002-08
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes College, 1997

Journal Articles

  • “Recasting the Southern Turn: Alice Walker’s The Third Life of Grange Copeland.” Locating African American Literature. Special issue of South Carolina Review 46.2 (Spring 2014): 67–79.
  • Review of Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance, by Cherene Sherrard-Johnson. MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 33.3 (Fall 2008): 203-05.
  • “Thinking Through Black Post-Nationalism in the Territory.” College Language
    Association annual conference, Dallas, April 2015.
  • “The Territory, Reimagined: Toni Morrison’s Paradise.” MELUS: Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States annual conference, Oklahoma City, March 2014.
  • “Recasting History: Alice Walker’s The Third Life of Grange Copeland.” African American Literature and Culture Society. American Literature Association annual conference, Boston, May 2013.
  • “Seminar: African American Literature since 1970.” Session organizer, Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2013.
  • “Genre, Politics, and Time in the Contemporary Neo-Slave Novel.” African American Literature and Culture Society. American Literature Association annual conference, Boston, May 2011.
  • “The Southern Turn in Postmodern Black Women’s Writing.” Research Forum, Oklahoma State University Program in Gender and Women’s Studies, December 2010.

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