Melissa Johnson

​​On April 13, Southwestern University’s Upsilon Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), hosted its AKA Spirit of Giving Virtual Awards Ceremony. The awards were presented to faculty members and a deserving student leader for their commitment to supporting students of color on the Southwestern University campus. The awards are given in honor of the philanthropic deeds of Vice President for University Relations and Strategic Initiatives Paul Secord and his family. This year’s recipients were Eugenia Gabrielle Agobe ’22, psychologist and Assistant Director of the Counseling and Health Center Rachel McNally, Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, Professor of Spanish and Chair of Latin American and Border Studies Carlos De Oro, Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron, Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore, and Assistant Professor of Sociology Erika Grajeda. For more details, see the event program.

—April 2022

Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson’s review of Rajeshwari Dutt’s book Empire on Edge: The British Struggle for Order in Belize during Yucatán’s Caste War, 1847–1901 was recently published in The American Historical Review.

—February 2022

Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson was invited to join the editorial board of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, the leading journal for political and legal anthropology. She will serve a three-year term.

—February 2022

Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson organized and participated in a roundtable session cosponsored by the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the American Ethnology Society titled “Embodying Praxis: Everyday Work Toward a Liberatory Anthropology” at the 2021 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 20. One of the other roundtable participants was Cristina Alcalde, formerly of Southwestern, who now is vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion and professor of global and intercultural studies at Miami University in Ohio.

—November 2021

Southwestern University was well represented at the 11th Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, held October 20–23 in Baltimore, Maryland. The SU Racial History Project presented a panel featuring research from both 2020 and 2021 SCOPE projects. The panel included:

    • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson: “The Southwestern Racial History Project: An Overview”
    • Kristine Velez’22 (Anthropology): “McKenzie College: A Plantation on the Edge of Indigenous Territory”
    • Saul Zuniga’22 (History): “Soule University, Slavery, and the Confederacy”
    • Juan Mojica’22 (Anthropology): “Hispanics, Methodism, and the Reproduction of Whiteness”
    • Rini Mannankara’22 (Political Science and Anthropology): “The Presence and Representation of Blackness in the 1960s and 1970s at Southwestern University”

In addition, SU alumna Esther S. Ramos-Garcia ’19 (Latin American and Border Studies), who is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies program, presented “Accompanando Ninos Migrantes ‘No Accompanados’: A Feminist Geopolitical Perspective on Central American Unaccompanied Minors in U.S. Long-Term Foster Care (LTFC)” as part of a panel titled “Asylum in Crisis.”

—October 2021