Dr. Susan C. Méndez

Professor, Department Chair

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
M.A., Fordham University, Bronx, NY
B.A., Pace University, New York, NY


Dr. Susan C. Méndez, is a proud graduate of both Catholic education (K-12 and MA) and private secular/public education (BA and PhD). She teaches multi-ethnic American literature at The University of Scranton. Many of her courses support the Women's & Gender Studies, Latin American & Latinx Studies, and Peace & Justice Studies Programs here at the University. She has served as the chair of the English & Theatre department and the former Latin American & Women's Studies department and as director of the formerly titled, Latin American Studies Program. Her research primarily addresses feminist discourse and Latinx literary texts, namely novels, and has appeared in the following peer-reviewed journals: Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction; Ciberletras: Revista de Critica Literaria y de Cultura; Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism; Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures; Latin American Literary Review; Label Me Latina/o; Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy; Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal; Letras Hispanas: Revista de Literatura y Cultura; Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura; Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies; Chicana/Latina Studies; Afro-Hispanic Review; and MaComère: The Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars. In the past, Méndez’s research focused on the cultural significance of African diaspora spiritual practices in Latinx literature. She also has published a series of articles about the connection between Latinx philosophy and Latinx literature, specifically the relationship between love and social justice. Now, Méndez works on two new projects: one article about the reconciliation and refashioning of the Black feminist practice of self-care in contemporary Latinx literature and another article about creating new rhetoric for migration discourse.

Dr. Méndez currently teaches the following courses:


ENLT 129 Literature & Social Justice

3 cr. (CL, D)

An introductory study of drama and fiction analyzing issues of social justice and the social, political, and/or structural dimensions of these issues which have been used to impede the establishment of social justice. Topics studied may include race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability issues, age-ism, and war/violence.

ENLT 135X FYS-Feminism and Jesuit Education

3 cr. (FYS, CL, D)

This course introduces first-year students to the histories and practices of feminism and Jesuit education. In learning about what drives each approach, the student discovers the points where feminism and Jesuit education intersect: 1) transformational education geared at social justice, 2) the embrace of diversity, and 3) common teaching practices.

ENLT 137X FYS-Race & Social Justice

3 cr. (FYS, CL, D)

The purpose of this course is to understand race as a social construction and comprehend how race is a central element in the realization of social justice. Several works by authors that detail what ii is like to live a "raced" existence and works about Jesuit education will be read.

ENLT 250 Multi-Ethnic American Literature

3 cr. (EPW, CL, D, Area G)

Readings will be drawn primarily from Native American, Asian American, African American and Latina/o writings. The class will trace common themes and questions such as what it means to be "American", gender identity, the conflict of cultural identities, alienation and assimilation.


ENLT 252 Latinx Literature

3 Cr. (CL, D, EPW, Area G)

(Pre-Requisites: any ENLT course between 120 - 179)

This course can explore a variety of genres and authors within the writing of Latino/as in the United States. Topics can include: identity formation and negotiation in terms of language, race, gender, sexuality, and class; immigration and migration; exile and diaspora; colonialism and de-colonialism; and the rolde and value of cultural production/art.

ENLT 253 Asian American Literature

3 cr. (Prerequisite: any ENLT course between 120-179 or permission of the instructor)

This course is an in-depth study of Asian-American literature. a variety of genres and authors can be explored. This examination will entail discussion of topics such as the notion of model minority; identity formation in terms of language, race, gender, sexuality, and class; and experiences of war, colonialism, and diaspora.

ENLT 255 African-American Literature

3 cr. (EPW, CL, D, Prerequisite: ENLT 140, Area G, A-2 or A-3 dependent on course syllabus and approval of chair).

This course is an in-depth study of African-American literature. A variety of genres and authors can be explored. This examination will entail discussion of critical topics such as slavery and its legacy, racial identity, and the meaning of freedom.


ENLT 260 Women of Color: Literature & Theory

3 cr. (Area G, Theory Intensive)

This course introduces the intermediate student to the critical and creative writings by women of color. These texts convey women of color's unique subjectivities. Discussion topics include themes of the body and storytelling, the ideas of self and communal preservation, and the political and cultural negotiation of multiple communal memberships.

ENLT 310J Literature of the 21 Century

3 cr. (CL, D, EPW) Prerequisites: Any ENLT 200 level course; any ENLT 100-179 course; or permission of instructor. Student should have some college-level experience in the reading, critical discussion, and critical writing of literature.

This course explores Anglophone literature of the 21st century. A variety of genres and authors can be addressed. The course's main focus will be on experiences of alterity and oppression, but the readings and assignments will highlight practices of resistance, simultaneously. Such examination fits within and supports the perspective of Jesuit teaching on social justice.

SJLA students only.

ENLT 375 The Works of Toni Morrison

3 cr. (CL, D, Prerequisites: Any 200-level course or Permission of instructor)

This course will examine the works of Toni Morrison, a major figure in both African-American and Contemporary American Literature. In reading her novels, primarily, and her essays, students will discover Morrison’s unique elaboration of critical concepts and themes within the discipline of literature. Reading list can vary with each course offering.

ENLT 490-491 Senior Seminar

3 cr. (W)

The topics of these writing-intensive seminars vary from semester to semester. Based largely on student writing, presentations, and discussion, this capstone course is required in the major and culminates in the student's development of a seminar paper. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 15 students per section.

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