Skip Navigation

Melinda Chen

Skip Side Navigation

Dr. Melinda Chen

Assistant Professor,  Women's and Gender Studies

Phone: (405) 325-3973
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Melinda Chen, PhD (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Chen is an interdisciplinary advocate-scholar who specializes in trauma-informed and healing practices in her research and in the classroom. 

Dr. Chen’s scholarship examines sexual violence, queer of color critique, public policy and health, welfare reform, and feminist and queer/ing methodologies. She is currently working on two book projects, Killing Radicalism: Neoliberalism, Normativity & the Anti-Rape Movement (single authored, under contract with NYU Press) and The Reckoning: Indigenous Messages from the Anti-Rape Revolution (co-authored with Sarah Deer, Mvskoke Creek). Killing Radicalism draws on queer of color critique as a theoretical framework to examine the people who help survivors of sexual assault, victim advocates, and understand the ways that they resist and acquiesce to radical activism. The book makes the argument that when advocacy is bound to neoliberal conditions, advocacy resultingly has disparate, re-victimizing effects on marginalized survivors (e.g., BIPOC, LGBTQ+), to the downfall of radical resistance. The Reckoning listens to the stories of 50 Native women and Two Spirit survivors of rape and hate crimes to conceptualize justice on their own terms and develop tangible tribal legal remedies to rape. 

Dr. Chen teaches in the areas of feminist and queer/ing methodologies and theories, violence and crime, social justice, and LGBTQ+ studies. She also has experience teaching in the field of transnational and globalization studies. Students in Dr. Chen’s classroom develop critical thinking around issues pertaining to intimate violence, empowerment, and intersectional identities, and learn to turn these theories into action (social justice praxis). At OU, she has taught the following courses: 

·         Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

·         Social Justice & Social Change 

·         Sex, Race & Violence

·         Feminist Research Methods  

Dr. Chen received her PhD and MA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Kansas and her BA in Global Liberal Studies, concentrating in Law, Ethics & Religion, from New York University.


Chen, M. (2023). “Are you—?” “Are you?” Queer Advocacy at Contemporary Neoliberal Rape Crisis Centers. Violence Against Women 0(0): 1-29. 

Chen, M. (2022). The Compounded2 Nature of the Covid Pandemic on Survivors of Sexual Violence. Social Movement Studies 0(0): 1-7.

Chen, M. (2021). Research Brief: Evaluating Secondary Traumatic Stress on Victim Advocates Using the Helpfulness Rating on Service Intake Forms as a Scale. KU ScholarWorks.