Meredith Heller, PhD
Meredith Heller is Senior Lecturer of Queer Studies in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Northern Arizona University. She specializes in queer theory and critical identity studies, with additional expertise in performance studies and digital media.
Gender and Sexuality: queer theory, critical identity studies, historical sexuality
Media Studies: digital media, discourse analysis
Performance: drag, popular entertainment, performativity
Ph.D. University of California Santa Barbara (Theater Studies, Feminist Studies doctoral emphasis)
M.A. California State University, Sacramento (Theater Studies)
B.A. Pacific Lutheran University (Women’s Studies)
B.F.A. Pacific Lutheran University (Theater)
Introduction to Queer Studies
Women, Gender Identity, and Ethnicity
Advanced Readings in Queer Studies
Controversies in Cross-Dressing (graduate course and Queer Studies capstone levels)
Feminist Media Studies
Sex, Love, and Romance
University Award for Liberal Studies Excellence, NAU 2019
Early Career Teaching Award, Social and Behavioral Sciences, NAU 2019
Most Influential Faculty Member, Gold Axe Award, NAU 2016
Queering Drag: Redefining the Discourse of Gender-Bending. Indiana University Press, 2020.
*Named as one of NBC News’ “10 LGBTQ books to watch out for in 2020”
Bowles Eagle, Ryan and Meredith Heller. “The ‘Camptopia’ Experience: Utopia and Revolution in Media Representations of Alternative Youth Sleepaway Camps.” Social Semiotics (2019): 1-16.
Heller, Meredith. “RuPaul Realness: the Neoliberal Resignification of Ballroom Discourse.” Social Semiotics (2018): 1-15.
Heller, Meredith. “Is She He?: Drag Discourses and Drag Logic in Online Media Reports of Gender Variance.” Feminist Media Studies vol. 16, no. 3 (2016): 445-459.
Heller, Meredith. “Female-Femmeing: a Gender-Bent Performance Practice.” QED: A Journal of LGBTQ Worldmaking vol. 2, no. 3 (2015): 1-23.
Heller, Meredith. “Gender-Bending in El Teatro Campesino (1968–1980): A Mestiza Epistemology of Performance.” Gender & History vol. 24, no. 3 (2012):
“Camp OUTdoors: Utopian Space Creation and Revolutionary Vision of LGBTQ Youth Summer Camps.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting. Atlanta, November 8-11, 2018.
“Twitter Realness: the Social Media Re-Signification of Drag Ballroom Discourse.” The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Annual Meeting. Albuquerque, February 7-10, 2018.
“The Politics of Realness in Contemporary Drag Werk.” The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting. San Diego, April 12-15, 2017.
“Stormé DeLarverie, Stonewall, and the Stakes of Butch Identification.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting. Milwaukie, November 12-15, 2015.
“I Tumbl(r) for You: Confronting ‘Post’ Entrenchment with Praxis-Based Learning.” Console-ing Passions International Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media, and Feminism Annual Meeting. Dublin, June 18-20, 2015.