Speed Named Assistant VP for Community Engagement

Shannon Speed, associate professor of anthropology, has been named assistant vice president for community engagement in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin.

As part of her duties, Speed is the director of the DDCE Community Engagement Center in East Austin and is responsible for community partnerships through the Community Engagement Incubator, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, the Regional Foundation Library, the Institute for Community, University and School Partnerships, the DDCE Faculty Fellows Program, the African American Men and Boys Harvest Foundation, and Art and Social Engagement. She remains coordinator of the Indigenous Studies Initiative as well.

"Dr. Speed's outstanding scholarship related to the rights of indigenous peoples, particularly women, and her dedication to social justice and community engagement of underrepresented citizens made her the ideal candidate for promotion within the DDCE," said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. "She has a global perspective on community engagement and takes an interdisciplinary approach in research that will no doubt influence many of us on campus."

Speed's research and teaching interests include human and indigenous rights, gender, feminist theory and activist research. She has worked for the last decade and a half in Mexico and has published numerous articles and four books, including "Rights in Rebellion: Human Rights and Indigenous Struggle in Chiapas" (Stanford University Press, 2007), "Human Rights in the Maya Region" (Duke University Press, 2008) and "Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas" (UT Press, 2005).

Speed has been involved in a collaborative project that looks at the experience of indigenous women in the U.S., Mexico, and Guatemala, particularly their struggles for gender justice in the neoliberal context. She has recently begun a project to produce an edited volume, Human Rights in the Heart of Texas, which looks at the numerous ways human rights are violated, including family immigration detention, immigrant worker rights, the death penalty and community health care.

Speed received a doctor's degree in anthropology and Native American studies from the University of California, Davis. She holds a master's degree in anthropology from UC Davis, a master's degree in Latin American studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in international relations from San Francisco State University. She was a visiting professor and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame before coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2006.