Vanessa Holford Diana’s research focuses on American writers of color and the uses of fiction in cultural identity expression and political reform. Her research also explores the connection between writing instruction and civic engagement. Professor Diana has published essays on 19th, 20th, and 21st century U.S. women writers of color, including Susan Power, Sui Sin Far, Frances Harper, Pauline Hopkins, Gloria Naylor, Zitkala Sa, Paula Gunn Allen, Louise Erdrich, and Leslie Marmon Silko, as well as essays on teaching writing in interdisciplinary, place-based contexts. Her most recent publications appear in Gale Researcher, Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing, Studies in American Indian Literature, and the collection Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds (University Press of New England), which won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize as the best anthology about African American women’s history. Professor Diana also contributes to Westfield State’s own Massachusetts Historical Journal as book review author, peer reviewer, and proofreader. Her writing courses often immerse students in the local community for civic engagement projects, and her courses in multicultural American literature introduce students to the literature of diverse cultures within the U.S. Professor Diana’s seminars in the Honors Program and Graduate Program have focused on the City of Westfield as Text, and Black American, Native American, and other multicultural American literatures. Professor Diana regularly organizes readings and lectures by visiting artists to complement her courses. Professor Diana also serves as Assistant Director to the Honors Program.