Melissa Audrey Friedhoff is a graduate student in the Political Science M.A. Program specializing in American Politics and Political Theory. She earned her B.A. in Political Science & English Literature from the University of Virginia in May 2019.
During her time as an undergraduate, she interned for a student-led podcast that discussed research on political speech analysis using quantitative methods. She also assisted Dr. Larycia Hawkins with literature review in her research on the Tea Party in the Trump era. In her fourth year, Ms. Friedhoff completed a thesis in the UVA English Department titled “Contemporary Civic Poetry: Black Bodies in the U.S. Politic,” which explores creative expressions of the Racial Contract and the power of embodied discourse.
Ever since Ms. Friedhoff's community in Charlottesville experienced the Unite the Right rally in August 2017, she became invested in studying far right politics in the U.S., the histories of race and religion in American political development, and the eruption of political violence in public spaces. Her other research interests include the intersections of art and politics, gender-based violence, domestic terrorism, and feminist theory. Outside of earning her degree at Columbia, Ms. Friedhoff volunteers with Read Ahead (a non-profit, reading-based mentorship program for Harlem elementary schools) and tutors with The Ivy Team.