2006 Fellowships

Summer Graduate Student Fellows

Benita Brahmbhatt, Ethnic Studies Department
“Shifting Borders: Race, Im/migration, and Citizenship in an Era of U.S. Expansion, 1848-1898” aims to understand Chinese immigration exclusion by examining earlier federal policies and judicial decisions relating to the management of African Americans and Native Americans within the U.S. In the decades bound by the Mexican American War (1848) and the Spanish American War (1898), the US government delineated and revised its treatment of racialized populations in accordance with the changing socio-political demands of territorial expansion, capitalist development, and national transformation. The analysis will illuminate how the governmental technologies deployed to manage racialized immigrants are intimately connected to the practices directed at other racialized groups in the U.S.

Maria Cesena , Ethnic Studies Department
“Representing Indigenas and Indians” compares historical and contemporary representations of Mexican and American Indians, asking the questions: “What have been the spaces for inclusion of Indians under projects of nation-building in the US and Mexico during the 1920s-1940w?” And “Who is Indian?” Drawing on a Museum Studies approach, which focuses on the production of knowledge and meaning in museum exhibits and galleries, the project interprets representations of Mexican and American indigeneity in a national space and how that indigeneity translates across borders.

Jason Crum, Department of Literature
“Coalitional Agency and Identity in Los Angeles and Border Region Broadcast Radio, 1929-1945” is a study of Los Angeles and Southern California-based border radio broadcast programs by and for Latina/o and African American communities. The project theorizes how certain Contact Zones of radio broadcasting act as interventions into a white, exceptionalist national identity.

Cecilia Rivas , Ethnic Studies Department
“Post War Developments, Textures of Experience: Call Centers, Online Newspapers, Shopping Centers, and the Imagination of Salvadoran Transnationalism” traces the imagination and production of Salvadoran transnationalism by exploring connections between migration, media, and shifting consumption patterns—global flows evident in the significant expansion of the call center sector, press coverage of migration in the Salvadoran daily La Prensa Grafica, and shopping centers in San Salvador. These sites exemplify the many contradictions and reconfigurations of globalization as lived in communities and institutions.

Kyla Schuller, Department of Literature
“Evolving California: Evolutionary Thinking and California Land Rights” investigates how neo-Lamarckian evolutionary models provided the ideological underpinning of resistance to U.S. nullification of Spanish and Mexican land grants in California after 1848. Drawing on the novels, political writings, and personal correspondence of white reformer Helen Hunt Jackson and wealthy Californio Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, this project demonstrates that these works deploy neo-Lamarckian ideals to figure the individual and social health of Southern California Indians and/or elite Californios as intimately tied to their land rights, which entrenched their property claims within a growing national belief in the biological ‘unfitness’ of Mexicans and Indians.

Jenifer Rae Vernon , Department of Communication
“Making Community with the Deep Communication of Live Poetry at the Millennium” examines the communication of live poetry practiced between performance poets and live audiences during free, public events in cities at the millennium. The project interrogates the communicative practices on which live poetry events rest, such as face-to-face communication, open mics and popular poetry. Live poetry’s emergence in post-industrial, late capitalist urban centers points to its important cultural and political role in bridging new constellations of diverse communities.





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