2007 Fellowships

Summer Graduate Student Fellows

Angela Kong
"Study of Diversity in California's Public Universities, 2007: The Experiences of Students of Color" interrogates the role diversity plays in shaping California public universities in a post-Prop 209 era.

Ben Balthaser
"It Did Happen Here: Anti-Imperialism and Imperial Memory in the California Popular Front" examines the ways in which the cultural memory of empire within California shaped political mobilizations in the state during the "long popular front" of the 1930s.

Erin Malone
"Petrified Visions: Public Service and "The California Idea." Through what John Douglass has deemed "The California Idea," the state has been a national leader in the development of higher public education. By outlining a tripartite goal of research, training, and public service the state of California has sought to make broad access to higher education possible. A state in constant demographic, cultural, and economic flux the activities of the University of California to fulfill that mission have had to evolve with the changes. This presentation examines the changing parameters of the University of California public service mission and the challenges and conflicts that have arisen because of these changes.

Heidi Hoechst
"Wasted Time and Worthless Space: Reconstructions of Slavery and the Public Management of Stratification" examines how the development of Yosemite National Park functioned as a reconstruction strategy for retaining the unbalanced social relationships of U.S. slavery in new forms of social stratification that were mediated in an emergent tourist economy of the nineteenth century.

Martha D. Escobar
"Prison Borderlands: Policing Immigrant Motherhood and Controlling American Borders"
examines the role of prisons in immigration control. In providing this analysis, she aims to make visible how prisons have become sites where national borders and boundaries are negotiated.

Neel Ahuja
"Between the Primitive and The Peril: Jack London, Leprosy, and the Racialization of Hawaiians and Chinese in California" examines sentimentalization of Hawaiians as primitives who have escaped the excesses of capitalist modernity ultimately reinforces the imperial logics of racial knowledge as it positions Hawaiians against white Americans and Asiatics within the Pacific world.

Patricia Tong
"The Effects of California Nurse Staffing Laws: Do Nurse and Patient Outcomes Vary Across Facilities Depending on Socioeconomic and Racial Makeup?" investigates whether California minimum nurse staffing laws in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) differentially affect nurse hours and patient outcomes based on the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic characteristics of the location of a SNF. In 2000, the California state government changed the minimum nurse staffing requirements by increasing the mandatory amount of total nurse hours per patient day and altering the calculation of total nurse hours by placing more weight on Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) hours, which are hours worked by the lowest paid and least skilled type of nurse. A working chapter of Tong's dissertation demonstrates how SNFs achieve the new standard by shifting labor from more skilled nurse labor towards CNAs. In this paper, she demonstrates that the increase in lower skilled nurse hours is more pronounced in SNFs located in underprivileged and racially diverse areas. Second, she explores how the imposition of the 2000 minimum nurse-staffing standard affects patient outcomes as measured by patient mortality, patient turnover, and patient length of stay. Her results do not provide evidence that SNFs in cities with high poverty rates and high minority populations are made particularly worse off due to the new minimum standard. In fact, she finds weak evidence that the new staffing standard causes decreases in patient mortality for treated SNFs regardless of location.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua
“Decolonization and Diaspora:” The Resistance and Insistence of Decolonization Amongst Chamorros in California” provides an overview of this California Chamorro diaspora, and answering the following questions. First, how have Chamorros in California, traditionally either engaged with or rejected notions of decolonization in their community development given the continuing colonial status of their island? Second, how have colonial binaries such as political/cultural, social/political helped structure the ways in which Chamorros in the United States would organize themselves? Lastly, how are young Chamorros today, in their activism using the concept of decolonization, and is this usage relevant and effective?

Rebecca J. Kinney
"Race-ing America's Finest City: From Spanish Fantasy Past to Multicultural Fantasy Future" extends the discussion of ethnic enclaves beyond sites of extreme segregation and tourist destination and examines the interests of the city in not only maintaining such sites, but in creating these sites to serve its economic and discursive purposes. Relying upon planning documents, archival photographs, and interviews this paper examines the ways the city of San Diego, California's late-twentieth century urban redevelopment and back-to-city movements rely upon notions of multiculturalism as celebration and the production of ahistoric history.

Aimee Bahng
"On Flying Sombreros and Illegal Oranges: A Cultural Study of Migration and Technologies of the Border" examines the "technologies" that maintain, contest, and/or reconfigure the U.S.-Mexico border. Interrogating how science, narrative, and policy inflect border practices, "On Flying Sombreros" asks how border science and science fictions participate in the structuring and restructuring of nation, race, and gender at an inter-American crossroads. Published in 1997 and written in the wake of the implementation of NAFTA, Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange is critical science fiction: alien abduction takes the form of trans-border organ trafficking; disruptions of the space-time continuum include the dragging of the Tropic of Cancer from Mazatlán to Los Angeles; and space ships manifest in the incessant flow of eighteen-wheelers shuttling goods, labor, and culture—both sanctioned and illicit—across the border. This presentation analyzes Yamashita's figuration of the semi truck in tandem with new media artist Alex Rivera's film short on x-ray technology used on border-crossing big-rigs and news media coverage of debates between NAFTA supporters and U.S. truckers' unions. To what extent can all three cultural texts be considered science fictions? How does each example mobilize a different formulation of border technology? How do trucks, in relationship to Paul Gilroy's ships, bring our attention to transcontinental dispersal and migrations across an inter-American landscape?





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