Click on the names below to read about each of the current graduate students in the Ethnic Studies Department at UCSD
Education: BA in Sociology, MA in African Studies from UIUC.
Research Interests: Critical Refugee Studies, African American Studies, Transnationalism, Immigration, U.S Imperialism, Asian American Studies, Black Feminist Theory.
Research: The flight of Somali refugees is situated within the conflicts of the cold war and the post-9/11 context and the resulting appropriations of black and brown bodies. Through my research I will critique the refugee narrative that portrays the United States and other western countries as neutral recipients of refugees. Rather, I will investigate the role of U.S. Empire in the production of Somali refugees; particularly by looking at the U.S military intervention in Somalia with the 1993 Operation Restore Hope. I am also specifically interested in Somali activist organizations such as the Somali Youth League of City Heights as they construct a counter-hegemonic narrative of the Somali diaspora. I am interested in utilizing ethnographic methods and historical archives to investigate questions of U.S imperialism as linked to Somali immigration.
Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. Political Science and Gender Studies
Research Interests: Palestinian women's social movements, transnationalism, state and gender violence
Research: I aim to thoroughly investigate the critical relationships that have existed between forms of state violence enacted against African American women and Palestinian women, as well as the strategies of opposite that women in both contexts have developed. Furthermore, I aim to explore the interplay between state and domestic regimes of gender violence in the context of racial terror and freedom movements.
Interests: Her research interests examines a set of films, laws, historical figures and documents through the combined frameworks of disability studies and black studies to ask how ideas about race have constructed disability as a social and medical category, and produced a proper subject of disability. She is interested in where the law, medicine, and cultural production converge to produce difference.
Education: B.A. Global and International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Research Interests: Critical University Studies, critical race theory, radical theory, Middle Eastern Studies, SWANA/Middle Eastern-American Studies, postcolonial theory, SWANA Feminisms, social movements and Indigenous Studies.
Research: I hope to critically examine the domestic and foreign regimes of American terror in the Southwest Asian/North Afrikan region and their relationship to the University. I hope to connect these explorations with a critical race intervention that unites the conception of the corporatization of the University to larger State apparatuses of violence with particular focus on dissecting how this relationship requires the containment of resistance, containment that historically serves to as the lifeblood of racism, colonialism and imperialism. I am here because I am an Armenian-American woman from Los Angeles committed to radical resistance for our collective liberation
Education: BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies, MA in American Studies from Washington State University.
Research Interests: Black Diaspora Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies, Transnationalism, Black Popular Culture, Aesthetic Production, Critical Resistance Studies, Black Feminist Theory and Affective Labor Theory.
Research: My research considers alternate theories of the Black diasporia and links Black Freedom struggles in the US and Anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa through their connections with aesthetics and cultural production. My particular interests are in highlighting Black diasporic connections through the politics of Black popular culture and resistance between post Civil Rights US and post Apartheid (“Born Free”) South Africa. Through the mediums of music, poetry, dance and fashion I highlight the untold history of the people (artists, activists and the Black popular), organizations and movements that makes visible the connections, inheritances and transmissions between and within contemporary configurations of Black popular culture in the US and South Africa. On a broader scale, this project wishes to add to critical conversations in the fields of Black Diaspora Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies, History, Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies by highlighting the Black diaspora from a lens of aesthetic resistance. In constructing this narrative, I will center the methods of archival research and ethnographic methods as well as a methodology reading practice situated in Black feminist theory.
Education: B.A., Anthropology, Occidental College; M.A., Anthropology, UCSD
Research Interests: My research interests are grounded in understanding how the Pacific World (the geographies consisting of the Pacific Ocean, the Americas, Asia and Oceania) as a place and space of sociopolitical relations has been imagined through physical and conceptual boundaries created by colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism. By bringing into conversation the fields of transnationalism, critical geography, ethnic studies, and postcolonial studies, I want to create alternative imaginaries that focus on decolonizing the boundaries within the Pacific World. My motivation to imagine alternative ways of inhabiting and imagining time, space, mind-body, land, and ocean is to move towards a stance that can theorize beyond the confines of the neo-liberal nation-state and essentialist ideas of personhood that perpetuate regimes of oppression across race, class, sex, citizenship, etc.
Advanced to candidacy in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego
M.A. in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University, 2013
M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from Stony Brook University, 2011
B.A. in Comparative Literature and Spanish Literature from Binghamton University, 2009
Maria Celleri’s dissertation historically trace the growth of capital city Quito, Ecuador in the 1970s as it pertains to ideas of control, decay, and respectability in connection to the debt accrued in this time period. Her work investigate, not so much the effects of rapid growth, as much the discursive formulations of the growth of the city in relation to ideas of decay, control, and respectability. In particular, she focuses on the construction of a large aluminum monument of La Virgen de Legarda in 1976, a 30-meter tall statue that stands atop a hill named “El Panecillo.” The project analyzes both the historical importance of El Panecillo in the foundation of Quito as the capital, alongside the construction of the monument in the 1970s, to coincide with a shift in economic policies at the end of the 20th century. In her work, she pays particular attention to the role of the Inter-American Development Bank [IDB] as one of the largest financers of projects such as the construction of the monument now known as “La Virgen del Panecillo,” and analyzes the relationship between increasing debt and notions of controlling urban decay and fostering respectability.
Tinker Field Research Travel Grant, UCSD, Summer 2016
Friends of the International Center Scholarship, UCSD, Summer 2016
Tinker Field Research Travel Grant, UCSD, Summer 2015
Friends of the International Center Scholarship, UCSD, Summer 2015
Education: Columbia University, B.A. Economics
Research Interests: I am interested in the production of memory in relation to war and US imperialism in Asia, and the commodification of Otherness in backpacking travel.
Education: A.A. Long Beach City College, Liberal Arts B.A. UC Riverside, Chicano Studies M.A. CSU Los Angeles, Chicano Studies
Research Interest: Decolonizing Methodologies, Critical and Feminist Ethnographies, Gender and Sexuality, Immigrant Cultural Production, Digital Humanities, Performance Theory, Theories of Violence, and Transnational Culture.
Research: Through Mexican Regional Music, I study the experience of Latino immigrants in the United States. My past research has focused on corridos, narco-corridos, Banda music and nightclubs. I am currently working on a documentary about Banda music and Jenni Rivera fans in the United States.
Education: BA Westmont College; MA Yale University
Research Interest: psycho-social studies; women of color feminisms; embodied epistemologies and somatic literacies; relational psychoanalysis; critical pedagogy; critical reading practices; creative writing practices; and ethnographies of reading and writing
Research: My research investigates power and transformative pedagogy through bridging analysis of the social and historical with analysis of the psychic and affective. I am particularly interested in the imagination as a site of resistance, creativity, and healing vis-a-vis the structural violences in which we live. To that end, I am currently developing curriculum for teaching feminist ethnic studies traditions through creative writing and contemplative reading practices. As part of this work, I partner with psychodynamic therapists and psychoanalysts to consider how such learning practices need to be informed by knowledges of trauma, identity formations, and depth work
In addition to being a PhD student, I am also a writing doula, a creative writer and essayist, and a feminist critical social theory consultant for teachers and psychodynamic clinicians. I am the editor, with David Leonard and Wade Davis, of Football, Culture and Power (2016).
Education: B.F.A. Drama, Carnegie Mellon University
Research Interests: Southwest Asian migrant communities
Education: BS in Psychology, UIUC, 2010; MA in Ethnic Studies, UCSD, 2013
Doctoral Committee Members: Curtis Marez (Chair), Kirstie Dorr, Sara Clarke Kaplan, Daphne Taylor-Garcia, and Sara Johnson.
In my dissertation project I argue that examining the history, experiences, and lives of black female West Indian migrant laborers from the Caribbean to Central America and the United States reveals the roles that diaspora, globalization, and colonialism have played in the social and political structures of labor, as well as their contributions to the shaping of raced, classed, and gendered ideologies which have worked to establish and maintain social, economic, and spatial orders of the black female body in regards to labor, migration, and (re)production. I also argue that drawing connections between different fields of study such as Black diaspora studies, Caribbean studies, Latin American studies, and gender studies to examine the black female migrant subject is necessary to discussions of migration, blackness, and labor.
Research Interests: Critical Race and Gender Studies, Labor and Migration, Transnationalism, Black Diaspora Studies, Latin American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Afro-Latina/o Studies, Visual Studies.
Education: M.A., UC Los Angeles, Asian American Studies. B.A., CSU Fullerton, Asian American Studies/Women’s Studies
Faculty Mentor: Yen Espiritu
Research Interests: My work is concerned with articulating how the cultural politics of the Cold War continues to function as an epistemological project. This particular moment in history has been refashioned in response to the current war on terror where “hostile” nation states like North Korea have been deemed as “sponsors of terrorism.” Through the discursive practices of national security and human rights, North Korea has entered into a cultural trajectory similar to that of the former U.S.S.R. Through various cultural productions, I want to examine how North Korea itself has been constructed in American discourse. How have these cultural narratives been translated into political positions and foundations for diplomatic engagement with North Korea? As America is settling into a new presidential administration and North Korea is experiencing its own political transition, we face a time of indeterminacy, when new and competing meanings may become visible. Through my project, I wish to focus on dominant and alternative forms of media such as: journalistic accounts, documentaries, internet-based political campaigns, and non-fiction literature have contributed to our understanding of North Korea. Also how these cultural productions have managed its intelligibility in our broader cultural discourse. I want to observe how the convergence of these archives produces narratives that conflict and complement each other regardless of origin or motive. The purpose of my project is to fragment these narratives of nationalism to investigate and interrogate how knowledge production of this particular nation state has seemingly reinvigorated the politics of the Cold War.
Education: B.A., Gender & Women's Studies, University of Arizona (2010)
Research Interests: LeKeisha's research interests focus around theories of sexuality, queer studies, critical race theories, and notions of desire that are articulated in black feminist thought. For her graduate work, she is interested in tracing the ways that white racism is theorized in black feminist accounts of sexuality in order to unpack the psychic and discursive mechanisms that are said to bind black female sexualities to white racist stereotypes. In doing so, she hopes to build upon and critically approach black feminist theories of sexuality by setting up frameworks that take steps toward disidentifying black female sexuality from dominant white conceptions.
Education: MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Music; MA, CSU Los Angeles, Education; BA, University of North Carolina, Music.
Faculty mentor: Kalindi Vora
Research Interests: A former public school teacher, Malathi Iyengar is interested in using theoretical understandings and methodological frameworks from postcolonial studies, empire studies, and transnational ethnic studies to develop new insights into educational practices, processes, policies and institutions. Her dissertation research uses a transnational, relational analytic lens to examine key developments in education in the United States and India during the two decades following World War II. The juxtaposition of Indian and U.S. sites in this project serves to highlight the ways in which these two nation-states constitutively influenced one another in the area of education during the period in question, within a global context of decolonization movements, anti-racist struggles, and the Cold War. The project attends to the transnational circulations – of bodies, commodities, images, ideologies, language, technologies, and financial capital – that created the conditions of possibility for the development of particular arrangements, priorities, institutions and attentions that Indian and U.S. publics would come to regard as “education.” Hence, rather than attempting to compare or contrast “Indian education” and “U.S. education,” this work seeks to illuminate the translocational mechanisms whereby the two have historically called each other into being. In contradistinction to education studies that take the nation-state as a self-contained unit of analysis, Malathi’s research suggests that educational developments in the U.S. and India can be more fully understood using a transnational frame of analysis – one that allows us to see the complex circuitry connecting the two nations, as well as the existence of multiple, sometimes incommensurate, constituencies within each of them."
Education: B.A. in Comparative Literature and Postcolonial Studies, UCLA
Research Interests: Her interests include the study of gender and both legal and cultural constructions of "freedom" post-emancipation in the U.S. South. Her current research focuses on testimonies from former slaves in the U.S. South and the intersecting meanings of "public" memory, childhood, and historical narrative.
Education: B.A. in African-American Studies, University of California, Riverside
Research interests: African-American/Black Studies, Black Radicalism, Critical Race Theory, Ontology, Policing, Prison Abolition, Slavery, Genocide, Literature, Visual Culture, and Gender.
Education: B.A. University of Southern California, English Literature and American Studies & Ethnicity
Research Interests: Structural violence and capitalism, Central American studies, Salvadoran diaspora, the appropriation of alternative healing traditions, decolonial Literature and pedagogy.I'm generally fascinated by the literature, poetry and visual culture emerging from queer of color and diaspora communities. I speak through cultural production to illuminate how capitalism's insatiable push for new markets violently instigates displacement and migration in Central America. I'm also deeply inspired by by the healing traditions/imaginaries used to nourish populations in the midst of a dystopian society. Simultaneously, I'm interested in the current proliferation of "new age" culture, and what ramifications this trend beholds for indigenous communities.
Education: B.A. University of California, Los Angeles, 2012
Research Interests: Social justice research; migration; healing processes; metaphysical resistance; memory; (re)imaginings; Testimonios; collaborative and transformative work grounded in social change and empowerment.
Education: Brown University, 2010, B.A in Sociology and Philosophy
Research Interests: postcolonial theory, Marxist urbanism, critical geography, critical race theory, spatial studies, disability studies, medical sociology, borderland studies, political economy.
In my research, I hope to examine the intersections of race, space, health, and the political economy. Specifically, I’m interested in exploring questions of how the built neoliberalized urban environment impacts identity-formation and biopsychosocial health among residents of various racialized and criminalized communities, as well as investigate the potential for revolutionary healing through the formation of resistive identities and ‘counter-spaces.’ I aim to study migrant subjectivities in borderland cities across the Americas, drawing from multiple schools of thought in postcolonial theory, Marxist urbanism, and critical geography.
Jennifer Mogannam is a PhD candidate of Ethnic Studies. For her doctoral research she is working to build a historical tracing of power in the Arab world on regional and global levels, particularly through examining Cold War and Post-Cold War dynamics in Arab regional politics in relation to on-the-ground life and struggle, movement work, and cross-movement building with Third World Movements globally.
Dissertation Committee: Daphne Taylor-Garcia (Chair), Yen Le Espiritu, Dennis Childs, Kalindi Vora, Jodi Kim.
M.A. Thesis: LNM–PLO Alliance: Unified Interests, Divided Power
B.A. Thesis: Ramallah and the Palestinian Authority: A Rising Elite and Its Societal Effects
Languages: English, Arabic
Areas of Interest: Decolonization; Cold War; Arab Social and Political Movements; (Arab) Regional and Global Configurations of Power; Settler–Colonialism; Indigeneity; Colonial, Neo-Colonial, Neo-Liberal and Imperialist Impacts in the Arab World; Global Capital; Palestinian Refugeehood and Critical Refugee Studies; Functions and Repressive Practices of the State/Various State Structures; Transnationalism; Security and Surveillance of Arab Populations
Mogannam, Jennifer, and Leslie Quintanilla. "Borders are Obsolete: Relations Beyond the ‘Borderlands’ of Palestine and US-Mexico." American Quarterly 67.4 (2015): 1039-1046.
Affiliations: Critical Immigration and Refugee Studies Research Group – UC San Diego.
Education: BA in Journalism & Media Studies, Rutgers University (2002) MA Sociology, San Diego State University (2008) MA Ethnic Studies, UCSD (2011)
Dissertation Committee: Patrick Anderson (Chair), Sarah Clarke Kaplan, Roshanak Kheshti, Wayne Yang, and Shelley Streeby
Research Interests: Food studies, food movements, cultural studies, performance studies, critical race & gender studies, cultural production, blackness & consumption
Education: International student from Vietnam, BA in Sociology, Hanoi National University of Social Sciences and Humanity, Viet Nam. MA in Sociology, San Diego State University, California.
Research Interests: Critical Pedagogy, Critical Education, US empire, Postcolonial Theories, Third World Feminism, Postmodernism, Globalization and Neoliberalism, Queer Studies, Media, Pop Culture and Fandom.
Bio: I am invested in studying education, both pedagogically and theoretically. I conceptualize education not only as a subject or an institution, but as a site of critique through which to understand the deployment of power. I am interested in developing a theoretical framework that links power/knowledge formation to colonial, imperialist and nationalist projects, and education to alternative ways of being and social justice.
I am also interested in media and pop culture in relation to the production of sexual fluidity, comparing what I believe to be deeply racist and transmisogynist narrative within certain U.S-drag practices with the homoerotic gendered presentation of mainstream Korean pop male stars and Yaoi genre of Japanese Manga.
Education: B.A. Latin American – Latino Studies/Politics, UC Santa Cruz (2007), M.A. Mexican American Studies, CSU Los Angeles (2013)
Research Interests: Race, Immigration, Visual Culture, Chicano Studies, Transnationalism, U.S. – Mexico Transnational Networks, Undocumented Student Movements, Diaspora Studies
Faculty Mentor: Curtis Marez
Education: My family. Cross-Cultural Center UCSD. B.A. International Studies & Ethnic Studies UCSD 2011
Advisor: Kirstie Dorr
Research Interests: Critical pedagogy, schooling, transnationalism, European of color youth organizing, music & poetry, anti/de-colonialisms, indigenous epistemologies, climate change, critical geographies, movement organizing and love
Education: B.A., Urban Studies, San Diego State University (2013)
Faculty mentor: Kirstie Dorr
Research Interests: Chamorro diaspora and decolonization, immigration and critical refugee studies, urban communities, organizing practices, undocumented youth, cannabis consumption and motherhood practices.
Education: B.A. in Gender and Women Studies and B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Arizona
Research Interests: Race, space, and punishment; connections between the spaces of prisons, immigrant detention centers, reservations, ghettos, and borders
Education: Bachelor of Journalism, Ryerson University (2012), MA Communication and Culture, York University (2014)
Research Interests: Settler colonialism, Black feminist thought, Indigenous feminisms, carceral studies, decolonial studies, post-colonial studies, critical gender studies, transnational feminisms, social justice research, political economy, Marxism, media representation
Research: Utilizing theories of settler colonialism, I aim to investigate the racialized nature of imprisonment of Black and Indigenous women in Canada and the US examining the ways in which the Prison Industrial Complex affects and is propelled by the presence of racialized women in those spaces. Moreover, I am interested in women-led activist organizations engaged in prison abolition work and modes of resistance to carceral regimes.
Education: B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and Political Science, San Francisco State University (2007); graduate coursework in Comparative Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University (2007-2009); M.A. in Ethnic Studies, University of California- San Diego (2013), ABD Ethnic Studies, University of California- San Diego (2015).
Dissertation Chair: Dr. K. Wayne Yang
Indigenous Studies; Autonomy and Decolonization; Chicana/Latina Feminisms and Native Feminisms; Movement, Migration and Belonging; Non-Western and Indigenous Political Thought; Social Justice Organizing Practices; Social Pedagogy and Popular Culture; Radical Learning; Art and Media in Social Movements; Land and Environment
I provide facilitation, workshops, popular education curriculum, research, and strategic consultation for community organizations and activists in the U.S. and abroad. I am also the current director of the UCSD Community and Labor Project: labor.ucsd.edu
Additional Research Topics Include:
Catholic Mission System and Catholic Indian Schools
The Colonial Regulation of Indigeneity and Mixed-Race Identity in the U.S. and Mexico
Transformative Justice and Community Accountability
U.S.-Mexico Border and Indigenous Nations
Theorizations of Brownness and Settler Colonialism
Proposed Dissertation Title: Beyond Nation: Politics of abolition, decolonization, and fugitivity in the transnational Mexican revolution
Proposed Dissertation Abstract:
At a time when some trajectories in Ethnic Studies discourse are arguing against the possibility of conjoined struggles across politics of abolition, Indigenous sovereignty, and fugitive migrations this dissertation seeks to examine a historical moment when activists worked to unite these very concerns. The 1910 Mexican revolution was a moment when common people and revolutionaries created anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist political projects that exceeded the nation-state. Rather than assuming that these projects led towards a common decolonial movement or a romanticized notion of unity, I examine what the differences and possible points of strategic alliance were between these projects that could provide us with a new lens through which to understand the historical tensions that have arisen between Indigenous, Black, and migrant communities. This project also considers what political possibilities emerge from this historical context that could bridge the politics of abolition and decolonization through an examination of political documents, movement journalism, popular culture texts such as teatro and poetry, and archival records of people of color and Indigenous resistance during the time period of 1900 to 1930 in both English and Spanish in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
I argue that political and cultural texts and archival records reveal that solidarity efforts lead by white allies to the Mexican revolution marginalized the impact of Indigenous and radical Black thought to the revolution. However, when people of color and Indigenous concerns are centered it can be seen that the Partido Liberal Mexciano, the Zapatistas/agrarian movement, and other revolutionary movements began to articulate slavery, white supremacy, and settler colonialism as co-constituted processes of subjection that specifically impacted racialized peoples of the Americas. In the Mexican revolution anti-slavery, anti-genocide, anti-Eurocentricity, and anti-racist discourses were utilized as major justifications for the abolishment of the colonial nation-state and the capitalist system. Additionally, the enslavement and state-sponsored genocide of Indigenous peoples in both the U.S. and Mexico created a discursive context where it became impossible for Mexican activists to de-articulate slavery from white supremacist settler colonialism and Indigenous genocide. The U.S. racial context challenged Mexican activists in exile to rethink the Spanish racial caste system, often through attempts to reclaim Indigeneity or to develop a “brown” politic of resistance to racism in relation to radical Blackness in contrast to the rise of Indigenismo and assimilationist articulations of mestizaje. I conclude with the question of futurity in the Mexican revolutionary project as a possibility beyond settler utopias of assimilation, citizenship, heteropatriarchy. This can be best seen through the current day Mayan Zapatista movement’s return to the politics of a decolonial revolution beyond the nation-state in Mexico where politics of Indigenous decolonization, radical abolition, and transformative justice have been reframed as the legacy of the 1910 revolution.
Introduction to Native American Studies.
Race and Social Movements..
The Science and Critical Analysis of Environmental Justice. (co-instructor)
Comparative Border Studies: Palestine and Mexico. (co-instructor)
“Chapter 15: Offering our stories: resistance narratives and the marketing of justice.” Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change. Ed. Andrew Jolivette. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. 2015.
When Social Media Becomes Social Justice: Denuncias Inside/Outside of Chicano/a Studies. Amrah Salomón J. Chicana/Latina Studies. Spring 2014.
Book Review. Who Speaks for Hispanics? Hispanic Interest Groups in Washington by Deirdre Martinez. Black Politics in a Time of Transition. National Political Science Review, Vol. 13, 2011. Ed. Michael Mitchell and David Coven. p. 149-152.
Education: B.A. in Human Biology (Race and Gender), Brown University (2013)
Research Interests: Visual Arts, Empire, Queer Theory, Affect Theory, Performance Studies, Political Economy, and Postcolonial Theory/Literature.
Education: B.A., University of Maryland
Research Interests: Vineeta is trying to think about world literature, conscientious consumption, and service trips to the Third World as texts consumed at U.S. universities. Beginning from the idea that the consumption of these ‘texts’ posits the student reading them in an affective relationship with the Third World Other outside of or unrelated to global politics, U.S. militarism, and the International Division of Labor, Vineeta’s trying to focus on how the presence, absence, legibility, and illegibility of the figure of racialized mothers in these transnational texts (i.e. as they are presented for the consumption of the proper subject of knowledge-power within the neoliberal Anglo-normative U.S. university) serves in cohering the U.S. university student as the proper subject of globalized neoliberal multiculturalism.
She wants to ask questions that look like the following: how does the presentation of these racialized mother figures reify the ‘fictional’ subject-positions as figures of consumable difference while simultaneously eliding the presence of coeval Third World subjects – whose material conditions of precarity create the material conditions of possibility for the university itself – in the same global space (economic palimpsest) as the reading subject? What would a methodology that begins with these figures – not as the literal and lateral limits of these texts but – as integral to their internal logic look like? What would its political consequences be?
Education: B.A. English, University of California, Riverside; M.A. English, Cal State Long Beach
Research Interests:Her current project examines the effects of US cultural production on the development of queer space in Tijuana, MX, as well as the Tijuanense response to the US's narrative of the city and it's queer communities.This work juxtaposes critical analyses of cultural texts with ethnographic interviews.
Education: B.A. Political Science, University of Nevada Las Vegas (2008); M.A. Latin American Studies (History), UC San Diego (2014).
Research Interests: traditional/sacred knowledge, critical pedagogy, Indigenous education, transnational/borderlands, Latin American history/literature, indigenismo, Marxism, decolonial studies.
Research: Jael Vizcarra is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. Her dissertation is entitled, "En Búsqueda de Posada: Military Rule and the Laotian Resettlement Program in Misiones, Argentina." Jael’s dissertation historicizes the 1979 Southeast Asian refugee resettlement program in Argentina and analyzes the incorporation of Laotian refugees into the Argentine labor force during and after the Argentine military dictatorship. Her research highlights the political origins of displacement and humanitarianism in South America and their relation to U.S. imperialist projects. Jael analyzes the resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees in various Argentine provinces to understand how refugees contest their ascribed role as objects of compassion and intervention.
Jael's scholarship is informed by comparative racial formation theories, Asian-American Studies, and Critical Refugee and Immigration Studies. Her research gestures towards a transnational reading of the US-centric and universalizing category of "Asian-American" by elucidating the geopolitical implications of South American racial formations that produce Asians beyond US-based racial logics and categories.
Her work has appeared in Amerasia and the popular historiography blog Tropics of Meta.
Education: B.A. Comparative Ethnic Studies - Washington State University (2011); M.A. Ethnic Studies - University of California, San Diego (2013)
RXA Williams is a MC/thinker/geographer from the Central District, Seattle WA. His research interests cohere around intersections of G/geography, blackness, gender, and sound studies focusing specifically on productions of modernity in relation to the period between Post-Reconstruction and the Great Migration in the United States. Since 2006 he has released several mixtapes under the name Xyz(X), including the forthcoming Reel/Deal/HOLYfield (2014).
“As a scholar it was never my purpose to exhaust the subject, only to suggest that it was there.” – Cedric Robinson
Education: M.A., CSU Los Angeles, Chicana/o Studies. B.A., UC Irvine, East Asian Studies
Faculty mentor: Adria Imada
Research Interests: Chicano/a and comparative Ethnic Studies, but more specifically how marginalized/subaltern/ migrant peoples voice their multiple identities within the labor sites/spaces of Southern California. This analysis pays particular attention to tracing historical and current state (both U.S. and Mexican) constructions of gender, sexuality and race within the various (dis)connected migratory/labor spaces present in the chain of Mexican/U.S. migration and movements.
Learn more about the Ethnic Studies Ph.D. Alumni.