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Faculty Fellows

We are pleased to announce our 2021-2022 cohort of CAH Faculty Fellows.

Chris Bacon (Environmental Studies and Sciences), “Framing Food Justice: Diverse Perspectives towards Building Back Post-COVID Food Systems with Equity and Resilience.” 

This project engages narrative to address the role of regional food production and expanding food justice networking to scale up urban agriculture. During the fellowship period, the plan is to conduct and analyze interviews with diverse participants in a food justice collaborative that aims to use agroecology, action-research, and strategic planning to expand resilient and equitable food systems in Santa Clara County. To learn more about Professor Bacon and his fellow's project, read the Q&A with him at his profile.

Sonia Gomez (History), “A Gendered Diaspora: Intimacy and Empire in the Making of Japanese America, 1908-1952.” 

This book project explores the complicated and changing race and gender logics that alternately excluded and included Japanese women in the United States. It demonstrates how intimacy (marriage) and empire (immigration policies) intersect in the making of Japanese America in the Twentieth Century, and discusses how marriage -- as a contested mode of immigrant incorporation -- shaped the process of immigration and settlement for women and their families. To learn more about Professor Gomez and her fellow's project, read the Q&A with her at her profile.

Margarita Levantovskaya

Maggie Levantovskaya (English), “Writing Illness and Disability.” 

This project creates and examines narratives about people who are living with chronic illness and disabilities, but who are under-funded, under-researched and under-represented in mainstream media. It focuses on the ethical, social, and aesthetic issues of representing these voices, focusing in particular on lupus patients but also situating their stories in a broader discussion about women and nonbinary individuals and chronic illness, disability activism, and the field of Disability Studies. To learn more about Professor Levantovskaya and her fellow's project, read the Q&A with her at her profile.

Juan Velasco (English), “A Film Treatment/Screenplay Based on Salaria Kea’s Biography.” 

This project will tell the story of Salaria Kea, an African American woman -- and the only African American nurse -- who served in the fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Kea joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the first truly integrated American fighting force in military history, composed of volunteer anti-fascist soldiers, technicians, medical personnel, and others. This screenplay about Salaria Kea will allow for a recounting of not only her story but also the contributions of other women and African-American men who risked their lives to serve in Spain. By sharing the screenplay with national and international scholars and organizations, the hope is that the screenplay will attract the interest of funders, film producers, and filmmakers. To learn more about Professor Velasco and his fellow's project, read the Q&A with him at his profile.

An exciting part of these projects is how they will engage with student, faculty, and community partners. Stay tuned for more details about these collaborations.

Past Faculty Fellows

2020-21 Faculty Fellows

The Center for the Arts and Humanities announces its 2020 Faculty Fellows. This year the Center has encouraged Fellows to explore how they might collaborate on similarly themed projects. More information on those projects and how they will eventually be shared with the compus and community will be forthcoming as circumstances permit. The Fellows will also be working with Student Fellows to be named later.

Michelle Mueller, Religious Studies: Adam the Father, Eve the Mother: The Adam-God Doctrine & 'Heavenly Parents' in Mormonism

Robin Tremblay-McGaw, English (in collaboration with Megan Nicely, Performing Arts, University of San Francisco): The Art of Reflection, Resistance, and Dissensus

Ryan Carrington, Art and Art History: Contradictions-Solo Exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 11/28/20-1/10/21

Roya Ebtehaj, Art and Art History: In-between

Allia Ida Griffin, Ethnic Studies: The Afterlife of Loss: On Writing from the Iranian Diaspora

Danielle Morgan, English: 'A Bogeyman's Family': The Black Uncanny in the 21st century

Tricia Creason-Valencia and Emily Reese, Communication: A Short Film: ¡Aguas!

2019-20 Faculty Fellows

Renee Billingslea, Art and Art History: Ten Japanese Concentration Camps. 

Katharine Heintz, Communication: Saint Clare School media project

Jackie Hendricks, English, Theresa Conefrey, English,  Maura Tarnoff, English,:  A Humanities Annotation App

Mathew Kroot: Anthropology, Treasures of the Old Quad: Tangible and intangible heritage in a Santa Clara neighborhood

Kristin Kusanovich, Theater and Dance and Child Studies: Sustainability and Environmental Justice project

Roberto Mata, Religious Studies:  Latinx Religious Art & The Degentrification of Aesthetics in San Jose

Danielle Morgan, English: Frank Sinatra Fellow

Nico Opper, Communication and Sonja Mackenzie, Public Health, Gender Justice.

David Popalisky  Theater and Dance: Water

Enrique Pulmar, Sociology

Julia A. Scott, Neuroscience: Controlling your reality: Transforming ancient meditative practices into a virtual reality experience 

2018 Frank Sinatra Faculty Fellow

Danielle Morgan, Assistant Professor of English 

Danielle Morgan specializes in African American literature in the twentieth and twenty-first century. She is particularly interested in the ways that literature, popular culture, and humor shape identity formation. Her writing has been published on Racialicious, in Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity after Civil Rights, Humanities, and is forthcoming in Afterlife in the African Diaspora and Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly. She has recently completed a manuscript entitled Just Kidding: African American Satire, Selfhood, and the 21st Century.

2018 Faculty Fellows

Renee Billingslea, Lecturer, Art and Art History Department

Project: Ten Japanese Internment Camps

This project will create a “comprehensive picture of this part of American and California history, bringing together imagery of the campsites today, historical imagery, and stories of the people who were imprisoned in each camp, demonstrating the depth and magnitude of Order 9066.

Renee Billingslea received her MFA in Photography from San Jose State University and teaches in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University. Her Nationally known installation, The Fabric of Race: Racial Violence and Lynching was recently on exhibit at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Currently, Billingslea is creating a photographic installation, entitled Ten Internment Camps that address the unjust incarceration of Japanese Citizen living in the United States during WWII. The installation will include her imagery of each of the ten Interment Camp sites, as well as historical photographs helping to tell a complete story of this part of American history, and its impact on racism and immigration issues today. 


Blake de Maria, Harold and Edythe Toso Professor, Art and Art History Department

Project: The Built Environment: Architectural History in the Digital Age

Utilizing her training as an architectural historian, Blake de Maria plans to develop a technology-based course and digital exhibition entitled "The Built Environment: Architectural History in the Digital Age." The course will focus on the historical development of three categories of public spaces – educational, commercial, and industrial – with a specific emphasis on structures on the Santa Clara campus and in Silicon Valley. Students will create a digital exhibition showcasing architectural developments on campus as well as those built at neighboring institutions, including Apple, Google, and Adobe. The exhibition will be accompanied by a GuidiGo app that will offer additional information concerning the exhibition, as well as materials concerning spaces of architectural interest in Silicon Valley.

Dr. de Maria received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, where she specialized in Islamic Art, and then attended Princeton University where she continued her focus on the early modern Mediterranean.  Her publications include the books, Becoming Venetian: Immigrants and the Arts in Early Modern Venice (Yale 2010) and Reflections on Renaissance Venice: Essays in Honor of Patricia Fortini Brown - which was awarded the Gladys Krieble Delmas Award by the Renaissance Society of America as well as essays on The Oracles of Leo the Wise and the material culture of dining in early modern Venice.  She is currently completing the manuscript, "Facets of Splendour: Gemstones and Jewellery in the Republic of Venice." In this study, she explores the mining, trade, and use of precious stones in a variety of venues, including the Treasury of San Marco in Venice.


Angela Holzmeister, Lecturer, Classics Department

Project: Interdisciplinary Conversations on Ancient Art in the Modern World

This project involves conversations between academics and local museum curators, disseminated via podcasts. The goal is to explore “the ethics of finding and acquiring objects, the presentation of artifacts, and the history of collections, as well as issues of identity, nationalism, and repatriation”.

Angela Holzmeister is Lecturer in the Classics Department, where she teaches Ancient Greek and Latin at all levels, as well as courses on mythology, friendship, and ethics. Her research focuses on Greek Imperial literature. She is also co-organizer of the upcoming SCU event "The Ethics of Collecting Art" (May 11, 2018), which is supported through a Hackworth Grant.


2017 Faculty Fellows

  • Elizabeth Drescher, Religious Studies: Living Religions Collaborative Multimedia Website Development
  • Teresia Hinga, Religious Studies: Religion and The Arts in (global) Silicon Valley: Building Resilience and Hope Through (Sacred) Song, Dance and Story Among (The African) Diaspora(s)
  • Kristin Kusanovich, Theater and Dance:  Art and Democracy
  • Amy Lueck, English: Extending Digital Archival Research on our Campus
  • Takeshi Moro, Art and Art History: Digital Storytelling through Virtual Reality Video Art
Several of these projects will also involve faculty and staff collaborators serving as Associate Fellows as well as Student Fellows.