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Fellow Profiles

 

Charlie DiNapoli

Charlie DiNapoli ‘24 (Studio Arts) “Shrines” (Advised by Pancho Jiménez, Studio Art)

Charlie will create a series of 6-10 works in ceramics/mixed media that explore his own religious and emotional experiences, ranging from frustration and anger to boredom and despair. The pieces will be sculpted semi-self-portraits displayed in frames that resemble the out-coves that hold religious figures in traditional settings. Charlie plans to enter these works into juried shows and to prepare for his senior show in the Spring.

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I began my current project last winter when writing about the Della Robbia family from Florence. One of the motifs that began to stand out to me was that of a place of reverence, specifically altars and altar shapes. One would believe that every figure of a saint or of Mary is flawless and to be looked to in a time of need. But we are all human and make mistakes: who would we put into an altar today and what is worth that kind of reverence? Exploring these questions is what has been inspiring my current works and specifically my series of shrines. 

    

Which artists (in any field) have had the most influence on you and why?

As previously mentioned, I have gained inspiration from the Della Robia family and their religious subject matter and themes. Additionally, I draw inspiration from Robert Arneson and his use of self as a subject. Most importantly, however, I gain inspiration from all my teachers, and their guidance in creating a sustainable practice for myself in the arts.

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience you have had in a humanities or arts course at SCU. What did you learn or take away from it? How did it change you?

One of the teachers I am speaking of is Pancho Jimenez. As a freshman I tried to sign up for a basic ceramics class in my second quarter, I was feeling creativity-starved and desperate to get back in the studio. The class was full at the time so I sent an email to the professor but never got a response. I then made an appointment at the Drahmann Center to get advice on what to do. It turns out I made the appointment with Pancho, who told me that I had emailed the wrong professor and that he was actually the teacher of the course I was trying to enroll in. After showing him my work from high school, he let me take the intermediate course that he was teaching. I was the only student in the class, which was being held at the same time and in the same studio as the basic class. He challenged me and pushed me to do my best work and it was by far my favorite experience I have had at SCU. At the end of the quarter, he encouraged me to pursue art as a major or minor and I am so grateful he did. 

 

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Jimia Boutouba

Jimia Boutouba (Modern Languages and Literatures) “War, Race and Sexual Politics in French Indochina”

This two-part research project investigates French imperial history by tracing the crisscross colonial trajectories of people displaced across the French imperial map. Unsettling colonial cartography, the project attends to narratives of south-south encounters, transnational solidarities amid anti-colonial wars, unexpected unions, invisibilized “métis” (mixed-raced) populations, and forced departures. The project draws on rare archival materials and testimonies from unknown and/or previously unheard minoritized perspectives: those of Black Asian children born during the war of Indochina (1946-1954), and accounts by North African sex workers who were brought to Indochina on a government-approved program of mobile prostitution to “service” combat and support soldiers overseas. In investigating these complex stories that emerge at the intersection of Asian, African, and French imperial histories, Prof. Boutouba’s project seeks to shed new light on the nexus of racial and sexual politics at the heart of French imperialism as well as center the perspectives and historical agency of minoritized trans-imperial groups whose voices and stories are seldom considered as legitimate historical records. 

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

So far, my scholarly interests have focused on the intertwined histories of North Africa and France in colonial and postcolonial times. But I wished to expand my research by investigating trans-imperial processes that connected France, Africa, and Asia, and their legacies in the postcolonial era. In exploring the complex and hidden stories that emerged at the intersection of Asian, African, and French imperial histories, I hope to shed new light on the nexus of racial and sexual politics at the heart of French imperialism and give visibility to minoritized groups whose voices and stories are seldom considered as legitimate historical records. 

    

What kind of an impact do you hope your project will have–whether on your field, the community, our campus, etc.?

My project represents new forays into the history of French imperialism and provides an innovative approach to understanding French imperialist policies and war campaigns by drawing on rare archival materials, and oral testimonies from unknown and/or previously unheard minoritized perspectives: those of Black-Asian children born during the war of Indochina (1946-1954), and accounts by North-African sex-workers who were brought to Indochina on a government-approved program of mobile prostitution to “service” combat and support soldiers overseas.

Examining French colonial history through these trans-imperial trajectories and perspectives represents a major departure from previous scholarly studies that have mostly focused on binary accounts across the colonial divide (North/South; West/Orient; colonizer/colonized), thus neglecting the histories, experiences, and narratives of other minoritized trans-imperial groups. My project will center these subordinated groups' voices, perspectives, and historical agency to challenge historical erasure.

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience in your research, whether for this project or one in the past? 

Last fall, I spent hours and days opening old boxes and leafing through dusty military files in the French Military Archives in the Château of Vincennes. As I was trying to piece together fragments of these black soldiers’ stories and trajectories, I stumbled across curious documents that left me astonished, sometimes horrified; they offered a rare glimpse into the harrowing conditions that black soldiers had to face in Vietnam, all the while trying to balance love and danger, affection and prejudice within shattering calamities of war.

Another impactful outcome of this new research is the Visiting Scholar invitation I received from the University of Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan to further investigate the history of the African soldiers who fought in the 1st Vietnam War and their Afro-Asian descendants. I met with members of the Métis Association, the President of the War Veterans Association, and many other people who were all eager to help. I was particularly moved by the stories I heard from métis children and the long-lasting traumas that this colonial history has had on their families.

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Natasha Moorjani

Natasha Moorjani ‘24 (Music and Political Science)“Choral Music and Justice” (Advised by Scot Hanna-Weir, Music)

Natasha will be composing an original choral work that brings awareness to the legal aspects of social justice by setting to music legal texts, such as Supreme Court opinions or writings by legal scholars. The texts of her choral piece will synthesize the most impactful phrases and pressing ideas from the legal texts, while the medium of choral music will add emotion and emphasis in ways that will allow both the singers and the audience to connect with them. Her project hopes to explore how the arts can be an effective mechanism for social justice and how the emotive qualities of music make it an extremely powerful way to create change.

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

As a double major in music and political science, I've had passions in both fields, and I've been composing music as a personal hobby for many years. Through my CAH project, I've had an opportunity to not only compose with the support of a mentor and a group of other talented artists but also apply my skills in music to my other interest area of law. 

    

Which artists (in any field) have had the most influence on you and why?

The artists who've influenced me most are undoubtedly my teachers -- both in music performance and music theory. Thanks to them, I've not only improved as a performer and composer but also been exposed to a wide variety of styles that form my musical "toolkit."

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience you have had in a humanities or arts course at SCU. What did you learn or take away from it? How did it change you?

Last year, SCU's Chamber Singers premiered a piece written by Prof. Hanna-Weir titled "Four Principles of Marriage." This piece used language from the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized gay marriage and set them to choral-orchestral music. Through learning and performing this piece, I found that it was not only an interesting combination of music and law, but that the music could be used to illustrate the meaning of the legal text for a wider audience. My experience directly inspired me to work on my own fellowship project, centering on choral music and environmental justice. 

 

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Hsin-I Cheng

Hsin-I Cheng (Communication) “Bridging the Digital and Physical Spaces: Furthering Black and Asian Solidarity”

The Asian-Black Relationality Project stems from Prof. Cheng’s 2022 publication on the theoretical concept of relational citizenship. From 2022 to 2023, a collaboration between SCU students and former colleagues built the Asian & Black Alliances (ABA) website— a multilingual website highlighting historical and cultural interactions between these two racial groups, which also includes individual and organizational voices to illustrate how such solidarity-building is a continuous process. This project further bridges cyber (i.e., website) and physical (i.e., face-to-face interactions) spaces. Prof. Cheng will build a team of educators/collaborators to generate mini-lesson plans based on the website and host public forums to share these plans and discuss Black-Asian relationality. 

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

My ability to come to the United States for graduate studies was facilitated by an African-American woman. Being a citizen of Taiwan, a nation bullied by a superpower and unrecognized by the majority of the world, I have been inspired by Black people’s sustained resilience. As an Asian American, I have been wary of how Asian and Black communities are positioned to fight against each other in the United States. 


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many intergroup tensions derived primarily from inequality have come to public discourses. One of these is Asian and Black relationships. Although members of these two racial groups have known about their uneasy relationships, it was not until the “3rd wave” of BLM and the rise of anti-Asian hate that this topic surfaced in mainstream media reporting. Due to this, a group of SCU students and I built a multilingual website on Black-Asian relations in 2022 (Asian & Black Alliance). The CAH project is a continuation of expanding space about these two racial minorities and their dynamic interactions.      

 

What kind of an impact do you hope your project will have–whether on your field, the community, our campus, etc?

Research on these two racial minority's interactions remains scarce in my field of Communication Studies. Such discussions are also rare in the broader community here at SCU and the Bay Area. My proposed work intends to offer creative ideas and topic-oriented lesson plans for these two groups to engage each other in public discussions, and build potential solidarity. In the current time when efforts to erase minority histories from the U.S. collective memory are great, holding interdisciplinary public events on Black-Asian Solidarity is not only beneficial but imperative. 

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

As an ethnographer and qualitative researcher, I have encountered many opportunities to learn from my participants’ lived experiences. The ingenious strategies that people with little access to power and resources created to resist various forms of oppression are a source of inspiration for my ongoing research.

 

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Miriam Chen Lin

Miriam Chen Lin '26 (Psychology and Studio Arts) “The Familiar Yet Esoteric Mind: The Psychological Reasoning of Identity and Mental Health in Undergraduate Students” (Advised by Jennifer Frihauf, Psychology; Jessica Eastburn, Studio Arts; Leandro Glory Damasco Jr., Dance;  and Oliver Bochettaz, English)

Miriam brings together her interests in Psychology and Art in a project on the importance of mental health among students and in our society. Her project will consist of multimedia work that integrates studio art, dance, film, and writing. Each visual piece will be accompanied by a  paper describing the work and analyzing its relations to psychological theories, experiments, and data. Ultimately the project will be exhibited and compiled into a trade book.

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I've always been intrigued by the importance of mental health amongst our population and have been interested in seeing the overlap of different mediums/disciplines to address different perspectives on an issue. The idea for creating  “The Familiar Yet Esoteric Mind” began as an extension of a research paper that delved into the reasoning behind identity crises for class. As this paper expanded my interest beyond the classroom, I furthered my investigation on expanding my inquiry and wanted to create a body of visual works that was relevant to the specific population of college students.  

 

Which artists (in any field) have had the most influence on you and why?

Since 2018, I've been greatly inspired by Cyril Rolando. He is a clinical psychologist and a digital art hobbyist in France who has bridged his interests together to create works that explore the complex emotions of human life in a surrealist style. Beyond my appreciation for his visual arts what draws my admiration is his dedication to pursuing and excelling in both fields that I am passionate about. His ability to create works that embody the interdisciplinary gray area of overlapping fields gives his work a new form of dimensionality and meaning. 
My other main artist influencer is a Japanese illustrator Avogado6. His works mainly consist of thought-provoking depictions of social and emotional issues that are always peaceful yet jarring at the same time. He has mastered the ability to create works that balance a macabre nature with an elegant counterpart. Avogado6 has influenced my art style and has honed my interest in creating works that can be visually and conceptually thought-provoking but ones that contain a significant meaning.

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience you have had in a humanities or arts course at SCU. What did you learn or take away from it? How did it change you?

My first CTW writing class taught by Professor Oliver Bochettaz has been the most eye-opening. From the first intriguing material of exploring an artist who put live fish in blenders to the notion of achieving a better self, this course not only expanded my reasoning of exploring the possibilities of deeper meaning (ex: qualitative aspects of life, soma pneuma, and psyche, archetypes, etc.) and exploration of understanding of myself but also planted the initial seed of thoughts that later cultivated into the framework for my CAH project.

 

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Simon Lanzoni

Simon Lanzoni ‘24 (Studio Art, Music, and Italian)“Seeing in Tongues” (Advised by Ryan Carrington, Studio Art)

Seeing in Tongues will take the form of an audiovisual installation that includes sculpture and sound to explore how language and perception define an individual’s interpretation of reality. As someone who is bicultural and bilingual, Simon has begun to perceive how language is culture, how reality can be reflected in language, and how language produces ever-changing realities. Simon will create three different 3D works of art along with one greater soundscape to inspire students, faculty, staff, and visitors to create an inclusive future for the arts at SCU and to celebrate the human impulse to create.

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

By reading Food of the Gods by Terrence McKenna. In the early moments of the book, McKenna quotes anthropologist Misia Landau who states, “Language is not merely a device for communicating ideas about the world, but rather a tool for bringing the world into existence in the first place. Reality is not simply 'experienced' or 'reflected' in language, but instead is produced by language.” This particular quote is what introduced me to this concept, and sparked my interest.

 

Which artists (in any field) have had the most influence on you and why?

I’ve been greatly inspired by hard-edge artists from the 50s and 60s such as Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly who I believe engaged in the practice of painting as sculpture. Viewing the canvas as a three-dimensional form rather than merely the surface of the painting. They experimented with odd canvas shapes, sizes, and colors to create new viewing experiences. Ones which added a layer of spatiality that only sculpture could truly produce. I view my practice as a continuation of Stella and Kelly, in the sense that while their works remained fixed on the wall, I am removing the canvas from the wall and placing it into the center of space as a free-standing three-dimensional object. I believe this to be the practice of "painting as sculpture" in its purest form. 

Sunn O))) is a drone metal band that plays at extremely high volumes of around 145dB to create a physical experience of sound. I fell in love with the physicality of their live performances, as the ability to feel sound and how certain frequencies manifest on your body at high volumes is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Sunn O))) truly put into perspective for me just how much of a physical experience sound is. 

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience you have had in a humanities or arts course at SCU. What did you learn or take away from it? How did it change you?

These individuals greatly influenced my practice, as it is inspired by the concept that sculpture is a 3 dimensional and visual art form, whereas sound is not inherently visual or tangible but is very much a physical experience. Therefore, fusing the two into a greater work, creates a unique experience in which sound and visual become interchangeable. Sound enters into the third dimension, taking on a visual form, while the sculpture becomes a physical, and aural experience. While audiovisual art certainly exists, it often is an object that produces sound. My work takes a distinctly different approach as the visual and sonic elements are two separate entities existing independently in a space, intertwining through a specific installation. They are not a product of the same source, as this would bind them together as one, rather my work uses space as a means for play between sonic and visual. It is this quest for fluidity between these two mediums in and out of each other that is the driving force behind the aesthetics of my installations.  

 

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Alex Perez

 

Alex is exploring the land on which we live through an ethnographic study of her own positionality and the places she travels. The sacred land and our connection to it is full of knowledge, solidarity, and healing. Her project will tap into these resources to produce knowledge that will build a bridge between indigenous learning and Santa Clara University.

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

I am most excited about my work as co-chair of the Undocumented Students and Allies Association and furthering advocacy for migrants on and off campus. Recently, I attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice and it reignited my understanding of solidarity and community building and I am hoping to engage further throughout the year. I also find great importance in IESAC - with planning the Diversity Forum, which is one opportunity for students, faculty and staff, and administrators to come together and discuss important issues facing our campus. 

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I became interested in Traveling Tookor after watching the film “Spirit of the Peaks.” I had never seen indigenous storytelling before, and was blown away by the weaving of something so personal with the greater world and our understanding of our positionality in a sacred world. Then, through discernment with conversations with my friends Sophie Yonkers-Talz and Daniel Martinez along with my parents, I developed an idea to create my own exploration of identity, placing sacred land and connection to the earth at the forefront of my ethnographic research. I was/am excited for delineating much of my own experiences throughout a road trip I took this summer and connecting it with identity, home, and indigenous understanding in my final product. 

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

Hope and Human Suffering, taught by Diana Gibson allowed me to understand the complexities that intrinsically tie hope and human suffering together. In that class, I worked through my understanding of positionality and social justice outside of a Santa Clara context and found my place as a global citizen. Further, this class led me to the Ignatian Center and all of its offerings which has illuminated my time at Santa Clara. "

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Natalia Cantu

 

Natalia Cantu ‘24, DH student fellow (English and Biology)"Digital Finding Tools for the Tenacious Box Set of Zines"  (Advised by Kirstyn Leuner, English)

The Tenacious Box Set is a collection of zines published by women in prison and held in the Special Collections at SCU. Natalia will be completing a finding aid for this important material, focusing on an index that will organize each publication by topic, theme, author, and date. Her goal is to make the impressive works within the Tenacious Box Set more digitally accessible to students and scholars at and beyond SCU.

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How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I became interested in "Digital Finding Tools for the Tenacious Box Set of Zines" after I had taken ENGL 68A: Women's Prison Writing with Professor Kirstyn Leuner, in the Winter of my Junior year. This course centered around the writings of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women who graciously shared their stories in order to help broaden individuals' perspectives on issues surrounding incarceration. Before this class, I had never been exposed to works such as these—works that carry that capability to move you to activism and bring a whole class together in a collective discussion. These works had a very considerable impact on me and I am extremely grateful that I get to work with them on this project.

 

Which artists (in any field) have had the most influence on you and why?

Recently, I have started reading The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner in my English Senior Seminar with Professor Burnham. This work is a fictional account of life in prison and has influenced me because of the way in which it showcases how various socioeconomic factors affect incarceration. Additionally, many authors have had a tremendous influence on me: Francisco Jimenez, Joan Didion, Jorge Luis Borges, Sandra Cisneros, Amparo Davila, and many more. All of these authors have shaped my writing style and inspired me to pursue my varied interests in writing and research.

 

Tell us about a transformative or eye-opening experience you have had in a humanities or arts course at SCU. What did you learn or take away from it? How did it change you?

Every class in ENGL 113EL: Writing Center Theory and Practice with Professor Denise Krane, was very transformative and eye-opening. In this course, we focused on writing centers, but also educational systems, and the diverse set of writers that exist. Coming from a background where both of my parents are, or have been, teachers, it was particularly enlightening to learn about various factors that influence students and teaching—socioeconomics, language, and culture—to name a few. Discussing this with my peers in class, and my parents at home, allowed me to recognize the vast amount of change, in attitude and practice, that needs to occur in our educational system in order to accommodate writers with various needs and to make the system more welcoming for these writers. 

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Maddie Moran

 

Maddie Moran '24, (English, Spanish, & Philosophy) "Digital Finding Tools for the Tenacious Box Set of Zines"  (Advised by Prof. Kirstyn Leuner, English)

As the DH-CAH Fellow, Maddie will be creating a finding aid for the zines contained in our Tenacious Box Set in our special collections at SCU. The Tenacious zines are a series of publications of pieces written by women in prison that have been compiled and arranged into separate collections. In order to present the finding aid, she will use Omeka to construct an index based on subject and arranged by date. The index will organize each individual piece by its primary topic or theme as well as its author and date of publication for ease of access. 

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

Right now, I am juggling my fellowship, studying abroad in Barcelona, being social chair of Santa Clara Club Tennis, being a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and preparing to study for the LSAT. All of these commitments are equally important to me and I am grateful that I have been able to find time to dedicate to each of them!

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

During my sophomore year, I took a class with Professor Leuner where we explored pieces written by incarcerated women. I hadn't previously delved into the world of women's prison writing and was thrilled when we were given the opportunity to read some real works authored from within prisons around the country. These often short yet eye-opening writings were published in a series of zines compiled by Victoria Law, an activist and author, over the course of 20 years. When Professor Leuner approached me with the idea of organizing these zines and making them more accessible for our campus community and the wider public towards the end of the academic year, I was ecstatic (especially since having an organizational system for them would've been so useful for my classmates and I when we used them for our final project in Professor Leuner's women's prison writing class!).

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

One of the most transforming experiences for me in a humanities course at SCU was when Professor Velasco-Moreno showed the film Babel in class. Babel weaves together four stories from Morocco, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. The film proves that even though we may feel very different from each other, we are all connected in some way. It strives to rescue humanity from modern society, which seems, at times, almost inhuman. Alejandro González-Iñárritu, the director, emphasizes our interconnectedness in the 21st century and how our actions affect others. The viewing of Babel and our subsequent class discussions opened my eyes to the need to see humanity in others and to understand the beauty and importance of our interconnectedness, especially in the modern world. 

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Mukta Sharangpani

 

 

Mukta Sharangpani (Women's and Gender Studies), "Aging Across Borders: Towards an Ethnography of Loss and Hope" Mukta Sharangpani is an anthropologist whose work is situated at the junctures of kinship, modernity and mobility. Her project examines the shifting scapes of family-making among South Asian Bay Area multigenerational families. It centers the experiences of later life immigrants who, propelled by the uncertainties and anxieties brought about by the pandemic, have recently left their own homes and lands to join their children. Through their narratives of mourning and yearning, unsettling and resettling, forgetting and remembering, it highlights the coping strategies they deploy as they move across borders, and considers what avenues exist for them to find meaning, hope, and joy in this new and often final phase of their lives. 

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

I continue to be interested in issues of gender, kinship, and class in Urban India and the Indian Diasporas. I am interested in the complex ways that culture shapes and is shaped by violence and how cultural notions about family, community, nation, tradition, and modernity shape South Asian and diasporic personhood. My current project is based on later-life immigrants who migrate from India to the US to join their adult children and grandchildren. In the first part of this project, I explore how individuals and families adjust to, cope with, and make meaning from these new and shifting intergenerational residential experiences. In the second part of the project, I examine the narratives of various stakeholders (parents, adult children, siblings, grandchildren, and the extended families and community networks) to illuminate the ethical, moral, and practical dilemmas surrounding filial care. 

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

The pandemic and the resultant closing of national borders made it extremely difficult for me to reach my elderly parents living in India. Others around me - family, friends, and other immigrant communities were also experiencing the same anxieties and barriers to travel. We heard of people unable to travel to aid an ailing parent or even attend their funeral. We heard of the mental health crisis and the alarming rise in suicidal behaviors and suicides among the elderly. We heard about visiting parents who did not return home; but without adequate health care support, remained exposed and vulnerable in unimagined ways. It was an unnerving but generative time to explore the themes of this project. Thanks to the CAH I was able to start my research on the experience of multigenerational immigrant South Asian/ Indian households in the Bay Area, particularly focusing on elderly parents who recently migrated from India during the pandemic to join their adult children and grandchildren in the Bay Area. 

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

The roller coaster emotional ride and the way this project gave me both an arm and armor to ask difficult questions about my own life! I found that the early joys and reliefs of family reunification would often give way to caregiver fatigue, concerns around the sustainability of these migration decisions, and tense negotiations between different dyads (parent-adult child, adult child-sibling/s adult child-spouse, adult child- their child/ren). These practical and affective ebbs and flows through which people thought about the meanings of family and filial obligation. What was really illuminating for me were the ways in which the ambivalences experienced and expressed by caregivers/ receivers orbited and congealed around the kitchen. It is here that genders and generations communicated, hoped, coped, battled, resolved, contested, and claimed space and identity.

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Lee Panich

 

 

Lee Panich (Anthropology), "Insurgent California: Native Resistance and the Collapse of the Missions" This collaborative project examines Native Californian resistance during the final decade of the mission system. Though overshadowed by the annexation of California by the United States in 1846, the period between 1835 and 1845 was one in which Native people in the San Francisco Bay region fought to retain their lands and livelihoods as the previous colonial system crumbled around them. Work during the fellowship period will focus on the translation of primary documents and community outreach to contextualize the liberation movement of the late mission period with continued Ohlone activism today.

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

Most of my current projects focus on the long-term effects of colonialism for Indigenous people, including the role that academic disciplines and institutions play in the perpetuation of colonial structures. As a non-Native scholar, my path into this work is rooted in collaborative relationships with Native Californian communities whose ancestors have experienced colonialism firsthand, including the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

My CAH project examines archival documents that illuminate how Native people in the Bay Area navigated the collapse of the Franciscan mission system in the 1830s and 1840s. In the conventional wisdom about this time, Native people simply disappear from the story. But my interest was piqued when Gustavo Flores, a colleague from Evergreen Valley College, showed me a trove of documents related to the Pueblo of San Jose that showed Native people--including the ancestors of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe--had fought for their rights throughout the time period. Now, he and I are working to find more documents, archaeological evidence, and oral histories that will further tell the story of how the Ohlone community persisted in a particularly tumultuous time between the end of Spanish rule and the annexation of California by the United States.

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

One of the most eye-opening experiences for me has been studying Ohlone history and archaeology from the vantage point of our Santa Clara campus. Despite the well manicured grounds, the more I dig into these issues the more it becomes clear that the history of public memory at Santa Clara has contributed to the erasure of Native people in our region. I see this as a crucial issue to forefront in my research and teaching at SCU.

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Tony Hazard

 

Tony Hazard's project entitled, "Afro-Indigeneity, Family Remembrance, and The Narragansett of Rhode Island" emerges from research into his indigenous Narragansett ancestors of Rhode Island, leading back six generations to James Monroe Hazard II (1825-1908) who appears on the original federal tribal roll of 1881. He explores this moment of “detribalization” (1880s) to uncover the contours and legacies of the racial logics of enslavement and colonialism that animated state and federal policy toward the Narragansett people in the 20th century. Learn more about Tony's project here.

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

One main concern for me at the moment is the obfuscation of the history of this country. I see this happening in two ways, both are troubling from my perspective as an educator and historian. On the one hand, I am terribly concerned about the resistance both locally and nationally, to expanding primary and secondary curricula to be more inclusive, holistic, and accurate. On the other, there is a clear commitment in some quarters of the current political culture to delegitimize the critical histories of peoples who do not fit neatly into white supremacy’s vision of itself, specifically in a North American context.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

This project had been on my mind for years. Prior to my start at Temple University in the doctoral program in History, my father began exploring the history of his paternal ancestors, the Narragansett people of Rhode Island. Sadly, he passed away during my time at Temple. I knew that one day I would take up his work, and recently becoming a father myself, the time feels right to embark upon this journey in honor of my dad and my son.   

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

In my research for this project I have learned so much about the strength of my Narragansett ancestors, their resistance and will to survive, since the encroachment of European colonizers in early 17th century Rhode Island. From primary documents, digital archives, and secondary sources, this project has challenged me to learn the details of the Great Swamp Massacre of 1675, enslavement of Narragansett peoples in New England and the West Indies, and detribalization in the 1880s. This process has deepened my understanding of what it means to be Narragansett, and Afro-Indigenous, and still here.

 

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Bianca Romero

 

Bianca Romero '23, (History, French, & Asian Studies) "Colonial Urban Planning in French Indochina" (Advised by Prof. Naomi Andrews, History) Bianca is researching how French urban planning was used in colonies as a tool of imperial power. Her project focuses specifically on Vietnam and French Indochina to explore the relationship between landscapes, manmade and natural, and their impact on both colonizers and those they colonized. In order to further understand the role of cities in before, during, and after colonization she will base her studies in conceptions of urbanism and modernity in these respective cultures. 

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

I am most concerned with my research for my thesis and my work as a research assistant for my advisor. Through both these projects I am able to explore the intersection of my majors--by conducting historical research in French. 

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

It was through conversations with my advisor and my intersectional studies at SCU that I became interested in my project. I have been fortunate to have taken a lot of different classes in different departments. Some notable courses include Chinese philosophy, fabricating nature in East Asia, and introduction to Urban Planning. My project is a culmination of my varied interests.

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

I feel like I have taken something away with every course. Most recently I took an introduction to writing studies which completely transformed the way I think about writing. One idea from that class which has definitely influenced my thesis work is that all writing is done in conversation with other writing. My project is just more commentary on an already existing discussion about colonial urban planning. This will influence both how I write about in my paper as well as the sources I cite. 

 

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Amy Lueck

 

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Winchester Mystery House’s public opening in 1923, Amy’s project is an examination of public memory at this local attraction, with a focus on indigenous representation and remembrance at this site. Exploring the role of local and national indigenous history in the legends and contemporary experience of this site, I want to use this project to encourage public audiences to recognize the deeply layered and entangled histories of such memory sites, and to critically examine the role of whiteness and settler colonialism in animating such stories. 

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

In my research and teaching, I have been most interested in interrogating various borders and boundaries that construct (and don't just reflect) a sense of difference between and among sites of practice, methodologies, institutions, and the like. For example, my first book project explores the rhetorical and political (and not strictly pedagogical or institutional) divide between U.S. high schools and colleges as they emerged in the nineteenth century. The boundary between these sites of learning is too often assumed, and hence reinforced, in policy and practice. In my second book project, this same interest is now applied to practices of historical storytelling and placemaking, looking at the tendency to separate out and isolate diverse narratives and experiences at public memory sites. My own answer is taking the form of what I'm calling "entangled remembrance" practices--an attempt to implicate gender, race, colonialism and other vectors of identity and power in public remembrance practices. Our own campus is one example of a site struggling to tell multiple stories simultaneously. Another example is the local Winchester Mystery House attraction that is the focus of my Center for Arts and Humanities fellowship, and my second book.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I became interested in my research site, the Winchester Mystery House, after having moved to the South Bay Area and encountering so many intriguing and competing public representations of it. As a feminist rhetorical scholar and historiographer, I was interested in this house as a site of women's public remembrance--a popular historical site representing a woman's actions, and one with a long history of evolving representations to study as well. The CAH project I'm working on this year is an expression of entangled remembrance of this site: an attempt to layer and entangle different embodied experiences of this one site, particularly to implicate ongoing settler colonialism as a key facet of public remembrance that has been insufficiently engaged. In this project, I bring several stakeholders with different perspectives on the house into conversation with one another, including the official historian of the house, a local historian who wrote a well-respected book on the site, and a Muwekma Ohlone youth with ancestral ties to the lands on which it is built. I want to see what emerges through these embodied entanglements, and what they might help us to understand and accomplish in future representations and engagements with similar sites.

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in your research, whether for this project or one in the past?

The most transformative experience for my research was the day I realized, all too belatedly, that the Winchester Mystery House was on Ohlone lands. Of course, I had tacitly recognized this fact, but I had previously been working in a way that cordoned that reality off from my analysis, which had focused on the site's significance to Western women's histories. The ways I had defined my research for myself had disentangled my work on the Winchester Mystery House from concurrent projects on Ohlone public memory at Mission Santa Clara. Then one day I realized they were part of the same project. This realization, and the rhetorical mechanisms by which I was for so long enabled not to recognize it, is now the primary interest of my research.

 

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Emma Rutter

 

Emma Rutter '23, Neuroscience & Theatre and Dance, is researching the connection between dance education and memory recall. Her plan is to conduct a literature review of existing studies on the topic and primary research in the dance department at SCU. With her interdisciplinary education in neuroscience and dance, she hopes to analyze both verbal memory and movement memory via appropriate tests on a group of dancers and a group of non-dancers. Her goal is to raise and answer the following questions: Is there a significant improvement in memory recall in dancers? If a trend is noticed is it only applicable to movement memory or generalized to verbal recall? The project results will be presented in an educational infographic promoting involvement in dance education and a creative choreographic demonstration explaining the research findings. Her goal is to demonstrate the importance of dance education and funding for arts education.

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What commitments or concerns are most important to you right now?

One concern that is most important to me right now is the lack of funding and accessibility to arts education, particularly dance education. I believe that arts education has a value and should be accessible to all.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

I took a neurobiology course last year where we got to explore a topic of interest. I chose to conduct literature research on the effect of exercise on the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. While exploring the topic of the relationship between exercise and memory I grew curious about the effect of dance on memory. I have been dancing since I was three years old and currently study Dance and Neuroscience at SCU. The relationship between dance and neuroscience is fascinating since dance integrates many cognitive functions. Furthermore, dance education is often regarded as frivolous and therefore is underfunded. I believe that my dance education has furthered my academic skills, professional skills, and holistic health. This project is the fusion of my two passions with the goal of educating others on the neurological advantages of dance.

 

What is one of the most transforming or eye-opening experiences for you in a humanities or arts course at SCU?

One of the most transformative classes in the arts and humanities I took was dance history with Professor Anna Kimmel. In this class, we explored the history of western concert dance and learned how to write about dance. Since my dance training is primarily in classical ballet this class informed me of how the dance form evolved. Most importantly this class brought to my attention and expanded my knowledge of how the system of dance was put into place and its many faults.

 

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Sonia Gomez

 

“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.

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Why did you decide to become a professor of history?

I once read that every historian is in search of their past. While that might not, actually, be true for every historian, it certainly is true for me. I majored in history as an undergraduate largely because I was trying to make sense of my place in the world and studying history helped me do that. Then, I had the opportunity to conduct my own independent research and I traveled to the Library of Congress and National Archives in College Park, Maryland. That experience was thrilling. I am kind of a nosy person which worked well in the archive and, as they say, the rest is history!

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your teaching and scholarship?

My personal background is foundational to who I am as a teacher-scholar. My scholarship trajectory began when I wrote an undergraduate research paper on women like my maternal grandmother, so-called Japanese war brides who married non-white men. I was interested in learning more about their migration experience and telling their stories since so much of the literature had focused on the relationships between Japanese women and white men. My thesis led me to my dissertation topic, which led me to my (first) book and so on. My next project builds off of everything I learned and didn't learn with the first book.
I am a first-generation college student/graduate who started at community college. That experience has made me sensitive to issues of inequity both in the classroom and within the university at large. Like many of my colleagues I am committed to inclusive teaching practices. As a U.S. historian, I try to expose my students to diverse voices.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

As I mentioned earlier, my book project began as an undergraduate paper about my grandmother. Of course, it has evolved and expanded over time. Throughout the years, I became more and more interested in exploring how gender shapes immigration policies and the experience of immigrants. My CAH project is the culmination of that work. In the book, I explore how gender and intimacy, in this case marriage, facilitated the migration of Japanese women during periods when the Japanese were legally excluded on the basis of race. Largely, I am interested in troubling binary conceptions of inclusion and exclusion and calling attention to the ways in which gender shapes migration.

 

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Sophie Wink

 

“Women and Eugenics at the Maine School for the Feeble Minded” Sophie Wink is researching the topic of women and eugenics at the Maine School For the Feeble Minded. Her project will provide an in-depth investigation of the eugenics practices carried out at the school, specifically the sterilization and segregation of the "feeble minded," the vast majority of whom were women, to discourage them from reproducing. Using state archival materials and newspapers, Sophie will write a senior honors history thesis that will illuminate this largely ignored chapter of Maine’s history as well as the importance of gender and eugenics in the national history of the United States.

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Why did you decide to become a student of history?

I have always loved history. As a child, when prompted to tell someone what my favorite genre of book was, I would respond “histories and mysteries!” and I was always eager to share the latest fact that I’d learned from Little House on the Prairie or the Magic Treehouse. This is a love that carried me through my elementary, middle, and high school educations. As I entered college, I knew I wanted to continue taking history classes because they were what I loved the most, but I was hesitant to pursue a history degree because I worried that I wouldn’t be able to use it. As I settled on the desire to become a lawyer, however, it became clear to me that an education in history, supplemented by my political science and Spanish minors, would in fact prepare me extremely well for a career in law. The intensive reading, writing, and critical thinking that I’ve had to do to earn a history degree will certainly serve me very well as I enter law school in the next few years.

More than reading and writing, though, history has given me a unique insight into the world. By examining the past—what’s gone right, what’s gone wrong, who’s been forgotten—I feel that I have developed a complex and nuanced picture of our society. I hope to pursue a career in public interest law. In order to fully understand the world around us, I am a strong believer that we must understand the past, and for this reason I believe that my education in history allows me to look at the world with a unique lens.

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your studies?

Like many people, I find myself drawn to topics that relate to my identity. For this reason, I often find myself interested in topics like women and gender studies, American studies in general, and the history of the American northeast specifically. I also believe strongly that when one studies history, they must look closely at their identity and work to understand the ways that it colors their perception of the past. For this reason, I work hard to see the whole picture and understand identities other than my own.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year? What are the outcomes/results you are hoping for?

My thesis is an exploration of a former mental hospital (Pineland) located in New Gloucester, Maine, just down the road from the house where my grandparents raised my dad and his siblings and the house I grew up in. The institution began the shift to the vibrant farm and community center that it is today in the late 90s, and the campus’ past has been pretty thoroughly erased from the local historical narrative. The first I remember hearing anything about what the institution used to be was at my grandfather’s 70th birthday party when my dad told a funny story about my grandfather being dragged off by the police, red, panting, and wearing a Superman shirt on a run, because they thought he had escaped from the hospital. It is a funny anecdote, but it echoes of a darker past than I had known Pineland held.

When I was told I could write about anything I wanted for a class in the spring of 2021, I knew that I wanted to write about Maine because of its place in my heart and because less had been written about it than some of the other topics I considered. I came back to that campus that had been the place where I had spent summers at camp, Easters hunting for eggs, Halloweens picking my pumpkin from the patch. I learned about the dark history of the institution’s abuse and, specifically, its eugenics, and I was shocked to learn that nothing had been written about the fact that among the “feeble minded” sterilized in Maine, there were a higher percentage of women than those who faced compulsory sterilization in any other state. This project has been a labor of love that has connected me more closely than ever to my home state. I hope to tell the stories of these women who were sterilized against their will and beyond the thesis paper that I’m writing, I hope to get the attention of Maine’s legislators and educators to help get this story told.

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Juan Velasco-Moreno

 


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.

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Why did you decide to become a professor of creative writing and Latinx literature?

Since I was in high school, in the midst of protest, and a relentless struggle for freedom, I recognized how important it was to have a voice, and teach others to discover their own voices. I found mine in the literature of magical realism from Latin America. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was my favorite book as I was growing up. The beauty and the freedom of that book inspired me to try to write my own books. I have combined creative writing and academic writing since then, and in the balance of both of them I found great fulfillment. 

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your teaching and scholarship?

The call to social justice, and the importance of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, informs both my teaching and my scholarship. I was able to put those principles into work through my involvement with Casa de la Solidaridad Program, a Jesuit study abroad program offering healing and justice in El Salvador, and in 2007 I created the non-profit Programa Velasco, whose mission is to cultivate opportunities for children’s education in El Salvador. I was able to bring my experience in Latin America to the classroom and vice versa, and both theory and praxis have informed my personal identity, as I have been evolving and learning, living in between languages and borders.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

My father's family was destroyed by the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. My uncles were incarcerated for fighting for democracy, and it was a truly traumatic experience that has affected many generations in my family. As I was reading more and more about the Americans that volunteered to fight for democracy in Spain, I discovered the fascinating history of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Among those heroes, I encountered the story of Salaria Kea, the only African-American nurse that participated in the war. Her story is a wonderful narrative full of courage, passion and love, in the midst of a tragic war. I would love to be able to write her story and put it into the screen so many others can find the same inspiration and admiration I felt when I read about her life.

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Maggie 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.

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Why did you decide to become a professor of English?

A winding road brought me to an English department. As a graduate student I focused on contemporary immigrant literature by Jewish authors from the former Soviet Union. After receiving my PhD, I taught courses that ranged from Russian language to Jewish-American literature. I couldn’t find a secure faculty position in these subjects due to cuts to academic programs across the country, but I was lucky to find a home in the English department at SCU. Here, I get to teach a broad range of subjects, from social media to chronic illness, with the unifying goal of helping students use writing to explore the issues that move them. 

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your teaching and scholarship?

I’m a first generation immigrant, a labor organizer, a person living with a chronic illness, and a lover of narrative. All these elements continue to shape my identity and make their way into my writing and teaching. For example, when I write a personal essay about getting a tattoo to commemorate a decade of surviving with a chronic illness, I meditate on what tattoos have meant in Soviet, Jewish and Jewish- American cultures and how those meanings shaped my understanding of this form of body modification.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

My project stems from years of living with and learning about chronic illness. “Interest” may even be too mild of a word. After years of living with an incurable disease, I felt the need to use writing to explore my experience for the purposes of discovering, externalizing and connecting with people. The chronic illness narratives of other writers have played an important role in my life and my attempt to write about my own illness immediately became a way to be in conversation with those writers.

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Chris Bacon

 

 

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.

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Why did you decide to become a professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences?

I wanted to search for truth and thought that science and university-based work offered the combination of flexibility and discipline that could help me learn, discover, and share the many situated truths and several unifying principles that I continue finding. I believe that “the aim of all knowledge is service.” In addition to the possibility of meaningful work that could help sustain a family, while engaging my head and hands, my heart also started to hear the call of northern California’s coastlines threatened by offshore oil drilling and redwood forests falling fast as indiscriminate logging accelerated in the 1980s. Growing up in remote rural communities of California and Maine, and working with farmers while living in Central America highlighted the paradox of rich lands and economically poor people and cemented my commitment to work towards integrated responses, like food sovereignty, that address both justice and sustainability. Teachers in grade school, high school, and universities as well as the wise old friends helped foster my love of research and mentored me toward a focus on climate and food systems change, agroecology, and the process of becoming a professor of Environmental Studies.

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your teaching and scholarship?

Several different dimensions of my personal identity contribute to informing my approaches to teaching and scholarship. As a white, cis/gender, hetrosexual male growing up as a son of alternative, low-income, parents and grandson of prominent feminist Quakers, I have benefited from unearned privileges and sometimes been blind to the unintended consequences of this. In addition to education in public high school and universities, my early years in Waldorf school cultivated an ability to find common ground across cultural and religious differences. My experiences living seven of the last 20 years in Central America, marriage to an indigenous Nicaraguan woman, and role as a dad to a bi-cultural daughter growing-up in California, who is simultaneously developing her indigenous and Latinx identities, also informs my scholarship, teaching and advocacy. I continue learning how, when, and if to intentionally incorporate my background into my teaching and research, often relying on self-introspection and a reflexive practice that includes listening deeply to people facing injustices based on their race, ethnicity, zip code, or other dimensions of their identities. These aspects of my identity and a commitment to allyship inform my use of the community-based participatory action approach, interculturality, and partnership with community-based groups to co-produce actionable knowledge and learning experiences for food justice and the common good.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year?

Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic started, the evidence showed that lower income residents and people of color suffered disproportionate health impacts, more economic insecurity, and more hunger. A study by University of California San Francisco found that Latinx population has not only suffered more COVID cases, but also experienced more food insecurity when compared to whites living in the Bay Area. Simultaneously, several community-based groups.

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Natalie Henriquez

 

 

Natalie Henriquez ’22 (History and Philosophy) for “Frankenstein and Artificial Intelligence Technology Today” (advised by Naomi Andrews, History) Henriquez is exploring the ethical ramifications of emerging Artificial Intelligence Technology through a close analysis of Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. The intellectual history surrounding Frankenstein is ripe with metaphors and archetypes surrounding the ethics of science and technology, as well as questions about the nature of life itself. Her project will explore parallels between Dr. Frankenstein and AI programmers, and similarly, between Dr. Frankenstein’s unnamed monster and AI programs to analyze the relationship between humanity and scientific and/or technological innovation, and what is ethically salient about human innovation as manifest in AI.

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Why did you decide to become a student of History and Philosophy?

I chose to major in History and Philosophy because I wanted to learn more about the origins of inequalities today, and then cultivate the necessary skills to combat such inequalities as a future attorney. Finding that the vision of a more just and equitable future rests upon the ability to incorporate diverse perspectives, I found it necessary to learn about the experiences of disenfranchised groups. My studies in History have equipped me with this knowledge, while my studies in philosophy have challenged me to think about the world through myriad analytical lenses.

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your studies?

In second grade, a classmate told me to “go back to where I came from.” Feeling bewildered, I asked my father for clarification. After we cooked arroz con pollo and danced bachata, my father spoke fondly of individuals who helped him navigate the hardships he faced as an immigrant. It was not until a professor in college observed him filling out a worksheet backwards that my father learned he was dyslexic. But for this support, my father may never have been able to become a naturalized American citizen. Learning about the stigmatization and impediments migrants face and also the pivotal role that allies play motivated me to learn more about how I can be an advocate and ally for disenfranchised groups. At SCU, I am the co-chair for the Undocumented Allies and Students Association and am excited to now continue my efforts in supporting undocumented grounds by practicing immigration and criminal law.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year? What are the outcomes/results you are hoping for it, including active political, cultural, educational, or social changes?

I fell in love with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein my junior year of high school. Shelley critiques the hubris of science through constructing a mad scientist who remains steadfast to his self-proclaimed glorious pursuit of discovery and innovation, regardless of the ensuing death and chaos. I grew angry at the ways in which Dr. Frankenstein disparaged the humanities and found science to be the ultimate medium for knowledge. However, by the end of the book, this frustration spurred insight and introspection. I remained curious about the epistemic framework of science and how that bears weight on the ethical ramifications associated with scientific discovery moving into college. I then found myself returning to Shelley's text as an aid to explore the themes I learned about in my Philosophy courses at SCU. Ultimately, I decided to re-read Frankenstein to see if my glorious opinion of it was still salient. In no surprise, Frankenstein remains today, and arguably might always be, the most vital contribution to discourse on ethics in technology. Frankenstein tells the story of a crazed scientist whose refusal to develop and provide adequate paternal support to the creature he brought into the world only led to the birth of a monstrosity. After reading about the horrors that unfold by virtue of Dr. Frankenstein's gross negligence and hubris, the reader is left with only one conclusion: but for Dr. Frankenstein's failures, there would be no monster, but a mere creature. If we adopt the argument Shelley offers in Frankenstein, we must necessarily explore the ways in which a creator’s subjective biases and prejudices can manifest in their work, in order to avoid the monstrosity. My project will explore the ramifications of the question, "how do we create monsters,” as it pertains to embodiment in diabetic technology with Continuous Glucose Monitors and Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery Pumps. As a Type 1 Diabetic, I can personally pay testament to the successes and shortcomings of diabetic technology in diabetes management. I will ultimately end my project with a comprehensive proposal list of the most pressing ethical issues stymying the development of embodied diabetic technology today.

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Emma Kuli

 

 

Emma Kuli ’22 (English) for “Cultivating Creative Storytelling” (advised by Kirk Glaser, English/Creative Writing) Kuli is working on an educational and writing project, “Cultivating Creative Storytelling.” Her goal is to develop a creative writing curriculum for underserved elementary school students that uplifts diverse narrative imaginaries and is actively anti-racist in its structure, which would then be implemented in the spring quarter. Her plan is for SCU undergraduates to work one-on-one with 15-20 elementary school students over a period of 6 sessions to foster their voices and passion for storytelling, and ultimately, to help them produce their own digital books. These young authors would then be celebrated by publishing their books online in both a Book Creator library, accessible to them and their families, and as a section on the Santa Clara Review website.

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Why did you decide to become a student of English?

I love stories. Stories have kind of always been my thing. I wanted to read and I wanted to write, so majoring in English was an easy choice. When I was deciding between colleges, I read through a library of different university literary magazines. The stories in the poetry, prose, and art of the Santa Clara Review had a vibrancy and potency that stuck out to me. It was reading old issues of the Review that I knew I wanted to study English at SCU. I knew I loved storytelling, writing and reading literature of all mediums, so I followed that passion to the palm tree lined paths of Santa Clara University.

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your studies?

Early encouragement of the little poems I scribbled on the back of kid’s menus and the plays I put on for my parents inspired my early love for creative writing. It was through hearing the fables, folklore, and fairytales of my family history that I learned how to reflect on my experience through narrative. Community storytelling is a tool any young writer can use to see the magic in their surroundings and the heroism in their persistence, and those stories don’t follow strict structural rules. However, in my work in the creative writing classroom as a student and a teacher, I again and again saw how creative writing curricula cast student writing in a matrix of western storytelling. The conventions of the classical arc were familiar to students immersed in the hegemony of western media and the patterns of canonized works. Emphasis on a hero’s journey beginning, middle, and end standardized the writing process. That standardization made the teacher’s job and the student’s job easier, but the innovative storytelling, the stories worth telling, aren’t necessarily easy to tell. The academic adventure of my four years at Santa Clara University has continually reasserted the importance of art’s role in expression of and reflections on the human experience as well as the ways in which the most powerful stories–fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, plays–transgress standardization and convention.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year? What are the outcomes/results you are hoping for it, including active political, cultural, educational, or social changes?

It was reflecting on my own journey with creative writing that I felt inspired to create a project that would aim to uplift young writing voices. I was frustrated by the ways in which early learning of creative writing reinforced western narrative conventions and linguistic hierarchy. I wanted to work towards a pilot program that would encourage storytelling that was not restricted to dominant language habits or standardized story structure. I also hope that this pilot program will create meaningful ties between Santa Clara University students and the young writers of the surrounding community. I want to encourage the powerful voices of the future to see the value in how their experiences and language transcend the restrictive borders set by universalized standards of narrative structure.

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Teresa Contino

 

Teresa Contino ’24 (English and Psychology), DH student fellow, for “Composing Collaborative Feminist Recovery Projects with Scalar” (advised by Amy Lueck, English) Contino is the inaugural Digital Humanities undergraduate student fellow in the CAH. She is researching and writing a digital article inspired by an English course that recovered works of women’s writing from SCU Library’s archives and presented them in an anthology using Scalar, a digital storytelling tool. Teresa’s article examines how our own interpretive analyses and reflections can widen understanding of women’s writing--both within the historical context of the writers and our own context as readers and students. Her project contributes to conversations buzzing in the Digital Humanities field, including circulation, reception, preservation, and intersectionality. 

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Why did you decide to become a student of English and Psychology?

I decided to become an English major because I love language, whether it be in essays, poetry, books, short stories, and everywhere else! I am interested in how people process words and how our experience reveals itself in our writing, hence my Psychology major. Finally, I chose an Art History minor, because I have a passion for going to art museums and continuing to educate myself about various cultural experiences!

 

How do your personal identity and background inform your studies?

Growing up in a house full of books, I am fortunate to have been a voracious reader as a kid, reading science fiction, mystery, and many coming-of-age novels. I am also fortunate to have two English professors as parents who raised me to always carry a book or notepad wherever I go. More recently, studying as a college student during the pandemic has shaped my interest in digital practices and behavior.

 

How did you become interested in the CAH project you are working on this year? What are the outcomes/results you are hoping for it, including active political, cultural, educational, or social changes?

After taking ENGL 168PW: Women Writers and Literature in my sophomore year with Dr. Lueck, I fell in love with the interrogation of capital-L literature and (anti)anthologiziation. I am hoping that future recovery work approaches listening with what Romeo García calls "friction as that which gets in the way of ‘smooth’ hegemonic flows" by way of publishing silenced voices and making multi-directional connections. I hope that the design of our website on Scalar enables a radical departure from linear argument structures to inspire a departure from rigid anthologization processes.

 

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