UCHRI Awards Over $800,000 in Grants for 2017–18

Published on October 10, 2017

The University of California Humanities Research Institute recently announced its grant awards for the 2017–18 academic year. This funding totals over $800,000 and allows UC faculty and graduate students to conduct interdisciplinary humanities projects, including conferences, humanities center collaborations, working groups, research residencies, junior faculty manuscript workshops, and digital and public humanities.

The awards were determined in conjunction with UCHRI’s 10-member Advisory Committee. A separate advisory committee selected the eight faculty recipients of the UC President’s Faculty Research Fellowship, a grant that supports compelling humanities research for individual UC faculty members.

“UCHRI is excited to fund a wide range of projects that offer innovative, multidisciplinary approaches in the humanities,” states director David Theo Goldberg. “These projects will provide insight into a variety of contemporary and historical topics that range from the Pacific Ocean to the future of the university.”

UCHRI continues to offer funding to support graduate students as they conduct their own research and participate substantively in faculty grant projects.  

Categories: Blog |

UCHRI Welcomes Gabriela Cázares

Published on October 4, 2017

UCHRI would like to welcome Gabriela Cázares! Gabriela holds a PhD in literature from UC San Diego and comes to us to work as a postdoctoral scholar for our Horizons of the Humanities Project.

Throughout my career and PhD studies, I have been passionate about building bridges between academia and diverse communities and constituencies. My research uses the humanities to study US Latinx communities often left on the margins. This work sheds light on daily and long-term challenges faced by working-class communities of color—particularly access to higher education—that reflect national concerns/problems.

As part of my work at UCHRI, I have the privilege of working closely with UC faculty and administrators on issues linked to Horizons of the Humanities. In particular, this includes developing and coordinating a year-long UC-wide working group on diversity, a Voices of Diversity podcast, and large-scale public humanities projects focused on issues of race and class. My career and drive are fueled in part by my own experiences as a first-generation Latina from a working-class background. When I am not working in higher education, I enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and going on muggle adventures.


Categories: Blog |

UCHRI Announces President’s Faculty Research Fellowships for 2017-18

Published on June 13, 2017

UCHRI is excited to announce the eight President’s Faculty Research Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year. This prestigious fellowship program provides UC faculty with fellowship support to carry out an extended research project in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Listed below, next year’s fellows pursue a wide array of humanistic work and represent five UC campuses.

‘This Vale of Tears’: Marx’s Critique of Religion
Wendy Brown, Political Science, Rhetoric and Jurisprudence and Social Policy, UC Berkeley

Against the received view that Marx abandoned his early interest in religion when he turned to political economy, this study argues Marx’s appreciation of religious consciousness in class societies remains crucial to his later work, even constituting elements of the epistemological foundations of Capital. Marx’s theory of religion’s source and development—developed through critical appropriations of Feuerbach—undergirds his materialism and structures his understanding of the state in bourgeois orders. His account of persistent religious consciousness in secular orders explains why capitalism requires science to penetrate its secrets and also suggests restricted prospects for spontaneous popular critical consciousness.

This thesis is developed through careful readings of Marx’s work, and is then turned toward three contemporary political-intellectual problems: the contemporary resurgence of religion that is coterminous with the global expansion and intensification of capitalism; political and scholarly debates about the nature of secularism that have destabilized easy oppositions between the religious and the secular; and the rise of political theology, including the theology of finance capital. Marx’s own appreciation of the co-existence of de-sacralization, secularization and religiosity, and of the compatibility of religion and capitalism, offers new angles on each of these problems.

Creative Ecology: Environmental Imagination and Invention in an Age of Crisis
Allison Carruth, English, Institute for Society and Genetics, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UC Los Angeles

Creative Ecology pursues a new cultural history of ecological knowledge and rhetoric in the United States since the 1960s, a project that examines inventive forms of environmental narrative, art and citizen science that break from the prevailing frameworks of eco-apocalypse. In particular, it examines cultural works and scientific initiatives that confront pressing environmental challenges—from urban biodiversity and water sustainability to climate change and seed patenting—by adapting the tactics of the historical avant-garde, performance art, and other forms of twentieth-century cultural experimentation. At the same time, these models of “creative ecology” that the book investigates variously deploy, hack, and subvert the digital technologies that increasingly structure mainstream environmental knowledge production in the twenty-first-century.

Mobile Modernisms: The Last Projects of the Soviet Avant-garde, 1928-1937.
Aglaya Glebova, Art History; Film and Media Studies, UC Irvine

“Mobile Modernisms: The Last Projects of the Soviet Avant-garde, 1928-1937” examines five iconic, yet little studied, projects completed by Soviet avant-garde artists in the decade following Stalin’s rise to power. Ranging from experimental studio exercises to photomontage, installation, sculpture, architecture, painting, and design, they represent complex and stunningly diverse attempts to think visually and materially through the ideology of early Stalinism. In endeavoring to make sense of the new political realities, the protagonists of this project—El Lissitzky, Vladimir Tatlin, Vera Mukhina, and Boris Ender—created objects that challenge received views of this decade as one of “totalitarian art.” Far from the sudden foreclosing usually associated with the end of Soviet modernism, this period, I argue, witnessed a radical (albeit short-lived) expansion of pictorial means inspired by and manifesting the ideals of movement and mobility, including across national borders.

Pan-Africanism and World Revolution: George Padmore, 1903-1959
Peter Hudson, African American Studies and History, UC Los Angeles

George Padmore was a Trinidadian historian, journalist, and activist who played a critical though understudied role in both the global labor agitations of the interwar period and the post-World War II anti-colonial struggles of African and Caribbean countries. Pan-Africanism and World Revolution: George Padmore, 1903-1959 will be a book-length study that reconstructs Padmore’s biographical narrative and intellectual biography. The project has three broad, overlapping intellectual goals. First, to provide a critical reappraisal of Padmore’s voluminous written output to demonstrate the originality and importance of his contribution postcolonial theory and the historiography of decolonization. Second, to offer a reassessment of Padmore’s historical contribution to the development of anti-imperial struggles in Europe and anti-colonial struggles in Africa and the Caribbean. Third, to demonstrate Padmore’s importance – and, following this, the importance of the African Diaspora – to the formation of the post-World War II international political-economic order.

American Nationalist: Ruth Reynolds and the Struggle Against U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico
Lisa Materson, History, UC Davis

‘American Nationalist’ combines a feminist biography of Ruth Reynolds (1916-1989) with a microhistory of her activist communities to examine the gendered and transnational history of the Puerto Rican independence movement. While scholars have extensively documented diverse liberation movements in the United States, the battle for Puerto Rico’s independence has not received the same attention. Reynolds was a North American civil rights and free India activist who challenged traditional gender roles; a confidant of Puerto Rico’s most controversial independence figure, Nationalist Party leader Pedro Albizu Campos; and a living repository of Nationalist Party history following Albizu Campos’ death. Her story is largely unknown, a symptom of both the marginalization of Puerto Rico—its politics and status debates—in U.S. political history, and the centering of men’s experiences in liberation politics history. I employ her story, which spanned activist communities and generations in North America and the Caribbean, to illuminate the wide-ranging voices that shaped this movement and endeavored to construct its memory. The project highlights historical contests over U.S. citizenship, gendered strategies of political mobilization, and the interplay among archive creation, political memory, and historical production.

Infrastructure, Potentiality, and the Afterlife of Art in Japan
Miryam Sas, Comparative Literature/ Film & Media, UC Berkeley

Infrastructure, Potentiality, and the Afterlife of Art in Japan is a manuscript on Japanese intermedia art to be constructed in three sections. The first section traces the history of concepts of intermedia (from the 50s) and then analyzes the burgeoning of “intermedia art” in the 1960s, a key moment of environmental and technological transformation in Japan. The next section analyzes the promises of the shifting structures of media and concomitant structures of feeling as theorized by New Left artists and activists in 1970s Japan. The last section of the book extends the inquiry about infrastructure, intermedia art and culture industries into its legacy in contemporary art, and in particular into the responses to disaster—the 3-11 Fukushima-Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown, and the ways those historical events reactivate and shift frameworks for imaging disaster from the 1923 Tokyo earthquake and World War II. The book is a sustained contribution to an emergent scholarly movement that aims to make heard the radical theoretical framings of problems of film, art, and media coming from Japanese critics and artists, and to articulate their transcultural relevance for the broader fields of film and media studies.

Suing Chevron: Law, Science, and Contamination in Ecuador and Beyond
Suzana Sawyer, Anthropology, UC Davis

This project traces events that led an Ecuadorian court to render a $9 billion ruling against Chevron for contamination in 2011, and, compelled the US federal courts to delegitimize that ruling in 2016. Chevron’s impressive legal strategies have succeeded in making “corruption” the optic for viewing the contamination case in the US. This framing—with which the US federal court now concurs—obscures the lawsuit’s far-reaching significance for transnational jurisprudence and environmental accountability; regardless of US law, the ruling is enforceable internationally. My book argues that the Ecuadorian litigation (despite its flaws) serves as an instructive socio-legal forum for reckoning near-intractable contamination disputes, and, that Chevron’s counter-lawsuit serves as a sobering spectacle for reckoning the legal enactment of the corporation. Ecuador’s judicial system enabled unique evidentiary procedures for garnering the complex scientific and experiential truths needed to distribute legal responsibility. The US judicial system allowed skilled lawyering and staggering financing to ground the truths of a good-enough narrative that stymied out-litigated Ecuadorians. In a world of multiplying socio-ecological harms, this project brings careful attention to how we reconcile challenging contamination controversies and make sense of formidable corporate challenges.

Foundations of Quantum Field Theory
Charles Sebens, Philosophy, UC San Diego

Our best understanding of the laws that govern fundamental particles is captured in the framework of quantum field theory. Although quantum field theory has achieved incredible predictive accuracy, there is no agreed upon physical picture of what’s happening in nature according to the theory or precise statement of the theory’s laws. This lack of clarity is inherited from one of quantum field theory’s precursors, non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Although there is no agreed upon way of understanding non-relativistic quantum mechanics, physicists and philosophers have developed a number of alternative interpretations of the theory. The most promising strategy for clarifying the foundations of quantum field theory is to extend our best existing interpretations of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. This project will focus on extending two interpretations which include particles following definite trajectories in addition to, or in lieu of, the quantum wave function: Bohmian mechanics and Newtonian quantum mechanics (a.k.a. many interacting worlds). This work will utilize the methods of both philosophy (especially metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science) and theoretical physics.

Categories: Blog |

Queer of Color Formations and Translocal Spaces in Europe Interdisciplinary Bibliography

Published on June 5, 2017

Residential Research Groups (RRGs) are the longest-standing grant program at UCHRI, and these groups remain the cornerstone of our grantmaking activities. RRGs are in essence teams of researchers—often unknown to one another before residency—who convene at UCHRI for one quarter to accomplish a commonly-defined research agenda. In Winter 2017, UCHRI hosted a residential research group that focused on the scholarship addressing Queer of Color formations and translocal spaces in Europe.

Traditionally, collaboration in RRGs may take many forms. Cooperation across disciplines elicits challenges of language, terminology, and methodology for all RRGs. The organizing premise of the residential research program is that when those challenges are surmounted, breakthroughs in knowledge are possible. Listen to a podcast with the RRG conveners to hear how this collaboration worked in practice: 

To further represent this interdisciplinary knowledge sharing, we have asked the RRG to craft an interdisciplinary bibliography that represents each individual member’s research and perspective on critical refugee studies. Taken separately, these materials represent key materials selected by scholars of an emerging field of study; when combined, the sources highlight the rich landscape of this topic and its potential to transform scholarship. 

Paola Bacchetta, Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley

Fatima El-Tayeb, Literature and Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego

Fatima El-Tayeb is professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies and director of Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of three books, Undeutsch. Die Konstruktion des Anderen in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft (Ungerman. The Construction of Otherness in the Postmigrant Society), Transcript 2016, European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (University of Minnesota Press 2011; German translation: Anders europäisch, Unrast 2015) and Schwarze Deutsche. Rasse und nationale Identität, 1890-1933 (Black Germans. Race and National Identity, 1890-1933, Campus 2001), as well as of numerous articles on the interactions of race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Her research interests include African and Comparative Diaspora Studies, Queer Theory, Transnational Feminism, European Migrant and Minority Cultures, Muslim communities in the West, Queer of Color Critique, and Visual Cultural Studies. Before coming to the US, she lived in Germany and the Netherlands, where she was active in black feminist, migrant, and queer of color organizations. In 2003, she was a co-founder of the Black European Studies Project. She also is co-author of the movie Alles wird gut/Everything will be fine (Germany 1997).

Source names/links:

Stuart Hall, “Europe’s Other Self,” Marxism Today, 1991

Jillian Hernandez, “Carnal teachings: raunch aesthetics as queer feminist pedagogies in Yo! Majesty’s hip hop practice,” Women & Performance: A Journal Of Feminist Theory, 2014

How the sources reflects your research:

I keep on returning to Hall’s prophetic piece about Europe’s destructive need to produce internal and external Others in order to maintain the narrative of its own superiority. Even though the essay is only a few pages long, there are few others offering a better analysis of European racism.

Hernandez’s piece is a great example of the work of a new generation of scholars who build on the tradition of women of color feminism and queer of color critique, while pushing the limits in new, exciting directions. Hernandez does so by developing the analytical category of “raunch aesthetics” as a way to capture the complexities of queer women of color’s sexual expressions.

João Gabriell, Aix-Marseille Universite, ESPE Ecole Superieure du Professorat et de l’Education

Joao Gabriell is an Afro-caribbean writer and activist based in South of France. He is involved in local anticolonial struggles in Marseille (United Front of Immigration and Working Class Neighborhood [“FUIQP” in french]) and writes mainly on race, colonialism and their intersection with working class queer and trans people of color. His former research where on Black queer nightlife in Paris and now he is focusing on the issue of prison privatization in France.

Source name/link:

Snorton, C. Riley , and Haritaworn, Jin. 2013. “Trans Necropolitics: A Transnational Reflection on Violence, Death, and the Trans of Color Afterlife.” In Transgender Studies Reader 2, ed. Stryker, Susan and Aizura, Aren Z., 66–76. New York: Routledge.

How the source reflects your research:

This article invites us to think about how the actual death of trans people of color and especially trans woman of color, and even more precisely black trans women, is used by racist and neoliberal agenda. The authors use in a very intelligent way the Achille Mbembe concept of “necropolitics”.  In this process, the figure of the homophobic muslim is important and mobilized all the time. So the articles  invites us to think on how not only racism, but especially islamophobia in Europe plays a role in domesticating the racialized poor, push them away from their neighborhoods etc. I’m saying this because in those POC neighborhoods, there are not only muslims that are affected by gentrification, but in Europe, and especially France where I am based, islamophobia is the most obvious way to justify eviction of population, and their stigmatisation. And it affects people of color as a whole, even though obviously in various ways.

Jin Haritaworn, Faculty of Environmental Studies. York University, Ontario, Canada

Jin Haritaworn is a trans of colour activist scholar who has lived, worked, played and organized in Berlin, London and Toronto. They are Associate Professor of Gender, Race and Environment at York University. Jin has produced numerous articles (in journals such as GLQ, Society&Space and Sexualities) and two monographs (including the recent monograph Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places, on queer of colour kitchen tables in gentrifying Berlin). They have edited and co-edited five collections, including Queer Necropolitics and the forthcoming Queering Urban Justice (the latter with an amazing queer of colour collective in Toronto). Jin has made contributions to several fields on both sides of the Atlantic, including gender, queer and transgender studies, critical ethnic studies, and urban studies, and helped shape debates about homonationalism, gay imperialism, intersectionality, hate crime, queer space, activist scholarship and the neoliberal city.

Source name/link:

Razack, Sherene (2002). “When place becomes race,” Race, space, and the law: Unmapping a white settler society. Toronto: Between the Lines.

How the source reflects your research:

Razack’s concept of ‘degenerate space,’ which becomes valuable only as white settlers ‘work,’ ‘cultivate’ and ‘own’ it, is highly influential for my thinking about race, sexuality and space. In my book Queer Lovers and Hateful Others, I call this process, and the murderous inclusions and ascendancies that it enables, ‘queer regeneration.’ Understanding how place becomes race helps us make sense of the colonial architecture which continually displaces, dispossesses and segregates first Indigenous, then other racialized peoples on the least valuable lands, and redistributes resources extracted this way to white and whitening populations interpellated as citizens.

Jillian Hernandez, Ethnic Studies Department and Critical Gender Studies Program, UC San Diego.

Short biography (3-4 sentences):  

Jillian Hernandez is a transdisciplinary scholar interested in the stakes of embodiment, aesthetics, and performance for Black and Latinx women and girls, gender-nonconformers, trans people and queers. She is currently completing her first book, tentatively titled, Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment, and is working on expanding her theorizing on raunch aesthetics into a second book-length project, with a focus on queer Latinx artists. Her scholarship is based on and inspired by over a decade of community arts work with Black and Latinx girls in Miami, Florida through the Women on the Rise! program she established at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. She is continuing this work in San Diego, California in collaboration with Yessica Garcia and Hilda Gracie Uriarte through the creation of the Rebel Quinceañera Collective.

Source name/link:

Willoughby-Herard, Tiffany. “Revolt at the Source: The Black Radical Tradition in the Social Documentary Photography of Omar Badsha and Nadine Hutton.” African Identities 11:2 (2013): 200-226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2013.797287

How the source reflects your research:

Willoughby-Herard’s text analyzes the political significance of the post-Apartheid community arts practices of Black South African photographers Omar Badsha and Nadine Hutton. This work speaks to my interests in the power of collective arts work to deploy alternative political narratives and express complex subjectivities.

SA Smythe, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz and Black Studies, UC Santa Barbara

SA Smythe is a Fellow in the Department of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara and a finishing doctoral candidate in History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz with designated emphases in Literature and Feminist Studies. Their dissertation, L’Italia Meticcia: Being and Belonging in the Black Mediterranean, is a ​transdisciplinary project engaging with transfeminist poetics, Black British ​and Caribbean ​cultural studies, postcolonial literary studies, and critical human geography in order to read the anticolonial and postcolonial writings and performances of Black Italian/Italian East African writers. It examines the legal, literary, and historiographical aporia and erasures in the narration of italianità in the Black Mediterranean from the Risorgimento to the present by meditating on canonicity and citizenship in the wake of Europe’s self-initiated “crises” of migration and the attendant levels of dispossession. SA is currently president of the Queer Studies Caucus of the American Association of Italian Studies (AAIS), publishing editor of THEM – Trans Literary Journal. SA is also a poet and an activist who performs and organises in queer trans Black and abolitionist poetry collectives in London, Bologna, and Berlin. In 2017-18, SA will be a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender & Sexuality Studies at UC Irvine.

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, African American Studies, UC Irvine.

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, African American Studies, University of California, Irvine) researches black political thought—especially black internationalism, the black radical tradition, and black feminism and Third World feminisms. Her book, Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (University of California Press 2015) emphasizes transnational linkages that made “poor whites” the central currency for US and South African intellectuals and race relations policy makers. She examines the role of international philanthropy in South Africa as an expression of the making of global whiteness and the consolidation of the Afrikaner Nationalist variant of white nationalism. Her work is published in: Cultural Dynamics, African Identities, Social Justice, Politics, Groups, and Identities, South African Review of Sociology, New Political Science, Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers, and Race and Class and is the editor of, Theories of Blackness: On Life and Death (University Readers and Cognella Publishers). In 2008 she published ““The Rape of an Obstinate Woman: Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth” in the anthology Shout Out: Women of Color Respond to Violence edited by Barbara Ige and Maria Ochoa (Berkeley, CA: Seal Press). She is the Managing Editor of the National Political Science Review.

Source name/link:

Bacchetta, Paola. “Dyketactics! Notes Towards an Un-silencing.” Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation (2009): 218-31.

How the source reflects your research:

I love the vengeance and fire that animates this history of creating alternative spaces. Sometimes we imagine that solidarity practices emerge from abstract visions instead of grounded attempts just to survive everyday violence in the world. In this essay about 1970s and 1980s activism in Philadelphia Bacchetta explains the ways that solidarity practices are grounded in real world struggles and opportunities that compel people into new social identities and reveal their capacities for political and revolutionary responses to subjection. Bacchetta explains several dyketactics including: 1) sharing and building a heterogeneous community where lesbians of color lived together–communal living, 3) naming practices that hail members as belonging to a new kind of community, 4) demanding hiring women for city employ as meter readers as part of the response to the city using public utilities like heat and water to punish and control residents, 5) demanding hiring women for city employ as meter readers–and having heat turned off as the city response, 6) opening the communal house up to neighbors which required –>knowing about the people in the neighborhood and making each other’s problems your own eg. Latina lesbian elders in a homo-monogamous relationship that did not reconstruct queer gender norms; eg. a mom whose children kept getting sick because landlords were using utilities to punish renters; eg. campaigns against slumlord who refused to take care of the properties; eg. body-shaming and learning about how to address that together; eg. sitting together nude to work through body shaming and painting on room wall with menstrual blood; eg. writing music and poems together as lesbians of color; eg. graffiti zaps; eg. defending a lesbian highschooler who was being targeted; eg. banner and billboard protests; eg. solidarity with striking transit workers; eg. solidarity with MOVE members/American Indian Movement/Puerto Rican Independence Movement/ Bill 1275 (prohibit discrimination against gay people in employment, public accommodation, and housing) and having to fight–physcially- police brutality against lesbians and charges of “hyper-public lesbianism” (225); eg. political manifestos; eg. Dykes for an American Revolution (227). Such quotidian and embodied practices of rude disavowal of state power and middle class and gender and race normativity reflect not just a utopian vision but sensibilities and temperaments of incredible discernment, political clarity, ethics, and love. In my own research it is such practices and traces across generation and across space among queer women and black women and political women that animate my research questions time and again.

From RRG to Digital Archive

Published on December 6, 2016

UCHRI’s Residential Research Groups (RRGs) are in essence teams of researchers assembled to work on a commonly-defined research agenda. The organizing premise of the RRG program is that when the challenges of communicating across disciplines are surmounted, breakthroughs in knowledge are possible. Often, these breakthroughs result in interesting and innovative research projects in the humanities.

Such was the case with our spring 2013 Digital Princess RRG, whose stated goal was to “create an open-access, online resource for study of the voluminous correspondence of Renaissance Italy’s most consummate female social networker, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), marchesa of Mantua.” The resulting archive—a collaboration among several postsecondary institutions and researchers—uses a variety of digital technologies to bring d’Este’s works to life.


The Digital Princess RRG (Spring 2013)

We asked Deanna Shemek, Professor and Chair of UC Santa Cruz’s Department of Literature, about the RRG’s role in the final archive. Below are her responses.

1. How did your time at UCHRI contribute to the success of the Isabella d’Este project? 

The inaugural project of IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive was our interactive platform to house image files of 28,000 letters from Isabella d’Este’s correspondence, which is a customized version of the Medici Archive Project’s BIA: Building Interactive Archives tool. These letters relate in different ways to all of the projects in IDEA: to some projects the letters are central; to others they supply crucial documentation. Without the ability—thanks to a UCHRI Residential Research Group grant in 2013—to meet daily over several weeks in a small working group, we could not have thought through all of this platform’s features. The RRG provided a context in which to meet for one week with an expanded IDEA team at the end, to critique the work, generate ideas for problem-solving, and envision ways of moving IDEA forward. Plain and simple: without the RRG, we quite simply could not have begun the IDEA project.

2. What challenges did you encounter in creating this multi-media, interdisciplinary archive, and how did you work to overcome them? 

The perennial challenge of funding looms large, as digital projects proliferate and compete for resources. IDEA is a multi-project environment, and so far our grants have funded individual projects (or parts of projects) rather than the environment as a whole. The challenge of bringing our group together regularly is also significant. We do much of our work in separate and distant settings, across multiple time zones and in different disciplines with non-coincident work rhythms. Getting together provides crucial and always highly productive, breakthrough time. In one case, thanks to the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program at UNC Chapel Hill, IDEA co-director Anne MacNeil was able to host a generous group of our researchers for a week of intensive work at an event she called “Big Data for Intimate Spaces” https://popp.web.unc.edu. This meeting turned out to be incredibly useful, not least because a snowstorm obliged us all to the unexpectedly intimate confines of Anne’s (lovely and spacious) house for several days, as power outages prevented us from using campus meeting rooms. We’ve met in smaller configurations by taking advantage of opportunities wherever we see them: organize panels at a conference and have a working dinner afterward; invite an IDEA colleague to present work at our respective campuses and tack on project work time, etc.  

A third challenge, not surprisingly, is always technology. Which technology is the best choice for a given IDEA project? We work hard to figure this out early, because decisions made at ground level limit choices at higher levels of digital projects. There can be bumps along the way. Tech support for our wonderful letters platform, which continues to draw praise from archival researchers, requires a Java programmer with more than middling skills, for example, and we don’t always have one “on salary.”  On the other hand, many of our projects are powered by WordPress and its continuously developing suite of plug-ins, including the Prospect toolkit developed at the University of North Carolina. Finally, I would say that another challenge is to stay engaged with critical questions. We don’t want to get lost in the fascination of novelty with our new technologies. We always ask, “How will this particular project advance research capacities, pedagogy, or understanding and engagement with the humanities and the arts?” Sometimes, the advance regards a relatively specialized community (like archival researchers who study the Italian sixteenth century). At other times, the advance has implications for university teaching or even the general public that enjoys visiting historic Italian sites. We honor all of these endeavors.  

Categories: Blog |

Five Questions for UCHRI Grantees: Jonathan Caravello and Sherri Lynn Conklin

Published on October 19, 2016


Now that UCHRI’s calls for applications are open for the 2017-18 academic year, we are profiling previous grantees by asking them five questions about their experience, including any advice they have for potential applicants. This week we are speaking with Jonathan Caravello and Sherri Lynn Conklin, recipients of a 2015-16 Graduate Student Working Group grant to explore inclusive pedagogy in philosophy. 

What appealed to you about the Graduate Student Working Group grant and why did you apply?

In philosophy, women hold less than 25% of tenure track positions, and people of color hold less than 1%. This lack of diversity is comparable only to STEM fields, such as physics and engineering, and is a detriment to the growth of the discipline as perspectives of women and minority philosophers are filtered out.

To combat inequality in philosophy, our working group sought to further the work of organizations like Minorities and Philosophy [MAP], which “aims to examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy.” In 2014-2015, a year before we received the UCHRI grant, five chapters of MAP in Southern California [USC, UCLA, UCR, UCI, UCSB] initiated a year-long regional collaboration on the topic of Philosophy and Inclusive Pedagogy, which culminated in a well-attended conference at UC Irvine in Spring 2015.

The UCHRI Multi-Campus Graduate Working Group Award perfectly provided multi-level support for this developing project. First, the funding supported genuine collaboration between multiple graduate student researchers across several campuses. Second, the grant provided enough flexibility for individuals at each research site to work on a common theme while maintaining focus on their own projects. Third, in addition to research, the grant supported the kind of implementation, outreach, and points of collaboration that is critical to addressing underrepresentation in philosophy.

Can you discuss the process of developing your working group (e.g., how did you prepare, what did you hope to learn, how often did you meet)?

In addition to monthly Skype meetings, working group members communicated frequently in person and via email. We also met three times for face-to-face meetings. With four of the five working group members currently advancing to candidacy, we all faced significant time burdens; however, there were many opportunities for formal and informal collaboration throughout the year.


All photos used with permission of Michael Nekrasov

What is exciting about working in this group is that members have different methods for addressing the problem of Inclusive Pedagogy in Philosophy. Some of us are taking very theoretical approaches to systemic issues in the discipline and others are developing pedagogical tools to be used in the classroom.

Throughout the course of the working group, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

By far the most beneficial aspect of the working group is that it gave us the opportunity to interact with our peers at different UC campuses. As a graduate students, we are told that we ought to narrow our the focus of our studies to a manageable size. But writing a dissertation (not to mention teaching) still makes it difficult to grasp the big picture. Collaborating with peers has helped to connect what we’re doing individually to a larger whole. All of a sudden there is an outlet for the big ideas that we all hope to address but that do not quite fit within the sharpened focus of our dissertations.

What do you wish you had known before starting the grant, and is there anything you would have done differently?

It can be extremely hard to work on long-distance projects with many people. Projects like this require a lot of attention to make sure they are successful, and sometimes the working group took second to our responsibilities as graduate students. However, we have had a huge number of valuable successes, and some of us are already sending out workshops for presentation and papers for publication on topics surrounding equity in philosophy.

What advice do you have for applicants and recipients of the Graduate Student Working Group grant?

Projects like this are necessarily experimental, so please keep in mind that there will be successes and failures. The working group will be successful as long as you have made inroads into achieving your goal. And if at any time you feel like you could use more support, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  

Categories: Blog |

Five Questions with UCHRI Grantees: Imani Kai Johnson

Published on October 12, 2016

Now that UCHRI’s calls for applications are open for the 2017-18 academic year, we are profiling previous grantees by asking them five questions about their experience, including any advice they have for potential applicants. This week we are speaking with Imani Kai Johnson, Assistant Professor of dance at UC Riverside, who received a 2015-16 conference grant for the Show & Prove 2016 Hip Hop Studies Conference.

What appealed to you about the conference grant and why did you apply?

I was excited to see that UCHRI’s conference grant offered institutional support for fledgling conferences.  I applied because I believe the work of the conference that I organized—the “Show & Prove 2016 Hip Hop Studies Conference”—spoke to the award’s interest in events that work across communities and campuses, and are free and open to the public.  These stipulations in particular further demonstrate the grant’s intentions to build with local communities, which made this grant all the more enticing.


Facebook banner for the 2016 Show & Prove conference.

Can you discuss the process of planning and implementing the grant (e.g., how did you prepare, what did you hope to learn, how did you incorporate graduate students)?

Knowing that the bulk of my funding was secured more than a year in advance made the process of organizing Show & Prove 2016 exciting and busy, precisely because we had time and the resources to implement a bigger vision.

From the earliest stages, the UCHRI grant has afforded me unexpected benefits.  The grant application required that I thoroughly represent the conference and account for its history and place within the context of the field.  It also meant being open about my vision for the conference this year and in the future.  As a result, I produced a document with a usefulness that far exceeds the application itself. 

With additional funding for graduate student assistance, we brainstormed incredible programming ideas, ensuring that the interests of graduate students were met broadly.  Graduate students volunteered at the conference, presented new material, and took part in the numerous workshops and master classes. 

My plans for the conference included supporting the attendance of various international and undergraduate presenters who came to the conference.  The grant was indispensable to ensuring that those extra expenses did not prevent us from following through on all of our other plans.  Overall, the conference was a wonderful success. 

From the initial planning phase through the end of the grant period, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

Through honoraria and other forms of assistance, Show & Prove 2016 was able to contribute to the attendance and participation of multiple artists, graduate and undergraduate students, and international scholars.  The UCHRI grant made this possible, and its benefits are numerous.  First, it created an environment wherein those who put in the greatest effort to participate—traveling thousands of miles or taking the steps to attend their first academic conference—where able to do so more comfortably. Secondly, by providing some support, it maximized the conference’s diversity.  Finally, it ensured that we could demonstrate community building in practice by supporting the least financially able among us, which is at the core of the conference’s goals.

What do you wish you had known before starting the grant, and is there anything you would have done differently?

I found out about the grant only two days before its due date(!), and submitted a subpar initial application as a result.  Luckily and thankfully, they gave me a second chance to submit something more significant and of greater substance.  In the future, I would start the application early and look out for the deadline sooner!

What advice do you have for applicants and recipients of the conference grant?

Start you application early.  Be open about your vision and the possibilities of the conference you’re planning.  Take advantage of the opportunities afforded by UCHRI grants. 

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Five Questions for UCHRI Grantees: Jessica Schwartz

Published on October 5, 2016



Now that UCHRI’s calls for applications are open for the 2017-18 academic year, we are profiling previous grantees by asking them five questions about their experience, including any advice they have for potential applicants. This week we are speaking with Jessica Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Musicology at UCLA, who received a 2015-16 Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop grant to prepare her manuscript for publication.

What appealed to you about the Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop grant and why did you apply?

I applied to the UCHRI Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop grant for three main reasons.

First, after receiving the readers’ reports from my editor and revising my manuscript, I felt the project would benefit from critical, collaborative discussion among scholars from diverse fields, and ultimately, their insights would offer new perspectives and help me assess the success of my revision goals. I have learned from workshops, conferences, and invited lectures that collaborative commentary and discussion is one of the most productive ways to begin revisions, from refining small points to unpacking larger claims. I believe strongly that critical attention to my work helps me focus my arguments and broadens perspective. Talking with exceptionally insightful scholars pushes me to think beyond the limits of what is on the page.

Second, my project, Radiation Sounds: Marshallese Music and Nuclear Silences, is highly interdisciplinary. To analyze the ways in which Marshallese musical material, sound, and performance share and shape our global nuclear legacy, I draw from scholarly work in fields such as anthropology, rhetoric, indigenous and Pacific studies, American studies, and women and gender studies. Bringing together six scholars from different disciplines—primarily fields that are not my “home” (musicology)—seemed crucial in preparing a cogent thesis and supporting interpretations with a depth that speaks meaningfully to music scholars (e.g., musicologists, ethnomusicologists) and scholars with whom my work intellectually dialogues.

Third, I wanted more feedback about my revised manuscript prior to the post-contract submission to my publisher, and six more critiques of my work would help me assess whether and in which ways I had met or fallen short of my revision goals. The two anonymous readers’ reports, my editor’s insights, and comments by dedicated friends and colleagues were instrumental in terms of specific chapters and revisions, but it has been difficult during the ever-busy academic year to read the entire manuscript myself more than a few times, much less expect six scholars in several disciplines to provide a critique in their “spare time.” I was excited to be able to offer the participants an honorarium, which allowed me to request a definite date by which their reading would be completed.

Can you discuss the process of developing and offering your workshop (e.g., how did you prepare, what did you hope to learn, how was your workshop organized)?

The UCHRI Junior Faculty Workshop application stressed that the majority of participants should be UC Faculty and one or two could be from outside universities. I was having a difficult time narrowing my lists down, so I wrote to Juliet Williams, UCLA’s representative on the UCHRI Advisory Committee. We met and discussed my application and rationale for applying. She read through my project and pointed me in the direction of four other faculty from whose work she felt mine would benefit. Instead of narrowing the list, the list was actually expanded, but I had a better sense of the workshop. I went back over the readers’ reports and matched the scholars that I felt would contribute the most in helping work through reader comments and my plans to revise the manuscript.   

In terms of preparation—after the scholars agreed to participate in the workshop and we found a convenient time for us all to meet, I sent a preliminary schedule. Without templates, I structured how I would lead the workshop and made my own handouts.

From the initial planning phase through the end of the workshop, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

The actual workshop was very challenging, and I am still processing the group and individual comments as I work through the larger-scale revisions in preparation for publication.  The direction I received was incredible, and I learned a great deal about setting goals and creating an environment where those goals can be met. Two aspects of the workshop from which I continue to benefit are having to distill my arguments and articulate my work to expert scholars in advance of the actual publication and hearing/receiving their honest feedback, both during and after the workshop.

What do you wish you had known before starting the grant, and is there anything you would have done differently?

I realized that I would have benefitted from more one-on-one time with the expert scholars. I did have a two-day workshop, but I would organize it differently. After the opening presentation of my work in front of all of the expert scholars, I would give participants the opportunity to comment on the project based on the feedback sheet I circulated in advance. This would last four hours and would be followed by a group dinner. The following day, I would meet with scholars individually for one hour each to make sure I understood their questions, comments, and advice.

What advice do you have for applicants and recipients of the Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop grant?

This is a wonderful opportunity. For applicants, I would stress that you present a very strong rationale based on the work you have already done. Having concrete reasons why your project would benefit from this workshop will also strengthen the application. For grant recipients, I would advise that you begin thinking about the organization and timeline of the actual event early in your planning process. As I stated above, I realized that instead of having a group for both days, I would have benefitted from some individual meetings as well. I imagine that is not true for everyone, and it helps to imagine the scenario far in advance. Also, consider whether you want to give your expert scholars reading or review guidelines. If so, think about how far in advance you would like to share your guidelines and the way in which these guidelines relate to your workshop goals. Trying to envision how to meet your goals for manuscript revisions is important. Overall, learning how to articulate your project goals and findings beyond the elevator speech, abstract, and job talk to actual scholars that are present only to help you is difficult, exhilarating, energizing, exhausting, and—most importantly—amazingly worthwhile.

I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to UCHRI and my expert scholars for this amazing experience as I finish up my manuscript revisions. Thank you!


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UC Irvine Receives $1.5 Million Grant for UCHRI to Examine Humanistic Inquiry and its Institutional Infrastructures

Published on July 11, 2016

HoH_ImageThe three-year initiative will examine implications for the humanities as distinctions between animals, humans, and technology are increasingly blurred. 


Press Release

The University of California, Irvine has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a 3.5-year UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) initiative, Infrastructure and its Inquiries: Horizons of the Humanities.

“We are thrilled to be supported by the Mellon Foundation on this ambitious program,” states UCHRI director David Theo Goldberg. “Horizons of the Humanities will engage faculty and graduate students throughout the UC system, nationally, and globally in an innovative series of projects and partnerships that will apply experimental humanistic inquiry to a range of contemporary topics. Hats off to the Mellon Foundation for continuing to support innovation in the humanities.”

Horizons of the Humanities seeks to analyze changes in technology, society, and higher education in a way that challenges traditional humanistic inquiry. “Traditionally, humanists have used a (self-)critical lens to comprehend and evaluate artifacts of human expression,” maintains Goldberg. “Today, however, lines are blurred between humans and technology, between knowledge and data production, and between discrete disciplines and methodologies.”

To analyze these changes, humanities faculty and graduate students throughout the University of California will partner with media and technology professionals, prominent national and international scholars, and other key stakeholders to experiment with the following four interrelated themes:

Techno-Humanities: Life at the Interface. An examination of the ways in which digital technology, including algorithmic logic, is contesting our understanding of what makes us human and how humanity itself embodies disparate forms across public, private, and digital interfaces.

On Social Heterogeneity. An inquiry into the challenges and opportunities of supercharged ethnoracial, cultural, religious, and political heterogeneities as a result of hyper-mobilities, and the pressing consequences raised for sociality, democracy, political engagement, and knowledge production.

The University and its Futures. A call to consider and advance the role of postsecondary humanistic learning in the face of these socio-technological changes, with the recognition that these developments cannot be addressed through one single knowledge discipline (however broadly defined).

Research Infrastructure for the Humanities. An analysis of the manner in which interdisciplinary humanities centers can foster the type of innovative, experimental research necessary to address these kinds of challenges, and the infrastructure required to do so.

In addition to evaluating these key themes, the initiative features exploratory research models that aim to cultivate collaboration within and outside the humanities conventionally defined. These models support in-person and digital engagement and include humanities studios, research residencies, mobile researcher networking events and graduate student seminars, non-traditional postdoctoral fellows, and a variety of public engagements and partnerships. “In many ways, the interdisciplinary research models we are developing are as critical to Horizons of the Humanities as the themes they investigate,” notes UCHRI assistant director Kelly Brown. “Both reflect the initiative’s eye toward the experimentation and innovation necessary to conduct contemporary humanities research.”      

Media Contact

Beth Greene, (949) 824-4858, bgreene@hri.uci.edu

About the University of California Humanities Research Institute

Based at the University of California, Irvine, UCHRI supports innovative, collaborative, interdisciplinary research and pedagogy across the University of California system and within the larger communities these campuses inhabit. UCHRI bridges gaps between disciplines across the humanities and human sciences and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers that can separate the humanities from other fields. Recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership, UCHRI also directs its own robust initiatives, which aim to critically evaluate pressing issues for the future of higher education and the humanities.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.

Categories: Blog |

Critical Refugee Studies Interdisciplinary Bibliography (Part II)

Published on June 13, 2016

This post is part of a two-part interdisciplinary bibliography of critical refugee studies. Click here to read the first part of this post.

Nigel Hatton
Humanities World Cultures | UC Merced

Nigel Hatton is an assistant professor of literature and philosophy at the University of California, Merced. He has published articles on the writing of Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ivan Klima and others. Courses taught include Literature & Philosophy, Human Rights & Literature, Modernity, Cosmopolitanisms, Kierkegaard and the Human Condition, and African-American Lifeworlds, Global Thinking & Human Rights. He has been a visiting scholar at the Du Bois Institute, the International Criminal Court, the American Academy in Rome, and The George Brandes School. His current book project comparatively traces the narrative arc of justice in human rights discourses and literary texts.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees. “Refugee Stories.” Accessed on May 26, 2016.  http://stories.unhcr.org/refugees

Stories, telling them, hearing them, sharing them, are fundamental to human existence. Stories also play a central role in every aspect of human rights, humanitarianism, and pursuits of justice and peace. Curiously, those of us who study narrative or stories are left out of discussions in which stories are the central unit or metaphor of action when engaging in human rights practice, scholarship or teaching. Lawyers tell stories, anthropologists ask for stories, sociologists structure stories, scientists create stories, yet their contributions often take the concept of story for granted.  UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has collected the unedited stories of refugees from around the world and placed them on a website designed to elicit sympathy from viewers/readers and compel them to support UNHCR’s valiant mission. These are stories told by brave human beings who have found themselves in difficult predicaments. But their stories, as presented here, are unlikely to have impact that resists the phobic West-centered late capitalist patriarchal racist sexist ableist frame of the world. Anyone who writes, tells, or studies stories for a living knows this and can posit ways out of the predicament.

Lila Sharif
Asian American Studies | U of I Urbana-Champaign 

Lila Sharif earned a dual Ph.D. in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. She is currently a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is completing a book manuscript entitled “Consuming Indigeneity in the 21st Century” (tentative title). Using the olive as an optic, Dr. Sharif’s research analyzes the point of convergence between transnational settler-colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. She traces the olive from the moment it is picked by farmers in the West Bank, to their circulation and consumption in the United States by renowned brands like Dr. Bronner. She asks: How is Palestine made palatable to Western consumers and what is masked/revealed in this process? Dr. Sharif is the first  Palestinian American to earn a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies. She will be joining the faculty of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Fall 2016.

Shehadeh, Raja. Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape.  New York: Scribner, 2008.

Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014.

El-Haddad, Laila, and Maggie Schmitt. The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey. Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books: 2012.

What happens when indigenous and militarized spaces become consumed transnationally through fair trade, organic, and other alternative food movement circuits? What are the impacts of these evolving consumption practices on native producers and consumers, and how can this contribute to what we know about the processes of settler-colonialism? In my work, I use the olive as an optic to analyze the production, circulation, and consumption of Palestinian olive oils  from the West Bank that are marketed to Western consumers.

Inspired by indigenous feminisms, food and consumption studies, and contemporary works on militarization, I introduce “Vanishment” as a poetic and epistemological concept that links neoliberal capitalism with settler colonialism through a transnational framework. I first came to the term Vanishment after reading Palestinian Walks, in which Palestinian author and human rights lawyer Raja Shehadeh treks through Palestine, watching the landscape before him shrink. Building on  his concept of a “vanishing landscape”t, my book project offers Vanishment to name the simultaneity of disappearing lands and the assumed integration of indigeneity into global markets. Cynthia Enloe’s chapter “Going Bananas! Where Are Women in the International Politics of Bananas?” in Bananas, Beaches and Bases has allowed me to link the gendered process of militarization as they relate to the production and consumption of the racialized commodity-the banana- linking its emergent popularity to the increasing stretch of U.S. empire. Expanding on this linkage between food, militarization and settler-colonialism, I also show that food sites are active sites of memory making for displaced Palestinians. This multi-sited, interdisciplinary work remaps Palestine through narratives around the Palestinian olive tree, fruit and harvest that trouble the assumed completion of Vanishment.

Khatharya Um
Ethnic Studies | UC Berkeley 

Khatharya Um is Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies/ Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program, and Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of From the Land of Shadows: War, Revolution and the Making of the Cambodian Diaspora (NYU, 2015) and co-editor of Southeast Asian Migration:  People on the Move In Search of Work, Refuge, and Belonging (Sussex, 2015).  She has also written widely on Southeast Asian politics and society and on critical issues facing Southeast Asian refugees in the diaspora, including on issues of education access, health, language politics, and equity and inclusion. Her research interests center on global refugees, diasporas, colonial and postcolonial imaginary, and the politics of memory and memorialization. Her current project interrogates the concept of liminality within the frame of critical refugee studies.

Panh, Rithy. The Elimination. New York: Other Press, 2013.

“I don’t like the overused word ‘trauma.’ Today, every individual has its trauma, whether large or small.  In my case, it manifests itself as unending desolation; as ineradicable images, gestures no longer possible, silences that pursue me…What wounds me has no name.”

My work interrogates the pathology of power and its impact on individuals and social systems.  It addresses and moves beyond the question of what produces mass violence to illuminate the struggle of individuals and communities to make meaning of and move through historical injuries. It engages with issues of accountability and transitional justice, the politics of memory, and the daily acts of resistance and repair through interdisciplinary, transgenerational  and trans-geopolitcal lenses, spanning Southeast Asia and  the Cambodian diaspora.

Ma Vang
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies | UC Merced

Ma Vang is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Merced. She is the author of “The Refugee Soldier: A Critique of Recognition and Citizenship in the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 1977” published in the special issue on Southeast Asian American Studies for positions: asia critique 20.3. She is a co-editor of Claiming Place: On the Agency of Hmong Women (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). This collection will be the first of its kind to provide a critical Hmong studies lens to intersections of race, gender, class, nation, displacement, and citizenship contributing to the burgeoning field of critical refugee studies. Her current research focuses on the historiography of the Cold War and Vietnam War with an emphasis on the United States’ “secret war” in Laos and on the Hmong public engagements with the representational absence of their involvement in this history.

Weld, Kirstin. Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

“The Hmongstory 40 Project.” Accessed on May 26, 2016. http://www.hmongstory40.org

The first source is a book on the archive as a tool used by the state to impose violence, but which can be utilized by people to work toward social change and justice. This book informs my research on the “secret war” in Laos and how secrecy produces absence but also opens up possibilities for alternative stories of a conflict that was kept secret from the American public, and which produced the displacement of Hmong, Lao, and other refugees.The second source is a community-led project in California’s Central Valley to commemorate 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War/”secret war” by documenting and telling Hmong stories of life in Laos, during the war, migration, and life in the United States. The stories, photographs, and artifacts are presented in an exhibit that first opened in Fresno, will open in Merced in May 2016, and will conclude in Sacramento in fall 2016. This project and its exhibit exemplifies my research about how Hmong publicly engage with this part of their history and U.S. history that has been kept secret.

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