2017 - 2018 CRG Student Research Grantees

AY 2017 - 2018 CRG Student Research Grantees

Grid with photos of AY 2017 - 2018 CRG Student Research Grantees

AY 2017 - 2018 CRG Student Research Grantees


Department:  African American Studies; Theater, Dance & Performance Studies

Project Title:  The Church of Black Feminist Thought: Visual Theory-Telling Maps and Gatherings

The Church of Black Feminist Thought: Visual Theory-Telling Maps and Gatherings aims to bring together people and ideas in the name of love, hope, gratitude, and community.  Each black feminist thinker we decide to bring to church (replete with potluck food) is someone who has offered the world counter-imaginations and strategies for how to thrive in our minds, bodies, and spirits. As Katherine McKittrick recently posed in her keynote of theBlack Geographies Symposium, “what if citations offered advice, teachings, counseling, life, initiations, and affirmations on how to refuse systems of oppression and dehumanization?” Church is our way to share these citations in more accessible ways and to surface all the hidden labor created by black feminist scholars, thinkers, and writers.  While much of our academic work is suspended in long publishing timelines and hard to decipher language, we believe that bringing the words of black feminist thinkers into conversation in physical space, then translating our collective ruminations into visual storytelling and illustration will nourish and support many.  We are most excited about this project because it lives at the intersection of gender, race, and critical theory. 

LAURA BELIK (Spring 2018)
Department:  Architecture – History, Theory and Society

Project Title:  Racial and spatial exclusions in Brazil: Concentration Camps and the Nordestinos’ Migratory Histories

This research proposes to understand the connections between the urban built physical spaces and social, racial, political and economic exclusions in Brazil by observing Nordeste’s (Northeast Brazil) Concentration Camps from the early 20th Century and particularly looking at the Nordestinos (population from Northeast) and their migratory paths as a way to emphasize this approach to segregation. This case study shows how the camps can be perceived as the starting point in order to understand the countries’ social and physical exclusions, and how the Nordestinos’ history is an important example to perceive racial segregation and its direct connections to land distribution, symbolizing Brazil’s inequality.

Department:  Folklore

Project Title:  Heritage Futures: Local and National Making of 'Afro-Panama'

My research draws from critical studies of race, heritage and museology to explore spaces which commemorate racial diversity in Panama, from both ‘local’ and ‘national’ perspectives. Since the 1960s, Panama City has undergone urban renewal projects which resulted in the displacement of working-class Afro-Caribbean communities. Simultaneously, national heritage sites emerged memorializing the landmarks and life-ways that disappeared from those neighborhoods. My project examines how these sites and their materials invoke racialized historical narratives, and simultaneously how alternative spaces, such as local eateries and places of worship, have become significant heritage sites of their own. Ultimately, I consider how these two heritage landscapes engage and shape contemporary discourses of race and identity on the isthmus.

KENLY BROWN (Fall 2017)
Department:  African American Studies

Project Title:  “The Disciplinary Dumping Ground”: The Construction of Black Girlhood in an Alternative School

This dissertation explores how alternative school settings are used as a form of exclusionary discipline to punish Black girls. The conventional literature in this area examines the rates and subjective experiences of exclusionary punishment (e.g. in school and out of school suspension, expulsion, and arrests) among Black girls in school settings. Currently, there is a dearth of scholarship that examines how continuation schools act as a form of exclusion for predominantly poor students of color, specifically Black girls.

In this dissertation, I analyze how constructions of Black girlhood shape and justify practices of exclusion and punishment in a California continuation school, H.B. Stowe Academy (pseudonym for the continuation school). I examine how institutional policies and practices act as a form of institutional violence that constructs a distinct type of vulnerability for Black girls in a continuation school setting. Interviews with Black female students reveal they feel pressure to resist, and at times conform, to stereotypical perceptions as domineering, “too grown”, or hypersexualized in order to negotiate dynamics of violence, abandonment and exclusion in the school and at home. At the same time, Black girls continue to dream of possible futures outside of the conditions of violence and exclusion they currently experience.

Department:  Ethnic Studies

Project Title:  Multicultural State Reforms and Indigenous Land Rights in El Salvador

Interdisciplinary scholarship has developed two distinct approaches to the study of national indigenous politics in Latin America: one approach focuses on multicultural state reforms (Anthropology and Political Science), and the other approach centers on indigenous land rights (Geography and Anthropology). Neither approach has analyzed national indigenous politics in El Salvador. Why has each approach overlooked El Salvador? What insights might the Salvadoran case yield for each approach and, more broadly, for the interdisciplinary study of national indigenous politics in Latin America? My interdisciplinary research will investigate the relationship between multicultural state reforms and indigenous land rights in El Salvador. It will engage with and contribute to Native American and indigenous studies, political ecology, and Latin American studies.

Department:  Public Health

Project Title:  Getting to the Root of It: Deconstructing Alcoholism in the Salvadoran Diaspora Community

Alcoholism among Latino immigrant men living in the U.S., much like other social issues in Public Health, has been analyzed and treated through behavior model theories focused on improving the will and self-efficacy of the individual. Various literature also reduces the causes of alcoholism to the cultural values within this ethnic group. These perspectives, while dominant in the field of Public Health, may overlook deeper understandings of why alcoholism issues are present in Latino immigrant communities. They often do not incorporate the lived experience, nor how environments impact an individual, and manifest in the body through coping mechanisms such as alcoholism. This study uses a critical interpretive approach through qualitative interviews and focus groups to better understand the structural factors which underlie alcoholism in Salvadoran immigrant men in the U.S, specifically targeting those who have immigrated from the community of Reubicación Número Uno, El Salvador to the Southern California area. An analysis of these interviews will reveal how historical, political, and economic forces including colonialism contributed to this sensitive issue, the function of alcohol to assist in the reproduction of power dynamics, and the Salvadoran immigrant perception of their own experiences. Furthermore, this study aims to identify community based strategies that includes structural factors into account to incorporate more holistic approaches to treatment. It contributes to the limited body of research of structural analyses of health in regards to the Salvadoran experience.

Department:  Ethnic Studies

Project Title:  San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association: An Oral History

My oral history project examines the raison d’être behind the establishment and continuous existence of the San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association. The association is in charge of safekeeping the historical memory of the Battle of San Pasqual (1846). Historians have catalogued the battle as the bloodiest military encounter between Mexican and U.S. armed forces in Alta California during the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-48). The organization engages in commemorating and interpreting the battle through a host of living history activities: educational programs for schoolchildren, docent tours, and an annual historical re-enactment of the battle. Members of the organization, however, harbor conflicting views as to why the battle took place, its outcome, and why and how one should commemorate it. While some view the battle as providing “a martial lesson on what went wrong that day” for the U.S. Army, others hail the battle as a “symbol of resistance against U.S. imperialism.” My investigation examines the politics of commemoration: at stakes are conflicting notions of patriotism, national belonging, citizenship, and historical memory at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and gender. The investigation seeks to contribute to the literatures of U.S.-Mexico Borderlands Studies, Ethnic Studies, Oral History, and History and Memory.

Department:  African American Studies

Project Title:  Race, Gender and Belonging - The African Diaspora in Denmark

This project is about expanding and deepening our understanding of the African Diaspora in Europe, particularly in Denmark. Critical race and gender studies are few, since there is a profound reluctance to even pronounce the word ​race ​in Europe. The result is obscuring discourses of “othering” that compound the experiences of social inequality.

I am looking to illuminate the implications of belonging in Denmark for those of African descent. I am interested in examining lived experiences and external conditions of belonging in a liminal space between European-as-white and racialized-as-immigrant-other.

The theoretical framework for the project will be informed by black feminist thought and critical race studies. With this project I aim to offer alternatives to a political discourse and social imaginary of Denmark in which “whiteness” is implied in belonging, yet without a framework to address exactly that.

Department:  Public Health

Project Title:  A Qualitative Exploration of Minority Stress and Psychosocial Resources among Trans, Genderqueer and Non-binary Adolescents of Color

Transgender adolescents suffer from disproportionately high rates of mental health disorders, generally attributed to social stress resulting from stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, otherwise known as gender-based minority stress. Although transgender adolescents of color likely experience even greater rates of adverse mental health outcomes than their white peers due to the combined effects of both gender and racial discrimination, scant research has focused specifically on this population. This study addresses this gap in the literature through an exploration of minority stressors and psychosocial resources among a diverse group of trans, genderqueer, and non-binary adolescents of color between the ages 16-20 residing in New York City and the Bay Area. The study uses “lifeline” narratives and photo elicitation to examine participant experiences of minority stressors, and to identify the psychosocial resources that protect against minority stressors, such as social support, community resources, and safe spaces. A better understanding of the lived experiences of trans, genderqueer, and non-binary adolescents of color, and the processes that promote resilience, will facilitate the development of interventions that reduce stigma and create more affirming environments for this population.

INA KELLEHER (Fall 2017)
Department:  Ethnic Studies

Project Title:  The Everyday Lives of Grieving Mothers

The murder of a child is devastating for any family. For poor families of color, however, the loss of a child can lead to major emotional, social, and economic upheaval. My preliminary research shows that youth homicide is uniquely destabilizing for low-income Black and Latina mothers, who head the majority of low-income households. My ethnographic research suggests that the murder of their child punctuates years of hardship as low-income mothers struggle to raise children in the face of gang violence, police harassment, poverty, and unstable housing. Indeed, many mothers describe the loss of their child as both uniquely painful and “more of the same”. Structural inequalities, as well as their traumatic histories, compound poor mother’s grief, resulting in long and complicated bereavement processes. This research reveals how social, political, and economic structures operate in concert with personal histories of trauma to shape the emotional worlds of bereaving Black and Latina mothers.

KERBY LYNCH (Fall 2017)
Department:  Geography

Project Title:  A​ ​Persistent​ ​Desire

A​ ​Persistent​ ​Desire​ (working title) will be a 54 minute essay documentary, directed by Lenn Keller and Kerby Lynch in collaboration with the Bay Area Lesbian Archives.

The film employs a radical feminist perspective in it’s affirmation and celebration of the gender non conforming lesbian sub-culture commonly known as butch-femme. The film examines the history and controversies that surround this marginalized and largely invisible LGBTQ sub-culture. The film captures a brief window of time from 1995 – 2005 when butch-femme culture experienced a visible re-emergence.

I use archival material provided by the Bay Area Lesbian Archive to highlight this time period. The film is largely based within the San Francisco Bay Area community, and challenges the stereotypes and misunderstandings that have historically plagued the perception of butch-femme culture. The film examines butch-femme experience through the voices of thoughtful, self-identified femmes and butches from a diverse range of ages, cultures, ethnicities and class backgrounds. Many of the oral histories are from well-known activist, scholars, artist and community members.

Department:  Education

Project Title:  Settler Pedagogy: Schooling in Indian Country, the Black South, and Colonial Hawaii, 1840-1923

My dissertation examines the rhetoric and actions of white reformers during the 19th and early 20th centuries and how they constructed the racialized and gendered narratives of Indigenous and Black Education. It functions as a genealogy of colonial and anti-Black education, unearthing how racial and gendered narratives of schooling came into existence and propagated. Through a case study of the Hampton Institute, I analyze how white reformers established connections between Indigenous and Black education in relation to each other. I excavate the underpinnings of the racial narratives, and how gender helps define them, that are reproduced in present day schools. The archival sources I analyze in the dissertation range in time from 1840 to 1923. The Hampton University Archives provides the largest portion of the data for this dissertation. I contextualize the data collected from Hampton with archival data on Hawaiian manual labor schools, Indian Boarding Schools, and Southern industrial schools. This study adds to the literature on the connections and intersections between Indigenous education and Black education, particularly how racialized and gendered discourses and their connected educational models traveled and became part of common sense understandings of schooling.

Department:  Ethnic Studies

Project Title:  Bordering the Tohono O'odham: Enforcing the Boundaries of Race, Gender, Indigeneity, and Land at the US-Mexico Border, 1870-1930

Scholars have separately investigated the rise of the US-Mexico Border during the Mexican Revolution and the US policy of gendered assimilation aimed at Native Americans during the same time period. What has yet to be investigated are the ways these are mutually informed, simultaneous, and coterminous. These entanglements are nowhere more visible then on Tohono O’odham land and in the Tohono O’odham community which is bifurcated by the border in southern Arizona.

This archival research on the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) records on the Tohono O’odham from 1888-1954 at the National Archives in Riverside, CA theorizes “borderings,” the simultaneous and mutually informed constitution of boundaries of race, gender, Indigeneity, and land. Through a close examination of the Subject Files of Indian, the Reports of the Field Matrons, and the Subject Files of Superintendent I ask how were these intersections thought or not-thought together? How did the hardening of the US-Mexico Border in the 1910’s inform the gendered assimilation project of the same era? How are the Tohono O’odham being multiply bordered. My analysis of the data collected will also be featured in an article.

Department:  Theater, Dance & Performance Studies

Project Title:  Writing (Our) Voices into the Archive: Poets of Color Writing on Radical Vocal Performance

Funds from the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender Studies grant will be used to produce and publish a specialty chapbook of creative reflections from black and brown poet-performers exploring how they use their voice in performance work. This project supports my continuing practice as a poet and publisher, in addition to my doctoral research on the voice as a political performative material employed by performers of color contesting canonical formations. The project enacts a Black and women of color feminist methodology, both by centering artists of color as critical experts on how to narrate and dismantle systems of structural violence, and taking on an autoethnographic approach that situates the personal and the embodied as valuable sites of knowledge production and theorization. Literally writing our voices into archival collections, this creative book project contends with the historic erasure of how we scream, stutter, sing, spit and whisper within and against racial and gendered violence.

Department:  Sociology

Project Title:  Producing Delinquency: The Struggle for Racial Integration in the Foster Care System, 1920s-1950s

Using archival materials from New York City, my dissertation documents the history of Black children’s struggle for inclusion in the early foster care system. In the 1920s, the rise of Children’s Courts enabled visibility of Black children’s needs after a long history of exclusion. Yet, my preliminary research suggests that judges found themselves unable to place the increasing number of Black children in their chambers because of the exclusionary policies of most private foster care agencies. The records of the court indicate that with limited options, judges labeled dependent Black children as delinquent to ensure out-of-home placement, and expanded the system of temporary public shelters to board them. As the decades wore on, judges no longer needed to label Black children delinquent because, in the eyes of the court, they became criminal the longer they languished in a system built for short-term needs. Extending theories of liberal racial criminalization, I argue that in the course of the struggle for integration, the court engaged in practices that can been see as producing racialized delinquency. Ultimately, the political contests for racial integration in the foster care system are an important pre-history for contemporary understandings of the link between race, crime, and childhood.

Department:  Geography

Project Title:  Inside the Space of Exception: Life, Death, and Land in the South Texas Borderlands

My research examines the relationship between death, political community, and contested space in South Texas, a region that is at once on the margins of the United States, and at the center of the nation’s ongoing efforts to articulate its boundaries and sovereignty. As Brooks County, Texas, has become the epicenter of migrant traffic and death in the United States, two NGOs—opposed in structure and politics, and reflective of historically antagonistic racialized social formations in the region—were incorporated. I use ethnographic research methods alongside these two organizations to understand how legacies of antagonism and new realities of death affect the ways that local politics and federal enforcement agencies condition each other’s work in the region.This project’s attention to local political and social formations transforms what we think we know about state border militarization, revealing its capacities to be shaped according to local plans and conflicts, both longstanding and now-emerging out of a novel triangulation between space, race, and death.

Department:  Architecture

Project Title:  Race, Rights, and Reparations: The Material Culture of World War II Confinement Camps in Canada and the United States

This study focuses on the aftermath of wartime civilian internment and exposes unexplored linkages between redress movements in British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaiʻi to demonstrate critical distinctions in the wartime and post-World War II experiences in Canada and the United States. I focus on Western Canada and the Western States’ architectural legacy of extant World War II prison camps through three empirical case studies: (1) Tashme Internment Camp in West Kootenay, British Columbia; (2) Funter Bay near Juneau, Southeast Alaska and; (3) Honouliuli National Monument in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and offer a historical genealogy of transnational grassroots alliances and coalitions forged among geographically disparate groups confined outside the boundaries of legal and civil rights. In studying these parallel social movements, I aim to underscore how former incarcerees adopt transnational spatial and rhetorical techniques to demand legal redress and symbolic, collective reparations from the Canadian and the United States’ government.

ASHTON WESNER (Spring 2018)
Department:  Environmental Science, Policy & Management

Project Title:  Cultures of Settler Militarism: Race, Environmental Masulinity, and the Ecologization of Drone Warfare

As Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area counties faced decline in extractive natural resource economies at the end of the 20th century, the emergence of a local entrepreneurial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company—Insitu Inc—was lauded for its contributions to a burgeoning surveillance industry-hub, local ecotourism, and recreation. Insitu Inc’s ScanEagle Drone has garnered multi-million dollar defense contracts and use in border security and counter-terrorist operations. But the ScanEagle is a derivative of the SeaScan, originally designed to collect weather data and track schools of tuna for dolphin-safe commercial catch. In this project I ask, how are military-environmental politics produced in and through iterative translations between watching whales and targeting racialized subjects? To what extent does rural tech-culture naturalize the expansion of defense industry by enrolling long-standing settler imaginaries of the Gorge as an accessible, whitewashed landscape of play? Through ethnographic and discursive analysis of ScanEagle production and representation, I examine contemporary articulations of environmentalism, recreation, whiteness, and the policing of racialized human “targets” at global scales. This research will shed light on the enrollment of environmental technologies in global US militarism, and how algorithmic logics of securitization and ecological sciences coproduce one another.

Department:  Pubic Health - Medical Anthropology

Project Title:  Therapeutic Artifacts: Race, Gender, and Cultural Production in the Context of Adolescent Cancer Treatment

Although there are a number of ethnographic studies of the ways in which race and gender affect clinical interactions and experiences in the context of cancer treatment, none of these studies have explored the role of racialized and gendered constructions of youth culture and adolescence as a normative life stage. My research will explore these issues through a sensory ethnography of adolescent cancer treatment at UCSF Bennioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Through interviews and participant observation in art and music therapy sessions, I will explore how patients, family members, and psychosocial professionals articulate racialized and gendered conceptions of adolescence, youth culture, and cancer patienthood. Among patients and families, I will explore how racialized and gendered constructions of adolescence and youth culture may serve as therapeutic resources for coping with the stresses and traumas of cancer treatment. Among psychosocial professionals, I will explore how overt and covert constructions of race and gender influence the therapeutic interventions they offer and the clinical interactions they have with specific patients.

OLIVIA K. YOUNG (Spring 2018)
Department:  African American Studies

Project Title:  How the Black Body Bends: Sensorial Distortions of the Black Female Body in Contemporary Art, 1960-2016

How the Black Body Bends: Sensorial Distortions of the Black Female Body in Contemporary Art, 1960-2016 traces the emergence of themes of distortion within the creative processes and material choices of black female artists as a recurrent tool to unsettle dominant looking practices and systems of visibility. I argue distortion not only complicates methods of seeing blackness but, as an analytic, exposes the relationship between vision and other senses. Each chapter centers three artists from the onset of the black feminist art movements of the 1960s, contributing to the growing body of work addressing the erasure of black feminist art from art historical narratives.


Department:  Political Science, Legal Studies, Public Policy

Project Title:  Towards a Critical Race Theory of Homelessness and Education: Racial Mircoaggressions among Homeless Youth of Color

Despite the near-constant growth of homelessness among youth of families, almost three-quarters of which are Youth and Families of Color, scholars have only twice employed a Critical Race Theory (CRT) of education to analyze the experiences of Homeless Students of Color. Using a CRT framework and qualitative data, this study will be the first of its kind to use the analytical CRT tool of racial microaggressions to understand the scholastic struggles and racialization of Homeless Students of Color in elementary, middle, and high school.

This phenomenological study will draw from semi-structured in-depth interviews with Black and Latina/o homeless students between the ages of 12 and 18 living in Orange County, California. Three primary questions will guide this study. (1) How do homeless youth of color experience racial and gender microaggressions? (2) What forms do these microaggressions take? (3) How do these experiences affect school life and other educational experiences?

Department:  Sociology

Project Title:  Unrecognized Genocide: The Case of Sri Lanka

My research will be investigating the case of Sri Lanka to explore the theory of genocide, critically analyzing scholarship surrounding mass atrocities and mass violence. It is my contention that when genocide goes unrecognized, it incites anomic conditions. Residual war trauma is externalized within the affected diaspora through intergenerational trauma, abuse, and selective memory. The goal of this article is to clarify and provide specific cases of post war trauma manifesting in Sri Lankan Tamil youth refugees living in California. By mapping the colonial history of Sri Lanka that led to the conditions of civil war, and speaking on the forced migration of civilians both internally and abroad, I will provide context for narrating my observational research with three Sri Lankan asylum seekers that attend high school in California. This investigation poses several questions: How does the definition of genocide function to scale war crimes, violence, and trauma and reproduce inequities of classification? More specifically, in what ways does its definition confirm historically identified genocides while overlooking and condemning other episodes of mass violence? How does selective memory prevail within a post-war, post-genocide diaspora? How is trauma from Sri Lanka intergenerational?

Department:  Anthropology

Project Title:  Revolutionary Ideologies

This project explores the ideological disparities across generations under the Castro Regime in Cuba. Since the fall of the URSS, the Cuban government has struggled to keep alive the patriotic sentiments and revolutionary ideals in its people. This phenomenon is visible in the behaviors and ideals of many of my generation’s young adults. I will explore the question of what are the elements and structures that have influenced a shift of ideals in my generation and the interplay of the race, gender, and social status intersections affect these. My methodology includes a qualitative analysis through ethnographic work in one of Havana’s slums: Luyanó, including video and interviews, and archival research conducted at libraries in Cuba and U.C. Berkeley. Footage from the Luyanó neighborhood will bring a three dimensional and emotive perspective on some of the scarcely explored Cuban neighborhoods and environments. The reestablishment of relationships between Cuba and the U.S. under the Obama Administration and the sudden suspension of friendly policies by Trump has made Cuban’s future stand in doubt. This calls for research while history is in the making, hoping this project to serve further other future research and bring global attention to the island.

Department:  Ethnic Studies.Film

Project Title:  Visual Counter Narrative

Language foregrounds the way we communicate. In the U.S., English is the dominant language. It’s hegemonic presence works as an erasure to the native languages for many immigrants as a means of having to assimilate to US dominant culture. What power dynamics are created between mother and child when their child education inserts a language barrier between them? My research is inspired by Pat Mora’s poem, “Elena”, this work is personal and is informed by my own experience as a first generation person and the daughter of immigrant parents. In my research I will be investigating the cultural distance created between immigrant parents and their first generation children. I will concentrate on the distance created between first generation children and their immigrant mothers. Through the collection of personal experiences of first generation students and their immigrant mothers’ relationship specific to language. My goal is to use the collected narratives from my research in a film essay that grounds its characters and story in the lived experiences of first generation immigrant mothers and their children.

Department:  Legal Studies

Project Title:  Gendering the Death Penalty: Intersectionality and Incarceration in India’s Criminal Justice System

This project explores how gender and caste (race) shape the experiences of women sentenced to death in India and aims to situate India’s criminal justice system within a broader conversation surrounding processes of democratization and criminal justice reform. In February 2016, the National Law University in New Delhi produced the Death Penalty Research Project (DPRP), which interviewed 373 prisoners under the sentence of death. The report documented the prisoners’ socio-economic profiles to emphasize that the death penalty produces a particular carceral experience – one defined by the uncertainty of the sentence’s fulfillment and the violent treatment of convicted prisoners. Out of the 373 prisoners included in the report, only 12 are women. Through an in-depth analysis of narratives, biographical readings, and archival materials of the twelve female prisoners covered in the report, I plan to analyze how these stories reflect the intersectional impact of gender, caste, religion, and access to education for women engaging with the criminal justice system in India.

Department:  Anthropology

Project Title:  Lingual Choices: The Taboo of Sexual, Reproductive, and Women's Health in India

AIDS has held a strong place in the agendas of the Indian government and NGOs in the past few decades, a condition which includes almost 2.4 million infected individuals in India today according to the World Bank. As this condition was heavily targeted on the national level by The National AIDS Control Program (NACP) and on the local level by NGOs, many at risk populations, such as truck drivers or sex workers, received education and tips for safer sex practices. However at the same time, the major driver of AIDS, sexual intercourse (and related topics like women’s health and reproductive health), was still rarely conversed in daily conversations and awareness only exacerbated the idea that sex was dirty and improper. While much research regarding the barriers and lack of information has been documented, not much research has been done regarding the language used in Tamil Nadu when talking about these topics. Thus the study aims to interview and analyze the speech of women in a village in Tamil Nadu to gain a further understanding of common language usage and linguistic quirks.

SHELBY MACK (Spring 2018)
Department:  American Studies

Project Title:  #BlackGirlsMatterToo: Understanding the Development of Black Female Enrichment Programs in Oakland, CA

Black girls not only suffer criminalization and punishment enforced by the police and prison system, but also from social institutions such as schools and universities (Wun, 2016). In addition, recent research illustrates that Black male enrichment programs can significantly decrease expulsion and suspension rates among Black male youth. However, there is little to no research on the development and benefits of Black female enrichment programs. Therefore, my research seeks to identify factors, such as school discipline, criminalization and gender violence in order to understand how the first Black female enrichment program (African American Female Excellence Program, AAFE) within Oakland Unified School District can offer solutions towards healing Black girls experiences from dehumanizing school practices (i.e. Zero Tolerance Policies). My ethnographic research will employ in-depth interviewing, coding, purposive sampling and non-participant observation.

My research question is based on understanding the different phases of AAFE overtime, and how AAFE workers are using different healing methods (i.e. healing circles) as a way to heal Black girls from dehumanizing school practices. 

BETSY ROHNEY (Fall 2017)
Department:  Interdisciplinary Studies

Project Title:  My Language is Awakening: Exploring Motivations and Barriers of Heritage Language Learning within Urban Māori Millennials

My research examines Māori identity by focusing on te reo Māori (“The language Māori”) fluency and the experiences that have led Māori individuals to their current understanding of the language. This study proposes that urban-dwelling Māori people between the ages of 18 and 34 experience more barriers learning their heritage language than those living in rural areas. 

Te reo Māori is a currently threatened language. Speakers living in urban cities are less likely to use the language on a daily basis due in part to it’s lack of necessity in the city. English has long been the language of commerce, education, and law, while te reo is the language of the home and the heart. The goal of this project is to assess the needs of Millennial Māori, who may be thinking of starting their own families, and explore opportunities to transmit the language to future generations. Language revival often begins in the home where it may conflict with the demands of society.