May 30, 2017—The Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies recently announced  seven graduate students as the recipients of its first Tinker Field Research Grants. Tinker Field Research Grants are open to students across all academic disciplines and graduate degree programs to assist master’s and doctoral students with travel and field-related expenses for brief periods of field research in Latin America. 

Also, three graduate students will receive CLLAS Graduate Student Grants for research projects to be carried out over the summer.

Additionally, Kristin Yarris, assistant professor in the Department of International Studies, will direct a CLLAS Faculty / Collaborative Grant Project with two graduate students and community organization Centro LatinoAmericano.

Award winners and their projects are listed below.

2017-18 CLLAS Faculty / Collaborative Grant Project

  •  “Protecting Undocumented Communities in the Trump Era: Understanding Motivations to Welcome and to Reject Immigrant Communities.” Kristin Yarris, assistant professor, and K. Schmidt Murillo and Brenda Garcia Millan, graduate students, Department of International Studies; and community organization Centro LatinoAmericano.

2017-18 CLLAS Graduate Grant Awardees

  •  “Developing a Disability Legal Consciousness: Racism and Ableism in Special Education Advocacy.”
    Katie Warden, Department of Sociology. My dissertation is an ethnographic study of the intersection of gender, race, and disability. Through interviews and participant observation, I examine how Latina moms of kids with disabilities become advocates for themselves and their children in the special education system in Oregon. This research addresses two theoretical gaps in the disability studies literature. How is disability legal consciousness developed and acted upon by mothers of children with disabilities? How do race, gender, and immigration status intersect with disability to create unique experiences, identities and ways of knowing? This project examines both these issues through the lens of support groups for Latino parents of children with disabilities.
  •  “Intergenerational Perceptions and Experiences Related to Acculturation among Latina/o High School Language Brokers in Oregon.”
    Angel Dorantes, Department of Education Studies. This study explores intergenerational perceptions and experiences related to acculturation among Latina/o high school language brokers in Oregon. Scholars generally agree on the following intergenerational definitions: first generation is a foreign-born immigrant; the 1.5 generation is a foreign-born adolescent or child immigrant and; a US born child of at least one immigrant parent is a 2.0 generation (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001 & Suarez-Orozco & Suarez Orozco, 2001). Focusing on the intergenerational status of language brokers, the primary goals of this study are 1) to investigate their perceptions of assimilation/integration into US cultures and 2) to examine their language brokering experiences. To these ends, the study contains a purposive sample of 10 Latina/o high school students living in three geographical locations in the state of Oregon—namely the Portland metro, the Willamette Valley, and Southern Oregon.
  •  “The Receptacle of Ellipsis and Fragmentation: the Plural Acts of Deference of Arantza Cazalis Shuey and Aurora de Albornoz.”
    Nagore Sedano, Department of Romance Languages. Entitled “Gendered Gestures: Voices of Spanish and Basque Women-In-Exile in Latin America,” my dissertation uses a transatlantic approach to the memoirs of five Spanish and Basque women-in-exile—María Teresa León, Concha Méndez, Aurora Arnaiz, Aurora de Albornoz and Arantza Cazalis Shuey—in Latin America after the Spanish Civil War. Published between 1970 and 2011, some of these texts have received considerable scholarly attention as part of the Spanish Civil War “memory boom.” Critics, however, have favored the workings of trauma and exile at the expense of the contribution of these women-in-exile to “the transatlantic rhetoric of solidarity.” The tendency to treat these texts as outdated cultural products with regards to their gender politics mirrors the five authors’ struggle to: legitimize their accounts as part of Spain’s historical memory, and to advance their transnational feminist projects. My dissertation seeks to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the gender politics enclosed in these texts, by calling attention to the workings of race, ethnicity and class in their transatlantic politics of solidarity.

2017-18 Tinker Grant Awardees

  • “Uses of the Copal Tree in Zapotec Oaxaca: Ritual and Economy.”
    Timothy Herrera, Department of Anthropology. This collaborative project with two Zapotec communities along with Dr. Alejandro Avila from el Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, explores the multiple ways that Zapotec and Zapotec-descendent artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico, conceptualize and consume the copal tree, known as Bursera spp, in a rapidly growing globalized world. This project seeks to explore how meaning is read into the material world through consumption, economy, and ritual. Finally, my project seeks to illuminate whether or not the consumers of copal are interested in and committed to preserving the species, and what practices are already being used to engage in reforestation and forest protection of Bursera spp
  • “Gender, Indigeneity, and Activism: An Intergenerational Look at Indigenous Women’s Organizing in Manaus, Brazil.”
    Emily Masucci, Department of Anthropology. Through ethnographic research, I propose to explore the ways in which the indigenous women who comprise the Associação das Mulheres Indígenas do Alto Rio Negro (AMARN), in Manaus, Brazil, navigate the critical juncture created by their shift from domestic labor roles to activism and politics. One defining commonality among many of the members in AMARN is the transition from working in the domestic labor sector, as housekeepers, nannies, and elder care workers, to working as full-time activists, teachers, students, and community leaders. Considering the formative nature of this transition, this study considers how female indigenous activists have experienced this change and how it has, in turn, shaped their activism. More broadly this research addresses questions about the ways in which ethnic identities and strategies of organizing are shaped by shifts in gendered roles in local political economies.
  • “Transit Cities and Migrant Incorporation: The Haitian Crisis in Tijuana.”
    Brenda Garcia Millan, Department of International Studies. Tijuana is currently impacted by the massive arrival of Haitian people who seek asylum in the United States. The influx of Haitians to Tijuana is a consequence of the 2010 post-earthquake displacement to Brazil and the Brazilian political crisis of 2016. My research analyzes the incorporation of Haitian displaced people to the city of Tijuana. Drawing from a socio-political framework, I argue that the structural changes that occur in the migrants’ places of departure and settlement impact the experiences of displacement and incorporation.
  • “Neoliberism, “Globalization” and Its Alternative: A Parallel Internationalism.”
    Eli Portella, Department of Philosophy. This project focuses on one particular case of parallel internationalism: Cuban internationalism. Cuban support of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, among the more well-known of these endeavors, is still underrepresented in the scholarly literature. This represents a distinct model for a collaborative internationalism which is qualitatively different from that of the multinational business practices and market relations characteristic of neoliberalism. Other scholars in Latin American Studies have proposed this collaborative model as an “alternative globalization” on the basis of Cuba’s “health internationalism.” However, in order to theorize a more complete alternative model of internationalism, research on other Cuban internationalist projects is necessary. This project, therefore, functions in two ways: first, to bridge a significant research gap in the field of Latin American Studies as well as the subfield of Cuban Studies, and second, to intervene in U.S.-based scholarly literature on neoliberalism to reflect the insights from an alternative model of internationalism. In other words, this project will produce both historiographical work as well as conceptual tools in the hopes of a meaningful enrichment of the scholarly literature on neoliberalism.
  • “Indigenous Community Responses to Extractivism in the Bolivian Lowlands.”
    Evan Shenkin, Department of Sociology. After decades of struggle, indigenous peoples of the Bolivian lowlands began to receive official communal land titles to their ancestral territories. The success of indigenous Original Communal Lands in addressing social and environmental needs has been mixed, with extractivist interests threatening the viability of protected territories, most in the TIPNIS conflict. My project examines indigenous community responses to external territorial threats in the Guarayos TCO (Tierra Comunitaria de Orígen) in the Department of Santa Cruz, a frontier region experiencing rapid deforestation in the Bolivian Amazon. I analyze the strategies indigenous communities use to resist extraction and advocate for territorial integrity and resource conservation.
  • “Decolonial bodies: La Entrada Folclórica del Gran Poder in Bolivia.”
    Javier Velasco, Department of Romance Languages. My object of research is the Bolivian “Fiesta,” which I analyze regarding one of its components: La entrada folclórica (the folklore parade) that happens every year at the festival of Gran Poder in La Paz. La entrada is an aesthetic event with political resonances and becomes the central attraction in the festive calendar. For some years now, Bolivian scholars, mainly from the San Andrés University in La Paz, have been developing the idea of “decolonization of the body,” a notion in which decolonization, as a process, focuses on alternative fictional projects that concentrate the analysis in nonverbal manifestations as dances, cinema, and photography, among others. Decolonizing the body is the idea of everyday experience of living coming back to the subject’s body, as a place where social meanings are permanently resignified. I believe that la entrada, as a performative manifestation, has a strong connection to this idea because it is mainly a discourse of the body, moving, dancing and acting during the festive celebration.
  • “The Geneaology and Poetics of Betrayal in H.G. Oesterheld.”
    Yosa Vidal-Collados, Department of Romance Languages. My dissertation project addresses the question of traición/tradición (betrayal/tradition) in literature of the Southern Cone and its development within the larger context of the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina. My corpus deals with novels by contemporary writers, such as Ricardo Piglia’s Respiración Artificial, Roberto Bolaño’s Amuleto, and the graphic novel by Hector Oesterheld, El Eternauta (Oesterheld himself a victim of the military regime in 1977). I will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in order to compile the necessary archival material to develop the first chapter in my dissertation, provisionally titled “The Poetics of Betrayal in H.G Oesterheld.”