HArCS Dean’s Fellows

Through the generous support of the Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies Dean’s office, the Humanities Institute awarded $5,000 each to graduate students in Ph.D. and M.F.A. programs in the division of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies to support travel, research, workshops and other project-related work in the summer of 2015. Projects include a study of politics in culture, an examination of global sustainability, and subterranean English narratives.
2017-2018 Fellows
Jamiella Brooks French Literature
Sound, and Critical Reception: Moroccan Women Authors, Moroccan Women’s Voices
Jamiella Brooks is a doctoral candidate in French Literature. She is a former McNair Scholar, Mellon-Mays Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar/Teaching Assistant in France. Her dissertation, “Signified Voices: Representations of Dialogue in Maghrebian Francophone Literature,” examines women’s voices in literary dialogues across 6 North African novels. She articulates an interdisciplinary literary analysis, arguing that women create a discourse of identity using creative speech strategies that both subvert power structures and disrupt dominant understandings of agency. With the HArCS Fellowship as well as support from the Women’s Resource & Research Center (WRRC), the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC), and the Student Recruitment & Retention Center (SRRC), she will travel to Morocco to interview three leading female authors of French expression in order to create an audio database for pedagogical and literary materials.

Sarah Ashford Hart Performance Studies
Performing Migration

Sarah Ashford Hart is a socially-engaged performance practitioner and scholar from a Canadian-Venezuelan-American family background. She completed her BA in Theatre at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York City and her MA in Devised Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, Falmouth University, in Devon, England. Her PhD research in Performance Studies at UC Davis focuses on developing a participatory methodology for the self-representation of hemispheric migrant narratives in California and Chile. With the support of HARCS, her 2017 summer project takes a practice-as-research approach to facilitating spaces of creative expression for women, mainly from Peru and Bolivia, who have experiences of migration and are currently incarcerated in Santiago, Chile. The principal aims include intervening in conditions of isolation and invisibilization, as well as shifting representation away from hegemonic narratives that racialize and criminalize migrants. Mapping ethical guidelines for engaging participants with diverse perspectives on migration as protagonists in artistic/academic dialogues, this work traverses intersections between self and other, local and foreign, performer and audience, participant and facilitator.

Rebecca Kling English
Transatlantic Literacies: The Formation of Race, Class, and Personhood in the Late Nineteenth Century
Rebecca Kling is a doctoral candidate at University of California, Davis. Her teaching and research interests include nineteenth-century transatlantic literature and culture, crime and prison literature, and the rise of literacy and the mass media in the nineteenth century.
Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana Spanish & Portuguese
DACAmented: DREAMs without Borders Digital Storytelling Project
Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana, is a first-year PhD student in the Spanish and Portuguese department in the University of California, Davis. De La Cruz is working toward a Designated Emphasis on Human Rights. Her research focuses on testimonial literature, border studies and digital studies. She is editor of Brújula: Revista interdisciplinaria sobre estudios latinoamericanos, she is a researcher for the digital narrative project “Humanizing deportation”, and is working on her own digital narrative project “DACAmented: DREAMs without Borders”. Similarly, her work focuses on enforced disappearances in Mexico, specifically the mass disappearance of students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico on September 26, 2014. As a student activist, she has participated as a media director for Caravana 43 in Fresno, CA. She has also served as editor for several newspapers and magazines. She has an article that will be published in the memory of the II Congreso Cultura en América Latina for the Autonomous University of Baja California of Mexicali, Mexico,  “DACAmentados: DREAMs sin fronteras – Proyecto de narración digital”.
Alicia Decker • Design
Cut From the Same Cloth
Alicia Decker has more than ten years of experience in the fashion industry working in an array of roles at major apparel labels. She has worked on a range of other projects such as creative community building and international fashion education for non-profits. Most recently, she was a Product Developer at Columbia Sportswear for the Mountain Hardwear label. She is interested in all things textiles, visual communication as a means of community building, and exhibition curating.   She is currently exploring using pattern and textiles as a means of commentary or story telling.
Noah Greene • Art Studio
Persist and Say we Owe No One
Noah Greene is a visual artist currently pursuing his MFA in Art Studio. His practice is fundamentally concerned with material and space, with the function of objects and structures in an ever-shifting search for narrative. The perceptual slide of matter between symbol and its raw physicality is a focus in his work. Born and raised in rural stretches of the Pacific Northwest, spent a number of years traveling and living in various off-the-grid contexts throughout the United States and Canada before completing his BA at Whitman College in Washington.
Darcy Padilla • Art Studio
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Darcy Padilla is a photographer. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Open Society Institute Fellowship, Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, Alexia Foundation Grant, Getty Images Grant, International Photo Reporter Grant, Canon Female Photojournalist Award, three World Press Photo Awards, and W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanitarian Photography. Exhibited and published internationally including The New York Times, Le Monde, The Atlantic, Granta, and The New Yorker. Padilla has lectured at the San Francisco Art Institute and led workshops at Rencontres d’Arles in France. Family Love, Padilla’s recent book, follows a family for 21 years — an intimate story of poverty, AIDS and social issues.
Diana Pardo Pedraza • Cultural Studies
When Landmines Do Not Explode: Peasant Life in the Colombian War
Diana Pardo Pedraza is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies Program at the University of California Davis, with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. Her dissertation, tentatively titled When Landmines Do Not Explode: Peasant Life in the Colombian War, explores the ways in which Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) are involved in the configuration of particular worlding practices in rural areas described now as sites of peace-making and post-conflict as product of the recent peace accord between the Colombian government and the leftist guerrilla FARC-EP. She explores these issues through a multi-sited, multi-species ethnographic fieldwork conducted between January 2015 and September 2016 in Colombia, Cambodia, and Germany funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
Anuj Vaidya  • Performance Studies
Forest Tales: Ganga Satellite
Anuj Vaidya is a first-year doctoral student in Performance Studies. He received his BHA in English/Theater Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, and MFA in Film/Video/New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work centers on issues of gender, sexuality and ecology, and addresses questions around the constructions of gender/sexuality and the human/non-human in relation to the nation-state. His practice-as-research project – Forest Tales – exists at the cusp of film and performance, and is a queer, eco-feminist, science-fiction adaptation of the Indian epic The Ramayana. Retold from the perspective of Sita – female protagonist of the tale, and daughter of the earth – the story acquires an ecological dimension. The project intends to unflatten process while paying due attention to collaboration and to the material ecologies of artistic practice. Since 2007, Anuj has been co-director for the 3rd i South Asian Film Festival in San Francisco. He has also previously worked as an archivist/librarian at the Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley, and taught queer studies at Montclair State University, New Jersey.
Melissa Wills English
Human-Bacterial Alliances in the Metagenomic Age
Melissa Wills is a PhD candidate in English. Her dissertation, “Human-Bacterial Alliances in the Metagenomic Age,” describes a variety of ways in which authors, artists, and scientists use media forms to capture the inevitable entanglements between humans and microorganisms. Her work focuses closely on science fiction and contemporary science discourses, and is influenced by science and technology studies, media studies, and history of science. She holds a BS in Microbiology from The Pennsylvania State University and an MA in English from North Carolina State University.

This page was last updated: July 7, 2014



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