Summer Research Fellows

2018-19 Fellows

Tara Brandel, Theatre and Dance

Chun Wai Chau, Cultural Studies 
Waterways and Borders of Environmental Protection

Rachel Deane, Art Studio
Installation at Automat Gallery

Jonathan Doucette, Cultural Studies
In Search of Quiet: Towards a Politics of Waves

Emily Frankel, Spanish and Portuguese
Female Leftist Militancy and the Politics of the Body in the Southern Cone

Cristina Fries, English
New Years in La Calera, and other stories

Rebecca Hogue, English
Archipelagos of Resistance: Transindigenous Environmental Activism in Oceania, 1975-Present

Kelsey Lepperd, English
Writing Addiction: Fiction’s Responsibility in the Face of Crisis

Davin Vidigal Rosenberg, Music
“Grooving into Place”

Carlos Tello Barreda, Native American Studies
Performing Gender in the Peruvian Andes

2015-2016 Fellows

Maria F. Diaz Basteris • Spanish and Portuguese
Understanding Diaspora through Graphic Novels of the Hispanic Caribbean
Ph.D. student Maria Diaz Basteris will analyze graphic novels and their representation of the Caribbean diaspora. The Graphic Novel is a genre that is gaining traction within academia and is emerging as an important field of study. Several volumes have recently appeared that have begun to theorize the genre. However, much work remains to be done, particularly regarding the specific manifestations of the genre in Latin America. Because many of the graphic novels that interest Basteris for her project are inaccessible in the United States, she will travel to San Juan to conduct in depth research as well as gather physical materials, including the graphic novels themselves and other academic texts that are otherwise impossible to obtain.

John Zibell • Performance Studies
The Skies are Full of Swarming Eyes: Durational Improvisations with Drones
John Zibell is a performance scholar/practitioner whose practice happens in the theatre, cinema, gallery, and the street. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in performance studies and is primarily concerned with interrogations of media and bodies and how they connect to paradoxically inscribe and disturb the boundary conditions of the event within particular narrative and socio-historical contexts. John’s current practice as research work, The Skies are Filled with Flying Eyes engages the figure of the drone and the drone imaginary through a series of embodied improvisations. The drone will be taken as interface, as autonomous, collaborating subject, and as actor – with capacity for a specific kind of global vision as well as the capacity to carry out rigorous choreography making micro adjustments in relation to the movements of the other players. Zibell is also an award-winning filmmaker (“Sex and Violence,” 2001). He originated the role of Jimmy Patraglia in Joe Roland’s off-Broadway play “On The Line,” and he acted in the controversial Indie film “The War Within” – on which he also served as acting coach for Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright and actor Ayad Akhtar.
Bryce Cannell • Music
Sacher Foundation: Anton Webern Manuscript Collections
Bryce Cannell is Ph.D. candidate in music composition and theory who is studying under the direction of Kurt Rohde. Cannell’s dissertation is comprised of an original composition for string quartet and an analytical essay that focuses on Anton Webern’s Fünf Kanons nach lateinischen Texten, opus 16 (1923-24). This overlooked piece from Webern’s œuvre was one of the first works that marked the transition from German Expressionist music to the seeds of serialism. Additionally, the apparent use ofcompositional techniques from the Renaissance requires further investigation. With the generoussupport of the Margrit Mondavi Fellowship, I will travel to Basel, Switzerland to examineWebern’s original manuscripts housed in the Paul Sacher Foundation. These sketches, drafts, and fair copies will provide invaluable insight into the various stages of development of this pivotal work. He has been honored with awards from the Society ofComposers Inc., the National Association of Composers/USA, and the Institut für Musik der Carlvon Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, among others.
Mari Carson • Dramatic Art
Marriage of Figaro Research
A costume designer is in large part a fashion historian. Much of costume design is the recreation of past historical periods on the stage and screen. For her thesis Carson will be creating a large-scale costume design for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. To that end, she will be traveling to London to view preserved historical garmentsfrom the 18th century to study fashion trends. Additionally. she will have the opportunity to visit other museums in the surrounding area, such as the Fashion Museum in Bath and the Gallery of Costume in Manchester. Finally, Carson plans to attend a variety of plays and productions to gather source material for theatre costume design.
Nina Cole • Cultural Studies
From JA to L.A.: Performing Authenticity in Los Angeles’ Vintage Jamaican Music Community
Cole is a Ph.D. student in Cultural Studies with designated emphases in both studies in performance and practice and feminist theory and research. Her dissertation research examines contemporary adaptations of early Jamaican popular music and performance practices in Los Angeles to show how community values and creative expressions and, relatedly, individual subjectivity and social identities, are shaped by notions of authenticity and feelings of nostalgia. This case study of the localization of 1960s-era Jamaican popular music critically engages ideas of authenticity, transnational cultural revivals, and affective belonging. With assistance from the Margrit Mondavi award, Cole will travel to Los Angeles and begin to conduct oral history interviews and ethnography.
Anna Davidson • Art Studio
Sea Level
Anna Davidson is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Art Studio focusing onsculpture, installation and bioart. In 2014 she received her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis where she studied plant ecophysiology. Her artwork, informed by her scientific background, deals with life, death, chance, environmental destruction, and the dominion we as humans hold over other species. For this research project she is interested in the life and death of islands; how islands like organisms, are born into being, how they are transformed and shaped (geologically, historically and ecologically), and how they die (i.e. overpopulation and resource depletion, melting, and other geological processes). Research sites will include the Singapore and surrounding islands as well as glacial islands in the Arctic by way of two artist’s residencies, the Tropical Lab through the Lasalle College of the Arts, and the Arctic Circle Residency.
Kristen Hough • Art Studio
Ocular Immersion in Painting

Hough is interested in the cross-section of nature and culture, and how the human experience in urban and rural settings are fixed by the iconography and idealism of the American landscape. It seems that the human experience is predetermined, whether by following a trail on a hike or stopping at a viewpoint; people look and move where they are supposed to. For this fellowship, Hough hopes to make work that questions the conventional framing of landscape painting by building environments that combine the experience of looking at paintings with a sculpturally immersive space. By creating her own landscape, built by her hand and therefore a reinvention instead of a replica of space, Hough will be entering into a dialog about artificial yet still potentially organic spaces.
Carolina Novella • Performance Studies
As a performer, Novella has practiced street and political theatre, community-based dance and Performance art with local Spanish and US artist/activist collectives and International performance groups such as Asetatro, Feministas indignadas, Masa Cronica, Post-Op, Azaguno african dance, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Urban Bush Women and LaPocha Nostra. Combining community performance and research, she participated incommunity-health theatre projects in Burkina Faso and Ecuador, researched dance-based-youth education (El Colegio del Cuerpo in Cartagena, Colombia and ProjecteEmetis in Barcelona, Spain), and developed critical performance workshops to explorenon-normative bodies in Spain. In 2011, Novella cofounded the Oncogrrrls project, a critical performance project in Spain that creates performance as research laboratories in collaboration with women diagnosed with breast cancer and their allies.
Raissa Simpson • Theater & Dance
Dancing in Sepia


M.F.A. Candidate Raissa Simpson is a choreographer, teacher, and the Artistic Director of PUSH Dance Company in San Francisco. She began training in San Jose, California at Dance Art Studio and later continued to San Jose Dance Theatre. She received a Regional Dance America award to study at Iowa University and continued her studies at Cleveland Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Paul Taylor School. After completing her BFA at the Conservatory of Dance/SUNY Purchase, Simpson had an extensive performance and touring career with Robert Moses’ Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre, among others. Hailed by Dance Spirit Magazine as “Reflective Contemporary Choreography,”her work has been presented at The Electric Lounge in Venice, Ca.,Ferst Presents at Georgia Tech, Sacramento State University’s Visiting Scholar Program, Joyce SoHo, San Francisco State Univ.,Washington Ensemble Theater, Evolve Dance Festival in NY, Los Angeles Theater Center, Black Choreographers Festival, Renberg Theater and many more.

Julian Tan • Art Studio
Minding the Gaps, Waiting the Lines
Being American Chinese in the conservative environment of the south brought forth a lot of questioning on societal constructs, cultural disconnects, and a proactive search for like-minded artists and friends. During his BFA studies, Julian Tan was exposed to critical discourse and art history. These ideas and understanding of art as well the art world interested him greatly; to Tan it seemed like the perfect escape for him, an escape from the direct interactions with the horrors of the world. Instead all he wanted was to get lost in his artistic practice and an MFA was the obvious next step to take in order to hone his skill as well as his ideas. Now at UC Davis, Tan is attempting to explore the realm of mark making in hopes of finding a visual language that is his own. He is now working diligently to push the level in which he works as much as possible during his two years here in Davis, California.

2014-2015 Fellows
Theresa Bachmann  •  Spanish and Portuguese
Constructing the memory of the Brazilian exile in Mexico
Bachmann, a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish and Portuguese, examines those Brazilian students and intellectuals who sought exile during a government-led persecution against insurgents from 1964-1985. The narrative strategies to which Brazilian intellectuals resorted to make sense of their experience were as varied as the circumstances required: memorials, testimonials, correspondence and stories whose truths were created by the mechanisms of fiction. Bachmann seeks to understand the memory of exile and its relation to history, politics and fiction.

Gabriel Bolaños  •  Music
String quartet
As a Ph.D. candidate in music composition, Bolaños is currently working on his dissertation, a multi-movement string quartet based on poetry in five languages (English, Spanish, Swedish, Hungarian and Groenlandais). Using software to analyze readings of each poem by native speakers, he employs certain acoustic, rhythmic and prosodic properties of each poem as source material for melody, harmony, form, timbre and rhythm in the string quartet. With assistance from the Margrit Mondavi award, Bolaños will attend the Atlantic Music Festival to fine tune the electronics of this project and compose sections of this piece with guidance from the festival’s diverse composition faculty.
Jordan Carroll  •  English
The Unpublishable: Obscenity and Editorship in U.S. Literary Culture
 As a Ph.D.candidate in the English department, Carroll works on U.S. literature after 1950. His dissertation, “Publishing the Unpublishable: Obscenity and Editorship in U.S. Literary Culture,” engages with the history of the book and queer legal studies to examine the figure of the editor in censorship controversies. Investigating a range of editors from Hugh M. Hefner to Sylvère Lotringer, Carroll argues that editors frequently perform as representatives for their authors, their publishing companies and their audiences. The Margrit Mondavi award will allow Carroll to visit the Grove Press papers at Syracuse University for his chapter on Barney Rosset.
William Cooper  •  Music
Berlin and Ragdale
With the support of the Margrit Mondavi Fellowshop, Cooper, a Ph.D. candidate in Composition, will travel to Berlin to meet with members of the Berlin Philharmonic (Scharoun Ensemble) to complete his musical composition entitled Oktett. The ensemble read two of the work’s movements in spring 2014 and was very enthusiastic about it. The trip to Berlin will allow Cooper to tailor the piece to the ensemble’s specifications and try out other movements. In addition, the award will enable Cooper to travel to the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, to work on his dissertation piece, an opera entitled Hagar and Ishmael.
Matt Debbaudt  •  Art Studio
A Very Big Painting
As an M.F.A. candidate in Art Studio, Debbaudt’s work is about many things happening at once: balance, humor, confrontations, sex, violence, indignations, complacency and the tension that exists between the physical and emotional world. Beauty is a supreme disguise that can and often will manipulate perceptions of observation. A beautiful person on the outside may in fact hold the ugliest and most violent inward thoughts. In this balance between what is outward and what is inward, he creates that which will playfully represent obscene physical and emotional actions of existence.
Matt Gilbert  •  Art Studio
Sound Art: New Forms and Ancient Origins
An M.F.A. candidate in Art Studio, Gilbert will visit both an epicenter of contemporary experimental music and art and one of the oldest known works of art that had a crucial sound component. He will accomplish this by traveling to Paris and nearby Arcy-sur-Cure. Paris is home to several contemporary classical music centers that incorporate new media research and electronics, including IRCAM and GRM, as well as being a global center for contemporary art. Arcy-sur-Cure has prehistoric cave paintings that seem to have integrated sound, based on recent archeological findings. After researching these two very different sides of sound art, Gilbert will respond to these experiences, supported by a workshop called “3D printing for Acoustics” at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.
Brandon Gonzalez  •  Theatre and Dance
The Space Between

Gonzalez is an M.F.A. candidate in Dramatic Art. His dance performance – The Space Between – uses the parameters of time, space and gesture to look at theoretical questions about the shaping of human relationships through proximity and implicit storytelling. With the assistance of the Mondavi award, Brandon will research how our proximity or distance to another body defines that relationship. What do these spaces say about psychological, cultural and social borders? To further the development of The Space Between, Gonzalez will engage in an artistic exchange with the Milan-based mixed-ability group Dreamtime Danza Senza Limiti (Dance Without Limits) to collaborate on an artistic methodology that “crosses borders.” This exchange will culminate in a collaborative performance at the Avignon Festival “OFF.”
Emelie Mahdavian  •  Performance Studies
After the Curtain
As a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies, Mahdavian’s project After the Curtain is a feature-length documentary film and part of her Practice-as-Research dissertation on nationalism, gender and dance in Tajikistan. The documentary film, begun in 2011, follows three young women in this post-Soviet, largely Muslim, nation and chronicles the social stigma the women face as a result of their careers and the personal sacrifices they make for dance. The Margrit Mondavi Fellowship will support post-production of the documentary, particularly collaboration with other artists and filmmaking professionals.
Josef Nguyen  •  English
The Institute for the Future and the Anticipation of Epic Wins

Josef Nguyen is an English Ph.D. candidate focusing on the intersection of media studies and science and technology studies. His dissertation, “The Futures of Expertise in Popular Science Media,” explores representations of experts and their expertise through popular media forms aimed to educate the lay public in technoscience. Case studies in his dissertation include MAKE magazine and maker culture, Bruce Sterling’s critical design fiction programme, and video games developed by the Institute for the Future.
Jonathan Spatola-Knoll  •  Music
European American Musical Alliance Program in Conducting, 2014
As a Ph.D. candidate in musicology, Spatola-Knoll will use the Margrit Mondavi Fellowship to attend the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) program in conducting. This program takes place at The Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, from July 2-30, 2014. He will receive approximately six hours per week of private and group lessons in conducting which will represent the core of his instruction. The rigorous academic course load also includes in-depth instruction in such areas as musicianship, counterpoint, harmony and analysis. EAMA’s academic focus will enable Spatola-Knoll to cultivate musical skills not only useful to his work as a conductor, but also to his activities as a pianist and musicologist.

Margrit Mondavi Fellows, 2013-2014
Hendel Almétus (Music)
Project Title: “Wellesley Composers Conference 2012, and Residency at the University of North Haiti”
Almétus is a Ph.D. candidate in music theory and composition. With the assistance of the Mondavi award, Almétus will be able to participate in the Wellesley Composers Conference where two movements of his dissertation, “Rêves Transcendants,” will be performed and to accept a residency at the Faculté des Beaux-Arts of the Christian University of Northern Haiti. While in Haiti, Almetus will teach music theory: form & analysis and composition.
Cutcha Risling Baldy (Native American Studies)
Project Title: “To Grow Old in a Good Way: The Revitalization of the Hupa Women’s Flower Dance Ceremony”
Baldy (Hupa, Karuk, Yurok) is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and a Ph.D. candidate in Native American Studies with a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. For the Hupa people of Northern California, the women’s ceremony was significant to their cultural practices but, because of continuing efforts to exterminate indigenous cultures, by 1950 the Flower Dance was only rarely practiced. In 2004, a group of women came together to revive the ceremony as a way to promote healing in the community. Baldy’s digital humanities project will collect the oral narratives of Hupa women who participated in the revitalization of the ceremony and explore how this ceremony demonstrates the process of decolonization in Indigenous societies.
Hilary Bryan (Performance Studies)
Project Title: “Embodying the Rites”
A Ph.D. candidate in Practice as Research, Bryan’s research articulates the kinesthetic knowledge embodied in the cultural trope, The Rite of Spring. The year 2013 marks the centennial of the Ballets Russes’ iconic Rite of Spring – and 100 years that we have been recreating this haunting tale of community violence against one of its own. The choreographic project, Embodying the Rites, places key contributors to this 100-year dialogue in conversation with one another to understand how the work has accumulated resonance over time. This inquiry forms the basis of Bryan’s doctoral research in Performance Studies and Critical Theory. The Mondavi fellowship will allow Bryan to continue her research process that involves interviewing and dancing with original cast members of three historic versions of The Rite of Spring, versions by Pina Bausch (1975), Marie Chouinard (1993), and Angelin Preljocaj (2001).
Emily F. Davidson (Spanish & Portuguese)
Project Title: “Canal Memories: Race, Space, and the Construction of Modern Panama”
A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Davidson explores the historically overlooked question of how Panamanians construct racial and national identities through and against their national symbol and patrimony—the Panama Canal. Through an examination of official and non-official memory sites from the 1950s to the present—including museums, literatures, media archives and documentary films—Davidson examines narratives and counter narratives of nationalist canal history. The Mondavi award will allow Davidson to visit the Panama Canal Museum in Seminole, Florida; obtain audiovisual and print materials from the National Archives in Panama; and interview Panamanian school teachers, authors, and filmmakers who create and disseminate “canal memories.”
Susan-Jane Harrison (Theatre & Dance)
Project Title: “Today I Live”
An M.F.A. candidate in dramatic art, Harrison will further develop her play “Today I Live,” which has been performed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  The overarching theme of “Today I Live” is the trauma of displacement, explored through the lens of an immigrant woman artist struggling to distinguish from her role as wife and mother. Before sending another draft of the play to the National Theatre Studio in London, Harrison will hold an improvisational workshop in the Bay Area with fellow actors to examine questions about the story, character, and structure of the play.
Sarah Messbauer (Music)
Project Title: “Summer Intensive Course in Haitian Creole”
As Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology and a scholar of Haitian popular music, Messbauer studies the processes of cultural reinforcement and information exchange enacted through the broadcasting of hip hop, rap, and other forms of popular music both within Haiti and beyond. The Mondavi award will help finance a six-week study of Haitian Creole at Florida International University, providing the firm grasp of Haitian language and culture necessary for understanding the complexities associated with Haitian music. Given Messbauer’s intention to focus a significant portion of her dissertation research on the Haitian diaspora in Miami, the opportunity to establish a presence in the home of the largest Haitian community in the country while learning the language has the additional advantage of jump-starting her research.
Christina Owens (Cultural Studies)
Project Title: “American Migrations: Racialized Bodies and Rights Rhetorics in Neoliberal Japan”
A Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies, Owens examines the cultural and political implications of American men’s transnational deployments of labor rights and human rights discourses. Specifically, Owens looks at labor rights organizing amongst English teachers in Japan, as well as American men’s human rights activism against Japanese xenophobia, racism, and child abduction. The Margrit Mondavi fellowship will support summer work on the second half of Owens’s dissertation, which is based on one year of fieldwork with an English teachers’ union in Nagoya, Japan, that includes the transcription of field interviews and training for a qualitative data analysis software program.
Chris Tong (Comparative Literature)
Project Title: “Environmental Ethics in 20th century China”
A Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature, Tong specializes in modern Chinese literature and ecological thought. Tong’s project investigates how the first generation of modern Chinese writers and intellectuals discuss the issues of aesthetics, ethics, and the environment. Tong argues that the turbulent period of the 1910s to the 1930s in China is key to understanding the modern Chinese view of the environment and what role it plays in the present-day environmental crisis. Because this period in Chinese literature is difficult to research from the U.S., Tong is grateful to have the financial support from the Mondavi fellowship to spend a month researching at the National Library in Beijing among other archives.
John Tronsor (Art Studio)
Project Title: “Transference and (re)presentation”
An M.F.A. candidate in Art Studio, Tronsor’s work typically finds itself in 3-D, installation and/or time-based media and is both formed and informed by his deep interest in theory and philosophy. Tronsor will use the Mondavi support to design and construct two large-scale kinetic sculptural pieces, with the end goal of presenting the work in a suitable gallery space either on campus or within the Davis community. The pieces would be an extension of his current intellectual research and artistic practice of image-production machines: the production of the image by way of a model, a schema, a diagram through technical means. Tronsor’s project will explore ideas concerning the production of images of thought.
Barbara Zimbalist (English)
Project Title: “Talking with God”
A Ph.D. candidate in the English Department, Zimbalist works with late-medieval texts from England and the Low Countries. Her dissertation, “The Voice and the Vision: Christological Speech in the texts of Medieval Women,” argues that late medieval female authors consciously imitated divine rhetoric as a way of participating in contemporary debates about literary and religious reform. The project incorporates critical theory, manuscript studies, and gender studies to reveal previously unrecognized histories of women’s literary innovation in the later Middle Ages. Hoping to complete her dissertation in Spring 2013, Zimbalist is thankful that the Mondavi award will allow her to undertake the final stage of archival research.
HArCS Dean’s Summer Fellowships, 2013-2014
Through the generous support of the Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies Dean’s office, the Humanities Institute awarded up to $2,500 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 2013.
Michael Accinno, Music
Gestures of Inclusion: Music and Ideology at French and American Schools for the Blind
Isabel Baboun Garib, Spanish and Portuguese
Intimacy and Subjectivity in Chilean Independent Cinema of the Transition to Democracy
Molly Ball, English
Slow Death and the Trope of Captivity: Revising Liberal Subjectivity in the Anglophone World
Loic Bourdeau, French & Italian
Researching Montreal
Mary Ann Brooks, Theater and Dance
Improvising While Black: Chronicling a Black Aesthetic
Nicole Budrovich, Art History
Minding the Gap: Methods to Connect Academic Research with the Modern Museum
Jordan Carroll, English
Publishing the Unpublishable: Obscenity and Editorship in American Literary Culture
Xan Chacko, Cultural Studies
Seeds for the Future
Jamie Dunn, Studio Art
Site-specific drawing and printmaking
Kelley Gove, Cultural Studies
Energy Futures and Crises through Nature, Labor and Class in Pinedale, Wyoming and Fort Nelson
Erin Hendel, English
Futures of American Studies Institute
Heather Jennings, English
Performance, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric in Medieval England
Gretchen Jude, Performance Studies
Sounding Bodies, Sounding Spaces
Jasmine Kitses, English
Simple Marks: Moments of Punctuation in Twentieth-Century Poetry
Nita Little, Performance Studies
Kelly Neil, English
Inscrutable Suicide: Politics, Gender, and the Felo de se in Early Modern Drama
Kevin O’Connor, Performance Studies
Practice As Research Summer 2013 Performance Project
Isabel Porras, Cultural Studies
Embodying Passion & Heritage: Branding Colombia, Regulating Racial Excess in Cartagena
Sayyeda Razvi, Comparative Literature
A Space & Time for Storytelling: Reconfigurations of Spatial and Temporal Experience in the Work of Intizar Husain
Sophie Sapp, Cultural Studies
Developing Resistance: The contested ecology of indigenous survival practice and rural development in Haiti
Danielle Shaw, English
Mad Men, Playboys, and Hipsters: Racializing Labor, Leisure and Masculinity in the Postwar U.S.
Grace Tirapelle, English
Summer Research Funding
Kristen Waha, Comparative Literature
Literary networks: A. Madhaviah and his intellectual collaborators
Christine Willie, Native American Studies
Sheep is Life and Diné Decolonization
Summer Research Stipend Recipients, 2011-2012

Gina Caison is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English with a Designated Emphasis in Native American studies. Her dissertation, “Being, Feeling, and Seeing Red in the Native South,” examines issues of indigenous history and land claim in the literature of the U.S. South. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mississippi QuarterlyNorth Carolina Literary Review, and The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film and Television.  She is also a co-producer of the collaborative documentary film project, Uneasy Remains, which examines the history of studying and collecting indigenous human remains at UC Davis and how this history has been informed by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Amy Champ is a fourth-year doctoral student in Performance Studies with a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. She is a Sivananda yoga teacher with 18 years of experience in yoga and meditation. She researches yoga’s impact on female bodies, transnational feminist collaboration, and women’s ritual arts. Her theoretical interests focus on energy and consciousness, democratic practice, lived aesthetics and ecological models of political change. Her project is titled “Feminism from the Inside out: The Hidden Story of Women and Yoga in America.”
Megan McMullan is a PhD candidate in French at UC Davis. She is currently on fellowship in Paris, France, where she is doing research and writing her dissertation about the ideological, aesthetic, and political stakes of the notorious controversies surrounding three plays by Moliere: L’Ecole des Femmes, Tartuffe, and Dom Juan, all composed in the three years between 1662 and 1665. Her project is titled “The War of All and The Ship of Fools: Molière’s Quarrels.”
Joshua Waggoner completed his B.A. at UC Davis in 2000 and his M.A. at New York University in humanities and social thought in 2004. He then returned to the comparative literature department at Davis where he studies trauma theory, early modern Italian literature, war literature, and theories of comedy. His dissertation “Repetitions of the Fall: The Concept of Trauma as a Special Theory of Irony” concerns the relationship between trauma and irony. Through the examination of texts such as Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, Jerusalem Delivered, and Mrs. Dalloway, Joshua’s dissertation traces the structural similarities shared by both the trope of irony and the psychological experience and effect of traumatic events.
Summer Travel Grant Recipients, 2011-2012

  • Abigail Boggs, Cultural Studies, “Prospective Student, Potential Threat: The Figure of the International Student in US Higher Education”
  • Emelie Coleman, Comparative Literature, “Tajik Dance in Literature and Practice”
  • Jon Dettman, Spanish and Portuguese, contemporary Cuban literature, film, and culture
  • Karen Embry, English, “Philosophy, Truth, and the Claims of Art”
  • Sachsa Gerhards, German, “Zeitgeist of Murder: The Krimi and Social Transformation in Post-1945 Germany”
  • Erik Larson, Spanish and Portuguese, Chilean Hard-Boiled Novel, or Novela Negra
  • ChiaWei Lin, Music, “Rewinding Improvisation”
  • Sarah McCullough, Cultural Studies, “Mechanical Intuitions: Innovating Appropriate Bicycling Spaces”
  • Stephanie Maroney, Cultural Studies, Seminar in Reading Historic Cookbooks
  • Giovanna Montenegro, Comparative Literature, Discovery of America
  • Anna Pruitt, English, “Shadow Patriarchs: Rogues, Witches, Bawds, and the Politics of Reproduction”