Students outside the Social Sciences and Humanities building


2020-21 Faculty Research Fellows

Ryan Cartwright, American Studies

  • Friendless and Infirm: Material Relations of Care and the Gendered Emergence of Chronic Illness in the Twentieth Century U.S.

Stacy Fahrenthold, History

  • Working Class Cosmopolitans: Syrian Textile Workers in the Arab Atlantic, 1890-1934

Liza Grandia, Native American Studies

  • Kernels of Rebellion: Maize, Food Citizenship, and Political Agency

Milmon Harrison, African American and African Studies

  • The Sunset Limited: California Stories of the Great Migration, 1940s-1980s

José Juan Pérez Meléndez, History

  • Amazon Bounty: State Power and Extractive Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Brazil

Archana Venkatesan, Religious Studies and Comparative Literature

  • Poetry Makes Worlds: The Festival of Recitation in Tamil Nadu, India

Gina Werfel, Art and Art History

  • Excavation and Aggregation

2020 Margrit Mondavi Summer Fellows

Gretchen Le Maistre, Studio Artgretchen le maistre

  • Museum of Southern History

Gretchen LeMaistre is an artist in the MFA Studio Art Program at UC Davis. Through her research and photographic practices, she explores the troubling legacies of American colonial settlement. In 2017, she documented the poaching of Redwood trees located in the State and National Parks, a project collaboration with Kirk Crippens which led to the publication of the book, Live Burls. Her recent work interweaves documentary and performative approaches toward a reckoning with the mythologized narratives of her white ancestral heritage in the American South.

Sarah Hart, Performance Studiessarah ashford hart

  • Affective Facilitation: Applied Theater in Contexts of Displacement and Violence

Sarah Ashford Hart is a socially-engaged performance practitioner, scholar and educator from a Canadian-Venezuelan-American family background. She completed her BA in Theatre at Barnard College, Columbia University, in NYC and her MA in Devised Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, Falmouth University, in England. Her PhD in Performance Studies at UC Davis, with designated emphases in Practice as Research and Human Rights, focuses on facilitating the expression of experiences of mobility and enclosure, specifically among incarcerated, migrant and displaced women and children in California, Chile and Colombia. Her dissertation aims to contribute to applied theatre facilitation practices by re-thinking frames for valuing its ‘impact’ from a hemispheric and decolonial perspective, showing how facilitation can work against dehumanization by centralizing affect and embodiment. During 2019-20 Sarah has conducted fieldwork in Bogotá, Colombia, as a Fulbright US Student Researcher, studying socially-engaged performance initiatives engaging internally displaced people and Venezuelan migrants. Recent publications address contemporary performance in Latin America, devised theatre methodology, the importance of affect to applied theatre in contexts of immigrant incarceration, and her embodied practice of witnessing deportation narratives. Research areas include applied theatre, human rights, performative ethnography, decolonial theory, affect theory, embodiment, migration studies, carceral studies and performance studies.

Zunaira Komal, Cultural Studieszunaira komal

  • Psychiatric Life of Azad Kashmir: Healing, Liberation, and Islam

Zunaira Komal is a doctoral student in Anthropology, and a masters student in Cultural Studies, at UC Davis. Her research focuses on transcultural psychiatry’s epistemic entanglements with militarism in the context of Kashmir, as well as how Islamic approaches to faith-based healing and armed resistance provide at times resonant and at times critical engagement with psychiatry’s approach to suffering. She is an Associate Editor for Milestones: Commentary on the Islamic World, and has contributed to Jadaliyya, Feminist Studies, and Contending Modernities. Zunaira is from Pakistan and the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir.

Alejandra Cano, Native American Studiesalejandra cano

  • Embodied Knowledge: the Archive that Conserves Native Honeybees

Alejandra Cano is a PhD student in the Native American Studies Department at UC Davis. Her work focuses on the intersection between Culture, Food Sovereignty, Land Stewardship, and Native Science. Alejandra graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies with a focus on Agro-Ecology. Since graduating in 2011, she has applied her skills as part of the Food and Environmental Justice movements in the greater Bay Area as well as abroad. Her dissertation research is in partnership with the Embera de Chigorodó, whose ancestral territory is in present-day Colombia, and aims to articulate embodied knowledge about native honey bees as ecological expertise. Alejandra was born in Colombia and her experiences as a migrant, mestiza woman, and emerging scholar in Native American and Indigenous Studies inform her efforts toward hemispheric unity of the Indigenous people of the Americas. Alejandra is fluent in both Spanish and English and is excited to learn the Embera language.


2020 DHI Summer Graduate Fellow

Maria Jose Gutierrez, Spanish and Portuguese

maria jose gutierrez

  • Mobile Archives: Affect, Migration, and Storytelling in Twentieth Century Ecuador

María José is a third year PhD candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UC, Davis. She holds a master’s degree in Latin American Literature from New York University. She is currently working as Editor for the interdisciplinary journal Brújula sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute of the Americas and is Webmaster and collaborator in the digital storytelling project Humanizing Deportation at UC Davis. Her areas of research include affect theory, material culture and migration studies in the Andes region as well as Latin American female writers and testimonio literature. Her dissertation examines untold stories of mobility in Ecuador during the twentieth century looking at different forms, archives and genres through which the affective dimension of mobility gets conveyed and enacted.

2020 National Humanities Center Podcasting Fellows

  • Cinthya Ammcinthya ammermanerman is a 5th year PhD student in Native American Studies. Cinthya's research focuses on the historical links between Mapuche and California Indians, and the possibility for emerging responses to climate change that may arise from hemispheric collaboration. Cinthya has increasingly used digital storytelling in her work in the classroom and with indigenous communities and will use her new podcasting skills to further both her pedagogical and service work.
  • Besharabeshara kehdi Kehdi is a 3rd year PhD student in Cultural Studies. Beshara’s research focuses on Arab-American history and social movements, ethnic studies education and curricula, and writing and rhetoric.  He has worked for over 10 years with Arabic and non-Arabic speaking immigrants and refugees in a variety of arts, literacy, and empowerment programs in and out of schools. Beshara has a forthcoming podcast in Arabic called Grandma's Advice: Things You Wish You Asked Your Arab Grandma, But Never Did.
  • Ashley Teodorson-TAshley Teodorson-Taggartaggart is a 2nd year PhD student in Performance Studies, with DE’s in Science and Technology Studies, Feminist Theory and Research, and Studies in Performance and Practice. Her research interests emerge from a decade-long career as a birth doula. Her current project involves the creation of a weekly podcast where local scholars, birth workers, and policy experts are drawn into contemporary, cross disciplinary dialogue around the state of birth care through pandemic time.