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Photo Credit: Johan Mouchet, Unsplash

Congratulations to our Mondavi and Consortium Summer Fellows

The UC Davis Humanities Institute is pleased to announce its 2021 Margrit Mondavi and UC Humanities Consortium Summer Fellows. With 81 applicants from 11 disciplines, this year's application pool was by far our largest and most competitive to date.

Mondavi awardees will each receive $5,000 for project-related work relating to their MFA and PhD degrees. Consortium awardees will each receive $6,000 for PhD work, and the opportunity to be a part of a community of Consortium fellows in Fall 2021.

We congratulate our awardees! They are:


Elizabeth Campbell, Music. Elizabeth’s dissertation is on Lillian Evanti (1891-1967), one of the first African Americans to sing with an opera company in Europe. Evanti’s career challenged assumptions that African Americans were not sophisticated enough to sing opera and in doing so, inspired stars such as Marian Anderson, the first African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera Company.

Helia Pouyanfar, Art Studio. Helia’s artistic research centers on spaces and our physical relationship to them. She contemplates the meaning of “being and becoming,” alongside ideas of existence and nothingness. Her questions on nothingness emerged through the Sufi influences of her childhood as well as her multiple experiences of traumatic displacement as an Iranian of Kurdish descent, a persecuted Bahá’í, and a refugee.

Katelyn Stiles, Native American Studies. Katelyn will use her fellowship to advance her creative arts-based project on Tlingit Kiks.ádi women of Sitka, Alaska, known as Kaxatjaa Sháa [Herring Ladies], who are responsible to the Pacific Herring. Her project will generate video portraits that center Herring Lady testimony and their ability to adapt to change through embodied practices and rematriation protocols that regenerate yaa at woone [respect for all things]. 

Christina Thomas, Native American Studies. Christina will use her fellowship to create the foundation for her dissertation project, “Numu Nugadu [Our Dances],” a historical musicology project rooted in community-based linguistics and methodologies that will incorporate equal parts historical/archival and performative/engaged research methodologies, all of which will be Numu-led and community-based. 

Edward Whelan, Design. Edward has been developing a series of “workshop cards” that seek to bring to light inequities and injustices inherent in art museum exhibiting, helping museum professionals to critically re-evaluate their standard exhibition methods and relationships to their communities. 

Justin Yancher, Department of Theater and Dance. Justin is working on a play adaptation of Sandy Holman’s award winning children's book, “Grandpa, is Everything Black Bad?” Immersing himself in African and African American history alongside the development of the script, his goal is to make an engaging piece of theater that can help students to begin thinking and talking about race at a young age.


Amanda Kong, English. Amanda will be conducting research for her dissertation, “Reprinting Race: Racialization and Ethnic Newspapers” in which she examines ethnic newspapers in the U.S. from the close of the Civil War to the early 20th century. Her project seeks to understand how these newspapers engaged with and employed racial stereotypes about the Chinese that ultimately produced events like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. 

Jasmine Wade, Cultural Studies. Jasmine will be working on her dissertation, “Healing or Encountering: Black and Indigenous Radical Aesthetic Practices,” in which she considers the aesthetics of the visions of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter in the United States and Canada, analyzing how they connect in solidarity and in conflict, and how they challenge dominant conceptions of time, political economy, and intimacy.





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