2016-2018

Junior Research Fellows

Eric Darnell Pritchard (English)
"Making Ourselves from Scratch": Literacy and Social Change through Black Queer Activist Organizations
Making Ourselves from Scratch: Literacy and Social Change through Black Queer Activist Organizations, 1974-1989 employs women of color feminisms and queer of color critique, along with literacy and composition theory, to explode historiographies of 1970s and 1980s grassroots activism which have tended to overlook the rhetorical labor of numerous LGBT of color activist organizations who created unique forms of intervention steeped in LGBT of color history, culture, and experiences. Traversing methodologies of archival research, in-depth interviews, and close readings of cultural productions (literature, film, photography, theater), my project creates a theory of black queer rhetorical activism through attention to the role of everyday reading and writing practices in the lives of Black queer activist organizations working for socio-political change, ranging from the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of organizing, to the forms of cultural productions through which these activists made their interventions and articulated their visions.


Sandra Ruiz (Latina/o Studies and English)
Ricanness: Staging Time in Anticolonial Performance
Ricanness examines how acts of bodily endurance performed by both Puerto Rican artists and revolutionaries serve as aesthetic and political interventions under colonial temporality. To consider what it means, feels, senses to be Rican in the world, this manuscript engages with Rican performance/video art and historical events of insurrection as performance sites that subvert and resist the grips of colonialism through temporal strategies such as duration, exhaustion, dying, waiting, and pausing. By placing in conversation Continental philosophy, anticolonial theory, Latinx performance studies, and queer theory, this book argues that the spatial politics that define Ricanness and US/PR relations must be revisited through the colonization of time. In doing so, this project contends that each artist and revolutionary creates their own bearable and temporally fashioned island through alternate narratives of perseverance, belonging, being, life, and death.


Senior Research Fellows, 2016-2018

Ellen Moodie (Anthropology)
Changing Epistemologies in Contemporary Cuba: Towards a Collaborative Ethnography
This study analyzes Cuban scholars' search for new modes of inquiry as they interpret increasing political, economic, and sociocultural change in their country. I focus on ethnography as a specific and flexible form of interdisciplinary, humanistic social-scientific epistemology among communities of practice. In this project I investigate changing ways of knowing in two sites: first in collaborative, reflexive workshops in Pinar del Rio; and, second, within postgraduate anthropology programs in the country. This new project expands my long-term research on how the intense social uncertainty inherent to political transitions shapes subjectivities.


Emanuel Rota (French & Italian)
Mediterranean Laziness: The Invention of a Vice
The modern concept of laziness has played and continues to play a crucial role in the criminalization of poverty. My project reconstructs the invention of laziness as a dispositif that allowed industrial societies to coordinate the languages of ethics, economics, and medicine in their relation with peripheral areas and individuals. By transforming laziness into a function of climate, religion, or race, not only could marginal subjects be represented as responsible for their own poverty, but also those in economically advanced societies who refused to embrace an exploitative work ethic could be represented as racially/culturally/morally inferior. My research covers the history of laziness as a vice from its emergence in early modernity to the triumph of industrial societies.