Spring 2022 IHC Award Winners

2022-23 IHC Dissertation Fellowship Winners

Spring 2022 IHC Award Winners

May 12, 2022

The IHC is pleased to announce the winners of the annual IHC Dissertation Fellowship competition. Fellows are awarded $7,000 to support interdisciplinary research in the 2022–23 year and will participate in a Fall 2022 convening of the multicampus UC Humanities Graduate Fellows Collaborative. Congratulations to these graduate students!

Christopher Erdman, Classics: “Voting Culture and Political Theater in Late Republican Lawmaking”

The laws of the Roman Republic were a form of referendum, written by professional politicians but enacted by the direct votes of the citizen body. Voters expected the contents and goals of proposed laws to be communicated to them transparently, so that they could make decisions on whether they supported or opposed a proposition without specialist knowledge. This project examines three aspects of the voter’s experience of the lawmaking process: political theater during the voting assembly, the use of oral abstracts and written texts to communicate the contents of the laws, and the cultural diversity of Roman voters from across Italy.

Addison Jensen, History: “Blowin’ in the Wind: Media, Counterculture, and the American Military in Vietnam”

This dissertation analyzes the experiences of the American servicemembers who served in the Vietnam War and demonstrates the significance of media and popular culture in shaping their knowledge and awareness of the countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Contrary to standard accounts of the conflict, which depict military personnel as disconnected from stateside happenings, this project argues that servicemembers were able to stay informed through the dissemination of media, which contained news of the antiwar, racial, ethnic, and social justice movements. This knowledge critically shaped their perceptions of the war and of their place in the U.S. polity.

Katherine Maldonado, Sociology: “‘Let us be the healing of the wound’: Child Welfare System Impacted Families and Mental Health”

Public health research attempts to identify child maltreatment and neglect from a comprehensive health perspective. This study examines how mothers experience institutional violence and trauma via the child welfare system, and their mental health effects. I apply an intersectional qualitative approach, using life course and social determinants of health perspectives. This study is based on photo-elicitation life history interviews with 75 Latina mothers from Southern California and advances an understanding of the long reach of institutional violence by examining: 1) post effects of child welfare system involvement for the mental health of mothers and 2) coping and healing mechanisms under child welfare surveillance.

Isabella Restrepo, Feminist Studies: “Transcarceral Care: Racialized Girlhood, Behavioral Diagnosis, and California’s Foster Care System”

My dissertation argues that the foster care system relies on carceral logics, maintaining the punitive mindset that claims criminalization is the most appropriate method to address social problems and targets girls of color through what I term transcarceral care. Transcarceral care refers to programs that reach beyond the walls of prisons; these aim to modify and discipline youths’ behaviors and include therapeutic services, drug and alcohol treatment, and other services that are positioned as forms of care. Utilizing a multi method approach, I ask: How are Latinas seen through the prism of race, gender, and criminalization as pathological and deviant?

Reem Taha, Comparative Literature: “‘Of Here and Everywhere’: (Re)Mapping Mediterranean Identities at the Ibero-African Frontier”

My dissertation synthesizes Arabic and European literary and historical sources and, by using a Mediterranean Studies paradigm, helps rethink dichotomies that distinguish Europe from the Arabo-Islamic world. By placing the Morisco community at the center of this dissertation and drawing on recent research in premodern race and gender studies, I argue that the hybrid Catholic-Muslim identity of Moriscos allows us to define the Mediterranean identity as one that is constantly fluctuating, with the Mediterranean Sea as a vehicle in which identities dissolve and consolidate. I explore themes such as identity formation, historical agency and complicity, and racial passing.

Amoni Thompson-Jones, Feminist Studies:  “Troubling the Interior: Black Girlhood and the Politics of Visuality (1904-2022)” (declined award)

Visit here to learn more about IHC Dissertation Fellowships.