"Whiteness in Crisis? Orange County and the New Post-Foreclosure Suburban Order"
Lauren Alfrey, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
"The Digital Imaginary: Mainframe Computers from the Corporate Basement to the Silver Screen, 1946-1968"
Steven Anderson, History, UC Riverside
"War Memories, Imperial Ambitions: Commemorating WWII in the U.S. Pacific National Park System"
Rusty Bartels, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
"Utopic Oakland: Representing Political Futurity, 1999-Present"
Trisha Barua, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
"El Espanol Rururbano: The Urbanization of Rural Mexican Spanish in Southern California"
Franny Brogan, Spanish and Portuguese, UC Los Angeles
"The Slow Disaster: Water Scarcity, Climate Change, and Public Science in the California Desert"
Emily Brooks, Anthropology, UC Irvine
"The Burbank Project"
Xan Chacko, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
"Music and Transformation: Trans Subjectivity in Jazz, Country, and Gospel Music"
Randy Drake, Music, UC Santa Barbara
"South Central L.A.’s Kings and Queens: An Oral Street History of the Rise of US Carceral Landscapes of the West, 1980s-1990s"
Alejandro Garcia, History, UC Berkeley
"Marketization and Mobilization: California Healthcare Worker Organizing in the Era of Managed Care"
Pablo Gaston, Sociology, UC Berkeley
"The Mexican Diaspora: On the Negotiation of Identity of Heritage Spanish Speakers in Mexico and the United States"
Armando Guerrero, Spanish and Portuguese, UC Los Angeles
"Cacophonous Island: Musical Multiculturalism at the 1939-1940 San Francisco World’s Fair"
Elisse La Barre, Music, UC Santa Cruz
"Southern California Chivalry"
Daniel Lynch, History, UC Los Angeles
"Becoming Hoodlums: Boy Gangs and Public Space in San Francisco, 1866-1875"
William McGovern, History, UC San Diego
Alex Melhuish, Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz
"Working Women and San Francisco’s Urban Development"
Thomas O’Donnell, History, UC Davis
"Charting of a History of Immigrant Incarceration in california: Space of Impunity and Movements of Solidarity, 1945-2001"
Jessica Ordaz, History, UC Davis
"The Institutionalization of California Environmental Justice Advocacy"
Tracy Perkins, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz
Sahar Sajadieh, Media Arts and Technology, UC Santa Barbara
"A Home on the Range: murray’s Dude Ranch and the Making of Los Angeles’s Black Urban Desert"
Jennifer Thornton, History, UC Riverside
Narratives of California’s Heartland: A Geographic Perspective on the Fictional LIterature of the Central Valley
Stacie Townsend, Geography, UC Davis
"Steinbeck’s Migrants: Families on the Move and the Politics of Resource Management"
Bryan Yazell, English, UC Davis
Chris Newfield, English, UC Santa Barbara; Colleen Lye, English, UC Berkeley; and Michael Meranze, History, UCLA
To explore questions of California, the university and their entangled futures, UCHRI curated a working group led by Chris Newfield (English, UCSB), along with Colleen Lye (English, UCB) and Michael Meranze (History, UCLA). The group's major project is "The Next California: How will E-Learning Affect Minority-Majority California?" The project brings together three themes: 1) minority-majority California, 2) the social role of higher education, and 3) e-learning initiatives.
Noting that the current social conditions in California are a dangerous mix of continuing and/or intensifying racial disparities and disinvestment in the public sector that has historically been the main means of reducing racial disparities, the group’s research will focus on two key questions. What kind of university reform does the state really need? And, what kind of e-learning would play a role in upgraded California universities, and to what extent? The group intends to take the word "fantasies" seriously, and so will be trying to describe exciting possibilities for improvement in addition to critiquing negative tendencies. At the end of their collaboration, the group will produce a report that will be the basis of other modes of communication to a wider audience.
“Native American Museum Studies Institute”
Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley
The Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, at the University of California at Berkeley, will offer a Native American Museum Studies Institute to provide training in museum skills to staff and volunteers in Native American tribal museums. Emphasizing skill building to improve capacity to conserve tribal cultural heritage, control tribal representations, and educate tribal and non-tribal communities, the Center will develop a weeklong tribal community certificate program in museum studies that will be held at the University of California at Berkeley in early 2013. The training will be offered in partnership with the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, a not-for-profit organization. The course materials will be made available online.
“Powerful Stories/Historias Poderosas”
Robert McKee Irwin, Spanish/Cultural Studies, UC Davis
“Powerful Stories” aims, through the techniques of digital storytelling, to help LGBTQ farmworkers of the Central Valley to produce and publish personal stories of their everyday experiences, struggles and triumphs. The “Powerful Stories” academic team, consisting of faculty and graduate students from UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz, will work with community partners of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) to identify LGBTQ farmworkers as potential storytellers and to help them to effectively craft stories using techniques of digital storytelling. These stories will promote pride and dignity among a largely invisible and overlooked group. They will help social service organizations such as CRLA to better understand community needs and thereby enhance community services and advocacy strategies. Their publication on CRLA’s website, accompanied by pedagogical materials developed by our team for the high school and college classroom, will help Californians to better understand the diversity of subjectivities of those living in our state.
“The Miguel Contreras Learning Complex Digital Mural Project”
Judy Baca, Chicana/o Studies, UCLA
The UCLA@SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital/Mural Lab (UCLA@SPARC Lab) is the leading research, teaching and production facility in the country devoted to the advancement of Muralism and Community Cultural Development. Led by artist and Distinguished UCLA Professor Judith F. Baca, UCLA students collaborate with national and international communities to create public art for permanent placement in public settings. SPARC plans to install a standalone digital kiosk in the MCLC cafeteria to serve as an educational tool for students and MCLC teachers. The kiosk will allow students and teachers to explore the content-rich mural using touch-screen technology. The kiosk will feature historic archival materials of the California labor movement represented in the mural, research conducted by UCLA students, oral histories of the community, and the Miguel Contreras website.
With research generated from UCLA and MCLC students, learning modules will be developed for MCLC teachers to utilize in their classroom. From these modules, teachers can generate lesson plans and share them with the MCLC community on the MCLC website. The website will also feature student projects that have evolved from the curriculum and act as a ‘think tank’ where students and educators can dialogue and generate new ideas for projects and learning modules. In addition to housing and archiving additions to the curriculum by the MCLC community, the website will host the course syllabi, pedagogical materials, team-teaching documentation and designs generated by UCLA students in UCLA@SPARC Lab.
“Getting from Here to There is Not Enough: The Impacts of the Logistics Industry on Inland Southern California”
Juliann Emmons Allison, Political Science, UC Riverside
This cooperative institutional support will enable students to work closely with WWU and CCEAJ to document – through film and text - their campaigns. In addition to training in research methods and organizing, students’ participation will include assisting with mapping of currently undocumented toxic sites, administering a survey of warehouse workers regarding wage and hour violations, analysis of survey results, documenting relevant demonstrations, and developing campaign histories based on these and other events.
The logistics industry that supports global trade is “progressive” because it makes consumer goods cheaper and more widely available. Scholars and activists argue that this view obscures the human and environmental costs of the global economy. Some critics focus on outsourcing, unemployment, and the immiseration of labor. Others analyze the destruction of the natural environment in favor of financial gain. This project seeks to identify and examine these significant downsides of global trade by establishing a partnership among faculty and students at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and community organizations focused on the human and social effects of the logistics industry in Inland Southern California. Faculty will train student interns and researchers to work with labor and environmental activists to develop a knowledge base for scholarship and activism. Progress and results will reside in a publicly available website.
John Alvarado, Anthropology, UC Riverside
“Reconceptualizing Changing Indigenous Masculinities and Usos y Costumbres in A Mixtec Transnational Community: The Case of San Jerónimo Progreso”
This project examines, documents, and analyzes the changes in indigenous masculinities as they are manifested by Mixtec men from San Jeronimo Progreso, Oaxaca, Mexico. This project will specifically examine if the impact of migration and the development of households across the U.S. and Mexican border
has shaped or changed indigenous masculinities as they are displayed in the context of usos y costumbres (customary law). This project is also the first of its kind to take into consideration the indigenous language of the town, since members of the community continue to express themselves and worldview in Mixtec. This is a transnational project and will also take place in Mexico and U.S. Although this project focuses on changing male identities, it is not just about men, but indigenous families,and their lived experiences as they maintain their customs and traditions in an ever evolving world.
This travel grant will allow research for this multi-sited project to be conducted in several transnational sites.
Robert Aneyci, English Literature, UC Irvine
“Shadows on the Border”
The 1994 passage of NAFTA led to an enormous increase in commerce between the United States and Mexico. Less welcome has been the exponential rise in illegal immigration and the drug trade, currently estimated at thirty billion dollars a year. These issues have militarized the border, wreaked havoc in Mexican cities, and become central political concerns in both countries. Lost in the rhetoric and the fear-mongering are the lives distorted by the social upheaval. My goal is to present the stories of individuals living in the shadow of the border. The importance of such stories goes beyond a reducible 'human interest' element. Rather, it is impossible to create successful policies unless attention is paid to the motivations and needs of individuals most affected by them.
This grant will contribute to supplies and travel necessary to conducting research and interviews in the United States and Mexico.
Cutcha Risling Baldy, Native American Studies, UC Davis
“A Picture Perfect Indian: Re-Writing Edward Curtis's Legacy Through Hupa Woman (c) 1923 or Mary Baldy Socktish”
This project offers a re-telling of one famous Curtis photo known as Hupa Woman © 1923 in an effort to reclaim the photographic and historical space and share an unshared story: Ethnographic photographers played a significant role in the societal, political and historical representations of Indian people. However these photographs are not presented as being about Native people but instead are attributed to the photographers with little to no mention of the Native person in the photo and their continuing legacy. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than the photos of Edward S. Curtis. The number of biographies and articles exploring Edward Curtis’s life reaches into the hundreds if not thousands. But the photos included in these collections present the Indian peoples as “subjects.” The continued contribution of Curtis’s work lies in the re-writing and re-righting of this narrative in an effort to decolonize the historical record.
This grant will allow travel to Seattle and Hoopa to conduct onsite research on “Hupa Woman.”
Gustavo Buenrostro, Spanish and Portuguese, UC Berkeley
“Documents of Quinto Sol”
Quinto Sol Publications was the first Mexican American publishing house in the country and was founded in 1967 with the efforts of UC Berkeley students and faculty and continued publishing until 1974. As such, it made an unprecedented effort to create a space for Mexican-Americans to publish their literary, artistic, and scholarly works beginning in 1967. Many of the texts that are now considered foundational and canonical of Chicano Literature first saw light in El Grito and/or were published by Quinto Sol Publishing via their Quinto Sol prize. The third Prize was awarded to Rolando Hinojosa. The project draws on the Rolando Hinojosa Archive at the University of Texas, Austin, to explore some of the unanswered questions regarding the Quinto Sol Prize.
This grant will allow travel to the Rolando Hinojosa Archive at UT Austin for research leading to an article on Quinto Sol Publications and its literary prize.
Mario Castillo, Sociology, UC Berkeley
“Toward A Refuge of Difference: Constructions of 'Radical Inclusivity' in Sacred Spaces”
In recent decades, researchers and scholars in the West have begun looking more critically at the uneasy relationship between religion/spirituality and practitioners that embody social difference based on race/ethnicity, sex/gender and sexuality. While much of the literature has focused on religious/spiritual communities that are disapproving, unwelcoming, and/or intolerant of traditionally marginalized groups, very little attention has been paid to religious/spiritual communities that practice "radical inclusivity." With more religious/spiritual communities espousing an inclusive ethos, critical research is needed to investigate and ultimately understand the organizational, theological, political, social, and interpersonal constructions of these communities.
Drawing on ethnographic methods, this project attempts to fill this gap in the literature by researching two radically inclusive religious/spiritual communities in the San Francisco Bay Area: SOAR United, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and FIRST United, a self-proclaimed progressive Christian congregation.
This grant will be used to defray travel costs to and from research sites in San Francisco.
Michelle Chihara, English Literature, UC Irvine
“Bubble Life: Fetishized home, Authentic Belonging, and the Culture of Booms and Busts”
Beginning with the bubble in Los Angeles in the late 1880s and Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona before turning to the most recent crisis, this project explores the historically specific feedback loops created between the culture and the economy during real estate asset bubbles. This research looks at cultural narratives in light of the narratives at work in the market, with a special focus on Southern California’s role in the both the economy and in literature and media.
Every economic bubble tells a particular story. Working with theoretical accounts of economic performativity, journalistic accounts of the recent boom and bust, and cultural theorists working with key concepts like nostalgia and the poetics of space, this dissertation explore how specific novels and popular media both affected and were affected by the economy. Throughout the project will interweave journalistic research with readings of contemporary American fiction that deals explicitly with home, credit and debt.
This grant will support research trips to Sacramento, Ramona, and other bubble communities.
Jean-Paul deGuzman, History, UCLA
“Rethinking Race and Activism Beyond the Urban Core: Southern California’s San Fernando Valley from World War II to Secession”
This project focuses on excavating the subaltern histories of the historically working-class and racially diverse neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley as a case study to better understand the overlapping dynamics of race, municipal governance, and community building in 20th century Southern California. Documenting and synthesizing these narratives furnish a counter-narrative to popular imagery of the San Fernando Valley which mass culture has rendered as the best and worst of post-World War II California suburbia in the American popular imaginary: a site for upward mobility on the one hand, a space of stark racial exclusion and suburban emptiness on the other. This research uncovers the histories of activism in communities of color that not only challenged the obstacles of racial discrimination but also complicated the region’s relationship with the City of Los Angeles, blurring the lines between “urban” and “suburban” politics.
This grant will provide funds for research trips to archives at USC and CSUN.
Kimberley De Wolff, Communication and Science Studies, UC San Diego
“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Plastic waste as matter of concern”
This project investigates the production of knowledge about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the massive accumulation of plastic waste floating between California and Japan. To understand how the circulation of plastic pollution connects humans and oceans, California and the Pacific, this dissertation will ‘follow’ pieces of waste collected by the Long Beach-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation as they are transformed into knowledge through laboratory analysis, public display and media representation. Research found that where the media conjures images of the Garbage Patch as a dense ‘trash island,’ the circulation and display of scientific samples gives plastic pollution a form akin to a ‘toxic soup’ of dispersed fragments. Understanding how plastic waste emerges as a material problem is crucial to understanding possible solutions: while a trash island can potentially be cleaned up or recycled, toxic soup demands new kinds of cooperative policies that focus on consumption and disposal practices on land.
This grant will fund travel to Hilo, Hawaii to conduct research.
Anna Kryczka, Visual Studies, UC Irvine
“Learning from Los Angeles: Claes Oldenburg’s Bedroom Ensemble (1963)”
This project focuses on American art, architecture, and material culture. At its core the research investigates domesticity and considers the ways in which domestic space and design impacts historically situated understandings of labor. Claes Oldenburg’s Bedroom Ensemble was fabricated in 1963 in Venice, California. Produced for installation in the Sidney Janis gallery in Manhattan, this work marks Oldenburg’s first use of light industrial fabrication. The Bedroom Ensemble harnesses the ethos of functionalism associated with the culture of privacy and domesticity Oldenburg found to be indigenous to the Los Angeles lifestyle and built environment. Through research in both local and national archives and institutions, this project aims to embed this work into the geographically specific forms of vernacular and modern architecture, fabrication, planning, and design indigenous to midcentury Southern California. Using The Bedroom Ensemble as a starting point for the study of the particularities of a Californian Cold War domesticity, the research conducted will examine how the invention of domestic traditions and conventions through design, alongside technological and economic changes, inflect understandings of domestic space and labor and its societal and political significance.
This grant will be used for travel to research archives in Washington D.C.
Shannon Lieberman, History of Art and Architecture, UC Santa Barbara
“Re-Imagined: Space, History, and Feminist Performance in 1970s Los Angeles”
This project investigates the relationship between Los Angeles, 1970s feminist performance art, and the concept of a usable feminist past. Focused on performance art created at the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, this research shows that feminist performance artists were shaped by the city of Los Angeles, but also actively re-imagined the city as a feminist space through performances that intervened in everyday life. Through conducting archival research and interviews, this project will examine how 1970s feminist performance artists related their work to a feminist past and how they conceived of their work as a model for subsequent generations of women. Blending theories of representation, performance, space, and archiving, this research will critically assess the role of documentation in 1970s feminist performance art as a means of determining what it means to have a usable past, and why Los Angeles is central in that usable past.
This grant will support travel to the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Sarah Macdonald, Sociology, UC Berkeley
“Building Transnational Families: California International Adoption Agencies and the Global Market for Adoptable Children”
California is the center of international adoption in the United States. Californians have adopted 16,792 children from abroad between 1999-2011 making California the number one receiving state for internationally adopted children in the United States (Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State). This project focuses on the Californians who adopt children from abroad and the adoption agencies that make the migration of children from abroad to California possible. By considering California as a location at the center of a transnational market that operates across state and national borders, this project will contribute to our understanding of how organizations facilitate migration to California and why parents from California adopt from abroad so frequently. Through interviews with parents and adoption agency professionals, this project will investigate broad trends related to adoption in California, the changing landscape of international adoption within the state, and the future of international adoption to California.
This grant will defray expenses for research trips to visit adoption agencies in the Los Angeles area and the San Diego area to initiate contact with the executive directors of the seven agencies located in Southern California.
Maritza Maksimow, Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara
“Recordando El Porvenir: Four Generations of Memory, Migration and Place-Making among California-Baja California Transborder Families”
Through a multisited ethnographic study of California-Baja California transborder families, and relying heavily on multigenerational life histories, this research will illustrate the various strategies families have employed to negotiate state policies and economic incongruity between the U.S. and Mexico, since 1930 to the present day. Documenting the history of national and transnational power relations as they are experienced in quotidian life will enable the examination of processes involved in place-making and cultural identity formation, while also allowing for a more nuanced and dynamic understanding of California-Baja California borderland culture. This research will contribute to the theoretical knowledge of border communities and fill voids in current ethnographic literature. At the same time, this research holds significant implications for contemporary policies regarding Mexican to U.S. immigration, particularly as they relate to transborder and mix-status families.
In supporting travel to and from multiple Southern California research sites, this grant will enable the completion of dissertation fieldwork by the summer of 2013.
Stephanie Maroney, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
“Defining California through American Cookbooks of the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”
This project examines the ways that California cuisine is constructed at the intersection of Mexican, Spanish, and "American" tastes as found in a collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century cookbooks. In the field of food studies, foodstuffs and food practices are rich sites of research in order to explore the effects of cultural encounters and clashes. California is a place of multiple cultural convergences, and this project explores the emergence of California cuisine in the period between 1840 and 1950.
The Los Angeles Public Library has the largest collection in the world of cookbooks printed in California. It is the only library that owns all three of California’s first charitable books including The California Recipe Book, printed in 1872. The over-1000-book collection also includes an original copy of El Cocinero Espanol, the first Spanish-language cookbook printed in California. Within these cookbooks, one can track the emergence of ingredients, cooking methods, recipes, and regional names that come to be associated with modern California cuisine. This process of historical tracking through cookbooks can reveal the multiple ways in which dominant and subordinate groups mediated the often uncomfortable process of cultural encounter.
This grant will support a research trip to explore the cookbook collection, menu collection, and culinary ephemera collection at the Los Angeles Public Library.
Peter Owens, Sociology, UC Irvine
“No Farther West”: Indigenous Peoples and Settlers on the California Frontier, 1848-1873”
Debate on indigenous genocide in the United States remains highly contentious, with many scholars making broad generalizations on its nature and extent. Leveraging insights from the “New Western history,” This dissertation argues that such claims tend to overlook considerable regional and temporal variability in the patterning of indigenous-settler relations. Specifically, researchers have yet to account for combinations of social factors that contributed to genocide in some areas, but not others. The proposed project examines historical variability in patterns of interaction between American settlers and indigenous peoples in central and northern California between the years 1848 and 1873, and the strategies of social control against indigenous peoples that resulted. Through this analysis, the research seeks to explain why state military forces and local settler populations engaged in genocidal campaigns of extermination against some indigenous groups, but pursued less violent strategies of removal and accommodation towards others.
This grant will support a research trip to the California State Archives in Sacramento, to gather historical data on state military policy towards indigenous peoples during the 19th century, focusing on a critical set of documents: the California Indian War Papers, which detail the use of military expeditions against indigenous groups throughout California in the years 1850 to 1880.
Caitlin Patler, Sociology, UCLA
“Young and Undocumented: The Impacts of Immigrant Legal Status on the Incorporation of Undocumented Youth in California”
This dissertation explores the experiences of one of our state’s most invisible populations: undocumented young adults. It asks: What are the implications and unique constraints of undocumented immigration status on the lives of immigrant youth in California? What are their current patterns of postsecondary school enrollment, degree attainment, employment, and civic engagement? How, if at all, do institutional resources (school, community, or government resources) mediate these outcomes? The research provides initial answers using original survey and in-depth interview data from the California Young Adult Study (CYAS). Not surprisingly, undocumented youth face tremendous barriers to higher education and meaningful employment, yet their experiences are not uniform. By exposing these types of disparities, this project fits squarely within the UCCSC’s goal of understanding inequality in California, and exposing the “underlying layers of contradiction” in our state.
This grant will support the costs of travel across the state of California to conduct research interviews.
Kayleigh Perkov, Visual Studies, UC Irvine
“Self-Craft: Identity Construction and the Handmade 1960-1980”
Traditionally, art history has collapsed the field of contemporary crafted objects into a singular narrative, responding to a single set of utilitarian demands and cultural pressures. This project aims to disentangle the divergent ethos, practices, and goals of crafted objects of the 1960s and 1970s California by contrasting the California Design exhibition series with contemporaneous works by Faith Wilding and Suzanne Lacy. California Design (Pasadena Museum of Art, 1955-1984) sold Californian lifestyle through its crafted objects, enmeshing the handmade with issues of commodity culture and post-war anxiety. Conversely, the self-consciously feminist utilization of the handmade by Wilding and Lacy eschewed the studio-craft realm of commodity, and instead “sold” their own conceptualization of female identity through an engagement with social activism, feminist theory, and coalition building. Ultimately, this project examines how the handmade was actively used to construct specific and ideologically informed identities.
This grant will provide for a research trip to Oakland.
Juily Phun, US and World History, UC Irvine
“Contours of Care: The Influenza Pandemic and Healthcare in Southern California, 1918-1941”
This project historicizes how communities of color navigated a marketplace of options in negotiating sickness and health. In weaving these stories- including oral histories, advertisements for health, public health mandates, and faith-based organizational records, this historical investigation reveals the work involved with staying healthy. This dissertation argues that public health was a contested environment that involved day-to-day transactions by which people negotiated their health. There was not however, an unlimited set of options. Based on race, class, and access, the ethnic Mexican and Asian community made choices grounded on availability, affordability, and understanding of health. “Contours of Care” examines the networks people utilized that diverged and dovetailed with public health institutions and mandates. Whereas the plague and tuberculosis raised discussions of cleanliness, fitness, and citizenship, influenza’s affect across all groups has defied the racial scrutiny posed by other illnesses.
This grant will support a research trip to Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley.
Martin Rizzo, History, UC Santa Cruz
“No Somos Animales: Indigenous Diversity and Plurality in 19th Century Santa Cruz, California”
The racial category “Indian” is a fiction, shifting in meaning through the Spanish and Mexican eras into American statehood, all the while concealing ethnic and linguistic diversity within a socially differentiated community. This dissertation examines the heterogeneous social world of Indigenous Santa Cruz in the years spanning 1821 to 1870; a world characterized by diversity, degrees of citizenship, increased labor opportunities, limited land ownership, mobility, and increased legal and political freedoms. Existing scholarship has been complicated by static notions of ethnicity, which have restricted the category of “Indian” into a narrow definition, erasing the complexity and diversity of this Indigenous society. The research will help illuminate a nuanced Indigenous social world, exposing what is hidden within the social category of Indian – a plurality of Indigenous identities and statuses, tribal and colonial, articulated by linguistic, cultural, historical and political differences, observable in the exercising and exclusion of political and legal rights.
This grant will defray costs of travel, food, and lodging while conducting research in Sacramento, CA.
Martha Roberts, Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara
“Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance Research”
This dissertation research at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles will focus on the ways that religious, racial, and ethnic diversity are exhibited and internalized by tourists and visitors to the popular California museum. The dissertation investigates the production and reception of the encounters between diverse peoples in exhibit spaces, the myriad of ways in which those encounters are received and interpreted by visitors, and the understandings of religious diversity that they engender within Californian culture. It will explore the ways that the Museum’s tolerance education programs use strategies that focus on the display of the body as central to the encounter between groups. Using historical and sociological methods (participant-observation fieldwork, interviews, surveys, and qualitative analysis) this interdisciplinary study will articulate how effective use of bodily display can create encounters that overcome differences and prejudices in the real world—both inside and outside this Californian exhibition space.
This grant will support three days of fieldwork at the Museum of Tolerance: participant observation, interviews with curators and coordinators, and first surveys of visitor groups.
Anne Clara Schenderlein, History, UC San Diego
“Ties of Belonging: A Transnational History of German Jewish Identities”
This dissertation concerns the history of German Jewish refugees from the Nazis and their families on the West Coast of the United States and the ways they have negotiated their German Jewish identity. The research encompasses the period since the 1930s, with a starting point of 1934 when a group of refugees from the Nazis formed a German Jewish Club in Los Angeles. Following the history of the Club, and its members and their descendants up to the recent past, and this dissertation looks at refugees and their children and grandchildren as they return to Germany for temporary visits to former home towns through German “Visitor Programs.” The research focuses on issues of identity and its interrelations with memory, emotion, and place in order to gain intimate insights into the complex lived histories of German Jews and their relations to Germany and the United States.
This grant will support travel for research and interviews in Los Angeles, and at archival holdings at California State University, Northridge, the University of Southern California, and UCLA.
Sarah Seekatz, History, UC Riverside
“Blind Date: The Creation of an Arabian Fantasy in the Deserts of Southern California”
Southern California’s Coachella Valley remains one of the few places where dates can be commercially grown outside of the Middle East. Ever since the date industry was established there around the turn of the 20th century, local boosters have tapped into the date’s Arabian heritage to market their crop and the agricultural communities they established. This dissertation follows the establishment of the date industry and its celebrations to explore the ways in which local boosters sold their dates, their desert, and their dreams through Middle Eastern fantasies embodied in festivals, parades, pageants, costumes, architecture, exhibits, and marketing campaigns. In doing so locals entangled their reality with American (mis)perceptions of the Middle East, crossing borders through popular culture and agricultural ventures. This work explores how interethnic and gendered relationships of the area were filtered through the celebration of an imagined Arabia.
Tourism was crucial to the booster project, and the way in which the deserts of Southern California were sold via the deserts of the Middle East is an interesting booster tool. This grant will support a research trip to Riverside, San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco.
Elizabeth Sine, History, UC San Diego
“Rumblings Underfoot: Cultures of Resistance and the Crisis of Development in 1930s California”
This dissertation explores the upsurge of labor and Left social movements in 1930s California from the vantage point of the region’s racial and cultural margins. As the Great Depression deepened within one of the most rapidly modernizing regions among industrialized nations, the research traces the political visions and practices of African American, Mexicana/o, Filipina/o, and Native American working communities, in and beyond the era’s mass coalitions and industrial conflicts. This project moves from Imperial and San Joaquin Valley agricultural strikes and the San Francisco waterfront strike to the cultural terrain of federally funded theater in East Los Angeles and jazz music in Mendocino’s Round Valley Reservation. This dissertation explores how varied experiences of displacement, exclusion, and exploitation link those communities in a broader, shared struggle and enabled the formation of new collectivities and modes of political resistance.
During Fall 2012, this grant will support a one week research trip to New York University’s Tamiment Library. The Tamiment Library contains a rich array of sources that offer a window on organized labor and Left participation in and responses to California-based working-class mobilizations during the Depression. This research trip will focus on materials contained in the Sam Adams Darcy Papers (Darcy was chairperson of the Communist Party California during the 1934 San Francisco waterfront strike and made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1934), the John Pittman Papers (Pittman was an African American Communist journalist in Berkeley during the late 1920s and 1930s), the Labor Research Association Records (The LRA was an affiliate organization of the CPUSA, founded in 1927, which conducted investigations and studies of issues of concern to the labor movement, including California’s labor movement), and the CIO, AFL, and CPUSA Ephemera Collections.
Sara Smith, History, UC Santa Cruz
“Insurgent Labor: Rank-and-File Teachers Organizing in California After World War II”
This dissertation examines the history of rank-and-file teachers’ organizing in California in the post-World War II period. Rather than writing a narrative history, it explores case studies that highlight teachers’ efforts to promote union democracy, workers’ rights, and social and economic justice on a broad scale. This project will highlight organizing against discrimination, examining gay and lesbian teachers’ organizing against the homophobic Briggs initiative in 1977-1978. While labor historians have examined gender, race, and labor, there has been very little published about queer work or the influence of queer rights organizing on labor unions. This dissertation, overall, helps to enhance historiography on the still understudied relationship between the new social movements of the 1960s-1970s and the trade union movement.
This grant will be used to conduct two research trips: one to the Walter Reuther Archives in Detroit, Michigan and the other to Los Angeles to conduct a series of interviews and complete the archival research for the final dissertation chapter on United Teachers Los Angeles.
Erik Watschke, Visual Studies, UC Irvine
“Allegories of Industry and the Limits of Reflexivity in the New Hollywood”
“Allegories of Industry and the Limits of Reflexivity in the New Hollywood” will focus on discourses of reflexivity in recent Hollywood Cinema by tracing anxieties about the Southern California-based film industry as they arise within films and industrial rhetoric from the late 1980s to 2000s. This project will associate this period with historically-specific industrial crises characterized by fundamental shifts in the deployment of new technologies, systems of marketing and distribution, and narrative paradigms. The dissertation explores the intersection between allegory and reflexivity; specifically, how allegory as an avenue of interpretation is opened up by historical modes of reflexivity in this period. This project will explore the equally important archival study on-site in California studios and libraries. Investigation of trade publications, popular press, and filmmaker journals and correspondence—along with personal interviews and empirical study of audience data—are crucial to uncovering how shifting imperatives determine the ability of Hollywood to represent itself.
This grant will allow travel to and investigations of studio archives, as well as interviews with pertinent industry professionals both in the Los Angeles area and Northern California. Specifically, this research necessitates examining production correspondence on-file at production companies such as American Zoetrope in San Francisco, and traveling to and interviewing associated film professionals in the Bay Area. This work cannot be completed without consulting the specific production designers and assistant directors who worked on these films, and their records.
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