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.

Nicky Rehnberg, History: “White Roots, Redwoods: Racializing German and U.S. Conservation, 1920-1945”

This dissertation analyzes how environmental conservation and eugenics became entangled in Germany and the U.S. between 1920 and 1945 through symbols, methods, and data stemming from Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron gigantea). Transnational collaboration between U.S. Save-the-Redwoods League and Sierra Club and the German Bund Heimatschutz (League for Homeland Protections) and Artamenen-Gesellschaft (Artaman League) racialized conservation, created new concepts of racial and ecological management, shared this with the public through natural history museums and national parks, and promulgated white supremacy and white nationalism from 1920 to 1945.

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.

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

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.