Spanish & Portuguese announces 2016-2017 GAANN fellows

Department: Humanities Commons

Post Date: December 20, 2016

News Details

Seven doctoral students were awarded fellowships this year: (left to right) Fernando Hernandez, Karem Delgado, Emily Jackson, Araceli Calderon, Christina Garcia, Patricia Quintana, and Diego Fernandez.

In 2015, the Department of Spanish & Portguese received a four-year Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support graduate student fellowships.

Karem Delgado received a B.A. in Spanish at the University of California, Los Angeles, an MA in Spanish Literature at the University of California, Riverside, and currently preparing for my PhD qualifying exams.  She studies Jewish-Spanish prose and poetry of both Spain and Latin America.  She will be studying Hebrew at Middlebury University in Vermont this summer, in order to delve into the richness of the Jewish-Spanish Golden Age during the Middle Ages, when texts were mostly written in Hebrew and Arabic.  She is also interested in aljamiado texts which are written in Hebrew letters and read an early form of Spanish.  In particular, she is most interested in the Inquisitorial documents of  Luis de Carvajal the Younger, a crypto-Jewish Spanish immigrant to New Spain, later to be known as Mexico, whose diary is a text that is yet to be written in Modern Spanish.  As a part of my interests in Latin America, she is completing a Latin American Emphasis this upcoming year.      

Christina García received an MA from New York University in Humanities and Social Thought and a BA from Florida International University in English and Art History. Her interest in materiality and writing as an inoperative practice has brought her to focus on Hispanophone Caribbean neo-vanguard texts and visual culture. She examines the ethical and political implications of certain modes of aesthetics, specifically, an aesthetics of impenetrability and excess in relation to an ethics of non-identitarian community. Her work also examines friendship and hospitality as minor and extra-institutional political practices in Caribbean cultural production.

Diego E. Fernandez is a doctoral candidate in the UC Irvine Department of Spanish and Portuguese, with an emphasis in critical theory. His teaching and research interests include Latin American avant-garde and neobaroque poetry, and the works of various contemporary filmmakers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in English and Spanish at various levels in the United States in K-12 public schools and in undergraduate courses in language, literature, and film. His dissertation studies the aesthetic and polemic qualities of artifice in the neobaroque poetry of José Kozer and Néstor Perlongher, as well as in the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Guillermo del Toro.

Emily Jackson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She received her B.A. in Spanish from Cal State Fullerton and her M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from UCI. Emily is also a licensed attorney and spent a year between her M.A. and PhD practicing immigration law in California's Central Valley. Emily's dissertation studies the idea of fiction as existential history—an opportunity to explore the ethical possibilities of past events—with particular emphasis on the Spanish Civil War and transition periods. Her textual focus is the work of contemporary Spanish novelist Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, placed in dialogue with the early twentieth century fiction (and philosophy) of Miguel de Unamuno. When she is not trying to write, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband Daniel and baby daughter Eva.

Araceli Calderon: I received my first master's degree in education in 2005 from National University, where I completed my dissertation entitled Cooperative Learning in the Classroom. I completed a second Masters degree in Spanish in Latin American Literature, Peninsular Literature and Linguistics at California State University Fullerton in 2011. I am currently a third year doctoral student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department as well as a cohort member of the Latin American Studies Emphasis and Visual Studies Emphasis. My research interests explore the various representations of female characters and the different ideologies of motherhood that work to expose a conjecture of the mother's place within the society of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). The majority of texts and films that I plan to include in my study focus various representations of motherhood such as the death of the mother, the submissive mother, the mother who struggles to keep her children safe, among others. In the texts and films the myths of motherhood are exalted in such a way that preconceived notions of what it means to be a "good mother" or a "bad mother" is based on conventional and traditional beliefs. Albeit, the concept of motherhood is problematized when such myths are presented as “natural,” “instinctual,” and “intuitive” as opposed to “cultural,” “economic,” “political,” and “historical”. In my doctoral project, I want to explore the tensions and contradictions between what it means to be a "natural" "intuitive" and "instinctual" mother and how this "naturalness" is shaped by "cultural" "economic" and "political" calculations.

Fernando G. Hernández: I studied literature at the Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico) and completed my B.A. in Spanish at Whittier College.  My research interests focus on 20th and 21st century Latin American poetry and poetics, particularly their relationship and conceptualization vis-à-vis society.  This perspective necessarily engages critical theory as well as historical contexts and current events in Latin America. As such, I completed the Latin America Studies and the Critical Theory seminars. The focus of my dissertation centers on poetry that in different ways challenges the binary “commitment vs. autonomy” in literature and, in doing so, asks us to reconsider—in an interrelated way—notions of aesthetics, ethics and politics. The first chapter of my dissertation is dedicated to the Argentinean poet Roberto Juarroz, the second to the Chilean poet Raúl Zurita and the third to very recent Mexican poetry that takes on—in novel ways—the political, social and often violent strife of its historical context.  Some of the poets included in this third section are María Rivera, Luis Felipe Fabre, Sara Uribe, Cristina Rivera Garza and Román Luján. In 2016, I received the Humanities Commons Research Travel Grant to do archival research at the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Having grown up bilingual and working for many years as a healthcare interpreter, translator and instructor, I have also maintained an interest in translation theory and practice.

Patricia Quintana: Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the UC, Irvine in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. At the same time, I am pursuing two academic emphases: one in Critical Theory and another in Latin American Studies. My research is focused primarily on post-nineties literature and film in the Southern Cone. I look at the relationship between neoliberalism, the socio-economic excluded subject, and what their heavy presence in the realms of literature and visual art in post-dictatorial Argentina and Uruguay entails aesthetically, ethically and politically. I obtained a B.A in Spanish Literature with a minor from Interdisciplinary Studies from the California State University, Dominguez Hills.
I am now looking at the possibility of spending about a month exploring the periphery of Buenos Aires, “el Conurbano”, interviewing contemporary fictional writers and chroniclers while being financially supported in this exciting process.