Culture and Theory AlumniDiana Leong (Graduated: 2016)
M. Shadee Malaklou (Graduated: 2016)
Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
Placement: University of Utah
Appointment/Title: Assistant Professor
Diana is interested in posthumanism, science and technology studies, and the environmental humanities. Her dissertation, entitled “The Salt Bones: Toward a Slave Ship Ecology”, reads black literature as environmental philosophy, and argues that the slave ship is fundamental to the development of modern, ecological thought.
Mark Villegas (Graduated: 2015)
University of California, Irvine
Placement: Beloit College
Appointment/Title: Director, Critical Identity Studies
Shadee's dissertation, "Chronopolitical Assemblages: Antiblackness, Desire, and Identification in Iranian Contexts," argues that modern ideologies of sex and gender appeal to social and political constructions of time to reproduce antiblackness. Shadee intervenes in three visual, transnational texts about gay and trans desires and identifications in Iranian contexts to substantiate this claim.
Chandiren (Diren) Valayden (Graduated: 2013)
Mark Redondo Villegas received his Ph.D. in Culture and Theory at UC Irvine and remains at UCI as a Humanities Research Associate. He was a recipient of two highly competitive UCI graduate student awards: the UC President's Dissertation Year award and the Faculty Mentor Program fellowship. He is the co-editor for the pioneering anthology Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2014). His research locates Filipino American hip hop performance within the historical context of U.S. imperialism and diaspora. He is currently writing a book manuscript tentatively titled Savage Vernacular: Performing Race, Memory, and Hip Hop in Filipino America. In the Fall of 2015, he will be a lecturer in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego.
Kara Hunt (Graduated: 2012)
Diren's research interests include the colonial and post-colonial history of Mauritius, racial classifications, theories of the state, radical social theory and media and cultural studies.