Four postdoctoral fellows join UCI School of Humanities

Four postdoctoral fellows join UCI School of Humanities

 Office of the Dean October 11, 2021

The UCI School of Humanities welcomes an American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow, a Chancellor's Advance Postdoctoral Fellow and two UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows

This fall, the UCI School of Humanities welcomes an American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow, a Chancellor’s Advance Postdoctoral Fellow and two UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellows. Their home departments and affiliations are the Departments of African American Studies, History and Philosophy, and the Latin American Studies Center.

Learn more about each fellow below:

Jamal Batts, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of African American Studies

Jamal Batts is a scholar, writer, and curator. His dissertation project, Immoral Panics: Black Queer Aesthetics and the Construction of Risk, reflected on the relationship between Black queer contemporary visual and literary art and the intricacies of sexual risk from the early HIV/AIDS crisis to the present. His writing has appeared in the catalogue for The New Museum’s exhibit “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” the publications Open Space, ASAP/J, and New Life Quarterly, and SFMOMA’s website in conjunction with their “Modern Cinema” series. He was a 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, 2020 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, and ONE National Lesbian & Gay Archives LGBTQ Research Fellow. In 2019, he served as the SFMOMA Summer Curatorial Intern in Contemporary Art where he curated film screenings and artist discussions for the exhibit “SOFT POWER.” He is a member of the curatorial collective “The Black Aesthetic.” 

Jorge Delgadillo, Chancellor’s Advance Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History

Jorge Delgadillo is a historian of slavery, Afro-descendants and social differentiation processes in Mexico and the Atlantic world at large. His first book project is a longue-durée study of the emergence, transformations and disappearance of the social categories associated with African ancestry in colonial Guadalajara. It is also an examination of issues of Black invisibility and historical memory in the Mexican press of the 19th century. His research and book reviews have been published in Spanish and English by the University of Guadalajara, El Colegio de México, The Americas and Hispanic American Historical Review. Delgadillo is also a 2020 alumnus of the Mark Claster Mamolen Dissertation Workshop in Afro-Latin American Studies held at Harvard University. As a Chancellor’s Advance Postdoctoral Fellow, he will further explore the place of slavery in Mexican history, as well as Afro-Mexicans’ contributions to colonial Guadalajara’s society, economy and culture.

E. M. Hernandez, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Philosophy

E. M. Hernandez is a philosopher researching and writing about normative ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of race and trans philosophy. In 2021, they completed their Ph.D. at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after writing the dissertation, “Perceiving Through the Racial Veil: The Inner Moral Life of Racism.” Many philosophers think of ethics as the study of how we ought to exercise our will, or what rules we should follow in our practical deliberation. Hernandez’s research engages with those many central parts of ethics that are left out of this conception – in particular, the ethics of perception and of feeling. Their work revolves around the idea that our perceptions and feelings are morally evaluable, and they’re particularly interested in how racial and gender marginalization complicates these evaluations. Their work on gender affirmation appears in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, with more to surely follow. They were previously an E. Maynard Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities at UNC and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar at Portland State University.

Heider Tun Tun, ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow, Department of History and Latin American Studies Center

Heider Tun Tun (Firm Rock) is a Yucatec Maya historian from Tahmek, Mexico (the “place of the big hug”). Tun Tun’s scholarship stems from an interest in studying how marginalized communities, particularly women and Indigenous people, have influenced human rights in Latin America. He just recently finished a project focused on reinstating the UMN historic partnership with the HBCUs Spelman College, Morehouse College and Howard University. This project concluded with the creation of a digital humanities project called the Multi-Media Library of Educational Resources. His current work at UCI focuses on the study of the Mayan human rights movement. This view of rights advocates for the recognition of colonial relations in modern times, the value of women as knowledge-keepers and leaders and respect for the environment. He has been collecting oral histories about the secret Mayan tree Ya’axche’ (green tree or ceiba tree) that are the grounds of the cyclical Mayan view of history. In addition, Tun Tun is working on the final stages of a book of testimonial histories from the women who founded and have led the Co-Madres organization (the first women’s human rights organization from El Salvador). This project highlights women’s views of human rights in Central America, recovers the historical memory of local activism in El Salvador and documents the development of human rights in grassroots organizations.