Feature | 6 April 2021

Announcing 17 New THI Graduate Fellows for 2021-2022

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The Humanities Institute is thrilled to award seventeen fellowships in support of graduate student research in 2021-2022. THI research awards support the graduate scholarship process from initial-stage dissertation research to dissertation completion. This year’s seventeen new fellows come from departments across the Humanities, including Literature, Linguistics, History, and History of Consciousness.

The Fellows’ research projects demonstrate a range of intellectual commitments and interests. Several dissertations explore questions of gender and sexuality, including Jewish humor, women, and trauma as well as marriage law and practice in South China; others delve into the fields of medical knowledges, disability studies, environmental studies and finance capital, philosophy and mathematics, syntax and prosody, race and ethnicity studies, African literature, poetics, and artist’s books. Regions of focus range from the Americas to Asia to the African continent, encompassing Mexico, the Horn of Africa, California’s Central Valley, and Southern China.

“This year’s THI Research Fellow cohort brings the world to Santa Cruz through its engagement with a global range of topics and disciplines,” says Nathaniel Deutsch, Director of The Humanities Institute. “We’re excited to take part in enriching campus life by providing support to graduate students to pursue the subjects and areas they’re passionate about.”

THI supports research at all stages as fellows receive support for preliminary graduate research, summer dissertation research, and year-long dissertation writing.

See all THI Fellows on our website. Congratulations to our newest cohort of Fellows!


THI Year-Long Dissertation Fellow

Courtney Kersten, Literature
“The Madwoman of Cripple Creek: An Imagined Life of Linda Goodman”

THI/UC Humanities Network Dissertation Fellow

Ka-eul Yoo, Literature
“Cold War Disability: The Biopolitics of U.S. Military Empire in Post-1945 Asia”

THI Summer Dissertation Fellows

Aaron Aruck, History
“Tracking Contagious Cases: The Anti-Venereal Campaign and the Construction of Sexual Categories in Northern Mexico, 1920-1965”

Adrian Drummond-Cole, History of Consciousness
“Making Water Liquid: Information, Finance, and Flow in California’s Central Valley”

Andrew Hedding, Linguistics
“Focus in the Narrow Syntax”

Michael McCarrin, History of Consciousness
“Metaphysical Bias in Western Mathematics”

Kelsey McFaul, Literature
“Landscapes of Words: The Novel in the Horn of Africa from 1908 to 2020”

Thaïs Miller, Literature
“Vaudeville to GLOW: One Hundred Years of Jewish Humor, Women, and Trauma in Los Angeles”

Wilson Miu, History
“Breaking Habits, Changing Customs: Marriage Law and Practice in South China, 1930-1980”

Nicholas Van Handel, Linguistics
“The Sound of Silence: Investigations of Implicit Prosody”

THI Summer Research Fellows

Mykel Brinkerhoff, Linguistics
“Prosodic and Phonetic Considerations in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec”

Man Ning Chan, History
“High and Low in Early Modern China: Using Qin (a seven-stringed musical instrument) as an Example”

Xindi Li, History of Consciousness
“Machine Infrastructures: Testing Race and Resilience in Built Environment”

Madison McCartha, Literature
“Researching the Artist Book as Art-Object”

Crystal Smith, History
“Empire Incorporated: Media, Liberalism, and the Productization of the British Empire in Africa, 1885-1890”

Linda Ulbrich, History
“’Yesterday Was a Difficult Day to Be Sister’: Nursing and Trauma in the First World War”

Maya Wax Cavallaro, Linguistics
“Stress, Tone, and Prosodic Structure in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec”


See our announcement about last year’s cohort of Public Fellows here.