News | 24 March 2021

Announcing the 2021 UCSC SSRC-DPD Fellows!

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The Humanities Institute is thrilled to announce the twelve recipients of the 2021 UCSC Social Science Research Council-Dissertation Proposal Development program award. Recipients come from a wide-range of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts Division departments including Environmental Studies, History, History of Consciousness, Politics, Latin American and Latino Studies, Film and Digital Media, and History of Art and Visual Culture.

The Humanities Institute is pleased to work with the Division of Graduate Studies, the Humanities Division, the Social Sciences Division, and the Arts Division to continue to support graduate students through innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to research proposal training.

The 2021 recipients are:

Christina Ayson Plank, History of Art and Visual Culture
“Counter-framing the Nation: Art and Visual Culture of the Filipino Labor Diaspora”

Bree Booth, Latin American and Latino Studies
“Tracing Queerness Through the Atlantic”

Philip Conklin, History of Consciousness
“Visionary Politics: Popular Religious Movements in the Colonial Philippines”

Ksenia Firsova, Film and Digital Media
“Robocops and Prison Spaceships: Carceral Futurism in American Film and Television”

Ana Flecha, Latin American and Latino Studies
“The Santo Daime Bailado as Racialized and Gendered Psychedelic Religious Choreography”

Michelaina Johnson, Environmental Studies
“Towards Equitable Groundwater Governance: A Case Study of California’s Most Critically Overdrafted Coastal Basin”

Marilia Kaisar, Film and Digital Media
“When Bodies and Algorithms Meet”

Alexyss McClellan-Ufugusuku, History
“Unmari kara Shimanchu, itsui madei Bichidannu: Ryukyuan Indigeneity and its Implications for Geopolitical Protocol, 1945-2019”

Rowan Powell, Politics
“Radical Land Reform and Real Estate at St George’s Hill: A Case Study In and Against Colonial Property”

Catherine Ries, History of Art and Visual Culture
“Facets of the Feminine: Javanese Portraits of Women, Material Culture, and Islam”

Joshua Tan, History
“Migrants and Missionaries: Chinese Diaspora, Religion, and the Cold War”

Jonathan van Harmelen, History
“Legislating Injustice: Congress and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans”


The Dissertation Proposal Development program trains doctoral students to apply an interdisciplinary approach in the early stages of their graduate careers. Participants in the program receive financial and mentoring support for summer research and attend practical workshops in spring and fall that introduce them to a range of social science, cultural, and humanistic methodologies.

UC Santa Cruz was one of five universities selected to take part in the SSRC-DPD University Initiative program. As we come to the tail-end of a three-year grant from the SSRC, we’ve helped cohorts of PhD students advance towards candidacy and develop their dissertation research and writing in dialogue with faculty and peers across divisions. Since the start of the grant, over 50 students have benefited from the DPD program. We are thrilled to be able to offer support to even more UC Santa Cruz PhD students in future years through additional funding from the university.

This year’s program faculty co-lead administrators are Grace Delgado, Associate Professor of History, and Deborah Gould, Associate Professor of Sociology.

Funding for this program has been generously provided by: UCSC Division of Graduate Studies, Humanities Division, Social Sciences Division, Arts Division, and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Hosted and supported by The Humanities Institute.

Congratulations to all 2021 recipients!

SSRC-DPD UCSC