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Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Announces “Race Work” Fellowship Awards for 2018–19 and Ragdale Residential Creative Fellowship, 2018

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has awarded its annual Faculty and Graduate Student Fellowships to seven faculty members and seven graduate students from the campus for the 2018–19 academic year, which will center on the theme of “Race Work.” IPRH also announces 2018 Ragdale Residential Creative Fellowship. Ragdale Fellowships offer creative practitioners four weeks of residence at Ragdale’s non-profit, interdisciplinary artists’ community.



IPRH Faculty Fellows, 2018–19

Andrea Stevens, English: “Racial Masquerade and the Caroline Court, 1625–1649”

Verena Höfig, Germanic Languages and Literatures: “Vikings, Vinland, and White Nationalism”

Maryam Kashani, Gender and Women’s Studies / Asian American Studies: “Kinship by Faith: Race, Displacement, and Islam in the Bay Area”

Natalie Lira, Latina/Latino Studies: “‘Low Grade Mexican Mentality’: Race, Disability, and Sterilization in California Institutions for the Feebleminded,1920s–1950s”

Rini Bhattacharya Mehta, Comparative and World Literature / Religion: “Mens Hierarchicus: Race’s Intellectual Labor and the Global Right”

Krystal Smalls, Anthropology / Linguistics: “The Pot and the Kettle: Young Liberians and the Semiotics of Anti/Blackness in the Making of Contemporary Black Diaspora”

John Murphy, Communication: “Protean Texts of Civil Rights: Baldwin, Hamer, and King”


IPRH Graduate Student Fellows, 2018–19

Rea Zaimi, Geography and Geographic Information Science: “Afterlives of Disinvestment: Vacancy and the Devalued Labor of Revitalization in Chicago”

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, Music: “Performing Samba: Aesthetics, Transnational Modernisms, and Race”

Heather Freund, History: “Loyal Subjects or Internal Enemies?: Reconsidering ‘newly adopted subjects’ in the British Caribbean, 1763–1797”

John Marquez, History: “Freedom’s Edge: Slavery, Manumission, and Empire in Rio de Janeiro, 1761–1808”

Juan Suarez Ontaneda, Spanish and Portuguese: “Mobilizing the Stage(s): Race, Gender, and Performance in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru (1940–2000)”

Erica Melko, English: “Literatures of Decolonial Love: Intimacy and the Colonial Entanglements of Race and Indigeneity”

Megan White, History: “Rice Empires: Japanese rice, the USDA and the Inter-Imperial Development of the Gulf Coast Rice Industry, 1880–1924”



Carlos R. Carrillo (Music) will spend his Ragdale residency working on a music composition titled Baquine. The piece will be a cantata for voices, two saxophones obbligato and orchestra. The vocal parts will include a solo female voice and a children’s choir and will have an approximate duration of 30-35 minutes. The baquine is an ancient tradition practiced in Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas in which the death of a child is not received with a mournful ceremony but rather with a celebration, as the child, according to their belief, has now become an angel. The tradition fell into disuse due to medical advances which lowered the child mortality rate.


Please join IPRH in congratulating this newest cohort of fellows.