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Winners selected for $3M in grants supporting Latino humanities research

A $3 million grant competition from the Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative will support Latino humanities research projects across the U.S. The projects range from art, literature and history to the emerging subfields of climate change and sound studies, as well as cutting-edge areas such as Afrolatinidades and archival studies.

The 10 winning projects of the Crossing Latinidades Collaborative, Cross-institutional and Comparative Research Working Groups in Latino Humanities Studies Grant Competition were recently announced by the University of Illinois Chicago-based initiative, which is funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

“With this competition, we sought shared knowledge creation, new ways of thinking to reflect on the current changing configurations of Latinos/as/x in the United States, and new research projects that significantly impact and grow the field of Latino humanities studies,” said Amalia Pallares, principal investigator for the initiative and UIC vice chancellor for diversity, equity and engagement.

Each winning project receives $310,000 and support from six doctoral fellows who have completed the summer institute in Latino Humanities Studies Methodologies and Theories. Each fellowship provides a stipend with tuition, fees and health insurance covered by the fellow’s university. In addition, each president or chancellor is offering a course release per year for two years to each principal investigator at their universities.

This is the first time that Latino humanities research has been funded to this extent, according to Maria de los Angeles Torres, principal investigator for the initiative and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences distinguished professor of Latin American and Latino studies at UIC.

“This level of financial backing offers an impressive scaffolding to support interuniversity, interdisciplinary and cross-regional teams that will lay the groundwork to conduct comparative research that will add an important dimension to our understanding of the similarities and differences across regions and groups,” Torres said.

The 10 working groups, whose proposal reviews and recommendations for funding were made by an independent and anonymous panel of experts in Latino humanities and humanistic social sciences, are as follows:

Afro-Chicanx Digital Humanities Project

Principal investigators: Doris Careaga-Coleman, University of New Mexico; Michelle Tellez, University of Arizona; Micaela Díaz-Sanchez, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Bioprecarity: Latinx Migrants, Captivity, and Resistance

Principal investigators: Catherine S. Ramírez, University of California, Santa Cruz; Jonathan X. Inda, UIC; Rebecca Schreiber, University of New Mexico.

Bridging the Shakespeare Latinx Divide

Principal investigators: Ruben Espinosa, Arizona State University; Ayanna Thompson, Arizona State University; Kyle Grady, University of California, Irvine; Joseph Ortiz, University of Texas at El Paso.

Climate and Environmental Justice

Principal investigators: Teresa Cordova, UIC; Michael Mendez, University of California, Irvine; Ariadna Reyes-Sánchez, University of Texas at Arlington.

Additional faculty members: Rachel Havrelock, UIC; Ralph Cintron, UIC; Rosa M. Cabrera, UIC.

Forging Panethnic Alliances: Hispanic Caribbean Communities in Three Gateway Cities — Miami, New York, Orlando

Principal investigators: Jorge Duany, Florida International University; Ramona Hernández, CUNY Graduate Center and City College of New York; Fernando Rivera, Central Florida University.

The Latinx Past: Archive, Memory, Speculation

Principal investigators: Kirsten Silva Gruesz, University of California, Santa Cruz; Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College; Anita Huizar-Hernández, University of Arizona.

Additional faculty members: Rodrigo Lazo, University of California, Irvine; Jaime Javier Rodríguez, University of North Texas; Yomaira Figueroa, Michigan State University (external).

Latinx Sound Cultures: Belonging, Resonance, Amplifications

Principal investigators: Dolores Inés Casillas, University of California, Santa Barbara; Esther Díaz-Martín, UIC; Sara V. Hinojos, CUNY Queens College.

Mapping Everyday Mexicana/Chicana Political Organization

Principal investigators: Cristina Salinas, University of Texas at Arlington; Jennifer Nájera, University of California, Riverside; Michelle Tellez, University of Arizona.

Race Laws in the U.S. Southwest: Research Working Group to Document Laws and Their Impacts 1836-Present

Principal investigators: Monica Muñoz Martinez, University of Texas at Austin; Julian Lim, Arizona State University; Ana Elizabeth Rosas, University of California, Irvine.

Additional faculty members: Annette Rodriguez, University of Texas at Austin; John Morán González, University of Texas at Austin; Laura E. Gómez, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (external).

Situating the Networks of Latinx Art

Principal investigators: Abigail Lapin Dardashti, University of California, Irvine; Anna Indych-Lopez, CUNY Graduate Center and City College of New York; Kency Cornejo, University of New Mexico.

The initiative is the product of a new consortium, which includes all 20 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the country that have the R1 designation — top-tier doctoral universities with very high research activity — in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The consortium is led by the council of chancellors and presidents of the participating universities and focuses its efforts on increasing the number of Latino students pursuing terminal degrees and advancing to academic positions.

UIC’s institutional partners in the consortium are Arizona State University; the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York; Florida International University; Texas Tech University; University of Arizona-Tucson; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Central Florida; University of Colorado, Denver; University of Houston; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of New Mexico; University of North Texas; University of Texas at Arlington; University of Texas at Austin; University of Texas at El Paso; and University of Texas at San Antonio.