April 2022 Student Spotlight
Department: American Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Describe your research/creative scholarship in a few sentences that we can all understand: My research is about Latina and Chicana activism in Kansas from the 1960s through 1970s. My goal is to recover Latina epistemologies, with a specific though not exclusive focus on Chicana experiences, as part of a larger project of restoring Chicana voices to the feminist movement and women’s (and queer) voices to the Chicano movement.
Q: What does your research look like on a day-to-day basis? What do you spend most of your time doing?
A: My research involves cataloging data, visiting archives, interviewing activists, reading existing literature about Latina history, and meeting with digital humanists to develop the digital component of my project. I spend the most time visiting archives.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Dr. Elizabeth Esch
Q: What surprised you about doing a larger research or creative project?
A: I was surprised by the flexibility a larger research project offers. You don't have to stick to exactly what was listed in your research proposal. Instead, you can modify your project based off of new interests or discoveries. I did not plan to focus so much on student activism, but I found a bunch of UDK newspaper articles in the Spencer Research Library that now heavily influence my project.
Q:What did you find most challenging about getting involved in or doing your project? What advice would you offer to students facing similar challenges?
A: My biggest challenge has been balancing research and other coursework. I love my project, but sometimes I put more time into it than I do my classes. It is important to balance your classes and independent research, especially because your classes will likely teach you new concepts you can apply to your independent research. My advice is to create a list of reasonable goals and meet with your advisor to create a schedule that works with everything else you have going on.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: I like that my project has opened up new conversations and relationships with activists, students, and faculty. I have had a blast putting together pieces of history and figuring out how histories of resistance from older generations connect to current activism. Coming from a Mexican-American background, this research means a lot to me because I am recovering histories of resistance about my own community.
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your project?
A: Outside of research, I like making jewelry, playing video games, and spending time with my friends.