Eliana Buenrostro

B.A. Chicana/o Studies and Gender Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
M.A. Latin American and Latino Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

Eliana Buenrostro is a doctoral student in the Ethnic Studies program at the University of California, Riverside. She received her M.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2020. Her M.A. paper entitled “Destined to Fuck Up: Los Illegals, Chicano Punk and the Immigration Politics and Art of 1980s Los Angeles” uses oral history to recount the activist cultural production of the Chicano punk band Los Illegals, during a period of mass deportations in the United States. Her current research continues to explore the relationship between punk music and immigration.

Research Interests: punk music, alternative subcultures, youth subcultures, immigration, state violence, oral history

Guadalupe Arellanes Castro

B.A. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
California State University, Long Beach
M.A. Latin American Studies, Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
California State University, Los Angeles
Guadalupe Arellanes Castro is a first-generation college graduate pursuing a Ph.D. in ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside. She earned a master’s degree in Latin American studies, along with a post-baccalaureate certificate in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from California State University, Los Angeles. Her master’s thesis titled “Dark Skinned and Disposable: Feminicide and Expressive Death for a Neoliberal Mexico” utilizes an intersectional feminist lens to address the role of ethnoracism, neoliberalism, and misogyny in the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
Guadalupe’s current research uses decolonial methods of platicas and testimonios in order to demonstrate how gender, sexuality, race, and class intersect in the formation of a pre- and post-migration life. Through the stories of immigrant sexual assault survivors, she documents the ways that cis and trans women negotiate challenges pertaining to body reclamation, mental health access, and legal advocacy in opposition to biopower.

Romina Garcia

Romina Garcia

B.A. Cultural Studies
Columbia College Chicago
Romina Garcia is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. As a cultural studies major at Columbia College Chicago, Romina’s senior capstone thesis investigated the intersection of ethnic identity, gentrification, and commodified urban culture. Entitled “From Identity to Commodity: Dialectics and Impacts of the Neoliberal (De)-Valorization of a Gentrifying Chicago Community,” Romina sought to understand the commodification of Mexican (and Latino) identity and culture, as well as the kind of Mexican subjectivity that is constructed through specific neoliberal urban and cultural policies and practices. As a doctoral student, Romina is primarily focused on examining the structural and administrative violence that encompasses women of color, in particular, Black women.  Engaging law and literature, Black feminist studies, and gender antiviolence, Romina aims to understand gendered/racialized constructed subjectivity, community, advocacy, and a possible beyond.
Research Interests: Black feminist studies, law and literature, gender studies, critical race theory, surveillance studies, gender violence, sexuality, and reproductive politics

Sneha George

Sneha George

Sneha is a P.h.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside. She received her Master’s in International Relations at The New School and her Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies and World History at SUNY, Albany. She is a leading member of Critical Anti-Violence Research and Action (CARA) at UCR, which is an abolition-feminist research center.
Research Interests: Black and women of color feminist theory, and the tensions between queer of color critique, and theories on antiblackness. Her dissertation draws from scholars who problematize property as antiblack in order to examine how the university’s practice of turning knowledge into private property perpetuates antiblackness.
Working bibliography by topics.

Morayma Flores-Higinio

B.A. Human Development
California State University, San Marcos
Morayma Ybeet Flores-Higinio is a Chicana Ph.D. student in the Ethnic Studies department at the University of California, Riverside. She was born in Fallbrook, California and comes from a first-generation college going familia. In her hometown, she was involved with a grassroots community organization and coordinated popular education and youth empowerment programs; providing a space for at promise youth to build community and learn their Chicano history.
From the onset of her undergraduate career, her goal was to obtain a degree that would allow her to bring resources to her community. Her interests were in exploring culture, mental-health, and community-based programs. She earned her B.A. in human development, from California State University of San Marcos (CSUSM), an interdisciplinary program that borrows from psychology, anthropology, biology, and sociology, and obtained a minor in psychology as well.
While at CSUSM, she collaborated in conducting quantitative research, on mindfulness-based practices and Eastern meditation and its effects on boosting mental well-being. The findings suggested that college students with a mindfulness regimene possess an overall stronger cognitive well-being.
In addition, she also performed qualitative ethnographic field research, at a MAAC Project Head Start, where she conducted semi-structured interviews with director and program staff, to measure program effectiveness. After witnessing her community’s resilience, her interdisciplinary research training coupled with her community activism led her to the idea of exploring well-being within her Latino community.
Fascinated with ancient healing practices, she began to wonder about the long-standing indigenous healing traditions rooted in her Mesoamerican ancestry, Curanderismo. In these postcolonial times, she believes it is important to consider the ways in which colonized people maintain their strength, persistence, and embody spiritual resistance. Intrigued by how Curanderismo has managed to survive, evolve, and transcended transnationally she will specifically explore how the transmission of knowledge emanates from healer (Curandera/o) to patient in our modern context. In examining this alternative pre-colonial healing practice, she hopes to understand why some individuals continue to seek out this type of healing, contributing to the important Mesoamerican indigenous healing discourse on Curanderismo.
Research Interests: Indigenous epistemologies, Curanderismo, transnational identities, alternative healing practices, knowledge production, Indigenous feminisms, spiritual activism, shamanism, Chicana/o studies, decolonizing methodologies

Michael Madrigal

B.A., Social Relations, University of California, Riverside
Michael is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians from the Cahuilla Indian Reservation located near Anza, California. He grew up on the Soboba Indian Reservation and works there as an administrator and lay minister. He has been active in efforts to strengthen tribal culture and spiritual traditions for most of his life. Growing up at a time of cultural revitalization in the tribal community, he was gifted to learn tribal traditions and Cahuilla Bird Songs from elders, including Robert Levi, Alvino Siva, Anthony Andreas, Lloyd Marcus, and Katherine Saubel. He participates in efforts to preserve landscapes sacred to tribal communities through the work of the Native American Land Conservancy, where he serves as the current board president. Presently, motivated by his experience working in local tribal communities, he has entered the ethnic studies graduate program to increase his academic research skills in order to more effectively carry out the goals of sustaining and revitalizing traditional ties of indigenous communities to the land. He is aware that as indigenous communities, our strength comes from the land.

Jennifer Martinez

Jennifer Martinez is a first-generation Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside. During her undergraduate career as a double major in Chicana/o Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Jennifer’s research entitled “Tales of Legal Orphanood: Case Studies of Citizen Children with Deported Parents” focused on the lived experiences of youth dealing with the deportation of a family member. Jennifer is interested in understanding the relationships between deportation inflicted violence, temporalities of death, deportation dependent identity formations, and the overall deportee condition.
Research Interests: identity politics, immigration, migration, repatriation, transnational identity reformation, nationalism, memory studies, death studies, affect theory, felt theory

Beyaja Notah

Beyaja Notah is a proud member of the Diné Nation (Navajo). She is a member Tábąąhá (Edge of the Water) and Tódích’íi’nii (Bitterwater) clan on her father’s side. On her mother’s side, Beyaja is Cherokee & Lakota. Beyaja grew up in West Highland Avenue area of San Bernardino and attended San Bernardino city schools. She received her B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of California, Riverside in 2010 and a teaching credential from the University of Redlands and Claremont Graduate School in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Beyaja has worked in the Southern California Native American community as a cultural program assistant, a tutor, K-12 teacher, and program coordinator. Currently, Beyaja is pursuing her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies.
Research interests: traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous education, and decolonial methodologies

Julio Orellana

Julio Orellana

M.A., Political Science, California State University, Northridge
Single-Subject Teaching Credential (Social Science), California State University, Los Angeles
B.A. Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University
Julio Orellana is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside.
Research Interests: Latinx studies; Central American studies; the state and civil society; Latino politics; political economy; immigration/migration

Carol K. Park

B.A., English
M.F.A, Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts, Fiction/Non-Fiction
University of California Riverside 

Carol K. Park is a first-generation college graduate and a first-year student in the ethnic studies Ph.D. program at UC Riverside. From 2010-2020, Park was a research assistant at the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UCR under the guidance of its director, Dr. Edward T. Chang.

At the Center, Park studied Korean and Asian American history, social and political issues, race relations, and more. She worked on and completed several projects: two documentary films; a Korean American Oral Histories record; assisted in the designation of Pachappa Camp – the first Koreatown USA – as Riverside’s first Point of Cultural Interest; edited and worked on articles, books, and more. In 2014, she was part of a team that received a $135,000 Academy of Koreans Studies Grant. Park is also the author of Memoir of a Cashier: Korean Americans, Racism, and Riots, and co-author of Korean Americans: A Concise History.

Park’s preliminary dissertation research involves looking at Korean diaspora in the U.S. during the early 20th century, examining nationalism/transnationalism, imperialism, geopolitical, educational, and socioeconomic issues, and how Asian immigrant identities were constructed.

Prior to pursuing an academic life, Park was an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in various newspapers, magazines, and journals. As a hobby, Park practices karate and is a licensed USA National Karate referee. She is also the proud mother of her dog Gamja (Potato in Korean).

Research Interests: Korean and Asian American identities, race relations, diaspora, critical race theory, civil unrest, nationalism, transnationalism, colonialism, imperialism, and decolonization.

Ramon Pineda

B.A. Anthropology, San José State University
M.A. Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, California State University, Los Angeles 
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Instagram: raypineda83
Twitter: @ray_pineda
Ramon Pineda Jr. is father to Citlali Itzel, an inquisitive and rebellious toddler. He is a xicano from the San Gabriel Valley, a first-generation college graduate, and McNair Scholar. Ramon completed a master’s degree in Chicanx/Latinx studies at California State University, Los Angeles. His research interests are situated at the intersections of Chicanx feminists epistemologies, third-world feminisms, Latinx geographies, cultural and spatial production, and artivisms.
His M.A. thesis: “CumbiaLAndia: digital ephemera, borderlands sounds and the dissonant DJs queering LAs Cumbia scene” highlights undocumented queer Latinx DJs who confront and denounce heteromasculinity, patriarchy, nationalism and racism cultural and spatial production.

Brian Stephens

Brian Stephens

B.A. English and Philosophy
Humboldt State University
M.A. Afro-American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
Brian Stephens is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. Stephens completed a master’s degree in Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles where he specialized in Afro-American literature. His master’s thesis, “Real Blackness is Played Out: Blackness and the Politics of Performance” argued that black cultural workers can make creative and sardonic use of anti-black visual iconography to critique both anti-black racism and the black politics of respectability via a strategy called racial camp. Camp is a queer derived cultural practice that uses humor, pastiche, mimicry, and double coding to question the stability of gender categories through performance. In his dissertation, Stephens argues that camp has also been used by black cultural workers to question the stability of interlocking identity categories, especially race and gender, through a strategy that addresses the specificity of black cultural labor in challenging essentialism and the black politics of respectability. Accordingly, Stephens makes the claim that the work of controversial and “humorous” visual artists Kara Walker and Glenn Ligon are strong examples of this political strategy of refusal.
Forthcoming article to be published in Open Cultural Studies: “Prissy’s Quittin’ Time: the camp aesthetics of Kara Walker”
Academic Interests: black visual culture, black literature, black intellectual history, black face minstrelsy, queer theory, feminist theory, performance studies, popular culture

Takahito Tanaka

M.A. Sociology
California State University, Fullerton
B.S. Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Takahito (Taka) Tanaka is a Ph.D. student in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. He earned his B.S. in sociology from Virginia Tech with concentrations in social inequality and crime/deviance. Taka returned to the academy following a twelve-year hiatus where he earned his M.A. in sociology from California State University, Fullerton.
For his thesis, Taka conducted an ethnographic case study on the intergenerational and intercultural relationships between the Japanese American and Muslim American grassroots social movement groups in Los Angeles titled “The Oppositional Solidarity Against the Muslim Ban.”
Taka’s current research projects involve the Harada House where he is currently assisting in the historical preservation process with the Harada House Foundation and the Museum of Riverside. He is also exploring multiple theoretical vantage points that will elucidate how the Harada House is an intersectional project that transcends individual national identity.
Research Interests: Asian American studies, citizenship, critical ethnic studies cultural genocide, decolonization, Harada House, indigenous research methods, intersectionality, Japanese American incarceration, oral history, racialization, state violence, social movements, transnationalism

Michelle C Rawlings

B.A. Ethnic Studies, University of California Riverside
B.A. Anthropology, University of California Riverside

Michelle Rawlings is a first-generation graduate student in the inaugural master’s cohort program in the
Department of Ethnic Studies. Michelle graduated in 2022 from the University of California, Riverside
with a double bachelors in Ethnic Studies and Anthropology. Her current work involves exploring
processes of ethnogenesis through colonization and racialization within the United States and her long
term focus includes further academia and ethnographic research.

Research Interests: Ethnogenesis, ethnic heterogeneity, and biracial/multiethnic identity, cultural and
social adaptations, ethnography, biracial/multiethnic identity expression through art and textiles.

Carolina Apodaca-Morales

M.A Ethnic Studies

Valerie M Chacon

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Pedro A Freire

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Jazmin Garcia

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Sung Kim

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Nathaly L Ortiz

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Larry W Smith

Ph.D Ethnic Studies

Kelvin Villalta

Ph.D Ethnic Studies