The University of New Mexico Department of Anthropology just completed a major grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Department chair Michael Graves said the department spent the last few years working with 23 graduate students as they complete their doctoral degrees. “This grant is focused on graduating students from under-represented minority groups and we are happy these students will now be working in many fields through the profession,” he said. These students are expected to complete their graduate work in 2014.
Jacobo D. Baca, Ph.D. 2014, History. Baca’s dissertation is “History of Hispano and Pueblo Land Tenure, Intercultural Relations, and Government Relations from the Eve of Statehood through the 2004 GAO Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Land Claims Report.” A native of Peñasco, N.M. and UNM alumnus, Baca explores the modern history of nuevomexicano and Pueblo Indian land tenure. His dissertation seeks to displace the dominance of colonial narratives in the writing of 20th century New Mexico history, arguing that we must assess modern interethnic and government relations in modern New Mexico.
Melvatha Chee, Ph.D. 2014, Linguistics. Her dissertation is “Navajo Verb Acquisition in Navajo Children Ages 13 months-10 Years.” Chee is a Diné woman from Lake Valley, N.M. She received her M.A. in Linguistics at UNM. Her dissertation research represents a Native speaker contribution to the understanding of language development in morphologically rich languages by focusing on how children acquire the complex Navajo verb construction using functional and cognitive approaches. She is primarily focuses on working with children ages 13 months through 10 years. Chee expects her research findings to provide insight and a re-examination of pedagogical approaches in the acquisition of an indigenous and polysynthetic language.
Nydia A. Martínez, Ph.D. 2014, History. She is a post-doctoral associate at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. Her dissertation is “Transnational Connections of the Mexican Left and the Chicano Movement, 1970s.” A native of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, Martinez’s research explores the transnational political and cultural connections between Chicano activists in the United States and activists through the movements established by Chicano activist Mario Cantú of the United States and the Mexican Maoist leader Florencio “El Güero” Medrano. Her research identifies key historical processes such as the international struggles of the Cold War, ethnic activism in the United States as well as the Mexican “Dirty War.” Her past research has included language needs analysis, the impact of globalization on health outcomes and policy and social movements against privatization. Her research focuses on present-day issues, in both Mexico and Bolivia, and the emergence of organized and politicized civil societies. Martinez’s research also seeks to understand circumstances and processes by which social movements are successfully institutionalized to represent disenfranchised classes and achieve accountability.
Edward A Jolie, Ph.D. Anthropology. 2014. He is a post-doctoral research assistant professor and director of the Archaeological Institute, Center for Perishables Research at Mercyhurst University, in Erie, Penn. His dissertation is “Social Diversity in the Prehispanic southwest: Learning, Weaving, and Identity in the Chaco Regional System, A.D. 800-1200.” Jolie is a French and Ogala Lakokta-Hodulgee Muscogee Indian. His primary interests are in North American prehistory, perishable technologies, anthropological ethics, and Native American-Anthropology relations. He has worked on a number of collections with significant perishable artifacts from the United States, Mexico and Jordan. For his dissertation, Jolie analyzed basketry to examine social variation in the Chaco regional system in northwestern New Mexico.
Andrea L. Mays, Ph.D. 2014, American Studies. She is an instructor in Women Studies at UNM. Her dissertation is “Undoing American Pathologies: Representations of Black Domesticity and National Belonging 1915-1945.” Mays holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies from UNM. Her dissertation examines significant works by African American artists, and critiques a 20th century U.S. national discourse of racial difference and social pathology through visual and narrative counter discourses of universality and national belonging. While this work focuses primarily on African Americans, it offers an intersectional analysis of how African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans were strategically deployed in their works to critique U.S. projects or racialization and Western Expansion.
Elvira Pichardo-Delacour, Ph.D. 2014 Anthropology. She is a teaching fellow in bilingual education at the Creston Academy for Responsibility and Excellence in the Bronx, New York City. Her dissertation is “Labor Market Participation and Its Effects on Family Type: Female-Headed/Female-Supported Households in the Dominican Republic and the Dominican Community in New York City, N.Y.: A Test of the Embodied Capital Theory.” Pichardo-Delacour’s research proposes that concerns about female-headed or female-supported households may be better addressed by examining the socio-cultural, economic and political context in which women primary economic provider. Her study focuses on female biological and behavioral responses to reproductive demands, the result of socio-economic changes and female wage labor participation. Prichardo-Delacour’s fieldwork encompasses various areas such as Bonao, Santiago and Villa Altagracia, Dominican Republic, and a community in New York City, N.Y. This study examines and compares reproductive behaviors in the Dominican Diaspora community in NYC and in the Dominican Republic.
Funding for the fellowships came from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation sponsored program in the humanistic social sciences. The objective of the grant was to increase the rate of completion and the number of new PhDs. The one and two year fellowships assisted students in completing their course of study and in their professional development.