Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in EnglishProject "(Re-)Imagination: The Shaping of Memory in Postwar Vietnamese Diasporic Literatures & Communities"
Kaitlin Bui '22 is an undergraduate concentrating in English literature, with interests in cross-cultural dialogue and history. As a writer and poet herself, she seeks to understand how literature interacts with the lives we read and write about. Her honors thesis, tentatively titled “(Re-)Imagination: The Shaping of Memory in Postwar Vietnamese Diasporic Literatures & Communities,” examines the metaphors and mnemonic inheritances of the “Vietnam War.” Ultimately, it explores how imagination is used as an active tool to reclaim historical authority, particularly of displaced Vietnamese refugees. In order to extend this conversation beyond university walls, she is running a summer workshop group of 12 Vietnamese American high school students and recent graduates from Orange County, California. Together, they are piecing capital-H History with lowercase-h family history—constructing their own archive of the past. Together, they are (re-)imagining.
Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in History and Environmental StudiesProject “'Let this be a WARNing': Pan-Tribal and Transnational Indigenous Women’s Activisms, 1970s-1980s"
Yara Doumani ‘22 is an undergraduate double-concentrating in history and environmental studies (environment and inequality track). Her honors thesis in history, tentatively titled “‘Let this be a WARNing’: Pan-Tribal and Transnational Indigenous Women’s Activisms and Representations, 1970s-1980s,” investigates the emergence of Indigenous women’s Red Power activisms in the late 1970s and interrogates how Women of All Red Nations (WARN) and affiliated sovereignty movements spearheaded the fight for water and life and against the intersecting violences of settler colonialism, cisheteropatriarchy, and capitalist extraction in what is known as the U.S. Utilizing the Native and feminist presses, oral histories, multimedia protest art, zines, health and ecological studies, as well as federal government surveillance and legislative records, she will explore how these assertions of a uniquely radical liberatory political imagination have remained central to demands for just futures in the present decolonial moment. She is a Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women Undergraduate Student Fellow, a Douglas W. Squires ‘73 Racial Justice Fellow at the John Hay Library, and the editor-in-chief of the Brown Undergraduate Journal of Middle East Studies (BUJMES).
Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in American Studies and Comparative LiteratureProject "Vagrant Desires and Dangerous Disguises: New York’s Anti-Mask Law"
Jane Freiman ‘22 is an undergraduate double-concentrating in American studies and comparative literature. Currently, she is interested in the production of history, culture, and knowledge; collections, archives, and museums as sites of domination and creative resistance; and art and textile politics. In addition, she enjoys studying modern and contemporary poetry and novels written in English and French, especially those which engage with texture, the body, interiority, and interior spaces. Her thesis in American studies is tentatively titled “Dangerous Disguises and Vagrant Desires: A History of New York’s Anti-Mask Law.” In it, she will trace the language and enforcement of this law from its origins in 1845 until its repeal in May 2020. She is interested in bringing together ideas from queer theory, performance studies, and critical legal studies to grapple with the law’s desire to make its subjects legible, in order to make them legislatable, while also considering how individuals criminalized by the anti-mask law have found ways to subvert its gaze and live according to their desires for freedom and beauty. She hopes to bring the mask law’s history into conversation with the contemporary politics of the mask and modes of facial obfuscation.
Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in History and Africana StudiesProject “'Fear gave speed to our steps': Slavery’s Hauntings and the Long Lives of Plantation Geographies in Edenton, North Carolina from 1850 to 1880"
Connor Jenkins ’22 (he/him) is an undergraduate studying history and Africana studies, focusing on slavery’s afterlives through a spatial and genealogical lens in his home state of North Carolina. He co-facilitates a reading group at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice on the modern carceral state which underwrites his commitment to subverting the boundaries of academic knowledge and to intellectual accountability. In 1861, Harriet Jacobs anonymously published her narrative about her escape from slavery. In the 1970s, historians located Jacobs’ enslavement in Edenton, North Carolina. To understand regional (mis-)remembering of slavery, Connor will map Edenton geographies and lineages pre-1865 and post-1865 through correspondence and newspapers. By interviewing Edentonians, he will investigate antebellum legacies in modern space and gender roles. His project simply asks: what changed in Edenton after emancipation? Much historiography considers slavery through geography and gender, yet local histories often omit these analytics. Calculated local forgetting of slavery undergirds spectacular insurrectionary activity and quotidian structural inequality, rendering his project urgent and timely.
Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in Neuroscience, Independent Concentrator in Philosophical Inquiry through Creative FormsProject "Between the Poetic Languages of Matos Paoli and Rita Indiana: Remembrance and Insanity as Political Philosophy for the Caribbean"
Diego Rodriguez Langevin ’22 is an undergraduate pursuing a combined degree in neuroscience and philosophical inquiry through creative forms. He is an aspiring scientist, scholar, and artist who strives to integrate his academic and creative work when/wherever he can. As a neuroscientist, he works with a lab to study the relationship between smell and memory, and is particularly interested in the genetic and bio-molecular mechanisms that underlie memory formation, consolidation, and recollection. As a scholar, he has created an independent concentration that combines comparative literature, critical theory, and visual arts as a means of engaging with political theory and philosophy in the 20th and 21st centuries. His thesis explores representations of madness by Puerto Rican poet Francisco Matos Paoli and Dominican singer-songwriter-novelist Rita Indiana and how these representations offer insight into the political roles of madness in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. As an artist, he is primarily a poet and a painter. He has begun publishing his poetry in Providence and has been exhibited abroad. He also co-coordinates SITIO, a family-run art studio that hosts short residencies and exhibitions in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.