2019 Bilinski Foundation Fellowship Recipients
Leandra Binder is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of New Mexico. Her dissertation traces nascent conceptions of abjection during the transition between the late Victorian period and the early twentieth century, which she locates in Aesthetic and Decadent supernatural fiction. Applying the late nineteenth-century aesthetic philosophy of non-canonical Aesthetic author and scholar Vernon Lee, Leandra deconstructs these texts’ use of "abject d’art," a term she employs to discuss the strange recurring trope of human corpses described, either in text or in paratext, as art objects. Leandra theorizes that these authors represent and critique the social causes of individual abjection in their efforts to navigate philosophical conflicts between the Aesthetic and Decadent movements.
Graham Bounds is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico. He received an MA in Philosophy and a BS in Biology from Louisiana State University. His dissertation seeks to bring into dialogue the work of 20th century German philosopher Martin Heidegger with a contemporary and influential account of mind and its place in the natural world as proposed by John McDowell. Advocating an idiosyncratic reading of Heidegger’s early philosophy of the 1920s, Graham identifies resources for critically amending McDowell’s picture in such a way as to remain true to its overriding motivations. In doing so, Graham explicates the ways in which Heidegger’s philosophy suggests a thoroughgoing reappraisal of the character and sources of meaning, the relationship between the empirical and social contributions to thought, and the way in which mind is to be understood as situated within and part of nature.
Diego Bustos is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso. His dissertation elaborates on the dialectic relationship between rhetorical strategies present in a corpus of cultural performances and novels, and the economic imagination on development in Latin America. He proposes that these cultural texts shaped and reinterpreted a genealogy of economic development, offering a repertoire of meanings and practices for contemporary public policy in which the concept of middle-class is predominant. Of special interest for him is the textual traces of how the effects of recent growth and anti-poverty public policies (Bolsa Família, Familias en Acción and Prospera) comment on questions of economic inclusion and citizenship in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Marthia Fuller is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies. She holds a MA in Afro American Studies from UCLA, a BA in Music Theory/Composition from the University of Richmond, and a BA in African American Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her dissertation explores the deployment of race and gender in comic books and graphic novels, paying close attention to the ways in which blackness operates in the speculative future. Using a lens of black feminist cultural criticism, black popular culture, and visual culture, she is particularly interested in how black women and girls are informed/reimagined in post-apocalyptic and dystopian narratives and how, through these narratives, we become introduced to alternate meanings of blackness and womanhood.
Reilly Ben Hatch
Reilly Ben Hatch is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, where he studies the relationship between race and religion at the beginning of the twentieth century. His dissertation looks closely at the Posey Wars of 1915 and 1923 which took place between Utes and Mormon settlers in southeastern Utah and uses them as a lens to examine the complex relationship between Mormons and Indians and draw conclusions on how that relationship was influenced by an American government which sought to assimilate “others” into the American mainstream at the turn of the twentieth century. This project seeks to show how Mormon settler colonialism was based on theological justification of displacement of indigenous peoples, and it will evaluate the extent to which Mormon religion dovetailed with federal assimilation policy and American race-making projects in the Progressive Era.
Christina Juhász-Wood is a PhD Candidate in the Department of American Studies; she is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Women Studies. Her research interests include critical refugee studies, settler colonial studies, militarization, and transnational feminisms. Her dissertation, “Militarized Settlement and Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” traces the role of Albuquerque’s military institutions in the displacement of Indigenous, refugee, and migrant bodies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She intends for this work to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of militarization on forced migration and displacement to the U.S. Southwest and more broadly, to foster efforts towards demilitarization and decolonization.
Laura Powell is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her research focuses on race, ethnicity, and the histories of indigenous peoples of Latin America. Her dissertation explores the ways in which indigenous people and communities of the Ecuadorian highlands adapted to the changing social, economic, and political of the nineteenth century. She argues that, despite the rise of the hacienda system, the practice of debt peonage, and the increasing dissolution of corporate identities in favor of individual citizenship, indigenous Ecuadorians maintained their traditional community networks through a variety of methods including strategic debt accumulation, land ownership, and reinterpretation of reciprocal relationships with local and state officials. In so doing, Laura sheds new light on the histories of indigenous Ecuadorians during a time of nation-building and reveals their active participation in nineteenth century society.
Dalicia Raymond is a PhD student in Medieval Studies within the Department of English at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include Middle English Literature, medieval magic, alterity and difference, and gender, as well as medievalism in popular literature and culture. Her dissertation project, “The Magic of Love: Love Magic in Medieval Romance” examines the functions of love magic and the discomfort with which it is treated in high and late medieval romances from continental and insular Europe. The project asserts that this discomfort stems from the conflict between love magic and medieval understandings of free will.