College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > About > Initiatives > Social Transformation Research Collaborative > Fellowship Cohorts > STRC Cohorts 2023-2024
Each year, the STRC selects a theme that is both timely and lends itself to humanities inquiry. For 2023-2024, the theme was
Stories for Racial Justice and Healing.
Rocío FerreiraWomen Shoot: Poetics of Political Violencein Contemporary Peruvian CultureSTRC Faculty Research FellowshipView Bio
This book project traces the diverse ways in which contemporary Peruvian culture has resisted silencing, oblivion, and indifference, and has constructed alternative approaches to the understanding of traumatic realities through innovative reflections on the transmission of social memory through women’s gazes. Drawing from Benjamin, Agamben, Caruth, Richard, Sarlo, Butler, Quijano and other theorists who work on trauma, memory, gender and decolonization, this project analyses the intrinsic relationship between postdictatorial mournful memory work in cultural representations of the Peruvian Internal Armed Conflict (PIAC) and allegory as the trope that voices mourning. By identifying and filling in some critical shortcomings of existing research, this project offers an interdisciplinary approach that can illuminate and improve our understanding of the PIAC. My book aims to transmit social knowledge and memory, to preserve mournful memory and provide access to the heretofore unknown cultural responses to politics produced by women writers, playwrights, and film directors. Moreover, it strengthens the relevance of the humanities to the understanding of recent Peruvian, Amazonian and Andean histories and cultures, thus illuminating cultural resiliency, restoration, and healing.
Juan Mora-TorresMexicans in Babylon: Barrio Making in Chicago’s West Side, 1917-1983
STRC Faculty Research FellowshipView Bio
Mexicans in Babylon: Barrio Making in Chicago’s West Side, 1917-1983 explores how industrialization and deindustrialization (1960s-1980s), urban renewal, segregation, and mass immigration from Mexico shaped the different phases that formed the Mexican community in Chicago’s West Side. This book project examines three phases of community building: the colonia (1917-1964) of the Near West Side, barrio making in Pilsen and Little Village (1960s-1970s), and the early years of “Little Mexico,” the name I use to make the claim that in the 1980s a Mexican metropolis emerged in Chicago, made up of contiguous working-class barrios. In all three phases the community, as a social space, served as the main location for the making and reproduction of culture (Mexican-based) and class (working class). Grounded in a variety of primary sources found in different collections, as well as oral histories, Mexicans in Babylon will be the first in-depth history that chronicles a Latino community in Chicago over a long period of time. Despite their visible presence in postwar Chicago, Latinos have largely been invisible in the historical, sociological, and urban studies literature. This book aims to challenge the dominant black-white binary framework by placing Latinos, as historical agents, at the center of the ethnic transformation of the city's landscape from 1945 to 1983, a period in which Chicago changed from 86% white to an African American and Latino majority.
Jacqui LazúArchival Collection Development and ManagementSTRC Professional Development FellowshipView Bio
As an STRC Professional Development Fellow, Dr. Lazú will be building technical skills in archival collection development and management to reinforce her work on community archival projects. In particular, she will study the processes by which historical materials or materials of enduring value are selected and acquired by archives, and preservation training, which includes creating outreach programs and developing bibliographies and workshops. Her interest in developing these skills stems from years of working with the history and primary resources of the Young Lords Organization in Lincoln Park, primarily housed in the DePaul University Special Collections Department’s community archives. For over 20 years, Dr. Lazú has published and developed programming and curriculum with the YLO archives and in collaborations with library and museum experts making DePaul a premier site for the study of social movements of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Along the way, Dr. Lazú has also collected additional documents, artifacts, and archival materials of the organization that will continue to build DePaul’s collection. Dr. Lazú is currently working on a project to place a historical marker on the DePaul University campus commemorating the Young Lords’ takeover of the Stone Administration Building of the McCormick Seminary in May of 1969, now the site of the DePaul School of Music. This action was a major turning point in the history of the Young Lords and Puerto Ricans in the civil rights movement. With the support of the STRC fellowship, she will curate a companion exhibition based on the newly acquired materials. Along with creating more curricular opportunities for students, Dr. Lazú sees the study of principles of collections maintenance and conservation as an impactful area of research that addresses the systematic exclusion of people of color from dominant historical narratives and historiography.
Maria FerreraJourney to Safety and Belonging: Narratives of AsyleesSTRC Professional Development FellowshipView Bio
Dr. Ferrera, a social work practitioner and scholar, will use this six-month professional development fellowship to delve into the art of documentary filmmaking as a medium to promote human rights. Building on her work as a HumanitiesX Collaborative Fellow, her project brings attention to a humanitarian crisis on the southern border. With nearly 1.6 million people in the US seeking asylum, close to 40% are children under the age of 17. This project aims to humanize the experiences of asylees and increase understanding around the need for legal representation and advocacy, health and mental health resources, and a community of care for asylees and their families. Dr. Ferrera hopes to ultimately document the stories of emerging adults who have been granted asylum as youth, with particular focus on 1) their lived experiences of fleeing their country of origin and journeying to the US; 2) the encounters with their attorneys, medical and mental health practitioners preparing their asylum case and conducting forensic asylum assessments; and 3) their lives after being granted asylum –including experiences of not only coping and survival, but also healing, thriving, and feeling a sense of belonging. Documentary films can enable higher understanding of what seeking asylum means to the many thousands of migrants crossing the border and evoke empathy that can engage a human rights perspective. The Midwest Human Rights Consortium (MHRC) is a longstanding community partner who will be actively engaged in this project. MHRC is housed under The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, and has been established to broaden access to medical and mental health forensic asylum evaluations that increase the likelihood of being granted asylum.