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Alumni Spotlight

Robert Barry '17

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Robert A Barry, Jr. graduated from the Critical Ethnic Studies MA Program in 2017 as a member of our inaugural cohort. As an educator, he is currently serving as an Educational Counselor for the Schuler Scholar Program- a scholarship program that equips first-generation students of color with the support they need to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges. In the future, he plans to obtain a PhD in African American Studies continuing his scholarship on pop culture, media, and the examination of Black representation to further dismantle euro-normativity and modernize how folks acquire knowledge about Blackness. For his MA Final Project, Rob utilized his love for Beyonce to compete his thesis “Lemonade, Gin, and Juice: The Performance and Deconstruction of Black Masculinity from n**ger to Negus.” This research employed counter-storytelling to investigate Black masculinity; its performance, the identity politics that materialize in the discovery of Black “maleness,” and its manifestation through male intrasexual competition to analyze how Black men learn and perform traditional patriarchal masculinity in Diasporic spaces (i.e., The ‘Hood).

Robert's thesis can be found here: Lemonade, gin, and juice: the performance and deconstruction of black masculinity from n**gers to negus


Aiden Michael Bettine '17

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Aiden Michael Bettine graduated from the Critical Ethnic Studies MA Program in 2017 as a member of our inaugural cohort. He is now pursuing a PhD in History at the University of Iowa. Aiden's scholarship is focused on the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S. Incorporating both the applied methodology of public history and the digital humanities and the theoretical frameworks of critical race theory and decolonial thought, his historical projects work towards anti-racist scholarship. For his MA Final Project Aiden co-curated an exhibit now on view in the DePaul University Library Special Collection and Archives titled Stories Shared: Highlights from the Arnold and Jane Grisham Collection. He also designed a digital component for the exhibit which highlights the rare African American texts on display.


Carrie Morris '17

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Carrie Morris graduated from the Critical Ethnic Studies Program in 2017 as a member of our inaugural cohort. In Fall of 2018, Carrie will begin a PhD in Communication, Culture, and Media Studies at Howard University in their Communications Department. Carrie is a Chicago, IL native who was introduced to critical thinking and early ideologies of Black feminism through her mother and father. Carrie's father was a Black Panther who taught her the importance of her voice in the movement with her mother teaching her early traditions of resistance to community and state violence against Black women. Much of Carrie's continual research and analysis has been centered through a Black feminist queer framework in order to dismantle patriarchy and misogynoir. Carrie's work moves to examine and reshape learned ideas about race, gender, and class. She will continue to follow the footprints of her ancestors.


Elizabeth Fei '17

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Elizabeth Fei graduated with distinction from the Critical Ethnic Studies MA Program in 2017 as a member of our inaugural cohort. As a scholar, her research interests include mixed-race theory, queerness, performance studies, and decolonization.  An abbreviated version of her MA thesis, "As Above, So Between: Configuring Miss Lala as a Mixed Race Figure," was presented at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference in March 2018. A transplant from the Twin Cities, MN, as of April 2018 she is currently working at the Art Institute of Chicago as a Project Coordinator under the Diversifying Arts Museum Leadership Initiative. She looks forward to continuing to utilize the knowledge gained from the Critical Ethnic Studies program in her work with complex, community-based projects.

Elizabeth's thesis can be found here:  "As above, so between: configuring Miss Lala as a mixed race subject"​


Qu Yearby '17

Qu S. Yearby graduated from the Critical Ethnic Studies Program in 2017 as a member of our inaugural cohort. Her poem “Front Porch Funerals” is from her MA Final Project titled “Front Porch Funerals: The Visible and Invisible Mourning of Blkk Austin/Chicago/Amerixxx.” In Spring 2018, Qu will begin at Oakton Community College as an instructor of Ethnic Studies. Qu’s research and scholarship is centered around Black communities, Black death and mourning, education, and the prison systems. Using both research and vocal poetic expression to raise awareness in communities. Qu is a Chicago native of the West side of Chicago.

Listen to Qu's poem: Coming to You Late on The Green line: After Kevin Coval


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