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Faculty Spotlight

Photo of Dr. Laila Farah

Dr. Laila Farah

Congratulations to Dr. Laila Farah as she was selected as a Cultural Advisor and Liaison for The National Pulse Memorial and Museum. The museum is meant to honor the victims of the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Farah also teaches CES 410/WGS 407 Women in the Middle East. She has multiple areas of interest such as Performance as Political and Social Resistance, Gender and Identity, Cultural Identity and Personal Narratives, and Transnational Feminist Organizing. To read more about the National Pulse Memorial and Museum and Professor Farah's involvement check out the DePaul Newsline article.

Photo of Dr. Lourdes Torres

Dr. Lourdes Torres

In winter 2020, Dr. Lourdes Torres, Vincent de Paul Professor Latin American and Latino Studies and Critical Ethnic Studies affiliated faculty, and Dr. Dean Margaret Storey, Associate Dean and Professor of History, were awarded an $80,000 Academic Growth and Innovation Fund grant from DePaul for “Professional Development in Identity, Intersectionality, and Social Justice.” Issues related to identity and the intersections of multiple identity categories increasingly pervade efforts toward social justice, in the contemporary United States and globally. Their project will support a “prototype project” to develop a working model of a professional development offering for the leaders and staff of community-based organizations and philanthropic organizations to understand the historical roots and current understandings of racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexual, ability-related, religious, and other identities and their intersections, in the context of social, political, and institutional systems and practices that support the denial of justice and equity or seek to remedy that denial. This project is built on our Critical Ethnic Studies curriculum.

Dr. Torres and Dr. Storey will pilot a high-level professional development designed to go beyond the “diversity training” that may be typical of compliance-oriented training models. The professional development model is centered on the critical understanding and reflection around these issues that are so central to successful community engagement and robust workplace relations. In addition, they will pilot a “train the trainer” model designed to compound the impact of this professional development education at multiple levels, both inside the organizations and among their constituents. The program will also create opportunities for College of LAS graduate students to participate in the co-design and delivery of these training modules. Learn more about Dr. Torres in this article by Vocalo.

Jesse Mumm

Dr. Jesse Mumm

Congratulations to Professor Jesse Mumm who teaches CES 402: Mobility & the State. He was awarded the 2019 LAS Excellence in Teaching Award for Contingent Faculty. Professor Mumm is a cultural anthropologist interested in gentrification, race and racism, Latino community formations in Chicago, and the intersections of latinidad and whiteness.

Ann Russo

Dr. Ann Russo

Ann Russo is an Associate Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies and the Director of DePaul's Women's Center whose work focuses on queer, antiracist, and feminist movement building to end violence and to build socially just and caring communities. Her recently released book, Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power (NYU Press, 2018), offers an intersectional analysis of three main areas of feminism in practice: anti-racism, accountability, and transformative justice, and US-based work in and about violence in the global south. She explores accountability as a set of frameworks and practices for community- and movement-building against oppression and violence.

Francesca Royster

Dr. Francesca Royster

On October 6th, 2017, Francesca Royster, PhD, received the DePaul University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 2017 Cortelyou-Lowery Award. Professor Royster is from the English Department and also serves as an advisory board member for the Critical Ethnic Studies Program.

"She received her PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. She is the author of Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon (Palgrave/MacMillan in 2003) and Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Outrageous Acts in the Post-Soul Era (University of Michigan, 2013), which won Honorable Mention in the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize for an Outstanding Scholarly Study of African American Literature or Culture."

Congratulations Professor Royster! A special thanks for your dedication to the Critical Ethnic Studies Program!

Dr. Shailja Sharma

Dr. Shailja Sharma

Professor Shailja Sharma, one of the founding professors of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies MA Program here at DePaul University, recently received a 2018-19 J. William Fulbright Scholarship which she will use to conduct research at the Center for Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India.

In the past, she has featured in a WBEZ Chicago interview where she discussed the concerning the rise of the refugee crisis, sanctuary cities, and the necessity of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program. Professor Sharma is not only Director of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies MA Program, but also a professor in International Studies affiliated with the Critical Ethnic Studies MA Program and serving on our advisory board.

Professor Sharma's most recent publication is titled Postcolonial Minorities in Britain and France: In the Hyphen of the Nation-State published in 2016 by Manchester University Press.

Professor Laura Kina

Photo of book cover: Queering Contemporary Asian American Art

In Feb 2020, Laura Kina, Critical Ethnic Studies Program Director and Vincent de Paul Professor The Art School at DePaul, became a series editor for the University of Washington Press forthcoming series Critical Ethnic Studies and Visual Culture. Her previous publications include her co-edited anthologies Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017) and War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013).

Photo of book cover: Okinawan Princess Da Legend of Hajichi Tatoos

Kina’s illustrated children’s book, written by Lee A. Tonouchi, Da Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos was published by Bess Press in spring 2019. Okinawan Princess is an illustrated, transpacific feminist fairy tale for all readers that illuminates an ancient tradition and pushes back against normative standards of beauty. The book is written in Pidgin English with translations by Dr. Masashi Sakihara in Japanese and the Okinawan indigenous language of Uchinaaguchi.

Photo of Laura Kina artwork: holding on

Created during summer 2019 Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residency, Laura Kina’s Holding On series of paintings feature sacred, WWII memorial, and present-day military occupied sites in Okinawa, Japan to explore memory and affect through the genre of landscape painting. She was inspired to create this series about her ancestral homeland after observing the prop roots from banyan trees in Okinawa and how they keep holding on, regenerating and finding new routes to persist and reclaim the land around them. The works are also informed by the mythology of Kijimuna wood spirits and other Okinawan indigenous beliefs of spirit guardians of the land and sea. Her solo show Holding On debuted in Fall 2019 at FLXST Contemporary in Chicago, IL. View the Joan Mitchell Foundation Studio Minute: Laura Kina on this series.