Fulbright-Hays Fellow Profiles

Matthew Hing

Matthew Hing
UCLA Department: Anthropology
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Hing’s research focuses on the everyday experiences of community health workers (CHWs) – lay, predominantly women, frontline health workers who share geography, lived experiences, and other mutualities with the communities they serve – working for a non-governmental organization in the state of Chiapas. His project will examine how CHWs are affected – personally, socially, economically– over time by their participation in CHW programs and by the evolving politics of their labor, as well as explore how CHWs enact their own visions for their work and their communities.


Lily Hindy

Lily Hindy
UCLA Department: History
Countries of Study: England, Sweden

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Hindy’s dissertation research examines how the Kurdish nationalist movement in Iraq and in the diaspora harnessed the bureaucracy of human rights to gain international attention for their plight and support for autonomy between 1975 and 2003. Both England and Sweden are home to relatively large and politically active Kurdish communities from Iraq, and she will engage both in oral history interviews and archival research during the grant period.


Jeanette Charles

Jeanette Charles
UCLA Department: History
Countries of Study: Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Charles will conduct fieldwork in Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria to understand contemporary Afro-Venezuelan religiosity and Black Consciousness. Charles explore histories of spiritual citizenship, religious kinship, and Afro-Venezuelan grassroots organizing from 1958-2018. Her research contributes to historical debates that embrace the complementarity of spiritual and political paradigms evidenced throughout histories of rebellion, resistance, and revolution across Africa and the Diaspora.


Victoria Davis

Victoria Davis
UCLA Department: Asian languages and cultures
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Davis’ research examines michiyuki travel passages in early modern and Meiji era (1603-1912) theater and literature. Davis is interested in how geography imagined on the stage engaged with maps, travel guides, poetic topoi, and other ways of knowing space and place, particularly in relation to the city of Osaka.


Samuel Feldblum

Samuel Feldblum
UCLA Department: Geography
Country of Study: Chile

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Feldblum’s project investigates water governance in central Chile, and how Chile’s water system is being reshaped amid longstanding drought conditions. Through interview and archival work, this research will analyze the social dynamics of water privatization, social movements focused on water access, and the connections between Chile’s water management and wider political economy, with an eye toward possible futures.


Thomas Newhall

Thomas Newhall
UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Cultures
Countries of Study: Japan, Taiwan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Newhall’s research focuses on how Buddhist monastic rules were studied and put into practice in medieval China and Japan. For the Fulbright program, his project will focus on cataloging and studying the contents of a recently-discovered temple archive related to monastic rules in Japan, as well as similar materials found in libraries and temples in Taiwan. This project is part of his PhD dissertation focusing on the 7th century Chinese monk Daoxuan, and his works on monastic regulation, and will eventually be used as the basis for understanding the development of Buddhist monasticism throughout East Asia.


Lavanya Nott

Lavanya Nott
UCLA Department: Geography
Country of Study: India

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Employing participant observation and archival research, Nott’s project explores past and current projects for food sovereignty in postcolonial India and their entanglements with anti-imperialist internationalist currents across the Third World. She is particularly interested in how struggles around food sovereignty have transformed in response to neoliberalism, and how they relate to broader questions of political and economic sovereignty for the postcolonial world.


Edward Painter

Edward Painter
UCLA Department: Geography
Country of Study: Taiwan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Painter’s research project is situated within migrant soccer leagues and attends to both the barriers impeding play and the strategies used to overcome them. Focusing on the lives that migrants make outside of the workplace, the project emphasizes the socio-spatial aspects of guest-worker programs.


Deborah Price

UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Cultures
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Deborah Price will study in Japan.


T. Yejoo Kim

T. Yejoo KimUCLA Department: Anthropology
Country of Study: South Korea

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Kim’s work aims to understand the contemporary social reality of the Korean division. Kim follows the security and neoliberal “peace” projects in Seoul and the South Korean border region surrounding the DMZ, ethnographically tracing the ways “peace” both liberates yet also disables bodies, mobilities, histories, and futures.


Thomas E. Bassett

Thomas E. BassettUCLA Department: Urban Planning
Country of Study: Brazil

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Using archival materials, Bassett’s research explores the influence of private organizations in forming public planning and policy.  His case is private auto-clubs in early twentieth century Brazil, a country which turned to road building instead of mass transit options for transportation.  The results should shed light on why and how roads and therefore the car became such a planning imperative for Brazil in terms of national integration and interior settlement of the country.


Ava Katarina Tabatabai Hess

Ava Katarina Tabatabai HessUCLA Department: Art History
Country of Study: Tunisia

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Ava Katarina Tabatabai Hess, art history, will study in Tunisia. Hess’s project focuses on vernacular art from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines figurative Islamic images that proliferated within printmaking and under-glass painting traditions, and their relationship to the region’s shifting social and political landscape from precolonial, colonial, and post-independence periods.


Benjamin Kanter

Benjamin Kanter
UCLA Department: Geography
Country of Study: Brazil

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Kantner’s research focuses on social movements, territory, and development politics in the state of Pará. His current project maps the relations between the capital city of Belém and the Quilombola communities of the surrounding islands and waterways. This research will enhance recognition of the role of traditional territories in adapting urban areas to climate change as well as the extra-regional political networks increasingly implemented by these territories.


Rebecca Waxman

Rebecca Waxman
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: India and UK

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Waxman’s research examines occurrences of sexualized violence that marked turning points in modern India, historicizing the relationship between the interpersonal, violent act of rape and broader Indian society and politics across the late 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries. By engaging pressing historical and contemporary questions concerning sexual violence in India, she hopes to contribute to scholarship on gender, power, and knowledge in colonial and postcolonial South Asia.


Jessie Stoolman

Jessie Stoolman
UCLA Department: Anthropology
Country of Study: Morocco and Spain

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Stoolman’s project focuses on how the Moroccan archival landscape shapes collective memory of Black-Jewish history. She has published academic and non-academic writing in international journals, including Hespéris-Tamuda and Asymptote. She aspires to join the publishing world to encourage accessibility in academic writing


Carly Pope

Carly Pope
UCLA Department: Archaeology
Country of Study: Panama

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

For at least 2,000 years before Spanish arrival in 1502, the province of Bocas del Toro, on Panama’s northwest Caribbean coast, sustained numerous vibrant cultures that have remained understudied thus far. Pope’s research examines archaeological ceramics from sites in Bocas del Toro, including locally-made wares as well as foreign imports, and the potential they hold to elucidate both interregional systems of cultural interaction and community-level labor organization. During this fellowship period, she will apply geochemical and mineralogical analyses to these materials in order to determine potential locations and methods of pottery production.


Aurora Echavarria

Aurora Echavarria
UCLA Department: Urban Planning
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Echavarria’s research explores issues at the intersection of local public finance, urban inequality, and the political economy of land and property, with a focus on how local governments tax property in Latin America. Her field work will use experimental survey methods in order to examine how perceptions of public good provision influence levels of support for property taxation in Mexico.


Yiming Ha

Yiming Ha
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Taiwan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Ha’s research focuses on changes to the military in Yuan and Ming China as a result of socio-economic factors and how the state responded to these changes. He is interested in how changing forms of military mobilization affected the state’s finances, what strategies the state employed in response, and the potential disconnect between the central and local officials in how to best manage the military.


Degenhart Brown

Degenhart Brown
UCLA Department: World Arts and Culture / Dance
Country of Study: Bénin

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Brown will study in the Republic of Bénin. The striking merchandise and ornate apothecaries of traditional-medicine unions are ubiquitous across coastal West Africa, reflecting how local populations conceive of illness and social identity at a time when COVID-19 has so starkly demonstrated the pitfalls of globalization and paradoxes of biomedical hegemony. Using ethnographic fieldwork, Brown focuses on the pragmatism of syncretic religious practice, animal-based power objects, and interspecies relationality (including pathogens and divinities) to illustrate how traditional-medicine unions inform reactionary epistemologies of selfhood and wellbeing in contemporary Bénin.


Azeb Tadesse

Azeb Tadesse
UCLA Department: Education
Country of Study: Ghana and Ethiopia

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Tadesse’s research focuses on the potential of online learning to increase the instructional capacity of African higher education institutions. She is investigating the decision-making matrix in selecting and integrating educational technology (EdTech) at the University of Ghana. Legon in Ghana and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.


Tatiana Sulovska

Tatiana Sulovska
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Sulovska examines avant-garde film, art, literature, and cultural criticism in postwar Japan, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, tracing the theorization of both state violence and political violence by non-state actors as a part of an imaginary that extends through the present and is thematically centered on the Japanese Red Army, a terrorist group that emerged from the 1960s protest movement.


Miranda Saylor

Miranda Saylor
UCLA Department: Art History
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Saylor’s research examines a collection of innovative paintings from colonial Mexico that aggrandized the role of the Virgin Mary. These works were inspired by the Marian treatise Mystical City of God (1670) written by the Spanish nun María de Ágreda (1602-1665) who argued that the Madonna was the co-redeemer of the world. By investigating paintings that departed from orthodoxy, Saylor’s project recognizes how artists in the viceroyalty of New Spain invented new ways of representing scripture and reshaped Marian devotion throughout the Spanish Empire.


Nicholas X. Muench

Nicholas X. Muench
UCLA Department: Political Science
Country of Study: Morocco and Spain

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Muench’s project examines the communities of Muslims who remained in Spain after the defeat of the last Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 and were forcibly converted to Christianity.  His research focuses on the rich interior lives of these people, many of whom secretly remained devout Muslims, and explores how this interiority became a political issue during the Spanish Golden Age.


Melissa Mendoza

Melissa Mendoza
UCLA Department: Education
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Mendoza’s research examines the implementation of México’s law of inclusion that provides people with disabilities the right to professional training and access to education at all levels. Her study will analyze the policy documents and learn from the individuals implementing the policy and utilizing the programs to develop an understanding of the support networks utilized in implementation.


Ethan Mefford

Ethan Mefford
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: France and Morocco

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Mefford’s project examines olive production and the olive oil trade in the town of Wazzan and the Jbala hill country of northern Morocco as a means to understand rural livelihoods and the changing social and political dynamics of the region from the late pre-colonial period through the years of French and Spanish colonial rule.


Stefanie Matabang

Stefanie Matabang
UCLA Department: Comparative Literature
Country of Study: Philippines

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Matabang’s dissertation project elucidates the complex role of medievalism in the Philippines and its integrality in the development of Filipino nationalism and identity throughout the late Spanish, U.S., and Japanese colonial periods. By examining significant and seminal literary and filmic productions that depict a distinctly Filipino idea of the “Middle Ages” during these colonial periods, the project aims to reorient the idea of the “medieval period” by centralizing a Filipino perspective, recalibrating previous eurocentric worldviews and illuminating a little discussed aspect of the Filipino colonial and postcolonial experience.


Rebeca Martinez

Rebeca Martinez
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Martinez examines women and bigamy in New Spain (modern Mexico) from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. She uses Inquisition trials to understand why women chose to be married to two men at the same time and why others denounced their bigamous husbands. Her current thesis claims that women used bigamy as a means to flee undesired marriages and to establish alternative lives as either “single” or with a different partner of their choosing. The project also analyzes how race, honor, and love influenced the decisions women made. Lastly, her research will demonstrate how examining bigamy in New Spain can help us understand colonial Mexican women and women more broadly as historical agents who did not always work within colonial patriarchal structures.


Talia Lieber

Talia Lieber
UCLA Department: Art History
Country of Study: Rwanda

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Lieber’s research examines the art of the Rwandan kingdom in the Great Lakes Region of eastern Africa. Her project investigates how environmental and political conditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the kingdom’s agricultural and pastoral landscapes, centralization and expansion, and encounters with European missionaries and colonial powers, shaped artistic creativity in Rwanda.


Yasmine Krings

Yasmine Krings
UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Cultures
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Yasmine will examine changing conceptions and representations of race, identity, and social belonging in postwar Japan (1945 – 1970s), centered specifically on negotiations of “mixed-race-ness” of haafu and konketsuji and its relation to the articulation of Japan’s postwar historical trauma and future.


Julia Hansell Clark

Julia Hansell Clark
UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Cultures
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Clark’s research examines literature emerging from Ikaino, an ethnically Korean neighborhood of Osaka, in the 1950s-1980s as a space of intersecting issues of gender, class, and ethnicity. She is particularly interested in the historicization and canonization of Zainichi Korean women’s writing within the broader field of Japanese literary studies, and in the way that Ikaino authors engaged with emergent feminist movements in both Korea and Japan.


Daniel Abbe

Daniel Abbe
UCLA Department: Art History
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Abbe’s research addresses the aftermath of Provoke, a photography magazine that was published in Tokyo between 1968 and 1969. While the publication of Provoke is now widely hailed as an emblematic moment for postwar photography, little scholarly attention has been paid to the shifts in theory and practice of its members after the magazine ended. In Japan, the 1970s saw the dominance of broadcast media like television, along with monumental government-funded construction projects in rural areas. By situating photographs and essays within this conjuncture, Abbe is investigating the aesthetic and political stakes of being a photographer.


Samuel Brandt

Samuel Brandt
UCLA Department: Geography
Country of Study: Uruguay

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Drawing on archival materials, oral histories, and participant observation, Brandt’s research chronicles the origin, evolution, and impact of Uruguay’s Movement for the Eradication for Unhealthy Rural Housing (MEVIR). Now in its sixth decade, MEVIR has brought about profound social and spatial transformation in rural Uruguay, displacing informal settlements with nucleated houses in every small town in the country. Brandt seeks to understand how features such as sensitivity to place, incremental expansion, and small-scale construction distinguish MEVIR’s continuity and popularity with respect to nationwide housing programs in other countries.


Madison Felman-Panagotacos

Madison Felman-Panagotacos
UCLA Department: Spanish and Portuguese
Country of Study: Argentina

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Felman-Panagotacos’ research examines how motherhood is represented in Argentine culture. Specifically, she seeks to understand how women’s bodies are attributed narratives post-mortem in order to achieve various political aims.


Erdem Ilter

Erdem Ilter
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Turkey

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Ilter’s research focuses on the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey (1895 -1952). By tracing the roots of a set of administrative units called the general inspectorates, his study will scrutinize the spatio-bureaucratic management of the eastern periphery of the empire. These institutions are emblematic of a series of administrative continuities and ideological shifts from the empire to the nation-state. Utilizing sources from the British, French, Ottoman, Turkish, Persian, and Kurdish archives, Ilter’s study will explore these continuities and shifts by analyzing Ottoman and Turkish responses to various political crises and examining the strategies they employed to enforce their authority at the eastern periphery of the empire.


Nihal Kayali

Nihal Kayali
UCLA Department: Sociology
Country of Study: Turkey

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Kayali’s research examines changes in Syrian refugees’ access to healthcare since individuals first started crossing the border in 2011. Drawing primarily on interviews with Turkish officials, Syrian and Turkish doctors, and Syrian residents, her dissertation will analyze how geopolitics, changes in refugee healthcare policy, and shifts in local enforcement practices have affected both the configurations of care provision and Syrian refugees’ healthcare-seeking behavior.


Anthony Meyer

Anthony Meyer
UCLA Department: Art History
Country of Study: Mexico

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Meyer’s dissertation research examines the art and architecture crafted, shaped, and transformed by Nahua religious leaders, or tlamacazque, during the Mexica empire (A.D. 1325-1521) and in the early years of Iberian occupation. By speaking across disciplines such as art history, linguistic anthropology, ethnohistory, and religious studies, as well as working with modern Nahua religious specialists in Veracruz, Meyer’s project sheds light on the importance of these individuals, how colonial authors fabricated their erasure, and how these histories of material and spatial practice resonate for Nahua communities today.


Nicholas Russo

Nicholas Russo
UCLA Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Country of Study: Cameroon

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project (declined DDRA for NSF GRFP)

Seed dispersal by animals is essential for maintaining the structure and composition of tropical rainforests. Russo’s research investigates the movements of hornbills–large, seed-dispersing birds–in response to human activity, seasonal fruit availability, and 3D vegetation structure.


Kirie Stromberg

Kirie Stromberg
UCLA Department: Archaeology
Country of Study: China* & Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Stromberg’s research focuses on the relationship between sound and the birth of complex society through the lens of excavated musical instruments (‘sound artifacts’). The development of sonic traditions, she argues, was an important catalyst of early state formation in East Asia. In addition to more traditional archaeological methods, she relies on the knowledge of living musicians (‘ethnoarchaeology’) to better understand the materials, playing methods, and meaning behind ancient instruments.

[*Following the Executive Order on Hong Kong normalization, fellows with research in China will be able to propose a new host country.]


Qiaoyan Li Rosenberg

Qiaoyan Li Rosenberg
UCLA Department: Sociology
Country of Study: Japan

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Rosenberg’s dissertation project examines how Japan’s guest worker program-the Technical Intern Training Program restricts migrant workers’ mobility.  I will concentrate on the triangle relationship of states, brokers and new-generation migrant workers to examine how their interaction shapes Japan’s regime of guest worker control.


Jessica Bremner

Jessica Bremner
UCLA Department: Urban Planning
Country of Study: Brazil

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Jessica’s fieldwork in Sao Paulo, Brazil will address the paradox of why housing policy in Brazil, which has implemented some of the most progressive social housing policies in the world, is making little headway on servicing the population’s housing needs. Jessica is interested in examining this housing paradox through the practices of urban housing movements because of the important role they play in shaping contemporary Brazil’s political and programmatic landscape.


Andrea Gordillo

Andrea Gordillo
UCLA Department: Education & Information Sciences
Countries of Study: Colombia, México, Perú

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

The arts serve social justice agendas in a variety of functions ranging from organizing to building capital to healing to protesting. In an effort to understand how the public pedagogy produced by the critical, marginal, and public arts contributes to social transformation and social justice, Andrea will conduct a study with three arts collectives in México, Perú, and Colombia.


Georgi Kyorlenski

Georgi Kyorlenski
UCLA Department: Archaeology
Country of Study: Peru

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Building construction was a major expectation for an Inca ruler and a measure by which their political success was evaluated. Georgi’s research explores the role of monumental construction projects in solidifying political legitimacy during times of conflict — through the lens of the Inca civil war in Peru.


Evan Metzger

Evan Metzger
UCLA Department: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures – Islamic Studies
Countries of Study: Israel, Egypt

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

By drawing on a range of sources in Arabic and Persian including legal treatises, court documents, historical chronicles, and poetry, Evan’s research shows how legal concepts developed in formal texts of law were reworked by practicing jurists, judges and sultans to create an innovative legal institution based on text-based norms, local customs, precedent, moral aspirations, and political compromise.


Maarika Rickansrud

Maarika Rickansrud
UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Cultures
Countries of Study: Japan and Korea

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Maarika’s research focuses on transnational literary networks between Korea and Japan from the late 1940s to 1980s and argues that the literary discourse of this time was an integral part of reshaping historical narratives and political imaginaries, and thus can contribute to our understanding of contemporaneous studies on these historical and political trends.


David Spielman

David Spielman
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Ethiopia

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

David’s research examines sixteenth and seventeenth century development of Christian legal culture in Ethiopia, particularly the emergence of the Church as a central player in the production and transmission of legal knowledge, and the dispensing of justice using the Law of Kings. He hopes to contribute to the scholarship on law and justice in Africa outside the colonial experience.


Anatolii Tokmantcev

Anatolii Tokmantcev
UCLA Department: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Country of Study: Armenia

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Anatolii seeks to account for the remarkable growth of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ community in Armenia in the post-Soviet period, despite the high animosity on behalf of the state and the general population. Drawing on ethnographic, textual, and historic data, he seeks to find out how and why individuals decide to become Jehovah’s Witnesses in Armenia, as well as what accounts for the hostile attitude towards them.


Wan Yeung

Wan Yeung
UCLA Department: Ethnomusicology
Country of Study: China

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

Since the 1920s, two urban centers have vied for preeminence in the premier theatrical art of Cantonese opera: Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, and Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong province, under the administration of the Communist party since 1949. Barely 75 miles apart, the two cities developed under regimes with strikingly different political atmospheres, each formulating its own set of economic and aesthetic features. Wan’s research seeks to understand the social, cultural, economic and political processes of each center.