Fulbright-Hays Award Winners Profiles

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson
UCLA Department: Sociology
Countries of Study: South Africa

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

My research looks at the potential role of urban politics, spaces, and infrastructure on the implementation and development of refugee and asylum seeker law and policy.  While the administration of legal status and rights for refugees and asylum seekers is often attributed to national policies and international law – urban actors and institutions may also play on important role in influencing the implementation and development of such policies.  For example, business associations may draw on municipal by-laws to contest the presence of asylum offices in their vicinity while civil society organizations may draw on courts and networks across cities to hold these centers accountable to national and international law.  In order to develop this argument, I have been looking at Refugee Reception Offices (RROs) – sites of mandatory registration and processing to receive and maintain asylum status – in South African cities.  Since the early 2000s, these centers have been primarily located within the country’s major cities.  However, over the past two decades they have been subject to numerous legal challenges by various actors – either in support of closing down these offices or keeping them open in face of proposed policies to move these offices to the borders.  Through an analysis of legal case records, stakeholder interviews, and field observations, I explore the interaction among international, state, and urban actors in shaping refugee and asylum seeker law and policy regarding these offices, and what this process means for the construction of social boundaries and physical borders more broadly within cities and across countries.


Lisl Schoepflin

Lisl Schoepflin
UCLA Department: History
Country of Study: Peru

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

While living and working in the Southern Andes, the Spanish Mercedarian friar Martín de Murúa (1566? – ca.1615) compiled at least two illustrated manuscript versions of his chronicle on Inca history and Spanish colonization titled, Historia general del Perú (1616). They include 150 watercolor illustrations and extensive textual and ethnographica description. Murúa’s multi-phased production process spanned decades, locations, and cultural influences from the Basque region in the Iberian peninsula to the Inca capital of Cusco in the Viceroy of Peru. It involved other Andean and Iberian textual and oral sources as scribes, artists, and intellectuals, including the Andean author and artist, Don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala (ca. 1535-50-ca. 1616). My history Ph.D. thesis uses supplemental archival research and comparative and ethnohistorical analysis to study both manuscripts unique multi-vocal production and composition from a social memory and historical perspective. It reconsiders canonical accounts of Andean historiography and identity and interrogates the dominant concept of a singular Iberian author and an universal, neutral Andean history. It suggests that, at the exclusion of numerous Andean perspectives, particularly women and rural Andeans, the Murúa manuscripts’ show an emergent and dialogic process of history-making based on its particular Andean and Iberian participants’ socio-political and cultural negotiations with the converging, dynamic, and often, conflicting components of a multifaceted early colonial Cusco and Spanish imperial society. During my 2017 nine-month research trip in Peru to uncover information about Murúa, his Andean participants, and their colonial content, I worked in state (Archivo General de la Nación, Archivo Regional del Cusco, and Biblioteca Nacional del Peru) and ecclesiastical archives (Archivo Arzobispado) in Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa, and visited places Murúa worked and lived such as Cusco, Arequipa, Curahuasi and Capachica in the Lake Titicaca region.


Laura Reizman

Laura Reizman
UCLA Department: Asian Languages and Culture
Country of Study: South Korea

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

My project seeks to address questions of citizenship, race, and nation in postwar South Korea by highlighting the subaltern history of mixed- race Koreans born post-1945. I look at the ramifications of Japanese colonialism, the Korean War, and U.S. military presence on mixed-race Koreans by examining literary and visual representations, newspaper and magazine discourse, and laws that have affected their social and legal status during the Cold War period. I am especially interested in how citizenship and the notion of the human are interlinked in the modern state-making process. I hope to contribute to the dearth of scholarship on race politics in Korea and to clarify our understanding of transpacific connections between Asia and the U.S.


Leydy Diossa-Jimenez

Leydy Diossa-Jimenez
UCLA Department: Sociology
Countries of Study: Guatemala; Argentina; Colombia

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

In my doctoral dissertation I study the enactment of extraterritorial political rights for Latin American emigrants in comparative perspective. In the last three decades, Latin American states have granted dual citizenship rights (i.e., dual nationality), extraterritorial voting rights (i.e., electoral participation) and parliamentarian representation rights (i.e., elected officials) to their citizens living abroad. Far from undermining the sovereignty of the state, granting emigrant citizenship has contributed to strengthen the reach of Latin American states that have sought to renegotiate the terms of the social contract with their citizens living abroad. The enactment of extraterritorial political rights created a new political field: while states try to legitimize their regimes by developing novel forms of embracing their emigrants, emigrant organizations abroad struggle to transform formal rights into substantive obligations. What is at stake is both the relative weakness or strength of Latin American states that (being unable to control flows of emigration) now attempt to reach out to their citizens from afar, but also the relative absence or presence of emigrants that (being outside of the national territory) now attempt to become extraterritorial political subjects. But what accounts for the different enactments and implementations of political rights granted to Latin American emigrants? In this project, I conduct a historical and comparative analysis on the political processes that led Latin American states to expand or restrict emigrant citizenship (1980-2017). Comparing different historical episodes, I argue that Argentina and Colombia, represent two different pathways towards the political recognition of emigrants living abroad. The differential scope of emigrant citizenship and the different forms of political inclusion are associated with different forms of political relevance of emigrants in the national contexts of democratization.


Claudia Chang-Huang

Claudia Chang-Huang
UCLA Department: Anthropology
Country of Study: China

Fulbright Hays DDRA Research Project

My ethnographic project set out to investigate how urban Chinese women create meaningful post-retirement lives. I used China’s enormously popular collective dancing phenomenon as a lens through which to study the wide of variety of personal choices that are now available to retired elders, and spent six months conducting participant observation with the members of two of dance groups in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Though I focused my attentions on the women’s subjective experiences, my research methodologies also involved placing these experiences within the context of China’s rapidly aging population.

My findings are three-fold: first, I discovered that though dancing is a collective activity that can bring people in the same life-stage together, people actually used the dance groups as venues for self-cultivation. My second thread of inquiry focused on the relationship between dance group solidarity and China’s changing kinship dynamics. Here, I found that while traditional expectations that grandmothers devote themselves to their grandchildren still hold, many retired women who participate in dance groups are starting to assert their independence from their families. Third and perhaps most significantly, I found that my interlocutors express little to no faith in the government’s efforts to confront problems brought on by an aging society.

For the time being, retirees in general and collective dancers in particular are making the most of their retirement years by pursuing their own interests while they are still physically and financially able to support themselves. However, my research results clearly indicate that the meanings and practices of old age have changed, and that policies aimed at addressing the aging population need to take these changes into account.