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Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity announces 2018 fellows

The program aims to build a culturally diverse intellectual community and advance scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education.

Sarah Mills, Danielle Purifoy, André Keiji Kunigami, and Jacob Lau
Sarah Mills, Danielle Purifoy, André Keiji Kunigami, and Jacob Lau. (not pictured Annette Rodriguez)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to announce the 2018-2020 Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellows.

The fellow receives a paid two-year postdoctoral position in his or her selected department, additional funds for research, professional development and networking opportunities, and a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in their respective discipline.

Carolina launched the program in 1983 as part of a continuing commitment to building a culturally diverse intellectual community and advancing scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education.

This year’s fellows are:

André Keiji Kunigami, Romance Studies
Kunigami received his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from Cornell University. He is a film and media scholar whose interests revolve around questions of perception, spectatorship, and temporality in the early 20th century so-called peripheral spaces to the “West,” through a transregional comparative approach to Brazil and Japan. With particular interest in the intercrossing of phenomenology, historical materialism, critical race studies, and film and media theory, Keiji understands the circulation of the filmic image not only as a global circuit of commodities, but also as a space of friction of embodied experiences and anxieties particular to modernityʼs historical mapping. At Carolina, he is revising his dissertation “Of Clouds and Bodies: Film and the Dislocation of Vision in Brazilian and Japanese Interwar Avant-garde” into a book manuscript. In it, he examines the transformation of notions such as “movement,” “vision,” “life” and “history” through the encounter with cinematic perception, and its particular political implications to the peripheral avant-garde elites, their discourses on belatedness, and their modernizing projects. Before joining UNC-Chapel Hill as a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow, Keiji taught history of Brazilian and world cinema at the Fluminense Federal University (Niterói, Rio de Janeiro).

Jacob Lau, Women’s and Gender Studies
Lau received his Ph.D. in Gender Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.  He is a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow through the Program for Faculty Diversity in the Department of Womenʼs and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work theorizes transgender effect through postcolonial, queer of color, and historical materialist theorizations of time and historicism. Along with Cameron Partridge, he is an editor of Laurence Michael Dillonʼs 1962 trans memoir Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Spiritual and Gender Transitions (Fordham University Press, 2017), for which he also co-authored an introduction. He was previously a University of California Presidentʼs Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine. 

Sarah D. Mills, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Millsʼ research focuses on tobacco control and tobacco-related health disparities. She uses an ecological framework to examine the roles that culture, the neighborhood in which one lives, and public policy play in tobacco use among racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. She has also conducted research in cross-cultural measurement.

She has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and a master of public health degree in epidemiology from San Diego State University. Mills completed her clinical internship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Millsʼ postdoctoral fellowship is supported by the Cancer Control Education Program at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Danielle Purifoy, Geography
Purifoy received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Environmental Politics and African American Studies from Duke University. Her current research focuses on the intersection of racial segregation and local political geography in the production of environmental inequality in North Carolina. She is also interested in the historic sociopolitical roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South.

She writes for multiple audiences, including lawyers, academics and the general public. She is an editor for Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, a board member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, and the co-creator, with visual artist Torkwase Dyson, of In Conditions of Fresh Water, a multimedia black spatial history project.

Annette Rodriguez,American Studies

Rodriguez received a Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University. Her research interests focus on the functions of public violence in U.S. empire and nation building, U.S. racial formation, immigration, and the production of U.S. citizenship. Her current book project Inventing the Mexican: The Visual Culture of Lynching at the Turn of the Twentieth Century centers performance, popular culture, and visuality as assisting in the relational construction of race. She argues public violences reproduce the vulnerable, unprotected, raced figurations of personhood. She traces the specificity and historical constructions of categorical personhood.

In addition, she has initiated a data, mapping, and social history project on U.S. bounty land grants. This project, which tracks the over six million acres of land granted by both the U.S. federal government and individual states — as incentive to serve in the military and as a reward for service — is provisionally titled Intimate Acquisitions: A Relational History of U.S. Bounty Lands.

For more information about CPPFD, please visit our website.