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Current Fellows

Cohort Twenty-Two (2022-2024) and Cohort Twenty-Three (2023-2025)



Amal Ali

Philosophy, Politics, and Law & African American Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Linette Park

Research Title: "Re-Reading Decoloniality: The Subaltern and Les Damnés"


Arturo Contreras

Latin American and Caribbean Studies & Spanish

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yami Rodriguez

Research Title: "Preserving Institutional Memory of the Emory Latinx Community through Archival Research and Oral Histories."


Mckayla Morrison

African American Studies & Sociology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Linette Park

Research Topic: Social Stratification of Race in the Legal System



Christian Ballard

African American Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kyrah Malika Daniels

Research Title: "Rap as Religious Space: Un-Veiling African Spirituality within Hip Hop." Located at the intersection between Religious Studies, Music Studies, and African American Studies, this project explores Kendrick Lamar's fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, as a case study investigating the presence of African spirituality within modern hip hop. Lamar, who has long been recognized as the voice of his generation in both academic and popular circles, dons a crown of thorns on the album’s cover and raps extensively about religious themes such as soteriology and ancestor veneration throughout the work. Considering Lamar’s position of speaking to and for a generation of Black youth that is increasingly turning away from the Black Church—and often towards African Traditional Religions—his deployment of both Christian and African religious thought begs the question: How has hip hop constructed a new religious space for Black youth?


Makalee Cooper

Theater Studies & Anthropology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicholas Fesette

Research Title: "Fatphobia in the Media." Makalee's research is an examination of fatphobia's impact on American media through the lens of performance studies.


Courtney Fitzgerald

Sociology & Quantitative Sciences

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen A. Hegtvedt

Research Title: "Unveiling the Nexus of Black Queerness: Exploring Romantic Dynamics and Intersectional Challenges among Black Lesbians.

This mixed-methods study explores the intersectionality of Black Queerness, specifically focusing on the experiences of Black lesbians in gender expression, partner preferences, and challenges related to the dominant culture. By examining the connections between heteronormativity, racism, and colorism, the study offers insights into addressing marginalization and discrimination within the Black LGBTQ+ community.


Raya Islam

Anthropology & Human Biology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yami Rodriguez

Research Title: "Mapping Bengali New York." Situated within Ethnic, Urban, American, and Migration Studies with a foundation in Decoloniality, this project seeks to understand how the Bengali community of New York-- specifically, in Jackson Heights, Queens-- formed after the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. This research aims to contribute to ongoing discourses surrounding relational migrant community formation in New York City and the collapsing of race, class, and space in the city.


Leilani Nti

French & International Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Subha Xavier

Research Title: "Humanism, Resistance, and the Making of a Movement: an analysis of the political actors who helped shape Latin American and African postcolonial states." 

How did militants, activists, and dictators of the mid/late 20th century shape the culture of African and Latin American nations? This work aims to analyze the cultural legacy of Marxist humanism and violence in postcolonial states, imagined and created by 20th-century political activists.


Emilio Rosas Gutiérrez

Linguistics & Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christina Crawford

Research Title: "Cancun and the Politics of Space." Emilio's research provides a critical account of capitalist urban development in Cancún, Mexico, drawing from architectural studies and critical theory to unravel the roles of place, politics, and profit in the making of a city.


América Ruiz

Latin American and Caribbean Studies & Spanish

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Pablo Palomino

Research Title: "How [Lack Of] Citizenship Has Impacted the Latinx Community Within the US." This study uses an anthropological approach to understand the effects being an undocumented immigrant has on identity. Through ethnographic research, experiences of what the undocumented immigrant community deems as hardships and advantages will be examined.