Notable Faculty & Student Achievements
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Sociology Luis Romero and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Feminist Studies Sequoia Maner were invited to be featured speakers at the University of Texas at Austin. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts under a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Romero and Maner presented “Professional-Life Experiences and Postgrad Transitions” to underrepresented graduate students of color. They discussed a variety of aspects concerning the management of career and personal development in graduate school, including pedagogical approaches to studying race, gender, and class in the classroom; navigating microaggressions from students, colleagues, and administration; and juggling home and work lives. Romero and Maner also talked about how to prepare for the job market as an emerging scholar, how to maximize professional conference opportunities, and how to position oneself for tenure-track positions.
Mellon Teaching Fellow Sequoia Maner presented original poetry and research at The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS), which was organized around the topic of “Underground Histories.” As coeditor of the forthcoming volume Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era, to be published by Routledge in October 2019, Maner previewed work that concerns the use of autopsy reports as material for poetic engagement, including her poem “Upon Reading the Autopsy of Sandra Bland,” a finalist for the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize.
Amiel Padayhag, class of 2019; Grace Gnasigamany, class of 2020; Administrative Assistant to Faculty Kelly Lessard; and Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Feminist Studies Program Sequoia Manerparticipated in Riding the Freedom Trail, a tour of Civil Rights memorials and monuments in Selma and Montgomery, Ala. They experienced a profound weekend of reckoning with the nation’s racial past. They accompanied a group that included local residents of Georgetown, Austin, and greater Williamson County. A member of the group was the daughter of a man lynched in nearby Taylor, Texas. Some of the highlights of their trip included walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and talking with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member and civil rights leader Annie Pearl Avery in Selma. In Montgomery, they participated in a special reflection session with the staff of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) following the tour of the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which is dedicated to the memory of lynching victims. The group also toured sites such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Legacy Museum, the Freedom Riders Museum, and the Rosa Parks Museum. Memorably, the group attended a special Sunday service at Dexter King Memorial Church, where, from the church’s basement, pastor Martin Luther King Jr. organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A documentary is being made about this experience in conjunction with film students from The University of Texas at Austin.
Mellon Teaching Fellow of Feminist Studies Sequoia Maner published the article “The Ethics of Interiority in the Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Beyoncé” in volume 17.1 of the journal Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism.
Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Feminist Studies Program Sequoia Maner performed poetry at the Six Square District Cultural Arts Festival, an event that celebrates art and brings awareness to Austin’s historically black Eastside, on Sept. 1, 2018.