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By Rose Steptoe, Graduate Writer

The English and Comparative Literature Department congratulates six ECL graduate students on being awarded the Latina/o Studies Teaching Award for Fall 2020: Chloe Hamer, Jo Klevdal, emilio Jesús Taiveaho Peláez, Nikki Roulo, Leslie Rowen, and Krysten Voelkner. The award provides funds for ENGL 105/105i instructors to incorporate Latina/o Studies content into their courses. 

Learn how each student is using Latina/o Studies in their pedagogy below:

Portrait of Chloe Hamer

Chloe Hamer:

“I will incorporate Latina/o/x Studies in my class by centering our Social Sciences unit on issues surrounding local Latina/o labor and labor rights activism; and by emphasizing decolonial approaches to data collection and analysis.”



Portrait of Jo Klevdal

Jo Klevdal

“I am redesigning my second unit [of English 105] around an arcGIS project addressing questions surrounding immigration and conceptualizations of the U.S./Mexico border. Students are working in groups to identify a research question pertaining to immigration and the border, conduct research, and build a public-facing, interactive map which illustrates their research.”

Portrait of emilio Taiveaho

emilio Taiveaho:

“As a migrant scholar and transnational subject, I incorporate Latina/o Studies (signaling an interdisciplinary epistemological method as much as a determined field of inquiry) in my class as a way of building bridges across the Américas: Briefly put, Latina/o studies facilitates hemispheric cultural exchange by providing new vistas for affect, thought, relation and belonging, through dialogic, compassionate, and critical intellectual labor. Building on the foundations established by thinkers such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga, Latina/o Studies allows us to follow the steps of Third World Feminists in ‘pursuing a society that uses flesh and blood experiences to concretize a vision that can begin to heal our ‘wounded knee’ (Chrystos).’”


Portrait of Nikki Roulo

Nikki Roulo

Many of my English 105 students encountered Latina/o poetry for the first time several weeks ago when we started into the social science unit. In this unit, we are reading Latina/o poetry and critically examining the community of Latina/o poetics. For their unit two project, they will produce a podcast that delivers their research on one aspect of Latina/o culture. Listening to them struggle, unpack and embrace the poetics of Latina/o culture has been a delight.”

Portrait of Leslie Rowen

Leslie Rowen:

“Using Adobe Spark, my students will create engaging film analysis essays based on a Latinx film of their choosing. I love using film in English 105 — it’s a medium students are eager to talk about, and facilitates a lot of interesting conversations related to our course focus on rhetoric and composition — why do we think the director made this choice? For whom was this film made? How do we know? Focusing on Latinx film will expose students to a broad spectrum of experiences, regions, and perspectives within this community, leading to class conversations about how identity is formed, expressed, and reflected in culture writ large.”


Portrait of Krysten Voelkner

Krysten Voelkner

“Students will be introduced to Latinx studies during the ‘Writing Within the Humanities’ section of English 105. This unit asks students to respond to the recent call for papers from the literary journal Diálogo, which is dedicated to the ways that Latinx writers have challenged or reworked the otherwise white, heteromasculine genre of detective fiction. Students will be reading short stories from a collection titled Salsa Nocturna, written by the fantasy writer, activist, and International Latino Book Award winner Daniel José Older. They will develop arguments that address forms of belonging and political agency in Latinx detective fiction, and will share their findings with peers in a roundtable discussion during the final week of classes.”

Congratulations again to this semester’s awardees! DOECL graduate instructors can apply for the Spring 2021 Latina/o Studies Teaching Award here.

To learn more about the Latina/o Studies courses, events, and more, visit the Latina/o Studies Program page.  

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