Published: Sept. 9, 2019 By ,

Aldama photoWelcome all faculty, staff, students, and community members to the new 2019-2020 academic year. We are very fortunate to have three exceptionally talented and gifted scholars and leaders join the Department of Ethnic Studies (DES). Dr. Jennifer Ho was hired from an extremely competitive national pool to serve as the Director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA). We are honored that Dr. Ho has chosen to have her tenure home in DES. Dr. Natalie Avalos was also selected from a highly competitive pool to serve as the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar in Religious Studies, and we were fortunate to be able to offer her a tenure track position in DES as she finishes her second year of the postdoctoral residency. Dr. Nishant Upadhyay brings their tremendous acumen and impressive range of accolades to DES. We are delighted to have recruited Dr. Upahdyay through an international search of incredibly talented scholars led by Dr. Seema Sohi. Finally, Awon Atuire joins our department as a full-time teaching faculty. Awon will offer classes in Africana studies and will help build a class on community engagement and leadership that will offer internship credit for our students.

Both Dr. Upadhyay and Dr. Avalos are teaching doctoral seminars this Fall for DES and are already creating a huge buzz among students. I’m also excited to share that through Dr. Ho’s leadership, the CHA is hosting and organizing an inaugural event titled, #Me Too and the Supreme Court: One Year of After Christine Blasey Ford, on Wednesday, September 25th from 12:00 to 1:00pm in Ketchum #371.  

In addition, Joanne Corson joined our department over the summer. Joanne brings an impressive range of professional experience and skill sets to help with the administrative leadership of DES, and to work with our amazing doctoral students and inspiring undergraduates, among other tasks.

I would also like to recognize our faculty that have recently achieved significant accomplishments. We are extremely pleased to congratulate Dr. Clint Carroll for his successful promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, and to Dr. Angelica Lawson for her successful passing of comprehensive review—an important milestone towards tenure. 

Serving in new administrative leadership roles are Dr. Carroll as Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and Dr. Sepúlveda as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies. Many thanks to Dr. Sohi and Dr. Belknap, whose former dedication to these roles has greatly contributed to the success of our students and department.

We are also pleased to announce that the Undergraduate Certificate in Critical Sports Studies was approved. We look forward to rolling out and building this impressive certificate in full force starting Spring 2020, which will bring together students from all discipline—even across colleges—who have a nascent passion for sports and will encourage them to develop an intersectional lens to understanding how issues of race, class, gender and sexuality impact the spectacle and business of sport. Finally, we are re-opening our Graduate Studies admissions cycle to attract talented doctoral students, and we are looking forward to recruiting a dynamic cohort who will begin studies in Fall 2020.

We in DES feel it is a crucial time to provide community, academic, and civic leadership to the CU Boulder community and beyond. We are deeply concerned and outraged by the ongoing acts of vigilante and state violence directed at people of color and the seeming ongoing sepulcherization of toxic masculinity and gender violence in the dominant body politic. Horrifying examples include: vigilante mass shootings in El Paso directed at Latinx people; the continued acts of state violence on Indigenous and Latinx children as they are separated from their families at the border; the ongoing acts of police brutality on communities of color; the senate-driven disavowal of the practices of sexual violence and toxic masculinity in their nomination and votes for a Supreme Court Judge; the ongoing femicides of Indigenous women on Turtle Island; and the continued rise of mass incarceration and its attendant industries. 

As always, we in DES take pride in providing a safe space for all students, faculty, and staff. Please keep any eye out for our upcoming events and activities this year that seek to cultivate community while sparking critical discussion on the complexities of our current time.

Warmly, respectfully, y paz.

Arturo J. Aldama