This year, graduate students from across Global Studies master's programs conducted fieldwork through the Global Perspectives Grant, which is made possible through the generous support of Mr. Dapeng Zhu and Ms. Xiao Liu. Read a few highlights about their experiences abroad below.
Quecha language study in Perú
Jessica F. Cordiglia
Latin American Studies
During my stay in Perú, I took daily in-person Quechua lessons with Professor Luis Alberto Medina, from the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Lima. Our lessons consisted of four hours of review of grammar structures and conversations about the Quechua culture. This experience allowed me to work in a relaxed environment and focus on acquiring new vocabulary while producing the language in a comfortable setting.
Another amazing opportunity I had during my trip was to visit the National Archives in the National Library of Lima. During my visits, I accessed the newspapers archives from 1975 to look for articles about Quechua becoming an official language in Perú. I found very interesting articles and political cartoons, which I am hoping to include in my capstone paper for my master's program.
Finally, I had the honor to meet Dr. Roxana Quispe Collante, the woman who made history in Perú by becoming the first person to write and defend her doctoral thesis fully in Quechua. We got to talk about her thesis, which focuses on the fusion of Andean Catholicism and Cusco syncretism in the work of Andean poet Andrés Alencastre Gutiérrez. It was truly an honor to meet such an inspiring woman who advocates for the Runasimi-Quechua language.
Impact of political unrest on the LGBT community in Colombia
Latin American Studies
Over the summer, I interned with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre's Colombia office, learning and writing about the armed conflict and how companies in particular contributed to the continued displacement of indigenous, Afrocolombian, and peasant-farmer communities. After learning more about the Colombian internal conflict, I began to wonder how the LGBT community was also affected, if at all, by the violence written about and mentioned in the reports I was looking at.
Expressions of modern Siberian sentiments
russian, east european and eurasian studies
My graduate thesis within the CREEES program is centered around expressions of modern Siberian sentiments through local Siberian street art and graffiti. Within my research, I also explore whether it can be said that there is one Siberian “nationalism,” or sentiment, how the periphery (Siberia) currently feels about the center (Moscow), and how these mediums fit into larger artistic tradition.
Asian diaspora in Latin America
Latin american studies
I had the opportunity to spend my summer in Brazil. At Stanford, I spent time researching Pequeño Seúl, a Koreatown located in Mexico City, which sparked my interest in the Asian diaspora in Latin America. More specifically, I was curious to learn more about the East Asian population in Brazil, particularly in São Paulo.
In São Paulo, I visited the districts of Liberdade and Bom Retiro. Liberdade is a popular tourist destination in São Paulo, and it is well known for being the home of the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. In Liberdade, I was able to go to the Liberdade Street Fair and various restaurants and stores in the neighborhood. While not as touristy as Liberdade, I found Bom Retiro, home to the city’s Korean community, to also be a lively district full of fun clothing stores and cheap eats. In both districts, I enjoyed using the Portuguese I had learned at Stanford and during my time in Rio de Janeiro to talk to residents about these neighborhoods, their lives, and their experiences as Asian Latin Americans.
While researching Pequeño Seúl at Stanford, I looked to newspapers to study different media representations of the neighborhood. In Liberdade and Bom Retiro, I noticed many people recording vlogs as they passed through the neighborhoods. A quick search online led me to a plethora of vlogs about both districts. Watching these vlogs has made me realize the value of YouTube videos and other online media content, and I hope to incorporate them in my research in the future.
One of my favorite memories of this experience was being able to try Korean and Japanese foods with a Brazilian twist. For example, I tried bingsoo, a traditional Korean shaved ice dessert, with maracujá, or passionfruit, a very untraditional topping. Additionally, in Liberdade, I tried a hot filadélfia, an interesting fried sushi, with friends. I think that food is one of the best ways to experience a culture and trying the food in São Paulo was definitely a big part of my trip there.
How are the identities of Mexican American youth shaped through storytelling?
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
As a scholar, I engage at the intersection of community-based research and storytelling. Thus, I wanted to explore a space that engages with the same framework, albeit not directly. This past summer, I worked alongside an organization called Yollocalli in Chicago, Illinois that provides Mexican American youth with a space to explore their artistic aspirations. I aimed to understand how the identities of Mexican American Chicago youth are shaped through storytelling; after all, we are the stories we tell ourselves. My research question is: How does the creation of stories about the Mexican community affect the identity of the storytellers?
During my time there, I was stunned to learn how there are diverse perspectives on the immigrant community which the youth live day-to-day. There are different political and social interpretations. For me, one of the most interesting moments came when the other youth and I were having a discussion on Latin American politics and one student shared their analysis on Latin American political leaders and corruption. While I shared the same opinion on corruption, their interpretation was completely different than mine, which was interesting to observe. It made me think about how different life experiences lead people to different perspectives, and thus allow us to form different identities.
During my time at Stanford, I studied the intersections of identity, race/ethnicity, colonialism, and inequality. This experience tied all of my academic experiences together. It pushed me to think about how theories of identity, especially transborder identities, are applied in real life, and how storytelling allows students to process their identities. It is this act of performance that allows youth to define who they are.