Graduate Research Conference

2022 Graduate Research Conference

Friday, May 20, 2022

5:30pm – 8:30pm
University of Washington Bothell, WA (directions and campus map)
Husky Hall 1160

Registration required, RSVP using our Google Form. Free and open to the community.

5:15pm, Gathering

Program to begin at 5:30 pm

5:30pm, Welcome and Acknowledgements

  • Amoshaun Toft, Cultural Studies Faculty
  • Crystal Galván, Graduate Programs Manager and Advisor

5:45pm, Research Presentations

Moderator: S. Charusheela, Professor, Co-Director | MA in Cultural Studies

  • Panel 1: (Re)Centering Narratives: Women, Power & Resistance
    • Amber Tafoya:“Archive of Resistance: Unearthing Chicana Knowledge & History through Testimonio-Pláticas” 
    • Türkan Urmulu“Mother Language Ban and an Azerbaijani Woman Author in Iran”
    • Maria Morales: “Health Effects of Working Latinx Mothers Through COVID19 in Snohomish County”

7:00pm, BREAK

Light Refreshments

7:10pm, Research Presentations

Moderator: Ching-In Chen, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

  • Panel 2: Reckoning with Histories 
    • Sam Prudente: “Bahay-bahayan at Nanay-nanayan: Drag Performance, Queer Kinships, Trans Identity Formation by FilipinX Immigrants in Seattle’s House of Manila”
    • Cecilia Jiao: “When I Stand In the Middle of Two Cultures to See How People Speak Out”
    • Cat Huber: “Making Sanctuary?: Carceral Queer Politics in 1990s Seattle”

8:25pm, Closing and Conclusion

  • S. Charusheela, Professor, Professor, Co-Director | MA in Cultural Studies

Presentation Abstracts

Cat Huber: “Making Sanctuary?: Carceral Queer Politics in 1990s Seattle”

This project looks at Seattle’s queer political history to examine the often-forgotten and obscured links between LGBTQ articulations of safety and carceral power. I build upon the work of queer theory and historical scholarship that examines how queer visibility, rights, and safety became connected to projects of normativity, carcerality, neoliberalism, and state recognition in the second half of the 20th century by applying these lenses to Seattle queer antiviolence politics in the 1990s. I identify themes across an archive of news coverage, press releases, reports, and personal records related to local queer antiviolence politics in Seattle using historical and discourse analysis. Focusing on the beginning of the 90s and the local emergence of these debates and mobilizations, I discuss how those engaged with these politics reproduced fraught, limited representations of violence while linking queer safety to the expansion of carceral practices like hate crime legislation and policing. I highlight how these discourses and strategies foreclosed political possibility in ways that extend through to the present in the hopes that this might offer a critical framework for those who want to imagine and build queer sanctuary for all.

Portfolio Advisor: Maryam Griffin, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Dan Berger, Ph.D.

Cecilia Jiao: “When I Stand In the Middle of Two Cultures to See How People Speak Out”

This project is about me as an international student trying to objectively stand in the middle to compare and discuss the different ways and channels of voice of the Chinese and American public. I will explore the differences and the reasons for them from six perspectives: culture, language, institution, social structure, political policy and media communication. The mainly used method for this project is discourse analysis, which will explore this issue by analyzing people’s voices in text and other media forms (e.g., voice, video, etc.), as well as different media coverage of the same event in different countries. Do different vocal environments have different effects? Why do people’s voices matter? There are no standard answers to these questions, and there are no absolute perfections or flaws in different systems or cultures, but exploring is the first step to making change, and that’s good. Keywords: People’s voice, Comparison, China, The United States.

Portfolio Advisor: Christian Anderson, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Lauren Berliner, Ph.D.

Maria Morales: “Health Effects of Working Latinx Mothers Through COVID19 in Snohomish County”

Women, by virtue of their gender alone, tend to be family caretakers and some of the most affected since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic. Not only have the closing of businesses, reduced hours of service and loss of benefits affected workers around the world, but these too caused ripple effects, some yet to be diagnosed. In markets where women earn less per hour compared to males, the impact of women’s paid labor has exacerbated the disproportion of work opportunities as they leave job markets to take care of their families, particularly those with young children. Latinx mothers in Snohomish County have not been the exception as some continue to feel the effects of COVID19 a few years after its initial detection. This research paper is composed of three parts: 1) revisit the COVID19 timeline events 2) examine the effects COVID19 has had on working Latinx mothers 3) analysis of interviews formatted into a podcast series sharing women’s experiences when accessing medical care and healthcare resources in Snohomish County. While literature findings addressing stress-induced illnesses have been well documented, this research has opened the door to other health-related questions important to address. What can we do differently to provide care in a more compassionate and equitable manner? What would that look like and what results would that produce within our own communities of color? Key words: Latinx, mothers, healthcare, COVID19.

Portfolio Advisor: Christian Anderson, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Ben Gardner, Ph.D.

Sam Prudente: “Bahay-bahayan at Nanay-nanayan: Drag Performance, Queer Kinships, Trans Identity Formation by FilipinX Immigrants in Seattle’s House of Manila”

Transnational, transgender bodies in diaspora dramatize the stakes that intersectional oppression exerts upon trans bodies & identities. Drawing on Hall, Bailey and Manalansan’s scholarship on immigration, desire and drag, I examine how Filipino immigrant trans dreams & desires are rooted in an early childhood role play game named “bahay-bahayan” playing house. I theorize that embodying a home for transgender identity expressions relate outward from the body to queer home-making, kinship and community building. I engage in this scholarship from an adjacent positionality to my interlocutors: Atasha Manila, Aleksa Manila and Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse. After conducting personal interviews with these 3 Queer & Trans FilipinX immigrants from Maison Manila or the drag House of Manila, I utilized critical ethnography and multi-media artifact analysis to identify common threads about their immigrant experience, their quest for identity and safety, of finding a sense of home in Seattle. I discuss how these drag performers practice “home-making” and center emergent themes by exploring their vulnerabilities: the importance of kinship within families & communities of choice; curation of identity as performance; and house-structures as sites of queer transformation.

Portfolio Advisor: Lauren Berliner, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Naomi Macalalad Bragin, Ph.D.

Türkan Urmulu“Mother Language Ban and an Azerbaijani Woman Author in Iran”

This project is about of Rugayye Kabiri. Rugayye Kabiri is a woman author who is from Azerbaijani ethnic minority in Iran and she writes her novels in her mother language, Azerbaijani Turkish. Azerbaijanis are one of the culturally and linguistically oppressed ethnic groups in Iran. In addition to cultural discrimination and ban of the mother language of non-Persian people in Iran, women of ethnic minorities are faced with legal and communal pressures and inhibitions related to their gender identity. Here, I examine the barriers and problems that a non-Persian woman writer faces in the country and then I show how the barriers affect the themes of her art and productivity. Using a qualitative text-based method, I conducted a semi-structured interview with the author and analyzed her interview and her works. This research contributes to our understanding of how the intersection of ethnic and gender discrimination may impact a woman author and her artworks.

Keywords: Culture, Ethnicity, Mother Language Ban, Azerbaijani Woman, Literature, Gender, Resistance

Portfolio Advisor: S. Charusheela, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Susan Harewood, Ph.D.

Amber Tafoya:“Archive of Resistance: Unearthing Chicana Knowledge & History through ​Testimonio-Pláticas” 

An Archive of Resistance: Unearthing Chicana Knowledge & History through Testimonio-Pláticas This project explores how Chicanas create knowledge, disrupt systems that shape history, and challenge dominant narratives by collectively claiming and sharing stories. I respond to the erasure of Chicanas and Latinas in history within patriarchal and colonial systems by revealing knowledge hidden in plain sight. Working within Chicana feminista frameworks and interventions, I engage in testimonio-pláticas, a culturally responsive research methodology, to curate the stories of five women in my family who grew up in a small Southern Colorado town populated by low-income, working-class Chicanx/Latinx families. Together, testimonio (testimonies) and pláticas (informal conversations) act as a hybrid, flexible approach that allows the researchers and participants to engage in an embodied, reflexive and self-reflexive practice as part of a social justice project. The stories include my tia’s testimonios of state violence in the public school system and their reflections on the knowledge gained through their mother outside of the school system. I argue that through the hybrid methodology of testimonio-pláticas, researchers and participants can collaborate as part of an anti-oppressive project to create knowledge and engage in community-based, culturally sensitive projects.

Portfolio Advisor: Amoshaun Toft, Ph.D.

Capstone Advisor: Yolanda Padilla, Ph.D.

Questions or comments?

Contact the IAS Graduate Office at

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