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Maria Gutierrez
Maria Gutierrez

Maria Gutierrez, an Emerging Voices Fellow in fine arts and humanities, will work remotely with the Center for the Study of the American South this fall and will also teach a course in women’s and gender studies in the spring.

Gutierrez, who received her Ph.D. in Native American studies from the University of California, Davis, was awarded a new American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellowship to come to Carolina.

ACLS launched the Emerging Voices Fellowship Program in May 2020 in response to the economic downturn and uncertainty in academia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-five fellowships were awarded to a range of recent Ph.D. graduates in the humanities and social sciences whose voices, perspectives and broad visions will strengthen institutions of higher education and humanistic disciplines.

Emerging Voices Fellows are placed in one-year posts with ACLS Research University Consortium partners across the country. The inaugural cohort of this rapid response program will advance their research agendas while undertaking a variety of roles including teaching, collaborative research, program development and public engagement.

For the fall semester, Gutierrez will focus on her book project, tentatively titled, “Juchari Anapu Jimpo! Reclamation of the Heritage Language and Identity: Social Processes, Oral Memory and Innovations in the Non-P’urhépecha-Speaking Communities of Lake Pátzcuaro.” The project focuses on the connection between Indigenous-based pedagogies, community media and the participation of indigenous women in community and public spaces in relation to P’urhépecha ethnic resurgence.

“There is a large P’urhépecha indigenous migrant community from Mexico, and my ACLS fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill will allow me to explore and extend my research questions to this community in particular,” Gutierrez said. “The P’urhépecha migrant community is very vibrant, and one of their concerns as people who no longer live in their ancestral territory is to find ways to stay connected, or re-connect in some cases, with their communities. In my research, I also collaborate with an indigenous radio project in Mexico, which focuses on P’urhépecha language reclamation and cultural revival through the creation of podcasts.”

In other news, UNC Ph.D. graduate Elizabeth Gale Greenlee also received an Emerging Voices Fellowship and will be placed at The Ohio State University in the department of women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

“At a time when institutions of higher education are making tough fiscal decisions that will impact the future of scholarship, ACLS recognizes the urgent need to support those newest to the academy and, in turn, helping to ensure its best future,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly.


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