Three Students Chosen for Crossing Latinidades Summer Institute

April 7, 2022

Jayson Castillo, Ricardo Martín Coloma, and Lidia Hernández-Tapia were selected for an immersive Latino humanities summer program.

Jayson Castillo (photo credit: Alex Irklievski), Ricardo Martín Coloma (courtesy of Coloma), and Lidia Hernández-Tapia (photo credit: Alex Irklievski)
Jayson Castillo, Ricardo Martín Coloma, and Lidia Hernández-Tapia (photo credit: Alex Irklievski)

Three Graduate Center Ph.D. students, Jayson Castillo, Ricardo Martín Coloma, and Lidia Hernández-Tapia, were selected to participate in an intensive summer institute that is part of Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions, a nationwide initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation. Castillo, Coloma, and Hernández-Tapia will attend the two-week Summer Institute on Latino Humanities Studies Methodologies and Theories at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For two weeks between June and July, the three students will be immersed in lectures, workshops, seminars, and presentations designed to expand their understanding of the field of Latino humanities as they prepare to write their doctoral dissertations. Stipends cover their travel and related expenses to attend the free program.  

For her dissertation, Hernández-Tapia plans to study current debates about U.S. Latino art, and, as a case study, will focus on the hybrid identities of Cuban American artists. She wants to understand how power relations between artists and political and cultural institutions shape the aesthetics of contemporary art, visions of nation and state, and expressions of race and gender. 

For his dissertation, Coloma intends to explore the utopian politics of land use and expressions against gentrification present in the novels, plays, and performances of contemporary Latinx artists. His research interests are informed by his degrees in architecture and Hispanic and Spanish literature.  

“I am enthusiastic about collaborating with the Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research working group,” Coloma wrote in his application, noting that he sees it as “the birth of an intriguing intellectual community.” 

Castillo, an Urban Education doctoral student of Dominican-Salvadoran descent who has taught bilingual special education in New York City schools, studies public schooling and Latinx communities. For his dissertation, he plans to focus on the educational experiences of Dominican communities in New York City. He aims to produce “academic knowledge that can be made widely available, accessible, and useful to the public.”

The three students will also be considered for a predoctoral research fellowship for 2022–23 that includes a $30,000 stipend, tuition and fee waiver, and health insurance. Students who are selected for the predoctoral research fellowships will be assigned to a collaborative Latino humanities studies research working group composed of faculty from at least three universities in the Crossing Latinidades consortium. 

CUNY is one of 16 Hispanic-serving institutions with research-intensive doctoral programs that are part of the Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions consortium. The three-year, $5-million initiative aims to improve academic opportunities for Latino studies scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.  


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