Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

CLACS Graduate School Summer Proctorships

June 11, 2020

From left to right: Mai Hunt, Lauren Deal, Luis Achondo, Fernando Norat

This summer, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will have four graduate students working with us on three different Proctorships. Graduate Student Proctorships are project-based, internship-style experiences offered through an academic unit or in research, training, academic or administrative offices around campus. The goal is to offer graduate students whose research and study have been impacted by COVID-19 new professional and career development opportunities to enhance their experience and skills.

Luis Achondo, a Ph.D. candidate in the Music department, will be taking on the CLACS Concentration Proctorship. This proctorship will focus on our LACA undergraduate concentration and our Center as a whole. Luis will report on courses offered by the concentration over the past 5-7 years, in order to establish an overview of the program, the evolution of the concentration, and the strength and coherence of the advising structure. Luisr will also provide a report based on a comparison of CLACS to other Centers for Latin American and Caribbean Studies across different universities in the country, in terms of curriculum and mission.

Luis, originally from Chile, is a Fulbright scholar who holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Music from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Brown. His doctoral project examines Latin American soccer fandom from a transnational perspective. Luis’s dissertation is a multi-sited ethnography that explores the intersection of sound, violence, and media among Chilean, Argentine, and Latinx supporters.

Lauren E. Deal, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, will be working on the Digital Pedagogy Proctorship. She will help the Center with the transition to remote teaching of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACA) courses for Fall, and will also collaborate with course instructors to help with preparation of online course materials and learning activities designed for both synchronous and asynchronous teaching.

Lauren, who specializes in linguistic and sociocultural anthropology, was also a graduate fellow for the 2018-2019 Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on Race and Indigeneity in the Americas. She received her BA in anthropology from George Washington University. Her dissertation research examines ideas of race, indigeneity, and identity in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Specifically, it examines how Argentines of European descent engage in projects of indigenous linguistic and cultural revival to consider the politics of appropriation and the meanings of whiteness in Latin America. She has previously conducted research in Buenos Aires on language and music in protest, and the language of Opera pedagogy.

Mai Hunt, a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Studies, and Fernando Norat, a Ph.D. student in the History Department will be taking on the Historical Project Proctorship. They will assist the center by compiling information about previous CLACS directors, alumni and affiliated graduate students, key speakers, performers and visiting professors and conduct online interviews with past CLACS directors and affiliated faculty, and develop an online friendly platform that will host the historical CLACS project. 

Mai Hunt is a Ph.D. Student from Boston. She received her BA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. After graduating, she spent two years in Madrid working with the Fulbright Program as an English teaching assistant. Her interests center on family narratives of trauma, memory and inheritance in contemporary Colombian literature and film.

Fernando Norat is an upcoming third-year Ph.D. student in Caribbean History at Brown. His work focuses on the cultural relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union and the unforeseen consequences of their interactions. He is from Puerto Rico, where he did an undergraduate degree at the University of Puerto Rico in History, and studied Russian. Fernando is also an illustrator, and is currently working on two projects regarding visual representations of pan-Caribbean scenes, and another illustrating local stories of all municipalities in Puerto Rico.