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Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

CLACS Welcomes Sawyer Seminar Post-doctoral Fellow Kristen Kolenz

May 4, 2021

CLACS is happy to announce that Kristen Kolenz will join our team as post-doctoral fellow for the 2021-2022 Mellon Sawyer Seminar Rethinking the Dynamic Interplay of Migration, Race, and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and Latin America supported by a Mellon Sawyer Seminar. The Seminar, which will include periodic workshops, performances, exhibits, and other events during AY2021-2022, explores the dynamic interplay of migration, race, and ethnicity in the region.

Kristen A. Kolenz earned her MA and PhD in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at The Ohio State University and her BA in philosophy at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research focuses on resistance to state violence, Central American social movements, migration, and the transformative potential of everyday practices through the lens of decolonial and transnational feminisms. She is currently working on her book manuscript, an analysis of the transnational movements and community-building practices of Central Americans subjected to forced migration, dangerous crossing conditions, and confinement. In the study, Dr. Kolenz takes an interdisciplinary methodological approach that combines ethnographic methods, her own activist practice, and dance studies. The project bridges the fields of Latin American and Latinx Studies, bringing together research conducted in Guatemala, the Sonoran Desert, and immigrant justice movements in the US. The project’s goal is to document the transformative possibilities that emerge from Central Americans’ everyday practices of coping with loss, distance, and violence and to theorize transnational belonging in resistance to white supremacy.