2021-2022 CaMD & Brace Scholars

Last Spring, Andover announced the 2021-2022 CaMD scholars and Brace Student Fellows. The Brace Center provided funding to a small number of student applicants, who in turn used it for their summer research projects. Many students’ research explores gender studies and multiculturalism through a diverse and multiracial lens. Scholars work closely with their faculty advisors to help shape their projects. In the fall, scholars will present their summer research to the Andover community. 

Emiliano Caceres Manzano ’22: 

Magical Realist Literature in Latin America and its Relationship to Colonialism

“I’ve grown up with magical realist literature. It’s kind of like the height of Latin American writing. So, for me, it was always something that I looked up to and something that had a huge influence on the way that I perceived the culture of my country and of the continent. Even in the paper, the pre-colon part of the title is “Mira Que Larga Tienes La Cola” which is something that my mom would say. It means, “look how long your tail is.” So if you are going into the pantry to get something and then you leave everything open and you leave the door open, then my mom is like, “Oh, look how long your tail is,” like the trail that you are leaving behind… It was something that really shaped me and the way that I see the world. So, I really wanted to unpack it and unpack it in the context of this big and complicated history of Latin America.”

Anushka Bhat ’22:

Political Insanity: Exploring Colonial Psychiatry as a Mode of Social Control, 1820-1940

“I felt as though there was a general awareness about the racial inequities within mental health care today, but people rarely discuss the historical roots of those discriminations. Looking into the past is vital to use history as a tool to inform our future actions as well as understand how the healthcare system works today. I was eager to understand the foundation of psychiatric racism not only in America, but globally, to connect my knowledge to current-day inequities. From my presentation, I hope that people understand that science is oftentimes subjective. Also, medicine especially, an inherently anthropological field, has a greater impact on societies than we may originally realize.”

Melanie Garcia ’22:

Afro-Latinx Identity: Intersections between one’s Race and Ethnicity

“I’m specifically researching the reasons why a lot of Afro-Latinx individuals will struggle to realize what their identity is, what it means, and the intersections between their race and their ethnicity… I really want people to understand what Afro-Latinx is. Afro-Latinx often gets questioned or challenged because not a lot of people understand what it is. I kind of want to push against that and teach non-Afro-Latinx people that it is something that exists, teach non-black Latinx people that Afro-Latinos are part of their community, and teach Afro-Latinx people a little bit more about themselves.”

Nick Gibeley ’22: 

Secret Languages Created and Used by the Queer Community 

“My topic is about secret languages created by queer people as a way to communicate secretely when homosexuality and gender identity were persecuted and were punishable by death… I think the main thing that I was thinking about a lot is queer resilience, because I didn’t even know that my topic was a thing until 8 months ago. It’s something that’s so important to queer history and to linguistics. And the fact that it’s not discussed a lot really says something about our society and how there’s still such a big stigma for queerness. So I think that as a message I hope that people can get out of my paper and my presentation is that queer people have always been around, will always be around, and have always been a really important part of our society.”

Frank Zhou ’22:

Sino-US Educational Exchange at Andover

“I chose this topic because it’s yoked intimately with my personal history. My father is a student who came from mainland China to study, as is my mother. They came during undergrad, the students that are the subjects of my research came during highschool… It became a very personal project to work, where every single choice I made was embedded within my understanding of the students themselves and my understanding of how I stood in relation to them as a son of Chinese students who came to the States to study as well. A lot of the research centers around research done through the archives in Special Collections which are situated in the OWHL.

Avivit Ashman ’22:

Trans Identity in America: Implications of Trans Inclusion in the Military  

“I am researching the implications of trans inclusion in the military and what that means about trans identity in America, specifically in a post 9/11 America… So, in general, thinking about the role of trans people in the military, how that correlates to the position of trans people in the U.S., and how trans people who are able to be included in the military have other identities besides transness (i.e. whiteness) that allow them to participate in straight structures. And on a whole, what does this mean about what the U.S. military at large is trying to do? I think I came to this topic because I was really frustrated with dominant narratives of transness in the media right now and I think this has been a way that I could try to complicate that a little bit.”

Jane Park ’22: 

How K-Pop Operates in the Hegemonic Western Music Industry in relation to its Asian American Consumers 

“Throughout my research I was constantly frustrated by the lack of clear answers. There just seemed to be a lot of gray spaces that I couldn’t fill. However, as my research shows, gray spaces are powerful. There is truth and power in complexity and what is not totally clear. As I realized myself, I implore my audience to understand the importance of these gray spaces, in how these spaces demand for an exhaustive yet necessary examination of a question and frame our understandings of reality in a multi-faceted way. Specifically to my project, however, I want my audience to understand that within larger frameworks of power, there can still exist moments of subversion and autonomy.”

Dorian Park Wang ’23

The Monster Out of the Closet: Trans Monstrosity and Metaphor in Hollywood Horror

“My project is about portrayals of trans monstrosity in horror, and particularly how that construction operates on and through the level of metaphor. I talk about some films that have strengthened the cultural association of transness with monstrosity and try to take that apart in context of metaphor and the language that often surrounds the way we talk about and approach transness (ie. the “wrong body,” being a “Frankenstein’s monster,” etc.) I think, especially now, when a lot of language and opposition to trans rights uses these sorts of metaphors, examining them, and particularly the role of cinema in disseminating them, can be incredibly powerful in dismantling transphobic narratives.”

Nina Choophungart ’22

The Meaning of Marriage: Exploring the Nature of Transnational Partnerships Between Isan Women and Western Men

“Isan women are basically a group of women within Thailand who come from the Northeastern region. In that Northeastern region, there’s been a rise in transnational marriages. And I’m examining why that’s happening and seeing the gender dynamics and the power and class dynamics within it. Right now, there’s a controversy going on. This is actually why I got interested in this. There was a controversy about these women being like the idea of a “gold digger” or just marrying these Western men for the money. But my purpose of this project was to actually prove that that’s not necessarily true and that Isan women and Thai women, in general, have much more agency than people realize.”


Editor’s Note: Ariana White ’22 did not respond to request for a comment. Her CaMD paper is entitled “Transcending the Barriers of Slavery: Sub-Saharan African Religion, Festival, and Folklore in Trinidad and Tobago”. Jane Park ’22 is a Managing Editor for The Phillipian. Anushka Bhat is a Copy Editor for The Phillipian