2022-2023 CAMD Scholars and Brace Fellows

The CaMD Scholars, pictured above, and the Brace Scholars will present their projects throughout the year.

CAMD Scholars

John Sanchez ’23

The Labor Rights Movement in Peru in the Context of Interconnected Struggles Against Colonialism and Environmental Exploitation

“About five years ago, I visited my mom’s hometown in Peru. There was a mining site nearby, and I was really interested in its history. That branched out to researching the mining industry in Peru as a whole. When we look at the context of industries, we tend to focus on the industrial side, the companies, and how they manage it, but it’s so important to look at the workers and how they advocate for themselves. It’s also very interesting to see the workers here are predominantly Indigenous Peruvians. That provides an intersection to how race plays into that part of the worker identity, what it means to be a miner, and what it means to resist. During my research, I found connections to how they resisted colonialism and capitalism. Those two systems are linked and still impact the workers today. Their resistance intrinsically challenges those ideas. My project is a testimony to stories. I would always hear stories from my mom or my dad recounting stories of their uncles or grandparents working in the mines through lots of terrible working conditions. I wanted to see if there’s something that’s changed or if the workers advocated for changes. I’m a product, indirectly, of that, so it’s something I want to address.”

Kate McCool ’23

Economic and Racial Justice Issues in the Disability Rights Movement in the United States of America

“In my research, I talked about how economic considerations have been taken to help Americans with disabilities progress in society by opening them to more opportunities. Even then, there’s still a glaring difference in employment and poverty numbers between people with and without disabilities in America. In my research, I tied that back to antiquated American legislation that has an impact on disabled people today. Certain support systems and legislation in America were historically laced with anti-disability sentiment. I realized from a very young age that there was legislation that was not as impartial as it seemed. I wanted to take my interest in America’s legal system and law and combine it with my personal experiences watching my older brother have to be on the receiving end of legislation that produced oppression. The main message I want people to receive from my paper is that there is impartiality and subjectivity in our country’s legislative system. We need to be critical of the legislation that America is producing and we need to challenge it when, at times, it is oppressive. Especially now, we need to step away from complacency. Even if something in America’s history has been seemingly set in stone for decades, some things still deserve to be challenged and spoken out against. As Americans, it is one of our rights and duties to speak out against things that are not just.” 

Nick Liu ’23

Issues of Asian-Black Solidarity in the Context of Global Hip-Hop Movements

“My research is on rappers in China. I’m Chinese, and I really like Chinese rappers. I think they’re really talented. In my research, I talk about how rap, a fundamentally Black American art form, has been adopted by the generation of Chinese youth for their own purposes. I’m wary of using the term “hip-hop political agenda” in the academia of this process because there is no such thing as a “hip-hop political agenda.” I’m using it in a localized and authentic context in China. My research focuses on the city of Chengdu and Sichuan province, and it covers a lot of the transformative aspects in hip-hop and how it has grown to become an empowering force for Chinese and Asian American rappers and their audiences. The reason that I wanted to dedicate my whole project on this topic came down to my dual identity as a Chinese American. In the media, for “third cultured” children, we’re always looking for a representation of ourselves. There’s also controversy about what hip-hop is to Asians and Asian Americans. This includes backlash from people calling out Asian artists for misusing hip-hop, a Black American art form. It got me thinking about my connection to the media, music, and culture. Listening to a lot of hip-hop music, both American and Chinese, inspired my research.”

Kianna Jean-Francois ’23

Se pa “Voodoo” se Vodou: Undoing the Western Demonization of Haitian Vodou

“I was inspired to do this research topic because I personally wanted to leap or build my sense of connection to my Haitian culture because I grew up around my Haitian family, but I also didn’t grow up as close to them as my Puerto Rican family. So it was something I had to take pieces of and learn from afar and a part of it is how I remained close and felt connected. Growing up was sort of through music and stories, and a lot of dance and a lot of that is incorporated into Haitian “voodoo” and this instilled in that. So, I wanted to take that idea, and kind of reflect on how I grew up with a lot of these misconceptions about Haiti and Haitian “voodoo” myself, as an Haitian American. Also, I want to do that because I wanted to portray Haiti in a more realistic and uplifting manner, rather than just talking about Haitian voodoo as an escape goat, and continuing this narrative of Haiti being this country that’s completely poor and hopeless and helpless with no real culture to offer. Because a lot of culture comes out of Haiti, and a lot of Haiti struggle is rooted in culture, vice versa.”

Brace Fellows

Nikita Harwich ’23

Contextualizing Trans Biology: Why XX and XY aren’t enough

“I wanted to go over how assumptions and internalized biases that a lot of scientists have made, so that key components of sexology hasn’t been studied, specifically for trans intersex and non-binary people. A lot of these assumptions or biases are within wider structures of trans and feminist theory, like cyborg theory or cyborg feminism, as well as the history of sex. And I go more in depth and actually dissecting how these papers enforce these biases around us, such as that amorphism doesn’t exist. I then broaden and talk more about how these biases that are being enforced by science can then reinforce the policy and societal bias against trans and non-binary people. I saw the way the scientists were interpreting their data and specifically the data they decided to collect, and it didn’t paint the full picture. I talked about the water missing and how we need to do more. It’s a recommendation for what needed to be studied.” 

Graham Burtle ’24 

I Have Met With Noblemen; Surveying Transmasculine Experiences Throughout The Wild West.

“Ever since I was a kid, I really loved cowboy stories and was fascinated with the wild west as a concept. And I struggled with a lack of representation of trans-masculine people like me growing up. So I wanted to do some research into both a time period and the people that I’m interested in, and the people that are like me. It more so is an overview of how transmasculine people have the time to experience their lives and the constraints that are being put on them by a very unique society. In terms of how the West in America, for the people that were colonizing, was a fairly new society. So, there were lots of interesting ways in which people viewed gender and that allowed transmasculine people, specifically, to be able to go about their lives in very different ways from what people would assume, and they had some interesting freedoms and also restrictions.”

Leo Peters ’24

Asian American Men And The Politics Of Sexual Discrimination And Desire.

My paper begins with considering the feminist critique of sexuality, which is basically the idea that sex as we know today is shaped by patriarchy. It’s constructed by patriarchy, which means that sort of essentially defined by the concepts of male domination and female submission, and for both of them to like, quote-on-quote, take pleasure in it. And then it moves into looking at the history of Asian American men in the United States [of America] and how they’ve been constructed as less than fully men and emasculated in that way. And then connecting that to current research that demonstrates that, for example, online dating apps, or what you might call the sexual marketplace, Asian men are marginalized. And then finally, the third part of my paper looks at what we should do if we think that our own sexual desires are shaped by systems of oppression such as patriarchy, or racism. It’s the fact that our desires are shaped by these systems. It’s something that we don’t really talk a lot about. I think that at Andover, and the world, generally, we have this very liberal sex positive attitude. It can feel like there’s a form of sex positivity that can sometimes, because our desires are shaped by oppression, serve as a way of perpetuating oppression. And so, I think it was motivated by the fact that no one is really talking about it, while we’re saying that everything’s fine, we could just be able to desire whatever you want. But I think that it’s more complicated than that, unless we acknowledge that, then we’re going to end up perpetuating a very serious form of oppression.

Carolina Tieppo ’24

Les Muxes: How A “Third Gender” Practices Self-Love In A Latin American World Of Toxic Masculinity And Exclusive Linguistics

My paper is about non-binary clash and gender fluid identity that is related to an indigenous community. This is my third year studying Spanish at Andover. And I know that Spanish is a very gendered language. And I also come from Latin America, and I’m born and raised in Brazil. And seeing other people in Latin America, I decided I wanted to research more about the community. On top of that, Portuguese is very similar to Spanish. And Portuguese is also a gendered language. So, I’ve been on practice of gendered languages my whole life. And then when I came to the U.S., I was introduced to the data pointer, which is something that isn’t really accessible for gendered languages. And so I thought to myself, what is there an alternative for data pointers in general languages. And in a presentation by the Spanish Department, we all sat down and talked about the Lucia community. And I just remembered learning about this community. And then I did a couple of Google searches and databases at the library halls. And I also searched on YouTube and I thought we should document this and then I’m just fascinated by this.

Editor’s Note: Leo Peters is an Associate News Editor for The Phillipian. This article was edited on October 9, 2022.