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Professor Belinda Rincon Wins Fellowship to Study Chicana Writing on War & Militarism

Professor Belinda Rincón of the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies has been awarded a $40,000 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship that will allow her to complete a manuscript on Chicana literary and activist responses to war and militarism.

The national, competitive fellowship, administered by the National Research Council, seeks to increase the ethnic and racial diversity of the professoriate by providing a full year of academic leave for fellows to conduct research and writing. Rincón will spend part of the 2014-2015 academic year at the University of California-San Diego, where she will conduct research under the mentorship of Jorge Mariscal, whom she described as “a leading expert on Chicana war writing.”

Rincón also won, but had to decline, a second postdoctoral fellowship from the American Association of University Women, due to the association’s restrictions on multiple fellowship acceptances.

Rincón spent part of the spring 2014 semester introducing six John Jay students to the world of academic conferences, when she and they traveled to the annual meeting of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, held in April in Salt Lake City, Utah. The students — four seniors and two sophomores — presented individual research projects on issues that included drug culture along the U.S.-Mexico border, the experiences of Afro-Latina women, sexual identity formation among male Mexican immigrants, and analyses of classic Chicano literary texts.

“I got the sense that they were very excited to be there,” said Rincón, who recruited the students through La Voz, the student club for which she serves as faculty advisor. “As it turned out, for the first panel the students participated in, the room was packed.”

The experience, Rincón said, fueled the seniors’ aspirations to pursue graduate and law degrees. “I told them, the seniors in particular, that presenting at the conference would look good on their résumés,” she said.