Goizueta Fellows: In Their Own Words

Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year the Cuban Heritage Collection is welcoming ten emerging scholars into the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program. We are proud to introduce each of our 2016-2017 Goizueta Fellows throughout the course of the program.

Our third fellow of the series, Rachel Emily Pérez, will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Tuesday, August 2, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Rachel Emily Pérez

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Goizueta Fellow Rachel Emily Pérez is pursuing her Ph.D. in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University.

Rachel Emily Pérez is a doctoral student in Yale University’s joint program in American Studies and African American Studies. Prior to that, she worked as an intern and researcher at Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She is a recipient of the 2016 Yale RITM Center Fellowship, which she is using to conduct additional archival and ethnographic research in Miami. In 2015 she received a Tinker Field Grant to conduct independent ethnographic and archival research in Havana, Cuba. In 2013, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, anthropology, linguistics, and Spanish from the University of Georgia’s Honors Program, where she worked as a teaching and research assistant.

What university/program are you from?

I am from Yale University’s Joint Ph.D. Program in American Studies and African American Studies.

What are you working on?

I am investigating healing and religious practices among Cubans on the island and in the diaspora in the 20th and 21st centuries. More specifically, I am looking at the interactions between “alternative,” “traditional,” and “conventional” practices among this demographic, and the role of language and rhetoric in these interactions. I am additionally interested in the role of discourse in forging distinct categories such as “medicine” versus “religion.”

What do you expect to find at the CHC?

I expect to find a wide range of primary documents pertinent to my project. These include anthropological studies of healing-religious practices such as those found in the Lydia Cabrera Papers and in the Diana G Kirby Papers. I additionally hope to perform close readings of texts on health and medicine produced within the field of biology, such as those found in the Hady López papers. I additionally hope to learn more about Cuban immigrants’ healing-religious practices in many of the interviews from the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on August 2, 3 p.m., at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

*Colloquia are free and open to the public. Contact us at chc@miami.edu for more information.

About the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program provides assistance to doctoral students who wish to use the research resources available in the University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) in support of dissertation research. The goal of these fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the Cuban Heritage Collection and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities to study at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.