Graduate Students

Fernando Martinez

Graduate Student

B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies, California State University Northridge

Self-proclaimed L.A. trash, Fernando is a performer and spoken-word artist whose research is centered in areas of Chicano and Central-American issues informed by Racial-Cultural Geographies, Ritual, Spatial Politics, and Abject Performance from L.A. to the Bay Area.

Leila Mire

Graduate Student

B.F.A. in Dance Performance, George Mason University's Honors College; M.A. in Performance Studies, New York University

Leila's research sits at the intersection of Middle Eastern studies, movement, sound, memory, performance studies, and decolonization. Particularly drawn toward the deepening of conversations surrounding music and dance, Leila considers the value of ephemeral forms, particularly those connected to Palestinian resistance movements. She carries her experience as a dancer, choreographer, community organizer, and writer into her work as she investigates temporal forms...

Dahlia Nayar

Graduate Student

M.F.A. in Dance/Choreography, Hollins University

Dahlia's research and multimedia work investigates the performance of the quiet and seeks unlikely sources of virtuosity. She is a recipient of the Jacob Javits Fellowship, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Choreography, and the National Dance Project Touring Award. Between 2017-2019, she was invited to tour the state of Alabama to connect with communities around themes of migration, immigration, and dislocation as part of the state's bicentennial.

Pablo Paredes

Graduate Student

B.A. in Ethnic Studies, minors in African American and Chicano Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Pablo is the son of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian migrants, a US Navy veteran/war resister, student-parent, spoken word artist and Bombero from the South Bronx, New York. With permission from local Bomba Maestraxs and elders, his research archives and digitally chronicles the identity formation, healing, resistance and solidarity work that Afro-Taino Bomba ceremony performs in the Puerto Rican Diasporic communities of California.

Vincente Perez

Graduate Student

B.A. in Anthropology, Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, University of Chicago

Vincente Perez is a poet, scholar, and writer working at the intersection of poetry, Hip-Hop, and digital culture. He makes work that refuses binary thinking, which allows him to be in conversation with people, places, and things that refuse to make sense in a Western framework. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Performance Studies program at UC Berkeley and holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies from The University of Chicago. They were a 2021–22...

Evan Sakuma

Graduate Student

Evan Sakuma (he/they) 'comes out' from the East Asian ethnic enclave of Monterey Park, CA. Their work, hardened further by the 'Queerantine', centers the performance of care within queer communities of color. While a theory head at times, Evan incorporates praxis of 'Gaysian' community building and artistry to actively seek safe spaces for his Asian queer community so head, heart, and home can be found—always.

Maria Silk

Graduate Student

B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies, M.A. in Art History, Stanford University

Maria Silk’s research focuses on artistic communities in the San Francisco Bay Area from the Summer of Love to the present. At Berkeley, she intends to study Bay Area countercultures through the lens of broader themes including migration and intercultural performance, gentrification and displacement, and the history of psychoactive drugs. Having worked in Bay Area queer nightlife as a drag performer, DJ, and producer since 2014, Maria continues to produce two monthly drag shows and...

Crystal Song

Graduate Student

B.A. in History, Ethnicity & Race Studies, Columbia University

Crystal’s dissertation brings a sustained ethnographic focus to communities of Asian American ballroom dancers, with an interest in how model minority imperatives, feelings, and affiliations are negotiated through embodied practice. Her work is forthcoming in TDR and Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies.

Rebecca Struch

Graduate Student

B.A. in Theatre Arts, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota; M.A. in Applied Theatre Arts, University of Southern California

Rebecca Struch centers social justice and community engagement in her work as a theatre artist, scholar, educator, and cultural organizer. Her dissertation makes the racialization of space and the spatialization of race central to the study of site-specific performance in the United States. Through interdisciplinary engagement with Black feminist geographies, critical Indigenous studies, and decolonial critique, she...

Jaclyn Zhou

Graduate Student

B.S. in Journalism, Asian Languages and Cultures, Northwestern University

Jaclyn's current research focuses on race, tourism and digital technology. Other interests include Asian and Asian American popular cultures, animality studies, science fiction, queer studies, and high strangeness.