Faculty Members Receive Creative and Performing Arts and Research and Scholarship Awards

November 28, 2017

Congratulations to Professor Josh Weiner, Professor Gabrielle Fuentes, and Professor Randy Ontiveros for receicing Creative and Performing Arts and Research and Scholarship Awards from the Graduate School for 2018-19. Continue reading to learn more about their projects. 

Professor Josh Weiner received a semester-long Creative and Performing Arts Award for work on his current project Floaters: Poems & Translations, a work that assumes the daunting task of translating Rainer Maria Rilke’s long poem, “The Book of Poverty and Death,” in addition to poems by other German language poets and a Chinese and Russian poet.  Composing lyrical/textual commentary that will run alongside the translated poems, Professor Weiner aims to use poetic form and meter to take on the impact of globalization and mass migration on our use and understanding of language itself.  Throwing into relief the very idea of the distinction between the original and the copy, the source and its after-effect, Professor Weiner’s new work both enacts and reflects on the liminality and displacement marking our contemporaneous moment.
Professor Gabrielle Fuentes received a Creative and Performing Arts Award for Summer 2018 to complete her second novel, Settler’s Point, a reworking of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights from the perspective of a young Latina girl embroiled in the racial politics of a small, rural, dust bowl town in the Upper Midwest.  This new novel, which contributes to the current project of Latin American and Caribbean re-imaginings of white European texts as a means of examining issues of race, imperialism, and other post-colonial subjects, is a multi-layered fiction that experiments with narrative forms as it shifts between first-person and stories from “the atlas,” a book the main character discovers buried in the woods by her home.  Thus the story of the novel unfolds as a series of interwoven excerpts from the atlas, which contains rewritings of myths, folklore, and religious texts from the Americas. 

Professor Randy Ontiveros received a semester-long Research and Scholarship Award, which will allow him to make significant progress on his second single-authored monograph, “Crabgrass Frontera: Latinos and the American Suburbs,” a timely and important study of the crucial role of suburban life in the formation and sustenance of the Latino/a-American experience.  At a moment in U.S. history characterized by intense anti-immigrant and anti-Latino/a sentiment, Professor Ontiveros offers the first in-depth treatment of the phenomenon of so-called reverse migration, whereby urban gentrification has resulted in more prosperous, often white majority populations returning to cities, while the suburbs have in turn become the center for poor, minority, and immigrant communities.  Through an investigation of a range of media, including literary fiction, television, film, music, and oral testimonies, Professor Ontiveros considers the crucial role the suburbs played in Latino/a cultural imagination and creative expression.