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2016 Hellman Fellow

Susy J. Zepeda

Excavating queer Xicana Indigenous knowledges (UCD)

Susy Zepeda is an Assistant professor in the Department of Chicana/x Studies at the University of California, Davis. She is a self-identified queer Xicana Indígena whose scholarly work is intentionally interdisciplinary, decolonial, and feminist. Her research and teaching focus on: women of color, critical race and ethnic studies, collaborative methodologies, decolonization and spirit work, oral history, visual storytelling, and intergenerational healing. She is informed by her working-class roots and hopes to contribute to a vision of collective transformation in our world.

Her 2016 Hellman Fellowship Award provided a foundation for her research trajectory on queer Xicana Indigenous knowledges, resulted in a draft book manuscript Tracing Queeer Mesoamerican Diasporas, and launched her tenure journey. It validated her research, philosophies, and praxis-based contributions as essential and central to academic thought. It also inspired her to surrender to her work as a researcher, professor, and service-oriented practitioner of traditional medicine.

The Hellman Fellowship gave me a pathway to commit to my intellectual contributions. I encourage the funding of other scholars of color, particularly queer, trans BIPOC whose research, philosophies, and lives are not often seen as significant.

– Susy Zepeda, Ph.D.

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