Research Dissertation Scholars

Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez,

Ivón graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2015 with degrees in history and the philosophy of ethics, law and politics. At UNR, she co-edited an anthology about undocumented students in the U.S., presented her research on immigration reform to members of Congress, and was named one of Glamour Magazine’s “Top Ten College Women” in 2014. After winning a Truman Scholarship and earning her bachelor’s degrees, she worked as a research assistant for a legal aid society in New York City; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Office of Policy and Strategy in Washington, DC; and a UNHCR-affiliated migrant shelter in Guadalajara, Jalisco known as FM4: Paso Libre. She authored reports about and provided research assistance on projects related to global mass migration, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and the migration of women and children from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at Columbia University, where her dissertation examines how U.S. labor law has marginalized migrant agricultural child laborers from the Southwest, providing new insights about the contours of citizenship and immigration exclusion in the twentieth century. Her doctoral research has received generous support from the American Historical Association, the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, and the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Austin. Her work and experience at Columbia have been featured in Teen Vogue, Slack’s “Work in Progress” podcast, and the L.A. Review of Books.

Abraham Ramirez 

Abraham Ramirez is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Program in Critical Theory. Abraham is interested in questions regarding migration, social movements, phenomenology, epistemology, and in general, the philosophy of race. His dissertation research examines the work of W.E.B Du Bois, Frantz Fanon and bell hooks. His current and future research include a comparative analysis of immigrant-rights activism in the United States and Spain and a study of the political project of ethnic studies since the 1960s. Abraham is a Chancellor’s Public Fellow with the American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) and former graduate research fellow at the Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR).

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz

Juan Manuel is a working-class, formerly-undocumented immigrant from Mexico. He is concerned about choreographic processes, contemporary dance, latinidad, undocumented bodies, and sweat citizenships. His project Choreotopias: Contemporary Dance and Disappeared Belongings in and out of Mexico engages translocation across linguistic, geographic, and aesthetic dimensions. It examines the role of contemporary dance theories and practices in the configuration and reconfiguration of national Mexican publics since the 1960s. This interdisciplinary, transnational project uses choreographic theories to consider feelings of serial colonialism, state violence, and belonging that impact Mexican choreographers and performance artists producing work in Mexico City and San Francisco. He is the co-director of the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, now in its fifth edition in San Francisco, California. He’s been a resident choreographer for arts venues such as the Alfredo Zalce Contemporary Art Museum (Morelia, MX), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis, US), STATION-Service for Contemporary Dance (Belgrade, Serbia), and Sugar Space Arts Center (Salt Lake, US). He holds a joint-MA in International Performance Research from the University of Warwick (UK) and the University of Arts in Belgrade (Serbia).