Yatta Kiazolu and Fantasia Painter

UCI global and international studies assistant professors Yatta Kiazolu and Fantasia Painter have been selected for support by the Mellon Foundation/UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program UC-HSI Humanities Initiative for the 2022-23 academic year. Established in July 2021, the initiative facilitates UC’s comprehensive efforts to assist young scholars whose research, teaching and service contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at UC. The initiative offers early career faculty startup funding, mentorship and career training in their fields of study.

Kiazolu is a historian with interdisciplinary research interests across 20th century U.S. and African American history, women and gender studies, and contemporary Africa and African diaspora studies. Her first book manuscript examines the range of political visions and solidarities with African independence among Black women’s organizations in the U.S. from the 1950s through the 1970s. She’s also testified before U.S. Congress as an advocate for programs including Deferred Enforced Departure and DACA. She has a bachelor's in history from Delaware State University and a master’s and doctorate in history from UCLA. For the past year, she’s been a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego.

Painter’s current project interrogates how the U.S.-Mexico border impacts Indigenous peoples and lands. Her research, most recently published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, aims to rethink global borders, boundaries, and migrations from an Indigenous perspective. An enrolled member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Painter is excited to be joining UCI’s up-and-coming Department of Global and International Studies and contributing in particular to the campus’s Indigenous studies initiatives. Painter earned her bachelor’s at Columbia University and her master’s and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. She spent the past year as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis.

Both professors will receive $40,000 to support their early career development and success.

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