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Film on Puerto Rico’s Colonial Status Within the US Leads to Student-Faculty Co-Authored Publication: A Research Assistant Perspective

In their sophomore year, Malvika Shrimali worked as a research assistant under Dr. Carlos Rivera Santana, interpreting the performance film Entre Puerto Rico y Richmond: Women In Resistance Shall Not Be Moved (2020). This performance, directed by Alicia Díaz and Patricia Herrera, was presented at the Muscarelle Museum in November 2021, and explores environmental and social injustices committed by the United States against Puerto Rico in a colonial context. Shrimali transcribed portions of the interview that Dr. Rivera Santana did with the directors.  Joined by W&M student Whitney Ledesma (LAS & PSYC ’22), Shrimali and Dr. Rivera Santana analyzed trends in the interview, and identified themes of creativity as resistance and nonwritten forms of history. The interview was published in 2022, with Shrimali and Ledesma listed as a co-authors, in Intervenxions, the online publication of the The Latinx Project at NYU.

 Malvika Shrimali ('24; 3rd from the left) at a turtle release with their summer internship in Long Island (Summer 2023), where they worked to make science more accessible to Hispanic communities.

 This project was Shrimali’s first exposure to the power of interviews and creative media in colonial histories. Shrimali’s research with Dr. Rivera has shaped their current interests of environmental justice and storytelling. They would recommend anyone in HISP to join a research project to expand their perceptions of knowledge, culture, and history!

 In the past, faculty-student collaborations in HISP have led to fieldwork, and to the transcription of interviews gathered by Prof. Francie Cate with the aid of Research Fellows Michael Le (HISP ’15) and Robert Bohnke (HISP ’17) during summer of 2014 in Cádiz, as part of Prof. Cate’s historical memory project. Similarly, what started as a final paper in a seminar eventually became a co-authored publication by Katherine Brown (HISP ’13) and Prof. Terukina in Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, one of the foremost journals in Mesoamerican cultures housed at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Please visit our website describing more research opportunities in Hispanic Studies.