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Meet Our Visiting Scholars and Postdocs

Each year the American Indian Studies Center (AISC) hosts an Institute of American Studies (IAC) Visiting Scholar from another institution. This year the AISC also has the great fortune to host a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow and a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow—in person! 
 
All three have wowed the respective selection committees with their proposed research projects. They work with a UCLA faculty mentor, have access to other scholars in their field and ethnic studies cohorts, and are given office space and support to conduct research and write their books and peer-reviewed articles.

This year’s scholars include:


Rodrigo Ranero, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Rodrigo Ranero received his PhD in linguistics from the University of Maryland, College Park. His work focuses on linguistic reclamation, documentation, and analysis. He has collaborated with members of the Xinka, Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil, and K’iche’ communities in Guatemala, his home country, and the Rumsen tribe in California. Ranero is currently co-writing a textbook on Xinka syntax, supporting the Consejo Coordinador del Pueblo Xinka de Guatemala. He is also expanding on his dissertation work, analyzing ellipsis (silence understood as bearing meaning) in the languages of Mesoamerica. 

Liza Black, IAC Visiting Scholar 

Liza Black is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and currently working on her second book, How to Get Away with Murder, a transnational history of the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Black is the author of Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941–1960. She is an Assistant Professor of History and Native American and Indigenous Studies at her home institution, Indiana University. Black’s article, “Native Mother, Daughter, Granddaughter: The Murder of Savanna Greywind and the Abduction of Haisley Jo,” will appear in Gender and the American West (Routledge, 2021). 

Luis Sanchez Lopez, President’s Postdoctoral Fellow

A Zapotec (Benizaa) historian from Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca, Mexico, holds a PhD in history from the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include race, indigeneity, settler colonialism, state violence, customary law, autonomy, and social movements. He is currently working on a book manuscript, “The Value of Native Bodies: Indigeneity and the Logic of Elimination in Mexico,” which examines how statesmen in southern Mexico facilitated the transition from classic to settler colonialism in the nineteenth century by incorporating Indigenous customs into the republican legal code.
 
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