Who Am I?

What makes me an idea candidate for my funder’s fellowship is my commitment to diversity. My experience being of a mixed race and working class background as informed me, holistically. I understand hybridity at its core; I know how complicated each person is an that simple labels such as “Mexican-American” or “mixed race” do not begin to unravel my or anyone else’s experience.  The main way this experience has informed me is in my curiosity about language.

When one is a foreigner or if one is unsure about herself and if one is  hesitant, her language may be filled with holes, hotels of silence. Iterations of this silence manifest in different ways. In my most recent reproach work I have explored how iterations of silence have manifested in the work of artists and writers who experience themselves as “other.” The ways this silence has manifested in their work is through repetition, stutter, hesitation, holes and silence.

Furthermore, these iterations of silence also manifest through the body and another area of particular interest to me is the body as language. Specifically, I have been researching how anorexia is a form of language, a language of resistance.

When I was small, I was mute. I was cerebral and an avid reader but I ddi not speak in school. This caused many problems but also opened a window to me allowing me to learn how people experience silence. This was the seed to my current research. Organic, this interest becomes more pronounced the more time I spend researching it.

How all of this informs me with regard to my candidacy for my fellowship of choice is that  my own experience alongside my professional research help me in my teaching. Because I understand how silence can function in language and because I understand how complex one’s own experience of the world are, I am able to help contextualize student’s experiences in the classroom. Furthermore, I am able to withstand silence in the classroom, not rushing students to answer but, instead, allowing space for students to pause, think and listen.

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2 Responses to Who Am I?

  1. I felt that connecting your childhood experiences and difficulties with your desired career was wonderful, and your description of language and silence were almost corporeal. I think it’s a good idea to point out how multicultural people can be affected by these problems because an increasing number of families in the US are multicultural, and it is likely that it will continue to increase. I do think you should mention the core principals of your funder and so explicitly show that you fit what they’re looking for.

  2. Carolyn Ureña says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Cynthia. As you craft your application, be sure to continue to make the connections between your personal experiences and your teaching and research even tighter. This is something you’ve already begun to do here, and will become even strong with each revision. Nice work!

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