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Three Graduate Student Research Projects Funded

The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute announces the Spring 2024 recipients of the RESI Graduate Student Small Research Grants. This grant is designed to support the research enterprise leading to successful completion of some component of the doctoral dissertation, masters thesis, or a major publication.   RESI Graduate Student Small Research Grant The Graduate Student […]

The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute announces the Spring 2024 recipients of the RESI Graduate Student Small Research Grants. This grant is designed to support the research enterprise leading to successful completion of some component of the doctoral dissertation, masters thesis, or a major publication.


RESI Graduate Student Small Research Grant

The Graduate Student Small Research Grant, a funding opportunity open to graduate students that have shown a commitment to and interest in research within race & ethnic studies, supports projects in preliminary through advanced stages. It also provides an opportunity for students to enhance and grow their existing grant writing skills.

The Graduate Student Small Research Grant has two competition cycles, Fall and Spring. Full-time graduate students in good standing at Texas A&M may apply and receive funding up to $1,000. The funds from this grant can be used towards fieldwork, travel to archives, survey instruments, participant incentives, and other related research expenses.

Meet the Recipients of the Graduate Student Small Research Grant

RESI is proud to announce the three recipients of this grant, Emma Newman, Mark Mallory, and Jordan Nixon. “Each of their projects is a reflection of their strong capabilities as scholars and their commitment to advancing race and ethnic studies,” says RESI Director, Dr. Wazner-Serrano. “We’re excited to support their growth and provide funding for their research.”

Emma Newman (she/her pronouns) is a doctorate student in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University. She completed her BA in Anthropology and Sociology at Cornell College in 2021, and her MA in Anthropology at Texas A&M University in 2023. Emma’s research focuses on topics of borderlands (theory, enforcement, and policy) and migration along the U.S./Mexico border. Her current work is based in South Texas and incorporates historical, ethnographic, and forensic approaches to contemporary border studies. Emma is furthermore interested in gender and women’s studies as they relate to the clandestine migrant experience. She is Assistant Curator in the Anthropological Research Collections and enjoys working closely with students and faculty on community outreach initiatives and the curation of artifacts. RESI support has allowed her to fully immerse herself in the communities where she is collecting longitudinal data.

Mark Mallory is an activist, organizer, archivist, and interdisciplinary historical scholar based in Austin, TX. He received his M.A. in history from the University of Louisiana in 2021. Mallory’s PhD research examines the role of gendered and racialized difference as well as historical memory in Black Seminole diaspora history from 1693 to the present, focusing especially on communities in the Texas-Coahuila borderland. Mark also serves as a volunteer oral historian with the Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery Association in Brackettville, TX and as a cataloging intern with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. When asked about his favorite part of his research thus far, he commented that “the most enriching component… is [his] ongoing oral history project with individuals within the Black Seminole diaspora.” Through RESI support, he has been able to view important documents housed in the National Archives and Records Administration in Fort Worth and Washington D.C.

Jordan Nixon is a second year master’s student in the Communications Department. Her research explores how those at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities make space, preserve memory, and formulate identity. Her research engages collaborative image-making, interviews, and other modes of narrative storytelling to amplify the voices of the underrepresented. In Summer 2023, she curated a gallery in New York City showcasing the archive NowI’mAPRBLEM ( and is currently building and coordinating NowWe’reAPRBLEM, a gallery and archive, which culminated in College Station, TX April 19, 2024. She is committed to seeing, hearing, and understanding the womxn of this project and more significantly, encouraging them to see, hear and understand themselves in ways that they haven’t before. The grant from RESI has given her the opportunity to curate and host the community archive.

The RESI Graduate Student Small Research Projects 

Emma Newman 

Emman NewmanProject Title: Migrant Necro-Rutas: Manifestations of Violence Against Migrants in South Texas

Abstract: This dissertation addresses the primary research questions of how state violence manifests in borderland regions, how this violence physically impacts migrant bodies (pre and post-mortem), how local borderland residents are affected by these events, what intersectional processes influence migrant travel trajectories, and what happens to migrant remains after an individual has passed on. To address these questions of how state sanctioned violence manifests and affects migrant bodies Emma will complete eight months of qualitative data collection in Brooks County, Texas. In this study she mobilize’s multiple ethnographic methodologies in her collection of longitudinal data. Emma’s primary methodology is participant-as-observer data collection, coupled with decolonial and feminist ethnographic approaches. In this dissertation she analyzes the interactions between state enforcers (law enforcement agencies) and migrant bodies (pre and post-mortem), this includes surveillance activities, traffic stops, the recovery of remains, and the identification of migrant remains. Emma then applies theoretical and forensic lenses to her data to examine the prolonged physical trauma endured by remains, and the emotional trauma endured by the loved ones of those who go missing or perish during their migration journey through Brooks County.

Mark Mallory 

Project Title: Black, Native, and Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Empire in the Black Seminole Diaspora

Abstract: The Black Seminole diaspora, emergent in the 18th century when African fugitives from slavery found refuge within the nascent Seminole nation of the present-day U.S. southeast, exists at the historical intersection of chattel slavery (and its afterlife) and ongoing settler colonial genocide. In addition to physical dispossessions and displacements from Florida to Oklahoma and then to Mexico, Texas, and beyond, the Black Seminole diaspora faces continuous external forces seeking to reductively categorize this Afro-Native community in mutually exclusive modern colonial racialized terms as either Black or Native. These forces complicate Black Seminole struggles to survive, cohere, and narrate their histories, compelling some groups and individuals within the diaspora to seek various forms of reductive racial legibility and recognition from U.S. and Mexican authorities and leading yet others to reject these forms of colonial recognition. Often, when Black Seminole history does manage to be articulated within Texas or U.S. history, Black Seminole women are doubly erased, as focus is kept on involvement of Black Seminole men in historical military conflicts. Mark’s dissertation research is focused on interrogating, contextualizing, and unsettling formations of race, gender, and empire manifest in Black Seminole diaspora history since the 18th century.

Jordan Nixon

Project Title: NowI’mAPRBLEMxSomosAPRBLEM

Abstract: NowI’mAPRBLEMxSomosAPRBLEM(NIA/SA) is a multimodal arts-based research project that builds a community archive, centralizing the stories and histories of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous womxn who live at the intersection of their race, gender, class, and sometimes sexuality outside of the purview of oppressive power relations.