Gabriela Spears-Rico has won the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

Portrait of Gabriela Spears-Rico.

Assistant Professor Gabriela Spears-Rico is the recipient of the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2021–23, and the Institute for Advanced Studies Residential Faculty Fellowship, Spring 2022.

With these awards, Spears-Rico will be working on her book manuscript, Mestizo Melancholia and the Legacy of Conquest in Michoacan. The book relies on an ethnographic analysis of mestiza/o tourism in Michoacan to examine how "going native" functions in Mexico. Centering P’urhepecha critiques of Mexico’s tourism industry, Spears-Rico’s conceptualization of "mestizo melancholia" explores acts of mestiza/o mourning and appropriation to analyze mestizo-Indigenous power relations and to denude the technologies of mestizaje. She authored "Decolonial P’urhepecha Maternalista Motherwork as Pedagogy," in The Chicana Motherwork Anthology and “In the Time of War and Hashtags: Rehumanizing Indigeneity in the Digital Landscape” in Indigenous Interfaces, both published in 2019 by the University of Arizona Press. New scholarship featured in Transnational Chicanx Perspectives on Ana Castillo and Sparked: George Floyd, Racism and the Progressive Illusion will be released this year by Pittsburgh University Press and MNHS Press, respectively. Spears-Rico has been publicly featured on Latinx Talk, Native America Calling, NDN Collective Stories, and on Indigeneity Rising. She is most looking forward to seeing her family and resuming her fieldwork in Michoacan.

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