Congratulations to Catalina Hernandez, Recipient of the 2022 Smalley Graduate Research Fellowship in GWS

Catalina Hernandez

The 2022 Barbara and Donald Smalley Graduate Research Fellowship in Gender and Women’s Studies has been awarded to Catalina Hernandez, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Art Education in the School of Art and Design, along with graduate minors in Gender and Women's Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Dance.  The Smalley Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate minor in Gender and Women’s Studies whose dissertation proposal promises to make an outstanding contribution to the field of gender and/or sexuality studies.

Hernandez’s multidisciplinary dissertation, called “String Figuring: A Practice to Witness the Beautiful,” proposes a collaborative study of relational and embodied knowledge. When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted what had been previously conceptualized as a movement-based practice of encounter with “difference” (including race, gender, sexuality, and capacity) in a workshop setting, Hernandez pivoted quickly to other forums for her arts-based, pedagogical approach to care, witness, empathy, and beauty. “SF [String Figuring] proposes prompts for creative exploration based on questions derived from my research on difference. I call these prompts scores [like diagrams for dance or music] and conceptualize them as creative and pedagogic devices. Having to conduct this work in the middle of the pandemic, SF also functioned as a site of encounter and community for participants struggling with isolation.”

As part of the award, Hernandez will present a public talk on her work during the Spring 2022 semester.  Please look for more information to come!