Professor Laura T. González named Mellon/ACLS CC Faculty Fellow

May 3, 2021 | San Diego Community College District

San Diego Miramar College Anthropology Professor Laura González has been named a Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows for 2021 by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). She is one of just 28 faculty named.

Professor Laura Gonzalez
Miramar College Anthropology Professor Laura T. González

Now in its third year, this vital program offers faculty teaching at two-year colleges support for research, pedagogy, and community engagement projects in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. The program is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This year, 28 scholars will each receive up to $40,000 to advance their respective projects, which significantly expand humanistic study and knowledge. The fellows will also participate in a convening hosted by ACLS to build their cohort, share work in progress, and discuss wider issues related to the humanities in community colleges and the impact of COVID-19.

González has authored: The Anthropology of Human Space Exploration: An Undergraduate Textbook Using the Topic of Outer space to Explore Anthropological Concept.

Here is a brief abstract: “The Anthropology of Human Space Exploration” is a concise textbook aimed at undergraduate anthropology students on the anthropology of human space exploration. The book is designed as a source of supplemental reading to accompany a more standard general anthropology, or “four-fields,” textbook. The book addresses cultural, biological, linguistic and archaeological concepts, knowledge, language, and research methods through a variety of space-related subjects. It explores the human relationship to outer space as content in order to encourage critical thinking. Synthesizing and analyzing research on scholarly and popular sources, the book includes original research from several field sites and presents the content in a readable and engaging writing style.

“Community colleges are invaluable sites for deep student engagement with the humanities, with over one-third of the nation's undergraduates enrolled,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, we are pleased to announce the third cohort of Community College Faculty Fellows, who bring mission-driven pedagogy and critical humanistic research to diverse student bodies and communities across the country.”

This diverse cohort of fellows, more than 60% of whom identify as scholars of color, represent 21 community colleges around the country, and their supported projects encompass a wide range of disciplines, topics, and methodologies.

Projects include:

- A study of visual narratives in North Africa’s Amazigh cinema

- An oral history examining how restaurants and food markets shape the social, economic, and political development of Asian communities in Dallas

- An analysis of narrative structures used by authors during diverse epidemics in Colonial Mexico as a means of narrating hope in difficult times

- The creation of an undergraduate textbook about the anthropology of human space exploration

A series of public programs at the Weeksville Heritage Center telling the histories of abolitionists in Brooklyn and the 19th-century free Black community that shaped its streets and neighborhoods.


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