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2021 SIAH

Monumental Reckoning: Unsettling Histories, Reimagining Futures

June 21 – Aug. 20, 2021

As the triple pandemics of COVID-19, racial violence, and authoritarianism expose deep inequalities around the world, current controversies over monuments serve as focal points for broader publics to grapple with the past and with how it has been silenced. These moments of monumental reckoning serve as opportunities for the creative reimagining and rearticulating of present, past, and future. Monuments, as material and visual expressions of power and dominance that assert permanence, ultimately invite subversion, alternative forms of memory work, cultural agency, and reclamation.


Using monuments as a starting point, the 2021 Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities will explore how artists, activists, and intellectuals have mobilized history and memory during times of crisis. How can the toppling and creative reappropriation of monuments to Christopher Columbus, Robert E. Lee, Theodore Roosevelt, Juan de Oñate, Junípero Serra, and King Leopold II, among others, inform our understanding of the public reckoning with the legacies of colonialism and slavery? How can the removal of monuments to lesser known figures–for example, the statue in New York’s Central Park of gynecologist J. Marion Sims, the “father of gynecology” who carried out cruel experiments on the bodies of enslaved Black women–speak to the broader work of dismantling white supremacist narratives of the past? What can monuments in our own area (to George Washington, the volunteers of the Spanish-American war, or to the survivors of Japanese internment) teach us about the simultaneously local and global dimension of memory and protest?


Engaging themes of race, Indigeneity, health, memory, governance, and decolonization, the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities centers how individuals, communities, and organizations have challenged traditional narratives of the past to bring about positive change in a moment of crisis and reflection. Particular attention will be paid to the arts as a form and tool of social activism that generates new envisioned futurities. Students will consider not only the monument as a site of engaged political work, but also artistic challenges and alternatives to these fixed memory places.

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Teaching Team

María Elena García

Comparative History of Ideas, Associate Professor

María Elena García is associate professor in the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington in Seattle. A Peruvian woman of Quechua descent, García received her PhD in Anthropology at Brown University and has been a Mellon Fellow at Wesleyan University and Tufts University. Her first book, Making Indigenous Citizens: Identities, Development, and Multicultural Activism in Peru (Stanford, 2005) examined Indigenous and intercultural politics in Peru in the immediate aftermath of the war between Sendero Luminoso and the state. Her work on indigeneity and interspecies politics in the Andes has appeared in multiple edited volumes and journals such as Anthropology Now, Anthropological Quarterly, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Latin American Perspectives, and Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. Her second book, Gastropolitics and the Specter of Race: Stories of Capital, Culture, and Coloniality in Peru (published by the University of California Press and supported by an NEH Fellowship), examines the intersections of race, species, and capital in contemporary Peru.

Tony Lucero

Jackson School of International Studies & Comparative History of Ideas, Associate Professor

José Antonio Lucero was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised on both sides of the Mexico-US border. His main research and teaching interests include Indigenous politics, social movements, Latin American politics, and borderlands. He has conducted field research in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. In addition to numerous articles, Lucero is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) and the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Peoples Politics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He is currently working on two research projects that examine the cultural politics of (1) conflicts between Indigenous peoples and the agents of extractive industry in Peru and (2) human rights activism, religion, and Indigenous politics on the Mexico-US border. He is a former council member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and co-founder of the Summer Institute on Global Indigeneities.

Adam Warren

Associate Professor, History

Associate Professor, Adam Warren
Adam Warren is an associate professor in the Department of History, where he teaches courses in Latin American history and the history of medicine. A specialist in colonial and republican Peru, his research examines how medical and scientific research have been used to explain social inequalities and frame projects of population reform and control in the Andes. He is the author of Medicine and Politics in Colonial Peru: Population Growth and the Bourbon Reforms, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2010, and co-author of Baptism Through Incision: The Postmortem Cesarean Operation in the Spanish Empire, published by Penn State University Press in 2020. He has also published numerous articles in history of medicine and Latin American history journals that examine the intersection of Spanish, Indigenous, and African healing practices and ideas about the body in Peru and Bolivia, as well as the treatment of Indigenous patients by Spanish practitioners. His new research focuses on epidemics, the history of medicine, and racial science research in Peru during the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.

Lydia M. Heberling

English, Graduate Student

My research focuses on aesthetic and formal innovations in 20th and 21st century California Native literatures and arts. My dissertation asserts that Native California–including its considerable Pacific coastline which it shares with Pacific Indigenous peoples–is a site of rich and robust literary and artistic production, that California Native writers and artists are expanding understandings of relational Indigenous aesthetics, and that their works create generative trans-Indigenous connections across American Indian and Pacific Indigenous communities.

Additionally, I am interested in surfing in Indigenous communities. In this work I examine how Indigenous peoples use sports and outdoor recreation activities to reclaim a visible presence in homelands and home waters, as well as how stories connect craft, communities, and places. This work grew out of my own identity as a surfer; I found myself constantly wondering whose waters I was in, and this wondering has revealed rich stories and vibrant expressions of Indigenous sovereignty and relations.

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Below are the participants in the 2021 University of Washington Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities:

Jasmine Mae Alindayu

Jasmine Smiling for the cameraMajor: Intended: Law, Societies, and Justice

Minor: Informatics

Jasmine Mae is an upcoming junior at the University of Washington. She is passionate about the relationship between law and technology. As a student at UW, Jasmine Mae hopes to learn more about the ethics and imminent implications of technology. She is eager to apply this information and create tangible differences as a future lawyer. She is also interested in criminal law and the efforts of rehabilitation. One of Jasmine Mae’s research projects included the Philippine Supreme Court and drug appeals. With SIAH, she is excited to do more research unconventionally. She is looking forward to the reckoning and debates of monuments and the importance of revolution. In her spare time, she loves to explore philosophy and go on hikes when she can.

Mayumi Sophiya Alino

Mayumi smiling for the cameraMajor: Political Science; Cinema and Media Studies

Minor: Informatics; Data Science

Born and raised in the Philippines, Mayumi Sophiya is interested in issues pertaining to state violence, imperialism, human rights, and socioeconomic inequality.

She currently serves as IT Helpdesk Assistant for UW Facilities and has worked for the university recording lectures with Panopto as an Audio/Visual Operator pre-COVID. Outside of UW she volunteers as bookkeeper for a local socialist-feminist bookstore. She also participates in activism through various organizations and is a contributing writer for UW HerCampus.

In her academic career she consolidates her fields of study and utilizes her skills in information technology and data science to further her comprehension of the humanities. She traces the connections and relationships of media and politics in sociology and has created projects using digital humanities tools such as data mining and ngrams; she is particularly fond of using sentiment analysis to probe how sources of information influence public perception and transgress socio-political boundaries.

Ruby Barone

Ruby laying on the ground, posing for the cameraMajor: Art History; Comparative History of Ideas

Ruby Barone is an upcoming junior at the University of Washington pursuing degrees in Comparative History of Ideas and Art History. As a cohort of this year’s SIAH, she aims to explore questions about what the true American monuments are and what values they uphold, through the lens of graffiti and street art. From this topic stems more questions surrounding the superficiality and exclusivity of the art world, which Ruby believes have been exacerbated by outdated academic, political, and capitalistic standards. Ruby hopes to delve into examining these questions in her coming years at the University of Washington, where she wants to use her experience in SIAH to further investigate how art can act as a vehicle or weapon of change, and how hers and others’ studies in the humanities can develop into new, interdisciplinary territory.

Marlowe Barrington

Marlow posing for the camera in front of a their nameMajor: Nursing + CHID

Marlowe hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico but calls Seattle her home. She is a rising junior at the University of Washington who hopes to double major in Nursing and Comparative History of Ideas. This is Marlowe’s first research project and through it she seeks to interrogate monuments to colonialism and racism within nursing and medicine that endure and manifest in harmful practices today. Marlowe has worked as a nursing assistant in the past which informs her aspirations of becoming a nurse, but additionally is passionate about art and the ways that it can be used as a vehicle for social change. In her spare time she likes to draw and roller skate. She hopes to learn a new creative medium this summer such as sculpture or sewing.

Tess Beschel

Tess posing for the cameraMajor: CHID

Tess Beschel is a rising senior with a passion for all that is creative. Pursuing a double major in Comparative History of Ideas and Cinema and Media Studies, her academic endeavors seek to uncover the often invisible mechanisms within institutions of power that uphold illusory representations of people, places, and the relations within. Over the course of this SIAH program, she is curious about creatively exploring the potency and urgency of connecting to our experience of grief, particularly in the context of collective memory-making. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys singing, playing guitar, and cooking delicious plant-based dishes.

Torin Burns

Torin Smiling for the cameraMajor: Pre-Major (interested in both History and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)

Torin is a rising Sophomore planning to double major in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and History at the University of Washington. Over the course of their college years they hope to expand their research into the racialization of gender to understand the role of gender in upholding white supremacy, settler colonialism, and capitalism. This focus comes from their own complex understanding of gender and the research they have done into Black feminism and transgender studies. Through SIAH they hope to further develop their research on racialized gender through the study of monuments, or expand their research to better understand the ways the state operates to silence radical figures from history through co-optation and monumentalization.

Sophia Carey

Sophia smiling for the cameraMajor: English and Comparative History of Ideas

Minor: Theater Studies

Sophia Carey is a rising senior at the University of Washington studying English and the Comparative History of Ideas with a minor in Theater Studies. Her work focuses on community-based theater and the intersections between public policy and the performing arts. In her past research she has investigated community-based theater in Lima, Peru; 1930s Congressional hearings on the Federal Theatre Project; and the ideological superstructure of Seattle-based educational support services through the lens of race and citizenship. As part of SIAH this year, Sophia plans to continue her project exploring the Seattle Rep’s Public Works program’s potential to catalyze social and structural transformation through performance.

Em Chan

Em posing for the cameraMajor: English Language & Literature and Art History

Em is an incoming Junior at UW who is passionate about helpful, accessible, community-healing research techniques centered around ideating alternate spaces for art creation and experience that resist the perpetuation of systems of colonialism and white supremacy, as well as better understanding how these systems are evident in many art and academic institutions’ methods of display, archive, and collection. They are interested in re-investing the physical, personal body back into art making and critical practice and de-centering the institution through methods of re-activity and “speaking nearby.” In their free time, they enjoy painting, reading, Dungeons and Dragons, and writing fiction. They are fascinated by the way the world is in constant conversation with itself.

Daisy Emminger

Daisy posing for the cameraMajor: CHID

Daisy will be graduating from Comparative History of Ideas at the end of the summer. Before transferring to the University of Washington, Daisy attended Parsons School of Design, where she studied Strategic Design and Film Production. Her research interests include oral history, film phenomenology, and decolonization. At SIAH, she is excited to continue to shatter her conceptual reflection in a project exploring the fallacy of human exceptionalism manifested in the material world. Off the clock, Daisy enjoys surfing. She fears nothing more than the ocean and yet finds no better place to share life and learn.

Fotima Ibrokhim

Fotima smiling for the cameraMajor: Comparative History of Ideas and Food Systems

Fotima is a first generation college student and a first generation-Uzbek immigrant, studying Food Systems and Comparative History of Ideas. While at the UW, Fotima’s interest always surrounded sustainability, and her work at the UW Campus Sustainability Fund has allowed her to execute these values into action by supporting student-lead on campus sustainability projects. Over the course of her academic career, her understanding of sustainability has evolved into environmental justice, food sovereignty, labor rights, and more radical and intersectional approaches to global coloniality and neoliberalism. At SIAH, Fotima is excited to continue exploring themes of labor, immigration, and trauma by incorporating studies of Monuments and Memory. Fotima will also complete her senior CHID thesis in the Fall of 2021, which is focused on Farm workers’ rights and Food Studies.

Magdalena Lombardi

Magdalena posing in front of a water frontMajor: CHID

Lombardi is a third year transfer student who has spent the last 20 years moving, traveling, fighting and organizing in the hope of creating a more just world. Her years in Seattle before coming to the UW were spent working and attending Seattle Central College where she was encouraged to apply to universities in Washington. Inside the CHID major she has attempted to compile a field of study that allows her to further analyze the concept of borders; primarily how state power both creates and maintains the notion of the other to hold power. She hopes to use this summer as an opportunity to speak about the ways in which transnational movements both confront and negate the idea of borders in their entirety.

Ethan Kolokoff Nowack

Ethan smiling for the cameraMajor: Ethnomusicology and CHID

Ethan Nowack is going into his fourth year at UW in the Ethnomusicology and CHID programs. His interests range from modes of (or against) representation in music and performance, affect theory, new materialisms/process philosophy–particularly in the contexts of sound and media, archival studies (particularly ethnomusicology archives), and decolonial/indigenous methods and epistemologies in sound and music studies. Key to all of these interests is a focus on global musicking and performance, recognizing the multiplicity of music, and of course engagement in performance and practice as important modes of research and ways of knowing. Continuing his ongoing thesis project about materiality, meaning, and embodiment in voice, during SIAH, Ethan hopes to engage with questions of voice as monument, and particularly in the context of recorded voices. He also loves playing piano, singing, drumming, dancing of all sorts, cooking and eating all types of foods, going to local drag shows, scarves, and necklaces.

Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth smiling and holding a pumpkinMajor: Near Eastern Languages & Civilization: Persian

Elizabeth Peterson is a senior studying Persian in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilization department.  Her recent research focused on advancements in the decipherment of Linear Elamite, a script once used in southwestern Iran.  In addition to studying ancient Iran, Elizabeth also studies the politics of modern Iran and the Persian language.  During Summer Quarter she is using her knowledge of both the ancient and the modern to explore how the monuments of the city of Persepolis have been memorialized in the popular imagination of 20th century Iran and utilised by politicians.  Elizabeth is grateful to be a part of the SIAH program, and she looks forward to collaborating with the dedicated students and professors.

Guadalupe Emanuel Ramos-Orozco

Guadalupe-Emanuel smiling with his arms foldedMajor: History, Economics

Guadalupe Ramos-Orozco is a 4th year student at the University of Washington-Tacoma. He is a first generation American with most of his family residing in Mexico. Guadalupe’s primary academic interests include understanding our economic system of production and how capitalism manufactures economic exploitation, empires, and tyrannical systems of government. He hopes to continue his education into postgraduate studies and contribute to research on new (or old) systems of production that benefit everyone collectively, rather than a few privileged minorities. In his free time, Guadalupe enjoys reading about, watching, and playing soccer. He is an avid supporter of Manchester City and the Mexican National Team.

Rachel Suominen

Rachel smiling in a black sunhatMajor: International Studies; Business Administration

Rachel is an incoming senior double majoring in International Studies and Business Administration with an interest in development and human rights. She spent the past two quarters researching intersectional discrimination in human rights law, particularly as it applies to indigenous people with disabilities in Peru, with the UW Disability Inclusive Development Initiative. This summer, Rachel is looking forward to working with and learning from others as she explores knowledge creation as a strategic act that informs identity and politics, as opposed to the traditional view of knowledge as truth. Outside of the classroom, Rachel likes reading winding, pointless novels and aimlessly wandering the city like those novels’ protagonists.

Zipei Wang

Zipei smiling on waterMajor: Community, Environment, and Planning; Education, Communities, and Organizations

Zipei is a rising senior pursuing double majors in Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP) and Education, Communities, and Organizations (ECO) at the University of Washington. He was born in Jinan, China and spent 18 years in that Northern Chinese city. He is interested in exploring the various forms of informal educational setting in the urban area as a supplement to the formal and institutionalized educational system. He likes to work and volunteer in non-profit organizations, provide essential resources for kids who are often marginalized in public schools, and see them thrive. This summer, his passion lies in examining the relationships between public arts and civic engagement and seeking approaches to enable continuous public reappropriation and rearticulation of monuments. When he has some leisure time, he loves cycling, cooking, and writing in Chinese.

Katie Ward

Katie's Collage of photosMajor: Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies / Environmental Studies

Minor: Human Rights

Katie is an upcoming Senior at the University of Washington Bothell Campus on track to graduate Spring 2022. She is pursuing a double major in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Human Rights. Interests include the impact of achieving gender equality and educating Women world-wide would have on the climate crisis, the prison abolitionist movement, criminal justice reform, and working to help uplift the voices of so many that have historically been silenced without speaking over them. She also enjoys reading, learning about film photography, and spending time with her pets.

Madeline Werner

Madeline sitting on stairs, smiling Major: English, Comparative History of Ideas

Madeline Werner is an incoming senior majoring in English and Comparative History of Ideas.  They are interested in cultural studies, particularly with regards to medieval history and contemporary American popular culture.  Through this study, Madeline examines cultural artifacts as sites of enforcing, creating, and resisting power, and the possibilities and limitations of different mediums.  At SIAH, Madeline seeks to examine representations of monuments and how their creation and destruction is linked to depictions of colonialism within fictional narratives.  In addition to these academic interests, Madeline enjoys gardening, baking, music, and spending time with their family.

Isobel Williamson

Isobel smiling for the cameraMajor: International Studies

Minor: French

Isobel Williamson is a rising senior in the International Studies major, Human Rights track. She was born and raised in Seattle, and is an avid fan of coffee and tea. Outside of school, she enjoys writing, watching improv, going for long walks with her dog, painting, and hiking. She is very interested in mental health policy, and co-hosts a podcast that aims to de-stigmatize mental health among college students. After college, she plans to work as an LGBTQ rights diplomat. Her research interests for the SIAH include monumental reckoning in Martinique and Haiti, and present and historic means of resistance to the legacy of French colonialism.

Wendi Zhou

Wendi on a sky bridgeMajor: History, Philosophy

Minor: Comparative History of Ideas

Wendi is a rising junior studying History and Philosophy with a minor in Comparative History of Ideas. Her research explores themes of race, gender, colonialism, and transitional justice in multiple historical time periods and locations, with a focus on post-1945 Germany. She is interested in issues of who is included and left out in conversations surrounding redress, reparations, and reconciliation after historical injustice. Wendi hopes to use a historical and philosophical lens to advocate for more inclusive conceptions of and collective actions toward this kind of redress. In her free time, she likes to read, run, and dig for clams (occasionally).

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