Saturday, June 19, 2010

Becoming Professors and Scholars

on right, Ph.D. candidate and hip hop artist, Marco Cervantes

On Friday, we met with UTSA graduate students Erin Ranft and Marco Cervantes. Ranft is in her third year of the English doctoral program, and her research focuses on African American science fiction, feminist ideology, slavery, and black nationalist movements. Cervantes, who will defend his dissertation in August, has accepted a faculty position in UTSA's Mexican Studies American program. Cervantes, by the way, is also a hip hop artist.

Ranft and Cervantes gave our group useful, near-future perspectives on graduate school. Their responses to our questions were perhaps especially helpful since our group plans to pursue graduate study in the near future.

UTSA doctoral student Erin Ranft conversing with Institute Fellows

We spent a considerable amount of time asking both our guests about their research interests and projects. We had recently been discussing afrofuturism, so we had all kinds of questions for Ranft concerning her coverage of black women sci-fi writers such as Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson.

And since some of us have been discussing the notion of scholar-artists, we were intrigued by what Cervantes is doing as a hip hop artist and researcher concerning the intersections of Chicano and black cultures.

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