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President's Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students

Francisco Delgado, English

Francisco Delgado Dissertation Title: Trespassing Race: Dystopian Fiction by Multi-Ethnic American Authors

Can you tell us, in general terms, about your research?

My research emphasizes how the conventions of dystopian literature match the lived experiences of racial and cultural minorities. Each chapter of my dissertation, for example, is structured around one tenet of dystopia, like geographical confinement, environmental ruin, and medical experimentation. In addition, the loss of language is an aspect of the dystopian genre that I explore specifically in my work as a Humanities New York Public Humanities fellow. In this endeavor, I created a website to promote the indigenous language of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca, of which I am a member. I hope my work contributes to other current, ongoing efforts to preserve the language on and off the reservations.

What excites you about your work?

I am very excited by the comparative nature of my work. This scope was something I had in mind from the beginning, even before I really had an idea on how I would pursue it. Book-length projects linking Asian American literatures only to Native American literatures, as mine is, are incredibly rare. By taking on this challenge, I am hopeful that I am forging new alliances in the pursuit for what I refer to in my dissertation as 'rehumanization,' the process that negates the dehumanizing ideology of contemporary neoliberalism in the United States.

How has your time at Stony Brook helped equip your for success?

My time at Stony Brook has deepened my knowledge of and commitment to the issues facing racial and cultural minorities today. Having the opportunity to learn from such scholars as Professors Jeffrey Santa Ana, Nerissa Balce, and Justin Johnston has widened my methodological scope in ways that I will take with me throughout my career. Moreover, being able to explore these issues in my teaching with students across three different programs - in English, writing, and Asian American studies - has shifted my thinking in ways that has allowed me to finish my project in a timely fashion. My professional identity has always been heavily based on my work as a teacher, and my experiences at Stony Brook have only served to strengthen my dedication to my craft.

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