Introducing the Undergraduate Paper Award Recipients

Written by Claire Campbell, Communications and Social Media Intern

Each year, we at LACIS are honored and excited to participate in the Area and International Studies Undergraduate Paper Awards, as organized by IRIS. This scholarship competition allows us to recognize the undergraduate students doing great work that focuses on issues in our region. We are proud to present and highlight the three recipients of our award, Logan Krishka, Katya Garza, and Angelica Contreras, who have all demonstrated excellence in their research.

Undergraduate Paper Award Recipient Logan Krishka

Logan Krishka, a Door County native, graduated this May with degrees in LACIS, Anthropology, and Portuguese. His interests range from history to literature, politics to culture, and the ways that we as people interpret and negotiate these aspects of our experiences. His project, titled “Calamitous Constellation: Arriving Together with Geovani Martins and Criolo,” was written for the fall 2019 graduate class “Theorizing the Portuguese Black Atlantic.” He analyzed the creative works of the two Brazilian artists, who grew up in favelas, studying their writing and music to answer the questions: who is allowed to speak, what are the issues of speaking on the behalf of others, for whom are we allowed to speak, and how do these discursive structures reveal relations of power, specifically in terms of race in the Brazilian context? According to Krishka, “it was one of the projects I most enjoyed working on throughout my time at Madison as it allowed me to bring together literature, music, and social/cultural theory to attend to some of the most caustic issues of Brazilian reality.” Moving forward, he hopes to start the process for his PhD in the fall and is looking into graduate programs in Anthropology. Congratulations, Logan, we wish you all the best!

Undergraduate Paper Award Recipient Katya Garza

Katya Garza is junior at the UW from Belvidere, Illinois. She is studying neurobiology and Spanish with a certificate in Chican@ and Latin@ Studies, hoping to pursue a career in medicine and public health. In her project, she wanted to shed light on the limitations of translation and the flaws within our immigration system in the United States. She says, “Language is so complex that I have always believed that translation at best is only an echo.” She focused on the impact that immigrant children feel as a result of our flawed American system, and she cites Valeria Luiselli’s work as her project’s inspiration, quoting her by saying, “children chase after life, even if it ends up killing them.” Congratulations and well done, Katya!

Undergraduate Paper Award Recipient Angelica Contreras

Angelica Contreras, from Berwyn, Illinois, is a junior at the UW, studying International Studies and Spanish with a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. As a champion of women’s rights, her paper focused on the Ni Una Menos movement, which has given women a platform to be heard and protected from femicide in Latin America. She said her favorite part of the project was researching protests and witnessing globally broadcasted marches that went on to inspire groups in countries like Italy and Mexico. She hopes one day to attend law school to focus on human rights and international law. Congrats on all your hard work, Angelica!