2021-2022 Group Members – Cuban Diaspora RIW

2021-2022 Group Members

Aaron Coleman

Aaron Coleman is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. Aaron’s work explores intersections of poetry, translation, and critical comparison in the African Diaspora in the Americas. His first critical book project, Poetics of Afrodiasporic Translation: Negotiating Race, Nation, and Belonging Between Cuba and the United States, investigates translational relationships between Black poets in the United States and AfroCuban poets in order to compare their respective literary traditions and explore the transnational impact of the literary African diaspora in the Americas. Situating his own praxis as a translator and poet in relation to Black US-American poet-translators in the twentieth century (like James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes) undergirds his current translation project with Nicolás Guillén’s underexamined 1967 collection, El gran zoo [The Great Zoo].

Aaron is the author of Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, 2018) winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and St. Trigger (Button, 2016), selected by Adrian Matejka for the Button Poetry Chapbook Prize. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the J. William Fulbright Program, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. He has lived and worked with youth in locations including Spain, South Africa, Chicago, St. Louis, and Kalamazoo. His poems and essays have appeared in publications including Boston Review, Callaloo, The New York Times, the Poetry Society of America, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series. After earning his MFA in Poetry at Washington University in Saint Louis and working in the Public Projects Department at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Aaron completed his PhD in Comparative Literature with a Certificate in Translation Studies in 2021.

Miranda García – Graduate Student Coordinator, Fall 2021

Miranda García is a PhD candidate in the University of Michigan’s Department of Anthropology. She studies new media, advertising, entrepreneurship, and identity in Cuba and its diaspora. Her work draws on ethnography, oral history, and semiotic analysis to explore topics ranging from collective memory in Little Havana nostalgia shops to her current project on Cuba’s emerging advertising industry. Miranda takes an interdisciplinary and multimedia approach to academic inquiry, pairing more traditional research with film and other media forms. Miranda is a fellow at the National Science Foundation, as well as the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. She received a BA in anthropology and art history from the University of Chicago, where she was also a Mellon Mays Fellow.

Beatriz Manzor Mitrzyk

Dr. Beatriz Manzor Mitrzyk earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy (UM COP) and completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at UMHS. After completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the UM COP, she is now Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Research Scientist at UM COP. She conducts qualitative and quantitative research to address medication adherence-related health disparities in Latinx with mental health disorders and is an Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacist at the Saline Health Center. She also enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, exercising, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Silvia Pedraza – Faculty Coordinator, 2021-2022

Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology and American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She was born and raised in Cuba, from where she immigrated with her family at the age of 12.  Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race, and ethnicity in America, and the sociology of Cuba’s revolution and exodus.  Her work seeks to understand the causes and consequences of immigration as a historical process that forms and transforms persons and nations; as well as social revolutions’ rupture with the past and attempt to create a different present.

Professor Pedraza has been elected to numerous positions in the American Sociological Association (ASA), where she was elected Chair of three Sections as well as its Nominations Committee and Executive Council.  In the Social Science History Association (SSHA) she was also elected to its Executive Committee and served on the Awards Committee.  From the Latino/a Sociology Section of the ASA she received a major award: the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award.  At present, she is President of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE). 

With a B. A. and M. A. from the University of Michigan, she has long been a Wolverine. She holds a Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in Demography as well as Stratification, and in Latin American Studies. At the University of Michigan, she was also elected to various offices and is a two-time winner of the Excellence in Education Award.  She was also honored by being inducted to the Golden Key Student Honorary Society. 

She has received various grants and awards: nationwide from the National Science Foundation as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; at the University of Michigan from the College of Literature, Science, and Arts as well as from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, she received several Faculty Research and Scholarship Awards. 

She is the author of three books and numerous articles. A few of her publications include: Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus (Cambridge University Press, 2007); “Assimilation or Transnationalism: Conceptual Models of the Immigrant Experience,” in The Cultural Psychology of Immigrants, edited by Ram Mahalingham (Lawrence Earlbaum, 2006); and “Women and Migration: the Social Consequences of Gender,” Annual Review of Sociology (1991).

She has been frequently interviewed by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BBC World News, The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the Ann Arbor News, among other newspapers, and has appeared on both radio and television. She also wrote an Opinion piece for CNN.com.

She just finished a manuscript that is presently under an advanced contract and review by the University Press of Florida, on  Revolutions in Cuba and Venezuela: One Hope, Two Realities, together with Professor Carlos A. Romero, from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.   

Alexander Stephens – Graduate Student Coordinator, Winter 2022

Jennifer Triplett

Jennifer (Jen) Triplett is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan. She is a comparative-historical sociologist working in the subfields of political sociology, sociology of culture, and collective behavior and social movements. She is particularly interested in the political participation of traditionally marginalized groups (especially women) in various countries, times, and regime types. Previous projects have included examinations of state/movement relations in authoritarian Peru, women’s mobilization and party affiliation in post-Chavez Venezuela, and women’s contributions to ideas of nationalism in independence-era Cuba. Jen’s primary focus at the moment involves studying how the political salience of identities changes over time, using the case of gender in revolutionary Cuba. She received a BA in International Development, Classical Studies, and Latin American Studies from Tulane University. She also holds a MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and a MA in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Kerry White

Kerry White is a PhD candidate in American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They specialize in transgender studies, queer of color critique, ethnographic and blurred genre writing, and Cuban/Caribbean studies. Kerry is currently working on her dissertation, a blurred-genre ethnography of transgender subjectivity between Cuba and the United States, which interrogates broadly the ways in which trans and gender non-normative people in Cuba and the United States navigate racialized, colonial, and imperial sex/gender systems through the narration of their own stories of trans becoming. Previously, they received a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College.

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