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PostDoctoral Program: Current FELLOWs

2018-2019 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnic Studies

Yuridia Ramirez

Yuridia Ramirez portrait Yuridia Ramírez received her Ph.D. in history from Duke University. She also holds an M.A. in history from Duke, and a B.A. in both history and journalism from the University of Minnesota. During her graduate studies, Yuri also was a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow. Following her 2018-19 residency at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Yuri will be an Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies at Miami University in the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies. Her interests in migration, race, and critical ethnic studies are informed by her own experience as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As such, she has personal experience with and an intellectual commitment to migrants and their families. 

Yuri’s research examines the circular transit of ideas about race and identity. Through transnational archival research and oral histories in North Carolina and throughout Mexico, she argues that migrants’ ideas about race differed depending on their sending community. Yuri forefronts the experiences of indigenous migrants from Cherán, Michoacán, to emphasize that race making is a fluid process. Though historians conventionally have treated ethnic and racial categories as separate, if often intersecting, Yuri treats them as fundamentally similar and interchangeable. Her research reveals that indigenous migrants’ identities developed and transformed differently, intimately linked to the ways racial and ethnic histories have been propagated and lived by Mexican citizens in diverse regions of Mexico. Her investigation also demonstrates that migrants not only adopted the racial ideas of their receiving state, but they also transmitted racial knowledge back to their home communities. Encouraging readers to understand this movement as it is lived by migrants, Yuri’s history of migration to the United States both begins and ends outside of the country. Her research changes our understanding of how racial formations are generated in our increasingly global and transnational world.

Her next monograph will examine duranguense, a music genre developed in Chicago by Mexican migrants from Durango. By tracing the movement of people from Durango to Chicago and vice versa, this work emphasizes the cultural capital of migration, illuminating how migrants transform sound in the diaspora. Recent interdisciplinary scholarship has examined radio and immigrant communities in the United States, as well as specific music genres and their effect on community building on both sides of the border. My work will build on these types of studies, using music and sound as the point of analysis of this particular migration pattern, analyzing how it becomes a critical point of identification and departure for migrants and those left behind.

Her doctoral work in racial and indigenous histories, as well as in diasporic communities and decoloniality, also have informed her organizing efforts. Most recently, Yuri worked as the North Carolina organizer for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country. Since 2007, Yuri also has organized in black, refugee, and immigrant communities in Minnesota and North Carolina, and has worked with students, young adults, and families to think critically about racism, violence, and injustice, while developing a vision for a collective community.

Yuri’s research interests include: Critical Ethnic Studies, race making, oral history, environmental history, social movements, indigeneity, communal organizing, black and brown coalitions, diaspora and migration studies. She will teach LLS 379 Latina/os and the City during the Spring 2019 semester.