Carmella is a PhD Candidate in Border Studies in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Her research focuses on utilizing the folkoric record to recover Nuevomexicana feminine-voiced oral narratives of the 19th century and early 20th century. She includes archival studies, community fieldwork, folkloristics and expressive culture of the U.S. Southwest Borderlands in the form of literature, music, art, and language in her research. Specifically, she focuses on the poetic nature of oral art traditions and oral literature—connecting its form to meaning, also known as ethnopoetics. Through the lens of balladry, she is currently investigating child marriage in the U.S. Southwest from the territorial period and relates it to today's women's and girl's lack of bodily autonomy, especially regarding women of color. She also relates feminine-voiced balladry of New Mexico across time and space, conducting a transatlantic genealogy of the feminine voice from the earliest recorded literary traditions of the Iberian Peninsula to Mexico, and greater Mexico of the U.S. Southwest Borderlands.
Carmella is interested in literary, vernacular, social, and environmental justice initiatives for underrepresented communities. She co-directed the pilot program Biocultural Diversity and Social Justice in Ecuador (2013) and taught in the Conexiones summer immersion program in Granada, Nicaragua (2012) with the University of New Mexico. She has extensive teaching and supervising experience in the Spanish as a Heritage Language Programs at the University of Arizona and the University of New Mexico. She was the Interim Director of the International Internship (SPAN 493) and collaborated with La Universidad de La Rioja, Spain. This virtual exchange program worked towards the United Nations "Envision 2030" Sustainable Development Initiative. Specifically, it focused on Immigration in relation to the UN's sustainable development goal, "Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions."
Fellowships and Awards:
American Dissertation Fellowship American Association of University Women (2022-2023)
Border Lab Fellow UA Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry (2022-2023)
Graduate Student Research Fellowship UA Spanish & Portuguese Department (2022)
Graduate Student Research Grant UA College of Humanities (2022)
Mellon-Fronteridades Fellow UA Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry (2021)
Latino Museum Studies Program Fellow Smithsonian Institution (2019)
University Fellow University of Arizona (2018-Present)
Review of "Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland" edited by Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, Levi Romero and Spencer R. Herrera. Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 25 (2021) pp. 290-293.
"Voces Nuevo Mexicanas: Power, Gender, and Recovery of “El corrido de la votación” for the Centennial Celebration of New Mexico's Suffrage Movement." New Mexico Historical Review (95, 4, Fall 2020). University of New Mexico, Alburquerque: 373-408.
"Ballots and Ballads: New Mexican Corridistas Keep “La Votación” Alive." BorderLore Magazine. August 21, 2020. Southwest Folklife Alliance, Tucson, AZ.
"A Centennial Glimpse into New Mexico’s Suffrage Movement through “El corrido de la votación.” Smithsonian Folklife Magazine. September 20, 2019. Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Washington, D.C.
"Witch Tales of El Guache: An Ethnopoetic Analysis." Journal of the Southwest (58,4, Winter 2016). The Southwest Center, University of Arizona, Tucson: 781-812.
"La mujer de mi vida." Nuestras Raíces (27, 3, Fall 2015). Essay Contest Winner for the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Pueblo, Colorado (2015).