Professor Leisy Abrego and Associate Professor Gaye Theresa Johnson Awarded with Mellon Foundation Grant

Maite Zubiaurre, Ananya Roy, Gaye Theresa Johnson, Leisy Abrego (left to right)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded UCLA a $225,000 grant to launch a Sawyer Seminar entitled, “Sanctuary Spaces: Reworlding Humanism.” Acting as temporary research centers, Sawyer Seminars are intended to provide support for comparative research and intensive study in the humanities and social sciences.

Thinking across Europe and the United States, the UCLA Sawyer Seminar will examine sanctuary policies and practices at the scale of cities. Situated at the present historical moment of resurgent white nationalism and xenophobia, Sanctuary Spaces will cast a light on migration regimes and state power as well as on the forms of local and transnational activism that create spaces of refuge. With a critical lens around histories of colonial dispossession and racial capitalism, this seminar series is ultimately concerned with the place of racial others – the border-crosser, the asylum-seeker, the refugee – in the liberal democracies of the West. What are the terms of inclusion, integration, community, and hospitality through which protection is extended to such racial others and what are the possible frameworks of redress, justice, and democracy that take account of colonialism and imperialism?

The seminar will be led by an interdisciplinary group of UCLA faculty members. They include principal investigator Ananya Roy, professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography and the Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy, in collaboration with Leisy Abrego, professor of Chicana/o Studies; Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana/o Studies and African American Studies; and Maite Zubiaurre, professor of Germanic Languages and Spanish & Portuguese. The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin will be instrumental in organizing the series. The grant proposal was nominated by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and UCLA is one of only 10 universities worldwide to receive this prestigious award in 2019.

To read the full article, visit the Institute on Inequality and Democracy page.