Fulbright awards will fund students’ research in Vietnam and Chile

Author: Imran Ghori
November 9, 2022

Two UC Riverside doctoral students have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Hays fellowships that will fund their research abroad.

Sean Keenan

Sean Keenan, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in history, and Hannah Snavely, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, were notified Sept. 23 that they were awarded Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad fellowships.

A U.S. Department of Education program, the grants fund doctoral students’ research abroad in foreign language and area studies for six to 12 months. The program focuses on deepening research knowledge of areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curriculum, particularly non-Western areas.

Keenan is studying the colonization of China and Vietnam, looking at the construction of French infrastructure at the turn of the 20th century. The Hays fellowship will fund archival and field research in Vietnam for eight months. He will also be traveling to Taipei, Taiwan, and Paris, France, for additional archival research.

Hannah Snavely

“I hope to recenter the narrative of this era onto the borderland communities who have been most erased by commonly accepted nationalist narratives,” Keenan said. “This region along the China-Vietnam border is one of the most diverse areas of either country, and home to dozens of unique ethnic communities who consistently find themselves forced into identities dictated by modern borders that ignore historical and cultural transnational realities.” 

Snavely’s research focuses on Chilean folklorist Margot Loyola and how her music and educational initiatives shaped folk music canons and national conceptions of tradition. She will conduct ethnographic and archival research in Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, and meet and perform with local musicians and music educators.

“I consider it crucial to ground my research within Chilean daily life,” she said. “For this next year of research, I'm hoping to focus on Chilean folk music education — in the university classroom and in teaching within music ensembles — to better understand how national identity and tradition are intergenerationally transmitted today.”