Digital Scholarship Fellowships

The LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship Fellowship program provides a $3,000 stipend for a UT/non-UT graduate student or a non-UT Masters-level (or above) scholar to pursue research or teaching interests in Latin American, U.S. Latinx, African Diaspora, or Indigenous Studies using the Benson Latin American Collection’s digitized holdings and digital methods/platforms remotely.

Call for 2022 applications will open in September 2021.

2021 Fellows

Ryan Scott Hechler is an Anthropology PhD student at Tulane University and he received an Anthropology M.A. from McGill University. His doctoral research focuses on the development of late Pre-Columbian Barbacoan identity and complexity in northern Ecuador and regional transitional colonial experiences under the Inkas and Spanish via archaeology, GIS, and ethnohistory. His principal archaeological site of investigation is the monumental site of Cochasquí in the northern highlands of Ecuador, for which he is a recent recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship to support his forthcoming fieldwork. His fellowship project focuses on developing a publicly accessible Geographic Information System (GIS) dataset that accurately maps natural landscape toponyms of Ecuador via the georeferencing of topographic maps in the Perry-Castañeda Library’s Map Collection.

Abisai Perez is a Ph. D. candidate in the Department of History at UT Austin. His dissertation explores how the Spanish crown integrated the Philippine natives as vassals during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His fields of expertise span colonial Latin America, nineteenth-century Mexico, and the Iberian empires in early modern Southeast Asia. He is also interested in Statistics and the programming language Python for research in Data Science. For his fellowship, he will transform a collection of royal decrees in the Genaro Garcia Collection on the colonial government of the Philippines into a data set that he can mine and visualize.

Marina del Sol received a Ph.D. from the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Currently, she is a Master Instructor at Howard University. Her interdisciplinary scholarship looks at identity and belonging in the United States with a focus on cultural forms and representations of Otherness. Through the mining of the Onda Latina digital archive, her project will identify and illuminate connections between the political sphere and Mexican American culture, folklore, and history as well as examine experiences of citizenship within networks of Mexican American artists, activists, and community members using various infographic tools.

2020 Fellows

Head shot of Brittany Erwin

Brittany Erwin is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation explores the underlying mechanisms that sustained the Spanish Empire during its final decades, arguing that political ritual–public, formulaic expressions of loyalty and obligation–played an essential role in that process. Her project will employ various digital tools to analyze the rhetoric of reciprocity between Crown and subject in 18th-century documents preserved at the Benson.

Head shot of Nidia HernandezNidia Hernández is a member of the Argentine Center for Scientific and Technological Information (CAICyT-CONICET) where she collaborates with the documentation, automatic processing and analysis of endangered languages of South America and develops digital resources for georeferencing and pusblishing Early Modern Latin American texts. During her residency at the Benson, she will be developing the first digital edition of Primer viaje alrededor del mundo (1899), a chronicle about the first European circumnavigation of the world and one of the first written texts referring to the Patagonia.

2019 Fellows

Head shot of Andrea Alvarez

Andrea Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Universidad Central de Venezuela. In June 2018, she received the distinction Summa Cum Laude. Alvarez is currently pursuing a Masters of Architecture Degree at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. At the Benson, she will be studying drawings and descriptions related to “carpinteria de lo blanco” found in the 17th-century manuscript of Fray Andrés de San Miguel to create 3D models to examine the design and building process.

Antonio Villarruel was born in Quito, Ecuador, and currently lives between Mexico City and Madrid. He is a doctoral candidate both at el Colegio de México and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. His interests include intellectual history, critical theory, Adean cultures and literatures, and documentary theory. In 2011 he published the essay book “Ciudad y derrota”. He also directed the documentary “Versiones de la vecindad”, on Mexican writer Carlos Monsiváis. For his fellowship, he will be extracting data from the correspondence in the Ernesto Cardenal Papers to visualize and examine his social networks.