5 selected as 2018–20 faculty diversity fellows

As 2018-20 Faculty Diversity Fellows, five postdoctoral scholars will receive paid two-year positions, additional funds for research, professional development and networking opportunities and a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in their discipline.

Carolina has selected five postdoctoral scholars as 2018-20 Faculty Diversity Fellows. They are:

André Keiji Kunigami, Romance studies;

Jacob Lau, women’s and gender studies;

Sarah Mills, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center/Gillings School of Global Public Health;

Danielle Purifoy, geography; and

Annette Rodriguez, American studies.

The fellows receive paid two-year postdoctoral positions in their selected departments, additional funds for research, professional development and networking opportunities and a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in their discipline.

The University launched the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity in 1983 as part of a continuing commitment to building a culturally diverse intellectual community and advancing scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education.

André Keiji Kunigami

André Keiji Kunigami received his doctorate in Asian studies from Cornell University. He is a film and media scholar whose interests revolve around questions of perception, spectatorship, and temporality in the early 20th century so-called peripheral spaces to the “West.” At Carolina, he will work on revising his dissertation “Of Clouds and Bodies: Film and the Dislocation of Vision in Brazilian and Japanese Interwar Avant-garde” into a book manuscript. Before joining the University as a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow, Keiji taught history of Brazilian and world cinema at the Fluminense Federal University.


Jacob Lau

Jacob Lau received his doctorate in gender studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. His work theorizes transgender affect through postcolonial, queer of color and historical materialist theorizations of time and historicism. Along with Cameron Partridge, he is an editor of Laurence Michael Dillon’s 1962 trans memoir Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Spiritual and Gender Transitions (Fordham University Press, 2017), for which he also co-authored an introduction. He was previously a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine.


Sarah D. Mills

Sarah D. Mills has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego joint doctoral program in clinical psychology and a master of public health degree in epidemiology from San Diego State University. Mills completed her clinical internship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on tobacco control and tobacco-related health disparities. She uses an ecological framework to examine the roles that culture, the neighborhood in which one lives, and public policy play in tobacco use among racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. She has also conducted research in cross-cultural measurement.

Danielle Purifoy

Danielle Purifoy received a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School and a doctorate in environmental politics and African American studies from Duke University. Her current research focuses on the intersection of racial segregation and local political geography in the production of environmental inequality in North Carolina. She is also interested in the historic sociopolitical roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South. Purifoy is an editor for Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, a board member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and the co-creator, with visual artist Torkwase Dyson, of In Conditions of Fresh Water, a multimedia black spatial history project.

Annette Rodriguez

Annette Rodriguez received a doctorate in American Studies from Brown University. Her research interests focus on the functions of public violence in U.S. empire and nation building, U.S. racial formation, immigration and the production of U.S. citizenship. Her current book project Inventing the Mexican: The Visual Culture of Lynching at the Turn of the 20th Century centers performance, popular culture, and visuality as assisting in the relational construction of race. In addition, she has initiated a data, mapping and social history project on U.S. bounty land grants. This project, which tracks the over 6 million acres of land granted by both the U.S. federal government and individual states — as incentive to serve in the military and as a reward for service — is provisionally titled Intimate Acquisitions: A Relational History of U.S. Bounty Lands.