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Our Research Associates

PHI research associates bring an impressive breadth and depth of academic training and public humanities experience to our current research and outreach initiatives.


Research Associates

Dr. Christine Garst-Santos, Director of the Public Humanities Initiative (PHI) and Associate Professor of Spanish, works with the state’s newcomer neighbors and Indigenous communities through a series of outreach projects focused on ESL classes, legal advocacy and support, translation projects, workforce development, Lakota language revitalization efforts, and diversity and intercultural competence workshops. A Cervantes specialist by training, her teaching and research explore how literature negotiates questions of gender, race, ethnicity, and religion to both contest and create national identities and narratives. Convinced that the humanities can address the current “state of emergency” in which we live, her recent work has shifted to public-facing humanities projects and the development of the SDSU PHI | Public Humanities Initiative.

Current PHI projects: Citizenship, Community, and Belonging in SD and Welcoming New Americans

Dr. José Álvarez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Global Studies, specializes in contemporary Latin American literature and culture and inter American studies. His research focuses on the intersection between literary, journalistic, scientific, and philosophical discourses and their role in the construction of individual and collective identities.

Current PHI project: Welcoming New Americans

Dr. Sharity Bassett, Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies, has been involved in collaborative research with Haudenosaunee communities in New York state, Ontario, and Montreal since 2011. Currently, her manuscript, Haudenosaunee Women Lacrosse Players: Making Meaning through Rematriation, has been endorsed by Haudenosaunee women for publication. Dr. Bassett has developed strong ties with Indigenous partners at the Oglala Sioux, Rosebud, and Standing Rock reservations. Dr. Bassett contributes sound Indigenous research and discussion methodologies as well as experience with ArcGIS story-mapping and oral history to the research team.

Current PHI project:  Citizenship, Community, and Belonging in SD

Dr. Nicole Flynn, Associate Professor of English, specializes in twentieth century British Literature, interwar studies, and theatre. Her scholarly work is dedicated to social equity and active citizenship and her recent pivot to public-facing humanities work seeks to address the themes of her scholarship to a broader audience.

Current PHI project:  Citizenship, Community, and Belonging in SD