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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

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 South Dakota and Welcoming New Americans

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