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Division III students Jennifer Sensenich 11F and Alana De Hinojosa 11F are recipients of the 2015 Sander Thoenes Research Awards.
Division III students Jennifer Sensenich 11F and Alana De Hinojosa 11F are recipients of the 2015 Sander Thoenes Research Awards
These annual awards honor the memory of Hampshire graduate Sander Thoenes 87F and go to students working in international relations, peace studies, or journalism. Preference is given to projects conforming to the spirit of Thoenes' remarkable, tragically brief, career as a foreign correspondent.
Thoenes, the Jakarta correspondent for the Financial Times (London), was killed in 1999 by Indonesian militia while in East Timor reporting on its independence movement. His death drew international attention, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan saying, "It is largely thanks to the courage and determination of men and women like Sander that crimes against humanity are brought to the attention of the world's conscience."
The Thoenes Awards support fieldwork and other research costs involved in completing the final project required of all Hampshire students.
Jennifer spent the last two semesters of her Division III (senior) project meeting with self-identified Native American college students all over the US, crafting an ethnographic study that “speaks to the history and persistence of assimilation, and asks what has changed since the supposed end of the assimilation era,” she says. In addition to writing the study, she has made a photographic record.
“The Sander Thoenes grant provided me with the opportunity to travel, produce quality prints, and exhibit my work,” she says. “I hope my work will encourage conversation about indigenous rights and the pernicious continuance of colonialism."
Alana de Hinojosa
Alana’s project—“What kind of woman have you made me, Mamá? ¿Y qué de ti, mi'ja?’: Reflections on Loss, Separation, and Memory-Making by Undocumented Latina Mothers and Daughters”—is a collection of short stories about seven undocumented Latina women living in the United States.
The stories, based on a series of interviews, chronicle the women’s journeys north and their experiences as undocumented transnational mothers and diasporic daughters. “By looking at these divided Latina female genealogies, these stories reflect on understandings of mother, family, nation, nostalgia, and feelings of rupture, loss, hope, and forgiveness,” she writes. Her project also explores how these women have defied traditional gender norms and how they must face social and economic challenges that force them “to live the paradox of trying to save their families by pulling them apart.”
The collection is a combination of fiction and literary journalism that highlights the invisibility and injustice that the subjects face. It is “a body of work whose entire attitude is about pushing and challenging the borders of fiction and nonfiction, which felt appropriate considering my participants challenge the borders of nation, family, motherhood, daughterhood, and womanhood on a daily basis,” she says.