UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellows

PPFP Caroline Collins

Dr. Caroline Collins

Caroline Collins is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History at UC Irvine. She holds a PhD in Communication from UC San Diego, an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside, and a B.A. in American Literature and Culture from UCLA. Her work examines public remembrances of the American West through archival methods, ethnographic study, media production, and public history exhibition. Her public scholarship includes exhibits and media produced in collaboration with the California Institute for Rural Studies, the California Historical Society, the California African American Museum, Exhibit Envoy, and the First Nations Development Institute. Dr. Collins' research has been supported by the Bylo Chacon Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation / US Latino Digital Humanities Center, California Humanities, UCSD Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program, the UC Consortium for Black Studies in California Project, the Herbert I. Schiller Communication Dissertation Fellowship, and the UC Office of the President.

PPFP Research Topic Title: Black Mariners of the Black Pacific: Reimagining Race, Migration, and Diaspora

Mentor: Dr. David Igler

Department, School: Department of History, School of Humanities


PPFP Carolina FloresDr. Carolina Flores

Carolina Flores received their PhD in Philosophy from Rutgers University. Their research is driven by questions about how our cognitive structures and the social world interact. They are especially interested in how cognition can be hijacked in ways that contribute to the perpetuation of oppressive social structures---and in how we can fight back. Their dissertation was on evidence-resistance beliefs: what their role in cognition is, how changeable they are, and what they tell us about the nature of belief and the human mind. At UC Irvine, they are planning to focus on belief and social identity. They plan to look at how social identities are implemented in our minds (is centering a social identity a matter of one’s beliefs, or does it involve other attitudes?)  and at how they shape how we interact with evidence. In addition, they are keen on addressing systemic marginalization in academia. While in graduate school, they directed Minorities and Philosophy, the leading network in philosophy concerned with addressing questions of marginalization in academic philosophy, organized a conference on oppression and resistance, and founded a feminist philosophy reading group and speaker series in their department.

PPFP Research Topic Title: Belief and social identity

Mentor: Dr. Annalisa Coliva and Dr. Kate Ritchie

Department, School: Department of Philosophy, School of Humanities


PPFP Brittany MilesDr. Brittany Miles

Dr. Brittany Elaina Miles is originally from Gardena, California. She has a major in Physics and a minor in Geophysics and Planetary Physics from UCLA. Her masters degree and doctorate are in Astronomy and Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Miles uses ground and space-based telescopes to study the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and exoplanets to understand their chemical composition. She also invests time in understanding how to build better instruments for telescopes to find smaller and cooler exoplanets.

PPFP Research Topic: Frontiers of Exoplanet Detection and Atmospheric Characterization

Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Sallum

Department, School: Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Physical Sciences


PPFP Nivedita NathDr. Nivedita Nath

Prior to joining the University of California, Irvine, as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Nivedita Nath received her PhD in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research and teaching examines environmental history, South Asian social and cultural history, the history of race and caste, anti-colonial thought, environmental justice, and feminist geography. Her current book project, Race, Caste and Modern Imaginaries of the Himalayas, traces the roots of contemporary ecological and social injustices in the Central Himalayas to the expansion of colonial rule, capitalist enclosures, and the reification of caste-based relations of land and labor across the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her next project asks what the archives of Central Himalayan communities can teach us about the history of climate change as well as the possibilities of global environmental justice. Nivedita’s academic and public scholarship has appeared in Environmental History, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History, Adivasi Resurgence, and The Wire.

PPFP Research Topic Title: Conservation from the Margins: Environmental Justice and Indigenous Resistance in the Central Himalayas

Mentor: Dr. David Fedman

Department, School: Department of History, School of Humanities


Dr. Ka-eul Yoo

Ka-eul Yoo (유가을) is an interdisciplinary critical race and ethnic studies scholar and educator. She specializes in contemporary multi-ethnic U.S. literature and culture, focusing on transnational Asian American, critical disability, U.S. war and empire, global feminisms, and drama & performance studies. In particular, she concentrates on tracing the relationships between the genealogy of biopolitical precarity, U.S. imperial violence, and disability in the global South. She received her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz with designated emphases in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Feminist Studies, and both B.A. and M.A. in English at Yonsei University, South Korea.

Ka-eul’s publishing trajectory reflects her commitment to public-facing, socially-engaged scholarship. Her most recent article was published in Amerasia Journal and won multiple awards, including from the Association for Asian American Studies and the American Studies Association. Ka-eul’s first book project investigates how the United States constructed and leveraged concepts of disease and disability in its military operations in Asia and at home to further its Cold War agenda. By using original sources in Asia that have been largely inaccessible due to Cold War censorship and language access, she further unearths grassroots resistance to this pathologization. This project has received support from numerous organizations, including the Social Science Research Council and the Association for Asian Studies. In addition to her academic research, Ka-eul translates feminist multimedia art, activism, and scholarship on disability justice published in South Korea. She is also an active member of the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective.

PPFP Research Topic Title: Cold War Disability Narratives, Comparative Racialization, Disability Justice, and Grassroots Activism in Asia and Asian America

Mentor: Dr. James Kyung-Jin Lee

Department, School: Department of Asian American Studies, School of Humanities