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McNair Feature Scholar: Meet Maria!

Maria Villa-Rivera, Cohort 20
Maria Villa-Rivera, Cohort 20

My name is Maria Villa-Rivera, I am a senior English Critical Studies major with a certificate in History of Race, Gender, & Society. I am originally from Chihuahua, Mexico but grew up in Kiel, WI. I hope to continue my education after Undergrad in an English program with a Critical Race Emphasis. 

My research with Dr. Theresa Kemp has focused on the anglicization of non-English names as a function of modern colonialism. The changing of names has long been a form of forceful assimilation for marginalized groups in the United States and this practice has become institutionally implemented today, further perpetuating centuries of colonialism. My research observes how and why these changes are still happening today and what it means about society’s perception of the marginalized ‘other’.