UCLA » College » Social Sciences » History
Post-Doctoral Scholars

Mia Dawson

Dr. Mia Karisa Dawson is a UCLA Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of History.  She is a community organizer, writer, and scholar. She received her degree in Geography with a designated emphasis in African American Studies at UC Davis. She researches joint crises in housing, policing, and incarceration in U.S. cities and the responses through which abolitionist organizations address these crises. For her doctoral research, she focused on the intersections of race, policing, and property that structure urban space in Sacramento, while working in community partnerships to elucidate practices of direct action, mutual aid, and autonomy that forge alternative social structures. Mia has also worked with the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program on the development of community-based violence interruption programs and alternative first response systems. She has a background in Environmental Justice including efforts towards equity in air and water quality in California.

Mia’s work has been published in journals including Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Frontiers in Public Health, and Water Alternatives. She has also collaborated on reports published through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. Her work has been supported by organizations including the Mellon Research Initiative on Racial Capitalism, the Society of Women Geographers, the American Association of Geographers, the Mellon Public Scholars Program, the University of Georgia Community Mapping Lab, the Switzer Environmental Leadership Foundation, and the UC Santa Cruz Visualizing Abolition program.


Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo Brockmann, born in Nicaragua, is a UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of History, Department of Musicology, and the Chicano Studies Research Center. He is a historian and musicologist whose interdisciplinary scholarship lies at the intersection of music, sound, and politics in Latin America, and the region’s historical relations with the United States.

His book project, Canto de Marte: Art Music, Popular Culture, and U.S. Intervention in Nicaragua (under contract with Oxford University Press), explores the cultural impact of early twentieth-century U.S. intervention in Central America. In development, his second monograph will examine sound and colonization in California, undertaken in consultation with California Indian leaders, scholars, and community members. He serves as area editor for Central America on the Grove Dictionary of Latin American and Iberian Music, and associate editor of Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review.

He holds a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of California, Riverside, and graduate degrees in performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. As a professional harpsichordist, he has collaborated with numerous musicians and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Before coming to UCLA, Bernard was a postdoctoral associate and lecturer at Yale University (2021–23).


Samuel Lamontagne

Samuel Lamontagne is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Department of History at UCLA. His research focuses on hip hop and electronic dance music in Los Angeles, and in the African diaspora more generally. He has published articles in various national and international publications. He’s the former co-editor-in-chief of the journal Ethnomusicology Review, and founder of the section ‘France through Race: Beyond Colorblindness’ of Ufahamu: An African Studies Journal. Alongside H. Samy Alim and Tabia Shawel, he co-leads the UCLA Hip Hop Initiative. Beyond his academic work, he’s been involved in L.A. and Paris musical communities for the past decade. To learn more, please visit: https://ucla.academia.edu/SamuelLamontagne



Patrícia Martins Marcos

Patrícia Martins Marcos (Ph.D. UC San Diego) is UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Rising to the Challenge fellow at UCLA’s History Department and the Bunche Center for African American Studies. Her work tracks how producing bigger and better population futures became the key scientific project of the Portuguese Empire. Her book manuscript, Imperial Whiteness, uncovers the colonial roots of racial whitening in the early modern Afro-Luso-Brazilian Atlantic, excavating how Portugal was construed as a race-free space. She is an Associate Editor at the History of Anthropology Review and her work has been supported by the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, the Center for Black, Brown, and Queer Studies, and the John Carter Brown Library. She is currently a fellow with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her article on Black visual resistance in Portugal and its former imperial spaces, “Blackness out of Place,” was recently published with the Radical History Review.


Anne Napatalung

Anne Napatalung is a UCLA Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Department of History. She received her PhD from UC-Santa Cruz with advisor Dr. Gina Dent and her M.A. from Rutgers University with advisor Dr. Brittney C. Cooper. Anne’s focus on healing justice is informed by embodied experiences in reproductive justice communities as well as the living legacy of the U.S. prison abolition movement. She studied at the Baan Hom Samunphrai School from 2017-2021 with midwife Homprang Chaleekanha, and she serves as the Director of National Resources for the Wisconsin Doulas of Color Collective which she co-founded in 2014. Her research is concerned with the suppression of Black and Indigenous midwives and healers in relation to the formation of modern medicine.

Anne’s current book project frames the Tuskegee School of Midwifery (1941-1946) as a site entangled in local, national, and transnational circuits of knowledge. Her research examines the resonances of obstetrics and gynecology as an international field formed in Alabama, considers the suppression of the Black and Indigenous lay midwife in relation to the Tuskegee Institute, and traces the criminalization of informal medical knowledges between Alabama and Haiti. Her project calls for more expansive definitions of medicine and care rooted in an abundant archive of subordinated cultural and sensorial knowledges. At UCLA, she will complete her final chapter “The Midwives Never Left: Tracing Healing Justice Solidarities from Tuskegee to Haiti” with mentor Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley.


Ben Zdencanovic

Ben Zdencanovic (pronounced sten-CHAN-oh-vich) is a Postdoctoral Associate at the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy and a Lecturer in the UCLA Department of History. He is a historian of the United States in the world, domestic and international politics, and economic and social policy. 

Ben is currently working on two book projects. The first, tentatively titled Island of Enterprise: The End of the New Deal and the Rise of U.S. Global Power in a World of Welfare, 1940 – 1955, traces connections between the end of New Deal reformism, the rise of U.S. global power, and the birth of social and economic rights and the modern welfare state around the world in the mid-twentieth century. His second book is a major reevaluation of the “War on Poverty” in the 1960s, viewing it as a political-economic response to the manpower imperatives of racial capitalism, the Cold War national security state, and the unfolding conflict in Vietnam. 

He has published peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and the Radical History Review. In addition to his scholarly writing, he has written essays on history, policy, and politics for popular audiences in outlets such as Jacobin, the Boston Review, and the Washington Post. His writing and research have been supported by numerous grants and fellowships from such sources as the Yale Macmillan Center, the Rockefeller Archive Center, the Roosevelt and Truman presidential libraries, the University of Illinois Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ben earned his doctorate with distinction from the Department of History at Yale in 2019, where his dissertation was the winner of the Edwin W. Small Prize for outstanding work in United States history. Prior to coming to UCLA, Ben was a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale Jackson School for Global Affairs and an Assistant Instructional Professor at the University of Chicago.