Mr Fernando Rojas (2019)
As an undergraduate at Yale, I studied the history of relations between the United States and Mexico in the 20th century. I focused particularly on the movement of people and ideas during the early decades of the 20th century and the Cold War years. By highlighting the historical fluctuations in migration, my work hopes to frame current conversations about migrations across borderlands. At Cambridge, I will interrogate Mexico’s cultural response to decolonization movements around the world during the 1960s and 1970s. While scholars have written about the cultural exchange between countries like Cuba, South Africa, and Vietnam during decolonization, it is necessary to continue this dialogue to include more movements. Outside classes, I have developed an immense appreciation for museums and galleries. These public-facing institutions shape the way societies engage and discuss ideas. To connect my research with broader audiences, I have devoted time to working in a variety of museum spaces. In the summer of 2016, I developed a temporary exhibit about the segregation of Mexican children in 1920 Topeka, Kansas. The exhibit was researched and funded by the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. I hope to maintain this tradition of breaking past academic circles by seeking novel ways to discuss important moments of the past with increasingly larger audiences. It is an incredible honour to join the Gates Cambridge community.