Cesar Soto was awarded a Ford Dissertation Fellowship for his dissertation tentatively titled “My Kingdom is not of this World: Christianities, Revolution and National Identity in Atlantic Writing Cultures (1789-1832)”. He is also an alternate for a Fulbright Research Grant to Ireland. He will be presenting “Fray Servando Teresa de Mier’s Memorias: Radicalizing Burke and the Uses of Rousseau in the Formation of the Mexican Republic in the Nineteenth Century” at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (UC Berkeley in August). Cesar was very successful at CSUN and he has continued this success! He says “I continue to be grateful for the first-rate education I received at CSUN and I hope everyone is well!”
Previously on Cesar's work in progress!
Greetings from South Bend, Indiana. I can't believe that three years have come and gone so quickly!
I have some good news: I recently passed my Qualifying Exams with a Distinguished Pass. My exam lists included 19th c British, Irish, and Mexican Literature. For Methods, I was tested on theories of Nationalism & Cosmopolitanism. For the dissertation, I plan to look at how religious sectarianism informs visions of the nation in all three national literatures and will ground my project in the trans-atlantic radical print culture of the 1790s. Greg Kucich and Declan Kiberd will co-direct my dissertation.
I am working toward obtaining a graduate certificate in Irish Studies which enables me to participate in the annual Notre Dame Irish Seminar. The title of this year's seminar is "Peripheral Modernities? Ireland/Argentina/Latin America" and will take place in Buenos Aires this June. I've also received generous funding to attend the William Carleton Summer school in northern Ireland and to travel to Dublin for archival research on Carleton at the National Library in August. I designed a literature course titled "Romanticism & Religion" that I am slated to teach during Spring '16. Lastly, I founded and am current president of the Latina/o Graduate Association at Notre Dame (LGAND). We are going into our third year.
Acclimating to not only Midwestern weather but to the undergrad campus culture here at Notre Dame--a culture constituted by specific class, ethnic, and religious worldviews--has been difficult, particularly because ND is quite unlike the diverse world of CSUN. However, after having taught undergrads here for a year and a half, a lot of my own preconceptions and biases have been challenged---there's something about teaching in the classroom that forces teachers and students alike to grapple with one another's opposing views and to learn from each other. I'm glad to say that as I enter my fourth year, I now feel that I've come into my own and that I am a stronger person and scholar. I even like my new life here (except for the winters!)
I do miss everyone back at CSUN, though, and am grateful for the excellent education I received as an undergrad and master's student. I have been able to hold my own against colleagues who went to Ivies and/or who have research degrees from Oxbridge. I bring a lot to the table not just because of my own background but also because of the continual exposure to diversity in the classroom and campus culture at CSUN. Some of my colleagues here at ND that are enthusiastic latecomers to radical theories of sexuality, race, and gender are shocked when I tell them about all the cultural studies departments at CSUN, that is, they have a hard time imagining that campuses so manifestly committed to diversity exist.
If anyone would like to stay in contact, please email me at: Csoto@nd.edu I would love to hear from you.