2019 Postdoctoral Fellows

Michael Aguirre in front of "old wall" of the Calexico-Mexicali borderMichael D. Aguirre completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2019. His research examines class formations, labor activisms, and the dialectical relationship between economic powerbrokers, the state, and working peoples in the construction of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands from the 1930s to the late 1970s. Centered in Imperial County, California, and Mexicali, Baja California Norte, Mexico, Michael explores the longstanding desire by agricultural and industrial interests to manufacture a borderless landscape invested in furthering the racialization of Mexican and Latina/o peoples. At the same time, he reveals the degree to which workers’ identities were in flux and how organized labor on both sides of the border struggled to negotiate what he calls an “emancipatory imaginary of transborder politics” that mirrored and challenged the international growth and power of capitalism. By interpreting the borderlands as a space of movement with disparate meanings, Michael shows how racial and national borders were felt, resisted, and coopted for different needs. Driving his analysis is an engagement with labor, migration, border, and Chicana/o studies.

Miao QianMiao Qian completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto in 2019. Miao’s research focuses on the early development of racial biases (e.g., prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination), as well as interventions to reduce those biases. Miao has developed an innovative, child-friendly unconscious bias measurement and found that racial bias emerges early at preschool-age, much earlier than previously thought. Her research directly points to the urgent need for early interventions. Miao is currently developing evidence-based intervention programs to reduce young children’s implicit racial biases. One of the interventions, referred to as individuation training, involves training young children to perceive members of racial outgroups as unique individuals. This training has effectively led to short- and long-term reductions in racial bias. Miao also conducts cross-cultural research in China and Cameroon, aiming to fill the big gap of non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) population in the field of psychology and science in general!