Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellowship Profile (2015–17)

Marcel Brousseau, Ph.D. is a recipient of the Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mexican American Studies for the 2015–2016 academic year.

Dr. Marcel Brousseau has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation, "Over the Line: Critical Media Technologies of the Trans-American Hyperborder," examines the U.S.-Mexico border as a media network comprising literature, maps, and infrastructure. His research and teaching fields include media studies, Chicana/o studies, Indigenous studies, and American literature. He has engaged in fieldwork at Friendship Park (El Parque de la Amistad), on the San Diego-Tijuana border.

As a 2015-16 Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellow, he plans to work on adapting Óscar Martínez’s migration account Los migrantes que no importan into a moralized cartography. He is also undertaking a research project that examines climate control as a bordering technique. He will teach the course Mexican American Literature and Culture (MAS 314/ ENG 314V) in the fall 2015 semester.


Belem López, Ph.D. is a recipient of the Carlos E. Castaneda Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mexican American Studies for the 2015–2017 academic years. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Cognitive Psychology from Texas A&M University in 2015. She holds two bachelor degrees, one in Psychology and one in Linguistics from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her primary research areas are bilingualism, specifically how individual differences such as informal translation practices (i.e., language brokering) affect language processing.

Dr. López will be working on her manuscript Importarle un Pepino: How Differences Among Bilinguals in Language Brokering Experience Affects Idiom Processing, during her residency at CMAS. This research examines how prior informal translation experience or language brokering experience affects a bilingual’s ability to access idiomatic meaning across and within language boundaries. Across three experiments, bilinguals were instructed to correctly identify whether or not target words were related or unrelated to previously viewed idioms. Dr. López uses psycholinguistic methodologies such as reaction time and error rate measures to conduct her research to determine if there are lasting effects of prior language brokering experience. She will also be co-authoring a book chapter entitled Psycholinguistics of Humor, which seeks to highlight the contributions of psycholinguistics to the study of humor. She will also be conducting research on several projects including an extension and follow-up of her dissertation involving idioms and language brokering and another project that examines the effects of language brokering on humor perception and interpretation across languages.

In the spring semesters of 2016 and 2017, Dr. López will teach an undergraduate course, “Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism.” In spring 2017, she will give a public lecture on her research.


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