Visiting Scholars Program

Visiting Scholar Directory

How to become a Visiting Scholar in Ethnic Studies

The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year to engage in significant independent research projects.


Eligibility Criteria

Graduate students are eligible to apply as “Visiting Student Researchers” when they meet the following specifications:

US-based and international scholars are eligible to apply as “Visiting Scholars” when they meet the following specifications:


The Application Process

All visiting scholars and visiting student researchers must receive an invitation from an Ethnic Studies faculty member.

Prospective visiting scholars and visiting student researchers who do not have an active collaboration in place with an ES faculty member can look for a faculty member whose research interests match their own. Faculty profiles can be found here.

Once a scholar has identified a potential faculty sponsor, they should provide the faculty member with the following information via email:

  1. current CV
  2. brief description of intended research (length should be 200 words or less)
  3. brief statement on scholarly or intellectual relevance to the field of Ethnic Studies
  4. brief statement on intellectual rationale for working with this faculty sponsor
  5. beginning and end date for their visit

If the scholar receives an invitation from the faculty member, the scholar should then contact Gillian Edgelow at for details on the administrative processes.



There are several fees involved in the process of obtaining Visiting Scholar status at UC Berkeley.

  • $690 for the DS2019 Processing Fee for the J-1 Visa (there will also be a US government SEVIS fee for the visa itself)
  • University Services fee – details here
  • $500 Department fee (per semester)

NOTE: A department administrative fee reduction may be requested if a scholar is arriving without institutional support or where there is financial hardship. This request should be included with your application. Please note that the J-1 visa fee and University Services fee are both mandatory and cannot be waived.


Information Regarding Visas

J-1 Visas

Foreign visiting scholars will need to obtain a J-1 Visa to pursue their research in the Ethnic Studies Department. J-1 Visas are obtained by the issuance of a DS-2019 (which is the “certificate of eligibility”). There are several steps to securing a J-1 Visa and each step takes time. Plan for the visa application process to take 3-4 months, depending upon your home country.

Please note: Documentation of an “objective measurement” of English language proficiency is required for all J-1 Exchange Visitors. Either a recognized English language test (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc) or signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school.


Additional Information


Visiting scholars have access to the University’s libraries and are given normal borrowing privileges. Visiting scholars do not have access to secretarial services, office space, office supplies, and generally do not have the use of telephones, fax or express mail services. Visiting scholars are often able to consult with faculty members interested in their field of study, and to participate in the intellectual life of the department by attending presentations and colloquia.

Visiting scholars in the Department of Ethnic Studies will be given access to the following:

  • Use of the department copier
  • Use of the department scanner
  • An email address
  • A wireless connection to the internet
  • A departmental mailbox


Health Insurance

International visiting scholars must have adequate health insurance during the entirety of their appointment at UC Berkeley. Details can be found here.



All questions about the Ethnic Studies Visiting Scholars Program should be sent to:

Gillian Edgelow
Visiting Scholar Coordinator




2022-2023 Academic Year

Emanuella Doussis
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Director of the Institute of European Integration and Policy; UNESCO Chairholder on Climate Diplomacy
Climate Change and Forced Migration
Appt dates: October to December 2022
Faculty sponsor: Khatharya Um
Fatma Eren
Phd Student, Dept of American Culture and Literature
Hacettepe University, Turkey
War and Migration in Vietnamese American Novels Written in the Twenty-First Century
Appt dates: August 2022 to May 2023
Faculty sponsor: Khatharya Um


2021-2022 Academic Year

Maria Faini
Berkeley Connect Program Scholar
African American Studies and Ethnic Studies
Appt dates: August 2021 to May 2022
May Ying Welsh
Documentary Filmmaker and Journalist
Digital Archiving of the Loni Ding Media Collection
Appt dates: September 2021 to August 2022
Faculty sponsor: Lok Siu
Kumiko Noguchi
Associate Professor, International Studies
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo
The Indian Gaming Industry and Tribal Sovereignty in the United States
Appt dates: October 2021 to September 2022
Faculty Sponsor: Tom Biolsi
Leerom Medovoi
Professor, Department of English
University of Arizona
Ensoulment: The Inner Life of Race from Pastoral Power to Racial Capitalism
Appt dates: August 2021 to May 2022
Faculty sponsor: Keith Feldman
Linn Normand
Assoc. Prof, University of Stavanger, Norway
Exhuming immigrant voice of the past: a critical archival study of the Bancroft Library
Appt dates: September 2021 to August 2022
Faculty sponsor: Cathy Ceniza Choy


2019-2020 Academic Year

Maurício Barros de Castro
Adjunct Professor, Art Institute
Rio de Janeiro State University – Brazil
The political posters of Rupert Garcia: contemporary art, race and ethnicity in California
Appt dates: August 2019 to June 2020
Faculty sponsor: Ramon Grosfogue
Yuko Ito
Professor, Dept of International Relations
Asia University, Tokyo – Japan
The Transpacific Development of Contentious Historical Memories amongst East Asian Nations
Appt dates: September 2019 to June 2020
Faculty sponsor: Cathy Ceniza Choy
Smadar Lavie
Independent Scholar
Crossing Borders, Staying Put: Mizrahi Feminism, Palestine, and the Racial Formations of the Israeli State
Appt dates: May 2019 to April 2020
Faculty sponsor: Lok Siu
Fred Lee
Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian/Asian American Studies, The University of Connecticut, Storrs
Bong Joon-ho and Liu Cixin book project
Appt dates: January to May 2020
Faculty sponsor: Michael Omi
Gabrielle Williams
Berkeley Connect Fellow
Ethnic Studies and African American Studies
Starving from Satiety: Explorations of Uncommon Hunger in Twentieth-Century African American Literature
August 2019 to May 2020
Dongli Wu
PhD Student in English Literature
Nanjing University – China
Gender and Immigrant Spaces in Willa Cather’s Works
Appt dates: September 2019 to August 2020
Faculty sponsor: Cathy Ceniza Choy


2018-2019 Academic Year

Bidrea Alnasser
PhD Candidate, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK
Iraqi Women’s Narratives of Identity and Security: Challenging Dominant Knowledge
Appt dates: November 2017 to January 2020
Faculty sponsor: Keith Feldman
John Dougherty
Berkeley Connect Senior Fellow
Ethnic Studies & African American Studies
Flooded by Progress: Law, Natural Resources, and Native Rights in the Postwar Pacific Northwest
Appt dates: August 2018 to May 2019
Faculty sponsor: Cathy Choy/Ula Taylor
Sasha Gora
Doctoral Candidate, Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany
Culinary Land Claims: Restaurants, Relocalization, and Reconciliation in North American Cuisine
Appt dates: February to April 2019
Faculty sponsor: Lok Siu
Loubna Qutami
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Before the New Sky: Multiscalar Dispossession and (Im)Possibilities of Palestinian Transnational Youth Movements
Appt dates: August 2018 to May 2019
Faculty sponsor: Khatharya Um
Carolyn Smith
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Appt dates: August 2018 to May 2019
Faculty sponsor: Shari Huhndorf