Fantasia Painter

Fantasia Painter

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings Research Initiative

Fantasia Painter is a 4th year Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and a new Researcher for the Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings Research Initiative in the Center for Race & Gender (CRG). She is also a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow, a Joseph A. Meyers Center for Research on Native American Issues Fellow, and a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC).

Hailing from a food desert and actual desert in O’odham territory (Arizona) and by way of Columbia University in New York, “Fan” has an unmitigated love for California produce. She also has a black “Rez-cue” cat / writing-sidekick named Mo.

Fantasia’s interdisciplinary dissertation uses ethnographic and archival research to examine the Tohono O’odham (TO), an indigenous community bifurcated by the US-Mexico border in southern Arizona.  Specifically, it takes as a starting point the TO Nation’s recent refusal to allow a US-Mexico border wall to be built on reservation land. Coupling TO positionality with the fact that “the wall” serves as a contemporary metonym for racialized US nationalism (a nationalism that culminated in the seat of the Trump presidency), Fantasia’s research queries the machinations of  “race,” “nation,” and “Indigeneity” on O’odham land historically and in the present.