Caroline Collins

Erin Cory

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in discourse relating to cultural iconology, identity, and power. 

Proposed Project

The story of the American western frontier is one of the most ubiquitous mythologies of our modern national identity, yet perspectives of many non-white male settlers have been historically underrepresented in scholarship.  This project examines the nineteenth-century westward migration of black Americans, not only in terms of their omission from the dominant cultural mythology of “The West,” but through an investigation of black pioneers’ own active negotiation of mythology.  What did “The West” mean to nineteenth-century black migrants?  Did they create their own mythologies, and if so how were these representations absorbed, overlooked, distorted, or erased within the broader mythological cannon?  Using archival and historical methods couched within theories from media studies, communication, literary criticism, American studies, cultural geography, and migration studies my study explores the dynamic relationship between iconology, popular culture and migration to tell the often-untold story of black American pioneers and their impact upon "The West." 

You may reach me at


MFA, Creative Writing, University of California, Riverside

BA, American Literature and Culture, University of California, Los Angeles

Selected Publications

(Publishing late 2015)  Cooperative Measures: NGO and Institutional Educational Partnerships in the US.  In L. Symaco (Ed.), Education as a humanitarian response.  London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 

(2014)  A Selection of Lorca. In Exchanges: A Journal of Literary Translation.  

(2012)  “Dream Interrupted.” In the African-American Experience Collection.   

(2012)  Hype (Completed Screenplay).  Registration Number: 1596559, Writers Guild of America, West.

(2011).  With Vásquez, O. A., Bliesner, J. Bridging the Gaps:  Community-University Partnerships as a New Form of Social Policy.  In Bowdon, M. & Carpenter. R. (Eds.), 

Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, Community Partnerships: Concepts, Models, and Applications, IGI Global. 

Presentations and University Participation

(November 2015) “The Syntax of Survival: Biopolitics Of An Oral Practice of Parents of Black American Children,” 29th Annual Society for Literature Science and the Arts (SLSA) Conference 2015, “After Biopolitics” Rice University, Houston TX

(September 2015) “Forging University/Community Partnerships: InterTribal Youth and UC San Diego,” UC San Diego, Vice-Chancellor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon and Symposium. 

(May 2015) “Making Graduate School a Reality Workshop,” for the LCM Fellows Program for Under-represented Students, UC San Diego, CA. 

(April 2015)  “Walls that Speak: An Analysis of the Narrative Power of Graffiti within a Colombian University,” California State University, San Bernardino Latin American Studies. 30 April 2015.  (Had to decline speaking due to a family health emergency).

(January 2015) Panelist, “Hands Up: What is Your Perspective?” A Dialogue on the Relationship Between Race and Policing on Campus and Beyond, Hosted by the UC San Diego Black Staff Association. 

(September 2014) Invited Speaker, Black Resource Center’s Student Success Institute, UC San Diego, Huerta/Vera Cruz Room.  

(August 2014) Global Partnership Practicum Course Development Consultant, UC San Diego / Unillanos Conferencia at the Universidad de los Llanos, Villavicencia, Colombia.

(August 2014) Co-Presenter, “LCM Infrastructure of Change,” UC San Diego / Unillanos Conferencia at the Universidad de los Llanos, Villavicencia, Colombia in the Auditorio Jamie Garzón. 

(August 2014) Guest Lecturer, “Collaboratively Learning English In a Non-English Context: Uno Desarrollo Clase en Ingles,” at the Universidad de los Llanos, Villavicencia, Colombia.  

(May 2014) Presenter, “La Clase Mágica: The View From the Practicum,” for the CIER Mission Seminar, UCSD, CA.  

(May 2014) Workshop Leader, “Power of Story Personal Statement Workshop,” for the LCM Fellows Program, UCSD, CA. 

(March 2014) Co-Presenter, “Assessment and practice: Links between pedagogy & assessment,” UC Links Annual Conference, Berkeley, CA.  

(February 2014) Workshop Leader, “Allow them to Re-Introduce Themselves: An Examination of the Influence of Narrative-Based Activities Within an After-School Setting,” for the LCM Fellows Program, La Jolla, CA. 

(July - August 2013) Selected Pilot Workshop Participant, UCSD/Calit2/Qualcomm “Flipping the Classroom”: Building Effective Online and Blended Learning Environments Summer Workshop, La Jolla, CA. 

(May 2013) Program Speaker, “Blazing A Pathway to College,” Mi Arte Mi Voz Education Exploration Conference, UCSD.

(April 2013) Co-Presenter, “21st Century Literacies: New Ways of Knowing For A World In Motion,” UC Links Annual Conference, Berkeley, CA. 

(June 2011) Presenter, “Literature and The Other.”  Graduate Lecture at the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert.



Joseph Naiman Graduate Fellowship

UCSD Department of Communication Summer Research Fellowship

Co-Investigator and Co-Recipient, Innovation Grant, UCSD Vice Chancellor’s Office on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

UCSD Department of Communication First Year Doctoral Fellowship


UCSD Pan-Hellenic Association Outstanding Professor Award Recipient (received as a Lecturer)

Authored various outreach and research grants on behalf of the Center for Academic and Social Advancement to receive funding from organizations such as:

*The Rokenbok Fund and The San Diego Foundation

*California Virtual Campus and CENIC

*Eugene Garfield Foundation Initiative

*BRAVO Foundation Grant


National Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Intern

UCLA CBOP (Career Based Outreach Program) Fellow

UCLA Stephen’s House Scholar and Scholarship Recipient

National Collegiate Honor Society

Alpha Lambda Delta Collegiate Honor Society

BAME Renaissance Scholar and Scholarship Recipient 

Henry Williams Scholar and Scholarship Recipient

PhD. Students