Chi Yen Ha Chi Yen (Ichi) Ha ( is pursuing an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies, with a Ph.D. track in Anthropology, at the University of California, Riverside. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A in International Studies with a concentration in Cultural Psychology from Trinity College in 2016, where she also double-minored in Asian Studies and French. At Trinity College, she conducted field research on shamanistic practices among Kinh and Tai communities in northern Vietnam. Her current research focuses on ethnicity, indigeneity, nationalism, and the state in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia. She is interested in “ethnic” crafts (textiles) as a site for constructing, reenacting, and negotiating discourses about ethnic groups. She has also worked as a project consultant with NGOs and social enterprises in Vietnam.
Jemuel Jr. B. Garcia ( is an interdisciplinary storyteller, movement educator, and Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is a recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and a 2016 Fellow of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program sponsored by the US Department of State and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation. He finished his Master’s degree in Physical Education (dance stream) at West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Philippines (2014); and graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, double majoring in sports and dance, in the same university (2009). He has worked with dance majors, indigenous communities, grassroots artists and community based dance educators in his hopes to encourage everyone in doing their part to preserve, nurture and enrich the dance culture and traditions of the Philippine archipelago to which his research and previous publications were also anchored.
Chari Hamratanaphon ( is currently pursuing an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies, with a Ph.D. track in Anthropology, at the University of California, Riverside. She graduated with a B.A. in Thai Language and Literature from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her interests turned to Vietnamese Studies after taking courses on Vietnam and realizing its importance as a fellow ASEAN country, with certain cultural similarities with Thailand. Chari’s main research focus is Vietnamese folklore, and she is also interested in comparative studies between Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. She aims to share this knowledge with her students, colleagues, and interested academics in the future.
Violette Hoàng-Phương Hồ ( is currently pursuing a M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California Riverside. Violette received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California Los Angeles, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, along with College Honors and Departmental Honors. As a Lemelson Undergraduate Scholar at UCLA, she conducted fieldwork on college decisions among young women in Southern Vietnam. Her current research focuses on gender, education, globalization, (post)socialism, state power, nationalism, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia. She also works on English-Vietnamese translation of History and Anthropology texts.
Tara Westmor ( is currently pursuing an MA in Southeast Asian Studies, with a PhD track in Anthropology, at the University of California, Riverside. She holds an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University. Tara has work published and forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, Hunger Mountain, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. She is studying the ways in which tourists, predominantly Vietnam War veterans, use language to narrativize and poeticize their own experiences of war. She is also interested in poetics about, from, and remembering the American/Vietnam war, the westernization of performance poetry in Vietnam, and where the two topics may intersect. Tara is currently working on curating an anthology of the intersections between ethnography and poetry called Anthro/Poetics.
Magnolia Yang Sao Yia ( is a dance artist and PhD student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. She holds a BFA in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Through the support of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, she will be researching dance and embodied practices of the Hmong diaspora in the United States. Yang Sao Yia is interested in how Hmong practitioners construct and reimagine identity and home. Yang Sao Yia, a House Dance practitioner, has also trained in Yorchha™️, the Contemporary Indian dance technique of Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT). She has danced with ADT from 2013-2017 and will be rejoining them for the 2018-2019 season and premier of Sutrajaal: Revelations of Gossamer. Informed by the work and vibrations of ADT, Yang Sao Yia creates at the intersection of social justice, dance and healing.
Allan Zheng ( is a graduate student in ethnomusicology pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California Riverside. Allan graduated with a B.A. in Music from Colorado College in 2019. At Colorado College, Allan completed a project on bamboo xylophones in Bali and worked with musicians and instrument makers in Bali. Allan is broadly interested in the evolution of Cambodian music including movements to revive Cambodian traditional music and trends in popular Cambodian music. He is also interested in how musical cultures in Southeast Asia relate to each other.
Nattapol Wisuttipat ( holds a BEd in Thai Music Education from Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand; MA in ethnomusicology from Kent State University; and is now pursuing a doctoral degree in ethnomusicology and a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside. His MA thesis, Performing Far from Home, focuses on the efficacy of Thai classical music pedagogy in the United States in academic and community settings. Parts of the work has been presented in several academic conferences and public talks. Wisuttipat specializes in Southeast Asian music, especially piphat, Thai classical music. His additional research includes expressive cultures of Thai Americans, and world music pedagogy. Wisuttipat has performed in several non-Western music ensembles including Javanese gamelan, Trinidadian steel drum, African Ewe cultural group, and Mexican Mariachi ensemble. His dissertation focuses on affects and intersectionality of naphat, a Thai classical music category used in ritual and theater.
Stefan Torralba (they/them) ( is a PhD student in the English department pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. Their research lookscomparatively at contemporary queer Latinx and queer Filipinx-American cultural productions, particularly in terms of film and video, digital media, and poetry.