Why Major in American Studies?

Nelly Chavez, Fulbright Fellow, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity '12

Nelly Chávez is from the small town of Modesto, California.  Growing up, she always dreamed about finding a way to see more of the world than the orchards and fields of the Central Valley (which she does adore). The daughter of Mexican immigrants from the southern state of Guerrero, she is the first person in her family to obtain a college education. Inspired by her parents’ advice that languages were some of the best assets a person could have, Nelly decided to study French back in high school, and it remains one of her greatest passions to this day. While at USC she decided to further explore the peculiar history of the Americas and indulge in her passion for the Spanish Inquisition in an academically constructive way.  At USC, Nelly is completing a double major in American Studies & Ethnicity and French, with a minor in Latin American studies. Her research focuses on the importance of witchcraft as performed by women in colonial Mexico and in particular, what this phenomenon can demonstrate about women’s agency and power in the era, in particular women of mixed ancestry. She is the recipient of a Fulbright award for the 2012-2013 school year, which will have her assisting English classes in the metropolitan Madrid area.  Her faculty mentor is Professor Maria Elena Martinez.

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534