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Gerardo Hernandez, MA

Visiting Lecturer 

Department of English, Indiana University, IN

Hello! My name is Gerardo (Jerry) Hernandez! I recently graduated with my Master of Arts in Food Studies from the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University! Currently, I serve as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of English, IU Bloomington. 


Research Interests 

My current research interest is in the idea of what a good meal is. In this, I am interested in investigating what this perception of a good meal looks like for underfunded/ underprivileged US urban BIPOC school children. How social values, power structures, and inequality/class shape their perceptions, and how language plays into how they define it. I am interested in how food can be the focal point for identity-building, and belonging, and how food can be used as a tool of empowerment and a sense of community/ belonging.

Current Research

Community-Based Research: 


My past MA research was done in collaboration with Felege Hiywot Center, a non-profit urban youth STEM Agriculture Farm. My research focuses, with FHC’s collaboration, was on urban youth and their pursuit of a good meal. While for many of us, food can bring thoughts of joy, gratitude, and fullness, for many adverse urban youths, food can represent a source of anxiety, frustration, and even shame. While at FHC, students participated in surveys and mindful journaling about food, identity, and community


The journaling activities were planned, created, and executed through the collaboration between FHC Staff, IU Researchers, and Indiana Writers Center Staff/Interns (a non-profit that is focused on amplifying the voices of the unheard). Each week was carefully crafted around different themes, including teamwork, patience, and food. All themes were created to fit into a temporal progression as the students become more adapted/ comfortable with the FHC space. By providing this space, students can articulate the farm's focus on time management, responsibility, the cultivation of people and other living things, and greater environmental awareness.


Alongside the journaling activity that was executed during camp, survey questions were also utilized to capture additional data. Through 45 pre- and post-term survey questions, created by the IU team, data was collected to track the individual growth of each student throughout the summer camp

Get in Touch

Student Building 130
701 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

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