Christina Aushana

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, San Diego, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9726

Approve Date

October 23, 2018

Project Title

Aushana, Christina A., U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Policing Virtual Worlds: Community-Scripted Scenarios for Police Training,' supervised by Dr. Elana Zilberg

CHRISTINA A. AUSHANA, then a graduate student at University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Policing Virtual Worlds: Community-Scripted Scenarios for Police Training,’ supervised by Dr. Elana Zilberg. This research brings the materials that construct officers’ visual and performance training worlds under ethnographic analysis. As a performance ethnography of contemporary police training, this project intervenes in the experimental (re)visions enforced in a police academy located in Southern California by decentering the use of performance as metaphor in favor of fully inhabiting experimental performance research as a mode of inquiry into the tacitly racialized training scripts used to train new police recruits in California. It argues for a paradigm shift in ethnographic studies of policing and police violence by centering ‘scripting’ as a framework for examining how anti-Blackness and anti-immigrant sentiments ‘ weaponized against Latinx and Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) refugees and migrants in East County, San Diego ‘ become inscribed in the bodies of recruits through methods of improvisation used to teach and evaluate recruits in simulations of real-world encounters. Drawing on performance ethnography, interviews with patrol officers and recruits, observations of police academy training, and collaborative work with SWANA community members, this project is a critical examination of allegedly ‘colorblind’ police training materials and how recruits become enrolled into narrow genres of police vision under the direction of training officers.