Alexyss (Lex) McClellan-Ufugusuku is a Shimanchu (Diasporic Ryukyuan) Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, with a designated emphasis in Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her dissertation research looks at the long history of geo-political debate over the status of the Ryukyu Islands and at Ryukyuan self- representation at the United Nations, as well as modern forms of Indigenous Shimanchu identity-making in the diaspora. Lex is currently the graduate student leader for the Okinawa Memories Initiative’s (OMI) oral history team, and in the past has served on OMI’s curriculum development and policy teams.
Currently, Lex is a graduate student instructor for a course on Okinawan history and memory, and this summer will teach her own class on the history of the Japanese Empire from 1869-1945. Lex has given statements at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, and been in consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights about numerous issues affecting the Ryukyu Islands and Ryukyuan people, and sees these forums as a way to forge Indigenous solidarity between peoples around the globe. Lex has participated in funded seminars at the National Humanities Center and through the National Endowment for the Humanities; her work has been featured in The Avery Review, Public History Weekly, and Shimanchu nu Kwii. In her free time, Lex is the Head Coach for the UC Santa Cruz intercollegiate women’s lacrosse team (go slugs!), which at its peak was ranked #5 nationally in 2022, and is an assistant coach for the high boys’ lacrosse team at Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz.
This biography was retrieved from an article titled, "2023 Career Diversity Workshop Fellows Announced," by Humanities Without Walls. It can be found here: https://www.humanitieswithoutwalls.illinois.edu/news/2023-career-diversity-workshop-fellows-announced