Celine Vezina

Skaldic poetry, a genre of medieval Icelandic vernacular poetry characterized by its ornate poetics and highly inflexible meter, typically taking the form of royal encomia, was the preeminent poetic form in much of Scandinavia during its period of composition (mid-9th-mid-14th centuries). My research will focus on the latter end of this tradition, the rarely studied Marian skaldic poems (typically) composed in the 14th century. The Marian poems demonstrate a deep self-consciousness about the function of poetry within their changing culture, effectively using skaldic traditions as affective technologies to create emotional responses. The deeper understanding of the aesthetic gestures and innovations made by these Marian poems that my research seeks to access could provide incredibly valuable insights into Old Norse textual culture. Composed centuries after conversion, the distinctly skaldic emotional technologies deployed by these Marian poems suggest the enduring power of the genre in cultural memory, and a tradition of emotional […]

Sarah Barnett

There is no doubt that finding a professed author in our surviving Middle English texts is both incredibly valuable and extremely difficult. An author, no matter his or her intentions, often cannot help but bring a rich array of individual complexities into their work. However, when an overwhelming majority of the surviving Middle English poetry we have today is expressly author-less, authorial intention becomes an aspect we can only speculate on without any real confidence. Without a name, the basis for determining many aspects of authorial voice has tended to fall rather problematically on a poems content, and just how far we can extrapolate poetic content as indicative of individual character and authorial presence remains an unanswered question. My research seeks to come to stronger conclusions about such issues, largely focusing on how we can and should determine the poetic female voice, especially in cases of anonymous works where no […]

Yena Lee

The past two years have been a time of painful awakening for Korea as the country witnessed a deeply polemic gender war previously unprecedented in Korean society. Within K-pop fandom, a series of fan-initiated hashtags such as #WeWantBTSFeedback has started publicizing and demanding feedback for issues of misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia in K-pop industry, specifically in the star text of different idols and idol groups. In this research, I will explore how the recent feminism revival in Korea has fostered a discourse on identity politics within K-pop fandom by examining the feminist narrative of the 21st century Korea, history and characteristics of K-pop fandom and past fan activisms, and intersectionality of of feminism, K-pop fandom, and Twitter as both a medium and an active site and producer of a social movement.

Max Lopez

This summer I aim to reconstruct and contextualize the career of the 1970s Afro-Latino funk band WAR, perhaps best known for enduring hits such as “”Lowrider,”” and “”Cisco Kid””, but in the peak of their fame, rebound for their album and title track “”The World is a Ghetto.”” Like many American cities in the mid-1960’s, the Watts neighborhood in LA went up in flames and ignited a battle between residents, activists, artists and political officials to represent and shape low-income urban communities. WAR’s contribution to the era’s soundscape carved out a unique political-cultural space and vision.

Elizabeth Juster

My research concerns El Lissitzky’s Proun artworks produced in the 1920s. Lissitzky was working in a very politically charged time amidst the Russian Revolution, and hoped to use art as the foundation for a new and better society. Purely geometric, evoking three-dimensionality, and in some instances architecture, the Proun artworks represent Lissitzky’s attempts to express new ideas, such as the fourth dimension and abstraction, through art. I hope to gain insight into Lissitzky’s own theoretical understandings of how space, time, and the viewer interact through the medium of artwork in order to present the Proun artworks in an unfamiliar way.

William Sandholtz

For the most part, individuals must break the law in order to escape paying U.S. individual income taxes. However, corporations can legally avoid (or at least defer indefinitely) paying U.S. corporate income taxes by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax laws of various countries. Major U.S. companies such as Google and Apple have made headlines with their intricate tax avoidance schemes, which cost the U.S. government billions of dollars in tax revenue. One major component of tax avoidance by large U.S. multinational corporations is the artificial shifting of profits to low-tax countries by manipulating inter-company transfer prices. My research attempts to find evidence of transfer mispricing in U.S. bilateral trade data. I am investigating how corporate tax rate differentials between the U.S. and other countries create incentives to manipulate transfer prices, and to what extent artificial profit shifting via transfer prices distorts bilateral trade flows.

Patricia Hernandez

The percentage of Latinas in higher education has increased over the last 20 years. Yet, this population is often viewed as a homogenous group, obscuring the diversity of experiences Latinas face. In particular, experiences like those of young Latina mothers are often ignored or absent. By erasing their experiences, we miss an opportunity to learn about the unique ways that they challenge cultural gendered norms on motherhood and the ways that they navigate normative spaces within the university. My research project examines the central question: how do Latina mothers navigate and challenge societal and cultural stigmas associated with being Latina and a student parent? Specifically, this research will focus on the challenges Latina mothers face at the community college and university level.

Danny Hutto

In the spring of 1932, while attending Long Beach Junior College (LBJC), John Fante published his short story Eleven-Thirty in the campus literary journal, Edda. The story, bursting with cliches, depicts a young man, disappointed in love, at the brink of suicide. Critic David L. Ulin dismisses it as pure juvenilia and mostly overwrought. A few months later The American Mercury published Fantes story, Altar Boy. Aside from sharing Fante as the author, the two stories hardly resembled one another. The variation in the quality of the two stories suggests the tremendous impact that Fantes experience at LBJC exerted on his thinking and literary career. In months, he transformed from the author of the immature and nearly unrecognizable Eleven Thirty to the prolific and emotionally wrought voice found in Altar Boy and later novels such as Wait Until Spring, Bandini and Ask the Dust. My research asks, what happened? What […]

Jacob Bjorseth

The French New Wave, a cinematic movement which shifted the paradigm of narrative storytelling, was based on an engagement with radical social upheavals. By rejecting the literary, political, and societal standards and expectations of their era, New Wave directors were responsible for groundbreaking representations of modern social issues. In my research project, I am examining the ways in which two particular New Wave directors (Jean-Luc Godard and Agns Varda) interact with and comment on gender roles in their films. Both Godard and Varda employ subversive representations of gender which give their films a reputation of challenging the heteronormative gender structures of contemporary French society. My focus in this project is to identify the intersections between the technical cinematographic and narrative aspects of these New Wave films that give us reason to believe that these two filmmakers actively sought to redefine and reinvent the ways in which spectators view gender relations. […]

Beth Hightower

The story of genocide has largely been taken up by its victims: their testimony takes on a reparative significance, counteracting their previous erasure. Jonathan Littells 2006 novel Les Bienveillantes, however, depicts World War II through the eyes of a Nazi official, who speaks to the reader as both an intellectual and historical actor. The narrators intellectualism authenticates him, makes him relatable, places him in a French literary tradition, and facilitates his crimes. This intellectual bent allows the narrator to take an administrative position within the regime, granting him access to the bureaucratic information that he then narrates in a tedious deluge of dull facts. The boredom this role implies and inflicts suggests that evil is not only banal, but is in fact an ordeal of drudgery, underlining the deeper horror of a continued choice to be complicit. This project will explore what this depiction of evil means in the context […]