Blood and Steel: Honor and Personal Violence in Early Modern Spain and Japan

Personal violence was an endemic problem for Early Modern societies, since both elites and the upwardly mobile acted according to codes of honor rooted in the past. Two cultures, Early Modern Spain and Japan, handled this problem in outwardly similar manners. While governments imposed strict penalties on personal violence, martial artists in both societies created systems of combat that addressed not only the immediate physical concerns of their students, but also their spiritual and psychological needs. By analyzing and comparing 16th century Spanish and 17th century Japanese fencing manuals I will illustrate the manner in which different cultures dealt with this problem. I will also reference studies about personal violence from the fields of Japanese history and anthropology.

...Read More about Marcelo Aranda
Humanities and Social Science

Comparisons in Consciousness: Congruencies in Tibetan Buddhist and Hopi Indian Epistemology

I am interested in verifying the existing research on the correlations between Tibetan Buddhist sacred knowledge and Native American sacred knowledge. I will focus specifically on Hopi Indian knowledge. I intend to explore the relationship between practices, beliefs and their metaphysical understanding of the world. Additionally I will investigate the idea of being connected to all things, a belief that they share; looking at how this process manifests itself from an internal to an external awareness or vice versa. Ultimately I would like to know the significance of their correlations and how they can contribute to Western Science. I will spend one month working with Hopi Indian material, as well as one month working with Tibetan Buddhist material. I will use primary and secondary texts, oral histories, teachings and interviews.

...Read More about Natalie M. Avalos
Humanities and Social Science

NGO Funding and Aid Dependency: A Case Study in Bangladesh

Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are playing an increasing role in the economic development of the global south. Bangladesh in particular is a country in which NGOs have emerged as a huge portion of the countrys source of development aid. I will be examining two particular organizations in Bangladesh. Both organizations allocate funding to NGOs. The first acts somewhat like a bank for NGOs by using loans it received from the government, to loan money to NGOs, which in turn give micro credit loans to villagers. The other organization also acts as a funding mechanism for NGOs, but it gives money to organizations through grants rather than loans. I will be investigating these two funding models in order to see how funding sources influence the kind of projects that NGOs pick up. In order to do so, I will be comparing these organizations original stated missions and see how their projects have […]

...Read More about Aeshna Badruzzaman
Humanities and Social Science

Managing Trash: New Urban Governance and Political Networks in Argentina

My research project addresses the important questions of how new forms of governance are emerging in response to the growing challenges of urban management in many parts of the third world. Specifically, I will investigate the newest forms of solid waste management initiatives in Argentina put forth by the World Bank, the national and provincial governments of Argentina, local cooperatives and private agenciesand the extent to which these organizational forms can actualize participatory development goals. As hundreds of thousands of Argentinos have taken to picking and sorting trash as a means for survival, it is increasingly important to assess how these new networks of urban and regional governance are bridging the private-public divideand ultimately whether the interests of the intended beneficiaries are truly being included in development projects.

...Read More about Rebecca Baran-Rees
Humanities and Social Science

Hotel Bauen: Consumer Tourism and the Cooperative

The growing cooperative movement in Argentina, emerging out of the economic crisis of 2001, presents an interesting opportunity to study the ways in which the cooperative is modeled and understood in the context of a capitalist economy. For two months I will look at the model put forth by the four-star Hotel Bauen. Specifically, I will examine how the cooperative is understood and how that understanding is affecting and affected by the consumer tourist market to which it caters. To this end, I will conduct a series of interviews and surveys to understand the effects of the relatively new cooperative structure of the hotel on the type of clientele that it attracts. As well as the ways that cooperativism as a practice and an ideology is shaped by the necessary commodification of its enterprise in order to secure a niche in a consumer tourist market.

...Read More about Zoe Wilen Brent
Humanities and Social Science

Culture, Agency, and Free Will

A great deal of research has recently emerged regarding the concepts of agency, intentionality, and Free Will. In The Illusion of Conscious Will (2002), Dan Wegner asserts that people believe they cause their own actions in a way that is concurrent with the theory of Free Will (Wegner, 2002). I believe that a lay theory of agency varies by culture. I describe Americans understanding of agency as purposeful and Asians understanding as adaptive. My hypothesis is based on cross cultural research that shows that Asians and Americans have different understandings of the Self (Markus and Kitayama, 1991), causality (Morris and Peng, 1994), and the importance of choice in life (Iyengar and Lepper, 1999). My research this summer will consist of a survey study in both Beijing and Berkeley.

...Read More about Christopher Cochran
Humanities and Social Science

Regulatory Focus and Interethnic Interactions

Past research by Shelton, Richeson, and Salvatore (2005) has shown that minority group members feel less authentic interacting with people outside of their ethnic group than with their in-group. There are many reasons why people feel inauthentic during such interactions, but one likely part of the explanation is based on regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997). This theorizes that people interact with the world in two ways. People who are promotion focused gear themselves toward aspirations and gains; conversely, prevention focused people vigilantly avoid negative outcomes (Seibt & Forster, 2004). In my project I will test the hypothesis that stigmatized people who interact with someone outside of that group become more prevention focused and less promotion focused which leads them to modify their behavior and feel less authentic.

...Read More about Stefanie Stella Como
Humanities and Social Science

Guest Worker Programs: A U.S.-Germany Comparison

...Read More about Erin Michelle Cooper
Humanities and Social Science

Investigating the role of Asc1 in the transition to invasive growth in the yeast S. cerevisiae

Changes in cellular programming are often thought to be mediated by changes in regulation at the level of transcription. However, there is increasing evidence that changes in the regulation of translation may play an equally important role in the reprogramming process. In our lab, we have found that the transition from a vegetative to invasive physiology in the yeast S. cerevisiae requires a novel mode of regulation of translation. I recently identified a protein, Asc1, which is required for this transition and potentially acts directly at the level of translation. My research will focus on elucidating the specific role of Asc1 in this transition as well as identifying other reprogramming events in which it may be involved.

...Read More about Scott Michael Coyle
L&S Sciences

The Veil of Hushed Desires: Inscribing Silence onto the Female Body

The religious and phantasmagorical realms of Dantes Inferno and Hans Christian Andersens fairy tales have fascinated generations of readers to enter into a phantasmagorical realm whereby magic and metaphor camouflage a rather fanatic quest for redemption. Through physical mutilations and psychological torture, these stories have condemned fictional female subjects to punitive action as a means of depicting the omnipotence God. Through biographical and autobiographical records, textual analysis, and literary discourse surrounding Dante Alighieri and Hans Christian Andersens distinct authorships, my research seeks to further examine the ways by which these authors fictional female subjects are silenced and inscribed within a liminal space of patriarchal standards of morality.

...Read More about Monica Susana Hidalgo
Humanities and Social Science

Cultivation and Hatchling Feeding Behavior of the Blue-Ringed Octopus Hapalochlaena lunulata

The blue ringed octopus (H. lunulata) is a highly toxic animal, secreting tetrodotoxin (TTX) as a means of defense and prey capture. H. lunulata is an important organism for studying toxicity and its role in behavior, evolution, and reef ecology. Today, these octopuses are taken from the wild for study, and few survive in captivity. The goal of this summer’s project is to design a method of rearing H. lunulata from egg to maturity. This is very difficult, as the paralarval hatchlings or this species are pelagic and require a special upwelling tank to keep them and their prey suspended in the water column. The paralarvae have never been observed in nature or reared successfully in a laboratory, thus their food preferences are unknown. This project will involve the cultivation of possible food sources such as brine shrimp nauplii, rotifers, and copepods. The project will also include the construction and […]

...Read More about Julia Elizabeth Himes
L&S Sciences

How have the drug wars affected the children of the incarcerated in California?

Since the 1980’s our country has been fighting a “war on drugs” that is aimed at the supply side of the drug economy. Domestically this effort caused our incarcerated population to grow much faster in the past 30 years than the total population. Consequentially, a growing proportion of children experience the negative externalities of a parent’s incarceration. My research question is “How have the ‘drug wars’ affected the children of the incarcerated in California?” I’ll focus on the challenges facing families touched by incarceration and the services available to them. This topic is particularly relevant at a time when the state estimates that about 9% of California children are affected by the incarceration of a parent.

...Read More about Mariana Horta-Cappelli
Humanities and Social Science

Marginalization and the American Comedic Voice

‘Comedy’–as a genre, term, and concept–receives relatively little attention and academic exploration when juxtaposed with more ‘central’ fields of literary studies. Comedy is considered ‘low art’ by some, simply ‘illegitimate’ by others, and even believed to be derived from sin itself by a few literary critics. By examining the early travel writings and letters of Mark Twain, as well as the contemporary television program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” I attempt to determine from where the marginality of the American comedic voice originates, and what effect it has on the so-called ‘power’ or ‘weight’ of American comedic texts. I will also spend time with the existing (albeit, small) body of criticism concerning comedy in order to better conceptualize and articulate the concepts examined in my primary texts.

...Read More about Bradley Allen Hunt
Humanities and Social Science

Encoding and retrieval of emotional pictures in major depressive disorder

For my senior thesis, I am studying potential neural abnormalities associated with dysfunctional emotion memory and regulation in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This study will help elucidate the role of emotion processing dysfunctions in the maintenance and expression of the disorder. I will be utilizing previously collected, un-analyzed data for this project. First, I will determine whether individuals diagnosed with MDD demonstrate preferential memory for negative events compared to healthy control individuals in a free recall memory test of emotional pictures. Then I will analyze electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings taken during encoding and retrieval of the pictures, investigating the potentially differential processing of negative versus positive stimuli between the two groups. Finally, I will explore the potential existence of depression sub-types.

...Read More about Amy Marie Jimenez
Humanities and Social Science

Rethinking the Mammalian Reproductive Axis

The current conception of the hormonal regulation of mammalian reproduction purports that the anterior pituitary gland and the peripheral sex organs are controlled by a hypothalamic releasing factor (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone: GnRH) which acts on the pituitary. Recent research suggests that secretion of hypothalamic releasing factor is itself tightly regulated by neuropeptides that are novel to this line of research. One such peptide, kisspeptin, also known in cancer research as metastin for its role as a metastasis suppressor, has been shown to be a positive regulator of the reproductive axis, acting to increase secretion of GnRH from the hypothalamus. Recently, a novel neuropeptide was shown to be a negative regulator of the mammalian reproductive axis by our lab (Gonadotropin Inhibiting Hormone: GnIH). The goal of the lab is to integrate these two new findings into an updated conception of mammalian reproductive regulation. The present study seeks to use seasonal breeding […]

...Read More about Jacob Harrison Levine
L&S Sciences

Osteoarthritis and Osteophytosis : a comparative study of Aging in the Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

Age-related bone loss and osteoarthritis have been exhibited in several mammalian species, and both are especially common in humans. However, the etiology behind age-related bone loss is highly complicated and osteoarthritis is especially unstudied. Previous studies have relied on rodent models and have primarily investigated changes in BMD (Bone Mineral Density); however several weaknesses are associated with both approaches. I will be using Macaca mulatta, a similar species to humans with analogous bone remodeling processes in both cancellous and cortical bone. I will be using two methods: 1) histomorphometric analysis of rib microstructure and 2) physical scoring of vertebral osteoarthritis and osteophytosis. My analysis will thoroughly track the progression of bone loss and disease from maturation to old age.

...Read More about Ashley Nicole Lipps
Humanities and Social Science

Investigation of Handel Gene in Drosophila Melanogaster Involved in Synaptic Transmission

From reflex to philosophical reflection, the entire spectrum of neural activity relies on the mechanisms of neuron-to-neuron communication, or synaptic transmission. Thus any defects in this process causes catastrophic results in an organism. A mutant of the fruit fly gene Handel, involved in synaptic transmission, was recently isolated in the lab. The mutation causes lethal synaptic transmission disruption. This summer, I will use immunohistochemical staining methods to determine the general aspect of synaptic transmission that is malfunctioning. I will also use deletion, duplication, and recombination mapping to make considerable headway toward finding the location of the gene which causes the mutation. This could increase our understanding of synaptic transmission as well as of higher order nervous system function and dysfunction.

...Read More about Di Lu
L&S Sciences

A Survey into the Role of Local Community's Initiatives in influencing and shaping dialogue and action against HIV/AIDS

This summer, I am interested in understanding and highlighting how a local community in Mombasa, a small coastal town in Kenya is responding to the HIV/AIDS threat that is facing its members. I want to understand the role that community support groups, gatherings, church meetings, and community celebrations such as skits and dances are playing in molding dialogue about HIV/AIDS. With an understanding of the historical role of organizing in traditional African communities, this project will study how organizing and dialogue is playing a part in the education and empowering of this community. And how (if at all) it may be different from past forms of organizing. I will study the functioning of a local AIDS clinic, attend womens support group meetings, HIV youth workshops and events, and meet and interview health educators and community leaders in this effort

...Read More about Irene Chemtai Mungo
Humanities and Social Science

Positional Cloning of the curly mutation in Xenopus tropicalis

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in America. Hundreds of different diseases are characterized as cancer, but all have the same underlying cause. This mortal disease results from mutations in genes responsible for cell division regulation. For my project, I will positionally clone the curly mutation of Xenopus tropicalis, a defect due to alterations in a tumor suppressor gene. This summer my primary goal is to narrow in on the region in which the curly gene resides–the first step of positional cloning. After this initial step, I can later proceed to uncover the identity of the mutated gene. Through this project, we hope to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cancer by uncovering the genes involved in its development.

...Read More about Catherine Ngo
L&S Sciences

Masculine Maneuvers: Family and Profession in the Transnational Labor Market

The Philippines has become a leader in the export of nurses. Filipino nurses are leaving by the thousands every year to take positions in chronically understaffed medical facilities in the United States and around the world. This research project is concerned with this migrant flow. Specifically, I intend to conduct ethnographic research on men doctors retraining as nurses in order to gain access to the American labor market. This practice entails a variety of maneuvers gendered, professional, and transnational. Why do these men engage in this strategy of upward and outward mobility? What forces historical, political, social, etc. are structuring this phenomenon? What are the effects on family life and professional practice?

...Read More about Jobert Poblete
Humanities and Social Science