Bolivia's Constituent Assembly: Remapping the State

After half a decade of political turmoil and the rise of social and indigenous movements in Bolivia, elections in 2006 and early 2007 have put the new party “Movement Towards Socialism” lead by Evo Morales in power with the charge of “refounding” the state and writing a new constitution. This summer I will travel to the constitutional capital Sucre, and observe the ongoing process of drafting new articles in the constitution under the categories of “Land and Territory” in the Constituent Assembly. Through onsite research and interviews, I hope to gain insight into the politically contested processes of remapping the Bolivian state in relation to emerging conceptions of indigeneity and “intercultural” social relations. The shape of the new constitution will not only have repercussions for the nationally divisive politics of land inequality and regional autonomy, but additionally the convening of a new constituent assembly in Ecuador and wider shift towards […]

...Read More about Devin Burnett Beaulieu
Humanities and Social Science

Well-Intentioned in the Worst Way: Retracing the Life of James Plemon Coleman

James Plemon Coleman was the Mississippi Governor who, in 1957, assured his fellow citizens that a baby born in Mississippi today will never live long enough to see an integrated school. He vowed to resist the federal mandate handed down by Brown in 1954, and became the first head of the controversial State Sovereignty Commission. But due to his later ties with the Kennedy-Johnson Administration and an eventual reputation of being a racial moderate, many think segregationist is a title he did not earn. In order to better understand the development of Colemans political identity, the development of his racial identity, and where the two might intersect, I will travel to Mississippi and spend two weeks in the State Archives researching his life. I hope to emerge with a more comprehensive picture of who he was as a person, and the ways in which his personal views on the race […]

...Read More about Joshua Jones Begley
Humanities and Social Science

Post-Holocaust Comedy: The Function and Use of Humor in Peter Greenaway's The Falls and Gold

While the application of humor to the Holocaust may seem difficult and even offensive, humor during the Holocaust was employed as a means of critique and rebellion, aiding in developing solidarity amongst prisoners and as a mechanism for coping with trauma. Though such rationales exist for the use of comedy during the Holocaust, there is no such theorization for post-Holocaust comedy written in response to the event. In looking at the British filmmaker Peter Greenaways post-witness portrayals of the Holocaust, specifically, his 1980 film The Falls and his latest novel from 2002, Gold, I will ascertain how by presenting the Holocaust through comedic fiction focusing on absurdity, Greenaway develops a new and necessary function for humor in contemporary portrayals of the Holocaust.

...Read More about Beatrix Chung-Yiu Chan
Humanities and Social Science

Identification of genes that are inappropriately regulated in hereditary iron overload

Iron is an indispensable micronutrient for living organisms. Studies have shown that the Hfe gene plays a significant role in iron regulation in mammalian cells. However, it is unclear how gene expression is affected by the defective Hfe gene to elicit higher iron accumulation than normal iron levels, and if strain differential iron overload in Hfe knock-out (KO) mice is associated with strain specific interactions of the genes. This summer, I will be addressing these questions by using microarray: differentially expressed genes in Hfe KO mice will be determined in both AKR and C57BL/6 background rather than strain specific gene differences or secondary to high iron content. Genes that are specifically affected by Hfe gene disruption will also be determined.

...Read More about Hannah Chung
L&S Sciences

Asclepius at Epidaurus: Healing the Ills of Ancient Greece

Asclepius, Apollo’s son, was an important healing deity in ancient Greece. Asclepian healing sanctuaries existed at Epidaurus, Kos, Pergamum, the Athenian Acropolis, and Corinth. The main vehicle for healing at these sanctuaries was dreaming, where one could converse and be healed directly by the god Asclepius himself. This summer I plan to explore the various methods of worship at different Greek sanctuaries, specifically focusing upon sanctuaries that employed different healing methods. Then, I will focus in on the sanctuaries that utilize dreaming as the primary healing method. The site that I am choosing to focus on is the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, due to its abundance of archaeological resources.

...Read More about Tweed Arden Conrad
Humanities and Social Science

Artistic Bias and Class Restrictions: A History of Unknown Nineteenth-century Painter Marcelle Jullien

My goal is to investigate how a pastors wife, my great-great-grandmother (1867-1947), found the financial and technical means to paint and the significance of her work in the greater scheme of late 19th century artistic tradition. I will begin by gathering biographical information from archives, religious institutions and surviving relatives to create a psychological and chronological framework. Then I will examine her work contextually, contemplating the conditional education of middle-class nineteenth-century women, other female artists of her generation, and the tradition of still-life painting. Marcelle Jullien managed to carve a space for her creative expression despite the societal pressures and restrictions of a patriarchal world. Since Art is a reflection of the environment within which it was created, this study is about gender and class as much as it is about Art History.

...Read More about Alexandra Laure Courtois de Vicose
Humanities and Social Science

On the Conceptualization of Space in the Work of 20th Century Latin American Author Julio Cortazar

The overall aim of the project is to provide a detailed analysis of the concept of space/place in the work of Argentinean writer Julio Cortzar, an overarching theme that echoes throughout his work and has been overlooked by both literary critics and scholars in the past. In preparation for my senior thesis for the Spanish department, I will analyze the concept of space/place via a close reading of Cortzars experimental novel Rayuela, along with a selection of his short fiction. I will focus on Cortzars depiction of topographical, societal, and perceptual landscapes, such as cities, streets, stairways, language, interactions, etc. and the meta-fictional spaces he co-creates with the readers, which allows his audience to become active participants in a process that is unique to his literature, in order to show how the author achieves to engage the reader in a pluralistic conception of reality through a unique and innovative proposal.

...Read More about Alice Lucille de Young
Humanities and Social Science

The function of prm-1 in Neruospora crassa membrane fusion

Cell-cell fusion is a highly regulated event that is fundamental to the development of most eukaryotic organisms. However, despite its fundamental roll, the mechanisms of cell-cell fusion in most systems are not very well understood. Using the orange bread mold Neurospora crassa, I plan to study one of its integral membrane proteins known as prm-1. Prm-1 is implicated in the function of the cell-cell fusion pathway for N. crassa. Clues as to the exact function of the prm-1 protein will be gained by significant phenotypic analysis of growth and sexual development, localization by fluorescence tagging, and suppressor mutant screening.

...Read More about Spencer Diamond
L&S Sciences

Investigation of the Genetic Mechanism by which Curcumin Achieves the Hypoacetylation of Histone

Curcumin (CUR), the active chemical of the Asian spice tumeric, has a strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory effect in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers (AD), as well as an anti-proliferative effect on cancerous cells. Based on broad ranges of scientific literature on this topic, CUR has correlated with dramatic reduction in acetylation of histone. However, the precise mechanism by which curcumin achieves hypoacetylation and therefore represses the transcription of cancerous cells, is poorly understood. In this experiment, I will culture C6 rat glioma cells and through using immunostaining and protein assay, I will quantitatively monitor the proliferation and differentiation of neuroglial cells with different doses of CUR. Hopefully, this research will provide further explanations of CURs preventive-therapeutic role in wide ranges of neurodegenerative diseases.

...Read More about Kamelia Ghazi
L&S Sciences

Understanding Senegal's Successful Response to the AIDS Epidemic: A Detailed Look at the History of a Proactive Goverment

Within the AIDS public health crisis currently affecting the African continent, Senegal stands apart from its African counterparts throught its succcess in controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This relative success is attributed to the early and timely government response, as well as to the joint efforts of multiple actors of the Senegales society including community religious leaders. But what were the already existent political bases and networks that facilitated the implementation of a national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic? This summer, I will work from Dakar with local and international actors such as public health officials, community leaders, and NGO partners and I will consult local government archives in order to investigate the social, political, and cultural mechanisms present in the country during the mid 1980s when the first AIDS cases were reported.

...Read More about Anca Giurgiulescu
Humanities and Social Science

The Effect of Scarcity on Children's Decisions

My project investigates the nature of basic human economic principles with special focus on the scarcity bias – the tendency to select objects in greater scarcity. A recent study observed children were more likely to choose an object from the less abundant of two sets (Markson, personal communication). Before explaining this behavior, I am seeking factors that could confound this bias. I plan to test children and adults and see if visual information is required for exhibiting this behavior. Subjects will have the option of choosing an object after providing only verbal information about the quantity of the two sets. This will test whether perceptual saliency is an important factor and also examine the dominance of the bias in either group.

...Read More about Eduardo Habitan Europa
L&S Sciences

Legal Aspects of Korea-American Human Sex Trafficking

According to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 4, No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Complying with the U.N. mission, both South Korea and United States governments have made many efforts to combat this modern-day slavery both legally and socially through legislative acts and expanded NGO services. However, the rate of sex trafficking, from the time the acts were written to the present, has actually increased significantly. This summer, I will be evaluating the legal wordings and the compliance to these acts by both countries. I will be talking to government officials and NGOs about their involvement, the pros and cons of the acts, the future of this issue, and then ultimately, suggest ways in which this issue can be combated more effectively and efficiently.

...Read More about Jennifer Koun Hong
Humanities and Social Science

History of Female Subjectivity in Kashmir: From 1947-Present

My particular interest for this summer is to explore whether the ongoing violence in Kashmir have inspired women to lead movements or organize petitions against the government in the last decade. I wish to study specific examples of resistance that have been attempted in the past, and to analyze the types of initiatives organized particularly by females, who seldom receive any acknowledgement for their efforts. Women in Kashmir are generally written into history as submissive and marginalized figures, who due to their social suffering, cannot bring themselves to oppose either patriarchal attitudes or domestic abuse. I intend to analyze to what extent women internalize instances of rape, fear, displacement, and the loss of their husbands or children. I hope that this analysis will provide me with a strong background to understand when, if, and how women release their anger, and whether this is ever done through the medium of resistance, […]

...Read More about Samma Ishaq
Humanities and Social Science

Manifestations of the Blind Prophet: The Appearance of Tiresias in the Masterworks of Modernism

T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound, the three pillars of Modernism are bound in their use of allusions, an attempt to tie their works to those of the past. One particular element that finds itself repeatedly invoked in the works of these Modernists is the figure of the Theban soothsayer Tiresias. I hope to identify the importance Tiresias plays as character and formative reference in each of the texts. My research will focus on a close reading of these three texts, the classical texts they draw on, and literary criticism concerning these works. The goal will be to determine why the blind soothsayer, the messenger from beyond the veil, makes such prominent appearances in each of these three works.

...Read More about Jordan Kevin Jeffery
Humanities and Social Science

Conspicuous Cuisine: Iron Chef and the 90s in Japan

1989 saw the collapse of the Japanese real estate market as well as the death of the Showa Emperor. As the 90s began, it was clear that the forces that had shaped the country for much of the postwar era were changing dramatically. I am going to Tokyo this summer to look into these changes by somewhat abstruse means. I plan to interview the cast and crew of Iron Chef, the quirky, now internationally known television show that combined cooking and sports-style competition, and aired between 1993 and 2000. I am interested in how Iron Chef exemplifies some of the major trends of the 90s in Japan and, possibly, how the show can modify our understanding of the decade.

...Read More about Colin Philip Charles Jones
Humanities and Social Science

Unspoken Trauma: Narrating the Representation of Sexual Abuse in Harriet Jacobs' Slave Narrative

As a slave narrative, Harriet Jacobs’ autobiography bears the burden of truth telling demanded by this genre. However, this categorization has largely prohibited critics from fully addressing Jacobs’ utilization of fantasy, which becomes apparent in her seemingly unbelievable and fantastic portrayal of her protagonist’s ability to constantly thwart her master’s sexual advances. Continuing my exploration of fantasy in Jacobs’ text, I will spend this summer reading extensively in psychoanalytic theory in order to further articulate an argument that accounts for the work’s fictional aspects as a manifestation of psychological trauma. I will also research primary and secondary documents related to slavery, especially slave narratives, so as to better understand the genre and the tremendous implications of Jacobs’ break from it.

...Read More about Allison Kathleen Lahl
Humanities and Social Science

Investigation of a conjugative plasmid in Staphylococcus aureus

An alarming number of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections have begun to surface in communities due to a particular strain USA300. USA300 carries a single conjugative plasmid, pUSA03, which confers multiple antibiotic resistance. This is of great concern because the plasmid has been suggested to be able to acquire additional resistance genes in response to changing antibiotic uses. To study the evolution of pUSA03, I hope to characterize the pUSA03 plasmid found in USA300 isolates infecting patients by whole plasmid PCR scanning that could detect any structural changes in the plasmid DNA sequence. Any variations found from the prototypical pUSA03 plasmid may be indicative of plasmid evolution, and I plan to sequence those plasmids to determine the nature of the changes.

...Read More about Felice Lin
L&S Sciences

Modernization Theory in the Post-Cold War Era

In the 1950s, modernization theory became the driving factor for American foreign policy as a reaction to the beginning of the Cold War. In the decades to follow, modernization theory slowly subsided in popularity, until a recent revival in the 1990s by several prominent American neo-conservatives in response to the presumed victory of the Cold War. This project plans to explore the reasons for the revival of modernization theory and its adoption by the neo-conservatives in the US. In preparing my answer in a 30-50 page paper, I will focus on the primary documents – in support of modernization theory from the 1950s and the 1990s – and place them in the context of the political atmosphere in the US during both periods.

...Read More about James Yushang Lin
Humanities and Social Science

Understanding the 'Korean Wave': The Role of Korean Soap Operas in Asian-American Identity, Pleasure and Cultural Proximity

This summer I will be investigating why Asian Americans engage in (inter)cultural viewing of Korean soap operas. I am interested in tying this question in with the Korean wave, that is, the general enthusiasm for Korean pop culture, but also to larger questions of pan-Asian identity, language and cultural proximity. To answer these questions, and hopefully more that I have not yet thought of, I will be viewing the most popular Korean soap operas and interviewing other viewers. I will also be engaging in Internet ethnographynetnography to further explore viewers opinions and feelings. I will track and monitor chat rooms and fan-sites that are devoted to discussing Korean soap operas. Guiding my research is the notion of the self as the subject-in-progress, one that is shifting, making and re-understanding.

...Read More about Stephanie Lo
Humanities and Social Science

Community Empowerment in Dictatorship and Democracy: An Examination of Shantytwon Women in Santiago de Chile

My history thesis project will analyze the Santiago de Chile of 1964 to 2006 from the perspective of shantytown women, with an emphasis on the community institutions that offer them employment, personal development opportunities and/or activism networks. I will examine what poor women do within these institutions, why these opportunities are significant in their lives and what this civic participation represents in the greater context of womens rights in Chile. Additionally, I will examine the consequences of dictatorship and democracy on shantytown women, to determine whether poor women have greater or fewer rights under dictatorship than under democracy, in order to better understand the position of women in modern Chilean society.

...Read More about Meghan Elisabeth Lowe
Humanities and Social Science

The Joycean Re-imagining and Revolution of Heaven and Hell in Finnegans Wake

Joyce’s Wake is many things (understatement of the year): as a wake, it is an initiation and a journey into the world of eternal sleep and all the fabulous events therein, and as such, the Wake is a meditation upon Joyce’s vision of the afterlife. Joyce, however, was not the first to explore in art the idea of an afterlife; his admiration for Dante is well known, for example, and the latter’s own intricately-structured apocalyptic vision is appropriated and reinterpreted by Joyce in many of his works. I would like to tease out these sorts of appropriations as much as possible in order to see how Joyce subverts and transforms the “traditional” Christian vision in the Wake, examining both classical and medieval allusions, as well as wider literary tropes and structures.

...Read More about Clifford Kaho Mak
Humanities and Social Science

Sustaining Academic Innovation: The Introduction & Institutionalization of American Cultures at UC Berkeley

The American Cultures requirement was ushered into UC Berkeley’s general curriculum during the late 1980’s, as universities across the nation followed suite. This project will study the development of multicultural requirements in the college curriculum, and specifically explore the origins of American Cultures on the Berkeley campus. In an attempt to portray American Cultures as an evolving curricular commitment, this project will focus on the historical narrative of the institutionalization and shifting of the AC requirement through changes in campus policy, administrative structuring of the program, and student, faculty, campus perceptions. Eighteen years after its enactment, has the AC requirement retained its purpose as a means to transform mainstream/traditional curriculum? Can a revealing of the historical narrative of the institutionalization of AC explain its shift toward irrelevancy?

...Read More about Jeff Patrick Manassero
Humanities and Social Science

Transgression, Media-Objects, Counter-Publics

This study proposes an investigation of the production and distribution of media products, in the form of images and pornographic texts that depict and eroticize sexual practices deemed high-risk by public health officials. In the United States, the mid 1990s saw the emergence of social practices within at-risk populations that both celebrate and promote condomless sexual encounters. Since 1997 through to the present, several homegrown media productions companies have emerge that explicitly produce media that depict and promote unprotected sexual encounters. This project will evaluate the relationship and dynamics between the circulation of this media and the emergence and continuation of the social practice. This project has the potential of informing both the fields of anthropology and public health.

...Read More about Mark Roy McGrath
Humanities and Social Science

The Effects of Aging on the Controlled Aspects of Novelty Processing: An ERP Study of Emotionally Salient Events

The ability to detect, evaluate and immediately respond to unexpected changes in one’s environment is an important, adaptive characteristic of mammalian behavior. This process begins with an initial orienting response and continues with subsequent evaluative processes aimed at determining the significance of deviant events. These stages of novelty processing can be measured by averaging electroencephalogram (EEG) signals that are time-locked to event-related potentials (ERPs). My study will investigate the effects of aging on one of these ERPs (termed the Late Frontal Negativity, or LFN), thought to correspond with the mental evaluation of the significance of novel stimuli. I hypothesize that the LFN amplitude will be reduced in older relative to younger subjects and that this reduction will be attributable, at least in part, to the frontally-dependent cognitive dysfunctions associated with aging. The findings of this study will complement current research investigating regions of the brain that are critical to the […]

...Read More about Samuel Francis Moore
Humanities and Social Science

East German Antifascism: The Everyday Reality of Historical Abstraction

With the crystallization of Cold War tensions by 1948/49, a specifically communist anti-fascism was invoked to distinguish East from West. In identifying West Germany as a fascist state, East Germany’s anti-fascist roots became her very raison d’etre. The roots, though, were shallow indeed; as the Cold War intensified, so did the degree of historical abstraction. By the 20th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic’s founding in 1969, the ideology of anti-fascism-based on a manipulation of history-had penetrated every aspect of both private and public life, from popular music to schools to memorials. In creating my own ideal-an East German born in 1949 with the Republic-I will examine how this abstract anti-fascism came to penetrate the everyday fabric of society as East Germany’s own socialist existence became increasingly threatened. Anti-fascism, like socialism, was an ideal that fell victim to politics.

...Read More about Linda Marie Nyberg
Humanities and Social Science

Feature detection in rats

A detailed mechanism of this so-called “feature detection” has been recently studied in humans; however, this mechanism has not been investigated in any animal model yet (Neri and Heeger 2002). Due to the general belief that rodents have very poor vision, scientists have paid little attention to them on the topic of visual perception. However, studies in the last 10 years have actually shown that the rodent visual systems present properties similar to those of other mammals such as cats and monkeys. Therefore, I believe rodents could be used as model systems to study the neural correlates of visual perception, and more importantly, that the results I obtain will help bridge the gap between animal models of perception and our understanding of human vision. My project will focus on investigating these spatiotemporal mechanisms for feature detection through behavioral experiments in rodents.

...Read More about Hongsik Park
L&S Sciences

Exposing the Emperor's Legitimacy: Augustus, Severus, and the Third Century Crisis

The Emperor Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, transformed a republican government with almost 500 years of history into an imperial monarchy that would last for another five centuries. It is important to understand the sources of Augustus political legitimacy so that I can understand how changes to those sources of imperial legitimacy, like the changes made by the Emperor Severus, led to the Third Century Crisis. By allowing me to focus on Augustus, this fellowship is an integral part of an ongoing project culminating in my senior thesis. Ultimately, I am examining the role the emperors legitimacy played in the political breakdown and violence of the Third Century, which may give us insight into effective sources of political legitimacy.

...Read More about Andrew Giovanni Prout
Humanities and Social Science

Option Value in China's Great Migration

This research project will use a large series of migrant worker interviews to measure the option vale of the urban environment in Beijing, China. The difference in urban and rural earnings, taking into account respective changes in standards of living, are an important component of a migrant worker’s decision to move from countryside to city. Understanding the value migrant laborers place on their new urban lives will help paint a clearer picture of what has become the greatest migration in the history of the world.

...Read More about Andrew Harada Rowland
Humanities and Social Science

Regulation of macrophage phagosomal protein expression by Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall lipids

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), along with other infectious diseases, has become a resurgent global concern, in part due to selection for drug-resistant strains in infected populations. M.tb is able to survive within macrophages (innate immune cells that should engulf and degrade foreign material) in compartments known as phagosomes by some unknown mechanism. This summer, I want to use quantitative mass spectrometry to study how specific cell wall glycolipids of M.tb manipulate phagosomal membrane protein expression in macrophage cells. By comparing protein regulation by two structurally similar but functionally very different glycolipids found in virulent and non-virulent mycobacterial species (ManLAM and PILAM, respectively), I hope to gain insight into mechanisms that make M.tb one of the most successful bacterial pathogens.

...Read More about Leslie Chung-Lei Sheu
L&S Sciences

Investigating CRPYTOCHROME 2 (CRY2) and EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3) as molecular partners in the circadian system in Arabidopsis thaliana

I am studying the possible physical or functional interaction between ELF3 and CRY2, two genes in Arabidopsis thaliana that are involved in regulating the plants biological clock. I will study ELF3 and CRY2 using Arabidopsis plants that have mutations in these genes, resulting in dysfunctional proteins. Many of the phenotypes of the single mutants are opposite, which helps to facilitate analysis of the gene interaction. I will look at flowering time, monochromatic and white light signaling (using hypocotyl elongation as an assay), and regulation of 24-hour rhythms using Luciferase as a reporter gene. I will also analyze the protein products on a molecular level, using yeast two-hybrid and co-immuno-precipitation experiments. The interaction of these two genes could help reveal the biological pathways involved in light signaling and floral induction.

...Read More about Jillian Lee Silvestrini
L&S Sciences

Geographic Connection and Ideological Division: Inka Roads in Northern Ecuador

The Inka Empire is known for its extensive road system a monumental network of engineered routes across South America. My research will be focused on one section of Inka road located in Northern Ecuador in the region of the Pambamarca Archaeological Project. This area is known for fierce indigenous resistance to Inka imperial expansion resulting in the construction of several large fortress complexes. Focused on the nature of imperial expansion and local resistance, I will survey the Inka road and its features with the goal of creating a regional GIS map, recording archaeological structures along the route, and documenting construction methods. Ultimately, I will test the hypothesis that this Inka route was constructed in order to co-opt local trade routes and fracture local resistance.

...Read More about Hannah Abigail Sistrunk
Humanities and Social Science

The Consecrated Kitchen: Culinary Expressions of Spirituality

This projects aims to understand how Babettes Feast and Like Water for Chocolate demonstrate the sanctity of food in relation to religious practice. My plan is to answers several questions in the course of my research: how do food and faith correlate, and how are these correlations articulated differently in these two texts? How do gender expectations shape the lives of these heroines? In telling the stories of two women, Babette Harsant and Tita de la Garza, these texts asseverate a link between the spirituality that is inherent in each heroine and the gender issues that arise when their faith can only manifest itself where they spend the vast majority of their lives: in the kitchen.

...Read More about Stephanie Joan Stiavetti
Humanities and Social Science

The Effect of Viewing Sexual Films on Memory

My research project for SURF is on human memory performance when viewing different emotional stimuli. The types of emotion I want to experiment on includes: happy, negative, neutral, arousing (adrenalin rushing), and sexual. The positive correlation between arousal and positive stimuli, and memory performance has been proposed. The negative correlation between negative stimuli and memory performance has also been proposed. However, the connection between sexual stimuli and memory performance still remains unknown. This project aims to ascertain whether there is a positive or a negative correlation between sexual stimuli and memory performance, and whether there is a difference across ethnicity and gender. In addition, this project will also discover whether sexual is the same as arousal

...Read More about Ka Yi Emily Tam
Humanities and Social Science

Making Sense of Common Sense: Metaphor, Science, and Rationality in theThought of Hannah Arendt

Within political theory there is a debate over the compatibility of science with politics. Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, amongst others, question the legitimacy of the social sciences in different ways, while, in contrast, those who support the role of science in politics argue that rational debate can be maximized through an of our capacity to hold language claims accountable to verifiable truth conditions. The purpose of my research is to ask if these views are incompatible by drawing on the work of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson and analyzing the conceptual metaphors common to both the pro- and anti- science views held within the field of political theory.

...Read More about Michelangelo Trujillo
Humanities and Social Science

Agnes Varda: A Woman's Take on the French new Wave

This summer I will be investigating the French New Wave, a cinematic movement that took place between 1958 and 1964. My primary focus will be on the films Agnes Varda made during this time period. I hope to gain new insight into the artistic questions and concerns central to French New Wave vis–vis an analysis of Vardas gender-specific take the on aesthetics and themes of the movement. To do this I will be focusing on close readings of Vardas films, the films of other French New Wave directors, and criticism written specifically on Varda and the French New Wave in general.

...Read More about Caitlin Margaret Waddell
Humanities and Social Science

Specific Histone Acetylation at the SOC1 locus in Arabidopsis thaliana

I will investigate the effects of specific histone acetylation on the locus of SOC1, a floral integrator gene. It is known that the acetylation status of chromatin modulates gene expression. I want to determine whether or not it is possible to modulate gene expression by specifically altering the histone acetylation status at the SOC1 locus using a fusion protein containing the DNA binding domain of OXS2, a transcription factor that specifically binds the SOC1 locus, and a histone acetyl transferase (HAT) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Following construction of a binary vector and introduction into plants, I will assess expression on a molecular and phenotypic basis, as upregulation of SOC1 will induce early flowering. If successful, this will enable locus-specific manipulation of transcription.

...Read More about Spencer Christopher Wei
L&S Sciences

The Progression, prevalence, and transmission of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in Batrachoseps attenuatus salamanders

Chytridiomycosis has been implicated in the decline of many amphibian species. Most recent studies in this area have focused on the effects of the causative agent, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anurans. I have found evidence of this amphibian disease in a local salamander species, Batrachoseps attenuatus. This summer I intend to document the progression of this infection in a species that was previously assumed to be unaffected. This summers work is in preparation for subsequent research exploring the means of transmission of B. dendrobatidis, a fungus with an aquatic infectious stage, within terrestrial salamander populations.

...Read More about Sara Beth Weinstein
L&S Sciences

Practice Makes Perfect: The Pedagogy of Apprenticeship in Japanese Martial Arts Communities

After the Meiji Restoration opened Japan to the West in 1868, many of the traditional Japanese martial disciplines (budo) were reinvented, incorporating modern Western concepts of mass education and competitive sport. However, some disciplines resisted these reforms in an attempt to preserve their traditional method of individualized apprenticeship. Through participant observation at a large gymnasium in Tokyo, I will explore school structure, pedagogy, and power relationships between expert and novice within several budo communities. I will look for correlation between these elements and the degree to which each style has adopted aspects of Western pedagogy. I hope to create a map of the learning process within these learning communities as so to render them accessable as pedagogical models to educators outside of Japan.

...Read More about Bryan Joseph Welch
Humanities and Social Science

Reconstructing Prehistoric Human-Plant Interactions: Paleoethnobotanical Study of a Middle Jomon Pit-dwelling at Sannai Maruyama

The Sannai Maruyama site, located in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, is currently considered to be the largest Jomon Period settlement in Japan. While ongoing excavations have significantly contributed to our understanding of Jomon hunter-gatherer lifeways, there is still much to learn about Sannai Maruyamas functionality. My research will focus on analyzing the charred seed remains gathered from soil samples collected during an excavation of a Middle Jomon pit-dwelling this summer. This will allow for a preliminary assessment of the pit-dwellings functions, depositional sequences, and activity areas. More importantly, a comparison of this evidence to data from the Early Jomon period will hopefully lead me to broader conclusions regarding the long-term subsistence-settlement changes which might have characterized Sannai Maruyamas site occupation.

...Read More about Caroline Akiko Yamamoto
Humanities and Social Science

Are You Black Enough?: Constructing Black Identity through Film from Melvin Van Peebles to Albert and Allen Hughes

The representation of any minority group in film or television often results in a heated debate regarding either the film or television show’s reinforcement of negative stereotypes or its “white washing” of the group’s identity. With my research project, I intend to explore this polarizing argument within the construction of black identity by black filmmakers starting with Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), a film intended to dispute the “Uncle Tom-ing” of Sidney Poitier’s noble black characters, and ending with the films of contemporary black filmmakers such as Albert and Allen Hughes. Through an analysis of these films I want to explore the complications of what it means to be black in a post-Civil Rights Movement America. I also hope to examine the cultural phenomena of whites who claim an identification with black culture, such as Quentin Tarantino and Craig Brewer.

...Read More about Susan Soojin Yi
Humanities and Social Science

The Economic Impact of Immigrants: Housing Prices and Distributional Effects

This project will deal with the economic implications of the most recent waves of immigration to the U.S. (1970-2000). Specifically, this study will focus on the impact on housing prices immigrants have by looking at the evolution of real estate prices in the 40 cities with the highest immigration rates in the country. During this summer, I will work on gathering and processing data from the U.S. Census. I will also work on developing an appropriate model to use as the basis of my empirical approach, as well as for the regressions I plan to carry. A considerable amount of time will be spent developing appropriate controls to make sure my regression estimations are not biased. Regression estimations will be undertaken by the end of the summer if time permits.

...Read More about Moises Yi
Humanities and Social Science