The Print Culture and Gender RElations of Amateur Minstrelsy

Blackface minstrel shows in the 19th century are well documented, but their parallel counter-part, amateur minstrelsy, is believed to be a peripheral phenomenon implemented by scattered radicals. Thousands of blackface plays were written and distributed in the 20th century with crucial contributions to both racial and gender construction that have not been cataloged or analyzed. I will track amateur minstrelsys print culture between 1890 and 1960, expanding its chronology, increase minstrel researchs geography to the American Midwest, further illuminate the cross-dressing gender conflict in minstrelsy, and provide a bibliographical analysis of amateur minstrelsy by tracking its print culture. This bibliographic database will fill the baffling 100-year gap between 19th century professional minstrelsy and contemporary coverage of its traces in film and television.

...Read More about Rhae Lynn Barnes
Humanities and Social Science

The Novel at Twenty-Four Frames per Second: Adapting Proustian Time to the Cinema

I am researching the relationship between Marcel Prousts la recherche du temps perdu and cinema in light of how each produces images. The prose of Marcel Proust is often termed cinematic, yet it is executed in a medium that is vastly different from film. What is it then about the image at this point in its history that allows for a comparison between this major work of literature and the fundamental techniques of the cinema? To answer this question I am researching the underlying philosophy of Prousts imagery of time and memory alongside the philosophy of cinematic representation. In doing so I hope to draw out a more general trend in the production and perception of images, as well as the psychological insights they allow for.

...Read More about Branda Brehm
Humanities and Social Science

Decision-making structures and participation in heterogeneous worker cooperatives

I am studying how decision-making structures affect participation in heterogeneous worker cooperatives. Worker cooperatives are businesses or organizations owned and democratically managed by their workers. Previous research on worker cooperatives indicates a tendency towards homogeneity, meaning that worker-owners in a given cooperative share very similar backgrounds. However, since these studies were conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s, worker cooperatives have become more diverse. A recent case study on a large and diverse worker cooperative suggests that formalizing decision-making structures might facilitate widespread democratic participation. I will expand upon this research by using participant observation and interviews to study two heterogeneous Bay Area worker cooperatives. I hope that my project will make a valuable contribution to the existing knowledge about cooperatives, possibly helping to create more democratic workplaces.

...Read More about Amanda Cook
Humanities and Social Science

Foundation Funding and the Effects of Donor-Driven Community Projects in the United States

The U.S. government budget cuts of the 1980s and the international financial institutions economic policies of the late 1980s and 1990s crippled government-run social services in the U.S. and across the Third World. To fill the void left by the defunct government services there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of non-profit and community organizations in the U.S. and abroad. This begs numerous questions: To whom are these organizations accountable? From where does funding come? Who is deciding which projects get financial priority? My research attempts to understand how/if funding opportunities shape the missions and philosophies of secular civil society organizations, and how those relations, in turn, affect the ability of community organizations to address the needs of the communities they serve. I will be focusing on Seattle-based community organizations and foundations as a case study for how these relations play out in the U.S.

...Read More about Jenny Cooper
Humanities and Social Science

Kudziletsa, Kukulupirika, Kudzipimba: Understanding the Link between Discourses on Sex and HIV transmission in Malawi

HIV/AIDS remains a significant threat to many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to understand HIV transmission in this context, it is crucial to understand the practices and understandings that facilitate its spread. In Malawi, HIV is spread primarily through sex, and sex itself constitutes a deeply culturally embedded practice. With this in mind, I will be spending this summer in Malawi examining the way in which discourses on sex influence HIV/AIDS patterns. Drawing on a collection of conversational journals collected by the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project of the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to closely examining Chichewa terms and phrases, I will use language as a compass to navigate through Malawian perspectives on sex. In doing so, I am to reach an understanding of how local understandings of sex shape HIV transmission in Malawi.

...Read More about Yael Danovitch
Humanities and Social Science

Let survive the Khmer People: Khmer Transnational Activism and Survial in the Diaspora

The majority of studies on Khmer refugees in the United States focus on their status as victims of war and displacement. I am undertaking a research project highlighting the transnational political movement of Khmer refugee communities in opposing and removing the Vietnamese occupation in Cambodia (1979-1993). Through examining the Hann So Collection on Cambodia Archives at the UC Berkeley Southeast Asian Studies Library, I hope to show how Khmer refugees were active agents in mitigating the pains of displacement by acting in very concrete measures to recuperate and rebuild Cambodia even when overseas or in refugee camps. I believe that the refugees’ activism to save the nation-state was simultaneously a mechanism for their own survival in diaspora, and it is the management of this survival on which I will shed light on through this project. This summer I am reviewing the Hann So Archives as well as conducting background reading […]

...Read More about Jude Paul Dizon
Humanities and Social Science

Aeolic Words in Hesiod's Ionic Theogony

Hesiod’s Theogony belongs to the genre of Classical Greek Epic Poetry, a genre most popularly exemplified by Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Every known epic poem was written almost entirely in the Ionic dialect of Classical Greek. Despite this fact, both Homer’s and Hesiod’s poems contain words unique to the Aeolic dialect. I will study the use of these Aeolic words in Hesiod’s poems, and I will compare his use with Homer’s in an effort to explain the presence of these unexpected dialectal forms. This will have implications regarding the development of Epic Poetry as a genre, and regarding the place of Aeolic speakers within the Classical Greek world.

...Read More about Douglas Fraleigh
Humanities and Social Science

The Habitus of the Protestant Work Ethic: How Social Distance Is Mediated via Social Class versus Economic Status

Habitus is the acquired expression of personal taste in art, dialect, comportment, zip code, literature, entertainment, etc. established by the wealthy (unconsciously) as a means to set themselves apart from the working class. Yet mere expression of habitus by the lower economic strata changes their social class (Bourdieu, 1976). The Protestant Work Ethic (PWE) is best captured by the colloquialism pull yourself up by your bootstraps and is the belief that anyone can achieve wealth and success if s/he is willing to do the hard work. Notwithstanding, the social cues indicating economic status are incongruent with those revealing social position. My research examines the correlation between habitus, PWE, and sensitivity to rejection among members of the same racial/ethnic group.

...Read More about Sharyn Hall
Humanities and Social Science

The Activist Mystique: Personal-Political Transformation in Israel

I am interested in the personal and political transformations that occur at the beginning and throughout the process of mobilization for social change. In particular, I am interested in the activities of the Jerusalem Open House, a grassroots organization that is the politically active community center of the LGTBQ community in Jerusalem, a city deeply divided along various lines where even close daily contact does not translate into mutual understanding between different communities. By volunteering and interviewing individuals in the Open House, I hope to understand the personal-political transformations that are associated with processes of community-building while negotiating complex existing boundaries. I hope to contribute to the understanding of the transformative capabilities of grassroots organizations.

...Read More about Itamar Haritan
Humanities and Social Science

Communication of Power: Moral Education in Modern China

With the amazing economic transformations China has shown the world in the past several decades comes an expectation for the country to show signs of also transforming politically. What is the ideological glue that holds the country together after the obsolescence of Marxist-Leninism and Maoist thought? Nationalism seems to be the new official religion of China. Through participant observation in a few Shenzhen high schools, I want to see how nationalism is conceptualized and combined with morality specifically within the Chinese education system. I hope to observe the effect that moral education or deyu has on the students’ views on morality and nationalism via interviewing students and teachers from normal and vocational schools.

...Read More about Jenny Hua
Humanities and Social Science

Corporealizing Identity: Competitive Eating and the Cultural Meaning of American Bodies

Competitive eating is a vernacular form of cultural criticism masquerading as mass entertainment. My research into the significance of competitive eating in American culture will unveil collective but inarticulated perspectives on consumerism, gender roles and our economic climate. Competitive eating is at once a glorification of American excess and an indictment of it; a direct challenge to idealized human form and a confirmation of its strength. Historically, I believe competitive eating served to homogenize immigrant diet in 19th century America. By tracking the foodstuffs of competition, I hope to prove that as American politics globalized, home-grown traditions like competitive eating grew more regional and divisive.

...Read More about Adrienne Johnson
Humanities and Social Science

The Effects of Labor Market Deregulation on Human Capital: Evidence from Costa Rica

While economic consensus defined Development in terms of output growth, the Costa Rican state pursued human development both as an end in itself and as a means of achieving economic growth. Previous investments in human capital under a protective labor regime have ensured todays Costa Rican employers a stable, high-skilled work force. Yet in the context of mounting pressure to create a flexible labor market, the Costa Rican labor force risks losing the protections which are in fact the source of its competitiveness. Using national census data, interviews with union officials, and sector reports for high and low skill export manufacturing I will empirically and qualitatively explicate changes in human capital accumulation over the period 1995-2007. My purpose in conducting this study then, is to clarify the role of labor market regulation in determining human capital and to assess the case for a more protective labor regime in Costa Rica.

...Read More about Jennifer Kampe
Humanities and Social Science

Power and Ideology through Language: The Formulation of the Vernacular in the Allegory of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

One of the earliest fresco cycles to be of secular imagery and subject matter solely, the Allegory of Good and Bad Government (c. 1337-40) frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti portray an idealized portrait of Sienese society under one of its most potent ruling bodies, the Nine. Within and around these frescoes are inscriptions in the italian vernacular, which have been given insufficient attention and analysis by scholars. The images and inscriptions operate in conjunction, forming a dialogue. This simultaneous operation was utilized by the Sienese government as a form of self-construction and propaganda to legitimize and promote their authority. Through the inscriptions, images, and constitution the Nine used the vernacular language as a form of communication that embodied specific ideals. I hope to demonstrate the importance of the vernacular as it was conceived within the frescoes and by the Nine, and to raise larger questions about the notion of literacy both […]

...Read More about Zoe Langer
Humanities and Social Science

Life Stories behind Chinese Restaurants in Mexico

As a third generation ethnic Chinese in Mexico, my research interests focus on the Chinese communities in Mexico. The Chinese people have reached many corners of the world primarily to search for new job opportunities and to start new homes. Especially active during the 19th century, the Chinese mostly migrated as coolies or contract workers, attracted to developing areas like Mexico where emerging economic needs and activities offered them job opportunities. Like my great-grandfather, with time and hard work, Chinese migrants in Mexico eventually started their own businesses, like Chinese restaurants. Chinese restaurants were lucrative because Chinese food was and continues to be considered as an exotic cuisine. Many Chinese in Mexico today work in Chinese restaurants and eventually open their own Chinese cafe or restaurant. Although Chinese migration to Mexico can date back to the colonization of Spain and the current population is over 50,000, they still remain an […]

...Read More about Cristina Lau
Humanities and Social Science

The Effects of Depression on Interpersonal Emotional Responding

My research project focuses on depression to determine how it impacts interpersonal relationships and depressed individuals’ emotional responses. I am studying depression through a couple’s study involving 80 romantic couples. During the study, couples engage in a series of conversations about a sacrifice they made for each other, a time that they felt great love for their partner, and a time of suffering they experienced on their own. By analyzing the participant’s physiological, behavioral, and emotional responses during and after these conversations, I aim to find answers to the following four questions: (1) Do depressive symptoms predict specific emotional responses in romantic relationships? (2) Are the emotional responses of depressed individuals context-specific? (3) How does depression influence relationship satisfaction? (4) Is there a change in depressive symptoms as a function of emotional responding? Through exploring these questions throughout this summer, I hope to gain insight into how depression affects interpersonal […]

...Read More about Angela Li
Humanities and Social Science

Documenting Terror: DIY Aesthetics in Post-9/11 Horror Films

After the success of The Blair Witch Project (1999), the shaky camera disappeared from the horror genre. But on 9/11 Americans witnessed a new horror on their television screens from footage by professional news crews and amateur film recorders. Since then a recent trend of cheap, amateur filmmaking (DIY) aesthetics has resurfaced in mainstream horror films which unavoidably recall the events of 9/11. Simulating fact, these films act impregnable to interpretation, yet their intentionally degraded recordings suggest a disconnect between representation and material reality. To research this paradox, I will compare the stylistic and thematic uses of DIY aesthetics in Cloverfield (2008), Diary of the Dead (2007), and the Spanish film [Rec] (2007) within today’s paranoiac cultural fear of terrorism. In doing so I hope to contribute a filmic understanding of human identity and memory in a post-9/11 technocratic society.

...Read More about Cheryl Mak
Humanities and Social Science

Poverty and Maternal Health in Piura, Peru: A Community Study

Women in Peru have one of the highest chances of dying from childbirth in all Latin America. Maternal mortality is devastating at both the familial level and the national level, as it is an indicator of health and development. Research on maternal health in Peru focuses on either rural areas or the Lima metropolis. This binary does not provide a complete understanding of the complexities of maternal health within the nation. Therefore, this study will examine maternal health in Piura, a small city with considerable poverty. I will document how women utilize or do not utilize different maternal health resources during their pregnancy, and why. Participant observation of government, religious, and private maternal care services will be combined with interviews of community members in order to provide an understanding of maternal health in Piura.

...Read More about Deborah Owen
Humanities and Social Science

Educational Attitudes across Borders: Mexican Mothers' Views on Education in Mexico and the United States

Mexican students have lower levels of educational attainment when compared to other groups. Parental involvement is essential for the success of students, thus it is important to understand how Mexican mothers in Oakland, California perceive the educations system and the obstacles they face. In addition, analyzing how mothers in Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico understand and navigate the educational system can illuminate the experiences Mexican mothers have in their home country. Through my comparative study, an understanding of how Mexican mothers view the educational system in the US can be gained.

...Read More about Roxana Sandoval
Humanities and Social Science

Technology Buy-In: Gaps between the Ability to Pay and the Willingness to Adopt Point-of-Use (POU) Water Treatment Technology

Anecdotal evidence suggests an information gap isn’t the sole propagator of preventable water-borne diseases in urban slums: behavior change is multivariate. Through household surveys, I wish to understand how financial decision-making structures and other socio-economic factors condition the likelihood that a particular household will or won’t treat its water. To challenge the idea that with limited income, spending is allocated first to some universal standard of basic needs and then to “unessential” goods, I am also recording current technology investments (such as televisions, radios, etc.) within households to reconfigure “affordability” and more accurately estimate payment for point-of-use filters. By identifying the determinants of demand for water treatment technology, I hope to fuel more effective policy and sustainable technological interventions as we attempt to bring safe drinking water to 1.2 billion people across the world.

...Read More about Pronita Saxena
Humanities and Social Science

Violence, Landscapes of Mourning, and the Technologies of Memory and Witnessing

In my ethnography I explore the question of justice and memory in the aftermath of mass atrocities in Cambodia. For Cambodians, who have had to engage in a daily process of reckoning with the memory of (social) death, re-making a world has necessarily involved a delicate reweaving of kinships torn asunder by the violent alterations of life. I wish to look more carefully at these everyday practices of living as practices of bearing witness. With the anticipated commencement of the Khmer Rouge Tribunals, I seek to interrogate the role of transitional justice institutions in bringing justice and reconciliation for the memory of mass violence, torture, and social trauma, through an exploration of how justice is imagined and enacted in the everyday: how extant quotidian forms of witnessing-practices, existing alongside and despite a juridical anamnesis, form a disjuncture with its legal witnessing ethic, as well as its concomitant modern western notions […]

...Read More about Jeremy Soh
Humanities and Social Science

Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick: A Case Study of Gender Roles in Seventeenth Century England

This summer I will be studying the life of Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick (1624-1678) as a case study for understanding the lives of aristocratic women in Early Modern England. Mary Rich is important and intriguing because aspects of her personality and lifestyle simultaneously conformed to and challenged the gender roles in her society. Both in the Countesss semi-independent attitude toward her marriage prospects and in her important role in community affairs in her local community in Essex, she defied traditional gender roles. However, with her conversion to a Puritan lifestyle, she became a model of piety widely regarded throughout her community and throughout England as an ideal woman. These two components of her lifestyle and personality seem somewhat contradictory, and through the use of her extensive manuscripts available on microfilms from the British Library, I will study how Mary Rich herself dealt with these issues and her place in […]

...Read More about Megan Stanton
Humanities and Social Science

Zooarchaeological Analysis of Upper Paleolithic Faunal Remains from Myshtulagty Lagat (Weasel Cave) Located in the Northern Caucasus Mountains, Russia

The Caucasus Mountains acted as a gateway for early hominids, who migrated into and through these regions, perhaps multiple times. Myshtulagty Lagat (Weasel Cave) is the first intact stratified cave studied in the Caucasus dating from 500,000 years BP to the Holocene. The cave lacks a well-stratified early upper Paleolithic sequence (c. 40.000-30.000 years ago, associated usually with our own species, Homo sapiens sapiens). Tracking Neanderthal climatic adaptations through faunal analysis allows for reconstruction of behavioral and dietary changes providing data imperative to interpreting site use and formation processes. Connections between these relative behavioral adaptations through time will help us to ultimately discover any regional causality of Neanderthal extinction and repopulation of the Eurasian gateway by anatomically modern humans. Ill develop models of regional hominid behavioral processes by addressing the following questions and studying the faunal assemblage from Weasel Cave: What part of the faunal assemblage results from hominid activity? […]

...Read More about Shannon Swan
Humanities and Social Science