Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jenny Lee

From 1932-1945, during the Pacific War, Japan mobilized an imperial agenda in many Asian countries. To prevent Japanese soldiers from sexually exploiting Japanese women, the government created stations in colonized countries to provide sexual “comfort.” This became a formalized system of sexual slavery composed mostly of young, impoverished Korean women; following the war, as South Korea modernized, ‘comfort women’ were largely omitted from national remembrances, rendered invisible in the linear narrative of post/colonial development. Jenny will be traveling to Korea to research at national archives and interview ‘comfort women’ survivors […]

Sera Smith

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Ntozake Shange’s 1976 choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf is a work that many Black feminists continue to celebrate today. When Nzinga Stewart, a Black woman filmmaker, attempted to produce her 2006 adaptation of the play, she was directed to Tyler Perry, who rewrote the script and produced his 2010 film For Colored Girls.  Sera is studying Stewart’s unproduced adaptation to recognize Stewart’s intellectual contributions to Black feminism. She uses rhetorical analysis to study representations of healing in Stewart’s screenplay. The project […]

Jonah Lounds

This summer, Jonah will be exploring the available digital archives of the Russian National Library, US Library of Congress, Princeton’s Cotsen Children’s Library, and the Gosfilmofond in Moscow, in order to compile and analyze a vast collection of Soviet children’s books, films, and animations produced in the 1960s and ‘70s which display the trope of the personified and humanized animal. Lounds’ research is intended to illuminate any new cultural meanings produced by the common use of a trope that is so irreconcilable with traditional Marxist assertions of human exceptionalism and […]

Eunice Elizabeth Paredes Zamudio

The Popol Vuh is a historical narrative recounting the traditional mythology and origin of the Mayan Kʼicheʼ people. Eunice’s thesis explores how this foundational book and its oral traditions contribute to maintaining the beliefs and culture of Mayan immigrant communities in the United States, specifically in East Oakland. Her work centers on oral interviews of immigrants from northern Guatemala, southern Mexico and parts of Belize, and will investigate how the tenets of the Popol Vuh resonate in these communities. This research helps us understand and interpret how Mayan families perceive […]

Gianfranco Gastelo

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Gianfranco’s interdisciplinary civilizational project, inspired by Michel de Montaigne’s essay “Of Cannibals,” will investigate the concept of cultural relativism within the context of the First Spanish Conquest by exploring the following overarching question: how have the self -figurations of two Peruvian intellectuals of indigenous lineage, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s and Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala,  been meaningfully transformed by colonization? Though scholarly literature has coupled these two authors in conversation with written and pictographic portrayals of colonization, their individual receptivity of this period has unfortunately been undertheorized despite the […]

Amin Ebrahimi Afrouzi

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Platonic dialogues usually consist of an interrogative discourse between Socrates and his interlocutor, situated in a specific setting, much like a stage, with other people present and participating somehow. Amin will investigate the role of peripheral participants and the staging of the dialogue in some essential texts known to be mostly concerning modes of discourse, namely Gorgias and Protagoras, as well as two early dialogues, “Crito” and “Meno”. Amin will examine these texts in the light of modern theories of discourse and performance while paying specific attention to cultural significations […]

Louisa deCossy

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The recent influx of modernity and opportunity into Ireland has profoundly affected the countrys social, geographical and cultural framework. In response to growing social pressure and the relaxation of the power of the Catholic Church, Ireland has changed many repressive laws regarding divorce and homosexuality and has closed antiquated institutions, such as the Magdalen Laundries. Louisa will research the effects of these changes on the social fabric of Ireland by interviewing women from different facets of Irish society regarding their newly emerging cultural identity. She will also visit historical and […]

Isabella Oppen

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What can a close reading of Berlin’s Book Burning Memorial offer to elucidate conflicts of remembering a turbulent past? Using libraries and archives in Berkeley and Berlin, Isabella will research the history and development of the current memorial; its public reception; and different uses of its location (Bebelplatz) over time. This research will also entail an in-person exploration of the memorial’s tactile and sculptural aspects, reading the memorial as an artwork confronting the past and processing history through its form within the city landscape. Isabella’s research will be grounded in […]

Nathaniel Klein

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Nathaniel’s project will produce an experimental video and art show exploring the U.S./Mexico border as it is situated temporally, spatially and psychically. By living in Tijuana and crossing the border daily for six weeks; interviewing activists, architects and academics; and providing volunteer humanitarian aid to migrants, Nathaniel will investigate how the histories of the U.S./Mexico border are embodied by the people who pass through it, and by various sites along its path. Focusing his research on three primary border locations — the San Ysidro border checkpoint, the Friendship Park monument […]

Brittany Johnson

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Current Bio: Brittany is now working with SURF, supporting undergraduate research. Haas Scholars Project: Brittany’s project will first explore the possibilities and limitations of fictional testimony to enact a process of trauma recovery. She will plumb the formal and imagerial depths of Charlotte Brontë’s novels Jane Eyre and Villette against a background of theoretical work engaged with trauma. She will narrow her critical eye upon the ways in which these two novels articulate their respective heroines psychological encounters with inaccessible stores of traumatic memory through narrative acts of viewing. Brittany […]