Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Brayan Ortiz Ramos

During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration began the process of repatriating Mexican laborers – roughly 1.8 million people would leave the United States during this period. The Mexican state – embroiled in agrarian reform – took the repatriation of their countrymen as a positive for the country and enacted policies in line with Cardenista redistribution. One effort, however, proved of a different character. Starting in 1933, an attempt was made to construct colonies of the newly arrived Mexicans from the United States. These artificially constructed neighborhoods were intended […]

Arin Kim Wise

Literature regarding Korean queerness has expanded within the last decade, but current dominant Korean understandings of queerness view it as a “Western” and modern phenomenon, as well as against Christian values. Therefore, research into Korean queerness across Korean history remains relatively unexplored, and at times, actively suppressed. Through this project, I hope to understand the role that Confucianism and Christianity had in the erasure of queerness from the Korean historical canon, and use the frame of queer and gender theory to re-understand and illuminate queer meanings of historical and modern […]

David Villani

My research seeks to understand the origins, establishment, and decline of the alliance between the French Communist Party (PCF) and the African Democratic Rally (RDA), the largest union of nationalist parties in French West Africa.  The brief alliance, which lasted from 1946 to 1950, coincided with years of radical reconceptualizations about the position of Europe in Africa and Africa in the world. The alliance between the RDA and the PCF is a critical and, to my mind, misunderstood moment in this history. Rather than a momentary marriage of convenience, a […]

Scott Underwood

Bluegrass music is a modern invention, emerging in the 1940s as a synthesis of Black music forms such as work songs, gospel, and blues with white European-descended fiddle tunes and traditional ballads from the British Isles by way of Appalachia. It includes prominent use of the banjo, an African instrument brought by enslaved Blacks, and stresses instrumental virtuosity including improvisational “jamming” derived from Black jazz of the 1920s. Despite these factors, bluegrass has for most of its history been associated with white musicians and white audiences. In the last twenty […]

Cat Stoehr

As a former professional ballet dancer I often felt that my experience was defined less by my role as an artist, and more so by my position as a worker. Ballet is a performance of ease; a masking of the immense physical and mental energy that is poured into it to create a presentation of grace. But it would be a mistake to not consider the modern ballet dancer as a worker. At two extremes, their labor is either bound within tightly managed company structures under union protection, or extremely […]

Wilson Wang

Since the 2010s, voguing, a historically Black practice has become cherished in clubs in China. Yet, African merchants in Guangzhou constitute a community of foreigners portrayed by media outlets as “infectious”. Why is there such a discrepancy between the reception of the Black corporeal (laboring Black bodies) and the reception of Black corporeal practices (aestheticized labor of voguing)? What constitutes the underlying racialization process in the current Chinese society, where the concept of racial taxonomy is deemed “occidental”, and the Blacks are deemed separate from any sociopolitical concerns? How does […]

Penelope Martindale

Baseball occupies a unique space in American culture as a phenomenon rich in meaning for individuals and the nation alike. The game is a symbol of American virtue, grit, and skill, a game played by good, hard-working American men who know and love it, at least in popular imagination. Film is crucial to the maintenance of this myth; however, baseball films falter when it comes to those who are not men. There are no women in the major leagues, and yet, images of women who are curious and enthusiastic about […]

Yueling Lisa Li

My project seeks to establish a trajectory of the material, technical and stylistic transformation of ceramics by comparing Chinese and Portuguese ceramics object produced in early modern period. Chinese porcelain has been a continuing source of fascination for global importers, and among the vast diversity of styles the most famous type is the blue and white porcelain, which comprises the majority of Chinese export cargoes to ports across Southeast Asia, Middle East and Europe. Influenced by the Chinese porcelains, European pottery studios assimilated the popular chinoiserie style and firing and […]

Matthew Kim

Recently in Japan and the US, there’s been a rise in the denial of atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army against victims of military sexual slavery, also known as “comfort women,” who are primarily Korean, Filipinx, and Chinese. In the US, this has been marked by events like a Harvard Law scholar writing that the enslavement was consensual labor, a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court filed by a right-wing Japanese group against building a comfort women memorial and intimidation at events where comfort women have spoken. These events […]

Madeline Keo

In the traditional classroom, children are seen as receptacles for knowledge rather than holders of knowledge. Problem-posing education treats students and teachers as humans who both have knowledge to give and receive and chooses not to replicate existing oppressive systems, such as ones where teachers dictate every aspect of the classroom and curriculum. It also exemplifies communication and uplifts creative power. Through an analysis of personal narratives written by seventh and eighth grade boys, I will argue that creative writing generates spaces for children to communicate who they are and […]