Ava Olson

How do fictional cops enable and validate real police brutality? My research surveys a wide selection of procedural television from the 1950s to the present, examining each show in its context to understand the cultural, political, and sociological work done by narratives that cast police officers as “good guys” in a reality where that may not be the case. From standard procedurals like The Rookies to more modern, “progressive” programs like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I hope to examine how television manufactures consent among the American public to justify over-policing and its consequences. Using policing as a starting point, I aim to investigate the greater American attitude towards violence and how violence in the United States is evaluated as either acceptable or excessive. This project will take an interdisciplinary approach that synthesizes history, folklore studies, legal studies/criminology, sociology, media studies, and political science to understand how effective propaganda is created and what […]

Michelle Soto-Melgar

Have you ever wondered why governments pass risky legislation–legislation that is likely to fail and goes against an administration’s own livelihood? My research will focus on symbolic law and the practicality of day labor solicitation ordinances. In the late 2000s, day labor solicitation bans emerged as an attempt to police and drive out Latino day workers from their communities. Many of these bans were legally challenged, ruled unconstitutional, and stopped from ever going into effect. Despite the legal challenges, some administrations pursued this regulation anyway, costing them millions in legal fees. Prior research on day labor solicitation ordinances has focused on the discriminatory practices and constitutionality that day labor bans entail. Yet, little is known about why local governments pursue day labor ordinances knowing the financial and legal risks. In a single case study, I will examine the back-and-forth litigation of Oyster Bay, New York’s day labor solicitation ban. Using […]

Annabelle Long

Women’s clubs are often exclusively remembered as advocating for progressive causes—education, suffrage, conservation—but little attention has been paid to the way that some of them gave rise to nationalist, anti-communist clubs for women. My interest in this topic builds on my research on a little-known clubwoman named Marguerite Dice. Born in 1884 to a Republican Union Army veteran father and politically connected mother, she dedicated her life to progressive women’s clubs, but spent at least 30 years advocating for conservative, anti-communist causes. Her life neatly tracks with the evolution of the Republican Party over the same period—she was born into the party of Lincoln, and died a fervent supporter of the hyper-conservative party of Goldwater and Nixon—making her an interesting case study in the evolution of not only women’s conservatism, but American conservatism generally. This project will utilize archival materials from women’s clubs to explore the social circles, intellectual interests, […]

Ryan Tuozzolo

My research hinges on a question of resonance. What, I pose, do we as readers hear echoed in the self-effacing abstraction of Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik’s 1962 Árbol de Diana from the Romani-influenced folk narrative of Spaniard Federico García Lorca’s mid-1920s Romancero Gitano? The urgency of this issue stems from the post-industrial crisis of subjectivity, wherein, per Marxist theory of estrangement, the mechanical gears of capitalism mediate not only financial transactions, but also inter- and intra-personal relations. In an economic system founded on conceptual predetermination, per the logic of exchange-value, art must open spaces of potentiality for free judgement – spaces, therefore, where the individual might experience their individual subjectivity and that of a collective. My research considers selections of non-orthodox Marxist critical theory, especially that of early 20th century Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno, of the conditions under which lyric poetry may open such doors. I begin with García […]

Miranda Jiang

In 1918, French officials reported a population of French-Indochinese mixed-race children living in the Saint-Médard region of France. These métis were the children of Indochinese workers and French women. Alarmed at the presence of interracial couples but resigned to their inevitability, the government allowed them to marry, expressing hope that the French women would exert their “assimilatory” power on their foreign husbands and children. These were a few among many métis in the French empire: throughout the 20th century, thousands of mixed-race children from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia passed through government institutions meant to “Frenchify” them. During the same period, the French government propagated a nationwide colonial culture. Made pervasive through popular media such as literature and colonial exhibitions, this culture announced France’s intentions to simultaneously assimilate foreign subjects and assert their exoticism. To this administration, métis were an uncomfortable complication. Drawing from archival sources, published memoirs by métis, and […]

Owen Yeung

The importance of citing reputable sources is common knowledge for anyone communicating information, but less is known about whether audiences actually investigate the sources, an increasingly important practice due to the prevalence of misinformation on social media. This is a crucial determinant of whether misinformation can spread online that is often overlooked: even if there is a sufficient “supply” of credible sources, they will not be utilized if media consumers do not have sufficient “demand” for source-checking. Extending this economic analogy, this “demand” also decreases with the effort needed to check the source, analogous to the “price” of source-checking. As such, the goal of this project is to construct an economic model of Instagram users’ demand for source-checking when faced with varying costs of doing so. This could allow us to predict how source-checking behavior changes when sources are harder to find. I hope to determine this relationship experimentally by […]

Rhammses Del Rio

In the twenty years I have spent living in different types of dwellings, including households that support more than one family, I have noticed that these doubled-up households seem to take longer to recover from an economic crisis. Is this a pattern? This study seeks to investigate and measure if living in doubled-up households lengthens economic recovery. We will look at doubled-up households and how economic circumstances and other possible shocks might impact these types of dwellings by analyzing household income recoveries post 2008 recession, comparing traditional households with comparable doubled-up households. The economic recovery in the United States from the Great Recession saw real median household income return to the 2007 peak by 2016 and continued to climb, but in that timespan there was an increase in the number and share of doubled-up households. This influx of doubled-up households created a false signal of macroeconomic wellbeing; it demonstrated a […]

Elizabeth “Libby” McBride

Recent investigations reveal that women with childhood histories of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) continue to experience major impairments even after symptoms have abated. One such important outcome is increased rates of unplanned pregnancy by adulthood. Existing literature has identified academic underachievement and risky sexual behavior during early-to-mid-adolescence as mediators of the childhood ADHD-unplanned pregnancy link. However, executive functioning (EF) may be an underlying mechanism that better explains this relation and is potentially more amenable to possible health education interventions. Thus, this study aims to elucidate the relation between childhood ADHD and unplanned pregnancy by investigating the potential mediating role of adolescent executive functioning (EF). A better understanding of this outcome is crucial because unplanned pregnancies can significantly alter the course of a woman’s life, health, and finances, as well as the life of her child.

Ivan Chavez

The status of monuments depicting white colonialism has been highly debated for years, with some historians stating that they should remain while others ask for their removal. Although these monuments have been contested since their creation, the Black Lives Matter movement has become an avenue for immediate change. In response, artists put up contemporary monuments that highlight racial injustice throughout the world. However, within the Black Lives Matter movement, both these contested statues as well as the newly placed, contemporary pieces of art are toppled or destroyed. This research project will look into the context of both these old and contemporary Bay Area monuments/murals, which includes the reason for their placement and the reception upon their placement. Then, it will look into their destruction, and the sentiments tied to these actions. By doing so, this research will find where the United States stands when it comes to racial injustice in […]

Tara Najafi

Motor adaptation comprises the essential processes which allow us to adapt to new environmental demands. Recent work has shown that motor adaptation includes both an explicit and implicit learning component. Explicit learning is strategic and utilizes performance errors, while implicit learning is unconscious and driven by motor execution errors. The cerebellum is central to generating these error signals, as has been shown extensively through the impaired adaptation of patients with cerebellar degeneration when completing visuomotor perturbation tasks. However, findings regarding the function of the cerebellum in implicit adaptation to varying error sizes remains unclear, as paradigms using larger error sizes are often confounded with explicit strategy. The role of the basal ganglia is further ambiguous, as a consensus has not yet been reached regarding its involvement in implicit adaptation. Through the use of the “clamped feedback” method, my project will isolate implicit adaptation, such that I will be able to […]