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.
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.
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, […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.