Jhoole, a textile production NGO based in Madhya Pradesh, India, formed in 2008 through a dialogical need from sari weavers that were working under indentured conditions. Since its formation in 2008, Jhoole has provided collective ownership, secured creative freedom over design/production, implemented sustainable agricultural practices, and supplied living wages to these female artisans. However, in March 2012 after reading Marx, Hannah Warren, the founder and Executive Director of Jhoole, un-incorporated Jhoole in an effort to dismantle institutional hierarchies that limited the extent to which local stakeholders were able to direct the activities and assets of the organization. My research involves both a case study analysis of the effects of Jhoole un-incorporating and a larger deconstruction of the term economics of well-being in its relation to the proto-Indian social enterprise/NGOs efforts at effectively (or ineffectively) promoting such an economics of well-being in India.
Dopaminergic projections from the midbrain to the striatum and prefrontal cortex are known to affect widespread brain processes, including reward, movement, cognitive control and working memory. Lower dopamine levels in the striatum are linked with higher body mass index, poorer decision making in relation to food choice and a skewed sense of healthiness of food items. I propose to investigate the role of dopamine in a working memory task and decision making on the food task and examine if a relationship exists between the two tasks. I will also investigate if modulation of dopamine, via a drug that affects mostly the striatum or one that acts more to the prefrontal cortex to elevate dopamine levels affects behavior. With dopaminergic administration, working memory as well as perhaps decision making in relation to food choices will improve in individuals.
Since 2002 the Philippine government has labeled numerous leftist Filipino parties as terrorists, using the Global War on Terror (GWOT) as a political tool to delegitimize opposing parties. Despite imprisonment, torture and killings, Filipino activists continue their struggle for national democracy. This project, contributing to a Peace & Conflict honors thesis, examines their resiliency: how do Filipino activists strategize despite state intimidation? Using the framework of political legitimacy, I will compare the National Democratic Front of thePhilippines (NDFP) and BAYAN, two leftist organizations. The former operates through political exiles in the Netherlands and is deemed illegal due to its promotion of armed resistance. In contrast, BAYAN operates domestically, nonviolently and legitimately; nevertheless, its members remain targets of the state for their anti-neoliberal agenda2. I will analyze the two, through qualitative and ethnographic methods, to explore how Filipinos strategize effectively despite geopolitical limitations and a biased legal discourse.
There are over 18,000 NGOs operating in Haiti, many of which provide overlapping services in the same regions without collaboration. Recent academic debates have pitted NGOs against the Haitian state, claiming that the multiplicity and fragmentation of NGOs prevents any sort of uniform policy from being implemented and thus further undercuts the legitimacy and accountability of the Haitian state (Etienne 1997). My research project will attempt to challenge this dualistic framework by conducting participant observation with the Cap-Haitien Health Network, an organization that coordinates the operations of over seventy health NGOs working in the region of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, and thus specifically addresses the critique of NGO fragmentation. My research addresses three points: How do the Health Networks practices improve the functioning and accessibility of health NGOs in Cap-Haitien? How, in practice, does the Health Network cooperate with the Haitian government in its attempts to coordinate NGO policy, accountability and efficiency? […]
France is home to a sophisticated comic book culture that considers the genre as valuable literature. Its integration into French society is indicative of its influence in contemporary popular culture. My research project explores the role that the printed image plays in narrating French autobiographical comic books, and how the overall visual aspect of graphic narrative interacts with more conventional types of literary self-representation. I will look at which elements of graphic narrative make the medium particularly suited to telling stories of the self by examining the various codes at play in several French works. These different communicative systems present in the work, such as visual image, the written word, and the hand of the author, among others, combine to make an innovatively unique product. My project, which supports my senior honors thesis, will provide insight as to how these new methods of self-portrayal are bringing to light questions of […]
Ancient Cyprus has generally been shadowed by its neighbors Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia, yet the small island, is an ideal entrpot. In the Late Bronze Age (1550-1050 BCE), the influence of internationalism can be seen in the appearance of cylinder seals on Cyprus. This summer I am researching the interesting mix of locally and internationally produced cylinder seals and what they can tell scholars about Cypriot society. This study investigates the seals’ use on Cyprus, like what new roles they played and which Cypriot needs they fulfilled. I will study the seals, which are varied in iconography and style, in person at the British Museum in London, looking at how international motifs are reconstituted on a local scale. Studying small artifacts on a small island gives both a local and international picture of the Late Bronze Age and highlights an area and object that are often ignored.
The interplay of art and politics historically holds a distinct role in the City of Oakland, California. Since the 1960s, social activism has shaped and informed political art practices. Further, aesthetics and intertextuality continue to engage the issues of race, police brutality and economic marginalization as motifs and discourses for Oakland artists. Through primary and secondary archival sources, interviews, and participant observation, my project investigates how political art practices in Oakland operate as a context and product for social justice and community empowerment. I am looking at the work of two Oakland artists: Emory Douglas, the Black Panthers Minister of Culture, and Jon-Paul Bail, a local political screen printer. I examine theses two artists motifs as case studies of the larger portrait of Oaklands legacy of art and activism.
In Classical Athens, many children died before adulthood. For a culture that practiced the exposure, or infanticide, of unwanted newborns, the value of the sub-adult life has been difficult to define. What did a child mean to the Athenian family and state? Once a child had been chosen to rear, its life must have been quite valuable, since the family spent lavish sums on the erection of grave markers for deceased children. These gravestones, carved in relief with images of children, provide iconographic information that may help to fill in the gaps in the understanding of death and childhood in ancient Greece. My research investigates the relief images of children and animals that mark these graves, in combination with ancient literary sources concerning animals and childhood, in order to understand what these monuments communicated about the children who lay beneath them.
Part creative writing, part auto-ethnography, part literary analysis — my project examines how war blurs distinctions between national and individual identity, the ways in which this complicates family bonds, and how both of these issues haunt future generations. My research focuses on the memoir as a genre of historical narrative, specifically of the Jewish diaspora and the Japanese experience in the Second World War and its aftermath. My goal is to relate these seemingly disparate stories to one another, and to ultimately bridge both sides of my own Jewish-American and Japanese family history. I am traveling across the world this summer; from California through New York City to Poland, France, and finally, Japan. I will create an original auto-ethnographic memoir as a series of poems based on my experiences meeting my relatives and immersing myself in the surroundings that affected them during and after the war.
The Roman poet Horace, an enormous influence on Western thought and poetry, himself stands within a long tradition of Greek and Latin lyric. He innovates on the foundations his forebears have built, creating new and surprising poems. Many of Horaces Odes reveal a marked attention to the construction of setting. I categorize these settings into actual place, or a geographical location that could potentially exist, and poetic space, more imaginary or surreal constructions. These spaces are often linked to a religious ritual and involve a skillful manipulation of time and space on the part of the poet. My project aims to elucidate the characteristics and purposes of these spaces, the relationship of the poet and these spaces to religion, and ultimately how these poems change or define the genre of Latin lyric poetry.