SRAs - Summer 2010

Humanities Center Student Research Assistantships Summer 2010

Barbara Allen (Political Science) and Julia Larson will collaborate on “Persuasion, Framing, and Priming in Political Communication.” Julia will analyze political campaign ads for negativity, gender and race stereotypes, and issue content, comparing American and British ads. Professor Allen and Julia Watson will write several papers on political psychology, specifically the persuasiveness of "visual arguments" as well as the race and gender subtexts of ad messages.

Liz Coville (Anthropology) and Rachel Feinberg will undertake a project involving language use in popular film and contemporary theories in linguistic anthropology (e.g. indexicality, reflexivity, reported speech, metacommunication, and metasemantics). Rachel will view and analyze films, record the manifestations of these theoretical categories, and discuss the results with Professor Coville. Fadi Hakim will conduct with Professor Coville an analysis of language ideologies in the work of the well-known Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer. In addition to providing an Indonesian perspective on language use and ideology in multilingual Indonesian settings, Fadi will gain knowledge of academic writing and anthropological approaches to the texts.

Jason Decker, Daniel Groll (both in Philosophy) and Javier Caride will meet weekly to discuss readings on Moral Testimony and Moral Expertise that will lead to a scholarly article by Professors Decker and Groll. Javier will identify major questions in the discussions, write synthesized position papers, and conduct further research on related questions in epistemology and moral theory as they arise in the discussions throughout the summer.

Adriana Estill (English) and Sally Larkins will study how colonial and imperial histories and geographies inform the development of a 20th century “ideal” Latina body, as illustrated in the late 19th-century Hispanic American novelist María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. Along with Professor Estill, Sally will examine the regionally specific understandings of Hispanic women and their ideal embodiments by extracting advertisements directed at women from the late 19th and early 20th-century Hispanic American newspapers, which are available through a database accessible from Gould Library.

Christine Lac (French) and Eric Reich will conduct a study of “cultural reading.” How does one theorize the notion of culture and at the same time teach the specificities of French culture? Eric will compile an annotated bibliography of such diverse sources as Bourdieu and Raymonde Carroll, and, along with Professor Lac, attempt to define a workable theoretical framework that will enable students to capture the idea of a cross-cultural analysis applied to French culture.

Shana Sippy (Religion) and Francesca Chubb-Confer will research and write student-faculty authored fieldwork papers on Muslim and Hindu communities in Minnesota. In conjunction with the Harvard Pluralism Project's Case Study Initiative, they will also write up a case based on research that began in two courses, “Encountering Islam” and “Modern Hinduism.” Francesca’s study of Arabic will complement Professor Sippy’s knowledge of Urdu.

Eric Tretbar (Cinema and Media Studies) and Alex Cooney will work on a feature documentary project called “AMERICANS.” Collaborating with Professor Tretbar, Alex will gain valuable real-world cinema experience as an assistant editor, working 2-3 days per week in the editing room. His responsibilities will include organizing and maintaining master hard drives for editing, cutting sound and sound FX, placing and mixing music and FX, and color correcting the final picture once locked.

Carolyn Wong (Political Science) and Pa Lor will work on the final stages of Professor Wong’s manuscript, Expanding Democracy's Boundaries: The Hmong Americans in Politics and Civic Life. Pa Lor will discuss with Professor Wong the themes and arguments of the manuscript, research and summarize relevant new publications, assist with editing, check the accuracy of Hmong-language transcriptions, and, if necessary, conduct additional interviews in Saint Paul.