Caetlin Benson-Allott

Caetlin will explore the evolution of narration in Confessional poetry in the United States during the 1950s-1960s, concentrating on such poets as Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell. Through extensive readings in poetry, criticism, and literary and psychoanalytic theory, as well as archival research on the poets mentioned above, Caetlin plans to analyze and relate two of the key influences on Confessional narration, Modernism (the preceding poetic tradition) and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, she hypothesizes, gave direction to the Confessionalists resistance to Modernist impersonality and thus helped make new poetic subjects and ways of speaking possible. The comparison of these two opposing influences and the effects they had on Confessional poetry will compose Caetlins Comparative Literature Senior Honors Thesis.

Benjamin M. Chen

Benjamin plans to implement an algorithm for quantitative analysis of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) that will improve the specificity of the calculated levels of cellular metabolites such as choline, creatine, N-acetylaspartate and myo-inositol. This information is critical for predicting tumor type and grade, tailoring treatment protocols to individual patients, and distinguishing between treatment effects and recurrent tumors. The current method of estimating metabolite concentration is not sufficient when using acquisition parameters that give complicated spectra. A least squares method, developed by Provencher et. al., is more accurate. Benjamin will apply the Provencher method for quantification of spectra obtained from novel parameters, such as short echo time and high field strength, and extend the method for use in multi-voxel MRSI from single-voxel MRSI. The results, which will be presented as his Bioengineering Senior Honors Thesis, will have important results for the therapeutic treatment of brain tumors.

Mariyam Cementwala

Mariyam plans to investigate whether international law helps people with disabilities in developing countries, through a case study of inclusive education (Education for All) in India. Over the last two decades, disability activists have succeeded in instituting explicit or codified international obligations, norms, standards, and binding rules about disability, through international organizations like the United Nations. Their presumption is that international law can be a tool for the translation of grandiose principles into realized services that actually better the human condition, even among the poorest and most downtrodden individuals in the developing world. In order to investigate to what extent this presumption has been borne out, Mariyam will conduct field research in India on the education of children with disabilities and will interview key individuals involved in the disability rights movement, within such organizations as the World Bank and the United Nations. Mariyam will present her findings as her Senior […]

Casey Butterfield

Casey will examine the situation of Catalan women writers in the first generation following the death of Franco through close literary analysis of author Carme Riera’s body of work and further study of her cultural reception in Spain as a feminist author using a minority language. The completed analysis will constitute her Senior Honors Thesis in the Comparative Literature major. Since little of Riera’s work has been translated into English, Casey will also translate several of her short stories to offer a sampling of Riera’s views and method to non-Catalan scholars. This summer, Casey will travel to Mallorca to study the Balearic dialect of Catalan that Riera uses in her work, and will conduct archival research on Riera in Barcelona at the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya.

Tam Bui

Through a combination of literature review, data analysis, and interviews, Tam’s Senior Honors Thesis for her Political Economy of Industrial Societies major will examine the role that Vietnamese-American high tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are playing in developing the New Economy in Vietnam. Tam will conduct a series of face to face interviews with Vietnamese CEOs, engineers, business and community leaders in Silicon Valley to determine why Vietnamese-American entrepreneurs are networking and making direct investments in Vietnam, and whether these investments are helping or hindering Vietnam’s attempts to develop its technology and industry. Tam’s research project, which emerges out of her academic interest and her own Vietnamese cultural background, will help policy makers understand the emerging role of highly skilled immigrants as facilitators of trade in an increasingly globalized economy.

Gloria Brar

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a natural compound found in Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage; this compound has been shown to arrest the growth of breast cancer cells in a mechanism that seems to involve several critical cell cycle proteins. Gloria’s Molecular & Cell Biology Senior Honors Thesis project will investigate the changes in subcellular localization of these proteins. This data will help characterize the mechanism of I3C-induced breast cancer cell growth arrest and will be useful in evaluating the mechanisms and therapeutic promise of certain I3C derivatives. In addition, Gloria’s project will help determine the potential therapeutic value of a combinatorial breast cancer treatment using I3C along with tamoxifen, the current breast cancer treatment of choice. This combinatorial treatment shows great promise, since I3C and tamoxifen together have been found to arrest breast cancer cell growth more effectively than either treatment alone.

Stanley (Toby) Levers

Bringing together and expanding his research on Anglo-Saxon and later medieval literature, Toby will investigate the “author function” as it appears (and often disappears) in these two periods. The starting point for his study will be a broad dissimilarity: in one period (the later middle ages), the idea of authorship is constantly obsessed over and manipulated; in the other (the Anglo-Saxon), authors remain nameless, and the identification of the narrative subject is often avoided outright. The main focus of the study, however, will be examples that do not fit into this general pattern: texts in which these two periods correspond in their use of the author function, and in their presentation of the subjective “I.” A double major in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, Toby will travel to England and Italy to conduct original archival research. The resulting study, concerning both the words of the selected texts and their material […]

Joseph H. Kim

Joseph will investigate the hypothesis, asserted by Richard M. Valelly in The American Prospect, that remote voting formats contribute to civic disengagement. For his Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science, he will interview thirty middle class Americans on their experiences with traditional and remote voting formats. The proliferation of remote voting use, along with recent concerns over America’s civic health, make the issue worth considering. Secondary research will be used to develop scholarly explanations as to how the physical mechanics of voting (the way we cast a vote) impacts our understanding of citizenship (what it means to be a citizen). The completed work will be shared with participants in the Internet voting debate and other interested scholars.

Erika Kemp

A double major in Religious Studies and South Asian Studies, Erika will be researching the influence of British colonial discourse and Oriental scholarship on the adoption of the Bhagavad Gita, a Sanskrit Hindu text of the third and fourth centuries CE, as the “Hindu Bible” during the early twentieth century. She will spend the summer in India attending an advanced Sanskrit program in preparation for her analysis of major translations and interpretations of the Gita by Western scholars produced between 1890 and 1950. Her research will focus on the major role of the Gita in the social and political movements of the early twentieth century, the influence of Western translations and interpretations of the Gita on Indian political and social leaders of this period, and the ways in which this cross cultural exchange contributed to the characterization of the Gita’s holy status in Western terms. Erika will present her findings […]

Amarina Kealoha

Amarina will travel this summer to New York City, the cultural birthplace of hip-hop, to investigate this contemporary musical and cultural phenomenon, focusing on the films and videos made about the genre. Her stay will involve an intensive schedule of research, interviews and live events, as well as video documentation, which will form the preliminary visual and theoretical groundwork for her final creative endeavor. The purpose of her immersion in hip-hop culture is an inquiry into the ways in which hip-hop functions as a mode of resistance. During the 2001-2002 academic school year, Amarina will focus her efforts on the hip-hop satellite cities of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Her project will culminate in a video that expresses a complex definition of hip-hop as a cultural and political movement.