Women Sem Terra: Participation and Socio-Spatial Transformations

Miriam Solis : Geography

Mentor: Professor Richard Walker, Geography

The expansion of Brazil’s 1.5 million member Movimiento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) has provoked many changes. Two changes in particular occurred in the 1990s: the MST began to deviate from its traditional strategy of rural squatting by organizing urban land occupations; and the MST's leadership structures changed to include committees charged with improving women’s participation and leadership representation within the MST. Miriam will collect archival data and conduct interviews in Brazil this summer in order to investigate whether the MST's rural to urban shift served as a catalyst for changes in the gendered dynamics of the organization. Ultimately, she hopes this project will lend critical understanding to the relationship between the gendered dimensions of social movements and the physical space in which they operate.

Shimmy, Shake, and Undulate: A History of Belly Dance in the United States and the Development of Its Many Fusion Forms

Abby Stein : Dance and Performance Studies/Near Eastern Studies

Mentor: Professor Elizabeth Wymore, Dance and Performance Studies

Shrouded in mystique and controversy, the U.S. development of belly dance remains tied to appropriation, orientalism and popular entertainment. Abby Stein’s written thesis will examine the dance phenomenon within the context of 20th and 21st century American culture and values. Through a survey of existing scholarship, interviews with influential belly dance artists, firsthand training experience, and analysis of video and live performance and instruction, Abby will analyze how Western thought has adopted and transformed this Middle Eastern tradition. She will attempt to explain the development of the dance form’s many contemporary permutations, including the popular “belly dance fusion” practiced in today’s Bay Area. She will also create a collection of materials (such as articles, photos, video footage, interviews, etc.) to serve as a foundation for a future public archive, capturing an important but mostly undocumented segment of popular entertainment history.

Inspiring Experiment: The Poetics of Gender in Elizabeth Bishop's Work

Sarah Stone : Rhetoric

Mentor: Michael Mascuch, Rhetoric

My honors thesis in Rhetoric will explore the poetics of gender in the work of poet Elizabeth Bishop. While a number of critics began to address the effects of her gender on her poetry in the 1993 anthology Elizabeth Bishop: The Geography of Gender, scholarship on the subject has since waned. I will offer a reading of the techniques Bishop employs to communicate her vexed relationship to gender that is informed by the most recent scholarship on the relationship between gender and literary form, including the conceptualization of gender identity as a continually repeated performance rather than an inherent or socially (singularly) constructed identity. By synthesizing the effects of Bishop’s gender on both the form and content of her poems, I will discover how such a reading can extend and transform our understanding of her work.

Jane Austen Meets Hollywood: Narrative Authority in the Adaptation of Novel to Film

Sharon Tang-Quan : English

Mentor: Professor Kent Puckett, English

In 1995, 11 million British stayed home on six Sunday evenings to watch the BBC mini-series of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the last decade, over a dozen adaptations of Austen’s novels have become films, and four more are forthcoming in 2006. How do these adaptations communicate 19th-century ideas and themes in a form/media not yet imagined in Austen’s time? Austen is famous for her style and narrative authority; the transformation or even destruction of her narrative voice in the conversion of novel to film is thus of concern. By conducting a textual analysis of the adaptations of Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, Sharon will evaluate how an adaptation’s performance of a text adds to our understanding of the novel. Sharon’s project seeks to contribute to the debate by questioning the privileging of the novel over adaptation.

The Baroque Viola and Improvisational Style

Michael Uy : Music

Mentor: Professor Davitt Moroney, Music

The harmonic and practical foundations for the performance of Western Classical music were laid during the Baroque period (c.1600–c.1750). However, little is known about how viola players improvised their parts when playing music written only for a trio, such as two violins and a cello. The main hypothesis is that these musicians were improvising harmonies derived from figures written by the composer above the bass line. Michael will first spend his summer in intensive training on the Baroque viola, in addition to mastering the rules and principles of figured bass. He will then draw on historical treatises written by musicians, as well as material in UC Berkeley’s recently ‘re-found’ and unanalyzed “Tartini collection” of unpublished Italian music manuscripts to construct a better understanding of how the instrument adapted to orchestral settings when there was no specific written viola part.

The SNTE and the Democratic Transition in Mexico

Hector Vivero : Development Studies

Mentor: Professor Mark Healey, History

The 2000 presidential election ended seventy one years of Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Instituiconal, PRI) government in Mexico. Faced with new political circumstances, the institutions created by the “perfect dictatorship” were forced to adapt to the Mexican Transition to Democracy. The purpose of this project is to investigate the responses of the National Teachers’ Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educacion, SNTE), formerly one of the most important strongholds for PRI domination. Since the democratic transition involved a decentralization of responsibilities to state and local authorities now governed by three different political parties, the SNTE faces an enormous challenge to its political power. Based on interviews and observations in three states, Hector aims to find out if the clientelist systems of control which once characterized the SNTE’s national domination will persist at the regional level.

Development, Livestock, and Society: Cultural Practices and Agricultural Intervention in Upper East Ghana

Joshua Belton and Agata Surma : Geography

Mentor: Professor Nathan Sayre, Geography

Agata and Josh will be studying the ways two major agricultural interventions--colonial development and the Tono Irrigation Project--have changed livestock’s role in several communities in Upper East Ghana. They will first visit the British National Archives in London to research the pre-colonial conditions in the area and assess how colonial development unfolded there. They will then fly to Accra, Ghana, where they will interview experts to learn about the area's past and present. Afterwards, they will travel to Upper East Ghana to observe the area and conduct interviews, which will help them determine the present role of livestock in communities there. They will then compare how that role has changed with the various projects, and what the consequences of these changes have been.

Israeli Water Policies and their Effects on West Bank Palestinians

Carrie Ann Bodley : Middle Eastern Studies

Mentor: Hatem Bazian, Lecturer, Near Eastern Studies

Water is crucial to human existence and critical to social and economic development. What happens when this vital resource becomes enmeshed in a violent geo-political struggle? Israel has occupied the West Bank for thirty-seven years, maintaining control over West Bank water resources. Israel's water infrastructure and technology are far more advanced than that of the Palestinians, which would seemingly benefit the latter. However the Palestinians and many in the international community argue otherwise. They argue that these policies are restrictive and prohibit Palestinian socio-economic development. Carrie's project will take her to the West Bank this summer, where she will conduct archival research as well as interview Palestinian water administrators and users and Israeli water authorities. She seeks to examine the costs and benefits associated with Israeli water policies and analyze their effects on socio-economic development within the West Bank.

The Existential/Canonical Alternation in Brazilian Portuguese: A Perspective from Optimality Theory

Alex Omar Bratkievich : Linguistics

Mentor: Professor Line Mikkelsen, Linguistics

There are strong indications that the factors influencing the alternation between existential ("There's a book on the table") and canonical ("A book is on the table") constructions might be the same cross-linguistically; for example, existentials across languages exhibit the definiteness effect: indefinite Noun Phrases are preferred in pivot (post-verbal) position. Mikkelsen (2002) proposes that the effect is a consequence of constraints governing the subject position. Since the definiteness effect can be overridden, she suggests an analysis within the Optimality Theory framework to model constraint interaction relative to a hierarchy of constraints. As part of a joint Stanford-Berkeley group research project working on several languages, Alex's project will focus on Brazilian Portuguese in order to establish the distribution of subject and pivot NPs based on analysis of naturally-occurring data, and to propose the ranking of constraints that could explain such a distribution.

The Commodification of Place: Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Mary Gardner : Geography

Mentor: Professor Richard Walker, Geography

Tourism, as Jamaica’s largest and fastest growing industry, is vital to the country’s growth and development. Montego Bay, the second largest city in Jamaica, is the tourist capital of the island. The juxtaposition of a large local and tourist population in Montego Bay has created a unique form of physical and material segregation. Mary’s research project will explore how this space and, along with it, the tourist experience, is produced through the forces of marketing by the tourist industry, the physical segregation from the rest of the city and the ways in which Jamaica and its culture are reproduced in this area. Specifically, through interviews and observation, Mary will explore the ways in which the tourist experience, featuring the promise of freedom, is paradoxically created through the tightly engineered and controlled manipulation of the physical and cultural landscape.

Re-Identifying Big Butts and Hypersexuality: An Analysis of Choreographer Jawoloe Willa Jo Zollar's Batty Moves

Cherie Hill : Dance and Performance Studies; African American Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Brandi Catanese; Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies

Currently in modern dance there are few successful black female choreographers and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of the dance company Urban Bush Women, is one of them. In Zollar’s piece, Batty Moves, she combines theater and concert dance styles to create a work that invokes socio-political commentary on the stereotype that black women should have big butts, signifying hypersexuality. Cherie Hill’s project will include a content analysis of Batty Moves that will culminate into a choreographic production. In the analysis Cherie will be looking at how Zollar utilizes formal dance techniques to subvert and redefine stereotypes, how race and gender are represented, and how the piece sits within its socio-cultural context. For Cherie’s creative project, she will interview female Cal students on their thoughts of the black female body and its identity, and explore using movement as a medium for self-identification.

The Crane and Dragon: The Fusion of Vietnamese Mythologies and Culture in Art Forms

Chau Thuy Huynh : Art Practice/Social Welfare

Mentor: Professor Katherine Sherwood, Art Practice

Chau will be creating an art project that will encompass traditional Vietnamese culture through the mediums of drawing, sculpture, embroidery, and traditional American quilt-making. She will investigate the differences between Vietnamese and Chinese art and culture, while further examining Vietnamese mythologies to determine their true histories. Chau’s art project will include a 3’ X 3’ circular embroidery of the ancient Vietnamese drum as well as four 7’X5’ quilts that will illustrate Vietnamese history and culture using American “stitching” techniques and using as many different fabrics as possible. The foundation of Chau’s art project is a Vietnamese folk tale that describes the traditional Vietnamese drum as the first and only artifact that can positively show the Vietnamese are not Chinese. Indeed, Chau has chosen embroideries and quilt-making to show the distinct history and uniqueness of Vietnamese culture and heritage.

An American Funeral: Christianity, Capitalism and 'Passing Away'

Kirstin Anne Jackson : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Stanley H. Brandes, Anthropology

Kirstin proposes to ethnographically record and explore the significance, negotiation, evolution, and intertwining of folklore, ethics and business practices in North American funeral homes, aiming in particular to understand the evolution of “grief counseling”, business interactions, etiquette, and “rites of passage” or rituals, such as embalming. While scholars and journalists have published many studies and exposés about funeral homes "manipulating" funeral folklore to take advantage of the grieving, few have explored what Americans as agents and actors have had to do with the stasis, evolution, and significance of their own funeral folklore. They too play a part. This project will record and consider the current folklore, how it came to be, and what it symbolizes to different groups of American folk.

Framing Proposition 71: Understanding The Debate Over Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

David Jiménez : Sociology

Mentor: Professor Kristin Luker, Sociology

This past November, California passed Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, which allocates 3 billion dollars over the next ten years to human embryonic stem (hES) cell research. How did the majority of Californians decide to vote for this initiative? Before the election, groups for and against the measure tried to sway Californians’ opinions through advertising and influencing media coverage of this initiative. In his research David will investigate why and how these groups framed their positions in the way they did to present this initiative to the public. David will examine these groups’ websites as well as newspaper articles from August to November 2004, and interview some of the activists involved in this debate. The outcome of this research will be an extension of his senior honors thesis in sociology.

The Biology of Compassion: Locating Goodness in the Heart

Ilmo Konstantin Kotaja : Psychology/Interdisciplinary Field Studies

Mentor: Professor Dacher Keltner, Psychology

Compassion, i.e. empathetic concern for another with the desire to further their wellbeing, is one of the noblest concepts known to man, but our scientific knowledge on the topic is surprisingly limited. Approaching compassion from an evolutionary viewpoint, Ilmo’s project will examine the biological underpinnings of compassion and centers upon a physiological measurement of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; an indication of the impact of parasympathetic nervous system activation in the vagus nerve on the heart). The goal of the project is to assess whether RSA is a reliable biological marker of compassion, and examine its relationship to perceived individual personality traits. To achieve this, existing data (including physiological measures and videos) will be analyzed and new experimental data will be collected with human subjects. The project is part of Ilmo’s senior honors thesis in Psychology.

Chemical Design, Synthesis, and Clinical Exploitation of Promising Ligands Having High Affinity for the TRP-M8 Receptor of Prostate Cancer Cells

Amanda Liu : Molecular and Cell Biology/Public Health

Mentor: Ahamindra Jain, Chemistry

Amanda will investigate a novel method of diagnosing, staging, monitoring, and treating prostate cancer. The specific phases of her investigation include optimizing the design and synthesis of N-radiofluoro or N-radioiodo-aryl-cycloalkylcarboxamides, which have high affinity for the TRP (transient receptor potential)-M8 receptor found in prostate cancer cells; and testing the affinity of the designed ligand for the TRP-M8 receptor in vitro and ultimately in vivo. One of the promising medical applications is the visualization of ligand-TRP-M8-receptor complex with PET or SPECT for diagnosis, staging, and monitoring prostate diseases. In contrast, current diagnostic methods are either inconclusive or painful. The ultimate goal is radiotherapy, a less invasive but more effective alternative to radical prostatectomy and brachytherapy. The process of optimizing the design and synthesis of the ligands and the medical exploitation of them will constitute Amanda’s senior honor’s thesis in MCB.

Unpacking the Paradox of In-group Derogation Via Dialecticism, Power, and Affect

Christine Ma : Psychology/Spanish major

Mentor: Professor Kai Ping Peng, Psychology

How do you reconcile the phenomenon of self-directed racism by certain minority/oppressed groups towards their own members with the “universal” trend of ethnocentrism? Given past documentation of such “ingroup derogation,” questions remain: if ingroup derogation indeed exists among minorities and leads to negative affect towards other group members, then it will exert pressing social implications; on the other hand, if it is entirely the cognitive product of dialecticism, the predominantly Eastern belief system that embraces contradiction/opposing sides of each issue, then it would be a desirable process, rather than a collective “self hatred”. Thus this study will seek to test the occurrence of ingroup derogation and examine whether such a pattern can be traced to dialectical thinking; furthermore, it will examine whether such negative cognitions of one’s ingroup translate into undesirable affect towards the same ingroup members.

Hidden in Plain View: Cannabis Clubs, Visibility, and Power in the Urban Landscapes of the Bay Area and Amsterdam

Joen Madonna : Geography

Mentor: Professor Paul Groth, Geography

Understanding landscapes as a representation of our culture is a part of the human experience. Although often unaware consciously of the way our buildings and streets shape our attitudes and opinions, the things seen and “unseen” have a profound effect on our perspective of the world around us. We think of public space as normalized and “legal”, yet the storefront medicinal cannabis clubs challenge our ideas of what is visible or invisible. These spaces, hidden in plain view, represent our political and social conflicts over power and permission in urban landscapes. Joen will investigate what this developing landscape represents to our collective culture, proposing that the ambiguous legality of marijuana use and distribution in the Bay Area is represented in the physical environment and location of cannabis clubs, and will compare this landscape to Amsterdam’s established and legal cannabis coffeehouses.

Carburetors for the 21st Century: Flow and Temperature Sensor Integration with Enhanced Mixing

Christopher David McCoy : Mechanical Engineering

Mentor: Professor Albert Pisano, Mechanical Engineering

Small-scale power generation (10-100W) for electronic devices is currently supplied by batteries. Unfortunately, specific energy [Whr/kg] and power [W/kg] are limited by battery technology. The U.C. Berkeley liquid hydrocarbon fueled, rotary engine power system provides a “greener” more efficient and higher powered solution. In this work, MEMS-based (Microelectromechanical Systems) carburetion system with integrated air flow and temperature sensing is developed for more efficient engine operation. Chris will use Solidworks, a 3-D modeling program for carburetor design, while Femlab, CFDRC, and ANSYS will be used to predict device behavior and optimize the designed components. Conical venturis, piezoresistive flow sensors, fuel microchannel networks and wheatstone bridge circuitry are the primary design components. The culmination of Chris’ research will result in a semiconductor fabrication process flow for innovative carburetor design.

Latina Caregivers' Perceptions of the Impact They Have on Their Employers' Families, and Changes in Their Perspectives on the 'American Family'

Susana Evelyn Moreno : Chicano Studies/Ethnic Studies, Education (minor)

Mentor: Professor Alex Saragoza, Chicano Studies

Latina domestic workers have come to form a pivotal role in the United States service sector, yet very little is known about their social, political and economic impact on society. Susana’s research seeks to find out how some Bay Area Latina domestic workers perceive their employment and their relations with their employers. Differences between these women’s cultures and that of their employers on issues such as parenting and family values will be identified and explored. The research will also investigate what actions these women take to cope with these differences. In addition, Susana’s research will also seek to find out how these women’s experiences have shaped their overall perceptions of the "American" family: what stereotypes and assumptions are created through their interactions? By providing a glimpse of these women’s experiences, Susana hopes to allow their voices to be heard.

Modes of Production and Tactics of Resistance: a Study of the Philippine Left in the 1990s

Joseph Paul Scalice : Interdisciplinary Studies Field

Mentor: Professor Jeff Hadler, South and Southeast Asian Studies

Joseph’s interest in the Philippines is the product of over 16 years of residency in Manila. Joseph will investigate the origin and ramifications of recent debates within the Philippine left over ‘modes of production’. Over the past 15 years, the left in the Philippines has fragmented into two broad camps: those that claim that the Philippine mode of production is ‘semi-feudal’, and those that claim it is capitalist. Joseph will conduct research in the Southeast Asian library at Cornell, read archived tracts, fliers, and circulars published by the various groups of the Philippine left, and in Manila, conduct interviews with the leaders of these groups. Joseph will focus particularly on the life and unpublished writings of a recently assassinated Trotskyite labor leader in the hopes of using his work as a lens for understanding the debates within the Philippine left.

Fictional Nonfiction: Examining Postmodernist Parody and Subjectivity in Mass Culture

Tyler Shores : Rhetoric/English

Mentor: Professor Kent Puckett, English

Tyler’s project will examine postmodern parody as a model of discourse, and will seek to account for parody’s ubiquity in a specifically mass cultural context. Although parody is of course nothing new, there is something particularly of philosophical interest about postmodernist parody. By introducing the notion of subjectivity into the discussion, the focus will emphasize the more individual implications of postmodernist parody’s effects, whereas much previous literature on the subject has tended to focus upon its ideological and political implications. The instances of parody which will be investigated will range from episodes of the long-running animated television series The Simpsons, while drawing upon the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Federico Fellini, among others. The Simpsons is also the subject of a book Tyler has begun work on, to which this project will contribute.

Gardening for Native Bees in the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond

Mona Urbina : Conservation and Resource Studies

Mentor: Professor Gordon Frankie, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Mona's proficiency as an environmental horticulturist and her interest in urban ecosystems led her to the Frankie lab, where she has been preparing pilot bee-gardens. Over time, urban sprawl has fragmented habitats necessary for the survival of California native bees and their natural host plants. Mona aims to document the most bee-attracting native plants to promote urban gardens that will provide new habitats and resources for native bees. She will survey bee-flower relationships at Mount Wanda at the John Muir National Monument (where exotic grasses are crowding out pollinator dependent plant species), and in ornamental native-plant urban bee-gardens, planted in the adjacent city of Martinez, CA, using standardized bee monitoring techniques. The product of her independent study research will be shared in workshops for the public, including agriculturalists, urban gardeners, and schools, for constructing effective and attractive native bee gardens.

Mapping the World's Genome: Global Protein Demographics

Christopher Jay van Belle : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Steven Brenner, Plant and Microbial Biology

As a part of Steven Brenner's lab, Chris will be analyzing a large set of novel sequences extracted from oceanic and other environmental microbes. Using computational methods such as Hidden Markov Model searches, he will compare novel environmental peptides to currently known peptides that are available in public databases like Ensembl, TIGR, and nr. Chris will help identify protein domains that are over- or under-represented in the ocean relative to the public datasets, as well as identify domains that may have crossed kingdom barriers. He will also investigate how these new data change our perception of protein space by, for example, illuminating biases that exist in currently available sequence datasets.

South African Foreign Direct Investment in Mozambique

Saul Wainwright : Political Economy of Industrial Societies

Mentor: Professor Maximilian Auffhammer, Agricultural and Resource Economics and International and Area Studies Program

Since 1994 there has been an explosion of South African corporate investment into the rest of Africa. It is a unique brand of investment because it does not fit the “traditional” extractive type of investment seen in Africa. Instead, much of this investment is in the form of grocery stores, shopping malls, cell phones and banking. Saul will be exploring the motivations for these investments into what are typically high risk and unstable economies. One of the essential questions is why are the South African companies leading the charge? Saul will be researching the links between private capital and the government’s rhetoric of “African Renaissance” in an effort to understand the relationship between government rhetoric and business investment decisions. He will be in South Africa and Mozambique for most of the summer, meeting and interviewing business members and government officials.

The Diabetes Micro-Clinic Project: Community Awareness and Ownership in the Developing World

Daniel Elias Zoughbie : Urban Studies, Middle Easter Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Ananya Roy, City and Regional Planning

During a recent stay in the West Bank, Daniel identified a staggering diabetes problem with serious gaps in treatment delivery and diabetes education. Consequently, he intends to establish and document approximately twenty “micro-clinics” composed of small groups of Palestinian diabetics meeting in designated houses or businesses for the purpose of diabetes education, screening, treatment, and monitoring. The main innovation is that each micro-clinic will share the prohibitive cost of maintaining a glucose monitoring device -- an instrument readily available in the U.S. but rarely used in underdeveloped areas. This will provide a first line of defense against the lethal complications of diabetes through shared access to frequent testing. Also using lectures, workshops, and group activities, the diabetes micro-clinics will be vehicles of empowerment, utilizing community support and creating public ownership so that the affected population can move toward improving health care.

“Effect of First Generation Immigrants’ Time Horizons on the Human Capital Acquisitions of Second Generation Immigrants”

Monica Deza : Economics/Mathematics

Mentor: Professor David Card, Economics

Previous research in the Economic field has found that immigrants' social, economic, educational and family decisions differ depending on whether they come permanently or temporarily, with important effects on earnings and income. Other work has demonstrated the effects of immigrant parents' education and income on their children's future outcomes. However, there is a notable gap between these two literatures: Previous studies have largely ignored the impacts of immigrants' return migration plans on their children's future earnings and human capital. My objective with this research is to combine these two existing literatures in a project that analyzes the effect of first generation immigrants' (parents) time horizons on the human capital acquisition decisions of second generation immigrants (children). I plan to extend previous research and explain how time horizons of parents at the time of migration will affect their children's future income.

The Role of the Dorsomedial Hypothalamic Nucleus in Mediation of Seasonal Reproductive Rhythms in the Siberian Hamster

Morgan Burke : Molecular and Cell Biology/Integrative Biology

Mentor: Professor Irving Zucker, Psychology and Integrative Biology

Morgan’s fascination with neurobiology led her to join the laboratory of Prof. Irving Zucker , where she has been studying the neuroendocrine basis of seasonal rhythms. Siberian hamsters, like most mammals, restrict production of offspring to the spring and summer. They do so by measuring day length. Neural and endocrine tissues decode day length by measuring the duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion. Morgan’s study, which will serve as the basis of her senior thesis, will assess whether the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus, a brain melatonin target tissue, is a necessary and sufficient component of the neural substrate that measures nightly melatonin duration and consequently day length. This project addresses a fundamental issue in regulatory biology and is of potential value in controlling and preserving animal populations.

To Pass Through History and Enter Sanctity: the ‘Last Judgment’ mosaic of Prague Cathedral

Susannette Burroughs : History of Art

Mentor: Professor Jacqueline Jung, History of Art

The "Last Judgment" ("Golden Gate") mosaic is located on the southern exterior of Saint Vitus' Cathedral at Prague, a fourteenth century Gothic monument. The mosaic was a framing device for activity which occurred before and behind it: it functioned to separate and relate sacred and secular pasts and presents as a permeable barrier, one which separated and joined secular and ecclesiastical realms of functionality. This project is an investigation of the high degree to which this mosaic promoted powerful localized and international messages of imperial, dynastic, and religious power in conjunction with the ceremony and activity it silhouetted. The project at hand will explore the function of one piece of art within the multi-functional cathedral environment of Prague but also illustrate how a moment of time--historically, religiously, and stylistically--was translated into a charged representation through visual culture.

Diamonds, Swords and Video Cameras

Jacob Coakley : English

Mentor: Professor Celeste Langan, English

Jacob will write, as an independent study project in the English department, a full-length play with a double narrative. This duality of structure will allow Jacob to experiment with various forms of multi-media and digital technology available in a modern theatrical production in an effort to explore questions of human subjectivity raised by media theory. To accomplish this, Jacob will develop the script in dialogue with an actress over the summer in New York City, while observing the techniques and technology of several avant-garde theatre companies in NYC already doing this type of work. In the fall Jacob will return to Berkeley to revise and expand the draft, working with a support network of theatre professionals in the Bay Area and beyond. He will produce a semi-staged reading of the play for the spring 2005 conference.

How a DNA Repair Enzyme (DME) Controls Gene Transcription

Carolina Dallett : Plant and Microbial Biology

Mentor: Professor Robert Fischer, Plant Biology

The Arabidopsis thaliana genome has been sequenced, allowing use of sophisticated tools for genetic studies. It is known that DME controls gene transcription, encodes a DNA glycosylase, and has homologous proteins in the Arabidopsis genome as well as orthologs in rice, wheat, and maize. We do not know, however, how this is accomplished. Carolina will investigate the DEMETER protein, essential for seed viability in Arabidopsis, using molecular tools and genetics. The project has two phases: 1) To determine if the family member proteins can replace the DME protein; 2) determine what portions of the DME protein give it its unique ability to control gene transcription. The results of Carolina's senior thesis in Plant and Microbial Biology may contribute to understanding the general biology of DNA repair and DNA transcription of major agricultural crops.

Media Coverage of Media Concentration

Chau Nguyen Doan : Media Communications

Mentor: Professor Robert Calo, Journalism

Chau’s research seeks an answer to this question: Do the business interests of an increasingly corporate media undermine the reporting of news on which the public depends? Media scholars have debated this key question for years (mostly answering affirmatively), but Chau hopes to introduce a novel approach to the analysis: using news coverage of media concentration as a case study. Her project will involve a qualitative and quantitative analysis of broadcast coverage by the major networks -- specifically of media concentration -- before and after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rulemaking in June 2003, a decisive period in which the financial interests of media corporations were and still are at stake. After completing the content analysis, Chau will travel to Washington, DC and New York to conduct interviews with practicing journalists, media theorists and public officials at the FCC to shed light on the reasons underlying the nature of media coverage.

Impossible Witnesses, Recording and Describing Slavery-An Exploration of Slave Letters

Alejandra Dubcovsky : History

Mentor: Professor David Henkin, History

Slave letters, a crucial source for understanding American slavery, have generally been disregarded. Alejandra's project seeks to analyze the letters in the Wilson Library at Chapel Hill in order to uncover a code/protocol for the slave's definition and discussion of slavery. Entirely conscious of the audience of his letter, the slave had to learn how to communicate, producing a letter that encompassed both what the master expected/wanted to receive, yet also expressing the slave's own views. Thus, far from being neutral documents, these letters are composed of many layers that often disguise the author's true emotion. Alejandra's project seeks to explore the duality of these letters, which hide any effusive emotion while they simultaneously manifest resistance. This research will provide historians with a different window of analysis into American slavery, as it examines a generally overlooked source and therefore forges new questions and interpretations

Targeted Spending for the Very Poor in Chile

Tammy Elwell : Political Economy of Industrial Societies

Mentor: Professor David Collier, Political Science

During Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1989), Chile underwent extensive neoliberal economic reforms. The regime re-structured public social services and targeted them to the poorest sectors, while introducing private alternatives for those who could afford them. With the 1990 transition to democracy, the targeted approach of the previous regime was maintained, while overall social expenditure increased. Paradoxically, while poverty has sharply decreased, income inequality has worsened. Therefore, although Chile is often said to exemplify effective targeted social spending, it is debatable whether these policies allow for a viable escape from poverty. This research project’s goal is to track Chile’s welfare policy from 1973 to the present, elucidating the key factors and political agents in this evolution. Toward that end, Tammy’s project, which will constitute her senior honors thesis in political economy, will combine interviews of policymakers and academic specialists with exhaustive library research of the archives at the National Library in Santiago, Chile.

Angels, Vixens, and Supermamas: American Television Action Heroines, 1965-1979

Daniel Faltz : Film Studies

Mentor: Professor Carol J. Clover, Film Studies, Rhetoric, and Scandinavian Departments

Between 1965 and 1979, action heroines appeared in over twelve different programs -- five of these with both black and white heroines -- a period of popularity not seen since. I am interested in the evolution of these early heroines, and their similarities and differences in character, story, and physical display of women’s bodies. I suggest that these programs include complex and flawed but still important examples of female characters with strength, independence and agency. What does it mean that Batgirl and Wonder Woman pretend to be bookish women during the day? Or that Christie Love or Charlie’s Angels disguise themselves as prostitutes when on a case? I hypothesize that there is a female action archetype which emerged in the ‘60s and was expanded upon in the ‘70s which includes plot devices that require disguise or secret identities, being kidnapped or helpless, and the physical display of women’s bodies.