Yu Lei

Nanocrystalline materials have shown promise in many applications, such as light-emitting diodes, solar cells, biomedicine, optoelectronics, etc. Shape-controlled nanocrystals are important because different geometries of nanocrystals possess various electronic properties which can be tailored to their application. In this project, Yu will conduct synthesis experiments of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) by varying the amount of solvent. By analyzing nucleation kinetics in the synthesis of the CdTe, Yu hopes to develop a mechanistic explanation for crystal branching and increase the reproducibility of the tetrapods shape syntheses. Moreover, this approach to understanding CdTe tetrapods and their syntheses will contribute to an explanation of thermodynamic and kinetic effects on CdTes structure.

Alex Kogan

In the last thirty years, psychology has seen an explosion in research on love and interpersonal relationships. Much of the work, however, has focused on either mapping styles of love or the functionality of romantic love within the evolutionary and attachment traditions, leaving much of the terrain unexplored. Alex’s research aims to go beyond the current models, encapsulated by three prime objectives: 1) establish the difference between “to love” and “to be loved”; 2) garner initial support for the love processor model, which attempts to unify and expand love outside the purely romantic realm; and 3) establish some of the personality, cultural, and situational factors which contribute to the vast differences individuals have in their definitions of love.

Khatchadour Khatchadourian

Khatchadour will travel to Beirut, Lebanon this summer to study Armenian and Lebanese community formation. By conducting interviews and implementing professionally administered surveys, he hopes to gain a more insightful understanding of how each community views itself in relation to the other. Khatchadour will also meet with community leaders and politicians to assess the impact of communal relations on local politics. By analyzing the political, economic, and socio-cultural frameworks the Armenian community employs to express its uniqueness, Khatchadour hopes to comprehend assimilation and community development in the Lebanese context.

Sabina Juneja Garcia

Sabina will travel to Los Angeles to examine historical evidence of the communication between the citizen and the politician to control the shape of the physical landscape of Chavez Ravine. Chavez Ravine was once a thriving Mexican-American community removed for construction of a massive public-housing site yet today Chavez Ravine is home to Dodger Stadium. Using the papers of prominent politicians, Mayor Norris Poulson and City Councilman Edward Roybal, she will examine the campaign rhetoric employed by these candidates who were at odds on the issue of public-housing and the response from the community. The battle between the residents, the city, the state, the federal government and the building industries for control of Chavez Ravine influenced public-housing policy across the nation and shaped the political and physical landscape of Los Angeles.

Sirianand Jacobs

According to Franklin Becker, “the most functional buildings and environments can be highly symbolic, often in undesired and unexpected ways.” Using the window as a symbol imbued with strong cross-cultural meanings, Sirianand intends to explore current tensions between native Dutch and Dutch-Moroccan immigrants through their use of visible domestic space. She believes that the striking differences between the ways in which Moroccan immigrants and the ethnic Dutch conceive of this boundary between the public and private spheres illuminate the different ways they view the world. She also believes that Moroccan immigrants are unintentionally communicating a strong symbolic message to the native Dutch through the use of seemingly innocuous window dressings. Sirianand will travel to the Netherlands this summer, conducting informal interviews with both native and immigrant Dutch residents, as well as observing and documenting features of the built environment in Holland’s major cities.

Chad Vogler

Chad will travel to New York and New Haven to perform research on the unusual interracial collaborations and intercultural exchanges which occurred during the Harlem Renaissance, and this material will be used to compose a series of 25-30 poems. Inspired by recent critical discourses that redescribe modernism as a set of interracial dynamics, these poems will be composed from the perspective of a contemporary author imagining a bicultural past in modernity that potentially effaces the concreteness of the authors racial identity through his anonymity as the poetic speaker. The primary aim of this project is to produce a poetry in which the racial identity of the author is neither emphasized nor omitted, and which enables the reader, regardless of ethnicity, to discover a previously unrecognized bicultural identity.

Jordan Troeller

This History of Art thesis project will examine how the contemporary participatory art of Rirkrit Tiravanija overlaps with and departs from the work of Hlio Oiticica in 1960s Brazil. Rather than creating discrete objects, these artists engender interactive situations. Recently dubbed relational art, such installations involve the viewer in various social activities, such as cooking or dancing, thereby challenging the distinction between art and everyday life. While Oiticica’s work emphasizes the relationship between participation and political agency, Tiravanija’s art examines the interface between artifice and leisure activities. Examining the relationship between these two practices, Jordan will draw upon theories of the ‘everyday’, the aesthetics of relational art, and the politics of socially critical installation art, in addition to conducting research at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and at Documenta XII (Kassel, Germany).

Samuel Pittman

In recent decades, artists and writers have created self-narrations that deliberately thwart the conventions of autobiography and question even the most contemporary conceptions of the self and self-representation. Inspired by these works, as his ISF honors thesis Sam will create an autobiographical installation entitled Parthenogenesis, a term meaning asexual reproduction, which refers here to effectively creating oneself due to the difficulty of remembering ones past in light of both having very few photographic mnemonics, as well as having faced numerous hardships during childhood which may have caused memory-blocks. In his visual autobiography, Sam will write poems and short prose pieces, and will present these with childhood photographs, poems he wrote as a child, and current posed photographs to explore the divisions between image and text, poetry and prose, memory and fantasy.

Spencer Orey

Spencer will travel to El Salvador this summer and conduct anthropological fieldwork focusing on the not-for-profit organization Pro-Búsqueda. Focusing primarily on reuniting children disappeared in the Salvadoran civil war with their biological families, workers at Pro-Búsqueda have not only helped to advocate processes of justice and repatriation but have also played an important role in lobbying for reparations legislation as well. Using ethnographic methods, Spencer will collect data through first-hand participant observation and interviews in order to examine the importance of finding and reuniting children in reconstructing civil society and engaging social trauma in El Salvador. Much work and scholarly literature has focused solely upon the immediate aftermath of the civil war conflict, and Spencer hopes that his fieldwork will provide a critical study of ongoing post-conflict social reconciliation.

Keith Orejel

Keith will be traveling to Washington D.C. to do archival research at the Library of Congress and National Archives. He will be studying funerals in the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Scholars of the Civil Rights and Black Power Eras often focus on the institutions and individuals who fueled the creation of these social movements, while ignoring the role of culture and cultural politics in this process. Keith will attempt to study funerals as a way to look at how existing cultural rituals become transformed in periods of African American politicization. Keith hopes to look at how these rituals became involved in the process of movement building and what they reflected about African American values and worldview.