Women Playing Men: Cross-Gender Conditions in Shakespeare Performance

Crystal will be exploring female performance in Shakespeare, focusing on female actresses portraying male Shakespearean roles. The study will form her honors thesis in English, and will culminate in a creative project, for which she will stage a number of Shakespearean monologues and scenes using an all-female cast. The question Crystal wishes to explore in both these endeavors is what happens to our understanding of Shakespeares plays in cross-gender conditions? In answering this question she hopes to form a unique way of talking about women playing mena discourse that would bring into dialogue two sometimes incongruous approaches to gender in Shakespeare: literary and performance criticism. Crystal will visit the Globe Theater in London this summer to attend two significant all female performances and will conduct interviews with actors and directors involved in the productions. Their insights will inform her paper, as well as her own directing project.

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Humanities

Egyptian - American Novel in Progress

Zeina, an English major, will write a novel of literary fiction that narrates the lives of three generations of Egyptian-Americans. It explores social issues such as cultural and gender conflict between old world Egyptian-Muslim values and more modern Western values. Intergenerational conflict is examined within the three generations of this family with the first having immigrated in their fifties, the second in their twenties, and the third being born in the United States. The characters struggle with defining an identity for themselves while straddling the cultural rift. The emotional core of the book centers around family relationships and particularly those of estranged parent-child relations due to differing cultural norms, morals, and taboos.

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Humanities

Buddhas and Buffer Zones: The Impact of International Preservation and Tourism Development on Bodhgaya, India

Dafna, an Interdisciplinary: Globalization and Development major, will create a body of 50 documentary photographs depicting the impact of tourism and preservation efforts on the town of Bodhgaya, India. Bodhgaya, located in Indias most impoverished state of Bihar, is home to the Mahabodhi Temple, the most recent addition to UNESCOs World Heritage List. The preservation standards decreed by UNESCO require the creation of a buffer zone around the Mahabodhi Temple, which is likely to translate into the displacement of locals who live and work around the site. Contestations over the Mahabodhi Temple have increased dramatically since its inclusion on the World Heritage List, both on economic as well as religious terms. Dafna will travel to Bodhgaya twice: first during the summer tourism off-season, and again at the winter, during the peak-tourism season. The comparative photographs she will produce, accompanied by short narratives from Bodhgayas community, will serve to give the […]

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Humanities

Poisoned Clouds: Dealing with Pesticide Drift in Californias Agricultural Communities

An Individual Major in Environmental Policy and Investigative Reporting, Jason intends to conduct research on a July 8, 2002, pesticide-poisoning incident in Arvin, California. In the incident, over 250 people were allegedly poisoned by a known carcinogenic pesticide. Focusing on issues of accountability and government response, Jason will use Arvin as a case study to be compared with a 1999 poisoning incident involving over 400 people in Earlimart, California. To place these case studies within the bigger picture of Californias pesticide incidents, he intends to draw upon statewide databases that describe pesticide use and reported poisonings throughout the state. His project will constitute a senior thesis for his major and will also form the basis for a first-person investigative report fit for publication.

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Humanities

Linguistic Atlas of River Yurok

Alysoun will identify previously undescribed linguistic variation in Yurok, an endangered native language of northwestern California. There are two major Yurok dialect areas, and her aim is to map local variation within one of those: the area along the Klamath River from the coast upriver to Weitchpec, California. Alysoun will use archival and field research to gather linguistic, geographical and population data, which she will then synthesize to create a linguistic atlas. This work will make both an academic contribution (in the context of the Yurok Language Project, a full scale language description and revitalization effort currently underway in the Linguistics department here at Berkeley) and a community contribution, giving the Yurok people access to previously unavailable information about their linguistic history.

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Humanities