Israeli Water Policies and their Effects on West Bank Palestinians

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.

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Humanities

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

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.

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Humanities

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

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.

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Humanities

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

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 7X5 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.

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Humanities

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

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 exposs 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.

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Humanities

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

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.

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Humanities

Fictional Nonfiction: Examining Postmodernist Parody and Subjectivity in Mass Culture

Tyler’s project will examine postmodern parody as a model of discourse, and will seek to account for parodys 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 parodys 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.

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Humanities

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

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.

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Humanities