Religious Hierarchy in Ancient Mycenae: A Contextual Analysis of Figurine Production at Petsas House

Figurines in the shape of humans, animals, and inanimate objects, such as furniture, have been found in excavations throughout the archaeological site of Mycenae, a Bronze Age settlement and palatial center. Samantha will investigate the production patterns of these figurines by analyzing archaeological data from a Mycenaean ceramics center, Petsas House. By comparing these figurines to those from other Mycenae excavation sites, she will attempt to make inferences about the distribution of figurines and the social structure of Mycenae. Previous scholarship has suggested that Mycenaean religion was socially stratified, with figurines being a main expression of popular religion. Samanthas main research will determine whether Petsas House produced its figurines in accordance with an official, elite religion, or, conversely, if Petsas House produced for the common people and cult.

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Humanities

Reporters and Reforged Identities: Negotiating Narratives of Violence through the Journalistic Enterprise

The body of the slain journalist, elevated to heroic proportions, has become indispensable in contemporary constructions of Filipino nationalism and democracy. This project will compare two episodes in the history of Philippine media that fortify the journalists presence in the Filipino imagination: the three-day broadcast by Radio Veritas during the 1986 People Power Revolution and the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre. Between June and August, Clarissa will engage in archival research at the National Library of the Philippines in Manila and conduct interviews with news media personnel and anti-impunity campaigners. She will examine how community efforts and legislative attempts to combat violence against media workers organize practices of Filipino citizenship around demands raised by investigative journalists for greater government responsibility and transparency.

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Humanities

A Political Ecology of the Citarum River: Exploring Human Dimensions of Water Pollution in Peri-urban Bandung, Indonesia

The Citarum River and its drainage basin, which has been called the most polluted river in the world, spans 11,000 square kilometers, serves 378 industries, 25 million people, and supplies Jakarta with 80% of its water. With so many people and ecologies depending on this critical river, each with a different perspective and a distinct relationship to the river, there are many narratives about rights, access, and pollution being told. Jenna will travel to West Java to further explore what individual and collective claims are being made, which practices and narratives are mobilized to justify them, and whether claims have the potential to transform management and restoration activities aimed at mitigating deteriorating conditions.

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Social Science

Investigating Ecosystem Responses to Manipulated Climate Conditions at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Since the early 20th century, global surface temperatures have risen 1.4F, with the majority of the warming occurring in the past three decades due to anthropogenic activities. Significant changes in sea level, ecosystems, and ice cover are predicted to occur as a result of increasing temperatures. Katya aims to understand ecological responses to simulated and natural climate change in a subalpine meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. She will maintain a database for the longest-running climate manipulation experiment in the world and gather additional information about the species abundance distribution and changes in albedo over the course of the summer. Larger implications of her project are greater insight into microclimate-ecosystem dynamics and the effects of warming on landscapes, which may be useful information for agricultural and water-management industries.

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Sciences

The Political Economy of the Spectacle

The entertainment business dominates many people’s lives. Theorists of different stripes have been eager to understand the role it plays in modern society. However, these inquiries rarely treat entertainment as an industry. No one has thoroughly pursued the question: what kind of value is produced by the entertainment industry? Emphasizing the creation of value this project views Hollywood’s film and television industry through the lens of a Marxian Political-Economist. James’s focus will be understanding how the people who produce entertainment might create a particular type of value that is different from a classical understanding of value simply as labor time expended. He argues that the entertainment industry’s underlying logic is the pursuit of “attention time”. James will interview personnel in the industry and look at movie data-sets this summer in LA.

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Social Science

Sentiments of (Be)longing: Queer Undocumented Immigrants in Search of Home

Though growing rapidly, the literature on the displacement of immigrants within the U.S. rarely addresses queer undocumented immigrants. By engaging with theories of affect, Marco’s project will explore the experiences of displacement queer undocumented immigrants encounter in their search for home. Through qualitative interviews, Marco will bring together two seemingly unrelated identities — “queer” and “immigrant” — exploring the complications of experience and sentiment driven by the dwelling that takes place in search of home; an engagement of the body in relation to a fragmented self. Ultimately, by illuminating forms of contact these queer undocumented immigrants have with their homeland, Marco hopes to provide a theoretical framework that engages in their navigation between being queer and undocumented, leading to a re-imagining of the body as a site of home.

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Humanities

Undocumented Latina/o Students' Struggle and Academic Resiliency in Higher Education

An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from the nations high schools each year, and only 5-10% of those continue on to a two/four-year college or university (Passel, 2003 & Passel and Cohn, 2009). Their obstacles, beyond lack of federal financial aid, contribute to psychological stress and limited opportunities in higher education. Geraldine will augment the scarce research on AB540 students agency and resiliency by interviewing undocumented Latina/o UC Berkeley students and alumni, undocumented youth who either work or dropped out of college, faculty, administrators, and members of student organizations. She will examine the factors driving undocumented students during a time of economic downturn and strong anti-immigrant sentiment. Her research will provide a blueprint assessing undocumented students futures, ultimately laying the framework for effective educational and social policy solutions.

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Social Science

Speaking the Self: Testimony and Self-Development in Jane Eyre and Villette

Current Bio: Brittany is now working with SURF, supporting undergraduate research. Haas Scholars Project: Brittany’s project will first explore the possibilities and limitations of fictional testimony to enact a process of trauma recovery. She will plumb the formal and imagerial depths of Charlotte Brontë’s novels Jane Eyre and Villette against a background of theoretical work engaged with trauma. She will narrow her critical eye upon the ways in which these two novels articulate their respective heroines psychological encounters with inaccessible stores of traumatic memory through narrative acts of viewing. Brittany will rely on close readings of the texts to assess how each novel views trauma, and how this correlates to the heroines recovery. She will then broaden her analysis to address how Brontë’s novels respond to or resist representations of the complex relationship between trauma and perception at large in the Gothic genre.

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Humanities

In the Path of the Three Sisters: A Future Plant-Based Food System for Ireland and Israel

The rising economic and environmental cost of fossil fuels will greatly affect our reliance on them for global food transportation in the near future. Michal will design crop plans for plant-based food systems in Israel and Ireland — regions with radically different climates — to determine the feasibility of maintaining a locally grown, healthy plant-based diet. This summer, she will conduct research in Israel and Ireland, collecting technical evidence of soil and climate conditions to determine what can be grown in each area, gathering historical data on plant foods grown in the region, and interviewing nutritionists and permaculture experts to obtain information on local sufficient diets and sustainable crop-growing methods. She intends for this case-specific data to be a starting point for a crop plan designing method in resource-limited climates.

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Sciences

The Road Home: How News Shapes the Reintegration of Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans to Civilian Life

Many breakthroughs have been made regarding the mental and physical challenges war veterans face. However, veterans face many other challenges when it comes to reintegrating back into civilian society. Robert will explore one aspect that helps create the social context that veterans must navigate upon their return. There is considerable evidence that news coverage can shape public opinion regarding many issues, one of which is the perception of soldiers and war veterans. Through a detailed content analysis of front-page newspaper stories about the wars, Robert will explore empirical truth of this matter. Additionally, he will conduct focus groups with veterans at UC Berkeley and attend a conference of Veterans Program administrators in Myrtle Beach, SC, in order to gauge veterans own perception of medias affect on the reintegration process.

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Social Science

Reading Sites, Dropping Lines: An Investigation into Unreliable Language on the Border

Nathaniel’s project will produce an experimental video and art show exploring the U.S./Mexico border as it is situated temporally, spatially and psychically. By living in Tijuana and crossing the border daily for six weeks; interviewing activists, architects and academics; and providing volunteer humanitarian aid to migrants, Nathaniel will investigate how the histories of the U.S./Mexico border are embodied by the people who pass through it, and by various sites along its path. Focusing his research on three primary border locations — the San Ysidro border checkpoint, the Friendship Park monument that marks the starting point of the U.S./Mexico border, and the Sonoran Desert — Nathaniel will explore the relationship between the stories and rhetoric used to describe geographical borders, and how both have shifted and/or remained stagnant over time.

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Humanities

Managing Type I Diabetes During Adolescence: Social Relationships and Identity

Current Bio: After graduation, Willie worked in customer support, marketing, operations and sales functions within various private-sector Ecommerce companies. While working, Willie completed part-time programs to earn his Masters in Public Administration at USC and a Masters in Business Administration at UCLA. He currently works as a Senior Account Manager at Zinus, a global Ecommerce Mattress Manufacturer. Haas Scolars Project: Adolescence is a pivotal period for developing friendships and identity. For chronically ill adolescents, however, this developmental period may be disrupted due to the lifestyle limitations associated with carefully managing their illness. To examine the extent to which a chronic illness alters an adolescents social relationships and identity, Willie will conduct in-depth interviews with University of California, Berkeley students with and without Type I Diabetes about their experiences within four contexts: social networks, the family, secondary school, and self-perception. Ultimately, Willie’s study will include public health policy implications by providing […]

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Social Science

Redefining Gender Roles After the Internal Conflict: Women in Ayacucho, Peru

Vast academic attention characterized by a search for causality and consequences has been given to the internal conflict in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s. However, little attention has been given to women, the main victims of the conflict. Seeking to understand the redefinition of gender roles after the internal conflict, Sandra will travel to Ayacucho, a province in the Peruvian Andes considered the region most affected by the conflict. Using participant observation and in-depth interviews as her methods, Sandra will examine what roles women had to take on in order to survive and protect their space, and how the process of redefining gender roles during the conflict created women leaders in Ayacucho. An understanding of this process is important in order to sustain an effective process of national reconciliation.

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Social Science

Sculpting Memory: Reading Berlin's Book Burning Memorial

What can a close reading of Berlin’s Book Burning Memorial offer to elucidate conflicts of remembering a turbulent past? Using libraries and archives in Berkeley and Berlin, Isabella will research the history and development of the current memorial; its public reception; and different uses of its location (Bebelplatz) over time. This research will also entail an in-person exploration of the memorial’s tactile and sculptural aspects, reading the memorial as an artwork confronting the past and processing history through its form within the city landscape. Isabella’s research will be grounded in scholarship on memory, commemoration, and making history tactile and present. Traumatic events are widespread, and this localized study in Berlin, while obviously not addressing all such events, offers a perspective on the process of healing and reconciliation within the cityscape.

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Humanities

Functional Characterization of Met12-MTHFR in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Methylenetetrahydrofolate-reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of methionine, an essential amino acid. Due to MTHFR importance for cellular health, Jessica studies MTHFRs in yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae through analysis of paralogous genes MET12 and MET13. The Met12 and Met13 proteins are both MTHFR enzymes, however based upon biochemical results Met12 appears to be non-functional. Recently Jessica showed that Met12 has been non-functional for millions of years, since it also lacks function in yeast species Saccharomyces bayanus. Since yeast aggressively remove non-functional elements from their genomes, this result is strong and presumptive evidence that Met12 has an important, undetected function. Jessica’s experiments will describe why Met12 is nonfunctional, and will test the hypothesis that physical interactions between Met12 and Met13 are important for cooperative maintenance of methionine bioavailability.

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Sciences

Differential Gene Expression in Old and Young Mice: Bridging Immune System and Muscle Regeneration

Current Bio: After graduation, Novalia completed a PhD in Biological Engineering at MIT. She is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Haas Scholars Project: The slower muscle regeneration observed in older people is due to the less supportive extrinsic biochemical make-up, which constitutes the microenvironment of damaged muscle, in older people as compared to younger people. Muscle regeneration involves an inflammation phase during which the immune cells partly architect the microenvironment surrounding muscle injury. Nova would like to decipher the mediator and pathways that might bridge the immune system and muscle regeneration. She will carry out a gene expression profiling approach, qRT-PCR array, and in vitro pharmacological inhibition/stimulation to investigate how the immune system affects muscle stem (satellite) cells’ regenerative capacity. The elucidation of mediator and pathways which incorporate the immune system and muscle regeneration pathways will point to novel therapies for muscle injury by biochemically […]

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Sciences

Development of a Point of Care Tuberculosis Diagnostic Device

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that often attacks the lungs and can be spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, and other airborne means. Approximately 2 billion people are infected with TB and around 1.6 million people die of this disease every year. Navpreet will develop a point of care (POC) diagnostic device that will be able to quantify specific TB biomarker levels in serum using electrical impedance spectroscopy. His project tests the hypothesis that the limit of detection can be improved by creating a 3D gel sensor as opposed to the standard 2D sensor for electrochemical detection. The versatile, low cost POC platform technology for TB diagnosis and other antibody-based assays will address the existing diagnostic needs of patients and clinicians in underserved regions.

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Sciences

A Novel Mechanism of Silencing Transposable Elements

Transposable elements (TEs) are movable pieces of DNA that can have detrimental effects in the plant genome. When TEs are expressed, they can disrupt normal gene function. Small RNAs (siRNAs) direct DNA methylation, which signals other proteins to prevent TE expression. Previous studies show that methylation patterns in the endosperm affect silencing of TEs in the embryo, and propose that siRNAs from the central cell, a female supporting germ cell, mediate TE silencing in the egg cell. Denisse will test the idea that siRNAs move from the central cell to the egg cell and silence TE expression in the egg cell. To achieve this goal, she will generate transgenic plants that produce specific siRNA-like molecules in the central cell and will determine if they move to the egg cell.

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Sciences

When Hot Money Turns Cold: An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Bond Spreads in the Euro-Area

Since the onset of the financial crisis, many European countries have seen the financial base of their economies dissipate. Fueled largely by high levels of debt and market malaise, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and others have been forced to implement excruciating austerity measures to prevent financial collapse. Despite the ubiquity of bond markets, academic economists continue to speculate about the various forces that govern the fluctuation in market evaluation of risk. Joseph’s research will attempt to clarify the role that market sentiment plays in determining interest rates by looking at data from the most recent financial crisis. Understanding the role of sentiment will be crucial for developing international financial policies aimed at insuring against market instability.

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Social Science

The Interface of Epistemologies: Repatriation and Collaboration in Anthropological Inquiry

The vintage anthropological enterprise typically derived from the researchers gaze on a non-Western society, in turn, producing the simultaneous exoticism and denigration of the so-called primitive. An anthropological production of knowledge relied on the holistic gathering of dataa process many times resulting in the researcher’s, the museum’s, or the universitys claim to ownership of material and immaterial cultural heritage. Contemporary anthropologists seek to exorcise the vintage specter by engaging in collaborative repatriation projects with indigenous communities. One such collaborative repatriation project developed when the Warao indigenous inhabitants of Mariusa, Venezuela requested copies of shamanic chants, divine narratives, and histories from Professor Charles Briggs. Niku Tarhechu Tarhesi will conduct fieldwork in Mariusa in order to observe the collaboration process and uncover underlying power dynamics, methods of organization, and conflict resolution.

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Social Science