Sera Smith

Ntozake Shange’s 1976 choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf is a work that many Black feminists continue to celebrate today. When Nzinga Stewart, a Black woman filmmaker, attempted to produce her 2006 adaptation of the play, she was directed to Tyler Perry, who rewrote the script and produced his 2010 film For Colored Girls.  Sera is studying Stewart’s unproduced adaptation to recognize Stewart’s intellectual contributions to Black feminism. She uses rhetorical analysis to study representations of healing in Stewart’s screenplay. The project involves examinations of materials at Shange’s archive, interviews with Stewart, and secondary sources about each work, healing and Black feminism. The findings of this research will culminate into Sera’s senior thesis in African American Studies.

Jonah Lounds

This summer, Jonah will be exploring the available digital archives of the Russian National Library, US Library of Congress, Princeton’s Cotsen Children’s Library, and the Gosfilmofond in Moscow, in order to compile and analyze a vast collection of Soviet children’s books, films, and animations produced in the 1960s and ‘70s which display the trope of the personified and humanized animal. Lounds’ research is intended to illuminate any new cultural meanings produced by the common use of a trope that is so irreconcilable with traditional Marxist assertions of human exceptionalism and supremacy over the natural world. Such findings should offer an alternative to the common assumption that, with the waning political relevance of Marxism-Leninism in the USSR’s twilight years, the Soviet Union had become completely devoid of vision and thought.

Eunice Elizabeth Paredes Zamudio

The Popol Vuh is a historical narrative recounting the traditional mythology and origin of the Mayan Kʼicheʼ people. Eunice’s thesis explores how this foundational book and its oral traditions contribute to maintaining the beliefs and culture of Mayan immigrant communities in the United States, specifically in East Oakland. Her work centers on oral interviews of immigrants from northern Guatemala, southern Mexico and parts of Belize, and will investigate how the tenets of the Popol Vuh resonate in these communities. This research helps us understand and interpret how Mayan families perceive and preserve their traditional customs and provides us a new way to understand and interpret the legacy of foundational narratives, such as the Popul Vuh, in the present day.

Gianfranco Gastelo

Gianfranco’s interdisciplinary civilizational project, inspired by Michel de Montaigne’s essay “Of Cannibals,” will investigate the concept of cultural relativism within the context of the First Spanish Conquest by exploring the following overarching question: how have the self -figurations of two Peruvian intellectuals of indigenous lineage, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s and Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala,  been meaningfully transformed by colonization? Though scholarly literature has coupled these two authors in conversation with written and pictographic portrayals of colonization, their individual receptivity of this period has unfortunately been undertheorized despite the parallels and divergences in their identities. With my investigation, Gianfranco aspires to enrich existing discussions of indigenous texts of the colonial era by complexifying these authors’ polarized identities in the social and educational spectrums, yet with similar motivations, in chronicling the Spanish colonization in Peru.

Salvador Gutierrez Peraza

In 2010, the Arizona legislature banned the teaching of Ethnic Studies in public schools (K-12) via House Bill 2281. The bill specifically targeted Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies program. According to the proponents of this bill, the MAS program was dangerous because it promoted ethnic, racial, and class divisions among students. Salvador will spend the summer in Arizona investigating the historical and political factors that led to the drafting and adoption of HB 2281. Salvador’s project will directly engage with the growing historical and political literature documenting the struggle of Mexican-American students for education rights in the Southwest. His investigation will also document the ongoing battle to revoke or to maintain HB 2281 as a valid law. His research will produce a senior honors thesis for the department of History.

Armen Davoudian

The Waste Land is a metapoem that doubts whether it is a poem: a paradoxical achievement of expression through expressing an inability to express. This antithetical way of writing poetry makes new relations among different tropes possible. For instance, iron–which normally either precludes or retrospectively denies pathos–can become elegy as Eliot complains that he cannot sing, thereby singing. Armen senses a similar concern in Eliot’s other poetry, and he wonders, for example, whether the many paradoxes in Four Quartets can be explained in terms of this argument. He also wants to study Eliot’s use of self-reflexivity (e.g. in his imagery of hair) and self-allusion, both structural and thematic. Ideally, analyzing how Eliot dramatizes this anxiety in his poems should generate some theories about why he felt it in the first place.

Alana Mailes

Current Bio: Alana has been in graduate school for musicology and sings semi-professionally. Haas Scholars Project: Alanas project focuses on the 1664 English translation of Giulio Caccini’s preface to Le nuove musiche (1601), one of the best-known texts about ornamentation of vocal music during the Baroque period. She will investigate the unknown identity of the translator, assess whether the translation of Caccini’s words may have affected the translation of musical practices from Italy to England, and trace the texts possible influence on seventeenth-century English composers such as Henry Purcell. She will conduct archival research at UC Berkeley, the University of Oxford, and the British Library. She will also attend a music workshop for Baroque vocal performance with Dame Emma Kirkby in preparation for recordings that she will make to accompany her research paper.

Jessica Lopez

In an anthropolitical and linguistic analysis that values human agency, individual thought, and community discourse, Jessicas work explores the embodied experience of Latino parents who attend court-mandated parenting classes in East Los Angeles. Current research on minority populations shows that Latino parents continue to view state intervention as judgmental, manipulative, and oppressive. Jessica will use transcribed speech from discussion circles and testimonios of the Latino parents involved in parenting to define, nuance, and problematize currently accepted parenting ideologies. This project aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics involved in the learning to be a legitimate parent as imposed by state authorities in a way that includes the community voice as well as that of the researcher.

Danica Rodarmel

Current Bio: Previously an Equal Justice Works fellow at Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights working on bail reform and bail bonds issues. In Jan. 2020, Danica became the Policy Director of State Legislative Affairs at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. Haas Scholars Project: Among Dreams illuminates the collective, un-fixed identities of incarcerated individuals in the Bay Area by interweaving dream narratives and personal histories. The project will culminate in two publications: one book devoted to the inmates work and another devoted to Danica’s experiences with familial incarceration and prison work. The books will explore reoccurring or unshakable dream narratives and personal stories, along with photographic interpretations of places and images significant to the dreams and memories. Interweaving dreams through the personal stories will help illuminate points of connection between the authors experiences and identities by drawing attention to reoccurring themes. A primary a goal of Among Dreams is counteracting […]

Barira Rashid

Since the fall of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, street art has become the most widespread form of political expression in Egypt since the Egyptian Revolution began on January 25th, 2011. As a means to proclaim the goals of the revolution and mock the military regime in power, Barira will further explore how political graffiti and street art have come to signify a powerful form of expression of social justice in the ongoing movement. Barira will travel to Cairo to document political graffiti and street art through photography and video, interview underground graffiti artists, and lead participant observations with street art collectives. Her work seeks to examine how public space and nationalism promote civic belonging and aims to preserve the disappearing artistic narrative of the struggle for civilian democratic rule in Egypt.