Abby Stein

Shrouded in mystique and controversy, the U.S. development of belly dance remains tied to appropriation, orientalism and popular entertainment. Abby Stein’s written thesis will examine the dance phenomenon within the context of 20th and 21st century American culture and values. Through a survey of existing scholarship, interviews with influential belly dance artists, firsthand training experience, and analysis of video and live performance and instruction, Abby will analyze how Western thought has adopted and transformed this Middle Eastern tradition. She will attempt to explain the development of the dance forms many contemporary permutations, including the popular belly dance fusion practiced in todays Bay Area. She will also create a collection of materials (such as articles, photos, video footage, interviews, etc.) to serve as a foundation for a future public archive, capturing an important but mostly undocumented segment of popular entertainment history.

Miriam Solis

The expansion of Brazils 1.5 million member Movimiento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) has provoked many changes. Two changes in particular occurred in the 1990s: the MST began to deviate from its traditional strategy of rural squatting by organizing urban land occupations; and the MST’s leadership structures changed to include committees charged with improving womens participation and leadership representation within the MST. Miriam will collect archival data and conduct interviews in Brazil this summer in order to investigate whether the MST’s rural to urban shift served as a catalyst for changes in the gendered dynamics of the organization. Ultimately, she hopes this project will lend critical understanding to the relationship between the gendered dimensions of social movements and the physical space in which they operate.

Nicholas Riggle

What is a concept? What philosophical and explanatory power should we expect from a theory of concepts? Logician, mathematician and philosopher Gottlob Frege tried to demonstrate the logicist thesis that all arithmetical theorems are purely logical consequences of the basic laws of logic and the logically defined axioms of arithmetic. During the evolution of his project, Frege developed his technical notion of a concepta notion seemingly very far removed from contemporary theories of concepts. Nicholas proposes to work out an account of the development of Freges theory paying close attention to how it changes in reaction to the philosophical pressures of logicism. He hopes to both shed light on Freges motivation for his theory and investigate the contemporary significance of the products of a great and influential mind from the past.

Joel Portillo

Latinos and Blacks score the lowest on the SAT verbal section. Considering the weight that universities give to SATs when considering admissions, the implications of these statistics are great. Research documents the negative effects of stereotype threat, a fear of confirming negative stereotypes about a group with which one identifies, on performance in standardized tests. For example, reminding Blacks of their race prior to taking a standardized test impairs their performance. While race has been widely studied, the role of a subjects primary language at home in activating stereotype threat has been ignored. Joels research aims to test whether language considered non-standard English activates stereotype threat, thus affecting the performance of bilingual Latino subjects on a difficult verbal test. This research will help to elucidate one of the possible impediments to Latinos academic success, further suggesting ways to boost achievement.

Andrew Peterson

Co-branded advertising is a movie marketing strategy allying films such as Star Wars and E.T., with brands like Burger Chef and Atari. Though film and advertising have always engaged in a mutually shameless relationship, there are many important distinctions between co-branded and conventional film advertising. In contrast to the prologue-like tone of movie trailers, co-branded advertising is presented to the spectator as a kind of hyper-utopian epilogue to the film’s narrative conflict, in which “good guys” and “bad guys” alike are rewarded with consumer products. The aim of Andrew’s project is to analyze and interpret this emerging trend in film advertising, using commercials preserved at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and stored online in the AdLand database. He will focus on children’s films: those most often paired with consumer products in the contemporary marketplace.

Joshua Belton and Agata Surma

Agata and Josh will be studying the ways two major agricultural interventions–colonial development and the Tono Irrigation Project–have changed livestocks role in several communities in Upper East Ghana. They will first visit the British National Archives in London to research the pre-colonial conditions in the area and assess how colonial development unfolded there. They will then fly to Accra, Ghana, where they will interview experts to learn about the area’s past and present. Afterwards, they will travel to Upper East Ghana to observe the area and conduct interviews, which will help them determine the present role of livestock in communities there. They will then compare how that role has changed with the various projects, and what the consequences of these changes have been.

Hector Vivero

The 2000 presidential election ended seventy one years of Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Instituiconal, PRI) government in Mexico. Faced with new political circumstances, the institutions created by the perfect dictatorship were forced to adapt to the Mexican Transition to Democracy. The purpose of this project is to investigate the responses of the National Teachers Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educacion, SNTE), formerly one of the most important strongholds for PRI domination. Since the democratic transition involved a decentralization of responsibilities to state and local authorities now governed by three different political parties, the SNTE faces an enormous challenge to its political power. Based on interviews and observations in three states, Hector aims to find out if the clientelist systems of control which once characterized the SNTEs national domination will persist at the regional level.

Michael Uy

The harmonic and practical foundations for the performance of Western Classical music were laid during the Baroque period (c.1600c.1750). However, little is known about how viola players improvised their parts when playing music written only for a trio, such as two violins and a cello. The main hypothesis is that these musicians were improvising harmonies derived from figures written by the composer above the bass line. Michael will first spend his summer in intensive training on the Baroque viola, in addition to mastering the rules and principles of figured bass. He will then draw on historical treatises written by musicians, as well as material in UC Berkeleys recently re-found and unanalyzed Tartini collection of unpublished Italian music manuscripts to construct a better understanding of how the instrument adapted to orchestral settings when there was no specific written viola part.

Sharon Tang-Quan

In 1995, 11 million British stayed home on six Sunday evenings to watch the BBC mini-series of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the last decade, over a dozen adaptations of Austen’s novels have become films, and four more are forthcoming in 2006. How do these adaptations communicate 19th-century ideas and themes in a form/media not yet imagined in Austen’s time? Austen is famous for her style and narrative authority; the transformation or even destruction of her narrative voice in the conversion of novel to film is thus of concern. By conducting a textual analysis of the adaptations of Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, Sharon will evaluate how an adaptations performance of a text adds to our understanding of the novel. Sharons project seeks to contribute to the debate by questioning the privileging of the novel over adaptation.

Sarah Stone

My honors thesis in Rhetoric will explore the poetics of gender in the work of poet Elizabeth Bishop. While a number of critics began to address the effects of her gender on her poetry in the 1993 anthology Elizabeth Bishop: The Geography of Gender, scholarship on the subject has since waned. I will offer a reading of the techniques Bishop employs to communicate her vexed relationship to gender that is informed by the most recent scholarship on the relationship between gender and literary form, including the conceptualization of gender identity as a continually repeated performance rather than an inherent or socially (singularly) constructed identity. By synthesizing the effects of Bishop’s gender on both the form and content of her poems, I will discover how such a reading can extend and transform our understanding of her work.