Development, Livestock, and Society: Cultural Practices and Agricultural Intervention in Upper East Ghana

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.

...Read More about Joshua Belton and Agata Surma
Social Science

Life Makers: A Nonviolent Approach to Transnational Islamic Activism

Contemporary nonviolent movements of Muslim youth around the world are often neglected in the western media and deserve more scholarly attention. Emerging in the affluent urban centers of Egypt, Life Makers is an example of such a movement. The group was spearheaded nearly a decade ago by a charismatic and popular leader, Amr Khaled, through his television programs, lectures, tapes, and speeches. Edina will travel to Egypt this summer to look at Life Makers development from a group of youth following Khaleds teachings, to an international nongovernmental organization and now to its potential as a social movement seeking transformation of Egyptian society. While it is recognized that Life Makers is clearly an organization that focuses on social reform and development of society, Edina will investigate to what extent this goal of transformation implies political and economic change.

...Read More about Edina Bohanec
Humanities

Uptake of 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate and Folic Acid by Mature Red Blood Cells

Folate deficiency still remains as the primary culprit for childhood mortality, and a major cause of atherosclerosis and cancer. Yet, we lack a precise method for determination of the long-term folate status of patients. The objective of Nikas project is to develop a more accurate method of quantifying long-term folate status through elucidation of Red Cell Folate kinetics. It is assumed that Red Cell folate (RCF) remains constant in the circulation; nevertheless, erythrocytes are capable of specific uptake of folate, suggesting that RCF is dynamic. Nika will perform experiments in order to develop a kinetic model that incorporates this dynamic nature of RCF. The model will be validated by collaborative clinical studies in Mexico. Hopefully, through this exciting collaboration, the results of this research may extend beyond national boundaries and give rise to more accurate methods for quantifying folate status.

...Read More about Nika Cyrus
Sciences

The Managed Family: An Examination of the Role of the Military Family in the Institution

The family is often considered a primary source of emotional support and an institutional constant amidst every day challenges. For military personnel, the circumstances of every day life are more unpredictable, more dangerous, and further complicated by the intensive debate surrounding military duties and functions. Military families are intimately intertwined with the institution, but are not bound to the military in the same fashion as its personnel. What is the role of families in the military? This summer, Mai-Ling will conduct ethnographic research at the Marine Corps Base in Twentynine Palms, California, to investigate how military families manage themselves and how the military manages families within the institution. By interviewing Marine Corps wives and personnel she will investigate both the perceived and expected roles of families, and attempt to discover the actual nature of their relationship with the military.

...Read More about Mai-Ling Garcia
Social Science

Palatial Architecture and the Mitanni Mode of Governance: a Cross-Comparative Analysis of Administrative Centers from Tell Brak, Alalakh, and Nuzi

Matthew hopes to contribute to discussion within scholarship of the Ancient Near East on the study of the Mitanni state, a polity in Upper Mesopotamia that attained international power during the second millennium BCE. He proposes to elucidate one, fairly restricted aspect of the larger question regarding the Mitannian system of governance by comparing recently published information on palatial administrative architecture from a site in the Mitanni heartland, Tell Brak, with the much more extensively documented peripheral sites of Alalakh and Nuzi. Through this cross-comparative study of the three administrative buildings, Matthew proposes to hypothesize potential connections between use of space and structure of empire, and conclude whether the architecture in the periphery was used in the same way, and by the same people, as the Brak administrative center, which can be securely situated in a quintessentially Mitanni framework.

...Read More about Matthew Gracia
Humanities

Influences of Early Acoustic Experience on Sensory Perception

As part of Professor Shaowen Baos lab, Yoon will expand our understanding of the influence of sensory input on information processing during an epoch of early development known as the critical period. At the behavioral level, he will investigate how early experience of single-frequency tone pips influences frequency discrimination ability in rats. At the physiological level, he will examine the auditory cortex (A1) of tone-exposed rats to extract response properties of the cortical neurons, such as the characteristic frequency, spontaneous firing rate, maximum firing rate, and tuning bandwidth. At the systems level, he will simulate the auditory cortex with a population of model neurons using computational methods with previously extracted properties. By creating a model of the perceptual discrimination process, Yoon will investigate how repeated exposures to a sound influence perception discrimination of acoustically similar sounds.

...Read More about Yoon Han
Sciences

Positional Cloning of the Grinch Mutation in Xenopus Tropicalis

Under the guidance of Dr. Richard Harland and two postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Timothy Grammer and Dr. Mustafa Khokha, Dang will study the novel grinch mutation that affects the lymphatic system of the frog Xenopus tropicalis. Like humans, frogs have a lymphatic system which drains fluids from tissues back to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system influences the course of many human diseases, from lymphedema to tumor metastasis; and currently little is known about the molecular basis of lymphatic development. Dang’s efforts will ultimately result in the characterization and identification of the mutated gene, which will contribute to our understanding of the amphibian lymphatic system and possibly that of humans.

...Read More about Dang Lam
Sciences

Transitional Justice, Cultural Memory, and Post Colonial Consciousness in Post Khmer Rouge Cambodia

Sun’s project examines how cultural memory and postcolonial consciousness have shaped the notion of justice and reconciliation in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia. While the newly-established Special Court aims to establish international criminal justice 31 years after the tragic events, whether such justice can redress historical wrongs and bring about reconciliation remains questionable. Therefore an inquiry into the Cambodian social and political imagination, ideological development and notions of national identity and culture becomes appropriate. Through interviews, observations and review of historical evidence, Sun will unearth the non-dominant voice and seek to understand the sentiment regarding the nation’s history of foreign occupation and colonial subjection. The hope is that this research would not only be significant in shaping Cambodia’s memory of its past and future, but that it would elicit informed decisions and creative mechanisms to aid nations arising from violent pasts.

...Read More about Sun Lee
Humanities

Role of the DSB System in the Antimicrobial Resistance of Salmonella

Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium) is one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses and mortalities. A major factor behind its virulence is its ability to survive well in the presence of hydrogen peroxide generated by macrophages through respiratory burst. Previous research has shown dsbD mutants of S. typhimurium to be more susceptible to hydrogen peroxide. DsbD works in conjunction with dsbA, B, and C in maintaining periplasmic disulfide bonds. More specifically, dsbD catalyzes the isomerase activity of dsbC by reducing it. DsbA and B help form disulfide bonds by oxidizing thiols. Jihoon will further investigate the role of dsbA, B, and C, and how it confers more resistance of S. typhimurium to hydrogen peroxide. From this research, he hopes to conduct quality senior honors research that will ultimately decrease the number of foodborne illnesses caused by S. typhimurium.

...Read More about Jihoon Lim
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Richmond's "State of Emergency"

Dashal’s project will use a recent debate in the Richmond City Council over the proposal to declare a State of Emergency as a focus for questions dealing with violence and politics in the deindustrialized and racialized American landscape. She will investigate how violence and crisis are constructed in various discourses, and how those understandings are deployed in governance. Although the State of Emergency was purportedly proposed in response to a spike in homicide rates, Dashal believes it actually stemmed from a more hidden and deep crisis. In the context of the neoliberal retrenchment of state services and the general financial crisis in deindustrialized municipalities, racialized minorities are increasingly portrayed as dangerous to society, thus providing a rationale for their differential treatment by the law. Using interdisciplinary methods and multimedia, Dashal’s research will reexamine the notion of violence within this more expansive framework.

...Read More about Dashal Moore
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Houseless

Darci will be traveling to New York City to conduct anthropological fieldwork on homelessness. Specifically, this work will be an exploration of the way in which the discourse of choice, freedom, and resistance is utilized in the lives of those who view their homeless condition as a choice– those Darci terms “houseless.” The data collected through interviews and surveys will provide means for a comparative analysis with work she has been doing in Berkeley for the past year and a half. Along with interviews and surveys, Darci will be doing her first fieldwork in visual anthropology, taking photographs of houseless people as well as giving cameras to informants, in order to visually depict the dialectical relationship between researcher and informant. This research will culminate in a comparative analysis of houselessness and an exhibition of photographs in the Worth Ryder Gallery.

...Read More about Darci Pauser
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Ad Infinitum: Co-branded advertising for children's films, from Star Wars to The Incredibles

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.

...Read More about Andrew Peterson
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When Being Bilingual Hurts: Reminding Latino Students that Spanish is the Primary Language at Home May Hurt Subsequent Performance on a Verbal Test

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.

...Read More about Joel Portillo
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The Development and Significance of Frege's Theory of Concepts

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.

...Read More about Nicholas Riggle
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Women Sem Terra: Participation and Socio-Spatial Transformations

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.

...Read More about Miriam Solis
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Shimmy, Shake, and Undulate: A History of Belly Dance in the United States and the Development of Its Many Fusion Forms

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.

...Read More about Abby Stein
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Inspiring Experiment: The Poetics of Gender in Elizabeth Bishop's Work

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.

...Read More about Sarah Stone
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Jane Austen Meets Hollywood: Narrative Authority in the Adaptation of Novel to Film

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.

...Read More about Sharon Tang-Quan
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The Baroque Viola and Improvisational Style

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.

...Read More about Michael Uy
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The SNTE and the Democratic Transition in Mexico

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.

...Read More about Hector Vivero
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