Dinu Ahmed ’08, a double major in Political
Science and Comparative Literature, is working with Lecturer in Political
Science Deborah Harrold and Fairbanks Professor in Humanities and Professor of
German and Comparative Literature Azade Seyhan. Dinu is interested in exploring
the current political rhetoric surrounding terrorism and its role in propagating
cultural exclusivity in the aftermath of 9/11. In order to undertake the project
in a meaningful bicultural fashion, she spent this past summer formally studying
Arabic, reading news reports written in Arabic, and listening to Arabic
newscasts. This year, she will continue her language studies and conducting
research specifically on the discourse around U.S. relations with Al-Qaeda
and/or Hamas and Hezbollah.
Catherine Farman ’08, is a double
major in History of Art and Spanish. Her mentor is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in
the Humanities and Professor of History of Art Gridley McKim-Smith. She is
interested in studying Hispanic art in the U.S. particularly the lively Chicano
art scene in the Southwest. This summer she was a full-time intern at the
Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture in San Antonio, Texas. She
helped coordinate, install, and curate two of their exhibits, one called
“Juxtapositions” in which ten local artists presented works whose theme was the
use of discarded or found objects. The second was titled “The Golden Age of the
Alameda” focusing on the history of the theater as a venue for Mexican films.
Paula Mans ’08, is majoring Romance Languages and her mentor is Associate Professor of History Ignacio Gallup-Díaz. This past summer, she held a two-month internship at CARACEN (The Central American Resource Center), an organization in Washington, DC that provides social, political, and legal support to the Central American immigrant community. Later in the summer, she traveled to Salvador da Bahia where she spent a month studying Portuguese and exploring Afro-Brazilian culture. As a result of this experience, she has changed her Mellon project to the study of current racial politics of Brazil with a special focus on the northeastern state of Bahia.
Project Description: For my Mellon Mays Undergraduate
Fellowship Project, I will be conducting research on the history of
Afro-Argentine population in Buenos Aires from approximately 1600 to 1850. The
project will focus on the economic, cultural, political and artistic
contributions of Afro-Argentines to Buenos Aires society during this time period
as well as their long-lasting influence on Argentine national identity.
Sheena Reed ’08, a double major in Sociology
and English, is working with Associate Professor of English Linda-Susan Beard on
a project that examines the effects of the color caste system on perceptions of
beauty in African American communities. She is also interested in the education
of African American students, and this summer she worked as an intern at the
Philadelphia Education Fund. She was able to learn about many of the issues
affecting Philadelphia public schools and their students first hand. She also
did independent research related to her project on perceptions of beauty.
Tiffany Shumate ’08, is a Psychology major and her two mentors are Professor of Anthropology and the Mary Hall Chase Chair in the Social Sciences and Social Work Phil Kilbride and Senior Lecturer in Education Alice Lesnik. She is interested in developing a comparative study of the development of positive self-esteem among African American students enrolled in Imhotep, an African-centered charter school, and Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. She spent the summer in Rwanda at an organization called Global Youth Connect, working with Rwandan youth groups and local non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about human rights in the wake of the 1994 genocide. She also began work on an independent documentary project consisting of interviews with young people who were orphaned by the genocide and HIV/AIDS.