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Humanities Scholars Undergraduate research conference may 6 - 7, 2021, cornell university

We invite you to join us for two afternoons of virtual presentations by undergraduates from an array of humanities departments at Cornell University. This conference is organized and supported by the College of Arts & Sciences' Humanities Scholars Program, a two-year opportunity in research development for select undergraduates majoring or minoring in humanities fields. With this conference, HSP celebrates its inaugural year and includes seniors from outside the Program presenting thesis research and projects. Juniors from HSP's inaugural cohort will open the conference by presenting their research completed as part of SHUM 3750 Humanities Research Methods (SP21).

We give thanks to the anonymous donors for their support of the Humanities Scholars Program, and to Provost Michael Kotlikoff for providing conference welcome remarks.

The conference is open to the public. There is no pre-registration. "Join Zoom Webinar" buttons are located underneath each panel. Click the button/s to join the panel/s you wish to attend. Individual presentations generally consist of a ten minute pre-recorded video followed by ten minutes of live Q&A. Attendees may pose questions to panelists using the webinar Q&A feature.

Schedule is subject to change. Zoom Webinar Links are located below each session.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 4:30pm EST - Conference Welcome

Michael Kotlikoff, Provost, Cornell University, will welcome attendees and introduce the conference. Durba Ghosh, Professor of History and Director of the Humanities Scholars Program, will provide an overview of conference themes.

Thursday, May 6, 4:45 - 5:45pm EST - Opening Session

"Conversations with Goldwin Smith," featuring students from SHUM 3750 Humanities Research Methods, taught by Professor Durba Ghosh, Director of the Humanities Scholars Program. This panel will be moderated by HSP's Connor Greene '22.

  • Joanne Lee '22 and Angel Nugroho '22, "Modern Women: Goldwin Smith on Female Enfranchisement"
  • Lily Elkwood '22, Andrew Lorenzen '22, Jonathan Mondschein '22, and Jennifer Yoon '22, "The Two Sides of Goldwin Smith: Goldwin Smith’s Pseudo-Liberal Views on Race and Anglo-Saxon Superiority"
  • Helena Brittain '22, Danielle Greco '22, and Audry Hong '22, "Goldwin Smith on Religion"
  • Charlee Mandy '23, Luis Tamayo '22, and Justin Wang '22, "Goldwin Smith on Antiquity: Misleading Historical Narratives"

Webinar ID: 994 8649 8065 Passcode: 4536

Thursday, May 6, 5:45 - 6:45pm EST - Session 1 - Concurrent Panels

SESSION 1, PANEL A: Naiara Bezerra-Gatesi '21, "'They Aren't Ladies, They Are Fairies:' Black Fairies, Police Surveillance, and Queer Joy;" Paris Ghazi '21, "When 'I Do' Means 'I Don't': Courtship as Survival in the Victorian Novel;" Geneva Saupe '21, "Victimhood, Responsibility, and Feminist Political Action: Carole Pateman and Luce Irigaray." This panel will be moderated by Professor Durba Ghosh.

Webinar ID: 994 8649 8065 Passcode: 4536

SESSION 1, PANEL B: Lauren Bohm '21, "Memory, Identity, and the Legacies of German Colonialism;" Alec Giufurta '21, "What’s 'fit to print?’ When do U.S. newspapers cover political violence abroad in depth?;" Prinita Mukherjee '21, "Migrant lives in labor: South Asian construction workers and Southeast Asian domestic workers in Singapore." This panel will be moderated by Dr. Ellen Abrams, HSP Postdoctoral Associate.

Webinar ID: 934 2899 7774 Passcode: 1234

Thursday, May 6, 6:45 - 7:45pm EST - Session 2

SESSION 2: Levi Wilson '21, "exploratory embodied exegesis: spit fire, drink gasoline (repeat) and the self;" Kit Pyne-Jaeger '21, "‘Mourir d’amour, c’est en vivre’: The Classicizing Poetics of Queer Elegy and Its Erotic Underworld, 1850-1915;" Victoria Moore '21, "Gender Bending Fashion: Deconstructing Dress Amid a Gender Revolution." This panel will be moderated by Dr. Ellen Abrams, HSP Postdoctoral Associate.

Webinar ID: 934 2899 7774 Passcode: 1234

Friday, May 7, 2021

Friday, May 7, 3:00 - 4:00pm EST - Session 3 - Concurrent Panels

SESSION 3, PANEL A: Tilda Wilson '21, "Building a Prophet: Perspectives on the Life of Joseph Smith;" Olivia Simoni '21, "The Bible & Its Literary Influence on American Abolitionism." This panel will be moderated by Professor Durba Ghosh.

Webinar ID: 994 8649 8065 Passcode: 4536

SESSION 3, PANEL B: Joshua Johnson '21, "A Curatorial Odyssey;" Sarah Lorgan-Khanyile '21, "Opening the Question: Ontological Archives, or the Archives of Ontology;" Angelo Chan Borges '21, "Aristotle on How to Persuade the Weak-willed/incontinent." This panel will be moderated by Dr. Kristen Wright, HSP Postdoctoral Associate.

Webinar ID: 995 5178 5083  Passcode: 321278

Friday, May 7, 4:00 - 5:00pm EST - Session 4 - Concurrent Panels

SESSION 4, PANEL A: Isabel Comella '21, "Beyond Whistles, Chirps, and Trills: Applying Human Linguistic Laws to Gursky’s Spectral Tarsiers;" Ashley Whitley '21, "Gardening in the Works of Jamaica Kincaid;" Dana Meskan '21, "Quality Legal Interpretation of ASL: A Balancing Act." This panel will be moderated by Professor Durba Ghosh.

Webinar ID: 994 8649 8065 Passcode: 4536

SESSION 4, PANEL B: Marco Peralto-Ochoa '21, "Narrating Mis-care: Reflections on the amerikan hospital;" Lana Aldos '21, "Escaped a War to Battle Illness: Typology of Healthcare Access Barriers for Syrian Refugees in Jordan;" Louise Xie '21, "Analysis of COVID-19 Information Dissemination and Credibility on WeChat." This panel will be moderated by Dr. Kristen Wright, HSP Postdoctoral Associate.

Webinar ID: 995 5178 5083 Passcode: 321278

Friday, May 7, 5:00 - 6:00pm EST - Session 5 - Concurrent Panels

SESSION 5, PANEL A: Kate Fehrenbaker '21, "The Legacy of Taylor vs. Board of Education of City School District of New Rochelle, 1961;" Arianne Seenauth '21, "Island Identity: Puerto Rican Visual Manifestations of Resistance;" Gabriel Vergara '21, "Understanding Antonio Gramsci’s Modern Prince Through Contemporary Machiavelli Scholarship: On Deliberative Consent and Communicative Coercion." This panel will be moderated by Professor Durba Ghosh.

Webinar ID: 994 8649 8065 Passcode: 4536

SESSION 5, PANEL B: Paola Mendez-Garcia '21, "'Eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane': The Fourth Dimension of a Novel;" Karl Mobed '21, "The Difference Between a Battleship and a Waltz." This panel will be moderated by Dr. Kristen Wright, HSP Postdoctoral Associate.

Webinar ID: 995 5178 5083 Passcode: 321278

Project Descriptions

Lana Aldos (Biology & Society)

Escaped a War to Battle Illness: Typology of Healthcare Access Barriers for Syrian Refugees in Jordan: A qualitative analysis of the financial, structural, and personal healthcare access barriers experienced by Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Naiara Bezzera-Gastesi (Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies)

Black Fairies in the Early Twentieth Century in New York City: Follow John Baptist and Edward Faucette's (two Black fairies) experiences with the police and what they signal about a new and homosexual-specific social disgust towards sodomy, a larger interest for the state to mobilize in both public and private spaces, and queer joy in the early twentieth century.

Lauren Bohm (History)

Memory, Identity, and the Legacies of German Colonialism: This presentation will explore how German colonialism was remembered and understood in private family contexts through the analysis of a collection of a German colonist's family memoirs.

Angelo Chan Borges (Philosophy)

Aristotle on How to Persuade the Weak-willed/incontinent: I argue against Terence Irwin that incontinence is not a matter of a failure in reasoning, but rather of a failure in attending to one's judgment to avoid the bad action in such a way that one's feelings of pain are salient.

Isabel Comella (Biology & Society)

Beyond Whistles, Chirps, and Trills: Applying Human Linguistic Laws to Gursky’s Spectral Tarsiers: Human language follows several quasi-universal linguistic laws, and applying these laws to the vocalizations of primates, our closest evolutionary relatives, can help us understand how they, and we, developed deeply complex systems of vocal communication.

Kate Fehrenbaker (American Studies)

The Legacy of Taylor vs. Board of Education of City School District of New Rochelle, 1961: This thesis analyzes the impact of Taylor vs. Board of Education, a landmark court decision in which an elementary school in New York was found guilty of violating Brown vs. Board of Education.

Paris Ghazi (Literatures in English)

When 'I Do' Means 'I Don't': Courtship as Survival in the Victorian Novel: Charles Darwin's theory of evolution forever changed how we approach the origin of life, but how did his commentary on sexual selection shape the function of marriage and how male and female interactions determine who gets to live? We look to Thomas Hardy's novels to find some answers.

Alec Giufurta (Government, Africana Studies)

What’s 'fit to print?’ When do U.S. newspapers cover political violence abroad in depth?: U.S. print newspaper coverage of political violence in sub-Saharan African is often seemingly arbitrary; I argue that this arbitrariness is owed to two conditions: local press network strength and issue saliency post critical juncture in the U.S.

Joshua Johnson (Classics, Africana Studies)

A Curatorial Odyssey: I will be examining my curatorial research over the last two years as a Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholar.

Paola Mendez-Garcia (Literatures in English)

“Eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane”: The Fourth Dimension of a Novel: A close textual analysis of the function and effect that M.H Abram’s theory “The Fourth Dimension of Poetry" has within three novels of poetic prose: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

Dana Meskan (Linguistics)

Quality Legal Interpretation of ASL: A Balancing Act: This presentation will explore what is necessary for high quality legal interpretation of American Sign Language through video analysis of several interpretations of Miranda Warnings and a discussion of interpreter qualifications in New York state.

Karl Mobed (History)

The Difference Between a Battleship and a Waltz: A study of Austro-German identity in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, 1870-1920.

Victoria Moore (American Studies)

Gender Bending Fashion: Deconstructing Dress Amid a Gender Revolution: This thesis explores how three contemporary fashion brands are diverging from the traditional binary of womenswear and menswear in the United States market.

Prinita Mukherjee (Anthropology)

Migrant lives in labor: South Asian construction workers and Southeast Asian domestic workers in Singapore: I will be sharing my research on migrant workers in Singapore as part of my honors thesis in Anthropology, focusing on affective aspects of gender, class, identity and its manifestations in the experience of space and time.

Marco Antonio Peralta-Ochoa (American Studies)

Narrating Mis-care: Reflections on the amerikan hospital: This project deals with the medical treatment of people who fall outside state-enforced categories of human beings, and the dominant cultural norms of who is and who is not deemed human, which constitutes a process of violence against them that I refer to as mis-care.

Kit Pyne-Jaeger (Literatures in English, Classics)

‘Mourir d’amour, c’est en vivre’: The Classicizing Poetics of Queer Elegy and Its Erotic Underworld, 1850-1915: This presentation will discuss the role of a subtextual underworld in elegy by queer authors of the Victorian period to World War I, incorporating questions regarding the historicity of queerness, theories of erotic lack, and classical reception as a tool of marginalized self-identification.

Geneva Saupe (Government, Comparative Literature)

Victimhood, Responsibility, and Feminist Political Action: Carole Pateman and Luce Irigaray: How can a feminist politics demand male responsibility for violence without becoming attached to its own oppression and exclusion? Through the work of Pateman and Irigaray, I seek to elaborate an expansive and utopian feminist politics that does not give in to a politics of victimhood.

Arianne Seenauth (Anthropology)

Island Identity: Puerto Rican Visual Manifestations of Resistance: My project seeks to explore notions of cultural identity and belonging in Puerto Ricans among fluid citizenship and territorial statuses under United States law over time. Its goal is to better understand how Puerto Ricans have and are continuing to respond to colonial, territorial, and legal control by the United States as expressed through art and visual culture.

Olivia Simoni (Literatures in English)

The Bible & Its Literary Influence on American Abolitionism: A deep dive into six major abolitionists of the early 1800s and how they used the Bible to fight 'Christian' pro-slavery rhetoric.

Gabriel Vergara (Government)

Understanding Antonio Gramsci’s Modern Prince Through Contemporary Machiavelli Scholarship: On Deliberative Consent and Communicative Coercion: Given the fact that Antonio Gramsci's political theory was heavily influenced by the political thought of Niccolò Machiavelli, I turn to contemporary scholarship on Machiavelli to argue that Gramsci’s Modern Prince--or the communist party--must garner consent through inclusive and deliberative practices that allow for compromise and that the Modern Prince’s use of coercion ought to be understood as communicative, conveying its support for class struggle and its opposition to groups that threaten class struggle.

Ashley Whitley (Literatures in English)

Gardening in the Works of Jamaica Kincaid: In the literary works of devout gardener Jamaica Kincaid, the space of the garden represents a creative experiment surrounding issues of art, history, politics and perception.

Tilda Wilson (History)

Building a Prophet: Perspectives on the Life of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith's placement in recent history means that members of the Mormon church must balance religious and historical understanding.

Levi Wilson (Performing & Media Arts; Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies)

exploratory embodied exegesis: spit fire, drink gasoline (repeat) and the self: an original solo performance as research - part theory, part truth, all theatre - spit fire, drink gasoline (repeat) cycles through young queerness and the ways in which harm, history, and homoerotics live in the body.

Louise Xie (Biology & Society)

Analysis of COVID-19 Information Dissemination and Credibility on WeChat: This study seeks to identify the different features of Covid-19 content on WeChat and how they relate to the online and offline behavior of users during this Covid-19 infodemic.

Questions? Email Julie McLean, Humanities Scholars Program and Conference Coordinator, hum-scholars-pgm@cornell.edu