Current Winners

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Gender and the Trans-Pacific World

Gender and the Trans-Pacific World , organized by Weihong Bao (Film and Media, and East Asian Languages and Cultures), Catherine Ceniza Choy (Ethnic Studies), SanSan Kwan (Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies), and Laura Nelson (Gender and Women’s Studies), explores the significance of gender and “Pacific World” frameworks to understand the connections between the lands, people, cultures, and...+ Read more
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Examining the Global Reach of Algorithms

E xamining the Global Reach of Algorithms is an interdisciplinary working group led by Massimo Mazzotti (History), David Bates (Rhetoric), Caitlin Rosenthal (History), Jenna Burrell (Information Science), Morgan Ames (CSTMS), and Gretchen Gano (CSTMS). We explore the increasingly important and multifaceted roles that algorithms play in politics, media, science, organizations, culture, and the...+ Read more
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Understanding the Cause(s) of the Last Mass Extinction at the Cretaceou-Paleogene Boundary

Organized by Paul Renne (Earth and Planetary Science), Mark Richards (Earth and Planetary Science), Charles Marshall (Integrative Biology), Seth Finnegan (Integrative Biology), and William Clemens (Integrative Biology), this project aims to chart a course to resolving the decades-old conundrum of why the dinosaurs and myriad other fauna and flora met extinction sixty-six million years ago. This...+ Read more
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Mapping the Human Right to Water

Charlotte Smith (School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences), Charisma Acey (Department of City and Regional Planning), Isha Ray (College of Natural Resources, Energy and Resources Group), and Helene Silverberg (Political Science), are exploring access to water and sanitation as a human right. This right means that everyone, without discrimination, should have access to adequate...+ Read more
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Replaying the "tape of life": the Parallel Diversification of Spiders in the Bonin Islands
Term:
Spring 2016
Department:
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Since Darwin's time, there has been much debate about the predictability of evolution; what really will happen if we replay the so-called "tape of life"? From one perspective, evolution may be dictated by contingencies with unpredictable trajectories at the outset of any diversification event. Alternatively, evolution may be more deterministic with diversification of species filling similar ecological roles. Remote oceanic archipelagos, with their discrete and often replicated islands, provide model systems to study these replayed evolutionary trajectories. My work will study a lineage of...Read more
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Agricultural Landscapes and Societal Transformation in Pemba, Tanzania: AD 1000-1850
Term:
Spring 2016
Department:
Anthropology
My research focuses on the long-term development of rice producing landscapes and related societal transformations in Zanzibar and on the East African coast over the last millennium. Rice production is known from historical sources to have intensified dramatically in Zanzibar and on the coast sometime between the 11th and 17th centuries AD, in some relation to Islamic conversion, the development of large towns, and the advent of Portuguese colonialism. I am using geoarchaeological methods, satellite remote sensing, and archaeological landscape survey to assess the spatial, social and...Read more
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Term:
AY 2016-17
Department:
Film & Media
Fareed Ben-Youssef is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BA in English Literature with a Film Concentration from Princeton University and his master’s degree in the Film Studies Program in the department of Rhetoric at Berkeley. His dissertation, Visions of Power: Violence, the Law, and the Post-9/11 Genre Film , is concerned with specific moments where genre films (the Western, Film noir, and the Superhero film) disrupt a public discourse shaped by Manichean divisions. His conclusion examines international genre...Read more
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The Global Networks of Oocyte Cryopreservation
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
Anthropology
Until 2012 oocyte cryopreservation (human egg freezing) was an unregulated scientific endeavor. Following the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s lift on the experimental label, the global egg trade was made complicated by ‘fertility preservation’-- commercial egg storage for those willing to pay to postpone pregnancy. Global transactions of human eggs take multiple forms: in women who donate/sell their eggs for research, for prospective mothers, traveler women who sell or are trafficked to infertile reproductive tourists, and now, in the eugenic underbelly of companies selling ‘...Read more
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The Pleasure Principle: Knowledge, Aesthetics and Politics in Medicean Florence (16th-17th centuries)
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
French
Le Principe de plaisir: savoir, esthétique et politique dans la Florence des Médicis (XVI e -XVII e ) purposes to shed light on long-term transformations in the realm of aesthetics by closely examining the practices, discourses and ideas of a late 16 th century Florentine academy, and its aristocratic membership. The book principally focuses on understanding the Alterati’s conception of art as the source of a “praise-worthy pleasure” ( lodevole diletto ), analyzing in detail how this representation fits in with the social and political conceptions of the Florentine patricians who belonged to...Read more
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Skeletal Morphology of Early Modern Homo Sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia
Term:
Spring 2016
Department:
Integrative Biology
The emergence of anatomically modern humans is of great interest and importance to the study of human evolution. However, informative fossil specimens are scattered geographically and temporally, obscuring the details of how early humans evolved, and what exactly they looked like. My research project describing an early modern human from the Middle Awash research area of Ethiopia will contribute to our understanding of human evolution at a critical and interesting time and locality. The majority of previous studies have been constrained to craniodental fossils, making this study of a nearly-...Read more
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Peripheral Regions, Fragile Governance: Local Economic Development from Latin America
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
City and Regional Planning
Karen Chapple , Ph.D., is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Chapple specializes in regional planning, economic development, and housing. She has most recently published on job creation on industrial land (in Economic Development Quarterly ), regional governance in Peru (in Journal of Rural Studies ), and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy (in the Journal of Urbanism ). Her recent book (Routledge, 2014) is entitled Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development . In Fall 2015, she launched the Urban...Read more
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Social Networks for the fight against HIV in East African Communities
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
Applied Mathematics, Chemical Biology
The high burden of undiagnosed and untreated HIV in sub-Saharan Africa has been a major global health issue for the recent decades. Nature of transmission of HIV, namely, through risky behavior that involve intimate contacts rather than casual contagions, calls for a novel perspective through social network analysis: by building social networks of the local communities, we hope to identify underlying community structures including social hubs and intimate friend zones, which would facilitate us in designing better HIV prevention and intervention schemes. My research will make use of the data...Read more
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The Gift and the Ghost: A Transnational Feminist Reading of the Tohono O'Odham Borderlands
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
Interdisciplinary Studies
My project uses critical queer and feminist security studies move beyond the boundaries of “state-centric” theory, and focuses on the liminal sovereignty and citizenship of those who reside in “domestic-dependent nations” in the borderlands as well as their role as mediators between the State and “illegal” migrant bodies. I will examine the white supremicist institutional abjection of migrant and indigenous bodies as the discursive creation of “pathological problem groups” which justify and reproduce border security: while the migrant represents the uncertain spectre of future threat to state...Read more
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A University in Exile: Lianda and Chinese Nationalist Government in World War II
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
History, Linguistics
During the World War II, three of Republican China’s best universities, Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Nankai University were forced to abandon their home campuses in Beijing (then Beiping) and Tianjin, as they were occupied by Japanese troops. They migrated together to the southwestern hinterland and merged to form the National Southwest Associated University (Lianda). Convening the country’s best scholars, the university was also widely acclaimed to be the “bastion of democracy” in Nationalist China, holding up its spirit of free inquiry and liberal education inherited from the...Read more
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Term:
AY 2016-17
Department:
Political Science
While social science research has illuminated cross-national differences in governance and their relationship to the outbreak of conflict, my dissertation focuses on a dynamic about which we know far less: What strategies do governments use at the subnational level to ensure peace and order in post-conflict settings? My dissertation examines the relationship between violent internal conflict and subsequent state-building over time. I specifically study how political incentives shape the strategies of post-conflict governance along three important dimensions of public goods provision:...Read more

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