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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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
ESPM
Irrigated agriculture is spreading across the Chihuahuan Desert. Where huge ranches once dominated, farming communities have sprung up and continue to spread despite conservation efforts to halt the advance. Conversion rates and patterns differ across the Mexico-US border, and this comparison provides one lens of analysis for my research. Using extensive in-depth interviews bolstered with textual data, I am tracking the history of land use and conversion across the western corner of the Chihuahua-New Mexico borderland. Mexico’s post-Revolution land reform is one key piece of the puzzle, as...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Sociology
My dissertation is a study of media depictions of gentrification in San Francisco, CA and Baltimore, MD from 1990 to 2014. The media plays a central role in meaning-making, both reflecting and shaping the public’s perceptions of social processes. Americans gain insight and exposure to the experiences of others through journalists’ coverage. Using newspapers, I document how the media portrays the process of gentrification over time and how that varies by the social, political, and economic conditions of San Francisco and Baltimore to better understand common perceptions, assumptions, and...Read more
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A Discourse Analysis of Today’s Humanitarian Response to the Syrian ‘Refugee’
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
Architecture
While the world has been witnessing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, or what the European Commission calls “the largest global humanitarian crisis”, one feels the necessity to question the very notion of humanity in one of the powerful discourses of our time. I probe the question: if ‘the refugee’ is situated in relation to emerging forms of humanitarianism, is the refugee caught in a humanitarian discourse? In this research, I will identify the refugee camp as a site of action that is operated by international and humanitarian organizations, and enabled by the millions invested...Read more
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The colonial history of the Amazon Forest
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
Spanish
The early modern period supposed the expansion of the European empires in a global scale. With this idea in mind, in my future dissertation, I plan to study the process of the conquest and colonization of the Amazon Forest during the period of the European expansion in America. Related to this conquest, one aspect that catches my attention is the formation of borders between the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal in the Amazonian area. These borders were established very late in the eighteen century through the “Treaty of San Ildefonso” in 1777. The reason for this treaty, among others, was that...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:
Fall 2017
Department:
French
Le Principe de plaisir: savoir, esthétique et politique dans la Florence des Médicis (XVI e -XVII e ) sheds 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 of 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 this...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
My research develops a new framework for analyzing peace agreements that exclude a warring party as counterinsurgency strategies. This framework is used to develop a theory explaining which groups are most likely to be included in an agreement, how these agreements affect likely conflict duration and outcomes, as well as how provisions for military power-sharing are designed in multiparty civil conflicts. Because combatting multiple rebel groups strains a state’s counterinsurgency capacity, signing a peace deal that excludes one or more rebel group enables the state to redirect previously...Read more
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“Controversy College”: Useful Knowledge, Polemic and Scholarly Institutions in Stuart England
Term:
Spring 2017
Department:
History
In the mid-seventeenth century, an eclectic group of theologians, pedagogues, amateur physicians and enterprising husbandmen set about to disseminate “Useful Knowledge” throughout England. They used this concept to advocate for education in innovative agricultural practices and knowledge of political economy, while also pressing for new forms of religious devotion. Through my dissertation project, I plan to study how useful knowledge emerged as a pedagogical principle in theological debates in the wake of the Reformation, but authorized plans for England’s material and social improvement by...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
In Latin America, the most common traditional institutions are long-standing patterns of communal landholding, which were not created by the state but which are, for the most part, now recognized by it. Leaders of these “communities” are not part of the formal structure of the state and are thus not automatically entitled to state resources. Instead, they act as key intermediaries between their often-remote communities and local governments. These leaders aggregate the demands of community members and communicate those demands to local governments. They also deliver valuable information to...Read more
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Term:
AY 18-19
Department:
Sociology
At Indopanoptic’s training center in Jakarta, peasant daughters undergo military discipline. Banned from leaving the complex until overseas departure, they withstand verbal abuse for disobeying commands. Managers confiscate inmates’ cell phones, subjecting them to a regiment of language immersion, mental training, and housekeeping chores lasting 12 hours a day, for over three months. At Indofree, a firm nestled in Ponorogo’s agrarian heartland, trainees chitchat, take selfies, and browse social media while instructors coax them to pay attention. After seven training hours each day, women slip...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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