Current Winners

Pre-Dissertation Research Grant

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The Laboratory of Empire: Ideology and Exchange in the Tangier Colony, 1661-1683
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
History
Between 1661 and 1684, the Stuart monarch made extraordinary investments in the short-lived royal colony in Tangier – financially, militarily, and ideologically. My doctoral research focuses on the failure of this early colonial venture as a ‘laboratory’ for early English imperialists seeking to negotiate and administer territories rich in religious diversity. This summer, I will study Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan, with the eventual goal of integrating both Arabic and English language archival materials in my dissertation.Read more
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Women's Political Representation in Multi-Member Districts: A Case Study in Indone
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Political Science
When do political parties allocate resources to female candidates? Political parties are often described as the gatekeepers to candidates' electoral success. Party elites recruit and provide support to candidates, which, in turn, signals to the electorate the party's candidate preferences. In low-information settings, constituents often rely on ballot position as a signal from the party of the rankings for candidates. In places like Indonesia, parties are mandated to place female candidates within every three positions of the party ballot. Yet, most winning candidates are ones placed within...Read more
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Water-driven methane transport in Burns Bog, British Columbia, Canada
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Methane emission from bogs is highly sensitive to temperature variations and could accelerate global warming through a positive feedback loop. To better assess current methane release rates and predict future emissions, I propose to measure how much methane is released from Burns Bog (British Columbia, Canada) via water-driven motion (stirring). This research will be part of a study that compares methane emissions from wetlands at different latitudes in which land use has influenced the natural hydrology in disparate ways.Read more
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The Racial Histories of Morocco
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Anthropology
In March 2016, large anti-racism protests unfolded in Rabat against the exclusion of black Moroccans and sub-Saharan migrant communities of Morocco, claiming and chanting: “Neither Slave, nor Negro! Stope that’s Enough!” The recent protests in Morocco are indicative of a larger, unexamined phenomenon in the Middle East, which my project seeks to investigate. My project seeks to analyze the following inquiry: why and how do forms of racism and inequality perpetuate processes of internal (within one’s native land) exclusion in Morocco? My focus tends to these factors while also being attentive...Read more
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A Reagan Revolution Manifested: The Iran-Contra Affair, 1981 – 1992
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
History
My project focuses on the Iran-Contra Affair. National Security Council staff member Oliver North’s “neat idea” of converting profits from arms-for-hostages deals with Iran into aid for the Nicaraguan Contras violated the Boland amendments, which Congress enacted to prohibit U.S.-Contra funding, and an arms embargo on Iran. The scandal that became known as the Iran-Contra Affair engulfed Reagan’s presidency. It prompted Watergate-style congressional hearings and launched a criminal investigation by the Office of the Independent Counsel. The ensuing political theatrics captured America’s...Read more
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Sweetness and Power in Times of Uncertainty: An Ethnographic Exploration of Central America’s Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Anthropology
Over the last two decades, an epidemic of chronic kidney disease has killed thousands of young men, particularly sugarcane workers, throughout Central America. Although the epidemic has received greater attention in recent years, the etiology of the disease continues to elude epidemiologists. As research has progressed, several theories have emerged and been circulated by government officials, advocacy groups, and global health organizations, creating a situation of persistent uncertainty about not only who is responsible for caring for the affected but also about what to do to prevent more...Read more
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Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Energy Resources Group
For my summer research project, I will be working with Milaan, a non-government organization in Uttar and Madhya Pradesh, India that aims to develop agency skills among adolescent girls. In their Girl Icon Project, Milaan trains girls, or Girl Icons, into advocates and change-makers in their rural communities. Milaan’s programming focuses on developing and practicing decision-making, leadership, and collective action skills. I will be evaluating how girls’ participation in the Girl Icon’s Project impacts their self-determination, self-efficacy, decision-making skills and, ultimately, their...Read more
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The Political Model of Intra-Household Bargaining in India
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Political Science
In countries with varying and often low levels of intra-household bargaining power, do women’s electoral preferences distinctly differ from men in the household? Economists have long contended that the household is not unitary; men and women within the same household have differing policy preferences. However, other studies doubt such preferences are reflected in electoral outcomes given women may simply follow men’s party or candidate choices, or opt out of political participation altogether. My project examines a component of how bargaining power may shape political decisionmaking for women...Read more
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Between Blackness and Creole: Negotiations and Navigations of Belizean Identity
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
African American & African Diaspora Studies
As a former British colony and the only country in Central America where English is the official language, complex histories of Belize and its understandings of race and identity have raised questions as to what category or region the relatively young nation falls under. Prevalent assumptions of Belizean society have always asserted Belizeans as belonging to a racial utopia that has focused more on ethnic rather than racial formations. As a dissertation project, I will investigate the ways in which conceptions of blackness and black identity are represented and performed in Belize and among...Read more
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The nexus of state-society relations in Russia: an investigation of presidential cadet schools
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Political Science
Melissa is a PhD student in political science studying comparative politics and international relations. Her research looks closely at trends of increasing authoritarianism and the impact shifts in authoritarian institutions is having upon society at the local and national level. This particular project seeks to examine the recent restructuring of Russia's Law on Education and establishment of presidential cadet schools as a by-product of that law. I hope to study the effect these institutions are having upon state-society relations in the Russian Federation and what their creation means in...Read more
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Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
School of Journalism
Levi is a PhD student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Program in Medical Anthropology. He conducts ethnographic research with Central American migrants traveling through to document the violences and human rights abuses they face. Specifically, he is interested in how sociopolitical conditions and legal relief for migrants have worsened under Mexico's new immigration program, known as the Southern Border Plan. He was a 2014-15 Fulbright fellow to Mexico and has published about his research in Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and NPR, among other outlets.Read more
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Building the Scene: Music and Infrastructure in Urban Ethiopia
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
Music
My dissertation research focuses on the relationship between infrastructure, African urbanism and musical labor in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I suggest that the building of infrastructure impacts conditions of possibility for communities, and becomes a site for the negotiation of power. An ethnographic focus on infrastructure's effects within the context of musical scenes illustrates the heterogeneous ways in which infrastructure projects manifest stability or instability for a community, as well as how communities make infrastructure useful for their own ends. This summer I will conduct...Read more
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Negotiating Repayment with the Monarch: Bureaucratic Norms and Ideas of Rights in East Asia, ca.1000–1400 CE
Term:
Summer 2018
Department:
History
Focusing on a transformative period from 1000 to 1400, my project investigates how government officials in East Asia oriented themselves through the bureaucracy they served. Far from powerless under a despot, as my research shows, these officials made full use of established bureaucratic rules and actively contended for all kinds of benefits promised to them by the governmental system. They demanded salaries in cash and grain, promotions in position and rank, privileges at court and in society. In the process, they developed sophisticated rhetoric to exaggerate their contributions, to re-...Read more