MMUF Fellows' Project Descriptions

CLASS OF 2016 MMUF FELLOWS Kapena Baptista, Class of 2016, Music, Social Anthropology. Kapena is a junior in Leverett House pursuing a joint-­‐concentration in Music and Social Anthropology (Ethnomusicology). Kapena's research interests are within the politics and performance of Hawai’i outside the islands-­‐-­‐more broadly the commoditization of sexualized and exoticized Native Hawaiian bodies in the American consumer imagination, and how the public imagination of Hawai’i affected political agendas and media debates around the time of Hawai’i statehood in 1959. Looking specifically at the Hawaiian Room at the Lexington Hotel in New York City, Kapena hopes to analyze how the consumption of marketable “brand” culture decenters binaric categories of the host/guest or performer/consumer, and speak to greater contextualized points of material and moral value that shape large scale social imaginations of “native” or cultural performance. Kirin Gupta, Class of 2016, Social Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Kirin is a junior in Winthrop House, concentrating in Social Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research is focused on the violent formation of gendered subjectivities in the global South. In the past year, she has worked on the making of militant femininity in the post USSR Third World, with a particular focus on suicide bombings in the Northern Caucasus. Her current research is in refining this gender theory on militancy, and this year, she is now working on the representation of sexual violence in South Asia and the formation of new masculinities. LeShae Henderson, Class of 2016, Sociology. CJ Jaramillo, Class of 2016, Human and Evolutionary Biology. Chelsea Lide, Class of 2016, Psychology, Linguistics. Kimiko Matsuda-­‐Lawrence, Class of 2016, History and Literature, African and African American Studies. Arturo Nava, Class of 2016. Andrea Ortiz, Class of 2016, Social Studies. Andrea is a Junior in Kirkland, concentrating in Social Studies with a secondary in Economics. Her main research interest is in immigration and the impact of immigration policy on migrant flows within and from Latin America. She hopes to write a thesis on the impacts of U.S. foreign policy on Latin American migrant social mobility in the United States, specifically in her hometown of Miami, FL. Currently, she is a research assistant with Beth Simmons, working on a project related to the Committee Against Torture treaty and is conducting her own research under the guidance of Professor Justin Gest on immigration policy in Global South countries, such as Mexico and Argentina. Santiago Pardo, Class of 2016, History, Archaeology. Santiago is a junior History concentrator in Adams House. He is usually either asking himself what was going on in the later Roman Empire or he is one meter below the surface digging (sometimes he does both). He is currently a research assistant for the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations led by Professor Michael McCormick. His current project is on the literary production in Late Antique Gaul. Ikaika Ramonès, Class of 2016, Social Anthropology, Indonesian citation, junior in Cabot House. Inspired by the role of native language in cultural renaissance and political mobilizations of his home country of Hawaiʻi, his research attends to indigenous language education movements in West Papua under ongoing colonialism. He is specifically interested in how subaltern indigenous language usage and revitalization inform identities and social relations, especially in production of subjectivities, political subjects, and sovereignties. He plans to pursue his fieldwork under tutelage of the Dani people in the West Papuan highlands and regional urban centers. Cary Williams, Class of 2016, History and Literature. Cary is a junior in Pforzheimer House concentrating in History and Literature. Her mother’s family identifies as Louisiana Creole, and her current research is inspired by her family’s history. She is interested in studying plantations owned by free people of color, especially Creole people, in Pointe Coupee Parish and New Orleans, LA. She is interested in how Creole-­‐
owned plantations destabilized understandings of familial belonging, racial hierarchy, and diasporic solidarity. CLASS OF 2015 MMUF FELLOWS Florence Chen, Class of 2015, Earth and Planetary Sciences. Grace Chen, Class of 2015, History and Literature. Grace is a History and Literature concentrator in Adams House. Grace credits her current love of American history to the American Girl Dolls she loved while growing up. She is interested in exploring these historical dolls as both products and producers of American history; she is particularly interested in how the dolls build racialized narratives of American girlhood. Nafisa Eltahir, Class of 2015, Sociology. Nafisa is a Senior in Dunster, concentrating in Sociology with a secondary in Economics. Her research project is a senior thesis on the experiences of young black women in Atlanta, GA and Khartoum, Sudan concerning their skin color, colorism, and skin bleaching. Previously, she was a research assistant with Professor Michele Lamont, working on a project comparing responses to stigmatization in the United States, Brazil, and Israel. She is currently being mentored by Professor Jason Beckfield. Jasmine Gipson, Class of 2015, African and African American Studies. Alejandro Jimenez Jaramillo, Class of 2015, Neurobiology. Aleja is a resident of Mather House studying engineering and is interested in classroom responsiveness to diverse learner profiles. He is interested in what systems are currently being utilized and developed in classrooms to offer spatial, social, and procedural flexibility to students. Abigail Mariam, Class of 2015, Government. Ishani Premaratne, Class of 2015, Social Anthropology. Interested in the intersection of medicine, journalism, and international development, Ishani is a Senior studying Anthropology and Global Health and Health Policy. She spent the spring semester of her Junior year conducting fieldwork for 3.5 months in Chiapas, Mexico as a Global Health in Equity Option (GHEO) Scholar through Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. This past summer she continued her research while participating in a policy internship at the World Health Organization's Headquarters in Geneva. She is interested specifically in studying the dynamics of the doctor-­‐patient relationship, understanding where communication gaps are engendered, and how these might be alleviated through innovative restructuring of the prevalent healthcare delivery model. Blake Sundel, Class of 2015, History of Art and Architecture. Blake Sundel is a senior in Quincy House concentrating in History of Art and Architecture. Blake's interests in Caribbean art and architecture stem from his family's origins in Trinidad and Tobago. His research focuses on how postcolonial ideas of nationality, race, and class influenced the construction of the Caribbean built environment. Currently, Blake is studying Trinidadian architecture built during the Independence movements of the forties and fifties. Rachel Taylor, Class of 2015, Social Anthropology. Rachel Taylor is a Social Anthropology concentrator in Eliot House. Having grown up in south Florida, she has always been interested in human interactions with the ocean. Rachel’s current focus is on maritime anthropology. She is examining literary and visual constructions of marine creatures to understand how humans conceptualize the animals, so diverse in appearance and so often characterized as “alien.” Rachel hopes to conduct future fieldwork at oceanographic institutes and in coastal communities. Aubrey Walker, Class of 2015, Human Evolutionary Biology. Aubrey Walker is a senior living in Dunster House who concentrates in Human Evolutionary Biology, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. Interested in the intersection of medicine, law, and public policy, Aubrey has spent his undergraduate career involved in advocacy centered around mass incarceration, prison reform and correction health. The summer before his senior year, he performed research related to prison health reform in Bogota, Colombia as a Cordeiro Fellow through the Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy. Specifically, he is interested in studying the epistemological context in which prison health reform arises in developing and developed countries, as well as optimal health policy and financing schemes in prison settings.