2012 Prize Winners

Kristina Borrman

The Paradoxical Persistence of James Earle Fraser's End of the Trail: Nostalgia, Souvenirs, and the Politics of Pictorial Representation

Kashi Gomez Where Upside Down is Right Side Up: A Study of Ksemendra’s Narmamala and His Theory of Aucitya
Patricia E. Kim The Materiality and ‘Enchantment’ of the Gebel el-Arak Knife and the Gerzean Flint Blade Production
Matthew Kintz Smoke and Mirrors? Examining the Relationship Between Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and Crime
Morgan Shahan Caged Revolutionaries: An Examination of Inmate Unity During the Attica Prison Riot of 1971
Ryan Landon Swanson The Political Economy of Wind Power in China

Kristina Borrman
The Paradoxical Persistence of James Earle Fraser’s End of the Trail: Nostalgia, Souvenirs, and the Politics of Pictorial Representation
History of Art 195
Prof. Margaretta Lovell

Borrman’s Honors Thesis in History of Art examines the history of a famous sculpture, James Earle Fraser’s the End of the Trail, a portrait of a tired, hunched over Native American warrior on horseback. The small bronze quickly attracted great acclaim and has been reproduced an untold number of times as bronzes, bookends, posters and even bookmarks. This paper leverages close readings of numerous archival documents from The Bancroft Library, including original contracts with artists and advertisements and ephemera related to the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle electronic database served as a source for understanding the reception of the sculpture, while resources at numerous other campus libraries helped her trace the many ways the image has been used in visual culture and how interpretations of the image have evolved. According to her professor, “Borrman’s biography of this singular object, following its permutations in and out of art contexts for over a century, is an important achievement.”

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Kashi Gomez
Where Upside Down is Right Side Up: A Study of Ksemendra’s Narmamala and His Theory of Aucitya
South & Southeast Asian Studies 195F
Prof. Jesse Knutson

This paper examines the relationship between 11th century Sanskrit author Ksemendra’s theory of literary propriety and satire in his work, the Narmamala. In what her professor describes as “an original work of scholarship in the field,” Gomez’s close examination of primary texts and exploration into Sanskrit literary theory led her to an appreciation of Ksemendra’s work not commonly shared by others in the field. Gomez used a range of Library digital resources, including JSTOR, Oskicat, and Melvyl, as well as Berkeley’s expansive collections in the South and Southeast Asian Library. Professor Knutson believes that she “has accomplished something exceedingly rare for an undergraduate, [which] would have been impossible to do this [with] a lesser institution’s collection.”

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Patricia E. Kim
The Materiality and ‘Enchantment’ of the Gebel el-Arak Knife and the Gerzean Flint Blade Production
Near Eastern Studies H195
Prof. Marian Feldman

Ms. Kim’s honors thesis, which her professor describes as “intellectually creative and imaginative,” explores knife and flint blade production in pre-dynastic Egypt. Using her own practical knowledge of stone knapping, Kim analyzes the knife’s material properties, how it was produced, and then links that to scholarship on the imagery of the knife, producing a better understanding of the knife’s contemporary significance. From multiple libraries on campus, the Hearst Museum, and the Baer-Keller Library of Egyptology, Kim was able to access secondary sources such as museum catalogues, scholarly monographs, and journal articles, as well as uncover rich collections of primary sources, including field notebooks, excavation reports, and physical artifacts. Her research extended beyond campus, where her need to acquire foreign or obscure publications required the use of international catalogs and Interlibrary Borrowing Services to retrieve the resources. As Professor Feldman said, Kim’s “creative approach to the topic, thinking about questions of production (stone knapping), cognition, possession, and enchantment, has drawn upon and relied on the incredible breadth and depth of the Berkeley library holdings.”

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Matthew Kintz
Smoke and Mirrors? Examining the Relationship Between Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and Crime
Political Science H190A&B
Prof. Terri Bimes

Groups for and against medical cannibas dispensaries make conflicting claims that have significant implications for public health and safety, but have gone untested by scholarly analysis. Kintz’s project involved using sophisticated digital mapping tools and demographic data to examine whether and how these dispensaries might be related to crime rates in San Francisco neighborhoods. For his literature review, Kintz relied heavily on OskiCat and Melvyl to find books located in and outside of UC Berkeley’s collections, and a variety of online databases to locate scholarly articles. He worked closely with librarians in the Data Lab and Earth Sciences and Map Library to acquire data on San Francisco and guidance on using the tools required to map the data he found, which ultimately revealed a weak relationship between medical cannabis dispensaries and crime, casting doubt on the claim that the former are “magnets for criminal activity”. Prof. Bimes praised Kintz’s thesis, asserting that “it is both well-written and demonstrates deep engagement with a range of source materials.”

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Morgan Shahan
Caged Revolutionaries: An Examination of Inmate Unity During the Attica Prison Riot of 1971
History 101
Prof. Edyth Bielenberg

In 1971, an uprising occurred at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. Shahan’s history thesis offers a reinterpretation of the riot by integrating multiple primary source accounts written from different perspectives in order to connect cross-racial unity among prisoners to their heightened politicization during the 1960s and 1970s. Using databases that indexed literature from a variety of disciplines and library catalogs, Shahan was able to find secondary sources analyzing the events. First-hand accounts were located at Bancroft Library and retrieved from other libraries using Interlibrary Loan and newspaper articles and film footage provided other primary sources. Prof. Bielenberg praises her persistence and resourcefulness in locating elusive sources and asserts that Shahan’s “paper really is an epic treatment of the Uprising, and will provide scholars in the field with a wonderful body of research to draw upon.”

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Ryan Landon Swanson
The Political Economy of Wind Power in China
Interdisciplinary Studies Field 190
Prof. Rakesh Bhandari

Swanson’s thesis drew on an extensive and varied array of sources on the growth of wind power on China: Chinese language article databases and government statistics, international energy statistics databases, newspapers, journal articles, policy papers, even social media tools used by energy analysts. His attempt to explain how technical and political challenges have affected China’s wind power growth resulted in what Prof. Bhandari described as “simply the best thesis that I have read in ISF.” Even Swanson recognized this achievement, stating that writing this thesis “marked the turning point in my education when I began to produce knowledge, not just consume and regurgitate knowledge.”

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