Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research
Launched in 2003, the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in course-based research projects that show evidence of:
- Significant inquiry using the Library, its resources, and collections
- Learning about the research and information-gathering process itself
- Open for submissions: Jan. 20, 2023
- Closed to submissions: April 17, 2023, at 5pm Pacific
- Open to all currently enrolled UC Berkeley undergraduates.
- Research project must have been completed in a credit course at UC Berkeley from spring 2022 to spring 2023 (lower division) and summer 2022 to spring 2023 (upper division)
- Prize awards: $950 (lower division) and $1,200 (upper division)
- Upper- and lower-division submissions are evaluated separately
- Winners must agree to assist with a public display of their research in the Library
- Awarded submissions (winners as well as honorable mentions) will be added to eScholarship, the University of California’s open access publishing platform.
Applicants need to submit the five documents listed below. Submissions can be in word or pdf. Incomplete submissions will not be evaluated. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that letters of support are emailed before the deadline. The committee will not solicit letters or send reminders. The deadline for all documents is April 17, 2023, 5 p.m. Pacific. Submit all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Application form
The application contains important information about eligibility, award distribution, and other conditions associated with the prize.
- Research essay
Entries should include a 500-750 word reflective essay describing your research strategies and use of library tools and resources. See Additional guidance for details.
- Research project
A draft or final version of the research project can be submitted. Projects in all media are encouraged. See Additional guidance for details.
Entries should include a bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted. See Additional guidance for details.
- Faculty statement of support
Entries should include a statement of support from the UC Berkeley faculty member or instructor for whose class the research paper or project was completed.
Library Prize details
Guidance for students
Applicants need to submit five documents that are listed above. For details, see below.
Writing a reflective essay on your research process is an opportunity for you to describe your research strategy, your methods, and what you learned along the way.
Keep in mind that this is a research prize; while the content and quality of your final project are important, the selection committee is more interested in the investigative journey you undertook to create that project and how your research skills and understanding/use of library services, resources, and collections have improved as a result.
As you write your essay, keep in mind the four key points below. (Note: We’ve included some prompting questions below to spark reflection; these are not intended to be answered directly.)
Consider the process: how you crafted your thesis, selected your search tools, developed search techniques, and chose which library collections to explore?
- How did you think about and refine your preliminary research topic?
- What specific strategies did you develop for finding relevant information?
- Which discoveries did you make by chance and which through planned search strategies?
- Reflect on the process of adapting your interests into the scope of the paper. How did you modify your topic given the time you had available for research and writing, the required length of the paper, and the nature of the information you found?
- What specific library search tools or resources did you use and why?
Consider your sources: the types and formats that you chose, how deeply or widely you explored your topic area, how you evaluated and selected materials, and how carefully you cited what you selected.
- Did you have trouble finding some types or formats of information and if so, how did you overcome this challenge?
- Did your assumptions about what information would be available change throughout the research process?
- Did you have some reasons for not selecting specific resources, even though they appeared promising?
- What did you learn about finding information on your topic or in your discipline? Was it necessary to move outside your discipline to find sufficient sources?
Pulling it all together: how you used these sources to support your thesis and what original ideas stemmed from the synthesis of your research.
- How much did the sources you used provide support for your thesis?
- How did you balance the evidence that you found?
What you learned: how your understanding of library research changed and how you have grown as an independent researcher.
- What did you learn about your own research process and style?
- What expertise have you gained as a researcher?
- What do you still need to learn?
- What would you change about your process if you had another chance?
Remember to be specific, be descriptive, and choose good examples to illustrate your points.
A draft or final version of the research project can be submitted. Projects in all media are encouraged.
Written projects should be seven to 30 pages for lower-division students and 20-60 pages for upper-division students. NOTE: These page lengths are guidelines, not restrictions. If you have questions about project length, please email email@example.com
Digital projects: If Web-based, email a URL of the digital project along with the other application components to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically, such as an architectural model, or other three-dimensional physical object, email email@example.com to make arrangements as soon as possible to ensure that the physical object is received before the submission deadline.
A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted. Even if your bibliography is part of your project, please also save it as a separate Microsoft Word document or PDF. When preparing your bibliography keep in mind these points:
- Use bibliography format and conventions appropriate to the discipline. See citing your sources.
- Cite all sources you used, even if you did not directly quote from them
- For long bibliographies, subdividing your sources into categories may be helpful, although an alphabetical list is also acceptable.
Faculty statement of support
A statement of support from the UCB faculty member or instructor for whose class the research paper or project was completed is required. Please have your faculty member(s) complete the statement of support and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or deliver to the chair of the Prize committee before the submission deadline.
NOTE: It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the statement of support has been emailed or mailed by the deadline. The Library Prize committee will not solicit them or send reminders.
A panel of UC Berkeley faculty, librarians, and other educators will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:
- Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in researching library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media
- Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources to create a project in any media that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research
- Evidence of significant personal learning with regard to the practice of research and inquiry that shows a likelihood of persisting in the future
Lower-division research projects will be judged separately from upper-division research projects. Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with each applicant’s class year and requirements of their discipline.
Lower division winner
Erased: An Exploration of Queer Japanese Americans’ Experience During the Internment Period
Lower division winner
Male Impersonation in the Late 19th Century as a Reflection of Social Change
Lower division winner
‘Metal Gear Solid 2’, the Military-Entertainment Complex, and Memetics in the Digital Age
Upper division winner
Educational Quotas and the Politics of the Native-Migrant Divide in Late Imperial China, 1720-1810
Upper division winner
Mother of Maladies: An Ethnographic and Netnographic Analysis of Pandemic Goddesses in Hindu Culture
“Redlining the Sky: Air Pollution and the Legacy of Redlining in West Oakland”
Key Development Moment: Story of the Xiaogang Village
Pulling the Plug: Equitable Guidelines for Machine Learning Neuroprognostication
Pavement, Placement, and Displacement: A Spatial History of Freeways in the Bay Area, 1893-2005
Negotiating Boundaries, Space, and Power: The Top-Down Assertion of Boundaries and Claims and the Taos Pueblo People’s Bottom-Up Defense of Their Cultural Landscape
Lower Division winner
“Sugarcoating the Truth: The Sugar Association’s Impact on Obesity”
In recent decades, obesity rates in America have soared. But how did we get here? In her paper, “Sugarcoating the Truth: The Sugar Association’s Impact on Obesity,” Ria Sood shines light on some overarching factors at play, namely the profit-seeking strategies, misleading messages, and outsize influence of an enormously powerful sugar industry, and the meteoric rise of high fructose corn syrup.
Lower Division winner
“Missing White Woman Syndrome: A Historical and Sociological Look Into the Case of Gabby Petito”
In 2021, the case of missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito became a fixation of the media, capturing the attention of true-crime enthusiasts and casual observers alike. Lark Chang-Yeh’s project, “Missing White Woman Syndrome: A Historical and Sociological Look Into the Case of Gabby Petito,” examines the forces that amplify and elevate the stories of white women victims, while victims from underrepresented communities often go ignored.
Upper Division winner
“Lost Lands and Targeted Policy: Reaction to Mapuche Activism in Twenty-First Century Chile”
In Chile, elites have painted members of the dispossessed Mapuche ethnic community as a threat to the state. Boyce Buchanan’s project, “Lost Lands and Targeted Policy: Reaction to Mapuche Activism in Twenty-First Century Chile,” explores how neoliberal policy and anti-terrorism legislation have targeted Mapuche activists, whose struggle to reclaim their land and assert their autonomy persists despite the obstacles.
Upper Division winner
“Sociophonetic Differences in Queer Speech of Spanish Speakers”
Can you tell if someone is queer by the sound of their voice? For “Sociophonetic Differences in Queer Speech of Spanish Speakers,” Jesus Duarte set up two experiments to inspect the interplay between speech and sexuality. Given that much of the existing knowledge on the topic focuses on English speakers, Duarte’s project helps fill a gap, and suggests that while the voice is a significant clue in perceiving someone as gay or lesbian, it’s not the most pertinent factor.
“How can something seem Chinese when it is not Chinese?” This question is examined throughout Jenkin Leung’s project, “Beyond the Chinese Façade: A Preliminary Study of Three Sino-Vietnamese Legends from Lĩnh Nam Chích Quái 嶺南摭怪 (Wonders Selected from South of the Passes).” In analyzing tales from a Vietnamese anthology, Leung explores how Vietnamese scholars in the 15th century constructed a “Chinese facade” for stories originating in Southeast Asia to align with the pervasive philosophy of Neo-Confucianism, and to elevate the stories’ literary status.
Upper Division winner
“A Biography of Marguerite Dice: Daughter of Republicanism, Mother of Conservatism”
When Marguerite Dice is mentioned in history books at all, she’s often noted as the hostess of the inaugural meeting of the far-right John Birch Society, in 1958. In “A Biography of Marguerite Dice: Daughter of Republicanism, Mother of Conservatism” — the first biography written about Dice — Annabelle Long casts new light on the anti-communist efforts of the time and challenges perceptions about women in the conservative movement.
“Flowers Plucked From Berkeley: A Japanese American Nursery During the 1940s”
Jenny Lai Chinnapha
Lower Division winner
Thailand’s Healthcare, Culture, Media, and COVID-19 Story: A Review of Thailand’s COVID-19 Response and Its Impact on Public Health, Economics, and Citizens’ Personal Experiences.
Thailand was the first country outside of China to report a confirmed case of COVID-19. Although it was hit early by the pandemic, the country was able to maintain relatively low transmission rates and keep outbreaks in check. How? Jenny Lai Chinnapha wanted to find out. She examined government health policies, World Health Organization reports, cultural norms, interviews with Thai citizens, and more to track the virus’s progression for her project, Thailand’s Healthcare, Culture, Media, and COVID-19 Story: A Review of Thailand’s COVID-19 Response and Its Impact on Public Health, Economics, and Citizens’ Personal Experiences.
Lower Division winner
Narrative Medicine as an Outlet of Expression for Healthcare Workers Experiencing Moral Injury
Is one person’s life more valuable than another’s? What is our moral responsibility when resources are inadequate? These are some of the impossible decisions medical teams around the world have been forced to make during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guilt and pain wrapped up in these gut-wrenching choices can impact the mental health of medical professionals. One way to begin healing is through narrative medicine, a practice of portraying traumatic experiences through writing. In her research project, Narrative Medicine as an Outlet of Expression for Healthcare Workers Experiencing Moral Injury, Saffanat Sumra analyzed dozens of narrative medicine essays to uncover common themes of grief, depression, and trauma.
Upper Division winner
‘Know History, Know Self’: Coming Home for Formerly Incarcerated Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
For her senior honors thesis, ‘Know History, Know Self’: Coming Home for Formerly Incarcerated Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Janie Chen dove into database research and the personal accounts of 20 people leaving prison and reentering society. Though scholarship about this particular group — former prisoners of Asian or Pacific Islander, or AAPI, descent — was a bit scarce, Chen discovered connections between American imperialism and the treatment of refugees and children of refugees. In the end, she uncovered a need for changes in reentry services and for adjustments to be made to address cultural differences among the diverse groups considered AAPI.
Upper Division winner
Accessing Gender Affirming Care from the Margins: Comparing the Strategies of Transgender People Pre-1980 and Non-Binary People Today
For the project Accessing Gender Affirming Care from the Margins: Comparing the Strategies of Transgender People Pre-1980 and Non-Binary People Today, Lindsey Chung took on the task of personally conducting 18 in-depth interviews with nonbinary people and comparing their experiences with historical accounts of transgender people from before 1980. Chung found that for decades transgender people have struggled to receive genuine, financially feasible, gender-affirming care, while also battling medical institutions’ tendencies toward eugenics, transphobia, and racism. Their project highlights the trans community’s resilience and determination to access quality medical care in the face of continued and relentless discrimination.
Upper Division winner
Community Control and Desegregation at Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto, California, 1958-1976
In 1968, racial tensions were high around the country, and Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto was no exception. The school, with its predominantly Black student population, was labeled “inferior” by officials because it was not yet desegregated. But many community members considered desegregation disruptive; they wanted investment in academics instead. Their demands bumped up against many salient issues of the times: residential segregation, racial representation laws, and school choice. In her project, Community Control and Desegregation at Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto, California, 1958-1976, Tara Madhav centers the perspectives of Black students and community leaders to reframe the history of Ravenswood High.
Upper Division winner
Becoming ‘the First Free Town in the Americas’: Claiming and Celebrating Blackness in Yanga, Veracruz
Senior Duncan Wanless spent almost two years researching the fascinating Mexican town of Yanga, which was founded in the 16th century by an African-born runaway slave. The pandemic prevented Wanless from visiting, so he conducted research from a distance, scouring digital archives, “walking” the streets of Yanga via Google Maps, and reaching out to Mexican scholars. His project, Becoming ‘the First Free Town in the Americas’: Claiming and Celebrating Blackness in Yanga, Veracruz, dives into the origins of Yanga and how the town has embraced its African past, bucking the tendency of Mexican municipalities to erase and suppress Blackness in their culture and histories.
“Gender, Race, the Frontier, and the Civic Body: Los Angeles in the 1890s, La Fiesta de Los Angeles of 1894 and the Anti-Masquerading”
Upper Division winner
Upper Division winner
The Cowboy in the West Wing: On Western Artworks in the Oval Office
Upper Division winner
Cultural Variations in the Appraisals of Awe
Upper Division winner
Identity Politics and Cultural Placemaking: The Americanization of Portsmouth Square
Samyukta Shrivatsa and Aarti Visswanathan
Lower Division winner
Exploring a Decision-Trigger for Maintenance of a Remotely Monitored Arsenic-Remediation System Planned for Low-Income Community in Central Valley, CA
Lower Division winner
Word and Image in Chinese Literati Tradition: Analysis of ‘The Way, a spiritual path’
Michele Makhlouf Cavero
Accept. Accept! Accept!? The Problems, Solutions, and Implications of Digital Privacy
Lower Division winner
Run Like a Girl
Lower Division winner
The Invalidation of the Female Ironist in Kierkegaard’s The Seducer’s Diary
Upper Division winner
Politics, America, and Sex: What Could Go Wrong?
Upper Division winner
‘And as to my own Sex’
Upper Division winner
‘I Gave my Dreams to Liangshan’
Upper Division winner
That Means Filibuster: Race, Human Rights, and the United Nations Genocide Convention, 1945-1953
Digital Blackface: How 21st Century Internet Language Reinforces Racism
La conciencia evangelizadora del Movimiento Santuario en el caso del East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (1971-1985)
Morphological Gender Innovations in Spanish of Genderqueer Speakers
Lower Division winner
The Girls Who Were Never Born: A Study of Sex-Selection and Healthcare Professionals in India
Lower Division winner
A Multi-Layered Approach to Anglo-Dutch Relations
Upper Division winner
Over Mary’s Dead Body: Frankenstein, Sexism & Socialism
Upper Division winner
Sympathy for the Loss of a Comrade: Black Citizenship and the 1873 Fort Stockton ‘Mutiny’
Upper Division winner
Resonance, Radicalism, and the Death Penalty
Upper Division winner
The Social and Political Organizing of Guatemalan Refugees in Mexico and Their Campaign for Return: 1980 to 1992
Lower Division winner
Frankenfood: The Misunderstood Monster of the GMO Debate
Maria Trinidad Escobar Tobar
Lower Division winner
Gentrification in San Francisco: No One Right Answer
Upper Division winner
On the Road to Damascus: Searching for New Socialisms in East Germany’s 1983 Lutherjahr
Upper Division winner
Decapitating the Académie
Lower Division winner
Miners Undermining Geology: The Gold-fueled Chokehold on the California Geological Survey of 1860
Upper Division winner
Evading Dam-Nation: Land Use History of the Lower Cosumnes River Watershed, ca. 1820-2016
Upper Division winner
Brahms’s Piano Exercise Mode and the Politics of Friendship
Upper Division winner
Housewives Save the City from the ‘Cement Octopus’! Women’s Activism in the San Francisco Freeway Revolts, 1955 - 1967
Ramon de Santiago
Upper Division winner
Across Three Oceans: Globalism in the Early Modern
An Examination of Forced Marriages and their Impact Under the Khmer Rouge
‘Victory or not, we believe this to be our duty:’ Pan-Islam in Early Revolutionary Iran
따뜻한 서러움(Warm Grief): Uncanny Narratives of Trauma and Kinship in Oh Jung-hee's ‘The Yard of Childhood’
Lower Division winner
Betrayal in Brussels: The Conference that Changed International Science
Glenn Richardson’s essay Betrayal in Brussels: The Conference that Changed International Science is the result of an intellectual journey that began in the Bancroft Library reviewing the letters and notebooks of EO Lawrence, but soon left Lawrence behind. As he focused his topic, Glenn discovered the pivotal 1853 International Maritime Conference in Brussels. The more he dug, the more he saw it as a catalyst for the professionalization of science as it is today. Glenn explains his insight this way, “As I read the primary sources, I started to understand why the conference was important. However, when I turned to the secondary sources, I found that I did not fully agree with any of them. What a wonderful thing this was! I could enter this newly discovered conversation with my own thoughts and opinions.” Professor Rodolfo John Alaniz told us, “the scope and analysis of the scope and analysis of the secondary sources is particularly impressive… beyond the scope of a freshman paper.”
Lower Division winner
The Interior-Exterior Unification in Chinese Literati Residences: A Tool for Upholding the Literati Identity
Tiange Wang’s paper, The Interior-Exterior Unification in Chinese Literati Residences: A Tool for Upholding the Literati Identity, explores the significance of garden and home design to the governing elites in Chinese feudal society. Tiange worried that the scarcity of remaining wooden architecture from this period would make her research impossible. But by creative use of visual art and poetry resources from EAL, the Berkeley Art Museum and library databases she successfully demonstrated the spiritual and symbolic drives behind the Chinese literati dwellings. Professor Andrew Shanken notes, “Tiange’s research reflects her intellectual agility and sophistication…. She went well beyond the comforts of the Environmental Design Library, seeking sources all over the university….it is a subtle form of architectural history, made even more so through the translation of Chinese concepts of space.”
Upper Division winner
The Union Ruptured: Mechanization, Modernization, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union
James Bradley began research on his senior thesis The Union Ruptured: Mechanization, Modernization, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library where he “learned of ‘Mechanization and Modernization’ Agreements, signed by the union in 1960 and 1966, which were almost universally admired by observers.” Using the Bancroft Library’s oral histories to discern disagreements between union leaders and members, he ultimately delved into the ILWU’s San Francisco archives to find newspaper clippings that revealed previously disregarded member opposition to the first contract. According to his professor Robin Einhorn, “James went in thinking he was going to be writing about the containerization of ports, but he actually uncovered a much more interesting story about management demands to change work rules…..I suppose the best illustration of his creativity and flexibility .. is that he made the historian’s classic move: go in expecting your sources to say one thing and find that some of the main issues in them are things you’d never thought of before …”
Charlotte Sanger Hull
Upper Division winner
Becoming Atlantic: A Spatial History from Seventeenth-Century Martha’s Vineyard
In her senior thesis, Becoming Atlantic: A Spatial History from Seventeenth-Century Martha’s Vineyard, Charlotte Sanger Hull argues that early Martha’s Vineyard was neither clearly part of Massachusetts Bay Colony or Plymouth Colony, nor did it fall under the influence of New Netherlands/New York. After plumbing the resources of Doe Library and relying on inter-library loan, Charlotte traveled to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and local courthouses to examine 17th century genealogical records and land deeds, which in turn led to research at Boston University, Harvard, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the State Archives. Professor Waldo Martin notes, “Most impressive …. was her use of digital mapping techniques and resources, a variety of databases and an inventive array of secondary as well as primary materials. This is an extraordinarily well-research essay.” Professor Mark Peterson explains, Charlotte “used the material culture of the island, from land transactions to forms of payment and exchange brought from afar, to show how its commercial connections ranged far beyond the imperial powers that aimed to control it.”
Upper Division winner
First in Flight: A Comprehensive Study of Etruscan Winged ‘Demons’
Marvin Morris’s honors thesis, First in Flight: A Comprehensive Study of Etruscan Winged ‘Demons,’ successfully argues that winged “demons” found in Etruscan funerary art were a product of native mythology stretching back to the 7th century BCE and not iconography adapted from Greek sources, as previously believed. Professor Lisa Pieraccini points out that, “UC Berkeley has a formidable collection of books on the Etruscans and Marvin is a wonderful example of how they are being used… Marvin searched for visuals of artifacts that were extremely difficult to find – one even in a rare Hungarian publication --- and found (them). His research is highly unique and innovative…. and could become his focus of study in graduate school.”
Elizabeth Ford Rainey
Upper Division winner
The Education of Joan Didion
Elizabeth Ford Rainey uses her thesis, entitled The Education of Joan Didion, to expand our understanding of Joan Didion’s formative years as a UC Berkeley female undergraduate in the 1950’s and the influence they had on her subsequent writing career. The Bancroft Library’s collection of Didion letters and manuscripts included letters to one of Didion’s classmates who Ms. Rainey later interviewed. She also relied on special issues of the Daily Californian edited by Didion found on microform in Doe Library, and returned to the Bancroft Library to find Didion’s first-ever published short story. Professor Scott Saul emphasizes that, “In my 13 years at Berkeley….. none of my undergraduates has capitalized on Berkeley library resources as assiduously as Libby Rainey has in her pioneering work…”
The Dragon, the Lion, and the Ballot Box: Evaluating China’s Impact on Democracy in Africa
Cameron Silverberg’s honors thesis, entitled The Dragon, the Lion, and the Ballot Box: Evaluating China’s Impact on Democracy in Africa explores assumptions about the impact of Chinese investment on the democratization of key African states. Through extensive use of primary and secondary sources available through library databases, and supported by political science and data librarians, he was able to bolster his thesis using quantitative statistical analysis. Professor Amy Gurowitz notes, “(Cameron’s) multiple regression analyses reveal that there is no statistically significant relationship between Chinese engagement and democratic decline on the (African) continent…. (It) is extremely well researched.
Lower Division winner
“The River of Revenge”: The Tension Between Farmers and the Federal Government in the Tula Valley, Mexico, 1992-2014
The paper analyzes wastewater management in the Tula Valley, an agricultural region that receives wastewater for irrigation from Mexico City and ships its produce to the metropolis. Using the lens of environmental history, the paper identifies the conflicting priorities and interests of different actors, primarily the Mexican federal government and the Tula Valley farmers, with regard to health safety, financial stability, and environmental sustainability in the Tula Valley.
Lower Division winner
Efficiency in Minoan and Mycenaean Trade Networks in the Late Bronze Age
Questions surrounding Late Bronze Age trade in the Aegean have concerned the identification of trading partners, the content, scale, and motivation of trade, and the effects of intercultural interaction. The principal challenge in addressing these questions is the establishment of evidentiary “proof” when archaeological data is often scant or fragmentary. This paper attempts a computational reconstruction of trade networks for the Minoan and Mycenaean Periods using a Monte Carlo process to fit networks to observed distributions of artifacts. The process developed in this paper is an attempt to reach confident conclusions while permitting evidentiary gaps. The principal finding was a robust difference in the efficiency in the networks, with the generated Mycenaean period networks consistently less efficient than the Minoan Counterpart. Such a differential in the efficiency could have contributed to the Mycenaean decline around 1200 BCE.
Upper Division winner
More Than Meets the Eye: Cultural Color Resonances in Old English Literature
As a manifestation of both language and cognition – what is seen, and what is named – color represents an important point of access into the human psyche. Color words express more than visual signals; they operate within complex, culturally constructed systems of meaning in most human societies, conveying both denotative and connotative information. As such, they are of particular value in the study of Anglo-Saxon England, where cultural insight must be gleaned from linguistic and literary contexts. As such, we cannot assume that the Anglo-Saxon understanding of color mirrored our own – and we cannot read Old English texts as though they operated in accord with a modern cultural and visual aesthetic. Yet because previous studies of Old English color terminology have focused primarily on questions of denotative significance, many of our questions about the Anglo-Saxon conceptualization of color remain unanswered. In light of this, this paper offers a refocusing of the study of Old English color semantics. The research examines the connotative literary associations operating within three Old English color terms, each the subject of some denotative debate in recent years: sweart (black), read (red) and fealo (fallow).1 Through a conscientious application of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, the paper shows that the connotative resonances of these terms can account for at least some of their denotative ambiguity; that they “look like,” in fact, more than what we can objectively see. In orienting this study towards what the Anglo-Saxons thought about color, rather than what they saw, the paper attempts to re-establish a nexus of color-referent relationships and resonances that will allow for fuller engagement with the aesthetic discourses operating in Anglo-Saxon texts.
Upper Division winner
Modes of Fictionality in the Works of Daniel Defoe and Captain Charles Johnson
This paper highlights an often overlooked or dismissed early moment in the emergence of a fictional poetics in the early 1720’s in a succession of the prefaces of Daniel Defoe’s novels, arguing that the transition to what scholars today identify as novelistic fictionality could already be seen in motion at this early date. Then, by comparing Defoe’s first two novels to the contemporaneous General History of the Pyrates, it highlights another, older form of fictionality that was alive and well in the period: the tradition of utopian narrative. This paper shows the ways in which Defoe’s new fictionality diverges from this established form of narrative, embracing a new and more individualistic bent and a kind of imaginative speculation that aims at very different social ends. This case study will provide insight into the development of the kind of fictionality that the novel employed over the course of the century and in many cases still employs today; a verisimilar narrative with an individual protagonist through whom the reader vicariously experiences the events of the story. Such an experience, critics have shown, provided a space for “imaginative play”: a thought-experiment that had the capacity to create new knowledge.
Upper Division winner
Johanna Jachmann-Wagner’s Lohengrin: Vocal Philology at the Jean Gray Hargrove Library
“Johanna Jachmann-Wagner’s Lohengrin: Vocal Philology at the Jean Gray Hargrove Library” is an analysis of notes penciled in an 1851 edition of Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin during a singing lesson that took place in 1884. The instructor of the lesson was none other than Richard Wagner’s niece, Johanna Jachmann-Wagner, a highly acclaimed singer and actress. This essay extrapolates from the score’s annotations that Jachmann-Wagner was also one of the greatest inspirations for Wagner’s preeminent compositions that post-date Lohengrin. This vocal/piano reduction of Lohengrin belonged to Mary Burrell, a scholar devoted to an exhaustive biography of Richard Wagner that was never completed. The essay in question interprets the score’s annotations as proof that vocal technique and interpretation were major players in the development of Wagner's means of motivic composition. The essay covers a wide array of issues, from the heated debate over "authentic" Wagnerian performance practices to the uses of Greek metric schema in the construction of Wagner’s idealistic reformation of the opera into “music drama.”
Upper Division winner
Cowboys, Indians, and Aliens: White Supremacy in the Klamath Basin, 1826-1946
During the mid-1870s, the United States waged a brutal war of extermination against the Modoc Indians of the Klamath Basin. Amidst the virulent racism of World War II seven decades later, the federal government incarcerated nearly twenty thousand people of Japanese ancestry on the same land. This paper identifies relationalities between and slippages across the structures of settler colonialism and the discourses of Yellow Peril/Orientalism by examining the parallels and tensions between the two periods. It explores how the fundamental logics of settler colonialism underwrote the intertwined projects of genocide against indigenous peoples and racialized exclusion of non-native people of color. It first examines how federally sponsored incursions into Modoc land routed the indigenous presence and consolidated white land ownership within the region, subsequently solidifying a sense of community predicated on exclusionary racial homogeneity. It then considers the roles incarcerated Japanese and Japanese Americans played in reinforcing iterations of settler colonialism by inhabiting the subjectivities of both the settler and the Native simultaneously. It closes with a discussion of the lasting legacies and implications of these historical traumas—as well as footholds for resistance—in a moment in which settler colonial and racial violence remain as relevant as ever.
Upper Division winner
Caught in the Crossfire: Explanations of Insurgency Use of Indiscriminate Violence
Under what conditions are insurgencies more likely to employ indiscriminate forms of violence against civilians? Whereas some scholars have attributed indiscriminate violence to those insurgencies being simply incarnates of “decentralized criminality,” others have focused on alternative theories such as resource endowment and foreign support as key conditions. This thesis seeks to fill the current gap in the literature by testing competing explanations for insurgent-led indiscriminate violence and arguing that insurgencies are less likely to commit indiscriminate violence when these organizations establish robust vertical linkages with their pre-war social base through political wings and strategies. Data from the regression analysis show rebel political wings to be statistically significant, as well as other potential explanatory variables such as the level of foreign support and strength of control over constituent groups by the central command. Furthermore, process tracing in insurgencies in El Salvador and Uganda outline the mechanisms whereby political wings and activities reduce an insurgency’s use of indiscriminate violence. The implications of the research are that conventional theories that solely focus on resource endowment and foreign actor support are inadequate, and need to account for these political aspects of insurgent warfare. Moreover, counterinsurgents should respond with increased civilian protections when the conditions are conducive for indiscriminate killings.
Cabot's paper, completed for a College Writing program class called Monsters and Modernity, addresses werewolves and their role in current young adult literature. Her research focuses on how werewolves are portrayed as sexually deviant racial stereotypes in comparison to an increasingly pure monster, the vampire. Because she originally found few sources solely dedicated to analyzing the racial and sexual connotations of the werewolf, Cabot "identified the sources that best addressed the problems or issues that were interesting and followed an investigative trail," according to her faculty sponsor, Jonathan Lang. Mining citations from the most pertinent documents, Cabot used the Berkeley Libraries to discover Richard Dyer’s seminal scholarship on race and sexuality, as well as other the work of other scholars whose work is central to this field.
Rachel Cadman's paper explores the genesis of the Migrant Health Act in the context of the emergence of migrant health care clinics in postwar California and shows the important role that activists and politicians played promoting this federal legislation. Her research made extensive use of the archival papers of Florence Wyckoff at UC Santa Cruz, Interlibrary Loan, and Berkeley's numerous electronic resources to compare government documents with news sources of the period. In the words of her instructor, Felicia Viator, Rachel "depended primarily on these archives, but has also utilized the UCSC Regional History Project interviews, UC Berkeley electronic archives, and the Bancroft collections that allowed her to access The Fresno Bee."
Li Duan's honor's thesis was developed over the course of three semesters of independent study. It revisits a well-studied academic field, late Qing modernization of China. By focusing on the Fuzhou Shipyard in the Fujian province, this research explores the role of regional development at the provincial level during this national endeavor. To explore the delicate relationship between center and periphery, Duan compared the dual identity of Fuzhou Shipyard as a national arsenal and as a local factory. A lack of coordinated effort at the national level, conflict between center and region, and an uneven development in social transformation all suggest early divergences within Qing itself. These divergences imply that China's modernization originated from the bottom, and instead of a comprehensive plan from Beijing, these provincial experiences inspired future modernization. As described by his thesis advisor, George Lazopoulos, "Li is a skilled historian with a sophisticated understanding of historiographical methods, which he applies to a well-selected set of sources in this paper."
Enger refutes the idea of California in the Fifties as being stable by analysing eleven initiatives appearing on the statewide ballots between 1948 and 1958. These initiatives, he posits, "either represented or catalyzed a modern statecraft and the social trends which transformed California and its self-identity." The first chapter covers bringing order out of political chaos with the defeat of cross-filing and the approval of salary increases for legislators. Enger weaves the results of several welfare initiatives with the ending of New Deal consensus in the State. A third step was a change in the racial demography of the State, the passage of an initiative requiring voter approval before allowing the construction of low-income housing, and the resulting inner-city ghettoization of the poor and black. Engel draws a connection between the defeat of four initiatives in 1958, one concerned with the "right to work" without joining a union, one proposing the reduction of the State sales tax, one ending blue laws and one ending the exemption from the payment of property taxes by parochial schools, and the alignment of labor and minorities with the Democratic Party. He concludes that "To study direct democracy in California in the middle of the twentieth century is to observe the ethnogenesis of both a white Californian nation on the West Coast and the emergence of a continent-wide conservative political and social movement."
Yessica Porras analyzes the relationship of the mural program found in the church of Sutatausa, Colombia as indoctrinating images imbedded with indigenous imagery. Porras argue that besides having a religious message the murals found in the church have direct visual connections with pre-conquest petroglyphs located near the area of Sutatausa. With the help of visual analysis, library resources, and guidance from her advisor Todd Olson, Porras was able to conclude that the church of Sutatausa allows us to recognize that the colonial indoctrinating process was not a smooth process. The imbedded indigenous imagery found in the murals of the church was a method of adaptation and resistance that allowed the preservation of local Muisca indigenous memory throughout time.
In this essay, Jeremiah Trujillo examines ways in which Schubert’s image was shaped and the reception of his solo piano works changed in the mid-and late-1800’s, well after his lifetime. Trujillo argues that three individuals in particular influenced how Schubert’s music was performed throughout history and to the present day, all in different ways: Franz Liszt, in the 1840’s as a transcriber, performer, and editor; Johannes Brahms, in the 1860’s as a force toward the editing and publication of little-known Schubert manuscripts; and Julius Epstein, in the 1880’s as a music editor who influenced the performance of Schubert’s solo piano works throughout the 20th century. Describing the sophistication of Trujillo’s scholarship and research, Professor James Davies writes that Trujillo “was able to form a complex picture of the field of nineteenth-century Schubert reception by reading through a large number of early German piano editions.”
Capitalism Versus the Sharing Economy
Goel's research paper explores how open source culture and community-driven content are sharing knowledge and ideas that will generate more value in today’s economy and global stage. Sloan commends Goel for being "rigorously reflective, making use of some surprising and interesting research, and taking care to guide the reader through his unfolding understanding of the issues at hand." Reviewing the bibliography, we see that Goel carefully synthesized academic works on social media, copyright law, and open source and crowd-sourcing cultures for a thoughtful analysis.
Thesis advisor Rakesh Bhandari describes Devin Murphy’s thesis as “a painstakingly-researched and well-written piece of work.” In this paper, Murphy writes a comprehensive history of “pre-contact” Samoa. Most historical narratives of Samoa begin with contact with the West which, Murphy argues “de-historicizes” the Samoan people and “their respective narratives, leading one to think that these Pacific Islanders simply … sprouted from lava? emerged from coral? are fixed entities, unmoving, unchanging, bounded by time and space by a fossilize historical trajectory?”
Wolf’s senior thesis investigates how the cities of central Arizona – Phoenix in particular – learned to make the compromises necessary to procure additional water supplies. In the years following World War II, Arizona grew exponentially. To secure the water it needed, Phoenix had to compromise with two major suppliers in the area: the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association (SRVWUA) and the Federal Bureau of Reclamation. These compromises allowed the city first to use water from behind the SRVWUA-operated Horseshoe Dam, then on the rest of the Salt River Project, and finally from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project. Wolf laid the foundations for his research at Berkeley using materials in the Bancroft and Main Libraries. His faculty sponsor, Professor Felicia Viator, notes that Wolf was “determined to get to the Valley of the Sun for research, [and so] he applied for – and won – an undergraduate research grant,” to continue his research at the Arizona State Library and State Archives in Phoenix. Viator commented that she has been inspired by Wolf’s “thoroughness and dedication to the process of doing history.”
Au’s project, examining the development of plant galls in the Pacific Ocean, was developed over the course of a semester of field research at the Berkeley Gump Research Station on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. Au identified her topic, did extensive research using the databases that provide access to the literature in her field, and through that exploration, identified a research question that had not yet been addressed. To support her work, she had to look broadly through the literature to find studies on similar organisms, and on the phenomenon that she was researching as it applied to other species. Au’s bibliography illustrates a wide range of resources: scholarly articles, plant identification databases, monographs, reference works, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data. Ultimately, she says in her research essay, her sources “provided a solid foundation for the research she conducted and aligned with the conclusions she drew from her research experiment. Instead of contradicting her findings, her data added to the current research done on galls and filled a niche that was not observed before.” In his letter of support, Professor Rockerick gave high praise to Au’s work, saying it “is a model in all respects,” and commended her on her extensive research, particularly as much of it had to be accomplished remotely.
Mailes’ Honors project in Music explored the role of Italian vocal ornamentation in 17th-century English music, which has resulted, according to Professor Moroney, in “new research in untouched territory.” Since little tangible evidence of her subject remains, Mailes had to delve deeply into the collections of The Library, examining original manuscripts, microforms, books, journals, musical recordings and scores, demonstrating a “sophistication unusual in an undergraduate.” Her research also took her to London and Oxford to view 17th –century English source material. Her research essay demonstrates the iterative nature of her research: she continually returned to the research question informed with new findings in order to refine and improve the thesis. The process has taught her the importance of patience, flexibility, and persistence in Humanities research, and the skills and understanding she has acquired will serve her well as she pursues graduate studies.
Silecky’s paper explores the nature of elite athletics in Central Asia during the Soviet and Post-Soviet period. When Silecky selected his topic, his professor was concerned that he might not be able to find the sources that he needed to fully explore how five Central Asian countries engage with the Olympic Games. As Professor Mehendale pointed out in her letter of support, “Silecky had to first find scholarly work on the Soviet and Post-Soviet periods to enhance his knowledge on 20th century Central Asia. Subsequently, he had to firm-up his grasp of the history of the Olympic Games…. In addition, Silecky had to gain insight into elite sport participation in each of the five former Soviet republics.” To accomplish this, Silecky accessed both print and electronic materials through the Library’s catalog and article databases, as well as web-based resources on Olympic athletes. He compiled an extensive bibliography of news articles, books, and media footage, thus managing, according to his professor, to weave “together both academic and non-scholarly sources into a coherent research paper.”
This History of Art Honors Thesis offers a close examination of a single illustration of Christ’s side wound from Bonne of Luxembourg’s prayer book. In her letter of support, Professor Angelova expresses admiration for Walker’s research skills, stating that her thesis "would not have been possible had it not been for her mastery of the various research tools currently used in the humanities.” With only a rudimentary knowledge of Western Medieval Art, Walker turned her interest in the illustration into a work that, according to her professor, offers “an interpretation that explained the contradictory allusions evoked by the image of the wound, and one that also situated the particularities of the image within its broad art historical, historical, theological, and personal contexts.” To find the resources she needed, Walker used both national and local catalogs, databases of images and articles, manuscripts and rare books in Bancroft Library, digitized primary source collections, and books from local and off-site facilities. In her reflective essay, Walker demonstrates both a sophisticated understanding of research tools as well as recognition of the value of serendipitous discoveries in the stacks.
Duran’s investigation into the biography and identity of author Daniel Venegas is an object lesson in the value of tenacity in research. Before Duran started digging, little was known about Venegas’s personal life. Duran retrieved personal documents from a genealogical resource, scoured contemporary newspapers for references to the author, uncovered issues of a rare publication within Bancroft Library, and found resources to provide historical context to his investigation. What he uncovered allowed him to interpret the author’s novel in a new light and his finished thesis, according to Professor Saul, “will be a significant contribution to Chicano Studies and American literary history.”
What’s in Your Water?
Polasko’s independent study in Civil Engineering examines the bacterium Dehalococcoides and ways to enhance and maintain its biodegradation of the harmful chemical compound trichloroethene (TCE) in drinking water. In her letter of support, Professor Alvarez-Cohen praises Polasko’s research into water contamination, noting her proficiency navigating the library system, and her ability to identify and obtain “an extensive source of information in a wide variety of media sources that contributed to a well-written, comprehensive paper. In fact,” she says, Polasko’s “skill for identifying and acquiring high quality, relevant publications is the most impressive I’ve ever encountered in a second year undergraduate student.” Polasko’s research required searching across academic journals from multiple disciplines, including chemistry, engineering, and biology. She gracefully articulates her engaged and varied research process, noting that “even though the evidence for my thesis did mainly come from those types of sources, the support for my passion about this topic came from the anthropologists, the philosophers, the authors, the lawyers, the economists, the councilmen, and the government.”
Wikey’s Anthropology Honors thesis offers an interdisciplinary examination of the development of lie detection in America. In her letter of support, Professor Hayden praises Wikey for his “superb use of BerkeleyB collections on early 20th century American religion, feminist and critical race theory, the folklore archives, and the history of science and technology.” Based on that research, Hayden says, Wikey “makes a number of original contributions to histories of the lie detector test, particularly through his attention to the place of American Spiritualism therein.” Wikey’s bibliography attests to the wide range of resources -- books, articles, archival materials, and digitized primary sources – that informed his intriguing study.
This independent study in the History of Art investigates the struggle for representation and autonomy at the Elizabethan court. Xie made extensive use of the Library’s online and print resources, accessing multiple databases, digitized primary source collections, online art databases, manuscript collections, the print collections of the Gardner Stacks, and the Art History Library, as well as resources from other libraries. Professor Honig says that what makes “Xie’s thesis stand out as a piece of exemplary research is that she has balanced so well between primary, secondary historical, and theoretical sources. She read printed primary sources (and online documentary sources) very carefully; she found data and critical interpretations from art historians, historians, and literary scholars; and she reconsidered all of them in the light of modern (and historical) theories of gifting.” In her reflective essay, Xie does an excellent job of articulating the value of iterative research and the importance of reaching beyond her primary discipline for sources.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Ryan Landon Swanson
The Political Economy of Wind Power in China
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.”
Gururangan’s project broadens the data applied to a critical question – how do pharmaceutical companies influence healthcare at the level of patient health and access to health services? In answering this question, he explored article databases from a variety of disciplines and print resources located in the Gardner Stacks, and the libraries at Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health and used them to compare the positive and negative outcomes produced by treatment innovation and lobbying capability. Prof. Ross stated that “his ability to research and synthesize information across different disciplines, using starkly different methodologies and various types of data makes his paper stand out amongst his peers.”
Wu Guanzhong may be one of the best known artists to emerge after China’s Cultural Revolution, but scholarship on the artist and his works in English is limited. Prizant’s examination of Wu’s intentions and how his work has been interpreted and received in China and worldwide was accomplished through dogged and persistent searching through Chinese and English library catalogs, print bibliographies, and online databases. This resulted in a sophisticated analysis of Wu’s work that Prof. Berger described as “graduate level work,” one that includes “the most comprehensive bibliography on Wu Guanzhong that [she has] seen.”
For his honors thesis in Legal Studies, Mr. Burton wrote a history of the American juvenile justice system from 1899-1967, with a focus on changing philosophies and attitudes towards punishment for juveniles. He discovered that the University Library had in its print collection institutional reports from reform and industrial schools, which he used as primary sources. He also used library databases such as Making of Modern Law to read contemporary texts on youth criminology, and was granted access by the Law School to Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis to read the case law. Prof. Musheno, Director of the Legal Studies Program and Lecturer in Residence at Berkeley Law School, wrote that “It is in studying original writings generated over time and correlating these with changes in legal practices that make Mr. Burton’s thesis outstanding.”
Ms. Flores wrote her senior thesis in History on one aspect of 1940’s federal irrigation regulation in California’s Central Valley. She describes how the Valley’s largest landowners were able to use the Central Valley Project to their own advantage, despite the intentions of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which was managing the project. Ms. Flores used many different types of sources, including congressional hearings and reports, newspaper archives, and the Bancroft Library’s Paul S. Taylor Papers, among others. Kathryn Eigen, Ms. Flores’ thesis advisor, wrote that “Christina has never been satisfied with merely recounting events. Instead, she has worked and reworked her arguments to make them as clear as possible and to make the best use of the materials that she has found.”
In “‘I Miss Green:’ A Comparison of Prison and Space Shuttle Design”, Helen Kim examines the role of design in two disparate examples of confined space. Using materials available from Doe, Engineering, Environmental Design, Education-Psychology, and Moffitt libraries, as well as articles from numerous databases, she developed an annotated bibliography that allowed her to organize her comparison along three lines: general structure, psychological effects, and economic efficiency. Helen also took advantage of the Library’s Research Advisory Service and Chat Reference to assist her in exploring the “nature of architecture as a mediator of society’s thoughts and interactions.” In the words of her College Writing instructor, Helen’s paper is “an example of outstanding interdisciplinary work.”
Proto-Omagua-Kokama: Grammatical sketch and prehistory
Mr. O’Hagan’s Lingustics honors thesis explores the history of several endangered Amazonian languages. He demonstrates that two of these languages, Omagua and Kokama, “were already distinct languages by the time the Jesuits arrived in the Amazon,” as his thesis advisor, Professor Lev Michael, writes. In addition to his fieldwork in Peru, Mr. O’Hagan made extensive use of collections on the Berkeley campus and at NRLF, corresponded with scholars in Europe and South America, and used Interlibrary Loan to access books and letters by early explorers and missionaries to the Amazon region. Professor Michael writes that “Quite simply, Zach increased by a factor of at least ten the amount of Old Omagua material known to linguists by his meticulous and creative searching through the Jesuit materials.”
Mark Rogers’s Honor’s Thesis, “Taste, Gender and Nation in the Material Culture of Musical Performance, the Pocket Opera Anthology in England 1724-6,” explores this “small but circumscribed genre of pocket books for gentlemen and ladies… primarily offering songs and arias from Italian operas” for performance by amateurs in domestic situations as apposed to the operatic stage. Despite admittedly sparse documentation on such private performances, Mark’s research was exhaustive, leading him to several libraries, including the Business Library to track down information about Italian businessmen in early 18th century London, and the Environmental Design Library to seek information on 18th century dress “(since the books were designed for pockets)”. Mark also used digital sources from Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, as well as availing himself of the rich resources in original 18th century editions in the Hargrove Music Library. Mark’s advisor, Prof. Davitt Moroney, calls his writing “mature and elegant, with intellectual subtlety and wit. He makes full use of all the resource available to him…like a professional scholar…. I am delighted by his vast and playful exploration of the non-musical dimensions of these pocket books, including questions of fashion, dress, iconography…and the all-pervasive issues of class and commerce with studies of print culture.” Prof. Moroney adds that “if the Prize is partly designed to identify young researchers who use library resources, and to encourage them as they go forward in their careers, working with library materials, then here is a truly exceptional candidate.”
Preeti Talwai provides an original and multi-layered reading of the Rajarajeswaram temple in 11th century southern India. Through images and words, Preeti demonstrates how she drew from broad and specialized resources of the UC Berkeley Library (in many locations and formats) to construct an informed and engaging paper on the significance of one particular Hindu temple, built between 1003 and 1010 C.E., and during the apogee of the Chola Empire under Rajaran I. She made use of both OskiCat and Melvyl to search across Berkeley collections, and she used the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, JSTOR, and other electronic article databases to gather both Western and Eastern perspectives on the Rajarajeswaram. The photographs and drawings which didactically and beautifully embellish her paper were scanned from books from the Environmental Design Library or discovered in the Library’s subscription to the ARTstor Digital Library. Preeti’s well-thought out and iterative research strategy included a careful analysis of the temple’s physical space based on primary visual sources, followed by searches for diverse interpretations in secondary literature. Not the likely location for architecture or primary sources on India, Preeti even consulted seminar archives that reside in the Bancroft Library to support her thesis that Rajaraja I combined architectural forms and structure with art, iconography, sculpture, and inscription to create a temple to Shiva that transcended the realm of Hinduism as it was known until his rule.
The Deterrable 'Undeterrables'
Carina Boo’s timely Honorable Mention entry exemplifies the rewards of cultivating an open mind while studying the motivations of suicide bombers in Iraq. Ms. Boo’s work captures the complex voices and experiences of the suicide bombers themselves, as well as the outrage from the blogosphere. Her research began classically, with library databases and trips to the book stacks, then ranged outward through LexisNexis and on to videos of interviews with thwarted bombers. While in her process, she created a web site that organized her research, her notes, and all the components of the project. Her professor wrote, “… in the fourteen years I’ve been teaching first-year composition and research courses, this is the ONLY research project compiled by a student in one of my courses that has earned an A+.” Note should also be made of Ms. Boo’s annotated bibliography, which displays her careful evaluations of the reliability of her sources, and her thoughtful editorial comments. Congratulations to Ms. Boo for writing such a modulated and proficient research paper.
Visual Anxiety: Deviant gender and depictions of the Jewish male during the Dreyfus Affair
McKee executed an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing methodologies of gender studies, art history, and cultural history to offer a new and focused study on one specific aspect of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. McKee argued that the Dreyfus Affair was a conduit through which the French articulated their social and political anxieties, including using the identity of Alfred Dreyfus as a Jewish man to reinforce those anxieties. Mr. McKee’s GSI, for whose course the paper was written, observes, “McKee’s use of foreign language newsprint, woodprints, contemporary sociological studies, and cartoons is superior; he is successful in his attempt to show how the Affair both fed and was the result of fear of French degeneration. [He] was able, with his strong knowledge of French and with the extensive resources available within the Berkeley system, to incorporate numerous sources that went beyond a typical undergraduate paper. Mr. McKee enlightened students in my seminar, revealing to others the strength of our library.”
Three Anonymous French Seventeenth-Century Preludes from the 'Parville Manuscript'
Melody Hung's paper undertakes an unusually in-depth investigation of three anonymous preludes for the harpsichord, for which unmeasured notation survives in the seventeenth-century French codex known as the Parville Manuscript. Ms. Hung has investigated the preludes' styles and conventional attributions by attending closely to their manuscript notations. Significantly, she has also researched Baroque improvisational techniques to reconstruct figured bass lines for each prelude as well as to perform compelling interpretations of them. Her professor comments, "To achieve this unusual performance style required her to undertake a very considerable amount of reading and practice, learning from early modern treatises how to improvise in earlier styles. . . . This is a kind of musicology that is increasingly rare." Ms. Hung has made excellent use of early modern primary sources in both manuscript and facsimile, as well as electronic, printed, and microfilm sources from the Music Library's wide-ranging collection.
The Tokai Reprocessing Issue: Japan’s Rise to Elite Nation Status in the 1970s
Ms. Shih's senior History thesis explores a diplomatic negotiation between the U.S. and Japan that took place over several months in 1977. At stake was whether a Japanese nuclear energy plant at Tokai would be allowed to reprocess spent fuel from the U.S. despite President Jimmy Carter's nonproliferation policy. Ms. Shih describes how resolution of the negotiations in Japan's favor contributed to its rise as an elite nation. Her investigation led her to books from Berkeley and other Berkeley campuses, the library's subscription to the Digital National Security Archives, and a research trip to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta. Professor Luke Franks writes that, "Ms. Shih's undergraduate thesis is one of the finest I've ever encountered, and its success is in large part due to her understanding of the importance of primary source documentation, and her determination in seeking these out."
Classroom for Improvement: How Decentralization Hinders Argentine Educational Equity
Ms. Cohen’s honors thesis examines the motives, methods and results of the decentralization of Argentina’s education system following the educational reforms of President Carlos Menem beginning in 1991. As a result, Argentina’s education policy was drastically altered in response to various stimuli in the political, social, and economic environment including globalization, economic hardship, and the pressure to conform to the neoliberalist ideology advocated by prominent world powers. She collects, analyzes, and synthesizes a wealth of information and data from a variety of sources in both English and Spanish. Prof. Karras notes, “This project paper could not have been done without the library’s help … moreover, she used librarians to make contacts at other organizations and in other schools on campus. [Her thesis] is exceptional [and] beautifully written.”
Theresa Joy Hannig
The Inconstant Basilica of Constantine
Hannig’s paper examines this famous basilica’s several shifts in cultural significance from fourth-century Roman civic work to sixteenth-century Christian symbol. Her research follows the building’s many names over time—Temple of Peace, Palace of Romulus, New Basilica, and others—through materials held by a variety of research repositories, from our Environmental Design and Architecture Visual Resource libraries to the Royal collection at the British Library. Ms. Hannig’s GSI for whose course this essay was written, observes, “I consider both [Theresa’s] hypothesis and her research methods incredibly sophisticated, particularly for a second year Architecture major,” in part because the paper moves “beyond the level of sophistication and historical depth required for the course.” Also exceptional is Hannig’s “creative and rich use of images to develop and support her hypothesis,” with substantial examination via ARTstor, Spiro, and Oxford Art Online of paintings, photographs, architectural drawings, and digital reconstructions of both the basilica and the iconography of its ruins.
Photographing the Illusion of Austerity: Fashion Photography and Femininity in Post-WWII Britain
Robin Lam’s senior thesis argues that fashion photography of the immediate postwar years in Britain has been overlooked because of the conservativeness of the images that characterized this period. In fact, however, these images reveal the social and economic conflicts within Britain at that time. Based on analyses of a wide variety of print and microfilm sources and image collections here and abroad, she shows how women’s attitudes in the postwar decade both fed the new ultra-feminine fashion and was fueled by photographic representations of that feminism. Ms. Lam’s advisor comments, “It is the first piece of scholarly work on the rise, dissemination, and uses of fashion photography in post-war Britain…. It is a testament to her ingenuity and industry that she has carved a paper out of a diverse range of sources,” including those she discovered during research trips to the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Film Institute.
Yacreta’, Argentina’s White Elephant: Hydroelectric Development, International Capital, and Transnational Resistance
Simeon Newman explores what was once touted as the largest development project ever undertaken by Argentina, the huge hydroelectric project on the Paraná River along the Argentina-Paraguay border, begun in the 1950s that neared completion in the early 1990s. He writes, “The project did end up providing a great deal of electricity to Argentina, … but the reservoir was filled only part way and the hydroelectricity plant only provided 60 percent of the electricity it was supposed to...." Newman argues that the project failed because the people affected by the project did not allow it to be finished, "a developmentalist dream that failed to live up to its promises." His professor comments that Newman wrote “a paper that is not only powerfully grounded in primary research, particularly of technical reports, disputes, and community mobilization against the dam and its effects, but also deeply informed by important theoretical works.” Newman made extensive use of the Water Resources Center Archives on campus, and interlibrary services to obtain material not at Berkeley.
Patriotism versus Principles: Perspectives on the Eve of the Mexican War
Matthew Rietfors presents a very balanced and scholarly examination of the circumstances leading up to the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. He carefully describes the rationales that were offered in Congress both in support of, and against, the declaration of war which led to the annexation of considerable Mexican territory, including all of Texas, a substantial expansion of the future Confederacy, and a dramatic expression of our “manifest destiny.” Presenting the war as a definitive point in the history of the United States, Rietfors recognizes characteristic features in American foreign policy that have re-emerged in subsequent American debates contemplating such military actions. Rietfors’ instructors write, “This paper is based solidly on a careful reading of primary sources. He negotiated the vast resouces of the Bancroft Library efficiently and was able to maintain an unerring, deliberate focus on a serious question concerning US foreign relations during the first half of the 19th century.”
The Chaco Allure: 150 Years of Archaeological Fascination with Pueblo Bonito
Jessica Clark's historiographical research project is an exploration of Pueblo Benito, an ancient Anasazi settlement nestled deep within Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. As Clark notes, “our interpretation of the ancient people and architecture is an ever-changing potpourri of thoughts and ideas applied by a variety of sources throughout time and space… leading to varying conclusions about the site and the inhabitants based on technology, methods of study, and contemporary contexts.” Her research led her, likewise, to a potpourri of library resources, both ancient and contemporary, spanning across the campus, and nestled deep within the stacks of the Environmental Design, Anthropology, Native American Studies, and Main libraries. Her skillful and elegant use of maps, aerial photographs, architectural diagrams, and other primary sources resulted in a strikingly rich and beautiful paper. Her GSI remarked that it “may represent original research not documented elsewhere.” In her own words, Clark’s perspective of the library evolved during the course of the project, changing from “a formidable army of infinite stacks” into “a gold mine of untapped potential.”
The Legal Construction of Racial Identities through Anti-Miscegenation Laws and Court Cases in Arozona, 1865-1962
Racism and the meaning of “whiteness,” marriage rights, the legal and social status of the “other” in Arizona: timely topics that are all touched upon in this History 101 paper. As Ms. Fabela’s advisor notes, her original contributions to the study of race and law are twofold: First, most existing scholarly work on miscegenation law focuses on the South; this paper’s focus on Arizona brings a unique regional context to this subject, addressing the impact of the laws on persons of Mexican descent who were assumed to be “white” in Arizona. Secondly, miscegenation laws in Arizona, rather than serving to police intermarriage, were in fact little more than a tool used by ordinary people for their personal interests in matters of divorce, inheritance, and the like. Fabela’s research took her to Arizona State University’s Law Library and Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records. She also utilized the Bancroft and numerous electronic resources provided by the UC Berkeley Library. The resulting paper, her advisor notes, is “original, deeply researched, and important.”
Miriam Paula Rubenson
‘The Purity of the Ballot Box’: How Ex-felons Won the Right to Vote in California, 1966-1974
Rubenson's senior thesis explores the legal and political situation in California leading up to the passage of Proposition 10, which restored voting rights to convicted felons who had completed their prison terms. She made extensive use of primary sources in her research, traveling to the California State Archives in Sacramento on a History Department grant and studying materials from the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute archives at Bancroft Library. Through these primary sources, Ms. Rubenson is able to demonstrate that, unlike in other states and contrary to popular belief, the abolition of felon disenfranchisement in California was achieved not through an appeal to racial equality, but via a surprisingly legalistic debate about equal protection and uniformity before the law. In high praise of her work, Prof. Einhorn writes that "Only a sensitive, flexible, and intellectually alert approach to her primary sources could have produced this original and interesting finding."
A comparative study of Scleractinian coral diversity in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Ms. Title’s project studies “island biogeography in the Pacific showing a biodiversity level that decreases from west to east.” Having “an increased knowledge on coral diversity patterns and dispersal can help focus conservation efforts to preserve maximum biodiversity and protect coral reefs from adverse human impact.” She did most of her library research from the field, using proxy connections on remote, tiny islands in the Pacific to access online databases. According to Prof. Mishler, “Alex was one of the very top students in this class, and that is saying a lot because it is a very select group chosen based on their records and interviews… Alex showed unusual creativity and perseverance in eventually finding excellent comparison studies [in an area where it is] difficult to find comparable data in the literature.”
"We Don't Scare Easily": The Gary Case and Housing Discrimination in Richmond, CA, 1952
Christine Russell’s senior thesis "We Don't Scare Easily": The Gary Case and Housing Discrimination in Richmond, Ca, 1952, documents the extreme white opposition towards the Gary family’s move into Rollingwood, a previously all-white Richmond subdivision. In her paper, Christine explores how the police upheld the law in theory, but not in practice, and the importance of the NAACP and community support in supporting the Garys in their fight to remain in their home. The Newspapers/Microforms collection in Doe was essential to Christine’s research with access to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune and black-owned newspapers like the Sun-Reporter. Even the Communist Party’s Daily People’s World reported on the Gary case. Christine also found an oral history from the Regional Oral History Office and the NAACP archives at Bancroft to be crucial to her report. However, the most important source was a personal interview Christine arranged with Constance Gary, a child of the Gary’s. Christine’s advisor writes “Ms. Russell has written a well conceived, thoughtfully argued, and compelling essay that showcases not only the range of our local and national NAACP collections, but also the strength of the West Coast branch office as evidenced in their files in particular.”
Whose Painted Reality? Redefining Orientalism in British Representations of the Sultan Hasan Mosque in Cairo
Jaimee Comstock Skipp’s honors thesis, “Whose Painted Reality? Redefining Orientalism in British Representations of the Sultan Hasan Mosque in Cairo, led her from Berkeley to London to Egypt. Aided by travel grants, Jaimee was able to view key works in London museums and archives and then by traveling to Egypt, see the actual sites depicted in the artworks. Jaimee ultimately concentrated her research efforts on the Sultan Hasan Mosque as it was the site where she had both “a profusion of nineteenth century artistic responses” and physical access. Back in Berkeley, Jaimee found published travelogues from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries at Bancroft and the Environmental Design Library that helped to contextualize the artwork in their time period. Her paper’s final selection of images “invites the reader to look at this large corpus from numerous sources never before grouped together.” Jaimee’s advisor writes, “Jamiee’s contribution extends beyond the limits of art history, for the nuanced sensibility and expanded theoretical approach that she argues for will inform studies not only of Orientalist art in the future, but also all fields related to Near Eastern studies, from history to literature to the social sciences.”
A Family of Prophets in 2nd Century Roman Egypt
Jesse Hoffman researched five Greek-language papyri from Roman Egypt for his Classics Honors course in classical civilization (H195) for his project, A Family of Prophets in 2nd Century Roman Egypt . Four of the five papyri which were related to a known family archive and the fifth was unrelated but of the same time period. Of the five, three were in The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri (CTP) at the Bancroft; one was in the Beinecke Library (Yale) and the other in the Lunds universitetsbibliotek (Sweden). Jesse first deciphered the handwriting of each document and then created a working transcript of the Greek text. Once he had the transcription, the translation was next, and finally, an analysis of the translated text. In the process of translation and analysis, Jesse searched the Duke Database of Documentary Papyri (DDDP) to find references to relevant published papyri. Through the collections in Doe and Art History/Classics, he was able to locate and study these publications. These resources along with searches of JSTOR and the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists were essential for his in-depth analysis of the translated text. According to his advisor, “Mr. Hoffman’s senior thesis is a “remarkable piece of professional research. The fact that it is nearly ready for peer-reviewed publication is testament to the rigor with which Mr. Hoffman used the library resources here at Berkeley and at other institutions.”
Marijuana National Forest: Encroachment on California Lands for Cannabis Cultivation
Mark Mallery’s, honor’s thesis, Marijuana National Forest: Encroachment on California Lands for Cannabis Cultivation, began as an environmental problem-solving term paper and as he says, it “turned into an honors thesis and long term public education project.” Mark explored his topic from all perspectives including legal propositions, scholarly research and environmental assessment field notes. When he exhausted these sources, he identified key experts and interviewed them to gather information crucial to the research project. In the process, Mark has produced a thorough review of the topic, including proposals for policies that could change current trends in marijuana production on public lands. Mark’s thesis advisor writes that “Mark has taken many very complex issues that cover a wide range of legal, social and environmental issues and developed a concise and well written thesis.”
Dissecting Andreas Vesalius's Epitome
Kelly Fabian’s enthusiasm for Renaissance art was the spark that caused her to request Andreas Vesalisus’s Epitome from the Bancroft vault for her Undergraduate Seminar on Archival Research project. The Epitome, a monument in the history of printing and culture, was published in 1543 as an anatomy textbook for medical students. Kelly says she was immediately “hooked” when she held the item; its size and image quality were impressive. She adds, “Even better, the pages were stained with the memories of dissections long ago, something I found simultaneously revolting and fascinating.” In her research paper Kelly focuses on the image of the female cadaver on the title page and relates it to the role of the female form in renaissance art. In addition to the Bancroft Library, Kelly found resources through the Art History, Classics and Bioscience Libraries to support her analysis that Vesalius was attempting to probe the secret of human creation in his dissection of the female reproductive organs. Kelly’s advisor writes that she “brought her own perspective, as a student of Renaissance art, and as a modern young woman, to bear on the analysis of the drawings. In them, she deciphers much more than the important anatomical details they were created primarily to depict.”
Interracial Coalitions in the United Farm Workers: The Filipino Experience
Benjamin Zumwalt documented the Filipino farm workers unionization experiences, and explored how Filipinos were marginalized within the United Farm Workers union for his Ethnic Studies 195 class, in his project, Interracial Coalitions in the United Farm Workers: The Filipino Experience. While much has been written on the UFW, little is available from the Filipino point of view. However, with persistence Ben was able to find a number of sources including the oral history of Phillip Vera Cruz, a Filipino union organizer, and the Bancroft papers of BerkeleyB Professor Paul S. Taylor, one of the first scholars to study migrant farm workers. Ben also used the Mexican-American newsletters in the Ethnic Studies Library and the Filipino newspapers in the Newspaper Room in Doe. As part of his critical analysis of the events, Ben even analyzed census data to look at population trends in Kern and Delano counties in the 1960s and 1970s. Ben’s faculty advisor wrote that “Zumwalt chose a challenging research question, and I believe he did a remarkable job given the ten weeks he has worked on this.”
The Winds of Change: How a Group of Alaska Native Aleuts Became a Community of United States Citizens
Jessica Walters was originally interested in the forced internment of the Aleuts during World War II, but while researching the evacuation, she learned that the Aleuts had been essentially treated as wards of the United States government from 1867 to 1985. Intrigued, she expanded her paper from the three-year internment to this much more complex relationship for her History 101 project, Winds of Change: How a Group of Alaska Native Aleuts Became a Community of United States Citizens. Jessica used a wide range of library resources in including the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Citizens on microfiche in Bancroft, and from the Alaska Digital archives, the daily records of United States agents sent to administer the islands from 1890-1942, as well as many photographs of daily life on the islands. Jessica supplemented these primary resources with books and journal articles about the Pribilof Aleuts, including accounts of early Russian expeditions to the islands to document a long-term suppression of the native culture and language. “Despite these abuses, the Aleuts today celebrate and honor both their native heritage and their American identity. According to Jessica’s advisor, “There is very little written on the Aleuts in general, and nothing on the period and themes she has chosen; her paper is truly an original piece of research.”
Sarah L. Fong
Changing Familial Roles in Doi Moi Vietnamese Literature
Sarah Fong’s project for her SEA 10 class, “Changing Familial Roles in Doi Moi Vietnamese Literature developed from an observation she made while studying data from the United Nations on urban migration patterns. Sarah noticed that a pattern in the increased number of women entering the workforce and the increased age at which women were marrying in modern day Vietnam. This observation coupled with the short stories read in class, shifted Sarah’s focus from migration to modern literature and the changing family structure in Vietnam as a result of Doi Moi (the economic reforms initiated by Vietnam in 1986). By using a variety of library resources, Sarah was able to find examples of contemporary Vietnamese literature (in English) and numerous secondary sources on Vietnam under Doi Moi. Sarah’s advisor writes that “In her essay, Sarah Fong deftly navigates between literature and politics, links cultural production and the political economy and highlights the power of literature as a lens on swiftly changing familial relations and expectations in a Vietnam transitioning to a market economy.”
Commodities and Machines at Work in Surrogate Motherhood
Sheel Jagani’s idea for a research project for Anthropology 115 began to coalesce when she realized that a class topic on organ trafficking raised many of the same issues she wanted to explore about surrogacy. Using philosophies of Michael Taussig and Michel Foucault that were discussed in class, Sheel’s paper, Commodities and Machines at Work in Surrogate Motherhood, explores the ethical and legal implications of surrogacy when one treats the womb and child as commodities. Sheel uncovered a wide variety of resources from multiple disciplines on reproductive technology using the Doe, Moffitt and Anthropology libraries, but her paper took a new direction when she discovered Doe’s transcripts of legislative hearings, and was able to add a legal dimension to her arguments. Sheel’s advisor says “The paper itself engages with several different threads of analyst and reveals Sheel’s potential to develop her own unique authorial voice. In a young scholar like Sheel, these are rare traits indeed.”
The Power of Patterns: Double Ikat for Textile Exhange in India and Indonesia
In her honors thesis entitled The Power of Patterns: Double Ikat for Textile Exchange in India and Indonesia, My Chau argues that patola textile has an international appeal across India and Indonesia. She highlights two distinctive textiles: Patola in Gujarat, India and geringsing in Bali, Indonesia from the perspective of "religious, economic and social systems." Her thesis further explores the preservation and the sacred and elite status of patola in various kinds of powder, temple, and palace paintings in Kerala, India. My Chau’s research was conducted through a visual analysis of a geringsing textile in the Musee de Quai Branly in Paris during her study abroad program in fall 2006 and the Gujarati patola textile in the Phoebe Hearst Museum as well as 48 illustrations cited in her thesis. To enrich her primary sources research, she followed up with scholars for more research inquiries in addition to checking out BerkeleyB library resources and requesting interlibrary loan items. Her thesis advisor in the History of Art Department comments that My Chau’s honors thesis "showed originality, intellectual imagination, and good judgment to produce a plausible new historical and cultural picture. Were she enabled to conduct fieldwork in Gujarat, Kerala, and Bali, this paper could readily be published."
Linda Marie Nyberg
The Collapse of Time: Decennial Anniversaries and the Experience of Time in the German Democratic Republic
Linda Nyberg’s project, her senior thesis for her History 101 class, discusses the collective experience of time and its control and codification by the German Democratic Republic. She chose decennial celebrations of the birth of the GDR to represent how time was manipulated by the government, in response to the realities of everyday life in the GDR. After surveying Berkeley’s primary and secondary literature on her topic, Linda continued her research at the Hoover Archives. Then, funded by a history department travel grant, Linda visited Berlin and spent weeks examining "...official anniversary publications, pamphlets, Free German Youth brochures, news clips, memoirs, [and] newspaper articles...." After returning, she discovered a key resource in the Doe stacks, that allowed her to synthesize her ideas. She says, "I had been to Stanford and to Berlin and back, yet there it was, gathering dust on a Doe library shelf." Linda’s advisor also credits the Doe Library source, as the one resource "...that gave her a way to combine the disparate media sources that she had collected." He states that "Linda has an original, provocative argument and convincingly places the study within the secondary literature on everyday life in the GDR, anti-fascist ideology, and the social history of time."
Bodies, Burials, and Black Cultural Politics: African American Funerals in the Civil Rights Movement
Keith Orejel’s History 101 project grew out of his interest in death, violence, and social movements. Keith spent six weeks doing primary source research at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. After realizing the quantity of material to be found at the Library of Congress, Keith narrowed his project to four major funerals of the Civil Rights Movement: those of Emmett Till; Medgar Evers; the four girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley; and Martin Luther King, Jr. In Washington, Keith explored primary sources of major Civil Rights organizations, finding pamphlets, flyers, and correspondence related to his topic; he also used the Kennedy and Johnson presidential files. At BerkeleyB, Keith used the Library’s electronic bibliographic resources to find secondary sources, and made extensive use of the Library’s collection of African American newspapers. He says that the research process "...taught me many new skills and techniques for working with archives. I not only learned how to navigate a complex institution like the LOC, but how to find a wide panoply of primary sources that could be sculpted into a coherent final product." One of Keith’s faculty advisors says, "A remarkable feature of the paper is the sophistication with which it looks at the internal dynamics of these funerals." His other mentor says "Richly primary source based, Keith’s thesis is also sophisticatedly secondary source informed…..he advances a nuanced and imaginative argument about the ironic trajectory of what he refers to as the 'black cultural politics of death.' "
Carine de la Girond’arc and Alina Xu
The Comics of R. Crumb: A Mirror of the Artist’s Times and Obsessions
The original idea for Carine de la Girond’arc and Alina Xu ‘s Archival Research class paper was to provide a comparative analysis of several cartoon artists. When they discovered that the Bancroft, and Doe and Moffitt libraries, hold a significant collection of R. Crumb’s comics, the current project developed. In it, Alina and Carine decided to focus on the forces driving Crumb’s work and to put it into a personal and political context. They used several different sources, including visual media, newspapers and magazines, and interviews with friends and contemporaries of R. Crumb. In the process, they say, "We also discovered the value of creativity in conducting original research and immense satisfaction to be had in going out and discovering new sources of information. We learned something from every source we investigated, even those explored on a whim...". Their faculty advisors say, "For us, the most compelling aspect of the paper is its lively evocation of a highly creative artist who reflects his time and place (including Berkeley and the counterculture) with startling originality....And, like Crumb himself, the authors handle a variety of materials and themes that are unusual and controversial with independence and confidence."
Slave Language Acquisition in the 18th Century, Gobernación of Chocó, Colombia
Cécile Evers' research project, Slave Language Acquisition in the 18th Century, Gobernación of Chocó, Colombia, was developed as an honors thesis for her International and Area Studies 102 course. Her paper tackles an intriguing question that has largely been sidestepped in recent ethno-linguist debates: Why were Creole languages-those languages resulting from prolonged contact between indigenous peoples and European colonists-consistently absent from Spanish colonies in the Americas? Cécile's particular focus of study was on the plantation and mining zones in the Choco region of Colombia. In addition to exploring the rich collections of primary and secondary materials in the Berkeley library, her research included a five-week visit to Colombia. During this time she scoured the archives of the Colombian National Library and several privately-held collections, along with consulting with Colombian scholars and researchers on her topic. This research abroad has both informed and expanded her continuing work in the Berkeley library upon her return. Her advisor in the History Department notes that Cécile's project has "the makings of an ambitious doctoral dissertation, but even a preliminary entry of the kind [she] achieves is suggestive and fruitful, thanks to her knowledge of languages…[her] resourcefulness in tracking down sources and informants, and her understanding of the issues at stake. She has the basis for a significant entry into…[a]contested field of study [and] has been invited to present her findings to an international symposium in Amsterdam-a wonderful opportunity for her and an affirmation of the importance of the project and promise of her work."
A Means to an End: The Role of Religion in Eastern State Penitentiary during 'The Experiment'
In her History 101 project entitled A Means to an End: The Role of Religion in Eastern State Penitentiary during 'The Experiment', Ashley Aubuchon investigates the crucial and novel ways in which religion helped to define the rhetoric of prison experience, as well as a substantial part of the prison experience itself in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary between the years of 1829 and 1849. Her project makes ample and effective use of some of the more obscure and fascinating primary resources in the Doe Library, the Environmental Design Library, and Boalt Library, including annual reports of the Penitentiary inspectors and chaplains, state penal statutes, articles in contemporary journals and newspapers, and various accounts of contemporary visitors to the prison, including Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville. Her advisor praises Ashley's "fine and evolving historical sensibility," her "ability to carve out of this massive body of material a well-designed and very smart historical essay," and her ability to find her "own historiographical and critical voice within a variety of literatures."
The Baroque Viola and Improvisational Style
For his Music 195 honors project, The Baroque Viola and Improvisational Style, Michael Uy, a viola player himself, attempted to solve an intriguing historical and artistic puzzle regarding the role of his instrument in the late 17th and early 18th centuries: although violas often participated in larger ensembles during this period, there are no parts written for them by composers. So what did viola players play? In order to solve this riddle, Michael plunged into secondary and primarily literature on the baroque viola. Perhaps most central to his research was the discovery of the Tartini Collection, an important collection of nearly 3000 unique and unpublished manuscripts of 18th Century Italian string music. Michael used this collection to analyze when and how composers used viola parts during the Baroque era. To aid him in his research, Michael took the remarkable step of acquiring a baroque viola and bow in order to participate in the University Baroque Ensemble. His advisor comments that purchasing the instrument "is comparable to a scientist acquiring the technical equipment related to a specific piece of research in the lab," and that playing in the Ensemble has served as a "larger living laboratory for his experiments." As an offshoot of his research in the Tartini collection, Michael became interested in a rare, mid-18th Century score by Vincenzo Marcelli and transcribed the original notation into modern musical notation. He is preparing to perform the piece with the Ensemble. His advisor has noted that "In this way, a musical work preserved in the BerkeleyB Library, a piece that has lain dormant for hundreds of years, will now receive its first modern performance…and will be ready for publication.
Amos n' Andy: Revolution or Regression: Controversy and the Formation of African American Identity
Sarah Stoller's project entitled Amos n' Andy: Revolution or Regression: Controversy and the Formation of African American Identity was done for her History 7B class this semester. In the paper, Sarah investigates the development of the popular Amos n' Andy radio series created and performed by white actors Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll in the 1930s and 40s, as well as the 1950s television show based on this series. She investigates the varying responses of both the white and African American communities to these shows, focusing particularly on the various protests against the stereotypical characters in the show that arose in the black press at the time. To develop her paper, Sarah utilized a wide variety of primary sources, including documentary film, videos of the television show, radio recreations of the series, and an extensive array of articles found in African American newspapers such as the Chicago Defender and Abbott's Monthly. Her graduate student instructor for the course has commented that "For many students in lower division survey courses…this type of research can seem wholly daunting. I have found that most students are able to work through those concerns and meet the requirements, but few approach the project wholeheartedly, seeking not simply to meet requirements, but to find their own way to make history tangible. Sarah Stoller, in her first year at UC Berkeley, is already one of those students."
Suzan Sabyl Cohen
Challenges of Enforcing Group Rights in a Common-law Setting
Suzan Sabyl Cohen’s paper, written while she was enrolled in the UC Berkeley Washington Program, explores how legal theory and practice inform each other, in the context of the 1982 Canadian constitutional provisions protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. Cohen writes: “I began my research broadly. I looked for books that would provide me with a thorough introduction to theories of multiculturalism, indigenous rights, and international law. Because the focus of my research was on Canadian indigenous claims, I also did web research on relevant law cases on the website for the Supreme Court of Canada…I also needed to find relevant law review articles that addressed the legal theories of indigenous claims. Lexis-Nexis and Hein Online, databases I could remotely access at the Berkeley library, proved to be invaluable resources to me. I also found using the footnotes from existing sources to be invaluable tools in finding additional sources for my research.” Dr. Goldstein notes of Cohen’s work that: “The paper required analysis of obscure Canadian lower court decisions and the proceedings and controversies surrounding them. It was additionally a new topic, generated by Canada’s recent adherence to an international treaty…the paper could not have been done without the creative and sophisticated use of worldwide library resources. [In addition to using various libraries in Washington, D.C., Canada, and Berkeley] Sabyl also used her contacts at the Woodrow Wilson Center, on the Berkeley faculty, and at the Berkeley Washington Center to identify scholars who may be working on her topic or in tangential areas. She then used library resources to identify published work by these scholars.”
Carbon Monoxide and Waterpipe Smoking in a College-Setting
Wael El-Nachef's senior honors thesis presents his study of carbon monoxide exposures in waterpipe smoking, including the results of a protocol he designed that sampled air for carbon monoxide levels in hookah cafes. El-Nachef reflects that: “A crucial element of conducting thesis research is learning how to learn. This fundamental education began last summer, when I started conducting PubMed searches on waterpipe smoking. To my surprise, I identified only twelve articles on this topic. Compared to the thousands of studies on cigarettes, my search yields were startling. I consulted a librarian who taught me many techniques to improve my PubMed search…The improved search still yielded only 40 articles, reflecting the dearth of information on waterpipe smoking. It became imperative that I access all the information available, synthesize what was known…, and decide what areas should be explored. For example, when I found there were no studies on the waterpipe coals, I studied charcoal in general; when I found no research on the health effects from waterpipe-produced carbon monoxide, I studied a doctoral thesis on low-level carbon monoxide exposure.” He adds, “the work of science is not simply the measurement of observations--it is also imperative that scientists recognize the body of knowledge that precedes them and evaluate this knowledge before designing an experiment. The library system has helped me fulfill this critical duty by not only providing candid and multifaceted access to diverse and obscure articles, but by also educating me in how to best access these articles.” Noting that El-Nachef's initial work informed her own work with WHO, Professor Hammond observes that: “For his research Wael is using dozens of original scientific articles in the peer-reviewed literature, government documents…, health alerts, unpublished doctoral dissertations, and commercial product information …. He has found these through systematic review with multiple electronic search engines, tracing references in each article and using the citation literature to track articles others have written which cite key articles he has identified. He has obtained the original scientific articles electronically from the UCB library web site, from the printed journals directly when they were not available electronically, by visiting multiple libraries, and through interlibrary loan…[H]e has learned to read this literature and to synthesize it with his own observations, which continue to become more sophisticated with this knowledge….”
The Salton Sea: Forgotten Origins
Freshman Breeanna Fujio’s paper explores the early twentieth century transformation of California’s Salton Basin into the Salton Sea. Regarding her research, Fujio notes: “Pictures were the first magic I discovered. My initial strategy was to search for ‘Salton Sea’ on Pathfinder, which brought up the Giffen Collection of photographs (dated 1905). I found them stunning in the clichéd ‘window through time’ sort of way…I then went to the internet to search for some general information on the Salton Sea from 1906…Which led me to a great discovery: these exact pictures were included in an on-line copy of The Periscope written by a woman named Pat Laflin…I…was amazed to learn that she had in fact conducted the majority of her research at the Bancroft Library and had seen the same pictures I had so recently discovered.” Professor Casey notes that in developing her project, Fujio “quickly found relevant secondary sources in Doe Library and some photographs at Bancroft… Breeanna tracked down an impressive variety of sources concerning the region known variously as the Salton Basin, the Salton Sink, and after 1905 as the Salton Sea. A crucial turning point in her research was the chance discovery of a living writer on the subject…whom Breeanna was able to meet through the Coachella Valley Historical Society.
Class, Identity, and Political Solidarity Among British Blacks
Camille Pannu’s senior honors thesis examines the social, political, and economic factors underlying the experiences of two ethnic minority communities in the United Kingdom, in order to understand declining participation in the British antiracist movement. Pannu notes about her research experience, “I learned to weed through online search engines to pull graphic information from think tanks, national libraries, and community-funded databases…I learned that the British Library housed the only collection of British ethnic newspaper archives…After applying for funding from several sources, I traveled to London for two weeks to complete my research at the British Library in addition to interviewing local anti-racist NGOs.” She adds, “Despite the challenges and frustrations inherent in engaging meaningfully in research for the first time, I learned how to organize both my approach and my thoughts. I quickly realized that I couldn’t simply walk in, spend a few minutes browsing through catalogues, and then retrieve everything I hoped to find…Throughout this the library has become my lab, an incubator for my ideas and a medium within which I have been able to shape my academic vision.” Lecturer Karras notes that: “Her working hypothesis changed over the course of her research and, while in libraries and at conferences in the UK, she discovered that her assumptions going into the paper were completely wrong. She used, in other words, the libraries to disprove her hyposthesis. Her argument, as a result, is at once strong and clear—and very well grounded in evidence.”
Puissant Pedagogies: Building a Colonial School in French Morocco, 1920-25
In his senior honors thesis, Andrew Strauss explores colonial and indigenous educational institutions in French Morocco as a means of understanding French assumptions about Islamic education and the ability of French colonial institutions to educate Moroccans. Strauss observes that: "My experience at the library consistently challenged my notions of the research process. I learned that some research questions, while attractive, were not feasible. This lesson came as a result of my extensive perusal of secondary and primary sources, and the lacunae in the written records which I encountered…Working with the Library's diverse holdings taught me to adopt a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to research. The most enriching conclusions, in my experience, could spring from the most unlikely of sources. After writing this thesis, I recognized that the perceptions of a cross-cultural psychologist could be as relevant to my work as those of a fellow historian." Professor Sahlins adds, "Andrew was never content…merely to research the European side of things, although he did so extremely well, providing a number of important insights. Indeed, his work with the French journal Hesperis, which he was fortunate to locate at Doe, gave him the central sources about French pedagogical practices in Morocco. More critically, he wanted to find out more about indigenous Arabic modes of pedagogy, and sought out primary materials in the library collections. Among his discoveries was an Arabic historical novel from which he creatively interpolated important elements of Arabic pedagogy."
The Paradox of Cultural Exchange: a 'Kitchen Debate' at the 1959 American National Exhibition
In 1959 U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Union Premier Nikita Kruschev sat down to talk in the model kitchen exhibit of the American National Exhibition in Moscow. Freshman Andrina Tran’s paper examines the ideological and cultural setting of the spontaneous and sometimes heated conversation that ensued, known as the “Kitchen Debate.” Commenting on one strand of her research process, Tran observes: “I was…able to locate the official exhibition pamphlet released by the Office of Public Information. In direct contrast to frank government viewpoints and scholarly analyses, this pamphlet, meant for public consumption, revealed the fair’s every feature while trumpeting its supposed political neutrality. It soon appeared to me that the fair itself served a clear ideological purpose, so researching its little-known context and details would enhance my understanding of the political pressures surrounding the ‘kitchen debate.’” Also, “through Nixon’s memoirs and various newspaper articles, I tried to determine whether events preceding Nixon’s visit may have contributed to the tempers that flared during the debate. Then, since no verbatim transcript of the debate exists, I searched for rough outlines in newspapers, magazines, and Nixon’s own account. The challenge was reconciling different versions to grasp the essential argument.” GSI McEnroe adds: “Her methods demonstrate sensitivity to the difficulties of understanding the relationship between the planning, staging, and public reception of this sort of political event…Andrina’s composition is so skillful that it at times conceals the complexity of the underlying research, but a close reading of the footnotes tells the story of her work.”
Reading Jonson's Dramatic Punctuation
Dorothy Couchman’s senior honors thesis examines the use and significance of punctuation in the plays of English poet Ben Jonson (1573-1637). In addition to noting that “it is a little bit crackpot to spend a year writing about colons and semicolons,” Couchman observes about her research process that: “Occasionally I’ve found information almost serendipitously. While researching private reading practices in the seventeenth century, I stumbled across Introduction to Early Modern English while browsing in Doe through shelves near The Cambridge History of the English Language. In the months since, I’ve found half a dozen conflicting accounts of private reading (that silent reading had died out in the fourth century, that people were still reading aloud in the seventeenth century, that the elite were reading silently by the fifteenth century but that less educated readers still read aloud in the nineteenth century)….” She adds, “the best thing about researching Ben Jonson’s punctuation is that it has afforded me opportunities to touch old, rare books…Jonson’s folios in the Bancroft have been held and touched by centuries of real people. Thinking of these deceased readers, the way they might have read, and the pleasure they must have derived from Jonson’s plays in order to preserve the Folios, has helped me complete this research project.” Professor Hertha Sweet Wong comments that: “since punctuation was not yet standardized and was put to use in notoriously random fashions, Dorothy knows that she must be careful to avoid grand claims,[sic] She does, however, argue convincingly that while the various printers were inconsistent with punctuation, Jonson himself (at least in his plays) develops a consistent system of comma and semicolon usage—all in the service of cueing actors how his plays should be translated from the page to the stage. In this process, Dorothy has devoted herself to the study of rare books, consulting whenever possible seventeenth-century books in their first editions.”
France and Lebanon: Origins of the Lebanese Civil War
Toby Frankenstein’s senior honors thesis examines the connection between the French model of nation-building in ethnically- and religiously-divided Lebanon (1920-1943) and the unraveling of the Lebanese republic into civil war (1975-1989). In reflecting on his research, Frankenstein notes that: “As the scope of my thesis narrowed, the manner of my research dramatically expanded. I began relying heavily not only on books from the Berkeley library, but from the various campuses (via the interlibrary loan system), as well as a multitude of articles from the library's electronic sources database…I developed a number of techniques to help locate the most relevant and significant articles, including ways to combine various names, dates, and subjects to isolate studies on particular historical events…I became increasingly fascinated with French colonial archives that appeared to hold the answers to many of my questions…I applied for [and received] a grant to travel to France to conduct my own primary archival research. One of the most important and serendipitous lessons I will remember from this project is that research is an ongoing quest for the most comprehensive truth. The fact that I first conducted extensive secondary research, followed by primary archival research, followed by additional secondary study reinforces that research is a never-ending quest that requires perennial curiosity.” Lecturer Alan Karras also observes that:
“Toby's writing is very clear and his library research is prodigious. There is no doubt that he is onto something important and that his argument provides ample evidence for those working in this area to build upon. Because it blends theory from secondary sources with the archival material, it makes an important contribution to regional history."
The Role of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and Anti-immigrant Sentiment in the Inglewood Raid
Christine Russell’s paper examines the rhetoric and events surrounding the 1922 Ku Klux Klan raid of the family home of non-English speaking immigrants in Inglewood, California (Los Angeles County). Regarding her project, her first research paper relying solely on primary sources, Russell notes: “Now, having read many accounts of the raid in newspapers and books, the importance of evaluating sources critically and using multiple sources to interpret history is clear. Information varied greatly in different accounts, and newspapers treated certain information as fact without acknowledging discrepancies. Prior to my research paper, I had only used a library once at Berkeley. My experience with this project had made me realize what a valuable tool it is. Resources at the library helped me to unexpectedly stumble upon a topic that I became very interested in and passionate about…I realized that even when you think you know what you want to investigate, your research may lead you to something even more exciting.” GSI Ariel Ron observes: “…Christine pieced together the details of the [Inglewood Raid] episode by making an exhaustive search of the Los Angeles Times coverage of the event and its aftermath. She read over one hundred articles published from April through August, 1922, making excellent use of the ProQuest database presented in the research workshop the library conducted for our section…Christine also carefully reviewed what little secondary material existed. All together she has accomplished what few History 7B students can claim: she has brought to fresh attention a forgotten episode which reflects the thinking and priorities of the Ku Klux Klan in southern California in the 1920’s.”
Russian Roulette or Liberty Cheese? The '60 Day Rule' for Raw Milk Cheeses
Allison Clark's Honors thesis explores the heated controversy revolving around raw milk cheese regulations. She states, "I was often surprised that rhetoric, even in scientific journals, did not match the facts presented and so the library was important in allowing me to compare claims to their references. I also found that articles and books describing the history of dairy contained context that gave my analysis greater depth and complexity. I accessed discussions of pasteurization from the early twentieth century through the NRLF: although modern reviews contain similar information, reading the original texts gave me a better sense of this time period. In an age where resources are increasingly found only in electronic forms, I appreciated the opportunity to peruse texts from the 1920s because even the original page layouts confer information about the past." Professor Fairfax adds: "I am most impressed with her research skills across numerous fields of inquiry. The result is an interdisciplinary thesis that reads well and also reads smart. She has not simply pitted the food nuts against the science establishment which is how most of the literature portrays this issue. Allison has done enough of the institutional legwork so that she can present the food nuts as such, while also pointing out the economic advantages of the current, poorly rooted in science, yet nominally scientific regulations to large producers. She has marshaled an enormous array of resources to raise important questions about the regulatory system that needs fixing, As she delved deeper into the material, and as she looked at how others frame arguments, she grew from a mere scientist into a very sophisticated analyst, presenting a complex story with grace and myriad different kinds of data."
Ajay Limaye & James Kealey
A Rising Tide Sinks These Stones: The Imperiled Heritage of the Winnemem Wintu
In order to understand the cultural and historical context of a modern-day proposal to raise Shasta Dam, they researched traditional mythology, historical law, and current public policy and interviewed tribal leaders of whom they write, "Provided us with the quotes and ideas we eventually used to express their connection to the land in subjective terms, but we wanted to prove that, by a legal standard, the tribe deserved a voice in decisions regarding the use of their ancestral land. We decided to seek primary sources that might corroborate this history. In the Boalt law library , we searched for records of a land allotment to the Winnemem through the Dawes Act. Perhaps most excitingly, we stumbled over an alternate name for Winnemem tribe-The Ylacca. We went back to the treaty and found that the Ylacca were a signing party. We realized that this document was, then, the treaty we had sought: after weeks of looking, we had found for ourselves a resource pivotal to the history of the tribe." They concluded that: "When conducting a research project, it is tempting to ask questions that you know can be answered; but by asking more difficult questions, we embarked on a journey that-while often frustrating-led us to some exciting and gratifying discoveries." Faculty sponsor Professor George Brimhall states: "Their reference strategy included a broad use of several libraries on campus, specifically, the Bancroft, Boalt Hall and Anthropology Libraries. Their research required considerable tenacity and finesse in order to succeed in getting the interviews and land access needed for their study. They explored diverse library resources, and used a broad range of media in their presentation."
Dolor Dulce; The Timeless Tangibility of Mortal Suffering Francisco de Figueroa and the Fernan Nunez Collection: An Edition
Senior Melissa Machit's honors thesis Dolor Dulce; The Timeless Tangibility of Mortal Suffering Francisco de Figueroa and the Fernan Nunez Collection: An Edition explores the work of Francisco de Figueroa, a Golden Age poet well known and admired in the 17th century but relatively unknown between then and the late 20 century. Machit observed: "This relationship between author-text-manuscripts was completely new to me. Before this project, I had only even thought of "research" as reading books written by others. I was looking for information in the Library because I really wanted to know who Figueroa was, what his historical and literary context was, and where he fit into literary history. I know the research strategies I learned will be very useful to me in graduate study and future research. After doing this project I now know how to read medieval and golden age script, synthesize modern sources with older ones, date and describe manuscripts, and find books and journal articles regarding specific topics. Yet I still have not lost the awe I felt at the power of words to transcend centuries of time the first time I looked at the manuscripts." Professor Joe Duggen, French and Comparative Literature, observes, "While Ms. Machit worked closely with me on the paleography and transcription of the manuscript, as well as on the deciphering of the other two Figueroa manuscripts in the Bancroft collection, her research on the poet's life was conducted with a great deal of independence. During the past year and a half, she has grown into a skilled reader of 16th century Spanish hands, adept at codicology to the extent of dating a manuscript on the basis of internal evidence alone. Ms. Machit's level of literary sophistication has increased accordingly and her understanding of the materials and processes through which early modern literature was produced is far beyond that of her student contemporaries, and, in fact beyond what many graduate students acquire."
Hetch Hetchy: The Clash of Progressive Conservationism and Preservationism of John Muir
Elizabeth Mattiuzzi's history 7b paper, Hetch Hetchy: The Clash of Progressive Conservationism and Preservationism of John Muir, explores a similiar environmental impact situation from an exclusively historical perspective. The germ for her project began as a chance encounter she had during an internship in San Francisco. "While looking through dusty volumes at the Commonwealth Club this semester, I came across original transcripts of discussions on the Hetch Hetchy water project. I was inspired to use the Berkeley libraries to explore other primary sources that would tell me what kinds of language strategies early environmentalists had used." "I was initially intimidated by the fact that I could not simply wander in and browse the Bancroft library's collection, but I found it was remarkably easy to conduct research there after learning how to use the collection. I accepted my reader's card with the pride of receiving a diploma. I found that when looking at sources in the library for a limited period of time, I had to think carefully about their significance to my paper; I had to decide the direction of my paper early on in my research in order to select and analyze sources. Specialized libraries like the Environmental Design library, the Biosciences Library and Water Resources Library provided interesting information for my papers. All of the information I found using the library system allowed me to alter my assumptions, articulate my research question, and gain a new perspective on the passion and pragmatism accompanying both sides of the Hetch Hetchy debate." GSI Andrea Kwon has this to say about Mattiuzzi's approach: "As a result of her persistence, she was able to locate and use a diverse array of sources; they ranged from the Commonwealth Club transactions to Congressional Records to Muir's own writings. Of particular interest was one map, which she included in the appendix to her paper, displaying the engineering schematics of the reservoir's construction. Elizabeth's poignant explanation of the map tied directly to her central argument-that perhaps above all, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir marked the triumph of pragmaticism over Muir's appeals for the appreciation of nature's inherent value. I believe the research paper assignment allowed Elizabeth to learn and attain valuable skills, not because she was required to do so, but because she took advantage of the opportunity this project offered."
Prescription for Disaster? Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Medications
"This experience has made me aware of an important research reality: that the same set of data can give rise to a wide range of plausible, educated opinions and interpretations, to numerous political ends. In retrospect, my research experience has proven to be both thrilling and intense, a relentless pursuit of information on a fascinating topic. My interest in DTCA and its implications increased exponentially during research, and I wish that page length boundaries were not a factor in limiting my project. This seems reflective of what can only be likened to an addiction (albeit benign!)-simultaneously intellectual and visceral-to the collection and synthesis of disparate material, applied to a persuasive and enlightening analysis." Mass Communications Lecturer Jonathan Gray observes, "In short, her work has been highly innovative in approach, and bold in its multi-pronged nature. Great reading doesn't always translate to great work; Tissa, however, has woven all of this material together into a thesis that is heads and shoulders above her peers. Her work reads like graduate work, partly because she has the uncanny ability to pick out the statistics, facts and theoretical arguments that really matter, discriminating with skill between relevant and irrelevant material. She has made herself a veritable expert on DTC advertising. Along the way she has become a library pro, and has discovered a real love of research that will no doubt carry forward into her future work."
Controlling the Uncontrollable: The Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919 in San Francisco
History major, Jason Suarez, also selected a global theme with a local
perspective for his senior thesis, Controlling the Uncontrollable: The Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919 in San Francisco. He states: "Particularly, I wanted to know how the city of San Francisco dealt with the influenza on a public health and governmental level. At the California Historical Society in SF I found several political manuscripts dating to the time of the influenza that contained letters from the public health dept. These manuscripts were useful in making interpretations and inferences related to public health in SF. Throughout the semester I was constantly astonished by the findings I made, and it is these discoveries that kept me enthused and yearning to make new finds. I learned that research is primarily strategic, but serendipitous as well. Chances are that the original research goal will change by the end of the project, which makes research even more exciting knowing you might make a remarkable discovery the next day." History GSI Dylan Esson has this to say about Jason's research experience: "Jason showed himself to be an assiduous researcher and a good writer. He was in contact with six campus libraries in addition to making multiple trips to the California Historical Society, San Francisco Public Library. As well as contacting Special Collections at SU and UCSF archives. Through extensive searches, Jason has tracked down a number of newspaper articles, letters, diaries, photographs, maps that shed light on the political and social conditions of SF following WWI. Using city maps Jason skillfully shows how the Spanish flu spread throughout SF. He then tackles the issue of how the flu changed the city as municipal officials devised schemes to stop the virus' spread from block to block."
Illusions and Delusions of Grandeur: The Politics of Grand Duke Ferdinand I de'Medici (1549-1609)
Senior history major, Brett Auerbach-Lynn wrote his thesis on Illusions and Delusions of Grandeur: The Politics of Grand Duke Ferdinand I De'Medici (1549-1609) and has this to say of his research experience: "When I determined my general topic (a biopic of the late 16th and early 17th century Medici Grand Duke Ferdinand I), the library became immediately necessary, not only for the volumes on the Berkeley campus, but even more so for those stored in the NRLF facility in Richmond. Given the relatively obscure subject matter with which I was dealing and the fact that the vast majority of it was in Italian. I gained notable intimacy with the process by which one may request books from this off-campus storehouse, as well as the efficiency with which they are delivered. I was also able to access a Swiss Ph.D. dissertation in French through NRLF's collection of foreign theses, and this proved to be an important addition to my work." History Professor Thomas Dandelet states: "The work is based first and foremost on a rich and assorted collection of primary sources such has letters, diplomatic correspondence, histories, and memoirs. All of this is made possible because of the excellent command of Italian that Brett brings to this task, and it deserves stressing that virtually all of his primary texts and many of his secondary texts were in the original language. The translations that he provides are very solid, and they add yet another level of sophistication that is unusual in undergraduate research. Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of Brett's work is that it provides a promising road map for future research on the topic. In this regard, he is at a point that many students only reach after three years of graduate study."
YinPing Apple Lo
Non-Profit Affordable Housing Developments in Oakland, CA: A Comparison of Asian and African American Experiences
Apple Lo's senior thesis in Political Economy of Industrial Society entitled, Non-Profit Affordable Housing Developments in Oakland, CA: A Comparison of Asian and African American Experiences blends historical research with data and survey interviews to create a unique analysis of local housing conditions. In her research essay she describes the link between research and critical thinking: "By reading a broad range of secondary sources on housing and education, I learned to identify the critical arguments that were conveyed in each of the literatures. Because some authors critiqued other authors' research, I also learned how to evaluate the bias, strength, and weakness in different academic writing as well as my own primary research. In order to contribute to the existing literatures on affordable housing in Oakland, I finalized my research questions after a long period of research." Education Professor, Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, who has known Apple since she was a high school student, states: "When she asked me to serve as her honors thesis advisor, I was honored and pleased. Though it is hard to believe, I know I can honestly say that Apple's research "mind" and the focus and diligence she combines with it make her as strong a researcher as many of my doctoral candidates."
Aliens in America: The Chinese Labor Conflict and Resilience, 1840-1902
Freshman Stefanie Shih conducted research for her history 7B paper Aliens in America: The Chinese Labor Conflict and Resilience, 1840-1902. She describes her first experience with the immediacy of historical research. "What I discovered over 3 months was that my control over research was very limited-history has its own way of steering the curious learner. As a result, my paper evolved from a simple examination of the Chinese labor conflict to an inquiry on why the American response to dealing with the "Chinese problem" failed. The more I listened to the stories that unfolded on paper, the more apparent the wealth of hidden treasures within the Berkeley library system became. I went down a path of exploring the overlapping voices that I heard and the mediums in which they were expressed in the 19th century: journals, poems, novels, speeches, and letters." A pictorial exhibit at the Bancroft inspired her to: "look past summary accounts of organizations and legislation, and into more personal primary documents that added color to my argument. I developed a personal connection to the pictures and writings that I came across. There is nothing more poignant in learning about the past than being able to read and touch original pamphlets: the smell of the old printed paper just confirmed the fact that I couldn't get closer to the past." GSI David Johnson adds in his letter of support: "I have been thoroughly impressed by her inquisitiveness and resourcefulness, but most of all, by her willingness to go beyond the obvious and wrestle with the more abstract and challenging aspects of historical research. Ms. Shih has a keen sense of what questions to ask and how to develop arguments through sophisticated analysis. By exploring all aspects of the Chinese labor conflict on the West Coast, her paper elucidated the ways in which the Chinese experience was distinct from other immigrant groups. I believe that if she were to continue down this path, she could potentially bring a new voice to the study of the Chinese-American experience."
The Politics of Foreign Student Exhange: U.S. and Eastern Europe, 1952-1962
For her senior honors thesis in Political Economy of Industrial Societies, Susan Basu conducted astoundingly deep research into The Politics of Foreign Student Exhange: U.S. and Eastern Europe, 1952-1962. Starting with the Birge papers in Bancroft, she expanded her research out to several other archival collections through site visits, digital collections, interlibrary loans and even Freedom of Information Act requests. She found this research to be inspiring. She writes: "Beginning this project, I had not known the thrill of historical research; originally, history had only entailed the memorization of names and dates…. My experience has inspired me to do more archival research after I graduate…"In support of this "highly original and ground-breaking" thesis, Lecturer Patricia Y.C.E Lin adds: "…Susan was hooked on research. Each week she would come to my office hours excitedly telling me about her recent find, the connections she had made, and where she intended to search next…. Thanks to her thesis, Susan has become an individual with an unending thirst for research. To put it bluntly, she has caught the 'research bug.'"
Wilson's Words: The Rhetoric of Progressive Ideology
Andrew Braver wrote his History 7B paper on Wilson's Words: The Rhetoric of Progressive Ideology. While conducting his preliminary research, he came up with an interesting approach to his assignment. In his research essay, he explains: "The second phase of my research was marked by the realization that one way to understand Wilson was to closely analyze a particular quote, using his other writings as supporting evidence." As his research continued, he reached a critical conclusion regarding his own perspective: "Because languages change over time, I needed to find an English usage guide from his era. I discussed various possibilities for this source with the librarian at the reference desk." GSI Adams observes: "Andrew imaginatively employs traditional printed sources - the kind many undergraduates skim or ignore entirely - to convincingly argue for a reinterpretation of Wilson's rhetoric…. By exhaustively sampling other remarks by Wilson, Andrew added depth and credibility to a paper that might have simply stopped with the analysis of one speech. The written result … speaks eloquently to his ability to synthesize a wide array of sources…"
Endogenous Psychoactive Tryptamines Reconsidered
Molecular & Cell Biology senior Michael Jacob wrote about Endogenous Psychoactive Tryptamines Reconsidered for his honors thesis. In his research essay, Michael displays a remarkable understanding of scientific disciplines. He notes that: "Today, scientific disciplines have become increasingly narrow in order to tackle the cost and technological sophistication of modern science…. Furthermore, the compartmentalization of disciplines requires scientific researchers to bridge connections between fields. Quite often, the intersection of seemingly distinct scientific concepts leads to significant advances…" Taking this into consideration, Michael designed his research methodology. He writes: "Future research can advance … from the capacity of investigators to assimilate previous discoveries and find potential connections not elucidated explicitly from laboratory experimentation.... As an enzyme for catalyzing these connections, library resources served as my scientific laboratory where experiments were played out in journal collections and hundreds of PubMed searches." His advisor, Lecturer David Presti supports this interesting approach: "Michael's paper is a novel scientific theory developed solely through the use of library materials, suggesting that future scientific research can benefit from this type of approach…. He was able to pull together multiple results, refine arguments and hypotheses published by others, and put forth a novel and original hypotheses…. Michael's new ideas … will form the basis for a variety of future scientific experimental work."
The People and Purpose of Trajan's Markets
In the fall, sophomore Gary Ku completed an Architecture 170A essay on The People and Purpose of Trajan's Markets that evolved from broad interests developed in previous semesters. He discusses this evolution in his research essay: "The exceptional breadth of the library was instrumental in narrowing my general interests down into a specific proposal. I went to the Environmental Design Library and found entire books devoted to specific works of Imperial Rome as well as broader books discussing Greek and Roman architecture." As he read through these books, his research questions began to develop. He continues, "I found myself becoming interested in the idea of 'public' space and social class, and I soon realized Trajan's Markets would be a good vehicle for exploring the relation of these aspects to architecture…. It soon became obvious that I would need to perform a much more in-depth investigation of both the context and the physical structure of Trajan's Markets in order to produce a worthy essay…. I needed to understand how Imperial Roman society worked in order to write about how Trajan's Markets worked." GSI Vimalin Rujivacharakul remarks on this aspect as well: "Mr. Ku's unusual depth of library research allowed him to discuss the historiographical context of Trajan's Market from several disciplinary perspectives and to cover relevant subjects from the Roman construction history to the socioeconomic history of the Roman Empire…. With such insightful discussion and comprehensive analyses, Mr. Ku's paper sheds new light on the field."
Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer: Modes of Beholding and Experiencing the Domestic Boundary
Sara Ryu completed her senior honors thesis in the History of Art on "Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer: Modes of Beholding and Experiencing the Domestic Boundary." In her research essay, she emphasizes the need to turn a critical eye toward not only the artwork but also the scholarly sources. She writes: "After reading the opinions of other modern scholars, I was unsatisfied by their findings and I realized that I needed to find the answers from primary sources myself…. Successful research entails striking a delicate balance between strict methodology and random discovery, between critical analysis and individual argumentation, and finally between detailed inquiries and overarching frameworks." Her advisor, Professor Honig, remarks on her self-sufficiency: "I have never had a student who seemed so naturally to possess the logic of research. Sara always seems to know what direction her inquiries need to go in and what materials will help her get to where she wants to go."
The Politics of Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda
Radha Webley has cultivated an interest in Rwanda throughout her undergraduate career. Her senior honors thesis in Peace & Conflict Studies, on The Politics of Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda, is the culmination of this interest. In her research essay, she writes: "…My previous library research gave me the tools to effectively conduct fieldwork on the topic of reconciliation in Rwanda, and also gave me the means to evaluate my primary research findings…. I quickly learned which authors I could trust and why. I learned to look for biases in academic writing, in my interviews, and in other primary sources." Her advisor, Lecturer Lin, observes: "She used a wide range of primary sources…" which she analyzed "in combination with existing secondary literature and theory…. It was through this primary and secondary literature that she was first able to discern the existence of the problem that the monopoly of Rwandan-government discourse had on the process of reconciliation…. At the highest level, she has shown how the strengths of the UC Berkeley library resources, print and electronic, can be partnered with original field research to produce a top notch product."
Sonya Hammons and Gustavo Huber
The Glen Park BART and Its Entangled History
For their Landscape Architecture 154 site tour, Sonya Hammons and Gustavo Huber chose to investigate The Glen Park BART and Its Entangled History. Their research led them to several libraries on-campus - including the Environmental Design Library, the Environmental Design Archives, the Architecture Visual Resources Library and the Transportation Library - as well as libraries off-campus, such as the California Historical Society, the San Francisco Public Library History Center and the Glen Park Branch. In their research essay, they write: "Our experiences across this variety of libraries helped us to understand the site as an intersection of many disciplines, spanning earth science, history and urban planning. We challenged the limits of our respective disciplines through our collaborative discussions of our findings." They also learned significant lessons about research. After exhausting every possible avenue to answer one of their research questions, they concluded that "it seems as though there simply may be no written record left regarding the intent of the station design process." Environmental Design Archives Curator Waverly Lowell adds: "Despite all their effort, they had difficulty locating the information that answered their fundamental question.… They responded to this gap in the record with scholarly sophistication by reforming their question and developing an analysis that takes into account an absence of information."
The Persistence of Human Insecurity in Relation to Land Access: Twentieth Century Paraná
Melissa Moore completed her senior honors thesis in Latin American Studies on The Persistence of Human Insecurity in Relation to Land Access: Twentieth Century Paraná. Inspired by the discovery of an unpublished diary written by the grandfather of a family friend, Melissa formulated the fundamental questions addressed in her thesis. She used a variety of search tools to answer these questions. She explains: "In conducting my research I employed library resources such as … Pathfinder and Melvyl, … databases of theses and dissertations, … article and journal databases … and periodical databases such as Lexis Nexis. My searches revealed hidden treasures.… These works … lay the foundation for the rest of my study, as they provided me with a deep understanding of the many theories within which I situate my thesis." Her advisor, Lecturer Patricia Y.C.E Lin also remarks on the variety of sources used: "Melissa's sources were wide-ranging, and included, in Portuguese, Spanish and English, government and non-governmental printed documents, unpublished manuscripts, documentaries, periodicals, the websites of non-governmental organizations and field work in Brazil. In the course of her research, she even found to a Doe Librarian's delight a copy of a Brazilian government report … which was not cataloged in any of the databases!"
"Zoot-Suits and the Media: Stories of Good and Evil"
Freshman Evita Rodriguez completed the research for her History 7B paper on "Zoot-Suits and the Media: Stories of Good and Evil" using not only the UC Berkeley libraries but also the UCLA special collections. Required to use primary sources, and determined to research a significant incident from her hometown, she decided to go straight to the source. In her research essay, Evita writes: "Monday through Friday I set out on a solo expedition to Westwood in search of any information that might be pertinent to my topic.… I wanted to immerse myself [in] as much primary information as possible so that I could reconstruct what happened, like a real historian…. I could not help but get a rush from feeling like some investigator out of a Bond movie." GSI Amy Lippert adds in her letter of support:"Her exploration of the Sleepy Lagoon case files, and the considerable volume of documentation which she extracted and brought back to Berkeley … led her to enhance the depth and sophistication of her argument by comparing the two events with one another in an analysis of the context behind the riots.… Her thorough knowledge of the subject matter and her considerable enthusiasm for conveying what she had learned have already been amply demonstrated…"
Jon Martin Schultz-Akerson
Language and Identity in José Donoso's El lugar sin límites: A Comparative Analysis of the First Draft and Literary Notebooks
Inspired by reading Chilean novelist José Donoso while studying abroad in Santiago, Jon Martin Schultz-Akerson decided to write his senior honors thesis in Spanish on Language and Identity in José Donoso's El lugar sin límites: A Comparative Analysis of the First Draft and Literary Notebooks. For his research, he devised a structured approach. After researching the general topic and answering some specific questions, he moved on to the next stage of his research. He writes: "The first two stages laid the groundwork for the third - archival research.… I learned through my research that Donoso had a close relationship with Princeton University and the University of Iowa.… On a hunch, I went to … the finder's guide for their special collections divisions. I was ecstatic to find extensive collections of Donoso's manuscripts, correspondence and notebooks." He later addresses the final stage of his research, the analysis: "This analysis has opened new avenues for my project and in turn provoked new questions and the need for more research." In her letter of support, Professor Francine Masiello emphasizes the originality of his research: "What he has unearthed is absolutely a gold mine of material that will force critics to reread Donoso's novel and rethink its narrative construction…. As far as hitting paydirt in the archives goes, Marty has exceeded the measures set for professionals in the literary field."
Macario Sakay and the struggle for Kalayaan: continuity in the Katipunan guerilla movement, 1892-1907
Freshman Joseph Scalice's paper, titled Macario Sakay and the struggle for Kalayaan: continuity in the Katipunan guerilla movement, 1892-1907 was completed for History 7B, a large lecture class with the requirement that each student do an original research paper using primary sources. In his research essay, Joseph wrote, "When I was offered the chance to write a research paper for History 7B in this my first semester here at Berkeley, the choice of topic was obvious. I desired to know more about Sakay. What I embarked upon was an incredibly thrilling voyage of discovery in what are in many ways still uncharted waters of historical research." His instructor Dylan Jim Esson observed in his letter of support, "Joseph has achieved his goal of revealing the life of Sakay by researching in the Bancroft Library, where he has benefited particularly from access to the David P. Barrows papers-- among other manuscript collections. No scholars have ever consulted the Barrows Papers for information on Sakay, and Joseph has made some striking discoveries" Esson went on to comment on Joseph's persistence in the face of obstacles. "Although UC Berkeley collections have provided new leads about Sakay's life… the information … is still very difficult to synthesize because Sakay… left little written documentation behind. Despite these obstacles, Joseph has persisted … in producing a valuable piece of scholarship that, for the first time, chronicles Sakay's rise to power as well as his eventual demise."
Venture and Adventures in Central America: John Lloyd Stephens and the U.S. vision for pan-American history, 1838-1852.
Ben Botts will graduate next Fall. His prize-winning senior history thesis was Venture and Adventures in Central America: John Lloyd Stephens and the U.S. vision for pan-American history, 1838-1852. During his research he made some surprising discoveries and became a skilled historian. As he wrote in his research essay, "I learned that a systematic approach to research is essential, but is not the only strategy necessary for success....Slowly, I began to understand the necessity of various research methods working in synergy. Simultaneously, I read and transcribed manuscripts, consulted hundreds of pages of published primary literature, systematically searched for secondary sources, and serendipitously discovered some important primary and secondary sources.... For me, the convergence of these processes is what made the research creative and enjoyable." Professor Taylor remarked on Ben's independent approach to the research. "With little collaboration from his research advisor early in the project Ben mastered a rich, difficult and heretofore unstudied Bancroft Library collection… This combination of close, careful study of the correspondence and extensive reading in secondary sources yields one great surprise and the discovery of a particular document that casts new light on Stephens's salvage of ancient art activities." And Walter Brem, curator for Latin American collections at Bancroft Library, remarked on his ability to gather and synthesize a variety of sources. "Of his primary sources: manuscripts, published archival sources, and contemporary published views not only mesh, they speak to each other directly and indirectly… he systematically employed the several kinds of tools [needed, and] scoured the notes and bibliographies of his sources for …sources not captured in catalogs or indexes."
The Evolutions of Fantasia
Wendy Chang wrote her senior thesis in Music on The Evolutions of Fantasia. Her research was distinguished by remarkable breadth, bringing in relevant material from the fields of law, psychology, audio engineering, and popular culture, as well as deep research into music as she delved into the Disney film. Her research essay describes how her initial topic morphed into something more, "I think the biggest lesson I've learned in completing my thesis was to not try to control my research. I went where my research took me, and I followed up any strange ideas I had or others had. I let my research guide me and not the other way around. I learned that it's okay to go off the path... Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better undergraduate major because I feel that the research skills and the work ethic I've developed as a music major will definitely be applicable in scientific research as well." Her advisor, Professor Taruskin concurred. "She is an insatiable asker of Why, and this led her into investigations of the music business and the entertainment industry, the music appreciation "racket," the sociology of taste… and a great deal more. Most impressive of all to me was the way she wove it all into a complex but lucid narrative."
Representations of epidemia in choral lyric poetry: a study of ritual action in Pindar and Bacchylides
Boris Rodin's Classics senior thesis, Representations of epidemia in choral lyric poetry: a study of ritual action in Pindar and Bacchylides, illustrates a case where library resources have been used to exhaustively research a particular topic. His advisor, Professor Leslie Kurke called Boris's thesis, "a remarkable piece of work, both in the ambition and originality of its argument and in its extraordinary deployment and synthesis of bibliographic resources." She emphasized the difficult of the undertaking. "Classics is a discipline with a long and rich scholarly tradition, so that any foray into the field imposes heavy demands on the student's industry and resourcefulness. Boris was completely up to this challenge, first making excellent use of electronic and traditional media… Furthermore, Boris learned with startling rapidity to navigate the intricacies of finding the correct editions and commentaries of a vast range of Greek literary and non-literary texts…I would stress that any topic in Greek religion... offers the student no single, centralized database of primary or secondary literature, so it requires exceptional resourcefulness to locate relevant materials."
A critical encounter: white experimentation with the images of 'the Indian' in American national parks from 1880-1930
Anna Armentrout is graduating this semester. Her project is titled, A critical encounter: white experimentation with the images of 'the Indian' in American national parks from 1880-1930. Anna wrote eloquently about the importance of her research to her personally, "I feel that my work was not something done simply to fulfill a course requirement, but something that truly provides a unique perspective on an important question: how we, as human beings, have the ability to portray each other through cultural imagery and how powerful that imagery can be. Beyond what I feel was an intellectual accomplishment, my paper also provide personal satisfaction and academic direction. I enjoyed my research enough that I plan on applying to graduate school in history. More specifically, I enjoyed handling and analyzing primary materials in the Bancroft so much that I recently began working there..." Her advisor, Khal Schneider wrote, "in her imaginative selection of sources she truly distinguished herself…. Ms. Armentrout availed herself of the diverse collections in the Berkeley libraries to select a source base that would allow her to develop the cultural history she wished to tell."
Gulf War syndrome: the detrimental consequences of social influences on veterans’ health
To complete the research for her paper, Gulf War syndrome: the detrimental consequences of social influences on veterans’ health, Christine Bottrell had to use materials in the Public Health Library, the Biosciences Library, Doe Library, and a variety of electronic databases. Her research essay describes the complexity and rewards of this process, "Overall, the multiple tools of the library led me from the title of a memoir to my entire history thesis. I started off with basic ideas about using Pathfinder and PubMed, but I found that one discovery led to another, and I ended up accessing both whole libraries and sections of them that I previously had no knowledge of. I learned that starting a research project from scratch can be extremely daunting, especially when the topic encompasses multiple disciplines and consequently many different types of documents. After enough sources in both number and variety are scrutinized, the answer to the research problem can come to exist apart from the details and along with the bigger picture of the relevance of the topic. Thus in the end I found it very satisfying to tie together ... an assortment of ...sources to make more sense of a complicated problem." Professor Friedlander observed, "Part of the originality of her research product lies in the wide range of sources she has brought together… Many students would have stopped there but Christine recognized early on that she would need to look at the problem from several different angles. Her research strategy was notable in that she was able to build on her original sources with a kind of flexibility and insight that surprised me. Her exceptional ability to select and evaluate her starting sources … continued to inform her research."
An unforgettable garden
Mollie Caselli learned that doing outstanding research can require a certain amount of travel. To write her paper, An unforgettable garden, on the creation and preservation of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, Mollie used, in addition to the Bancroft Library, the Doe, Moffitt, and Environmental Design libraries on campus, as well as the Sutro Library, the History Center at SFPL, the Horticultural Library and the California Academy of Science's library in Golden Gate Park. She had to read books, articles, microfilm, Parks Commission records, newsclippings, and more. Nevertheless, she wrote, "Although some information I found did little to help my specific investigation, every piece gave me a better background on both my topic, and my own San Francisco history. I am interested in doing further research on my topic and have discovered I enjoy the trial and errors of researching." Her instructor, Dylan Jim Esson observed, in his letter of support, "The physical and mental explorations that Mollie has undertaken in researching the Tea Garden reflect a dedication to education well beyond the course's expectation. It is clear that Mollie has a desire to seek out the answers to difficult questions, and that she will, no doubt, continue to seek original explanations for challenging topics in the future."
The Segregationists' Failure: an analysis of Birmingham's White Citizens' Councils, 1954-1964
Colleen Dixon's History 101 project, The Segregationists' Failure: an analysis of Birmingham's White Citizens' Councils, 1954-1964, took her beyond Berkeley's extensive collections to the archive of the Birmingham Public Library in Alabama. Colleen was already an experienced library user before she undertook this project, yet she wrote in her essay, "Fortuitous discoveries were the most enjoyable aspect of my extensive research. Finding the extensive collections in Birmingham happened after exploring the library indexes and abstracts. I located a master thesis analyzing newspaper reaction to Brown [v. Board of Education] and in turn found a link to the Birmingham Library web site. Also, Doe Library's temporary offer of the New York Times collection on Proquest facilitated my primary source research. " As a result of her experience, Colleen intends to "pursue a Ph.D. in history because of the joy in examining primary documents and arguing a position." Colleen's thesis advisor, Jennifer Burns called the thesis,"a superlative example of original research based on primary sources. Colleen proved over the course of the semester that she was up to the formidable challenge of synthesizing this vast amount of material into a convincing historical account."
Looking Back: Gideon v. Wainwright's effect forty years later
Despite the fact that she is a sophomore, Jessica Newman says she can now, "find my way around the [Law] library so well I was mistaken as a law student." In researching her paper, Looking Back: Gideon v. Wainwright's effect forty years later, she found so much material, that "I had to learn how to quickly determine the usefulness of an article and how it fit with the rest of the information I had already gathered.... I became much better at synthesizing information and using it to strengthen arguments I already had or to branch out on new ones." In nominating her work for the Prize, Professor Citrin observed, "she was remarkably diligent and inventive in combining materials for law review articles, case notes, newspaper commentary on Gideon v. Wainwright, and more standard textbook discussion. She reviewed more than 20 cases and synthesized the diverse materials she employed in a well-organized and effective way."
Italian immigrants in California: an exploration of the imagery surrounding their experience
Christy Thornton's History 101 research followed a familiar, if frustrating trajectory: her original topic proved too difficult to research here in the U.S. "Despite my passion for the Palio in Siena, a few weeks into the semester I discovered that the bulk of the primary sources rest safely in Siena's city archives-- five thousand miles from my grasp." Using the power of Pathfinder, Christy was able to develop a second, more doable topic, Italian immigrants in California: an exploration of the imagery surrounding their experience. She explained how in her research essay, "I decided to first find interesting primary sources... I used Pathfinder as a tool to brainstorm possible topics, investigating compelling subject headings as I searched through the wealth of sources. Using this method I stumbled upon Bancroft Library's extensive collection on Italians who immigrated to California at the turn of the [20th] century, and I knew I had a topic worth pursuing." She also describes a common experience of Berkeley students, the sense of being overwhelmed by the vastness of resources available to them. "Throughout my undergraduate career, I always felt intimidated by the enormity [sic] of Berkeley's library collection. The library existed in an alternate universe, where I felt bombarded by user-friendly systems and people spoke in the language of subject headings and Gladis commands. When I began my research, the microfilm machines mystified me and NRLF was just a place to keep books that Nobody Really Looked For....Yet, after completing my research, I now feel confident in my ability to navigate the library system." Her thesis advisor, Professor Mary Elizabeth Berry calls Christy's project, "a quest story and a conversion story. Her pursuit of the sources, and delight in what she found is one of the great triumphs.. I shall invoked her often in the future as a model. She represents what we are about here."
Andrew Jia-Yuh Yeh
Multifactor asset pricing for the U.S. stock market during 1998-2002
Andrew Jia-Yuh Yeh's project, Multifactor asset pricing for the U.S. stock market during 1998-2002, used some of the most challenging databases on campus. His research essay and bibliography enumerate a graduate-level array of scholarly journal articles in the finance and psychology fields, as well as books on econometrics, all in support of his analysis of investor behavior. His advisor, Professor Jonathan Berk, wrote, "Andrew learned many new skills in the course of writing this thesis. .. he compiled an impressive literature review. Secondly, he organized the library's print and electronic resources into a data base the he could then use. Thirdly, he was able to take his theoretical knowledge of statistics and use it to make inferences about his hypothesis... finally, and most importantly, Andrew learned how to undertake a research study and generate interesting and informative original results. This last skill is most impressive... the quality of Andrew's research is well beyond the standard one usually expects of an undergraduate student."
The Library Prize has itself been honored
“The Library Prize not only honors the work done by undergraduates, it provides criteria and structure for those who wish to compete for the Prize as well as incentive for students to increase their information literacy by putting it into practice.”
— Jane Hammons, College Writing Programs
The Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize has itself been honored with campus and national awards as a model for other institutions.
2005 Innovation Award from the ACRL Instruction Section
2005 Educational Initiatives Award from UC Berkeley
- EIA Award at the Center for Teaching and Learning
- EIA application
Read a Berkeleyan article about the Library Prize winning a campus award.
If you would like more information about how the Library Prize was established, please contact the current chair at email@example.com.