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2011 Honorable Mentions - Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

Content section: 
Carina Boo The Deterrable 'Undeterrables'
Cameron McKee Visual Anxiety: Deviant Gender and Depictions of the Jewish Male During the Dreyfus Affair
Melody Hung Three Anonymous French Seventeenth-Century Preludes from the 'Parville Manuscript'
Ashanti Shih The Tokai Reprocessing Issue: Japan’s Rise to Elite Nation Status in the 1970s 

Carina Boo
The Deterrable 'Undeterrables'
College Writing R4B
Prof. Michael Larkin

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.

Cameron McKee
Visual Anxiety: Deviant gender and depictions of the Jewish male during the Dreyfus Affair
History 103
Prof. Mark Keck-Szajbel

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.”

Melody Hung
Three Anonymous French Seventeenth-Century Preludes from the 'Parville Manuscript'
Music 195H
Prof. Davitt Moroney

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.

Ashanti Shih
The Tokai Reprocessing Issue: Japan’s Rise to Elite Nation Status in the 1970s
History 101
Prof. Luke Franks

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."