Past Summer Research Fellowships

2014 Carlson Fellows 

“Conceptions of the Welfare State in German Newspapers and Journals”
Faculty Mentor: Carl Caldwell, Samuel G. McCann Professor of History
Undergraduate Fellow: Matthew McGee, English
The project is to work systematically through the most important newspapers and political journals of the 1970s in Germany in search of political positions on the crisis of the welfare state. At issue for the conservatives is how to preserve state power; for the liberals, how to ensure a mobile and adaptable market economy; and for the left, how to ensure social spending that helps the working class. But interests and specific understandings of HOW the welfare state affected the political system--in particular democracy--are two different matters. 
Student role: Good knowledge of German required. The professor will work with the research assistant to find a specific area of interest for him or her (e.g. the Greens and the welfare state; economics of welfare; cultural criticism of the welfare state).
 
“U.S., Ltd.: How a People of Plenty Discovered the Limits of Growth”
Faculty Mentor: 
Randal Hall, Associate Professor of History
Undergraduate Fellow: Jessica Crisp, English
 
Resource scarcity is a key part of American political and economic conversations. The recent “peak oil” scare, battles over water, and limited supplies of phosphorus and rare earth elements regularly make today’s headlines; however, vigorous debate about resource abundance and scarcity has long been a part of American intellectual life. I am asking when and how did Americans abandon the idea of inexhaustibility and come to see resource scarcity as an issue, and what importance has the idea had at various stages in American history? My initial thesis is that resource worries have emerged into the broader American discourse at moments when there is a larger cultural crisis, and I will analyze this pattern in a series of case studies. I plan to connect nineteenth-century debates about soil fertility, timber resources, coal supplies, and so on with better-known 1970s scares about overpopulation and dwindling resources. Taking this long view will underscore the challenge facing today’s environmental movement. 
Student role: The Carlson Fellow would assist in at least two ways. First, I have compiled a bibliography of several dozen books (most but not all from the twentieth century) on the subject. I want to know how those books were received by the reading public. The Carlson Fellow would use digital, microform, and print resources to discover book reviews and commentary on these volumes. Second, I am interested in how popular magazines of the 1960s and 1970s depicted environmental and resource issues. The Carlson Fellow would systematically go through the 1960s and 1970s issues of at least two major magazines (probably the New Yorker and Life Magazine) and gather the relevant material.
 
“Psi-Fi: Science Fiction and the Paranormal”
Faculty Mentor: Jeff Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies
Undergraduate Fellow: Allen Simon, religious studies 
 
The history of science fiction from its early pulp magazine days in the 1930s and 40s to its most recent expressions in Hollywood blockbusters is rife with paranormal themes and assumptions.  This same time period coincided perfectly with the rise and development of American parapsychology. 'Psi' is the technical term in parapsychology for forms of human experience not presently modeled or accepted by conventional science: think telepathy, telekinesis, and precognition. Foremost among these psi-fi phenomena is the UFO, which is often assimilated to machine, military, or technological registers, but which also often appears to witnesses as a spiritual presence and displays occult effects, bestowing on the witnesses, for example, various paranormal powers. Dr. Kripal is presently working on a major trilogy on the relationship between such reported experiences and the development of a modern American mythology. 
Student role: Dr. Kripal needs help going through some historical data-bases on-line, printing out relevant case histories and newspaper reports, and organizing them into manageable files for his research and writing. The student-researcher will need to be computer savvy, be able to negotiate a data-base on line called the Magonia Project, and work with Dr. Kripal on the physical production/printing of these materials. Ideally, the student would then also take Dr. Kripal's course in the fall, "Mutants and Mystics," which is on the same project.
 
“Include Me Out: Imperial Rome and the Peoples of the World at the End of Antiquity”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Maas, Professor of History
Undergraduate Fellow: Kara van Schilfgaarde, history
 
During Late Antiquity (ca 250-750 CE) the Roman Empire lost its western provinces and became a regional power in the east. In the process Romans developed a new ethnographic vision to engage their external enemies and their changing internal communities. I argue that the ethnographic vision, profoundly affected by Christianity, was a powerful agent of change. The new analytical perspective helped bring antiquity to an end and set a medieval footprint by providing new terms of inclusion in and exclusion from the Empire.  
Student role: The student research assistant will, among other things, 1) help with various editorial tasks, especially preparing a master bibliography and checking it against chapter notes; and 2) doing preliminary gathering of research materials, both primary sources and modern discussion. The student should have good research and writing skills, and some knowledge of Roman history would be a plus.
 
“Plato’s Symposium in Original and Later Contexts: Greek Text with English Translation, Literary and Philosophical Commentary, and History of Interpretation”
Faculty Mentor: Harvey Yunis, Professor of Classical Studies
Undergraduate Fellow: Judy Liu, Asian studies & history
 
This project combines two basic ways of studying the dialogue that are usually conducted separately: understanding the dialogue in its original context of fourth-century-bce Greece; and examining the most interesting and influential interpretations of it that have been put forward, in multifarious contexts, through the ages. The published volume will contain the Greek text and an English translation of the dialogue, a commentary on the dialogue in its original context, and a select history of the interpretation and reception of the dialogue from its origins until today.  
Student role: A research assistant would be engaged in seeking out and identifying those writers, philosophers, artists (in various media), and others who, over the centuries, have taken inspiration from the Symposium or offered important or interesting interpretations of either the whole or any of the parts. The research assistant will use the internet and the print resources of Fondren to help create a master list of the primary sources of such interventions.

2013 Carlson Fellows

Jay Becton (English) worked with Melissa Bailar (professor in the practice of humanities and associate director of the Humanities Research Center) on “Science in Fiction”

Lucy Codron (history) and Brennan Halloran (history and political science) worked with Caleb McDaniel (assistant professor of history) on "Before Juneteenth: Refugeed Slaves in Texas during the Civil War"

Luis de las Cuevas (religious studies and economics) worked with Matthias Henze (Watt J. & Lilly G. Jackson Professor in Biblical Studies) on “Lost Judaisms”

Kelsey Olafson (architecture) worked with Reto Geiser (Wortham Assistant Professor of Architecture) on "Giedion In-Between: A Study of Cultural Transfer and Transatlantic Exchange"

Kayla Shearer (English and psychology) worked with Joseph Campana (associate professor of English) on "Bee Tree Criminal Child: The Charismatic Megafauana of Renaissance England"

2011-2012 Fellows

Jay Becton (junior, English) worked with the Humanities Research Center on “Cultures of Energy.”

Carolyn Branecky (junior, philosophy and earth science) worked with Casey O’Callaghan, Rice associate professor of philosophy, on his project, “Philosophical Issues in the Characterization of Mental Illness.”

Parker Eudy (sophomore, religious studies) worked with Jeffrey Kripal, Rice J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought and department chair, on his project, “Comparing Religions: A Textbook Initiation.”

Kay Fukui (senior, English) worked with the Humanities Research Center on “Cultures of Energy.”

Katherine Jenson (senior, history and political science) worked with Kenneth Loiselle from Trinity University, on his project, “History of Freemasonry in France.”

Allison Korinek (senior, history and linguistics) worked with Alida Metcalf, Harris Masterson, Jr. Professor of History on her project, “Images from Rio.”

Erika Kwee (senior, English and policy studies) worked with Diane Wolfthal, Rice David and Caroline Minter Professor of Art History and department chair, on her project, “Corpus of Fifteenth-Century Painting in the Southern Netherlands and the Principality of Liège: Early Netherlandish Paintings in Los Angeles.”

Sunkyo Lee (junior, history) worked with Nicole Waligora-Davis, assistant professor of English, on her project, “Personal Injury and Liability Cases in African-Americans.”

Dylan McNally (senior, Hispanic studies and political science) worked with Gisela Heffes, assistant professor of Hispanic studies on her project, “Environmental Narratives in Latin America.”

Christine Pao (senior, English and psychology) will worked Nicole Waligora-Davis on her project, “Personal Injury and Liability Cases in African-Americans.”

Anne Parker (junior, English) worked with Anne Klein, professor of religious studies, on her project, “Knowing Body.”

Jarvis Sam (senior, history) worked with Caleb McDaniel, assistant professor of history, on his project, “Dick Dowling and the Civil War.”

Marielle Schweickart (senior, history) worked with Kairn Klieman from University of Houston, on her project, “Before the ‘Curse’: Petroleum, Politics, and Transnational Oil Companies in the Gulf of Guinea, Africa, 1890's-1980's.”

Eli Spector (sophomore, philosophy and history) worked with the Humanities Research Center on “Cultures of Energy.”

Krisina Zuniga (senior, philosophy and policy studies) worked with Casey O’Callaghan, Rice associate professor of philosophy, on his project, “Philosophical Issues in the Characterization of Mental Illness.”

2010-2011 Undergraduate Fellows

Patricia Bacalao
Senior, Architecture
Natalie Clericuzio
Senior, Classical Studies
Jasmine Elliott
Junior, English and Political Science
Nadia Khalid
Sophomore, Classical Studies and Political Science
Erika Kwee
Junior, English
Noemie Levy
Senior, Cognitive Sciences
Fernanda Loza
Junior, French and Hispanic Studies
Thomas Mitchell
Junior, Psychology and Economics
Tam Nguyen
Senior, Political Science and French Studies
Michelle Phillips
Junior, English and Anthropology
Mark Seraydarian
Junior, History and Environmental Policy
Kathryn Skilton
Sophomore, History
David Sorge
Senior, Linguistics and Asian Studies
Maria Vrcek
Junior, English
Jocelyn Wright
Senior, History and French Studies
Krisina Zuniga
Sophomore, Philosophy

2009-2010 Undergraduate Fellows

Darya Anichkova
Economics, French Studies and                 
Political Science, senior
David Downing
Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, senior
Mary Draper
History, senior
Elizabeth Ericson
Economics, senior
Allison Elliott
History, senior
Eleanor Grebowski
Art History, sophomore
Kelin Herrington
History and Art History, junior
Brian Hunt
English and Psychology, senior
Roxy Loza
English and Psychology, senior
Stuart Nelson
Religious Studies and Cognitive Sciences, junior
Casey O’Grady 
Philosophy, junior
Lorena Villarreal 
Hispanic Studies and Kinesiology, senior
Jocelyn Asa Wright 
History and French Studies, junior
Laura Zhang 
French Studies and Mathematics, sophomore

 

2008-2009 Undergraduate Fellows

This program was made possible through the generous support of Nancy '80 and Clint Carlson '79 (Jones School); John Paul Beltran '76;  Nancy Mauney Mafrige '59 and Don Mafrige;  Sandra '59 and Jim Robbins; and Charles Szalkowski '70.

Leah Bowen 
Linguistics and French Studies, senior
Will Rice College
Andy Miller 
Bioengineering, senior
Sid Richardson College
Kristen Hallberg
French Studies, junior
Wiess College
Katy Miller
English and History, senior
Martel College
Lauren Henderson 
Religious Studies and History, senior
Will Rice College
Sarah Miller 
Art History, senior
Hanszen College
Jessie Lau
French Studies and Political Science, junior
Martel College
Alexander Schwent
Political Science and Religious Studies, sophomore
Baker College
Lily Elise McKeage 
English, senior
Hanszen College
Nina Xue
French Studies and History, junior
Hanszen College

2007-08 Undergraduate Fellows

This program was made possible through the generous support of John Paul Beltran '76 and Nancy Mauney Mafrige '59.

Jordan Allen
Religious Studies, senior
Sid Richardson College
Nick Schlossmann
English and Political Science, junior
Jones College
Cecily Boggs
French Studies, senior
Lovett College
Gillian Smith
English and Psychology, junior
Brown College
Ashley Langone
English and Visual Arts, senior
Jones College
Ariel Travis
Linguistics and Anthropology, senior
Lovett College
Arturo Munoz
Philosophy, sophomore
Hanszen College
Alma Vescovi
Undeclared, sophomore
Baker College

Spring 2007 Undergraduate Fellows

The HRC would like to recognize the contributions of its first group of undergraduate fellows. They were invaluable for their assistance connecting the center to the undergraduate community and assisting with the visits of two NEH Distinguished Visiting Scholars. Our sincerest thanks.

Ashley Allen
Kenitra Brown
Ivy Kuperberg
Kelli Newman
Evan Mintz