Marilyn Marrs Gillet International Travel Fellowship


The Humanities Research Center awards one to two competitive travel awards of $2500 to $5,000 to graduate students in the School of Humanities who need to conduct research abroad over the summer. Awarded funds may be used for, but not limited to, travel to present papers at scholarly conferences, consult distant archives, interview scholars and authors, take courses, and/or participate in workshops.

Marilyn Marrs Gillet International Travel Fellowship

2018-19

Waleed Rikab, Manuscript Writing in 18th century Egypt and Syria - Archival research in Istanbul and Berlin

2017-18

Kevin MacDonnell, Petrocultures Conference and Archival Research in Scotland

Abdulbasit Kasim, Arabic Writings on Jihad in Central Sudanic Africa (1700-2017)

Joice Fernanda de Souza Oliveira, The Enslaved Family in the Internal Brazilian Slave Trade: Seperation and Resistance

2016-17

Mark Celeste, Maritime Networks: The Oceanic Imaginary in the British Long Nineteenth Century


Undergraduate Research Fellowships


The Humanities Research Center awards Research Fellowships to undergraduate students with strong backgrounds in the humanities. The fellowships require 200 hours of work on a research project led by a faculty member in the School of Humanities. Selected fellows will receive stipends of up to $3000.

Research Projects

The Humanities Research Center will award summer research practica to undergraduates with strong backgrounds in the humanities. This program requires 200 hours of research-based work over the course of the summer with cutting-edge faculty on innovative humanities-based research projects. Fellows will receive stipends of $3,000.

The HRC Undergraduate Fellowship program is made possible through the generous support of Nancy and Clint Carlson, Nancy and Don Mafrige, Charles and Jane Szalkowski, Keith Lovin, John and Annette Eldridge, and Lily McKeage.

For more information on HRC undergraduate summer research fellowships, contact Paula Platt (pauladp@rice.edu).


2019-20 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Mentor: Mark P. Jones, Professor, Political Science
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tessa Schreiber (Social Policy Analysis, History, '21) and Margaret Todd (Social Policy Analysis, History, '21)

Project Description: Tessa and Margaret assisted Prof. Jones with collecting data from The Texas Legislative History Project (TLHP) which contains the records of all the roll call votes from the Congress formed by the Republic of Texas to the present day Texas Legislature. The Texas Senate Journals during the period of 1846-1900 were targeted for review to better understand Texas politics, economics and society based on the subject of the item being voted on and how individual senators voted.

Mentor: José Aranda, Jr., Associate Professor of English and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mia Guien (Art History, English, '22)

Project Description: Mia worked with Dr. Aranda's ongoing research of serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the U. S. prior to 1960. The project is part of the continuing research and translation initiative, Taller Americano de Traducción, and for ENGL 471 'Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press,' that has a curricular component of translating a novel into English during the course offering.

Mentor: Christopher Sperandio, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Isabel Samperio (Visual and Dramatic Arts, 21)

Project Description: Isabel assisted Prof. Sperandio in the production of a digital library of comic books from the public domain. The resulting collection will be a keyword searchable library of documents in PDF format, customized with metadata reflecting the publication infomration on those works, contributors, genre, and descriptions of content.

Mentor: Alida C. Metcalf, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Christina Zhou (Architecture, '22)

Project Description: Christina continued her collaborations with Dr. Metcalf, having previously worked on the illustrations in the forthcoming publication, Mapping an Atlantic World, ca. 1500, the focus switched to the production of an upcoming books on water in Rio de Janeiro. Illustrations for approximately twenty fountains and two aqueducts will be created. In addition, Christina will assist in building an image database on Gilberto Ferrez's, Iconografia do Rio de Janeiro, a two-volume publication on the major artistic works depicting Rio.

Mentor: Natasha Bowdoin, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah Easley (Political Science, Visual and Dramatic Arts, '20)

Project Description: Sarah provided assistance research and cataloguing images of Bauhaus pattern design for Prof. Bowdoin's preparations of two upcoming exhibitions, a solo show at the Amon Carter Museum, Forth Worth in December, 2020, and a permanent installation for the Rice Public Art Collection in the Anderson Biology Building.

Mentor: Ian Schimmel, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lily Wulfemeyer (English, '20)

Project Description: Lily collaborated in the design, promotion, and on-line syndication of a new, Houston-based literary magazine, Texlandia. The project from Rice faculty members Ian Schimmel, Lacy Johnson, and Natasha Bowdoin is being produced in partnership with Inprint, Writers in the School, Project Tintero, and the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston.

Mentor: Lora Wildenthal, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Alizay Azeem (Social Science division, '23)

Project Description: Alizay conducted research on "Imperial feminism" described as the Western claim that women from other countries/cultures need to be saved and often serves as justification for imperial ventures, marginalizing feminist movements. This project will highlight the phenomenon by spotlighting existing research sources (https://libguides.rice.edu/womenstudies) on it and adding related historical materials from the 18th-century to recent interventions.

Mentor: Kirsten Ostherr, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Alison Hyunji Oh (Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, '21)

Project Description: Alison assisted Dr. Ostherr with research for a chapter on the book project, 'Seeing and Sensing the Environmental Health Exposome.' The chapter will expand the discussion of datafication and global health from the question of how the concept of "virutal health" intersects with the knowledge formations defining the health impacts of global climate change.

Mentor: Alexander X. Byrd, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ashley Snell (History, Psychology, 21), Divya Choudhury (Neuroscience, History, '21), and Vatsala Mundra (Biochemistry & Cell Biology, History, '21)

Project Description: Ashley, Divya, and Vatsala looked to expand on their reserach from Prof. Byrd's course, HIST 421 'Race, Education and Society,' on the educational impacts of COVID-19 on both Asian American and African American students. The new direction would look at the causes of pandemic-related racial disparities in healthcare, especially as they are tied to education and housing, and their disproportionate effects of environmental injustices on black communities.

Mentor: Kirsten Ostherr, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Conor Rork (Classical Studies, '21)

Project Description: Conor joined a group, with Dr. Ostherr, ingestigating frontline and global Medical Humanities responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project involved assisting with interviews of research participants, conducting literature surveys and qualitative research, and assisting with database management.

Mentor: Esther Fernández, Assistant Professor, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Erin Krusleski (Psychology, Spanish and Portuguese, '21)

Project Description: Erin conducted research, gathered materials, and translated excerpts on the 'concept of invisibility' in 17th-century Spanish literature. The concept arose in fictional works from the Novatores as a phenomenon diassociated from magic and justified through disciplines grounded in sicence, technology, philosophy, and theology. Prof. Fernández wil use this work for an article in edited collection, The Dawn of the Baroque.

Mentor: Daniel Comingues, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Katherine Ngyuen (Art History, Social Policy Analysis, '22)

Project Description: Katherine assisted Dr. Domingues with collecting data for the Intra-American Slave Trade Database as part of the "Slave Voyages" website/database. She examined and documented 19th-century newspapers, evaluating and coding them for significant motifs and information related to the Trans-Atlantic slave experiences and narratives.

Mentor: Lora Wildenthal, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Leon Soifer (Political Science, History, '22)

Project Description: Leon helped Prof. Wildenthal in her preparations to teach HIST 101 'Modern Europe 1550-1789' and HIST 108 'World History since 1492.' The project entailed gathering primary sources and devloping homework questions along five themes: state formation, military changes, ideas and the economy, ideas about religion, and ideas about scientific knowledge.

Mentor: Andrea Ballestero, Associate Professor, Anthropology
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mai Han Ton (Asian Studies, Visual and Dramatic Arts, '21)

Project Description: Mai Han worked with Dr. Ballestero researching historical and contemporary renderings of underground water or subterranean imaginaries, analyzing their aesthetic elements, the contexts from which they emerged, and the braoder economic projects they were associated with.

Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Adjunct Lecturer in Humanities, Humanities Research Center
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Morgan Seay (Social Policy Analysis, '22)

Project Description: Morgan undertook research to analyze and explore the exoticization of the female body in medicine by exploring the history of medical museums and anatomical Venuses, and the impact of patriarchal constructions of women and their health.

Mentor: Timothy Morton, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Taylor Crain (English, '21)

Project Description: Taylor worked on writing her second book of a speculative fiction triology under the guidance of Prof. Morton. The story "explores the healing, growth, and internal conflict of a young black woman as she navigates an alternate world reminiscent of Hayao Miyazakis' magical realsim and Octavia Butler's social justice themes in Parable of the Sower and Dawn in order to find her way back home."

Mentor: Alden Sajor Marte-Wood, Assistant Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tiffany Sloan (Asian Studies, '22)

Project Description: Tiffany worked on a collaboration with Dr. Marte-Wood that crossed the disciplines of environmental activism, critical theory, and policy analysis, combining their research of climate change, "slow violience," and energy proverty in the Philippines. The result will be submitted for independent publication.

Mentor: Aisulu Raspayeva, Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Languages and Intercultural Communications
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ivan Gamov (Social Science division, '23)

Project Description: Ivan assisted Dr. Raspayeva in a study that examines the transnational experiences and social beliefs regarding Russian and other languages among Russian immigrants of three different generations; those who came to the United States as adults, children before the age of 5 who were brought to the U. S., and children who were born in the States. Sociolinguistic interviews gathered perspectives and perceptions on language, its usage, and multi-cultural identities. The study was funded in part by the Dean of Humanities.

Mentor: Claire Fanger, Associate Profesor, Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Marian Nájera (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Religion, Anthropology, '21)

Project Description: Marian contined to conduct research towards her senior thesis on the practice of magic by Mexican women. Data was gathered from the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN) in Mexico City and the Archivos de la Arquidióces de Monterrey, to explore the circumstances surrounding women tried by the Inquisitorial Office of New Spain (Mexico) for the use of witchcraft during the 15th-17th centuries.

Mentor: Shih-shan Susan Huang, Associate Professor, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Zhaorui Rita Xiong (5th-year Architecture)

Project Description: Zhaorui worked with Dr. Huang on her forthcoming Chinese publication on Daoist and Buddhist visual culture. The project focused on editorial and translation work, checking footnotes, formatting, the bibliography, and compiling illustrations.


2018-19 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Mentor: Julie Fette, Associate Professor, Classican and European Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Annelise Goldman (Environmental Science, '22)

Project Description: Annelise served as Dr. Fette's research assistant on her second book, about gender in contemporary French children's literature.

Mentor: Geoffrey Winningham, Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Erin Vance (Cognitive Sciences, '22)

Project Description: Erin assisted Dr. Winningham in his photographic study of the natural landscape of the greater Houston area.

Mentor: Jeff Kripal, Professor, Department of Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mariana Najera (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Religion, Anthropology, '21)

Project Description: Mariana assisted Dr. Kripal in his organizational work as the Woodson Research Center intakes a major new archive of correspondence relating to paranormal occurrences.

Mentor: Kerry Ward, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lily Wulfmeyer (English, '20)

Project Description: Lily assisted Dr. Dirk Van Teurenhout, HMNS Curator of Anthoropology, work in redesigning the Houston Museum of Natural Science's John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas.

Mentor: Shishan Huang, Associate Professor, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Zhaorui Xiong (Architecture, '20)

Project Description: Zhaorui served as Dr. Huang's research assistant for her book-length project, Buddhist Printing, Circulation Networks, and Cultural Transformation in East Asia, 850-1450.

Mentor: Niki Clements, Associate Professor, Department of Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Bilal Rehman (Philosophy, '20)

Project Description: Bilal assisted Dr. Clements in cataloguing the bibliographical entries related to the study of religion in Michel Foucault's late works.

Mentor: John Mulligan, Lecturer in the Public Humanities, Humanities Research Center
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Isabel Kilroy (Cognitive Sciences, '20)

Project Description: Isabel developed an online exhibit of the Kaderli Letters on Death and Dying held by the Woodson Research Center at Rice. Her writing built on Tristan Boss's previous work with the archive in the Spring 2019 semester, in an HRC health humanities practicum.

Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecture in Humanities, School of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Priscilla Li (Biological Sciences, '19)

Project Description: Priscilla has been an extremely responsive and productive research assistant on the Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA), undertaking interviews and applying rigorous fact-checking and study-aid additions to transcripts. She has done detailed research in preparation for the Chao Center's online journal, "Transnational Asia," on HAAA.

Mentor: Randal Hall, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Paige DeVos (Anthropology, '19)

Project Description: Paige assisted Dr. Hall with work on his book project investigating environmental thought in the United States in the 1950's. Paige worked through microfilmed or digitized newspapers and other documents identifying relevant material for an investigation of agricultural ideas.

Mentor: Julie Fette, Associate Professor, Classical and European Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Meredith McCain (Political Science, French Studies, '20)

Project Description: Meredith is a joint major in French Studies and Political Science. She was uniquely capable of aiding Dr. Fette in research in French-language materials about French society. She learned about humanistic research methods and academic publishing in the textbook arena while helping Dr. Fette conduct research in service of a new edition of "Les Francais," a college textbook in French that presents an overview of French society in all its facets.

Mentor: Marcia Brennan, Professor, Religion and Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lynn Zhu (Statistics, '19)

Project Description: Lynn, a medical humanities undergraduate student, assisted Dr. Brennan in collecting and producing materials for her "Rehabilitation Medicine Storybook," which will feature original visual and literary artworks, coupled with related analytical reflections on our humanistic and STEM collaborations on stories drawn from a Rehabilitation medicine population in treatment with Professor Marcia O'Malley's Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces (MAHI) Lab, where Dr. Brennan, working as a Literary Artist, engages research subjects who participate in various experimental studies in upper extremity robotic therapies.

Mentor: Gisela Heffes, Associate Professor, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mariana Nájera (Religion, '21) and Abigail González (Spanish and Portuguese, '21)

Project Description: Mariana and Abigail helped with a portion of the research for a book Dr. Heffes co-edited with Professor Jennifer French from Williams College, The Latin American Eco-Cultural Reader. The Reader was a substantial undertaking, in every way. It offered a diverse selection of literary and cultural texts about the natural world from Latin America, from the colonial period to the present. Mariana and Abigail completed preliminary research on an ample number of the texts that have gone into our current table of contents. She assisted with the completion of the project by drafting short, 1-paragraph introductions to each of the 45 selections based on Professor Frenchs' and Dr. Heffes' notes and their investigation of secondary sources.

Mentor: Farès el-Dahdah, Professor, Humanities Research Cener and School of Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Laura "Maddie" Shen (Computer Science, '21)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Anne Chao, School of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Juno Rettenmier (Political Science, Latin American Studies, '19)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Jose Aranda, Associate Professor, English and Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Catherine Soltero (Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, '19)

Project Description: Catherine assisted Dr. Aranda in his ongoing research of serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the U.S. prior to 1960. In Spring 2015, as part of English 471, The Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press, Rice students first translated Los Pochos, by Jorge Ainslie. This novel was published serially in 1934 in La Prensa, a well-known Spanish language newspaper of San Antonio, Texas. Catherine assisted in finalizing preliminary materials for the next iteration of the course, retrieving materials from the America's Historical Newspapers database, and reformatting them for translation purposes.

Mentor: Brian Riedel, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Cameron Wallace (English, '19)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Christopher Sperandio, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Helena Martin (Visual and Dramatic Arts, '19)

Project Description: Helena was involved in the production of Professor Sperandio's current graphic project, a 288-page, three-volume political satire, set in a speculative future. Helena provided assistance by inking pages from this book and scanning them into files. These pages had already been scripted, designed and lettered. She completed the final step by using a brush and ink, working over the pages that Sperandio had already prepared.

Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Adolfo Carvalho (Astrophysics, Mathematics, '19)

Project Description: Adolfo designed and built a prototype simulator of the historical observation runs ("sweeps") made by Caroline and William Herschel at the end of the 18th century just outside London. Their work, which led to the development of modern cosmology and the foundation of the Royal Astronomical Society, is generally famous but hard to grasp practically because of its abstract nature. Adolfo's work allows users to see, roughly moment for moment, what William Herschel saw based on our knowldge as gleaned from the archive. In order to build this simulator, Adolfo had to familiarize himself with the archive, its legacy, and historical interpretations; he taught himself C++ development; and he wrote reflections on his work.

Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Bilal Rehman (Philosophy, '19)

Project Description: Bilal, a philosophy major deeply involved in Rice's medical humanities program, worked this summer with archival materials relating to pre-photographic visual anatomy atlases. Bilal familiarized himself with theories of embodiment and objectivity, performed bibliographical research in the history of science and medicine, and worked directly with the extensive medical archives in the rare books room at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. His literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, and photographic cataloguing of rare archival materials further develops Dr. Mulligan's work on the history of visual anatomical media and in service of future publications on Vesalius, Chardin, and embodiment.


2017-18 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Jose Aranda, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Elizabeth Martinez

Project Description: Elizabeth worked with Jose F. Aranda, Jr., who holds dual appointments in the departments of English and Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies; Arranda is also a board member of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and co-founder of Avanzamos: El Taller Chicana/o, an annual workshop focused on advanced scholarship in Chicana/o Studies, sponsored by Rice University and the University of North Texas. Ms. Martinez helped Aranda on his recovery project, transcribing texts found in the periodical La Prensa. She retyped the texts, making them readable and identified different typos or anomalies in the original PDFs so that the texts would be in a usable format for the translation course Dr. Aranda taught in Fall 2017.

Faculty Mentor: Nicole Waligora-Davis, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tessa Fries

Project Description: Tessa worked with Nicole Waligora-Davis, who specializes in late-nineteenth and 20th century African American and American literary and cultural criticism, with a particular emphasis on black intellectual history, black internationalism, legal studies, critical race theory, and visual culture. On one project, Ms. Fries gathered information for Waligora-Davis was editing, called African-American Literature in Transition, vol. 1910-1920 (CambridgeUniversity Press). Ms. Fries collected primary source material for the introduction to the volume and generated a historical timeline that lists key political, cultural (art, film, music, literature, drama, poetry), legal, and social events in American and African American history between 1910-1920. On the second project, Ms. Fries gathered source materials for The Murder Book: Race, Forensics and the Value of Black Life,the book Waligora-Davis was writing at the time.

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Toshiki Niimi (Architecture, '19)

Project Description: coming soon

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Michelle Wonkyung Chung

Project Description: coming soon

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill, Classical and European Studies; and John Hopkins, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Leigh Wright

Project Description: Susannah worked with Scott McGill, who is professor and chair of Classical and European Studies and currently focuses his research on Latin poetry in Late Antiquity; and John Hopkins, an assistant professor in Classical and European Studies who is co-director of the program in Museums and Cultural Heritage. Ms. Wright helped to develop a collaborative bibliography and manage website materials for the year-long Rice Seminar. She also helped to coordinate logistics, liaise with scholars, and conduct foundational research for the seminar.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Miriam Shayeb (English, Spanish and Portuguese, '19)

Project Description: Miriam worked in the Summer of 2017 as the HRC's first summer-term practicum student. Working as an independent researcher in the Texas Medical Center's McGovern Historical Research Center, she combed through the collections on Dr. Joseph Jones, a 19th-c. epidemiologist and the postbellum public health commissioner for New Orleans. Her final paper for the practicum, which can be found on the HRC practica projects site, won her a prize for Excellence in Humanities Research at the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2018. Miriam is the 2018-19 President of the Medical Humanities club, and her previous medical humanities practica work for Rice's Woodson Research Center can be viewed online.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Augusto De Las Casas (Biological Sciences, '19)

Project Description: Augusto's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, began in the Summer of 2017. Augusto researched theories and practical guidelines for professional medical interpretation, and identified key questions in the current models; specifically, the experience of medical interpreters themselves has gone under-studied in the literature. In the fall semester of 2018, as an HRC practicum student and under the mentorship of Baylor College of Medicine David Hyman, Professor and Chief of Medicine, Larry Laufman, Assistant Professor of General Medicine, and Ricardo Nuila, Assistant Professor of General Medicine (and a well-known writer in medical humanities), Augusto designed a research protocol that was accepted by the Baylor, Harris Health, and Rice University IRB boards, for a study of medical interpreters' experiences in hospital settings. Doerr generously extended the term of his funding's availability, and in the Spring and Summer of 2018, he conducted his interviews and wrote up his findings. As of August 2018 he is preparing his findings for peer-review submission, as the paper's primary author.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah Lasater (Social Policy, '19)

Project Description: Sarah's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, began in the Summer of 2017. She conducted literature reviews for a research team led by Jennifer Christner, Dean of the College of Medicine at Baylor. Christner's team was investigating what community stakeholders hold to be valuable areas of physician competency but which may not be addressed in current medical school curricula. Sarah developed her own parallel research agenda into models of physician leadership in a changing healthcare environment. She continued her work under the HRC practica program during the academic year, during which time she worked as a member of Dr. Christner's team, helping to conduct interviews with community stakeholders and writing up findings. The team's work has been submitted for publication, with Sarah listed as a co-author. Her own writing on "horizontal leadership" took a prize for Excellence in Humanities Research at the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2018.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Shaian Mohammadian (Biological Sciences, '18)

Project Description: Shaian's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, took place in the Summer of 2017. Shaian explored the nature of medical leadership from an administrative lens, working in the office of Robert B. Trieu, Director of Clinical Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. Shaian informally interviewed physician-administrators at Baylor to explore the much-storied tension between the two roles, and found this to be a phenomenon whose problematic nature was overstated and interesting complexity was understated and misunderstood! His final essay based on these interviews, "Suits and Coats: Administrators and Physicians at Baylor College of Medicine," can be read on the HRC practica student projects site.


2016-17 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Davenport, Rice Gallery
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Emilia Cavallaro (Architecture, ’18)

Project Description: The summer fellow will be responsible for overhauling the Rice Gallery’s image library, including thinking up strategies to move forward. Student will add photos to the library and create metadata. The fellow will also work on a model/database that will eventually use selected images to ‘diachronically’ depict a 3D environment of the gallery. This project is in conjunction with Digital Scholarship Services and the Woodson Research Center at Fondren Library. Additional projects may include: researching upcoming installations, working on gallery catalogues, and assisting with the gallery’s physical archives.

Faculty Mentor: Nicole Waligora-Davis, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: James Carter (English and Psychology, ’17)

Project Description: James Carter will assist Dr. Waligora-Davis in gathering primary source material for both the introduction to a volume on African-American writing that she is editing for Cambridge University Press, and for an essay Dr. Waligora-Davis is commissioned to write for a separate volume in the series that addresses the response of the Black Left (1930-1940) to the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. He will also work on developing a relevant historical chronology for the 1910-1920 volume Dr. Waligora-Davis is editing.
The student will work with microfilm and electronic database research related to noteworthy historical, literary, cultural, and legal events and figures between 1910-1020,, including but not limited to WWI; Pan-American Conferences; formation of the NAACP and Urban League; lynching; “new negro movement”; Red-Summer 1919; precedent-setting legal cases related to black Americans; W.E.B. Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Charles Chestnutt, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, etc. For the second project, James will be focusing on 19th and early 20th century representations of Ethiopia in black literature and expressive traditions; political histories of the Italo-Ethiopian crisis; and coverage of the conflict in mainstream and African-American newspapers and periodicals.

Faculty Mentor: Matthias Henze, Isla Caroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sparrow Gates (Religion, ’17)

Project Description: The Hebrew Bible only presents us with a slim excerpt of the literature in circulation in ancient Israel. This project, titled Lost Judaisms, seeks to collect information about the non-canonical ancient Jewish writings. This year the focus is on a text known as the Ascension of Isaiah, a Jewish apocalypse that has been adopted and rewritten by Christians in Late Antiquity.

Faculty Mentor: S. Wright Kennedy, Doctoral Candidate in History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Manlin Yao (Cognitive Sciences, ’18)

Project Description: The New Orleans Mortality Project (http://nola.spatialhistory.org) focuses on the city in the Gilded Age (1877-1910) to examine how health, environment, and socioeconomics impacted urban and community development. This project investigates the nexus of environment, health, and poverty. It will employ interdisciplinary methods to analyze individual-level mortality data in New Orleans to uncover the spatial characteristics of the mortality transitions and the effects of uneven transitions; an approach that is only recently possible thanks to the development of geographic information systems.
This project uses a new approach to study history: historical geographic information systems (HGIS). The research team is building a spatial mortality database of 200,000 deaths to study the evolving spatial and temporal patterns of health across individuals and communities in New Orleans at the end of the nineteenth century. This will enable an examination of the intersections of disease, economics, and urban development with new levels of complexity and insight. The results of this analysis will reveal the process of the mortality transitions and the evolution and effects of the urban disease terrain, crucial information for understanding the history of urban development.

Faculty Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Marley Foster (English and Visual & Dramatic Arts, ’18)

Project Description: Marley Foster worked with Melissa Bailar on identifying contemporary French and Francophone women filmmakers who experiment with cinematic narrative form. Marley conducted research in published collections and online resources to determine the works of such filmmakers, watched the films that might or might not be experimental, and wrote an annotated filmography. She identified dozens of films made in the 2000's that disrupt classical cinematographic and narrative conventions to account for female experience in new ways.

Faculty Mentor: Moramay Lopez-Alonso, Associate Professor of History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Raul DeLira (History, ’18)

Project Description: Mapping Disease and Famine in Eighteenth Century Mexico (New Spain): This project examines the living standards of the population of New Spain (colonial Mexico) during the second half of the eighteenth century. For this, we intend to reconstruct the living conditions of people at that time, we will be working with two bodies of evidence: agricultural disasters and epidemics of that time period. With GIS tools we will construct a map to see which localities experienced climate disasters that produced a decline of agriculture production in a given year. We will also create a map of disease and epidemic outbreaks by year and by localities. By putting together these two layers of information we will ascertain the causal relation between agriculture disasters, famines and spread of disease in the different localities of colonial Mexico.
This project will also assess the nature of diseases, and their link to malnutrition with the information available today. The analysis of diseases will be complemented with literature on the history of medicine to investigate what the medical knowledge on the recorded diseases was at the time, in terms of diagnosis, prevention, and cures. We will examine if higher densities of population were correlated to disease environment due to poor sanitary infrastructure with supplemental information from the population census of 1791-93.

This is an interesting period to study because there were various years of bad weather and one that was catastrophic: 1785, also known as the “year of famine” (año del hambre). In contrast, this is also a period of economic prosperity due to a significant increase in silver production. This information will be useful to investigate how much of economic prosperity translated into better living conditions for the population of colonial Mexico, and if there were regional differences or not. This would shed light on how wealthy mining regions fared relative to other regions in the country and the degree of market integration.

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Brandt, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory, and David Eagleman, Adjunct Assistant Professor of ECE and Cognitive Sciences
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah G. Graves (Composition, ’18)

Project Description: What is creativity? How does it work? Why do we have it? And where is it taking us? In a time when the old ways of living are being torn up and remodeled, human civilization is facing challenges that require all our ingenuity to address. In The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World (Canongate, forthcoming Oct. 2017), neuroscientist David Eagleman and composer Anthony Brandt unravel the threads of the arts, neuroscience, evolution and technology which make up the tapestry of human creativity, leading us on a tour through the history of innovation from the moon landings to Picasso's 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'. In doing so, Brandt and Eagleman offer a powerful examination of creativity, the strategies which stimulate it, and how it can be a driving force to propel us into the future. Through understanding our ability to innovate - our most profound, mysterious and deeply human capacity - we can rise to meet the challenge of remaking our constantly shifting world.

Undergraduate composer Sarah Grace Graves has agreed to assist David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt on the final preparation of The Runaway Species, which includes researching the images, completing the footnotes and bibliography, proofing the manuscript and more.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, Lecturer in the Public Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Benjamin Rasich (Mechanical Engineering, ’18) and Isaac Philips (Mechanical Engineering, ’17)

Project Description: The Electronic Vesalius: This project attempted to "reanimate" Andreas Vesalius' 16th-century anatomical atlas, De humani corporis fabrica, one of the foundational texts in modern medicine. The end-product was an interactive, life-sized exhibit of one of Vesalius' flayed bodies, which responds to a reader's touch with information about that body part as represented over the last five centuries. It has been installed in the TMC Library. In a close collaboration between partners at Fondren Library (Ying Jin), the Texas Medical Center Library's McGovern Historical Center (Philip Montgomery and Sandra Yates), and the OEDK (Matthew Wettergreen, Benjamin Rasich, and Isaac Philips), this project seeks to explore 1) the possibilities of interdisciplinary work in humanities/engineering collaborations, 2) the role of physicality in the digital humanities, and 3) the anatomy of ersatz life forms.

Faculty Mentor: José Aranda, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Stacie M. Martinez (English, ’17)

Project Description: Stacie Martinez assisted Dr. Aranda in his ongoing research on serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the United States prior to 1960, which focuses mostly on writers of either Mexican or Mexican-American descent. As part of this research, Stacie assisted Dr. Aranda in finalizing primary materials for the course English 471, The Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press, a course designed to translate one of these novels into English, by retrieving materials from the database America’s Historical Newspapers and reformatting them for class purposes. She furthermore researched on available biographical data on the author Jorge Ainslie, whose novel Los Repatriados will be translated in the course.

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill, Professor of Classics
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Wright (Medieval/Classical Studies and Early Modern Studies, ’18)

Project Description: Susannah Wright assisted Prof. McGill in his commentary on Virgil’s Aeneid II, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press. The commentary is a line-by-line analysis of Aeneid II. Such commentaries are standard in Classics; they focus on matters of interpretations language, prosody, and history. Essentially, they are designed to explicate the poem line-by-line and even word-by-word. In this fellowship Susannah, an advanced student in Classics with an expertise in Virgil, has offered her feedback on Prof. McGill’s translations. Furthermore, Susannah has researched and annotated books and articles pertaining to Prof. McGill’s project.

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Toshiki Niimi (Architecture and German, ’17. Undergraduate research assistant Spatial Humanities)

Project Description: Comprehending Ludwig Hilberseimer: This project concerns the digital reconstruction of the key urban proposals of the influential German-American architect Ludwig Hilberseimer: his Hochhausstadt project of 1924, and his studies for Chicago, published in The New City in 1944. Hilberseimer was central to art and architectural discourse in the Weimar Republic, an important Bauhaus pedagogue, and a long-time collaborator and friend of the leading modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Focused on the principles of urban design, Hilberseimer’s planning is particularly suited to digital representation that models the controlling parameters rather than the final form of a designed work. In this way, a synthetic three-dimensional model not only helps in the historical comprehension of Hilberseimer’s propositions, it becomes a tool for generating projective alternatives to those Hilberseimer might not have himself envisioned. Fundamentally concerned with the mutable spatial and temporal relationships between individuals, society, and the environment, Hilberseimer’s visionary conception of the city exceeded the representational capacities of its time. This has limited our understanding of his work and its potential influence. This project is an effort to leverage new representational means toward an expanded realization of Hilberseimer’s historical and contemporary relevance. Hilberseimer’s humanistic approach to the city, encompassing the historical, social, political-economic, technological, environmental, and aesthetic aspects of urban life, offers an important precedent and valuable tools for the comprehensive re-conception of our urban world.

Faculty Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecturer of the Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Jason Yin (Statistics, Mathematical Economic Analysis, ’19)

Project Description: The Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA): The Houston Asian American Archive is a collection of oral history interviews of Asian American immigrants to Houston. It has become an important repository for the history of Asian American immigration to the Southwestern region of the United States, and remedies the overlooked contribution of Asian Americans in Texas history. Started in the summer of 2010, the archive has come of age and it is time to re-assess the entire project. The fellow will help design a new training module for interns by researching the current best practices in the field. The fellow will also participate in formulating a strategic plan for the future of the archive, in exploring some of the potential directions for collecting oral history, as well as in preparing a guideline by which the archival history will be collected. The fellow will also have an opportunity to suggest potential design for a web page on HAAA, but he/she does not have to possess any web-design skill. The fellow will meet with Dr. Chao on a flexible schedule throughout the summer.


2015-16 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Jake Levens (English, '16)

Project Description: Quantum Cinematics examines the ways in which French and Francophone experimental women writer-directors craft alternative narrative structures to communicate experience, perception, and imagination. While they do not consciously explore scientific advancements, the narrative models that they create adopt traits of the quantum conception of the way the universe works as they move beyond gender and genre categorizations. The intern will watch films and read novels key to this project; find other critical resources; and meet with Melissa Bailar regularly to talk through written pieces and ideas still in formation.

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Brandt, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Greg Kamback (Architecture, '16)

Project Description: Neuroscientist David Eagleman (author of Sum, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and Wednesday is Indigo Blue) and Rice composition professor Anthony Brandt are co-authoring a book with the working title The Innovation Manifesto: Cultivating Creativity from the Boardroom to the Classroom. In the book, they assert that creativity is a universal feature of human cognition whose basic mechanisms can be described in simple terms and thereby modeled, practiced and taught. They take a broadly inter-disciplinary approach, linking disparate fields through shared creative processes.
Central to the book are the numerous illustrations that serve as exemplars. They are seeking a fellow with research and graphic and website design experience to help them with: securing copyright clearance for the images that they have selected and, when necessary, researching alternate and supplemental images; and helping with the layout and design of several sections of the book that are visually intensive. There may be additional research projects as well. In addition, Dr. Brandt is seeking the fellow’s help in developing a professional website for his composition and research.

Faculty Mentor: Joseph Campana, Alan Dugald McKillop Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Arlen Walker (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, '17)

Project Description: Renaissance Life Webs is a long-term, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary digital humanities project devoted to creating an open-source repository of Renaissance natural history texts. The project will yield an editorial collective where scholars will “sign on” to edit and annotate various works of natural history. This project will be an open archive, controlled-crowd-sourced site that will provide access to these Renaissance texts in modern editions, some for the first time. The texts will be modernized, fully annotated, and tagged to maximize searchability and to allow users to create their own clusters of texts in response to their own research interests. This larger digital project itself hopes to tap into the ethos of the hive, a collective of scholars where many labor to produce modern editions for the benefit of a larger community. To launch the platform, co-collaborators—Joseph Campana (Rice University) and Keith Botelho (Kennesaw State University) would create a pilot site by creating a collaboratively-authored edition of eight significant bee treatises published in England from 1593-1679, which will form the inaugural instance of Renaissance Life Webs and enable experimentation with digital platforms and styles of presentation and provide an initial instance of the project both useful to a wide scholarly attention and highly realized to attract future funding. The summer internship would involve transcription, TEI work, and other research work involving these Renaissance texts.

Faculty Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecturer
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Patricia Wong (English, '16)

Project Description: The Houston Asian American Archive is a collection of oral history interviews of Asian American immigrants to Houston. It has become an important repository for the history of Asian American immigration to the Southwestern region of the United States, and remedies the overlooked contribution of Asian Americans in Texas history. Started in the summer of 2010, the archive has come of age and it is time to re-assess the entire project. The fellow will help design a new training module for interns by researching the current best practices in the field. The fellow will also participate in formulating a strategic plan for the future of the archive, in exploring some of the potential directions for collecting oral history, as well as in preparing a guideline by which the archival history will be collected. The fellow will also have an opportunity to suggest potential design for a web page on HAAA, but he/she does not have to possess any web-design skill. The fellow will meet with Dr. Chao on a flexible schedule throughout the summer.

Faculty Mentor: Farès el-Dahdah, Professor of the Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Christian Hauser (Classical Studies, fall '15)

Project Description: The objective of this project is to design a digital atlas of the Rice Campus where visual archives, locatable in time and space, can be embedded. This involves building a map that not only changes according to specific years but that ultimately shows the campus as it once was as well as it was once imagined. In its first iteration the project addresses the history of the campus, the organizing of its architectural archives, and the mapping of its evolution between 1908 and 1912. The Fellow will learn about the history of the institution as well as train in such applications as ArcGIS and Shared Shelf.

Faculty Mentor: Matthias Henze, Isla Carroll & Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ellen Marsh

Project Description: Jews at the time of Jesus and Hillel continued to write books, even though all the books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament were already written. Not many of these "extra" writings are well known today, mostly because they are not part of our Bibles. The purpose of this project is to compile a data base of these ancient texts. The focus this summer is on a text known as "Joseph and Aseneth." The project involves some reading, library work, and discussions with the professor.

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Wright (Classical Studies, '18)

Project Description: I am completing a verse translation, with introduction and notes, of a 3200-line Latin poem, the Evangeliorum libri IV of Juvencus. The poem, from the fourth century CE, is the first Christian epic in the western tradition. The student will help with the translation, going over every line to edit and polish the work. By summer's end, we will have reviewed the entire poem.

Faculty Mentor: Alexander Regier, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Matt McGee (English, '16)

Project Description: William Blake is what these days we might call a multi-media artist. This project will trace his impact in contemporary culture and scholarship. The student will need to be able to search databases and have familiarity with bibliographical research. Knowledge of German is an advantage.

Faculty Mentor: John Sparagana
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Monica Burckhardt (Architecture, '15)

Project Description: Assist with a series of complex visual constructions utilizing deconstruted images from Dick Tracy comics with a conceptual link to the Sonnets of the New York School poet, Ted Berrigan, paralleling opposed mythos-practices, American Comic Noir and American Transcendentalism.

Faculty Mentor: Kerry Ward, Associate Professor of History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: David Ratnoff ('18)

Project Description: From Slave trading to human trafficking: exploring illicit slave trading in the Indian Ocean during the era of abolition explores British and colonial responses to the long process of abolishing slave trading and slavery in the Indian Ocean during the nineteenth century. By comparing British initiatives to end the slave trade and slavery along the East African coast with what was happening in the Straits Settlements and the South China Sea, I will demonstrate that “slave abolition” in the British empire varied greatly according to location. Whereas the anti-slavery squadron of the British Navy patrolled the East African coast from their base in Cape Town, no similar initiatives took place in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Attitudes to what constituted slavery changed during the period of legal abolition and the issue of bondage became more complex during this period. I hope to argue that this period was a precursor to the emergence of “human trafficking.” The student-researcher will help Dr. Ward analyze primary sources on illicit and illegal slave trading and slavery cases as well as the debates on abolition and free labor.

Student Role: The student-researcher will go through the online data bases and microfilms of newspapers from southern Africa and Southeast Asia looking for articles on slavery, slave trading, and commentary on abolition. The library is purchasing an online set of British colonial reports on the Straits Settlements and Hong Kong and the student-researcher will also look for reports pertaining to the issue of slavery and forced labor. These sources will reveal that there were different perspectives and vehement debates about the nature of slavery in Africa and Asia as colonial law intersected with customary law in British colonies.


Faculty Research Projects


The Humanities Research Center awards competitive grants that are intended to spark programming and curricular development in areas that do not necessarily fit within departmental structures, help develop innovative paradigms for conducting humanities research, or ask new questions within existing paradigms. Research projects may involve, but are not limited to, faculty workshops, conferences, collaborations with other institutions or individuals, creative works, or other endeavors that require financial resources outside the scope of individual faculty research accounts.

2018-19

Spatial Humanities Initiative

Disability and the City: Mapping Emergent Embodiment in Berlin

Principal Investigator (PI): Zoë H. Wool

An interdisciplinary collaboration between the Rice Department of Anthropology and the Berlin-based research group for the ethnographic inquiry into ecologies, infrastructures, bodies and knowledges at Humbolt University, this workshop explores this central question: How do bodies, environments, and technology come together in urban settings in order to produce locally and historically particular experiences of disability and the city? We seek to trace connections and translations between urban planning and technology design, local biopolitical histories, and everyday use-practices to understand how cities and technologies dis- or en-abled people as citizens, aliens, consumers, strangers, friends, and urbanites, as well as how forms of in/accessibility emerge from people’s practices of movement through the city. Our innovative methodology combines digital recording and mapping, along with reflective practices of moving through the city itself. With collaborators from Berlinklusion, a Berlin-based collective working to produce traffic between local arts and disability scenes, we will take a walking tour around Berlin, digitally documenting places, spaces, and moments that speak to our guiding question. Then we will collectively reflect and comment on our photographs, recordings, and experiences, as well as archival and historical materials the workshop participants will have collected in advance, creating critical, conceptual annotations and commentaries to go along with visual and aural digital materials. Finally, we will embed these materials within an online map of Berlin. The map will be housed within a new collaboratory website and will be open to future contributions from collaborators and students, as well as the broader public who wish to contribute their annotated photographs of Berlin. The map is envisioned as the first project of a broader interdisciplinary and trans-institutional disability and technology collaboratory.

3D Visualization and Automated Spatial Analysis in the Roman Forum

PI: John Hopkins

The Horrea Agrippiana stands in ruin at a node connecting three quintessential districts of Rome: the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and the Velabrum (commercial district in Rome), all UNESCO World Heritage sites. In 2017, a team of archaeologists, led by Prof. Hopkins, opened test trenches at the site, at the request of the archaeological superintendence of Rome. The trenches uncovered over 1700 years-worth of stratigraphy, from ca. 500 BCE (the start of the Roman Republic) to 1200 CE and the height of Catholic rule in Rome.

The Horrea Agrippiana is a massive, 2,500 m2 complex constructed during the reign of Augustus (ca. 27 BCE-14 CE); it served as a storage and exchange site through the sixth century CE. It is the best preserved, major ancient commercial structure anywhere in the city of Rome. Situated at the liminal space at the urban juncture of three diverse and quintessential parts of the Roman civic, domestic and commercial urban landscape, the site holds the keys to many questions about the history of Rome as city and civilization. The site and its surroundings cover a total of 4,000 m2, and a complex study of the diachronic spatial reconfiguration over the course of nearly two millennia is the focus of our project. The site and project consequently offer an exceptional opportunity to apply new spatial analysis and visualization tools to reconstitute historical sites and the archaeological remnants associated with them. We are working with Archimedes Digital to begin developing software and data analysis tools to advance the ability to make rapid 3D models that are georeferenced and allow for both public visual comprehension of the site through the ages and complex scholarly interrogation of the site through VR, on-site AR and integrated database analysis with our digital database.

2017-18

Spatial Humanities Initiative

Comprehending Ludwig Hilberseimer

PI: Scott Colman

Ludwig Hilberseimer was a prominent German-American architect and planner central to debates among avant-garde artists and architects in the Weimar Republic, an important Bauhaus pedagogue, and a long-time collaborator of leading modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Relative to the work of his peers, Hilberseimer’s extended engagement with planning, between 1923 and 1967, has received only scant and partial attention. In association with a proposed research project to produce digital models of two of Hilberseimer’s pivotal urban proposals, funding was sought to inspect Hilberseimer’s drawings in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. While some of these drawings have been published and can be used as a basis for modelling, a number of these drawings are poorly reproduced, often at a small scale. The closer inspection and more accurate reproduction of the originals would assist in the accuracy of the proposed models. In addition, the inspection of these and additional, unpublished, drawings would greatly assist in the contextualization of the proposed models, contributing to greater comprehension of these projects.

Extending ImagineRio: Next steps
PI:
Alida Metcalf

ImagineRio, a geographic and time-sensitive digital platform that presents the spatial history of Rio de Janeiro, is now at a point where scholars can customize it to answer their own research questions. The HRC's Spatial Humanities Research Project Development fund made it possible to bring scholars to Rice to work with imagineRio. Few scholars in Brazil have support from GIS specialists in their home institutions, and for that matter, few American historians of Brazil do either. ImagineRio offers scholars a unique platform to explore the spatial history of Rio de Janeiro, and by bringing scholars to Rice, they can not only customize imagineRio for their own research, and they can contribute to its future development. At Rice, scholars worked with ArcGIS, our image databases in Shared Shelf Commons and Artstor, and our online bibliography hosted in Zotero. Scholars brought data that they wish to analyze, and they will have the opportunity to work with GIS support staff in the Fondren Library. They collaborated with the members of the ImagineRio team, and they consulted on the development on online publishing platforms. After returning to their home institutions, they have continued to collaborate, especially as we develop new ways to publishing scholarly articles and essays in digital forms.

Public Humanities Initiative

The Art of Energy
PI:
Joseph Campana, Alan Dugald McKillop Associate Professor of English
The Art of Energy represented an exhibition and series of activities that understand visual art and aesthetics through the rubric of energy. This project will consider energy use and dependency, extraction and consumption, distribution and infrastructure, to discover a dynamic relationship between how energy structures aesthetic experience and how art and artists reflect on energy.

Houston in Motion
PI:
Yehuda Sharim, Anna Smith Fine Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies
Houston in Motion was a collaborative research project that sheds light on the process of refugees and immigrants in Houston. Through interviews with newly-arriving refugees and immigrants, the project developed a digital archive of migration that includes ongoing filming, working with Rice students and media editors to process and publish digitized testimonies online. The digital platform being developed with this purpose will be shared with new arrivals, existing communities, and members of the public through partnership with organizations including Houston Public Libraries and the Mayor’s Office of International Communities.

Entre el Amor y la Locura
PI:
Christopher Sperandio, Associate Professor, Painting and Drawing, Visual & Dramatic Arts
Harris County has the second largest Hispanic population in the US; this exhibition on Mexican culture and history in Houston connected with the cultural heritage of Mexican-American community through a partnership with Lawndale Art Center, one of the most lively and inclusive art institutions in the region. Nearly 1,000 pieces of original art were preserved as high-resolution digital scans, translated into English, and potentially exhibited at Lawndale in late 2017/early 2018.

Not Lost! A series on Endangered Technologies
PI:
Tish Stringer
Progress, said Friedrich Nietzsche, is measured by what must be sacrificed to it. We delightfully embrace the new and cast off the old in our quest for better living, often leaving older technologies abandoned. Movie theaters are tossing out film projectors for digital servers, libraries convert their collections to e-readers, even the speed of Polaroids holds no allure for today'd photographers. For this cultural heritage project, Dr. Stringer will make two short documentary films about endangered technologies and the people who love them in Houston. These films are part of Dr. Stringer's ongoing research documenting endangered technologies, and will be shot and edited on film stock and tape, participating in the contemporary dilemma of having one foot in the analog world and one in the digital. They are to be made in collaboration with arts organization in the Museum District and in Houston to discover the subjects and create the films, show the finished films to the community directly and then disseminate them through film festival opportunities and the internet.

2016-17

Public Humanities Initiative

MELT - The Social Life of Ice at the Top of the World
Principal Investigator:
Cymene Howe

Ice has become our climatological canary: the substance that renders visible rising temperatures. It can be measured, its retreats photographed, its depths plumbed and itsduration—or lifespan—calculated. And it is melting: nowhere faster, and faster than expected, in the Arctic region. Ice’s physical changes and the geohydrological implications associated with it are now regular media features as news of catastrophic melt continues to mark our times. However, little attention is given to the social and cultural meaning of changing ice in the frozen places where it has dominated landscapes, shaped lives and conditioned accounts of land, weather and subjective experience. This study aimed to address that omission. It proposed a multidimensional examination of the social significance of ice, the values associated with it, and the implications of its expiration. As an inquiry into the metamorphosis of ice, it asked: What are the political and social meanings of ice in the Anthropocene? And, how does a nation identified with ice wrestle with and encounter the fact of its immanent extinction? This research will chart a contemporary sensibility of icy life, human and otherwise, in an exploration of cryohuman interactions and commitments.

Robert Southey's Anti-Colonial Christianity
Principal Investigator:
Amanda Louise Johnson

Written in 1799, Robert Southey’s poem Madoc features a Welsh prince who sails to the Americas in 1170 A.D. There, he witnesses Aztecs offering the children of conquered tribes to their gods, and the text compares these child-sacrifices with the children in Wales who are sacrificed on the battlefield in wars against the English. Madoc then introduces Christianity to counter these religious practices, and also galvanize the conquered tribes’ revolt against the Aztecs. After composing Madoc, Southey quickly started writing Thalaba the Destroyer (1801), which features a Muslim hero. Modern readers often deride Thalaba as Orientalist, or as a failed literary aesthetic. A close-reading, however, of Southey’s poem reveals a radical syncretism depicts Islam, with its iconoclasm and rejection of the trinity, as compatible with Christianity. What’s more, the hero, an impoverished orphan, provides fierce opposition to a wealthy, imperial class of wizards. Amanda argues that Southey’s depiction of Christianity as an anti-imperial religion influences his depiction of Islam in Thalaba. Although Southey was historically derided as a political hack, then, his poems Madoc and Thalaba show a more thoughtful, complex understanding of the relations between religion, politics, and empire.

Inside/Outside Yiddish
Principal Investigator(s):
Melissa Weininger, Diane Wolfthal

Recent scholarship has focused on the transnational character of Yiddish, but it was also often considered a national language of the Jews. The symposium Inside/Outside Yiddish brought together an international group of scholars of medieval and modern history and culture with Rice faculty and faculty from local universities to explore the ways in which Yiddish both crosses boundaries and creates internal cohesion. It was considered: how did Yiddish move between cultures and geographical locations while at the same time serving as a locus of identity formation? Topics included the relationship of Jewish literatures to the vernacular of the dominant culture, authorship as a collaborative enterprise, Jewish treatment of Christological themes, Jewish cosmopolitanism, Yiddish and multilingualism, and Yiddish in translation, and others.

CALAC: The Critical Archive of Latin American Cinema
Principal Investigator:
Luis Duno-Gottberg

CALAC is a digital humanities initiative with a collaborative approach to the study ofLatin America Cinema. The main objective is to develop students’ analytical skillsthrough direct contribution to a growing knowledge base of detailed researchinformation about film and film analysis. This project offers a unique opportunity to integrate applied research methods and new, original research information with thetheoretical concerns of the course. At a larger scale, this project contributes tothe discoverability of less-known films and filmmakers as well as encouragingresearch on Latin American films and topics. It also provides unique tools while promoting learning by doing in the fields of digital archives.

The Recovery of a Heritage in the Making: A Digital Archive for Contemporay Displaced Spanish and Latin American Writers
Principal Investigator(s):
Gisela Heffes

Because the legacy of contemporary displaced Spanish and Latin American writers has yet to be fully addressed, there is a critical need to identify, study, and collect these literary works in an archive where they can be made available in an electronic format to everyone, from members of the public at large who want to read and analyze these works, to current and future scholars who want to both study and teach them. This work served as the scholarly platform for the creation of a cross-cultural literary archive that will enable humanities scholars of American, Latin American, and Spanish studies to explore this new wave of writers, plumbing the depths of their works, and assessing its wider significance and relevance on the Americas.

The Electronic Vesalius
Principal Investigator:
John Mulligan

This project attempted to "reanimate" Andreas Vesalius' 16th-century anatomical atlas, one of the foundational texts in modern medicine. The end product was an interactive, life-sized exhibit of one of Vesalius' flayed bodies, which will respond to a reader's touch with information about that body part as represented over the last five centuries. In a close collaboration between partners at Fondren Library (Ying Jin), the Texas Medical Center Library's McGovern Historical Center (Philip Montgomery and Sandra Yates), and the OEDK (Matthew Wettergreen, Benjamin Rasich, and Isaac Philips), this project sought to explore 1) the possibilities of interdisciplinary work in humanities/engineering collaborations, 2) the role of physicality in the digital humanities, and 3) the anatomy of ersatz life forms. See this update for more information.

2015-16

Public Humanities Initiative

The Reappropriation of a Concept
Principal Investigator(s):
Neyran Turan; Andrea Ballestero

The focus of this project was on the use of “object,” as an idea through which to investigate the difference between a subject and other entities. Focused on the still, immobile and fixed properties that objects can exhibit, this project sought to reappropriate those qualities and explore their potential for critical scholarship. The organizers engaged in a conceptual exploration to lay the theoretical foundations for two parallel and collaborative research projects. The first project was an architectural investigation of geography as an aesthetic object. The second, was an anthropological investigation of the subterranean as a political and scientific object.

Presentation of the imagineRio Project at National and International Conferences
Principal Investigator:
Alida Metcalf

By their very nature, digital humanities projects are collaborative yet cannot be funded in the usual ways. Humanities scholars are typically funded individually, yet digital humanities projects rely on teams of faculty, students, and staff drawn from different disciplines who have expertise (or who want to acquire it) in technical areas such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), programming, design, or database management. HRC funding was therefore be used to for endeavors that fall outside of the scope of individual faculty research accounts such as the presentation, at national and international conferences, of technical work, by staff and graduate students who have worked on the project since its inception.

Summer Institute for Women Surfers II
Principal Investigator:
Krista Comer

Inaugurated last summer, the “Summer Institute for Women Surfers" (SIWS) gathered feminist leaders in many areas for political education and grassroots networking. This summer the organizers highlighted a program in public oral history collection as well as will develop skills in grassroots Digital Humanities archives.

Statistical Text Mining and Concept Network for Advertisements from the Late 19th Century to the Middle of 20th Century
Principal Investigator(s):
Tani Barlow, Jing Chen

The second development phase of the Chinese Commercial Advertisement Archive (CCAA), applied statistical methods that characterize commercial activities of foreign companies in the early twentieth century “China market,” and to uncover links among commercial activities, intellectual trends and social dynamics. This work produced statistical mechanisms that enable readers to analyze advertisements quickly and easily through the following indices: 1) Bibliographical index; 2) Contextual Information index; 3) Content index; and 4) Keyword index.

Documentary Photography Lecture Series
Principal Investigator:
Paul Hester

In conjunction with the course FOTO 388 on the role of photography in contributing to the imaging of China in nonnative minds, several photographers were invited to talk about their work and offer opportunities for cross-campus collaborations with Asian Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Architecture, as well as Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. The growing importance of the visual in the mission for the Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communications also calls for a broader discussion of how visual media connect to scholarly activities.

Video Bomb Houston
Principal Investigator:
Allison Hunter

"Video Bomb Houston" involved making new art in four underserved Houston neighborhoods over the course of approximately six months. Each video, 1 to 3 minutes in length, stimulated discussion and imagination by the audience. Subjects included floating balloons, flying kites, swaying fruit trees, depicted realistically in vibrant colors. The video art was projected onto outdoor buildings as a way of bombing the art into neglected urban areas. Each projection took place on a building of cultural significance. For example, the old De Luxe Theater in the Fifth Ward has a history of providing moving pictures as entertainment. The façade of the building served as an open screen for contemporary video art. The project title, "Video Bomb Houston" refers to the phrase "photo bombing," when an uninvited friend gleefully jumps in front of your camera just as you were taking a photo of someone else. This project was designed as a playful intervention to celebrate the cultural heritage of neighbors while at the same time using the power of art in public humanities to go beyond the Rice campus, the Museum District, and artistic comfort zone.

Video Scenarios in Medical Education: Polyphony and non-linearity in Audiovisual Doctor-Patient Narratives
Principal Investigator(s):
Kirsten Ostherr, Kaisu Koski

This project connects to the views of medical humanities and narrative medicine (Charon 2006). It builds on aspects of literary and complexity theories, especially Bakhtin’s dialogic theory (Bakhtin 1981) and applications of complexity principles in medical practice and education (e.g., Mennin 2007, Bleakley 2010). The project considers an urgency to challenge the monologic and linear qualities in narratives currently produced in medical practice and education. A linear perception of the body and health is considered a prevailing problem in health care (Letiche 2008), manifesting in narrative formulas as “the patient becomes ill; patient is cured by physician expert; patient is restored to preillness state” (Shapiro et al. 2009). Moreover, while doctor- patient interaction is characteristically polyphonic, medicine is typically characterized by a “monological mindset” (Bleakley 2010:853), resulting, for instance, in doctors being criticized for not recognizing others’ perspectives (Charon 2006:8).

The Art of Energy
Principal Investigator:
Joseph Campana

The Art of Energy represented an exhibition and series of activities that understand visual art and aesthetics through the rubric of energy. Eco-art, nature art, and land art have offered, for some decades, now-familiar ways of considering the relationship between humans and their environments. Energy provides a fresh rubric for understanding human relationship to and impact on the planet. The rubric of energy encompasses a range of phenomena both central to contemporary art and life and that have structured human cultures historically. Energy is a core organizing feature of civilization, one experienced across massive scales of time and space, and yet rarely do we deploy the languages and structures of energy to understand complex cultural phenomena. The Art of Energy considered energy use and dependency, extraction and consumption, distribution and infrastructure. This exhibition considered a dynamic relationship between how energy structures aesthetic experience and how art and artists reflect on energy.

Collections Analysis Collaborative: Major Conference at Rice University and the Menil Collection
Principal Investigator:
John Hopkins

The conference was held at the Menil Collection and Rice University in April 2016. Ten scholars presented on segments of the collection and on issues related to provenance, display and publication of contested and debated objects. There was one speaker each on Egyptian art, Cycladic figurines, Near Eastern objects, Minoan and Mycenaean votives, Pre- Classical Greek art, Greek vases and ceramics and terracottas from the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. There was a keynote speaker and a talk by scholars from Duke University, who have worked on a similar (though smaller and in house) project. These formal talks were intended to spark discussion about issues of object biography, provenance, display and the curation of contested antiquities and were a critical space for discussion regarding reinstallation of the collection, which began after the conference (see C-A-C project outline, attached). The formal talks also informed the work of students in the ongoing modular course.

In the Eyes of Our Children: Houston, An American City
Principal Investigator:
Geoffrey Winningham

These were the final stages and public presentations of a project that had been in continuous operation since the spring of 2011. Professor Winningham, assisted by Rice undergraduate volunteers, had been teaching digital photography to children in Houston elementary and middle schools and guiding them on field trips across the city, enabling them to photograph their “Home + Place” in the world. The project had been a collaborative effort of e Pozos Art Project, the Houston Grand Opera, and Rice University (Center for Education, Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, and Center for Civic Leadership). Final stages of the project and public presentation consisted of: 1) a two-week workshop in June of 2016 to complete the children’s photography of the city and to add painting, drawing, and printmaking to the children’s art; 2) the editing of all work done by the children to date, including the printing of an archive of selected pictures; 3) the production of an exhibition of approximately 175 works to be presented in the Rice Media Center in March of 2017; and 4) the design and production of a book, which will serve as a catalog of the exhibition.

2014-15

Archiving the Future: The Recovery of a Heritage in the Making (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Gisela Heffes, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Building off a grant from 2013-14, the second phase of “Archiving the Future” continued to highlight a new generation of Latin American writers in the United States who possess a distinctive poetic voice anchored in the experience of displacement. The archive expanded this coming year, inviting new writers to submit longer manuscripts that contribute to new understandings of a global phenomenon that is reshaping local communities as well as the notion of a national literary tradition. The archive resided in Fondren Library’s Digital Scholarship Archive.

Expanding the Linguistic Holdings of the Houston Asian American Archive (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Christina Willis Oko, assistant professor of linguistics and Linda Ho Peché, project manager of the Houston Asian American Archive, Chao Center for Asian Studies

The Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA) currently collects oral histories and documents related to Houston’s Asian American immigrant experience. It sought to expand its holdings to include Asian-language materials in order to better document the unique cultural legacy of Asian Americans as local residents and as (trans)national and global citizens. Two workshops were organized to brainstorm the development and implementation of the expansion of the archive, including ethics, proposed procedures, sustainability, and funding.

Renaissance Life Webs (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Joseph Campana, Alan Dugald McKillop Professorship in English Literature

Renaissance Life Webs is a long-term, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary digital humanities project devoted to creating an open-source repository of Renaissance natural history texts. The project yielded an editorial collective where scholars “signed on” to edit and annotate various works of natural history. The project was intended to be an open archive, controlled-crowd-sourced site that will provide access to these Renaissance texts in modern editions, some for the first time. The larger digital projects hoped to tap into the ethos of the hive, a collective of scholars where many labor to produce modern editions for the benefit of the larger community.

Rio de Janeiro Iconography (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Alida Metcalf, Harris Masterson, Jr. Professor of History

Rio de Janeiro Iconography, part of the larger “imagineRio” interdisciplinary digital humanities project, will combine historical imagery, digital mapping and urban plans in order to understand the history of Rio de Janiero. This part of the project expanded the database to expand images created by artists in the 1840s, 1870s and 1900, decades that mark major transformations in the urban landscape of Rio. Revealing spatial change over time is a unique way to approach the history of a city and will focus specifically on Rio’s social and architectural history.

Summer Institute for Women Surfers (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Krista Comer, associate professor of English

The Summer Institute for Women Surfers gathered various women surfers, business owners and activists for an intensive seminar to examine key activist questions relating to feminist storytelling practices, issues of work and livelihood, and to create spaces of peer teaching, learning and mutual aid. The hope is that the meeting was the first of several over the next few years; one of the goals of this meeting was to explore possibilities of collaboration with other institutions.

Teaching Humanities in the 21st Century (Humanities Innovation Fund)

Organized by: Joshua Eyler, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and adjunct associate professor of the humanities

While the value of the humanities been the subject of some contention over the years, much of the discourse has been about the value of the disciplines themselves rather than the way the subjects are taught. This project sought to uncover and discuss the most innovative approaches to teaching the humanities as practiced by current instructors across the country, looking specifically at the cognitive and behavioral sciences in various pedagogical approaches.

2013-14

Advertising Consumer Culture: Transnational Branding in Modern China

Faculty: Tani Barlow, professor of history and Jing Chen, Ephemera Project Postdoctoral Fellow

“Advertising Consumer Culture” innovated at a theoretical level while utilizing the resources of the Chinese Commercial Advertisement Archive, a database emerging out of the Luce Foundation. This project sought to explain how foreign-branded commodities, the carrier of heterogeneous consumer culture, came to be celebrated during the period of colonial modernity. Neither the advertising archive nor a theory of how advertising worked in semi-colonial, Chinese, treaty-port cultures has ever been established, thus this project moved beyond the collecting and archiving phase and explore theoretical and philosophical resources. It aimed also to develop an interactive paradigm called the “exhibitionary complex.”

Archiving the Future: The Recovery of a Heritage in the Making

Faculty: Gisela Heffes, assistant professor of Hispanic studies

There is currently a generation of Latin American writers in the making inside the United States who possess a distinctive poetic voice that is anchored in the experience of displacement, but these writers do not yet have a robust forum for recognition and publication to bring together their work. “Archiving the Future” sought to enable scholars of American and Latin American literature to plumb this new wave of writers, assessing their wider significance and relevance. Because this type of project had not been done up to this point, it contributed to new understanding of a global phenomenon that is reshaping local communities as well as the notion of a national literary tradition. Once established, it will be maintained in Fondren Library’s Digital Scholarship Archive.

Avanzamos: El Taller Chicana/o

Faculty: José Aranda, associate professor of English

Now in its second year, this workshop supports advanced research in the interdisciplinary field of Chicana/o studies, "El Taller" linked scholars across universities through a range of conversations, including discussions on modernism, global labor migrations, indigeneity, environmentalism, mestizaje, and Mexican American women in the military. Graduate students and faculty gathered to critique and edit works for publication and discuss personal and professional questions of racism and sexism. The program expanded this year, including faculty and graduate students from the University of New Mexico, University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University.

The Creation of an Archive of Photographs Documenting Houston from 1966-2012

Faculty: Paul Hester, lecturer in visual and dramatic arts

Paul Hester has been taking photographs of Rice and Houston for over 40 years. In his prolific career, one of the focus areas of his work is architectural photography of structures in Houston. Hester sought to insure the safety and longevity of these images, as he believes that photographs are more valuable when words provide context. In the creation of this archive, theories of photographic history and archival systems necessarily involved a rethinking of the original basis for certain assignments and commissions.

Emergency Core (ECORE)

Faculty: Gordon Wittenberg, professor of architecture

When catastrophe strikes, it leaves behind swathes of wreckage in its wake and it takes time for relief to reach the affected communities. This project, designed by students and faculty from the School of Architecture, addressed this need with the development of the Emergency Core (ECORE). ECORE is a small, self-storing sanitary facility capable of being cheaply manufactured and cheaply deployed at disaster sites. Once assembled, it can accommodate two families with a composting toilet, shower, minor power and cooking facilities. In 2012, the initial design phase was completed and presented at the International Disaster Conference in New Orleans. It was very favorably received and now the group sought to produce a final prototype that can be put into mass production.

Eternity, Epoch, and Soul: Jewish Mystical Notions of Time

Faculty: Brian Ogren, assistant professor of religious studies

This symposium examined the role that the notion of time plays in Jewish mystical conceptions such as redemption, revelation, creation and eternity. Early in Rabbinic literature it is stated: “Anyone who gazes at four things, it would be merciful to him if he had not come into the world: what is above, what is below, what is before and what is after.” Subsequent generations of mystics took this not as an admonishment, but as a challenge. “What is before and what is after” directly relates to time, and for the mystics, rumination on these matters is a way of understanding the cosmos and of understanding the divine. This symposium addressed such understandings, resulting in the publication of an edited volume of the papers presented.

2012-13

Cargo Space

Faculty: Christopher Sperandio, assistant professor of art, department of visual and dramatic arts

The art world is defined by real estate. By remodeling a shipping container into an exhibition space, this project challenges the located-ness of the average art gallery. Traveling to parts of the city under-served by artistic institutions and programs, the mobile arts space offered to expose a wide-ranging audience to contemporary art and artistic methods. The nature of these artworks were dictated by the specific locations and through dialogue with each location’s residents.

El Taller

Faculty: José Aranda, associate professor of English

As a workshop that supports advanced research in the interdisciplinary field of Chicana/o studies, "El Taller" linked scholars across universities through a range of conversations, including discussions on modernism, global labor migrations, indigeneity, environmentalism, mestizaje, and Mexican American women in the military. Graduate students and faculty gathered to critique and edit works for publication and discuss personal and professional questions of racism and sexism.

Hermeneutics of Alterity and the Study Abroad Experience

Faculty: Wendy Freeman, director for the Center of the Study of Languages

In collaboration with the Center for the Study of Languages, the HRC funded summer courses in intensive language and technology training for students studying abroad in the summer of 2012. These courses nurtured intercultural competence and the skills of global citizenry. Students were required to participate in a technology project under the supervision of a virtual Rice faculty member. Using social media, students discussed readings and reflected upon the practical and theoretical aspects of their study abroad experience.

Medical Futures Lab Symposium

Faculty: Kirsten Ostherr, associate professor of English

Millennial Medicine was a one-day symposium that focuses on solutions to the grand challenges facing medical education. Our goal was to launch a new conversation on the future of medicine and how we should get there. The Symposium featured inspiring, creative, and unorthodox thinkers sharing their ideas and strategies. More information, including videos of each talk, can be found at: https://mfl.rice.edu

Materialism and New Materialism Across the Disciplines

Faculty: Sarah Ellenzweig, associate professor of English; John Zammito, John Antony Weir Professor of History

Defined around the primacy of matter and its properties and actions, the New Materialism challenges long-held assumptions about the nature of the stuff of the universe. The New Materialism calls for interdisciplinary methods that approach not only philosophical questions as well as issues that dominate the natural sciences and contemporary political and cultural controversies. In 2012-13, the Humanities Research Innovation Fund supported a series of speakers that led toward further development of the project.

Houston Urban English Survey

Faculty: Nancy Niedzielski, associate professor of linguistics

This project involved the collection, archiving, and analysis of predominantly conversational data from various communities in Houston. In collaboration with students from the University of Houston, Rice fieldworkers collected and archived conversational data on digital recording media. Faculty and students used this database to analyze language variation in Houston from a qualitative and quantitative perspective to provide crucial information about how language influences identity within and among different social groups.

Digitization in the Humanities
Faculty:
Anne Chao, Rice University; Hilde De Weerdt, University of Oxford; Judith Pfeiffer, University of Oxford

Collaborating with scholars at Oxford University, Rice held an interdisciplinary workshop to provide baseline instruction for scholars at various stages of familiarity with digitalization. The purpose of the workshop was to develop research skills with innovative software tools and nurture better understanding of the field overall. This workshop offered an opportunity for further instruction in digital methodologies and provides opportunities to build inventive collaborations between digitalization and humanistic research.

Building Creative Minds

Faculty: Anthony Brandt, associate professor of composition and theory; Karen Capo, director, School Literacy and Culture Project; Linda McNeil, professor of education

Focused on inspiring creativity and innovation, this project sought to develop a “Rice Creativity Curriculum” that takes a radically new approach in which students wills study a unified model of creativity and apply it broadly to multiple art forms. This project focused on developing creativity within young children in the hopes of shifting the educational models focused on standardized testing rather than the development of creativity, inventiveness, and flexibility, and self-expression. The curriculum built on emerging theories of creativity to infuse other academic subjects with the same imaginative impulse.2011-12

Cultures of Energy

Faculty:
Dominic Boyer, associate professor of anthropology; Melinda Fagan, assistant professor of philosophy; Cymene Howe, assistant professor of anthropology; Jeff Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies and department chair; Caroline Levander, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives, Carlson Professor in the Humanities, and professor of English; Cyrus Mody, associate professor of history; Casey O’Callaghan, associate professor of philosophy; Jack Zammito, the John Antony Weir Professor of History

Building upon recommendations made by the Energy and the Environment taskforce’s white paper last semester, this project generated form and momentum for the Cultures of Energy Initiative within the broader rubric of the Rice Center for Innovation and Transitions in Energy and the Environment (CITE2). Through its speakers series and spring symposium, the working group hoped to shape a vibrant campus conversation in energy humanities next year. This project promoted a multi-tiered format, bringing external speakers, faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students into creating a curriculum for the upcoming Sawyer Seminar in 2012-13. The longer-term goal for this project was to help establish Rice as a leader in humanistic research on uses, environments, and transitions of energy across the world.

Global Modernities 1750-1920

Faculty:
Helena Michie, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor in the Humanities; Leo Costello, assistant professor of art history; Deborah Harter, associate professor of French studies; Betty Joseph, associate professor of English; Ussama Makdisi, Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies and professor of history; Alexander Regier, associate professor of English

This interdisciplinary project within the humanities began with the recognition of faculty strengths in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century studies across departments and geographic specializations. It also responded to the increasing globalization of these historical fields, which have been enriched by attention to relations among nation states and national cultures.

Renaissance Posthumanism

Faculty: Joseph Campana, assistant professor of English

Renaissance Posthumanism explores the connections between the cultures of early modern Europe and current work in the posthumanities. The project culminated in a symposium followed by an edited collection that will bring together scholars of national and international renown to address the intersection of early modern literary, cultural, and historical studies and notions of the human as viewed through the lens of recent work referred to under the rubric of "the posthuman." Did Renaissance humanism in fact produces the vision of the human against which much posthumanism militates. How might emerging theories of “the posthumanities,” which tend to emphasize highly contemporary forms of media and technology with little reference to their longer histories, benefit from incorporating the tangle of humans, animals, environment, and machines that comprises Renaissance humanism?

2010-11

Exploring the Mind through Music Institute

Faculty: Anthony Brandt, associate professor of composition and theory, Shepherd School of Music

Anthony Brandt helped fund the Summer Institute, which was held in June 13-17, 2011. During the Institute, scientific fellows gained an understanding of musical structure, history and analytic methods. Musician fellows learned about brain morphology, human cognition and experimental design. All fellows also attended lectures by pre-eminent scientists and musicians who were invited to give public presentations at the institute.

Linking Philosophy of Science and Stem Cell Research

Faculty: Melinda Fagan, assistant professor of philosophy

Fagan's project aimed to bring together her research in philosophy of science and her background in stem cell research, two fields that have traditionally existed in separate spheres. Philosophy of science, Fagan proposes, can help bridge the gap that exists between scientists and non-scientists in this developing field and provide frameworks for understanding the prospects for stem cell research. Fagan posits that philosophical understanding of stem cell research should develop in continuous discussion with practicing scientists, building on and synthesizing their views.

New Methods for Health Media

Faculty: Kirsten Ostherr, associate professor of English

Kirsten Ostherr established new collaborative research paradigms in medical media studies by blending humanistic and scientific methodologies for analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging research in medical films, television and digital media.

Sources, Authors, and Concepts of Hellenistic Rhetoric Fourth to First Centuries BCE

Faculty: Harvey Yunis, professor of classical studies

Harvey Yunis aimed to assemble, translate and annotate for the first time the sources now available on rhetoric and rhetorical theory of the Greek Hellenistic period (323-31 BCE) as a joint project with Frédérique Woerther at Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris.


Practica Projects


The Humanities Research Center runs for-credit research practica in the interdisciplinary areas of Medical Humanities and Museums and Cultural Heritage. Students work with a mentor at a local medical or cultural institution and learn about their profession; at the same time, they meet regularly with a Rice faculty member in order to develop their own research project by the end of the semester. These projects run in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Research Projects

The Humanities Research Center will award summer research practica to undergraduates with strong backgrounds in the humanities. This program requires 200 hours of research-based work over the course of the summer with cutting-edge faculty on innovative humanities-based research projects. Fellows will receive stipends of $3,000.

The HRC Undergraduate Fellowship program is made possible through the generous support of Nancy and Clint Carlson, Nancy and Don Mafrige, Charles and Jane Szalkowski, Keith Lovin, John and Annette Eldridge, and Lily McKeage.

For more information on HRC undergraduate summer research fellowships, contact Paula Platt (pauladp@rice.edu).


2019-20 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Mentor: Mark P. Jones, Professor, Political Science
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tessa Schreiber (Social Policy Analysis, History, '21) and Margaret Todd (Social Policy Analysis, History, '21)

Project Description: Tessa and Margaret assisted Prof. Jones with collecting data from The Texas Legislative History Project (TLHP) which contains the records of all the roll call votes from the Congress formed by the Republic of Texas to the present day Texas Legislature. The Texas Senate Journals during the period of 1846-1900 were targeted for review to better understand Texas politics, economics and society based on the subject of the item being voted on and how individual senators voted.

Mentor: José Aranda, Jr., Associate Professor of English and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mia Guien (Art History, English, '22)

Project Description: Mia worked with Dr. Aranda's ongoing research of serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the U. S. prior to 1960. The project is part of the continuing research and translation initiative, Taller Americano de Traducción, and for ENGL 471 'Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press,' that has a curricular component of translating a novel into English during the course offering.

Mentor: Christopher Sperandio, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Isabel Samperio (Visual and Dramatic Arts, 21)

Project Description: Isabel assisted Prof. Sperandio in the production of a digital library of comic books from the public domain. The resulting collection will be a keyword searchable library of documents in PDF format, customized with metadata reflecting the publication infomration on those works, contributors, genre, and descriptions of content.

Mentor: Alida C. Metcalf, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Christina Zhou (Architecture, '22)

Project Description: Christina continued her collaborations with Dr. Metcalf, having previously worked on the illustrations in the forthcoming publication, Mapping an Atlantic World, ca. 1500, the focus switched to the production of an upcoming books on water in Rio de Janeiro. Illustrations for approximately twenty fountains and two aqueducts will be created. In addition, Christina will assist in building an image database on Gilberto Ferrez's, Iconografia do Rio de Janeiro, a two-volume publication on the major artistic works depicting Rio.

Mentor: Natasha Bowdoin, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah Easley (Political Science, Visual and Dramatic Arts, '20)

Project Description: Sarah provided assistance research and cataloguing images of Bauhaus pattern design for Prof. Bowdoin's preparations of two upcoming exhibitions, a solo show at the Amon Carter Museum, Forth Worth in December, 2020, and a permanent installation for the Rice Public Art Collection in the Anderson Biology Building.

Mentor: Ian Schimmel, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lily Wulfemeyer (English, '20)

Project Description: Lily collaborated in the design, promotion, and on-line syndication of a new, Houston-based literary magazine, Texlandia. The project from Rice faculty members Ian Schimmel, Lacy Johnson, and Natasha Bowdoin is being produced in partnership with Inprint, Writers in the School, Project Tintero, and the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston.

Mentor: Lora Wildenthal, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Alizay Azeem (Social Science division, '23)

Project Description: Alizay conducted research on "Imperial feminism" described as the Western claim that women from other countries/cultures need to be saved and often serves as justification for imperial ventures, marginalizing feminist movements. This project will highlight the phenomenon by spotlighting existing research sources (https://libguides.rice.edu/womenstudies) on it and adding related historical materials from the 18th-century to recent interventions.

Mentor: Kirsten Ostherr, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Alison Hyunji Oh (Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, '21)

Project Description: Alison assisted Dr. Ostherr with research for a chapter on the book project, 'Seeing and Sensing the Environmental Health Exposome.' The chapter will expand the discussion of datafication and global health from the question of how the concept of "virutal health" intersects with the knowledge formations defining the health impacts of global climate change.

Mentor: Alexander X. Byrd, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ashley Snell (History, Psychology, 21), Divya Choudhury (Neuroscience, History, '21), and Vatsala Mundra (Biochemistry & Cell Biology, History, '21)

Project Description: Ashley, Divya, and Vatsala looked to expand on their reserach from Prof. Byrd's course, HIST 421 'Race, Education and Society,' on the educational impacts of COVID-19 on both Asian American and African American students. The new direction would look at the causes of pandemic-related racial disparities in healthcare, especially as they are tied to education and housing, and their disproportionate effects of environmental injustices on black communities.

Mentor: Kirsten Ostherr, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Conor Rork (Classical Studies, '21)

Project Description: Conor joined a group, with Dr. Ostherr, ingestigating frontline and global Medical Humanities responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project involved assisting with interviews of research participants, conducting literature surveys and qualitative research, and assisting with database management.

Mentor: Esther Fernández, Assistant Professor, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Erin Krusleski (Psychology, Spanish and Portuguese, '21)

Project Description: Erin conducted research, gathered materials, and translated excerpts on the 'concept of invisibility' in 17th-century Spanish literature. The concept arose in fictional works from the Novatores as a phenomenon diassociated from magic and justified through disciplines grounded in sicence, technology, philosophy, and theology. Prof. Fernández wil use this work for an article in edited collection, The Dawn of the Baroque.

Mentor: Daniel Comingues, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Katherine Ngyuen (Art History, Social Policy Analysis, '22)

Project Description: Katherine assisted Dr. Domingues with collecting data for the Intra-American Slave Trade Database as part of the "Slave Voyages" website/database. She examined and documented 19th-century newspapers, evaluating and coding them for significant motifs and information related to the Trans-Atlantic slave experiences and narratives.

Mentor: Lora Wildenthal, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Leon Soifer (Political Science, History, '22)

Project Description: Leon helped Prof. Wildenthal in her preparations to teach HIST 101 'Modern Europe 1550-1789' and HIST 108 'World History since 1492.' The project entailed gathering primary sources and devloping homework questions along five themes: state formation, military changes, ideas and the economy, ideas about religion, and ideas about scientific knowledge.

Mentor: Andrea Ballestero, Associate Professor, Anthropology
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mai Han Ton (Asian Studies, Visual and Dramatic Arts, '21)

Project Description: Mai Han worked with Dr. Ballestero researching historical and contemporary renderings of underground water or subterranean imaginaries, analyzing their aesthetic elements, the contexts from which they emerged, and the braoder economic projects they were associated with.

Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Adjunct Lecturer in Humanities, Humanities Research Center
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Morgan Seay (Social Policy Analysis, '22)

Project Description: Morgan undertook research to analyze and explore the exoticization of the female body in medicine by exploring the history of medical museums and anatomical Venuses, and the impact of patriarchal constructions of women and their health.

Mentor: Timothy Morton, Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Taylor Crain (English, '21)

Project Description: Taylor worked on writing her second book of a speculative fiction triology under the guidance of Prof. Morton. The story "explores the healing, growth, and internal conflict of a young black woman as she navigates an alternate world reminiscent of Hayao Miyazakis' magical realsim and Octavia Butler's social justice themes in Parable of the Sower and Dawn in order to find her way back home."

Mentor: Alden Sajor Marte-Wood, Assistant Professor, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tiffany Sloan (Asian Studies, '22)

Project Description: Tiffany worked on a collaboration with Dr. Marte-Wood that crossed the disciplines of environmental activism, critical theory, and policy analysis, combining their research of climate change, "slow violience," and energy proverty in the Philippines. The result will be submitted for independent publication.

Mentor: Aisulu Raspayeva, Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Languages and Intercultural Communications
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ivan Gamov (Social Science division, '23)

Project Description: Ivan assisted Dr. Raspayeva in a study that examines the transnational experiences and social beliefs regarding Russian and other languages among Russian immigrants of three different generations; those who came to the United States as adults, children before the age of 5 who were brought to the U. S., and children who were born in the States. Sociolinguistic interviews gathered perspectives and perceptions on language, its usage, and multi-cultural identities. The study was funded in part by the Dean of Humanities.

Mentor: Claire Fanger, Associate Profesor, Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Marian Nájera (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Religion, Anthropology, '21)

Project Description: Marian contined to conduct research towards her senior thesis on the practice of magic by Mexican women. Data was gathered from the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN) in Mexico City and the Archivos de la Arquidióces de Monterrey, to explore the circumstances surrounding women tried by the Inquisitorial Office of New Spain (Mexico) for the use of witchcraft during the 15th-17th centuries.

Mentor: Shih-shan Susan Huang, Associate Professor, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Zhaorui Rita Xiong (5th-year Architecture)

Project Description: Zhaorui worked with Dr. Huang on her forthcoming Chinese publication on Daoist and Buddhist visual culture. The project focused on editorial and translation work, checking footnotes, formatting, the bibliography, and compiling illustrations.


2018-19 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Mentor: Julie Fette, Associate Professor, Classican and European Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Annelise Goldman (Environmental Science, '22)

Project Description: Annelise served as Dr. Fette's research assistant on her second book, about gender in contemporary French children's literature.

Mentor: Geoffrey Winningham, Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Erin Vance (Cognitive Sciences, '22)

Project Description: Erin assisted Dr. Winningham in his photographic study of the natural landscape of the greater Houston area.

Mentor: Jeff Kripal, Professor, Department of Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mariana Najera (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Religion, Anthropology, '21)

Project Description: Mariana assisted Dr. Kripal in his organizational work as the Woodson Research Center intakes a major new archive of correspondence relating to paranormal occurrences.

Mentor: Kerry Ward, Associate Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lily Wulfmeyer (English, '20)

Project Description: Lily assisted Dr. Dirk Van Teurenhout, HMNS Curator of Anthoropology, work in redesigning the Houston Museum of Natural Science's John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas.

Mentor: Shishan Huang, Associate Professor, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Zhaorui Xiong (Architecture, '20)

Project Description: Zhaorui served as Dr. Huang's research assistant for her book-length project, Buddhist Printing, Circulation Networks, and Cultural Transformation in East Asia, 850-1450.

Mentor: Niki Clements, Associate Professor, Department of Religion
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Bilal Rehman (Philosophy, '20)

Project Description: Bilal assisted Dr. Clements in cataloguing the bibliographical entries related to the study of religion in Michel Foucault's late works.

Mentor: John Mulligan, Lecturer in the Public Humanities, Humanities Research Center
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Isabel Kilroy (Cognitive Sciences, '20)

Project Description: Isabel developed an online exhibit of the Kaderli Letters on Death and Dying held by the Woodson Research Center at Rice. Her writing built on Tristan Boss's previous work with the archive in the Spring 2019 semester, in an HRC health humanities practicum.

Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecture in Humanities, School of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Priscilla Li (Biological Sciences, '19)

Project Description: Priscilla has been an extremely responsive and productive research assistant on the Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA), undertaking interviews and applying rigorous fact-checking and study-aid additions to transcripts. She has done detailed research in preparation for the Chao Center's online journal, "Transnational Asia," on HAAA.

Mentor: Randal Hall, Professor, History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Paige DeVos (Anthropology, '19)

Project Description: Paige assisted Dr. Hall with work on his book project investigating environmental thought in the United States in the 1950's. Paige worked through microfilmed or digitized newspapers and other documents identifying relevant material for an investigation of agricultural ideas.

Mentor: Julie Fette, Associate Professor, Classical and European Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Meredith McCain (Political Science, French Studies, '20)

Project Description: Meredith is a joint major in French Studies and Political Science. She was uniquely capable of aiding Dr. Fette in research in French-language materials about French society. She learned about humanistic research methods and academic publishing in the textbook arena while helping Dr. Fette conduct research in service of a new edition of "Les Francais," a college textbook in French that presents an overview of French society in all its facets.

Mentor: Marcia Brennan, Professor, Religion and Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Lynn Zhu (Statistics, '19)

Project Description: Lynn, a medical humanities undergraduate student, assisted Dr. Brennan in collecting and producing materials for her "Rehabilitation Medicine Storybook," which will feature original visual and literary artworks, coupled with related analytical reflections on our humanistic and STEM collaborations on stories drawn from a Rehabilitation medicine population in treatment with Professor Marcia O'Malley's Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces (MAHI) Lab, where Dr. Brennan, working as a Literary Artist, engages research subjects who participate in various experimental studies in upper extremity robotic therapies.

Mentor: Gisela Heffes, Associate Professor, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Mariana Nájera (Religion, '21) and Abigail González (Spanish and Portuguese, '21)

Project Description: Mariana and Abigail helped with a portion of the research for a book Dr. Heffes co-edited with Professor Jennifer French from Williams College, The Latin American Eco-Cultural Reader. The Reader was a substantial undertaking, in every way. It offered a diverse selection of literary and cultural texts about the natural world from Latin America, from the colonial period to the present. Mariana and Abigail completed preliminary research on an ample number of the texts that have gone into our current table of contents. She assisted with the completion of the project by drafting short, 1-paragraph introductions to each of the 45 selections based on Professor Frenchs' and Dr. Heffes' notes and their investigation of secondary sources.

Mentor: Farès el-Dahdah, Professor, Humanities Research Cener and School of Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Laura "Maddie" Shen (Computer Science, '21)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Anne Chao, School of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Juno Rettenmier (Political Science, Latin American Studies, '19)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Jose Aranda, Associate Professor, English and Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Catherine Soltero (Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, '19)

Project Description: Catherine assisted Dr. Aranda in his ongoing research of serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the U.S. prior to 1960. In Spring 2015, as part of English 471, The Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press, Rice students first translated Los Pochos, by Jorge Ainslie. This novel was published serially in 1934 in La Prensa, a well-known Spanish language newspaper of San Antonio, Texas. Catherine assisted in finalizing preliminary materials for the next iteration of the course, retrieving materials from the America's Historical Newspapers database, and reformatting them for translation purposes.

Mentor: Brian Riedel, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Cameron Wallace (English, '19)

Project Description: unavailable

Mentor: Christopher Sperandio, Associate Professor, Visual and Dramatic Arts
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Helena Martin (Visual and Dramatic Arts, '19)

Project Description: Helena was involved in the production of Professor Sperandio's current graphic project, a 288-page, three-volume political satire, set in a speculative future. Helena provided assistance by inking pages from this book and scanning them into files. These pages had already been scripted, designed and lettered. She completed the final step by using a brush and ink, working over the pages that Sperandio had already prepared.

Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Adolfo Carvalho (Astrophysics, Mathematics, '19)

Project Description: Adolfo designed and built a prototype simulator of the historical observation runs ("sweeps") made by Caroline and William Herschel at the end of the 18th century just outside London. Their work, which led to the development of modern cosmology and the foundation of the Royal Astronomical Society, is generally famous but hard to grasp practically because of its abstract nature. Adolfo's work allows users to see, roughly moment for moment, what William Herschel saw based on our knowldge as gleaned from the archive. In order to build this simulator, Adolfo had to familiarize himself with the archive, its legacy, and historical interpretations; he taught himself C++ development; and he wrote reflections on his work.

Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Bilal Rehman (Philosophy, '19)

Project Description: Bilal, a philosophy major deeply involved in Rice's medical humanities program, worked this summer with archival materials relating to pre-photographic visual anatomy atlases. Bilal familiarized himself with theories of embodiment and objectivity, performed bibliographical research in the history of science and medicine, and worked directly with the extensive medical archives in the rare books room at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. His literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, and photographic cataloguing of rare archival materials further develops Dr. Mulligan's work on the history of visual anatomical media and in service of future publications on Vesalius, Chardin, and embodiment.


2017-18 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Jose Aranda, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Elizabeth Martinez

Project Description: Elizabeth worked with Jose F. Aranda, Jr., who holds dual appointments in the departments of English and Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies; Arranda is also a board member of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and co-founder of Avanzamos: El Taller Chicana/o, an annual workshop focused on advanced scholarship in Chicana/o Studies, sponsored by Rice University and the University of North Texas. Ms. Martinez helped Aranda on his recovery project, transcribing texts found in the periodical La Prensa. She retyped the texts, making them readable and identified different typos or anomalies in the original PDFs so that the texts would be in a usable format for the translation course Dr. Aranda taught in Fall 2017.

Faculty Mentor: Nicole Waligora-Davis, English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Tessa Fries

Project Description: Tessa worked with Nicole Waligora-Davis, who specializes in late-nineteenth and 20th century African American and American literary and cultural criticism, with a particular emphasis on black intellectual history, black internationalism, legal studies, critical race theory, and visual culture. On one project, Ms. Fries gathered information for Waligora-Davis was editing, called African-American Literature in Transition, vol. 1910-1920 (CambridgeUniversity Press). Ms. Fries collected primary source material for the introduction to the volume and generated a historical timeline that lists key political, cultural (art, film, music, literature, drama, poetry), legal, and social events in American and African American history between 1910-1920. On the second project, Ms. Fries gathered source materials for The Murder Book: Race, Forensics and the Value of Black Life,the book Waligora-Davis was writing at the time.

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Toshiki Niimi (Architecture, '19)

Project Description: coming soon

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Michelle Wonkyung Chung

Project Description: coming soon

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill, Classical and European Studies; and John Hopkins, Art History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Leigh Wright

Project Description: Susannah worked with Scott McGill, who is professor and chair of Classical and European Studies and currently focuses his research on Latin poetry in Late Antiquity; and John Hopkins, an assistant professor in Classical and European Studies who is co-director of the program in Museums and Cultural Heritage. Ms. Wright helped to develop a collaborative bibliography and manage website materials for the year-long Rice Seminar. She also helped to coordinate logistics, liaise with scholars, and conduct foundational research for the seminar.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Miriam Shayeb (English, Spanish and Portuguese, '19)

Project Description: Miriam worked in the Summer of 2017 as the HRC's first summer-term practicum student. Working as an independent researcher in the Texas Medical Center's McGovern Historical Research Center, she combed through the collections on Dr. Joseph Jones, a 19th-c. epidemiologist and the postbellum public health commissioner for New Orleans. Her final paper for the practicum, which can be found on the HRC practica projects site, won her a prize for Excellence in Humanities Research at the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2018. Miriam is the 2018-19 President of the Medical Humanities club, and her previous medical humanities practica work for Rice's Woodson Research Center can be viewed online.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Augusto De Las Casas (Biological Sciences, '19)

Project Description: Augusto's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, began in the Summer of 2017. Augusto researched theories and practical guidelines for professional medical interpretation, and identified key questions in the current models; specifically, the experience of medical interpreters themselves has gone under-studied in the literature. In the fall semester of 2018, as an HRC practicum student and under the mentorship of Baylor College of Medicine David Hyman, Professor and Chief of Medicine, Larry Laufman, Assistant Professor of General Medicine, and Ricardo Nuila, Assistant Professor of General Medicine (and a well-known writer in medical humanities), Augusto designed a research protocol that was accepted by the Baylor, Harris Health, and Rice University IRB boards, for a study of medical interpreters' experiences in hospital settings. Doerr generously extended the term of his funding's availability, and in the Spring and Summer of 2018, he conducted his interviews and wrote up his findings. As of August 2018 he is preparing his findings for peer-review submission, as the paper's primary author.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah Lasater (Social Policy, '19)

Project Description: Sarah's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, began in the Summer of 2017. She conducted literature reviews for a research team led by Jennifer Christner, Dean of the College of Medicine at Baylor. Christner's team was investigating what community stakeholders hold to be valuable areas of physician competency but which may not be addressed in current medical school curricula. Sarah developed her own parallel research agenda into models of physician leadership in a changing healthcare environment. She continued her work under the HRC practica program during the academic year, during which time she worked as a member of Dr. Christner's team, helping to conduct interviews with community stakeholders and writing up findings. The team's work has been submitted for publication, with Sarah listed as a co-author. Her own writing on "horizontal leadership" took a prize for Excellence in Humanities Research at the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2018.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, HRC
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Shaian Mohammadian (Biological Sciences, '18)

Project Description: Shaian's work, funded in part by a generous grant from the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, took place in the Summer of 2017. Shaian explored the nature of medical leadership from an administrative lens, working in the office of Robert B. Trieu, Director of Clinical Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. Shaian informally interviewed physician-administrators at Baylor to explore the much-storied tension between the two roles, and found this to be a phenomenon whose problematic nature was overstated and interesting complexity was understated and misunderstood! His final essay based on these interviews, "Suits and Coats: Administrators and Physicians at Baylor College of Medicine," can be read on the HRC practica student projects site.


2016-17 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Davenport, Rice Gallery
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Emilia Cavallaro (Architecture, ’18)

Project Description: The summer fellow will be responsible for overhauling the Rice Gallery’s image library, including thinking up strategies to move forward. Student will add photos to the library and create metadata. The fellow will also work on a model/database that will eventually use selected images to ‘diachronically’ depict a 3D environment of the gallery. This project is in conjunction with Digital Scholarship Services and the Woodson Research Center at Fondren Library. Additional projects may include: researching upcoming installations, working on gallery catalogues, and assisting with the gallery’s physical archives.

Faculty Mentor: Nicole Waligora-Davis, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: James Carter (English and Psychology, ’17)

Project Description: James Carter will assist Dr. Waligora-Davis in gathering primary source material for both the introduction to a volume on African-American writing that she is editing for Cambridge University Press, and for an essay Dr. Waligora-Davis is commissioned to write for a separate volume in the series that addresses the response of the Black Left (1930-1940) to the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. He will also work on developing a relevant historical chronology for the 1910-1920 volume Dr. Waligora-Davis is editing.
The student will work with microfilm and electronic database research related to noteworthy historical, literary, cultural, and legal events and figures between 1910-1020,, including but not limited to WWI; Pan-American Conferences; formation of the NAACP and Urban League; lynching; “new negro movement”; Red-Summer 1919; precedent-setting legal cases related to black Americans; W.E.B. Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Charles Chestnutt, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, etc. For the second project, James will be focusing on 19th and early 20th century representations of Ethiopia in black literature and expressive traditions; political histories of the Italo-Ethiopian crisis; and coverage of the conflict in mainstream and African-American newspapers and periodicals.

Faculty Mentor: Matthias Henze, Isla Caroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sparrow Gates (Religion, ’17)

Project Description: The Hebrew Bible only presents us with a slim excerpt of the literature in circulation in ancient Israel. This project, titled Lost Judaisms, seeks to collect information about the non-canonical ancient Jewish writings. This year the focus is on a text known as the Ascension of Isaiah, a Jewish apocalypse that has been adopted and rewritten by Christians in Late Antiquity.

Faculty Mentor: S. Wright Kennedy, Doctoral Candidate in History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Manlin Yao (Cognitive Sciences, ’18)

Project Description: The New Orleans Mortality Project (http://nola.spatialhistory.org) focuses on the city in the Gilded Age (1877-1910) to examine how health, environment, and socioeconomics impacted urban and community development. This project investigates the nexus of environment, health, and poverty. It will employ interdisciplinary methods to analyze individual-level mortality data in New Orleans to uncover the spatial characteristics of the mortality transitions and the effects of uneven transitions; an approach that is only recently possible thanks to the development of geographic information systems.
This project uses a new approach to study history: historical geographic information systems (HGIS). The research team is building a spatial mortality database of 200,000 deaths to study the evolving spatial and temporal patterns of health across individuals and communities in New Orleans at the end of the nineteenth century. This will enable an examination of the intersections of disease, economics, and urban development with new levels of complexity and insight. The results of this analysis will reveal the process of the mortality transitions and the evolution and effects of the urban disease terrain, crucial information for understanding the history of urban development.

Faculty Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice of Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Marley Foster (English and Visual & Dramatic Arts, ’18)

Project Description: Marley Foster worked with Melissa Bailar on identifying contemporary French and Francophone women filmmakers who experiment with cinematic narrative form. Marley conducted research in published collections and online resources to determine the works of such filmmakers, watched the films that might or might not be experimental, and wrote an annotated filmography. She identified dozens of films made in the 2000's that disrupt classical cinematographic and narrative conventions to account for female experience in new ways.

Faculty Mentor: Moramay Lopez-Alonso, Associate Professor of History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Raul DeLira (History, ’18)

Project Description: Mapping Disease and Famine in Eighteenth Century Mexico (New Spain): This project examines the living standards of the population of New Spain (colonial Mexico) during the second half of the eighteenth century. For this, we intend to reconstruct the living conditions of people at that time, we will be working with two bodies of evidence: agricultural disasters and epidemics of that time period. With GIS tools we will construct a map to see which localities experienced climate disasters that produced a decline of agriculture production in a given year. We will also create a map of disease and epidemic outbreaks by year and by localities. By putting together these two layers of information we will ascertain the causal relation between agriculture disasters, famines and spread of disease in the different localities of colonial Mexico.

This project will also assess the nature of diseases, and their link to malnutrition with the information available today. The analysis of diseases will be complemented with literature on the history of medicine to investigate what the medical knowledge on the recorded diseases was at the time, in terms of diagnosis, prevention, and cures. We will examine if higher densities of population were correlated to disease environment due to poor sanitary infrastructure with supplemental information from the population census of 1791-93.

This is an interesting period to study because there were various years of bad weather and one that was catastrophic: 1785, also known as the “year of famine” (año del hambre). In contrast, this is also a period of economic prosperity due to a significant increase in silver production. This information will be useful to investigate how much of economic prosperity translated into better living conditions for the population of colonial Mexico, and if there were regional differences or not. This would shed light on how wealthy mining regions fared relative to other regions in the country and the degree of market integration.

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Brandt, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory, and David Eagleman, Adjunct Assistant Professor of ECE and Cognitive Sciences
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Sarah G. Graves (Composition, ’18)

Project Description: What is creativity? How does it work? Why do we have it? And where is it taking us? In a time when the old ways of living are being torn up and remodeled, human civilization is facing challenges that require all our ingenuity to address. In The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World (Canongate, forthcoming Oct. 2017), neuroscientist David Eagleman and composer Anthony Brandt unravel the threads of the arts, neuroscience, evolution and technology which make up the tapestry of human creativity, leading us on a tour through the history of innovation from the moon landings to Picasso's 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'. In doing so, Brandt and Eagleman offer a powerful examination of creativity, the strategies which stimulate it, and how it can be a driving force to propel us into the future. Through understanding our ability to innovate - our most profound, mysterious and deeply human capacity - we can rise to meet the challenge of remaking our constantly shifting world.

Undergraduate composer Sarah Grace Graves has agreed to assist David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt on the final preparation of The Runaway Species, which includes researching the images, completing the footnotes and bibliography, proofing the manuscript and more.

Faculty Mentor: John Mulligan, Lecturer in the Public Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Benjamin Rasich (Mechanical Engineering, ’18) and Isaac Philips (Mechanical Engineering, ’17)

Project Description: The Electronic Vesalius: This project attempted to "reanimate" Andreas Vesalius' 16th-century anatomical atlas, De humani corporis fabrica, one of the foundational texts in modern medicine. The end-product was an interactive, life-sized exhibit of one of Vesalius' flayed bodies, which responds to a reader's touch with information about that body part as represented over the last five centuries. It has been installed in the TMC Library. In a close collaboration between partners at Fondren Library (Ying Jin), the Texas Medical Center Library's McGovern Historical Center (Philip Montgomery and Sandra Yates), and the OEDK (Matthew Wettergreen, Benjamin Rasich, and Isaac Philips), this project seeks to explore 1) the possibilities of interdisciplinary work in humanities/engineering collaborations, 2) the role of physicality in the digital humanities, and 3) the anatomy of ersatz life forms.

Faculty Mentor: José Aranda, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Stacie M. Martinez (English, ’17)

Project Description: Stacie Martinez assisted Dr. Aranda in his ongoing research on serial novels in the Spanish-language press of the United States prior to 1960, which focuses mostly on writers of either Mexican or Mexican-American descent. As part of this research, Stacie assisted Dr. Aranda in finalizing primary materials for the course English 471, The Mexican American Novel in the Spanish-Language Press, a course designed to translate one of these novels into English, by retrieving materials from the database America’s Historical Newspapers and reformatting them for class purposes. She furthermore researched on available biographical data on the author Jorge Ainslie, whose novel Los Repatriados will be translated in the course.

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill, Professor of Classics
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Wright (Medieval/Classical Studies and Early Modern Studies, ’18)

Project Description: Susannah Wright assisted Prof. McGill in his commentary on Virgil’s Aeneid II, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press. The commentary is a line-by-line analysis of Aeneid II. Such commentaries are standard in Classics; they focus on matters of interpretations language, prosody, and history. Essentially, they are designed to explicate the poem line-by-line and even word-by-word. In this fellowship Susannah, an advanced student in Classics with an expertise in Virgil, has offered her feedback on Prof. McGill’s translations. Furthermore, Susannah has researched and annotated books and articles pertaining to Prof. McGill’s project.

Faculty Mentor: Scott Colman, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Toshiki Niimi (Architecture and German, ’17. Undergraduate research assistant Spatial Humanities)

Project Description: Comprehending Ludwig Hilberseimer: This project concerns the digital reconstruction of the key urban proposals of the influential German-American architect Ludwig Hilberseimer: his Hochhausstadt project of 1924, and his studies for Chicago, published in The New City in 1944. Hilberseimer was central to art and architectural discourse in the Weimar Republic, an important Bauhaus pedagogue, and a long-time collaborator and friend of the leading modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Focused on the principles of urban design, Hilberseimer’s planning is particularly suited to digital representation that models the controlling parameters rather than the final form of a designed work. In this way, a synthetic three-dimensional model not only helps in the historical comprehension of Hilberseimer’s propositions, it becomes a tool for generating projective alternatives to those Hilberseimer might not have himself envisioned. Fundamentally concerned with the mutable spatial and temporal relationships between individuals, society, and the environment, Hilberseimer’s visionary conception of the city exceeded the representational capacities of its time. This has limited our understanding of his work and its potential influence. This project is an effort to leverage new representational means toward an expanded realization of Hilberseimer’s historical and contemporary relevance. Hilberseimer’s humanistic approach to the city, encompassing the historical, social, political-economic, technological, environmental, and aesthetic aspects of urban life, offers an important precedent and valuable tools for the comprehensive re-conception of our urban world.

Faculty Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecturer of the Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Jason Yin (Statistics, Mathematical Economic Analysis, ’19)

Project Description: The Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA): The Houston Asian American Archive is a collection of oral history interviews of Asian American immigrants to Houston. It has become an important repository for the history of Asian American immigration to the Southwestern region of the United States, and remedies the overlooked contribution of Asian Americans in Texas history. Started in the summer of 2010, the archive has come of age and it is time to re-assess the entire project. The fellow will help design a new training module for interns by researching the current best practices in the field. The fellow will also participate in formulating a strategic plan for the future of the archive, in exploring some of the potential directions for collecting oral history, as well as in preparing a guideline by which the archival history will be collected. The fellow will also have an opportunity to suggest potential design for a web page on HAAA, but he/she does not have to possess any web-design skill. The fellow will meet with Dr. Chao on a flexible schedule throughout the summer.


2015-16 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects

Faculty Mentor: Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Jake Levens (English, '16)

Project Description: Quantum Cinematics examines the ways in which French and Francophone experimental women writer-directors craft alternative narrative structures to communicate experience, perception, and imagination. While they do not consciously explore scientific advancements, the narrative models that they create adopt traits of the quantum conception of the way the universe works as they move beyond gender and genre categorizations. The intern will watch films and read novels key to this project; find other critical resources; and meet with Melissa Bailar regularly to talk through written pieces and ideas still in formation.

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Brandt, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Greg Kamback (Architecture, '16)

Project Description: Neuroscientist David Eagleman (author of Sum, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and Wednesday is Indigo Blue) and Rice composition professor Anthony Brandt are co-authoring a book with the working title The Innovation Manifesto: Cultivating Creativity from the Boardroom to the Classroom. In the book, they assert that creativity is a universal feature of human cognition whose basic mechanisms can be described in simple terms and thereby modeled, practiced and taught. They take a broadly inter-disciplinary approach, linking disparate fields through shared creative processes.
Central to the book are the numerous illustrations that serve as exemplars. They are seeking a fellow with research and graphic and website design experience to help them with: securing copyright clearance for the images that they have selected and, when necessary, researching alternate and supplemental images; and helping with the layout and design of several sections of the book that are visually intensive. There may be additional research projects as well. In addition, Dr. Brandt is seeking the fellow’s help in developing a professional website for his composition and research.

Faculty Mentor: Joseph Campana, Alan Dugald McKillop Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Arlen Walker (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, '17)

Project Description: Renaissance Life Webs is a long-term, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary digital humanities project devoted to creating an open-source repository of Renaissance natural history texts. The project will yield an editorial collective where scholars will “sign on” to edit and annotate various works of natural history. This project will be an open archive, controlled-crowd-sourced site that will provide access to these Renaissance texts in modern editions, some for the first time. The texts will be modernized, fully annotated, and tagged to maximize searchability and to allow users to create their own clusters of texts in response to their own research interests. This larger digital project itself hopes to tap into the ethos of the hive, a collective of scholars where many labor to produce modern editions for the benefit of a larger community. To launch the platform, co-collaborators—Joseph Campana (Rice University) and Keith Botelho (Kennesaw State University) would create a pilot site by creating a collaboratively-authored edition of eight significant bee treatises published in England from 1593-1679, which will form the inaugural instance of Renaissance Life Webs and enable experimentation with digital platforms and styles of presentation and provide an initial instance of the project both useful to a wide scholarly attention and highly realized to attract future funding. The summer internship would involve transcription, TEI work, and other research work involving these Renaissance texts.

Faculty Mentor: Anne Chao, Adjunct Lecturer
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Patricia Wong (English, '16)

Project Description: The Houston Asian American Archive is a collection of oral history interviews of Asian American immigrants to Houston. It has become an important repository for the history of Asian American immigration to the Southwestern region of the United States, and remedies the overlooked contribution of Asian Americans in Texas history. Started in the summer of 2010, the archive has come of age and it is time to re-assess the entire project. The fellow will help design a new training module for interns by researching the current best practices in the field. The fellow will also participate in formulating a strategic plan for the future of the archive, in exploring some of the potential directions for collecting oral history, as well as in preparing a guideline by which the archival history will be collected. The fellow will also have an opportunity to suggest potential design for a web page on HAAA, but he/she does not have to possess any web-design skill. The fellow will meet with Dr. Chao on a flexible schedule throughout the summer.

Faculty Mentor: Farès el-Dahdah, Professor of the Humanities
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Christian Hauser (Classical Studies, fall '15)

Project Description: The objective of this project is to design a digital atlas of the Rice Campus where visual archives, locatable in time and space, can be embedded. This involves building a map that not only changes according to specific years but that ultimately shows the campus as it once was as well as it was once imagined. In its first iteration the project addresses the history of the campus, the organizing of its architectural archives, and the mapping of its evolution between 1908 and 1912. The Fellow will learn about the history of the institution as well as train in such applications as ArcGIS and Shared Shelf.

Faculty Mentor: Matthias Henze, Isla Carroll & Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Ellen Marsh

Project Description: Jews at the time of Jesus and Hillel continued to write books, even though all the books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament were already written. Not many of these "extra" writings are well known today, mostly because they are not part of our Bibles. The purpose of this project is to compile a data base of these ancient texts. The focus this summer is on a text known as "Joseph and Aseneth." The project involves some reading, library work, and discussions with the professor.

Faculty Mentor: Scott McGill
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Susannah Wright (Classical Studies, '18)

Project Description: I am completing a verse translation, with introduction and notes, of a 3200-line Latin poem, the Evangeliorum libri IV of Juvencus. The poem, from the fourth century CE, is the first Christian epic in the western tradition. The student will help with the translation, going over every line to edit and polish the work. By summer's end, we will have reviewed the entire poem.

Faculty Mentor: Alexander Regier, Associate Professor of English
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Matt McGee (English, '16)

Project Description: William Blake is what these days we might call a multi-media artist. This project will trace his impact in contemporary culture and scholarship. The student will need to be able to search databases and have familiarity with bibliographical research. Knowledge of German is an advantage.

Faculty Mentor: John Sparagana
Undergraduate Research Fellow: Monica Burckhardt (Architecture, '15)

Project Description: Assist with a series of complex visual constructions utilizing deconstruted images from Dick Tracy comics with a conceptual link to the Sonnets of the New York School poet, Ted Berrigan, paralleling opposed mythos-practices, American Comic Noir and American Transcendentalism.

Faculty Mentor: Kerry Ward, Associate Professor of History
Undergraduate Research Fellow: David Ratnoff ('18)

Project Description: From Slave trading to human trafficking: exploring illicit slave trading in the Indian Ocean during the era of abolition explores British and colonial responses to the long process of abolishing slave trading and slavery in the Indian Ocean during the nineteenth century. By comparing British initiatives to end the slave trade and slavery along the East African coast with what was happening in the Straits Settlements and the South China Sea, I will demonstrate that “slave abolition” in the British empire varied greatly according to location. Whereas the anti-slavery squadron of the British Navy patrolled the East African coast from their base in Cape Town, no similar initiatives took place in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Attitudes to what constituted slavery changed during the period of legal abolition and the issue of bondage became more complex during this period. I hope to argue that this period was a precursor to the emergence of “human trafficking.” The student-researcher will help Dr. Ward analyze primary sources on illicit and illegal slave trading and slavery cases as well as the debates on abolition and free labor.

Student Role: The student-researcher will go through the online data bases and microfilms of newspapers from southern Africa and Southeast Asia looking for articles on slavery, slave trading, and commentary on abolition. The library is purchasing an online set of British colonial reports on the Straits Settlements and Hong Kong and the student-researcher will also look for reports pertaining to the issue of slavery and forced labor. These sources will reveal that there were different perspectives and vehement debates about the nature of slavery in Africa and Asia as colonial law intersected with customary law in British colonies.