Undergraduate Research: History 2011/12

Monday, June 10, 2013
Humanities Writ Large

In the academic year 2011-12, Duke's History Department received Humanities Writ Large funding to support research leading to Graduation with Distinction. The following students received support from their distinction projects from this fund.

  • Michael Hammett received departmental funding to research his thesis, “A Rock in a Hard Place: Faith, Calling, and the Ebenezer Settlement in Colonial Georgia, 1731-1767.” He graduated with distinction in Spring 2013.
  • Julianne Kolb earned Highest Distinction with her thesis, “Machiavelli’s Perception of Gender.”
  • Deandra Mann received research support for her senior thesis, “Anxieties of Power: Cosimo de Medici and the Politics of Art.” She graduated with distinction in Spring 2013.
  • Gena Olan, a joint History and International Comparative Studies major, received research support to travel to archives in Madrid for her thesis, “’Like Light Through Glass’: Franco’s Spain and the Jewish Rescue Effort during the Holocaust.” Her research was the subject of an ICS “senior spotlight.” She graduated with distinction.

The following students received support for preliminary research.

  • Zsofia Solta used her funding to conduct preliminary research in Moscow, Russia. Photographing 27 architectural sites designed or built in the 1930s, she looked at the relationship between urban environments, architecture and preservation, state ideologies, and emerging markets. The trip empowered her “to transform an entirely unexpected and unrecognizable environment into a place of familiarity” and to develop more sophisticated questions about the relationships between institutional politics and urban design. She presented her research in a paper, “Survival or Regeneration: Architecture in Moscow” at the 8th Annual State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Ha Ngan “Milkie” Vu used university and departmental support to conduct prelim research in the French colonial archives in Aix-en-Provence, France. The thesis, “Inconvenient Intimacy: Mixed-Race Relationships in Colonial Indochina,” was advised by Engseng Ho and Laurent Dubois and was awarded “distinction” by the History department. After graduation, she matriculated to the University of Chicago to pursue an MA in Social Sciences.
  • Ian Zhang began research on a project intended to produce a “dual historical narrative” of his grandmothers’ lives in Maoist China. One was the daughter of intellectuals in Shanghai and the other was an agricultural and factory worker in Yangzhou.