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Research & Scholarship

Research Spotlight

Student Summer Research

IR Research Scholars (2017)

Cassia Bardos (A18), International Relations, Thematic Concentration 1D, The Middle East & South Asia
Evaluating Attitudes toward Feminism among Muslim Women in Jordan

Emma Steiner (A18), International Relations and Spanish, Thematic Concentration 1E, Latin America
Chilean Unions in Crisis, Discourse and Identity (1904-2017)

Jean-Charles Zurawicki (A18), International Relations and History, Thematic Concentration 4, International Security
A Study into the colonial roots of the League of Nations and U.S. Interventions in the Caribbean, 1920-1935


Borghesani Memorial Prize Recipients (2017)

Chloe Boehm (A18), Biology & Community Health
Zika Virus: the biology and pathogenesis of this emerging pathogen

Kelly Burk (A18), Biopsychology
Epidemiology of Opportunistic Infections in HIV – Positive Patients in Vietnam

Evan Fantozzi (A18), International Relations
Internship on Favela Youth Perspectives with NGO Catalytic Communities

Alexa Reilly (A19), International Relations & Biology
Grassroots On-Site Work (GROW)


Student Thesis Research (Class of 2017)

Black Students in China-Identity, Environment and Institutions in the Individual's Perception of Racial Encounters by Nia Hamilton
Director: Elizabeth Remick, Readers: Erin Seaton, Xueping Zhong
In recent years, American study abroad and scholarship programs have profoundly targeted the Black demographic, a group largely underrepresented amongst the study abroad community. Researchers have contributed a wealth of understanding about the personal and professional benefits of study abroad, and how to make these benefits more accessible to Black students. However, a general lack of understanding the perceptions of racial encounters amongst the Black study abroad population, and the specific variables that shape these perceptions, pose a problem both for administrators and recruitment efforts for study abroad. This study, focused on American Black students who have studied in China, identifies three lenses, identity, institution, and environment, that allow us to better describe the student's process of interpreting racial encounters while abroad. Results found that of these three factors, identity and environment were equally significant to the student's understanding of racial encounters in China, while institution held little to no significance. Students' lack of confidence in and connection to their study abroad institutions cause them to place larger weight on their identity and the study abroad environment, while the institution remains a passive entity. This information raises a host of questions about the role of the study abroad institution in the minority student's unique experiences abroad, and to what extent they can adapt to better serve an increasingly diverse study abroad population. Further research is suggested to measure the effectiveness of study abroad programs in creating an optimal environment for diverse cohorts of students.

All The Single Ladies: Gender and Suzhi Discourse in the Construction of Chinese "Leftover Women" by Sarah Lubiner
Director: Sarah Pinto, Reader: Elizabeth Remick
Despite the widespread coverage of sheng nü in English-language media, little is discussed about the discourses that construct the rhetoric and their implications for Chinese society. This thesis aims to add to the understanding of sheng nü rhetoric by analyzing gender and suzhi (quality) discourse at work in three Women of China English Monthly magazine articles and two independently produced music videos. Results from these content analyses indicate that the two discourses collaborated to create an environment in which sheng nü rhetoric can thrive.

Mass Atrocities and the Strategic Logic of Non-State Actors by Jameson M. Moore
Director: Kelly M. Greenhill, Readers: Jeffrey Taliaferro, Bridget Conley
While non-state actors play a larger and larger role in modern international politics, our understanding of these actors lags behind their importance. In particular, our understanding of the most violent non-state actors—those that commit mass atrocities in the context of internal conflicts or weak/failed states—is minimal, and many of their actions are still conceptualized as mere barbarism. In this paper, I attempt to reverse that notion.

The Long War: Explaining the 2003 Invasion of Iraq through Historical Narrative nd Cycles of Belligerence by Kathleen C. Schmidt
Director: Hugh Roberts, Reader: Malik Mufti
This thesis investigates the historic relationship between the United States and Iraq from after World War II all the way up to the 2003 Iraq War in an effort to understand why the United States chose to invade. Particular emphasis is placed upon the evolution of the relationship from the late 1980s to the start of Desert Storm, the impact of no-fly-zones and sanctions during the Clinton years, and the repercussions of 9/11. My thesis takes these factors into account as well as the international context of the 1990s and early 2000s, with specific emphasis on France, and how this context affected the decision-making processes over the decades. This thesis' close study of history and international politics is done in an ultimate effort to understand the motivations behind the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003.

The Strongman Speaks: Pattern of Rhetoric in the Kremlin and the State-Owned Media in Regards to the War in Ukraine by Caitlin E. Thompson
Director: Oxana Shevel, Reader: Greg Carleton
his thesis seeks understand the role of the media in an authoritarian country. Is the media an independent figure that frames a conflict in a way that differs from that of the government, like would be the case in a democracy? Or is the framing of said conflict simply copied from the government and repeated in the media? Finally, I ask what factors might influence changes in the patterns of usage in the rhetoric. Here, I ask this question in the context of the Russian government and media's treatment of the conflict in Ukraine. I examine how Kremlin pundits like President Putin frame the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, and I look to see whether the same framing is repeated in the state-owned and Kremlin sympathetic media bureau TASS. I define framing as the use of key phrases that are repeated often. Because framing of the conflict is not consistent over the course of 2014 to 2015, I identify moments of significant change in the number of times TASS mentioned a particular phrase and put this change in the context of events on the ground and public opinion in order to outline what factors may influence when a phrase is phased in or out of Kremlin and media framing of the Ukrainian conflict. In looking at how and why the framing changes, I am able to draw theories about whether the media responds to current events and public opinion or simply copies the Kremlin's rhetoric in regards to the conflict in Ukraine.