Summer Research Award for Alena Karkanias

Hi all,

Alena (left) at graduation for her sister Grace (right)

Alena (left) at graduation for her sister Grace (right)

Alena Karkanias also received good news last week regarding her AHSS research proposal. So I’ve cut-and-pasted this several times, but again: the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Alena has to say about the scope of her project:

In this research project, I will be investigating how the introduction of online and in-person sites of interaction have affected the relationship between fans and creators of media content, particularly regarding their beliefs about who among them has the authority to influence the future development of media texts. I am specifically focusing on the fan-creator relationship for the television show, Supernatural. I will be speaking to both creators and fans in order to understand the make-up of each party, their impressions of each other, their opinions regarding the idea of fan influence on the production of the show (specifically regarding the direction of the narrative and fate of the characters), and how they negotiate the changing relationship between fans and creators in light of these factors.

Supernatural’s fans and creators are unique for their overt, reciprocal affection for each other, having embraced the ability to interact with each other on sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and at conventions. However, they have also seen intense conflict mostly arising out of confusion on either side about the make-up, desires, and intentions of the other party, which leave both sides unsure about how to interpret past and present interactions and approach future interactions. My goals in this project are therefore to explicate the points of dissonance between the parties involved and develop strategies to better negotiate their interactions and foster a more harmonious approach to the future production of the show.

Alena, we wish you luck as you explore this interesting social arena. Be careful, however: Supernatural fans have evidently irked P. Diddy, and you need to tread carefully when P. Diddy is angered!

Andrew

 

Summer Research Award for Kathryn Stutz

Hi all,

Kathryn and the statue of a (faceless) Lihyanite man from the Roads to Arabia exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art.

Kathryn and the statue of a (faceless) Lihyanite man from the Roads to Arabia exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art.

So sophomore Kathryn Stutz also received an AHSS Summer Research Award. My usual summary: as you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Kathryn had to say about her project:

This summer, I will be working with a collection of archival material from our university’s Slater Museum of Natural History. These letters, biological records, and other historical documents center around a significant event in the history of the modern environmental movement: the development and eventual rejection of ‘Project Chariot,’ a proposal by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to use nuclear blasts to create a harbor in northern Alaska.

Murray Johnson (left) and James Slater (right) with materials that became part of the Slater Museum collection.

Murray Johnson (left) and James Slater (right) with materials that became part of the Slater Museum collection.

Members of the native Alaskan communities, as well as several of the scientists hired by the AEC to conduct the Cape Thompson Environmental Impact Report, found ethical, ecological, and health-related objections to Project Chariot. I’ll be using anthropological and historical analysis to look at the interactions between the AEC leadership, the scientists, the US government, the media, and the native Alaskan communities, to see how Project Chariot fits into the social, political, and scientific context of the United States during the early 1960s. In particular, I will be examining the perspective of Murray Johnson, an adjunct professor of biology at the College of Puget Sound during the 1950s and 1960s, who organized the marine mammal research team for the AEC’s Environmental Impact Report, and how his political and cultural views impacted his relationships with the other people and communities impacted by Project Chariot.

What a fascinating project, Kathryn — one that’s interestingly interwoven with our university’s history, and one that takes the anthropological/sociological toolkit into a conversation with other disciplines. Good luck! We’re excited to hear about what you find.

 

Andrew

Summer Research Award for SOAN’s Rodger Caudill

Hi all,

Rodger and DoubleLift, a League of Legends professional.

Rodger and DoubleLift, a League of Legends professional.

Rodger Caudill is another of the SOAN students to receive the AHSS award this cycle. So as you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Rodger had to say about about his interesting project:

S4 worlds

The Season 4 League of Legends World Championship, with 40,000 in attendance

This summer I will be studying the online community of League of Legends, a five versus five competitive e-sport. With a population of players larger than the population of France, League of Legends is a massive e-sport that has its own culture and large scale competitive events. Within the game of League of Legends, I will be examining “what makes the dream-work”, or in other words, what the recipe is that allows five players from all across the world to cooperate in a task more strategically complex than any sport aired on ESPN. To do so I will be researching cooperation and altruism with a sociological lens in addition to interviewing key members of this young and growing e-sport in hopes that the knowledge in uncovering the source of cooperation and altruistic behavior in this e-sport can be applied to further cooperation and altruistic behavior in a globalized world.

We look forward to hearing about your findings, Rodger, and we hope this research allows you to amass a substantial cache of Influence Points.

Andrew

Summer Research Award for SOAN’s Elena Becker

Hi all,

Elena located a rope swing

Elena and a rope swing she located.

Here’s our second winner. More to come! So as you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Elena Becker (SOAN Sophomore) had to say:

This summer I’ll be exploring the cultural authenticity of tourism in Malaysian Borneo. I’m researching whether tourists there experience authentic indigenous culture, or if their encounters with the Dayak (indigenous people) are usually staged and curated by tour operators. Through this investigation I aim to shed light on the variety of cultural expectations held by tourists, tour operators and indigenous groups and the implications of these beliefs for indigenous cultural preservation. I’ll spend six weeks in Malaysian Borneo in the states of Sarawak and Sabah.

The department is proud of you, and we look forward to seeing the results of this project. Good luck, Elena. We’ll definitely be checking in with you for an update from the field! Andrew

Summer Research Award for SOAN’s Carolynn Hammen

Hi all,

Carolynn Hammen, who evidently found her way to the shores of this Swiss pond

Carolynn Hammen, who evidently found her way to the shores of this Swiss pond

As you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Carolynn Hammen (SOAN class of ’16, and currently studying abroad in Switzerland) had to say:

For my project, I will be examining migrant access to psychological healthcare. I have the incredible opportunity of partnering with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Cairo, Egypt to conduct my research, where I will be also working as an intern in the psychosocial health division. During my stay in Cairo, I will be using the resources of the IOM to examine barriers–both cultural and policy-based–that prevent migrants from obtaining or seeking psychological healthcare. I will also be conducting a review on existing policies and programs that aim to make psychological treatment accessible to migrant workers. Once identifying their weaknesses, I will work with the IOM to construct new policy recommendations to help improve said policies and/or programs. I am incredibly excited to embark on this adventure, and to see the results of this project!

That does sound like an amazing opportunity, Carolynn, and we can’t wait to hear how it goes. And summer in Cairo … well, that will be an experience of its own. Good luck, and we’ll look for an update later in the summer.

Andrew

Thai Language to be Offered at Puget Sound Next Year

Over the coming years, the University of Puget Sound will see a new engagement with Southeast Asia, thanks to a grant from the Luce Foundation, including new language offerings, on-campus programming, and faculty-led study abroad opportunities. Next year, Thai language will be offered for the first time (as far as I know) on our campus. We encourage SOAN students interested in the region to consider taking Thai 101 in the fall, and Thai 102 in the spring. The courses will count toward Puget Sound graduation requirements as well as the Asian Studies emphasis.

Thai 101 will be offered in Fall, 2015. We plan to offer Thai 102 in Spring, 2016

Thai 101 will be offered in Fall, 2015. We plan to offer Thai 102 in Spring, 2016

If you have any questions, please contact Gareth Barkin.

Professor DeHart on Knowledge and its Limits

Hi all,

Professor Monica DeHart will be part of an interdisciplinary conversation about ways of knowing tomorrow evening. This conversation, organized by the Science, Technology, and Society program here on campus, convenes representatives from the different disciplines to discuss (and potentially debate) knowledge and its limits. Here’s the key information:

Date: Wednesday, April 1
Location: Thompson 193
Time: 4:00 – 5:30
Refreshments: Affirmative

And here’s the STS flyer for the event:

Knowledge and its Limits