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Watch Stephanie Roman '11 Discuss Her Research

Farmworker Movements and Organization in Ventura County 1958-1982

Ben Hadley ('11); Mentor: Tomas Summers-Sandoval

Abstract: The aim of this project was to uncover the history of farmworker movements and organizations in Ventura County, California between 1958 and 1982. Despite a more than $150 million per year agricultural industry in the late 1970s, it is a history largely left out of the agricultural labor history of the period. Research done mainly in the archives of the Museum of Ventura County showed that Ventura labor history can be divided into 3 main periods. Cesar Chavez and his Community Service Organization organized local workers against the use of bracero guestworkers between 1958 and the bracero program’s end in 1964. Labor associations were able to establish a stable, local labor supply through generous pay and benefits between 1964 and 1974. From 1974 to 1982, this stable workforce began to demand even better pay and housing, manifesting in strikes and UFW representation.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Latinos at the Golden Gate

Mindy Hagan ('12); Mentor: Tomas Summers Sandoval

Abstract: This summer I worked as a research assistant for History Professor Tomas Summers Sandoval and his new book entitled Latinos at the Golden Gate. This book surveys the history of Latinos/as in San Francisco from the beginnings 21 of the Gold Rush up to the 1970s. I assisted in multiple projects involving transcribing taped oral interviews, newspaper research, statistical compilation, detailed write-ups of key events, and formatting/editing. Through these multiple projects, I learned new ways of researching contemporary history while being introduced to the labors of academia. The work I was able to complete this summer has prepared me for future research projects by familiarizing me with the involved perspective offered by combining oral histories with newspaper recorded history, which offers less bias but is more dry as a result. The experience has left me better prepared for the future rigor of senior thesis and graduate school.
Funding provided by The Faucett Family Foundation

In search of women: uncovering women’s history at the national archives

Stephanie Roman ('11); Mentor: April Mayes

Abstract: The goal of the project was to find and index as many documents as possible (notary pubic records, marriages, testaments, grievances, etc) that evidence the activity of colonial women in the Dominican Republic from the 17th century to about mid 19th century. At fist glance most colonial era documents seem to indicate an absence of women’s involvement and participation in public and legal aspects of colonial social life. Women were, however, very much active participants in colonial legal and public life. Identifying and interpreting this participation required a particular sent of methods as well as a paradigm shift that considers women’s legal status as minors. The primary method utilized for this research was searching for the mention and appearance of women in documents, mostly in connection to their spouses or guardians, through the archival online database, as well as in various indices that have not yet been digitalized.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Political Debate and Public Reaction in Australian-US Relations, 1941-1942

Cosimo Thawley ('11); Mentor: Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: Prime Minister Curtin published an article on 27 December 1941: “Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.” Literature concerning this article and Australia-US relations at large tends to focus on one aspect—foreign policy or cultural interaction. Through close analysis of the home front—that is, the political debate and public reaction—I hope to examine several aspects of wartime Australia and its relations with the US: first, the degree of political consensus at that moment; second, the immediate public reaction, and whether government reflected this opinion; third, whether one might consider the debate and reaction as part of a process of nationalism; and fourth, the memory and manipulation of the article, and whether it was in fact a watershed in Australian history.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

The Impact of Hawai'i Regional Cuisine

Nicholas Tyack ('11); Mentor: Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: Hawai’i Regional Cuisine (HRC) is a contemporary Hawaiian culinary movement begun by twelve founding chefs in 1991 with the goal of taking better advantage of island ingredients and the local culinary tradition. My project involved analyzing the State of Hawaii Data Book to track changes in farming, ranching and fishing due to the new cuisine. A close look at the statistics reveals both the context and possible consequences of the movement. First, the backdrop to the HRC movement was marked by the decline of sugar and pineapple production and 22 the dramatic rise of tourism. Since then, the movement has had a mixed track record. More hired workers have gotten involved in local fruit and vegetable production, and production of produce like tomatoes and cucumbers has increased, but livestock production has continued to decrease dramatically. Most concerning is the decreasing numbers of local bottomfish, an important element of the cuisine.
Funding provided by Pomona College SURP

Research at Pomona