The History Department offers students many opportunities to undertake fascinating research projects, either in conjunction with or under the mentorship of a faculty member. Below are recent history projects that students completed as funded Summer Undergraduate Research Projects


Boys as Beloveds: Spiritual and Sexual Scripting in the Ottoman Empire, 1520-1650

Cole Clark ’16; Mentors: Kenneth Wolf, Heather Ferguson (CMC)

In the early modern Ottoman Empire, men from the elite classes frequently praised the beauty of teenage boys in both public declarations and private correspondences. Many of these same men maintained sexual relationships with the boys they admired in their writings. However, during this time period the religious, cultural, political, and economic dynamics of the empire underwent a series of intense changes, prompting harsh criticism of these relationships and the written work they inspired from reform-minded religious reforms, jurists, and political power-players. This project examines three discursive spaces – legal decisions, poetry, and social criticism – that attempted to negotiate the shifting public and institutional boundaries of sexual attraction between men and boys. Breaking from discussions of religiously and culturally deterministic “Islamic homosexualities” advanced by Will Roscoe and Steven O. Murray, this study instead places the shifting sexual and personal relationships between men and boys within contemporaneous Ottoman negotiations over land distribution, taxation, social and religious morality, and political organization. Ultimately, this study argues that sexual scripts in the early modern Ottoman Empire were intimately connected to other societal shifts and must not be evaluated individually, but rather within the larger context of negotiated social, religious, and political institutions and practices.
Funding Provided By: NEH

Burma and the Indo-Persian World

Sana Khan ’17; Mentor: Arash Khazeni

This summer, I helped Professor Khazeni with the research for his upcoming book, The City and the Wilderness: Travel and Environment in the Mughal Borderlands. Working at the British Library in London, I collected sources on India-Burma connections under the British East India Company, during the late Mughal era, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. India and Burma grew closer due to the British colonization of Bengal in 1756, and the Burmese Konbaung dynasty’s 1785 occupation of Mrauk U. After Michael Symes’ embassy to the court of Amarapura in 1795, the East India Company and its Indo-Persian middlemen began to extensively survey Burma’s peoples and places, illustrate the grandeur of the court, translate Theraveda Buddhist works into Persian, map the state’s tropical landscape, and uncover connections between Burma and the local empires of the Mughal world. I looked at materials including East India Company files, a Persian poetry scrapbook on Tipu Sultan, travelogues in English and Persian, and Magh Buddhist manuscripts. My research shed light into the end of Burma’s time in the Mughal sphere, before the Anglo-Burmese Wars and the start of colonialism. It helped to paint a picture of the Magh and Arakan after Mrauk U’s collapse and the ascending Konbaung dynasty, and it revealed much nuance in the Mughal and British encounter with a borderland state that remained deeply part of the Indian Ocean world’s Indo-Persian networks.
Funding Provided By: Cion Estate

Pope Innocent III, Jews, and Heretics

Kai Dowding ’16; Mentor: Kenneth Wolf

Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) occupied the “throne of St. Peter” while the papacy was at the height of its influence in Western Europe. Relying on correspondence to exert much of his influence, Innocent wrote extensively to ecclesiastical and secular leaders to alternatively cajole, threaten, and lament the current state of affairs, particularly regarding perceived threats to Christendom. In addition, Innocent convoked the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, where Church leaders gathered to, among other things, clearly define the Church’s stance against non-Christian groups. This project has two objectives: The first seeks to gain a better understanding of the way in which Jewish and heretical communities fit within Innocent’s view of his world by examining, in his correspondence, the language Innocent uses to describe and conceptualize Jews and heretics, including his rhetoric and allusions to (allegorized) Biblical narratives; the second seeks to reconstruct the trajectory of Innocent’s concerns in regard to the threats he believed these groups posed to the thirteenth-century Christian community by comparing the concern expressed in his letters to the concern expressed in the official canons of the Fourth Lateran Council. As this project has developed into preparation for my senior thesis, the majority of work accomplished this summer has been assembling my sources.
Funding Provided By: La Pook Lear

The Chinese Refugee Problem in Hong Kong: Legal Eligibility

John Sangyeob Kim; Mentor: Angelina Chin

The British Archives hold records of the Colonial Office, from which detailed interaction between central and colonial governments can be found. After the Chinese Communist Party established the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the influx of mainland population became a huge diplomatic, financial, and humanitarian burden for the British government. Hoping to better their life conditions, many Chinese from the mainland both legally and illegally departed their Communist state and crossed into Hong Kong. However, miserable conditions existed in what is usually thought of as a prosperous British Colony, where land was scarce and people kept flowing in. Thousands of so-called “roof-top dwellers” lived in the streets, had no water supply or sanitation, and suffered from tuberculosis. More Chinese in Hong Kong also faced the risk of being forcibly repatriated to the mainland. The Chinese refugee problem in Hong Kong became an international concern including that of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Dr. Edvard Hambro, the then Chief of Hong Kong Refugees Survey Mission, cast light upon the economic and social position of Chinese refugees in his report, and focused on their legal position, which involved the UNHCR’s mandate, controversial recognition of Taiwanese government, and availability of relief funds. Dealt in folder CO 1030/383 (1955-1956), the legal eligibility of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong was therefore the main focus of this archival research.
Funding Provided By: Pomona Unrestricted

The New Muslims: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Tolerance in Spain

J.D. Kieffer; Mentor: Kenneth Wolf

The Nuevos Musulmanes, or “New Muslims”, a group of recent Spanish converts to Islam based in the town of Almódovar del Río, are an organization dedicated to proving that Islam espouses democracy and religious tolerance. They recall a medieval, Islamic Spain that was a flourishing center of arts, science and education. But they also see it as a time of tolerance for Christians and Jews, the inhabitants of Spain long before the arrival of Islam. In historical reality, Muslim Spain was something of a hybrid: tolerance and political expedience, religious cooperation and disagreement, ideological testing ground and bastion of fundamentalism. This in itself is not a particularly new model of so-called Andalusian Spain, however. My research focuses on integrating the perspective of the New Muslims into this hybrid model. Like the early chroniclers of Spanish medieval history, the New Muslims understand that poetry, religious symbols, and epic historical tales all have the potential to be woven into a thread of tolerance. But at the same time they can and have been used as “spiritual weaponry” against those with disparate beliefs. A reinterpretation of history is a possible route to a hybrid of Islam that holds true to both democratic and Quran’ic ideals. Integral to shifting from intolerant extremism to tolerant cooperation is a rethinking of historical symbols in a more inclusive light, an idea at the forefront of the New Muslim movement.
Funding Provided By: Cion Estate

The Origin of Hong Kong's Identity: A Look into Its Foreign Relations in the 1970s and 1980s

Jonathan Lee ’18; Mentor: Angelina Chin

This research mainly consisted of analyzing telegram exchanges from the British National Archive between government officials in Hong Kong, the U.K., China (PRC) and Taiwan from the 1970s and 1980s to look into Hong Kong’s then immigration policies and public governance. The telegrams show the struggle of Hong Kong in defining itself and creating its own identity in relations with other governments. Under British colonial rule, Hong Kong experienced a surge of economic growth while mainland China underwent political turmoil after the Communist Party took over in 1949. As a result of political persecution and economic downturn, many people sought refuge in Hong Kong, exponentially increasing its population. As the governing country of Hong Kong, the U.K. was deeply involved in Hong Kong politics but mostly just to their advantage as the U.K.’s biggest concern was that immigrants in Hong Kong would somehow make their way to the U.K. The relationship with China as indicated in the archival materials demonstrated that as while Hong Kong would seem to distance itself from the mainland, it still depended on China for vital natural resources. In most political decisions, how China might react was always taken into account. Lastly, Hong Kong’s relationship with Taiwan, a government with a similar history, appeared to be much more astringent, many times trying to shift the responsibility of accepting refugees from China to each other.
Funding Provided By: Rand 1970

When Political Thought Became Popular

Benjamin Higgs ’18; Mentor: Gary Kates

I assisted Professor Gary Kates with his research for a book about “bestsellers” of the Enlightenment period. Determining which works were most popular offers a better sense of the diffusion of Enlightenment ideas in eighteenth-century Europe. Professor Kates selected about 50 works to analyze, a cross-section of the Enlightenment’s literary scene. Professor Kates believes that the best way to determine how popular a given work was is to figure out how many editions of it were published. To do this, he has used WorldCat, a unified library catalogue system that contains the records of the world’s foremost libraries. My job was to search through WorldCat and separate out the legitimate records from duplicates and irrelevant entries. I was also charged with arranging the data into graphs ranging in topic from number of editions published to the number of translations made of given works. By searching for and compiling the diverse information that the library catalogues contain, I helped Professor Kates address a wide range of questions about the context and content of the works of the Enlightenment era. While the project is still ongoing, Professor Kates and I have noticed several interesting details about the world of publishing in the Enlightenment era. My work has given Professor Kates data that demonstrates the popularization of political theory, among the most consequential results of the Enlightenment.
Funding Provided By: La Pook Lear


From Relief to Renewal: the expansion of public housing in Hong Kong and Singapore, 1935-1970

Charles Neibel (2015); Mentor(s): Angelina Chin

Abstract: While efforts to develop comprehensive town planning programs had begun in both cities before the outbreak of World War II, the late 1940s marked a turning point in the municipal arrangements of Hong Kong and Singapore. During the two decades that followed, both colonial administrations began to rehouse squatter populations growing on the periphery of major commercial centers. During this period, authorities in each city resettled over 200,000 tenants from improvised, 'temporary' housing into coordinated residential estates. These projects, both of which initially served as direct responses to urban fires, had tremendous social and economic effects upon the populations of Hong Kong and Singapore, and, in current literature, have been positioned within a narrative of modernization. With access to the British National Archives, I examined the role various colonial authorities and offices played during this transition. The archival documents offer a timeline for each colony’s housing scheme, while providing insight into the conceptual language of British postcolonial administration in East Asia. By cataloguing a range of documents from separate administrative offices, this project has explored the relationship between social welfare, public safety/health, and urban development as each administration sought to respond to overcrowding and large-scale conflagration.
Funding provided by Christopher Rand Asian Studies Support

Land Beyond the Mountains: The Oman Interior and the Indian Ocean, 1624-1742

Clare Anderson (2015); Mentor(s): Arash Khazeni

Abstract: This project examines connections between the Omani interior and the Indian Ocean in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. While the field of Indian Ocean history has seen the appearance of pioneering studies in recent decades, relatively little work has been focused on Oman and its interior communities’ interactions with the greater intercultural networks of the Indian Ocean. Oman is an example of an Indian Ocean territory where the hinterland was closely bound to the littoral and the sea. Ruled by a powerful Ibadi Imamate since the eighth century C.E., inland Oman, far from being insignificant and isolationist as sometimes portrayed, was actually very much a part of the Indian Ocean world, linked through politics, trade, and material culture. The research compiled for this project examines the period of the Ya’ariba Imamate (1624-1742), which ruled an empire extending from the southern Arabian Peninsula to East Africa from the oasis capital of Nizwa in the Oman interior. Based on a reading of Arabic chronicles and European travelogues, it argues that the interior power structures of the Ya’ariba drew heavily from a consciousness of the outside world, and that the culture of the Oman interior shaped the networks of the Indian Ocean. “Land Beyond the Mountains” explores the political economy, trade, and material culture that connected Oman and its hinterland to the Indian Ocean.
Funding provided by Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Research Fund

The Sidis of the Malabar Coast: The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean

Anisha Bhat (2015); Mentor(s): Arash Khazeni

Abstract: This project draws upon British and French East India Company archival materials from the British Library in London, England and the National Archives in Aix-en-Provence, France to examine the history of the African diaspora in India, known as the Sidi community. It seeks to uncover and trace the networks of the Sidi diaspora and the slave trade across the Indian Ocean. These documents reveal a dramatic story of the Sidi diaspora and its power on the Malabar Coast of Western India, and reflect the interconnectedness of the Indian Ocean sphere. They bring to life its fierce warriors and rulers, fluent speakers of Persian and Hindustani languages, vassals of the Islamic Mughal Empire and deft negotiators with the Europeans and the Marathas—with whom they frequently warred. Compared with the wealth of research on slavery in the Atlantic world, only a modicum of work has been done on the Indian Ocean slave trade and the African diaspora in Asia. The history of the Sidi community in India thus redefines and adds complexity to our understanding of the African diaspora beyond the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Funding provided by Faucett Catalyst Fund

Mistress, Mother, Protector: Madame Voisins d’Ambre’s Genderbending Imperialism

Hannah Pinkham (2015); Mentor(s): Gary Kates, Margaret Waller

Abstract: After two decades living in French Algeria and observing the work of her husband, a high- ranking colonial functionary, Madame Anne Caroline Voisins d’Ambre returned to the metropole in the 1860s where she published prolifically under a series of male pen names, and eventually founded and directed two pro-imperialist newspapers. In the 1890s, she became involved in Marguerite Durand’s feminist circle, penning a regular column on Algeria for La Fronde, the foremost French feminist newspaper at the turn of the century. Voisins d’Ambre’s life and writings challenge dominant histories of French Algeria, which, until recently, have ignored or erased French women’s involvement in the construction of empire. Through a study of Voisins d’Ambre’s novels, travel writings, and editorials, I seek to understand how she tapped into contemporary discourses on race, gender, and “civilization” in order to navigate her participation in public imperialist projects at a time when French women were largely relegated to domestic spaces and excluded from political activity. Behind her shifting literary and journalistic personas of both genders was a figure rife with contradiction: a progressive social reformer who championed assimilationist racism; a feminist crusader who adopted the male imperialist gaze in her representations of Algerian women. Such contradictions provide a point of entry for understanding the complex relationships between gender and empire-building in nineteenth-century France.
Funding provided by Donors to the History and English Department SURP

Got to Move: African American Suburbanization and Migrant Labor on Postwar Long Island

Avery Raimondo (2014); Mentor(s): Helena Wall

Abstract: Away from the perceived ills of the City and troubles of the South, the white suburbanites who populated midcentury Long Island reveled in the postwar opulence of Nassau and Suffolk County. Builders transformed farms into housing developments, the suburbs stretching across county lines into western Suffolk. The Long Island Railroad and the Long Island Expressway linked commuters to Manhattan. The Brookhaven National Lab and Grumman, funded in part by defense contracts, provided quality employment. Agriculture on the East End thrived. Long Island schools were among the best in the country. This period of large-scale suburbanization, however, coincided and mixed with the Great Migration, as Long Island’s affluence attracted low-wage workers directly from the South as well as middle class pioneers hoping that their families could reap the benefits of middle class, suburban life. Both groups of African Americans disrupted their white neighbors’ notions of suburban prosperity. Over the summer, I researched how local governments, school boards, realtors, businesses, and citizens created a segregated Long Island; how the NAACP and LI CORE responded to suburban inequities with lawsuits and campaigns that illuminated the similarities between L.I., NYC, and the South; how suburbanites benefited from the exploitation of black domestics and migrant workers; and how local governments undertook urban renewal projects and displaced these families once their labor was no longer needed.
Funding provided by Hart Institute for American History

Maryland's Divided Heart: The Social Politics of a Border State in the Civil War

Ella Taranto (2015); Mentor(s): Helena Wall

Abstract: My project examines primary sources from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods to investigate the social and political influences that shaped Marylanders'; opinions about the war and its aftermath. I focus especially on the ways in which those with a strong sense of Southern identity responded to their position in a Union state under the control of the federal military. Using diaries, memoirs, letters, newspaper articles, and novels from the time period found at archives in and around Maryland, I try to identify the major contradictions that people wrestled with living in a Union state with a largely Southern heart.
Funding provided by Hart Institute for American History

Pope Innocent III and the Jews

Kai Dowding (2016); Mentor(s): Kenneth Wolf

Abstract: Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) occupied the “throne of St. Peter” while the papacy was at the height of its influence in Western Europe. Relying on correspondence to exert much of his influence, Innocent wrote extensively to ecclesiastical and secular leaders to alternatively cajole, threaten, and lament the current state of affairs, particularly regarding perceived threats to Christendom. In addition, Innocent convoked the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, where Church leaders gathered to, among other things, clearly define the Church’s stance against non-Christian groups and, of particular interest to this study, to prescribe methods of maintaining boundaries between the Christian community and the Jewish community. This project has two objectives: The first seeks to gain a better understanding of the way in which Jews and the Jewish community fit within Innocent’s view of his world by examining, in his correspondence, the language Innocent uses to describe and conceptualize the Jews, including his rhetoric and allusions to (allegorized) Biblical narratives; the second seeks to reconstruct relations between thirteenth-century Jewish and Christian communities by examining the concerns Innocent expresses when describing interactions between Jews and Christians. As this project has developed into preparation for my senior thesis, the majority of work accomplished this summer has been assembling my sources (and frantically trying to learn Latin).
Funding provided by National Endowment for the Humanities

Complicity, Collaboration and Resistance: An Analysis of Civilian Involvement with General Franco’s Regime in Spain (1939-1950)

Audrey Jaquiss (2015); Mentor(s): Pey-Yi Chu

Abstract: In investigating the nearly 40-year long dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, scholarship has gained a newfound interest in the controversial subject of civilian collaboration. While both resistance and collaboration existed, civilians were presented with a much more complicated situation than simply a choice between the two. To this end, this study focuses on the nature of Franco’s structure of power, examining the type of civilian involvement Franco encouraged and produced. Franco, it seems, did not focus on the creation of ideologically dogmatic individuals, but rather hoped above all to demand an obedient civilian. Indeed, fascism became more of a means rather than an end for the regime. While there is no denying that fascist ideology was used to repress and indoctrinate, Franco’s propaganda and political productions were largely shallow affairs that reiterated Franco’s power rather than the specific messages therein. Though under heavy surveillance, the individual held an internal freedom that was less dominated by propaganda than what we have seen in other authoritarian states-- ideological internalization was an overshadowed priority. In this sense, the civilian most often struggled with a structure of incentives and punishments rather than with ideological control, rendering the collaborative citizen largely an opportunistic or fearful one. The individual, then, ironically had all the more opportunity to both mentally resist and politically consent to the regime.
Funding provided by Donors to the History and English Department SURP

WWII Diaries of Japanese Youth

Milo Barisof (2016); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: The Second World War was the defining event of the twentieth century for Japan. Although Japan made advances after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the tide of the war soon turned, and in 1944-45 enormous devastation was visited upon the home islands. What did Japanese adolescents think during and immediately after the war? How did they view their government’s policies, the American air raids, and life under siege? Did they support the war effort only in public and yet denounce it in their diaries? My project examined and translated the diaries of Japanese youth kept during the later stages and aftermath of the war with the aim of gauging the sentiment of Japanese high school and college students. I found that while the diaries tend to manifest some rebellious impulse towards one policy or another, their authors are overall jingoistic supporters of the war effort.
Funding provided by Christopher Rand Asian Studies Support

Lau Yee Chai: The Significance of an Upscale Chinese Restaurant in Honolulu

Hong Deng Gao (2015); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: With the 1929 founding of his world- famous Chinese restaurant, Lau Yee Chai, in Honolulu, Pang Yat Chong set new standards of elegance and authenticity in Chinese dining. Most Chinese restaurants in early twentieth century America had plain architecture, modest seating capacity, and rude waiters who served cheap Americanized fare. In contrast, Chong’s restaurant featured exotic architecture, gracious service, large seating areas, and authentic Cantonese food. Between 1929 and 1965, the restaurant attracted well-heeled locals and famous visitors from around the world. When evaluated in the context of Chinese immigration to Hawai’i, which was first an independent kingdom (1795-1893) and then a U.S. colony (1898-1959), Chong’s success in promoting Chinese fine dining among non-Chinese clients is significant in two ways. First, it reflects the relatively favorable conditions that the Chinese in Hawai’i enjoyed compared to their mainland counterparts. Second, it affirms the local culture that was denigrated by the Caucasian elite. Nevertheless, Chong’s elevation of Chinese cuisine is far less than a critique of the racialized hierarchy in the islands. In order to attract non-Chinese patrons, the restaurant offered Americanized dishes and conformed to the Western perceptions of Chinese culture. Chong even went so far as to feature advertisements written in pidgin English. The influence of American tastes became more prominent after World War II, when an increased number of mainland servicemen and tourists arrived and dominated the islands’ economy.
Funding provided by Faucett Catalyst Fund

An Ideal Lady: The Evolution of Girls’ Morality Textbooks in Prewar Japan

Abigail Liles (2015); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: The interplay between education and nationalism in the lives of Japanese women and girls leading up to the Second World War represents a significant lacuna in our understanding of Japanese history. As education, specifically moral education, represented an opportunity for the government to mold youths into ideal national citizens, textbooks published by the government in the prewar period for use in girls’ morality classes illustrate the values which the government wished to inculcate in their female citizens, while revisions from edition to edition highlight changes in these government-prescribed roles. Texts from the first several decades of the 20th century thus illustrate the switch in women’s roles from private to public individuals, while texts published in the late 1930s and early 1940s suggest the growing nationalism and propaganda with which the government sought to inculcate female students. Through translation and analysis of fourteen girls’ morality textspublished from 1902 to 1941 I have been able to identify three broad shifts in content across the prewar period: an increase in national or political topics, a transformation in women’s familial roles from filial to maternal, and a move from so called “western morality” to precepts linked to traditional Shinto or Confucian ideologies. Though seemingly unrelated at first glance, each of these changes worked in tandem to promote the placement of girls and women in a national and increasingly nationalistic mindset.
Funding provided by Pomona College SURP

Everyday Life in Wartime Japan

Yuki Numata (2016); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

I helped Professor Samuel Yamashita prepare the maps that will appear in his book-length manuscript, Daily Life in Wartime Japan, which the University of Kansas Press will publish in 2016. Each chapter will include a map that indicates where each of the diarists or memoirists cited or quoted in that chapter were when they wrote. Professor Yamashita asked me to do the following: 1) to confirm the name of the writer of each diary or memoir cited in a given chapter using the catalogue at the National Diet Library (in Tokyo); Japanese surnames and given names are not easy to read, and the catalogue at the Diet Library is a reliable source; 2) to borrow the diary or memoir from that collection to confirm the writer’s location using the information in the introduction to each work; 3) to create a list of the towns or cities where each diarist or memoirist was when he or she wrote; 4) to create a map, using Google Maps, that fills an 8.5 x 11 inch page and indicates where each diarist or memoirist was; so, for example, a “1” might be used for a diarist named Nakane Mihōko, and a “1” would be placed on the spot where she was when she wrote her diary—a town called Fukumitsu in Toyama Prefecture; thus the map in each chapter would give the readers of Yamashita’s book a sense of the distribution of the material I use in each chapter. Each chapter took approximately five to seven working days to finish, depending on the number of diaries and memoirs cited, and since the book will have eight chapters, the project took quite a lot of time to complete.
Funding provided by Summer Undergraduate Research History Fund

Japanese Food: The Continuities of Archaic Food Ways

Chihiro Tamefusa (2016); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: There are many food ways unique to Japanese cuisine; the variety of ingredients used, range of preparation methods, and variation of preservation techniques are all very distinct from other ethnic cuisines. To understand how these food ways unique to this country developed, I compared the culinary methods of each prefecture and region in contemporary Japan with those of ancient and classical periods (400-1200), or even the Neolithic periods (10,000-400 BC) of Japan. I have read the forty-nine-volume work, Nihon no shoku seikatsu zenshū, which describes the food ways of each Japanese prefecture, and especially focused on the northern prefectures (Hokkaidō, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Akita, Fukushima, and Niigata) where Neolithic culinary methods are said to have survived the longest. From this research, I have found many continuities: the preparation methods of fermenting and smoking, the common preservation ways of salting and drying, or the farming technique of slash-and-burn agriculture (yakihata). This research represents only the first part of a larger project that will look into central and southern Japanese food ways.
Funding provided by National Endowment for the Humanities


The Third Force: A Study of China's Forgotten Democracy Movement, 1949-1970

Kathy Lu (2014); Mentor(s): Angelina Chin

Abstract: Conventional historical retellings of the Chinese Civil War (1946-1949) focus on two actors: the Chinese Communist Party and Kuomintang Party. Yet the self-consciously named Third Force, at that moment, was also striving to enter the political fray and shift the entrenched dynamics of power. Based primarily in Hong Kong, the Third Force emerged as not only a cry for a third path between the two behemoths, but also an attempt at fulfilling Sun Yat-sen's vision for a democratic Republic of China, which was lost in the two dominant parties. Active in the 1950s and early 1960s, this group of intellectuals rallied around the twin calls for national reunification and democratic reform, objectives that were intertwined and mutually reinforcing in their minds. The United Voice Weekly (in publication 1958-1964) is one example of a late Third Force publication. This project studies the evolution of the Third Force using articles of United Voice Weekly as a case study. I analyze the unifying themes and shifting trends of both the text and the authors themselves, building a picture of the complex motivations, hopes, and struggles driving this little-studied group of Chinese outside China. Through cataloguing their work, I unearth lost narratives of one of the only political groups genuinely seeking to achieve democracy in post¬ 1949 China, placing the Third Force alongside its competitors in modern Chinese history and retracing the legacy of democracy activists in China today.
Funding provided by Pomona Alumni SURP Fund

Taming the Waters: A History of Water Conservancy in Premodern China

Daniel Skubi (2014); Mentor(s): Angelina Chin

Abstract: The regulation of water sources and hydraulic infrastructure has been an integral component of Chinese civilization for over two thousand years. China's two major waterways, the Yellow and Yangzi Rivers, are both focal points for highly productive agricultural systems, but due to their placement have been plagued by flooding and seasonal variation throughout history, necessitating a high degree of management from the Chinese states that depend on them. As a result, Chinese agricultural technology in the imperial era was defined by dense development and complex infrastructure that allowed for very high populations while at the same time increasing the risks associated with the failure of that same infrastructure, as floods and degradation regularly undermined the resource base of both the population and the state. The struggle to maintain this system of water conservancy through the imperial era defined much of the activity of the state and became embedded deeply in the political and philosophical discourse surrounding the state's responsibilities. The intensive development of the land also led to a cyclical process of degradation, repair and expansion that affected both the physical environment and the economic and social fabric of China in ways that are still visible within the nation today, rendering the land extensively anthropomorphized and the political institutions heavily centralized.
Funding provided by Pomona Alumni SURP Fund

Searching for Home: The Assimilation of the Children of the Kindertransport

Caitlyn Hynes (2014); Additional Collaborator(s): Wendy Lower (CMC); Mentor(s): Gary Kates

Abstract: Prior to the start of the Holocaust, Jewish parents in Nazi Germany were desperate to secure safety for their children. Primarily prompted by refugee committees, British Parliament allowed for an unspecified number of Jewish children to come unaccompanied to Great Britain under the auspices of pursuing their education. This movement, the Kindertransport, saved over 10,000 children during 1938-39. This project seeks to understand the experiences and assimilation of the Kinder in Britain. The Association of Jewish Refugees has determined that roughly fifty percent of the Kinder re-emigrated following the end of World War II. Only a small percentage reunited with family, leading to the question of why Kinder decided to leave their adopted nation. Although each child’s experience was unique, social experiences shaped their outlook on their future in England. By examining diaries, interviews, newspaper articles and pamphlets it has become clear that experiences of the Kinder were challenging. Young children were often adopted into families and assimilated more easily. Older children however, were more likely to live in a hostel with other refugees, but were expected to find work immediately and faced more discrimination. Branded as 'enemy aliens,' Kinder were treated with suspicion and distrust. Schooling, discrimination, and feeling unwanted shaped the developmental years of the Kinder. Forced to leave behind their families, homes, schools, and language, many found that they were unable to fully assimilate to English society and went on to live elsewhere.
Funding provided by Oldenborg International Research and Travel Grant

Parsi Philanthropy and the development of Colonial Bombay

Aaran Patel (2015); Mentor(s): Arash Khazeni

Abstract: The Parsis are a small group of people who arrived on the west coast of India in the 7th century AD. After years of farming and weaving in Gujarat, many Parsis seized the opportunities offered by the dawn of the British colonial era and settled in Bombay at the turn of the 19th century. In addition to raising huge fortunes, many wealthy Parsi engaged in philanthropy and influenced the development of Bombay. Philanthropy is one of the central tenets of the Zoroastrian religion and that combined with a supreme spirit of humanity strongly shaped one man’s private munificence, and later his legend and legacy. Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy was orphaned at a very young age, and after working menial jobs, he remarkably rose out of the miserable conditions that were characteristic of early 19th century Bombay to become a merchant prince and amassed fortunes from the cotton and opium trade. Although he profiteered from the lucrative drug trade, his business ethic was cosmopolitan in character, and his philanthropy was not exclusive to Paris and was influenced by a genuine concern for all the native inhabitants of Bombay. He established the first hospital for the natives of Bombay, a causeway that linked the islands and paved the way for commerce, and the largest school of art in the East. His donation to public works in Bombay displayed remarkable foresight and transformed the island city into the thriving metropolis and economic powerhouse that was subsequently India’s gateway to the west.
Funding provided by Donors to the History and English Department SURP Fund

The Sanctuary Movement: Religion, Politics, and Central American Immigration

Diana Ortiz (2014); Mentor(s): Tomas Summers Sandoval

Abstract: Morally convicted Americans who believed that a higher law called them to "welcome the stranger," organized communities of faith into the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s. The Sanctuary Movement worked in defiance of U.S. immigration laws that denied political asylum to refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador because they were considered economic immigrants from non-communist nations. In response, sanctuary workers created a new underground railroad of churches and synagogues that transported and protected Guatemalan and Salvadoran refugees fleeing persecution and civil war. This research project analyzed the factors that led thousands of Central Americans to risk their lives as unauthorized migrants. Throughout my investigation of The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I analyzed primary sources detailing the social and political involvement of religious leaders in Central America and the United States between 1980 and 1990. Despite the vocal opposition of thousands, the U.S. deported Central American refugees (who qualified for asylum under the Refugee Act of 1980), while providing military aid to right-wing governments in Central America who were committing atrocities. Using the Los Angeles Times I was able to retrieve the testimonies of some of these refugees, whose survival was the focus of the movement. Even though some activists were criminalized, the movement was dedicated to increase national awareness of U.S. foreign policy and unjust immigration laws.
Funding provided by Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Fund

De Facto, De Jure and Denial: Segregation in the Los Angeles Unified School District, 1940-1980

Jessica Pena (2014); Mentor(s): Tomas Summers Sandoval

Abstract: From 1940 through 1980, the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education decision in the United States evidently did not protect students of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) from racism and increasing de facto racial segregation. Today, the LAUSD suffers more from de facto segregation than it did in the past, partially due to a series of decisions made by the Board of Education of the City of Los Angeles during the post-Brown v. Board period. Particularly, the 1963 Crawford v. Board of Ed. of Los Angeles decision and its outcomes were a crucial factor in the rampant de facto segregation throughout LA. After the Crawford decision, the Board was required to come up with a grand desegregation plan for the LAUSD. The California Supreme Court found that the LA Board had been operating a “dual school system” through which public schools were becoming more segregated than they were before Brown v. Board. The LA Board countered this argument and defended their practices by claiming that the segregation was de facto in nature and not de jure; as such, the Board felt that they could not be held accountable for de facto segregation. The Court ultimately ruled that the Board was responsible for segregation within the LAUSD regardless of its nature. Despite the Court’s rulings, several primary sources prove that many of the Board’s injustices have strongly impacted racial segregation and race relations in Los Angeles public schools in the post-Brown v. Board era.
Funding provided by Faucett Catalyst Fund

Chimera Chimerarum: How The Rhetoric of Bernard of Clairvaux Precipitated the Albigensian Crusade

Daniel Martin (2014); Mentor(s): Kenneth Wolf

Abstract: With the founding of the Abbey of Cluny in 910, a renewed strict adherence to the rules of St. Benedict spread throughout the monastic life of Europe, placing an emphasis on prayer and contemplation. Life in a monastery was largely confined to behind monastic walls, and abbots were concerned with tending to their monks. Flash forward to 1212, with the Albigensian Crusade in full swing, and monks and abbots were all across Europe, tending to Church affairs, running political maneuvers, and even participating in Holy War. What happened? The answer to this question lies in the history of the Cistercian Order, which grew from one house in 1098 to over seven hundred by the end of the Middle Ages. Cistercians Henry of Clairvaux (d. 1189) and Arnold Amaury of Cîteaux (d. 1225) each led crusading armies against the south of France during their abbatial reigns, but neither can be said to have instigated the change in monastic affairs. This credit goes to Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1143), who by his account reluctantly left his abbey to campaign for popes, preach against heretics, pen on behalf of secular lords, and encourage the Second Crusade. Bernard’s sermons, letters, and treatises, widely read by contemporaries and successors, justified monastic intervention in lay affairs, laying the theoretical foundation for the actual violence of later Cistercians. In one sense, therefore, the architect of the Albigensian Crusade was not Arnold Amaury, remembered for his cruelty, but Bernard, remembered for his beatitude.
Funding provided by National Endowment for the Humanities

Debates Concerning the True Religion: How Christian and Muslim Writers in the Early Centuries of Islam Dealt with the “Other” Abrahamic Tradition

Andrew Yost (2014); Mentor(s): Kenneth Wolf

Abstract: The aim of this project is to investigate how Christian and Muslim writers in the earliest centuries of Islam claimed that their own religion was the only true religion and that the other erred in serious ways. Soon after the Arab invasions in Syria in the mid-600s AD, a previously Christian-dominant culture had to come to terms with a new ruler: Arabic speaking Muslims. In the eighth and ninth centuries, there existed a complex social, cultural, and religious milieux in various locations throughout the Near East, all part of a relatively religiously tolerant society. It was in this context that Islamic ‘ilm al-kalam developed. Kalam was a theological but also very rational discourse attempting to determine the truth about different questions. Public intellectual debates ensued, and the main goal of this research project is to determine what sorts of strategies and themes each side used and focused on in order to best defend itself and criticize the other. Common strategies include utilizing scripture and ancient wisdom, as well as applying Aristotelian logic to determine the nature of God. Many secondary sources are analyzed in order to best understand how the modern scholarship has dealt with this issue and what avenues of research remain. This project will ultimately develop into a thesis, and the research will move to Greek Christian primary sources which will be considered in English and in the original Greek, as well as English translations of Arabic Muslim writings.
Funding provided by National Endowment for the Humanities

Growing Up in Ethnic Niches: A Comparative Study of the Labor Participation of Children in First-Generation Chinese and Korean Family Businesses

Hong Deng Gao (2015); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: In the United States, many children of post¬1965 Chinese and Korean immigrant entrepreneurs have helped out in their family businesses. However, their labor participation in these ethnic niches has been largely overlooked. Scholars from the 1980s and early 1990s mainly disagreed over whether small business ownership served as a form of economic mobility for the Chinese and Korean families. In contrast, researchers from the late 1990s onward have recognized the central role that the second generations play in small immigrant business. In addition to the statistics used in previous studies, these scholars employed in-depth interviews in order to understand the intricate process in which the second generations find themselves. Nevertheless, glaring gaps still exist in the research on how the children of Chinese and Korean immigrant entrepreneurs are faring today. None of the studies that were reviewed has investigated how the children’s labor involvement directly affects their relationships with families, their ethnic attachment, and their educational and professional outlooks. The existing research fails as well to consider the children of newer Chinese and Korean entrepreneurs, who—unlike the earlier cohort of highly-educated middle-class immigrants—have arrived in America with minimum education and few job skills.
Funding provided by Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Fund

How to Make Chinese Cuisine in France: the Wenzhou Model

Ruiyi Zhu (2014); Mentor(s): Samuel Yamashita

Abstract: The first two Chinese restaurants opened in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1910s. Today there are over five thousand Chinese restaurants in Paris. The fate of these restaurants reflects major events in the history of Chinese immigration to France, such as the recruitment of Chinese labor for World War I, the decolonization of Indochina in 1954, and Chinese economic reforms since 1978. To understand the history and development of the ethnic culinary businesses such as Chinese restaurants, I conducted in-depth interviews with migrants from the Wenzhou area who hold a dominant position in the Chinese ethnic culinary industry in France. My research revealed a dichotomy between professionally trained chefs who adhere to Chinese culinary traditions and "halfway" restaurant owners who value capital accumulation over cooking disciplines. However, the negative media coverage of Chinese restaurants in 2004 seems to have reduced the gap between the two groups. Both top chefs and ordinary restaurant owners have to face the problems caused by the lack of immigration quotas to introduce skilled workers from China and by high French taxes. Whether they actively seek change or passively watch the current developments, Chinese restaurant owners seek a solution to sustain and rejuvenate Chinese cuisine in France.
Funding provided by Pomona Alumni SURP Fund