Gary K. Li

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With an upsurge of homosexuals under the spotlight of popular culture, the inescapable visibility and representation of queerness leads to the crucial question of whether this ubiquity automatically denotes acceptance or even tolerance. Gary’s project, which will result in his Honors Thesis for American Studies, will delve headlong into the issues surrounding the representation of queerness in popular culture. Utilizing a wide array of theoretical texts including queer theory, popular culture, and advertising theory as his background, Gary will decipher and examine the sitcom Will and Grace and the reality […]

Jin S. Lee

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Why do we live? What is so profound about life that drives us to live? Western philosophy overwhelmingly suggests the answer to be reason. Like Nietzsche, I rather believe the answer has to do with our passions (i.e. emotions). I wish to substantiate this intuition by critically assessing Nietzsche’s main texts, as well as pertinent secondary texts. Based on these investigations, I propose to write an expanded honors thesis in Philosophy that will examine Nietzsche’s insights on the passions, the role the passions have in his overall philosophy, and the […]

Patricia Hom

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Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide in the U.S., with over 76 million pounds of the active ingredient applied annually. Recently, atrazine has been shown to cause endocrine disrupting effects in many vertebrates. When treated with atrazine in the lab, male Rana pipiens develop pseudohermaphrotidic testes which produce oocytes instead of sperm. This phenomenon has been characterized in frogs from areas of known atrazine contamination. However, there is no evidence directly linking atrazine to these gonadal abonormalities in the wild. In this area-specific study, I will raise field-collected frogs […]

Calvin Tyi Hang

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The objective of Calvin’s study is to identify the hormonal factors and their regulatory mechanisms on GPR82 expression in the intestine. GPR82 is a recently identified orphan receptor whose ligand has not been found. Although little is now definitively known about this receptor, GPR82 may play important roles in the regulation of the GI tract. Its expression in peripheral tissues is the highest in the GI tract, and its mRNA level changes in response to the nutritional status in both a cell model and live rats. Calvin hypothesizes that GPR82 […]

Daniel Faltz

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Between 1965 and 1979, action heroines appeared in over twelve different programs — five of these with both black and white heroines — a period of popularity not seen since. I am interested in the evolution of these early heroines, and their similarities and differences in character, story, and physical display of womens bodies. I suggest that these programs include complex and flawed but still important examples of female characters with strength, independence and agency. What does it mean that Batgirl and Wonder Woman pretend to be bookish women during […]

Tammy Elwell

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During Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1989), Chile underwent extensive neoliberal economic reforms. The regime re-structured public social services and targeted them to the poorest sectors, while introducing private alternatives for those who could afford them. With the 1990 transition to democracy, the targeted approach of the previous regime was maintained, while overall social expenditure increased. Paradoxically, while poverty has sharply decreased, income inequality has worsened. Therefore, although Chile is often said to exemplify effective targeted social spending, it is debatable whether these policies allow for a viable escape from poverty. This research […]

Alejandra Dubcovsky

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Slave letters, a crucial source for understanding American slavery, have generally been disregarded. Alejandra’s project seeks to analyze the letters in the Wilson Library at Chapel Hill in order to uncover a code/protocol for the slave’s definition and discussion of slavery. Entirely conscious of the audience of his letter, the slave had to learn how to communicate, producing a letter that encompassed both what the master expected/wanted to receive, yet also expressing the slave’s own views. Thus, far from being neutral documents, these letters are composed of many layers that […]

Chau Nguyen Doan

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Chau’s research seeks an answer to this question: Do the business interests of an increasingly corporate media undermine the reporting of news on which the public depends? Media scholars have debated this key question for years (mostly answering affirmatively), but Chau hopes to introduce a novel approach to the analysis: using news coverage of media concentration as a case study. Her project will involve a qualitative and quantitative analysis of broadcast coverage by the major networks — specifically of media concentration — before and after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) […]

Kangying Connie Wu

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Twenty-five years of reform in China have impacted virtually all corners of social life. During the Mao era, urban neighborhood mediation committees helped to resolve disputes and conserve social harmony and stability in the cities. Today, the physical and social structures of China’s cities have changed dramatically, raising questions about whether these remnants of the Mao era can continue to play the same role as before. Connie Wu’s research will explore this question by comparing the present role of the mediation committees in traditional, Maoist, and modern neighborhoods of Beijing. […]

Carolina Dallett

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The Arabidopsis thaliana genome has been sequenced, allowing use of sophisticated tools for genetic studies. It is known that DME controls gene transcription, encodes a DNA glycosylase, and has homologous proteins in the Arabidopsis genome as well as orthologs in rice, wheat, and maize. We do not know, however, how this is accomplished. Carolina will investigate the DEMETER protein, essential for seed viability in Arabidopsis, using molecular tools and genetics. The project has two phases: 1) To determine if the family member proteins can replace the DME protein; 2) determine […]