Honors Highlight: Two Students Receiving an Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Honors students always make us proud with what they’re achieving on campus and abroad! We have exciting news that two of our students, Jael Davis and Laszlo Katona are among the first recipients of SURF, an undergraduate research fellowship from the Social Transformative Research Collective. Students will be working with Dr. Ashley Stone (African and Black Diaspora Studies) and Dr. Lisa Poirier (Religious Studies).

As recipients of this fellowship, students will receive a stipend and take a tuition-free, credit-bearing humanities research methods course during the Summer I term co-taught by Dr. Poirier and Dr. Stone. They will continue to develop and work on their projects through Fall 2023, presenting at the STRC symposium on October 19th.

Congratulations, students!

Jael Davis (Major: History and Minor: African and Black Diaspora Studies)

Abstract of Jael’s Research:

The issue of present-day police brutality represents a historical continuity in how white bodies have expressed power over black bodies through a combination of violence and eroticism. Understanding the continuities and changes in how power is expressed and negotiated between white and black people in America is important to understanding modern-day police brutality.

Laszlo Katona (Major: Philosophy and Minors: History, Environmental Science, German Studies)

Abstract of Laszlo’s Research:

Laszlo’s research will focus on thinking the ‘Black Anthropocene’, essentially on how we might think about the effects of climate and the legacy of the slave trade in the same figure. He will be thinking with Christina Sharpe and her account of the ontology of the slave trade, what she calls “the disaster”, as it continually reasserts itself as material reality, and Kathryn Yussof, who examines the colonial geo-logics which changed the way white Europeans related to the Earth and to its other inhabitants, arguing that we ought to see the slave trade as a colonial technology of extraction. It will also pull from Frantz Fanon, W.E.B DuBois, Donna Haraway, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Marx. Laszlo and his faculty research team are still working through the details, but his research’s primary focus is on how we can think of the earth and race in tandem ontologically, and through a materialist orientation towards our history.

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