The Rape that Woke India Up

Nupur Agrawal and Dr. C. Mackenzie Brown

The project will investigate contemporary Indian views on rape and women’s equality in light of the recent gang rape/murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, Jyothi Singh Pandey (known originally in the press only as Nirbhaya Singh and Braveheart). This tragic event and ensuing protests unfolded while Dr. Brown was in India over last winter break (December-January 2012-2013).  To provide the necessary context for understanding the diversity of views, the researchers will examine the issue of rape in India from historical, political, religio-cultural, and legal perspectives.  The study will involve analysis of primary religious, folk, and legal texts (such as court documents on rape cases).  At the heart of the study will be interviews and surveys of Indians in the U.S. and India, the latter conducted by the student, Nupur Agrawal, who is a native of India and fluent in several North Indian languages.

Nupur Agrawal and Dr. C. Mackenzie Brown standing in front of a bookcase


Treasure Hunt: Uncovering the San Pedro Playhouse Archives

Kathleen Cuellar and Amy Roberson

Kate Cuellar ‘15 and Assistant Professor Amy Roberson, Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, will organize, make accessible, and conduct research within the San Pedro Playhouse archives. The summer research project will culminate in the creation of a web-based finding aid to the San Pedro Playhouse Archives that will guide the research of the team and others in the future. As the oldest arts organization in San Antonio, the San Pedro Playhouse is socially engaged, politically conscious, and artistically innovative. The theatre includes community outreach as part of their mission, and through their interaction with public schools, universities, and non­profit organizations, they provide education, experience, support, and a vital artistic outlet for San Antonio residents. To research the San Pedro Playhouse, San Antonio theatre’s flagship institution, through its documents and artifacts, offers the opportunity to discover the primary historical materials that embody a century of theatrical culture in San Antonio.

In Depth Study of Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini

Kevin Culver and Chia-wei Lee

The group (Dr. Chia-wei Lee and Kevin Culver) will be conducting research on the opera Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini. The group will spend seven weeks researching the history and common performance practice of Gianni Schicchi, followed by a production of Gianni Schicchi directed by the group at the Southern Young Artists Opera Project in Taiwan. Using this experience gained in Taiwan, the group will then direct a Trinity University production of Gianni Schicchi in Spring 2014 open to Trinity and the neighboring community.

Christ, Conflict, and Nation: Unlikely Alliances in the Navajo Sovereignty Movement

Isaiah Ellis and Dr. Angela Tarango

The overarching theme of our research lies in the broad but unstudied religious diversity among Navajo communities – a diversity that includes conflicts among strict Navajo traditionalists, fully-converted Christians, and alternative spiritualities such as the Native American church. Spiritual issues in the 20th century Navajo tribe were inextricably linked with their relations with the United States government, as well as with issues of tribal self-governance. Prominent in these struggles was Jacob “JC” Morgan – Navajo Tribal Chairman and Native sovereignty activist from 1938-1942.  His politics, faith, and place within his New Mexico reservation community have awarded him controversial attention from historians and scholars of religion.  Our ethnohistorical research will highlight Morgan’s life and context as well as the breadth, and the uniqueness, of the understudied religio-political diversity in the Navajo tribe. The results of our research this summer would constitute the beginnings of a larger project about Navajo religious diversity, the history of the Native American Church, or if resources permit, a biographical work about Morgan – a truly unique Navajo nationalist.

The Humpty Dumpty Project: Reconstructing the lading of a ceramic cargo from a 13th-century BC shipwreck (Uluburun, Turkey)

Evan Garvie and Dr. Nicolle Hirshfeld

This project is an attempt to graphically and digitally represent the distribution of ceramic vases and vase fragments found on the seabed during the excavation of a 13th-century BC shipwreck (Uluburun, Turkey). The ultimate purpose is to discover how the vases were stored on shipboard during the voyage — information that is important to understanding the organization of trade in the Late Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean.

Philosophy and Body Posture in the Roman World

David Harris and Dr. Tim O’Sullivan

This research project investigates ancient Greco-Roman philosophical ideas regarding the relationship between mind and body. This relationship was of great importance to the ancient Romans, and philosophical ideas influenced the ways in which the Romans held their bodies. The goal of our summer research is to identify the specific postures that had philosophical implications for the Romans and to catalog references to these postures in ancient literature and art.

Of God, Revolution, and Government: The Convergence of Religious Doctrine and Political Rhetoric during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum

Julia Smith and Dr. Willis Salomon

During the summer of 2013, the faculty-student team of Dr. Willis Salomon, Department of English, and Julia Smith, English/Chinese double major, will pursue a research project on the religious bases of political rhetoric during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1642-1660.  During this period, which pitted the revolutionary forces of a Puritan Parliament against those of the monarchy, each side advanced its cause rhetorically with reference to religion, radically reformed on the Parliamentary side and established Anglican for the monarchy. In Early Modern England, political and religious rhetoric were inseparable, and this inseparability appears in the controversialist literature of the period in the form of pamphlets, broadsides, and official proclamations.

The Persepolis Fortification Archive

Megan Kruse and Dr. Mark Garrison

The Persepolis Fortification archive, found in chambers of the northern fortification at Persepolis (whence the name of the archive) is a large archive of clay administrative tablets dating to the thirteenth through twenty-eighth years in the reign of Darius the Great (i.e., 509–493 B.C.). The archive is part of the administration of a food ration system that covered an amorphous area consisting of the environs of Persepolis (Parša), Pasargadae (Batrakataš), and Shiraz (Tirazziš) and a broad(?) expanse to the northwest along the royal road to Susa in what is today the modern provinces of Fārs and Khuzistan in southwestern Iran. As part of the protocols associated with these transactions, officials applied seals, as markers of authority/identity, to the still-moist clay tablets. The seals, stamp and cylinders, carried figural imagery, often quite elaborate, that had been carved in the negative on the surface of the seal (so as to leave a positive in the impressed state, as a signet ring in more recent times). To date, over 3000 distance seals have been identified in the many thousands of impressions from the Fortification archive, making it one of the largest single collections of excavated visual imagery from the whole of ancient Western Asia. During the tenure of the fellowship, Ms. Kruse will be engaged in preparing the unpublished seals from the archive for publication. Her work will focus on analysis of the thematic and compositional types and iconographic details of the seal designs. An important part of the research experience will be an opportunity to travel to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago to spend a few days working with the tablets themselves.