Interlocking Histories in Third-Generation Holocaust Graphic Novels

Jessica Metcalf (Trinity ‘21) and Dr. Vicki Aarons

We will study two third-generation Holocaust graphic narratives: Flying Couch by Amy Kurzweil, the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and Belonging by Nora Krug, the grandchild of Nazi perpetrators. These narratives feature both emerging writers from the third-generation and the unique Holocaust graphic novel genre. We will explore the contrasting positions from which each narrative approaches the Holocaust by analyzing the experiences of the grandchildren of survivors in dialogue with those of the perpetrators. Through the contemporary genre of graphic novels, we hope to show the evolving structures, forms of representation, and perspectives in twenty-first century Holocaust representation. Our research will evolve into a chapter in The Holocaust across Borders: Trauma, Atrocity, and Representation in Literature and Culture and contribute to a new book project, The Graphic Turn in Third-Generation Holocaust Narratives.

Watch Jessie's Summer Symposium presentation

Headshot of Jessica Metcalf

Emma Tenayuca and the Language of Protest in South Texas

Maya Alarcón (Trinity '22) and Dr. Jennifer Henderson 

Emma Tenayuca was a pioneering labor and civil rights activist who founded multiple ladies’ garment workers’ unions and organized large-scale strikes against major manufacturers in South Texas. A prominent leader in San Antonio’s Communist Party, Ms. Tenayuca may be most well-known for leading the Pecan Sheller’s Strike in 1938 where she convinced female workers from more than 130 plants to join her on the picket lines for 37 days, despite being gassed, beaten, and threatened to return to the factory floor. Emma Tenayuca’s history is also significant in light of the recent struggles of migrants in the United States, including their lengthy detentions in unsanitary conditions and physical mistreatment at border facilities. More than 80 years ago, Emma Tenayuca organized a protest, much like those we see today, to challenge the beatings of Mexican migrants by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Watch Maya's Summer Symposium presentation. 

Check out this Instagram story about Maya's research!

Maya Alarcón headshot

Androids, Clones, Nonhuman Animals, and Hope: Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Elena Nusloch (Trinity '21) and Dr. David Rando 

Our research will take shape in the form of an article-length project about nonhuman animals and hope. Specifically, our goal is to establish, through literary analysis, that android and clone representations of hope can be valuable tools for imagining the hopes of nonhuman animals. Moreover, recognizing these hopes might help to improve human and animal relations. We thus turn to two novels that capture the possibilities of nonhuman experience: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. These novels are the foundation of our project because they prominently feature androids and clones, nonhuman characters that are more emotionally accessible through their shared culture and language with humans. We hypothesize that it might be more powerful to imagine non-human animal experiences, such as hope, through the lens of androids and clones because that avoids projecting human voices onto non-human animals and presuming to know their thoughts. Through unpacking these android/clone characters’ experiences, we aim to demonstrate that qualities considered exclusive to humanity, such as hope, exist on a spectrum and are accessible to all nonhuman beings. Once we recognize these shared qualities across species, we can reshape our relationships to nonhuman animals accordingly. 

Watch Elena's Summer Symposium presentation. 

Elena Nusloch headshot

Strengthening Colors of Pride Summer Research on South Texas LGBTQ Health and Resiliency

Noelle Barrera (Trinity '21) and Dr. Amy Stone 

As part of a team project (composed of 3-4 Trinity students, a community organizer and graduate students) funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and supported by the Pride Center in San Antonio, we will be researching lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) health and resiliency in San Antonio. We will be conducting an interview study on LGBTQ youth from the ages of 16-24 in South Texas (which may become the basis of a later longitudinal study), as well as assisting with a pilot study on transgender and nonbinary mental health. Another component of our summer research will involve sharing the information we gather with community organizations in San Antonio: doing focused literature reviews on topics such as LGBTQ health, family, and faith, as well as creating an assortment of visuals and infographics to communicate our findings. Along with our research, we will attend community-advisory board meetings to learn more and meet with groups who have interest in our project. 

Watch Noelle's Summer Symposium presentation.

Noelle Barrera headshot

The Preaching of Peter: Interpretation, Translation, and Notes

Kathleen Arbogast (Trinity '21) and Dr. Ruben Dupertuis

The Kerygma Petri (or “Preaching of Peter”) is an early Christian text from the early second century that has been preserved primarily through the writings of Clement of Alexandria. Believing that the text was written by the Apostle Peter, Clement cited about ten passages of the original Kerygma Petri. These ten fragments are all that remain of the text today. Despite it being a relatively short and fragmentary text, the Kerygma Petri offers valuable insight into the beliefs and development of the early Christian church. At the present time, few resources exist to enlighten interested readers and students of Early Christianity. Our collaborative research will contribute to a long introduction, a new translation, and textual notes on the Kerygma Petri. Ultimately, our summer work will be included in a two-part volume on both the Kerygma Petri and the Gospel of Peter, another early Christian text associated with the Apostle Peter. The volume will be published by Cascade Books as part of the Early Christian Apocrypha Series.

View Kathleen's poster. 

Kathleen Arbogast headshot

Creating a Model of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies

Gloria Gatchel (Trinity '21) and Dr. Chad Spigel

Routledge Press has a series of books that are overviews of how undergraduate research is carried out in different academic fields. Our goal is to write a book for their series that applies this overview of undergraduate research in the context of religious studies. This book will be designed to support students as they try to navigate undergraduate research projects and to support faculty by giving them resources to create research opportunities in religious studies for their students. This summer we are focusing on several parts of the book. First, we will provide an overview of the basic process of doing research in religious studies, and build a bibliography of scholarship on how the research is conducted. Second, we will contact different universities to find specific examples of undergraduate research projects that demonstrate the broad range of religious studies, to illustrate how faculty can collaborate with undergraduate students on different types of religious studies research projects. Third, we will create a list of online resources that faculty and students can use to learn about and conduct undergraduate research.

Check out this Instagram story about Gloria's research!

Watch Gloria's Summer Symposium presentation. 

Gloria Gatchel headshot

Marriage: A History

Camille Gilvar (Trinity '22) and Dr. Anene Ejikeme

For roughly 2,000 years, Confucianism has helped shape East Asian culture, especially in China. Confucianism established marriage roles within China, with these beliefs dominating notions of what “traditional marriage” in East Asian countries looks like. Since the 1950s, however, marriage has changed dramatically in China as women gain more freedoms and equality in their relationships, and as social and political changes continue to impact familial structures. This is part of a larger research project on the history of marriage cross-culturally. This Summer Undergraduate Research Project will focuson China and other East Asian countries. This Summer research will explore the history of marriage, focusing on locating and uncovering forms of marriage in earlier eras that do not conform to contemporary notions of “traditional marriage.”

Watch Cami's Summer Symposium presentation.

Camille Gilvar headshot

Creating a Digital Gallery of the Library Mural

Peyton Tvrdy (Trinity '21) and Elizabeth Poff

The Sicner Mural in Coates Library is one of the most memorable landmarks of our university. Our research this summer will contribute to the legacy of this mural through the creation of an online research guide for all those who wish to know more about the mural and its history. Resources will include a catalog of the various figures in the mural with supporting documents, an online gallery for the mural, and a guide on the mural’s message as a whole, putting into context the individual art with the theme of "Man's Evolving Images: Printing and Writing.” This project aims to provide the Trinity community with resources on the mural from an artistic, historic, and cultural point of view.

Check out this Instagram story about Peyton's research. 

Read the Coates Library interview with Peyton. 

Watch Peyton's Summer Symposium presentation. 

The final product of Peyton's research, the mural website and virtual exhibit titled "Man's Evolving Images, Printing and Writing," includes all the artwork she cataloged, the exhibit she created highlighting themes, artists and mediums used throughout the mural, and the section on the mural's artist, James Sicner, complete with audio clips from 40 years ago!  

Peyton Tvrdy headshot

A Qualitative Exploration of Relational Reconnection on Social Network Sites

Levi Ross (Trinity '22) and Dr. Erin Sumner

Relational reconnection refers to the process of re-establishing a relationship in which partners had previously lost touch. Social network sites (SNSs) are prominent venues for users to reconnect with people from their past (Ramirez et al., 2017). SNSs provide a searchable database of users' networks, and offer friend recommendations based on overlapping social ties. Users might also stumble upon someone from their past while interacting on a mutual friend's profile. All of these features provide opportunities to reconnect with a dormant relational partner, and perhaps even rebuild the relationship. Questions remain, however, regarding who is reconnecting on SNS, why these partners decided to reinvigorate their dormant relationship, and why they lost touch in the first place. Past research implies that some relationships have a clear point of termination, such as a break-up or messy fight in which partners elected to sever their connection. Other relationships, however, seem to simply drift away over the years until communication essentially ceases and the relationship falls dormant. Our SURF project will examine qualitative accounts from participants who recently reconnected with someone from their past using a SNS. Extant relational reconnection research has employed quantitative methods, so our analysis will provide more nuance regarding the relational reconnection process.

Watch Levi's Summer Symposium presentation

Levi Ross headshot

Theatre-Making in the Age of Covid-19

Rachel Morris (Trinity '21), Aria Gaston-Panthaki (Trinity '21) and Dr. Nathan Stith

Through extensive interviews (conducted online) with theatre professionals from around the country (including, but not limited to actors, directors, stage managers, designers, technicians, playwrights and producers) my students and I will compile data to develop a deeper understanding of the impact Covid-19 and the resulting closure of all live performance spaces have had on these artists both personally and professionally. We will use these interviews to develop a documentary-style performance piece (using the actual words of these artists) to tell the story of how artists whose art is centered around live human connection are surviving this period where the ability to use art to connect with other humans in a shared space is mostly impossible.

Watch Rachel and Aria's Summer Symposium presentation.  

Rachel Morris headshot
Aria Gaston-Panthaki headshot

Monument and Ruin in the Architecture of Lina Bo Bardi 

Henry Kneidel (Trinity '21) and Dr. Kathryn O'Rourke

This project will advance our understanding of the work of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-92), who was one of the leading architects of twentieth-century Brazil, and a major, although still understudied contributor to architectural modernism. It focuses on Bo Bardi’s SESC Pompéia Building (1977-1986). The SESC Pompéia Building is a multi-purpose civic space that the architect created by adapting and partially restoring abandoned 1920s steel drum factory buildings. This repurposing, like many of her other design choices, reflected Bo Bardi’s understanding of urban life in São Paulo and her belief in the potential to transform it through design. The SESC was Bo Bardi’s first civic building since the Brazilian armed forces tookover the government in 1964. Until this commission, Bo Bardi’s avant-garde style had been prohibited by the state. My study will examine how Bo Bardi’s innovative design for the SESC Pompéia expressed her vision for São Paulo, the building’s status in a turbulent period in Brazil’s political and economic history, and its relationship to broader currents in architectural modernism. My research will inform Dr. Kathryn O’Rourke’s work on Bo Bardi’s Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo, which is one of the subjects of her book project, Archaism and Humanism in Modern Architecture.

Watch Henry's Summer Symposium presentation

Henry Kneidel headshot

Four-Color Closet: Charting LGBTQ Representation in

American Comic Books

Stephen Ford (Trinity '21) and Dr. Aaron Delwiche

In contemporary American culture, equal representation for all is a noble doctrine that we strive to incorporate in every aspect of media. Although representation has improved for some minority groups, the fact remains that LGBTQ characters are either invisible or misrepresented. With a wide array of characters, from a multitude of backgrounds, the comic book industry has the potential to aid in the representation of gay characters. Through our research, Dr. Delwiche and I hope to determine how representations of minority characters have evolved during the past 31 years. Our study will cover the representation of LGBTQ characters beginning in 1989 through 2020. We chose 1989 as the beginning of the study due to the fact that the Comic Code Authority (CCA) explicitly prohibited portrayal of any LGBTQ characters in comic books from 1954 through 1989. Historically, comic books have told stories of gamma-radiated heroes, galactic empires, alternate timelines, crime-fighting super-pets, displaying the medium’s ability to capture the imagination of millions of readers. However, despite their creativity and representation of fictional races and species, are they finding room for equally compelling stories about LGBTQ characters?

Watch Stephen's Summer Symposium presentation

View the Rainbow Bridge Database. 

Stephen Ford headshot

Trans-Ethnic Performance and Pan-Asian-ness in Texas Food Ways

Tryne Vander Straten (Trinity '21)  and Dr. Gina Tam

Chinese and pan-Asian restaurants in the United States play a unique role in shaping our understanding of Chinese food and its authenticity. When we consider the phenomenon of Asian-style restaurants being run by immigrant Chinese owners, we see that a restaurant owner’s identity becomes distinct from the one that they perform for their customers. In San Antonio, Nama Ramen and Kuma are two neighboring restaurants owned by the same Chinese immigrant, and serve Japanese food and a Hong Kong waffle dessert, respectively. Many other Chinese restaurant owners also serve Asian-based food that is not always necessarily marketed as Chinese. This project intends to use ethnographic interviews of Chinese restaurant owners and staff in San Antonio and Houston’s Chinatown, as well as archival research on Chinese immigration to Texas, to call into question how immigrants’ identities influence the food they serve. We will explore the historical development of this kind of trans-ethnic food performance by Asian immigrants in Texas. Moreover, the project will highlight the relationship between the Chinese diaspora in America and food performance and marketing, reframing how we understand Chinese and Asian food, ethnicity, and ethnic identity.

Watch Tryne's Summer Symposium presentation

Check out this Instagram story about Tryne's research! 

Tryne Vander Straten headshot

Pawns at Play: Refugees and the Game of Foreign Policy

Benjamin Falcon (Trinity '22) and Dr. Sussan Siavoshi

For the past four decades, Iran and Pakistan have been hosts to the largest Afghan refugee populations. During the first decade, both countries adopted a relatively open-door refugee approach, treating Afghans as their guests. The sign of a change, however, most evident in both countries’ emphasis on mass repatriation, appeared in the early 1990s (see UNHCR statistics, different years). As of now, the open door approach seems to have become a relic of the past. What explains such a shift in policy? Even though domestic political, social, and economic factors play important roles in determining any country’s (Iran and Pakistan, included) approach to refugees, one cannot ignore the impact of foreign policy goals and orientation of a state in setting such policies. The purpose of this comparative study is to investigate the nexus of refugee and foreign policy of Iran and Pakistan. Despite their different international standing/posturing (Iran is a strategically lonely country, shunned by the US and many powerful regional actors, while Pakistan, a nuclear power, has good working relations with most powerful countries including the US) these two neighbors have certain similar security and foreign policy concerns that have spilled over into their refugee policy. The argument of this paper is that in each case the shift from open to close door refugee policy has a close connection to the foreign policy goals of each country. Very little scholarly work has been done to analyze the nexus of foreign and refugee policy for either Pakistan or Iran. The purpose of this study is thus twofold. One is to contribute to filling up the above-mentioned gap in our knowledge about the connection between foreign policy and refugee approach in the two countries. The other is to contribute to the process of theory building in refugee studies.

View Ben's poster.

Benjamin Falcon headshot

More than a Beer: A Primary Source Study of Adolphus Bush's Business Career

Anthony Tresca (Trinity '21) and Dr. Todd Barnett

Despite spearheading the company that now produces one out of every four beers in the world, very little scholarly research has been done about the cofounder of Anheuser-Busch: Adolphus Busch. This is because a copious amount of his personal records and company correspondence have been hidden away in archives protected by the company. Our project has received unprecedented access to the Anheuser Busch Brewing Association Archives at AB Inbev SA/NV in St. Louis to company records that have been guarded for years. Our access to this archive will allow us to learn more about Adolphus Busch and Anheuser-Busch than ever before through never before published correspondence, company officer communications, and marketing material. Unfortunately, we cannot visit these archives, which was meant to be the main focus of the project. However, Dr. Barnett has submitted requests for scans of archival materials from some of the archives on the original list and already has some scans of archival material in his possession. Anthony will help Dr. Barnett transcribe and organize these sources, and will help conduct original research in recently released digitally searchable historic St. Louis newspapers. Utilizing the primary source research we hope to chart the factors that allowed Busch to achieve such market dominance in the face of the rising prohibition movement, and the connections between his brewing career and his other business pursuits, such as the Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Company and his real estate empire. We hope to produce at least two scholarly articles directly from the findings of this project. The work we do will also contribute directly to Dr. Barnett’s larger biographical work over Adolphus Busch. 

Watch Anthony's Summer Symposium presentation.

Anthony Tresca headshot

Music in the American Southwest: San Antonio's Orquesta Típica Ensamble (1936-43)

Elisa Barrera (Trinity '22) and Dr. Carl Leafstedt 

This project seeks to document the forgotten existence of the Mexican American orquesta típica from San Antonio, Texas in the 1930s and 1940s. This orquesta típica formed as a result of the launching of the Texas Music Program in 1936. The group was very popular locally, frequently playing across the city of San Antonio, from huge landmarks such as the Alamo to San Pedro Park. The 12 to 30 musicians of the group familiarized the public with Mexican popular music and contributed to Mexican border identity through their cultural sound and dress. In 1943, the orchestra disbanded due to lack of funding, ending their rise to popularity and the starting their descent into forgotten history. San Antonio ranks as one of the largest populated cities in the United States, the population being majorly composed of people of Mexican origin. For this reason, it is important that the cultural legacy of the orquesta típica no longer remain a forgotten piece of history. This project will document the history of members of the orquesta típica by seeking out descendants of the musicians and scouring through archival documentation in order to create a more complete picture of the orquesta’s short-lived lifespan.

Watch Elisa's Summer Symposium presentation

Elisa Barrera headshot

Trinity Roots Commission

Cecelia Turkewitz (Trinity '21) and Dr. Sara Beth Kaufman

The significance of the Roots Commission project is to understand the systemic racist history of our university and the implications that this history brings. Trinity, following the path of other universities such as Brown and Georgetown, is working to understand the inequity and lack of diversity starting with our ‘roots’ as an institution. I, along with fellow undergraduate students, will research potential interview subjects and develop questions then, using the formulated questions, we will conduct interviews with both the descendants of the board of trustees and those enslaved by them. Furthermore, I will help to record, and transcribe interviews and then edit and prepare them so they can be uploaded, cataloged, and stored appropriately. The project will then contribute to the development of an interactive, web-based exhibit using Omeka to present the committee’s findings to a public audience.

Watch the Summer Symposium presentation.

Read about the project in the Trinity News Center.

Cecelia Turkewitz headshot

Performing Human Rights

Katie Maloan (Trinity '22), Kailey Lopez (Trinity '21), Rachel Ann Poovathoor (Trinity '22), Bradley Sykes (Trinity '22)  and Dr. Rosa Aloisi, Prof. Roberto Prestigiacomo, and Dr. Robert Huesca

Our initial project focused on the comparative analysis of two border realities, the Texas-Mexico border and the Southern coasts of Italy, and how governmental policies affected migrants and refugees reaching those areas. With the new reality brought about by COVID-19, we are shifting the object of our investigation focusing on how the governmental responses to the global pandemic are impacting the most vulnerable populations across the world, including but not limited to the migrant/refugees, and on how various artistic expressions reflect this social, political and economic uncertain moment. The ultimate outcome of our investigation stays the same; we plan to use the results of our analysis to create a performance focused on human rights.

Check out this Instagram story about the team and their work!

Watch the Summer Symposium Presentation.

Watch the documentary the group created.