Mellon Mays Fellows

Nadja Shaw '12

Nadja ShawHometown: New York, NY
Major: Sociology
Minor: Spanish

This summer I researched black intellectuals as intersectional subjects. To explore my area of interest, I looked at two black intellectuals: W.E.B DuBois and Patricia Hill Collins. I investigate how these two black intellectuals have negotiated the academy at two different historical periods. To do so, I employ the concept of intersectionality, which is defined by Ange-Marie Hancock as a "multiple approach [that] recognizes the roles of categories such as race and gender, or gender and race and class as equally important considerations when examining political phenomena" (76). These multiple intersections may be of value or limit an individual’s ability to negotiate or gain access to positions and/or ideas, based on their social context, which is historically shaped. Looking at Hill Collins and DuBois as intersectional subjects examines the extent to which these intellectuals write and gain recognition as intellectuals.

Teona Williams '12

Teona WilliamsHometown: Washington, DC
Major: History & Environmental Studies
Minor: Africana Studies


My research for the summer focused on African Americans and outdoor recreation. I am specifically interested in the ways in which elite blacks encouraged working class blacks to interact with nature and the repercussions of those interactions.  The period I researched began in the 1890’s and ended in the 1940’s. During this time the Back to Nature Movement, the Progressive Era, and the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement developed creating a unique moment in African American history.  African Americans became more active in their protest for greater access to nature. Before nature was seen as a dangerous space, but during this period it became a space of racial uplift and protest.  

Danny Chin '12

Danny ChinHometown: Arlington, MA
Major: French and Biochemistry
Minor: n/a

My research investigates the form of the graphic narrativel and it's place in modern French literature. I examined the broad history of the graphic narrative to contextualize my study of more recent works. I studied Marjane Satrapi's" Persepolis" as a key text and supported it with "The Rabbi's Cat" by Joann Sfar, "Ordinary Victories" by Manu Larcenet, and "Aya" by Marguerite Abouet. These four works analyze the experience of crossing cultural boundaries, resulting in identity formation and reformulation. I situated these works in the French national space due to the political and social concerns regarding immigration, a form of cultural border crossing.

Kristopher Anthony Klein '12

Kristopher KleinHometown: Frederick, MD
Major: Latin American Studies; Spanish
Minor: Government and Legal Studies

Kristopher Klein is interested in researching the effects of television production on Latino identity in the United States. His primary sources included current minority and cultural discourses, but mainly the use of Telenovelas, or Latin soap operas. Kris believes that a stereotypical triumvirate exits within a majority of the Latin soaps - La mujer vanidosa (Vain Latin Female); El hombre machista (Macho Latin Male); and finally El> hombre homosexual (Gay Latin Male) all coexist together. He suggests that the three are socially dependent on each other for their existance, ideas he takes from Feminist Judith Butler and Charlotte Brunsdon. He believes that the medium of television exploits these stereotypes to communities where these personalities do not exist - thereby creating a universal generalization of Latinos in the US.
Currently, Kris is using his junior year to study in Argentina and Mexico, while visiting the biggest producing companies of Telenovelas in Latin America, first in Mexico (Televisa) and Rio de Janerio (TV Globo). His hope to is study the socio-cultural effects of telenovelas within the two countries to better understand the reception and impact of television.

Shazeda Ahmed '12

Hometown: Queens, NY
Major: History
Minor: Film 

My research is on Chinese underground and independent film, specifically works that comment on recent history. Now entering its second decade, this wave of filmmaking attracts attention from the western press, but its small domestic audience must covertly distribute and view the films. As a result of pressure from the state-controlled film board many filmmakers have created their own artistic codes to subvert censorship laws, whereas others avoid establishing sociopolitical context altogether. Yet every film is inevitably affected by and representative of historical and social factors, and as several Chinese contemporary artists are beginning to disregard traditional restrictions, filmmakers, too, are making the move towards open expression of previously suppressed opinions. I plan to study abroad in Beijing, where I will pursue an independent study and write a Chinese research paper. Once there I hope to join the film clubs that gather to view and discuss underground movies, as well as to meet the artists, understand the motivations behind the creation of their work, and learn more about the future of freedom of artistic expression in China.

Terrancia Holmes '13

RaiNesha Miller '13

Uchechi Esonu '13

Reilly Lorastein '13

Sarah Helenka Siwak '13