Spring 2020 Projects

Students in embedded and affiliated courses this Spring worked on research projects collaboratively with lab fellows and instructors, and use the lab space for meetings and to conduct workshops on micro-history methods.

“Occupation of Iraq, 1914-21”

Professor: Adam Mestyan
Students: Maya Ghanem, Aman Ibrahim, Alex Rubin, Colin Lee

This project, originating in the class Hist 383 (Spring 2020) at the History Department of Duke University, delineates the technological changes that occurred during the British occupation of the Ottoman Basra, Baghdad, Mosul provinces from 1914 to 1921. The infrastructure that was constructed in Ottoman Iraq, along with a new political administration and international agreements, resulted in a new, large technological system: a new country. The project’s assumption is that occupation was not only military or social action but also what we call “a technological event” inasmuch as the occupying forces transformed previous technological systems and created new ones by infrastructure development and often forced labor. This is the first step in the project and hopefully, further classes would elaborate it.

“1992 Los Angeles Uprisings”

Student: Angela Chung
Mentor: Kristina Williams

Angela decided to combine two of her key interests in one project: media representation and racial triangulation. By using the 1992 LA Uprisings (more commonly knowns as the LA Riots) as the foundation, she looks at the photographs used to document the tumultuous events leading to and during this time. Her questions circled around how visual aspects of journalism play a role in shaping the narratives of an event. While this specific project used only photos from white media – the LA Times – the intent is to be able to gather significant data from African-American and Korean-American news as well. The goal is to, therefore, compare how from the different points of the racial triangulation (white, black, and Asian) the various groups are (or aren’t) represented in an era where the conflicts were commonly viewed as extremely racialized.

“Probing the Pazzi: Using Primary Sources to Explore Truths in the Pazzi Conspiracy”

Student: Cameron DeChurch
Mentor: Shahrahzad Shareef

Cameron gathered and analyzed primary sources such as written accounts and artworks from witnesses that relate to the Pazzi Conspiracy to displace the Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. His project aimed to connect these sources and discover new insights into the event, and he has created a glossary for other researchers on this topic.

“The Nicaraguan Revolution: the FSLN’s Fight for Freedom”

Student: Amber Lemmons
Mentor: Martha Espinosa

Amber’s project presented a story map that is meant to spatialize the elements and events leading to the Nicaraguan Revolution. Drawing upon the in-depth analysis of primary sources in Matilde Zimmermann’s book, Sandinista: Carlos Fonseca and the Nicaraguan Revolution, this visualization means to outline the ideological developments prior to the revolution as a means to contrast the actual actions of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government. By providing some background on the life of Carlos Fonseca as well as including a variety of primary sources from the time, she hopes readers will develop their own hypotheses on what happened when FSLN actually ruled.

“Midwives in Early Modern Europe”

Student: Lindsay Dial
Mentor: Jessica Hauger

Lindsay’s project focuses on the work of midwives in early modern Europe and the way that they were treated in the medical literature of the time. It aims to address gaps in the existing scholarship of this topic, namely how midwives are defined in research and the aforementioned treatment of them in the contemporary medical literature. She worked with primary sources from different areas in Europe, primarily France, England, and Germany, as well as secondary sources on the topic. Going forward, Lindsay would like to write a paper on the research I did this semester and expand my research to include more information.