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Undergraduate Research

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A MiddLab Project

Field House Museum

Field House Museum

is Middlebury’s Virtual Sports Museum. The exhibits on this site were generated by students in a Winter 2013 course, “Designing a Field House Museum,” in collaboration with faculty, archivists, athletic administrators, and representatives of Sasaki Associates, the architectural firm charged with designing the new Field House. Each exhibit offers a thematic approach to Middlebury sports history. A separate exhibit features interviews with Middlebury coaches and administrators. Finally, we have created a timeline of Middlebury athletics.  Please feel free to comment on any of the exhibits, or contact us directly.

 

People

Holly Allen, Assistant Professor of American Studies

Students in WT2013 AMST1007 class

 

http://sites.middlebury.edu/fieldhousemuseum/files/2013/01/cropped-banner-image-last.png

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A MiddLab Project

Chekh It Out

Chekh It Out is your all-purpose interactive guide to Anton Chekhov’s play The Three Sisters.

The text of this play is loaded with links, polls, puns, translation and language notes, photos and videos, all designed to add context and value to your reading experience. We advise you to read through the play at least once before using the site, since discussion questions and intra-textual references may spoil the ending for you.

 

People

Rachel Woods

Samantha Parry

Luke Schanz-Garbassi

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

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A MiddLab Project

Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a website created by Grace Benz, Ali Hentges, Robert Silverstein.  It presents Leo Tolstoy quotations and images + video clips from various  motion picture adaptations of his book Anna Karenina.

 

People

Grace Benz

Ali Hentges

Robert Silverstein

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

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Interviewing the Crime and Punishment Characters, a video by Tess Clark, John Montroy, and Eli Mauksch.

The purpose of this video and project was to enhance the reader’s understanding and experience of Crime and Punishment by bringing to life the main characters of Dostoevsky’s novel. We attempted to convey main ideals, personalities, and mannerisms of each of the characters through a more modern lens.

People

Tess Clark

John Montroy

Eli Mauksch

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

 

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A MiddLab Project

Dead Souls Demystified

The Dead Souls Demystified project (podcasts, blog, and video) was put together by three students of Professor Thomas Beyer’s Golden Age of Russian Literature course at Middlebury College.  Sam Finkelman contributed the analytical and historical blogposts about “Dead Souls” and the surrounding criticisms and contexts; Nicole Morse filmed the RSAnimate video and compiled the formatted the sound clips; Maddie Li aided in video graphics, WordPress site compilation, and information about Gogol’s life for a podcast.

People

Sam Finkelman

Nicole Morse

Maddie Li

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

 

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A MiddLab Project

The Pushkin Zone

Welcome to the Pushkin Zone, a blog dedicated to discussing Alexander Pushkin’s famous works. We have created this blog to free students from the tyranny of the classroom and provide an alternate and interactive method for Russian Literature appreciators to learn and discuss Alexander Pushkin and his works.

People

Michael Dola, 2015

Jamey Huffnagle, 2015

Tyler Durr, 2015

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

 

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A MiddLab Project

The Price Revolution

The origins of a general trend in Europe of rising prices between 1520 and 1640, labeled the Price Revolution, have been deeply contested by economic historians since the 1920s. The debate is divided between two major camps, stressing the importance of monetary and ‘real’ factors respectively. My paper provides a general overview of the literature since the 1920s. I identify the influence of parallel developments in economic thought on the debate. Further, using the same qualitative primary sources employed by previous works on the topic I construct a novel explanation for these rising prices, avoiding constraints presented by flawed/restricted data.

People

Anil Menon

Professor Paul Monod

 

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The isolated Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia currently sits at the front lines of a heated national discussion regarding Chile’s energy future. The massive HidroAysén dam proposal seeks to develop the region’s hydroelectric potential through the creation of five mega-dams across two rivers, the Baker and the Pascua. While the project would provide substantial energy to the mines and cities of the north, it would also irrevocably change the river ecology and alter the lifestyles of local populations. During J-term, I used Mellon Grant funding to travel to Chile and conduct field research on the social and environmental impacts of the proposed dam project. I visited several of the proposed dam sites in Aysén and conducted interviews in both Aysén and Santiago with local residents, HidroAysén employees, politicians, and anti-dam campaigners. My project examines how competing claims over land use and development are addressed in the Chilean post-transitional political system.

Katie Siegner (author) and Kemi Fuentes-George (advisor)

 

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amaxwell/

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Today, the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia remains rooted to the land and its traditional ways of life. However, the HidroAysén dam proposal threatens the local ecology, landscapes, and lifestyles of this remote rural outpost, launching the region to the forefront of a heated debate over national development priorities. Formally announced in 2007, the transnationally owned project would consist of five large dams across two fast-flowing rivers in the northern Patagonia region, the Baker and the Pascua, and would be Chile’s leading domestic source of energy. Additionally, the proposal includes the construction of a 2,000-plus km transmission line in order to deliver the electricity generated by the hydroelectric power stations to the centers of consumption in the north-central regions. While a low-carbon solution to the country’s energy needs, the dams have engendered intense controversy regarding the environmental and social impacts of such a large-scale development project, illustrating the tension between competing visions of “sustainable” development.

Given Chile’s development trend, the highly concentrated urban centers in the Santiago area, and the extensive mining operations to the north, HidroAysén proponents claim that the project is essential to combat the country’s alleged energy crisis. At the same time, a strong and well-organized national resistance movement –– Patagonia Sin Represas –– has emerged, and has succeeded in reframing the debate around the dams in order to draw attention to the costs of the mega-project, as well as the more sustainable development alternatives that exist.

The HidroAysén controversy has broader implications than its immediate local and national contexts, as it highlights a central concern of the international environmental justice movement: often isolated or marginalized regions and communities are asked to pay the costs of development plans purported to benefit “the nation as a whole.” HidroAysén is most likely to benefit the powerful economic interests that control the energy and mining sectors, rather than the average Chilean citizen, an all-too-common trend in the history of neoliberalism and its relationship with resource-rich Latin American countries. Furthermore, the post-transitional Chilean political system lacks the institutional infrastructure to adequately address the concerns of the anti-dam campaign, as governmental decision-makers persistently undervalue citizen voice.

While the project remains stalled by political stalemate and the inexperienced court system attempts to deal with the competing claims of the two parties, HidroAysén has become an issue of international significance, as NGOs and environmental groups have rallied to protect the renowned Patagonian landscape and the bucolic lifestyle it supports. Global environmental movements are increasingly contesting the hegemony of the dominant, capitalist-driven development path and emphasizing the local impacts of its environmentally destructive practices: HidroAysén is a case in point. This paper seeks to analyze the dam proposal in all of its divisive dimensions, including the contrast between localized costs and purported national benefits, the power inequalities present between dam proponents and the opposition, and finally the choice between such mega-projects and development alternatives that are sustainable, low-impact, and socially just.

 

Brazil’s Bolsa Família program is a conditional cash transfer scheme that has been hailed for dramatically reducing poverty and inequality since its launch in 2003. Under the scheme, qualifying families receive a monthly stipend on the condition that they fulfill certain requirements in health and education. Although the Bolsa Família is a federal program, each of Brazil’s 5, 564 municipalities play an important role in its local implementation. Using a combination of regression analysis and four case studies from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, this study evaluates the impact of local government capacity on beneficiaries’ health and education. I find that municipalities with higher administrative capacity – more developed collaboration across sectors and more competent staff – are likely to be more effective in implementing the BFP, as observed by higher monitoring rates. As a result, the percentage of beneficiaries who comply with the program’s health and education requirements is likely to be higher in these municipalities. The paper concludes that local governments are critical actors in the success of this program and calls for policymakers to build administrative capacity through a combination of incentives and regulations.

 

People

Researcher: Pui Shen Yoong

Advisors: Professor Jessica Teets (Political Science),

Professor John Maluccio (Economics)

 

 

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Bolsa Familia (in Portuguese)

The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context 

Avoiding Governors: The Success of Bolsa Familia

Buying Out the Poor? Bolsa Familia & the 2010 Elections in Brazil

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Full Report

Presentation Slides

 

 

 

 

“In an incomplete world, we depend on closure for our very survival,” writes Scott McCloud. What does it mean to continue on after the world has already ended? In post-apocalyptic fiction, survivors attempt to find meaning in a husk of a world which has suffered an unspeakable catastrophe. This project explains how the post-apocalyptic narrative structure confronts fears of trauma and loss. I will first outline how various postmodern theorists have approached the topic, before explaining how different narratives across media have played the premise out in fiction. From the mushroom cloud of Fallout Games to the zombie of Dawn of the Dead, representations of post-apocalypse posit a frighteningly unresolvable world and tap into the important question of how we tell stories.

People

Michael Suen
Researcher

Alison Byerly
Sponsor, Provost & Executive Vice President; Professor of English & American Literatures

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A MiddLab Project

Petrogenesis of Two New Eucrites from Northwest Africa

Learn more about Geology and Physics at Middlebury College.

Eucrite meteorites formed within the first seven million years of the start of the solar system, and are widely believed to originate from the asteroid 4 Vesta. Thus eucrites hold important insights into the geologic processes that were active on small planetary bodies, and particularly into their chemical differentiation. Two meteorites recovered in 2009 from Northwest Africa appear to be unbrecciated basaltic eucrites, and have similar mineral assemblages. The characterization of these samples by petrography, mineral chemistry, and whole-rock chemistry will help to provide an understanding of their formation, and will indicate whether they are paired. Comparisons with other eucrites described in the literature may provide additional insights into the chemical evolution of 4 Vesta.

People

Cameron Mercer
Researcher

Ray Coish
Sponsor and Professor of Geology

Hubble image of 4 Vesta (NASA)

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This is a linguistic survey of the written language used by protesters in the 2011 demonstrations in Egypt. The hypothesis is that Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA), Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and English are all used for specific purposes in specific contexts. As such, the literal messages across these three categories may differ, as they are aimed at different audiences. In addition, the case will be made that the specific linguistic situation of Arabic (especially the factors of Diglossia and English dominance as a global language that are not paralleled in other linguistic communities undergoing demonstrations. Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, and online blogs of the protesters will be the major sources of material. The Nile Valley variants will be the primary focus.

People

Eric Bartolotti
Researcher

Nader Morkus
Sponsor & Visiting Assistant Professor

Samuel Liebhaber
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Arabic

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A MiddLab Project

Buying Out the Poor? Bolsa Familia and the 2010 Elections in Brazil

Learn more about Politics & Economics and Latin America at Middlebury College.

Hailed for reducing poverty and inequality in Brazil, the Bolsa Familia program (PBF) is the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world. Critics, however, have accused President Lula and his party of indirectly ‘buying’ the poor vote through the PBF. This research investigates the relationship between the PBF and the voting patterns of its recipients in the recent elections. Is the PBF an apolitical poverty reduction strategy? Does it influence the formation of political preferences? Based on interviews conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, I focus on the beneficiaries’ own perception of the program, exploring the concepts of “ownership” and “clientelism” in social welfare.

People

Pui Shen Yoong
Researcher

Svea Closser
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology

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Brazilian Press Coverage


Dilma atinge 40% entre participantes do Bolsa Família

Dilma diz que quer ser ‘mãe à altura’ dos brasileiros

Antes das eleições CEF erra e paga Bolsa Família maior

Prefeita relata prática de angraiar votos para Lula com programa federal

Plínio quer quadruplicar beneficiarios do Bolsa Familia e reduzir tempo do auxilio

Em Pernambuco Lula defende o Bolsa Familia

Norma do governo distribuída a prefeitos diz que próximo gestor pode mudar regras do Bolsa Família

Para PSDB, PT faz terrorismo com mensagem sobre recadastramento do Bolsa Familia. Governo nega acusão

No radio Serra garante continuidade do Bolsa Familia, Dilma fala sobre PAC

Em Santa Catarina, Marina diz que não fará ‘aventuras econômicas’ se for eleita

 

Transformations in Argentine immigration and healthcare policy have collided to create a dynamic landscape of public health utilization in Buenos Aires. This study presents empirically grounded analysis of healthcare utilization in the wake of these policy changes by examining the spatial distribution of 841 patients receiving obstetric services at Hospital Rivadavia in 2009. Analysis carried out at both the individual level and aggregated by partido reveals patterns in both the relative utilization of public healthcare services by migrants compared to native Argentines as well as the spatial distribution of patients, and in particular, migrant patients. The results of this study suggest that utilization of public obstetric services at Hospital Rivadavia by migrants is significantly higher than that of native Argentines and finds the distribution of migrant patients to be spatially clustered. These results have important implications for future immigration policy and healthcare provision at municipal, national, and international scales.

People

Nora Hirozawa
Researcher

Peter Nelson
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Geography

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Early twentieth-century lyric poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was, at the height of her career, a literary celebrity treated as a major poet. Today, her poetry remains marginally popular but largely unstudied in literature classrooms. This presentation considers Millay in a cultural and hisorical context, discussing her complex relationship to Modernism, critical reactions to Millay over the course of the twnetieth century – ranging from New Critic John Crowe Ransom’s attack on Millay’s poetic and intellectual capabilities, to feminist critics’ attempts to reclaim her from obscurity – and the phenomenon of literary celebrity, particularly for women writers.

People

Carla Cevasco
Researcher

Brett Millier
Sponsor & Reginald D. Cook Professor of American Literature

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A MiddLab Project

Framing and Blaming: The Role of Media in the 2005 Parisian Riots

Learn more about Political Science and Media Culture at Middlebury College.

The media played a significant role in the riots of Paris in 2005. This study examines the French and American media’s role in the formation of the identity of the rioters. The study draws on media content analysis based on news sources from the political right and left in each country. The results suggest two things. First, media on the political left, in both France and the United States, tends to frame the cause of the riots as a structural issue of exclusion while the political right tends to characterize the source of conflict as an agency issue of integration based on social differences. This can be explained by differences in political influences and underlying goals. Second, American media uses national and religious terms to describe the rioters’ identity while French media portrays them as a frustrated suburban youth. This reflects the respective historical contexts and political traditions.

People

Zoe Hamilton
Researcher

Erik Bleich
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Political Science

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A MiddLab Project

Building a Laser Harp

Learn more about Physics and Music at Middlebury College.

First developed in 1976 by Geoffrey Rose, the laser harp is an electronic instrument designed to stimulate visual and aural senses together when used in live concerts. Provided with the advantage of many technological advancements since Rose’s time, I constructed a laser harp using electronics, a MIDI CPU converter and computer synthesizer equipment. The laser harp is framed – with the lasers affixed to the top and indicdent on photocells positioned at the base. The electronic instrument includes up to twenty lasers, each of which play a different note as specified by the MIDI signal. Additional lasers may be included which, when disrupted, would change the volume, octave or sound for any or all of the other beams.

People

Hannah Waite
Researcher

Peter Hamlin
Sponsor & Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music

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A MiddLab Project

Degas, Gauguin and the Theme of Isolation in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art

Learn more about French and the History of Art at Middlebury College.

Paul Gaugin and Edgar Degas were working side by side, though they had never collaborated on a project. In 1892, Gauguin took an unprecedented step in his career and completed the unfinished drawing of Degas titled Nude Woman Drying Herself. Degas and Gauguin are two of the most celebrated nineteenth-century French artists. Degas’ art focuses primarily on the urban Parisian figure, while Gauguin is more fascinated with the rural character, enhanced by his sojourns in both Brittany and Tahiti. What unites the two artists’ work is their fascination with the depiction of the human figure in intimate contexts and the theme of isolation. In nineteenth-century art, the capturing of private moments was not a theme exclusive to Gauguin and Degas; however, these two artists are linked by inextricable similarities in their art. My research focuses on these aforementioned similarities that scholars have yet to explore.

People

Anna Zauner
Researcher

John Hunisak
Sponsor &  Professor of History of Art & Architecture

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This research examines how adolescents think about knowledge and knowing, evaluate competing sources of knowledge, trust certain sources of knowledge, justify knowledge, and approach certainty of knowledge, processes collectively referred to as “personal epistemology.” This project is a four-year, multi-method and multi-measure study in which students from grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 were interviewed about their views on knowledge and knowing. In this set of analyses, we examined the question of domain specificity in adolescent epistemic development and found that personal epistemology is not consistent across all domains, but rather, adolescents’ views about knowledge vary depending on the domain of knowledge that they evaluate. By comparing adolescents’ views on historical knowledge vs. scientific knowledge, we found that adolescents were more likely to trust sources of knowledge in science, to justify sources of scientific knowledge as more trustworthy and valid, and to view knowledge in science as more certain.

People

Lauren Goldstein
Researcher

Barbara Hofer
Sponsor & Professor of Psychology

“What if you had two accounts of the causes of a war, one by a person who lived at that time, and another by a historian, a history expert, who didn’t live through the war, but who has researched it a lot. Which one would you find more believable?”

77% of 6th graders, 73% of 8th graders, and 36% of 12th graders chose contemporary.

Most Common Rationale for Choosing Contemporary

Grade Because Witness Personally Experienced it Because Historian’s Information Could Be Wrong
6th (n=20) 100% (n=20) 40% (n=8)
8th (n=24) 100% (n=24) 21% (n=5)
12th (n=9) 78% (n=7) 11% (n=1)

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A MiddLab Project

Detroit: The Past and Present of the American City

Learn more about Sociology & Anthropology and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College.

Known as America’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” “Most Dangerous City,” and more recently, “Laboratory for Saving the American City,” Detroit, Michigan has functioned as a model city and symbol in American popular culture since the early 20th century. This research explores the significance of Detroit’s role as a representative city through a content analysis of national news publications and other channels of media in the last century. Relying on theories of the narrative construction of social events and actors in public discourse, this case demonstrates the evolving signification of Detroit in American culture. The emergent narrative of Detroit as a model for reimagining the American city in the 21st century relies on previous labeling of Detroit as a symbol of American ascendency and decline. The story of Detroit as a laboratory for reforming America’s cities demonstrates a reclamation of Detroit as a positive American symbol and a reinvigoration of the discourse of civil society through the democratic production of knowledge about the city. Detroit offers American society a new framework through which to think of shrinkage, community, and identity rooted in place.

People

Julianna Tschirhart
Researcher

Laurie Essig
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies

Detroit is America’s 2nd most segregated city with a 77% black population and 84% white suburbs.

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For thousands of years, the written word contained only streams of capital letters, with unseparated words and sentences. Punctuation appeared in only rudimentary forms in the early centuries A.D., and was invented specifically to prevent those who read aloud in church from misreading on misinterpreting a passage of the scriptures. Spaces between words did not appear until the 700s A.D., after the development of the Carolingian Miniscule and the establishment of Benedictine rule, and it was not until the 1100s that they became common place. Suddenly, readers no longer needed to mumble through passages to discern their meanings, and began to read as we do most commonly today: in silence. The new written form inspired the first alphabetized glossaries, made books more compact and personal, and made literacy a more widespread goal. But it also triggered a sense of independence and empowerment as yet unknown in medieval society, causing a rise of critical thinkers and skeptics, and, in turn, inciting fear of heresy in the church. Indeed, without punctuation and the space between words, would we have the same capacity for questioning that we do today?

People

Melissa Hirsch
Researcher

Louisa Burnham
Sponsor & Associate Professor of History

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Primary sources, diaries, ancient coins, a mere scrap of paper, are the materials from which the stories of the past are discovered. The project I undertook while interning at the National Archives and Records Administration addressed how we, as teachers of history, keep primary sources available, captivating, and the focus of historical education. I investigated this directly by assisting in the testing and presenting of DocsTeach, one of the most innovative historical tools for educators, which provides interactive activities built from a database of digitized primary sources. I helped increase access to records further with use of social media. The growing social phenomenon of digitization is not just connecting us with our future; it is connecting us to our past like never before, lowering the barrier of access for students young and old. The educational tools being created around these now easily accessible records, such as DocsTeach, are just the beginning.

People

Brittany Gendron
Researcher

Amy Morsman
Sponsor & Associate Professor of History

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Intensive herbivory by white-tailed deer has plagued Valley Forge National Historical Park’s forests since the early 1980s. A deer management plan was enacted to reduce the size of the herd by at least 1000 deer over the next two years. The goal of my research was to model the impacts of changing levels of deer herbivory on the forests. I developed a forest model using data from a large deer exclosure erected in the park in the late 1980s. I am using the model to simulate how changes in herbivory and disturbance may affect forest composition over the next 120 years. My results suggest that changes in herbivory may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for restoring forests to their historical state. The finished model will serve as a tool for the park’s resource managers to use in developing long-term restoration plans.

People

Meghan Blumstein
Researcher

Andrea Lloyd
Sponsor & Professor of Biology

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Recent evidence shows that a combination of studying and testing can enhance a memory more than strictly studying over that same amount of time, as measured by a test afterward. This is a phenomenon known as the testing effect. Most testing effect studies have focused on testing to improve rote memorization. The present study investigated whether the testing effect aids the application — or transfer — of learning to new situations. In this study, 64 participants learned to solve analogical word problems that required the application of mathematical probability principles. In the first phase of the experiment, half of the participants studied some word problems and their solutions repeatedly while the other half of the participants both studied and solved those word problems. A day later, all participants were tested on new probability word problems. These new problems were designed to assess whether participants were able to apply the probability principles that they learned to new problems. Results suggested that preliminary testing did not improve participants’ ability to solve new problems on the final test, and that all participants were most accurate on new problems that were most similar to old problems.

People

Cloe Shasha
Researcher

Jason Arndt
Sponsor, Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience Program Director

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Turkey maintains the image of a country bridging the divide between the Middle East and Europe; however, the continued prevalence of honor killings testifies to the difficulty in uprooting traditional patriarchal practices that remain widespread throughout the country. Although the Turkish government has enacted legal reforms – for instance, in 2002 and 2004 – aimed at eradicating the practice, new laws have been mostly ineffective and evidence indicates that both honor killings and the practice of “honor suicides” are actually increasing. My research explores this tension between secular government laws banning honor crimes and the continuation of honor killings within traditional and tribal communities. I argue that despite government efforts to educate the Turkish populace and institute legal reforms, the complex relationship between the cultural, patriarchal, and religious bases of honor killings makes it challenging to eradicate this practice in modern Turkish society.

People

Clara Rubin
Researcher

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Photographer James Welling’s career has variously explored ideas of transparency, color theory, and abstraction through his vibrant images. The most recent exhibition of Welling’s work, which debuted at the David Zwirner Gallery in early 2010, showcased his Glass House Series – a collection of digital images taken around the Connecticut estate of Phillip Johnson’s Glass House. The photographs are compelling not only for their technical use of cinema gels to extract monochromatic tones, but also for what architectural critic Sylvia Lavin describes as a “promiscuous transformation” of an American icon of orthodox modernism. Through a preoccupation with surface, reflection, fragmentation, and arbitrariness, Welling’s photographs arrive at a contemporary understanding of Johnson’s house. The argument will reference the series as a whole, but will discuss as an example the specific photograph that the Collecting Photography Now J-term class has recommended for acquisition by the Middlebury College Museum of Art.

People

Derek Matus
Researcher

Emmie Donadio
Sponsor & Chief Curator for the Middlebury College Museum of Art

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Although early literature of Maryland and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay reflected the first settlers’ unbridled consumption of resources, as the twentieth centuries due to habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution, literature, specifically an emergent genre of children’s and young adult literature, demonstrated a shift from entitlement towards stewardship of the Bay’s resources. Authors of children’s and young adult literature increasingly encouraged youth, either didactically or through metaphor, to value the Bay’s resources, protect the health of the Bay, and persuade others to become stewards of a healthy Chesapeake for future generations. This presentation will examine the transformation of Chesapeake Bay literature, and explore how these children’s and young adult works color the growing environmental education movement in the Bay region.

People

Laura Williams
Researcher

Daniel Brayton
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of English & American Literature

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It is impossible to understand a nation’s motivations and actions without being familiar with its national identity and the circumstances that shaped it. In the early twentieth century, Germany and Italy were both governed by authoritarian regimes that intertwined extreme nationalism with fascist ideology. After WWII, each nation faced the difficult task of redefining the political, social, and ethical terms of its national identity. We ask the question “How did Italy and Germany come to terms with their fascist past, and to what extent is the legacy of fascism still alive in national discourse?” Our research, which uses Italian, German and English sources, shows that despite underlying similarities, each nation has taken a different approach to integrating their fascist past into national identity. We look, for example, at how Hitler and Mussolini are differently remembered and the effect of their political and cultural legacies. The larger aim of this presentation is to show how, generally speaking, memory is a key factor in national identity.

People

Ashley Litzenberger
Mark Turpin
Researchers

Natasha Chang
Sponsor & Professor of Italian

Natalie Eppelsheimer
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of German

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Despite unbelievable economic growth rates averaging between 8-10% in 2009 and bright economic prospects, China and India have become two of the largest contributors to world poverty. However, China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt from China’s success. Thus, I will compare both nations and examine the impact of provincial politics (decentralization) on poverty alleviation to determine why China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. Since China and India are populous, large countries, there is a strong presence of state-level political institutions, which guide policy implementation. I will, thus, examine the cases of Sichuan and Anhui in China and Kerala andBihar in India. The contrast between the success of Sichuan and Kerala and failures of Anhui and Bihar will provide insight on the impact of decentralization and effectiveness of policy implementation towards poverty alleviation.

People

Ruchi Singh
Researcher

Jessica Teets
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Political Science

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This project examines how the figure of the split mother in folk tales has changed over three historical eras. First, it focuses on two oral tales originating in the Early Modern period: “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Juniper Tree.” It also looks at Lucy Lane Clifford’s “The New Mother” (1882) and Neil Gaiman’s novel, Coraline (2002). The project examines the cultural and historical anxieties involved in this Good Mother/Bad Mother split. Finally, it questions whether today’s notion of the unattainable ideal mother continues to reflect the prejudices of the Early Moderns and Victorians.

People

Emily Culp
Researcher

Elizabeth Napier
Sponsor & Henry N. Hudson Professor of English and American Literatures

Marion Wells
Sponsor & Associate Professor of English and American Literatures

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The Indo-US 123 agreement will allow nuclear energy to become a vital part in India’s domestic energy supply. Nuclear energy could provide India 35% of its energy supply by 2050, reducing its CO2 emissions. It will substitute for the energy baseline which has been fossil-fuel based until now. India is the third highest CO2 emitter globally and the role of nuclear energy as a baseline will be vital to CO2 emission reduction goals. Foreign involvement in the Indian nuclear sector will aid the development of India’s three-stage programme, which will help to sustain its growing energy demand. In addition to providing an alternate baseline to coal, nuclear energy will increase domestic self-sustainability and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in a cost-effective manner. As a combination of multiple efforts, domestic, bi-lateral and international, the nuclear energy transition will assume an important role in India and this represents successful global environmental policy.

People

Siddheshwar Singh
Researcher

Jon Isham
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Economics

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Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). “CANDU Reactors.”

Bagchi, Indrani. The Times of India. “N-deal: Getting NSG nod may not be easy.” August 2008.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). “Bhabha Atomic Research Centre: Founder: Heritage.”

Central Electricity Authority (CEA). “Government of India: Ministry of Power: Central Electricity Authority.”

Chanana, Dweep. “The Indo-US Nuclear Deal: A Post-Henry Hyde Act Analysis.” The Discomfort Zone. Planetd. 18 December 2006.

CNN-IBN. “The Big Story: NSG clears nuclear waiver for India.” September 2008.

Colors of India. “First Nuclear Power Plant in India.”

Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). “Atomic Energy Establishments in India.” DAE.

Godsberg, Alicia. Federation of American Scientists. “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT].”

Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). “Government of India: Department of Atomic Energy: Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.” October 2010.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Issues.” September 2006.

International Monetary Fund (IMF). “SDRs per Currency unit and Currency units per SDR last five days.” October 2010.

Kiran. “Greenpeace’s India 2050 Energy Scenario.” The Indic View. Blogspot, 10 April 2007.

Lomax, Simon. Bloomberg. “India Coal Imports May Rise to 100 Million Tons on Power Demand.” May 2010.

McDermott, Matthew. Treehugger. “India’s Draft Solar Power Plan Sees 200,000 MW Installed By 2050.” June 2009.

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Government of India. “India: Taking On Climate Change – Post-Copenhagen Domestic Actions.” 30 June 2010.

Neuhof, Florian. Utilities-me. “Lighting up India.” August 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited: A Government of India Enterprise.” October 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Plants Under Operation.” September 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Projects Under Construction.”

Nuclear Weapon Archive (NWA). “India’s Nuclear Weapons Program – Smiling Buddha: 1974.”

Page, Jeremy. The Times. “India promises 12,000% boost in nuclear capacity by 2050.” September 2009.

Press Trust of India (PTI). The Hindu. “N-deal: India says reprocessing talks will take time.” November 2009.

PRS Legislative Research (PRS). “Bill Summary: The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010.” May 2010.

Rajesh, Y.P. Indian Express. “Nuclear deal crucial to meet India’s energy needs: Kakodkar.” July 2010.

Science Daily. “Climate Change: Halving Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 2050 Could Stabilize Global Warming.” May 2009.

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). “Millennium Development Goals Indicators.” June 2010.

World Nuclear Association (WNA). “Nuclear Power in France.” October 2010.

World Nuclear Association (WNA). “Nuclear Power Reactors.” October 2009.

Yahoo! Finance, India. “Indian Rupee to U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate.” October 2010.

A MiddLab Project

Millborne Farms: A Case Study of Modern Dairy Farming in Vermont

Learn more about Economics at Middlebury College.

As times and consumer preferences change, how is a traditional Vermont dairy farmer to make a decent living? Is it worth their time to simply continue producing traditional products (milk, yogurt, cheese, butter) in a heavily saturated market, or should they branch out into kefirs, smoothies, or probiotic shots? Should they stay local and maintain the integrity of the farm or ship products around the country in order to avoid financial ruin? Gert and Arda Schute of Millborne Farms in Shoreham, VT deal with these concerns on a daily basis. This presentation will be the culmination of my personal research on profitability and dairy farming. It will also critically analyze the business issues currently facing Gert and Arda and offer solutions that will maintain the vitality and increase the profitability of their farm.

People

Anne Bogert
Researcher

Jessica Holmes
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Economics

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A MiddLab Project

Creating a National Ideal: How Baseball Drove Bushido in 20th Century Japan

Learn more about History and Japanese at Middlebury College

Baseball is certainly Japan’s most popular sport, in part because players there are said to embody bushido, an ancient set of values said to have described samurai gentlemen of old. However, bushido is far from timeless and unchanging. Instead, it is a dynamic term that has changed, especially in the 20th Century, as Japanese society has struggled to maintain its unique identity despite the homogenizing pressures of globalization. I argue that baseball players bring about this change by setting examples for the rest of society, and that as the behavior of players has evolved, the popular perception of bushido and the way Japanese citizens idealize their own history has evolved right with them.

People

Adam Lee
Researcher

Neil Waters
Sponsor & Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies

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This project examines the continued success of The Jerry Springer Show. Does the show promote the inclusion of the “other” in the American social order or is it a profit-seeking mechanism that proves only to further uphold a hierarchal American social structure in which some are excluded? By viewing scholarly articles on the talk show format, footage from The Jerry Springer Show, and other critical works in American Studies, I set out to prove that The Jerry Springer Show uses coded mechanisms to create the illusion of a democratic forum which promotes oppositional culture and challenges social norms. This, in turn creates a “participatory illusion” that veils the underlying profit-based motivations of the show. The goal is engaged viewers that question the motives of a seemingly un-refined format, “cheap amusements.” What is the show telling us about American society, and how is its shaping of perspective relevant to how we function as a society?

People

Carl Culicchia
Researcher

Michael Newbury
Sponsor & Professor of American Studies and English and American Literatures

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A MiddLab Project

Monitoring Carbon Uptake on College Lands

Learn more about Biology and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.

Middlebury College has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. As the largest private landowner in Addison County, there is tremendous potential for land management practices to contribute to the goal of carbon neutrality. As part of an effort to understand how carbon sequestration varies among the different forest types on College-owned lands, we monitored carbon uptake in the Battell Research Forest, an old-growth hemlock forest in East Middleury, VT. As expected for an old-growth forest, the Battell Research Forest contains substantial pools of carbon in live and dead biomass. The size of the woody debris pool was substantially larger at the Battell Research Forest than in secondary forests at Breadloaf. We conclude our presentation with a proposal for how to implement an ongoing carbon monitoring protocol on College-owned forest lands.

People

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The Roman Republic rested on a paradox, in which men of the elite were expected to distinguish themselves and win glory, but not overstep certain bounds of self-sacrifice to the common good. Rome was a “contest culture,” in which the tension between the ideal of service to the Republic conflicted with ambitious individuals who subverted that ideal by vying for control of the state. I examine Julius Caesar’s own account of his march on Rome in 49 BC; the history written by Sallust of the Catilinarian conspiracy, a plot hatched by a disillusioned and disenfranchised failed politician in 63 BC; and the story of Coriolanus, an Roman general of the 5th-century BC who marched on Rome because of a perceived personal insult. Each of these three accounts features a Roman aristocrat reacting to a public conflict and perversely making that public, political issue into a private conflict.

People

Margaret Clark
Researcher

Christopher Star
Sponsor &  Assistant Professor of Classics

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As arguably the most famous playwright that Russia has ever produced, Anton Chekhov has written works that have been read and performed on an international level since their first publication in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His literary genius has helped to further the genre of realistic theatre with a tragicomedy of simultaneous humor and melancholy unique to his plays. In comparing three contemporary dramatic literature adaptations of Chekhov’s play Uncle Vanya to the original (Sam Holcroft’s Vanya, Howard Barker’s Uncle Vanya and David Mamet’s Uncle Vanya) I will prove that Chekhov’s particular use of tragicomedy creates a human universality that dramatists try to emulate to this day, while each individually adjusts the test to fit his own distinctive writing style and vision for the plotline. This comparison asserts that classic works of dramatic literature contain an isolated universal human element that compels playwrights to create modern adaptations.

People

Cori Hundt
Researcher

John Bertolini
Sponsor & Ellis Professor of English and Liberal Arts

Scene from Sam Holcroft’s Vanya performed as part of 10-Minute Plays during the 2011 Spring Student Symposium.

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A MiddLab Project

The Raja of Sattara and British Power in 19th Century India

Learn more about History and South Asian Studies at Middlebury College.

One way of understanding British power in India is by looking at British policies in individual states. Beginning in 1818, the state of Sattara was ruled by an Indian prince called a Raja, who was directly put into power by the East India Company. Two decades later, the East India Company came into the possession of documents which questioned the Raja’s allegiance to the Company, British troops within India, and even Great Britain itself. Even with the knowledge that these documents were falsified, however, the British deposed the Raja of Sattara after an insufficient and politicized investigation into his supposed crimes. An examination of the fall of the Raja provides a glimpse into British power in India.

People

Samuel Hurt
Researcher

Ian Barrow
Sponsor and Professor of History

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Team Middlebury College has earned the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, a competition which challenges students from around the world to design and build 100% solar-powered homes. In September 2011, our student-led team will be one of 20 finalists to erect a complete, fully-functioning, net zero-energy home on the National Mall in Washington D.C., facing competitors like Team China and Team California. The competition is a chance for our team to redefine the future of residential energy use and home design, and to educate large audiences about sustainable living. It is also an opportunity for students studying different disciplines to come together, work as a team, and gain real life experience that will prove invaluable when entering the job market. Currently, our team is comprised of more than 80 students from 20 different majors. We tackle challenges from how to use computer modeling to optimize a home’s energy system to how to educate the Middlebury community about green building. At the end of March, we began constructing our vision of the New England farmhouse, Self-Reliance, which is designed for a Vermont family of four. It features a green wall and ample public living space, as well as locally sources, environmentally friendly materials.

People

Spring Symposium Presenters

Benjamin Brown
Chester Curme
Astrid Schanz-Garbassi

Melissa Segil
Presenters

Faculty Advisors

Andrea Murray
Architecture Faculty Advisor & Visiting Lecturer in Architecture, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Ashar Nelson
Construction Faculty Advisor & Visiting Asst. Professor of Architecture

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Solar Decathlon Project Team

Students

RJ Adler, MEP Team
Benjamin Brown, Project Safety
Jesse Catalano, Graphic Design Lead
Alex Colucci, Interiors Team
Gwendolyn Cook, Interiors Team Lead
Carson Cornbrooks, Construction Team
Charlie Cotton, Site and Architecture Design Lead
Hilary Cunningham, Design Coordinator
Chester Curme, Student Engineering Lead
Evan Deutsch, Construction Team
John Dinning, Design Team
John Diebold, Scheduling Team
Peter DiPrinzio, Foundations Fundraising Lead
Emma Drucker, Communications
Mark Esposito, Materials Research Team
Erik Fendik, Revit Lead and Fire Watch Captain
Melake Getabecha, PV/Electrical Team
Addison Godine, Student Project Lead
Hilary Hall, Communications Team
Christine Hsieh, Schematic Designs
Alex Jopek, Construction Lead
Aaron Kelly, Electrical Lead
Jack Kerby-Miller, REVIT Team
James Knelman, Construction Skills Team
Wyatt Komarin, Architecture Co-Lead
Yen Le, Cost Estimation Co-Lead
Yangli Lenard Lim, Cost Estimation Lead
Afsana Liza, Logistics Team
Gillian Lui, Education Outreach
Bente Madson, Construction Team

Jake Manoukian, Construction & Security
Onelissa Martinez, Scheduling Team
Stanis Moody-Roberts, Architecture Team
Hannah Orcutt, Alumni & Parent Relations
John Portman, Interiors Team
Amanda Powers, Construction Team
Danny Powers, Logistics
Mathew Rojas, Landscape Team
Jay Saper, Creative Writing & Expression Lead
Astrid Schanz-Garbassi, Communications
Shane Scranton, Revit Lead
Melissa Segil, Team Manager
Camille Seyler, Education Lead
Ben Silton, PV/Electrical Team
Sarah Simonds, Landscape Design Team Lead
Martin Sweeney, Student Controller/Budget Manager
Chelsea Ward-Waller, Landscaping Team
Harrison Watkins, Scheduling Team
Ben Wessel, Policy & Activism
Daisy Zhuo, Energy Modeling Lead 

 

Faculty, Staff & Community Members

Abe Bendheim, Architecture Co-Lead and Construction Documentation Lead
Andrea Kerz-Murray, Lead Architecture Faculty Advisor
Ashar Nelson, Lead Construction Faculty Advisor
Lindsay Selin, Videographer
Sarah Franco, Special Projects Coordinator for the Vice President for Administration
Karen Maxon, Revit Maven

In a January 2011 Winter Term Class, “Twenty-First Century Global Challenges,”  21 Middlebury students studied great challenges of our time – including wide-scale poverty, climate change, and the struggle for human rights. They then analyzed how social entrepreneurs – individuals and groups who are developing new ways to attack systematic problems – are taking on these challenges.  For example, Nina Cameron ’12 studied how the Global Network is trying to reduce the prevalence of neglected tropical diseases; Erin Kelly ’13 studied how the University of the Peopleis providing tuition-free higher-education throughout the developing world.  The students also spend much of the course developing a vision for a new center for social entrepreneurship based at Middlebury College.  On this MiddLab, we report the ongoing results of this work.

People

Jonathan Isham, Jr.
Professor of Economics

Wahid Ahmed
Catherine Brown
Nina Cameron
Brian Clow
Thomas Crocker
Matthew Engel
Stuart Fram
Allison Grant
Mark Hannah
Paul Hildebrand
Aaron Kelly
Claire McIlvennie
Olivia Noble
Bradley Osborn
Devin Perkins
Hilary Platt
Jeronimo Riefkohl
Martin Sweeney
Rhidaya Trivedi
Kenneth Williams
Nicole Williams

The Ripple Effect in India

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It is important to understand how crops will respond to climate change. Temperature, water availability, and insect predation influence crop yield and may also affect crop nutrients. Camelina sativa (camelina), an oilseed crop high in omega-3 fatty acids (FAs), grows best in the cold climates of Canada and northwestern US. In this study, camelina seeds and leaf tissue were grown at different temperatures and analyzed for FAs; glucosinolate levels were also studied in leaf tissues. This study’s findings suggest that higher temperatures significantly reduce omega-3 FAs and glucosinates in camelina.

People

Anne Runkel
Researcher

Helen Young
Professor of Biology and Advisor

Dr. David Sands and Dr. Alice Pilgeram
Montana State University Advisors

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Terrestrial ecosystems play an integral role in the global carbon balance, potentially functioning as carbon sinks that fluctuate through time and seasonal changes. The net ecosystem exchange of these ecosystems has been heavily studied at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (HFEMS) and has shown an increase in carbon sequestration over the past two decades. My study was conducted to analyze various impacts of the ice storm tat struck New England in December 2008 with respect to the forest carbon flux.

People

Lauren Sanchez
Researcher
Professor of Environmental and Biosphere Studies
Professor of Biology

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Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawai’i is well known for its effusive, fountain-style eruptions. However, its eruptive history is punctuated byexplosive eruptions that would today be a serious hazard to local humanpopulations. Explosive eruptions induced by contact between waterand magma are known as phreatomagmatic, and such an eruption in1790 was responsible for the deaths of roughly 80 Hawaiians.

People

Scott Zolkos
Researcher

Ray Coish
Professor of Geology and Research Advisor

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Presentation Poster

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A MiddLab Project

Trends and Perceptions in Zoo and Aquarium Field Trips

Learn more about Biology and Education Studies at Middlebury College.

This paper reports the results of a survey designed to examine trends in zoo and aquarium field trip attendance, as well as the perceptions and practices of zoo and aquarium educators. The results suggest that field trip attendance is down at most zoos and aquariums over the last five years, but increased during 2009 over 2008 at about half of the institutions reporting data. The results obtained here, combined with those reported in the published literature, suggest that zoo and aquarium educators must continue to provide classroom teachers with professional development opportunities if field trips are to remain an educationally-relevant part of the K-12 experience.

People

Nicholas J. Meiers
Researcher

Number and percent of zoo and aquarium educators mentioning a particular theme for their visit (n=37).

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The glycation of ubiquitin with ribose 5-phosphate (R5P) and glucose was studied to determine the effect of post-translationally modified ubiquitin on intracellular proteolysis. Our investigations focused on identifying the location of glycation sites on the ubiquitin protein and on developing a method for assessing the effect that glycation has on ubiquitin activity. A novel method which employs yeast cytochrome c as a ubiquitination target substrate and LC-MS for subsequent analysis is under development for use in assessing the functionality of modified ubiquitin. Preliminary results suggest that this is a robust method for the detection of ubiquitination. Further refinement of this method is necessary before the effects of glycation on ubiquitination can be analyzed.

People

Mark Esposito
Researcher

Roger Sandwick
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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A MiddLab Project

The Effectiveness of Charity Auction Mechanisms

Learn more about Economics at Middlebury College.

Nonprofit organizations depend on charitable donations to provide cash revenue. Charities frequently employ auctions and raffles to grow revenue and transform “in kind” donations into cash. Despite this, neither the theory nor the practice of efficient fundraising – and, in particular, charity auctions – has received sufficient attention from economists. In the previous stage of our research, we studied the revenue potential of fifteen different charity auction mechanisms in the experimental lab. While some mechanisms had already received attention from theorists and empiricists, we also explored the potential of new formats, such as the “bucket” and “hybrid” auctions. We are now testing the most lucrative mechanisms from the lab in the field at national non-profit conventions to identify the fundraising mechanisms that generate the most revenue for charitable organizations.

People

Max Benjamin
Michael DeLucia
Maria Perille
Researchers

Jeff Carpenter
Associate Professor of Economics

Jessica Holmes
Associate Professor of Economics

Peter Matthews
James B. Jermain Professor of Political Economy

Average Revenue (in $) of Auction Mechanisms
(click to view full chart)

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A MiddLab Project

Restorative Justice at Middlebury College

Learn more about Philosophy, Biology, Sociology & Anthropology and Justice at Middlebury College.

According to Howard Zehr (2002), “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.” We propose various methods of incorporating restorative practices into the Middlebury College judicial system.

People

Ben Manger ’11, Philosophy
Dana Callahan ’13, Biology
Matthew George ‘12.5, Biology
Clayton Paschke ’13, Sociology
Researchers

Jon Kidde
Sponsor, Sociology & Anthropology

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A MiddLab Project

Oath-Sworn: The Concept of Oath-taking in Northwestern Medieval Europe

Learn more about History and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College.

Oaths play an important role in our modern society from swearing-in procedures to Middlebury’s own Honor Code. A thousand years ago, oaths had a much larger role in early medieval society. Oaths were used to create artificial bonds between people. These bonds were the glue that kept the often violent early medieval society from falling apart. My study focuses on the social history of the oaths in northwestern Viking Age Europe through a close examination of Norse Sagas and French and English epics.

People

Christopher Rogers
Researcher

Louisa Burnham
Associate Professor of History & Advisor

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A MiddLab Project

The Financial Burden of Terminal Illnesses and the Support System

Learn more about Economics and History at Middlebury College.

The onset of terminal illness within low and middle income families often has devastating effects. This effect is substantially magnified if the person who becomes terminally ill is the primary bread winner of the family. In the Indian setting the onset of terminal illness causes three primary changes within a family’s daily functioning. Firstly, the individual and to an extent the family has to face social stigma that is associated with certain terminal illnesses like HIV/AIDS and Cancer. Secondly, if the primary bread winner is affected then the family looses a significant revenue source. Thirdly, the terminal illness results in large increases in medical expenses. However, regardless of the intensity of the financial crisis these families do function (however impaired) from a week to the next. My research explores the support structure that allows for this sustenance, its nature and composition, and attempts to utilize the findings to stimulate policy changes within the local and state systems.

People

Anil Menon
Researcher

Peter Matthews
Sponsor and  James B. Jermain Professor of Political Economy

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The use of perspective taking, loosely defined as checking in with another person’s point of view, inhibits aggressive responding. The present study investigates two specific perspective-taking methods: Imagine-Other, which involves imagining how another person feels by trying to understand the situation from his/her point of view, and Imagine-Self, which involves coming to know the other’s perspective by imagining oneself in the other person’s situation.

People

Aviva Bannerman
Researcher

Suzanne Gurland
Assistant Professor of Psychology & Advisor

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The business model of the food industry, as it stands today, is unsustainable.  To counter these negative trends, organizations like Slow Food International have begun to champion the importance of “quality” for health, the environment, and the art of gastronomy. But what does quality mean and what will be its impact on the global food industry? An analysis of wines produced in France and labeled with the government-sponsored quality certification system, Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée, reveals that an emphasis on quality and geography, rather than brand, makes the food market more monopolistically competitive, more inclusive yet hierarchical.

People

Emily Gullickson
Researcher

Thierry Warin
Sponsor and Associate Professor of Economics

Lynn Owens
Sponsor and Assistant Professor of Sociology

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A MiddLab Project

Reassessing the First Anglo-Dutch War of the Seventeenth Century

Learn more about History at Middlebury College.

At the dawn of Europe’s global age, England and the Dutch Republic clashed in a series of violent naval battles known as the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654). I argue that the First Anglo-Dutch War was the direct result of the calculated political and economic strategies of the English East India Company (EIC).  Through carefully crafted popular marketing campaigns and the consistent, calculated lobbying and infiltration of England’s monarchy and national government, the EIC definitively influenced English foreign policy – a strategy that would establish the foundation for the greatest global empire the world had yet seen.

People

Andrew Van Horn Ruoss
Researcher

Paul Monod
Advisor & A. Barton Hepburn Professor of History

eic

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A MiddLab Project

Chinese Interethnic Marriage: Passion or Rational Choice?

Learn more about Economics and Chinese at Middlebury College.

The One Child Policy (OCP) has had an enormous impact on Chinese society over the past thirty years and has further exacerbated the gender imbalance of the nation. The ensuing ?”marriage market shortages” in China have had important implications for marriageable-aged Chinese men and women. The scarcity of Han women in Chinese marriage markets and the concessions of the OCP with regard to ethnic minorities may increase the propensity of female Han to marry out when they see gains to marriage such as being able to have more than one child. Given this and other potential gains to intermarriage, under certain circumstances, interethnic marriage may be a rational choice for females in Chinese society.

People

Rachel Butera
Researcher

Thiery Warin
Thesis Advisor& Associate Professor of Economics

Hang Du
Second Reader & Assistant Professor of Chinese

marriate_rates
marriate_rates2

(click to enlarge)

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A MiddLab Project

Slow Food’s Contribution to a Shift in American Food Culture

Learn more about Italian and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College.

My research looks at the success of the Slow Food movement in the United States, and how it was a contributing factor to a mental shift from fast unhealthy food to local healthy ones in a portion of the population. The movement was started in Italy, and while support for the movement has grown at the grass roots level, new pro-fast food elements have become present in Italian politics. Since its arrival in 2000 to the United States, the movement encouraged a process of education that promotes an understanding of the food industry. This study focuses on the changes in the food culture that were spurred by the Slow Food movement and have led to educational programs across the country and how this compares to Italy’s current situation.

People

Darcy Mullen
Researcher

Sandra Carletti
Sponsor and Professor of Italian

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A high mortality of seeds and seedlings has been documented in areas of high conspecific adult density as a result of increased predation and disease. Although this phenomenon has received significant attention in the scientific literature, the long-term evolutionary and ecological impact of density-dependent seedling mortality remains poorly understood. The purpose of the present study is to determine the population-level impact of density-dependent seedling mortality on heavily exploited big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla).

People

Chris Free
Researcher

Matt Landis
Faculty Sponsor

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Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.