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MiddLab

Human Motivations

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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This presentation deals with a portion of my senior ENAM thesis, which focuses mainly on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard. The specific portion that I presented at the Symposium examined Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead‘s relation to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and to my knowledge is the first sustained and in-depth comparison between the two works. My presentation examines the precise nature of the relationship between the two works, as well as how events within Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead modify and enrich our understanding of Hamlet. Within Stoppard’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern feel they have no free will; however, we can perceive the overall causes and effects of events in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead because of our prior knowledge of Hamlet and in that way can recognize the limits and contradictions of both predestination and free will.

People

John Goerlich
Researcher

John Bertolini
Sponsor & Ellis Professor of English and Liberal Arts

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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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