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.


Eric Bartolotti

Nader Morkus
Sponsor & Visiting Assistant Professor

Samuel Liebhaber
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Arabic

Related Links


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.


Julianna Tschirhart

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.

Related Links


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.


Ruchi Singh

Jessica Teets
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Political Science

Related Links


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.


Spring Symposium Presenters

Benjamin Brown
Chester Curme
Astrid Schanz-Garbassi

Melissa Segil

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

Related Links


Solar Decathlon Project Team


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

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.