Image of Student Abstracts: 21st Century Ethnography: Spirituality, Multiculturalism, and Kinetics

Student Abstracts: 21st Century Ethnography: Spirituality, Multiculturalism, and Kinetics

Judy Luming Zhang '23
Major: International Relations
Nexus: Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights

Ethnic Education: Policies and Reforms in the China-Myanmar Border Area

This summer, I conducted an independent research project on education policies along the China-Myanmar border. I was collecting ethnic language transition textbooks in Yunnan for a local education program a year ago and was amazed by the variety: Dehong Dai, Wa, Lahu, Jingpo, Burmese, and so on. I was also surprised by the number of Myanmar primary students who cross the border every day for education. I became curious about how education policy was developed and implemented in a region with complex ethnic and political backgrounds and a blurred border. Thus, my study explores the border region's education policies through the lenses of the power structure, religious environment, school regulations, language and ethnic education policies, and financial policies. It includes two case studies that debate the role of language and the local curriculum for the Mandarin curriculum in Myanmar and the Dai curriculum in China.


N'Yshma Leroy '23
Major: Psychology
Minor: Entrepreneurship, Organization, and Society

Poets mood and emotion before and after yoga and meditation

THIS PRESENTATION HAS CONTENT WARNING! As a poet who dove into the realms of the mind that one would not want to go to because of trauma, I will make a comparison between my poetry before and after I practice mindfulness. I will open a door of self reflection and talk about the study of the self practicing humanity through humility. Meditation and yoga helped me break through the process of rumination that influences my poetry to become lighter and optimistic. Through my yoga journey, I faced parts of myself so I could be authentic in all situations. I will also be certified as a mindfulness teacher to lead others to enlightenment.



Elizabeth Brown-Lumen '24
Major: Environmental Studies, Anthropology 

The Impact of Environmental Crisis on the Folk Dances of Southern Italy

Since ancient times, Southern Italy has been a rich area for dance, music and folklore. In Campania, Mount Vesuvius roared and smothered Pompeii, taking yet giving life. Volcanic soil made it a hub for agriculture and the songs and dances followed. Over time different practices came together to form Tammurriata, the fertility dance of agricultural traditions. Further south in Puglia, the Dance of the Spider, the Tarantella Pizzica, grew from the cult of Bacchus and Dionysus, a dance to heal the mythical venomous bite with frantic song and dance. The Tarantella sprouted to include many types of Pizzica, from companions flirting to communities celebrating. Each of these dances are each their own families yet are cousins of the cultural South. This presentation will examine the complexities of these dances and their connection to the natural world while also contrasting changes in climate and practical applications of cultural art forms.


Anna Sophie Tinneny '23

Cafecito y cuentos: Oral Tradition in the Pueblo Kayambi

Nestled just below the volcano Cayambe, Santa Ana, Ecuador is home to vibrant people, an awesome history, and a thriving Indigenous community. In the agrarian town, once families return from work in the fields or in the nearby cities, they often gather around with mugs of cafecito and tell stories late into the night. In the summer of 2022, Anna Sophie Tinneny revisted Santa Ana, where she previously spent 8 months living and working, to learn more about these stories and their places in the lives of those who keep them. Her time led her to ask what forms activism can take, what roles inherited stories play in contemporary life, and what it means to be Indigenous.