Hoopes Prize-Winning Theses
Each year, Arts & Humanities concentrators are among the winners of the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for excellent undergraduate work. The Prize is awarded to graduating seniors to recognize the achievement of their senior thesis projects. Their dedication to scholarly rigor and intellectual exploration exemplifies the very best work of students within the Division of Arts & Humanities.
Read about the Prize-winning research of some of the 2021 and 2020 Hoopes Prize winners.
Read about some of our 2022 Hoopes Prize winners below:
Amanda Su for her project entitled “Real Lives, Reel Histories: The Articulation of Ambivalent Identities in Asian American Home Movies”—supervised and nominated by Dr. Karen Huang
HISTORY & LITERATURE
Ana Luiza Nicolae for her project entitled “The Earth’s Stretchmarks: Winds as Directional Systems Generated from the Ground in Mesopotamia and Greece”—supervised and nominated by Professor Paul Kosmin and Professor Mark Schiefsky
SPECIAL CONCENTRATION: GEOGRAPHY AND IDENTITY
Anna Cambron for her project entitled “Ioci Nudandarum Mimarum: Uncovering the Roman Floralia”— supervised and nominated by Dr. Harry Morgan
Kelsey Chen for her project entitled “Things Adrift: A Vital Materialist Account of Trinh Mai’s Bone of My Bone as Feminist Refuge-Making Craft”—supervised and nominated by Professor Michael Puett and Professor Eugene Wang
SOCIAL STUDIES AND HISTORY OF ART & ARCHITECTURE
Lavanya Singh for her project entitled “Automated Kantian Ethics”—supervised and nominated by Professor Nada Amin and Dr. William Cochran
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY
Sonia Epstein for her project entitled “‘To Build and To Be Built’: Tuberculosis Control and the Zionist Movement, 1922–1957”—supervised and nominated by Dr. Samuel Dolbee
HISTORY & LITERATURE
Zelin Liu for his project entitled “Inter exempla erit: Germania in Tacitus and Its Use by Early German Humanists”—supervised and nominated by Professor Ann Blair and Professor Richard Thomas
CLASSICS AND HISTORY
The Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP) is a 10-week summer residential program for up to 16 Harvard undergraduates participating in arts and humanities research projects directed by Harvard faculty or in partnership with leaders at our libraries and museums. The program seeks to create a diverse community of student fellows who are inspired by, and committed to, research in the humanities. Students are provided with a stipend, as well as on-campus housing and a partial meal plan for the duration of the program.
Meet some of these SHARP Fellows from 2022, 2021 and 2020 below!
Amber Levis ’25 is a SHARP Fellow at Houghton Library.
This summer, I’ve been working with the archives at Houghton Library to research tarot and its connection to spiritual practice. At Houghton, I’ve serendipitously come across fascinating rare material such as letters, old grimoires (spell books) and, of course, tarot cards, which has helped me learn about the development of ceremonial magic in an engaging visual way. To capture the wonder of coming across these finds, I’ve been working on a video essay that will give a brief overview of the history of tarot, its influences, and its uses as part of a serious mystical practice. Hopefully, it will help contribute to a larger effort of making the wealth of Harvard resources more accessible.
The librarians at Houghton and especially our advisors, Kristine and Zoe, have been incredibly helpful in guiding me and the other Houghton fellows through the confusing process of accessing and handling rare materials from the archives. Of course, I loved getting to know the other SHARP fellows and learn from the amazing work that they’re doing.
Hi! My name is Emily Berlinghof and this summer I am conducting research as a SHARP undergraduate fellow of the Harvard ArtLab (@harvardartlab). I’m working on creating the second season of the ArtLab’s podcast called “Works in Progress” which highlights the work of established and emerging artists in the Harvard community. Engaging in thought-provoking conversations about contemporary art and creative research with these artists as well as professors and undergraduates in the arts, I have found value in approaching art as an explorative process of research. It has been a fulfilling experience interacting in-person with the people and projects of the ArtLab and as I explore their practices, I enjoy better informing my own exploration of the arts.
The SHARP experience has been even more impactful for me as I engage not only with the artists and mentors of my own field, but also those of others. Living on-campus in a community of peer researchers has exposed me to several other fields of inquiry that I may not have otherwise considered and I have been able to find new unique intersections with my own interests as an art history and architecture concentrator.
My name is Hannah Gadway, and I'm a sophomore in Eliot House studying History and Literature. This summer, I worked at the Harvard Art Museums in the SHARP program. The Museums have partnered with the St. Mark Community Education Program, a non-religious Dorchester-based program that prepares aspiring American citizens of all ages for the U.S. Citizenship Test. We have used the art in the Museums' American collections to develop a program in which we will teach the US Citizenship Test to aspiring US citizens. I have also given a public tour, called Visions of America, while in Cambridge this summer.
SHARP has been a great way to get to know others interested in the humanities on campus. It has also allowed me to learn more about museum management, how collections are curated, and how to conduct research in the humanities. My mentors were amazing and I learned a lot about American history, art, and citizenship.
Hi! My name is Julia Garcia Galindo (she/her/hers) and I am a rising sophomore in Cabot studying Sociology. This summer I worked at Houghton Library through the SHARP fellowship, examining art from the Spanish-American War through the lens of the white savior industrial complex. Some of the pieces of art I worked with include chocolate trading cards, patriotic newspaper poems, satirical articles, political cartoons, etc. I then presented my findings through a short, comedic, video series aimed at high school students and released via YouTube called Relearning and Unlearning.
Through the SHARP fellowship, I was able to develop skills that will serve me regardless of what I do in the future, including archival research, script-writing, photography and contextualizing art. I also met a wide range of people that exposed me to new areas of research and helped me think of my project in a myriad of ways. It was a super rewarding experience!
Juliet Isselbacher is a senior with a SHARP Fellowship at Houghton Library.
This summer, I’m working in Houghton’s Ludlow-Santo Domingo (LSD) collection—“the world’s largest private collection of material on altered states of mind”—and examining archival material related to psychedelics, which became popular in the 60s counterculture for the mystical experiences they could impart. Today, researchers are exploring the potential of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. But in his New Yorker article “Trip Treatment,” Michael Pollan glosses the ethical issues at stake in the therapeutic deployment of these drugs: “How are we to judge the veracity of the insights gleaned during a psychedelic journey? It’s one thing to conclude that love is all that matters, but quite another to come away from a therapy convinced that ‘there is another reality’ awaiting us after death…Is psychedelic therapy simply foisting a comforting delusion on the sick and dying? I hope to use the rich material from the archives to contextualize and extend current philosophical work around the “epistemic profile” of psychedelics—that is, work on how to weigh the ways in which these drugs facilitate or impede users’ access to truths. It’s incredibly exciting to attempt to contribute to an ongoing philosophical project by doing hands-on work and immersing myself in the wildly vibrant world that surrounded these “mind-manifesting” drugs in the 60s.
SHARP Fellow Mireya Sanchez-Maes ’24
As a SHARP fellow in Houghton library, I spent the summer writing a comedic stage play about science fiction fandoms in the 1950s! Fandoms occupy an increasingly large space in today’s cultural consciousness, and many of the practices associated with contemporary fan culture had their start in post-war science fiction fan groups whose members (almost exclusively white men) would contribute to Science Fiction’s paradoxical reputation as a safe haven for acceptable outsiders. My project explores this legacy by narrativizing Houghton Library’s “Dick Clarkson Papers” – a collection of photos, letters, compositions, and Sci-Fi convention memorabilia collected by Dick Clarkson from 1951-1953. I used these real correspondences to inspire the dialogue of a comedic stage play. Spending an entire summer digging through archives, writing, and reading has been an absolute dream!
I’m incredibly grateful that Harvard has so many resources and opportunities for fully-funded creative research.
Rebecca Araten is a rising junior studying History & Literature and Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
I have always been interested in sharing the stories that have been neglected or lost in the recounting of history, so I was thrilled to see that the Harvard Art Museums was looking for a SHARP fellow to research the women of the Museums.
“The Fogg Museum, the oldest of the three Harvard Art Museums, has long been called a "laboratory for art," with graduates of Harvard's "Museum Course" (taught 1921-1948) pioneering the museum field in the United States. Women made up roughly half of the Museum Course's graduates, but their stories of success in the museum world are much fewer. In my research, I try to figure out what happened to the women of the museum course, what barriers held them back, and what glass ceilings they were able to shatter. These women were up against hiring biases, constant requests to type things up for male colleagues, rules that prevented them from holding positions as curators, even a lack of women's bathrooms for staff members. The list is so extensive, and the problems so repetitive across different women’s stories, that I made a BINGO board to mark each of these trends.
“To me, SHARP is all about making Humanities research dynamic and accessible. As I search through archival documents, I am constantly struck by how current and fresh the issues of the past are, and how important it is to make them widely known. To move forward in the museum world, we must understand our past.
Hi! My name is Kristian Hardy (she/her/hers) and I'm a rising sophomore in Dunster studying Theatre, Dance & Media and African American Studies. This summer I am a SHARP Fellow at the Harvard ArtLab. At the ArtLab, I am completing preproduction work for our upcoming podcast centered around the creative process, artistic research, and the impact of various artistic projects on the world around us. I love multi-media storytelling and I have found contemporary research incredibly rewarding because I'm compiling information on living artists that are currently creating. I'm passionate about uplifting the voices of artists of color, especially at an institution like Harvard that historically has silenced us, and I am very excited to continue my work with the ArtLab team to provide artists from all walks of life with this platform.
"As a creative, I plan on implementing the research and project management skills I've gained this summer in my future projects. I am constantly learning how vast the arts landscape is and I can't wait to continue exploring it. Keep an eye out for the @harvardartlab podcast and go SHARP!
Yash Kumbhat—a rising senior concentrating in English— is working on a SHARP project in Houghton Library.
My project, comprising two short stories set in the near future, draws on Houghton Library’s collections—in particular, on the papers of Wole Soyinka and W. G. Sebald—to imagine a world made and unmade by global temperatures soaring past a two degree inflection point.
“The stories turn their attention toward the everyday experiences of living in a constant state of climate disaster—in the inevitable inequities, fears, and pressures of waking, variously, to unbearable heat, to encroaching deserts, cyclones, and emptying rivers, to rising oceans. Each considers, too, the burden of remembering a plentiful, amiable world in one growing, with each plume of carbon, more hostile. My project, in short, considers life beyond apocalypse, beyond the easy notion of any definitive, or sanitary ending, through the political, aesthetic, and philosophical strategies articulated in the papers of Soyinka and Sebald, two writers greatly concerned—in their private and published writings alike—with the siren call of progress, with disaster and memory, and with what shapes history takes as time moves onward.
“Through my time at Houghton, I have been introduced, also, to the complexities of archival research and organization—have been asked to consider the ways in which knowledge is stored, processed, catalogued, and made available, and the impact these practices have on which questions can be asked, which answered, which appointments with the past can be kept and which are missed. For this and everything else, I am thankful to Kristine, Zoe, Blake, and all the amazing guests we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with.
SHARP Fellow Erik Zou is a rising sophomore at Harvard College with an interest in Economics and History of Art & Architecture.
This summer, I have been working with Professors Jennifer Roberts and Matt Saunders to explore the Alan Burroughs collection of shadowgraphs. These shadowgraphs are x-rays of artworks, and their ghostly appearances have been primarily used for scientific study in the museum. For my work, I have investigated literature in art history, astronomy, medicine, and other subjects while also conducting studio arts research inspired by the shadowgraphs. Combining these two methods of research, I have investigated the merit of these x-rays as works of art, while considering questions about the body, materiality, boundaries, and the relationship between what lies above and what remains hidden underneath.
“The SHARP program has been an exciting opportunity to research and focus on a project, and it has been insightful to work alongside two incredible professors. Beyond my own research, SHARP and URAF have provided me with a space full of bright ideas and passionate researchers. Speaking to other fellows about their research in a variety of other areas like cellular biology or criminal justice has inspired my own research and has pushed me to become a more interdisciplinary thinker.
My name is Alejandro Eduarte, and I am a rising sophomore in Lowell House. I am working with history professor Tiya Miles and fellow undergraduate Kyra March to research and develop a spring 2021 class: "Abolitionist Women and their Worlds." I have primarily been researching artworks: sculptural exhibitions, paintings, poems, films, and plays which directly represent the seven women on our syllabus. Particularly, I have studied popular narratives of Harriet Tubman through scholarly research, her own words, and visual art pieces, and investigated the gaps in the historical record about her life and activism. My SHARP fellowship has meant a deep dive into art history and emphasized the importance of artwork in creating historical narratives and addressing archival gaps. Reconsidering the movement for the abolition of slavery through the lives of women has meant collecting the fragments which remain of their intimate worlds, their hidden practices, their hopes and determinations, their communities, and the ways they set off to do their challenging, dangerous work. Through a program like SHARP, I have gained a growing sense of how valuable the archives are at Harvard to generate knowledge, critical reflection, and to, as much as we can, simulate different worlds in community with our fellow researchers and peers.
I'm Madi Fabber, and this summer I am one of the Harvard Art Museums' SHARP interns! My research this summer is on family programming at the museums, and how we can best make the museums a welcoming and engaging space for all audiences. One thing I am working on is creating an activity book about curation and the work that goes into creating an exhibit. The goal of this project is to break down the barriers between the art museum and its audience, and to empower children and their parents in looking critically at and talking about art!
My name is Polina Galouchko, and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College from Moscow, Russia. This summer I am participating remotely in the SHARP Internship at the Harvard Art Museums. My project centers around the ways in which HAM can use social media platforms to share collection-based research and engage with various audiences; in particular, I am working on a research report on other comparable museums’ social media initiatives and strategies, as well as helping to manage and generating content for @harvardarthappens account. Despite not being physically present on campus, I am enjoying this experience greatly - from SHARP and HSURV-wide social events, lectures and conversations, to attending a virtual tour of the ‘Painting Edo’ exhibition and learning more about research in art history from the Museums’ curators. While being 7 time zones away from Cambridge, I still feel a sense of belonging to a greater research community and excitement about the project which forces me think about art from different perspectives: not only as a source of inspiration for many, but also as a uniting force that makes people feel closer to each other in the times of isolation and confinement.
My name is Kyra March (she/her/hers), and I am a rising junior in Adams House studying African American Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. This summer, I am working with Professor Tiya Miles, a professor in the History Department and public historian, and Alejandro Eduarte, a rising sophomore at the College. We are working in various archives, including the Schlesinger Library, to gather information and course materials for a class Professor Miles will be teaching in the spring: “Abolitionist Women and Their Worlds.” In this course, Professor Miles aims to highlight seven women who were influential during the Abolitionist Movement and fight for women’s suffrage in order to better understand their lives, activism, what shaped their political visions, and more.
So far, this internship has been absolutely beautiful. I have been able to dive into many different archives and encounter primary source documents from Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Lucy Stone, and others. This internship has allowed me to expand the way I think about intersectionality, public memory, archives, and societal and historical privilege. It has also provided me with the opportunity to explore and analyze newspaper articles, correspondence, ads, and other documents from the 1800s that I have not been exposed to before. This work means a great deal to me because I am able to shed light on the stories of women and unsung Black women, like Harriet Jacobs, and contribute to amplifying their accomplishments and lives.
As an aspiring historian, SHARP is providing me with the skills, mentorship, and resources that will be incredibly important in my own scholarship once I become a professor.
Public Humanities Internships
Deadline for Spring 2022 Internships is Sunday, February 6!
The Mahindra Humanities Center invites applications for undergraduate internships in the Public Humanities. Internships offered for Spring 2022 are: Archival and Licensing Research Internship, Education Equity Internship, Non-Profit Administration Internship, and Medical Humanities Education and Video Editing Internship. See below for full descriptions of all opportunities.
Students may apply to up to THREE Internships in the Public Humanities. If you apply to more than one, please apply to each separately and rank them in your order of preference in each of your cover letters.
Preferred class levels: Students must be currently enrolled sophomores or juniors. NOTE: If you have held one of the Humanities internships previously, you will still be considered eligible even if you are a senior graduating in May 2022. (New applicants graduating in May 2022 are ineligible.)
Required application documents: Cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship and what experience you have relevant to the description; resumé; copy of unofficial Harvard transcript.
Application deadline: Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 11:59pm
TV Archival and Licensing Research
The archival and licensing research internship will provide experience and training in archival research for public distribution. Archival research and licensing is an essential part of film and television production, of the mounting of museum and other cultural exhibitions, of online education, of digital as well as print publishing and advertising--as well as a wide range of other applications in the commercial world. Good archival research takes historical knowledge and curiosity, storytelling ability and an eye for visual culture. It also requires meticulous attention to copyright and intellectual property law, budgetary understanding, mastery of industry standards of record keeping and asset tracking, and the ability to work with others on deadline.
Students with interest in history, science, literature, the visual arts, media and law are invited to apply for this opportunity, which will allow them to work with an archival team on ongoing television and educational media projects. Training will be provided by seasoned veterans in the field. Students applying for this internship must be ready to commit 5-8 hours per week throughout the period of the internship; work must be completed in two or three consistent blocks during 9-5 weekday hours (i.e. intern is available regularly at set hours during the week). This internship is mostly remote, with exceptions to be determined in consultation with supervisor. The period of the internship is 10 weeks during the Spring 2021, ideally beginning the week of March 1 and ending when fall term classes end (no work is expected over spring break). The intern will receive a stipend of $1,400 ($700 payable at the end of week 5 and $700 payable upon successful completion of the internship and submission of a brief report).
Education Equity & Instructional Design
The education equity intern will gain experience in course and curriculum development, as well as program administration and delivery, by supporting a collaboration between Poetry in America, the National Education Equity Lab, Harvard, and Arizona State University. Interns will gain exposure to, and to build skills, in the world of online education, with a particular focus on dual credit programs targeting high-performing high-school students in under-resourced schools across the U.S.
Dual enrollment programs (also known as dual credit or concurrent enrollment programs) take various formats, but, in general, they provide high-school students with a cost-effective means of earning college credit while still in high school. These programs have the added benefit of promoting college readiness through rigorous curricula, while simultaneously enabling students to utilize the supports available to them on their high-school campuses (e.g., familiar teachers and peers, school counselors, school- or district-issued devices if available).
Students with an interest in literature, history, the social sciences, education, and educational media are invited to apply. The education equity intern will come onboard as the Poetry in America for High Schools program enters a growth phase, and will assist with development of student- and teacher-facing resources and curricula for use in future semesters, as well as with support of student enrolled in the Spring 2022 course as needed. The intern will receive training from, and work alongside, a team of instructional design professionals. Students applying for this internship should be ready to commit 7-10 hours per week throughout the duration of the internship; work will be mostly remote, with exceptions to be determined in consultation with the position’s supervisor. The period of the internship is 10 weeks during the Spring 2022, ideally beginning the week of February 21 and ending when fall term classes end (no work is expected over spring break). The intern will receive a stipend of $1,400 ($700 payable at the end of week 5 and $700 payable upon successful completion of the internship and submission of a brief report).
The nonprofit administration internship will provide training and real-world experience in expense tracking and business management at a 501(c)(3) non-profit production company.
Managers in nonprofit administration wear a lot of different hats. Often learning on the fly by adapting to the challenges that come up each week, managers must also establish processes that govern day-to-day operations, and keep organized records of monthly spending in order to report on the grant funding that supports their work. Administration and management at a small nonprofit takes a can-do attitude, a close eye for detail, and a willingness to dive deep into research and communicate with others to solve problems.
The nonprofit administration intern will work with the Operations Manager and others at Verse Video Education to track production expenses: helping to review monthly expense sheets, following up with staff on credit card transactions; collecting, coding and filing receipts; and helping to code equipment for a remote camera kit used during the pandemic. Other projects will be assigned as they become available, based on the intern’s areas of interest; this work could include drafting a project budget, proofreading grant applications or reports, tracking subscriptions and software licenses, documenting Verse Video’s financial controls, other prep work for the organization’s 2021 audit, or simply researching problems as they arise.
This internship will require detailed attention to classifying expenses, some familiarity with Google Drive and Google Sheets, and the ability to work with others on deadline. Students with interest in media or television production, filmmaking, education, or the public arts and humanities are invited to apply. Students applying for this internship should be ready to commit 7-10 hours per week throughout the duration of the internship; work will be mostly remote, with exceptions to be determined in consultation with the position’s supervisor. The period of the internship is 10 weeks during the Spring 2021, ideally beginning the week of February 21 and ending when fall term classes end (no work is expected over spring break). The intern will receive a stipend of $1,400 ($700 payable at the end of week 5 and $700 payable upon successful completion of the internship and submission of a brief report).
Medical Humanities and Science Education Image Research
Interest in the medical humanities is growing nationally, as medical professionals realize that caring for patients—and for themselves—often requires more than even the most sophisticated medical technologies can provide. Medical professionals with humanities interests write articles in public journals, teach in Medical Humanities programs, make films, and gather to share and to study arts and humanities in global conferences. Works of literature, the visual arts, music, and the great texts of philosophy are increasingly part of programming in hospitals and other medical settings, part of coursework in medical schools, and in demand in new online programs of professional development.
With more and more education now occurring online and across time zones, traditional 50 minute lectures, classic roundtable seminars and even hands-on labs are increasingly being augmented by new pedagogical forms and formats. Educational content that can be used synchronously or asynchronously, content that offers replay, speed control, annotation and other engagement features, and that may include video or audio, is increasingly in demand for learners both outside—and inside—traditional educational institutions. Engaging mini-lectures, scalable seminars, on-location field trips, animated visualizations and lab demonstrations are some of these new modes of instruction, and demand for these in medical education is also growing.
Demand is also growing for image researchers, video editors, instructional designers, and multimedia producers capable of translating curricular content, including academic materials, into engaging video. Subject knowledge married to video storytelling expertise is in high demand, and there are growing opportunities for humanists to work both in and outside of academic settings—even as there are new opportunities for media-makers to work, not only in film, broadcast television and other entertainment venues, but in education.
With training from a 25-year veteran creator of science and educational media, the intern will work alongside Professor Elisa New and her instructional design team to source images that illustrate concepts from interviews that Poetry in America has filmed with humanists and medical professionals. Images sourced by the intern will be woven together with interview footage, animations and music to make short, visually-engaging and instructive modules of content for a variety of online learners, including medical students, doctors and nurses. The intern may also be asked to assist with sourcing images for Poetry and Science videos, for online publication by Nautilus Magazine; and there may be opportunities for image research in other fields as well.
Students with interest in medicine or science, as well as library sciences or archival studies, literature, the visual arts, media and law, are invited to apply for this opportunity, which will allow them to work with a curriculum and video team on ongoing educational media projects. The internship will require meticulous attention to copyright and intellectual property law, budgetary understanding, attention to industry standards of record keeping and asset tracking, and the ability to work with others on deadline. Experience working or researching in libraries or archives would also be useful in this role. Applicants should be ready to commit 7-10 hours per week throughout the period of the internship, and work with others to meet tight publication deadlines; work will be mostly remote, with exceptions to be determined in consultation with the position’s supervisor. The period of the internship is 10 weeks during the Spring 2021, ideally beginning the week of February 21 and ending when fall term classes end (no work is expected over spring break). The intern will receive a stipend of $1,400 ($700 payable at the end of week 5 and $700 payable upon successful completion of the internship and submission of a brief report).