The FASS Undergraduate Summer Research Internship invited students to submit a research proposal for a project to work on during the summer of 2020 in collaboration with a permanent FASS faculty member.
By Manahil Bandukwala, English
(Be)longing in the Digital Age: Diaspora Poetry and the Imaginary Homeland
By engaging with the work of contemporary emerging and established poets with roots across the Indian subcontinent, I nuance an understanding of South Asian poetry in the Canadian diaspora. Punjabi-Canadian Instapoet rupi kaur dominates the space of “South Asian diaspora poetry,” but many writers, especially women poets at the start of their careers, are overlooked in a western literary space that does not allow room for multiple voices on the same overarching theme. Although they come from a similar starting point, these poets grapple with intersections of femininity, patriarchy, queerness, and illness. Each produces work unique to their own experiences with the world, and cannot be whittled down into a monolith of a singular diaspora.
Supervisor: Dr. Mayurika Chakravorty
By Jupiter Bavington, Geography and Environmental Studies
Challenging the Dominant Ecological Restoration Paradigm: Is Existent Research Actually Effective in the ‘Real World’?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my original planned fieldwork restoring the ecological community on a series of field plots on campus was infeasible. Therefore I focused on investigating how to better consolidate research from various disciplines and frameworks to answer the following: why do so few restoration projects ‘succeed’ according to conventional guidelines, despite decades of intensive research, copious funding, and the immense scale of ecological degradation needing remediation? What crucial insights from disciplines outside of restoration ecology (RE) could be applied to better ensure the success of RE? What does the literature name or hint at being the recurrent, pervasive shortcomings of the standard methodology of RE – and how can these be resolved?
Supervisor: Dr. David Hugill
By Emma Bornheimer, School of Linguistics and Language Studies
Netspeak and the Internet: A Contextual Analysis
Following the advent of social media, our social lives have been deeply influenced by the online space, altering the way we socialize and communicate. Online communication has its own unique register which consists of a collection of genre specific features, referred to as Netspeak (Hadžiahmetović Jurida, 2015; Crystal, 2001). Some debate exists as to exactly which contexts we should expect Netspeak.
Supervisor: Dr. Tamara Sorenson Duncan
By Isabella Bossom, Psychology
The Potential Negative Impact of Nostalgic Reverie for Relapses in Eating Disorder Psychopathology and Behaviours
Nostalgic reverie for the past-self has been shown to be an effective catalyst for behaviour change among individuals living with addiction (Wohl et al., 2018). Nostalgic reverie prompts action by creating a disconnect or self-discontinuity between the current and past selves, which elicits psychological discomfort within an individual. Among those living with addiction, this unease motivates the individual to restore their sense of self by changing their behaviours (i.e., to establish self-continuity; Kim & Wohl, 2014). In the current research, I extend existing knowledge by assessing the effects that nostalgia has among those in recovery from an eating disorder.
Supervisor: Dr. Michael Wohl
By Kate Higgison, Psychology
Collective Nostalgia and Gender Inequality
Although many men are supportive of a movement that upholds gender parity, others are resistant. In the current research, I assessed whether this resistance is predicted by collective nostalgic reverie (i.e., sentimental longing; see Wohl, Stefaniak, & Smeekes, 2019) for “the good old days”—wherein men’s power and position in society were not questioned. Collective nostalgia tends to stem from concern that a cherished group to which they belong may be losing touch with perceived core aspects of their group’s past (i.e., feelings of collective discontinuity).
Supervisor: Dr. Michael Wohl
By Marta Kolbuszewska, Psychology
Approach goals and couple’s leisure activities: Relationship growth in the context of COVID-19.’
Satisfying romantic relationships are significant predictors of people’s happiness, physical health, and mortality. However, external factors like stress can undermine close relationships and lead to poor individual and relationship satisfaction (Holman & Jacquart, 1988). Mounting evidence shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased stressors in couples’ lives – including greater childcare responsibilities (Carlson et al., 2020 under review), high rates of unemployment (UN Labour Agency, 2020), and the closure of public spaces (WHO, 2020).
Supervisor: Dr. Cheryl Harasymchuk
By Rebecca Korn, Art History
Diana Markosian’s Multi-Media Series 1915 And Photography’s Unique Capacity To Contribute To A Multi-Perspectival Global Art History
A global reconfiguration of art history is tasked with analysing and conceptualizing new ways of history writing and seeks the decentering and pluralization of a conventionally Eurocentric (art) history. My study suggests to read Diana Markosian’s (b.1989) contemporary multimedia artwork series titled 1915 (2015) in this context and additionally, as adopting a media critical perspective. In my research project, I examine Markosian’s use of photography as a medium to shed light on subjective narratives of three survivors of the Armenian genocide in 1915 that have not been visible in official history writing. I am particularly interested in how she uses photography as a medium of history writing, and how her photographs of the survivor Movses Haneshyan, titled Movses, from the series 1915 and Movses and Musa-ler from the series 1915, can be read as critical engagements with photography’s unique capacity to reconcile past and present temporalities.
Supervisor: Dr. Birgit Hopfener
By Hikmet Mawi, Interdisciplinary Studies
Narrative Analysis of Experiences of First-Generation Black Youth from East Africa
Guided by the overarching question of how Black youth narrate their identities and experiences, this research project sought to focus on first-generation youth of East African descent. In an effort to imagine and include Black youth in research, I grounded my inquiry within Childhood and Youth Studies to consider how youth are at a temporal, structural and experiential convergence of dominant discourses and significant socio-political policies. Looked at from this vantage through intersectionality, Black youth’s discursive portrayal within research in narrow terms renders them as single, homogenous lump. This project is an effort in countering the limiting single narrative about them.
Supervisor: Dr. Alexandra Arraiz Matute
by Tobin Ng, Sociology and Journalism
Figuring Out Who We Are: Identity Construction of Chinese Canadian Youth in Richmond, BC
In Richmond, BC — otherwise known as North America’s most Asian city — 54 per cent of the population is ethnically Chinese (Statistics Canada, 2016). The city represents a unique sociocultural milieu where Chinese Canadian youth develop nuanced understandings of race, culture, nationality and homeland. From June to July 2020, semi-structured interviews were conducted via Skype with 10 Chinese Canadian youth from Richmond to explore the social and cultural factors that shape their sense of identity. Participants spoke about two key themes: their self-positionings within Richmond’s Chinese Canadian community and the impact of racism on their sense of self. The research reveals that as Chinese Canadian youth figure out their identifications (Hall, 1990), their agency is shaped by wider social conditions of white dominance, liberal multiculturalism and assimilation (Valentine, 2011). While individual agency allows youth to resist and disrupt racist, ethnocentric social orders, it also reproduces hierarchies of belonging and superiority.
Supervisor: Dr. Xiaobei Chen
By Sarah Szumlanski, School of Linguistics and Language Studies
Inside a System of Abuse: The Experience of Women with Invisible, Rare, Physical Chronic Illnesses in the Canadian Healthcare System
According to the Canadian Organization of Rare Diseases (CORD), 1 in 12 Canadians has a rare disease: that’s over 3 million Canadian citizens. Despite this high number, our rare disease patients are suffering every single day in our lacking healthcare system, and the existing literature on the topic is scarce. My research sought to understand the diagnosis process as it is experienced by women in Canada living with rare, invisible, physical chronic illnesses. Age, gender, the invisibility of an illness, and the rareness of an illness were examined to understand their influence (individually and combined) on the diagnostic experience. Existing research has not examined these intersections, and little research has been conducted within a Canadian context.
Supervisor: Dr. Kelly Fritsch