2011 Honors Graduates
Health in Sudan: Where do we go from here?
Advised by Fatimah Jackson
Hanna Ali conducted the last comprehensive literature review of health research in Sudan in anticipation of the pending division of the south. Through this literature review, she wanted to discover the current health issues affecting the Sudan; reveal any holes in the research; assess the impact of current interventions; and compile a list of suggestions for future health interventions. Using PubMed as her database, she found that all regions of Sudan were represented in health literature. Nonetheless, researchers explored health issues in regions without regard to previous findings. Overall, her research led her conclude that there is a need for more diverse, thorough research in neglected Sudanese regions, health metrics and evaluations to effectively evaluate interventions, and more effective communication amongst researchers, policymakers, community health workers, and community leaders. Health issues that could benefit from further research include sexual and mental health, chronic illnesses and cancers, and issues of prescribing and self-medication.
Hanna does not have immediate post-graduate plans, but she intends to attend medical school in the future.
A Bleeding Sin: An Examination of Honor Killings in Turkey and Germany
Advised by Banu Gokariksel
Honor killing- the murder of a woman by her family for causing dishonor – is a form of global femicide that invokes the notion of honor as motivation for domestic violence. As evidenced by international discourses following 9/11, honor killings have assumed a more “ethnicized” tone, constructed as a crime that occurs only in Muslim religious and ethnic communities. Muslim women have thus been problematically construed within public consciousness, and are surrounded by a discourse of fear due to their perception as alien. This research examines how the categorizations of honor killings in Turkey and Germany advance each nation’s political agendas, and incorporates an examination of the laws and societal structures that enable honor killings to recur without harsh punishment.
The goal of this research is not only to explain transnational honor killing portrayal, but to also assert that honor killings create an informal outlet to discuss and construct those deemed fundamentally “other”.
Next year, Bethany will attend law school at Wake Forest University as one of two Fletcher Scholars. She hopes to study national and international criminal law.
Sex, Fertility and the Marabouts: Cultural Conceptions of Family Planning in Mali
Advised by Amy Cooke
Statistics show that Malian women still have an unmet need for family planning, yet public health and international development NGOs as well as foreign governments’ development agencies and local governments have tried to meet their need for contraception by increasing funding and efforts in the last two decades. Contraceptive use rates in Mali are strikingly low compared to regional statistics. How can we explain Malian women’s unmet need for family planning? After conducting ethnographic research in Mali and analyzing data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, Laurence Deschamps-Laporte concludes that the reproductive establishment can improve their programming in five areas of intervention: access, education and information, cultural and legal barriers, financial barriers and symptomatic problems related to the field of international development. Beyond these areas of intervention the reproductive establishment is already mindful of, my research suggests that they could better address women’s family planning needs if they considered two new factors which influence women’s reproductive decisions, namely; local understandings of fertility and the role of the Islamic traditional healers (called marabouts).
Laurence will be studying at Oxford University next year as part of her Rhodes Scholarship.
Empowering Women in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Policy Comparisons For a Global Microbicide Rollout
Advised by Benjamin Meier
Transcending traditional bounds of public health to become a political, economic, developmental, and human rights issue, the HIV/AIDS epidemic engages and affects the entire globe. Necessitating global collective action, efforts have been made to reverse the course of the epidemic. Despite these global efforts, however, HIV/AIDS still runs rampant across the globe, resulting in millions of deaths a year. With no fully effective intervention to counter the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the announcement of the proof of concept for microbicides, a female-centered prevention technology, established a new chapter in the fight against the epidemic. This thesis seeks to explore this global rollout through the lens of antiretroviral rollout, focusing on three initial steps to the rollout process: global advocacy, regulatory approval and licensing, and financing mechanisms. Through the lessons learned from antiretroviral implementation, this thesis will demonstrate gaps in the response to microbicides and highlight next steps for a successful rollout.
Kristina Fondren will backpack through Turkey, Greece, and Eastern Europe this summer.
Towards Comprehensive Mitigation of Bee Decline: An analysis of scientific knowledge, organizational action and public engagement in Western Europe
Advised by Amy Cooke
The recent pollinator decline and its impact on agricultural production and food security has prompted response from scientific researchers, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. This work is an analysis of the relationships between these realms in Western Europe. The issue of bee die-offs is relevant as we are experiencing a mass die-off of our primary pollinator. Jesalyn Keziah’s hypothesis is that pollinator conservation initiatives and policies designed to support and encourage bee health would be more effective if they were based on the findings of the scientific literature that has recently emerged and grounded in a collaborative effort among the scientific, policy, and public realms. A huge gap exists between what is known about ensuring healthy bees and what is encouraged or mandated from organizations—governmental or otherwise—that are involved in agricultural management. To analyze this gap, she proposes a conceptual framework to study the interactions between the scientific, policy, and general public spheres. The results indicate a lack of communication, and the discussion calls for methods of greater collaboration to ensure comprehensive response to mitigate bee decline.
Jesalyn will spend the next two years as a member of Teach for America in their inaugural Appalachia region.
Presence of the Past: Byzantine and Ottoman Architecture and Its Effects on Collective Memory in Modern-Day Turkey
Advised by Omid Safi
This thesis seeks to understand the connection between history, collective memory, and architecture by studying two buildings that embody the history of Istanbul as a city: the
Aya Sophia and the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque. Current literature has largely ignored the relationship between the concepts of collective memory and architecture. The presence of these structures in Istanbul, inherently reflecting their contemporary societies as well as the shifting identity of the city, offers citizens a chance to understand their history and the legacy of past regimes without the interference of the official national narrative. With this opening, competing narratives of Turkey’s history and origins have emerged and clouded the collective memory of the city’s inhabitants. The impact these specific structures have had on the secular nation-state of Turkey provides an ideal case study due to Istanbul’s varied history. Istanbul offers a chance to understand how shifting identities of society over time both affects and is mirrored in the city’s architecture as well as how the continued presence of those buildings contests the Turkish national historical narrative.
Kate will attend the University of Denver for a Master’s in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
Enough! The Evolution of Activism in Egypt: The Egyptian Movement for Change, or Kefaya
Advised by Jonathan Weiler
The Egyptian Movement for Change, or Kefaya, offers an interesting new window into examining activism in Egypt. Kefaya is a symbol of an evolving type of social movement that reaches across secular-Islamist, generational, and myriad other social divides. The Movement’s utilization of the Internet, which is also characteristic of this new activism, reinforces Kefaya’s status as a pre-cursor to the types of mobilization that brought about the revolution of 2011.
Patricia does not have clear post-graduate plans yet, but she hopes to work in D.C. for a think-tank doing research on Middle East foreign policy.
Institutions and Governance in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Advised by Stephen Walsh
Emily Willis’ research seeks to analyze past governance structure in the Galapagos Islands, paying particular attention to the institutional framework, and proposes alternative structures of governance to avoid overexploitation of common pool resources. The paper uses two theoretical frameworks, Political Ecology and Institutionalism, to frame two trajectories for managing the Galapagos and avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons. The Galapagos Islands, a particularly vulnerable Protected Area, is currently reforming its governance structure to address past grievances and failures, and therefore analysis of governance options is particularly important. Finally the paper proposes a hybrid structure that places emphasis on stability, streamlining the management structure, and encouraging heightened citizen participation.
Emily will join the 2011 corps of Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She hopes to teach World History or World Geography to high schools that serve predominantly Hispanic and immigrant communities along the border. She plans to bring her unique world experiences to the classroom, to show her students what it means to be a global citizen.
Mexican Migration and Local Development: The Case of El Pistacho
Advised by Jacqueline Hagan
International migration from Mexico has deep historical roots, and it has long-been one of the economic strategies employed by rural households for survival and advancement. This thesis assesses the way such migration has impacted one small, remote agrarian community in central Guanajuato. Research on migration and development over the last two decades has shifted away from local case studies and toward broader statistical analyses. Simultaneously, findings regarding the economic impact of migration have shifted from negative to generally positive. In light of this shift, this thesis brings the local perspective back into focus. Through ethnographic data, personal interviews, and household surveys, this thesis assesses the ways migration has economically impacted the community of El Pistacho over the last 40 years. The study reveals that, with money earned through migration, households have made small but important steps toward improving their living conditions; yet, few community-level infrastructural changes have occurred as a result of international migration. In contrast to findings of the earliest case studies, the case of El Pistacho indicates that migration does have positive developmental impacts. However, the study suggests that this impact is primarily a result of return migration. If this positive impact is to be sustained, return migration must be encouraged, and this has serious implications for U.S. immigration policy.
Caroline will move to Texas next year to join Teach for America. She will teach in a bilingual middle school along the Texas/Mexico border. She also hopes to attend the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute hosted by the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies over the next few summers with the goal of becoming fluent in Yucatec Maya and conducting future migration research there.