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College of Humanities & Sciences

School of World Studies

2019 Student Research Conference

A table of books and fruit featured in the 2018 Student Research Conference panel on Zen Buddhism. [View Image]A table from one of last year's panels.

This year's Student Research Conference will be held on Nov. 14 and 15 in the VCU Student Commons at 907 Floyd Avenue. Download the 2019 Student Research Conference Program

We are kicking off the conference with a film screening of "Sur le Bout de la Langue" ("On the Tip of My Tongue") which explores Indigenous language preservation in the Commons Theater at 4 p.m., Thursday, November 14. The movie will be presented by Pamunkey Chief Brad Brown and professor Peter Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.. 

The movie will be followed by a keynote address by Lauren Fox, Director of the Pamunkey Indian Tribal Resource Center, from 6 until 8 in the Commonwealth Ballroom. 

We will begin with student presentations the next morning on Friday, November 15 at 9 a.m.. Download the 2019 Student Research Conference Program for complete details.

The conference will also include a panel discussion focused on social activism in Richmond at 3 p.m. on Friday, November 15 in the Richmond Salons. Moderated by Isabelle Richman, Ph.D., the panel includes: Zakia McKensey, founder/executive director of Nationz Foundation;  Seema Sked, founder-of Fight the Muslim Ban; Zoe Spencer, Ph.D.; and Rev. Leonina Arismendi Zarkovic, co-director, Santos en Virginia.


24th Annual  School of World Studies Student Research Conference Program

Thursday November 14, 2019

4:00 p.m.

Commons Theater
Welcoming Remarks
Peter Kirkpatrick, Professor, School of World Studies

Film Screening On the Tip of the Tongue
Introduction by Pamunkey Assistant Chief Brad Brown and Professor Peter Kirkpatrick followed by Q&A

6:00 p.m.

Commonwealth Ballroom
Introduction by Mark Wood
Keynote Speaker: Lauren Fox, Director of the Pamunkey Indian Tribal Resource Center

Reception to follow


Friday November 15, 2019

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Roundtable moderated by Professor Gabriella Leon-Perez (Virginia Commonwealth University):
Latinx Immigrants’ Healthcare Access: Barriers, consequences and strategies for the future
Ashley Victor
Ajay Potluri
Farheen Zaman
MiJin Cho
Paola Callejas


Richmond Salon 2
Sustainability, Religion, and Futurism
Chair: Cinzia Corubolo.

"Monastic Contribution to a Sustainable Future"
Turid Sanger (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Minarets in Space: Muslim Futurism as Resistance"
Christopher Ahrens (College of William and Mary)

"How can food justice help us improve environmental sustainability and social justice?"
Emily Martinez (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 3
Navigating Social and Cultural Change
Chair: Mayda Topoushian

"Signing Polygamy: How Women Navigate Polygamous Relationships in Dakar, Senegal"
Charlotte Bednarski (University of Richmond)

"Nomads of the Horn: Urbanization and the Construction of Identity in Somalia"
Sumeya Hassan (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Construction of Curry and the Cosmopolitan Imaginary during British Colonialism" 
Kelly McCray (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 4
Roundtable moderated by Professor Zoe Spencer (Virginia State University)
The MisEducation of the Negro: Disrupting the Fallacies, Flaws, and Favor of Race Relations in America

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Gender and Human Rights Violations
Chair: Patricia Cummins

Mary Wagner (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Welcome to the Manosphere: A Study on the Toxic Masculinity and Violence Prevalent in Internet Sub-cultures"
Sabine Lawrence (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Women’s Human Rights Violation in Kashmir
Sawmaya Jamil (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Richmond Salon 2
Religious Traditions
Chair: Mayda Topoushian

"Convergence of East and West: Overlaps in Hinduism and Christianity"
Olivia Hudson (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Ahmadiyya Religious Movement in Pakistan"
Keith Harrell II (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"The Fall of Eve"
Erin Somerville (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 3
Communicating in the 21st Century
Chair: Oliver C. Speck

"Linking News Fatigue and Depression in a Globalized World"
Sam Keeler (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Spanish Sign Language in the Past and Present: How Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro Influenced the Moral History of Nonverbal Communication"
Torey-Bates Samuel (University of Richmond)

"Hip Hop in Germany"
Janell Moore (Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 4
Capitalism and Cultural Production
Chair: Rohan Kalyan

"Navigating Neoliberalism: Marketing, Artistry, and 'Authenticity' in Kuala Lumpur’s Underground Rap Scene"
G Rowan McMillian (College of William and Mary)

"The Culture of Capital" 
David Bussell (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"From Fiction to Reality: Migration Literature and the Creation of a Transnational World"
Rosemarie Ferraro (University of Richmond)

"Capitalism and Bondage: Blackness in Latin America and Africa"
Autumn Green (Virginia Commonwealth University)

11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Roundtable moderated by Professor Indira Sultanic (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Health disparities among Latinx communities: issues of access to information, interpreters, and bilingual providers

MiJin Cho Roma Kankaria
Ajay Potluri Anubhav Thapaliya
Sydney Welles Shea Wenzler
Ashley Victor Farheen Zaman

Richmond Salon 2
Inequality and Othering
Chair: Patricia Michelsen-King

"Discrimination in Latin America: Afro-Latinos in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico"
Marielle Hankerson (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"The violation of human rights and the invisibilization of Senegalese immigrants in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires"
Madeline Doane (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Guatemalan Genocide: Investigating the Effects of Colonization on Indigenous Populations"
Ever Bautista (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Richmond Salon 3
Case Studies in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology I
Chair: Chris Stevenson

"Bodies of Knowledge: An Ethnography of the Pompeii Exhibit in Richmond"
Annalise Mangone (University of Richmond)

"Life from Dry Bones: Evaluating Research on the Impact of Prolonged Mental Stress on Human Bone Signatures"
Hannah Bedwell (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Basalt Leaching in Rapa Nui Rock Gardens Enables Agricultural Surplus Production"
Elisabeth Burns (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Richmond Salon 4
Modern Identities
Chair: Angelina Overvold

"Longhouses and Skyscrapers: Mohawk identity Formation in the 20th Century"
Joanna Hejl (University of Richmond)

"Geopolitics Meets a “Family Community”: Lessons in Post-extractive Arctic Development from Longyearbyen"
Luke Campopiano (College of William and Mary)

"The Westernization Effect of English-language Learning in Chinese Social Values" 
Yang Jin (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Please join us for lunch at 12:00 p.m. in the James River Terrace!

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Case Studies in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology II
Chair: Amy Rector

"Inter vs. Intra Species Variation in Mother-Daughter Relationships in Lemurs"
Hannah Furchak (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Lost Women of Ur: An Investigation into Women Interred in the Cemetery of Ur"
Kristina Donnally (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Cancer in Mummies"
Akaylia Rose (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 2

Roundtable Moderated by Professor
Peter Kirkpatrick (Virginia Commonwealth University) Interpreting for Carrico Center & CAIR Coalition's ICE Detention Center Program 

Nicole Banda-Schulz Destiny Cherry
Augustine Lewis Daniel Rodriguez
Jordan Schlight Fikir Zelalem

Richmond Salon 3

Roundtables Moderated by Professor Zoe Spencer (Virginia State University) 

Pre-Colonial Africa and the African Origin of Human-Kind
Kalafakana Umar 
N'Kiera Gresham
Tionna Hart
Sonny Rogers
Darius Hagans
Ashton Jenkins
Dayionne Jones

Demystifying the Brutal Institution of Enslavement
Jared Johnson
Kyra Hodges
Kordell Wray
Manya Poyner
Capri Wise
Sydney Stewart
Markesha Thompson

Who is Jim Crow?
Titiana Nicholson Javonte Brown
Raylaja Waller Felicia Tucker
Isabel Cepeda Dale Fullwood
Ja'Neese Jefferson


Richmond Salon 4
Capitalism around the World
Chair:Cinzia Corubolo

Capitalist Religion and the Commodification of Earth
E. J. Urban (Virginia Commonwealth University)

A Case of Political and Economic Collapse: Democratic Republic of Congo
Fikir Zelalem (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Illegal Immigration, International Economy, and the United States-Mexico Border Wall
Brian Albertson (Virginia Commonwealth University)

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Chair: Mark Wood

"Reviving Refuse: The People behind Waste Management in Meknes"
Anna Gleason (College of William and Mary)

"The Impact of the Plastic Industry on Ocean Pollution"
Savannah Chaffin (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Africa is not a Wasteland"
Habebah Mounib (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 2
Exclusion, Discrimination, and the Global Economy
Chair: Jessica Lonnes

"Limbo: Double Exclusion and LGBT+ Social Media"
Sara Schmieder (College of William and Mary)

"Representation Matters: The Impact of Media Censorship on the Chinese LGBT Community"
Lucia Roach (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Immigration and Xenophobic Populism"
Nathaniel Boorom (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"China-United States Trade War"
Asma Rassem (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Richmond Salon 3

Roundtables Moderated by Professor
Zoe Spencer (Virginia State University) 

COINTELPRO, Civil Rights, and the Black Power Movement  Alana Cooper
Emmanuel Hernandez
Breyawna Mason
Chrishawna Leary
Aliyah Pugh
Tevin Ringo
Tyler Stiff
T'Asia Julienne

Feminism, Intersectionality, and Black Girl Magic
Sabian Mims
Kiana Thomas
Akelia Price
Veroncia Cooper-Tucker
Kiara Martinez
Diamond Cooper
Bryana Hanks
Ariana Bennett


Richmond Salon 4
Inquires into Health Care and Treatments
Chair: Amy Rector

"Health Care Needs In Impoverished Villages in Guatemala"
Claudia Bale (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Shamanic Treatments: Increasing the Western World’s Potential in Feasible Alternative Treatments for Opioid Addiction"
Tatiana Brown (Virginia Commonwealth University)

"Evaluating Access to Cancer Health Information for Central Virginia Residents"
Megan Leimkuhler (University of Virginia) 

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Richmond Salon 1
Social Activism In Richmond, a panel discussion with:
Zakia McKensey, Founder/Executive Director of Nationz Foundation
Seema Sked, Founder-Fight the Muslim Ban
Dr. Zoe Spencer, Activist/Scholar
Rev. Leonina Arismendi Zarkovic, Co-Director, Santos en Virginia
Moderated by Dr. Isabelle Richman

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