Frustrations of the Archive & the Joy of Material Culture

I visited several archival collections in England, including the British Library and the National Archives. I was looking for records that placed Virginia colonists in England during specific years and references to certain people and portraits. Unfortunately, after hours of looking at papers, official records, personal account books, and wills, I found almost nothing that would be useful in my dissertation. This was not a big surprise. Colonial Virginia records and references to Virginians have been collected, transcribed, referenced, and published for many years so I already had some idea of what to expect from the archives. Further, there are relatively few references to specific portraits and many artists’ names from the eighteenth century go unrecorded. Even in probate records – inventories of property taken after a person’s death – and wills, portraits often go unmentioned. Tracking the whereabouts of colonists in England is also difficult unless they were sent abroad on official business and appear in government papers.

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Researching the 1960s Student Protests in Pakistan

The 1960s were a time of great social and political change, during which youth involvement and student activism rose to the forefront throughout the world. Younger generations unhappy with society and government found their voice, and challenged the norms and governance. As such, the Pakistani student protest movement rose in response to the military dictatorship in place in the country at the time. And while addressing national political conditions, the movement was informed by many of the elements present in the student protests raging on throughout the world, such as left-wing intellectualism and rock n’ roll. Thus, the movement is in many ways connected to those occurring throughout the world. In my research I am hoping to see if I can find common “cultural catalysts” that were present in both South Asian student activism and it’s Western counterpart. Specifically I am hoping to see if cultural commodities such as rock n’ roll influenced Pakistani students, as they did students in Europe and America.

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Researching Colonial Portraiture in England

This summer, I was awarded a Reves Center International Travel Grant to conduct research in England for my dissertation. My research trip is one month long and will take me to London and Oxford and then around the countryside to several houses. My dissertation, “The Art of Plantation Authority: Domestic Portraiture in Colonial Virginia,” looks at the social function of portraiture in Virginia until about 1776. So, why does a doctoral student researching colonial portraits need to spend so much time in England?

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In Search of Earthworks: Ife-Sungbo Archaeological Project begins

IMG_5894The other members of the team arrived Nigeria on the 4th of June 2017. I arrived a little bit earlier to catch up with Family and friends, and to do preliminary preparations for the project. Ile-Ife has an intriguing past, it is well known for its naturalistic objects regarding artefactual endeavor as well as its recognition as the home/birthplace of the Yoruba civilizations.

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Archaeology is a Bunch of Rubbish

Archaeology is the study of what people, mostly inadvertently, leave behind. I basically study trash.

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Pupusas y Porcelana

If someone asked me seven years ago where I would be today, I would never have guessed El Salvador.

Papusas

Pupusas obtained for $1 out of the back of a truck on the way to the museum

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Study Updates and Transitions

With graduation just around the corner, most research labs are gearing up for a busy summer. Ours on the other hand, will be undergoing major transitions. Unfortunately, with graduation nearing, my time in the lab is becoming more and more limited. In addition to wrapping up this research study I am in the process of moving to Rochester NY to begin a PhD program in developmental psychology. With me leaving the lab, we must not only focus on wrapping up our research, but also on ensuring a smooth transition to the incoming graduate student who fill my space.

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Studio Art Independent Study and Projects

Like the blog I wrote earlier this semester, in this blog I will post some more of my works.

 

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Recruitment

An integral part to psychological research is our participants. However, to enjoy one of the most fun parts of the research process – conducting interviews and behavioral assessments – first, you must successfully navigate participant recruitment. This has turned into one of the most challenging aspects of my MA thesis, which I greatly underestimated while designing my study.

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Thank You for Supporting An Evening of Dance

Two weeks ago, Orchesis Modern Dance Company finished their spring performance An Evening of Dance on Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall’s main stage. As I have written in my previous blog post, as president of Orchesis I choreographed the finale for the show for the entire company. In this post I hope to discuss tech week, working with the lighting designers, and my thoughts on the show.

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