Danielle Roper '06 Awarded Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
She'll Study Humor in Latin America
March 27, 2006
Danielle Roper, a candidate for May graduation from Hamilton, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for 2006-2007. Roper's project is titled "Humour as Protest: A Study of Stand-Up Comedy, Humour in Mass Media and Popular Theater in Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Nicaragua." Nearly 1,000 students from up to 50 selective private liberal arts colleges and universities apply for these awards annually. This year 176 students competed on the national level after their institutions nominated them in the autumn.
Each year, the Watson Foundation selects and provides funds for graduating seniors from America's leading liberal arts institutions to embark on a year of self-directed, independent study while traveling outside the United States after their graduation. This year 50 seniors were selected from 50 of America's top liberal arts colleges.
Roper will examine political humor in Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Nicaragua, specifically stand-up comedy, satire found in popular culture and mass media--including newspapers, magazines, radio and television shows--and popular theatre. This will enable her to document how political humor functions as an informal system of education and social awareness. Roper plans to work with local NGOs, conduct archival research in newspaper offices in order to document how mass media reports on political humor, work with playwrights as they plan their theatre productions, and interview theatre-going audiences.
Roper hopes to demonstrate how political humor educates the masses, which then contributes to social transformation in Latin America.
A Spanish major at Hamilton, Roper is student director of the Intercultural Women's Empowerment Series, a founding member of the Coalition for Social Justice; has served as a resident advisor; is a member of Rhyme Lab, the Black Student Union, La Vanguardia, the Asian Cultural Society and Rainbow Alliance. She studied abroad in Spain during her junior year and also traveled to Kenya in 2004 for study with Hamilton's government department. She is the daughter of Georgia and Garnett Roper of St. Mary, Jamaica.