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Created in 1997, the Emerson Foundation Grant Program was designed to provide students with significant opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty members, researching an area of interest. Covering a range of topics, recipients explore fieldwork, laboratory and library research and the development of teaching materials. The students will make public presentations of their research throughout the academic year.

Research Stories

  • Andy Jian ’23 explores the question: what happens to the environment in a closed system?

  • Lena Schneck ’23 is looking into American prisons, specifically in relation to inadequate healthcare treatment, through a Levitt Center-funded project.

  • As Philip Chivily ’23 works on his summer Emerson project, “The Invisible Catholics Made Visible: Unveiling Black Catholics in Antebellum America,” he hopes to bring attention to the historical Black Catholic community and reframe what he views as a common misperception about the religion.

  • Language gives us the tools to approach and understand the world. It gives meaning to objects and facilitates interactions among people. In fact, as you’re reading this now, it is language that transforms these strange black lines into a story.

  • Inspired by his own family's immigrant history and a Russian history course he took with Professor Shoshana Keller, John Keirouz ’22, spent a summer researching Russian religious communities and how their experiences affected the way they related to the U.S. and the way they tried to organize and run their churches.

  • The roots of modern social issues can be traced to any given corner of world history, provided one knows how to follow them. White supremacist and patriarchal ideas, for example, might underpin the dynamics of 17th-century English court ceremonies — at least that’s what Hannah Petersen ’22 is considering in her Emerson grant research project on the presentation of “otherness” in Stuart period antimasques.

  • The idea of a summer research project might bring to mind images of laboratories and libraries. But for Malik Irish ’22, it looks a lot different. The sociology and art double major is currently working on music videos to accompany an EP he’s writing titled Fantasy World: Living in the System.

  • Andrew Little, a music and creative writing double major, undertook a research project to “make an instrument out of the whole color spectrum.”

  • The idea for Luis Colli’s ’22 Emerson Grant research project has been years in the making. After immigrating to the United States from Venezuela, he noticed parallels between the 18th-century South and North American revolutions — but when he pointed these connections out, Americans tended to resist them.

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  • The COVID-19 quarantine was often defined by feelings of boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. But for David Li ’24, the slog of pandemic “Blursdays” gave way to something far more positive: artistic inspiration. This summer, Li will be working on a dramatization of the quarantine experience through an Emerson project titled “Time(s) Out of Joint: Dramatizing Time Perceived in Social Isolation.”

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