2016 Summer Scholars Introduction: Brieanah Gouveia and Daniel Osborne

by Marcus Stewart on July 5, 2016

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The Summer Scholars program is one of the many ways students can become involved in research on campus. Each year, students apply for a summer scholarship to work with a faculty advisor to complete their own research project. Research projects come from a variety of topics and disciplines from fine arts to chemistry. This year, thirteen students were chosen as 2016 Summer Scholars. Two of them are Brieanah Gouveia and Daniel Osborne.

Brieanah is a rising senior majoring in Art History with concentrations in Legal Studies and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean World. Her project is tilted “Slaves, Foreigners, Barbarians: Class and Ethnicity in Athenian Law and Life” in which she will examine the legal system of ancient Athens and what drove some classes and people to have certain privileges.   Her faculty mentor is Dr. Jason Hawke.

“I will be investigating how Greek custom and perceptions of other classes and foreign ethnicities influenced the development of these distinct status groups within Athens. In addition to law, Greek literature, theater, and pottery will be looked at to determine how Athenian citizens created a collective identity for themselves through political, social, and economic interactions with foreigners.”

Brieannah decided to apply to be a summer scholar because she knew it would provide her the opportunity to gain more research experience and become more involved in the research community on campus.

“Two main occurrences inspired me to pursue this project. The first concerns the Eurocentric construction of history that has dominated academia. Much attention has been given to interpreting the lives of the elite and most “Aryan” figures in the ancient world – sometimes this is forgivingly due to the lack of material remains concerning lower and slave classes. However, only recently has significant attention been given to fleshing out the complexity of social classes and range of different ethnicities that made up classical antiquity.

The second influence is the current US presidential campaign season. Much of the rhetoric that has been voiced concerning who Americans are and what America stands for made me think about citizenship and status throughout history. Debates over xenophobia and proto-racism in ancient Greece emerged as themes that I wanted to pursue.”

Brieanah believes her greatest challenge will be completing the project by the end of the summer.

“I imagine my time management, self-discipline, and speed reading skills will improve immensely by the summer’s end!”

Daniel is also a rising senior who is majoring in History. His project is tilted “A Creative Collection from Brushwood, U.S.A.” in which Daniel will create a collection of pieces set in American Frontier around the twentieth century.   His faculty mentor is Dr. Anita Turpin.

“Set in a fictional frontier town, my creative pieces include short stories, songs, letters, and vignettes, and incorporate characters, such as African American and Mexican cowboys, women in the frontier, and so-called ‘ordinary’ townsfolk, whose narratives have hitherto lacked coverage in popular depictions of the era.”

Daniel decided to peruse this project because of his interest American West and the cliché depictions of it used in modern media.

“Films, books, music, and stories of the American West enthrall both domestic and foreign audiences with their exciting portrayals of saloon gunfights, dusty twilight showdowns on empty streets, and law-evading desperadoes riding off into the sunset. Unfortunately, conventional depictions of the American West have too often trained their focus upon characters who are white male gunslingers and bronco-busters. In presenting such characters, mainstream depictions have overlooked the true diversity of the frontier in terms of race, gender, and occupation. My project aims to advance a historically conscientious view of the American West while preserving the period’s unique, compelling ethos.”

He decided to apply to be a Summer Scholar because he realized he could use his interest in folklore and history with the writing and research skills found in Roanoke College classes.

“My main challenge so far has been maintaining an active creative flow. When I reach a creative hurdle or find myself feeling frustrated, I pause, step away from the writing, and let my thoughts settle elsewhere for a while. Creating a town is hard work – lots of names to remember, faces to paint, places to describe, voices to color, and, perhaps most intimidating of all, wily time frames and tangled dates to bear in mind.”

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