SYE presentations

On Friday December 13th two students presented overviews of their senior-year research projects to an attentive audience of students and faculty in Carnegie 10.  After the presentations refreshments were served and the lively discussion of the question and answer period continued.

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Below are the summary of the presentations:

Katharina Weidhausser              L'Indochine française

Advisor: Prof. Roy Caldwell

For my SYE, I chose a topic from the French colonial empire, L'Indochine française, or French Indochine, a colony from 1887 until 1954. In my paper, I gave a brief overview about how the French succeeded to take over the countries, that became part of the Indochine francaise. After, I looked at how the life under French domination was like in the Indochinese countries. But, the main focus of this paper is on the decolonization of Indochina, where I presented multiple causes that facilitated and influenced the process of the decolonization. First, WW2, the economic crisis and finally the emergence of a strong and powerful independence movement, the Viet Minh, which was formed by Ho Chi Minh in 1941. I finally tried to evaluate the role of Ho Chi Minh during this period and his contribution to the success of the Indochinese independence in 1954. I tried to find out whether he was a "sincere patriot who sacrificed his whole life to the pursuit of the Revolution", like Bui Tin described him in his book Following Ho Chi Min; or if he was "a creation of Cold War propaganda, which portrayed Ho as a power-hungry zealot who used and then betrayed non-communist nationalists" (Sophie Quinn-Judge) just to obtain high political power.

Zoe Garry                                Edward Said: An academic crusader

Advisor: Ms. Gisele El Khoury

My SYE was about the American Palestinian writer and academic Edward Said. He has been ranked among the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Quoted as the “most powerful voice” for Palestinians by the British Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, Said’s work over his professional career has revolutionized the study of the Middle East and helped create an entirely new field of study; postcolonial studies. Edward Said was an academic icon in America; he distinguished himself as an opera critic, pianist, television celebrity, politician, media expert, professor, popular essayist and public lecturer. Most notably, Said was also the most articulate and visible advocate of the Palestinian cause in America.