Library Award for Undergraduate Research

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***Submissions are accepted 11 December - 15 March by noon each year***

The University of Maryland Libraries and the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research have partnered to showcase and reward undergraduate research projects. The Library Award for Undergraduate Research aims to promote the value and use of library services and information resources.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 207
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    Imperialism’s Wayward Child: The Impact of Imperialist Thought on Neanderthal Reconstructions
    (2023-03-30) Sennewald, Kaitlin; Forrester, Mark; English
    Our popular and scientific reconstructions of Neanderthals have varied greatly over the past 200 years, following trends in Enlightenment thought and race science. This paper traces Neanderthal reconstructions over time from the Enlightenment to the 1970s, connecting them to Western imperialist ideals and actions, and builds on previous literature by extending the imperialist influence past World War II and into the Vietnam War era. Through analyzing political thought, scientific reconstructions, and artistic/popular work, it is evident that a post-Enlightenment imperialist influence permeated not only the Western sociopolitical sphere, but also the scientific sphere. This research, through its focus on Neanderthal reconstructions, therefore additionally serves as a case study in how sociopolitical activity and scientific approaches reify each other in order to perpetuate a certain dominant narrative.
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    Al-Ghazali’s Interpretation of Muslim Men and Menstruation in the 11th Century
    (2023-03-30) Holland, Schmitz; Yavuzer, Gamze; History
    The paper focuses on medieval menstruation in the Islamic religion. The primary source is Marriage and Sexuality in Islam: a Translation of al-Ghazali’s Book on the Etiquette of Marriage from the Ihya by Madelain Farah, who translated and edited al-Ghazali’s work to English. The paper explores other scholarly work on menstruation in the medieval time period or in various religions. Ultimately, the paper discovered that al-Ghazali’s writing on menstruation was a male oriented view, based in the 11th century, and was therefore very strict. al-Ghazali's views did not follow all of Muhammad’s original views on women, prayer, and menstruation.
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    Cultural Chaos at Comiskey: Baseball and Disco's Intersection in 1979
    (2023-03-30) Roberts, Christopher; Keane, Katarina; History
    Disco Demolition Night was an infamous promotion at Chicago's Comiskey Park in July of 1979. In between games of a Major League Baseball doubleheader, a box of disco records was exploded in centerfield. Fans left their sears and stormed the field. They set fires and destroyed the field. 44 years later, the promotion is remembered in several different ways. Some remember at the promotion as a night as a silly promotion gone wrong, while others view it as a racist and homophobic event to combat the rise of the disco era. There is a clear disparity in how the night is remembered by baseball fans and those studying disco culture in the 1970s. My research looks to answer how Disco Demolition Night happened, how it is remembered today, and how it should be remembered. I argue that it should be viewed as a transitional moment in baseball and disco culture in 1979. Disco Demolition Night demonstrates both the modernization of professional sports, and the the widespread anti-disco sentiment in the late 70s. Viewed through different lenses, Disco Demolition Night can be a part of telling many stories about American culture in the 1970s.
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    Getting from Sesame Street to Sesamstrasse: The Development of Sesame Street's International Adaptations, 1970-1978
    (2023-03-30) Richardson, Evan; Keane, Katarina; History
    “Getting from Sesame Street to Sesamstrasse” looks at the American children’s television show Sesame Street and its international adaptations in the early 1970s, tracing the development of a iterative model of co-production that sought ever-greater collaboration between the Children’s Television Workshop and native producers and educators. Through adaptation, Sesame Street proliferated into many nationally unique programs within the umbrella of the original program, emphasizing the benefits of adaptation against an imperialist model of cultural diffusion. A narrative not present in extant historiography, the coproduction model provides a valuable case study into intentioned cultural adaptation, pointing to a successful model for education and for television production.
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    Homosexual Investigations: The CIA’s Contribution to the Lavender Scare from the 1950s to the 1980s
    (2023-03-30) Hough, Cecelia; Woods, Colleen; History
    This research paper analyzes why and how the CIA participated in the “Lavender Scare,” specifically why and how they discriminated against gay and lesbian employees from the 1950s to the 1980s. The CIA discriminated against gay and lesbian employees because they feared that they could be blackmailed into revealing United States secrets and that they were unreliable and immoral. This justification remained largely the same from the 1950s to the 1980s. Additionally, they were able to discriminate against gay and lesbian individuals for longer than other agencies and departments of the federal government. This is because of their extensive use of polygraph examinations, or lie detector tests, as well as the lack of both internal regulations from the CIA itself, and external regulations from areas like the U.S. government. It’s important to remember this history of CIA discrimination given their recent hiring campaign targeted at LGBTQ+ individuals. This research aims to contribute to the historiography on the Lavender Scare, and specifically the CIA’s involvement in it, both of which are under-discussed.