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Researching in Europe

During the summer of 2018, 13 students traveled to Europe on a CES Senior Thesis Grant to conduct research. They shared their impressions of how this time enriched them academically and personally. Follow us on Instagram to see more photos and videos.

Sara Bobok (Social Studies, 2019)

Thesis: Understanding Far Right Mobilization of Hungarian Youth through Civil Society – Location: Budapest, Hungary

“I conducted senior thesis research in my home country of Hungary. At first, I focused on why political youth groups, particularly on the far right, are popular. Utilizing interview and ethnographic methods, I soon realized a few important common beliefs held by young people all along the political spectrum, potentially exposing new aspects of youth political ideologies. I had the opportunity to meet with Hungarian academics, attend topical conferences, and fully submerge myself in a research question that I find fascinating and critical in a time of Hungarian political uncertainty. I was able to travel from the biggest cities to the smallest towns and meet with a large array of people directly impacted by the systems I am studying.”


Aidan Connaughton (Government, 2019)

Thesis: Effects of Language Translation and Ethnolinguistic Identity on Political Survey Responses – Location: Barcelona, Spain

Aidan Connaughton spent his junior year summer between Barcelona and Valencia conducting surveys on the street as part of his thesis research. Although fluent in Spanish, Connaughton was concerned that his Spanish was too rusty to do his research. When he arrived, he realized that most of Barcelona operates in Catalan and that he would rarely use his Spanish. Connaughton enjoyed taking photos of the beautiful sunsets and vistas of Barcelona.


Bella Roussanov (History and Literature, 2019)

Thesis Topic: Anti-Turkish Nationalism in Bulgaria During the Renaming Campaign in 1984 – Research Location: Bulgaria

“I traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, where I spent four weeks at the National Library and State Archives studying the Revival Process, a series of ethnic nationalist policies enacted by the Bulgarian government against the ethnic Turkish minority during the 1980s. The wide range of materials allowed me to gain a sense of the time and of the specific themes I am interested in exploring further. I also got a chance to interact with many people, who were alive during this time, and got a much deeper sense of how the policy has lived on in national memory than I would have had I not gotten the chance to go. Doing this research abroad has energized me and made me feel that I have a real grasp on what I am studying.”


Wonik Son (History, 2019)

Thesis: Public Consumption of Disability: Constructing Postwar Photography, Film, and Visuality – Location: Geneva, Switzerland

“I went to the UN and World Health Organization (WHO) archives in Geneva where I focused on the WHO’s vast files on photographers contracted to take pictures of disability and public relations, which revealed an archival record of the UN system’s coordination with local organizations and third-parties in disseminating, drafting, and producing official information on the UN. My experience in Europe was wonderful and eye opening, and in addition to doing archival research, I had the opportunity to meet and discuss my research with professors at the Graduate Institute of Geneva and Freie Universität Berlin.”


Julia Fine, History & Literature, 2019

Thesis: Eating the Empire: The Biopolitics of Food in British India – Location: London, United Kingdom

Julia Fine spent her summer living in Islington and researching at the London Public Library. Apart from meeting renowned academics in her field, Julia spent time at the Lake District and discovered London as a hub for vegan food.

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