The Humanities Research Scholars Program (HRSP) offers a select group of rising juniors at Columbia College the opportunity to pursue independent research projects and to develop analytical and investigative skills that will serve them well in any future endeavor. This program is designed to help students learn from one another as well as from leaders in the academic and professional world, and to support students in their intellectual pursuits and their future growth. It focuses on students interested in research in the humanities or humanistic social sciences.
Humanities Research Scholars will engage in two main pursuits over the course of one summer session of research: (1) the development of knowledge, skills, and approaches to the study of the humanities that will be transferable to any professional field; and (2) the development of an independent research project over six weeks of the summer that allows the exploration of a specific topic with guidance from a faculty member.
Gabrielle Epuran CC'24
Gabrielle Epuran studies Classics and Russian in the college with a specific interest in literary theory. Outside her academic career, she has written novels for eventual publication, satirical short stories for Columbia's undergraduate philosophy magazine, episodes for The Good Fight Podcast, and film reviews for the Cleveland International Film Festival. In her free time, she enjoys skiing and encountering promenading dogs.
Gabrielle is researching the moral-political implications of Bakhtin’s literary theory as a subversion of Aristotelian literary theory by first synthesizing Aristotle's conceptions of the ideal tragedy, ideal man, and ideal polis. She hopes that her research will shed light on how different concepts of narrative can both describe and incite human action. She believes that this is essential to understanding the difficulties that come with navigating the diverging narratives of different moral and political groups in today's diversified, interconnected world.
Julien Ken Ange Roa CC'24
Julien Ken Ange Roa is an aspiring medievalist and incidental antiquarian who loves to read ancient texts, look at and handle ancient objects, and, with such things in mind, try to understand human relations of every type. Outside of this, he is a serial hobbyist that also mixes in tennis, cycling, cooking, and merrymaking with friends and family.
Julien's project aims to place the acrostic poetry of Venantius Fortunatus, an Italian born Latin poet and hymnographer of the Merovingian court in 6th century France, within the literary and visual traditions by understanding the evolving priorities of medieval court poetry, geographically and temporally, and illuminating the theological, artistic, and pragmatic aspects of acrostic poetry, a less examined textual-visual form. Examining the motivations and influences surrounding medieval acrostic poetry will help bring into focus the social realities of the principal civic institutions and figures through their dynamic devotional and creative habits.
Hanes Rosenau CC'24
Hanes is a history major from Washington DC. He is fascinated with the history of the City of New York. He is also a member of the Columbia University rugby team
Hanes is investigating subway ridership data from individual stations. Because we have ridership data from stations on a monthly or quarterly basis, this data will be able to provide insights into the development of a particular area of the city in a more precise manner than the census which is only taken every 10 years. Hanes plans to investigate areas of New York, for example, the South Bronx, which has not seen a linear or exponential increase in population, as Manhattan has, but rather has seen a more complex path of development. Areas like these would be the most likely to have surprising results that paint a more detailed picture than what is portrayed by the census.
Aiden Saigerman CC'24
Comparative Literature and Society, Mathematics
Aiden Sagerman is a rising junior in CC studying Comparative Literature and Society and Mathematics. On the side, he is an avid practitioner of historical European martial arts.
Today, we tend to associate the word "eugenics" with Nazi Germany. However, early-20th century America also had a powerful and popular eugenics movement of its own that exerted a strong influence on political debates ranging from immigration restriction to environmental conservation. Aiden is studying the relationship between the American eugenics movement and Fascist Italy, a relationship which has previously been overshadowed by the one between the American eugenics movement and the Nazis.
April Wang CC'24
April Wang is a student from Shanghai and Southern California and studies philosophy in the College. She is interested in the philosophy of mind and gender and believes strongly that the study of gender is a men's issue. Besides philosophy, April enjoys learning about sociology and English as well as playing the guitar and reading Sally Rooney.
Language and perception serve as the foundation of knowledge about reality and the world, including conceptions of authority and gender. This project seeks to illuminate the relationship between language and knowledge formation in perpetuating gender injustice and the capacity to weaponize language as a tool to silence and oppress.