Humanities Research Scholars Program

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.

Current Scholars

2021 Cohort

Adedotun (Dotun) Adegbite CC'22
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Dotun Adegbite is a rising senior at Columbia College, majoring in MESAAS and specialising in the Africa Studies track. He is primarily interested West African history and culture, but he loves to explore the connections between West Africa, the black diaspora, and the global south.

Dotun Adegbite's research project seeks to explore the political and religious factors in the foundation and early establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate in Northern Nigeria in the early 19th century. This area of study is important in pre-colonial West African history, but also in the politics of post-colonial Nigeria and in the history of African Islam.

Edie Conekin-Tooze CC'23

Edie is a rising Junior in Columbia College studying Philosophy with a particular interest in Political and Social Theory, the Philosophy of Law, and applying Philosophy to current questions of justice, especially, education, criminal justice, reproductive rights, and labor issues. Outside of class, she is the Treasurer of the Roosevelt Institute, a Matriculate Advising Fellow, a Student Justice League Advocate, and has worked on multiple national and local political campaigns. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, walks in Riverside Park, and elaborate baking projects.

Edie will study the philosophical underpinnings and wider context of Hannah Arendt's troubling 1959 article “Reflections on Little Rock”, which argued against school desegregation. She will attempt to provide an explanation of Arendt's view and understand its consequences for the rest of her work and the philosophical tradition of which Arendt is a part.

Timothy Kinnamon CC'23
Classics; Political Science

Timothy, as a double major in Classics and Political Science, loves classical political theory and the Latin language. In his free time he studies Christian theology and apologetics and even runs a Christian podcast at Columbia. He aspires to pursue a career in academics that combines all his interests in a fun and unique way.

Timothy will research the political philosophy of the famed Roman statesman Cicero, attempting to reconstruct the theory that undergirded the late Roman Republic by comparing it to the theory that lay behind the founding of the American Republic. His focus is on the make-up and purpose of Rome's numerous electorates and other limitations on the Roman state. In researching these, he will look deeper than the practical effects of the Republican constitution to examine what its inheritors saw as its intent.

Habiba Mbugua CC'23
Creative Writing

Habiba is a rising junior in Columbia College studying Creative Writing. She enjoys listening to neo soul, reading and writing fantasy, magical realism and poetry and taking care of her plants.

Habiba Mbugua’s project analyzes gender dynamics in East Africa between the 18th and 20th Century through the lens of mythology. The project questions how the roles and perceptions of women in mythology impact and are impacted by the roles and perceptions of women in their communities. This project hopes to demonstrate how the weaponization of mythology and tradition had profound, tangible effects for women in East Africa.

Rosa McCann CC'23
English; French Literature

Rosa is an English Major and a rising Junior at Columbia College. She is interested in the medieval era, and hopes to continue to study its literature, poetry, and culture. She also enjoys creative writing and bird watching, her quarantine hobby.

Rosa plans to focus her research project on the literature of the bubonic plague epidemic of the mid 14th century. She intends to investigate the ways in which the existential anxiety surrounding a period of disease can catalyze latent societal prejudices, racism, and xenophobia, often resulting in the vilification of racial and ethnic minorities. She’ll take a closer look at the ways in which in the literature of medieval England, while it serves as a commentary on its own time and context, can give us the space to reflect on our own moment in history.

McKenna Uzelac CC'22
Women and Gender Studies

McKenna Uzelac is a nonbinary lesbian who enjoys music, anime, video games and reading books. She is extremely passionate about queer theory and social justice, and she is highly invested in intersectional equity. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with her dog, Jack.

McKenna is investigating the relationship between hyperpop, a subgenre of pop music, and queerness. She proposes that the subgenre functions as an arena for queer worldmaking, as the lyrical content and sonic qualities of hyperpop as well as the genre itself are irrevocably intertwined with queerness.

Molly Wagschal CC'22
Comparative Literature and Society

Molly is a junior in Columbia College studying Comparative Literature and Society with a focus on 20th-21st century Spanish and Catalan literature. Her academic interests include Iberian post-war poetry, translation, cultural memory, and gender and sexuality studies. Outside of the classroom, she is an editor for the Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism and a facilitator in Multicultural Affair's ROOTED dialogue series.

Molly intends to analyze the literary production of Zenobia Camprubí, a 20th-century Spanish writer, translator and scholar. Specifically, she is interested in questions of translation, transnationalism, and exile, and how they appear in Camprubí's writings about her time in New York. Camprubí has long been erased by the prominence of her husband, Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Molly would like to shine light on the value and influence of Camprubí's work in the Iberian literary tradition and beyond.