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Queen's University

Department of History

Three History Students Win Summer Research Awards

Jeffrey Rosamond, a third-year History major, has won a prestigious Queen's University Undergraduate Student Summer Research Program (USSRP) to complete a substantial research paper entitled, "Understanding Colonial Andean Utopias." His project, which will be supervised by Professor Nancy E. van Deusen, centres on an analysis of Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala's, The First New Chronicle and Good Government. This account describes Poma de Ayala's ancestors, the Incas, as having created a utopian visionary system of political and social perfection. It then argues that, while the Spanish conquest of the Incas was necessary (and imminent), instead of creating a new Christian, colonial utopia, the forced labour of indigenous peoples in silver mines, and injustices committed by colonial Spanish officials only worked to the detriment of the Andean peoples, who had become willing and loyal Christian vassals of the Spanish Crown. Guaman Poma's solution was equally idealistic: only by adopting a system of government that combined Spanish and Andean political traditions could the ills of seventeenth-century corporate society be healed.

Irfan Tahiri, first year HIST 122 [The Making of the Modern World] student has been granted a Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Irfan's project "Remembering Afghanistan in the 1970s: A Website of North American and Afghan Memories of a Peaceful Afghanistan" was selected to receive one of the 20 Queen's University Undergraduate Student Summer Research Program (USSRP) grants for 2011. Ariel Salzmann of History is the project supervisor and sponsor.

The project, which we hope will be ongoing after its launch in September 2011, involves development of a website, collection of materials and carrying out of interviews. The website will provide a place for  Afghani citizens (and Afghan-North Americans) and North American travelers (including the overland to India "hippies" who visited Afghanistan) to deposit copies of photographs and other records from the 1970s, as well as to exchange memories about a once peaceful land that has been horribly scarred by decades of war. It will also provide basic resources and references about Afghan history and society, links to other sites, music, and youtube videos, and a detailed political timeline for the decade before the Soviet invasion and the Cold War intervention.

Alexandra Petre, a third-year History student has been granted a Student Summer Research Program award to work with Prof. Tim Smith on his book project tentatively called "All the Welfare in the World: Public Policy in Rich Nations in the Age of Globalization."

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