Samuel Russell, History undergraduate student, reflects on his experience completing a 2021 Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) with Dr. Ana Siljak on the Russian Renaissance:
This past summer, I had the exciting opportunity to begin my first research project, "Art of Life: Russian Silver Age and Renaissance of Art & Culture," and was fortunate enough to work with my academic role model, Dr. Ana Siljak. The goal for our project was to create a website for educating viewers through virtual exhibitions that showcased different facets of the Russian Renaissance (1890-1917). This historical period was a prolific time for the arts in Russia which influenced the progression of aesthetics and culture beyond just Russia's borders. My specific research focus was on Mikhail Vrubel, a visual artist whose works encapsulate the spiritual and creative struggles of the human condition. Vrubel's work relates to larger contemporary themes and ideas, like symbolism and the revival of folk arts and myths, as highlighted in exhibits by my fellow students Yanna and Siobhan. While learning lots about the subject matter, I also learned critical thinking and time management skills. I am very grateful to Dr. Siljak, Yanna, and Siobhan for this great experience!
The USSRF provides an experiential learning opportunity for continuing undergraduate students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at Queen’s to participate in social sciences, humanities and/or creative arts research under the supervision of a Queen’s faculty member. Over the course of the summer, students will develop a research project in social sciences, humanities, or creative arts. Students may consider projects in disciplines outside of their own field of study or outside of their focus study areas, as well as those directly connected to their prime area of study.
The program is intended to provide students with meaningful opportunities to engage in discovery-based learning and to develop research and presentation skills.