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DEALL undergraduates and guest showcase research and creative writing at department forum

April 18, 2024

DEALL undergraduates and guest showcase research and creative writing at department forum

2024 UG research

DEALL’s 2024 Undergraduate Research Forum, held on April 17 in Hagerty Hall, showcased high caliber undergraduate research on topics ranging from the shifting interpretations of peace marriages in dynastic China, to magical realism in the Korean fiction Whale, to the use of ChatGPT for translating Classical Chinese, and to the cultural identity of Koryo Saram in Kazakhstan.

In his talk, DEALL Chinese major Sander Capetz (advised by Prof. Xiaobin Jian) examined three prominent royal brides in Chinese history as both heroic figures and victims. While these bribes were initially portrayed as tragic and powerless in historical records, contemporary interpretations reflect a shift, acknowledging their victimhood within a patriarchal framework. This evolution in portrayal reflects the influence of feminist and other modern ideologies in Chinese theater.

The second talk was delivered by DEALL student Carina Geissler, whose research was advised by Prof. Hayana Kim. Geissler examined Cheon Myeong-kwan’s novel Whale as a case of contemporary Korean magical realism to demonstrate how the work challenges the hegemony of realist literature imposed upon Korea in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thereby reclaiming modes of storytelling from pre-modern Korea.

After the first two talks, Kyle Smith, a veteran and a student in the Department of English, participated as a special guest by having a reading from his novel Mukashi, Mukashi, which is set in the late Kamakura period of Japan and explores mythology, folklore, and history. DEALL’s Prof. Naomi Fukumori served on Smith’s thesis committee.

The third talk, delivered by a team of four students Olivia Bobak, Duncan Harvey, Meridith Linch, and Jiarui Zhang under the mentorship of Prof. Meow Hui Goh, represented DEALL students’ continuing exploration of the interface between technology and humanities. They compared the learning and understanding processes of students with the capabilities of ChatGPT, focusing on the qualitative aspects of translating Classical Chinese texts such as The Analects and Dao De Jing.

The fourth talk, by DEALL Korean major Ryan McCraw under the supervision of Prof. Pil Ho Kim, took a multidisciplinary approach and explored the history of the Koryo Saram diaspora in Kazakhstan, focusing specifically on the impact of forced migration policies implemented under Stalin, and how these historical experiences have contributed to the formation of their unique cultural identity.

All four presentation were highly commended for their originality and quality, by both the judge panel of three experts and the audience in general. Carina Geissler and the team of Olivia Bobak, Duncan Harvey, Meridith Linch, and Jiarui Zhang shared the first prize of the William Jefferson Tyler Memorial Prize, a prize established in honor of the late DEALL faculty member William Jefferson Tyler. Sander Capetz and Ryan McCraw shared the second prize.