“Wonder is the desire for knowledge.”
2019-2020 Senior Projects
“For my Honor Thesis, I combined my love for religious studies with my passion for psychiatry and creative writing to create a party-autobiographical text that examines the religious experiences of those with schizophrenia. Ultimately I proposed that “miracles & madness” can coexist. In other words, the presence of a mental illness does not negate the presence of the divine. To support my claim, I carefully explained and examined the topics of schizophrenia/psychosis, religion/spirituality, and multiplicity. I aimed, in doing so, to foster a more positive outlook on schizophrenia and other psychotic illness.
It was a complex project and I feel lucky that I had advisors who were willing to let me craft my paper how I wanted, no matter how unorthodox it felt, for example, putting my own poetry beside discussion of academic studies and analysis of Biblical passages. I was also lucky that the Professors I had were such excellent teachers! Every Professor I worked with was passionate about their subject and this ensured that I always felt engaged during class.”
2017-2018 Senior Projects
“I am currently working on a year-long Religious Studies Honor’s Thesis Project with Professor Nikky Singh. My thesis looks at the portrayal of Muslims in Hollywood film, and how these predominantly negative portrayals impact public perceptions of Muslims and people from the generally defined “East.” By breaking down the types of misrepresentations of Islam and Muslims in film, we can trace the generationally changing and historically and politically informed systemic racism and Islamophobia in the United States. I am using primary and secondary sources for the project, reading and researching similar scholarly work on the subject, as well as watching and analyzing films myself. With this thesis, I hope to shed light on the experiences of Muslim-Americans and how these inaccurate film representations impact those experiences – especially in light of our current political atmosphere.”
“For my thesis, I’m exploring how art can be a medium for interfaith communication, and in fact allows for more open, vulnerable, less top-down, and more community-oriented interfaith dialogue and understanding. I’m especially focusing on South-Asian visual artists Siona Benjamin, Arpana Kaur, and The Singh Twins, who come from several different religious backgrounds and uses those to influence their artwork. ”