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Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA): 2022 ULRA Winners

Upperclassman Winner

Ishani Ray

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michelle Dostal

Project Title: Artists or Activists? The Deplorable State of Art Brought on by Liberalism's Ideological Lenses that Fail to Curb Its Blind Spot

Project Abstract: Does Francisco Goya's Third of May or Charles White's works take something away from Virginia Woolf's merit as a writer? Because Goya and White make political statements and Woolf does not? Intuitively, we recognize the dissonance of such comparison. However, contemporary critics such as the novelist Toni Morrison, whose comment ‘all good art is political’ has been adopted and espoused by the present ‘woke’ and ‘cancel’ culture with its collective righteousness, seem to think it an inconvertible truth. The simple logic is—all good art is political, along with being on the right side of the politics, that is, decidedly leftist. This paper attempts to deconstruct and denounce this enslavement of art to politics, arguing against and exposing the lamentable consequences of the domination of artistic imagination by politics.

Underclassman Winner

Jordan Burks

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Winter Phong

Project Title: Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage: Informing and Inspiring a Lay Audience

Project Abstract: Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage is a period piece of great substance and nuance. Therefore, it is crucial to impart upon the audience the necessary historical context so that they may fully enjoy and appreciate the show. This is commonly done by way of a poster placed in the theatre lobby, the creation of which is the responsibility of the production’s dramaturg. Thus is the aim of this research project: to practice the role of dramaturg by creating an informational and entertaining poster detailing, for a lay audience, historical context for the show Intimate Apparel. This is not a simple task: it requires a great deal of research both about the play itself and the historical context surrounding it, all of which must be scrutinized and condensed into a few bits of text accessible to the intended audience. This project fulfills this purpose by combining text, image, and design to give additional depth to the unique history, themes, and motifs of Intimate Apparel to any common audience.