Winners of the Second-Annual USC Libraries Research Award Honored at Doheny Memorial Library

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/21/15

From left to right: USC Libraries Research Award winners Leslie Chang, Jack Merritt, and Natalia Dame

Papers on the harrowing depiction of women in Russia in the early 20th century, the links between language and the formation of national borders in Europe, and the role of accounting in the works of Charles Dickens won prizes at this year’s second-annual USC Libraries Research Award. A reception honoring the three student winners took place in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, on the second floor of Doheny Memorial Library, on Thursday, April 16, 2015. The Research Award recognizes exceptional student papers that utilize primary source materials held by the USC Libraries.

Taking first place honors in the graduate student category was Slavic languages and literatures major Natalia Dame for her submission “Russia in Distress, or the Tortured Virgins in the Russian Satirical Journals of 1905–1906.” Her work examines the (lesser-known) 1905 revolution, and how satirical journals responded to authorities’ draconian crackdowns on protesters and the press by portraying the country as a chaste woman tormented by demonic beasts. Born in Russia, Dame was delighted to discover the USC Libraries had a resource that she was hard pressed to find in her own homeland. 

History student Jack Merritt took first prize in the undergraduate division with his paper “South Tyrol, Südtirol, or Trentino? National Community on the Linguistic Frontier of Austria and Italy, 1848–1945,” which takes an in-depth look at the relationship between the linguistic minorities of northern regions of modern Italy and the formation of modern nation-states. Crediting his research findings and thesis development to the USC Libraries’ rich historical archives, where he uncovered a number of primary sources in German, Jack stated “The documents I found provided invaluable knowledge about the role of Tirol’s linguistic minorities in the Habsburg Empire, and later, during World War I.”

The second place award for undergraduates went to history major Leslie Chang, who utilized the works of Dickens, early economic theorists, and the Burney Collection of newspapers at the British Library to compile her thesis “Charles Dickens and the Ethics of Accounting,” written as part of the history department honors program.

The award judges were: USC Libraries Reference and Instruction Librarian Elizabeth Namei; Department of History and ALCS Fellow Glenda Goodman; Assistant Professor of French and Italian Gian-Maria Annovi; and the previous year’s winner, Nitya Ramanathan. Funding for the awards was courtesy Adam Matthew Primary Sources for Teaching and Research.

The rules for submissions have been expanded for next year’s competition, which is open to papers completed at USC in a for-credit class or through independent study during the spring, summer, or fall semesters of 2015. Next year, undergraduates who utilize the reference and research resources of the USC Libraries, not just primary sources, will also be eligible for entry.

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