JSP Scope

Thursday, December 13, 2007

JSP Student Ashley Aubuchon Wins a 2007 UC Berkeley Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

This year Ashley Aubuchon is a first year JSP student. Last year however, she was a double major in history and legal studies and wrote two honors theses, one in each field. Ashley's history thesis was one of the four winners of the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and was this month featured in the library newsletter.

The prize committee wrote:

In her History 101 project entitled "A Means to an End: The Role of Religion in Eastern State Penitentiary during 'The Experiment,'" Ashley Aubuchon investigates the crucial and novel ways in which religion helped to define the rhetoric of prison experience, as well as a substantial part of the prison experience itself in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary between the years of 1829 and 1849. Her project makes ample and effective use of some of the more obscure and fascinating primary resources in the Doe Library, the Environmental Design Library, and Boalt Library, including annual reports of the Penitentiary inspectors and chaplains, state penal statutes, articles in contemporary journals and newspapers, and various accounts of contemporary visitors to the prison, including Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville.

Her advisor praises Ashley's "fine and evolving historical sensibility," her "ability to carve out of this massive body of material a well-designed and very smart historical essay," and her ability to find her "own historiographical and critical voice within a variety of literatures."


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