Summary of my summer research

This summer working in Dr. Shanta D Hinton’s lab has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my academic career. I have learned a considerable amount of valuable lab skills and techniques as well as in depth processes of cellular biology. It was a long and tiring couple months of hard work but it was truly the most fulfilling and satisfying project that I have been privileged enough to contribute to.

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Ravensbrück: Week 5

Last week I continued examining primary sources. Lund University in Sweden houses a large Holocaust archive, including a plethora of information on Ravensbrück. In the final year of the war, the Swedish Red Cross attempted to rescue concentration camp prisoners. Using a database on camps in northern Germany provided by an underground resistance group, the Red Cross was able to secure rescues. Heinrich Himmler, Nazi official and director of the concentration camp system negotiated with Count Folke Bernadotte, Sweden’s representative, and agreed to allow the release of a number of prisoners from various camps across northern Germany. By the last months of the war, Himmler recognized that the Nazis would not be victorious, and he believed that releasing prisoners to the Red Cross would save face and help convince the Allies to negotiate a separate peace. In February, the Red Cross began their rescue of Scandinavian prisoners, driving down through Denmark into Germany and then bringing inmates back to Sweden for medical treatment and convalescence. By March, over 100 buses had transported inmates from various camps to their freedom. In April, Himmler met with Bernadotte again and agreed to extend the rescue program to prisoners of all nationalities. On April 25, a convoy of 20 buses arrived at Ravensbrück and transported over 900 women to safety in Sweden. Multiple Rabbits arrived in Sweden at the end of the war. Professors and researchers at Lund spoke with former prisoners, gathered any materials prisoners brought with them from the camps, and recorded testimonies from those willing to share their experiences. The resulting archive, added to over the years, contains an abundance of information on various concentration camps in Germany.

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Drafting Research: Week 6 Update

I dedicated this past week to planning and writing the beginning drafts of my final research paper. The final result of my research will be an essay that I hope will educate others on the history of blackface minstrelsy at William and Mary. I hope to also illustrate how William and Mary’s students have become more inclusive and progressive when assembling representations of student culture in the Colonial Echo. Though I cannot be certain that racism or racist ideas have been completely eradicated from our campus community, it’s clear that students have become more willing to have an open dialogue about race and racism at William and Mary.

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