Abstract: 500 Years of Religious Reforms

This summer, I will research various reformation movements throughout Christian history, including the Lutheran reformation, Calvinism, Anabaptism, Protestant Radicalism, the Roman Catholic reformation, the English reformation, and Methodism and the Evangelical Revival. My research will involve formulating my own framework through which to analyze each movement, tentatively as having a strong leader and grievances against the current system (institutional changes), being influenced by the cultural climate of the time, and possessing a unique and separate theology, or at least a distinct change in some significant tenets of the traditional theology. I will be conducting a primary literature review from each movement, as well as a reading of scholarly articles discussing the causes of the reform. I will also spend a week doing on-the-ground research into Martin Luther’s life in Wittenberg, Germany, where he nailed his 95 Theses in 1517, 500 years ago this October. Overall, the question I hope to answer for each religious reform movement is: what were the underlying causes of this reform movement, and how did it influence future movements?

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Abstract: An Analysis of Spanish Perspectives on Donald Trump upon Examination of the Media’s Rhetoric and Cultural Representations in Cádiz, Spain

Following the recent election of former business tycoon turn President of the United States, Donald Trump, political tensions in the United States are at an all time high. The recent United States presidential election has seen an increase in political polarization between Trump supporters and Trump opposers. However, this political divisiveness over Donald Trump is not limited to within United States borders. The win of President Trump has sparked an international debate over what it means to be fit for office. This Summer in Cádiz, Spain, I will examine and analyze cultural and political representations of Donald Trump to gain a larger understanding of Spanish perceptions of President Trump. To do this, I will examine Spanish articles, televised news sources, newspapers, graffiti, song, poetry etc., mentioning Donald Trump, taking into account any potential bias and the political leaning of the creator. It is my opinion that the recent Spanish Civil War and accompanying Franquist dictatorship will cause even the more conservative leaning Spanish citizens to have a less than favorable opinion on President Trump. Throughout my research this summer, I will attempt to prove this theory with my research.

The Impact of Proximity to Home on College Football Performance

I want to determine whether football recruits perform better if they stay closer to home to go to college. The conventional wisdom is that football players will play better if they go to colleges near their house. Thus, college football teams by and large have players from their own state. Still, high school football talent is not spread evenly across the nation, so many teams located outside the hotbeds of the Southeast and the West Coast extend far from home to get the top talent. But is it worth it? Would it be better for Nebraska to have a team full of highly talented recruits from Florida and California, or a team full of less highly regarded recruits from Nebraska and surrounding states? Conversely, should a highly-touted recruit from Miami try to stay in Florida or cross the country to play football? I will statistically analyze the performance of college football players as a function of how far from home they play.

American Media Perceptions of Vladimir Putin, from 1999 to Today

I propose to look at how, over the last two decades, American’s views of Russian President Vladimir Putin have changed. I plan to look at archives from the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, identifying the long-term trends as well as turning points. When Putin first came into power, America saw him as someone they could work with, a continuation of the tentative new democracy in Russia. George W. Bush famously met with Putin and “[got] a sense of his soul.” Seventeen years after Putin came into office, his commitment to Russian democracy is questionable as he prepares to run for his fourth term as president in 2018. His relationship with the US is rockier than ever, with congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections now underway. I want to look at how the news media has covered this shift and whether I can find key moments in that shift.