#56: Breaking Ancient DNA with David Rothfels ’23, Chemistry/Classics

David studied archaeometry at Reed through an ad hoc major in the chemistry and classics departments (classics at Reed is now known as Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies). He was introduced to archaeometry, the application of scientific methods and technology to archaeological study, by a research mentor after his sophomore year, and then went about petitioning to form his ad hoc program at Reed (it’s not an easy process).

Reed community members can read David’s thesis, “Hoping to Smash DNA with Rocks and Pickaxes,” online in the Electronic Theses Archive.

#55: Oregon’s Black Exclusion Laws and a Salem Church with Peri Joy Long ’23, Religion

Peri Joy smiling and sitting on a rock wall in a flower garden.

Peri Joy planned for the work of her thesis year to center on race, religion, and the history of Oregon, and her writing focused on archives related to a 19th century congregation in Salem, Oregon led by Reverend Obed Dickinson. Dickinson’s decision to admit three formerly enslaved Black persons—Elizabeth Johnson and Robert and Polly Holmes—into his congregation marked the beginning of a six-year conflict between Dickinson, the white church members, and the broader Salem community over the issue of race.

Reed community members can read Peri’s thesis, “Bringing the Truth to Bear: Obed Dickinson and an Imagined Community of Racial Equality in Nineteenth-Century Salem, Oregon,” online in the Electronic Theses Archive.

You can learn more about Obed Dickinson and Oregon’s Black exclusion laws from the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Encyclopedia.

#54: Indigenous Modernity along the Columbia River with Sofie Larsen-Teskey ’23, Anthropology

Sofie is sitting up against the trunk of a large redwood tree and looking into the camera with a partial smile.

Sofie gets excited about the opportunity she had to write an ethnographic thesis which explored relationships between the Indigenous peoples of the Columbia River and salmon. Sofie also talks about what it took to produce her “multi-chapter document”.

Reed community members can read Sofie’s thesis, “Salmon Pluralities: Nch’í Wána Pum, Traditional Fishing, and Indigenous Modernity,” online in the Electronic Theses Archive.

#53: Philosophy of Science with Betsy Hoekstra ’20, Philosophy

Betsy spent her thesis year thinking and unthinking what it’s possible to know about science, and how science can be used and mis-used in the field of psychiatry.

Reed community members can read Betsy’s thesis, “Now Doc, Hear Me Out— Epistemic Injustice in Psychiatry and a Case for Philosophy of Science as a Resource for Intervention,” online in the Electronic Theses Archive.

#52: Post-Reconstruction Struggles of Chinese Women with LiLi Siedare ’23, History

LiLi’s thesis focused on the struggles that Chinese women faced in the U.S. after the Civil War, and the damage done to Asian American immigrants by the Page Act of 1875.

Reed community members can read LiLi’s thesis, “‘For Lewd and Immoral Purposes’: Chinese Women in the United States and the Page Act of 1875,” online in the Electronic Theses Archive.