Elon University / Today at Elon / PERCS rewards two Elon students for outstanding ethnographic research

The Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) honored Hannah Boone ’22 and Emily Wilbourne ’22 for outstanding ethnographic research at a ceremony April 21.

In a ceremony at Johnston Hall on the evening of April 21, the Ethnographic Research and Community Studies Program (PERCS) co-awarded Hannah Boone ’22 (mentor Leyla Savloff) and Emily Wilbourne ’22 (mentor Casey Avaunt and Pamela Winfield) the PERCS Outstanding Ethnography Award for their undergraduate research on climate change activism and traditional dance practice.

This award is usually given to a single recipient and recognizes the student who has conducted the most outstanding ethnographic research project at Elon University, judged on the quality of process and product. This year, however, two projects stood out as exemplary and worthy of recognition.

Hannah Boone ’22

Boone majors in anthropology with minors in Spanish and psychology. As an honors student, she completed her graduation thesis, titled “Fear for the Future: Youth Climate Change Activism,” an ethnography that analyzes how hope and fear combined fuel youth activism. ecologists.

Boone conducted research for her project during a global pandemic, which added further analysis to her methods as she had to examine how Zoom interviews impacted her project. In rethinking her research methods, she chose to incorporate an art project to uncover the meaningful ways in which hope and fear are expressed non-verbally. Throughout her research process and writing progress, Boone met the challenges that came her way with a can-do attitude and a very pragmatic approach to problem-solving.

The North Carolina native is now pursuing a master’s degree at Oregon State University to further develop her research project focused on how art and emotions are part of a medium that is redefining climate change activism.

Emily Wilbourne is an Arts Administration major with a double minor in Dance and Interfaith Studies. She is also a member of the Multifaith Scholars program. Her project investigated the impact of Japanese imperialism on a traditional Korean Buddhist drum dance called “seungmu” to explore the embodied negotiations of national identity and religion in relation to political ideologies and historical frameworks.

Wilbourne’s research project took her to Korea twice, where she conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Busan. As a SURE/CSRCS Summer Fellow in June and July 2021, she interviewed renowned practitioners, teachers, and masters of dance, in addition to interviewing historians of modern Korea with the assistance of a translator. She also conducted participant observation by studying the technically demanding monk dance with a professional seungmu dancer, and she attended traditional dance performances at the National Gugak Center in Busan.

His research has been presented at two national professional conferences, recognized nationally with a Forum for Education Abroad award, and accepted for publication in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honors society for studies. nuns.

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