Tractors: At the intersection of Technology and Culture

This paper investigates the technologies and associated copyright laws that are limiting grassroots innovation in the agricultural sector of American culture. By examining the interdependencies involved in this wick problem, design solutions can be developed.


Black Friday: Pilgrimage in a Capitalist Culture

In this paper, I argue for an expansion of the definition of a pilgrimage to include seemingly secular ones, specifically America’s Black Friday. I conducted extensive research on pilgrimage practices across cultures and conducted informal interviews with people who have participated in the Black Friday tradition in order to gain better insight into the practice and its ritualistic and, arguably, religious nature.


Marked: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Tattooing Practices

This paper is a cross-cultural exploration of tattooing practices, specifically between the Maori of New Zealand and modern American traditions, detailing their respective histories, symbolic significance, and varied demographics, based on primary and secondary sources found through extensive research of both traditions. Furthermore, I draw my own conclusions regarding the drastic difference in acceptance of the different traditions within the cultures based on economic systems and subsistence practices.

Ethnography on Kenyon College's Drinking Culture

This ethnography is the product of a semester long research study I conducted on Kenyon College’s campus. After becoming IRB-certified, I spent several months observing and interviewing people about the drinking experience in a venue where exchange is economically-based, a local bar, and another that is socially-based, an all-campus party space. From this research, I produced this ethnography, which explores the issues of reciprocity as well as territoriality at the different venues and seeks to explain the underlying motivations. I’ve included a visual representation I made, showing the layout of the different venues and delineation of spaces for exchange. 


Murphy's Law Repealed: Environmental Success in Nine Mile Run

In my environmental anthropology course, I wrote this paper, which details the conservation and redevelopment efforts at Nine Mile Run in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park. I used primary and secondary sources as well as consulted with senior administrative officials in the city, including Former Mayor Tom Murphy, in order to gain a better understanding of brownfield reclamation and urban planning.