Two arts students will conduct research through UROP this summer

May 24 2021

Eleanor (Ellie) Otis, a student in the University of Utah Department of Theatre, and Yein Ji from the Department of Film & Media Arts have been awarded funding for Summer 2021 to conduct research in their artistic disciplines. This opportunity is provided through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).  

UROP gives undergraduate students and faculty mentors the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects. The program provides a stipend and educational programming for students who assist with a faculty member’s research or creative project or who carry out a project of their own under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may apply for UROP any semester and may be eligible for a one-semester renewal. UROP awardees are hired as temporary, part-time UROP Participants by the Office of Undergraduate Research and are paid $1,200 for 120 hours of research or creative work during the semester.

Here's a glimpse into what these two students are working on: 

Eleanor Otis, Department of Theatre
Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Harbold 

"I'm co-directing a production of 'King Lear' this summer for my UROP project through a feminist perspective. I've always loved Shakespeare and have engaged with productions of Lear before, but it wasn't until I sat down and read the text last year that I realized how much society had fit Goneril and Regan into the roles of villains, when the actual text does not reflect that. Instead, it reflects two women in a patriarchal society who have had to put up with their manipulative and abusive father in order to survive. I was fascinated and horrified to learn that I, as a feminist and avid reader of Shakespeare, had still fallen into the trap of viewing these two as villains. Through my UROP research, I want to reach out to different communities to learn why Goneril and Regan are viewed in this manner, and then I hope to work closely with the cast to restructure the narrative of these two from villains to oppressed and struggling women who succumb to the hate around them in their attempt to survive. I then hope to present this production to said communities and talk with them about whether or not my team and I were able to successfully change their views on these sisters." 

Yein Ji, Department of Film & Media Arts 
Faculty Mentor: Emelie Mahdavian 

"I am researching movies that depict depression and then creating a short film based on my findings. I myself have depression and I don't see many movies that accurately showcase it, so I want to create a short film that is reflective of my own experience. Analyzing these movies will help me decipher what works and what doesn't, thus helping me create a great film."

For more information and for upcoming deadlines, visit UROP's website!