Senior Lecturer in History
Associate Dean College of Arts and Science
The goal of Rated VU is to study and grow in a structured learning environment that will facilitate intellectual development, cooperation, and friendship in a Living Learning residence. We plan to take full advantage of the Living Learning Experience by making use of the Mayfield as a space that will stimulate healthy discussion and collaboration for our research project. Our research project is called “Turn the Lights On! RATED VU,” a project that focuses on cross-cultural and cross-national conceptions of human sexuality. Our principal aim is to explore ideas related to sex on campus and abroad, whilst examining how these conceptions offer insight into the cultures and societies that see their genesis. The topics we plan to explore include gender roles, varying conceptions of female sexuality specifically, the science behind sexual attraction, ideas concerning premarital sex, STI/STD awareness, social pressures regarding sex, and the effectiveness of certain system’s in response to sex crimes and sexual violence. We plan to explore these related topics through extensive research and an active pursuit of knowledge. To this extent, the use of credible research databases will be essential, especially in examining cases abroad. Furtherrmore, we will implement anonymous surveys and polls across campus, in order to gain insight from the diverse undergraduate population at Vanderbilt and protect the privacy of participating individuals. Next, a great deal of our interest lies in comparing dominant paradigms to those we might consider taboo in American society. This would include comparing Christian conceptions of gender roles or sexual relations with those of marginalized faiths such as Haitian Voo Doo in the Caribbean or Eastern religions, such as Hinduism.