Current Robinson Honors Fellows

John Collier Cobb

Class of 2020
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Majors: English & Philosophy

In the aftermath of the First World War’s devastation, Virginia Woolf and her peers in the Bloomsbury Group were likewise interested in these ideas and presented them as deeply damaged and fractured. Collier will investigate how these thinkers addressed such topics in their respective compositions, and how they changed over the course of the war period, by studying their original notes, letters, diary entries, and drafts at the British Library and Bloomsbury Museum in London.

Anna Grace Freebersyser

Class of 2020
Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, NC
Major: Journalism; Minors: Studio Art & Artistic and Media Entrepreneurship

Anna Grace is traveling to England to explore how imagery in the British abolitionist movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries held a mirror to the institution of slavery in a way that catalyzed social action and began the process of redefining a society’s moral perspective. Focusing on two of the most pervasive images, she will research their role and influence over the course of that movement and beyond.

Turkan Banu Karatas

Class of 2020
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Majors: Sociology & Global Studies; Minor: Chemistry

Banu plans to spend her summer visiting historical mental asylums in England and France to conduct a comparison of the physical space of the institutions. She will analyze the architectural design of those institutions in relation to the confinement of psychiatric patients and compare how the decisions made in designing the institutions reflect the historic cultural values surrounding the needs of psychiatric patients in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Rachel Mauney

Class of 2020
Hometown: Shelby, NC
Major: Art History; Minor: Neuroscience

Her research will focus on medieval death culture and the ways it was influenced by the Dance of Death, depicted by the frescos in the Cemetery of Innocents in Paris, France in the 15th century. Because these frescos no longer exist, Rachel will use different medieval representations of the Dance of Death and commemorative monuments around France to reconstruct the influential art work.

Claire Ruch

Class of 2020
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Majors: Art History & Journalism; Minor: Social &Economic Justice

This summer, Claire will travel to New York, London, Paris and Florence to study the history of the reclining female nude and women artists’ reclamation of the iconic genre. She will immerse herself in museum collections and contemporary exhibitions, following the evolution from Old Masters to modern feminist creators. Claire plans to design a website that features her findings, placing art of different styles and eras in a visual dialogue. She hopes this will cast familiar works in a new light and bring innovative works to the forefront, making art history more accessible.

Laura Wilder

Class of 2021
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Majors: Global Studies & Italian; Minor: Entrepreneurship

This summer, Laura will travel to Venice, Italy to study the effects of changes to the Burano lace-making industry on both the creators and the durability of the trade between the 17th and 20th centuries. Laura plans to interview various generations of lace makers in Burano, learn the basics of lace making herself, and analyze lace and fashion exhibits in Burano, Venice, Milan, and Brussels. Following the fellowship experience, Laura hopes to publish an article that will give a voice to the lace makers of Burano and keep the practice alive by teaching the art of Venetian lace-making at UNC and within the wider community.