Charlotte Hoskins

student , Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • Australia

About Charlotte Hoskins

G'day!! 

I'm a rising Sophomore at Columbia University in New York, but I live between Washington DC and Melbourne, Australia. I am planning to double major in history and politics and I am a massive history/classics nerd! 

My research is looking at the history of imperialism in the U.S. and Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries through literature. I want to look into how these two countries adopted British imperialist practices into their own forms of governance. 

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Scholar

Area of Expertise

Humanities Politics

Research Topic

History

Laidlaw Cohort Year

2022

University

Columbia University

I am from:

Australia

I speak:

English Latin

My hobbies/interests are:

Cooking/Baking Film & TV Hiking/walking Pets Reading Running/jogging Skiing

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes

Yes

Influencer Of

Topics

Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jun 24, 2022
Replying to Fatima Ahmad
  • What new ideas, challenges, or other issues have you encountered with regard to your project (this might include data collection, information that contradicts your assumptions or the assertions of others, materials that have enriched your understanding of the topic or led you to change your project, etc.)? How have these ideas or challenges shaped the bigger picture of your research? Has the scope or focus of your topic changed since you began this project? If so, how?

The biggest challenge I faced was that of specificity. Manto's literature is endless and what can be sought from his Partition stories is immeasurable. To narrow this down became difficult because along the journey of initially looking at what we can learn about the Partition from his literature, I began to criticize his works and writing, comparing the story of "Noor Jehan" in particular and the representation of women to his stories of Partition and how women were described differently then. As I approached my fourth week of research, I took a step back to analyze my methodology and what I had learned thus far. Shortly after, I came to the realization that in these past few weeks, I was engaging in an internal dialogue of sorts, a seminar that kept going and going with each new piece I read. My initial purpose for studying Manto was to showcase the importance of literature, and as I sat thinking about the past few weeks, I understood this point myself: the engaging of various texts, connecting ideas, criticizing whilst also appreciating, all of this his literature allowed me to do, and what the history of Partition could not- the humanizing of experiences. As such, my research took a drastic turn in these last 2 weeks. I began to look at my research on Manto as a case study of sorts in the larger question of how Pakistan's education system can be reformed, particularly in the way literature is taught and the types of literature schools choose to engage in. I have taken a look at the Single National Curriculum, still being developed by the government. It is my hope to continue doing research on education reform and its implications on Pakistani students to highlight my own research done on Manto and propose the benefits of engaging with, not only Manto's texts, but with a diverse array of literature which could allow students to have meaningful discussions, question specific ideas they hold, and progress as future leaders of a nation. I will also have the chance in the following week to interview the Minister of Federal Education, Shafqat Mahmood. I am skewing this research to moreso result in a newspaper/magazine article rather than a journal article. 

  • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

When first researching Manto, the stacks and Butler library were very helpful. As I began to narrow my topic, my graduate peer mentor was insanely helpful in making me think about what I am researching and how I can be more specific. She was also extremely encouraging and went above and beyond with also providing me with resources when my librarian was out for the summer. As I transitioned to the educational end of my research, CLIO and any other online database access has been great to read up on what reforms need to take place and what has already been done. 

Hey Fatima! 

I love seeing your updates on your research as someone else looking at what literature can teach us about history. Your shift in focus seems really interesting - literature is so often placed on a pedestal of reverence that it becomes so critical in the academy to really consider what these texts are really doing and how we should best approach them. 

Jun 24, 2022
  • What new ideas, challenges, or other issues have you encountered with regard to your project (this might include data collection, information that contradicts your assumptions or the assertions of others, materials that have enriched your understanding of the topic or led you to change your project, etc.)? How have these ideas or challenges shaped the bigger picture of your research? Has the scope or focus of your topic changed since you began this project? If so, how?

The biggest challenge I have faced with my project was the scope I could research, and the ways I wanted to approach it. When speaking to my faculty advisor about using this one book as a primary source on Australia's Stolen Generation and White Australia Policy, she proposed the idea of looking at literature itself to frame my research and the questions I had. I definitely ran with this idea, and by selecting a few literary works, I was able to narrow my research. Rather than focusing on imperialism in a broader sense, I have shifted to focus more on settler colonialism itself. 

  • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

CLIO and Columbia Libraries more broadly have been so helpful for my research. There are so many books (including Australian literature and history texts!) that I didn't think I would be able to get my hands on for my project, but through CLIO I was able to obtain them. 

Jun 16, 2022
Replying to Akshay Manglik
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

I hope to write a paper summarizing the results of my research (e.g., what conclusions I can draw about the similarities of memory representations formed by the method of loci across people during item retrieval). I think I'll continue to work on this after the six weeks are up, but I might incorporate more elements (e.g., semantic/language analysis, in addition to fMRI analysis) to my project. The conclusions of my research might also be part of a larger conclusion for the study that the lab is conducting using the data that is being collected.

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

My research would help us understand more about how we form memories (e.g., what parts of the brain are involved) and how that is tied to learning. Techniques like the mind palace are not usually studied seriously because they're seen as gimmicks (i.e., not how most people will memorize things), and, while that is true, the lab hypothesizes that everyday forms of memory, like episodic memory, are involved in the technique. Analyzing this niche technique would then actually shed light on very commonly used types of memory.

I'm really excited to see the results of your research! I had lots of friends in high school that would use the mind palace technique, and it did really help them form memories and associations in preparations for our exams. I can't quite understand how these types of techniques would be overlooked in an academic setting given how important they are for academics, so I'm glad that your research is covering this! 

Jun 16, 2022
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

My current goal is to write a paper about how the books/poems I have read tell us about imperialism in the United States and Australia as settler colonialism. I may potentially produce an annotated bibliography over the course of the summer, but I have a lot of sources so we shall see how that goes! I'm hoping to finish this research project by the end of summer. Given the complexity of my project, I think a paper is the best way to publish my findings. 

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

I think my research matters because it is something that is not really discussed based on my experiences with Australian and American education systems. From the former Australian Prime Minister claiming that slavery never existed in Australia (when it actually did), to people believing that Australia was 'not as bad' as the United States, there is a massive educational gap when it comes to how both the United States and Australia perpetuated British settler colonialism into the 20th century. I think my project will help facilitate a wider discourse about how Australia and the United States shared practices of justifying expansionism for economic reasons through the use of race and white supremacy. Education around injustices perpetuated by white settlers is the first step to holding societies accountable for their damaging past actions. 

Jun 09, 2022
Replying to Asher Baron
  • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

As I have researched my first assigned community organization, the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, I have discovered ethical issues regarding how organizations interact with the police. In this year's Maryland legislative session, this organization lobbied for a clarification of the "Good Samaritan" Law, which protects people who report an overdose, as well as the victim of that overdose, from being prosecuted for drug possession. I see an ethical issue in the circumstances surrounding this bill, which unfortunately died in committee. The issue is that the BHRC, and many others under the harm reduction umbrella, claim to be "anti-carceral", but they are lobbying for legislation that encourages cooperation with the police. I absolutely understand this: saving lives must come first, which today means calling 911, but this bill is essentially arguing for a type of police reform, which does not seem to me to be "anti-carceral".  I think that it would be more truly anti-carceral if the organization were working towards finding alternatives to calling 911 when someone witnesses an overdose. I suppose that this is really not realistic, given that the moderate "Good Samaritan" clarification bill died in this year's legislative session, but I still see a disparity in how the organization labels itself and its practices.

As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Some of my sources have encouraged me to consider alternative viewpoints. One critique of the BHRC's work is its distribution of glass and pyrex pipes, which several county elected officials feel encourages drug use (Dubose 2021).  This mirrors the rhetoric of critique of needle exchange programs and I know that historically, some Black leaders have called distributing needles in their community a "genocidal" act. I absolutely think this is an exaggeration, but it's forcing me to at least consider the viewpoint of how providing supplies could potentially encourage drug use. If anything, considering this viewpoint has encouraged me to take a more well-rounded stance on harm reduction, which is that drug use is bound to happen whether supplies are distributed or not. This view departs from other models of harm reduction that consider it as more of a "pathway to treatment". 

I find the ethics surrounding Good Samaritan laws really fascinating as well. I completely agree with your take on them though - there is still such a stigma and such a very real and valid fear about calling 911 when someone is overdosing on drugs because that number is unequivocally connected with the police. What you propose about another number to call when someone is overdosing would do a lot of good in reducing the deaths from overdosing each year, but I guess politics doesn't really agree with passing such 'radical' legislation. Maybe this could be something for local governments, rather than state, to pursue instead? 

Jun 09, 2022
  • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

The history and literature I am exploring through my research has a lot of ethical implications. One such dilemma is carefully curating a list of literature to read and base my study on. As my time period is the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the majority of literature is written by white people for white audiences. Because of this, I have actively included works written by Indigenous Australian authors and Native American authors to aid my exploration of settler colonialism. Another ethical issue I am facing surrounds language. Many texts I am reading use racist and white supremacist language, so I have decide to censor any quotes I use that contain such language throughout my research project. 

  • As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Both my faculty advisor and my graduate student mentor have allowed me to view alternative ways to tackle my investigation. Based on these, I have reconsidered how I can approach my topic, which is very broad and daunting. Because imperialism covers so many different areas, I have changed my project by considering focussing on a particular aspect of it, namely settler colonialism in Australia and the United States. 

Jun 02, 2022
Replying to Denise Taveras

1. I think having a lot of perspectives to bounce my idea off of has helped me see my research in a new light. I keep finding myself in the habit of looking at my research with an "either-o" perspective. I can understand things with a perspective focused on racism and police state violence or I can understand the community and resistance through music. Speaking ith other people hase helped me reorient myself into thinking about how these ideas are in conversation with each other.

2. One of my biggest challenges is getting access to sources that highlight the personal lives of the people I am hoping to get an insight on. Its important for my project to highlight the personal spaces of these people but for obvious reasons, that will be very difficult, especially if I have to see it through the lense of a system that has a history of dehumanizing the people that I will focus on. 

Hi Denise <3 I resonate with what you wrote about the "either-or" perspective about projects. I've found that because I've pivoted my project to look at literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, I'm tackling the "either-or" between history and literature as separate disciplines. But, much like you, I'm coming to realise that the two can interact and aid each other to bolster my research. I'm really excited to hear more about your research! 

Jun 02, 2022
  • Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests more broadly?

As someone who has a broad array of interests, I find the interdisciplinary nature of this program really exciting. As a Poli Sci and History major, I don't often find myself in conversations with others about computer programming or biology, so I am finding it very enlightening to be able to engage in these conversations and think about how I can apply my own knowledge and interests to other fields of research. In saying that, however, it is definitely hard sometimes to follow conversations when they go over my scope of general knowledge, but this only propels me to follow my curiosity and discover more about these differing subjects. 

  • As you begin your individual research projects this week, do you anticipate any challenges in getting started? If so, what are they?

As I have begun my research, I have realised that my time period is massive, and there are so many resources and ways to approach imperialism that is a bit overwhelming. The trouble I anticipate, knowing how inquisitive I am about things that interest me, is to choose a selection of sources and stick with that track and see what it reveals, rather than constantly going on tangents.