Deans' Summer Research Fellowship Stories: Surya Cannon

surya cannon

In the Summer of 2023, Surya Cannon (2024) was awarded a URS Deans' Summer Research Fellowship (DSRF) award to investigate the "feedback loop" of cultural expectation and environmental reality in West Texas, comparing attitudes and actions of the Comanche and Anglo-Texan cultures, under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Paul Jaskot.

Surya studied how, where, and why settlements developed, how the land was used or managed, how that management continues to impact human-environmental wellbeing today, and the white supremacist power dynamics expressed or embedded in the land 

"The DSRF experience improved my confidence in my ability to research independently; I was able to remain largely productive and managed to visit a majority of the sites I wanted to see," Surya reflected to URS. "It also revealed that photography — my own or others' — is vital to communicating about this area and this landscape, as primary or secondary texts are not as available, especially regarding the current state of the area — especially the human debris that remains on the land after the Dust Bowl, as it is largely on private land."

This Spring 2024 semester, Surya is studying abroad to take design studio classes not offered at Duke in hopes to upload, edit, and create more connections between the information. 

Are you a rising junior or a senior and interested in doing research over the summer? Check out our URS Deans' Summer Research Fellowship to see if you are eligible to apply for funding for next year's application.