* = beginning in 2021, an asterisk symbolizes a presentation that is self-identified as a project related to topics about diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and anti-racism

India L. Kirssin (Dr. Michael Matthews) Department of History & Geography and International & Global Studies Program

This project examines how university students and the military junta created conflicting narratives and memories from 1983 to 1986 about the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). It specifically seeks to answer the following questions: how did Chilean university students utilize protest to contest the discourse and narrative formed by the Chilean military junta? How did this protest spur greater society into creating an opposing narrative that shaped the collective memory of Chileans? It analyzes the organizational structures and events used by student leaders and participants to argue that they built a successful movement against the military junta central to the larger national movement that peacefully voted Pinochet out of power in 1989. This study explores how students contested the junta’s official narrative and shaped Chileans’ collective memory and national identity by examining newspaper articles from the Fortín Mapocho (1983-86), internal University of Chile student federation (FECH) memos, and university student interviews. It also utilizes current literature about memory, narrative, and the actors in the fight to re-democratize Chile such as Steve J. Stern’s Battling for the Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973-1988. It offers insights into the organization of student protest in an authoritarian context and the role of competing narratives in forming social memory. In so doing, it contends that through the development of student organizations and protests, university students successfully employed oppositional language to create a collective memory that contested the regime’s official narrative.

Molly L. Logan (Dr. Michael Matthews) Department of History & Geography and International & Global Studies Program

The presidency of Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) marked a controversial shift in Venezuelan politics. While Venezuela had been regarded as a thriving democracy for the majority of the twentieth century, Chávez’s administration challenged traditional notions of liberal democracy, in particular questioning democracy’s relationship to race and class. In January of 2005, Chávez announced his vision of “socialism for the twenty-first century,” which he also labeled the Bolivarian Revolution. Chávez proposed that this modern socialism would be unlike Soviet communism due to its democratic incorporation of all Venezuelans, whether wealthy, poor, white, mestizo, or black. This project poses the central question: How did Venezuelan perceptions of race, and relatedly class, shape definitions of democracy under Hugo Chávez? Analyzing Chávez’s speeches, human rights reports, nongovernmental organization (NGO) data, and government and opposition media, this research uncovers two conflicting narratives. The first assumes a traditional, Western definition of democracy, in which the absolute freedom of the individual and the market is emphasized. Citing his attacks on the media, nationalization of industry, and attempts to suppress political opponents while expanding his own power, critics denounced the president’s commitment to democracy (Marcano and Barrera 2007, Canache 2002). The second narrative suggests an alternative conceptualization of a more social democracy, in which racial and economic equity are foundational. Supporters praised Chávez for stimulating a national discourse on social inequality, and particularly for engaging a discussion on Venezuela’s complex, yet largely-avoided racial history (Jones 2008, Bruce 2008). He further implemented national social programs that sought to alleviate the consequences of economic and racial marginalization. This project argues that Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution succeeded in incorporating the masses and empowering the historically disenfranchised, making democracy accessible to those who had been excluded for years. While the shortcomings of Chávez’s vision are evident in the modern day, the reconceptualization of social democracy reflected in his administration necessitates an ongoing analysis of the interconnections between race, class, and political participation.

Sara I. Mason (Dr. Jim Bisset) Department of History & Geography

Historians recognize that America’s troubling legacy of slavery and racism dates to its very origins, and that centuries of exploitation based on race have enduring consequences. This uncomfortable legacy makes it difficult to teach slavery in high school history classrooms, a difficulty compounded by the limitations of the content provided in pre-adopted textbooks and the supplemental materials included with those books. This study will begin by analyzing how the most widely adopted high school textbooks in America deal with slavery. The textbooks analyzed were collected from a list of college level textbooks for high school students provided by the American Textbook Council (American Textbook Council, 2018). We used both a rubric created by Tolerance.org and a personally created form which examines word usage, diversity, primary source usage, and overall content related to the topic to analyze and rank the level of sophistication of textbooks’ treatment of slavery. The study will also survey teachers in two different states to determine which textbooks and supplemental resources they use and how much freedom they have in choosing those resources. I will conduct this survey of history or social studies teachers in public high schools through my connections with the School of Education at Elon. Preliminary results show that the American history textbooks analyzed have a low amount of content related to the topic of slavery. In analyzing the textbooks, it is also clear that first person language such as enslaved person is used infrequently compared to the word slave. At the end of the study, the results of our analysis of textbooks and supplemental resources will be shared with educators in the systems. The importance of this study is to help teachers assess the effectiveness of the resources they currently use and offer insight into additional resources that address slavery in a more mature way.

Rebekah J. Maupin (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of History & Geography

In the last decade, scholars of medieval art have examined how the materiality of religious objects, such as reliquaries, architecture, and altars, was seen to increase the sacredness of the rituals in which they were used. Christians in the Middle Ages understood that objects had the potential to move from the material (such as glass, gems, or gold) to the immaterial (the divine presence of God). This shift occurred along with an activation of senses in ritualistic practice and was necessary in understanding medieval Christian culture. While stained glass is a medium that is literally defined by the mutability of its material (glass is made from sand, liquidated and hardened by fire), scholars, such as Renee Burnham, Nancy Thompson, and Gerald Guest, have focused primarily on the iconography of glass windows and the workshop practices of glaziers rather than phenomenological meanings. These scholars recognize the visual effect of light moving through stained glass, but few connections are made between the shifting physical conditions of the spaces that include glass and the materiality of glass itself. In this paper I will argue that while the sensorial experience of stained glass windows is a significant part of the historical experience of a building it is not the whole story. Using the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence, Italy as a case study, I will suggest that we need to examine the transtemporal contexts for stained glass. By using phenomenology to reconsider glass’ purpose over time, we can better understand materiality in its multiple functions. I will pay particular attention to how the addition of stained glass at Orsanmichele marked a shift of the building’s meaning from a secular space with limited religious importance to an established church. While the windows were designed to be an important sensorial component of religious practice, the present day experience of these windows is different in great part because of their secularized context as a museum. This research raises questions about the implications of time in viewing art and how our present-day perceptions cannot always reflect the reality of the past.

Lucia Lozano Robledo (Dr. Michael Matthews) Department of History & Geography and International & Global Studies Program

The economic effects of migration has received significant scholarly attention, focusing on a range of issues such as the economic and social benefits of remittances and labor market trends. Few studies have analyzed how the migration experience shapes identity formation, especially regarding political consciousness. This research will focus on the identity development and political consciousness of Latinx migrants in Alamance County. As a growing population in the county, an analysis focused on how their identity and beliefs have changed over time will inform a growing body of literature that examines individual stories of migrant experiences. This study will ask: How has the political consciousness of Latinx migrants in Alamance County shifted over time through the process of migration? To what extent do these migrants consider themselves political actors? Drawing upon eight phone interviews with Latinx migrants in Alamance county, conducted in both English and Spanish, this project examines how their political consciousness and identity formation relates to experiences of migration within a dynamic political landscape. These interviews were thematically analyzed specifically exploring transnational relationships, what is “political” and change-making attitudes and actions utilizing a qualitative research software. Analyzing how the participants’ identity and beliefs have changed over time will contribute to a growing body of literature that examines the individual stories of migrants in the context of broader migration patterns. This project is significant as it adds to the existing scholarship on political socialization within migrant families and how this process has the potential to catalyze political activities.

Shannon R. Rogers (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History & Geography

John Ruskin was a 19th century art critic and scholar, notable for his contributions to the publicization and democratization of museums. Previously, museums acted as social spaces exclusive to the wealthy and people were under the belief that poor and uneducated people could not appreciate art in the same way as the elite. However, during the nineteenth century, this belief was overtaken by the growing idea to use art and museums to educate and purify the “dirty and immoral” industrial working class. Ruskin’s work about and for the industrial working class helped to form and strengthen this opinion. For this ongoing project, I am conducting a thorough analysis on the writings of Ruskin. I intend to examine how he conceptualized and communicated to the industrial working class as well as educated society, and how his ideas took shape and changed over the course of his writings. For this presentation I will focus on Fors Clavigera, a series of pamphlets published monthly from 1871 to 1879. These pamphlets are the focus at this stage in the project, as they emphasize the agency and potential of the industrial working class and provide a look into Ruskin’s revisionary mind. Due to the specific audience and motivations of Ruskin, this project focuses on the inclusion of the industrial working class in public spaces that they were not previously welcomed in and shows an early attempt at diversity and inclusion in British society. Through analysis of these writings I hope to answer how Ruskin conceptualized and communicated to the industrial working class, and how he came to believe they were capable of bettering themselves through public education. These findings will influence the continuation of this project, as it develops over the next year, further exploring Ruskin and the museums in the 19th century.

Kylee M. Smith (Dr. Sandy Marshall) Department of History & Geography

This research project focuses on how the everyday experiences of living in the United States impact the religious practices, beliefs, and identities of Muslim immigrants. More specifically, the project seeks to understand how the officially secular and culturally Christian environment of the United States affects Muslim immigrants’ religious practices, beliefs, and identities. Situated in the interdisciplinary fields of interreligious studies, migration studies, and human geography, this study offers a diverse understanding of Muslim immigrants’ experiences, emphasizing that religious identity is not a barrier to acculturation for Muslim immigrants in the US, but rather the religious identity and acculturation are mutually constitutive. The project utilizes an interreligious and grounded theology framework to analyze the impact that the everyday encounters Muslim immigrants in North Carolina have with non-Muslims and with American society have on shaping their religious beliefs, practices, and identities. Using the concept of grounded theologies, this research attends to the concrete implications for how transcendental religious worldviews are enacted and negotiated in new spatial contexts. To conduct this research, I recorded 19 interviews with sixteen Muslim immigrants and three second-generation Muslim Americans residing in the Triad and Triangle areas of North Carolina and then coded and analyzed the interviews utilizing a grounded theory approach. Most interviewees came from Muslim-majority countries; thus, the experience of being a religious minority in the US affected their acculturation into the US as well as their religious beliefs, practices, and identities. Specifically, the interview data reveal how everyday encounters with non-Muslims in North Carolina prompt Muslim immigrants to evaluate their beliefs critically, determine how to practice Islam most fully, and find their new transnational identity in this world, all while strengthening their personal faith. In this presentation, I focus on how Muslim immigrants’ report gaining a more authentic relationship with Allah and deeper connection to Islam and how they personally determine how to continue practicing Islam in America.

Kayla Spalding (Dr. Charles Irons) Department of History & Geography

This study explores anti-black racism on Elon University’s campus from the early 20th century through the first decade of integration in the country, approximately 1923-1972. This research is crucial in understanding and reckoning with Elon’s long history of perpetuating white supremacy– the long-standing belief that white people are intrinsically superior to people from all other ethnic and racial groups–and in lifting up the experiences of black students. As part of a larger project addressing black history at Elon, the student researcher focused on three, discrete issues: the graduation rates of black student-athletes, the prevalence of blackface over time, and attitudes towards the Confederate flag. The university did not keep specific graduation rates by demographic groups until recently. In order to estimate the graduation rate of early black student-athletes, media guides, yearbooks, and commencement lists were compared for the period of 1976 and 1980. The graduation rate of approximately 45% compared favorably to the overall rate for all Elon students during a comparable period (the first official data is from 1982). Official and unofficial student newspapers and the yearbook were the key sources for understanding the extent of the use of blackface and the Confederate flag by faculty and student organizations. While blackface tapered over time, with a heyday in the 1920s, the Confederate flag actually became more prominent, after integration across the country. This meticulous research revealed the various ways anti-black racism on campus persisted throughout the institution’s history and negatively affected the lives of black students. The study concludes that acknowledging racist history is necessary for achieving meaningful inclusion and change throughout campus.

Jane M. Williams (Dr. Sandy Marshall) Department of History & Geography and International & Global Studies Program

The regions of Europe and Africa have experienced migration flows for centuries, yet African migrants attempting to cross into Europe are increasingly perceived by policymakers as a problem requiring systematic management. As a result, over the past few decades, the European Union’s (EU) migration policy agenda has become more externalized and securitized, meaning emphasizing the protection of borders and the prevention of non-legal migration. This has shifted where the brunt of migratory pressures are felt, from Europe’s immediate borders to buffer states in surrounding regions, such as North Africa. This has also changed the location of migration routes as unauthorized migrants try to avoid border police, particularly those originating in sub-Saharan Africa and traveling through North African countries. Using critical discourse and critical policy analysis methodologies, this research examines two Mobility Partnerships (MPs) that Cape Verde and Morocco have signed with the EU. MPs, the main instruments of EU migration policy, are living documents that set loose, cooperative agreements between the EU and non-EU countries to manage legal migration and combat illegal migration. Specifically, this research addresses the following questions: How are migrants characterized within these Mobility Partnerships? How is the concept of security connected with climate and migration issues within these policies? Preliminary findings indicate the Morocco agreement places more value on the human rights of migrants than the Cape Verde agreement and emphasizes Morocco’s heightened status within the European Neighborhood by accounting for both Moroccan and European priorities. Ensuring the strength of Europe’s borders and increasing power beyond immediate European borders have become apparent objectives of European policy agreements, and preliminary results indicate these MPs are no exception. Finally, though scholars have argued that environmental issues should be seen as security issues for several decades, in part by classifying climate change as a matter of security starting in the early 2000s, neither MP mentions climate change or the environment. This indicates a lack of overlap between climate, security, and migration interests in the European-African context.


Alyssa Caffrey (Dr. Evan Gatti & Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of History & Geography

Samuel H. Kress left a lasting legacy. Over ninety galleries across the United States of America have Italian masterpieces thanks to the donations from the Kress Foundation. While the circumstances that impacted his collection, such as the disruption caused by World War II, are also seen in the collections of his contemporaries, there is an aspect to his story that differentiates his narrative from the norm. Through my research, I discovered his collecting practices aligned with those of Andrew W. Mellon. I argue that Kress and Mellon consciously used Italian art collections to align their public image with the historical Italian “merchant princes.” Merchant princes, such as the Medici family, are positively remembered for their patronage of the arts during the Italian Renaissance. Kress and Mellon hoped to align themselves with these connections through collecting and donating Italian artwork to the public. Following the unethical practices of Gilded Age industrialists, who were particularly criticized for their ostentatious private art collections, later American businessmen like Kress and Mellon began using their art collections in a way that improved their public image. The scale, scope, and lasting effectiveness of these two collector’s efforts can be seen in their donations of Italian works to the National Gallery. One of their most significant efforts, the Founding of the National Gallery in 1937 was called “a gift to the American people.” The museum was meant to elevate the status of the nation on an international stage, to reaffirm the United States of America’s place as a global power, and legitimize its wealthy upper class. Through significant donations to the Gallery, Kress and Mellon were fulfilling the wishes of a Founding Father, John Jay, who had hoped that “American museums would one day be the type of cultural monument that would rival the likes of the Louvre and other famous European art museums.” The positive public reaction to the National Gallery and the active legacies of both the Kress and Mellon foundations in support of the arts are a testament to the success of their strategy.

Lindsay H. Carter (Dr. Ryan Kirk) Department of History & Geography

In the field of urban design, neighborhoods are often intentionally planned so that they offer a feeling of community, as well as accessibility to nearby amenities. Social barriers such as poverty, historical-cultural legacies, and language differences are known to impede accessibility, as are physical geographic barriers such as major roads, waterways, and railroad lines. This research evaluates the interactions of social and geographic barriers in hindering accessibility to amenities in Burlington, North Carolina, a mid-sized post-industrial town. The methodologies consisted of Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis of parcel and neighborhood data, geographic barriers, and locations of amenities such as libraries, public parks, places of entertainment, and supermarkets. A 400m (1300ft) buffer around each neighborhood was created to resemble a reasonable walking distance to an amenity. A ratio of the total length of four-lane roads, streams, and railroad lines within a neighborhood to the total neighborhood area was calculated to estimate the magnitude of geographic barriers. Another ratio of the sidewalk length to buffered neighborhood area was created to represent walkability to amenities. Parcel characteristics were used as a proxy for social barriers. Correlation analyses were conducted to look for relationships between geographic barriers, social barriers, and walkability. Newer neighborhoods are positively correlated with increased geographic barriers. No preliminary correlations were found between geographic and social barriers. Preliminary results indicate a positive correlation between sidewalk length and land values within neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with higher land values, greater walkability, and less barriers may in-turn isolate certain groups based on affordability. This study thus has implications for urban design and planning efforts, particularly for other post-industrial, small towns.

Rachel B. Feld (Dr. Charles Irons) Department of History & Geography

The University of Virginia created “Universities Studying Slavery” in 2014 as a way for colleges and universities to “address both historical and contemporary issues dealing with race and inequality in higher education” (University of Virginia, n.d. para. 1). Elon joined this consortium in 2018 after a call from President Connie Book to look closer into the University’s history. Coming to terms with the past involves giving an honest accounting of it, and this research on race and inequality in Elon’s early history represents an effort to bring new stories to the forefront. This research specifically investigates three instances in Elon’s history: first, the connection between Elon’s first President, William S. Long (1889-1894), and his brother Jacob, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan in Alamance County, and their shared commitment to militant white supremacy; second, the life of Andrew “Andy” Morgan, Elon’s black maintenance worker during segregation from 1926 – 1964, and finally, Joseph Taylor Stanley, the first black person to receive an honorary degree from Elon in 1971, Stanley was President of Franklinton Christian College, the “sister” school to Elon for African Americans in the Christian Connection (now UCC). Published histories of the university by Durward Stokes and George Troxler provided some information on these three episodes, but the bulk of the information came from sources found in the University Archives. Specific materials consulted include yearbooks, bulletins, U.S. Census & Slave Schedules, alumni newsletters, and other materials. These materials provided essential context for understanding Elon’s history. This research revealed that older attempts at recognizing and commemorating Elon’s history were not successful in providing the whole story and certainly not from more than one perspective. Furthermore, in the past fifteen years, additional attempts have been made at sharing Elon’s history which included a wide range of perspectives and interpretations but lacked the context necessary to truly recognize the complexities of the history. Based on this study of Elon’s history this research calls for a program of restorative justice and a recognition of past wrongdoings through the publication of a university history and memory report and recommendations for the future.

Michael S. Gorman (Dr. Andrea Sinn) Department of History & Geography

World War II saw the domination of a largely unchallenged Nazi regime sweeping over Eastern Europe aiming for the elimination of European Jewry. Already during the prewar years, Jews in Germany witnessed a gradual, albeit historically rapid increase in antisemitic rhetoric within the country they called home. How does a minority group react when it suffers increasing government and public persecution through exclusionary rhetoric and violence? This question, asked again and again today as well as throughout history, inspired a semester-long research project that examined how Jews reacted to the increasingly violent antisemitic agenda set by Nazi Germany, an established totalitarian regime responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews. To do justice to those persecuted, this research used oral testimonies and diaries of German Jews and precisely analyzed three specific events in pre-war Nazi Germany, namely the boycott on Jewish businesses on 1 April of 1933, the passing of the Nuremberg Laws on 15 September 1935, and Kristallnacht on 9 November of 1938. In utilizing these sources, this research is contributing to the integration of Jewish voices into Holocaust research, which have only since 1990 been given more consistent consideration. This research argues that German Jews, when confronted with increased violence towards Jews in the German public sphere, fueled by Nazi propaganda, rhetoric, and deliberate public events combined with the participation of the German public in antisemitic attacks, typically were forced to turn to their own Jewish communities, relying on themselves for support, while at the same time growing more and more desperate and questioning the future of Jewish life in Germany and for Jewish people as a whole. Moreover, the findings of this paper support claims by historians such as Steve Hochstadt that studying the history of the Holocaust requires a broader perspective on National Socialist policy and ideology, one that considers the perspectives of victims of Nazi persecution alongside other sources in order to fully understand how Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party from 1933-1939 prepared for the attempted total extermination of European Jews, which was systematically organized from 1941 onwards.

Sara I. Mason (Dr. James Bissett) Department of History & Geography

Historians recognize that America’s troubling legacy of slavery and racism dates to its very origins, and that centuries of exploitation based on race have enduring consequences. This uncomfortable legacy makes it difficult to teach slavery in high school history classrooms, a difficulty compounded by the limitations of the content provided in pre-adopted textbooks and the supplemental materials included with those books. This study will begin by analyzing how the most widely adopted high school textbooks in America deal with slavery. The textbooks analyzed were collected from a list of college level textbooks for high school students provided by the American Textbook Council (American Textbook Council, 2018). We used both a rubric created by Tolerance.org and a personally created form which examines word usage, diversity, primary source usage, and overall content related to the topic to analyze and rank the level of sophistication of textbooks’ treatment of slavery. The study will also survey teachers in two different states to determine which textbooks and supplemental resources they use and how much freedom they have in choosing those resources. I will conduct this survey of history or social studies teachers in public high schools through my connections with the School of Education at Elon. Preliminary results show that the American history textbooks analyzed have a low amount of content related to the topic of slavery. In analyzing the textbooks, it is also clear that first person language such as enslaved person is used infrequently compared to the word slave. At the end of the study, the results of our analysis of textbooks and supplemental resources will be shared with educators in the systems. The importance of this study is to help teachers assess the effectiveness of the resources they currently use and offer insight into additional resources that address slavery in a more mature way.

Devon Rosenberger (Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of History & Geography

The concept of the flâneur in nineteenth-century France traditionally describes an upper-class man who wanders the streets of the city while observing modernity. The idea of a female-identified flâneur, or flâneuse, has often been dismissed because of the limitations placed on women’s abilities to occupy specific public spaces and the fact that they were believed to lack agency in their gaze sufficient enough to hold dominance over the modernity they would observe. However, I argue that, if having the intention to do so, women were able to hold a reciprocal gaze defined by leisure, agency, and observation. Using feminist theories of the gaze and gendered spheres of influence, alongside close readings of nineteenth-century French paintings, such as Henri Toulouse Lautrec’s (1864-1901) Jean Avril Leaving the Moulin Rouge (1893) and Edgar Degas’ (1834-1917) Place de La Concorde (1875), I argue that these limitations were not as rigid as many believe. As women were not accepted in many of the same spaces as men, they would only be able to hold this gaze within the spheres where they were accepted, and, as public leisure was not possible for most women, many would have to hide their leisurely mind-set by masquerading under a different purpose, such as work. Therefore, working women were more able to achieve an observational gaze than middle- and upper-class women, especially as they were relatively anonymous in the streets, which allowed them to embody the flâneuse.

Grace A. Stewart (Dr. Rod Clare) Department of History & Geography

Many people know that the Wright Brothers were the first successful pilots in 1903 and Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. There is a tendency to associate the beginning of women’s involvement in aviation with Earhart, but did you know that a woman taught Amelia to fly? Her name was Neta Snook and by the time Earhart started taking lessons in 1921, American women had already been in the air for 13 years. Likewise, the Wright Brothers would have never been airborne if their sister, Katharine, did not help finance their innovation. This study fills the gap of knowledge of early aviation’s female engagement between the first successful flight and when Earhart first sat in the cockpit. It answers the questions of “who were the female pioneers of aviation and what were their experiences?” A major conclusion of this study is that there was a generation of women active from the inception of aviation. The methodology of this research employed examining books on early American aviation and women in aviation for secondary sources and visiting Duke’s Rubenstein Special Collections Library to uncover primary sources like photographs, pamphlets, and newspapers. More-so, this research delves into the conditions for which these women emerged. At the turn of the 20th century, females integrated themselves into numerous male dominated arenas during the New Woman Movement. This movement sought to overcome immense obstacles across the board for women’s equal rights in social, political and cultural avenues. One of the under researched areas of the New Woman Movement is women in aviation. Wanting to assert their freedom on the ground and in the air, daring women fought for the right for flight. Whether they were passengers, spectators, engineers, financiers, authors and readers of aviation literature, or the first-hand pilots themselves, women made critical contributions to the emergence and evolution of American aviation. While these women tend to have a somewhat forgotten legacy and lack household recognition like Amelia Earhart, these are the women that inspired, taught, and paved the way for aviatrixes like her.

Elizabeth K. Weber (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History & Geography

Recent scholarship on Queen Victoria has examined and attempted to assess the influence of her gender on her career, dissecting the significance of a woman in a public role during a time of conservative values for women. Drawing upon conceptions of Victorian women in public roles, contemporary scholarship on Queen Victoria intertwines with separate sphere ideology and other ideals for Victorian women to construct modern interpretations of Queen Victoria’s influence on Victorian womanhood. Yet, this scholarship could expand its focus to reflect recent trends in the broader field of Victorian gender studies and women’s history. As a wife, a mother, and a monarch, the many roles of Queen Victoria challenge and assert the dominating ideals for Victorian women. Queen Victoria’s life is a rare juxtaposition of her public role to the conservative ideals for women during her reign. Hence, this research centers on the question of how Queen Victoria adhered to and defied the ideals of Victorian womanhood and separate spheres during the critical moments of her life. Utilizing primary source documents, from Queen Victoria’s correspondence to her intimate diaries, and secondary sources regarding Victorian
gender ideals and the life of Queen Victoria, this study explores gender norms in relation to Queen Victoria. Beyond engaging scholarly and primary sources this research applies Victorian ideologies about gender, such as the belief in separate public and private (domestic) spheres to measure the relevance of contemporary gender standards to the life of Queen Victoria. Using pivotal moments of Victoria’s life, such as her ascension to the throne, her career as Queen before her marriage and her marriage to Prince Albert, this scholarship reveals a female monarch who moved between the public and private spheres of society at various points in her life. Initial findings convey that Queen Victoria began conforming to gender standards from the onset of her career and that this thread can be traced through later moments, but in various ways Victoria still refused to fully settle in the domestic sphere, frequently employing political suasion and the authority of her position to solidify her legitimacy as a female monarch.


Alyssa R. Caffrey (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of Art and Art History

Popularly known through films and movies such as Monuments Men (2014, George Clooney) and Woman in Gold (2014, Simon Curtis), art played an important role during World War II. The need for liquidity in Europe spurred people to sell off assets, such as paintings. Others lost their collections to looters, including the highly-organized Nazi elite. (Edsel and Bret, 2009). At this same time, the twentieth-century American collector Samuel H. Kress began amassing his own art collection. Kress’ legacy, and the history of his collections has been portrayed as an American rags-to-riches story. The common portrayal of Kress is an oversimplification of a collector who lived during turbulent times in the art market. After he collected Italian works, he donated them to museums across America. The common narrative is Kress used his newfound wealth to allow people from across the United States access to European artwork, or what some called “a gift to America” (Ishikawa et al, 1994). I argue that Kress’ “gift to America” is only half of the collection’s story. The full story cannot be told without examining the concurrent looting of Europe at this time period, which allowed many of these works to transition ownership into the hands of eager American collectors. Without these unique set of circumstances, it is unlikely American collectors would have been able to amass such vast and rich collections at their asking prices. To construct a more historically accurate narrative, I will use ten works of art from the North Carolina Museum of Art as case studies. I selected these works because they have questionable provenance and connections to a specific art dealer, Contini-Bonacossi. Additionally, I will use Kress Collection catalogues from a variety of time periods and institutions to construct how that narrative of Samuel H. Kress has changed over the years as museums emphasis the need to research provenance of works exchanged during World War II. My goal is for viewers of the Kress collection to see it more fully and as representative of the contexts of this contentious time period, telling a story of both generosity and a reflection of the tumultuous art market.

Robyn Epstein (Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of Art and Art History

When art is the victim of violence the work of art itself isn’t the only thing under attack. Acts of violence against art occur in two simultaneous actions: an attack on the physical art object and an attack on the icon, symbol, or sign it represents. This paper examines Mary Richardson’s 1914 slashing of The Rokeby Venus (1647-51) painted by Diego Velàzquez. Using Charles Sander Peirce’s semiotic theory as my main methodology, I argue that Mary Richardson’s attack should not and cannot be categorized as iconoclasm or vandalism. This research aims to examine and challenge the ways in which the destruction of art is discussed in the field of art history. Using this attack as a case study, I argue that the event is semioclastic, as opposed to iconoclastic or vandalistic, meaning that it is an attack on the painting as a sign and is therefore reliant on the relationship between object and viewer. Word choice has a direct impact on the way we think, and after analyzing research on both iconoclasm and vandalism, neither term accurately represented this incident. In an attempt to more precisely describe this attack, I propose the need for new and different terminology, choosing to define it as semioclasm. I conclude with a discussion on the erasure of these violent attacks, arguing that through their restoration processes, museums attempt to erase the event from history. In this specific case, it is evident in the immaculate physical restoration of the painting and the information, or lack thereof, the museum provides on this event.

Lindsay N. Maldari (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of Art and Art History

There is a growing body of scholarship that recognizes the superficial tactics by which Italy usually recognizes its Fascist past. These narrative tactics frame Italy’s transgressions in World War II as lesser than its German counterpart, write off Mussolini’s antisemitism as merely pragmatic rather than inherent to Fascist ideology, and ultimately refuse to acknowledge the instrumentality of Italian Fascism (Baum, 2001; Nidam-Orvieto, 2009; Stille, 2009; Milicia, 2017). Museum displays and exhibitions also reveal how Italian history is now being framed and remembered in the public consciousness. This presentation compares recent commemorative displays in Rome that take World War II and the Holocaust as their focus: The Museo della Shoah and Jewish Museum of Rome’s recent exhibits on antisemitism in World War II and the Palazzo delle Espozioni’s exhibition “Witnesses of Witnesses: Remembering and Recounting Auschwitz.” Through these examples, I juxtapose conventional modes of remembrance with those that force the viewer to actively face and acknowledge the extent of Italian antisemitism. These analyses not only consider the messages museums promote, but also the means by which they do so. Notable tactics include everything from the immersiveness and intended interactivity of an exhibit to its narrative technique and spatial planning. For instance, although individualized and humanized narratives evoke emotional response across each exhibit, I argue that the intentionally deliberative and decision-oriented structure of the “Witnesses of Witnesses” exhibit make its viewers more effective stewards of survivors’ stories. By initiating the viewer with a mock train ride to the concentration camp, creating audio and visual elements that can only be triggered through viewer interaction, and explicitly informing the viewer of their responsibility to pass on the story of this experience, the “Witnesses of Witnesses” exhibit instigates the active modes of remembrance that have for too long been missing across Italy. I ultimately argue that these effective museological tactics drive home the active responsibility to recognize Fascist antisemitism and can help viewers incorporate similar, intentional acts of reconciliation and remembrance into their daily lives.

Krisandra L. Provencher (Dr. Shayna Mehas) Department of History and Geography

Contemporary environmental movements are increasingly incorporating social and economic critiques into their environmental activism, and are more attuned to intersectional issues of “race,” indigeneity, gender and colonialism. This research engages with this phenomena through an analysis of the roles of indigenous women in grassroots environmental movements in Latin America. It asks why, now, have indigenous women emerged at the forefront of environment movements in the region. Beginning in the pre-colonial period and moving forward through time, gender identity and the significance of the environment are explored to better understand how current indigenous women have come to identify as protectors of the natural world by participating in or leading these movements. This involves an interrogation of ecofeminist perspectives, Latin American feminist texts and various indigenous actions throughout history, including the Zapatistas of Mexico, the Alcaldes Mayores Particulares of Bolivia and the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo of Argentina. Using such previous research and historiography as a guide, this investigation looks into three grassroots environmental movements or organizations across Latin America: la Asociación de Desarrollo Económico Sostenible Unidos por Palestina (ADESUP) in Peru, the Association of Sapara Women (ASHIÑWAKA) in Ecuador, and the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya in Guatemala. In speaking to the development of these movements, this research discusses their roots at intersection of environmentalism, Indigenism, feminism and neo-liberalism. Together, the interrelated nature of these ideologies have come together to shape these movements in conjunction to their geographical history. Moreover, with similarly structured foundations, these movements have come to form a network of support at regional and global levels. While they are individual movements with their own group identities, their vast commonalities will be emphasized in this research as a lens through which the more global theme of fear in the modern patriarchal system, particularly in regards to giving up one’s domain of control and power, can be analyzed.


Katherine M. Moritz (Dr. Xiaolin Duan) Department of History and Geography

Throughout different religious traditions, colors are used to signify and enhance specific religious practices and emotions within a given cultural event. This paper looks into the question of why the color red is used to represent certain religious material cultures in Buddhist traditions. This research is inspired by the recent academic trend of “material turn,” a set of methodologies that augment visual evidence in our study of the past. Through my research, I investigate the reason the color red was chosen and its function in religious ceremonies. To illustrate how the religious teaching and local culture co-influence the utilization of color, this paper compares different meanings carried by the same color in Chinese and Japanese tradition. In addition to conventional textual and visual sources, this research also draws from the sources I collected in my field research during the Semester at Sea Program, fall 2017. The on-site experience allowed me to focus on case studies of the Potala Palace in Tibet, the Kegon school of Buddhism, and Tōdai-ji in Nara, the home of the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan. The information I garnered from tour guides and monks during this field trip further enrich the discussion on how the color red functioned in contemporary practice and how red is viewed in both secular and sacred contexts. East Asian Buddhist artifacts from the U.S. museum collections are applied to exemplify the application of the color red. This paper argues that red, as one of the most symbolic colors in Buddhism, embodies both the sacredness and the humble essence of Buddha. Its application in religious practices in China and Japan was profoundly shaped by the respective indigenous beliefs of Confucianism and Shintoism. Drawing comparison between the significance of red in the East Asian context, this paper contributes to the discussion on the diversity of culture and its interaction with religions.

Jourdan B. Parham (Dr. Honglin Xiao & Dr. Xiaolin Duan) Department of History and Geography

Western media commonly views the Chinese government as sensitive and resistant to the spread of ideas that challenge their declared policies. Thus, China uses what is popularly known as the Great Firewall to observe and censor information online. However, a survey of popular conceptions about the Great Firewall, conducted during my study abroad course in China in January 2018, demonstrates that the government’s restriction of online content didn’t seem to have a negative effect on people. This is due to their common use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for educational, entertainment, and business purposes. Using field research data collected from personal interviews and studies on cybersecurity, this paper examines complications arising from the use of VPNs. I argue that the use of VPNs, though they may circumvent government barriers to permit access to restricted information on the internet, potentially jeopardizes the security of personal information. A recent study indicates that one out of every five Internet users in China fall victim to hackers (“Cybersecurity Made in China,” 2017). Therefore, securing data is becoming increasingly significant. There are two major concerns regarding how VPNs protect users’ information. One vulnerability is the IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) leakage issue, relating to data leakage that is unbeknown to the user. The second vulnerability is the DNS (domain name server) hijacking, which is an attack that redirects a user to a fraudulent or malicious website that puts the user’s private data at risk. Furthermore, VPNs are discouraged by the government as part of their effort to create cyber sovereignty. As a result, the tension between the government and their citizenry over the issue of censorship is increasing. Such tension further drives some users to unknowingly expose their personal data as they are more determined to circumvent government interference with any available avenue. This research, focusing on the hereto less studied perspective of VPNs, informs the ongoing discussion on the interaction between cybersecurity and government supervision. The preliminary conclusion indicates that altering awareness of security issues in China is advisable to avoid the pitfalls of unguarded VPNs use.

Sandra K. Pearce (Dr. Honglin Xiao) Department of History and Geography

On October 29, 2012, as a Category 2 hurricane, Hurricane Sandy made landfall hitting New York and New Jersey with heavy winds and rains contributing to the death of 162 individuals and causing tremendous damage to property and public infrastructure across the East Coast. The overall purpose of this study is to compare two nearby areas, Ocean County and Bergen County in New Jersey to assess how demographic and physical factors might have played roles in maximizing or minimizing the differences in the damages suffered by each. After data was collected from existing literature, government reports, and news articles, data was used to create ArcGIS maps with several data frames and layers that indicate the similarities and differences among the economic vulnerability, social vulnerability, and the location of important government buildings in Ocean and Bergen County. The study reveals that these two counties experienced a similar level of damage, however, the social vulnerability and economic vulnerability of the two counties resulted in the areas experiencing the damage differently. Ocean County was comprised of a more racially diverse population with less than half of the population having an Associate’s Degree or higher. Additionally Ocean County had a higher community hardship index, created by Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, than Bergen County, meaning Ocean County experienced a longer period of power loss, a higher gasoline shortage, more residential, commercial and municipal damage, and more emergency shelters established due to the differences in hurricane impact and community preparation (Halpin). Finally, due to a much higher impact index, which is the culmination of rankings of every category studied in this research project, in Ocean County (Impact Index of 23), Hurricane Sandy has revealed the impact and social vulnerability to Ocean County over Bergen County (Impact Index of 16). While damages along the path might be similar, the social, economic, and demographic factors of an area should be considered during preparation for a natural disaster and disaster management stages.

M. Bear Tosé (Dr. Steven Bednar & Dr. Ryan Kirk) Departments of Economics, Department of History and Geography

In 2016, Alamance County experienced over 3,000 residency evictions, forcing over 5,000 people to move in with relatives or find alternate housing. The only state recognized homeless shelter in the county, Allied Churches of Alamance County (ACAC), has enough rooms to house 102 of such clients, but the remaining turn to homelessness. This study partners with Allied Churches and the United Way of Alamance County as part of a comprehensive assessment to input and catalog these public record eviction notices for the purposes of better understanding the neighborhoods, landlords, and situations that place residents at a higher chance of being evicted. Eviction data was collected from the county records at the Alamance County Historic Courthouse and stored in Microsoft Excel for analysis. After collecting the addresses of evictions from the data, these were plotted using ArcGIS software, a mapping software. Spatial and econometric analysis was used to examine the demographic and geographic patterns of these evictions, and calculate other factors related to distance to social services, rent due at the time of eviction, and types of complaints. In the timeframe of January 1, 2016 to June 31, 2016 evicted totaled 1026 in Alamance County. Over 60 percent of the evictions took place in the city of Burlington, and 90 percent occurred within conventional housing. The rental median was roughly $606, $144 less than the county median for quality housing. The average number of months in back-rent was less than two, suggesting a quick turnaround in rental properties. When mapping our evictions, our findings revealed that a non-proportionate number of evictions come from areas of concentrated poverty – that is those with a high percentage of female headed households, under 100 percent of the poverty level, and from non-white communities. For ACAC and the United Way, this information is critical to developing services that will devote more resources to keeping renting families in their homes, whether that be through increasing affordable quality housing initiatives or expanding rental or legal aid to residents who may experience a drastic temporary loss of income and may be susceptible to eviction.

Daniel J. Weiss (Dr. Andrea A. Sinn) Department of History and Geography

The number of Holocaust survivors is rapidly declining; therefore, scholars have placed a heavy emphasis on collecting personal narratives of those who witnessed the heinous crimes that were committed by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War Two. Drawing on written narratives, compiled from various authors, and oral histories, collected from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this research project focusses on what survivors of Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, experienced in their daily lives in the camp and how this influenced their Jewish identity. The analysis of these personal accounts from Jews in Theresienstadt and how they described their daily routines, camp environment, and personal experiences during the time of imprisonment highlights themes of what was important to them in day to day life and how this had an impact on their Jewish identity. Theresienstadt, one of the largest concentration camps used by the Nazis during World War Two, serves as a case study for two reasons: the diversity of prisoners in the camp and the amount of information that is available about it. The existing scholarship serves as a reference point to characterize the camp and its historical development. By using first person accounts, a special emphasis is placed on the personal perspective and memory of those who survived. This SURF presentation will focus on the findings of my two year-long College Fellows research. The analysis of both written and oral accounts point to a number of common themes among those in Theresienstadt including cultural life, health, religion as well as life before imprisonment. For example, Helga Weissova, who managed to maintain a diary throughout this period of her life, wrote both about her and her mother’s health as well as how she decided to fast on Yom Kippur while imprisoned. Accounts like Weissova’s provide insight into what was important to those people during their imprisonment which allows for the development of themes across a number of sources like diaries, memoirs, and autobiographical accounts. Both, the written and oral accounts, discussed aspects of individuals’ lives such as where they grew up and how Nazi rule, occupation, and laws impacted their lives depending on where they were from. Daily lives in the camp, as heavily discussed by Jana Friesová in her book and Karel Hoffman in his oral history testimony include the impacts of disease, the living conditions and how Theresienstadt was constructed and managed. Themes across these written and oral narratives demonstrate what survivors deemed as important. By analyzing the important themes, such as health and food, we find that those imprisoned focused first on things that were integral to their survival.


Nicole B. Ackman (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History and Geography

In 18th century France, most bourgeois or lower nobility girls received a moral-based education through attending a convent, if they were educated at all. This presentation demonstrates that a small number of women who organized salons in Enlightenment Paris provided an alternative model of a literary-based education for those who participated. The salons were a unique phenomenon as women called salonnières hosted the gatherings that brought together the greatest thinkers of the day to discuss their works and ideas. Salonnières challenged the traditional model of education by gaining access to both texts and the authors themselves and thus afforded a select group of women the opportunity to be involved in French intellectual life. While many contemporary male and female writers agreed that girls’ education needed to be reformed, convent education continued to be the norm when any was provided at all. Many important thinkers disagreed with women being involved in academia; most significantly, Rousseau outlined a much more conservative form of education in his work, Sophie, focused on preparing girls to be proper wives and mothers. Yet many of the salonnières, like Madame Geoffrin, began their salons to receive the education they had lacked in their youth under the traditional model. The salon acted as an informal school where salonnières like Julie de Lespinasse pursued the education they desired. By reading and interpreting secondary texts, letters between salonnières, and Rousseau’s Émile, this research provides new insights to the competing educational models for bourgeois girls of Enlightenment Paris. This presentation represents one chapter of my larger research for my Honors Thesis on how 18th century salonnières defied the gender roles of their time and situation.

Gabriela R. Alvarez (Dr. Peter Felten) Department of History and Geography

The 1994 arrest of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer and Soviet spy Aldrich Ames created a media sensation. When the media discovered a female CIA agent, Sandra Grimes, helped lead the group that uncovered Ames’ treason, both news organizations and the popular media jumped on the story of the malignant betrayer versus the mom. That sensation is the focus of my research on media portrayals of gender and espionage in the post-Cold War U.S. Ames’ alcoholism and infidelity (to both his first wife and his country) call his masculinity into question when examined under gender norms of this time period. Grimes’ strong leadership contradicts stereotypical frameworks of women in intelligence. While women’s roles were expanding in the media of the 1990s to include depictions of leadership and independence, traditional expectations of women as either seductresses or damsels in distress lingered in the realm of espionage, particularly in the fraternity culture of the CIA. In order to understand these gender roles and their significance to the respective fields of gender and intelligence, this research will utilize a historical analysis of four primary and several secondary media sources. Primary works include Grimes’ book, “Circle of Treason,” Cherkashin’s book, “Spy Handler,” the movie “The Traitor Within,” and the mini-series “The Assets.” Secondary sources include “Killer Spy,” “NightMover,” “Confessions of a Spy,” and multiple newspaper articles in Spanish regarding Ames’ second wife, Rosario. The study found that describing gender norms for women was emphasized, even though Aldrich Ames was the central figure of the case. While more modern depictions of the narrative feature an empowered Sandra Grimes, media from the 1990s focuses on a new category of women in espionage: the grandma. Extreme fascination with Rosario Ames’ role was also a central component of media coverage. These depictions are useful for understanding the evolving role of women in intelligence and the portrayals of unconventional gender roles in the pivotal post-Cold War context of the United States.

Christopher C. Davis (Dr. Charles Irons) Department of History and Geography

Scholars have disagreed as to exactly whether, why, and how Virginia’s tobacco belt declined in terms of tobacco production and relative economic clout within the Commonwealth during the nineteenth century. Moreover, scholars have only recently undertaken analysis of the Civil War’s impact on the tobacco belt. The Civil War’s environmental, economic, and even social impacts permeated into areas not specifically touched by combat. Historians have debated how the disruptions of the war, especially emancipation and environmental degradation, influenced agricultural production. In sum, scholars have been studying agriculture in Virginia for as long as Virginia has been settled, they have failed to reach a consensus as to whether the Civil War or any related factor significantly harmed the productivity of Virginia’s tobacco planters. The focus of this study is to produce more comprehensive conclusions about the ways in which the Civil War affected the tobacco economy of Virginia’s Southside region. In addition to extensive reading in the secondary literature, this study depends heavily upon primary source research. Data from the agricultural census from the years before, during, and after the Civil War provides the evidentiary backbone. In addition, nineteenth century publications such as Clarksville Tobacco Plant, Commercial and Tobacco Leaf, and Tobacco Plant provided commentary from planters inside the region. Pamphlets distributed by the Southern Fertilizer Company of Richmond offered provocative evidence about how Virginians interpreted the challenges and opportunities facing planters after the Civil War and how businesses sought to cater to those notions. This study concludes that the Civil War represented only a minor and temporary hindrance to the productivity of planters in the tobacco belt. Postwar harvests far exceeded prewar totals by 1880. Furthermore, at least from the perspective of the Southern Fertilizer Company, former Confederates had more reason than ever to grow tobacco after the war. Finally, the emergence of manufacturing centers to process tobacco in nearby urban centers also buttressed the postwar profitability of Virginia’s tobacco planters.

Lauren C. Fisher (Professor Khristin Landry-Montes) Department of Art & Art History

The Precolumbian Maya of the Yucatán Peninsula constructed many of their cities so that the architecture aligned specifically with the surrounding features of the natural landscape. The Terminal Classic city of Chichén Itzá (1100-1250 CE) and the Postclassic city of Mayapán (1200-1440 CE) boast principal temples at each site dedicated to the Feathered Serpent, known as K’ukulkan to the ancient Maya. Both temples were deliberately placed over large natural underground wells, called cenotes, and share important formal and iconographic similarities. Temples and cenotes played particularly central roles in directing Precolumbian Maya city planning, as is evident in the associations between the K’ukulkan temples and their cenotes at the cities of Chichén Itzá and Mayapán. Cenotes served many functions in Precolumbian Maya society, such as functioning as sources of water, places of sacrifice, and connectors to the underworld. Additionally, for the ancient Maya, temples operated as mediums of communication, places of sacrifice, and as axis mundi, or “centers of the world”, that anchored the levels and directions of the Maya universe. Both the Maya living at Chichén Itzá, as well as those later at Mayapán, intentionally combined their built landscape with natural features. Such a marriage of architectural forms with the natural world suggests the Maya at both Chichén Itzá and Mayapán believed certain natural features were pregnant with powerful forces, and that linking the natural features with built architecture infused the city with these powers. This deliberate process anchored these two cities, and therefore daily Maya life, within ancient Maya cosmology. A study of this nature reflects the ingenuity of ancient Maya urban planning in the decades before European invasion. In this paper, I will suggest that there are intrinsic cosmological and geopolitical relationships between the architecture and the landscape of the K’ukulkan Temples at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán as demonstrated by the deliberate placement of the temples in the landscape near cenotes, and the role of cenotes in Maya society, religion, and civilization.

Ann L. Glynn (Professor Xiaolin Duan) Department of History and Geography

Despite the international recognition Tibet got in the mid-1990’s, it seems that their problems have now been dismissed by the international community. The same issue that the Tibetan Freedom concerts were advocating for in 1996, however, continues to create tension for not only Chinese boundaries, but the US-China relationships. To some extent, the Autonomous Region has a benefit to the Tibetan people, but it ended up creating more problems. The over simplified political model could not tangle with the complicated problems with Tibet throughout the history. If the relationship between china and Tibet is studied, along with comparing Tibet to other regions like it in the world, then a solution to the problems in the autonomous region may be possible to find. This study traces back to the beginning of the 19th century and looks at the relationship between China and Tibet, up until present time. Then it goes into the pros and the cons that have arisen since the Peoples Republic of China established Tibet as an autonomous region in 1959. This research draws evidence from both Western and Chinese secondary sources, as well as the face-to-face interviews with people from the PRC and Americans who have been to China or were largely exposed to discussion of Tibet. Incorporating different points of view and comparisons with other autonomous regions in other parts of the world, this study will come up with possible solutions to the problems regarding Tibet. A working solution could be to bring more people who currently live in Tibet, not limited to officials and Tibetans, to the negotiation table. Compromising has its power, and this compromise should be done on either side of the argument.

Julia M. Ohanyan (Dr. Brian Digre) Department of History and Geography

In more recent years, there appears to be a wider and a growing interest in globally-focused education. This project will explore the success of globally-focused education in two very different countries: the United States and Morocco. These two distinct nations have contrasting educational systems, beliefs, locations, and lifestyles. Questionnaires from university students in each country assess their knowledge of subjects such as geography, history, current events, and religion. They also provide insights into the students’ global perceptions and global awareness. This research is both quantitative and qualitative, and it offers an original perspective by utilizing a comparative case study of students’ knowledge in these two nations. The results reveal valuable insights on the countries’ respective educational systems and cultural values.

Kelly E. Swaim (Dr. Peter Felten) Department of History and Geography

As the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, many Americans saw the terrorist attacks as a turning point in American history. In the ensuing years, history teachers and professors have examined how to teach American history in light of modern terrorism and tensions within the United States, particularly those relating to the Middle East and Islam. This research asks how has the narrative about the Middle East, Islam, and Middle Eastern peoples that appears in college-level American history survey textbooks changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11. By focusing on textbooks and how they have changed, this research provides a new analysis of how conflicts relating to the Middle East and Islam have been portrayed for students. Other literature on how textbooks portray the Middle East, Middle Eastern Peoples, or Islam focus on current high school or middle school textbooks, whereas this research looks at change over time in college textbooks. This research is based on an historical narrative analysis of eight textbook series. Within each textbook, the researcher examined every post-1900 reference to the Middle East, Islam, or Middle Eastern peoples for content, interpretation, narrative style, and language in order to analyze changes and continuity over time and patterns between textbook series. The researcher has analyzed at least three editions of each textbook: the edition immediately preceding September 11, the edition immediately following September 11, and the most recent edition of the textbook. The findings of this research suggest that college survey textbooks shifted from a post-Cold War frame during the late 1990s and early 2000s towards a new frame surrounding the threat posed by Islamic terrorism in the 2010s. This shift in framing can be found in multiple parts of the text but is most pronounced surrounding the Israeli-Arab conflicts and discussions of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. While some textbooks include material which combats this frame, they do not provide another frame through which the Middle East, Islam, and Middle Eastern peoples can be viewed.

Claire A. Swanson (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of Art & Art History

In medieval Italy, not everyone had the privilege of seeing and interacting with liturgical books; however, Warmundus, the Bishop of Ivrea, did. Not only was he permitted to read out of these books, he had his own books of liturgical prayers commissioned. One of these, the Sacramentary of Warmund of Ivrea (Ivrea, Biblioteca Capitolare, MS. 86), is full of prayers and images meant to guide Warmund as he led his congregation. While many scholars have written about the Sacramentary of Warmund of Ivrea, none have focused specifically on the manuscript as an interactional object. For example, Robert Deshman (1971) used the Sacramentary to argue for political theology in the Ottonian era. Gillian Mackie (2010), in explaining the liturgy of the dying, uses the manuscript to discuss Warmund’s personal preoccupation with death. Instead of focusing on the role of the manuscript as an iconographic tool used to illustrate Warmund’s personal beliefs or the time’s sociopolitical context, I aim to re-focus our attention on what the manuscript’s material qualities, as a sacred book, can tell us. This study therefore reframes an iconographic reading to concentrate on relationships between iconography, the space it occupies, and the user. I illustrate this position specifically through a review of the Sacramentary’s images of baptism, foot-washing, the torture of John, and a portrait of Warmund. Ultimately, I find the function of imagery and its composition in the Sacramentary was not simply to illustrate stories, but to create an interactional and imaginative space through which the user could come into contact with the divine. A study of this nature is best suited to a phenomenological approach– focusing on the role of touch in the manuscript. Phenomenology is the study of subjective experiences and I argue that touch is not limited to the physical act of touching, but should be extended to the ways in which the celebrant experiences images depicting touch. By approaching the imagery and overall composition in this manner, the study will ultimately provide for a new way of seeing the manuscript’s images as spaces for sensorial interaction, rather than just images on a page.

Daniel J. Weiss (Dr. Andrea Sinn) Department of History and Geography

The number of Holocaust survivors is rapidly declining, therefore, scholars have placed a strong emphasis on collecting testimonies of those who witnessed the heinous crimes committed by the Nazis during World War Two. This research project analyzes the role Judaism played in the lives of concentration camp inmates in order to demonstrate how the years of imprisonment altered Jewish identity. By analyzing personal narratives, this study discusses how Holocaust survivors described their daily routines, the camp environment, and personal experiences during the time of their imprisonment. Theresienstadt, one of the largest concentration camps established by the Nazis during World War Two, serves as a case study for two reasons: the diversity of prisoners in the camp and the large amount of oral histories and written autobiographical accounts reflecting on their experiences. This SURF presentation will introduce the results of the in-depth analysis of fifteen oral histories in which Jewish survivors report on their personal experiences and address the role their Jewish identity played during their imprisonment in Theresienstadt. All of the analyzed survivor accounts demonstrate that traditional Jewish practices and communal organizations changed drastically compared to what they were before the start of Nazi persecution and the outbreak of World War Two. In addition, the comparative evaluation of these testimonies highlights a number of common characteristics concerning narrative structures and thematic focuses. For example, Joseph Winkler, a Galician Jew born in 1903 discusses, in great detail, the importance religion played in his life prior to being deported to Theresienstadt. In contrast, when reflecting about his imprisonment, he does not talk about religious life or practices at all. The absence of any discussion of religion speaks volumes about the profound affect being imprisoned in camps had on an individual’s Jewish identity. Other aspects that reflect how Jewish identity continued to play a role in inmates’ lives or changed in response to the camp environment are religious practices, such as traditional Jewish marriages, and the newly formed political structures, such as the Jewish council. This research is part of a larger research project investigating the role of Religion at Theresienstadt.


Nicole B. Ackman (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History

This presentation seeks to explore the relationship between two salonnières, Madame du Deffand and Julie de Lespinasse. It is part of a larger thesis about the relationships between salonnières during the Enlightenment-era in Paris. The presentation derives from research on a collection of 31 letters between and about the aforementioned mentor and mentee pair (Smith 1938). The main questions that animate my analysis are: What do these letters show about the relationship between Madame du Deffand and Julie de Lespinasse? And what does this relationship tell us about the relationships between the women of the salons and the training of salonnières? In order to better understand the nature of the apprenticeship model employed for training salonnières and whether it is closer to a traditional trade model or more familial, this paper looks at the type of information being exchanged between the women in their letters, the way they address each other, and the way they describe each other in letters to other people. This research will end in an open question about the relationships between salonnières and their apprentices.

Grace S. Rubinger (Dr. Mary Jo Festle) Department of History

Historians of sexuality describe a new system of sexual liberalism that took hold in the United States between the 1920s and 1960s. One crucial component of this new set of cultural norms was the detachment of sexual activity from the traditional sole goal of procreation. American couples increasingly used birth control, especially after the development and marketing of “the pill” in 1960. Most scholars have assumed that Roman Catholics accepted the Church’s long-standing opposition to the use of contraception, even in the face of significant changes among other Americans in the 1950s and 1960s. But some historians now suggest that many Catholics disagreed with papal instruction on this matter. This research addresses the question: Did American Roman Catholics embrace the mainstream American sexual ideology of the 20th century about birth control? In order to investigate, I analyzed several different sources, including newspaper articles about Catholic responses to a papal commission in 1963 that considered birth control, research on family planning usage patterns by doctors and sociologists, public opinion poll data, writings by Catholic women in popular magazines and official papal encyclicals and addresses. After this research, I conclude that the 1960s was a significant period of change for American Roman Catholics. Some Catholic women expressed disappointment when the Pope reasserted its traditional stance about the purposes of sexual activity and the prohibition on using contraceptives in the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae and many couples began to use various methods of contraception. This direct defiance of church teachings has had lasting implications. As Catholics slowly embraced the sexual liberalism movement, they set a precedent for future generations to continue their legacy of disobedience, which ultimately undermined the Church’s authority in Americans’ personal moral decision-making.


Eric G. Lagueruela (Professor Ryan Kirk), Department of History and Geography

One of the central tenets of the local food movement is to expand sustainable food production in close proximity to the consumer population. However, there are large uncertainties of the scale potential or local food production, particularly in urban areas. In other words, how many people can we actually feed from growing food in our communities? In this study, we quantify the food caloric production potential of Burlington, NC, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and representative dietary needs. We used the 2011 National Land Cover Database to estimate the total greenspace area (i.e. maximum growing area), then developed a series of logic rules applied to parcel data to reduce that theoretical maximum growing area to feasible areas. We then analyzed soil quality at these sites using the Soil Survey Geographic Database to estimate yield rate using the sustainable Grow Biointensive agriculture system. Simultaneously, we estimated the per capita caloric and nutrient dietary needs using generalized food budgets based on this system. Finally, we developed a geospatial model to identify targeted areas for urban farming based on parcel greenspace area, zoning, and proximity to food pantries, community kitchens, and schools. By better understanding food production potential, this project aims to help to foster additional projects to alleviate food insecurities, promote food sovereignty, and strengthen the local community.

Alyssa L. Baxter (Dr. David Crowe), Department of History and Geography

Women were a key target of Nazi propaganda during the Nazi era. To support Nazi party ideals that stemmed from Hitler’s vision of Germany, propaganda was strategically created to manipulate women into fulfilling the German vision. Through a case study of propaganda from about 1933-45 and articles about the messages aimed at Nazi women, conclusions are drawn that propaganda was used to manipulate the women into the domestic sphere. This research aims to answer the question: What aspects of propaganda aided in the leverage of women as a manipulative tool for a political agenda? Women had specific guidelines and expectations to follow to create a pure race within a superior country. One of the major expectations was to create Aryan children with “racially pure” mothers. This was heavily incentivized and celebrated publicly with awards and recognitions that manipulated the women into working to achieve the German goal. Later, propaganda toward women shifted to encourage them to support the war effort because labor was needed. The sources used for this research include scholarly articles written about the Nazis’ version of an “ideal woman,” Hitler’s vision and the behaviors of traditional Nazi women. By using scholarly sources, condensed online research articles and primary propaganda sources of print and film messages from sources including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archives, books and online sources. The conclusions I came to from this research came through a process of content analysis. I created categories that gleamed out of the scholarship then made a chart of about 20 characteristics I would look for in the propaganda images, and then coded about 20 propaganda images with these criteria. For example, I looked at the physical characteristics of the woman like if she had blonde hair, blue eyes, braided hair, uniform dress etc. Another example of this criteria was I looked at their role of the woman in the image such as if she was depicted as a mother, in a family setting, in the home etc. Overall, Nazi propaganda targeted toward women shows that through strategic messaging, goals can be achieved by creating a societal norm that is portrayed through all media messages. This ultimately shows how powerful conformity can be to a society.

Chloe E. Eastwood (Dr. David M. Crowe), Department of History and Geography

My research centers around three questions. First, what was the legislative and social climate regarding linguistic and racial minorities in interwar Czechoslovakia? Secondly, once Slovakia was taken over by the Nazis and transformed into a separate state in 1939, to what extent did they change policies towards linguistic and racial minorities? Thirdly, and primarily; given the long-existing and newly instituted policies and attitudes towards linguistic and racial minorities in Slovakia (especially towards the Jews), to what degree was the Holocaust home-grown, and to what degree was it an import from Nazi Germany? This research is important because the history of the Holocaust in East European countries is a relatively new topic. Slovakia, like other communist states in the region, followed the Kremlin’s position limiting the discussion of the Holocaust, particularly when it came to the question of the Jews. The research methodology for this project centers around an analysis of the existing scholarship on this topic. The primary sources for this research include but are not limited to testimonies of Czechs and Slovaks who lived during the timeframe in question, topical periodical publications from 1918-1945, and diary entries from the same time period. The major conclusion of this research is that while it is, at times, simple and convenient to blame German racism and policy coupled with its military might for the pan-European Holocaust, the truth is that such a conclusion defies the realities of history. While there were many attempts to modernize and westernize the policies and attitudes towards racial and linguistic minorities in interwar Czechoslovakia, the province of Slovakia remained more conservative and insular on these issues. Caught up in the struggle to define itself as a Slovak nation within Czechoslovakia, the province of Slovakia became hostile towards racial and linguistic minorities, especially towards the Jews. This fostered the mentality in Slovakia of Jewish “otherness” which existed prior to “independent” Slovakia’s alliance and collaboration with Nazi Germany. In Slovakia, the hatred essential for its activist role in the Holocaust was already there; Nazi Germany merely provided the ways and means to enhance its role in the Shoah.

Katharine I. Fredricksen (Dr. David M. Crowe), Department of History and Geography

This paper focuses on the Jewish children (up to age 16) living in the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos from 1940-1945 and their living conditions, resources (i.e. orphanages and children’s hospitals), and general experiences. Both ghettos were established by the Nazis in 1940 and were the largest in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Though similar in size, they differed in the way they were administered by the Nazis and the local Judenrats. Differences in formal and informal leadership as well as strictness of regulations had a significant impact on the lives of the children. There is little scholarship on the plight of children in the ghettos because most of them died in the Holocaust. Consequently, my research is drawn from the small collections of memoirs and diaries of children who did survive, as well as the diaries, letters, papers, and memoirs of ghetto leaders (Janusz Korczak, Chaim Rumkowski), and Irena Sendler, a Polish Christian whom some regard as the Polish “Schindler.” My work with these sources has enabled me to draw a more complete picture of the experiences of the children. In this paper I compare Warsaw and Lodz and show how there were drastic differences between them these differences altered how children experienced the ghettos. The resources and opportunities in Warsaw, like the variety of Jewish self help organizations and the chance to escape via a sophisticated underground movement, impacted children differently than how the “salvation through labor” mentality of the Lodz ghetto impacted children. The emphasis on “salvation through labor” made it particularly difficult for children to survive because they were often not strong enough or old enough to be considered useful laborers in Lodz. Understanding the lives of children in the ghettos is crucial not only because it expands our knowledge of general conditions in the ghettos and because it gives us a fuller picture of the impact of the ghettos on the Jewish community, but also because it bears witness to the lives of the victims. The child victims of the Holocaust represent an entire lost generation that deserve to be remembered.

Stephanie E. Gallagher (Dr. David Crowe), Department of History and Geography

China’s education system is frequently criticized for being too demanding on students, but praised for its high-test scores. What began as a modernizing reform in post Mao China soon became an elitist competition. Overtime, the educational leaders tried to reform the system in attempt to foster creativity, though this was far from successful. The relatively recent shift to a socialist market economy in China necessitated a population well trained in math and science. However, in today’s world of creative success, China now finds itself falling behind much of the industrialized world. If China’s leaders wish to produce students with creative ability, they must successfully restructure the education system to highlight the importance of reading, writing, and critical thinking in their curriculum. My research, which is drawn from scholarly sources, relevant news articles, and historical content, underscores the evident flaws in the Chinese educational system. The emphasis on university entrance exams, such as the Gaokao, for example, places large amounts of stress on students and often leads to severe mental breakdowns. Students spend years preparing for the formidable Gaokao test, a process that makes the United States’ SAT’s look like child’s play. These exams control a student’s entire future; a low score essentially ruins the career prospects for students. A student’s score on the Gaokao determines which university they will attend as well as their career path. Chinese students have little to no say in their future and it almost entirely depends on their score on the Gaokao. The comparison of the Chinese system to the United States’ educational system is a topic frequently debated in the news today. Since they are two of the world’s most important nations and competitors, it is important to note the drastic educational differences of both countries, and how all of this affects students, both academically and mentally. My research will show that the Gaokao puts students under severe stress that can sometimes have lifelong repercussions, some claim to endure nightmares years later. In conclusion, I think that China’s educational system requires considerable changes in order to generate the creativity they wish to produce in future generations.

Julie C. Phillips (Dr. David Crowe), Department of History and Geography

In 1937, the Republic of Ireland was officially created with the ratification by referendum of the Irish Constitution. The Constitution was controversial, as it included language that emphasized sexist viewpoints and legalized gender discrimination. Ireland’s fractured and sparse women’s movement mounted a campaign against the Constitution’s sexist language, using newspapers to reach the voting population. The supporters of the Constitution mounted a counter-campaign using the Irish Press, a prominent newspaper owned by Éamon de Valera, President of the Executive Council and creator of the Constitution. Though the women’s campaign was ultimately unsuccessful and the Constitution still contains sexist language, their newspaper campaign was later credited as a major influence on the close result of the referendum. The following question guided this research: how did the Irish women’s movement and their opponents use national newspapers as a forum for debate? The debate about sexist language in the Constitution continues today in Ireland, yet there has been little scholarly research about the controversy’s history. There has also been no study on the role of newspapers in the referendum debate, despite the prominent role they had in contemporary Irish society. This research found that the women’s movement used newspapers as a way to enter the public discourse while living in a culture that marginalized women, but were unsuccessful in their campaign because the Constitution’s supporters were able to use the Irish Press to continually promote the Constitution and discredit any critics. This research was conducted via qualitative and quantitative primary source analysis. The primary sources were articles about women and the Constitution published in the three major national Irish newspapers from the two-month referendum campaign. The qualitative research focused on how newspapers were actively used to advocate voting against the Constitution and how the political supporters of the Constitution leaned on a state-supported newspaper to earn votes. The quantitative research was a content analysis of the articles, which focused on the quantity and bias of published articles about the conflict surrounding the Constitution. Articles were coded as being for/against the Constitution and for/against the women’s campaign.

Gia C Pineda (Dr. David Crowe), Department of History and Geography

Hannah Höch is known for her progressive works that illustrated her efforts to confront and discuss social and political issues during the Weimar Republic in Germany (1919-1933). As one of the codiscoverers of photomontage, she adapted this style to depict her opinions about the destruction caused by World War I, gender roles, race, and sexual identity. Although she was the most prominent female in Berlin Dadaist movement, Höch is often overlooked because of her gender and subject matter. I have been using Dadaist texts to analyze her art such as Matthew Gale’s Dada & Surrealism, though sources like these lack the depth needed to adequately explore the impact and variation of her work. From my research, I have discovered that most of her politically charged pieces, specifically about race and sexual orientation, were created after her time with the Dadaists, during the early rise of Nazi sentimintality in Germany, when racial integrity was deemed as the path to succeeding as a nation. Her works and ideas were distinctly unique though she is too often found in texts just detailing her early work with the Dadaists. Hannah Höch is well known, but only for her early pieces. On the other hand, her later works were just as radical and even predated serious issues and problems with the Nazi Regime. Höch continued to create works until her death in 1978. I want to open a discussion about her impact as an artist separated from that of the Berlin Dadaists. Despite her noteworthy works that commented on the changes in German society, Hannah Höch’s gender, sexuality, and subject matter prevented her from being as well known as other German artists from the time.


J. Patrick Creghan (Dr. Charles Irons) Department of History and Geography

This study aimed to distinguish differences in morale between the generals/general staff and the rank-and-file soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia leading up to and directly following the Gettysburg Campaign. This question also has implications for broader debates about the nature of Confederate nationalism and the viability of the Confederacy. Some historians, such as Paul Escott and Drew Faust, have argued that Confederate nationalism began to wane by the end of 1862 and severely undermined the Southern war effort. Others, such as Gary Gallagher and Aaron Sheehan-Dean, argue instead that Confederate nationalism did not begin to decline until 1864, and only then as a result of battlefield defeats and not issues on the home front. In order to gauge the depth of commitment to the Confederacy of general officers, I examined their published correspondence (both military and personal), much of which was accessible in Elon University’s McLendon Rare Book and Special Collections. To find rank-and-file soldiers’ statements about Confederate nationalism, I examined manuscript collections at the University of North Carolina (Southern Historical Collection) and Duke University (David M. Rubenstein Library). I focused only on three North Carolina regiments from the Army of Northern Virginia (1st, 11th, and 26th) and select generals. For newspapers, I utilized an online database for The Daily Dispatch, which was located in Richmond, and UNC’s North Carolina Collection for The Daily Progress, which was located in Raleigh. I utilized these sources to corroborate the themes discovered in correspondence between the home front and soldiers. The generals, soldiers, and newspaper editors whose writings I consulted did not lose faith in the Confederacy as a result of the failure of the Gettysburg Campaign. My documentation of their surprisingly uniform commitment to the Confederacy is strong evidence in support of Gary Gallagher’s argument for the strength of Confederate nationalism. My findings show that in the summer of 1863 the Confederate people still believed strongly in their cause and their ability to be victorious. By showing that white North Carolinians still believed in the cause throughout the summer of 1863, this research suggests that Confederate nationalism was resilient, indeed.

Zachary B. Fisher (Dr. Nancy Midgette and Dr. Janet Warman) Department of History

In 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, the United States Congress voted to pass the Morrill Act,which donated federal land and money to each state for the creation of a public college focused on agricultural and technical knowledge. In 1890, the passage of the Second Morrill Act mandated equal access to public higher education for black as well as white students. States could either integrate their original land-grant college or build a separate institution for black students. Seeking to preserve their highly segregated society, the majority of Southern states chose the second option. Although historians have long recognized that historically black colleges and universities were influential in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the importance of the institutions developed from the Second Morrill Act has not been specifically studied. Through my research, I examined primary resources, including school newspaper articles and interviews of student leaders, as well as secondary resources to determine the impact of land-grant HBCUs. My research revealed that students at these institutions, primarily North Carolina A&T, Florida A&M, and South Carolina State, were crucial to the progression and success of the civil rights movement. The sit-in movement, which was revitalized by the Greensboro Four at NC A&T, provided black students across the South with an effective model for peaceful demonstration. This movement led directly to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which gave student leaders from land-grant HBCUs the opportunity to garner national political attention through their efforts. These students also gained respect from adult leaders in the NAACP and often influenced the strategies of the national civil rights movement. Florida A&M students were the first activists to use prolonged imprisonment to their advantage, and NC A&T students popularized the use of appeals to patriotism and mainstream Christianity. Toward the end of the 1960s, SC State students exemplified the transition of the civil rights movement toward more aggressive actions. This research reveals that Southern states’ decisions to segregate public land-grant colleges actually contributed to the end of legalized segregation more than half a century later.

Jordan B. Greene (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History

The primary purpose of the research is to determine a beginning point from which to analyze the evolution of Voltaire’s philosophies and influences between 1733, when the Letters Concerning the English Nation were published, and 1764, when he published the Philosophical Dictionary. In order to establish this basis, the project involves a close reading of Voltaire’s Letters Concerning the English Nation searching for themes of religious criticism and superstition and juxtaposing the findings with those from a close reading of the Philosophical Dictionary searching for the same themes. Initial findings have demonstrated that in the Letters, Voltaire indicates clear skepticism and criticism of the established Christian order, especially Catholicism in France. His primary attack on religion is threefold. First, the Christian Church is horribly corrupt. Second, that it is incompatible with reason, and therefore the ideals of the Enlightenment. And third, that the Church emphasizes doctrine over morality, meaning that it does not encourage morality in its followers as long as they comply with the rites and rituals. This three-pronged attack also seems to be the crux of Voltaire’s argument in the Philosophical Dictionary, indicating that Voltaire stays true to his ideas and beliefs even thirty years later.

David R. Lincoln (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History

It has been suggested by some that during the Holocaust many Jews simply went to their deaths like “sheep to the slaughter,” with the ruthless efficiency of Nazi Germany allowing these killers to send tens-of-thousands at a time to meet their grisly fate. With the number of murdered Jewish men, women and children exceeding at least 6 million, it does seem as though resistance must have been staggeringly slight, but this is simply not the case. From the ghettos, forests and extermination camps of Eastern Europe Jews fought for the survival of their friends, families and culture with fierce determination. My research seeks to dispel the notion of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust for all time, so that we may better understand this greatest of all human tragedies. As the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is the best known of the three cases I have studied, I will not dwell on it during my presentation. Instead I would like to present the audience primarily with the story of the Treblinka uprising. Its setting and events perfectly illustrate the obstacles facing Jewish resisters, as well as their determination and desperation in overcoming these challenges. From the story of Vilna I will tell the fascinating tale of Jacob Gens and Abba Kovnar, who waged an intellectual battle inside the city’s ghetto for the hearts and minds of its inhabitants. Gens is a painfully tragic figure, and Kovnar an incredibly eloquent one. The two combine to offer a narrative that surpasses the very best of fiction. This extensive research project was made possible in large part by the Yad Vashem archives masive online catalogue of primary source documents from German and Jewish sources alike, as well as many outstanding books on the Holocaust.

Claire L. Mayo (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History

In the aftermath of the German conquest of France in 1940, Charles de Gaulle fled his homeland for Great Britain and entered the public light as the military and political leader of la France Libre. Le Musée des lettres et manuscripts recently released a large cache of de Gaulle’s official and personal letters documenting his efforts to establish his legitimacy from 1940-1942 as the internationally recognized head of la France Libre in London. Until that time, de Gaulle relied heavily upon British support and worked to sever the Allies’ trust in the Vichy government. The letters show his festering troubles with American political leaders as seen in the controversy over the French territories of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland. French historians are just beginning to interpret the letters, which are largely unexplored by American scholars. My research is one of the first to use these letters and contextualize them with the current scholarship on Charles de Gaulle and la France Libre. The top-secret letters were released in 2011, but since there are no English translations available to the public, I translated a portion of the collection for use in my Senior Thesis. The principal goal of my thesis is to answer the question, “How did Charles de Gaulle evolve as a political leader and establish his leadership of la France Libre as the only legitimate fighting French force while in exile in Great Britain from 1940-1942?” The conclusions drawn from my extensive research show that de Gaulle’s insistence on French sovereignty clashed with American expectations for the contribution of St. Pierre and Miquelon to the Allied war effort. To enhance his authority, de Gaulle unified experienced French generals under his leadership so that his authority over them strengthened his credentials. In the end, these top-secret letters underscore Charles de Gaulle’s lack of political experience and consequential mistakes in his initial years of leadership, but the letters also reveal his evolution to become one of France’s greatest politicians.

Julia E. Okada (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History

The Nuremberg trials left a lasting legacy and precedent establishing legal procedures to bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice. Yet flaws in this legacy stemming from the inconsistency in charges and convictions of such perpetrators have left questions as to how effective legal outlets for international criminal justice are to the realities of crimes against humanity and genocide. A case study of the three-decade long saga of the John Demjanjuk legal cases provides an historical reference point to conclude whether or not past and current domestic and international legal systems were and are capable of carrying out justice addressing crimes against humanity to all perpetrators and collaborators. By analyzing the John Demjanjuk legal cases in the United States, Israel and Germany from 1977 to 2011, and by evaluating contemporary movements in relation to international criminal justice and crimes against humanity, it can be said that the John Demjanjuk case was an exception, rather than the rule, to prosecuting low-level participants in crimes against humanity from a legal standpoint. The Nuremberg Trials failed to create a historical legacy of forming a modern international criminal justice system to indict all individuals, regardless of rank and their place of residence, for their role in crimes against humanity through sufficient legal means. Methodology of this research consults primary sources such as legal transcripts from these trials, supplementing the research with peer-reviewed scholarly bodies of work (journal articles, books, etc).

Kathryn J. Osborn (Dr. Mary Jo Festle) Department of History and Geography

Since their inception in the 19th century, debutante balls have been a venue in which traditional gender roles were celebrated in elaborate rituals amongst the elites in society. This was especially true in the South, where historians have characterized gender roles as more traditional and resistant to change. In the 1960s, American feminists criticized traditional gender roles and demanded more opportunities for women and in some places there was a corresponding decline in the popularity of debutante balls. The research question for this project asked whether there was evidence of any changes related to gender in two piedmont North Carolina debutante balls between the 1960s and the 1980s. Did feminism affect the Terpsichorean Ball and the Durham Debutante Ball? To answer that question, I examined materials in the archives of the Southern Historical Collection and the Duke Special Collections, including the Durham Debutante Programs from 1960-1980, the Terpsichorean Ball Handbook from 1975, photographs from the balls, and first-hand accounts from Durham residents during the time of the balls. I argue that there were some subtle changes: by the 1980s the role of marriage, motherhood, and the power structure between males and females that had been prominent within the debutante balls in the 1960s diminished due to women delaying marriage and motherhood for college and a career and changing cultural values about the roles of men and women. Attitudes towards beauty and service shifted only slightly due to changing cultural values, however. Although the balls contained to support some patriarchal values and traditional gender roles, the balls made small adjustments to afford women more opportunities that feminists desired.


Elizabeth H. Capel (Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of Art and Art History

It is commonly understood that women experienced art collecting differently from men around the turn of the twentieth century in the United States. More specifically, women collectors were faced with obstacles where men were not, such as little approval or social support for their endeavors. Art collecting of quality and depth often required the ability to travel freely and make independent financial decisions, which excluded most women as well as middle- and working class people and people of color. To understand the complexity of gender‘s relationship to art collecting I have focused on the collecting narratives of Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Cone Sisters, Etta and Claribel. These individuals acquired a range of art, with Gardner primarily
collecting Renaissance, Asian, and American Modern art and the Cones being collectors of French Modern art. Through a feminist historical lens I have used both archival and contemporary sources, in addition to site visits to the Cone Collection and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, to examine and interpret the collections and histories of these individuals. My project analyzes the collecting trajectories of my case studies and also makes use of comparisons between those women and other art collectors, artists, and philanthropists. The guiding question of my research has been whether women have collections or collecting narratives that differ from those of men. I have discovered that while women collectors during my time period of focus do share a genuine commonality in their gendered and comparatively less advantaged collecting narratives, that commonality does not suggest further relatedness or inherency in what or why they collected. For example, my research dispels notions that women on the whole create domestic or ―feminine‖ collections as some scholars suggest. Furthermore, I have observed that scholarship on women art collectors often compounds the gendered disadvantages seen in their histories by suggesting intrinsically shared qualities among them. I aim to present a new perspective on women collectors‘ experiences and to critique gendered presentation of those individuals‘ histories in contemporary scholarship.

Hollyn K. Geibel (Dr. Rod Clare) Department of History

After the Civil War ended in 1865, North Carolina was considered among the most progressive of the former Confederate states, due in part to its degree of Union support during the war and because it was one of the last states to join the Confederacy. Because of this, the federal government held few reservations about North Carolina accepting the recently freedpeople into its society and unifying with the Union’s ideals. However, during this time period known as Reconstruction, 1865-1877, this assumption proved false. Over the years, historians have been increasingly interested in how and why this was the case. Because of this development, historians have asked questions to try to understand North Carolina‘s unique Reconstruction experience: What did the newly freed slaves do to try to assert their new role in North Carolina society? How did white North Carolinians respond to these declarations? Were there sympathetic whites and if so, did any cross-racial solidarity take place? This research project tries to answer these questions using primary sources at the Duke University Archives, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the State Archives of North Carolina and analytical comparisons of secondary sources. The results indicate that African Americans in North Carolina tried to gain rights through their involvement in politics and social issues aided by their white political allies. The main roadblock to these rights proved to be social and political discrimination and violence by white supremacists, regardless of North Carolina’s initial Union sympathies. Through the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups, whites attacked African Americans and their white Republican allies. In response, North Carolina governor started the Kirk-Holden War by building an army to fight against the violence. While this white supremacist discrimination was prevalent all over the south, it ended in the first ever impeachment and conviction of a governor in United States history. Because African Americans were prevented from making significant political advances, they focused on social issues, forming racially segregated churches and schools, so they would not have to remain racially inferior in all aspects of post-Civil War life.

Claire L. Mayo (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History

Though almost one hundred years have passed since the outbreak of war in 1914, historians continue to question and revaluate previous interpretations of the Great War. American historians either over-emphasize the United State’s contribution to the victory or blame the Treaty of Versailles for the rise of Hitler in an oppressed Germany. This view, however, supports a US-centric perspective and will therefore limit our understanding of the far-reaching effects of the Great War upon Europe and the world. To address this concern, the question posed by this study evaluates the French interpretation of the Great War and their understanding of its impact upon French politics and society. The research was conducted during my semester abroad in Montpellier, France, where I worked with scholars and French students to answer my question. The bulk of the research comes from the course Les relations internationals à la première guerre mondiale de la seconde guerre mondiale (International Relations from the First World War to the Second World War) taught by Monsieur MURACCIOLE. The scholarship reveals that the inferior position of France in Europe after immense personal loses during the war created a strong nationalistic sentiment among French leaders for the preservation of the country. The resulting peace treaties provided for the suppression of Germany’s power as well as the regulation of peace in Europe. The hopes generated by these clauses quickly deflated during the 1920s and 1930s when the League of Nations broke apart and the modifications of reparations created an economic crisis throughout Europe. Despite the ineffectiveness of the treaties, France adhered to a policy of demilitarization that Germany no longer followed. The intricate French political environment of pacifists, anti-socialists, defeatists, and communists inhibited this policy from changing in response to German militarization. Against such a backdrop of passivism, it is remarkable to see the persistent courage of General Charles de Gaulle to defy his superiors in order to preserve the nation. The Great War of 1914-1919 greatly impacted the French psyche, and while each leader looked to preserve l’Hexagone, some acted to avoid a fight while others labored to prevent a war.

Cameron M. Shirley (Dr. Jim Bissett) Department of History

While academic historians like to think that their work shapes the public discourse about America‘s past, in reality, more Americans‘ understanding about the past is based on visits to historic sites than on scholarly historical monographs. In light of this fact, it is important to consider how closely the interpretations given at the historic sites Americans visit on family vacations match scholars‘ interpretations of American history. Furthermore, while scholarly historical interpretations constantly evolve, it seems that historic sites are much more static, portraying the celebratory interpretations of past decades. Through this project, I have explored the differences between public and scholarly historical interpretations for one important event, the American Revolution. This project began with an in-depth study of the scholarship of the American Revolution resulting in a historiographical essay. One key insight of my historiographical study is that scholarly interpretation is heavily influenced by the time period in which it was written. The second phase of my project consisted of traveling to Boston and Philadelphia, visiting the historic sites related to the American Revolution, determining the type of interpretation they present, and analyzing these interpretations in light of my historiographical research. Through my travel experiences and historiographical work, I concluded that historic sites tend to present an interpretation that is less sophisticated than those found in scholarly sources. Thus, I found that 57% of the historic sites I visited fall into the Neo-Whig interpretive theme that originated in the 1950s/60s, presenting a celebratory interpretation focused on the deeds of great white men in history. Even so, several sites demonstrate that it is possible to achieve interpretive sophistication, providing a dynamic and multi-faceted approach and examining the American Revolution from the bottom-up. The interpretations at historic sites are what the majority of Americans experience after high school history, proving the importance of presenting sophisticated interpretations of the American Revolution.

Christine L. Swanson (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History

Between 18,000-25,000 Jews fled Europe for Shanghai between 1938-1945 to avoid Nazi persecution after China opened this port city to emigrants. While some were encouraged to leave by the Nazis, once World War II many fled to avoid growing Nazi terror in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. While some had visas, others did not, which mattered little to the Chinese, who accepted emigrants with or without official entry documents. Consequently, Shanghai became a haven for those who were running out of other options. However, refugees would not breathe a sigh of relief once they reached the city. Jewish refugees were forced into a small and overcrowded ghetto during the Japanese invasion of China. The ghetto only encompassed one square mile and housed approximately 20,000 refugees, along with thousands of native Shanghainese. Food, shelter, and jobs were scarce. Air raids and fighting on the outskirts of the city exacerbated the abysmal conditions. This project attempts to answer how Jewish refugees persevered through the tumultuous years of civil war and invasion that devastated Shanghai. A Jewish community still exists in the modern economic heartland of China, along with the remains of a Jewish quarter. Using Chinese and English primary and secondary documents to explain the interactions between Jews, Chinese, and Japanese soldiers, this project will thoroughly document the lives of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. Beyond that, the project will connect the legacy of the World War II Shanghai Jewish community to contemporary Jewish interactions in China. In addition, citing Chinese resources, the project will consider how China‘s accepting attitude towards Jewish refugees during World War II shaped the contemporary Chinese perspective of the Holocaust.

Rachel L. Zimmermann (Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of Art and Art History

Using a feminist phenomenological approach in which the body is understood as central to the ways in which one experiences the world, I studied three photographic series and various texts related to Japanese culture, philosophy and contemporary art. It is widely understood among philosophers and other academics that ―Western‖ societies generally approach the body from a dualist perspective, giving the mind primacy. However, contemporary artists have challenged this dichotomy by using the body as a site through which cultural norms are performed and reinforced. Japanese contemporary artists Ryoko Suzuki and Noriko Yamaguchi, creating within a culture that does not historically carry the same dualistic valuation of mind over body, do just that. Suzuki, in her representations of idealized bodies, uses a collage technique that inserts her own head in the image, emphasizing the relationship of the viewer to the work and the dichotomy between real and ideal bodies. By incorporating herself in the work, she invites others to move beyond the role of observer and instead encourages them to become active participants, placing themselves within the work as well. She specifically calls on the masculine viewer to question the desire her images might be expected to provoke, thus subversively challenging the dichotomies of female/male and feminine/masculine. Yamaguchi also challenges society‘s notions of sex, gender, and mind-body dualism but does so by fragmenting the body. Both artists encourage an intersubjective relationship between viewer and image. I argue that is this intersubjectivity, in which the viewer becomes both observer and subject—i.e., separate from and part of the work—that allows for the embodiment of thought, a recognition that the mind/body dualism does not exist. In visually challenging societal constructions of gender and sex, the artists whose works I analyze encourage a reassessment of the devaluation of the body, and thereby advocate confrontation of the patriarchal structures that perpetuate such distorted dualisms and social constructions.


Katherine E. Anderson (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History

This research project essentially seeks to determine the inner workings of the Conservative Party that led a complete transformation of gender roles in the political atmosphere during late nineteenth-century Britain. How could a party so set on maintaining traditional gender roles regarding ―separate spheres‖ for both men and women actually be the catalyst for giving a feminine voice in politics? Understanding the shifting gender roles within the Conservative Party would allow historians to trace the rise of Feminism and the Women‘s Suffrage Movement that began to form at the turn of the century. Using primary sources such as personal letters, diaries, newspaper accounts and political speeches from both genders, a sketch of the Conservative political arena of the time period was developed that showed a cunning plot by four men to usurp complete control of the party by attempting to raise their own ―movement‖ to garner power and undermine the support of those in office. Research shows that while the men of the established off-shoot of the Conservative Party, known as the Primrose League, originally allowed a feminine voice as a bold political move to gain large numbers of unpaid volunteers, the women of the League used to open door to push for a more active role in an area previously denied to them. The paradox lay in that the men of the Conservative Party staunchly held on to the idea of ―separate spheres‖ and ―domestic‖ women, while at the same time politically educating the same women to publicly campaign. As time passed, Primrose League women would go from knocking on doors and passing out political tracts to giving rousing speeches in place of their husbands and running their own newspaper full of political commentary; the men did nothing to stop this. Although those campaigning for Women‘s Rights existed before this, it was not until the Primrose League that any major changes took place in Britain.

Rebecca R. Berube (Dr. Michael Matthews) Department of History

Over one billion of the world‘s population fights undernourishment each day, making hunger a global concern more deadly than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Food security literature focuses on Southeast Asia and Africa as the most severe cases of food insecurity, leaving Latin America an underrepresented area of study. Within Central America, Costa Rica has long been considered ―exceptional‖ by both its people and scholars of the country. Across multiple measures, including life expectancy, literacy, standard of living, and food security, the country enjoys higher quality of life standards than all of its neighbors. Undernourishment, a commonly used measure of food security, affects 19% and 12 % of the population respectively in Nicaragua and Honduras. In contrast, Costa Rica‘s undernourishment rates have remained below 5% since the 1990s. Food security represents a population‘s access, availability and utilization of food over time. This study examines how Costa Rica‘s the distinct pattern of historical development led to the current food security levels in the country. This necessitates a look at the broad patterns of Central American history and development, and then an in-depth examination of Costa Rica more specifically. By examining the idea of exceptionalism, this work explores the long-held myths of Costa Rica‘s rural democracy, born from egalitarian roots and based on small and mid-sized family farms. Ultimately I found that Costa Rica‘s higher food security levels are not due to some mythical exceptional quality of the country, but a result of a unique set of factors, including its initial geographical isolation, pattern of land tenure, gradual implementation of democracy, and abolition of the military.

Danielle L. Damren (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History and Geography

This study looks at the existence of love within both courtship and marriage during the Tudor and early Stuart period in England. In the past ten years, popular culture has demonstrated a keen interest in the romance, sex, and scandal associated with England during this era. And although the historical fiction and film would have you believe that the period was rife with sexual passion, the academic literature has historically focused on arranged marriages, a woman‘s lack of agency in courtship, and a general lack of intimacy. This research project aims to bridge the two, to better understand what factors contributed to marriage formation and to characterize the existence and experience of love within contemporary relationships. The study looked at a variety of secondary sources, both recent and more dated works to better comprehend the evolution of the historiography, in order to build a comprehensive platform from which to look at primary sources. Analyses were then conducted on both the Lisle Letters, a collection of correspondence between Arthur Plantagenet and his wife, Honor, and the Thynne Papers, a book of letters between Maria Thynne and her mother-in-law, Joan (Byrne, 1983; Wall, 1983). The Lisle letters demonstrate a relationship filled with love and mutual respect, characteristics not historically attributed to marital relationships of the era. Alternatively, the Thynne Papers chronicle the struggles that Maria Thynne faced with her mother inlaw, after Maria‘s youthful and passionate clandestine marriage. These letters, supplemented by the secondary literature, illustrate the complex experience and expectation of love during early modern England. The Lisle Letters and the Thynne Papers prove that love, both passionate and companionate, was certainly at play in some relationships but that many other factors such as social class, religion, birth order, geographical location, and gender—affected every relationship differently. The nature of love cannot be generalized for the entirely of early modern England. However, this research proves that love, of different forms, did exist in courtships and marriages during the Tudor and Stuart periods.

Victoria S. Doose (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of Art and Art History

Iconography is considered a traditional art historical methodology that finds meaning in art by comparing it to written texts. In studies of ancient Greek art, those written texts are extant recordings of mythology from Greek and Roman writers alike — texts that are rare and often fragmentary, providing an incomplete record of ancient mythology and its variants. To have a realistic understanding of Greek art, it is important to establish that the relationship between ancient literary and visual traditions is more complicated than one of artists directly translating words into visual art. Painted Greek vases depicting the centaurs Chiron and Pholos are exemplary of the complications between the literary and visual evidence of mythological figures. A case study of a vase in Munich‘s Antikensammlungen (inventory 1615) further illustrates the limitations of studying Greek vase paintings with a strict text-image method. I first examined the vase using the traditional iconographic method and compared it to ancient literary sources. I found that the mythological scene, which depicts Hermes carrying an infant Herakles to Chiron, is either unknown to modern scholars or considered a ―mistake.‖ The vase painting iconographically follows images of the transfer of Achilles (not Herakles) to Chiron, and there are no extant textual records of a story in which infant Herakles is taken to Chiron. I then contextualized the vase — a grave good in an Etruscan tomb — through considerations of the appeal of the vase painting‘s subject matter within Etruscan culture, as well as the subject matter‘s symbolic connections to death. In doing so, I argue the story behind the scene is less important than the compositional and symbolic cues that associate the vase painting to death and its Etruscan funerary context. I also argue that the concept of liminality, or the state of being ―in between,‖ is essential to understand how a transfer scene involving Hermes, Herakles, and Chiron was appropriate to a vase painting interred in an Etruscan tomb. The case study shows that even without definite literary precedent, vase painting scenes created meaning by appealing to ancient contexts and concepts familiar to the ancient viewers themselves.

Caitlin A. Glosser (Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg) Department of Art and Art History

Late nineteenth century Paris, marked by the constant reshaping of its political and social milieu, acted as a centralized forum for the artistic conversations taking place in Western art during this time. Among the many shifts in the artistic mindset that flourished out of these conversations, shifts which we might today say led to the modernization of Western art, one shift in particular rejected academic notions of artistic structure and function in search of a means of cultivating pure art forms: painting that evokes only color and shape, music that evokes only sound and rhythm. The artists participating in this conversation endeavored to create works that would not only refute traditional means of artistic analysis but also exist separate of any other medium. Paradoxically, in their attempt to purify their respective mediums, these artists chose to allude to those other mediums, inherently negating the impurity of their own. In his book, Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, From Whistler to Stravinsky and Beyond, Peter Dayan labels this conversation the ‗interart aesthetic‘ to emphasize a triangular convergence of the visual arts, music, and literature, all the while maintaining their successful divergence through the practices of figures such as Whistler, Satie, and Ponge. Using Dayan‘s book as a pivotal text in my own research, I have analyzed the works of two artists in order to better understand how intermedial relationships played a significant role in the shifting artistic structures of this time period. Through a study of the paintings and music of James McNeil Whistler and Claude Debussy respectively, their artistic methodologies, and their interactions with other artists and viewers/listeners I argue that while these artists explored intermedial relationships with the intention of developing distinctly divergent artistic categories, their endeavor led instead to the propagation of a sort of artistic symbiosis.

Philip R. Grimes (Dr. Honglin Xiao) Department of History and Geography

Land use and land cover changes on the Campus of Elon University and surrounding areas in the town of Elon, North Carolina has experienced many social, economic, and demographic changes in the past several decades, which in turn have caused dramatic changes in land use and land cover (LULC) in the same period. In order to evaluate the magnitude, amount, direction, and spatial extent of the LULC changes, satellite images from 1984, 1993, 2006, and 2011 were used to study part of the town of Elon, including Elon University. Both unsupervised and supervised methods were performed for the image classification. Field data and aerial photos taken at the same periods were used to assess the classification accuracy. Social, economic, and demographic factors were identified as the major contributors for the changes. At the same time, the impact of the LULC change on the local hydrology, environment, and quality of life was also examined.

Kelly M. Herrick (Dr. Michael Carignan) Department of History and Geography

Criminality and insanity were two incredibly popular topics of discussion amongst British Victorians, and were also topics sensationalized and dramatized by the Victorian Press. The unrelenting press coverage of these two topics reached its apogee in the media coverage of Jack the Ripper in 1888. However, the earlier murders and trial of Dr. William Palmer in late-1855 and 1856 received an astounding amount of coverage by the British press, particularly the London Times. Adapted from the model that Walkowitz uses in her work City of Dreadful Delight this research will show how coverage of Palmer‘s trial represents a critically reflective moment of mid-century Victorians‘ views of mental illness, mainly due to the surprising fact multiple murderer Palmer was never once described in the media as mentally ill. The government, public, and media‘s choice to label Palmer as having ―perfect sanity‖ raises the questions: Why were Victorians unable to see Palmer as mentally ill? And, what further insight can the media coverage of Palmer‘s case give us about Victorian society and whom they designated as the ―insane‖ other? Palmer‘s case can be seen as a formative moment in the development of the definition of mental illness because it exemplifies what Victorians saw as mentally ill by identifying what they still saw as sane. By comparing the media‘s portrayal of Palmer to those portrayals of people viewed as mentally ill in Victorian society, differences between the sane and insane can be seen. An exploration of these portrayals shows, that in Victorian Britain, a main factor in determining insanity was a person‘s apparent lack of reasoning and logic. While those deemed mentally ill in Victorian society showed obvious signs of losing touch with reality and the ability to reason, reasoning and logic were ever-present themes in the media coverage of Palmer and his trial.

Katherine E. MacDonald (Dr. Clyde Ellis) Department of History and Geography

Traditionally, being Two-Spirit meant identifying with a third or fourth gender role in American Indian society and implied gender variance. Two-Spirits were afforded great reverence by many tribes before the late nineteenth century due to their role as negotiators, peacekeepers, and spiritual guides. However, Two-Spirit roles were suppressed in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when assimilation based on western models of gender was official government policy. By the 1960s, however, Two-Spirits had re- emerged as an identity claimed by gay American Indians who also felt unwelcome in American Indian society where they were shunned due to their sexual orientation. As a result, contemporary Two-Spirit identity has been used much like American Indian tribal affiliation- as a way to articulate ideas about who they are and their cultural heritage. This research explores how Two-Spirits present themselves to the public and how these presentations relate to their long term goals of reentry and acceptance into American Indian society, and also to the creation of a new sense of contemporary Native identity. Through this research, Two-Spirit can be seen as both an individual and group identity that varies greatly by geographic area, tribal affiliation, and a series of other factors. Two-Spirit people also have a complex relationship with the native community, and although they wish to be accepted in American Indian society, they also wish to continue to interact in a Two-Spirit community in which they feel there are others who identity as they do. As a relatively new and understudied identity, literature about modern Two-Spirits has done little to examine these kinds of representation and their meanings. Through the analysis of Two-Spirit society websites, including mission statements, pictures, and newsletters, this research helps us to understand more fully how this identity has changed over time, and it reminds us that contemporary American Indian is complex and diverse.

Elisabeth S. Maselli (Dr. David Crowe, Ph.D.) Department of History.

This presentation uses the life and the myth of Grigorii Rasputin as a case study with which to examine the multiple ways in which a historical figure may be transformed into a fictitious caricature of themselves in mass media. This presentation is based on a diverse selection of research, which encompasses both primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources consist of Russian editorial cartoons, auto-biographies and memoirs, film, video games, and comics, while secondary sources include biographies and historical documentaries. I conclude with the idea that, while Rasputin was an important figure in Tsarist Russia, his legacy and biography have been exaggerated, warped, and ultimately falsified by popular media. Today, the Rasputin of film and memoir has little to nothing to do with the historical man. The manipulation of historical fact has changed the perception that people have of Rasputin, so much so that any serious historian or biographer of Rasputin is forced to spend a significant amount of text confirming or denying rumors regarding his life. This fact demonstrates the effect that mass media can have on history and historical research.

Jessica L. McDonald (Dr. Mary Jo Festle) Department of History and Geography

The first gay college student organization in the United States formed in 1968 at Cornell University. Following the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City – a key catalyst of the gay liberation movement – such groups spread among colleges across the nation. In central North Carolina, Duke University officially recognized the Duke Gay Alliance in 1972, followed by the recognition of the Carolina Gay Association at UNC-Chapel Hill two years later. These schools were geographically close, but their size, student body composition, and governing board differed considerably. How did the history of LGBTQ life at Duke and UNC unfold, and what do the differences and similarities between each campus suggest? My research utilizes primary source documents such as organization newsletters, letters to and from campus officials, newspaper articles, and other archival sources in order to analyze three major areas: the evolving purpose of the LGBTQ organizations, the membership composition of groups over time, and the types of opposition and support they experienced. I argue that the history of LGBTQ student organizations at UNC and Duke was shaped predominantly by the national context of the LGBTQ movement. For instance, LGBTQ groups at Duke and UNC were influenced by challenges from conservative political leaders like Jesse Helms, lesbian feminist culture and organizing, and an awareness of the AIDS crisis. At the same time, campus climate at each school was shaped by specific campus incidents and the reactions of particular student leaders and administrators. These included sustained efforts to defund UNC groups, as well as an openly homophobia university president at Duke. My findings have significant implications for historians, LGBTQ students, and campus administrators.

Elisabetta C. McSheehy-Cooper (Dr. Evan Gatti) Department of Art History

From green building to green washing, sustainable development is a global hot topic. But, sustainable initiatives are not confined solely to contemporary contexts; rather they span centuries and civilizations. What is sustainability and how do different civilizations define it? Can ancient perspectives be used in contemporary contexts? These are questions sought through analysis of case studies comparing the Ancient Maya to 21st century green design and urban planning. From an ancient perspective, sustainable development is ideological, based on a reverence for the earth and an associated religious and cosmological structure. Conversations about contemporary sustainability focus more on materials, such as the use of renewable and non-renewable resources. The Ancient Maya saw the Earth as a living, sacred entity, not merely a source of materials. This connection forged a deep relationship with the landscape and determined the location and spatial orientation of structures, concepts that contemporary sustainability does not often consider. Today we view sustainability with a ―reduce, reuse, recycle‖ attitude. My project asks could a contemporary approach to sustainability benefit from a dialogue between contemporary and ancient perspectives. Specifically would we arrive at a more “sustainable” sustainability if the ideological values of a community and its landscape were as important as materials and green certifications? Would this conversation assist in regaining a sense of place, no longer looking at the environment as materials for consumption? Inspired by George Kubler‘s book The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, which argues that cultural patterns can be revealed through form and are not categorized chronologically but rather through concepts that transcend time and space, this project asks how built spaces reflect cultural ideologies and how those cultural ideologies might be used to develop a more sustainable sustainability. Ultimately the progression of contemporary sustainable development relies not on our physical handling of resources but rather our moral and ideological associations with sustainable practices.

Kenton W. Porter (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History and Geography

Wernher von Braun is the most famous rocket engineer of the 20th century. As a German scientist he created the powerful V-2 rocket in WWII and then created the Saturn V rocket in America, which took the U.S to the moon. Despite his accomplishments, his pursuit in creating rockets under the Nazi regime made him commit war crimes. The goal of this study is to investigate all of the war crimes that Wernher von Braun committed as a Nazi rocket engineer and then analyze which post-war criminal trials he should have been tried at given his crimes. This research is significant because it shows that even though von Braun did so many great things for science and rocketry, his record shows it was not done in a humane way. Not surprisingly, questions of science and its relations to ethics are brought up within the study. My research will focus on von Braun‘s life and his association with the Nazi party as a youth through young adulthood until the war ended in Germany in early 1945. The research includes bibliographical information, interviews from Wernher von Braun, and personal accounts from Holocaust survivors who were directly affected by von Braun‘s work. After the war crimes are uncovered, the study shifts toward the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and subsequent trials. The research includes government documents about the Nuremberg Trials, memoirs from leading prosecutors of these trials such as Telford Taylor and Robert Jackson and further information from judge Francis Biddle. This research allows me to analyze what the definitions of all the different war crimes were, what the people tried for the war crimes did, and then show what the result was for the defendants when the trials were over. Given this information, the results of this research suggest that von Braun should have been tried as a war criminal in the Nuremberg Trials.

Paul R. Rodriguez (Dr. David Crowe) Department of History and Geography

From the 18th century reign of Frederick the Great to the 1945 Battle of Berlin, the German army was one of the most respected and imitated in the world. Despite its relatively small size and poor geo-political location, the Germans often tackled and defeated foes many times their paper strength. This reputation has led militaries across the world to base everything from uniforms to organization upon the German model. Historians have often explored what made the German army so special and led others to imitation, notably American scholars Robert M. Citino and Trevor N. Dupuy. Of the German military innovations none are more fabled than the General Staff: a professional body of military men who year-round prepared for future conflicts. Despite near universal recognition of the General Staff as important to war making and its distinguishing characteristic as that of nonstop planning, very little historical scholarly attention has been given to the finer details of General Staff planning. Drawing from the body of scholarship on the General Staff and the translated writings of German military planners and thinkers, I will examine the General Staff‘s military planning alongside the development of the General Staff while focusing on the application of their planning in conflicts, chiefly those of the German Wars of Unification. The emphasis on the Wars of Unification allows an exploration of the General Staff‘s formation and the early applications of its planning in multiple military encounters in a relatively short span of time. I hypothesize that I will find that the role and organization of the General Staff did not crystalize until after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and that General Staff planning was most important during the strategic phase of military operations and more flexible during conflict.