University Writing and Research Symposium
PRESENTERS: Samantha Sparks, Faridat Arogundade, David Braun, Carl Bruce, Lindsay Campbell, Chirine Detroyes, Brett Gall, Donna Hamill, Donald T. Insley, Kim Kocian, Xuyin Liu, Chen-Fan Lo, Sarah Will
MODERATOR: Deborah B. Gaspar, Instruction and Collection
Contemplation of a Working Class
Our UW20 class (section 10) has spent the semester evaluating historical documents and stories that relate to class and social conflict. In this performance piece, we hope to educate the public about the aspects that shape class, such as educations, occupations, culture, physical characteristics, and especially income. We take on the roles of characters ranging from a Costa Rican factory worker to a handicapped woman living in the Appalachian mountain range. Our performance is creative, but contains historical data on conditions such as the rise of Marxism in Europe and the Great Depression which delivered tragedy to a large portion of the American working class. We will perform the common socio-economic dispositions that have shaken many countries in the past.
A young male dealing with growing up as a child in a low income family, faced with the pressures of dealing with a society and a community that tries to make him a statistic, and going to a private school where his class and his inferiority and his lack of money is a reality he can never escape.
I Am a Machine
A teenager working at McDonalds describes his machine type of work and how freedom does not exist, peformed with robotic actions that display the uniqueness of his work and visually expresses the real McDonalds.
Baseballs for Millionaires
In a a Rawlings baseball factory in Costa Rica, and in a desperate attempt to satisfy her son's single birthday wish, one of the workers pockets one of the baseballs she has made in the factory. When she is caught by her watchful supervisor, she frantically attempts to justify her actions by educing sympathy from her threatening boss. Her story exposes the coonditions under which she works and the measly purchasing power of her pitiful salary.
My project is about the youth vote and how it has increased because of Barack Obama. I find this to be extremely relevant because it is about what is going on now and it affects everyone listening to my project. Most of the audience will be able to relate to what I am saying through the voice of a character I found and researched. Even those that are not involved or interested in the Presidential campaign will find it interesting because I used to be one of those people. It will make people think about why they believe the things they do, and why they are drawn to some people more than others. It will challenge the audience to think about what is important to them and the country.Discrimination
An Iranian man travelling to the Unitied States who goes through a lot of trouble and humiliation. He wants to be treated fairly and not considered a terrorist just because he is from the Middle East.
The Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong and his views on his lunar landing and on what being the first person on the moon is like in the modern era.
Reebok and Adidas and their Overseas Factories
Doug Cahn is a real person and was, before the merging of Reebok and Adidas, the Head of Human Rights in charge of ensuring the standards and guidelines were being enforced in their overseas factories, more commonly known to the public as "sweatshops." My father works for Reebok and, due to this connection, I was lucky enough to be able to intern at one of these "sweatshops" in Dong Guan. Dong Guan is a city in southern provice of China called Guangdong. Also in one of the classes I took my Senior year in high school, I was assigned to read an article that directly discussed -- and bashed -- one of Reebok's factories in India.
From the Gray
Jacqueline L. Heinrich
A man afflicted with psychopathy explores the darkness in which the mentally ill live and their connection (or lack thereof) with the rest of "normal" society. In a division of the medical field where so much is left to the unknown due to the inability to measure the intangible, criminal psychopaths are left in limbo in a system of judgment that is based off of approximations, assumptions, and outdated research. This man, a released stalker, reflects on his experience in the court system and his present juxtaposition with the world in which he must live with his stigma.
D.A.R.E.: The Failing Solution
Donald T. Insley
A D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer in the third grade reveals, in caricature, the contradiction of federal funding and sponsorship for a program on which, in general, social scientists agree fails to make either a temporary or a lasting impact (certainly my peers proudly attest to its failure as they didn't say "just say no"), juxtaposed with a number of other drug abuse related initiatives.
Punk Rock Jack
A young punk-rocker named Jack engages his friends in a short monologue about his ideology and stuggles with a blue collar background. He tells of wanting to make a change but not knowing how, a common problem for teenagers.
Homeless Mothers with their Children
My research talks about the homeless mothers and their children. It will focus on three aspects. First, the differece between the homess mothers and other homeless people. The causes of homelessness, are slightly different, usually due to a broken relationship with a man and a disrution in their origional family life. Besides, homess mothers face some problems that other homeless people will not meet, such as how to deal with the relationshipwith their children, how to providechildren a good education environmentas normal families do and so on. Second, the difference between the homeless children and housed children, including their academic performance, their relationships with others and their mental and psychological conditions. Also, I will discuss whether those homess children can be successful in their lives. Third, I will focus on how out society to help those single parents (mothers) to rebuild their lives and to regain their strengths. How social welfare and social workers make a function?
A Japanese Girl's Voice
A Japanese girl's manga conveys a perspective on gender roles and makes effects upon Japanese girls' thinking. There are many themes in Japanese girls' manga, and some of them show somewhat distinctive thoughts or ideas, which may be a kind of dissatisfaction with the society. Besides, gender stereotypes have appeared very often in Japanese girsl' manga, though they seem fewer today. Consequently, I will use the monologue to show a Japanese girl's thought on Japanese girl's manga.
Not What Happened on CSI
Due to the increasing interest in crime shows, the public has obtained this belief that they now know everything there is to know about the crime system. While these crime shows do relate to some parts of the real crime system, they truly give the audience the wrong idea. This presentation will inform the audiance about the reality of a crime system and will attempt to challenge and change the false ideas that crime shows have given to so many people.
PRESENTERS: Alex Reustle, Caitlin O'Donnell, Dagny Leonard
MODERATOR: Emily Anderson, Sophomore, English and Theatre, GW
The Philosophy and Morality of Superheroes in Modern
Novels and Literature
In the past 20 years, comic book Superheroes have stopped being cliche, one-dimensional characters who lived and acted in worlds of moral absolutes. Modern comic book writers have made their characters face moral dilemmas and uncertainty about whether or not they were truly doing the right thing. The dilemmas are often between two horrific choices that the protagonist must make and the results of which are often tragic. This paper proposes to examine these choices, how they are addressed, what their outcomes are, and how they affect the Superheroes who make them, in both the process of deciding and dealing with the consequences. It will study the nature of ethical delemmas in this medium and attempt to answer the question of whether or not there ever truly is a right answer to any decision, and what evil really is.
Virgins for Life? The Double Standard of American
Sexuality educaiton in public schools has always been a controversial issue present in society. Through research in the methodology and perspectives on this issue, it is clear that the public places responsibility on the female population to abstain from sex until marriage. "Sex Ed" classes and clubs, in which members pledge to abstain, focus on the women, not the men. This paper will identify the ways in which current government funded abstinence-only sexuality education is neglecting feminist movements for equality and proper, fair, public education, in general. Women in current society are caught in a predicament of sexuality.
Atheism and the Concept of God
In his humanist manifesto, The Essence of Christianity, Ludwig Feuerbach anticipates being charged with "atheism." In his defense, he gives a very interesting definition of Feuerbach's and Hegel's repective interpretations of God, which is quite different from the general definition. By taking a closer look at Feuerbach's and Hegel's respective interpretations of God, we can better understand their individual definitions of atheism. This paper further explores the idea that atheism can be defined in many different ways, and that these definitions are connected to one's conception of God.
PRESENTER: Latifa El Mouhandiz
RESPONDENT: Phil Troutman, University Writing Program, GW
MODERATOR: Christy J. Zink, University Writing Program, GW
The Formation of Identity through the Kennedy Assassination
Latifa El Mouhandiz
Conspiracy theory can be studied on a societal level; such that it can help in better understand the groups within which it spreads. The assassination of John F Kennedy was the event in this country’s history which caused the most speculation concerning a conspiracy theory, the variations are innumerable and they encompass almost any form of ‘evil’ possible. The JFK assassination occurred in a time very significant to the formation of values and culture, JFK was more than a president, he was a symbol of hope and youth for a country in dire need of it. For someone in modern day, conspiracy theory can act as a bridge between today and a time which we didn’t live through but we are still nostalgic about, an idealistic time where people felt they could still make a difference. He represents the alternative to the current conservative administration, and theorists feel like they can bring back these hopes and correct the mistakes made. As a result the conspiracy theorist, finds himself submerged in a world where he plays the central character in protecting these new American values against the evil conspirators.
Ever since the assassination of Kennedy, conspiracy theory has become a growing aspect of American life. Conspiracy thinking has become such a predominant paradigm that it has become its own subculture. Analyzing conspiracy theory as a cultural aspect of society allows us to see how it defines and shapes the values within the society. Through conspiracy theory, people are able to retrieve values and hopes lost through the assassination and use them in the formation of a new American identity.
PRESENTERS: Karissa Lake, Andrew Laskar, and David Mathis; Neresa De Biasi; Katherine Hayes, Mallika Murali, and Martin Tovar
MODERATOR: Michael J. Chartier, Sophomore in Political
When Breakfast Fails: The Inquiry of Three Underclassmen
Their Approaches to the Morning Meal
Karissa Lake, Andrew Laskar, David Mathis
There are many of us who skip
breakfast as we rush through the day. Lunch and dinner have their
places in our hearts as consistent daily social meetings, and so the
dreary mornings that pass by in a blurred moment leave our bodies to
run on empty. As three underclassmen at GW, we have undergone
self-analyses to discover the significance of the morning meal in our
lives, or the lack thereof. Our research is meant to open the door of
knowledge and uncover the possibilities behind the mroning meal and all
its glorious benefits in our daily lives.
Academic Ingenuity in an Age of Cloning
Neresa De Biasi
In a world where sheep, vegetables,
and human cells are being cloned, what keeps the human mind from being
susceptible to identical thought processes? In a society that hypes
uniform standardized tests at every level of education, it is not
surprising that education at the university level is seen as undergoing
an "educational cloning" to become increasingly standardized. Through
interviews with current faculty, staff, and students at the George
Washington University, this project will aim to define the current
perception of a quality learning expereince and the current state of
affairs, specifically in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
and in the University Writing program itself.
Immigrant Street Vendors: The Story Behind the Counter
Katherine Hayes, Mallika Murali, Martin Tovar
Immigrant food vendors come from
many different cultures and backgrounds. Despite these differences,
they show similarities in the ways that they relate to food. Though
they sell processed American foods on their stands, the foods they
prepare at home keep their culture alive to pass on to the following
generations. At a time when America's own food identity is questioned,
we should learn and appreciate the hardships food vendors experience to
maintain their own food identities while assimilating to American
culture. Using an ethnographic approach, we will expose GW's own hidden
food-vending community and the traditions and culture that shape these
food-vendors and their way of life.
PRESENTERS: Nikesh Patel, Sophia Niazi, Claire Wiener
MODERATOR: Jennifer Nutefall, Instructional Coordinator,
Institutionalized: Life in a Social Panopticon
Using Michel Foucault's theory of
panopticism and the films of Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto, this
presentation dissects the implications of cultural voyeurism in modern
society. Paralleling Jeremy Bentham's hypothetical surveillance-based
prison, the Panopticon, with popular culture developments such as
social networking and reality TV, the crisis of individual control in a
voyeuristic society is highlighted. Through the lens of the film A Snake of June, this presentation
argues that although the newly emerging force of cultural exhibitionism
solves the problem of control in our society, the current state of
human communication and experience remains disturbingly flawed.
How American Horror Films Manifest National Crises
This presentation examines how
horror films of certain eras are reflective of national crises that
have occurred in the history of the United States. By analyzing movies
made during major events in U.S. history, such as the Cold War, the
Vietnam War, and 9/11, and by looking at the monsters these movies
employ, it will be proven that the horror film genre is more than
gratuitous violence and indeed refelects the collective fears of a
nation. The movies analyzed include Them!,
Night of the Living Dead,
and Cabin Fever.
Love in Postmodern Cinema: The Dmystification of Romantic
Postmodernist romantic films
challenge the structure of traditional love stories and relationships,
proving to us something we already know: that love is sometimes
complicated, sometimes dark, and sometimes unnatural. And in this way,
postmodern film has replaced romantic myths with three important
truths: that romance is fragmented, not progressive; that relationships
can last without a clear resolution or categorization; and that love
can not only endure hardship and sin, but thrive upon it.
PRESENTERS: Kelly Zentgraf, Elisabet Erickson, Bhaskar Sunkara
MODERATOR: Zach Hindin, Interdisciplinary Major in
International Affairs, Religion and Philosophy, GW; Executive Board,
Banaa: The Sudan Educational Empowerment Network
Alienation and Self-Consciousness: The Intersection of
In The Essence of Christianity, Ludwig
Feuerbach espouses a "projectionist" view of religion, wherein
believers alienate themselves from their true nature by transferring
their best qualities to God. He asserts that humans can only attain
self-consciousness through the devolution of religion and the rightful
reclaiming of those qualitites. In this paper, I explore the effects of
this philosophy on Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theories, most
notably his conceptions of the "conscious" and "unconscious." I explore
both Freud's indebetedness to Feuerbach's philoophy of "projection,"
"alienation," and "self-consciousness," as well as his ingenuity in
using them to form the groundbreaking field of psychoanalysis.
This study concerns a conspiracy
theory about the suppression of the historical figure of Mary
Magdalene. This conspiracy theory reveals an ongoing debate about the
spiritual, political, and clerical place of 21st-century women in the
Catholic Church, when considered in light of the imperatives of the
people circulating it. This research has far-reaching implications for
people of all denominations, whether they practice a religion or not.
The Church suppressed Mary Magdalene in favor of the purity of the
Virgin Mary. Thus, Mary Magdalene represents the suppression of our
human failings because a society does not accept these flaws.
Every Man a King
This paper critiques Soviet-style
police states as a misguided attempt at "top-down" socialism and
attempts to re-examine the works of Marx and other socialist thinkers,
like early feminist Rosa Luxemburg, in order to prove that Marxism in
the true spirit of Marx is intrinsically humanitarian and a celebration
of the creative potentials of the individual. Only through an extension
of democracy to the economic spheres of life can we liberate the
individual from wage-slavery and empower communities. The paper focuses
on Marx's early works pertaining to thoughts about the "alienation of
PRESENTERS: Ilana Malekan, Michael Masucci
MODERATOR: Frank Stearns, Laboratory Coordinator, Department
Consilience and Biophilia as Motive to Save Marine
from the Consequences of Global Warming
Increased sea temperatures have
contributed to coral bleaching and biodiversity loss. Why isn't there
greater concern for the destruction of marine environments? Edward O.
Wilson theorized that consilience--the converging of academic
disciplines with the natural sciences--would create a more pragmatic,
objective way to reasoning. Applying consilience to society's approach
in dealing with global warmning can be advantageous in creating change.
Wilson's concept of biophilia also provides incentive for helping our
environment: an innate love of nature should compel humans to sustain
life. Wilson's theories provide both logical and emotional reaons for
preserving our coral reefs.
Conspiracy Theory and the Third Culture
Conspiracy culture has grown at an
alarming rate in recent years. Examing the origin of this growth proves
to be difficult; sociologists, historians, and philosophers look at the
development of conspiracy culture on a timeline, influenced by various
socioeconomic factors, while scientists analyze the empirical,
observable evidence that may sway one toward belief in conspiracy.
However, each remains distinctly separate, uncooperative, and unable to
understand conspiracy theory in its entirety. The "Third Culture," a
union between the humanities and sciences, coined by C. P. Snow, is
required to comprehend the full extent of conspiracy culture's
PRESENTERS: Natasha Murtaza, Adam Mickley, Serena Wong
MODERATOR: Sonia Lee, Senior, Sociology, GW
Muslim women are taking part in
Islamic revival movements voluntarily and in large numbers. These women
are using their agency to support a cause that seeks to ultimately
limit their rights in society. Traditional feminist doctrine would
reject such actions and call for a fight for equality of the sexes. Who
are the real feminists: the women who strive for what they want or the
ones who fight for equality? The dilemma over contradictory principles
of equality for all and the power of choice is researched in this paper
as a primary problem faced by 21st-century global feminism.
The Power of Local Action in the Homosexual Equal Rights
The quest for equality for
homosexuals has faced many roadblocks. Proponents of gay rights often
point to the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and other efforts toward
fundamental rights as reasons giving precedent for why homosexuals
should be equal in the eyes of the law. They point to the equal rights
movement engaged in by African Americans as a recent historic parallel
to their own quest for equality. This paper's analysis will focus
primarily on parallels with the equal rights movements of the past as a
indicator of for success. The analysis will also provide valuable
future positions that homosexual activists can take locally,
nationally, and without government support in order to be successful.
Women as Landowners: Land Right as a Crucial Element of
While issues such as women's
reproductive rights and gender discrimination captivate much of the
public's attention, one crucial but overlooked issue of economic
development is the right of women to own land. This paper will evaluate
the effectiveness of land ownership and its political, economic, and
social implications for women in developing countries. Specifically, I
will survey the secondary research in journals and conduct interviews
to analyze how this right alters the culture, status, rights,
resources, goals, and arenas of action of rural women, thereby
reinforcing or altering gendered constructs. Finally, this paper will
examine the role of property empowerment in furthering policy and
PRESENTERS: Jenna Winer; Anne Malknecht, Lindsay Miller, and Christopher Pappas
MODERATOR: Phyllis Palmer, Professor of American Studies and
Racism: The Uphill Battle for Justice
In everyday life, one comes across
racial, social, ethnic, religious, and gender inequalities, yet many
are ignorant when it comes to environmental injustice. As
environmentalism continues to gain popularity, it is crucial to be
aware of environmental racism. From the power plants placed in mainly
African American neighborhoods, to the difficulties members of
non-white races find in reaching authoritative positions within
environmental organizations, environmental injustice is both
broad-based yet continually overlooked. Indeed, right here in the
District, Ward 7 is currently locked in a fight for equality in
standing against several polluting sites. This paper discusses the many
facets of environmental justice and suggests how communities can work
to overcome injustice.
AIDS Where the Decisions Are Made: A Look at the Epidemic
Anne Malknecht, Lindsay Miller, Christopher Pappas
It is a widely discussed fact that 1 in 20 people living in Washington, D.C. are infected with HIV/AIDS. Our paper scrutinizes that statistic in an effort to better understand which neighborhoods and communities to which the statistic applies. More importantly, we are interested in the HIV/AIDS media campaign: who it targets, the messages it conveys, and how it more effectively could reach out to the D.C. community. The African American community of D.C. has been the most affected but also the most ignored segment of the population, and our paper looks to propose better methods of prevention rather than treatment.
PRESENTERS: Isabella Mroczkowski, Jasmine Maze, Molly Stark
MODERATOR: Todd Ramlow, Faculty in Residence, Women's Studies
Program, Department of English, GW
Challenges of Acculturation in Children of Mexican
Currently, one in five children in the United States has parents who are immigrants. Such youth live in two worlds: the realm of their parents' culture, and the realm of their host society. In looking at the children of Mexican immigrants, the largest immigrant group in the U.S., this paper works toward answering the following questions. How do these children respond to this duality and diversity? Do they face particular challenges, and if so, what are they? How do these children identify themselves and what shapes their identities? With 20 percent of our youth coming from different backgrounds, it is important to know of any challenges they face; for not only do these challenges reveal the long-term consequences of immigration, but they are also the key to the future of American society.
Coming Out of the Broom Closet: Harry Potter, the
This paper considers the
Wicca/Harry Potter conspiracy theory in order to learn and investigate
the teenage response to Harry Potter conspiracy accusations. My work
contributes to the field of conspiracy theory studies by showing how
teenagers might possibly use their die-hard interest in the J. K.
Rowling series of novels to show, also, how they feel about
conservative Christians and religious institutions. Why has the Harry Potter series been the
recipient of so much controversy when it is not the first of its kind
(for example, Jane Yolen's Wizard's
Hall had been published earlier)? Is the controversy evidence of
a growing world obsession with witchcract, leading conservatives to
speak up? Or are they trying to maintain control over a radical
The Facebook Phenomenon
Nothing is more pervasive in
college culture today than Facebook. Nearly everyone has a Facebook and checks
it daily. Facebook has become the sixth most popular web site on the
internet and has 64 million active users--most of whom are the high
school, college, or graduate school students who make up Generation Y.
The semi-compulsive use of Facebook by these members of Generation Y
has caused controversy between generations on moral grounds, but also
on legal grounds. As long as Facebook has been prevalent, it has been
shrouded with controversy. I would like to investigate the moral,
physical, and legal impact of Facebook on today's society from the
perspectives of both Generation Y and its older counterparts.
PRESENTERS: Naomi Zuckerman, John D'elia, and Jayme Laytner; Colleen Dolan; Krista Bacungan, Ernestine Daley, and Sophie Chung
MODERATOR: Laura P. Eisen, Coordinator, Women in Science and
Medicine Program, Department of Chemistry, GW
Homeless and the Media
Naomi Zuckerman, John D'elia, Jayme Laytner
Homeless media forms are a way for
the underdog to re-establish their place as members of the larger
society, using the same media that have enabled their detrimental
separation in the first place. Our paper will discuss mass media's
coverage of the homeless, and its positive and negative effects. It
will then introduce current "homeless" media forms (street papers) to
discuss the effects they have on the homeless community and general
society, and to compare homeless media to factors which help or hurt
the homeless crisis. Homeless media is a way to bridge the gap between
the homeless and the larger society that might one way lead to a
lasting solution for the homeless crisis.
Hopeless: Outcasts of Society and What We're
This paper is an in-depth analysis
of the homeless community in Washington, D.C. and its removal from
society. It analyzes what is being done by community partners like
Street Sense and their true goals in dealing with the homeless. How
does communication happen? How is it that homelessness is (ironically)
a life lived in public yet entirely removed from any public
interaction? What are the effects of this on the homeless?
Psychological? What is it that they want from the public? I will
consider the rally to keep open the Franklin Shelter as an example of
the homeless trying to get involved in civic discourse. In addition, I
use democratic theory and history to explain both the goings-on of the
city--why the homeless are being ignored--as well as what the homeless,
theoretically, should be receiving from the city: opportunity.
One Laptop per Child: Globalized Learning
Krista Bacungan, Ernestine Daley, Sophie Chung
This paper examines the One Laptop
per Child (OLPC) program and its effectiveness in educating children in
the developing world through technology as a response to globalization.
With globalization viewed simultaneously as threat and advancement,
revitalizing education using Western technology raises inevitable red
flags. The paper highlights the subjects of culture, the economy, and
philanthropy as they relate to the developing world's views on
globalization. While presenting the benefits of OLPC, this paper also
addresses debates surrounding the necessity, effectiveness, and
possible consequences of such a large scale endeavor.
PRESENTERS: Farah Benallal, Gillian Williams, and Mariel Levy; Justin Guiffré; Ben Kurland
Deifel, Chemistry Department, GW
The Harlem Renaissance and Its Effect on Modern Pop Culture
Farah Benallal, Gillian Williams, Mariel Levy
The Harlem Renaissance was an
important movement that paved the way for modern day pop culture, and
specifically the music industry. Many elements of the Harlem
Renaissance, such as promiscuity and drugs, gave way to the style and
culture that was developed then and, consequently, now. This paper will
strive to make a clear and direct connection between the Harlem
Renaissance and modern day pop culture. The research we have performed
and which we will present has put to light how much history affects
present day culture and what an impact legends such as Duke Ellington
had on the music being created today.
Murderous Marketplace: Consumer Culture's Connections to
Inequality and Violence
There is no stronger predictor of
the rate of violence is a society than the extent of its inequality.
The inherent costs of this violence, both explicit (such as medical
costs) and implicit (such as work force loss), contributes to further
stratification. One of the major proponents of violence in modern times
is the "glorious outlaw" figure that is prominent in consumer culture.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between the free
capitalist marketplace that perpetuates the pursuit of a socially
costly "outlaw" status and the system of violent inequality to which it
I Ain't No
Fortunate Son: A Comparison of the Vietnam and
Wars through Music
This paper is a look at two of the
U.S.'s most costly and controversial entanglements through the lens of
music. Since the Iraq War is still print being laid on the pages of
history, by comparing it with a similar conflict, we can better
understand its implications. The Vietnam War was a major catalyst in
the evolution of American culture. By looking at the popular sentiments
expressed in music in common between the two conflicts, we can better
come to understand what effects the Iraq War will have on the future of
PRESENTERS: Jane McMurrey; Jan Rubio; Anthony Arias, Caleb Reinhold, and Khadija Shaikh
MODERATOR: Michael Svoboda, University Writing Program, GW
Meeting the Challenge of Climate
Change: How the U.S. Fell Behind
Although the richest nation and
larget emitter of CO2, the U.S. continues to stand back while
others take the lead in cutting emissions. Why? For perspective, we can
look at the country most culturally similar to the U.S.: Great Britain.
To explain the U.S.'s complacent attitude, many British scholars and
diplomats point to the the American dependence on the oil industry, the
static divide between liberals and conservatives, and the resistance of
the government to make sacrifices from which developing countries might
gain. In this paper, I will test British theory against a recent sample
of American opinion.
Is Piracy Illegitimate for Legitimate Demand?
With the growing concern over
piracy comes the idea of stricter enforcement of intellectual property
rights in foreign countries. Most would agree with this course of
action, but they fail to realize that those who purchase these pirated
copies of works would not be able purchase the products otherwise. How,
then, do we ensure that inventors and autors maintain their rights to
their products while allowing those who cannot afford these products to
benefit as well?
Cost of Drug Development and Affordability
Anthony Arias, Caleb Reinhold, Khadija Shaikh
For the past twenty years, American
pharmaceutical companies have averaged profit margins over 18%.
Compared to an average of 3.3% in other industries, an 18% profit
margin is phenomenal. However, critics of the pharmaceutical industry
claim that these unparalleled profits come at too high a cost to
individuals and government healthcare programs. But it is these high
costs that pay for the research and development of new drugs. With
direct federal aid, such as Medicare, and indirect funding in the form
of grants for public research, which lower total research costs for
companies, affordable drugs can be made more affordable.
PRESENTERS: Andrew Uihlein, Derin Dayigil, Patrick Oakford
MODERATOR: Robert Rubin, University Writing Program, GW
Marx and the Misimplementation of Socialism
Marx's concept of Socialism as laid
out in his various writings presents a picture of his ideal socialist
state. Having primarily considered Germany in developing his ideas,
Marx's theories can have unpredictable results outside of that society.
As other countries became exposed to his ideas and attempted to
implement them within their own states, his ideas lost their intended
meaning and contributed to what sometimes amounted to unjust
revolutions resulting in non-Marxist states. An examination of the
actions of Stalin, Mao, and other leaders of so-called socialist
movements reveals discrepancies between Marx's views and their own.
Turkey and the Türban: How the AKP Spins Heads
The Turkish religious party, known
as the AKP, now controls the government and has convinced Turks to
change their constitution to allow women to wear ritual head coverings
to universities. This goes against the reforms that Mustafa K.
Atatürk envisioned when establishing Turkey as a modern
Westernized nation. This paper analyzes arguments set forth both by
Secularists and Islamists to show how the AKP has "spun" the issue,
comparing their tactics to those used by the opposition. By examing the
rhetoric, I will show how this symbol has created a cultural change,
and how Turkish secular ideology is slowly slipping away.
The Haymarket Riot: Creating the Public Sphere as We Know
The Labor Movements throughout the
latter portion of the 19th Century were consumed with many protests and
strikes. In this paper, the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago,
Illinois, will serve as a clear example of how the Labor Movement in
the U.S. arrived out of an inadequate public sphere. The inability of
the labor class to actively participate in society so as to voice
concern and gain solutions to everyday problems will be examined as a
cause for their movement. It was ultimately events such as the
Haymarket Riot that altered the public sphere so that its character was
one based on plurality and competition rather than that of a single
PRESENTERS: Jordan Farber, Michael Holmes Johnston, Thavisay Keoboundphanh, Jessica Anderson, Ashwini Poola, Jessica Hoffman, Jessica Gordon
Shelly Heller, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Mount Vernon Campus, Professor, Department of Computer Science, GW
A Closer Look at the Evolution of the African American
Everyday we break down the racial walls that our society has set up. Though these walls are centuries old, in a period spanning a little over 30 years, from 1940 to the late 1970s, we can see a dismantling of racial stereotypes in comic books. This presentation investigates the change in perception of African American characters from comic book and other media, from their inception as the "laughable fool" to the strong and independent character associated with the black superheroes of the 1970s. I will investigate examples where the stereotype remains even after this time of evolution.
The Boston School Desegregation Crisis
Michael Holmes Johnston
The conflict over school desegregation in Charlestown, Massachusetts , serves as a microcosm for the intense racial and cultural tensions that existed throughout the country during the inception of school desegregation. Critical issues such as educational equality, cultural and local identity, and racial tensions are omnipresent throughout the entire integration process, and will be explored through the perspectives of local residents.
Manga and Fantasy
Even though many genres of manga have been created for a certain audience, there are cross-readerships among these audiences. Some grown men in Japan have actually confessed that they love reading girls' manga. The reason could be that manga, whether for girls or boys, contains heavy sexually explicit material. A variety of fantasies are depicted in manga: for example, rape, incest, homosexuality, etc. The surprise is that there are women writers and consumers who enjoy the violently themed manga. It is ironic that sexually oppressed Japanese women would produce materials for themselves, and at the same time, some men enjoy it too. The question here is why the Japanese embrace these sexual fantasies, especially in manga.
The State and Prostitution: A Call to Consciousness
The role of the State is fiercely debated in most societies, as is the level of control that the State should maintain. The State's control of prostitution, and hence prostitutes, however, is one area that most citizens would not argue due to the stigma that prostitution carries. Unfortunately, the State's control of prostitution, both legislatively as well as physically, is not a glowing example of responsibility but rather a history of power abuse and irresponsible governing. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, this report's intent is not simply to critique the role of the State in the control of prostitution, but rather to suggest that civil society and women themselves should be at the forefront of the fight against prostitution.
Stealing a Bite
After swallowing a bite of food, you may think no one else would want to claim ownership of it. But the development, preparation, and sale of food all have the potential to be enormously lucrative, and everyone involved in coming up with a new way to fill your belly wants to make sure he or she gets credit for it. As a result, intellectual property rights are becoming increasingly connected to the food industry. This presentation will examine what rights a participant in the food industry has, as well as what rights the producers and consumers in the food industry believe should be allocated for him or her.Who Says That It Can Only Mean That?
This presentation's goal is to discribe the differences between a widely accepted idea of how to examine comics to determine their general concept, idea, or moral, and the varied ideas of other comic book critics/artists and how they feel comics should be examined and investigated to reveal their author's intended agenda.
The Thick and Thin of D.C. Community Organizations
This group project will introduce
the Symposium audience to the
concepts of "thick" and "thin" models of service, drawing on Keith
Morton's essay "The Irony of Service." Our class poster will invite
to engage in thick models with various D.C. organizations, approaches
according to Morton, are "sustaining and potentially
revolutionary." This presentation draws on our experiences with five
D.C. community groups: The Higher
Achievement Program, CentroNía, Washington Parks & People,
Dinner Program for Homeless Women, and Miriam's Kitchen.
Discussing the Rhetoric of Writing
Schools teach writing using a thesis-argument-based format: students must present themselves as all-knowing experts on their given topic and write with forceful authority. Rarely are students taught to question what their teachers, and other authority figures, write and say. The combined result is a student who is self-righteous and overly confident in the power of the established authority. Schools' hegemonic dominance over methods of thinking and writing foster obedience that exist in the classroom and in the world beyond. There is an underlying yet powerful rhetoric in thesis-driven arguement, a rhetoric that creates individuals who follow the cultural norms of thinking and behavior. These cultural "norms" reflect traditional and antiquated ideals of what American life should be like: citizens should follow elected officials, serve their country, and be economically productive memebers of society.
PRESENTERS: Andy Noel, Michelle Freeman
RESPONDENT: Phyllis Ryder, University Writing Program, GW
MODERATOR: David Ettinger, Reference and Instruction
Two former UW20 students have taken the research based writing they did in UW20 public. They will address both practical questions of public writing (how did they identify an audience? a publication? how did they revise their paper for a publication?) as well as theoretical issues of public writing (how do they see their work contributing to public knowledge and social ideas? how do they see them selves as public writers? what does their writing add to current debates, ideas, questions? how does their writing itself further, even change, public knowledge?).
Ocutl, Or "Being in the Torch"
Today, indigenous Mayan communities continue to respond and react to oppressive economic frameworks and political procedures acquired from Latin America’s colonial era. Drawing on indigenous and liberation theological perspectives, this paper serves as an interdisciplinary examination of contemporary Mayan resistance against neoliberal macrostructures. In addition, it serves as a theoretical exploration of the broader divergences between Western discourses and indigenous voices. This paper, begun in UW20, was published in Young Scholars in Research and Writing.
The Freeman Legacy: Their Past, His Future, One Survival
As the compilation of ongoing dialogue between two Holocaust survivors and their son, this piece is a captivating tale that exposes the struggle by both generations to survive the survival. In an effort to preserve personal memory and still be a genuine representation of history, this essay becomes a unique testament of Holocaust legacy. Ultimately, the haunting testimonies transform individual readers from bystander to witness. While this piece is a personal illustration of the disjointed relationship between two generations, it serves also as a window into the complex dynamic between all survivors and their children. Michelle was asked to contribute her paper to the National Holocaust Museum's archive, making it available as a resource to researchers and writers.
PRESENTERS: Kristina Zarenko; Nicholas McClure; Ashley Woodcock and Emelia Carhart
MODERATOR: Cayo Gamber, University Writing Program, GW
It's All in Your Head: Disordered Narratives in Film
David Denby's essay The New Disorder examines films
such as Momento and Pulp Fiction that use disordered
narratives to tell their story. Though his examinations may seem
supportive of this type of narrative, he mandates that disordered
narratives are not the best way to tell a powerful story. November is a film that tells a
strong story about the effects of grief and trauma on the mind, but
this could not be done without the use of a disordered narrative
because that narrative accurately reflects the main character's state
of mind. November also proves
that in the disorder of this type of narrative lies a solid structure
as is shown through the use of Kühbler-Ross's stages of grief.
The Art of Loneliness
This paper explores the theme of
loneliness as it is presented in the oeuvre of Wes Anderson, focusing
on the development of the cinematic and literary devices used
throughout his work. Most importantly, this research examines the use
of a novel artistic device I call "juxtaposition" as Anderson uses it
in The Darjeeling Limited and
Influential Men, Food, or Culture: Do Experiences Change a
Ashley Woodcock and Emelia Carhart
The paper presents the results of
spending significant time in a foreign culture. I explores the role of
gender and personal experiences in developing a food identity. A
person's food habits, culinary voice, and gender roles are entwined and
dependant facets of identity, influenced and defined by many factors
that compose life and experience. The societal status of a person may
influence how they interpret their experiences of foreign cultures and
how they share these experiences. Modern Americans do not related
gender role to food often, but many cultures have clearly defined roles
PRESENTERS: Wyatt Johnston, Heejin Yoon
MODERATOR: Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, PhD, Georgetown University
Zombies are The Man: Dystopic Elements in Zombie Stories
Zombie movies have long captured
the scary bones (and
imaginations) of people the world over. There are distinct dystopic
elements that can be found in the zombie subgenre. This presentation
explores the similarities that can be found between classic dystopias
in 1984, Brave New World, and other novels
and films, with the dystopic elements found in zombie films and books
in hopes of finding greater insight into how a dystopia comes to
America: The New Shock Absorber
My research project will be about
Americans' increasing desensitization to violence in high schools. The
Columbine shooting shocked, not only the community surrounding
Columbine, but the entire world. Since then, many shootings have
happened in high schools but each seems to receive less and less
attention, shock, and sympathy. School violence has become "normal" or
"expected." My topic researches the reasons behind the
desensitization of the American psyche.
PRESENTERS: Ki Yong Yi, Jamie Benson
MODERATOR: Joseph P. Fisher, Ph.D., Learning Specialist,
Disability Support Services, GW
Behind the Mask: Unmasking the Secrets of a Vigilante
Ki Yong Yi
They have entertained the world for
years. Children idolize them. But what lies at the heart of some of the
world's most prominent vigilante movie heroes? Through the help of
scholarly works that show how different traumatic events lead to
different vigilante reactions, this piece will reveal the connections
and secrets behind the vigilante movie hero. What in Batman's past made
him choose a bat to be his icon, and why is he opposed to using guns in
his vigilante crusade? Why is The Punisher so ruthless in his missions?
These questions will be answered and more.
Digging Deeper: The Agricultural Revolution and Other
Alternative Themes in Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The 1950s was a transitional period
for American citizens, and the fear of communism would resonate as a
popular theme in various pieces of film and literature. The 1956 horror
film Invasion of the Body Snatchers
has been critically analyzed as an example of such work, though only
basic parallels have been applied. In an exhaustive and thorough study
of Invasion, I have come to
the conclusion there are alternative metaphors to the film, including a
new historical parallel involving America's Second Agricultural
Revolution. Based on various sources, my presentation is a fresh
and entertaining approach in critical analysis.
PRESENTERS: Stephanie Benanty, Rachel Steyer, and Hannah Snyder; Danielle Pierce, Trevor Tistler, and Michael Donaldson; Abigail Hehmeyer
MODERATOR: Alyssa Steinmetz, Sophomore, International Affairs,
2007 Symposium Presenter, GW
The Marketing Strategies of AIDS Organizations in the
Washington, D.C. Area
Stephanie Benanty, Rachel Steyer, Hannah Snyder
Recent statistical evidence
demonstrates the alarming rate at which AIDS permeates the Washington,
D.C. area. Due to the lack of readily available information regarding
AIDS awareness in Washington, D.C., our paper seeks to examine the
reasoning behind this phenomenon. Some organizations seem to be driven
by ambiguous motives for funding, as opposed to funding for the sole
promotion of AIDS education. Therefore, we have concluded that the
publicized information is not being broadcast to the proper audience in
need of facts. Given our research, we have to assert the unfortunate
fact that lower income, minority groups have a greater risk for the
contraction of AIDS; coincidentally, they also have the least amount of
access to the proper healthcare, which includes counseling, testing,
and preventative measures.
Equally Represented? D.C.'s Fight for Equality
Danielle Pierce, Trevor Tistler, Michael Donaldson
Though the U.S. Constitution
established a federal district to be completely controlled by Congress,
conditions today would permit a plausible co-existence of the Federal
Government and an autonomous local government in the District. By
granting representation to the capital, no threat would be posed to the
security of the federal government. Racism has played a role in the
District's voting rights since its incorporation. This not only
disenfranchises a large population from participating in national
issues, but also denies the District the right to govern their own
affairs. The underlying reasons for not allowing D.C. to have voting
rights are all politically based, and are debated constantly, such as
race and party affiliation.
Global Warming and the Formation of a Social Movement in
Talk of global warming brings to
mind the endless bickering of politicians debating scientific reports,
but interestingly, as time goes on, more and more people are very
clearly acknowledging the problem of global warming and desiring
solutions, even when the politicians are not. Repeatedly in our
country's history, representatives have started to stray from what
their constituents acutally want, and this may be a similar case. What
does it take for people to begin to create change from the ground up?
Here we will be analyzing what it takes to start a social movement,
what would have to happen for people to demand action on climate
change, and what road blocks are in the way.
PRESENTERS: Adrianne Castro, Daria-Ann Martineau, Christy Sanford
MODERATOR: Jennifer Joyce Kissko, University Writing Program,
The Perfection of the Imperfect American Family
American family films today do not
reflect a Leave It to Beaver-esque,
made-to-cookie-cutter-perfection existence in their society. Rather,
these types of films, such as The
Royal Tenenbaums, personify the dysfunction intertwined with
quirky charm that American families often embody. Why is there such a
tendency in the American film industry now to characterize families as
something less than ideal? This presentation will focus on the argument
that American people favor family films that feature the dysfunction of
their onscreen counterparts rather than family films that depict
perfection, and what this means in the society.
Post It: The Public and Private Duality of Postsecret.com
This presentation will focus on the
blog Postsecret.com. It will
address the concepts of creative emotional outlets, connecting with
strangers online, and confession. The following questions and topics
will be posed in a slideshow presentation:
This paper will cover the practice
of "murderabilia": the buying, selling, or collecting of items
belonging to serial killers. This small facet of society displays an
odd behavior which I believe is a more concentrated version of a more
general American societal fascination with serial killers. As I have
yet to find any scholarly articles already published on the subject of
"murderabilia," my paper will bring this topic to light and explore the
psychological and sociological reasoning surrounding this behavior, as
well as looking at the practice over time.
PRESENTERS: Sarah Hoffman; Beryl Price, Claire Ragozzino, Vickie Chung; Kathleen Chu, Nicole Langworthy, and Jessi Mann
MODERATOR: G. Amaris Keith, Graduate Teaching Assistant,
Women's Studies Program, GW
The New Philanthropy: Leveraging the Power of
in Indigenous Communities
This paper sets out to investigate
the limitations of conventional philanthropy in the process of hunger
eradication in indigenous Peruvian communities. In such
communities, women bear the heavy responsibility of resolving
hunger-related issues but are denied access to the resources,
education, and the social freedom they would need to fulfill these
responsibilities. Through contextual analysis of two types of poverty
alleviation efforts in indigenous Peru, and through a series of
relevant social claims, this paper will work to establish a new view of
philanthropic responsibility and what it means to be an active citizen
participating in global communities.
Freeganism: Fighting the System through Food
Beryl Price, Claire Ragozzino, Vickie Chung
This ethnographic-style research
paper takes a closer look at a social movement that aims to mobilize
against the injustices that occur in a capitalist society. Through our
focus on three participants, we uncover the practices behind
"Freeganism," whose adherents dumpster-dive in order to reclaim food
that would otherwise be thrown out as waste. Organizations like Food
Not Bombs work to promote the ideals of Freeganism, which aim to fight
consumerism while raising awareness about anti-militarism,
environmental sustainability, poverty, and socioeconomic inequalities.
The lifestyles of our subjects revealed that Freeganism, though
seemingly radical, can be used on a variety of levels as a tool of
social change working toward an end goal of sustainable consumer
Does the Apple Fall Far from the Tree? A Look into
Mother-Daughter Food Habits
Kathleen Chu, Nicole Langworthy, Jessi Mann
When our grandmothers adopted the
role of "food provider" for our mothers and their siblings, they
generally took on the entire process of food preparation. However, once
our own mothers took on the role of cooking, they aimed to demonstrate
the importance of food preparation as being a family activity instead
of a solitary one. We believe that even though traditional gender roles
have changed over generations, certain values of food preparation have
remained the same and have allowed women to identify with their roles
in the kitchen—whatever those may be.
PRESENTERS: Chenkai Zhu, Meghan Kelly, Zipporah Miles
MODERATOR: Dolsy Smith, Instruction and Reference Librarian,
Gelman Library, GW
Landscape: Time, Space, and the Construction of
The ability to think abstractly is
conventionally known as the distinctly human form of consciousness.
Consciousness, however, is constructed though the interaction of time
and space--the same means by which landscape is conceptualized. The
study of landscape establishes that culture and rituals, supposedly human creations, are simply the
material manifestations of consciousness. Yet animals also experience
time and space when interacting with their environment and they, too,
have rituals. This paper uses the study of landscape to elucidate how
perceptions of time and space for both humans and animals result in
similar manifestations of culture and ritual--and possibly
consciousness. It posits that abstract thinking is not necessary in
determining the presence of consciousness.
I Want Candy: Marie Antoinette Is Human
Sofia Coppola portrayed the title
character of her 2006 film, Marie
Antoinette, as a girl for whom your heart aches. Has your heart
ever ached for George Bush? This presentation will show you Coppola's
intention to humanize political figures in a time so sensitive to their
Cyborg: The Link Between Humans and Technology
Technology has become one of the
greatest and most helpful parts of life in society, life both human and
animal, and the constant inventions that are conceived, created, or
modified bring a certain level of comfort to which we all look and to
which we have become accustomed. However, as amazing as technology
seems to be, there are certain limitations to what can and cannot be
carried out by technology. Every day, medicine seems to push at these
limits and even expand beyond them. But what happens when technology is
incorporated into the human body, tucked away beyond anyone's control?
PRESENTERS: Nada Raoof, Nico Brancolini, and Sam Schall; Victoria Robinson; Diana Siozios
MODERATOR: Tina Plottel, Reference and Instruction Librarian,
Donna Reed and Things that Bleed: Exploration of Fear in
Nada Raoof, Nico Brancolini, Sam Schall
For film buffs of all stripes, here
is a presentation complete with audience participation, clips galore,
and an emphasis on horror films (looking specifically at Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Stepford Wives). We hope to
teach the audience to take it upon themselves to analyze all different
kinds of material in new ways. We will stress the importance of looking
for meaning in elements that may not have initially seemed relevant. It
is in this research that they an create new themes and ideas about the
material that is presented to them.
Belting It Out: The Affect of Laughter
This paper explores the concept of
"affect" as it relates to laughter. I use the word "explore"
deliberately, for I do not seek in this paper to form a concrete
definition of "affect," but, rather, to invoke its sense and to push my
fellow scholars to further consider its meaning. My paper will express
the notion of affect primarily through Zapatista writing, but the most
significant aspect of the presentation will by the diversity of
secondary sources that are put into communication with the primary
Zapatista communiques. The presentation, overall, will serve more as a
gathering of ideas than a topical research project.
Hip Hop Harmony: The Influences of Hip Hop on Youth Culture
Hip Hop is a phenomenon. Everyday
its popularity booms across the nation though the media, dance, music,
graffiti, books, in stores, even in the slang and styles of kids in
schools and in the malls. But is there a greater impact and message of
hip hop that is not presented by this consumer/popular culture? This is
what I hope to uncover in writing this paper. This project deals with
hip hop's expanding incorporation in education, politics, and art and
focuses on examining to what extent and for what purpose it is becoming
legitimized in these fields. People that understand and live the hip
hop culture know how much its relevance in these fields could really
make progress, and this is why getting educators, scholars, and
politicians to understand this would create greater unity and growth of
society as a whole.
PRESENTERS: Siwar El-Amin, Meera Sawkar, Carly Allen
MODERATOR: Neil Irvin, National Director, Men of Strength
Club; Director of Community Education. Men Can Stop Rape
Culture, History, and Starbucks: The Gentrification of
Gentrification, by definition, is
the process in which households and businesses of higher economic
status invest in areas that are less financially developed. This
development, along with a significant raise in the standard of living,
has been most prolifically seen in the racially diverse area of Harlem,
New York. This restructuring has displaced thousands who simply cannot
keep up, while disturbing the equilibrium of the area and resulting in
clashes in race, income, and status. Ultimately, the surface-level
advantages of urban reformatting must take a backseat to the
humanitarian development pertaining to the wellbeing of those
neighborhoods and lifestyles being exploited.
An Analysis of the Structure and Flaws in Microfinance and
Application at a University
This paper analyzes microfinance
services, the flaws that restrict them, and how they can be implemented
on a college campus. Microfinance services provide basic banking tools
such as loans and savings for the poor. The entrepeneurs receiving
those loans can then use the money to invest in a business, enabling
them to save and plan for the future. Traditional banks do not allow
poor people to amass assests; they enable people who already have
substantial net worth to continue amassing assets. Microfinance is not
the answer to end poverty, but it can certainly play a crucial role. In
successful institutes, the default rate is exceptionally lower than
traditional banks. The internationally renowned Grameen Bank, for
instance, has a default rate of 2%. Other institutes, while showing
some success, have found it difficult to replicate these same results,
and this paper will critically analyze the flaws and drawbacks of
microfinance in order to explain how a microfinance organization can
function at GW and be run by students. The organization can help create
successful small businesses in D.C. by providing small-scale,
low-interest loans in order to help entrepeneurs who lack the resources
California: Why the Golden State Is So Green
Why is a state paving the way on
climate change rather than our national government? Of course, there is
a correlation between the facts that California is a very liberal state
and the state with the nation's toughest environmental laws and
regulations. New York is also a liberal state, and yet New Yorkers
typically are less involved in environmental activism and global
warming prevention than Californians. Clearly, then, there is something
beyond being liberal that is fueling California to be so "green." This
paper suggests that it could be due to California's unique problems as
a result of global warming, a question this paper will try further to
PRESENTERS: Saara Hafiz, Anna Johnson
MODERATOR: Christopher Sten, Professor of English and
Director, WID Program
The American Dream: Freedom to Exclude
Throughout history, the societal
stigmatization and misunderstanding of certain ethnic, religious, and
social groups has been a feature of our society--as American as apple
pie. Along with the beloved freedoms of speech and information has come
the tradeoff of having to sift through slanderous misrepresentations of
the homeless and downtrodden of society in the name of making a quick
buck providing media entertainment to the masses. This paper discusses,
and visually illustrates, the controversy surrounding censorship of
certain forms of media, and why imposing restrictions may be more
helpful than hurtful in the long run. It explores the widespread
exploitation of the homeless by using the interpretive frameworks of
mental illness and the American work ethic to examine the creation of
widely accepted negative stereotypes that lead to violence and societal
Gender and Fear in Public Space: How Do Social Norms
to Sexual Violence against Homeless Women?
Why is it considered dangerous for
a woman to walk to her apartment alone at night but not a man? How does
the gendering of public space affect homeless women living on the
streets? This paper seeks to examine the creation of masculine public
space in the city and how identifying the gendering of city streets can
be useful in understanding the problem of sexual violence against
homeless women so that we can more thoughtfully and intentionally seek
to combat this problem and assist those who have been victimized by it.
PRESENTERS: Celeste Carano, Lauren Kasiarz, Alexa Koenig,
Lee, Kanishk Mishra, Loc Nguyen, Chase Woodruff
MODERATOR: Ann Brown, Reference and Instruction Librarian,
Devil Dogs: How Conflicting Understandings of Marine Corps
Culture Has Contributed to Military Disenfranchisement
The United States Marine Corps has over 200 years of history that have created a distinct culture and identity fit for this elite fighting force. In recent years, however, as the percentage of Americans in direct contact with the military declines, this culture has become so distinct from mainstream America that many Americans no longer understand the purpose of the Marines' existence. For the sake of American foreign policy and the future of our military, Americans must renew their understanding of the Marines' role and close the gap between the civilian and military realms.
China's Mondernization and Intellectual Property Theft
Over the past fifty years, China has developed rapidly, becoming one of the world's superpowers over the course of a few mere decades. What has contributed to this great success for China? In part, intellectual property theft. In this project, I will analyze how the effects of intellectual property infringement have hurt world copyright holders and helped the Chinese economy. Is this global development more important than copyright protection? Or should individuals have greater protection under international law?
Genetic Engineering: Designer Babies and a Homologous
The world of genetic engineering is progressing much faster than people may believe, or may want to believe. The ideas presented in works such as Frankenstein or Brave New World may seem absurd. But in reality, researchers are not far off from having the ability to create human beings with specific traits. This project sets out to present the current and prospective technologies associated with genetic engineering, and to describe what these possibilities mean for the future of society in social, economic, and evolutionary contexts.
The Effect that Line and Color Can Have on a Reader
Their Aesthetic Appeal
In the graphic novel 300, Frank Miller, along with color arist Lynn Varley, collaborated to recreate the classic legend of the battle of Thermopylae. In depicting this battle, the use of line and color play a key role in how audiences can interact with the graphic novel, with effects that range from highlighting and emphasizing importance through line and detail, to the use of color to signify the feeling of calm before the storm. From these elements, we can see what Miller and Varley perhaps intended to do in their use of these techniques. And we can ask whether they were successful or not.
Human Rights in North Korea
Jae Min Lee
When people talk about human rights in North Korea, they usually talk about what kinds of human rights are abused in North Korea through harsh excesses such as imprisonment and the death penalty. However, my presentation will focus on the kinds of human rights that North Korean have--at least on paper. People may be surprised to learn that North Korea's socialist law claims about 170 freedoms for its citizens, including the freedom of speech, religion and eduation. But my poster will present cases that show the wide gap between what is claimed and a totally different reality.
20th-Century Politics in the The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin were written by Herge and told the adventures of a reporter in various countries. In this presentation, I intend to examine the representation of politics, and in particular the ideologies of communism in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and fascism in Tintin and the Picaros. Herge subtly provides commentary on these disparate political entities in two of his comics and has been criticized for this; however, my claim will be that his work should be viewed as a perspective from the time in which he lived.
Transcending Medium Evolutions: How Solid is Solid
The Metal Gear Solid graphic novel has its source material in a video game. But what happens to the material and its effectiveness when the medium evolves to take the form of a digital graphic novel? Is the definition of a graphic novel given by Scott McCloud muddied as a result? To what extent does a digital graphic novel offer such things as "immersion," if it does at all? This presentation seeks to invoke pondering on the part of the audience on the idea of digital graphic novels in addition to considering the effectiveness of digitizing a comic.
Spin Doctors: The Insurance Lobby and Health Care Reform
With insurance premiums skyrocketing, and 47 million Americans not insured at all, health care reform is a central issue in the 2008 election. Many activists advocate a switch to a federal, tax-based "single-payer" system, which would likely drive down costs and provide universal coverage. But it would also eliminate private health insurance companies, and the industry has spent millions to convince politicians and the public to prevent significant reforms from taking place. Why have they been so successfull in shaping public opinion? Is their rhetoric accurate? And what is the future of health care politics, in 2008 and beyond?
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina stuck the Gulf Coast, inflicting tremendous damage on the people and the area. The U.S. population flocked to aid the helpless victims, and money and volunteers poured into New Orleans. The federal government, however halted this mobilization. The government distracted and demobilized the population in order to garner resources to implement and maintain policies to preserve American hegemony. People are attracted to distractions because of their attraction to power and hegemonic figures, and opposed to impoverished areas of New Orleans. The Bush Administration uses rhetoric and language to orchestrate a politics of fear by claiming that this "Global War on Terror" is the chief concern for Americans. In actuality, the Bush Administration merely aims to maintain the status of the United States on the global stage.
PRESENTERS: Chirag Hirawat; Hagan Wong, Shannon Kustra, and Kristina Panayiotou; Sam Blackman
MODERATOR: Laura Daughtery, Social Work Professor, National
Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America
Globalization and the Erosion of the Indian Family
I plan to explore the topic of
globalization and its harmful consequences on Indian society and
culture. Most citizens of the world have only heard of the positive
impact of this phenomenon (stimulating the economy, a better standard
of living, etc.) but have failed to acknowledge its unfavorable
repercussions. Globalization has resulted in the gradual decline of the
Indian nuclear family system. It has bred the independence of the
children in the house and has disintegrated family values and
traditions. This topic is of grave importance to Indian identity.
Developed Nations vs. Developing Nations in the Job Market
Hagan Wong, Shannon Kustra, Kristina Panayiotou
Today, as the number of qualified
individuals entering the job market increases, this paper finds that
employment opportunities start to decrease in the developed world.
Through studies of globalization, economic factors, changing trends in
job popularity, the impact of higher education, gender issues and
roles, and the significance of evolving technology, our paper examines
how each of these areas affects employment outcomes in the 21st
century. Our presentation will examine the employment crisis in the
developed nations and how it has benefited poorer nations in terms of
job prospects and development booms.
The Political Implications Regarding Climate Change for
This research paper will study
other scholarly articles related to the changing global dynamic of
political power as a result of post cold-war era globalization and a
proven climate change shift occuring across the planet. A focus is
specifically placed on the future of the United States and the
political adaptations that the U.S. must make in order to sustain its
competitive advantage as the premier superpower, with solving climate
change as the most important determining factor. An analysis of the
studied material will then be used to create a theory about the future
of the United States as a world leader.
PRESENTERS: Hilary A. Swaim, Dhruv Choudhry
MODERATOR: Corbin Lyday, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer,
Elliott School of International Affairs, GW
Can you Repeat That? How New England and Southern Dialects
Affect the Social Knowledge and Social Competence of College Students
Hilary A. Swaim
This research will examine the topic of language socialization through the lens of socioeconomics and anthropology. The term "social knowledge" refers to using language as a tool for socialization. The theory of social knowledge argues that there are certain norms for language use within different communities. Adapting to these norms is a measure of "social competence." The paper will argue that dialects have different cultural value for members of different dialect communities. Focusing on the dialect regions of New England and areas such as south and east of the Potomac and Mississippi Rivers, the perceptions of these speech patterns will be garnered from interviews of George Washington University students and faculty, statistics from competitive employers, and historical and contemporary studies from the Smithsonian American Folklife Center. Investigating the question of how different dialects affect individual and regional social knowledge and how these potentially different social understandings affect an individual's position as a "competent member of society" (Schiefflin and Ochs) will provide a diverse audience with a substantiated correlation between speech patterns and social knowledge. The study will focus on college students in order to investigate how we interact with members of different dialect communities in the place where we simultaneously attend school and reside.
Facebook and Online Authorship
Facebook is a household name across
college campuses around the country, and it is the most popular social
networking site among college students. But as convenient and as
successful as Facebook is, there are many issues related to it that
directly impact students and that raise intellectual property concerns
as well. This papers asks who owns a respective profile page: the user,
or Facebook? And more generally, who owns what you post on the
Has the concept of online authorship been blurred in our time?
PRESENTERS: Lisa Hartland, Madiha Malik, Elizabeth Merritt
MODERATOR: Pat McGann, Communications Director, Men Can Stop
Language and Society Juxtaposed: Redefining Cultural Norms
Language is a socially-enforced
cultural norm that undergoes constant tension to maintain the status
quo of acceptable content while simultaneously embodying societal
change. I will explore the translation of this tension into current
affairs with a focus on the recently rapid emergence of the Spanish
language and its implications for the evolving United States society. I
will question the importance of a national language and its
representation of cultural identity. This article will examine the
increasingly bilingual nature of the English language--as spoken in the
United States--that transforms, and is transformed by, societal forms.
Truth in Black and White: The Failure of American School
to Recognize African American English as a Dialect and Not a Deficit
This paper delves into the
controversial issue of African American English (AAE) and the failure
of American schools to recognize the validity of this dialect of the
English language largely attributed to African Americans. Because
classrooms are structured around the more common dialect of Standard
American English, African Americans speaking vernacular AAE at a
disadvantage compared to their White peers. This "Black-White"
achievement gap is visible when comparing standardized test scores of
both races and presents a problem that must be confronted as it
directly affects the future of the African American youth of our
Gay and Straight Comics Authors and Their Gay Protagonists
This paper discusses the
differences between gay and straight authors who include homosexual
characters in their comic strips. Often the straight authors will
introduce a gay character and include some initial turbulence, but then
quickly assimilate the character into society. In contrast, gay authors
will closely examine culture and include the ongoing conflicts that
happen between gay and straight cultures. My work extends that of
Edward Sewell in his "Queer Characters in Comic Strips," with the
intent to examine why newspapers and public in general react negatively
to the introduction of gay characters into comic strips. This will
partly explain why straight authors shy away from portraying ongoing
and deep conflicts between gay and dominant straight cultures.
PRESENTERS: UW20, Section 34: Vicktery Sanchez, Jackie Gabela,
Pyatybratova, Olivia Richman, Cooper Klose, Xi Zhitong, Mikhail Flom,
Christina Preddice, Joseph Park, Lynn Lee, Joshua Lee, Catherine
Michelle Auron, Caitlin Fitzpatrick, and Rachel Benlisa
MODERATOR: Sandie Friedman, University Writing Program, GW
The students of UW20 Section 34 have composed a panel that highlights the research methods the class has been learning in how to conduct archival research. Jennifer King, a librarian with Special Collections, played an instrumental role in assisting the class in constructing this panel proposal and in helping them to find the materials they will present The panel examines how history has been documented by artists, GW students, American travelers, and guide-book writers of the 19th to 20th centuries , and presents primary document research in Gelman Library's Special Collections. Through four audio-visual presentations on travel and the history of Washington, D. C., this panel will address ethical and/or technical issues related to social justice, cultural trends, and representations of reality.
A GWU Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: A History of
Justice on Campus
Vicktery Sanchez, Jackie Gabela, Kate Pyatybratova
The advent of modern means of
transportation has been closely tied with social changes of the late
19th and 20th centuries; this interconnection has been especially
pronounced among the GW students who, conveniently situated in the
downtown of America's capital, helped mobilize important social
changes. Using maps, photos, and documentary evidence from Gelman's
Special Collections, our group will recreate the experiences of three
famous GW alumnae: Mabel Thurston, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and
Courtney Cox Arquette, who would have observed how the push for civil
rights of women and African Americans, and the calls for environmental
protection affected GW transit throughout history and today.
Your Pen is Not Your Lens
Olivia Richman, Cooper Klose, Xi Zhitong, Mikhail Flom
It is a responsibilty of
photographers, artists, and guides to report exactly what they have
seen and perceived. By examining travel guides, pictures, and articles,
we will try to discover what really happened when reporters, artists
and guides described a place to visit. Our group will compare the ways
in which individuals have camptured images of foreign people and places
from the last century's use of lithographs (1838-1840) to contemporary
digital photographs, taken specifically by paparazzi, in order to show
how 19th-century artists and present-day photographers skew reality. We
will use primary sources of lithographs by David Roberts from the
Gelman Library's Special Collections to show how interpretation can
differ from the truth.
Where Have All the Tourists Gone? Changing Trends in D. C.
Christina Preddice, Joseph Park, Lynn Lee, Joshua Lee
D.C. guidebooks from the 1840s show
us that graves were once one of the most popular tourist attractions in
D.C. Today, these formerly popular sites have been buried under advice
to see other things, such as the Smithsonian museums. Through our
research into guidebooks to Washington, D.C.'s history and culture from
Special Collections, we will explore that idea that although specific
sites still exist and mark significant eras within D.C. and the United
States as a whole, we find that, with the development of D.C. itself,
many of these "sites" have disappeared from the pages of tour guides.
What has happened to these historically deep-rooted sights/sites? Where
did they go and why did they disappear?
What Does This Mean to You? Travel Reporting Then and Now
Catherine Ker, Michelle Auron, Caitlin Fitzpatrick, Rachel Benlisa
When was the last time you went on
a trip and recorded in your travel journal the number of board games
you played? When was the last time you used a travel journal? In our
presentation, we will look at Henry David Litchfield's travel journals
and photographs from the 1800s from Special Collections. Comparing them
to Webshots and travel blogs today, we will explore what is of
importance to individuals of then and today.
PANEL: Jon Binetti, Jacob J. Jones, Casey Wach
MODERATOR: Matthew Riley, University Writing Program, GW
Geoengineering: Friend or Foe?
Geoengineering solutions are
creative and varied. Many of them have the best of intentions in mind
and have far reaching capabilities. The problem that many run into when
imagining or modeling the effects of these geoengineering solutions is
that there are some unwanted and negative effects. This paper analyzes
how well geoengineering solutions take the environment into account
and, more importantly, the values motivating proposed solution. Trying
to turn back our destructive habits is a problem that is literally
global in scale, the likes of which has never been seen before. What
values should be first and foremost?
Horse Money: The Selfish Veneration of Race Horses in
Jacob J. Jones
Whereas millions of people may
gather to watch Kobe Bryant's game winning dunks, millions also gather
at the Kentucky Derby to watch horses race down the homestretch. While
racehorses are seemingly elevated to human status, the effect our
veneration has on the horses is not so glorious. The constant training,
the perilous races themselves, and even the use of performance
enhancing drugs are damaging. Ultimately, horseracing culture is a
microcosm for humanity's harmful objectification of nature: the horse
is taken from its environment and turned into a spectacle of
entertainment and profit. This behavior might also be responsible for
society's current environmental concerns, in which nature has been
molded for our own needs.
Told to Kill: A Study on Obedience Resulting in Heinous
This paper will analyze the
atrocious events near Waco, Texas February 28 through April 19, 1993,
in order to determine the effect that the phrase "just following
orders" had on the devasting outcome. The shaping of this analysis will
include the implementation of data from these psychological studies:
the Asch Study (1951), The Milgram Experiment (1963), and the Standord
Prison Experiment (1971). Furthermore, this paper will address the
psychological frameworks of dissociation to responsibility, conformity,
and distorted role identity in order to expand upon the former
psychological research, conglomerating the data in analysis of this
tragic historical senario.
PRESENTERS: Mariana Yazbek and Rachel Vorsanger; Thao T. Nguyen
MODERATOR: Dolores Perillấn, Poetica 21 ~ Word in Action:
Professor, GW; Faculty Fellow, Service Learning, CoRAL Network
Feeding Social Change: A Study of Food Activisim
Mariana Yazbek, Rachel Vorsanger
Our goal in presenting this
ethnographic research is to contribute to an understanding of food
activism, the people immersed in it, and the forces that propel them.
Our paper explains the inner workings of D.C. Central Kitchen, a
non-profit organization, and interviews two paramount men who work
there. Our participants are Mike Curtin, the CEO, and Eldridge "Bo"
Sims, a member of the kitchen staff. In re-telling their unique
experiences, we show how food activism is translated into real-life
actions. We also put forth a new perspective on how to be part of
social change in a way that isn't charity.
Getting to the Top of the Bottom: Social Hierarchy in
Thao T. Nguyen
As recorded by the National
Coalition for the Homeless, over 700,000 people in the United States
are experiencing homelessness, a number that is steadily growing. Most
social science literature has accepted the assessment of the homeless
population as suffering from disaffiliation, isolation, vulnerability,
and disempowerment. However, this research project seeks to challenge
the dominant assertion that the homeless are vulnerable and dependent
people who are socially disorganized, disaffiliated, and disempowered.
By examining the cultural values of various homeless groups and the
roles each member of a homeless community plays, perhaps more research
will be placed on exploring the topic of hierarchy within homeless
communities, a topic not frequently discussed in research.
Gabrielle Buccilli, Stephanie Mayer, Ebba Nelligan
[NOTE: This is a change from the printed program]
MODERATOR: Lee Ann Fujii, Political Science Professor and
Program Coordinator, Women's Leadership Program, GW
Stolen Generations: The Aborigines'
Maria Gabrielle Buccilli
Racial Misrepresentation and Historical Neglect at the NMAI
Kierkegaard and the Absurdity of Faith
PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Murphy, Caitlin Krieck, Jillian Mador
MODERATOR: Mary Buckley, Department of Theatre and Dance,
Program Coordinator, International Arts and Culture, GW
Feuerbach and Marx: Breaking from Tradition
The relationship between Feuerbach
and Marx is a complex one. Marx's earlier works show a clear admiration
for the philosophy of Feuerbach, one that rejected the popular
Hegelianism of the day without falling into pessismism or pietism. Yet
there is also a clear denial of Feurbach in Marx's later works. This
paper will examine the historical and philosophical relationship
between Feurbach and Marx and will explore the question of why Marx's
philosophy underwent such a dramatic shift. I will point out several
factors that were responsible for his break with Feuerbach and show
that although Marx's philosophy later rejected him, Feuerbach still had
an immense impact in revolutionizing philosophy.
The State of Our Faith: An Exploration of Relgious
the Millennial Generation
Writing in the 1840s, Søren
Kierkegaard observed that his generation was plagued by religious
apathy and doubt. Today, there is a common perception that the same is
true about the current generation. In my presentation, I use the points
of views of scholarly works, experts, university students, and
community leaders to explore this perspective. I challenge the popular
belief that our generation is consistently disillusioned and hostile
towards religion and faith, while giving credence to the idea that a
contemporary emphasis on critical thinking has distinctly changed the
definition of faith for the Millennial generation.
Catholic Social Justice: The Framework and Faults of the
Catholic Social Justice is a broad
term rooted in the Catholic belief in service for the betterment of
humanity. Through their teachings, the Church succeeds in helping many
people; however, they are limited to who they serve based on Church
doctrines. This paper will explore the framework of Catholic Social
Justice by analyzing Church documents and organizations, and counter
with a study of the critiques of Catholic Social Justice from both
Catholics and non-Catholics. Then, both sides of the philosophy will be
applied to the issue of abortion.
Recently added: A
special evening session for Thursday, April 10, at
the Gelman Library, First Floor Student Art Space, from 5:45-7:00,
featuring former UW20 students who have
found public venues for work they began in their first-year writing
classes. There will be food!
April 7, 2008: Program
announced for the 5th Annual
University Writing and
Research Symposium, Spring 2008.