Page 1



© 2010, Regents of the University of Colorado. All Rights Reserved. The CU Honors Journal, under the supervision of the Honors Department and the sponsorship of the University of Colorado, is published annually every Spring.

A Note about the New Format: This year, the CU Honors Journal’s Board of Editors elected to change the Journal to a larger 8.5” x 11” format, after 12 years of successful publishing at a smaller 6” x 9” size. The new format allows us to better display a large range of projects that represent the exciting diversity of work by undergraduate students at CU. The larger size also makes the Journal more accessible and enjoyable to read. This change will continue to be a valuable and growing part of the CU Honors Journal and help foster a diverse collection of publishable work. We are deeply excited about every single piece that we are publishing in the 2010 edition and hope that this book is something you will read, value, and enjoy for years to come. Are you an undergraduate student at CU Boulder? The Honors Journal has rolling submissions all yearround. Submit your work for the next edition of the Journal at




Farm B Y TAY L O R J . P R I D G E N

Site proposal for an educational farm located in the current parking lot of the Boulder Public L i b r a r y i n B o u l d e r, C O .



LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It wasn’t until I was 22 that I realized the worth and brilliance of college-aged students. And it took me leaving school to have this epiphany. At the age of 20, after my sophomore year of undergraduate studies, I dropped out of school. I spent the next two years working for struggling yet passionate start-up companies. Everything I poured my heart and time into at these jobs had a real effect that rippled out to the other employees, the other companies that we worked with, and everyone who was linked to the business. It was an incredibly rewarding feeling. When I decided to return to school at the age of 22, my first semester was a shock. I found myself spending countless hours working on projects that were seen by only my professor and, at best, a few classmates. I felt disheartened that my hard work had such a small effect beyond myself and wondered if others felt this way. I actively began to look around me at the work others were doing and found myself inspired by the amazing potential and output of my undergraduate peers. I realized that much of the work being done was incredibly relevant and interesting to me and had a value far beyond a grade and the personal education of the student who created it. Last year, I discovered the CU Honors Journal and was pleased to find a publication that shared my beliefs. The Journal works to give a larger audience to the most deserving student work and provide a platform for CU students to inspire each other, themselves and the extended community of Boulder. The interdisciplinary nature of the Journal allows the individual entries to weave together in unexpected ways and create a body of work that is a rich tapestry of relevant and current commentary. I am honored to have been a part of creating the 2010 Honors Journal and I hope that as you peruse the wonderful creations within these pages, you will allow them to resonate within you and cause a ripple in your life. All the best,

Alyssa Reese Editor-In-Chief





[ L e f t - t o - R i g h t , To p - t o - B o t t o m ] : A l y s s a R e e s e , A n n i e H i a t t , M a t t h e w H o l m e s , N i c h o l a s F a r r o w, Tr e n t D a v i s B a i l e y, G r e g P a t r i c o s k i , J a c k l y n n B l a n c h a r d , B e c c a F r a u s e l , G a r r y C o o k , C h r i s C o r l , E s q . , R y a n B r a u c h l e r, J e n n y Wa g n e r, S y d n e y Schavietello.

editorial board E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F A LY S S A R E E S E


A R T E D I T O R | L AY O U T + D E S I G N T R E N T D AV I S B A I L E Y



E D I T O R - AT- L A R G E S Y D N E Y S C H AV I E T E L L O












A first-person account of how popular culture and stereotypes of Italian Americans influence and prohobit actively engaging with another culture. PA G E S 1 2 - 1 3



S E X & S O C I E T Y | P O E T RY

Strange Bedfellows: Ang Lee’s Investigation of Food, Sex, and Culture

Fact or Fiction? The Myth of Leonardo da Vinci



Ang Lee, director of films Eat Drink Man Woman and Lust, Caution, portrays Chinese culture and tradition through

A probing effort to find the real Leonardo da Vinci by looking both to

f o o d , f a m i l y, a n d u l t i m a t e l y, l o v e .

historical and contemporary viewpoints. PA G E S 9 - 1 1

PA G E S 1 4 - 1 8

Sao Paolo, Brazil: Civil War BY KINSEY ANN DURHAM

A cause-and-effect overview about the r e c e n t v i o l e n c e , p o v e r t y, a n d s o c i e t a l inequlatiies surrounding Sao Paulo, Brazil. PA G E S 1 1 0 - 1 1 1

The Recent Rise in Visibility of Same-Sex Attraction in China BY THERON HAAN

Mediations of Space: Photography and the American West BY ANDREW GANSKY

How photography has been used to

An update on the rise of homosexual

understand the American West through a

identities in Mainland China.

lens of unromanticized vastness and

PA G E S 1 9 - 3 2

isolation. PA G E S 1 3 9 - 1 5 1

Breaking Down the Wall: The Success of the PDS as a Reflection of the Failures of Eastern Integration by the CDU/CSU and SPD BY BRENNAN ANDREWS

How the falure to address the needs of former East Germany by the two major p e o p l e ’s p a r t i e s l e a d t o t h e g r o w i n g

Ambi-Dancerous: Shift to Open Roles in Social Dance

The Art of Persian Classical Music



A proposal for using dance to reexamine

The history of Persian classical music as it has been founded, transformed, condemned, modernized, and finally made available for all of the world to

and reconstruct social-gender roles. PA G E S 3 3 - 3 7

e n j o y.

p o p u l a r i t y o f t h e L e f t i s t p a r t y. PA G E S 5 6 - 6 2

PA G E S 1 5 4 - 1 5 8


The Freedom Tour


Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, a Motion Sculpture Event




A visit to South Africa spurs a deeper reflection about the meaning of pity and

Compulsions (IX.)

A n a n a l y s i s G i a n L o r e n z o B e r n i n i ’s movement inspired sculpture, Daphne and Apollo, and its story of unrequited

s o r r o w. PA G E S 1 0 6 - 1 0 9


The Artichoke Rows BY BO OLSON


PA G E S : 4 3 , 6 8 , 1 3 2 , 1 3 3 , 1 5 2 - 1 5 3

love. PA G E S 1 7 4 - 1 7 6





A RT & F I C T I O N

Promoting Children’s Understanding and Interest in Science through Informal Science Education


Art: Ceramics, Drawing, Film, Music,


Painting, Photography, and Printmaking


A comprehensive architectural plan that combines urbanism and agriculture to fulfull community needs in metropolitan

A report corroborating the success of an afterschool science program conducted by university affiliates with elementary



PA G E S 9 2 - 9 5

school-aged children. PA G E S 4 7 - 5 1


A architectural design for an environmentally conscious youth hostel s i t u a t e d a t t h e M e s a Tr a i l t r a i l h e a d i n

A Dull Brown

Honey bees are disappearing because of the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder and researchers are searching for a cause, a cure, and a

B o u l d e r, C o l o r a d o .


PA G E S 9 6 - 9 7

A young child explores his world and

plan of action.

Sole Patches | Aircraft Wilng to Coffee Table

PA G E S 1 2 3 - 1 3 1


Colony Collapse Disorder BY ANNA R. CHASE

The Effects of Stimuli on Loud Call Bouts in Alouatta Palliata

later grows up to see himself in a moth.

Salvage products find new uses in proje c t s f r o m t h e G r e e n Te c h c o u r s e . PA G E S 9 8 - 9 9


How does population density and human activity effect howler monkey vocal communication in Costa Rica? PA G E S 1 5 9 - 1 6 3

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Gender Selection B Y NICHOLAS ENGLER WALSH

The ethics behind pre-implantation genetic screening in regards to gender discrimination and the allocation of medical resources, PA G E S 1 6 4 - 1 6 8

PA G E S 4 4 - 4 6

Coffee and Clocks B Y S H A R O N ( X I A N ) YA N G

White chocolate caramel mocha impressions. PA G E 5 2 - 5 5

B3 (Bike Block Bash) BY MICHAEL ANDREWS (MO), 007 TEAM ( M I C H A E L S H A N N O N , J O N N Y E R N S T E R , E VA N A R C H U L E TA , C H R I S TAY L O R , S E A N E D W A R D S )

The Last Door

An engineering inovation with a unique s p i n o n c o m b i n i n g e x e r c i s e a n d e n t e rt a i n m e n t f o r t h e e l d e r l y.

An ordinary man takes a dark voyage into the depths of insanity that exist in us all ... when provoked.

PA G E S 1 6 9 - 1 7 3

PA G E S 6 3 - 6 7

Re: Explanation of Sustainable Disposal Water Practices

Happy Easter


An atypical Easter bus ride.

A proposal for funding to help implement sustainable water disposal practices in

PA G E S 1 3 4 - 1 3 5



rural village communities. PA G E S 1 1 8 - 1 2 2


A s e a r c h f o r F r e e d o m o n t h e 4 t h o f J u l y. PA G E S 1 3 6 - 1 3 8

[ FACT OR FICTION ? ] The Myth of Le onardo da Vinc i BY MEGAN MILAN

And because of his many divine qualities, even though he accomplished more by words than by deeds, his name and fame will never be extinguished.

No one name has captivated historians as much as Leonardo da Vinci. Hearing his

name brings to mind not only sketches, drawings, and paintings, but an idea of his character. I picture his long white beard, matched with his long grey hair, observing the patterns in a pool of water. But no one has ever shown me a picture of Leonardo, I have never seen an image of him aside from his own self portrait. So why is it that I can picture him so clearly in my mind’s eye? The reason for such a vivid idea of Leonardo shared throughout the world can be traced back to Leonardo’s own lifetime. Shortly after Leonardo’s death, Vasari had already completed Leonardo’s biography and Raphael used Leonardo as a model for Plato in his School of Athens. A few centuries later, Goethe uses Leonardo’s Last Supper to discuss the artist and his techniques. And today, there are a handful of scholars following in their footsteps. But despite the vast number of writings on the legendary Leonardo, we do not know the character, the personality, the man himself.

Because he was the first to write a biography of Leonardo, we can assume that Vasari

would want to create an accurate portrait of the artist for all of history to rely. Vasari never met Leonardo in person yet he gathered a significant amount of information about the artist. After reading Vasari’s biography, we do not question the character of Leonardo, but we question the truth of Vasari’s words. It is easier to swallow the fact that Vasari could have been exaggerating Leonardo’s character rather than the possibility of Leonardo being less than the man we desire him to be. When imagining what Leonardo must have been, we want him to be the man Vasari describes- “a supernatural fusion in a single body lavishly supplied with such beauty, grace, and ability that wherever the individual turns, each of his actions is so divine that he leaves behind all other men.” Could the magnificent Leonardo be anything else? Of course. We must



accept the possibility that Leonardo’s character had flaws.

move and breathe.” Is this not what a creator, God if you

For instance, it is comedic that Leonardo often never finished

will, has done for us? We are merely his figures, his sketches,

what he started. We do not see these incomplete projects as

that he has given the breath of life and the gift of movement.

failures. Instead, we forgive Leonardo for all he didn’t do.

Leonardo has risen from the role of the artist to a God-like

role during the 15th century.

Even if Vasari did write his biography close to the

lifetime of Leonardo, is this a reliable source? Most of his

One of the aspects of Leonardo’s life that is not

information was spoken to him from those who loved Leon-

up for debate is the amount of time he put in to the study of

ardo. I suppose we have relied on such sources to determine

art. No other artist of his time studied anatomy, perspective,

the lives of others throughout history; however, no history

optics, or hydraulics to the extent of Leonardo. He had long

has been exaggerated so much as that of Leonardo. A few

felt that the human body was a microcosm analogous to the

modern day scholars comment on Vasari’s text and suggest

macrocosm representing the Earth. Leonardo wrote, “We

that much of the work has been “guessed, supposed, imagined, or made up about Leonardo.” Knowing the difference between what has been fabricated and what was actual is up to the informed reader to decide. Alternately, Kenneth Clark and Martin Kemp

Most of [Vasari’s] information was spoken to him from those who loved Leonardo. I suppose we have relied on such sources to determine the lives of others throughout history; however, no history has been exaggerated so much as that of Leonardo.

suggest that Leonardo’s reputation of beauty must be based on a living tradition.

may say that the Earth has a vital force of growth, and that

“He was beautiful, strong, graceful in all his actions, and so

its flesh is the soil; its bones are the successive strata of the

charming in conversation that he drew all men’s spirits to

rocks which form the mountains; its cartilage is the porous

him: of this his later life gives full confirmation.” The tradi-

rock, its brook the veins and of the waters. The lake of blood

tion of celebrities having a reputation of grace and beauty

that lies around the heart is the ocean. Its breathing in the

is a long-standing one, and is not foreign in today’s society.

increase and decrease of the blood in the pulses, just as in

Even in a world of mass communication and instant docu-

the Earth it is the ebb and flow of the sea.” This in itself is

mentation, there are still assumptions that people like George

magnificent, and is no doubt the reason for his success in

Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones are wonderfully gracious

representing the human figure accurately. Though this is

people. And in his day, Leonardo would have had a similar

not the issue at hand, it is worth noting. Goethe’s descrip-

celebrity status.

tion, though beautiful, was written nearly 300 years after

Leonardo’s death. Certainly observations of the Last Supper,

Another discussion of Leonardo takes place in the

early 19th century from Goethe. Most notably, Goethe points

or other paintings by any 15th century artist can be exam-

out that Leonardo’s attention to proportion and perspective

ined based on only visual interpretations. But assuming and

and “above all he had at heart, was the variety of the human

contributing to the already larger than life reputation gets

countenance, in which not only the permanent the character

historians farther from the truth of the real Leonardo. Com-

of the mind, but also temporary emotion is presented to the

menting on Goethe’s writings of Leonardo, Kemp suggests

eye.” This is one of the many reasons we love Leonardo, his

that Goethe does exhibit great insights, but they “transcend

use of visible emotion in all of his works. Each portrait is

the unreliability of the parts.”

full of life, as Vasari puts it “Leonardo truly made his figures



The historian who recognizes the disparity between

the actual Leonardo and the fictional Leonardo is Martin

is unrealistic to assume that one day historians will be able

Kemp, who writes “I think it is possible to formulate a gener-

to unearth an entire accurate history of Leonardo and his

al law to the effect that the extent to which a place cultivates

character. What historians can be responsible for is the sepa-

the myth of someone associated with it is inverse proportion

ration of fact from fiction. Much of the common knowledge

to its size and its other claims to fame. The law operates to

based on the idea of Leonardo is imagined. Big ideas about

some extent with Leonardo, but his myth is so big that he

Leonardo are based on nothing but the previously exag-

dominates even the grandest places.” It is safe to say that

gerated history of the artist. Though the larger population

Leonardo dominates the artistic world. Any and all students

will probably remain ignorant on the truth of Leonardo and

come across Leonardo da Vinci in their studies, and in doing

continue to investigate and entertain the myth of the Mona

so they also come across his myth. The result is a culture

Lisa and countless other mysteries, historians are responsible

knowing everything of the myth of Leonardo, and taking

for investigating the truth behind such exaggerations, and

each portrayal at face value.

discovering Leonardo’s real code.

This is certainly the case with the popular Dan

Brown series based on the bloodline of Jesus and Leonardo da Vinci. After reading his series, many readers assume that he is writing facts about Leonardo- not because it is likely, but because that is what is fun, amusing, and fascinating to believe. Essentially, Martin Kemp was correct when he said that, “We, like every other age, make the Leonardo we want.” Today, we want Leonardo to be a member of the society Dan Brown describes. We want Leonardo to be this mythical, secret man with infinite knowledge, just as we have been told to remember him.

A common misconception about Leonardo was that

his mirror writing was a result of dyslexia, or a need to keep his notebooks a secret from the world. Why would he write in such a way that kept his discoveries secret if he was intending on one day publishing his writings? H. Anna Suh assures us that “It was simply his characteristically resourceful solution to the challenges faced by all left hand writers, who tended to smear ink with their hands as they move from left to right.” Similarly, some say that the Mona Lisa is actually a self portrait of Leonardo himself. Any educated art student knows the likelihood of seeing yourself in drawings or paintings you create. After all, each person sees


Bulent, A and K. Wamsley. Leonardo’s Universe. National Geographic Society, 44. Bramly, Serge, Leonardo: The artist and the Man. translated by Sian Reynolds. London, New York: Penguin Books, 1994. 4. Clark, Kenneth and Martin Kemp. Leonardo da Vinci: Revised Edition. London, 1988. 42. Gage, John (edited and translated).“Observations on Leonardo da Vinci’s celebrated Picture of The Last Supper.” IN Goethe on Art. Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980. 169. Kemp, Martin. “Lisa’s Room, Leonardo’s Afterlife,” Leonardo. Oxford University Press. 2004. Sue, Anna H., S. r. f., Leonardo’s Notebooks. New York: Black Dog &Levnthal Publishers Inc., 2005. Vasari, Giorgio. “The Life of Leonardo da Vinci: Florentine Painter and Sculptor.” The Lives of the Artists. Translated by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. Oxford University Press. 1998.

their own reflection daily and therefore become familiar with the proportions, the lines, and the shapes of their own face over any other. For this reason it isn’t uncommon for an artist’s portraits to look like their own refection.

There is no doubt that Leonardo was born a genius,

a hard working and inventive person. No man has walked the earth and made such a large impact in the artistic world as Leonardo, and for this he should not go unnoticed. I think it




G O D   


“Why does it bother you so much when I bring up that you’re Italian?” “I absolutely hate being the center of attention.”

What at the time I thought was an honest answer to

some mistake to be a symbol of Italian culture. Ben Lawton,

a question I get asked frequently, I later realized was a

a professor at Purdue University and Graziella Parati from

spurious statement. Honestly, I am simply concerned by the

Northwestern University, conducted separate yet equal

flood of questions that arise when people finally learn that

studies at each institution centered on the question: “Do

it was not my great-grandfather who immigrated here, but

Mafia movies and television shows such as The Godfather

that I actually stepped off a plane less than six years ago.

affect the image of Italian Americans?” In a part of the

Then, with patience, I explain that my family does not own

survey subjects were asked to write down the first three

an Italian restaurant, I am not in any way associated with the

words they would use to describe Italian people. Mafia,

mafia, and while it is true that I love pasta and pizza, I prefer

hairy, good food, greedy, sneaky were all words written

not to eat the two for breakfast. Most of the time, people are

down. These words are not much different than the ideas that

not trying to be offensive, but are simply trying to learn more

the media is portraying with the opening scene of The

about a culture that they find charming and fascinating. Yet

Godfather (Part I). Lawton’s and Parati’s research illustrates

it makes me wonder where the naïve characterizations of

the weight of the media in impacting society’s views of

Italian people come from, and why the stereotypes that arise

Italians and further validate the theory that views depicted

persist over time. Americans often choose to accept Italian

through movies are often adopted by viewers.

culture through the lens of the media. Movies, such as The

Godfather, which outwardly appear to be about Italian cul-

the production and promotion of The Godfather Part III.

ture, allow people to accept a fictitious picture of the Italian

In addition to this, viewers have spent over $800 million

people. Yet how is it possible for individuals to look past the

dollars on idealizing the Godfather through both movie

typical “Mafioso” stereotype and acknowledge a purer form

theater showings and TV. Further validating the success of

of the Italian culture?

the film were ten Academy Award nominations and three

Oscars. These figures all validate how far producers, critics

A raspy, heavy Italian accent, a dark exchange

In the 1990s producers spent 75 million dollars on

between two men. One seeks revenge, the other is willing to

and audiences alike were willing to go to endorse a featured

use his corrupted, crime-filled ways for justice in exchange

film filled with presumptuous labels about Italians. There are

for respect. The opening scene of The Godfather shows that

almost no individuals in support of lashing out against the

the popularity of such movies is solely based on a violent,

outrageous representations of Italians. Why would anybody

thrilling and intricate image of the “mafia lifestyle,” which

do so? The movie is regarded as a classic, a favorite and



F A T H E R even one of the best movies ever made. Impeccable acting,

talk of politics at these Sunday gatherings, but the mafia is

ominous characters and a suspenseful plot are regarded with

never mentioned. No one isa talkinga likea thiss either. I turn

more importance than the realistic preservation of the true

to settle a conflict between my blond-hair blue-eyed little

charms of Italian culture.

cousins who are bickering about something. At the end of the

meal grandpa asks: “Did you take care of that thing?”—he’s

In an interview with Larry King, Mario Puzo—the

creator of The Godfather—admitted his primary intention

obviously talking about his espresso being done. “And…

was to make money; he was looking to create a work that


would appeal to the masses. Puzo did not have to look too far

for an audience enthused by his book. In fact he found one

at us by the media, we fail to find the few true unique aspects

right where he was born and raised, New York City. Puzo’s

that make it truly charming. Sometimes the beauty of a

statement confirms that it is unlikely that factual images of

culture foreign to our own is the small truths we find when

Italians could attract a crowd as big as the fictional images

digging deeper than an image on a screen. The truths of

of the Godfather did over 30 years. During his lifetime Puzo

Italian culture can be so much more fascinating and

repeatedly admitted that he had never met a single “Italian

rewarding than the misconceptions fed to us by the media.

gangster” before writing the book. However it’s understand-

My hopes are that one day authentic scenes, such as the one

able why Puzo would write such a novel. Stereotypical

out of My Godfather, will attract audiences interested in

attributes such as the ones incorporated into his saga, and

immersing themselves into a culture different than their own.

When we accept big stereotypical pictures thrown

later into The Godfather trilogy, are far more thrilling for viewers and readers to accept and promote than everyday


characteristics of true Italians. Essentially like the Godfather himself, Mario Puzo and filmmakers made viewers “an offer they could not refuse.”

“And…Action”: no one is kissing anybody’s hand.

That would actually be very strange. Instead I walk into my grandmother’s house and she pulls me closer and kisses me

“Sicilian Culture.” September 5th, 2009. Cristaldi Communications Video, Web Design, Hosting & Promotion, Web. 5 Oct 2009

“The official Mario Puzo Library.” 2nd of August 1996. Web. 5 Oct 2009.

on both cheeks. Her house is filled with familiar smells of my favorite dishes: roasted lamb and potatoes and, of course, crostata, a typical pie with blackberry jam. Spaghetti with meatballs and tiramisu’ are nowhere in sight. Upon entering, all the women attempt to gather in the kitchen, yet my grandfather is putting the finishing touches on the lamb and shushes everybody out of his kitchen. My grandmother is not allowed to do much more than set the table for these meals. Finally, the family gathers at the table and because we’re not a large family, we fit around it perfectly. There is always





“ Shi se xing ye: Food and Sex—the basic nature of human beings” (Rawnsley, 226). - Ancient Chinese saying

The Chinese hold claim to one of the world’s

humanist in the sense that unraveling and mapping out

oldest, largest, and richest cultures. It is one of

the personas, attributes, and goals of human beings is

stringently particular taste and expectations. Rooted in

central to his work; he often breaks down characters to

Confucianism, Chinese culture often does not waver

their less diluted states. Lee seeks to get under the skin

from the traditional manner of the Great Teacher’s

of the people in his films, be it through food or

code of living. This code, among certain repressive

sexuality. This is not to say that Lee has no other

features, heavily weighs on rituals and their

interests in his filmmaking process. Indeed, he also

importance. Modern China retains many rituals,

enormously emphasizes the importance of cultural

but one that remains on top of all is that of cooking

representation, especially that of his own culture.

and eating the meal. Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley writes,

Through two of his films, Eat Drink Man Woman

“Among all of the human senses, the Chinese privilege

(1994) and Lust, Caution (2007), Ang Lee delves into

‘taste’ the most” (225). By thorough preparation and

the mechanics of human nature via food and sexual-

painstaking attention to detail, Chinese cooks view

ity, respectively. Additionally, he endeavors to forge a

the meal as a social cornerstone to which they anchor

better understanding of both Chinese culture and the

their state of mind, emotions, and desires. This can

most basic and fundamental feature of human nature:

be viewed as a very provoking social construction in

love. This essay will investigate, as Lee does, the ways

China, one that warrants further examination. Enter

in which these themes are projected by means of an

Taiwanese director Ang Lee. In his filmmaking career,

inherently Chinese perspective. Ang Lee is a director

Lee has developed an aptitude for exploring social

who has worldwide prestige, but he has never lost hold

issues and, even in his larger ensemble films, prob-

of his roots, as Eat Drink Man Woman energetically

ing into characters’ individual psychologies. He is a




Immediately after his internationally successful

three daughters, Jia-Chien, Jia-Jen, and Jia-Ning, scarcely

comedy-drama, The Wedding Banquet (1993), Lee sought to

make an effort to engage their father in conversation, let

return to his specific Chinese heritage in the form of a story

alone thank him for bestowing the bountiful meal upon

concerning a widowed chef, his three daughters and their

them. Constant interruptions plague the family dynamics as

relationships with each other and those in their lives. At this

Chu attempts to say, twice, “These past two days, I…” as

vague level, the film sounds as if there is no Chinese

the daughters interrupt him and each other. The phone rings,

distinction, a universal story that could be told from

which one may think would be yet another interruption, but

anywhere. However, it is the precise role of food that makes

it is a Godsend for Chu as it is an emergency call from his

Eat Drink Man Woman a decidedly Chinese narrative. The

work kitchen at the Grand Hotel, where he truly feels a sense

title itself stems from a Chinese proverb found in the Li

of belonging.

Ji, the Record of Rights, which reads, “Eat and drink, man

and woman-the greatest human desires reside in them”

the chaotic kitchen, in reminiscence of Martin Scorsese’s

(Rawnsley, 226). Herein lies the first and foremost allusion

Goodfellas, as he is greeted by several cooks and waiters

to Chinese culture within the film. Its title, which at a glance

who respect him like a senior military officer. He walks with

appears to be a strange checklist or something of the sort,

determination and even has his chef jacket and hat put on for

reveals itself to be pivotally Chinese phrase. And coming

him by others in the kitchen as he concentrates on finding

from the Li Ji, it illustrates how Chinese culture and Ang Lee

a solution to a disastrous Whole Shark Fin dish. Chu takes

remain faithful to tradition. In the film’s context, eating and

solace in this kitchen with his peers, especially his old friend,

drinking are one in the same, tying together the characters’

Chef Wen. Here, he can cook and prepare opulent dishes that

personalities and, indeed, their “greatest human desires,”

will be eaten ritualistically in a traditional restaurant, not

vis-à-vis love.

haphazardly by his ungrateful daughters at home. The

Lee wastes no time to showcase the core

restaurant space allows Chu to be in his true traditional ele-

significance of food as he cuts from city shots of the urban

ment. That is to say he does not have to face the modernity

sprawl of Taipei motorists to an extreme close up of a fish

that his daughters symbolize: the gossipy nature of

seized from a water bowl, gutted, skewered, and cooked. It is

conversation, hurried attitudes, disengagement with their

through a frenetic series of close-up shots that the viewer is

elders, along with the words, “I have an announcement to

introduced to Chef Chu. He methodically prepares the meal

make.” Each daughter utters this sentence in the multiple

with meticulous skill and confidence as he slices and dices

dinner scenes, always heralding dreadful news to come. In

various meats and vegetables, collects a live chicken from

the first such instance, Jia-Jen tells the family that she will

his yard for boiling, and arranges the final product on the

be moving out of the house to live in “Little Paris in the

dinner table, as one would an art collection, for his and his

East.” This new luxury apartment complex and neo-colonial

daughters’ habitual consumption of a Sunday night meal. Lee

reference causes Chu, in his “generational separation,” to

immediately establishes the fact that the family dinner is a

realize how he continues to lose the grip on his children to

ritual and tradition in the Chu family, keeping in toe with the

the modernized Taipei around them (Dilley, 73). This meal,

larger sense of ritualized traditions in Chinese culture. Yet a

which for all intents and purposes, should bring the family

tension exists between tradition and the modernized family

together, counterproductively deepens the rift between them.

because Sunday dinner appears to be a taxing, obligatory

Rawnsley buoys this unfortunate circumstance:

enterprise for all four of them. As Whitney Crothers Dilley writes in The Cinema of Ang Lee, “What is valued by him (Chu) does not seem to be valued by the younger generation, and he goes through the Sunday night dinner ritual week

A long tracking steadicam shot follows Chu through

They force themselves to stay as a traditional family unit and perform typical family roles that they feel others, but sometimes themselves, imposed on them. We have never seen a happy scene associated with their family dining table (232).

after week, he has lost his taste for it” (76). Despite having an extraordinary dinner placed before them, Chu’s

Food, as a cultural linchpin in China and Taiwan, serves as a



harbinger of ill tidings in the Chu household, but elsewhere,

family that tastes together stays together” (105). Laine de-

it is a bringer of pleasure and romantic prospects.

fines family, in the film’s context as “not so much a concrete

As Chu confides in his dear friend Wen that the

entity, but a way of interpreting interpersonal, familial ties…

current situation with his daughters is comparable to his

there is no original core or main essence of family, but fami-

profession, “It’s like cooking. Your appetite’s gone when

lies are always in the making, in the context of the (trans)

the dish is done,” Lee crosscuts with the daughters acting in

cultural” (105). She does not write off the family unit in her

their various and highly respectable occupations of chemistry

essay, but compares Chu and his daughters to the food they

teacher, airline company executive, and university student.

eat: fragmented pieces that coalesce in the proper tempera-

While they work, amorous opportunities present themselves

ment and the proper care.

by way of food and drink. A young man courts Jia-Ning over

a meal of noodles and tofu; Jia-Jen and Li Kai, a co-worker,

Man Woman; the film is very anti-sexual in its depiction of

develop feelings for each other in her office as they share a

Chu and the daughters’ searches for love. This mode of

bottle of scotch. In many cultures, not only Chinese, slowly

sexual representation, or lack thereof, functions as a polar

drinking alcoholic beverages conveys a meeting ritual in

counterpoint to Lust, Caution, the film to be expanded upon

which two people get to know each other and grow more

later. Indeed, sexuality has a presence in Eat Drink Man

comfortable and possibly intimate as well. Jia-Jen gains a

Woman, but it is exceedingly nominal compared to the com-

sense of trust here:

manding forces of cooking and food. “The scene in which

JIA-JEN: Why this? LI KAI: Business? The airline business? The same way you did. JIA-JEN: Well, I didn’t really plan this. LI KAI: Exactly.” She smiles and raises her glass to Li Kai’s health.

When Chef Chu is not cooking in the Grand Hotel

during the day, he takes the opportunity to bond with his neighbor’s young daughter, Shan-Shan. So close is their relationship that she calls him “Grandpa Chu.” Food works to bring them even closer as Chu begins to bring Shan-Shan extravagant homemade lunches at school. “Spareribs, crab with vegetables…and your favorite, bitter melon soup.” Chu excitedly prepares these meals for young Shan-Shan, proving that he is not tired of being a father. Quite the contrary, the time he spends with Shan-Shan echoes his daughters’ youth and how he walked them to school and made exquisite lunches for them to take. Evident through his care for Shan-Shan and the time and effort he puts into her lunches, Chu reveals that he wants to continue raising his daughters.

Even with his fatigued demeanor Chu knows, as he

always has, that he cooks for his daughters every Sunday out of love. The dinners often prove to leave an acrid aftertaste for the Chu family, but the tradition lives on due to food’s ability to join people. After all, as Tarja Laine attests, “the 16


Ang Lee does not emphasize sexuality in Eat Drink

the oldest sister vamps herself up after thinking she has received a love letter from an admirer is perhaps the most smoldering image in the movie” (Dilley, 78). As insightful as Dilley’s chapter on this film is to readers, her insistence on sexuality as a “vibrant element of the story” does not seem relevant; the film is about food as a personal and cultural identity marker.

“We communicate by eating,” proclaims Jia-Jen at

the dinner table. Her words speak volumes about the nature of family tradition and rituals within Chinese culture. Another Chinese saying declares, “Life is a combination of hundreds of tastes that is made of various degrees of sourness, sweetness, bitterness, and chili (suan, tian, ku, la, bai wei ju quan)” (Rawnsley, 225). Chef Chu and his daughters trifle with each of these ingredients, but the resulting recipe leads to a much more satisfying and loving dish. By the film’s end, the family is literally separated, but figuratively linked by the persistent existence of food crafted as a labor of love; “the art of Chinese cuisine.” At one point in the film, Chu tells a colleague, as if in final, exhausted resignation, “People are so insensitive. They can’t appreciate the art of exquisite dining.” Yet as Rawnsley contends and the ending impeccably portrays, Dining is most enjoyable when all the right conditions are in place-delicious food and drink, warm and pleasant company, comfortable settings and eaters them-

selves being in good health and…a joyous mood. This is when eating becomes ‘more than simply a biological or ceremonial function, but rather a source of pleasure that can even be spiritually uplifting’ (233). The final scene in Eat Drink Man Woman is almost completely silent save for boiling water and clattering dishes from Jia-Chien’s first dinner preparation for her father. Lee brings the film full circle in his message of “treasuring traditional family values and honoring Chinese culture as depicted in Chef Chu’s beautiful culinary arts” (233). Everything that food has come to represent in this film and in Chinese culture synthesizes in these closing moments as father and daughter lovingly sit down together. The final shot, the most beautiful and tender moment in the film, shows a long shot of the two family members at the dinner table, surrounded by food. Chef Chu and Jia-Chien touch hands on the soup bowl and gaze into each other’s eyes, each saying only one word to the other, and only one word is necessary: “Daughter.” “Dad.” The shot captures everything that Lee sought to investigate. Food is a bedrock to Chinese tradition culture, and human nature itself. Lee picked up this trail thirteen years later to explore sexuality as another aspect of intrinsic Chinese and universal humanity.

In terms of content, Eat Drink Man Woman and

Lust, Caution could not be more dissimilar. While the former takes place in modern Taipei, the latter’s story unfolds in 1942 Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Food is supplanted by sexuality as the primary conveyor by which Lee examines the characters and their culture. The film also tackles the issue of cultural clashes in the wake of foreign imperialism. Occupation forces brought their culture along with them as soon as Shanghai fell to the Japanese war machine. Amidst the larger war between China, Japan, and the rest of the world, Shanghai acts as ground zero for the two cultures to see which side can prevail. James Schamus, executive producer and co-screenwriter of the film, maintains that the original story was written as “a profound cry of protests against the warring structures of domination that so cataclysmically shaped mid-century China” (Schamus, xiii). Meanwhile, the two central protagonists, Mr. Yee and Wong Chia Chi, also known as Mak Tai Tai, begin a highly sensual and illicit affair.

Mr. Yee is a Chinese government official cooperat-

ing with the Japanese. Seeing him as a traitor to his nation, a group of university students attempt to pull the ultimate theatrical deception in order to kill Yee. This ruse involves young Wong Chia Chi, a member of the student group, taking on a false identity as Mak Tai Tai in order to seduce Yee, making him an easier target. The swindle takes a turn as Wong, a virgin, places herself in the vulnerable position of becoming Yee’s concubine. Their sexual relationship, which earned this film an NC-17 rating, arises out of violence and sheer lust, exposing these two characters as the carnal beings they are. Their affair evolves into something that Wong never anticipated; she develops feelings of love for Yee, as he did for her upon their first meeting, jeopardizing her entire mission and throwing herself deeper into a sexually entangled web of false identities and crossbred cultures.

As Chinese and Japanese cultures struggle for

figurative control of Shanghai, a third cultural influence lies in the periphery, that of the West. Wong orders coffee, in broken English, at Kiessling’s Café, staffed by French waiters and French music playing in the background. She also amuses herself by frequenting the movie theater, seeing Hollywood films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941). However, a Japanese propaganda film declaring, “The war to liberate Asia is being won,” interrupts it. The film goes on to say, “The Asian people have finally broken free of the Westerner’s grip,” which in itself is paradoxical because hundreds of Chinese civilians are sitting in a movie theater projecting a Western film. More importantly, the narration concludes, “Asia is returning to the hands of the Asians. The struggle goes on until Asia once again belongs…” and it fades out as Wong loses interest and leaves. The final words of the propaganda film indirectly resemble the film’s illustration of the cultural battle occurring within Shanghai and Japanese-occupied Asia. The Japanese hypocritically viewed themselves as liberators from Western imperialism as they stormed across Asia and the Pacific to violently fashion their empire. China experienced forced assimilation into facets of Japanese culture. The most lucid example of this comes from the geisha house to which Mr. Yee invites Wong. As she walks through the house, she witnesses Chinese women on the arms of Japanese soldiers, geishas in traditional garb prostituting themselves to customers, as well as traditional Japanese music and songs.



“These Japanese devils kill people like flies,” asserts Yee,

are projected by means of an inherently Chinese perspective.

“Yet here we are with our painted faces, listening to their

Lee, a director of worldwide prestige, has never lost sight

off-tune songs.” Later on, the two succumb to a foreign ritual

of his roots, whether he chooses to present them by way of

of sitting at the table to eat Japanese cuisine and drink saki

an affectionate father-daughter story or through a sexually

as if they suddenly realize the futility of resistance. Chinese

explicit historical narrative.

culture, in the film’s historical context, has been defeated, thus Yee and Wong turn to sexuality as a channel for preserving their cultural identities, in addition to illustrating human beings’ deep-rooted carnality.


Wong’s act of sleeping with the enemy is a threat to

Chinese culture because it is a symbolic act of miscegenation

Chang, Eileen, and James Schamus. Lust, Caution: The

between a pure, virginal Chinese woman and a “tainted,”

Story, the Screenplay, and the Making of the Film.

traitorous Chinese man. Their coupling cannot be

New York: Pantheon Books, 2007.

legitimatized in the middle of war, fierce nationalism, and cultural confrontation. However, Wong can perhaps be

Dilley, Whitney Crothers. The Cinema of Ang Lee: The

redeemable in the sense that it is not herself, Wong Chia Chi,

Other Side of the Screen. London: Wallflower Press,

who has sex with Yee, but Mak Tai Tai, her “stage” name


and pseudo-identity. Their first sexual encounter stems from violence as Wong/ Mak slowly undresses in front of Yee

Pisters, Patricia, and Wim Staat, eds. Shooting the Family:

in a hotel room. Without warning, he snaps and shoves her

Transnational Media and Intercultural Values.

against the wall, tearing off her undergarments in animalistic

Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2005.

fury before throwing her on the bed. Yee then takes off his belt and whips her with it as one would in a sadomasochistic

Rawnsley, Ming-Yeh T. “Cultural Representation of Taste in

ritual. By the same token, Yee binds her hands with the belt

Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.” 225-234.

as he begins intercourse. After a moment, Wong/Mak reciprocates, beginning their culturally malfeasant

Eat Drink Man Woman. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Sihung Lung,

relationship. The subsequent sexual experiences are scenes

Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, Kuei-Mei Yang.

of unadulterated carnal passion. Lee does not shy away the

1994. DVD. MGM, 2002.

reality of their sexual intercourse, often keeping the lovers’ entire bodies within the frame, their lustful desires laid bare

Lust, Caution. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Tony Leung Chiu Wai and

before the camera and the viewer. These characters try to

preserve their cultural identities through lovemaking, but because of Wong’s duality and her performance as Mak and Yee’s collaboration with the Japanese, both the relationship and their identities are counterfeit creations.

Ang Lee possesses an unquestionable talent for

scrutinizing China’s cultural representations and bringing them to light in his films. He endeavors to forge a better understanding of both Chinese culture, the mechanics of human nature via food and sexuality, and the most basic and fundamental feature of human nature: love. This essay has aimed to investigate, as Lee does in his films Eat Drink Man Woman and Lust, Caution, the ways in which these themes



Wei Tang. 2007. DVD. Universal, 2008.



Increased Resources for Constr uction, Disc ussion, and Expression of Same-Sex Identities I N T RO D U C T I O N

discussion, and the sheer number people who disclose their same sex identity, serves to inform us about the

Over the last 15 years, the government of

extent and the nature of these other changes in China.

the People’s Republic of China has gone from being

I am seeking to explore how the recent

unwilling to acknowledge the presence of homo-

increase in visibility of people expressing same-sex

sexuals, to indicating that official statistics suggest

attraction in Mainland China can be attributed to

that there are approximately 30 million in Mainland

external “Western” influence, an improved ability on

China. This change in official position reflects the

the part of everyday Chinese to access information

rapid increase in visibility of same-sex attracted

particularly through the internet, as well as China’s

people in the PRC. While for much of the twentieth

internal situation and historical conceptualization

century this population was almost invisible, there are

of sexuality. I contend that the main reason for the

now gay establishments and organizations in every

increase in visibility of same-sex attracted Chinese

major city in China. However, change is not lim-

is the greater variety of sexual identities now avail-

ited to the same-sex community, but has taken place

able and the motivation and resources to appropriate

within the context of a general sexual liberalization in

them. I aim to show that this diversity of identities

China. Change seen in same-sex visibility is indica-

augments the ability of gay Chinese to maneuver

tive of broader social changes in China. Arguably

between and within social and cultural spaces

less controversial developments, such as divorce,

effectively, and thus express a same-sex identity.

personal freedom (e.g. university students choosing

This increased adoption and expression in turn raises

their own major, instead of their parents), and even

visibility. In this paper I will focus on the terms

creating NGOs and environmental protection move-

“gay,” “tongzhi,” “tongxinglian,” and their

ments, serve as examples of some of the changes that

corresponding concepts of identity. Although the

are taking place in China. The increasing visibility

terms referring to homosexuality abound, these three

of same-sex attraction, in the form of public venues

are the most commonly used as markers of a form of

for gay people, online and media representations and

same-sex identity. “Modern homosexual identity did CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


not emerge in Mainland China until the early 1990s when

anonymity and ubiquity of the internet in China makes it

economic and political liberalization provided the structural

particularly useful as a resource for identity construction and

condition for the development of an independent gay iden-

in directly promoting visibility through the myriad of gay

tity” (Wei 2007, 574).

blogs, online novels, chat and BBS sites, informational sites

and resource lists found online. The combination of all these

The factors which influence modern conceptualiza-

tions of same-sex identity are not limited in time to the last

factors increases the ability and willingness of young

two decades or to a single cultural or geographic location.

Chinese to identify with and practice a homosexual identity,

My secondary goal is to show that the factors which have

in turn raising the visibility of same-sex attraction in Main-

led to this availability and expression of many identities are

land China.

neither wholly internal nor external to China. Of course, fac-

tors internal to the Chinese state have had a large impact on

exclude discussion of Hong Kong and Taiwan except where

recent sexual conceptualization, identification and perfor-

necessary. Taiwan and Hong Kong continue to represent

mance. Medically and legally, the removal of homosexuality

separate cultural and historical spheres, particularly in terms

from the list of mental disorders and the decriminalization

of recent history, same-sex attraction, and degree and method

of “hooliganism,” have left homosexuality in an ambivalent

of foreign influence. Also, I will limit my discussion mainly

position, allowing groups of homosexual identifying people

to male same-sex relations, as the roles of women in

room to expand the social and physical spaces where they

traditional and modern Chinese society as well as factors

can express same-sex desire. Globalization and “Western

affecting their sexual relations, are markedly different. Since

ideas,” such as Euro-American concepts of individualism,

female sexual relations in general have been underempha-

sexual rights (in particular women’s sexual rights),

sized and less studied than male ones, I do not wish to do

essence-based homosexual identity, and the idea that

them a disservice by providing only a partly informed

romantic love is a necessary and ideal component of

exploration. For a study of female same-sex relations, please

marriage, have all seen varying degrees of appropriation and

see the work of Tze-lan Deborah Sang, The Emerging Les-

re-conceptualization by Chinese in the last 20 years (espe-

bian: Female Same-Sex Desire in Modern China (University

cially the last 10).

of Chicago Press 2003). Nevertheless, I hope that my dis-

cussion will inform and encourage those wishing to explore

I will show how these too significantly affect and

I will focus primarily on Mainland China, and

inform same-sex issues in China, although pure imitation is

same-sex attraction across gender lines.

impossible because the exchange and effect of these ideas is

always realized within local cultural context.

visibility is the increased tolerance of homosexuality by the

general Chinese public. I purposefully avoid a discussion of

I will use Lisa Rofel’s idea of “cultural citizenship”

Of equal importance to studying the rise of

to examine how a need find a sense of belonging through

this where possible, as the subject warrants an inquiry of its

cultural affinity influences the conceptualization and produc-

own. It is important to remember that visibility and

tion of same-sex identity. Cultural citizenship and cosmo-

acceptance are cyclically related. Many of the ideas

politanism both play a role in the method of appropriation of

presented here which promote visibility add to the public

a homosexual identity and, more significantly, in the

perception that same-sex love is acceptable, thus

motivation to express it. Increasing resources in the form

encouraging acceptance and beginning the cycle again.

of public spaces, representations in media, education and

However, I believe that a deeper examination of changing

the internet for the informing, discussion, and production

measures of success, and of tolerance amongst the elderly

of same-sex identities and communities have lead to more

and culturally conservative, would be necessary for a proper

people appropriating and visibly expressing a same-sex

exploration of the topic of acceptance.

identity. Here, the internet has contributed significantly to the ability of Chinese and others around the world to seek, find, and question information on sexuality in general. The




To understand the growth of visibility among same-

sex attracted Chinese we must examine the historical and cultural context within which it has occurred. Modern Chinese and Euro-American conceptions of sexual identity and self-disclosure, both within and outside of same-sex social circles, have not been formed in a vacuum. Traditional cultural norms and ideas have a great effect on the formation of same-sex identity in China, as well as lend support and create obstacles for the expression of this identity in both public and private spheres. Additionally, the recent history of China and the rapid and vast changes this history has produced in the lives and viewpoints of ordinary Chinese people must be taken into account.

Within the Chinese Confucian tradition, people

and their actions were never viewed outside of their social relations with others; someone was not considered a person outside of his or her relations within the family-kinship structure. This includes sexual relations. (Chou 2000, 19-21) As Chou Wah-shan writes of traditional China; “nobody can be primarily a lesbian, bisexual, or gay man. Everyone is, first, a daughter or son of her or his parents, which is a role in the social-familial system, before she or he can be anything else” (2000, 20). This is seen linguistically: “Chinese terminology therefore did not emphasize an innate sexual essence, but concentrated rather on actions, tendencies, and preferences. In other words, instead of saying what someone ‘is,’ Chinese [classical] authors would usually say whom he ‘resembles’ or what he ‘does’ or ‘enjoys’” and would also use poetic references to earlier famous events associated with same-sex eroticism (Hinsch 1990, 7). Thus, traditional Chinese did not have a term comparable with homosexuality, and consequently there was also no equivalent of homophobia. In traditional China, same-sex attraction was not discussed in terms of any innate sexual essence, as the Euro-American “gay” identity often is, but rather in terms of actions, preferences, behaviors, and qing (情 sentiment or emotion) (Chou 2000, 13-20; Hinsch 1990, 7-8). As such there was no indigenous Chinese term for “homosexuality,” or for “heterosexuality” or “bisexuality”:

tongxinglian (同性恋), yixinglian (异性恋 heterosexuality), and shuangxinglian (双性恋 bisexuality), only appeared in the Chinese lexicon in the early twentieth century (bisexuality only in the 1980s-90s) with the influx of “Western” ideas of sexuality, which categorize people by the gender of their erotic object choice (Chou 2000, 22, 42). Homosexual sex was viewed similarly to all non-procreative sex outside of marriage, such as that with prostitutes; as long as it did not interfere with the male-dominated family system and Confucian filial duties, it was largely tolerated (Chou 2000, 23-25). In this way, same-sex eroticism was to a degree compatible with marriage in traditional China. However, it is important to recognize that this sexual freedom was predominantly enjoyed by the elite males of society (Chou 2000, 26-7). Despite the recent trend of general sexual liberalization in China, open practices of same-sex eroticism within heterosexual marriage are no longer acceptable for reasons I will discuss later.

Unlike in traditional China, Chinese history under

Mao damaged the public perception of homosexual desire. According to Li Yinhe, a Chinese sociologist who specializes in homosexuality, during the Cultural Revolution anyone exposed as a homosexual received harsh treatment ranging from criticism and interrogation to being beaten to death (2006, 84). This period “promoted the existence of homophobia in Chinese society,” a problem which has yet to be resolved (Li Y. 2006, 86). “Despite the introduction of market reforms and China’s shift to a ‘rule of law’ in 1979, the Chinese police continued to apprehend, search, interrogate, and even detain people for engaging in consensual homosexual acts throughout the 1980s and 1990s” (Li Y. 2006, 86). This usually occurred during campaigns aimed at policing public spaces, such as public parks and public toilets, where gay Chinese were known to meet. There were no specific laws on homosexuality, so they would generally be charged with “hooliganism” (Li Y. 2006, 86), a “catch-all socialist criminal category” that covered a variety of actions the government deemed immoral, antisocial or antisocialist, including sodomy (Rofel 2007, 137, 96; Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 2). Other than by being caught engaging in sodomy, which was a punishable offense, the legal consequences of same-sex love and interaction were undefined.

The current lack of any laws directly protecting or



punishing same-sex attraction in general leaves homosexual

pressure felt by Chinese to marry is enormous, and is not

rights in a state of ambiguity in China, and leaves

easy to avoid (Chou 2000; Li Y. 2006; Rofel 1999; Sun,

homosexuals unaware of what actions and punishments

Farrer, and Choi 2006). Here a concern for their parents’

might be meted out by the police, and vulnerable to bribery

loss of “face” becomes a major reason why same-sex at-

and extortion (Li Y. 2006, 92; Wei 2007, 575-6). Li found,

tracted Chinese avoid self-disclosure, especially amongst

through interviews conducted in the late 1990s, that in spite

family members. As Rofel writes, the concept of “face” in

of the potentially humiliating and cruel punishments of

China has two aspects, that of lianzi (脸子) and mianzi (面

detention and ‘reform through education,’ Chinese

子), which are crucial to the social status of the individual

homosexuals were “prepared to consider such humiliation

as well as that of his or her acquaintances. While lianzi is

worthwhile so long as the police do [sic] not disclose their

an aspect of one’s own face, both socially and anatomically,

sexual persuasion to their work unit and families” (Li Y.

mianzi extends beyond the individual to one’s social circle,

2006, 92). At work, administrative or Chinese Communist

especially the family. If one were to suffer a loss of individ-

Party sanctions could be given in response to such a notifi-

ual face – lianzi – for example, by not performing one’s filial

cation. Since these sanctions had no legal foundation, they

duty to marry, the face – mianzi – of the entire family would

were largely decided by individual units; some would not

suffer, and with it the individual and the family’s

take any actions, others could inhibit chances of

status within the social-kinship structure. “Thus, the

promotion, transfer the individual, withhold wages, place

economy of face and status means that gay men shy away

them on probation, and in some cases even expel them

from telling their parents that they are gay not because of

from the Party, Armed Services or civil service (Li Y. 2006,

an underlying antinomy of secrecy versus truth but because

93). Forced disclosure to an individual’s family could have

they fear that they will take away their family’s mianzi,

equally devastating social and economic consequences.

and with it their own humanity” (Rofel 1999, 464). Sun

Zhongxin, James Farrer, and Kyung-hee Choi’s study found

The potential repercussions of apprehension by

the police, notification of one’s work unit, and involuntary

that, “In keeping with Confucian ideals, many respondents

disclosure to one’s family, placed severe limiting factors

emphasized the suffering that coming out would bring to

on public same-sex expression and community formation.

their parents, not to themselves” (2006, par. 3). As Chou

Since the late 1990s, changes to the Chinese legal code have

says, parents are more concerned that their child “becomes

partially relieved these limitations. In 1997, “hooliganism”

‘lesbian’ or ‘gay,’ a sexed category that privileges sexuality

was removed from the legal code of China, effectively de-

at the expense of his or her position in the family-kinship

criminalizing homosexuality, and in 2001 homosexuality was

system, thus making the child a nonbeing in Chinese culture”

removed from the list of mental disorders by the Chinese

(2000, 96).

Psychiatry Association (Cui 2006, 90; Li J. 2005, 2; Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 2). These changes to legal regulations have promoted openness and discussion of same-sex attraction, identity and community formation in Mainland China. They have not, however, removed the pervasive influence of recent history and traditional culture, particularly in the area of filial obligation to parents and social-kin relations.

Confucian tradition places great importance on

continuing the family name by producing male heirs. It is a child’s filial obligation to marry so that they may have children of their own. This continues to be the main source of difficulty for same-sex attracted Chinese today. The



‘ E X T E R N A L ’ FA C T O R S : T R A N S N AT I O N A L E X C H A N G E A N D ‘ W E S T E R N ’ I N F LU E NC E

While emphasizing the importance of internal

factors on the recent increase in visibility and production of same-sex identity in Mainland China, I do not wish to neglect certain influences that can be seen as coming from outside of China. Globalization and transnational exchange are impacting the ways in which same-sex identity is constructed in China, as well as providing the space and impetus for more public expression and community formation. It is important to recognize that globalization and

the influence of Euro-American “gay” identities are never

their expression in the public spaces of the gay scene. In this

solely responsible for changes in Chinese conceptualiza-

way, I agree with Rofel when she says that these

tions of same-sex attraction and its expression. Assuming

transnational networks do not produce actual identity, but

Western influence and ideas to be the only source of change

rather “spaces of identification,” where observation of and

leads quickly to envisioning recent transformations in China

interaction with other same-sex identities “offer them the oc-

through an impact-response framework – in which Western

casion to engage in debate about the best way to fashion their

impact generates a response on the part of the Chinese which

own identities” (1999, 468).

is equivalent in form and magnitude, disregarding

pre-existing internal conditions and problems (Cohen 2003,

are not felt solely by “gay” Chinese who actively

59-60). This outlook neglects local context and situations,

participate in transcultural exchange, nor are they produced

which I maintain are essential to understanding the state of

solely through this kind of interaction. “With the opening of

same-sex attraction in Mainland China.

China in 1978, economic development has become entangled

with a kind of cultural imperialism by which Western ideas

As Rofel writes, “the emergence of gay identities

Individualism and a greater sense of independence

and practices in China is tied, in certain critical respects, to

and commodities, from romantic love and possessive indi-

transnational networks of lesbians and gay men,” and “[t]

vidualism to Hollywood films and McDonald’s, have become

he presence of foreign gay men and lesbians in China who

the fashionable icon [sic] of the new generation” (Chou

both create and participate in gay networks means that the

2000, 106). I believe that individualism and romantic love

transnational quality of gayness in China is both visible and

are having a dramatic effect on sexual and marital

visceral” (Rofel 1999, 452). The idea that same-sex

relationships in China, and thus on the ability of same-sex

identity is based on “a predisposition to homosexual acts that

attracted Chinese to successfully negotiate these relation-

transcends cultural conceptions of sexuality” (Hinsch 1990,

ships. Many same-sex attracted Chinese now feel that they

7) gained predominance in China with the importation of

may be able to avoid marriage, in spite of the common

Western scientific terminology during the twentieth century

pressure from parents discussed earlier. Recent social

(Hinsch 1990, 21). “No longer does the average person think

changes surrounding marriage include late marriage, an

of his or her own sexuality in terms of native conceptions

increase in people who never marry, or who marry but do

emphasizing actions and tendencies rather than essence.

not have children, and increasing acceptability of pre-marital

The fluid conceptions of sexuality of old, which assumed

sex: “All these trends make it possible to live life as a

that an individual was capable of enjoying a range of sexual

‘single’ man while not directly challenging parents over the

acts, have been [largely] replaced with the ironclad Western

issue of marriage or homosexuality” (Sun, Farrer, and Choi

dichotomy of heterosexual/homosexual” (Hinsch 1990, 169).

2006, par. 58).

A common feature of the criteria listed above is pro-

Most recently the increasing value shown to

moting a sense of individualism and independence. Forming

individualism and romantic love in Chinese society has

community around sexual identity, and this community

improved the ability of Chinese homosexuals to successfully

taking precedence over others, signals a marked

elude the difficulties of traditional cultural norms, especially

difference from the traditional importance of the family-

marriage. In my opinion, these areas of change highlight the

kinship network. In an almost stereotypically American

confluence of external and internal factors shaping Chinese

expression of individualist tendencies, an interviewee from

society. These changes are products of both China’s transi-

Wei’s study on local homosexual identity production in

tion to a market society, and transcultural exchange with the

Chengdu said, “‘I am just being myself for me, not for them

“West.” There has been a general “liberalization of sexual

[my classmates]’” (2007, 584). Individualism and

attitudes in China,” including an increased emphasis on

independence, which have been reinforced thorough

individual sexual rights, especially those of women, and an

appropriations of Euro-American models of gay identity,

increased tolerance of non-marital and non-procreative sex

permit a greater variety of same-sex identities and encourage

(Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 59). As part of this last



category of non-reproductive sex, homosexual acts have

Chou’s later statement that this emphasis on romantic love

also seen a general increase in acceptance. An increased

and individual sexual rights is “the reason why mainland

awareness of and emphasis on women’s rights, particularly

Chinese [homosexuals] are suffering the most” (2000, 103),

women’s sexual rights, pushes many same-sex attracted

illustrative of the social changes since he published in 2000;

Chinese men to not marry. Sun, Farrer, and Choi noted

now Chinese homosexuals are beginning to use these ideas

in their interviewee’s responses that “[f]or most men, the

to evade marriage, rather than be tortured by it. Emphasis on

strongest argument against marriage was the violation of

romance, love, and individual rights to sexual happiness are

a woman’s right to a healthy sexual life” (par. 59) and that

helping more and more same-sex attracted Chinese side-

“most were aware that marriage to a gay man was

step marriage. One can even see these effects in the New

unacceptable for women” (2006, par. 37). As we can see,

Marriage Law of 1980, which lists “the absence of love” as

modern views of marriage and sexuality have turned com-

grounds for divorce. For the many gay Chinese who are al-

pletely around for many Chinese.

ready married or still plan to get married, this law gives them

a way out of marriage.

To discuss this change in attitudes on sexual and

marital relations both Chou and author James Farrer

discuss a general sexual liberalization of China through

sex attracted Chinese still expect to marry, largely due to

trends towards individualism, romantic love and sexual

family pressure (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 35; Chou

rights since 1980. In Farrer’s Opening Up: Youth Sex Cul-

2000, 104). Also, the strategy of fulfilling filial duties by

ture and Market Reform in Shanghai, he examines the

securing a quick marriage, having a child, and then hopefully

transformation of sexual culture in the transition to a market

divorcing, is gender-biased and creates difficulties,

economy. Though his findings are sometimes very specific

particularly for women (Chou 2000, 104-5). Negotiating

to Shanghai, I think they are informative of the situations of

marital space remains a challenging and complex problem

many urban Chinese growing up in reform-era China after

for many same-sex attracted Chinese. However, the prob-

1980. Farrer states that:

lem is lessening particularly as a variety of identities are

In societies characterized by rigid and strategic family relations, romance is only possible outside of marriage, as was more or less the case in medieval Europe and classical China. On the other hand, in a society characterized by atomistic market relations of mobility, competition, and individuality, the ‘couple’ becomes a refuge against the hostile world of strategic market relations, and romance is sought in courtship and marriage. Therefore, in a shift to a market society such as in reform-era China, we should expect the greater emphasis on the expression of romantic love in ordinary courtship relations (2002, 191-2)

While both Farrer and Chou agree that marriage in

traditional China had “nothing to do with romantic love or sexual orientation” (Chou 2000, 103), Chou sees the spread of Western ideas of romantic love and individualism in the twentieth century as responsible for incorporating romance, love and sexual happiness as necessary components of marital and courtship relations. As he puts it, “Instead of pleasing one’s parents and parents-in-law, one has to please one’s partner, emotionally and sexually” (2000, 104). I find



I wish to emphasize that a large number of same-

becoming available in China which encourage and facilitate disclosure of same-sex identity. VA R I E T Y I N C R E A S I N G V I S I B I L I T Y: F O R M AT I O N O F S A M E - S E X I D E N T I T I E S A N D C U L T U R A L S PA C E S

In order to talk effectively about issues of same-sex

attraction in present-day China, it is important to first recognize the variety of ways in which same-sex attracted Chinese construct their sexual identities. Although the idea of a ‘global gay identity’ has gained a certain following among researchers, another camp argues against it. Instead, as Loretta Wing Wah Ho states in her article “Speaking of Same-Sex Subjects in China,” this opposing group argues “for the importance of understanding both the global homogenizing and local heterogenising forces that simultaneously construct gender and sexual identities” (2008, 491). These seemingly polar forces of difference and sameness, particularism and universalism, have given rise to a variety of methods of same-sex identification. Although mass media

and public discussion in Europe and America tends to divide

Identity Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Shanghai”,

people into solely “gay” or “straight” identities, this homo-

respondents indicated that reasons for using the term “gay”

hetero duality is extremely limiting, and fails to capture

included that it was not as easily recognizable by straight

important aspects of same-sex identity in China. An

people, that it was less cold and indicated an interest beyond

important factor, I argue, in the recent increase in visibility

sex, and that, “as a foreign term, it also might seem more

of same-sex attracted Chinese is that they are not limited to a

classy and less crude” (2006, par. 18). Use of the term “gay”

single version of homosexual identity.

is directly associated with ideas of modernity, status, and

style (Rofel 2007; Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 19; Wing

Terms for same-sex identity are the first place where

we see that homosexuality in China merges globalized Euro-

Wah Ho 2008, 495).

American concepts with indigenous culture and historical

context. The English terms “gay” or “lesbian” are used

homosexuality, tongxinglian (同性恋 literally “same-sex

in Mainland China, but it is not a direct copying of Euro-

love”), is very rarely used in expressions of self-identity.

American notions of a “gay” identity. Most men who call

Associations with the medicalization and criminalization of

themselves “gay” are younger, growing up after the ‘Open-

homosexuality in the recent past have stigmatized the term

ing Up’ of China to capitalism and global trade (Rofel 1999,

tongxinglian, limiting its use largely to the media, straight

451; Wei 2007, 484-5). We can see that the

communities and older generations of homosexuals (Rofel

appropriation of Euro-American “gay” identity is linked to

1999, 465; Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 20; Wing Wah

both the political freedom and the increased global ex-

Ho 2008, 496). In his discussions with approximately 200

change of ideas in China. Foreigners who comprise these

same-sex attracted people in the summer of 1995, Chou

transnational networks in China, particularly those who are

Wah-shan found that none referred to themselves as

European and American, are a crucial part of the flow and

homosexual. “They used the Chinese term tongxinglian

representation of “Western” concepts of sexual identity.

(homosexuality) not as a noun for a different kind of person

Rofel discusses how Euro-American expressions of same-

(i.e., tongxinglian zhe [同性恋者]), but to refer to a practice”

sex identity both create and deviate from the idea of “global

(Chou 2000, 95). This highlights how traditional Chinese

gayness,” and “that gay men in China view them as at once

conceptualizations of same-sex eroticism continue to

idiosyncratic and representative of Western culture” (1999,

influence modern methods of identification.

468-9). Rofel describes the ways in which these British and

American foreigners imagine gay expression and identity:

term for same-sex identity is tongzhi (同志), literally

It presumes that gay men ideally have relationships with other gay men, even as sexual desire for a variety of men is seen as natural; that gay identity therefore refers to all forms of homoeroticism; that sex lies at the crux of one’s identity; that for this identity to signify, others must know about it and recognize it in public space; that one builds community around sexual identity; and that this community supersedes other forms of community. (1999, 468-9)

I would add to these criteria the idea that for most

Europeans and Americans, “gay” identity is also thought of as being part of an innate sexual essence. Beyond linking the subject to a Euro-American essence-based homosexual identity, self-identifying as “gay” is done for a variety of reasons. In Sun, Farrer, and Choi’s study, titled “Sexual

In contrast to “gay,” the Chinese translation of

The closest thing in modern China to an indigenous

“comrade.” The appropriation of this most-sacred communist term by Hong Kong same-sex activists, and its subsequent spread throughout Mainland China (Chou 2000, 1-3), serves as a model example of how homosexual identification in China refuses a complete grounding in globalization or in local processes. Its “reappropriation is widely accepted by the [same-sex] community for its positive cultural references, gender neutrality, desexualization of the stigma of homosexuality, politics beyond the homo-hetero duality, and use as an indigenous cultural identity for integrating the sexual into the social” (Chou 2000, 2). However, it can also be used to include foreigners, suggesting links to a global identity (Rofel 1999, 465). According to Wei, “tongzhi cannot completely count as an indigenous identity; rather a localized appropriation of



the western gay identity” (2007, 574) largely because it was

other, the internet has become an all-important resource

not locally developed by the Mainland. “Tongzhi” seems

for information on and formation of same-sex identity, and

to be one of the most common identifications taken up by

connection to other same-sex attracted people. The anonym-

same-sex attracted Chinese (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par.

ity and widespread accessibility of the internet make it an


appealing site for those wanting to engage in discussion of

Other common modes of identification within China

homosexual identity. Sun, Farrer, and Choi report that the

do not attempt any form of construction based on inher-

internet is often the first place where same-sex Chinese learn

ent traits like those above. These other methods reflect an

about different identity terms (2006, par.21). Studies by Wei

emphasis on community and group relations, and on actions

and by Sun, Farrer, and Choi both find that the internet plays

rather than an inherent identity. As Sun, Farrer, and Choi

a great role in the positive reproduction of same-sex identity,

discuss, “one could simply describe oneself as being ‘in

particularly of “gay” and “tongzhi” identity:

the circle’ (quannei 圈内), referring to the “tongzhi circle” (tongzhiquan [同志圈])” (2006, par. 16). One of their respondents said, “‘I like to use the term ‘someone in the circle’ to describe myself. Other terms make me uncomfortable. People with this kind of behaviour can just use the term quannei, and this will let others know’ (Interview 15)” (2006, par. 16). Chou points out it was common in the 1990’s for people to “call themselves wo men zhe zhong ren ([我们这种人] we this kind of people), na zhong ren ([那种人] that kind of people), or say ta shi gao tongxinglian ([她/他是搞同性恋] she or he is playing around with homosexuality)” (2000, 95). There are a plethora of contemporary and classical Chinese sayings that stand for homosexuality or homosexual behavior; many are poetic references to famous incidents in Chinese history and literature, for example “passion of the cut sleeve” and “bitten peach.” Slang terms range from “rabbit” in Beijing, to “addicted” in Shanghai, and “pie” or “button” in Wuhan (Wei 2007, 574). However, “because most of these contemporary terms are derogatory names used by the general public for homosexuality or homosexuals, homosexual people themselves do not really identify with those terms” (Wei 2007, 574). This is one reason why I focus on the identity terms “gay,” “tongzhi,” and “tongxinglian.” I stress these terms because of their particular usefulness in navigating different cultural and social spaces, because none of them can be classified as either entirely foreign or Chinese, and for their widespread use, both within the same-sex community and by official and unofficial media and online resources.

Given the negative perception of homosexuality in mainstream Chinese society, identity acceptance seems to be mediated by access to specialized information and specialized social resources. For younger men in particular, the internet has been the most important site not only for meeting other gay men, but also learning a more positive model for gay identity. Chinese internet sites specializing in gay issues offer social and intellectual resources for constructing a positive self identity. (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 28) This explains clearly how increased resources lead to an ability to formulate same-sex identities. Wei also describes interviews in which participants stressed the importance of the internet in the formation of specifically “tongzhi” and “gay” identities (2007, 582-583). As one of his respondents put it: “At the time, I had no idea about the term ‘tongzhi’. I knew there were homosexuals, but I never associated them with myself until I read many tongzhi novels on the internet. The love stories of these senior tongzhi touched me so much. (Personal interview with Ah Wen)” (2007, 583). As another of Wei’s participants related, visiting such websites helped to foster a sense of belonging, and how important this is in identity formation: After you looked at the stuff, you realized that there were so many people sharing the same (sexual) orientation as yours. I always knew I was like that but had no idea about a group of people like that… Actualy I knew that, but I didn’t know the amount of this kind of people was that huge, and some of them were just living around you. (Personal interview with Qiang) (2007, 582)

The last half-decade has seen an explosion of

resources for same-sex attracted Chinese to learn about,

“What Qiang said underlines the importance of group con-

discuss and practice same-sex identity as well as to con-

sciousness in the formation of individual gay identity” (Wei

nect with other gay persons and networks. More than any

2007, 583). Cyberspace is also decidedly transnational, al-



lowing for and encouraging communication with gay people

In Sun, Farrer, and Choi’s scrutiny of the interac-

and communities outside of China. Wing Wah Ho indicates

tions between same-sex attracted Chinese men in Shang-

how the transcultural nature of the internet exposes more

hai and their straight friends, they found that interactions

Chinese “netizens” to “the ‘global’ gay scene,” and promotes

with straight friends lessened due to the need to hide their

notions of “gay identity,” “coming out,” “gay rights,” and

homosexual relations (2006, par. 45-6). “Given that some

“gay marriage” (2008, 494). All of these ideas are directly

general talk about romantic and familial relationships is

associated with the Euro-American essence-based “gay”

relatively common among straight Chinese men, especially

identity discussed earlier, and actively promote forms of

close friends, this lack of intimate self-disclosure tended to

expression with a high degree of visibility. As more young

erode ties to straight friends (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par.

Chinese are exposed to these ideas, they also may seek a

45). Aside from a few exceptions, “almost all respondents

more ‘visible’ lifestyle where they do not have to hide their

reported that conversations and interaction regarding sexual

same-sex identity among a wider range of social circles.

and intimate life were completely confined to the gay circle” (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 48). Cultural affinity


I argue that cultural citizenship also increases vis-

ibility of same-sex attracted Chinese by providing motivation to construct and express a same-sex identity, which allows for interaction with other social spaces. This argument is markedly different from my previous discussions, in that instead of providing the social and cultural space for the formation of a variety of identities, a desire to belong drives the expression and practice of these identities. A sense of belonging, stemming from the growth of connections to and

amidst other same-sex attracted Chinese, while not universally, inherently or unreservedly conferred (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 51-2), was far less problematic than with straight friends. The ease with which cultural citizenship was conferred in the “gay circle,” contributed to respondents “pushing straight friends to a comfortable distance, [while] expanding their zone of comfort by expanding their contact with other gay men” (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 47). Note the explanation of one interviewee in the study by Sun, Farrer, and Choi: Another respondent described the gay circle as a separate space in which one could express one’s true self: ‘In the gay circle, everybody knows everybody, so if you want to laugh, you laugh, if you want to walk a certain way, you walk a certain way. It’s like returning to a world that belongs to you’ (Interview 9). (2006, par. 49)

between social groups, including transnational networks and “straight” communities, is crucial to identity formation and expression. Rofel uses the idea of “cultural citizenship” to describe how a sense of belonging, as a way to define and confirm oneself as a proper Chinese subject, is no longer solely political; instead, it is cultural affinity, expressed through practices of desire, which establishes one’s “citizenship” (1999, 457-9). She goes on to state that cultural citizenship “is as compelling a project for gay men in China as for everyone else” (1999, 459), and that its construction includes “invocations of universality, with transcultural ideas and practices” (1999, 467). As I mentioned previously, those who articulate a “gay” identity link this term to ideas of modernity, cosmopolitanism, and independence. I propose that they may also seek belonging in social groups which stress these ideas and which have more transnational exchange of ideas and persons. An examination of how same-sex Chinese socially get closer to or withdraw from their non-samesex friends provides an informative example.

On the other hand, the few respondents who had successful experiences revealing their gay identities to straight friends could then communicate with them about their sexual relationships (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 44). The sharing of romantic and sexual experiences served as a way for them to maintain relationships with their straight friends.

As I mentioned in the previous section, “gay”

identity is associated with concepts of style, modernity, and status. Production of a “gay” identity, as an “aspiration to a classy type of lifestyle” (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 54) and as a “marker of modernity” (Wing Wah Ho 2008, 495), offers “gay” Chinese a greater degree of acceptability by non same-sex attracted Chinese who seek similar labels.



Articles in the last five years have also shown that there is

or only tacit acceptance” (2006, par.32). Rofel’s recount-

a new tendency for young urbanites to perceive gay friends

ing of a salon discussion in Beijing on the topic of telling

as “fashionable” (Cui 2006, 91; Mullins 2006, 49). Reflect-

one’s parents highlights this viewpoint, when her friend Ah

ing a general liberalization of sexual culture and increasing

Zhuang says:

individualism across lines of sexual attraction as discussed

My whole family knows I am a ‘gay.’ But we have never discussed it. In my experience, dealing with so many Chinese ‘gay,’ [sic] it is wrong to tell your parents. This is not part of Chinese culture. We Chinese must look after our parents and not bring them so much grief. What can be the result of telling your parents? Only grief for them. It is selfish to think only of yourself. Perhaps that kind of thing works elsewhere, but not here in China. (1999, 461)

by Farrer, “young Chinese also have much more of a liveand-let-live attitude” (Cui 2006, 91). By individualizing sexual rights, judgments based on the appropriateness of same-sex attraction are suspended, allowing for the inclusion of a wider variety of persons within varied social networks. This view of homosexuality as an indicator of status and cosmopolitanism, coupled with a sense of individual sexual rights, creates further social spaces in which Chinese can and do express same-sex identity, and it strengthens ties between same-sex and non same-sex attracted Chinese, and their respective social groups. Whether by disclosing to straight friends, or by increasing their involvement within the “gay circle,” both processes are done in an effort to create a space where same-sex attracted Chinese do not have to self-censor and can feel a measure of belonging (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 47). In either case, the search for cultural citizenship among gay Chinese has led to a rise in visibility, as they disclose their same-sex desires to a growing number of nonsame-sex attracted friends.

Same-sex attracted Chinese who form and articu-

late a “tongzhi” identity, one which attempts to incorporate pieces of traditional Chinese conceptualizations of same-sex eroticism, place an emphasis on maintaining family relations without completely concealing their same-sex identity. They seek cultural affinity within more traditional models of social-kinship relations and networks. I agree with Chou that the concept of “coming out” cannot be directly applied to the situation of homosexuality in China. However, samesex attracted Chinese continue to explore ways of avoiding marriage and informing their parents without neglecting traditional concepts of family-kinship relations.

A common method of dealing with parents in China

involves the search for a ‘harmonious’ relationship that does not involve ‘confronting’ them with a same-sex identity, as European or American essentialist homosexual identities often do. Sun, Farrer, and Choi note that in lieu of ‘coming out’ directly to their parents, “respondents had only hinted at their gay identities to family members, hoping for a gradual



When Ah Zhuang said “This is not part of Chinese

culture,” he referred to both the unfilial act of directly addressing one’s same-sex attraction in discussion with their parents, and also the “Western” individualistic presentation of one’s same-sex identity as being more important than their place in the family kinship structure. The former emphasizes the need for harmony and an indirect presentation of same-sex identity. The latter connects concepts of “gay” and “tongxinglian” identities with something foreign that should not be presented to one’s parents. Of the respondents in Sun, Farrer, and Choi’s study, those who had disclosed their same-sex identity to their parents “were likely to frame their decision not as a rejection of family and family values, but as an attempt to gain greater acceptance by the family and to extend traditional family values to include a homosexual son” (2006, par. 38). This search for a ‘harmonious’ relationship with one’s parents in which one has developed the cultural space to enact one’s identity while retaining relations and filial duties of traditional Chinese culture aligns itself with a “tongzhi” identity’s attempts at producing an ‘authentically’ Chinese same-sex identity which does not reproduce Euro-American models. It is impossible to guess at the exact prevalence of this method of self-disclosure, whereby a tacit agreement of acceptance or at least tolerance is reached with one’s parents without ever directly discussing one’s same-sex identity. However, the availability of this method of “coming out,” or as Chou renames it, “coming home” (2000, 259), and of a same-sex identity which can more easily embrace important aspects of Chinese culture, certainly allows for more Chinese to adopt and more publicly express a same-sex identity. The increasing importance of the “gay circle” in

providing a sense of belonging has brought with it a drive to

ogy at Shanghai University, reports on the importance of

take part in the “gay scene”. As I will explore next, partici-

public spaces in his article on the local same-sex identity in

pation in the “gay scene” is just one part of the augmented

Chengdu, known as piao piao (飘飘 – floating or wandering

resources for gathering information, discussion, and identity

around). Wei discusses in his study the vital function served

performance which have heightened the visibility of same-

by piao chang (飘场): meeting places “where piao piao find

sex attraction in China.

sexual gratification and build social networks” (Wei 2007,

576). Piao chang serve as a unique local representation of

An integral part of the recent rise in visibility of

same-sex attracted Chinese is the proliferation of physical

“gay space” in Chengdu, but I believe many aspects of their

and electronic spaces available for the exploration, inform-

importance to the piao piao community can be extended to

ing, discussion, construction, and performance of same-sex

the importance of “gay space” generally in China. Wei finds

identities. Public spaces in the form of the parks, bars, and

that “the collective presence in teahouses enables piao piao

clubs of the “gay scene” are places where the production and

to demand ‘visibility’ in public and break the cycles that

negotiation of gay identity and community formation are es-

produce and perpetuate social alienation. Gay men’s right

sential to the cultural citizenship of many same-sex Chinese.

to use public space is recognized by other tea-drinkers who

Representations in the media and news of homosexuality

share the same place with them” (2007, 578). In a similar

place discussion and information regarding homosexuality in

fashion, the presence of gay spaces, such as parks, bars, and

decidedly visible, public space. Literature which addresses

nightclubs, and the collective presence of same-sex Chinese

homosexuality, in the form of online novels or personal

in such places in cities around China can be seen as a public

blogs, exposes ideas of same-sex identity and life in the “gay

demand for visibility. Though not as direct, the presence of a

scene” for public consumption. Resources on the internet

“gay scene” is similarly recognized by non-gay Chinese and

create a massive opportunity for same-sex attracted Chinese

businesses in the same area. The sense of affinity with others

to explore, learn, discuss and simultaneously express any and

in these spaces and the relief it produces is also mentioned by

all aspects of same-sex attraction, identity, and performance.

participant Lin Tao: “If I didn’t go out, I would feel so rest-

Less widespread resources include recent educational op-

less at home. I had to go to these places... It mattered just for

portunities in university, and the gay hotlines and HIV/AIDS

going there and finding people of your kind. You would feel

related centers of China’s budding civil society. Beyond

relieved from anxiety. You actually looked for something to

the cultural and social spaces produced through the interac-

identify with” (Wei 2007, 576). A search for, discussion and

tions of internal situations with globalizing and westernizing

expression of same-sex identity in these “gay spaces” stems

transcultural exchange, the above-mentioned public spaces,

from the cultural affinity many same-sex attracted Chinese

representations, and resources are essential in the production

seek there.

of gay life in China, and as such are vital to its recent swell

in visibility.

dia, particularly in the news and entertainment industries, are

even more public. Cinema dealing with issues of Chinese

Public spaces for socialization by same-sex at-

Representations of same-sex attraction in mass me-

tracted Chinese can now be found in almost every city in

same-sex eroticism has continuously grown since the 1990s.

China, with their visibility rising particularly since the late

Although largely produced in Hong Kong or Taiwan, films

1990s (Wing Wah Ho 2008, 494). These spaces provide an

such as Farewell My Concubine, The Wedding Banquet,

opportunity for forming same-sex friendships and a sense of

Lan Yu, and Fleeing by Night highlight different aspects of

community. They also provide a vital sense of belonging and

same-sex eroticism in China. A recent example of how the

freedom of expression for many same-sex attracted Chinese,

entertainment industry represents the tensions between the

and for many often signifies the start of involvement in the

local and the global, as well as support for and resistance

gay community and development of a positive view of same-

to the portrayal of same-sex attraction is the film Broke-

sex identity (Sun, Farrer, and Choi 2006, par. 55; Wing Wah

back Mountain. Although its Taiwanese director Ang Lee

Ho 2008, 494). Wei Wei, an assistant professor in sociol-

received widespread acclaim in Chinese and international



media, the film itself was banned from Mainland Chinese

contacted gatekeepers of Shanghai’s MSM community who

screens, primarily for its gay content (Mullins 2006, 48;

volunteered for the Shanghai Hotline for Sexual

Wing Wah Ho 2008, 497).

Minorities, which provide gay and HIV-related services to

MSM and asked them to refer to us potential participants”

Indicative of how quickly and dramatically media

representations affect social perception and discussion of

(2006, par. 12). The government may be involved in

same-sex attraction and eroticism, Wing Wah Ho states in

creating and supporting such resources, as anti-AIDS

her article that less than three years later the “terms dun

campaigns rely on these organizations for help in

bui in Cantonese and duan bei in Mandarin (‘brokeback’ in

distributing information to the gay community (Lu 2008,

English) have [sic] apparently become modern phrases to

44). “For instance, many cities in China give lectures on

describe male same-sex ties” (2008, 497). Reports of the

how to prevent AIDS, create hotlines to provide

film’s overall positive reception, its inclusion in same-sex

psychological support and health information and have

vernacular expressions, as well as the appearance of gay

established special clinics for the gay community” (Li J.

Chinese “cinema that explores in locally specific terms

2005, 2).

same-sex experience in Mainland China” (Wing Wah Ho

gay hotline in China in the summer of 1997 by a diverse

2008, 498), indicates the extent to which representations in

group of Chinese and Western gay men dramatically enabled

entertainment inform same-sex relations in China.

conversations across China and the world” (1999, 452).

A rise in official discussion in news media can

Formalized education on issues related to homosexuality

be seen as well. Articles on homosexuality in China are

has also recently become a new resource for information

published with increasing regularity, both in English and

and conversation. Sun Zhongxin teaches an undergraduate

Chinese, by both Chinese and international news sources.

course dealing with health, legal and social issues related to

In 2005 the Chinese magazine The Globe (环球) devoted

homosexuality, and hopes that the course will enlighten and

ten pages to its cover story on homosexuals in China, and in

encourage tolerance (Cui 2006, 91; Lu 2008, 44). Taught at

2004 the Chinese government openly addressed the issue of

Shanghai’s Fudan University for the first time in September

homosexuality through the media for the first time during an

of 2005, this course was the first one offered in China to deal

evening report on CCTV (Cui 2006, 90). Representations

directly with same-sex issues and was immensely popular,

of same-sex attraction and identity by the news media place

with extra students filling the aisles (French, New York

the exploration and discussion of identity construction and

Times, Sept. 8, 2005). As evidenced by its coverage in both

conceptualization squarely in the public realm, accessible to

Chinese and foreign news, it has greatly helped open up the

all. Open access to information and discussion of same-sex

topic of same-sex attraction to public discourse, debate and

attraction facilitates the adoption and performance of same-


sex identity.

open and available resource for same-sex attracted Chinese

Adding to this process is the representation by and

Rofel points out that “the opening of the national

As I mentioned earlier, the internet is the most

connection to resources on homosexual issues in the form of

to learn about, discuss and begin to express the variety of

civil societies, and more recently through formalized

same-sex identities. Novels circulated on the internet and

education. The growing numbers of non-governmental

online blogs telling the personal stories of gay Chinese foster

organizations that form China’s civil society provide

the adoption of same-sex identities. The plots of many gay

information on a number of issues related to same-sex

movies are based on these novels, including Lanyu. Lanyu is

practices. One can see the significant role that these

based on a Chinese gay novel, A Story from Beijing. Pos-

organizations play in introducing people to the gay

sibly the first example of modern Chinese gay literature,

community through their use by researchers themselves.

A Story from Beijing began circulating online in 1996 and

In order to develop contacts and find participants for his

“paved the way to a genre known as ‘Tongzhi (Comrade)

research Wei began by volunteering for a local gay

Literature’ (Cristini 2003, 27). The anonymous nature of

organization (2007, 573). Sun, Farrer, and Choi “first

the internet frees people to write whatever they feel like and



disclose as much or as little as they want. In this last section

of homosexuality on the table” (Lu 2008, 44). The blog, the

I will show how a very recent news story demonstrates how

online media program, and the article itself serve as prime

the internet, in particular through media and online blogs,

examples of how the internet can directly increase visibility

represents possibly the greatest resource for the informing,

of same-sex attracted people and communities in China.

discussion and expression of same-sex identities and the direct increase in visibility it can produce.

In the November 2008 edition of China Today (今

日中国) , Lu Rucai’s article, “Chinese Gays Emerge from the Shadows,” discusses Wu Youjian’s public support of her son, Zheng Yuantao, when he decided to reveal his homosexuality. As an editor of a literary journal, Wu “did not settle for half measures, setting up a blog specifically to share her views and invite comments on homosexuality” and using “her voice within the media…to express her support” (Lu 2008, 42). The reactions of the public were far more positive than negative, surprisingly more for Wu’s support of her son, rather than his self-disclosure. The bulk of the article focuses on Wu’s journey in supporting her son, including an online media appearance and her articulation of the difficulties that Chinese culture and society pose for same-sex attracted individuals. Lastly, she is joined by Didier Zheng and Li Yinhe in examining the efforts to improve attitudes towards homosexuality, particularly through the internet.

Wu and her son’s active pursuit of high visibil-

ity and staunch support show strong tendencies towards a transcultural essentialist “gay” identity. Her goals in setting up an online blog perfectly embody the role of the internet as a space for the discussion, construction and production of same-sex identity. The role of the internet in clearing up prejudices and providing spaces of expression, inquiry and discussion is present throughout the article. According to reporter Lu, Wu’s blog was set up at the end of 2007, and had already received over a million hits (2008, 43). The online media program in which Wu and her son told their story appeared on PhoenixTV in 2005 on the talk show Homosexual Connections (Lu 2008, 42). Didier Zheng, who hosts this weekly program, stressed that it is inspired by a sense of social responsibility to inform and educate, and, in 2008, would explore issues such as social interaction and gay marriage, soliciting public advice on these topics (Lu 2008, 44). He perfectly displayed the usefulness of the internet and shows like his, in allowing for the publicly available discussion of same-sex topics when he said that, “It puts the issue


Same-sex attraction in Mainland China has seen a

rapid growth in visibility over the last decade, the causes for which cannot be seen as either wholly internal or external. This rise in visibility of same-sex attraction in China is largely the result of increased social and cultural spaces for the construction, discussion, and performance of a variety of same-sex identities. The mounting importance of individualism, sexual rights, and romantic love in the context of a greater sexual liberalization has contributed to this space. While “Western” influence and globalization are often represented as the sole source from which these ideas and the resulting liberalization enter into Chinese society, these exchanges across transcultural networks always redefine the ideas under discussion to fit within or modify local conditions. As such, one must also consider changes within China as equally important. Recent and ancient historical context and traditional culture have at least an equally great effect on the ability for same-sex identities to be produced and expressed. Another factor is the vast spread of public representations of same-sex attraction and the growing resources to inform, discuss, construct, and express these identities. These encourage the appropriation and expression of same-sex identity, while simultaneously making same-sex topics widely accessible and visible. The Internet in particular has been most crucial, providing the space for identity formation and performance processes, the routes to connection with other homosexuals and a sense of belonging, and as a place in which these processes are made visible and public. The search for cultural citizenship drives gay Chinese in their efforts to negotiate and fulfill these processes of identification. The variety of same-sex identities available and the drive to express them are essential to the recent increase in visibility of same-sex attraction in China. The significance of this increase in visibility is that it informs us about the magnitude of other broader social changes within China. It is, of course, CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


important in and of itself. Increased resources, visibility, and

Lu, Rucai. 2008. “Chinese Gays Emerge from the Shadows.”

forms of same-sex identification all feed public and private

China Today, Nov.: 42-44.

discussion, encouraging young Chinese to develop more tolerant and informed views of same-sex attraction.

Mullins, Richard. 2006. “A Pink Dawn?” China Today, Dec.:



Rofel, Lisa. 1999. “Qualities of Desire: Imagining gay

identities in China.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian

Cohen, Paul A. 2003. China Unbound: Evolving perspectives

and Gay Studies. 5: 451-474.

on the Chinese past. New York: RoutledgeCurzon.

Chou, Wah-shan. 2000. Tongzhi: Politics of Same-Sex

Eroticism in Chinese Societies. New York: Haworth


Search of a Happy Ending.” International Institute

for Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter, 31, http://www. (Sept. 14, 2009).

Cui, Junling. 2006. “China’s Cracked Closet.” Foreign Policy. May/Jun: 90-91.

Farrer, James. 2002. Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and

Market Reform in Shanghai. Chicago: University of

Chicago Presss.

Hinsch, Bret. 1990. Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male

Homosexual Tradition in China. Berkeley:

University of California Press.

French, Howard B. 2005. “A Chinese University Removes a

Topic From the Closet.” New York Times, Sept. 8,


Li, Jianguo. 2005. “Tolerance and Acceptance.” Beijing

Review, 48, no. 51, Dec. 22: 2.

Li, Yinhe. 2006. “Regulating male same-sex relationships

in the People’s Republic of China.” In Sex and

Sexuality in China ed. Elaine Jeffreys. New York:

Routledge, 2006.


Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture.

Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Sun, Zhongxin, James Farrer, and Kyung-hee Choi. 2006.

Cristini, Remy. 2003. “Gay Literature from China: In

Rofel, Lisa. 2007. Desiring China: Experiments in

T H E R O N H A A N | A N N A M AY E R

“Sexual Identity Among Men Who Have Sex with

Men in Shanghai.” China Perspectives 64, http://

(Sept. 14, 2009).

Wei, Wei. 2007. “‘Wandering men’ no longer wander

around: the production and transformation of local

homosexual identities in contemporary Chengdu,

China.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 8: 572-588.

Wing Wah Ho, Loretta. 2008. “Speaking of Same-Sex

Subjects in China.” Asian Studies Review 32: 491-


Shift to Open Roles in Soc ial Dance B Y A N N A M AY E R

Dance is a form of culture particularly suited to have an effect on and, subsequently, to

reflect societal gender roles. Jane Desmond articulates, “Dance, as a discourse of the body, may in fact be especially vulnerable to interpretations in terms of essentialized identities associated with biological difference. These identities include... gender and the sexualized associations attached to bodies marked in those terms” (Desmond). More simply put, dance is a form of artistic culture that uses the body as its vehicle for meaning. Therefore, when a dance form changes, the meanings attached to the dancing bodies, and therefore to the cultural significance of those bodies, shifts. In dance academia, there is much discussion on the appropriation of dance forms: the dominant culture’s seizure of a dance form from a non-dominant group, and the subsequent shift in style and meaning to reflect dominant social norms. Little is said about the effects of non-dominant cultures on the dance forms of dominant groups, though it does happen. In these cases, we see the power a minority group can have on the dominant culture. Lead/follow roles in social dance have long been metaphors for gender roles between male and female dancers, and continue to be so today. The significance and meaning of these roles have changed throughout the centuries in accordance to the values of the time, including suffrage and the Women’s Rights Movement. The significance of lead/follow roles continues to change due to the most recent Gay Rights Movement. The presence of queer dancers in social dance transforms and expands the meaning of lead/follow roles in both the queer community as well as with the cultural majority.



Social dance is, historically, a mating ritual

Victorian era, when women gained the right to vote.

between potential lovers of opposite sexes. These mating

rituals had set rules of etiquette that corresponded with the

one of tension between the sexes, in which women were

sex of each partner and coded within them social norms

gaining rights and therefore becoming a threat to male

for males and females. Men were always the ‘lead,’ or the

dominance (Kimmel). These tensions related to lead/fol-

dancer responsible for initiating movement, while women

low relationships through a shift in the value and meaning

were always the ‘follow,’ responsible for responding to the

of each role. By the 1920s, even the terminology in dance

man’s initiation. This is especially reflective of the social

manuals was changing, with the women’s demotion from

norms of the time (roughly 16th century Europe, though

‘lady’ to ‘girl’. In stark contrast to the late 19th century

the exact origins of formalized partner dance are unclear)

sentiment that leads were responsible for women’s

that restrained women from making advances to men, and

pleasurable experience (and thus should be disgraced if he

so in dancing, “the man always had to take the

hurt the follow in any way), comes a 1946 comment from

initiative: he offered, and the lady either accepted or

the dancing master Arthur Murray: “Don’t, little lady,

rejected” (McKee). This continues to reflect the social

blame your crushed toe on your partner. Maybe your back

expectations of masculine and feminine, in which men are

steps are too short. Get out of his way!” (Powers) The

seen as leaders and women are seen as beauties. A

tense gender climate reveals itself even more explicitly

common saying in many forms of partner dance,

in the comments of L. Ray in 1930: “Never should the

especially the waltz, is that the man is the frame and the

so-called gentler sex be quite so gentle and acquiescent as

woman is the picture. The male lead’s role is to “set the

when dancing. No matter what her views on suffrage and

rhythm, decide which steps to use, and to control the

feminism may be, it is a woman’s duty to let the man lead

direction and progression of the couple around the floor”

on the ballroom floor.” This attitude continued into the

(McKee). The female follow’s “responsibility is to follow

1940s and 50s, again illustrated by Arthur Murray’s

this lead without apparent effort, and to look beautiful”

comment, “The dance floor is the one place where the

(Herbison-Evans). These gender roles have stayed intact

weaker sex prefers to remain submissive” (Powers).

through the centuries, though the attitudes attached to

Despite their authoritative tone, the men making these

them shift in response to the social climate of particular

comments were not well versed with the “weaker” sex’s

time periods.

true preferences on the matter.

During the 16th century European Renaissance,

The social climate in the age of suffrage was

The Women’s Rights Movement did not stop

ideals of chivalry influenced the attitudes of noble men.

when women won voting rights. The feminist movement

These chivalric attitudes persisted throughout the

continued beyond suffrage into property rights, and then

Romanticism of the 19th century, and men were expected

into equal pay in the 1960s and 70s. The rise of second-

to behave honorably and courteously towards women,

wave feminism cast women in an increasingly powerful

especially in courtship (“The Chivalric Code”). With this

role, which continues into the third-wave feminist move-

cultural attitude in mind, we see a high level of courtesy

ment of the 1990s to the present. These movements again

between lead and follow, where the male lead is

shifted the meanings of lead/follow into a more respectful

responsible for the pleasure of the female follow. In 1847,

and mutually reciprocated exchange. In current social

Charles Durang, “America’s most famous dance master,”

dance circles, attitude emphasizes the agency of female

advised leads, “Gentlemen ought always to be attentive to

follows as dancers.. Richard Powers, a dance instructor at

their partners, and they should move in unison with their

Stanford University, explains, “Follows are given as great

every step and attitude” (Powers). Likewise, in 1865 it

a responsibility as the leader, as they do not ‘follow,’ they

was said, “A good dancer would consider himself

interpret signals they’re given, with a keen responsiveness

disgraced if any mishap occurred to a lady under his care”

that is not passive” (Powers). This shift in attitudes, like

(Powers). These attitudes began to shift after the

both the chivalric and anti-feminist attitudes before, is not



isolated but is deeply connected to the social climate in

Rockland Palace on 155th Street” (“Queer Jitterbugs’”).

which the dance exists.

These balls, which would have featured swing dance, were

highly visible and were reported in mainstream news

The most recent shift in social climate, the

emergence of the Gay Rights Movement, is also shift-

media: “Of course, a costume ball can be a very tame

ing the meaning of lead/follow relationships. This shift,

thing,” reported the gossipy Black weekly The Interstate

however, easily goes unseen because we are enmeshed in

Tattler, “but when all the exquisitely gowned women on

the complex world of current

the floor are men and a number

meanings, and do not have the

of the smartest men are women,

clarified view that historical distance can give us. Despite this, subtle changes in the social norms surrounding mixed-gender social dance give clues to the larger shift

When a man learned to follow, he could then learn to lead.

that is occurring in social

ah then, we have something over which to thrill and grow round-eyed” (“Queer Jitterbugs”). Though these drag balls were likely quite different in tone than contemporary swing dance

dance roles. Historically, there was one specific situa-

gatherings, the couplings were most often same-sex,

tion in which same-sex dancing was acceptable, which

though perhaps mixed-gender in accordance with lead/fol-

was during teaching. In Argentina, men learned to lead

low gender roles.

from their fathers, who would teach their sons by leading.

When a man learned to follow, he could then learn to lead.

is “Dancing With the Drag Stars,” a recent San Francisco

In many other forms, the (often male) dancing masters

competition inspired by the popular television show,

were responsible for teaching (and thus, knowing how to

“Dancing With the Stars.” This competition features a

dance) both roles, and so one could find men dancing both

wide range of social dance forms, and uses traditional

the lead and follow roles in teaching situations. These

mixed-gender lead/follow relationships with a same-sex

same-sex partnerings were, however, confined to the teach-

twist: male follows in feminine (known as ‘high femme’)

ing realm and were not included in the social, mating ritual

drag. This competition, as well as the Gay Games, the

realm of dance. The frequency of same-sex coupling has

Out Games, and the California Dreaming DanceSport, are

increased over the last century, as we can see in the rich

some of the largest same-sex ballroom dance competi-

and rapidly growing history of queer social dance in the

tions in the world, though there are many other smaller

United States.

queer dance competitions. Cheryl Burke, whose studio

hosted the “Drag Stars” competition, remarked, “Dancing

The Gay Rights Movement is commonly cited as

A contemporary equivalent of these drag balls

beginning in the early 1920s, with the foundation of The

with the Drag Stars was an idea that we had to showcase

Society for Human Rights. The movement gained mo-

a new and unique aspect of ballroom dance to the city of

mentum and visibility in the mid 20th century, alongside

San Francisco ... It raised valuable awareness to same-sex

the beginnings of second-wave feminism. Underground

couples dancing which really is an up and coming part of

queer social dance had been, presumably, active for a

the dance community” (Ross). Burke’s comments high-

much longer time preceding its visibility, but some of the

light the fact that these competitions are a reflection of the

first widely recognized queer dance gatherings took place

queer social dance scene and its exponential growth over

in New York, alongside the emergence of The Society

the past century.

for Human Rights in the mid-20s. During the Jazz Age,

Greenwich Village and Harlem hosted the most active

studios designed specifically for queer partnering, both in

queer nightlife, while “The most spectacular homosexual

the United States and internationally. The main difference

events were the costume balls held at the cavernous

that sets these studios apart is the deliberate inclusion of

There are a growing number of social dance



“open role” partner dancing, regardless of dancers’ sex, gen-

GLBT couples change lead and follow from dance to dance and even in the middle of a dance – always with an agreed upon technique that both understand. In fact, changing lead seamlessly is a skill that... is seen in GLBT competitions and socially... I personally encourage GLBT couples to share lead and follow on the dance floor – rather than rigidly assume that only one of them will always lead. The power dynamics seem a bit off balance to me when only one partner can be the ‘leader’. (“Same Sex Social Dance”)

der, or even sexuality. Sergio Segura, of Strictly Traditional Argentine Tango, explains, “We don’t demand to keep the ‘macho’ acting for leaders or the ‘femme’ acting for followers. This means everyone has the freedom to show themselves in the dance in the way that they are in real life.” (“Open Role Tango”). In short, open role dancing is an umbrella term for partner dances in which lead and follow are not determined by sex or gender.

Open role studios showcase several different ways

the lead/follow relationship can be translated to same-sex couples. Most commonly, we see a similar model to that of the Drag Stars competition; a traditional lead/follow dynamic, but with same-sex and/or same-gender couplings. The process through which the dancers designate lead and follow roles, however, gives birth to a new way of understanding lead and follow. Rather than males automatically taking the lead and females being cast as follows, there are a number of ways queer partners decide on these roles. Liz Nania, director of Massachusetts-based Out to Dance, explains:

The technically advanced ability to seamlessly switch between lead and follow is becoming a highly prized skill, especially in competitive dancing.

Interestingly, this open-role approach has spread

to mainstream mixed-sex/gender partner dancing. The advanced level of skill that is required for dancing both roles attracts dancers in many forms. Now we see a greater admiration for women who lead, or men who can follow well. Julie Merrill, of the blog Addicted2Salsa, writes: “One of my favorite things to see when I’m out social dancing or watching a performance is a woman who can lead or a guy who can follow… You get insights into the job of your usual partners that you just can’t get any other way” (Merrill). In

Who should lead? Another bonus for queer people: the best person for the job gets it!… The leader will be the person who feels more comfortable choosing and initiating each step during your dance. It has nothing to do with height or gender, it’s about dance confidence. Sometimes it’s also about who would prefer to relax and forgo that responsibility (follow), or who would like to be in the driver’s seat. The leader has the more intellectual job and the follower has the more intuitive job…Can you trade off lead and follow? Of course, but you’re going to be spending twice as much time learning two roles, hours which could be spent learning more fun moves; it’s your choice. (Nania)

the mainstream dance world, the virtuosity required to switch roles has made this a prized skill for both men and women, which can be seen across a range of forms. Merrill posted several videos of same-sex (yet apparently heterosexual) open role salsa dancers, both female-female and male-male (“Jorjet & Jennifer Salsa” and “Salsa Dance”). These dancers are celebrated for their virtuosity and ability to take on either role, regardless of sex or gender.

Many mainstream teachers encourage their students

to learn both roles, not out of a desire to change genderpolitics, like Adams, but simply because it creates better

Nania’s closing comment on trading roles illustrates the flex-

dancers. An article from an online dance newsgroup argues,

ibility inherent in open role social dancing.

“I feel strongly that everyone should... learn the other side.

I think it makes the leaders much more sensitive... because

Though some dancers stick to either leading or

following, many queer dancers learn both roles and alternate

they can feel what a lead should or shouldn’t feel like from

lead and follow, sometimes within a single dance. Switching

the follower’s side. The followers will... finally understand

roles requires a more highly advanced technical skill than

just how difficult it is to lead” (“FAQ: Lead and Follow”).

fixed-role dancing, for each dancer must learn both roles and

Among the many benefits cited are a better understanding of

be able to shift modes gracefully. Shirley Adams, of Come

the other role, an increased number of people with whom one

Out Dancing, teaches role switching as both a technical skill

can dance, and the ability to teach both roles. These benefits

and as a way to shift traditionally gendered power dynamics:

are echoed by those who teach open role classes, who say, in



the words of Segura, “People who attend open role classes learn twice as fast than ones attending the ‘standard classes’, because they have more understanding about the others’ part, they are more collaborative and also have more fun” (“Open Role Tango”). Adams echoes this with a personal experience, “I believe the freedom from gender roles has fueled my love of partner dancing. Leading and following with both men and women makes the dance world infinitely richer” (“Same Sex Social Dance”).

Open role social dance, though based largely in the

queer community, has ripple effects on the dominant heterosexual social dance world. We see this in increasing acceptance of same-sex/gender partnerships, gender role reversal, and fluidity between lead/follow. The change is slow and subtle, but the effects have already begun to be visible. A 52% majority of those asked “Should women be allowed to lead ‘the tango’?” said yes (“Debate”). This is only a slight majority, but a significant majority when compared to historically rigid gender roles. The fact that mainstream dancers are beginning to be celebrated, not scorned, for their ability to switch roles is a historical milestone in the shifting social meanings surrounding gender roles. Like the effects of other social climates throughout the 16th to 19th century, the presence of a large queer dance community is having an effect, though subtle and complex, on the significance of lead/follow in the broader social dance world. REFERENCES>.

Kimmel, Michael S. “Men’s Responses to Feminism at the Turn of the Century.” Gender and Society 1.3 (1987): 261-83. JSTOR. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. McKee, Amy, and Thom McKee. “Leading and Following.” DanceTV. Ballroom Dance Group. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. < rial/basics/leading.html>. Merrill, Julie. “Take the lead (or follow?).” Web log post. Addicted2Salsa. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://ad lead-or-follow/>. Nania, Liz. “Your First Dance: A Moment of Fabulousness!” Gay Wedding Resource. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://gayweddingresource.thegaymarriagething. com/?p=83>. “Open Role Tango.” Message to the author. 14 Nov. 2009. E-mail. Powers, Richard. “Partnering Quotations.” Social Dance at Stanford. Stanford University. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. < quotes.htm>. “Queer Jitterbugs View of Jazz History.” Queer Ballroom. Queer Jitterbugs. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.>. Ross, Eric. “Dancing With the Stars thrusts same-sex dancing into the spotlight.”

“The Chivalric Code.” Essortment Articles. Pagewise. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. < valriccode_rxnf.htm>.

Examiner. Clarity Digital Group. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. < Issues-Examiner~y2009m8d20-DWDS>. Salsa Dance (Jayson y WBW).

“Debate: Should women be allowed to lead the tango?” Helium. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.helium. com/debates/131850-should-women-be-allowed-to- lead-the-tango/side_by_side?page=4>.

Perf. David Stein and Jayson Molina. YouTube. TSpoonER. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>.

“FAQ: Lead and Follow.” Victor’s Home Page. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. < switching.html>. Herbison-Evans, Don.

“Same Sex Social Dance.” Message to the author. 14 Nov. 2009. E-mail.

“History of Modern Ballroom Dancing.” Information Technology. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www-staff.>. Jorjet & Jennifer Salsa. Perf. Jorjet and Jennifer Stein. You Tube. TSpoonER. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www. CU H ONORS J OU RNAL




K E V E N M I C H A E L - O N U R K A L AY C I O G U




K E V E N M I C H A E L - O N U R K A L AY C I O G U




“post mortal disintigration” Composition by Keven Michael-Onur Kalayciogu “The Great Framer’s Rave” Composition by Maximillian Shiffman To listen to and download audio files, please visit:


K E V E N M I C H A E L - O N U R K A L AY C I O G U | G I N O F I G L I O

I don’t know if you know this But I have to tell you that I Know about what you left in my Sock drawer the other night While I was rinsing and my head Had Count Basie blaring through That sonorous piece of air Then between you and I, and I Tripping on the cord of a Hair dryer nearly committing Suicide and all that fine etcetera As the music’s tempo picking up My penis dangling with the door Wide open no telling what You’d meant in yelling “b.r.b. Presently!” but nineteen hours Passing still counting in syncopated Bass riffs tell me what Would it do to be anything other Than what it is to be here and alert and now —Gino Figlio



A Dull Brown By Phillip Ortiz

Somewhere, on the great plains of the Midwest there is a field as vast as the

formidable reaches of the imagination can fathom.

On a winter day, hoarfrost

covers the wheat here, and the clouds, gray and somber, drape the warm earth with a wet plane of sadness. Such a place reflects the men who work it, silent with dull gray hair and without the rosy blossom that a cold west wind usually paints on the cheeks. Neither life nor death permeates the air. No, the air here is satiated with a quiet stagnation. This day seems wrong for a birth, but nonetheless there are manyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the births of humble moths, who after hatching glimpse the flat dark sky, the immeasurable horizon. He who christened this particular type of moth must have seen something of himself in it. The miller, clothed in dull brown garments and covered in the dust of ground wheat, must have spoken to the sensibilities of this manâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to the humble and dull, to the resolute and industrious; qualities that are so often overlooked. In this way the miller moth speaks again to me.

On a bright summer morning, if you were to turn onto Brownstone Drive and

follow it until you reached a small blue house, third on the left after the intersection with Hills Drive, you would find me. Approaching the doorway, one would see a shadow projected on the concrete driveway, smell the odor of the blooming lilacs wafting over the wooden fence, and perhaps, if one were observant enough, would perceive the drops of morning dew crowning the freshly angled spires of grass. Our house stood on a small hill, among many other homes of similar stature and shone a generic light blue in the sunshine that often dulled to gray in wet weather. This was the house of my childhood.

In June of 1991, it bore all of the traces of a house containing two young

children, a small heap of bright colored playthings in the corner of the living room, a forgotten pacifier behind the couch, and a high chair in the kitchen. On this particular day, my father and older brother had departed for some unremembered purpose, leaving me in a state of restless seclusion.

I sat just inside the front door. Above me loomed a monolithic staircase,

which undoubtedly seemed inaccessible to my usual approach, crawling, and immensely frightening to my unsteady legs, which had recently begun to attempt upright locomotion. There, in a gray onesie, I sat dismayed by the limited possibilities of the foyer. I carefully considered the red tile on the floor; it was cool and strangely smooth, but otherwise rather uninteresting. The colossal walls were blank and painted that neutral beige that I am sure graced many walls of small suburban homes. In fact, the only thing that held any interest to my infantile mind was the pattern the east sun made on the wallsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;distorted angles filled with crossbar shadows, warm and cool, a veritable patchwork. My tiny hands grasped at the light. If I held 44


out my hands, I could project my own patterns of dark patches onto the walls.

As I sat there in the vestibule, something sizzled on a skillet and my mother’s

steps could clearly be heard from just around the corner in the kitchen. At this moment a dull flutter crossed my eyes. However subtle this motion had been, the nature of the moth’s movement had superseded all other amusements available. The movement of this creature, an erratic quiver with an unstable trajectory, seemed instantly more appealing than the patterns of light and darkness on the floor, the towering walls and the smooth, cool tile. This moth had allure and mystery in its awkwardness. Unlike the robins outside of the window, the moth did not move with feathered grace, it did not land with a slight ruffle and cock its head to peer at the observer. No, this moth was entirely different. It was as if it were composed of an old faulty motor attached to wings: it vibrated constantly, and if it had ever understood the concept of direction it had been long forgotten. Instead of the acute grace of birds, the moth seemed to fly in oblivion. It landed sporadically, and narrowly clung to the wall, then fell again into flight again. To my one-year-old mind, it was a magnificent creature!

The moth, however, was certainly not as pleased as I. After a long migratory

journey in search of the nectar of summer and the cool climate of the Front Range it had been misled. Perhaps it had been aiming for those purple flowery clusters in the back yard that give off such a captivating aroma for those short weeks in summer, or the multi-colored mélange that surrounded the doorway. Either way, this moth had become entangled in the unnatural angles of the walls and confused by the false promise that the windows held. Perhaps, in its frantic search the moth even failed to notice the small child gazing reverently upwards at it.

After a short while I failed to watch the moth contentedly. Instead I decided

to apprehend the flying machine and take a close look at its earthy brown wings and two protruding antennae. Certainly this was an unrealistic desire for one with such limited motor skills, but the perseverance of a curious child mustn’t be underestimated. As the moth whirled in front of me, no doubt affected by a combination of vertigo, madness and panic, I steadied my hand and waited for it to fly near. Suddenly, the moth dove into the tile. Nimbly I stretched out my pudgy arm and grasped my prey. As I brought it to my eyes, the moth fluttered wildly and twitched as if affected by some anxious neurosis. I felt the soft powder of its wings dusting my hands, I felt its potent life writhing between my fingers, and it mesmerized me. Yet, I had not acquired competence in fine motor movements and with one tiny squeeze the moth expired in my hand. At that moment my mouth froze in a grotesque contortion, my eyelids jumped and a kind of horror came over me. How did I just kill the object of my dearest affections!



A brief sense of grief turned into a curiosity of another kind, and feeling the

lightness of the moth’s remains in my hand, I decided to taste the moth. Suddenly without giving any further thought to the matter I raised my hand to my mouth and let it tumble into my mouth. The taste wasn’t unpleasant, and the satisfaction of a successful endeavor replaced the grief from my moth’s death. At that moment, my mother turned the corner, and saw me sitting quietly, without guilt or shame, munching the remains of the moth. Her face conveyed complete shock and confusion, her lips stood slightly parted and her eyes fully opened. Horrified, she bent over me and pried my mouth open, only to find one meager, wet moth wing inside.

Since that day, I like to reckon that I have a special connection with moths.

That summer, the sky was clouded with them. At night they congregated around lights, as if in the throes of religious fanaticism, dully thudded into the bulbs and flitted maniacally around the lampshades. But, despite their abundance, I did not lose my fascination.

I have never understood the wrath that common moths inspire in people with

otherwise admirable demeanors. Moths have always spared my closets, and the worst offense they have perpetrated against me has been to become a solitary silhouette on the television screen at night. For some their constant dull fluttering is an annoyance worthy of death, but I see it as my own struggle—attempting to touch the light only to be dissuaded by the hot white glass, but never abandoning the cause. The moth, if anything, is noble. The moth is a wanderer. Rising each spring from the fields, they fly by the stark light of the moon and search for the bliss afforded in cool gardens by fragrant blossoms. The unlucky moths, those who are deceived by doorways and screenless windows, have been subject to the malice of the homeowners since the biblical days of Job. The moth that only seeks sustenance confronts yellow clouds of choking naphthalene and camphor, whooshing flyswatters and the deadly allure of those misleading lights, artifices mistaken for the guiding light of the moon.

As I grew older, I remember countless nights in my room, hearing the flitting of

moths against the windows, walls, and the tall white lamppost.

So sad a desperation,

so strong a perseverance these creatures possessed that they spiraled in a fit of delusion into the open face of that buzzing halogen lamp. Of course, I mourned these moths, partly because of the pungent smell of their fiery death, but also for what they represented—simplicity in the face of a menacing, changing world, something that any observer must approach with not only curiosity, but also sorrow.





We present results from the University of Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Partnership for Informal Science Education in the Community (PISEC) in which university participants work in afterschool programs on inquiry-based activities with primary school children from populations typically under-represented in science. This university-community partnership is designed to positively impact youth, university students, and the institutions that support them while improving childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitudes toward an understanding of science. Children worked through circuit activities adapted from the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum and demonstrated increased understanding of content area as well as favorable beliefs about science.


As a result of the No Child Left Behind

legislation, general science curriculum in formal settings has been displaced in favor of additional focus on reading and math skills, especially for students in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. [1] Students are now provided less opportunity to learn science. Furthermore, formal science educational settings face several challenges, including: large studentto-teacher ratios, time constraints, manditory testing, insufficiently trained and under-qualified teachers, and lack of financial and community support. [1-3] While these challenges limit opportunities for all students in science, they have a disproportionately negative impact on students from under-represented populations. [4,5] To address these challenges, we explore the potential of informal science education (ISE) environments to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all students. A recent National Academies of Sciences (NAS) study

identified six characteristics of informal learning environments to support the education of youth. [6] These include a variety of characteristics similar to formal environments, as well as opportunities to cultivate science excitement and support the identities of children as contributors to science. While students in formal settings often perceive science lessons as separated from their daily lives, [1] ISE activities are designed to allow students to explore topics directly related to their real-world experiences through play and inquiry. Such opportunities are particularly valuable for underrepresented populations who may have difficulty cultivating identities in and favorable attitudes towards science. [7] Traditionally, out-of-school programs have focused on youth development, whereas informal science research has been largely relegated to museum science experiences. [1] By bringing together community organizers with science professionals, afterschool ISE may positively affect science content knowledge and attitudes by serving as an intermediary space between formal



science education, social youth development programs, and

activities they made individual or group stop action motion

museum interventions. [1] Currently, relatively little research

animation [13] movies illustrating learned ideas.

in physics education focuses on studying the potential of these ISE environments. While there are increasing numbers of af-


terschool programs that strive to support K-12 students, only

a small body of research describes the potential impacts of

in the program evaluated using pre and post-surveys of their

after school ISE programs on participating students. [6] We

performance on the Conceptual Survey of Circuits (CSC) and

present results on the impact of these ISE programs on chil-

the Children’s Attitudes Survey (CAS), two components of

dren. A related paper [8] presents the potential positive impact

the PISEC Assessment Suite. These assessments are derived

that these programs have on the university participants.

from existing, validated instruments. Furthermore, they are


The University of Colorado’s Partnership for

In this study, we investigated children’s experience

being validated for these environments currently, and are described online. [9] Part 1 of the CSC asked students to draw a working circuit using one wire, battery, and light bulb. [14]

Informal Science Education in the Community (PISEC) [9]

The student drawings were scored on a six-point scale, which

afterschool programs follow a university-community part-

attempted to cover the main learning goals of the modified

nership model in which university participants (postdocs,

PET curriculum, which included comprehension of a com-

graduate, and undergraduate students interested in teaching)

plete circuit and the necessity for connecting both bottom and

partner with community organizers (located in community

side bulb terminals. For the first rubric category, one point

centers and schools) in afterschool ISE activities. [10] As part

was assigned if the student drew a circuit that expressed some

of the PISEC program, this study was conducted at Spangler

content, did not leave the question blank, and the student

Elementary School in Longmont, CO in a classroom after

attempted an answer using all circuit components. A second

regular school hours. Two to three university educators

point was assigned if the drawing pictured a closed conduct-

(UE’s) worked with an average of 13 predominantly Hispanic

ing loop, thus expressing the idea of a complete circuit. This

children in 5th grade for one hour per week, for 7 weeks. The

point was awarded even if the drawing was not correct. Next,

children were selected through registration with the regional

a third point was assigned if the drawing involved connec-

Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program,

tions to both the bottom and side of the bulb. A fourth point

[11] an organization that provides afterschool STEM activities

was assigned if the student communicated that they knew that

for minority K12 children. A PISEC Fellow (an experienced

the bottom and side of the bulb could be used as connectors.

UE) and an elementary school teacher jointly supervised the

(Many students did not know that the side bulb terminal could


be used, while other students drew multiple drawings showing

The curriculum was modified from the Physics and

connections to both side and bottom bulb terminals.) For the

Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum [12] to include new

fifth category, one point was assigned if the student’s draw-

educational technologies with inquiry-based basic circuit

ing only used one wire, not two. Finally, a sixth point was


assigned if the drawing would ultimately light.

A typical session included UEs interacting with

Twelve matched pre / post scores were averaged and

small groups of children (~3) who worked through sequential

are shown in Figure 1. The results demonstrate significant

activities. Each part of the activity was passed out separately

positive shifts in content knowledge for the CSC Part 1.

so that children could work at their own pace. Once finished

with an activity, each group was asked to discuss ideas and

pre and post-test, Part 2 was only offered as a post-test. This

findings with a UE before receiving the next activity. In these

was because the CSC Part 2 was created after the program

groups, children experimented with light bulbs and batter-

started, and was designed to test children’s ability to extend

ies and recorded their observations (using pictures or words)

content material past the point of instruction. The CSC Part

in laboratory notebooks. Once the children had finished all

2 was adapted from review PET questions to assess students’



While the CSC Part 1 was administered as both a

conceptual mastery and asked students to predict whether or

signed Likert-scale values of -2, -1, 0, 1, and 2. Negative

not each of four circuit drawings would light a bulb, with one

values corresponded to unfavorable or novice-like attitudes,

point assigned for each correct answer. The average scores for

while positive values corresponded to favorable or expert-

13 Part 2 surveys and circuit drawings are shown in Figure 2.

like attitudes. For example, the first question reads “How do I feel about doing science activities?” “Really like them,” is a highly favorable, expert-like answer, assigned a value of +2. Figure 3 shows the matched pre / post scores for the CAS averaged over all students for each listed question. Scores were ignored if the student did not answer or provided multiple answers for a given question, resulting in 11, 11, 8 and 10 matched pre / post scores for questions 1 through 4, respectively. (This response rate is also reflected in the error bars, which are calculated as the standard error of the mean.)



Question Number

Results for the Conceptual Survey of Circuits (CSC) Part 1. Error is standard error of the mean.


post pre

2 1 -2





Average Score Unfavorable <-----------> Favorable

Figure 3. Student attitudes and beliefs (pre / post) as

FIG U R E 3 . by the CAS, on a -2 (unfavorable) to +2 measured

2.. Results for the Children’s Conceptual Survey F I GFigure URE 2 of Circuits (CSC) Part 2. Each of four questions was

Results foron theaChildren’s Conceptual Survey of Circuits scored 0 (incorrect) to 1 (correct) scale. Error is(CSC) Partstandard 2. Each error of four questions was scored on a 0 (incorrect) to 1 of the mean. (correct) scale. Error is standard error of the mean.

(favorable) scale the following questions: Student attitudes andforbeliefs (pre / post) as measured by the How I feel about doing activities? CAS,1.on a -2do (unfavorable) to +2 science (favorable) scale for the 2. Do questions: I think there is science in everyday life? following 3. Would likeabout to dodoing an experiment or be told about it? 1. How do I Ifeel science activities? 4. How would I feel about doing science as my job? 2. Do I think there is science in everyday life? 3. Would I like to do an experiment or be told about it?   4. How would I feel about doing science as my job? DISCUSSION

The average content gain (gain = post – pre) on

Part 1 of the CSC was 4.1 out of 6 points, determined to be statistically significant using a two-tailed t-test with p<0.01.

The CAS attitude survey was adapted for elementary

All students scored higher on post than pre-test, and all but

and middle school students from the Colorado Learning At-

one student had a perfect score on the post-test for Part 1.

titudes about Science Survey (CLASS). [15] The CLASS was

After completing the program, children were successfully

originally designed to evaluate college student attitudes about

able to draw a working circuit using only one battery, bulb,

science and science learning.

and wire. On the 4 questions of the CSC Part 2, students

scored an average of 0.92, 0.69, 0.62, and 0.46, respectively,

For the CAS, students were presented with four

nature of science questions. For each question the students

out of 1. The decrease in average scores for questions (a) to

circled one of five statements indicating the degree to which

(d) may be coincidental. We note that, in this study, we are

they identified with that question. The statements were as-

limited by small N. CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


The CAS demonstrated that students generally start

shifts over the total time duration. [16] Although the same

with, and sustain, their positive beliefs about science. Two-

children participated in these sessions, the curriculum in these

tailed t-tests indicate only question #4 had a significant shift

sessions was not the same. It is unclear what caused these

at the level p<0.01. Thus, children experienced no significant

long-term effects, but longitudinal studies suggest positive

shifts on questions 1-3 and a negative shift on question 4.

attitude shifts may occur over longer periods of time than one

Question 4 asked, “How would I feel about doing science


as my job?” It is unclear why students showed negative attitude shifts for this question, although similar results have


been observed in other studies with students from similar

demographics [7]. Data from questions 1 through 3 suggests

students developed a greater mastery of content in this

this after school ISE program successfully supported students’

ISE environment. Simultaneously, favorable beliefs about

favorable attitudes about doing science, seeing science in

science were supported. These measures of content and

everyday life, and conducting experiments.

attitude demonstrate the potential for university-community

partnerships to address the calls of the National Academies.

Students were also allowed to comment on the

Data from this afterschool ISE program suggests

attitude surveys. Some typical post-survey student comments

Conceptual survey data indicates students developed and used


correct models about basic circuits, while their attitude survey remarks express excitement and interest towards science

Comments on Question 1: “What I like about science is that

activities. These comments also indicate this afterschool

we do a lot of activities that we never made [before].”

ISE environment allowed students to think about themselves as science learners. While the present study documents

Comments on Question 2: “Because you watch TV and that is

the positive impact on children, current studies focus on

electricity and electricity is science”,

demonstrating the potential of these environments to improve

“Because you do something at your house that you never did.”

university students’ content mastery, awareness of communitybased programs, and their abilities to communicate about

Comments on Question 3: “I would like to do an experiment

science in everyday language. [8,17,18] Future studies will

instead of being told about it because doing it is more exiting

consider what effects afterschool ISE programs have on

[sic] and I learn about it more”,

formal institutions.

“Because I can learn from the experiment”, “I would like to try new things that I never did.” Comments on Question 4: “Yes because people would ask me to do different things that’s [sic] very cool”, and “Because I also want to teach kids how to do science.”

These comments reflect the NAS strands of

science learning specific to ISE, illustrating excitement towards and identity in science. For questions 1-3 we did not observe significant attitude shifts. CLASS results in which college students experience no significant shifts are considered desirable. [15] Furthermore, PISEC collected data from another site with similar demographics during three consecutive sessions (spring, summer, fall) which showed average zero shifts during each session, but significant positive




13. Stop Action Motion Animation,

The authors wish to thank the JILA Physics

Frontier Center, MESA, and Spangler Elementary School. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. REC 0448176. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF. REFERENCES

1. S. Schwartz and G. Noam, in Board of Science Education Learning Science in Informal Environments, National Academies Press, 2007, Available at: bose/Schwartz_abd_Noam_Commissioned_Paper. pdf 2. National Academy of Sciences, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, The National Academies Press, 2007

Everyday Thinking,” Its About Time, INC.

14. P.S. Shaffer and L.C. McDermott, American Journal of Physics, vol. 60, no. 11, pp. 1003-1013, 1992. 15. W.K. Adams, K.K. Perkins, N.S. Podolefsky, M. Dubson, N.D. Finkelstein, and C.E. Wieman, Physics Review Special Topics, Physics Education Research, vol. 2, no.1, 2006. 16. L. Mayhew, Unpublished results from PISEC studies Spring 2008-Fall 2008. 17. N.D. Finkelstein, Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 37-41, 2003. 18. L. Mayhew and N.D. Finkelstein, PERC Proceedings 2008, AIP Press, Melville NY, 1064, pp 155-158, (2008).

3. AAEE: Educator Supply and demand 2006, (2007), 4. AIP Statistical Research Center 5. NAEP Nations Report Card 2005, NCES, Dept. of Ed, 6. P. Bell, B. Lewenstein, A.W. Shouse, and M.A. Feder Eds, National Research Council of the National Academies, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, Washington, D.C.; The National Academies Press, 2001. 7. C. Sorge, H.E. Newsom, and J.J. Hagerty, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 332-345, 2000. 8. L. Mayhew and N.D. Finkelstein, PERC Proceedings, AIP Press, (2009). 9. PISEC, 10. N.D. Finkelstein and L. Mayhew, PERC Proceedings 2008, AIP Press, Melville NY, 1064, pp. 19-22, (2008). 11. St. Vrain MESA Program, 12. S. Robinson, F. Goldberg, and V. Otero, “Physics and CU H ONORS J OU RNAL




The girl sits in a copper chair stained green from

and seven seconds behind, but no one’s counting. Her eyes

prolonged exposure to oxygen. She is next to the window

are fixated meticulously on the second hand of the clock as

of the coffee shop; so close to the window, in fact, that there

time, the third party observer with perfect, unbiased opinion,

is a circle of fog from her breath on the tinted glass by her

ticks away; three minutes and 32 seconds of time ticks away

left shoulder. Her breath smelled of white chocolate caramel

before the girl’s rounded hazel eyes begin to squint into their

mocha with skim milk, no whipped cream; substituting 2%

irritated shape. The girl decides that she will wait another

milk with skim milk. The girl is convinced that the calories

one minute and 28 seconds for him because it’s a universal

from her drink totaled zero. The girl turns her head away

rule that no girl should have to wait more than five minutes

from the window to face an owl-shaped clock hanging on

for a member of the opposite sex.

the wall in front of her; the owl-shaped clock is two minutes


S H A R O N ( X I A N ) YA N G

Ten minutes and 47 seconds pass, and the girl still

sits in the same copper chair with the same expression on her

everyone had one except for her. Of course, everyone did

face and the same circle of white chocolate caramel mocha

not include the overwhelming majority of the population

scented fog on the window by her left shoulder. Her once

who did not own an iPhone.) The girl stares expectantly at

immaculate tickle-me-pink manicure has chipped tips from

her phone, waiting for the screen to light up again, indicat-

consistently tapping on the dark cherrywood coffee tables,

ing that he had written a text back to her. The screen of her

and her kiss-me-berry lips are now pursed into a thin, stern

phone remains dark, thus the girl comes to the conclusion

line. The girl is slightly beyond annoyed but not quite angry

that his phone is either broken into pieces or lost and never

just yet; she reaches into her jacket pocket and takes out her

to be found again. Continuing to stare at the phone, she sighs

LG Dare touchscreen phone and texts him. (She had wanted

and decides that his phone better be broken into at least ten

an iPhone and recalls specifically telling her parents that the

pieces and be in flames.

iPhone was essential to her happiness and wellbeing since

The boy rushes through the crowd on the cement



sidewalk across the street from the coffee shop; glancing

wrong according to the female. Time, the third party

down at his worn leather watch. He happily smiles thinking

observer with perfect, unbiased opinion, is not so unbiased as

that he is going to be eight minutes early: this would be the

the owl-shaped clock matched the boy’s worn leather watch,

first thing to go well for him all morning. He doesn’t realize

both two minutes and seven seconds behind, both blissfully

that his worn leather watch, that once belonged to his

ignorant of other clocks and watches with the so-called

great-grandfather who had a knack for being late to

accurate time, and both consistent in reminding people that

everything, was two minutes and seven seconds behind.

being on time is an impossibility that is overrated (the mea-

The boy crosses the street at the crosswalk, not taking any

surement of time is invented by humans, humans are flawed,

chances on jaywalking (today was one of those days that

therefore the measurement of time is flawed). The boy barely

unfolded according to Murphy’s Law), and as he approaches

finishes his sentence before the girl reprimands him about

. . . t h e p e r f e c t b re a k u p o u t f i t . the coffee shop, he is genuinely surprised to see the girl

his forgetfulness, his selfishness, his attire, his inability to

already seated inside with her hazel eyes slanted into their

respond to texts, his shoes, his posture, and as she continues

irritated shape. He walks into the coffee shop and

the prolonged list of faults, the boy can’t help but think about

immediately notices that the girl is wearing a push-up

how the Colts lost to the Broncos the night before; props to

bra (her boobs didn’t normally look this big).

Brandon Stokley.

The girl notices the boy across the street and

The boy notices a silence, meaning that the girl has

instantly takes off her warm, white jacket; she had been

stopped castigating him; the girl notices that the boy was

planning this outfit for weeks (low-cut shirt, her most

not paying any attention to what she had to say. The boy

flattering jeans that cost her a whole week’s paycheck,

comes to the conclusion that this silence is his cue to tell the

stilettos that gave her feet blisters on top of the blisters that

story of his horrendous morning; he can’t decide whether

already exist from trying to wear the heels in, and a push-up

he should lie, in which case she won’t believe, or tell the

bra)–the perfect breakup outfit. Her getup was sexy enough

truth, in which case she might not believe anyways. Lies are

to let him know that he was lucky and to remind him

short and simple while the truth is long, complicated, and

afterwards that he used to have a hot girlfriend, yet it was

unbelievable. The girl cannot come up with enough reasons

sophisticated enough to convey confidence and maturity

to stay in the relationship and bites her kiss-me-berry lips as

instead of slut. The girl stares at the boy as he bursts through

she formulates her breakup speech in her head. The perfect

the doors to the coffee shop and notices that he had on two

breakup speech consists of three parts–an apology, an expla-

different pairs of shoes, stains on his shirt, and wrinkles

nation, and a goodbye. The girl had just barely perfected her

down his khaki pants. The boy clearly had no clue how to

explanation when she felt his hand cover hers. She begins to

dress, and a fashionable girl cannot be seen with an uncoor-

move her hand away, but the boy took her movement as an

dinated, messy boy.

initiative to intertwine their fingers together. The girl thinks the boy is too dense to recognize that she wants to leave

The boy sits down across from the girl and proudly

him; the boy doesn’t want the girl to think he is too dense to

mentions that not only is he on time this morning, but he is

recognize that she wants to leave him. The girl thinks that

actually eight minutes early; he didn’t realize that the male

the boy takes her for granted; the boy thinks that the girl is

sex should never mention time because they can only be

beautiful. The boy grins (partly because he knows the girl


S H A R O N ( X I A N ) YA N G

has a weakness for his grins and partly because he simply enjoys her company despite her anger), and the girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bottom lip starts to tremble.

The boy glances at the girl and catches sight of a

sparkle, a pearl of tears pool at the corners of her lugubrious hazel eyes. The boy believes that tears are the secret weapon employed by the female sex when they want the males to feel useless and emasculate, but at the same time the boy believes that the male sex should do everything in their power to prevent the female from crying. He decides to tell her the long, complicated, and unbelievable truth (but as a firm believer that nothing should go to waste, he saves his fabricated story in his list of excuses for future use). The boy believes that the girl is worth the long, complicated, and unbelievable truth; he believes that she deserves his effort in telling the truth. The boy touches his fingers to her freckled cheek to catch the tear spilling out of her bright eyes (the boy gets bonus points for not commenting on the mascara stains) and begins to explain his forgetfulness, his selfishness, his attire, his inability to respond to texts, his shoes, his posture, and how seeing her was the best part of his day.




THE WALL: The Success of the PDS as a Ref lection of the Failures of Easte rn Integ ration by the CDU/CSU and SPD BY BRENNAN ANDREWS


biggest challenges lay inside the redrawn German borders. The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989

Democratic Republic (GDR) had been divided both physi-

impacted the entire world. Not only did its collapse signal

cally and politically. The gaps in political and economic

the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe,

ideology effectively created two, independent states, which

it also forced the European continent to question what came

had to be reunited despite forty-five years of forced separa-

next. The question of German reunification loomed over the


European continent, forcing not only German leaders but

heads of state from France and Britain to face past demons.

still be seen. Reunification has affected many aspects of the

Germany would not have been divided initially had it not

German State, including its politics, economics and society.

been for its history of aggressive, expansionism. Although

Perhaps less predictably was how these effects would trans-

almost 45 years had passed between the end of World War II

late into the German political party system. Traditionally,

and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the effects of the warâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s atroci-

the West German government has been dominated by coali-

ties were long lasting. Consequentially, the reunification of

tions in which either the Social Democratic Party of Ger-

the German State was not strongly supported by the other

many (SPD) or the Christian Democratic Union of Germany

European powers (Vincour 2009).

(CDU/CSU) took a leading role (Bawn 1993, 1987). How-

Reunification, as Vincour (2009) explains, was in-

Twenty years later, the effects of reunification can

ever both of these parties have seen steady decreases in their

evitable. And despite the dire warnings of renewed German

percentage of national votes since 1990 (Bundeswahlleiter

aggression by British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher,

2009). Yet, the Leftist party Die Linke (PDS), the reincarna-

and French President, Francois Mitterand, in the early 1990s

tion of the ruling communist party, the Socialist Unity Party

(Volkery 2009), the renewed German State has not been a

(SED) (Thompson 1996, 436) has seen substantial growth

destabilizing force on the European continent. Reunification

of electoral support since the early 1990s (Bundeswahlleiter

would not only affect those outside of the German State, the

2009). The success of the PDS party reveals the inability for



the CDU/CSU and SPD to fully address the economic, social

translated into the pursuit of liberal policies. That is, the

and political ramifications of German reunification.

CDU/CSU favored the protection of the free market and

market rather than State controls (Kesselman et al. 2009).

This paper demonstrates how the lingering political,

social and economic effects of German Reunification have

Although founded after the fall of the Third Reich in the

ensured the continued and growing popularity of the PDS

FDR, following German CDU/CSU maintained their uncon-

party. I contend that the success of the PDS in the Bund-

tested position on the ‘right’ of the German political

estag (Germany’s lower house) is largely due to the failure of

spectrum. Thus, despite the increase in a population familiar

the two major people’s parties (The CDU/CSU and SPD) to

with leftist ideology (further discussed below), the CDU/

address former East Germany’s specific needs. I will begin

CSU were secure in their free-market, diminished

by giving a brief introduction to three German parties: the

Government intervention and emphasis on Christian values.

CDU/CSU, the SPD and the PDS. Next, I argue that the dif-

Unfortunately, this appeal was much more salient in the

ficulties from the rapid economic transition in East Germany


resulted in political recidivism where East Germans were

more in favor of the socialist model proposed by the PDS.

nant leftist party in the FDR. However, although initially

I then argue that skyrocketing unemployment and demo-

espousing strict socialist ideology, the 1959 Bad Godesberg

graphic changes further reveal the hardships faced by East

Party Conference moved the party to the center with empha-

Germans following reunification. I argue this demonstrates

sis on social democracy and a social free market (Kessel-

East German uncertainty over the conservative, Free-Market

man et al. 2009). Thus, the party continued to be the party

policies pursued by the CDU/CSU and SPD and explains

of workers, advocating some welfare benefits such as State

why many East Germans felt more secure in voting for the

funded unemployment checks, while also accepting that

familiar PDS party. Finally, I reason that the differences in

capitalism and representative democracy were both the best

the East‘s and West’s conceptions of democracy result in a

ideologies (Kesselman et al. 2009). Until 1983, the SPD

stronger Eastern alliance in the PDS’ vision of a democratic,

was the only left party (much like the CDU/CSU was the

albeit socialist, state. I conclude that the success and growth

only right party) in the Bundestag. Yet, the entrance of the

of electoral support for the PDS is indicative of the larger

Green Party into the Bundestag in 1983 was the beginning of

electoral trend in the Bundestag, wherein small parties are

the splintering of the Left. Still, the SPD continued to enjoy

now being seen as better representation of the people’s will

larger vote shares, mainly due to its popularity as a people’s

than the traditional, volksparties (“people’s parties”).

party (Bundeswahlleiter 2009). Thus, it continued to be in

The SPD, for a period of time, acted as the domi-

direct competition with the CDU/CSU for the general, center P O L I T I C A L PA RT I E S I N R E U N I F I E D G E R M A N Y

Foremost, it is important to understand the major

actors on the German political stage. For the purposes of this paper, the focus will be on the CDU/CSU, SPD and PDS. These three parties, despite dedication to democracy, all appeal to different members of the German society and these appeals are critical in understanding the effects of reunification.

The CDU/CSU are the only large, right party in

Germany. Occupying the right of the political spectrum emphasizes adherence to Christian values, such as frugality, strong work ethic and self reliance (Mertes 1994). Economically, the Christian emphasis on individual work ethic

vote as it enjoyed general security in the left with only one competitor. After reunification, however, the SPD was suddenly faced with yet another leftist competitor.

This new competitor was the PDS. In 1990, the

PDS was formed from the former SED, the dominant party in the former GDR. Despite only winning approximately 2% of the national vote in 1990 (the Bundestag requires 5% of the national vote to earn seats), the PDS entered into the Bundestag because of an exception which mandated the entrance of a party if, given it did not reach the 5% threshold, it won three directly elected seats (Kesselman et al. 2009). Despite tenuous beginnings, the PDS share of the national votes have continued to grow each election cycle (Bundeswahlleiter 2009). The PDS was a truly leftist party



(rather than more centrist) which strongly adhered to the so-

ingly being inevitable, it only worsened inequalities between

cialist values, such as social and employment security for all,

the East and the West.

movement away from the competitive free-market and true

democratization by allowing all (rather than just the elite)

only worsened because of the history of economic ideology

determine the role of the State (Die Linke 2009). Perhaps it

in both the East and West following World War II. Under

is unsurprising that the PDS gains most of its support from

socialism, East Germans were used to an array of economic

East Germany (Economic Expert 2009). Of course, without

benefits including unemployment protection, cheap hous-

the agonizing reunification, the PDS might have less regional

ing and cheap medical care; all of which were discontinued


in the new market economy after reunification (Rosenberg

This rapid transition and its effects were likely

1991). Combined with the reality of rising unemployment, ECONOMIC CHANGES IN REUNIFIED GERMANY

offered or acknowledgment of Eastern hardship from the West.

The economic disparity between East and West

Germany was one of the most difficult aspects of German reunification. Understandably, reunification presented the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning the East from a socialist, welfare economy to one dominated by free market capitalism. Although the East eagerly accepted democratic values (Dalton and Weldon 2010, forthcoming), the rapid economic transition and its consequences were not so favorably welcomed. Economic difficulty in the East was seen as necessary by the Westerners and their parties, leaving a representative void that was filled by the familiar, PDS.

East Germans faced a very bleak future with little protection

The decade following German reunification was

characterized by rising unemployment, especially in the former GDR. With an almost doubling of the unemployment rate (Snower and Merkl 2006), the lack of competitive industry located in the East, as compared to the West, only served to intensify the economic strain of transition (Munich and Sveinar 2007; Grabka, Schwarze and Wagner 1999). Furthermore, many policies implemented that were meant

Twenty years later, the economic gap has lessened.

Still, unemployment in the East is higher than in the West, driving continued migration of recent high school graduates from one region to the other (“brain drain”) (Burda 2009). The slow positive responsiveness of the East German economy to westernization undoubtedly affected how Easterners viewed the Western political parties. Foremost, the CDU/CSU orientated itself more closely to liberal market ideology (Schmidt 1987) and was thus largely unsympathetic to transition pains felt in the East.

Despite its “socialist” background which would

seemingly imply protection for those left unemployed during the economic, the SPD simply could not protect nor offer any viable economic alternatives (Mahr and Nagle 1995). The PDS, however, because of its strong socialist roots clearly offered unique support to the unique problem faced in East. This further strengthened East German backing of the PDS, as the other parties failed to offer any protections against the dangers of rapid transition.

to help the East Germans through the turbulent times ended up exacerbating the East’s economic woes. For instance, the


desperate and rapid replication of the Western economic free market further added to the problems, with the huge devalua-

tion of the Eastern mark in comparison to the Western mark,

talist society understandably resulted in a period of social

which led to the inability for Eastern companies to pay back

discomfort for the citizenry of the reunified Germany. The

loans or purchase new equipment (Hummel 2009). Instead

economic strains of transition during the reunification pro-

of supporting East Germans, the new free market created

cess was met with deep anxiety from the German people.

a vacuum filled by foreign actors (immigrant workers) and

Moreover, the anxiety was compounded by the seeming lack

foreign investors (instead of German investors) (Gabner

of protection for those who came into economic hard times.

1995). Overwhelmingly, despite the rapid transition seem-

The citizens of the GDR were used to extensive welfare



The unification of a communist state and a capi-

benefits, including unemployment protection and benefits,

riages in Eastern Germany following the fall of the Berlin

provided by the ruling communist party (Jarausch and Duffy

Wall. The marriage rate saw a huge drops as single, East

1999), practices that would be suspended in the new, reuni-

Germans were nervous about making long term life com-

fied Germany. Furthermore, the rapid economic transition

mitments considering future uncertainties (Adler 1997).

did result in the high unemployment of many East Germans,

Unemployment could mean that individuals would need to

effectively creating a class distinction between unemployed

move to find work, a decision that would affect any future

East Germans and employed West Germans. The unemploy-

partners. Consequently, the need for mobility determined by

ment effect then translated into low fertility and marriage

future economic opportunities, made marriage and ‘settling’

rates due to the uncertainty of the future. The high unem-

potentially dangerous. So, the marriage rate dropped in East

ployment and demographic shocks combine to demonstrate


how the “Western” parties failed to protect the needs of the

East Germans whereas the successor of the former GDR

explain the initial and continued support for the PDS,

ruling communist party (the PDS) built its constituency on a

which garnered anything from 2% to 5% of the electoral

platform advocating the strengthening of the welfare system

vote (Bundeswahlleiter 2009). The PDS’ party platform, as

in Germany.

compared to either SPD or CDU/CSU emphasized and still

The FRG and GDR had two very distinct systems

In the early 1990s, these demographic trends

emphasizes an increased welfare role for the state (Die Linke

prior to reunification and, in 1990, these differences had to

2009). Understandably, increased protection in times of

be overcome. As was already discussed, the strong industry

economic uncertainty was directly relatable to the East Ger-

of the West cushioned most economic strain whereas the

man experience whereas the other “people’s parties” (SPD or

East more acutely felt the transition (Munich and Sveinar

CDU/CSU) seemed expectant for Easterners to immediately

2007; Grabka 1999). One of the consequences of economic

adapt to the West German model. Moreover, the continued

turmoil in the East was an increase in the unemployment

increase of growth in support for PDS, up to almost 12% in

rate, which has nearly doubled since reunification (Snower

the 2009 elections (Bundeswahlleiter 2009) suggests that

and Merkl 2006). Consequently, the division between unem-

even twenty years later, many in the East still believe in the

ployed and employed reflects the gap between the East and

welfare state promoted by the PDS, rather than a merger of

West. Moreover, it reflects a gap in what policies individuals

Eastern and Western values.

demand their government to supply, such as unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, the discomfort was particularly

intensified in the East and even manifested itself in the physical wellbeing of the population. In the immediate years following reunification, there was a huge decline in the fertility rates in East Germany (Witte, Wagner and Gert. 1995). Similar sharp declines were seen in other formerly communist countries during the transition from socialism to a free market (Kohler and Kohler 2002; Kohler, Francesco and Ortega. 2002). With employment and future economic security uncertain, many couples in the former GDR made the decision to not have children without clear, future stability. Essentially, it is worrisome enough to support one or two person(s) in times of economic unpredictability and having children would only increase any financial stress.

This logic even extends into the number of mar-


As has been mentioned, German reunification

forced established German parties to reassess the role of the State. However, despite any debate on how involved Germany should be in the lives of individuals, it was unequivocally acknowledged that democracy and capitalism were the reigning ideologies. Yet, even with acceptance of democratic values, the rapid transition in the East ensured that East Germans longed for a more familiar state model.

Foremost, it is important to emphasize the com-

plete acceptance of democracy following German reunification. After reunification, East Germans clearly supported democratic values (Fuchs 1999), such as free elections and representative governments. The absorption of the GDR by the Federal German Republic thus did not result in a rift CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


between groups accustomed to authoritarian rule and groups

adapt to the demands of the East. Dalton and Weldon (2009)

accustomed to democratic rule. Rather, reunification was a

observed that it wasn’t democratic values that weren’t shared

successful merger of two states that, despite a period defined

by both the East and West, but that they were disenchanted

by no democratic tradition (understandably the East expe-

with the politics and irresponsibility of politicians. Despite

rienced this longer than the West), the two sides were truly

being minimally socialist and advocating stronger social

unified in their support of democracy.

programs (as opposed to the CDU/CSU), the SPD was still

more bound by its desire for votes than any concrete social

Notwithstanding overwhelming support for demo-

cratic values in both the East and West (Dalton and Weldon,

change ‘promised’ by party leaders (Mahr and Nagle 1995).

2010), there was definite disagreement over the role of the

The inadequacies and perceived ineffectiveness of the SPD

state. The West had been strongly encouraged and influ-

and CDU/CSU parties left a niche that was well suited for

enced by the West European community, as a result of past

the PDS, even given their historical role in the GDR. While

German transgressions, to reshape themselves as active

advocating democratic values, the PDS also promised to

European community members, thus establishing precedence

be a party better suited for easing reunification and transi-

for a “European Germany” rather than a “German Eu-

tion woes, specifically in the East (Mahr and Nagle 1995).

rope” (Marcussen et al. 1999). Although the broad support

So, the PDS saw continued and growing electoral support

undoubtedly assisted the success of democracy in Western

(Bundeswahlleiter 2009), despite any dubious past con-

Europe, it also discouraged national pride. Helmunt Kohl,

nections. Simply, the PDS was able to evolve past its post

German Chancellor during German Reunification, faced op-

reunification stage and address the political needs of a unique

position to his goal of reunifying the German state and, as a

population while the traditional people’s parties (and particu-

means of negating the fears of a renewed, aggressive Reich

larly the SPD) floundered to incorporate the needs of their

(the historical German empire), he framed German reunifica-

new constituents.

tion in a broader, European context (Spiegel 2009). Thus, German reunification was about the success of supranationalism and not the success of a single state. In the face of reunification, this de-emphasis of nationalism, history and culture could not be evoked to reunify the two populations after 45 years apart.

Thus, democracy became the shared political value,

in lieu of shared anything else. As was established, acceptance of democracy was not the problem. Rather, the East had a very different perception of the exact role of democracy in the government, where the citizens of Germany were more important than the European community (Dalton and Weldon, 2009), precipitating the different views of the sovereign state versus the supranational state. The problem is only exacerbated by the aforementioned social differences in the East and West, thus emphasizing the need for state intervention in issues of unemployment and social welfare (Dalton and Weldon 2009). Overall, these variations explain how the East expects democracy, a representative government, to be more responsive to their needs and desires. Democracy is, after all, about the people.


However, traditional “Western” parties failed to



The fall of the Berlin Wall was a symbolic vic-

tory for democracy. The reunification of the German state however, should be the truly celebrated event. More than just a symbolic victory, democracy was eagerly anticipated in the East. However, with the ideological transition came a number of difficulties. Although supportive of democracy, East Germans disagreed with their western counterparts on how democracy should operate institutionally. Furthermore, the economic counterpart to democratization, the free market, initially worsened conditions in the East (unemployment, social inequalities, low fertility rates), further causing the East to demand more from their representative government. The right to choose their representation meant that the lackluster responses of the two dominant parties, the CDU/ CSU and, perhaps more surprisingly, the SPD motivated many in the East to look to a smaller, regionally responsive alternative: the PDS. Every year since 1990, the PDS have captured an increasing share of the vote, peaking in 2009 with 12% (Bundeswahlleiter 2009). This increase, although

seemingly at odds with Eastern integration into the German State, is simply a story of how small parties offer more distinct alternatives, rather than “people’s party” rhetoric. The large parties have simply gotten too large to be fully responsive to their whole constituency and, in the face of the various affects of German Reunification, they were forced to give up votes to smaller parties (specifically the PDS) who could better address unique, regional needs. Although the effects of German Reunification largely explain why the small PDS party gained support, future studies could better analyze how (if at all) German reunification and its affects 20 years later have helped or harmed other small parties, such as the Greens or Liberal Democrats. Still, the increase in small party importance in itself demonstrate the success of democratic transition (for both the East and West), as it underscores the most basic democratic values of free elections and elected representation.


Adler, M. 1997. “Social Change and Declines in Marriage and Fertility in Eastern Germany.” Journal of Marriage and Family 59(1): 37-49. Bawn, Kathleen. 1993. “The Logic of Institutional Preferences: German Electoral Law as A Social Choice Outcome.” American Journal of Political Science 37(4): 965-989 Bundeswahlleiter. 2009. Quoted at Parties and Elections in Europe. (November 14, 2009) Burda, M. 2009. “Half-empty or Half-full? East Germany.” Vox 9 November (November 15, 2009)

Development in Europe. ed. Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Grabka, M., Schwarze, J., Wagner, G. 1999. “How Unification and Immigration Affected the German Income Distribution.” Economic Review 43(4): 867-878 Hummel, Wolfgang. 2009. “Twenty Years of Stimulus for East Germany.” The Wall Street Journal. 08 November 7756.html (02 December 2009) “Interview with Kohl’s Top Aide on German Reunification: ‘It was Practically a Miracle.’” 2009. Spiegl. November 11. (December 02, 2009) Jaraush, K., Duffy, E. 1999. Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR. Oxford: Berghahn Books. Kesselman, K., Krieger, J., Allen, Christopher, S., DeBardeleben, J., Hellman, S., Ost, D., Ross, G. 2009. European Politics in Transition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company Kohler, H., Kohler, I. 2002. “Fertility Decline in Russia in the Early and Mid 1990s: the Role of Economic Uncertainty and Labour Market Crisis.” European Journal of Population 18(3): 233-262 Kohler, H., Francesco, B., Ortega, J. 2002. “The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe during the 1990s.” Population and Development Review 28(4): 641-680 Mahr, A., Nagle, J. 1995. “Resurrection of the Successor Parties and Democratization in East-Central Europe.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 28(4): 393-403

Dalton, R., Weldon, S. 2010 (forthcoming). “Germans Divided?: Political Culture in a United Germany.” German Politics and Society

Marcussen, M., Risse, T., Engelmann-Martin, D., Knopf, Hans J., Roscher, K. 1999. “Constructing Europe? The Evolution of French, British and German Nation State Identities.” Journal of European Public Policy 6(4): 614-633

Die Linke. 2009. “Key Program Points.” 1-10 Economic Expert. 2009. Party:of:Democratic:Socialism (November 14, 2009)

Mertes, Michael. 1994. “Germany’s Social and Political Culture: Change through Consensus.” Daedalus 123(1): 1-32

Fuchs, D. 1999. “The Democratic Culture of a Unified Germany.” Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Values: 1-19

Munich, D., Svejnar, J. 2007. “Unemployment in East and West Europe.” Labour Economics 14(4): 681-694

Grabher, G. 1995. “The Disembedded Regional Economy: The Transformation of East German Industrial Complexes into Western Enclaves.” In Globalization, Institutions and Regional

Rosenberg, D. 1991. “Shock Therapy: GDR Women in Transition from a Socialist Welfare State to a Social Market Economy.” Signs 17(1): 129-151



Schmidt, M. 1987. “West Germany: The Policy of the Middle Way.” Journal of Public Policy 7(2): 135- 177 Snower, D., Merkl, C. 2006. “The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market After Reunification” American Economic Review 96(2): 375-382 Thompson, W. 1996. “The Party of Democratic Socialism in the New Germany.” Communist and Post Communist Studies 29(4): 435-452 Witte, James C., Wagner, Gert G. 1995. “Declining Fertility in East Germany After Reunification: A Demographic Response to Socioeconomic Change.” Population and Development Review 21(2): 387- 398 Vincour, John. 2009. “German Reunification: From Rejection to Inevitability.” The New York Times, Nov 08. (November 14, 2009) Volkery, Carsten. 2009. “The Iron Lady’s Views on German Reunification: ‘The Germans are Back!’” Spiegel. Nov 11. (December 02, 2009)




IT WAS NOT LONG AGO that I called my home Number 111 of E. Priory Street, Exeter, Massachusetts. It was a

squalid little hole, yet my income bade me suffer the extremities of wintry cold and summer heat, and the peculiar folk who answered for my neighbours. I was a writer then, and I suppose I might fancy myself as such now, though my publishers give me dreadful accounts of what few books I have written. Nevertheless, my humble beginnings recommended me take residence in the cheerless quarters of that gothic bastion, its steeped windows gazing balefully out across the Ardolyn River.

My lodgings were quaint, rustic even, with remnants of Victorian furniture staunchly rooted to the antiquated oaken

floors. My one suitcase was quickly emptied into the voluminous chest of drawers across from my four poster bed, and I occupied the remainder of the afternoon in quiet rumination as I explored the maze of dilapidated streets and alleyways which surrounded my new lodgings. Crumbling brick edifices and ancient stone archways lead to leaning black corridors which probably hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen the sun for generations. The buildings, long neglected of repairs or rudimentary structural care, leaned forlornly together at their tops, and brought to my mind the strong semblance of Shambles Street in my far away home of York.

I saw little of my neighbours that day, or on any of the following days. It was by its nature a reclusive community,

shunning by some inveterate instinct the surreptitious eye of the civilised world. This suited my taste very well, for I was in no eager frame of mind to be thrust into a garrulous band of well-wishers when my heart still ached for the green fields of my home I had left far behind. Furthermore, I found that solitude encouraged many of my finer pieces of work, and the thoughtfulness it provoked was lost to the boisterous calamity of most outsiders. CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


One night, several weeks after I had moved in and

the edge of my bed, listening. The knocking continued, for

as I was becoming familiar with my new quarters, a sound

many long moments before all grew quiet. I heard no door

brought me from my reverie as I sat dozing before my large

open, however, and no retreating footsteps down the narrow

stone hearth. The November air seemed master over the

wooden stairwell.

poorly insulated building, and I found that a blazing fire was necessary at all times to maintain any sort of feeling in my

I continued to listen intently, moving to my door

toes. As I lay procrastinating one of my many unfinished

to hear more acutely whatever might take place without my

works, I faintly discerned a rapping noise, as of someone

room. In a moment, the knocking was repeated, and with

knocking upon a door. It continued for perhaps half a minute,

more fervour than before. I was started back from my listen-

then fell silent. This struck me as odd, for during the entire

ing post, and upon a sudden and bold instinct, quietly un-

length of my stay thus far I had heard no indication that I

bolted my door and peered into the gloom down the hallway

indeed shared habitation with anyone else at all. In fact,

in the direction of the intruder.

many of the residents—from what vague reconnaissance I could gather—enjoyed their solitude as much as I and

The hallway was perhaps thirty paces in length,

visitors were an unwelcome intrusion. Nevertheless, it was

with four rooms in total: two upon the wall, and one at either

not my business, and aside from the oddity of the event, I

end, with the stairwell comprising the majority of the oppo-

returned to my peaceful slumbering.

site wall. I was the second door from the room where I had heard the knocking, my room opening to the stairwell, and

This was repeated some nights later, and again I

the corner room perpendicular to mine.

was stirred to curiosity about the nature of this intruder. I am certain the other guests felt similarly, though like myself,

I stared intensely through the darkness towards the

none were so inclined to investigate and risk the possibility

far end of the hall, though I could make nothing out. A slight

of detestable interaction with some foreigner.

crease of light poured out of my own doorway and made me uncomfortably aware of my conspicuousness in that utter

My writing progressed by degrees—fuelled by my

blackness of the corridor. The knocking had stopped when I

new surroundings and the outré atmosphere that abounded in

had opened my door, and so with a pounding heart I closed

this forgotten hospice. I produced short stories and novelettes

it once more, bolting it firmly. My mind was racing, and

for various newspapers and magazines, and though I made

though I did not hear the knocking repeated that night, I must

no fortune, my rent was secure and I never really wanted for

admit that I slept very little.

a meal.

I remember that December was a particularly lonely

The morning greeted me with a glimmering light

about my casement, the snow gathering in silent incre-

month, and I saw few of the other residents. Creaking stairs

ments in the streets below and upon the frozen river beyond.

and floorboards in the hallway during the dark hours of the

Although my rations of food were dwindling and my weekly

night were the only indications that there was other life in

trip to the market overdue, I could not coerce myself into

this gothic sanctuary. One night, some days before the Yule

a venture through the piercing cold of that New England

fires and Christmas festivities, I lay in repose upon my bed,

storm. I spent the day retiring by the fire, reading a few dusty

staring up at the mouldering curtains that festooned the

volumes the previous occupant had carelessly left behind in

four posters. The clock upon the mantle marked the hour

an old bookshelf. The day passed pleasantly enough, and had

as a quarter to midnight, and the candle by my dresser was

nearly finished one book by the time the worn clock upon the

beginning to gutter when the rapping noise down the hallway

mantle struck nine.

sounded loudly. It sent a shock through me, bracketing the previous silence with a harsh report. I sat up and moved to



A slight wind had picked up, and its chorused voice

sang mournfully about the battered stones pediments of the

As I drew nearer, I understood suddenly why this

building. Knowing I would not leave that day, I had not

phantom intruder had eluded my gaze: the knocking was

bothered to change from my night clothes, wearing only a

coming from inside the room. This struck in me an equal

thick blanket on top of me as I reclined reading. I shivered

sense of foreboding, for what ill cause should drive a man to

from the draughts of chill air creeping from beneath the

beat upon his own door? I stood listening for a moment, and

window sill, and scarce had I pulled the covers snugly about

then called out, inquiring who was there.

me when I was started by a tremendous noise. The knocking sounded louder than ever before, and made me

At this the knocking ceased entirely, and a dread

uncomfortably aware of my neck hair standing on end.

stillness enveloped the little hallway. My pulse thudded dully in my ears as I listened for some reply. A shrill gust of wind

I sat motionless for some time, listening to the

tore around the stairwell and slowly died. In those moments

rapping sound as it resounded through the hall and my room.

the darkness seemed to grow more intense, the iciness of

I thought that surely someone must answer this rude sum-

winter numbing me as it ebbed from all its unseen fissures.

mons, whether it be the desired tenant or a fellow occupant upon this floor whose ire was finally raised. Yet no response

I was about to call again when all of a sudden the

was made, and the knocking continued, growing ever fiercer

knocking resumed, but with a violent, animal ferocity. It was

until I was certain I could hear the cracking of the wood.

as if whatever had been knocking had thrown itself against the door and was now clamouring with all its might at the

With a stoicism that I find difficult to account for

oaken panels, and I turned and fled in terror back to my

at this distant time of recollection, I mustered courage from

room, frantically fumbling with the latch and dropping the

some terrible, unknown reserve and lifted my candle from

candle in the process.

its perch by my nightstand. With exceeding care, I undid the latch upon my door and stepped into the gloom. The

I stumbled back across my room and fell into the

knocking suddenly ceased, and shielding my eyes I held the

far corner, managing somehow to grab a poker from the

candle forward, expecting to see some unseemly ruffian

fireplace as I passed it. The knocking had stopped sometime

glaring back at me through the shadows. However, the

during my panicked flight, and the only sound that remained

hallway was vacant. There was no sound or sign of move-

was the warbling song of the wind. I listened long as its

ment as I searched meekly through the stygian shadows that

desultory notes slowly carried away the long hours of the

surrounded me. A hollow feeling of terror slowly rose within


me as my confusion and uncertainty regained my conscience from their brief lapse into bravado.

The morning held no solace for me, and despite

the increasing scarcity of my food, I declined to leave my

I stood pondering in fear and vacillating between

apartment to enter the hallway, such was the impression the

proceeding towards the door and retreating to the haven of

previous night had made upon my psyche. I admit to being

my own room. Although I loathed the idea of returning cra-

no stalwart champion of heroism; I was not tall, nor was I

venly to my room, I fairly jumped in fright as the

particularly strong of build. I was by no means a weak man,

knocking abruptly resumed from that last door in the hall!

nor was I in most cases timid; but I placed far greater stock

I stared in disbelief as a clear, distinct pounding emanated

in my skills of philosophy than I did my prowess as a war-

from the heavy, wooden frame; indeed, the door was visibly

rior. And so I let the day pass as quietly as I could manage,

disturbed by minute degrees. My curiosity overcoming the

throwing nervous glances towards my bolted door at each

dread I felt inside, I crept slowly forward, bending slightly

sound that pierced the frigid silence of my room.

as though prepared to spring away at the slightest sign of danger.

The evening shadows began to creep and crawl



across the river towards the opposite bank. They climbed

building. It became pervasive, so that even in my room with

with sickly intent along the ancient facades of the steeped

a fire blazing, I was unable to escape that invidious odour.

Georgian houses, and as I watched their lingering black fingers, a dread began to work its way insidiously into my

A butcher had worked near my home in York, in the

heart. Each vagrant noise which chimed through the boreal

Shambles as it happened, and I recall the smell of reeking

air was as the icy claws of some savage creature upon my

flesh clearly as I passed by his shop each day. The smell was

mind. I stoked the fire fervently in the hopes that its licking

indeed unavoidable, and my olfactory memory was

flames would drown any undue clamouring from out the hall.

awakened keenly by this invasive scent from behind that closed door at the end of the hall. I made a few trips to the

And indeed, the evening was spent in a peaceful

landlord to obtain a resolution to this dilemma, but he was an

enough manner, the fire roaring voraciously at the

old man, and seemed either not to hear my remonstrations, or

sustenance I threw at it. In time I found myself lulled into a

more probably did not care.

sort of languid slumber, starting at the snarling wind from time to time but never fully rising to consciousness. The

As February became March and even March drew

night ebbed away in this fashion, and the following day I

on with no supplication of my distress, the repulsive odour

found I had courage enough to escape my confines and

turned villainousâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;its necrophagous tendrils suggesting

procure food from the local market; though, as I left my

things my overwrought imagination was all too keen to

apartment, I dared not look down the gloomy hallway

indulge. The knocking had been terrifying, that was certain,

towards that last door.

but memory had whittled its edge to a stubble, and was nothing compared to this monstrosity. I could no longer think

Days and weeks passed without a recurrence of that

upon any other subject; to attempt to write was a hopeless

awful night, and as we are occasioned to, I began to forget

affair, and sleeping became a laborious and nightmarish

the specificities of my encounter at that demon threshold. My


mind excused the event as an overzealous fear of the dark, of perhaps a disagreement between my supper and my stomach

As I lay turning and tossing one night in mid

that night, and soon I had nearly forgotten the event; yet

March, deprived as I was by what had now become weeks of

whenever I chanced to leave or return, I was still unaccount-

restless hours and no sleep, I resolved myself to end this

ably unsettled by the door at the end of the hall.

debacle. My limbs were imbued with that nervous energy that often precipitates unusual undertakings in the small

It was mid February before I took any notice of the

door again, and this time for different reasons entirely. My

hours of the night, such as mad writing or long, ambling walks in rapt concentration.

attention was drawn to it one evening as I was returning from a stroll by the river, and as I unlocked my door and removed

Lifting my candle from my nightstand as before, I

my scarf, a faint smell drew my gaze down the hallway. It

noted the time of twelve-thirty upon the antediluvian clock

was quite mild, and smelled slightly of mildew. I thought

above the mantle. Stepping into the shadows of the hallway

little enough of it, and entered my room without much pause.

once more, I strode more confidently in the direction of

Over the course of the next few days the smell grew mark-

the wretched door. However my firm pace was checked by

edly more distinct, amplifying in volumes what I had only

incredible waves of an odour that can only be describe as

faintly discerned before.

otherworldly. I had reached the penultimate door to that foul chasm, and already felt as though further steps would plunge

As a week went by, and then two, the smell became

me into unconsciousness, such was the stench.

overpowering, funnelling down the stairwell so that I was greeted with it immediately upon my entrance to the



I stood drawing pained breaths through my night-

shirt for some time, contemplating the soundness of my

previous resolve. The oaken door was no more than ten feet

sympathetic care of the landlord’s wife, who tended to me in

in front of me, but each step increased exponentially the

my delirious fever. When I had regained my reason enough

putrescent odour which poured fourth from that abominable

the next morning, I sent for my things to be delivered there,

vault. Phantasmagoric images whirled in my mind, encour-

and upon the next steamer bound for England I booked

aged by some lurid spectres that flitted about the corners of

passage. I have returned thence to my prior residence in

my tormented imagination—vile personifications of the acrid

York, near the lowly Shambles and humble alleyways of my

smell I now faced.


Almost without thought I stepped slowly forward,

I spent the night in a public house under the

To rebuke me for my absolute fright of that

fumbling through the vacuous folds of charnel air before me.

unwholesome evening is unfair, for the circumstances cannot

The chiaroscuro of candlelight and shadows played upon

possibly be understood by anyone who was not there. As a

my mind, and blasphemous horrors drew their foetid fingers

writer, I may command a power of words to place my readers

across my eyes. All prior intent of remedying this appalling

under a certain awareness of events and places, but it is

situation had fled from me. I was now propelled by a pure

beyond my power by many leagues to aptly describe to

sense of hideous curiosity, terrified and amazed at once by

anyone what transpired in that dark little hallway that night.

what might be responsible for this mephitic effluence.

Upon reaching the door I was nearly overcome;

And indeed, I have no knowledge of what became

of that wretched place. I knew none of my fellow tenants,

the stench was now a physical manifestation of evil, throw-

nor even the landlord by any significant measure, and so its

ing itself impiously against my sanity. As I reached out to

story has passed into the Grimoire decadence of my most

knock, a loathsomeness crept up my spine and through me

grotesque remembrances, and I pray it shall stay there for-

and I nearly recoiled. Upon the knock of my frigid knuckles

ever. Yet the effects of that night have never wholly subsided

against that ancient wood, my mind reeled in a stupor of

into memory. My friends know that any errand they have

nausea and oppressive terror. In that knocking, so reminis-

which passes by the butchers shops in the Shambles must be

cent of the despised knocking I had known months before,

undertaken without my company. The rotting stench which

a wave of fear consumed my senses. All notion of rational

pervades those tiny byways and shop windows is far too

thought or reality was banished in those moments that I stood

reminiscent of a place I have long tried to forget. And I per-

stricken before that gaping black door.

haps need not mention that when acquaintances come to call, they have learned to ring the bell rather than knock.

As I stood paralysed before the door—the handle—

the final gear in the lever between this world and the next, began slowly to turn! Rattling once as I had pounded upon the door, the handle thence began to draw downwards, its slow descent in those ghastly moments like the falling of a guillotine towards my naked neck. The putrid, abhorrent smell coalesced in my fraying mind with the terror of the stygian maw before me. The crevice in the frame widened, and I stared for a moment into a yawning gulf of darkness. My defences collapsed into ruin. Panicked beyond all reconciliation, I fled down the nighted stairwell and into the fathomless night, forsaking all of my possessions in my careless escape.



Elegy The verdict was not good: that your spine, frail stem, should splinter into itself and throw fine hairs upon the hard tile. You were made to hang in the gallows early, and every fracture that sounded was the floor dropping out from beneath your feet, and the spray you left across my shoes, toes swinging two inches above the noisy ground. I am an angry mob, demanding. The fusion of your bones, a cast to cast upon your back. I brush you into open palm. Held in this light, before throwing you away, you find the light of everything fractal and reflect.



Portrait of a Flower BY ELI LICHTENSTEIN

Andy- Mulkiteo, Washington, USA B Y A M E L I A H E N R I E T TA C A R L E Y

( P R E V I O U S T W O PA G E S )

( O P P O S I T E PA G E )


Heaven- Adwa, Gondra, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia B Y A M E L I A H E N R I E T TA C A R L E Y

Why do we live here? B Y A M E L I A H E N R I E T TA C A R L E Y


Falling B Y C O R Y D AV I S


Untitled B Y M O L LY B R O W N

( O P P O S I T E PA G E )

You Know You Want To BY ANGEL LUJAN



Patellic Ecstacy BY MARY RECCHIA


( N E X T T W O PA G E S )

( O P P O S I T E PA G E )

The Weight

Nest Egg



Under the Water B Y H A N H A N FA N




Menkick House Light Paint P H O T O G R A P H B Y C H R I S T O P H E R TA G S E T H I N C O L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H J I L L A U G U S T U S , J A C K R I C C I , A N D R YA N R O T H





Sustainability and education have no distinct boundaries

together, along with most of the other elements of life, to

because each consists of numerous elements that work

create an intricate web of complexity. A graceful connection

together. Both sustainability and education must be seen

appears when sustainabilty and education work together

from a holistic point of view because they delicately weave

to reintroduce society to the processes of the natural world. An Institute of Urban Agriculture grafts society back into the natural system so people reconnect to the roots of life.



Tapestry (Continued) P R O J E C T B Y W E S L E Y T R I M B L E A N D W I L L I A M M U R R AY


Urban Agriculture is a method to create self-sufficient communities that can produce their own food in an urban setting. The fundamentals of the Institute of Urban Agriculture include an infinitely adaptable structure, maximization of crop space and an educational system. In order to supply the maximum amount of produce for the least amount of land, the site had to grow vertically creating a system of aeroponics and hydroponics to grow crops up to three or four stories above ground level thereby increasing the efficiency of the site.

it was designed as a nucleus neighborhood in the 1950’s on a Jeffersonian grid. The site sits in the heart of the economic center of the neighborhood. Since the strip mall was destroyed the neighborhood has fallen into an economic crisis. The local neighborhood has been in a state of decay for several decades. The average house price has continued to drop since the 1970’s and the average income in North- east Park Hill has remained lower than adjacent neighbor- hoods since the 1980’s. The number of families with children has been on the decline since the 1970’s and yet the number of unwed mothers and the number of single parents has been on the rise within the neighborhood.


This project seeks to create a school for sustainability, not just a sustainable school. The educational institute will address social and economic issues by reconnecting to the tapestry of nature. A tangible connection between an urban community and natural processes will be developed through this urban institute of agriculture. As the institute develops, the unique identity of the neighborhood will translate into a sustainable network and tapestry.


The site is an abandoned plot of land which was a shopping center until the center burned to the ground in May of 2008. The surrounding neighborhood is known as North-east Park Hill and




The lifespan of a structure depends directly on its utility. As soon

on the site in and shape, size, or form. After the modules have

a structure can no longer perform a useful function or adapt to

been arranged in a space, a system of panels and components

a new function, it needs to be replaced. Therefore, in order to

attach to the modules forming agricultural and educational

prolong the lifespan the project, our structure and built

spaces. All connections are bolted or screwed in order to ease

environment is infinitely adaptable. This adaptability is made

the process of assembly as well as deconstruction.

possible through a uniform modular system that can be arranged








Despite changes in global economic conditions,

fostering of interaction between travelers and the local com-

shifting cultural values, and diverse lifestyles, the thrill of


adventure through travel remains as universal and strong as

ever. Youth all over the world seek broadened perspectives

must reflect the increasing environmental awareness and

and unforgettable experiences through international travel.

responsibility of the times. This calls for a change in the

Invariably, these youth gravitate towards hostels as lodging.

approach to building and the conventions of architecture.

Hostels are magnetic due to their general low cost compared

Rather than designing a building as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own unique form, the

to other temporary rooms and serve as tremendous social cen-

natural topography can provide it. Figuratively inscribing

ters. However, hostels have also come to be characterized as

a plan onto the site allows the building to be lifted directly

unclean and potentially unsafe. With international tourism a

out of the earth. This method allows much of the natural

critical part of any young personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life experience, it has be-

landscape to remain intact, decreasing the fragmentation of

come imperative to create safe, fun, and practical places for

habitat for local wildlife and blurring the boundaries between

youth to stay. The design of a hostel at Mesa Trail in Boulder,

nature and architecturally defined space. A complete green

Colorado seeks to remedy these shortcomings and emphasize

roof system supported by rammed earth walls preserves the

all the positive aspects of hostel stays through its immersion

character of Mesa Trail, while providing a hospital place for

in the natural landscape, minimal environmental impact, and


The design of a contemporary hostel at a state park




S H O E S O L E “ P O P - A R T ” B AT H M AT B Y J U A N PA B L O B A R R I O S

“Giving lonley soles a second chance ...” T H E P RO C E S S


Insoles are arranged into a color pattern


The rounded end of each sole is cut to yield a crescent shape


The shapes were joined and sewn on an industrial sewing machine




“An old aircraft wing salvalged from a junkyard and remastered into an elegant coffee table.”





The machine factory is designed to facilitate an enjoyable working environment while nearly powering itself. The outer skin design allows for minimal indoor

lighting during the day and the P.V. skin powers the few L.E.D. lights needed for darker conditions. Wind turbines and geothermal pumps contribute to the

heating of the building. The arms serve as circulation and as a way for people to excersize.

As the concept evolved, a series of layers were developed in the overall construc-

tion. The idea was to layer incoming light into three categories. These catorgories would be created by different skins. The first would be a completely translucent

glazing that would enclose the building. The second is a perforated, light-gauge, metal screen that that would diffuse the light. Lastly, a thin photo-volteic skin ccovering the tops and south faces of the arms and main tube. This layer would be almost complety opaque.

The factory space is immediately accesible to the train and the headquarters to ease transportation and communication. There is an elevator to suppy access to

the upper levels. It also serves as a frieght elvator so the lab and design studios can get there hands on the Bio-boards from the factory. The factory is a delicate glass box that is cradled by the massive arms and tube.






Watch videos at



Electro Proximity BY ANNA THIELKE


Watch videos at




A Transitory Perspective B Y N AT H A N M I N AT TA

Watch videos at




The heaviness in my heart is indescribable. I feel

skinned sheep heads, flies, Coca-Cola branding, unpaved

full and yet empty—existing in a state too confused to

streets, an “up to seventy percent” unemployment rate,

construct something other than a duality. My heart weeps,

corrugated metal roofs, people with numerous missing teeth,

yet I do not cry. I have spent my emotional capacity more

and children with open hearts. People are welcoming of the

times than a body can take out credit for. I am overwhelmed

tour van that has just unloaded a dozen United Statesians.

with the day’s experience, but unsure of whether or not I will

They open their world for us to peer at—lurking from behind

be able to pour myself out in this way.

our sunglasses, cameras, wealth-induced existences.

I do not know how to transfer imprints of the heart

I realize I have made pitying eyes at the kind man

into words on a page. This day has left me peeled from the

to my right, so I avert them, mentally reprimand myself and

inside out, exposing my internalities for a world of

swear to only look respectful with the next encounter. I fail.

suffering to scrape itself against. The desperation of poverty

I am afraid my newfound sadness gives itself away with the

seeps through my privileged pores until my body is heavy

glance of my eyes, the smiles that don’t come naturally. I see

with the weight of oppression I have not known. I walk in

a crying toddler with chubby knees, passing him by despite

a world whose reality is not my own. I walk from a world

my urge to scoop him up. I notice his running nose and his

of abundance into a township of economic scarcity, with

snotty face, thinking he’s unkempt. I wonder: would I think



If it took only empathy to unshackle a people, you would have housing and a quality of life that rivals the beauty of a South African sunset.

he is “unkempt” in the United Sates? Or would I say children

your buildings, for the wind is neutral, natural, unoffend-

are hard to keep up with, immediately bound to make a mess

ing. We are the result of everything you never had access

of themselves? The flies landing on the children, buzzing all

to. We come empty handed, leave empty hearted, and can

around me, are distinctly township.

forget about you faster than you realize. How good we are at forgetting! Who wants to remember the sufferings that might

I am surprised by how many people I encounter,

rip us open if we let them more fully inside? Who wants to

late morning on a Thursday. Then I remember South Africa’s

dwell on thoughts of children who flocked to you, held you,

staggering unemployment rate. I catch myself feeling sorry

gazed into the depths of your new unknowing? Who wants

again. But these are people’s lives. Sorrow is not enough.

to remember those little hands, clasped inside your own, gig-

If sorrow would liberate you from post apartheid poverty, I

gling their way down the street? Who wants to remember the

would spill my veins into your dirty streets. If it took only

shanty town that is a people’s home we pass on the way to

empathy to unshackle a people, you would have housing

the airport? Who wants to remember the men in the dank bar,

and a quality of life that rivals the beauty of a South African

whose eyes seem to have stopped searching? Who wants to

sunset. In this world, however, where I am limited by being

wonder if those children wonder about tomorrow? How long

human—and impaired by merely being a passer by—I can

can I breathe you in without bursting? Langa, you rip me

give you nothing. We are less than a breeze dancing between

open with your reality.








The purpose of this brief is to identify the problems on the micro, meso, and macro level in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Inequalities and their measurements will also be discussed on the issue that is occurring between the rich and the poor in Sao Paulo. A sustainable, plausible, and supported intervention along with constraints will be proposed.

Paulo is raging and the upper class wants to get rid of


Sao Paulo, Brazil is currently in the midst

of a civil war between the poor and the rich. Brazil’s elite upper class and the government of Sao Paulo want to rid or “exterminate” the slum-dwellers that are giving a negative image to Brazil (Branford, 2006). The slum-dwellers have become trapped in a cycle of violence with the government and upper class because they do not benefit Brazil’s economy and give the city an “impoverished feel”. The slums have become a large part of this cycle of violence because slumdwellers and prisoners regularly kill police officers at random to avenge their fallen family and friends. The underpaid police officers are doing the dirty work for the government; they are taking out people in the

the lower class by any means possible.

The slum-dwellers not only live in the favelas

of Sao Paulo, they also live in the numerous prisons that Sao Paulo offers. The men in the prisons are the ones that are organizing rebellions and killings against the city of Sao Paulo. The majority of the prisoners belong to the largest prison gang that the world has ever seen; the PCC. The PCC, or Primeiro Capital da Comando, acts as the pseudo-government in the slums because of the neglect from the actual government of Brazil and Sao Paulo (Branford, 2006). The civil war that is currently plaguing Sao Paulo will be discussed in more depth on the micro, meso, and macro level of analysis.

slums to “exterminate” them and extort money in any way possible (Branford, 2006). Arrests and convic-


tions are rising along with the death rate in the slums. Many people in the upper class in Sao Paulo think that

what the police are doing isn’t enough. The war in Sao

innocent citizens are all affected deeply on the micro



Individual slum-dwellers, police officers and

level. Every day slum-dwellers wonder if they will be killed

organization’s argot) who has fallen, two criminals must die… It’s time to cleanse Sao Paulo, to rid of this filth in our midst. Over the next few days 122 ‘suspected criminals’ were killed in the city. Eye-witness accounts reported that men dressed in black and wearing hoods drove into shanty-towns and shot people sitting in bars or outside their houses (Branford, 2, 2007). prisoners’ families and the slum community at large (Langwiesche, 2007).

today due to the complete randomness of the killings that occur every day in Sao Paulo. Murder can occur at any place, any time. It is a cycle of violence that haunts the citizens of the favelas and the city itself. Violence is the only language spoken in Sao Paulo. In BBC’s video, Mean Streets of Brazil, there is a personal story of a husband and wife, Israel and Elenita, who tell their story of how they lost their son from an extrajudicial killing by the police in 2006. Their son, who had no criminal record or any ties to the PCC, was shot to death by two police officers in black ski masks. Elenita, Israel and the rest of their family have been greatly affected by the murder of their innocent son (Dateline, 2007).

The police officers are affected individually as

well. They too are suffering from losses of loved ones. Mean Streets of Brazil also tells the story of a single father who lost his son because he was a member of Sao Paulo’s police force. His son was sitting in his police car in front of a coffee shop when a member of the PCC shot him to death. His father is still trying to comprehend the loss of his only son, the only family member he had (Dateline, 2007).

Innocent citizens are not the the main target of the

PCC, but they do get caught in the crossfire of this civil war. During the PCC’s megarebellions, twelve innocent citizens were killed in the May attacks from the burning buses and cross fire shootings that do occur. This creates fear in each individual citizen, which causes citizens to stay put in their houses and avoid the war grounds of the city at all costs (Dateline, 2007).

This is one of the main fuels in the civil war and

cycle of violence. The PCC and the slum-dwellers are also contributing to the cycle of violence through their megarebellions and random killings.

The people of the slums feel that they have no legal

rights and want to make sure that they are protected. That is why many of them have turned to the PCC for protection, even food. The PCC brings a voice to the slums through its violent rebellions. The slum-dwellers want better living conditions and want to be able to trust their own government and not fear them (Branford, 2007).

Due to the violence targeted at the police forces in

Sao Paulo, the enrollment numbers are greatly dwindling. Over the past seven years, the percentage of enrollment has dropped 32.4% (Branford, 2007). Members of the police forces are underpaid as well but are allowed to extort money from the slum-dwellers. Even though police officers can make a lot of money extorting money from the slum-dwellers and members of the PCC, enrollment is still dropping because the risk of death overshadows the pay benefits. If the government paid the police officers more, extorting from the poor slum-dwellers would not be necessary (Langewiesche, 2007).


On the meso level, the community of the slums and

the police force are greatly affected by this civil war and cycle of violence. The community of the slums is suffering from the masked killings that are known as “revenge killings”. Police and army forces used armored vehicles and machine guns in the poorer parts of town to track down drugs. They say they are protecting their communities but they employ extreme violence and extortion of money. A message on the police website read: For every Mike (military policeman in the


The issues on the macro level are the PCC as a

pseudo-government, Sao Paulo’s corruption in the government and the crash in the economy due to the PCC rebellions.

The slums, or more commonly known as the favelas

in Brazil, are fighting back against the violence that is being poured upon them. The PCC, or Primeiro Capital da Comando, has become the favelas’ pseudo-government. They murder ruthlessly but have a strict moral code. “The CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


discipline was based on a moral code that enhanced the

flawed justice system. The government doesn’t think that

existing prison rules and included an insistence on better

everyone deserves a fair trial. These people are prisoners of

living conditions and prisoners’ rights” (Langewiesche,

war. There are people in the prisons that have been rightly

2007). The PCC has begun to become a political gang with

convicted, and often the conditions in the slums can justify

revolutionary ideas rather than a criminal gang; although

these crimes; but 45% of the prisoners in the prisons still

it used drugs and other illegal resources to gain power and

have yet to be sentenced. Poor records keep prisoners in jail

funding. The PCC uses power in numbers because 95% of

for sometimes double their term. Nobody in the government

prisoners in Sao Paulo belong to the PCC. So many prison-

wants to take on fixing the horrendous judicial system that is

ers are attracted to the PCC because of its order, purpose,

in place in Sao Paulo.

protection and power (Langewiesche, 2007). Since 1964,

Brazilian citizens have questioned whether it is beneficial to

throughout the slums came out to do the PCC’s bidding.

go to the police or the government when there is a problem

Buses began to explode, police officers were gunned down

(De Mattta, 1999).

with machine guns, and banks were robbed. The city belongs

to the PCC during these megarebellions; neither the govern-

The PCC fights for prisoners and slum dwellers’

On May 12, 2006, thousands of civilians from

rights in the slums. The PCC wants the slums to be a better

ment nor the police forces can do anything to stop it. The

place to live and be free of the danger of the random

fifth largest city in the world stopped functioning. People

extrajudicial killings that are occurring on a daily basis. The

fled to their homes and a few hours later, the streets of Sao

PCC organizes massive rebellions that have the ability to

Paulo became barren. These megarebellions have succeeded

shut down the entire city of Sao Paulo because buses are

in shutting down the city for five whole days, causing Bra-

burned, buildings are blown up and police officers are shot.

zil’s economy suffer as well as people working for their food

The PCC is trying to get the attention of the government so

day to day (Langewiesche, 2007). People looking to live in

that the government will listen to what the PCC is saying

Sao Paulo have been turning away from buying property in

about the conditions of the slums and the prisons. The PCC

Sao Paulo due to the megarebellions. People do not want to

does not target innocent citizens in these mega-rebellions;

constantly fear the PCC.

they target police officers and government officials. The slum-dwellers and the PCC of Sao Paulo make up one side of this civil war (Branford, 2006). Due to the PCC’s power over the slums’ streets, murder has declined because there is little opposition to the PCC in the slums. Rape was outlawed by the PCC, thus cutting the rape percentages almost in half. Also, the PCC has put pressure on the slum-dwellers to reject using heroine, cocaine and other popular drugs. Drug addiction and HIV rates have effectively dropped as well. The PCC provides order and security in the slums. People feel more comfortable going to the PCC than the police (Langwiesche, 2007). They are also providing the community at large with support, just as the real government, city and state should. The people that are suffering in the slums know the PCC as a violent criminal enterprise, but they also know them as an aid not only to prisoners, but also as the “government” that exists in the favelas.

The government is not doing a very good job on

a macro-level. There is a lot of talk about corruption and a

11 2



The relationship that needs the most attention in this

civil war is the one between the individual slum dwellers and police officers and the government. The government needs to realize that thousands of lives are being lost due to this atrocious cycle of violence. There is a lot of suffering going on at an individual level that can only be fixed on a macro level by the government of Brazil and Sao Paulo. The relationship between the individuals and the government is separated by a large gap. There is no communication from the individuals to the government except through the PCC’s megarebellions and those are just causing destruction throughout the city. The war is occurring on the meso level between the two different communities of the slums and the police forces and is greatly affecting the individual level of the problem due to losses of loved ones for no apparent reasons. The individual level needs to be able to affect the

government more so than it is doing right now. This socially

it attempts to expand its role on the world stage” (Task Force

complex issue definitely affects every level of the civil war

Report, 2, 2007). This income inequality is a complicated

to an extreme degree because every citizen has been affected

issue that the government is going to have to face quickly.

one way or another by the war that is currently going on.

The inequality is keeping Brazil locked in as a third world

There are many inequalities that exist on every level of the

country, unable to break the barrier of the income gap (Task

issue in Sao Paulo that need to be addressed as well.

Force Report, 2007).



There are two types of inequality that exist in our

To measure this inequality, we need to understand

society today. An illegitimate inequality is growth retarding;

what percentage of the Sao Paulo lives in the slums and

it denies the market opportunity to individuals by discrimi-

what percentage lives in upper-class housing. Understanding

nating. A legitimate inequality is growth enhancing and it

these percentages can also aid in verifying what percentage

pays people for what they are worth (Zax, 2009).

of Sao Paulo is considered in the “middle class”. The lack of the middle class can also be determined by researching what


The income inequality in Sao Paulo is a large

problem that the country has been dealing with for hundreds of years. The income inequality is rooted in Sao Paulo’s history and will be difficult to overcome. Brazil’s concentration of wealth has increased a lot over the last thirty years and is beginning to take a toll on society.

Brazilian income inequality is the most extreme

case in Latin America. It lacks an upper-middle-class and an adequate middle class for economic growth. There are two

percentage of the Sao Paulo population earns between two to four dollars per day (Banerjee, 2007) because that is a common income range for a middle class in lesser developed countries. 44% of Sao Paulo’s population earns below the minimum wage and below the two to four dollar middle class income range. Approximately 12% of the population in Sao Paulo is classified as wealthy and elite because they earn $10 or more per day (World Bank, 2004). This means that less than 50% of the population earns between two to four dollars per day. This is an obvious income gap that exists in Sao Paulo.

reasons why this major income inequality exists so detrimentally in Sao Paulo. Education and the urban-rural


divide are the backing reasons for this inequality. Children who are lucky enough to be born into the top 10% of the

The income inequality in Sao Paulo is an example

income spectrum will most likely receive eleven years of

of an illegitimate inequality because Sao Paulo’s economy

schooling and will have access to social services such as

will not be able to grow. The inequality is growth retarding

healthcare. Unfortunately, children born in the bottom 10%

because civilians in the slums do not even have an opportu-

will only receive four years of schooling and only a 50%

nity to be paid what they are worth (Langewiesche, 2007).

chance of accessing social services provided by the government (Task Force Report, 2007). Impoverished children have very little access to schooling and education, therefore making it almost impossible to break the cycle of poverty into which they are born.

Scholars agree that there is a big problem with the

income inequality within Sao Paulo. “Income inequality in Brazil poses a major barrier to the country’s development as


Action needs to be taken to help alleviate the income gap that exists in Sao Paulo presently because it is fueling the cycle of violence between the rich and the impoverished. With the growth of a middle class, equality and property rights will also be able to flourish (Levine, 2006). With a CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


developed middle class, the income inequality that is divid-

the discrimination is not black-and-white (Dateline, 2007).

ing the city in war will be alleviated. This income inequality is of great importance because it is not only causing death, it is shaping a culture that is not liberated and lacks human rights at which all human beings are entitled to, such as sanitary water and general safety (World Bank, 2004).


One can measure the discrimination that is

occurring in Sao Paulo, Brazil by understanding the numbers of slum-dwellers and police officers that are killed. The


numbers are most likely skewed because many slum-dwellers and prisoners are killed and not accounted for in

The discrimination inequality is unique because it

newspaper articles, censuses, etc. (Dateline, 2007).

exists against both the government and the slum-dwellers.

Approximately 4,000 slum-dwellers and prisoners were

The slum-dwellers and the PCC discriminate against all

killed in 2007 alone by police officers of Sao Paulo. Mem-

police officers. In their eyes, the police officers are evil. Dur-

bers of the PCC killed approximately 1,234 police officers in

ing the PCC’s megarebellions in 2005, police officers were

2007 (Dateline, 2007). Obviously, discrimination is occur-

the only ones that we shot and killed purposely. Every day

ring between these two groups judging by the large amounts

in the city of Sao Paulo, police officers are shot to death by

of people that are being killed solely based on where they

members of the PCC as a part of the cycle of violence that is

live, their job, or the group they affiliate with.

plaguing Sao Paulo (Dateline, 2007). The PCC and the slumdwellers discriminate against the police forces of Sao Paulo because they see every one of them as the enemy, no matter what their past of extrajudicial killings is.

The government is discriminating against the poor

as well. The police forces are carrying out the bidding of the government. The government does not care about its citizens


The discrimination in Sao Paulo is an illegitimate

inequality. Discrimination actively seeks to exclude one or more parties from market opportunities (Zax, 2009).

living in the slums because the government sees the slums as a barrier to achieving economic growth and stability. Masked


police officers enter the slums at any time and randomly murder innocent slum-dwellers. Slum-dwellers are shot even

if they have no ties whatsoever to the PCC. They are shot

main contributor to the high amounts of violence and

simply because they are poor (Branford, 2007). The govern-

homicides that occur in Sao Paulo; therefore, something

ment and police forces are discriminating against any citizen

must be done. This discrimination has created this cycle

that they find in the slums, not knowing what their past or

of violence that has been occurring for over ten years. In

future may be.

order to prevent more death and war in Sao Paulo, the

discrimination must be alleviated (Langwiesche, 2007). This

This discrimination exists on both sides of the civil

The discrimination between these two groups is a

war and is creating a cycle of violence that seems almost

discrimination inequality is also impeding growth within

impossible to break. Death, loss and heartbreak exist on both

the economy of Sao Paulo because it has become unstable

sides of the discrimination. Scholars agree that there are

due to the mega-rebellions performed by the PCC. Foreign

mass amounts of discrimination on both sides of the war. The

investors have deterred away from Sao Paulo and Brazil as a

BBC video, Mean Streets of Brazil, shows the effects on a

whole because of the uncertainty of the PCC and their power.

family living in the slums after their son is randomly killed

The entire city can be shut down for weeks at a time caus-

one evening by masked police officers. The video also shows

ing detrimental harm to Sao Paulo’s economy, which effects

the family of a fallen police officer after a member of the

Brazil’s economy as well (Langwiesche, 2007).

PCC shoots him to death. It is not clear who is at fault here; 114



ians who were previously living in the slums. The buildings have not become vacant and continue to provide shelter,

The lack of housing rights in Sao Paulo’s slums is at

secure housing rights, and sanitary water to the former

the root of the problem. If the slum-dwellers had permanent

slum-dwellers (Huchzermeyer, 2006). The slum-dwellers

and secure housing, many good things would could from it,

were able to keep their jobs and continue with their way of

including a possible solution to ending this civil war. The

life because the buildings were built in the same location as

city will also begin to develop a stronger middle class due

the slums. As a result, people were not completely removed

to the strengthening of housing rights in the slums. There is

from their past lifestyles. The Kenya slum intervention is

empirical evidence suggesting that countries with stronger

a great example of a successful redevelopment project that

property rights will have a stronger middle class and possess

overcame constraints, such as population, sustainability, and

more freedom and equality (Levine, 2003). Securing prop-

financing (Huchzermeyer, 2006). This intervention intends to

erty rights can end the cycle of violence that is fueling the

mimic this intervention’s procedures in order to create suc-

civil war and murders of thousands of people. If the govern-

cess similar to Kenya.

ment takes the initiative of improving the slums, this will act as a peace offering between the government and the PCC and slum-dwellers. The slum-dwellers and the PCC will end their campaign of why violence because their voices will finally be heard and recognized. All that the PCC is asking for is rights for slum-dwellers and improvements in their living situations, nothing more (Langewiesche, 2007). The lack of property rights also started the PCC. The PCC is fighting for better rights, like clean water and shelter, within the slums (Branford, 2007).


Currently, there are no beneficial interventions that

exist in Sao Paulo, but there are relevant examples of a housing intervention in Kenya, Africa. The government in Sao Paulo is not getting to the root of the problem with its interventions. The government has been building smaller prisons instead of larger ones to accommodate more prisoners. The government has also been bribing the PCC, as a means of an intervention, to hopefully impede further attacks on the city. None of these address the housing rights issue. It is not what the PCC wants; the government does not seem to be listening to them (Langewiesche, 2007).

An existing intervention that is relevant to the issue

in Sao Paulo is an intervention done in Kenya’s slums in 2006. UN-Habitat and Kenya’s government teamed up in order to eliminate the slum structures and build low-income housing (Huchzermeyer, 2006). The intervention was successful. It allowed for over 2,000 units to be rented to civil-


The government with the help from the non-profit

organization, UN-Habitat, can aid in this improvement of the slums. UN-Habitat has done many slum redevelopment projects and will bring strategy and advice directly to the Sao Paulo government. UN- Habitat will also provide 15% of the overall funding needed for the success of this intervention (Huchzermeyer, 2006).


There are many constraints that will be prevalent

in this intervention, including financing, sustainability and population in the slums.

The first constraint of financing will be the responsi-

bility of the government, hopefully with help from organizations such as UN-Habitat. The money that the government spends on furnishing the PCC’s prison cells and money spent on rebuilding multiple prisons will be funneled into making sustainable housing for the slum-dwellers. After the destruction of the Carandiru prison, the Sao Paulian government spent over 30 million dollars rebuilding three smaller prisons. That 30 million dollars could build at least one housing complex for the slum-dwellers (Hanson, 2006). UN-Habitat provided funds of over 50 million dollars to rebuilding slum areas in Kenya (Huchzermeyer, 2006). If UN-Habitat can provide that amount of money in Sao Paulo,


11 5

the financial state of the intervention will be secure.

clean water that will now be accessible (Huchzermeyer,


The second major constraint is sustainability. The

intervention needs to make sure that people in the slums

have access to their jobs and is in a good geographical loca-

government and non-profit organization of UN-Habitat will

tion. Instead of displacing the slums, they will be reinvented.

be able to alleviate the cycle of violence in the Sao Paulo

The small metal houses that exist in the favelas of Sao Paulo

area by reinventing the slums into an area of low-income

will be torn down little by little in order to build low-income

housing, something that is lacking in Sao Paulo.

housing. This way we do not change the way of life for

slum-dwellers by too harsh of a degree (Huchzermeyer,

in Kenya, we can expect the building of the low-income


housing to begin with the start of the New Year. By Janu-

The third major restraint is knowing how many

While keeping the constraints in mind, the

Based on the construction of previous projects done

ary 2011, the building of the low-income housing will be

people live in the slums of Sao Paulo and how to make

complete. The low-income housing should be inhabited and

sure that everyone has adequate housing. Making sure that

functioning normally by March 2011. Sanitary water must

the apartments are affordable for citizens will help. Also, a

be available to all units by August 2011. Therefore by the

census would be necessary to determine how many people

summer of 2011, the redevelopment of the slums should be

live in the favelas. The apartments will have rooms that can

100% complete and should not have any problems. Each

be rented out by the apartment owners. This way the slum-

person that owns a unit within the housing complex will

dwellers will not only make their money back, but they will

also have an entitlement to their unit by the summer of

have greater quality of life(Huchzermeyer, 2006).

2011(Huchzermeyer, 2006).



There could be many unintended and unbeneficial conse-

The intervention that is needed to alleviate the

problem in Sao Paulo is upgrading the initiatives within the

quences of this intervention. The low-income housing in Sao

basic housing services and widening the housing market.

Paulo could become barren. Building the apartments in the

The favelas of Sao Paulo will be redeveloped into blocks of

same location, as the slums will ensure that the slum-dwell-

flats with two-bedroom units that will be privately owned.

ers still have access to their jobs and way of life will prevent

The slum-dwellers who are allocated these properties will be

this. There is also a high likelihood that there will not be

able to finance their unsubsidized mortgage repayments by

enough housing for everyone who was living in the slums.

renting out bedrooms to other citizens. The government will

This problem will be remedied with a waitlist for a unit. The

also cover anyone who cannot pay his or her mortgage in

waitlist will be maintained and regulated by the government.

full. The main idea of this intervention is to create affordable

If there are enough people on the waitlist, considerations of

housing by allowing the household owners to rent out rooms

increasing low-income housing units will take place in order

in the unit. Slum-dwellers will officially own their property

to make sure that everyone has access to a safe, inexpensive,

through freehold titles (Huchzermeyer, 2006).

and more sanity place to live.

Another issue is sanitation within the slums of Sao

Paulo. Approximately 45% of Sao Pauloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s citizens have no access to sanitized and uncontaminated water (Hanson, 2006). The new homes in the area of the slums will have a water line of clean water running through them. Water will come with a cost to the slum-dwellers, but it is definitely much cheaper than buying from individual vendors. The government will have to charge a minimal amount for the 116



Banjeree, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, “What is Middle Class About the Middle Classes Around the World.” Centre for Economic Policy Research. 13 December 2007.

Spyer, Juliano. A Letter From Brazil. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. Policy Review. Vol. 11. 2007. Chicago: Illinois. 2.087

Branford, Sue. “Brazil’s Historic Test.” Open Democracy Articles. 18 June 2006. Brazil’s Issues Section. 24 January 2008. “Brazil: News in Brief.” Facts on File World News Digest 23 March 2006. Facts on File World News Digest @ Facts On File News Services. 11 January 2008. html. (2.65) Hanson, Stephanie. “Brazil’s Powerful Prison Gang.” Council on Foreign Relations. 26 September 2006. Foreign publications. 30 October 2007” http://www. (1.25) Dateline. July 2007. Mean Streets of Brazil. Los Angeles: NBC. Huchzermeyer, Marie. “Slum Upgrading Initiatives in Kenya within the basic services and wider housing markets.” Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions. 1 November 2006. 11 November 2009 meyer%20-%20Slum%20upgrading%20initia tives%20in%20Kenya.pdf (3.98) Katel, Peter. “Hard Time.” Mas Ultra Ebsco Host 5 March 2001. Mas Ultra @ 24 September 2007 Langewiesche, William. “City of Fear.” Vanity Fair. April 2007. Online Magazine Articles; 23 January 2008 eschew.html (2.21) Leao, Jose Carlos. “A Better Life.” Mas Ultra Ebsco Host 27 March 1999. Mas Ultra @ 22 February 2008 life.html (1.23)

Levine, Ross. “Law, Endowments, and Property Rights.” 22 September 2000. Brown University Press. 9 November 2009 Minayo, Cecilia S. “Inequality, Violence, and Ecology in Brazil”. Cadernos de Saude Publica. 1994. 10. (3.26)






Hypothetical Memorandum to Gates Foundation as written by the Program Officer. As a program officer for the Gates Foundation, your assignment is to allocate $100,000 for a development project for a rural community (pop. 5,000) in the developing world. As identified by your PAR assessment team, the key issues are mounting population pressures on arable land, food insecurity, deforestation, high morbidity/mortality of U5s from infectious (especially diarrheal) disease, and a contaminated primary water source (river is contaminated with agricultural runoff-pesticides and fertilizers, grazing livestock fecal matter, and local laundry and bathing). How will you allocate your funding? Why? Explain in detail how your projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s output(s) will extend a positive effect on other problem areas. D E F I N I T I O N S O F AC RO N Y M S U S E D

U5: Children under the age of 5. PAR: Participatory Action Research. REFERENCES

Missouri. FAO. Ecogreen. Oral.



Gates Foundation

Memorandum To: Director of Funds From: Miles Cronin, Program Officer Date: March 18, 2009 Re: Explanation of Sustainable Water Disposal Practices Dear Director of Funds: As a program officer of the Gates Foundation, I believe that the best course of action would be to establish Sustainable Water Disposal Practices (SWDP) for the village (rural community in the developing world). Through a rigorous and thorough Participatory Action Research (PAR) assessment we have determined several key issues that need to be addressed. These issues include mounting population pressures on arable land, food insecurity, deforestation, high morbidity/mortality of children under the age of 5 (U5s) from infectious (especially diarrheal) disease and a contaminated primary water source. The villageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary water source is a river that has unsafe levels of agricultural run-off in the form of pesticides, fertilizers and grazing livestock fecal matter. The village is contributing to the water source pollution by doing laundry and bathing in/near the water source. The implementation of SWDP has the ability to address not only the problem of a contaminated water source but other problems identified in the PAR assessment. The positive effects and impact SWDP would have on the village leads to my recommendation to allocate the available $100,000 to this project. When selecting a possible solution for the village, we wanted to address a problem that would at the same time address other problems. That way a single solutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact would be felt by a larger portion of the community, making community members more



likely to work with the Gates Foundation again in the future. To identify the solution to a problem that has the largest impact we have to first understand how each of the identified problems are connected. This connection process was performed with the village in the form of creating a problem tree. The village found that they were no longer able to grow as much food on their land as they used to, leading them to use large quantities of pesticides and fertilizers. The lack of food being grown along with population pressures has led to the villagers to clear more land for farming so their food source will be more secure. Since more of the land is cleared, water in overly irrigated fields is more likely to gather loose soil (containing pesticides, fertilizer, and feces) and reach the primary water source. The assessment has already established that the vast majority of the diarrhea has been caused by drinking and bathing in contaminated water. The villagers have also noticed a large reduction in the number of fish and large game due to the river being so polluted, leading to a further decrease in available food. Villagers have also expressed that a neighboring village, located on the same river, is experiencing similar health problems. From the problem tree the villagers created, we realized that are efforts would have the largest postive effect by addressing the core problem of lack of sustainable water disposal practices. Through our PAR support team and influential community persons we can quickly get the community organized to begin to address this problem. Since the water source is a community amenity we will need to get everyone in the village involved (even if just in a small role). The key interest groups that we will need to work with the most are the farmers and families. The families of the village have experienced the majority of diarrheal diseaserelated deaths and have already shown large amounts of motivation to find a solution and get other community members involved. The farmers have also expressed a great deal of interest in more sustainable farming practices so they will have better yields year after year. We have also established communication with neighboring villages through the leaders of this village so that we can come up with a solution that could help more than just this village. With the PAR support team, influential community persons, interest groups, and neighboring village representatives, we will create a focused strategy. An objective identification matrix will be created to determine possible solutions for properly disposing of water in a sustainable manner. I will add to the matrix possible solutions that in my experience I have found to work well, and be cost effective, and also that work in other organizations that have found solutions to similar problems. The community will then use the multiple criteria assessment tool to decide what solution they should implement. It is important to stress here that the solution will only work if the community is involved for every step of



the solution process. That is why I am incapable of stating precisely what form the SWDP will take. However, despite this complication, I can call upon my past experiences and knowledge to describe solutions that are applicable in this situation and will likely be final candidates for the SWDP. The deaths of U5s is a branch of the core problem and must be solved in the short term while the long term solution can be given adequate time to be implemented correctly. Along with other volunteers, we have already been teaching mothers in the village to take (dvantage of the local carrot crop to make the oral rehydration solution of carrot soup (Oral). This oral rehydration remedy prevents too much liquid from being lost from the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body, almost entirely eliminating deaths of U5s. A portion of the funding will go to the continued support of volunteers in the village while they finish teaching the village doctors this solution and ways to educate the rest of the community. This solution, although effective, only stops a single problem and does not solve the core problem. The core problem will be addressed over the long term in the following manner. The major focus of the SWDP will be developing runoff control systems. Areas where many livestock are fenced in cause the ground to be very compacted and have large concentrations of feces. These areas will be structured so that runoff will carry feces into an area that will not leach into the primary water source (Missouri). Farmers will also be instructed on sustainable farming practices. These practices include techniques such as optimized crop rotation to maximize yield over time for a given area, advanced irrigation techniques (using less water), use of more environmentally friendly pesticides, and runoff control systems for the farmland. With the land being used by the farmers who are continuously producing there will no longer be large food shortages. The farmers will no longer be required to purchase and deforest land so they can produce enough food. With land no longer being deforested, erosion due to runoff will not continue to escalate as time passes. The farmers will also be able to afford the more costly pesticides with their extra income. The sustainable farming practices will lead to an overall reduction of fertilizers (FAO), overall runoff and runoff entering the water source. A laundry and bathing area will be created in town with a proper runoff control system (Ecogreen). This means detergents and soaps used will no longer enter the river. Occurrences of diarrheal disease and resulting deaths will reduce drastically with these improvements. Families will have to care for sick families members less, so they will have more time to work and therefore afford more food with the additional income. With less contaminant entering the primary water source the wildlife that relies on it will begin to be restored, further increasing the food available


1 21

to the village. The SWDP addresses the problems of 1) deforestation, 2) food insecurity, 3) Diarrheal Disease in U5s and 4) contaminated water source. The majority of the funding will be used to help the farmers purchase the irrigation technologies and build the laundry and bathing area with proper runoff control systems. Volunteers will continue to need support while they teach farmers sustainable farming practices and how to use and/or fix irrigation technologies, use more environmentally friendly pesticides, and build runoff control systems for their land. A committee in the village will be created to monitor the project and make sure that it continues to move forward and that the farmers receive adequate support from the community in implementing SWDP. The committee will decide on specific indicators and goals for different time periods to measure success. These indicators will likely be in the form of a percent reduction of U5 deaths, contaminant presence, farmers practicing unsustainable techniques, etc. The committee will work with neighboring villages to reduce the similar problems they are experiencing by teaching them the techniques they learned. The Gates Foundation and committee will also continue to evaluate the solution and make changes where necessary. The SWDP project has the capability of addressing the largest portion of problems that this village is currently experiencing. With a combination of short term and long term projects the people of this village will quickly realize they have the ability to create change in their community and will be excited to continue working with the Gates Foundation. This will allow us to address the problem of population pressures encroaching on arable land after this project. It is only with the implementation of the SWDP that this impact can be seen. I hope you feel that this project is as beneficial to the community as I impact can be seen. I hope you see this project as beneficial to the community as I do. Sincerely,

Miles Cronin Program Officer Gates Foundation


M I L E S C RO N I N | A N NA R . C H A S E



What we know, what we don’t know, and how we can use it to mitigate CCD


attention among beekeepers, the agricultural science

community, the public and the food industry

The agricultural industry in the United

companies that rely on bee-pollinated products. The

States today continues to be a growing and

ice cream producer Häagen-Dazs and the cosmetic

increasingly important industry not only for

company Burt’s Bees, for example, are currently

America’s economy, but also for the growing

sponsoring an effort to provide more funding for

American population that has come to expect a rich

honey bee research. Despite the millions of dollars

variety of fresh food products year-round. One of

which have been spent and continue to be spent on

the most important factors that allows U.S. farmers

research to identify the culprit behind CCD, there has

to keep pace with the tremendous crop demand is

been a lack of conclusive evidence establishing the

the help of Apis millifera, the European honey bee,

killer’s profile. Currently, the large amount of

to pollinate acres upon acres of plants, thus enabling

variables which will likely have to be considered to

them to bear fruit. Over the past two years, however,

solve CCD, the complexity of these variables, and the

the honey bees on which the American food supply

livelihoods and millions of dollars that are at stake

relies have been afflicted with a mysterious ailment

may make the mystery of Colony Collapse

that causes them to disappear from hives in

Disorder the most important whodunit in environ-

alarmingly high numbers. This ailment, which has

mental research since the DDT crisis of the 1960s.

been termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD),

threatens to cripple both the American agricultural

Plan in 2007, extensive time and energy has been

industry and American beekeepers if not mitigated

devoted to studying pathogens and parasites such as

or resolved. Accordingly, CCD has garnered much

the Nosema microbe, the Varroa mite, and tracheal

Since the release of the USDA CCD Action



mites (previously known adversaries of the honey bee), in

agricultural products by honey bee pollination amounts to

addition to other external factors such as environmental

more than $14.6 billion in annual revenue (Button). Many

stressors and pesticides which may be weakening bees’

specialty crops such as almonds, avocados, tangerines, and

immune systems. Most of the potential CCD-related factors

cranberries could not achieve sufficient yield at all without

described in the CCD Action Plan include “long-term”

help from bee pollinators while others, such as oranges and

investigations on the effects of certain pathogens, and indeed

even cotton, rely heavily on bees (Avitable: 156). Simply

the published research addressing bee diseases abounds.

put, it is difficult to find any agricultural product which does

Most notably, this includes a 2007 Science paper which

not directly or indirectly rely on the service honey bees

found a strong correlation between CCD and the presence


of Israeli acute paralysis virus (Cox-Foster et al.). While it is important to continue addressing all potential causes of CCD, the lack of tangible progress, the shortage in funding for CCD research, and the time-sensitive nature of the problem suggest that it may be necessary to set a more streamlined and logical list of priorities than suggested by the original 2007 CCD Action Plan. In the following pages, it is my intent to outline several proactive measures for beekeepers which, based on the most recent research and developments by CCD researchers, could be effectively used to mitigate CCD. I will then discuss how an environment of collaboration and cooperation among beekeepers, scientists, farmers, the public, and the government could be the most important step towards finding a workable solution. Finally, I will discuss CCD in the context of future implications for the environment.


Starting in the fall and winter of 2006, beekeepers

around the United States began to report the mysterious disappearance of 30-90 percent of their hives, an unusually high average even given the fact that beekeepers expect to lose up to fifty percent of their bee populations in the winter months (“Complex Buzz”). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) CCD Action Plan, which was released following a March 2007 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives, describes affected hives as having lost almost all of their adult bee populations. Other hallmarks include healthy brood (baby bees) and a live queen remaining in the nest. These observations indicate that the hive was healthy before the adult bees disappeared (8). According to Dr. Gordon Wardell, the president of Sensible


Alternatives for the Environment (S.A.F.E.) and leading research entomologist at the Carl Hayden Bee Research

The mechanism by which a bee pollinates plants is

Laboratory in Tucson, the phenomenon which causes worker

as fascinating as it is useful. Pollination occurs when the fine

bees to disappear but larvae to remain in the hive can be

hairs on a bee’s body and legs transfer pollen from a plant’s

explained by “not just a push—but also a pull”. Factors lead-

anther, the male sex organ, to the female part of a flower, the

ing to CCD “push” adult bees to die prematurely (compared

stigma, thus inducing fertilization of the plant’s ovule, seed

to an average lifespan of six weeks in the summer), which

production, and the swelling of the ovaries to produce fruit

in turn leads adolescent bees to be “pulled” out of the hive

(Avitable: 149). Although the concept of flower pollina-

to do the foraging work before having adequately developed

tion by honey bees was discovered over 200 years ago, it

their immune systems, exoskeletons and muscles. Wardell

has only relatively recently become an important part of the

equates this “pull” to having the adolescents of a population

agricultural and beekeeping industries (Free: 131). Today,

do heavy labor. In this way, the CCD epidemic is like an

over 2 million honey bee colonies are transported around the

AIDS epidemic of the insect world: the suppressed im-

country each year to pollinate farmers’ crop fields, and 1.3

mune responses of the worker bees put stress on the entire

million of these colonies are destined for California alone

colony, eventually leading to collapse (“Silence”). Although

(Action Plan 2). According to a 2004 Cornell University

researchers have still struggled to define CCD in detail,

Study, it is estimated that the improved quality and yield of

Wardell and others hypothesize that eradicating CCD will

1 24


involve finding a way to increase the longevity of adult

result, bees receive inadequate, mono-cultural diets. To make

honey bees and thereby halt the “push and pull” cycle. While

things even worse, fields are often overcrowded with bees or

laboratory researchers continue struggling to find definite

have poor quality pollen under certain weather conditions.

answers, it is the beekeepers who must face the sting of

Indeed, Eric Mussen, an apiculturist at the University of

uncertainty every day. The same problems which lead

California-Davis acknowledges that “the nutritional status of

researchers to scratch their heads are causing beekeepers to

the bees” is “not getting much attention” when in fact “re-

feel that they have “lost control” (Wardell, Interview). As

search decades ago determined that honey bees, like humans,

explained by Dr. Wardell, all of the formulas which once

require certain amino acids, lipids (especially a precursor for

worked as part of the individual beekeeper’s art of beekeep-

cholesterol), vitamins, and minerals to survive” (594). He

ing are no longer applicable. Previously, a beekeeper who

goes on to note that “it has been known for a long time, also,

had studied his bees and their environment for a long period

that no one pollen source contains all the nutrients required

of time could rely on a specific schedule for every month

by honey bees for brood rearing and survival” (594).

of the year. The beekeeper’s acute awareness of the state of

his hives combined with modern and ancient beekeeping

key to bee longevity and regaining control? As confirmed by

practices usually resulted in a formula for success. However,

Mussen and Wardell, supplementing bees with the nutrition

today, even “by the book” beekeeping is no longer yield-

they need at the right times is currently one of the most,

ing adequate results. This loss of control combined with the

if not the most, promising avenue for regaining control of

larger amount of pollination trips beekeepers must perform

honey bee hives. Although beekeepers have been supplement

to maintain profitability could lead struggling beekeepers

feeding their bees for at least fifty years, beekeepers are now

to be swept under. Soon, there would be a honey bee and a

feeding more than ever because they have to build up their

beekeeper shortage.

colonies for both the spring flow and for the winter months to

Could ensuring a nutritionally sound diet be the

stay competitive in the market (Wardell, Interview). In fact, T H E RO L E O F B E E N U T R I T I O N

One of the ways in which the reins can be placed

back in the beekeeper’s hands to restore his sense of control, logically, is by emphasizing those factors which lie under his direct influence. One very promising proactive solution to premature bee mortality which has been investigated by Gordon Wardell is the use of protein-rich nutritional supplements to improve bee diets in times of pollen dearth or in times where bees may not be getting enough variety in their diets. Wardell uses the term “Round-up agriculture”, referring to Monsanto’s widely-used herbicide, to describe the crop fields that bees pollinate. Farmers tend to spray their entire crop, killing any weeds or foreign plants, and leave only their crop of interest. As a result, crop fields end up as large areas of mono-cultural crop, meaning that there are no weeds or other plants growing along the fence rows or in the ditches. Also, as beekeeper Jim Doan from New York state notes, “Because you can’t farm hedgerows, and you’re paying taxes on that land, you eliminate them” (Button). As a

honey bees are currently selected by breeders to reproduce quickly in order to keep pace with the year-round demand. However, by breeding bees that devote all of their energy to reproduction, their protein storage capabilities and thus the life span of bees are severely reduced. Therefore, giving bees the protein they need could be the key to increasing their longevity.

One potent nutritional supplement which has been

identified by Wardell and his colleagues in Tucson to extend the lifespan of these short-lived bees is an amino acid supplement with the trade name MegaBee. This supplement has been experimentally shown to increase bee longevity by “up to 20%” as well as grow bees “33 % larger” than on other supplement diets in a winter study with no other sources of pollen available (Wardell). Megabee helps compensate for the bees’ inability to retain protein as well as support brood health since bees will naturally seek protein sources when there is a lot of offspring in the hive. MegaBee is a foodgrade soluble powder which can be added to heated fondant or sugar syrup and then hardened into slabs to be placed in the hives. As noted by Marcia Wood, MegaBee would make



S O U R C E : h t t p : / / w w w. c a r o l i n a h o n e y b e e . c o m

an optimal supplement for colony feeding in “late-fall and

pollination during the bloom, but also ensure that the same

early winter” before the extremely profitable almond

colonies will be healthy and available for the years to

pollination season in January and February (8). Although

follow. Farmers can be encouraged by beekeepers and by

MegaBee may not be a viable long-term solution for

state governments to plant other ‘forage plants’ for the times

nutritional deficiencies, it just may give bees the boost they

that bees come to pollinate. Currently, some almond farms

need at the most critical times of the year.

in Bakersfield, CA have planted mustard plants among their

almond crops at beekeepers’ requests (Wardell, Interview).

Despite having devoted five years of research to

developing MegaBee, however, Wardell admits that he

For this accommodation, bee keepers receive less pay per

would like to see “supplementary nutrition phased out

hive, but they also come away knowing that the colonies

completely” (Interview). Instead, he would like to see more

did their job well and that they will be well-fed and healthy

sustainable practices implemented by beekeepers and the

enough to continue their pollination runs. Other incen-

farmers who employ them to pollinate their crops. With

tives that would encourage farmers to better accommodate

regard to the beekeeper, this would include having a very

their tiny helpers would include tax breaks for incorporat-

thorough knowledge of the types of pollen that are

ing sustainable planting and using less pesticides. As with

available to the bees year-round. Keeping a map of what is in

most environmental issues to date, however, it is possible

bloom at different times of the year would help beekeepers

that the government may not step in until the crisis reaches

identify times of pollen dearth and thus allow them to plant

a breaking point unless both farmers and beekeepers lobby

other pollen sources which will meet the bees’ nutritional

for immediate action. Further, as noted by Dr. Wardell, the

needs during this time. In other words, beekeepers can regain

process of making crop fields more sustainable would have

control not only by knowing the bees’ nutritional needs, but

to be “carefully orchestrated” to prevent harming other bees

also by keeping detailed records of when various nutrients

in the area: spraying the forage crops prior to the pollinators’

are needed and for what purpose.

departure could poison native pollen collectors (Interview).

Despite the possible difficulties of implementation, however,

With regard to the farmers who hire bees for crop

pollination, it is important that they realize how bees with

sustainable planting on farms will ultimately lead to healthier

variety in their diets can not only result in more efficient

and more robust bee populations.




bees. Since bees rely on twenty-three pheromones (signaling


chemicals) to communicate with each other, the over-

Another potential CCD culprit that has only re-

cently garnered serious consideration is the large amount of antibiotics, miticides, and other chemicals that beekeepers have been using in their hives in increasing amounts to fight off pests. Indeed, the notion that beekeepers could be shooting themselves in the foot using practices that were previously encouraged is not an easy truth to swallow. However, the research that has been done to isolate compounds from pollen samples speaks for itself. One study by Maryann Frazier of Penn State found forty-six pesticides and their respective metabolites in only 108 pollen samples, including four compounds which are banned in Germany and France (“Impact”). Dr. Gordon Wardell uncovered similar results by analyzing pollen samples collected by traps underneath bee hives in cranberry fields. He, too, found what he termed “alarming” levels of pesticides with compounds ranging from Lorsban (a crop insecticide), to Coumaphos (an insecticide used to control pests affecting livestock), and copper. Due to the fact that beekeeping is often portrayed as a practice which harnesses a natural process to bring “nature’s sweetener,” honey, to the American consumer, these findings may be somewhat shocking. Not surprisingly, however, the liberal use of synthetic compounds may be interfering with bees’ natural instincts in significant ways. One highly likely side effect of the large amount of chemicals that are used in hives today is that they may hinder the bees’ natural modes of communication and thus their abilities to learn (“Silence”). Miticides such as Apiguard or Hivastan (and several others) top the list to control Varroa mites. Terramycin is used to prevent American foulbrood, Fumidil-B to mitigate Nosema, and menthol crystals to control tracheal mites (“Chemical”). Although none of these compounds are applied when honey is collected and effectively reduce the infection by honey bee pathogens, the aforementioned studies show that they are overused. When a beekeeper notices that his hives are not doing well, he may automatically apply more pesticide, thinking that more will solve the problem, when in fact the bees could be suffering from other stressors. All of the volatile pesticides that are present in hives could also be creating a foggy situation for

abundance of chemical mist in the hives may be interfering with their navigation system as well as their ability to communicate. When a pollen-laden bee returns to the hive to convey the source and the direction of the foraging plant, the other workers may not be able to learn effectively due to all of the interference from other compounds (“Silence”).

One other pesticide which has been singled out for

interfering with the navigational system of honey bees, as well as preventing their ability to care for brood, is a class of compounds called the neonicotinoids. Neoicotinoids are “artificial forms of nicotine that act as neurotoxins to insects” and have been in widespread use as insecticides by farmers since their approval by the EPA in 1994 (Dewitt). As explained by Wardell, these compounds “bind selectively to insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors”. Dave Hackenberg, a beekeeper from Florida and one of the first to sound the alarm on the CCD crisis, is also adamant that these compounds are one of the main culprits of CCD. In fact, neonicotinoids were banned in France after it was shown that its application to sunflowers was causing CCD symptoms. Although CCD was not quelled by banning these compounds, the incident in France shows that they could be an important trigger (“Silence”). Unfortunately, as noted by Hackenberg, reducing neonicotinoid levels without an effective ban may not be as easy as asking a farmer not to spray during pollination: “We’ve been telling them, just give us another ten days and our bees will be out…But the chemical people say, ‘No, you’ve got to spray now’” (Dewitt). Such responses are discouraging because they reflect an unwillingness to acknowledge the evidence at hand.

Although Chris Mullins, a Penn State entomologist,

contends that no research has found neonicotenoid levels high enough to harm bees, some other compounds which, like neonicotinoids, were previously thought not to affect honey bees have recently been exposed as toxic. In his talk at the December 2008 Colorado Beekeeper’s Conference, Dr. Wardell described a lipid biosynthesis inhibitor (LBI) by the name of Movento, which was marketed by Bayer Chemicals to inhibit caterpillar growth. Movento worked by halting lipid syntheses critical for metamorphoses. Although the product’s label ensured consumers that it would not be



harmful to bees, it was later concluded that the opposite was

Unfortunately, the chemicals that are already in the

true. The Movento example is a case in point showing how

environment cannot be taken back, and, without government

initial findings may not be true in the long term, especially

action, it may be difficult to get massive commercial farms

given the staggering amount of interactions that could be

on board. Fortunately, beekeepers (and farmers) directly

occurring among chemicals. Given the uncertainty surround-

control the amount of chemicals that they use and thus the

ing what exactly is harmless to bees and what is not, it seems

impact that it could have on bees. The sooner beekeepers

that the most effective and timely solution is that farmers and

and farmers come to terms with the harmful effects of even

beekeepers use pesticides and antibiotics, respectively, only

“good” chemicals, the sooner they can begin reducing them.

as a last resort when dealing with infestation problems.

Reducing the amount of chemicals that are applied to one’s

own hives remains an immediate action that can be used

All of the studies that have exposed the pesticide

problem in pollen may also lead one to wonder about the

proactively to help beekeepers regain control. In the same

extent to which pesticides are transferred to honey (and the

regard, convincing farmers to cut down on pesticides would

beeswax that is used for both cosmetics and as a coating on

also be an immediate (albeit more difficult to institute)

food products.) Not surprisingly, this is a question that even


researchers may be hesitant to answer. Looking into the future of the commercial honey industry, the ever-increasing consumer demand for organic products foreshadows what is bound to be an increasing demand for pesticide-free honey products. Due to the fact that even “organic” beekeepers have been affected by CCD, however, turning to genetics for the right type of bee may be one way to increase their longevity and reduce the amount of pesticides that could potentially end up in honey. Peter Borst, a beekeeper from Danby, NY, suggests that home breeding more disease-resistant queens instead of just purchasing bees from commercial breeders could result in stronger hives which require fewer chemical treatments (610). By selecting for bees that can withstand the stressors specific to a particular environment instead of breeding bees who simply build up their colonies quickly, bees could rely more heavily on their immune systems, not on antibiotics. Unfortunately, as pests develop resistance to old treatments, even beekeepers like Borst who would like to maintain hives without chemicals are caught on a “chemical treadmill of pesticide resistance” (610). He laments, “Of course, chemicals are used as a last resort in any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, but with the Varroa mites, we always seemed to be at the crisis point…I just accepted treatments like miticides and antibiotics as part of the cost of doing business” (610).

How, then, can commercial beekeepers whose

colonies must be fit enough to be transported around the country to pollinate hundreds of acres of crops each year expect to escape the chemical treadmill and regain control?




Another factor which has shown strong correlations

with CCD is the changing global climate. Weather patterns from the fall of 2006, when CCD was first observed, to the present have noted unusually warm winters, a wet fall, and unusually dry summers (Wardell, “Our Bees”). These weather patterns confuse bees, causing them to leave their nests in warm winter weather with the intent to forage but returning without having gathered any pollen from the dead winter plants. Bees thereby burn up valuable winter fat storage on what are called empty flights, severely decreasing their likelihood of surviving the winter. Since bees are selected to serve the needs of the colony, the potential risks involved with leaving the nest in wintertime do little to deter them; the potential reward of a constant nectar and pollen flow far exceeds the importance that is assigned to the individual (Willmer 146).

In addition to balmy winters, researchers have also

shown concern about the lack of water available to bees during the summer droughts. The importance of uncontaminated, supple water supplies for colony health cannot be stressed enough. Studies have shown that a honey bee’s water intake needs take first priority even over caloric intake needs fulfilled by sugar ingestion (Willmer 140). To further emphasize the physiological effects that water shortages can have on the honey bee, Wardell describes a case of colony heat stress in Bali that he was called to investigate (Wardell,

“Our Bees”). Although it appeared that the colony was

continued collaboration among farmers, beekeepers, and

afflicted with a sort of virus, it turned out that the bees were

researchers, then, lies not just with the beekeeper, but also

simply not able to carry enough water fast enough. So, even

with the universities who have the connections and means

though it is often said that one cannot control the weather,

to raise awareness of the subject. Universities could provide

beekeepers may have to take extra measures to try to assure

student or faculty manpower to assist with the drastic amount

that bees have access to adequate water in the summers and

of data collection that has to be performed on the way to

perhaps place hives in a temperature regulated environment

finding feasible solutions quickly.

during the winter. Given an acute awareness of weather con-

ditions and of the particular stressors that often accompany

impeding progress on the CCD front is the lack of

them, beekeepers would be able to respond proactively to

collaboration among CCD research groups. During the

maximize the life spans of their bees.

landmark hearing on CCD sponsored by the USDA in April

Another more subtle factor which may be severely

2007 which gathered sixty researchers from around North T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F C O L L A B O R AT I O N

Another area in which CCD scientists are currently

losing ground lies in the discontinuity between beekeepers in the field and the researchers in the lab. Although some universities have already led the charge, there could be more resources available for beekeepers to send in pollen or bee samples for testing or to perform sample analysis themselves in the field. Specifically, such tests could determine levels of the vitellogenin gene found in bee fat cells, a key regulator of the juvenile hormone which triggers a young bee’s transition into adulthood and foraging behavior, thus allowing beekeepers to quantitatively monitor the youth and the strength of their colonies (Amdam 201). Other potential developments in this area include test kits to monitor protein levels and antibiotics. The key to successful beekeeperdirected testing will be that these tests are easy to use and require minimal hive disruption.

Project Apis m. is one organization which has made

significant strides towards providing effective proactive measures for beekeepers, optimizing the use of limited research dollars, and in establishing an open line of communication between beekeepers and scientists. This organization is comprised of members from the American Beekeeping Federation, the National Honey Board, and California almond farmers, just to name a few. Recently, this organization donated $30,000 to purchase an Integrated Virus Detection System (also employed by the US Army) which beekeepers can access at a small cost to screen samples directly from their hives. The responsibility to encourage

America and led to the formation of both the CCD Steering Committee and contributed to formulating the USDA Action Plan, Wardell recalls an atmosphere of agreement and cooperation among beekeepers and researchers which lead to the formulation of a number of avenues for further research (Barrionuevo). However (and one might say ‘not surprisingly’), as soon as discussion of funding for various areas of research entered into the discussion, scientists began to pair up or break into small groups which have, up to this point, refused to share findings with each other for fear of losing funding to the competition. Specifically, one of these rivalries includes the apparent tension between the research groups of Jerry Bromenshenk, the CEO of Bee Alert Technologies (a computer program to track CCD, environment, and pollen conditions) and the group headed by Diana CoxFoster from Pennsylvania State University (Wardell, Interview). Bromenshenk is focused on computational methods of tracking potential CCD factors and has even suggested monitoring pollution using honey bees while Cox-Foster investigates parasites, microbes, and viruses affecting bees. It is not difficult to imagine that cooperation among these two groups could produce a database which tracks the occurrence of pathogens in addition to the factors already comprised by Bee Alert. A continued refusal among leading experts to collaborate could delay any solutions that are found in becoming available at a point where immediate action is of vital importance. While it may be difficult to break old habits that abound in the grant-hungry scientific community, it seems that sharing and working together are proven tactics for success—in fact, one need only look into a bee hive to find the perfect model. Scientists will be able to expedite



their search for viable solutions if they view their contribu-

In two years of conducting research on CCD,

tions not just as a means to receive the Nobel Prize, so to

scientists have not been able to identify any sole culprit.

say, but as a duty to the USDA and other organizations who

Indeed, judging by the fact that ten years passed between

seek solutions for farmers and beekeepers that, at this point,

Rachel Carson’s exposure of the pesticide DDT’s harmful

can only be provided through an efficient use of scientific

effects in Silent Spring (1962) and the time that it was


banned, it seems that even once a case for a certain factor has been made, it will take many more years perhaps to enact


Given all of the variables that a bee keeper today

must consider in order to be successful, it is not surprising that we no longer see “bee havers,” or nonprofessional beekeepers, in the U.S. (Wardell, Interview). Especially since the amount of diseases afflicting bees began to rise along with the number of chemicals available to treat them, beekeeping has shifted from a hobby to a full-time occupation. Today, beekeepers must effectively fulfill the role of entomologist, pharmacist, and businessman. Instead of just using techniques and products that have worked for generations, today’s beekeeper must be more wary and more observant when it comes to his bees, as well as more shrewd in his business decisions. Modern beekeeping is thus fast moving away from harnessing a natural process to exploiting it. In the drive to produce more honey and pollinate a larger acreage of crops using the same numbers of bees, bees are worked beyond their natural capacities. As it turns out, however, bees cannot be forced to uphold the pace of life that is expected from individuals in our own society. By considering the relatively uncomplicated basic needs of the honey bee first to help mitigate the CCD crisis, beekeepers can regain their oversight of nature.

Aside from the plight of the honey bee, the CCD

crisis also brings to light a troublesome reality about the state of the environment today. The response of the honey bee to global warming and chemical overuse could be an early warning of worse things to come. If the list of culprits for CCD is extensive today, it is no stretch to imagine that the list of variables could be even larger in ten years. As we modify the environment further and further, the number of factors that can cause a hitch in the system will increase exponentially. What will result are global problems that become extremely complex, if not impossible to solve.



any changes. In this light, it is especially important that beekeepers not only do everything within their power to encourage bee health using known strategies, but also avoid using any products that could be questionable. By slowly reducing the amount of chemicals beekeepers use in their hives and urging farmers to cut down on pesticides today, the onset of more complicated problems can be avoided in the future.

Ultimately, it seems that solving CCD will depend

not only on effective cooperation and progress from within the scientific community, but also on beekeepers who use less chemicals and more common-sense solutions to improve the health and longevity of their bees. Farmers who rely on bees, and even those who do not, must become more invested in shifting to sustainable practices. In addition, the government and the public must become more involved with the environment not only for the sake of the bees, but also for all of the other natural processes on which humans depend. Further, the CCD crisis serves as yet another reminder of how changing one or more variables in the environment can have grave effects on, in this case, an extremely important natural system. Thus, we must also work together as a global community to solve problems like global warming and chemical pollution lest we suffer a fate similar to the honey bee.


Amdam, Gro V., Kari Norberg, Robert E. Page, Jr., Joachim Erber & Ricarda Scheiner. “Downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity increases the gustatory responsiveness of honey bee workers (Apis mel lifera).” Behavioral Brain Research. 169.2 (2006): 201-205.

van Engelsdorp, Dennis. “Research Continues as Honey Bee Losses Rise in U.S., Fall in PA.” College of Agricultural Sciences Homepage. Penn State University. 21 May 2008. 7 Dec. 2008 html.

Avitable, Alphonse, and Diana Sammataro. The Beekeeper’s Handbook. New York: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Wardell, Dr. Gordon. Personal Interview. 6 Dec. 2008.

Barrionuevo, Alexei. “Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons”. New York Times. 24 April 2007. 7 Dec. 2008. Borst, Peter L. “Keeping Bees without Chemicals”. American Bee Journal. 147.7 (2007): 610-612. Bee Alert Home Page. University of Montana. 6 Dec. 2008 Button, Keith. “Beekeeping Becoming Big Business”. Grassroots: The Voice of the New York Farm Bureau. April 2006. 4 December 2008.”

Wardell, Dr. Gordon. “Re: Details of Bee Nutrition”. E-mail to author. 17 Nov. 2008. Wardell, Dr. Gordon. “What’s Going On with Our Bees: Environment and Other Factors.” Colorado State Beekeeper’s Association Conference. Radisson Hotel, Longmont, CO. 6 December 2008. Willmer, P.G. “Constraints on Foraging by Solitary Bees.” The Behavior and Physiology of Bees. Melksham, UK: Redwood Press, 1991. Wood, Marcia. “MegaBee: New Food for America’s Beleaguered Honey Bees”. Agricultural Research Magazine. 56.2 (2008): 8.

“Colony Collapse Disorder Action Plan”. 20 June 2007. Agricultural Research Service of the USDA. 20 November 2008. Cox-Foster, Diana, et al. “A Metagenomic Survey of Microbes in Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder.” Science 318 (2007): 283-287. Frazier, Maryann. “The Potential Impact of Pesticides on Honey Bee Health.” Southeastern PA regional bee keepers’ meeting. Keeney and Ziegler Apiaries, Bethel, PA. 24 June 2008. Free, John B. Bees and Mankind. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1982. Kaplan, J. Kim. “Colony Collapse Disorder: A Complex Buzz”. Agricultural Research Magazine. 56.5 (2008): 8-11. Mussen, Eric. “Colony Collapse Disorder”. American Bee Journal. 147.7 (2007): 593-594. “Silence of the Bees”. Nature. Dir. Doug Schultz. PBS. 28 October 2007. Online. “The Status of Chemical Remedies for Honey Bee Ailments”. Arkansas Apiary Newsletter. 44.3(2007).



T H E A RT I C H O K E R O W S Just after dawn, a flush of clouds from the ocean and sweet soil in the airâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; She flutters the dust from her skirt at the window, leaves with a basket for the artichoke rows. A panting stray in the road heaves red dirt to the sun. At night, by the lantern I clean the soil from her knees while the artichokes boil. In the heat and hum of insects, we divide the heart to halves and roll it on the back of our tongues. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Bo Olson



COMPULSIONS (IX.) in a used book, the note: “I thought of you, when I was playing in Dallassaw this & got it for you” i kept your voice to listen to, coming over the nuclear sagebrush of february dusk. you said, “love is the cataclysm/ of restless legs” no, i said that. you repeated it back to me. i meant it was early march instead there was nothing to see from texas roads but a place for rain. and trees wondering how they would drink and i too. if i could have shown you how heavy Memphis is when it gets inside of you. —Monica Koenig




“In the spirit of the holiday, would you care for a Cadbury egg?” I look up from the novel in front of me, which I can’t seem to read, to see a forty-something year-old bald man offering me a small, egg-shaped candy wrapped in foil. “I certainly don’t know you, and I don’t believe that you know me,” he says, “but I believe that over the course of this bus ride we could become well-enough acquainted through opening a steady stream of conversation, perhaps enough, even, to become friends.”



I stare. I gawk. For several moments he doesn’t reply. After a seemingly infinite awkward silence he nods towards the front of the bus and asks, “So where ya headed?” “I’m on PCP,” I reply. “Your face looks to be a bright, translucent shade of green to me.” It’s his turn to gawk. I offer him a sour-neon gummy worm from inside of the bag in my lap. In a rather unsurprising turn of events, he doesn’t accept. Bright neon lights flash incessantly through the windows as the bus slowly creeps towards some unknown destination. I lower my head and stare at my hands. They’re hard and cold. I feel an uneasy sickness in my stomach.

My world is dark right now. Dark and quiet. It’s easily been minutes since the seat in front of me melted into the checkered-panel floor below it, but it feels like it’s been hours. It all happened when I let my guard down. I should have never taken my book out... all those tiny little ink scratches amount to zero when your mind is stained... First, they start twisting, contorting themselves into archaic, yet familiar symbols, and before you know it, you’re lost, and your entire world has fallen out from under you, disappearing into a black, indescribably perilous void of unforgiving, pure shadow. I know where I am, what I’ve done, and what I intend to do. I’m riding the bus to 14th and Maple, so I can meet Vince, and I’ve taken roughly 600mg of straight-up, hard-hitting PCP to cover the stink of death that I’m about to plunge myself into. Most importantly, though, is that I’m going to put two bullets in that sonnuva bitch the moment I catch sight of him. Fucker shorted me on last week’s fix. He seems to have it in his head that he can fuck around with a guy who he’s known his entire life, let alone a guy like me. To be clear, you don’t fuck with guys like me. In all honesty, you shouldn’t even come anywhere near guys like me. I make a living off of cleaning up other guys like me, so I’d say my opinion on the subject holds a certain degree of validity.

“Imagine that Doctor from The Marathon Man taking a pair of pliers and yanking your teeth right out of your face, while some kid holds a fucking etch-a-sketch to your eyes and shakes the fucking thing until the magnetized little black specks in the screen begin to piece together, forming some ungodly image of mysterious wonder. Then imagine a bullet flying through the fucking center of the whole damn thing and ripping your face into two clean pieces. That’s absolutely nothing what this is like. This... this is indescribable. You can take that Cadbury egg of yours and stick it in the most creative place you can imagine, because right now... I’m at a place miles from where I’d ever need one of those disgusting, cream-filled pieces of shit.” *Ding* My stop’s up. I stand up and walk to the front of the bus, flipping the bird to Mr. Joyous, Balding Cadbury Shithead. The steps roll out into a blood-encrusted walkway, riddled with bones and specks of emaciated human flesh, or so my eyes lead me to believe. My cautious descent leaves me at the corner of 9th and Maple. The word Fuck emanates from my lips. No one replies. Nobody ever does.

Flash back to Mr. Fucking Cadbury, who’s jittering his fucking teeth off in the seat across from mine. Summoning his courage, he narrows his wrinkled eyes and asks me, “What’s it like?” CU H ONORS J OU RNAL




Last year I spent the Fourth of July across the kitchen table from my mother counting

the number of shots she could swallow before the sobbing began. My applause started around number ten, she laughed, and with an impish smile motioned for me to bring her the full bottle that was meant for the next morning. Who could blame her, we were having so much fun. So, I unscrewed the top and pretended to take a good long swig even grimacing with bliss. She hooted and clutched the bottle between freshly painted red, white, and blue fingernails drowning the miniature glass in front of her. We peeked through the curtains at fireworks that flashed somewhere in the distance. The whole time I was twisting the car keys deep inside my pocket.

It wasn’t too long before she began stripping confetti from her hair and gurgling some

lines that she’d heard at the grocery store about the injustices of the United States government, and how she wished we hadn’t even celebrated this wicked holiday in the first place. I asked her what was so wicked about it, and offered her another drink. She took the glass of vodka from my hand and raised it above her head.

“I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And somethin’,

somethin’, somethin’, gave that right to me,” she sang those words with such genuine tears brimming in her empty eyes. I elbowed her until she crumpled against the armrest, and then I flipped on the television.

This year things had to be different. My mom could count her own shots, and I would

count mine. It was sixteen, by the way, last year. So around eight Joe pulled up in his shitty lowrider pickup and motioned for me to join the mob of people in the bed who were twirling sparklers and sucking on cigarettes. I slammed the front door leaving Mom and her friend Kathy inside sloshing margaritas on the rug and rubbing their flabby tits against each other while dancing to Kenny Chesney. 136

I climbed in the back of the truck and placed a cigarette between my lips smiling at CARLI E H OLM B OE

the way it felt. Out there in the sticky summer air I knew we

That’s when I noticed Caroline’s fragile features

were all feeling it. That need to test the limits of our nerve, to

dancing behind the flame. Her tender neck and naked arms.

drive too fast, and lean sloppily over the edge and watch the

She was laughing at something her friend had said, and mo-

white lines pass in front of our eyes. We thought that maybe

tioning toward a raccoon peeping out of the trees to snatch

We thought that maybe we’d die tonight before even graduating from high school, or getting a real job, or getting married. Maybe we’d die while we were still alive, before it all became an act. we’d die tonight before even graduating from high school, or

an empty vodka bottle between its spongy black hands.

getting a real job, or getting married. Maybe we’d die while

Caroline pointed her cell phone in the direction of the animal

we were still alive, before it all became an act. And maybe

and shrieked when Jeff launched a roman candle toward it.

that wouldn’t be so bad.

Her mouth was the kind that looked like it could only be

good for one thing, and it wasn’t talking.

We were racing down the road toward that street

that marked the city’s limit, and then turned into a dusty

parking lot with an enormous sign claiming the best selection

an open area to set off our firecrackers. We began with the

and lowest prices around. One by one we gulped what was

biggest and best ones we had, and then threw the rest in a

left and crushed beer cans beneath our feet before hopping

pile and lit them all at once. The explosion wasn’t really all

out of the truck. Joe, Benjamin, Jeff and I stood gazing at

we expected it to be. Definitely not enough to satisfy that

the rows and rows of bottle rockets, missiles, hand grenades

longing we’d all been looking to tame that night. It was

and roman candles. We were limited only by the amount of

gonna take something more.

dollars each of us counted over and over between our fingers.

Our eyes always returning to the ever-tempting Johnny B

the trunk of someone’s Civic. The girls were dancing help-

Good Combo Finale, and then thumbing through the bills

lessly, and letting their straps fall down over their shoulders.

once again. Most of my dollars ended up going to the Pyro

I watched closely as Caroline slithered around the barrel,

Pulverizer and a handful of parachutes. With a bed of

eyes closed, pressing her palms against the sides of her neck.

explosives and a round of freshly cracked beers, we were on

She traced the flesh between her small breasts and back up

the road again.

again. Somehow she knew I was watching her; she opened

For half an hour we drove down every gravel road

her eyes straight into mine and smiled, impishly. The body of

we could find cussing at the locked gates and private prop-

a child, the eyes of a dying woman. As if we were all craving

erty signs—letting the warm Coors Light fall into our empty

it, she slipped in close to one of the other girls who giggled


and clutched Caroline’s waist to her own. They stumbled in

and out of each other, laughing.

The party that Joe ended up finding was really just

After downing a couple more beers Joe and I found

Back at the fire there was now music blaring from

a group of people who we vaguely knew from school. They

Voices began to fade, and I heard Joe asking some-

were all huddled around a trash barrel full of fire. No one

thing in the distance. I couldn’t take my eyes off Caroline

questioned the function of the fire, it was close to ninety

and the way she stumbled back and forth in front of that fire.

degrees outside. We just took our place in the circle and

Gradually, I noticed the skin on her face begin to sag, and

brought fresh cigarettes to our lips while peeking through

she just kept staring at me through those sickening eyes. It

the darkness at which faces were there, flashing behind the

was repulsive, the way she moved. The way she brought that

orange glow.

bottle to her cracking lips and let it drip down the sides of her



mouth. Dark circles formed around her eyes and I could see

a good night for a walk. I was picking at my fingernails and

the empty space behind them. Then, an oily tongue slipped

just walking across that open space. By the time I reached

from her mouth and swept over

the barrel there was no one left. The

her cracking lips. She motioned

fire had been doused, and a thousand

with one scaly claw for me to follow her.

I winced as she took

my hand inside hers and pulled

... it seemed like a good night for a walk.

shiny cans covered the ground. I walked past that place, out onto the road, and turned toward home. The streets were fairly empty, and once

me from the ground. She took

again I inhaled that sticky summer

me away from the fire and the music and past the open space

air. I felt that hollow place. It was plump and quiet.

where our pile of charred firecrackers lay. She took me too

far from the laughter and Coors Light, and somewhere deep

Kathy was gone. There was a margarita glass broken on

into the forest. I was afraid, I pulled and twisted and pleaded,

the front porch, so, I stopped to gather up the jagged pieces

but she would not let go. Those long bony claws were

and throw them safely into the trashcan. Inside, I found my

digging into my arms with a strength I had not expected.

mother half-dressed, hooked over the kitchen table. Her

cracked lips begged for water so I filled a glass and placed it

We were in some calm place with trees on all sides,

Arriving home the front door was wide open and

and she lay there in front of me mouthing words I could not

inside her bony fingers. She took the other glass to her mouth

hear, but I could smell the sour odor from her parched mouth

and gulped, letting the liquid dribble down the corners of her

and turned my head to avoid that awful gaze. She was laugh-

mouth. I turned away.

ing at me, I think, and mucus dripped from the tip of her

sharp beak.

you here. Don’t you know that?”

I sat there in that silent place. My hands digging,

digging furiously in the moist red earth. My fingernails caked with mud. With mud, but it hadn’t rained all summer. And I blinked, and blinked again and saw that the ground was cherry red and so were my palms and my knees. I followed that scarlet stream. I followed it to a sugary mouth, still shiny with gloss. Such long, soft, pale hair now muddy red, and two green eyes stared straight into mine. From the side of that thin neck, from inside of it, a broken glass bottle. I could almost remember the sound it made: that bottle against the tree trunk. And the pressure it took to pierce through such sheer skin, the courage it took. And the other hand pressing deep into, deep into something. I could almost remember that. Now the hole was deep enough so I nudged that limp body into it and brushed leaves over the top, peeling them from my gluey fingertips and patching the spots where flesh still showed.

Past the trees and the open space I could see a tired

fire peeking above the ledge of a barrel. There were cop cars with lights flashing, and other cars peeling out onto the main road. I saw Joe’s pickup truck filling with people, and thought about shouting for them to wait, but it seemed like



“Dustin, honey, I’m so glad you’re home. I need I kissed her goodnight and locked the front door.



P h o t o g ra p hy a n d t h e A m e r i c a n We s t BY ANDREW GANSKY

Henry Wessel, Jr., a twentieth-century American photographer, works primarily in the

West, focusing on locales in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and especially California. The early period of his work, from the late 1960s to the early ’70s, was collected on a series of road trips throughout the Southwest, not unlike tourist excursions. However, rather than add another image to the thousands already taken of famous landmarks and national parks, Wessel records the spaces in between, the vast expanses of Western deserts and unmarked suburbs former photographers largely ignored. Working within the context of the endlessly imaged West, Wessel’s formal conventions and choice of subject matter amount to a significant commentary upon what the West means to America in the latter half of the twentieth century, and his pictures enter into a broader conversation about American spaces and landscapes.

The cultural weight attributed to unique topographical features such as Yosemite

National Park is due in no small part to the use of photography both by the government and by artists. Their images encourage interest in these areas, and simultaneously, the tourist infrastructure, heavily reliant in the West upon interstate freeways and automobiles, draws travelers from thousands of miles away to admire America’s natural beauty. The tourists who speed by on these roads are encouraged to partake of a fractured conception of the landscape that favors the scenic, the grand, the unique, and discourages interest in areas not easily accessible by car and the vast expanses the traveler can traverse at high speeds. When Wessel stops on the shoulder of an unmarked highway to capture an image of the landscape and how humans interact with it, CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


he reveals some of the unconscious attitudes contemporary

At the same time, Wessel refuses to transform with his lens

Americans hold toward the West. He also documents a

these unwelcoming environs into a celebration of the scale

cultural shift in the role of landscape photography from a

and grandeur of the West, reporting instead an essentially

focus on upon Romantic aesthetic conventions and the

homogenous landscape significantly lacking any aspirations

wilderness to focusing upon the residues of human

to the sublime. The setting of the photo is hardly National

involvement, no longer the predicators of civilized progress,

Park material: there are no snowcapped peaks, no impressive

but the artifacts of a society that has settled the West with

sheer rock faces, none of the extremes or showcases of

industry and obscured direct experience of the landscape

natural awe apparent in Death Valley or Yellowstone,

behind a skein of media images and carefully directed tourist

Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.


tradition of the sublime or Romantic, nor does it depict a

Wessel takes on the landscape of the American West

Wessel’s “Ice” most certainly does not fall into a

with an eye prone to extract the ironies of human interactions

frontier experience of human interaction with the landscape

with the environment. He does not aggrandize the striking

(such as ranching, exploring, or mining), thus breaking at

beauty of so-called wilderness areas—the scope of his frame finds some middle ground between Ansel Adams’ panoramas of Yosemite and highcontrast close-ups of gnarled wood grain. Wessel’s photographs have a tendency to foreground the human-

The setting of the photo is hardly National Park material: there are no snowcapped peaks, no impressive sheer rock faces, none of the extremes or showcases of natural awe apparent in Death Valley or Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.

made set against vistas unlikely to be the subject matter of picture postcards.

least in content with the major body of classic Western

Consider his photograph Walapai, Arizona, 1971, of a squat

imagery. If the landscape is no longer for Wessel an object of

sign reading “ICE” set in the middle of a rather barren and

sublime meditation, nor a frontier space inhabited by settlers

rocky field with only sparse outcrops of grass. The hills in

and explorers, his images beg the question of how the

the background appear lost and somewhat hazy, their

mythology of the West has shifted during the twentieth

featureless ridges as barren and

century, and what role the West plays in contemporary

uninviting as the foreground, ultimately serving as little more

American culture. It is interesting to note that “Ice” was

than a dark line to demarcate an equally gray and blank sky

taken when Wessel received a Guggenheim fellowship for

from the ground. With nothing else of particular interest for

a project entitled “The Photographic Documentation of the

the eye to fix upon, the brighter white sign near dead center

U.S. Highways and the Adjacent Landscape” (1971), which,

in the frame is the natural focal point of the image, inviting

as critic Sandra Phillips notes, is “by its title, a project about

an array of interpretations. What is perhaps most striking

what can be seen from the driver’s seat of a passing car.”

about this particular image is that the sign has no apparent

Wessel thereby mimics the tourist, instamatic camera in

referent, failing to describe accurately either the landscape

hand, who traverses the West by road and documents the

in which it stands or any reality of human existence in the

journey in a series of snapshot images. Perhaps unlike many

deserts of the West. Lacking any actual ice, the sign instead

tourists, Wessel includes human markers, but not the humans

seems to announce or underscore the total dearth of water in

who made them, instead allowing their artifacts to come to

the frame, accentuating a barren reading of the landscape.

the foreground as evidence of the nature of human involve-

14 0


ment. At the same time, Wessel’s constant lack of people

industrial processes that often physically and strikingly alter

contributes to a sense of abandonment, suggesting the West

the landscape is perhaps not immediately apparent in the

is a place of transience, more given to temporary travels than

road’s appearance as a determined, thin line traversing an

to permanent inhabitance.

expansive terrain it largely ignores. However, this seeming

ignorance of nature suggests some of the effects of

Cultural theorist Alexander Wilson, writing on the

topic of tourism in the American West, notes that “the car

industrialization upon how humans conceive of natural

and the modern highway bring with them a different order-

spaces. Industrial processes impart the illusion of order and

ing of space…. Expressways, for example, are usually set

control, and fundamentally ignore topographical features by

off on a different grade from surrounding land, and access to

constructing very straight and level pathways that allow easy

them is strictly controlled,” and that “the car further divides

navigation. The rather entropic and unpredictable features of

the landscape, and our experience of it, into discrete zones. It

natural landscapes are thereby made invisible to the casual

promotes some landscapes and discourages others.” Wilson

traveler. Furthermore, by introducing the automobile and

thereby implies that American highways enforce a kind of

roads into supposedly unaltered national parks, the industrial

continuous transience. Once on the desert highway, many

framework manages to circumscribe even the most rugged

miles may pass before there is the option to exit the route

and severe topographies by distancing direct immersion. As

or change direction. Acting as unidirectional channels, the

the earthworks artist and theorist Robert Smithson concludes

highways draw travelers to defined locations, roadside

in Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape

signage often referring to the end destination, drawing


attention ahead rather than to the landscape passing by the

One need not improve Yosemite, all one needs is to provide access routes and accommodations. But this decreases the original definition of wilderness as a place that exists without human involvement. Today, Yosemite is more like an urbanized wilderness with its electrical outlets for campers, and its clothes lines hung between the pines. There is not much room for contemplation in solitude.

passenger window at blurry speeds.

Wilson goes on to conclude, “Nature tourism cata-

logued the natural world and created its own spaces out there among the trees, lakes and rocks. It sold us…natural space and experiences.” This is an interesting conceptualization of space for two reasons. First, it contends that in the twentieth century, the landscape becomes primarily a commodity, and second, Americans consume that commodity by virtue of cars and the interstate infrastructure. This implies that American interaction with landscapes is fundamentally mediated by the structures of the road and by the car itself, as well as the carefully guided and defined organization of the tourist experience. All of these factors prevent full immersion in natural spaces. The car instead scaffolds the landscape with windows in an opaque frame, presenting a necessarily limited view of the scene at hand, and roads, by their configuration, determine which aspects of landscapes drivers can even observe. Wilson speaks of the ways in which nature parkways “instruct drivers about how best to appreciate the scenery out the window” through “the design of their curves and rest areas.” The tourist framework thus fulfils the express purpose of teaching Americans how to consume the landscape of the nation.

The fact that the expressway is a product of

Dividing the experience of national park landscapes into digestible chunks, the tourist experience manages to mitigate sensations of wonder or terror by implanting ordered, urban features within the wilderness.

In “Travel Films and the American West” (2006),

film historian Jennifer Peterson describes how travel films of the early twentieth century serve to further contain wilderness landscapes: In displaying preserved pockets of land such as Yosemite, Yellowstone National Park, or the Taos Pueblo, travelogues worked to create a hermetically sealed series of landscapes frozen in time, rather like a collection of snow domes. Yet by filling these ‘primitive’ views with the mediating figure of the tourist, the films also…modernized and domesticated those wild landscapes. Her suggestion that these films further mediate the interaction between human and landscape by introducing the figure of the tourist at play raises a vital point regarding CU H ONORS J OU RNAL

14 1

visual media’s operation; namely, the ability to prepare the

processes of nature enter the city, and urban processes enter

individual for an experience by allowing an undefined

the wilderness, all the while affecting how humans think of

human presence to stand in her or his place. By visually

both urban and natural landscapes. While Wilson argues that

acclimating a person to the human presence within the

human-constructed frameworks cause tourists to consume

experience of wilderness space, and specifically by showing

natural landscapes the same as any other product, Smithson

that human presence engaging in idle or playful recreation,

suggests that commodification is not such a total process.

the filmic images to which Peterson refers manage to

Peterson, taking a sort of middle ground, argues that the

undermine Romantic aspirations to the sublime. In other

“ultimate quest” of tourism “is still magnificent scenery,” but

words, the experience of the wilderness, which should

representations of the activity “are equally invested in

ideally transcend corporeal human existence by sheer scope

representing the process of getting to that scenery—the

and solitary immersion, loses its capacity to threaten or

railroads, cars, horse paths, and walking trails the traveler


must use to reach the scenery—and the experience of

Smithson details this shift away from the sublime

viewing the scenery once one has reached it.” She

by describing how parks create a dialectic conversation

complicates Smithson’s conception of the dialectic between

between humans and landscapes, creating the picturesque.

human and nature by introducing pointed images of the hu-

More concerned with constructed parks, such as New York

man figure within the natural landscape. Thus, not only do

City’s Central Park, he states:

tourists contend with the experience of a natural or human

The picturesque, far from being an inner movement of the mind, is based on real land; it precedes the mind in its material external existence. We cannot take a onesided view of the landscape within this dialectic. A park can no longer be seen as ‘a thing-in-itself,’ but rather as a process of ongoing relationships existing in a physical region—the park becomes a ‘thing-for-us.’ As a result, we are not hurled into the spiritualism of Thoreauian transcendentalism, or its present day offspring of ‘modernist formalism’ rooted in Kant, Hegel, and Fichte. In his formulation of the picturesque, Smithson relates how human transformations of landscapes are in turn subject to further transformation by natural processes. In this sense, the mitigation of the wilderness experience by the presence of the tourist is not so clear-cut as to completely occlude natural space. Rather, the tourist enters the park to gain an experience impossible within a strictly urban setting, but at the same time, tourists cannot ignore their own presence within the park because of their reflection in constructed features. The tourist experience itself alters nature, but even though former conceptions of the sublime are thus transformed, the park still constructs an experiential conversation between human-altered and wilderness landscapes, often by juxtaposing the two. Simultaneously, Smithson denies complete separation between human and natural processes, instead arguing that parks allow for the natural and industrial to bleed from their narrow definitions. Thus, the physical 14 2


space, but also the visual mediation of that space, and representations of how humans should behave in specific landscapes. With the advent of the portable camera, individual travelers can create numerous images and mediations of space even as they experience it. This creates a set of circumstances that alters the very nature of experience.

When Peterson states, “the true national playground

constructed by…films would seem to be not the space of the western landscape but the space of cinema itself,” she establishes a parallel between the role of camera mediations of space and Wilson’s didactic and fragmentary definition of the tourist experience. Thus, photography or film has the capacity to become an experience all its own, independent of the actual spaces it represents. Photography, in its most basic form, fundamentally orders space and reality by the mere virtue of framing and recording a discrete segment of the landscape. But this is only an extremely basic technical outline of the photographic process. On one hand, tourist photography might serve to arrest the fleeting impressions the tourist can gather of the landscape as she or he covers vast highway distances, movement more important to the tourist experience than lingering pauses. On the other, it is important to consider a broader scope of photographic history in the West, and the range of uses it has found in various hands. Because of the realistic appearance of a photographic image, and its ability to seize an instant out of

time, a number of photographers and theorists have argued

of the natural landscape. Anderson also hones in on Thomas

for the inherently truthful nature of photography. An

Moran, who, instead of depicting the human settlements

exploration of this contention has particular bearing upon the

and industrial development of his scenes, “focused almost

American West, itself a heavily mythologized region, in

exclusively on the sublimity of the landscape, editing out

addition to being continuously photographed. It is especially

nearly every reference to change instigated by man.” Both

interesting to consider that photography actually helped

art historians concern themselves with misrepresentations

create much of the visual mythology of the West in the late

particularly of the West, focusing specifically upon painting’s

1800s and early twentieth century, but nonetheless, the

role in eliding the massive environmental damage actually

relationship between photography’s mechanical recording

caused by the industrial development of the region.

apparatus and its ability to represent reality truthfully remains somewhat contentious.

Critics and

artists most commonly develop the thesis that photography depicts

However, Novak does

... the patrons of progress contend that

speak of the incorporation of

nature is a thing to be improved at the

ing during the latter 1800s in

hands of man, while others yearn for silence and preservation.

reality with accuracy

human industry into paintNature and Culture (1980). She notes the contradictory nature of artists such as Thomas Cole, whose artwork implicitly asks at what point “the arc from

by contrasting it with painting. Art historian Babara Novak

virgin wilderness through the pastoral ideal to the industrial

expounds heavily upon this theme in “Landscape Permuted:

landscape swerve[s] from constructive accord with God’s

From Painting to Photography” (1975). She contends that

will to human destructiveness toward nature,” and yet at the

photography “injected” landscape painting “with a fresh

same time also utilizes the “cut stump” as the inception of a

quota of reality,” and likewise claims that “direct

“new iconology of progress and destruction.” Novak’s

photographs of Yellowstone…expose…an affectation of

analysis of the infiltration of the industrial into previously

manner we would prefer not to find” in the work of notable

pristine landscapes suggests the early tension between

nineteenth-century painter Thomas Moran, just as other

national economic progress and the ideologies that elevated

photographers “expose the coloristic and painterly

America’s Western wilderness to the height of religious

stylizations of [Albert] Bierstadt at Yosemite.” Photography

myth. The painters oscillate between depicting undeveloped

acts, according to Novak, primarily as evidence that reveals

nature as necessarily doomed to disappear in the name of

the truth behind the limitations of human perception.

progress and lamenting the industrial destruction of the

Additionally, since “we would prefer not” to see the veil of

natural landscape. This reveals a lack of consensus both

artistic license overlain on landscapes, in Novak’s

upon what constitutes a symbiotic human relationship with

formulation, art should primarily attempt to pursue truth, and

the environment and how Americans might be religiously

cut through erroneous interpretations to reality itself.

or ideologically bound to the landscape. On the one hand,

the patrons of progress contend that nature is a thing to be

Another variation on this theme comes in “The Kiss

of Enterprise” (1991), by art historian Nancy Anderson. She

improved at the hands of man, while others yearn for silence

similarly criticizes nineteenth century landscape painting of

and preservation. Yet Novak insists that the painters more

the American West for its “constructed artifice…that offered

concerned with untouched nature were “ignored in favor of

assurance that the West could endure as both iconic symbol

the more active ‘public’ paintings of the Hudson River men,

and economic resource.” In other words, landscape

[in] which…. the noise of civilization could also enter, and

painting existed primarily to create and sustain an image of a

the sound of the axe followed.” Therefore, in the course of

harmonious balance between human industry and the beauty

American landscape painting in the 1800s, the landscape as


14 3

a spiritual resource struggles against conceptions of the landscape as material commodity. Novak’s wording suggests that the commodified landscape may have received more attention, and to a certain extent superseded the pure or virgin wilderness, yet at the same time, even those painters who trumpeted the arrival of the civilizing forces of humankind did not completely abandon earlier romantic conventions. Such a paradox persists in the West, a region still valued for its undeveloped national parks as well as for its industrial resources.

The shift in landscape painting to images acceptant of human activity coincided both

with the settlement of the West and the rise of photography, a medium which, by the nature of its recording apparatus, often necessarily included evidence of human activity. Photography might thereby take some credit for forcing painters to represent the industrialization of the landscape. Even so, the human alterations these paintings incorporate are not unambiguously construed as positive or negative. The more salient cultural currents of the nineteenth century might interpret such alterations, both in photography and in painting, as positive evidence of civilized progress, while at the same time lamenting the destruction inherent in industry. Anderson’s concession that photography could be equally manipulated in the hands of explorers and developers undermines photography’s aspirations to representations of an objective truth.

François Brunet, in an analysis of nineteenth century landscape photography in the

West, “‘With the Compliments of F.V. Hayden, Geologist of the United States’: Photographic Policies of American Exploration” (2007), delves into the nature of photographic truth in the West by discussing the underlying goals of early survey photographers in the region. He argues that one of the most important factors driving the subject matter and style of these

The shift in landscape painting to images acceptant of human activity coincided both with the settlement of the West and the rise of photography, a medium which, by the nature of its recording apparatus, often necessarily included evidence of human activity. photographers was the fact that their employers, the explorers traversing the region following the Civil War, wanted to use the photographs to win appropriations and government appointments. Brunet claims that in the process, these “‘survey photographers’…created the classic face of the ‘wonders of the West’ and did the same for the West’s first inhabitants, whom they turned into visual myths.” In Brunet’s mind, then, photography in the West from its very inception was not a medium of the truth, but a transformative process that took the raw material of the landscape, and through the fact of recording and distributing its image, created a mythological visual space more concerned with swaying public opinion than depicting the realities of the region. Brunet also discusses how stereoscopes first spread images of Yosemite Valley to the east coast and to Europe, and how other photographers popularized Mesa Verde

14 4


and Yellowstone, contributing to their establishment as

1975, of the vista between two houses in the desert and a

national parks. It is important to note the extent to which

man dressed as a modern day cowboy. When Wessel stops

these famous landscapes were initially mediated by

at the side of the highway whose structure guides him on

photographic representation, the vast majority of

to the next scenic overlook, and records instead what the

Americans interacting with them first as photographic

infrastructure omits, he makes an overt statement about that

images, not through direct immersion. The West as a region

infrastructure and its conceptual frameworks. His images

was thus perfectly suited to becoming a landscape inflected

begin to explore a tension in the West between transience

in the public mind by visual conventions, explored by

and settlement, the pull of the road and a search for home

Americans just as photography became portable, and settled

in the region. The material reality of the landscape often

by hopeful immigrants just as the nation struggled to come

contradicts the popular dreams of its economic opportunities

to terms with the massive disjunctures in ideology caused by

and the scope of its size. Wessel’s photographs speak to how

the Civil War. Therefore, the West became a social

these imposed conceptual frameworks stand between the

commodity that allowed “the entire nation” to travel “West

viewer and the landscape, exposing disjunctures between the

in fact or in thought to carve out its dream of a bright and

mythology of the region and the facts of human existence in

prosperous future. This dream of the West served as an outlet

the West.

for the nation’s rifts and fractures.” Photography’s role in

establishing this dream should not be underestimated.

Robert Adams, writes in 1994 extensively on the subject

Indeed, without the advent of the massive body of images

of the transformation of Western space and photographic

produced directly following the Civil War, tales of the West’s

representations thereof in his essay “In the Nineteenth-

transcendent natural beauty would have seemed much less

century West.” Adams takes a significantly pessimistic view

credulous. But the visual images circulated created the mass

of human interaction with the West and laments its deterio-

perception that the West was a land of immense spaces and

ration in the latter part of the twentieth century. Speaking

immense opportunities.

of photographs that recall the Western landscape before its

transformation by the engines of industry and commerce, he

Anderson formulates this phenomenon when she

A contemporary of Wessel’s, the photographer

describes how a nineteenth century photograph of a painter

states, “We try hard not to be sentimental, not to feel more

sketching a landscape “documents the first step in the pro-

emotion for a subject than it deserves…. If the open America

cess whereby the raw material, the western landscape, was

we loved is gone, then its recollection and the grief that it

transformed into both a work of art that conveyed cultural

inspires may be useless.” According to Adams, the photo-

messages and a commodity exchanged in a commercial

graphs of the latter 1800s captured an entirely different

market.” This casting of sight as consumption sees its

conception of the space of the Western American landscape

outgrowth in Alexander Wilson’s articulation of American

than that which dominates our culture today. He likewise

tourism, in which roads and cars encourage the visual con-

contends that the landscapes of those early images have dis-

sumption of certain landscapes, and the absolute ignorance

appeared, both in concept and in fact. Significantly, Adams

of others. However, it is important to discuss the extent to

does not criticize the conventions of the survey photog-

which the tourist mentality as described by Wilson

raphers, but instead lauds their ability to depict the depth

permeates interactions with the Western landscape. Certainly,

and openness of Western spaces and what he perceives as

the traveler on vacation or simply trying to get from one

pre-industrial silence. However, Peterson notes how photo-

place to another has little interest in the flat plains, steppe,

graphic depictions of space become problematic when trying

and deserts that dominate much of the terrain, concerned

to establish the truth of a region: “Armed with documentary

instead with the ultimate destination. However, people also

authenticity, travel films are marketed as actuality, and

inhabit these regions, as Wessel’s lens attests to in some of

national myth becomes naturalized as truth.” The

his images, such as his photograph New Mexico, 1969, of

photographs Adams refers to were likewise marketed to an

a home set in the midst of a vast white plain, or Nevada,

American public in order to encourage them to come west


14 5

and settle, or to a government audience in hopes of receiv-

shows through in Wessel’s treatment of the landscape as

ing monetary rewards. They were not captured with naïve

an essentially blank slate against which to pose the human

innocence or purely documentary aims. Even the openness

words on the sign. The sign thus expresses most readily a

or emptiness Adams identifies tacitly suggests the absence of

desire to alter or revise the landscape, and the aesthetic of the

a Native American presence. Adams appears to want a West

photograph comments upon the sign’s ironic textual

completely absent of human activity, better explored by vir-

positioning against the landscape. This is not to say

tue of a few photographers, and experienced by picturesque

Wessel passes an explicit judgment on either the sign or the

images rather than direct immersion.

landscape at hand. As Sandra S. Phillips writes regarding

A quote with particular implications for the work of

Wessel’s photographic philosophy in “The Work of Henry

Wessel comes in Adams’ contrast between a photographer of

Wessel,” “Wessel understood that the challenge in photog-

the nineteenth century and the photographer of today:

raphy was in seeing and choosing, in pointing, or pointing

[I]f we consider the difference between William Henry Jackson packing in his cameras by mule, and the person stepping for a moment from his car to take a picture with an Instamatic, it becomes clear how some of our space has vanished; if the time it takes to cross space is a way by which we define it, then to arrive at a view of space ‘in no time’ is to have denied its reality (there are in fact few good snapshots of space).

out, not imposing his personality or an imposed style upon a subject, not in illustrating a subject or idea.” Taking this claim as a groundwork for interpretation, Wessel’s intent in this image appears ambiguous. Although the sign sits in the foreground and forms the central focus, it is quite small within the frame, dwarfed by the sheer flatness of the plain. At the same time there is no necessary interest on Wessel’s part in painting human endeavors in the West as hubristic or

This observation is an indictment of sorts of the highway

fallible. However, Phillips’ reading of Wessel’s work misses

tourist who speeds through the West on the way to some

the more subtle shadings of his art. Although his style does

more scenic destination, and ignores the vast majority of the

not provide easy or overt interpretations, his photographs

landscape as an essentially blank non-space that he or she

comment upon the nature of human interactions with land-

must cross as quickly as possible. This contributes to a

scapes. He points out that Americans have indeed changed

conceptual shrinking of the space of the West, most of it

Western landscapes, and in so altering the circumstances of

relegated to that which is passed through rather than that

interaction have transformed the ways we can conceptual-

which is inhabited. Adams is thereby caught between

ize nature or the wilderness. The major issues Wessel forces

wanting the photographer to inhabit space, but desiring that

his viewers to contend with are the physical effects of the

the West itself remain uninhabited, and thereby unaltered. He

interstate upon the landscape, the ways Americans inhabit

implicitly, if unintentionally, suggests that a person staring at

the spaces of the West both as tourists and as settlers, and

a photograph taken in the 1800s will have a more thorough

less explicitly, but no less importantly, the impact of the

and accurate understanding of the West than a tourist who

portable camera on popular impressions of the American

drives through the region. What seems more accurate is that


the open West is indeed gone, and in fact, never truly existed,

having been populated by humans long before European

an issue of Aperture devoted to the snapshot. Writers and

settlers armed with cameras appeared to capture the region

contributors to the journal struggle with the fact that any

within the photographic frame. To ignore human artifacts

person with a camera can make a picture, thereby calling

and alterations is just as limited a perspective as the

into question what exactly makes photography an art, and

inattentive tourist who is entirely unable to contemplate how

if a distinction can be made between a snapshot and an art

human and industrial processes affect both the landscape

photograph. The snapshot certainly produces a new wrinkle

itself and the way she or he thinks about it.

in the history of photography, and some writers see it as the

savior of photographic truth. The photographer Tod

Looking again at “Ice” with this in mind, a certain

amount of Robert Adams’ definition of the snapshot aesthetic

14 6


In 1974, Wessel provided a series of images for

Papageorge, by contrast, claims that snapshots are a

demeaned art form when compared to professional

contracted photographers to make images predominantly

photography, and as a folk-art phenomenon have had little

focused upon topography and geology of scientific and

influence on the work of professional photographers. Another

economic interest, or archeological sites of historical and

photographer, Paul Strand, meanwhile busies himself with

cultural importance. Conversely, in the hands of an amateur,

a technical definition of the snapshot as a photograph that

the camera can be pointed at anything, as the goal is neither

seizes an instant out of time. However, the mere fact that

to win fame or fortune, but merely to capture the world the

Wessel contributes some of his professional work to the

as photographer sees it. Kouwenhoven additionally contends,

issue, without commentary or titles, forces us to question

“the camera lens is, after all, indiscriminate,” linking the

what exactly a snapshot is, and its ideological or conceptual

untrained eye of the amateur to the mechanical eye of the

components. That is, how exactly does a snapshot relate to

camera itself. Because the photographer cannot control the

the aims of a professional photograph, and what is the impact

reality of a photographed scene, only the frame around it,

of vernacular photography upon major practitioners of the

snapshot images contain “things not even their makers had

medium? And most significant for this analysis, how does

noticed or been interested in.” As snapshots are made with

the popular American practice of snapshot photography and

less forethought than professional photography, they are

the attendant creation of personal imagery of landscapes

more likely to include the random information and detritus

reinforce and/or transform the cultural role of the West and

of a scene than a professional photograph. If uninflected by

its various spaces?

convention or commercial interest, the amateur thereby ap-

pears to give new credence to the argument that photography

Writing for the same issue of Aperture in 1974, pho-

tography historian John Kouwenhoven provides the clearest

is an inherently truthful medium.

discussion of the rise and influence of snapshots, and also

Photography historian and curator John Szarkowski presents perhaps the pithi-

... a quick snapshot must portray the world with greater accuracy than a studied and laborious painting, and as a medium is well suited to interrogate human perception.

est statement on the matter of photographic truth in The Photographer’s Eye (1966) when he elucidates, “Paintings were made—constructed from a storehouse of traditional schemes and skills and attitudes—but photographs,

alludes to his belief in the truthful nature of the medium in

as the man on the street put it, were taken.” The photograph

the hands of an amateur. He describes a snapshot as a picture

thus apprehends reality, just as it is happening, seizing an

“taken quickly with a minimum of deliberate posing…and

instant of truth from the stream of time. It therefore seems

with a minimum of deliberate selectivity on the part of the

obvious that a quick snapshot must portray the world with

photographer.” This statement aligns the snapshot with the

greater accuracy than a studied and laborious painting, and

provenance of vernacular photography, images taken by non-

as a medium is well suited to interrogate human perception.

professionals of whatever strikes them as worth recording.

Yet Szarkowski also points out, “The photographer edits the

Professional photography, by contrast, such as that under-

meanings and patterns of the world through an imaginary

taken by the survey photographers of the American West,

frame.” The fraught relationship between the indiscriminant

was heavily inflected by the personal and political goals of

lens and the manipulations of the photographer strikes at

the explorers leading the expeditions, and the photographs

the core difference between the snapshooter and the profes-

they circulated on the east coast and in the halls of Congress

sional. If the snapshooter does not adhere to an ideology or

were largely propagandistic tools used to win appropriations

convention, the snapshots produced might seem inherently

and appointments. Therefore, explorers encouraged their

closer to an idea of an objective reality in which objects exist


14 7

independent of subjective human action. Whereas a professional photographer may be heavily influenced by formal pictorial conventions, and thus arrange objects within the viewfinder of the lens to reflect accepted compositions, the amateur unaware of such conventions simply takes a picture of what exists in space. This is a somewhat problematic formulation however, when considering the cultural role of popular snapshot photography in America.

Kouwenhoven avoids expressing sentiments about the truthful nature of cameras and

snapshots with Szarkowski’s vehemence, and focuses instead upon how exactly photographs influence human perception, especially in a popular context. He puts forth: By simply isolating a group of forms and textures within the arbitrary rectangular frame provided by the edges of its glass plate or film, a snapshot forces us to see, and thereby teaches us to see, differently than we could have seen through our own unaided eyes, and also differently than people had been taught to see by pre-photographic pictorial conventions. Kouwenhoven’s statement does not claim, as Szarkowski implies, that photographs reveal the truth. Rather, he argues that photographs, and snapshots in particular, show aspects of the world that paintings largely missed or ignored. However, while photography may not apprehend the truth, it begins to explore the nature of perception by forming a visual contrast with painting and the human eye. Kouwenhoven positions both painting and photography as spatial frameworks that present reality in a manner that the naked human eye cannot apprehend. The

... while photography may not apprehend the truth, it begins to explore the nature of perception by forming a visual contrast with painting and the human eye. snapshot is more influential in this regard, Kouwenhoven argues, because artistic training and conventions affect amateur photographers less. At the same time, he proposes, “We tend to see only what the pictorial conventions of our time are calculated to show us. From them we learn what is worth looking for and looking at.” Yet the amateur snapshooters Kouwenhoven credits with bringing about a massive revolution in seeing must have been influenced by the pictorial conventions of their time, and the photograph itself is surely the greatest shaper of pictorial conventions because of its easy reproduction and dissemination. At the same time, an important facet of amateur snapshot photography that Kouwenhoven never fully develops is the fact that these pictures are taken without any explicit intention to publish or disseminate them. They are rather personal mementoes, compiled and collected in private albums. This makes it somewhat more difficult to establish the overall impact of snapshot photography, as only a fraction of the images is available to the critical eye.

In “From Infinity to Zero,” Geoffrey Batchen differs from Kouwenhoven’s formulation

of the completely untrained amateur. He instead suggests that these photographers are “coached by Kodak advertisements” and a social “network of expectations and obligations” to “mimic a 14 8


set of gestures and poses thought proper for such pictures.”

photographs where the road actually extends to the horizon,

If we accept Batchen’s suggestion that photographs are not

orienting his lens instead to the detritus and artifacts just off

merely a visual tradition, but also constrained by social

the shoulder, each small subject drawing the eye from the

structures, their cultural role becomes much more complex.

highway’s inexorable progress. Another interesting image of

Batchen’s formulation that “snapshots show the struggles of

Wessel’s is compositionally something of a visual analogue

particular individuals to conform to the social expectations,

to “Ice.” The photograph, Untitled, 1968, depicts a lone

and visual tropes, of their sex and class…. snapshots are odes

telephone pole planted in a scrubby landscape. A small skiff

to conformist individualism” has a peculiar analogue in the

of cloud hovers above the post, the flat plain behind resolves

context of the West. Considering Robert Adams suggestion

into low, darker hills, and at the horizon, triangular mountain

that many post-Civil War settlers of the West interpreted the

peaks. Like “Ice,” the human-made artifact occupies the

space as the opportunity to enjoy “freedom from responsibil-

center of the frame and appears small against the backdrop

ity…. leaving people, whatever their needs, behind,” and

of the overall landscape, but the image reveals a greater

that Americans are “everlastingly after a new start out in the

amount of detail in the natural features. Trees stand out in

open, by ourselves,” it is possible to see the West as a region

the distance, the scrub brush makes a fine stippling over the

in which American individuals all pursue the same kinds of

rolling hills, and the hazy mountain slopes give a sense of

freedoms, but in self-imposed isolation. This kind of freedom

great distance. The photograph captures the gradation of

translates into carving out a personal space in which to enact

the sky: bright white at the horizon and darker at the apex.

a personal destiny, but simultaneously accepting a social

The landscape itself seems more interesting and worthy of

rootlessness that will allow for endless reinventions. The

consideration, but Wessel’s composition divides the ground

paradoxical relationship between wanting to forge a home, a

in half with a striking diagonal line, the road sweeping from

place to control, and the ability to deny lasting connections

the bottom right of the frame and drawing the eye to the left

with home and other people might translate into the respec-

where stands another telephone pole, almost omitted by the

tive mentalities of the settler and the transient. The settler

edge of the picture. The framing suggests the continuation of

aspires to the seeming permanence and stability of the land-

the phone poles down the lane, past this landscape the artist

scape, whereas the transient is ready to pull up stakes at any

has briefly stopped to consider, implying the persistent pull

given moment to pursue the next dream of wealth and free-

of the road. The image has a fleeting quality, accentuated by

dom. These are not explicitly defined or mutually exclusive

the small, windswept cloud poised for a perfect instant above

mentalities, but the tension between yearning for home and

the post, in transit like the artist to another destination. The

desiring freedom from social responsibilities is a particularly

trailing tail of the cloud suggests that it is blowing in the op-

Western state of being. The paradox is somewhat mitigated

posite direction to the line of the road; the two travelers, the

by tourism, which implies a home from which to travel and

cloud and the photographer, are apprehended in the frame to

absorb the experiences of free movement throughout the

regard each other on their separate journeys.

landscape. Similarly to how Batchen frames the middle class

photographer trying to establish an individual identity while

scenery, does not fall unambiguously into either the category

conforming to the visual and social conventions of mass

of a tourist’s amazed gaze or a settler’s yearning for home,

society, so the individualist transient endlessly pursues the

but both ideas exist in his work. He is at once a distanced

social expectations the settler seems to embody in the West.

observer of these cultural phenomena, and yet he operates

The constant struggle between the individual who wants to

within the mythology of the American West. His photographs

strike out alone and the same individual’s abiding desire for

document the failures and ambiguities of the region in ad-

home is certainly a popular photographic topic.

dition to the undeniable pull the landscape exerts upon the

traveler. Wessel’s own words give an insight into his person-

Some of Wessel’s pictures of American highways

Wessel’s photography, particularly of roadside

most clearly express the tension between home and tran-

al conceptions of the West, and specifically, California. He

sience in the twentieth-century West. Wessel takes few

describes a kind of flight from the East that mirrors the urges


14 9

of much earlier settlers and immigrants searching for new

ness of the setting. The desire to escape the shortcomings


of a former life transforms the settler’s gaze into an almost

In 1969, to escape a gray upstate New York winter, I flew to Los Angeles. I walked out of the airport into one of those clear sharp-edged January days. The light has such a physical presence; it looked as though you could lean against it. The long shadows of axial sunlight were fracturing the landscape, lighting faces like an on-camera flash, every surface detailed and separate. As I stood there, I wanted to photograph everything in front of me.

blind longing for a brighter future. The sign is detached from the landscape in that it does not provide an accurate representation of its surroundings, yet it is expressive of a deep desire to make the scene into a place to call home.

With the closure of the frontier at the end of the

19th century, the material value of the landscape experiences a transformation. Dreams of mineral wealth lose their value to the average American as gold rushes dry up and the

For Wessel, the Eldorado quality of California comes not

land becomes more fenced and more owned. The value of

through mineral wealth or the freedom of unclaimed space,

the West becomes more esoteric, and reasons for relocating

but from the light’s transformative capacity, a golden light

permanently to the region conflate with tourism’s visual con-

that lets the photographer see the world with incredible

sumption. What Robert Adams identifies as photography’s

freshness and excitement. At the same time, Wessel’s words

representation of the space as limitless creates the assump-

betray an undeniable photographic bias. The California

tion that the actual openness of the landscape of the West is

light is not merely beautiful of its own right, but actually

synonymous with personal freedom. Wessel’s focus upon

resembles a photographic process. Wessel insinuates that the

the surface ephemera of human interactions with landscapes

landscape is naturally photogenic, or already exists in photo-

is emblematic of a twentieth-century cultural shift that sees

graphic form. Thus, the photographer simply has to capture

Americans become less concerned with temporal presence

the photographic material rather than compose an image

(as related to geologic time and spirituality in nature) than

from scratch. Wessel’s description of California suggests the

the image of things, and sight, rather than immersion, as the

degree to which the landscape is already mediated, both by

most important aspect of human experience.

previous photographic images and the expectations a traveler brings to bear upon the scenery of the region. Perhaps Phillips allows Wessel’s statement to influence her reading of his work too literally when she claims that Wessel’s photographs express the “physical, plastic materiality” of “California light...a light that transforms everything, that made even— perhaps especially—the most banal of subjects wonders to be marveled at.” Her conception of wonderment in Wessel’s imagery provides only a limited reading that aligns him more explicitly with a touristic perspective. She privileges the documentary technique in his images, noting that “the character of...materials is lovingly catalogued,” and that “there is no forlornness, no empathy, only amazement.” Yet these comments ignore the fact that Wessel himself is a transplant to the West, and amazement is inseparable from yearning in many of his images. For Wessel, the Western light and landscape offer an escape from the less poetic East, and he keenly records a similar urge expressed within the artifacts of previous settlers. Consider again “Ice,” and the desire that the landscape become a welcoming home despite the harsh-




Henry Wessel, Jr., Walapai, Arizona, 1971, in Henry Wessel, ed. Thomas Zander (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2007), 4. (Because Wessel’s titles include only the place and date of the photograph and often repeat, I will refer to this image as “Ice”) Sandra S. Phillips, “The Work of Henry Wessel,” in Henry Wessel, ed. Thomas Zander (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2007), 11. Alexander Wilson, “Introduction: The View from the Road,” in Discovered Country: Tourism and the American West,” ed. Scott Norris (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Stone Ladder Press, 1994), 8-9. Ibid., 8. Ibid., 8. Robert Smithson. “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape,” in Robert Smithson:

The Collected Writings, ed. Jack Flam (Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1996), 165-166.

People Photograph (New York: Aperture Founda tion, 1994), 133. Ibid., 134-135.

Jennifer Lynn Peterson, “The Nation’s First Playground: Travel Films and the American West, 1895-1920,” in Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, ed. Jeffrey Ruoff, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 80.

Peterson, “Travel Films and the American West,” 86.

Smithson, “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape,” 160.

Tod Papageorge, no title, Aperture 19.1: (1974): 24-27.

Peterson, “Travel Films and the American West,” 87. Ibid., 96. Barbara Novak. ““Landscape Permuted: From Painting to Photography,” in Photography in Print, ed. Vicki Goldberg (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), 171. Ibid., 172-173. Nancy K. Anderson, “The Kiss of Enterprise,” in The West as America, Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920, ed. William H. Truettner (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), 281. Ibid., 246. Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting 1825-1875 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 159. Ibid., 161. Ibid., 160. Ibid., 165. François Brunet, “‘With the Compliments of F.V. Hayden, Geologist of the United States’: Photographic Policies of American Exploration,” in Images of the West, ed. François Brunet and Bronwyn Griffith, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 15, 23. Ibid., 12. Brunet, “Photographic Policies of American Exploration,” 15, 20. Ibid., 11.

Adams, “In the Nineteenth-century West,” 136. Phillips, “The Work of Henry Wessel,” 9-10.

Paul Strand, no title, Aperture 19.1 (1974): 49. John A. Kouwenhoven, No Title, Aperture 19.1 (1974): 106. Anderson, “The Kiss of Enterprise,” 256. John A. Kouwenhoven, no title, Aperture 19.1 (1974): 107. Ibid., 107. John Szarkowski. The Photographer’s Eye (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966), 6. Ibid., 70. Kouwenhoven, no title, 107. Ibid., 107. Geoffrey Batchen, “From Infinity to Zero,” in Now is Then: Snapshots from the Maresca Collection, ed. Marvin Heiferman (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), 126. Ibid., 127. Adams, “In the Nineteenth-century West,” 142. Henry Wessel, Jr., Untitled, 1968, in Henry Wessel, ed. Thomas Zander (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2007), 5. Phillips, “The Work of Henry Wessel,” 10 (qtd from California and the West). Ibid., 12. Ibid., 10.

Anderson, “The Kiss of Enterprise,” 238-239. Henry Wessel, Jr., New Mexico, 1969, in Henry Wessel, ed. Thomas Zander (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2007), 22. Henry Wessel, Jr., Nevada, 1975, in Henry Wessel, ed. Thomas Zander (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2007), 116. Robert Adams, “In the Nineteenth-century West,” in Why



Transfixion 1 There is a muted sanctuary. My supposition holds: we are indurated circumstance.. Janice cuts wire to hold her begonia stalks, their weight a heavy whim. She says: “Wire and budding. (I kept you). A wolf you eat wild plums. Indigestible. distend it to stomach Appease in a degree the cravings of hunger.” Which circumstance together with rapidity of its currents becomes circumstance? A log becomes agatized. Your wire holds a piece: the crystal-bark between space of bones beneath air and light, first, then skin. 2 Think of landslide in all senses. Our natural defacement atop one another. This is mound. Mound. Reverse, so covering becomes lifting—



the weight resides where the bottom begins; from there, measure regresses to contours. (Not makers of presence but inclusions of nothing, just guidelines.) Look at it this way: on our path to the barn, a line is an accrual. I can point to the site where animals gave in: culvert, ravine, field, barn, pasture. I have no hesitation in saying: the agency of my feet, carried and restless to a round barn, round barrel of twin and tangled in barbed wire. As layers. Nest and womb. Mound; I am atop you. But my sister is crying, and if I and you are child, wear a poncho and watch from the deck. The white patch between your eyes is your name, Star. I am atop you. If the gunshot was magnetized to the point between your eyes, I would not have known. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; no longer a horse. Only our nerves tethered to a sky.



T H E A RT of Persian Classical Music BY


The history of the culturally rich, diverse, and fascinating Persian Empire provides a glimpse of mystical beauty that has been sadly lost in the modern world ...

From the beginning of the Achaemenid Empire in

tribes in the north. What remains of the mighty Persian

the sixth century B.C. to present day Iran under the strict rule

Empire can be found only in the present-day country of Iran.

of Shiite Islamic clerics, this beautiful and ancient culture

The classical music of the Persian culture reflects the deep

has experienced periods of intense wealth and great loss.

sadness of brutal invasions, the complex beauty of nature,

Despite the many invasions by Greeks, Turks, Mongols, and

and fusion with a higher power of existence. Persian

Arabics, the Persian people were able to retain their rich

classical music has evolved as a fluid expression of the social

cultural heritage. Unavoidably, lasting impressions from

and cultural values proudly embodied by the Persian people,

these invading cultures have left their mark in Persian

as demonstrated by the musical theory system, the role of

society. The modern Persian language is itself a product of

music in Persian culture, and the creation process of musical

the Islamic Arabic conquest of Persia in the seventh cen-


tury. It has adopted many Arabic alphabetical letters, words

and names. At its greatest pinnacle in the Sassanian empire

to date back to the very beginnings of the Persian Empire

(third to seventh centuries B.C.), Persia extended from Egypt

in sixth century B.C.; however, very little documentation of

eastward to the Indus River in present-day Pakistan and

this early art is available. Since Persian classical music is

from Syria into Central Asia. Persia was surrounded by the

improvised and traditionally learned by ear or rote, there was

Romans to the west, the Huns in the northeast, and violent

no need for musical notation. Music was essentially passed



The history of Persian classical music is believed

down through the centuries by way of the relationship

Rumi express the serious and intricate emotional character

between student and ‘master’ or teacher. The first evidence

of the Persian people. From the beginning of the Persian

of Persian music can be found in the writings of ancient

Empire, Persian classical music and Persian poetry formed

Greek historians which provide evidence for the musical

an organic relationship with one another, providing support-

interchange between Greek and Persian music during the

ing and purposeful expression to the complex topics of loss,

Graeco-Persian wars. From the following Sassanian period

beauty, nature, and love.

(226-642 AD), the first evidence of musicians, musical

activities, and instrumental descriptions are available. At

al systems called dastgah, meaning organizational system in

this time, Persian music and musicians such as the famous

Persian. In the past, the dastgah concept has been compared

virtuoso Barbod enjoyed an exalted status in the magnificent

to the Western mode and each dastgah has been character-

court palaces. Music at this time was mostly performed for

ized with a specific scale; however, the musical concept in

royalty and was primarily performed as an accompaniment to

Persian classical music is much more complex than a seven-

Persian poetry.

note scale with specific intervals between adjacent tones.

Each dastgah embodies its own special repertory of melodies

With the foundational establishment of Islam as the

national religion of Persia in the seventh century, a sig-

Persian classical music is organized into twelve ton-

called gusheh-ha (singular gusheh) which are all typically

nificant fusion of Arabic and Persian music took place, including instruments, musical terminology, and theoretical principles. As opposed to Persia’s former national religion of Zoroastrianism, Islam

modally independent from

By reducing the public practice of

one another. In order to

music, Islam transformed Persian music

of a dastgah together, the

into a metaphysical and mystical art that

is a melodic cadence that

raised it to the highest spiritual level.

unifies the dastgah as a

regards the arts and most

tie the various gusheh-ha forud is used. The forud concludes each gusheh and whole. There is also almost always an introductory

forms of musical performance as sinful. Music lost its social

section of a dastgah, in addition to the gusheh-ha, called the

approval and became an illegal public act except in the cases

daramad which “characterizes the dastgah to the listener and

of weddings and private gatherings. This sudden change

musician, contains one principal motif that occurs frequently

in the outlook of the musical arts caused drastic changes in

in performance and at various times at the endings of other

the development of Persian classical music. The musical

gushes, and emphasizes the tonal environment of the tonic.”

scene was forced to go underground in seclusion. Although

In essence, the daramad is the most representative portion of

the social status of musicians decreased, musicians were

a dastgah. The forud concluding each gusheh of a dastgah

still employed by wealthy, upper-class families to perform

shows the overall “dependence on the original mode intro-

music in the secrecy of their homes for private gatherings

duced in the daramad section of the dastgah.” The daramad

or parties. By reducing the public practice of music, Islam

and the gusheh-ha of a particular dastgah collectively form

transformed Persian music into a metaphysical and mysti-

the backbone of that dastgah tonal system. The radif of

cal art that raised it to the highest spiritual level. During the

Persian music is essentially Persian music in its entirety:

ensuing cruel Turk-Mongol conquest (13th to 15th centu-

the pieces that compose the repertoire of Persian classical

ries), the great amount of murder and destruction committed


against the Persian people provided the motivation for the

During the twentieth century, numerous theories

great Sufi and Dervish mystic orders which viewed music

have been proposed concerning the division of Persian inter-

as the most direct path to truth. The beautiful poetic verses

vals, specifically on the classification of the famous middle-

written by famous Sufi poets such as Mevlana Jalaluddin

eastern microtone. The sudden appeal for this explanation in



the twentieth century came as a result of Westernization and

process of the musician: improvisation. Although the impro-

the spread of European music around the world, including in

visatory technique rests on the spontaneous expression of a

Iran. After being exposed to Western classical music, many

skilled musician, there are specific decisions and guidelines

Persian musicians felt a need for mathematical classifica-

that a musician must choose before a performance. The first

tion of the microtone in order to ‘raise the credibility’ of

decision is deciding which dastgah to play from. The radif

Persian classical music. The significant debate over Persian

of Persian music is set to verses of poetry written by poets

intervals and a Persian scale demonstrates the social values

such as Rumi, Sa’adi, and Hafez. In fact, it is the meter of

of the Persian people. During the 20th century, when a

the poetry that gives rhythmic shape to most unmeasured

great deal of westernization and modernization took place

Persian musical works. Therefore, poetic significance plays

in Iran, there was an apparent social and cultural affinity to

a crucial role in determining which dastgah to perform.

make traditional Persian life synchronized with the exciting

The musician then must decide how many gusheh-ha of

developments of the Western countries. One of the theories

the chosen dastgah to perform and in what order they will

on Persian intervals, proposed by Ali Naqi Vaziri, makes use

be organized. Again, poetry may play an important role in

of measured quarter tones in defining a 24-quarter tone scale

this decision. Typically, the order of the gusheh-ha is based

which is essentially a further division of the western equidis-

upon a curve shape in range, beginning with the daramad in

tant chromatic 12-note scale. Another theory, proposed by

the lowest part of the dastgah’s range, gradually rising to a

Mehdi Barkesli, attempts to give a highly scientific explana-

high point, and then falling back down in range toward the

tion of the Persian scale using mathematical measurements

forud ending of the piece. In addition to these preliminary

of Pythagorean intervals. Although neither of these theories

decisions, the musician must also predetermine methods

accurately describes the Persian musical tradition, the impact

for the expansion and embellishment of the gusheh/dastgah

of Western concepts on the classification of Persian music

backbone. The fine degree of intricate embellishment and

is apparent. A third major, more recent, and more accurate

ornamentation in Persian classical music is a characteristic

theory has been developed by Hormoz Farhat. Mr. Farhat’s

found in all Persian arts including architecture, metal work,

theory, titled “The Theory of Flexible Intervals,” rests on the

rug-making, and calligraphy.

belief that any notion of scale or specific interval measure-

ment is completely irrelevant to Persian classical music. Mr.

tradition, the Persian classical musician is simultaneously

Farhat only goes as far as defining 5 types of intervals found

composer, performer, and creator. The fixed elements of

in Persian classical music: the semi-tone or minor 2nd, the

a gusheh that are present in all performances of a specific

small and large neutral tones (intervals larger than semi-tone

gusheh include “the location and configuration of the tetra-

but smaller than whole-tone), the whole-tone or major 2nd,

chord, the melodic function of each scale degree, the melodic

and the plus-tone (larger than whole-tone but smaller than

shape, and characteristic cadence formulae.” The elements

augmented-tone). Beyond these classifications, this theory

of a gusheh that vary according to time and musician con-

respects the uniqueness of each interval according to each

sist of “elaborations and extensions on the basic melodic

performer and performance. Of all three theories presented,

framework of the gusheh…repetition and varied repetition,

the theory of flexible intervals best captures the core inten-

ornamentation, and centonization, or the joining together of

tion of Persian classical music: allowing the innate creation

familiar motives to produce longer melodies.” As recently

process of the musician to encourage the inspiration of every

as the late twentieth century, selection of a dastgah and even

individual performance.

specific gusheh-ha for performance were based upon the

time and hour of the day. This practice was highly tied to

True Persian classical music is not the melody col-

Differing greatly from the Western classical music

lection of the dastgah tonal systems. The individual gusheh-

religious beliefs and Persian cultural values of peaceful co-

ha and characteristic melodic pieces that are learned by all

existence with the natural world. However, in recent years,

students of Persian music are never literally performed.

the musician has been free to choose any desired dastgah for

Instead, they serve as a basic framework for the true creation

performance, usually targeted for a specific radio or televi-



sion audience. Once these choices have been made ahead

applying Western harmonization to the Persian radif.

of time, the actual performance and ultimate creation of the

music takes place. The most powerful and desired aspect

is best demonstrated in teaching. The modern method of

of performance is when a musician is able to attain a state

learning a musical art is based upon the relationship between

of hal, the “intense state of the soul…the interior fire which

student and a master teacher. The student of Persian music

must animate the artist…the creativity gushes forth…the

studies to master his teacher’s radif until they are able to

very essence of the music manifests itself.” In the typical

improvise by interpreting its melodic sequences. In ancient

ensemble of Persian classical music consisting of an instru-

times however, each Persian musician developed their own

mentalist, a vocalist, and possibly a drummer, the singer is

version of the radif. Notation makes fast learning of the ra-

the designated leader of the ensemble and the instrumental-

dif possible. Many musicians from the ancient mystic orders

ists surrender some of their musical freedom to the singer.

in Persia believed that the mastering of the radif should take

years and that skill perfection for the highest level interpreta-

As previously stated, westernization has had a

The impact of notation on Persian classical music

tremendous impact on Iranian society, Iranian people, and

tion of the radif should be an ongoing experience throughout

ancient cultural values. The result of musical westernization

the person’s lifetime.

in Iran is best seen in the capital city of Tehran, the cultural center of the country. The Tehran Symphony’s full concert season of Western classical music, a classical ballet company, and Western opera performances are

Performance of Persian

Differing greatly from the Western

classical music has also been

classical music tradition, the Persian

ization and modernization.

classical musician is simultaneously

Persian classical music was

composer, performer, and creator.

several examples of this

greatly affected by westernBefore the 20th century, rarely performed for public entertainment due to Islamic disapprobation. Relaxed social conditions, increas-

drastic societal change. The establishment of Western musi-

ing state support for the arts, and westernization in the 20th

cal conservatories directed by French musical directors in

century have manifested in a growth of all musical activities

the 20th century expanded the knowledge of Persian musi-

in Iran. Persian classical music is now performed by both

cians in Western music theory, practice, and performance.

traditional instruments and western instruments such as the

Although music conservatories in Iran teach both Persian

violin and the piano. The use of these Western instruments

and Western classical music, Persian classical music has

has caused changes in musical style and instrumental tuning,

become a minority in the cultural scene. After being exposed

while placing increasing value on virtuosity of the performer.

to the harmonic organization, rhythmic control, and precise

Western performance aspects, such as the printing of concert

modal classifications within Western music, Persian musi-

programs and standardization of a 90-minute time length

cians in the beginning of the 20th century began to desire the

for a concert have become widely used in the performance

westernization of musical thought. A sudden preoccupation

of Persian classical music. Technology has allowed Per-

with the musical theory of Persian classical music caused

sian classical music to reach a more widespread audience;

the widespread use of Western notation in traditional Persian

however, it has also created new performance traditions and

music. In order to accomplish notation of the microtone,

permanent changes in musical program structure. Radio

the accidentals koron, signifying the flattening of a pitch by

has had the effects of shortening performances, imposing a

a microtone, and sori, signifying the raising of a pitch by a

certain degree of standardization on Persian classical music

microtone, were devised by the first Persian to seek a musi-

performances, and creating a ‘star system’ which enables

cal education in Europe, Ali Naqi Vaziri. Mr. Vaziri was also

certain performers to attain widespread popularity over other

one of the first musicians to notate Persian musical pieces by

performers not heard on the radio. Persian identity is deeply



embedded in the ancient tradition of Persian classical music.

As Persian cultural values and beliefs have evolved

over time, Persian classical music has simultaneously been transformed. Often associated with the deep, complex, and profound poetry of the great Persian poets, Persian music embodies the penultimate expression of the human soul. Due to the Islamic prohibition of music and arts in Iran, Persian classical music was raised to a mystical art, highly prized for its unification with a superior power of existence. The modernization and westernization of Iran have not only changed the structural components of Persian music in many ways, but have also exposed the art to the world. There is currently more Western interest in Persian classical music than ever before. Perhaps as people listen to this mysteriously beautiful Persian art, they attain some type of hal state where the “world becomes transfigured, unveiling its marvelous images, and across an ineffable transparency…offers itself to the direct comprehension of every being capable of sensing.”


Hormoz Farhat, The Dastgāh Concept in Persian Music

(Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press,

1990), 7–18, 20–21.

Ella Zonis, Classical Persian Music (Cambridge, MA:

Harvard University Press, 1973), 2–3, 21, 99, 104-

105, 110–113, 127–129,193,

Loyd Clifton Miller, Music and Song in Persia: The Art of

Āvāz (Salt Lake City, UT: The University of Utah

Press, 1999), 6. Ibid, 13–17. 21-22.

Bruno Nettl, Radif of Persian Music (Champaign, IL:

Elephant & Cat, 1992), 19. Farhat, op. cit., 25. Ibid,


Bruno Nettl, “Persian Classical Music in Tehran: The

Processes of Change,” in Eight Urban Musical

Cultures (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press,

1978), 157–167.






tion tended to increase with increased numbers of sub-adults in a group. Thus, female participation may

Decades of research on loud call bouts have

increase in attempt to protect offspring.

yielded results about the function and meaning of

Other researchers have focused on the actual

loud calls in Alouatta palliata. A study conducted by

duration and frequency of loud call bouts and their

Rogerio Grassetto Teixeira Da Cunha and Professor

meanings. Ranka Sekulic and David Chivers (1986)

Richard Byrne (2006) suggested that the calls served

noted differences in call frequency between differ-

to enforce territoriality among the howler monkeys.

ent species of howler which featured different social

Further research has suggested that the calls may

organizaton. Alouatta seniculus, the red howler, is a

have either alternative or extra functions. Researchers

species whose group organization is typically

Pedro Americo D. Dias, Ernesto Luna, and Domingo

characterized by one dominant male. By contrast,

Espinosa (2008) posited that loud calls worked like

Alouatta palliata, (black manteled howler monkey,)

greeting ceremonies between groups, possibly diffus-

groups can feature several males competing for domi-

ing tension. J.M. Whitehead (1989) proposed that the

nant status. They found that the competing-males

roaring that constituted loud calls served to attract po-

organization correlated to call frequency in that black

tential mates. Work by Anthropologist Dawn Kitchen

mantled howlers tended not to howl in order to assess

analyzing both male and female participation in loud

the fighting ability of males within their own groups,

calls yielded additional possibilities. She showed that

as opposed to neighbor groups. Therefore, their over-

the calls may be used to assess the fighting ability of

all call rates were lower.

another group, as the number of male participants and

intensity of the call tended to increase with increased

Barro Colorado Island noted a high duration of long

numbers of howlers in a neighboring group (2004).

calls and relatively high population density. Leslie

Ranka Sekulic (1982) and A.D. Chiarello (1995) went

Cornick and Hal Markowitz (2002) compared this

further by suggesting that this assessment of fighting

study with their own in Lamanai, Belize, finding a

ability is a strategy used to avoid physical confronta-

strong correlation between density and call duration.

tion, which is potentially much more energetically

Both population density and call duration were nearly

costly. Kitchen then analyzed females, whose contri-

double at Barro Colorado Island compared to

bution to loud calls can be heard as initiation,


participation, termination, or some combination of

the three (2006). She found that female contribu-

various groups of Alouatta palliata located in two

Previous work by D.J. Chivers (1969) at

The following study was conducted on


1 59

sites in Costa Rica. One was the El Zota Biological Field


Station, situated at 10N 33.437’ latitude, -83W 44.177’ longitude, in the Limón region. The other was the coastal

town of Puerto Viejo, southeast of El Zota on the Caribbean

and duration of loud call bouts. Thus, frequency was record-

side, 9N 39’ latitude, -82W 46’ longitude. The purpose of the

ed using the all occurrence technique. In addition to all oc-

study was to test the effects of various stimuli on loud call

currences, each call bout’s duration was recorded. Frequency

bouts and compare the results between the two different sites

and duration were recorded in 10-minute sampling blocks.

that were distinct in composition. El Zota Biological Field

The following additional information was recorded: start and

Station is approximately 1,000 hectares of rain forest isolated

stop times of call bouts, call types, description of caller(s),

from the nearest town by a considerable drive and subject

environmental conditions, group composition, and stimuli. If

to virtually no anthropogenic activity. El Zota constitutes a

the call bout was initiated as a response to a call bout coming

fragmented forest, but it is a larger fragment than that which

from a neighboring group, that group’s start time was also

exists at Puerto Viejo. At Puerto Viejo, the extant forest butts

noted Each individual group’s bouts were recorded such that

up against the beach of the Caribbean Sea, subjecting the

as many functional groups of howlers as possible could be

inhabitants of the forest to high anthropogenic activity. Being

noted. There are two main types of call behavior observed in

a hotspot for tourism, the howlers in that area are subject not

Alouatta palliata: the loud roar which makes up the loud call

only to any and all human activity coming from the beach,

and the softer bark, which can occur before, after, or during

but also that which comes from tourists and non-tourists

call bouts. Any duration of call was considered a call bout. If

alike walking along roads in the area. However, the most

there was no calling behavior 60 seconds after the last call,

important anthropogenic stimulus comes from traffic; loud

the bout was recorded as ended when the last roar or bark

cars, motorcycles, and vans of all kinds traverse paved roads

was heard. The description of the caller was also noted.

that cut through the howler territories.

Only males can produce the loud roars, but often several

males in a group would call, and this was noted. Also, female

All raw data for loud call bouts and stimuli

The focus of the study was recording the frequency

at Puerto Viejo was obtained from a secondary source,

participation, which is a softer whimper-like sound, was

Rachel Kilian. The observation time at El Zota was 52.97

recorded whether it initiated, happened during, or terminated

hours, whereas for Puerto Viejo it was 39 hours. The dates of

the bout. Environmental conditions were noted and some-

the study for El Zota were July 17-18, and 23-28, 2009. For

times affected data collection, such as extreme bouts of rain

Puerto Viejo they were June 6-10, 14, and 16.

during which data collection was abandoned. However,

as was observed, weather, or in this case rain, served as an

Based on previous work contemplating relationships

between call frequency, duration, and function, this study

important stimulus to call bouts. Group composition included

sets as its main hypothesis the position that the frequencies

all animals that were in view: the number of males, females,

and durations of loud call bouts will vary due to differences

and sub-adults were recorded.

in population density and level of anthropogenic activity

between sites. Two predictions are made about call frequency

recordings at the beginning of each call bout. Stimuli were

and duration. First, that frequency and duration will increase

varied and the categories included: anthropogenic activity,

in Puerto Viejo due to higher anthropogenic activity. Second,

environmental conditions, dawn, neighbor group, neighbor

that frequency and duration will increase in Puerto Viejo due

group/dawn, other, and unknown. Of note here is the neigh-

to higher population density. The overarching purpose is to

bor group/dawn category combination: With dawn being the

test the effects of various stimuli on loud call bout frequency

most active time for the howlers, it was often impossible to

and duration. These predictions will be assessed individu-

distinguish between stimuli as calls among various groups

ally by noting the effects of the various, independent stimuli

were occurring simultaneously.

themselves on the calling behavior.

Finally, stimuli were noted along with all other

In accordance with the activity patterns of the howl-

ers, observation periods were broken up into three distinct

16 0


blocks. The first period was from 5:00 am to 8:00 am, the

Similarly, the data showed a statistically significant differ-

second from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and the last from 2:00 pm

ence between the two sites during the morning period, with

to 5:00 pm. Data was pooled at the end of each workday.

calling taking up nearly 14 % of observation time at El Zota

Aggregations of both duration time and observation time

and only 3 % at Puerto Viejo. The p value for the comparison

were calculated. Raw data from Puerto Viejo was analyzed

between the sites was .0246.

after its completion. The interobserver reliability for the study conducted at El Zota was 99%, measuring accuracy


with regard to both frequency (all occurrences) and duration. R E S U LT S


Figure 3

The relative frequency of calls per hour was greater

at El Zota for the morning and afternoon, and lesser for the mid-morning. None of these values were statistically significant, with p values of .1295, .6604, and .5585, respectively. Stimuli

Figure 1

Average duration was found to be greater at El

Zota during all three recording periods. It was statistically significant during the morning, the most active time period. T-tests comparing the average durations between the different periods yielded p values of .0309, .0971, and .5599 for the morning, mid-morning, and afternoon, respectively. This correlated with the total percent of observation time that the howlers spent calling, summarized in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 4



The comparison of stimuli for the mid-morning

time for howlers.

yielded results that were not significant. No meaningful data

One way to account for these results is to acknowl-

was obtained, other than the fact that traffic served as a major

edge the limits of the study. The study was carried out over

stimulus for calls at Puerto Viejo, which could be verified by

a very short period of time. For a stronger study, many more

the other periods. Of significant result with comparisons of

days of observation would be needed, as well as a larger

stimuli are the following: while traffic was a major stimulus

sample size, possibly incorporating other sites. Furthermore,

for calls in both the morning and afternoon at Puerto Viejo,

the days of observation for El Zota and Puerto Viejo were

dawn had much larger influence at El Zota, and neighbor

different and could not be controlled for. Overall, further

group stimuli were larger contributors to calling at El Zota in

studies of the frequency and duration of loud call bouts will

both the morning and the afternoon.

elucidate the intricacies of the relationships between calls, stimuli, and population density.


skewed the El Zota data involved a deforestation event that

The results gathered negated both the predictions of

this study. The duration of call bouts was higher for each of the three periods of observation at El Zota, and this difference in duration between the two sites was statistically significant for the morning, the most active part of day. This was the opposite of what was expected, based upon previous research supporting the idea that higher population density increased call duration. Likewise, the percentage of time spent calling was higher during each period at El Zota, and statistically significant during the morning. The relative frequency of calls was greater at El Zota for both the morning and the afternoon. Although no differences between the sites for frequency were statistically significant, the fact that the overall frequencies were higher at El Zota was surprising.

Taking into account earlier studies, it would seem

that higher population densities manifesting themselves in closer proximities to neighbor groups and higher numbers of neighbor groups would increase calling and duration in a group in order to enforce territoriality, assess fighting ability, and protect sub-adults. Higher population density increases competition and therefore stress, so it would be advantageous to call in order to carry out all of the abovementioned functions. It would also seem that higher anthropogenic activity, especially that of traffic, which can be extremely loud and irritating to the howlers and could be seen as a threat or predator within their territory, would cause increased call rates and durations. Thus, it is doubly surprising that the most significant results which bucked the predictions proposed happened during the morning, the most active 16 2

Another possible explanation that could have


occurred sometime between July 19 and July 22, 2009. It happened off of the El Zota property on a neighboring private lot. This might have forced at least one howler group and possibly two or more onto the El Zota property, wreaking havoc on the established territories of the approximately 8 groups that were already established. Before this event, only two days of data collection had been completed at El Zota; the bulk was done after the event. This event would have caused the howlers a reasonable amount of stress in trying to incorporate the newcomers into their ranges as easily as possible. The strongest evidence supporting this is Gmelina arborea that was found alongside the road. Although not a species of tree that the howlers utilize, these trees could indicate that other species of trees integral to A. palliataâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s habitat were also cleared and simply located elsewhere. Also, although there was no way to measure this quantitatively, howler calls after the 22nd tended to take on a stressed, whimper-like characteristic. During several mornings, calling occurred nonstop.

Alternatively, the results might suggest that the

howlers at Puerto Viejo are desensitized due to the long history of overstimulation. This might account for the lower call frequency and duration despite higher density, which is incongruent with the higher call frequency/duration and higher density at Barro Colorado Island. This could potentially be confirmed by the fact that the howlers at El Zota, while reasonably habituated, are much less habituated than those at Puerto Viejo and other areas, as the anthropogenic activity at El Zota has remained low and the overall stability of the fragment has remained intact.

Previous work on howler calling behavior has emphasized function, meaning, frequency, duration, or some combination thereof. This study attempted to look at the relationships between frequency, duration, and stimuli. It compared two sites different in composition and stimuli, predicting that both frequency and duration would increase with higher population density and higher anthropogenic activity. The results did not support either prediction, with the data for duration being especially surprising. These results could have come about because of inadequate sample size and

companion behavior. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131: 73-83.

Sekulic, R (1982). The function of howling in red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). Behaviour 81, 38-54. Sekulic, Ranka and David Chivers (1986). The significance of call duration in howler monkeys. International Journal of Primatology 7(2), 183-190. Whitehead, J. M. (1989). The effect of the location of a simulated intruder on responses to long-distance vocalizations of mantled howling monkeys (Alouat ta palliata palliata). Beaviour 108, 73-103.

study time, deforestation, or as the result of desensitization of the howlers. This kind of research could lead to new conservation studies looking at the effects of deforestation on howlers, or, alternatively, the long term effects of anthropogenic activity on howlers and how it affects their call behavior on a site-wide basis. REFERENCES

Chiarello, A. D. (1995). Role of loud calls in brown howlers, Alouatta fusca. American Journal of Primatology 36, 255-257. Chivers, D. J. (1969). On the daily behavior and spacing of howling monkey groups. Folia Primatologica 10, 48-102. Cornick, Leslie, and Hal Markowitz (2002). Diurnal vocal patterns of the black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) at Lamanai, Belize. Journal of Mammology 83(1): 159-166. Da Cunha, Rogerio Grassetto Teixeira and Richard Byrne (2006). Roars of black howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata): evidence for a function in inter-group spacing. Behaviour 143, 1169-1199 Dias, Pedro Americo D., Ernesto Luna, and Domingo Espinosa (2008). The functions of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;greeting cer emonyâ&#x20AC;? among male mantled howlers (Alouatta palliata) on Agaltepec Island, Mexico. American Journal of Primatology 70: 621-628. Kitchen, Dawn (2004). Alpha male black howler monkey responses to loud calls: effect of numeric odds, male companion behaviour and reproductive investment. Animal Behaviour 67, 125-139. Kitchen, Dawn (2006). Experimental test of female black howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) responses to loud calls from potentially infanticidal males: Effects of numeric odds, vulnerable offspring, and CU H ONORS J OU RNAL

16 3


No one would want to bear the responsibil-

is selected for implantation into the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uterus

ity of transmitting a life-threatening genetic disorder

while the others are restrained from maturing into a

to their child. In the case of Duchenne Muscular

developed human being (2). This procedure allows

Dystrophy (DMD), the allele causing disease onset is

couples to screen multiple embryos for the mutant

sex-linked on the X chromosome, meaning that either

genes and implant the embryo that is free of them.

parent could pass the allele to the child through his

or her X chromosome (1). X linked recessive genetic

disorders such as DMD will therefore affect male

purposes such as merely determining the sex of the

children more often than females due to the fact the

embryo. However, knowledge of gender may in

female requires two copies of the disease allele to be-

some instances be medically necessary to determine

come symptomatic while the males require only one.

the presence of a sex-linked trait, as is the case with

As such, a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gender would play an integral role

DMD. Whichever the reason for using PGD and IVF,

in the probability of receiving the disease-causing

this new technology has presented parents with the

genes. DMD is characterized by the progressive and

ability of determining medical and non-medical facts

severe wasting of muscle tissue that eventually leads

about an embryo they produced with an astonishing

to respiratory failure and death. Currently, no reliable

rate of success. In the particular instance of PGD for

treatment or cure for DMD exists (1). As biomedical

the sole purpose of sex selection, the Fertility Insti-

research has surged forward in recent years, a new

tutes of Los Angeles have reported a 100% success

technology has arisen that can help alleviate this mat-

rate in gender selection procedures across 3800 cases

ter of great concern for potential parents, a process


known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

PGD can be used to identify the genes in an

PGD can also be used for non-medical

In 1999, the Ethics Committee of the Ameri-

can Society for Reproductive Medicine (ECASRM)

embryo that lead to the onset of hereditary genetic

discussed the ethical issues that surround various

disorders such as DMD. PGD requires that several

uses of PGD that involved the discovery of embryo

eggs as well as sperm be isolated from the parents.

gender. These issues were then reviewed in 2006 and

Fertilization is then performed in vitro (IVF) and em-

re-published (4). The committee distinguished four

bryos are formed. The embryos can then be screened

separate hypothetical cases in which PGD would be

for genetic disorders as well as for other non-medical

used and the gender of the embryo determined.

traits such as gender. Following diagnosis, an embryo 16 4



Patient is undergoing IVF and PGD. Patient learns sex identification of embryo as part of, or as a by-product of, PGD done for other medical reasons.


Patient is undergoing IVF and PGD. Patient requests that sex identification be added to PGD being done for other medical reasons.


Patient is undergoing IVF but PGD is not necessary to treatment. Patient requests PGD solely for the purpose of sex identification.


Patient is not undergoing either IVF or PGD (for the treatment of infertility or any other medical reason). Patient requests IVF and PGD solely for the purpose of sex identification.

Table 1: This table, adapted from the ECASRM document, identifies the distinguishing

characteristics between the four hypothetical cases. (4)

The committee decided that case A is an ethi-

ing the impact of PGD sex selection on these values defines

cally permissible scenario but caution must be exercised in

the ethical impermissibility of cases B, C and D.

determining the ethical permissibility of cases B through D.

Gender Discrimination

Specifically that cases B and C should not be encouraged and that D should be discouraged. The committee stipulates that

The committee determines that issues of gender

the permissibility of cases B, C and D is a function of bal-

discrimination must be considered when deciding the ethi-

ancing the following values: gender equality, respecting an

cal permissibility of cases B, C and D but that this concern

individual’s right to make reproductive choices and the fair

is not sufficient to make PGD sex selection impermissible

allocation of medical resources. According to the commit-

(4). I agree that the concern for gender discrimination must

tee’s decision, the medical justification in case A trumps the

be accounted for; however, I assert that the committee fails

concern for balancing the impact of PGD sex selection on

to adequately measure the impact of PGD sex selection on

these values; however, cases B, C and D have a respectively

gender discrimination. The gender discrimination incurred in

increasing vulnerability to scrutiny regarding the aforemen-

Case B defines its ethical impermissibility.

tioned concerns (4). The committee notes that this vulnerability is not evidence enough to deem cases B through D

Case B illustrates the particular issue of gender

as ethically impermissible, only that there must be “further

discrimination in that the medical procedures of IVF and

study of the consequences of this practice” (4). I believe the

PGD must already be done for these particular parents for a

committee rightfully deems case A as ethically permissible

medical reason. However, knowledge of embryo gender is

as it pertains to the aforementioned example of DMD. In this

not relevant to the medical reason for prescribing PGD and

instance, knowledge of gender is necessary byproduct of se-

IVF, yet the parents opt to identify gender irrespective of

lecting the embryo that will not be afflicted by DMD due its

that point. Consider the hypothetical situation of the Smith

sex-linked nature. However, I assert that the committee fails

couple. Mr. Smith suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

to sufficiently balance the values of gender equality, respect

Recent studies have shown that Mr. Smith has a significant

of an individual’s right to make reproductive choices and the

probability of passing on his disease to his children geneti-

fair allocation of medical resources; more specifically, how

cally (5). While a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia

all three pertain to cases B through D. Sufficiently consider-

does exist, it is not a sex linked trait. That is, there is no sigCU H ONORS J OU RNAL

16 5

nificant difference in the probability of receiving the disease


allele based on gender. As such, the Smith’s have the medical necessity to undergo IVF and PGD for the purpose of select-

ing an embryo that does not have the genetic precursors for

make unhindered reproductive decisions must be considered

paranoid schizophrenia. However, there is no medical reason

when deciding the ethical permissibility of a case resembling

to discover embryo gender. Upon meeting with the doctor,

B, C or D (4). I would agree that potential parents have a

the Smiths opt to include gender identification in the PGD

right to make reproductive decisions and that this right must

procedure. The Smiths were left with the choice of selecting

be considered. However, effectively analyzing the juxtaposi-

between either a male or female embryo, both of whom were

tion of this right with the categorical imperative provides

absent of genetic markers for schizophrenia. The Smiths

evidence that the parents’ right is trumped by the rights of

then chose to implant the male embryo as they have always

the embryo, which is assumed to be a potential human being.

wanted to have a son.

Case C is analogous to this scenario in that the parents are

According to the committee, the parents’ right to

exercising their right to make a choice on gender by opt

The Smiths decision, analogous to case B, ultimate-

ing to undergo additional procedures for the sole purpose of

ly is defined by the selection between two equal embryos on

discovering the sex of the embryo. Analyzing this scenario

the mere basis of gender. Bernard Dickens, published author

in light of Kant’s second formulation of the categorical

in the Journal of Medical Ethics, stipulates that the determi-

imperative provides sufficient means to determine case C as

nation of gender prior to implantation has been associated

ethically impermissible.

with “devaluation” of female offspring (6). The Smiths case is a definitive example of this devaluation of the female

gender, as both the male and female embryo test negative

Kantian deontology. According to Mappes, Kant’s second

for schizophrenia. Some, most likely even the Smiths, would

formulation of the categorical imperative emphasizes a

argue that they have no bias or prejudice towards the female

respect for persons (7). This respect is achieved by the “ra-

gender and thus could not be potentiating gender discrimi-

tional nature” that is inherent with humanity (7). According

nation. However, the issue of gender discrimination is not

to Kant, this requires that one must “act in such a way that

a function of their motive for selecting the male embryo as

you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in

much as it is a consequence of the outcome from making

the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always

their decision. One embryo became a human being while

at the same time as an end” (7). Restated, Kantianism deems

the other was prevented from doing so on the mere basis of

the use of a human solely or merely as a means is ethically

gender. If we assume that any viable embryo created via IVF


My argument is founded upon a basic principle of

is capable of becoming a human being, then selecting an embryo over the other on the basis of gender promotes bias

and discrimination for those potential human beings.

edge of embryo gender that is attained by electing to undergo

Case C involves the additional request for knowl-

PGD without medical necessity. In the absence of this medi

In the example of the Smith situation, as well as in

cal necessity, the knowledge is obtained in order to fulfill

case B, embryo sex identification is occurring without any

some personal reason on the parents’ behalf. Take Sharla

medical justification. When a decision to implant a certain

Miller for example, who underwent elective gender selection

embryo is then made based on that knowledge of gender, the

in 2004 (8). Sharla and her husband, Shane, are the parents

result from that party’s decision has promoted the discrimi-

of three boys living in Wyoming (8). Sharla explains how

nation of one certain gender over the other. This discrimina-

she has always wanted to have a daughter because of the

tion then is sufficient means to determine case B as ethically

strong relationship she shared with her own mother. After


having her fallopian tubes tied following the birth of her third son, Sharla opted to undergo IVF and PGD to have a

16 6


daughter. IVF was necessary to have another child as a result

hibited on the grounds of misallocating medical resources.

of the tubal ligation but she opted to undergo PGD for the

Paradoxically, Hill stipulates that over time the promotion

mere purpose of determining the gender of the embryos. Her

of PGD gender selection would lead to a decrease in the

circumstances are congruent to those of case C in Table 1.

necessity for broad distribution of medical resources as

Sharla and her husband produced fourteen viable embryos

family sizes became smaller (9). In his paper, Hill argues

through IVF, seven of which were male and seven female

that PGD used for gender selection will reduce family sizes

(8). The seven male embryos were rejected in order to im-

because parents will no longer need to have multiple children

plant a female embryo. Upon being asked about her reason-

in efforts of having one of the desired gender. Hill goes on

ing Sharla replied, “I have three wonderful boys but since

to explain that these decreases in family sizes will allow for

there was a chance I could have a daughter, why not?” (8)

better allocation of medical resources with fewer children to be treated. Furthermore, Hill places emphasis on the point

Sharla’s case is just one example of many in which,

that funding spent on PGD would be no more than “a singu-

the parents’ personal, cultural or religious preferences are

lar blip on the radar screen” when compared to that which is

the motives for having a child of a particular gender. In

spent on cosmetic surgery and nutritional supplements (9).

these cases, no substantive medical necessity for undergoing embryo gender selection is present. Therefore the embryos

As a consequence of contesting Hill’s argument,

that are produced are used solely as a means to the ends of

I can identify the reasons why, in fact, case D is ethically

providing the parents with a child of the desired gender. In

impermissible, contrary to the decision made by the com-

Sharla’s case, she used the fourteen viable embryos as the

mittee. Hill makes a compelling point that if families could

sole means to her end of finally having a daughter.

undergo insurance-funded PGD, then they would no longer continually produce children in hopes of one of the desired

Sharla’s situation is analogous to case C, which

gender. Over time, family sizes may become smaller and

involves an embryo with the potential for becoming a hu-

medical resources might be distributed more liberally among

man being that was used solely as a means and is therefore a

a smaller population. Unfortunately, this argument is rooted

direct violation of the second formulation of the categorical

in speculation of what may occur if we continue to allow or

imperative. This violation trumps the parent’s right to make

promote the use of PGD for sex selection. On the contrary,

the reproductive choice of embryo gender selection via PGD

there exists an immediate and very much certain issue in the

and is therefore ethically impermissible.

fair distribution of these medical resources when parents who do not medically require PGD and IVF elect the procedures


The committee notes that of cases B, C and D, the

one most vulnerable to scrutiny on the grounds of misallocating medical resources is D. However, according to the committee, this is only sufficient grounds for discouraging the procedure as opposed to prohibiting it. I contest that case D definitively misallocates medical resources and for that reason should be prohibited on its face.

Dr. David L. Hill, PhD at the ART Reproductive

Center in California, presents an argument congruent to the decision made by the committee (9). Hill argues that PGD for the sole purpose of gender selection should not be pro-

solely to determine gender. When these resources are used for nonmedical desire, it prevents, either temporarily or indefinitely, the allocation of those resources to families with a medical necessity. Furthermore, I would agree that massive amounts of funding are spent annually on cosmetic surgeries and nutritional supplements, all of which are examples of “non-medical” spending. However, I do not see this fact as an excuse to continue to allow the use of PGD for the sole purpose of sex selection. In other words, there is no logic in adding an additional conduit for the expenditure of medical resources on a non-medical procedures simply because others already exist.

Failing to prohibit the utilization of additional and



unnecessary medical procedures for the sole purpose of a nonmedical desire, such as sex selection, presents immediate strains on the limited medical resources that are in place to aid those who need them. Case D is congruent to this scenario and misallocates medical resources by definition in that it requires the allocation of medical resources for nonmedical motives. This consequence is of more substantive weight than the possibility of alleviating resource strain in the future by decreasing family size. As such, I agree that case D must be discouraged but I furthermore assert that it is ethically impermissible on the grounds of misallocating medical

Official Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1999, Vol. 72.

5. Recent Advances in the Genetics of Schizophrenia. O’Donovan, MC. 2, s.l. : Human Molecular Genetics, 2003, Vol. 12. 6. Can Sex Selection Be Ethically Tolerated? Dickens, B.M. 28, s.l. : The Journal of Medical Ethics, 2002, Vol. Guest Editorials: Sex Selection. 7. Mappes, Thomas. Biomedical Ethics. s.l. : McGraw-Hill, 1996.

resources and should therefore be prohibited.

8. Kalb, Claudia. Science: Brave New Babies. Newsweek. Feb, 2004.


9. Is Gender Selection an Appropriate Use of Medical Resources? Hill, David. 9, s.l. : Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Gentics, 2002, Vol. 19.

Further research must be conducted in the immedi-

ate and long term effects of PGD for sex selection. In any case where sex selection is opted for on a nonmedical basis, as in cases B, C and D, focused research must be done to analyze the effect this will have on insurance and government funding of other more pressing medical matters. We must also continue to address and respect the wishes of those individuals seeking to have a child of a particular gender. However, until further studies eliminate the aforementioned concerns discussed in this paper cases B, C and D should be considered ethically impermissible and must therefore be

10. Sex Selection for Social Purposes in Israel: Quest for the “Perfect Child” of a Particular Gender or Centuries of Old Prejudice Against Women. Landau, R. s.l. : The Journal of Medical Ethics, 2008, Vol. 34. 11. Just Diagnosis? Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Injustices to Disabled People. Peterson, T.S. s.l. : The Journal of Medical Ethics, 2005, Vol. 31. 12. Extending Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Medical and Nonmedical Uses. Robertson, A.J. s.l. : The Journal of Medical Ethics, 2003, Vol. 29.



1. Anderson, Louise. Muscular Dystrophy: Methods and Protocols. Totowa : Methods in Molecular Medi cine, 2001. 2. Dayal, Molina. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. eMedicine. [Online] November 11, 2008. [Cit ed: March 24, 2009.] http://emedicine.medscape. com/article/273415-overview. 3. Sex Selection and Family Balancing. The Fertility Institutes. [Online] The Fertility Institutes, 2009. [Cited: March 26, 2009.] http://www.fertility-docs. com/fertility_gender_versionB.phtml. 4. Sex Selection and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. ASRM, Ethics Committee of the. 4, s.l. : The

16 8

N I C H O L A S E N G L E R WA L S H | M I C H A E L A N D R E W S & 0 0 7 T E A M




person may not go walking because they don’t feel safe outside, but they may get on an exercise bike in

For anyone, no matter what age, race, or

their own house.

background, exercise and physical activity result in

The importance of in-home equipment is not lim-

better health. The problem with exercising seems to

ited to safety. It may also be helpful in promoting

be in finding time for safe, fun, enjoyable activities

exercise in children and teenagers. How a person

to engage in. In a study involving older adults, ages

views himself/herself athletically has to do with

fifty and older, the importance of perceived safety in

how much physical activity, and what kinds, he/she

their neighborhood had to do directly with how much

will participate in. Exercise machines used at home

physical activity they engaged in. The results indicat-

greatly reduces the number of people that can watch

ed that those who would encourage “physical activity

a person exercise, and are subject to an environment

among older adults should consider perception of

that the user can directly manipulate according to his/

neighborhood safety as a potential barrier” (Sorenson,

her desires. This removes the external pressures on

2009). Exercise equipment within the home would

performance and encourages a positive self-concept

remove this “barrier” of perceived safety. An older

of athleticism.



Entertainment may also have a positive effect on the promo-

able handlebars.

tion of physical activity. A study done exclusively on male

college students showed that more time was devoted to video

while the system is operated, and each change that the user

games than to exercise. “Frequency of video game play was

makes has a corresponding sound effect. This makes the

negatively correlated with length of exercising” (Ballard,

game interactive and engaging, adding audio to visual stimu-

2009). If exercise were more entertaining, or if video gaming

li. The programming necessitates a high fidelity prototype to

were somehow linked with exercising, then perhaps more

accurately test certain aspects of the system. The fidelity of

people would be able to find time to exercise. Physical activ-

the physical prototype will need to match the fidelity of the

ity is for everyone, so why not make it easier for physical

programming prototype since they rely so heavily on each

activity to conform to everyone’s needs?




The programming includes music that is played

Our team is fashioning an exercise bike that is an

Several people helped us get our project done.

interactive control console for a Tetris-like game. Our project

We borrowed a switch and a button from Mike Elliot and

is called Bike Block Bash, or B³ for short. The user will

constantly asked to borrow tools. We also asked Darren

pedal faster to slow the movement of the block, flip a switch

McSweeney for help with a few programming problems. In

to rotate the blocks, and move the handlebars to accordingly

order to prepare for programming our Tetris game, Michael

move the blocks. There is a cool down mode in the game

Shannon referred to a version of Tetris in C++ by Javier

that allows the user to slow down while the game is paused,

Lopez and a LabVIEW version of Tetris by Sheldon Stokes.

along with a pause button that the user can easily access.

We shopped for parts at Radio Shack, Lowes, Ace Hardware,

The idea is that the more the user exercises the better he/

Advance Auto Parts, RobotShop USA, and JameCo Elec-

she will perform playing Tetris. Sensors in the exercise bike


itself allows for speed monitoring, while a potentiometer on the handlebars detects movement and communicates this information to the central computing unit for translation. Electrical signals from the sensors, switches, and buttons are read through a Data Acquisition Card, or DAC. Just like in regular Tetris, the blocks fall faster as the game progresses to add difficulty. A lot of emphasis has been given to the programming aspect, but some significant work has been done on the physical structure of the bike as well. Some necessary changes have been made to the handlebar configuration in order to maximize on comfort while fitting all the components in. The


Similar systems have been constructed that combine

exercise and video games. The Cateye Video Game Exercise Bike becomes a game controller for Playstation and Playstation 2 game systems with the ability to connect to other Cateye Exercise Bikes. This allows for single or multiplayer video games. Another exercise bike, made by Fisher Price, is just for kids. The bike is a controller for a racing game that is educational as well as interactive. However, our project is the only exercise bike that plays Tetris.

switches are mounted on the handlebars in such a way that the right handlebar holds the rotation switches, while the left handlebar holds the pause/play switch. The rotation switch is on the side of the handlebars facing away from the user so that the user can manipulate the switch, ideally, with his/ her right index and middle fingers. The pause/play switch is on the side facing toward the user so that the user can manipulate the switch up or down with his/her thumb. The handlebars on the original exercise bike are used as move170


After purchasing the exercise bike, we modified the

handlebars so that they could turn. We wanted to have the buttons easily accessible, so we considered mounting them on the handlebars. We decided that the easiest way to mount the buttons was to cut holes in project boxes and hot-glue the buttons to the boxes. We then attached the boxes to the


handlebars by feeding screws through slots in hose clamps,

the static blocks or walls has occurred. If it hasn’t, then this

and tightened the hose clamps to fit on the handlebars. We

array is what we use to display on the screen. We just take a

positioned the buttons so that they were within reach of the

subset of it to avoid rendering the wall, bottom and ceiling.

user’s fingers while holding the handlebars comfortably.

We actually got the method we use to rotate blocks from a

Later, we added a button to reset the timer, and a switch for

tutorial on making Tetris in C++, written by Javier Lopez

the handlebars (please see Testing for more information).


These were both attached through holes cut into the wheel

dent/). In that article, he described a way to do rotation with-

housing in front of the handlebars.

out any complicated rotational algebra, as we had seen in

We decided to use a potentiometer to convert the

Sheldon Stokes’s LabVIEW Tetris (

amount of turn into block movement. We decided a mem-

board/message?, which

brane potentiometer, or softpot, would be the easiest to

he posted on a forum on the National Instruments website.

integrate into the system. However, when the thirty dol-

This simple method is to store a matrix, or in our case a 5X5

lar potentiometer arrived, we could not use it because the

array, for every rotated position of a piece, so when a block

output signals were difficult to work into the program. So

is rotated, it is simply swapped out for a different array.

we swapped the softpot for a volume-knob type potentiom-

We owe a great deal to the version created by Sheldon

eter and laser cut two gears, one to fit around the base of the

Stokes’s. By examining his code, we were able to learn how

handlebars, the other to fit over the potentiometer.

to use a queue, and that we could use a command queue and


This game was entirely programmed in LabVIEW.

The B3 display works by using a Boolean array 15” wide X 27” tall to display the pieces. That Boolean array consists of buttons that have been changed to indicators instead of controls. They are backwards to what you might think, because true is black and false is white. This is because the texture of the buttons change slightly between a true and false value, and the false texture looked better in white. Originally, we were using LED’s, putting them in one by one, totally unconnected. That was slowing down the program, plus it wasn’t an easily modified array, and consisted of code twice as big as the monitor. This new method, which Darren McSweeney suggested, of using an actual Boolean array, is so simple, all we have to do is ask, “Is it not equal to zero?” to convert the 0 and 1 screen array to a Boolean one. If it is not equal to zero, it says true; since the array is reversed, true is actually no block; false is there is a block occupying that cell, so we have to reverse them before sending the data to the Boolean array. Collision detection in the program is done by adding an array that contains 1s where the walls and static blocks are, and an array that contains 1s where the falling block is. By checking the combined array for any values greater than 1, we can easily determine if a collision between the moving block and

a state machine that performs states based on elements in the queue. This makes it so the program does not have to execute in a specific order, and allows the math of the program to operate independently of the controls to avoid any kind of lag in either location. Before this, the program was probably going to be written in a somewhat linear fashion, which would have been clunky, large, and potentially slow. However, the program we were using is the fastest performing Tetris game on LabVIEW we could find. We feel this is largely due to its Boolean simplicity, instead of using draw commands. Among the states are those which create a block and place it at the top of the screen, move the block down one space or lock it into place once it has hit the bottom, move it left and right, rotate the block, and one for the user to input their initials into the leader board. There are a few more, but the meat of the game rests on those that have been mentioned. Most of the states are added to the queue by the code that times the dropping of the blocks and those that monitor the controls on the bike and add to the Command Queue accordingly. One of the big problems we had when detecting bike speed, was the DAC could not read from the two analog inputs at the same time unless they were from the same DAQ assistant. This did not work for our program, so we had to read the pedal RPM from a digital line. When doing this,



we had a time when it would read thousands of RPMs when

from side to side quickly by turning the handlebars all the

a play tester was riding the bike. It turned out this was

way to the right or left.

due to a missing “NOT” function which changes a true to

a false and vice versa. After this, we had to make it so the

modification to the handlebars. We originally designed the

program could tell when you stopped pedaling, but the code

handlebars so that when turned to the right, they moved the

that would give a speed, would not complete when the user

blocks to the right, and moved the blocks to the left when

stopped pedaling, so we had to compare the current speed

turned to the left. But half of our users preferred a reversed

to a speed in the recent past to determine if the speed had

method of moving the blocks. Instead of turning the handle-

changed by a minute amount. If it had not, we knew the

bars to the right to move the blocks to the right, they wanted

speed had not been updated and could report it as zero. This

to turn the handlebars to the left to move the blocks to the

method is sloppy and results in a delayed reaction by the pro-

right, and to turn them to the right to move the blocks to

gram when you stop pedaling, before it will realize you have

the left. In order to satisfy both preferences, we installed a

stopped. We may have a way to fix this, but being this late

switch that would allow the user to change between standard

in the semester, we simply didn’t have the time for a major

and reversed steering. The steering can be changed at any

change, especially since it may not work.

time during the game.



We tested our design by asking several people to

Further analysis showed the necessity of another

Several bugs should be fixed in the program, includ-

play B³ and to give us suggestions for improvements. User

ing an occasional error in releasing the DAC resources from

studies revealed a problem with the sensitivity of the handle-

the main program before the leader board tries to use it,

bars. Users complained of not being able to move the block

resulting in an error message in LabVIEW. Another error is

a single space. We therefore modified the program to accept

if a piece is moved and rotated in such a way it can be flung

more intermediate values from the potentiometer and added

out of the board; we assume it is falling forever, making

a “fling” feature. This allowed for increased maneuverability,

the array larger and larger. This we only encountered once.

and the “fling” feature allows the user to move the blocks

But perhaps the most consistent error might be fixable by

This was the original main display for B³. It consists of a Boolean Array, in which the white spaces are false statements, while the black spaces are true statements. The pieces themselves are made up of matrices of zeroes and ones. The walls and floor are matrices of only ones. When two matrices meet, if the added value is greater than one, the program recognizes the value as a collision between the block and the walls, the block and the floor, or the block and the already stationary blocks, and stops the block. 172

This is the current main display for B³.


somehow implementing a measurement count that would keep track of not only how fast the pedals were rotating, but how many times they have for use when syncing up with the block drop control code. The reason for this would be to eliminate our current method of evaluating whether a player has stopped pedaling by comparing the current speed reading with one in the past. Since we cannot read a speed of zero it shows up as the last speed before someone quits pedaling. So if the two speeds are exactly the same, we assume the player is not pedaling anymore. By syncing, we could assume if we don’t get an updated speed in so long, the person is not pedaling. This is similar to our current method, but it would realize the player wasn’t pedaling faster instead of having a three to five second delay on lower levels. On the mechanical side, we could have added a box to protect the gears from being knocked off by player’s feet, but we ran out of time and had to abandon the idea. It would be better if the handle bars were set directly over the axis of rotation, so they would rotate more and swing less.

Grant, Nina, Andrew Steptoe, and Jane Wandle (2009). “The relationship Between Life Satisfaction and Health Behaviors: a cross cultural analysis of young adults.” International Journal of Behavioral Medi cine, vol 16, issue 3, pp. 259-268. Higgins, Patricia A. and Carolyn J. Murdock (2009). “The Theory of music, mood, and movement to improve health outcomes.” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol 65, Issue 10, pp. 2249-2257. Lopez, Javier. (2008). Tetris tutorial in C++ platform inde pendent focused in game logic for beginners. < independent/>. Sorenson, Glorian, etc. (2009). “Neighborhood Safety, Socioeconomic Status, and Physical Activity in Older Adults.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol 37, issue 3, pp 270-276. Stokes, Sheldon. (2005). Tetris in LabVIEW. < id=170&>.


More games could be made for the system such as

Breakout, Space invaders, Pac-Man, and most immersive Paper Boy could be done in LabVIEW. While more advanced games could be done in other languages, such as a Speeder Bike game, racing game (which has been done before on a bike), and suggested most recently, a fighter jet game. A motor could be added to allow for the resistance of the bike to change automatically through the game, but the bike is pretty much a self contained unit; adding more besides this would only change the devise, not add to it. REFERENCES

Anderson, Cheryl B., etc. (2009). “Contribution of Athletic Identity to Child andAdolescent Physical Activity.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol 37, Issue 3, pp. 270-276. Ballard, Mary, etc. (2009). “Correlates of video game screen time among males: Body mass, physical activity, and other media use.” Eating Behaviors, vol 10, issue 3, pp. 161-167. Burke, Shauna M., etc. (2006). “Self efficacy and imagery use in older adult exercisers.” European Journal of Sport Science, vol 6, issue 4, pp. 197-203. CU H ONORS J OU RNAL




“The lover, who would fleeting beauty clasp Finds bitter fruit, dry leaves are all he’ll grasp”.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini produced many master-

and the irrationality of erotic love through irony and tragic

pieces of the Baroque with impressive artistic skill. In one

poetic justice. The story in Metamorphoses begins with

such masterpiece, Apollo and Daphne, completed in 1625,

Apollo gloating with pride after just having slain Python.

Bernini depicts the myth of Apollo’s tragic obsession with

Taunting Aphrodite’s son Eros, who also carries a bow and

the Nymph Daphne, made famous in Ovid’s Metamorphoses,

arrow, Apollo insults him; “Are arms like these for children

while fulfilling two equally impossible objectives. First, with

to employ?” Eros replies to Apollo that he will conquer him,

exceedingly realistic visuals, Bernini succeeds in accurately

and does so by shooting two arrows, one, golden and sharp

portraying the scene by animating every inch of the statue

to “make the lover bold,” pierces Apollo’s chest, the other,

while staying true to Ovid’s continuously active storytell-

blunt and tipped with lead, finds Daphne, and “drives her

ing style. Second, Bernini ties these moments together in a

desire away.” After this the chaste nymph will not take any

narrative by urging the viewer to walk around the sculpture,

suitor and begs her father to let her live and die “without

viewing it from different angles, each perspective providing

the marriage tye.” While her father reluctantly consents, he

a new frame in the sequence. Through the blending of these

proclaims “her wish wou’d prove her punishment: For so

frames, the statue directs a movement around it that sets the

much youth, and so much beauty join’d, Oppos’d the state,

figures into motion as the metamorphosis takes place.

which her desires design’d.” At this point in the story Bernini

picks up Ovid’s motifs and unravels the rest of the story as

Ovid’s account of the story, while relatively short,

conveys important virtuous motifs like the danger of hubris 1 74


he enacts the climatic scene.

As when th’ impatient greyhound slipt from far, Bounds o’er the glebe to course the fearful hare, She in her speed does all her safety lay; And he with double speed pursues the prey...

as it seems likely it would, rather, it curls around to the left, indicating the flow, urging the viewer to turn to the next page. The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright, Spent with the labour of so long a flight; And now despairing, cast a mournful look Upon the streams of her paternal brook; Oh help, she cry’d, in the extreamest need!

If the statue stood in its original position the viewer

would approach it from the behind and a bit to the right. From this angle the story starts in media res, during the chase. Apollo’s figure dominates this scene, in mid stride, running out of control. His tilted shoulders, his wound back muscles full of torque and his outstretched right arm indicate an off-balance, un-Olympian sprint. Here the motif of irrational infatuation of Eros manifests in Apollo as he uncontrollably pursues the nymph. The conflict that this scene presents – the embodiment of male composure, moderation and aretê in a mad dash for some fleeting love – instantly draws on the curiosity of the audience. Like walking into a movie during the pinnacle action scene, the drama grabs the attention of the viewer, demanding the viewer to investigate and watch

the sculpture more drama unfolds as Daphne, unable to outrun the Olympian, cries to the gods for help. As Apollo begins to wrap one arm around her torso, trying to grab hold of her, she reaches up towards the sky as if that’s the last chance she has to escape. Her fingers, fanned out, and stretch as if she can feel her escape lying just out of her grasp. Her hair wildly swings behind her as she shakes her head, denying Apollo’s grasp. As she tries to reject his pull she arches back, throwing her chest forward and toward the sky in the

the climax resolve. Caught in the

opposite direction of the weight imposed by Apollo’s embrace. The desperation in

wind like the sail of a boat cling-

Daphne’s animated posture draws pity and

ing to its mast, Apollo’s drapery

empathy for the nymph. The sight causes

intensifies the drama and directs

tension in the viewer, hoping that the gods

the scene. The robe swoops from

hear her prayer.

Apollo’s front, over his shoulder and

out, reaching towards the viewer

As Daphne jumps to the air, mak-

ing her final plea, Apollo immediately

in an embracing motion, then curls

comes to a halt, freezing all forward mo-

down and across his back swirl-

tion, and setting up the climax. Upon fi-

ing towards his groin, the source of

nally coming within reach of her, her sud-

his irrationality. After crossing the

den stop takes him by surprise and throws

front of his body again, the drap-

him even more off-balance. Apollo’s right

ery whirls around one more time,

foot plants firmly into the ground and with

flapping wildly as it tails off like a

his left leg in the air keeping all his weight

flag held by a charging soldier. The

shifted forward he barely maintains his

lines of the drapery invite the viewer

stance without plowing into Daphne. The

to begin the circular and vertical

undeniable sense that Apollo will topple

movement around the sculpture and

into Daphne puts the whole motion out

to follow the scene. The end of the drapery doesn’t point straight back

As the viewer’s perspective shifts clockwise around

of balance like a cliffhanger waiting for a S O U R C E : h t t p : / / w w w. g a l l e r i a b o r g h e s e . i t

Caught in the wind like the sail of a boat clinging to its mast, Apollo’s drapery intensifies the drama and directs the scene. CU H ONORS J OU RNAL


resolution in the next scene.

skin. The sprawling bark extends up to her torso and meets

As before, the drapery directs the motion from this

with Apollo’s drapery and his hand as the transformation of

scene to the next as it winds around Apollo’s body. The tail

her legs seems to sprout from towards this intersection. Her

of the cloth comes across Apollo’s waist and then swings

contrapposto now resembles that of an old tree, knotted, bent

around his back and over his shoulder, spread out like a para-

and twisted. Reaching for the gods, the transformation flows

chute. Then it twists tightly around his forearm that barely

out of her fingertips as her waving hair touches them and the

maintains a grip on Daphne. The drapery comes to an end as

combination blossoms into leaves. Apollo appears from this

it gently grazes Daphne’s thigh and points down at the laurel

angle to have regained composure and balance. He now just

tree trunk strut just next to Daphne’s left leg. From this angle

looks longingly at what remains of Daphne’s human form,

the drapery now frames the scene very specifically. The lines

but with a striking classic composure. On the other hand, the

of the flapping loop of cloth that runs across Apollo’s back

expression on Daphne’s face leaves one last finalizing punc-

start and end at the laurel tree strut, competing a full circle.

tuation to the moving figures, closing the scene; a freeze-

The circle encompasses Apollo fixing him to Daphne and the

frame finish on the look of petrified fright with her mouth

stump. The framing keeps the viewer’s attention in the last

open for one last, unattainable gasp of air.

moment of the struggle when Daphne’s chest opens to the

sky as Apollo pulls on her torso, trying to keep her down. It

nini’s story never finds an end. Part of the brilliance of the

also echoes the circular movement the sculpture invokes. Fi-

piece derives from the realistic portrayal of each individual

nally, dangling down at Daphne’s leg like a fading transition

component. One can admire each specific part of the sculp-

that provides a smooth guidance, the drapery moves the at-

ture without having to view it compositionally this way. But

tention to the next scene. As the viewer follows the guidance

like any good director of film meticulously chooses each shot

further around the marble actors and the gaze shifts down

so the overall movie flows well as a whole, Bernini directs

towards the ground under Daphne’s feet, the metamorphosis

the eye to the next shot like turning the projector reel so one


can’t help but keep moving through the sequence enjoying

Scarce had she finish’d, when her feet she found Benumb’d with cold, and fasten’d to the ground: A filmy rind about her body grows; Her hair to leaves, her arms extend to boughs: The nymph is all into a lawrel gone; The smoothness of her skin remains alone.

Starting on Daphne’s left leg, now looking at her

almost straight on, the action seems to slow down or at least changes its momentum. Now the movement flows upward as Daphne’s body transforms, pulling the observer’s eyes over each individual texture and detail of her blossoming metamorphosis. An animated blending of her feet turning to vines that extend through her toes as they root her to the ground. A sheet of bark covers the space between her legs, from her feet to halfway up her torso. The bark, becoming the trunk of the tree, does not cover her legs but blends with them so well in some parts one cannot distinguish where the flesh ends and the wood begins. At other parts, the interaction between the two is so animated that it invokes a feeling that the mutation crawls like a spreading disease over her 176


Of course, the story of for Ovid ends here, but Ber-

each frame in the context of the one that follows and the one that precedes.

index A RT

Boozer, Allison | Destruction, 75 Brown, Molly | Untitled, 78 Carley, Amelia Henrietta | Heaven- Adwa, Gondra, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 73 Carley, Amelia Henrietta | Andy- Mukilteo, Washington, USA, 72 Carley, Amelia Henrietta | Why Do We Live Here?, 74 Davis, Cory | Falling, 76 Dietz, Kristy | Photographs by, 70-71 Fan, Hanhan | The Weight, 86 Fan, Hanhan | Under the Water, 87 Jansen, Jessica | Antler Cups, 84 Lichtenstein, Eli | Portrait of a Flower, 69 Lujan, Angel | You Know You Want To, 79 Lujan, Angel | AMF, 80-81 Mirabueno, Rania | Untitled, 53 Munoz, Maren Claire | Hell-O Self!, 89 Munoz, Maren Claire | Reaching Deep, 88 Recchia, Mary | Elephant Seal, 82 Recchia, Mary | Patellic Ecstacy, 83 Thielke, Anna | Nest Egg, 85 Whitehair, Jacob Coleman | Artisan Baker, 77

C R E AT I V E N O N - F I C T I O N

Rabiolo, Federica A. | My Godfather, 12-13 Ortiz, Phillip | A Dull Brown, 44-46 Weber, Denise Marie | The Freedom Tour, 106-109


Andrews, Michael (Mo) and the 007 Team (Michael Shannon, Jonny Ernster, Evan Archuleta, Chris Taylor, Sean Edwards) | B続 (Bike Block Bash), 169-173 CU H ONORS J OU RNAL

17 7

index Cronin, Miles | Hypothetical Memorandum to Gates Foundation as Program Officer, 118-122


Barrios, Juan Pablo | Sole Patches, 98 Johnston, Thomas Alexander | Mesa Trail Hostel, 96-97 Jorgensen, Erik | Aircraft Wing to Coffee Table, 99 Tagseth, Christopher | Menkick House Light Paint, 90-91 Trimble, Wesley; William Murray | Tapestry, 92-95 Westfeldt, Patrick | Bio-sip Factory, 100


Camera, Neil Anthony | Happy Easter, 134-135 Holmboe, Carlie | Homemade, 136-138 Sharp, Pearson | The Last Door, 63-67 Yang, Sharon (Xian) | Coffee and Clocks, 52-55


Andrews, Brennan | Breaking Down the Wall, 56-62 Gansky, Andrew | Mediations of Space: Photography and the American West, 139-151 Holmes, Matthew | Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, a Motion Sculpture Event, 174-176 Karimkhani, Chanté | The Art of Persian Classical Music, 154-158 Mayer, Anna | Ambi-dancerous: Shift to Open Roles in Social Dance, 33-37 Milan, Megan | Fact or Fiction? The Myth of Leonardo da Vinci, 9-11


Brett, Darrell | Oubliette, 103 Echevery, Ingrid | Caminante, 104 Kalayciogu, Keven Michael-Onur | Post Mortal Disintegration, 38-42 Minatta, Nathan | A Transitory Perspective, 105 178


index Rhodes, Larissa | What’s Left Behind, 105 Shiffman, Maximilian | The Great Framer’s Rave, 42 Thielke, Anna | Electro Proximity, 104


Bartley, Jessica | Promoting Children’s Understanding And Interest In Science Through Informal Science Education, 47-51 Chase, Anna R. | Colony Collapse Disorder, 123-131 Lightner, Erik | The Effects of Stimuli on Loud Call Bouts in Alouatta palliata, 159-163 Walsh, Nicholas Engler | Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Gender Selection, 164-168


Figlio, Gino | Untitled, 43 Hoffman, Michael | Transfixion, 152-153 Koenig, Monica | Compulsions (IX.), 133 Olson, Bo | The Artichoke Rows, 132 Rennerfeldt, Quinn | Elegy, 68


Durham, Kinsey Ann | Sao Paulo, Brazil: Civil War, 110-117 Forrest, Sean | Strange Bedfellows: Ang Lee’s Investigation of Food, Sex and Culture, 14-18 Haan, Theron | The Recent Rise in Visibility of Same-Sex Attraction in China, 19-32

For behind the scenes information and biographies of 2010 Honors Journal contibutors, please visit



special thanks TH E EDITORIAL B OARD WOU LD LI KE TO THAN K ... . . . Dr. Claudia Van Gerven and Dr. Fred Anderson, who have graciously

supported and overseen the Journal year-after-year. Without the two of you, the legacy and future of this publication would not be possible. . . . all undergraduate students who submitted work for the 2010

Honors Journal, as well as all profressors that have supported the Journal. This publication relies on all of you to provide the Journalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality of content. With that said, we actively encourage all current undergraduates to submit their work now for forthcoming editions of the Honors Journal. ... the Honors Program, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Program (UROP), Arts and Sciences Student Government (ASSG) the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Student Organizations Finance Office (SOFO), and the UCSU Representative Council for your generous support and financial assistance.





The Honors Journal is a multidisciplinary,

The Honors Journal was established and first

student-run publication produced annually

published in 1992 under the supervision of

by the University of Colorado at Boulder

faculty mentor, Professor E. Christian Kopff

Honors Department, under the supervision

and with the support of Program Director,

of Dr. Claudia Van Gerven and Dr. Fred

Jack Kelso. The first volumes were devoted to

Anderson. The Journal is founded on the

academic undergraduate research, highlighting

beliefs that student work is worth more than

an article by an outstanding Honors Professor

just a grade and that undergraduates at CU

and abstracts from all Summa Cum Laude

are producing excellent work which deserves


exposure to larger audiences and permanent archive in the University’s collections. The

From 1995 to 1998, the Journal went on hiatus.

Honors Journal presents a collection of

In 1998, Honors Director Dennis Van Gerven

undergraduate studies and works that reflect

re-instated the Journal under the supervision

a high level of dedication and adeptness of

of faculty mentor Dr. Claudia Van Gerven. In

discipline. Each Journal combines work

1998, the Journal expanded by adding poetry,

in all academic fields including art, creative

fiction, and black-and-white artwork.

non-fiction, fiction, humanities, multimedia, natural sciences, poetry, social sciences,

In 2002, the University of Colorado’s

engineering, and environmental design, among

Department of Publications entered the

many more. The Honors Journal is printed

Honors Journal into the Council for

annually in the spring and is distributed to all

Advancement and Support of Education

students and departments at the University of

District VI Competition. The cover from this

Colorado at Boulder. The Journal is also sent

edition of the Honors Journal won the “Case

to honors departments at other universities

District VI, Silver Award of Excellence

and available to the general public. In order

in Graphic Design.”

to broaden the Journal’s audience and content, an online edition has been developed at

In 2010, the Journal’s editorial board elected The Honors Journal

to move the Journal from its traditional 6”

Online (HJO) provides continually updated

x 9” format to a 8.5” x 11” format to allow

access to excellent student work as well as a

for greater diversity of printable subject mat-

venue for non-print media such as video and

ter. This was the first year that architeture and


engineering were included in the printed edition.



University of Colorado Honors Journal  

The 2010 Edition of the CU Honors Journal