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NCSSM Journal of Humanities Research

Fifth World III

Contents Hayti & The Price of Progress

Kerstan Nealy


The Implications of Demographic Targeting in National Political Campaigns: An Analysis of Voter Engagement and Empathy

Cordelia Gilligan


The Tolkien Effect: Isolating Culture Through Language in Fantasy Fiction

Willa Holt


*Les Fleurs du* Male: Baudelaire, Mapplethorpe, and the *Morale Publique*

Eli Hardwig


Stick it to the Man: The Rise and Not-Quite-Fall of Secret College Societies in the United States

Kathryn Danis


The Morrison Training School: A Case Study of Correctional Facilities for African-American Juvenile Delinquents in 20th Century North Carolina

James Fitz-Henley


From Sophocles to Anouilh: The Art of Translation as a Political Statement

Cecilia Poston


African Consciousness in the Face of White Colonial Supremacy

Fowota Mortoo


Systemic Racism as the Root Cause of Problems in American Refugee Policy

Gracie Joo


Investigations of Implementation of American Sign Language and Alternative Language Forms in Early Education for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Anna Price


Dismantling the Carceral Archipelago: Deconstructions of Juvenile Deliquency in Youth Courts

Belinda Hu


Social Violence and the Sexualization of Women in Horror Film

Paris Geolas


Discomfort with Using Anatomical Terms for Female Genitalia and Impacts within International Women’s Health and North Carolina’s Sexual Environment

Emily Mawyer & Vaishnavi Siripurapu


Locating the Indian Reservation in America

Robert Keener


Bunny Ears and Busty Babes: Dissecting the Construction of the Desirable Female in Men’s Magazines

Mallorie Dufour


A Review of the Motives, Issues, Transformations and Discussions Surrounding Torture Over the Course of Human Civilization

Henry Chen


The Future of China’s Energy Security

Tanisha Paul


National Closure through Justice, Local Identity, and Remembrance in Post-Conflict Societies

Anja Sheppard


The Modern Day Superwoman

Eukela Little


Letter from the Editors Dear Reader, It may seem ironic that such an extensive body of humanities research was born of a school with a name that denotes its commitment to excellence in science and mathematics. However, the interdisciplinary nature of this publication speaks to the critical importance of the humanities in deciphering the natural world, of tempering sometimes callous or raw science, and using this science to advance our understanding of the human experience. These expressions of the humanities develop through an investigation of the historical factors that contribute to our present human condition. Particularly when there are divisions that allow oppression and inequity to fester, prioritizing empathy through understanding must be given due credence—whether through rigorously investigating the past or delving into the problems (and improvements) of our time. This understanding emerges especially through analysis of the cultural climate and deconstruction of its implications, and advances the compassion of our communities. This advancement is reflected in the name of our body of work; the “Fifth World� in the Hopi tradition is the more peaceful, more enlightened world that emerges from the ashes of the one that exists today. While each iteration of the world prior to the present day was destroyed by war and conflict, we are on the threshold of emerging into the Fifth World by different means, means involving less brute force and more carefully incisive judgments. The research held within the pages of this journal contributes to both the resolution of societal tensions and a deeper understanding of the world around us, better facilitating the emergence of the Fifth World through peace rather than through violence. Sincerely, The Editorial Collective Henry Chen, Kathryn Danis, Mallorie Dufour, James Fitz-Henley, Paris Geolas, Cordelia Gilligan, Eli Hardwig, Willa Holt, Belinda Hu, Gracie Joo, Robert Keener, Eukela Little, Emily Mawyer, Fowota Mortoo, Kerstan Nealy, Tanisha Paul, Cecilia Poston, Anna Price, Anja Sheppard, Vaishnavi Siripurapu


Hayti & The Price of Progress Kerstan Nealy


reface. We piled out of the white van into the heat of summer. Thirty pairs of feet beat against the pavement of the parking lot as we approached our destination, the Hayti Heritage Center. It stood as a place of major cultural importance and pride. At that moment though, it represented a refuge from the sun and humidity. So, we piled into the center, our bodies eventually being guided to the center’s sanctuary. Through the doors of the sanctuary we passed, greeted by beautiful glass-stained windows and an atmosphere that spoke of a history and presence that was reflected in every pew and particle lit on fire by the window’s filtered light. In front of us stood Reverend Casimir Brown. Not a sound but his voice filled the sanctuary as he explained the history of Hayti to us, and as he spoke, we formed questions within our minds. Those questions included ones about the role of Urban Renewal in the history of Hayti. The Urban Renewal plan as enacted by the city of Durham resulted in the construction of highway 147 into the heart of the Hayti community. Nothing would replace the businesses and homes destroyed by the highway’s construction, and Reverend Brown was well acquainted with this history. With a pause, he answered. He told us that sometimes, people must pay the price for progress. What his words failed to illuminate was why African Americans should pay the price for such progress, and if such sacrifice would one day amount to something greater for those whom such progress has so far largely excluded. Hayti’s story is a complex one that exist within the intersections of race, class, and gender in ways that complicate a narrative that may be otherwise, by some, be understood as a story revolving on a simple axis of black and white. The middle class of Hayti then are not merely people who have no fault of their own within the destruction of Hayti as it once existed. Nor are they people who existed outside of the pressures and suffering that accompanied black identity within the South. They are then neither good nor bad, but rather complex, as people are. Hayti, within my research, became for me a rich community in which I found my family, my friends, myself, and in many ways, the world as it once was, but also continues to be.


ntroduction. “There is always a price to pay for progress”. The words came after a brief pause, and were said with a tone of grief that was only overcome by a note of finality. Reverend Casimir Brown’s words took but a few seconds to speak. Yet, they would take me on a journey nearly a year

long that would ask me to question not only what the price of progress looks like, but the mechanisms through which “progress” becomes a deconstructive force within the hearts of once thriving communities. Using Hayti as representative of a larger pattern of minority community erasure within the United States, I began to delve into the rich and beautiful history of a flourishing black community that was used as payment for the city of Durham’s “progress”. Through my research I began to better understand the ways in which progress operates differently as its definition is intertwined with race, gender, and social class, and how progress is fluid, changing its impact and face as it meets with intersections of power and oppression. Why then is the definition of progress not fixed? The discrepancies come out of histories shaped by opportunity, racialized gendered hierarchical structures, and unequal distributions of wealth. What I attempt to do within my writing is to analyze the past of Hayti with a view that allows for the complexity of the community to not be diminished in favor of an argument that ignores the reality of people who often times are not used as measures of “progress”. I look at how the construction of highway 147, “progress” for the city of Durham, resulted in the destruction of Hayti in ways that influence its current reality in order to understand what price is truly paid for progress. How do we move beyond understandings of progress, for all people, that demand payment in the form of communities and their health? I believe that such a movement begins in the understandings of what is lost when minority communities, such as Hayti, are used as collateral in the funding for progress that the citizens of such communities do not benefit from. I believe that such a movement begins when we demand that the definition of progress, for all people, ceases to operate within closed systems of power that place minority communities outside of the reach of progress. I believe that such a movement begins the moment we seek to create a society in which “the price of progress” becomes little more than a phrase trapped within the pages of this essay. Highway 147 snakes through Durham on a 15.7-mile stretch, connecting Wake county and Durham to the Research Triangle. The cars on it seem to fly as they speed to reach their destinations, bright reds and oranges cutting through the wind. As these cars continue to zoom up and down the freeway, they drive over a rich and complex history that began in the movement of recently emancipated

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black people, and that was ended, almost, by the movement of white middle-class America. The drivers are typically not aware of the power of their car’s wheels, or the ways in which these tires help to deaden a world that in many ways has already been killed. As the cars travel on the highway they are traveling through a landscape of apparent “progress”; as the cars travel through progress, what they actually travel over is Hayti. What can be said, then, of the journey over a history that attempts to rise above the asphalt, struggling to not be forgotten, the remnants of what once existed? What can be said of the history of Hayti, and how do I get to the root of Hayti’s history and understand why the community cannot rest underneath the “progress” observed? I believe that both my own journey and this essay must start with a strong sense of the components that created Hayti, a self-sustained black community, in order to know what Hayti paid for “progress” in the form of the construction of Highway 147. Within my work I will explore the past economic and cultural achievements of the Hayti community, because I would like to know how the construction of Highway 147 changed Hayti in ways that created its current reality. I wish to understand what the term “price of progress” truly means in relation to the community, and not to those who indifferently travel the freeway where a community once proudly stood. Hayti was founded in the late 19th century by recently emancipated African-Americans who were drawn to Durham partly because of the availability of tobacco jobs. The tobacco industry was one of few that was willing to employ both black men and women; as a result, it presented itself as one of a scant number of options outside of share-cropping for newly “free” people in search of work that could result in a livable wage. Another factor that drew African- Americans to Durham was the desire to claim a part in the world that they had so actively worked and suffered to create. The first members of what was not yet Hayti would lay the foundation for what would eventually come. The majority of Hayti’s first homes were situated on Fayetteville St. on land rented from white property owners. However, as the community began to expand, the homes of the community members were built on other nearby streets. By the first decade of the 20th century, Fayetteville St., Pettigrew St., and Pine St. would define the boundaries of Hayti. As Hayti’s members began to enjoy economic growth, they began to buy the properties they lived on from white landowners. This movement into black ownership displayed a permanence of living in contrast to previously enslaved generations permanently displaced by the commodification of their being. The ownership of land and the understanding of what owning land meant within the black community cannot be underestimated; within Hayti, it was very well one of the first steps in establishing a community independent from white legal and extralegal attempts to oppress, subjugate, and repress black people within the Americas. The very possession of land was, and remains, intimateNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

ly linked to a possession of power; with the changing of land from white to black hands within Hayti, an understanding of where power would be held within the community was formed. Yet, while Hayti began to exercise financial and economic independence from Durham, and through this independence to display power, it still existed within a larger system of institutionalized racism. Jim Crow era laws ensured that the people of Hayti understood what “their place” was within Durham and the nation. It was then not simply a desire to live amongst other African-Americans that kept black people within Hayti, it was also the inability to escape the after-effects of American slavery and its racial justifications. To be black within America was still to exist within bonds that restricted political and economic prosperity, tethering African Americans to a system in which they were expected to be used for profit they did not themselves benefit from. In many ways, Hayti disrupted the notion that black people would be content to be used in such ways, and became a place that allowed for black enterprise to flourish, that actively worked to benefit and encourage the community. Through this formulation of the community, it became for many, “... a liberation community where African- Americans made decisions for themselves … and wove themselves into a rich and complex interior world” (Brown, 39). At its peak, Hayti contained a little over 200 businesses. The businesses were black owned and operated and included a hospital, theaters, restaurants, general stores, a funeral home, and insurance company. The insurance company, theater, and hospital were all essential and vital components in the creation of the narrative of Hayti. Amongst these businesses were NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Hospital, and Regal Theater.

Figure 1. NC Mutual Life Insurance (Hayti Prospect UNC Reconstructing Hayti)

NC Mutual Life Insurance Company was founded in 1898 by John C. Merrick, Aaron Moore, and five other investors. By 1900, only Merrick, Moore, and Charles


Spaulding were still financially invested in the company and its development. With the leadership of those three men, however, the insurance company began to expand into the community. There was an understanding and recognition of the importance of life insurance by the founders of the company in relation to the community in which they lived. The insurance company offered comfort and support, giving a sense of certainty within death that the realities of life within a racialized caste system denied. The trust that the people within Hayti had in the insurance company, and the pride with which the company was regarded, was evidenced through the growth of the company whose only service area, within its early years, was Hayti. NC Mutual was a pillar of the community, and is still in operation today, establishing it as the longest running black-owned insurance company in the nation. Regal Theater was another part of daily life in Hayti. A provider of entertainment for those within Hayti, the theater doors were opened in 1927 to the public, and would welcome all members of the community to showcase their talents until its closing in the 70s. In the early days of the theater, musical performances by world renowned artists such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie could be heard. Later, with the popularity of movies, the theater would begin to limit its musical performances and usher in an era of prosperity for the theater centered in film. Located between The Biltmore Hotel and the Donut Shop, the theater was a lively place frequented by those within the community. In later years, the theater would exist in a different form. Beginning in the late 60s, it would change its name to “Your Own Thing Theater” and shed the name of the Regal Theater. The purpose of the “Your Own Thing Theater” was, according to the Carolina Times, “…the revival and presentation of the arts of black people” (Open Durham). The theater, in essence, attempted to awaken a sense of the presence and history of black cultural forms not only for the Hayti community, but for the greater Durham area. However, during urban renewal, the theater building would be leveled to the ground. The first Lincoln hospital was a small wooden structure built in 1901 for the Hayti community. Originally, there were plans to simply add a “negro” wing to Watts Hospital for African-American patients. This idea, however, was contested by Dr. Aaron Moore. Moore was one of the main advocates for the Lincoln hospital, and firmly believed in the need for a hospital where black doctors and nurses could practice in an environment free from the aggressions that plagued them in other aspects of their lives. It was through Moore’s strong insistence and advocacy that the Lincoln hospital was constructed on 525 Proctor Street. In 1922, though, the wooden structure was destroyed through fire. The second Lincoln hospital was built in 1924, and would service the community through providing a space where the needs of the patients were met in ways that exemplified the respect which was a strong foundation for the unity of

Hayti. The hospital allowed for patients to not be treated according to their blackness but in accordance to the shared humanity of doctor and patient, the medical professional and the one in need of medical expertise and assistance. In addition to providing medical services to the community, Lincoln hospital also operated as a three-year training center for black nurses. In this way, the hospital offered not only aid of health but education. It became an instrumental part of the black experience within Hayti, and a testament to the importance of black medical workers and education within the community. The hospital would exist until its closing in the mid-70s due to the consolidation of the Lincoln Hospital and Watts Hospital. Today, the Lincoln Community Health Center stands in the place of the Lincoln Hospital, and seeks to educate its community members about preventive measures regarding their health. Within African-American communities, education was (and remains) understood as a strong foundation to success, and a means to creating a better, more just, world. In the 20th century, African-Americans were closely situated, generationally, to a period in which education often times had to be received in secret, and was not as widely available. Hayti’s success is regarded in part due to the community’s emphasis on receiving higher education. Hayti had over 30 schools at one point, with student attendance in the thousands. Two of the most noted educational institutions to be part of Hayti were Hillside High school and North Carolina Central University. Founded in 1922, and first called Hillside Park High school due to its close proximity to the park, Hillside was Durham’s first black public school. Located at East Umstead Street, Hillside Park High school would become Hillside High school in 1941. While the original building would become a junior high in the mid 50s, the name of the school would be transferred to another location along with its high school students. Hillside High school has existed in three different forms since its start. It is currently located, though, on Fayetteville St, and is majority black, with 83% of the student body identifying as black or African-American. Another institution of the utmost importance within the community was North Carolina Central University. North Carolina Central (NCCU) was founded by James E. Shepard, an influential member of the Hayti community, and opened its doors in 1910. Originally called National Religious Training School and Chautauqua, the school received funding from not only Shepard but other members of the Hayti community, as well as those outside of it, including Woodrow Wilson. The mission of the school in its early days was similar to that of many other HBCUs founded within the time period; “…the development in young men and women of the character and sound academic training requisite for real service to the nation.” (North Carolina Central University). The education for African-Amer-

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icans at HBCUs at that time was often centered around a curriculum meant to prepare students for vocational activities with little to no focus on the arts and humanities. This style of education was part of a continued struggle for recognition of the capability of African-Americans to enhance America and its economic landscape. In 1925, the school would undergo a renaming, from the National Training School to the North Carolina College for Negroes, under the control of the General Assembly. It was in that time the college became a publicly supported institution. The mission of the school under the General Assembly would be “… the offering of liberal arts education and the preparation of teachers and principals of secondary schools” (Thorpe). This mission would establish the institution as the United States’ “first state-supported liberal arts college for African-American student” (Thorpe). More liberal arts programs began to be implemented in the late 30s, and the college was able to make the addition of a law school a reality in 1940. It would be in 1969 that the name of the school would be changed a final time to North Carolina Central University by the legislature. Although the final name change signified the recognition, by the state, of the institution’s’ status, it would not be until 1972 that the university would become part of the UNC system. Today, NCCU still stands on its original property with multiple additions creating an expansion of the campus. The university is still an accredited HBCU with a strong focus on the liberal arts and an exemplary law school.

Figure 2. North Carolina Central University (North Carolina Central University Website)

While theaters, food stores, hospitals, and schools took care of the physical, entertainment, and educational needs of Hayti, churches catered to spiritual needs. Two of the main churches within Hayti were White Rock Baptist Church and St. Joseph’s African Methodist Episcopal church. White Rock Baptist Church was established in 1877 by Margaret Faucette, who lived within Hayti. The church had its origin in a small room situated between Pettigrew and Husband Street, with six members headed by Faucette. When the group outgrew the rented room, they found themselves in a warehouse before acquiring the funds to build the first North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

White Rock Baptist Church building, so named “because of the large white flint rock found in the front yard” (White Rock Baptist Church). White Rock would change location to Fayetteville Street under the pastor-ship of Reverend A. P. Eaton who led White Rock from 1886 to 1897. The church was one of the largest within the community, with a strong membership that stood as a testament to the importance of spirituality within the black community. White Rock was an integral part of Hayti, and many events took place at the church during the week such as supervised dances and ladies’ gatherings. It stood as a center of community life. St. Joseph’s AME, another prominent church within the community, began as a “brush arbor” in 1868, and was the product of Edian Markham’s vision for Durham. Markham was a former slave whose faith was firmly placed within Christianity. The first winter of worship under Reverend Markham, members of the church built a small log church to shield them from the elements as they praised. Over time, membership would grow until Reverend Andrew Chambers, in 1891, decided that a brick structure was needed, and laid the cornerstone of the church at Fayetteville St. and East Lakewood Avenue. The church was beautifully constructed with wonderful artisanship displayed in the interior with multiple large stained glass windows. Upon visiting Hayti in the early 1900s, Booker T. Washington would remark, “In all my traveling I have never seen a finer Negro church than St. Joseph.” (Washington). Through the years, the church would receive significant funding and support from Washington Duke, exemplifying a particular relation to the black community reminiscent to some of the patriarchal attitude of slavery; for others, Duke’s involvement within Hayti was understood as hope for future race relations between Hayti and Durham. The importance of adequate representation of the “generous benefactor” would then be of great significance to those who looked at Duke as a bridge between Hayti and those outside of the community. This reasoning may have been what led to the creation of Duke’s image in the stained glass windows of St. Joseph’s. Placed directly across the sanctuary from the image of an angel, Duke’s image implies a narrative of Duke’s close relationship to godliness or heaven; it is a beautiful but haunting display of the authority held by Duke and what his interest symbolized within the community. Washington Duke maintained close relations to numerous wealthy men within the Hayti community and provided financial support of the community. He frequently visited Hayti, and is even said to have received haircuts at a barbershop within the community. Yet, while Duke was well known for his philanthropic efforts and his friendship with men such as John C. Merrick, he was also recognized as a former slave holder who also tended to rent slaves from his neighbors. In addition to that, he was a tobacco industrialist in a time when the tobacco industry greatly employed black women and exploited their desire to live. The heavy


financial involvement of Duke within Hayti leads to questions of power relationships within and outside of the community. To understand power relationships between Hayti and others outside the community, I believe that a thorough analysis of the class structures1 within Hayti is needed, with attention to how those structures influenced where authority was exercised, and whose voice would be upheld as that of reason. The businesses founded within Hayti, and the wealth gained from them within the community, gave rise to an emerging black middle class. Within this middle class, prominent figures rose to create the understanding of Hayti as a black utopia. The Spaulding family held part ownership of NC Mutual, and through this ownership, controlled a large portion of “black wall- street” and the economy of Hayti. The Scarborough family was a well-off family who owned the Scarborough Funeral Home, which is still in operation today; at the time it was one of few funeral homes for African-Americans within Durham. The Shepard family founded North Carolina Central, the nation’s first state supported liberal arts HBCU, and were powerful advocates of education within the black community. These families were only three of a social class rising in prominence within Hayti that would make lasting impacts inside and outside the community. Business owners, teachers, and other professionals became leaders and respected members of the community, and claimed positions of power within churches, social clubs, and sororities. These black professionals often held land in their name, owned their own home, and worked to be looked at through the eyes of the outside world as the foundation of Hayti. For many of Hayti’s affluent families, however, gender distinctions that allocated work outside of the home to the man within the familial unit, and work within the home to the woman of the house, were placed into practice as wealth was accrued. Certain practices and ways of acting associated with the “white” middle class began to be understood as reflecting the sophistication, power, and progression of the black community. Middle class values became the mark of “respectable” people, and in some cases, middle class families were not much better off than their lower class community members. However, it was the air of respectability, the way in which people carried themselves and the values which they displayed that would occasionally differentiate the lower class from middle class society. Great stress was placed upon those of black “society” to exhibit behaviors that would be looked upon from the out1  Within black communities, skin complexion and class status were often closely related. “… higher- status blacks tended to have lighter skin tones than lower-status blacks and that light skin tone was an important criterion for attaining prestige within the black community.” (Verna M. Keith and Cedric Herring) Within societal enjoyments such as sororities, skin tone influenced power dynamics. Within my work, an analysis of skin tone in relation to the class divisions amongst members of Hayti will not be explored.

side world as evidence to support claims of social equality. Yet, it was the display of class distinctions as upheld particularly by the black middle class and their practical application of values and structures associated with the white middle class that began a separation between those of the lower class within Hayti and those within “society”; this extended to the very understanding of how blackness would be exercised and whose experiences would be expressed as the “voice” of Hayti. Acts of the “masses”, or actions that could be understood as indicative in some way of black inferiority or inability to be civilized including loud speech, laughter, and emotional displays were treated as the practices of “few”, or of a lower class of black people, and largely condemned by the black middle class or bourgeoisie. During Hayti’s days of prosperity, many of the community’s wealthy women who worked within the home arranged social meetings and get-togethers. They were able to mold the social sphere into a world created out of their own understanding of civility and image. The ability of these women to exercise power within the community, although often recognized in relation to their husbands’ or fathers’ economic status, shows the influence they held. They ran sorority gatherings and meetings such as those of two of the Divine 9 sororities,2 the Alpha Kappa Alphas and Delta Sigma Thetas. They also held fundraisers for the schools, and supported North Carolina Central; their understanding of education led them to uphold it as a tool for uplift. Many of these women were college-educated members of families with strong ties to education, and the result of unions where one or both parents was an educator or college graduate themselves. Although teachers worked in the public sphere, they enjoyed much of the same social status as the housewives of local community leaders. For a community wishing to demonstrate the abilities of the black race, educators were an integral part of a greater vision and as such, treated with respect and elevated status. They were one of the main instruments of uplift ideology and active in changing the narrative of the black community in many ways. It was understood that only through teaching youth valuable skills and giving them a solid education could they change the perception of black people in the white public eye. For Hayti’s female residents who worked outside the home in manual labor positions, particularly within the tobacco industry, the work sphere provided a domain in

2  “There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan- Hellenic Council. Collectively, these organizations are referred to as “The Divine Nine.” ( Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history - ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families in the United States.” The prominence of the sororities within the Hayti community, and their root within the HBCU (historically black college) speak to the rise of college educated women as leaders within the black community, but also of the class divisions that worked along the lines of classism and colorism.

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which the exercising of freedoms outside of the status of their husband provided a different way of creating power. The earning of wages for the home provided black women with a say regarding the ways in which that money would be spent, what it would go towards, and what would be saved and used for later expenses. Yet, work within the tobacco industry was often not understand as a choice for many of the poor black women who endured it, but as a necessity for the survival of their family. The family was at the root of the work that many women did within tobacco, and it was because of family that they sacrificed education, one of the criteria for rising into middle and upper class black society. By choosing to live, these women forfeited a place in the “new” black class and became relegated by many of the middle class to the shadows or margins of the story of Hayti. Before child labor laws were stringently enforced, many young women within Hayti would begin working in the tobacco industry during their early teens. Blanche Scott, who began working in the tobacco factory at twelve would recall, “I had to go to work. I worked at Liggett Myers after school got out” (Blanche, 446). Liggett Myers was only one of the tobacco factories within Durham that heavily relied on the labor of Hayti’s female residents. The Duke family, which included Washington Duke, were major tobacco industrialist and their tobacco factory employed many of Hayti’s members. The race, gender, and economic status of black female tobacco workers stripped them of many of the protections given to their white counterparts in tobacco, but also set them apart from their wealthier counterparts within Hayti in ways that limited their voice within the workplace and the community in which they lived. The divide between the lives of the working class women within Hayti, and those of wealthy women who traveled within Durham’s elite black circles is an example of the multiplicity of experiences that created the culture of Hayti. It was not a singular outlook that formed the world of Hayti nor was it one that existed outside of the intersections of gender and class. While I have only discussed the lives of female tobacco workers and middle and upper class women within Hayti, I have not yet accounted for the stories and lives of their husbands. I first started out with the analysis of women and their social arrangement within Hayti because understanding the differences and interior workings of the Hayti community required that I first understood the ways in which class influenced the familial unit, the basis of black society. Black women were regarded as the keepers of that family, the nurturer, and provider of morals, and so it was essential for me to start there. However, it is also important for this text to evaluate the lives of the men within Hayti, and how power operated and moved within their circles. They, the men, were often the land and home owners, and so a sense of Hayti’s wealth and economic standing can be gained from them. In the middle and upper class homes of Hayti, men ofNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

ten found employment in the work sphere as entrepreneurs/business owners, medical professionals and teachers. Many of Hayti’s wealthy families owned their own land and home, they also held ownership over other lots and properties. They leased and rented some of those lots and homes out to less wealthy members of the community. With the building of apartments and the leasing and renting of these spaces came a physical distinction between homes of the middle class and those of lower economic standing. Many of the homes within North Carolina’s black communities at the time reflected this, and can be understood through the words of Mary Delaney Hamilton: Well, a lot of rental houses were what my mother called railroad houses (my emphasis), one room right behind the other. But all of the houses owned by individuals (my emphasis) were different. They had from five to six rooms, or more, large porches, and the lots were good (my emphasis) and large. (Hamilton, 272) Hamilton was speaking of her community in Raleigh, but the physical descriptions of the homes that she speaks of can easily apply to Hayti as well. Railroad homes would have been shotgun houses,3 and rented by less economically well off members of Hayti. For those with means, these homes, common throughout the South, became signifiers of the promise of black self- agency unfulfilled. The shotgun homes were more than an inexpensive frame house, they became the way to differentiate the “haves” from the “havenots” and were a tool for the perpetuation of a class breakdown within the community. Homes owned by wealthier individuals were homes that emphasized individuality. Their outer appearance differed; the building materials varied; and the style of the structure was constructed according to the owners’ wishes. Ornamentation was a signifier of class. The ability to control the outer appearance of one’s home spoke also of a permanence to the dwelling, a need to make it into a home, a place to live and not simply stay. The owning of a home and land spoke of a permanence of residency that the renters within Hayti often times did not have. Their lots were not “good” because they themselves were poor. “Good” lots within Hayti would have been understood in terms of the homes that lined Fayetteville Street such as the Scarborough house, Merrick home, and Fitzgerald residence. A man’s ability to provide a “good” home for his family on a “good” lot was a signifier of his place within Hayti’s society. As I analyzed property and land records of the time, I found that men or the families of men who owned their homes and

3  The “shot gun” house is of Haitian origin, and its defining feature is its structure of one room leading into the next. Typically, there are no hallways within the home, or either a single long hall that all of the rooms of the house open into. The style of the shotgun house would travel with Haitians who migrated from Haiti to New Orleans during the revolution of Toussaint L’Overture. It is recognized today as one of the most enduring architectural contributions of African diasporic peoples to the Americas.


property were often those whose names were recognizable within Hayti, such as Merrick and Spaulding. Men of means were able to purchase the lots and homes they lived on and in. The property and home would then be inherited by the family of the property owner upon death, ensuring that the land and home would stay within the family. For the children of men with means, this meant social and economic advantages because part of status within the community came from one’s last name that had acquired meaning within the community, and the home that one lived in as symbolic of social status. In this way, men gave to their children two of the requirements for societal advantage within Hayti’s high circles and furthered the existing power dynamics. For men of lower socio-economic status, who were typically renters of land from the wealthy of Hayti, the ability to pass something to their children was limited upon death. Very few members of Hayti who were not of the middle class owned a home, property, or any of the other marks of progress within Hayti. As a result, they were unable to pass on anything of tangible value. The constraints of Jim Crow combined with the vulnerability faced by black workers due to race and class distinctions would not actively allow lower class blacks to leave material markers of their lives; stories and small items were the only lasting items they could pass on. In this way, the importance of family was stressed within Hayti as well, because family ties and connections were invaluable in creating a living atmosphere which lifted one out of poverty and into comfortable means. As previously discussed within the text, Hayti did not exist outside of a relation to Durham. One of the interesting qualities about Hayti in its formative and prosperous years was the attitude towards it from Durham’s white residents. Friendships and business relations formed stable and often amiable connections between business owners within Hayti and white community members of Durham. Race relations were such between Durham and Hayti that Booker T. Washington, upon a visit to Hayti would remark, “Of all the Southern cities that I have visited I found here the sanest (my emphasis) attitude (among) white people toward the blacks” (Harlan, Smock, Teague). The sanity of white people in relation to African-Americans was a state cultivated by African-Americans, however, within Hayti, and evidenced through the active fostering of race relations amongst middle class black residents of Hayti and wealthy whites. While Hayti as a whole benefitted from a positive relation to the greater Durham area, those who worked outside of the community or who carried out interactions with those within Durham were exposed to prejudice and hatred. These encounters were not uncommon, nor were they always in the institutionalized form that we commonly refer to today; there were both blatant and subtle forms displayed. A blatant example may be found in Kelvin De’Marcus Allen’s account of walking back to Hayti from downtown Durham. “My mother stopped, swung around and tried to shield me, but before she could, I caught a glimpse of the

cars three occupants. They were white. A voice snapped, “HEY NIGGERS, GIT ON HOME!” (Allen,80) The racial epitaph used along with the phrase “Git on home” suggest a desire, from a few white members of Durham, to rid the “white” public of a black mother and child. When situated within its historical context, the singular sentence is more than the stringing together of meaningless words; the sentence is a promise of violence. Allen’s words give us another lens to a more multifaceted understanding of the relations between Hayti and Durham, between the wealthy members of Hayti and Durham, and between the members Hayti who were of lower socioeconomic status and Durham. It allows us to understand the complexities of the treatments of Hayti’s residents within Durham, and how even those relations hinged upon understandings of who mattered within the community of Hayti, and who did not. This would be a topic whose importance would come to be more strongly understood during urban renewal. With Durham’s Urban Renewal Program came a promise of progress to the residents of Hayti, and Durham. However, this “progress” would come at the price of history, culture, and economic prosperity. Essentially, the price for the “progress” that the Urban Renewal Program promised for Hayti would be its existence. To understand the “price of progress” in context of Hayti is to also understand what the Urban Renewal Program said it hoped to achieve, and the ways that it worked against the interest of Hayti. Urban renewal began on a large scale in the United States after World War II, pushed in part by Title I of the 1949 Housing Act, which was focused on “A large-scale program of slum clearance…” (Monthly Labor Review, 155-59). The goal of renewal was to provide cities the necessary funds to renovate and rebuild neighborhoods that had been previously labeled as slums. In addition to the renovation of such slums, it was the responsibility of the city to build safe and clean homes for those who would be displaced through the act of slum demolition, while ensuring that the housing rent would be affordable, allowing for continued living within the community. Slum clearing was “prohibited unless a feasible method is provided for the temporary relocation of families displaced from project areas, and unless permanent housing has been or is being provided…” (Monthly Labor Review, 157). However, many would find that urban renewal left promises broken, and would result in what would be considered by some to be “urban removal”. This differentiation between renewal and removal speaks to the frustration experienced by those who, living within areas that had been designated as slums, watched as their communities and often livelihoods were demolished in front of them, helpless to stop what had been set forward by leaders within the community, and painfully aware of what was not rebuilt in the aftermath of the urban renewal. One man living within Hayti would go on to remark about the process that: Our slum area with very few modern facilities was tore up and replaced with cages called apartments … no yard Fifth World


space, no breathing space. Big brick buildings where you practically lived in somebody’s house, other than your own, jammed to get. Never gonna be the same. (Allen, 90) What the man referred to was the failure of the Durham Urban Renewal Program to provide adequate or desirable housing to those it had displaced. Instead, what Durham’s Urban Renewal did was look at predominantly black neighborhoods within Durham, then designate these areas as slums. The process would not have been difficult, because the forced segregation of neighborhoods had placed black people within communities identified by maps as colored. Such neighborhoods were typically considered to have lower property values than white communities; through the designation of lower property values, as well as the notion that the area was a prime building spot for progressive construction, the Durham Urban Renewal Program was able to justify its destruction of black communities in the name of the “progress” that Urban Renewal promised. Black community leaders within Hayti were drawn pictures of “progress” in the form of more shops within the community, increased business, and newer and more modern buildings. Those of the Hayti community in positions of power to speak were men within Hayti’s upper and middle class. They understood that the new businesses would result in the loss of some of the homes within Hayti, the homes of renters, and a few smaller businesses, but they believed that Urban Renewal was beneficial to the broader community. It was through this lens of “progress” that community leaders of Hayti supported the Urban Renewal Program, and aided in the demise of the community. While there was resistance within the community, it was not strong enough to stop the completion of plans for the renewal project. Construction of Highway 147 began in 1967; the decline of Hayti had started.

Figure 3.4 Current lot within Hayti (Hayti Prospect UNC Reconstructing Hayti)

The construction of Highway 147 required the destruction of multiple landmarks and homes of Hayti. Amongst the landmarks to fall to the bulldozer were White Rock Baptist Church, the former Regal Theatre, and the Biltmore Hotel. With the felling of these landmarks of Hayti, tangible histories of the people who resided within the community were lost, defining what would be left for future generations. The highway was placed to cut directly through the heart of Hayti, and as a result, the majority of the commu-

4  Many areas of Hayti now look similar to this empty lot. A lot of the properties are now gated and locked off from the public while many of the homes appear, from the outside, to be in need of repair. This particular lot was once used for public housing.

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nities’ businesses were lost as well. The residents of homes that had been destroyed and the owners of businesses whose stores no longer stood were told that their displacement would be fixed through the building of temporary substitutes for better homes, and the erection of a new building to house Hayti’s businesses. Many of the homes later built were not affordable for those that had previously lived within the area, many of the businesses moved on within the time it took for Durham to begin to act upon its promises, and over time, the Hayti that had once been, became a memory. Today, Hayti is no longer the area Du Bois described in his visit to Hayti during the early 1900s. There is no longer … a singular group in Durham where a black man may get up in the morning from a mattress made by black men, in a house which a black man built out of lumber which black men cut and planed;…he may earn his living working for colored men, be sick in a colored hospital, and buried from a colored church; and the Negro insurance society will pay his widow enough to keep his children in a colored school…(Du Bois) Instead, the supermarkets, shoe stores, and other businesses that once lined the streets of Hayti no longer reside there. What has replaced these businesses are miles of asphalt and stores whose presence has done little to enrich the community such as the local Dollar General. Those who once lived within the community moved on after the demolition of their homes, or embraced the idea of moving out to move up. What has been left within Hayti are those who still hold onto hope and visions of days gone, and those who had no other choice than to stay within a slowly economically deteriorating community. Empty promises, streets that bear the ghost of past years, histories neglected; Hayti has been left to shoulder the price of progress. To preserve a history that has been attempted to be erased through the absence of it within accounts of Durham as well as the movement of people out of what is left of Hayti, St. Joseph’s AME has become Hayti Heritage Center and seeks to enrich the community through the education of community members and larger Durham. The presence of the center is of great importance because it is active in engaging others in the history of Hayti and recreating a culture that is aware of, and in many ways nostalgic about, the past in ways that seek to preserve but not recreate.

Figure 4. Hayti Heritage Center (Open Durham)


The environment that once created the world of Hayti no longer has the same components where it once existed. Wealth no longer flows as it once did into the community through black professionals as people have continued to “move out once they move up”. Family structures have changed in ways that require different dialogue than what was needed decades ago, and the older generation speaks of a loss of the respect that once held Hayti together. Many of the homes now within the area, if not owned before by members of Hayti, are now rentals with steep rent. While all of these changes cannot be fully attributed to the building of Highway 147, such as the changing structure of the black family unit due to a larger system of unjust mass incarceration, the impact of Highway 147 is still deeply reflected in all of the aforementioned ways. The culture of the area has changed in ways that reflect the “progress” that has been made within the community. Progress, the clearing of designated “slum” areas, the displacement of a people who had made out of small corner of Durham, an entire world. Progress, the removal of low income neighborhoods, of black and brown people, of entire communities. Progress is the up building of a city, the clearance of spaces that hold no value. Progress is moving out in order to move up. But, from out of these understandings more questions arise. What makes an area a slum? Are slums designated not by the presentation of the buildings of the community but rather by the people? Who decides what the definition of progress will be, and why may it not be Du Bois’ definition? I believe that the further we look into these questions, and the people whom they concern, we move into a larger continuation of the erasure of communities of color on the maps in ways that speak to the larger arrangement of minority populations within the periphery of the American ideal of home, community, and place. What Hayti represents is not a singular incidence within our history, but rather a larger pattern. This is in part why what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen to communities such as Hayti is of great importance. We must reconsider our notions of “progress”, of “change”, of “advancement” in very real ways. The histories of such places continue to be rewritten every day, new formulations coming out of the lives and memories of those who created rich tapestries of brilliance, perseverance, and excellence in places that were meant to create despair. This is why we cannot close the door on communities such as Hayti. There are not enough words, and no final resting note on which I am able to end my work on when speaking of communities that have “fallen” under the price of progress. Such communities straddle the line between the creation of new memory that is built within the shadows and history whose presence has to fight to not be forgotten, and therein is the difficulty. How then do I, do we as readers, begin to write and understand such communities in ways that advance the continued fight for recognition and

remembrance of what was, and what “progress” may leave behind? How do we change what it means to advance as a society? How do we redefine “the price of progress”?

Allen, Kelvin De’Marcus. Looking Back to Move Forward: Reconciling the Past, Liberating the Future. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006. Print. Bailey, Snow. “Souvenir Edition of the St. Joseph Story, Celebrating the Dedication of the Edian D. Markham Memorial Building and Parsonage of St. Joseph A. M. E. Church, including Pertinent Historical Data . : Bailey, Snow : Free Download & Streaming.” Internet Archive. Durham, N.C., Service Printing Co, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. Brown, Leslie. Up building Black Durham: Gender, Class, and Black Community Development in the Jim Crow South. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 2008. Print. Du Bois, W.E.B. “The Upbuilding of Black Durham. The Success of the Negroes and Their Value to a Tolerant and Helpful Southern City.” Summary of The Upbuilding of Black Durham. The Success of the Negroes and Their Value to a Tolerant and Helpful Southern City. World’s Work, Vol. 23, 1912. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. “Durham County.” Land Record/GIS | Durham County, Durham County, Gaines, Kevin. “Racial Uplift Ideology in the Era of “the Negro Problem”.” Racial Uplift Ideology in the Era of “the Negro Problem”, Freedom’s Story, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center. University of Michigan, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. Gaines, Kevin K. Uplifting the Race Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century. Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1998. Hamilton, Mary D. Interview. Little, M. Ruth. “The Other Side of the Tracks: The Middle-Class Neighborhoods That Jim Crow Built in Early-Twentieth-Century North Carolina.” Vernacular Architecture Forum, 1997. Web. 2017. Harlan, Louis R., Raymond W. Smock, and Geraldine McTigue, eds. Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 11: 1911-12. University of Illinois Press, 1981. Hayti Prospect UNC Reconstructing Hayti. NC Mutual Life Insurance. Hayti Prospect UNC Reconstructing Hayti, Herring, Cedric, et al. Skin Deep: How Race and Complexion Matter in the ‘Color-Blind’ Era. University of Illinois Press, 2004. “Hillside Park High School.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. “Learn Our History.” White Rock Baptist Church. White Rock Baptist Church, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. Open Durham. “REGAL THEATER.” REGAL THEATER | Open Durham, Open Durham, “The Divine Nine.” The Divine Nine - N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. Thorpe, Earl E. A Concise History of North Carolina Central University. Durham, NC: Harrington Publications, 1984. Print. Services, ITS Web. “History of the University.” North Carolina Central University. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2017. Services, ITS Web. “North Carolina Central University.” North Carolina Central University, www.

“Provisions of the Housing Act of 1949.” Monthly Labor Review 69.2 (1949): 155-59. JSTOR. Web.

Fifth World


The Implications of Demographic Targeting in National Political Campaigns: An Analysis of Voter Engagement and Empathy Cordelia Gilligan


oting blocs are a hallmark of modern political analysis. Demographic divisions based on gender, age, region, and even more specific and detailed divisions, are present from the earliest conception of campaign management to the statistics on voting patterns after an election.1 During the campaign process, candidates are advised to court the vote of specific groups by running advertisements about different issues in targeted regions and on targeted channels and stations. The premise of this approach to campaigning is that by dividing an otherwise overwhelmingly diverse voting populace into smaller groups, it will be easier to present issues directly to those who care about them, thereby making people more engaged and likely to vote for a specific candidate. This paper questions this idea—not that in our current political environment, people do in fact care more or less about various issues based on demographic groups, but if this is in fact a natural way for voters to approach politics. It could be that people care about specific issues because they are told that certain issues are more relevant to them and that they possess a greater knowledge of particular political issues because of demographic targeting. It is possible that demographic targeting prevents greater empathy and understanding of political issues unrelated to the demographic categorizations that someone identifies with. I first questioned the use of demographic targeting while looking at a copy of Everywoman’s Magazine from 1919 at the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The magazine was published out of Raleigh, North Carolina up through the 1950s. There were articles written by suffragists supporting the 19th amendment, and others that were in opposition to suffrage, all of which led me to think about “women’s issues” in political history. The concept of women’s issues has been criticized because these so-called “women’s issues” are not only limited to women. Inequities like the wage gap and lack of guaranteed paid maternity leave affect everyone, although they have a direct impact on women; by calling them “women’s issues,” you are implying, or so critics argue, that they only matter to women. The impact of 1  There are many different demographic groups that are not particularly relevant to political campaigns, as demographics are just the division of a population into different groups.

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this is that the pressure is removed from men to care about the issues, and there is less motivation to pass legislation rectifying these inequities. There are several reasons for this lack of action. For one, men make up a disproportionate percentage of public representation. Identifying as a man, however, does not make one inherently unable to advocate for women or care about issues spanning from birth control coverage to sexual harassment policy—yet men who are representing women as half of their constituency are much less likely than women to put forth legislation addressing these issues. The same is not true for women presenting legislation on tax law or military action. Women’s status as a “special interest” group versus men’s status as the “universal” leads to less action and understanding surrounding issues which are targeted at women—but the issues targeted at women are not isolated issues that only affect women. Then it clicked for me. Why are any political issues limited to a single demographic group? There are many social and political movements that are presented as disproportionately affecting a single demographic group, then appear to be largely ignored or vilified by the dominant demographic of that category because of this perception of “special interests” or like. This kind of thinking, however, relies on both a lack of empathy and a lack of acknowledgement of the disadvantages that oppression and inequality hold even for those whom it does not immediately impact. As I began to wonder why these political issues were presented in a way that relied on demographic variation, I realized that, perhaps, it is the presentation of specific issues to audiences based on demographics that results in such stark variations in the valuation of different political issues. Demographic targeting is certainly easier for national political campaigns than other methods of campaigning.2 The ability to present voters with specific information 2  In this paper, I am specifically looking at national political campaigns, so this ends up being presidential campaigns. Within this time period, there were 16 presidential campaigns, but there were two occasions on which a new president was sworn in without an election. The first was President Lyndon Johnson following the assassination of President John Kennedy. The second was President Gerald Ford following President Richard Nixon’s resignation. In these cases I will touch briefly on how advertising and demographic strategy was used while they were in office, but the focus of this paper is on demographic targeting when pursuing elected office.


about issues that data show they care about holds greater efficiency and efficacy. Motivating people to vote for a specific candidate is easier when they think the candidate will represent and work for their individual concerns. The efficiency of this tactic, however, does not necessarily mean it ought to be the method of communication used if one is striving to meet the ideals of a diverse democratic society. This led to the issue that I really wanted to look at in this paper: a lack of empathy and understanding of issues not pertaining to one’s own demographics. My dominant concern when starting this project was that demographic targeting isolates people belonging to different demographic groupings from one another. When advertisements are formulated to be seen by a viewer based on specific demographic characteristics, telling the viewer that the issue before them is directly relevant to them as a member of a specific demographic group, the viewer will be more likely to value this issue highly on Election Day and perhaps not give as much consideration to the other platforms of a candidate. There is evidence that when voters are targeted based on demographics, they will perceive the core issues of the election differently from other demographic groups; essentially, they see the issues pertaining to their demographic group as the most important ones in the election writ-large.3 This is not a phenomenon that individual voters can be blamed for, as it is a product of the dominant political stratagem. Demographic targeting can blind voters to the issues facing people outside their demographic group, so when they do hear about the issues that other people are facing they can more easily brush them off or believe that policy that is presented to another demographic group over their own will not positively affect. Demographic targeting is utilized as a campaign tactic because it is efficient, but in the long-term it stagnates voter engagement, prevents an intersectional address of the public on political issues, increases political polarization, and limits the development of empathetic connections to political issues outside one’s own demographic identities.


emographics are the way a population is analyzed based on shared characteristics. In a national political campaign in which the candidate must appeal to people across the country, demographic targeting effectively addresses multiple groups of people in a manner that will make them more likely to vote. There are many different demographic groupings in the modern political environment, each of which is associated with different issues and ideologies. In this section I will establish the five demographic groups outlined in the paper, describing how they were formed and what issues are traditionally associated with each of them. 3  Steitz, M. and Quinn, L. 2007. An Introduction to Microtargeting in Politics. New Politics Institute. The AFL-CIO ran a microtargeting campaign with a group that was micro targeted and a control, and the group that was micro targeted perceived major differences in what the election was about compared to the control group.

There are, however, many demographic groups that I am not evaluating within the context of this paper, for several reasons. The first is that given the time frame of this paper, some demographic groups were not targeted by presidential campaigns until very recently. One of the most prominent of these groups is the LGBT community. I do not look at this demographic because political issues related to the LGBT community were not widely addressed in national political campaigns until the 2000s.4 I am also not looking at educational level, although it does result in demonstrable differences between otherwise similar demographic groups. This is because there is not as much demographic targeting based solely on the demographic of education level as there is for other demographic groups. Although the placement of advertisements on particular websites or radio stations will reach audiences with specific educational levels, and there are trends in political ideology based on education level,5 there are not specific issues that relate to an individual’s education level.6 Each of the demographic groups I am looking at in this paper are related specifically to experiences of identity that impact a voter’s day-to-day life. With these limitations, the result is that the issues presented to them will be, with little exception, related to who they are.


he first demographic group is race. Within the context of modern presidential campaigns, race is typically divided into the categories of white, black, and latinx (How Groups Voted 2016). This, of course, discounts the diverse 4  This is not to say that LGBT rights were not a political issue prior to the elections in the early 2000s. The beginning of the LGBT rights movement in the U.S. is widely considered to be the Stonewall riots in 1969, which then resulted in the formation of the Gay Liberation Front and many offshoot organizations. Throughout the 1970s to the present day, there has been political organization for the LGBT community, but it was not a major issue in national campaigns until the early 2000s. For example, during the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic was a major political issue; Ronald Reagan, however, did not address the crisis until his second term (and even then he was not active or outspoken about it.) The other reason I did not include LGBT demographic analysis is that the policy positions on LGBT rights between the Democrats and Republicans have changed so drastically, even within the past five years, that a general analysis of policy platforms would not be consistent across election years. The first time a presidential candidate supported gay marriage was Obama in 2012, but gay marriage is no longer a nationally contested political issue with staunch opponents—the LGBT movement has made substantial policy gains in a relatively short amount of time. 5  The highly educated tend to lean liberal, while those with only a high school education or less tend to lean conservative. According to a survey from the Pew Research Center in 2016, as the population surveyed became more and more educated, the proportion of those with solid or mostly liberal views increased consistently, to the point that adults with a postgraduate degree or higher were 54% liberal and only 24% conservative. These percentages may not be as stark as the statistics of black people who identify as Democrats, but are still substantial when compared to the general population, which is 35% liberal and 27% conservative. 6  The only major issue that is related to one’s identity as a highly educated voter is perhaps the issue of college debt, which was only a major political issue in the 2016 Democratic primary. This issue also has ties to age-based demographics, though, so it will be addressed in that context.

Fifth World


and complex racial makeup of the United States, however these divisions are nevertheless utilized to a great extent in campaigning and the analysis of elections. Race and racism are omnipresent in American society, so there are multiple ways in which race plays a role in a voter’s perception of political issues and how they will vote. When looking at racial demographics, one sees are stark ideological divisions. Race has played a role in American society from its founding, and race was a determining factor in everything from who could vote to who was considered a full person. At the same time, it is worth noting that race is a social construct and that racism preceded the consciousness of race. As Ian Haney-López notes in “The Social Construction of Race,” there is not a biological difference between people of different races—the only true differences are socially and legally created. This is not to say that these differences do not exist, period; as, historically, racial divisions have been socially designated, they have acquired great weight in society—and race also holds great political implications as government is the organized body of the people (and, as a result, society). These implications are certainly one of the determinations of the voting patterns and political beliefs of racial demographic groups—after all, when racial bias is woven into the fabric of society on all levels, it is reasonable to base political decisions on how a given candidate or party will affect various issues related to one’s race.


lack voters are the most consistent demographic group in terms of ideological support. Over 90% of black voters are registered Democrats, and a majority of black voters have been registered as Democrats since 1948, although they had been voting majority Democrat in presidential elections since 1932; by the time President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, the percentage of registered Democrats has remained fairly consistent (Jackson). Democrats did not start winning over the black vote through demographic targeting. Black voters voted Republican until 1932 because it had been the party most active in emancipation and securing rights for formerly enslaved Black people, but by 1932 Republican economic policies that contributed to the Great Depression created conditions that led Black voters to vote for Franklin Roosevelt to see if his economic policies could create a way out of poverty (Reed).7 Black voters and the issues they cared about became more important to the Democratic Party as they continued to vote for Democrats in following presidential elections. By 1960, John Kennedy ran on a Democratic platform that had a robust vision of equality in response to the civil rights movement that in both rhetoric and policy sought to secure voting equality, complete desegregation of schools, and fair

7  It is worth noting that although Roosevelt’s New Deal policies were helpful to many black Americans, the policies were racially discriminatory and excluded people of color from many programs.

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employment practices, among other goals related to racial equality (Democratic Party Platforms: 1960 Democratic Party Platform - July 11, 1960). Modern Democratic Party platforms have stated that “the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status,” (Democratic Party Platforms: 2012 Democratic Party Platform - September 3, 2012) although equivalent Republican platforms have expressed similar rhetoric, these words have been qualified by the addendum that “we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides as the best or sole methods through which fairness can be achieved, whether in government, education, or corporate boardrooms.” (Republican Party Platforms: 2012 Republican Party Platform - August 27, 2012) This indicates an opposition to policies established by Democrats in the 1960s to address systemic lack of opportunity for black people and other people of color. In the 2012 presidential election, which were the same year these platforms were released, 93% of black voters voted for Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, while only 6% of black voters voted for the Republican opponent, Mitt Romney (How Groups Voted in 2012). Black voters are more likely than white voters to say the treatment of racial minorities is very important in their decision of who to vote for (Fingerhut). The issues presented to black voters have changed over time, but are typically related to civil and social rights. Although social inequality is difficult solve predominantly through legislation when compared to other forms of inequality, there is nevertheless a great deal of policy addressing racial inequality. In more recent elections, reform of the criminal justice system and protecting voting rights have been among the predominant issues targeted to black voters; yet, on the website that lists the most recent Democratic candidate for president’s policy on racial justice, there are several issues listed that might not initially seem to affect black people or other people of color singularly, such as gun violence and environmental injustice (Racial Justice). Although the intersectional quality of the policy on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website is closer to the average voter’s experience of the impact of government, even the advertisements out of this campaign were not intersectional in the way it presented its policy on its website. They were specifically directed toward black voters (African American Voters Can Stop Trump) opposing the support Donald Trump received from white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, and the offensive statements he made regarding the black community.


he latinx vote has been primarily registered under the Democratic Party since 2012 (Lopez, Mark Hugo, et al), and it has clearly defined policy concerns. In general, latinx voters care about immigration reform; however, as there are subgroup divisions among latinxs which tend to be more conservative on social issues while liberal on immigration,


they are a demographic that both Democrats and Republicans pursue. More latinx voters are registered Democrats, at around 54%, compared to 11% for Republicans (Lopez, Mark Hugo, et al.), and latinx voters have voted more for Democrats than Republicans in presidential election since 1980 (Lopez, Mark Hugo, and Paul Taylor). Republicans still pursue the latinx vote on social issues, given the religious bent of the demographic. The Cuban population in Florida tends more conservative than other latinx groups. 54% of Cubans supported Trump in the most recent election, yet only 26% of latinx voters outside this subgroup supported him (Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Antonio Flores). It is also worth noting that the racial identity of latinx voters is treated as a voting bloc although the population itself is highly heterogeneous in both racial and ethnic background. Many racially white and black people are ethnically latinx or hispanic, and the racial identity is thus a complicated issue for many latinx people.


hiteness is seen as a default, so the issues that white people care about often make up the mainstream coverage of campaigns, and are not based on their white identity because whiteness is universalized. In fact, the only possible example of a political belief held by white voters based on their “whiteness” is a support of racism. This is because there are not specific political issues regarding one’s identity as a white person, because whiteness is the most privileged racial category; it is the default racial category in that it is not always seen as necessary to mention in political analysis. In fact, whiteness often is not even seen at all; it is an invisible empire, permeating political, legal, and social structures and has for centuries, with little challenge. “Racial anxiety” has recently been expressed through voting for candidates like Donald Trump who incite a desire for greater racial inequality and white supremacy expressed in naturalist terms. This is the closest thing to a political issue associated with whiteness, and it is the antithesis of the issues that pertain to black or latinx experience, because it reinforces structural racism, thereby increasing racial forms of inequality, widening the gap in racial equity and resulting in the loss of rights for people outside that demographic group. Addressing issues pertaining to people of color would, however, lessen racial inequality and would ultimately benefit both those who belong to the primary demographic as well as those who do not. When evaluated within the context of their race and another quality, such as class or gender, white voters typically show more patterns. An example of this phenomenon is “working class voters,” which, in political analysis, are a swing demographic. Not all working class voters are swing voters, though. Black working class voters are reliably Democratic; it is white working class voters who are a swing demographic. This exemplifies how the simplification of demographic targeting can prevent the application of intersectionality.

When white voters do not care about the political issues predominantly affecting those of a different race or believe that whiteness transcends racialized concerns, the oppression and injustice faced by people who are not white are dismissed as “identity politics,” as if these problems were specific to the demographic group rather than issues that should be addressed by voters regardless of race. Demographic targeting prevents white voters from seeing these issues as important. Excessive demographic targeting functions to let white voters be dismissive of political issues that do not affect them as “identity politics” and contributes to a continued ignorance of systemic racism.


he second demographic group is gender. Gender, like race, is a social construct that now holds undeniable weight in how one experiences opportunity and privilege. As mentioned earlier in the paper, I will not be evaluating LGBT+ demographic targeting, so in the breakdown of gender I will only be addressing the categories of women and men, although gender is a spectrum and these two categorizations do not include all gender identities. When I discussed the concept of “women’s issues” in the introduction, I noted that this term is inherently flawed. Women as a demographic lean Democratic, but this varies greatly when an intersectional analysis addressing racial and economic identity is also considered. In the past two presidential elections, for example, white women have voted Republican (Cassidy), although women (when considering all women) voted Democratic in both elections (How Groups Voted in 2016; How Groups Voted in 2012). When one takes an intersectional approach to evaluating the voting bloc, the issues that women most care about vary greatly, as women vote differently when considering other aspects of their demographic makeup. Both Democrats and Republicans target issues toward women in ways that align with their party’s interests. Republicans tend to emphasize family values and target the “suburban mom” (which is, still, addressing more than one demographic group) and will sometimes use gender stereotypes (Democalypse 2014 - Winning the Lady Vote - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) to appeal to women. When appealing to this subsection of the demographic of women, Republican advertisements will often address issues related to children. Both parties address the issue of abortion in a manner specifically targeted to women. Democrats will take a pro-choice stance, emphasizing women’s autonomy and, more specifically, control of their own reproductive choices; Republicans will attempt to appeal to maternal and moral instincts, using anti-choice rhetoric that considers fetuses and fertilized eggs “unborn babies” and control of women’s reproductive choices. Men as a demographic group are always modified by another demographic group. Men are undeniably the default within the American political system, as they were the only people explicitly included in the founding documents and

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they make up the majority of governmental officials (and the entirety of the list of Presidents.) There are no “men’s issues” because the phrase would be redundant to most people in government—all issues that are not related specifically to women are “men’s issues,” and even women’s issues are legislated by men.


enerally, there are not specific policy issues that appeal to voters based on their age (it varies, based on the relevant political issues of the time, although older voters will consistently care more about Medicare and Social Security than younger voters will), but there are trends in the political allegiances of voters based on their age. Democrats have an advantage over Republicans with young people (Gallup, Inc.), but young people also tend to turn out at lower rates (Khalid). There has also been a trend among young voters to register as Independent rather than with a party. Older and middle aged voters vary in party identification, with a slight edge toward Republicans, but that lean is not as substantial as young voters supporting the Democratic Party.


he fourth demographic group is class. Governmental programs which provide support to low-income households are supported by low-income voters. This can include welfare, SNAP, Medicaid, and any other program that provides support to those who need economic assistance. The lowest income bracket of voter will reliably vote Democrat because of their support for these programs. Although participation in such programs is not based on race, there is a higher percentage of beneficiaries to some programs who identify as people of color (Morin). Terms such as “welfare queen” have been utilized by some Republicans (Shaefer, Kathryn J. Edin H. Luke) while on the campaign trail to their mostly white base. At first glance, these seem to be appealing to middle class voters who may or may not think their tax rate is too high, but definitely do not benefit from shared responsibility programs; the reality, however, is this term is racially coded, playing to the idea that people of color (especially black people) reap the benefits of white tax dollars because they are lazy and do not want to work. It contributes to a false idea that social programs that provide support to low-income individuals and households are actually programs that benefit people of color at the expense of white people. Economic demographic groups besides low income voters are somewhat variable. The highest income voters will typically vote Republican, likely for tax cuts, but the difference even there is typically within ten points and Democrats have won the demographic in some elections. Middle class voters are frequently a swing demographic targeted by both Democrats and Republicans.


he fifth demographic group is region. This is the demographic group that people have the greatest control

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

over. Although people are limited in their ability to move whenever they want by job opportunities and economic ability, geographic location is the most changeable of these five demographic groups. In the past, the distinguishing factor for geographic location was region, such as north, south, east, and west; now, the difference between location is now more based on whether someone is urban, suburban, or rural. Region can clearly demonstrate the distribution of people across the country, with higher concentrations of people in more urban areas and lower concentrations of people in rural areas. Population density can frequently reflect where people of different political leanings are located. Urban centers hold more people than rural areas, and are far more Democratic, whereas rural areas do not have populations as large and tend to be Republican. Suburban areas are less predictable, as there are some reliably blue suburban districts while others are solidly red. This “swing” quality of suburban districts will often create an uneven distribution of campaign resources, favoring suburban districts over urban and rural ones. One result of this regional breakdown is that more resources are dedicated to winning over a suburban demographic that, for historical and social reasons, is largely white; when a campaign addresses suburban issues, they are also in the process addressing the concerns of white, middle-class voters. Like age, region does not have issues solidly associated with it that are not related to another demographic quality. However, there are trends in the issues urban and rural voters care about. Rural voters tend to care more about agricultural policy and trade because those are directly related to what most rural voters are impacted by. For instance, urban voters tend to care more about social issues, in addition to gun control. This is because urban voters have more interaction with people from different backgrounds than themselves. Urban voters do not see guns within the context of hunting like rural voters do; instead, guns are associated more with mass shootings and violence.


ne of the first questions I had to address was whether it is fair to treat demographic characteristics as the basis of a voting bloc: do shared cultural experiences really result in similar positions on certain policy issues? The answer to this question is yes: for many demographic groups there are shared voting patterns which are more or less consistent within the demographic. From this, I concluded that it is fair to expect people to care about certain issues based on demographic characteristics; the problem lies in the presentation of these issues as relevant only to these particular demographic groups. I also touched on the problem that demographic targeting poses for issues affecting more than one demographic group and how demographic targeting does not acknowledge that one individual may be impacted by the issues pre-


sented to multiple demographic groups. As seen in the most recent presidential election, the current political landscape has fostered a somewhat disengaged voting populace. Many voters felt as though they were faced with two bad choices in the 2016 election, which resulted in a lower percentage of turnout among registered voters when compared to the past four elections (Wallace). This lack of voter engagement has become a trend, as more and more voters have chosen to register as Independent rather than with one of the two parties. Demographic targeting has, at least in part, contributed to this lack of enthusiasm and diminished support for political candidates. Looking at the breakdown of turnout in the 2016 election (Voter Turnout Demographics), the demographic groups with the higher turnout were also the groups with the highest stakes in the outcome. White, middle class voters in suburban areas, especially men, did not turn out to vote at the rates that, say, black women did. If everyone were invested in the outcome of the election on a policy level, it would be more likely that there would be higher turnout among all demographic groups. Turnout is not the only aspect of electoral politics at stake with less targeted demographic appeal. If people were more understanding of the issues facing those belonging to different demographic groups than themselves, there would be less political isolation. Political advertising influences what issues voters are aware and knowledgeable of, and the quality of information they receive.8 The media bubbles that exercised great influence in the 2016 election are an important aspect of the political environment, yet demographic targeting contributes to the lack of knowledge about other voters’ experiences and interests. I will admit that just being told to care about the political issues unrelated to one’s own life is not something all voters would accept; but I would argue that seeing campaign materials about issues that are not microtargeted to unitary demographics to would help develop a political and social culture that would make this more plausible. Additionally, a method of campaigning that presents a multitude of issues to voters without dependency on demographic data would give voters a clearer idea of the scope of an election, as demographic targeting does shade voters’ ideas of what the core issues of an election are. Oppression based on demographic categories such as race and gender are completely valid concerns for voters, especially when they are the victims of such oppression. I am not saying people should not care about the social issues that impact them and their community—to the contrary, I am saying that people outside of that community should also care about them. People fall into some demographic

8  Political advertising can be advocating for an individual campaign, or can be in reference to a specific political issue—perhaps a bill that is being discussed or a relevant political topic. The latter has more potential to be one of the sources of information on an issue, especially when it is not clear where the information is coming from.

categories—identities—regardless of whether they chose them or not, and it is important to recognize this, both from the perspective of policy-makers and from the perspective of a voter whose demographic categorization gave them an inherent upper hand. To ignore differences in favor of policies and programs that support “everyone” does not account for the fact that those who are white, male, wealthy, healthy, or any number of different categories of privilege will still receive more benefits from such policies than will people who fall outside such categories. Instead, those who benefit from these privileges and therefore do not concern themselves with them should be exposed to the political and social issues that are experienced by people in different demographic groups in order to understand how working on these issues is beneficial to them, too, and to foster empathy. Talking with voters is one way to subvert the norm by which issues are presented to voters. New research in deep canvassing demonstrates that through a dialogue, voters can understand and even be persuaded of positions on political issues which affect demographic groups they do not belong to (Fuld). The data is stronger in regard to LGBT+ issues than racial issues, but it indicates that voters who are customarily thought of as unpersuadable and, as a result, are not courted in the campaign process can be reached through empathy and understanding. The difficulty is that the tactic is much more expensive than traditional methods. It is more appealing to spend less money putting out advertisements to the groups which have been polled and tested in focus groups in an attempt to get out the vote, then target a smaller swing demographic group which the campaign hopes to win over in order to get a plurality of the vote. Deep canvassing takes a great deal of time and money to convince voters who seem more likely, by all other metrics, to vote for the opposition. The expense, however, is worth it. Although some people will not be persuaded, being open to dialogue and offering to voters who may not support a specific cause an opportunity to understand the issue in an unbiased, one-on-one context where they feel heard creates long-term demonstrable effects. If a campaign wants to address its core issues, then listening to and attempting to change the minds of voters who disagree with the campaign is important in maintaining support through the legislation process. It also ensures accountability that the issue will be acted upon, and execution of legislation after it has been passed.


s someone who sees government and politics as an inherently empathetic process, perhaps it is naive of me to think that people would care about issues they have not previously expressed concern for just because the method of campaigning broadens the scope of issues beyond their own demographic groups. This may be true, but even if changing campaign tactics to be more inclusive does not make voters more empathetic and considerate of the political issues affecting their fellow Americans, it would still be a good move to make. Demographic targeting has become not Fifth World


only a major presence in national political campaigns, but an important influence on voters. Its influence has resulted in long-term negative outcomes, as it relates to political engagement as a whole. With increasing political polarization, demographic targeting reinforces the political issues that individual voters hear and care about. If voters hear about a variety of political issues, they will have more realistic expectations of the actions candidates would take if elected, rather than think that a candidate’s priorities would be the same as the issues presented to the individual voter. The role that demographic grouping plays in campaigning for modern national elections is unprecedented, and so is its impact. Although the demographic groups that it plays to are either socially constructed or frequently changing, they have a major influence on voters’ perception of political issues—both because these demographic groups play a major role in people’s lives and because these perceptions are reinforced by demographic targeting during political campaigns. Although demographic targeting makes the management of national political campaigns much easier, its overall impact on political engagement is negative; therefore, it is worth reevaluating campaign strategy in order to improve voters’ perceptions of the political landscape. The grand idea of American Democracy envisioned by our founding documents is worth fulfilling, but in order to fulfill it we must attempt to more fully understand and address the role the demographic groups it helped to form have played in limiting its execution.

Steitz, M., and L. Quinn. “An Introduction to Microtargeting in Politics.” New Politics Institute, 2007. “How Groups Voted 2016.” Roper Center, Cornell University. Jackson, Brooks. “Blacks and the Democratic Party.”, 16 May 2011. Haney López, Ian F., and Richard Delgado. “The Social Construction of Race.” Literary Theory: An Anthology. Jackson, Brooks. “Blacks and the Democratic Party.” May 16, 2011. Accessed January 19, 2018. Jr., Adolph Reed. “Race and the New Deal Coalition.” The Nation, 29 June 2015. “Democratic Party Platforms: 1960 Democratic Party Platform - July 11, 1960.” The American Presidency Project. “Democratic Party Platforms: 2012 Democratic Party Platform - September 3, 2012.” The American Presidency Project. “Republican Party Platforms: 2012 Republican Party Platform - August 27, 2012.” Republican Party Platforms: 2012 Republican Party Platform “How Groups Voted in 2012.” Roper Center, Cornell University. Fingerhut, Hannah. “Is Treatment of Minorities a Key Election Issue? Views Differ by Race, Party.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 13 July 2016. “Racial Justice.” The Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton. “African American Voters Can Stop Trump.” YouTube, Hillary for America, 6 Nov. 2016. Lopez, Mark Hugo, et al. “4. Latinos and the Political Parties.” Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, 11 Oct. 2016. Lopez, Mark Hugo, and Paul Taylor. “Latino Voters in the 2012 Election.” Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, 7 Nov. 2012. Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Antonio Flores. “Unlike Other Latinos, about Half of Cuban Voters in Florida Backed Trump.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 15 Nov. 2016. Cassidy, John. “What’s Up with White Women? They Voted for Romney, Too.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 18 June 2017. “Democalypse 2014 - Winning the Lady Vote - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Comedy Central, 8 Oct. 2014. Gallup, Inc. “Party Identification Varies Widely Across the Age Spectrum.”, Gallup, 10 July 2014. Khalid, Asma. “Millennials Now Rival Boomers As A Political Force, But Will They Actually Vote?” NPR, NPR, 16 May 2016. Seniorsmatter. “Older Americans Voting Patterns.” Seniors Matter, Seniors Matter, 25 Feb. 2017. Morin, Rich. “The Politics and Demographics of Food Stamp Recipients.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 12 July 2013. Shaefer, Kathryn J. EdinH. Luke. “Ronald Reagan’s ‘Welfare Queen’ Myth: How the Gipper Kickstarted the War on the Working Poor.” Salon, Salon, 28 Sept. 2015. Wallace, Gregory. “Voter Turnout at 20-Year Low in 2016.” CNN, Cable News Network, 30 Nov. 2016. “Voter Turnout Demographics.” United States Elections Project. “Voter Turnout Demographics.” United States Elections Project. Fuld, Joe. “7 Questions with Dave Fleischer on Deep Canvassing.” The Campaign Workshop, 4 Feb. 2017.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics


The Tolkien Effect: Isolating Culture Through Language in Fantasy Fiction Willa Holt


have always had a visceral aversion to The Lord of the Rings, but have never had the words to explain why. As I began to explore this question, I realized what that bred that feeling: J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, which are the grandfathers of modern fantasy, are soaked in racial prejudices and in class conflicts expressed in linguistic hierarchies. The tropes and archetypes of The Lord of the Rings derive from Tolkien’s conceptions of philological purity and impurity, of his desires for escape from the modern world, and his unconscious racism. This realization caused even more discomfort: if my personal reservations were not unfounded, but came from objectively negative aspects of his works, then what was being furthered by his influence in the genre? What were the true natures of his biases and linguistic quirks, and how are these used and abused by white supremacists in modernity? I sought, and continue to seek, the answers to these questions, and to the larger question of the characteristics of white male escapism and its effects on the culture at large, even beyond fantasy fiction. Fantasy is a genre of the desire to escape; its authors create worlds that are idyllic in ways our world is not, and the best among them transport us to these foreign realms. It centers around the imaginative development of societies, countries, systems, and customs that are in some way other than the norm, the real, or the accepted; each work of fantasy fiction invites its readers to a place from which the authors have removed some struggle or added some power where there typically is none. Fantasy welcomes us to an alternative to these aspects of our lives with which we struggle, substituting conflicts between good and evil for more complex social and political questions. Because each work in the fantasy genre is an escape relative to something the author desires either to experience or to leave behind, the identity and nature of the author or creator of a given work is relevant. It follows logically that an escapist fantasy of a black woman would not be the same as that of a white person of any gender; the less privileged of the two may perhaps imagine a universe in which the power dynamics are inverted as compared to those she experiences on a daily basis. Because a large part of escapism is seeking a better balance of power or opportunity, to escape can mean to have or to desire experiences that are impossible. Along with its escapist qualities, fantasy tends to be medieval in nature. Although science fiction can easily be ar-

gued to exist under the fantasy umbrella, Geraldine Heng groups fantasy and science fiction both under the larger genre of “romance”, arguing that these more specific genres are “consumer categories” (Heng 2). This of course implies that fantasy is somehow subordinate to, younger than, and more specialized than romance, which I would argue is not the case. However, the point with which Heng follows this assertion holds: romance, and thus fantasy, experienced “a powerful, distinct moment of re-beginning in early twelfth-century England”, which solidly associated the genre with the Middle Ages, and thus the medieval aesthetic (Heng 2). This aesthetic is comprised of retrospective (and largely ahistorical) notions of the whiteness, Christianity, and masculine glory of the medieval period. In The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien himself contributed to the propagation of this, as his own penchant for the Anglo-Saxon (and thus medieval) literature, language, and culture had a considerable influence on his works.1 It is crucial to note that medieval fantasies are largely white and patriarchal in nature, and that the genre of fantasy itself is dominated by white men, even though “white” men did not exist in the Middle Ages. Because “Fantasy . . . is stereotypically . . . white, middle-class, and male,” the escapist adventures described are often extreme power trips, especially because the oppressive or dominant classes (white, middle-class, and male) already have great power in the world from which they would flee (Young 5-6). From what are these men escaping? Many potential answers may be swiftly eliminated by nature of their privilege: these men cannot be escaping from systemic racial, sexual, or gender-based oppression. Tolkien himself was a comfortably situated English academic. The resulting phenomenon is visible in The Lord of the Rings: what is sought and described is a world of even greater racial and gender-based stratification in favor of the white man, without resistance to the system or its oppression. This world is constructed around a utopian desire for a time of freedom for white men which has never existed, despite their privilege and power: a freedom from that which makes them feel trapped. What is this trap? Why do white, heterosexual men seek fantastical escape from societies that offer them more 1  Where Tolkien was influenced directly by medieval fantasy and the Anglo-Saxon, his successors were likely influenced more by Tolkien himself. This is why I reference propagation of the aesthetic.

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rights and privileges than any other group? What is lacking in their largely dominant experience that must be sought in fictional narratives? To answer this, I turn to Judith Butler’s notions of performative gender and sexuality. Butler asserts that “one way in which [the] system of compulsory heterosexuality is reproduced and concealed is through the cultivation of bodies into discrete sexes with ‘natural’ appearances and ‘natural’ heterosexual dispositions”. In this instance, the white, heterosexual man is cultivated into his place as the top of the social hierarchy, which is defined as “natural”. Although he may benefit from vast amounts of power or privilege, he is blinded by and suffering from two distinct phenomena, both of which stem from this treacherous concept of the natural. First, he is coerced into the socially gendered acts associated with the normal, natural heterosexual man; while this provides the benefit of dominance, it is still a confined space which limits expression. In other words, expression is constrained by the requirements of an identity, a “self” to which one must always conform. Second, by being convinced, subconsciously or otherwise, of his own natural state, he is to some degree also convinced that what he is experiencing, living, and performing are and must be the norm: thus, he suffers greatly from the pressure of the “natural” box. This pressure or discomfort at being forced to perform this “nature” could be the source of a sort of escapism - but rather than escaping from societal oppression, perhaps he seeks to escape from the personal, albeit socially enforced, pressure to fit the “natural” heterosexual mold. This mold during the time of Tolkien’s writing consisted of (and continues to consist of) several main components: the pressure of gender and constant maintenance of the masculine image as opposed to the ever-stronger presence of women, the pressure of a racialized English identity, and the pressure to maintain productivity in a capitalist market. Thus, to escape from these bonds meant to escape from the feminine obstruction to power, and from the stringent expectations of the capitalist market. Because this escapism from the limitations of acceptable or normal expression occurs on such a high level of prior privilege, it appears excessive to those who are disadvantaged in more significant ways. The heterosexual man benefiting from his position is now, through fantasy, almost supernaturally endowed with strengths or patriarchal power. But because he is trapped within the confines of the norm – a norm defined by what it cannot be – and because he has no reason to rebel against his own power (why topple structures which benefit you?), his creativity and fantasy tend to mirror the reality in which he lives. Thus, we see the sprawling patriarchies and masculine sexual violence in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and the whitewashed, patriarchal adventure that is The Lord of the Rings. What distinguishes The Lord of the Rings from other escapist fantasies is the depth and complexity of its linguistic structure and the history behind it. Because of Tolkien’s North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

meticulous documentation of his processes and thorough description of the history is both of the narrative and of the languages therein, it is possible to analyze the fantasy and its flaws from an entirely different angle. By examining the linguistic structures, historical background, cultural influences and implications of Tolkien’s trilogy and the expanded universe, it becomes clear that his philological and linguistic prowess created a world defined by codified racial biases and heterosexual male fantasies of power, indelibly linked to racial stratification by way of language. Despite consistently clear symbols and trends, Tolkien aggressively protests the notion that he employs any allegory in his narrative, exclaiming several times in his various letters that, “There is no ‘allegory’, moral, political, or contemporary in the work [Lord of the Rings] at all”, insisting that it is, instead, “a ‘fairy-story’” (Letters #181). Why does he harbor such animosity towards the allegorical narrative? Throughout his trilogy, Tolkien consistently strives to join what is known in linguistics as the “signified” and the “signifier”2. The signifier refers or points to a concept which is the signified; they represent or recall these more distant ideas. These meanings are not fixed, but rather rely on ever-shifting context. Tolkien wishes for a world in which meaning is inherent, in which words and meanings are unified and represent themselves wholly: a world exclusively composed of signs, or symbols. This desire removes the space and distance inherent to languages which are systems of signs with mutable meanings, and attempts to reconcile the alienation that results from these distances (i.e. the distances between signifier and signified). The Lord of the Rings trilogy has a singular, overarching journey: the restoration of the King, the recombination of the signifiers (Aragorn, the monarchy, the ordered society) with the transcendental signified of “the King”. “The King” is an ultimate ideal whose meaning and import are unaffected by any external force, including shifting contexts, which may be an effort to restore order and control over language and its fluctuations. There is unrest in Middle-earth until the King is restored, or until the distance between the transcendental signified and its various signifiers is minimized. Thus, we begin to understand Tolkien’s aversion to allegory: in few literary strategies are the signifier and the signified so alienated from each other as they are in the allegory. Even in Aragorn’s full name, Aragorn of Arathorn, the unity Tolkien craves is clear: this unites the past, present, and future, not representing the concept of the monarchy but rather encompassing it, swallowing it into the figure of Aragorn himself. Aragorn is the King, and the King is Aragorn (The Two Towers 36). This search for unity extends to many aspects of the trilogy: its arts, its locations, and its peoples. One way of beginning to analyze culture and the repre-

2  See Jacques Derrida’s interview Semiology and Grammatology for more.


sentation of peoples is through the language used to categorize them, and the formation and structure of this language. Tolkien’s talent in creating complete languages is remarkable; his skill in this area was heavily influenced by his passions for the Finnish language, Anglo-Saxon literature and culture, and medieval studies. For The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien created several complete languages - or, rather, the languages created The Lord of the Rings. In one of his many letters, Tolkien writes, “The invention of languages is the foundation. The ‘stories’ were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse” (Letter #165). His cultures derive from his languages; the structure and history of the languages he created are key in understanding and interpreting the worlds of his work, whose organization mimics the organization of a language whose context is comfortably static. There are several main languages that are worthy of analysis: Quenya and Sindarin, the most evolved of the languages here, both of which are Elvish; Westron,3 the common tongue, mainly used by Hobbits and Men; and Black Speech, one of the least developed but most important languages, spoken by Sauron and associates. Westron is unique in that it is almost entirely represented in The Lord of the Rings by English words. The text of the Red Book of Westmarch, from which all histories in The Lord of the Rings are supposedly drawn, was said to be written in Westron (Return of the King 522). It is a Mannish language originally, though Tolkien says that it was “enriched and softened under Elvish influence”: Elves are elevated in status in the realm of language as well as culture (Return of the King 515). Quenya and Sindarin are the most commonly referenced of the highly developed Elvish languages. In keeping with Tolkien’s repeated Euro-centric conception of the West as superior, both higher languages derive from the Westelves’ linguistic root family, Eldarin. Quenya is the greater of the two, known as “High-elven” as opposed to Sindarin’s “Grey-elven” (Return of the King 514). This is also in keeping with Tolkien’s color-hierarchy as seen in the various wizards: Gandalf the Grey is much stronger upon resurrection as Gandalf the White (Letter #156). There seems to be a connotation of muddied (and darkened) colors being inferior. This makes logical sense: the pure white is made impure, the high tongue is darkened, thickened, brought closer to the (increasingly racialized) body. High-elven, the purest of whites, is described as “Elven-latin”: it was “an ancient tongue . . . the first to be recorded in writing”, used by ancestral High Elves (Return of the King 514). Sindarin, Grey-elven, was the more common of the Elven tongues, and was used by Grey Elves of the period of the High Elves. Because Grey Elves were more numerous, Sindarin was adopted as the main language, and all Elves in The Lord of the Rings are understood to speak it

3  Note here the use and connotation of “West”.

(Return of the King 514). In this way the decline of the Elvish era is intimated. Despite its decline, Elvish culture still possesses the superior language; outsiders like Frodo can clearly understand the language without prior knowledge simply through listening to it (in a song, in this case). The signifieds of the language are intelligible without the need for signifiers, and is close to pure meaning. Even the lowest of the Elvish tongues is superior to all other languages, and can be set in opposition to Black Speech. In other words, the language of light, aristocratic, sophisticated race is the antithesis of the speech of the dark, cruel horde of Mordor. This is emphasized by the Elves’ extreme opposition to Black Speech. Until the utterance in Rivendell of the inscription on the One Ring, no voice had ever “dared to utter words of that tongue in Imladris”4 (Fellowship of the Ring 333). As Tolkien created his world, races, and characters around his existing languages, he imagined the races and speakers of each language as extensions or characterizations of the languages themselves. In this sense, Quenya (and Sindarin, to some extent) is the ideal, or at least the superior - it draws from Tolkien’s favorite language5 and the languages of his favorite family, Anglo-Saxon. The speakers of Quenya, the highest faction of the highest species, represent the pinnacle of refined culture, and as such the greatest good in the narrative. Black Speech, and the mangled Orkish then represent the linguistic and racial aspects that Tolkien finds negative. Where Quenya derives simply from his well-liked linguistic families, Black Speech and Orkish are convoluted. Orkish especially is composed of many languages combined in disorder: “[Orcs] had no language of their own, but took what they could of other tongues and perverted it to their own liking” (Return of the King 520). Tolkien sees this unruly irregularity as antithetical to his ideal language: one that must be pure, whole, and self-contained. Also notable is that Orcs “debased” the common tongue by bastardizing it, as they did with Black Speech (Return of the King 520). The common speech, Westron, served as the unifying tongue of the Free Folk, those not under Sauron’s power (Fellowship of the Ring 367). By bastardizing it, the Orcs6 essentially reject this unity and ease of communication, as well as tarnishing the quality of the common

4  “Imladris” being the Sindarin word for Rivendell (Return of the King 525). 5  See Petri Tikka’s The Finnicization of Quenya for a deeper linguistic analysis of this relationship. 6  The same applies to Trolls, a race equally under Sauron’s rule (Return of the King 521). They are less frequently referenced, so I refer here to Orcs alone.

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tongue.7 Here it is worth noting again the physical descriptions of the Orcs, as described to George Zimmerman: “They are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes: in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types” (Letters #210). It is extraordinarily clear that these creatures, from the East, no less, are racist caricatures. Thus, Tolkien’s Orcs embody their language, the signifier of the perverse is the signified: ruined, bastardized language is represented by descriptors that Tolkien associates with the ruined, the bastardized, the inferior.

both overt and subtle references in the trilogy, which come together to create a text vulnerable to misinterpretation.

Figure 1. Chart of Cirth runes. Source: Ager, Simon. “Cirth” Cirth Runes

Equally racial, and equally linguistically significant, are Tolkien’s runes. Runes are the epitome of the symbol, as well as the epitome of European (specifically English) idealized and symbolic history. Tolkien’s history of Middle-earth includes many variations on runic systems, known overall as Cirth. Cirth, used by the Elves to record their languages, underwent many minor changes over the course of the canon timeline, but the initial and overall look of the characters is evocative of Old English runic writing systems, which is in keeping with Tolkien’s interest in the Anglo-Saxon. Visually, the angular structure and branching patterns are strikingly similar; Cirth directly copies certain Anglo-Saxon runes (see fig. 1, fig. 2). The presence of runic writing in The Lord of the Rings allies it with more overtly racist codes, such as the odal rune adopted by the Nazis in their attempt to recreate a mythic past. This is an instance of subtler signals of racism being read into the text (seeing runes, thinking whiteness and white supremacy), rather than explicit racism that is already present being exploited: Tolkien associated runic writing with Elves (and Dwarves) but didn’t contrast them with an evil writing system - the One Ring was inscribed with Tengwar, the non-Anglo-Saxon writing system also derived from old Elvish writing. There are, then,

7  Perhaps this can be equated to slang; perhaps Tolkien expresses his distaste for what he perceives to be debasing of the Earthly common and high tongues. His example of Orkish ruining of words is a slang-like shortening: “tark . . . was a debased form of tarkil, a Quenya word used in Westron” (Return of the King 520).

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Figure 2. Chart of Anglo-Saxon runes. Source: Ager, Simon. “Anglo-Saxon Runes (ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱ/Futhorc/Fuþorc).” Anglo-Saxon Runes (Futhorc), Simon Ager

The Anglo-Saxon-related cirth8 are also very easily reframed. As the Anti-Defamation League describes in its database of hate symbols, white supremacists often transliterate racist slogans into Old English runic system, including the very system on which Cirth is based (Runic Writng (Racist)). This naturalizes hate: it places the reprehensible in the language of the people (or, those who are perceived to be the people). Common racist slogans, according to the ADL, include “RAHOWA”, an odd portmanteau of “Racial Holy War”, another Medieval and Anglo-Saxon concept (RAHOWA). The association of the Elves with specifically Anglo-Saxon styles of writing associates the Elvish race with the ideal of Anglo-Saxon culture: a fantasy of Euro-centric white purity generally centered in England. Initially, Anglo-Saxonism was not necessarily racial in nature, but rather based on nationality, from which culture, and finally race, were 8  Cirth, capitalized, refers to the system, whereas cirth refers to the runes themselves.


derived or extrapolated. By its peak in the mid-nineteenth century, almost a century before The Lord of the Rings was first being published (Horsman 387), it was highly polarized along lines of both color and nationality (Horsman 390). The “modern” roots of the Anglo-Saxon myth of British history can be traced to barrister Sharon Turner’s work History of the Anglo-Saxons, in which he describes three foundational tribes in English history; these can be boiled down to represent Germanic, Slavic, and “Keltic” groups. In this three-part novel, Turner associates Germanic tribes with characteristics the English admired and wanted to present themselves as, and associated the Keltic groups with the more negatively connoted French (Boyce 3). In the mid-nineteenth century, in line with the development of nationalism, the Anglo-Saxon myth became more elaborate and specific. Historians such as Thomas Arnold continued to vocally assert the racial differences between Englishmen and their surrounding non-German neighbors (Boyce 4). Along with strong positive association with Germanic peoples, the Anglo-Saxon view of England associated its positive traits and racial heritage with Scandinavian countries (Horsman 2) – a notable point due again to Tolkien’s affinity for Scandinavian languages, especially Finnish. Tolkien’s notions of an ideal, peaceful English culture appear in his depictions of the Shire. Where the Elves represent a perfect aesthetic perception of culture, the quiet lifestyle of the Shire is the anthropological other half, or counterpoint: the humanistic, more basic desire for rural leisure. The balance between the two is personified in Frodo, the interloper or cultural appreciator, and Aragorn, the Mannish Romeo to the Elvish Juliet in Arwen (Return of the King 385). These two cross the borders between the linguistic race-cultures of Middle-earth, while delicately avoiding actual assimilation. Frodo immediately understands the Elfsongs he hears, experiencing their meaning directly in the form of almost-pictures despite being unfamiliar with the language (Fellowship of the Ring 79). The linguistic signifiers are explicitly transformed into their seemingly fundamental meanings, which transcend the notion of varying languages. The Elvish tongue, when used in art, is a sign for all: it is purity in motion, the ultimate anti-allegory, the perfect language. Unsurprisingly given its perfect appeal, Frodo and his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, consider Rivendell their home more so than the Shire in terms of culture and sophistication,. This is important to note specifically because Bilbo can be described as the father of the series: he is the patriarch of the Baggins line, and the catalyst for Frodo’s adventures. In the prequel to the trilogy, The Hobbit, Bilbo is initially described as a homebody, saying to Gandalf that “[Hobbits] are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!” (The Hobbit 4). He is originally deeply satisfied with his uneventful life in the Shire; however, once he has been exposed to the adventures beyond the Shire, or, once he has been exposed to the aristocratic

sophistication of the Elvish world, learns the language, and becomes a writer, his connection to his birthplace falters. The implication would seem to be that upon exposure to the finer things, or Elven things, even the quintessential English bachelor becomes enlightened and sophisticated in his own right. In this way, Tolkien confirms his idealization of the upper classes, and his interest in the broader positive notions of the falsely simplistic “city”. While he asserts through his writing that the Shire is a good place, the action and the interest lie in the upper classes, the purest of pure (or, whitest of white)9. For my purposes, though, the Shire is an important location to discuss, as it represents the escape from work and from industrial capitalism. It serves as a center or starting place for the narrative, and is lush, green, and hilly, and peaceful. (Fellowship of the Ring 15). There is a sense of almost purgatory and definitively agrarian stillness and stagnation. The Shire and its inhabitants suffer from no hardship in the beginning of the narrative, lending it a sense of bourgeois complacency and a sort of happy tedium. The Shire is a regressive ideal; it’s too peaceful and too perfect, and it represents an oversimplified English countryside that, according to Raymond Williams, never truly existed (Williams 1). This false dichotomy between city and country has a long history in English literature. There is a distinct separation between the Shire and the outside world, in that the Shire is the mythicized “country” to the industrial “cities,” including the wastelands of Mordor10. The Shire cannot save itself, it is too peaceful and still. Therefore, it must be redeemed through the very adventure its inhabitants seem to avoid: the path of the narrative is, as in the extended title of The Hobbit, “there and back again.” It is ultimately Rivendell, city of Elves, that represents the place of “learning, communication, [and] light”, where Mordor, city of Sauron and his armies, embodies the “noise, worldliness and ambition” of the fictionalized city (Williams 1). In his descriptions of the ordered and calm Shire, Tolkien falls into nostalgia that Raymond Williams describes as an escalator: always moving forwards, always looking back towards an unattainable and increasingly vague notion of the purity of the comparatively rural past. Tolkien harkens back to the idyllic country of his youth, and idealizes these times in a way that aligns with the homogenous concept of “country” (Williams 12). He does this not only in the aforementioned direct idealization of the Shire, but also through his rejection of the industrialization brought on by Saru9  It should be noted here that the Elves have the longest documented history in Middle-Earth – the whitest clan are the forefathers and perhaps the true owners or rulers of the land, even as the Men come into power. See Appendix B in The Return of the King for a comprehensive description of the Ages, the coming of Men, and the departure of the Elves. 10  The Country and the City discusses this history throughout; Williams cites many historical instances of the comparison. It is worth reading.

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man’s influence: the Scouring of the Shire is the last struggle of the trilogy. Because of Saruman’s manipulation of Lotho Sackville-Baggins (Return of the King 354-5), a regime was instated that placed “Rules” on every wall, limited the amount of food - and thus the amount of merry-making - (Return of the King 338) and brought to the Shire “squint-eyed and sallow-faced” Men (Return of the King 344) and “outlandish contraptions” (Return of the King 356). The symbolic summary or climax of the industrial ruination of the Shire comes when Sam notices that “They’ve cut down the Party Tree!” (Return of the King 360). It is Saruman’s final attempt at something like revenge, and it brings the evil of the city into the ideal of the country - blurring, or rather destroying, the lines separating the evil and strife of the outside world from the Shire. The critical eye with which this section is narrated seems to be a rejection of industrialism, which also rejects the capitalist measures which again require the systemic organization and regulation of work. Tolkien explicitly states that there is no government, no police in the Shire: Saruman’s regime is seen as a perverse intrusion on his paradise, which is more than likely an expression of Tolkien’s distaste for English industrialization (Letters #210). This interpretation becomes more important when seen through white nationalist eyes, which, like Tolkien, look for an England that never was. Tolkien’s beliefs were not limited to his fictional writing: he repeatedly identifies himself with Anglo-Saxon theory in his personal letters, even writing to the University of Oxford to “offer [himself] as a candidate for the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon” (Letter #7). He expresses his attraction to “such [an] opportunity of expressing and communicating an instructed enthusiasm for Anglo-Saxon studies” (Letter #7). This level of interest cannot be ignored – especially because he did successfully teach as an Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford University. Anglo-Saxon studies is a field historically linked to English xenophobia and racism, rooted in an idealization of Germanic roots and traits, and indelibly associated with a concept of linguistic and racial purity in the form of an essential English and German “culture”, a culture that one can only inherit, an inheritance that is always threatened. The crux of the matter is that Tolkien is a known Anglo-Saxon affiliate, and Anglo-Saxonism as a concept and as an academic practice is inherently racially structured and constructed. With this racial construction established, what specifically draws white nationalists to Tolkien?11 Surely, there are many more overtly racist works. To understand the scope of this question, it is necessary to analyze the nature of the peo11  There is a separate category for “High Fantasy and the Lord of the Rings” on the popular white supremacist forum Stormfront. See the forum thread titled “What I’ve learned from the Lord of the Rings and the Lord of the Rings movies” for an example of this phenomenon.

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ple who appropriate his work. The notion of white supremacy in America (and globally) is not only a racial movement, but also, by necessity, a cultural movement. Those who espouse its rhetoric see white people as a cohesive group, with its own unique culture. Given the absence or lack of actual “white” cultural practices, this is defined backwards: by insisting upon other races as cultural monoliths, they claim that they, too, are unified. If black people and Indian people and Asian people are all both racial and cultural groups, then it follows, to the racist mind, that white people, a cohesive race, must also be a cultural group, and that group and its practices must be threatened by others. The only way to prove that white people are culturally unified is to find a culture that fits this concept. Through race, they seek culture, which comes through nationality: thus, the fixation on eastern Europe arises. Scandinavian and Germanic (and, to some degree, Slavic) countries have defined cultural practices, and can therefore be appropriated to fit the needs of white nationalists. Because these areas are also predominantly white, it is easy to associate with them: there are fewer non-white groups to actively erase12. The second fixation of white nationalists is upon Medieval Studies. David M. Perry explains that “white supremacists explicitly celebrate Europe in the Middle Ages because they imagine that it was a pure, white, Christian place organized wholesomely around military resistance to outside, non-white, non-Christian, forces” (Perry). Because the field of Medieval Studies tends to tell its history from a white, Christian perspective, describing the aggressive side of the Crusades and largely ignoring the impact of people of color during the period, it is inadvertently creating the perfect ideal for white nationalists to identify with. Because of the ways Medieval Studies is taught, white nationalists perceive factors like the various Crusades to be justified historical precedent for race wars, and see the lack of people of color as evidence for their ideals. Medievalism is not limited to history in this way. The idyll of white Medievalism relies on a certain pre-capitalist fantasy (as evidenced strongly by the Shire and its subsequent industrialization), which has few commodities and little to no market. Its residents cannot purchase power, and there is no currency, no representation, or signifier, of value. This essentialism is appealing to those who seek for the linguistic signifier to be in itself the signified: “white” is not a representative phrase referring to larger culture, “white” is culture; it requires no explanation. White nationalism here offers a fantasy (once again, an escape) influenced by Tolkien’s love of Scandinavian language and his Anglo-Saxon and Medievalist backgrounds. He has provided a story whose inspirations come from his own passions – passions for another world that are shared,

12  Visit for more specific ethnic breakdowns.


for different reasons, by white nationalist groups. The narrative can very easily be read as a group of rural people saving their idyllic home from the black, eastern evils of the larger world, and through this struggle learning the finer, more aristocratic ways of older, more advanced cultures: the effort to defend a way of life (culture) leads to the discovery of Culture. The quest itself is aristocratic (The Return of the King), which once again appeals to the Medievalist fancies of white supremacists. Although it is generally presumptuous to assume to understand the thoughts of someone else, especially if they are no longer alive, Tolkien has left us his words. Had he been aware of the ways in which his text is being used, he would not be happy. To a man so vehemently opposed to symbolic and allegorical readings of his text, the appropriation of these adventures by white supremacists would surely have been reprehensible. However, no matter how strong his feelings (or lack of feelings) on the subject, and regardless of his level of distaste for the deeper meaning, “moral, religious, or political”, the fact remains: it is impossible, from a position of any power, to create a story, no matter how fantastical, that is wholly removed from deeper historical meaning – especially when what you have created is your own escape from history. Moreover, it is impossible to erase from one’s work the marks of internal prejudice, subconscious and conscious beliefs, and social effects, especially if these have been inculcated by the very institutions of literary study to which your own life’s work has been given. Tolkien cannot rid himself of responsibility for the implications of his work by repeatedly and loudly denouncing the idea that there are implications at all. For this reason, it is relevant to analyze those tendencies which have appealed to other, less admirable or interesting writers who take over his work. There is unequivocally something there to be taken over; there are undeniable racial and ethnic assumptions which found his work, and it is possible to draw attention to and critique those while continuing to admire the level of attention and detail paid in Tolkien’s works. Critique is inescapable: it is not possible to simply ignore a work, especially a work as popular and timeless as these works are, which excludes or demeans other peoples, or supports certain concepts, including racialized linguistic families. Linguistics, philology, language as a whole, all are inseparable from culture. How could methods for communication indeed be removed from the cultures they belong to, sterilized and analyzed by themselves? There cannot be linguistic analysis without the analysis of culture. But in the polarized modern world, why is it necessary to spend time on these fictional universes? When there is so much to analyze in the real world, what is the point? The point, as I see it, comes from the simple fact that our fiction, and our fantasy, is an expression of what we wish (on some level) to be true. What we write, what we express, is a reflection of ourselves, and fantasy writing that lasts

in the cultural consciousness is writing that expresses desires that continue to be felt. When these desires are tinged with or defined by opinions that are detrimental to others (or “others”), we must ask ourselves challenging questions. What is it about our society that makes us fantasize about worlds without positive representations of people of color? without positive representations of non-European language families? where the goals and livelihoods are singularly focused on the betterment of a white, heterosexual patriarchy? It is only after coming to terms with these issues in the media we hold most dear that we can begin to change, to alter our social thinking so that we are no longer dreaming of societies which do not include our neighbors; it is only after coming to terms with the shortcomings of our childhood fairy-stories that we can begin to write a better future of worlds worth escaping to.

Ager, Simon. “Anglo-Saxon Runes (ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱ/Futhorc/Fuþorc).” Anglo-Saxon Runes (Futhorc), Simon Ager, Ager, Simon. “Cirth” Cirth Runes, Boyce, Robert. “The Persistence of Anglo-Saxonism in Britain and the Origins of Britain’s Appeasement Policy towards Germany.” Histoire@Politique, vol. 15, no. 3, 2011, p. 110., doi:10.3917/hp.015.0110. Butler, Judith. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” In The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader. 2nded. Edited by Michael Huxley and Noel Witts. London: Routledge, 1996. Heng, Geraldine. Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. Columbia University Press, 2003. Horsman, Reginald. “Origins of Racial Anglo-Saxonism in Great Britain before 1850.” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 37, no. 3, July 1976. JSTOR [JSTOR], Perry, David M. “What to Do When Nazis Are Obsessed With Your Field.” Pacific Standard, Pacific Standard, 6 Sept. 2017, “RAHOWA.” Anti-Defamation League, 2017, “Runic Writing (Racist).” Anti-Defamation League, 2017, hate-symbols/runic-writing-racist. Tolkien, J. R. R., and Christopher Tolkien. The Silmarillion. Mariner Books, 2014. Tolkien, J. R. R., et al. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. George Allen & Unwin, 1981. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Tolkien, J. R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. Harper Collins, 1993. Tolkien, J. R.R. The Return of the King. Harper Collins, 1993. Tolkien, J. R.R. The Two Towers. Harper Collins, 1993. Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. Chatto & Windus, 1973. Young, H. (2016). Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness. New York: Routledge. “Ethnicity and Race by Countries.” Infoplease, Sandbox Networks, Inc., Oct. 2015, www.infoplease. com/ethnicity-and-race-countries. Godfaesten. “What I’ve learned from the Lord of the Rings and the Lord of the Rings Movie.” Stormfront RSS, 17 Apr. 2010, Kristeva, Julia. “Semiology and Grammatology.” Tikka, Petri. “The Finnicization of Quenya.”

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Les Fleurs du Male: Baudelaire, Mapplethorpe, and the Morale Publique Eli Hardwig


990. The Web was going up, Stevie Ray Vaughan was coming down, and in Cincinnati, the Citizens for Community Values brought the first U.S. lawsuit against a museum. For months, Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center had been planning to open doors on a touring photography exhibition, yet when the city’s Citizens for Community Values got word of the subject, they immediately began a publicity and letter-writing campaign against the exhibit, demanding that it be cancelled and its funding be pulled. On opening day, April 7, a grand jury issued four indictments against the museum and its director, presented by twenty law-enforcement officials as the protests outside swelled. And the fight was on. Why was it that the exhibit so outraged some citizens’ “community values”? Citizens and prosecutors described the exhibit as “criminally obscene” and “child pornography.” Senator Jesse Helms called it “disgusting, insulting, revolting garbage produced by obviously sick minds.” Yet the show had been lauded in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, DC. It was a retrospective of the work of a famous photographer (perhaps the most famous photographer of our day), particularly poignant as he had died mere months earlier due to complications from AIDS. The exhibit’s name was The Perfect Moment, and its photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. This explains it, to those familiar with Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre. For the rest, a brief primer: Mapplethorpe was an gay photographer known throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s for his photographs of flowers, classical nudes, statues, and explicit, gruesome sexual acts. The exhibit sought to render these different aspects of Mapplethorpe’s work into a single whole; the organizer of the exhibit said, “I’ve tried to juxtapose a flower, then a picture of a cock, then a portrait, so that you could see they were the same thing.”1 And this too was the defense made in court. When asked about the artistic merit of an uncomfortable image of a man inserting a finger in his penis, she said, “It’s a central image, very symmetrical, a very ordered, classical composition.”2 Mapplethorpe described the image himself as “a perfect picture, because the hand gestures are beautiful. I know most people

couldn’t see the hand gestures, but compositionally I think it works. I think the hand gesture is beautiful. What it happens to be doing, it happens to be doing, but that’s an aside.”3 The argument for artistic merit won, and the pictures stayed up. But not all such trials have had recourse to this kind of testimony. One of Mapplethorpe’s artistic inspirations, a 19th century French poet, once found himself in very similar straits. In 1857, Charles Baudelaire published a book of poetry entitled Les fleurs du mal, containing several explicitly sexual poems. (Note the title—Mapplethorpe’s sexual photographs of lilies have also been allusively called “flowers of evil.”) Within the month, Baudelaire was served with a notice from the Ministry of the Interior accusing him of an outrage à la morale publique. Like Mapplethorpe’s trial, Baudelaire’s was presented as a duel between art and establishment values; unlike with Mapplethorpe, the establishment won. Despite a spirited defense leaning heavily on the precedent set by works like Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Baudelaire was found guilty of “outrage to the public morality” in the August of that year. He and his publisher were fined, and six of the poems in the book were censored until 1949. It is easy to see the similarities between these two cases. Both concern an artist whose scandalous content is placed in opposition to its important form (in Baudelaire’s defense, Flaubert wrote that he had “injected new life into Romanticism.”4 ) But the parallels go far beyond their charges. Baudelaire and Mapplethorpe are two figures who shocked their respective ages, and from reading their work we can learn much about the production of and response to that shock, in content and in form. Viewed in this light, it’s a small wonder that 20th-century cultural critic Walter Benjamin saw Baudelaire as the genius of his age, or that contemporary conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith sees Mapplethorpe as the genius of his. Benjamin and Goldsmith both composed monumental works on the experience of a city, respectively entitled the Passagen-werk, or Arcades Project, and Capital. Both center the works around a single figure; Baudelaire in Benjamin,

1  Kardon, 25, via Goldsmith 531.

3  Morrisroe, 192.

2 Grundberg.

4 Mills.

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Mapplethorpe in Goldsmith. Goldsmith is not unaware of the parallels; he begins his chapter on Baudelaire with a quote from biographer Patricia Morrisroe: “Robert Mapplethorpe was the 1970s leather-clad equivalent of the great dandies and decadents of the nineteenth century—Beardsley, Oscar Wilde, Huysmans, Baudelaire.” 5 A study of these two figures might thus be urgent not only for what it can tell us about the aesthetic, social, and political value of shock, but also for a better understanding of our generation in relationship to the generations before us. Nor are these two objects divorced: this historical understanding may well come out of an examination of shock. In order to best note these qualities, I propose a reading that considers the two artists in terms of their erotics, kinetics, aesthetics, and economics. These four categories will allow us to discern some of their similarities and differences, and perhaps assign these to their respective ages. Let’s begin with the artworks themselves, and with the quality about them that so outraged Cincinnati’s Citizens for Community Values.

Towards your body’s treasury Silently, stealthily to creep, To bruise your ever-tender breast, And carve in your astonished side An injury both deep and wide, To chastize your too-joyous flesh. And, sweetness that would dizzy me! In these two lips so red and new My sister, I have made for you, To slip my venom, lovingly!6

Erotics. head, your air, your every way Y our Are scenic as the countryside; The smile plays in your lips and eyes Like fresh winds on a cloudless day.

The gloomy drudge, brushed by your charms, Is dazzled by the vibrancy That flashes forth so brilliantly Out of your shoulders and your arms. All vivid colours, and the way They resonate in how you dress Have poets in their idleness Imagining a flower-ballet. These lavish robes are emblems of The mad profusion that is you; Madwoman, I am maddened too, And hate you even as I love! Sometimes within a park, at rest, Where I have dragged my apathy, I have felt like an irony The sunshine lacerate my breast. And then the spring’s luxuriance Humiliated so my heart That I have pulled a flower apart To punish Nature’s insolence. So I would wish, when you’re asleep, The time for sensuality, 5  Morrisroe, 181.

6  The poem is McGowan’s translation of Baudelaire’s “À Celle qui est trop gaie,” one of the poems struck from Les fleurs du mal; the photographs are Mapplethorpe’s “Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter,” 1979; “Calla Lily,” 1984; and “Calla Lily” 1986. Previously, this work included the images “Elliott and Dominic,” 1979, “Alan Lynes,” 1979, and “Jim and Tom, Sausalito,” 1977, but these were excluded for this publication.

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The immediate parallels between the poem and the images are obvious. Both are marked throughout with the twin motifs of beauty and sadism, hatred and love. Baudelaire’s desire to wound is consummated in the violent world of Mapplethorpe’s photography, and in turn the motivation of those wounds is revealed in the cross-section of Baudelaire’s psyche. Moreover, there is a dangerous erotic force in both. Though we may disagree, we can understand why the Ministry might have been concerned by the poet’s sympathy for the mutilator, and Cincinnati might have wanted to protest the artistic merit of “Jim and Tom, Sausalito, 1977.” Despite the apparently similar motives, however, it is important to note the very different forms that this objection took. Baudelaire was charged with ‘outrage à la morale publique et religieuse, et aux bonnes mœurs.’ This was a charge in three parts: offense against public morality, obscenity, and religious immorality. Baudelaire was acquitted of this last but promptly convicted of the others. Note that, contrary to the Cincinnati trial, both the prosecution and the defense shared the same understanding of indecency: “neither Baudelaire’s defence nor Flaubert’s argued for the autonomy of art, concentrating instead on the same issue of morality as the prosecution—the subject of the specific law which was the basis of the trial.”7 The conclusion? Baudelaire’s poetry was indecent. Although the dossier from the hearing was destroyed in an 1871 fire, we know the arguments of the prosecutor. Through the use of Christian ideas of human weakness and original sin, he argued that “readers, undisciplined and imperfect moral subjects that they are, would not take the evil as an antidote, but at face value; they would be more interested in the lasciviousness of the poems than in any moral lesson that the author may have wished to put

across.” 8 This was far from the charge for Mapplethorpe. If Baudelaire was accused of creating indecent art despite personal decency, Mapplethorpe’s advocates suggested he created decent art despite his personal indecency. Few would defend Mapplethorpe’s personal habits or attitudes on grounds of ethics or good taste. When the desire comes out in his work to “whip your joyous flesh/And bruise your pardoned breast,” it is his own; beauty and loathing were inextricably tied to him, especially as related to race. Mapplethorpe went through a self-described “Black period” where he would only have sex with and photograph Black men, searching for a ‘perfect specimen’ who would, for Mapplethorpe, be necessarily Black. Yet, in the words of one of his friends, “Robert’s leitmotif was how unbelievably and impossibly stupid they all were… We called it ‘the curse of beauty.’ There was an inverse proportion between mental development and cock size. The most beautiful ones didn’t seem to develop their brains much. Robert just came to accept it as a fact of life that the ones he was attracted to sexually and as a photographer weren’t going to have much upstairs.”9 Baudelaire would have empathized: he once wrote that “only the brute gets really good erections.” There is a brutality in these statements and their racist fantasies, and in much of Mapplethorpe’s work in general. Besides the idea that there is a violence implicit in photography or in the objectifying lens of the camera (which we will return to again in part IV), Mapplethorpe mistreated his subjects before and after photographing them. From his men to his flowers, he left them strewn in his path; as soon as he’d captured his “perfect moment,” he was done with them. This makes sense, though. Mapplethorpe’s work isn’t about love, it’s about sex. A Mapplethorpe photograph is a one-night stand: after the moment of orgasm, it doesn’t care anymore. (Would that this were an attitude limited to photographers.) The stripping of romantic sentiment and subtlety from the images is integral to their shock value. In their indisputable, photographic truth, they prove a world of gay male excess far removed from what the conventional spectator can imagine. Again, the social circumstances are somewhat different for Baudelaire. A poem like “À celle qui est trop gaie” is not intended to suggest a “scene” beyond that of the individual. Although the object of the poem’s attack can be interpreted to be a conventional femininity or a traditional poetic form10, the speaker is still essentially individual. Unlike Mapplethorpe, the shock of the poem does not come from an insinuation that there is a community of beauty-haters removed from us as spectators. Rather, the shock comes from the sudden proposition that we as spectators are part 8  Ibid, 381. 9  Morrisroe, 236.

7  Hannoosh, 378.

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10  For more, see Minahen.


of this community. While Mapplethorpe stands apart, daring us to say something, Baudelaire winks and invites us in, and we leave the poem feeling dirtied by this collusion. Yet the results are the same: Citizens for Community Values leave the work shocked and revolted. This experience may be crucial to the work, however. Sigmund Freud, in his 1930 Civilization and Its Discontents, proposed a parallel between the development of individuals and that of civilization. He names the collective subconscious the ‘maelstrom,’ and suggests that certain artists, like analysts, may descend into it and come back to tell us what they find. Contemporaries suggested that “Robert went into the maelstrom, no question about it, but he came back with an elegant picture postcard—‘Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. Love, Robert.’”11 Baudelaire also went into the maelstrom, and returned with his own erotic artifacts liberated from and inimical to “community values.” Freud would suggest this is the reason public authorities saw such a need to repress it, and argue that extreme reactions to the work are not evidence of its meanness but proof of its significance. The shock, which is for him a shock of recognition, tells us something important about ourselves.


inetics. Having used the word liberally so far, it is worth taking some time to ask what we mean when we talk about shock. Walter Benjamin, author of the aforementioned Passagen-werk and undoubtedly the most influential modern reader of Baudelaire, saw the experience of shock as essential to understanding him and the modernity he invented. For Benjamin, the experience of shock was essentially spatial, rooted in a specifically metropolitan kind of overstimulation. Baudelaire wrote: ‘Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm and without rhyme, supple and staccato enough to adapt to the lyrical stirrings of the soul, the undulations of dreams, and the sudden leaps of consciousness. This obsessive ideal is above all a child of the experience of giant cities, of the intersecting of their myriad relations.’ This passage suggests two insights. For one thing, it tells us about the close connection in Baudelaire between the figure of shock and contact with the metropolitan masses. For another, it tells us what is really meant by these masses. They do not stand for classes or any sort of collective; rather, they are nothing but the amorphous crowd of passers-by, the people in the street. 12 Benjamin took a Freudian view of shock. For him, consciousness represents a “protective shield” from stimuli; when we register the experience of shock, consciousness

“parries” it and prevents us from enduring lasting trauma. Of course we do endure lasting traumas, but Freud sought to understand these “on the basis of their breaking through the protective shield.”13 When we’re in a crowd environment, our psychic shield is occupied with the clamor, leaving us especially vulnerable to moments of sudden surprise. We can see this psychology at work in Benjamin’s interpretation of Baudelaire’s “A une passante.” The text of the poem (in translation by C.F. MacIntyre) is this: Amidst the deafening traffic of the town Tall, slender, in deep mourning, with majesty, A woman passed, raising, with dignity In her poised hand, the flounces of her gown; Graceful, noble, with a statue’s form. And I drank, trembling as a madman thrills, From her eyes, ashen sky where brooded storm, The softness that fascinates, the pleasure that kills. A flash… then night!—O lovely fugitive, I am suddenly reborn from your swift glance; Shall I never see you till eternity? Somewhere, far off! too late! never, perchance! Neither knows where the other goes or lives; We might have loved, and you knew this might be! For Benjamin, the shock of this encounter is made possible only by the crowd that surrounds it . The woman is “mysteriously and mutely borne along by crowd,”14 both towards and away from the speaker. The speaker falls in love with her at the very moment she is carried out of his sight; he is unprepared for either the vision or its disappearance, both enabled only by the crowd that is never named in the poem. Moreover, the speaker is isolated and lonely in a way particular to the big city; the shock of recognition trammels at his defenses. In “A une passante,” the reaction is one of love, in “À Celle qui est trop gaie,” it is one of violence, but either way the penetration of the “shield of consciousness” can’t help but provoke a reaction. Baudelaire “placed the shock experience at the very centre of his artistic work.”15 So too did Mapplethorpe. As a memoir written by one of his publishers (and lovers) has it, “Shock was Robert’s medium in the seventies: the shock of burning bras, the shock of abortion, the shock of sexual liberation, the shock of losing Vietnam, the shock of terrorist Olympics, the shock of Watergate, the shock of Ameri13  Freud, 41, via Benjamin, 115.

11  Goldsmith, 513.

14  Benjamin, 125.

12  Benjamin, 119.

15  Benjamin, 117.

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cans hostage in Iran, the cumulative culture shock.”16 Like the woman in “A une passante,” these events surface from turmoil only to be rapidly submerged in it once more. In the seventies, the crowd is larger, but the shock is the same. It is, following Freud, a shock of recognition for which the consciousness is unprepared. It is worth noting, at least in passing, that Mapplethorpe hated the word. As he told ArtNews in 1988, “I don’t like that particular word, ‘shocking’... I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before. But I have trouble with the word ‘shocking’ because I’m not really shocked by anything.”17 This may have enabled the clinical approach he took towards his compositions, but it also denied to him the immediacy of beauty found in “A une passante.” As one of his partners put it, “he was very affectionate, but he wasn’t emotional sex; he was intellectual sex. Accepted for that novelty, he was a stimulating partner, if one likes to have rational sex, which to some is not as torrid as passionate sex.”18 Perhaps this explains why there are parts of his life and work (the Black period) that are only brutal without the redemptive qualities of Baudelaire’s submission to beauty. For shock in Mapplethorpe, then, we must look not to the carefully-studied work itself, but to the reactions it provokes. Take this image: In this photograph19 we can find a shock of fleeting recognition very much like the one in “A une passante.” It is beautiful and jarring. The man in this photograph, Mapplethorpe himself, is beautiful, and yet he is dead of AIDS. Opening the book or walking into the gallery, we expect neither this invitation to desire nor a confrontation with his death. The photograph was a favorite of theorist Roland Barthes for this reason; we will return to it in the discussion of aesthetics in part IV. If shock was the weapon of choice of both Baudelaire and Mapplethorpe, and shock has its origin in the experience of the crowd, the shock of their works must connect them intimately to the masses. This why Benjamin and Goldsmith held them up as the geniuses of their respective cities, justly placed at the center of any work that attempts to capture that nature. Of course, we cannot talk about the crowds of Paris without talking about the figure Benjamin placed in opposition to them: the flâneur, or man of leisure, who strolls through Baudelaire’s poetry as through Parisian arcades. Benjamin saw in the flâneur the central figure of the 20th century. While the crowds flock in the streets and shops of Paris, the flâneur stands apart from them in his “demand for elbow-room.” He is among the crowds, yet removed from

them; he distinguishes himself by his ambivalence and nonchalence. This attitude is one he seeks aggressively to cultivate and display; Benjamin notes that around 1840 it was fashionable to take turtles on a walk, allowing them to set the pace for the flâneur. By refusing to subordinate his own aims to those of the world around him, the flâneur appropriates the city to his own use. Given Mapplethorpe’s own habits, it seems appropriate to ask whether gay male “cruising” might be akin to the way that the flâneur traverses space. The flâneur is a “world-class window shopper, haunting unused arcades and narrow winding streets, browsing the alleyways.”20 Gay men looking for sex are also, in a sense, window-shopping, and likewise are drawn to narrow streets and unused alleyways. One difference arises from the fact that cruisers are actually looking, sometimes urgently, to purchase. Mapplethorpe’s biographer tells us that he “sometimes became so desperate for sexual contact that he prowled the Bower picking up homeless black men.”21 This seems far removed from the aimless strolling of the flâneur. Still, there are notable similarities between the figure of the flâneur and the gay man in New York in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Can we see the flâneur as a gay figure? This queering of the flâneur would have far-reaching repercussions. Benjamin saw the flâneur as a figure essential to understanding the 20th century. “It is to him, aimlessly strolling through the crowds in the big cities in studied contrast to their hurried, purposeful activity, that things reveal themselves in their secret meaning: ‘The true picture of the past flits by’ (‘Philosophy of History’), and only the flâneur who idly strolls by receives the message.”22 If the parallel is a fair one, then we have suggested the gay man as a crucial figure to the century as a whole, and may have begun to gesture towards an entire queer epistemology. This is made even more interesting by the way Kenneth

16  Fritscher, 196. 17  Goldsmith 581.

20  Goldsmith, Wasting Time, 64.

18  Fritscher, 180.

21  Morrisroe, 243.

19  “Self Portrait,” 1975.

22  Arendt, 12.

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Goldsmith sees the flâneur as an emblematic figure for the Internet age. In his Wasting Time on the Internet, he writes, “The flâneur is hardwired into the ethos of the Internet: we ‘browse’ the web with our ‘browsers,’ ‘surfing’ from site to site, voyeuristically ‘lurking’ from the sidelines… [the flâneur] is a peripatetic digital wanderer, pulled by all the tugs and flows of his feeds, carelessly clicking from one spectacle to the next.” For Goldsmith, the flâneur is the figure most important to understanding what we’re doing when we “waste time on the Internet,” as most of us do, and what kind of exchange this actually is. For the flâneur, it is time for ownership; is this true of wasting time on the Internet as well? Although this is interesting in light of the queer reading of the flâneur herein proposed (i.e., is the entire Internet gay?), it also suggests a problem. For Benjamin, the flâneur was a figure out of place in the increasingly consolidated marketplace. Does the re-emergence of the flâneur in the cruising gay man or the browser of the Internet suggest the persistence of exploration in a world denied it by shopping malls and twelve channels? Or does it merely show the continued subservience of modernity to a classist, sexist ideal? The answer, in the end, is probably both.


conomics. According to Hannah Arendt, “the flâneur had his home in the nineteenth century, an age of security in which children of upper-middle-class families were assured of an income without having to work, so they had no reason to hurry.”23 The flâneur in the twentieth century was a fantasy, a perpetuation of the nineteenth century’s dream. Baudelaire knew “what the true situation of the man of letters was: he goes to the marketplace as a flâneur, supposedly to take a look at it, but in reality to find a buyer.”24 If the flâneur was an important figure in the 20th century, he was important only as a myth. The economic security that allowed for the existence of the flâneur as a class was eroding, and so was the decentralized network of sites of consumption that made flânerie appealing. In 1853, Baron Haussman was appointed as the architect of the ‘new Paris.’ Arendt: [Haussman’s] work had long been regarded as necessary and the way for it had been prepared by legislation. ‘After 1848,’ wrote Du Camp in the above-mentioned work, ‘Paris was about to become uninhabitable… The people choked in the narrow, dirty, convoluted old streets where they remained packed in because there was no other way.’ At the beginning of the fifties the population of Paris began to accommodate itself to the idea that a great face-cleaning of the city was inevitable. Les fleurs du mal was published after the necessity of ren-

ovations was acknowledged, but before the great razing and rebuilding of the city began. Baudelaire saw the last gasps of the ‘old’ Paris in both architecture and economy; as Benjamin put it, he departed for the market-place with one reason and arrived with another. If Baudelaire was a reluctant participant in the market, Mapplethorpe was an enthusiastic one, eager to make a commodity of his own work. His lover and publisher describes him thus: He lovingly photographed his things in the glamorous, pricey style suited for beautiful commercial print ads for magazines to up their resale value. When finally his precious objects were auctioned, he had, in addition, his beautiful photographs of them: sale objects selling themselves. Every perfect object served double duty. Through his camera, he multiplied his loot. He not only sold the stuff. He sold photographs of the stuff.25 Mapplethorpe’s relationship to his “loot” is not unique to him, but in fact characteristic of gay men as a whole. Queer theorist David Halperin, in his reading of Neil Bartlett, has suggested that a particular relationship to one’s things is a characteristic element of gay male culture. Called ‘style’ or ‘taste’ (as in “there’s no accounting for taste”), Halperin sees this as a very specific strategy of resistance. A gay man’s selection of an object, reflected in Mapplethorpe’s choice to photograph one of his possessions, “grants it significant aesthetic worth, resisting any mode of assessment that would insist on applying to the object a supposedly more rigorous, serious, or substantive set of external standards, either moral or aesthetic.”26 Halperin identifies this as its own kind of critique, one piece of a constant revolt against conventional norms. In this reading, Mapplethorpe was constantly engaged in a struggle against an oppressive socioeconomic structure. His enthusiastic embrace of the market can be reframed as a subversion. Even the most apparently shallow, materialist photographs can take on a new political meaning: consumption without, or against, capitalism. But we needn’t read critique into Mapplethorpe to understand that he, like Baudelaire, has something to tell us about economics. The two cities—Paris in the mid-nineteenth century and New York in the late twentieth—were both dominated by the market both intellectually and physically. One has only to look at images of Paris’ arcades or New York’s skyscrapers in order to see that (World Trade Center, anyone?). A 2008 essay by Marxist geographer David Harvey takes the metaphor one step further, comparing the work that Haussman did on Paris to the renovations made

23  Ibid, 22.

25  Fritscher, 79.

24  Benjamin, 34.

26  Ibid, 237.

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to New York by architect Robert Moses. Harvey writes: Paris became ‘the city of light’, the great centre of consumption, tourism and pleasure; the cafés, department stores, fashion industry and grand expositions all changed urban living so that it could absorb vast surpluses through consumerism… Robert Moses, after the Second World War, did to New York what Haussmann had done to Paris… The suburbanization of the United States was not merely a matter of new infrastructures. As in Second Empire Paris, it entailed a radical transformation in lifestyles.27 Harvey sees the suburbanization brought on by Haussman and Moses as having taken the “right to the city” out of the hands of the people, alienating them from their own landscape. We can see the consequences of this in Baudelaire’s glorification of a departed citizen-owner of the streets, but it is not so obvious in Mapplethorpe. Still, there might be a certain alienation evident in the debauched subject matter of many of the photographs or their outright defiance of the codes of the city. The Mineshaft, a gay sex club of which Mapplethorpe was the unofficial official photographer, was shut down in 1985 for violation of the city’s sanitation laws (and, implicitly, the ordinances of good taste). Or perhaps there really is no political significance in Mapplethorpe’s photographs. To resolve that question, however, we will have to look outside their economic context.


esthetics. Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” proposes that when the ‘cult’ value of a work of art, the fantasy of meaning having to do with its construction, is gone, it opens up space for a political value. “For the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual… Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice— politics.”28 Benjamin does not propose a specific way that photographs or film may be able to spur political action, but later theorists develop his ideas to provide an understanding of the aesthetic medium that can get us there. Not all of them believe in the political force of photographs, though; Susan Sontag, who wrote on Mapplethorpe for Vanity Fair and once sat for a portrait by him, maintained that photography is exclusively voyeuristic, and to an extent, violent. This view is persuasive, at least as it pertains to Mapplethorpe: having requested several of his books on inter-library loan, this author can attest that it’s hard not to feel like a voyeur poring over his photographs, regardless of the academic merit of one’s inquiry. Sontag would suggest there is no political or ethical force to Mapplethorpe’s photographs. If “shock was Robert’s medium in the seventies,” she has a dim view of it, especial-

ly in the contemporary image-glutted world. Judith Butler suggests, following Sontag, that “shock itself had become a kind of cliché, and contemporary photography tended to aestheticize suffering for the purposes of satisfying a consumer demand—this last function making it inimical to ethical responsiveness and political interpretation alike.”29 Sontag here is referring primarily to war photographs, not portraits, but the lines can become blurry. After all, there’s a reason we call it “disaster porn.” For Sontag, both are alike in that they appeal exclusively to a “prurient interest,” as Cincinnati’s courts would put it. Theorist Roland Barthes, however, sees Mapplethorpe’s work as distinguished in a fundamental way from simple pornography of either kind. For him, the issue is in the relationship between two elements of the photograph: the studium, or body of the photograph, which arouses a sort of general interest but no emotional response, and the punctum, the element that breaks the uniformity of the studium, that is shocking. “A photographer’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, or is poignant to me).”30 Returning to Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait with outstretched hand, Barthes writes: The photograph is handsome, as is the boy: that is the studium. But the punctum is: he is going to die. I read at the same time: this will be and this has been; I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake. By giving me the absolute past of the pose, the photograph tells me death in the future. What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence.31 Thus we can find the same experience of shock in Mapplethorpe’s photographs that we find in Baudelaire’s poetry, though the medium of each artist is vastly different. Poetry was suited to Baudelaire, in his reflection and his unhurried flânerie. In sharp contrast, photography “was the perfect medium, or so it seemed, for the seventies and eighties, when everything was so fast.”32 It was suited to Mapplethorpe, to his quick temperament and admiration of bodies, and to the transience of what he tried to capture. Neither Baudelaire nor Mapplethorpe would have been well-suited to the other’s art form; the aesthetic significance of each of their work is highly specific. Baudelaire and Mapplethorpe captured their respective fleurs in very different contexts, mediated by very different media. Separated across a gulf of more than a century, they vary wildly even as they track each other in erotics, kinetics, economics, and aesthetics. Yet in the final estimation, what stands out from both their art—and what is crucial to their art as art—is the shock of it. The shock of transience, the

29  Butler, 69. 30  Barthes, 27.

27 Harvey.

31  Ibid, 96.

28  Benjamin, “Illuminations,” 224.

32  Morrisroe, 133.

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shock of recognition, the shock of love (or lust), the shock of impropriety: these are all crucially present in both Baudelaire and Mapplethorpe. It doesn’t matter that France’s censors and Cincinnati’s Citizens for Community Values could only see this last. The art speaks to something essential in us, not despite but because it is shocking. And this is why it survives today. When the jury returned with the verdict of “not guilty” in 1990, lawyers hailed the decision as a defense of freedom of speech and the Constitution. Said one defendant, “‘This is a signal to everybody that before they start shutting down museums and telling people what they can say and what they can see, they better realize there is a protection out there.”33 And there is: not just the Constitution, but the people for whom it is written, who recognize that artists always have something to say. When the courts upheld their right to say it, it was a victory not just for free speech but for free inquiry—for the right to poke around in the dark lusts of the public subconscious, the right to travel uninhibited along a city’s streets or Internet’s byways (though still, importantly, only for white men), the right to depict and critique changing economic structures, and the right to seek truth in art despite occasionally unsavory routes there. The victory also meant the unmasking of “community values”—the morale publique—as values inimical to these. Perhaps it would suit us as citizens to except ourselves from that community in the same way Baudelaire and Mapplethorpe did. At the least, there is a choice to be made: whose side are you on?

Barthes, Roland, trans. Richard Howard. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Hill and Wang. 1981. Baudelaire, Charles, trans. James McGowan. Les fleurs du mal. Oxford University Press. 2008. Benjamin, Walter, trans. Harry Zohn. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. Verso Books. 1983. Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? Verso Books. 2016. Freud, Sigmund, trans. James Strachey. Civilization and Its Discontents. Fritscher, Jack. Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera. Hastings House. 1994. Goldsmith, Kenneth. Capital: New York, Capital of the 20th Century. Verso Books. 2015. Goldsmith, Kenneth. Wasting Time on the Internet. Harper Perennial. 2016. Halperin, David. How to Be Gay. Harvard University Press. 2012. Hannoosh, Michèle. “Reading the trial of the Fleurs du Mal.” Modern Language Review, vol. 106, no. 2. <> Harvey, David. “The Right to the City.” New Left Review, issue 53. 2008. < II/53/david-harvey-the-right-to-the-city> Helms, Jesse. Transcript of U.S. Senate Session. C-SPAN. 25th July 1994. < video/?c4634915/jeese-helms-criticism-robert-mapplethorpe> Mills, Kathryn. “Charles Baudelaire.” Poetry Foundation. < charles-baudelaire> Minahen, Charles. “Irony and Violence in Baudelaire’s ‘À Celle qui est trop gaie.’” Symposium; Washington, vol. 62 issue 1. 2008. <> Morrisroe, Patricia. Mapplethorpe: A Biography. De Capo Press. 1995. Palmer, Alex. “When Art Fought the Law and the Art Won.” Smithsonian. 2015. <https://www.> Wilkerson, Isabel. “Cincinnati Jury Acquits Museum in Mapplethorpe Obscenity Case.” The New York Times, 6 October 1990. <>

33 Wilkerson.

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Stick it to the Man: The Rise and Not-Quite-Fall of Secret College Societies in the United States Kathryn Danis


he black sign on the vine-encrusted stone outside Hippol Castle proclaims, “NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC” in white capital letters. A rusted chain stretches from the rock to a tree on its left. A second chain mirrors the first opposite the gravel road. The path between the twin chains remains open, likely to allow Gimghoul members free passage to and from their sanctuary. Founded in 1889 by then-students Robert Worth Bingham, Shepard Bryan, William W. Davies, Edward Wray Martin, and Andrew Henry Patterson, the Order of Gimghoul (full name: The Knights of the Order of Gimghouls) is a “secret” society at the University of North Carolina whose membership is extended to influential male juniors, seniors, and faculty.1 We include the quotation marks because one wonders if an organization whose fortress is a thirteen-hundred-ton popular tourist destination can be considered clandestine. However, Gimghoul’s power relies on the quotation marks: it constructs a visible exterior to mask its unknowable interior, invading the public space both geographically and psychologically. The mask itself is necessarily visible, as quotation marks overtly double a word in effect, introducing multiple, often occult, contexts. Hippol Castle becomes a metaphor for the elite social system: anyone can see it, but few can enter it, even as “it” is conflated. “The Tomb” of Yale’s Skull and Bones and Quill and Dagger’s restricted sanctuary at the top of Cornell’s Lyon Tower serve the same purpose.2 Duke’s Trident Society creates apparent ubiquity through calling cards, leaving red roses and carnations at the base of J. B. Duke’s statue on West Campus.3 William and Mary’s Seven Society perpetuates the “seven” motif that appears around campus, from the seven-member society that governs the university to the chancellor’s seven-year term to the seven brick pathways on the Sunken Gardens to the seven buildings surrounding the gardens (one of which, John Tyler Hall, is named for the father of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the William and Mary president who revived the Seven Society in 1888 after the 1  “The Order of Gimghoul.” Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History.

college underwent a seven-year shutdown due to the Civil War).4567 The University of Virginia’s Seven Society (seven is apparently a popular number among the academic elite) maintains their tradition with a logo painted outside Old Calbell Hall that displays the number 7 surrounded by the signs for alpha, omega, and infinity. Secret societies maintain their power by chartering their own visible but impenetrable spaces and invading the public space (and, by extension, the consciousness of the “public” it produces) with enigmatic symbols. These symbols of masculinity serve to reappropriate a public space “feminized” through the increasing numbers of women on the college campus and in the public eye at large. By sequestering their seats of influence (their strongholds) and distributing around the campus that which is symbolically connected to those seats of influence, they create an illusion of omnipotence and omnipresence similar to that of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon.8 In Discipline and Punish, Foucault argues that the operator in the central tower derives his “anonymous power” through the decentralized architecture of observation; that is to say, through anonymity itself. The secret society functions as the anonymous operator, maintaining social order through unseen surveillance. The undisclosed membership rosters obscure the distinction between observer and observed, cultivating mistrust among campus inhabitants and imprisoning them in a self-policing social museum. Our claim seems less dramatic when one examines its concrete manifestations. The social diffusion of imagined power notably appears in the form of conspiracy theories: a 2013 national survey by Public Poli4  Johnson, Chase. “Peeking into closed societies.” The Flat Hat. 8 April 2008. Web. 5  Fiske, Edward B. The Fiske Guide to Colleges. Sourcebooks, 2011. 6  Historical Chronology of William and Mary: 1850-1899. The College of William and Mary Press, 2015.

2  “Tap Day.” Time. 31 May 1926. Web.

7  “The Transfer to the Faculty in Virginia.” Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections, 27 February 1729.

3  Lachman, Samatha. “Trasked with secrecy.” The Chronicle. 26 March 2013. Web.

8  Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Pantheon Books, 1977.

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cy Polling reported that 28% of voters in the 2012 election “believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order” (Public Policy Polling, 2013).9 In other words, over a quarter of Americans believe that the Illuminati or something like it exists. Secret college societies in the United States maintain their power not only through financial enticement but also through the construction of masculine space and the invasion of public space, solidifying their society in the public’s collective memory but erasing it from historical memory. These organizations also perform rituals to connect themselves to a deeper history of all-male secret societies, themselves occult or imagined as occult. Furthermore, an inspection of financial records, maps, rosters, and other archival information suggests a financial and historical connection between these societies and the universities they inhabit, contradicting the push for diversity from universities in recent years. Historically, the name “Illuminati” refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society that ironically sought to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence (especially that of the Catholic Church) over public life, and abuses of state power.10 The elite organization included several of the era’s well-known progressives, including mathematics professor Mathias Metternich, Charles-Pierre-Paul, Marquis de Savalette de Langes, Swiss banker Johann Caspar Schweitzer, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.11 However, Bavarian ruler Charles Theodore outlawed the Illuminati - along with Freemasonry and other secret societies - through edicts in 1784, 1785, 1787 and 1790. Facing mounting criticism from conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church, who claimed the Illuminati were responsible for the French Revolution, the society faded into obscurity in the following years.12 The modern Illuminati that inhabits popular consciousness traces its roots not to Enlightenment-era Bavaria but to the 1960s United States. The Summer of Love and the heyday of the LSD-fueled hippie movement gave birth to the Principia Discordia. This parodic religious text encouraged its readers to adopt a faith called Discordianism, whose followers worshipped Eris, the goddess of chaos. The movement, concocted by zealous anarchists, promoted civil disobedience and

9  “Conspiracy Theory Poll Results.” Public Policy Polling, 2013. 10  van Dülmen, Richard. The Society of Enlightenment. Polity Press, 1992. Nietzsche, F. (1878) Human, All Too Human Vol. II, Part 1, 27. Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (November 13, 1996). 11  Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France (Harvard University Press, 1968); on pp. 70 and 72 n. 16, Darnton reveals that in 1786 the Parisian Mesmerist Society of Harmony, after a schism, was dominated by [the soon-to-be-Bavarian-Illuminati] Savalette de Langes and Taillepied de Bondy, among others. 12  le Forestier, René. Les Illuminés de Bavière et la franc-maçonnerie allemande, Paris, 1914, pp. 453, 468–9, 507–8, 614–5.

hoaxes.13 Although the text itself is considered little more than a counterculture curio, Playboy writer Robert Anton Wilson canonized one of the faith’s chief doctrines: “that such miscreant activities could bring about social change and force individuals to question the parameters of reality” (BBC). According to author and BBC broadcaster David Bramwell, Wilson and Principia author Kerry Thornley “decided that the world was becoming too authoritarian, too tight, too closed, too controlled.” They sought to reintroduce chaos to society, and “the way to do that was to spread disinformation. To disseminate misinformation through all portals – through counterculture, through the mainstream media, through whatever means. And they decided they would do that initially by telling stories about the Illuminati.” Wilson and Thornley sent fake letters to Playboy discussing a secret society - the Illuminati - to force readers to ask themselves, as Bramwell describes, “‘Can I trust how the information is presented to me?’ It’s an idealistic means of getting people to wake up to the suggested realities that they inhabit – which of course didn’t happen quite in the way they were hoping.”14 Artistic responses cemented the Illuminati myth in popular culture: Wilson’s The Illuminatus! Trilogy, which attributed contemporary conspiracies (such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy) to the Illuminati, saw such smashing success that it was made into a stage play that kickstarted the careers of Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, David Rappaport, and Chris Langham. Bill Drummond, who designed sets for the show, formed Illuminatus!-inspired band The KLF in 1987 with Jimmy Cauty, who had seen the show during its 1976-77 run between Liverpool and London.15 Today, the existence of the Illuminati is one of the world’s premier conspiracy theories, with celebrities such as Beyoncé and Jay-Z adopting the symbolism of the group by lifting their hands in an Illuminati triangle at concerts. This phenomenon prompts us to question how a specific counter-cultural hoax transformed into a more general cultural belief. The advent of the Internet Age fueled the Illuminati myth by disseminating false material, commonly called “fake news,” about the society’s activities. Because of increased circulation of conspiracy theories due to social media and online news platforms, a significant proportion of Americans still believe in conspiracy theories, and the numbers may have even risen in recent years: a 2014 study from the University of Chicago showed that over 50 percent of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory.15 The Illuminati hysteria so captivated Internet culture that 13  Wilson, Robert Anton (1992). Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati. Scottsdale, AZ: New Falcon Publications. p. 65. ISBN 9781561840038. 14  Galer, Sophia Smith. “The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy.” BBC, 9 August 2017. 15  Vedantam, Shankar. “More Americans Than You Might Think Believe in Conspiracy Theories.” NPR, 4 June 2014.

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it conceived the “Illuminati confirmed” meme, a parody of the rampant misinformation and Illuminati allegations throughout social media and online news outlets. However, the Twitter hashtag #illuminaticonfirmed developed into a platform to ridicule the Illuminati conspirators, inspiring an onslaught of online content, including videos and captioned photos, intended to mock Illuminati symbolism. This ironic reclamation of the Illuminati myth is exactly the type of social consciousness the Principia Discordia authors intended to instill in their society. It is a profound irony that the selfaware absurdism the Illuminati myth was originally intended to produce should arise not as a direct result of its critical text but as a satire of its direct result. It is also a profound irony that a text written to highlight the absurdity of the social order should be appropriated by a faction that seeks to reinforce that order. Secret college societies exploit the American culture of conspiracy (which journalist Christopher Hitchens called “the exhaust fumes of democracy”) by constructing an open secret on the “democratic” institution of the college campus. They drop hints that suggest their existence but erase evidence of their existence from university histories. They control their own historical narrative (or its lack thereof) because their members write university history and because they have historical and monetary power over universities. One can consider spatial relations as they are constructed through ritual or as they are drawn geographically. The cartography of various campuses provides insight into the influence that secret societies have over university history. On Google Maps, merely typing in the letters “g-i-m” returns a suggestion of “Gimghoul Castle, Gimghoul Road, Chapel Hill, NC.” Selecting this suggestion yields a map of the UNC Chapel Hill campus zoomed in on a building marked with a chess-like rook and a red arrow that labels the building “Gimghoul Castle: Headquarters of a secret society at UNC.” Under the search bar appears a box containing the building’s address (742 Gimghoul Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514), hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm, apparently), reviews and ratings (visitors rated the destination an average of 3.8 stars, not too shabby for a supposedly nonexistent building), an 80+ photo archive depicting the perpetually leaf-laden property from every foliate angle, a brief description (“This 1924 castle-style, stone building at UNC is the headquarters of a secret collegiate society”), location-specific directions to the castle, and a link to the Order of Gimghoul Wikipedia page.16 In contrast, all searches containing the word “Gimghoul” on the UNC website’s online campus map yield no results.17 Interestingly, the Google Map displaying the Skull and Bones tomb graciously includes the labeled Scroll and Key

tomb in its frame as well. In fact, the tombs are a six minute walk away from each other via any of three routes between College Street, High Street, or a combination of the two. (To encourage aristocratic collaboration? To make froyo-and-optometry runs more convenient? I need answers from the Yale architect.) Clicking on the Scroll and Key tomb reveals a host of semi-relevant information, all of which I shall include here to vex its members: Google Maps describes Scroll and Key as a “university” and displays its symbol of two keys crossed and tied together in front of a scroll. Constructed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1869, 27 years after John Addison Porter, Leonard Case Jr., Theodore Runyon, and William L. Kingsley founded the society, the Scroll and Key tomb blends Beaux-Arts and Moorish Revival traditions. In a 1999 history of Yale, Patrick Pinnell linked university cost-overruns to the construction of the tomb, noting of the building’s distinctive appearance, “19th century artists’ studios commonly had exotic orientalia lying about to suggest that the painter was sophisticated, well-traveled, and in touch with mysterious powers; Hunt’s Scroll and Key is one instance in which the trope got turned into a building.”18 Pinnell’s criticism of the Scroll and Key architecture is a rare instance of a university history obliquely referencing one of its secret societies, as many of these societies are conspicuously absent from both maps and historical texts written and archived by their universities. The streets on the maps that follow like a tedious argument of insidious intent lead you to ask: through what mechanisms do secret societies control a university’s official narrative? (Slightly less concise than “What is it?” but no less compelling.)19 An unfortunate encounter at the UNC Chapel Hill archives forced me to confront this question. Although I would have preferred more gently and gradually to arrive at this inquiry rather than having it thrust upon me by a combination of elitist academic structures and my own ignorance, perhaps research is like wandlore in Harry Potter: the research chooses the researcher. Before my first trip to the UNC Chapel Hill archives, I availed myself of the Wilson Library’s online document request feature to reserve every Golden Fleece record in the collection. Striding up to the library desk with my head held high, I handed my identification to the archive librarian (who shall heretofore be called Mr. S). Mr. S’s eyes flicked between the card and my face as he click-clacked my name into the computer. His brow furrowed and his head turned a degree to the left. “I see you’ve reserved the Golden Fleece collections.” He spoke slowly and regarded me over rectangular glasses.

16  Google Maps. Gimghoul Castle. 3 November 2017.

18  Pinnell, Patrick (1999). The Campus Guide: Yale University. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 125.

17  “Maps.” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016.

19  Eliot, T. S. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Poetry Foundation, 2017.

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“That’s right,” I answered with a Queen-of-Sheba smile. “Um, are you a member?” he asked hesitantly, eyebrows migrating ever further down his forehead. I assumed he wanted to know if I were a member of the UNC library system, so I nodded. His now half-curtained eyes bounced between me and the card and the computer screen, clearly puzzled. “Are you sure?” he prodded. What’s the problem? I wondered. “Yes, I’m sure.” The archive website marked the documents as “available” and displayed them on the library search page; none of them bore the “restricted” designation that classified the C.S. Lewis and Walker Percy collections as off-limits to archival plebeians. After a suitably long and uncomfortable silence, Mr. S said, “I can’t give you access to the recent documents, but you might be able to look at the collections from at least fifty years back. Sorry.” Although confused, I assented and took a seat at a sturdy stained-wood table in the back of the reading room. Mr. S emerged from the back room several minutes later with a stack of folders stuffed with loose yellowed pages and sepia-toned photographs. He plopped them in front of me. “Good luck.” I nodded and smiled up at him. As he left the reading room, I attacked the first unmarked folder with a vigor I normally reserve for marathon running and chocolate hazelnut butter. Poring over photographs of kneeling white men with stoic expressions and membership rosters stacked with Moreheads and Robertsons, I suddenly understood the source of Mr. S’s confusion. He wanted to know if I was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece rather than a mere UNC library system member, hence his puzzlement when I insisted on my membership despite my non-UNC student identification. Despite my embarrassment, this archival miscommunication prompted me to question why a library would label its restricted documents as “available” and then decline a potential borrower. Just as the Hippol Castle is visibly “NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC,” the Golden Fleece documents are visible to anyone but only accessible to a select few. This unannounced restriction implies a connection between the Golden Fleece and the UNC administration. To finance the $50,000 and 4-6 year construction of their fortress, the Gimghoul founders sold the land that is now Battle Park to the UNC system. That universities share financial and legal relationships with their beneficiaries is no secret, but the bigoted legacy of said beneficiaries qualifies these connections for scrutiny. Despite the recent effusion of inclusive rhetoric in the sphere of higher education, many secret societies share economic ties with their universities of origin. Take, for example, Yale’s Skull and Bones. Bonesman John William Sterling’s 1918 bequest to Yale University inspired the creation in 2000 of the Sterling Fellows, a prestigious Yale donor network. According to the Yale giving website,

“Membership is voted on by the Yale Corporation and is an honor bestowed on alumni, parents, and friends who have given $1 million or more during their lifetime.”20 Of the 17 Yale alumni who were made Sterling Fellows in 2009, two (Redmond Ingalls and William H. Donaldson) were known Bonesman based on their surnames.21 Yale “taps” 15 seniors annually for Skull and Bones from a class of about 1373 (‘20), which is about 0.273% of the Yale undergraduate population and about 1.09% of the graduating class, so let us approximate that Skull and Bones members compose approximately 1% of Yale alumni. In 2009, 11.765% of Sterling Fellows were confirmed Bonesmen. Therefore, the ratio of known Bonesmen Sterling Fellows to Bonesmen in the total Yale alumni population is approximately twelve to one. Further investigation reveals both economic and administrative connections between UNC and the Order of Gimghoul. Some members, such as Thomas Felix Hickerson (professor of civil engineering and applied mathematics) and Robert Hasley Wettach (Dean of UNC Law School) returned to work at the university, and descendants of John Motley Morehead, who served on the North Carolina General Assembly (which dictates UNC policy) and as North Carolina Governor, are also Gimghouls. Kemp Plummer Battle22 (UNC president from 1876 to 1891, North Carolina State Treasurer from 1866 to to 1868, and the namesake of Battle Park) authored History of the University of North Carolina, from which Gimghoul is noticeably absent despite appearing on the UNC website and featuring on the Wilson Library website’s University Archives & Records Management Services front page.23 The relationship between the names of Gimghouls and the names of the buildings on the UNC Chapel Hill campus provide a glimpse into the extent of covert plutocracy in the university system. The construction of masculine space emerged as a response to the feminine occupation of public space, as demonstrated by the correlation between an influx of women in the academic sphere and membership numbers in secret all-male societies. Table 1 shows a 15,235% increase in coeducational colleges from 1870 to 1930. This encroachment of women on previously all-male campuses coincided with female-dominated antebellum reform movements24 20  “Sterling Fellows.” Giving to Yale, 2017. 21  Membership in Skull and Bones (and in most secret societies) is inherited through the paternal bloodline. 22  Dr. Battle inspired Gimghoul’s name after Martin, Davies, Bryan, and Patterson heard him tell the legend of Peter Dromgoole, a Chapel Hill student who disappeared in 1833 under mysterious circumstances. 23  “The Louis Round Wilson Library Special Collections.” UNC University Libraries, 2017. 24  Women like Sojourner Truth, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Harriet Tubman, the Grimké sisters, and Mary T. Stewart were instrumental in the abolitionist movement. Increased female participation in politics threatened male domination in the political sphere just as a proliferation of coed colleges threatened male domination in academia. The Ku Klux Klan disrupted the feminist solidarity shown at the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women by appealing to white women’s “white identity.”

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and first-wave feminism’s takeoff at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. It is no coincidence, then, that W.S. Harwood of the North American Review called the last third of the nineteenth century a “Golden Age of Fraternity.” In 1896, a total adult male population of nineteen million generated five and a half million members for fraternal organizations such as the Odd Fellows (810,000 members), Freemasons (750,000), Knights of Pythias (475,000), Red Men (165,000), and hundreds of other orders.28 These organizations, “ritualistic surrogates”25 for the brotherhood sought by middle-class men, construct a masculine space that reclaims and reuses and increasingly feminized “public.” Table 126 College Women Enrollment

Women’s Colleges

Coed Colleges

% of All Students

















The construction and naming of new buildings is part of a contest over public space in which masculinized forms of power claim to retreat while exercising real claims and demands over that space. A comparison of existing Gimghoul records reveals an extensive overlap between Gimghoul members and UNC Chapel Hill building names, including T.F. Hickerson and Hickerson House, Henry Wilson and Wilson Library (where I was denied access to Gimghoul records), Cart Carmichael and Carmichael Hall, Dean J. T. Wettach and the Van-Hecke-Wettach Building, Wm. R. Kenan and the Kenan Music Building as well as Kenan Laboratories and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund27, Calvert R. Dey and Dey Hall, Vernon Howell and the Howell Building, James L. Morehead and Garrett Morehead and the Morehead Laboratory, Frank Graham and the Graham Memorial, Jim Hanes and the Hanes Art Center as well as Hanes Hall, Kemp Battle and the Battle Building as well as the formerly Gimghoul-owned Battle Park, John Hall Manning and the Manning Building, Hugh Percival Smith and the Smith Building, David Thomas Taylor and William Grimsey Taylor and Taylor Hall, and - T. Steele28 and the Steele Building. Through this strategic naming of buildings, the university

25  Carnes, Mark C. “Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America.” Yale University Press, 1989 26  Newcomer, Mabel. A century of higher education for American women, 1956. p. 46. 27  On the subject of academic grants, both the Robertson and Morehead-Cain scholarships bear the surnames of Gimghoul members. 28  Steele’s first initial is unidentifiable in the original Gimghoul documents.

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space becomes a site of contest or is attempted to be removed from contestation. Thus, the university infrastructure extends the metaphor of Gimghoul castle, becoming a site of mythic origins for the rulers of today. The Jack the Ripper murders provide a rough analogy for this contest over public space and illustrate the implicit history of the feminization of the “public.” The murders and, perhaps more importantly, media coverage of them represented aggressive attempts to reappropriate public space by ensuring that bourgeois women would not exercise claims to that space. Judith R. Walkowitz calls the murders “the latest in a series of sexual scandals linking highlife and lowlife London in the 1800s” and notes that feminists headed by Josephine Butler catalyzed this string of scandals by protesting state regulation of prostitution and winning the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts in 1886.29 Responses to the murders of the five prostitutes highlighted the class and gender anxieties that plagued 19th century London: newspaper commentary blamed “women of evil life” for their own vulnerability but cautioned that “no woman is safe while this ghoul’s abroad.30 This extreme instance of victim-blaming aggressively reminds bourgeois women of the consequences for “bad girls,” women who use public space to oppose the prevailing sexual script by prostituting themselves or protesting legislation that criminalizes female prostitutes. The Jack the Ripper legend perpetuates the myth of male violence, the invisible demon that mimics the unseen surveillance of the Panopticon in its efforts to keep women out of the avenues of London and the avenues of protest. In addition to reinforcing the myth of male violence, fraternal organizations racially codify female political action to prevent women from exercising claims to public space and public voice. In 1913, Julian Carr delivered the dedication of Silent Sam, a statue on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus that commemorates the students that served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Carr appeals to the white women of the South, insisting that “the war between the states was fought, really, by the women who stayed at home.”31 The statue itself exercises a Confederate claim to the space of a public university and delivers the same ultimatum to “loose” women as does Jack the Ripper, albeit in a less overt (and possibly more threatening) manner. Carr implicitly associates whiteness with traditional femininity, indirectly warning white women that they may lose their white privileges should they fail to prioritize the “welfare of the Anglo Saxon race.”34 Through this association, to be a woman is to be a white woman is to fulfill one’s highest duty in the 29  Walkowitz, Judith R. “Jack the Ripper and the Myth of Male Violence.” Feminist Studies, vol. 8, no. 3, 1982, pp. 543–574. 30  Star, 8 September 1888. 31  Julian S. Carr, “Unveiling of Confederate Monument at University. June 2, 1913” in the Julian Shakespeare Carr Papers #141, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


reproduction of the race. In Carr’s speech and in the practice of many fraternal organizations, the rituals of masculinity are also the rituals of white masculinity. The “four years immediately following the four years of bloody carnage” refer to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan between the end of the Civil War and the passage of the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871. Carr celebrates the Klan as champions of the “welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years after the war,” implicitly associating his own defiance of federal troops with the paramilitary violence of former Confederates.34 White supremacy was an attempt to reclaim public space from Reconstruction; Silent Sam functions as a symbol of the Klan, insinuating white supremacist power while denying that power. When speaking about the spatial relations of power on the college campus, it is crucial to remember that space is produced through ritual practices, including linguistic and gestural acts. In the case of all-male secret societies, these rituals are meant to join the society to a deeper history, itself occult or imagined as occult for various reasons. For instance, the Klan’s reference to the Scottish resistance against English imperialism proved effective in the southern United States, allowing white people (the Scots-Irish who imagined themselves as “white”) to place their experience within a romantic narrative of the country’s resistance to the state.32 By 1868, the Klan had become a national power and continued to gain followers and influence until Congress passed the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871 to end such violence and empower the president to use military force to protect the rights of African Americans.33 The Acts dramatically reduced Klan violence until 1905, when North Carolina Baptist minister Thomas Dixon Jr. reignited racial tensions with the publication of a trilogy.29 In The Clansman: a Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, Thaddeus Stevens’ stand-in Augustus Stoneman orchestrates Reconstruction to keep the Republican party in power by securing the southern black vote. Andrew Johnson’s refusal to disenfranchise whites intensifies Stoneman’s animosity toward both the Johnson administration and southern plantation owners. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln prompts Stoneman to declare war on the South; men claiming to represent the government seize the material wealth of plantation owners and redistribute it to their former slaves. The insurgents then inform the former slaves of their superiority and incite them to rebel against their masters. The threat of a southern apocalypse prompts the formation of the Klan, whose symbolism is derived from Dixon’s Scottish roots. Dixon based the “burning cross” symbol on the Crann Tara, a fiery crucifix traditionally used to call Scottish clans to arms, as

described in Sir Walter Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake.”34 The novel’s film adaptation, The Birth of a Nation, pushed Dixon’s narrative on a larger audience. The film portrays the Klan as a heroic legion that rescues a southern town from “black rule” under Reconstruction.35 Both the film and the Klan’s own rhetoric present the white supremacist organization as an order based on Arthurian codes of chivalry (many chapters of the Klan invoke Arthurian legend in their names, including the Klan’s most vicious chapter, the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan).36 Both the Klan and the elite societies of American universities follow a tradition of fraternal organizations that link themselves to a medieval concept of Christian brotherhood. The Klan’s constitution states, “This Order is an institution of Chivalry, Humanity, Justice, and Patriotism; embodying in its genius and principles all that is chivalric in conduct, noble in sentiment, generous in manhood, and patriotic in purpose.”37 Gautier’s Ten Commandments of chivalry require a knight to “believe all that the Church teaches,” “observe [the Church’s] directions,” “defend the Church,” and “perform scrupulously [his] feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the ideas of God.”27 When William Joseph Simmons reorganized the Klan in 1915, he structured it after contemporary fraternal organizations, adopting the Masonic tradition of secret rituals, codes, and mystical-sounding titles such as “Grand Wizard.” According to its website, the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan aims to “unite white Christians through the bond of brotherhood.”38 Although the Knights Party’s “official” website claims that that faction of the Klan is “no longer based on a fraternity style organization,” the same website preaches a doctrine consistent with the religious overtones of Gautier’s chivalric code. Participants in the Knights Party Youth Corps are called “crusaders,” an allusion to the medieval religious Crusades that spawned the fantasy of “religious chivalry.”39 The concept of chivalry originated in three late medieval works: the anonymous poem Ordene de Chevalerie, Ramon Llull’s Libre del ordre de cavayleria, and Geoffroi de Charny’s Livre de Chevalerie.40 These three treatises define chivalry as a philosophy that blends the military, the nobility, and the 34  Scott, Walter. “The Lady of the Lake.” Gutenberg, 2002. 35  Griffith, D W, and Thomas Dixon. Birth of a Nation. Los Angeles, CA: Triangle Film Corp., 1915 36  Conversely, The name of Walter Long’s character “Gus” alludes to Roman emperor Augustus, broadening the historical context for the Klan’s resistance to state power. 37  Frost, Stanley. The Challenge of the Klan, 1924, reprint New York, AMS, 1969, p. 68. 38  UNS KKK website.

32  “Were Scots responsible for the Ku Klux Klan?” BBC, 2017.

39  “Frequently Asked Questions.” The Knights Party, 2017. Sweeney, James Ross (1983). “Chivalry”. Dictionary of the Middle Ages. III.

33  “Landmark Legislation: The Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871.” United States Senate.

40  Keen, Maurice (2005). Chivalry. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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Church into one sweeping social motive. Although devotees of chivalry maintain the existence of an “Age of Chivalry” at an indeterminate point in the past, no historical evidence supports the existence of an era in which the codes of chivalry were practiced. The Ten Commandments of chivalry are imagined to compose the code that dictated the moral life of a medieval knight, but Gautier wrote his treatise in 1883, long after the demise of the traditional knight. No matter the point in history, the Age of Chivalry is imagined as a Golden Age of the past. That which is used as historical evidence for chivalry is often legend that is presented as fact. The Historia regum Brittanicae, a pseudohistorical account of British history written by Geoffrey of Monmouth around 1136, popularized the legend of King Arthur and cemented it in the public consciousness as fact. Many secret societies tie themselves to an Arthurian formulation of chivalry through symbolism and ritual practices. The title of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake alludes to the sorceress of Arthurian legend but features an entirely new story based around Loch Katrine in the Trossachs of Scotland. Scott uses Arthurian legend to place Scottish resistance in a romantic narrative of chivalry, and the Klan uses the symbolism in Scott’s poem to join itself to the same narrative. The Klan blends the symbolic language of chivalry with the physical symbols of Scottish nationalism to imagine itself in contexts of both Christian fraternity and resistance to state power, transforming chivalry itself into an avenue for political opposition. The broader social implication of this analysis is that many modern hate groups use the same tactics as the Klan, which itself uses tactics ingrained in the ritual of fraternal organizations. To undo the mythology behind these rituals is to undo the clandestine power of secret societies is to undo the social power of the Klan. An analysis of historical evidence reveals that secret college societies exercise power through ritual and imagined secrecy. By linking themselves to a narrative of clandestine brotherhood, these societies obtrude both public space and public consciousness. The creation of masculine space responds to the feminization of the university campus beginning with the first wave of feminism in the late nineteenth century, and the rituals scaffolding that space join the society to a deeper history of chivalric fraternity. The proliferation of social media calls into question the future of these societies; the arrival of the Internet Age contributed to the spread of misinformation that inspired the Illuminati myth but also spawned a satirical movement that undermined the legend’s legitimacy. The expansion of social media may force secret societies into the open as they face the decision of operating overtly or fading into obscurity. Cornell’s Quill and Dagger, the first Ivy League secret society to admit women into its ranks, has an unlisted Linkedin network for alumni that is managed by two Cornell graduates, one of whom is Cornell’s Associate Director of Student Programs. The names of Quill and Dagger’s newly tapped members, like those of several other collegiate societies, are published in Cornell’s North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

student newspaper, and in 2012, Quill and Dagger published a book with the names and addresses of its members since 1912.41 An organization bearing the Illuminati name maintains a website ( through which anyone can subscribe for email updates on the New World Order by clicking a button labeled “Join the Illuminati.”42 The North Carolina Freemasons’ website (www.grandlodge-nc. org) invites potential recruits to contact the Grand Lodge via email or snail mail and lists the address of the lodge.43 The website also includes an “About Freemasonry” section that outlines the heritage and goals of the order. Both the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party have websites to promote their platforms, reflecting a shift away from the covert ritualism that historically identified secret fraternities. Indeed, the takeoff of social media may not only reduce the prevalence of fraternal ritual but also decrease the demand for fraternal organizations altogether. That said, the Internet facilitates the diffusion of false information and provides an avenue for societies such as the Klan and the American Nazi Party to push their bigoted agenda. Fake news outlets on social media spread misinformation that reinforces the alt-right position and contributed to Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 presidential election.44 Like the chains at Hippol Castle, the barriers that secret societies create are invisible, but they reflect very real ways of keeping the current patriarchal dynasty in power. However, they also present real ways of combating elitism and extremism. The Twitter hashtag #exposethealtright seeks to erase the clandestine power of right-wing extremist groups by bringing them to the forefront of media conversation.

41  “Address Book of the Quill and Dagger Society With the War Record (Classic Reprint).” Amazon, 2012. 42  After joining the “Illuminati” under a pseudonym, the onslaught of emails attempting to sell me an Illuminati token revealed that this website is, of course, a scam designed to profit from the American propensity for conspiracy theory. As an aside, the public relations manager signs each email with, “We’re always watching out for you,” which I now include as a postscript in my emails. (The closing, “Fraternally yours,” is inspired by a letter from Calvert R. Dey that I encountered in the Gimghoul collections.) 43  I contacted the Grand Lodge via email to inquire as to whether a woman could join the order alongside her husband but have not received a reply. 44  Chafkin, Max. ”Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News.” Bloomberg Businessweek, 31 October 2017.


“The Order of Gimghoul.” Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History “Tap Day.” Time. 31 May 1926. Web. Lachman, Samantha. “Trasked with secrecy.” The Chronicle. 26 March 2013. Web. Johnson, Chase. “Peeking into closed societies.” The Flat Hat. 8 April 2008. Web. Fiske, Edward B. The Fiske Guide to Colleges. Sourcebooks, 2011.

Star, 8 September 1888. Julian S. Carr, “Unveiling of Confederate Monument at University. June 2, 1913” in the Julian Shakespeare Carr Papers #141, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Warren-Hicks, Colin. “A look at the long and controversial life of ‘Silent Sam.’” The News & Observer. August 23, 2017. Web.

Historical Chronology of William and Mary: 1850-1899. The College of William and Mary Press, 2015. “The Transfer to the Faculty in Virginia.” Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections, 27 February 1729. Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Pantheon Books, 1977. “Conspiracy Theory Poll Results.” Public Policy Polling, 2013. van Dülmen, Richard. The Society of Enlightenment. Polity Press, 1992. Nietzsche, F. (1878) Human, All Too Human Vol. II, Part 1, 27. Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (November 13, 1996). Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France (Harvard University Press, 1968). Luckert, Steven. Jesuits, Freemasons, Illuminati, and Jacobins: Conspiracy theories, secret societies, and politics in late eighteenth-century Germany, Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1993, p. 429. Schüttler, Hermann (1991). Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens, 1776-1787/93. Munich: Ars Una. pp. 48–9, 62–3, 71, 82. le Forestier, René. Les Illuminés de Bavière et la franc-maçonnerie allemande, Paris, 1914, pp. 453, 468–9, 507–8, 614–5. Galer, Sophia Smith. “The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy.” BBC, 9 August 2017. Wilson, Robert Anton (1992). Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati. Scottsdale, AZ: New Falcon Publications. p. 65. Vedantam, Shankar. “More Americans Than You Might Think Believe in Conspiracy Theories.” NPR, 4 June 2014. “Were Scots responsible for the Ku Klux Klan?” BBC, 2017. “Landmark Legislation: The Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871.” United States Senate. Scott, Walter. “The Lady of the Lake.” Gutenberg, 2002. Griffith, D W, and Thomas Dixon. Birth of a Nation. Los Angeles, CA: Triangle Film Corp., 1915. Frost, Stanley. The Challenge of the Klan, 1924, reprint New York, AMS, 1969, p. 68. “Frequently Asked Questions.” The Knights Party, 2017. Sweeney, James Ross (1983). “Chivalry”. Dictionary of the Middle Ages. III. UNS KKK website. Keen, Maurice (2005). Chivalry. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Google Maps. Gimghoul Castle. 3 November 2017. “Maps.” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016. Google Maps. Skull and Bones Society. 3 November 2017. “Campus Map.” Yale University, 2017. Pinnell, Patrick (1999). The Campus Guide: Yale University. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 125. Eliot, T. S. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Poetry Foundation, 2017. “Sterling Fellows.” Giving to Yale, 2017. “The Louis Round Wilson Library Special Collections.” UNC University Libraries, 2017. Newcomer, Mabel. A century of higher education for American women, 1956. p. 46. “Inventory of the Order of Gimghoul Records, 1832-2006 (bulk 1940-1997)”. UNC Libraries. Walkowitz, Judith R. “Jack the Ripper and the Myth of Male Violence.” Feminist Studies, vol. 8, no. 3, 1982, pp. 543–574. JSTOR.

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The Morrison Training School: A Case Study of Correctional Facilities for African-American Juvenile Delinquents in 20th Century North Carolina James Fitz-Henley


n a warm evening last April, I found myself in the county courthouse for Durham, North Carolina. I sat in the first row of the audience, surrounded by my classmates. The seats unclaimed by our group of students were filled with whispering, snickering, and disinterested kids of all ages. In the judge’s seat sat a pale, pudgy man in a blaringly red shirt and a matching tie. With a mix of satisfaction and attempted intimidation, he surveyed the scene before us: an eleven year old boy in a dirty white t-shirt and basketball shorts looked down as he stood before his mother. The boy was apologizing to his mother for pushing a female classmate and his teacher. She looked back at him with a straight face and crossed arms. When he finished his apology, his mother pursed her lips, let out a disappointed “mmm” and only said a terse “okay” before returning to her seat and allowing the man in the judge’s seat to continue. Behind us, a voice snickered, “you know he gettin’ a whuppin’ tonight.” The boy turned back to point his body at the judge’s seat, but kept his head down. The pudgy man pointed to a door in the courtroom and asked him if he knew what was behind it. The boy did not know, but he discovered that it led to the Durham County Detention Facility. The pudgy man delivered a speech, telling the boy to fix his attitude, control his anger, and be less aggressive, lest he find himself in handcuffs going through that door with a charge of a Class A1 misdemeanor for assault on a female (NC General Assembly, General Statutes). He also informed the boy of the community service he will have to complete, and the apology letters he must write to his teacher and classmate. By the end, his head was no longer down; his gaze now wandered in a rebellious disinterest. The boy replied to the speech with a quick “Yes sir,” and walked back to his seat, the pudgy man’s eyes burning holes in his back. With that, the next defendant was called. As the evening continued, audience members took their turn in the witness chair, discussing the incident that brought them to court that day. For some, like this boy, it was assault in the form of a fight with peers. For others, it

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was possessing alcohol while on a school campus. For one tragic case, it was for having a weapon on a school campus.1 Their testimonies were tearful, disinterested, angry, uncouthly laughter-filled, and, at times, clearly false. Each sat, received their punishment, and returned to the audience to watch their peers take their turn. This is but one example of what one might see at a session of Teen Court. After the “court proceedings,” performed with attorneys played by teenagers and a local lawyer acting as a judge, the “sentences” are doled out. They never are extreme: they cannot exceed 15 hours of community service, and the other options include tutoring, apology letters, and public apologies like the one I witnessed. Teen Court, along with juvenile detention centers, training schools, and others, are a few of many manifestations of the original juvenile court system in the United States. The juvenile court system was originally formed in Cook County, IL, and expanded to the state level with the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899 (IL General Assembly). From there, the system grew until within a couple of decades, every state had a juvenile court. The court was originally designed “to regulate the treatment and control of dependent, neglected and delinquent children” under the age of 16, operating on distinct definitions for the three types of children of concern (IL General Assembly). The label “dependent” was assigned to children from diverse circumstances. For the most part, it described children in poverty, such as a child who is “destitute or homeless or abandoned; or dependent upon the public for support; or [without] proper parental care or guardianship; or who habitually begs or receives alms” (IL General Assembly). Children were characterized as “neglected” if they found themselves in an environment without sufficient and sufficiently 1  This situation was particularly disturbing because of the reason for the weapon. The 12 year old girl had a knife in her backpack to practice selfharm. To make matters worse, the punishment that the court assigned her failed to address the blatant concerns regarding the girl’s mental wellness and self-esteem, but rather simply focused on her offenses, an unfortunately common occurrence in the American judicial system.


responsible attention. The act defined this as any child who is found living in any house of ill fame or with any vicious or disreputable person; or whose home, by reason of neglect, cruelty or depravity on the part of its parents, guardian or other person in whose care it may be, is an unfit place for such a child; and any age of 8 years who is found peddling or selling any article or singing or playing any musical instrument upon the streets or giving any public entertainment (IL General Assembly). The label “delinquent” was reserved for any child under the age of 16 who “violates any law of this State or any city or village ordinance” (IL General Assembly). As is necessary when addressing the situation of dependent and neglected children in addition to delinquent ones, the court was philosophically and practically founded on its distinction from a court of law. John C. Watkins, Jr. describes “a tribunal whose personnel, for the most part, held an almost pathological prejudice against adult criminal law and practice” as one of the five aspects essential to the court’s founding (50). Whether pathological or not, this anti-criminal law philosophy found its way into every aspect of the court, from its sanctions and sentences (which were called placements) to the way in which juveniles are summoned and the vocabulary of the court (Williams, 263-291). The sanctions made significant use of probation and theoretically never included imprisonment, but committed juveniles to reformative, punishment-free environments. Juveniles did not have charges filed against them, but “petitions” that could be entered by any reputable resident of the county.2 They were not found guilty or not guilty, but rather “adjudicated” to be dependent, neglected, or delinquent. All of these policies were expressions of the understanding that children who met the conditions to be adjudicated by the juvenile court were products of their environment. At no point was the court to identify the children as guilty or as criminals; it was to treat them as individuals at risk of becoming criminals. As Progressive Era judge Ben Lindsey said when describing the system, its “purpose is… to prevent crime before the crime is actually committed” (31). This manner in which the court approached prevention was called parens patriae. Originating in medieval English courts, parens patriae is the manner in which the ruling body (in this case, the court) acts as a “parent” to its subjects. The original application enabled the king to remove a child from his or her home, and bring the child under the custody of the court. This is essentially what the juvenile court was also able to do: define an “unqualified parent” and remove their children (Shelden 27-29). Diverging from the example set by medieval chancery

2  Considering the time period, and the use of uniquely masculine pronouns in the bills stipulation about who can file petitions, one can safely assume that the definition of “reputable persons” was reserved for middle and upper class white men.

courts, the American justice system’s power to separate families was questioned, and, at times, overturned. Two examples of this actually predate the inception of the first juvenile court. In 1838, a woman described her daughter as “incorrigible,” and asked for her to be put into a House of Reform, an institution dedicated to housing children who would later be included in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system. Her wishes were granted, but in Ex parte Crouse, the girl’s father filed a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that the court did not have the right to imprison her without his permission. The Pennsylvania state court ruled that because the House of Reform is dedicated to reform rather than punishment, the man’s daughter was not being punished, and thus could not be removed from the institution based on his claims. This case set a precedent, giving to the notion of parens patriae the power to detain children not on the basis of their parents’ inadequacy, but the constitutionality of their detention. The precedent also understood state and private reformatory institutions to be viable, constitutional places to send children (Shelden 37-38). In 1870, People v. Turner set a reverse precedent. In Illinois, a young boy was entered into an institution for juvenile delinquents. Unlike in Ex parte Crouse, when this boy’s parents filed a writ of habeas corpus, their plea was granted on the grounds that the institution, despite its mission and intention, was really imprisoning and punishing the boy.3 This case set a limit to the power of parens patriae based upon the state meeting its actual intentions in its reform institutions. These reform institutions took many forms. The institution in question in Ex parte Crouse was a House of Reform, but as time passed and the juvenile justice system was developed, these institutions fell out of use. A somewhat similar replacement was training schools for boys and industrial schools for girls. In 1978, a document from the North Carolina Department of Justice defined these schools as “institutions for committed delinquents that provide programs which will implement the right of any committed child to appropriate treatment according to his/her needs” (Training Schools 1). Though this definition may have been provided relatively recently, it is not inaccurate to the original mission of the schools. In North Carolina, training and industrial schools existed vaguely at an intersection between the state’s correctional, educational, and social services. By 1978, they fell under the jurisdiction of the Division of Youth Services within the Department of Justice, making them much like a correctional

3  (Shelden, 38-39). The fact that People v. Turner was 32 years after Ex parte crouse can also be understood to show the way in which the state’s understanding of the effectiveness of such institutions developed and became more accurate and informed over time. This improvement happened despite limited efforts by the government to gain an objective assessment; there is little, if any, sign of third party assessors visiting these institutions or their descendants.

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institution. On the other hand, the schools were still considered part of the education system, and were evaluated annually by the Superintendent of Public Instruction (The State of NC, “A bill to be entitled an act to create a board…”). Finally, the services that the institutions provided included psychiatric, social, psychological, and counseling services, placing it in context of the state’s social services (NC Dep’t of Justice, Training Schools 6). The influence of Progressive Era thought and policy is evident in the juvenile court’s inception. (For example, delinquents were treated as products of their environments.) Unfortunately, the implementation of the system often did not entirely adhere to Progressive Era ideals. Two examples of this disconnect are the training schools’ tendency to treat delinquents almost like prisoners and their established segregation, which effectively considered certain “products of their environment” as different than others. Considering the number of juvenile training and industrial schools across the country, it would be a grand undertaking to discuss, analyze, or compare them all. A discussion of one example will, however, offer a deeper insight into the functions of these institutions. Focusing on the Cameron Morrison Training School in Hoffman, North Carolina, this discussion will include the organization of the school, the services provided, and the effectiveness of the school. Such a discussion will illuminate how the Morrison Training School’s potential was not realized because of a shortage of government funding and attention.


he judicial branch of the North Carolina government first enacted different court procedures for children and adults in 1868 (Birckhead 1471). The state constitution that year added “the appointment of Guardians, the apprenticing of orphans, [and the] audit[ing of] the accounts of executors, administrators and guardians” to the responsibilities of the Clerks of the Superior Court (Constitution of North Carolina of 1868). This adjustment began a governmental focus on the service of children in impoverished and unhealthy environments. The methods sparked by this constitutional action included the first constructions and uses of Houses of Refuge in North Carolina and the formation of the Board of Charities and Public Welfare, which would later go on to form the first juvenile correctional institution in 1909 (The State of North Carolina, Juvenile-to-Adult Comprehensive Criminal History Study 10). Despite the advances made by this constitutional addition, children were still tried under the same criminal court as adults, with a few exceptions. Children under age 7 were not tried, as they were understood to be incapable of criminal intent. From age 7 to 14, defendants were considered similarly incapable, unless evidence was offered to evince the child’s understanding of the difference between moral/ just and immoral/unjust behavior. Above age 14, defendants were treated no differently than adults were, as they

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were understood to be sufficiently developed by that point (Birckhead 1472-1473). As the century turned, more functions of the court dedicated to the reform and service of children were delineated by state legislation and publication. The North Carolina Probation Court Act of 1915 dedicated a clear portion of the adult court to juveniles, introducing many of the aspects that would later be instrumental to the function of separate juvenile courts. These included separate and sealed records, the use of probation officers, and the use of juvenile correctional institutions, including training schools (NC General Assembly, “North Carolina Probation Court Act of 1915”). Four years later, new legislation was passed that officially established a court separate from adult criminal court for the reform and service of juveniles separate from that of adults (The State of NC, Juvenile-to-Adult Comprehensive Criminal History Study 10). This court received all juveniles under the age of 16, a limit that is still in practice today in North Carolina (Birckhead 1445).


here have been many training schools in North Carolina, closing, opening, and reopening as recently as Spring of 2017. All of the training schools and industrial schools that have existed in North Carolina are: the Stonewall Jackson Manual Training and Industrial School in Concord, NC for white males, 1909-present; the State Home and Industrial School for (white) Girls (Samarkand) in Eagle Springs, NC, opening in 1918; the East Carolina Training School in Rocky Mount, NC, for white boys, opening in 1925; the Cameron Morrison Training School for Negro Boys in Hoffman, NC, 1925-1977; the State Training School for (Negro) Girls (Dobbs) in Kinston, NC, later housed boys, opening in 1944; the Juvenile Evaluation Center in Swannanoa, NC, opening in 1961; the C. A. Dillon School in Butner, NC, 1968-2015; the Edgecombe Youth Development Center for males in Rocky Mount, NC, 2008-present; the Lenoir Youth Development Center for males in Kinston, NC, 2008-present; and the Chatham Youth Development Center for females in Siler City, NC, 2008-present (NC Dep’t of Justice, Training Schools; NC Dep’t Public Safety, “Youth Development Centers”).4 In 1905, “A bill to be entitled an act creating a board of control of the North Carolina training schools, providing for the erection and management of said schools, specifying a method of procedure against juvenile delinquents and providing for the management, detention, education and training of such delinquents” was passed. As the name suggests, it formed a board that oversaw North Carolina’s training schools. The board had 6 members, each appointed by the governor to serve 6 year terms. Their main responsibility was choosing a location for each regional training school

4  After these schools close, their locations are often used for adult correctional facilities.


and informing the governor of their suggestion (The State of NC, “A bill to be entitled an act creating a board…”). While laying out the board’s responsibilities, the bill set some regulations and requirements for the schools. The schools were to serve only one gender each, and the schools for white and black children “shall not be located in close proximity to each other” (The State of NC, “A bill to be entitled an act creating a board…”). The board was tasked with searching for plots of at least 100 acres in a fertile location near significant transportation resources. The board was also responsible for ensuring that the schools provided a vocational education for the students, preparing them all to succeed in a trade by the time of their graduation from the school. Additionally, the schools must provide an opportunity for education in keeping with the public school curriculum, so that students can return to their home public schools if they are released before their twelfth grade year. This early release, along with any and all determinations of sanctions, would be administered by the Superior Court, which oversaw all questions of juvenile delinquency and dependency, per the North Carolina Constitution of 1868. The minimum sentence that any juvenile could spend in a state institution such as a training school was 2 years, and no maximum existed, but they must be released by their 21st birthday. Finally, the bill declared that these schools were the only legal institutions other than orphanages where delinquents could be sent. This bill established a North Carolina law requiring that no one under the age of 17 be held in a prison, and if they find themselves in a prison, they must be kept away from anyone convicted or accused of a crime. Because prior to the passage of the bill, there were juveniles in prison or on the “chain gang,” the bill allowed for these juveniles to be transferred to training schools based on the governor’s decree (The State of NC, “A bill to be entitled an act creating a board...”). In the beginning years of North Carolina’s training schools, each school had its own board of trustees, much like many modern state funded institutions like universities and certain high schools. In 1943, these boards were replaced by one State Board of Correction and Training that oversaw, and oversees all schools today (NC Dep’t of Justice, Training Schools 5). This change is just one way in which training schools seem to fluctuate between and dually exist as sites of correction and sites of education.


he Cameron Morrison Training School in Hoffman, NC, provides an example of the juvenile training schools holding black boys in North Carolina, including insights into its philosophies, functions, achievements, and shortcomings. From its inception in 1926 as the third training school in North Carolina, the Morrison Training School worked to serve black male delinquents as best as possible. The school’s aim and purpose was to “mak[e] citizens rather

than [enforce] punitive repression… [the school] assume[d] full responsibility for training them mentally, morally, spiritually, and industrially” (Boyd, Third Biennial Report, 8) The school strove to achieve these aims through many methods, including academic, vocational, religious, and moral education (NC Dep’t of Justice, Training Schools 3; The Beehive).


t the initial formation of the school, it was split into the following departments: (1) Administrative, (2) Educational (School-in-Letters), (3) Vocational (School-inTrades), (4) Military and Disciplinary, (5) Agricultural, (6) Moral and Religious Education, (7) Boarding and Housekeeping, and (8) Recreational Departments (Boyd, Second Biennial Report 6). The standard curriculum education was provided from the first to the ninth, then in later years, eighth, and eventually, twelfth, grade. Based on the reported faculty at the school, younger students received instruction from general “primary grade teachers” and more topically focused “grammar grade teachers.” As they advanced in grades, subjects were more separated and faculty were more specialized. For the higher grades, there were teachers of art and history, physical education, science, French, English, and math (“Campus News,” The Beehive Oct. 1958). The institution had a flexible way of approaching students’ academics. Beginning in 1958, certain students were allowed to attend other local schools while still living at the Morrison Training School (“Campus News,” The Beehive Oct. 1958). For students with interests, talents, or dispositions less than ideal for a classroom, there was ample opportunity to gain an alternative education. Conversely, after a certain age or time in the school, “the stronger intellectual types are sent to the vocational shop of their choosing” (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 5). At the beginning of the Morrison Training School, the options for vocational education included “auto mechanics, woodworking, carpentry, painting, plastering, bricklaying, sheet metal work, plumbing, barber services and farm mechanics” (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 6). By the 1960s, their vocational schools had altered slightly to include an Arts, Crafts, and Sewing Department, a Shoe Shop, a Barbershop, and more. All vocationally educational shops at the Morrison Training School did work internally to benefit the school and externally to benefit other schools and customers. Per the 1905 legislation,5 all students were required to participate in some form of manual labor. To complete this requirement, all students, for at least some time, participated in the Agricultural Department, which was responsible for

5  “Each able-bodied child shall be employed for suitable periods in some manual labor that will promote health and form the basis of a trader or occupation at which he or she may earn a proper support after leaving said schools...” (The State of NC, “A bill to be entitled an act creating a board…”)

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the function of the farm. Harvesting the fertile ground and spacious land upon which all training schools must be built, the Morrison Training School locally cultivated a significant portion of its students’ food. The main divisions of the farm with which students interacted were the poultry plant, the swine plant, the dairy, and field operations (farming). The crops harvested included wheat, rye, barley, clover, mixed grain, collards, cabbage, lettuce, green peas, onions, corn, peaches, and more (“On the Farm,” The Beehive Oct. 1958; “On the Farm,” The Beehive Sep. 1959). In later years, they not only harvested food, but canned foods for sale (“On the Farm,” The Beehive Dec. 1962).6 The Morrison Training School’s mission involved much more than vocational and academic education. The Moral and Religious Education Department existed to ensure that boys would leave the school not only as functional and financially independent adults, but as persons with character, integrity, and a holy self-regulation. A significant aspect to their character development was the encouragement of flexibility and cooperation. In 1942, Superintendent Leonard L. Boyd discussed this in context of how “this institution ha[d] the most heterogeneous population of any training school within the state” (Ninth Biennial Report 4). The students at the school came from many different places (though the most common sources of students were Mecklenburg, Wake, and Durham counties) and were all delinquents of different severities, with different academic and vocational capabilities. The Morrison Training School tried to teach students to flexibly maneuver through these differences and to cooperate despite them, mostly through extracurricular opportunities at the school. According to Superintendent Boyd, this was achieved through the bonding power of music, playground games, and sports (Ninth Biennial Report 5). All students could connect over similar music interests, and the athletic competitions game them an opportunity to collaborate in low-stress environments. The importance of moral instruction is also made clear through publications of The Beehive, the school’s bimonthly student-written periodical.7 In each edition, there was an “Editorial” section written by an adult faculty editor with a reminder of proper conduct. The topics varied from edition to edition, but included: integrity, repentance and self-regulation, gratitude and hard work, Christian citizenship, cleanliness and neatness, brotherhood, and more (“Editorial,” The Beehive). This is further exemplified in the section of The Bee6  This year, the students canned dewberries, squash, tomato juice, green beans, sauerkraut, apples, and applesauce. 7  A significant portion of the following discussion of the Morrison Training School is gleaned from publications of The Beehive, a bimonthly publication written by students and edited by faculty at the school. The editions to which I had acces began in 1958 and ended in 1963. Because of this, the description that I received from this work may be somewhat influenced by the school’s desire to portray an ideal image of the institution through the publication, and only can shed light on the publication and the school in these years.

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hive called “With the Sages,” providing topical quotes from influential people in the past. Each month, the quotes would all focus on clearly marked topics, including brotherhood, truth, honesty, love, giving, character, and self-determination (with God’s assistance) (“With the Sages,” The Beehive). This moral instruction was accompanied by a religious-based approach to teaching the students good values. All students were taught Christian values through two sabbath day services each week, one at 11:00am and one at 5:30pm, evening prayer services during the week, and consistent character training (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 7). The importance of Christianity in the foundation of the Morrison Training School is emphasized by the format of the reports that the school submitted to the state. The first reports communicated Denominational Representation alongside ages, offenses, and parental statuses of the children at the school (Boyd, Second Annual Report 7). Furthermore, it was not uncommon for “With the Sages” and “Editorials” to discuss the boys’ Christian responsibilities and duties. Although the educational aims of the Morrison Training School can be divided into three categories like this, they were all considered equally intrinsic to a Morrison education. In each publication of The Beehive, there is a “Scholastic Honor Roll,” “Industrial Honor Roll,” and “Conduct Honor Roll.” These three honor rolls were consistently presented without hierarchy, suggesting that the school was equally committed to each category of education.


hese educational opportunities were augmented by many other unique aspects of the Morrison Training School, including housing and extracurricular opportunities. Students were housed in cottages, each with cottage counselors who resided in and oversaw the residencies. Through the cottages, students were offered opportunities for extracurricular and leisure activities, such as basketball, football, volleyball, horseshoes, checkers, ping pong, chess, and more (“Cottage Notes,” The Beehive Oct. 1962). Extracurriculars existed beyond the cottage system as well. Students had opportunities that one might commonly expect to see at a public school in North Carolina. The school had a band, theater troupe, varsity athletic teams that competed interscholastically, and a Glee club that even performed on a Raleigh radio station at one point. Students also had the opportunity to experience extracurriculars outside of the school. There are recorded instances of members of the basketball team who showed good behavior attending the CIAA tournament, a group of students from the Morrison Training School participating in a regional spelling bee, and students participating in the boy scouts for many years (“Campus News,” The Beehive).


he Morrison Training School had mixed success in achieving its purpose and serving the student body. The school certainly provided students an education, as


promised. In a study by the state of North Carolina assessing the boys who left the school between 1940 and 1945, it was found that “the boys made definite progress between commitment and time of investigation” (A Study of the Adjustment of Negro Boys). We can look to the section of The Beehive titled “Remembering” to consider the boys’ lives after leaving the Morrison Training School. This section is dedicated to celebrating the successes of those who spent time at the school and have since re-entered and successfully adjusted to a law-abiding life in other communities. According to “Remembering,” students were certainly released from the school part of the way through their originally assigned time due to good behavior. Those who graduated often successfully entered the workforce, local universities like Johnson C. Smith and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, or the military (“Remembering,” The Beehive). The occupational accomplishments of boys after they left is also recorded by this study. Of the living former students for whom data was collected, 91 of them were employed and 68 of them were unemployed, suggesting that the school was able to prepare a majority of the boys to get a job afterwards (“Remembering,” The Beehive).8 Unfortunately, the same study shows the limits to the school’s success. Only 11 of the 272 boys investigated made it past the 7th grade to start high school. 62% (134/213) of the boys released from the Morrison Training School found themselves in front of a court again, often for a crime similar to the one that led to them being sent there in the first place. Based on boys’ scores on psychological (IQ) tests, “the Morrison boy… was retarded”; only one boy out of the 66 tested scored Average or higher (The State of NC, A Study of the Adjustment of Negro Boys).9 As we consider the ways in which the Morrison Training School seemed ineffective, we must ask why. It is likely that many of these shortcomings could have been remedied with additional funding and government attention. From the first year of the school to the last, they complained of being underfunded. Most years, the biennial reports submitted to the state “urgently” requested new facilities such as larger dining facilities and more dormitories. These requests were not limited to resources related to residential life: the school also requested classrooms, farm materials, kitchen equipment, and a chapel repeatedly (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 8). These resources were required because the school was

8  That being said, data were not collected on the employment status of 108 former inmates. In the best case scenario (all 108 are employed), the school could have prepared a significant majority of their boys (73%) for a job after leaving the school. In the worst case scenario (none of the 108 is employed), the school prepared only 35% of their boys to get jobs. 9  This data also should be taken with a grain of salt. A limited number of boys took the IQ tests, and especially in the mid-20th century, the tests were certainly biased towards a certain demographic of test-takers that did not include the boys at the Morrison Training School.

always overpopulated and always growing -- the capacity never increased at the same rate at which the population did. This is shown in how many students were turned away from the Morrison Training School; only 6 years after the school was formed, they had to turn away 280 interested students (Boyd, Third Biennial Report 8). One of the reasons for this high number of interested students is that the school accepted students from the three largest centers of black population in North Carolina at the time: Wake, Mecklenburg, and Durham counties. Additionally, as Superintendent Boyd said, many delinquents were sent to the Morrison Training School “because there was no other place for courts of the state to send them” (Ninth Biennial Report 5). In making this statement, Superintendent Boyd mentioned the heterogeneity at the school, which is also discussed earlier in this work. That heterogeneity provided another obstacle to the school’s success. The school had to expend resources to work to meet each student’s academic preparation and ability. This was especially difficult for the lower grades, in which they had fewer teachers and more students per teacher (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 4-6). This variety in students caused even more issues as far as the reformative aspect of the school. The students varied in mental wellness and delinquency from those eligible for “modern high school to [those in need of] an asylum for the insane” (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 4). Along with this difficulty came the obstacle that is inevitable in teaching delinquents: a disrespect for the classroom. Many students entered with a “total dislike for school and the teacher” to which the teachers respond by “building for confidence and rapport through their own efforts” (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 6). Though the valiant efforts of teachers helped increase interest, the disrespect still provided a significant barrier.10 The background from which students enter the school impacts more than just their educational skepticism. Many boys entered the school malnourished, coming as orphans or from impoverished and neglected homes. In addition to treating this malnourishment, the school’s small infirmary was stretched thin treating much more severe ailments; in a period of 4 years from 1938-42, the infirmary treated 189 cases of syphilis (Boyd, Ninth Biennial Report 5). In the first two years of the school’s operation, the visiting physician (as there was not yet an infirmary) treated 18 cases of gonorrhea and 24 cases of syphilis (Boyd, Second Annual Report). The maintenance of good health among the student body was only made more difficult by the lack of sufficient resources. The superintendent once described the school’s 10  To speculate a bit, this may be due to the type of curriculum. There was a large emphasis on obedience, correction, and manners at the Morrison Training School. Such a focus could make the academic experience so tedious that children cannot thrive in it. Additionally, it could make the “academic” experience too focused on things other than academics, leaving children understimulated, uninterested, and underprepared.

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supply of milk as “meager” while discussing the school’s course of action to treat malnourished students (Boyd, Second Annual Report 10). Statements like these clearly identify a final instance of the insufficient resourcing that crippled the Morrison Training School.


aving found insufficient funds to be a cause of the school’s shortcoming, we must consider the cause of that discrepancy. Undoubtedly, the funding and attention that the Morrison Training School did not receive has a link to race. Training schools for white children consistently received more funding and had a better ratio of students to facilities and students to teachers (NC Dep’t of Justice, Training Schools 6-8). This discrepancy is even more egregious when we consider it in context of the amount of white juveniles in training schools versus black juveniles in training schools. As the 20th century progressed, a greater percentage of children in training schools were black, while more while children began entering private reformative institutions, free from the influence of strategically limited government funding (Walker et al. 223). Though the Morrison Training School closed in 1977, North Carolina still has four training schools for juvenile delinquents. These are the Stonewall Jackson Manual Training and Industrial School, the Edgecombe Youth Development Center, the Lenoir Youth Development Center, and the Chatham Youth Development Center (NC Dep’t of Public Safety, “Youth Development Centers”). As expected, the schools are no longer racially segregated, and thankfully, the conditions mirror those of white training schools in the 20th century more than black ones. The facilities seem to be much nicer than they have been in the past (at least from pictures of the buildings) and though the populations are lesser, the schools have just as many, if not more, staff, faculty, and facilities. Today, the Morrison Correctional Institution stands in place of the training school. The Morrison Correctional Institution does not stand vaguely at any intersection; it is plainly a prison for adults, under the jurisdiction of North Carolina’s judicial system. For a time between the closing of the training school and the opening of the prison, the location was the Morrison Youth Institute for inmates between 18 and 21 years of age. In 1994, ground was finally broken on the chapel that Superintendent Boyd requested half a century before. Now, the medium security prison continues the legacy of the training school by providing inmates with vocational classes in brick masonry, electric service, upholstery, internal maintenance, and cooking. Inmates can also take classes taught by community college teachers for college credit or to prepare for the GED and other high school equivalency tests (NC Dep’t of Public Safety, “Morrison Correctional Institution”). The funding that the Morrison Correctional Institution receives compared to other North Carolina correctional fa-

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cilities is a topic of a discussion for another time and another place, but one certainly to be had. The lack of funding allocated to the Morrison Training School is a clear example of how marginalized groups fail to have their voice heard. As poor black children who are labelled like criminals, the school’s boys were quadruply forgotten by our government. Like any system, correctional departments in the United States have room to grow. Consistent investigation of their effectiveness is necessary to ensure the most efficient allocation of funds and resources in our prisons. These investigations have brought us a long way since the time of the Morrison Training School, but we yet have advances to make, that one day we might have a correctional department that corrects and reforms to more effectively make this country and this state safer places. Birckhead, Tamar R. “North Carolina, Juvenile Court Jurisdiction, and the Resistance to Reform.” North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 6, 2008; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1183022. Boyd, Leonard L., “Report of the Superintendent.” Ninth Biennial Report, Morrison Training School, Hoffman, North Carolina, for two years Beginning July 1, 1940 and Ending June 30, 1942. Morrison Training School, 1942. Boyd, Leonard L. “Report of the Superintendent.” Second Annual Report of the Morrison Training School for the Training of Negro Boys, Hoffman, North Carolina, for the period July 1, 1925-June 30, 1926. Morrison Training School, 1926. Boyd, Leonard L. “Report of the Superintendent.” Second Biennial Report of the Morrison Training School, State Training School for Negro Boys, Hoffman, North Carolina, for the period Beginning July 1, 1926 and Ending June 30, 1928. Morrison Training School, 1928. Boyd, Leonard L. “Report of the Superintendent.” Third Biennial Report of the Morrison Training School, State Training School for Negro Boys, Hoffman, North Carolina, for period Beginning July 1, 1928 and Ending June 30, 1930. Morrison Training School, 1930. Editor. “Campus News.” The Beehive, Vol. XV, No. III, Morrison Training School. Oct. 28 1958, 3. Editor. “Cottage Notes.” The Beehive, Vol. XIX, No. IV, Morrison Training School. Oct. 30 1962, 6. Editor. “Campus News.” The Beehive. Morrison Training School. Editor. “Editorial.” The Beehive. Morrison Training School. Editor. “On The Farm.” The Beehive, Vol. XV, No. III to Vol. XVII No. II, Morrison Training School. Oct. 28 1958 to Sept. 29 1959. Editor. “On The Farm.” The Beehive, Vol. XIX, No. V, Morrison Training School. Dec. 1962, 8. Editor. “Remembering.” The Beehive. Morrison Training School. Editor. The Beehive. Morrison Training School. Editor. “With the Sages.” The Beehive. Morrison Training School. Ex parte Crouse. 4 Wharton (PA) 9. Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. 1838. Hon. Lindsey, Ben. “Colorado: The Juvenile Court of Denver.” Children’s Courts in the United States: Their Origin, Development, and Results, edited by Samuel June Barrows, International Prison Commission, 1904, pp. 28-47. Illinois General Assembly. Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899. Apr. 21, 1899. North Carolina Department of Justice. Training Schools. 1978. North Carolina Department of Public Safety. (2017). NC DPS: Morrison Correctional Institution. [online] [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017]. North Carolina Department of Public Safety. (2017). NC DPS: Youth Development Centers. [online] [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017]. North Carolina General Assembly. North Carolina General Statutes. 14-33c2. 2017. North Carolina General Assembly. North Carolina Probation Court Act of 1915. 1915. North Carolina Government. Constitution of North Carolina of 1868, Art. IV Sec. 17. 1868 North Carolina (State). General Assembly. A bill to be entitled an act creating a board of control of the north carolina training schools, providing for the erection and management of said schools, specifying a method of procedure against juvenile delinquents and providing for the management, detention, education and training of such delinquents. 1905. North Carolina (State). Report. Executive. North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. Juvenile-to-Adult Comprehensive Criminal History Study, June 2004. Prepared by Debbie Dawes, Rebecca Ebron, Sharon Ferguson, and Susan Katzenelson. 2004. North Carolina (State). Report. North Carolina State Board of Public Welfare. A Study of the Adjustment of Negro Boys Discharged from Morrison Training School, July 1, 1940-June 30, 1945. By John R. Larkins. Sept. 1947. People ex rel O’Connell v. Turner, 55 Ill. 280. Supreme Court of Illinois. 1870. Shelden, Randall G. Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society. 2nd ed., Waveland Press, 2012. Walker, S. C. Spohn, and M. DeLone. (1996). The Color of Justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, pp. 223-24. Watkins, J. (1998). The Juvenile Justice Century: A Sociolegal Commentary on American Juvenile Courts. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, p.50. Williams, Jason. “Race, Ethnicity, and Juvenile Justice.” Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice, edited by Matthew B. Robinson, Carolina Academic Press, 2016, pp. 263-291.


From Sophocles to Anouilh: The Art of Translation as a Political Statement Cecilia Poston


ooking at new productions of Greek plays, one can see the impact of current political situations on their translations and performances. Observing this relation can show that the purpose of translation is far from simply making a text written in a certain language accessible to those who cannot read it; it is instead to find and to impart new understanding of old texts to an audience who is willing to see. In translations of plays during WWII, that understanding was often one which disavowed war and fascism. Sometimes, however, these works were forced to appear impartial or unbiased, as in Anouilh’s Antigone, which was performed before and enjoyed by both French resistance leaders and Nazi high command. While these works have been analyzed before, what previous historians have failed to fully analyze is the effect that the politics, time, and location of the production as well as the personal history of the translator or producer have had on the work and how ancient Greek plays, more so that other works of literature, lend themselves to the recreation of meaning in new and strange ways. They have also failed to look at how people with radically different, even opposing, political positions have been able to understand the same performances in such divergent ways. In order to understand this, one must look at what can shape audience’s perception of a performance. Throughout history, Greek plays have been the subject of much political debate. Even during their original performances, their receptions were greatly influenced by the political situation in which they were first written and performed; Sophocles’ Antigone and Aeschylus’ The Persians, the two plays on which this paper focuses on are no different. One example of a Greek play that brought about much debate in its original performance is Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Written during the reign of Augustus as Prima Porta and emperor in Rome, it critiqued not only the idea of empire as written about by Virgil and other philosophers, but the view of Augustus as a divine, morally superior ruler. Ovid’s critique of empire, history, and justice goes hand in hand with his critique of the gods, including the ‘divine’ Augustus. While Ovid’s gods are similar to the gods of other epics—they’re omnipotent and meddle in humanity’s business—in their interactions with humans, they lack the moral authority that is so important in, for instance, the Iliad and

the Odyssey. The driving force in almost all of the poem is the bad behavior of the gods, often as a result of anger, jealousy, lust, or cruelty. Often the behavior of the gods results in the silencing of humans to cover up their misdeeds; in the story of Daphne and Apollo, Daphne turns herself into a tree to escape him, losing her voice; in the story of Jove and Io, Jove turns Io into a cow so Juno will not find out about his infidelity; and in the story of Philomela, her brother-inlaw rapes her and cuts out her tongue. Ovid’s mockery or exposure of the gods and their less than godly is an attack on Augustus, especially on his claims to divine authority. As evidenced by this and many other Greek plays’ original reception, they served as modes of political discourse 2000 years ago and they continue to do so now. Much like Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Sophocles’ Antigone, since its first performance in 441 BC, has been a cause of much political discussion, especially surrounding its antiwar and anti-establishment rhetoric. The story of Antigone is set in Thebes as two brothers, the children of Oedipus, Polynices and Eteocles, attempt to jointly rule. However, they both refuse to share the throne and go to war, resulting in the death of both of them. The play begins as their uncle, Creon, decrees that one brother shall be buried and thus allowed passage into the afterlife, the other brother is not allowed to be buried. Creon’s niece and sister to the two men, Antigone, rebels against his decree and moves to bury him just the same, knowing that the punishment is death. In Greek culture, a proper burial was extremely important. The dead were prepared for burial according to rituals that had been in place for hundreds of years.1 The Greeks believed that “immortality lay in the continued remembrance of the dead by the living,” beginning with the anointment of the body and continuing through the burial to the reverence given to the funeral busts of the deceased in their family home. In denying Polyneices a proper burial, Creon denies him life after death (Department of Greek and Roman Art). Antigone refuses to acknowledge that Creon, though ruler over Thebes, is ruler over life itself; she says, “I 1  Sources from Ancient Greece emphasized the importance of a proper burial and often said that a lack of proper burial was an insult to human dignity. The burial and funeral of a loved one had three parts: the prosthesis (laying out of the body), the ekphora (the funeral), and the actual burial of the body in the ground.

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owe a longer allegiance to the dead than to the living: in that world I shall abide for ever. But if thou wilt, be guilty of dishonouring laws which the gods have established in honour” (Sophocles). Antigone chooses to die rather than abide by Creon’s orders and it is this defiance of the ruling power and her belief in the importance of the continued remembrance of the dead by the living that has drawn so many to find inspiration in Antigone throughout history. Revolt and civil disobedience are considered to be the driving force of the play. That is why, in Western thought, Antigone appears in debates on the rebellion against the governing power and the way in which history is governed by the state. In his book, Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process, Robert M. Cover writes that “Antigone’s star has shone brightly through the millennia. The archetype for civil disobedience has claimed a constellation of first magnitude emulators” (Cover). Antigone’s power as a source for political discourse and revolt was so applicable during WWII because the war was all encompassing, with hardships felt globally on both sides of the effort, and it is precisely that kind of war that so drives the creation of new translations and productions of these Greek plays. These plays were birthed in times of struggle and catastrophic war. The Persian wars, Peloponnesian wars, and Trojan wars were all devastating for both sides and involved the entire world, or at the least the entire world in the eyes of the Greeks, and that is why WWII was so suitable for the creation of new translations as it was first war in a long that truly affected the entire war on a scale not seen since the time of the ancient Greeks. Similarly, Aeschylus’ The Persians also has a heavy history behind it. It was originally performed at the Athens’ City Dionysia festival in 472 BCE and was praised by people throughout the city who believed it glorified the triumph of Athens and the entirety of Greece over the Persians. Though some of the plays critics, including Aristotle, viewed the play as sympathetic towards the Persians, most view it as a celebration of Greek heroism and victory in a time of war. The story is set in Susa, the capital of the Persian Empire, and it describes, through the eyes of the people of Persia, the Greek victory at the Battle of Salamis. The names of all the Persian generals slaughtered in battle are read off to the Persian royalty as the mother of the Persian king, Xerxes, waits to hear if her sons name is on the list. Though Xerxes escaped the battle unharmed, it is not without punishment; when he returns home he is greeted by the ghost of his father, Darius the Great, who condemns him for his failure to invade Greece and for his actions which have angered the gods. The play concludes with a lamentation of the Persian defeat and a prophecy of more to come.


n this work I will be answering the question of how translations of Greek plays are created in response to political movements and the space that they occupy within them in modern times. In order to better understand the effect of changing political ideas and events, I will be looking at two North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

translations of Aeschylus’ The Persians set in Greece during WWII. The first is a BBC radio production The Glory that is Greece, by Louis MacNeice. The date on which it was released is especially significant, as it was on the one year anniversary of Ioannis Metaxas’ unwavering answer to the ultimatum proposed by Mussolini that would have endangered Greek sovereignty: “Ochi”, “No!” His response instigated the Greek resistance to the Italian Fascist invasion.2 MacNeice chose the title The Glory that is Greece to emphasize that “the country is, in 1940 and 1941, effectively taking back its ancient glory” (MacNeice 31). This title also alluded to the book on classical Greece, The Glory that was Greece: A Survey of Hellenic Culture and Civilization, by John Clarke Stobart, and it managed to not only glorify the actions of present Greece but also reveal its famed past and revive that ancient Greek glory for both Greek citizens and the international community. That ancient glory was one of strength, bravery, and dedication to the protection of both the homeland and the family; it was a past of unrelenting hope and belief in a better future for Greece. In the opening announcement that preceded the radio program, the meaning of the title is further emphasized: “‘The Glory that was Greece’ was a phrase coined by a poet. In the last year we have learned to amend it. ‘The Glory that is Greece’ is a programme in homage to a living people, a people that even today, under the heel of the Axis, is still fighting for freedom.” The connection between modern Greeks and their ancestors was felt all around the world and was epitomized in the 1941 quote from Winston Churchill, who said, “Hence we will not say that the Greeks fight like heroes but that the heroes fight like Greeks.” The production was a call to the international community for military support and medical aid. As an act of historical memory, it served to illustrate to Britain and other Western countries familiar with the stories of the Persian War, urgent parallels between the two. Any modern Greek land victory against all odds could be compared to the Athenian victory at Marathon in 490 BC; any battle lost by the Greeks would be compared to the Spartan stand-off at Thermopylae in 480 BC, which signified not defeat, but self-sacrifice or martyrdom for the benefit of Western civilization. By comparing modern battles to these two battles, modern Greece is thus equated with the glorified Ancient Greece. In the words of historian Amanda Wrigley, “If the Spartan loss at Thermopylae and the iconic destruction of the Athenian Acropolis could inspire the ancients to bravery and could spur the dramatic reversal of events at Salamis, then Greek history after the loss and devastation inflicted by the Nazi Germans might still repeat itself: defeat of the past will engender victory in the future.”

2  The Italian army would be defeated by the Greeks in the first land victory of WWII, pushing their troops all the way into southern Albania. (Danforth, Loring, and Haldon)


It is this repetition of history in the radio program that is so important. For instance, in the radio program, MacNeice has two Greek women predict a victorious and hopeful future for Greece as they say: Maria: We are still in the stage of Thermopylae. Angelice: But someday we shall have a Salamis. By drawing attention to the perseverance of the Ancient Greek people, MacNeice hopes to inspire that same kind of strength of will in the people of Greece and Europe during WWII. The play alternates its setting between modern and ancient Greece, allowing us to see both conversations of Xerxes, son of Darius the King of Persia, contrasted with the commands of Mussolini and the unwavering spirit of the Greek soldiers defending Greece from both the Persians and the Italians. This spirit is shown through the commentary of one modern Greek soldier, the spokesperson for Greek history in the play, Stavros, as he tells his wife how the people of Greece will rise. Stavros: The whole nation will rise as one man! He’s darn right it will. It is clear that in this play the Persians are the Nazis, specifically the Italians who support Mussolini and Hitler, with the valiant Greeks being those who fight against not only communism but for Greece. One of the most iconic lines in Aeschylus’ Persians and every translation since its original performance has been “nun hyper panton agon”, “now the struggle is for all”. It was a rallying call for the Greeks of old and was made into a rallying call for the modern Greeks by both MacNeice’s radio program and the play’s 1946 production by Dimitris Ronteres. In Aeschylus’ original version of the play, the essence of that battle cry lies in the protection of the family, the country, the land of the forefathers by Greek soldiers who take up arms to defend themselves; it allows for defense of the homeland to be a legitimate reason to go to war and is still an integral part of Greek patriotism today. In MacNeice’s translation, the line was an anti fascist battle cry for all those who resisted the attempted Nazi occupation of Greece by Mussolini’s forces, with ‘all’ being defined as Greece that will not bend to fascism; it represented the Greece of those who fought in the Persian wars and the Greece of those who were fighting again 2000 years later. During WWII, Greece had been occupied by the Germans; however, once the war was over, the Germans left the country. As the war began, the Greek government fled from Greece and attempted to maintain their hold on the country from afar. During the war, many groups formed that resisted the Nazi invasion and attempted to defend Greece. However, once the war was over, these two powerful forces would clash and create a very turbulent situation in the

country that lead to the Greek civil war. 3 It is this civil war which was the political backdrop to Ronteres’ production of Antigone (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). In the 1946 production of The Persians, staged by Dimitris Ronteres, produced only five years after MacNeice’s The Glory that is Greece, Aeschylus’ battle cry moves from being an anti fascist battle to being a “call for a military offense against domestic as well as international communism” (Van Steen 501). This production painted the Persians as the left-leaning resistance fighters who were the heroes of MacNeice’s play. These resistance fighters, while they were suppressed by the right-wing state ideologies of Metaxas, were not actively sought out until the Red Scare in the 1940s and 50s. Drawing on the power that the phrase, “the struggle for all,” had accrued in previous years, the 1946 production divided Greece by equating the Persian enemy with the Russian and, most importantly, with Greek communists, suggesting that the communists were separated from the Greek heroism of the past. The play was attended by many members of the Greek government and was hailed more as a patriotic feat that an artistic feat. In a speech given in 1949 by Michael Ailianos, the Greek Minister of Press and Information, he reiterated the political ideas emphasized by the production as he praised Aeschylus’ The Persians not for uniting Greece against a common, foreign enemy, but for exalting the defeat of the Greek left by the Greek right as they fought against the communism within. In comparing these two works created from the same source material, it’s clear the effect that the changing politics of Greece had on their creation, target audience, and overall reception. In the five years that divide these two performances, WWII came to an end and the tension between the powers of the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc of Europe was rising as communism became a powerful and threatening force in Europe. Though both works were directed at the Greek people, they attacked and supported very different groups. MacNeice’s play supported those who championed the Greek resistance to Mussolini, most of Greece at the time of its production, whereas Ronteres’ supported those in the government who sought to uncover and destroy those in Greece who supported communism. These groups were the ones who were written as the Greeks in Aeschylus’ The Persians and those who they fought against were portrayed at the Persians. As the attitude in Greece changed from being united against a common, foreign, enemy to attempting to purge 3  The Greek civil war began when the Greek government, upon return to Greece, was reluctant to take back control over the country. After their return, tensions between the communist party in Greece and the rest of Greece grew until, in 1946, the Communist Party in Greece boycotted the new elections. The Communist Party in Greece would eventually form the Communist Democratic Army of Greece, prompting the Greek government to form the National Army. As these two armies fought, nearly 100,000 Greek lives were lost with the war leaving much of Greece still divided. (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica)

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those who supported communism from within Greece, the groups of people who were Persians in these plays changed as well. It is this change in meaning in the productions that illustrates how changing political situations influence translations of Greek plays in modern times.


ooking at the different productions of Sophocles’ Antigone, it is easy to see how the translation and perception of it changes as a result of the politics of the time in which it is performed. To return to WWII, there are two translations of Antigone produced during and slightly after the war whose reception was most certainly based on their political and historical situation. These two productions are Jean Anouilh’s production of Antigone, first performed in 1944 in Nazi-occupied Paris, and Bertolt Brecht’s Antigone, performed in Switzerland, a neutral country during WWII, in 1948, three years after the war ended. While their general messages are more similar than that of the two productions of The Persians, their own individual political spaces and the places the occupied within them are drastically different. Anouilh’s production was not allowed to be as staunchly anti-fascist as Brecht’s was and subsequently its audience and their reactions to it were mixed. During WWII, Antigone’s presence was felt in theatres across Europe as the play was a safe choice for political rebellion. This was because showings of it were not as likely to be shut down as other plays at time, as Greek plays were safe and well known to Europeans of different political beliefs. This is why remakings of Greek plays, myths, and legends have flourished throughout history as they offer a way for audiences to distance themselves from the events of the time. One production of Antigone that was particularly popular during WWII was Jean Anouilh’s Antigone performed in Paris, France in February, 1944, three months before the liberation of Nazi occupied France by the Allied forces. The German Occupation of France is referred to by the French as les années noires (the dark years); yet, it also has been called un âge d’ (a golden age) of French theatre. (Yardley) After the initial occupation by the Germans allowed the epicenter of the occupied zone, also consequently the center of the French theatre, to be reopened by the French; there were, at one point during the occupation, thirty three theatres in Paris showing plays. The occupation resulted in not just rebellion in the form of battles but rebellion through art, literature, and culture as a whole, with many great plays written and performed in France during this time. Although there were many plays created during this time, they were all regularly screened by the Vichy and government officials and props, sets, and entire plays were removed for being too subversive or for including ‘sensitive’ language, such as the speech of plays that dealt with revolution. This treatment subsequently raises the question of how to understand performances under censorship:

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how does censorship shape the audience’s perception of the play and the meaning they garner from it? It is in this that Anouilh’s Antigone had an advantage, because, as a production of a Greek play, it was likely screened less thoroughly due to its relatively well known subject matter. Unlike other plays whose subjects were relatively unknown at the time, most people were familiar with the story of Antigone and thus would not necessarily look as hard for hidden resistance themes. Paris was divided by the foreign occupation. From the beginning, it was clear that this play would have to diverse audience. Both critics and the Parisian public agreed that it was a beautiful retelling of the classic story of Antigone in a modern setting, but reviews were split on whether it supported the French resistance movement or the Nazi regime and subsequent occupation. It was said to have inspired both Nazi high command and French resistance fighters to applaud for the same lines. (Buis 24) Though it is easy to see why the resistance fighters would have identified with Antigone, it is more difficult to understand how the Nazi high command could have found something to like in the play. However, Antigone’s symbolic value as a heroine who fights for her beliefs has been used to justify the Nazi ideology of racial purity and superiority. In the reception of Anouilh’s play, some critics argued that she stood against Creon for anti-democratic and autocratic monarchism and it is likely this that the Nazi audience would have agreed with this. Jean Paul Sartre, French philosopher, playwright, and political activist, said that “Anouilh stirred up a storm of discussion with Antigone, being charged on the one hand with being a Nazi, on the other with being an anarchist.” (Sartre 40) Though Anouilh himself claimed that he knew nothing of the political implications of his play (“My conscience is clear. I knew nothing of the resistance movement during the war”) most find that hard to believe. However, this debate that had overtaken Paris on the true meaning of the play and the intentions of Anouilh stopped almost as a soon as Paris was liberated, with both the previously occupied French as well as the allied soldiers attending nightly performances of the play at the Atelier. It is interesting to note just how much that one event drastically changing the perceived ‘true meaning’ of the play. How does one account for such different receptions? Is the Nazi “reading” of Antigone necessarily wrong, and is it possible for wrong politics to produce right readings? The reception of the play would change further once it was translated into English for performance in the United States. When Anouilh’s Antigone was performed in America in 1946, it was received as a resistance play, bringing about none of the debate or controversy of Paris. In the reviews of the play, there was a lack of praise or condemnation; they were all extremely diffident as if the play had not managed to stir up the audience as it had in Paris, which was likely the case. Though there was a multitude of differences between the English translation and original French work,


two of the most important differences were the complete removal of slang or colloquial phrases, which were replaced with more “appropriate language.” The play seemed “almost self-conscious of its Sophoclean heritage, hesitant to join the modern, postwar West” and the resistance themes that were more strongly present in the English translation. “There is no doubt that Galantière’s translation is beautiful, imbuing Anouilh’s words with a poetic force too heavy for the original” (Buis). It also ran for only 64 performances in America compared to the 475 consecutive performances in Paris. It is clear that the politics of the location in which it was performed in conjunction with appropriate language that fit its audience and time played a role in its reception in America. Anouilh’s Antigone was not the only translation of Sophocles’ Antigone during WWII. In Switzerland in 1948, three years after the war ended, Bertolt Brecht’s production of Antigone was first performed. Brecht did not directly translate the play, instead using a translation already in German written by Hölderlin and then rewriting and adding his own pieces to it. I will be looking at this version in relation to what he added to make it more historically and politically relevant. First, however, I will briefly look at Hölderlin’s translation to see what material Brecht was drawing from to create his production of the play. It is a widely held belief in the classical studies community that Hölderlin’s translation distorted Sophocles’ original writing. However, some students of literary study believe that Hölderlin made those errors deliberately, in order to bring his own interpretive touch to the translation and his own experience with lyric poetry to the realm of Greek tragedy. Though they admit that there was obvious error in his translation, many suggest that he did so in order to reconstruct Greek poetry in a way that undermined the conventions surrounding what it means to translate a work of classical literature. It was Hölderlin who opened the door to stranger more modern translations or adaptations of many ancient Greek works. Even Brecht himself wrote that, “Hölderlin’s language of Antigone [‘Antigone’-Sprache] would be worthy of a deeper study than the one I was able to devote to it. It is of an astounding radical nature” (Brecht). Brecht did not deeply study the intricacies of Hölderlin’s translation, but instead chose to rework it for its performance on stage. Hölderlin focused on adapting the words, rhythms, and overall literary goals of tragic poetry in a more modern form, whereas Brecht’s adaptation was not an extreme revision of Sophocles’ play, but a complete reworking of Hölderlin’s translation that brought about an interesting distortion of its meaning. Brecht’s production of Antigone was much more clearly anti-fascist and anti-Nazi than Anouilh’s, likely due to both the circumstances in which their plays were written and Brecht’s personal relation to the Nazi regime. Brecht was forced to leave Germany once Adolf Hitler came to power; because of that, he had a much more personal relationship to the Nazi regime and had stronger feelings on what they

did to his country and his people.4 In his production, Brecht was able to study fascism as a moral philosophy, looking at the kind of people who supported it as well as the kind of government that could be based on it, condemning Nazi Germany and its supporters (Elwood). Brecht wanted to explore how the fascist politics that emerged in the German nation after the end of WWII came about. In his essay On Sophocles’ Antigone, Brecht says that he found Antigone to be a good play to illustrate his thoughts on Nazi Germany as it shows “the role of power in the destruction of a leader.” It is a vehement and uncompromising attack on tyranny. It is all about war and the condemnation of it; Creon is a war monger who orders two brothers to attack Argos, resulting the death of Polynices after he desert the Greek army. Creon (in Brecht’s play) says, “Yes but she wants us not to sit in Argos’ house. Rather sees she Thebes destroyed.” This is an addition by Brecht to the Holderlin translation that is meant to illustrate the fascist tactic of shifting the blame to the enemy of the state, either real or imagined (Elwood). Brecht’s play resides in the present reality of two Germanys, as Antigone represents the dissenting Germans who fought against the Nazis and Creon is Hitler, the representation of Nazi Germany. In the play, Antigone pays the ultimate price by pursuing her own justice to her demise. While Creon also pays his price, Brecht clearly judges Antigone’s price to be more worthy. He infused his play with anti-war themes and specifically anti-Nazi rhetoric as he condemns Hitler and the Germans who supported him while praising those who, in secret or in public, opposed him. One of the major additions by Brecht to Antigone was a prologue scene set in Berlin in 1945. Two sisters discover that their brother, a German soldier, has returned home from war and they begin to take care of him and feed him. They realize, however, that he is a deserter; once he is found out, an SS officer hangs him from a lamp post. One of the two sisters supports their brother’s decision to desert and attempts to cut him down despite the threat of death if caught. The sisters are eventually seen by an SS officer, who approaches them and asks if they are trying to cut down the man who has committed a crime. One sister says that she does not know who he is while the other one, who was attempting to cut him down, does not deny that fact. The other sister addresses the audience as her sister stands accused and says, “Then I watched my sister. Should she risk

4  While Brecht was born in Bavaria, he moved to Germany to go to university and lived there until his early 30s. During his time in Germany he wrote multiple plays and produced a documentary on the human impact of mass employment. That documentary was notable for its subversive humor and condemnation of the government. It was the nature of his productions in Germany that led him to fear political persecution once Hitler began to rise to power. It was this fear that prompted him to leave Nazi Germany in 1933 and move to Denmark. 6 years later he moved to Sweden when a war seemed likely and he would later leave Sweden and move to Finland once Hitler began to invade more countries in Europe. (Silberman)

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her own death by going to free her brother? He shouldn’t have died.” This line’s meaning is twofold as it addresses the audience, forcing them to acknowledge their spectatorship of both this play and the politics of the time, while also recognizing the numbness and shock that is a common reaction to tragedy; thus, this modern reenactment sets the stage for the performance of the original play that follows (Jones and Vidal). Though the part of Brecht’s play that corresponds to the original text by Sophocles does not differ much from the translation by Holderlin, Brecht changed the language enough to wrest Sophocles’ original meaning to his own. In the original play, the focus of the story is on piety and on individual action and morality, whereas Brecht’s production focused on policy, specifically war policy, and the morality of the state. Brecht’s version deals with the conflict, not between two individuals, but between two kinds of politics. Creon represents imperialism and autocracy whereas Antigone advocates for democracy and non-aggression. Creon’s war policy is that of “unprovoked aggression, and by bringing on political dissension it provokes a state of war at home as well as abroad” (Jones and Vidal). In all four of these texts, produced from 1940-1948, one can clearly see the impact that the political events of the time as well as the location of the productions had on the translations themselves as well as the audience’s reception of them. In comparing the Antigone’s of Anouilh and Brecht, it is clear that they are products of the politics of the time and place in which they were first performed. Anouilh’s Antigone had to elude censorship of the Nazis and the Vichy in Nazi-occupied Paris, and it was performed in front of a mixed crowd of french resistance fighters and Nazi high command. Thus, the political message had to be disguised as mere classical radicalism. It was well received by both audiences as the anti-war and anti-fascist sentiment echoed with the resistance fighters, while the Nazi supporters in the audience could view Antigone as being pro-fascism. Anouilh’s Antigone also set the issue of moral responsibility on individual, again making it more acceptable to different audiences by not placing the blame on any certain group of people, whereas Brecht places the moral responsibility on the state and specifically the German nation. Brecht used Antigone to send a clear warning to the German people that wanting for power and fighting wars would eventually destroy everything that they had hoped to build. In plays that were produced in areas that were more directly in danger from Nazi Germany, like Anouilh’s Antigone, the condemnation of fascism was forced to be less obvious. This is because the playwright would have been in danger had Nazi high command taken offense to the play. This was also the case due to extreme censorship of any kind of literature or art form produced in an occupied city. In contrast, in places where the Nazis were less of a threat, playwrights could be more radical in their thoughts on Nazi Germany. In MacNeice’s The Glory that is Greece and Brecht’s Antigone, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

clear antagonists of the plays, Creon and the Persians, were depicted as Nazis. Brecht’s Antigone was able to represent Hitler as the clear villain because it was produced not only after the end of the war and the fall of the third reich but in a country that was neutral during the war. The plays were also products of contemporary politics. This can be most clearly seen in the contrast between MacNeice’s The Glory that is Greece and Ronteres’ The Persians, where the location of the productions are the same, with the only variation being the three years that separate their production. Those three years made all the difference, however, as the third reich fell and a new enemy arose, the international threat of the Eastern Bloc and the spreading of communism. That threat is felt most strongly in Ronteres’ The Persians as the roles are reversed and the very people fighting for Greece in the eyes of MacNeice are now the villainous Persians, the threat to ‘all’—to the homeland, the people of Greece and their families. WWII was the not the first time in history when Greek plays were revived with new meanings and new audiences and it will not be the last. In the years since these four plays’ performances, there have been countless productions of many Greek plays in response to political events of the time. Antigone, for instance lends itself easily to new productions in the wake of revolutions and wars. In 1968, Puerto Rican playwright Luis Rafael Sánchez, produced a new version of Antigone called La Pasion segun Antigona Perez (The Passion of Antigona Perez) which is a tragedy set in Latin America based off of the Puerto Rican struggle for independence. Antigona is based on a woman named Olga Viscal Garriga, a prominent member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and active participant in Puerto Rico’s fight for independence. La Pasion segun Antigona Perez tells the story of Antígona Pérez who is imprisoned and tortured by the dictator, Creon, a man who is also her uncle. She is imprisoned because she buried the bodies of rebels who were left to rot, and she is refusing to tell them where she buried them. Despite being tortured repeatedly, she never confesses and dies a hero in her cell. However, as the play comes to an end, the newspapers report that she confessed everything to Creon, betraying the rebel cause. In this work, Sánchez draws from his own experience with political and moral corruption in Puerto Rico and shows his audience how governments can and will lie to their people to maintain their power, how values are corrupted by leaders, and why that is so awful. Another production of Antigone, this time, Rabeya (the Sister), a film by Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel released in 2008 compares the story of Antigone to the Ban-


gladeshi Liberation War of 1971.5 He likens the martyrs who fought in the war, who were denied a proper burial, to Polynices in Antigone. In this modern translation, Antigone breathes new life and has new meaning for people who may have previously regarded it only as another Greek play that bears no importance to current events. Rabeya tells the story of two orphaned sisters, Rabey and Rokeya, who live with their uncle Emdad Kazi, a rich kulak and a local leader. During the Bangladeshi Liberation War, Kazi worked alongside the Pakistan army while his nephew, Khaled, the brother of the two girls, joined a Bengalee resistance group and fought against the army. He was eventually killed and the captain of the Pakistani army ordered that his body not be buried but left out as a warning to the local villagers. One night, Rabeya snuck away from the village and buried her brother despite the Pakistani army’s threats. She is then shot and killed in retaliation. In response to her death, the villagers rise up, declaring her as a martyr, and support the Bengalee guerillas who eventually defeat the Pakistani army. (Roy, Anjali Gera, and Beng Huat Chua) Antigone lends itself perfectly to anti-war and revolutionary stories, and many Greek plays echo important political ideas and events. It is because of this that they can translated to emphasize those more modern ideas despite their older origin. Greek plays, in particular, are wonderful modes of political resistance because they are recognized as classic literature. Thus, they can often give credibility to the beliefs of the playwright and the people who the play represents. This credibility can be very important as often the importance seen in the study of the classics is not seen in the study of underrepresented or victimized groups of people that these plays are so often produced for. It is thus the task of the translator to not only get across the original ideas of the work and the author, but to add their own new ideas to breathe into the work new life and nuance that can make it meaningful to a different group of people. It is the adaptability of Greek plays that makes them suitable for reproduction during changing political climates. This was the true during WWII, in the 1970s, and now; these 2000 year old plays are able to impact the hearts and minds of people internationally and will continue to do so for years to come.

Buis, Katelyn. Surviving Antigone: Anouilh, Adaptation and the Archive. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center, 2014. Cover, Robert M. Justice Accused. Yale University Press, 1975. Danforth, Loring, and Haldon. “The Metaxas Regime and World War II.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017 Department of Greek and Roman Art. “Death, Burial, and the Afterlife in Ancient Greece.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Jones, Frank, and Gore Vidal. “Tragedy with a Purpose: Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Antigone.’” The Tulane Drama Review, vol. 2, no. 1, 1957, pp. 39–45. JSTOR, JSTOR MacNeice, Louis. Louis MacNeice: The Classical Radio Plays. Edited by Amanda Wrigley, OUP Oxford, 2013. Roy, Anjali Gera, and Beng Huat Chua. Travels of Bollywood Cinema: From Bombay to LA. OUP India, 2012. Salis, Loredana. “Italian Antigones: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Antigone Myth in Italy (15152006).” Classics Ireland, vol. 17, 2010, pp. 85–102. JSTOR, JSTOR Sartre, Jean-Paul. On Theatre. Edited by Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka, Pantheon Books, 1976. Silberman, Marc. “Brecht Chronology.” International Brecht Society, International Brecht Society Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by Robert Fagles. Literature and the Writing Process, edited by Elizabeth McMahan et al., 6th ed., Prentice, 2002, 605-640. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Greek Civil War.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 18 July 2013 Totten, Samuel, and Paul R. Bartrop. “Bangladesh Genocide.” Dictionary of Genocide. A-L, Greenwood Press, 2008, pp. 34–36. Van Steen, Gona. “”Now the struggle is for all” (Aeschylus’s Persians 405): What a Difference a Few Years Make When Interpreting a Classic.” Comparative Drama, 44/45, 2010, pp. 495–508. JSTOR, JSTOR. Yardley, Jonathan. “A History of Paris during Nazi Occupation.” The Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2014

5  The Bangladeshi Liberation War was a revolution that began in East Pakistan that was sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist movement. The war eventually ended with the People’s Republic of Bangladesh gaining their independence from Pakistan. The war “pursued the systematic elimination of nationalist Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, religious minorities and armed personnel” and resulted in the death of between 300,000 and 3,000,000 people. Throughout the war, it is now evidenced that members Pakistani military committed many war crimes by engaging in mass murder, deportation, and genocidal rape leaving mass graves located throughout Bangladesh. (Totten, Samuel, and Paul R. Bartrop)

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African Consciousness in the Face of White Colonial Supremacy Fowota Mortoo


s I sat in traffic on a busy Accra roadway, three tro-tros whizzed by, with stickers proclaiming Africa must unite or perish! I laughed sourly to myself as I considered the warning of Kwame Nkrumah while observing the political and social turmoil that characterized the expanse before me, an expanse that extended beyond national boundaries. As my family approached the adjournment of our three week trip, I knew that the Nkrumah Memorial had to be a destination. Once there, the striking bronze statue immediately reminded me of Nkrumah’s words: “We face neither East nor West; we face forward.” I saw his hand point towards the sky in the spot where he declared Ghana’s independence and felt a sense of regret that his complete vision was not realized. Replete with photographs of Nkrumah’s interactions with diplomats such as Fidel Castro and JFK, the museum impressed on me the gravity of his role in establishing Ghana as an African nation. Walking out of the museum, I heard strong sentiments about the western-backed coup, the CIA, and Africa’s lost potential. Rich with gold, uranium, oil, millions of unutilized hectares of arable land, and an expanding population of entrepreneurial age, the continent has always had bright prospects for growth. Their words saturated with resentment, I felt a sense of distress at my inability to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. Understanding the subject matter was important to me not simply for personal gain, but also for acquiring the capability to disclose to others the continuing significance of these historical events upon the political climate of African nations. In this work, I seek to discover how white supremacy within the law has been established and extended by colonial governments and other institutions, both domestic and international. I was especially interested in legal and extralegal attempts to destroy African political leadership. Thus, I focused on four notable leaders of the Pan-Africanism movement: Kwame Nkrumah, Stephen Biko, Patrice Lumumba, and Thomas Sankara. My investigation has uncovered striking similarities in how the US, Belgium, England, and other imperial powers not only silenced these leaders with violence, but ensured that Western interests were maintained, often at the expense of Africans themselves, by providing military and political support for an African leader who would make Western economic and political in-

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terests his priority. Furthermore, the establishment of laws meant to inhibit unification among Africans obstructed the goals of the Pan-Africanist movement. These goals include self-determination, self-sufficiency, and the amelioration of the lasting effects of colonialism of African nations. If these goals, meant to make the African continent self-sustainable, were realized, the West would no longer wield the kind of political power that allowed for the subjugation of Africans; thus, Pan-Africanism posed a threat to white economical and political supremacy.


wame Nkrumah, born in 1909, began his career as a teacher before pursuing his interest in politics at Lincoln University, then at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied the literature of Marcus Garvey and served on the Council of African Affairs with W. E. B. DuBois. While at university, he became president of the African Student Organization of the US and Canada before organizing the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester. Returning to the Gold Coast, he worked to build a support base for the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), which proposed self-government by constitutional means. In June of 1949, Nkrumah formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in response to a split in the UGCC from those who supported gradual self-government (Britannica-Kwame Nkrumah). After Nkrumah’s time in prison for political activism, he was elected to Parliament and lastly, prime minister of the the newly declared nation of Ghana on March 6, 1957. As prime minister, Nkrumah advocated for an increasingly Pan-Africanist view, resulting in heightened scrutiny from outside powers--namely, the United States. At the independence gathering, located where his bronze statue now points forward in Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, he declared “Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.” This focus on assisting liberation movements of other African nations served as the foundation for Ghanaian foreign policy (Azikiwe). Progress towards Nkrumah’s Pan-Africanist ideology began to be recognized in the formation of various gatherings and organizations. In 1958, the First Conference of African States dissolved the colonial divisions between nations north and South of the Sahara Desert, moving towards the desired unification. Later that year, the first All-African


People’s Conference brought sixty-two liberation movements, including those composed of black people from the United States, together (Azikiwe). Nkrumahism, the name given to his ideology, integrated ideals of both the anti-imperialist and Pan-Africanist movements. It sought the removal of European-drawn borders and advocated for the view of the Sahara as a bridge rather than a division. His ideology is best summarized in Class Struggle in Africa where he articulates a critique of European nationalism while emphasizing unity through diversity: The core of the Black Revolution is in Africa, and until Africa is united under a socialist government, the Black man throughout the world lacks a national home…. Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and a common culture, has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality. At the inaugural meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, Nkrumah released Africa Must Unite. In this work, he classified neocolonialism as the primary barrier to the liberation of Africa and proposed an unsuccessful United States of Africa the following year. Though many nation leaders did not attend the 1965 OAU Conference in Accra, Nkrumah persisted and released his book, Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, which denounced the US as the “principal imperialist power behind the new form of hegemonic rule, which was designed to maintain Western control over the newly independent states in Africa and throughout the so-called developing world.” This hegemonic rule was characterized by increased involvement in African political affairs in order to prioritize Western interests on the continent. The US government was enraged by Nkrumah’s designation and G. Mennen Williams, the Secretary of State for African Affairs, sent a letter to Ghana’s embassy in Washington D.C., stating that Nkrumah was a hindrance to the progress of the US’s interests in Africa (workers. org).1 In his book In Search of Enemies, John Stockwell describes how even after the CIA was ordered by “higher authorities” to not pursue the overthrow of Nkrumah, it was “nevertheless encouraged by headquarters to maintain contact with dissidents of the Ghanaian army for the purpose of maintaining intelligence on their activities” (Hersh). Based on Stockwell’s account and the United States’ attitude towards Nkrumah, it becomes clear that the United States continued to manipulate Ghanaian affairs after contributing to the overthrow of Nkrumah, in order to establish a government

1  The role of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the removal of Nkrumah from power and, inseparably, the repression of Pan-Africanist ideals came to light after the declassification of State Department files under Lyndon B. Johnson. Just four months after the publication of his book on neo-colonialism, he was overthrown in a coup led by low-level officials in Ghana but directly assisted by the CIA and US State Department.

with Western interests at its heart. Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa, assuming power after General Ankrah, and Ankrah himself, was supported by the US in the planning and execution of the coup that deposed Nkrumah (Black History). The declassified CIA documents written shortly after the coup, illustrate the United States’ involvement in Ghanaian political affairs: There seems to be no reason why [General] Ankrah and his associates should not remain securely in power and continue Ghana’s new westward-inclination in the months immediately ahead. No domestic pressure points or interest groups with significant potential for threatening the status quo have been identified. . . At the least, the new regime’s intra-African relations promise to be complicated for some time by the more radical African regimes’ emotional opposition to Nkrumah’s ouster…If the further hardships which appear inevitable over the next few months are severe, they could lead to grumbling and perhaps even some strikes and disturbances, although hardly, it would seem to ground any support for Nkrumah’s restoration (CIA). With General Ankrah in power, the priority of Western interests was reasserted as Ghanaians reaped no monetary benefits from the success of the Kaiser Dam project due to the financial reliance on the World Bank (Black History). Ultimately, the Western world’s united support of the coup that ousted Nkrumah from power and forced him to seek refuge in Conakry, Guinea illustrates another instance in which the view of Pan-Africanism and its implications for the progress of Africa towards independence, as championed by Nkrumah, was suppressed and ensured the continuation white supremacy.


orn in Cape Province, South Africa, Stephen Biko attended the University of Natal. While there, he was an active member of the National Union of South African students before he formed the South African Student Organization in 1969 in response to the failure of white students to adequately represent their black counterparts (Boddy-Evans). Biko differs from Nkrumah, Sankara, and Lumumba in that he did not hold a position of strict political power. In this instance, white supremacist violence is exercised by the colonizer, not through imperialist interventions in the post or neo-colonial state. The South African government wielded absolute power in targeting the activities of specific organizations via mandates and state violence. Therefore, it is more effective to analyze the actions of the government in targeting anti-apartheid formations that arose under the rule of the Afrikaner National Party. Efforts were made by the ruling party to inhibit Pan-Africanism just as they were in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and the Congo, which substantiates how the importance of white supremacy within law took precedence over the unification of Africans, even in a national government.

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It is vital to understand why organizations such as the African National Congress (ANC), Pan-African Congress (PAC), South African Congress Alliance (SACA), and the Liberal Party of South Africa (LPSA) posed a threat to the government and how their decline preceded Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement and his ensuing demise. The ANC’s main goals included the expansion of the limited voting rights granted to black South Africans in Cape Province and the elimination of discriminatory policies. Notably, the ANC Youth League promoted the Pan-Africanist ideology and challenged the moderate leadership by pushing for a more militant stance against the rise of extreme Afrikaner Nationalism (Britannica-African National Congress). The PAC was formed on the ideological support for the unification of black people universally and the right to political self-determination of those living in Africa ( Led by Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, a peaceful anti-pass campaign was launched. It led to the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, in which the refusal of a group of unarmed black people to carry a pass was considered an act of resistance by the police because it asserted freedom of movement. The massacre resulted in sixty-seven deaths and 180 wounded individuals after police shot into a crowd of three hundred demonstrators, many with their backs turned (Overcoming Apartheid MSU). President Sobukwe of the PAC was sentenced to three years in prison on an incitement charge and scores of other national and regional organizers were imprisoned for their involvement in the anti-pass campaign. This demonstrates how the South African government specifically targeted political activists in order to preserve the apartheid state and uphold the pass system. By killing Africans who peacefully resisted the apartheid state and wished to self-determine, the Sharpeville Massacre further illustrates the suppression of Pan-Africanism. (SA History-Poqo). The government classified the SACA’s Freedom Charter, which declared “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white,” as a Communist document. The banning of communism in 1950, authorized them to arrest 156 ANC members in what would become the ‘Treason Trial’ ( The Charter was considered treasonous because it called for the abolition of racial discrimination, which would require the overthrow of the apartheid state, presumably through violence. Unconventional measures were taken to ensure a verdict that would substantiate the charges brought against members of the ANC. For instance, legislation allowed for the Minister of Justice to handpick judges for a Special Court that would be composed of three judges, rather than the ordinary number of one (SA History-Treason Trial). The classification and rhetoric used to describe the ANC as a “terrorist organization” during and after the Rivonia Trial, which led to the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, illustrates one instance of many in which resistance to state terror is characterized as “terrorism,” in efforts to fix public opinion. The actions of the Afrikaner North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

National Party in regards to the Freedom Charter and the Treason Trial illustrate the extent to which the white-majority government targeted and inhibited the progress of organizations and individuals who threatened the ideologies of Afrikaner Nationalism. The government’s response to the Liberal Party of South Africa further demonstrates the extent to which the government, in order to perpetuate the apartheid state, attempted to silence dissenters who supported a unified Africa. In a five year period beginning from March 1961, forty-one leaders of the LPSA were banned under the Suppression of Communism Act, despite none of them ever speaking out in support of communism. Furthermore, the police worked in conjunction with the state to harass members of the anti-apartheid movement. For instance, the police harassed families with relatives in the LPSA to persuade them to leave the party and telephone lines belonging to the party’s president, Alan Paton, were tapped, with his home being searched on multiple occasions. In addition to harassing party members, who were both white and black, the government began restricting specific racial groups from joining political parties with members of both races in an effort to remove these parties from the political landscape in 1960 and to keep politics segregated. The Prevention of Political Interference Bill of 1968 prevented interracial party participation, severely affecting the LPSA (SA History-LPSA). The LPSA chose to dissolve rather than comply with the law. Years of anti-apartheid efforts and the progress made by interracial parties such as the LPSA became nearly inconsequential in the face of laws meant to preserve the apartheid state and suppress African Nationalism through enforced political unity. In addition to targeting the activities of specific organizations through mandates and state violence, the South African government singled out leaders such as Stephen Biko in efforts to repress Pan-Africanism. The weakening of the ANC, PAC, and LPSA provided the climate for the increased popularity of Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement. Though misunderstood by some to be anti-white, Biko’s philosophy simply insisted on an end to white supremacy and the apartheid government. Best known for recognizing the need for black pride in the face of oppression, Biko defined Black Consciousness as: The realization by the Black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their oppression - the blackness of their skin and to operate as a group in order to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude. It seeks to demonstrate the lie that black is an aberration from the normal which is white. It is a manifestation of a new realization that by seeking to run away from themselves and to emulate the white man, blacks are insulting the intelligence of whoever created them black. Black consciousness therefore takes cognizance of the deliberateness of God’s plan in creating black people black. It seeks to infuse the black


community with a new-found pride in themselves, their efforts, their value systems, their culture, their religion and their outlook to life. There is no question why the South African government singled out Biko as a threat: his ideologies were in opposition to those of the state and white supremacy cannot abide black consciousness. In fact, Biko was instrumental in forging a connection between the agendas of the weakened PAC and ANC as well as in advancing the Pan-Africanist youth movements, which helped direct social unrest into political action. Heavily involved as a full-time youth coordinator in the affairs of the Black People’s Convention that proposed to “unite all South African Blacks into a political movement, which would seek liberation and emancipation of Black people from both psychological and physical oppression,” he posed a threat to the government’s continued enforcement of apartheid and white supremacy. Biko defined the BCP’s purpose as: Essentially to answer [the] problem that the Black man is a defeated being who finds it very difficult to lift himself up by his boot strings. He is alienated; He is made to live all the time concerned with matters of existence, concerned with tomorrow. Now, we felt that we must attempt to defeat and break this kind of attitude and instil once more a sense of dignity within the Black man. So what we did was to design various types of programmes, present these to the Black community with an obvious illustration that these are done by the Black people for the sole purpose of uplifting the Black community. We believed that we teach people by example (SA History-Stephen Bantu Biko). The growing visibility and success of the Black Community Programmes in creating unions, arts and culture organizations, women’s organizations, and representative councils presented a threat to the homeland policy that did not allow black South Africans to create an understanding of themselves as black people in white-designated areas, leading to a government crackdown. The death of Stephen Biko in police custody is one of the most loathsome instances of the brutality that characterizes white supremacy. Becoming aware of the extent to which Biko was dehumanized is integral to realizing the gravity of this injustice. The government’s hostility towards Biko steadily increased as tensions grew in the wake of the Soweto uprising. In 1973, he was banned before being confined to King Williams Town, then arrested and detained for 137 days in 1975 by the South African government. He was prohibited from operating as the leader of the Black Community Programmes, then held in solitary confinement for 101 days. Repressed vocality is a recurring theme in the suppression of Pan-Africanism and this instance serves as yet another example. His final arrest came as he and Peter Jones, another BPC activist, encountered a police roadblock on their way to

meet Neville Alexander, a South African revolutionary. After being transferred to the Sanlam Building, Biko was badly beaten after his refusal to comply with Captain Siebert’s orders to remain standing. Biko was kept shackled to a grille, naked, as Dr. Ivor Lang examined him, only to find nothing wrong. After a second inspection by Dr. Benjamin Tucker, who insisted that the injured Biko be given medical attention, the police drove Biko to Pretoria. Still without clothing and frothing at the mouth, Biko died alone in his cell of a brain hemorrhage sustained by the injuries inflicted at the hands of the police. In a desperate attempt to cover-up the murder of Biko, Jimmy Kruger, the Minister of Justice, maintained that Biko had been on a hunger strike for a week prior to his death, ignoring Biko’s previous insistence that he would never endanger his own life if detained (SA History-Stephen Bantu Biko). The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and other media outlets that labeled Biko as a “black power activist” attempted to absolve the police by establishing that “a court of law has never established that the police have been responsible for torturing and killing a single detainee” (SA History-Stephen Bantu Biko). Immediately following Biko’s death, the government banned eighteen organizations allied with the Black Consciousness Movement. One of twenty others to die in police custody, Biko’s brutal murder most clearly demonstrates the extent to which the South African government targeted leaders of the Pan-Africanism movement in efforts to suppress the advancement of the Black race in South Africa.


atrice Lumumba, born in 1925 in the Kasai Province of then--Belgian Congo, was a postal service clerk before his entrance onto the political scene, leading unions and creating the Congolese National Movement. At the Assembly of African Peoples, a Pan-African Conference organized by Kwame Nkrumah, the two leaders met and Lumumba returned to the Congo with a renewed yearning for the unification of Africans. Lumumba insists: Despite the boundaries that separate us, despite our ethnic differences, we have the same awareness, the same soul plunged day and night in anguish, the same anxious desire to make this African continent a free and happy continent that has rid itself of unrest and of fear and of any sort of colonialist domination. We are particularly happy to see that this conference has set as its objective the struggle against all the internal and external factors standing in the way of the emancipation of our respective countries and the unification of Africa. Among these factors, the most important are colonialism, imperialism, tribalism, and religious separatism, all of which seriously hinder the flowering of a harmonious and fraternal African society. This is why we passionately cry out with all the delegates: Down with colonialism and imperialism! Down with racism and tribalism! And long live the Congolese nation, long live independent Africa! (Lierde) Fifth World


This passionate declaration and his continued vocality gained him favor among the Congolese people and demonstrated the role he had in advocating for the rights of his people. However, his forceful remonstration of neocolonialism threatened the Belgian government’s control; thus, many attempts were made to silence him--he would be allowed a position as prime minister rather than president. As he became more involved in the independence movement, he was sentenced to six months in jail for “provoking trouble.” Even after the unrelenting unrest in the Congo left the Belgian government with no choice but to propose discussions of independence with Congolese politicians, Lumumba was prohibited from speaking in public during the four month period before the planned independence date. Most notably, as Independence Day drew closer, there came word that Lumumba would be excluded from speaking in the official ceremony. Lumumba’s unscheduled address on June 30, 1960, sparked an immediate and violent response to his leadership that would result in his death. Lumumba’s address after President Kasavubu and Baudouin had spoken, infuriated the Belgians in attendance as he declared: This was our fate for 80 years of a colonial regime; our wounds are too fresh and too painful still for us to drive them from our memory. We have known harassing work, exacted in exchange for salaries which did not permit us to eat enough to drive away hunger, or to clothe ourselves, or to house ourselves decently, or to raise our children as creatures dear to us...Who will forget that to a Black one said “tu”, certainly not as to a friend, but because the more honorable “vous” was reserved for whites alone? We have seen our lands seized in the name of allegedly legal laws, which in fact recognized only that might is right. We have seen that the law was not the same for a white and for a Black – accommodating for the first, cruel and inhuman for the other. We have witnessed atrocious sufferings of those condemned for their political opinions or religious beliefs, exiled in their own country, their fate truly worse than death itself...Who will ever forget the massacres where so many of our brothers perished, the cells into which those who refused to submit to a regime of oppression and exploitation were thrown? (Lokongo) Lumumba’s unplanned call to remember colonial violence and the abuse endured by black people as support for the importance of Pan-Africanism prompted a series of Belgian interventions that would retain prime responsibility for the decline of the Congo and the failure of Lumumba as prime minister. As tensions grew within the military shortly after Lumumba assumed power as prime minister, Belgian troops were flown into the Congo to protect Europeans because many Congolese believed that Belgium still possessed too much power. Shortly after, Moise Tshombe, an opponent of Lumumba, announced that Katanga would be seceding. North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Belgian troops helped secure Katanga, the Congo’s richest mineral province, whose profits were exported to Belgium. Ludo de Witte, a writer sent by the Belgian prime minister to Katanga, had access to the Foreign Ministry files and exposed how “all those [Katangese] officers and functionaries were following orders of the Belgian government and were following Belgian policy.” Belgium’s involvement in the secession of Katanga inhibited Lumumba’s ability to govern. He began ordering Belgian diplomats to depart from the Congo and eventually requested Soviet Union military intervention. This appeal for military aid placed the Congo in the midst of Cold War relations between the US and the Soviet Union (Biography-Patrice Lumumba). Western powers sought the overthrow of Lumumba partially to avoid the mineral resources of the Congo being taken by the Soviet Union or by the Congolese themselves (Azikiwe). Allen Dulles, former CIA director, compared Lumumba to Fidel Castro and President Eisenhower agreed he was a threat to world peace, aligning the Pan-Africanist views Lumumba advocated for, as a threat to world - or rather, Western stability (NYT). President Eisenhower’s order for the CIA to kill Lumumba and the British plot to assassinate Lumumba are illustrations of the ways in which political power was wielded to inhibit Pan-Africanism. Robert Johnson, a former National Security staffer, recalls “President Eisenhower said something—I can no longer remember his words—that came across to me as an order for the assassination of Lumumba who was then at the center of political conflict and controversy in the Congo.” Lawrence Devlin’s account of what occurred serves as further confirmation of the role of the Eisenhower administration in the death of Lumumba. Devlin, a former CIA field officer in the Congo, admitted that he was given instructions from Dick Bissell, the CIA Deputy Chief of Plans, to plant toothpaste laced with a poisonous agent in Lumumba’s living quarters. According to Devlin, this plan and many others would not come to fruition due to his own reluctance to execute them. However, one such action that was completed successfully, were the payments made by the CIA to eight Congolese officials, including Joseph Mobutu and President Kasavubu, who both had primary roles in Lumumba’s downfall (Weissman). As detailed in the Senate’s Church Committee Report, a “CIA operative stationed in the Congo recommended to CIA Headquarters that they should “have [arms] supplies ready to go at nearest base pending [United States] decision that supply warranted and necessary” (CIA Cable, 9/17/60). Eisenhower’s National Safety Council would go on to authorize the CIA to “provide arms, ammunition, sabotage materials and training to Mobutu’s military in the event it had to resist pro-Lumumba forces.” The State Department explained “[Mobutu] is the ultimate source of power in Congo…and ready access to him is vital if we hope to continue our long-standing policy of assisting the Congo to unity, stability and economic progress, with the eventual goal of seeing a stable, western-ori-


ented government in the heart of Africa” (Robarge). This explicitly stated goal reflects the truth behind many Western “aid’ efforts in Africa that are based in neo-colonialism: to establish a western-oriented government that does not allow for the self-determination of Africans. Likewise, in Britain, plots to eliminate Lumumba were widespread due to their fear of the Soviet Union gaining greater influence in Africa. Compiling a list of options for elimination, Howard Smith, the future head of MI5, wrote, “The first is the simple one of removing [Lumumba] from the scene by killing him.” Furthermore, Lord Lea’s report to the London Review of Books provides evidence for the involvement of senior British officials in the attempts to murder Lumumba. After asking Daphne Park, a former MI6 official, whether MI6 was involved in Lumumba’s death, she responded with a frank “We did. I organized it.” Although Britain and the US had a hand in planning Lumumba’s death, his killing was done by Belgians and Congolese with ties to Western intelligence (Corera). Although Devlin denied involvement in Lumumba’s assassination, he admitted to backing the military coups led by Lumumba’s former secretary, Mobutu, a former colonel in the Belgian colonial army (Witte). Devlin justified the US role in ousting Lumumba by insisting on the need for an anti-communist leader against leftist influence. The selection of Mobutu to lead is an illustration of how white supremacy in law was preserved because he acted a safeguard for Western interest against a “communism” that justified such aggression. Mobutu’s close relationship with the leaders of Western nations allowed him to remain in power for 32 years. With Mobutu in power, the Congo became a strategic base for the US-backed military intervention against neighboring Soviet-backed Angola as he exploited the Congo’s resources and acquired a personal fortune of more than four billion dollars to remain in Western favor (Azikiwe). The fashion in which Lumumba was assassinated served not only as an elimination of a threat, but as a warning to other vocal Pan-Africanist leaders who opposed imperialist powers. After briefly escaping from house arrest, Lumumba was captured by Mobutu’s soldiers and beaten repeatedly, with Mobutu as a witness, in the streets of then-Leopoldville, then on the flight to the region where he would be killed (Slattery). Count D’Aspremont-Lynden, the Minister of African Affairs in Brussels, ordered Lumumba’s transfer to Katanga where Captain Julien Gat would command the firing squad that killed him. Gerard Soete, the police commissioner, would assist in dismembering Lumumba’s body before dissolving it in acid. He recalled “We did things an animal wouldn’t do” (Black). The barbarous and dehumanizing murder of Patrice Lumumba demonstrates how white supremacy was preserved in the Congo after the silencing of another leader who advocated for the unification of his country’s people and the African continent. Mobutu was overthrown in 1997 and replaced by Laurent Kabila after his usefulness to Western powers had been

exhausted. Mobutu is partly responsible for a destabilized nation crippled with debt that would decline into a two civil wars that would kill millions (Vann). Even though Mobutu has died, Western influence has continued in the Congo: Laurent Kabila’s son, Joseph Kabila, the current president of the DRC, has granted rights to locations abundant in cobalt and copper to Phelps Dodge, an American company. Furthermore, Sundaram reports “A monopoly on Congo’s uranium — used in the atom bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — was granted in a secretive contract to the French energy company Areva.” Kabila supplied minerals to the West to maintain Western support and his political power. Although Belgium, in 2002, assumed “an irrefutable portion of responsibility in the events that led to the death of Lumumba,” the United States has not made any admission of guilt, despite the wealth of evidence supplied through testimony and declassified government reports (France-Presse).


homas Sankara, born on December 21, 1949 in Burkina Faso, was dubbed the “African Che Guevara,” his alias reinforcing his status as a revolutionary. He became politically involved as the Secretary of State in 1981 before assuming the role of prime minister. As prime minister, he enacted a series of reforms with hopes of reducing social inequalities and lessening the influence of the French, who had colonized the nation until its independence in 1960. During his term, designated “The Sankarist Revolution,” Burkina Faso did not receive any aid from the West, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaking to Sankara’s primary goal of attaining a self-sufficient state. He urged leaders of other African nations to unite in rejecting the assistance of the World Bank and IMF and demanded that invalid African debt be erased, asserting that “It ensures that each of us becomes a financial slave, meaning a slave for those who had the opportunity, cunning, and deceit to invest their funds in us with the obligation that we repay. The debt can never be repaid since if we refuse to pay it our lenders will not die. Of that we can be certain. Yet if we do pay it is us who will die. Of that we can be equally certain” (Dembele). His existence and vocalization of the importance of self-sufficiency and unification a growing threat to imperialist nations, Sankara showed support for movements opposing foreign domination, meeting and embracing Fidel Castro as well as Nicaraguan revolutionaries resisting US intervention (Harsch). The Sankarist Revolution was based on four main principles: the emancipation of women, the State as a means for economic and social transformation, political participation, and self-reliance (Dembele). To these ends, he advocated primarily for the production and consumption of locally-produced goods in order to reduce dependence on foreign imports (Mosata). In addition to enacting economic advances, Sankara initiated nationwide literacy, vaccination, and environmental conservation campaigns. With minimal external aid, Sankara constructed reservoirs, educational Fifth World


centers and health centers (Keita). Furthermore, Sankara championed gender equality by creating spaces for women in government and insisted “The revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph. Women hold up the other half of the sky” (Mosata). Sankara’s value of equality across all sections of society is further illustrated by his requirement for all government officials to work in local community development ventures, regardless of stature. Ultimately, Sankara’s dedication to the self-sufficiency of Burkina Faso, support of anti-imperialist movements, and his vocal support of the Pan-Africanist identity posed a threat to French interests in West Africa and were conducive to his assassination. Blaise Compaore, Sankara’s second-in-command, led the 1987 coup that ousted Thomas Sankara from power (Badger and Cafiero). Ernest Harsch, Sankara’s biographer, describes the events that unfolded on October 15, 1987: “The meeting was under way for only a brief time when shooting erupted in the small courtyard outside, around 4:30 p. m. or shortly after. . . Sankara then got up and told his aides to stay inside for their own safety. “‘It’s me they want.”’ He left the room, hands raised, to face the assailants. He was shot several times, and died without saying anything more.” After assuming power as a result of this coup, Compaore reformed an alliance with France and the United States, reversing policies of self-sufficiency that Sankara had put in place, and even prevented Sankara’s family from exhuming his body that had been buried in an unmarked grave without their knowledge (Zeilig). Furthermore, in the wake of Sankara’s assassination, students who called for the truth of Sankara’s murder to come to light were arrested and tortured. Saran Sereme recalls “We just wanted them to give Sankara a memorial, and I was thrown in jail for months because they labelled me as the leader of the student march” (Bax). Compaore attempted to further absolve himself of a role in the murder by issuing an official death certificate stating that Sankara died from natural causes, despite autopsy results stating that the body was “riddled with bullets” (Keita). After being ousted from power and being charged with murder and concealment of a body in October 2014, Compaore fled to Ivory Coast, which granted him citizenship, allowing him to avoid extradition. Still, Compaore has refused to return to his nation to stand trial (Keita). Although Sankara’s assassination occurred decades ago, questions are still being raised as to the role of the French in supporting the coup and how to obtain justice for Sankara. A judge has formally requested the declassification of national French security archives in order to unearth the truth of how France was involved in Sankara’s assassination. France’s decision to continually ignore this request only serves to increase suspicion of the country’s past actions. The reality that these questions of French involvement conNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

tinue to be raised reflect the significance of past political actions in affecting the present state of African nations.


hite supremacy within law has been preserved by governments, both domestic and international by targeting these four leaders of the Pan-Africanism movement: Kwame Nkrumah, Stephen Biko, Patrice Lumumba, and Thomas Sankara. The US, Belgium, and England not only silenced these leaders with violence, but ensured that Western interests were maintained, often at the expense of Africans themselves, by providing military and political support for Joseph Ankrah, Joseph Mobutu, and Blaise Compaore, all of whom would make Western interests their priority. Furthermore, the establishment of apartheid obstructed African unification most notably in South Africa. Ultimately, the actions of the past are important because they continue to impact the political, financial, and social climate of Africa today. In Burkina Faso, almost nine million people live below the poverty line, with one percent of women above the age of 25 having a secondary education--a striking contrast to the prosperity observed under the leadership of Thomas Sankara (World Food Programme). The United Nations Human Development Index reports that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is ranked 176th out of 187 poorest countries in the world. These statistics are not meant to assign ineffectual blame to the political structures of the past, but to recognize the importance of working to reduce the effects of colonialism by improving these current conditions. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of all to acknowledge the culpability of the West in contributing to the financial and social climate of Africa in order for us to effect the desired principles of self-determination and unification. Until then, the unyielding persistence of Kwame Nkrumah, Stephen Biko, Patrice Lumumba, and Thomas Sankara, who struggled for true self-determination, stands as an example of progress for those who wish to restore and reclaim a common identity with Black people around the world.


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1975, pp. 1–70. US Senate’s Church Committee Report: Assassination Planning Involving Foreign Leaders.

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Systemic Racism as the Root Cause of Problems in American Refugee Policy Gracie Joo


ccording to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a refugee is “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.”1 However, to a select group of Americans, the definition of a refugee is someone who is not welcome, who steals jobs and threatens their safety. One’s personal experience with refugees allows a different judgement of the issue. In my case, I have been involved with refugee integration services in Raleigh, North Carolina for the past seven years. The first refugee family I met was from Pakistan, and we developed a close friendship. Along with my church and my family, I was exposed to people that I previously did not know were living in our area. By building relationships with these families, I witnessed the many challenges of refugee immigration and integration in the United States. Many of the families were torn apart by breaches in policy, with a parent or significant other stuck in a country on the other side of the world. Children struggled in school due to the challenges of learning English and catching up to years of curriculum they lost while on the run. Parents were given menial jobs right away, having nothing to do with their previous occupations in their home country. I watched as refugee adults struggled with health problems and children struggled to find their identities in their drastically changed environment. It seemed as though no one cared about the mental health of the refugees, even when it was obvious how traumatic their journey was. As I met more and more families, I naturally became curious as to why I was noticing the same things in almost every refugee family I met. Once I found the opportunity to pursue research in the humanities, I took it with vigor and decided to hit the books. I believed that many of the challenges refugees faced during immigration and integration were direct results of issues in the policy that brought them to this country. Therefore, I set out on a journey of reading scientific papers about the psychological effects of relocation, criticisms of the American refugee policy, overviews of American refugee policy as told by congress and the UNHCR, autobiographies and biographies of refugees, and articles on the current presidential administration of refugee policy. Through reading these 1  “What Is a Refugee? Definition and Meaning.” USA for UNHCR, UNHCR.

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papers, I recognized a topic that especially caught my interest- systemic racism- defined as “a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions, also racism by individuals or informal social groups” (Miller et al Stanford).2 This paper will give a synopsis of what official documents recite as the promises of the American refugee policy, then introduce the racism and discrimination found in the evolution of refugee policy throughout American history. The rest of the paper will look into the different criticisms of the current immigration and integration processes. By looking at how systemic racism is intertwined in the policy and general criticisms concurrently, I demonstrate how systemic racism is present in each of the problems pinpointed by criticisms of refugee policy and offer possible methods to improve these areas.


fficial documents from American organizations describe the refugee policy in a manner that sells it as a “perfect,” highly humanitarian policy. It is understandable that official organizations describe their policies in a positive way, as the initial opinions and knowledge of refugee policy are acquired from how these agencies present the system. By using three different sources, we will analyze American refugee policy as described by American officials themselves for better comparison when criticisms are introduced in future sections. The American Immigration Council issued an overview of U.S. Refugee Law and Policy3 in November 2015. The report began with a definition of refugees from the Immigration and Nationality Act, offering statistics of how many refugees are in the world, how many are admitted to the United States, and how many come from each specific region. However, the most intriguing section was an overview of the top three criteria used in classifying refugees that are considered “qualified” for admission to the United States. The first criteria is the identification of individuals who have no other option but to relocate to the Unit2  Miller, Seumas (15 June 2017). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 15 June 2017 – via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 3  “An Overview of U.S. Refugee Law and Policy.”, American Immigration Council, November 2015.


ed States for their safety. These individuals are classified as “severely persecuted,” and often consist of women and children. The second criteria gives priority to groups of “special concern” to the United States, selected by the Department of State. Some groups of “special concern” come from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, and the Republic of Congo. Lastly, the third criteria states that family members of refugees already admitted to the United States are given top priority for admission to the United States. The overview found on the U.S. Department of State website details the screening and processing system of the U.S. Refugee Admission Program.4 According to this website, refugees go through an extensive screening process that begins when they are referred by the UNHCR or other non governmental organizations to the Resettlement Support Center (RSC). The RSC then conducts interview and compiles personal data and background information in preparation for security clearance process and U.S. Citizenship interviews. The refugees have to pass multiple U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to continue in this process. Highly trained U.S. citizenship and immigration officials travel to the applicant’s former location overseas to conduct face-to-face interviews and consider the truthfulness of the refugee’s application. Additionally, refugees go through medical screenings to make sure they do not carry any diseases that may pose public health threats when they arrive in the United States . This entire screening and approval process takes an average of 18-24 months, months filled with numerous screenings, endless interviews, and uncertainties as to whether or not they will be able to resettle to another country. If the applicant passes the UNHCR screening and the U.S. specific security screenings, the applicant is then matched with a volunteer agency in America associated with the integration part of this process. Lastly, I studied the integration aspect of current refugee policy by looking through Migration Policy Institute’s Report on The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees (Capps MPI).5 According to this report, the United States is reaching its goal for the early employment of refugees, whose income generally rises over time, although the overall income levels remain low. The authors of this report used statistics for food stamp participation to conclude that refugees became increasingly more self sufficient, because food stamp participation dropped sharply for those who have lived in the U.S. for 20 or more years. They also found through statistical study that literacy rates had a direct correlation with income. In other words, refugees that came with lower literacy levels and English skill had lower paying jobs. The report also concluded that with limited budgets, the Unit-

ed States was doing an “amazing job” of responding to the highly increasing numbers of refugees and has “decades of experience in successful resettlement” (Capps). Many sections of this integration report were contradictory, claiming the American refugee integration policy as a success while also providing statistics that the acquisition of language and general economic trajectories were still a problem. In fact, the food stamp statistic showed a comparison between refugees that have lived in the United States for 5 or less years and refugees that have lived in the United States for 20 or more years. This comparison may make it seem like self-sufficiency is attained, although the time difference of 15 years between these two comparisons speaks volumes about the efficiency of acquiring self-sufficiency for refugees in the United States. Although this is a specific criticism for this report, there are multiple criticisms for the general American refugee policy that will be introduced in later sections.


acism has a well-known history in the United States.6 Starting from the anti-Chinese immigration laws to the Japanese internment camps, the United States has a reputation for anti-immigration laws that exclude ethnic minorities from entering the country (Zucker 173). The American refugee policy started off as a reactive movement that developed after World War II. Looking into the resettlement of refugees from all different racial backgrounds, and how the policy has changed in reaction each time, gives us insight into the racism found in this process. Some of the changes in policy are caused by the economic situation of the federal government at those specific time periods. However, the race of the incoming refugees cannot be ignored as they had a significant effect on the general support of the American population and the extent of government involvement in assisting refugee resettlement.


ungarian refugees immigrated to the United States in a huge wave after the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Most of the Hungarians fleeing their country originally migrated to nearby Austria, but the Eisenhower administration agreed to take some of the pressure off of Austria by allowing the Hungarians to resettle in the United States. The Hungarian resettlement was successful, as there were many factors in favor of the movement. The number of refugees was small, they already had an ethnic community that could support them in America, and they were popular with the American population (Zucker 180). Besides looking “white” and already having a group of ethnic kin to help them adjust, the Hungarian refugees were viewed by Americans as brave rebels defying communism, and were welcomed with open arms. In this case, the federal government did not play a

4  “U.S. Refugee Admission Program.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State. 5  Capps, Randy, et al. “The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Successes and Challenges.”, Migration Policy Institute, 14 June 2017.

6  Zucker, Norman L. “Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Policy and Problems.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 467, 1983, pp. 172–186. JSTOR, JSTOR.

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huge role in resettlement policy, giving only minimal funding to individual refugees for health care and transportation. In fact, a lot of the resettlement work was done by private organizations and sectors run by the general American public, which demonstrates how influential public response is in the resettlement experience of refugees.


he resettlement experience was starkly different for Indochinese refugees in the late 20th century following the withdrawal of the United States from the Vietnam War. Inevitably, the war displaced millions of the Indochinese, and special Interagency Task Forces appealed to resettle these refugees in America (Zucker 182). Not surprisingly, the Indochinese refugees were met with hostility and racism by the American public. To many Americans, admitting the Indochinese refugees was akin to admitting the very enemies who killed their sons and husbands. This was a clear contrast from the treatment of the Hungarian refugees and caused the federal government to play a bigger role in helping the refugees resettle. To encourage and convince the generally unwilling public volunteer organizations to help, the federal government had to change the policy and introduced full reimbursement to the states for all costs of resettlement. We can conclude that the American public’s response to the refugees arriving in their country had elements of racism and influenced the design of policy. Although the federal government and volunteer agencies tried to do their best in accommodating the masses of immigrants, in retrospect, the support of the public played a huge role in the efficiency of the resettlement programs. In fact, a welcoming public would go out of their ways to treat the refugees like friends and help them in addition to the assistance refugees were receiving from volunteer organizations and the federal government. On the other hand, a hostile public would counter the efforts of volunteer organizations thus making the resettlement experience more difficult for refugees depending on their race and the political situation in the period of their immigration. The racism of the public can be translated to systemic racism in which the racism or lack of racism experienced by refugees changes their resettlement experience.


ow that we explored what official documents describe as American refugee policy and the history of racism in refugee resettlement, we can make comparisons and identifications of various criticisms. There are many practical criticisms about the American refugee policy, such as specific problems with immigration services and what is provided during refugee integration. Some of these criticisms include unsatisfactory attention to the mental health of refugees, failure to keep the promise of keeping families together, the problematic employment process, and inconsistencies with the services offered by volunteer agencies. However, thorough analysis of these criticisms quickly reveal that systemic racism plays a role in causing all of the noted and criticized

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issues (Kanof et al 145).7


he first criticism we will discuss is the unsatisfactory addressment, or lack of addressment, of the mental health of refugees. In my interactions with refugee families, I noticed many psychological side effects of relocation, especially manifested in children. Most of the children I have met have symptoms of ADHD, difficulties in anger management, or both. In addition, there have been instances where children have told me the things they have witnessed, all descriptions of sights and experiences no human being should have to experience. Many research papers have collected data on the effects of relocation on the mental health of refugee children, and some have concluded that many refugee children suffer from conflict-related exposures (Lustig et al 30).8 Other sources list out post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, panic attacks, adjustment disorder, and somatization as other effects of relocation on the mental health of refugees (Refugee Health TA).9 In addition to the trauma they experience from the violence of their home countries and the uncertainties in their journey of escape, there are multiple factors of life in America that can worsen the mental health of refugees. Unemployment and economic hardship can exacerbate the depression and anxiety already apparent in refugee families, while role reversals in the family can introduce unease and frustration for parents. Many refugees come from patriarchal countries where elders and fathers are held in highest regard, but the quicker acquirement of language acquisition by refugee children allows them to become translators and thus the primary decision-makers in the family. These added stressors could even introduce cases of domestic violence as families try to reestablish the order they had before. Although these mental health problems are stark, there is an unfortunate void of mental health programs and services specifically catered toward the needs of refugees. Systemic racism is apparent in this problem of mental health addressment in many different ways. First, all refugees are supposed to receive mental health screening as a part of the health screening they go through for approval of resettlement in a third country. However, these mental health screenings often occur through translators and screening tools that are culturally biased for Western culture. These parameters cause the results of the mental health screenings to be highly inaccurate. This faulty method of diagnosis makes it difficult for refugees who need assistance

7  Kanof, Marisa, and Liyam Eloul. “Problems and Solutions in US Refugee Resettlement Policy.”, Policy Perspectives, Accessed 24 Oct. 2017. 8  Lustig, Stuart L, et al. “Review of Child and Adolescent Refugee Mental Health.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan. 2004, pp. 24–36. 9  “Mental Health.” Refugee Health TA, Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center, 2011.


for their mental health to receive this care. Additionally, many refugees come from countries that may have different stigmas towards mental health. To some, mental health may not be as readily recognized as a health problem compared to somatic illnesses. In other words, many refugees enter the screening process without a full understanding of the importance of mental health, which then discourages them from requesting follow ups. Refugees also have many logistical difficulties in America such as lack of transportation, no health insurance, low-income jobs, and long hours of work that further discourage them from reaching out for assistance. For a policy that makes it a priority to identify the most vulnerable of all refugees and bring them to a new country, not enough is done for the mental health of those vulnerable people. If anything, the most vulnerable would have gone through the worst of all branches of inhumane treatment, and a poorly done and culturally racist mental health screening does not give them the assistance they need. These refugees are then expected to adjust to sudden changes in environment and fend for themselves in a new language and a new culture. We know that an unhealthy mental state can cause problems with work, adjustment, and education, which are all elements of life refugees have to go through in their integration process. This lack of attention on the mental health scope of the situation can worsen every other process of the resettlement experience for refugees.


he next criticism to be addressed is the hypocrisy of the American refugee policy when stating that one of their top priorities is to keep families together. If we turn to the section delineating the top qualifications for refugee admission to the United States, the third criteria used for admitting individuals is if they currently have family members in the United States. Shockingly, around 90% of the refugee families I have met have been broken in some way, with family members stuck in countries across the planet. Many of the families I know consist of a mother and her children, with the father separated and resettled in another country across the world. Therefore, the reality is different from what is claimed in official documents. If one of the top three criteria of admission to the United States is if the applicant has family members living in America, why is it that so many families come to the United States separated and stay separated? These questions can be explained by the systemic racism apparent in classifying refugees as “qualified for admission to the United States” in the first place. The UNHCR gives priority to women and children when referring them to countries for resettlement because they view women and children most vulnerable. The American Immigration Council overview also stated that another criteria they used to admit refugees was if they were from “countries of special interest.” This again introduces systemic racism because a person of citizenship to a country not of special interest may be put

aside or asked to wait as priority is given to people of ethnicities the United States holds a special interest in. These situations make it so that an individual UNHCR official’s relatively subjective view of the resettlement applicant’s severity of vulnerability and the applicant’s citizenship status dictate whether or not they can relocate and whether or not they can stay with their family. However, if severe vulnerability is the factor used to dictate the situation, and it is still a priority to keep families together, it is still unclear as to why the mother and children are resettled in America while the father is resettled in another refugee-receiving country. This situation calls into question if there is another factor in the U.S. specific screening process that prevents a parent from staying together with their family. It is truly tragic that prioritization has to happen in the first place. However, this system is somewhat understandable as there is no way in which every refugee in refugee camps can relocate to another country. Nonetheless, there is still hypocrisy and systemic racism involved in this problem as official documents clearly state that priority is given for keeping families together. In addition, children growing up in a new environment without the support of both parents affect the development of the children, making their resettlement experience and new life in the United States extremely difficult. The systemic racism, discrimination, and sexism in the arbitrary process of qualifying refugees for resettlement is therefore a viable cause of this unfortunate separation that is experienced by too many families.


nother criticism of American refugee policy is the problematic employment process. If we recall from the Migration Policy Institute’s report on the integration outcomes of U.S. refugee policy, income levels do increase over time, although the overall income levels of refugees remain low. All of the refugees I have met in the past four years have held blue-collar jobs, regardless of their previous occupations in their home country. One lady I knew was an English professor in Pakistan, but she was unable to find a job in the United States. One Congolese young man was a religious leader in Congo but now works night shifts at a 24 hour grocery store. In a starker example, another woman was a nurse in her home country but is now stuck doing housekeeping tasks for the RDU Airport. These are only a select few examples of many refugees who go through similar situations. In a way, refugees just accept these occurrences because they believe their employment status in America is unavoidable and inevitable. Quoting a refugee I know, they “cannot complain about their jobs when there is the constant pressure of becoming self-sufficient and paying back loans.” At the end of the day, reports and documents are correct when they claim employment levels for refugees are not terrible in comparison to the overall employment rate of Americans. However, it is the jobs that they end up with that cause stress for refugees. Frustration for not being able

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to practice their passions and skills in America can create or intensify a stressful cycle of depression and anxiety for working refugees. Many of these disconnects are caused by language barriers and job certificates not being valid here in the United States. If we recall the Migration Policy Institute report again, we remember that they claimed a lower literacy rate had direct correlation with a lower income for refugees. It may be valuable in this situation to reconsider the effectiveness of the way America employs the masses of refugees who enter into our country, and to keep an eye open for possible indications of systemic racism. The biggest indicator of systemic racism with this system is illiteracy and low-English levels of refugees. Although the acquirement of the English language is recognized as a necessity for better employment, programs for English education are not developed and totally dependent on the individual capacities of the volunteer agencies that refugees are matched with. In addition, the American refugee policy prides itself in its “early employment” program following the Refugee Act of 1980 where refugees are employed almost immediately and given menial jobs. However, this does not allow refugees to have the time to learn English or attempt to find other jobs that match their previous occupations better. The nature of the jobs they are given from “early employment” are physically challenging and have long hours that take away time that can be spent learning English. Additionally, the lack of programs for renewing certifications or relearning the “Western” way to implement previously existing skills impose another systematically racist factor in this process. Instead of developing programs that focus on teaching English and renewing certifications and skills, it is almost as if the policy takes advantage of the circumstances of the refugees to give them the jobs that Americans do not want. The lack of addressment of factors that affect the efficiency of the employment process speaks volumes as to the efforts being made to solve this problem.


he last criticism we will analyze is the stark inconsistencies with volunteer agencies. If we revisit the United States Department of State’s overview of the resettlement process, we know that the end result of an applicant passing the UNHCR and U.S. specific screening process is the matching of the applicant to a volunteer agency. Volunteer agencies, also known as “volags” are non-governmental, religious or community-based organizations that have agreements with state departments to provide various services to refugees. Some of these services include initial housing, food and clothing, employment, skill trainings, culture orientations, and more social services. Although this sounds like a wonderful concept, there are multiple criticisms made about these volunteer agencies. The main problem with volunteer agencies is that they are localized nonprofits with no systematic way of regulating the amount of aid that is provided to the refugees.

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With nine different volunteer agencies that refugees can get matched with, there are nine possible different experiences that could occur. These organizations are also religious and community-based which could introduce instances of bias with the employees of the volunteer agencies. The lack of regulation in equalizing the treatment of all refugees when they arrive in the United States leaves room for freedom of how individual employees of volunteer agencies treat refugee families depending on how the employee’s religious and community status relates to that of the refugees. For example, if a Lutheran organization assigns a very conservative employee to help two families, a refugee family persecuted for being Christian and a family persecuted for being a minority Muslim religion, it is probable for the employee to pay more attention and give special care to the Christian refugee family, compared to the Muslim family, as they share similarities in life practice. Additionally, the lack of organization and thoroughness in collecting and communicating the backgrounds of refugee families prevents them from being matched to the volunteer agency that is the best for them. According to Liyam Eloul, a psychotherapist that has been involved with refugee integration, there is an insufficient collection of background information for applicant families and a lack of a database that can organize and send this information to volunteer agencies. This results in refugees ending up with volunteer agencies that cannot provide for their needs to their best ability. This situation, along with the early employment practice of the American refugee policy, makes it very difficult for refugees to resettle in the most efficient manner possible. Eloul shares of a situation she observed where farming families from Burma were resettled to an urban city like Denver, where they could not practice any of the skills they previously had in their home countries. Had volunteer agencies and screening processes been more thorough in the collection and communication of personal background information, these Burmese refugees could have been matched with volunteer agencies in areas that have farming opportunities, thus improving the efficiency of their adjustment. The lack of organization in these processes causes applicants to be placed with volunteer agencies that are poorly regulated which can introduce subconsciously racist or discriminatory bias when supporting the refugee families for their first few months in the United States.


ow that we have explored systemic racism in problems with refugee policy, I believe it is a good opportunity to cautiously step foot into discussing the recent presidential administration on immigration and how that introduces additional systemic racism to this process. As part of keeping the promises he made when running for the presidential campaign, president Donald Trump issued an immigration ban that bans immigrants from seven specific countries that are “hotbeds of terrorism.” Not surprisingly, the public is divided when addressing this controversial ban. Some ar-


gue that the immigration ban is not racist and is doing a great job of protecting the American people from terrorism (McAllister The Federalist).100 This side of the controversy bases their arguments off the fact that the president’s primary job is to keep America safe. They defend the president by saying the government is not the church, and that it is not the moral responsibility of the government to admit refugees in a possible breach of safety to the American public. The other side of this controversy states that Trump’s ban is racist and gets rid of a possible economic benefit to the United States (Spector WBUR)11. The continuation of reduced quotas and immigration bans, even with obvious evidence and findings that support the economic benefit of admitting these individuals to the United States, proves the administration’s desire to ignore the needs of the economy to pursue racism and hate. In fact, some security advisors debunked Trump’s theory that national security depends on reduced quotas and limits to migration by claiming that refugee resettlement will only strengthen the nation’s relationship with other countries. According to these advisors, strengthening international relationships with other countries will do more for the safety of Americans than keeping certain groups of people out. On the other hand, if we recall from the United State Department’s overview of the resettlement process, we know that the resettlement process takes an extremely long time and multiple security screenings are conducted throughout. The endless screening processes and interviews make it extremely difficult for truly dangerous people to be approved by both the UNHCR and United States Intelligence Agencies for admission to the United States. When objectively looking at these two arguments, it seems as though those against the immigration ban and limits to migration deliberately debunk all arguments of those who support the immigration ban by claiming that their arguments for the “security of the nation” are outdated and invalid. With the national security argument out of the window, the only conclusion that can be made is that at the end of the day, Trump’s immigration ban and limits to migration only for select countries and select groups of people resembles racism and islamophobia disguised by a demeanor of “protecting the country” (Spector WBUR).


s we can see, racism, whether it is direct or hidden within the system, is a real issue with problems found in the American refugee policy. However, it is almost inevitable that there are elements of racism in the process. After all, the refugee policy is one that deals with multiple ethnicities coinciding with America at the same time, and these in-

10 0 McAllister, D C. “No, Trump’s Immigration Order Isn’t Racist Or Reminiscent Of WWII.” The Federalist, The Federalist, 2 Feb. 2017. 11 Spector, Matthew. “Trump’s Immigration Follies And His Floundering Travel Ban.” Trump’s Immigration Follies And His Floundering Travel Ban | Cognoscenti, WBUR, 19 Oct. 2017.

teractions cannot help but bring about miscommunication, strains, and conflict. The American refugee policy may have the heart to receive displaced people, but the methods used still have room for improvement. As we saw with thorough analysis of previously made criticisms of the policy, many of the problems being criticized have elements of systemic racism in them. Although it is difficult to change the racist decisions and outlooks of the American public, systemic racism in the policy itself can be fixed by fixing some of the methods of refugee immigration and integration. At the end of the day, the answer to challenges with refugee policy is not to stop the entire program- it is to fix it, make it more efficient, and develop the policy so it is the best it can be for both Americans and the refugee population. Here are some possible solutions for addressing the criticisms made of American refugee policy. To address the lack of addressment for the mental health of refugees, we could have psychologists and psychiatrists who are culturally aware of the acceptance of mental health in the cultures of their refugee patients volunteer their time in conducting monthly check ups when the refugees arrive in the United States. For the mental health screening process itself, we could develop screening methods that are catered to the culture of the refugees instead of using Western screening methods that produce inaccurate results. Additionally, having screeners that understand language or training volunteers in the language of the refugees will help with the misunderstandings that may occur because of language barriers. Educational and cultural orientation classes geared towards presenting mental health in a positive light before refugees receive screenings could also assist with alleviating the stigma that may prevent the applicants from responding truthfully. For the criticism regarding the job search process, we could develop a program where refugees with prior skills and certifications from their home country can get their American certification with training. This program may look like volunteer agencies partnering with community colleges for providing education to refugees with existing skills. This has many benefits for both the American economy and the refugees themselves. This relieves the refugees from frustrations caused by being unable to practice their passions and their skills while improving the American economy as more skilled workers are employed. In reality, the absence of this system is detrimental to the American economy and the mental health of the refugees and needs to be addressed right away. The development of this kind of program will help end the cycle of poverty most refugee families find themselves in. For the criticism about the inconsistencies with volunteer agencies, possible solutions lie in a better system for the collection and distribution of refugee information. One of the main problems of the resettlement process is that refugees are not matched with the best volunteer agencies for their specific situation because of a lack of clear information.

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To solve this issue, we could develop a database system easily distributes detailed background information of applicants to multiple volunteer agencies so they can find the group of refugees they believe they can best serve. Another way of alleviating the possibilities of systemic racism is to introduce more regulation regarding the aid provided by volunteer agencies. With this practice, refugee families will receive relatively equal amounts of aid, regardless of the voluntary agency they are matched with. This will encourage the fair treatment of all refugee families, attempting to equalize the resettlement and integration experience for all. As we have seen with the recent Trump administration and the media’s portrayal of refugees, the most difficult problem to address is direct racism in the American public. Systemic racism, in a way, can be alleviated by fixing the policies and attempting to remove the racist nuances in the design of the process, but the opinion of the American public and every individual in that population is hard to change. I hope for a day when every person in the United States, whether they are white, black, second generation Asian immigrants, refugees, or undocumented workers, will view the difficult situation of others in an empathetic manner. An average elementary school teacher’s favorite mantra of “put yourself in another person’s shoes” rings true for this very situation. With the world refugee crisis growing in intensity everyday, action needs to be taken on both the policy side and the public support side to encourage the efficiency of this mass migration of people. Refugees are legal immigrants, they are safe people, and they need our assistance to successfully integrate and give back to the country that welcomed them. Systematic racism only slows down this system and makes it less effective. I hope that one day the American refugee policy will reflect how Americans would like to be treated in the case that the tables are turned and it is millions of Americans that are fleeing America for refuge in another country. Some may say America has “done its best” so far, but there is always room for improvement.

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“An Overview of U.S. Refugee Law and Policy.”, American Immigration Council, November 2015. Capps, Randy, et al. “The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Successes and Challenges.”, Migration Policy Institute, 14 June 2017. Kanof, Marisa, and Liyam Eloul. “Problems and Solutions in US Refugee Resettlement Policy.”, Policy Perspectives. Lustig, Stuart L, et al. “Review of Child and Adolescent Refugee Mental Health.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan. 2004, pp. 24–36. McAllister, D C. “No, Trump’s Immigration Order Isn’t Racist Or Reminiscent Of WWII.” The Federalist, The Federalist, 2 Feb. 2017. “Mental Health.” Refugee Health TA, Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center, 2011. Miller, Seumas (15 June 2017). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 15 June 2017 – via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “U.S. Refugee Admission Program.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State. “What Is a Refugee? Definition and Meaning.” USA for UNHCR, UNHCR. Zucker, Norman L. “Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Policy and Problems.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 467, 1983, pp. 172–186. JSTOR, JSTOR.


Investigations of Implementation of American Sign Language and Alternative Language Forms in Early Education for Children on the Autism Spectrum Anna Price


icki Bresnahan spent two years buying her son robot toys and taking him to see robot movies. Nothing could appease the frustration and angst he associated with the word robot. Only after he acquired limited language skills through therapy could his family interpret his cryptic communications: he believed he had been made into a robot several years before, while undergoing surgery to insert metal bars along his spine (Solomon 241). The Fleischmann family had a similar breakthrough when their thirteen-yearold daughter was introduced to typing therapy for the first time. With no apparent language or communication skills, Carly had been diagnosed as severely cognitively impaired. Her first communications nullified this perception and revealed the incredible intellect, personality and understanding she has possessed her entire life. Both cases demonstrate important steps in the family’s understanding of their child’s autism, but not a “cure” for it. As Carly says, “it [her ability to communicate] can’t make her normal”, but it does facilitate her ability to fully engage in society and find pleasure in her everyday life (Solomon 242). Unlike Carly, many individuals with autism or non-speaking individuals remain excluded from spoken society. There must be a more conscious effort to be more inclusive of these growing populations. Autism is an inclusive spectrum diagnosis of individuals expressing highly variable groups of symptoms and behaviors. Each case is unique. In 1960 one in every 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism. Today it has increased to one in every 88 children (Solomon 221). To support the rapidly growing population of children with autism, it is essential that more time, resources, and people are dedicated to understanding how to facilitate their development through specialized education and therapies. To combat societal efforts to “normalize” or “cure” individuals with autism, the complexities and diversity of the autism spectrum must be acknowledged. The progressive implementation of American Sign Language (ASL) and alternative forms of communication into autism therapy and education can help some children with speech development, language acquisition, social interaction, and temperament management. It is the first step in adapting education and society to the unique challenges and modes of communication associated with autism.


SL was first implemented in youth education for deaf students. Debate surrounding its effects on cognitive development and language acquisition are still prevalent in medical and therapy advocacy. Cochlear implants, wired into the cochlea’s nerves to translate acoustic information into electrical signals transmitted to the brain, are popular in treatment for deafness. An estimated ninety percent of deaf children have hearing parents who want their children to fully experience and engage in a hearing world. They often pursue cochlear implants, recommended by physicians advocating for deaf children’s adaptation to verbal society. Children with implants are typically placed in hearing classrooms where the focus is on utilizing the implants to gain proficiency in language comprehension and verbal communication. Early on parents and teachers are discouraged from teaching these children to sign based on research on neuroplasticity indicating that hearing impairment can correspond with visual and other sense enhancement. Limited sensory input to the auditory cortex increases sensitivity on tactile and visual input. Some deaf individuals can even utilize the auditory or visual portions of their brain to support these heightened senses. Doctors fear using sign language with deaf children could promote other senses’ use of the portions of the brain dedicated to hearing and speech development. They reason that if children can communicate easily through signing, the brain will not dedicate effort to utilizing cochlear implants and to learning how to process or produce spoken language. In addition to physicians and caretakers, linguists have also played an active role in this language debate. Linguist William Stokoe was the first to suggest that sign language was a “complete language with its own grammar, syntax, and semantics,” but was not fully understood (Bolotnikova 50-79). Branching from this, some researchers argue that ASL bears no relation to other languages like English, and that individuals who learn to sign in childhood are therefore at a disadvantage in reading and writing acquisition later in life. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) rejects this assertion, arguing instead that deaf children are not linguistically disabled. They campaign against the installation of cochlear implants before children learn to speak. NAD’s claims are supported by Kathryn Davis, a linguist at HarFifth World


vard, who has facilitated advances in modern research on how sign language impacts brain development and language skills. In a recent study she assessed the performance of deaf children with implants who grew up with exposure to both ASL and English on English literacy tests. Using standardized tests, she evaluated the children’s comprehension, articulation, vocabulary and literacy. Children with implants and ASL exposure performed just as well as hearing children with ASL exposure, and both groups outperformed children with implants without any ASL exposure. Davis’s work suggests that deaf children are not inherently linguistically disabled or disadvantaged by early exposure to sign language. The study concluded that hearing and spoken language can be processed the same way in the brain. Early exposure to American sign language acted as bilingualism normally would and showed improved language abilities in deaf children (Bolotnikova 51). Despite these findings, today only 25% of parents with deaf children use sign language and only 2% of deaf individuals have access to sign language in education worldwide (Human Rights). Due to their inability to fully participate in, and conform to spoken society both deaf people and people with autism share a disability label. Each individual within these populations has a unique set of abilities and faces different challenges in their everyday lives. The acquisition of language, spoken or signed provides individuals with a level of self-extension into the world that will alter their ability to engage in their surroundings and fully demonstrate their abilities. We must work to break down prejudice against alternative forms of communication and to integrate them into education, professional and social fields. The acceptance of new forms of language will increase neurological and ability diversity. It will support both deaf populations and people with autism and reduce the anxiety induced by expectations to acquire spoken language skills. The development of progressive therapies and methods of education for children with autism have been facilitated by the incorporation of sign language into deaf education. Beyond this rudimentary connection however, deafness and autism are largely incomparable. This impacts the possibility and methodology of assessing how developing language skills can be developed in children with autism. Today, we have a very limited biological understanding of what causes autism and how it impacts the brain. The syndrome is considered idiopathic, meaning it can begin spontaneously with an unknown origin. Modern science remains unable to locate a biological nature of autism, or identify its causes. Michael Wigler and Jonathan Sebat have conducted research linking the deletion of between one and twenty-seven genes in specific areas of the genome. It remains unclear if different symptoms of autism come from the same genetic origin and if certain mutations in specific areas are responsible for both language disability and challenging social behavior. Autism is considered to have “variable penetrance”, which means that some individuals without the identified trigger North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

genetic mutations will express autism symptoms and some individuals with these mutations will not express autism symptoms (Myers). Sebat is conducting studies comparing people with autism who have deletions in this area of the genome to those with repetitions in the same location to see if they have the same kind of autism. There is no treatment for the “atypical neurological configuration that is autism.” As a pervasive disorder, it affects many aspects of development and behavior, sensory experiences, motor functions, inner consciousness, and bodily awareness. It is diagnosed and assessed through physical manifestations of symptoms, which commonly include “repetitive, self-stimulating body behaviors like flapping of the arms; lack of or delay in speech; poor nonverbal communication; minimal eye contact; diminished interest in relationships; lack of imagination; high attention towards and fascination with objects; compromised capacity for emotional reciprocity; and compromised empathy, insight, and sociability” (Solomon 222). Many children with autism are characterized by an apparent inability to speak and connect with others. Psychologists refer to this as a deficiency in the “theory of the mind”, which encompasses an individual’s ability to connect their thoughts and actions, and to understand the mental state of themselves and those around them (Myers). Individuals with ASD are often prone to random acts of violence towards themselves and others, to depression and anxiety, and to some physical and sensory problems. We understand very little about their temperament management and triggers. The name itself originates from a Swiss psychiatrist who observed autism in his patients as a state where “thought was divorced from logic and reality”. He used the word autistic, meaning lonely, to represent the isolation these individuals experience from the world. Individuals with severe autism typically demonstrate great emotional deficits and their level of awareness is largely a mystery. We cannot determine to what extent “they can hear and understand...but cannot make themselves be heard or understood” (Solomon).


ign language aims to bridge this gap by working to understand how the “language of the mind” differs in children with autism (Myers). ASL is well suited to autism symptoms and can help nonverbal children with social interaction and language development. A natural or full language must be able to convey a full range of human expression, and be acquired during the “critical period of language acquisition,” before age twelve (Bolotnikova). Sign language utilizes 3D space instead of sound to fully convey expression and meaning. Stokoe believed that both spoken and signed language emerged from hand gestures. Studies conducted on signed languages reveal that signs “can become less iconic and more abstract after a word/sign is coined”, developing into a standardized dialect. Linguists predict that gestures evolved over time into sign language and then into spoken language forms. This theory proposes that there is a natural


progression of language development, facilitated by focus on gestures early on. Autistic children’s fascination with objects and their tendency towards communicating through pictures or pointing make them suggestable to these more spatial forms of communication (Thompson). Linguists today accept that spoken languages, like English, are abstract (Bolotnikova). Saussure’s early linguistic theories explain that words are arbitrary - their meaning is determined by a language system that relates and differentiates them to other signifiers - and that humans have a natural ability to comprehend the association of concepts and objects to terms to which they have no resemblance to In contrast, by existing in the same space as objects, terms in sign language share more similarity to their meanings. Sign language offers a strong linguistics base and forms connections between the physical world and abstract language. It includes behavior as an acceptable form of communication and accommodates the crude initial gestures used by children with autism in early expression. Success with the utilization of ASL with people with autism does not suggest that these demonstrate less developed language abilities or cognitive skills, but shows that their brains may process physical forms of language more effectively. A recent publication of Harvard Magazine outlined two main arguments regarding language. The first adopts a more biology focused understanding - held largely by researchers outside of linguistic fields - that language “is a consequence of grey cells.” It asserts that language is a learned skill and is not treated differently within the brain from other learned motor skills. The second is Chomsky’s structural argument, which supports the existence of a “unique human organ, with neural hardware, embedded in our DNA,” responsible for acquiring and developing language (Bolotnikova). This includes our ability to recognize and comprehend sentences even if there is no semantic meaning to the organization of the words. Chomsky argues that humans have a generalized capacity for language of any kind, sign or spoken, and that language exposure in any form is central to language acquisition. All-natural languages share a “universal grammar”, or set of underlying structures that enable the language to be processed by the “language organ, or instinct” so they foster language development in the same ways. His studies support that all language is developed through word association and that early exposure to ASL can facilitate secondary learning of English. New linguistic research aims to understand how the “language of the mind” differs in children with autism and how ASL can help bridge the gap between the physical world and abstract language. Davis’s research is working to build “a model of how language works in the brain which would in term enable us to understand how language disorders work” (Bolotnikova). The natural language theory makes it increasingly clear that early implementation of sign language can play a key role in facilitating language and cognition development in children who do not have verbal communication skills yet

- even if they will develop them in the future. Furthermore, studies on infant signing have shown that sign language can improve overall temperament by decreasing crying and tantrums, with increased communication. Crying, tantrums, violence and other problem behaviors are effective forms of communication for “evoking a variety of caregiving responses,” but are limited by their dependence on caregivers using “contextual cues to determine the appropriate response” (Solomon). Acknowledging the legitimacy of these forms of communication for autism is crucial to adapting new therapies. “Signing may be easier to teach than oral language because signing can be physically prompted by a caregiver (i.e. a child’s hands can be molded to form a sign)” (Thompson).


mplementing sign language in early education helps convert these natural communications into more structured forms. Modern therapies like applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and verbal behavior (VB) therapy break down skills like language into smaller components, creating a systematic approach to concept mastery (Verbal Behavior Therapy). Applied behavioral analysis is an evidence-based therapy used to teach behaviors of “social significance” including self-help, communication, and social and academic skills sets. It was developed from the work of Charles Ferster, a behavioral psychologist who suggested that people could learn through conditioning therapy (Solomon). It uses individualized programs to assess what environmental conditions impact behavior, and to tailor a child’s therapy to their unique learning style. Verbal behavior (VB) therapy is an ABA therapy approach focused on teaching language skills; it treats language as a behavior that can be reinforced and structured, aligning with the biological language argument. The goal is for children to understand what they are saying, and why it is appropriate or necessary to express themselves in specific situations. It is used with both nonverbal children and verbal children who are not yet conversational, to help them acquire language proficiency with a spoken or signed language. VB has been proven to reduce the number of tantrums and problem behaviors. This is achieved through a process of identifying what the child likes (reinforcers) and then using those things as motivators to limit problem behaviors and increase communication. This technique utilizes children’s tendencies towards object fixation to facilitate communication, and relationship formation with therapists and parents. Sign language therapy with infants has similarly been proven to decrease violent and problem behavior in toddlers before they can speak. Successful ABA and VB language therapies can equip autistic children with the same type of language skills, providing an outlet for both self-expression and frustration (Solomon). Because it is a symptom diagnosis, it is treated with therapies and educational strategies, not medical procedures; thus, it is not covered by insurance. We must advocate to make these necessary resources widely available to affected children and parents. Fifth World


Unfortunately, these therapies are not widely successful across the entirety of the autism spectrum. Even the most invasive and intensive behavior therapy programs may never be successful for low-functioning individuals with autism and especially severe autism. In early autism diagnoses, regression occurs in 38 to 50% of children. Children will align with normal speech and cognitive development benchmarks, then begin to regress from 16 months to three years old, disengaging from their surroundings and demonstrating more symptoms associated with autism. It remains unclear if this phenomenon is caused by a loss of brain function or a lack of cognitive development needed for more mature interaction. At three, one little girl could recite nursery rhymes, identify her mom’s car, and was beginning to potty train, but lost of all of this within a year (Solomon). Even in cases where children with autism possess or attain communication abilities, there is no guarantee that they will be able to regularly utilize these skills or be able to appropriately apply them in interactions. In the one case, a young girl named Cece spoke only four times over a span of seven years, but each was appropriate to the situation and delivered with intention. Her mother, Betsy, expresses her concern that there is a neurological “traffic jam” occurring in her daughter which prevents the brain from connecting with the mouth. Her current therapist believes that Cece has no intellectual disability, but it remains unclear how much she is aware of and processing within her environment (Solomon). This highlights our limited understanding of how both autism and language are processed in the brain, and demonstrates that generalized therapy techniques cannot sufficiently address the variety of symptoms spectrum disorders like autism have. Therapy techniques that may “clear the traffic” in one person, enabling them to communicate on a more regular basis, do not have the same effects in other cases. Cece knows some basic signs, of which she makes erratic use, but she frequently executes meaningful independent actions like bringing her shoes to the door when she wants to go outside. As in many autism cases, this does not clearly align with any theories on language or therapy methodologies. She has demonstrated proficiency with motor movements and some language skills, supporting the theory that the brain treats language as a learned skill. Furthermore, her limited experience with sign language indicates her inability to use it constructively. Cece contradicts the language organ theory. If she is able to process and use English, then she should also to do the same with other forms of language like signing. Neither can explain her sporadic access or use of language.


s a developmental disorder, autism diagnoses are only assigned to individuals expressing symptoms before the age of three. It is associated with hereditary genetic disorders, meaning the genetic mutation originates from the sperm or egg of the parents and is present throughout the individual’s life. Autism research conducted at Cambridge North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

proposes a connection between autism and research showing that women are generally empathizers and men are systemizers, making them good at processing “factual and mechanical information”. People with autism generally lack empathy, they over-process information, and have strong technical skills. Cambridge’s research argues that people with autism demonstrate overexpression of cognitive masculinity, or socially constructed characteristics of masculinity. A twin study at Stanford found that genetics were responsible for only 38% of the studied cases and that a surprising 54% of cases were influenced by shared environmental conditions (Solomon). Both groups of researchers reiterated the importance of investigating environmental factors, and predicted that factors like different levels of hormone exposure in utero could play a key role in understanding the cause of autism. Dr. Silva, who conducts cognitive and memory research related to autism on mice, says, “memory is just as much about discarding trivial details as it is about storing useful information.” In his studies, mice with the same genetic mutations as autism cannot differentiate between meaningful and needless information. This inability within the brain can fill the mind with “meaningless noise that interferes with learning” (Solomon). Overproduction of proteins caused by genetic mutation is suspected to cause this phenomenon and other forms of learning disabilities and social problems (Gene Mutations). When Silva introduced medications to his experiments on mice; this decreased protein production, resulting in increased social interactions. Some mice even appeared to experience a reversal, or elimination of autism symptoms. These findings substantiate claims that that developmental disorders are not hardwired into the brain, and that autism may be associated with restricted brain function, not permanent developmental deficits. Neurological research on autism has identified the cause for this apparent “traffic” and disruption in the minds of people with autism. Underconnectivity between hemispheres and an overabundance of local connections is common. Their brains appear to lack the normal processes that prevent brain overload. “Thought is generated in the grey matter of the brain, and white matter conveys thought from one area to another” (Solomon). Autism is associated with inflammation in the areas that produce the brain’s white matter, causing a “terrible noise in the brain.” Gene mutations linked to autism can alter the levels of brain transmitters at different stages of development, and cause brain material loss in the cerebral cortex, the limbic system, and the cerebellum.1 This limited understanding of the brain provides strong insight into what causes the behavioral

1  The cerebral cortex is “responsible for higher thought processes including speech and decision making.” The limbic system controls emotions, forming new memories and arousal or stimulation. Finally, the cerebellum influences learning and the coordination and regulation of motor movements (Solomon).


and mental challenges of individuals with autism. Some researchers posit there is a common “core deficit” in all people with autism, which is the root of their other autistic symptoms (Solomon). One principle suggests this deficit could be “mindblindness,” or a damaged theory of the mind, the inability to relate to and differentiate others’ personal experiences, thoughts and emotions from your own (Myers). There are specific mirror neurons in the brain which should fire when a subject personally completes an action or when they observe someone else completing an action. These neurons only fire in people with autism when the individual performs the action themselves. Another principle, “central coherence”, states that people with autism are unable to organize and learn from external information. Finally, some researchers predict the core deficit is the under or over arousal of the mind. Kamran Nazeer, a writer with autism, states, “The challenge for autistic individuals is that they are overwhelmed by their own minds. They typically notice more details than other people, while simultaneously having a reduced ability to categorize or process this language” (Solomon). He writes that people with autism focus on independent simple tasks due to the mental “logjams” caused by this “high input and low output” pairing. The sensory overload associated with autism disorders helps explain the extensive physical and cognitive impairments autistic individuals may express including disengaging from their surroundings, problems with sensitivity to sensory input, and chronic anxiety. A research project at Yale on adults with autism found that the portion of the brain normally associated with facial processing was activated instead with object processing. This misassociation causes the formation of intimate connections, and fixations on objects. Further research has shown that children with autism do not visually follow arguments, or shift their gaze when observing conversations. Infants with autism focus on objects or mouths instead of eyes in early interaction. Many people with autism do not process interactions, emotions, and human connections the same way, and are unable to form “normal” personal connections with peers or caretakers.


ohn Elder Robison, a highly functioning author on the autism spectrum, describes learning how to engage in social interactions as an act. He dedicated years to memorizing human expressions so he could interpret and reproduce them in regular interactions. Similarly, Ne’eman Nazeer, another writer with autism says, “I began to understand a conversation is a performance” (Solomon). This questions how liberating the push for verbal language acquisition and social interaction is for individuals on the autism spectrum. He does not conceal the effort required in social interaction. “Neurotypical social interaction is like a second language. One can learn a second language with great fluency, but no one will ever be as comfortable in it as in one’s own tongue” (Solomon 227). For many people with autism, speech is an

area of study imposed upon them to facilitate their successful integration into society. After thirteen years of silence, the first thing Carly typed was, “If I could tell people one thing about autism, it would be that I don’t want to be this way but I am. So don’t be mad. Be understanding...It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People assume I am dumb because I can’t talk or I act differently” (Solomon 256). Removing social stigmas surrounding alternative forms of communication and interaction could encourage people on the autism spectrum and reduce their anxiety. Carly’s access to keyboard therapy allows her to communicate her experiences with autism. Her story demonstrates the restriction some people feel from their autism and their desire to improve, or not be perceived as different.


here are two major advocacy groups for children on the autism spectrum, highly-functioning and verbal individuals on the autism spectrum, and parents or caretakers of people on the autism spectrum. Many parents share the fears of Cece’s mom, Betsy, who says “I believe that she has a wild intelligence somewhere and worry that her soul is trapped” (Solomon 224). They often support research and advances in invasive therapies and medical treatments. In many cases, parents and therapists have almost exhausted their resources or treatment options and are willing to try anything. It is impossible to judge to what extent these individuals may be “trapped” inside their minds and what they would want. Our limited understanding of how autism and speech operate within the brain make us dependent on behavioristic observation and require we subject individuals to untested new therapies. There is a growing push to “cure” people on the autism spectrum, reducing their autism traits through extensive therapy, to have them function more “normally in society.” According to Thomas Insel, the parent of a child with autism “When you start to argue that they [children with autism] just need to be accepted for who they are, you’re selling them and yourself terribly short. I sure hope we don’t do [this] for people who have a brain disorder like this. Most parents want their kids to live the fullest life possible, and that’s not possible when you’re not toilet trained, and don’t have language” (Solomon 280). Similarly, Kit Weintraub argues that she aims for her children to have normal lives; for her, “normal” means “like most people without autism, to lead an independent, purpose filled life- able to speak, communicate and form and keep relationships.” We should aim to facilitate children’s management of their symptoms spectrum wide so they can be their fullest selves. Portia, another mother with an autistic child, states “There’s a popular misconception that you can’t have someone who acts retarded and is intelligent.” After realizing her son could read and communicate at nine, she observed, “You don’t know they can think, when you don’t think they can read.” When she asked her son why he did not utilize his abilities to express himself and his intellect earlier he said, Fifth World


“I was listening” (Solomon). Like Portia’s son, some people with autism may not have the inclination to communicate, but that does not mean they are unable to do so. Likewise, it is very challenging to create a standardized system of evaluation. Beyond the variety of symptoms, individuals are sensitive to changes in their environment and will respond to people and situations differently. It may be a matter of not what they are able to do, but what they will or will not do. There are serious social and academic stigmas surrounding developmental disabilities like autism. Despite their physical challenges it is essential we do not give up, or doubt these children’s cognitive abilities. Once they do become expressive, even individuals with high intelligence and advanced cognitive abilities may still need daily one-on-one care. It is of growing importance that we combat the historical opposition between levels of functionality, expression and intelligence. After her son’s diagnosis, Portia co-founded Cure autism now. Through her experience she describes seeing a split in autism between those who want to be understood, and those who appear unmotivated to make connections with their environments. We have a limited understanding of the different types of autism, and cannot explain the highly variable behavior of these individuals. She describes her son as a trapped in a chemical storm, making whimpering sounds and flapping movements when he cannot be understood. His development of very limited communication skills has allowed him to become more content, and his daily fits of anxiety have decreased. Portia still believes there is a large separation between his personality and his disorder, which prevents him from acting and controlling himself the way he would like to. She sees him as a distressed hostage of his disorder, which inhibits his ability to function and communicate to his fullest potential (Solomon). Temple Cutler is a renowned speaker and writer for her experience with autism and an autism activist. Her beliefs serve as some middle ground between the two sides of autism treatment. Her successful development was facilitated by her mother’s own behaviorist system, which utilized constant engagement. Her mother describes her method as a necessary effort to pull her daughter out of limbo. Temple is a strong advocate, like her mother, of intrusive therapies. She believes that “the higher-functioning you can make someone, the happier they will be” (Solomon 274). Furthermore, she discourages focusing on general and social skill development, which risks “neglecting the child’s talents.” She hopes to help others like her utilize their autism characteristics and gifts to their advantage in their life and careers. In contrast, there is a modern radical movement titled, “Don’t cure autism now.” Just as deafness advocates are against subjecting deaf children to hearing implants and English education, so this group insists that autistic behavior is an equally valid system of logic, despite lacking “social coherence.” Both Don’t Cure Autism Now and The National Deaf Association argue autism and deafness do not North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

make people inherently disabled. Don’t Cure Autism now does not want to mainstream social acceptance and adaptation to autism symptoms. Instead they advocate for social equality for autistic systems of logic and communication. This subversive group understands autism as an essential personal trait. Some take issue with the modern politically correct language used to discuss and label “people with autism.” They believe their autism to be a part of themselves, and advocate for the use of autism as a noun like Males or Christians (Solomon). Thomas Insel, and autistic adult and author asserts that “autism is a way of being.” A cure for autism is like a cure for left-handedness (Solomon 279). He writes that, due to its pervasive nature, autism is inseparable from the individual. There is no soul, personality, or spirit trapped within the “shell” of a body or mind of someone with autism. If you could separate someone from their autism, you would produce an individual unrecognizable and alien from the one you started with. We must acknowledge “human neurological diversity, in every unique case, not just when they can deliver some special talent” (Solomon 278). Many people with autism have special skill sets, and usually surpass standard benchmarks on spatial-thinking tests. More radical advocates commonly include highly-functioning individuals on the spectrum and parents who argue against most medical and therapy treatment. One mother says “the same genetic structure - responsible for autism may also produce creativity and diversity...the thing that make us interesting human beings.” She and others fear that attempts to cure autism may also remove those individuals unique gifts and skill sets. One new company is designed to help people with autism get jobs, marketing them as someone with a singular skill set (Solomon 273). Today there are academic and societal expectations for the development of certain skill sets like speaking which are not in the nature of some individuals with autism. Environments that require standardized learning of language and other basic skills may distract or limit the individual’s ability to succeed in the specific area of their interest or gifts. One little girl, named Michaela, was able to develop extensive language capabilities and social skills but all she wanted to talk about was Jiminy Cricket (Solomon 275). Her treatment so far has proved very successful, but should it continue to break her of this fixation on one subject? The selective skill sets of people with autism can come at a cost of very limited abilities in most other areas. They may still require extensive help to complete basic daily tasks.


dvocates for neurodiversity contend that there “is a distinct cognitive profile” of people with autism. No matter their progress in development and acquisition of language and social skills, “You cannot make someone un-autistic.” There is no way to “cure” autism. Modern attempts to treat autism may prove torturous for the individual and are often driven by a parent’s desire for their children to achieve “normalcy,” to fit within society’s ideals of intellectual and


social success. One mother asserts, “we shouldn’t impose our values of success onto people who have very different needs.” There are many treatment theories published by parents “generalized from strategies that may only by chance have coincided with their children’s ‘emergence’” (Solomon). Many parents of children with severe autism want to see their children as something other than deficient or broken. Medical and therapy treatment plans appeal to their frustration with their experience. Because each case is so unique, it may take years of different therapies and treatment plans to make progress. After enduring years of therapy, some people have expressed they were happier before treatment. And for many treatment is unsuccessful. It should be noted that this expression of their unhappiness may have been made possible through their treatment and that we still remain in the dark on the experiences of those whose treatment was deemed unsuccessful. We are drawn to consider the ethics of extensive treatment regimens and to the importance of language development for true freedom of expression. Are parents and therapists justified in subjecting their children with autism to extensive treatment plans in attempts to free them from their condition? Idiosyncrasies describe the peculiar modes of behavior and distinct characteristics of autism that often do not align with social values. On both sides of the argument there is widespread activist support for the deconstruction of common “offensive disability stereotypes.” One man with autism states “We can succeed and thrive on our own terms when supported, accepted, and included for who we are” (Solomon). Education must be adapted to diversity and should foster personal and intellectual growth focused on individual’s skill sets. More research is necessary to improve our understanding of autism’s causes and how it operates in the brain. We must make ethical considerations about subjecting nonverbal or uncommunicative individuals to potentially punitive correction therapies for the relief of un-ideal modes of behavior associated with autism. It is of growing importance that we accept these individuals for their gifts and create a new language to evaluate and discuss success based on the individual. We must incorporate individuals and families in these discussions and continue to gather as much information as we can. More data is essential to make progress in understanding and facilitating growth in such a diverse diagnosis. It is critical that we continue to make information available and resources affordable to individuals and caretakers. ASL implementation has had some promising results, but it is a limited solution to a much larger problem. We should continue to actively incorporate alternative forms of communication and education techniques into early education. This is a critical time of development that must be tailored to the students. Society must develop greater social and academic awareness and acceptance for the “atypical social logic” and gifts associated with autism. Further research should investigate the anxiety that can be resolved by the ability for better communication, and that

can be induced by the expectation to communicate. People with deafness and autism may have something in common after all, which is their limited ability to express themselves and focus on mastering their unique skill sets in a spoken society. It is essential that we stop forcing deaf and autistic children into treatments to cure them. We must become more aware of alternative forms of expression in youth education. Behavioral therapy and the use of ASL may be helpful for some children, but it is just the beginning of our adapting education and developmental standards to these children’s needs. Researchers continue their efforts in mapping the brain to help expand our understanding of autism and to develop targeted drugs. Medicinal and therapy approaches often aim to relieve the symptoms of autism. Therapy and sign language can help facilitate the adjustment to learning environments and standardize forms of self-expression. With the growing possibility of new autism medications there is growing concern for how this will impact how we treat children with autism. Dawson says it is not enough to “instigate normal brain function” in children who have grown up without it (Solomon). If we were able to “cure” autism, or remove the symptoms associated with the disorder he argues it is essential to facilitate individual’s adjustment to their new cognitive abilities and help them learn how to “utilize this new increased functions” (Solomon).

Solomon, A. (2012). Autism. In (pp. 221-294). New York, NY: Scribner. What is a gene mutation and how do mutations occur? - Genetics Home Reference. (2017, October 31). Retrieved November 03, 2017. Bolotnikova, M. N. (2017, May & june). A Language Out of Nothing., (5), 50-79. Myers, D. (n.d.). (Vol. 6). Worth. Human Rights. (2016). Retrieved November 03, 2017. What is a gene? - Genetics Home Reference. (2017, October 31). Retrieved November 03, 2017. How can gene mutations affect health and development? (Gene Mutations) - Genetics Home Reference. (2017, October 31). Retrieved November 03, 2017. Starr, D. (2013). DNA Basics. Retrieved November 03, 2017. Cerebellum Function, Anatomy & Definition | Body Maps. (2015, March 05). Retrieved November 03, 2017. Boeree, G. (c 2009). The Emotional Nervous System. Retrieved November 03, 2017. Thompson, R. H., Cotnoir-Bichelman, N. M., McKerchar, P. M., Tate, T. L., & Dancho, K. A. (2007). Enhancing Early Communication through Infant Sign Training. Retrieved November 03, 2017. Verbal Behavior Therapy. (2012, July 24). Retrieved November 03, 2017.

Fifth World


Dismantling the Carceral Archipelago: Deconstructions of Juvenile Delinquency in Youth Courts Belinda Hu


he first appearance of youth courts in the United States was not in a courtroom, but in Lewiston, Maine’s The Evening Journal in 1944. In an article titled “Jury of One’s Peers,” a reporter described the proposal of Adrian Cote, the Lewiston Municipal Court judge, for a “juvenile jury system whereby juries composed of high ranking local students would hear juvenile court cases and make recommendations to the court” (“Jury”). The article continued: The step may appear radical to some, but those who understand children will see readily how a juvenile jury might have a salutary effect among Lewiston’s youngsters and help curb juvenile delinquency. The average child is ashamed to be placed in an embarrassing position in front of his fellows, and introduction of the juvenile jury system planned by Judge Cote should effect this result. Lewiston’s delinquent youngsters will face not merely a group of adults, but a jury of their own age group. This fact alone may cause some potential delinquents to think twice before committing an act which might involve them with the law. (“Jury”) It was, however, only in the 1970s that viable, robust youth court programs were developed in the U.S. (“History”). In the 1990s, youth courts began to rapidly expand, growing in numbers from 80 in 1993 to 675 in 2000 (Godwin et al.). Youth courts are primarily grassroots efforts authorized on a local, non-federal basis, but their rising popularity has garnered national attention. In 1999, the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) created the National Youth Court Center (NYCC) to serve as a resource and point of contact for programs across the country (Godwin et al.). As of 2012, they were acknowledged as “the fastest growing and most replicated juvenile justice programs in the United States,” with 1,407 programs across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia that are supported by 117,310 youth volunteers and have processed 111,868 juveniles (“About”). Before youth courts, the single largest service gap in the juvenile justice system was between a juvenile’s initial contact with the police and having their case addressed in the juvenile justice system. Youth courts filled that gap by providing “immediate consequences for first time youthful

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offenders” (Godwin et al.). Although the nature of youth courts varies considerably due to different models and administrative entities, the basic process is this: 1. A juvenile is referred by a police officer to the program if both the juvenile and their criminal act meet certain qualifications. 2. The youth court coordinator holds an intake meeting with the juvenile and the juvenile’s parent/guardian to describe the program and obtain the juvenile’s consent to participate in the program. 3. The juvenile is sanctioned in a court at least partially comprised of their peers. 4. The juvenile completes the sanctions determined in court and their initial charges are either dismissed or expunged from their record. Empirically, youth courts reduce rates of recidivism by a statistically significant amount; a 2002 study of more than five hundred respondents in Alaska, Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri found that within six months of their court hearing, only eighteen percent of youth court respondents had committed additional crimes, which was fourteen percent less than the juvenile court respondents who had committed additional crimes (Butts et al.). What is perhaps more intriguing and valuable, however, is understanding the mechanisms behind the empirically demonstrated success of youth courts. In his work Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault offers a potential explanation through his theories about the mechanisms of modern Western prison systems. Of interest is his concept of the “carceral archipelago,” which serves to “produce bodies that were both docile and capable” (Foucault). It functions as an inescapable network of “institutions of the family, army, workshop, school, and judicial system…expanded through mechanisms of normalized discipline” (Tiethof). What is declared as rehabilitation of “delinquents” is also and inseparably the production of a subject and object of institutional knowledge and power, the “juvenile offender.” This cycle of recidivism and exploitation is facilitated by social structures which expedite “the organization of a milieu of delinquents, loyal to one another, hierarchized, ready to aid and abet any future criminal act” (Foucault).


In the case of adult delinquents, these structures include “homeless shelters, halfway houses, addiction recovery programs, and transitional housing” (Martin), as well as parole, probation, and requirements of employment during parole. These requirements often serve as a pathway to economic exploitation for job applicants whose criminal records render them undesirable to most employers and subsequently, desperate for any employment (Tiethof). These structures that ultimately recreate a sense of confinement within and marginalization of the status of “delinquent” are conceptualized by Foucault as the “series of brandings” (Foucault) that distinguish the delinquent from the non-delinquent and subject them to a “regime of truth – a corpus of knowledge used to identify and control” (Tiethof). Thus, a Foucauldian analysis finds that the carceral archipelago – that mass of incriminating structures – is the driving force behind the construction and production of delinquency. This paper aims to analyze the theoretical mechanisms of youth court programs that allow them to escape Foucault’s concept of the carceral archipelago and abolish the class of the juvenile delinquent.


f the carceral archipelago of the criminal justice system produces the delinquent, then it would only make sense that the carceral archipelago of the juvenile justice system produces the juvenile delinquent. Indeed, the American juvenile justice system emerged in the early 1800s, when reformers pushed to remove children from the brutalities of the adult criminal justice system by creating “Houses of Refuge” (Lennard). The social class of the juvenile delinquent was born, and the overcrowded, grimy Houses with abusive staff members “institutionalize[d] strict social control over poor and immigrant communities”; in short, they became the prisons that the “juvenile delinquents” were supposed to escape (“Juvenile”). The institution of Houses of Refuge was the first phase of the juvenile justice movement; in 1899, the country’s inaugural juvenile court – which sent guilty defendants to juvenile prisons – was established in Cook County, Illinois (“Juvenile”). This juvenile carceral archipelago has largely continued into the present day, in which the same prison techniques that mark and breed “docile and capable” adult delinquents – solitary confinement, geographic isolation, physical restraint – are used in juvenile prisons (Foucault, Lennard). Further, the carceral archipelago of the juvenile justice system is perhaps broader than that of the adult criminal justice system, as over two-thirds of incarcerated juveniles are held for minor offenses like violating public order and possessing drugs, as well as status offenses like truancy (Lennard). But youth courts, a recent addendum to traditional juvenile justice systems, provide a way out of this juvenile carceral archipelago; their courtroom and sentencing procedures equalize “delinquent” and “non-delinquent” persons,

or at least create a potential for equalization that didn’t exist in the juvenile justice system before. Ultimately, it isn’t that youth courts decrease the number of delinquent individuals, but that they blur the lines between delinquent and non-delinquent – delinquency becomes fluid.


o understand this, it is important to first clarify the object of analysis beyond the basic overview given earlier. In the interest of clarity and consistency, this paper will hereafter use the following terminology and classifications set forth by the NYCC’s National Youth Court Guidelines (Godwin et al.): • Youth court: A program in which youth are sentenced by their peers. Synonymous to teen court and peer court. • Respondent: Youth who are being tried or sentenced by the youth court. • Youth volunteer: Youth who are participating in the programs as volunteers (e.g., prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, jurors, clerks, bailiffs, judges). • Juvenile justice system-based youth court: A youth court that is administered or operated within a juvenile justice system agency (e.g., juvenile or municipal court, law enforcement agency, juvenile probation department). • Community-based youth court: A youth court that is incorporated as, or administered or operated by a private, nonprofit organization (e.g., youth bureau). • School-based youth court: A youth court that is operated or administered by the school. Some school-based youth courts are contained completely within a school setting and handle only school disciplinary issues. Other schoolbased programs may be administered and operated by the school, but may also accept cases from the juvenile justice system or community. • Adult Judge Model: A youth court in which youth volunteers serve in roles such as prosecuting and defense attorneys, jurors, clerks, and bailiffs. An adult volunteer serves in the role of youth court judge. • Youth Judge Model: A youth court in which youth volunteers serve in roles such as prosecuting and defense attorneys, jurors, clerks, bailiffs, and judge. • Youth Tribunal Model: A youth court in which youth serve as prosecuting and defense attorneys and present the case to a panel of youth volunteer judges (typically three). In a Youth Tribunal Model, the youth judge panel presides over the hearing and makes a sentencing determination. • Peer Jury Model: A youth court in which a panel of youth volunteer jurors directly question the respondent and make the sentencing determination. The list above also indicates that there are three types of potential administrative entities for youth courts (juvenile justice system, community organization, school) and four types of models (adult judge, youth judge, youth tribunal, Fifth World


peer jury), each combination of which would entail different modes of analysis. To render this paper’s analysis as relevant as possible, only the most common combination of these characteristics will be considered. Statistics collected on American youth courts are summarized on the next page (“Youth”): Administrative Entity


Juvenile Justice System




Community Organization




Adult Judge


Peer Jury


Youth Judge


Youth Tribunal


Figure 1. Distributions for administrative entities and models.

Youth courts also have differently defined functions. Ninety-three percent require respondents to admit guilt prior to participation in court, and seven percent allow respondents to plead not guilty in court. Upon successful completion of the program, sixty-three percent of youth courts dismiss initial charges for respondents, while twenty-seven percent expunge the respondent’s record. Additionally, different courts accept different types of respondent offenses and use different sentencing options. The respondent offenses accepted by greater than fifty percent of youth courts, in decreasing order, are theft, vandalism/graffiti, alcohol, disorderly conduct, assault, possession of marijuana, and possession of tobacco (“Youth”). The sentencing options used by greater than youth courts, in decreasing order, are community service, oral/written apologies, essays, educational workshops, jury duty, restitution, and alcohol/ drug assessment (“Youth”). Based on these statistics, this paper will consider a youth court with the following characteristics: • Administered by juvenile justice system • Follows Adult Judge Model • Requires respondents to admit guilt prior to participation in court • Dismisses charges upon a respondent’s successful completion of the program • Only accepts charges of theft, vandalism/graffiti, alcohol, disorderly conduct, assault, possession of marijuana, and tobacco • Only uses sanctions of community service, oral/written apologies, essays, educational workshops, jury duty, restitution, and alcohol/drug assessment

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arlier, Foucault’s notion of the “series of brandings” was introduced as that which distinguishes the delinquent from everyone else (Foucault 1995). The imagery of a branding is particularly apt, since the distinction it draws is one that is physical and/or permanent; it could be the mark of a conviction on a person’s criminal record or the spaces within a courtroom designated for a defendant. Youth courts reduce brandings of both types and more. The dismissal of charges upon successful completion of the program functionally removes the “brand” from a respondent’s criminal record, reducing the permanence of the “delinquency” status in an “official” manner – that is, the manner adopted by systems of employment, education, housing, and more. This undeniably removes a marker of difference from a respondent’s institutional identity, which is most likely the aspect of an individual’s identity that a judicial system can most adequately address anyway. Beyond that “official” cleanse of a delinquent brand, however, youth courts also reduce other iterations of the brand of delinquency. During a respondent’s hearing, they are directed along paths and into spaces that are strictly designated for them, the delinquent. They may not walk in the “well,” or the space between the desks of the attorneys, and they may only speak from the defendant’s box; it’s a sort of spatial branding. And while youth courts don’t do much to address this during a respondent’s hearing, seventy-three percent of programs use jury duty as a sanction for respondents, which literally repositions them within the courtroom and affords them the decision-making power that is often denied to those who are “found” to be criminal – consider most U.S. states’ prohibition of people convicted of felonies serving jury duty (“Do”). While the spatial branding of the defendant’s box and their path to it is certainly significant, youth courts also remedy perhaps the most significant form of spatial branding: incarceration. The offenses accepted by a majority of youth courts include those for which juveniles would otherwise be held in “detention centers,” such as disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana (“Youth,” Lennard). In this way, youth courts clearly prevent the entry of respondents into the carceral archipelago by diverting them from prison systems that permanently mark the delinquent.


n Chapter 6 of the National Youth Court Guidelines, it is recommended that youth courts be “based on restorative justice principles,” which focus on the “harm that was caused, rather than…punishing the respondent for the sake of punishment” (Godwin et al.). This seems to be another effort against the carceral archipelago; targeting the specific effect that a respondent’s act had on the community creates a finite amount of justice to be “restored,” as opposed to the functionally infinite amount of justice to be paid by a respondent in a more penal system. The most popular sentencing options for restoring jus-


tice are community service, oral/written apologies, and essays that typically require respondents to reflect on the effects of their actions on the community, with ninety-nine, ninety-four, and ninety-two percent of youth courts using those options, respectively (“Youth”). These sanctions may initially foster feelings of marginalization and confinement in a respondent – indeed, they have been rendered somewhat “docile and capable” (Foucault) – but those feelings do not function in quite the same way as described in the carceral archipelago. There are two significant differences. First, the environments in which respondents complete their community service sanctions are often filled with volunteers from diverse backgrounds; it is not the “milieu of delinquents” described by Foucault (Foucault) that fosters collaborative delinquency and solidifies the class status of the delinquent. Second, the period of “docility and capability” is truly temporary; once the sanctions are completed, the charges are dismissed, and as described in the previous section, the respondent is cleared of the brandings that would trap them in the position of the delinquent.


n his initial exposition of the carceral archipelago, Liam Martin included among its repressive structures rehabilitative programs such as “homeless shelters, halfway houses, addiction recovery programs, and transitional housing” (Martin). While there is room for critique of these institutions, the pain of real people who are homeless or struggle with substance abuse demands the existence of institutions that actively alleviate it. And upon investigation, not only do these “components” of the carceral archipelago generally accomplish that, but the alternatives would also be both materially and ontologically worse for the “delinquent” populations in question. Without assisted housing programs, the people who would have used those services would be homeless, which would likely result in worse living conditions and an even more pronounced sense of estrangement from those with more power over their housing situations. Similarly, without addiction recovery programs, people with substance addictions would also likely have worse living conditions and a more pronounced sense of estrangement from those without substance addictions. Thus, rehabilitative programs are key components of a justice system that disassembles a carceral archipelago. This understanding of rehabilitative programs can be applied to the rehabilitative programs commonly found in youth court systems. The earlier definition of the considered youth court model only included “educational workshops” and “alcohol/drug assessment” as potential rehabilitative programs for respondents, but thirty-seven percent of youth courts also use tutoring and counseling as sentencing options, and twenty-nine percent use victim awareness classes (“Youth”). Although some of these programs may marginally encourage that delinquent “milieu,” the same logic should be utilized from earlier in this section: these

programs garner a net benefit, and not having them would undoubtedly sustain such a “milieu.”


hen Judge Adrian Cote made his case for the first American youth courts more than seventy years ago, he made a miscalculation (“Jury”). In stating that youth courts might “curb juvenile delinquency” and “cause some potential delinquents to think twice,” he endorsed a concept of static, permanent delinquency into which a child might fall into and from which they might never return. It is this concept of delinquency that youth courts would subsequently overturn through charge dismissal, sentencing options, diversion from incarceration, principles of restorative justice, and rehabilitative programs. Most importantly, youth courts provide a vision of a criminal justice system that perhaps focuses less on justice for “criminals” and more on the restoration of justice itself. The current juvenile and adult justice systems would do well to learn from the mechanisms that enable respondents in the youth court systems to topple the archipelago that has incarcerated far too many before them and that continues to extend its reach and power.

“About and Mission and Vision.” Global Youth Justice, Inc., 2017, http://www.globalyouthjustice. org/About_Us.html. Butts, Jeffrey A. et al. “The Impact of Teen Court on Young Offenders.” Urban Institute Justice Policy Center, Apr. 2002. “Do Felons Get Jury Duty?” Jobs For Felons Hub, n.d., Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Godwin, Tracy M. et al. National Youth Court Guidelines. National Youth Court Center, 2000, http:// “History of the Youth Justice Expansion.” Global Youth Justice, Inc., 2017, “Jury of One’s Peers.” The Evening Journal, 8 Aug. 1944, evening_journal_-_one_s_peers.pdf. “Juvenile Justice History.” Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, n.d., Lennard, Natasha. “The Battle Against Prisons for Kids.” The Nation, 11 Apr. 2016, https://www. Martin, Liam. “Reentry within the carceral: Foucault, race and prisoner reentry.” Critical Criminology, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 493-508, Nov. 2013. Poch, Thomas. “Alternative Sentencing Programs for Teenagers.” The Clearing House, Vol. 74, No. 2, Nov. – Dec. 2000, pp. 60-61, Tiethof, Mitchell. “The Productive Power of Delinquency.” Michigan Sociological Review, Vol. 30, pp. 109-133, Fall 2016, “Youth Justice Statistics (USA Only).” Global Youth Justice, Inc, 2017,

Fifth World


Social Violence and the Sexualization of Women in Horror Film Paris Geolas


e weren’t supposed to hear about it when we were little; it was a foreign, forbidden topic which we were told we’d understand when we were “older.” This of course brought curiosity, and even as children it was nearly impossible to evade what we were not allowed to know. The topic was not heard, but certainly seen, in commercials, magazines, billboards, movie posters, book covers, and many other colorful media outlets just exciting enough to attract a child’s eyes. As we grew older, some of us were allowed to discuss the once banned topic; some were allowed to participate without fear or shame. Women, however, were kept in the dark, not least in the dark of male ignorance and fear of their pleasures. Sex, including sexual knowledge, remains a controversial topic. Women may be the subject of most sexually- based advertising, but the idea of women understanding their sexuality, enjoying sexual acts, or even having extensive sexual acts with partners with whom they are not in relationships, is foreign or scandalous to even the most scandalous forms of media. Although some efforts have been made to provide statistics of women who masturbate and engage in pornography to encourage the public affirmation and discussion of female sexuality, the sexual portrayal of women has remained relatively medieval--or “medieval” in a modern gothic sense, the sense of fantasies of captured and otherwise subordinated and violated women. In the modern film industry, male dominance, female subservience, graphic female sexualization and intense visual violence against women have reigned since the 1930’s. While I wish to focus my argument on film, I do think it important to observe that the connection of sexual desire to female pain can be even further traced back. Perhaps the most prominent influence in American society is roughly 2700 years old. The Bible has been paraphrased, explicitly quoted, interpreted, and pictorially explained in children’s books. The Biblical explanation of the beginning of humanity in Genesis gives two characters, Adam and Eve. Inveigled by a serpent who promised that the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge would make her and Adam “As gods, knowing good and evil.” Eve took this fruit, and shared it with Adam; after which, their “eyes were opened” and they realized their nudity. When God descended, or so we are told, he said to Eve, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

rule over thee.” And thus, according to the will of God, women were sentenced to serve men for the rest of eternity subordinating their desires to his and to suffer in childbirth. Their sexual bodies were believed to be the means by which sin, and the knowledge of sin, was brought into the world. Although women have since Eden slowly begun to climb up the societal hierarchy, they remain associated with sin, “sorrow” or pain, and with dangerous knowledge of sexuality. While feminist movements have gained women’s suffrage and the female right to education, the wage gap and other underlying sociopolitical discriminatory factors reveal that women are not fully considered equal to the male sex. Social and political discrimination is oftentimes justified by the fear of women’s sexual freedom. Thus, social limits are articulated to sexual constraints. In the media, these sexual social restrictions are still incredibly prominent. In 2005 Stephanie Meyer published the first of what would become the sixth most popular book series in the United States, Twilight. The series tell of a teenager who fell in love with a vampire, ultimately gives up her human life to join him as a vampire. The cover of Twilight features a pair of hands extended, cupping a bright red apple. The reference to forbidden fruit is fairly obvious; the major female character ultimately succumbs to her desires and takes what she cannot have (an attractive male vampire), sacrificing her [human] life. Although Stephanie Meyer claimed to be a feminist in an interview with “The Guardian” in 2013, she’s received abundant criticism for the subservience of the women in her texts. Meyers may not have had the intent to write a male-dominated anti-feminist work, but in the opinion of several critics, that’s what she produced. It is all that she has been taught, that females in film are very rarely empowered without the incentive of male romantic love. The “apple” has appeared as a very popular metaphor for “forbidden paradise” in recent years, not only in Twilight1, but in Snow White, and the Apple technology company. The idea that taking what is forbidden, the apple, has been translated into what is “sexy,” or transgressive. Therefore much of society has historically defined what is “sexy” or what is 1  “Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) (9780316015844): Stephenie Meyer: Books.” Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) (9780316015844): Stephenie Meyer: Books,


desirable as that which we cannot obtain. Humans are inherently driven by desire, the desire for success, the desire for love, the desire to lead a meaningful life, and yet often this is not how we perceive our desires. Eve was the thief of the forbidden fruit, thereby condemning all humans to sin. Note again the gender of Eve: while all humans would sin, it would ultimately be women who would be punished for succumbing to their desires, their sexuality associated with suffering and their knowledge with sin. If those who take what they cannot have, or those who act on their desires, must be punished, then all desire is innately linked to shame and fear, and shame and fear to women. As modern society has grown away from the need to adhere strictly to religious standards, sex has become more publicly acceptable. Advertisements display as much nudity as they are legally permitted. Clothing has become tighter and more revealing. Sex is used as a marketing strategy. However, the societal expectation for females to adhere to standards of purity and innocence has been maintained. In most cases of rape, especially at universities, charges against males are dropped, if indeed these claims are not completely ignored. Lesbian couples are only publicly celebrated if both parties adhere to typical standards of femininity. Lesbian pornography more often caters to male desires, featuring heterosexual women falling to the sexual temptation of another woman’s body. School dress code policies center focus on the restrictions of female attire; cleavage, short skirts, spaghetti straps are often banned. The major argument defending these choices is that it prevents distraction. Considering the female body a distraction is in essence a confirmation that females are not considered equal to males. Since the 1970s, a more explicit example of gender and sexual inequality has become increasingly prominent in the media: the violent representation of women in in horror films. Such films offer the closest example of fear and sex being promiscuously mixed. Horror films first appeared in the 1930’s, with films such as Frankenstein and Dracula, and intensified into terror in the late 60’s. From the early seventies and mid eighties came the development of sub-genres within Horror film, such as slasher, thriller, and even “horror-porn”. Directors Wes Craven and Stephen King quickly became very popular for their techniques of using “jumpscares”, intense psychological terror, and graphic violence. These became known as slasher films, including Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and Prom Night. The wild popularity of such films has been credited to many things, most prominently the shock and simultaneous interest at the level of horror. The appearance of an “initial” and “final” girls could often be traced back to such films. The idea of a final girl was first described by Carol Clover in Men, Women, and Chainsaws.2 Clover stated that the 2  Clover, Carol J. Men, women and chainsaws: gender in the modern horror film. Princeton University, 1997.

majority of the popular slasher films had a female character who could be defined by a few key attributes. 1. She would have to display an innocent demeanor. She would not participate in the illicit activities of her peers, or rule breaking of any kind. 2. She would have to be attractive, but more withdrawn or reserved than that of her female friends. Her clothing may be more modest. 3. She would have a higher level of intellect, which would cause her to survive the killer’s attacks, in contrast to her female friends who were perceived as having a lesser intellectual and moral standard. 4. She would survive to the end of the film. The other, less obvious characteristic would be the significant physical and/or emotional scarring which she would undergo in surviving to the screen credits. The “Final Girl” is just that, the finalist, the “winner” in some aspects. Yet what did she win? Survival, yes, but she would have undergone such tremendous torment that she has most certainly lost the innocence with which she began the film. Her internal character development is surmised as a symbolic loss of virginity, not physical, but “mental”. The trauma she’d be required to face would turn her into a different person, someone who had known death, violence, and a complete loss of humanity first hand. It is important to note here that this sort of mental coming of age was synonymous with only pain, fear, and regret. There would never any pleasure for a woman who chose to survive in such a world. Accompanying the “final girl” in a film is often what can be described as an “initial girl”, or “scream queen”. This female’s mannerisms would be opposite in almost all ways from the “final girl”. Where the latter would be morally driven, modest, and innocent, the former would most likely be or give the appearance of being sexually active. She may participate in illicit activities involving drug use or infringement of law. Her appearance would be brief and she would be of less intelligence than other characters, more provocatively dressed. She too, would have a few key characteristics. 1. She would not survive to the end of the film, if she even survived past the first twenty-five minutes. 2. She displayed subpar levels of intellect which ultimately caused her to become a victim to the killer. The “dumb blonde” stereotype was commonly given to an “initial girl”. 3. She would have to display traditionally attractive feminine looks. This includes long hair, well groomed, provocative clothing, and a flirtatious or overtly sexual demeanor. 4. She would be murdered in a graphic act of violence. The key difference between the “initial” and “final” girls, other than violent death, is the sexual nature which one displays and the other does not. Do not underestimate the importance of the sexually active female being subject to

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death. This is yet more proof of males punishing females for being sexual beings. Note that while horror films do contain plenty of male deaths, they are very rarely linked to sexual activity, and are even more rarely as pictorially graphic in terms of violence. Sexual violence against males in horror films is close to unheard of. The other major female appearance in horror media has been in the case of a female villain. At the surface, this seems to be the only case in which females are permitted to deal punishment rather than be dealt it, but in the large majority of such cases, this is the result of female punishment yet again. In Carrie, a movie first produced in 1976 based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, a young girl with a devout Catholic mother is subject to cruelty and bullying both in school and at home. As the plot develops, Carrie realizes she is capable of special powers, such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis, electromagnetism, and telepathy. She ultimately decides to use her powers in order to punish those who caused her pain, killing her mother and several of her peers from school after being humiliated on her prom night. It is revealed towards the close of the movie that Carrie is the product of rape by the devil, which is assumed to be the cause of her powers. She was punished for a forced act of sexual intercourse against her mother, which ultimately killed them both.3 Slightly more modern, Jennifer’s Body, produced in 2009, tells of a teen named Jennifer who was a virginal sacrifice to the gods and became instead possessed by a demon.4 This caused her to consume or murder any human male she came across. It later became known that she was possessed because she was not a virgin when she was sacrificed to the Gods. These films offer of the many examples of explicit punishment and violence upon female characters who have been sexually active, regardless of their consent. In Annabelle5, a horror film featuring a doll which has been possessed by a demon, Annabelle kills the mother in every household into which she is placed because she was neglected as a child by her own maternal figure. Similarly in Mama2, produced in 2013, two young girls taken into foster care are haunted by a demon who cared for them when they were abandoned in the woods for several years. The demon is revealed to be the spirit of a young mother whose child was taken from her after being determined psychologically unfit to care for a child. She kidnapped her baby, and trapped

3  // “Women In Horror Films.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 26 Aug. 2010, horror-films-actresses-hollywood-forbes-woman-time-female-audiences. html.

at the edge of a cliff, sent them both spiraling to their deaths. The Woman in Black2, produced in 2012, also tells of a spirit who kills children, haunted by the death of her own child. In the majority of cases of popular horror films with female villains, the women are forever punished by being trapped on earth after death or given powers and desires they cannot control because they failed to adhere to traditional gender roles. In Mama, The Woman in Black, and Annabelle, there’s a strong emphasis upon the punishment of characters who were unsuccessful mothers. By inadvertently causing the death of their own child, they are sentenced to “carry that pain” for the rest of eternity. Notice that this is not the case of paternal figures in horror films, only the maternal figures. The birth of a female villain is the punishment for succumbing to earthly desires such as sex, even in the case of rape. These films are strong evidence of the punishment directed towards women who display an active sexuality. What allows these recognizable crimes against women in the film industry, why and how are such violent aggressions against female sexuality (and women) continually produced? How is it possible that after nearly half a century, horror film has failed to evolve away from its primitive implications involving female sexuality when society appears to have progressed past that? If naked woman can still be stripped and broadcasted on television, or pasted across billboards in order to boost sales, society is still subconsciously teaching the next generation that sexualization and degradation of women are one in the same. When a child is permitted to see such images, when such images are promoted around them, they are grow up looking through a lense of premeditated sexism and social violence against women. I conducted a survey of 34 individuals at my own high school. The demographics surveyed included 11 males, 21 females, and 2 non-binary students, ages 15-18. The students were not monitored during the procedure. They were asked to complete a six question survey after being shown a film poster of each of the following 9 films: Jaws, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, The Shining, The Burning, Slumber Party Massacre, and House of Wax. Each poster contained a female character, with some implied sexual content. Of these films, several were chosen from the list of highest grossing horror films6. The others were selected based on the time period, and some were picked due to their presentation alone, with no regard to popularity7. The questions in the survey were as follows:

4  “Jennifer’s Body (2009).” IMDb,, tt1131734/.

6  Movies, IGN. “Top 25 Horror Movies of All Time.” IGN, IGN, 22 Aug. 2016,

5  Reilly, Kaitlin, et al. “Prepare To Be Scared: These Are The Most Terrifying Female Horror Movie Villains Of All Time.” Horror Movies Female Villains Scariest Women, Refinery 29, 2 Feb. 2017, www.refinery29. com/2017/02/134214/horror-movie-scary-female-villains.

7  Bramesco, Charles, et al. “Banned and Brutal: 14 Beyond-Controversial Horror Movies.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 28 Oct. 2016,

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1. Do you recognize this image? 2. If so, where have you seen this image prior to now? 3. How would you describe the emotional state of the female presented? 4. How would you describe the current physical state of the female present? 5. In a few words, describe the target audience of this image? 6. Based on the current image, without using prior knowledge of this film, how would you rate this movie? 7. Does this picture contain sexual references? 8. IF THERE IS A WOMAN IN THIS IMAGE-Do you think that she has been sexualized? 9. IF THERE IS A WOMAN IN THIS IMAGE-Do you feel that she has been put in a promiscuous state? 10. IF THERE IS A WOMAN IN THIS IMAGE-What state would you say she is in? Options: In control, Neutral, Not in Control This survey featured nine posters overall, varying in explicit sexualization, popularity, and time period, but in almost all categories at least two films featured high rates of recognized female sexualization, or high rated of survey responders who felt that the female character presented was not in control. Subordination and sexualization through violence were the key elements in this survey, being proven by almost all responders in nearly every image. There were a few prominent trends in the data. In all of the posters chosen, the female characters tended to display typically ideally “feminine” characteristics for their time period, having long hair, being thin yet voluptuous, generally physically attractive, and demonstrating intense states of fear. The posters that didn’t explicitly feature females in stereotypically sexual positions often had them in extreme states of fear or subordinance, typically correlating with very high rates of survey responders who claimed that these characters were not in control of their predicament. The “control”, or lack thereof, which is referenced, more often speaks to the fact that the villain (whether implied or present in the poster) has control over the female pictured. In general, films that had high rates of recognized sexualization had higher rates of survey responders who described the intended target audience as explicitly male. There are four close analyzations regarding the film plots themselves of Jaws, Psycho, Scream, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My close analysis provides further evidence of the sexualization of women as produced by female subordination through graphic violence and punishment in horror film. As these four films are on the highest grossing list of all horror films, and are widely recognized as some of the most influential films of all time, it’s incredibly significant that every one of them reveals that the sexualization of women is created through violent subordination. These provide strong evidence that horror films promote sexual violence and con-

tribute towards the reinforcement of gender inequality in society through the degradation of women in a sexual context.

Movie: Jaws Theoretically sexualized content: • Female nudity • Female subordination Percent recognition: 100% Described target audience as male: 38% Recognized sexual references: 55.9% Described female as sexualized: 76.5% Recognized female in promiscuous position: 61.8% Felt female had effective control: 0% Felt female did not have effective control: 88.2% Felt female stood neutral in term of control: 11.8% Interpretation: Jaws had the highest recognition rate in the entire study. This helps confirm its lasting cultural influence and media presence in the United States. Of the students surveyed, almost three quarters described the female pictured as sexualized. In the origin of the introductory question, many participants replied that they felt as though Fifth World


they’d “always known it”, implying the image was first introduced to them in childhood, perhaps in a household or website. The data supports the conclusion that the image of a nude woman in immediate peril is almost normal to the average American child. Close analyzation of film: Jaws Produced: 1975 Box Office Adjusted for Inflation: $1,138,620,7008 The most prominent female character is Chrissie Watkins, the shark’s first victim. The movie opens on the scene of what looks to be a teenage party at the beach. A kegstand is present, indicating the presence of alcohol. Chrissie and another teen, both presumed to be drinking, run towards the ocean together, presumably to engage in sexual activity. Chrissie manages to remove all of her clothing, and dives in, while her male counterpart passes out, inebriated, on the beach. In the water, Chrissie stretches out, assuming that her male friend will be joining her soon. As she is waiting, she is spotted by the shark, who pulls her under violently. She is then murdered and consumed by the shark. This is a classic example of an “Initial girl” because the female character is murdered graphically, the female character is made to be nude before the murder occurs, the female character has intent to participate in illicit sexual behavior, and the male counterpart participates in same behavior, but lives. Movie: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Re-make Theoretically sexualized content: • lingerie • exposed skin Percent Recognition: 14.7% Described target audience as male: 41% Recognized sexual references: 64.7% Described female as sexualized: 79.3% Recognized female in promiscuous position: 75% Felt female had effective control: 50% Felt female did not have effective control: 21.4% Felt female stood neutral in term of control: 28.6% Interpretation: Texas Chainsaw Massacre was banned from the United States for several years after production, yet is close to a household term in the range of slasher/ horror films. The twist in this image was the male being dressed in apparel made for women, typically in an intimate context. Despite this, close to eighty percent of the sample

8  “Horror - Supernatural.” Box Office Mojo, genres/chart/?id=supernaturalhorror.htm.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

claimed that the woman had been sexualized, giving way to believe that much of sexualixation has to do with clothing regardless of gender. Other than the posters featuring female villains, this poster had the highest rate of responders who believed the “female” demonstrated control over her situation, although of course a female is not being pictured, of course evidenced by the muscle mass and mask featured in the picture.9 Close analyzation of film: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Produced: 1974 Box Office Adjusted for Inflation: $146,704,00010 A. Two major female characters: Sally Hardesty and Pam B. Pam: Has a boyfriend, Kirk. In the first half of the film, Kirk and Pam diverge from the rest of their travelling 9  “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2017, Massacre:_The_Next_Generation. 10  Lynch, John. “The 20 top-Earning horror movies of all time.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Sept. 2017,


companions in order to go to a swimming hole, presumably to participate in activities of a sexual nature. They come upon the swimming hole dried up, but see a house nearby. Kirk enters in order to ask for gasoline, and is murdered by “Leatherface”, the movie’s antagonist, with a hammer. Shortly after, Pam follows, and Leatherface slams her body onto a hanging meat hook, and forces her to watch as he butchers Kirk. Later, still alive, she is forced into the freezer to be preserved for later consumption. This film has evidence of an “Initial girl” by having a female character murdered graphically, presumed participant of sexual activity, and murdered within the first half of the film. C. Sally- “Final Girl”- Sally is travelling with her paraplegic brother. After the murders of Pam and Kirk, she and her brother search for them, and she witnesses Leatherface use a chainsaw to maul her brother. Afterwards, she narrowly escapes, and seeks the help of a man on the road, who binds and gags her. She is then taken to Leatherface’s lair, and is forced to watch as they consume a human body for dinner. She is almost murdered once again, but escapes into the road and manages to jump onto the back of a pick-up truck. She lives, but is emotionally scarred for life. Her symbolic “virginity” is taken through her traumatic experience.

Movie: Scream Theoretically sexualized content: • female eye dilation Percent Recognition: 52.9% Described target audience as male: 20.6% Recognized sexual references: 8.8% Described female as sexualized: 26.5% Recognized female in promiscuous position: 17.6%
Felt female had effective control: 0% Felt female did not have effective control: 85.3% Felt female stood neutral in term of control: 14.7% Interpretation: Scream, though a very popular name, is not typically known under this poster. It was chosen due to the presence of a female character in a film so well-known. This poster contains only facial features of the female, which all scream “fear”. While concrete female subordination is not evident in this sample, it was clear that some sort of control being exerted over the female, as a quarter of the responders did think that the female had been sexualized. An important parallel in this case is the appearance of widely dilated eyes, a typically hyper-sexualized feature of a woman’s body. It’s also a very typical sign of fear; biologically, human pupils dilate most frequently in response to desire and fear.11 Close analyzation of film: Scream Produced: 1996 Box Office Adjusted for Inflation: $197,030,89412 A. Two major female characters: Sidney Prescott and Casey Becker B. Casey Becker: The film opens on Casey getting a call from an unknown number. The man behind the phone flirts with her, asking about her favorite films. She flirts back, until the call turns malicious, and the man behind the phone tells her that he has her boyfriend hostage. He then murders both Casey and her boyfriend. Casey fits the characteristics of an “Initial girl” because she’s flirtatious, she’s murdered in the first half of the film, and she possesses a male romantic partner. C. Sidney Prescott “Final Girl”: Sidney is first attacked in the first half of the film at home while on the phone with an unknown caller (the killer). She manages to escape, and suspects her boyfriend, Billy. The next day, Billy is released from jail, and the blame is shifted to Sidney’s father. That night, many of the teens including Billy and Sidney attend

11  “Scream (1996).” IMDb,, 12  “Scream (1996) - Financial Information.” The Numbers, www.

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a party. There, Billy and Sidney make their relationship sexual. Shortly after, they are both attacked by the killer. Sidney escapes, and multiple others are killed that night. It is revealed later that Billy was indeed the killer, and had murdered Sidney’s mother years earlier for having an affair with his father, which drove his mother away. Sidney fits the position of an “Initial girl” because she began the film virginal,she was punished for the actions of her mother (notice that Billy’s father wasn’t punished for the affair), and her symbolic and literal virginity taken after being left emotionally scarred by the series of murders.

Felt female did not have effective control: 73.5% Felt female stood neutral in term of control: 23.5% Interpretation: In addition to Psycho breaking enormous ground in the horror movie industry, its poster featured some of the most graphic sexualization of its time. 97.1% of the responders felt that the female pictured was sexualized. Placed in lingerie, partially nude, with the text above (“an entirely different kind of screen excitement”) makes it evident that this film intends to show some sort of violence, while capitalizing on the attention that they know featuring a woman undressed on the cover of a poster will gather.13 Close analyzation of film: Psycho Produced: 1960 Box Office Adjusted for Inflation: $379,306,80014

Movie: Psycho Theoretically sexualized content: • partial nudity • lingerie • word choice (screen excitement) Percent Recognition: 29.4% Described target audience as male: 44.1% Recognized sexual references: 67.6% Described female as sexualized: 97.1% Recognized female in promiscuous position: 79.4% Felt female had effective control: 2.9% North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

A. Two major characters: Marion and Lila Bates B. Marion Bates is the main character in the first half of the film. She wants to marry her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, but due to his massive debts, they cannot be married. However, at work, she is told to deliver a check for $40,000, and she takes this as a sign and decides to steal the money and run away with Sam. As she takes off on the road to see Sam, she is followed by a police officer, prompting her to stay at the Bates Hotel. Here, she meets Norman Bates, who confides in her about his mother’s mental issues, and his inability to leave the hotel for that reason. She is sympathetic, but uncomfortable. Later, in the shower, she is graphically murdered with a knife by someone dressed as a female. Marion is an example of an “Initial girl” because she is murdered graphically in the first half of the film, she stole money which characterizes her as unethical, and she has a romantic male partner. C. Lila Bates is the sister of Marion, and is curious after her disappearance. She reaches out to Sam, who also has not heard from Marion. They are contacted by a private investigator, who traced Marion back to the Bates Motel in order to find the embezzled money. They don’t follow his claims, and shortly after he is murdered in the Bates Hotel. With a lack of leads, they finally visit the Bates Hotel in order to find the investigator. There, they meet Norman Bates. Sam distracts him while Lila sneaks into the house, attempting to find Mrs. Bates. She only finds a mummified corpse, and is attacked by Norman, but rescued by Sam. Lila is characterized as a “Final girl” because she has no serious boyfriend

13  “Indianapolis Branding Agency.” MilesHerndon, blog/psycho-movie-poster-redesign. 14  Lynch, John. “The 20 top-Earning horror movies of all time.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Sept. 2017,


mentioned, she’s intelligent enough to track down the killer and survive, yet she still has to be rescued by a man. A few more things should be taken into account when viewing the survey results. The survey only included 34 individuals, ages 15-18; therefore, it is an incomplete picture of the opinions of the general population. The participants were not monitored during the procedure, so it is possible that one or more discussed the survey with other participants, though this would not have highly affected survey data. The participants who gave responses were volunteers; therefore, not every demographic was covered equally. Race and sexual orientation were not asked, nor were they factored into the results. Although the subjects were asked to identify their gender, responses were not factored into the results. Some questions that were asked in the survey were not used to help interpret the responses. Abundant evidence makes it clear that there are real gender disparities in horror as a genre. As previously discussed, this should not come as a surprise, since fear, sex, and female subordination have been linked far before movies even existed. The problem therein lies with how humanity is expected to achieve gender equality when there are still such prominent cultural influences which promote the systematic subordination of women through sexual terror. When the next generation is taught that stripping a woman and putting her in a position of danger is something that can be plastered outside of a movie theatre and represented under it, we are not making the significant cultural progress that we have begun to make politically. The idea that society has progressed is not false; however, the idea that gender equality exists without limits throughout the United States is inherently false. In order to be without these constraints, it is necessary to dissipate the subconscious ideas and the overt suggestions that the sexualization of women is simultaneous with violence. In kindergarten, when I played games with everyone else, and I stayed silent when I noticed that boys always wanted to be “It” in tag. I stayed silent when boys were always chosen as team captains. I looked away when I saw pictures of nearly nude women on magazine covers at the grocery stores because that’s what I was told to do. And in middle school, I pretended to be grossed out by the sex-ed talk just like every other girl. That’s what I was supposed to do. This wasn’t the case for boys, and I saw it. So did the other girls, but collectively, we stayed silent, just as generations of women have before us: silent through films that systematically subordinated and demeaned them, silent through political decisions that discounted them as citizens, silent as their bodies and their rights were stripped just as they were stripped and broadcasted on every channel. This silence wasn’t a decision as much as an order: look at the women who do speak, who do what they want: they’re killed, tortured, or worse. There were brave women,

and there are brave women, who secured a right to vote, who are running for office, who are speaking out against the wage gap. That is not enough. In order for women to be perceived as equal, to fully exist as equals, a culture must be re-written. The human race as a whole must not only see the gender disparity in the government and the media, but must choose to refuse it. This can no longer be a world with half a population living in silence; we must do more than sit by, we must educate the next generation, we must teach them not to be afraid. Perhaps it is impossible to erase our history in horror film, but we must teach our daughters not to have fear in the face of these films.

Clover, Carol J. Men, Women and Chainsaws: gender in the modern horror film. Princeton, NJ: Princeton U, 1997. Print. Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. Wilson, Karina. “Horror Films: Why We Like To Watch.” Horror Film History — Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017. “Thriller and Suspense Films.” An award-winning, unique resource of film reference material for film buffs and others, with reviews of classic American-Hollywood films, Academy Awards history, film posters. American Movie Classics Company LLC, n.d. Web. 01 May 2017. Welsh, Andrew. Sex and Violence in the Slasher Horror Film: A Content Analysis of Gender Differences in the Depiction of Violence. Albany: Albany University, 2009. PDF. Hogan, Madison . “COLUMN: Stop using rape as a trope in horror films.” Indiana Daily Student. SNworks, 10 June 15. Web. 01 May 2017. Lind, Amy, and Stephanie Brzuzy. Battleground women, gender, and sexuality. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. Print. Severin Films. Severin Films, 21 June 2011. Web. 01 May 2017. “Horror - Supernatural.” Box Office Mojo. Mojo, n.d. Web. 25 May 2017. Updated October 30, 2016 2:25 PM. “25 highest-grossing horror flicks.” Newsday. Newsday, 30 Oct. 2016. Web. 25 May 2017. “All-Time Top Box-Office Films By Decade and Year.” An award-winning, unique resource of film reference material for film buffs and others, with reviews of classic American-Hollywood films, Academy Awards history, film posters. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2017. “Modern Thriller and Suspense Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money.” Newsmax. N.p., 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 May 2017. “Top-US-Grossing Thriller Titles.” IMDb., n.d. Web. 25 May 2017. Lynch, John. “The 20 top-Earning horror movies of all time.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Sept. 2017, “Scream (1996) - Financial Information.” The Numbers, Scream#tab=summary. “Horror - Supernatural.” Box Office Mojo,

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Discomfort with Using Anatomical Terms for Female Genitalia and impacts within International Women’s health and North Carolina’s Sexual Environment as a Political Statement Emily Mawyer & Vaishnavi Siripurapu


n today’s society, many people are reluctant to discuss the female reproductive system. People hesitate before whispering vague euphemisms for the female genitalia. Anatomical terms for the female reproductive system are a source of discomfort for men and women alike. Slang terms for the female genitalia exist, but these too often have negative connotations, as they are primarily used by men in a negative context. Other euphemisms are vague and often cannot be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the term. Discomfort with specific body parts is something that must be learned. “As a result of their society’s simultaneous discomfort and fascination with sex,” parents and institutions are “reluctant and awkward using anatomical language for sexual body parts (Chilcott, 2012).” This dangerous stigma that exists around the female reproductive system stems from a history of exoticization and sexualization of the female body created a male-dominated society and negative attitudes toward sex. Although the female reproductive system is considered to be a taboo topic, knowledge of it is essential to the understanding of the human body. When women are not able to put their experiences into words, or when the words are wrong, they are prevented from fully integrating their bodies into a healthier idea of themselves. However, attitudes about anatomical education have changed very little over the years, and many cultures discourage speaking openly about one’s reproductive health. It is important to understand that attitudes surrounding reproductive health on an international scale. On a more intimate level, the state of North Carolina will be used in this essay as an environment for a specific case study of how taboos surrounding the female reproductive system can have an impact on the sexual disease transmittance rates, pregnancy rates, and sexual tendencies of teenagers. The historical analysis of this specific state will be expanded to touch on sexual education issues stemming from taboos nationally and globally. Before looking at the impact of the lack of sexual education and reproductive openness at a state, national, and global level, it is important to address the root of the cause:

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

discomfort with using anatomical language for the female genitalia. Specifically, we must first understand from where the discomfort and taboos about the female reproductive system and the language used to refer to reproductive structures and external genitalia stem in a societal context.


hen education from parents, school, and peers is inadequate, confusing, or dissatisfying, the Internet is often the first source to which the general public will turn. As children, struggling sexual partners, and hesitant parents endeavor to find the right word, they too often resort to a quick Google search. Some of the most intriguing results are “What Do You Call Your Vagina? 17 Bustle Readers Weigh In On Their Favorite Names — And Those That Offend Them,” “My Neck, My Gash: Men Don’t Know What to Call Your Vagina. Let’s Help,” “What To Call Child’s Genitals?” and a mother asking “What should I call the vagina?” on a parenting forum (Mumsnet). Introducing the topic of sex to children creates a difficult and potentially awkward situation for many parents, which is heavily influenced by their attitudes towards sex and sexuality. Although most parents are hesitant to bring up the subject, this does not stop a child’s natural sexual development and curiosity. As early as four years of age, children begin to discuss their own “private parts,” as well as others’. The sexual organs are treated differently than other body parts, such as elbows, feet, and thighs. Genitalia is produced as such an intensely regulated zone of the body that people feel that they must use a euphemism or not speak of them at all. Slang terms for sex organs have also been created for the purpose of use as an insult, something that is also uncommon for the feet or legs. With young children, some sex education guides for parents emphasize using “age-appropriate” language that does not always include the correct terms for certain body parts. At this stage, it is important that children be given adequate language to allow them to take ownership of their bodies and be able to effectively communicate their experiences. This is particularly relevant for people born female. One


study found that only 6.1% of females and 17.7% of males learned correct anatomical language for female genitalia (Gartrell & Mosbacher 871). A study on preschooler’s knowledge of genitalia found that only 10% of subjects knew the word vagina. The history of negative attitudes toward sex and female sexuality has caused people, especially biological females, to lack the ability to refer to their genitalia with the correct terminology and take ownership of their bodies. Much of the discomfort with using anatomical language for female genitalia comes from a long history of misogyny and the suppression of female sexuality1. In an article from The Spectator, the author says in reference to a painting of a nude woman, women’s genitals “[are] not on show, not the way men’s bits are. Nature is, if you like, reticent about vaginas” (McDonagh, 2012). Attitudes toward female sexuality have parodied the way nature keeps the vagina withdrawn, and this is reflected in the way society abstains from the use of anatomical terms for female genitalia. “Anatomies are socially constructed,” and they have been constructed to fit a male-centric model of sexuality (Moore, et al. 290). Until the 1970s, the study of anatomy was dominated by men. As a consequence of this, men dictated the way in which female genitalia was presented to the public from a position of power. “In illustrations, vocabulary, and syntax,” anatomy texts written by men “depict male anatomy as the norm or standard against which female structures are compared” (Moore, et al. 261). The clitoris was considered to be a smaller counterpart of the penis, and the engorgement of the labia upon arousal was compared to a male erection. Invidiously compared, insofar as it was smaller or lesser, the difference between how female and male structures is that male genitalia was constructed as being active and dynamic, while the female structures were more passive. Female orgasm was also not discussed in earlier texts, while male orgasm, being essential to reproduction, was discussed extensively. For most of the twentieth century, heterosexual intercourse centered around male pleasure. To perpetuate the idea of women’s sexuality as being only necessary for reproduction, female bodies in anatomy texts were pregnant. Female sexuality was considered dangerous to men and to the women who were at the extremes of either asexual or hypersexual. Men believed that women expressing their sexuality outside of male regulation would threaten the sexual and domestic role constructed for women. As men held the institutional and social power, through acting as doctors and anatomists, to construct the female anatomy, they continued to take agency away from the female, as she was not allowed to know her own body.

1  This requires that vaginas be associated with womanhood, excluding transgender individuals from the conversation. Although this is a troubling erasure, this paper is studying societal attitudes, which reflect a history that has correlated biological sex and gender.

She was not given the words to speak it into being as part of her identity. Women’s anatomy wasn’t fully represented in text until the 1970s, when feminist groups began to be concerned with issues regarding women’s health. Women who sought to take control of their bodies and their health began constructing texts of female anatomy and self-care. A New View of a Woman’s Body by the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers was written to teach women how to navigate their own bodies. In contrast to previous texts, it contained images of real women with various body types. The body parts presented in A New View were diverse, showing that there is no one way the clitoris or labia should look. Individual parts of the clitoris were labelled and it was portrayed as a functional organ, as opposed to the passive interpretations, or complete omissions, in the past. However, feminist texts like A New View of a Woman’s Body focused solely on the female body, further exoticizing it. The concept of the female continued to be “an object of scrutiny in a society tainted by voyeurism and fantasies of control” (Moore, et al. 259). Feminist representations of the clitoris were met with a reaction that erased the clitoris from anatomy texts. Graphic depictions of the genitalia were computer-generated and created a standard form that not all bodies matched. In attempts to maintain traditional gender roles, evolutionary theory taught that the vagina’s role was to fit the penis: “woman was created as a receptacle for male desire” (Moore, et al. 285). Being able to name body parts authorizes people to discuss their own bodily experiences, and understand that these may be shared with others. Then, they can become a part of what the owner considers to be their identity, and they can utilize them for their own purposes, without the influence of outsiders. In a society in which women were kept out of medical practice, science, and legislation, the female body has become exoticized and sexualized. Menstruation is the point at which the female body begins to be sexualized. It is the time when young women begin to be seen as sexually available and to have reproductive potential. In the past, and often still, biological females have been expected to conform to heteronormative gender roles once they reach menstruation. Menstruation itself is surrounded by a history of cultural taboos, many constructing it as a sign of uncleanliness. In a study by Janet Lee (1994), women reported that their periods made them feel “ambivalent about their bodies” (344). The taboo against understanding menstruation served the purpose of distancing women further from their bodies, and further mystifying the female genitalia. Its primary purpose was constructed as reproductive, and that purpose was identified as something unclean. The menstrual taboo further pushed female genitalia out of something considered reasonable and important for everyday conversation. Male control over representation of the female genitalia Fifth World


is evident in the language that exists as well as in the erasure of the female body from everyday discussion. Slang terms for the female genitalia are typically used by men as derogatory terms. These terms add to the negative connotations surrounding the female reproductive system, as well as what it means to be female. Two of the more commonly used slang terms are “pussy” and “cunt.” “Pussy” is used as an insult, typically by males and directed at other males, to indicate weakness. When it is also used as a term for the female genitalia, it associates the female reproductive system with weakness, a societal belief that exists partially due to menstruation. Although males are comfortable with using these terms in a sexual context, women are not (Cornog 393). The male-centric theory of sexuality extends to the present. In today’s society, women are held to different standards than men regarding sexual behavior. “Boys had to ‘sow their wild oats,’ but girls were warned that a future husband ‘won’t buy the cow if he can get the milk for free” (Crawford & Unger 288). Men receive less backlash from peers for participating in “casual sex” (sexual relations outside of a relationship), while women are expected to instill a “higher influence into sexual relations (Blackwell 81). Oliver and Sedikides (1992) performed a study on desired level of sexual permissiveness in blind dates and in a spouse. Male students rated permissive females as more attractive, but less desirable for a spouse. This represents a belief that women who are sexually permissive threaten the typical heterosexual marriage. However, the double standard is also perpetuated by women. Thompson (1995) interviewed a group of all female participants. They were asked to describe what constituted “good” sexual behavior for a female of their age. This is what they used to define themselves and their peers as “good” girls or as “sluts.” Even though men are allowed more freedom in their sexual endeavors, Western culture has maintained a negative attitude toward sex that has only recently begun to change. Caregivers of children are often uncomfortable with using anatomical language for sexual body parts because of “society’s simultaneous discomfort and fascination with sex” (Burrows 298). Many adults use words other than the correct anatomical terms for their genitalia for various reasons. In a study to determine if pet names were used because they had deep-seated fear related to sex or if they were used in an erotic manner, only 8 percent of participants fell into the euphemism category. These were the ones that were uncomfortable using the correct terminology. A subject interviewed for the study said that, in her youth, “it was awfully hard to talk about sex directly” (397). Seventeen percent personified their sexual organs as a way to separate their sexual desires from themselves. One woman was uncomfortable with her sexual desires because they did not fit with her morals. A former marriage counselor advised clients who were having trouble with intimacy within the relationship to make up words to refer to body parts and sex acts as a way to increase intimacy and increase comfort North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

with sexual acts (Cornog 397). This suggests that they are not uncomfortable with the body parts and the actions, but with the words. It is human nature to know and to be comfortable with sexual actions, but in our society the human mind, having been ingrained with the immorality of sexual activity, trips over the language that it has been given to speak of its embodiment. Historically, western society has constructed an idea of sexual morality that has been influenced by religion and the importance of a stable family structure. Although this construction has changed throughout time, many people and institutions remain influenced by traditional values, even as the nature of the “tradition” changes. In a text from the end of the nineteenth century, Counsel to Parents on the Moral Education of their Children in Relation to Sex, by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the author used religion as a way to also preserve restrictions on women’s sexuality. Blackwell claims that in countries where the religion permits women to be more promiscuous, men view their women as servants and fear that they will not be able to control their own impulses. “This influence is due, [in part], to the customs, religion, and circumstances ” (Blackwell 20). Blackwell is encouraging parents to teach their children to uphold traditional values in their sexual behavior, because it is necessary for maintaining women’s standing in society, perpetuating the idea that men are not responsible for their sexual actions that may be detrimental to their roles in their family and their everyday lives. In the industrializing West, keeping sexual interactions within the confines of marriage is important to the nuclear family structure, which allows for a more productive society. The family structure that came about in the eighteenth century, “made it possible for the main elements of the deployment of sexuality… to develop along its two primary dimensions: the husband-wife axis and the parents-children axis” (Foucault 108). The family is responsible for teaching sexuality in a way that enforces these roles, so that society as a whole will maintain typical gender roles which aid the creation and maintenance of middle-class life. The power dynamics enforced in the two-parent heterosexual family model “[anchors] sexuality and [provides] it with support” (Foucault 108). The practice of encouraging young people to abstain from premarital sex has continued to the present through the support of the U.S. government. Abstinence only until marriage (AOUM) was adopted as the leading form of sex education by the U.S. government in the 1990s as part of the welfare reform (Hall 2). As Congress believed outof-wedlock births to be a contributor to the failures of the welfare system, promoting two-parent families became a goal of the new legislation. In 1980, the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) was created and led to the funding of abstinence-only education programs. Although originally meant to diminish the number of out-of-wedlock births, AFLA prohibits funded programs from advocating contraceptive


use or discussing types of contraceptives other than to discuss their failure rates (Santelli, et al. 73). In 1996, Title V was created through the welfare reform to provide federal funding for states that promise to provide abstinence-only education (“Sex Education Resource Center”). Although there is substantial evidence that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective in preventing teenage pregnancy and encouraging safe sexual behavior, the government has continued to fund AOUM, even increasing funding in 2016. Only thirteen states require that the information given to students during sex education be medically accurate. Only two require that it not promote religion. Since 1995, adolescents’ receipt of sex education has been declining. However, the trend of an increase in receipt of abstinence information and a decrease in birth control information has also continued. Polls show that attitudes toward abstinence-only sex education are changing amongst the general public, as most parents want abstinence to be emphasized in sex education, but also support the discussion of contraceptives (Santelli, et al. 75). Nevertheless, the government continues to fund abstinence-only programs. The failures of institutions, parents, and peers to familiarize biological females with their bodies has been of great consequence to biological females’ physical and mental health. In a world where we constitute ourselves through bodily experiences, such as intimate interactions, the social construction of anatomy through text, images, and spoken word is crucial to the understanding of one’s own identity. “Teaching proper names for all body parts helps children develop a healthy, more positive body image” (Kenny, et al., 2008). It has also put women’s physical health at risk at an international scale.


he significance of the taboo around reproductive information, specifically regarding women, is even greater in other parts of the world. In order to understand the magnitude of this deafening silence surrounding reproductive language on women’s health, we must attend to reproductive impacts on an international scale before focusing on a specific environment. Although the reproductive system is a crucial aspect of the human body, certain cultural attitudes about the reproductive system, especially the female reproductive system, have changed very little. A study done by UNICEF in 2013 revealed that 10 percent of girls in India and 43 percent in Iran believe that menstruation is a disease (WaterAid 2013, Menstrual Hygiene Matters). In fact, the same study also revealed that 1 out of 3 girls in South Asia knew nothing about menstruation before getting their periods (WaterAid 2013, Menstrual Hygiene Matters). This most likely comes from misconceptions about the menstrual cycle, and lack of education about the female reproductive system. For this reason, education about the female reproductive system is important to people around the world. Another study by

the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council found that 73% of the women surveyed referred to menstrual blood as “dirty blood” (“Celebrating Womanhood: Menstrual Hygiene Management.”). This shows that not only do girls have misconceptions about menstruation, it can negatively impact the way that they see themselves. Oftentimes, people do not have access to puberty education within their schools, if they are lucky enough to go to school. The 2010 report Strengthening Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools states that schools do not typically cover the topics of puberty and menstruation in a girl-friendly way (United Nations. “Puberty Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management; Good Policy and Practice in HIV & AIDS and Education.”). By not providing adequate puberty and reproductive education, schools do not help girls understand their own bodies, further pushing the stigma and silence surrounding menstruation and the female reproductive system. In conclusion, the reproductive system is still very strongly stigmatized - especially in developing countries - and this is hurting girls in many ways.


he failures of institutions, parents, and peers to familiarize biological females with their bodies through language has been of great consequence to women’s physical and mental health. In a world where we constitute ourselves through bodily experiences, not knowing names the correct names of genitalia can also leave children more vulnerable to sexual abuse. Elliot, et al. (1995) interviewed ninety-one child sex offenders about their methods of targeting a child. They found that some sexual offenders will avoid a child if they are able to name certain body parts, as this means that they will be more aware of what has happened, know to tell an adult, and will be able to effectively communicate the incident (Elliot, et al., 1995). One of the methods through which they groom a child for abuse is by talking to them about sex and by desensitizing them to touch. If a child is already educated about sex and what certain advances mean, they will be aware of what is happening and will be less compliant, which is discouraging to an abuser. 82 percent of all juvenile victims of sexual abuse are female (RAINN “Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics”), making parents’ and teachers’ reluctance to use the word vagina a much more severe issue. A lack of knowledge of the correct names for genitalia can also be detrimental to child sexual abuse investigations. Children are often incapable of using words that the court deems acceptable. Children typically use euphemisms that can compromise an investigation. In a study on children being asked to give details about their experiences with sexual abuse, only 31.1 percent mentioned sexual body parts (Burrows, et al., 2017). Of those that did mention sexual body parts without prompting, 48.4 percent gave unclear colloquial terms, such as “private parts.” Only 27.3 percent used anatomical terms. The use of anatomical terms increased with the age of the child being interviewed. Only 12.5 perFifth World


cent of 4-7 and 8-10 year olds used anatomical terms. A frequent concern during witness interviews is assuring that the interviews are “age appropriate” in the terminology that is used and the topics that are discussed. This is representative of a cultural belief that anatomical language is directly correlated with sexuality, and is therefore inappropriate for people of a young age. However, knowledge of anatomical terms is critical in situations unrelated to sex and sexuality, such as in the context of sexual abuse. Anatomical knowledge of the reproductive system is also necessary for adolescents to practice adequate self-care. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology in September of 2006 found that only 60.6 percent of urban adolescent females surveyed had correct knowledge of the length of the average menstrual cycle (Abraham & D’Angelo, 2006). The same study found that only 2 percent of these girls asked a doctor/nurse or information about their menstrual cycles, and 6 percent had nobody to ask for information (Abraham & D’Angelo, 2006 ). More distressingly, it was found that only 37 percent of those surveyed reported talking to their healthcare provider about dysmenorrhea, and only 14.5 percent sought help for their symptoms (Abraham & D’Angelo, 2006 ). This is disturbing because many serious reproductive diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease mimic the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Because dysmenorrhea is thought to be normal, and because the reproductive system is considered taboo, many teenagers do not discuss their concerns with a medical professional (Abraham & D’Angelo, 2006). Clearly, there are multiple reasons for anatomic reproductive education for youth and many visible impacts due to the lack of such education on a national level.


ithin North Carolina, there are multiple instances of the failure of the Sexual Education System. Discussion of this system along with its implications must begin by a general overview of North Carolina’s sexual Education Policy, then progressing into an individualized study of the sexual education options of each individual county and its implications on the teenage population of the county. Within North Carolina, the Healthy Youth Act of 2009 or House Bill 88 is the act which governs a majority of North Carolina’s sexual health policies. This act requires that all public schools in North Carolina teach sexual education in the grades 7th, 8th, and 9th. The teaching objectives of this bill are outlined below, as quoted from SHIFT NC: “Reproductive Health and Safety Education must teach the following points: • Strategies to deal with peer pressure • Reasons, skills, and strategies for becoming or remaining abstinent • Abstinence is the only certain means to prevent unintended pregnancy and diseases • The best lifelong means of prevention is fidelity withNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

in marriage, including the value of monogamous, heterosexual marriage as an example of a healthy relationship • The benefits of abstinence as compared to the risks of premarital sex • Medically accurate information on HIV and STDs/ STIs” We can see that there is a strong emphasis on traditional ideals and abstinence-based education within North Carolina’s sexual education system. The impacts of this type of education on teenage sexual health can and will be explored statistically.


999: Throughout all of these sexually transmitted diseases, we can see that the rate of disease and the number of cases significantly spike from the age group 5-12 year to the age group 13-19 years. This spike proves that teenagers in particular are more at risk for unsafe sexual experimentation. As a result, teenagers must be taught about sexual protection methods in order to avoid such a sharp spike in cases. In 1995, North Carolina passed a bill that required all public schools to provide AOUM sex education, due the nationwide push for conservative “family values” and the belief that teenage pregnancy was damaging the welfare system (Bach, 2006). With AOUM, they were not receiving much needed information on how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. 2000: In the years 1996-2000, there is a similar demographic discrepancy between the rates of sexually transmitted disease for the 5-12 year age group and the 13-19 year age group. However, there is a decrease throughout the years in the number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis, early syphilis, and gonorrhea, have decreased from the years 1996-1999 the year 2000. However, 2000 has a higher rate of chlamydia cases than almost any other year, except 1998. 2001: In 2001, we also see the recurring theme of a sharp increase in sexually transmitted disease cases from the 0-12 year to the 13-19 year age group. However, there is a decrease in the number of Early syphilis cases from 2000 to 2001. There has been a steady decrease in early syphilis cases from 1997 to 2001. This decrease could be the result of a general change in attitudes toward sex education throughout the U.S. In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General called for changes in sex education to improve sexual health. 2002: In 2002, we can see a steady downwards trend of the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases. The case numbers of primary and secondary syphilis, early syphilis, and gonorrhea have decreased since previous years. In the early 2000s, school systems from larger and more urban areas voted to provide an alternative sex education called “Abstinence Plus” (Bach, 2006). Under the North Carolina law, counties were allowed to hold hearings, and if they had enough support from the community, they could offer more than only AOUM. These counties tended to have lower


poverty rates, a larger percent of citizens with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and more physicians per capita. Decreases in the early 2000s could be due to certain counties choosing to offer information on different methods for protection. 2003: In the year 2003, we can see a steady decrease once again in all sexually transmitted diseases other than Chlamydia. Chlamydia is typically the most common STD across the U.S. Chlamydia symptoms typically don’t appear until weeks after exposure or some may have no symptoms. It can be spread easily as many people will not realize that they have the disease. The increasing rates of chlamydia may result in a need for more comprehensive education regarding this specific disease. However, federal funding for abstinence-only education increased by $15 million (“Sex Education Resource Center”). 2004: In 2004, we can see again a steady decrease in the prevalence of almost all STDs. This excludes Gonorrhea, which has only increased by two cases, and Chlamydia, which has been increasing in steady intervals. At the end of 2004, Representative Henry Waxman published a report that found that over two-thirds of federally-funded abstinence-only education programs used a curriculum that was not effective (“Sex Education Resource Center”). 2005: In 2005, there is a general surprising increase in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases. There is an increase in the number of cases of Early and Primary and Secondary Syphilis, Chlamydia, and a decrease only in the number of cases of Gonorrhea. 2006: In the year 2006, there was also an increase across the board in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases. The cases of Primary and Secondary Syphilis, Early Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea have also increased. This is concerning and may have prompted the Healthy Youth Act’s passage in 2009. 2007: In 2007, it seems that there is a decrease in the number of sexually transmitted diseases overall. In the mid2000s, research was done to prove that abstinence-only sex education was not as effective as other forms. Despite increases in federal funding, states began to reject abstinence-only funding. 2008: In 2008, there is a decrease in all sexually transmitted diseases other than Gonorrhea. The trends of disease decrease and increase could suggest the need for more specific disease education. By 2008, twenty-five states had rejected abstinence-only sex education programs due to evidence that it has no effect on STD, STI, and pregnancy rates. 2009: There were no Chlamydia and Gonorrhea statistics comparing 2009 to other years. Therefore, only the statistics for 2009 are present. In 2009, for the 15-19 year age group, the cases of Chlamydia have increased by around 2000 cases. Gonorrhea rates have also increased by about 1000 cases among 15-19 year olds. There has also been an increase in Syphilis, both early and primary and secondary. In 2009, the Healthy Youth Act was passed, due to parents attitudes

changing and the need for change based on health effects (“Sex Education Resource Center”). The Healthy Youth Act also returned control over curriculum to the local level. 2010: In the year 2010, there was a slight decrease in the amount of syphilis cases, early, primary and secondary. Also, all diseases decreased in the year 2010, which may attest to the success of the Healthy Youth Act. The Personal Responsibility Education Program was also created in 2010 to fund programs that would provide medically-accurate information to teenagers in order to prevent disease and unintended pregnancy. 2011: In 2011, there was an increase in Syphilis cases, primary and secondary. Early syphilis cases stayed the same, there was no increase or decrease. Chlamydia cases increased and Gonorrhea cases also increased.


enerally, within this data, we see that the cases of sexually transmitted disease are significantly higher in the 13-19 year category. Whereas these disease rates are also high for the 20-29 year category, we believe that the 13-19 year category is most at risk as a majority of the people in this category are not yet legal adults. A majority of teenagers in North Carolina also have access to public education, which is a vehicle to educate about sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, sexual education should be improved and taboos surrounding the female reproductive system should be removed in order to allow for more comprehensive sexual education programs and stem the spread of sexually transmitted disease.


hroughout history, a method of oppressing women was distancing them from their bodily experiences. This was performed through language, specifically, the discursives of “female sexuality.” However, people have always feared the impulses of the body and stressed the importance of suppressing desires. This intensified a taboo against sexual body parts and actions. Separation from the body was a way to oppress women and restrain them within their traditional gender roles. This restraint was seen as beneficial to the function of society. As this was desirable for government institutions, the process of erasing sexuality from education became institutionalized. Future research should ask how, and by what institutions, the understanding of sexuality has been developed in Western culture: how it is shaped by the home and upbringing, how it is shaped by peers, how it is shaped by popular culture, how it is shaped by the economy, and how its shaping affects the education of the next generation. In Counsel to Parents, Dr. Blackwell bases much of her beliefs on what constitutes moral sexuality on the Western, the nuclear family model “being the first simple element of society- the first natural product of the principle of sex” (Blackwell). But how natural is this family structure? And how much of its development was due to society’s need for a more productive Fifth World


population, including the industrialization of reproduction? There are movements to de-stigmatize the use of the word “vagina,” such as the play The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Critics have argued that centering the play around the use of the word vagina reduces women to the sexual organ. In a history in which only men have had the authority to define female anatomy has led to the exoticization of the female body, the argument can be made that trying to integrate anatomical terms will do the same and continue to distance women from their bodies. The vagina is then turned into more of a political statement than an important part of the everyday woman’s body. Can language that has always been associated with male power in scientific and authoritarian professions ever be used fully by women as a way to reclaim their bodies? Historically, possession of a vagina and corresponding reproductive structures were associated with womanhood. Genitalia defined one’s role in society. Although the historical role of misogyny in the creation of a taboo against female genitalia is important, it is also important that genitalia does not continue to define how society thinks about gender. This creates difficulty in de-stigmatizing anatomical terms when the stigma exists due to oppression of women. Many movements now see anatomical terminology as a means to empower women, when it pertains to the health of all people who possess these body parts. Nationally and internationally, the impacts of the taboos surrounding female reproductive terminology can be seen on female reproductive health and public sexual health. From misinformation leading to menstrual shame and hardships for women around the world, to women in the US being misinformed about the female reproductive system and feeling unable to seek help, this taboo impacts us all. Some of the most vulnerable of our population are the teenage demographic. Increased sexual curiosity coupled with a lack of comprehensive sexual education and availability of protection methods leads to higher sexually transmitted disease rates among teenagers. Real life impacts on international, national, and demographic specific sexual health demonstrate the importance of making strides to remove stigmas surrounding the female reproductive system. The general findings from this study not only show the reasons behind female reproductive taboos in society, but the large and small scale implications of such taboos as well. Moving forward, the study suggests that female reproductive taboos and sexual stigmas be removed from society in order to encourage a more reproductively and sexually healthy society.  

Abraham, Anisha A., and Lawrence J. D’Angelo. “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Consequences of Menstrual Health in Urban Adolescent Females.” JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT GYNECOLOGY · (2006): 1-6. ReaserchGate. Web. 7 Aug. 2015. Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. (2011). Our bodies, Ourselves. New York: Simon and Schuster. Burrows, Kimberlee, Bearman, Madeleine, Dion, Jacinthe. “Children’s use of sexual body part terms in witness interviews about sexual abuse.” Child Abuse & Neglect, 65 (2017): 226-235. Burrows, Kimberlee & Powell, Martine. “Prosecutors’ Perspectives on Clarifying Terms for Genitalia in Child Sexual Abuse Interviews.” Australian Psychologist, 49(5) (2014): 297-304. “Celebrating Womanhood: Menstrual Hygiene Management.” (2005): n. pag. WSCC. 8 Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2015. Chilcott, Tanya. “Words “penis” and “vagina” to be used in school lessons as part of Daniel Morcombe child safety curriculum.” The Courier Mail (2012) Retrieved September 14, 2017. Communicable Disease Branch. “Facts & Figures.” NC DPH: HIV/STD Facts & Figures, NC Crawford, Mary & Unger, Rhoda. Women and gender: A feminist psychology. McGraw Hill, 2004. Print. Cornog, Martha. “Naming Sexual Body Parts: Preliminary Patterns and Implications.” The Journal of Sex Research, 22(3) (1986): 393-398. [CosmopolitanSA]. (2012). Always Platinum TV Commercial [Video File]. Youtube. Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers (U.S.). A New view of a woman’s body: A fully illustrated guide. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981. Print. “Female Reproductive System: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2015. Foucault, Michel. The history of sexuality. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. Print. Gartrell, Nanette & Mosbacher, Diane. “Sex Differences in the Naming of Children’s Genitalia.” Sex Roles, 10(11/12) (1984): 869-876. Gollakota, Sailaja, Seshagiri R. Mylavarapu, and Padmavathi K. “A Study of Awareness of Reproductive Health among College Students of Visakhapatnam.” IOSR VII 14.2 (2015): 54-59. Http:// IOSR. Web. 18 Mar. 2017. Harmanli, Oz, Iris Ilarslan, Shamini Kirupananthan, Alexander Knee, and An Harmanli. “Home - PubMed - NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2017. Hall, Kelli, Sales, Jessica, Komro, Kelli, et al. “The State of Sex Education in the United States.” Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(6) (2016): 595-597. “Healthy Youth Act.” Retrieved October 27, 2017. Kaywin, Emma. “What Do You Call Your Vagina? 17 Bustle Readers Weigh In On Their Favorite Names — And Those That Offend Them.” Bustle (2015). Kenny, Maureen. & Wurtele, Sandy. “Preschoolers’ Knowledge of Genital Terminology: A Comparison of English and Spanish Speakers.” American Journal of Sexuality Education, 3(4) (2008): 345-354. Lee, Janet. “Menarche and the (Hetero) Sexualization of the Female Body.” Gender and Society, 8(3) (1994): 343-362. Moore, L. J. & Clarke, A. E. “Clitoral Conventions and Transgressions: Graphic Representations in Anatomy Texts, c1900-1991.” Feminist Studies, 21(2) (1995): 255-301. Moore, T. “My Neck, My Gash: Men Don’t Know What to Call Your Vagina. Let’s Help.” Jezebel (2014). Mumsnet. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2018. Santelli John, Ott, Mary, Lyon Maureen, et al. “Abstinence and abstinence-only education: A review of U.S. policies and programs.” Journal of Adolescent Health, 38 (2006): 72–8. “Sex Education Resource Center.” Retrieved October 27, 2017. SHIFT NC. “SHIFT NC FAQs.” Healthy Youth Act FAQs | SHIFT NC, SHIFT NC. Simon, Maya, Mike Graziano, and Amanda Lenhart. “The Internet and Education.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 31 Aug. 2001. Web. 07 Aug. 2015. Survey Research Unit. “North Carolina Parent Opinion Survey of Public School Sexuality Education: An Update to the 2003 Survey.” Thompson, Sharon. Going all the way: Teenage girls’ tales of sex, romance, and pregnancy. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995. Print. United Nations. “Puberty Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management; Good Policy and Practice in HIV & AIDS and Education.” 9 (n.d.): 1-59. Unesdoc. 2014. Web. 6 Aug. 2015. Varah, Chad. “Why I Started The Samaritans, by Chad Varah.” Why I Started The Samaritans, by Chad Varah. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015. “WASH United - Menstrual Hygiene Management.” WASH United - Menstrual Hygiene Management. Wash United, n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015. WaterAid. “WaterAid - Publications - Menstrual Hygiene Matters.” Menstrual Hygiene Matters. N.p., 2013. Web. 07 Aug. 2015. What To Call Child’s Genitals? (n.d.).

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics


Locating the Indian Reservation in America Robert Keener


cross a very wide temporal span, punctuated by large scale events of violence, devastation, appropriation, and simply mistreatment, the Native American identity produced early in the colonial period has been largely unchanged. While those who produced this identity and the people to whom it was originally applied are long since deceased, the practices of following generations have perpetuated the identity’s continued usage and embodiment that are not just linked to their histories, but are undeniably inseparable.(Churchill 48-53) Recent political events have revealed this harsh reality, as in the cases of Bears Ears National Monument and Standing Rock Reservation exemplify. The relationship, at once imaginary and real, built upon Americans as actors and Natives as victims has not faded into history, but remains in play. The constancy of these roles to be marveled at, given their historical enormity, but more so as something worthy of shame and scrutiny. This essay will work through the production of identity in North American history through a predominantly spatial lens, as a means of locating the current disposition of Native Americans as more than confinement(on reservations). From mass demarcations of governmentality to social reliances on a viewable “other”, a theoretical location of Native America on the reservation will support the contention that present-day Native Americans are subject, as a commodity, to direct competition with other, sometimes “more purposeful” usages of spaces.


ative Americans have been commodified, not merely appropriated, in such a way that their existence, especially in the American West, is subject to direct competition with natural resources such as oil and traditional land use practices. Thus, the cultural resources of an Indiannessfabricated by social conditions of exploitation (making the experience of culture consumable through viewership or purchase) have been transformed from attributes of indigenous peoples in North America to landscapes of expropriation. This essay will tackle this phenomenon, which must be seen through several different lenses (Biolsi 241). Though there are no explicit temporal or spatial constraints, this argument will operate as a broadly evidenced case study on the Havasupai people of Arizona, with significant reliance on the tribal coalition of Southern Utah and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of the Dakotas. While a focused study, this argument also aims to add to the discussion of the American

Indian existence in a more fluid sense than seeking out definitive resolutions. Engaging the entanglements of coercive imposition of appropriative identities and of stolen land, it seeks to break apart the larger framing components of this structure comprising Native American existence, and ultimately notice the contingencies of contemporary practices. Throughout the recent Bear’s Ears National Monument controversy, the concept of resource was employed intentionally, but perhaps not thoughtfully. What I at first believed to be awkward syntax was, at second glance, an indication of something far more worthy of examination. In discussion of the proposed defunding of Bears Ears National Monument, the area was described to have many “natural” and “cultural resources,” by the United States Secretary of the Interior (Zinke 1). I’ve seen this plastered everywhere from political statements to Wikipedia pages. Though traditionally cultural commodification has been a fairly linear process, not really creating a competitive product but rather one that simply did not exist before, a new reading might instead find that the commodification of Native America has functioned instead to reduce peoples and histories to a cultural resource, an economically quantifiable value encompassing feelings, pasts, and presents, entering societies into a world waging oil against agricultural products against human beings. Our pasts of constraining Native Americans to Indianness and “savagery”, or pushing them from view as a problem solved or to be solved, have been superseded by a new era of dehumanization reducing a people to an economic insignificance, reducing the worth of a culture to the tourists it can bring, and the oil it does not impede(Biolsi 248). Working towards a comprehensive understanding of Indianness as it functions socially requires the identification of its active components. Acknowledging this “cultural resource” as consisting really of American Indians and questioning the colonial imposition of an American Indians identity is also necessary. This identity is structured as a homogenous collective of traits and stereotypical practices centered around “traditionality” and still defined by the blood quantum for purposes relating to identification(by self or another). While this argument is not directly concerned with legal distinctions of Native American authenticity in terms of ethnicity, the blood quantum does offer example of eurocentric American determinations of Native American identity, raising the question of how an ethnic distinction

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can define a social group. A more thorough development of native american identity in its intrinsic complexities will reveal the flaw in this active usage of “cultural resources” to describe something that, after further explanation, will grow more apparently heterogeneous and multiscalar. We must carefully avoid the assumption that Indianness can be reconciled with Native American identity at large it will do only harm. While Native American identity is a living, breathing, growing social life comprised of individuals changing as a collective, Indianness is stagnant. For 500 years Indianness has not waivered and its truths mattered only to those who believed them. Beyond an understanding of identity, however, lies a much more critical recognition of the ways this identity is maintained, acted out, and governed. Questions of identity are indeed free to deviate from Indianness, as recognition of the acting constructors and enforcers of Indianness is equally, if not more greatly, necessary. As these identities crystallize with a history of contingent relationships, a taking of form may be located in the land. The basis of colonial progress, spurred forward by the Manifest Destiny, land acquisition and management has long been a measure of society taking form. Imaginations of landscape, as moving towards contemporary society, grow quickly inseparable from the state that rules them, and nearing spatial struggles of now, asking, in instances of Indian reservations, who rules that space? As we look towards tangible evidence for imaginations of space and their enactments, the reservation will offer us our most critical source for study. The Havasupai of northern Arizona are best suited for examination as they have been deemed valuable in some sense by the governing body which elected for their reservation to lie with Grand Canyon National Park. Clearly, this signifies some evaluation of the people as authenticators of the Grand Canyon experience rather than nuisances. Dually clarifying both the essence of “authentic” American Indian experiences and its function are pivotal steps in this argument.


he Native American identity has been more greatly overlooked, yet relied upon, perhaps more than any other in American history, quite simply due to the multitudinous histories that are entangled and encompassed by this perceptually homogenous body. For peoples who were so early on constructed as subaltern, the usage of a Native American identity is a strategic political one, but it is also one that offers some security to an extremely outnumbered people(Biolsi 250). The perception of subaltern Native American identity as unalterable is something I wish to call attention to, as it’s one that has been produced by the standards of Native American authenticity, and the more severe marginalization of individuals politically deemed Native American who transgress standards for a “true” Indian. These people deemed “half-breed” or insufficiently “Indian,” are those who enter society as equal citizens wearing “normal” clothes, seeking work, education, or simply existence, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

alongside the descendants of those who killed off their own ancestors. If the Native American populace is seen as a subaltern community, this assertion of social inequality may be best recognized as the necessary counter hegemony, which Peter Evans has described as “a globally organized effort... that maximizes democratic political control and makes the equitable development of human capabilities and environment stewardship its priorities,”(Evans 278). Here one must also recognize the ways that open, political resistance, such as peaceful protest at Standing Rock, are marginalized by media coverage, and given the unequal and usually temporary support by white citizens. There seems to be a recent trend of identifying with political activism, in the case of those participating in Standing Rock, but I might ask why these citizens are not more comfortable acting in defense of the other five hundred or so tribes that have already been constricted to spaces? Is it the lack of national media recognition, or perhaps the assumption that their existence has always been confined to such a limited space and time? As we return to the Havasupai, we may ask how we can comfortably support the existence of a people in a space deemed recreational to the public, paid for by taxes, when it was truly paid for by the lives and histories of people who once lived there at will in 1882. The Havasupai space was reduced from 1.6 million acres to 518. After years of regional and national court battles, 185 thousand acres were returned to their possession with roughly another 100 thousand available for their use, under park governance. The Havasupai no longer practice governance but instead diplomacy; they are governed by park officials and kept within boundaries that centuries ago were lines in the arid desert soil across which they’d walk freely. Identity plays so critical a role in any discussion of Native America that we cannot begin to think about questions of any scale without explicating our understanding of Indianness and its historical foundations. Beginning with Colombian descriptions of figures believed to be truly Indian, the following centuries of first-hand accounts quickly produce Indianness as a necessary “other” to colonialist identity, even before this really took form amongst native peoples. We can generally say that most colonists were as much establishing their own sense of self as they were developing a social hierarchy, even before these implications were perceptible. Furthermore, the necessary evasion of a role of subalternity, as most emigrating from Europe were escaping social and political conditions, was resolved most easily by redeveloping the same vertically oriented binary social structure, moving colonists upwards and inserting “indianness” to fill the gap, thus creating an early site of conflict between whiteness and Indianness. While the latter was and is multiplicitous, the former was itself heterogeneous, employing Indianness in the role of the “other” to such an extreme that it primarily functioned to assure whiteness, or colonists, of all the things they hoped to be. Civility and technology were not affirmed, however, by social superiority but rather by sub-


jugation and degradation of Native Americans to a position that most generally allowed them to be perceived as a subspecies (Stiffarm et al 1992). Despite romanticized relations expressed by the Thanksgiving ideal, the early colonial Native American identity signified impediment to colonial expansion through territorial acquisition. Though Europeans acknowledged the practical agricultural knowledge of tribal groups, the general understanding of Native America was that it consisted of “sauvage” people living in the wilderness, victim to the natural world (Thomas 138). This conflicted harshly with the providential understanding of the land’s purpose, though colonists failed to recognize Native American constructions of “nature” at all, instead identifying them with the wilderness (Purdy 68). A noteworthy case of this may be southern tribal groups’ implementation of burning forest undergrowth every few years to make hunting easier without causing highly consequential detriment. Beyond demonstrating a deep understanding of the land, afforded only by many centuries of thriving residence, indigenous understandings of the directly contested their colonially identified characteristics (Biolsi 236).


ne can hardly speak of Native American identity without mention of the Trail of Tears. Beyond an atrocity of displacement turned genocide, the event marks America’s most prolific instance of governmentality, setting the standard for Native American identity as the natural object of violent and racist acts, as well as setting the tone for the establishment of politically imagined and functional space(Hertzberg 16). The concept of Governmentality, introduced by Michel Foucault, offers a reading of government in the context of “rationalities, technologies, and mentalities” through which government is theorized, enacted, and thought about (Mayhew 36). “Governmentality” offers a means to understand the relations of Native America to the United States of America. Geographically speaking, cartographic mapping played a critical role early in the history of governmentality through the spatial production of power, though this has been more recently challenged, as modern mapping instead poses neoliberal constructions of omniopticonical situations of the “many watching the many, potentially allowing the reversal of the “panoptic gaze” (Natios 45). Situating Native America within a United States of America, politically, geographically, and socially, merits careful usage of governmentality as a critical tool. Modern politics with Native Americans occurs on several scales. Action between the United States government and tribes, either alone or in a coalition of more tribes, is the most common form of political engagement, but also one that professes a notion of equality as “comanagement” or “government-to-government” management. The relation, is however, instead much more hierarchical (Clinton 26771). Furthermore, the notion of “tribal sovereignty” is liberally used without recognition of its very production by

the United States of America. Socially, the Native American body politic is held accountable and found guilty of all things attributed to any subsection of Native America. This is a failure to recognize heterogeneity, as a political tool. But, from the perspective of American governmentality, this failure might best be seen as an effective method of demarcating governing capabilities through hegemonic demonstrations of essential identity, repeatedly holding native americans to standards of imagined tradition and economic stagnation. Thus, the hegemon which politically established Native America as a victim of its actions and which institutionalized and politicized Indianness is the same that, through governance, reproduces and extends its power. The current disposition of the Havasupai, and all other Native American groups under the jurisdiction of the United States, allows us to believe that a sort of co-governance between Native America and America is ongoing. But, this notion would rely on equal parties. Actions by the national government, and the legislative ability to override local native american governance at any time, essentially contradicts any notion of political equality at its base (Biolsi 255). While the Havasupai did demonstrate sovereignty by regaining territories, the entire endeavor was guided by US governance, ultimately determining the fate of a people whose population had been halved; thereby the nature of these governing decisions strongly refute any notion of state-equality. The employment of Native American identity as a whole was a critical actor in this regaining of land, as co-tribal alliances acting as political entities not only offered means of financially and physically representing the party subject to jurisdiction, but they offered greater identification of the people(s) at stake in this decision. A frequent occurrence, the banding of tribes together, may be politically read as a deconstruction of political differences, but this should instead be perceived as a unification of like objectives rooted in comparable dispositions, as tribes are more similar in their general mistreatment by the United States than they are inherently similar by, say, their ethnic or cultural heritage (Aleinikoff 202). Individual tribes all share comparable victimization at the hands of the United States, necessitating new forms of solidarity and resistance for the potential survival of these peoples. As history abundantly reveals, native american tribes do not separately stand a chance against the “Manifest Destiny mentality” still present in American governmentality. As our understanding of the American social hegemony grows, we cannot ignore declarations of nationalism as productions of an “other.” These productions include numerous groups, including the generalized misunderstood (and also orientalized!) Middle East, Mexico, black America, to name a few (Brown et al. 261). Manifest destiny may offer a means to analyze the source of these issues, but it offers little by way of a resolution. This resolution, an identification of an effective form of resistance, lies both in the Native American identity politically and more so in the evasions of this identity socially. The two distinct aspects of Fifth World


this are especially noteworthy, as the first, the derogatory perception of Indianness, subjected to logos of athletics, cigarettes, and halloween costumes, operates at the expense of reinstilling notions of the other, which, as I argue throughout, attends geographic displacement(Ramirez 402). But,the second struggle lies at a larger level, as Native Americans must reassume this collective identity to locate a role of “other” that, while inferior, enables political formidability. The construction of this necessarily broad governmentality, reliant on a history of decisions that all perpetuate an America that stands above and in control of Native America that then must be subversive in nature (Chalcraft and Noorani 25). The early colonial distribution of land, produced by established practices of “claiming” of “excess lands”and eventually turning lands otherwise ungoverned into private property forces the remembrance of a space previously not partitioned. Prior to American colonization, space was not a political concept but instead a natural one, and one of little significance in terms of the power it produced (Purdy 66). With colonists’ own escape from governance, the state’s desire to establish its own subjects required space to govern. This mode of government was space based - it’s the nation we now live in, in which political power rules as a sovereign that aligns not with the last names of its citizens and non-citizens but instead with their addresses, their zip code, state, etc.. While territoriality was not uncommon prior to european settlement, the establishment of strict territories in political terms was completely unprecedented in America. We can view the ensuing centuries of geographical and spatial development as explications of a national government desiring centrality but desperately needing broad reach. While the Native American nuisance was out of sight after the Trail of Tears, it was not out of mind, and it still served functional, and may perhaps offer insight into the reasoning behind the survival of Native Americans at all. Though genocide was never explicitly intended, it’s quite clear that between disease and brute force, American troops heading west were clearing space for white settlers and had every capability of doing so absolutely, leaving room for Native Americans effectively in the margins that would later become reservations. There is surely no secret that tribes of the plains were more antithetical to American governmentality than any other radical group, existing nomadically under no spatial bounds and operating in the most minimal sense, for the sake of survival. The opposition of sedentary American ideals of accumulated wealth only added to the mounting construction of native identity. Contesting the spatial structure of the newly American continent, the Plains Indians were perceived as a dangerous group and would too have to go, being all either killed or forced to reservations, all losing the lives they once knew. This too marks the most dramatic in an era of political “treatise negotiation” with peoples who had little if any knowledge of political significance or even english that began several hundred years earlier in North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

small-scale territorial disputes between New Englanders and Iroquois confederation members. The collective native american understanding of the land as a place of residence did not align with American constructions of space as items of possession, resulting in ‘legal’ displacement. These physical manifestations of a one-directional relationship of abuse set the spatially enacted political dynamic that people live within today. Aside from traditions and lifestyles passed through generations, the only active remaining evidence of five hundred years of marginalizing mistreatment are the reservation boundaries that remain. Ultimately these bring us to a theoretically simple understanding of hierarchies of sovereignty, as the largest sovereign encompasses those within (Ferguson and Gupta 1001). As this is not only understood, but acted out, the notion of tribal units acting visa`-vis American governments is but an ideal, as the larger sovereign geographically and powerfully has consumed the smaller.


nd now, Native Americans are no longer duped out of spaces they own nor are they subject to mass displacement, as the work has been done. So then, as peoples all but extinct attempt to regain a sense of tradition, of history and to hang on in the margins, what is the nature of their space, or rather the space that’s been labelled on some legal documents permitting their residence there? While I’ve thus far made a case about Native America on the broadest scale, we’ll move forwards to the Hualapai, and the Havasupai specifically, as our case study for the nature of space in modern America. Though politically distinguished, the two tribes are ethnically the same, with the latter actually comprising one of fourteen bands of the former (Hualapai Fact Sheet 3). Generally, our case study will focus on the Native American reservation as enacted and maintained within a national park. Given the historical precedent, the presence of Native Americans in Northern Arizona and in Grand Canyon National Park specifically are truly allowances by the American government for them to be there. With this in mind, an understanding of perhaps why they are permitted is necessary. Native Americans have been made to have economic purpose. While they are privately benefactors of tourism to the park, charging for some 20,000 visitors annually to visit and requiring that they pay too to stay, they have taken advantage of an unfortunate situation. Grand Canyon National Park gains not only visitors who often boost both park and local economies, but the ability to sell Indianness as a commodity(GCNP Website 1). From dream-catchers to “native dress” the appropriation of a culture is not a subtle one. While, in this case, Native Americans are permitted to exist in a relatively small portion of the park for the sake of economic value and their usage of a space that Americans and park-goers would otherwise have little use for, given their collective inability to farm the nutrient-deficient soil as effectively as the Havasupai do. But the Havasupai may function even more seriously in a social manner. Not only does


Grand Canyon National Park gain the potential source of profit, but they gain too a claim to historical understanding and respect. As if the formation of Grand Canyon National Park was not predicated on the ousting of most regional Native American existence, the role of a reservation so deliberately allowed within park boundaries, prime for viewing, enables the park’s claim to “life in the canyon” as the uncivil identity of Indianness, hardly changed since early colonial encounters, is enacted again. As if the people being viewed exist only in a preserved state of traditionality, park-goers are led towards an understanding of Native Americans that can only deplete them of humanity, that can only strip them of any existence other than the one read about in textbooks and portrayed in cowboy stories of “the West”. But then, with acknowledgement of this deliberate display of a people still hanging on, are there subconscious motivators? Does the portrayal of Native Americans in some “natural” state not function, as aforementioned, as a perpetuation of early derogatory constructions? While blatantly victim to broad and acute mistreatment, are they not also victim of one’s gaze, of one looking on? This gaze can quickly find alignment in some variation of governmentality, caught between panoptical and omnioptical modes of power. The imagination of society in a politically real space is fundamental to the understanding of Native Americans on reservations (Frug 52). Though acts of forced assimilation have been historically common, the so-powerful threat of total destruction of all Indian groups has functioned to uphold foundational American social structures. In particular, the dynamic has been maintained in which America is defined not by those who comprise its citizens, but by those who definitively do not. American Indians walking in the street might be mistaken for latinos/as, but on the reservation their otherness is vivid. “Indian” garb and age-old food-raising practices stand emblematic of that which America is not. Whether engineered or totally unrecognized, the Havasupai Reservation offers a site of viewing. The dynamic of a political identity, such as eurocentric America, is that it is inherently contingent on political others, subordinates. As large as America has grown to be, a single “other” would simply be far too insufficient. While America has numerous identities in and of itself, its reliance on others has been its defining factor since its origin, constructing first the other of Native Americans, then the British, and African slaves. Viewing these as all imaginary and political relations defined spatially offers a unique lense, given the explicit spaces to which Native Americans were confined to. The establishment of treatises and spatial arrangements is one that has an inherent property of disproportionate taking from Indians by whites through deception. When land-claiming became land-trading and redistribution by white Americans, the party that remained was the same who began with all of the land; the Indians. Where to put them? A reservation, we’ll call it. The aforementioned panopticon, introduced by Bentham and theoretically refined by Foucault, offers a unique

perspective. The local relations between slave master and slaves was an early example of this relationship, as the master’s house upon the hill allowed watching of the slaves. While much can be said about the fetishization that likely occurred in such instances of power, the most useful aspect is that with the constancy of supervision slaves ingrained self-surveillance, including a carceral “self” as the subject of surveillance, an identity of the well-behaved, “authentic” slaves intrinsically subordinate to the eurocentric American observer. The space within which such things occurred is especially worthy of scrutiny, given that the watcher was effectively liberated to travel under no bounds, and the slaves were allowed to be only in certain spaces doing certain things, furthering their authenticity as “slaves.” The engrainment of this outside ideal further produced not only people that fit roles set for them, but more so people filling a single subservient role. Thus, cultural life was tranformed into a coerced performance, of playing the role of Indian for those looking in. This is not to overgeneralize, limit, or disrespect the relevancy of tradition in Native American culture, but to hopefully complicate scholarly interpretation of the present residency of Native Americans as not an ethnic body but rather one produced by a spatially engineered history. From Native American “sauvages” in European and North American plays as early as the eighteenth century to the pleasant watching of Native Americans in “nature”, the role of the eurocentric observer of the Native American has never changed. As one can see, this is a close parallel to the disposition of confined Native Americans. Many peoples displaced from spaces onced deemed tribal and not geographically defined by state governance are forced into to a role of not just the other, but the observed, the watched, the enclosed. Though tourism is capitalized upon by the Havasupai, they are still subjected to the role of the watched. Their allowance to exist in the space of Grand Canyon National Park is fundamentally for the maintenance of spatial authenticity, as the Grand Canyon(an instance of idyllic nature) is portrayed as unchanging, unaffected by the millions who visit annually, largely frozen in time. This relies upon the stagnation of the people living there, not directly forced to uphold traditional practices, but rather indirectly forced as their societal role of the watched remains constant. The Native American, as exists in the still active wake of mass displacement, murder, and construction, is one who may be more threatened by change than anything else. As still living Native Americans can attest, failure to operate ‘authentically’ within their designated space is not just treasonous against governing American political authorities, but deadly as demarcations of power turned to massacres. The very legitimate threat of cultural annihilation has also functioned to justify the movement force in away from progression itself, as the notion of “traditional peoples” is the only dependable identity Native Americans can employ. Moving again towards current issues, though not necessarily new ones, we can see clearly that disposition Fifth World


of contemporary Native Americans is one found in a limbo of sorts, spatially and temporally, socially and culturally (Biolsi 252). In the case of Bears Ears National Monument or Standing Rock Reservation, the Native Americans present are not situated to provide an economically purposeful role, as tourism is of little or no significance in each region. Insteadof “cultural resources,” they are made to give up their land to the economic priorities of corporations supported by the nation-state. As the tribal coalition of Bears Ears National Monument relies heavily upon arguments of tradition, sacredness, history, and these “cultural resources,” it grows clearer that the history of eurocentric American colonization and victimization of Native Americans precedes any notion of ethical decision making or conscious of human rights, quite simply because the construction of Native Americans as a commodity is better sold by sports teams and consumer products than by the people themself, unless in an instance where the deliberate depiction of peoples. Not only has the American government that rules both the actors and victims of these offensively appropriative acts failed to prohibit them, but they’ve essentially protected them without justification. Though numerous instances of political and social activity contradict any notion of a government-to-government relationship, or one of simply equals, two recent instances of infringement have gathered the national spotlight. Examining these events, at the time of this writing, as demarcative acts enforcing spatial sovereignty and coinciding directly with historical trends, The evidence here argues for the reading of these events as none other than demarcative acts which enforce spatial sovereignty, directly aligned with historical trends. Standing Rock Indian Reservation, the United States’ sixth largest Indian reservation, is comprised of protected land in North and South Dakota. The space represents a small portion of the once significantly larger Great Sioux Reservation, which was split into 5 smaller parts in 1890. Though this reservation was a small fraction of the space previously ruled by nomadic tribes of horse and buffalo culture in the United States great plains, Native Americans in the region were able to maintain most of the ways of life critical to their culture and survival. Breaking up the space not only reduced the area they could exist within even further, but it was accompanied by governmentally implemented assimilation which dramatically altered Native American life, forcing their shift to farming and agricultural practices, and aggressively eliminating Native American culture. The region was largely uninvolved in media until environmental controversy arose in 2016 (Environmental Profile 4). The Dakotas have a significant history of pipeline development, with some even passing beneath waterways, but the shift of proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to lands near the Standing Rock Reservation altered the dynamic entirely. How would the issue of infringing on and damaging land given to another political entity be navigated North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

by the American hegemon?. As the pipeline was deemed too large a threat to water supplies near state capital Bismarck, significant opposition soon rose to DAPL encroachment towards the North Missouri River, the reservation’s only water supply. Social movement and grassroots organizing drew significant opposition to the development of the pipeline in its shifted path, as several thousand resistance supporters gathered and violence broke about between police and protesters (Henry 2009). Controversy ensued until January 2017 when President Donald Trump issued an executive order to streamline development, disregarding local wellbeing and serious backlash (CNN 1). Bear’s Ears National Monument is comprised of 1,351,849 acres of protected land, in the heart of southern Utah. The land is described as “undeveloped”, offering “historic, cultural, and natural resources. “Co-governed” by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service, along with a coalition of five local Native American tribe. The monument was approved in 2016, by then-President Barack Obama after what’s been described as a century old fight, by local residents and primarily Native Americans who identified with the space as lands used for hunting and living for centuries by their ancestors. Four substantial areas proposed for protection by the intertribal coalition were not included in the final designation, which was considered a major concession to all parties opposing the action. The monument was proclaimed, implementing authority under the Antiquities Act, in an action that largely aligns with historical uses of the act (THE BEARS EARS INTER-TRIBAL COALITION 3). Political resistance to the monument has been ongoing since the designation. In early February, Utah Governor Herbert signed legislation requesting reconsideration for the land’s protection. The executive branch responded positively to the requests as President Trump ordered a review of the space by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in late April. In early June, Zinke announced his recommendation for significant down-scaling of the areas protected by the monument and repurposing of the region for “national recreation areas, national conservation areas, and cultural areas.” The political move that defies unilateral behavior and, as many opponents say, violates the hundred year old Antiquities Act. Public response has been mixed, but all who’ve voiced opinions fall distinctly on one side or the other of the debate (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance 1). Reflecting on the management of space in the case of the Havasupai, while they are permitted to “govern” their own land, the stagnation of their way of life ultimately acts in the same way a piece of land in the midwest, deemed prime for agricultural production might. The same crops are annually planted with the same yield, and the next year the same follows. Subject to inevitable consumption, the once regionally unique food is eventually conformed to a hybrid monoculture, and the expectation of the space to perform economically is upheld. But, if a more economical means of


space usage, such as the erection of a manufacturing facility or the laying of an oil pipeline come along, those rows of corn may be swiftly mowed - impediment eradicated. Reaching a state of resource competition, where local decisions are not contextualized within global factors that are undeniably at play, Native America is caught in the crossfire. When not economically competitive, it seems that the contemporary trend of allowing resources to compete in capital markets is applicable too to the commodity of people’s lives also transformed and constructed into a hybrid monoculture. While human rights infringements, or general disregard for human well-being are not rare for other positions of the “other” in modern America(Flint, Michigan water crisis victims, state of racially skewed police brutality, etc.) there is clear indication that the allowance of such actions is a product of the continued employment of a binary system, placing America above Native America, as the hegemonic sovereign politically, socially, spatially consumes the lesser. The historical stagnation of the roles, predicated on racial distinctions that have not changed, to an effective degree in this case, yields a contemporary political scheme where demarcations of governmentality on the broad scale are reinforced through frequent local instances of appropriation that convey identical messages of power dynamics.


ecognizing Indianness as a contemporary social construct demanded the investigations of its origin. By tracing the construction and deployment of Indianness through history we recognize its functionality and instrumentality. Through Panoptical theory we situated eurocentric Americans and Indians in America as their social roles relate to one another. Through the alignment of American governmentality’s origin in eurocentric colonists who depended upon the construction of Native America, we can locate the same dynamic as present in 2018. Relating recent events that have garnered large scale media attention to the role of Native Americans as the victims of these events offers further evidence for both the sociological and systemic factors that have grown to be accepted in America and the necessity for a new reading of American-Native American relationships on issues of spatial management. The commodification of Native America, in consumer products or sports teams, extends to a new level. It transgresses appropriations of Indianness in favor of literal dehumanization, evaluating Native America economically as a “cultural resource” and subjecting it directly to competition with “natural” and “recreational” resources. The examples of Bears Ears National Monument and Standing Rock Reservation reveal that these are no longer questions of human rights at all, as humanity has long been depleted. Instead, reservations, through political demarcation, reduce the human status of Native Americans while dually playing the role of the “watched,” or the “other,” for eurocentric America at large. For Native America, it’s usage as a tool of eurocentric colonists and eventually Americans has erected a socially

real Indianness. The contention that Native America offered the “other” that allowed American identity and construction to occur then demands questioning of how that “other” has, or has not changed over time. In the case of Indianness, it is the latter. Demarcative governmentality, demonstrated through exertions of power that serve most formidably to remind Native Americans of their bottom-tier role, has taken form after the model set forth by violent, land-grabbing colonists heading west. Therefore, the history laden with Indians played out as victims is synonymous with America’s. More importantly, the shared space of those histories and this present makes the past all but inseparable from the present . The exertions of power maintain not just political roles of actor and recipient but social ones, where the states individuals align themselves with, defined in some cases legally by the “blood quantum.” In this case, the figure of superiority in the eurocentric colonist is not naturally evaded by time’s passing. The lightness of skin relies upon the genes passed down from white ancestors; doctrines on governance rely upon philosophies passed down from white ancestors. And lastly the counter hegemony has been thrust down upon the next generation of American Indians. The notion of history turning towards the present often gives the impression that we’ve resolved issues of the past but the history of American reduction and dehumanization of Native America is not progressing at all. It’s fallen into a gothic spiral of repetitive evolution. What was once carried out through genocide has turned to the usage of more politically strategical, more carefully worded, and more “socially ethical” acts of the new marginalization that produces the same inequity. Instead of killing Native Americans as equals, they are portrayed as equals while being discussed and negotiated like commodities; drops of oil in the bucket. The consistency of space as vehicle for these demarcations is substantially reliable. From the very beginning, Native American space was largely centered around obscure spiritual connection and relative territoriality(to other tribes). The American onslaught of “progress” valued explicit borders the turning of land to money, and the evasion of honest ethical practices through words on parchment donning signatures. The wake is still present centuries after Columbus’ first descriptions of the New World that set the tone for an obscure “other.” The parcelization and accumulation of land demanded the disposition of Native Americans or their murder. Both followed: a numbness was born(Biolsi 244). As aligned by skin tone, native tongues, and simple lifestyles, the Indianness that grew from violence and misunderstanding survived in the margins, in spaces of confinement and exile. Native American existence did not so much exist in the margins as definitive places but rather socially constructed margins, places otherwise deserted. Radical human displacement became more comfortable: acts of dislocation against peoples already on the social and physical fringe. As this intersects with economic evaluations of space usage, the economic evaluation of Native AmerFifth World


ican existence ensues. Though the shift from questions of potential colonial spaces to questions of potential oil pipelines is a large one, the nature of these dynamics and their frequent result is not. Native American lives do not exist on a spectrum where red lines are drawn by white politicians. Native American lives do not exist on a spectrum where an ethos is maintained. Native American lives do not exist on a spectrum where imagination of a better world takes place and moving from our own history to the present takes place. At the intersection of demarcated governmentality, a history of mistreated people consumed by a pan-Indian identity, and the increasing maximization of “effective” usages of space, Bears Ears National Monument and Standing Rock Reservation can be found. The two places and political events demonstrate the subjection of peoples and their histories to direct competition with other space usages like (predominantly white) farming, recreational practices, or oil transportation. These places represent the current phase of Americanness leaning on Indianness as political and social bodies collide. The state of this evolution, perhaps slowly halted by our era of activism and social change commonized, may be fading in favor of smaller acts of resistance. Native Americans dressing as members of a collective society regardless of skin color, ethnic or cultural background, or expectations, and taking on educations and careers that do not function to sustain the history they were born into, may serve as the first of this transition. I hope this argument serves to complicate an academic and social conception of Native America as one inseparable from history, in fact produced by history, and at a stage where commodification has not just dehumanized a people but has turned them into an imaginary usage of space, worthy of economic evaluation. Between the number of tourists drawn to the Grand Canyon and the potential oil that could be pumped through the Dakotas, the security of Native American existence hangs in limbo. They hope to survive by employing the very political mechanisms that have failed them thus far.

Aleinikoff, T. Alexander 2002 Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Biolsi, Thomas 1995 The Birth of the Reservation: Making the Modern Individual among the Lakota. American Ethnologist 22(1):28–53. 1997 Haviland Scudded Mekeel and the Anthropological Construction of ‘‘Indians.’’ In Indians and Anthropologists: Vine Deloria, Jr., and the Critique of Anthropology. Thomas Biolsi and Larry J. Zimmerman, eds. Pp. 133–159. Tucson:University of Arizona Press. 2001 ‘‘Deadliest Enemies’’: Law and the Making of Race Relations on and off Rosebud Reservation. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2004 Political and Legal Status (‘‘Lower 48’’ States). In Companion to the Anthropology of American Indians. Thomas Biolsi, ed. Pp. 231–247. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 2005 “Imagined Geographies: Sovereignty, Indigenous Space, and American Indian Struggle.” American Ethnologist, vol. 32, no. 2, 2005, pp. 239–259., Churchill, Ward 1999 The Crucible of American Indian Identity: Native Tradition versus Colonial Imposition in Postconquest North America. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 23(1):39 – 67. Dobyns, Henry F., and Robert C. Euler. 1999. “Bands of gardeners: Pai sociopolitical structure (discussion).” American Indian Quarterly 23 (3): 159–74. “ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE”. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Retrieved 2 October 2016. CNN, Athena Jones, Jeremy Diamond and Gregory Krieg. “Trump advances controversial oil pipelines with executive action”. CNN. Retrieved 2017-03-13. Evans, Peter (June 2008). “Is an alternative globalization possible?”. Politics & Society. 36 (2): 271–305. Ferguson, James, and Akhil Gupta 2002 Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality. American Ethnologist 29(4):981–1002. Frug, Gerald E.1991 City Making: Building Communities without Building Walls. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Harley, J.B. (1989). “Deconstructing the Map”. Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization. 26 (2): 1–20. Henry, Devin (9 September 2016). “Obama administration orders ND pipeline construction to stop”. TheHill. Hertzberg, Hazel W.1971 The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Joyce, P (2003). The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City. London: Verso National Native Title Tribunal 2003 What Is Native Title? Fact Sheet No 1a. Natios, D; Young, Y. “Reversing the Panopticon”. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. Peters, Evelyn J.1998 Subversive Spaces: First Nations Women and the City. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 16:665–685. Ramirez, Renya 2004 Community Healing and Cultural Citizenship. In Companion to the Anthropology of American Indians. Thomas Biolsi, ed. Pp. 398–411. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Rose-Redwood, R.B. (2006). “Governmentality, Geography, and the Geo-Coded World”. Progress in Human Geography. 30 (4): 469–486. “The Public Lands Initiative is a Disaster for Utah’s Wild Places”. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance(SUWA). Salt Lake City, Utah. 2016. Retrieved May 15,2017. Murphy, Alexander B. 1996 The Sovereign State System as Political-Territorial Ideal: Historical and Contemporary Considerations. In State Sovereignty as Social Construct. Thomas J. Biersteker and Cynthia Webber, eds. Pp. 81 – 120. New University Press. Stiffarm, Lenore A., and Phil Lane Jr.1992 The Demography of Native North America: A Question of American Indian Survival. In The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance. M. Annette Jaimes, ed. Pp. 23–53. Boston: South End Press. Stuart Levine and Nancy O. Lurie, eds. Pp. 128–140. Baltimore: Penguin Books. Thomas, Robert K. 1968[1965] Pan-Indianism. In The American Indian Today. Turkewitz, Julie; Davenport, Coral (June 12, 2017). “Interior Secretary Recommends Shrinking Borders of Bears Ears Monument”. The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2017. United States Statutes at Large 1974, Volume 88(PDF), Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1976, p. 2089, retrieved 2013-05-05

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Bunny Ears and Busty Babes: Dissecting the Construction of the Desirable Female In Men’s Magazines Mallorie Dufour


he eroticization of the female body is by no means new; rather, the sexualization of women is something to which the human race has borne witness since the near beginning of written history, indeed, as birds choose the more brightly colored specimens to mate with, so humans tend to desire more attractive partners for companionship, and have reflected this through images, whether that be a Roman fresco depicting a couple fornicating or a Greek vase featuring a similar image. (Unlike the natural world, however, in human society it is the women who have had to modify and ornament themselves for men.) As art developed with the civilizations from which it was created, so did erotica, which led to the creation of a genre that would rock the world to its “prudish”1 core: men’s erotic2 magazines. The first of these, Modern Man, was published in 1951, but was quickly surmounted by its first marketing opponent, Playboy. First published in November 1953, Hugh Hefner’s brainchild quickly took over the erotic magazine market with his introduction of articles providing advice on how to be a proper modern man, the bunny ear-clad playmates, and other images of softcore porn (Osgerby 101).3 Each Playboy magazine is specifically structured, which allows the reader to easily flip to the sections he may wish 1  The word prudish is placed in quotations here, as the early 20th century liked to view itself as a much less sexually active period of time than the reality. American media, and western media in general, seek to construct a more pure society for history than what the actual experience dictates. As stated by Playboy itself “Here in America, our wild pioneer spirit continues to clash with our Puritan paranoia” (32). 2  For all intents and purposes, erotic and pornographic will hold essentially the same meaning in this text. 3  Most literary persons working in terms of western erotic media tend to split the topic into two basic genres: softcore porn and hardcore porn. Oxford Dictionary defines softcore as “suggestive or erotic but not explicit,” and defines hardcore as “pornography of a very extreme or explicit kind” (Oxford). In this paper, we will define hardcore porn as porn which depicts explicit sexual acts, such as masturbation, oral sex, and penetrative sex of any kind. Softcore porn will thus be defined as erotica which does not meet those criteria, such as moderate or absolute nudity, and any sexual poses. Softcore porn will often only include one model, while hardcore necessitates two or more.

most to view or read all the way through the magazine without becoming too bored. Each magazine features a monthly ‘playmate’ who receives a two page full-body photo, as well as several one-page or half-page photo spreads and a short article describing her habits and fleshing out the personality aspects that the photographers chose to exemplify in the photos taken. This section is always placed slightly before the middle of each magazine. Another highlight of each magazine is the feature spread. This spread is usually a little-ways after the middle of the magazine, and is usually the site for the playmate of the year campaigns, as well as any sort of “article” about any sort of sex appeal found in foreign nations. The magazines also always feature at least one short fiction, and several articles describing the ideal bachelor lifestyle, which usually describe scenes of a sexual nature or enforce gender roles and masculinity. Another major component of each magazine are the numerous cartoons, both politicized and not, nearly all of which feature at least one sexualized female presence. These cartoons are scattered throughout the entirety of the magazine, in order to ensure that the reader is constantly engaged. The final major component of each magazine could be considered the adverts, or rather stark lack of them compared to other modern magazines. The average playboy magazine is about 27-30 percent advertisement, as opposed to the usual approximate 36-38 percent advertisement seen in other modern magazines (Byer 181). This structure, based entirely around the eroticization of women, leads us to wonder how exactly these magazines manage to construct their idea of a desirable heterosexual female body. In order to determine how these magazines construct the desirable heterosexual female body, we must first determine exactly what we mean by those terms. Who is this perfectly Desirable Heterosexual Female? Female/woman4, as used 4  In order to properly understand the opposition that male and female are placed under with the strict masculinity and femininity imposed upon the models and viewers of men’s magazines, we must first define male/man as we are to use it in this text. Man/male will refer almost entirely to persons who were assigned male at birth or could be at risk for being placed into the strict masculine role constructed by Playboy and other men’s magazines. It will also refer to those who view the magazine and buy into the marketed masculinity and femininity presented and assist in reinforcing it within modern society.

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in this text, will refer almost entirely to persons who were assigned female at birth and continue to identify with the term. While this paper does not wish to exclude trans-women from the narrative, all of the females in the men’s magazines at which we are looking only include cis women5 and only market cis women as desirable. Heterosexual, in this context, will be defined as a person who is attracted to those who identify as the “opposite” gender. This term will include those who are only attracted to those of the opposite gender, but may also be used in conjunction with the term bisexual to describe the females who are depicted to be sexually attracted to those of the same and opposite sex, but mostly attracted to the opposite sex. To reproduce the ideals of a normative heterosexuality, women in men’s magazines must always be seen to be attracted to men more than to women. The term desirable is arguably the trickiest to define in the context of this paper, as there are several different strains of male desire imposed upon the different kinds of female bodies. In the simplest terms, a woman who is desirable is a woman who is depicted as available sexually and eagerly anticipating the presence of a dominant male figure in her life. A desirable female is one who is eager to fit into traditional molds of femininity, docility, and submission. Now that we have determined what it means to be a desirable heterosexual woman, we can begin to analyze the effects of this definition on her self-consciousness But how do we even know that this is the context in which the magazines wish these women to be seen, and that we are not just imposing our own desires upon them? Who are we to say that Playboy and other men’s magazines dramatically distort the natural female body and are thus potentially harmful for consumers of the magazine? We are observers who recognize the distinct absence of a single female consciousness in an entire magazine, the lack of female authority within the industry, and the lack of any sort of autonomy over the bodies utilized in the photographs. We can assume that the sheer number of ways in which this eroticization is reinforced in the men’s magazines, both through the artistry of the photographs and the words used to complement them. To construct the Desirable Heterosexual Female as it is presented in men’s magazines, specifically Playboy, women’s bodies are separated from their respective consciousness through the drastic examples of masculinity and femininity as opposing forces in a manner similar to the nuclear family dynamic introduced in the 50s and by treating women of a different race as exotic and savage women in need of civilizing. In the early and mid-twentieth century, the basic understanding of the two acknowledged genders, male and female, was that the two fit into two separate gendered spheres. These were defined by most to be that men held the role 5  Or at least, during the time period in which we will be focusing on. Playboy will release its first transgender Playmate in the November/December 2017 issue

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of the producer, the worker, the dominant force, and that women were placed into the role of the consumer, the domestic housewife, the submissive listener. Playboy was one of the many modes of popular literature to actively attempt to alter this kind of thinking, and allows men to experience both the spheres of masculinity and femininity without being ostracized from the rigid original sphere of masculinity, considering Playboy’s masculine reputation among the populus. Playboy “represented a ‘visionary bible’ for a new breed of consuming male, its images of ‘cozy concupiscence and extra-marital consumerism’ heralding the rise of a new ‘playboy ethic’ that prioritized personal gratification” and thereby created a “model of masculinity that regarded responsibility, domesticity and abstinence as anathema, while hedonistic fun was a defining virtue” (Osgerby 101). In this way, men are given an opportunity to experience a different form of masculinity, one that on the surface seems rather progressive as it destroys the bounds of a traditional bourgeois masculinity. However, when offered a closer look, this new form of masculinity is perhaps even more dangerous than that which was previously known. It provides men both the social benefits of the older patriarchal structure, but with all of the consumer benefits previously issued only to the feminine sphere. Men are conditioned into thinking that the newfound bachelor subculture is the ideal, and find themselves with greater freedom than men who adhere to older gendered norms. Women, on the other hand, are increasingly denied any sort of flexibility through the spheres, and perhaps even find their own sphere to have shrunk: women discover themselves to be turned from the submissive and domestic consumers into a submissive and domestic product, a commodity circulating now as an image between men. By catering the entirety of the magazine towards male readers and male consumers, any sort of hope that the female sphere will be expanded is effectively and completely crushed when any sort of female voice or consciousness is removed from the narrative, all while being masqueraded as a progressive magazine. The female body is the most obvious product of the Playboy magazine; scantily clad women decorate nearly every page. Because of the established Playboy reputation as the classiest magazine of its kind, models were often presented in a less explicit manner than those of their raunchier counterparts, and were airbrushed and photoshopped heavily. The women of the 1950s and early 1960s issues all bore a very similar shape, with a large bust, small waist, and average hip and butt size. The average bust of the 1950s seemed to be drastically larger than the national average, with a large amount of playmates sporting F-cup or G-cup breasts. For the most part, women were presented as almost hairless, and pubic areas were hidden completely from view. Weight was less of an issue among the models than it appears now; the legs and hips tend to be more fleshy in these decades than in the ones to follow. Hair length did not seem to be a huge issue, but blondes were featured more than other hair


colors, and the most common hair texture was a loose wave or curl. As a basic quantification of the woman’s form, the short articles written about the playmates often featured the measurements of their busts, waists, and hips. The entire focus was on achieving the ideal hourglass figure and little else. Women were often depicted in domestic or workplace settings, and frequently had at least one image in which they were fully-clothed. This normalized the sexualization of the domestic woman and female workplace colleagues, as it juxtaposes a non-sexual and non-explicit image with one that is clearly sexual and relatively explicit. The photography techniques used on the models of Playboy are perfectly crafted to both provide the illusion that the reader is a part of the woman’s life and that the woman is an object present for the pleasure of the reader. The playmate spread for Dianne Chandler, the September 1966 model, is a prime example of the nearly perfect formula utilized by the well-oiled machine that is the magazine (Posar 140). The first page of most playmate spreads features a single headshot of the model in question, and houses the article describing her interests and abilities. The spread is often four to eight pages, two to three of which hold the pin-up poster images that the magazine has become famous for. This fold-out nude was often one of the only pictures taken in color within the spread, and was more heavily airbrushed than other photos. The focus of this photograph was nearly always the body of the model, her head usually in the top fourth of the image, and her breasts or genitals near the center. Other photos in the spread depicted the model completing everyday tasks, such as working in an office, getting dressed, or walking in a city. These pictures served to sexualize the female in her natural environment, thus legitimizing the sexualization of women completing these kinds of everyday tasks. The juxtaposition of the clothed everyday woman and the nude airbrushed woman served to both normalize a sexual gaze and emphasize the ease of disrobing the normal woman in an attempt to reveal the airbrushed beauty of the colored photograph. The cartoons featured in Playboy served to exemplify the ideal body that the cameras of the magazine sought to capture. Every depiction of a sexual woman gave her ample breast, a miniscule waist, and well-proportioned hips. Breasts were expected to be perky to the point of defying gravity, and often had a more angular shape than the round breast upheld by society today. Waists were expected to be ridiculously small, as if the cartoon models all wore corsets for a living. Hips were round - but not too large - and buttocks were defined and toned. Nearly all of the drawings featured Jessica Rabbit-esque body types, and more formfitting clothes than the usual fashion as seen on the actual models. Explicitness among cartoons varied, but the most explicit were never significantly more explicit than the actual women in the photographs. The first magazine of its breed, Modern Man, began by marketing what one could consider attractive but “achiev-

able” bodies in that, while all of the women fit into the beauty standards of the time, it was a more understated kind of acquiescence of said standards for these women. Women were depicted with the desirable hourglass figure that has remained popular, and did not reveal their nipples on the covers of the magazines until the early 1960s. They often wore lingerie, bathing suits, or clothes typical of most housewives of the time. Modern Man kept the same front cover structure through its publication, in which the title was in a top corner, headlines fell slightly below it, and a nearly nude woman took over most of the rest of the cover. There was little variety among the women featured as well; they were all white passing, and were depicted as submissive housewives. All women were posed in a manner that suggested they were either meant to be looked at by the reader, or that they were supposed to look out in a docile manner, as if inviting the reader to look back. The simplicity of the magazine’s layout led the publishers scrambling for a way to increase the magazine’s popularity as it fought to compete with the newly introduced Playboy, and we saw Modern Man quickly devolve into a mere echo of the “classy masculinity” that Playboy cultivated as its specific image. Playboy managed to remain a prominent and successful figure in the modern American man’s masculine lifestyle through its insistence on being a magazine for gentlemen which transgressed and upheld a more rigidly constructed masculinity and femininity. To determine the proper definition of femininity as put forth by Playboy issues, we look to their definition of masculinity and assume the opposite. The more feminine a woman, the more heterosexual she appears, and thus is considered more desirable and readily available for penetration. The more likely a woman is to willingly serve the masculine needs of the viewer, the more feminine she is deemed. In this way, the Playboy definition of masculinity can be read as an absolute dominance over both the male and female consciousness and the power to consume the female body, while femininity is defined as the near absolute submission to the male body and consciousness in power, and the subsequent placement into the role of the product. This kind of dominance is expressed through the disconnect of a woman’s body from her consciousness, and specific advice from men to men on how to better fulfill the rigid standards of masculinity imposed, something seen at many places within each magazine. The most obvious place to look for femininity in Playboy issues and other men’s magazines would be in the actual photographs featured. The first images seen by consumers were the covers of each magazine. The magazine covers of Playboy, like Modern Man, usually followed a specific formula, in which the upper left corner would feature the title in bold, and the entire page was taken up by a photo of a woman, a sexual cartoon of a woman, traditionally masculine objects, or the trademark Playboy bunny. These covers, up to the mid-late 60s, hardly ever depicted the entire body of the women featured, and even when the whole body was presFifth World


ent, the woman was rarely nude, usually wearing something fitted or partially sheer. Similar to Modern Man, all women on the cover are posed in such a manner that they are intently looking at the viewer for guidance and dominance, or are meant to simply be observed. The second place many consumers flip to during their perusal of a Playboy is the playmate centrefold or the featured article later in the magazine. Within the magazine, the pictures become more explicit, oftentimes actually depicting the full breast or more of the genitals. Women in the centerfolds of the magazines were more scantily clad, but Playboy possessed some sort of code regarding the level of explicitness that was imposed on the photographs in order to ensure the innocent youthfulness of the women was not too compromised. In a study done by Anthony F. Bogaert, Deborah A. Turkovich, and Carolyn L. Hafer which attempted to quantify the explicitness, objectification, and age of over 430 models featured in the centerfolds of Playboy magazines, it was discovered that while explicitness tended to increase over the first twenty years of the magazine’s publication, but pictures of genitals were incredibly rare, even in the more explicit years (Bogaert et. al.). They noted a “trade-off strategy that seemed to be operating within the pictures to maintain an optimal level of explicitness …. For example, if pubic hair and breasts were shown, the model would usually have her legs closed, or if her legs were open, she would be more likely to have her pubic region covered by her hand or possibly a garment” (Bogaert et. al. 137). The article also discussed the objectification of bodies within the time period studied, and found that objectification began to decrease during the first twenty years of production (Bogaert et. al. 137). This kind of objectification6, while on a downward slope, is still very present in the later years of Playboy and other forms of pornography. These magazines weren’t just pin-up posters and nude images; each Playboy was “crammed with images of fashionable menswear and mouthwatering consumer goods,” and even featured a number of bachelor pads - called “Playboy Pads” - at one point (Osgerby 100). All of these, along with the articles that came with this trifecta of propaganda, served to convince viewers that the kind of men who lived in the way articulated by the adverts was “a man who was affluent and independent, with a sense of individuality crafted around fashionable display and the pleasures of commodity consumption - yet this was also a man who took care that his

6  In order to properly quantify objectification, Bogaert’s study necessitated a modified definition of objectification, and thus focused on the physical evidence of the injustice. Objectification is loosely defined as “The action of degrading someone to the status of a mere object” or a depersonalization of the human featured and the subsequent transformation into a body that exists solely for another person’s pleasure (Oxford). In their attempt to quantify this definition, the article focused only on the depersonalization of the photography techniques, rather than looking at these techniques in conjunction with the depersonalizing nature of the articles and captions describing the people in the photos.

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aesthetic tastes marked him out as avowedly heterosexual and resolutely ‘manful’” (Osgerby 100). By not only selling the bodies of women but also numerous products used by gentlemen, Playboy is not just cultivating a masculine sex fantasy, but rather has invented an entire masculine gentleman’s paradise, completed by the presence of the scantily-clad ladies of the centrefolds. To ensure the quality of entertainment did not decrease in the spaces between the features, each magazine featured almost a dozen cartoons. Nearly all of the cartoons feature very attractive depictions of white women, often accompanied by older, average looking white men. One such cartoon, from the August 1955 issue, portrays a young woman, literally swept off her feet by an older businessman, with the caption “But, Mr. Jones, it’s my uncle’s will you’re supposed to break!” (Mario 26). By implying that it is okay to wear down a woman’s will in order to receive a sexual act, and using humor to normalize sexual encounters in the workplace, the magazine led its readers men to view sexual harassment in the workplace as natural, and to be less likely to respond positively when a woman says no to a sexual act. A second cartoon, featured in the same issue, is an image of a young woman lying on a couch with an older man, captioned “To me marriage is a 50-50 deal – 50% of my time with my wife and 50% of my time with you” (31). This cartoon illustrates one of the biggest themes in Playboy magazines: infidelity. The idea that a marital bond is something that could and should be broken was an important marketing point of the bachelor lifestyle, and furthers the idea that all women are merely products perfectly fashioned for the pleasure and satisfaction of men. It paints women and their respective emotions and responses to this situation as secondary to those of the men, thus ensuring the security of the involved men’s emotions. Cartoons are one of the strongest arguments for the masculinity presented in Playboy, as they utilize both images and simple phrases, effectively normalizing both unrealistic bodies and outlandish situations. One would think that the vast number and variety of graphics in Playboy would be enough for their vision of perfect masculinity, but a picture without a caption has too much opportunity for different interpretations, or potentially problematic opinions; a risk that Playboy was obviously not willing to take. The most notable of these would be the sheer lack of a female voice for the women encaptured in the photo spreads. While there are a decent amount of featured essays and fiction pieces written by notable female authors, such as Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, and Alice Denham, all of the features written about the playmates were written in masculine voices in a very objective manner. In the articles, we see a greater focus on the stark lack of masculinity in her life. The features would often talk about her hobbies, nearly always something traditionally considered domestic and therefore feminine, rather than being any sort of producing woman. Playmates are promoted as women who are not just placed into the position of the prod-


uct, but are depicted to welcome this lack of authority. The captions of playmate spreads were also rife with rampant misogyny and separation of the body from personhood. While each article and caption features several quotes from the playmate in question, these are carefully chosen to craft them into less intellectual, ditzy bodies open to coercion from men. Susan Denburg, the featured playmate in the August 1966 magazine, an Austrian immigrant, talks about her difficulties as an actor by saying “so it takes me twice as long to memorize my lines, because I always wind up translating them into German first” (Gowland 89). This lack of proficiency in English is utilized throughout the article to present her as foreign and naive, continually calling both her figure and her way of speaking “Teutonic” (Gowland 88). This insistence on her as being foreign and confused by the english language implies a confusion about american culture and the ability to be easily swayed by a persuasive male figure. This naivety is marketed as a simple way for a true bachelor to gain sexual access to the woman/product in question. Because these captions are located so closely to the materials which men most often look to within the magazine, they are more likely to influence than other written propaganda within the magazine. One of the places most rife with the proposed masculine bachelor life in the Playboy magazine are the several lifestyle pieces in each issue. These pieces could be about nearly anything, with titles ranging from “The Naked Hamburger” to “Be Well Rounded” to “Photography can be fun (Mario 20) (Mead 60)(King 26). The one unifying factor between these three articles and many others is their primary purpose: to depict an ideal bachelor lifestyle and explain how this lifestyle will woo women. Mario’s “The Naked Hamburger” describes the problem with giving a woman too much food and finding out later that she is too tired and full for sex. It then discusses the idea of what a man should eat, “ when she turns to make the final adjustment of her garter belt and both of you feel a kind of riotous hunger” and presents the idea of the hamburger as the best and only solution (21). The article goes on to discuss the many benefits of hamburgers as opposed to other kinds of accessible foods, and provides information on how men and “sexual athletes” should prepare and cook their burgers (Mario 40). This kind of reinforced masculinity pervades everything, from their sexual life to their dinner choices. Similar ideas are reflected in the other two pieces previously mentioned; “Photography Can Be Fun” discusses several photography techniques and the difficulty of the perfect nude shot - all while the narrator is planning to tell his wife that this more leisurely job will become his main form of income - and “Be Well Rounded” provides advice on how to make it easy for a man’s significant other to be proud of him. These kinds of literatures promote lifestyles of leisure and an appreciation for the finer things in life, but also speak very little about ensuring the comfort and approval of the women involved in the men’s lives. The final component of the magazines, the advertise-

ments, were placed in a strategic manner in order to both capture the reader’s interest and to offer him a way to make the bachelor fantasy seen within the magazine into a reality. Most, if not all, of the adverts were products such as alcohol, fine shoes, or cologne, all of which were deemed essential in the making of a proper bachelor. While Playboy boasts less adverts than most magazines, all are chosen specifically to illustrate the image Playboy endeavors to cultivate, an image of cosmopolitan hedonism. Some of the companies featured in a 1966 issue were “Pub Cologne,” “Bacardi,” and “Heineken,” all of which were found before the 30th page, packed in with several other adverts. The overall effect is a sense of an all-consuming bachelor’s haven, made complete with its connection to the outside world. The strategic placement of the advertisements is another huge marketing factor, as nearly all of the advertisements are located in the first and last pages of each issue. There are never more than one or two advertisements placed in between the pages dedicated to the playmate spread and the monthly feature articles. This allows the reader to escape into the fantasy world of urban masculinity for an extended period of time, and later return to the real world with a sense of how to turn his life into the kind of bachelor’s paradise that is the world presented by Playboy. While the advertisements themselves are not an explicit enforcement of the masculinity presented in Playboy, the strategic placement and brands chosen are. The first instance of color in Playboy magazines appeared within the numerous satirical cartoons, one of earliest published in March 1956 - featured several young east-asian women in a hot tub with some older white men, all nude. The caption stated “Here’s one ambassador, if they want to recall, they’ll have to come and get!” in reference to their assumed purchase of the east-asian women (Cole 18). While many of the cartoons featuring scantily-clad white women depict them as cheating wives or homewreckers, they are still viewed as women with whom one would have children. Asian women and other women of color, however, are presented only as prostitutes, strippers, or savage natives that can only be considered good enough for a one night stand, if even that. Another cartoon in the same 1956 issue featured two african women, both draped across a white man, who tells a white woman, dressed prudishly, “have you forgotten, Miss Sebastian, that these are the savage Hongoo natives -- no one in his right mind would risk offending them” (Martin 55). The white woman, Miss Sebastian, is one of the few women who is not depicted in a sexual manner at all, rather the opposite, in that her hourglass figure is not accentuated, her breasts and legs are well covered, and her hair is cropped and flat, compared to the flowing curls on most Playboy models at the time. The two Hongoo natives, which remain unnamed, are quite the opposite, with large natural hair, and no clothing aside from a grass skirt and large earrings. In this way, the artist is able to market women of color as desirable, even with their juxtaposition to a white woman. But by depicting women of color as attractive Fifth World


only if they are almost or completely naked, they lose the ability to be considered maternal or worthy of marriage in any sense. After the exotic cartoons, photograph features were destined to follow, and sought to portray women of color as desirable objects eagerly waiting the conquering force of the adventurous white man, even if only for a luxurious and exotic visit. An April 1963 article “the girls of Africa” features some of the first photographed women of color and seeks to describe the many lifestyles of the women who live in the many countries, however, it constructs a contrast of lifestyle by featuring only white european immigrants as urban and civilized and only featuring darker skinned women to display the traditions of native tribes: Central Africa’s pros are a lively, independent lot, not at all like their pathetic sisters in India and China. These brown-skinned beauties abound in the markets of Kano, Ibadan and Enugu in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, and Léopoldville in the Congo. Here, too, are the bungalow girls -educated, sophisticated young Africans dressed in Western fashion, talking English, smoking an endless succession of cigarettes. They specialize in adventures with foreigners and often serve as companion-housekeepers for lonely bachelors. (152) The magazine also utilizes the traditional dress and customs of several cultures in its raging sexualization, as the article states The girls of Central Africa are at their best when unencumbered by clothes, but only a few have remained untouched by the missionary’s zeal to hide all that is natural. Still, on the high plateau of Jos in Nigeria, one can see high-breasted “naked pagans,” as they are called, wandering through the markets dressed in nothing but two little bunches of fresh green leaves suspended from a thong. Although not generally beautiful, they are compelling in the milling crowd. (152) This passage not only paints the traditional everyday wear of a culture as a sexual garment, useful only in its attractiveness to men, but also reminds the masculine readers that women of color will never be of the same caliber as white women, as they lack the same beauty and traditional western desirability. The only way in which these African women can be presented as worthy of the white male consumer is to present them as already half naked and even more eager than the white woman. It was one thing for Playboy to feature several women of color in their magazines, but it was another thing entirely to make women of color the focus of an entire issue by making them the playmate of the month. Some of the first of these women were asian women, such as Gwen Wong and China Lee. Featured early on in the magazine’s production, Lee was essentially turned into a “china doll7” without any 7  “China Doll” was the title given to her multiple page spread.

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sort of autonomy or voice (72). The article discussed her almost solely in her bodily abilities: her softball skills, her proficiency as a “prize-winning equestrienne and jumper, expert swimmer and ping-pong player, as well as champion twister of all Bunnydom” and her small stature (72). This lack of information of her academic and workplace interests leads to the disconnect of body from personhood, as her only personality traits mentioned are not personality traits at all, rather they are specific skills that would possibly be conducive to a sexual encounter. This technique even turns her own words into a method in which her consciousness is stripped from her body. The article concludes with a discussion of her family and how they “still follow Oriental ways: They speak the old language, read the old books, and follow the old customs” (72). This account again simplifies asian culture into the “ancient” monoculture that is “the orient,” implying that the modern bachelor lifestyle presented by Playboy is the new, and thus should be the goal of the American man. Black women were included as playmates as early as 1965, but did not manage to grace the cover of the magazine until October 1971. The first of these, Jennifer Jackson, had been a part of an earlier feature with her twin, Janis Jackson about one year prior. The 1964 caption says very little, but makes it clear that it’s not worth it to learn how to tell one twin from another, as it says “Janis (front -- we think) bookwormed her way through school, while Jennifer piled up athletic honors” (96). This simple quote manages to dehumanize the women in the picture by considering the women in the image as merely interchangeable. In the previous caption, we also see the presentation of Jennifer as lacking self-consciousness. One of the final sentences in the playmate article of 1965 states “although our girl on the go admits having trouble concentrating on fewer than three things at once, she knows exactly what she likes in the way of male companionship” as a reiteration of this idea, essentially saying that the only thing Jackson really knows with any certainty is sex with the men she desires (Posar 93). These kinds of thoughts allow the magazine to market black women as desirable enough for the bachelor’s specialized consumption, though not the object of normative desire, for Ms. Jackson was locked inside the neverending pages of the magazine, her place on the cover taken by another busty blonde. Now that we’ve effectively delved into how Playboy and other erotic magazines separate women’s bodies from their consciousness and effectively remove autonomy of any sort, it is imperative that we determine the consequences of this wildly distorted image of femininity and that we ensure the effects on the consuming population are not too drastic. One of the most notable consequences of removing a woman’s voice from her sexualized body is that a woman without a voice cannot communicate verbal consent in any way, shape, or form. To normalize this lack of necessity for consent is a serious problem, as seen in a study completed in


1979 by Joseph E. Scott and Loretta A. Schwalm. The data indicated that states with higher adult magazine circulation rates tended to have higher rape rates (Scott and Schwalm 245). The number of rapes was said to “differ considerably between states, with Alaska having the highest rape rate, 85 per 100,000 inhabitants and also the highest monthly adult magazine circulation rate, 10,516 per 100,000 inhabitants”(Scott and Schwalm 245). States with lower magazine circulation rates experienced lower rape rates. In Pornography: Impacts and Influences by Dennis Howitt and Guy Cumberbatch, a study noticed that those “massively exposed” to pornography, when asked the amount of time a sexual assault offender should spend in prison, provided times that were about half the length given by those not exposed to any porn (87). These kinds of numbers are disturbing, but they should not come as a surprise. By depicting masculinity as an almost complete and absolute dominance, erotic magazine depictions of women as submissive and for the man’s taking or conquering often influence men to believe that this is how sex should happen naturally. The distortion of what sex should look like influences most male’s level of confidence, as they find themselves to be less successful partners than those men they watch in the porn industry. Indeed, Howitt and Cumberbatch also found that after watching porn, most people are less satisfied with their sexual partner and their own performance (83). This could even be what influences men to attempt more violent sexual practices in hopes that it would unlock the mysterious voiceless domestic women featured in erotic magazines. How can we prevent this kind of thinking? The issue with that mainstream porn is that it focuses entirely on the pleasure of men and upholding the archaic notions of masculinity imposed on the viewers of these magazines. It denies females any chance to become the consumer, and instead forces them to become the product that males consume. One professed attempt to broaden the cast of women represented in porn was the introduction of “feminist” porn companies, such as SuicideGirls. These kinds of companies claim to offer alternative forms of beauty, and market themselves as the opposition to mainstream porn companies. However, SuicideGirls and other alternative porn companies direct their models to “reproduce the very performativity of mainstream pornography: large, sultry eyes, pouty lips, thrusting breasts, beckoning glances, sexual flush, and lush bums” (Nguyen 164). These kinds of false activism shown towards the modern woman are just as underhanded and regressive as the original men’s magazines themselves. In order to truly change the shape of pornographic depictions of women in western culture, we have to turn the sexual woman into a consumer herself, rather than just repackaging and remarketing her.

“Cartoon.” Playboy 1 Aug. 1955, p.31 “China Doll.” Playboy, 1 Aug. 1964, pp. 72–77. “Gender: Separate Spheres for Men and Women.” American Eras,, “The Bunnies of Chicago.” Playboy, 1 Aug. 1964, pp. 86–145. “The Girls of Africa.” Playboy, 1 Apr. 1963, pp. 112–155. “The United States of Nudity.” Playboy, 1 May 2017, pp. 32–33. Bogaert, Anthony F., et al. “A Content Analysis of ‘Playboy’ Centrefolds from 1953 through 1990: Changes in Explicitness, Objectification, and Model’s Age.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 30, no. 2, 1993, pp. 135–139. JSTOR, JSTOR, Casilli, Mario, and Gene Trindl. “Spice From the Orient.” Playboy, 1 Apr. 1967, pp. 102–109. Cole, Jack. “Cartoon.” Playboy, Mar. 1956, pp. 18–19. Freese, Jeremy, and Sheri Meland. “Seven Tenths Incorrect: Heterogeneity and Change in the Waistto-Hip Ratios of Playboy Centerfold Models and Miss America Pageant Winners.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 39, no. 2, 2002, pp. 133–138. JSTOR, JSTOR, King, Marshall. “Photography Can Be Fun.” Playboy, 1 Mar. 1956, pp. 26–29. Mario, Thomas. “Cartoon.” Playboy, 1 Aug. 1955, p. 26. Mario, Thomas. “The Naked Hamburger.” Playboy, 1 Feb. 1955, pp. 20–41. Martin, Charles E. “Cartoon.” Playboy, Mar. 1956, pp. 54–55. McGlynn, Aidan. “Propaganda and the Authority of Pornography.” Theoria: An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, vol. 31, no. 3, 2016, pp. 329–343. JSTOR, JSTOR, Mead, Shepard. “Be Well Rounded.” Playboy, 1 Mar. 1956, pp. 60–73. Morgan, Susan. “Playboy: A Portfolio of Art and Satire.” Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 52, no. 3/4, 2013, pp. 22–31. JSTOR, JSTOR, Nguyen, Tram. “From SlutWalks to SuicideGirls: Feminist Resistance in the Third Wave and Postfeminist Era.” Women’s Studies Quarterly, vol. 41, no. 3/4, 2013, pp. 157–172. JSTOR, JSTOR, Osgerby, Bill. “The Bachelor Pad as Cultural Icon: Masculinity, Consumption and Interior Design in American Men’s Magazines, 1930-65.” Journal of Design History, vol. 18, no. 1, 2005, pp. 99–113. JSTOR, JSTOR, Posar, Pompeo. “Portrait of Jenny.” Playboy, 1 Mar. 1965, pp. 88–93. Posar, Pompeo. “Illini Eyeful.” Playboy, 1 Sept. 1966, pp. 140–145. Scott, Joseph E., and Loretta A. Schwalm. “Rape Rates and the Circulation Rates of Adult Magazines.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 24, 1988, pp. 241–250. JSTOR, JSTOR, stable/3812843. Youngs, Ian. “11 great authors who wrote for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy.” BBC News, BBC, 28 Sept. 2017,

Fifth World


A Review of the Motives, Issues, Transformations and Discussions Surrounding Torture Over the Course of Human Civilization Henry Chen


orture is a term that evokes emotion for some but indifference for others. During times of conflict, soldiers and civilians alike were all too familiar with the word. Consisting of acts of intentional physical or psychological pain on a subject, torture was used primarily in order to satisfy the needs of the torturer or to gain information from the victim. One modern example of torture would be the suffering of refugees during the Yugoslavia Wars. Between 1999 and 2001, captured prisoners of war between Croatians, Serbians, and Albanians were subject to a vast spectrum of torture, ranging from food deprivation and mutilation to flogging and rape (Jovic 159). A more personal and emotional instance would be the torture and prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison. In 2003, members of the United States Army and the CIA tortured prisoners physically and mentally by committing horrible acts like sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, and murder. One of the ringleaders of the act, Charles Graner Jr., showcases the dehumanization and disinhibition of morality by saying, “The Christian in me says it’s wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, ‘I love to make a grown man piss himself” (Hersh). Although this was an example of persecution in a developing country, torture also manifested in first world countries. The horror of this account was that the torture occurred without anyone knowing of these detrimental acts. Nonetheless, both appalling accounts of torture spread fear in the hearts of people across the world, leading one to ask the question what can be done to stop torture? The methods and psychology of torture has been a topic of discussion for many decades, if not centuries. Torture was first seen during the Persian Empire, where criminals or prosecuted people were tortured in the sense of judicial justice, but later was first used in war by the Greeks and Romans to interrogate prisoners for information. References to the history and methods of torture have provided the public with a general sense of the pernicious act (Peters). What has been widely forgotten, however, are the factors that invoke people and nations to commit atrocious acts such as torture. Too sharp of a focus on the horrors and brutalities of torture has neglected the study of transforming societies and environment and how both factors contribute to the development of torture. Studying the changes in ideNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

als and principles of torture and the developing societies of countries (both during war and in times of peace) simultaneously could provide helpful information and theories as to the proper way to think and analyze the problem of torture around the world. For example, instead of focusing on how painful or deadly the methods or devices of torture were, trying to find the motives or reasoning behind the perpetrators using these gruesome acts of torture on their victims would provide a more thorough analysis of this situation. In fact, researchers from Sri Lanka successfully compiled a list of the different methods of torture used against war prisoners, along with the percentage of different types of injuries that they had suffered due to being tortured during times of war. Along with a long list of gruesome descriptions of the methods of torture used on refugees during civil war, they also noted that out of the 155 states that ratified the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), 40 of those UN states are still practicing torture today. What could we make of this alarming source of information? How is it that, after five decades after the ratification of UNCAT, do we still have active governments still torturing people during war? Psychologically, what causes people to commit these terrible acts of attrition? A general and worldwide increase in brutality and occurrences of torture calls for an investigation into modernity itself. However, prior knowledge of the methods, usage, and effects of torture must be established. Research has found findings that torture throughout the world increased until1948, when the Declaration of Human Rights rendered torture illegal. Despite laws and treaties banning the use of degrading punishment, however, torture continues to be a prominent problem in both powerful nations and developing countries today. Major changes in technology and society over the course of 500 years provided possible reasons as to what could have caused the increase in frequency of brutality of torture over the course of history. The transformation of the usage, methods, and ideals of torture over the course of history can be attributed to the consequences of transforming societal ideals, the influence of public beliefs, and dehumanization of victims by the perpetrators as a result of weaker moral inhibitions and have sparked debates


and controversy over the ethics and morals behind the use of torture in the modern day.


orture was practiced in numerous ancient civilizations. Convicts and war prisoners were put to death by using torture to give them a slow, humiliating death. To some American Indian tribes, it is customary to torment and burn prisoners. Crucifixion was a popular torture technique in ancient Rome. Rome also used torture to get the general population, including criminals and slave, to get them to talk about secretive information. In ancient Roman times, people were given information and were told that they should never tell this information to anyone. However, the widespread use of this resulted in a major increase in the use of torture (Dowling 225). The lessening of moral inhibitions in the cognitive development of humans in early society led to the creation of the ‘ancestor’ of modern day torture. In the 12th century torture in Europe became very widespread. Before European countries began using torture, they relied on a more common judicial type of settlements for crimes. In the 13th century, confessions and eyewitness testimonies began to be used to determine if a person was guilty or innocent. But to extract these confessions from convicts, European societies turned to torture, which could only be used if there was a multitude of evidence against the defendant. From the 14th to 18th centuries in Europe, torture was a very common component of the legal process in many of the European countries and even the Roman Catholic church. The Roman Catholic church used torture as a way of punishing heretics at the order of inquisitors. The Inquisition played a big part in the spread of torture in medieval times, as it sought to discover and to prosecute heretics. The punishments for heresy were extreme, such as a device known as the vice (Dowling 290). The victim’s head would be put in the vise and then the executioner would begin to tighten a little screw at the top of the vice, causing the victims head to start to compress. This is just one of the many examples of torture prevalent early in human civilization history.


he Early Modern Period, lasting from the 16th Century to the late 19th Century, was an era during which primarily European and Asian nations began to expand into Africa and the Americas. For the first time, contact and conflict arose between countries and societies living in the Eurasia and the Americas, Africa, and Oceania due to differences in religion, culture, and land. These three factors were key to the use of torture during war. In many of the conflicts, captured warriors, surrendering villages, and conquered groups were all subject to physical and emotional pain inflicted by their captors because of being on the losing side. Nonetheless, the Early Modern Period was responsible for the modifications and evolution of the present-day torture that we see today.

Religion was a major incentive for exploration of the West by European countries after the discovery of the New World. One instance of European expansion is the Spanish, whose arrival between the late 15th Century and early 16th Century led to the decreased population and size of the indigenous people. Due to the natives’ refusal of conversion to Catholicism, the encomienda system, and forced labor, Spaniards often resorted to physical pain and torture to obtain their intended goal of the native submission. Torturous tactics included burning at the stake, watching the execution of family members, and destruction of property (Roth 114). The role of religion in the minds and ideals of the conquistadors led the Spanish Inquisition to use torture as a way of converting natives to Catholicism. Interestingly, the Spanish’s religious motives also dehumanized the conquistadors, corrupted their morals and created inhumane methods of torture. Such horrific methods of torture by the conquistadors included simultaneous immolation and hanging, feeding victims to their trained fence dogs, testing the strength and quality of a sword by butchering a person, tying up high ranking members of native communities to use them as target practice, and working child laborers to death after enslaving them (Perry 13). In most cases, the use of torture by the Spanish led to the death of the native victims. Torture was also used during wars to acquire or keep land by opposing parties. Violence between the American colonies (and later the United States) and the Native Americans was present since the Europeans arrived in North America. Continental expansion by the British and its colonists created conflict over land between themselves and the Native Americans. Naturally, this was detrimental to Native Americans, as continental expansion would result in the annexation and loss of land for the natives. Wars between Europeans or Americans and Native Americans were often brutal and resulted in many prisoners of war for both sides. Native Americans often tortured captured colonists by scalping, skinning, beheading, and cannibalism (Starkey 27). These actions can be explained by both conflicting ideals between two societies and the Native American culture associated with hunting. On the contrary, fighting between other tribes also used gruesome methods of torture on captured warriors. Unlike the torture used against the Europeans, cultural traditions in the Eastern half of the United States for dealing with captives predated the arrival of Europeans, and often involved execution by torture. Men, women, and teenage boy captives would face sacrificial rituals usually directed towards the sun. Throughout the ordeal, the torture was conducted in the center of the village, and the entire population (including children) participated in inflicting torture on the captives. Torture for captives were often stretched out to last if possible, with breaks between torture sessions when the victim was able to drink and eat before punishment resumed. As a result, it took days or even weeks for a captive under these conditions to die from his or her wounds (Snyder 96). Fifth World



he Machine Age was a drastically changing period in world history when rapid industrialization and increased interactions in international relations created new societal and economical ideals. Due to cultural differences, disagreeing principles, and political beliefs, areas around the world were involved in regional and global conflicts. These conditions resulted in torture being converted into more menacing, painful, and deadly methods due to justifications for science and medicine, governmental ideals. This occurred alongside with opposing outcry against torture. Inside these global conflicts, the accelerating development of technology resulted in the creation of horrifying methods of torture not seen or accessible to the human mind and body before. Throughout the 20th Century, science, especially in medicine, continued to progress. However, in times of war, morals and laws were discarded during medical experiments. During World War Two, Japan and Germany conducted highly unethical medical experiments in which war prisoners and captured civilians were forcefully subjected to torture to force confessions from those who resisted Japanese and German invasion and occupation. Because of large technological advancements made since the end of the 19th Century, torture under the guise of science advancement became a disgusting and terrifying new category of pain and punishment. An infamous example would be Unit 731, who used both biological weapons, bodily pain, and emotional toil to psychologically and physically destroy victims while simultaneously gathering data. Torturous experiments that were carried out included vivisecting war prisoners without anesthesia, infecting life-threatening diseases such as bubonic plague and gonorrhea by injection, freezing limbs to test the rate of frostbite on a human body, and placing humans into centrifuges and spun until death (Gold). The leaders and collaborators of Unit 731 and other research warfare centers during the Second Great War also used torture for weapon testing. For example, Japanese soldiers and researchers forced captive Chinese civilians to act as test subjects for grenades blown up at various positions, dummies for flamethrowers, and lab rats exposed to chemical bombs to analyze the spread of toxins and projectiles. Essentially, torture was used in the name of science and medicine. Japan was not the only Axis Power to conduct unethical and immoral experiments on humans. In the early 1940’s, Germany, under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, conducted medical experiments on a large portion of prisoners in concentration camps. Nazi physicians and military forced prisoners to participate, with no form of any consent was given during those experiments. Like Unit 731 in Japan, these experiments often lead to trauma, disfigurement, permanent disability, and even death. As such, these heinous acts fall under the category of medical torture. Promoted by Nazi scientists as “the greater good”, torture also involved captives in concentration camps being subject to high alNorth Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

titude impact experiments, blood coagulation studies, and experiments involving sterilization and fertility. Perhaps the most notorious example of medical torture is the Nazi’s research into head blunt-force trauma. In one of the experiments concerning head trauma, a young boy around the age of twelve was restrained in a chair, and had a mechanized hammer come down on his forehead every few seconds. As a result of the head trauma, the boy was driven insane (Small 135). After the War, the United Nations General Assembl ratified the Universal Description of Human Rights, which outlawed torture in Article 5, stating that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Donelly 102). The UN tried to further prevent the atrocities and horrors committed by torture during wars by ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1987. In both instances, each article or constitution tried to prevent torture from occurring in the world, but were not completely successful. This ban on torture and other ill-treatment has subsequently been incorporated into the extensive network of international and regional human rights treaties. It is contained in Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by 153 countries, including the United States in 1992, and in the Convention against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention against Torture), ratified by 136 countries, including the United States in 1994. It is also codified in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the American Convention on Human Rights. In the eyes of the public, torture is universally condemned, and whatever its actual practice, no country publicly supports torture or opposes its eradication. The prohibition against torture is well established under customary international law as jus cogens; that is, it has the highest standing in customary law and is so fundamental as to supersede all other treaties and customary laws (except laws that are also jus cogens). Criminal acts that are jus cogens are subject to universal jurisdiction, meaning that any state can exercise its jurisdiction, regardless of where the crime took place, the nationality of the perpetrator or the nationality of the victim (De Wet).


he Digital Era is a time in which technology has exponentially improved and flourished. The world has been enveloped in a veil of internet, digital devices, and the computerization of information. Unfortunately, this has led to the commercialization and the creation of modern day torture, with torture still being practiced worldwide. Amnesty International received reports of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in more than 150 countries during the four-year period from 1997


to 2000. These accusations concerned acts against political prisoners in 70 countries and other prisoners and detainees in more than 130 countries (Clark 60). State torture has been extensively documented and studied, often as part of efforts at collective memory and reconciliation in societies that have experienced a change in government. Surveys of torture survivors reveal that torture “is not aimed primarily at the extraction of information ... Its real aim is to break down the victim’s personality and identity. (Weschler 15)” When it is applied indiscriminately, torture is used as a tool of repression and deterrence against dissent and community empowerment. In the last few decades, attention has been turned towards helping those who have suffered through torture, rather the perpetrators of these terrible actions. The consequences of torture reach far beyond immediate pain, and many victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which includes symptoms such as flashbacks (or intrusive thoughts), severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, depression and memory lapses. For example, studies have shown that over 69-92 percent of victims of torture during war suffer from some sort of traumatic disorder (Johnson 38). Torture victims often feel guilt and shame, triggered by the humiliation they have endured. Many feel that they have betrayed themselves or their friends and family. All these symptoms are normal human responses to abnormal and inhuman treatment. Studies have shown that many victims who go through torture continue to have lifelong anxiety, depression, and suffer all sorts of mental health issues. Torture is often difficult to prove, particularly when some time has passed between the event and a medical examination, or when the torturers are immune from prosecution. Many torturers around the world use methods designed to have a maximum psychological impact while leaving only minimal physical traces. Medical and Human Rights Organizations worldwide have collaborated to produce the Istanbul Protocol, a document designed to outline common torture methods, consequences of torture, and medico-legal examination techniques. Typically deaths due to torture are shown in an autopsy as being due to “natural causes” like heart attack, inflammation, or embolism due to extreme stress. Victims of torture during war must be taken more seriously, and efforts should be more concentrated on helping the suffering civilians or soldiers during war (Chanbonpin 165). The late 20th and early 21st Century spawned the increase of terrorist attacks across the world, particularly from Islamic extremists. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the United States, along with other United Nations countries, exponentially increased security and anti-terrorism efforts. After terrorists or suspected terrorists were captured, they were subject to many types of painful punishments. One instance of such torture used in war is the abuse suffered by Guantanamo Bay detainees at the hands of the FBI and the CIA during the War on Terror. During their imprisonment,

detainees often received merciless treatment, such as being held down and waterboarded 183 times, sleep deprivation for dangerous amounts of time, and rectal feeding (Bloche). While many states utilize torture, few wish to be depicted as doing as such, both to their own particular citizens and to worldwide bodies. Therefore, an assortment of techniques is utilized to circumvent their lawful and philanthropic obligations, including conceivable deniability, mystery police, “need to know”, foreswearing that specific exercises constitute torment, request to different laws (national or global), utilization of a jurisdictional contention, case of “abrogating need”, the utilization of torment as a substitute, etc. All governments participating in torture (and different violations against mankind) reliably deny taking any part in it, regardless of overpowering prattle and physical proof from the residents they tormented. Through both refusal and evasion of indictment, the clear majority requesting or completing demonstrations of torture don’t confront legitimate results for their activities. UN Special Rapporteur for the Commission on Human Rights, Sir Nigel Rodley, trusts that “exemption keeps on being the primary reason for the propagation and support of human rights infringement and, specifically, torture” (Brownlie 10). lthough torture is sanctioned by some states, it is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries. Currently, there is an ongoing debate as to what exactly is and is not legally defined as torture. It is a serious violation of human rights declared to be unacceptable, though not illegal, by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The signatories of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols I and II of 1977 both officially agree not to torture captured persons in armed conflicts, whether international or internal. Torture is also prohibited for the signatories of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by 158 countries (Nowak 10). In Article 1.1, torture is defined as the following: “For the purpose of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions. (Burgers 3)” The words “inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions” are ambiguous and exceptionally expansive. It is hard to determine what sanctions are ‘characteristic in or accidental to legal assents’ in a specific legitimate framework and what are


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most certainly not. The drafters of the Convention neither gave any criteria to making such an assurance nor did they characterize the terms. The idea of the discoveries would contrast so much starting with one legitimate framework then onto the next that they would offer ascent to genuine debate among the Parties to the Convention. It was once thought that the reference to such principles would make the issue more convoluted, for it would enrich the standards with a similarity of lawful restricting power. This permits state gatherings to pass local laws that allow demonstrations of torment that they accept are inside the legal authorizations provision. Notwithstanding, the most generally received elucidation of the legitimate approvals proviso is that it alludes to sanctions approved by universal law. The understanding of the legitimate assents proviso leaves no extent of utilization and is generally discussed by creators, history specialists, and researchers alike. In the United States, torture is illegal and punishable within U.S. territorial bounds. However, prosecution of abuse occurring on foreign soil, outside of usual U.S. territorial jurisdiction, is difficult. A two-year study by U.S. independent group concluded that it was “indisputable” that U.S. forces had employed torture as well as “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” in many interrogations. The US Constitution Project group concluded that the nation beared ultimate responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of these techniques, and that there is substantial evidence that information obtained by these methods was neither useful nor reliable (Gronke 23). One of the basic factors of citizens’ trust in the country they live is their confidence in the fairness of the judicial system, which guarantees the propriety of crime and punishment (Koen 56). In the United States, for example, it is guaranteed by the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. However, accepting torture as, a method of interrogation, for example, means citizens can no longer feel safe if they must encounter justice, even (and especially) if they are innocent. In this case, an investigative error leading to suspicion of an innocent person can result into the application of severe psychological and physical damage to this individual before their innocence becomes evident. Understandably, to stop the torture, the innocent victim will eagerly invent any ‘evidence’ their interrogators desire. The basic ethical debate is often presented as a matter of the utilitarian versus deontological viewpoint. A utilitarian thinker may believe that when the overall outcome of lives saved due to torture is positive, torture can be justified. The intended outcome of an action is held as the primary factor in determining its merit or morality. However, if the outcome of policies allowing torture are uncertain (or if the outcome cannot be traced back to the use of torture) then there can be a utilitarian view that torture is wrong. The opposite view is the deontological, which proposes that general rules and values that are to be respected regardless of outcome (Alexandra 895). North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

In the post 9/11 environment, society has been consumed by the question of whether torture is acceptable under extreme circumstances. The “ticking bomb” metaphor was regularly employed by various figures in the US as an argument to justify the use of torture in interrogations during the term of the Bush Administration. Best described as a rhetorical question, the issue leaves the thinker with a dilemma: Suppose that a person with knowledge of an imminent terrorist attack, that will kill many people, is in the hands of the authorities and that they will disclose the information needed to prevent the attack only if he or she is tortured. One may ask themselves, “Should he or she be tortured? (Alhoff 5)” Deontologism is an approach which seeks to create universal rules for the morality of human action; its ideas of common humanity and fundamental human rights were very influential in the banning of torture (Turner 17). Kant’s deontological approach creates two universal rules by which moral questions can be addressed: ‘Act as though the maxim of your action were by your will to become a universal law of nature,’ and ‘Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only’ (Turner 14). Under the first rule, the act of torture cannot be justified as we would not accept it being universalized and potentially used against ourselves. According to the second rule, torture is wrong because torturing a person for information is to use them as a means only (Turner 15). Thus, Kant’s logic leads to the conclusion that torture cannot be justified under any circumstances. An individual who chooses not to torture makes the correct moral decision regarding their actions despite the terrible consequences that might result. On the other side of the argument, consequentialists insist that no action is inherently bad because morality is decided by consequences. The ‘good’ of saving the innocent people must be weighed up against the ‘bad’ (torturing the suspect) to decide on the correct course of action. This is called the method of moral evaluation (Turner 16). This approach has great strengths but also creates complex questions: is torture still the lesser evil if it only saves one person? Is it morally right to torture a person’s children to extract a confession? Is it morally right to torture ninety-nine people to save one-hundred others? In theory this type of thinking can justify extreme inhumanity if it is calculated as the lesser evil. (Dershowitz 146) Torture has been criticized on both humanitarian and moral grounds, because evidence extracted by torture is unreliable, and because torture corrupts the institutions that tolerate it. Information supporting the ineffectiveness of torture goes back centuries. For example, during witch trials, torture was routinely used to try to force subjects to admit their guilt and to identify other witches. It was found that subjects would make up stories on the spot if they thought it would make the torture cease (Bell 11). Since the revelations in 2004 and 2008 that the President George W.


Bush administration authorized the use of torture in interrogations, and that United States personnel have used such practices in interrogations related to the 9/11 attacks and al-Qaeda at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, discussions on this topic have been heated. In commenting on the use and effectiveness of various torture methods, with a focus on waterboarding, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, wrote in 2009 that “high value information came from interrogations in which these methods were used”.


he era of modern history in the world was essentially a period of unprecedented social and technological change. As different wars and conflicts occurred over time, the amount of pain and damage that could be inflicted on victims during war exponentially increased due to inventions and innovations made to increase the effectiveness the methods of torture in order to gain information or punish prisoners. The consequences of conflicting beliefs, increased interactions between people, reduced mortality, and advancements in technology all played a part in creating a more brutal and vicious suffering for victims of torture in war. The original question was, how could we explain the transformation of torture during war over the course of the Modern Period? The answer to the question offered in this paper only addressed the general history, methods, and use of torture of the world during times of conflict and how the condition of different societies in the world could offer possible reasoning for the distinct development of techniques in torture during war. Of course, questions still remain. If the ideals and principles in societies and public beliefs under authoritative encouragement and personal disinhibition and dehumanization both play a role in transforming torture, which factor plays the stronger role? How do we scientifically prove and mathematically organize a phenomenon that is so complex in its psychological and external matters? Is there any moment in time or place where torture would be morally right? To what extent are the factors and patterns found in the background of torture in war reliable? Perhaps there is no definite answer. However, a broader analysis is necessary for analyzing the role of torture in society and war. By understanding what was changing in the culture, ideals, and beliefs of societies across the world in times where conflict encompassed vast areas of the globe, a general understanding of how societal developments created change in the methods and use of torture can help historians, politicians, and the public identify possible ways to enforce laws that banish the use of torture. One could also further explore deeper inside the meaning of torture by asking why perpetrators use methods of physical and psychological pain to dominate the victim and to fulfill the needs of the cutthroat enforcer. In this exposition, I have tried to contend that torment is

dependably ethically wrong through scrutiny of this situation and through uncovering the ethical issues that it serves to darken. In the wake of clarifying the issue as it is exhibited and delineating the primary contentions for and against torment, I have demonstrated the flaws in the situation. These include assumptions of the presence of the bomb, the blame of the suspect, the adequacy of torment and ineffectualness of different strategies, the capacity to keep the catastrophe, and most importantly, one’s own moral inhibitions. Each is extremely unlikely to be certain, however straightforwardly they may be presented in the moral puzzle, and each uncertainty weakens the case that torture is necessary and, therefore, justified. Specifically, the presumption that torment will deliver exact data is profoundly imperfect as it can give no gauge to truth and cannot recognize the liable from the pure. The erosion of the torture prohibition that could be caused by justifying and legalizing the practice, and the ‘slippery slope’ from exceptional to routine use of torture, would have very wide implications and could lead to the torture of many individuals across the world. Subsequently, there would without a doubt be innocent people faced with long term suffering, including those required to commit torture. Further, the utilization of torment makes it difficult to utilize any information gathered in a criminal trial. These arguments lead me to believe that torture is unjustifiable, even in extreme cases. However, because the immediate choice is so difficult and because the person making it is possesses human emotions and instincts, I would not condemn the decision to torture in an emergency. To make any prior judgement that torture is justified in some circumstances is dangerous and wrong – torture must be prosecuted as a crime wherever it occurs. However, to recognize the mitigating circumstances when it occurs is also important. Ultimately, the discussion of the ethics and morals behind torture is made possible due to the weakening of moral inhibitions that have changed and transformed over the course of human civilization history.

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Alexander, Larry. “Deontology at the Threshold.” San Diego L. Rev. 37 (2000): 893. Allhoff, Fritz. Terrorism, ticking time-bombs, and torture: A philosophical analysis. University of Chicago Press, 2012. Backer, Patricia Ryaby. “Industrialization of American society.” nd), San Jose State University, College of Engineering (2013). Bell, Jeannine. “One thousand shades of gray: The effectiveness of torture.” (2005). Bloche, M. Gregg, and Jonathan H. Marks. “Doctors and interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.” N e w England Journal of Medicine 353.1 (2005): 6-8. Brownlie, Ian, and Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, eds. Brownlie’s documents on human rights. Oxford University Press, 2010. Burgers, J. Hermann. The United Nations Convention against Torture: A handbook on the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Vol. 9. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988. Chanbonpin, Kim D. “Ditching the Disposal Plan: Revisiting Miranda in an Age of Terror.” . Thomas L. Rev. 20 (2007): 155. Clark, Ann Marie. Diplomacy of conscience: Amnesty International and changing human rights norms. Princeton University Press, 2010. De Wet, Erika. “The prohibition of torture as an international norm of jus cogens and its implications for national and customary law.” European Journal of International Law 15.1 (2004): 97-121. Donnelly, Jack. Universal human rights in theory and practice. Cornell University Press, 2013. Dowling, Melissa Barden. Clemency & cruelty in the Roman world. University of Michigan Press, 2006. Gold, Hal. Unit 731. Tuttle Publishing, 2011. Goldstein, Joshua S. War and gender. Springer US, 2003. Gronke, Paul, et al. “US public opinion on torture, 2001–2009.” PS: political science & politics 43.3 (2010): 437-444. Hersh, Seymour M. “Torture at Abu Ghraib.” (2004). Johnson, Howard, and Andrew Thompson. “The development and maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian adult survivors of war trauma and torture: A review.” Clinical psychology review 28.1 (2008): 36-47. Jovic, Vladimir, and Goran Opacic. “Types of torture.” Torture in war: Consequences and rehabilitation of victims-Yugoslav experience (2004): 153-169. Lee, Wayne E. “Peace chiefs and blood revenge: Patterns of restraint in Native American warfare, 1500–1800.” The Journal of Military History 71.3 (2007): 701-741. Mamdani, Mahmood. When victims become killers: Colonialism, nativism, and the genocide in Rwanda. Princeton University Press, 2014. Nowak, M., McArthur, E., & Buchinger, K. (2008). The United Nations Convention against torture: a commentary (pp. 557-567). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Perera, Priyanjith. “Physical methods of torture and their sequelae: a Sri Lankan perspective.” Journal of Forensic and legal medicine 14.3 (2007): 146-150. Perry, Mary Elizabeth, and Anne J. Cruz, eds. Cultural Encounters: The Impact of the Inquisition in Spain and the New World. Vol. 24. Univ of California Press, 1991. Peters, Edward. “Torture.” New York: Basil Blackwell Inc.(1985) Roth, Cecil. The Spanish Inquisition. Vol. 255. WW Norton & Company, 1964. Snyder, Christina. Slavery in Indian country: the changing face of captivity in early America. Harvard University Press, 2010. Small, Martin, and Vic Shayne. Remember Us: My Journey from the Shtetl Through the Holocaust. Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2009. Starkey, Armstrong. European and Native American Warfare 1675-1815. Routledge, 2002.

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Vorbrüggen, Meike, and Hans U. Baer. “Humiliation: The lasting effect of torture.” Military medicine 172.Supplement_2 (2007): 29-33. Weschler, Lawrence. A miracle, a universe: Settling accounts with torturers. University of Chicago Press, 1998.


The Future of China’s Energy Security Tanisha Paul


nergy is the foundation of economic growth and stability for a multitude of nations around the globe. When nations are unable to provide themselves with their own needs and resources, their dependence on surrounding countries increases. In addition to increasing interactions and diplomacy between countries, energy security also makes the manufacturing industries more competitive, due to the increase in demand for natural resources (Weinstein 2017). To ultimately lessen the chance of commodity cycles and political disputes, countries seek to develop a diverse portfolio of energy consumption from different sources, such as wind, nuclear, solar, etc.. China is a rising nation with increasing phenomenal economic growth, and Xi Jinping’s priority of stabilizing the country while promoting economic reform has led to the buildup of infrastructure and development in China (Morrison 2015). This super industrialization has led to increased pollution problems and puts China in a position where it must decrease its carbon footprint. A nation’s energy security comes from the access to and availability of various energy sources within itself and surrounding countries. Countries use their energy security to plan for investments in various resources to secure their environmental and economic needs. Energy security aids countries in reacting to various supply-demand changes and allows it to invest in a sustainable future. The environmental and political implications of energy security can help China establish a future and economy that is less dependent on foreign aid. This paper discusses how China’s past efforts in energy security have been ineffective. It will also discuss realistic methods, such as green cities and mandates, as part of a plan for China’s future energy security. As seen from University of California at Berkeley’s real-time pollution tracker, the majority of eastern China’s air quality is hazardous, with an air pollution concentration of over 350 (mg/m^3) (University of California at Berkeley). The mass amounts of pollution can be detrimental to people’s health, and causes billions of people in China to wear masks outside. Extreme pollution increase the chances for respiratory diseases, lung cancer, heart disease, and damage to various body parts. It is important for the Chinese government to emphasize a cleaner country to avoid detrimental health problems for their current and future populations. Additionally, an overexposure to air pollutants can increase the chance for birth defects; thus, the Chinese government

must start prioritizing their people rather than their economy.

Figure 1. The University of California at Berkeley’s real-time pollution tracker on October 7, 2017. It shows the concentration of air pollution all over China on a scale from good to hazardous.

A multitude of factors, such as China’s economic boom, increase in motorized transportation, population growth, and manufacturing output, has led China to have one of the worst pollution problems in the world. While China might be strengthening its economy and increasing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), its pollution can even be seen from outer space. Pollution continues to plague the entirety of China, and energy security can be one of the solutions to the vast amount of smog. A diverse energy portfolio can lead to improvements in air quality. With a comprehensive energy security plan, China can work towards ridding the nation of the millions of toxic pollutants in the air, something that has been plaguing China for decades. Over 1.6 million people die from the poor air quality in China every year; increased urbanization and industrial development have led to most of China having air quality near hazardous. Beyond its pollution problem, China must ensure that its future supply can meet the demand of its rapid growth. As of now, China’s internal sources cannot fully supply its needs. The Chinese need to decrease their dependence on foreign oil if they are going to be able to be self-sufficient and stable in the future. By promoting the production of domestic oil resources and building up more infrastructure, China will be able to move towards meeting its oil demand needs. Before developing a plan for China’s energy security Fifth World


in the future, it is important to be able to evaluate its energy use demand forecast in the years to come. By understanding how each energy sector is growing, we can predict the growth rate on internal usage. Factors like global warming and climate change will have a lasting effect on energy security, and lead to a need to decrease fossil fuel consumption and other air-polluting technologies (Weinstein 2017). China must start reducing fossil fuel consumption and seek new energy sources, such as geothermal or solar energy. China could seek nuclear energy development, but that path would come with high construction costs and many delays. Nuclear energy is also not favorable by the public, and nations already do not want to include nuclear energy into their energy portfolios. China has begun to understand the need to seek renewable energies. In 2016, China invested close to 80 billion dollars on renewable energy, significantly surpassing the pursuit of renewable energy of other countries. In recent years, China has created more green initiatives, such as the development and growth of electric vehicles. By 2030, China is predicted to make up 60% of the new electric vehicle sales (Frankfurt School UNEP Collaborating Centre). Because of China’s vast pollution, it is essential for the Chinese to prioritize green energy. Without increased efforts to stop the accumulation of smog and other air pollutants, it will continue to cause detrimental health effects on Chinese citizens. In industrial cities like Beijing and Shanghai, people are already having to wear masks to protect themselves from the poor air quality. If China does not introduce more regulations and policy to prevent mass amounts of pollution, the Chinese will be living in an unhealthy environment. In the coming decades, China will be unable to meet its internal needs. This energy gap leads China to have to depend on foreign countries for its energy sources. China must work towards creating a stable balance between domestic and foreign resources; it must also maintain strong relations with places like Russia and the Middle east so that it can rely on their energy sources (Frankfurt School UNEP Collaborating Centre). While still forging new relations, China also needs to work on developing more energy sources internally. China’s predicted use of energy in the next decades is significantly larger than that of other developing and developed countries. In order to realistically fix the economic and security concern of energy, China must work towards limiting its pollution by developing more green cities, having less dependency on foreign countries for oil, and pursuing new types of energy sources, such as geothermal energy and solar energy.


urrently, China is a significant player in the world’s net growth in gas and oil consumption. Its industrial and economic boom causes the Chinese to invest in a vast amount of gas and oil.

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Figure 2. The net import of oil by China and other relatively large nations. This is based upon the IEA’s ‘New Policies Scenario’ and the predictions for oil import until 2035.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s predicted oil consumption, shown in Figure 2, reveals that in comparison into other large and developed/developing countries, China is still predicted to import a significantly larger amount of oil. It is also interesting to consider China in comparison to the United States: in 2005 China imported 10 mb/d less than the United States, in 2035 China is expected to have 7 mb/d more than the United States (Odegaard, Delman 2014). Because of its economic boom, the Chinese are continually building their infrastructure, which leads to more energy production and use, and the inability to meet their own demand for imported oil. This has led the Chinese to increase their investments in overseas oil fields. Unfortunately, even after seeking investments in overseas oil fields, this still leaves a significant gap between demand and future supply. In order to fill the gap, China must have a plan to compensate for their needs.

Figure 3. Data from a survey of whether or not Asian countries see the United States or China as a model for development.

Because of the number of international stakeholders invested in this economy, China’s energy is both an economic and security concern. China’s international influence on energy, economic growth and political power can also be seen


as a model for other developing countries, leading to more energy security problems around the world. Eastern Asian countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand are already looking at China as a model for development, rather than seeking to become like Western nations like the United States. In Dr. Kang Liu’s “Interests, Values, and Geopolitics: The Global Public Opinion on China,” he was able to determine how other Asian nations view China as a model for development (Liu 2015). Using the ABS WAVE III as fieldwork, he was able to analyze the opinions of the 12 Asian countries seen in the Figure 2. China already has the power to influence many countries all over the world.

Figure 4. FactSet’s data of the impact on the United States and Australia after China lowered the value of the Yuan in 2016.

As seen in Figure 4, a fluctuation in China’s value of the yuan has drastic impacts on other countries, such as the United States and the many banking companies within the KBW NASDAQ Bank Index (Taplin 2017). If China is unable to support itself in the future, it could have detrimental impacts on the economies of nations all over the world. In the coming years, China will contribute one-fourth of the global net growth in gas consumption and more than half the net growth in oil consumption. China’s demand for these sources will not be met as China only has 10% of their oil needed secured. In order to fulfill its demand, China will have to develop the infrastructure to import oil through politically unstable regions and unsafe terrains. (Odegaard, Delman 2017). Because of this, China needs to increase its contribution to energy diplomacy and regional cooperation. While dealing with countries in the Middle East to import oil through the Malacca Strait, the Chinese must ensure the safe transportation of the oil. To avoid the problems of external countries providing resources, the Chinese really need to decrease their dependence on foreign oil, as it leads to additional conflict, treaties, and policy to ensure China’s securing of the oil.

Figure 5. Calculations based on China’s net import of energy in relation to their total energy consumption (Source: China’s energy security problems)

Figure 5 shows how China has increased its dependency on foreign countries for oil. After 1980, China has grown significantly more reliant on other countries for resources, especially oil. In 2035, over 80% of China’s oil consumptions is predicted to come from foreign countries, which is around 20% more than its reliance right now (International Energy Agency). It is not safe for China to continually rely heavily on foreign countries. It makes China vulnerable to the actions of other nations. For instance, if another country were to have an oil spill or go on strike, it could prevent China from accessing oil. If China would like to continue developing and become a dominating influence on the rest of the world, it must become more self-reliant. As China develops new trade relations with Pacific and Western countries, it is important to be able to understand what it means on a global scale. As China creates new partnerships, it increases their leverage on the world economy. Another important aspect to consider is how this Chinese mindset of continuous economic growth and prosperity emerged. In the mid-1900s, Deng Xiaoping begun focusing China’s resources on economic development and the build-up of infrastructure. This began to deviate away from Mao’s previous ideals of living life morally and humbly. Instead, Deng Xiaoping shifted the Chinese ideology to pursue economic wealth, which began the build-up of infrastructure and the constant pursuit of resources to continue developing. China’s oil is one of the central part to its development and something that it will continue to need in the years to come. Even in comparison to gas and coal, oil is still emphasized. Oil has tripled from 1990-2020 because of its use in the industry and in power plants. Because oil is one of China’s primary needs, it needs to be prioritized in their energy security plan. Another important energy source, natural gas, is predicted to triple until 2035 because of its used in powerplants, heavy industry, and district heating. China has around 50 trillion cubic meters of accessible natural gas, but the natural gas reserves will only provide enough energy for the next 26 years (“China’s potential oil, natural gas reserves Fifth World


rise: official data” 2016). If China does not have the internal resources to support their demand for natural gas, coal, or oil, its economy will shift based on the shortage of supply.


hina’s dependence on foreign nations poses new problems. One of China’s approaches to acquiring oil is an agreement with Myanmar to transport oil from Bay of Bengal through pipelines to China. These pipelines allow for huge transport of gas into China. Unfortunately, no such pipeline exists between the United States and China, so the majority of supply comes from the Middle East (Friedman 2017). The portion of China’s oil that comes from Iraq currently imports though the Hormuz Strait, an area known for piracy. This helps the flow of international trade but inherently causes conflicts due to disruptions such as Iran threatening to close the Strait to assert power over Saudi Arabia or the hardships of navigating through the terrain safely. These issues can cause the Middle Eastern exporters to lose significant revenue and China to lose supply, thus creating shortages and increased prices within the Chinese market. Because China has no other source for oil, it uses the prime location of the Middle East and their soft power to forge close political and trade relations with Middle Eastern countries to help secure oil supplies. This method poses a lot of risk, but it is the main way China attempts to fill their energy gap. To prioritize negotiating and traveling safely through the Hormuz Strait is to lose the opportunity to spread its spheres of influence. Thus, China must find ways to import oil into the country instead of being so reliant on the Middle Eastern pipelines. China has become increasingly dependent on the Malacca Strait. In 2010, 77% of China’s oil flowed through the Malacca Strait. From 1990 to 2000, China’s oil demand grew from 2.3 million barrels per day to 8.1 million barrels per day (International Energy Agency). Because we are still in the middle of China’s economic boom, China’s oil imports will continue to exponentially increase in the next few decades. The IEA predicts that by 2035, China will import around 12.8 mb/d. This is significantly larger than that of the United States (Zhang, ZhongXiang 2011). China is predicted to have an 84.3% oil dependence rate by 2035, meaning that it will need to use other countries to compensate for their needs. This will thus lead to international competitiveness against Western countries like England and the United States who will also seek the Middle East’s oil. The international demand for oil will ultimately lead to more risk and will require political agreements between other countries. Foreign trade already fuels China’s economy. While China can trade with other countries, it also needs to develop more cultural soft power and become more persuasive and cooperative with other countries (Albert 2017). In 2014, Xi Jinping adopted Joseph Nye’s term of soft power, and wanted China to promote the Chinese Dream and China model. For the past few decades, China has entirely focused on developing itself internally to become one of the strongest North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

countries in Asia, if not the entire world. At the rate that China is growing, it will not be able to continue developing without the aid of other countries in the near future. Currently, it is the private sectors that have strong soft power, not the government and Party bureaucrats. Propaganda is crucial to legitimizing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and it monopolizes the nation’s soft power. During the Seventeenth National Congress of the CCP, President Hu Jintao begun the vision of sharing China’s values and culture on a world stage. China’s investments in soft power diplomacy will assist its diplomacy with other countries, and persuade other countries to ally with them and possibly exploit their resources. In terms of trade, China is extremely active in developing a Silk Road Economic Belt through China, Middle East, Africa, and Europe, which will allow it to safely import from countries that supply necessities to their economy. The tens of billions of dollars that China is investing in this new infrastructure will ease the flow of goods between countries thousands of miles away from China, and hopefully forge better relations with surrounding countries. China’s plan for energy security needs to focus on gas and oil while still finding ways to save energy and seek alternative sources of energy like renewable and nuclear energy. Ideally China should create a diverse portfolio of energy, but it needs to first find ways to deal with gas and oil (Odegaard, Delman 2014). China must become more energy self-sufficient so that it does not rely on going through politically unstable areas for oil. It needs to ensure that their energy expenditures are at a reasonable price and that they have a stable supply of energy, because as of now their future supply does not meet their demand. In comparison to other developed and developing countries, China’s energy usage is extremely high. China’s economic boom and its vast population both contribute to its energy consumption, causing China to require a unique plan to deal with their future energy. Most importantly, China needs to focus on using its increasing soft power for international cooperation to effectively sign long term contracts with other countries for resource exploration. China also needs to anticipate short term supply and price inflations within the market, due to the inherent fact that it will have an energy gap for the next few years, as China cannot simply stop relying on the Middle East for 77% of their oil. To compensate for this China needs to invest in strategic reserves to carefully make its supply last longer.


hina already has problems with its current energy security policies. The globalizing energy market forces China to need to balance its supply and demand and have various governmental organizations and institutions govern consumption. China needs to work towards developing policies and regulations to safeguard its energy development in the years to come. Without these policies, the energy demand will significantly surpass the energy supply, leading to a national economic and security problem. China’s


population of over one billion people poses the problem of having to drastically reduce energy use by the masses. One approach is to enhance energy supply by limiting energy use and importation of energy until 2015. China’s 11th and 12th Five Year Plans (FYPs) acted as China’s main initiatives to control energy consumption (Lewis 2011). The plan was to reduce energy intensity by 16 percent, increase non-fossil fuel energy by 11.4 percent, and reduce carbon intensity by 17 percent. Energy is essential to the economic growth within China, and it is important to maintain the steady relationship between energy and economic growth. By closing down inefficient power and industrial facilities during the 11th FYP, China’s energy consumption declined significantly. In the twelfth FYP, China tried to increase its use of renewable energy, or as the Chinese called it ‘non-fossil energy’ (“All major targets of 12th Five-Year Plan fulfilled: Premier” 2016). China is a new participant in the fossil fuel global market, and it will be hard for the Chinese to dominate that market. China must work towards internally developing more energy. China’s Strategic Action Plan for Energy development is devised to control energy until 2020. The Chinese hope to prioritize energy conservation in the power, industrial, building, and transport sectors (International Energy Agency). By enforcing regulations to induce more green and innovative energy production and consumption, the State Council wants to reduce their energy per unit GDP. The Council mandates that by 2020, primary energy consumption must be capped at 4.8 billion tons, and an annual growth rate in energy consumption limited to no more than 3.5% until 2020. Besides oil, China also plans to reduce its coal consumption, and desires for the annual coal consumption to be less than 4.2 billion tons. The Chinese plan to diversify their portfolio by increasing the total primary energy mix from 9.8 percent to 15 percent, increasing the share of natural gas, shutting down inefficient coal plants, and installing nuclear, solar, and wind power plants. Large coal power plants need to have an effiency of 300g of coal equivalent/kWH by 2020, If all of these plans were to be fulfilled, the energy self-sufficiency would reach around 85%, thus decreasing the energy gap. In addition to limiting production, China is also beginning a Green Revolution. In 2020, over 50% of the new buildings must be green in the urban region, which will hopefully lead to a 75% improvement in energy efficiency since 1980 (International Energy Association). One of its initiatives is to develop forest cities to abolish some of the toxic fumes and dust in the air. Italian architect Stefano Boeri Architetti, who already made forest buildings in Italy, is designing a forest city in Liuzhou to provide fresh air to cities with a large concentration of smog and environmental degradation (Alleyne 2017). Forest cities will become the peak of sustainabable urban planting and development, and implement thousands of plants, trees, and solar panels. Each tree will be able to absorb 48 pounds of carbon diox-

ide and produce 260 pounds of oxygen (Nace 2017). Forest cities will also provide more opportunities for geothermal energy to flow throughout the various buildings. All of the plants, scattered across the buildings all over the city, will improve air quality, lower the air temperature, and improve biodiversity, things that China desparately need. China also should prioritize the development of the electic car industry and strengthen more energy efficient transporttion like subway trains and the high speed railyway. China’s 13th Electricity Development FYP until 2020 is the framework for China’s electricity sector and demand growth. In order to meet the demand for electricity, the Chinese must explore the use of renewable energy sources like geothermal and wind energy (International Energy Agency). It would be challenging to immediately build up the infrastructure to support renewable power plants, so China should gradually increase its use of renewable energy. In the future, China plans to diversify its energy portfolio by increasing their energy output of various types of energy besides that of fossil fuels. These solutions provide a greener approach to their energy demands by heavily investing in geothermal energy, hydropower, and onshore wind. Geothermal energy will have the most significant increase between now and 2020. The forest cities will bring lots of geothermal energy, but China must also develop the infrastructure for more hydropower and wind power. China should invest in creating more dams and windmills to provide for the electricity demands of its people. China’s 13th FYP for Economic and Social Development is another plan to drastically cut down on energy usage and prioritize energy management, water and energy conservation, and environmental protection standards (International Energy Agency). China has continuously developed these FYPs in an attempt to increase the wellbeing of the entire nation. In the most recent FYP, China highlights its concerns on environmental problems. It focuses on industries like steel and papermaking that do not meet the emissions standard and ensures that projects which cause heavy pollution are shut down. The plan sets specific requirements of transforming various enterprises, such as steel and papermaking, which do not consistently meet the emissions standards. Policies like these are what will ultimately limit the amount of energy consumption, but these policies will be hard to enforce. China has so many plans to limit the energy use and to become greener, but their predictions are not the same as their promises. Looking at the IEA’s data it seems like China has a long projection of exponential growth in their energy use, oil demand, and build up of infrastructure. Even with the 11th and 12 FYP, China kept increasing their fuel combustion, causing more pollution and depletion of fossil resources (The Enerdata Yearbook).


he future of China’s energy security depends on how it works towards solving its economic and security concern by developing more green cities, having less dependenFifth World


cy on foreign countries for oil, and increasing its research and development for exploration of new energy sources. So far, China has done little to limit its energy production through policy, and the policies that they have tried to implement have not been effective. China is a long way from a ‘green’ revolution, as they have hazardous pollution and combustion in many of their regions. To make their plans more realistic, China should focus on developing more green cities, using the resources they have at hand, creating secure reserves, and slowly limiting their energy use. Air pollution is plaguing the entire nation because the increase in energy use has not been ameliorated by mandates. The development of green cities would produce around 300 tons of oxygen per year, thus significantly increasing China’s air quality over time. China’s plan to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient has failed so far. Even with FYPs, China has yet to change its energy supply and demand structure. China continues to make regulations and standards that do not seem to limit its energy consumption growth (Zhang Jian 2011). In addition to regulations, it would be beneficial to impose a tax on institutions which exceed the environmental standard for emissions. Taxing institutions that produce a vast amount of pollution would decrease the pollution externality. This tax would then shift the supply curve to the left and decrease carbon emissions on a national level. While China wants to continue its economic boom, it must think about how continual energy consumption and carbon emissions could lead to a barren and toxic land. This tax would ensure their economic growth is done safely yet still beneficial to the entire nation. China also must increase its use of non-fossil energy and limit the use of fossil fuel. They should be investing in further developing the infrastructure to develop renewable resource powerplants. As an incentive, China should also subsidize corporations and institutions that make an effort to use non-renewable energy and pledge to be cleaner. This would encourage companies to think about the environment before they think about maximizing their company’s profits. China’s policies on regulating carbon emissions have yet to prove effective, but a subsidy would entice corporations and institutions to protect the planet. On a more local level, households within China also need to make an effort to decrease their energy use. As China has over one billion people, it can be expected to have the greatest carbon footprint in the world, but it does not mean that China should continue to harm the planet. By encouraging 1.3 billion people to save energy, China can help the entire planet become a greener and safer environment. The Chinese government must encourage and campaign for greener houses which use renewable resources and do not waste electricity and energy. After a 300-year absence, China re-emerged as the world’s largest economy. Politicians are constantly talking about China and how it is important to forge relations with them as they have such leverage on the global economy and mass export a lot of goods. Unfortunately, China will be

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unable to continue its desired growth if it does not make a realistic plan for the future. China’s GDP and growth rate is slowly decreasing, and countries like India are starting to emerge. Other Asian countries are starting to match China’s desire for industry and economy development, which leads to questions of influence and prestige within Asia. India might start to fall into the same trap as China, becoming more dependent on other countries to sustain its growth. Without an energy security strategy, China will not have the resources to continue becoming a hegemon. As seen in Figure 3, China is already viewed as a model for development, and with an attainable energy security plan, China could further prove the value of sustainability for the global economy. While the energy gap is significant, China can begin decreasing the gap by thinking how to have sustained growth over long period of time, rather than just one boom. This economic and security concern can be solved in the long run if the entirety of China, including the government, corporations, and citizens, would have a Green Revolution. This strategy would make their industries more competitive, decrease annual household income spent on income, and ultimately create a more diverse energy portfolio. With a new effective plan to guide their energy development, they will be able to lessen the chance of commodity cycles and global political disruptions. “Air Pollution Overview.” University of California at Berkeley. Albert, Eleanor. “China’s Big Bet on Soft Power” Council on Foreign Relations, 11 May 2017. Accessed 18 October 2017. Alleyne, Allyssia. “China unveils plans for world’s first pollution-earing ‘Forest City’ “ CNN, 20 July 2017. Accessed 9 October 2017. Burke, Sharon. “China’s Big Bet: The world’s future depends on China’s energy use” Slate, 15 May 2015. Accessed 21 October 2017. Downs, Erica Strecker. China’s Quest for Energy Security. RAND Corporation, 2000. Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, 2017. Friedman, George. “There are 2 choke points that threaten oil trade choke points Persian Gulf and East Asia.” Business Insider, 18 April 2017, Accessed 8 October 2017. Lewis, Joanna. “Energy and Climate Goals of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan” Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, March 2011. Accessed 20 October 2017. Liu, Kang. Interests, Values, and Geopolitics: The Global Public Opinion on China. European Review, 23, 242, March 25 2015. Morrison, Sydney, et al. Environmental ScienceBites. The Ohio State University, 2015. Nace, Trevor. “China’s new Forest City will make you rethink urban cities” Forbes, 30 June 2017. Accessed 9 October 2017. Odegaard, O., Delman, J. “China’s energy security and its challenges towards 2035.” The International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy, 3 May 2014, pg. 107-117. Taplin, Nathaniel. “China Gives Up Global Role for a Stronger Yuan” Wall Street Journal, 7 Aug. 2017. Accessed 7 October 2017. The Enerdata Yearbook. Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2017. Enerdata, 2017. Accessed 15 October 2017. Weinstein, Bernard. “American Energy Dominance: Maintaining a Diverse Portfolio in a Changing Global Market” World Affairs Council Charlotte, 21 September 2017, Hilton Hotel, Charlotte, NC. PowerPoint Presentation to World Affairs Council of Charlotte. Xinhua. “All major targets of 12th Five-Year Plan fulfilled: Premier” China Daily, 3 May 2016. Accessed 12 October 2017. Xinhua. “China’s potential oil, natural gas reserves rise: official data” China Daily, 14 June 2016. Accessed 8 October 2017. Zhang, Jian. China’s Energy Security: Prospects, Challenges And Opportunities. The Brookings Institution Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, July 2011. Zhang, ZhongXiang “China’s energy security, the Malacca dilemma and responses.” The International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy, 8 October 2011, pg. 7612-7615.


National Closure through Justice, Local Identity, and Remembrance in Post-Conflict Societies as a Political Statement Anja Sheppard


Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.” Those fateful words spoken during President Trump’s inauguration in 2017 had woken up the world. No one could imagine that the candidate representing the rise of populism in the United States would win the Presidential election, but the changing social environment and the feeling that some are left behind garnered large support for a nationalistic presidential candidate that claimed to speak for the common American. The U.S. isn’t the only country seeing a spur in populism and nationalism; the whole world, from Europe to the Middle East is experiencing more widespread discontent with their government and economical situation. Nigel Farage, once an unknown politician in the sea of other British officials, found himself spearheading the effort to remove England from the European Union, dubbed “Brexit.” France almost saw the election of Marine Le Pen, a rightwing nationalist. Even the rise of the Islamic State is considered to be “terror populism” (Hayden). As nationalism rises, a few countries such as Canada and Germany have staved off the populist ideologies presented. What makes these countries different? The answer lies not in the last political election cycle, decades into the past when the U.S. and Germany were facing the losing side of their wars. To understand a country’s current circumstances, it’s more important to look how it responded to conflict than the reason for it. Reconstruction defines the future of a country by determining what ideals and attitudes towards the victims of the conflict prevail. The United States Civil War demonstrates the consequences of not punishing war crimes and the powerful influence of federal government post-conflict. On the other hand, the less forceful government intervention in the physical reconstruction of bombed cities and the emphasis on shared remembrance in Germany after World War II resulted in a very different and more tolerant outcome. Finally, these two different results of closure after military defeat can be applied to understand and predict the long-term outcome of current conflicts in the greater Middle East. The shooting of Philando Castile in 2016 was one of

many incidents of police violence on young, African-American males. In a routine traffic stop, Officer Yanez claimed Castile was reaching for a gun rather than his registration, and fired seven times in front of Castile’s girlfriend and child. These events have become more recognized since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 due to the increased use of social media as an outlet for spreading news (Nix and Pickett 25). The problem lies not with mistakes made by individual policemen, but with a host of factors stemming all the way back from the Reconstruction Era. Why are African-Americans still subject to racial profiling and housing discrimination 150 years after the Civil War? The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, dubbed the Civil Rights Amendments, were supposed to ensure equal protection under the law and other fundamental rights to black Americans, yet the racial bias evident in those documents coupled with other lenient loopholes in legislation during reparations kept victims of the Civil War without opportunities and rights. It seems that the South wasn’t as easily defeated as the North thought on April 9th, 1865. Anger towards the Federal government coupled with nostalgic sentiments sourced from the romantic movement launched a centuries-long campaign to conserve white power in the US, ultimately proving the failure of postbellum reconstruction in the US. A lot of critical federal acts and amendments were published after the Civil War to aid in reparations, mainly the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 and the Civil Rights Amendments. The Reconstruction Acts had a few main points: Southern leadership was divided into five military districts for overseeing, all males excluding Confederates were allowed to participate in the Constitutional Conventions in each state, all of the new state Constitutions had to allow males to vote regardless of race, and states were required to ratify the 14th Amendment (The Reconstruction Acts of 1867). There were two main problems with these takeaways from the Acts. First, the military oversight of the South only fostered hatred towards the North. A defining point of the Confederation was rebellion towards the federal government, and Congressional take-over and strategic placement of Union loyalists into power angered the former slave owners and those that profited off of the slave economy. Additionally, the carpetbag-

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gers (loyal Unionists coming from the north) and scalawags (Southerners who supported Reconstruction) infiltrating the South were held in an even worse light by Southerners. A song written by T. E. Garrett in 1868 says carpetbaggers “got no eddication [sic]” and “rule the cotton land” (Emerson et. al. 2, 3). Carpetbaggers were basically seen as poor Northerners coming to take advantage of the struggling economy in the South after slaves were freed. In the cartoon below, James Albert Wales, described the carpetbaggers as an attempt to destroy the “Solid South.” The “Bayonet Rule” refers to the militarization of the five districts controlled by the federal government (Wales). Along with the infiltration of northerners, the South felt no effort from the North to help rebuild their economy. They were not ready for the industrial revolution, and that allowed the North to lead financially, again causing more resentment. The second problem with the Reconstruction Acts was the vague instructions that each state had to rewrite their Constitution. Since voting is a Reserved power, the states had all of the leniency needed to include restrictive voting rules in their legislation.

Figure 1. “The ‘Strong’ Government” by James Albert Wales

The Civil Rights Acts also contributed to the failure of the Reconstruction in the South. While they were important in giving former slaves the rights they deserved, the three pieces of legislation left a lot up to the individual states with loopholes and vague terms. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and other forms of forced servitude, except in the case as punishment for a crime. This basically meant that incarcerated blacks could still be forced to be slaves, thus beginning a police crusade to arrest as many African-Americans as possible. They could be cuffed for something as vague as “vagrancy,” which essentially meant North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

any black person loitering or looking even remotely suspicious (which was all up to the discretion of the white police officer). This snowballed for decades, and even now about 34% of people in a correctional facility are black (“Criminal Justice Fact Sheet”), while African-Americans make up only 13.3% of the US’s population (US Census). In the Fourteenth Amendment, citizenship was granted to all people born or naturalized in the US, and those people were granted “equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Constitution). This phrase was taken advantage of in the infamous court case, Plessy v. Ferguson, where Justice Brown coined the term “equal but separate” when he decided that segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment (Supreme Court). One court case based off of one Amendment caused injustice for over fifty years. The Fifteenth Amendment had a loophole as well. It ruled that all males, regardless of race, could vote (History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives). Since voting logistics are done on a state-by-state basis, many Southern states passed legislation prohibiting blacks from voting through literacy tests and other forms of intimidation (Hartford). These effects lasted well into the late 1900’s, causing irreparable damage despite having the intention to help. Postbellum legislation was written to fix a broken war economy and get the country back in working order as quickly as possible - not to help the victims of the Civil War and slavery. This was a major mistake on the part of the U.S. government after the war, but not the only one. The leniency shown to Confederates was also a proponent in their retainment of power, and a factor in why white supremacy and nostalgic feelings towards the South still remain today. On December 8th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln was already looking towards Reconstruction. He declared “all persons who have . . . participated in the existing rebellion . . . a full pardon is hereby granted to them . . . upon the condition that every such person shall take and subscribe an oath . . .” (Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction). Lincoln’s goal was to rebuild the economy and get the country working together again as quickly as possible. When Lincoln was assassinated, his successor President Andrew Johnson took his wishes to heart. The main points of Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation were: Confederates could gain a pardon by pledging allegiance to the U.S., no pardons could be given to high-ranking Confederates and those owning more that $20,000 in property value, states must abolish slavery before being re-admitted, and states were required to repeal their succession ordinance. These four conditions for reparations are slightly more strict that Lincoln’s original plans, but they are still essentially just a slap on the wrist compared to what the Radical Republicans wanted. The light punishment that Confederates received was the hint that the South needed to understand they still had control. President Johnson was a racist man with a lot of power - not good for African-Americans trying to be repaid for their decades of slavery. Johnson pardoned over 7,000


high-ranking Confederates by 1866, and promptly ignored the rise of injustices towards blacks such as unfair taxes, the creation of the Black Codes, and the beginnings of segregation ( Now that the South had tested the waters and understood their hefty amount of power provided by Johnson, they began to incorporate feelings of sentiment from the romantic period into their campaign to erase the true history of the Civil War. They were largely successful, which is why many Southern states still teach today that the Civil War was about “Southern values” rather than slavery. The recent rise of “Confederate Pride” is also tied to this movement. On August 14th, 2017, a group of protesters tore down a Confederate statue on the lawn of the Durham Courthouse. This act was in retaliation to the white supremacist’s rally that had taken place just a few days before in Charlottesville, and has brought the public’s eye to the large number of statues memorializing the losing side of the Civil War. It’s becoming more evident that the Southern nostalgia and romanticism applied to the Civil War were tools of the Confederacy after they had lost and were afforded too much public leniency. These monuments were mostly erected through the efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization founded in 1894 to: 1. To honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States. 2. To protect, preserve and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor. 3. To collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States. 4. To record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle and in untiring efforts after the War during the reconstruction of the South. 5. To fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence toward the survivors and toward those dependent upon them. 6. To assist descendants of worthy Confederates in securing proper education. 7. To cherish the ties of friendship among the members of the Organization. The organization sees itself as an important proponent of a few key actions: memorializing the Confederacy, glorifying the South, and presenting a “truthful history” (Bryson). Most of the commemoration happened during times of racial tension in the U.S.: namely the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement. The largest spike (see Fig. 2) beginning in the 1890’s was in part a result of the creation of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, as the organization set out to cheaply manufacture statues and place them in Alabama all the way to Washington State.

Figure 2. Confederate monuments, schools, and other iconography established by year (Southern Poverty Law Center)

The glorifying of Southern heritage and the honor of the Confederacy largely came about during the Lost Cause movement. Beginning towards the end of Civil War reconstruction, many Southern scholars began to minimize or even deny the role of slavery in the War Between the States. As schools and the general public caught on, many emphasized the start of the war as a reaction to the North threatening the South’s way of life. “The South” became a very important identity based on the nostalgia for times of military strength, honor, and chivalry. Two influential movies, The Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind played important roles in this transformation by portraying the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as the noble knights of the South who protected white women and the represented the sentimental military glory days (Griffith). The United Daughters of the Confederacy was part of a larger movement within the romanticism of the South. A few generations after the Civil War, when first-hand experiences were forgotten, the glorification of the uniform and war really helped spur the Lost Cause myth, which eventually wound its way into middle school history textbooks. In 2011, 48% of adults said that they believed the Civil War was caused by states’ rights rather than slavery (Heimlich). This statistic from the Pew Research Center affirms that the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and other Confederate organizations, made sure the South had the last word in the War Between the States. Civil War Reconstruction is largely seen as a failure today. The legislation passed by both Congress and the President was too lenient, allowing for a generous interpretation by the states, which lead to restrictive voting and eventually Jim Crow laws. Furthermore, the rules regarding punishment of Confederate traitors was too forgiving because they were focused on rebuilding the economy rather than on the victims of the Civil War. As a result of lack of enforcement, many in the South took it upon themselves to retain and preserve their white supremacy by changing the Nation’s perception of the cause of the Civil War. Even today, those efforts to portray a false truth are evident, as many U.S. citizens had misconceptions about

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the War Between the States. Overall, the U.S. demonstrated the wrong balance of restriction and relaxation when it came to reconstruction, and also failed to give enough attention to the victims of the war. These faults resulted in long-lasting racial tensions that still divide the country today.


n 1945 when World War II (WWII) was coming to an close, Allied forces began liberating concentration camps. The starved and traumatized people that they found within represented the millions that were victim to terrible war crimes. When the war finally ended on September 2nd, 1945, Germany had a lot of work to do to rebuild its bombed cities and repay the victims of the Nationalsozialismus (Nazi) Third Reich. The country took strategic steps by harshly (but fairly) punishing Nazi officials, quickly removing Nazi symbols, allowing local reconstruction, and leaving memorials to the victims. When Germany had to come to terms with the state-mandated genocide that took place during the mid1900’s, they turned to the law. Anyone deemed remotely responsible for what happened would be tried in the country where their crimes took place, with major war criminals judged by special joint courts of Allied powers (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). The International Military Tribunal, dubbed the Nuremberg Trials, examined 22 top Nazi officials in 1945 and 1946, doling out 12 death sentences, three life sentences, four prison sentences, and three acquittals. Many more trials occurred across the continent, striving to justly punish even the lowest ranking officials. Germany’s process for punishing Nazi traitors is vastly different than the U.S.; Confederates just got a slap on the wrist. German citizens were very invested in the trials, as 93% knew that they were occurring. Most of the country believed that the defendants had received a fair trial, and many Germans also said they learned more about the war crimes committed while following the happenings in Nuremberg (A.J. and R.L. Merritt 121-123). These sentiments towards the trials reveal that fair punishment not only is important in teaching the criminals, but also educates the general population about the events and leaves no room for misconceptions. Many Germans also noted that they learned about the dangers of one-sided politics, which was an important lesson taken to heart when forming the new German government. Overall, the public and just trials of Nazi forces ensured that Germans learned their lesson from the Third Reich, and completely destroyed any chance of the Nazis resurfacing by making the public knowledgeable about and vigilant of the wrongdoing. The second step in ensuring pro-Nazi sentiments were squashed was the rapid Denazification of Europe. Nazi symbols, names, and media were destroyed to show the power and reach of Nazi propaganda. Today, you will not

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find any memorials to Nazi leaders anywhere in Europe due to this continent-wide crusade to destroy Nazi images. The U.S., on the other hand, allowed the South to brew for decades and then spend another few erecting memorials and statues in honor of the losing side (Zeitz et. al.). Since Adolf Hitler had such a successful Youth Program, many German students were in need of uncensored learning materials, which were provided by the Allies. Overall, the quick reaction to erase Nazis from the public view was critical in discrediting their movement and destroyed the majority of sympathetic feelings. After the quick takedown of the Third Reich following the end of WWII, the much slower and more costly process of rebuilding bombed cities and migrating citizens back in from the countryside began. Since the federal government was in such a jumble after the Axis Powers were defeated, much of these physical reparations fell on individual cities. Cities in Germany such as Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Berlin, and München have a strong local identity, which gave the people a bigger say when city planners wanted to make major changes. For example, in München, there was a plan to build a major street right in front of the city hall. Many locals rose up in defense of the Aldstadt, or Old Town, and the road wasn’t built (The Aleppo Project). Since the federal government didn’t come in and force cities to rebuild a certain way, the people didn’t develop resentment towards the Allies. Their culture remained respected and intact.

Figure 3. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church


In both Germany and the U.S, you have a defeated people trying to come to terms with their suffering. The U.S. treated slaves with Jim Crow laws and injustices, while Germany invented the concept of communal guilt and taking responsibility as a country. The nature of Germany’s memorials isn’t intrusive, but forces one to think as they walk by. Due to a better understanding of the injustices performed through the hundreds of Nazi trials throughout Europe, Germans have a better collective idea of what exactly happened during the Holocaust. In addition, the Denazification of the country after the Allies came into control established no tolerance for Holocaust denial and allegiance with Nazi traitors.

T Figure 4. Stolpersteine (Wikimedia)

The final important step that Germany made during the decades after WWII was the building of memorials to victims of the Third Reich. These monuments created a collective guilt upon all of the people of Germany for allowing such a tragedy to occur. In a few major cities, Gedenkniskirche, or memorial churches, were left to remind visitors and residents of the state that the entire country was in just decades ago. These churches are the bombed out buildings that remained after WWII, just shells of what they used to be. Some are big tourist attractions, such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin (see Fig. 3), but others blend into the town and create an atmosphere for remembrance. Another major memorial that has reached almost all large cities in Germany is the Stolpersteine, or stumbling blocks. They are small, bronze cubes inserted into the sidewalk like a cobblestone, with an engraving of information about a victim of the Holocaust that lived in that area (“Stolpersteine in Berlin”). The little remembrance blocks are a common sight in the suburbs of big cities, and another constant reminder of the devastation that happened in Europe (see Fig. 4). The nature of the Gedenkniskirche and Stolpersteine is of national grief and taking responsibility. The term Vergangenheitsbewältigung was coined after WWII to describe the struggle to overcome and understand negative events of the past. While Germany did try top Nazi officials, they didn’t place all guilt onto those few, but rather the entire country. They believed that everyone’s ignorance was the reason that Hitler had the opportunity to come to power. Small memorials that act as daily reminders still keep this guilt on Germans today, generations later. This has slowed the rise of populism as well, because each citizen still feels collective ancestral guilt. Vergangenheitsbewältigung defines the German reaction to national tragedy. No such word exists for the U.S.

he case studies of Germany and the U.S. have provided guidelines for successful or damaging courses of action for reconstruction. Since World War II, the U.S. has actively involved itself in the political affairs of other countries, from sending monetary support to rebel groups of interest or literally instating political puppets into power. Interventions in the Middle East are repeating a lot of similar cycles as postbellum Reconstruction in the U.S. by empowering leaders that support the interests of the States, acting as an outsider/controlling force, and not providing just and fair trials to rebels. America has been meddling in the Middle East since the 1950’s, when we began to shift our focus from Russia and the Cold War to oil in the gulf. Thus began a series of long encounters with a culture that both foreign policy makers and the general public didn’t understand (Bacevich). Even now, the U.S. believes it’s on a political crusade to provide democracies for other countries. Our foreign policy plan has been to remove the current regime, quickly re-instate a Western-based model of government, and hope for the best. This approach has caused lasting problems in the Middle East, and our prior knowledge from the Civil War indicate that these sentiments aren’t going away anytime soon. If the United States wants to avoid an endless cycle of revenge and power grabs in the Middle East, it must pay attention to its past. The failure of the United States to properly pay attention to the culture of the South and build monuments to the victims of slavery has allowed for the miseducation of many Americans. Germany, on the other hand, strove to publicize the Nuremberg trials for the people to hear, and built thousands of monuments across the continent until all of Germany took ownership for WWII. The destruction of Middle Eastern way of life caused by the abrupt removal of the Taliban and instatement of political puppets, as well as the disregard for delicate cultural matters relating to Islam, have continued the seemingly endless conflict by fueling fires of hate. We are repeating the same mistakes of the Civil War, which failed to address the still present racial tension in the U.S. today. To understand the current support for populism in the U.S. and the Middle East rise, we must look to national responses to past wrongs. Fifth World


A. J. and R. L. Merritt, Public Opinion in Occupied Germany. The OMGUS Surveys. Urbana, IL, 1970, pp. 121-23. Bacevich, Andrew J. America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Random House, 2017. Bryson, Patricia M. “History of the UDC.” United Daughters of the Confederacy, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Carter, Jimmy. “The State of the Union Address Delivered Before a Joint Session of the Congress.” The American Presidency Project. 23 Jan. 1980, “Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.” NAACP, NAACP, Emerson, Billy, et al. The Carpetbagger, St. Louis, MO. Executive Order. The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, 1863. FIDH. “The FIDH Condemns the Death Sentence against Saddam Hussein, and Unfair Trial.” Worldwide Movement for Human Rights, MOUVEMENT MONDIAL DES DROITS HUMAINS, 5 Oct. 2006, Griffith, D W, director. The Birth of a Nation. Youtube, Epoch Distributing Co., 1915, com/watch?v=I3kmVgQHIEY. Hartford, Bruce. “Voter Registration: How It Worked in Alabama.” Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Bruce Hartford, Hayden, Michael. “Ex-CIA Chief: Al Qaeda Was Terror Elitism...ISIS Is Terror Populism’.” CNS News, 29 June 2015, Heimlich, Russell. “What Caused the Civil War?” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 17 May 2011, History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian, Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008. “Constitutional Amendments and Major Civil Rights Acts of Congress Referenced in Black Americans in Congress,” (October 22, 2017) Johnson, Thomas. “How Widespread Are Anti-American Feelings in Afghanistan?” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 27 Feb. 2012, “Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.” Chicago Circle, -%20Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche.jpg. Macdonald, Norine. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Afghanistan.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 16 Dec. 2010, Minneapolis Police Department. Philando Castile Traffic Stop Recording, Minneapolis, MN, 6 July 2016. Nix, Justin, and Justin T. Pickett. “Third-Person Perceptions, Hostile Media Effects, and Policing: Developing a Theoretical Framework for Assessing the Ferguson Effect.” Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 51, 2017, pp. 24–33. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2017.05.016. NPR Staff. “Declassified Documents Reveal CIA Role In 1953 Iranian Coup.” NPR, NPR, 1 Sept. 2013, “Reconstruction: The Challenge of Freedom.” Sage American History, Sage American History, 22 Apr. 2017, Southern Poverty Law Center. “Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy.” SPLC, Southern Poverty Law Center, 21 Apr. 2016, “Stolpersteine.” Wikimedia, Niebuhrstr_72_%28Charl%29_Erna_Cohn.jpg/220px-Stolperstein_Niebuhrstr_72_%28Charl%29_ Erna_Cohn.jpg. “Stolpersteine in Berlin.” Stolpersteine in Berlin, Koordinierungsstelle Stolpersteine Berlin, www.

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Supreme Court. Plessy v. Ferguson. 18 May 1896. Legal Information Institute. The Aleppo Project. “How Did Germany Rebuild After World War II?” The Aleppo Project, 27 Oct. 2015, The Reconstruction Acts of 1867. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 2011. Texas State Library and Archives Commission Congress. The Robinson Library. “Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.” The Robinson Library, 11 Oct. 2017, The Strauss Center. “U.S.-Iran Relations.” The Strauss Center, University of Texas at Austin, Aug. 2008, Trilling, David. “Polling Iran: What Do Iranians Think?” Journalist’s Resource, Harvard Kennedy School, 8 Mar. 2017, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “War Crimes Trials.” USHMM, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, US Census. (2016). QuickFacts. Retrieved from PST045216 U.S. Constitution. Amend. XIV, Sec. 1. “Presidential Reconstruction.” US History Online Textbook , Independence Hall Association, 2017, Wales, James Albert. “The ‘Strong’ Government.” Know Louisiana, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 22 July 2011, Zeitz, Joshua, et al. “Why There Are No Nazi Statues in Germany.” POLITICO Magazine, POLITICO LLC, 20 Aug. 2017,


The Modern Day Superwoman Eukela Little


ntroduction: Coming from a small, rural town, I was always aware of the fact that I was black. Obviously, it was never something I could hide even if I tried. Although aware of this “duh” observation, being black was never something I paid much attention to in my hometown given that it is predominately black. It wasn’t until I became a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM), where approximately 9% of the school’s population is black, that I began to feel like a minority and it truly dawned upon me that being black in the United States, specifically, being a young, black woman, signifies much more than I thought. As I became more aware of the history of black women in this country, I became interested in both the image of black women as well as the reality of being a young, black woman, or even just a black woman. Being middle class, young, and, black has opened my eyes both to numerous prejudices implemented by the state and to social expectations that those who are unaffected by them fail to notice. I soon became familiar with the term “superwoman”, what, I wondered, was the nature of these powers? And began to question why black women have been chosen to fulfill this role. Dating back to slavery times, black women were appointed by their masters to nurse and feed their children, cook, maintain their masters’ homes, or work in the fields while still balancing the responsibilities of their very own households. Later, during the civil rights movement, women were expected to follow the footsteps of men. They were never to speak, unless spoken to, and were never to be independent, but ask their partner for everything. Today, black women aren’t allowed to be loud, angry, or mentally ill. Society, for as long as we know it, has attempted to define the black woman as “ideal” in order to exploit her strength. She needed superpowers because she was intensely (or “super”-) exploited. Media has played a large role in producing and reproducing what black women are supposed to be. Black women are expected to have a figure 8 shape, big bust, and plump bottom; their sex life is to be centered around pleasing their man, under the assumption that every black woman is heterosexual, in order to keep and have a healthy relationship. In movies and shows, lighter-skinned women are designated to be the beautiful girlfriend or promiscuous partner, while the darker-skinned women are loud, rambunctious, and distasteful.

Modern media has reproduced the expectations of the 19th century cult of domesticity. The cult of domesticity includes four pillars that have been used to determine if one was “woman” enough. This cult included and excluded black women simultaneously. They were not regarded when decisions were made in society, but were somehow, someway still held to these four virtues. The cult of domesticity includes four virtues: purity, piety, submissiveness, and domesticity. These were designed to place women within the patriarchal society of the country. Adhering to these four virtues, makes one a fit and acceptable woman… for a man. However, the cult of domesticity and the reality of black women do not align with one another. The conflict between this reality and the cult of domesticity makes it nearly impossible for black women to have and act on our sexual desires. These virtues, I argue, are associated with color. When one begins to look at the complexities of the image of black women, we must first break it down into different levels. In the U.S.’s patriarchal society, (I hesitantly) assume we are aware of the privileges given to some. Class, sex, and race matter to our government. Being black (minority), a woman (minority), and lower/middle class (minority) can take an emotional and mental toll on someone. The question of the development of the “strong” black woman must therefore be based on an awareness of the prejudices and privileges put into place by the laws and society, and the failure to accommodate or include those that are not often represented. Much is at stake in this question, for when black women are included, so is each and every minority, whether it be sex, race, or class (Harris-Perry, 17). The inclusion of black women implies the inclusion of every other minority, is to say, it is revolutionary, requiring the reconstruction of the U.S. government and of societal expectations. We should also begin to examine the term “strong” and its underlying connotations as well as mistaken notions that black women somehow have an advantage. What could these advantages possibly be? Getting mistreated and overlooked are not advantages. Anytime black women have spoken out or began to question the structure of society, they have been targeted, silenced, and rejected. It is as if the less we speak on this matter, the less one will notice the pain and suffering that has been placed on our lives. So as I write this essay, I am fully prepared (as prepared as a seventeen-year-old could be) for rejection, oppression and opposition I may, again, re-

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ceive from being another voice questioning today’s society. This has thus led me to write to you about the formation of what I’d like to call the modern day superwoman. This essay is more so a collection of thoughts, observations, and research that enlightened my path of what it means for me to be a black woman who will soon be on her own in the “real” world—a “world” as DuBois writes, “which yields [her] no true self-consciousness, but only lets [her] see [her] self through the revelation of the other world (DuBois, 2). Through this essay, I will be sharing my discovery of the image and mentality of black women that society has implemented ever so powerfully. When we begin to look at the complexities of black women and image that has been created, we must first begin with breaking down what the modern day black women is and how that has come to so.


ur Dreadful Past: Tracing back to slavery days, both men and women would testify to the sexual mistreatment and disturbing lust-filled violence they either experienced or witnessed black women enduring. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, we as readers are told the stories of a slave’s, Linda Brent’s, life. One story including Linda’s master being infatuated with her, which ultimately led to verbal abuse and to sexual assault to fulfill his own desires (Jacobs, 45). Linda also shared with us her grandmother’s expectations for her to be pure and domestic, but these could not be achieved due to Linda’s actual circumstances of being violated by her master, once her grandmother found out about these sexual activities, tense disappointment was evident. Ultimately, what Jacobs would argue is for the political virtue of freedom for herself and her children, refusing private or privileged notions of virtue enjoyed by those whose loves were protected by law. In addition to the rape and harassment, black women were forced nude during auctions in which they were to be sold. They were checked for qualities such as shade of skin and breast size, which ultimately determined whether or not she was to be a house or field slave and if she was to feed the owner’s child(ren). And of course, it would be naïve not to assume that black slave women were also selected based off of white men’s sexual preference or pervasive sexual desires. Black women were, of course, viewed as property, and the sexual and assault of black women was not considered a crime. From these horrid actions to somewhat gaining legal protection from the extra-legal (but not legal) violence, these burdens of violated bodies then translate into mindsets that every black woman struggles with.


uperwoman or Mule of the World?: Society has placed many things onto the shoulders of black women, including injurious labels such as blame, grief, and unrealistic and punitive expectations. In Michele Wallace’s Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, Wallace talks about the

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progression of the black community and black women and how there are preconceived notions widely spread about black women. Apparently, the fault of black men’s inability to acquire economic or social power lies in the hands of black women themselves. As women began to pursue higher means of education or work outside the home, they began to challenge all that the cult of domesticity stood for, therefore, redefining what was thought to be a “man’s world”. Now with this being thrown into a theory, we must begin to look at what has driven many to believe this resentment towards black women to be even slightly true. Starting with the role of the woman, in general, we are expected to remain home and take care of anything that may cause the home to be out of order. Wallace mentions the term “strong”. According to Merriam-Webster, “strong” is defined as “having moral or intellectual power; not mild or weak”. Normally, when described by this adjective, one should be flattered. However, what the dictionary and society does not reveal, yet implies, is that when one is deemed as “strong”, she’s also deemed as blameworthy, intimidating, inapproachable, demanding, etc... But to whom? For generations, black women have been called “strong”, which has placed us in a position of expectations. Expectations to make it by all means, expectations to become numb, expectations to not react, expectations to survive. But when one is placed in such destitute conditions and receives little support and recognition, what is one expected to do? Fall and crumble? When looking at the word “strong”, we must look at what makes this small word acquire such great implication. As mentioned before, for generations, black women have been placed in horrific conditions, physically, economically, educationally, mentally, and emotionally. We are oftentimes written out of history or overlooked. Black women are always excluded. This demand that black women are “strong” leads to the expectation that we can and should be able to endure whatever we may encounter, which creates this numb, impenetrable object instead of a person. In an episode of Being Mary Jane, directed by Mara Brock Akil, a friend of Mary Jane, Lisa, committed suicide. After the word of her death got out, many had such negative things to say. One that stood out was Mary Jane’s comment that “black women do not commit suicide; they tough it out”. This is a prime example of the implication of the word “strong”. Simply because Mary’s friend is a black woman, she is expected to be “strong”, to withstand anything that she may endure. Black women aren’t allowed to feel down or even have a mental illness. If they do feel in any way, they are made to appear vulnerable and weak, which is frowned upon by other women, but celebrated by men­—revealing feelings leads to vulnerability, which then grants “unprivileged” men an opportunity to advance in society. This idea of the inability to advance arises from their male authority being challenged; rather than both men and women being given equal opportunity, most men view it as being stripped of their authority—black women must be less than. Through this giv-


en perception that women are autonomously strong builds this outrageous expectation that black women are to simply not deal with emotion. Numbness is unhealthy for the black woman. For this insistence that one must be “strong” doesn’t allow one to resolve emotions with oneself and deal with them effectively. For example, if one is sad, instead of dealing with these emotions, it is assumed that one will just simply suck it up and continue with her life, which is a burden that each black woman carries; she must help everyone else, but this is at the cost of her own mental health. Although slavery is not as explicitly practiced in the U.S. today, it was obvious to see that any person of color, especially women of color, specifically, black women, have been the bearers of everyone’s griefs. For instance, in Gone with the Wind, Mammy must bear Scarlet O’Hara’s tears and rage. However, as soon as she makes the cognitive decision to find her own path to her own life, she is then selfish, and defiant. It is these social expectations that has trapped black women at the bottom of society for the disposal and advantage of others. In Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses this metaphor of black women being in a crooked room trying to position themselves upright, which then relates to the social pressures of society (Harris-Perry, 43). Black women are in constant state of being bombarded with expectations of purity, strength, and independence while struggling to stand upright, i.e. finding themselves and who they feel they are meant to be in this crooked room. Growing up, I was always surrounded by black people. It wasn’t until I began my academic career at NCSSM that I began to notice myself as in that crooked room. Being placed in an environment where there were only 60 people out of ~700 that look like me allowed, and even forced me to examine myself, to stand upright within this crooked room as I searched for what was within myself. Oftentimes, under these given pressures, successful black women find themselves upright within the crooked room, yet feeling guilty (Wallace, 116, Harris-Perry, 45). Society does such a great job implementing guilt within black women that even in their struggle to do what’s best for them, they oftentimes begin to question themselves. “Am I good enough?” “Is there someone better?” “Am I too independent?” Moynihan takes what little credit black women are given and uses it as a weapon to incite guilt and blame upon black women. He is implying that instead of being in college, in an office, living one’s dream, black women should be at home, taking care of home responsibilities with a husband, or more exactly, supporting black men’s educational endeavors. Last August, there was a story released about Malia Obama. According to the story, she attacked a woman, when in all actuality, she was just telling her to not take photos of her. Was she wrong? She had the right to not want to photographed. Oftentimes, I find myself thinking about the way

I interact with others and how if I react in a specific manner, how others would perceive me. This image of every black woman as angry permeates the thinking of society and how we as black women perceive ourselves. Looking at the way Malia’s response to the unwanted photographer, I saw nothing wrong with the request, but once you look further into the situation, in any given time when a black woman wants to protect herself, or be in charge of one’s own being, (which she deserves rightfully so) she is supposedly filled with hate and anger. This then becomes another way that dangers her right to be angry, just as “super” prevents women from being “super” or “angry”. NCSSM was a huge culture shock for me. Many times in the classroom or hallway, when I felt offended by a peer, I’d find myself beginning to think of situations where I subconsciously suppress my feelings or anger, in order to not be perceived as the “angry black girl”. I began to predict how I’d be received by others if I were to be angry vs. a young woman who’s not of color. There have been other situations where I’ve been the only person of color in group. I’ve experienced peers who completely ignore me and my contributions to the group, as though I’m not even there. Part of me wishes to simply lash out, expressing how I feel, while the other half of me begins to suppress those feelings and simply choose to not do anything at all. Or when I spoke to a senior of mine about the use of racial slurs this year all to be simply told “It’s like this in college; it’s just something you kind of have to deal with”. Hearing this from someone who’s not a person of color hit a nerve for the simple fact that she doesn’t know what it’s like to be referred to by a racial slur or to be ostracized and/or invalidated because of her race. “It’s something you kind of have to deal with” is something black women are all too familiar with. It’s this form of thinking that silences the black women and implements the idea of her carrying these burdens: it makes her strong, but it is a terrible strength. If she doesn’t, she must work at it—another way in which black women’s labors are stolen. It is as if she should expect and accept exclusion and prejudice. I’ve come to realize that many will intentionally as well as unintentionally suppress black women. We’re expected to be strong, take the burdens of others with no complaints. It’s our job, right?


he Social and Sexual Self-Consciousness of Black Women: As Jacobs shows, purity has been, for years, a signifier of whether or not a woman was women enough for marriage: a woman is more valuable because of this commodified purity. In Jack Hill’s Foxy Brown, Pam Grier, the main character of the movie counteracts these expectations of purity as she showcases her transparent sex life, which in turn, causes her to be represented as just a piece of meat. Many times in the movie, Foxy would be referred to as that chocolate woman that every man wished to have. The only time black women have been allowed to engage

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in sexual activities or use their body in a sexual manner is when it is of someone else’s convenience and her discomfort. How could one possibly be anywhere near pure but exploited at the same time? These two ideals could and never have been able to coincide. These two paradigms strictly counteract one another. Oftentimes when black women are presented in media, they are either represented as the loud, aggressive, misplaced one or the oversexualized, eye candy that every male in scene, story, or act wish to simply perform sexual intercourse with. It as if the body of the black woman is not her own, but a mere object showcased for pleasures of others. If a black woman decides to wear more revealing clothing, then, as sure as the sky is blue, she is wishing to gain the attention of someone. And by attention, I mean the harassment, cat calls, car honks, inappropriate verbal remarks of others. It is as if our way of dressing welcomes others to do as they wish, which further victimizes the black woman, who is blamed for fulfilling male expectations of a “woman”. And once a woman, a black woman, decides to breaks those beliefs, then she has simply lost her mind. We are expected to dress as what society views us as, which isn’t much at all, honestly. As mentioned before, to excuse the oppression and exclusion of black women, society finds trivial or invalid reasons to fault black women. When black women have been assaulted, especially young black women, many fault the victim for placing herself situations that resulted in her assault, or even her death. For example, in September, a 19-year-old girl by the name of Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in a hotel freezer. The story later developed that she supposedly was drugged, raped and murdered after she and her friends went to a party at a hotel. After the story reached social media, I remember vividly seeing posts up and down my Facebook newsfeed; people shared the story with comments such as “this is why you should choose your friends wisely”, as well as messages towards the girl’s best friend, saying that “this is how you’re supposed to take care of your best friend”, as if Kenneka’s best friend set her up to ultimately be murdered. This story alone takes the fault out of the hands of the murderer(s) and places its responsibility onto the young women, reminding me that I share their situation. As a young, black female, I must be cognizant of who I surround myself with or even of who surrounds me because others are in charge of my body. If I’m wearing makeup, a crop top, and some shorts, then, without a doubt, I am asking to be taken advantage of, “asking” for it. That shared post was another instance where I cognitively found myself within the crooked room. When black women have been assaulted, they’ve also received the blame for the abuse as well. Mike Tyson was accused of raping a young black woman, Desiree Washington. Although he was convicted and served a portion of his sentence, the young woman was widely criticized. Many said that since Washington agreed to meet Tyson at a hotel, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

then, she must have expected some form of sexual activity. In Linda Brent’s narrative, upon finding out about her husband’s predations, Mrs. Flint placed the fault on Linda by using Linda’s own words against her, harassing her. Mrs. Flint reproduced her husband’s violence. Instead of addressing her husband for his pervasive ways, she targets the victim (Jacobs, 51). The voice of black women within these cases have always been overpowered. This myth of hyper-sexuality places this burden of being responsible for not only one’s own actions, but others as well. This notion of victim blaming granted the abusers an escape for their wrongdoings and in turn created a greater burden for those who were abused. It is as if black women’s sexuality and sex life is either for the convenience of men or nonexistent altogether. If a woman is always “ready” for sex, then she cannot be assaulted. To make matters worse, black women who are sexually active, whether by choice or not, are oftentimes called a whore. Once again, this reaffirms that even if a black woman wishes to be sexually active, she must do so through marriage, under the control of men. No matter who assaults her, whether it be a black man or white man, black women are always the ones at fault. This deadly preconceived notion is what causes many victims to not speak up. In Lee Daniels’ Precious, Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, was raped by her mother’s boyfriend who is also her father, which resulted in two pregnancies. Instead of her mother faulting her boyfriend or even seeking legal action, she physically and verbally abused Precious, called her everything from slut to whore, while also accusing her of stealing her man. Thus, once again, forces the main character to carry the burden of being responsible for some else’s horrid actions, and redefines her, for the language of sexuality is controlled and imposed by men.


he Beauty Hierarchy: Black women are expected to uphold given standards that are oftentimes unachievable. If she dresses well, she “dresses white”. If she speaks well, she “speaks white”. Her hair is not pretty unless it is straightened or of a looser curling pattern, which again is “closer to white”. Looking at the word nappy, its many connotations are negative. According to the dictionary, it is denoted as kinky (“nappy”, Merriam-Webster). But when one refers to hair as nappy, they are implying that it is unpleasant. Personally, when making the decision to become natural, I heard many remarks from family members that my hair is “wild’ or “too much work”, which of course led to thoughts of having “bad hair”. In all actuality, my hair is simply kinky; it is healthy when it, and I, do not conform to what is believed to be beautiful, acceptable, and professional. Skin tone has not only been a huge indicator of beauty, but has also perpetuated a hierarchy that places those of a lighter hue higher in society. During slavery, lighter-skinned women tended to be the house slaves; they were


believed to be slightly more delicate and too pretty to be working outside in the draining sun while at the same time, “blackness” made them vulnerable to sexual violence: they were not “white” enough to be protected. When featured in shows, lighter-skinned black women are given the roles of the sexy female that everyone wishes to have, oftentimes, for sexual pleasure, while the darker-skinned women are presented as the loud, overtly angered, ugly character. It is these misconstrued representations that makes it harder for one to stand upright in the crooked room. A month ago, in October, Dove released a GIF as an ad for their body wash, which caused a racial uproar. The GIF started with a black woman in a brown shirt. In the GIF, as she takes her shirt off, a white woman is revealed, thus implying that once she has used the soap, she’ll become “clean” or…white. The soap industry has had a history of racist ads, depicting black women as dirty. Shown below, is a picture from the GIF. One might note that that the female chosen to represent the community is dark skinned, which reinforce those negative assertions of darker-skinned women with dirt. Dove later apologized, saying that they in no way meant for this ad to be taken offensively, yet no one thought before even launching this GIF that “Hey, this looks a little misleading, a little offensive, a little wrong.”, as if “offense” were merely a matter of the ad’s reception.

ty that is superior to those who are darker, she is considered the most beautiful by being closer to the skin of her colonizers.


epiction: The black woman is much more complex than one may think. When addressing the image of the black woman, we assume that she identifies herself as feminine and as heterosexual, because her sexuality is understood in favor of men. We fail to regard the fact that not every black woman conforms to the standard feminine image and that not every black woman wishes to be the lover or the wife of a man or to even have a family. These preconceived and contradictory notions have been instilled into black women, creating a way of thinking that is cancerous to our own psyche. Society has done a superb job at making us think that strangely enough, we are not in charge of our own bodies, but yet, we are responsible for men and their pervasive and violent actions done to us. And don’t you just find it lovely how society has always said everyone is beautiful, yet if you’re darker than a graham cracker, then “you should probably stay out of the sun”? These notions have driven black women insane. They have been drilled into our subconscious and has influenced the way we perceive ourselves and how we perceive each other. We are oftentimes hushed, because if we don’t talk about racism and sexism, then it’ll just go away, or, we are told that we are angry for no reason, when for centuries, black women have been the pack mules of this country, taking everyone’s burdens. Many fail to realize that there is a long history in which the black woman has been made “strong”. She was left with no choice.

C Figure 1. (Gebbia, Austin)

Light equates to prettier and cleaner because it means being closer to white or pure. Those who are darker tend to be associated with filth, ugliness, and with labor. I remember distinctly, in my hometown, peers both white and of color, friends, and family making this commentary during the summer time: “*insert name here* has gotten darker; they need to stay out of the sun”, or, “I’m getting darker, I need to stay out of the sun.” What seems to be a simple observation has the connotation that dark means ugly: you skin indicates your cost of value. While I am not encouraging you to fry your skin on a Summer day; I am saying that to fear being darker and dark skin is equally damaging internally. When one begins to consider the hierarchy of skin tone and beauty, one discovers that skin color is colonized, made into a symbol of value or non-value. This then translates into the idea of lighter shades of black women signifying a feminini-

onclusion: As my essay comes to an end, I realize that there is so much more to be said and done. In the beginning of this project, I assumed, “oh yeah, I’m a young, black woman that’s going to write a paper about the struggles of black women as a whole!”; I somehow failed to realize how complex this could get. And as I stand corrected, I must say that this experience has truly been an eye opener. Society has drilled lethal implications into our way of thinking that has influenced the decisions we make and the way we perceive ourselves and others. Although oftentimes assumed subconsciously, these perceptions have caused us to succumb to society’s idea of what it means to be a black woman. This has in turn led new generations of black women to bear the many burdens every black woman has had to carry. Although the damage has been done, we must take these misperceptions, prejudices, and burdens and turn them on their heads. Thinking about my years to come in college, I realize that, sadly, there are sexist and racist people in the world, and that the only true way to combat them is to join with the black women community, asserting that we are not what society wishes, or even forces us to be. We are in charge of our own bodies. Our dress does indicate an invitation for sexual Fifth World


activity, and our skin color does not make us any more or less attractive than another. We are all beautiful, and we are all strong. What we want is for our beauty and strength to be liberated from injustice. I am aware that there are more marginalized groups within the black women community, and I as close this paper, I must again say, I am still shocked at how complex this topic is. Through the writing of this paper, I realize that there is still so much to be said and done. I have so many thoughts, but so few ways to effectively communicate them, and until those words are given to me, I’ll continue to find my way to stand upright in this crooked room, becoming my own version of the modern day superwoman.

“advantage.” Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 11 September 2017., Ariel Zilber For. “‘Are you gonna take it in my face like an animal in a cage?’ Malia Obama snaps at woman with a cell phone taking her photo at Harvard.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 27 Aug. 2017, Du Bois, W. E. B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co.; [Cambridge]: University Press John Wilson and Son, 1903. Print. Foxy Brown. Dir. Jack Hill. Perf. Pam Grier. American International Pictures, 1974. Film. Gebbia, Austin. “Dove Ran a Disturbingly Racist Ad-and It Isn’t the First Time.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 8 Oct. 2017 Harris-Perry, Melissa V. “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.” New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. Print. Jacobs, Harriet A, Lydia M. Child, Jean F. Yellin, and John S. Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000. Print. Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2011. Print. Moynihan, Daniel P. “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” Washington D.C., U.S. Department of Labor, 1965. Print. Precious. Dir. Lee Daniels. Perf. Gabourey Sidibe. Perf. Monique Hicks. Lionsgate, 2009. Film. “Sparrow” Being Mary Jane. Dir. Mara Brock Akil. Perf. Gabrielle Union. Black Entertainment Television, 2013. Stephanie Toone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3:54 p.m Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 Crime. “Kenneka Jenkins update: 7 things to know about teen found dead in hotel freezer.” Ajc, “strong.” Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 11 September 2017. Wallace, Michele. “Black Macho and the myth of the Superwoman.” New York: Warner Books, 1980. Print.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics



everal years ago, while visiting the Museum of Northern Arizona, a group of students and I had the good fortune of listening to a documentary filmmaker speak about his long study of the katchinas, which he, in his cultural exteriority from the Hopi, did not claim to understand, but which he, in his strong desire to learn, had only begun to understand. We then turned to a room in which a kiva had been recreated. On the walls of the kiva room was painted an extraordinary mural, Journey of the Human Spirit, by Michael Kabotie (Lomawywesa, village of Songoopavi) and Delbridge Honanie (Coochsiwukioma, village of Songoopavi). We were especially attracted to the last panel, which depicted the Hopi twins, sister and brother, as well as a serpent and an apple—an Apple computer, that is. Revising the myth of the fall, the Hopi muralists represented the emergence of a new world, the Fifth World, through the creative mingling of traditional and new knowledges. I shall leave it to our readers to learn more about the Hopi imagination of the Fifth World. Suffice it here to say that we were moved not simply by this beautiful image of hope, coming as it did after images of a people’s actual destruction—the long catastrophe of western conquest—but also and inseparably by its insistence that we, too, can and must learn from those peoples who came before us. Such knowledge is difficult not least because it is also a demand for justice, which is to say, for an understanding that does not appropriate but is instead altered by its engagement with another. For what the Hopi narratives offer is a knowledge that is active in our own present, thereby revealing that the present is not ours to own, but a common if unequally shared history. If the nature of this history and community radically depends, as I believe it does, upon the full range of human practices otherwise excluded from the requirements of a dominant society, then the emergent will always attest to the life that, escaping from false universals, returns in unexpected ways—in, for instance, unscheduled talks by unofficial guides at a museum outside of Flagstaff, or, as the first essay in this volume reveals, in the words of a local minister asked to explain the destruction of a community. These are students upon whom nothing is lost. There is much to be gained, then, from their emergence as writers, scientists, and artists. To those readers who are uncomfortable with the subjects of some of these essays, I say this: Find comfort in the courage of these students, for they refuse to know nothing about what matters most to them. Not only are they undaunted by intellectual difficulty— to the contrary, they relish it—but they are unafraid to remain with their subjects, searching out the elusive secrets of a life often imagined before known. Here are works that keep faith with a world worthy of humans.

The essays in this volume are various, as befits the interdisciplinary nature of our program. Indeed, one definition of Humanities at NCSSM is that we investigate the nature of nature, locating the essential work of the school within an historical and social context. Such investigations are also inseparably critical and creative, seeking not only to analyze what exists, but to interrogate the existent, to understand its conditions of possibility and to envisage the possibilities of a different life, in which love and work are liberated from wrong. The researches accomplished by our students cannot but encourage and cheer the spirit even in times when optimism is difficult to summon. Reading their work, it is difficult not to believe that the good will eventually win out. David Cantrell, Durham, NC

Acknowledgements We should first like to thank our peers in the Research in Humanities program who were not able to join us on the editorial board but whose contributions have nonetheless been invaluable. We too should like to thank our friends, our families, and the sundry others who have made this journal possible and our lives good. We are deeply indebted to Vanessa Lin, Elizabeth Beyer and Kathleen Hablutzel, who have worked hours much too late in the design and production of this journal. We are grateful to the many members of the faculty and the administration at NCSSM, including Dr. Todd Roberts, Chancellor; Dr. Katie Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor, Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs; Ms. Elizabeth Moose, Dean of Humanities, and the Humanities faculty; the Library staff, including Dr. Robin Boltz, Ms. Stephanie Barnwell, Ms. Melissa Cox, Ms. Lacey Hudspeth, Ms. Sherron Johnson, and Ms. Sarah Stokes. Our deepest appreciation also goes to the NCSSM Foundation for its generous support of our work. Above all, we should like to thank Dr. David Cantrell. His faith in us as people and as scholars, his dedication, not only to this journal, but to each of our individual works, and his continuing efforts to build this program have inspired and encouraged us. This journal would have never been possible without his time and attention.

Fifth World III (2018)  
Fifth World III (2018)