English The Politics of Narration: Stranger-Suitors in Austen and Burney
Sociology Rethinking the Studio: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Social Networksâ€™ Role in Creative Development
Chemistry Solution Conformations of Chiral Mannich Bases
Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal Vol. 11 2015-2016
Philosophy Kafka and the Incomprehensible: A Paradox of Interpretation and Its Resolution
Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal Vol. 11 | 2015 - 2016
Editor in Chief Faculty Advisor Managing Editors Feature Editor Editorial Board & Feature Staff
The staff of the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal would like to express its appreciation of all those who recognize and contribute to our endeavors. Without their support, we would be unable to produce the 2015-16 edition of the Journal. First, we would like to thank Morton Schapiro, President of Northwestern University, along with Provost Daniel I. Linzer and Ronald R. Braeutigam, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, for their generous patronage. We are especially appreciative of our faculty adviser, Professor Allen Taflove of the Electrical
Monica Cheng Allen Taflove Josh Shi Sophie Weber Neil Thivalapill Janet Chen Brian Cheng Sophie Gustafson Da Yeon Hwang Alan Li Mikayla Litt Sunny Liu Imane Ridouh Lena Thompson Stephanie Yang
Engineering and Computer Science Department, for his unwavering dedication to NURJ as a whole. His direction and guidance allow us to create the best version of the Journal possible. We would also like to thank the Youmna AlGailey and the NU-Qatar Research Committee for the opportunity to collaborate and highlight the outstanding student research being conducted at Northwestern University in Qatar. Finally, we would like to thank the 11 academic departments of Weinberg for partnering with the Journal to publish their “Best Senior Theses.”
Front cover photo: Live-drawings for the theatre performance “Das Schloss - Eine Winterreise (The Castle - A Winter Journey)” after Franz Kafka by Ulrich Scheel, used under CC (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/), slight changes made to original.
Dr. Vadim Backman
Sophie Weber & Allen Taflove
Why Tolstoy Was Wrong: Peasant Rebellion in Post Emancipation Russia
Electric Peoples: Toward an Afrofuturist Body Politic
Slavic Languages and Literature & History Blair Dunbar
African American Studies Christian Keeve
Globalization and Cosmopolitanism Since Kant: A Paradoxical Relationship
Dynamic Landscapes: The Spatiality of Social Relations at Ightham Mote
Philosophy Mariam Al Askari
Anthropology Carrie Willis
No Justice, No Peace: How Poverty Leads Racially Biased Police Brutality to Trigger Protests
Ecocriticism, Entropy, and the Gothic in Poeâ€™s Fiction
Political Science Madeleine Elkins
Feature Neil Thivalapill & Lena Thompson
English Carly Bluth
Solution Conformations of Chiral Mannich Bases
Rational Design of Irreversible Covalent Inhibitors for E3 Ubiquitin Ligase NEDD4-1
Chemistry Paul Lee
Chemistry Ziyang Xu
Professor Mark Hersam
The Belarus Free Theatre: Artistic Resistance of a Modern Dictatorship
Feature Sophie Weber
International Studies Francesca Mennella
Dub, Dub-Key and Dabkeh: Palestinian Resistance Through Reggae Music in Israel
The Politics of Narration: Stranger-Suitors in Austen and Burney
Media & Communications Yazan Abu Ghaidah
English Chelsey Moler
Rethinking the Studio: A MixedMethods Analysis of Social Networks’ Role in Creative Development
Hook Up and Rape “Cultures:” Recovering Power Relations in the Discourse of Sexual Assault on College Campuses
Sociology Stephanie Shapiro
Gender and Sexuality Studies Jennifer Katz
Sunday, barī Sunday: An Ethnography of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago
Introduction to the Estridentista Works of Manuel Maples Arce: 1921-1927
Musicology & Asian Studies Conner Singh VanderBeek
Comparative Literature Alexandra Becker
Kafka and the Incomprehensible: A Paradox of Interpretation and its Resolution
About the Contributors
Philosophy Jake Romm
From the Editor Dear readers, Within this issue of NURJ, you will find 15 undergraduate senior theses that received the highest awards from their respective departments, which span 13 distinct disciplines in the hard sciences, social sciences, and humanities. We invite you to explore the same questions that have perplexed and fascinated the authors of these senior theses. In philosophy and literature, find fresh analyses of literary heavy-weights Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, Jane Austen, and Kant. In political science and history, Francesca Mennella breaks new ground in examining how artistic dissidents survive under dictatorship, while Blair Dunbar complicates idealized myths surrounding the Russian peasantry. Our authors also pose challenging questions to readers surrounding the contemporary issues of race and police brutality, and the terms “hook-up culture” and “rape culture” on college campuses. As the theses in this journal are condensed, we encourage readers to read the full versions of their favorite theses on the NURJ Online (thenurj.com), the central location for all undergraduate research submissions and feature interviews of students and faculty currently conducting research. It is our sincere hope that through these award winning theses, the stories behind the authors, and words of wisdom from experienced professors, you will be inspired to pursue your own intellectual curiosities inside and outside the classroom. I encourage students of all ages and all disciplines to make the most of the amazing resources the university has to offer, to meet your own challenges and make your own discoveries, wherever your passions may lie. I hope you enjoy this year’s issue.
Sophie Weber Managing Editor
From the Advisor Dear readers, The Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal (NURJ) is an annual studentproduced print and web-based publication funded by the President’s Office. We are very grateful for President Schapiro’s continuing generous support. Last year, the 2014-15 edition of NURJ featured the Best Senior Theses selected by 12 academic departments. The 625 printed copies, freely available to students, were posted on newsstands at major Evanston campus locations. New in this year’s 2015-16 issue, we are: • Publishing Best Senior Theses selected by 15 academic departments, an unprecedented number in our journal’s history; • Building a partnership with NU-Qatar by publishing one NU-Q student research article and an interview of NU-Q faculty and students; • And publishing interviews of faculty members Professors Mark Hersam and Vadim Backman. I trust that you will enjoy learning about the marvelous research investigations of Northwestern’s top students!
Allen Taflove, Professor, NURJ Faculty Adviser Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science McCormick School of Engineering Northwestern University
Slavic Languages and Literature & History
Grigoriy Myasoyedov Reading of the 1861 Manifesto 187 by Grigoriy Myasoyedov
Why Tolstoy Was Wrong: Peasant Rebellion in Post— Emancipation Russia Blair Dunbar
Slavic Languages and Literature History John Bushnell Faculty Advisor
Gary Morson Faculty Advisor
Michael Allen Seminar Director
Leo Tolstoy would become one of the world’s greatest novelists, but just as—if not more— influential were the philosophies espoused by his novels. Like other Russian intellectuals of his time and prior, a major question that concerned Tolstoy was that of the Russian peasantry. Many of his views regarding the peasantry were incorporated into his two great novels: Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Tolstoy tended to view Russian peasants as a cohesive whole with a distinctive nature. This nature was adhering to tradition and accepting the fate that the higher powers had chosen. Tolstoy was by no means a historian, but that is not to say that his ideas were any less influential, in his own time or the present day. He also was not the first to view the Russian peasantry as a special group, governed by its own special characteristics. » 9
Slavic Languages and Literature & History
Liberation of peasants by B. Kustodiev (1907) by Борис Кустодиев
wo writers, August Haxthausen and A.V. Chayanov, produced internationally recognized theories regarding the Russian commune. Their belief in a special “nature” of the peasantry is similar to that of Tolstoy. Haxthausen depicted the commune as a primitive socialist paradise, while Chayanov argued that the commune functioned in a way fundamentally different from a capitalist market economy. A recent historian, Tracy Dennison, observed that there was considerable variation within the peasantry; her findings contradicted the earlier ideas of Chayanov and Haxthausen. In her work, she blames Chayanov, Haxthausen and even Tolstoy for perpetuating a “peasant myth,” or an idealization of the peasant commune. More than a hundred years after his death, Tolstoy is still referenced in contemporary historical scholarship. This thesis attempts to challenge both the idea of a “peasant myth” and the idea of a unifying force governing the peasants’ behavior by analyzing minor peasant disturbances from 1861-1905 with a series of documents collected by Soviet historians. There was enormous variability within the Russian peasantry, and peasants often had far more complex
and specific desires than those previously ascribed to them by peasant historians or popular authors. Peasants were not wholly ignorant or irrational. True, they had a limited worldview, but that just meant peasants were operating within a smaller framework. Peasants were simply another group of people in Russia, rather than a unique entity. Indeed, upon examination of the individual case studies, peasants appear to have behaved as logical actors in response to the vast changes brought about by the Emancipation of 1861. Too often historians have attempted to generalize about Russian peasants, attempting to provide a single, allencompassing explanation for why violent rebellions occurred in the countryside. They have attempted to describe peasant behavior as a whole or become confused by the “mystery of the peasant.” David Moon wrote in his work Russian Peasants and Tsarist Legislation on the Eve of Reform that he hoped to discover “what the devil the peasants thought they were up to” between 1822 and 1855. Perhaps the answer is relatively simple: peasants, operating with the knowledge and tactics at their disposal, seized upon any and every possibility to better their situation in incremental ways. Rather than being
selflessly dedicated to a greater cause or even to the entire village community, peasants were selfish and opportunistic, concerned for their own survival. In this respect, they were not much different than the nobles who surrounded them.
Chapter 1: Tolstoy According to Tolstoy, the answer to Levin’s problems lies in what is called the “elemental force.” Levin actually notices this “elemental force” early on in the novel. After learning that not all of the clover has been planted on all forty acres and his English seed oats are already ruined, he begins discussing his agricultural plans with the bailiff. As he talks, the bailiff “had that look Levin knew so well that always irritated him, a look of hopelessness and despondency. That look said: ‘That’s all very well, but as God wills.’” The bailiff doesn’t have faith in Levin’s plan for his estate; he also doesn’t agree with Levin’s plans to share in the ownership of the land with the peasants. After talking to the bailiff, Levin felt “all the more roused to struggle against this, as it seemed, elemental force continually ranged against him…” This elemental force is at the root of Levin’s problems on his estate. The peasants are not stupid, as suggested by the old man with gray whiskers, and the peasants are not purposefully thwarting Levin’s efforts to cultivate his estate. As Levin begins to change his thinking, he begins to see his laborers not merely as laborers but as Russian peasants. These peasants have their own instincts and their own culture. “We have gone our way—the European way—a long while, without asking ourselves about the qualities of our labor force.” The seed oats that are ruined are English seed oats, and the threshing machine was first invented in Scotland. Russia is not a Western European country, and to treat it as such is only going to bring about a slew of problems. Even though Levin carefully instructs his workers on how to use the English machines, the machines break because his laborers have different work habits than English laborers. Even when Levin attempts to share ownership of the land with his peasants, he runs into obstacles because he wants the peasants to use the modern plough and scarifier which are both tools the peasants have not previously used. They also have a hard time viewing the land as partially owned because for hundreds of years, as serfs, the peasants had to pay rent on the land either in the form of labor or cash payments. That’s why they view Levin’s shareholding not as ownership but rent in the amount of half the crop. Levin would have, perhaps, been better off giving the peasants allotments, which was the system to which they were accustomed. In his work Anna Karenina in Our Time, Gary Saul Morson describes this elemental force as a natural friction that is present throughout the universe. It is an endless series of universal pressures that prevents reducing a problem down to a single cause. This series of “countless infinitesimal forces” leads to what Morson terms the “field of possible action.” Although Levin begins to understand that the Russian laborer has a unique set of characteristics, he still attempts to solve
“There was enormous variability within the Russian peasantry, and peasants often had far more complex and specific desires than those previously ascribed to them by peasant historians or popular authors.”
his agricultural problems with one quick, all-encompassing solution. Reforms have to be made little by little, starting with older, proven methods and introducing new ideas as problems present themselves. This is why later in the novel, when Levin is writing his book about agriculture, he notes that the poverty in Russia is the result of the premature implementation of modern communication systems, such as the railways: “…so in the general development of wealth in Russia, credit, facilities of communication, manufacturing activity, indubitably necessary in Europe, where they had arisen in their proper time, had with us only done harm, by throwing into the background the chief question calling for settlement—the question of agriculture.” Levin, and likely Tolstoy, believed that the government of Russia and the landowners had tried to modernize Russia rapidly and from the top down, which only proved detrimental to the country as a whole. Historically speaking, the building of factories and the implementation of modern technology, such as railroads, did greatly impact the “peasant problem,” but not necessarily in a negative way. When dealing with social problems, people frequently search for the easiest and quickest solution. As Morson points out, what do countries do to help impoverished countries? The richer governments provide foreign aid to the poorer governments. Schools provide a poor education, so people assume the answer is to raise the teachers’ salaries. For years, the question of the peasantry had plagued the government. Finally, in 1861, Alexander II decided to abolish serfdom in the hopes that the peasants would be happier and the economic state of the country would improve. It would be unfair to characterize the Emancipation as wholly ineffective, but the abolition of serfdom did create a host of new problems. For example, there remained noble opposition to the emancipation, as well as a continual fear that peasants would rebel because they had not received the full extent of what they desired. Clearly, social reform would not come easily. After 1861 and the emancipation of the serfs, peasants continued to carry out acts of disobedience throughout the 11
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“Tolstoy’s explanation for the triggers that led to peasant disobedience—working against the peasants’ element force—cannot fully account for the series of disorders that occurred throughout Vladimir, Kostroma, and Nizhnii Novgorod provinces between 1861 and 1905.”
countryside until the first Russian Revolution of 1905. Leo Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina in the 1870s, in the midst of this time period. In fact, Tolstoy was a peace mediator: he was an official working in the countryside to mediate the land agreements between the former serfs and their landowners post-Emancipation. He served for only one year, but in this time he noticed the difficulties arising from the Emancipation Act of 1861. He wrote in his diary, “Read the statutes with the peasants, and nothing else. I’m overcome by laziness.” He then writes briefly about two different peasants who were suspicious of the provisions of the new Act. Given Tolstoy’s experience, it would be unwise to disregard Tolstoy’s view of the peasantry because he was an author rather than a historian. Where then do Tolstoy and the idea of the “elemental force” fit into to the larger historical question? What factors had to be present for peasants to disobey authority? How can Tolstoy’s novel and his interpretation of the nature of the peasantry help establish a pattern of “rebellion” in the post-Emancipation period? The peasants on Levin’s estate, at least according to Tolstoy and the idea of the elemental force, were not rebelling in any way. In fact, after the peasants kill three of the best calves Tolstoy asserts, “All this happened, not because anyone felt ill-will to Levin or his farm; on the contrary, he knew that they liked him, thought him a simple gentleman (their highest praise).” Levin also does not believe that the peasants are ignorant beings, as suggested by the old man with the gray whiskers whom he meets. All the peasants merely want to “work merrily and carelessly.” Their desire was to work unhampered using the methods to which they were accustomed. Owning all of the land was not their ultimate and sole priority. A well-to-do peasant runs the most successful farm that Levin comes across. This peasant started out by renting three hundred acres from an old lady before buying these same three hundred acres and renting another three hundred. He then rents out the worst part of the land while cultivating a hundred acres with two hired laborers. This peasant’s farm was flourishing, and he had even been successful in introducing a few modern farming techniques, such as the
modern plough and thinning out the rye to feed the horses. When Levin asks about this successful peasant’s hired laborers, the peasant states that he works amongst them. As he says, “We’re all peasants together. We go into everything ourselves. If a man’s no use, he can go, and we can manage by ourselves.” Perhaps the best way to look at Tolstoy’s argument is that peasants disobeyed as a reaction to a misunderstanding boss. Sometimes Levin works the land, but he is not one of them. He, himself, realizes that he cannot escape his aristocratic upbringing. There arises the problem. According to Tolstoy, all peasants really wanted was to carry out their work in a way that appealed to them, alongside a landowner who understood their situation. When forced to act in ways that contradicted the “elemental force” of the Russian peasant, they were pushed to disobey authority by working inefficiently or sabotaging—whether purposely or accidentally—the landowner’s equipment. But if these were the only conditions that had to be present in order for peasants to “rebel” wouldn’t peasants have been disobeying authority nearly constantly throughout the post-Emancipation period? After all, Levin has problems with his peasants, and he is certainly not characteristic of the Russian landowners of the time. He genuinely cares about his workers, feels guilty about the immense gap in wealth between the two classes, and continually contemplates the problem of Russian agriculture. Most of the 19th century Russian landowners would more accurately fit Sviazhsky’s description: they do not know the profitable crops versus the unprofitable ones. After the Emancipation, the nobility was on the decline and unable to adjust to the demands of post-Emancipation life. If an out-of-touch or cruel landowner who imposed Western technology were all it took to keep peasants from following orders, none of
the land would have been cultivated. In addition, no military intervention was required on Levin’s estate. The “disorders” never became so severe. Therefore, it is logical to assume that Tolstoy’s explanation for the triggers that led to peasant disobedience—working against the peasants’ element force— cannot fully account for the series of disorders that occurred throughout Vladimir, Kostroma, and Nizhnii Novgorod provinces between 1861 and 1905. Later historians would espouse a view at least partially in line with the thinking of Tolstoy. One of the most famous was Leon Trotsky, a major player in the Russian Revolution of 1917. He viewed the peasants as a revolutionary force that was more interested in fighting their oppressive landowners than one another. In the 1917 Revolution, they were fighting against relics of serfdom. As he described it, “An extraordinarily clear correlation! It alone firmly establishes the fact that the peasant movement of 1917 was directed in its social foundations not against capitalism, but against the relics of serfdom.” For Trotsky, the agrarian movement was a “bourgeois revolution” that “overcame for a time the class contradictions of the village: the farmhand helped the kulak in raiding the landlord.” Whether or not Trotsky would agree with the idea of an “elemental force,” he certainly saw the peasants as a unique force, with a larger-than-life political aim. To him, they were not fighting for small gains day-by-day but rather interested in a class revolution. Even J.L.H. Keep subscribed to Haxthausen’s view that peasant communities did not have significant internal divisions. He most likely would have approved of the harmonious picture of peasants hoeing the fields together in Anna Karenina. Robinson would agree with Tolstoy to the extent that he, too, believed that peasants refused to adapt modern means. However, in his case, he believed that peasants should have become wage earners. According to Robinson, peasants were born to be petty cultivators, primarily concerned with the land but ultimately unwilling to turn to wage earning. As he writes, “Only this essential peasantism, this non-proletarian habit of thought and action, can explain the fact that the villagers crowded one another for the opportunity to rent lands at a figure which did not leave them, in return for their labor, as much as they might have earned by working for wages on a neighboring estate.” This belief in “peasantism” or some sort of inherent peasant nature is the type of myth to which Tracy Dennison refers. It is also similar to what Tolstoy believed, although unlike Robinson, Tolstoy didn’t believe that peasants were altogether entirely ignorant. Historian Graeme Gill also believed in a type of “peasantism,” similar to Robinson’s. He believed the peasants were united by a low level of sophistication and ignorance with regards to events that surrounded them. Furthermore, they were unable to look beyond “the established horizons of peasant life,” and thus they remained loyal to the local village. The problem with believing that this “peasantism” involved a failure to work as wage-earners or in craft industries lies in the fact that many peasants actually were migrant workers, choosing seasonal labor. In addition, many peasants in the Central Industrial Region supplemented their income by
participating in craft industries. Nizhnii Novgorod, for example, held the largest trade fair in Europe every year. Peddlers as far east as China and as far west as America came to look at the goods being sold. The international fair stimulated local trade and meant that trade occurred year round. Most likely, the people of Nizhnii Novgorod province worked to achieve wages beyond a subsistence level. Peasants played a large role in this fair and consequently, in local craft industries. Factories were built in Nizhnii Novogord to produce a variety of products, and agricultural peasants were their employees. For example, the production of sheepskin rags was a project that involved nearly all of the women in the Bol’shoe Murashkino district. Overall, peasants worked as bakers, blacksmiths, plumbers, woodworkers, carpenters, tailors, etc. As Evtuhov writers, “The perpetual flux of post-emancipation society, in which, for example, the same person could be the employee of a sheepskin manufacturer, an independent entrepreneur in that same line of business, and an agricultural laborer all in the course of a single year, made it virtually impossible to measure status, occupation, and class…” Even before the Emancipation, writers like Ivan Turgenev noticed that certain peasants could be industrious. Turgenev was by no means a historian, but his Sketches from a Hunter’s Album was not composed of fictional tales. The book is a collection of observations from Turgenev’s travels into the countryside while hunting. In fact, many Russian historians have referenced Turgenev’s observations in their works. Published in 1852, the book is often credited with helping to end serfdom in Russia. One famous “sketch” is entitled “Khor and Kalinich.” In this sketch, Turgenev meets Polutikhin, a petty proprietor. One of Polutikhin’s serfs is named Khor. Khor is a very successful peasant, who lives in a homestead in the woods far from the village where the other serfs on the estate live. Another peasant Turgenev meets is Polutikhin’s coachman, Kalinich. During his stay with Polutikhin, Turgenev becomes acquainted with Khor and Kalinich. Khor is, in many respects, a petty landowner, despite not being legally free, while Kalinich supplements his daily work by keeping bees. Another vignette, entitled “The Bailiff,” depicts a particularly industrious peasant who takes advantage of his position on the Pyenochkin estate to extort the peasants below him for extra money. According to the peasant Anpadist, the serf and bailiff Sofron Yakovlich “… is master, just as if it were his own. The peasants all about are in debt to him; they work for him like slaves; he’ll send one off with the wagons; another, another way.” Sofron claims that there 13
Slavic Languages and Literature & History 14
is not enough land, so Pyenochkin agrees that he should buy some more. However, as Turgenev later learns, Sofron already rents 375 acres from the peasants in the village. When Pyenochkin attempts to give Sofron advice on how to plant potatoes or feed the cattle, Sofron pays him no attention. As Anpadist puts it, “[Mr. Pyenochkin’s] not the master there, Sofron’s the master.” The peasants in Turgenev’s vignettes don’t appear to subscribe to this “peasantism” or be governed by some “elemental force.” Tolstoy’s earlier “great novel,” War and Peace, actually seemed to present a more complex portrait of Russian peasants. Written in 1869, War and Peace tells the story of the Russian invasion by the French, as well as the effect of the Napoleonic era on the aristocracy as seen through the eyes of five different families. The peasant theme is again, as in Anna Karenina, passive resistance. The estate is Bogucharovo, and Princess Mary attempts to save her peasants from the impending invasion by Napoleon. As she tells her peasants, “Dronushka tells me that the war has ruined you… I am myself going away because it is dangerous here… I am giving you everything, my friends, and I beg you to take everything… I ask you to go with all your belongings to our estate near Moscow, and I promise you I will see to it that there you shall want for nothing…” The peasants’ response to her generous offer is one of silence. They refuse to take the grain she has offered them and refuse to leave the estate. As they say, “Why should we give up everything? We don’t agree. Don’t agree… We are sorry for you, but we’re not willing. Go away yourself, alone…” This is assuredly passive resistance on the part of the peasants; they aren’t burning down the manor house or stealing cattle. In fact, they appear to be acting against their own self-interest. Why wouldn’t they listen to Princess Mary and happily take her offer to be cared for at her Moscow estate? Perhaps the answer lies at the beginning of the chapter when Tolstoy writes, “Various obscure rumors were always current among them: at one time a rumor that they would all be enrolled as Cossacks…then of some proclamation of the Tsar’s and of an oath to the Tsar Paul in 1797 (in connection with which it was rumored that freedom had been granted them but the landowners had stopped it)…” For the peasants, the coming of Napoleon marked the end of serfdom. He was some sort of “antichrist” that would bring about their freedom. As Yakov Alaptych soon discovers, the peasants had indeed been receiving false hopes from the French. An influential peasant in the commune named Karp had told his
fellow peasants that the French were not harming the deserted villages and even agreed to pay for anything taken from them. As a result, the peasants in the village had decided to wait rather than move, which is why they refused to ready the carts for Alpatych’s departure. Seen from this perspective, it would not be illogical for peasants to refuse to leave with Mary. If they thought Napoleon would bring about a revolution, they would gladly wait for his invasion. This could be a simple misunderstanding between landowner and worker, as in the case of Levin and his peasants, as well as a conflict of interests. Peasants didn’t want to remain under the control of Princess Mary, while Mary understandably feared for her safety. In addition, peasants’ action—or rather inaction—often coincided with rumors. Rumors were highly influential when it came to peasant disobedience, as the historical documents will show. Tolstoy does seem to note a greater degree of variability among the peasantry in War and Peace. He describes the peasants of Bogucharovo as “quite a different character from those of Bald Hills. They differed from them in speech, dress, and disposition.” Perhaps Tolstoy is only noting the difference among peasants because he is talking about peasants belonging to two different estates, while Anna Karenina only focuses on the one. Nevertheless, a variety of peasants occupy the state of Bogucharovo. Some were state peasants. Some were serfs who paid quitrent and worked wherever they wished. In fact, the village elder who was feared more than their master is reminiscent of Sofron from Turgenev’s “The Bailiff.” It would be hard to attribute a unifying “elemental force” to this diverse group of people. Even though Tolstoy was writing about peasants still under serfdom, the actual novel was written in 1869, after the Emancipation. Perhaps the variable nature of the peasants in War and Peace led Tolstoy to attempt an overarching explanation of peasants in Anna Karenina. After all, in War and Peace he readily admits his inability to understand the peasantry. In the vicinity of Bogucharovo “in the lives of the peasantry of those parts the undercurrents in the life of the Russian people, the causes and meaning of which are so baffling to contemporaries, were more clearly and strongly noticeable than among others.” Perhaps the “elemental force” was one solution to the mystery surrounding peasant behavior, as seen on the Bogucharovo estate. It is important to note that Tolstoy was attempting to analyze the psychology of the peasantry through the character of Levin. He was searching for an overarching explanation of peasant behavior as a whole, not unlike Chayanov. Tolstoy
“This is assuredly passive resistance on the part of the peasants; they aren’t burning down the manor house or stealing cattle. In fact, they appear to be acting against their own selfinterest.”
was studying psychology, and it is nearly impossible to prove the psychology of the peasants’ behavior when there is a lack of statements written by the peasants themselves. Of course, documents can also be misleading. Observing peasant behavior would have been just as useful, but Tolstoy only observed peasant behavior on his own estate. Therefore, while his theories might have applied to his own peasants, that does not mean they were applicable to the vast peasant population throughout Russia. It is also important to note that Tolstoy was not a peasant. Although writers have commented on an intense spiritual link between Tolstoy and the Russian peasantry, he was nevertheless an aristocrat. Later, in the 1880s, as he became closer to the peasant class, he began to become more seriously concerned with the poverty of the peasantry. However, he was still an aristocrat and always would be. As a result, like Levin in the novel, there was an insurmountable gulf between him and his hired laborers. Therefore, his conclusions must be taken as conclusions from the perspective of an outsider. A relative of Leo Tolstoy, Alexandra Tolstoy, argued that even though some believed Tolstoy idealized the peasant, Tolstoy “understood and described the Loren Rosson III | Photo psychology of the peasant better than any other Russian writer, and he saw in them traits that were hidden from the eyes of many others.” The accuracy of this statement is difficult to determine, but Tolstoy undoubtedly spent a significant period of his life contemplating not only peasants’ poverty but also the solution to the land problem. As a result, even as an aristocrat and a writer, his theories most likely contain
some truth, particularly when they pertain to the frequent misunderstandings between peasants and their bosses or the two classes’ conflicting desires.
Chapter 2: Disobedience in the Provinces Undoubtedly, the Emancipation of 1861 provided certain advantageous openings for protest that were not available earlier. For example, peace mediators did not exist prior to the Emancipation. Emancipation gave peasants new cause to believe in the “goodness of the tsar.” Some of the landowners’ power was diminished. And the complexity of the statutes generated rumor after rumor. That being said, peasants were utilizing the means of resistance to which they had already been exposed. Rumors were spread throughout the countryside long before the Emancipation and peasants took advantage of one another even though they shared the same land under one landowner’s estate. Instigators rallied whole groups of peasants to a cause, sometimes to a violent extent, and the legislation David Moon used for his case studies was passed in the early 1800s, showing peasants’ earlier misinterpretations of legal statutes. Rather than being a distinct break in peasant behavior, the disorders in the postEmancipation period should be seen as a continuation of the passive means of resistance peasants had already employed, adjusted to fit a new set of more favorable conditions. Perhaps the most logical act of all was this appropriate adjustment.
Bibliography Chayanov, A.V. The Theory of Peasant Economy. Edited by Thorner, Daniel, Basile Kerblay, and R.E.F. Smith. Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1966. Dennison, T. K. and A. W. Carus, "The invention of the Russian rural commune: Haxthausen and the evidence.” Historical Journal, 46.3 (2003): 561-82. Dennison, Tracy. The Institutional Framework of Serfdom. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Evtuhov, Catherine. Portrait of a Russian Province: Economy, Society, and Civilization in Nineteenthcentury Nizhnii Novgorod. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011. Gill, Graeme. Peasants and Government in the Russian Revolution. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1979.
Keep, J. L. H. “The Countryside in Revolt.” In The Russian Revolution and Bolshevik Victory, edited by Ronald Suny and Arthur Adams, 248-268. 3rd ed. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath and Company, 1990. Moon, David. Russian Peasants and Tsarist Legislation on the Eve of Reform. London: The Macmillan Press LTD, 1992. Moon, David. The Russian Peasantry 1600-1930. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Limited, 1999. Morson, Gary. Anna Karenina in Our Time: Seeing More Wisely. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2007. Robinson, Geroid T. Rural Russia under the Old Regime. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1932. Tolstoy, Alexandra. “Tolstoy and the Russian Peasant.”
Russian Review 19, no. 2 (April 1960): 150-156. Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Constance Garnett. Amazon Digital Services, 2009. Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Translated by Constance Garnett. Amazon Digital Services, 2012. Trotsky, Leon. History of the Russian Revolution. Translated by Max Eastman. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2008. Turgenev, Ivan, “Khor and Kalinich.” In Ivan Turgenev’s Collection [20 Books], translated by Constance Garnett. USA: Publish This L.L.C., 2009. Turgenev, Ivan, “The Bailiff.” In Ivan Turgenev’s Collection [20 Books], translated by Constance Garnett. USA: Publish This L.L.C., 2009.
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Globalization and Cosmopolitanism Since Kant: A Paradoxical Relationship
Mariam Al Askari Philosophy
Charles Mills Faculty Advisor
Cosmopolitanism is the ideal of worldexistence, freedom, and peaceful cooperation between all human beings. It is fulfilled at a global level. Does this mean that the current process of globalization is getting us closer to the cosmopolitan ideal? Are we slowly but surely working toward cosmopolitanism? And if so, is it thanks to the gradually increasing flows of information, bodies and capital across the globe (e.g. globalization)? A natural and not entirely false response to these three questions would be that, yes, globalization is in fact a means to the cosmopolitan end-goal, and that cosmopolitanism is the eventual effect of globalization. The purpose of this paper, however, is to question precisely this notion of the "global," which seems to be embedded within theories of cosmopolitanism. The global phenomenon fuels the cosmopolitan ideal; yet in doing so, it also complicates cosmopolitanism. For our exploration of this ideal, I have chosen the Kantian model as my main point of reference. We will first explore the close relationship between cosmopolitanism as ideal, and globalization as phenomenon within Kantian theory. And, with the help of writings by more contemporary figures such as JĂźrgen Habermas, Pheng Cheah, Seyla Benhabib, and Arjun Appadurai, our goal will then be to disentangle these two notions, and understand how the cosmopolitan narrative may look more like the changing and receding image of a mirage, not in spite but perhaps because of globalization. We will then attempt to retrieve a form of cosmopolitanism that, paradoxically, is independent from globalization, by recontextualizing its narrative in a more immediate and meaningful present. read the full paper online at thenurj.com Âť
Jamelle Bouie | Photo
No Justice, No Peace: How Poverty Leads Racially Biased Police Brutality to Trigger Protests Madeleine Elkins Political Science
Wendy Pearlman Faculty Advisor
Karen Alter Seminar Director
On August 9, 2014, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police Officer Darren Wilson. Accused of having stolen several cigars, Brown was confronted and ultimately shot 12 times by a police officer who claimed the unarmed Brown was an immediate threat to his life (United States Department of Justice 2015). Following this shooting and the subsequent death of Eric Garner by police in Staten Island, New York, the United States witnessed a massive outpouring of protest in response to these incidents. Many who followed these cases would expect most incidents of racially biased police brutality to trigger protest. The rage and pain brought to the surface by these events seemed, to most observers, to have served as a moral shock for communities around the world that drew people en masse to the streets to demand action. Âť 19
Jamelle Bouie | Photo
s Schneider highlights in her analysis of urban unrest, “racially targeted police violence inflicts an ugly wound: It undermines the legitimacy of the state and sends the message that the lives of some of its citizens are not valued” (Schneider 2014, 25-26). However, while some instances of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians spark protest, most do not. I gathered data on more than 4,000 cases of police violence obtained from crowd-sourced databases, news, police reports, legal documents, and statements from attorneys general. My dataset shows that while some instances of police brutality—defined in this study as use of lethal violence toward an unarmed individual—toward unarmed black civilians spark protest, only 33 percent of incidents in which an unarmed black civilian was killed or injured by police resulted in protest. Protest is defined in this study as a public demonstration of at least 10 people expressing objection to and disapproval of the actions of the police officer(s) and the police department(s) involved in the incident. Protest ought to be triggered by incidents of police violence if the political system, courts, and other institutions are unable to offer alternate routes to justice. Why do some instances of racially biased police brutality trigger protest while others do not? Under what conditions do instances of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians trigger protest? The puzzling nature of this question stems from the variation in the data
on racially biased police brutality toward unarmed black civilians and on protests in reaction to them. Scholars such as Jasper, Poulsen, Luker, Heise, Marcus, and Garfinkel propose that when there is protest, there is often a moral shock that sparked it. Unjust actions often lead to moral shocks, when information or events suggest to people that the world is not what they think it is (Heise 1979) (Marcus 2002) (Garfinkel 1967). Moral shocks take place when an unexpected event or piece of information creates a sense of outrage in a person, inclining her toward political action ( Jasper and Poulsen 1995) ( Jasper 1997) (Luker 1984). That the term “moral shock” invokes the image of a state of psychological shock or an electric shock implies a visceral physical feeling (Goodwin, Jasper, and Polletta 2001, 16). Moral shocks help “a person think about her basic values and how the world diverges from them” (Goodwin, Jasper, and Polletta 2001, 106), propelling her to action. Moral shocks generate dread and anger that are often channeled into indignation that spur people to protest. While people generally accept most unpleasant events and believe that protest would be ineffective in swaying the decisions of government, moral shocks serve as the basis for mobilization ( Jasper 1997, 106) (Goodwin, Jasper, and Polletta 2001, 148–149). While many moral shocks stem from unexpected change caused by powerful organizations such as government bodies, moral shocks can also come from personal tragedies like the death of a loved one ( Jasper 1997).
Even in the absence of personal ties or past experiences to link a person to a protesting group, “explicit moral beliefs often lead to anger, outrage, hurt, and a moral shock when they are violated” ( Jasper 1997, 151). Moral shocks are especially powerful when they highlight and suggest that further repression is likely. These moral shocks are generally widely reported on and interpreted by the media and individuals, spreading feelings of anger and dread both about the specific event and the implications of future repression it carries ( Jasper 1997, 324). Extrapolating from Jasper’s research, cases of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians should easily create moral shocks within black communities because they carry with them not only proof that black civilians are currently being oppressed, but also draw on the centuries of oppression that blacks have faced in the United States. Furthermore, instances of racially biased police brutality have been shown to strengthen connections within black communities as they support one another through the grief of the tragic incident (Useem 1980). Feelings of shared group membership and shared expectations of how the group should be treated can generate the same anger and dread among group members that are generated by moral shocks (Gould 2009) (Britt and Heise 2000). This suggests that the feelings of anger and dread generated by an instance of racially biased police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian should be compounded within black communities. What’s more, indignation at one’s own government or police force is an especially powerful mechanism for creating a moral shock because it generally creates feelings of betrayal ( Jasper 2013). However, incidents of racially biased police brutality toward unarmed black civilians seem to only serve as moral shocks in some cases. Not all emotional reactions are conducive to protest; moral outrage generally acts as a powerful motivator for protest only when there is someone to blame for the injustice (Gamson 1992). In the case of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians, however, there is usually a clear subject of blame in every case—the police officer(s) and police department(s) involved. The lack of protest, despite the presence of moral outrage, is evidence that something else must be influencing whether a protest is triggered by one of these incidents. This follows the theoretical model created by social movement theorist Mancur Olson. He outlined a problem that prevents collective action from emerging in most cases. While the number of people who would like to see a political issue addressed is very large and there may be thousands of individuals interested in the principles advocated by a dissident group, each person’s individual participation has no discernible impact on the group’s success at winning adoption of its policy. Because individuals seek to maximize their utility, there is a large disincentive for an individual to participate in collective action when she can benefit from the success of the collective action even if she doesn’t participate. Because only those who participate pay the costs of participation, no invisible hand moves individuals to remedy their grievances, so unpopular policies remain in place (Olson 1965). This theoretical model
explains why protest should not be the norm in reaction to instances of racially biased police brutality toward unarmed black civilians. In spite of the common interests shared by blacks in seeing an end to the trend of police brutality, protest groups do not readily, naturally, and automatically coalesce. Protests emerge only when psychological processes turn deprivations into dissent, allow grievances to generate identification with similarly deprived actors, and when these deprivations, grievances, and identifications generate anger that eventually produces behavioral dissent (Lichbach 1998). While the explanation for the emergence of protest may seem intuitive, in reality things are much more complicated. “Many of the factors that make life unbearable in American slums have little to do with riots,” Schneider writes. “Misery is ubiquitous; riots are exceedingly rare.” Like most forms of contentious politics, protest should be triggered by incidents of police violence if the political system, courts, and other institutions are unable to offer alternate routes to justice. These egregious acts of police violence tend to trigger protest that begins as nonviolent gatherings and pleas for justice by families, friends, and neighbors of the victims (Schneider 2014, 26). To answer this puzzle, I collected data on police violence and brutality. Through statistical analysis of more than 350 incidents of racially biased police brutality toward unarmed black civilians, this study found a statistically significant relationship between the percentage of a municipality’s population living below the poverty line and the likelihood that protest in reaction to one of these incidents would emerge. Further, a strong correlation between municipalities with high percentages of their population below the poverty line and municipalities with large black populations suggests that the communities that respond to these incidents with protest are generally poor, black communities. This study argues that black communities living in concentrated poverty are more likely to respond to an incident of racially biased police brutality with protest because racial discrimination in general hurts more where communities are poor. Studies have shown that when black communities are poor, they are also segregated, concentrated, and heavily policed. Though they are mobilizing in response to one specific injustice and yet another instance of racial discrimination, the root of the anger, frustration, and indignation that drives communities to protest is the unaddressed institutionalized racism and economic despair under which they live.
Background The wave of protest the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner triggered more than a month of constant protesting in Ferguson and over 200 protests in most major American and international cities following the decisions not to indict either officer involved (Fitzsimmons 2014; Mosendz 2014). One of the most prominent narratives heard in the discussion of the deaths of Brown and Garner is that unarmed black men are killed by police with alarming frequency in the U.S. 21
Political Science 22
Fig. 1: Incidents of Police Violence Toward All Civilians by Race, 2000-2014 Census Data
Fig. 3: Population of the United States by Race, 2013 Census Data
Fig. 2: Incidents of Police Violence Toward Unarmed Civilians by Race, 2000-2014 Census Data
Fig. 4: Incidents of Police Violence by Victim's Race, 2000-2014 Census Data
However, an exact figure for how many individuals, and especially how many blacks, are subject to police violence and brutality is suspiciously absent from public record. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both estimate that there have been approximately 400 police homicides per year since 2008, this number is biased and unrepresentative (see results) (Bump 2014; Raasch 2014; Johnson, Hoyer, and Heath 2014). The analysis presented in this study set out to understand what factors contribute to the small number of protests relative to the enormous number of incidents of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians. My dataset shows that over the past 15 years, more than 3,100 people died at the hands of police. Though minorities make up only 37 percent of the U.S. population (Figure 3), they are at least 67 percent of civilians killed by police (Figure 1), and 73 percent of unarmed civilians killed by police (Figure 2). Looking specifically at blacks, they make up only 13 percent of the total U.S. population, but are 39 percent of unarmed civilians killed by police. The clear racial disparities demonstrated by these statistics demonstrate the bias in the behavior of law enforcement officials throughout the U.S. Blacks are subject to a disproportionate level of police brutality in all forms. According to Michelle Alexander, “the dirty little secret of policing is that the Supreme Court has actually granted the police license to discriminate. …in policing, race can be used as a factor in discretionary decision making. …Studies of racial profiling have shown that police do, in fact, exercise
their discretion regarding whom to stop and search … in a highly discriminatory manner” (Alexander 2012, 130–133). Racial bias is evident in instances of police violence and brutality as well. Figure 4 shows that, while the only a small minority of white civilians killed or injured by police were unarmed, a substantially higher percent of black civilians killed or injured by police were unarmed. Even when compared to Latino civilians, who are also subject to a large amount of discrimination by police, blacks are still subject to more brutality. Instances of police brutality directed at black civilians are alarmingly frequent. The data collected by this study suggest that at least one unarmed black civilian is killed by police every week, while at least one black civilian is killed by police every 48 hours. While some instances of police brutality toward unarmed black civilians spark protest, most do not. My dataset shows that only 33 percent of incidents in which an unnamed black civilian was killed or injured by police resulted in protest, defined in this study as a public demonstration of at least 10 people expressing objection to and disapproval of the actions of the police officer(s) and the police department(s) involved in the incident.
Results The results of this analysis support this study’s hypothesis. The statistical significance of the relationship between the level of a municipal population living below the poverty
Fig. 8: Logistic Regression Model of the Instance of Protest
line and the likelihood that a protest will emerge in reaction to an instance of racially biased police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian, coupled with the very high odds ratio associated with the relationship, suggests that overwhelmingly poor communities are much more likely to respond to an incident of racially biased police brutality with protest than communities on better economic footing. As shown by the odds ratio for this variable, as the percentage of a municipal population below the poverty line moves from 0 to 100 percent, protest becomes 73.29451 times more likely in reaction to protest. The significance of this finding is reinforced by the confidence interval for the percent of municipal population below the poverty line, which does not intersect 0. This indicates that the relationship between the likelihood that a protest will occur and the percent of municipal population below the poverty line is reliable. The correlation coefficient obtained through the tests in this study shows a moderately high correlation between the percent of a municipal population below the poverty line and the percent of a municipal black population. The correlation coefficient, 0.4989, demonstrates a moderate positive relationship between the two variables, suggesting that municipalities that have a high percentage of their populations living below the poverty line also have a large black population. This relationship is shown in Figure 9. The correlation between the percent of a municipality living below the poverty line and municipal black population displayed in Figure 9 demonstrates that the poor communities shown by this study to be more likely to respond to an incident of racially biased police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian with protest are usually poor, black communities. The theory presented in this study takes these findings to mean that the segregation and concentration found in poor black communities, evidence for which is abundant in other political science scholarship (Massey and Denton 1993; Massey 1979; Massey and Denton 1989; Denton and Massey 1988; Glasgow 1981; Pinkney 1986; Peach, Robinson, and Smith 1981; Cohen and Dawson 1993; Dawson 1951), are
intrinsic to the causal mechanism linking racially biased police brutality and protest.
Discussion The significant relationship between the percentage of a municipal population below the poverty line and the likelihood that protest will emerge in response to an instance of racially biased police brutality demonstrates that poor communities are more likely to respond to an instance of racially biased police brutality with protest. It also suggests that the incentives for black communities to respond to an instance of racially biased police brutality are different in poor communities when compared to the rest of the United States. In their seminal text on protest and social movements among the poor, Piven and Cloward argued protest has been the primary political recourse of the poor because of its ability to cause institutional disruption. The moderately high correlation between the percentage of a municipal population living below the poverty line and the municipal black population demonstrates that most of the communities that are responding to instances of police brutality toward unarmed blacks with protest are poor, black communities. Because they have less access to formal political channels, poor communities favor protest as a political tactic because it is their only tangible recourse for influence. After failing to achieve change or even tangible influence through formal political channels over and over, the frustration poor, black communities feel over their lack of political efficacy is compounded by the anger and indignation generated by the moral shock of an incident of racially biased police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian. It is also true that poor, black communities have significantly depressed political participation on all fronts. For black women, especially those with higher education levels or who are married, â€œthe odds of voting tend to decrease as neighborhood poverty growsâ€? (Casciano 2007, 1143). Further, blacks with no high 23
school diploma, who are substantially more likely to be poor, were significantly less likely to vote than blacks who had only graduated high school ( Jackson 2013). Concentrated poverty among blacks limits the political influence these communities have because it prevents them from forming political coalitions and participating in pluralist politics. Because black communities are the only group who would benefit from resources allocated to concentrated poverty areas, it makes it difficult for them to collaborate with other groups to achieve their political goals. Ultimately, concentrated poverty limits their political influence and marginalizes them within American politics (Massey and Denton 1993, 14). Poor, black communities living in concentrated poverty are disproportionately subjected to and affected by racial discrimination and racist practices. The high levels of poverty, racial segregation, incarceration, felon disenfranchisement, and political inefficacy they face are all the results of historical and modern institutionalized racist practices. These same communities are much more likely to respond to an instance of racially biased police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian with protest. These findings support the argument that instances of racially biased police brutality will trigger protest if formal political avenues offer no alternative paths to justice. Protest, for these communities, is a last resort after being shown time and again that their efforts in other political avenues are ineffective. Communities that are racially segregated and are marked by concentrated poverty are plagued with depressed level of political participation, restricted access to economic opportunity, and disproportionately shoulder the effects of institutionalized racism through the prison industrial complex and the
continuation of racialized housing practices. Put simply, racial discrimination hurts more where communities are poor because when they are poor, they are segregated, concentrated, and heavily policed. The legacy of the racial and socioeconomic isolation of poor blacks is still felt today. Poor black communities are marked by substantially higher levels of physical decay, crime, drug use, joblessness, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, unwed parenthood, and high school dropout, as well as low college attendance. As the level of racial segregation increases, educational disadvantage is concentrated along with poverty (Massey and Denton 1993, 141â€“142). The outcomes and effects of black poverty help explain why poor, black communities are more likely to respond to an incident of racially biased police brutality with protest. Through the confinement of blacks to a few disadvantaged neighborhoods, segregation impedes black socioeconomic progress (Massey and Denton 1993, 14). These communities differ from the poor communities described by Piven and Cloward in that their problems and lack of political access are not created exclusively by their low-class status, but rather by their race. The poverty observed in these communities is just one result of centuries of racism faced by black individuals. When an instance of racially biased police brutality occurs in a community like this, protest is more likely to emerge because it serves as the match on the figurative powder keg of racial injustice these communities have faced for decades with no redress. Though they are mobilizing in response to one specific injustice and yet another instance of racial discrimination, the root of the anger, frustration, and indignation that drives communities to protest is the unaddressed institutionalized racism and economic despair
under which they live. Unable to address their community’s problems through formal channels—with no alderman, mayor, governor, or congressperson able bring back substantial change to poor black communities—people living in concentrated poverty neighborhoods respond to egregious and extraordinary circumstances with protest as the only mechanism to redress their grievances. Poor, segregated black communities are
in a sense primed for protest when an incident of racially biased police brutality occurs. Faced every day with countless examples of institutionalized racism, their own life circumstances largely the result of a history of even more racism, individuals in these communities are prepared to interpret an incident of police brutality toward an unarmed black civilian as an egregious act of racial bias.
Bibliography Alexander, Michelle. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Revised Edition. New York: The New Press. Britt, L., and D. R. Heise. 2000. “From Shame to Pride in Identity Politics.” In Self, Identity, and Social Movements, edited by S. Stryker, T. J. Owens, and R. W. White, 252–68. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Bump, Philip. 2014. “How the Number of Justifiable Police Homicides Has Changed since the 1990s.” The Washington Post, August 15. http://www. washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/08/15/ how-the-number-of-justified-police-homicides-haschanged-since-the-1990s/. Casciano, R. 2007. “Political and Civic Participation among Disadvantaged Urban Mothers: The Role of Neighborhood Poverty.” Social Science Quarterly 88 (5): 1124–51. Cohen, Cathy J., and Michael C. Dawson. 1993. “Neighborhood Poverty and African-American Politics.” American Political Science Review 87 (2): 589–602. Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2012. “Expanded Homicide Data Table 14.” FBI. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/ cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-theu.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/ expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_ table_14_justifiable_homicide_by_weapon_law_ enforcement_2008-2012.xls. Dawson, Michael C. 1951. Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Denton, Nancy A, and Douglas S Massey. 1988. “Residential Segregation of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians by Socioeconomic Status and Generation.” Social Science Quarterly 69: 797–817. Farley, Reynolds. 1977. “Residential Segregation in Urbanized Areas of the United States in 1970: An Analysis of Social Class and Racial Differences.” Demography 14: 497–518. Fischer-Baum, Reuben. 2014. “Nobody Knows How Many Americans The Police Kill Each Year.” Five Thirty Eight, August 19. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ how-many-americans-the-police-kill-each-year/. Fitzsimmons, Emma G. 2014. “Thousands Protesting Ferguson Decision Block Traffic in New York City.” The New York Times, November 25. http://www. nytimes.com/2014/11/26/nyregion/hundreds-
protesting-ferguson-decision-block-traffic-in-newyork-city.html. Gamson, W.A. 1992. “The Social Psychology of Collective Action.” In Frontiers in Social Movement Theory, edited by Aldon Morris and CM Mueller, 53–76. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Garfinkel, H. 1967. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Glasgow, Douglas G. 1981. The Black Underclass: Poverty, Unemployment, and Entrapment of Ghetto Youth. New York: Vintage Books. Goodwin, Jeff, James M. Jasper, and Francesca Polletta, eds. 2001. Passionate Politics: Emotions and Social Movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gould, D. 2009. Moving Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Heise, D. R. 1979. Understanding Events. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Jackson, Antoine Lennell. 2013. “‘All Blacks Vote the Same?’: Assessing Predictors of Black American Political Participation and Partisanship.” Dissertation, University of Southern Florida. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=5890&context=etd. Jasper, James M. 1997. The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements. Chicago, IL and London, UK: The University of Chicago Press. ———. 2013. “Emotions, Sociology, and Protest.” In Collective Emotions, edited by Christian von Scheve and Mikko Salmela, 341–55. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. http://www.academia. edu/7296246/Emotions_Sociology_and_Protest. Jasper, James M., and J. Poulsen. 1995. “Recruiting Strangers and Friends: Moral Shocks and Social Networks in Animal Rights and Antinuclear Protest.” Social Problems 42: 493–512. Johnson, Kevin, Meghan Hoyer, and Brad Heath. 2014. “Local Police Involved in 400 Killings per Year.” USA Today, August 15. http://www.usatoday.com/ story/news/nation/2014/08/14/police-killingsdata/14060357/. Lichbach, Mark I. 1998. The Rebel’s Dilemma: Economics, Cognition, and Society. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Luker, K. 1984. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Marcus, GE. 2002. The Sentimental Citizen. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Massey, Douglas S. 1979. “Effects of Socioeconomic Factors on the Residential Segregation of Blacks and Spanish Americans in United States Urbanized Areas.” American Sociological Review 44: 1015–22. Massey, Douglas S, and Nancy A Denton. 1989. “Hypersegregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Black and Hispanic Segregation along Five Dimensions.” Demography 26: 373–92. ———. 1993. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mosendz, Polly. 2014. “How America Is Protesting Michael Brown’s Death.” Newsweek. November 25. http://www.newsweek.com/how-america-protestingmichael-browns-death-287174. Olson, Mancur Jr. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Peach, Ceri, Vaughan Robinson, and Susan Smith, eds. 1981. Ethnic Segregation in Cities. London: Croom Helm. Pinkney, Alphonso. 1986. The Myth of Black Progress. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A Cloward. 1979. Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. New York: Vintage Books. Raasch, Chuck. 2014. “Average of One Person a Day Killed by Police, but Many Ruled Justifiable Homicides, Says FBI, DOJ.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 11. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/ crime-and-courts/average-of-one-person-a-day-killedby-police-but/article_36b96a29-3267-5cc8-aa51046d7744ea52.html. Schneider, Cathy Lisa. 2014. Police Power and Race Riots: Urban Unrest in Paris and New York. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. United States Department of Justice. 2015. Department of Justice Report Regarding the Criminal Investigation into the Shooting Death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson. Memorandum. http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/ documents/national/department-of-justice-report-onthe-michael-brown-shooting/1436/. Useem, Bert. 1980. “Solidarity Model, Breakdown Model, and the Boston Anti-Busing Movement.” American Sociological Review 45 (3): 357–69. doi:10.2307/2095171.
Alex Krule | Northrup and Priest Research Group)
Solution Conformations of Chiral Mannich Bases Paul Lee Chemistry
Fred Northrup Faculty Advisor
Owen Priest Faculty Advisor
Molecular conformation can have significant effects on the properties of a molecule such as its solubility and reactivity.
Variable temperature 1H NMR spectroscopy was used to study the solution conformations of two enantiomeric pairs of chiral Mannich bases: N-(2-hydroxylbenzyl)-methylbenzylamine (1-R and 1-S) and N-(2hydroxylbenzyl)-naphthylethylamine (2-R and 2-S). These molecules are capable of intramolecular hydrogen bonding under appropriate solvent and temperature conditions. Âť
e observed significant chemical shift and line-width changes in the NMR spectra of these molecules as a function of different solvents (CD2Cl2, DMSO-d6, DMF-d7, CDCl3, CD3OD, and D2O), temperature (a range from -50°C to 130°C, depending on the freezing and boiling points of each solvent), and most surprisingly on whether the molecule was the R- or S-enantiomer. These NMR spectrum changes can be attributed to conformational changes and molecular bond rotation that can be hindered by intramolecular hydrogen bonding. The NMR spectrum changes were more extreme for the heavier naphthyl compounds (2-R, 2-S) consistent with more hindered rotation. Preliminary computational chemistry results suggest different molecular conformations for the R- and S-enantiomers in some solvents. It is possible that these results may lead to a method of determining the absolute configuration of chiral amines.
Introduction Mannich bases are compounds capable of intramolecular hydrogen bonding between amino and hydroxyl groups forming a six-membered ring under appropriate solvent and temperature conditions. These molecules can undergo conformational change in solution that can have significant effect on their reactivity and chemical properties. There are several factors that can affect molecular conformation. In solution, the solvent forms a cage around a solute that results from favorable interactions. The choice of solvent can play large roles in a molecule’s preferred conformation. These intramolecular and intermolecular interactions are certain to be temperature dependent and may show the greatest effect on molecular conformation at lower temperature where less energy is available for molecular bond rotation. In addition to solvent and temperature effects, stereochemistry may also have significant effect on a molecule’s preferred conformation. We propose to compare variable temperature ¹H NMR spectra of enantiomeric pairs of N-(2-hydroxylbenzyl)methylbenzylamine (1-R and 1-S) and N-(2-hydroxylbenzyl)naphthylethylamine (2-R and 2-S) under a variety of solvent and temperature conditions to study the conformational changes of these chiral Mannich bases in solution.
Experimental Procedure Synthesis
Much of this work has focused on the enantiomeric pairs of N-(2-hydroxylbenzyl)-methylbenzylamine (1-R and 1-S) and N-(2-hydroxylbenzyl)-naphthylethylamine (2-R and 2-S). Based on a secondary amine synthesis method developed by Carlson, et. al, a chiral amine (3 mmol) and aldehyde reactant (3 mmol) were dissolved in 20 mL dichloromethane and 2 equivalents of a weaker reducing agent, sodium triacetoxyborohydride, were added to selectively reduce the imine to the secondary amine.
After neutralizing the reducing agent with 25mL of 5 percent sodium bicarbonate aqueous solution, the mixture was washed with water in a separatory funnel three times before using a rotovap to evaporate the solvent. A vacuum pump was used to dry the amines further before collecting 1H NMR spectra of the product.
1H NMR spectra of the chiral amines were collected with an Agilent DD2 500 MHz NMR Spectrometer in the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC). Room temperature spectra in CDCl3 were used to confirm synthesis of the desired product, but spectra also were collected under a variety of solvent and temperature conditions to study changes in the solution conformations of these molecules. A closed-cycle refrigeration unit and appropriate 1H NMR probe allowed temperature variation from -50°C to 130°C depending on the solvent used. Solvents and the temperature ranges of the solvents that were studied were benzene-d6 (26°C), CD2Cl2 (-50°C to 40°C), DMSO-d6 (26°C to 130°C), CDCl3 (-50°C to 40°C), DMF-d7 (-50°C to 130°C), CD3OD (-50°C to 40°C), and D2O (15°C to 80°C). The instrument was manually re-shimmed at each temperature and all spectra are referenced to TMS for chemical shift and line width.
Results/Discussion Room Temperature ¹H NMR Spectroscopy
Although it is expected that enantiomers should have the same NMR spectra because of their identical chemical and physical properties, there were significant differences in the ¹H NMR chemical shifts and line-widths for the 1, 2-R and 1, 2-S pairs of compounds as a function of different solvents and temperatures. Chemical shift differences and differences in the separation of the diastereotopic methylene proton signals between enantiomers were observed only in the polar protic solvents CD3OD and D2O. There was a consistent trend in which the aromatic and alkyl protons of 1-S were further downfield than the corresponding signals for 1-R. However, the chemical shifts were more downfield for 2-R than for 2-S. Differences in the separation of the diastereotopic methylene (-CH2-) signals, which are observed as two doublets with different chemical shifts in the NMR spectrum, with chirality were also observed at room temperature for 1-R and 1-S in CD3OD and D2O as shown in Table 1 below. The separation of the diastereotopic methylene signals varied with solvent. In CD3OD, the difference in the diastereotopic doublet proton separation was smaller for the 1-S enantiomer than for 1-R. There was an opposite effect in the more polar solvent (D2O) in which the separation between the diastereotopic doublets was larger for 1-S than for 1-R. The separation of the diastereotopic doublet proton signals also was greater for the 2-S enantiomer in CD3OD than for 2-R. The data suggest that both polar protic solvents interact heavily with these 27
molecules and give different solvent cage effects that result in different preferred conformations in solution for the Rand S-enantiomers. There was even greater difference in the behavior of the separation of the diastereotopic methylene signals for the 1-R and 1-S enantiomers in D2O as a function of temperature as described in the variable temperature section of this paper. Differences in signal line-width and in the behavior of the OH and NH proton signals also were observed for the R- and S-enantiomers at room temperature but only for non-polar solvents. In CDCl3, the alkyl proton peaks of the S-enantiomers were broader and more asymmetric (broader downfield methylene doublet than upfield methylene doublet) than those for the R-enantiomers. These effects were greater for the naphthyl compounds. In addition, the combined OH/NH signal was much broader for the R-enantiomers than for the S-enantiomers with a larger effect for the naphthyl compounds. These effects are consistent with conformational changes that could be caused by a more hindered rotation with the heavier naphthyl substituent. Significant changes in the NMR behavior of the chiral benzyl and naphthyl compounds in protic and aprotic solvents as a function of temperature are described in the next section.
Variable Temperature NMR Spectrsocopy
The observed NMR chemical shift differences between the enantiomers in CD3OD and D2O and the line-width and OH-NH effects observed in CDCl3 at room temperature suggested significant molecular conformational changes dependent on the polarity of the solvents. In this section, variable temperature ¹H NMR spectroscopy of 1-R and 1-S and 2-R and 2-S is discussed. Similar trends in these spectroscopic features were observed as a function of temperature for the benzyl and naphthyl products in nonpolar solvent CDCl3 and the polar-protic solvents CD3OD and D2O.
1-R and 1-S
Variable temperature ¹H NMR spectra are shown for the 1-R and 1-S in CDCl3 in Figures 1-2. Significant changes in chemical shifts and line-widths are seen as temperature changes. For the diastereotopic methylene protons, the downfield doublet shifted upfield and the upfield doublet shifted downfield with increasing temperature resulting in decreased separation between the doublets. The chemical shift differences for the 1-S diastereotopic protons were greater than those for 1-R at lower temperature but they converged to equal separation at temperatures above 5°C as shown in Figures 1-2. In addition, the methine and methyl shifts of the 1-R and 1-S benzyl products in CDCl3 were different at low temperature and converged with temperature. Chemical shifts for methine and methyl shifted upfield as temperature increased with a slightly larger effect for 1-S than 1-R. The convergence of the chemical shifts of 1-R and 1-S suggests that the two enantiomers have different solution
conformations at lower temperature in CDCl3 but similar conformations at room temperature and above. Significant line-width differences between the NMR spectra of 1-R and 1-S benzyl products were observed in CDCl3 as shown in Figures 1-4. While slight line-broadening was observed for the methine and methylene proton signals for 1-R at lower temperatures, all alkyl NMR signals were significantly broader for 1-S especially at temperatures lower than -30°C where the methine quartet and methylene doublets are almost unresolved in Figure 2. The line-widths also broaden again at temperatures above 5°C for 1-S, but not for 1-R. Figures 3 and 4 also show asymmetric line broadening for the diastereotopic methylene peaks for both enantiomers at room temperature. The downfield methylene peaks are broader than the upfield methylene peaks at high temperature for both 1-R and 1-S (2.38 Hz versus 1.95 Hz for 1-R at 26°C and 3.15 Hz versus 2.50 Hz for 1-S at 26°C) and at low temperature for only the 1-S enantiomer (5.60 Hz versus 3.85 Hz for 1-S at -30°C). These line-widths suggest differences in the solution conformations of the 1-R and 1-S enantiomers. Variable temperature ¹H NMR spectra of the OH and NH signals for 1-R and 1-S in CDCl3 are shown in Figures 5-6. Significant changes in the behavior of the OH and NH peaks occurred as temperature changed. At higher temperature, a single very broad peak is observed for the exchanging OH/ NH protons with the peak broader and centered more upfield for 1-R than 1-S as described at room temperature. At temperature lower than -30°C, Figure 5 shows a clear separation of the OH (11.8 ppm) and NH (2.1 ppm) proton signals for 1-R as the exchange slows dramatically. This effect is smaller for the 1-S enantiomer in Figure 6 where the OH and NH peaks may separate at -50°C, but the peaks are not as distinct as those seen in the 1-R spectrum. 2-R and 2-S
The chemical shifts for 2-R and 2-S show smaller differences at low temperature but show similar convergence at higher
temperature. The methine and methyl chemical shifts for 2-R and 2-S shifted upfield slightly and the separation of the diastereotopic methylene signals decreased with temperature, similar to behavior observed for 1-R and 1-S. The convergence of the chemical shifts with temperature suggests that 2-R and 2-S also have different solution conformations at lower temperatures in CDCl3 but with smaller differences compared to 1-R and 1-S. Similar line-broadening behavior was observed for the 2-R and 2-S but with greater effects than 1-R and 1-S. There was greater line broadening of the methine, methylene, and methyl proton peaks for the 2-S enantiomer than the 2-R enantiomer. While the methine and methylene protons for 2-R only broadened with decreasing temperature, the corresponding protons for 2-S also showed broadening effects at temperatures greater than 5°C. The 2-R and 2-S enantiomers also showed different asymmetric line-broadening trends as a function of temperature. While there was no asymmetric line-broadening for 2-R at any temperature, 2-S showed greater broadening of the downfield methylene doublet than the upfield methylene doublet (3.62 Hz versus 2.75 Hz for 2-S at 26°C) at higher temperatures. While these line-width differences suggest solution conformation difference for the chiral naphthyl compounds as a function of temperature, the effects are different from those observed for the benzyl compounds 1-R and 1-S. The OH/NH signal behaviors for the 2-R and 2-S naphthyl products are qualitatively similar to but larger than those of the benzyl products. At higher temperature, the OHNH peak is much broader for 2-R than for 2-S. The OH-NH peak for 2-R separated at a slightly higher temperature than for 1-R and sharpened from -30°C to -50°C. The difference in the broadness of the 2-R and 2-S OH-NH peaks as a function of temperature suggests different exchange rates that are likely due to hydrogen bonding. Both the 2-R and 2-S OH-NH peaks were much broader than the 1-R and 1-S signals; this is consistent with greater hindered rotation for the 2-R and 2-S compounds enhancing the conformational differences. At low temperature, the sharpness of the separated OH and NH peaks suggests that the 2-R compound is in a conformation that does not allow intramolecular hydrogen bonding. A conformation that allows proton exchange requires molecular bond rotation, and the increased mass of the naphthyl substituent in 2-R compared to the benzyl substituent in 1-R could inhibit bond rotation at low temperature. The differences in the sharpness of the separated OH and NH peaks between the 2-R and 2-S enantiomers also suggest different solution conformations at low temperature.
CD3OD 1-R and 1-S
Figures 7-8 show the methine and methyl proton chemical shift temperature behavior for 1-R and 1-S in CD3OD. Unlike the spectra acquired in CDCl3, chemical shifts for the 1-R and 1-S alkyl protons were different in CD3OD even at room temperature and this difference becomes larger at lower
temperature. The observed trends suggest the alkyl proton chemical shifts might converge, but at temperatures above the CD3OD boiling point. There are significant differences between 1-R and 1-S for the spectra acquired in CD3OD as shown in Figures 9-10. The chemical shift separation of the diastereotopic methylene peaks for 1-R and 1-S in CD3OD increased with temperature compared to a decrease in this separation with temperature in CDCl3. In addition, the chemical shift separation for the diastereotopic methylene peaks for 1-S is considerably smaller than that for 1-R in CD3OD, whereas it was slightly larger in CDCl3. Even greater differences in the chemical shift trends with temperature were observed in D2O, which will be discussed later. Line broadening effects are even more different for spectra acquired in CD3OD as shown in Figure 11. While there is greater line-broadening of the methine and methylene proton signals of 1-S than of 1-R at low temperature, an opposite asymmetric line broadening effect is observed for the methylene protons of the 1-S enantiomer in CD3OD compared to those in CDCl3. In CD3OD, the upfield methylene peaks for 1-S are significantly broader than the downfield methylene peaks (8.90 Hz versus 6.65 Hz at -50°C) at low temperatures as shown in Figure 11. For 1-R, no significant asymmetry in the methylene line broadening is observed. These results suggest that while CD3OD solvent effects still create different molecular conformation effects for the two enantiomers, these effects seem to be very different for the polar protic solvent CD3OD compared to the effects of the nonpolar solvent CDCl3. 2-R and 2-S
Figures 12-13 show the observed alkyl proton chemical shift trends for 2-R and 2-S in CD3OD. While the direction of chemical shift changes with temperature is similar to that for 1-R and 1-S, other chemical shift trends are considerably different. As reported previously, alkyl chemical shifts for 2-R are downfield from those of 2-S and this difference becomes larger with decreasing temperature for the methine and methyl protons. The diastereotopic methylene proton 29
behavior is quite different between the benzyl and naphthyl compounds as shown in Figures 14-15. Unlike the behavior observed for 1-R and 1-S, the spectral separation of the methylene proton signals for 2-S is larger than that for 2-R at all temperatures and this effect increases as temperature decreases. For 2-R, Figure 14 shows the methylene peaks have merged almost completely at -50°C whereas Figure 15 shows 2-S with clearly separated signals for the methylene protons. Line-broadening behavior for 2-R and 2-S in CD3OD is similar to that for 1-R and 1-S as shown in Figure 16. All alkyl peaks broaden with decreasing temperature and this effect is greater for 2-S than 2-R. In addition, the upfield methylene peaks for 2-S are considerably broader than the downfield methylene peaks (4.90 Hz versus 4.77 Hz for 2-R at -50°C and 9.50 Hz versus 9.07 Hz for 2-S at -50°C) and this effect is even greater for the naphthyl compounds than the benzyl compounds. At -50°C, the ratio of the upfield line-widths to the downfield line-widths is 1.74 for the 2-S naphthyl enantiomer compared to a ratio of 1.34 for the 1-S benzyl enantiomer. This asymmetric broadening also seems to be evident for the 2-R enantiomer at low temperatures, but it is difficult to quantify due to significant second order coupling effects as the two methylene peaks merge with decreasing temperature. These line-width differences imply differences in conformation with the heavier naphthyl substituent responsible for more extreme line-broadening effects.
D2O 1-R and 1-S
¹H NMR spectra also were recorded for 1-R and 1-S in D2O at temperatures from 10°C to 80°C. Shimming of these samples
was difficult because these compounds were not very soluble in D2O. Consequently, observation of the line-width effects is less reliable for these spectra. The chemical shift trends for the chiral benzyl products in D2O are significantly different from those in CD3OD and other solvents as shown in Figures 17-18. While the alkyl proton chemical shifts for 1-S are downfield of those for 1-R as in CD3OD, the differences in these chemical shifts decrease with decreasing temperatures, an effect opposite to that observed in other solvents. While alkyl proton chemical shifts for 1-S in other solvents showed larger temperature effects than those for 1-R, the D2O chemical shift effects as a function of temperature were larger for the 1-R enantiomer. In addition, the 1-R and 1-S enantiomers showed opposite effects for the separation of the methylene protons, a behavior not seen in any other solvent, as shown in Figures 19-20. For 1-R, the two methylene doublets are almost completely merged at 15°C and their separation increases with increasing temperature. However, for 1-S, the two methylene doublets are separated at 15°C and merged with increasing temperature. This very different spectral behavior for 1-R and 1-S in D2O as a function of temperature suggests very different conformational changes for these molecules in D2O compared to molecules in other solvents.
Conclusion/Future Direction Results have shown significant differences in the ¹H NMR spectra of the pairs of enantiomeric molecules 1-R, 1-S and 2-R, 2-S as a function of solvent, temperature, and
stereochemistry. Significant differences have included changes in the chemical shifts of the alkyl and aromatic protons with chirality, different line-broadening effects with chirality, different OH/NH exchange rates, and the chemical shift separation of the diastereotopic methylene protons. We have postulated that the spectral differences between these molecules probably can be attributed to different molecular conformations of the two enantiomers as a function of temperature and solvent. A more detailed explanation is necessary. In future work, electronic structure calculations will
be used to help understand the solvent and temperature effects on the molecular conformations of the chiral benzyl and naphthyl enantiomers. In addition, the corresponding tertiary amines for 1-R, 1-S, 2-R, and 2-S will be synthesized to provide additional information about the preferred conformations of these chiral amine molecules as a function of solvent and temperature without the possibility of OH/ NH exchange. Our results indicate solvent and temperature effects play significant roles in determining the solution conformations of chiral Mannich bases.
Bibliography Bagno, A.; Rastrelli, F.; Saielli, G. NMR Techniques for the Investigation of Solvation Phenomena and NonCovalent Interactions. Nuc. Mag. Res. Spec. 2005, 47, 41-93. Abraham, M.; Abraham, R.; Acree, W.; Aliev, A.; Leo, A.; Whaley, W. An NMR Method for the Quantitative Assessment of Intramolecular Hydrogen Bonding; Application to Physicochemical, Environmental, and Biochemical Properties. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 79(22), 11075-11083. Labby, K.; Xue, F.; Kraus, J.; Ji, H.; Mataka, J.; Li, H.; Martasek, P., Roman, L.; Poulos, T.; Silverman, R. Intramolecular hydrogen bonding: A potential strategy for more bioavailable inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Bioorg. & Med. Chem. 2012,
20, 2435-2443. Sitkowski, J.; Stefaniak, L. Multinuclear, VariableTemperature NMR Study of Hydrogen Bonding in Two Ortho-Mannich Bases. J. Phys. Org. Chem. 1995, 8, 463-467. Rospenk, R.; Fritsch, J.; Zundel, G. Solvent Effect on the Proton-Transfer Equilibria and Thermodynamic Data of the Hydrogen Bond in a Mannich Base. J. Phys. Chem. 1984, 88, 321-323. McConathy, J. et al; J Clinical Psych. 2003, 5(2), 70-73. Eriksson, T. et al; Euro Journal of Clinical Pharm. 2001, 57(5), 365-376. Leiro, V.; Seco, J.; Quinoa, E.; Riguera, R. Assigning the Configuration of Amino Alcohols by NMR: A single Derivitization Method. Org. Letters. 2008, 10(13),
2733-2736. Allen, D.; Tomaso, A.; Priest, O. Mosher Amides: Determining the Absolute Stereochemistry of Optically-Active Amines. J. Chem. Ed. 2008, 85(5), 698. Bennett, J.; Charles, K.; Miner, M.; Heuberger, C.; Spina, E.; Bartels, M.; Foreman, T.; Ethyl lactate as a tunable solvent for the synthesis of aryl aldimines. G. Chem. 2009, 11, 166-168. Carlson, M.; Ciszewski, J.; Bhatti, M.; Swanson, W.; Wilson, A. A Simple Secondary Amine Synthesis: Reductive Amination Using Sodium Triacetoxyborohydride. J. Chem. Ed. 2000, 77(2), 270-271.
Vadim Backman interview by Neil Thivalapill & Lena Thompson
Vadim Backman is the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Northwesternâ€™s McCormick School of
Engineering and Applied Science. Backmanâ€™s interests lie in biophotonics, nanoscale imaging and optical and molecular technologies for cancer research and diagnosis. Backman has also pursued the marketing of his technologies through companies such as NanoCytomics, American BioOptics and Preora Diagnostics.
How would you describe your research as a whole? We do several different things; my lab is very diverse and very interdisciplinary. We develop new experimental techniques to study cellular processes on the nanoscale—essentially the most fundamental and essential building blocks of the cell. We use optical imaging tools to study these processes and to address a number of biological questions such as why cancer actually starts. We merge biology and technology to come up with biomarkers and diagnostic tools to predict cancer behavior and to identify patients who are at risk for concurrent cancers. The idea would be to translate this in a simple test similar to a pap smear that would be able to noninvasively identify patients who are at risk for colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and several others.
I was very happy to have exceptional collaborators here at Northwestern. Without the collaboration I had with Allen Taflove, we would not be able to design technologies for cancer detection. I was really blessed to meet incredible collaborators and thanks to them, I think we’re standing on the verge of launching a clinical test for lung cancer and colon cancer screening. How did you find the intersection of science and business? Commercialization is absolutely critical. In old academia, there was always an aversion to commercialization because it wasn’t compatible with pure science. If you want to make a difference, you have to commercialize. Because medical device industries are very risk averse, it’s really up to faculty and entrepreneurs to develop technology and launch it in the clinic. We launched a couple of companies so far and one of them, Preora Diagnostics, is quite successful. It’s the company that’s about to launch the lung cancer and colon cancer test. That’s one thing that makes Northwestern unique. There are such few institutions that are as open to entrepreneurial activity.
“If you want to make a difference, you have to commercialize.”
What sparked your interest in research? I think I seriously started considering research in eighth grade. I was curious about deriving new theorems and discovering new rules, though of course I didn’t discover anything serious; pretty much every theorem I derived was already very well known. It was a fun experience to think about what else I could do—what was beyond the river. I also wanted to pursue astrophysics because I was fascinated by black holes and the evolution of the universe. But I gradually realized that even though I liked the academic and intellectual pursuit, I also wanted to make a difference for everyday lives. That’s how I started gravitating toward biomedical engineering. I was always thinking about how we can use math and physics to address biological problems. When I joined Harvard-MIT: Division of Health Sciences and Technology, it exposed me to the medical school curriculum. I got to behave as medical school student and getting this exposure really cemented my interest in applying engineering to medicine. Fairly quickly, I gravitated toward cancer because to most people, it’s a horrible way to die and we know so little about it. I felt that diagnostics was the area in which engineering tools could really be applied.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? I hope that our company will be successful and that the tests we are developing are in the clinic and saving thousands of lives. I would also like to reduce cancer mortality by about half within the next ten years. But I certainly hope to continue doing research. One new direction we’re looking at is not just diagnostics but also therapeutics. Our imaging technologists have helped us to identify some potential ways to find cancer therapeutics which could potentially expand to other diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Using these optical techniques, we’re finding new ways not just to diagnose these diseases but also to intervene and treat them. It’s a very exciting direction that we’re just beginning to explore.
African American Studies
Victor Ibanez | Storm #1 (Marvel Comics 2014)
Electric Peoples: Toward an Afrofuturist Body Politic Christian Keeve African American Studies Michelle Wright Faculty Advisor
The Black speculative body is one whose agency, construction, presentation, and function are undergoing a constant set of tensions and paradoxes of power and possibility. This project aims to trace the body politics threading through the Afrofuturist imagination, interrogating them for implications of cultural history and embodied possibility. To do this, I use an interdisciplinary approach that threads scholarship around superheroics, Modernity, Afrofuturism and geography with an eye toward critical visual studies and cultural histories. In this thesis, the figure of the superhero is contextualized, analyzed, and deconstructed as a cultural artifact with significant influences on the approach to posthumanism in the Western psyche. Âť 35
oncurrent engagement with Afrofuturist and postcolonial thought presents a critique of what superhumanism has made possible and re-examines possibility itself. Following this, scholarship around critical geographies, posthumanism, and racializing assemblages is used to flesh out notions of body possibility in the face of modernity. Along the way, I use Afrofuturist and superheroic scholarship to critique the liberal humanist notion of the self, opening up space for alternative constructions of the human and interpretations of embodiment. Concluding with a critique and negotiation of posthumanism for othered bodies, the android, the electric, and the freakish are used to frame the Black speculative super-body as an essential site of queer reimagining and cultural reclamation.
African American Studies
In order to form an analytical framework around speculation, power, and humanity, this project turns to one of the most influential and ubiquitous contemporary cultural forces actively questioning the physicality and capability of the body: the superheroic genre. In a broad sense, the superheroic figure can be said to be a pop cultural force mediating the understanding of self and future, as well as today performing the cultural labor of reshaping and expanding how we envision human ability and identity in a post-industrial age (Rosenberg and Coogan 2013). The pervasiveness of the superheroic figure through so many facets of cultural thought brought notions of trans- and post- humanity into the mainstream, as well as reoriented ideas of human possibility
“Many origin stories and major narratives attached to iconic Black heroes have these forces threading through them in eerily realistic forms. ” in the popular psyche (Reynolds 2013). Much of the cultural history surrounding the superhero genre can be summarized by shifts in Post/Modernism. The early twentieth century rise of Modernity saw rapid industrial growth, a shift from the rural to the urban, global war, and scientific relativity and uncertainty. It identifies technology as an encroaching evil, with machines increasing in size and
ability, as well as the world becoming more ambivalent and humanity less sure of itself (Wright 2014). In “Superheroes and the Modern(ist) Age,” Alex Boney positions early superheroes as a response to the resultant anxieties over nebulous nature of abstractions like truth, justice, and morality, thus becoming embodiments of these abstractions, gifted with transcendence of and control over modern forces in the name of hammering out instability and uncertainty. The postmodern critiques modernist categories and moral abstractions as subjective, claiming that social order as constructed and inherently unnatural; the resultant take on superheroism is usually a locus of ambiguity and uncertainty. The work of defining modernist abstractions of righteousness and justice is given up as futile, and instead the superheroic figure itself is questioned. In addition to historical and cultural context, this project seeks to foreground the importance of analyzing the superhero as visual artifact. Superheroic activity is primarily performative and iconographic, carried by factors of the fantasy, eclectism, and symbolism unique to the genre (Bukatman 2009). Symmetry, color, and design are carefully crafted and imprinted onto each super-body, producing a powerful marker in how that figure stands in relation to morality, justice, and power. Visual analysis frames the superhero as a symbol of hyper-ability that is reified as the hyper-physical body, allowing the superhero to simultaneously control and embody particular forces, technologies, and values ( Jennings 2013). While the superhero milieu claims to be driven by social justice, it is foundationally built upon a white patriarchal universalism. More often than not, white, male, heteronormative, able-bodied heroes, protagonists, and victors are contrasted with villains, losers, and sidekicks belonging to othered groups. Due to the pervasiveness of the genre, this has resulted in a public dialectic of minority inferiority that gives marginalized readers a sense of incapacity, incompetency, and impossibility (Howard and Jackson 2013). This is compounded when readers of othered communities are denied access to their own stories and their own cultural narratives, and instead forced to accept the West’s fantastical narrative of its own cultural development and their place in relation to it. The work of refuting this is being partially carried out through the cultural reimagining inherent to Afrofuturist creativity.
Black to the Future The subculture of Afrofuturism can be summarized as a literary and cultural aesthetic that encompasses historical fiction, fantasy, myth, and magical realism, drawing upon Black diasporic cultural contexts to interrogate and critique current conditions of people of color, examining the past and constructing speculative futures. ( Jackson and MoodyFreeman 2011; Womack 2013). A discussion of futurity, especially as it relates to the American context, necessitates a look into the “technological sublime,” a phenomenon of
Fig 1: Garnet, Steven Universe opening credits
the twentieth century popular psyche in which forces of industrialization fused the physical presence of technology with natural landscapes with such speed and ubiquity that it significantly impacted the interpretation of landscape, space, and geography. Addressing the capacity of human subjects to be made and remade in the new scope of technological possibility, the technological sublime became an answer to the aforementioned anxieties of modernity. Notions of powerlessness and incapacity in the face of urbanization and scientific advancement could be assuaged with the possibility of redefining what it means to be human and artificially improving upon what is possible for the human body (Wanzo 2013). The promise of the sublime in regards to bodily possibility is strikingly similar to what one would now theorize as posthumanism, the artificial and deliberate advancement beyond traditional impressions of normal human capability and function (Braithwaite 2011). Consequently, posthumanism has been framed as the answer to much of the theorization surrounding the embodiment of technological forces and the possibility of super-humanity. As Rebecca Wanzo points out, the rise of the technological sublime touches on a set of anxieties surrounding Black bodies, technology, and modern science, often relegating Blackness outside of its space of imagining. Afrofuturist thinkers and creators have addressed this issue in a myriad of ways, opening up critical spaces of being and imagining.
Space in the Place The rise of urban modernity is a foundational moment not only for the superheroic genre, but also for the foundation of Black politics and culture in the twentieth century; these facets shouldn’t be viewed as a set of cultural parallels, but as a mutually-constitutive dynamic. Black superheroes can be considered a creative and fantastical result of the meeting of these theorizations around modernity, geography, and race; an Afrofuturist solution to the anxieties of urban modernity as they are encountered by Black bodies. Forces of state neglect, police brutality, medical malpractice, the proliferation of food deserts, and many more forms of institutionalized violence have been deployed in heavily racialized ways,
throughout the twentieth century, leading some Black artists to deploy strategies of myth-making and wish fulfillment. Many origin stories and major narratives attached to iconic Black heroes have these forces threading through them in eerily realistic forms. For example, Static, known largely due to the popular TV show Static Shock, embodies these anxieties and systems of violence as they were distinctly faced by Black urban youth in the 1990s. In both the comic series and the TV show, genetic mutations that lead to fantastical abilities are caused by exposure to an experimental gas that is released during a gang fight between mostly of working class youth of color. The vast majority of them die, but the ones that survive manifest a variety of physical and genetic changes, with their own sets of complementary abilities. In the TV show, the gas is the property of a scientific corporation stored in the vicinity and explosively released when police open fire. In the comics, it is a method of riot control deployed by the police themselves. Known as the “Big Bang,” the event caused the origins of both the protagonists and the villains in the series, and was itself caused by scientific forays into transhumanism in conjunction with state violence (Static Shock 2000; McDuffie 1993; Carpenter 2009).
Body Talk By returning to a more strongly metaphorical contextualization of the Black super-body, we can open up a nuanced critique of superheroism, posthumanism, and their utopian tendencies. If we look to Alexander Weheliye’s theorization on racializing assemblages in Habeas Viscus, we can re-work our ideas of humanity, ability, and power into something more closely tied to the flesh; a negotiation of embodiment, subjection, and humanity. Racializing assemblages—a set of sociopolitical processes and sites of subjection acting upon the body—place individuals into categories of human, not quite human, and subhuman. When super-humanity gets mixed in, we end up with a complication that places many othered heroes into superpositions and negotiations along spectrums of humanness. Static, for one, must be read simultaneously through the Blackness of his skin, the cultural histories and connotations behind his locs, and the superheroic transformation brought about his costume and symbology. His locs and his lightning bolt are both iconic factors in his superheroic visage, but do they cancel each other out are they mutually constitutive through other avenues of possibility? In a similar sense, Static’s arch nemesis, Ebon, is quite literally an inky shadow, formless and infinitely shape-shiftable, who somehow always has unmistakable cornrows running along his head. Is his Blackness read through his racialized embodiment or his literal blackness? As Weheliye points out, there is no avoidance of racialization and its implications as far as human status. Consequently, posthumanism (and superhumanism) in mainstream scholarship has failed to account for the paradox of (im)possibility that surrounds the figure of the Black superhero. Some posthumanist scholars’ reliance upon the 37
African American Studies 38
liberal humanist notion of human as a bounded, defined, discrete Man shuts out any other possibilities for the construction of the human and (falsely) assumes a universally accessed human state that must be overcome in order to become something greater, more advanced, and more able. In order to seek a resolution that includes the possibility of the Black superhuman, one must search through the “demonic grounds” of alterity separate from the liberal humanist Man (Weheliye 2014). Wielding electromagnetic power within, around, and through the Black body occurs between natural and urban landscapes, bridging these seemingly disparate ecological spaces and their gendered connotations. Electricity, and its metaphorical associations with power, work, and control is necessary for the function of both natural ecologies and urban modernity, reified in the popular psyche. It is this electric aesthetic that fuels the Black Android narrative of Janelle Monáe’s alter ego Cindi Mayweather. Monáe engages in a tradition of Afrofuturist imaginative freedom to build an android mythology around Cindi, who travels through space and time with a collective of musical radicals, becoming the iconic figure of the Archandroid, taking the Superhero-as-modern-myth theorization and placing it far into her own imagined future. She engages with the figure of the Android to craft a commentary on social death for Black, queer, disabled, and othered bodies, collapsing them onto her own form. Her movement and narratives clearly show life and energy, but maintain elements of roboticism, critiquing its associations with lifelessness and non-personhood. The embodiment of the android aesthetic is fundamental to Monáe’s live performances and the radical spaces that she creates. Monáe reifies this sentiment in the performance and portrayal of disability that she carries out upon her own fictional visage. Disability, both physical and mental, comes about as a result of the bodily non-normativity that is inherent to her robotic alter-ego. What she can and cannot do, can and cannot be, is a point of constant tension in her work, manifesting in themes of malfunction and artificiality. In her 2008 hit “Many Moons,” she lists off “Plastic sweat, metal skin / Metallic tears, mannequin” as part of a stream of social ills and brief reveries; in the video, as the song climaxes, Cindi Mayweather rises up and explosively glitches. Monáe’s imagined body is a set of seemingly contrasting physical states, the robotic and the biological in fantastic synthesis; a freakish postnormativity. This freakishness further manifests in Monáe’s polytemporaneous 2013 single “Q.U.E.E.N.” In the chorus, Monáe openly questions the freakishness that is imposed upon her performative body (“Am I a freak for getting’ down?”). Afrofuturist Ytasha Womack describes that freakishness as a material, self-sustaining independence that contradicts societal norms for women of color; Monáe’s female bodily autonomy and open use of Black dance forms is interpreted as unsettling (Womack 2013). This brand of freakishness is *Clockwise from top left: Static-Panel from Terror Titans #4 (DC 2009), Storm-Panel from Storm #1 (Marvel Comics 2014), Black Lightning-Panel from DC Universe Presents... Vol 3 (2014), Kid Code-Character by Black Kirby
Fig 2*: Top: Static, Storm, Black Lightning; Bottom: Electric Slider, Janelle Monáe, Kid Code
a legacy of settler colonialism imposed on the Black female body, and Monáe actively deploys futurity to unsettle it. By openly questioning freakishness, she is rejecting the colonial gaze and turning it onto itself by directly addressing the viewer. The museum in which the video takes place is a timedisplaced prison of sorts, but the Wondaland troupe uses Black dance forms to disrupt the space and turn it into a postcolonial site of poly-temporality and active engagement across time. This disruption allows Monáe to question and subvert colonial notions of time and distort the Western linear progress narrative. By asserting themselves as culturally bound Black bodies in that time-space, they are reclaiming history and reframing their cultural timeline however they see fit. This intersection of roboticism and freakishness is a futuristic engagement with colonial logics surrounding and defining the Black female body, resulting in a politic strongly reminiscent of the Divine Feminine Principle, the ecological and technological entering a mutually constructive syncretic state. To see this in action, one can look toward Octavia Butler’s Dawn, which follows Lilith, a Black woman who must negotiate her own humanity in the face of an alien race, the Oankali, who seek to genetically assimilate the stragglers of humanity a couple of centuries after the apocalypse. Dawn addresses the question of how it feels to embody nonnormative modalities of the human, critiquing the normative view of the discreteness and boundedness of individual beings. The human, as a concept, is strongly questioned and actively altered on the genetic level. What is commonly defined as human, and what the “human” characters in the novel would (John Jennings/Stacey Robinson), Janelle Monae (Electric Lady)-John Jennings, Electric Slider-Black Kirby art series (John Jennings/Stacey Robinson
define as human is actually subject to the genetic and biological manipulation of the Oankali; the human becomes a constant state of negotiation between individual and the self, as well as individual and community. As the Oankali freely adjust and manipulate Lilith’s body down to the genetic level without her consent, she is relegated to the subhuman category of natural resource and reproductive bio-machine, yet gains superhuman abilities of strength and indestructibility, as well as a physiological porosity with the Oankali space ship and its biomechanics. The human becomes defined by what it is not, and when the other humans exclude Lilith from that self-determination, she becomes stuck with all too familiar colonial logics of freakishness and monstrosity. The critical deconstruction of traditionally human ways of being allows for re-formations of Black bodies as themselves sites of possibility and critique. The Black speculative body is that which has virtually no choice but to break down the liberal humanist specter of Man through a dynamism and transcorporality that in many instances does away with the need for the mundanity of human-ness. To go beyond the human is a possibility being perpetually reimagined.
Conclusion There is much to be said about, for, and by those whose bodies are critiqued, celebrated, or denigrated as non-normative; those whose bodies are too much and yet somehow not enough. This project is a celebratory look at the work being done through postcolonial frameworks of imagining and re-imagining, (re)framing Black bodies as sites of possibility, through which future-spaces can be opened and new cultural narratives built. Thanks in large part to decades of cultural production within the superheroic genre and its direct connections back to mythological constructions, ideas of posthumanity, of bodies beyond the human, have become explicitly and implicitly engrained into the Western psyche.
“This intersection of roboticism and freakishness is a futuristic engagement with colonial logics surrounding and defining the Black female body, resulting in a politic strongly reminiscent of the Divine Feminine Principle.” Thanks in large part to decades of Afrofuturist cultural production, mainstream speculative work has always been under critique for its gatekeeping of who can enter the realm of the posthuman; of who can be heroes. Conversations in the realm of marginalized bodies seeking their own reflection in the realm of speculative work very frequently rely on tactics of inclusion, representation, and assimilation into a set of subgenres and subcultures that were built upon a white patriarchal universalism and its post-liberal humanisthumanity. As we are opening our own imagined spaces and creating our own imagined bodies, it is essential to look critically at which body types are being prioritized and which modes of body possibility are being left out. Through Black, queer, and disabled imaginative frameworks many creators have carried out the work of (re)building the human, negotiating between the inhuman to superhuman scales of Western Man and eventually dismantling it altogether, forming new spaces of alterity and speculation.
Bibliography Boney, Alex. "Superheroes and the Modern(ist) Age." Rosenberg, Robin and Peter Coogan. What Is A Superhero? New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 43-50. Braithwaite, Alisa. "Connecting to a Future Community: Storytelling, the Database, and Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber." Jackson, Sandra and Julie MoodyFreeman. The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Speculative. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2011. 81-99. Bukatman, Scott. "Secret Identity Politics." Ndalianis, Angela. The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero. New York: Routledge, 2009. 109-125. Butler, Octavia. Dawn. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993. Carpenter, Stanford. “Black Lightning’s Story.” Harrigan, Pat and Wardrip-Fruin, Noah. Third Person. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009. 275-84. Howard, Sheena and Ronald Jackson. Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation. New York:
Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Jackson, Sandra and Julie Moody-Freeman. The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Speculative. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2011. “Jailbreak.” Steven Universe. Cartoon Network. Mar. 12 2000. Television. janellemonae. “Janelle Monae – Many Moons [Official Short Film].” Online video clip. Youtube, 3 October 2008. janellemonae. “Janelle Monáe – Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu [Official Video].” Online video clip. Youtube, 1 May 2013. Jennings, John. "Superheroes By Design." Rosenberg, Robin and Peter Coogan. What Is A Superhero? New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 59-64. McDuffie, Dwayne. Static #1. Milestone Media, 1993. Reynolds, Richard. "Heroes of the Superculture." Rosenberg, Robin and Peter Coogan. What Is A Superhero? New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 51-58.
Rosenberg, Robin and Peter Coogan. What Is A Superhero? New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. “Shock to the System.” Static Shock. WB. Sep 23. 2000. Television. “The Return.” Steven Universe. Cartoon Network. Mar 12. 2000. Television. Wanzo, Rebecca. "The Black Technological Sublime." Jennings, John and Stacey Robinson. Black Kirby: In Search of the Motherboxx Connection art exhibition catalog. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. Weheliye, Alexander. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Womack, Ytasha. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2013. Wright, Michelle. Interview. Christian Keeve. 2014.
Brian Snelson | Photo
Dynamic Landscapes: The Spatiality of Social Relations at Ightham Mote Carrie Willis Anthropology
Mark Hauser Faculty Advisor
We use space to describe and make sense of the world around us, but also to categorize and understand others. Social identity is spatially rooted—this is why the terms suburban, urban, and rural index ideas of life in these places. If we ascribe meaning to people’s position in the landscape, can the landscape itself ascribe meaning onto us by controlling our movements? Using the work of Pierre Bourdieu and borrowing from spatial theory, I will provide a framework with which to explore the way that barriers and constraints on movement in physical space reflect boundaries in social space. » Acknowledgements Tim Sly and Kathryn Catlin provided topographical data for this project. Dr. Matthew Johnson supervised my work during the 2014-2015 field season at Ightham and Knole, and provided supplementary data and valuable feedback consistently throughout this project. I was advised by Dr. Mark Hauser, who provided perspective and clarity. Kathryn Catlin and Ryan Lash have provided feedback, data, and much needed social interaction. Lodging during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 field seasons were provided by the National Trust. Funding for this project was provided by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Finally, I thank Dr. Mark Hauser, Dr. Cynthia Robin, Dr. Helen Schwartzman, and the Weinberg Committee on Academic Excellence for awarding me Departmental Honors for this work. 41
hrough geospatial modeling and topographical analysis of the landscape at Ightham Mote, a moated manor house in Sevenoaks, Kent, England, I illustrate how the topography of the landscape constrains movement and facilitates the formation of public and private space. Using this approach, I illustrate how the natural topography of the landscape at Ightham Mote reinforces social identities within the framework of a social hierarchy. This allows us to identify the dynamism of landscapes and the role of embodied daily practice in the formation and reinforcement of social relations.
Landscapes act as stages upon which social processes take place. Buildings, boundaries, roads, centers of industry, ritual spaces, and residential areas all create an intelligible pattern of society written on the land. Terms like urban, suburban, and village, not to mention gated community, projects, and ghetto, reflect in our language an understanding of the way social identity is spatially rooted. The existence of these terms illustrate how “[in] everyday life and language…the experiences of spatial formations is an intrinsic, if unconscious dimension of the way in which we experience society itself. We read space, and anticipate a lifestyle.” I will argue that landscapes can also be catalysts for social processes, not only reflecting social identity, but creating and reinforcing it. In August of 2014, I participated in fieldwork on-site at Ightham Mote, a moated manor house in Kent, England. Set within a valley on a downward north/ south slope, movement throughout the landscape and routes of approach to the house are complex. Ightham Mote’s landscape offers an opportunity to investigate the way the natural topography of the landscape constrains movement and contributes to embodied daily practices. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of relational social space, I will investigate the ways in which barriers and constraints on movement in physical space reflect and create boundaries in social space. Through geospatial modeling and topographical analysis of the landscape at Ightham Mote, I will illustrate how the existence of both a public and private road renders Ightham Mote a privileged social space. Through this analysis, I will illustrate how we can use topography to investigate how constraints on movement, created by natural elements in the environment, can have profound implications for social relations among those who move throughout the landscape.
Relational Theory As Hillier and Hanson explain, “[Experience] of space is the foundation and framework of all our knowledge of the spatio-temporal world.” Bourdieu describes space as a set of “distinct, coexisting positions that are exterior to one another and…defined in relation to one another.” In physical space, these “coexisting positions” are made up of
Fig 1. A map of Ightham Mote with features outlined. The thick gray line represents the house. The brown rectangle with a semicircular cut in its eastern side, located to the immediate west of the house, is the lawn of the outer court. The northern ponds are outlined in blue, while the southern pond, immediately south of the house, is represented by the brown lines (paths) surrounding it. Data provided by Tim Sly (University of Southampton) and Kathryn Catlin (Northwestern University).
objects, features, and points that can be plotted and assigned physical coordinates. But physical space is also composed of individuals with agency and physical mobility, moving throughout the landscape, each defined in relation (behind, near, above, below) the others. According to Bourdieu, just as individuals operate in relation to one another in physical space, social identities and classes operate in relation to one another in social space. Bourdieu explains that individuals and groups define themselves in relation to others; understanding of what it means to be “low class” is impossible without an understanding of the “high class” way of life. Social classes are constituted by a series of “position takings” based on shared experiences, understandings of the world, practices, and beliefs socialized into the individual. Bourdieu refers to these shared experiences as habitus.
Habitus are “generative principles of distinct and distinctive practices… classificatory schemes, principles of classification, principles of vision and division, different tastes. They make distinctions between what is good and what is bad, between what is right and what is wrong.” Habitus are “engrained in the body;” As Matthew Johnson explains, “[an] eighteenth-century gent who started behaving like a yeoman, adopting a certain lifestyle, behaviour, set of attitudes, eating and acting toward social superiors, equals, or inferiors in a certain way, might cease to be a gent.” Habitus is thus physically expressed as well as internalized. Social class, argues Bourdieu, exists “not as something given, but as something to be done.” Space operates not only as a site of human interaction, but a tableau onto which “social and mental processes” are projected. In other words, when humans shape their environment through design, by diverting a river or building a castle, the style, technology of construction, and placement of these modifications all reflect habitus. Thus, “[socially] understood beliefs and values are therefore embedded in physical structures…and can be communicated (implicitly or explicitly) to humans experiencing their spatial layout.” Smith argues that landscapes are necessarily and fundamentally political, the site and catalyst of “spatial practices critical to the formation, operation, and overthrow of geopolitical orders, of regimes, of institutions.” Smith argues that the ordering of the environment reflects a larger struggle to preserve relational class hierarchies and the authority of political regimes. If our embodied daily practices– our expression of habitus–can reinforce (or counteract) our social identities, can landscapes manipulate our embodied daily practices to keep us confined to a particular social space? It is impossible to truly understand the mentality of the medieval individual, but we can learn a lot about their habitus–their perceptions of themselves and others–by studying their embodied daily practices. Through the examination of the topography of the landscapes in which people operated, we can identify the way individuals were constrained by or overcame their environments and investigate the ways that the landscape works to “condition and guide reaction to and behavior in space.” By applying the relational perspective to the study of landscape archaeology at Ightham Mote, we can explore not only how the landscape reflects social categories and status, but how it manipulates the movement of individuals in social space to challenge or maintain relational hierarchies.
Ightham Mote Ightham Mote is a moated manor house owned and managed by the National Trust. The site is located in southern Kent, eight kilometers (about five miles) east of the town of Sevenoaks. The estate currently includes the two story house, its outer courtyard and stables, an orchard, gardens, and surrounding woodland (see Figure 1). The house is now oriented with its main entrance facing west, pointed directly
Fig 2. The layout of the landscape and water features surrounding the house in the 14th century suggested by Peter Rumley. The first, northernmost dam would have created the south pond, a second would have created the moat, a third would fill what is now the north lawn, and the fourth would create the north pond. Diagram by Kayley McPhee (Northwestern University).
at the outer court, which faces east. The estate is composed of 208.42 hectares (515 acres), including 149.74 hectares (370 acres) of farmland and 58.68 hectares (145 acres) of woodland. The property contains multiple springheads stemming from a stream which runs through the property on a north-south axis. Water features include one large and two small ponds toward the north of the house and one large pond toward the southern extent. Dendochronological analysis performed on roof timbers in the solar, hall, and chapel of the house date these areas to 1340, 1344, and 1347, respectively. The stables at Ightham Mote are dated much later, in the 19th century. The surrounding copses of trees immediately adjacent to the valley are primarily composed of mature trees planted between the 16th and 19th centuries, with some old growth scattered throughout. 43
Fig. 3. Three-dimensional topographical model of the landscape at Ightham Mote, rendered in ArcGIS. The green arrow points north. Map by Carrie Willis.
It is difficult to consider which aspects of the landscape may have existed when Ightham Mote was first erected. Historic maps only reach as far back as the late 17th century. According to Matthew Johnson, the woods surrounding Ightham Mote have been managed by humans since the Neolithic period. If the existing field and forest boundaries are similar to ancient ones, we can use 17th through 19th century Tithe maps, Ordinance Survey maps, and other documentary evidence to approximate land holdings in the first few years after Ightham Mote was erected. Rumley argues for the existence of a north pond, middle pond, moat, and southern pond during the Middle Ages, each fed by the Mote Stream that runs down the length of the valley (see Figure 2). Archaeological evidence has revealed that a series of dams or “bunds” could have manipulated the Mote Stream into creating these bodies of water, although it is impossible to date them.
Results of Ightham Survey, 2013-2015
An intensive program of restoration and conservation has taken place at Ightham Mote since its acquisition by the National Trust in 1984. The most recent round of fieldwork was conducted between 2012 and 2014 as an international collaborative effort between the National Trust, the University of Southampton, and Northwestern University. In the 2013-2014 field season, a team of Southampton and Northwestern students conducted topographic survey of Ightham Mote. Rotating teams of three undergraduates under the direction of Tim Sly (University of Southampton) used a total station to plot latitude, longitude, and elevation of over five hundred points, which I have used to create a model of the landscape in the geospatial analysis software ArcGIS. These topographic data show the interplay between the house and the landscape in which it is situated. Figure 3 shows a three-dimensional model of the landscape at Ightham Mote. The model shows the narrow valley in which the house is located. This valley runs from the elevated Upper Greensand ridge at the north all the way through to the rolling clay hills of the south, where the land is considerably lower. The house is located at the southern end of the valley, where the valley widens out. One can see the higher ridges at the north and east of the valley. Mote Stream,
which feeds the ponds at Ightham Mote, begins somewhere over the top of this northern greensand ridge, and follows the slope to the south to fill the northern ponds, then the moat, then the southern pond.
Topographic Analysis: Routes of Approace The topographic data rendered here give some indication of potential routes of approach to Ightham. The data clearly depict the steep slope of the western and eastern ridges that form the valley; these slopes would be difficult and costly – in terms of energy – to scale. It is unlikely that travelers to and from Ightham Mote would have used paths that scaled these ridges. It is more likely, based on the topographic data, that travelers would have walked down the eastern or western ridges to approach the property from the north, or up the gradual incline from the south. 19th century Ordnance Survey, estate, and Sale Particulars maps can help us approximate popular paths that may have been used to reach the property. Even if these roads did not formally exist in the 14th through 16th centuries, they may have been created over popular footpaths, made from constant use. From the Sale Particulars map, one can see two roads lead directly to Ightham Mote (see Figure 4). Both originate from a main road serving Ightham Village and Ivy Hatch to the north, however one branches off from this major road. I will refer to these roads as the major and minor roads. The 19th century Sale Particulars map indicates that a major road extends south from Ightham Village and branches off to the southeast and southwest (see Figure 5). The western branch of this main road continues southwest, past Ivy Hatch, and cuts through Scathes Wood to the north of Ightham Mote, almost on the outskirts of the wood. The road then continues south along the western ridge of the valley which houses Ightham Mote. The road extends south, past Ightham Moat, past Budd’s Green, and continues south toward Hildenborough. Topographically, the energy cost of using this road is minimal; the land decreases at varying degrees of steepness as one goes south. However, the road appears to be a major artery; although it services Ightham Mote by way of a path (see Figure 5), it is not intended as a route specifically for travelers to Ightham Mote, as evidenced by the fact that it continues south. It serves major foot and horse traffic from
Fig 5. The route of approach to Ightham Mote from the major road, superimposed on the 1889 Sale Particulars map.
wider areas of the region, with Ightham Mote as only one stop along its path. The minor road forks from the major road where it meets the northern extent of Scathes Wood, cutting through a more significant area of the wood (see Figure 6). It then moves south through the wood, curves slightly to the west, then comes south along the eastern valley ridge. At the southeast corner of the house, this road then turns westward at an almost perfect right angle, moves west between the south pond and the southern aspect of the house, and turns north to terminate at the space between the outer court and main entrance. Topographically, this route of approach would also have a low energy cost; the eastern ridge of the property, though steep on its western face, is a gentle and manageable descent moving from north to south. While the major road covers additional ground by running along the northern and western outskirts of Scathes Wood, the minor road is more efficient, cutting through Scathes Wood on a direct path to the more gentle eastern face of the valley at Ightham Mote. The major road continues from an unknown extent at the north to an unknown extent to the south, whereas the minor road connects the main road directly to Ightham Mote. The major road does provide access to Ightham Mote, but the minor road appears to less heavily trafficked, more private, and with more direct access to Ightham Mote. While the northerly approach from the major road would have gradually revealed first the north pond, then the middle pond or north lawn, then the house, the high elevation of the northern aspect of the eastern ridge would have made the entire property visible upon exiting Scathes Wood. This would have had the effect of emerging from the wood to be immediately met with a long view of the landscape in its
Fig 6. The route of approach to Ightham Mote from the minor road, superimposed on the 1889 Sale Particulars map.
entirety. While the major road leads past the outer court to the southwest corner of the south pond and back up, the placement of the main entrance away from the eastern ridge would have forced the individual using the minor road to come across the southern face of the house, lengthening the travel time and allowing the individual to go straight in. Because the minor road serves only Ightham Mote, breaking from the major road to arrive more or less directly at the elevated land at the northeast of the property, I suggest that the minor road would have been the probable route of approach from the north. The major road is exactly that: a road that anyone could use. Those attempting to travel to Hildenborough or other southern cities would likely use the main road rather than the more or less private road which cut through the property at Ightham Mote. The approach from the south would have necessitated use of the major road; the fact that there are two approaches from the north and only one from the south is interesting, but I can provide no explanation at this time.
Discussion The existence of two approaches, one for general traffic and one for accessing Ightham Mote directly, has implications for differential power dynamics within the landscape. Ightham Mote is isolated, at the southern aspect of the Parish of Ightham and the border of the Parish of Shipbourne. Furthermore, it had its own chapel, which means that those who lived at Ightham Mote would not need to regularly leave the property to attend a local parish church. Those who worked in the house and in its immediate landscape would have lived in the house as servants and domestic workers, 45
while those who worked in the more distant outfields and demesne lands would likely have only approached as far as the fields. Thus, the only individuals who would regularly travel to and from Ightham Mote would be the owners on occasional travel, those invited directly, and those who walked past the property on their way down the main road. It is not known whether the minor road was created especially for the house or whether it was created by frequent use, but in either case, it is safe to assume that the minor road was used more or less exclusively to access Ightham Mote. The gentle slope of the eastern ridge, procession between the south pond and house, and termination between the inner and outer court as opposed to meeting the major road seem to support this interpretation. If it is the case that the minor road was used as a private drive to access Ightham Mote, then it holds that use of the road would be limited to the homeowners and their guests. Many of the previous owners and residents of Ightham Mote were lords, knights, and even an Archbishop. Their guests will likely have been other minor nobility of the same social class. While it is possible that non-nobles, peasants, or nobility of a lower social class were invited to Ightham Mote, it is likely that the minor road, with its direct access, was limited primarily to landholding members of a higher social class. The main road, however, would have been open to anyone. This road would have been used by higher-class individuals traveling between distant cities as well as lower-class travelers and landless “peasant” workers traveling locally in search of work. Traveling on the main road, one has a view of the house and its landscape, but the steep grade of the western ridge and the placement of the outer court would block direct access to the house. Rather, one would need to continue south along the western slope and turn sharply to the north, proceeding to the main entrance between the house and the stable court. The effect, moving down the main road, would have been to display the house without inviting access; the house would have been relegated to scenery, something to be observed but not directly interacted with, with the implication that users of the main road were not invited. The integration of a private road–either formally or through frequent use–intended primarily for members of the upper class reflects an ideological and social separation through the use of physical separation. However, as Smith explains, “space not only expresses but also argues.” Smith claims that when practices are limited to certain spaces, these practices both legitimize the spaces and the social and political institutions that the creation of these spaces directly benefit. The designation of a road for “procession” or “approach” and a road for simply passing by designates the landscape as private, not fit for public consumption, but rather for a privileged class. Those lower-class individuals accessing the landscape by either road, whether invited or not, would have been aware of this distinction as they entered the property. This creates a very tangible social space around the immediate landscape of Ightham Mote. If the experience of space is the framework of our knowledge of the world, as Hillier and Hanson suggest,
“Many of the previous owners and residents of Ightham Mote were lords, knights, and even an Archbishop. Their guests will likely have been other minor nobility of the same social class.”
then the existence of two roads which spatially and socially segregate two separate groups reinforces the dominant ideology of the ruling class versus the ruled. Spatially constrained activities–processing on the minor road versus passing by on the major road–are assigned to particular social identities: those with a certain level of material wealth and those without it, respectively. Through repeated daily practice of taking a non-private road, with the understanding that a private road or processional approach exists, individuals with less access to material wealth are made aware of their exclusion from social space. While passersby may not have felt subjugated or excluded by the fact that they were taking the public road, their taking it would have embodied this relational power structure, contributing to a system of differential social positions with differential power dynamics. This embodied experience, understanding of social position, and understanding of the world contribute to the maintenance of the existing relational, hierarchical social structure which defines social classes in the first place. This is not to say that individuals are enslaved by their spatial constraints; deer parks, considered almost universally to be “elite” spaces, were commonly broken into by lowerclass individuals, particularly when food was scarce and deer within the lord or earl’s private deer park were plenty. However, I argue that entry into what is understood as private space, made private by the distinction between the major and minor roads – or the simultaneously physical and social boundaries of the park pale – would have constituted a challenge to a relational social hierarchy that was embodied and wellunderstood. The spatial segregation of social identities, as illustrated at Ightham Mote, contributes to a hierarchical structure of social relations which reinforces the knowledge that those with less material wealth are socially distinct from and excluded by those with more material wealth.
Conclusion In his survey report on the landscape at Ightham Mote, Rumley claims that “there is little doubt that the house was constructed for show and status,” and that the landscape “intimately combines the setting of an intangible expression of social status, lordship, politics, religious ritual and imagery.” The “expression of social status” at Ightham Mote is anything but intangible. The reinforcement of social status is an undoubtedly physical phenomenon in the landscape. Modifications to the landscape reflected and prompted embodied patterns of movement. In this way, the landscape acted upon the bodies of those who moved through it, legitimizing and reinforcing hegemonic power structures and maintaining the relational social structures that defined life
in the medieval world. Since the 1950s, attempts have been made to ascertain “the” meaning of the landscape. I argue that the search for one universal meaning of the landscape masks important social processes which would have been reflected in and facilitated by the landscape. Our goal should not be to find out “for what purpose was this landscape designed,” but rather “how do modifications in the landscape constrain and facilitate human movement?” Topographical analysis of movement through the landscape, as evidenced at Ightham Mote, has the ability to address more complex questions about the way landscape reflects, reinforces, challenges, and embodies differential power dynamics.
Bibliography Bannister, N R 1999, ‘Ightham Mote Estate vol. 1’, Historic Landscape Survey, Kent and East Sussex: Regional Office, The National Trust. Bourdieu, P 1977, Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bourdieu, P 1998, Practical Reason, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Cantor, LM 1982b, ‘Introduction: The English Medieval Landscape’, in L M Cantor (ed), The English Medieval Landscape, London and Canberra: Croom Helm, 17-24.
Creighton, O 2009, Designs Upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. Creighton, O and Barry, T 2012, ‘Seigneurial and Elite Sites in the Medieval Landscape’, in N Christie and P Stamper (eds), Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland, AD 600-1600, Oxford: Oxbow, 63-80. Hillier, B and Hanson, J 1984, The Social Logic of Space, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnson, M 2002, Behind the Castle Gate, London and New York: Routledge.
Platt, C 2010, ‘The Homestead Moat: Security or Status?’, Archaeological Journal 167:1, 115-133. Rumley, P J 2007, ‘Ightham Mote, Ivy Hatch, Kent: Archaeological Assessment of the Garden’, Ightham Mote Archaeological Garden Survey, Sussex and Kent: Regional Office, The National Trust. Smith, A 2003, The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Wikinotica | Photo
Ecocriticism, Entropy, and the Gothic in Poeâ€™s Fiction Carly Bluth
John Alba Cutler Faculty Advisor
Most people know Edgar Allan Poe as a gothic writer, famous for classic works such as “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “Annabelle Lee.” However, what many people are not familiar with is his compelling portrayal of the natural world, specifically disease. Through ecocriticism— literary analysis of the relationship between humans and the natural world—my project traces the environment’s role within Poe’s fiction stories to see how it represents an ominous power that outlasts humanity. I specifically focus on “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Black Cat,” to illustrate how disease works as a penetrating force that affects humans through entropic processes—the scientific law stating that matter, as an expected consequence of the universe, declines from a state of order to disorder over time. This project also analyzes events in Poe’s life that influenced how he considers death and disease in his tales. The Edgar Allan Poe Collection (Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore) contains documents from Poe’s life, including postcard correspondence with family and contemporaries. These materials reveal significant insight into his tragic life, especially his wife’s premature death from tuberculosis. My purpose in looking at Poe’s thoughts in motion is to show how these materials have translated and developed into his works, thus asking readers to re-envision their relationship to the natural world. Humanity is delicate and feeble relative to nature’s enduring vigor.
read the full paper online at thenurj.com »
Ziyang Xu Chemistry
Alexander Statsyuk Faculty Advisor
Stefan Kathman Graduate Mentor
Elaine Meng | Photo
Rational Design of Irreversible Covalent Inhibitors for E3 Ubiquitin Ligase NEDD4-1
In this research project, we have used the Fragment Based Drug Discovery approach to design irreversible covalent inhibitors for NEDD4-1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase found to be upregulated in several forms of cancer, including Ewing Sarcoma. One hundred small molecules that contain an electrophilic acrylate warhead have been synthesized to covalently tether the catalytic Cys867 of NEDD4-1 HECT. Each molecule was characterized with NMR kinetic studies to evaluate their reactivity with N-acetylcysteine methyl ester, and 10 compounds with similar cysteine reactivity were screened against NEDD4-1 HECT simultaneously.
Two compounds have been identified (with a mass spectrometry based screening assay) to label NEDD4-1 HECT irreversibly. Mutagenesis studies performed showed that both molecules react with Cys⁶²⁷ of NEDD4-1 HECT rather than Cys⁸⁶⁷. Biochemical assays performed show that the initial hit inhibited NEDD4-1 mediated polyubiquitination in vitro at 1mM concentration and subsequent X-ray crystallographic studies of NEDD4-1 bound to one of the inhibitors (ZX1) shows that ZX1 binds the N-lobe of NEDD4-1 HECT at the ubiquitin-binding site. Structure Activity Relationship studies were conducted to enhance the potency of the initial hit, and a cyclopentylindole analogue (ZX2) was found to be much more potent than the initial hit. Fluorescence cross-polarization assays were finally used to determine the binding affinity KI and the inhibition rate constant kinact of ZX2. Additional SAR studies would be performed in the future to further enhance the potency and selectivity of the compound.
Chapter i. Introduction 1.1 The Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS)
The Ubiquitin-Proteasome System is a key strategy employed by eukaryotic cells to regulate proteins post-translationally (Ciechanover 2013). The UPS pathway is compromised
in several diseases, including cancer (Wang 2007), neurodegenerative diseases (Tofaris 2011) and viral infection (Yasuda 2003). This thesis explores the design, synthesis, and characterization of irreversible covalent inhibitors for NEDD4-1 (neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein 4), an E3 ligase in the UPS pathway that regulates tumor suppressor PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog), α-synuclein, and ebola viral particles, among some of its other substrates. The UPS pathway consists a cascade of E1-E2-E3 enzymes that relay ubiquitin molecules, consisted of 76 amino acid residues, to specific protein substrates (Figure 1.1) (RoosMattjus 2004). The E1 enzyme, or ubiquitin-activating enzyme, catalyzes a two-step reaction and consumes 1 ATP molecule. E1 enzyme would first bind to ubiquitin and ATP and catalyze adenylation of the C-terminus of ubiquitin, with the release of a pyrophosphate molecule. The catalytic cysteine residue on the E1 enzyme would subsequently react with the activated ubiquitin molecule, resulting in the release of 1 AMP molecule and the formation of thio-ester bond between the C-terminus of ubiquitin and the sulfhydryl group of the E1 catalytic cysteine (Lee and Schindelin 2008). In the next step, E2 enzyme, or ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, catalyzes trans-thioesterification reaction by binding to both the E1 enzyme and the activated ubiquitin molecule, and allowing the E2 catalytic cysteine to react with the 51
C-terminus of the ubiquitin. Free E1 enzyme is released in this process (Lee and Schindelin 2008). In the subsequent step, two classes of E3 enzymes, also known as ubiquitin ligases, catalyze the conjugation of the ubiquitin molecules to the selected substrates. The ring E3 enzymes catalyze the direct transfer of the ubiquitin molecule from E2 to the substrates by bring them in close proximity and allowing the lysine residue on the substrate to form an isopeptide bond with the C-terminus of ubiquitin (Berndsen and Wolberger 2014). The HECT E3, on the other hand, would form an E3-ubiquitin intermediate first when its catalytic cysteine residue reacts with the ubiquitin carboxy-terminus, releasing E2 in the process. The lysine residue on the substrate would subsequently react with this activated ubiquitin to form an isopeptide bond (Kamadurai, Qiu et al. 2013). Particularly, NEDD4-1 studied in this thesis is an HECT E3 ligase. Once the initial substrate-ubiquitin conjugation has taken place, this process could be repeated to build a polyubiquitin chain on the substrate. Specifically, the C-terminus of the newly added ubiquitin molecule would be conjugated to one of the lysine residues on the preceding ubiquitin. Since the ubiquitin molecule contains several lysine residues, polyubiquitin chains that involve different lysine residues could be targeted to different locales. For example, poly-ubiquitin chain that involves K48 linkage would target the substrates to the 26S proteasome for degradation, while K63 chain targets
the substrates to cellular lysosome. Number of the ubiquitin molecules in the chain could also determine destinations of the substrates. For example, when PTEN is poly-ubiquitinated (K48), it would be degraded by the proteasome; alternatively when PTEN is mono-ubiquitinated, it would be transported into the nucleus to regulate gene transcription.
1.2 Structure of NEDD4-1 and its Implications in human diseases 1.2.1 Domain Structure of NEDD4-1
The domain structure of NEDD4-1 is well characterizedâ€”it contains a C2 domain, 4 WW domains and a catalytic HECT domain (Figure 1.2a and b)(Ingham 2004). The C2 domain regulates NEDD4-1 functions by constitutively binding to the HECT domain and auto-inhibiting the ligase activity of NEDD4-1. When intracellular Ca2+ level is elevated, Ca2+ binds to the C2 domain and causes the release of the HECT domain and activation of the ligase. The four WW domains of NEDD4-1 interact with proline-rich motifs, such as PPxY, and render substrate specificity. Finally, the catalytic HECT domain consists of an N-lobe at the N-terminus and a C-lobe at the C-terminus linked through a flexible hinge. Published Crystal structure of NEDD4-1 bound to UbcH7 (an E2 enzyme) suggests that an incoming E2 enzyme would dock at the N-lobe of the HECT domain (Figure 1.3). C-lobe of the HECT, on the other hand, contains the active site.
budding of Ebola Viral-Like Particles (VLP) possibly through the interaction of its WW domains with the PPxY motifs on the viral particles (Yasuda 2003). It is not known whether NEDD4-1 mediated ubiquitination is crucial to this pathway, although Rsp5p, an ortholog of NEDD4-1 in yeast, could potentially ubiquitinate the viral particle VP40 in vitro (Harty, Brown et al. 2000). The pharmacological probe synthesized in this study selectively inhibits the NEDD4-1 poly-ubiquitination pathway but leaves the WW domains intact. This compound can be used to investigate if polyubiquitination of VP40 is indeed necessary for viral-budding.
1.2.4 Regulations of Tumor Suppressor Protein PTEN by NEDD4-1
Shi et. al. reports in a previous study that NEDD4-1 could antagonize PTEN and activate the IGF1-PIP3-AKT pathway and is potentially implicated in Ewing Sarcoma and breast cancer (Shi and Jiang 2014). Upon binding of IGF1 (Insulin Growth Factor 1), the tyrosine kinase receptor protein IGF1R would undergo auto-phosphorylation and become activated. The IGF1R-P would subsequently phosphorylate its downstream substrate IRS1 (Insulin Receptor Substrate 1) at its tyrosine residues. Phosphorylated IRS1 (or IRS1-P) contains a domain that specifically recruits kinase protein PI3K to the plasma membrane to convert the lipid phosphate PIP2 to PIP3 by hydrolyzing ATP. PIP3 acts as a messenger to activate the AKT kinase pathway, resulting in transcriptions of genes necessary for cell survival and
Upon docking of the E2 enzyme, the flexible hinge would rotate about so as to bring the catalytic Cys⁸⁶⁷ on the C-lobe into close proximity with the activated ubiquitin molecule bound to the E2 enzyme, and a trans-thioesterification reaction would subsequently charge the catalytic Cys⁸⁶⁷ with ubiquitin. Once the substrate has been mono-ubiquitinated, the newly added ubiquitin molecule would dock at the ubiquitin-binding domain on the N-lobe, and the catalytic Cys⁸⁶⁷ would be charged again with the second ubiquitin for chain extension (Figure 1.4). This ubiquitin-binding domain on the N-lobe is therefore crucial to the processivity of NEDD4 ligase. It is reported that another cysteine residue Cys627 is also present at this site (Ingham 2004). 1.2.2 Implications of NEDD4-1 in Parkinson’s Disease
α-synuclein, a hallmark and contributing factor of Parkinson’s disease, is found to be regulated by NEDD4-1 mediated polyubiquitination (Stefanis 2012). NEDD4-1 recognizes the carboxy-terminus of α-synuclein and attaches a K63-linked poly-ubiquitin chain to its lysine residue, thereby targeting α-synuclein to the cellular lysosome for degradation(Sugeno 2014). NEDD4-1 is down-regulated in neurons that contain α-synuclein aggregates. It is hoped that a pharmacological probe synthesized in this project could be used to study if selective inhibition of NEDD4-1 mediated polyubiquitination could impede degradation of α-synuclein in neurons.
1.2.3 Role of NEDD4-1 in Ebola Viral Budding
A study by Yasuda et. al. reports that NEDD4-1 facilitates
proliferation. The membrane protein PTEN antagonizes this pathway through the following steps. First, as a protein tyrosine phosphatase, it expedites the dephosphorylation of IRS1-P to IRS1. Secondly, as a lipid phosphatase, it converts PIP3 to PIP2 and thereby inhibits AKT. Finally, the study shows that NEDD4-1 selectively inhibits the protein tyrosine phosphatase activity of PTEN and allows the accumulation of IRS1-P to amplify AKT signaling (Figure 1.5). It is known that some cancer cell uses this pathway to drive its proliferation through autocrine regulation. This type of cancer cell secretes insulin into the extracellular space. Binding of extracellular IGF1 to its IGF1R would 53
in turn drive AKT signaling (Clemmons 2007). Details of how NEDD4-1 regulates PTEN in this specific pathway are not known. It has been hypothesized that NEDD4-1 could potentially antagonize the tyrosine phosphatase activity of PTEN by building K63 poly-ubiquitin chain. Our covalent processivity inhibitor of NEDD4-1 could be used to study the mechanism by which NEDD4-1 regulates PTEN in the IRS1-PI3K-AKT pathway and be fully optimized into a potential anti-cancer compound. In another study reported by Trotman et. al., NEDD41 regulates PTEN in a different fashion (Trotman, Wang et al. 2007). Trotman argues that poly-ubiquitination of PTEN results in its proteasomal degradation, whereas monoubiquitination of PTEN results in its nuclear import and suppression of the AKT pathway (Figure 1.6). In either case, we predict that inhibiting poly-ubiquitination of PTEN would antagonize the AKT pathway and arrest cancer cell proliferation.
1.3 Fragment-Based Drug Design of Irreversible Covalent Inhibitors of NEDD4-1 1.3.1 Comparisons of High-Throughput Screening and Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Toward the Design of Inhibitors
In High-Throughput Screening (HTS), tens of thousands or even millions of compounds are screened against the biological target. The average molecular weight of compounds used for HTS is around 500Da, and nano-molar binders of the biological target can be found (Ungermannova, Lee et al. 2013). In contrast, Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) attempts to discover weak milli-molar binders with an average molecular weight of 200Da, and would subsequently make these “hits” more potent by growing or combining the fragments to make larger molecules (Murray and Rees 2009). The compound library used for FBDD could be much smaller—as few as 100 compounds could be screened against the biological target to find a potential inhibitor. By using smaller molecules, FBDD improves the “hit” rate by maximizing the ligand efficiency and minimizing unfavorable steric interactions. Additionally, since a smaller library could be used for initial screening, syntheses of the compounds and screening of the compounds against biological targets could be done manually.
1.3.2 Principles to the Design of NEDD4-1 Inhibitors
As an HECT E3 ligase, NEDD4-1 forms a ubiquitinthioester intermediate before it relays the ubiquitin tag onto its substrates. As such, the catalytic cysteine residue (Cys⁸⁶⁷) is necessary for the ubiquitylation of NEDD4-1 substrates. A small molecule that covalently labels Cys⁸⁶⁷ will thus inhibit the functions of NEDD4-1. An inhibitor that reacts covalently and irreversibly with the proteins usually has an affinity much higher than those of reversible inhibitors. By designing irreversible inhibitors, a weak binder can be identified from the library in the initial screen and subsequently optimized to enhance its potency. Ideally, the small molecule should be a combination of an electrophilic warhead that reacts covalently with the cysteine residue
â€œNEDD4-1 is down-regulated in neurons that contain a-synuclein aggregates. It is hoped that a pharmacological probe synthesized in this project could be used to study if selective inhibition of NEDD4-1 mediated polyubiquitination could impede degradation of a-synuclein in neurons.â€? Fig 1.6
through a Michael reaction, and a non-polar ring-based targeting element that docks the molecule selectively and potently at the catalytic site of NEDD4-1 prior to covalent inhibition. Alternatively, we can also design inhibitors that target the cysteine residue 627, which is found at the processivity site of NEDD4-1 and is necessary for the poly-ubiquitylation of the NEDD4-1 substrates. Unlike the design of the kinase inhibitors (many of which are substrate or transition state analogues of the enzyme and bear structural resemblances to ATP), our inhibitors ought
to disrupt protein-protein interactions (Silverman 2014). To maximize our chance of finding a selective inhibitor from our library, we synthesized our compounds by coupling an electrophile that resembles the C-terminus of ubiquitin to different non-polar ring-based fragments from an unbiased commercially available library. In the process, a selective inhibitor that targets the cysteine residue 627 of NEDD41 has been found, characterized with X-ray Crystallography and optimized with a series of Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) studies.
Bibliography Anan, T. and M. Nakao (1998). Genes Cells 3(11): 751-763. Berndsen, C. and C. Wolberger (2014). Nature Struc. & Mol. Biol. 21: 301-307. Ciechanover, A. (2013). Bioorg. Med. Chem. 21: 3400. Clemmons, D. (2007). Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 6: 821-833. Congreve, M., et al. (2003). Drug Discov Today. 8(19): 876-877. Fukami, T. and T. Yokoi (2012). Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 27(5): 466-477. Harty, R., et al. (2000). Proc Natl Acad Sci 97(25): 13871-13876. Ingham, R. (2004). Oncogene 23: 1972-1984. Kaiser, S., et al. (2011). Nature Methods. 8(8): 691-696. Kamadurai, H., et al. (2013) Elife 2:e00828
Kathman, S., et al. (2014). J. Med. Chem. 57: 4969-4974. Lee, I. and H. Schindelin (2008). Cell 134(2): 268-278. Mari, S. (2014). Structure 22: 1639-1649. Maspero, E. (2013). Nature Struc. & Mol. Biol. 20(6): 696-700. Maspero, E., et al. (2011). Embo Rep 12: 342-349. McRee, D. (1993). Practical Protein Crystallography. San Diego, Academic Press. Murray, C. W. and D. C. Rees (2009). Nature Chem. 1: 187-192. Roos-Mattjus, P. (2004). Ann Med. 36(4): 285-295. Rossi, A. and C. Taylor (2011). Nature Protocol 6: 365-387. Shi, Y. and X. Jiang (2014). Nature Struc. & Mol. Biol. 21(6): 522-527. Silverman, R. (2014). San Diego, Academic Press.
Stefanis, L. (2012). Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2(2): a009399. Sugeno, N. (2014). J Biol Chem. 289(26): 18137-18151. Tofaris, G. (2011). Proc Natl Acad Sci 108(41): 1700417000. Trotman, L., et al. (2007). Cell 128(1): 141-156. Ungermannova, D., et al. (2013). J Biomol Screen. 18(8): 910-920. Wadsworth, W. S. and W. D. Emmons (1977). Org. React. 25: 73-253. Wang, X. (2007). Cell 128(1): 129-139. Yang, B. and S. Kumar (2010). Cell Death Differ. 17(1): 68. Yasuda, J. (2003). J Virol 77(18): 9987-9992. Zheng, T., et al. (2013). Bioconjugate Chem. 24(6): 859-864.
Mark Hersam | Submitted Photo
Mark Hersam interview by Sophie Weber
The recent recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Mark Hersam is a Northwestern professor and materials scientist studying the
properties of nanomaterials with applications toward electronics, solar cells, and batteries. In March 2016, Hersam was selected as a U.S. Science Envoy by the U.S. Department of State and will contribute to efforts to foster international cooperation in science and technology. Hersamâ€™s unique interdisciplinary strategy integrates the fields of engineering, physics, and chemistry to uncover how nanomaterials like graphene can be harnessed to provide low cost, commercial solutions, and achieve world-renowned results in the process. Hereâ€™s how he has gotten to where he is today, and where he intends to go.
From Business to Research Mark Hersam laid the foundation for a lifelong career as a researcher during his first semester as an undergraduate studying electrical engineering at University of Illinois. The timing of world events and the connections he made early on in college contributed to his decision to begin researching. He began college in the early 1990s, which he notes was an “interesting time for energy.” Hersam recalls that due to the perceived shortage of energy during the oil crisis of 1973, there was “significant investment in researching alternative energy sources like photovoltaics, wind, and other renewables.” However, once the embargo ended and the price of gasoline plummeted, the research funding dried up. Hersam entered college thinking he would pursue a career in business, but his trajectory changed when he took a course taught by Professor David Ruzic, a nuclear engineer. Ruzic explored the intersections of energy, economics, and science, ultimately claiming that the energy landscape was “driven more by economics than by science,” according to Hersam. As an engineering undergraduate with an inclination toward economics, Hersam’s interest was piqued by Ruzic’s research on alternative energy after he had gained an understanding of the economics of the field through Ruzic’s course. Hersam took the initiative and obtained a position studying fusion in Ruzic’s lab where he honed his interest in how science can “come up with cheaper, better solutions” to make technologies like alternative energy economically viable. To this day, his lab has preference toward problems that have a commercial application.
Gaining New Perspectives The major milestones leading up to Hersam’s decision to come to Northwestern each played a role in shaping the unique, interdisciplinary approach to research that he practices here at the university. Upon graduating, Hersam spent the summer interning at the Argonne National Laboratory researching inert gas sensors, an experience that exposed him to “science at a very large scale.” He went on to obtain a master’s degree in physics from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. while conducting research on nanoelectronic interconnects— the wires that are present in integrated circuits. He returned to the University of Illinois for a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the Beckman Institute, an interdisciplinary research center where Hersam said he was “exposed to chemistry, material science, and physics, in addition to electrical engineering.” In addition to being introduced to the interdisciplinary approach to science that would guide Hersam’s further research, he notes he was “fortunate to procure an IBM fellowship” in which he took time off to conduct research for the company in Yorktown Heights, NY. During this period, he researched the next generation of interconnect technology for computers and gained an industrial perspective on the scientific landscape. Upon completion of his Ph.D., he came to Northwestern.
“Nowadays it's hard to be super successful if you don’t specialize, which is the nature of the modern world.”
His Core Interests Here, Hersam’s lab has a core interest in electronics and conducts research “at the interface between electrical engineering and chemistry.” However, Hersam points to the shortcomings of curricula in both electrical engineering and chemistry, which rarely overlap. His lab decided to work at this interface that they believe was largely unexplored, with “very few labs in the world that experts in both.” According to Hersam, chemistry can be particularly useful for electronics because the transistors used in electronics are shrinking in size. “When something is atomically thin,” he said, “every atom is at the surface. Therefore, any chemistry that you do at the surface of a nanomaterial dramatically influences its properties, and that’s in a nutshell what we are trying to do: use chemistry to improve the performance of electronic materials, which will allow for computers to run faster, electronics to be more energy efficient so that your phone doesn’t need charging every four hours, and tablets to have brighter displays.”
Diversifying His Approach While electronics applications are the Hersam lab’s main focus, they have come to realize that their same approach readily applies to other technologies. In addition to electronics work, his lab has moved back into energy, the field that originally spurred Hersam’s interest in scientific research. His lab now makes “active efforts in photovoltaics and batteries, both of which you need to make a real impact on the energy problem” since they allow for the storage and harnessing of energy when sunlight is not available. According to Hersam, the widespread use of this kind of energy “is a long term vision compromised by the fact that there are increasing ways of extracting fossil fuels such as fracking, which change the economics of alternative energy again.” 57
However, in spite of these developments, Hersam said, “The reality is that there is increasing interest in electric vehicles, the tesla being the famous one, that’s driving interest in batteries today.”
The MacArthur Award, Moving Forward In 2014, Hersam was named a fellow by the MacArthur Foundation for creativity and self-direction in his pursuits, earning a $625,000 cash prize with no strings attached to continue his research. His lab’s first goal after this achievement has been to diversify their materials portfolio. “If you dig deeper into our research, you learn that almost everything we’ve done is focused on two elements: silicon, the most dominant material in essentially every electronic device, and carbon, which has similar properties to silicon,” Hersam said. “It’s been productive for us for 15 years to work on those two elements, but there are many more elements in the periodic table. Our goal is to diversify and explore what other materials are out there and how they can influence electronics and the energy technologies we discussed.” Hersam said his continued interest is to create low-cost solutions that have commercial applications. For this reason, he intends to study elements that are earth abundant since the cost of the technology is ultimately limited of the availability of the elements that go into making it.
Advice to Undergraduates: Specialize
Hersam acknowledges that when he first entered college, he had little understanding of what a career in research would entail. Looking back at his career, he said he feels fortunate that he was able to cross paths with a professor early in college who inspired him to get into the lab and try things himself. For Hersam, there is a tendency when you’re young to avoid specializing in something due to the worry it will limit opportunities going forward. “Especially at a school like Northwestern,” he says, “you have this laundry list of activities and you’re a renaissance man or woman entering college. A lot of students try to keep that going because that’s how they got where they are now and try to keep their options open. “The reality, though, is that going deep into something will more definitively reveal whether you like the subject or not and then make a decision from there. Nowadays it's hard to be super successful if you don’t specialize, which is the nature of the modern world.” Hersam said his advice to students is to figure out their specialty. One way of doing this is by entering a lab and trying it out. “You’ll know in a quarter or two if you like it or not,” Hersam said. “If you don’t, you just pivot to something else and continue the search.”
“Our goal is to diversify and explore what other materials are out there and how they can influence electronics and the energy technologies we discussed.”
Theo Gao interview by Monica Cheng
Theo Gao (‘16) is a materials science & engineering major and comparative literature minor. He conducts research on nanoscale materials at Professor Mark Hersam’s lab. How did you discover an interest in research, particularly materials research? My start with research was somewhat serendipitous. I was looking for things to do during the summer after freshman year, and my dad had a connection who worked at NASA, so I ended up working on materials research while I was there. My project at NASA had to do with nanomaterials for energy storage, and I worked under a senior researcher. I thought it was pretty cool and when I came back to campus for sophomore year, I joined Professor Hersam’s lab, which specializes in electronics—a topic that I’ve been interested in since high school physics. What’s the lab dynamic like? The lab consists of a total of 30 to 40 researchers, which include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students like myself. In the beginning, I was helping Ethan Secor, who is a graduate student. He would teach me how to use the different instruments and walk me through many of the experimental procedures. It wasn’t until my second year in the lab that I had enough experience to come up with own ideas and carry out my own experiments. What research project(s) are you working on? Currently, I’m working on enhancing the compatibility of printed graphene with other materials. Our previous graphene inks have to be heated above 300°C to achieve maximum performance, but these temperatures are incompatible with common plastic substrates. By adding nitrocellulose, also known as “gun cotton,” to our graphene inks, I have been able to reduce the processing temperature to 200°C. For my senior project, I aim to use this material to print supercapacitors, a type of energy storage device. What kind of practical application does your research have? You may have heard of graphene, which is a carbon nanomaterial. Our lab makes carbon nanomaterial inks in a scalable manner and then prints these inks onto flexible plastics to make devices such as transistors. The motivation
behind this research is to manufacture low-cost and flexible electronics, since traditional electronics are rigid and require expensive facilities. Applications include flexible solar cells, sensors, and displays. One might imagine sensors that can be worn on the body, or displays that can be folded like newspaper. What have you enjoyed learning from your research experience? I really enjoy the process of research. Research is a long-term endeavor; it’s something you have to stick with in order to really get into it. Getting sensible data is most rewarding when you understand what went into it and what it means. That makes me really happy. Making samples and collecting data may be boring and repetitive in the moment, but looking back, it is rewarding that your work has produced new knowledge and something useful and tangible that can be applied to emerging technologies. What does it take to be a successful researcher? You must have discipline and perseverance. I really look up to my mentor as an exemplar of those characteristics. He works incredibly hard and is very disciplined. He is always in lab early and leaves late. On top of that, he runs marathons and triathlons in his free time. How would you describe Professor Hersam? Professor Hersam is extremely intelligent and organized. I took his class on the Physics of Solids during the spring of my junior year, and he is the best professor I’ve had at Northwestern. In the realm of research, Professor Hersam is very competitive and always looks for ways to make our work stand out. He knows our group’s strengths and how to play to those strengths. How do you envision yourself and your work five years from now? I am currently applying for Ph.D. programs for the fall of 2016. After that, I want to keep working on research through government labs, industry, or academia. 59
Media & Communication
Yazan Abu Ghaida | Submitted Photo
Dub, Dub-Key and Dabkeh: Palestinian Resistance Through Reggae Music in Israel Yazan Abu Ghaidah Media & Communication
Acknowledgements The original version of the paper was completed in partial fulfillment for the requirement of MIT 398 Alternative Media in the Middle East.
Since the events of the Arab Spring, the Middle East has seen a significant rise in media that express resistance to oppression. Protestors and artists alike have made use of music to advance their political interests. The six-decade-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict significantly predates the Arab Spring, but it is not immediately clear if the events of the Arab Spring may have impacted the ways in which Palestinians express resistance. Palestinian reggae music draws our attention to the phenomena of repurposing a foreign genre to create something separate, but meaningful to Palestinians. In this study, we explore the Ministry of Dub-Key, a Palestinian reggae group. Through the analysis of their song "Dumyeh Plastikieh" (Plastic Doll) as well as interviews with the band members, this research explores links between the band and the events of the Arab Spring. Introduction
The use of music and performance is historically rooted in Palestinian culture as a means to express resistance to the Israeli occupation and protest their status as second-class Israeli citizens. The well-studied development of Palestinian hip-hop music has shown that foreign genres can potentially be repurposed by Palestinians to express resistance outside a traditional context. Since 2011, the rise of Palestinian reggae music draws our attention to previously unheard ideas of Palestinian resistance. This study will primarily focus on the music produced by the Ministry of Dub-Key, a Palestinian dub and reggae group based in Haifa, Israel. The Ministry of Dub-Key is made up of three Arab-Israeli citizens: Maysa Daw, Walaa Sbeit, and Bruno Cruz. Cruz is a full-time musician, working on a number of other projects as a DJ and producer of hip-hop music. Daw is a music student who travels between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Sbeit is a music teacher based in Haifa. This study draws parallels between the Ministry of DubKey’s live performances and the anti-government protests of the Arab Spring. Furthermore, this study argues that the genesis and philosophy of the Ministry of Dub-Key is inspired by the events of the Arab Spring. Additionally, this study explores the ways in which both the Ministry of DubKey and the protestors of the Arab Spring both challenge symbolic oppression by manipulating works of traditional and/or mainstream media.
The Ministry of Dub-Key was primarily chosen for the purpose of this study due to their unique musical style, which fuses traditional Palestinian music with reggae. This creates the potential to study the distinctively Palestinian form of reggae, as opposed to generic reggae music sung in the Arabic language. Additionally, the band members provide a unique perspective as Arab-Israeli citizens, due to their integration into Israeli society. The decision to exclusively look at reggae music in Palestine was inspired by an apparent lack of literature on the topic. As of this study, this specific manifestation of reggae music has not been studied before. The Ministry of Dub-Key has only published two original songs online, which were both considered for analysis. The two songs are: “Dumyeh Plastikieh” (Plastic Doll) and “ElThawra El-Khadra” (The Green Revolution). El-Thawra El-Khadra is a song that expresses support for the Tunisian uprising in 2011. From the two, “Dumyeh Plastikieh” was chosen because the band members felt that the song was a strong reflection on their philosophy. The lyrics were translated and transcribed from Arabic to English for the purposes of the analysis. Interviews were conducted with the band members in order to effectively analyze the song and band using their own words. Maysa Daw, Walaa Sbeit, and Bruno Cruz were contacted with requests for interviews. Sbeit received, but did not respond to the request. Daw and Cruz were interviewed 61
“Naffar glorifies the impoverished city as something that he considers to be truly glamorous, while indirectly undermining Hollywood as a part of the Babylon system.” on Skype and Viber, respectively. Both interviews were recorded and used as a primary reference throughout the analysis. The interview with Cruz was transcribed and translated from Arabic to English. The interview with Daw was conducted in English.
Media & Communication
Context & Background
In 1948, at least 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from the State of Israel following its establishment in an event known as Al-Nakba or “The Catastrophe.” Indigenous music and poetry in the years immediately following the event were dominated by memories of exile and dispossession. Palestinian folk music dominated during this time as a means to preserve the traditional genre while remembering the hardships faced by the displaced Palestinian people. The most popular form of Palestinian folk music is synonymous with the traditional Palestinian line dance, known as dabkeh. Dabkeh, along with other forms of traditional Palestinian music was also used to express an idealized homeland for the Palestinians. In some cases, Palestinians find that foreign genres of music can be repurposed to express their own articulation of Palestine. This is well documented in Palestinian hiphop. McDonald notes that the audience in Ramallah was completely unfamiliar with hip-hop’s sounds, rhythms, dances and practices. However, “DAM,” a Ramallahbased hip hop group were inspired by the late American rap icon Tupac Shakur’s anti-racist philosophy. As a result, DAM created Palestinian hip-hop music, which expressed Palestinian iterations of Shakur’s anti-racist ideology. Hiphop music resonated with youth of Ramallah, who lived in a violent city under occupation and are “entrenched in a pervasive culture of steadfastness.” Similarly, Palestinian reggae is an expression of one articulation of Palestine inspired by specific experiences in dispossession. These experiences come from young Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, who have not experienced Al-Nakba. Cruz explains that the band’s experiences in dispossession come from living in Haifa as Arab citizens of Israel. The Ministry of Dub-Key’s articulation of Palestine is heavily influenced by resistance themes that are closely associated with reggae music. Cruz takes a strong stance
against the oppression of Palestinians. Specifically, Cruz addresses the oppression of Palestinians using concepts taken from the Rastafarian religion, which is closely associated with reggae music worldwide.
Reggae Music Historically, reggae music originated in Africa and was pioneered in Jamaica. Reggae music was used as a tool to express the historical and social struggles of people of African descent. Reggae music was popularized in Jamaica as a reaction to British colonial rule. Racial prejudice toward Africans, combined with the political control of “… the Third world in general, and Africa in particular, offered fertile grounds in which reggae music could widen its audience, themes, and subject matter beyond the confines of its cradle island of Jamaica.” Reggae music has significant ties to the Rastafarian religion, and it is understood that most reggae artists adhere to some principles of the Rastafarian religion. Among these principles is the rejection of “Babylon,” which is described as “the place of captivity where Black people face segregation rather than integration.” Rastafarians believe that equality can only exist with the removal of Bablyon. Throughout the interview, Cruz consistently refers to this concept of Babylon as the system that excludes and oppresses all people, including Palestinians. Cruz argues that reggae music appeals to Palestinians because many Palestinians can relate the Afro-Jamaican struggle to their own experiences as second-class citizens and people living under military occupation. Cruz states, “We all want to live our lives freely to make music in our own way without being bound by rules and regulations. At the end of the day, music is revolutionary.”
Arab Spring In 2010, a revolutionary wave of uprisings engulfed several countries in the Middle East, beginning what was colloquially referred to as the Arab Spring. These uprisings took place against governments that have historically censored antigovernment expressions, while maintaining an iron grip on mainstream media. During the Arab Spring, there was a sudden surge in popularity for media that rejected the oppression of the regime. As a result, many groups in the Middle East have made use of media practices that fell outside the mainstream, creating alternative media. This is the context under which the Ministry of Dub-Key was born.
The Ministry of Dub-Key In 2011, long-time reggae enthusiasts Walaa Sbeit and Bruno Cruz visited the occupied Golan Heights to collaborate with Toot Ard, a Syrian reggae band. Returning to Haifa, Cruz and
Sbeit were inspired to form a band that combined elements from reggae music with Palestinian folklore and dance. This fusion of was achieved through the integration of dub music. In the 1960s, amateur musicians in Kingston, Jamaica engaged in the practice of dubbing reggae music. This process involves the accentuation of the bass on an instrumental version of a reggae song. The musician then speaks or sings over the instrumental, thereby “dubbing” the song. This process allows musicians to produce multiple versions of songs while avoiding the financial burden of recording a song in a studio. The production of the Ministry of Dub-Key’s music involves dubbing, as referenced in the band’s name. Cruz explains that the individual parts of the band’s name represent their philosophy. “Ministry” refers to the band’s collaborative projects with artists who share the same message and purpose. “Dub” refers to the band’s music production. “Key” is a tribute to exiled Palestinians who kept the keys to their houses after Al-Nabka as a means to symbolize their eventual return. “Dub-Key” is a homonym for “dabkeh,” which is a reference to traditional Palestinian music and dance. The band originally consisted of Walaa Sbeit, Bruno Cruz and Sami Matar before Matar’s untimely death in September 2011. In 2013, Maysa Daw joined the band. Daw as well as Cruz and Sbeit are featured in Dumyeh Plastikieh. Responsibilities are divided between the members for music production. Sbeit is primarily responsible for the lyrical content, and occasionally the musical composition. As the band’s producer, Cruz oversees the musical composition. Cruz explains that all songs are produced in an independent home-studio. Daw, Sbeit and other collaborators engage in improvisational music sessions loosely based on written material. Daw explains: “[We] maybe practice [the songs] once or twice before the show and then whatever comes on stage, comes.” Cruz noted that “Dumyeh Plastikieh” took two days to write and record. A primary goal for the Ministry of Dub-Key is to use Palestinian reggae as a peaceful way to call for liberation while breaking Arab stereotypes. Daw states: “It’s a message of freedom… We want things to change.” Moreover, Cruz claims that the band uses a nonviolent form of resistance to challenge stereotypes imposed on Palestinians. Daw echoes this sentiment, saying, “It’s a way to show that Arabs are not as everybody thinks, to break the image of how people see us.”
Analysis The interview and song both highlight that Dumyeh Plastikieh is integrated with resistance themes that are inspired from the Rastafarian ideology. This is a noteworthy distinction from other resistance themes in Palestinian society. When discussing Dumyeh Plastikieh, Cruz repeatedly refers to ‘Babylon.’ Cruz describes Babylon as a powerful hegemonic force that controls political and societal processes. In Dumyeh Plastikieh, Daw expresses her resistance to Babylon in the chorus of the song, singing: “They want a plastic
doll, to talk like them, to walk like them… we will not be like the others.” Furthermore, Cruz and Daw both blame the perceived failure of the Arab Spring on ‘Babylon.’ Daw explains, “I don’t believe elections actually affect anybody… they are still being controlled by someone... stronger than them.” Cruz shares this sentiment, explaining: I thought that there might be a new future and democratic rule where the nation rules and everything becomes good. At the end of the day, Babylon isn’t going away. It was obvious that these big countries [hegemonic forces] will not allow the revolutions to continue, or successfully reach their goals. That is why they failed. The supposed failure of the Arab Spring is also expressed in Dumyeh Plastikieh, where Daw repeatedly expresses her rejection of a “theatrical performance” set up by an oppressive higher power. Creating dub music allows the band to produce music at a low cost while remaining independent of hierarchically structured organizations and recording studios. Dumyeh Plastikieh is a dub over an instrumental track known as “Prison Break.” It is unclear where this instrumental track originated, but it is widely shared between dub musicians and is free of copyright. Cruz explains the process of riddim sharing, where members of the international dub community share instrumentals and “10-15 songs are made out of one riddim and everyone sings it differently, as if it’s a competition.” The band dubbed over the instrumental, adding a Palestinian flute and accentuating the bass to accommodate for the dabkeh singing style. The ideologies expressed in Dumyeh Plastikieh, as well as the songwriting method employed by the band make the Ministry of Dub-Key alternative to mainstream media within Israel and Palestine. Cruz says, “It used to be that everything was commercial [about music] in this country, and Walaa and I are doing something completely different.” The opening lyrics of Dumyeh Plastikieh support this stance against commercialism by immediately acknowledging: “It’s true, I am no star on MTV… Hollywood doesn’t make a difference for me... I am a star, I am a star.” This verse highlights that the artists are independent from the mainstream, and do not wish to be a part of it. Dumyeh Plastikieh serves as the band’s counterhegemonic critique of Babylon. Cruz confirms this, saying: “[The song] talks about how society oppresses each one of us and tries to control how we should act, and how to fit into their specific image [of society].” The band’s rejection of control is articulated in the song’s lyrics: “I reject that my message will be tamed ... I am the one who is rejecting this theatrical performance [organized by authority figures].” In addition to the Ministry of Dub-Key’s counterhegemonic content, Daw explains that live performances are a crucial part of the band’s funding. Furthermore, concerts are an exclusive platform for the distribution of most of the 63
Media & Communication
band’s music, with the rare exception of recordings posted on SoundCloud and YouTube. Daw points out, “We are focused on the live shows.” The Ministry of Dub-Key’s live performances, combined with band’s resistance themes, introduce the notion that these performances are live protests against the oppressive “system.” The band sings and chants their political beliefs to their audience in a manner that bears striking similarities to the protests of the Arab Spring. Interestingly, the band has experienced some of the hardships also faced by protesters of the Arab Spring, including state censorship. Cruz recalls an incident concerning himself and Sbeit, saying:
Walaa and I have been arrested and went under investigation because of our music. Once, we had a show in the middle of Haifa. The police stopped us and accused us of inciting violence and terrorism, and this is as a result of music. Dumyeh Plastikieh also serves to express the band’s defiance in the face of these censorship attempts. Sbeit sings: “Raise a nest over a tree, for poetry, let the words fly like a bird.” These lyrics encourage fellow members of society to speak in defiance of censorship. The Ministry of Dub-Key’s audience is heavily inclusive of oppressed groups within Palestine and Israel. Cruz notes: “Every person that comes to our show found their own place and this is what made us unique… you can find 40 year olds, 20 year olds, you can find [homosexuals].” The band’s stance against the oppression of all people is expressed in Dumyeh Plastikieh. The lyrics read: “I am here to make people happy, I am of the people, to the people.” These lyrics show that the band claims to represent the struggle of marginalized people within Israeli and Arab society. Consequently, members of the civil society are making a political choice in choosing to attend these musical acts that defiantly reject all types of marginalization. Civil society is defined as the sphere that is not part of the family, state or market where people collaborate to promote a common interest. In this case, the common interest is resistance to all forms of oppression. The band’s live performances are a means for these oppressed members of civil society to mobilize. Cruz emphasizes that the band aims to represent all individuals who feel oppressed by Babylon, including those in the Middle East and beyond. In the past, state regulation made it difficult for members of the band to collaborate with artists across the Middle East. “[As an Israeli citizen] I was demanded not to connect with my brothers and sisters in Lebanon, Egypt, or in Jordan… I never imagined that I would be able to collaborate with different artists from Lebanon.” Cruz goes on to credit the rise of social media during the Arab Spring as a way for artists to circumvent state regulation and collaborate freely. Cruz considers collaboration as an important part for the band’s music, saying: “All of us are a part of one, whether it be Tunisia, Egypt, or anywhere.” The band’s nonlinear mode of production, the band’s collaborative nature and the events of the Arab Spring place the Ministry of Dub-Key’s genesis in context. Cruz notes
that the Arab Spring has encouraged musicians to overcome censorship and use social media to network with other musicians across the Middle East. Cruz explains that this process of networking lead him and Sbeit to collaborate with Toot Ard on several improvisational music-making sessions. Shortly afterward, Sbeit and Cruz were inspired to fuse Arabic-speaking reggae music with Palestinian folklore music to create something unique. These collaborations allowed for the spread of new, reggae-inspired ideologies. Moreover, these collaborations allowed for the incorporations of other musical genres. This is observed in Dumyeh Plastikieh, which incorporates hip-hop, dub, dabkeh, as well as traditional flute playing. Using the Internet, the Ministry of Dub-Key is able to stay grounded in Haifa while also remaining engaged in translocal networks of musicians outside Israel and Palestine. Translocal networks are “recognized by the fluid articulation of a diversity of alternative media organizations.” In this case, reggae music is fluid because it is repurposed across localities to create music that is personal to Jamaicans, Syrians, or Palestinians. This is exemplified in the production of Dumyeh Plastikieh. Using the “Prison Break” instrumental, the Ministry of Dub-Key is engaged with an online community of dub musicians. Furthermore, the band is able to stay locally grounded by singing in Arabic and incorporating instruments and musical styles associated with Palestinian folk music. Cruz claims that the band combines dabkeh with dub music in order to “[advance] Palestinian folklore music under the dabkeh and reggae style.” By fusing elements of traditional and foreign ideas, the band is able to express new ideas that are unique to either. For example, the Ministry of Dub-Key uses the Rastafarian concept of Babylon to speak out against all types of oppression; however, this is done in Arabic using elements of dabkeh music. As a result, some ideas and expressions are not necessarily customary in traditional Palestinian culture. Even within Palestinian culture, the Ministry of DubKey maintains its strong stance against oppression. Cruz claims, “I live a secular life… and I reject sectarianism.” In a time where Palestinians lack a unified leadership, the issue of secularism is a fundamental divide between the main two Palestinian political parties. Furthermore, Daw identifies misogyny as a serious issue in Palestinian culture that she opposes. Daw recalls an experience from a performance in a very conservative area in the West Bank: I was in Jordan Valley in the West Bank and I had a show there. I went on stage, and it was dabkeh and dub, and it was something that wasn’t so traditional, and it was an Arab girl on stage. So, after a few songs on stage, people from the village came and told us that I need to stop or they will stop the show for us. For me, this example was really one of the most important things that I’ve been through. The Ministry of Dub-Key makes a strong oppositional
statement to the conservative Palestinian crowd by presenting an unveiled female Arab who dances and sings about ideas that challenge traditional culture, including secularism and feminism. Furthermore, these ideas are expressed in a musical style that is familiar to a conservative audience, while also incorporating a completely foreign style of music. The band uses elements of traditional Palestinian culture as a means to directly challenge its values. Daw confirms this challenge and speaks on misogyny saying, “This is the kind of thing that I am trying to change through music.” Culture jamming is defined as “...the manipulation and/or recreation of existing cultural images” in a manner that leads to the same images taking on a distinctly altered, sometimes oppositional message. This is seen in the first verse of Dumiyeh Plastikieh, “Hollywood means nothing to me, I want HollyLod.” The lyrics demonstrate culture jamming by manipulating the heart of the American entertainment industry to represent “Lod,” the impoverished hometown of collaborator Suhel Naffar. This juxtaposes images of Hollywood’s wealth and glamour with images of oppression, violent crime and drug use that are associated with Lod. Daw explains, “It’s a city in a very bad condition.” Naffar glorifies the impoverished city as something that he considers to be truly glamorous, while indirectly undermining Hollywood as a part of the Babylon system. Anti-state protestors of the Arab Spring have also manipulated traditional media in order to undermine authority and oppression. In several Middle Eastern countries, vimages of dictators are used as a means to establish a cult of personality and to impose the dictator’s symbolic authority. Protesters of the Arab Spring repeatedly manipulate these portraits using superimposed slogans and photo editing in order to express rejection of that dictator’s control. In the
same manner, the Ministry of Dub-Key fuses traditional and nontraditional music as a means to challenge certain ideas associated with traditional Palestinian culture.
Conclusion & Future Research This analysis has explored links between the Ministry of Dub-Key and the events of the Arab Spring. This research suggests a parallel between the Ministry of Dub-Key’s live performances and the protests of the Arab Spring. Furthermore, the genesis of the band has been linked to the events of the Arab Spring, including the reduced barriers to collaborations and the creation of translocal networks. The practice of culture jamming as a means to challenge symbolic authority has been identified in the Ministry of Dub-Key’s music, and this is compared to the use of culture jamming during the Arab Spring. As of this research, the band has not achieved or triggered any tangible changes to the conditions of Palestinians living in Israel or those living under military occupation. In order to further understand whether the band’s specific goals of resistance have been achieved, further research must be done on a more intimate level. I was limited in this study due to my inability to travel to Haifa and connect with more Palestinian reggae musicians. I would encourage future researchers to interview more Palestinian reggae musicians and compare their goals of resistance, both with other Palestinian reggae musicians and Palestinian musicians of other musical genres. I would also encourage future researchers to interview fans of Palestinian reggae music in order to truly understand the extent at which Palestinian reggae music has actually achieved its self-professed goals.
Bibliography Adeni, Samra, and Ramzi Salti. "Music of the Arab Spring: Interview with Dr. Ramzi Salti." The Stanford Journal on Muslim Affairs 4, no. 1 (2014): 6-9. http:// stanford.edu/group/avicenna/cgi-bin/wordpress/ wp-content/uploads/2014/04/4.1-Music-of-theArab-Spring.pdf. Bailey, Olga Guedes, Bart Cammaerts, and Nico Carpentier. Understanding Alternative Media. McGraw Hill: Open University Press, 2007. Coyer, Kate Tony Dowmunt, and Alan Fountain. The Alternative Media Handbook. London: Routledge, 2007. Cruz, Bruno. (Producer, Ministry of Dub-Key), interview by the author via Viber, November 25, 2014, translated from Arabic by the author: http://vocaroo. com/i/s1LbyQXics58. Cruz, Bruno, Walaa Sbeit, Maysa Daw, Suhel Naffar, Mahmood Jrere, Mahmood Shalabi, and Adi Krayem. Dumyeh Plastikieh. Ministry of Dub-Key, 2012, MP3: https://soundcloud.com/dub-key/dumyehplastikieh. Cruz, Bruno, Mahmoud Jrere, Walaa Sbeit, Terez Silman and Toot Ard. El-Thawra El-Khadra. Ministry of Dub-
Key, 2012, MP3: https://soundcloud.com/dub-key/ sets/ministry-of-dub-key-records. Darko, Kwaku Asante. "Reggae Rhetoric and the PanAfrican Risorgimento." Mots Pluriels 1, no. 16 (2000). December 2000. Accessed November 28, 2014. http://motspluriels.arts.uwa.edu.au/MP1600kad. html. Daw, Maysa. (Vocalist, Ministry of Dub-Key), interview by the author via Skype, November 24, 2014: http:// vocaroo.com/i/s0Zox9qMn6W3. Fierke, K. M. "Who Is My Neighbour? Memories of the Holocaust/al Nakba and a Global Ethic of Care." European Journal of International Relations 20, no. 3 (2014): 787-809. Lybarger, Loren D. "Identity and Religion in Palestine: The Struggle between Islamism and Secularism in the Occupied Territories.” Journal of Islamic Studies 20, no. 3 (2009): 4. McDonald, David. My Voice Is My Weapon: Music, Nationalism, and the Poetics of Palestinian Resistance. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2013. Naffar, Suhel, Tamer Naffar, Mahmoud Jreri, Arye Avtan and Tam Cooper. Revolution (Inkilab), Ihda’, DAM,
2006, MP3: https://soundcloud.com/damrap/05inkilab. Sassoon, Joseph. "The Cult of Personality in the Arab World." (lecture, Levi Della Vida Conference 2012: “Structures of Personalized Power in the Modern Middle East: Presidents, Prime Ministers and Party Bosses,” University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, June 2012): http://web.international. ucla.edu/cnes/podcast/126401. Scheurer, Timothy E. American Popular Music: Readings from the Popular Press. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1989. Soengas, Xosé. "The Role of the Internet and Social Networks in the Arab Uprisings - An Alternative to Official Press Censorship." Scientific Journal of Media Education 21, no. 41 (2013): 147-55. doi:http:// dx.doi.org/10.3916/C43-2014-16. Tripp, Charles. “Art and the Arab Uprising.” (lecture, University of East London, London, 13 May 2012): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2jq8n-4WbI. Veal, Michael E. Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2007.
Andy Lamb | Illustration
Rethinking the Studio: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Social Networksâ€™ Role in Creative Development Sociology
Monica Prasad Faculty Advisor
The origin of personal creativity is a nuanced and frequently contested concept. This paper supports the idea that success in an arts field requires access to a network of tacit knowledge—that is, exposure to a set of perspectives, skills, trends, and language that are passed peer to peer. Drawing on the traditions of network analysis of innovation and qualitative study of creative development, I attempt to quantify the effect of locational network resources on creative career choice through the statistical analysis of 13,000 American high school students and their career trajectories. I hypothesized that the creativity and talent of students' surrounding workforce as well as their community’s size and urbanicity would impact their odds of pursuing a career in a creative industry. Overall, the hypothesis is supported: I found that network characteristics were indeed influential in producing creative individuals, to varying degrees. I elaborate on the unexpected significance of gender in revealing social influences and conclude by considering the nature of creative knowledge and by calling for the persistent update of related theories.
t was 1666, and Isaac Newton had recently left Cambridge seeking respite near his childhood home. Suddenly, while he contemplated the nature of stellar orbits in his garden, inspiration struck in the form a now infamous apple. Our modern theory of gravity was born. Or at least, that’s how the story goes. Now one of the most famous anecdotes in scientific history, Newton’s sudden spark of genius reflects our historical understanding of inspiration—a fleeting form of brilliance. Ancient Greek, Norse, and JudeoChristian beliefs tell a similar story, attributing inspiration to the voice of God or the Gods, while early psychologists and philosophers held to similarly grandiose explanations. These ideas may seem outlandish now, but the original stories have
framed how we conceptualize original thought for centuries, as thinkers continued to attribute creation to a spontaneous spark, or a divine talent shrouded in mystery. This paper will make the case for an objectively measurable and social cause for creativity—that any individual exposed to the right social conditions and influences may be predisposed for having creative ideas, and that the location in which one has grown up is enough to find a significant effect. Despite a historical tendency to attribute creative greatness to the muse, the genius, and the mysterious flash of Eureka, modern scholars often label innovation as the result of a series of appropriate conditions. This study will extend the theory to the childhood development of creative people. 67
Literature Review Cultural Production, Place, and Communities of Practice
According to geographer Allen Scott in The Cultural Economy of Cities, “even in a world where the ease and rapidity of communication have become watchwords, place is still uncontestably a repository of distinctive cultural conventions and traditions” (2000:4). Production of culture is concentrated in localized sets of firms and professionals, bringing with them a concentration of ideas, and a concentration of knowledge. Sociologists of knowledge continue the discussion of localized cultural information, most notably that artists and scientists are nearly always shaped by the contextual conditions they are born from (Mannheim 1952), and that art and science rely on norms that require a degree of socialization to common points of reference and expectation in order to communicate within the field (Mulkay 1972). Cultural history is replete with instances of creative and academic excellence flourishing within communities and geographic networks. Just as 19th and 20th century European cities famously housed numerous artistic and intellectual circles, Paris and Hollywood of today are home to film communities producing the bulk of creative work in those genres. In a 1989 paper Antoine Hennion likened recording music to executing scientific experiments, arguing that the innovations in individual pieces of music resulted in a field of musical knowledge. He writes, “Success is then not the mysterious leap to the public, but the last extension of an equation into which the public has been incorporated in many forms from the very beginning.” His argument is revealing in that artists do not work in isolation, but rather as a continuation of a larger artistic conversation (1989). Creative community likely functions similarly to scientific community, in that a work is a result of building off previously established works. Hennion’s paper ascribes to psychologist Robert Epstein’s generativity theory, the idea that new behavior is a result of building off previously established behaviors. As a result, communities may crop up to benefit from proximity and socialization around any industry, and, as Richard Florida notes, knowledge workers will want to cluster around those who are innovating in their disciplines (2002).
Network Analysis of Innovation
Though absent in analyzing creativity, the literature on innovation does employ quantitative social network analysis to explain emergence of good ideas. In 2000, Powell and Grodal outlined the link between informal ties among organizations and the resulting degree of innovation, as measured by the number of patents held by organizations (2000:65). In 2004, Burt conducts a similar study with managers in an electronics company (2004). Zucker, Darby and Armstrong found that links between regions with innovative, “star” biotechnologists at their universities were more likely to develop great researchers (1998). Uzzi found that in a study
of creators of post-War Broadway musicals, productions with intermediate industry clustering were associated with successful shows, while productions with low and high levels had less success (2008). Similar studies have found network significance in modernist architecture (Collins and Guillén 2012) and Canadian biotechnology (Eslami 2011). However no study has applied statistical reasoning to the networks of young creatives. Thus, I will utilize a measure sometimes applied to the analysis of innovation to its related sphere of personal creativity.
Methods The bulk of this paper is dedicated to the statistical analysis of the career trajectories of thirteen thousand American high school students. Based on several characteristics of their hometown or city, I analyze the likelihood of each student pursuing a creative career. I investigate whether childhood environmental factors predict creativity using a series of variables that serve as proxies for the size and quality of each student’s network— their community’s degree of creativity, level of talent, raw size, and urbanicity. The statistical data for this study are taken from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the United States Census Bureau, the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The analysis rests on the outcome of the IES’s Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), a national study of the fifteen thousand 10th graders sampled from 750 schools. All sample sizes have been rounded to the nearest ten, as per IES publication policy. All census data used in this study comes from the Equal Employment Opportunity tabulation of 2000. The data is organized by county according to the list of 509 detailed occupational categories composed for the 2000 census, though all counties with population of 50,000 or less are aggregated to create county sets of 50,000 or more. I am using the year 2000 census because it was conducted one year before the ELS:2002 students entered high school and will accurately represent students’ hometowns during childhood. The dependent variable, Career Choice, represents the ELS
students’ choice of either a creative or non-creative career, as indicated by the occupations held at age 26, eight years after graduating high school. By disregarding patents, awards, or other measures of success in constructing my dependent variable, I focus my analysis on the personal choices that lead to choosing a life in a creative discipline, and selfconcept rather than ability. For the purpose of this study, I am defining creativity in terms of the pursuit of a career in a creative field because (a) it is a traceable, concrete variable and (b) it involves a confidence and reliance on one’s creativity that is not exhibited in an individual who applies their creative mindset to a more conventional career. I limit the definition of “creative career” to artists and related workers, designers, actors, film producers and directors, dancers and choreographers, musicians, singers and related workers, writers, authors, and photographers. The independent variables for this study include Workforce Creativity, Graduate Degree Attainment, County Workforce Size, Patents per Capita, and Urbanicity. Workforce Creativity measures the relative level of creativity for each county, and represents the percentage of the county workforce employed in a creative field. I calculated this measure using employment statistics of the 2000 Census. To test the significance of talent within students’ communities, I also consider the achievement of graduate-level degrees among adult residents. Graduate Degree Attainment represents the percentage of the county workforce that holds a graduate degree, and is sourced from the Equal Employment Opportunity tabulation for 2000 as well. Although educational attainment may not be a perfect measure of talent, it is seen by many scholars as an effective proxy (Florida 2006; Florida, Gates, Knudsen and Stolarick 2006; Amirkhanian 2002; Pitingolo). Patents per Capita is a measure of the patents filed per resident of each state in 2000. Since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office only reports state-level data, this variable does not account for the differences between rural and urban state areas. County Workforce Size represents the size of the community relevant to each school’s location. The values used make up the employed population of the student respondents’ county according to the 2000 Census. Urbanicity (Table 3) is a characterization of the community type given to each school’s location. The variable categorizes each school as “urban,” suburban,” or “rural.” I introduced five controls to analyze the independent variables as accurately as possible. The Sex, Race, Region,
Table 1. Summary Statistics for the High School Student Respondents Career Choice: Regional Distribution. Note: Sample sizes rounded to the nearest 10, per Institute of Education Sciences requirements.
Table 3. Summary Statistics for ESL Student Respondents by Urbanicity. Note: Sample sizes rounded to the nearest 10, per Institute of Education Sciences requirements.
and Socio-Economic Status variables were implemented directly from the ELS:2002 codebook. Region is divided into four main areas: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West (Table 1). Socio-Economic Status is a composite variable constructed from parent questionnaire data in ELS:2002, focusing on occupational prestige, income, and education. I also controlled for the careers of respondents’ parents, coding occupations as either creative or non-creative. Sources of error for this data include individuals whose social networks are not limited to their hometowns, and individuals who moved to their high school district from another location. Nevertheless, I do expect their current environments to have some developmental effect. Controlling for these variables will introduce a selection bias for class and other factors related to moving homes and splitparent households. In addition, significant error may occur given the data’s aggregation of counties with less than 50,000 residents. Finally, the measure of urbanicity is imperfect in its reliance on three categorical groups. These limitations are unavoidable given the nature of the dataset, which is the only available information of this kind.
Data Analysis Hypotheses
1. If there are a high percentage of creative professionals in the respondent’s county, he or she is more likely to pursue a creative career. (Creativity Index) 2. If there are a high percentage of adults with graduate degrees in the respondent’s county, he or she is more likely to pursue a creative career. (Talent Index) 3. If there are more patents filed by the residents of the respondent’s state, he or she is more likely to pursue a creative career. 4. If the respondent lives closer to a city, he or she is more likely to pursue a creative career. 5. If there are a larger number of residents in a respondent’s county, he or she is more likely to pursue a creative career. (Network Size)
I will use statistical methods to analyze the three forms of aggregated quantitative data. To measure the effect of 69
environmental and social variables on the dependent variable, Career Choice, I conducted eleven logistic regressions of varying specificity. Seven are replicated here for the interest of brevity. These analyses use the independent variables to predict the binary outcome of pursuing a creative career or pursuing a non-creative career, according to my definition. A coefficient estimate represents the increment or decrement to the log-odds of having pursued a career in a creative industry by age 26, and this effect will be explained in basis points. The logit model is appropriate when predicting a binary outcome. Table 4 shows the results of logit models solely incorporating measures of Creativity and Education. Model 1 indicates on a basic level that the Workforce Creativity of a student’s environment is highly correlated to career outcome. For every 1 basis point increase in Workforce Creativity, the model shows a 43.328 basis point increase in the dependent variable. However Model 2 shows that much of the initial effect may be attributed to level of education, a collinear measure. While Workforce Creativity is significant at a 1% level in Model 1, with the introduction of an educational measure the variable is only significant at the 10% level in Model 2. In the new model, every 1 basis point increase in Workforce Creativity corresponds to a 13.970 basis point increase in the dependent variable, and for every 1 basis point increase in Graduate Degree Attainment, there is a 8.643 basis point increase in the dependent variable. This result signifies that while there is a high correlation between creative career choice and the presence of creative community members, part of that correlation is due to creative community members being present in counties with high levels of education. Establishing a correlation between Workforce Creativity and Graduate Degree Attainment with Models 1 and 2, we can begin to understand the relationship between creative class and other economic and social variables. It is reasonable to assume that the same factors that attract creative workers (cultural resources, liberal values, diversity of ideas) are in fact indicators of high socio-economic status: a measure that may have its own influence on the dependent variable. However, the existence of a residual effect after introducing education to the model implies that the creative community members are still significant actors. By further introducing variables and controls I aim to isolate the effect of network resources on students’ creative development. Models 3 and 4 show the outcome of the regression with all independent variables before and after three basic controls are introduced: Region, Sex, and Race. The regressions indicate that both Workforce Creativity and Graduate Degree Attainment do influence the production of creative individuals. With the addition of three controls, the Workforce Creativity measure becomes more significant. Returning p-values of .900 and .843, Race and Region show no statistical relationship with creative Career Choice. In order to more accurately measure the effect of network dynamics on career choice, I introduce a fourth control for the careers of respondents’ parents. By doing so I account for the effect and influence of parents who are also creative professionals on their children (Model 5). Interestingly, the
Sex control is significant with a p-value of nearly zero. The results indicate that, with a p-value of .924, in this sample Parent Career does not have a significant correlation to Career Choice. However its addition does have the outcome of increased accuracy of the primary variables. While controlling for Parent Career, Workforce Creativity is now significant at a 1% level. Graduate Degree Attainment is now significant at a 5% level, with a decreased coefficient of .144. Both the coefficient of Workforce Creativity and Graduate Degree Attainment decrease, indicating a more realistic representation of the effect. Because the respondent’s sex was found to be highly significant in Models 4 and 5, I conducted two regressions identifying the significance of each variable by sex. Models 6 and 7 reveal the significant difference in effect of each variable between male respondents and female respondents. Based on the results of these regressions, the effect of Workforce Creativity on Career Choice in previous models may be attributed almost entirely to the male respondents. As Model 6 shows, a one basis point increase in Workforce Creativity results in a 2.27 basis point increase in the dependent variable for male respondents. The result is significant at a 1% level. The female model reveals the opposite: no statistical relationship between presence of creative workers and female residents pursuing creative careers. The last model indicates that Graduate Degree Attainment is significant for female respondents, but not male. For every one basis point increase in Graduate Degree Attainment, Model 7 shows a .203 basis point increase in the log-odds of a female student choosing a creative career. There is no such effect for male respondents. The difference in results between male and female models suggests a community of creative peers has a higher influence on male students than female. Based on these results female students appear to pursue creative ambitions regardless. In addition, a community with a high level of talent has a greater influence on female students than male. Despite this disparity, the sexes are equally represented in the sample group of creatives, with only a 3% difference in total number. Overall, the network characteristics I used in this study did influence the career choices of high school students, to a mixed degree. My primary hypothesis was correct in that
Table 4. Linear Coefficients for Regression Analyses of Student Career Choice by County Workforce Measures.
the creative community members present in a student’s environment will predict creative career choice. My hypothesis did not account for its prediction of male career choice and not female, however. The hypothesis that level of education, which I used to approximate talent, would have an effect was also supported. While creativity was shown to influence male creative students, but not female, talent was shown to effect female students, but not male. Urbanicity appeared to have little effect on career choice, as did workforce size.
The disparity in network significance between creative men and women is an unexpected result, as the literature on creative knowledge and communities did not indicate a significant gender dynamic. There are several possible explanations. Many creative arts are perceived to have a feminine orientation, and men may be more likely to pursue them when other men lead by example, or in environments
With no conclusive evidence that sex role modeling explains the results, I consider the possibility that male students learn better by the example of others, while perhaps the female students found information from other sources. Though the research on this matter is often contradictory, several studies have pointed to the tendency of boys to learn by peer motivation (Honigsfeld 2001; Hong & Suh 1995; Pangiran-Jadid 1998), and girls by persistence (Lo 1994; Pergiran-Jadid 1998), quiet surroundings (Lam-Phoon 1986; Pizzo et al. 1990), and self-motivation ( Jenkins 1991; Lo 1994). The research community has not come to a conclusive agreement on this matter. Given the similarity to theories involving STEM careers, it is worth questioning how far outside the creative arts my results apply, or if the arts’ reliance on tacit knowledge truly forecasts a unique effect. Is it only creative career choice where males are influenced by network characteristics? Or only female-typed careers? Are men more likely to take advantage of mentorship opportunities of all kinds? It is possible that women glean information from other sources in
where male creative expression is normalized. The research on mentoring success tends to be anecdotal and qualitative, but shows that gendered perceptions of role models are influential to both college major choices, (Hackett, Esposito, and O’Halloran 1989) and attitudes toward careers (Savenye 1990: 10). It is likely that the gender of role models and mentors is significant in encouraging hopefuls in any discipline. The conversation begs comparison to the frequently questioned role of sex stereotypes and biases in discouraging women from traditionally male STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, as women and girls are significantly less likely to choose these careers than men (Drury, Siy and Cheryan 2011). According to a 2006 study, women in STEM tend to identify more with female role models who break negative stereotypes and demonstrate women’s ability to succeed in those fields (Lockwood 2006).
the absence of available professional mentors (Bolton 1980) due to various organizational and social barriers (Kram 1985; Ragins and Cotton 1991; Noe 1988). Although the findings show no statistical relationship between network size and creative career choice, the negative finding does not necessarily disprove the relevance of network size. It is likely, instead, that the measure is not an effective proxy for network size on an individual level. The size of an individual’s network is likely not based solely on the size of their hometown or county, but rather is influenced by other social indicators like disposition, school resources and parental connections. Borrowing from network analysis disciplines for a more accurate network size variable might lend itself to a superior method. Specifically, pointed survey questions regarding social ties could provide a better index for network embeddedness. The limited coding of Urbanicity
may have led to its insignificance. A reliable urbanicity measure might include distance from an urban center, population density, and community size. Future iterations of this study might perform the same analysis giving weight to the gendered makeup of each county’s creative workforce, as the equal or unequal representation of men and women in respondents’ communities may have influenced the results. In a unique survey dedicated to this topic, rather than the global issues in education, I would be able to analyze mentor relationships, weak ties, role models, issues of urbanicity, and moments of creative learning without the use of proxies. Finally, a significant turning point in creative arts has emerged since 2002 in the development of technology and the Internet. A longitudinal study investigating any difference between the ELS:2002 students and a class with greater exposure to the Internet might illuminate this effect.
Conclusion Network characteristics influence the production of creative individuals, however the presence of creative community
members appears to only have significant effect on male development. Likewise, the level of talent present in an individual’s community appears to only influence female development. I found the urbanicity and network size analysis to be based on insufficient proxies, while urbanicity may also be correlated to other, more significant factors. There is a gap in our understanding of the extent to which creatives are truly products of their environment. The synthesis of this paper’s methods reveals that though the literature supports this link, it is crucial to continue to question and update theories—especially given the unexpected disparity between male and female results. Examining the social nature of creative growth is essential in its consequence for how we form identities and personal goals, as well as where and how we value creation, production and expression. Through delicate and subtle influences, the people we know may impact our lives and careers not only by way of professional connections, but also in shaping our very skills and choices. The literature indicates that sheer embeddedness in a rich network will predispose innovative and creative thinking. My analysis suggests that the gendered nature of social and professional networks deserves a second look.
Bolton, Elizabeth B. 1980. “A Conceptual Analysis of the Mentor Relationship in the Career Development of Women.” Adult Education Quarterly 30(4): 195-207 Burt, Ronald S. 2004. “Structural Holes and Good Ideas.” American Journal of Sociology 110(2):349-99. Collins, Randall, and Guillén, Mauro F. 2012. “Mutual Halo Effects in Cultural Production: The Case of Modernist Architecture.” Theory and Society 41(6): 527-56. Drury, Benjamin J., Siy, John Oliver, and Cheryan, Sapna. 2011. “When do Female Role Models Benefit Women? The Importance of Differentiating Recruitment from Retention in STEM.” Psychological Inquiry 22(4): 259:269. Eslami, Hamidreza. 2011. “Effect of collaboration network structure on knowledge and innovation productivity: The case of biotechnology in Canada.” Masters thesis, Concordia University, Chicago, IL. Florida, Richard L. 2002. The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. New York, NY: Basic. Hackett, G., Esposito, D., and O’Halloran, M. S. 1989. “The Relationship of Role Model Influences to the Career Salience and Educational and Career Plans of College Women.” Journal of Vocational Behavior 35(2): 164-180. Hennion, Antoine. 1989. “An Intermediary between Production and Consumption: The Producer of Popular Music.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 14(4):400-24. Sage Publications. Hong, E. and Suh, B. K. 1995. “An Analysis of Change in Korean-American and Korean Students’ Learning Styles.” Psychological Report 76: 691-699. Honigsfeld, A. M. 2001. “A Comparative Analysis of the Learning Styles of Adolescents from Diverse Nations
by Age, Gender, Academic Achievement Level, and Nationality.” Ph.D. dissertation, St. Johns University. Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI-A 62/03): 969. Jenkins, C. 1991. “The Relationship Between Selected Demographic Variables and Learning Environmental Preferences of Freshman Students of Alcorn State University.” Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Mississippi. Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International (53(01)): 28A. Kram, K. E. 1985. Mentoring at Work: Developmental Relationships in Organizational Life. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Co. Lam-Phoon, S. 1986. “A Comparative Study of Learning Styles of South-East Asian and American Caucasion College Students of Two Seventh-Day Adventist Campuses.” Ph.D. dissertation, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. Lo, H. M. 1994. “A Comparative Study of Learning Styles of Gifted, Regular Classroom, Resource Room/ Remedial Program Students in Grades 3 to 5 in Taiwan, Republic of China.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO. Lockwood, P. 2006. “‘Someone Like Me Can Be Successful’: Do College Students Need Same-Gender Role Models?’ Psychology of Women Quarterly 30: 36-46. Mannheim, Karl. 1952. Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Mulkay, M. J. 1972. The Social Process of Innovation: A Study in Sociology of Science. London, England: Macmillan Publishers. Noe, R. A. 1988. “An Investigation of the Determinants of Successful Assignment Mentoring Relationships.”
Personnel Psychology 41: 457-479. Pengiran-Jadid, P. R. 1998. “An Analysis of Learning Styles, Gender, and Creativity of Bruneian Performing and Non-performing Primary and Elite and Regular School Students and their Teachers’ Teaching Styles.” Ph.D. dissertation, St. John’s University, New York, NY. Pizzo, J., Dunn, R, and Dunn, K. 1990. “A Sound Approach to Reading: Responding to Students’ Learning Styles.” Journal of Reading, Writing, and Learning Disabilities International 6: 249-260. Powell, W.W. and S. Grodal. 2000. “Networks of Innovators” in The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, J. Fagerberg, D.C. Mowery, and R.R. Nelson, editors. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press: 56-85. Ragins, Belle Rose, and Cotton, John L. 1991. “Easier Said than Done: Gender Differences in Perceived Barriers to Gaining a Mentor.” The Academy of Management Journal 34(4): 939-951. Savenye, Wilhelmina C. 1990. “Role Models and Student Attitudes Toward Nontraditional Careers.” Educational Technology Research and Development 38(3): 5-13. Scott, Allen John. 2000. The Cultural Economy of Cities: Essays on the Geography of Image-producing Industries. London, England: SAGE Publications. Uzzi, Brian. 2008. “A Social Network’s Changing Statistical Properties and the Quality of Human Innovation.” Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 41. Zucker, L.G., M.R. Darby, and J. Armstrong. 1998. “Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?” Economic Inquiry 36(1):65-86.
Sunday, barī* Sunday: . An Ethnography of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago The People, the Services, the Music Conner Singh VanderBeek Musicology Asian Studies
Inna Naroditskaya Faculty Advisor
The Sikh temple is a gateway to Punjab and a glimpse into the region’s native religious practice. Stepping into a gurdwara transports one into all gurdwaras, into spaces of worship constructed around mutual reverence and recitation of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. Moreover, gurdwaras act as the nuclei of Punjabi communities around the world, providing spaces for gathering, comingling, worshiping, and eating together. The Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago is the smallest gurdwara I have ever attended, but its sense of cohesion is only strengthened by its size. » *“baṛī” translates loosely in Punjabi to “oh” or “very.” Oh Sunday, very Sunday.
he anxieties of Sikhs surrounding the propagation of their language and culture are apparent, on a local scale, in religious services and manifest, in a broader context, through sacred music. The community’s relationship to native, scriptural, and local languages is illustrated by how it attempts to translate the sacred word to its congregation, which varies by how large and well-equipped their gurdwara is. Music, which is the primary means through which the Guru Granth Sahib is conveyed, is an extension of this conflict; just as Sikhs born outside of India grapple with their understanding of Sikhism, musicians perform the hymns of the holy book (kīrtan) without fully knowing the rules written within. The strength of Punjabi-Sikh culture in each gurdwara is visible through its treatment of this multilayered dynamic of language and religious and musical practice— especially in Chicago, where the congregation’s fear of losing their culture is mirrored by the lack of translation in services.
Musicology & Asian Studies
On a humid Sunday afternoon in early June, 2015, Bhai Thirat Singh—as he does every week after completing the Anand Sāhib, or song of bliss of the Sikh daily litany—pushes down the keys of his harmonium as he closes the instrument’s bellows, letting out excess air and an out of place cluster chord just loud enough to register on the four speakers set up about the corners of the hall. An elderly woman in the congregation glances over at one of the men on the opposite side of the room, and, holding up one arm, commands, “Āh pakka chalāo.” Turn on this fan. Someone else eventually does. Today is June 7: the first Sunday of the month and the day the congregation takes its annual trip to a large Sikh temple in Indiana. Komal sāhib is not present that day to do the announcements, so the relatively sparse thirty-five of us who stayed behind in the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago that stuffy Sunday afternoon draw the curtain around the seat of the Sikh holy book without first hearing his voice. Bhai Thirat Singh—gyanī jī (priest) to the congregants— and the two musicians beside him pack up their instruments: gyanī jī his harmonium, harmonium to his right, tabla to his left, the three forming the standard two-harmonium, onetabla troupe of rāgī-jatte, or Sikh musicians. He announces to the Guru Granth Sahib, or Sikh holy book, that the congregation has come together and sang songs in praise of God. Gyanī jī is now standing in front of the akāl tākht, or seat of the holy book, moving from the song of bliss to a solemn, unaccompanied song built on text excerpted from the Sukhmanī Sāhib, a major passage from scripture. We stand and sing along: ਤੂ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਤੁਮ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ।। Tū t.hākur tum pah ardās. ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ।। Jī'u pind.u sabhu terī rās. “You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer. /
This body and soul are all Your property,” and so on. Following this is the Ardās, a mostly fixed-text, spoken prayer recited by the gyanī that evokes the ten Sikh Gurus, the martyrs of the faith, the five most significant gurdwaras in India and the two most such in Pakistan, and (this being the variable portion) the family whose donation made this service possible. The congregation bows at the end of this prayer then rises once again to sing the Dohrā, a call-and-response song between gyanī and all else that confers authority first to the Guru Granth Sahib and next to the Khalsa panth, or community of baptized Sikhs. “Bole, so nīhāl!” the gyanī then sings strongly on a single note, and the congregation sings back, “Sat srī akāl!” Speak, and be blest: True is the Eternal. Everyone sits, and the gyanī, now seated behind the holy book, reads a random passage from the Guru Granth Sahib (hukamnamā, or command), the conclusion of the passage marking the end of the service. In Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib is the center of worship, and the sacred word is a language elevated above speech, into song. The word “gurdwara” literally means door (dwārā) to the Guru, and each gurdwara installs the sacred text as the object of devotion and embodiment of God, the True Guru. The holy book is placed on a literal pedestal, being elevated on a seat in the akāl tākht (eternal throne) and thus ensuring that it is the most raised object in the room. Given the spatial constraints of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago, this rule is not exactly followed; the benches along the walls for the handicapped stand slightly taller than the akāl tākht, but compromises—despite breaking orthodox rules—are necessary in such small gurdwaras of predominately elderly attendees. The flow of the day is dictated according to daily attendance to the Guru Granth Sahib, be it the morning installation of the Guru on the throne (prakāsh), the main service—which consists of songs with text taken directly from the holy book (kīrtan) and the set sequence of songs and prayers (described above)—or the evening transfer of the Guru Granth Sahib to a side room to rest (rehrās). Etiquette in the presence of the Guru is also carefully constructed: one
“Sikhs are united by scripture, musical practice, language, and common ancestry. Theirs is the tradition inherited from Guru Nanak, incubated in Punjab and crystalized in migration.”
Conner Singh Vanderbeek | Photo
The main hall of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago prior to the removal of the dome above the Akal Takht.
must sit on the floor (which can be difficult for the elderly) with head covered (which small children often disobey), with no eating in the presence of the guru (though snacks are placed on the back table during services). Despite these implied contradictions in externalized religious reverence in the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago, these transgressions are kept away from the immediate space surrounding the Guru Granth Sahib, thus never polluting the Guru itself. One must behave in the gurdwara as if the Guru Granth Sahib were alive, and God himself were observing the hall’s happenings. The Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurbān.ī, which literally means word (bān.ī) of the guru. It consists of the writings of six of the ten gurus, Sant poet-saint Kabir, and various pre-Sikh Hindu and Sufi devotional poets. Gurbān.ī is not a distinct language but rather a centuries-long collection of north Indian devotional poetry influenced by Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, and local vernacular, and written in Gurmukhi script. In popular use, Gurbān.ī (interchangeable with bān.ī) refers to texts canonized by the Gurus, understood as the word of God. Its recitation, therefore, mandates an untranslated treatment above normal speech (like Islam) that is understood explicitly as music (unlike Islam) called kīrtan. According to Dr. Gobind Singh Mansukhani, hearing and singing kīrtan cleanses and nourishes the soul, instills virtues in the listener, and brings them in direct contact with the Divine. Through this communal musical practice, Sikhs achieve darśan; in Hinduism, darśan is achieved through
beautification of an image of a deity, invoking that god or goddess to inhabit the object and look back at the devotee. For Sikhs, darśan is a sonic connection with God through remembrance of his name (nām japn.ā) and recitation of his word. Gurbān.ī, in other words, is not a functional or conversational language but a collection of sacred, poetical scriptures, and the word of God and Gurus is meant to be conveyed in song, not speech. Gurbān.ī, then, is as much a scriptural body as it is a musical tradition—the Guru Granth Sahib contains prescriptions on how to construct the musical settings of songs, though the majority of Sikhs do not know the finer details of this practice. This paper is an ethnography of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago through its Sunday services and a study of kīrtan’s function and composition within this gurdwara and in Sikhism. It is the result of roughly two and a half years of research on Sikh history, music, and contemporary practice. My main period of fieldwork was between January 27, 2013, and May 4, 2014, during which time I attended most Sunday services at the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago. I also visited the gurdwara on three Wednesdays (the 6th, 13th, and 20th of February, 2013), including one evening service. I tracked the rotation of rāgīs and recorded parts of each group’s performance at least once using my handheld recorder, enabling me to later transcribe and study each group's musical practice. I compare śabads (kīrtan songs) I heard in Chicago with online recordings of the same verses. Conversations and 75
Musicology & Asian Studies
Conner Singh Vanderbeek | Photo
The Golden Temple in Amritsar, the iconic and holiest site of Sikhism.
interviews were in a combination of Punjabi and English, and occasionally, Hindi. Translations of those are my own, but I rely on the official, orthodox-approved translation of the Guru Granth Sahib, as I am fluent in Punjabi but not Gurbān.ī. Additional source material includes a five-week period of research on the Punjabi-Sikh community of Brampton, Ontario, during July to August of 2014, a month of fieldwork in Punjab visiting more than a dozen historical, neighborhood, and rural gurdwaras in November of 2014, and intermittent attendance at the Chicago gurdwara between January and June of 2015. I draw frequent comparisons between the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago and temples throughout northern California, Brampton, New Delhi, and Punjab, as all these sites trace their genealogical and musical roots back to Punjab. Moreover, the practice of Sikhism is surprisingly uniform throughout the world; the first North American gurdwara was established in Stockton, California, in 1912, marking barely over a century of Sikhism in the continent today. In other words, Sikh dispersal from India is a relatively recent phenomenon, and the focal points of Punjab and the Golden Temple in Amritsar render Sikhism a transnational neural network whose center of transmission is unquestionably the homeland. This is reinforced by radio, television, and internet broadcasts of services held at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, produced by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SPGC, est. 1925), , or
the orthodox administration in charge of Sikhism’s holiest sites in India. The SGPC published the orthodox guide to Sikhism (the Sikh Rahit Maryādā, a document central to this paper) in 1950, compiled the globally-circulated version of the Guru Granth Sahib, and cemented the official structure of Sikh services. Understanding mainstream Sikhism and its global uniformity is impossible without knowing the instrumental role the SGPC has played in systematizing Sikhism. The primary objective of this paper is to show how, through an examination of the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago and the music performed within, we can see Sikhism as a global religion that expands the borders of Punjab beyond the northwest corner of India, creating a piece of the homeland wherever there is a gurdwara. Comparisons between the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago and other Sikh temples throughout North America and the world reveal an impressive consistency in worldwide Sikh practice, from the structure and music of services, to the food served afterward, to the anxieties of preserving a religious culture inextricably tied to a language whose future is uncertain. Part I begins with (1) a thick description of the layout of the temple, first in the physical setup of the space, then of the congregation (sangat). Next is (2) the Sunday service and how it compares to other gurdwaras. I then move to (3) a discussion of the relationship between generation and language in the gurdwara, how the size and relatively old age of the sangat all but precludes
English from services, and how the Chicago Sikh temple’s adherence to orthodox rules of religious practice is limited by its physical size. In part II, I move to (1) the music of Sikhism and the rules of its composition, followed by (2) songs performed in the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago and how they differ from performances of Sikh kīrtan found online, in India, and from Sikh-written sources on musical practice. I argue that Sikh kīrtan, though it is rooted in the Indian classical system, is an informal musical genre that the status of Sikh education in the diaspora today: decentralized, varying from gurdwara to gurdwara. I include transcriptions and analyses of some of the songs cited.
Conclusion Sikhism, as a world religion, is unique in that the vast majority of its adherents are Punjabi-speakers. The faith, perhaps, is not old enough yet to have diverged from its original language, or it is in a moment of globalization that has deemed its cultural centers not only major cities in Punjab but also Southall, Brampton, Yuba City, San Jose. Sikhism is a global religion as much as Punjabi is become its lingua franca, allowing a half-Punjabi raised in California to access a Sikh community in Chicago with equal conversational comfort as with British Punjabis raised in Kenya and rural Punjabis who never left India. Punjab is not confined to a region in South Asia; Punjab is an idea nurtured by Sikhs both at home and in diaspora and exile, Sikhs who cook the same food in every gurdwara and sing the same songs around the world, paving the same path to God and projecting a personal vision of the homeland that often ignores that there is more to Punjab than Sikhism and mustard fields. This idea extends beyond the five rivers implied by Punjab's name to include the Feather, Humber, and Thames, and it shows that home is wherever there is a gurdwara. Through the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago, we see a picture of Sikhism in the world: steadfast in its practice, though
fearful of its future. Sikhs throughout the diaspora grapple with how to perform their faith amongst their colleagues and for their children, and they deem their children and grandchildren’s fluency in Punjabi a hallmark of their success as parents. What struck me most about this gurdwara is how familiar it felt to me upon my first visit, and how, through acquaintanceship with gurdwara, I have gained access to Sikhism around the world. Whether I step foot in Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar in Brampton or the neighborhood gurdwara in Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, I see the same brand of Sikhism, beginning with the orange flag with blue khand.ā. Though these gurdwaras are separated by oceans, vast expanses of land, decades since departure from Punjab, and though exact schedules and timetables of services may vary from temple to temple, these Sikhs are united by scripture, musical practice, language, and common ancestry. Theirs is the tradition inherited from Guru Nanak, incubated in Punjab and crystalized in migration. The musicians and priests of Sikhism flow straight from Punjab, maintaining the direct tie to the motherland that is integral to Sikh ethnic identity. Often times they arrive in their new country with little to no knowledge of that country’s language, living on the sponsorship of gurdwaras in areas of residence that are ostensibly extensions of Punjab. Their musical training, formal or informal, is built upon the Indian classical system, though their songs contain elements of folk music and pedagogy: the benefits of Sikh kīrtan are amplified when its listeners sing along, so the informal system that constitutes kīrtan is accordingly simple and accessible. By these terms, anyone, indeed, can do kīrtan, provided it is postured as an open practice. The language barrier between gyanīs and their host countries, along with how orthodox regulations on the faith should be interpreted, are but two facets of translation of Sikhism that sangats around the world are trying (or not) to resolve, and the successes of these efforts will reveal themselves in generations to come. Time will also tell how the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago chooses to adapt to the self-contradictory weight of its miniscule size.
Bibliography English Literature Appeal-Democrat Staff Report. "Up to 100,000 Expected for Sikh Festival This Weekend." Appeal-Democrat. Freedom Communications, November 2, 2012, http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/sikh120777-weekend-parade.html (accessed March 16, 2013). Dhavan, Purnima. When Sparrows Became Hawks: The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition, 1699-1799. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Doabia, Harbans Singh (compiler), Sacred Nit Nem: Original Gurkmuhki, Romanized English Translation and Summaries. Mai Sewan, Amritsar: Sikh Brothers. 1979. Dusenbery, Verne, “The Word as Guru: Sikh Scripture and the Translation Controversy,” History of Religions, Vol. 31, No. 4, Sikh Studies. May 1992, in JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1062801 (accessed
Febuary 16, 2013). Grewal, J.S. and S.S. Bal. Guru Gobind Singh: a biographical study. Chandigarh: Punjab University. 1967. Kapoor, Sukhbir Singh. Guru Granth Sahib: An Advance Study, vol 1. New Delhi: Hemkunt Press, 2002. Khalsa, Sant Singh, trans. English Translation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, 3rd edition. Tuscon: Hand Made Books. PDF. Available at http://new.sgpc.net/ downloads/. Mansukhani, Gobind Singh, Indian Classical Music and Sikh kīrtan. Unpublished, 1982. McLeod, W.H., trans. and ed. Textual sources for the study of Sikhism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990. Protopapas, Janice Eyer. Sikh Śabad Kīrtan: The Musicology of Sacred Memory. Patiala: Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2013.
Rinehart, Robin. Debating the Dasam Granth. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Sikh Rehat Maryada: Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions. From Sikh Religious Society of Chicago website, http://www.srsofchicago.com/index.html (accessed May 6, 2014). Sikh Gurdwara and Shrines Act of 1925. http:// punjablaws.gov.pk/laws/33.html (accessed 28 November 2014). Punjabi and Gurbān.ī Literature Sikh Rāhit Maryādā. Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, 1950. PDF. Singh, Dial. Gurmat Sangīt Sāgar Āsā Dī Wār Te Śabad. New Delhi: Guru Nanak Vidiya, 1984. Siri Guru Granth Sahib. PDF. Available at http://new. sgpc.net/downloads/.
Ulrich Scheel | Photo
Kafka and the Incomprehensible: A Paradox of Interpretation and its Resolution
Jake Romm Philosophy
Rachel Zuckert Faculty Advisor
Kafka’s (posthumous) success as an author is a strange phenomenon. His body of work includes three unfinished novels, a number of short stories and an even larger number of parables ranging anywhere from a few sentences to five pages. The oddity of his success lies in the fact that, while his work is so widely interpreted, no one has yet to agree on an interpretation. Some even go so far as to argue that the act of interpretation itself is impossible, or that Kafka’s work is an allegory for such an impossibility (Benjamin, “Franz Kafka: On the Tenth Anniversary of His Death”). Yet despite this disagreement, people still try to understand and interpret Kafka. And almost all interpretations of Kafka are of the same nature—allegorical. The interpretation of Kafka’s work (as being about incomprehensibility) raises interesting philosophical problems, as I will argue using Guy Sircello’s essay on the theory of the sublime. I will also argue that Theodor Adorno’s interpretation of Kafka’s work also deals with incomprehensibility in a philosophically interesting way, but avoids the concerns raised by Sircello’s argument.
Kafka Assuming the Interpretive Space
There is a short story by Kafka entitled “Give It Up!” in which a man asks a police officer for directions to a train station. The office replies, “‘Give it up! Give it up!’ and turns “with a sudden jerk, like someone who wants to be alone with his laughter” (Kafka, The Complete Stories, 456), and the story ends. The only events that occur are the request and the reply, and yet, despite the mundanity of the story, there is something oddly compelling, oddly enticing about it. The initial reaction of the reader is not “this is simply a story about a man who cannot get directions.” Rather, the initial stance of the reader is one of curiosity—“why can’t he get directions?” “why is it so funny to the officer that the man would ask?” The reader is then prompted to try to find answers to these
questions, that is, to interpret. Kafka has the ability to orient the reader towards interpretation, regardless of the content of his stories. Furthermore, Kafka has the special ability to orient his readers toward allegorical interpretation. The question is, how does Kafka arouse this desire for interpretation, and why specifically this kind of interpretation? Based on the formal elements of his writing, it would appear that Kafka is actually pushing us away from interpretation. The language Kafka uses is simple; his prose is clear and almost completely devoid of linguistic ambiguities. Indeed, much of his writing reads like an official document, written to provide as faithful and as precise an account as possible. His stories are devoid of historical or geographical 79
context as well; almost none of his stories (with the exception of the novel, Amerika) provide a clue as to where or when the events described are taking place. There are scarcely any mentions of real-world locations, and no mentions of historical events (although some have interpreted stories, like “The Bucket Rider”, as historical fiction) (Adorno, Prisms, 257). Nor do any of his characters demonstrate any sort of psychology beyond the surface level. Given the third person narration that Kafka tended to employ, one would expect a certain degree of omniscience, and therefore a certain insight into characters’ thoughts and motivations. But Kafka does not grant us anything beyond simple statements like, “K. was disconcerted” (Kafka, The Castle, 14), statements that are so obvious from the situation the character is in, or the actions of the character that they do nothing to add to an internal picture of the character. It would appear as if the answer to our question would have to lie in some other, hidden element of Kafka’s writing, as, on the surface, he offers little more than a factual telling of fictional events. The matter-of-factness of Kafka however, is precisely the answer to our question. Kafka has created a contextless world. A world devoid of geographical and historical context populated by characters without subjective context. Indeed, even the laws of time and space seem suspended—or at least they operate in different ways than they do in our world. Consider the nightmarish “A Country Doctor” in which a doctor rides his horse to his patient “ten miles off ” and gets there almost instantaneously, but when trying to make the return journey laments “Never shall I reach home at this rate” (Kafka, The Complete Stories, 225). The laws of time and space contract and contort, keeping characters and readers suspended in mid air—not knowing which way is up, and how long they have been there. Because of the suspension of context, there is nothing left except the rules by which Kafka’s world is governed. In essence, Kafka has created a copy of our world in which his bizarre and unrecognizable rules are substituted for ours. The laughing reply of the officer in “Give It Up!” prompts us toward interpretation not just because it is so odd, but because it also is perfectly natural within the confines of the story. Of course one cannot get directions to the rail station— it fits perfectly within the confines of Kafka’s system. Interpretation is prompted out of this oddity. It is the unfreedom of Kafka’s world, its bizarre and strict rules, its contextless math-like precision that needs to be explored. Each story, through the formal elements of Kafka’s writing, offers up a puzzle to be solved—not, “What motivates these characters,” or, “Why did he say that?” but rather, “What are the rules of this character’s world? What dictates their behavior?” One can now see how Kafka arouses the desire for interpretation, but the subordinate question of why allegorical interpretation still remains. The answer here also lies within the contextless nature of Kafka’s world. Because Kafka’s world exists outside of time, space and subjectivity, each story can be abstracted into a different setting. Each one is a void to be filled with whatever meaning one wants, and with that context, the rules of his world can be likened to any forces
requiring interpretation in our world. Kafka’s characters are objects without personalities, without real freedom, and without any meaningful psychological traits of their own. Because of this they can assume any guise—they can be fitted into any situation. Because one cannot really analyze any character’s actions however (because of their lack of choice) it is only the rules and logic of Kafka’s world that are at stake. Any autonomy or psychological depth on the part of Kafka’s characters would impinge upon one’s ability to abstract them into different situations.
The Incomprehensibility Interpretation
The multiple interpretability of Kafka’s stories and their odd blankness means that any interpretation will run up against an alternate interpretation that holds just as much validity, thus ensuring that no interpretation can be proven to be correct, and that every interpretation, to some degree, fails. This is not to say however, that every single interpretation of Kafka’s work is equally valid or invalid. Those not rooted in the text or those which ignore glaring inconsistencies are obviously not as important as those that strive for consistency and amass a telling, and large body of evidence. Thus, it is potentially fruitful to interpret Kafka’s work as an allegory precisely for the inaccessibility of, or absence of truth. Indeed, it is attractive to interpret Kafka as both writing about the incomprehensible, and being incomprehensible—as possessing the very incomprehensibility and inaccessibility that is the message. According to this interpretation, Kafka presents a world in which truth is unattainable; indeed, even the most basic of things, like walking into the next room or speaking to another person present themselves as impossible tasks. One of Kafka’s aphorisms reads as follows: “The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows” (Kafka, The Zurau Aphorisms, Aphorism 32). One could argue that, more than any of his stories, this aphorism provides the greatest insight into how Kafka conceived of truth. The crows in the aphorism destroy heaven wherever they go, but heaven is a movable locale, it is simply the absence of crows. So it is, one could say, with truth in Kafka’s world. If one claims to understand truth, then one has not understood anything at all, because truth is precisely the absence of understanding. This, of course, leads to another paradox, namely, that if one recognizes truth as incomprehensible, then one has comprehended it and it is therefore not incomprehensible, thus it was never truth at all. In other words, the closer one gets to the goal of truth, the further away one gets. Conversely, the further away one gets (understanding that it is incomprehensible), the closer one gets, and then the further away one becomes again. This inaccessibility breeds an inevitable non-arrival at the heart of most Kafka stories. In almost every story Kafka’s characters cannot possibly get to their destination or goal, frustrated by either unknown and infinitely powerful forces, or the most mundane of forces, that of paperwork, like the case of Kafka’s “Poseidon”, in which the god Poseidon is
“Indeed, even the laws of time and space seem suspended—or at least they operate in different ways than they do in our world.”
unable to realize his dream of riding across the seas that he rules, burdened by too many files. Or K. from The Castle, who cannot meet with the officials he desperately wants to because of insufficient documentation, foolish assistants, and childish, fragile bureaucrats (almost all “officials” in Kafka’s world are portrayed as churlish, delicate and immature). One could also argue that this same interpretation applies to the act of interpretation itself. The main event of “Before The Law” is the denial of entry, which is to say, it is a non-event. Nothing happens, which is precisely the point when the story is viewed in light of this allegory. The Law becomes a symbol of the story itself, or perhaps for all of Kafka’s stories. One seeks to interpret Kafka’s stories (to gain entry to them), and even though each interpretation is one’s own and therefore made for the interpreter (just like the entrance to the Law was made only for the man), one is always denied. And just like the exponentially increasing power of each subsequent doorkeeper, each interpretation only forces a second interpretation ad infinitum into absolute opacity—which is exactly where the story began in the first place (“Before the Law” begins with waiting, and ends with waiting). Kafka’s work is so opaque that it shares the very inaccessibility that one claims the stories are about.
The Sublime Epistemic and Ontological Transcendence
To read Kafka in this manner however, is to take up a paradoxical position. One is committed to arguing that Kafka’s stories all act as allegory for the failure of interpretation, or for the failure of allegory. Alexander Nehamas, in his essay “The Postulated Author: Critical Monism as a Regulative Ideal”, refers to this position as both a “paradox of method” and a “paradox of content”. As he writes, if both the goal and content of Kafka’s work are to be incomprehensible, “it succeeds in communicating it, it communicates that it fails to communicate; and if it fails, since this failure is what it communicates, it succeeds!” (Nehamas, Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary and Classic Readings:
An Anthology, 262). Kafka’s work cannot simultaneously be incomprehensible and about incomprehensibility—or it cannot be an allegory for the failure of allegory. If the method is incomprehensibility, then the content is necessarily obscured and inaccessible. Given the odd nature of his work however, perhaps the only realistic position one can take up when reading Kafka is a paradoxical one. But, as I shall now argue using Guy Sircello’s essay, “How Is a Theory of the Sublime Possible?”, this position, despite its appeal, is untenable and of no philosophical interest. Sircello’s essay is less about the sublime in general than it is about a specific understanding of the sublime—the sublime as an experience that transcends human reason. Such sublime experience, Sircello argues, has the property of “epistem[ic] transcendence”1. Epistemic transcendence is when “human mental powers in general are revealed (in the experience of moment) to have radically limited access to what, provisionally and for want of a more precise designation, I'll call ‘reality’” (Sircello, 543). The idea of epistemic transcendence is not entirely problematic when taken by itself. It assumes only that we have limited access to reality (or, limited access to meaning) “in the experience of moment.” Thus, it is entirely plausible, that, upon further reflection or upon taking a different route toward meaning, or toward understanding the object of sublime experience, we could resolve the epistemic transcendence and have knowledge of what was previously beyond us. The problem that arises for Sircello, is when the idea of epistemic transcendence is combined with a sense of permanence and the claim that “it is perfectly clear that to claim to see into the limitations of human powers of knowledge and description is somehow to transcend those limitations” (Sircello, 543). If epistemic transcendence is permanent, that is, the object in question “is inaccessible to the epistemic powers of human beings, something on a level of being... which transcends that of humankind and all of humankind's possible environments, natural and cultural” (Sircello, 545). This Sircello labels “ontological transcendence” (Sircello, 545). Ontological transcendence entails epistemic transcendence, but the opposite does not
1. Sircello uses the phrase “epistemological transcendence” which I have corrected here to “epistemic transcendence”. It is not objects or experiences that go beyond a theory of knowledge that we are concerned with, but rather things that go beyond knowledge itself. All subsequent uses, in quotes or otherwise, will be “epistemic”.
hold true. Ontological transcendence is simply epistemic transcendence rendered permanent and total. As ontologically transcendent, object of sublime experience is entirely beyond our mental powers to the point where it exists on an entirely inaccessible level of being. The problem with ontological transcendence is that “it is impossible to have any kind of experience at all that presents an object or realm that is in no way epistemically accessible” (Sircello, 546-547). If the object of sublime experience is entirely and permanently beyond our epistemic capabilities, then it is incoherent to assert that we have recognized something as ontologically transcendent— it is incoherent to say anything about it at all. Ontological transcendence precludes the possibility of an experience.
Problems With The Incomprehensibility Interpretation
How does all of this relate to Kafka? Because the interpretation of Kafka offered in the previous section deals with Kafka’s opacity and inaccessibility it is fruitful to discuss Kafka as fitting in to this notion of the sublime—this notion being, the sublime as a transcendent experience. Kafka’s text, according to the incomprehensibility interpretation, is not just epistemically transcendent, it is also ontologically transcendent. It is not ontologically transcendent in the sense that it exists outside of our reality, but that it is “in no way epistemically accessible”. We are faced again with Nehamas‘ paradoxes of method and content. In Sircello’s terms, it is incoherent to say that Kafka’s text is ontologically transcendent while also asserting that one has had some kind of experience with it. This sort of interpretation of Kafka not only leads nowhere (except back into itself ), but also precludes the interpreters ability to offer an interpretation. Despite its appeal it cannot lead to any philosophically interesting conclusions, because no conclusions can be reached. If Kafka’s work is simply beyond us, then it cannot be interpreted. And if it cannot be interpreted, it is of no interest whatsoever.
Another Take On Incomprehensibility
All this being said, there is still something attractive about interpreting Kafka’s work as being about the inaccessibility of truth. The text would seem to support it, and an interpretation of this kind attempts to root out a general theme aroused by Kafka rather than trying to fit Kafka’s work or the rules contained within his stories into various other situations. But the interpretation of Kafka’s work as incomprehensible and as being about incomprehensibility leads us to an irreconcilable paradox, which would in turn prompt further interpretation, which would then require more interpretation and so on, all doomed to fail because paradox is at the root of each interpretation. If we can get rid of the paradox however, we are left with just the attractive bits of the interpretation. Rejecting this attractive but incoherent position, Theodor Adorno provides us with an
alternative and tenable interpretation of Kafka’s work as being about the incomprehensible. Adorno’s argument begins by affirming the opacity of Kafka’s stories, but because that has already been addressed in this essay, let’s jump straight into his interpretation of Kafka’s stories. Adorno writes that the “precondition inherent in every line of Kafka” is “the hermetic principle” which “is that of completely estranged subjectivity” (Adorno, 261). Every character in Kafka is entirely isolated from the other characters and the physical space that they inhabit. Adorno also attempts to characterize the process by which such estrangement occurs and the results of its occurrence. Kafkian estrangement arises when, due to the stripping away of all context, the subject finds itself in “absolute subjective space and in absolute subjective time” in which “there is no room for anything that might disturb their intrinsic principle, that of inexorable estrangement” (Adorno, 261). The subject, cut off from everything, “not permitted to touch anything unlike itself ” (Adorno, 262), becomes caught in a sort of loop. The immeasurable distance between subjects (and between subjects and space), leaving the subject relationless, makes it so that nothing from the outside might disrupt the subject’s isolation. Thus, everything outside the subject itself becomes stranger upon each interaction because it can never be integrated into the subjects mind as a distinct object. Each object encountered, by virtue of the subject’s isolation and the outside world’s resulting estrangement, begins to take on the same guise, that is, not-the-subject. Adorno writes, “The undifferentiated character of autarchic subjectivity strengthens the feeling of uncertainty and the monotony of compulsive repitition” (Adorno, 262). Because each object is undifferentiated (or deindividuated) as not-the-subject, each object inspires a feeling of deja-vu while simultaneously being incomprehensible to the subject. The non-identity of objects causes all things to begin to blend together. Each thing looks familiar, but as a result of each thing’s non-identity, there is no way of grasping what it actually is. Everything outside the subject, by virtue of its deindividuation, is subsumed into a sort of monolith—the monolith of the everyday. In relation to the sublime then, what we have in Kafka is not the sublime as it is traditionally regarded (singular objects of grand, awe inspiring proportions or impact-frightening in their power), but rather an anti-sublime sublimity (note that we are still only concerned with one understanding of the sublime, that is, the sublime as an epistemically transcendent experience. All other understandings of the sublime are of no concern here). It is not a mountain or an expansive horizon that inspires the epistemic transcendence, but the most mundane of objects. When the subject is completely isolated, everything is beyond comprehension. It is the repetition of mundane, multiple, and unvaried objects that is sublime— not the singular. This anti-sublime sublimity, this estrangement and deindividuation, does not stop with the outside world. Kafka “does not stop at the subject as does psychology.” He “drives through to the bare material existence that emerges in the subjective sphere through the total collapse of a submissive
consciousness, divest of all self-assertion. The flight through man and beyond into the non-human—that is Kafka’s epic course” (Adorno 252). The estrangement of the subject from the everyday might preserve the psychology and autonomy of the subject. Estranged from everything, the subject can only comprehend itself, can only rule itself. But, as Adorno writes, Kafka “does not stop at the subject.” Instead, “the crucial moment... toward which everything in Kafka is directed, is that in which men become aware that they are not themselves - that they themselves are things” (Adorno 255). The crucial moment is when subjects their subjectivity, objectifying and destroying their last bastion of autonomy and individuality. Subjects become subsumed into the monolith of the everyday. This objectification can also be termed deindividuation for it is the same process that occurs between the subject and the outside world. As Adorno writes, “In Kafka, its disenchanting touch is his ‘that’s the way it is’. He reports what actually happens, though without any illusion concerning the subject, which, possessing the greatest degree of self awareness—of its nullity—throws itself on the junkpile” (Adorno, 266). The subject is estranged from itself just as it is from the rest of the world. Subjectivty is the origin of individuality, but “the realm of deja vu is populated by doubles, revenants... the social origin of the individual ultimately reveals itself as the power to annihilate him” (Adorno 253). The subject, by becoming an object is annihilated and subsumed into the world of things—into the monolith of the everyday. One views oneself and feels that same deja-vu, yet one cannot recognize why, cannot recognize where one had seen that image before. One’s own image in the mirror conjures the same response as the image of identical, mass produced cars in a parking lot. The image is not of oneself, but of all
things not-the-subject, which now includes the subject itself. Everything, by virtue of its deindividuation, and therefore repitition, begins to blend together—everything is a copy in a run-down bureaucracy, in the same junkpile.
Let us now return to Sircello and inaccessibility. Adorno, in his interpretation of Kafka, provides us not only with the terms of incomprehensibility, but also the process by which incomprehensibility is reached and a more tenable synthesis between form and content (as opposed to the two paradoxes proposed by Nehemas). By grounding the incomprehensible in Kafka and the frustration of reading Kafka in everyday objects, Adorno averts the problem of ontological transcendence as discussed by Sircello. The monolith of the everyday, when presented as a monolith, is inaccessible to human mental powers. But it is human mental powers that rendered it a monolith in the first place. Taken individually, that is, as identifiable objects, each part is perfectly comprehensible, accessible, and existent—there is nothing that resides on a different plane of reality, nothing permanently incomprehensible. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, interpretability has been restored to Kafka’s work. Adorno is able to maintain all of the attractiveness of the incomprehensibility interpretation without running into the same problems. According to Adorno’s interpretation, it is not that Kafka’s work is opaque to the point of inaccessibility, it is that Kafka’s work, by virtue of its contextless nature, causes the reader to experience the same stripping of relations that Kafka’s characters do. This is not an endorsement of Adorno’s interpretation, rather Adorno has simply provided a non-paradoxical framework for the incomprehensibility interpretation of Kafka’s work.
“When the subject is completely isolated, everything is beyond comprehension. It is the repetition of mundane, multiple, and unvaried objects that is sublime— not the singular."
Bibliography Adorno, Theodor W. Prisms. Trans. Samuel Weber and Shierry Weber. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1981. Print. Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. Print. Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus, and Other Essays. New York: Vintage, 1955. Print. Kafka, Franz. The Castle. Trans. Edwin Muir and Willa Muir. New York: Vintage, 1974. Print. Kafka, Franz. The Complete Stories. Trans. Nahum N.
Glatzer. New York: Schocken, 1971. Print. Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Trans. Breon Mitchell. New York: Schocken, 1998. Print. Kafka, Franz. Zürau Aphorisms. Ed. Roberto Calasso. Trans. Geoffrey Brock and Michael Hofmann. London: Harvill Secker, 2006. Print. Nehamas, Alexander. ‘The Postulated Author: Critical Monism as a Regulative Ideal.’ Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary and Classic Readings:
An Anthology. Ed. Eileen John and Dominic Lopes. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. N. page. Print. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Anti-Semite and Jew. Trans. George Joseph Becker. New York: Schocken, 1948. Print. Sircello, Guy. "How Is a Theory of the Sublime Possible?" The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51.4 (1993): Web.
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The Belarus Free Theatre: Artistic Resistance of a Modern Dictatorship Francesca Mennella International Studies Andrew Roberts Faculty Advisor
How does a theatre survive under a contemporary dictatorship? When does the state crack down on artistic dissidents? This thesis explores the conditions under which the state is more likely to be repressive, and seeks to uncover what actions cause the state to censor. I will focus on three hypotheses: (1) Does it depend on the actions of the theatre itself? (e.g. the content of its shows, its political stances, its popularity?) (2) Does it depend on the current state of domestic politics? (e.g. whether the regime is in economic trouble or unpopular, whether elections are approaching?), and (3) Does it depend on international factors and the amount of international attention or pressures from abroad? To answer these questions, I focus on the case of the Belarus Free Theatre, which is located in one of Europeâ€™s last and most repressive dictatorships. I examined and analyzed the media coverage of the theatre and the content of the theatreâ€™s performances. I also conducted interviews with members of the theatre and compared responses, focusing specifically on the period of 2005 to the present. I then analyzed the nature of their impact and the extent of their influence in challenging the Belarusian regime. Principal strategies that successfully allow the dissident theatre to survive include avoiding arrest by using small, hidden performance spaces, marketing via word of mouth and text message, having performances under false pretenses, and developing a strong sense of voice and theatrical style. It is also necessary for a dissident theatre to develop foreign contacts and establish a baseline of financial stability with minimal expense and use of resources. In terms of repression, the current state of domestic and international politics influences the level of censorship to a larger degree than the content and actions of the theatre itself. According to first- and second-hand research, censorship continues against the Belarus Free Theatre regardless of the actions or content of the productions, and international attention and support does very little to appease authorities. This Belarusian theatre group can serve as a model for dissident theatres around the world. The Belarus Free Theatre is an example of how theatre can challenge a regime by being a consistent voice against oppression. read the full paper online at thenurj.com Âť
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The Politics of Narration: Stranger-Suitors in Austen and Burney Chelsey Moler English
Emily Rohrbach Faculty Advisor
This project centers on the critical vacillation surrounding the politics of Jane Austenâ€™s novels. In Mansfield Park and many of her other novels, Austen directly encourages readers to acknowledge her own narrative divergence from the predominant representations of women in late eighteenth-century courtship novels (including novels by Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Charlotte Smith). Despite such self-proclaimed divergence, scholars have disagreed about whether her representations of women conformed to the conservative norms of courtship novels, or instead revealed an underlying, progressive force Âť 87
in favor of the rational education of women. While these critics decidedly view Austen’s contemporary, Mary Wollstonecraft, as a radical protofeminist who pushed relentlessly for progress in female education, they have not yet concurred about the implied and explicit gender politics of Austen’s novels. This project seeks to solve this problem by using narrative theory to show how Austen shapes her readers’ encounters with the classic courtship story in politically significant ways. Determining when the narrative techniques of dissonant and consonant narration are being used in Burney and Austen’s fiction helps draw attention to moments when the authors are simply providing moral guidance (as do conduct books) and when they are leaving the authorial perspective ambiguous so that the reader is encouraged to judge for herself. Ultimately, I found that while Austen’s novels do resemble her predecessors’ courtship novels in plot and theme—young marriageable girls face challenges in the corrupt world while being courted by men of varying safety and worth—through her unique consonant narrative style, Austen, like her radical contemporary Mary Wollstonecraft, encouraged women rationally to make their own decisions and judgments. Austen’s narration exposes the unstable grounds of any absolute claims of narrative authority and thus supports the notion that, with nowhere to turn for an easy set of prescriptive rules, exercising one's own judgment offers the best means of navigating the potentially treacherous waters of courtship. Austen’s novels therefore can, with Wollstonecraft’s works, be counted among the protofeminist texts of the long eighteenth-century.
In Mansfield Park (1814), Jane Austen offers readers a rare statement in first-person narration. She ironically asserts, “Although there doubtless are such young unconquerable ladies of eighteen (or one should not read about them) as are never to be persuaded into love against their judgment by all that talent, manner, attention, and flattery can do, I have no inclination to believe Fanny one of them” (MP 158). In this statement, Austen’s narrator directly challenges fictional tendencies of the time. The parenthetical statement suggests that while “young unconquerable ladies of eighteen” exist in popular fiction , their existence may not exceed that context—a limited existence suggested by the very typographical enclosure of the parentheses. They certainly do not abound in Austen’s fiction. In opposition to these “unconquerable ladies of eighteen” stands the heroine of Mansfield Park, Fanny Price, a relatively vulnerable young lady of eighteen who, if it were not for her attachment to the virtuous Edmund Bertram, might all-too-easily forgo her capacity for judgment when faced with the charms of a flattering but dangerous suitor, Henry Crawford. In this provocative first-person statement, Austen’s narrator positions herself as somewhat radical, and certainly as departing from the predominant representations of women in late eighteenth-century courtship novels by virtue of the potential vulnerability of her female protagonists
to the charms of new and exciting men (henceforth strangersuitors). Despite such self-proclaimed divergence, modern scholars have argued endlessly about whether Austen’s representations of women conformed to the norms of courtship novels, or if they instead revealed an underlying, progressive encouragement for the rational education of women. While these critics decidedly view Austen’s contemporary, Mary Wollstonecraft, as a radical protofeminist who pushed relentlessly for progress in female education, they have not yet come to a consensus about the implied and explicit gender politics of Austen’s novels. Some critics, such as Marilyn Butler and Nancy Armstrong have downplayed Austen’s progressivism toward the same issues Mary Wollstonecraft addressed progressively: courtship, marriage, and the education of women. Others, such as Margaret Kirkham, see more similarities between Wollstonecraft and Austen. In Jane Austen: Feminism and Fiction, Kirkham asserted that despite political differences—Austen was a Tory and Wollstonecraft a Jacobite—the two writers were “feminist moralists of the same school” (xxi). Are Austen’s novels, as Butler argued, indicative of a conservative desire to peddle Tory messages about ideal marriage and female domesticity to the masses? Or are they, as Kirkham argued, more indicative of an underlying, almost undercover progressivism? Are they indeed to be positioned as somewhere in-between? While Austen’s novels do resemble her predecessors’ courtship novels in plot and theme—young marriageable girls face challenges in the corrupt world while being courted by men of varying safety and worth— I will argue that the very narrative form of Austen’s novels encourages the same protofeminist ideas that Wollstonecraft advocated in her pedagogy. I argue that applying narrative theory to Austen’s texts adds a degree of certainty to the ever-vacillating field of Austenian criticism by indicating that through her unique consonant narrative style, Austen, like Wollstonecraft, encouraged women rationally to make their own decisions and judgments. This thesis develops that argument by positioning Austen among various narrative responses to the pervasive cultural anxiety generated by the 1753 Hardwicke Marriage Act, or An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriages. This legislation made it easier for stranger-suitors to trick young women into illegitimate marriages. The Act radically changed existing laws about marriage and generated lasting consequences for the way women perceived stranger-suitors. After it was approved in Parliament, women who would previously have been legally protected by verbal promises of marriage were now left vulnerable; a man could swear eternal love, impregnate a woman, live with her for years, then leave her unprotected on a whim, on grounds that a legitimate marriage license was never signed. Once the Act—“a watershed for sexual politics and family life” (Bannet 94)— was culturally absorbed, an unprecedented and pervasive anxiety surrounding the disingenuousness of stranger-suitors burgeoned; many feared that the Act would make lascivious young men more sneaky in their attempts at consummating
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an illegitimate marriage (Bannet 95-96). A central question was how a young woman entering society could discern whether a stranger was genuine in his promises of marriage or simply trying to trick her into bed. This Act and the cultural anxiety that ensued not only help account for the many late eighteenth-century novels focusing on the threat of a suitor’s deceptions but also help explain the popularity of conduct books, which instructed women on precisely this question, and the sustained attention to the topic in Mary Wollstonecraft’s pedagogy. Specifically, Gregory’s narration in A Father’s Legacy to his Daughters (1774) and Wollstonecraft’s in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) will serve as examples of the varying “types” of narrative responses engendered by the cultural anxiety surrounding stranger-suitors. Gregory responded to the act by insisting that women could blindly follow a set of unbending rules that would help them either attract genuine men or convert more conniving suitors to pursue serious legal engagements. Gregory’s paternalistic tone will represent an example of morally superior didacticism, while Wollstonecraft’s empathetic response will offer the example of a more empowering, “learn to think for yourself ” attitude. Wollstonecraft encouraged women to throw aside prescriptive rules, use logic, and reasonably determine whether a suitor was sincere, as well as whether they could imagine a lifetime with him. Both types of responses can be detected in the fictional texts of Burney and Austen via the narratological concepts of dissonant and consonant narration.
Determining when these narrative techniques are being used in Burney and Austen’s fiction helps us identify when the authors are simply providing moral guidance (as do conduct books) and when they are leaving the authorial perspective ambiguous so that the reader is encouraged to judge for herself. Dissonant narration, in which a narrator’s voice is authoritatively distanced from the voice of the character being described, signifies a “morally superior” perspective (Cohn 29) favored by stifling, didactic narrators such as Gregory. Dissonant narration can be problematic because it signifies the narrator’s superior ability to present and assess characters and situations. Dissonant narrators, like conduct book narrators, tell readers exactly how to understand the morality and safety of their characters’ actions. The rigid and analytical tone seen in dissonant narration leaves little room for characters or readers to independently reason through their own judgments. Consonant narration, by contrast, encapsulates the perspective of a narrator who yields to the thoughts and feelings of her characters, and thus, like Wollstonecraft, permits more opportunity for rational thought. Consonant narration “is mediated by a narrator who remains effaced and who readily fuses with the consciousness he narrates” (Cohn 26). In short, consonant narration allows a character’s point-of-view to shape the way the story is told. The author walks readers thought-for-thought through the process of determining whether or not a stranger-suitor is safe to love. Therefore, consonant narration enables the female author to 89
elicit the process of “thinking for one’s self ” in her readers because they are left to more freely trace the logic of a character’s changing judgments. Close readings of Burney’s Cecilia will serve as examples of contemporaneous dissonant narration quite unlike Austen’s consonant narration, and so demonstrate through contrast the truly progressive nature of Austen’s narrative voice. Despite Burney’s potentially empowering storylines, such narrative analysis shows that her descriptions of stranger-suitors are similar to the didactic narration we find in Gregory’s conduct books, and therefore stunt readers’ opportunities for rational thought. By contrast, Austen uses consonant narration to describe her characters’ evolving judgments of strangersuitors and therefore (like Wollstonecraft) gives readers the opportunity and responsibility to assess characters and situations for themselves. Although critics such as Butler, Kirkham, Armstrong, and Todd have contextualized Austen’s politics in a variety of ways, the political nature of Austen’s narration with respect to the question of stranger-suitors has not yet been assessed. As we will see, narrative theory
young lady as Cecilia. Unlike Burney’s narrator, Austen’s narrator uses consonant narration to allow Anne’s judgment (and readers’ judgments) of Mr. Elliot to undergo numerous revisions. When Anne first converses with Mr. Elliot, her initial instinct is to like him:
can illuminate the politics of her narration in comparative relation to the novels of Fanny Burney, conduct books, and the philosophy of Mary Wollstonecraft— narrative theory will ultimately help us grasp certain progressive, protofeminist traits in Austen’s narration that have yet to be adequately described.
the narrator allows her thoughts to make quick temporal leaps from the past to the present in a way that reflects Anne’s time frame of meeting Mr. Elliot at Lyme and seeing him once more at Bath: she recalls the past meeting, compares the present to the past, and then subtly compares Mr. Elliot’s excellent manners to “only one person,” presumably Captain Wentworth, the only man she’s ever loved. In this passage, Anne, like Burney’s narrator, presents only superficial qualities such as Mr. Elliot’s looks, countenance, and manners. However, Anne does not go so far as to make definite excathedra statements about Mr. Elliot’s character. Instead, she says that his manners are so agreeable that they are “perhaps” equally as good as Captain Wentworth’s, or implicitly that Mr. Elliot himself is “perhaps” as good of a match as Captain Wentworth would have been. The presence of the subjunctive qualifier, “perhaps,” implies that Anne doubts her first impressions of Mr. Elliot and that she will need to know him longer before she can make a definitive judgment. Regardless, at this moment in the narrative, Mr. Elliot appears to be a safe “stranger-suitor. At least nothing immediately suggests
He was quite as good-looking as he had appeared at Lyme, his countenance improved by speaking, and his manners were so exactly what they ought to be, so polished, so easy, so particularly agreeable, that she could compare them in excellence to only one person’s manners. They were not the same, but they were, perhaps, equally good. (101) Here, Anne’s point-of-view dominates the narrative in free indirect discourse, a kind of consonant narration that yields to the thoughts and feelings of the character in question without going into quoted speech or direct discourse. Anne’s voice is clearly the driving force of this description because
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Austen’s Consonance in Persuasion
Persuasion and Power: The Individual as Judge
Like Cecilia, Persuasion is in many ways a response to the cultural anxiety surrounding stranger-suitors; a large part of the novel is devoted to Anne’s attempts at interpreting the true meaning behind the words and actions of her longestranged cousin, Mr. Elliot, and her long-estranged lover, Captain Wentworth. Mr. Elliot, like Sir Robert Floyer, is undoubtedly an unsafe stranger-suitor; however, he is not introduced as such. Also differing from the narration of Cecilia, Anne herself is not nearly as “unconquerable” a
otherwise. And that semblance of safety greatly differs from the presentation of character by Burney’s narrator, who tells readers that Sir Robert is a bad match immediately after introducing him. Unlike Burney, Austen’s consonant voice withholds definitive moral judgment of Mr. Elliot. Austen’s consonant narration instead allows readers to see the many stages of thought and also the multiple limited perspectives that a rational woman might go through when determining the safety of a stranger-suitor. While assessing Mr. Elliot, Anne expresses authentic emotion and makes authentic mistakes; in this way, she is not the stereotypical courtship novel heroine. This authentic emotion is evident when Anne responds to Lady Russell’s claim that she is “as much convinced of [Mr. Elliot’s] meaning to gain Anne in time, as of his deserving her” (112) and that she hopes to see Anne take the place of her deceased mother by marrying Mr. Elliot. Lady Russell’s desire sparks Anne’s own longing to be restored to her mother’s place: For a few moments her imagination and her heart were bewitched. The idea of becoming what her mother had been; of having the precious name of “Lady Elliot” first revived in herself; of being restored to Kellynch, calling it her home again, her home forever, was a charm which she could not immediately resist. (113) These reflections are tinted with the syntax, diction, and tone of Anne’s changing feelings. Anne imagines herself married to Mr. Elliot—she jumps from bewitching thought to thought, each of which builds toward the alluring idea of calling Kellynch her “home forever.” At this point, Anne seriously considers marrying Mr. Elliot. However, these tempting thoughts soon yield to her own rational evaluation of Mr. Elliot’s actions and personality—specifically the inconsistency in his past claims and behavior with his present actions and words. The narrator states: The image of Mr. Elliot actually speaking for himself brought Anne to composure again. The charm of Kellynch and “Lady Elliot” all faded away. She could never accept him. And it was not only that her feelings were still adverse to any man save one; her judgement, on a serious consideration of the possibilities of such a case, was against Mr. Elliot. Though they had now been acquainted a month, she could not be satisfied that she really knew his character. That he was a sensible man, an agreeable man, ... this was all clear enough ... But yet she would have been afraid to answer for his conduct. She distrusted the past, if not the present. The names which occasionally dropt of former associates, the allusions to former practices and pursuits, suggested suspicions not favourable of what he had been. (113)
In this passage, Anne’s voice serves as an example for the independent and rational correction of original sentiments. The narrator again gives control of the narration to Anne’s voice through consonant narration. Anne’s consciousness takes center-stage as she conjures an image of Mr. Elliot “speaking for himself,” that is, actually proposing marriage. This image immediately causes her tempting feelings to fade into rational analysis. Anne explicitly positions her “judgement” over “her imagination and her heart” as the ultimate gauge of Mr. Elliot’s value as a potential match. In this metaphor, Anne (not the narrator) is the “judge” of the situation, receiving the testimony of her memory, her observations, her imagination, and her reason. She pointedly recalls the evidence of Mr. Elliot’s past suspicious behavior, citing his “allusions to former practices” and “former associates.” Ultimately, after considering all the evidence, Anne decides that she cannot marry Mr. Elliot. Anne’s raised status as rational judge allows readers to see a woman confidently in control of her own decisions and decision process. Similarly, Anne’s consonantly narrated rational thought process allows readers to see how she uses imagination and concrete evidence to revise her original tempting opinions. Anne decides whether she should marry Mr. Elliot by considering a range of questions and evidence. Thus, through the temporal process of reading Austen’s novel, readers (especially female readers) can learn for themselves what kinds of questions, doubts, and evidence they should address, empowering themselves to “judge” their own stranger-suitors.
Austen’s Satirical Dissonance Through the Voice of Lady Russell
Austen goes a step further than taking readers through the process of logical reflection; through the voice of Lady Russell, she also satirizes didactic dissonant narration such as Burney’s, by staging it in a social context. While Anne waits to form a concrete judgment of Mr. Elliot, Lady Russell quickly forms what she sees as a definitive judgment. After meeting Mr. Elliot for the first time, her voice shapes the narrative point-of-view through free indirect discourse: His manners were an immediate recommendation; and on conversing with him she found the solid so fully supporting the superficial, that she was at first, as she almost told Anne, almost ready to exclaim, “Can this be Mr. Elliot?” and could not seriously picture to herself a more agreeable or estimable man. Every thing united in him; good understanding, correct opinions, knowledge of the world, and a warm heart. He had strong feelings of family attachment and family honour, without pride or weakness; he lived for the liberality of a man of fortune, without display; he judged for himself in every thing essential, without defying public opinion in any point of worldly decorum. (103)
Here, Lady Russell’s voice assumes Anne will trust her superior judgment. This is supported by the fact that she explicitly says she finds support in the “solid” (for Lady Russell the “solid” means the outwardly perceivable) for her original superficial opinions. Despite knowing him only a short time, Lady Russell asserts that Mr. Elliot matches her ideal of a partner for Anne: she states authoritatively that he has “good understanding,” “strong feelings of family attachment,” “liberality,” and “correct opinions.” Lady Russell’s use of these ex-cathedra statements echoes the strong authorial perspective that Burney’s narrator used to describe Sir Robert. Just as Burney’s narrative statements leave little room for readers to question her judgment, so Lady Russell’s perspective is meant to leave little room for Anne’s potential questioning. Even though Lady Russell values Mr. Elliot’s manly ability to “judge for himself,” she wants nothing more than for Anne blindly to accept her judgment and marry Mr. Elliot. Thus, like Burney’s narrator, Lady Russell sees herself as morally superior to Anne (and readers). She thinks she knows what is “right” for Anne. Through the voice of Lady Russell, Austen shows readers satirically that she can narrate in a manner similar to her contemporaries; however, as we will see in Anne’s negative response to Lady Russell’s assertions, Austen’s narrative voice refuses to subject her protagonist and her readers to the same moral superiority that Burney adopted. Implicitly responding to Lady Russell’s assessment of Mr. Elliot, the narrator tells us: “It was now some years since Anne had begun to learn that she and her excellent friend could sometimes think differently; and it did not surprise her, therefore, that Lady Russell should see nothing suspicious or inconsistent, nothing to require more motives than appeared, in Mr. Elliot’s great desire of a reconciliation” (103). Here, invoking Anne, the narrator rejects Lady Russell’s excathedra statements by hinting that there might be something “suspicious” or “inconsistent” in Mr. Elliot’s behavior. Thus, Anne’s caution encourages readers to be suspicious of prescriptive narrators and, in the process, reclaims the power of independent judgment. While Anne might once have yielded to the judgment of these (socially situated) narrators, as she did when originally rejecting Captain Wentworth, she is now a mature woman and refuses to let anyone other than herself be the “judge” of her decisions.
Near the end of the novel, Austen uses Anne’s imagination to warn readers about the consequences of blindly following didactic judgments, including by narrators. Eventually, Mrs. Smith confirms Anne’s suspicions about Mr. Elliot; he is revealed as a money-hungry scoundrel who led his friend into debt and who is having an affair with Mrs. Clay. In response to this confirmation, the narrator yields to Anne’s imagination, explaining: Anne could just acknowledge within herself such a possibility of having been induced to marry him, as made her shudder at the idea of the misery which must have followed. It was just possible that she might have been persuaded by Lady Russell! And under such a supposition, which would have been most miserable, when time had disclosed all too late? (149) Here, the narrator stresses the severe emotional disturbance of “misery” and being “miserable.” If Anne had listened to Lady Russell, or had even trusted her own first impressions, her life with Mr. Elliot would have become one of intense distress and discomfort. This passage therefore urges readers to reflect on the possibilities of their decisions. If they ignore their own judgment and listen to the seemingly authoritative statements of commentators such as Lady Russell (who satirically stands in for narrators such as Gregory and Burney), they may enter into a lifetime of misery, potentially marrying a wily stranger-suitor and subjecting themselves to debt, unhappiness, adultery, or worse. In short, through both her consonant descriptions of Anne’s changing feelings toward Mr. Elliot and her satirical representation of Lady Russell’s dissonant commentary, Austen’s consonant narrative voice— echoing Wollstonecraft’s original push for rational thought—responds to the Hardwick Marriage Act by encouraging readers rationally to judge stranger-suitors for themselves. Austen’s narration proves that Anne, like Fanny Price (who we will turn to in the next chapter) is a rational, thinking, feeling human being instead of an idealized “unconquerable young lady” of popular courtship literature.
Austen, Jane. Persuasion. Ed. Patricia Meyer Spacks. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Print Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Print. Bannet, Eve Taylor. The Domestic Revolution: Enlightenment Feminisms and the Novel. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000. Print Burney, Frances. Cecilia or Memoirs of an Heiress. Brisbane: Cornford Press, 2008. Print. Butler, Marilyn. Jane Austen and The War of Ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. Print.
Cohn, Dorrit. Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978. Print. Great Britain. An Act for the better preventing of clandestine marriages. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale. Northwestern University CIC. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. Gregory, John. A Father’s Legacy to his Daughters. New York: T. & J. Swords, 1812. Web. 20 June 2014. Johnson, Claudia. Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. Print.
Jones, Vivien. Women in the Eighteenth Century: Constructions of Feminity. London: Routledge, 1994. Print. Kirkham, Margaret. Jane Austen, Feminism and Fiction. London: Continuum International Publishing, 2000. Print. Todd, Janet. Jane Austen, Politics & Sensibility. Feminist Criticism: Theory and Practice. Ed Susan Sellers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991. Print. UK Parliament. The Law of Marriage. Web. 7 Sept. 2014. Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. New York: Source Book Press, 1971. Print.
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Hook Up and Rape “Cultures”: Recovering Power Relations in the Discourse of Sexual Assault on College Campuses Jennifer Katz
Gender and Sexuality Studies Mary Dietz Thesis Advisor
Gender and Sexuality Studies
May 11, 2015 The speed of the traffic coming in is generally fifty-five miles per hour, but a lot of the time the traffic flow is sixty to sixty-five, so I stay in the flow of the traffic at sixty to sixty-five. Is it wrong? Is it against the law? But it’s the culture that I’m driving in on the way to work. (Barnes, 1:53)
This is an excerpt from the closing arguments in the trial of two Vanderbilt University football players, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, who were accused and later convicted of aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape, and aggravated sexual battery; Vandenberg was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography. The unconscious victim was visibly sexually assaulted in photos and videos taken by the defendants, so Batey’s lawyer, Worrick Robinson, could not argue that a rape did not occur. Instead, he claimed that the rape was symptomatic of a college culture that “glorif[ies] drinking, glorif[ies] sex, glorif[ies] promiscuous sex, glorif[ies] acting out, glorif[ies] multiple partners. Smashing. Hooking up” (Boclair, 2015). Robinson argued that Batey inhabited the heavy drinking and casual sex culture of Vanderbilt, so his illegal actions were simply a matter of “keeping up with the flow of traffic.” While this argument is problematic in that it absolves individuals of responsibility for their actions, it is poignant in highlighting the nature of so-called “hook up culture” and “rape culture” on college campuses. These terms have been utilized in the past few years in public discourse in a variety of manners, especially surrounding the issue of college sexual assault. However, it is imperative to question the terms themselves to understand how and why they have emerged,
“Since sexual assault does not occur in a vacuum, it is necessary to consider the social cultures on college campuses, which terms like ‘hook up culture’ and ‘rape culture’ valuably attempt to address.”
and to assess the implications of their entry into ordinary conversation. The fact that an attorney in a high profile, heavily scrutinized case constructed “culture” as a legitimate defense of rape is evidence of the necessity to closely examine the materialization of these discourses of hook up and rape “culture.” Sexual assault on college campuses has come into prominence as an apparent nationwide epidemic in the last few years, as an estimated nineteen percent of women experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college according to the Center for Disease Control (Center for Disease Control, 2012). Since sexual assault does not occur in a vacuum, it is necessary to consider the social cultures on college campuses, which terms like “hook up culture” and “rape culture” valuably attempt to address. In their broadest and most frequent definitions, “hook up culture” is one that encourages casual sexual encounters instead of long-term commitment (Taylor, 2014), whereas “rape culture” is one in which assault is rampant and normalized due to social attitudes about sexuality and gender (Whisnant, 2009). The reality that the terms “hook up” and “rape,” which have been explored as structures of power and domination from a feminist perspective, have now been reconstructed as allegedly all-encompassing “cultures” is highly problematic. It is necessary to examine the transformation of these phenomena of “hook up” and “rape” into cultures from a theoretical feminist perspective in order to think about the implications of the loss of relations of power as related to pervasive sexual assault on college campuses. Though the issue of college sexual assault has been studied since the 1980’s (Berger et. al., 1986; Dowd et. al., 1983; Koss et. al., 1987), it has only recently made its way into the mainstream media with numerous front-page articles in the New York Times (Bogdanich, 2014; Péréz-Péna & Taylor, 2014), President Obama’s Renewed Call to Action (The White House, 2014), and increased student activism (Smith, 2014). At the same time, the concept of “hook up culture” has become a major topic in millennial trend piece articles, which frequently cite it as the dominant practice on most college campuses (Taylor, 2014). The actual practices of hook up culture are ambiguous, as definitions of hooking up often range from kissing to oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse (Dye, 2011). Though it is difficult to identify the first usage of the term “hook up culture,” there is a clear marker for the point at which it becomes a term that is relied on in conventional discourse with the publication of Donna Freitas’s controversial book, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy. As the title suggests, Freitas, a professor of Religion, launches a scathing critique of “hook up culture” (Freitas, 2013), and others have supported her view that casual sex and hook up culture are detrimental for women with regard to selfconfidence and incidence of sexual assault (Armstrong et. al., 2010). However, the book also sparked intense backlash from those who believe that “hook up culture” is a means for women’s liberation from past constraints of slut shaming
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and virginity given that women are able to pursue causal sex without stigma and use time that would have been devoted to a boyfriend or girlfriend to fully pursue academics and careers (Taylor, 2014). Although the emergence of this new term and the discussion surrounding it imply new sexual practices and behaviors, such as an increase in self-reported sexual encounters within this “hook up culture,” studies have demonstrated “no evidence of substantial changes in sexual behavior that would indicate a new or pervasive pattern of non-relational sex among contemporary college students” (Dockterman, 2014). Scholars suggest that the shift to more casual sexual practices actually occurred about sixty years ago (Bogle, 2007) with the “rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events” (Garcia et. al., 2013). It seems that the concept of “hook up culture” is simply a label to repackage old practices, which raises the question of why this term has emerged to describe behaviors that unfolded in similar ways in past generations. Naming something a culture is reductive, connoting a primary and undifferentiated shared behavior among individuals in a certain setting (Alvesson, 2002, 188). The dedifferentiating nature of the word “culture” is evidenced in part by the fact that studies show that students vastly overestimate the amount that their peers are hooking up (Skelton, 2011). This perception likely largely shapes their own practices and behaviors, so it is possible that the term “hook up culture” itself has the potential to produce and change the behaviors of individuals within the so-called “culture.” In thinking about the emergence of this term, it is useful to think about different feminist conceptions of hooking up (in all its
ambiguity) in order to locate the meaning behind the alleged transformation to a hook up “culture.” The term “rape culture” has re-emerged within the common discourse alongside “hook up culture.” Rape culture was originally used by feminists to suggest to women that rape was much more common than they thought (Smith, 2004). One of the first known usages is found in New York Radical Feminists’ Rape: The First Source Book for Women (1974), and soon after, Susan Brownmiller, among others, published firsthand accounts of women’s experiences of rape, domestic abuse, and other forms of violence in order to highlight the commonality of this experience for women (Brownmiller, 1975). Rape culture originated, then, as a feminist tool to demonstrate that women were living in a world where violent acts against their bodies were an acceptable norm in order to push for structural changes to society. However, this term, which was at one point revolutionary, has over time become a muted cornerstone of the discourse of violence against women, buffering the visceral realities of the violations of women’s bodies by shifting the discussion to focus on the “cultural” component instead of the act of rape itself. In its contemporary usage, “rape culture” is not about drawing attention to the millions of American women who are assaulted each year; rather, it is about a culture in which something called “rape” is highly prevalent and normalized. It would be seemingly unacceptable to name the experience of the New Delhi woman who was so brutally gang-raped and assaulted that it led to her death (Timmons & Gottipati, 2012) as the “rape culture” of India because it would turn this act of carnage into an amorphous signifier of culture. However, there is little hesitation, even by self-declared feminists, to discuss the “rape culture” of United States 95
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college campuses despite the countless acts of sexual violence every day. The re-emergence of the term “rape culture” is clearly denoted by the notorious 2012 Steubenville rape case. The case involved a sixteen-year old who was sexually assaulted for several hours by two star football players while she was intoxicated and ultimately unconscious (Gabriel, 2013). Though the incident was filmed, there was hesitation to indict the players because of their “promising lives” (Dusenbery, 2013), there were cover-ups by officials throughout the investigation (Gabriel, 2013), and many blamed the victim for putting herself in that position and drinking underage (Dusenbery, 2013). This is a clear example of a new kind of rape culture that is about teaching women not to get raped and protecting men who are accused of rape. Instead of highlighting that the world is filled with instances of violations of women’s bodies, the current discussion of “rape culture” focuses on the socio-cultural factors that contribute to sexual assault, such as football players who are “treated like gods” (Ibid, 2013) and “enabled by a culture that excuses their actions” (Ibid, 2013). By modifying “rape” with the addition of the word “culture,” it refers to a broader system of justifying and normalizing violence against women. This version of rape culture is exemplified by rape jokes, the acceptance of rape myths, and general misogyny about women’s bodies. However, like the casual sex of “hook up culture,” these are not new phenomena; they have simply received a new label. This “culture” label seems to place the act of rape on a spectrum of normalized violations of women, such as rape jokes, which repositions an act of violence as a mere aspect of culture. Though “rape culture” was coined by self-declared feminists twice over (radical feminists and contemporary feminist writers), it has in many ways become a counterproductive tool. Similarly, terms such as acquaintance rape, gray rape, and date rape have emerged and re-emerged in popular media with discussions of hook up culture (Sessions Stepp, 2007), and these labels tend to imply that an incident was not “real” rape rather some lesser modified version of it. These terms are now linked through the vehicle of “culture” as well as the fact that they are both normalized and produced as sweeping phenomena in the site of college campuses. The change in the meaning of these terms aligns with changes within feminist theorizing–from radical feminism to choice feminism. Catharine MacKinnon is a radical feminist who has written extensively on issues of intercourse and sexual assault, and her strong theoretical framework is important for analyzing these constructs. Her focus on structures of domination makes her useful for this project and particularly for my concerns about the current tendencies within the discourses of hook up and rape to shift away from power relations to the vacuous language of “culture.” Though radical feminists, such as Catharine MacKinnon, were not specifically theorizing about “hooking up,” they did focus extensively on sex and rape, frequently contesting their degree of difference as expressions of male structures of domination. However, feminism is a wide literature, and it is essential
to also engage theorists who seek to ameliorate rather than destabilize these structures. Contemporary choice feminists, such as Naomi Wolf and Laura Doyle, have moved away from these fixed models of male power to focus on individual choice and sexual liberation. These terms of “hook up” and “rape” are stripped of old meanings and infused with new meanings as they are renegotiated by feminists with new perspectives, so choice feminism is also an important lens for recontextualizing these terms. The discourse of choice feminism presents the possibility for the liberated sexuality suggested by hook up and rape “cultures.” Choice feminism emerged in the 1990’s largely in response to radical feminists like Catharine MacKinnon, who were criticized for being sex-negative, judgmental, and overall non-inclusive of the experiences of women who were not white, educated, and middle-class (Snyder-Hall, 2010, 256). Choice feminism is comprised of women who are activists, authors, and even porn stars who argue that they act with “feminist consciousness” (Snyder-Hall, 2010, 55) in their selfdetermination. Women today claim to be “feminists” on the grounds they “choose” their choices, whether that be leaving the workforce or becoming a sex worker. Given that this type of feminism has left the political and theoretical realms and entered the mainstream, it is essential to explore the terms “rape,” “hook up,” and the addition of “culture” from this perspective in asserting the possibility for sexual liberation and reinterrogating the introduction of “culture.” This discourse of choice has been particularly popular with self-identified feminists in the sex industry. As Dita von Teese, a celebrity burlesque dancer, famously asked “How can it be disempowering when I’m up there for seven minutes and I’ve just made $20,000? I feel pretty powerful” (Murphy, 2012). Clearly, von Teese’s question is problematic in thinking about race and class in that most burlesque dancers do not earn anywhere close to that amount, are subject to poor work conditions and acquisitive managers, and do not work in that industry as their first “choice.” There is also the aspect of reducing freedom and power to money without considering the structures of domination that are at play. It is clear that choice feminists support the idea of the hook up, for if women choose to engage in a sexual interaction, it is necessarily a feminist maneuver. Similarly, “hook up culture” is not a structure of domination because it is each woman’s own decision whether or not to participate. Many feminists who utilize this discourse of choice focus on the fact that the barriers holding women back have been broken down, so now women must stop playing the victim and empower themselves (Wolf, 1994, 140). Given that choice feminism exonerates women who “willingly” participate in the sex industry, it is clear that there is a possibility for consensual sexuality within this lens. Therefore, the choice feminist “hook up” is nicely aligned with the “hook up” of “hook up culture” in that it is a choice willingly made by two (or more) participants. For the issue of the broader “hook up culture,” it seems that choice feminists would similarly posit that so long as women are not coerced into participating in an individual hook up, the culture terminology is acceptable. The idea of
“culture” or broader structures of power or dominations are virtually non-existent when it comes to choice feminism, so it would not seem to be an issue that the vocabulary of “culture” possibly influences participants and observers. The issue of rape comes up significantly less frequently in the discourse of choice feminism than in radical feminism despite a move to a more open discussion of sexual assault in the news and media realm. Given self-declared “hip-hop feminist” Joan Morgan’s comment about “attraction to the trappings of the patriarchy, the rituals of chivalry, the thrill of objectification, and the sexiness of male dominance” (Snyder-Hall, 2010, 54), it would not be entirely shocking to find an argument suggesting that if a woman chooses to be raped, it can be a feminist action. It is hard to imagine that any individual, let alone feminist or woman, would support the idea of sexual assault, but the loopy discourse of “choice” leaves room for that absurd possibility. Though it might be unlikely to assert that being raped can be a choice, “choice feminists” would likely argue for the legitimacy of rape fantasies within a consensual sexual encounter, whereas radical feminists would trace the fantasies back to structures of male power that construct women’s sexuality. For choice feminists, there is a clear distinction between “hook up” and “rape” in that the former is a freely, made choice, and the latter is an act that is not, which would seemingly be the ultimate loss of freedom for a choice feminist. Choice feminism is largely at odds with Catharine MacKinnon’s radical feminist perspective since relations of power are nonexistent in these choice feminist conceptions as well as the more general discourse of “culture.” MacKinnon
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helps to illuminate the coextensive nature of the relationship between sex and power that the vocabulary of “culture” and the discourse of choice feminism both conceal. For MacKinnon, hooking up and rape are not so different. She theorizes a world in which sexuality is the linchpin of gender inequality because it is the social construct of male power that leads to the construction of “woman” (MacKinnon, 1982, 533). This “sexuality” is entirely different from the contemporary conception of the word, which signifies a discourse of desire flattened by its lack of relations of power. Therefore, universal sexuality is male sexuality, and female “sexuality” is actually a recapitulation of male desire. In MacKinnon’s perspective, sexuality itself is what makes men dominant and women inferior because culturally sexuality is simply whatever induces an erection in a man. This demonstrates the primacy that is placed on male desire with no regard for female “right to pleasure” (MacKinnon, 1989, 166), if that is even possible. Women do not have the freedom to express their sexuality because they inhabit a society founded upon male structures of domination. Therefore, even though the term “hook up culture” strives to reconstruct women’s widespread susceptibility to male domination as a consensual engagement in a recreational pastime, it still necessarily recapitulates male power. I argue then, that for MacKinnon, sex hardly differs from rape – so “hook up culture”, if anything, solely represents an increase in sexual violence to epidemic yet normalized levels. Though MacKinnon does not directly address hooking up, I want to argue that she would complicate the distinction between hooking up and rape in that she argues that violence and inequality are fundamental parts of male desire. MacKinnon asserts that it is not women’s bodies that are the source of arousal for male sexuality; rather, “male sexuality is apparently activated by violence against women,” a claim central to my purpose (MacKinnon, 1989, 145). What is now called “hooking up” is an act of male sexuality, which perpetuates a system that produces “women” as subordinated objects for male domination. Following MacKinnon, for whom sexuality is a central issue, I want to consider the blurred line between sex and violence because what men desire is to continue violating women’s bodies to maintain their position of power. As MacKinnon’s asks, “If it is violence not sex, why didn’t he just hit her?” (Ibid, 164), clarifying the seeming indistinguishability of sex and violence. Women then become masochistic and desirous of this domination because the identity construct of “woman” is actually just a projection of sexuality or male desire for domination. Therefore, sex is an eroticization of domination, which makes it hard to imagine that consensual sex is a possibility for MacKinnon—unless, of course, women consent to sex and therefore being violated through domination, which is more or less how MacKinnon characterizes the way that women engage in sexual practices. In this world where sex is simply based on male desire to violate women’s bodies, MacKinnon proposes that sexual interaction between men and women is not a matter of liberated sexuality. MacKinnon suggests a false consciousness in which women convince themselves that they choose to 97
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freely express their sexuality, which is the only “strategy to acquire self-respect and pride” (MacKinnon, 1989, 171). In appropriating this claim for my own purposes, we might consider “hook up,” (a term that post-dates the majority of MacKinnon’s scholarship), as itself a conception that instills all forms of heterosexual sexual interaction with notions of freely given consent and choice, thereby erasing the existence of relations of domination and power. MacKinnon alarms us with her insistence that we contemplate women’s recourse to the language of “choice” within heterosexual relations as a coping mechanism necessitated by the otherwise intolerable politics of domination that is “sexuality.” Continuing with MacKinnon along these lines, I argue that the sex entailed in “hooking up” is deeply tied, in different ways, to power dynamics that are not all that readily indistinguishable from those that constitute rape. Though MacKinnon never explicitly argues that all sex is rape, she does suggest that no sex can truly be consensual. Based on MacKinnon’s analysis of sex and rape, I argue that moving to “hook up culture” in the contemporary discussion of sexual assault and practices on college campuses is hugely problematic. Hook up culture normalizes practices of casual sex, which for MacKinnon, is not really “sex” at all. If women convince themselves that they have chosen to hook up as their coping mechanism, then their participation in “hook up culture” is not an act that expresses agency and desire. Rather, it is women acting as contrived objects developed for male pleasure. In examining the practices of hook up culture, I want to suggest that the presumption that the “hook up” is a choice it is no different than women learning to fake an orgasm, as MacKinnon put the point, in order to ensure their survival in the male dominated world (MacKinnon, 1987, 58). In my reading of MacKinnon, hook up and rape are terms that could essentially be used interchangeably to describe sexual interactions between men and women. “Hook up culture” and “rape culture” are clearly problematic terms that have emerged to characterize the contemporary climate on college campuses across the United States. “Hook up” and “rape” were at some point
used–and to an extent still used – as verbs to describe two very different sides of sex. There is the “hook up,” an allegedly consensual sexual encounter, and there is “rape,” the nonconsensual and often forcible sexual encounter. With a move to a “hook up culture” and “rape culture,” it becomes implied that “rape” and “hook up” are normalized, acceptable practices to engage in, which is highly problematic, as I have demonstrated. “Hook up culture” is supposed to be a descriptor for alleged contemporary sexual practices, but it is simply an additional structure of domination that imposes upon students on college campuses, one that moderates their personal behaviors. Though initially used as a feminist tool, “rape culture” similarly has a difficult outcome in normalizing the prevalence and discussion of the act of “rape” as well as the surrounding discourse. Instead of being an act of violence, rape is now a vague culture that socializes men and women to conceive of their sexuality as active and passive. Then, when these “cultures” intersect, there is the legitimization of the act of rape. At this juncture where the “hook up” is normalized, and the expectations of gender roles and violence are discussed in a certain mode, there is now room for Worrick Robinson’s defense of Corey Batey and possible defenses of rapists in the future. Feminism is a revolutionary politics that requires action and collective engagement. It is necessary to stop referring to “hook up” and “rape” as though these are merely “cultures” as opposed to actions imbued with relations of domination. Instead, we should be talking about a feminist “power” and “politics” as a means of transforming relations of domination. This linguistic intervention is a first step in retrieving lost structures of domination and more thoroughly understanding the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. With a return to “hook up” and “rape,” sexual assault will be an act of violence instead of something hazy wedged between pervasive casual sex and normalized attitudes about violence against women. In this light, sexual assault on college campuses can be discussed frankly and productively in order to consider policy changes for universities in the United States and potentially worldwide.
References Abbey, Antonia. “Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault: A Common Problem among College Students.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 14 (2002): 118-28. Barkley Brown, Elsa. “What Has Happened Here: The Politics of Difference in Women’s History.” 1995. The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory. Ed. Linda J. Nicholson. New York: Routledge, 1997 Center for Disease Control. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. United States. Sexual Violence: Facts at a Glance. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Chan, Sewell. “’Gray Rape’: A New Form of Date Rape?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Oct. 2007. Web. 16 Jan. 2015. Dockterman, Eliana. “Another Study Shows That ‘Hookup Culture’ Is a Myth.” Time. Time, 06 May 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. Freitas, Donna. The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled,
and Confused about Intimacy. New York: Basic, 2013. Print. Gabriel, Trip. “Inquiry in Cover-Up of Ohio Rape Yields Indictment of Four Adults.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. Hirshman, Linda R. Get to Work: And Get a Life, before It’s Too Late. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print. Koss, Mary P., Christine A. Gidycz, and Nadine Wisniewski. “The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 55.2 (1987): 162-70. MacKinnon, Catharine A. “Desire and Power.” Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1987. 46-62. Pilkington, Ed. “SlutWalking Gets Rolling after Cop’s
Loose Talk about Provocative Clothing.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 06 May 2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2015. Smith, Merril D. Encyclopedia of Rape. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004: 174. Taylor, Kate. “Sex On Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too.” New York Times 14 July 2014, Style sec.: n. p. Print. Whisnant, Rebecca. “Feminist Perspectives on Rape.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 13 May 2009. Web. 02 Nov. 2014. Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford UP, 1976. Print. Zalewski, Suzanne. “Getting Messed Up to Hook Up: The Role of Alcohol in College Students’ ‘Casual’ Sexual Encounters.” Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 16 June 2011. Web. 01 Feb. 2015.
Introduction to the Estridentista Works of Manuel Maples Arce: 1921-1927 Alexandra Becker Comparative Literature Harris Feinsod Faculty Advisor
“I am out in the open sky of all aesthetics, “Song from an Airplane,” Manuel Maples Arce The avant-garde period in literature, beginning in 1909 in Italy with F.T. Marinetti’s Futurism, soon encompassed cultural movements worldwide, especially in nations similarly trying to grapple with modernity. In Mexico, the avant-garde emerged in 1921 thanks to the often-disregarded poet Manuel Maples Arce’s founding of the estridentismo, or Stridentist, movement. Even while Maples Arce styled his group as the bards of the mechanical age in print, however, he seemed unaware of the contradictions in much of his poetry’s florid imagery, which harkened to earlier Latin American literary trends such as 19-century modernismo. Translations of his significant works support this argument. » 99
anuel Maples Arce began his volumes of poetry with epigraphs and his literary movement with manifestoes; his collected body of work begs a like introduction. The above first two lines of his Poemas interdictos (Forbidden Poems, 1927) proclaim the poet’s expansive openness to taking his place constellated among the other avant-gardes; the line he chooses as epigraph in that volume, however, is “Best faculty in man’s the thrill of dread” (Goethe 6272).1 This thrill appears five times, most often as a verb, throughout that volume. Maples Arce’s choice embodies not only his own understanding of his position as modern subject, but also the universal excitement as well as the dread that characterized the age of technological innovation in 1920s Mexico. To some extent, this mindset is still relevant. The perennial project of the avant-garde might be the manipulation of the (double) cutting edge, hacking at the tangled vines of the past while slicing into the particular moment of the present. This introduction and investigation aims to navigate Maples Arce’s response to that cutting edge, for his estridentismo movement has most often been taken at its word for its relevance to and unbridled enthusiasm for modernity that it espoused in 1920s Mexico. Things never being quite what they seem, estridentismo deserves a reexamination of the scholarship it has thus far inspired and an opening of its oeuvre to a new community of readers, as well as a reconsideration of the exact ways in which it related to other regional and international literary movements at the time. Ideally, a full translation and analysis of all of Manuel Maples Arce’s complete works including poetry, articles, manifestoes, and correspondence could be included here. In this instantiation of a future work on that subject, only the poetry pertaining to Maples Arce’s estridentista aesthetic during the period of the movement’s activity will be considered. The selfconfessed intention of Maples Arce’s estridentista poetry from 1921-1927 to celebrate technological modernity in postrevolutionary Mexico and capture its essence conspicuously complements and contradicts a reiteration of the fin-dusiècle Latin American romantic aesthetic of modernismo and the misgivings of the latter about modernity, thus producing a complex aesthetic field best understood from this century’s critical distance. Mexican avant-garde poet Manuel Maples Arce wrote two manifestoes and three volumes of poetry in his early career, under the sign of the estridentista (stridentist, in the sense of proclaiming loudly so as to be well heard) movement that he founded, later joined in leadership by prose writer Arqueles Vela and poet Germán List Arzubide, which lasted from 1921-1927. The evolution of theme and thought from poem to poem and manifesto to manifesto, within their discreetness as units, serves as a larger historical record detailing the shifting ideals of Maples Arce and his aims for the estridentista movement. They celebrate the advances of technology, especially technologies of transportation and communication (including airplanes, trains, ships, automobiles, radio, and telegraphy). They also complicate estridentismo’s relationship—as one of the first Latin
American avant-garde movements on the international stage—to the earlier modernismo, whose late nineteenthand early twentieth-century aesthetic vision of modernity was supposedly outmoded by newer artistic and literary forms. Maples Arce celebrates the technology of the 1920s, developing relevant aesthetic principles to navigate it in verse, yet he also recurs to older, more postromantic images and hesitancies with modernization. Maples Arce’s titles for his volumes of poetry suggest the technological and cultural fervor of his artistic revolution: Andamios interiores: Poemas radiográficos (Interior Scaffolding: Radiographic Poems, 1922), Urbe: Super-poema bolchevique en 5 cantos (Metropolis: Bolshevik Super-Poem in 5 Cantos, 1924), and Forbidden Poems (1927). They mirror the author’s own ideological progression in their choice of subjects and their stylistic evolution from poem to poem, setting the tone with the first poem of the first volume, “Prism.” This first of Maples Arce’s estridentista poems models the literary style and familiar imagery of his latter two volumes, such as shipwrecks and “locomotives, screams / arsenals, telegraphs” (40-41). The nine other poems in Interior Scaffolding attempt to portray modernity through technological themes and the inclusion of dialogue while retaining traces of earlier poetic practice, such as rhyme, meter, and standardized line and stanza length. The miniature epic poem Metropolis is the most ideological of his poems, and is focused on the experience of city life. Forbidden Poems, beginning with the poem “Song from an Airplane,” which allegorically describes Maples Arce’s development of his literary movement out of those of his avant-garde predecessors, moves in its first section through the dissemination of “T.S.F. (Wireless Telephony)”; it introduces the personified lover, esperanza, as an optimistic herald in “Springtime”; it increases the literary movement’s scale and scope across Mexico in “80 H.P.”; it predicts displacement and a parting of ways in “Port” ; and finally it recapitulates the historical “Revolution” in the avant-garde. The second section of the volume, “Poems of Distance,” retraces many of the steps taken in the first part, but with an almost repetitious emphasis on the image of the departing train. If taken as an allegory for the development of estridentismo, this section seems to mirror the former in a negative light, lamenting the consequences of technology and almost regretting the ideological choices that distanced Maples Sarah Joy | Photo
Arce from some of his contemporary fellow poets. This last book is the fullest expression of the estridentista aesthetic and has had comparatively little circulation in English-language publications, so the most space is devoted to it here. The poet himself also necessarily has a physical history. Manuel Maples Arce was born in 1898 in the town of Papantla, Veracruz, Mexico. He followed his father into a career of law, ironically inaugurating his iconoclastic estridentismo movement two years after he began studying the nuances of codified societal order in 1919. His move to Mexico City for this purpose allowed him to pursue the more dignified, traditional path to success, yet also helped to set the stage for a literary aesthetic that was predicated upon many of the sights and sounds of a faster, more built-up modern world. He recognized the extravagant character of the art that had preceded him and created a new aesthetic, estridentismo, which was simultaneously informed by its reaction against its predecessors and by a conscious affiliation with other global avant-garde movements like Italian Futurism and Spanish ultraísmo. His later critical writings showed that he had developed an understanding of the recent past of Mexico’s literary practices as resembling the techniques of a landscape painter who idealistically endowed nature with mystery and the sublime (El paisaje en la literatura mexicana 8-9). Maples Arce set out to make sure poetry corresponded instead to the lived experience of modern city life. Maples Arce founded his literary movement not with an imagistic poem or an essay but with a manifesto called Actual No. 1 (1921), laying out aesthetic tenets for the modern era in the mode that had come to be the hallmark of the avantgarde since Italian Futurism began in 1909. One proposed definition of the manifesto as literary genre is that “divided between doing away with the past and ushering in the future, the Manifesto seeks to produce the arrival of the modern revolution through an act of self-foundation and selfcreation; we, standing here and now, must act!” (Puchner 2). Maples Arce introduced Actual No. 1 as positioning him and his movement “…on the striking vertex of [his] irreplaceable presentist status, equilaterally convinced and eminently revolutionary.” Rather than positing concrete writing techniques, Maples Arce focused in the fourteen points of this initial manifesto on denouncing Mexico’s literary stagnation, exulting in the contemporary moment, and giving a directory of avant-garde artists from around the world for reference. The printed broadsheet was pasted overnight on the walls of Mexico City’s streets, signifying a new beginning as of the next morning, a theme that would continue in Puebla, not far from Mexico City, with estridentismo’s second Stridentist 1. The epigraph to Maples Arce’s third volume Forbidden Poems comes from Goethe’s Faust, Part II and its original German “Das Schaudern ist der Menschheit bestes Teil”; alternate English translations of the German by year include: “The chill of dread is man’s best quality” (Taylor 1876), “Humanity’s best part in awe doth lie” (Swanwick 1881), “‘Tis man’s, ‘tis man’s—to shudder and to feel” (Anster 1886), “This shuddering awe is man’s divinest part” (Martin 1902), “‘Tis man’s best gift a touch of awe to feel” (Van Der Smissen 1926), “The thrill of awe is man’s best quality” (Priest 1932), “The thrill of awe is still mankind’s best lot” (Latham 1941), “The best of man lies in his sense of awe” (Passage 1965), “To feel appalled is the
“The poet’s expansive openness to taking his place constellated among the other avant-gardes.”
Manifesto on New Year’s Eve of 1922. The Stridentist Manifesto was more regionally focused and had as its four main points “the ideological rancidolatry of some…values,” “the possibility of a new art,” “the exaltation of the suggestive thematicism of machines,” and the need for a poetry and painting of truth, followed rather unceremoniously by a list of enemies. Later in life, Maples Arce would claim that he intended his original declaration and movement to act as a fiery comet, orbiting the dreams of literary historians (Mi vida por el mundo 342). The works produced out of this initial momentum would at times support his goals but would also return to figured idealist landscapes. In the 1920s, Mexico was emerging onto the world stage, although it remained less industrially developed than the nations of Northern Europe or its neighbor the United States.2 In fact, “modernist Mexico City, in all its peripheral modesty… had more global connotations than ever before” to inspire social and artistic leaders (Tenorio-Trillo 143). Mexico had just been born as a republic, with the end of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), which profoundly affected Manuel Maples Arce during his adolescence. The apparent resolution of these political conflicts and power struggles set the conditions of possibility for broader renovations of Mexican society. Mexico city in particular at the start of this decade “…was still living out of its former Porfirian belle-époque grandeur, alas with close memories of the worst revolutionary years; a new era seemed to be starting, but the city lived with nostalgia of what was known” (Tenorio-Trillo 96). The situation was ripe for the expression of a new national cultural program, which in many senses Maples Arce’s estridentismo turned out to be, although it also demonstrated certain senses of nostalgia. The proper sort of cultural revolution would be one that was populist and celebratory of the new Mexico, completing the break with the past mode of governance and helping to usher in the new era with enthusiasm. Beyond these events in Mexico, Maples Arce also inherited greatest gift of man”(MacNeice 1969), “The thrill of awe, of wonderment, is the best we have” (Fairley 1970), “Awe is the finest portion of mankind” (Arndt 1978), “Awe is the greatest boon we humans are allotted” (Atkins 1983), “Our sense of awe’s what keeps us most alive” (Luke 1994), “Man’s best feature is the capacity to control fear” (Brenton 1995), and “Awe and wonderment are man’s best part” (Greenberg 1998). 2. For a fascinating narrative look at Mexico in Maples Arce’s day and the poet’s debut as a character of quasi-historical fiction, see Bolaño’s Los detectives salvajes.
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cultural change on a global scale, because of increasing invention and interconnectedness in transportation and in telecommunications systems. The linking of Mexico to other parts of the world not just aesthetically but tangibly helped authenticate estridentismo’s sense of novelty born of revolution. Other technologies, while not necessarily global in reach, were nonetheless spreading across the face of the earth to build various land-based networks that were aspects of an overall age of increased mobility. One example of these regional networks was the railroad, which could “…serve as a metaphor for people’s changing relation to the—increasingly unstable—ground under their feet” (Gumbrecht 340). This mode of transportation therefore introduced as much uncertainty as it did regularity, with its “…tracks, schedules, stations… [which] constitute a world of contingency with respect to individual needs and expectations because the railway system’s internal complexity cannot be adapted to them” (Gumbrecht 179). Maples Arce intends to forge a perfect symbiotic match between his writing and the experience of modern life in the 1920s, uniting references to technology with experimental typographical techniques and the expansive yet minimalist writing style debuted in “Prism.” The automobile introduces the second major technological change in the sense of the local, and was also associated with labor in factories, since “more than in any other branch of production, assembly lines [pervaded] the car industry” (Gumbrecht 23). Planes, steamships, and the wireless telegraph completed the constellation with transatlantic networks that were truly global in scale. Estridentismo was influenced by many trends. The most important influences were thepolemical Italian Futurism, Spanish ultraísmo, and Maples Arce’s allies in Mexican muralismo, as well as the competing contemporáneos group in Mexico and the preceding modernista poets of Latin America. The first three groups exerted enormous influence over the formulation, articulation, and evolution of the estridentista movement, introducing elements at times that conflicted with Maples Arce’s original intentions, as in the case of muralismo’s social consciousness. While in the view of later readers and others the latter two groups eclipsed Maples Arce’s achievements, they also motivated him to measure his success and define his goals by their work. Estridentismo could not have developed without the contributions of the earlier modernismo literary movement, which made use of classical themes, updating them for the modern period. Rather than accepting the heritage bequeathed by ancient forms to modern lyrical poetry, “Maples Arce demanded the decapitation of ‘scholastic nightingales’” (Flores 25).3 Modernismo was ultimately unsatisfactory for Maples Arce as a way of responding to the modern world, but from its platform he was able to launch his alternative vision. Subsequently, both his poems and his published critical and theoretical work would change over time as he introduced new social and theoretical ideas. In terms of acknowledged influence, Manuel Maples Arce’s avant-garde consciousness borrowed greatly from the Italian Futurists’ published manifestos’ transfiguring this
genre most associated with Marx in the political realm into the aesthetic sense that “an art manifesto had split off from the main branch of the political manifesto” (Puchner 69). F.T. Marinetti, the founder of Futurism in Italy, wrote of his intentions to “…hurl at the whole world this utterly violent, inflammatory manifesto… to free [Italy] from the endless number of museums that everywhere cover her like countless graveyards” in his foundational manifesto of 1909 (14). Both the Futurist and estridentista movements shifted concepts of modernity to reflect not a new renaissance of talent in accepted forms but an extreme affinity for what was not yet considered literary, and was mostly seen as opposed to art— “for Marinetti and later Maples Arce, modernity and speed replace the cult of the classic” (Flores 32). They also both experimented with typographical innovation, which formed foundational tenets of their art. Curly brackets were used in Futurist writing to “give the sense of the different atmospheres of a story and the tones that govern it” (Marinetti 138). Maples Arce seems to have believed with Italian Futurism in “…the graphic value of the typography… the assumption that there was an essential value to bold, italic, or other type” and using it to “play up the relations of elements within the page as a field” (Drucker 129, 131). In Forbidden Poems, the most typographically innovative of his works, bold typeface makes an appearance alongside symbols like curly brackets in the playful experimentation characteristic of Futurism as much as the rest of the avant-garde. Italian Futurism, however, was uneasily associated with fascism after 1919, and celebrated the glories of war through its militant avant-garde as much as the universal prowess of modern machinery in a “curious tension between
“The bold avant-garde or avant guerre manifesto, in its violent metaphor, may, in this light, also be inherently predicated on sexual violence .” nationalism and internationalism that is at the heart of avant guerre consciousness” (Perloff 6). Italian Futurism contained a misogynistic impulse to destroy the historical notion of the “ideal woman” in favor of a masculinizing androgyny; woman would be “…eliminated not only as matrice, mater, empty receptacle, but also as… object of sexual desire” (Spackman 55). Estridentismo certainly participated in
1. Forbidden Poems
1. Poemas interdictos
“Best faculty in man’s the thrill of dread.”4 —Goethe
“El estremecimiento es el parte mejor de la humanidad.” —Goethe
“Song from an Airplane”
“Canción desde un aeroplano”
I am out in the open sky of all aesthetics; sinister operator of great systems, I have my hands full of blue continents.
Estoy a la intemperie de todas las estéticas; operador siniestro de los grandes sistemas, tengo las manos llenas de azules continentes.
Here, from within this bulwark, I will await the fall of leaves. Aviation anticipates its loot, and an avian fistful defends its memory. Song flowering with aerial roses, enthusiastic propulsion of new propellers, cloudless ineffable metaphor of wings.
Aquí, desde esta borda, esperaré la caída de las hojas. La aviación anticipa sus despojos, y un puñado de pájaros defiende su memoria. Canción florecida de las rosas aéreas, propulsión entusiasta de las hélices nuevas, metáfora inefable despejada de alas.
Singing. Singing. From above everything is balanced and superior, and life is the applause that resounds in the deep heartbeat of the plane.
Cantar. Cantar. Todo es desde arriba equilibrado y superior, y la vida es el aplauso que resuena en el hondo latido del avión.
Suddenly my heart turns over imminent panoramas; all the streets rise up toward the solitude of schedules; subversion of clear perspectives; “looping the loop” on the romantic trampoline of the sky, modern exercise in the ingenuous atmosphere of the poem;
Súbitamente el corazón voltea los panoramas inminentes; todas las calles salen hacia la soledad de los horarios; subversión de las perspectivas evidentes; looping the loop en el trampolín romántico del cielo, ejercicio moderno en el ambiente ingenuo del poema;
4. See note 1.
Futurism’s misogynistic aesthetics, although in a different register, since Maples Arce’s characterization of woman in his poems was idealizing and thus retrograde. Further, the estridentista quarrel with the contemporáneos group in Mexico led to “…tactics that centered on their rivals’ real or perceived homosexuality. [The estridentistas] cultivated a ‘super-macho’ image, emphasizing whenever possible their (self-proclaimed) popularity with women and sexual prowess” (Rashkin 147), as in Futurism. The bold avant-garde or avant guerre manifesto, in its violent metaphor, may, in this light, also be inherently predicated on sexual violence. Italian Futurism also allied itself with a cultural primitivism that somewhat paradoxicallyaligned the modern rebirth of Italy through technology and the supposed honest immediacy of emotion that invigorated less-developed cultures, at times causing Futurism to resemble a celebration of a period quite other than the future. The complexity of Italy’s relation to primitivism, though, reveals the country’s sense of itself as in need of modernization precisely because of its lack of cultural and technological development when compared to its European neighbors; Italy’s desire for a primitive identity was not only a kind of cultural appropriation and patronization
Illazd | Photo
(Re 361). In this regard, Italy and Mexico converge as having the necessary conditions for a Futurist-modeled cultural movement, given Mexico’s status in the early twentieth century as adopting new technologies but not quite having reached the level of development of the iconic Western European cities or the rapid ascent of the younger, robust U.S. The appeal of the far or recent past in the formation of the estridentista avant-garde, despite its supposed disavowal of previous aesthetics, may pertain particularly to its condition as a nation caught developmentally between the admixture of new and old, fitting in neither with structurally undeveloped nor the highest of high cultures. Italy’s stronger impulse to break with the past, however, came about due to being perceived almost as an outdoor museum frozen in time by the omnipresent weight of classical civilization. It had to appropriate the Industrial Revolution from Northern Europe even more so than African primitivism. A response founded in temporal and developmental uneasiness is almost certainly an inherent feature of the avant-garde project. Maples Arce’s movement diverges from the Futurist model, however, due in part to Mexico’s different historical concerns and geographic placement on the world stage. One goal of Italy’s fascist nationalist project, in order to enter modernity as experienced by Northern Europe, involved the desire to create an Italian empire through colonization. Mexico, on the other hand, was a mestizo nation founded in the first place through Spanish colonialism, and it had just successfully overthrown a dictatorship through widespread peasant revolt and the eventual emergence, among many contenders, of obregonismo. Although Italy and Mexico both shared a large peasant or working class, some of whom may have supported and others remained ignorant of the proletarian cause, the Futurists maintained their aspirations toward a system of absolute, top-down control. Violence in estridentismo, therefore, was by no means promoted for its own sake, but only saw the Revolution as a necessary means to an end. Marinetti maintained his fascist affiliations even through World War I, from which Mexico was far removed, despite the involvement of its neighbor the U.S. Estridentismo, even given its strong ideological borrowings from Futurism, was a contextually organic adaptation, not just a facile copy, of Italian Futurism. Estridentismo would also grow to include more populist, Marxist social commentaries. It underwent further changes in values and perceptions because of increasing contact with some of its founder’s aficionados, acquaintances, and appraisers. Joining Maples Arce in Jalapa, when Maples Arce transferred the group’s operations to that city in 1925, was writer Arqueles Vela from Guatemala. The mixture of fellow avant-gardists’ beliefs about art with those of Maples Arce
the color of the firmament boarded by Nature.
la Naturaleza subiendo el color del firmamento.
Upon arrival I will deliver to you this voyage of surprises, perfect equilibrium of my astronomical flight; you, you will be awaiting me in the madhouse of afternoon, just so, dispelled of distances, perhaps crying over the word autumn.
Al llegar te entregaré este viaje de sorpresas, equilibrio perfecto de mi vuelo astronómico; tú estarás esperándome en el manicomio de la tarde, así, desvanecida de distancias, acaso lloras sobre la palabra otoño.
Cities of the north of our America, yours and mine; New-York, Chicago, Baltimore.
Ciudades del norte de la América nuestra, tuya y mía; New-York, Chicago, Baltimore.
The Government regulates the colors of day, tropical ports of the Atlantic, blue coasts of the oceanographic garden, where the merchant steamers become signals; emigrant palm trees, cannibal river of fashion, springtime, always you, so svelte with flowers.
Reglamenta el gobierno los colores del día, puertos tropicales del Atlántico, azules litorales del jardín oceanográfico, donde se hacen señales los vapores mercantes; palmeras emigrantes, río caníbal de la moda, primavera, siempre tú, tan esbelta de flores.
Land where birds played at their pivots.5 Fluttering your perfume things fade, and you yourself distantly smile and sparkle, O electoral girlfriend, carroussel of glances! I will launch the candidacy of your love today that all may be supported by your throat, the orchestra of the wind, and nude colors. Something is happening there in your heart.
País donde los pájaros hicieron sus columpios. Hojeando tu perfume se marchitan las cosas, y tú lejanamente sonríes y destellas, ¡oh novia electoral, carroussel de miradas! lanzaré la candidatura de tu amor hoy que todo se apoya en tu garganta, la orquesta del viento y los colores desnudos. Algo está aconteciendo allá en el corazón.
Seasons turning while I capitalize on your nostalgia, and everything confused from dreams and from images; victory illuminates my senses and the signs of the zodiac pulse.
Las estaciones girando mientras capitalizo tu nostalgia, y todo equivocado de sueños y de imágenes; la victoria alumbra mis sentidos y laten los signos del zodíaco.
Solitude clutched against the infinite breast. From this side of time, I sustain the pulse of my song; your recollection increases like a regret, and the half-open landscape falls from my hands.
Soledad apretada contra el pecho infinito. De este lado del tiempo, sostengo el pulso de mi canto; tu recuerdo se agranda como un remordimiento, y el paisaje entreabierto se me cae de las manos.
5. The Spanish word columpio suggests rocking a baby or children on a seesaw.
Comparative Literature 106
resulted in a strong shift of estridentismo from an aesthetic to an almost wholly polemic function in the movement’s official writing. One motivation for this tendency, having begun in Puebla with Germán List Arzubide and the Stridentist Manifesto, is that “perhaps it was Maples Arce’s expressed desire to gain followers that led him to lend his name to a [subsequent] manifesto that, despite its iconoclastic spirit, did not exactly follow his original aesthetic vision” (Flores 156) in its substitution of cultural specificity for universality. With the exact purpose of estridentismo as a literary and artistic venture up for debate, a second influential group came to bear on the direction of the movement, pushing it to perhaps associate more closely with the ideological roots it had been incrementally putting down. The great socially committed Mexican muralists of the twentieth century who brought esteem to indigenous aesthetic subjects and concerns (including David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, and José Clemente Orozco) helped to ensure that estridentismo had a purpose beyond its initial concern with aesthetics. In the spirit of the political science of the Communist Manifesto and its proposed solution to the alienation of the proletarian worker, the estridentista manifestos came to decry the injustice of social conditions and advocate for the rights of the people. Belatedly Maples Arce’s choice of the literary medium found unity, and “…as a result of Maples Arce’s dialogues with mural painters, his writings began to exhibit a heightened degree of social consciousness” (Flores 14). Within and without, valuable sources of political motivation from the social activism of Maples Arce’s art and literary collaborators entered the discourse of estridentismo and modified its poetry and manifestoes according to their need for platforms of advocacy for social reform. From themes of innovative political and aesthetic ideologies to poignant separation, Maples Arce’s poems display sometimes-competing concerns and trajectories. As Maples Arce’s literary production and avant-garde movement were transmittedthrough space and time, many of the contributions of estridentismo were minimized in
comparison to the achievements of other movements in the annals of history. Critics generally seem to consider it one of the less important literary movements to have occurred in the 1920s, even within Mexico, and in fact, “there is a marked tendency to regard the poet’s ideas as derivative or as a failure in effecting any real change…” (Flores 46). Indeed, some of this indifference to Maples Arce’s estridentismo could have continued from its having competed unsuccessfully to be heard at the time among the more socially conscious muralistas and the competing contemporáneos group. Even by present-day standards of scholarship, estridentismo is “[dismissed]… as immature and lacking the ‘rigor’ shown by [its] more renowned peers, the Contemporáneos” (Rashkin 233). The important factor, then, for readers in the present is to encounter Maples Arce’s work freshly and attentively, with attention to its original context. Throughout Interior Scaffolding, Metropolis, and Forbidden Poems, the physical movement of poetic images tends away from something. The estridentista message radiates from Manuel Maples Arce to Mexico, from Mexico to the world through wireless telephony, and on into the atmosphere aboard an airplane, as in the first section of Forbidden Poems. In its second section, the poems shy away from the technology that had just been embraced, moving away from what had seemed their destination, meaning actually back toward their origins in the Latin American literary inheritance that Maples Arce had attempted to cast off rather than toward contemporary influences. The foundations of Interior Scaffolding and Metropolis are complicated and replicated in their trajectory by Forbidden Poems finally exalting Mexico as both historical and future-forward. History moves away from the legacy of the Mexican Revolution, as time passes and events develop. If Maples Arce can reveal the complexities of this movement, however, as both forwards and backwards, and technology as both progressive and destructive, then perhaps a new reading, away from Spanish but toward an English-speaking public, can help to recapture the innate dynamics of estridentismo in action.
Bibliography Roberto. Los detectives salvajes. New York: Vintage Español, 2010. Print. Flores, Tatiana. Mexico’s Revolutionary Avant-Gardes: From Estridentismo to ¡30-30! New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. Print. Gallo, Rubén. Mexican Modernity: The Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. Print. García, Carlos. “Anexo: Manuel Maples Arce y Guillermo de Torre (1921-1922).” Las letras y la amistad: Correspondencia Alfonso Reyes/ Guillermo de Torre, 1920-1958. 3rd ed. Valencia: Pre-Textos, 2013. 247–255. Web. Maples Arce, Manuel. “Actual No 1: Hoja de Vanguardia. Comprimido Estridentista,” Dec. 1921. Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City. —. Andamios interiores: Poemas radiográficos. Mexico City: Cultura, 1922. Print.
—. Antología de la poesía mexicana moderna. Rome: Poligráfica Tiberina, 1940. Print. —. “El movimiento estridentista en 1922.” El Universal Ilustrado: Semanario artístico popular (Mexico City) 6, no.294 (December 1922): 25. —. “Nuevas ideas: La estética del sidero-cemento.” Horizonte: Revista mensual de actividad contemporánea ( Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico), no. 3 ( June 1926): 9–11. —. Poemas interdictos. Jalapa, Mexico: Ediciones de Horizonte, 1927. Print. —. El paisaje en la literatura mexicana. Mexico City: Librería Porrúa, 1944. Print. —. Las semillas del tiempo: Obra poética 1919-1980. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1981. Print. —. Mi vida por el mundo. Jalapa, Mexico: Universidad Veracruzana, 1983. Print.
—. Urbe: Super-poema bolchevique en 5 cantos. Mexico City: Andrés Botas e hijo, 1924. Print. Maples Arce, Manuel, and Germán List Arzubide, et. al. “Manifiesto estridentista.” Puebla: Ediciones de Horizonte, 1923. Francisco Reyes Palma Archive, Mexico City. Rashkin, Elissa J. The Stridentist Movement in Mexico: The Avante-Garde and Cultural Change in the 1920s. New York: Lexington Books, 2009. Print. Schneider, Luis Mario. El estridentismo, o una literatura de la estrategia. Mexico City: Conaculta, 1997. Print. Unruh, Vicky. Latin American Vanguards: The Art of Contentious Encounters. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Print. Wall, Catharine E. The Poetics of Word and Image in the Hispanic Avant-Garde. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2010. Print.
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About the Contributors 108
Mariam Al Askari
Majors in Slavic Languages and Literature and History • 2013 Undergraduate Research Grant, Best Slavic Thesis
Majors in Philosophy and Art History • 2015 David Hull Prize 2015 Warnock Prize 2015 Jock McLane Prize
What is your research topic in a nutshell? My research focuses on disproving the peasant mythology espoused by Leo Tolstoy's most famous novels by arguing that Russians behaved logically and similarly to other historical actors of the time. Using a series of published Russian documents involving minor peasant disobediences from 1861-1905, I argue that peasants were simply trying to improve their often abysmal situation by utilizing any means available to them rather than adhering to a special philosophy. I took “Introduction to Russian Literature” and thought that what Levin believed about his peasants in Anna Kareninaran counter to what I had learn in “The History of Imperial Russia.” My undergraduate research grant only fueled my interest, and I wanted to read more of the documents to see if my initial hypothesis was correct.
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? Cosmopolitanism is the ideal of world-existence, freedom, and peaceful cooperation between all human beings. It is fulfilled at a global level. The purpose of this paper is to question precisely this notion of the “global,” which seems to be embedded within theories of cosmopolitanism, and notably, within Kant’s model. The global phenomenon fuels the cosmopolitan ideal; yet in doing so, it also complicates cosmopolitanism.
What have you been up to since graduation? I am currently in Nizhnii Novgorod, Russia continuing my research of minor peasant disturbances between 1861 and 1905 as a Fulbright Student Research Grant recipient. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class was “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible.” I had never really read the Bible before, and I found it very interesting and useful. I understand a lot more allusions now.
How did you come up with your research topic? In winter 2014, Professor Rebecca Johnson taught a course called “Cosmopolitan Reading East & West,” which explored different variations and iterations of cosmopolitanism. The course’s themes, questions and reading material strongly resonated with me, until after its conclusion. I left the course thinking about how cosmopolitanism as a concept or ideal is affected both positively and negatively by the globalization of communication networks, which then led to a deeper investigation on the meaning of cosmopolitanism in relation to globalization today. What have you been up to since graduation? After graduation, I returned to my hometown of Abu Dhabi, where I helped organize the city’s first exhibition of Sovietera art called Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace. I am now attending Home Works 7: A Forum on Cultural Practices, whose multidisciplinary program of exhibitions, performances, film screenings and lectures were organized by the Beirut based non-profit, Ashkal Alwan. In January 2016, I moved temporarily to Morocco to join curator Reem Fadda’s team in setting up the Marrakech Biennale for art. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Two of my favorite courses at Northwestern were “Cosmopolitan Reading East & West,” with Professor Rebecca Johnson, English / MENA (you guessed it!), and “Afrofuturism: Race, Technology, and Liberation,” with Professor Alexander Weheliye.
Majors in Political Science and Urban Studies
Major in Chemistry Minor in Asian American Studies • 2012-2013, 2014 Undergraduate Research Grants, 2015 Chemistry Department Scholar Award
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? Black individuals in the United States make up 13 percent of the total American population, but account for 39 percent of the total incidences of police brutality since 2000. Given the disproportionate level of violence black Americans suffer and the media attention police brutality has been receiving, why do only 33 percent of cases in which an unarmed black individual is killed by the police lead to protest?
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? My research uses 1H NMR analysis to study the solvent and temperature effects on the conformations of chiral organic amines capable of intramolecular hydrogen bonding.
How did you come up with your research topic? Frustrated that there wasn’t much data on cases of police brutality publicly available, I built my own dataset and noticed that there were many cases of police violence that the public never hears about. Given how much attention the protests of a handful of cases got in 2014, I wondered why there weren’t more protests in response to these incidents. What have you been up to since graduation? After graduating, I moved to Chicago and started a one-year fellowship in the intergovernmental affairs department of the Office of the Governor of Illinois. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Politics of Southeast Asia, with Professor Jeffrey Winters.
How did you come up with your research topic? My research question started when my professors and I became curious about some unusual preliminary NMR spectroscopy results for the chiral amines we had made. We proposed that the spectral differences could be attributed to different molecular conformations of the enantiomers as a function of solvent and temperature. What have you been up to since graduation? After graduating, I came back to Northwestern to pursue a master’s degree in engineering and continued working on this project with my research group. My goal is to develop my research experiences and be able to incorporate my chemistry background with engineering to develop improved methods of medical treatment. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class at Northwestern was the CHEM 350 Advanced Laboratory Sequence. Even though this was also my most challenging learning experience, I learned so much from my professors and TA’s in expanding my ability to solve problems and communicate my ideas through writing and oral presentations.
Majors in Environmental Sciences and African-American Studies • 2013-2015 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship 5th cohort
Major in Anthropology Minor in Gender Studies • 2014-2015 SIGP 2014-2015 WCAS Summer Research Grant
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? My research addresses the body as a social construct and looking into its (re)formations through Afrofuturism and the Superheroic genre. I also analyze objects and artifacts of twentieth to twenty-first century popular culture to critique the intersections of race, gender, queerness, and disability in the speculative imagination.
What is your research topic, in a nut shell? I study the way movement throughout the landscape reinforces and challenges social positions and relationships. I tie the time, place, and social context of Ightham Mote to broader ideas of the way our embodied daily practices teach us how to interact with others through the medium of space.
About the Contributors
How did you come up with your research topic? At first it was just me seeing what I get away with, until eventually this vague project about “Afrofuturism and superheroes” started leading me down this rabbit hole of posthumanism, transcorporeality, racialized assemblages, (post)modernity, and so much more. I wanted to shake up our ideas about bodies and selves.
What have you been up to since graduation? I’m currently busy with an AmeriCorps VISTA term in Billings, Montana. I’m on a team of people working on an anti-poverty and food justice city initiative focused on parks and community gardens. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Politics of Black Pop Music with Dr. Alexander Weheliye. It was the first time I looked at pop culture as a research topic and realized that I actually had some cool ideas about it. This project was sparked by the work I got to do that quarter.
How did you come up with your research topic? My original thesis idea considered how (constraints on) movement throughout prisons affects mental health and perception of self. When I was asked to develop a book chapter on Ightham, I modified my thesis to consider this topic within the context of Ightham's medieval landscape. What have you been up to since graduation? Since graduation, I have returned to Northwestern as a fulltime staff member in the IT Support Center and applied to the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program here. I have also been developing this thesis into a chapter for a volume on archaeology in medieval south eastern England. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class at Northwestern was Gregory Ward's Language and Sexuality (GNDR_ST 390). It changed the way I think about my speech and the language around me, and how things that may seem natural to us reinforce and are reinforced by our identities.
Major in English Literature • 2015 Undergraduate Research Grant 2015 Helen G. Grant Award
Major in Chemistry Minor in Mathematics • 2012-2014 CLP Lambert Fellowship Undergraduate Research Grants and WCAS Research Grants Recipient
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? My research explores the way Edgar Allen Poe represents the natural world as an enduring, vital force, by contrast to his fragile and dying characters. My objective was to consider Poe’s stories as urging us to re-examine our relationship with the world, since we tend to overestimate our power.
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? We rationally designed inhibitors for a novel drug target, NEDD4-1, which is potentially linked to Ewing Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer in kids.
How did you come up with your research topic? Since I am obsessed with horror books and films, I was excited to take on a thesis project that spoke to my interests beyond the classroom setting. I also wanted to approach Poe from a relevant, modern angle, as a way to understand why his twisted tales continue to intrigue us. What have you been up to since graduation? I currently live in New York City where I work at GroupM, an advertising media company. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Professor Erkkila’s “Reading and Interpreting Poe,” of course!
How did you come up with your research topic? I was very drawn to the idea of using my knowledge of organic chemistry to design agents that could interact with biological targets, and NEDD4-1 turned out to be a viable target that had not received much attention. What have you been up to since graduation? I am currently an MD/Ph.D. student at University of Pennsylvania. On one hand, I have fully immersed myself in the realm of clinical medicine, studying gross anatomy and microbiology; on the other, I have been thinking about scientific problems such as how acceleration of metabolism could potentially cure obesity and Type 2 diabetes. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? I like many classes offered at Northwestern. If I have to pick one, it would probably be Organic Chemistry of Drug Action and Drug Design, taught by Professor Richard Silverman.
Yazan Abu Ghaida
Northwestern University in Qatar Media & Communication
Majors in Sociology and Empathic Design â€˘ 2014 Undergraduate Research Grant 2015 Best Thesis in Sociology
Tell us a little about your paper. This paper looks at the â€œMinistry of Dub-Key,â€? a band based in Haifa that fuses traditional Palestinian music with reggae music to create something completely separate from the two. The research also explores and implies some potential links between the band's music and the larger pro-democratic movement we refer to as the Arab Spring. The paper draws links between live performances and protests. Furthermore, links are drawn between the events of the Arab Spring and the genesis/philosophy of the band. Finally, the paper compares ways in which Arab Spring protestors and the band challenge oppression through the manipulation of traditional and mainstream media.
About the Contributors
How did you get interested in the topic of music/ performance as a form of resistance? As a young musician of Palestinian heritage, I have always felt connected to musicians amongst Arab youth in Israel and the West Bank. While the local music scene seems to be very active, very little is known about what they do and why. I wanted to shed light on this band as individuals who practice a nonviolent form of resistance through media.
Did you face any difficulties conducting the research? While it was relatively easy to get in contact with the band, I was restricted from traveling to Haifa due to my Jordanian citizenship. It would have been almost impossible for me to get a visa to visit non-family members due to political restrictions and recent tensions. What is your biggest takeaway with working on research? Every research project is a long-term commitment that can come with many crisis-like situations. However, you always leave a project with a heightened perspective of your field and all research in general. It's a bit difficult to explain, but seeing that development is a great feeling. What is your biggest takeaway with working on research? Every research project is a long-term commitment that can come with many crisis-like situations. However, you always leave a project with a heightened perspective of your field and all research in general. It's a bit difficult to explain, but seeing that development is a great feeling.
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? My research questions the social nature of creativity and what influences the development of a creative self-concept. I am deeply interested in how embeddedness in a network drives information exchange and new ideas. How did you come up with your research topic? My research evolved from typical, college-aged (egocentric) introspection and my desire to parse out a nebulous concept that I have long held as part of my own identity. Spending a summer across the country but encountering new people that had very similar backgrounds as me pushed me to question the implications of my own network and how I am shaped by the people I surround myself with. What have you been up to since graduation? After graduating, I joined Uptake, a predictive analytics startup for industry that is based in Chicago. I am enjoying working with smart people, having time to pursue personal projects, and being a beginner. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? I am definitely grateful for the opportunity to pursue my own research interests with the support and resources of Northwestern and its community. Completing my thesis was a meaningful way to finish many years in school, as well as a really exciting challenge.
Conner Singh VanderBeek
Major in Asian Languages & Civilizations • 2015 Wyatt Fund Grant 2014 Undergraduate Research Grant Hsu-Wigmore Senior Honors Thesis Award
Major in Philosophy
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? When practiced by a small enclave of Punjabis in inner-city Chicago, what does Sikhism look and sound like?
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? In a nutshell, my research focused on the act of interpretation and the idea of incomprehensibility and the sublime in Kafka's work.
How did you come up with your research topic? I grew up two hours from Yuba City, California, home of the largest Sikh community in the United States. My grandparents live there, so Sikhism has been an inherent part of my upbringing. My research question came from wondering how Sikhism survives when separated from such a prominent Punjabi community. What have you been up to since graduation? After graduation, I worked in New Delhi for three months before coming home to continue my research on the Punjabi diaspora, this time focusing on my home state of California. I have also continued composing and am nearing the completion of a noise / experimental album about everyday anxiety and burnout. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class at Northwestern was Field Methods in Musicology, taught by Dr. Inna Naroditskaya. It was for this class that I attended the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago. The research I started with Inna has since led me to conduct fieldwork in three countries.
How did you come up with your research topic? My interest in pursuing this topic was fueled primarily by two classes: “Kafka & Nietzsche,” taught by Professor Fenves in the German department, and “Aesthetics of Hegel and Adorno,” taught by Professor Zuckert in the philosophy department. Professor Fenves' class established Kafka as my favorite author and Professor Zuckert's class piqued my interest in aesthetic analysis. Also, an essay by Walter Benjamin entitled “Franz Kafka: On the Tenth Anniversary of His Death” raised a number of questions about the possibility of interpretation in Kafka's work that I sought to answer. What have you been up to since graduation? Since graduation, like many philosophy majors I imagine, I have been working some freelance jobs while looking for full time work. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? I couldn’t pick just one favorite class. It would have to be a tie between the two classes that inspired my research topic: “Kafka and Nietzsche” and “Aesthetics of Hegel and Adorno.”
About the Contributors 114
Majors in Theatre and International Studies • 2015 Frank Safford Award 2015 Frank Galati Essay Prize
Majors in English Literature and International Studies • 2014 Undergraduate Research Grant
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? My research topic examines the empirical relationship between theatre and human rights in Belarus. The Belarus Free Theatre is a Belarusian underground theatre group famous for performing controversial plays that are often critical of the regime, or handle taboo topics that are barred from public discussion. The theatre has no official performance space, remains unregistered by the Ministry of Culture, and faces persecution every day as they continue to function underground. Despite consistent repression, the Free Theatre has generated a following both in Belarus and among Western Audiences as a voice for the oppressed in Europe’s last dictatorship. How did the theatre survive so long in one of the most repressive dictatorships in Europe? How does it continue to survive? How can theatre be a means of political activism?
What is your research topic? In a nut shell, I used narrative theory to research how Jane Austen’s narrative strategies differed from the narrative strategies of her contemporaries (especially Fanny Burney). Specifically, I compared Austen’s consonant narration to the freeing language used by Mary Wollsotonecraft, and Burney’s narration to that of didactic conduct literature. This comparison enabled me to read Austen as more progressive than critics commonly read her.
How did you come up with your research topic? I first saw the Belarus Free Theatre perform when I was a freshman. I was incredibly moved by their performance, and since that night I decided I wanted to discover more about the relationship between theatre and human rights. What draws me to study theatre is the deep human connection an actor can have with the audience. What inspires me about international studies is the ability to find common ground among people on a global scale. Therefore, this research question combined my two majors and allowed me to discover how and why art can make a political difference in the modern world. What have you been up to since graduation? I have been working, volunteering in the non-profit sector, traveling, reading, and writing. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class at Northwestern was the Senior Thesis Seminar for International Studies. The course allowed me to spend a year delving into my research topic, and the guidance and mentorship I received from my advisor and members of the department were critical to the development of the project. I am grateful to the course for allowing me to take my education at Northwestern a step further.
How did you come up with your research topic? My research question stemmed from a class on Jane Austen and Narrative Theory that I took with my thesis advisor, Emily Rohrbach. What have you been up to since graduation? I am currently working toward a Ph.D. in 18th century English Literature at Indiana University Bloomington. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Hard to pick! I loved the class on narrative theory that inspired my thesis project, but I also really enjoyed the thesis class itself (taught by Christopher Lane). It was nice to receive weekly feedback from my peers. I couldn’t have gotten through my thesis without their help, and the help of my professors.
Majors in Social Policy and Gender Studies • 2014 Undergraduate Research Grant
Major in Comparative Literary Studies Minor in Environmental Policy & Culture • 2014 Nolan Scholarship, 2014 H. Paul Friesema Award, 2015 Robert A. Dentler Memorial Prize
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? How do once meaningful discourses become distorted with time to become counter-productive, normalizing terms?
What is your research topic, in a nutshell? The 20th century poet that initiated avant-garde writing in Mexico, Manuel Maples Arce, has been largely overlooked in literary history in Spanish and English. His ingenuity deserves recognition—although he may have been more conventional than he thought—including translations of much of his poetry into English for the first time.
How did you come up with your research topic? I have been passionate about the issue of sexual assault on college campuses for a long time, and I knew I wanted to incorporate it largely into my thesis. In my junior year, I did an independent study with Professor Mary Dietz, who later became my thesis advisor, and I became fascinated with radical feminism, particularly with Catharine MacKinnon. The project started as a what would radical feminists, who argued essentially that no sex is truly consensual due to inherent power differentials, think about this issue of sexual assault on college campuses, but particularly the way that we talk about it. What have you been up to since graduation? In August 2015, I began working at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as a paralegal. I assist with trial preparation on a variety of cases, ranging from misdemeanor drug possession to sexual assault and other felonies. I hope to apply for law school in fall 2016. What is your favorite class at Northwestern? My favorite class, and also one of my most challenging courses, was Feminist Theory with Professor Mary Dietz.
How did you come up with your research topic? I first read Maples Arce in Harris Feinsod’s multidisciplinary (Spanish/English/Comparative Literature) Poetry of History in the Americas class. This innovative class led me to identify Professor Feinsod as my thesis advisor, and he helped me discern this project as feasible, significant, and ideal for my interest in translation. What have you been up to since graduation? I have been living in my hometown of Chicago, spending many weekends in Milwaukee, job hunting, and working part-time online as a proposal editor for a California-based government technical contractor. I was lucky enough to visit SoCal and the Grand Canyon for the first time this summer! What is your favorite class at Northwestern? Perhaps unpredictably, the class I usually say I enjoyed the most was Intro to Metaphysics with Fabrizio Cariani. Our philosophical discussions of existence, time travel, and possible universes entirely captivated my curiosity.
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The annual Best Senior Theses Issue of the NURJ, featuring articles from across 15 academic disciplines, with research from NU-Qatar and exc...
Published on May 12, 2016
The annual Best Senior Theses Issue of the NURJ, featuring articles from across 15 academic disciplines, with research from NU-Qatar and exc...