NURJ 2016-2017 (1)

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nurj – vol. 12

Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal

VOL. 12 2016-2017

Masthead vol. 12 | 2016-2017

Josh Shi Allen Taflove Bit Meehan Florence Fu Lena Thompson Maria Kaufman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF








Graham Cromley Rachel Suen Kandace Webb

Leslie Zhang Matthew Zhang

The staff of the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal would like to expresss our appreciation for all those who recognize and contribute to our endeavors. Without their support, we would be unable to produce the 2016-17 edition of the Journal.

We are especially appreciative of our faculty advisor, Allen Taflove of the Electrical 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 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.

On cover: Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Oil on canvas. 76x64 cm. Britain, 1697. Source of Entry: Collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, 1779.Accessed April 25, 2017 from: http:// Slight changes made to original.


5 Letters

Josh Shi & Allen Taflove




Male Sex Right and The Fraternal Social Contract: An Analysis of Political Membership in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government


Che cosa c’è in un nome? Uno studio onomastico sui nomi, soprannomi, ed appellativi utilizzati nella tetralogia L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante Maria Massucco

Ken-Terika Zellner



Remedying Inferiority: Institutional Engagement with Argentine Indios after the Conquest of the Desert Bill Edwards



Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Integration Through Group Rights Shakeeb Asrar



Elizabeth Gerber Associate Professor of Design at Northwestern University, Faculty Founder of Design for America, Co-Founder of the Delta Lab, and Director of the Segal Research Cluster



Bryan Pardo Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering; head of the Interactive Audio Lab



Thank You for Playing: A Rational Choice Theory of Friendship Elena Barham



Therapeutic High Schools: Healing in the Age of Ethnic Studies


Cinthya Abigail Rodriguez


Exploring the Interpretations of Folk Songs: Three Case Studies in Digital Humanities Melissa Ileanna-Codd



Hamid Naficy



The Politics of Rentier Benefits and Permanent Residency in Qatar

Mark Ratner Dumas University Professor at Northwestern University and Co-Director of the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in the School of Communication




Jueun Choi


Decentralizing Computers and Capitalism: Silicon Valley and the Politics of the Free Market, 1971-1984 William Kirkland



Making Mainstream Asian America: Productions and Representations of Asian American Identity in Television and Web Series Theanne Liu



Norman Wickett Professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences



Examining the Gender Gap: Where are the Educated Qatari Women in the Workforce? Malak Monir



Recuperating Monique Wittig through the ‘Site of Action’ Sarah Moss


From the Editor It would be reductive, but not incorrect, to say that research is hard. Research demands us to be critical of the world in which we live, for our peers to be critical of our work, and for us to be critical of ourselves. Research at the undergraduate level can seem especially daunting. In this issue, we publish the 12 best theses across eight departments written by undergraduates here at Northwestern University. These students have invited us to reexamine the foundations of our citizenship, how we view our relationships with our friends, and the origins of Silicon Valley. These undergraduates have spent their senior years testing and challenging their hypotheses. The rigor by which they have been reviewed and the quality of their work have led the heads of their respective departments to deem them the best senior theses. So while research is hard, I think another word is necessary to capture the essence of research: rewarding. To contribute to human knowledge is immensely enriching, worth all those nights spent poring over literature, conducting studies, and running experiments. These works provide a preview of our future researchers, those who in a few years will be our scientists, scholars, and historians. As you read these pieces, I hope you are as moved, challenged, and provoked as the editorial board and I were when we reviewed them. Happy reading,

Josh Shi Editor-in-Chief 006

From the Advisor The Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal (nurj) is an annual student-produced print and web-based publication funded by the President’s Office. We are very grateful for President Schapiro’s continuing generous support. New in Volume 12 (the 2016-17 issue), we are publishing: • Best Senior Theses selected by eight academic departments, including three from NU-Qatar • feature interviews of faculty members who have been advisers of undergraduate students engaged in significant research: Elizabeth Gerber, Hamid Naficy, Bryan Pardo, Mark Ratner, and Norman Wickett. As in past years, nurj is freely available to students at newsstands at major campus locations. In addition, copies of nurj are distributed to Northwestern University Deans, Department Chairs, and Program Chairs, as well as to academic, advising, and research offices across campus. Now, enjoy learning about the marvelous research investigations of Northwestern’s top students!

Best regards,

Allen Taflove, Professor, NURJ Faculty Advisor Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science McCormick School of Engineering Northwestern University 007



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Male Sex Right and the Fraternal Social Contract: An Analysis of Political Membership in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government Ken-Terika Zellner Charles Mills Faculty Advisor


To interrogate this tension, I use Carol Pateman’s notion of the “fraternal social contract,” which subjugates women’s bodies to individual men. I argue that birth-based citizenship is a corollary to the fraternal social contract which gives the (male) state access to women’s reproductive power, thereby turning every woman into a citizen (re) producer for the state. Furthermore, I show how Locke’s notion of “tacit consent” functions as an exclusionary mechanism, dividing the citizenry into white male “perfect members” who receive the full rights of democratic citizenship, and white women, nonwhites, and children are “associate members” who are obliged to follow the laws but are prevented from fully participating in democracy. » 009



his thesis is about patriarchy, politics, and women’s bodies. In this paper, I demonstrate that birth-based citizenship is a corollary to the sexual contract that grants a “civil fraternity” of men access to women’s reproductive capacities. First, I use Carol Pateman’s notion of the fraternal social contract to argue that Locke’s insistence that birth is not, in fact, the mechanism by which governments “make” their citizens. Rather, it is a patriarchal attempt to render women and women’s bodies politically irrelevant. Next, I interrogate Locke’s distinction between express and tacit consent. I propose two categories of membership to reconcile Locke’s statements with the “real world,” while arguing that consent and the ability to consent has the power to exclude unprivileged groups from the polity. JOHN LOCKE, BIRTH-BASED CITIZENSHIP, AND THE FRATERNAL SOCIAL CONTRACT Because the aim of this project is to interrogate Lockean political membership mechanisms by situating consent alongside the practice of assuming citizenship from birth, it is necessary to consider who gives birth as we consider the political significance of membership via birth. The fact that women give birth is an empirical claim in only the loosest sense. However, this fact will form the basis of the foregoing analysis of the state as biologically reproduced. Because birth is a universal criterion for state membership, I argue that a key corollary to what Pateman calls the “fraternal social contract,” which gives men qua men access to women’s bodies, is that the state simultaneously gains access to women’s bodies through birthbased citizenship practices. I show that Locke, committed to keeping women outside of his political ontology, explicitly excludes birth as a criterion for political membership. “If the state is to continue, it must have citizens,” writes Buker, and it is women who produce those citizens. Yuval-Davis contends that women biologically produce citizen bodies and culturally reproduce the collective identities which reproduce the nation-state generation after generation.¹⁴ “By dressing and behaving ‘properly’, and by giving birth to children within legitimate marriages, [women] both signify and reproduce the symbolic and legal boundaries of the collectivity.”¹ Indeed, McIntosh’s Marxist-feminist contention, that the “household system” is necessary for capitalist modes of production “for the reproduction of the working class” is instructive (255). For the existence of the state


as a political entity analogously requires a birthbased citizenship system for the reproduction of the citizenry through women’s bodies. Birth-based citizenship is a key component of the fraternal social contract. As Pateman explains, “Modern patriarchy is fraternal in form and the original contract is a fraternal pact.”¹⁰ Under traditional patriarchal theory, such as Robert Filmer’s, both political right and sex right are located in the figure of the father. In other words, men qua fathers exercise political rule and have sexual access to women’s bodies. However, under the fraternal social contract, it is the “male principle” which unites all men qua men under a common bond, thereby forming a fraternity.¹⁰ This band of brothers separates political right from sex right, relegating political right to the polis— where women are not allowed—and sex right to the now apolitical family—women’s proper domain. The new “fatherless” patriarchy preserves women’s subjection, but frees men from the rule of the father-patriarch-king so that all men by virtue of their maleness— instead of their status of fathers—can share in the father’s former power in two separate spheres: the public polis and the private family. The fraternal social contract marks the advent of a new being: the citizen. The brothers who banded together to defeat the patriarchal father now exist in relation to each other as citizens, members of the new polis. The status of citizen is one based on consent. To increase the number of citizens in a political society, more (male) individuals would have to consent to become members. Intuitively, then, one might imagine a citizenship-granting procedure that is open to all adult (male) individuals involving a series of oaths to observe the laws, pay taxes, etc. However, this is not what happens. Sure, there are immigration procedures which allow people to become citizens of nations of which they are not already members, but people are citizens somewhere before they migrate, i.e., take an oath to become a lawful member of a state. Furthermore, most people never immigrate, yet everyone is a citizen. How does this happen? Citizenship is assumed from birth. Whether because of who a child’s parents are (jus sanguinis) or because of where a child is born (jus soli), the status of citizen is conferred onto the child the moment he is born. These forms of birth-based citizenship are exercises of male sex right. Discussions of male sex right most often bring to mind images of marriage. To return to McIntosh, it is easy to see how heterosexual marriage grants men access to women’s bodies because of their respective statuses as men and women. Indeed, speaking of state custody laws, Jacqueline Stevens writes, “The state itself, by controlling reproduction, appropriates the reproduction

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“The state recognizes the power of women’s reproductive capacities as essential for the continued existence of the state, and birthbased citizenship practices allow the state to appropriate those reproductive capacities.” for which mothers are otherwise responsible.”¹² However, this same paradigm applies to birthbased citizenship practices. The fraternal social contract separates political right and sex right. Sex right, in one of its guises, is exercised by the husband-father over the wife-mother. Political right is dispersed throughout the civil fraternity that is formed by the social contract; civil fraternity is also a site of male sex right. By legally declaring that every child born in a certain place or every child born to certain parents is a citizen, i.e., a member of the political society formed by the fraternal social contract, the civil fraternity asserts authority over women’s bodies by appropriating their reproductive powers for the purposes of maintaining and continuing political society. Male sex right as exercised by the civil fraternity—as opposed to individual husbands over their wives—legally designates all women of a certain “blood” or all women within the borders of a certain territory citizen producers. As Eisenstein powerfully states, Patriarchy, as a system of oppression, recognizes the potential power of women and the actual power of men. Its purpose is to destroy woman’s consciousness about her potential power, which derives from the necessity of society to reproduce itself. By trying to affect woman’s consciousness and her life options, patriarchy protects the appropriation of women’s sexuality, their reproductive capacities, and their labor by individual men and society as a whole.⁵

The state recognizes the power of women’s reproductive capacities as essential for the continued existence of the state, and birthbased citizenship practices allow the state to appropriate those reproductive capacities. Paradoxically, however, women’s reproduction is relegated to the apolitical private sphere of the family.¹ By simultaneously assuming citizenship from birth and situating the decision whether or not to have children as

a private family matter, the state co-opts women’s biological capacities while obscuring the state-sustaining power of women’s bodies.² Keeping women ignorant of their power in this way is key to women’s subordination, which is “to men as men, or to men as a fraternity.” Birthbased citizenship is one of many manifestations of fatherless fraternal patriarchy.¹⁰ John Locke’s political theory, which Pateman considers “historically decisive” in the transition from traditional patriarchy to fraternal patriarchy, directly addresses birth as a criterion for membership in a political society.¹⁰ As Locke writes, And thus the Consent of Free-men, born under Government, which only makes them Members of it, being given separately in their turns, as each comes to be of Age, and not in a multitude together; People take no notice of it, and thinking it not done at all, or not necessary, conclude they are naturally Subjects as they are Men. But, ‘tis plain, Governments themselves understand it otherwise; they claim no Power over the Son, because of that they had over the Father; nor look on Children as being their Subjects, by their Fathers being so.⁶

Clearly, then, Locke is imagining a citizenship granting process similar to that described above, in which (male) individuals consent to join a political society after coming of age. It is central to Locke’s liberal agenda that people consent to their membership in a political society, but even he is aware of how bizarre it sounds to say that non-immigrant citizens consented to their nationality status. Locke acknowledges that this consenting process is subtle—“People take no notice of it”—but insists that each person consents individually and that real-world governments do not consider children to be their political subjects. However, as Stevens points out, Locke here tells a “fib” because for membership states rely on either birth within a certain




territory or birth to a certain bloodline.¹² Locke could have declared birth-based citizenship patently illiberal and proposed consent-based citizenship to replace it, but instead, he claims that birth-based citizenship does not exist in the world. Locke is committed to the fraternal patriarchal agenda of separating political right from sex right and so considers women’s reproductive capacities wholly separate from matters of the polis. Launching a defense of Locke and claiming that governments really do “understand it otherwise,” that children born within their territories or possessing a specified pedigree are not members of their states, would require close, nuanced readings of various citizenship statutes to determine whether or not those statutes intend to include children as citizens or not. Understandably, I hope, it is beyond the scope of this thesis to anticipate the findings of such a detailed study and provide countryspecific responses for all—if any—nations that “claim no Power over the Son.” However, if the current American case is at all generalizable, then it is quite clear that children are citizens and that they are citizens from birth. We give to children all manner of citizenship paraphernalia that clearly establish them as citizens—birth certificates, passports, social security numbers. After all, the Fourteenth Amendment states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States… are citizens of the United States,” and this language certainly does not exclude children.¹³ This is all to say that birth and not consent is that which governments recognize to confer citizenship. Rather than acknowledging this fact about the world, Locke leaves birth out of his political theory and further removes women and women’s bodies from his political ontology. Birth-based citizenship means that women— either women who find themselves in certain places or women with certain blood in their veins—will serve as citizen-producers for the state. In other words, the moment a woman gives birth to a child, the state counts that child among its members, thereby coopting women’s reproductive labor. Birth-based citizenship must be understood as part of modern fraternal patriarchy, specifically as male sex right exercised by the civil fraternity. We can understand John Locke’s peculiar decision to insist that individuals become members of governments by consenting as ultimately patriarchal in form. Because political right is separate from sex right, childbearing is non-political and therefore has nothing to do with governments and their citizens. True to patriarchal form, the state is indebted to and appropriates women’s reproductive capacities but simultaneously deems reproductive labor

“We give to children all manner of citizenship paraphernalia that clearly establish them as citizens— birth certificates, passports, social security numbers.” private and apolitical. Though Locke firmly establishes himself as anti-patriarchal contra the likes of Robert Filmer, his political theory merely repackages traditional patriarchy under the guise of liberalism. ASSOCIATE AND PERFECT MEMBERSHIP: EXPRESS CONSENT AS EXCLUSIONARY MECHANISM Part of the work Locke does in the Second Treatise is establishing just how individuals become members of civil society, i.e. become citizens. All men are naturally “free, equal, and independent,” so the only way to form a community and thereby trade those natural freedoms for the protections and comforts of civil society is by “agreeing with other Men to join and unite into a Community.”⁶ Locke goes on to call this the “original Compact.”⁶ The last section “John Locke, Birth-Based Citizenship, and the Fraternal Social Contract” shows how this original compact grants men access to women’s bodies as citizen-producers. In this section, I demonstrate how the state is able to co-opt women’s reproductive power by making citizenship a function of birth while at the same time excluding women (and nonwhites) from active participation in democracy. Not everyone “signs” the social contract. A large part of Pateman’s project in The Sexual Contract is to draw attention to the fact that women are excluded from the signing of the social contract. First, individuals in the state of nature are explicitly sexed.¹⁰ In his discussion of “conjugal society,” Locke makes it clear that men and women can marry in the state of

nurj – vol. 12 nature, and that men should have the last word in marital disagreements because the man is the “abler and the stronger.”⁶ Second, Locke employs a head of household model in his discussion of the family. The father of a family exercises “that Executive Power of the Law of Nature,” “which, as a Man, he had a right to.”⁶ Lacking both the marital authority given to the husband because of his “abler and stronger” understanding, and the father’s naturally given “executive power,” women have neither the ability nor the right to enter into contracts. The signatories of the social contract are not only exclusively male; they are also exclusively white. In his groundbreaking book, Mills employs a number of mechanisms to uncover the “racial contract,” which remains obscured behind mainstream accounts of “classic” political texts. To focus on Locke’s social contract doctrine, individuals are able to come together and sign the social contract because they are said to exist as free and equal beings in the state of nature. However, only whites possess those necessary traits, while “[nonwhite] subpersons—niggers, injuns, chinks, wogs, greasers, blackfellows, kaffirs, coolies, abos, dinks, googoos, gooks—are biologically destined never to penetrate the normative rights ceiling established for them below white persons.”⁹ In other words, nonwhites lack the moral stuff on which the possibility of signing the social contract is based. As a result, these nonwhite subpersons exist as “constitutive outsiders to the political, moral, and epistemological norms that structure the white social world,” which includes Locke’s political theory given in the Second Treatise.⁸ Additionally, the chief reason Locke gives for individuals wanting to leave the state of nature in the first place is the protection of private property. A key requirement for the society that is formed upon leaving the state of nature is that whatever property-based inequality that existed in the state of nature be preserved in the new political community. Mills juxtaposes Lockean property concerns and the deliberate economic exploitation of nonwhites. If civil society preserves whatever property-based inequality existed in the state of nature, then it becomes clear that nonwhites are not at all the beneficiaries of the protections of the social contract. Perhaps most striking for this analysis is Mills’ unpacking of Locke’s statements regarding natural law in the state of nature: Those who show by their actions that they lack or have “renounced” the reason of natural law and are like “wild Savage Beasts, with whom Men can have no Society nor Security,” may licitly be destroyed. But if in the racial polity nonwhites may be regarded as inherently

bestial and savage (quite independently of what they happen to be doing at any particular moment), then by extension they can be conceptualized in part as carrying the state of nature around with them, incarnating wildness and wilderness in their person.⁹

Unlike their white European counterparts, nonwhites, because of their “bestial and savage” status, never leave the state of nature. As Mills makes clear, there are a number of devices in Locke’s (and others’) political writing that directly exclude nonwhites from being party to the social contract. While he does not do so for women and nonwhites, Locke directly addresses the limited autonomy of children: “Children, I confess, are not born in this state of equality, though they are born to it” (304; II, 55). Because they have yet to exit their nonage, children lack the rational capacity the social contract requires of its signatories. However, this fact is not trivial. While the fact of children’s relative freedom and equality as compared to adult, white males is uncontroversial, it remains important to include children among the classes of individuals who do not sign the social contract. Insofar as one of the key tasks of this project is to interrogate Locke’s political ontology, the status of children as political or apolitical entities cannot be ignored. As has been demonstrated, women, nonwhites, and children cannot be party to the agreement that allows individuals to leave the state of nature and form a body politic. The public sphere, then, consists exclusively of adult, white men.⁴,⁷ However, the nearuniversal practice of assigning citizenship at birth means that all individuals, regardless of facts of sex, race, and age, are citizens somewhere.² Rather than leaving all people who are not adult, white males behind in the state of nature, the state manages to have these non-consenting individuals among its members. Here we have a tension: only adult, white men meet the moral, rational, and property requirements to sign the social contract, the mechanism whereby someone becomes a member of the body politic, i.e. a citizen. Yet, individuals who do not meet those requirements become citizens anyway because political membership is ascribed at birth. To make sense of this discrepancy, I propose that we divide Lockean political membership into two categories: associate membership and perfect membership. In reference to what I call “perfect membership,” Locke states, “No body doubts but an express Consent, of any Man, entering into any Society, makes him a perfect Member of that Society, a Subject of that Government.”⁶ When Locke talks about political membership in the Second



“The concept of associate membership helps to explain the fact that nonwhites, white women, and children are all citizens of political society in spite of the fact that they are not able to give express consent.” Treatise, he is actually talking about perfect membership. Perfect members are members who have the moral, rational, and economic stuff required to sign the social contract. For Locke, perfect members can provide express consent by giving an oath, as immigrants do, or by accepting their parents’ inheritance.⁶ I add to this list voting, running for office, and especially military service. Each of these actions demonstrates an agreement to be a subject of a government. However, as stated before, many individuals cannot provide express consent and so never become perfect members. White women, people of color, and children, though they do not sign the social contract, are not left behind in the state of nature. By ascribing political membership at birth—often in the form of jus soli or jus sanguinis—the state is able to “capture” these individuals and make them members as well. I call these individuals “associate members.” The concept of associate membership requires some unpacking. First, the state of nature is not a physical location. Rather, Locke uses the idea of a state of nature as a heuristic for understanding the liberal tenets he wishes to put forth. All individuals who have not given express consent to join a political society are in a state of nature because they have not given express consent to join a political society.⁶ Second, when a child is born, that child is born into a state of nature. Again, children cannot give the necessary express consent to leave the state of nature, so they remain in a state of nature until they provide that consent—if they can. Third, jus soli and jus sanguinis practices make babies into associate members of political societies, but do not remove them from the state of nature and certainly do not make them into perfect members. Perfect membership requires express consent, but the only requirement for associate membership is birth. The concept of associate membership helps to explain the fact that nonwhites, white women, and children are all citizens of political society in spite of the fact that they are not able to give express consent. Perfect and associate memberships also


entail different experiences within political society. Associate membership grants membership in a political community in only the basest bureaucratic sense. (The test for whether or not someone is an associate member of the United States could be whether or not that person possesses an American birth certificate.) On the other hand, perfect membership grants the robust, democratic rights that are supposed to accompany the liberal promise. Those actions which constitute express consent—voting, running for office, serving in the military, and especially owning landed property—are reserved for society’s perfect members. Historically, nonwhites and white women have been barred from such civic activities, so we can understand the civil rights and women’s rights movements as attempts to extend to society’s associate members all of the rights granted to (white, male) perfect members.⁷ Though associate members cannot expressly consent, they can tacitly consent. Tacit consent comes in many forms including traveling on a country’s highways and enjoying a country’s temporary lodging.⁶ Concerning tacit consent, Hannah Pitkin asks an important question: “to what have you consented when you live in a country and use its highways?” Pitkin answers that one consents to “a kind of associate membership in the commonwealth,” which means that one consents to follow the law.¹¹ Unlike express consent, which makes one a perfect member of the commonwealth, tacit consent requires one to follow. Tacit consent is useful. Indeed, it is necessary for staving off anarchy. After all, individuals who want to live and work in the United States but not, say, follow the speed limit, could simply never provide express consent for membership in the American commonwealth and therefore never be obliged to obey traffic laws.⁸ However, history reveals the darker side of tacit consent as a way of demanding obedience without extending civic participation. The fight for equal rights for black Americans and white women, and even the Revolutionary War

nurj – vol. 12 slogan of “no taxation without representation,” are all angry responses to the demands of tacit consent when there is no possibility for obtaining perfect membership and the civic trappings thereof. Locke’s liberal politics require that individuals consent to being members of the commonwealth, but his pragmatic politics require that anarchy be averted. In order to reconcile this tension in his political theory, Locke proposes two types of consent: tacit and express. However, as has been demonstrated, tacit and express consent work just as well to oblige associate members, i.e., citizens by birth, to follow the law while limiting full democratic participation to a select few, i.e., perfect members who have been able to give express consent. Associate and perfect membership are useful for understanding how so-called liberal states can seem to abandon liberal tenets of equality and, in the American case, along specifically racial and gendered lines. However, if we remember that liberalism is but patriarchy in a new guise, then Locke’s seemingly bizarre theoretical moves can be made sensible. CONCLUSION All of the nations of the world, including the “liberal” ones, assign membership based on birth— either birthplace or bloodline—and the aim of this project has been to reconcile this practice with liberalism. More specifically, this project has been about the attempts in the Second Treatise of Government to define the social contract—liberalism’s founding principle—and Locke’s grand “fib” that governments do not, in fact, consider citizenship a function of birth.

Pateman’s notion of sex right brings to the fore Locke’s patriarchal agenda, making the Second Treatise tell a story of politics based upon male domination women’s bodies. This thesis is an attempt to show that, while the biological fact of women’s reproductive power makes politics possible, political philosophers are yet more than happy to skim over this essential fact when attempting to derive the foundations of the state. Locke’s Second Treatise is only an example of this sort of “oversight.” Indeed, similar projects could be carried out in other texts in political philosophy, such as in the writings of Hobbes, Marx, and Rawls, to name a few examples.⁹ It is time for a robust theory of the state that centralizes the connection between politics and women’s bodies, and the need for such a theory is growing. Indeed, male sex right and the fraternal patriarchy are alive and well, and the male state retains its vise grip on the female body. Concerns about the so-called “refugee crisis,” fears related to overpopulation and underpopulation, the rising popularity of surrogacy services, attempts to restrict women’s access to birth control and abortions, and the continued criminalization of the reproduction of women of color all need to be understood in terms of male sex right over women’s bodies. Writers such as Pateman, Stevens, and Yuval-Davis provide a foundation such a feminist politics. “Male Sex Right and the Fraternal Social Contract: Political Member in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government” has been an attempt to build on this important work in order to seriously interrogate birthbased politics as a function of mainstream political philosophy’s patriarchalist roots.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Anthias, Floya and Nira YuvalDavis. Racialized Boundaries: Race, Nation, Gender, Colour and Class and the Anti-racist Struggle. New York: Routledge, 1992. ² Brubaker, Rogers. Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992. ³ Buker, Eloise A. “Lady Justice: Power and Image in Feminist Jurisprudence.” Vermont Law Review 15.1 (1990): 69-88. ⁴ Cavarero, Adriana. “Equality and Sexual Difference: Amnesia in Political Thought.” Beyond Equality and Difference: Citizenship, Feminist Politics and Female Subjectivity. Ed.

Gisela Bock and Susan James. (New York: Routledge, 1992.), 32-47. ⁵ Eisenstein, Zillah. The Radical Future of Liberal Feminism. Boston: Northeastsern University Press, 1986. ⁶ Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. 1689. Ed. Peter Laslett. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1960. ⁷ McKinnon, Catherine A. Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989. ⁸ Menzel, Annie. “Birthright Citizenship and the Racial Contract: The United States’ Jus Soli Rule against the Global Regime of Citizenship.” Du

Bois Review 10.1 (2013): 2958. ⁹ Mills, Charles. The Racial Contract. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997. ¹⁰ Pateman, Carol. The Sexual Contract. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988. ¹¹ Pitkin, Hannah. “Obligation and Consent.” The American Political Science Review 59.4 (1965): 990-999. ¹² Stevens, Jacqueline. Reproducing the State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. ¹³ US Constitution. Art./Amend. XIV, Sec. 1. ¹⁴ Yuval-Davis, Nira. Gender & Nation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1997.



Remedying Inferiority: Institutional Engagement with Argentine Indios after the Conquest of the Desert Bill Edwards Paul Ramírez

Faculty Advisor

Lydia Barnett

Seminar Advisor


characterized these groups as “savages” before embarking on a war against them, in the aftermath of violence, surviving members of Mapuche, Tehuelche and other tribes were granted citizenship. This project pursues institutional engagement with these subjects in the Pampa, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego that occurred concurrently with the rule of the conservative hardliners known as the Régimen, who governed Argentina from 1880 to 1916. The written accounts of the influential actors within these institutions— in official records, scientific journals and clerical memoirs— gave insight into their shared belief in the inferiority of indigenous citizens. This thesis tracks an organized response to the perceived “Indigenous Problem,” as seen in legislation that granted land to indios, the contested argument for reservations by a German anthropologist at a 1910 conference, and Salesian missions as civilizing centers in Tierra del Fuego. Ultimately, this elite interaction with indigenous subjects belongs in a historical discussion of Argentine nation-building, at a time when institutions reacted to a rapidly transforming populace. » 016

nurj – vol. 12 INTRODUCTION: THE STRANGE CONVERGENCE OF ARGENTINA AND INDIO AFTER THE CONQUEST By the end of 1884, conservative hardliners in Argentina’s Régimen nearly convinced the public that they had solved its “Indian Problem.” The year marked the end of the Conquest of the Desert (1879-1884), a war that viciously persecuted Mapuche, Tehuelche and Pampa subjects on the outskirts of Argentina. These officials had never really imagined a place for these tribes in Argentina. Rather, they followed the lead of President Julio Argentino Roca and his insistence on the need to “extinguish” hostile native groups to the south when proposing policy to address them.⁹,¹⁰ If it can be said that the Conquest ultimately achieved its goal of quelling indigenous resistance to Argentine expansion, extending Argentina’s sovereignty to the Río Negro, a related political project of immigration, colonization, and civilization proved far more difficult. From 1880-1916, the Régimen worked to attract European settlers to the land won in the Conquest, believing that their industry could convert the nation into the “breadbasket of the world.” But Argentina’s land grab had inadvertently triggered unanticipated complications at the margin of the national project. Despite the Régimen’s bombastic rhetoric, the Conquest had not, in fact, holistically eliminated native tribes in the Pampa and Patagonia region but merely subdued them. On the physical peripheries of Argentina, indigenous survivors of the Conquest were now subjects of the nation that persecuted them. In the decades that followed, what was to become of these indios? Twentieth century histories of the Régimen either ignored the concurrent existence of Mapuche, Tehuelche, and Fuegino citizens or emphasized the brutality of their persecution in the Conquest. Among the most prominent histories of Argentina at the turn of the nineteenth century is recounted in Jose Luis Romero’s Brief History of Argentina, written in 1965. The book briefly alludes to the presence of warring indigenous subjects, but only when describing their final defeat by Roca in 1880. Roca’s offensive, as characterized by Romero, meant the extension of Argentine sovereignty to the Río Negro. The introduction of new territory permitted the growth of the sheep industry, triggering a period of great economic hope in Argentina, which seemed primed to become a leading export economy internationally. The economic momentum introduced by the Conquest attracted a huge wave of European immigrants to Argentina, which, as Romero noted, comprised a

significant portion of the population in the 1895 census. These new citizens, arriving from Italy and Spain among other nations, occupied the territory won in the Conquest as farmers and landowners.¹¹ Romero’s tale represented traditional historical versions of the Conquest, portrayed as the trigger of economic optimism in Argentina, ruled by the Régimen. The first histories to reorient the narrative of the Régimen to its persecution of Indians alleged their exclusion from Argentine nationhood. In the 1982 Indians, Army and Border, the historian David Viñas unraveled the hostile intellectual atmosphere which led to the persecution during the Conquest. As

he explained, the Régimen understood the displacement of indigenous communities to be a necessary means for modernizing the nation. Official support for the Conquest grew in part due to racial ideologies tinged by Social Darwinism, which justified state persecution of the seemingly less-adept Indian races.¹⁴ In recent decades, historians have characterized the persecution of native communities in more extreme terms. The historian Osvaldo Bayer leads a movement to emphasize the violent characteristics of the Conquest, as he



“Embracing the common imagery of the savage on the border, the same perception promoted as justification for the war effort by Roca and other hardline Argentine officials, it also revealed that the Conquest was incomplete.” does in the 2010 History of Argentine Cruelty. In the book, he labels Roca a “racist” with genocidal intentions.1 The narrative put forth by Viñas and Bayer ultimately explained the institutional exclusion of indigenous people from Argentine nationhood which the Régimen oversaw. While valuable for their highlighting of the brutality of the Conquest, these histories ultimately underemphasize institutional engagement with Mapuche, Tehuelche and Fuegino citizens in the decades after the Conquest. To state actors, the convergence of Indian and Argentine identities was uncomfortable as Argentina extended its borders to the Río Negro. In 1881, a letter written from Santa Cruz asked the Buenos Aires-based Office of Land and Colonies to supply rations for “indios reducidos,” a term which referred to non-hostile Indian subjects. The document might have referred to native combatants that had surrendered to Argentine forces, or simply tribal populations that had presented themselves to those forces.⁶ While the exact identity of these “indios reducidos” was not made clear in the document, they nonetheless represented an ongoing transition within the government. The state had engaged in warfare against native communities to the south; this document showed government institutions working to provide sustenance for these groups. Newly under the authority of the state, many Mapuche subjects were displaced from their homes in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. As the historian Andrea Lluch has noted, the majority of subdued native groups—particularly native soldiers that had battled against Roca’s forces—were destined for service work throughout Argentina. This movement of people often meant military escort from the location of capture to various destinations. Women and children were sent to lives of domestic servitude in Buenos Aires and other metropolitan centers, while men entered into the army or into forced


labor.⁷ Many Mapuche and Tehuelche groups remained in the Pampa and Patagonia in the spaces the state had annexed into Argentina. There are parallels with the United States, where state persecution of Indian subjects did not obliterate tribal populations but strangely imposed government authority over them. Historians like Nicholas Shumway have made a clear connection between the two nations in their expansion into frontier space. In the States, the imagined Wild West was both dangerous and inviting, a lawless territory that, when conquered, would contribute enormously to the nation. In Argentina, territory to the south became known as “Desert,” a land untamed and uninhabited by bearers of civilization.¹³ In Domingo F. Sarmiento’s 1845 Facundo, the novel that coined the term “Desert,” the author exalted North American expansion.¹² In the years after the Conquest, another official enthusiastically alluded to Argentina’s own Manifest Destiny: “Instead of the go ahead of the pioneers of the Far West, let’s shout another phrase that is ours…hands to work!”⁵ As explained in Frederick E. Hoxie’s A Final Promise: the Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, the assimilation of surviving native communities grew to be a less enticing political project as American officials embraced scientific notions of a racial inferiority of Indian communities. Legislators believed that these communities were fundamentally different from other American citizens. This thinking led to the eventual creation of Indian reservations, spaces where Indians would remain separate from society and somewhat autonomous.⁴ Argentines were aware that the Conquest would not wipe out all native groups to the south, and that indigenous subjects would eventually fall under the authority of the state, as they had in the United States. An 1883 article in El libre pensador, a Buenos Aires-based newspaper, described an attack on a property in Quequen Chico, a town

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about 300 miles from the capital. According to the article, a group of native assailants assaulted the estancia in broad daylight, victimizing innocent civilians. The attack was brutal, but not unexpected: “the surprise was Indian; perfectly savage.”² Embracing the common imagery of the savage on the border, the same perception promoted as justification for the war effort by Roca and other hardline Argentine officials, it also revealed that the Conquest was incomplete. Indian subjects in the Pampa had “to submit or perish” to the expansion of Argentina but offered a second option to persecuted native groups that extermination did not: the acceptance of defeat at the hands of Argentine forces.¹² In Argentina, as opposed to the US, the treatment of indigenous subjects who inevitably survived the Conquest is a recent development in historical literature. In recent decades, the historiography of institutional engagement with indigenous Argentinians at the turn of the twentieth century has followed their incorporation as a perceived inferior citizen. In the 2004 Memorias de expropiación, the historian Walter Mario Delrio outlines the strange integration of native subjects in Argentina in the decades after the Conquest. The book coined the phrase “internal other”¹ to describe the belonging of native communities in Argentina. Indigenous subjects existed

within Argentina’s borders but were perceived to be a different kind of citizen within the nation. This construction, according to Delrio, was catalyzed by the isolation of many native communities, living on land allotted to them through the government or living on missions.³ Official constructions of the memory of the Conquest initially emphasized what the historian Mónica Quijada has labeled several myths about the Conquest. These fictions include the conception of the savage in native populations, and the belief that these “savages” never interacted with Argentine officials before the war. But it was the opposite, the government maintained treaties with native tribes in order to secure the passage of trade in seemingly unconquered land. Additionally, historians have assumed that no state officials preoccupied themselves with the question of indigenous belonging in the years after the Conquest. This project seeks to unpack the myths identified by Quijada and others through a close examination of the ways in which state actors and others aligned or affiliated with the state addressed indigenous subjects to the south in the years after the Conquest. As the Conquest drew to a close and as a shift in the political position of Tehuelches in Argentina demanded a change in their perception, it became difficult for Argentine officials to characterize their own citizens as enemy



combatants. While constructions of savagery did not disappear, other constructions of indigenous groups came to focus on their helplessness in the Conquest. In 1883, residents of Buenos Aires might have read an article that questioned the brutal methods of the war: “It seems faster to kill than to educate. Is this the mission of cultured societies?”⁸ As the article showed, Argentines maintained perspectives on the issue that strayed from Roca’s talk of extermination. In chapter one, the role of the state legislation in determining the place of indigenous Argentines in the Pampa and Patagonia is examined. As remembered through government Memorias, official records of legislation accompanied by commentary of ministers in the Ministry of Agriculture, in the years after the Conquest, the government distributed land to tribal leaders believing these communities could contribute to the national economic project. In the second chapter, Robert LehmannNitsche, a German anthropologist working at a museum of nature in Argentina, comes to the forefront as an influential voice in answering the “Indigenous Problem.” As remembered by an official record of the 1910 International


Scientific Congress, Lehmann-Nitsche came into conflict with another anthropologist when he argued for the need to create Indian reservations, in the image of the United States. In the final chapter, written accounts from Italian priests about the creation of missions in southern Argentina are examined as an executed solution to the persecution of indigenous groups. Written letters from the Salesian Giovanni Bosco in the 1870s, coupled with a glowing review of mission work as civilizing of indigenous subjects four decades later, provides context to this solution. While the Régimen preoccupied itself with the maintenance of a populace hit by an influx of European immigration, other influential actors felt an impulse to address Mapuche, Tehuelche and Fuegino subjects from 18801916. Across purposes, these institutional efforts helped to shed light on the fate of indigenous subjects in the decades after the Conquest, as seen from elite vantage points. In this context, the issue of language becomes clear, specifically in the monikers used by elite actors to label Mapuche, Tehuelche, and Fuegino citizens. As institutional actors spoke of their interactions with indigenous people, many of these actors tended to present these citizens as one demographic bloc, a homogenous group of indios or indígenas. In this project, the terms “Indian” and “indigenous” will be used to designate these citizens when describing their construction by institutions when determining policy. When possible to discern Mapuche, Tehuelche and Fuegino agency in this era, these citizens will be labeled by their self-identifying ethnic affiliations. Elite explanations of engagement with indios interpreted their lived experiences, reflecting an on-the-ground reality with paternalistic bias. Their accounts of indigenous life gave light to the perception of indios held in elite sectors of society that had significant sway in determining the place of the Argentine indio in a rapidly diversifying populace. Ultimately, different institutions worked separately and simultaneously to project similar conclusions about Indians in Argentina. From 1880-1916, these institutions all solidified the perception of a gap between indios and their new nation, codifying an elite perception of indigenous difference. Undoubtedly, their projections muddled the reality of the existence of Mapuches and Tehuelches in the decades after the Conquest. In the same way Roca and the Régimen tended to ignore the reality of institutional engagement with indios, other elite sectors of society limited their own understanding of these lives. Officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, for instance,

nurj – vol. 12 did not solicit the opinion of the caciques to whom it distributed land under the Law of the Home when trying to explain their apparent failure as tillers. Likewise, despite RobertLehmann Nitsche’s intimate contact with his subjects, his interpretation of their biological difference—the foundation of his argument for reservations—was ultimately made by him. Salesians, of course, believed they provided a better existence for marginalized subjects in Tierra del Fuego, but how would a Yagan family explain its decision to migrate to a mission? The question remains: what was life like for the people with whom these institutions dealt? The source material used in this project provides just one window into the lives of indigenous people in Argentina after the Conquest. Another conclusion advanced by this project muddles the notion of Argentine uniqueness within a greater Latin American context. In other Latin American nations, institutions engaged indios as citizens, albeit in varying circumstances, and often with prejudices in mind. The seemingly obvious comparisons between Argentine expansion and the American case were based, fundamentally, on the belief that citizens of European descent would come to constitute the most significant portion of the populace. Argentine history is one dominated by Europeans and

Americans of European descent as a photo history of Argentina’s most influential figures shows. These figures carved out a national history that is indeed unique to Argentina. Twentieth century representations of the Eurocentric nature of Argentine history do not read as incorrect in their descriptions of the importance of Europeans in representing themselves in the makeup of Argentine nationhood. However, these histories tended to either ignore the “Indigenous Problem” or to characterize it as a finished problem after the onslaught of the Conquest. The Conquest was brutal and racially motivated against enemies labeled savages, but it opened an era in which indios were more easily subjugated to the rule of the state than ever before. The role of scientists and missionaries in addressing these communities should be understood as a great awareness of their existence as subjects alongside other Argentine citizens. The American comparison in this respect falls flat. United States officials separated Indians from their populace to spaces where institutions did not burden themselves with the marginalized existence of peripheral subjects. Institutions in Argentina oppositely engaged these communities in simultaneity with their interactions with other new Argentines. The institutional engagement of indios, then, reflected a reality that was Argentine.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Bayer, Osvaldo. La historia de la crueldad argentina. Buenos Aires: Ediciones del Centro Cultural de la Cooperación Floreal Gorini, 2010. ² “De todo un poco.” El libre pensador, Buenos Aires, September 2, 1883. “La sorpresa ha sido de indios; perfectamente salvaje.” accessed April 9, 2016 ³ Delrio, Walter. “Largos peregrinajes,” in Memorias de expropiación: sometimiento e incorporación indígena en la Patagonia (1872-1943). Bernal: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes Editorial, 2010. ⁴ Hoxie, Frederick E. “The Appeal of Assimilation,” in A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 18801920. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska, 1984. ⁵ Lamas, Andrés L. “En vez del go ahead de los pioneers del Far

West, pronunciémos otra frase nuestra, al echar una ojeada retrospectiva y al vislumbrar las proyecciones del porvenir: ¡Manos á la obra!” in Tierra públicas y colonización. Buenos Aires: Gráfico de Gunche, 1899. ⁶ “Letter to the Interior Minister,” December 14, 1881. ⁷ Lluch, Andrea. “Un largo proceso de exclusión,” Facultdad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional de LaPampa, Revista Quinto Sol, Num. 6, 2002, 49. ⁸ “Más vale tarde que nunca,” El libre pensador, Buenos Aires, June 17, 1883. Infoweb. (accessed April 9, 2016): “Pues es más espedito matar que educar. ¿Es la misión de las sociedades cultas?” ⁹ Olascoaga, Manuel J. Estudio topográfico de la Pampa y Río Negro. Buenos Aires:

Impresores Ostwald y Marinez, 1880. ¹⁰ Roca, Julio Argentino. October, 1875, in Manuel J. Olascoaga, Estudio topográfico de la Pampa y Río Negro (Buenos Aires: Impresores Ostwald y Marinez, 1880), https:// Record/008427579. ¹¹ Romero, José Luis. Breve historia de la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Fondo de cultura económica, 1965. ¹² Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino. Facundo: o civilización o barbarie. Buenos Aires: Librería ‘La Facultad,’ 1921. ¹³ Shumway, Nicholas. The Invention of Argentina. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. ¹⁴ Viñas, David. Indios, ejército y frontera. México: Siglo veintiuno editores, 1982.



+ Bryan Pardo INTERVIEW BY Josh Shi


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A bookshelf rests on a wall adjacent to an electric keyboard. Beatles: The Complete Score and A Dictionary of Musical Scores sits on the top shelf, above C++ Primer and Numerical Recipes in C. Below that there are books on artificial intelligence (lots of them), pattern recognition, and the psychology of sound. This bookshelf gives a fair preview of the work of Prof. Bryan Pardo, who started his undergraduate career as a physics major and ended with a major in jazz composition and a minor in computer science. An Associate Professor in EECS in the McCormick School of Engineering, Prof. Pardo teaches Machine Perception of Music and Audio and runs the Interactive Audio Lab, which focuses on helping computers solve audio-related problems for people. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU COULD COMBINE COMPUTER SCIENCE AND MUSIC? BP: As I was a junior, I got into an argument with someone who said they thought jazz was all inspiration from heaven, and I said most jazz players are hacks who are just paying a bunch of memorized turns of phrase that they stick together into various orders and make their solos. Right then a professor was walking by and he said, “Do you believe that?” And because I was unwilling to back down from my statement, I said of course. I spent the next year discovering that it is way harder to program a jazz bot than I ever thought. What made it really interesting to me was that I learned two deep lessons that year: one was it’s much easier to just talk than it is to have a meaningful conversation. Making software that listens to what someone’s doing, thinks about it, and then plays something appropriate that goes with 023


it, that is way harder in the way that it’s much harder to have a good conversation between two people or between a computer and a person than it is to have a computer just generate text. So I became much more interested in understanding the sounds people were making than just making the sounds myself with a machine. And the other thing was I realized, “Hang on, why am I trying to automate a process that people actually want to do?” I switched my thinking to be, “How do I find the parts of music-making or sound that annoy people and not automate the stuff that they really want to do?”And so my work became understanding sound and doing something with that understanding that somehow makes your life easier. ON THE WEBSITE FOR BALKANO, YOUR KLEZMER BAND, IT SAYS YOU PLAY AVANT-JAZZ, CIRCUS-PUNK, KLEZMER, LATIN, MIDDLE EASTERN MUSIC, AND GYPSYJAZZ. DO YOU FIND YOU HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME TALKING ABOUT THE MUSIC YOU PLAY TO PEOPLE? BP: The trouble is, its hard to give a simple answer when you’re playing with a Colombian band, a Middle Eastern band, and a gypsy jazz band, and sometimes with a klezmer band, and someone asks, “What do you do?” Basically I do things that clarinetists or saxophonists are getting involved in outside the US. Computer science, just like music, likes to put people into bins. In music, it’s like are you a funk band, or are you a jazz band? You can’t be a jazz-funk band, you have to pick which bin you go in, which radio stations play you. And in computer science, are you human-computer interaction, are you machine learning, are you signal processing? We do signal processing. We have to, because we’re dealing with sound. We do machine learning, we have to, because we’re having machines automatically learn to recognize sounds. And we do human-computer interaction because we don’t just want to do it just to do it, we want to make things to help people. Depending on who I’m talking to I’m either a signal processor, a machine learner, or an hci person.


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“Computer science, just like music, likes to put people into bins. In music, it’s like are you a funk band, or are you a jazz band? You can’t be a jazz-funk band, you have to pick which bin you go in, which radio stations play you. ”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW THE FIELD HAS CHANGED SINCE YOU’VE ENTERED IT? BP: If we define our field as computer scientists working with non-speech audio, computers and music, when I got into it people thought of it as a weird way to make bleep-bloop noises or maybe help you make a synthesizer. Everything got transformed with the iPod because no one understood why someone would want a music search engine when they only have ten audio files on their computer. And then one day they discovered they have ten thousand audio files on their iPod and later, iPhone, and they couldn’t remember the names of all of them. So something where you could sing some part of the song and get the thing you were looking for started to make sense to them. Then when you go to everything streaming and over the web, all of a sudden music recommendation becomes a big thing and a company like Pandora comes out of nowhere. When I got into it, which was in the early 2000s, no one understood why anyone would want to search for music, why anyone would want to recommend music, why anyone would want to do any of that stuff, and now there are big companies centered around that. So this music information retrieval field is suddenly a major thing with corporate sponsorship. There was this transformation, when all the music went online, what’s interesting or possible to do changes. 025



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Che cosa c’è in un nome? Uno studio onomastico sui nomi, soprannomi, ed appellativi utilizzati nella tetralogia L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante Maria Massucco Alessia Ricciardi Faculty Advisor


radicata nella realtà del racconto, ho voluto lavorare con elementi fisici e dettagli reali, per restare il più vicino possibile alle informazioni presenti nel testo. Lo studio onomastico funziona in due direzioni, permettendo un’analisi precisa e specifica della grammatica e della fonologia, ma lasciando anche un ampio spazio a connessioni intertestuali e conclusioni più metaforiche. La tesi esamina l’uso dei nomi in quattro diverse aree: l’esempio dell’autrice, il caso di Lila, i cognomi, e nei nomi dei figli. Attraverso queste sezioni, i nomi emergono come le chiavi di lettura per aprire discussioni sull’identità, la possessione, e la regressione. A volte la fonologia suggerisce la psicologia dei personaggi da bambini, e la grammatica porta in evidenza opinioni inconsce. I nomi delle figlie rivelano fonti letterarie mentre l’atto di proteggere un nome contro la tradizione può indicare la tenacità dell’identità intellettuale. Un’autrice identifica se stessa in un certo modo, i suoi personaggi ricevono da lei i loro nomi, e questi personaggi esprimono un’eterogeneità di nomi, cognomi, e soprannomi che riflettono l’intera complessità della vita. Attraverso l’analisi a tutti questi livelli, mostro come, per la Ferrante, i nomi sono il filo visibile che unisce l’ispirazione, l’identità, e l’indipendenza della sua scrittura. » 027


LILA “La madre di Rino si chiama Raffaella Cerullo, ma tutti l’hanno sempre chiamata Lina. Io no, non ho mai usato né il primo nome né il secondo. Da più di sessant’anni per me è Lila. Se la chiamassi Lina o Raffaella, così, all’improvviso, penserebbe che la nostra amicizia è finita.”²

Così incomincia il secondo capitolo del primo libro della tetralogia L’amica geniale. Già nelle prime pagine di una storia che si espanderà per più di mille, i nomi ci aiutano a costruire i livelli della narrazione. Adriana Cavarero, nel libro Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti, sostiene che l’unicità, l’identità di un essere umano emerge e si sviluppa quando la vita è raccontata o la persona è chiamata da un altro.¹ Il nome, pronunciato da chi racconta, diventa una parte essenziale del processo di costruire un sé. Nella cornice dell’Amica geniale, un figlio cerca sua madre, Raffaella Cerullo di nome. Ma la narratrice cerca un’altra persona, o, per lo meno, un’altra versione della persona, nel suo atto di raccontare. Questo “Lila” è il punto d’inizio per un lungo viaggio di vita che comprende tanti cambiamenti ed evoluzioni. In diverse situazioni, in diversi periodi, i nomi di Lila cambieranno secondo il suo ruolo o la sua percezione. Ma il filo del racconto rende sempre visibile la parte di questo personaggio che è “Lila”, aiutandola a trovare, attraverso la narrazione, una forma coerente per una vita frammentata. Però, il paragrafo citato non è così esibizionista come potrebbe sembrare. In realtà, questo nomignolo, così semplice e così naturale, avrà tanto a che vedere con il legame centrale tra un personaggio che scompare ed un altro che lo richiama. A prima vista, il soprannome sembra tipico dei dolci rapporti fra due amiche quando utilizzano nomi intimi nell’esprimere il loro affetto intenso e segreto. L’elemento importante di un nome confidenziale è la sua capacità di esprimere l’essere speciale dell’amica, indicando la sua presenza ossessiva nella mente di Elena; ma Lila sembra anche trovare una certa misura di sicurezza nell’utilizzare un nome intimo per indicarla. In questo nome, Lila sente un’intimità che esclude tutti gli altri, ed Elena esprime una fissazione che ha profondamente influenzato la sua vita. Questa fissazione con Lila sembra essere, fin dall’inizio, una forma di auto-tortura. Elena assegna un’identificazione particolare alla persona che lei riconosce come la bambina cattiva, la più brillante. Ha inciso il suo potere nel vocabolario della sua vita. L’assenza o la distanza fisica non indeboliscono il vincolo, e Lila sembra rendersi conto di questo fatto. Fino


a quando lei sarà “Lila” nella voce di Elena, la sua genialità continuerà ad imporsi. Il potere di nominare, esercitato da Elena, prepara la prossimità che caratterizza le vite delle amiche, come poi la scrittura di Elena racconterà la loro storia nell’evento della scomparsa. Per Lila, la perdita di quel nome speciale significherebbe la perdita della relazione. Per Elena, esiste una struttura consequenziale simile a quella di Lila: quando lei si mette a scrivere per registrare ogni dettaglio della loro storia, è come se ripetesse, “Lila, Lila, Lila, Lila.” Lila è il soggetto dell’atto di ricordare, e la scrittura si sviluppa come un suo incanto fatto per ritrovare la persona scomparsa. Lila, nel “cancellarsi”, forse sa o spera che quella versione di se stessa sia preservata nella mente e nelle potenziali parole della sua amica. Ma infatti, lo aveva temuto. Pur sottraendo al mondo la sua presenza fisica, lascia le sue tracce nell’amicizia, così che possono emergere attraverso la scrittura.³ Il desiderio di scomparire, di dissolvere e di cancellare le proprie tracce, collide con l’idea confortante che qualcuno possa ricordarsi di noi. Il paragrafo in questione pone l’accento sul disprezzo (o sul possibile disprezzo) di Lila all’idea che Elena possa chiamarla con un altro nome, evocando in questo modo la fine della loro amicizia. Anche se Lila vuole cancellarsi, il suo senso d’identità evidenziato nel nome intimo la trattiene dalla scomparsa completa. Il nome “Lila” descrive non semplicemente un personaggio umano, ma una figura la cui forza centrifuga ha fortemente plasmato la vita della nostra narratrice. Lila è anche il nome di quella forza. Nelle parole dell’autrice, l’atto di raccontare Lila, anche se per vendicarsi da torti subiti, necessita un racconto preciso di tutti i pezzi e persone che appartengono alle loro vite: “Nello sforzo di raccontare Lila, la sua amica si vede costretta a raccontare tutti gli altri e se stessa tra loro, incontri e scontri che lasciano le tracce più diverse. Gli altri nell'accezione più ampia, come dicevo, ci urtano di continuo e noi facciamo lo stesso con loro. La nostra singolarità, la nostra unicità, la nostra identità si crepano senza sosta. Quando alla fine di una giornata esclamiamo: mi sento a pezzi, non c'è niente di più letteralmente vero.”⁶

Quindi il racconto, cominciato per ritrovare e registrare una vita, è anche una perdita di sé per la narratrice, una mescolanza di ricordi e personaggi che finisce per “smarginare” le figure e le parole del passato. Anche nell’invenzione di nuovi termini–smarginare, scancellare, frantumaglia–l’autrice mostra la permeabilità dei confini. Da dentro le regole dell’italiano “corretto”, Elena Ferrante spinge

nurj – vol. 12 ad abbracciare le sensazioni e le esperienze meno concrete, forzando la lingua ad assumere nuovi significati. Secondo questa spiegazione, la presenza di Lila nei pensieri e nelle emozioni di Elena, è indicata dall’utilizzo persistente del soprannome. In una torsione importante, la frase “Se la chiamassi Lina o Raffaella, così, all’improvviso, penserebbe che la nostra la nostra amicizia è finita,” presenta un’ambiguità grammaticale: o ci spostiamo dal periodo ipotetico al presente, e abbiamo un’amicizia finita – un verbo al presente seguito da un aggettivo che descrive il nome “amicizia” – oppure al passato prossimo, notando che così, secondo la narratrice, il momento in cui lei utilizza “Raffaella” o “Lina” invece di “Lila” indicherebbe la fine istantanea dell’amicizia – In quel momento, il rapporto è finito. In entrambi i casi, lo spostamento grammaticale è stridente. Aspettiamo “fosse,” oppure, “sia finita,” – un modo più dolce o elegante per esprimere un’ ipotetica possibilità. Invece abbiamo la realità inevitabile del presente o del passato prossimo. L’effetto di quel possibile cambiamento del nome sarebbe, senza dubbio, definitivo. L’utilizzo di “Lila, ” come tante cose nella vita di Elena, sembra aver avuto origini nella volontà della narratrice, ma continua ad espandersi in scopo e peso grazie all’adesione dell’amica. L’autrice esprime la vicinanza nell’uso del soprannome; il soggetto – l’amica nominata – comunica il suo accordo nell’accettare e apprezzare quest’uso come un’indicazione quasi superstiziosa della vitalità del rapporto. Come descrive Nicola Lagioia nella stessa intervista citata poco sopra, è il potere di organizzare, l’atto fisico di aprire un computer e buttare giù i dettagli, che definisce la differenza e l’attrazione fra le due protagoniste: “Il rapporto tra Elena e Lila mi sembra veramente archetipico da questo punto di vista. Molte coppie di amici/rivali funzionano così. O, se si vuole, è la dinamica che lega gli artisti alle loro muse, sebbene le muse in questo caso siano tutt'altro che aeree. Al contrario, sono terrene fino al midollo, impegnate ad affrontare la vita, a scontrarsi con essa in modo totalizzante. È Lila a sentire le cose del mondo con maggiore radicalità. Eppure, proprio per questo, non è lei a poterne dare testimonianza. Benché Elena tema che prima o poi la sua amica riesca a scrivere un libro meraviglioso, in grado di ristabilire oggettivamente le proporzioni tra loro due, questo non può accadere.” ⁶

Qui aggiungerei che la paura di Elena quando immagina quel possibile libro non si ferma alla possibilità di riproporzionare la loro amicizia

ma si estende al fatto che “il suo libro sarebbe diventato – anche solo per me – la prova del mio fallimento e leggendolo avrei capito come avrei dovuto scrivere ma non ero stata capace.”⁵ La forza e il genio che Elena attribuisce a Lila nella sua mente si esprimono in termini del suo mestiere. Per articolare quanto si senta incapace quando viene paragonata all’amica, l’immaginazione di Elena congiura un libro fantastico che la farebbe provar vergogna di tutte le sue opere, le opere di una scrittrice di successo. Ma questo avviene solo nei momenti d’insicurezza personale; in altri momenti d’illuminazione, Elena descrive il rapporto fra Lila e il suo lavoro come una richiesta di imporre l’ordine in una vita che sente senza confini: “Io amavo Lila. Volevo che lei durasse. Ma volevo essere io a farla durare. Credevo che fosse il mio compito. Ero convinta che lei stessa, da ragazzina, me lo avesse assegnato.”⁵

A proposito del compito della scrittura, anche l’autrice medita sullo stesso soggetto: “Comunque io la metta, resta sempre il fatto che mi sono arrogata il diritto di imprigionare gli altri dentro ciò che a me pare di vedere, sentire, pensare, immaginare, sapere. È un compito? È una missione? È una vocazione? Chi mi ha chiamato, chi mi ha assegnato quel compito e quella missione? […] Io mi sono assegnata, per motivi oscuri anche a me, il compito di raccontare ciò che so del mio tempo.”⁴

Queste frasi ci ricordano la spiegazione del soprannome: una forma creata da Elena con un valore attribuito a Lila. Alla fine però, anche il valore è definito da Elena, o almeno percepito e articolato. Le frasi citate sottolineano il lato autoriflessivo della scrittura, che fa a meno della struttura narrativa articolata intorno ad un’amica/sfida, e arrivano difficilmente ma onestamente a “l’io” che insieme assegna il compito e lo completa. Ferrante allude al senso di superbia che accompagna il suo mestiere, un senso quasi di vergogna per la sua devozione ad un lavoro escogitato e richiesto non dal mondo ma da sé. Ma l’autrice ha regalato ad Elena, la narratrice, un impulso più collaborativo, una spinta a confermare la sua narrazione come se fosse una scommessa. Infatti, Elena comincia il racconto dicendo: “Vediamo chi la spunta questa volta.”¹

La gara di coraggio e determinazione cominciata nelle strade e sulle scale del vecchio rione colora tutta la loro amicizia. Ma, come confessa Elena fin dalle prime pagine, non è



giovane madre: Nina; la bambola in spiaggia: Nani; e poi l’amica di Elena: Lila. Altri nomi di personaggi femminili hanno abbastanza varietà - Brenda, Marta, Rosaria, Bianca, Gigliola, etc. - facendoci notare come la catena di suoni così simili sia riservata a personaggi e figure centrali. Infatti, la narratrice Leda si ferma più volte a riflettere sulla somiglianza di questi nomi e sulla difficoltà di capire come si chiamano madre, figlia, e bambola grazie ai nomi e soprannomi che girano in un gioco continuo di fonemi uguali:

una gara bilanciata. Secondo i fatti, Elena è la vincitrice sopra il rione, come spiega Shulevitz: “Elena, meanwhile, benefits from educational opportunities Lila is denied; escapes the neighborhood, which Lila doesn’t; and becomes the writer Lila surely could have been—or so Elena believes. She suspects that her successes have come at Lila’s expense, and at times, Lila seems to feel the same way.”⁹

Ma il compito per Elena è sempre stato quello di imitare, di tenere il passo, di prevedere ed eludere. La scrittura, la registrazione delle ultime tracce, comincia dall’istinto della possessione mentale. Nella sua mente, non è possibile che questa Lila possa sparire. La sua importanza risuona nei più profondi corridoi della memoria di Elena. Il racconto comincia per tirarla fuori e renderla visibile, tangibile al posto della persona fuggita. E la ricostruzione comincia dall’intimissimo nome: Lila. Tornando al soggetto di Lila, e al potere che sprigiona questo “bisillabo” incantevole, è importante notare la diffusione degli stessi nomi in tutti i libri della Ferrante e anche la loro struttura e somiglianza fonologica. Potremmo presumere che il soprannome comune Lina derivi dal diminutivo Raffaellina ma Lila non viene naturalmente da un simile caso di diminuzione. Non sembra ispirato neanche dalle trasformazioni tipiche del dialetto e pronuncia napoletana, come è il caso per Lenù, dove l’accento cade sull’ultima sillaba, rispecchiando perfettamente il dialetto Napoletano. Lila invece allude a un’invenzione psicologica e fonologica che funziona non solo per Elena ma anche nella mente dell’autrice come un’indicazione di conforto e possesso. I nomi che sembrano trafiggere la nostra autrice sono quelli che formano una specie di anello sonoro: la narratrice nel La Figlia oscura: Leda; la sua bambola: Mina; la


“Nina, Ninù, Ninè, i nomi erano tanti e faticai a raggiungere qualche certezza. […]Nani o Nena o Nennella. […] Non so perché, mi segnai quei nomi nel mio quaderno, Elena, Nani, Nena, Leni; forse mi piaceva come Nina li pronunciava […] Ero incantata.”⁷

Perché suonano così speciali questi nomi per l’autrice e per le sue narratrici? Che cosa succede quando l’autrice decide di dare un indice cosi monocromatico ai nomi dei suoi personaggi primari? Fonologicamente, i nomi sono costruiti da piccoli elementi sonori: seguono tutti una struttura a due sillabe [consonante – vocale – consonante – vocale], e l’ordine della loro articolazione mette gli articolatori primari (la lingua, le labbra, e la mandibola) in una posizione quasi uguale per ogni sillaba. Se si prova a leggere ad alta voce la lista dei nomi elencata poco prima, si nota come la lingua rimane leggermente mobile esattamente dietro ai denti. “L” e “N” – figurano nei nomi Lila, Nina, Elena, Nani, Leni, Nena, Lenù – sono tutte e due consonanti alveolari, la categorizzazione più sottile e meno intrusiva in fonetica. Si parla di una pronuncia che richiede solo un istantaneo blocco del flusso dell’aria, fatto con il più piccolo innalzamento della punta della lingua. Inoltre, le vocali utilizzate sono quasi tutte pronunciate con una posizione anteriore della lingua e senza arrotondamento delle labbra: [e a i]. Così le transizioni fra un suono e l’altro sono semplici quanto una lieve “ondata” della lingua. Questi nomi sono costruiti dagli elementi più basilari dell’articolazione verbale, il che produce un effetto estetico, molto liquido ed evocativo. L’estetica utilizzata per questi nomi trova un esempio concreto anche in un'altra parola molto utilizzata nella lingua italiana: ninnananna. La musica che racchiude questo termine viene esternalizzata anche dalla stessa pronuncia, che si esprime secondo le stesse regole discusse in precedenza. Questi nomi, suoni, e parole implicano la psicologia e la capacità linguistica di una bambina. Suoni semplici, cantilenanti, dolci, melodici e ripetitivi, che rimangono nella mente e nella

nurj – vol. 12 bocca come una canzonetta o una rima. La narratrice Leda nota come questi nomi si mescolino nei suoni, confondendo personaggi e oggetti invece di distinguerli. In libri che meditano di continuo sulla distinzione e ripetizione delle identità di madri e figlie, bambole e bambine, la sfumatura dei confini d’identificazione auditiva è un modo efficace per esibire la vera mancanza di margini. L’elusività dell’identificazione assoluta si trova anche nei titoli: non possiamo essere sicuri di chi o che cosa sia La figlia oscura o L’amica geniale. Infatti, i titoli promuovono un senso di ambiguità, e incoraggiano le nostre ricerche, difense, e re-considerazioni attraverso la lettura. Continuiamo a chiederci: Chi? Quale? Come? Nella Figlia oscura, la somiglianza dei piccoli nomi incoraggia un senso di intercambiabilità; nell’Amica geniale però, malgrado una simile rappresentazione dei legami fra madre e figlia, il nome Lila serve a indicare una persona singolare e particolare. Dobbiamo ricordarci che il soprannome è inventato durante l’infanzia, quando la collaborazione fra le due amiche era costante e la disuguaglianza non aveva ancora diviso i loro destini. Un elemento dell’ammirazione e gelosia provato da Elena durante l’infanzia è “infuso” nel nomignolo scelto durante quel periodo. Il nome della protagonista poi si trasforma dopo il suo matrimonio con Stefano Carracci. Ma la trasformazione non riceve tanta attenzione finché Lila non provoca una situazione di conflitto attorno ad una sua fotografia destinata all’esposizione nel

nuovo negozio in piazza dei Martiri. Meghan O’Rourke descrive la scena così: “Lila enlists Elena to deform a beautiful photograph of her […] The photograph is a bargaining chip between her husband, Stefano, and the Solaras; its presence in the shop of men Lila hates is a kind of emblem of prostitution. So she defaces it.”⁸

Ma secondo me lo scopo del lavoro non è soltanto “defacing”, o deturpazione; Lila, con l’assistenza di Elena, comincia a coprire certe sezioni della sua immagine con strisce di carta e l’effetto non è di rovina ma di una creazione minacciosa. Osservando il risultato, Michele Solara si pronuncia d’accordo sul disegno, dicendo: “Ti sei scancellata apposta.”⁴ Con il suo permesso e un paio di giorni prima dell’apertura del negozio, Lila ed Elena si mettono a lavorare, coprendo sezioni della foto e aggiungendo vernice di blu e rosso sangue. Elena, osservando la gioia con cui Lila si concentra sul progetto, comincia a individuare il vero impeto del compito. Il verbo “scancellarsi” risorge nella mente di Elena per descrivere quell’azione di Lila contro la sua immagine. La violenza e la volontà autodistruttiva trovano una via d’espressione attraverso la scancellazione artistica. A diciassette anni, Lila si trova con un marito violento, una gravidanza non voluta, un lavoro in una salumeria affollata, e un senso di sé così frammentato che, in questo momento, si riempie di felicità per aver trovato modo di “rappresentare la furia contro se stessa, l’insorgere […] del bisogno di cancellarsi.”⁴

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Cavarero, Adriana, Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti, Feltrinelli, Milano 1997. ² Ferrante, Elena, L’amica geniale, Edizioni e/o, Roma 2011. ³ Ferrante, Elena, La figlia oscura del volume Storie di mal d’amore, Edizioni e/o, Roma 2011 (prima edizioni 2006). ⁴ Ferrante, Elena, Storia del nuovo

cognome, Edizioni e/o, Roma 2012. ⁵ Ferrante, Elena, Storia della bambina perduta, Edizioni e/o, Roma 2014. ⁶ Intervista di Nicola Lagioia, La Repubblica, “Elena Ferrante sono io”, 4 aprile 2016. ⁷ Ispirato dal titolo del prologo di L’amica geniale, “Cancellare le

tracce.” ⁸ O’Rourke, Meghan. “Elena Ferrante: the global literary sensation nobody knows,” The Guardian, 31 October 2014. ⁹ Shulevitz, Judith. “The Hypnotic Genius of Elena Ferrante,” The Atlantic, October 2015.



Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Integration Through Group Rights Shakeeb Asrar

Journalistic Writing Nominee

Jocelyn Sage Mitchell Faculty Advisor


democracies claim to be multicultural and to protect the individual rights of all citizens, it is equally important for a democracy to recognize the collective group rights of marginalized communities. In this globalized world, where societies are becoming increasingly diverse, legal and political recognition of minorities will make nation-states true liberal and multicultural democracies. As issues such as radical forms of religion and demands for self-government and independence become pronounced in developed democracies, failure to integrate minorities will only weaken the prospect of democracy. Immigrants are one type of minority found in all modern developed democracies. In this paper, I will use the situation of immigrants in the United Kingdom to argue why recognizing group rights is integral for democracies, and how the failure to do so can bring harm to a functional democracy. » 032

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THE ISSUE Immigration is undoubtedly one of the most important issues in the United Kingdom today, if not the biggest one. Compared to other European and North American countries, net immigration in the UK has drastically increased over the past few decades, making Britain an outlier. While the emigration numbers have remained relatively stable over the past few years, the increase in immigration has added more than two million people to the total population in the past decade. Net immigration was 318,000 for the year 2014, a 52 percent increase from 2013.¹⁵ A majority of immigrants to the UK are ethnic minorities, who presently account for 14 percent of the total population. The five largest distinct minority communities are (in order of size): Indian, Pakistani, Black African, Black Caribbean and Bangladeshi. This paper is not limited to these five minorities but refers to all minorities in the UK. According to current laws, immigrants to the UK can become naturalized citizens after legal residence of at least five years. Moreover, spouses and children of naturalized citizens also automatically become British citizens. These immigrants mostly come to the UK to study, work, or become permanent residents. Recently, there has been much debate over immigration to the UK. As more and more people enter the UK to take advantage of its opportunities by finding jobs and buying residences, the British (predominantly white) citizens have become increasingly worried about the composition of their society and the opportunities available to them. As the European Union (EU) has expanded to include more countries, immigration of EU citizens to the UK has also increased in addition to the continuous arrival of non-EU citizens. According to a recent survey conducted by the University of Oxford, 77 percent of the UK population wants immigration to be reduced in general, and 56 percent of those people want immigration to be “reduced a lot.”¹⁷ This sample includes ethnic minorities in the people who want net immigration to decrease as well. Other recent surveys and reports have frequently found immigration to be among “the most important issues” facing the UK, quoting overpopulation, economic burden, job competition, and housing shortages as the negative impacts of immigrants. The UK’s thriving economy, higher than that of other EU nations, accounts for this spike in immigration to the UK. As immigration has increasingly become a national concern, political parties in the UK have pledged to deal with the issue–most of them proposing to control the number of

immigrants coming into the UK. The question the new UK government is faced with is not whether to act on the issue of immigration, but how? As hostility towards immigrants in the UK becomes more prevalent, the government will not only have to deal with reducing the number of new immigrants but must also form policies on how to deal with the current immigrant population. This group faces immense discrimination and insecurity as seen in the national debate about immigration. One area the UK authorities can turn to before developing immigration policies is the existing scholarship on the rights of immigrants in a democracy. A large amount of scholarship on the rights of immigrants in a democracy, particularly in a modern liberal democracy like the United Kingdom, contrasts the notion of individual rights versus group rights. Writers such as Janusz Bugajski and Lise Howard argue that group rights, defined as collective rights demanded by members of a group, are negative for a liberal democracy as it impedes the democratic value of individual rights. Bugajski argues that recognizing group rights can also threaten democracy as it can provide different groups power and selfgovernance, resulting in increased cleavages between groups. While most of the writings on liberal democracy lean towards individual rights over group rights, other political science scholars present counterarguments to it. Political philosopher Will Kymlicka has written extensively on multiculturalism and argues that there are different types of group rights, and those that apply to immigrants are productive for a democracy and can complement individual rights.¹³



I will argue that to deal with the immigration issue in the UK, the authorities need to take steps to integrate minorities within the larger society. This integration needs to be more than the mere coexistence between ethnic groups and white British; it must include the recognition of group rights of minorities. While arguing for the recognition of group rights in a democracy, I will explain how group rights of immigrants are different from the rights that other minorities in societies have. A major part of the paper will assess the need to address the alienation of immigrants, discussing the harms to democracy that the alienation or marginalization of immigrants can bring. THE STAKES OF IMMIGRANTS IN A DEMOCRACY Immigrants or descendants of immigrants constitute about 14 percent of the total population in UK. According to many political scientists, a large segment of ethnic minorities can have a great influence on how a society operates. However, there can be negative consequences, especially if ethnic minorities are not smoothly transitioned into British society. Donald Horowitz, while considering democracy in divided societies, wrote that different groups in Britain are at “relatively low levels of conflict,” yet immigrants in UK have not assimilated into the general population as clearly as in the United States.¹⁰ Horowitz argues that if ethnic minorities


are not included in the government or in the community, their exclusion can become an “impediment to the attainment of stable democracy.”¹⁰ Since a majority of new immigrants to the UK are from ethnic minorities, tensions between minorities as a whole and the white British majority may increase. Riots in England in 2011 indicate that violence may occur if the minorities are dissatisfied. After a 29-year old black resident was shot and killed by the police, demonstrations erupted across England and turned violent, resulting in several deaths and hundreds of arrests. Social exclusion, unemployment, and poor relations with the police were identified as several contributing factors to the riots.² The incident reflects that minor issues with the authorities can lead minorities to react negatively, which can hamper the stability of a society. Moreover, when disturbances like the 2011 England riots occur, it can create “ethnic entrepreneurs.” Ethnic entrepreneurs are people among the ethnic minorities who manipulate divisions in the society and worsen the cleavages for their advantage. These entrepreneurs can make the disagreements between groups worse, which may leave their mark after the dispute has been resolved. Identity politics are another phenomenon present among ethnic minorities. It is not uncommon for minorities in modern liberal societies to form their own political aspirations apart from traditional broad-based party politics. Radical Islamism is believed to be

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“The idea is not to make UK a liberal groupbased democracy that allows all types of group rights for any collective claiming to be a group but to integrate individuals from different backgrounds into existing democratic systems by accepting their individual as well as group rights where they promote harmony and cohesion.” “a manifestation of modern identity politics, a byproduct of the modernization process itself.”⁷ Political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote that the presence of religious extremists in Europe is a result of flaws in the main political theory of British democracy, arguing that “Europe’s failure to better integrate its Muslims is a ticking time bomb that has already resulted in terrorism and violence. It is bound to provoke an even sharper backlash from nativist or populist groups and may in time threaten European democracy itself.”⁶ Perhaps this phenomenon explains the scores of Britons who are leaving Europe to fight in Syria and Iraq. The presence of a significant ethnic minority in a liberal democracy, therefore, has the potential to undermine the stability of a nation. This is not to say that the immigrants in the UK are rebellious and wish harm to the society, but they have the power to stand for themselves if instigated. However, recognizing their rights and keeping them integrated in the society can guarantee continued understanding between minorities and the general population. INTEGRATION To improve inclusiveness and tolerance for minority ethnic immigrants, it is important for a democracy to recognize their group rights, in addition to guaranteeing their individual rights. Many scholars have argued against the idea of the securing collective rights for groups in a society because they claim that it stands in contradiction with the promise of a democracy to protect individual rights. Recognizing group rights can lead to self-governing groups that become separate

from mainstream politics. Lise Howard argues that the recognition of group rights can result in an ethnocracy trap, in which “social and political organizations are founded on ethnic belonging rather than individual choice.”¹¹ Ethnocratic political systems are not liberal democracies as individuals do not have freedom of choice in deciding their political alliances; rather, their ethnicity automatically categorizes them. In Howard’s ethnocratic explanation lies the answer to why group rights can be recognized in UK since the situation of immigrants in Britain is not the same as a minority groups demanding political autonomy for self-government. The ethnic groups in UK are migrant communities, not national minorities who seek rulership. To prevent the overgeneralization of minority groups, Will Kymlicka differentiates between national minorities and ethnic minorities. According to Kymlicka, national minorities are “territorially concentrated cultures, which were previously self-governing, but have been involuntarily incorporated into a larger state through colonialism, conquest or ‘voluntary’ federation.” Ethnic minorities such as immigrants do not demand separate governance but want to become a part of the society they inhabit. National minorities want independence, whereas ethnic minorities want integration. Recognizing legal and political rights of migrant groups, as long as they do not harm the harmony of a liberal society or the rights of others, will help integrate ethnic groups into the society and prevent conflicts. Therefore, it is the recognition of group rights of ethnic minorities that this paper supports instead of group rights of national minorities. In the context of ethnic minorities, group rights do not mean that governments



“In cases where there are no pressures to vote for a party, individuals may still end up voting for the party supported by their kinship networks because they lack knowledge about the workings of the other parties.” need to recognize that the immigrant communities are different but that they need to respect minorities’ cultural differences in order to integrate them. For instance, if these minorities want the protection of religious rights, such as open practice of religion or construction of mosques in public places, the government need not restrict these rights. In the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, the UK experienced increasingly negative feelings toward Muslims. A 2007 survey by Financial Times found that Britons were more suspicious of Muslims and their actions than any other European state and have less approval for building mosques.⁴ While this may have changed, the UK government must ensure that these feelings are not transferred to laws protecting group rights, and the demand of groups to publicly practice their culture or religion should not be constrained as long as it does not negatively affect the religious rights of other groups. Moreover, group rights can also include the right to attain education in a foreign language–perhaps by using a native language in ethnically-dominated schools. With the introduction of English language test requirement to acquire citizenship in the UK, the idea of speaking English to be “British” has been emphasized. However, if these ethnic groups also demand the right to practice their native language in schools, courts, or other public areas, it should be granted to make ethnic minorities feel integrated in the larger society. Another important reason for recognizing group rights is that it can prevent the aforementioned issue of identity politics. In today’s world, recognition of individual human rights based on ideas of universal humanity does not suffice, and individuals seek to further identify themselves with groups or organizations. As Fukuyama states, “modern identity politics revolves around demands for


recognition of group identities—that is, public affirmations of the equal dignity of formerly marginalized groups.”⁷ The idea of increasing demand for group rights also indicates that the conflict between individual rights and group rights is a misunderstood one. The complexities of current liberal democracies allow individuals to have individual rights, while boasting of their links to groups. Immigrants in the UK want to have individual rights, such as the freedom to vote for a party that is not approved by their family or social ties. At the same time, they want to maintain their cultural or religious affiliations by being a member of a group. Individual rights and group rights can complement each other, and a liberal democracy should be able to allow both rights. Kymlicka said, “individual interests can be converted into collective ones, and political philosophy is replete with attempts to show how collective interests are synonymous with individual ones. There is no reason in principle why a concern for individual rights is not compatible with recognition of certain group rights.”¹³ Moreover, the multicultural nature of liberal democracies does not solely mean tolerance of different cultures and understanding of the differences among them. Multiculturalism is also “the demand for legal recognition of the rights of ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural groups.”⁶ The idea is not to make UK a liberal group-based democracy that allows all types of group rights for any collective claiming to be a group but to integrate individuals from different backgrounds into existing democratic systems by accepting their individual as well as group rights where they promote harmony and cohesion. Reinforcing the national identity of the UK is another way of integrating immigrants into society. Since immigrants want to learn and to become a part of British socio-cultural lifestyle, Britain’s national identity can be promoted among

nurj – vol. 12 migrant communities to make the society inclusive. As Fukuyama wrote: “European nation-state needs to create a more inclusive sense of national identity that can better promote a common sense of citizenship. National identity has always been socially constructed; it revolves around history, symbols, heroes, and the stories that a community tells about itself. The history of twentieth century nationalism has put discussions of national identity off-limits for many Europeans, but this is a dialogue that needs to be reopened in light of the de facto diversity of contemporary European societies.”⁷

According to Economic and Social Research Council’s 2013 study on Britishness, they found that minorities express strong British identities; these identities are stronger than the white British majority in most cases and increase across second generation of immigrants. Additionally, the study concluded that those who have political affiliations with main political parties ranked higher on the Britishness scale, indicating that political activity leads to increased national identification. Therefore, the survey data shows that ethnic groups are willing to be “British,” and if their group rights are recognized, they will not slip toward a desire for independence or self-governance but will become better integrated into society. By promoting national British identity among minorities and majorities alike, social cohesion in society can be achieved. In addition to opening dialogue on national identity, UK political parties also need to increase their political activity among the immigrant communities to give them a sense of inclusiveness. The Ethnic Minority British Election Study (embes) found that political parties campaign far less in ethnic communities than in white neighborhoods.⁹ The prevalence of informal kinship networks– cultural, ethnic or familial ties that influence votes among ethnic communities is often believed to be the reason for difficulty in changing their voting patterns and thus the lack of political activity among immigrant communities. However, research by the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool gathered for the Electoral Commission 2015 found that lack of political activity among migrant communities is one of the reasons kinship networks exists.¹⁸ According to their research, most of the constituencies studied did not have campaigning. In several of these cases, it was found that the MPs had met with ethnic leaders to convince them to get the community’s vote for his or her party.

This so called “electoral fraud” indicates the existence of bloc voting, in which individuals feel pressure from the group to vote a certain way. In cases where there are no pressures to vote for a party, individuals may still end up voting for the party supported by their kinship networks because they lack knowledge about the workings of the other parties. Adnan Khan, a 21-year-old British-Pakistani has lived in the UK his whole life, said he has always supported the Labour Party: “They are nice. I think they are not against immigrants, and my family supports Labour.”¹² Adnan’s family consists of six members, and except for one person who is not registered to vote, all of them have supported Labour. Farha Amjad Khan, Adnan’s mother, also voted for Labour but said “I am really happy for the Tories [victory], because David Cameron had previously said that in his second term, he would allow residents in Plaistow to buy the property they have been living in (and currently pay rent for). Now I can hope to buy this house we live in and we will not have to worry about paying rents.”¹ When asked why she did not vote for the Tories in the first place, Farha said she agrees with other policies of the Labour, but she did not identify any specific policies. The Khan family mirrors the voting patterns of most of the Pakistani-British families in the UK and South Asian families in general. Most of the immigrants have supported Labour for years because Labour is historically known for promoting equality for immigrants. However, many immigrants do not investigate why they support Labour now. Since mainstream political parties do not campaign in immigrant communities, these traditional voting patterns will continue, and kinship networks will prevail. Perhaps campaigning in general is an act that the political factions in the UK need to practice more actively and widely. As witnessed in the UK General Elections 2015, there was very little campaigning around cities prior to the elections. There were few posters, banners, or rallies in these areas. The only form of common campaigning was canvassing, which was in small groups. Whether UK has traditionally followed this procedure for campaigning or not, the country can benefit from attempting to increase its political activity prior to the elections. This will not only make immigrants more politically aware but can also lead to higher voter turnout. POTENTIAL OF IMMIGRANTS IN UK While I discussed the importance of integrating immigrants in a liberal democracy,



it is also important to mention the prospects they offer for the future in terms of influencing the politics of the UK and contributing to its economy and society. Since Britain allows citizens of Commonwealth countries living in the UK to cast votes in elections, there is a large immigrant population, including the permanent immigrants, who are eligible to vote. According to the Migrants’ Rights Network, around four million foreignborn voters across England and Wales were eligible to vote in 2015 elections.⁵ Many constituencies, especially the ones in London, have electorates consisting of majority migrant voters. This means that for many of the MP seats, the decision can be

“Immigrants also contribute to the economy of Britain, and perceptions that they are a financial burden on the country are mistaken.” entirely in the hands of immigrants because they are citizens or have a residency permit. In the 2015 elections, 42 ethnic minority MPs were elected, a jump from 27 in 2010. This number has been increasing over the years and reflects the important role that immigrants play in UK politics. Moreover, there is also a study on how the immigrants are politically capable of having a key role in UK politics. Romain Garbaye writes, “Both West Indians and Asians in Britain originate from democracies with important workingclass political movements. This undoubtedly contributes to making the ethnic-minority populations in Britain more competent at political participation and more likely to take interest in the debates of the host-country.”⁸ Immigrants also contribute to the economy of Britain, and perceptions that


they are a financial burden on the country are mistaken. There are various reports that prove that common perception exaggerates the negative impact of immigration in the UK, especially its influence on the economy. A recent study by University College London found that immigrants as a group invest more into the economy of Britain through paying taxes compared to the welfare benefits they extract.¹⁶ The research concludes: Research has also shown consistently that immigrants do not take jobs away or forces down the earnings wages of native-born workers. So why the negative attitude? Understanding the role played by immigrants in a modern economy such as the UK requires a considerable understanding of economics and finance, particularly the relationship immigrants have to the labor market. If true, you would expect more financially literate individuals to have a more positive attitude towards immigration.¹⁶

Denis MacShane, a former MP in the House of Commons for the Labour Party, also said that one of the reasons major political parties do not form an explicit stance about immigrants is because they know they have a major role in aiding the economy.¹⁴ However, in lieu of the widespread criticism of immigration, they do not form a clear opposing view. According to McShane, immigrants also take low-paying jobs that the white British are unwilling to take; therefore, immigrants are an essential part of the society. The above discussion is not to say that immigrants have no negative impacts on the British society and that they only benefit the system. Some consequences of mass immigration, such as its linguistic and cultural influences, competition in labor market, and notions of radical Islamism have certainly influenced the British society. However, how accurately these consequences are portrayed in the media and perceived among the general public is another issue, as they are often exaggerated. The idea of Britishness is based on plurality and ambiguity as an “inclusive, civic, non-racial identity,” and to be “modern and British is to have and be relaxed about compound identities, to share sovereignties in supranational institutions.”³ The influx of immigrants is certainly a national issue that needs to be dealt with, but it will be in the best interest of the British people to integrate immigrants while the government tries to manage their impact on society. CONCLUSION As mentioned above, the idea that individual

nurj – vol. 12 rights and group rights contradict one another in a liberal democracy may not be true. Group rights of immigrants are different from the group rights that other minorities might demand, thus all group rights cannot be generalized to be harmful to the individual freedoms in a liberal democracy. As scholar Michael Freeman argued, “Liberal democratic theory, in its almost exclusive emphasis on individual rights and its neglect of communal interests, has created a context in which no balance has been possible between the claims of individuals and multidimensional communities.”⁶ In cases such as those of immigrants in UK, recognizing group rights

can help reach a balance of peace and justice. The key here is not to recognize group rights of immigrants but to integrate them into society, and if this integration can be achieved through recognition of collective rights, democracies should not be afraid to do so. The numbers of immigrants are only going to grow in future. Even if the immigration numbers are brought down, birth rates among immigrants will keep their numbers high. As European democracies face issues of radical Islam and people joining groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (isis), integrating immigrants into the society is the best way to keep liberal democratic functions working.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Amjad Khan, Farha. Interview by Shakeeb Asrar. Personal Interview. London, 8 May 2015. ² “Creating the conditions for integration.” Department for Communities and Local Government. London: Crown, 2012. ³ Cowley, Jason. “The Dissolution of the U.K. Would Be a Bad Omen for the Rest of the World.” New Republic. Sept 15, 2014. ⁴ Daniel, Dombey. “Britons ‘more suspicious’ of Muslims.” Financial Times, August 19, 2010 ⁵ Ford, Robert. “Migrant Voters in the 2015 General Election”. Migrants’ Rights Network. January 2015 ⁶ Freeman, M. “Are there Collective Human Rights?” Political Studies. 1995. ⁷ Fukuyama, Francis. “Identity,

immigration, and liberal democracy.” Journal of Democracy 17, no. 2. 2006. dcp171778_404613.pdf ⁸ Garbaye, R. “Ethnic minority participation in British and French cities: a historical– institutionalist perspective”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2002. ⁹ Heath, Anthony. “Ethnic Minority British Election Study –Key Findings.” University of Oxford and Runnymede Trust. 2012. ¹⁰ Horowitz, Donald L.. “Democracy in Divided Societies.” Journal of Democracy. No. 4. 1993. ¹¹ Howard, Lise Morjé. “The Ethnocracy Trap.” Journal of Democracy 23, no. 4. 2012. ¹² Khan, Adnan. Interview by Shakeeb Asrar. Personal Interview. London, 8 May

2015. ¹³ Kymlicka, Will. Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority. 1995. ¹⁴ McShane, Denis. Group Conversation. May 9, 2015. ¹⁵ Office of National Statistics, Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2015. ¹⁶ Preston, Ian (2013), “The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK”, CReAM DP. ¹⁷ Scott, Blinder. “UK Public Opinion toward Immigration: Overall Attitudes and Level of Concern.” Migration Observatory Briefing, COMPAS, University of Oxford, July 2014. ¹⁸ Sobolewska, Maria, Stuart Wilks Heeg, et al. Electoral Commission. “Understanding electoral fraud vulnerability in Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin communities in England.” London: 2015.



+Elizabeth Gerber INTERVIEW BY Florence Fu

A bookshelf rests on a wall adjacent to an electric keyboard. Beatles: The Complete Score and A Dictionary of Musical Scores sits on the top shelf, above C++ Primer and Numerical Recipes in C. Below that there are books on artificial intelligence (lots of them), pattern recognition, and the psychology of sound. This bookshelf gives a fair preview of the work of Prof. Bryan Pardo, who started his undergraduate career as a physics major and ended with a major in jazz composition and a minor in computer science. An Associate Professor in EECS in the McCormick School of Engineering, Prof. Pardo teaches Machine Perception of Music and Audio and runs the Interactive Audio Lab, which focuses on helping computers solve audio-related problems for people.

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According to Dr. Gerber, her childhood alone could probably explain who she is today. Her mother was an art professor, her dad was a basement tinkerer, and her grandfather had a big machine shop. It’s no surprise that she has an interdisciplinary background in art, engineering, psychology, and management. Today, she is an Associate Professor of Design in the McCormick School of Engineering and School of Communication, the Faculty Founder of Design for America, Director of the Segal Research Cluster, and Co-Director of the Delta Lab, a research lab and design studio at Northwestern. Currently, she is taking sabbatical at Stanford University, where she completed her Master and Doctoral degrees, and is researching how to scale innovation practices in large organizations.

YOU’RE WORKING IN THE TECHNOLOGY SPACE WHICH MOVES PRETTY QUICKLY, HOW HAS YOUR RESEARCH CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? EG: First of all, I love that. I’m intensely passionate about doing research that is relevant both to modern times as well as our day to day lives–that’s why I got into design. Design is fundamentally about interactions and improvements of people’s day to day lives. I feel like I’m a scout in some ways... trying to figure out what new things are happening. I can’t be complacent, sit back, and stay alone in my office coming up with ideas. I also get bored very easily. So, if you get bored easily, technology is a fabulous panacea for it. 041


WHAT HAVE YOU OBSERVED ABOUT RESEARCHING IN THE TECHNOLOGY SPACE? EG: There is a real imperative for academic researchers in the technology space to ask the really difficult questions. Many of my colleagues at large technology corporations have huge research arms. They’re asking a lot of interesting questions, but a lot of them come down to product and product implications. As academics who study technology, we have the privilege and responsibility to call out biases and inequalities in the way technologies are designed. For example, one of my colleagues looks at biases in algorithms–so how might technology companies “I want to advocate influence some of my work in for academic crowdfunding? Crowdfunding researchers to have is an interesting mechanism for distributing financial resources, a responsibility to but with the skills required to participate, it also eliminates expose the impact others. So is it creating a social of technology hierarchy we already have in the non digital world? I want that our industry advocate for academic colleagues who are to researchers to expose the impact of technology that our industry either not allowed who are either not or are discouraged colleagues allowed or are discouraged to explore. to explore.” TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LAB AT NORTHWESTERN. EG: I have a lovely lab with smart, hard working graduate students and phenomenal undergraduates who work there. Delta Lab is run by myself, Matt Easterday, a learning scientist, and HaoQi Zhang, a computer scientist. We came together because we realized our interdisciplinary perspectives would help us produce much better research, as well as the intersections with our students. What’s really


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celebrated is the interdisciplinary quality of the work, as well as the design-based research approach we take to our work. We don’t just focus on theory, on product–we really try and allow the design process to inform the theory, and the theory to inform the product. It’s a relationship, which we feel fundamentally works for our research, and it keeps us interested. HOW HAS STUDYING STUDIO ART AND ENGINEERING AS AN UNDERGRADUATE INFLUENCED YOU AND WHERE DO THEY INTERSECT? EG: I see innovation as the intersection of the aesthetic, which comes from art, and the function, which comes from engineering. Another piece comes from my background in psychology and management, questioning whether there is a sustainable system and organizational structure for innovation. When I was an undergrad, I struggled to find research at this intersection. There were people in siloed groups doing research in art, engineering and psychology, but it wasn’t clear how to do all three. Once I understood this model, I was more confident that there was a research agenda to be had at that intersection. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO UNDERGRADUATES WHO ARE INTERESTED IN RESEARCH? EG: You may not get it right the first time. When I was an undergrad, I received a prestigious fellowship called the Presidential Research Fellowship. I went to work in a research lab and I found field research fantastic, but I found doing an extensive literature review, mind-numbingly boring. After that, I declared that I would never become a researcher. However, I was shortsighted in that I limited my understanding of research to that one single domain. By looking back and figuring out what I liked, I was able to find a research domain that has more of the parts I like. So, you might have to try a couple of different times to figure out your research interest and passion. 043


Thank You for Playing: A Rational Choice Theory of Friendship Elena Barham Fabrizio Cariani Faculty Advisor


Although this question may seem antisocial or socially skeptical, this thesis utilizes game theory and decision theory to argue that a rational interactive strategy for friendship is to be maximally altruistic from the first encounter in the pursuit of honest, deep, robust, and sustained friendships predicated on trust and mutual care. In conducting this investigation, this thesis presents two seminal philosophic conceptions of friendship, arguing for a game theory model of such friendships understood as sustained, mutually altruistic pair dynamics in a stochastic prisoner’s dilemma format. Building from this game theory model, this thesis delves into the role of friendship for the individual as a rational agent, arguing that friendship enables a fundamental transformation of the rational capacity of those involved. » 044

nurj – vol. 12 CAN FRIENDSHIP ARISE FROM SELF-INTERESTED RATIONAL BEHAVIOR? Friendships play a central role in our lives. We attend social functions we prefer not to attend, perform inconvenient favors, curb our more critical opinions, all on behalf of the happiness of our friends. This all seems necessary if we assume that friendship is, in some indirect way, “worth it” due to the unconscious reactions of our biological reward system. However, if we look past a biological imperative and treat humans as rational agents, where does that leave us in terms of understanding friendship? In this section, I will explore existing theories relating to the conditions and purpose of friendship and its relationship with rationality. To evaluate the rationality of friendship, we must assess the conditions that justify sustained altruism to a friend, understanding how individual preferences function and interact within a friendship. Existing theories of friendship suggest that friendship grants both pleasure and usefulness to the friends. Telfer defines the phenomenon of “liking” a friend as a “quasi-aesthetic attitude, roughly specifiable as ‘finding a person to one’s taste.’”³ However, Telfer acknowledges that this conception of engaging in friendship because one “likes” one’s friend is separate from the bond of friendship. One can imagine individuals that one “likes,” but are not one’s friend, and similarly have friends that (at times) one does not “like.” Moreover, the phenomenon of “liking” seems to not necessarily be rationally justifiable, as two very similar people could be “liked” or “disliked” for subtle reasons unclear even to the individual who holds the preference. Another existing theory highlights the ability of a friend to teach us more about ourselves, that perhaps a close friend makes certain understandings epistemologically accessible to us when they would not be otherwise. Grounded in an Aristotelian discussion of a friend as “a second self,” Cooper posits that one can view a friend objectively enough to discern faults he or she would not find in himself or herself. More concretely, Cooper states that “one recognizes the quality of one’s own character and one’s own life by seeing reflected, as in a mirror, in one’s friend.”¹ In this argument, the ways in which individuals fail to objectively assess their own character can be made accessible to them through similar behavior they analyze objectively in their friend. In this way, friendships are valuable, perhaps necessary, in that they improve our self-knowledge in ways that could arguably enhance one’s rationality. Although this seems plausible, such an intimate understanding of the shortcomings of a friend’s character would

be territory of a mature friendship. Seeking to know oneself better fails to explain why one initiates a friendship, and moreover does not clearly support the more frivolous interactions that form the gateway to a deeper friendship. A final account could be that friendship is rational through a “character-relative” or “ethocentric” model as proposed by J.E. Whiting.⁴ Friendship, in this view, is based on valuing another individual’s character because they are a certain type of person, such that one considers this “type” good and seeks to emulate this “type” as well. This line of reasoning holds that friendship’s rational justification relies on an individual clearly valuing a friend for the reasons the individual loves herself but avoids the egoist critique by arguing that one does not merely value that this friend

“One can imagine individuals that one ‘likes,’ but is not one’s friend, and similarly have friends that (at times) one does not ‘like.’” is similar to her. Rather, both an individual and this friend are like a certain ideal type of person (in terms of character and values). However, true character and deeply held values are difficult to assess accurately prior to beginning a friendship. It seems unlikely that individuals at the outset of a friendship could really understand these essential traits about their friends. Therefore, this theory provides an explanation for continuing a friendship that is consistent with a rational choice point of view but fails to justify beginning a friendship. Examining friendship in rational choice terms should illuminate the cooperative mechanisms throughout the scope of a friendship. The reasons behind friendship as a concept likewise complicate this investigation. C.S. Lewis posits that friendship relationships are the least necessary of all of our relationships. In The Four Loves, Lewis argues that friendship is



+ Table 1 “Game A”: a potential game following my proposed format.

free from biological necessity, unlike romantic, kinship, and charitable love.² Following this line of thought, rational choice theory would have to answer why we ought to pursue friendship at all. What about friendship justifies its existence, especially if this comes at the expense of time that individuals could be putting into other relationships? This paper will offer a framework to interpret these questions, assessing how our self-interest reflects in our friendships, and in turn, how our friendships manifest our values. If we posit that friendship demands altruism and that in friendships we must be willing to subjugate our own immediate desires to prioritize those of a friend, there must be a clear individual benefit to friendship to rationally justify these choices. One possible theory of friendship that is compatible with a decision-theory framework would argue that sustained mutual altruism over time evens out or increases the overall utility of both individuals. It could be possible that there are things one friend appreciates more than they cost to the other friend to perform. Perhaps my friend giving me advice costs them a small amount of time and patience, but their advice significantly enhances my ability to navigate a situation. Through exchanging these “social goods,” each friend has a better experience than they would achieve on their own. Thus, although individual altruistic acts may penalize the individual performing them, creating a disposition that encourages the friend’s altruism becomes to one’s overall advantage. This mutual exchange could happen in


a few ways. The first would be immediate gratification—that friendship more or less amounts to a kindness exchange. In this version of friendship, each act of altruism is repaid within a reasonable timeframe; sustained relationships are cases in which two individuals are willing to meet each other’s payback expectations. The second possibility for this could be more long-term, that although friendship demands preliminary sacrifice, there could be a long-run reward to friendship, which the friendly individual thinks merits pursuit. Examples of this version could be eventually having an individual to care for one when one falls sick, or to whom one leaves their children’s custody in the case of a tragedy, who in some sense “owes it” to them to fill this role. Another explanation for the rationality of friendship falls in line with the valuation of a friend as its own end. In this version, moral, ethical, or other personally held normative judgments compel individuals to form friendships because they feel that they should, that it is the action to take. A concrete case of this theory would be when an individual maintains social contact with a family friend, not due to organic interest in this person but rather due to a personal belief that she should honor and maintain relationships that are important to her parents out of love for her family. Acting in this way comes with the pleasure of living aligned with one’s principles. In this way, partaking in a friendship supplies utility that makes altruistic acts rational, all things considered. Given this explanation, friendships form between individuals who feel

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“Altruistic acts are rational insofar as they construct expectations and mutual understanding so that friendship can develop, with the friendship being enjoyable to the friends in its own right.” that acting altruistically towards one another is compliant with their moral values and not overpowered by other preferences. A final defense of the rationality of friendship would be that each individual act of altruism could be explained as constructive of the characteristic dynamics of a friendship, which over time will grow to be its own source of utility for the partaking individuals. In this view, a friend performs a favor for the friend instrumentally to demonstrate trustworthiness, kindness, competence, or some other trait that they feel is important to their friend. Altruistic acts are rational insofar as they construct expectations and mutual understanding so that friendship can develop, with the friendship being enjoyable to the friends in its own right. Over time, these interactions enable both individuals to experience greater happiness than they would without each other’s friendship. This longterm enhanced enjoyment makes it rational to partake in the friendship throughout. As shown thus far, assuming a rational, self-interested framework for decisionmaking complicates any explanation for the phenomenon of friendship. This paper will take the requirements of rational choice theory as a tool for analyzing human rationality in both descriptive and action-guiding ways. Rational choice theory describes the broader field of study that comprises decision theory, game

theory, and social choice theory. Applying these concepts to friendships provides an avenue to explore the rational motivations behind social behaviors, and what sort of values or beliefs this reveals about individuals who partake in friendship. Moreover, decision theory applied to these questions can serve an action-guiding purpose and allow understanding about ways in which friendships ought to be pursued. In its full version, this paper uses decision theory to analyze individual decisions within a friendship and proposes a game theory model through which to understand friendship as a series of sustained, cooperative, mutually altruistic interactions. Game theory provides a necessary complement to decision theory as friendship involves multiple agents, and game theory provides better mechanisms to deal with choices that depend on pair dynamics. This paper contributes an understanding of how agents sustain friendship given the self-interest and rationality requirements of rational choice theory and explores what this can tell us about our relationships and our individual selves. I explore a rational choice model to evaluate the rationality of friendship, conceived as a stochastic, extended-form game, and create a stylized toy model to explore generalizable strategy equilibria. Finally, this paper argues for deep, robust friendships (based on Kantian and Aristotelian notions of such) as the most rational relationship an individual can form.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Cooper, J.M., “Friendship and the Good in Aristotle.” Philosophical Review, 86: 1997. ² Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. New

York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960. ³ Telfer, E. “Friendship.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 71, 1970-71.

⁴ Whiting, J.E. “Impersonal Friends.” Monist 74.1, 1991.



Therapeutic High Schools: Healing in the Age of Ethnic Studies Cinthya Abigail Rodriguez John D. Márquez Faculty Advisor

“I am a brown woman, from the Mexican side of town—torn between the Chicago obrero roots of my upbringing and my egocentric tendency towards creative expressions.” —Ana Castillo “Levántate, rise up in testimony.” —Gloria Anzaldúa


incorporation of Ethnic Studies as indicative of liberal notions of progress, I contend that this growth indicates the neoliberal institutionalization of Ethnic Studies. While much Ethnic Studies research from K-12 focuses on the West and Southwest United States, this project considers what conditions, processes, and histories necessitated the implementation of African American and Latina/o Studies in urban Midwest Chicago public high schools. This project traces the ways in which Chicago Public Schools (cps) and the US colonial schooling apparatus works to reconcile an ongoing genealogy of violence against Black and Latina/o communities through Ethnic Studies. The embrace of specific aspects of Ethnic Studies by cps reflects a settler state that governs students and communities of color through race in what Dian Million terms “therapeutic maneuvers.” Through state violence and militarization, Black and Latina/o students remain expendable in such educational therapeutic maneuvers. »


nurj – vol. 12 PREFACE I took “Intro to Latina/o Studies” the winter of my first year at Northwestern. One of the class periods, we watched Precious Knowledge, a documentary where students, educators, and community members share their testimonies after being affected by the ban on Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Program. It was not my first time hearing about the film as it had become particularly relevant to the situation back at my high school. Sitting there, in my first Latina/o Studies class in college, I squirmed in my seat and wanted to scream, “IT’S HAPPENING IN CHICAGO, TOO!” In fact, students back home were watching the movie as well, trying to get in touch with the organizers in Arizona—to get their support and advice. So I raised my hand at the end of class and talked about a Latina/o Studies class in Chicago that could face a ban in the near future. I remained in touch with my friends fighting this attack on the Latino Lit. and African American Lit. classes we had learned to care so much about. That winter, those students and more would watch Precious Knowledge and host discussions around it and how it paralleled their own situation. They would take action, too. Starting with a petition that quickly enough garnered attention from the school administration, cps, and a local news outlet. As a former student of jcp, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take the Latin American Literature class. Every single day I would learn something meaningful about my heritage that I didn't know before because we're never taught it. Taking this class empowered me and inspired me, and I believe that everyone deserves to take this class for credit. —Ivonne Saldaña, from the petition to credit African American Literature and Latin American Literature as cps graduation requirement

INTRODUCTION I am a working class Chicana with im/migrant parents from the Southwest Side of Chicago. This is the background of most of us from this part of the city—predominantly Mexican, living close to the factories, brown folks buffering Black and white (ethnic) neighborhoods. From kindergarten to high school, I attended cps and became part of a school district with over 396,000 students in more than 600 schools.³ With (over) 90 percent of those (us) students being of color, our educations were (are) impacted by multiple assemblages of colonialisms—here in Chicago and everywhere

else in the world, across space and time. Students, then, carry these histories with them everyday when they walk into their— hyper-segregated—classrooms. This is, in part, the context in which several generations of students at William Jones College Preparatory High School (jcp) in Chicago have matriculated into “African American Literature” and “Latin American/Latin@ Literature” courses since 2006. These are both core English classes offered at Jones for juniors and seniors that survey a variety of Black and Latina/o works (Appendix A). ROADMAP Nevertheless, these two Ethnic Studies courses and, more widely, an epistemology of Ethnic Studies in Chicago’s high schools are yet to be addressed by scholars. To guide my own work concerning these matters, I begin by presenting the theoretical frameworks guiding my research, including Dian Million’s concept of “therapeutic maneuvers” in Therapeutic Nations.⁷ This concept provides important theoretical understandings that I use to study the racial-colonial relationship of power between high schools and students of color in the context of the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies at large. As I will explain further, seeking to meaningfully engage with Ethnic Studies in high schools necessitates an interdisciplinary study grounded in critical interrogations of coloniality and race governance. In this thesis, I analyze testimonies, news and popular media, education statistics, curriculum, and theories about racial-colonial power. To contextualize my case study of cps Black and Latina/o students and Ethnic Studies at Jones College Prep within our current historical conjuncture, I begin by reviewing literature concerning Ethnic Studies. Chapter I, “Therapeutic Ethnic Studies,” seeks to provide a deeper understanding of these discussions surrounding race and education by analyzing critical perspectives concerning 1) the history of and contemporary Ethnic Studies and 2) the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies and critical consciousness.⁴ Within this chapter, Section 1, “A Genealogy of Ethnic Studies,” demonstrates that Latina/o Studies and African American Studies courses in Chicago are not new phenomena but rather a part of a prolonged struggle. In Section 2, “Institutionalizing Ethnic Studies,” I study concurrent attacks on and the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies at the high school level, both of which I will further discuss by drawing on literature about institutionalization within the academy. This includes the Arizona ban on Ethnic Studies and the rise in California’s legislative support for Ethnic Studies. I argue that these forces only



“Constituted through enslavement, conquest, and exploitation, violent practices have allowed for the naming and cultivation of regions and the non-European, non-white ‘Other.’”

seemingly operate in contradiction to each other, raising important questions about the future of Ethnic Studies. In Chapter 2, “The Chicago Fight for Ethnic Studies,” I study the racialized relationship between high schools and students of color, focusing on Black and Latina/o students in Chicago through the Ethnic Studies classes offered at Jones College Prep. Section 3, “Chicago,” analyzes the conditions and practices of racial governance that necessitate Ethnic Studies within the settler colonial and post-colonial formation of the city. Traditionally, youth in Chicago and the urban Midwest at large have not been considered in discussions concerning the current state and future of Ethnic Studies in high schools. Calling attention to how cps governs Black and Latina/o students through race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability, then, is necessary for moving these discussions further. Section 4, “The Jones Story,” tells the story of the struggle at Jones College Prep to save “African American Literature” and “Latin American/ Latin@ Literature” between 2012 and 2013. Given everything that is at stake for Black and Latina/o communities in today’s neoliberal educational landscape in Chicago, I conclude this student-led struggle holds many ongoing


lessons about the movement of Ethnic Studies and the decolonial imaginaries offered by women of color and Chicana feminisms. FRAMEWORKS Racial-Colonial Governance First, in this thesis, I do not privilege “Black,” “Latina/o,” “Chicana/o,” or “Native” as phenotype but rather engage their construction through a genealogy of race. Similarly, I do not refer to whiteness as phenotype. Instead, I refer to whiteness as a project and the ways in which it is carried about by processes that (re)create each other. Whiteness expands and contracts strategically through education and schooling, but also citizenship, labor, sexuality, health, etc. Coloniality and its constant reinforcement produces a knowledge-power interface that “makes us see and experience ourselves as ‘Other.’”⁴ Constituted through enslavement, conquest, and exploitation, violent practices have allowed for the naming and cultivation of regions and the non-European, non-white Other.’ I refer, then, to the ways in which whiteness signifies the effect or impact of what Barnor Hesse delineates as “the European colonial historicity of modernity from the sixteenth century onwards [and] the European scientization of the Enlightenment discourse of race during the eighteenth century.”5 During this period, the constitution of race became increasingly consolidated through colonial practices of governance and domination which have constructed whiteness. “Race governance was constituted as a set of colonial practices meant to brand, bind (geopolitically), mark, and distinguish peoples and territories for colonial governance.”¹ In other words, Western modernity rules and colonially constitutes “race” through racialization, classification, and categorization. These are the histories, processes, and conditions that I will refer to with the use of “racial-colonial” governance throughout this thesis. Therapeutic Maneuvers In this thesis, I would like to offer another way of thinking through the ongoing institutionalization of Ethnic Studies and what it means for high school students of color. When I speak about Ethnic Studies becoming institutionalized, I refer not only to the increasing establishment of Ethnic Studies courses in schools, but also to the absorption and co-optation of Ethnic Studies into liberal multicultural politics. Since I graduated from my own high school Ethnic Studies experience, it has been important for me to bear witness to what this time meant for me and my

nurj – vol. 12 classmates. I do this because these courses in Chicago are not well-known, even though they can be so transformative for the students and educators involved. Indeed, their impact does not end after the class is over. Christine Sleeter writes, “well-designed and well-taught ethnic studies curricula have positive academic and social outcomes for students.”¹⁰ In this way, I began this project with the goal of making the case for Ethnic Studies in all of Chicago’s high schools. Currently, as I will examine, the case for Ethnic Studies in high schools is being made. In fact, it is being made all throughout

“A key aspect of therapeutic maneuvers is that they privatize and individualize our traumas, rather than being primarily invested in collective liberation.” the country—but it is not based out of Chicago or seriously considering what Ethnic Studies might mean in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the US.¹² I say this to be clear about how and where Chicago fits into the current movement for Ethnic Studies. As someone invested in the liberatory possibilities of Ethnic Studies for younger students, I am certainly implicated in the responsibility of raising awareness about the state of Ethnic Studies in Chicago’s K-12 schools. Therefore, I suggest that given how under-theorized Ethnic Studies is in Chicago and the urban Midwest, the specificities of Chicago—from its settler colonial inception to becoming the most segregated city in the US to the current cps crisis—can offer something new for/as the case for Ethnic Studies continues to be made. My contribution to this movement for

Ethnic Studies, and my way of giving thanks to everyone in Chicago who has taught me Ethnic Studies both in and out the classroom, is to think critically about the local and inter/ national context in which this case is being made. Given the history of the prolonged struggle for Ethnic Studies, including high schools, how is this case still being made? Who makes the case and who decides it? How has it changed? In this way, Dian Million’s Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights challenged my engagement with the growing movement for Ethnic Studies in high schools. Rather than focusing on the testimonies of transformation lived by young Ethnic Studies students, which will always be necessary, I seek to explore the power relations surrounding our testimonies and what this tells us about our current conjuncture. In Therapeutic Nations, Million speaks to the institutionalization and medical pathologizing of trauma and healing in Indigenous communities by the (settler) state. This tension, for Million, brings therapeutic maneuvers to the forefront. Accountable to indigenous feminism, Million studies the development of indigenous practices of self-determination vis-à-vis post-WWII international human rights and neoliberal governance. Million traces the complex ways in which there has been a shift from 1960s to 1970s indigenous collective struggles for self-determination. Million describes how settler states, specifically focusing on Canada and the US, in many ways co-opt the decolonial impetus of healing collective colonial trauma. Settlers continue to reify a colonial relationship of power obfuscated by “progressive” human rights discourses and practices. Million writes, “My first observation in this vein is that the international law that enables indigenous trauma to appeal for justice is the same sphere in which we articulate political rights as polities with rights to self-determination. I don’t see these as necessarily compatible projects.”⁷ This marking of that colonial relationship in a subject-object dialectic still constitutes a therapeutic maneuver and develops therapeutic (settler) nations, like Canada and the US. Centering indigenous women in her analysis, however, Million traces a genealogy of biopolitics and gendered violence against them as practices of racial-colonial governance that are ongoing through therapeutic maneuvers. Million both honors movements of the past and present while cautioning the difference between being recognized as individuals requiring healing from colonial trauma and as a collective people seeking decolonization. This



is the difference between seeking recognition from the state which turns indigenous healing into a spectacle and dismantling structures that continue to necessitate that suffering and healing. A key aspect of therapeutic maneuvers is that they privatize and individualize our traumas, rather than being primarily invested in collective liberation. Million, moreover, dedicates a significant section of her argument to placing US and Canadian settler colonial residential boarding schools within this genealogy. Million traces how historical trauma as a concept is so significant because of the indigenous testimonies, legal cases, and attention finally brought forward by residential school survivors.⁷ This concept, historical trauma, formulates one part of the work that the settler colonial state has actively sought to institutionalize. Million’s analysis of this incorporation of historical trauma as a therapeutic maneuver has a lot to teach us about how we might articulate our traumas differently. Indeed, how might we make the case for Ethnic Studies differently—if we even need to make a case at all? Thus, I frame my thesis with Million’s work on therapeutic maneuvers to put a primarily Black and Latina/o Chicago in conversation with Indigenous Studies. This history of colonial schooling, historical trauma, and settler colonialism also marks the inception of “Chicago.” While Indigenous Studies is in itself interdisciplinary, this thesis is also grounded in Critical Ethnic Studies at large and Post-Colonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Chicana Feminism to critically discuss (neo)liberal multiculturalism, the colonial constitution of race, and decolonial pedagogies. By placing these in conversation with the current state of Ethnic Studies in Chicago, like Million, my own cautionary tale emerges. Currently, Ethnic Studies is engaged in this tension between the history that necessitates it and the ways in which it might be more useful to the state. Therefore, what conditions, processes, and histories have necessitated the implementation of Ethnic Studies, particularly Latina/o Studies and African American Studies, in the context of the urban Midwest in Chicago public high schools? My main research question thus is how can we understand the relationships of power between the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies by high schools in our current conjuncture and a genealogy of violence against students of color? Finally, what can a growing movement of Ethnic Studies learn from our current struggles to resist therapeutic maneuvers in Chicago? CONCLUSION In this conclusion, my first goal is to affirm how


the Ethnic Studies struggle at Jones College Prep in Chicago is an example of resistance against the racial-colonial schooling apparatus, but also a call for a changing consciousness about Ethnic Studies. In the face of ongoing settler colonialism, post-colonial paradoxes, and the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies, we must think differently about Ethnic Studies itself. My second goal is to highlight the role of Third World and women of color feminist theory in disrupting the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies. Rooted in my time at Jones, I offer a final autobiographical narrative, or testimonio, to underscore the importance of women of color methodologies in changing consciousness. Chicana feminism, in this context, produces new interventions in building solidarity across indigenous and subaltern education movements all over the world. Changing Consciousness It is time to meaningfully consider the future of Ethnic Studies within high schools. In a similar but different context to universities, high schools increasingly institutionalize and exceptionalize Ethnic Studies, allowing it some sort of space while operating under the racial-colonial governance of school systems such as cps. The struggle for K-12 Ethnic Studies is not just new or urgent, but rather part of a global genealogy of race and colonial schooling. Educational therapeutic maneuvers only encapsulate the Post-Arizona, neoliberal specificities of our current conjuncture. In the end, Ethnic Studies does not produce a reconciled history between our communities and the state. The value of an Ethnic Studies program, course, or curriculum will not end racism or white supremacy. Ethnic Studies can, however, help us develop a changing consciousness to think of new ways we might build something different. As Cherrie Moraga wrote on the fortieth anniversary of Ethnic Studies, “If it were possible, what questions would we ask of our elders, our storytellers, our ancestors, our scribes and scientists?”⁸ What will people one day ask of us? Where is (was) our work? In A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness, Moraga returns as a scribe from within the current epoch, the new Sun, intervening specifically in the distancing of Chicana/ os from indigeneity. The title of her book alludes to Xicana/o genealogies of mapping our journeys and an indigenous epistemology of the simultaneity of past/present/future. Drawing upon that indigeneity, then, Moraga urges a changing consciousness—to remember, witness, story tell, and write—“to allude to a future for which we must prepare.”⁸

nurj – vol. 12 Inspired by Moraga’s focus on indigenous and non-white processes of knowledge production, I attempt my own codex. Based out of Chicago, I imagine that the grassroots campaigns and community organizing around public schools in this moment are giving us another chance to transform Ethnic Studies. The Ethnic Studies movement of the 1960s and 1970s never ended—the struggle only continues. This is reflective of critical community activism in the face of educational crises happening throughout the country. For instance, the recent Dyett Hunger Strike in Chicago and its example of non-cooperation with cps shows us the complexities and possibilities of being “renegades of the system.”⁶ On August 17, 2015, twelve parents, educators, and community members (primarily mothers) began a 34 day-long hunger strike to save and revitalize Chicago’s Dyett High school campus in the historic Black neighborhood of Bronzeville.⁶ Putting their bodies on the line, the hunger strikers and their supporters demanded accountability from cps and connected their struggle to racism in the school system overall. Today, the fight for the implementation of their proposal continues. #Fight4Dyett echoed similar hunger strikes to save schools in Black and Latina/o areas, but this time in the aftermath of the most school closings in Chicago history in 2013. Disrupting the racial-colonial relationship between communities of color and schooling apparatuses, this is what Ethnic Studies looks like. Changing consciousness, Chicago organizing for liberatory and/or public education might engage in the movement for Ethnic Studies differently. Chicana Feminism The spring of my first year on campus, author, poet, and founder of Xicanisma Ana Castillo gave a talk. Along with my Latino Lit. teacher from high school, I attended her platica and went up to meet her at the end. This visit was big for us because we read the entirety of her Massacre of the Dreamers in the course. And we wanted to make sure she knew that. “We’re teaching your book at your old high school, Ana Castillo, but they’re trying to ban it like they’re doing in Arizona, what do you think?” How could I possibly let her know in two minutes just how much her work had meant to me—to us, to all of us in 5th and 7th period Latino Lit. How could I tell her that we had to read certain sections multiple times, that sometimes our own internalized oppression had made her seem too angry, or that sometimes reading her work felt like she was reading our minds. Maybe one day there will be time for all of that. For the purposes of this encounter, Ana

“The struggle for K-12 Ethnic Studies is not just new or urgent, but rather part of a global genealogy of race and colonial schooling.” Castillo told us to keep fighting for Ethnic Studies and why she thought that work was important. She would keep us in her thoughts, she said. Looking back, I believe that one of the reasons why Mr. Saldivar’s pedagogy has been so powerful is because of how much time we spent on Xicana feminist texts—which many might say are too much or too complicated for 11th and 12th graders. But too many people go their whole lives without reading or knowing the work of Xicanas. So, in reality, these texts are just right. In this way, too, Mr. McHenry centered Black feminist texts in the African American Literature course at Jones. To conclude, however, I will highlight the importance of Xicana feminism because I studied Latino Literature from 2010-2011. While I studied under Saldivar, the course dedicated a large amount of time to introducing students to women of color feminism. We read Chicana feminist thought the most, a framework which we had to apply throughout the entire school year. Through Chicana feminism, we thought about themes such as indigeneity, gendered violence, and the Borderlands—particularly through Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, and Cherrie Moraga. Not only did we read this theory, but we were also expected to apply it to our own lived experiences through writing, projects, and service learning—through a queer Chicana feminist lens. Breaking down these texts as a class was hardly easy, but it was powerful. While this Chicana feminist framework was adjusted for the purposes of a Latino Literature class in a selective enrollment high school in Chicago, and it will look different in another community and be circumstantial, a Third



“Not to be simply relegated to the past as a movement by women of color of the Global South, Chicana feminism and Third World/ women of color feminist theory are not just examples of oppression, but rather constitute a methodology of the oppressed.” World and women of color feminist lens remains imperative no matter where. Not to be simply relegated to the past as a movement by women of color of the Global South, Chicana feminism and Third World/women of color feminist theory are not just examples of oppression, but rather constitute a methodology of the oppressed. Set against the backdrop of the 1990s, Chela Sandoval theorized how women of color subjectivities and praxis manifested an oppositional consciousness (or a “new consciousness” or “changing consciousness” depending which Chicana you ask). She writes: As such, US third world feminism is not inexorably gender, nation, race, sex, or class linked. It is, rather, a theory and method of oppositional consciousness that rose out of a specific deployment, that is, out of a particular tactical expression of US third world feminist politics that more and more became its overriding strategy. The tactic that became this overriding, differential strategy is guided, above all else, by the imperatives of social justice that can engage a hermeneutics of love in the postmodern world.¹¹

This commitment to changing consciousness is foundational to Third World feminism, and continues today in the “Latin American/Latin@ Literature” course at Jones. In Appendix E, I include two out of the hundreds of responses published on a public blog, “Critical Insights in Latino Literature,” where Latino Lit students respond to key texts in the course—such as Ana Castillo’s seminal Massacre of the Dreamers. These two examples of responses by Jones students highlight discussions about consciousness raising and language within the course. They respond by stating, for instance, “Ana Castillo writes of how the education system can be utilized to give Chicanas a new consciousness that serves to empower


themselves,” and “Conscientization, has a loose translation in English to consciousness raising is presented in this chapter through the way women of color write and present their stories. They must ‘learn to voice the contradictions’ and not only acknowledge them but embrace and live with them.”² These students engage within a decolonial imaginary—a space of the methodology of the oppressed and changing/ differential consciousness. This space can transform Ethnic Studies and high schools if we let it. Situating our gente genealogies, picking up the pen, and operating within a decolonial imaginary requires us to declare the ground from which we speak, our “sitios y lenguas.”⁹ I speak from 21 years in Chicago, living on lands that are not of my own ancestors. I speak out of love for re/imagining our relationships to one another, and I believe Ethnic Studies within high schools can be one part of that decolonial process. Continuing to disrupt the racialized relationship of power that (settler) colonialism created between students of color and the schooling apparatus requires changing consciousness, love, and solidarity beyond the sanctity of geo-political borders, honoring the work Third World women and women of color have always done, imagining for us a transitionary space—like from Chicago to Ayotzinapa. From Dyett to Ayotzinapa From September 25th to 27th 2015, a 43hour vigil was held in front of the Mexican Consulate to commemorate the one-year kidnapping of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Guerrero. On a 43-hour hunger strike for the entirety of the vigil was a mexicana, Laura Rámirez, a graduate student and major liaison between the parents of the 43 and organizing being done in Chicago. That

nurj – vol. 12 weekend folks came and went on the corner of the consulado, honoring the organizing directed at efforts by the Mexican state to disremember and forget the students’ lives and disappearance. We chanted, created art, and talked to passerbys whenever we visited Laura. It seemed like a small action, but we did what we could. There are moments where we try our best to poke holes and make spaces of love and hope for each other in a world that does not stop—especially a world that does not stop for 43 missing indigenous students in Mexico. No hay pero lucha que la que no se hace. So the second time I went back to visit Laura that weekend, I stopped to read a note left in support. Written by one of the mothers from the recent Dyett Hunger Strike, it was a love note. From one mother to many others, from one people to another, and a part of all the love that receives little attention but is given mutually between Black communities in the US and Mexican communities trans/ nationally in the face of recent crises. From Dyett to Ayotzinapa, we are all doing what we can. I love you (All 43 of you). I love your families too! I wish our world was a better place and if everyone was like me and each of you it would be. As we continue to keep you guys up in spirit we will never give up searching for you. Love Forever & Power, Dyett Hunger Striker.

PÍLON The culminating project for Latino Lit. in high school was to write a research paper. We were given a template from which we unknowingly produced an abstract, literature

review, and analysis grounded in our own lived experiences. I was freaking out the week our topics were due because I could not figure out my research question. After lying to my Black and Latina/o literature teachers that I was crying because my dog, Buki, was dying (which he was) instead of because this project was hard, I said, “Maybe I’m just trying too hard to make this deep.” To which my teacher answered, “It does have to be deep.” In the end, I wrote a paper titled “She is a Dreamer, but She is not the Only One: Revolución.” Using five of the Latina and Xicana feminist texts we read in class, I argued for the responsibility of Chicanas to recognize themselves and their communities as centers of knowledge. Back then, I called this “received knowledge over personal narrative.” I was so scared about my final project because I cared so much about it. This was true of my friends and classmates as well. It felt as if our lives were on the line. And indeed, they always are: Chicanas cannot afford to have their lives narrowed down; indeed, our stories are long and real and rich. Contrary to popular belief, a Chicana cannot afford to focus on others for knowledge, and especially not those outside of her who seek to dehumanize her. Facts are facts, and they do not go away when we ignore them. However, if we cannot relate them with anger, compassion, hope, and love, we cannot see how to act against them. When she finally understands her power as it relates to others, her dreams plant the seeds of a future that is truly better. It is a love that sees beyond borders and labels. It is a love that breaks the tradition of silence. In this way, she will tell stories forgotten. If she does not, who will?

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Bryant, Sherwin. Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito. University of North Carolina Press, 2014. ² Castillo, Ana. Massacre of the Dreamers. Plume, 1994. ³ “CPS Stats and Facts.” Chicago Public Schools, 5 April 2016, At-a-glance/Pages/Stats_and_ facts.aspx. ⁴ Hall, Stuart.“Cultural Identity and Diaspora,” Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory: A Reader, edited by Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman. Columbia University Press, 1994. ⁵ Hesse, Barnor. “Racialized

Modernity: An Analytics of White Mythologies.” Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, 2007. ⁶ “Hunger Strike to Save Dyett High School in Bronzeville!” Teachers of Social Justice, 2015, hunger-strike-to-save-dyetthigh-school.html. ⁷ Million, Dian. Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights. University of Arizona Press, 2013. ⁸ Moraga, Cherrie. A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. Duke University Press, 2011. ⁹ Pérez, Emma. The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas

into History, Indiana University Press, 1999. ¹⁰ Sleeter, Christine E. The Academic and Social Value of Ethnic Studies: A Research Review. National Education Association, 2011, assets/docs/NBI-2010-3value-of-ethnic-studies.pdf. ¹¹ Sandoval, Chela. Methodology of the Oppressed. University of Minnesota, 2000. ¹² Snyder, Thomas D., and Sally A. Dillow. “Digest of Education Statistics – 2013.” National Center for Education Statistics, 2015, pubs2015/2015011.pdf.



+ Hamid Naficy INTERVIEW BY Bit Meehan

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Hamid Naficy, the Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa AlThani Professor in the School of Communication, is a scholar of Iranian cinema and exile and diaspora in media. After moving to the US for college, Naficy has traveled back to Iran and around the world in his study of film. He is best known for his four-volume A Social History of Iranian Cinema, the product of four decades of research, and three books on exilic and diasporic filmmaking, including An Accented Cinema.

HOW HAS YOUR RESEARCH INFLUENCED YOUR TIME AT NORTHWESTERN? HN: During the course of that research [for my history of Iranian cinema], I collected a lot of movie posters as I interviewed the producers, the distributors, the exhibitioners. I decided that I would donate the posters and some 53 boxes of stuff to the Northwestern archive. They digitized them, and now they are available online for anyone else who wants to do research. In the meantime we recently curated an exhibition for the Block Museum of a selected forty-some posters. Before that though, I had a class on Iranian cinema. I divided them into groups of four or five students, and they each took up one genre of movie posters and filmmaking. They did research, went to the digital archive that we created, wrote a paper, and created a presentation. That was helpful in curating the show, and they are all credited in the booklet that we published. I thought that was a very good experiment in teaching for me. I learned in the process the students were creative, they were energized by the hands-on experience working with the material. 057

WHAT EXPERIENCES WERE YOU ABLE TO BRING INTO THE CLASSROOM FROM YOUR RESEARCH? HN: I think that by incorporating my own research and experiences into it, I was able to bring in contextual material. Normally when you teach from a book, the book doesn't have that personal stamp of your journey as a writer. In writing the book , I tried to retain a certain amount of my own presence in it, to write in such a way that the readers knew that this person was the inquisitive figure throughout the whole book to provide context for these circumstances. That's how I got turned to the subject of diasporic filmmaking, choosing a topic that was significant to me personally, because then I could learn from my own research about myself and my own condition and about the general condition that was happening as a result of globalization and other forces.

“What have you enjoyed doing from childhood onward? That’s the thing that you can pursue academically and that topic will allow you to learn about it and yourself at the same time.”


HN: In a way I lived with that research material. The years that I was in Los Angeles, there were so many film and media people that I knew. I also was involved in curating film festivals, which then got me involved in a different way with the community as a programmer and specifically with the Iranian film industry to get their films to preview. Not only was I constantly involved in researching, but was also actively involved in the cultural life of Iranian Americans. Luckily I was also invited to many places all over to stay for a month or two to do research.


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WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TEACH AT NU-Q (NORTHWESTERN’S CAMPUS IN DOHA, QATAR)? HN: I went there to teach for two years. I was hesitant at first because these kinds of posts abroad smack a little bit of colonial structures whereby the West gets to produce and distribute knowledge and the non-Western world gets to absorb and receive it. But “Education City” has made a sort of multiversity instead of a university which allows interdisciplinarity in ways which would hardly happen in the home campus. Students could cross-register since our school didn't offer all of the courses that they needed. The fact that you were teaching a very diverse audience– when I was teaching, I think we had students from seventeen different countries–was also very valuable to have. While I was there, three students from different countries formed a film production company for example. I think that Qatar can become producers of knowledge, not just receiving American culture and education, thanks to government investment in a lot of educational institutions. This sort of reverses the colonial impact, in a small way. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO UNDERGRADUATE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN RESEARCH? HN: The first advice would be to go with your heart. Think of the subject, the topic, the area that really turns you on mentally. Think back to your childhood, what have you enjoyed doing from childhood onward? That's the thing that you can pursue academically and that topic will allow you to learn about it and yourself at the same time. You can maintain the long haul of it. If I didn't like it, I couldn't have lived with it for forty years and enjoyed it without thinking of it as drudgery. While choosing this topic, I don't think I've worked. It doesn't seem like I've labored hard even though I have simply because I loved doing it. If you get bored by it, it's not yours. 059


The Politics of Rentier Benefits and Permanent Residency in Qatar Jueun Choi

Research and Analysis: Social Science Winner

Jocelyn Sage Mitchell Faculty Advisor


provision of the government may cause Qataris to be less competitive than expatriates in job markets and hinder the Qatar National Vision 2030 of human development, which is to create a capable, motivated local workforce. Scholar Christopher Davidson argues that an allocative state causes a “rentier mentality” in the uae. I argue that Qatar shares the same problems that Davidson observed in the uae. To solve this problem, I suggest providing permanent residency for long-term, high-skilled expatriates, which would increase locals’ motivation through competition and bring long-term economic benefits to Qatar. »


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he Qatari government provides extensive, “cradleto-grave” social services to its citizens including “health care, education, housing, food, unemployment insurance, utilities, and other municipal services.”⁹ Citizens do not pay tax. Ironically, the social services and financial benefits the Qatari government provides its nationals, based on nationality rather than merit, have the unintended consequence of reducing their motivation in pursuing education and career. Although many experts acknowledge this problem, few provide clear solutions. I argue for providing permanent residency for longterm, high-skilled expatriates as a solution to low Qatari motivation. I suggest that providing long-term residency permits would counter rentier pathology by encouraging more competition in the job markets for nationals. This policy would also lead to more entrepreneurship and encourage expatriates to remain in the country for longer, which would reduce labor turnover and increase Qatar’s economic productivity. I will first shed light on the problems of rentier pathology in Qatar and delve into education and employment opportunities that the government provides but are not effectively utilized by locals. Expatriates who do not receive state support perform better than many locals who do. Next, I will suggest permanent residency as the solution to counter rentier pathology. I will discuss the limited rights of expats that may prevent high-skilled expats from staying in Qatar for a long time and decrease entrepreneurship, outline requirements to obtain the residency status, rule out citizenship as an inferior policy compared to permanent residency, define benefits included in the status, describe economic benefits this would bring to the country, and evaluate the risks of the policy. THE PROBLEMS OF THE RENTIER MENTALITY IN QATAR The government of Qatar uses its rich oil wealth to provide for its citizens–job security, free medical care, access to free college education and scholarships, land allotment, retirement benefits, and marriage allowances.¹⁵ Qatari citizens acquire these benefits not based on merit but solely based on their nationality. The government’s purpose of providing for its nationals is to maintain their power by satisfying popular demands.²¹ People are less likely to support a monarchy that does not provide any benefits, requires tax payments, and has absolute power and control over

“Rentierism develops a potentially dangerous habit of receiving too much without paying back, and the nationals become too dependent on the government for economic resources.” the economic and political system in the country. To maintain political stability, the government must provide for its citizens. Yet the irony is that these benefits produce an unproductive mentality among locals. Christopher Davidson, in his book Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, argues that an allocative state causes a “rentier mentality” in which locals are voluntarily unemployed since they are financially comfortable. It also creates a generation with no experience of an extractive state and will thus not come to terms with any demand of extraction in the future. In general, citizens are used to receiving benefits without fostering a sense of responsibility or gratitude that would motivate them to give back to the state through taxes and hard work. Another rentier-induced problem is national overconsumption. Shopping is a popular hobby for most local men and women in Dubai, which increases imports and leads to a strain on the balance of payments.⁵ Davidson sums up these problems as “rentier pathologies.” Rentierism develops a potentially dangerous habit of receiving too much without paying back, and the nationals become too dependent on the government for economic resources. If the natural resources run out and the state benefits decrease, the nation may destabilize. The benefits also contradict another important goal for the government: the longterm development of its labor market. Only when the citizens strive to maximize their



potentials in their education and their career can they contribute to the development of Qatar. These potentials are essential for Qatar to continue its stability when natural resources begin to run out. Davidson’s discussion of the “rentier pathology” problem in Emirati citizens is very similar to those in Qatar. Many Qatari youths have an unproductive mentality and cannot compete with expatriates in schools. Despite the government’s efforts, Qataris prefer public sector jobs because they can work less and get paid more in an “already sprawling and inefficient state bureaucracy,” which leads to negative economic consequences.¹⁵ Education The importance of human development as a national goal is evident through the Qatari government’s generous financing of the education of national students. Qatar’s laws give its citizens the right to free education at all levels.²⁶ The Supreme Education Council’s Higher Education Institute (hei) is in charge of providing scholarships to nationals who pursue university education. They not only provide full scholarships to students who have been accepted into one of the approved 675 universities, but they also provide allowances, plane tickets, new computers, among many other privileges.²³ Completing an academic year with a high GPA would also allow bonus of fifty thousand Qatari Riyals for those with “Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani” scholarship.²⁴ Despite the efforts of the state to encourage local students to excel in their studies, the lucrative incentives do not seem to have a visible, or at least immediate, impact on improving Qatari students’ academic performance. This result is directly linked to the rentier pathology, especially of its young male citizens. A study conducted by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (oecd) showed that Qatar ranked 68th place among 76 countries when representative samples of 15-year-olds were tested on math and science tests. Qatar ranked worse than most of the regional and international countries of comparison.²⁵ To show off its rising modernity, Qatar and other Gulf states have used their oil wealth to purchase costly physical infrastructure and the latest knowledge. Education City in Qatar is a prime example of a Gulf state importing world-class education into the region using oil wealth. These reforms, however, have failed to bring significant change in quality of education, and specifically, student achievement on international assessments.²⁰ “So many young Qataris do not go to school. What will they do in their future?” said a South


Korean expatriate who has been working in Qatar as a businessman for the past 14 years.³ While other factors may contribute to the inferior academic achievement of Qataris, such as the quality of teachers, curriculums, and parents’ attitude toward their children’s education, the lack of motivation among locals, stemming from the rentier mentality, may be the most important contribution to the problem. Employment Aside from education, providing full employment to Qataris is one of the top priorities of the state. Public-sector employment, by law, must prioritize Qatari applicants over those from other countries.¹⁷ Such “Qatarization” policies have been enacted in private sector as well. Although the Qatari government is capable of adding and paying for extra unnecessary jobs,⁶ the government wants its citizens to obtain private-sector jobs for reasons beyond income.¹⁵ In the state’s human development goals of its Qatar National Vision 2030, it lists “a capable and motivated workforce: Increased and diversified participation of Qataris in the workforce” as one of its goals.¹⁹ Yet there is a national preference for public sector employment. Compared to private sector jobs, public sector jobs demand fewer working hours and consist of easier tasks.¹⁸ These public sector jobs provide little financial benefits for locals as they would not have sponsors in private companies like the whitecollar expats do. Sponsors provide whitecollar expats with accommodation, education for their children, healthcare, annual airline tickets for their whole family, and more. None of these would apply for locals.¹⁶ In an already inefficient bureaucratic system, this preference—which originates from the rentier mindset—is creating economic problems. Althani writes, “we have young men whose main goal is just to secure whatever job they can, especially in the public sector, and do as little work as possible while enjoying the good life.”¹ The rentier mentality creates a destructive cycle in the skilled workforce of the country. The lack of a skilled, experienced local workforce creates the influx of expatriate employees in the country, which then threatens employment opportunities for locals. But Qatarization, which was implemented to minimize local unemployment as much as possible, has still left some locals unemployed. For many Qataris, seeing expats working in their country while some of their local friends, families, or even themselves are jobless is a sign that expats are threatening their

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“For many Qataris, seeing expats working in their country while some of their local friends, families, or even themselves are jobless is a sign that expats are threatening their employment opportunities.” employment opportunities. Their concern is valid because many private companies prefer expat workers who require less salary, work more efficiently, and are easier to fire.¹⁵ The South Korean expatriate mentioned above agrees that “there’s no efficiency for locals in workplace. Other people usually come to work and then leave when it’s time to leave. Qataris [in my company] come in the morning and leave at around noon. Then they come back at around 4 p.m. and leave at 7 p.m. They lose efficiency because they waste their time on the road.”³ A heavy proportion of expats filling in the Qatari private sector is an inevitable method the state must utilize to fill the gap of the small number of capable locals. In order for locals to develop their professionalism, work ethic, skills, and efficiency to the level of expats, the locals need to be in more fair competition with them. I discuss a practical solution to satisfy this need of competition in the next section, regarding permanent residency for expatriates. A SOLUTION: PERMANENT RESIDENCY FOR EXPATRIATES It is only human desire for Qataris to grow accustomed to receive and expect the state benefits to increase,¹⁵ but it is problematic when locals’ education and career performance decrease because of these benefits. I think financial benefits and social services can impact Qatari society positively when they are rewarded based on merit rather than nationality. I suggest here that the way to create this positive impact is to focus on increasing equality with expatriates in the workforce, which will encourage healthy competition and an emphasis on meritocracy among Qataris in the workforce, as well as increase Qatar’s economic productivity. Since expatriates make up a heavy majority of Qatar’s population, they maintain the fast-growing economy of Qatar and provide stability. Qatar cannot function

without their expertise and labor. However, no matter how beneficial their contribution is for the country’s development, they can only remain foreigners without citizenship or permanent residency according to the current law. They will remain expatriates with laws that restrict their business activities and travel, while intensifying the feeling that they do not belong in this country. Since losing expertise and labor of expatriates would hurt the country, the state can prevent the loss by maintaining a permanent base of expats in Qatar. Providing permanent residency to skilled, long-term expats is the best solution to retain expats that would benefit Qatar’s economy. Qatari nationals made up for only 12 percent of population in the country in 2013.²² The rest of its inhabitants, the foreigners, find Qatar a great place to earn money but not a place that provides a high quality of life. A recent survey on expatriates living on foreign lands showed that Qatar ranked very highly in financial gain (5th out of 39 countries), but for overall quality of life, its ranking is much lower–13th out of 39 countries in 2014, which fell to 22nd in 2015.⁷ A recent South Korean graduate from Northwestern University in Qatar said, “For a foreigner living in a foreign country, this country can never be my home even if I live here.”⁴ The Kafala system, which ensures nationals’ dominance over expatriates, is an inefficient bureaucracy that limits expats in setting up their own business in Qatar. Some expats are also discouraged from setting up their business into success, like the father of Huda Barakat, a Syrian student at Northwestern University in Qatar who was born and raised in Qatar. Expatriate entrepreneurs or company owners not only have to obtain a Qatari sponsor and pay them for being their sponsor, but they also fear deportation that would force them to abandon their companies at any time. Providing permanent residency would help them feel more secure and establish



long-term goals, such as establishing and expanding businesses, which are essentially beneficial to Qatar’s economy. Requirements to obtain permanent residency Permanent residency would be a form of status for non-Qataris, putting their hierarchy higher than ordinary expatriates but lower than citizens. Permanent residents should be allowed to keep their nationality. Despite the economic benefits this idea may bring, it has never been implemented because citizenship is a culturally and politically sensitive matter, and changes are slow in Qatar. To determine eligibility, applicants of permanent residency should pass a basic level of Arabic proficiency test in both written and oral tests so that they can at least communicate in the local language. They should have worked in Qatar for a certain period of time (e.g. at least 10 years) in executive positions in industries that are considered vital to Qatar economy such as education, security, army and politics, planning, management, engineering, medicine and scientific research.¹² Two reasons that permanent residency is a better policy than citizenship Permanent residency is a better solution than providing full-on citizenship. First and foremost, permanent residency is more realistic than citizenship. Since the discovery of oil in the Gulf, citizenship has been an exclusive right for nationals. Unlike many Western countries that provide citizenships to eligible foreigners, Qatar and most other Arab Gulf countries do not provide citizenship to even half-nationals, as children of national mothers.¹¹,¹³ When people with local blood struggle gain citizenship, it is difficult to imagine that foreigners can obtain it. Furthermore, in the Gulf, “adding an additional citizen does not increase the total amount of oil revenue available but instead increases the number of citizens among whom a fixed sum of oil revenues must be divided.”² I think the Qatari government does not want more non-national citizens to further divide its resources. The second reason that permanent residency is better than citizenship is because it takes into account social factors: foreigners who become citizens may dilute the local culture by influencing national identity, religious values, and traditions. Foreigners cannot transform into Qataris just because they have a legal residency status. The locals will not accept new Qatari citizens as fellow citizens, which can lead to social alienation according to Maryam, a 21-year-old Qatari


female university student. She said, “a lot of Qataris here think about citizenship as more than just a passport and a last name. They think the more popular or more Arab your last name is, the better you are and higher you are in a hierarchy of class. So let’s say if other people get the citizenship, they would not be Qataris who are classified as high in the hierarchy of class. These expats with citizenship are not going to be accepted into the community as Qataris.”¹⁴ She added that expats with permanent residencies are more likely to be accepted. Faiz Furqan, a 25-yearold Indian who has lived in Qatar all his life, said “personally, I don’t speak fluent Arabic, nor can I experience the local customs and tradition so I would feel out of place if I were to be made a citizen.”⁸ Instead, if he had the choice, he prefers to gain permanent residency rather than citizenship. Benefits for permanent residents Regarding benefits for permanent residents, the scale and amount of financial benefits should be less than those for Qatari citizens. This policy would still keep Qataris the main priority of the state and not cause extensive burden on state resources. For example, permanent residents would not receive allowances or bonuses for marriage, while Qataris do. Unlike ordinary expatriates, permanent residents should be exempted from some rules in the Kafala system and be allowed to have full ownership of companies in any industry. They should be allowed to purchase homes and land as well. In terms of employment opportunities, permanent residents should be treated equally with Qatari citizens because this would increase competition for the locals and support a corporate culture of professionalism and meritocracy. Economic benefits for Qatar Qatar’s long-term economic goal is to make its citizens contribute to the diversification of its economy at the same level of expatriate workers in education and motivation. This would allow the country will to achieve economic and political stability and survive when its oil runs out.¹⁵ If the Qatari government wants its citizens to be as competitive as expatriates, the government should encourage citizens to compete with the expats who are permanent residents by giving the latter equal employment rights. Many Qataris who struggle to get jobs attribute their problem to employed people’s wasta and/or discrimination.¹⁵ Mitchell’s study found that 20 percent of Qatari

nurj – vol. 12 participants say they are not very or not at all satisfied with the opportunities for unemployment in the country. “Some Qataris react to unemployment or underemployment by seeing it as unfair discrimination rather than a fair assessment of their qualifications for the job.”¹⁵ I think this reaction occurs because people are not used to competing one another. The push to compete impartially with fellow locals as well as permanent residents may motivate more locals to challenge themselves to reach their maximum potential in the long term. Wasta culture would gradually die down, and the most capable workforce that experienced real competition will take charge of the country and grow its economic efficiency. Diligent locals will ensure the future of the country and reduce dependence on natural resources. Another economic benefit is that when expats become permanent residents, they will invest more in Qatar’s economy through entrepreneurship. They will have more security to set up their own businesses without constant fear that one day they might be deported. Furqan said, “My heart belongs here, my memories belong here… yet I live in constant fear of leaving all this behind with no more than an exit stamp on my passport.” Huda Barakat, a Syrian female university student, spoke about her father’s car business in Qatar: “Ever since I was born, he was working in the same place. His place was not very well built. I’d ask dad ‘why don’t you rebuild it? Why don’t you make it look better?’ His answer would always be: ‘I never know when I’m leaving. They can kick me out of the country. So why bother?’”¹⁰ The success of companies in Qatar can increase the GDP of the country and increase exports. When expatriates are free from the financial burden of paying their sponsor under the Kafala system, more businesses will be set up, and fewer will be likely to fail. The success of local businesses in the country set up by permanent residents can also help Qatar’s tourism industry, as there would be a greater variety in shops, restaurants, and services. An increased number of services available would raise the quality of life for expats as well. For example, a Chinese expat setting up more Chinese restaurants may make Chinese expats enjoy their lives in Qatar more. More Moroccan tea shops may satisfy the Moroccan community in Qatar. More choices will make life better for everyone.

Risks of permanent residency The idea of granting permanent residency to expats definitely has some risks. If more people become long-term members of the society, there will be more strain on healthcare, traffic, and other infrastructure in the short term. However, in the long term, when more skilled people are present to directly manage the construction of more hospitals, roads, and infrastructures, Qatar would be able to welcome more people in more sustainable, efficient ways by removing bureaucracy and speeding up the process. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the highly skilled expats would want to have permanent residency if they have more strategic passports. Furthermore, even though the state would provide them fewer benefits than Qataris, the locals are highly likely to show dissent over the decision as they would wonder why national wealth should be shared with foreigners on top of the high salaries they receive. Lastly, designing and implementing permanent residency will take many years, considering the fact that the Kafala system takes many years even for small changes to be implemented. By the time permanent residency is available, the foreign investment situation may have changed. For a permanent residency policy to work, a team of very efficient experts should work together to minimize the bureaucratic process. CONCLUSION I have argued that permanent residency is a better method than citizenship, which will bring economic benefits to Qatar by motivating its local population. Permanent residency can encourage more investment of permanent residents in the local economy. Most importantly, increased competition for jobs would push the locals to fight against the toxic rentier pathology and help the nation accomplish the Qatar Nation Vision 2030. Although providing permanent residency is not the easiest solution, I believe it is worth the efforts because it can prevent rentier pathology from hindering the Human Development Goals set forth by the Qatari government. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express gratitude to professor Jocelyn Sage Mitchell from Northwestern University in Qatar for providing insightful comments that greatly improved the research paper.





¹ Althani, Mohamed A. J. The Arab Spring and the Gulf States: Time To Embrace Change, “My Memories of Change in the Gulf.” xiv-xxiii. London: Profile Books, 2012. ² Angrist, Michele Penner, ed. Politics & Society in the Contemporary Middle East. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013. ³ Anonymous South Korean expatriate in Qatar, interview with the author, September 29, 2015. ⁴ Anonymous South Korean recent graduate at Northwestern University in Qatar, interview with the author, December 3, 2015. ⁵ Davidson, Christopher. “Chapter 5 The Dubai Paradox.” In Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, 177-182. New York: Columbia University Press., 2008. ⁶ Davidson, Christopher Michael. After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies. (Oxford: Oxford Uni. Press, 2012), 112-21. 2012. ⁷ “Expat Explorer: Balancing Life Abroad. Global Report.” HSBC. 2015. Accessed December 5, 2015. https:// com/survey/files/pdfs/overallreports/2015/HSBC_Expat_ Explorer_2015_report.pdf. ⁸ Faiz Furqan (Indian expatriate in Qatar), interview with the author, December 4, 2015. ⁹ Foley, Sean. The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010. ¹⁰ Huda Barakat (Syrian female university student), interview with the author, December 3, 2015.

¹¹ Issa, Wafa. “Children of Emirati Mothers, Expatriate Fathers Offered Citizenship.” The National. November 30, 2011. news/uae-news/children-ofemirati- mothers-expatriatefathers-offered-citizenship. ¹² Khatri, Shabina, and Peter Kovessy. “Qatar Emir: Government Can No Longer ‘provide for Everything’.” Doha News. November 3, 2015. qatar-emir- governmentcan-no-longer-provide-foreverything/. ¹³ Kinninmont, Jane. “Citizenship in the Gulf.” The Gulf States and the Arab Uprisings. 2013, 47-54. ¹⁴ Maryam (a Qatari female university student), interview with the author, Doha, Qatar, December 4, 2015. ¹⁵ Mitchell, Jocelyn Sage. “Beyond Allocation: The Politics of Legitimacy in Qatar.” PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2013. ¹⁶ Al-Nasr, Tofol Jassim. 2010. “Qatarisation in Theory and Practice.” The Peninsula. September 15. http:// tofol-jassim-al-nasr/126300qatarisation-in-theory-apractice.html. ¹⁷ Qatar. Al Meezan. Law No. 8 of 2009 on Human Resources Management 8 / 2009. By Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. LawView. ¹⁸ QNB Economics. Qatar Economic Insight 2013. Report. September 8, 2013. csSatellite ¹⁹ QNV 2030 “Human

Development.” Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. 2008. http:// page/portal/gsdp_en/qatar_ national_vision/Human_devel opment ²⁰ Ridge, Natasha. “Education and the Reverse Gender Divide in the Gulf States” Teachers College, Columbia University, 2014. ²¹ Ross, Michael. The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations. Princeton University Press, 2012. ²² Snoj, Jure. “Population of Qatar by Nationality.” BQ Magazine. December 18, 2013. http:// economy/2013/12/populationqatar ²³ Supreme Education Council. “Academic and Financial Controls for the Students of Missions.” http://www.sec. HigherEducationInstitute/ Offices/Pag es/AcademicRules. aspx ²⁴ Supreme Education Council. “Scholarship Programs.” qa/en/secinstitutes/ highereducationinstitute/ offices/pages/missionsan dscholarships.aspx. ²⁵ Walker, Lesley. “Report: Qatar Ranks in Bottom 10 of Education Index, but Shows Potential.” Doha News. May 14, 2015. report-qatar-ranks-in-bottom10-of-education- index-butshows-potential/. ²⁶ Zahlan, Rosemarie Said. The Creation of Qatar. London: Croom Helm, 1979.

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Making Mainstream Asian America: Productions and Representations of Asian American Identity in Television and Web Series Theanne Liu Dr. Aymar Jean Christian Faculty Advisor


of ongoing racist misrepresentation and marginalization, the mainstream media progress of the past year cannot be simply attributed to an inevitable trajectory of American society’s racial progress. Instead, factors such as recognizing Asian Americans as an economically viable “model minority” consumer market, shifting modes of television viewing practices, and increasing success of Asian American YouTubers came together in this moment for Asian Americans to re-emerge on network television. » 067



his thesis seeks to explore the context of productions of current Asian American media series as well as the various representations of Asian American identities found in current network television and web series. Representations of Asian American identity will be observed through in-depth individual and comparative analyses of selected episodes and videos from Fresh Off the Boat, Dr. Ken, Master of None, Wong Fu Productions, FungBrosComedy, and Anna Akana. Unpacking these Asian American representations also accounts for gender, sexuality, and racialized performances of Asian American blackness. While current manifestations of Asian Americans popular media have subverted mainstream white dominance through addressing antiAsian racism and telling Asian American stories, the most popular works continue to reproduce imagery that is heteropatriarchal, self-orientalizing, and narrow in scope compared to the reality of a heterogeneous Asian America. This thesis excerpt outlines the factors contributing to more leading, dynamic roles for Asian Americans in mainstream media. PART 1: THE NEW MAINSTREAM OF DIVERSITY Since the 1800s, the concept of the Asian American has undergone manifold iterations in media representation. These representations have racialized, essentialized, stereotyped, and conflated the multiplicities of the Asian American experience to exclude and erase Asian Americans from dominant white society, yet simultaneously exploit them for their labor and capital. Studies and publicized reports of Asian American consumption have made it clear that an Asian American presence (and “diversity” in general) in the media would indeed be profitable for advertisers and the network television industry. Nielsen’s 2015 AsianAmerican Consumer Report, titled AsianAmericans: Culturally Connected and Forging the Future constructs Asian Americans as a diverse, multicultural population who maintain “strong ties to their cultural past” and have significant buying power and social influence in “an increasingly multicultural mainstream.”¹⁶ This multicultural mainstream counters the assumptions that the American mainstream is predominantly white and calls for the inclusion of desirable segments of marginalized populations as a necessary move for businesses to increase profits. Although 2015 saw greater diversity in


network television casts especially for Asian Americans, such decisions to expand racial and ethnic representation on television are actually informed by these constructions of racial and ethnic minority Americans as an economically viable market. More three-dimensional, dynamic representations of people of color on mainstream television is something to be celebrated and critiqued in terms of network motivations for diversity and inclusion. African American marketing advertiser Douglass Alligood states that “diversity is not to be good, diversity is not to be fair, diversity is not to be liked by different people. Diversity is business. And if you want to conduct business with people, you can’t ignore them,” in Shalini Shankar’s Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers.¹¹ While this quote pertains to diversity in advertising, the ways in which network television programming and the advertising industry are tied together inform a congruent sentiment driving network executive decisions to broaden their reach. cbs Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler stated that the success of shows like Empire and Black-ish informed the development of a more diverse 2015-2016 season, as it was “great for business…These are important steps for all networks, and we just have to keep casting the net wider and wider.”⁸ Former abc Entertainment President Paul Lee notes “the changes in the demographics in the US are every bit as important a revolution as the technological changes that we’re all going through,” referencing the shift of television viewing from screens to the web.⁸ This rhetoric on diversity as being good for business fails to consider that diversity in production and casting is necessary for reproducing responsible images of non-white people because of the real-life impacts of misrepresentation and erasure. ucla’s “2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script” examined the 2012-2013 season of television and digital shows and films and racial breakdowns of executives, writers, and casts. Television executives are overwhelmingly white: 96 percent of CEOs and chairs, 93 percent of senior management corps, and 86 percent of television industry unit heads are white.1 In the 2013-2014 season, minorities only held 5.5 percent of executive producer positions, decreasing from 5.8 percent in the 2012-2013 season.⁹ Writers of color for broadcast, cable, and digital scripted shows are similarly underrepresented in the writing room. People of color write 10 percent or fewer of two-thirds of broadcast shows, are credited for writing the majority of only 6 percent of cable shows, and write 10

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“More three-dimensional, dynamic representations of people of color on mainstream television is something to be celebrated and critiqued in terms of network motivations for diversity and inclusion.” percent or fewer episodes of more than threequarters of digital scripted shows.¹ Diversity behind the screen is considered essential in creating opportunities for actors of color. In February 2016, abc: Entertainment president Paul Lee stepped down and was replaced by abc’s vice president of drama development, Channing Dungey, who will be the first African American to lead a major broadcast network. Her strong relationship with Shonda Rhimes and work in developing shows led by women of color like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Quantico follows Paul Lee’s push for more diverse programming. Dungey’s promotion can be an indicator of either further systemic change or a stopping point for networks who have felt that they have already “done enough” to address greater issues of diversity and representation.⁷ Actress Gwendoline Yeo states “we need more DPs, more directors, more writers who are interested in that level of storytelling…If more people of color can write their stories, they’re going to attract an authentic cast.”⁶ Of 800 network shows from the 2014 fall season to spring 2015, 6.6 percent have main cast members of Asian descent, and only three shows had an Asian lead (Fitzpatrick). While these percentages appear to reflect the US population makeup of Asian Americans (5.6 percent), they actually underrepresent Asian Americans in the locations in which these shows most often occur (New York and California). The perception of increased Asian American diversity on network television in recent years often overshadows the reality of continuous overrepresentation of white Americans, especially white males, in all levels of network television production. Neoliberal capitalism has and always will be tied to the production of images which maintain US white supremacy, termed “controlling images” by Patricia Hill Collins in reference to media portrayals of black women as mammies, matriarchs,

welfare queens, and jezebels to justify their continual oppression.³ Controlling images of Asians and Asian Americans are various and contradictory but most notably construct Asian Americans as forever-foreign, threatening (sexually or intellectually), and hyper-feminine to justify exclusionary federal policies and discriminatory societal treatment.⁵ While these new television shows attempt to work against reproducing stereotypes of people of color, they still operate within this system which relies upon white mainstream acceptance and profits from minority audience viewership. This framework of “racialized capitalism” and neoliberalism is one which shapes “not only financial decisions but also how people talk about and represent race.”¹⁴ The constraints of network television, especially prime-time sitcoms and their supposed appeal to the imaginary universal American audience, can often undermine the subversive potential of marginalized experiences and stories on network television and corporatized web series. MODEL MINORITIES, MODEL CONSUMERS This construction of the Asian American consumer effects what representations they are afforded on network television. Nielsen’s messaging towards advertisers reaffirms stereotypes of Asian Americans as model minorities and consumers, reminiscent of news and magazine reports from the 1980s of Asian American success as a model or even super minority.¹⁵ While this report highlights cultural and ethnic diversity, economic diversity is largely glossed over in favor of a narrative which ascribes the Asian American community as “the most highly educated of the multicultural segments and highly entrepreneurial”–positive attributes reminiscent of the model minority myth.¹⁵ The model minority myth upholds



Asian American economic and intellectual achievement as models for “less accomplished” minorities in America, specifically Blacks and Latinxs. Asian American success is supposedly inherent to the Asian race, while black and brown disadvantage is similarly attributed to their own racial, ethnic, or cultural failure. The reality recognizes that socioeconomic conditions of these groups in America are shaped by a history of settler colonialism, black slavery, immigration exclusion, and their pervasive aftereffects. The “othering” of Asian Americans in the Nielsen report continues through statements which exoticize the role of “Asian culture” in consumption behavior, which claims that “Asian cultural traditions permeate every aspect of AsianAmerican’ lives, beginning with a person’s mental and spiritual balance…Asian cultures respect and celebrate the interaction and connection between the inner self, personal self and public-social self.”¹⁶ Considering my experiences as an Asian American and the discourse surrounding the stigma of Asian American mental health, Nielsen’s statements about Asian culture, various selves, and mental/spiritual balance are unfounded as they overgeneralize the multiplicity of the Asian American experience. The opportunities for networks to reach wider audiences via online streaming present

“The reality recognizes that socioeconomic conditions of these groups in America are shaped by a history of settler colonialism, black slavery, immigration exclusion, and their pervasive aftereffects.” 070

greater possibilities for greenlighting shows with diverse casts due to data revealing media consumption patterns of Asian Americans. One section of the Nielsen report emphasizes Asian American adoption of new media and utilizes the demographic as an indicator of where the general market is heading in terms of increased streaming of videos and television. 2015 Nielsen data indicates Asian Americans spend less time watching live television than the general population and more time on multimedia streaming devices, and 2013 data shows that Asian Americans also watch YouTube and Hulu more than the total population.¹⁶ Here, Asian Americans are framed as a model for predicting how future media consumption practices will play out for the rest of the American public, without considering the reasons why certain platforms such as YouTube are more frequented by Asian Americans. This racialization of Asian Americans as forward-thinking model consumers, from the model minority stereotype works as “racial naturalization” which makes “the use of consumerism to make claims of legitimacy and national belonging.”¹⁴ This usage of the internet for entertainment purposes, possibly stemming from the lack of relatable or identifiable mainstream entertainment available on live television, is instead typified as a phenomenon due to Asian Americans’ ability to predict future trends. Asian Americans are then praised for these viewing and consumption practices because it signifies a previously untapped market. It therefore legitimizes Asian American belonging as they are now proven to be a group economically deserving of mainstream content production. SCREENS TO STREAMS Changing modes of television distribution in recent years from traditional live-television viewing to streaming of television and web series online serve as distinctly different but interactive sites of Asian American representation. Distribution methods of network television have adapted to the era of widespread personal computer usage, smartphones, and the internet, with streaming options of television episodes available on network sites, cable sites, and streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. The start of internet distribution of television in the mid-2000s “provided revolutionary access to viewers” beyond other non-network forms of distribution such as physical copies (DVDs, Blu-rays, etc.) and cable networks, and they have produced significant shifts in audience viewing behaviors.¹¹ Physical copies of television series have set a

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“While these new television shows attempt to work against reproducing stereotypes of people of color, they still operate within this system which relies upon white mainstream acceptance and profits from minority audience viewership.” precedent for binge-watching behavior and the normalization of these viewing habits. Binge watching refers to “viewing multiple episodes of a single show over a concentrated period of time” practiced by 67 percent of American television watchers according to a 2013 poll and could be possibly higher with more internet streaming options available today.¹³ Television advertising has relied on a decades-long model of live television viewing, which has recently been disrupted by the rise of new technologies, media, and viewing practices. However, the on-demand, digital, and online distribution models have amassed larger audiences than traditional live-viewing and are able to amass user data for advertisers to target them effectively.¹¹ These changes in network distribution have even “shifted production economics enough to allow audiences that were too small or specific to be commercially viable for broadcast or cable to be able to support niche content” today in ways that would have failed before.¹¹ For a “niche audience” like Asian Americans who are shown to be above-average streamers of entertainment in recent years, mainstream shows distributed

online have provided incentives for networks to target this audience through the creation of shows featuring predominantly Asian American casts. The premiere of abc’s Fresh Off the Boat, based off of restaurateur Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name, is the first television show featuring an Asian American cast on network television since the single season of Margaret Cho’s sitcom All-American Girl in 1994. During these two decades of Asian American absence in leading network television roles, Asian Americans have found alternative media platforms for self-representation, and have even dominated video-sharing and site YouTube in multiple genres like vlogs, beauty, music, short films, and web series. The success of Asian Americans on YouTube has not gone unnoticed, yet Hollywood and the network television industry continue to limit opportunities for Asian American actors and actresses. These networks also perpetuate racist stereotypes by having actors perform in yellowface at times to misrepresent East Asians. Popular depictions of yellowface have recently occurred in the film Cloud Atlas (2012), and on television in cbs’s How I Met Your Mother (2014) which sparked a social media response from Asian Americans hashtagged #HowIMetYourRacism. The announcement of Fresh Off the Boat’s premiere was met with celebration and apprehension as its title evokes the familiar stereotype of Asian Americans as “FOBs,” or recent unassimilated Asian immigrants, especially because Hollywood and major networks have a longstanding history of racist exclusion and representations of Asians and Asian Americans. Even the historic All-American Girl was criticized for being stereotypical in its depiction of a Korean American family. Margaret Cho revealed in her 1999/2000 live concert I’m the One That I Want that the show’s content was controlled by white executives who were wary of alienating mainstream white audiences–the group always kept in mind by executives when trying to create racially diverse shows with “universal” appeal. YouTube offers alternative means for Asian American creatives to monetize and make a living off their work, as widely viewed videos provide advertisers and companies opportunities to reach online audiences. YouTube works primarily as an “advertisersupported business model,” allowing content creators to partner with YouTube to allow ads to play before their videos and generate revenue based on user interactions with the ads.¹¹ The late 2000s to early 2010s saw the rise of the Asian American YouTube star– with various Asian American web producers



“When such few representations exist, the dangers of further essentializing a heterogeneous racial group occur when these representations of Asian Americans are received in the context of pre-existing, persisting hegemonic stereotypes.” amassing millions of subscribers to billions of views, revealing the existence of a large Asian American audience whose numbers could quantify the need for Asian American targeted content. In 2011, three of the 20 most subscribed channels on YouTube belonged to Asian Americans, and while these channels do not dominate to the same degree today, Asian Americans still have a significant following and presence on YouTube.⁴ Many of these most visible Asian American YouTubers are of East and sometimes Southeast Asian descent, and network television shows featuring Asian American casts also focus on East Asian American families. These media representations, building on top of the history of Asian immigration exclusion and activism, contribute further to mainstream perceptions of Asian Americans as East Asians. However, for Asian Americans whose identities align with these popular YouTubers, this form of entertainment is appealing due to its ability to represent a certain kind of shared Asian American experience regarding topics such as anti-Asian racism, family, relationships, food, and culture. The popular realm of Asian American beauty gurus also derives its success from providing makeup tutorials for Asian women with similar features like monolid or double eyelid shapes that are often from mainstream, Eurocentric beauty content. For Asian American actors and actresses whose roles are limited in Hollywood, YouTube provides opportunities to act as dynamic, lead characters in short films, sketches, and web series viewed by millions. Of the few Asian American actors who have appeared in Hollywood films or television shows such as Randall Park, Arden Cho and Ki Hong Lee, they had previously starred in Asian American YouTube short films or series or have had their own YouTube channel. Asian American Studies scholar Darrell Hamamoto has hypothesized that “YouTube has driven


the networks and streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix to play catch up because Asian-Americans rule YouTube,” making existing and continuing representations on YouTube significant in shaping what is currently seen on networks and subscription streaming sites.¹² While YouTube hosts a variety of web content including web series, without significant amounts of outside funding, network and cable television quality content is rarely produced. Instead, it exists on other major streaming platforms which have delved into producing high quality original onlineexclusive content. Netflix, Hulu Plus, hbo Go, and Amazon Prime are all subscription-based streaming services, and Netflix dominates the market with over 75 million subscribers and hosts the largest amount of streaming content. Yet they still face financial issues due to debt and the high costs of licensing content and marketing.¹⁰ The appeal of Netflix and other streaming sites, which have full seasons or series of television shows available, points to recent changes in mainstream television viewing behavior with the rise of binge watching. Netflix’s shift into producing more original programming for that specific audience follows its notice of increasing share of internet traffic compared to their competitors. Furthermore, Netflix makes all episodes of each new season of an original series available during its release to appeal to the site’s binge-watching culture. In 2015, two Asian American-led series, Master of None and The Mindy Project (previously a network television show on fox) streamed on Netflix and Hulu respectively. Both shows were praised for their subversive storytelling which delved into topics of immigration, racism, sexism, and abusive relationships, subjects rarely broached on network television. Independent web series are typically sites of producing content outside the conventions

nurj – vol. 12 of popular network television, focusing on “maximizing creative value” while networks “value advertising volume and price,” but post-network corporate online and cable television have increasingly pushed “against TV’s homogeneity” and presented another widely visible site of increased, substantive representation of marginalized experiences.² Network television, corporate online streaming services, and YouTube have all been recent sites for growing media representation of Asian Americans by recognizing Asian American economic potential in producing these shows and a need for greater Asian American media representation. However, the Asian American experience is one that is vast and irreducible to being just seen in a handful of popular mainstream representations. When such few representations exist, the dangers of

further essentializing a heterogeneous racial group occur when these representations of Asian Americans are received in the context of pre-existing, persisting hegemonic stereotypes. The potential for Asian American self-representation on YouTube is also mediated by the complex current context of a well-established Asian American YouTube creator community, the challenges of sustaining a YouTube career, the kind of content that general and Asian American audiences find entertaining, and the virality of limited kinds of Asian American representations. The current production of Asian American media exist within economic structures which rely upon both the popular appeal of these images and yearning for Asian American counter-narratives to combat misrepresentation and marginalization.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Bunche Center. “2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script.” Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. 25 Feb. 2015. http://www.bunchecenter. uploads/2015/02/2015Hollywood-DiversityReport-2-25-15.pdf. ² Christian, Aymar Jean. “Indie TV 7.” Media Independence: Working with Freedom Or Working for Free? 2014. ³ Collins, Patricia Hill. “Mammies, matriarchs, and other controlling images,” in Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routledge, 1991. ⁴ Considine, Austin. “For AsianAmerican Stars, Many Web Fans.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 July 2011. ⁵ Espiritu, Yen Le. “Ideological racism and cultural resistance: Constructing our own images.” Race, class, and gender: An

anthology (2004): 175-184. ⁶ Fitzpatrick, Molly. “Of 800 main cast members on 100 network TV shows, just 52 (6%) are of Asian descent.” Fusion. 23 Apr. 2015. of-800-main-cast-memberson-100-network-tv-showsjust-1793847358. ⁷ Hibberd, James. “ABC Replaces Top Boss with First Black Female Broadcast President.” Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc., 17 Feb. 2016. ⁸ Holloway, Daniel. “Lee Trumpets ABC's Diversity #TCA15.” B&C: The Business of Television. 14 Jan. 2015. http://www.broadcastingcable. com/news/programming/ lee-trumpets-abc-s-diversitytca15/137080. ⁹ Hunt, Darnell. WGAW 2015 TV Staffing Brief. Rep. Writers Guild of America, West, Web. 3 Feb. 2016. ¹⁰ Leung, Andrew. “How Does Netflix Pay Studios? What the Streaming Giant Does to

Obtain Content.” Arts.Mic. Mic Network Inc., 5 Feb. 2016. ¹¹ Lotz, Amanda D. The television will be revolutionized. NYU Press, 2014. ¹² Namkung, Victoria. “Realistic Asian-Americans Have Finally Arrived on TV.” Vice. Vice Media LLC, 14 Nov. 2015. ¹³ Pena, Lesley Lisseth. “Breaking Binge: Exploring The Effects Of Binge Watching On Television Viewer Reception.” 2015. ¹⁴ Shankar, Shalini. Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers. Duke University Press, 2015. ¹⁵ Takaki, Ronald. “Asian Americans: The Myth Of The Model Minority.” Crisis in American Institutions. (2000): 185-192. ¹⁶ The Nielsen Company. “Significant, Sophisticated, and Savvy: The Asian American Consumer 2013 Report.” Rep. Nielsen, 03 Dec. 2013.



+ Norman Wickett INTERVIEW BY Lena Thompson and Rachel Suen

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An entire wall of Prof. Norman Wickett’s office in Hogan is taken up by a large window that his desk currently faces. This view allows Wickett to get one step closer to the outdoors, where he discovered a passion for plant biology while attending the University of British Columbia. Although Northwestern is far less verdant that the Canadian temperate rainforest, his passion for plants is clear (you can tell by his cactus-patterned button down layered beneath his sweater). Prof. Wickett spends his time between teaching at Northwestern and researching at the Chicago Botanical Garden.

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN PLANT BIOLOGY? NW: I did my undergraduate work at the University of British Columbia, which is in a temperate rainforest in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t go to university thinking I was going to do plant biology or even biology. I got really interested in the natural environment of the temperate northwest and the rainforest, mainly because there are these big trees everywhere and things you are immediately drawn to. When you look closer, these trees and everything around it are covered with other plants, living together and using each other in a kind of community. That really got me drawn into this idea of the diversity of plants, and in particular, the overlooked diversity of plants. Also, the University of British Columbia has a lot of specific classes in terms of the groups of organisms that they are teaching. It isn’t a question of “Am I going to take a seaweed class?” but which seaweed class. I was able to take these really specific classes that got me excited about organismal diversity and plant diversity. 075

YOUR RESEARCH IS IN COMPARATIVE GENOMICS, BIOINFORMATICS, AND BRYOPHYTES, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THAT IS? NW: As I was getting into plants and plants that grow on other plants, I became interested in bryophytes, which is a broader term for the group of plants to which mosses belong. There are these three groups of plants which make up the bryophytes: mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. I’m always interested in the oddball organisms, so I like those plants and I like parasitic plants. The genomics and bioinformatics parts have led me to study other groups of plants or algae, like plankton. Those aspects are more about understanding how we can use DNA, genetics, particular genomics and computational biologies to understand the evolution and diversity of those groups. So merging my love of organismal diversity with more of these moderns techniques and computations. At some point I got interested in how we can apply computer programming and computational biology to understand the question of why we have 15,000 species of mosses or why plants are able to parasitize other plants. I’ll get sucked into a week at a time writing code to figure these things out. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE? NW: As a biologist, it’s still the most exciting for me to be outside and seeing these organisms in the wild. One of my best experiences was as a grad student, where I got to go to Patagonia to collect mosses. I took a plane to Santiago, another plane further south, another plane further south, and then another little tiny plane. I got to go to this island called Navarino in the Cape Horn islands, at the southern

“As a biologist, it’s still the most exciting for me to be outside and seeing these organisms in the wild.”


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tip of South America, and on the north side that looks at Argentina. It’s also where they have the most shipwrecks in the world, since it’s the most dangerous place to sail. In between them is the Beagle Channel, where Darwin sailed. I got to go hang out there for a few weeks and collect mosses on this island. The weather happened to be perfect and I was also traveling with a British scientist who knew the British Consul of the area and somehow got us this cabin on this small cruise ship that was really fancy. It was an incredible trip, not only because of the moss diversity, but also because of historic reasons, where Darwin was sailing and where these really fun mental hypothesis about evolutionary biology took place. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLANT, I FEEL LIKE IT WOULD BE A MOSS? NW: There’s this one liverwort that has taken this fungal relationship to crazy extremes. This is a parasitic liverwort, so it’s lost the ability to use photosynthesis and make it’s own food. Instead, it relies on this fungus to get a lot of it’s nutrition. And it’s not just relying on this fungus, since the fungus is also attached to the root of Birch trees. The liverwort lives about a foot underground and kind of uses the fungus as a straw to suck sugars from the Birch tree. You don’t think that plants should live in the dark, we all know that plants need lot of light. So here’s a plant, this little tiny, weirdo liverwort, that lives underground in the total darkness and is stealing carbon from a tree using a fungus as a straw. We’re finding out that we’ve been studying organisms in isolation. I’m interested in this plant, but really that plant has bacteria that live on it and in it, and it’s the same with humans. We’re discovering we have our gut flora which is an essential part of our survival. You can't really study something in isolation, you have to understand how it’s interacting with all these other organisms. 077


Examining the Gender Gap: Where are the Educated Qatari Women in the Workforce? Malak Monir

Research and Analysis: Social Science Nominee

Jocelyn Sage Mitchell Faculty Advisor


research explores the reasons behind it. Several findings from the recently conducted Social Engagement Survey point to patriarchal attitudes accepted within Qatari society that lead to a belief that men and women must fulfill specific roles in society. Seven out of ten respondents of both genders agreed that there was social pressure on women to focus on family instead of work. Similarly six out of ten respondents, again of both genders, agreed that men had more right to a job than women. Thus most Qatari men and women felt that, all else being equal, a Qatari man was more likely to be hired to an open position in a company than a Qatari woman. The Qatari woman’s first priority is her family; the Qatari man’s is his career. This cultural climate has resulted in the country’s most educated citizens being outside of the workforce. Falling oil prices mean that the government can no longer provide for everything and that Qatari youth, as remarked by the Emir (the Qatari monarch) in a session of the Advisory Council. He further stated that Qatari youths should seize the initiative and branch into different career paths, which will require women.⁴ It seems clear that educated Qatari women are an underused resource in developing Qatar’s future. » 078

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hrough analysis of data from the survey, contextualized and supported by interviews with various Qatari women, as well as other research regarding women’s employment in the region, this paper will explore the many cultural, economic, and societal factors that keep Qatari women from participating in the workforce to the same degree as local men. This paper’s findings suggest that while finding a job and building a career is expected of a Qatari man, it is only optional for a Qatari woman. Women can elect to find work if they so choose, but their primary responsibilities lie in the home. The paper will also examine the question of whether this lack of women in the workforce can be attributed to the country’s oil wealth, which makes it possible for women to stay at home while men function as the sole providers for the family, or if it is something that finds its roots in culture. This paper finds that it is a mixture of both factors, which results in this situation where women can afford—and are expected—to put family first. CONTEXT Before delving too deeply into the main topic, it would be prudent to give context about aspects of Qatari society. It should be noted that, while there has been some improvement in Qatari women’s employment rates over the years, that growth has been sluggish at best. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics (mdps) from 2012, only about 35 percent of Qatari women are active in the labor force, compared to 68 percent of Qatari men. This statistic is still an improvement over 2004, when only about 29 percent of Qatari women worked, but there has been stagnation in the previous years, with the rates remaining between 34-36 percent between 2008 and 2011.⁵ Although the proportions of Qatari women to men are about equal in the general population, Qatari women represent only one-third of Qatari employees in governmental organizations and less than half of the 0.8 percent of the private sector that is constituted of Qatari nationals.¹⁶ Yet women outnumber men two-to-one in institutions of higher education in Qatar.⁵ This data did not specify attendance by nationality; however, according to Qatar University’s fact book, the university had more than three times as many Qatari female students than Qatari male students in the 2013-2014 academic year, suggesting that this trend of women outnumbering men in higher education holds true for Qatari women as well.¹³

On a broader level, Qatar’s economy being heavily based on the country’s natural resources—namely its oil and gas reserves— has largely made it possible for families to thrive without a need for women to work. The government provides a generous welfare system that guarantees free health care and education for its citizens, and every Qatari with proof of a steady income qualifies for land and mortgage benefits.¹ Citizens are also legally afforded preferential hiring in the public sector and in the private sector through the process of “Qatarization.”⁷ Additionally, government employees, defined

“By making it both more difficult for women to find opportunities to work and by diminishing the need for a second income, oil wealth can discourage women from seeking employment.” as employees in government agencies or government-owned companies (which include 84 percent of Qatari citizens in the labor force receive generally higher wages for unskilled work, as well as better retirement benefits, good job security, and unemployment security.¹,⁵ Ross also notes that oil-based economies make it more difficult for women to enter into the workforce since oil booms tend to diminish jobs in exportoriented companies and mostly create jobs in the service industry. As such, if women cannot find a place in the service sector, they can very easily be pushed out of the labor force.¹⁴ By making it both more difficult for women to find opportunities to work and by diminishing the need for a second income, oil wealth can discourage women from seeking employment.¹⁴



DATA SOURCES Much of this paper’s analysis will be based on findings from the Social Engagement survey, which was written by a research team of faculty and undergraduate students at Northwestern University in Qatar (nu-q) and conducted by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (sesri). The survey was administered in Arabic only, and interviews were conducted exclusively by female interviewers over the phone. The telephone interviewing was computer-aided so that chosen numbers were called automatically, without the interviewer needing to dial or know the number being called. In the case of no answer, the same number could be recalled a certain number of times before being counted as a non-response. Survey answers were inputted via keystroke to a computer station programmed with a range of valid responses in an attempt to minimize possibility of interviewer error. The survey was only given to Qatari nationals over the age of 18, both male and female. Respondents were selected randomly from a database provided by a major telecom company. The interviews were conducted between December 25, 2014 and January 15, 2015. Because the survey was conducted closely after Qatar National Day on December 18, it might have had an effect on respondents’ answers. The response rate was 34.4 percent of the sampled phone numbers, which resulted in a total sample size of 649 respondents,

“Men, being the main source of a family’s income, are automatically assumed to need the job more than a woman, for whom finding work is considered optional.” 080

302 females and 347 males. The sample was weighted to account for this imbalance, as well as other demographics. The margin of error for the results is +/- four percent, which means that for any reported result, we are 95 percent confident that the true answer might be at most four percent that reported number. This paper will also examine published material about how petrol and culture affect women’s roles in society and their opportunities to enter the workforce.³,¹⁴ Lastly it includes qualitative data in the form of interviews with five female Qatari citizens, conducted between late November and early December 2015. ANALYSIS There are three main survey items that can help give a clearer picture of the possible cultural reasons behind the observed gender gap. One item was a question about whether the respondent agreed or disagreed with the statement that men have more right to a job than women, where 58 percent of respondents, with no significant difference when broken down by gender or by age, expressed agreement. Another question was to agree or disagree that there is social pressure for women to focus on family instead of work, a statement with which 69 percent of respondents, with no significant difference by gender, agreed. Taken together, these two findings point towards an accepted fact within Qatari society: whatever else she may do, a Qatari woman’s main role is to care for her family. This does not necessarily mean that Qatari women do not have a place in the workforce, but it does suggest that societal expectations would have a woman’s familial obligations supersede her professional duties. These same expectations do not hold true for men. This response ties into another question, which gave respondents a hypothetical scenario wherein equally qualified Qatari male and female candidates both apply for an open position at a major company in Qatar. They were then asked which candidate they believed would likely be hired. With no significant gender differences for any of the results, 54 percent believed that the man would likely be hired, 30 percent thought that the decision would be made fairly, while 15 percent thought that the woman would likely be hired. Qatar does not have laws mandating non-discrimination when hiring women.¹⁸ This provides further support for the idea that Qatari women have a different role in society than men, especially in light of the strong societal belief that men have more right to a job than women. Men, being the main

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“Traditional, cultural, and societal expectations in Qatar have remained unchallenged due to oil wealth being able to sustain a one-income family.” source of a family’s income, are automatically assumed to need the job more than a woman, for whom finding work is considered optional. When considering that both men and women agree that there is social pressure for women to focus on family instead of work, a clear picture begins to emerge. These findings imply that pursuing a career is optional for Qatari women and a requirement for Qatari men. The question of whether these gender roles are the result of Qatar’s oil wealth or its culture is still debated. Ross’ research suggests that this dearth of working women, common among several Gulf Cooperation Council (gcc) countries, is due in part to the oil-based economy stagnating opportunities for women. By restricting the fields in which women in non-oil-rich countries can be in the workforce, it also makes it possible for men to support the household without needing women to contribute from their own income.¹⁴ However, it is also important to keep in mind cultural considerations. Inglehart and Norris argue that the issue has its roots in the culture of Muslim societies, which tend to hold on to traditional values strongly from generation to generation. Thus despite changes in circumstances, concepts such as “a woman’s role in society is that of a homemaker” tend to survive over time.³ The two considerations are not mutually exclusive. Culture is shaped by the forces that surround it, including the economy. Traditional, cultural and societal expectations in Qatar have remained unchallenged due to oil wealth being able to sustain a one-income family. This is already coming under pressure in Qatar, especially in a time when three-quarters of Qatari families are in debt with loans exceeding 250,000

Qatari Riyals.¹² Furthermore, the cost of living has risen in Qatar due in part to rising housing and education costs.¹⁷ The survey data seems to indicate that culture would be the dominant factor here. Even in this less lucrative economic climate, there is still pressure on women to focus on family, and men are still seen as the rightful breadwinners. This is further confirmed through interviews with five Qatari women, including a mother and her two daughters (each interviewed separately). All five women are married, though not all are employed. “Our society and our religion expect that the man work and support the household. We [women] work because we want to,” said one retired Qatari woman, Mrs. A, formerly the headmistress of a local school.⁸ This sentiment was reiterated by all but one of the other interviewees as well. She agreed emphatically with the statement that men have more right to a job than women, stating that it is part of men’s role in society to provide for the family, whereas for women work is more of a way of affording luxuries (jewelry, brandname clothes, travel). She added that there is an increased trend though, particularly in middle-income families, for women to help their husbands with the finances by splitting 50-50 on household income to improve the family’s financial situation. She stipulated that this is a choice however, and not something that women are obligated or expected to have to do. Her eldest daughter Mrs. H, who currently works as a dentist, largely agreed with her mother’s perspective, though she also noted that she personally believed that men simply make better employees than women do.⁹ She explained that women have more social commitments to attend to than men, and because they are also expected to care for their children (staying home if the child is sick, attending school functions, etc.), they simply have less time to stay in the office and work. She also said that, in her experience, men work better under pressure than women do, are less competitive as coworkers, and are generally better at communicating. This is why she personally prefers male applicants when she needs to hire new employees. On that note, Mrs. H also agreed with the statement that men have more right to a job than women, but clarified that this was not to say that women do not have the right to work if they so choose. “If you’re talking about a family, the man’s job is to provide,” she said. “It’s an option for a woman.” She also said that while she personally had not been pressured not to work—in fact, her mother had always worked—she could see how other women might have that issue. Her father also



“She explained that she could not let work interfere with her ability to take care of her family. ‘If I had to choose one, I would choose my household,’ she said.” encouraged her to delay marriage until she had finished her getting her degrees and had it written into her marriage contract that her husband could not prevent her from working. She said that some families might object to women working in mixed-gender offices, which would limit their chances of working. She also said that for sheikhas (women who are part of the ruling Al-Thani family) there is more pressure than usual, since there is the perception that they do not have to work. Her sister Mrs. M, who worked for eight years but is currently unemployed, disagreed.¹⁰ She felt that while there is pressure on women not to work, it is more internalized than it is something that stems from society. “I think the pressure comes from the woman herself,” she said. “Deep inside, we know it (working) is affecting the family negatively.” Since leaving her job, she said that she has become “totally different” as a wife and mother. When she was working, she had very little time to spend with her children, would come home stressed, talk with with her husband mostly about her work, and had no time for a social life. She objected to the idea that women have the same requirement to work as men but added that the option should always be open for women who want it. “It’s a shame for women not to be educated, it’s a shame for women not to have the opportunity to work, but it is not a shame for a woman to stay at home and be a housewife.” Though Mrs. M is currently looking for work because her family needs it financially, she said that she would rather stay home and care for her children. “That is her role in life, to be a woman. Not to be a man,” she said. “It is not her role to carry the family financially.” While she had said that the pressure on women was more of an internal issue, she did have an interesting insight into hiring practices. She felt that if an equally qualified man and woman both applied for the same position in a company, it would certainly go to the man. She gave a simple reason for that: in seven out of any ten job interviews she has gone for, she said, she was asked whether she had children and whether she planned to have any more


children. The questions, which she noted would never be asked of a man applying for any position, have a clear motivation behind them feeling: to gauge the amount of time she would be able to devote to the job. One sheikha, Sheikha S, had similar experiences.¹⁵ She agreed with the idea that the pressure comes more from the societal responsibilities expected of Qatari women, even if there is no explicit discouragement for women to work. She said that in the Arab world, a woman’s priority is her home and her children, and that whether she works or not, she is expected to care for the household. She added that in Islam, men are meant to be the providers. Sheikha S did not work after finishing her post-high school education but started after her children were grown enough that she had more free time at her disposal. It can be difficult, she said, to balance work with social and parental responsibilities. She explained that she could not let work interfere with her ability to take care of her family. “If I had to choose one, I would choose my household,” she said. Finally, Mrs. R, who currently works as a guidance counselor at a local school, said that perceptions about women in the workforce were changing.¹¹ She felt that the attitude that men have more right to a job than women is beginning to become outdated in the face of a rising cost of living, a sentiment that seems to support Ross’ argument that as oil wealth wanes, women’s employment opportunities improve.¹⁴ “That is an old way of thinking [...] The times changed,” Mrs. R said. “Life isn’t as simple as it was before.” She has observed more young men expressing an interest in marrying women who work because they will need help with finances. With costs such as private school tuition becoming increasingly expensive, women now need to work to improve the family’s economic standing, she said. She herself only started working after marriage and acknowledged that it is difficult to balance work with other responsibilities since it leaves little time for a social life or to spend time with children. Even so, she still felt it was important for women to work in

nurj – vol. 12 order to better provide for the family. Each of these interviews provides some insight into the relationship between Qatari society and working Qatari women. A common theme throughout all five interviews was a reluctance to say that there is pressure on women to focus on family instead of work, before detailing implicit pressures from the expectation that women be the primary caregivers for children, especially when attempting to balance work with family and social obligations. Similarly, the topic of religion reinforced the idea that men have more right to a job than women, often coupled with the notion of tradition. This ties back to Inglehart and Norris’ argument about traditional Muslim societies holding strongly on to established gender roles, including that of woman as homemaker.³ At the same time however, the five did note that they had perceived a change in attitude towards women working, with some stressing the role of financial troubles as a key motivator for some women to seek employment. Again, this harkens back to Ross’ points about oil wealth restricting opportunities for women to work since there does seem to be some shift in the perception of women working that coincides with a drop in oil prices changing the country’s economic landscape.¹⁴ However, all but one interviewee still maintained that it

is not a necessity for women to work. It is still the man’s job to provide, but if his wife wants to contribute to the family income, that is her choice to make. Culture perseveres. CONCLUSION It seems that the dearth of Qatari women in the workforce is largely a matter of culture, reinforced by an economic climate that up to now has made it possible for families to live comfortably on the man’s income alone while women are expected to care for their families. Work is an available option and is likely to be one that more and more women opt to take if the current situation of falling oil prices and rising costs of living continue, but it is not considered to be their main role in society. It is something to be done in addition to taking care of the household, which is a responsibility that falls squarely on women’s shoulders. Even if women begin to enter the workforce in greater numbers out of economic necessity, which has been the case historically even in the Gulf, they would still be expected to place their careers second to the needs of their families.² Cultural attitudes can change however, and there are fruitful avenues for future research on how society responds and develops as economic conditions change and more Qatari daughters look up towards their working mothers.





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BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Berrebi, C., Martorell, F., and Tanner, J. Qatar's Labor Markets at a Crucial Crossroad. The Middle East Journal , 63 (3), (2009), 421-442. ² Foley, S. The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010. ³ Inglehart, R., and Norris, P. Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ⁴ Khatri, S. and Kovessy, P. Doha News: November 3, 2015. Qatar Emir: Government can no longer ‘provide for everything’. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from Doha News: http:// ⁵ Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics. Qatar - Social Statistics: 20032012. Doha, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics: http:// portal/QIXPOC/Documents/ QIX%20Knowledge%20Base/ Publication/General%20 Statistics/Qatar%20Social%20 Statistics/Source_QSA/Qatar_ Social_Statistics_MDPS_ AE_2003-2012.pdf

⁶ Mitchell, Jocelyn Sage et al. (2015), UREP 15-035-5-013, December 25, 2014–January 15, 2015. ⁷ Mitchell, Jocelyn Sage. “Beyond Allocation: The Politics of Legitimacy in Qatar.” PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2013. ⁸ Mrs. A, Interview with author. Doha, Qatar, November 20, 2015. ⁹ Mrs. H, Interview with author. Doha, Qatar, November 29, 2015. ¹⁰ Mrs. M, Interview with author. Doha, Qatar, December 2, 2015. ¹¹ Mrs. R, Interview with author. Doha, Qatar, December 1, 2015. ¹² Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning. Qatar National Development Strategy. Doha: Gulf Publishing and Printing Company, 2011. ¹³ Qatar University. Fact Book 2013-2014. Doha: Office of Institutional Research, 2015. ¹⁴ Ross, M. The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations. Princeton University Press, 2012. ¹⁵ Sheikha S, Interview with author. Doha, Qatar, December 1, 2015.

¹⁶ Supreme Council for Family Affairs. Woman and Man In the State of Qatar: A Statistical Profile 2012. Doha, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics: http:// portal/QIXPOC/Documents/ QIX%20Knowledge%20Base/ Publication/Population%20 Statistics/Women%20and%20 Men%20statistical%20profile/ Source_QSA/Women_Men_ Statistical_Profile_QSA_ Bu_A_2012_0.pdf ¹⁷ Walker, L. Report: Qatar pay rises struggle to keep pace with rising inflation. October 18, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015, from Doha News: http:// ¹⁸ World Economic Forum. (2016). Global Gender Gap Report 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from World Economic Forum: http:// economies/#economy=QAT



Exploring the Interpretations of Folk Songs: Three Case Studies in Digital Humanities Melissa Ileanna-Codd Linda Austern

Faculty Advisor

+ Figure 1 Leadbelly Wows the Lomaxes by Peter Carlson.


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a hobby, or according to my parents, a source of distraction. I remember experimenting with my father’s printer when I was five to create art projects on countless copies of the reprogrammed test pages. At 10, I received my father’s old PC and began to instant message classmates. Around 13, YouTube introduced to me to recordings and videos of legendary pianists performing the same pieces I was learning! Previously I thought I was confined to the introduction performances by my piano teacher and the CDs she fed into her massive stereo system. Now at 21, I realized that I can apply all my previous digital experiences in the highly interdisciplinary field of Digital Humanities. Digital Humanities shows the ways scholarship is engaging and expanding with the digital. It allows for print culture tradition to interact with digital culture’s new modes of communication, inquiry, and knowledge production. I explored different types of experimentations and digital tools to reveal and produce topics for folk songs. Each case study covers one song but can include multiple performances that vary in lyrical, musical, and stylistic content. Thus each study explores multiple musical interpretations through digital means to find topics of further study. The first study uses Photoshop to break down genre barriers between a blues and a grunge performance of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” This manipulation raises questions of era, style, race, and emotion. The next case uses visuals in a collage and flow chart format to organize numerous “Big Rock Candy Mountain” albums. The last case uses sound through a mini podcast series to discuss the history of “Tom Dooley” in the context of American culture. Visit website for the original link to Codd’s digital thesis. 087


+ Mark Ratner INTERVIEW BY Maria Kaufman

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After completing his PhD at Northwestern University in 1969, Dr. Ratner went on to have a prolific career in materials chemistry exploring the relationship between molecular structure and molecular properties. He has authored multiple books about nanotechnology and is excited about the many ways in which nanotechnology may affect the future of our society, including advances in medicine and renewable energy. Today, he is a Co-Director of the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Feynman Prize and the Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ROLE OF COLLABORATION IN RESEARCH? MR: The unique thing about Northwestern is we collaborate. So almost all of the papers that I have written have been co-authored with people at Northwestern, sometimes people in Israel, people in Sweden, Denmark in particular, the Netherlands–guys in Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Korea. But mostly the collaborations are within this and that building, Tech, because the folks are just so good. The fields are so highly complex, that it really, really helps to have somebody else. That’s the way all of us work at Northwestern. Because of this nature, we’ve drawn a large number of undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs who recognize that chemistry in the 21st century is extremely complex, and that two minds are better than one. And three minds are better than two. But that collaboration is what we’ve done here at Northwestern, and what has worked out extremely well. Since I’ve been at Northwestern, we’ve had two Nobel Prizes in chemistry and infinite other awards. I think the most important thing is that we’ve trained those undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs to a very, very high level. 089


AS A CO-DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND ENERGY (ISEN) AT NORTHWESTERN, HOW DO YOU RELATE YOUR WORK IN NANOTECHNOLOGY TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY? MR: I think that by incorporating my own research and experiences into it, I was able to bring in contextual material. Normally when you teach from a book, the book doesn't have that personal stamp of your journey as a writer. In writing the book, I tried to retain a certain amount of my own presence in it, to write in such a way that the readers knew that this person was the inquisitive figure throughout the whole book to provide context for these circumstances. That's how I got turned to the subject of diasporic filmmaking, choosing a topic that was significant to me personally, because then I could learn from my own research about myself and my own condition and about the general condition that was happening as a result of globalization and other forces. HOW DID NORTHWESTERN BECOME SUCH A BIG PLAYER IN THE FIELD OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH? MR: Actually, the whole thing starts with undergraduates. When Morty “...other became president, you know he loves universities the undergraduates, and the first thing all have efforts he did was call a bunch of faculty members, including me, and a lot of on renewable students in one of the big rooms in Tech. It went on for three hours. And energy, why what he heard, and what I heard was, don’t we?” other universities all have efforts on renewable energy, why don’t we? And that really pushed the button and started all this stuff up. So, you know, the university is only important because of its students. And that was one place where the students really made it happen.


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“I’ve had a number of really, really good students from all parts of the world, different genders, different religions, different dress, different everything. But the science brings them together. It brings us together.”

WHAT ROLE DO YOU THINK UNDERGRADUATES CAN PLAY IN RESEARCH? MR: I can remember being an undergraduate, and the only bad thing was the clock. There was never enough time to do what you wanted to do. I mean, if you wanted to keep up your exercise, do your studies, pal around with some people and get to introduce yourself to new ideas and new things– well, there’s only 24/7. So, most of the undergraduates that have worked with me have actually worked with either a graduate student or a post-doc, so that they had somebody who could oversee what they were doing. Some of them have been really terrific, and gone off and done spectacular things–and not all in science. Probably, when the group was big, when I had 20 students and postdocs, there were three or four undergraduates all the time. Mostly in the summer, because it’s a little bit easier then–you don’t have classes, you can just work. And I’ve had a number of really, really good students from all parts of the world, different genders, different religions, different dress, different everything. But the science brings them together. It brings us together. 091


+ Figure 1 Key companies and organizations in Silicon Valley, 1966-1995. Author drawing.


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Decentralizing Computers and Capitalism: Silicon Valley and the Politics of the Free Market, 1971-1984 William Kirkland Michael Allen

Faculty Advisor

Lydia Barnett

Seminar Director


Keynesian state stewardship of the economy and Fordist compromises between labor and management led to a free market movement favoring limited government intervention, de-unionization, and deregulation. Scholarship on this conservative turn has focused on the political and social realm but not fully analyzed the role of economic structures and business practices. This project analyzes the role that Silicon Valley played in the free market political project of the late 1970s and early 1980s. By locating Silicon Valley’s rise within its broader context, it brings an influential force of late 20th century American business and technology in conversation with political forces marking the country’s turn to the right. It discusses how Silicon Valley developed into a haven of free market politics and culture over the 1970s and brought its insurgent, high-tech vision of capitalism to Washington in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This thesis argues that Silicon Valley contributed to the rise in economic and social inequality in the United States over the past four decades. » 093



n canned fruit advertisements and real estate promotions from the first half of the 20th century, the Santa Clara Valley was known as “the Valley of Heart’s Delight.”⁶ Nestled between the redwood-rich Santa Cruz and chaparral-covered Diablo mountains of the Coastal Range, the Valley was one of the most productive fruit growing and canning regions in the country.¹⁸ In the middle of the century, as waves of white middle class Americans came to California, boosters marketed the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” name to promote the suburbs slowly replacing the fruit orchards.⁸ At the same time the white middle class made its way West, money poured in from the East in the form of Defense Department funding, bound for the university and corporate research labs sprouting up in the Valley’s suburbs. The following decades saw a new industry develop in those labs based around a technology paving the way for the Digital Age: semiconductor transistors. By the early 1970s, the rapidly growing semiconductor industry so dominated the economy and landscape of the Santa Clara Valley that it spawned a

“Slicon Valley’s world is one in which “ideas” are the dominant economic metaphor, market forces drive social change, and consumer technologies— placed in the hands of every human on the planet—are the vehicles of enlightenment and progress.” 094

new moniker, named for the chief element in integrated circuits and microprocessors. Unlike the agricultural industry it replaced, “Silicon Valley” prioritized white-collar work and mainly employed white men with degrees from universities that were closed to most women and racial minorities. But for those invited to take part, Silicon Valley offered unparalleled opportunity. The hightech Gold Rush made the Santa Clara Valley the fastest growing region in the California economy in the 1970s. By the 1980s, Silicon Valley had become a business and technology phenomenon. Its companies graced national magazine covers, received prime placement in investment portfolios, and featured prominently in political stump speeches. Few signs remained of the orchards that gave the valley its first nickname, save the whimsically named Apple Computer. The Bay Area high-tech industry has never shown a particular fondness for history. Accelerating at the pace of Moore’s Law toward its own version of techno-utopia, Silicon Valley has often cast itself as the standard-bearer of an inevitable future—not unlike the way liberal democratic capitalism presented itself after the collapse of communism and the beginning of the polemical “End of History.”⁷ Silicon Valley’s post-historical vision is to remake the world in its image. Silicon Valley’s world is one in which “ideas” are the dominant economic metaphor, market forces drive social change, and consumer technologies—placed in the hands of every human on the planet—are the vehicles of enlightenment and progress. Its vision, the Bay Area historian Theodore Roszak has written, reaches for a new Jeffersonian democracy. It chases the paradoxical goals of decentralized individualism and complete interconnectivity.¹⁷ Robert Noyce, the father of the microchip and founder of Intel Corp., whom historian Leslie Berlin has called both the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of Silicon Valley, once claimed that “high-tech history is almost an oxymoron.” He said “our major activity is to make yesterday’s ‘gee-whiz’ mundane today,” implying that the rapid pace of technological progress made history almost irrelevant. In the 21st century, as the tech industry endeavors to connect all of humanity with its social and consumer networks and to accelerate global change (on its own terms), this view of Silicon Valley’s revolutionary potential abounds in the high-tech enclaves expanding across the Bay Area.³ But Silicon Valley did not simply materialize in the post-industrial warehouses of South of Market and the corporate campuses of Mountain View and Cupertino. Like all industries and social phenomena,

nurj – vol. 12 Silicon Valley has a history. Its seeds were sewn in midcentury electronics companies like HP, the original garage start-up founded in 1939, and Fairchild Semiconductor, the company created by the “Traitorous Eight” rebellion in June 1957. These companies grew in its first decades mostly on federal and state largesse. Defense contracts to make chips for aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles funded the region’s semiconductor industry, while Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (darpa) funding paid for its research labs to experiment with Space Age computer technology. Central to its growth were lavishly funded universities like Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, whose academic programs connected mostly white and male computer science and engineering students to Bay Area tech corporations. In hobbyist clubs of the 1970s, members of the same techie cohort built personal computer (PC) prototypes that spawned a new consumer market. Financing PC start-ups were venture capital firms based in Menlo Park and San Francisco, whose funding rounds brought the financial capital of East Coast dynasties like the Whitneys and Rockefellers west and gave it a new California look. By the mid-1980s, the Bay Area tech industry had become a global sensation inspiring “Silicon”-suffixed counterparts across the world. Not only does Silicon Valley have a history worth understanding and analyzing, but its history also intersects with other historical patterns, movements, and phenomena in significant but underappreciated ways. At the cutting-edge of capitalism and technology for the past half-century, Silicon Valley occupies an important place in recent American history. This project explores how it influenced and is interrelated with another major historical force that has shaped the political and economic landscape. By locating the industry’s emergence on the national stage in the 1970s and early 1980s within its broader national context, it tells the story of how the Bay Area high-tech sector became Silicon Valley, and how Silicon Valley, for the first and not the last time, remade the US economy in its image. SILICON VALLEY AND THE FREE MARKET PROJECT As Silicon Valley boomed in the 1970s and early 1980s, it contrasted starkly with the rest of the national economy. Beset by structural challenges from increasing international competition to slowing domestic productivity, the US economy languished in the 1970s. Growth waxed and waned, jolted by energy crises bookending the decade. Inflation and

+ Figure 2 Silicon Valley from above, taken in October 1982 and featured in National Geographic’s article “High Tech, High Risk, and High Life in Silicon Valley.” Santa Clara and Sunnyvale are in the foreground; Mountain View, Palo Alto, and San Francisco (in the background) follow Interstate 101 northward up the spine of the San Francisco Peninsula.

unemployment rates fluctuated in tandem, leading economists to a new portmanteau, “stagflation,” to describe the high inflation, high unemployment reality that the Philips Curve had deemed impossible. Voters became increasingly anxious as both Republican and Democratic presidents struggled to address the symptoms and causes of economic malaise. In 1970, only ten percent of Americans identified the economy as the most important issue facing the country; by 1979, that number had risen to seventy percent.⁴ Against this dismal economic backdrop, two major developments of late 20th century American history took shape. In the Bay Area, the high-technology industry grew into Silicon Valley. It quickly became a business and technology marvel that brought the word



“As a political symbol and an influential lobbying force, Silicon Valley sold a sunny vision of innovative, entrepreneurial capitalism to a country seeking solutions to deep-seated structural economic problems.” silicon out of the periodic table and into the American popular imagination—and brought billions in private capital with it. Around the same time, American politics underwent a paradigm shift. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a political impulse to reject centralized economic planning in favor of the free market gained momentum. This political-economic movement articulated—or re-articulated—a definition of “free market” that called for less government management of the economy and fewer state interventions in the marketplace.⁵ Building on arguments honed in new Washington think-tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and on the napkins of University of Southern California economics professors, this conservative policy movement called for tax cuts, balanced budgets, deunionization, and deregulation. As the free market project gained traction, American politics and policymaking turned right. Recent historical scholarship has identified the late 1970s and early 1980s as a turning point in recent American history. Historians have argued that in this period the broad consensus behind Keynesian economic stewardship and Fordist labor-management compromise that had predominated since the 1930s gave way to one that favored limited government and vehemently fought organized labor. Scholars have variously called this conservative turn the beginning of the Age of Reagan or the Age of Neoliberalism, the “rediscovery of the market” or the “last days of the working class.” Their work has focused on the political and social realm, pouring over the intellectual debates, political maneuvers, structural and cultural shifts, lobbying efforts, and backlash movements that led this turn to the right in the late 1970s and early 1980s. But in focusing on the political and social realm, this scholarship has paid insufficient attention to the economic realm, where shifts in the structure of the US economy and changes in business practices greatly influenced the conservative turn. The few


scholars who have focused on the economic realm, meanwhile, have not analyzed the particular role played by Silicon Valley as it emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Likewise, scholarship on the history of Silicon Valley has not placed the industry’s emergence in the broader national context historians often consider. Silicon Valley scholarship has instead prioritized understanding why the regional technology hub in the southwest corner of the San Francisco Bay grew so phenomenally successful.¹⁶ These questions are important to understanding Silicon Valley’s development, but they offer an incomplete assessment of the role that it has played in recent American history. This project lies at the intersection of these two lines of historical analysis, framing the growth of Silicon Valley within the context of America’s political right turn. Emerging as a high-growth, high-tech phenomenon in an era of sustained economic stagnation and intermittent recession, Silicon Valley both marked and furthered the country’s turn to the right on economic issues in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As a political symbol and an influential lobbying force, Silicon Valley sold a sunny vision of innovative, entrepreneurial capitalism to a country seeking solutions to deep-seated structural economic problems. Silicon Valley offered a shining example of the fruits of the free market to the increasingly popular argument—made not only by conservative politicians like Ronald Reagan but also by neoliberals like the socalled “Atari Democrats”—that the best path out of 1970s economic malaise was to unleash the decentralizing forces of the marketplace. This image of Silicon Valley as a beacon of free market capitalism did not come from the imagination of politicians, but had been purposefully cultivated by the entrepreneurs, executives, and investors who brought the industry onto the national stage in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though the early semiconductor firms and research labs in the Bay Area had been capitalized by federal

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+ Figure 3 The 1982 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Commodore International unveiled the Commodore 64, the best-selling personal computer in history.

defense contracts, Silicon Valley marketed itself as a hub of private sector innovation and wealth creation. It cast its decentralized industrial structure and start-up culture as hallmarks of a new kind of capitalism. As it fought unionization and squeezed productivity, it claimed to represent a new “matrix” management style and flexible labor structure, making the case against the bureaucracy and labor unions that had played central roles in the midcentury capitalist system.⁹ In an age of anti-establishment and anti-government backlash festering since the later stages of the Vietnam War and growing in the wake of Watergate, Silicon Valley sold itself as a Western alternative to the financial and political establishment. In part inspired by, and in part actively exploiting the cultural legacy of the Bay Area counterculture of the 1960s, it cultivated an image of technological liberation and Information Age cool. Despite the fact that it was drastically unrepresentative of American society in race and gender in that educated white men filled its employment ranks, Silicon Valley advertised itself as a haven of egalitarianism and meritocracy. As a model of the unregulated free market capitalism with which it hoped to remake the American economy, Silicon Valley’s immense

wealth creation and deep social and economic inequalities underscored the implications of the broader free market project. More than limited government or faster GDP growth, inequality has been ultimate result of the conservative turn in the late 1970s and early 1980s—a turn sustained over successive Republican and Democratic administrations. This period marks the pivotal moment when incomes began to diverge dramatically, middle class wages stagnated, and the benefits of economic growth went increasingly to the wealthiest Americans. As a source and symbol of inequality, Silicon Valley’s place in the conservative turn of the late 1970s and early 1980s was both material and ideational. As its political and economic power has grown exponentially in the decades since, the tech industry’s role in exacerbating inequality has grown with it. Importantly, inequality in tech and in the free market economy at large has mapped along lines of race and gender. The issue of diversity in tech, a headline in 2016 but also the subject of a dedicated US Civil Rights Commission summit in San Jose in 1982, stands as a symptom of deeper inequalities in the American economy—an economy for which Silicon Valley represents a well of inspiration and aspiration.



“That Silicon Valley occupied its own cloistered social and political world, its ideas and values ricocheting in an educated, white, male echo-chamber of wealth and privilege, contributed to its embrace of the free market politics.” INEQUALITY IN THE INFORMATION AGE In the first decades of the 21st century, the connections between Silicon Valley and the politics of the free market are headline news. Amidst a tech boom cycle driven by social media and the so-called sharing economy, Silicon Valley has become a flashpoint of American capitalism. Silicon Valley titans from to Larry Ellison to Evan Spiegel are the high-tech faces of a New Gilded Age, the standard-bearers of a system of unparalleled opportunity and inequality.¹⁰ “Unicorn” startups like Uber and Airbnb are “disrupting” established industries and bringing dynamic market pricing (and profits) to transportation and accommodation. Along the way, they have redefined the “employee” as they have driven down costs and squeezed contract pay.¹¹ The 2013 Google bus protests that made headlines in San Francisco, meanwhile, have cast Silicon Valley as a microcosm of the deep social, political, and economic inequalities exacerbated by the unregulated marketplace. The industry’s response has been at times muted and at others cynically unapologetic. In January 2014, legendary venture capitalist Tom Perkins wondered in the Wall Street Journal whether the protests marked the emergence of a “progressive Kristallnacht”—a reference to the 1938 event that precipitated the Holocaust.¹⁴ But while Silicon Valley has become a flashpoint of capitalism and inequality in the 21st century, its connections to the politics of free market are not new. Before Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow push coalition decried the lack of diversity in tech, the US Commission on Civil Rights held a twoday set of hearings in 1982 on “Women and Minorities in High Technology.” Noting that management in Silicon Valley was 86 percent male and 88 percent white, one speaker observed that Silicon Valley was “a


land of uneven opportunity”—much like the hyper-competitive, dislocating free market economy it represented.¹⁹ Before the satirical characters in hbo’s Silicon Valley boasted at TechCrunch Disrupt to be “making the world a better place,” real Silicon Valley multimillionaires of the early 1980s claimed to be “making this world a better place” with “products that extend human capability” and “[free] people from drudgery.”¹ Before Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook went to Washington, D.C., Robert Noyce and Steve Jobs lobbied Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, seeking tax cuts and tax credits. Before Peter Thiel affirmed his affinity for Ayn Rand and her cutthroat vision of disaster capitalism to The New Yorker, Gordon Moore told Fortune that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs were the “real revolutionaries of the world.”¹³ As their industry grew in the late 1970s and early 1980s, tech entrepreneurs and investors helped to re-orient the American economy around the free market and helped to bring their industry’s microcosmic inequalities to the US economy at large. In their valiant “rebellion against excessive taxation and regulation,” Ronald Reagan proclaimed that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs were giving “far more to society than they will ever recover”— as they collected millions in equity shares and stock options.¹⁵ In Wealth and Poverty, Silicon Valley evangelist George Gilder wrote in 1981 that they were raising “the banner of human creativity and new technology as the way to triumph over the trials of the day.”⁸ In this framing, consumer gadgets, freer markets, and limited government were the solutions to the deep-seated structural problems of the 1970s. In the course of “solving” those problems, the free market project and the tech industry embraced the unregulated marketplace’s inequalities in opportunity and outcome in their celebration of productivity and profit. That Silicon Valley occupied its

nurj – vol. 12 own cloistered social and political world, its ideas and values ricocheting in an educated, white, male echo-chamber of wealth and privilege, contributed to its embrace of the free market politics. This project documents and analyzes the role that Silicon Valley played in the nationwide political project to reshape economic policy and politics around priorities of the free market in this period of political change. It first traces the development of the Bay Area tech industry in the 1970s and analyzes the free market vision that it cultivated in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It documents the influence of key companies like Intel and Apple Computer and pays special attention to the role that the industry’s West Coast geography and countercultural roots played in shaping the its “revolutionary” vision

of capitalism. This project then analyzes Silicon Valley’s first foray into national politics in the late 1970s and follows the lobbying presence it built up in Washington in the early 1980s. Finally, it discusses Silicon Valley’s triumphant emergence onto the national stage in the early- to mid-1980s. It looks at the way the media, the investment community, and politicians capitalized on the Silicon Valley vision—a vision, in Reagan’s words, of “high tech, not high taxes.” Together, the entrepreneurs, journalists, investors, and politicians documented in this project tell the story of how Silicon Valley developed as a model and vision of free market capitalism and how it was mobilized by a political movement seeking to shrink the size of government and unleash the decentralizing, dislocating forces of the marketplace.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ “Apple Values,” internal communication, 1982, Apple Computer, Inc. Records, Stanford University Library, Stanford, CA. ² Applewhite, Scott. “CES 1982,” Associated Press, March 12, 1984, accessed 15 February 2016, http://theweek. com/captured/461154/ babysittersinchief. ³ Berlin, Leslie. The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley. Oxford, 2005. ⁴ Berman, William C. America’s Right Turn. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. ⁵ Burgin, The Great Persuasion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2012. ⁶ California Packing Corporation, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight,” promotional video, 1949, 18 min., accessed 3 March, GoldenHa1950. ⁷ Fukuyama, Francis. “The End of History?” The National

Interest, Summer 1989. ⁸ Gilder, George. Wealth and Poverty. New York: Basic Books, 1981. ⁹ Harvey, David. The Conditions of Postmodernity: An Enquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change. Oxford: Blackwell, 1990. ¹⁰ Krugman, Paul.“Why We’re in a New Gilded Age.” New York Review of Books, May 8, 2014. ¹¹ Lien, Tracey.“Uber Will Pay Up to $100 Million to Settle Suits With Drivers Seeking Employment Status.” Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2016. ¹² National Geographic, October 1982, accessed 17 February 2016, http://blog. ¹³ Packer, George. “No Death, No Taxes,” The New Yorker, November 28, 2011. ¹⁴ Perkins, Thomas. “Letter to the Editor: Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2014.

¹⁵ President Ronald Reagan, “Radio Address to the Nation on Small Business,. October 5, 1984. ¹⁶ Saxenian, AnnaLee. Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cambridge: Harvard, 1994. ¹⁷ Rosask, Theodore. The Cult of Information: A Neo-Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking, 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. ¹⁸ Tsu, Cecilia. Garden of the World: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California’s Santa Clara Valley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. ¹⁹ “Women and Minorities in High Technology,” hearing held in San Jose, CA, September 20-21, 1982, United States Commission on Civil Rights.




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Recuperating Monique Wittig through the ‘Site of Action’ Sarah Moss Mary Deitz Faculty Advisor


and challenge a singular definition of language by rereading “The Site of Action” (1984), in which Monique Wittig uncovers how implicit social stereotypes unknowingly commit female speakers to an oppressive contract, rendering conversations unequal battlefields wrought with women’s subjugation. In what follows, I aim to highlight Wittig’s literary spaces to emphasize how fictive worlds offer writers like Wittig the unique opportunity to destroy old, oppressive language. I propose that a renewed reading of Wittig’s two novels underscores the importance of symbolic violence in forging new language to revolutionize social conceptions of femininity. » 101




he result of the imposition of gender, acting as a denial at the very moment when one speaks, is to deprive women of the authority of speech, and to force them to make their entrance in a crablike way, particularizing themselves and apologizing profusely. The result is to deny them any claim to the abstract, philosophical, political discourses that give shape to the social body. Gender then must be destroyed. The possibility of its destruction is given through the very exercise of language. For each time I say “I,” I reorganize the world from my point of view and through abstraction I lay claim to universality… (Wittig, 1985, p. 81). Monique Wittig (1935-2003) explored the often unnoticed and dangerous entanglements between stagnant communicative patterns, sexual categorization, and women’s subjugation in her groundbreaking theoretical essays published throughout the 1970s and 1980s, each compiled into The Straight Mind (1992). Like the dramatic rhetoric exemplified in the epigraph, Wittig’s writing style addresses readers directly as she compels them toward the revolution necessary to dismantle systems of sexual oppression.³ For Wittig, “the category of sex” has consistently and relentlessly convinced both women and men that sex—the division between intelligent, strong, capable men and incompetent, passive, hyper-sexualized women—are naturally formed, unchangeable categories. Similar to Marxist calls to action that claim the working class’s loss of agency stems from laborious jobs controlled by bourgeoisie supervisors, Wittig calls women a socially constituted class, shaped and stifled through male “dominance” that limits women’s chances for self-expression and individuality.³,¹² In fact, it is “compulsory heterosexuality” that drives the unrelenting denial of women’s voices. Though men have the agency to dwell outside the bounds of their sexual experiences, women–whether at work, in town, or in the bedroom–cannot escape their definition as the “sexed sex,” or as objects of pleasure.⁷ Here, Wittig presents a dark scene of the contemporary social order, in which compulsory heterosexuality and the category of sex are totalitarian systems that govern all. As men inhabit the role of the oppressor and women the oppressed, Wittig argues the category of sex “shapes the mind as well as the body since it controls all mental production. It grips our mind in such a way that we cannot think outside of it.”³ The unrelenting category of sex’s web shapes sexual and non-sexual situations so that women’s bodies and minds become deprived of a safe environment, one

that promotes autonomy and subjectivity. Yet there is an undeniable hope woven through Wittigian theory. Her urgent tone invites women readers to become a part of a revolution, one that will “destroy” the category of sex.⁶ “Women” are socially constituted as inferior, sexually objectified, capable of reproduction and pleasing men, but not much more. She compels, then, that women “escape” this harmful category. “Escapees from our class” introduce the image of the political lesbian figure.¹² Though she may seem similar in appearance and biological renderings to women, Wittig’s lesbian operates outside the category of sex. She resists existing under heterosexual norms, and thus has the opportunity to form her own self-conception and points of view apart from male domination. Wittig writes, “… because of a change of perspective... it would be incorrect to say that lesbians associate, make love, live with women, for ‘woman’ has meaning only in heterosexual systems of thought and heterosexual economic systems. Lesbians are not women.”⁵,¹⁰ Though language historically has been used as a medium of exchange to further dismiss women’s voices, Wittig’s lesbian figure molds language to aid in her autonomous reinvention. Within the category of sex, language particularizes women, helplessly linking their voices to their sexed characteristics as sexually pleasing but as majorly incompetent philosophers, thinkers, or dreamers.⁹ A woman may speak at a board meeting, but her male conversationalists often reduce her nuanced ideas to nothingness merely because her voice, body, and tone remind them of her woman status. But through the “I,” political lesbians—that is, the former women who abandon their placement in the category of sex—can occupy space that has traditionally been afforded to men. These individuals seek the chance to become universal subjects.⁹ In conversation, the locutor, or speaker, has the chance to make claims from her point of view through “I” statements. A site of linguistic power, language offers the possibility of amplifying female voices in Wittig’s idealized future world, but only when restrictive social meaning, like the category of sex, no longer exists. It is through her imaginative renderings of these possible conversations that Wittig’s theoretical essays and utopian fictional novels offer that a political upheaval of sexual categories can dramatically reconstitute the female figure. In this abridged thesis, I aim to better understand Wittig’s novel Les Guérillères (1969).⁴ Wittig’s essay “The Site of Action” uncovers how an implicit social contract often forcefully shapes conversations, so that the

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“For Wittig, “the category of sex” has consistently and relentlessly convinced both women and men that sex—the division between intelligent, strong, capable men and incompetent, passive, hypersexualized women—are naturally formed, unchangeable categories.” promise of reciprocal communication may only exist within the confines of imagined spaces, such as Wittig’s own fictional narratives. I will use this text to emphasize the importance of the “I speaker” and highlight how literature offers writers the unique opportunity to destroy old, oppressive language and introduce egalitarian principles through violent interventions in “form and content.”¹¹ A renewed reading of Wittig’s fictional world underscores the importance of symbolic violence in forging new language—words, expressions, communities, and connections— that revolutionize social conceptions of femininity as departed from harmful stereotypes of “women.” In this abbreviated version, I have excerpted significant moments during which I link Wittig’s political contracts to her fiction.

terms, “The Site of Action” delineates each phenomenon as distinctly influenced by social convention, conversationalists’ socio-political stance, and interplay between speakers or competing “points of view.”⁹ Closely reading Sarraute’s The Use of Speech (1983), Wittig aligns herself with the author because the novel locates person-to-person conversational exchange within the seemingly “impossible” intersection of language as plastic, egalitarian, promising versus language as singularly defined, categorically stringent, and imprisoning.²,⁸,⁹ In what follows, I will draw the critical distinction between speech and language to emphasize how communication operates as both a tool to stereotype and a space to explore unmediated self-expression.


To understand how female communicators utilize language and speech to navigate freedom from oppressive stereotypes, Wittig underscores The Site of Action with an appropriation of contract theory. In On The Social Contract (1989), Wittig emphasizes the importance of the social contract since it highlights “the structures of the groups of sex and their particular situation among the relations of production and social intercourse.”¹¹ Rousseauian thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries understated the criticality of contract theory because “social contract[s]” seemed to imply “a notion of individual choice and of voluntary association” apart from systematic oppression.¹¹ Yet for Wittig, contracts are not about an “individual choice” but are intimately tied to the language individual females and “the sex” use to express their desire for freedom from the category of sex.⁷ These desires can be as explicit as political

In her final essay “The Site of Action,” Wittig centers The Straight Mind around communicative violence, both the dark reality of sexual oppression and the promise of women’s regenerative capabilities. The last piece is perhaps the most revealing of Wittig’s engagement with a feminist revolution since it deconstructs aspects of language— words, speech, discourse—as units that fuel the complexity of volatile exchange. It is through her rereading of Nathalie Sarraute’s fictional novels that she locates the problems (les problématiques) associated with social actors’ use of speech, or what Sarraute calls in her native tongue, l’usage de la parole.¹,²,⁹ Though we often blur the lines between language, speech, and words as synonymous

The Multiplicity of Social Contract(s)



rallies for gender equality or implicit in social interactions, in which marginalized voices demand authority or command of daily conversations. Wittig, then, appropriates social contracts as critical to an investigation of sex since “the first, the permanent, and the final social contract is language,” as it is, “the basic agreement between human beings.”¹¹ The social contract’s resilient, malleable qualities reinforce its staying power as a consistent linguistic index among human social actors. Despite group’s changing socio-political standings, the contract always connects people back to their own humanity. For Wittig, it is the “basic agreement” of communication through language that makes individuals “human and… social.”¹¹ As a constantly shifting social category, sex is a critical link to social contracts because they are “covenant[s], compact[s], agreement[s]… establishing once and for all the binding of people together.”¹¹ The contract is not singular, but in fact acquires multiplicity based on the social actors or “contractor[s]” who “reaffirm the contract in new terms” in diverse contexts, allowing the contract to continue its existence.¹¹ The multiplicity of the contract gives agency to locutors to reinvent their humanity apart from harmful and discrediting sexual stereotypes. The contract’s continued existence depends upon females continually examining their “conditions” to orient their sex to the varying conceptions of women over time.¹¹ The contract is Wittig’s means of interrogating how female figures navigate communication and use language, speech, and words to violently reconstruct their identities in the context of locution—interlocution.⁹ Interlocution is the response bringing to light the implicit contract, or the violent flattening of identity. Wittig focuses on two iterations of contracts that she emphasizes as dichotomous in framing women’s communicative experiences. While the explicit contract aligns with the aforementioned promise of “raw” language, the implicit contract intervenes on language, imposing harmful social, speechmeaning.⁹,¹¹ Wittig’s Explicit Contract: Language as an Unlimited Wellspring Wittig defines the Explicit Contract as the promise of egalitarian exchange, which locutors expect from the moment they “learn to speak.”⁹ Social perceptions often frame language as a slate wiped clean. Speakers, then, often consider their engagement with communication as a site where “meaning has not yet occurred, which is for all, which belongs to all, and which everyone in turn can take, use, bend toward a meaning.”⁹ For Wittig,


“Since only one perspective— the white, male, heterosexual point of view—governs conversation, reality isolates itself from the promise of the explicit contract.” young speakers’ infallible belief in meaning’s malleability upholds the expectation of conversation as “reciprocal.”⁹ Wittig defines reciprocity as the promise that each speaker engages in careful consideration of their fellow conversationalists’ vocalizations. The somewhat utopian promise of nearequality among speaking social actors links this explicit contract with a “first language,” where there are “neither men or women, neither races or oppression, nothing but what can be named progressively, word by word, language.”⁹ Under the explicit contract, “first language” amplifies each individual’s access to words, emphasizing the feasibility of selfempowerment in conversation. The Implicit Contract: Categorical Impositions and Restrictions The explicit contract’s boundless words and language starkly contrast realistic communication. Through speech, conversationalists quickly abandon expectations of equality. As Wittig writes, “the use of speech, such as it is practiced everyday, is an operation that suffocates language and thus the ego, whose deadly stake is the hiding, the dissimulating, as carefully as possible, of the nature of language.”⁹ Wittig frames this “suffocation” as operating under the “implicit contract” since derogatory and harmful impositions on language reveal that the egalitarian promise of words is merely a mask.⁹ The implicit contract restricts both words and speakers since “even before ‘I’ knows it, ‘I’ is made a prisoner, it becomes the

nurj – vol. 12 victim of a fool’s deal. What it has mistaken for absolute liberty, the necessary reciprocity… is but the surrender… at the mercy of the slightest word.”⁹ Wittig complicates language as not merely a site of empowerment through the “first language” since speakers eventually “surrender” to oppressive words. The Contested Interval For speakers, at what point do the two dichotomous contracts meet? If locution is linked to a speaker’s utterance before reception, she momentarily exists under the explicit contract and belief in egalitarian communication. In typical conversation, violence exists as communication shifts from a feeling of limitless potential to limited structure, in which voices are hitched to stereotyped identities. As Wittig writes, “it is here, in the interval between locution and interlocution, that the conflict emerges: the strange wrenching, the tension in the movement from particular to general, experienced by any human being when from an ‘I’—unique in language, shapeless, boundless, infinite—it suddenly becomes nothing or almost nothing, ‘you,’ ‘he,’ ‘she,’ ‘a’ ‘small rather ugly fellow.’”⁹ Exchange is a particularly politicized space because locutors and interlocutors operate under the assumption that certain voices are unworthy. Since men have traditionally dominated conversational, sexual, and other co-ed spaces, the idea that the strongest “deserves” the spotlight maintains a vicious cycle of linguistic abuse toward females. The explicit contract in many ways is “glaringly false” since exchange need not to lead to equality in voices, speakers, and/or thoughts.⁹ In fact, the explicit contract and implicit contract have very little in common besides their placement in the conversational context. Wittig writes: … the social contract, such as it is, guarantees the entire and exclusive disposition of language to everyone, and while, in accordance with this same right, it guarantees the possibility of its exchange with any interlocutor on the same terms—for the very fact that the exchange is possible guarantees reciprocity—it nevertheless appears that the two modes of relating to language have nothing in common (“The Site of Action,” p. 95).

Exchange implies an opportunity for reciprocity, encouraging locutors to speak. After all, as children, “we all learned to speak with the awareness that words can be exchanged, that language forms itself in a relation of absolute

reciprocity.”⁹ But singular meaning and harmful stereotypes halt the causal arrow from exchange to reciprocity. Singular points of view, which rule almost all conversation, ensure minority speakers’ severely limited linguistic and bodily freedom. Since only one perspective—the white, male, heterosexual point of view—governs conversation, reality isolates itself from the promise of the explicit contract. Here, the often-unnoticed contract overpowers exchange so that reciprocity is impossible, and instead, the strongest voices incessantly prevail. The interplay between implicit and explicit contracts leaves little hope for reciprocity. After all, the “double movement” and “deadly embrace” between locution, freely speaking one’s point of view, and interlocution, the restrictive “other shoe dropping” phenomena, continually minimizes female speakers.⁹ Next, I consider how fictional literature operates as a relief from the “deadly embrace” of the two contracts. Examining critical moments of Wittig’s Les Guérillères (1969), I emphasize the writer’s duty to maintain characters’ autonomy in the tenuous interval between locution— sharing thoughts, and interlocution—critical response. Novelistic pursuits may be the only place where “counter[ing]” the force of interlocutionary reductionism is a possibility.⁴,⁹ LES GUÉRILLÈRES: A SITE OF PRODUCTIVE METAPHORICAL VIOLENCE AND AFFECTIVE RENEWAL Form, Content, and Achieving Reciprocity In her utopian novel Les Guérillères, Monique Wittig exemplifies how it is indeed possible to revel freely as a female embodied figure.4 Through the invention of original context and characterization, Wittig’s female characters defy limiting stereotypes and become empowered through meaningful communication within an insular, fictional space. The unconventional structure of the novel allows her to highlight the importance of symbolism in destroying and recasting language to empower her characters. Like Wittig’s idealized “first language,” which she defines in The Site of Action as “before the ‘mothers,’ before the ‘you’s,’… the one in which meaning has not yet occurred, the one which is for all, which belongs to all, and which everyone in turn can take, use, bend toward a meaning,” writers have the means of shaping female characters in literature to resist even the most overwhelming structures of malecentered power.⁹ Wittig finds a way to communicate the necessity of violently reconstructing linguistic



patterns by imbuing Les Guérillères with a sense of urgency. Alongside the symbolic female-centric plots, she expresses that impatience and anger fuel characters’ desire to touch others meaningfully and to win victoriously. The female figures seem to reach with an intensity toward a source of genuine human connection beyond social conventions and typical patterns, if such a connection exists. Wittig demonstrates her belief in this genuine human connection by aligning herself with her own female characters as she pursues to destroy old communicative forms in place of new forms. Wittig connects herself to this infallible mission of reaching toward equality through rage-filled expressions by opening and closing the novel with unconventional poems. Here, she abruptly introduces readers to her unfamiliar, fictive world by foreshadowing the text’s unusual content— body-driven conversations and symbolic battle scenes — with an equally revolutionary format. Below are excerpts from the novels’ introductory and concluding poetry: THE WOMEN AFFIRM IN TRIUMPH THAT ALL ACTION IS OVERTHROW AGAINST TEXTS AGAINST MEANING … THREATENING MENACING MARGINS SPACES INTERVALS WITHOUT PAUSE ACTION OVERTHROW (Les Guérillères, p. 7, p. 143).

The text above shocks readers in its blatant juxtaposition of destruction and renewal. Its all capital letters and absence of grammatical breaks certainly abandon novelistic conventions. Words like “OVERTHROW” emphasize there is an alignment between the piece’s poetic symbolism and its physical structure. In this way, the opening and closing poems emphasize the connection between “form and content,” something Wittig elaborates on in The Trojan Horse as critical to the destruction and renewal of harmful social patterns, such as female abuse and subjugation.¹¹ She invites us to consider how language itself is not merely a form of “communication” but part and parcel to the creation of “the domain of ideas.”¹¹ Though language is often considered simply a medium, it is wrapped up in content itself. In this way, forms—words, letters, grammar—operate as a covert but nonetheless “direct exercise of power.”¹¹ In the poem then, the means of revolution or “OVERTHROW” comes at the very level of literal letter, word, and textual structure.


“Overthrowing” old form and content for renewed textual elements in her fictive space coincides with the revolution’s end goal— to reach communicative reciprocity. Wittig’s notion of reciprocity is the only solution to untie the strong links between contemporary socialization and “commonplaces” that link femininity to harmful female stereotypes.⁹ Reciprocity involves egalitarian exchange, in which each figurative speaker has equal space to express ideas, exhibit self-definitions, and question social givens. Wittig’s own literary pursuits demonstrate reciprocity because she humanizes the typically objectified class of women. Her novel exists outside reductive “text(s)” because her fictional world resists the singular narrative that marginalizes women. In “The Site of Action,” Wittig writes that in novels “the point of view, far from being unique, is constantly and quickly shifting, according to the interlocutors’ interventions, provoking changes of meaning, variations. The multiplicity of this point of view and its mobility are produced and sustained by the rhythm of the writing…⁹ Wittig’s female warriors cannot fit into the modern conception of women, assuming the general elles or “they” position. In this way, Wittig maintains the “multiplicity” of the novel, which is broad enough to “continually

nurj – vol. 12 prevent… the psychological, ethical, or political interpretation of the characters.” ⁹ Her females are not simply housewives, sexual objects, or incompetent individuals. Instead, they exist as multi-faceted, undefined figures empowered by their own volition to express ideas through language. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS Fighting symbolic battles to reach empowered, independent personhood, Wittig’s characters recall the writer’s mission to violently respond to male-centric socialization in The Site of Action. Just as female figures resist stagnant, trivializing definitions of women, literature as a medium counters violent and reductive social conceptions of femininity. Les Guérillères constructs and supports female characters’ empowerment, linking their identities to limitless potential. Recall her belief in literary promise: “the paradise of the social contract exists only in literature, where the tropisms, by their violence, are able to counter any reduction of the “I” to a common denominator, to tear open the closely woven material of commonplaces, and to continually prevent their organization into a system of compulsory meaning.”⁹ Literature offers an escape from the implicit contract because it activates “tropisms.”⁹ The dictionary defines this term as “the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus.” Though Wittig only

mentions this word three times in her essay, I consider the term a useful lens to better understand how literary female figures are able to “fight fire with fire,” or counteract the violence done unto them through their unique brand of actionable violence and affect-driven rage. Tropism’s definition of change grounded in an organism’s body mirrors Wittig’s amplification of literary and physical corpuses. That is, both novels and female figures similarly revolutionize via selfresignification. Les Guérillères defies writers’ expectations, interrupting passages with images and eliminating typical narrative linearity. Wittig’s novel reconceptualizes how a writer’s coherency can be mutually exclusive from typical writing patterns. Similarly, the female characters’ within the novel unbind themselves from womanhood and redefine themselves as entirely separate from possessions of men, objects to be consumed, enjoyed, and taken. It is the violence of their locutionary force to “turn against” harmful conventions that align revolutionary novels and trailblazing females.⁹ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you, Professor Dietz, for your constant support as we explored the complexities of Wittigian politics. I have grown tremendously as a writer and critical thinker because of your unwavering encouragement and guidance.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ¹ Sarraute, Nathalie. Tropisms and the Age of Suspicion. London: John Calder, 1963. ² Sarraute, Nathalie. The Use of Speech. Denver: Counterpath Press, 1983. ³ Wittig, Monique. “The Category of Sex.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1982), 1-8. ⁴ Wittig, Monique. Les Guérillères. Les Editions de Minuit, 1969. ⁵ Wittig, Monique. The Lesbian

Body. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973.) ⁶ Wittig, Monique. “The Mark of Gender.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), 76-89. ⁷ Wittig, Monique. “On The Social Contract.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 33-45. ⁸ Wittig, Monique. “The Point of View: Universal or Particular?” In The Straight Mind. (Boston:

Beacon Press, 1980), 59-67. ⁹ Wittig, Monique. “The Site of Action.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984), 90-100. ¹⁰ Wittig, Monique. “The Straight Mind.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1980), 21-32. ¹¹ Wittig, Monique. “The Trojan Horse.” In The Straight Mind. (Boston: Beacon Press 1984), 68-75.


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