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15 | 2019-2020


Andrew Cao + Emily Suen FACULTY ADVISOR


Leslie Bonilla + Irene Chang ART DIRECTORS

Maia Brown + Sarah Tani DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH


Lucy Yuan + Shreya Sriram EDITORS

Pranav Baskar, Haley Chang, Daisy Conant, Hongrui He, Shreyas Iyer, Niva Razin, Lydia Rivers, David Zane, Joy Zheng DESIGNERS

Jenna Greenzaid, Siying Luo, Bryan Sanchez, Nancy Qian OUTREACH TEAM

Gabrielle Tsoi, Alex Solivan, Khaled Abughoush DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Khaled Abughoush, Ina Huang, John Cao 1

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Dedications from Editors-inChief Andrew Cao and Emily Suen, and Faculty Advisor Allen Taflove

Assessing Racial Discrimination of Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft

Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes: Portending a Different Future for Black Quarterbacks?




AfricanAmerican Studies


International Studies

Radical Redress: Black Birth Workers Respond to Maternal Mortality

Degrees Don’t Make Them Distant: Researching with Graduate Students

#MeToo In The European Parliament: A Case Study in Feminist Institutionalism







Interview with Kimani Isaac

Type 2 Diabetes Care and Management: A Comparison of German and American Approaches

A Day in the Life of a Summer Student Researcher


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Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences

“A Man With Many Faces, All Turned in the Same Direction”: Julius Lester on AntiSemitism, Anti-Blackness, and Black-Jewish Coalitions

Tracking Northwestern’s Research Response to COVID-19

Colonial Distortions





Political Science


"Keep going in the face of inevitable setbacks": Research advice from faculty and students

Quyud: Educational Constraints in Palestine

The Subsumptivist Generalist Position in Ethical A.I. Research and its Motivation





Human Development


Media Studies Goes Transnational with Professor Anthony Fung

Evaluating Interactive Social Justice Education: The Relationship Between Responsive Fiction and Social Empathy

Office of Undergraduate Research




Asian Languages and Cultures



2019 Research Award Winners

Biographies and Interviews from NURJ Thesis Contributors

Missing the Point: China, Chineseness, and Rhinoceros Endangerment


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Dear readers: Welcome to Volume 15 (the 2019-20 issue) of the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal! NURJ is an annual student-produced print and web-based publication funded by the Offices of the President and the Associate Provost. We are very grateful to President Morty Schapiro and Provost Miriam Sherin for their generous support, especially during these challenging times when the University’s normal campus life and finances have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been the faculty advisor of NURJ since its inception in 2003. But for me, in that context, the past academic year has been unique (even before COVID-19). Namely, during 2019-20, NURJ has been led by an extraordinary group of student editors whose dynamism and vision has been breathtaking. It’s been my privilege to get to know these students, and I’d like to express this in a public shout-out to them! As readers of NURJ Volume 15 and as online visitors to, you will experience the results of their year-long efforts: excellent Northwestern undergraduate student research published in a professional manner by a group of talented undergraduate student editors. It’s enough to make anyone associated with Northwestern very proud, including me, a Tech alum (‘71, ‘72, ‘75). Best regards, Allen Taflove, Professor Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering McCormick School of Engineering Northwestern University


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EDITORS Dear readers: The NURJ has witnessed tremendous growth in the past two years. In July 2018, we were only a two-person team with a greater vision for what the Journal could be. Since then, we have grown to 65 members across eight teams and have solidified our newest digital publication, the NURJ Online. This year, we are pleased to announce that both the NURJ Paper and the NURJ Online publications have registered ISSNs, and individual works are equipped with Digital Objective Identifiers (DOIs), enhancing the visibility of our published content. The global pandemic that we are currently facing is unexpected and unnerving for all of us. In these uncertain times, we are also reminded of the importance of research and publicizing new findings. We are immensely proud of our team for quickly adapting and constructing this Journal. In your hands, you will find a selection of departmentrecommended senior theses, as well as features written by our staff. In addition to the NURJ Paper Volume 15, we also invite you to read the most recent Volume 3 of the NURJ Online, which follows a global health theme, and the NURJ x EXPO issue, a collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). Both of these can be accessed on our website, We would like to thank President Morton Schapiro and Associate Provost Miriam Sherin for their generous sponsorship and continued guidance. We would also like to thank Dean Sarah Pritchard, Dr. Peter Civetta, Dr. Megan Wood, Professor Jocelyn Mitchell, Chris Diaz and numerous other faculty, staff and student researchers at Northwestern University for all their support. Lastly, we want to give a huge shoutout to Professor Taflove, who created this journal 18 years ago and has served as our faculty advisor since. We would not be where we are today without him. Although we are graduating this Spring 2020, we are excited to see where our newest Editors-in-Chief, Maia Brown and Shreya Sriram, will take the Journal next! Sincerely, Andrew Cao and Emily Suen Editors-in-Chief 5

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Department of Statistics

Assessing Racial Discrimination of Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft

by Sam Allnutt


This event brought racial issues in the NFL to the forefront of public attention, but it is by no means the first racial controversy to face the league. For one, 94% of NFL franchise owners are white, and there is currently only one minority general manager in the league.34 This dismal minority representation is in stark contrast with the racial makeup of the NFL’s players, 70% of whom are black.5 The quarterback position is a notable exception, as 82% of NFL quarterbacks are white. Until 1993, only 8 black quarterbacks had ever played in the NFL.6 The exceptionally low number of minority quarterbacks is at least partially due to longstanding stereotypes regarding minority athletes. The quarterback position is widely considered the most important

In recent years, the National Football League, known as the NFL, has been riddled with controversy regarding racial issues. One such controversy was brought to the national spotlight with Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest of the national anthem, which he began in 2016. As a result of his act of defiance against police brutality and racial profiling, Kaepernick was not offered a job from a single NFL team when his contract expired, despite a strong performance in the prior season.1 Kaepernick sued the NFL for colluding to keep him out of the league, and in February 2019, the league paid settlements to both him and fellow protester Eric Reid.2

1 V.A, Mather, “Timeline of Colin Kaepernick vs. the N.F.L.” The New York Times, 2019, https://www.nytimes. com/2019/02/15/sports/nfl-colin-kaepernick-protests-timeline.html 2 Ibid. 3 S. R., Harper, “There would be no FL without black players. They can resist anthem policy.”, The Washington Post, May 24, 2018,\ 4 Jahmal, Corner, “NFL: League under Scrutiny for Lack of Minority Coaches.”, Reuters , January 1, 2019, article/us-football-nfl-coaches/nfl-league-under-scrutiny-for-lack-of-minority-coaches-idUSKCN1OV1CQ 5 Harper, “There would be no FL without black playes...” 6 David J., Berri, and Rob Simmons, “Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League.”, Journal of Sports Economics,, pp. 23-43. 6

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in the game, and success depends heavily on mental traits like leadership ability and football acumen. Early in their athletic careers, minority youth players are often ushered away from the quarterback position due to stereotypes about their capacity to learn these intangible skills.7 Stereotypes have been shown to play out at the professional level as well. A Washington Post study found racially-stratified language in quarterback draft profiles hosted on the NFL’s website; while minority quarterbacks tend to be discussed in terms of their physical attributes, white quarterbacks are more often praised for their intelligence, understanding of the game, command of the team, and poise under pressure.8 To address the potential effect of racial stereotypes on NFL players, this study will use quantitative methods to determine whether minority quarterbacks are systematically undervalued in the NFL Draft. By comparing empirical data on draft decisions and outcomes, statistical methodology may be used to isolate the potential effect of racial stereotypes on draft day.

performed by labor economist Lawrence M. Kahn in 1992 and Mark Gius and Donn Johnson in 2000. These authors developed log-linear regression models to determine whether race influences salary while controlling for exogenous variation. In his final model specification, Kahn observed no significant effect of race on salary when controlling for other known determinants of player wages.9 Gius & Johnson observed a 10.27% pay premium for minority players, a surprising result given the NFL’s history of racial controversy.10 However, I argue that the results in these papers are not reliable, given the sensitivity of the models employed to crucial omitted variables. Both of the papers fail to include a numerical measure of on-field performance, which is a key influencer of player salary. As such, any existing pay discrimination against minorities could easily be washed out by residual performance differences that are left unaccounted for in these analyses. James Doran and David Doran provide a more reliable study by including a measure of performance in their analysis.11 Their log-linear regression approach is largely similar to the papers discussed above, but Doran & Doran notably include a “skill” variable in their model to predict salary, which they define as an unspecified combination of on-field statistics.12 Additionally, Doran & Doran narrowed their focus to analyzing the quarterback position, and found 28% higher wages for white quarterbacks when controlling for

Prior Studies Previous studies have reached differing conclusions in evaluating quantitative evidence for discrimination in the NFL. Overall, researchers have employed similar methodologies, but certain nuances in their analyses and assumptions have resulted in conflicting findings. The earliest relevant studies were

7 Patrick, Ferrucci, and Edson C. Tandoc, “The Spiral of Stereotyping: Social Identity and NFL Quarterbacks.”, Howard Journal of Communications, pp. 107-125 8 Christopher, Boylan, et al., “NFL Draft Profile Are Full of Racial Stereotypes. And That Matters for When Quarterbacks Get Drafted.”, The Washington Post, 9 Lawrence M., Kahn, “The Effects of Race on Professional Football Players Compensation.”, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, pp. 295-310 10 Mark, Gius, and Donn Johnson, “Race and Compensation in Professional Football.” Applied Economics Letters, pp. 73-75 11 James S., Doran, and David R. Doran, “Inequality in Pay: A Study of Wage Disparity in the NFL.”, Social Science Research Network Electronic Journal, pp. 107-125 12 Ibid. 7

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player skill and other factors.13 David Berri and Rob Simmons conducted a similar study in 2009, and also found evidence for discrimination against minority quarterbacks at salary quantiles above 50%.14 As such, both of these papers conclude that minority quarterbacks are paid lower wages for comparable performance and contract characteristics. The inconsistent results in the prior literature highlight the perils of omitted variable bias, or OVB, and the importance of adequate model specification in the study of discrimination. If a key variable is omitted that is also correlated with race, the discrimination that we seek to detect may be washed out by OVB. Additionally, every existing study has been constrained by using wage discrepancy as the basis on which to assess discrimination. NFL salaries are largely influenced by external bargaining factors, which dilute the effect of a team’s decisions on salary outcomes and inhibit the interpretation of discrepancies as team/owner racial preference.15 In this study, I will use NFL Draft decisions as a tool to better understand these preferences.

mistakenly attributing non-discriminatory racial differences as due to employer racial preference.17 Following the guidelines set forth in the NAS report, I developed several statistical models to tease apart these non-discriminatory racial differences, thus isolating the residual differences that may be due to discriminatory behavior. To build these models, we require an outcome variable on which to assess racial differences. No prior literature has used the NFL Draft to assess discrimination, which is a missed opportunity to observe the preferences of NFL teams. At the beginning of each season, teams are given the chance to select top young players emerging from college football to play for their franchise. Each team is assigned a number of draft picks, and players are selected sequentially until all 250 picks have been used. The draft provides a strong basis on which to observe decisions behind the evaluation of players, as outcomes are ordered, easily comparable, and entirely at the discretion of NFL teams. I use both collegiate and NFL data to assess two distinct research questions regarding racial differences in the NFL Draft. I will first use pre-draft information to examine whether race influences teams’ quarterback assessments, controlling for factors related to college career and performance. I will then flip this research question and use professional career data to examine whether minority quarterbacks are systematically under-valued in the draft based on how they go on to perform in the NFL. My methodology is not exempt from potential estimation biases resulting from

Methodology and Findings Methodology Overview As a starting point to develop models to detect discrimination among NFL quarterbacks, I rely on a generalized labor market research methodology outlined by the National Academy of Sciences.16 To detect discrimination in observational data, it is critical to adequately control for variables that are correlated with both race and the outcome in question, in order to avoid

13 Ibid. 14 David J., Berri, and Rob Simmons, “Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League.” 15 Frank,Therber, “The Anatomy Of An NFL Player Contract.”, Forbes, 16 Rebecca M., Blank, et all, “Measuring Racial Discrimination.”, National Academies Press 17 Ibid. 8

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unobservable variables. It should be noted that NFL teams rely primarily on qualitative scouting to evaluate collegiate quarterbacks. We must then consider the potential for OVB arising from differences between our quantitative proxy and the true scouting evaluation. Generally, omitting a factor that is important in predicting an outcome variable leads to misspecification bias in the model, such that the expected value of the estimated parameters differ from their true population values.18 In developing a model where this OVB is unavoidable, it is valuable to understand the direction and magnitude of the biases on the coefficients of interest. The bias is dependent on the pairwise correlations between race, scouting evaluation, and the other covariates.19 It can be shown that that the bias on the race Ny , coefficient, say c , is Bias (L c ) = bk d where b k is the slope coefficient for the effect of scouting evaluation on draft pick in the population model, and is the slope coefficient for the effect of race on scouting evaluation in an auxiliary regression — see full text for detailed analysis. We assume b k will be negative, as higher scouting evaluations will lead to earlier selection in the draft. The effect of race on scouting Nk , is unknown. However, we evaluation, d can infer that any effect of race on scouting will be due to the same discriminatory behavior that we are seeking to assess in our estimated model, and expect the bias to work in the same direction as our observed discrimination coefficient. As such, our estimate of the race effect may be an inflated overestimate, but the directionality will be reliable. Because of the potential for OVB,

it is critical to find an adequate proxy for scouting. This proxy should be directly indicative of a quarterback’s value to his team. For this purpose, I rely on a metric employed by Berri & Simmons that they label “Net Points.” To benchmark a quarterback’s in-game contributions, Berri et al. regressed points scored by a team’s offense on factors associated with moving and possessing the ball.20 These models provide marginal effects of the performance of an individual quarterback, or QB, on the outcome of a typical game. Given the marginal effects, the authors normalize the value of plays and turnovers around one yard, thus obtaining an intuitive metric that they label “QB Score”.21 The weights on these three quarterback statistics are outlined as follows in Equation 1: (1) QB Score = All Yards - 3 * Plays - 30 * Turnovers QB Score provides a straightforward metric on which to evaluate quarterbacks based on their direct statistical contributions to a team’s probability of winning. Assessing Relationship between Race and Draft Evaluation The first component of this analysis will examine whether race influences NFL teams’ evaluation of quarterbacks, controlling for information available before the draft. I seek to answer two questions at this stage in the analysis. First, does race influence draft order among players who are drafted, all else equal? Second, among collegiate players, does race influence the likelihood of being drafted at all? The sample contains NFL Draft data for 2002-2018, and collegiate passing sta-

18 Jeffery M., Wooldridge, “Introduction to Econometrics: A Modern Approach.”, Cengage Learning 19 Ibid. 20 David J., Berri, and Rob Simmons, “Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League.” 21 Ibid. 9

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tistics and other factors from 2002-2017. This information was available for 849 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks, 180 of whom were selected in the NFL draft. All collegiate and draft data were obtained from All data manipulation and statistical analyses were performed using R software version 3.5.3. In an effort to isolate the effect of race, we must identify covariates that are known to influence a player’s pre-draft evaluation. Because in-game performance will certainly affect a player’s perceived value, I include the “QBScore” metric outlined in the preceding section. Player evaluations are also influenced by the caliber of competition faced by a QB in his college career.22 To account for this, I include “Conference,” a 6-factor categorical variable. To control for team success, I define “Ranked25” as a binary variable taking a value of 1 if the player’s team finished in the top 25 in AP polling in more than half of his seasons, and “WinPercent” as the proportion of games won during his career. Finally, because the data span over a 16-year time period, bias may arise from aggregate changes in the value of the QB position over time. Thus, I include yearly fixed effects terms to account for variability of quarterback value in the draft. The literature suggests that the effect of race will not be consistent at differing levels of on-field performance; for example, Doran & Doran observed a significant effect of race only at certain salary quantiles.23 This differential race effect by skill level makes sense intuitively, as teams may moderate discriminatory behavior in order to land a highly-touted player. Slope-vari-

ant effects are captured by interacting race and QBScore in the model. I will first focus on the 180 quarterbacks drafted between 2002 and 2018 to determine whether race affects the order in which players are selected in the draft. Overall draft pick is used as the outcome variable, and is treated as numeric. A linear model to predict overall draft pick using the established set of covariates is shown below in Equation 2: Picki = b 0 + cRi + b1 (Ri # QBScorei) 5 15 (2) / b j Xij + / dt Yearit + fi j=2


where Ri represents a race indicator taking on a value of 1 for minority players, Xij represents the value of covariate j for player i, represents the race difference at QBScore = 0, and b1 represents the rate of change of the race effect at differing values of QBScore. A significant and positive coefficient in this model would signify lower average all-else-equal draft selections for minority quarterbacks. Estimated parameters for the regression model and their standard errors are shown in Table 1. The estimated coefficients are statistically insignificant on both the race dummy variable (p = .509) and the race-QBScore interaction term (p = .805). As such, we fail to reject the null hypothesis that the effect of race on overall draft pick is equal to zero, and conclude that race does not seem to influence draft order among players selected in the draft. Though race does not appear to affect the order that a player is taken in the draft, there is still the potential for racial differences to play out among fringe players who are on the cusp of being selected. To ad-

22 Blair, Kerkhoff, “SEC Leads Breakdown of NFL Draft Picks by Conference since 1998.”, The Kansas City Star 23 James S. Doran and David R. Doran, “Inequality in Pay: A Study of Wage Disparity in the NFL,” Social Science Research Network Electronic Journal, 2004, doi:10.2139/ssrn.628422. 10

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“For the 92% of quarterbacks in our sample below this performance threshold, being a minority decreases the odds of being selected in the draft, all else equal.”

(3) Pi ln ( 1 - P ) = b 0 + cRi + b1 (Ri # QBScore) i 5




+ / b j Xij + / d t Yearit where the symbols on the right-hand side of the equation are identical to those in Equation 2, and Pi represents the probability that player i is selected in the draft. In order to develop a more useful interpretation of the model, the coefficients may be exponentiated to obtain odds ratios, as demonstrated in Equation 4. The interpretation on the odds ratio is more intuitive; a unit increase in X multiplies the odds of being drafted by the odds ratio. Thus, in the presence of discrimination, we would expect the sum of the exponentiated coefficient and interaction coefficient to be less than 1, implying decreased odds of being drafted for minority quarterbacks. Odds ratios for the estimated parameters in the logistic regression model and their standard errors are shown in Table 2. In this model, we observe a significant (p = .002) odds ratio on the race dummy coefficient of 0.436, and an odds ratio on the interaction coefficient of 1.017 (p = .012). Thus, race has a significant negative effect in predicting the odds of being drafted, with the negative effect diminishing and eventually flipping at higher levels of QBScore. The sign of the race effect flips at a QBScore of 48.765, which is in percentile 92 of the QBScore distribution. Thus, for the 92% of quarterbacks in our sample below this performance threshold, being a minority decreases the odds of being selected in the draft, all else equal. At a QBScore of 100, the race effect is insignificant, with 95% confidence bounds [.484, 10.817]. As such, we may infer that among high skill

dress this question, I include all 849 FBS quarterbacks in the sample period and construct a logistic regression model to predict the likelihood of being drafted, again controlling for quantitative information available to teams before the draft. The covariate model specification is identical to the preceding analysis. A generic form of the logistic regression model is shown in Equation 3:


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quarterbacks with high levels of QBScore, there is no significant effect of minority status on the odds of being drafted, while for lower-skill quarterbacks, there is a strong and significant negative effect. This result is represented visually in Figure 1. Each point represents a predicted probability of being drafted for each player in the sample, as generated by fitted values for the logistic regression model. Logistic regression estimates are shown for white and nonwhite subsets on the data. The selective effect of race on low-skill quarterbacks can be observed by noting the lower predicted probabilities for nonwhite players on the left side of the figure.

ination, the discriminated group will receive less compensation for comparable performance. If this is true, a team that employs more of the discriminated group will receive greater output per unit cost, and thus perform better over time.24 I will extend Syzmanski & Preston’s logic to player-level characteristics. In the presence of discrimination, minority quarterbacks will be drafted later on average

Assessing Racial Differences in Draft Error I will now flip the question in the prior analysis and use post-draft NFL performance data to determine whether minority players are systematically under-drafted. The idea is similar to that used in a 2008 paper by Stefan Syzmanski and Ian Preston in detecting discrimination in English soccer. The authors compared the success of soccer clubs to determine whether teams with higher minority representation tend to perform better. The logical basis in the analysis is that, in the presence of discrim-

24 Stefan, Syzmanski, and Ian Preston, “Racial Discrimination in English Professional Football.”, Scottish Journal of Political Economy 12

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than under purely skill-based evaluation. As such, minority quarterbacks will have higher average performance for comparable draft placement. Under this framework, I will determine whether there are systematic racial differences in “draft error;” that is, examine whether minority quarterbacks tend to out-perform their draft ranking to a greater degree than white players. To employ this strategy, we need outcome variables that are indicative of a quarterback’s career success at the professional level. I again use QBScore from Berri et al. to account for per-game on-field performance factors. To assess team success, I will use career win percentage and number of wins over the quarterback’s career. Longevity is also an important factor, so I include games started over a player’s entire career. The sample contains NFL passing and team statistics from 2000-2018, and NFL Draft data from 2000-2011. To avoid censoring bias, I only include players drafted in or before 2011 to allow sufficient career development. This procedure resulted in a sample of 99 quarterbacks. To detect racial differences in draft error, I regress each outcome measure on race and overall draft pick. Once again, to account for differential effects of race across the skill spectrum, race and draft pick are interacted in each model. I observed a non-linear, decaying relationship between overall draft pick and the longevity outcomes, so I assign an inverse functional form to the pick variable in the models for “Wins” and “Games Started.” A generic regression equation for this analysis is shown in Equation 5 below:

model, and the “Pick” independent variable is assigned an inverse transformation for the Wins and Games Started models. Estimated coefficients and their standard errors are shown for each model in Table 3. As anticipated, overall draft pick is significant and negatively associated with each performance outcome (p < .001 in all models), that is, players taken earlier in the draft tend to perform better in the NFL. Both the race dummy variable and the interaction term are insignificant in predicting QBScore and career winning percentage. However, turning to the longevity outcomes on the right half of the table, we observe significant coefficients for both the race dummy variable and the interaction term. In the model to predict games started, we observe a coefficient of -29.410 (p = .048) on the race dummy variable, and an offsetting positive coefficient of 0.281 (p = .077) on the race-pick interaction term. Given these parameters, the sign of the effect flips in the early fourth round of the draft, at pick 104. As such, we infer that, with regard to longevity, minority players tend to be under-valued relative to white players in the later rounds of the draft and over-valued in the early rounds. We observe a similar result in the model for career wins, with a coefficient of

“In both stages of the analysis, I observe racial differences only at the lower end of the skill spectrum.”

(5) Yi = b 0 + cRi + b1 (Ri # QBScorei) + b2 Pick + f i where Yi represents the outcome for each 13

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-16.50 (p = .067) on the race dummy and a positive coefficient of 0.168 (p = .081) on the interaction term. With similar interpretation to the prior result, we infer that minority players are under-valued relative to white players in the later rounds of the draft. The results for games started and wins are represented visually in Figure 2. Each player in the sample is represented by a point, and model estimates are shown for white and nonwhite subsets of the data for the regression with an inverse transformation on the pick variable. We can observe the differential effect of race over the draft range by inspecting the varying slopes of the subset models.

study improves upon existing methodology by adequately controlling for individual player characteristics, most notably ingame performance. In using NFL data to detect differences in outcomes controlling for draft order, there is no need to make assumptions about the NFL’s consensus player evaluations. Rather, I am able to use differences in factual outcomes to determine whether minority players are systematically overlooked. There are still limitations inherent in this analysis. In addition to the omitted variable bias discussed above affecting the collegiate data models, there is a limited sample size of minority quarterbacks available for the NFL analysis. Of the 99 quarterbacks in the sample, only 19 were nonwhite. Having such an unbalanced sample limits the precision of estimates. Though these results may point to the presence of discrimination in the draft, the limitations inherent in observational analysis as well as those specific to this study make it difficult and unjust to label the differences as outright discrimination. However, the historical evidence for racial controversy in the NFL makes the present results worth considering. In both

Discussion Though the present analysis does not escape the limitations inherent in detecting racial discrimination through observational data, several of the shortcomings in the prior literature were addressed and palliated through this new methodology. The use of the draft as an outcome variable improves upon past research, as the draft is not diluted by guidelines surrounding contract negotiations. Additionally, this 14

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stages of the analysis, I observe racial differences only at the lower end of the skill spectrum. This selective effect among lowskill quarterbacks may have a meaningful practical interpretation. Highly valued minority players are unlikely to be discriminated against given their well-known potential to add value to an NFL team, which could likely offset any discriminatory tendencies. In addition, these players are highly touted and discussed in the media before the draft, and discrimination against these players would have to be played out much more visibly in the public eye. Further, minority players with lower natural ability may be easier targets for discrimination. While higher draft picks are primarily evaluated on their raw athletic talent that they demonstrated in college, lower draft picks will be highly scrutinized based on their potential to learn and improve. Evaluation of these “intangible” skills may be influenced to a greater degree by racial biases. This point is well illus-

trated by the Washington Post study cited earlier, which found that white players are more often praised for their intelligence, understanding of the game, and command of the team.25 These are the “intangible” assets that NFL teams are looking for in late-round draft picks, which may partially explain the selective effect of race on lowskill quarterbacks observed in this study. Though these findings must be taken with a grain of salt due to fundamental limitations, they do point in the direction of an ongoing and problematic trend in the NFL. The issues surrounding race in the league, such as the anthem protest, the Kaepernick lawsuit, and the weak representation of minorities in ownership have often escalated into full-blown controversies and have become politicized beyond the point of productive dialogue. Given the sensitivity of these issues, empirical study is critical in order to understand the problem from a neutral perspective. This study serves as an attempt to uncover and understand

25 Boylan, Christopher, et al. “NFL Draft Profiles Are Full of Racial Stereotypes. And That Matters for When Quarterbacks Get Drafted.” 15

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the controversies that have faced the NFL for years, and hopefully future research in this area will spur the league to address any problematic tendencies.

to acknowledge Dr. Hongmei Jiang for volunteering as a reviewer and providing a valued second opinion on the thesis. I’d like to thank all of the professors in the statistics department who have served as Acknowledgements role models and mentors to me in the past I’d like to thank Dr. Thomas Severi- four years. And of course, I want to thank ni for serving as my advisor this year. His my family for their continued support and support throughout the research process encouragement through my four years at and contributions to the methodology and Northwestern. ■ manuscript were invaluable. I’d also like Bibliography Belzer, Jason. “2018 NFL Draft FirstRound Rookie Salary Projections: What Mayfield, Barkley And Darnold Will Make.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Apr. 2018, Berri, David J., and Rob Simmons. “Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League.” Journal of Sports Economics, vol. 10, no. 1, Feb. 2009, pp. 23–43., doi:10.1177/1527002508327383. Blank, Rebecca M., et al. Measuring Racial Discrimination. National Academies Press, 2004. Boylan, Christopher, et al. “NFL Draft Profiles Are Full of Racial Stereotypes. And That Matters for When Quarterbacks Get Drafted.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 27 Apr. 2017, wp/2017/04/27/nfl-draft-profilesare-full-of-racial-stereotypes-andthat-matters-for-when-quarterbacks-get-drafted/?utm_term=. e5584096c4e7. Corner, Jahmal. “NFL: League under Scrutiny for Lack of Minority Coaches.” Reuters, 1 Jan. 2019, www. Doran, James S., and David R. Doran. “Inequality in Pay: A Study of Wage Disparity in the NFL.” Social Science Research Network Electronic Journal, 2004, doi:10.2139/ssrn.628422. Ferrucci, Patrick, and Edson C. Tandoc.

“The Spiral of Stereotyping: Social Identity Theory and NFL Quarterbacks.” Howard Journal of Communications, vol. 29, no. 2, Dec. 2017, pp. 107–125., doi:10.1080/10646175. 2017.1315693. Gius, Mark, and Donn Johnson. “Race and Compensation in Professional Football.” Applied Economics Letters, vol. 7, no. 2, Feb. 2000, pp. 73– 75., doi:10.1080/135048500351843. Harper, S. R. (2018, May 24). There would be no NFL without black players. They can resist the anthem policy. Retrieved from https:// posteverything/wp/2018/05/24/ there-would-be-no-nfl-withoutblack-players-they-can-resistthe-anthem-policy/?utm_term=.92367bb814b2 Hlavac, Marek. stargazer: Well-Formatted Regression and Summary Statistics Tables. R package version 5.2.1. 2018. package=stargazer. Used to generate all original tables in this manuscript. Kahn, Lawrence M. “The Effects of Race on Professional Football Players Compensation.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 45, no. 2, 1992, pp. 295–310., doi:10.1177/001979399204500207. Kerkhoff, Blair. “SEC Leads Breakdown of NFL Draft Picks by Conference since 1998.” The Kansas City Star, 6 May 2014, www.kansascity. com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/ campus-corner/article351211/SECleads-breakdown-of-NFL-Draftpicks-by-conference-since-1998. html. Mather, V. A Timeline of Colin Kaepernick vs. the N.F.L. 2019. Re-

trieved from https://www.nytimes. com/2019/02/15/sports/nfl-colin-kaepernick-protests-timeline.html Reid, Jason, and Jane McManus. “The NFL’s Racial Divide.” The Undefeated, n.d., features/the-nfls-racial-divide/. Sports Reference LLC. - Pro Football Statistics and History. https://www. Used to obtain all collegiate, professional, and draft data. Syzmanski, Stefan, and Ian Preston. “Racial Discrimination in English Professional Football.” Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol. 47, no. 4, 2008, pp. 342–363., doi: 10.1111/1467-9485.00168. Tadych, Frank. “Image, Marketing Everything for NFL Rookies.” NFL. com, National Football League, 26 July 2012, news/story/09000d5d80938690/ article/image-marketing-everything-for-nfl-rookies. Therber, Frank. “The Anatomy Of An NFL Player Contract.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Mar. 2016, Wickham, H. ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. Springer-Verlag New York, 2016. Used to generate all figures in this manuscript. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. Introduction to Econometrics: A Modern Approach. Cengage Learning, 2014. Berri, D J, and B Burke. Economics of the National Football League: the State of the Art. Edited by K G Quinn, Springer, 2014. Chapter 8.


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Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes:

Portending a Different Future for Black Quarterbacks? by Shreyas Iyer


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n Sept. 22, 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens faced off in a battle between two of the National Football League’s brightest stars, in quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Although the Ravens held a 6-point lead after the first quarter, the team’s defense fell prey to a Chiefs onslaught in the second quarter, as Kansas City scored 23 unanswered points. The Chiefs won the game 33-28, en route to the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory in February 2020 against the San Francisco 49ers. That September game may eventually reside in the footnotes of football history: a normal Week 3 game on just another fall Sunday in America. That contest, however, may be a harbinger of a different NFL that most football devotees have not yet seen, one in which black quarterbacks thrive in offenses tailored to their skill sets and inspire legions of fans to enjoy a new generation of stellar quarterback play. In Sam Allnutt’s thorough examination of minority quarterbacks in the NFL, he finds that lower-evaluated minority players are undervalued by the NFL’s draft process. Whereas higher-ranked black stars — Heisman-winning Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray comes to mind immediately — tend to be graded more fairly, lower-ranked quarterbacks may face more obstacles to carving out a stable playing career. As Allnutt notes, racial controversy and discrimination is no stranger to football; from youth leagues on, black players are shepherded away from the quarterback position toward positions that rely less on intangibles and leadership. Despite a record-setting Heisman campaign in 2016 and a similarly astounding 2017 follow-up, NFL commentators, most notably former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian, ascribed the seemingly-perfect role for someone of Jackson’s build: running back. Production, accolades, and abilities be damned; a black quarterback is a runner first, and a passer second. Although Allnutt’s analysis does not take into consideration players drafted after 2011, the recent play of black quarterbacks across the league is inspiring optimism for those who want greater parity in football’s most important and influential position. Mahomes and Jackson were the most recent two NFL Most Valuable Players and are at this point surefire stars, but the current spate of black quarterback success remains unprecedented in NFL history. Last season should have put to rest any lingering doubts of if minority quarterbacks can succeed in the NFL. Jackson, Mahomes, and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson dominated MVP chatter last fall when all three scored in the top 5 in total quarterback rating, or QBR, for the season. The rating, created by ESPN in 2011, quantifies all of a quarterback’s impacts on winning. Fellow signal-caller Deshaun Watson dragged another decent Houston Texans squad to the playoffs, and much-maligned Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak

“Production, accolades, and abilities be damned; a black quarterback is a runner first, and a passer second.”


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FEATURE Prescott threw a personal record of 30 touchdowns off of 4,902 yards. Four black quarterbacks finished with an elusive perfect passer rating in at least one game out of five quarterbacks total. Four black quarterbacks finished in the top five in total touchdowns scored last season. Four black quarterbacks led their team to the playoffs, and won a combined five playoff games. By any measure, black quarterbacks in 2019 excelled in ways we have not seen before. And yet, racial controversy continues to rear its ugly head. After a 20-17 loss to Tennessee in 2018, Watson was castigated on social media for his performance. One of those comments, by Texas school superintendent Lynn Redden, claimed that “you can’t count on a black quarterback” to make “precision decision making.” The statement went viral and cost Redden his job. San Francisco 49ers analyst Tim Ryan compared Jackson’s skin color to a football and claimed that defenders could be easily misled by the quarterback’s fakes. Quarterbacks at the collegiate level, as Bill Polian’s earlier running back comment shows, are still subject to double standards when compared to their white peers, who are often considered more intelligent than they are. The quarterback position is one of the few positions in any sport that has attained an almost superhuman significance in popular culture. Star quarterbacks are deified by fans and vilified by foes, and are almost always the face of their respective teams. Tales of winning under pressure and leading a team in the face of adversity typically feature a quarterback rallying his troops. As such, improving equity at the quarterback position is vital for how we perceive traits such as leadership, poise, acumen, and other factors that Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks possess. In the past, pseudo-intellectual myths of subpar black intelligence buttressed the notion that only white players could play quarterback. Whenever a commentator suggests that a black college star transition to wide receiver, they reinforce, perhaps unknowingly, these Jim Crow tropes. Americans accustomed to football management shuttling black players to these more “athletic” positions may view the positive traits associated with quarterbacks as reflecting whiteness. An NFL brimming with black quarterbacks, however, could cement black leadership on millions of TV sets around the nation and eradicate many of the pernicious falsehoods that surround black athletes. In this regard, it may be more important for us to look not at the top of the QBR rankings to observe progress on this front, but rather at the bottom of the depth chart. A stronger measure of where minority quarterback stands may lie with how NFL management views lower-performing black quarterbacks. Allnutt writes that scouts frequently undervalue black quarterbacks during the draft process; they end up less heralded than their more successful peers. If this is the case, the next standard by which we discern the state of black quarterbacks in the NFL should be whether black quarterbacks that lack the talent of a Mahomes or a Prescott can stick around in the league. The verdict on this statistic is historically not great, but more black quarterbacks are establishing themselves as backups and spot starters. Tyrod Taylor established himself as a reliable starter and back-up after making the 2015 Pro Bowl and leading the Buffalo Bills to the 2017 playoffs. Teddy Bridgewater was one of the most 19

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sought-after free agents this past winter after not losing a game for the New Orleans Saints, and should start for the New York Jets this fall. Others, such as Brett Hundley, Geno Smith, Josh Johnson, and Robert Griffin III still compete for backup spots. The Las Vegas Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to compete with Derek Carr, and Jameis Winston should land on his feet by the time training camp begins after throwing 30 touchdowns last season. The future is undoubtedly bright for younger minority quarterbacks. Last year, Murray and Dwayne Haskins, Jr. were first-round draft picks and started for their respective teams; Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and displayed tantalizing potential in spurts for the Cardinals. Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa and Utah State’s Jordan Love, and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts heard their names called in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. Ohio State’s Justin Fields led his team to the College Football Playoff, and a slew of other quarterbacks, including Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels and Georgia’s Jamie Newman, can increase their national profiles with strong seasons. Minority quarterbacks have taken the league by storm as NFL teams have begun to design their offenses around the prodigious abilities that these quarterbacks have brought to the league. Alnutt points to discrepancies at the lower end of the talent spectrum as an indication that despite the success of minority quarterbacks, the NFL still has work to do to ensure racial parity at the position. Alnutt’s research should serve as a springboard for the tough discussions we need to have in order to develop the mindsets required to ensure equal opportunity for all budding athletes. Hopefully, we will begin to view black quarterbacks, and black leadership, as emblematic of an NFL that supports the best of what our country’s athletes have to offer. ■


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Department of African American Studies

Radical Redress: Black Birth Workers Respond to Maternal Mortality

by Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike Abstract Since the postpartum death of #BlackLivesMatter activist Erica Garner in December 2017 and the harrowing birth narrative released by tennis champion Serena Williams in January 2018, an apparent crisis of Black maternal mortality has breached public discourse in the United States.12 The public’s uptake of this tragedy aligns with the nation’s anti-Black preoccupation with sensationalizing Black pathology.3 Media representation of the crisis elides the pre-existing grassroots activism through which Black people directly confront the social structures that endanger Black birthing people. This paper centers the narratives of Black birthers and birth workers — midwives and doulas — to reveal the practices through which Black people heal themselves and one another through birth work. I will briefly analyze the media coverage of Black maternal mortality and establish how Black birth workers address it through counter-representational movements toward honoring Black embodied knowledge. Using qualitative interviews with seven Black doulas and midwives, I argue that Black birth workers draw from their positions as Black people in an anti-Black society to oppose obstetric violence. This study demonstrates how Black people enact radical care to combat popular media’s pathologizing treatment of Black birth and consolidate birth and racial justice agendas. 1 Katie Mitchell, “Why We Need To Talk About Maternal Mortality After Erica Garner’s Death,” Bustle, 2 Rob Haskell, “Serena Williams on Motherhood, Marriage, and Making Her Comeback,” Vogue, www. 3 Haile E. Cole, “Reproduction on Display: Black Maternal Mortality, The Newest Case for National Action,” Northwestern University Department of African American Studies, 19 April 2018, Kresge Centennial Hall, Evanston, IL. Talk. 21

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wifery as a radical tradition being systematically effaced. To begin, Efe retold the story of hospital birth as an emerging norm: Black women home-birthed throughout the 20th century due to anti-Black hospital discrimination. Black and Indigenous grand midwives “stepped up” to act as holistic healthcare providers “while they were being criminalized and over-regulated.” According to Efe, there is a history of Medicaid and other state health departments “eradicating” Black and Indigenous grand midwives and “only then” allowing Black people into hospitals in lieu of Black midwifery. She argued that “bringing our midwives back into our hospitals” should be a key fight under the banner of birth justice, asking, “Why isn’t [midwife support] our focus? So that doulas can continue to act as bodyguards?” She said that she was tired of being “kicked out of hospital rooms” and “cornered by nurses” so that her clients could be manipulated and abused. Efe explained that doula care alone cannot sufficiently shift a system built to

On Feb. 18, 2019, Ancient Song Doula Services, a community-based birth justice organization, and BYP100, a national racial justice organizing coalition, rallied outside of Kings County City Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. I streamed their rally via Instagram Live at 1 p.m.,1 becoming one of hundreds of global participants witnessing the storytelling of Black birth workers and birthing people.2 One birth worker, a doula and student midwife named Efe, spoke at the rally with a mother for whom she had provided doula care. New York had recently proposed a Medicaid expansion to cover doula services, but Efe’s speech sought to steer the conversation away from this decision. Efe shifted focus toward the importance of Black and Indigenous midwives, who she said laid the groundwork for the very inception of doula care. Efe’s storytelling reframes doula care’s potential for redressing Black maternal mortality, calling attention to Black mid-

1 A great deal of the social media sources here analyzed were ephemeral texts. For example, Instagram stories and lives (videos) often disappear after 24 hours unless the original person who posts the story or live elects to archive that material for continuous public access. That being the case, if an item is not cited it is because it cannot be referenced again, but I was fortunate to engage with it and analyze it while it was available. Instagram posts (videos and pictures on a public page), tweets, Facebook statuses, and other social media with more permanence are cited. 2 Throughout this work, I have tried to remain skeptical of how birth has been gendered as the inherent domain of cis-women. In an era in which trans and gender nonconforming people are increasingly gaining access to labor, facing obstetric violence, and seeking birth work, it would be inaccurate to suggest every Black person who gives birth identifies as a woman. Additionally, gender nonconforming and birth workers who identify as men are often erased from this practice (Graham). When speaking of Black people engaging childbirth as a general experience, I will aim to use genderless language (birth giver, birther, person giving birth, people, etc.). When speaking of professionals facilitating birth in general, I will use “birth worker,” “doula,” and “midwife” as genderless terms (although gender has been built into the etymology of these labels, and another space for radical imagination would be formulating new vocabulary for more accurately discussing birth). When gendered language is incited, it will be because I refer to a specific entity whose gender identity is publicly known and has been stated in the source. For example, many of my featured Black midwives refer to themselves as Black women. Unfortunately, only two of my respondents identified as queer Black people, and only one used the gender-neutral pronoun “they” interchangeably with “she” (which is reflected in the section in which their sentiments are used). It would be a priority of future, more extensive research to expand my body of respondents to include more gender non-conforming, gender non-binary, and genderqueer persons.

“My next birth is gonna be different. It’s gonna be so different, because I’m not gonna have to feel like I’m not gonna be heard.” 22

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silence and harm Black birthing people and birth workers. Efe’s birth work is informed by a larger project of racial justice, and she provides care in connection to the history of criminalization marking Black midwifery in the U.S. For Efe, as she would go on to state in our later interview, radical Black doula care requires the genuine recuperation of Black midwifery. These coupled care practices vitally disrupt a birth industry in which obstetricians hold the greatest power. Efe’s client shared her own experience at Kings County. Her words demonstrate her imagination of what birth justice could afford her and other birthers: “The reason I’m out here is so simple: my next birth is gonna be different. It’s gonna be so different, because I’m not gonna have to feel like I’m not gonna be heard. I’m not gonna have to feel like I’m gonna walk into a hospital, and they’re gonna do whatever the hell it is that they’re gonna want to do with my body without my consent. ...That’s gonna be a story that’s not gonna be told anymore.” This speaker participated in this rally to register her outrage and manifest her vision of repair. She asked whether the disregard she experienced in a city hospital was due to her race, age, or her use of Medicaid. She queried whether some facet of her social identity determined her experience. She asked, “Why? Why do you treat us this way?!” Her voice and body shook, as she exclaimed, “How can you strap me down to perform a c-section? I’m the last person to hold my baby! I had to wait a whole 24 hours to hold my son! He was in the NICU; I didn’t know why!” This mother shared her trauma to

demonstrate the violent alienation and dehumanization Black birthing people experience in labor and the postpartum period. While the popular media stories about Black maternal life focus on sudden death and neglect, Black birth workers and birth justice activists have long exposed the subtler wounds inflicted on birthing people. These wounds accumulate in the body and result in a disproportionate risk of death. The protesters marched to another city hospital with a similar reputation of harming Black birthing people. Organizers made it clear that the second hospital, which predominantly served Black people, had such poor quality of care that it was “basically a grave site.” The Instagram Live ended as organizers remarked, “Black death is literally in the air as we stand.” Several people can be seen gripping their coats closer to their skin, as if to seal themselves up from lingering fragments of literal and “social death.”3 I open with this vignette to illustrate the powerful organizational and personal partnerships characterizing Black birth as a site of activism and radical care. Efe and her client illustrate how birth workers and birthing people ally in their Blackness to reconstruct the stories told about Black birth.

The Birth Justice Banner The previously-detailed rally aimed to advance birth justice. The Black women-led birth justice grassroots organization Black Women Birthing Justice defines birth justice as the end-state that results when “women and transfolk are empowered during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and postpartum to make healthy decisions

3 Michael J. Dumas and Kihana Miraya Ross, “‘Be Real Black for Me,’” Urban Education, vol. 51, no. 4, 2016, pp. 415–442., doi:10.1177/0042085916628611. 23

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for themselves and their babies.”4 Birth justice attends to the ways in which social structures determine one’s experience of the physiological event of birth, perinatal care, and childrearing. Birth justice activists such as the organizers in the vignette confront racial disparities in childbirth, contending with Blackness as a social position shaping one’s birth. In 2016, a jarring statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, circulated via numerous media pieces, such as “Black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers.”5 In 2017, ProPublica and NPR co-published the story of Shalon Irving, a Black mother who died postpartum despite having attained high levels of education and financial security, factors generally expected to protect birthing people from adverse outcomes.6 This story led a wave of news coverage that seemed to suggest Black birthing people were dying of their own accord; a media sensation emerged, fixated on a pathological image of Black birth. This paper will illuminate the approaches, practices, and networks through which Black people redress Black maternal mortality through birth work, centering the (counter) stories they tell about Black birth. This research focuses on doula care and midwifery as forms of birth work, although birth work is a term representing a wide umbrella of professions and roles enlisted to support the perinatal experience. A doula is “a trained childbirth [aid] who

“Anti-Blackness ... is the belief that the Black body exists as mutually exclusive from the human.” provides emotional, physical, and informational support to women during labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period.”7 This quote characterizes doula work as a “profession” but many doulas, especially those interviewed as part of this thesis, such as Efe, reflected an understanding of doula work that resists professionalization. Doula care has been proven to improve birth outcomes for marginalized populations, significantly lowering preterm births, improving birth weight, and bettering birthing people’s chances of completing often life-saving postpartum visits.8 An under-examined underpinning to the efficacy of doula care is its continuity with the community-based care of granny midwives. Granny midwives, who Efe mentioned in her rally speech, are generally local female elders who assist births and provide other health resources.9 Granny midwifery leverages ancestral knowledge; it is a practice passed down generationally, initiated during the time of Black enslavement and eroded by governmental

4 “What Is Birth Justice?”, Black Women Birthing Justice, 5 Nina Martin, and Renee Montagne, “Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth,” ProPublica, 6 Ibid. 7 Mary-Powel Thomas et al., “Doula Services Within a Healthy Start Program: Increasing Access for an Underserved Population,” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 21, no. Supplement 1, 2017, pp. 60. 8 Ibid., pp. 60-61. 9 Susan Lynn Smith, “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women’s Health Activism in America, 1890-1950,” University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995, pp. 119. 24

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“Afro-pessimism holds that there has never been a discontinuation breaking contemporary Black life from the traumatic condition of enslavement. ” intervention.10,11 Birth justice activists and birth workers nationwide have mobilized behind doula access, but my conversations with Black birth workers suggests a pivot in focus toward healing the historical denigration of Black midwives. By centering and honoring Black birth workers as authorities on Black birth, we extract a richer picture of the care and crises intermingled in the Black perinatal experience in the U.S.

breaking contemporary Black life from the traumatic condition of enslavement. This continuity means that Blackness is always “already targeted for death, in the literal sense and in terms of what Orlando Patterson (1982) calls ‘social death,’” which is where “the participation of Black people in civic life, as citizens, is made unintelligible by the continual re-inscribing and re-justification of violence on and against Black bodies.”13 Anti-Blackness, which is the belief that the Black body exists as mutually exclusive from the human,14 is consistently present as racialized subjects move through the medical complex of the U.S.15 Throughout this nation’s history, extreme policing has marked Black peoples’ birthing experiences, codifying Blackness as a social location characterized by reproductive oppression.16 Birth justice is an end-state in which one may birth and parent outside the reach of harm regardless of one’s social location; birth justice activists engage resistance tactics to work toward this vision.

Theorizing Birth Justice

The birth workers featured in this research actively generate racialized birth theory through which they imagine justice. The social location of Blackness in an anti-Black society shapes the relationships Black people have with structures of the U.S. medical complex. This research will wield the following assumption about what it means ontologically to be racialized as Black in the U.S.: “Antiblackness is endemic to, and is central to how all of us make sense of the social, economic, historical, and cultural dimensions of human Toward Justice: Defining life.”12 Birth Worker’s Field of This tenet of Black critical race theAction ory, BlackCrit, comes out of the project I pull the term “field of action” from of Afro-pessimism. Afro-pessimism holds 17 that there has never been a discontinuation Saidiya Hartman’s “Scenes of Subjection.” 10 Ibid. 11 Onnie Lee Logan, and Katherine Clark, “Motherwit an Alabama Midwife’s Story,” Plume, 1991. 12 Dumas and Ross, “Be Real Black,” pp. 429. 13 Ibid. 14 Sylvia Wynter, “‘No Humans Involved:’ An Open Letter to My Colleagues,” Forum N.H.I. Knowledge for the 21st Century, vol. 1, no. 1, 1994, pp. 42–73. 15 See Bridges for examples regarding pregnancy. 16 Dorothy Roberts, “Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty,” Vintage Books, 1997. 17 Saidiya V. Hartman, “Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America,” Oxford Universi25

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“Field of action” describes the context in which resistance is performed. For birth workers, this context is defined by historically-rooted obstetric violence and the structures that protect it. Deidre Cooper Owens’ “Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology” analyzes the torture of enslaved Black women at the hands of James Marion Sims, the American Father of Gynecology. Owens explains obstetrics’ foundations in this violence. Owens says, “Slavery, medicine, and science had a synergistic relationship,” in that “the various medical interventions performed on enslaved women’s bodies were the sine qua non of racialized medicine and the legitimization of medical branches like obstetrics and gynecology.”18 Owens narrates how the emergence of obstetrics as a medical profession required the eradication of Black midwifery, providing obstetrics with Black bodies as sites of experimentation. He explains, “When white men integrated obstetrics and gynecology, pregnant enslaved women who experienced difficult birthing processes became disproportionately represented in surgical cases in which doctors used blades and forceps to remove fetuses. Surgeries were quite rare in the first half of the nineteenth century, so it is astounding how many medical journal articles listed enslaved women as surgical patients.”19 Black birthing people were not overrepresented in medical journals due to some recurrent racial birthing pathology; they were overrepresented as medical sub-

jects because they were made more available for intervention. In the early- to mid1800s, physicians targeted Black midwives and healers alongside their birth-giving clients. Midwives were subject to punishments including execution, although their practices were often regarded amongst enslaved Black and white women alike as “more efficacious.”20 Dorothy Roberts’ “Killing the Black Body” depicts how Black birthers, there gendered as women, are disproportionately vulnerable to policing and surveillance, because the state assumes that they will pass their inherent “degeneracy” down to their offspring.21 The over-policing of Black birthing people more contemporarily is continuous with the logic of slavery-era obstetricians and gynecologists who, “[w]hen infants died, castigated the sloth and ignorance of their mothers and the black midwives who attended them.”22 Black birthers and midwives were blamed for the deaths, ignoring “antebellum doctors’ disdain for hand washing” and the unsanitary settings to which slave shacks were relegated to keep them as far as possible from “whites’ dwellings.”23 Conditions and context, as well as the harmful practices of white authorities, were overlooked in favor of criminalizing the Black body. Obstetricians mobilized racialized imagery to construct midwives’ Blackness as a source of contagion claiming Black infant lives. For example, in 1925, a doctor “read a paper before the Southern Medical Association in which he described the black midwife as ‘filthy and ignorant and not far

ty Press, 1997, pp. 50. 18 Dierdre Cooper Owens, “Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology,” University of Georgia Press, 2018, pp. 11. 19 Ibid., pp. 54. 20 Harriet A. Washington, “Medical Apartheid: the Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present,” 1st ed., Doubleday, 2006, pp. 48-64. 21 Roberts, “Killing the Black Body,” pp. 9. 22 Owens, “Medical Bondage,” pp. 63. 23 Ibid., pp. 62. 26

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removed from the jungles of Africa, laden with its atmosphere of weird superstition and voodooism.’”24 Interestingly, as recently as 2018, birth workers described obstetricians who said similar things to their Black clients. One said, “I was once assisting a mom from Sudan who didn’t want to do a vaginal exam because she was a victim of female genital mutilation ... Later, when this mom was having trouble pushing, I remember the doctor saying, ‘What’s your problem, you have other kids. Didn’t you give birth in the jungle, anyway?’”25 Here, the common incitation of “the jungle” as a signifier of proximity to animality and backwardness speaks to the underlying colonial racism that haunts birth in the U.S. The anti-Blackness of the U.S. medical complex is a vestige of racial chattel slavery, and Black birth workers utilize various practices to intervene upon this field of action. Roberts, Owens, and Washington revisit the ghost of enslavement as foundational to Black people’s navigation of reproductive healthcare, because, as one of my research respondents said, this trauma “has to live in the body.”26 The institution of slavery naturalized Black pain and rejected Black sentience, according to Saidiya Hartman. She imagines “redress” for this violence as predicated upon a theory

of “practice.” For Hartman, practice entails “a way of operating defined by ‘the non-autonomy of its field of action,’ internal manipulations of established order, and ephemeral victories.”27 In other words, practices are short-lived moments resisting the determination of an overarching structure. Birth work is a practice that manipulates the medical order from within, providing inroads by which Black birthers may access more respectful and pleasurable care. Hartman characterizes practice as being constituted by “ephemeral victories.” Each delivery is a single, transient instance within the lifetime of a birthing person, but it has the potential to reflect and transform their relationship to medical power, a potential that respondents such as Carmen and Qiddist center in their birth work.

Stories & Counter-Stories By erasing Black people’s health activism and the history of medical marginalization in the U.S., media coverage of Black maternal mortality has sought to make Black birth givers responsible for their own deaths. ProPublica,28 NPR,29 and The New York Times30 led a wave of news coverage that many of my respondents refer to as “sensationalizing” Black maternal mortality.31 Already previewed in these article titles, it would appear that Black mothers

24 Smith, “Sick and Tired,” pp. 125. 25 Emily Bobrow, “What It’s Like to Be a Doula for Women of Color,” The Cut, New York Media, what-its-like-to-be-a-doula-for-women-of-color.html. 26 “Bailey, Doula”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 13 Mar. 2019. Telephone Interview. 27 Hartman, “Scenes of Subjection,” pp. 50. 28 Martin and Montagne, “Nothing Protects Black Women.” 29 Nina Martin and Renee Montagne, “Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why,” NPR, 30 Linda Villarosa, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” The New York Times, www.nytimes. com/2018/04/11/magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html. 31 “SJ, Doula”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 4 Mar.

“Media coverage of Black maternal mortality has sought to make Black birth givers responsible for their own deaths.”


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“Through redressive practices that intervene on the birth industry as an oppressive field of action, they hope to craft new potential for pleasure and healing for birthing Black bodies.” Centering Black Birth Work as Radical Redress

are trapped in hopelessly pathological birth experiences. According to Haile Cole, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Amherst College, the current conversation surrounding Black maternal mortality simply replicates a national obsession with the diseased Black body. Her emerging research on this topic asks, “Why is it important to locate reproduction within the larger dialogues about racial domination and control, and how does reproduction work in conjunction with other technologies of racial and gender-based oppression?”32 Potential answers to these questions begin at analysis of the spectacle made of Black birth, especially as the media’s storytelling serves to erase Black agency — making Black birthers into people who “need saving” to fit easily into the American psyche.33 By demonstrating that neither wealth nor education could protect these birthing people, these reports suggest that race — the identity of Black womanhood, especially — is irrevocably damning. These reports never made the essential pivot toward elucidating race as an “organizing principle” of power.34 They did not attend to how Black birthers have historically and contemporarily been made vulnerable to violence.

In interviewing seven Black doulas and midwives, I learned how Black birth workers approach their care in response to Black maternal mortality, both as a public health crisis and a media sensation. I investigate how Black birth workers approach Black birth, asking them to reference their own and their clients’ social positioning using semi-structured interviews. I analyzed my transcripts using codes organized by three key themes: race and storytelling, including the media surrounding Black birth; race and birth work, or the tangible practices informed by social positioning; and race and redress, or how birth workers imagine solutions to maternal mortality disparities. The first names or pseudonyms of birth workers are used to properly attribute their insights, according to their stated preference. Applying critical race framing to my coded transcripts, I learned that Black birth workers approach birth work as racial justice activism and seek to redress deep obstetric wounds that result from histories of medical violence. Storytelling All the birth workers interviewed described the media sensation surrounding

2019. 32 Cole, “Reproduction on Display.” 33 Ibid. 34 Khiara Bridges, “Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization,” University of California Press, 2011, pp. 16. 28

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Black maternal mortality as de-historicized, and many of them saw Black birthers bearing disproportionate blame rather than having their accounts believed.35 Birth workers also spoke to how the media sensation created around Black maternal mortality influences their work with clients. When Efe, doula and student midwife, sees people talking about Black maternal mortality on Instagram and Twitter, “people are scared; they’re terrified.” As Qiddist, a doula, says, headlines such as her “least favorite but most telling,” which was the ProPublica “Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth,” relegate Black birthers to a position of fear and doom. Qiddist says that Black birthing people seem like “a lost cause,” and ultimately, “[t]hat’s just not true!” Qiddist feels that her role intervening in this narrative is to provide clients with diasporic practices, which she calls “protective factors,” reminding birthers that they “are not broken” and instead live within a violent system. Efe and Qiddist respond to the media sensation by guiding their clients toward avenues by which they can birth safely.

depth of consideration? It means assuming trauma as a presupposition for clients and seeing birth work and training as racially circumscribed. Doula SJ reflects that most of her Black clients specifically had “complicated relationships either to doctors or Western medicine” or knew “about how Black women are at higher risk for all sorts of complications during labor, and they [came] into that experience with more apprehension and more worry.” Similarly, doula Sade was attracted to doula care via her personal encounters with medical professionals, who generally treated her like she had no knowledge of her own body. She found doula work as a method for facilitating the reclamation of bodily autonomy for others, “specifically Black, indigenous, and queer” birthers. Sade activates her racial empathy into a birth work practice focused on recuperating personal power. In this way, Sade finds healing for herself and her clients. Radical Redress Efe applies an abolitionist framing to birth justice because she finds the entire medical system culpable for maternal deaths and aims to dismantle it. To think of birth justice through an abolitionist framework, making contemporary Black maternal mortality continuous with the legacy of slavery, indicates that Efe processes her role as a birth worker in relationship to a larger project of racial liberation. Interviews with doula Bailey and professional midwife Carmen were similarly saturated with radical imaginations of what redress could resemble for Black birthing people. For instance, Carmen considers her midwifery a method of direct action, emphasizing that she uses midwifery to “interrupt trauma.” Bailey

Trauma as a Basis for Black Birth Work As Black midwives and doulas are personally familiar with the specifics of being Black in an anti-Black world,36 they use birth work to combat the systematic dehumanization of their clients and themselves. Based on the responses of my interlocutors, I understand birth work as a practice of reciprocal healing because its radical care grasps at the root, addressing obstetric violence as just one of many manifestations of “endemic anti-Blackness.”37 What does it mean to perform birth work from this

35 “Venus, Nurse Midwife”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 6 Mar. 2019. Telephone Interview. 36 Dumas and Ross, “Be Real Black” 37 Ibid. 29

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hopes greater visibility for Black maternal mortality in public media will culminate in support for more birth centers, community-based doula collectives, and greater concern for Black women’s health overall, not just when they are “dying in pregnancy and childbirth.”38 These doulas invoke birth work toward a vision of repair in which life in a Black body is not immediately tied to death.

workers’ often trauma-informed, radical care seeks to nourish alienated bodies. Through redressive practices that intervene on the birth industry as an oppressive field of action, they hope to craft new potential for pleasure and healing for birthing Black bodies. Blackness and its attendant social death inspire these birth workers to think about “care” differently from their white counterparts, as they “comfort, and defend…those living lives… in the presConclusion ence of death.”39 Assisting birth in the conSJ, Efe, Venus, Sade, Carmen, Qid- text of constant death looks like teaching dist, and Bailey all approach their birth childbirth education in view of an altar 40 work from the social location of Black- for the lost. Black birth work, sitting in ness. The specificity of being Black in an the wake of slavery, must be centered in anti-Black world makes the body a target conversations of Black maternal health befor dismemberment and dehumanization, cause it leads us to unpack what it means both in birth as a physio-social event and to birth when one is socially constructed in the stories we tell about it. These birth antagonism to life. ■ 38 Bailey referencing the title of the article by Martin and Montagne. 39 Christina Elizabeth Sharpe, “In the Wake: on Blackness and Being,” Duke University Press, 2016, pp. 38. 40 See Appendix Image 1.

Appendix Image 1: A screenshot of @ancientsong’s Instagram story depicting an altar in honor of the Black mothers recently lost nationwide to maternal mortality.


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gress-s-maternal-mortality-prevention-n948951. Cole, Haile E. “Reproduction on Display: Black Maternal Mortality, The Newest Case for National Action.” Northwestern University Department of African American Studies, 19 April 2018, Kresge Centennial Hall, Evanston, IL. Talk. Collins, Jane L., et al. New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democracy in America. 1st ed. Santa Fe, N.M.: School for Advanced Research, 2008. Print. School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Ser Cottom, Tressie McMillan. “Pregnant Black Women Are Treated as If They’re Incompetent.” Time, Time, 8 Jan. 2019, tressie-mcmillan-cottom-thick-pregnancy-competent/. Crear Perry, Joia. “Race Isn’t a Risk Factor in Maternal Health. Racism Is.” Rewire.News, Rewire.News, 11 Apr. 2018, article/2018/04/11/maternal-healthreplace-race-with-racism/. Davis-Floyd, Robbie, and Elizabeth Davis. “Intuition as Authoritative Knowledge in Midwifery and Home Birth.” Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, edited by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd and Carolyn F. Sargent, University of California Press, 1997, 315- 349. Dawes Gay, Elizabeth. “New York Governor Cuomo Should Not Play Politics With Black Maternal Health.” Rewire.News, Rewire. News, 17 Oct. 2018, article/2018/10/17/new-york-governor-cuomo-should-not-play-politics-with-black-maternal-health/. Dumas, Michael J. “Against the Dark: Antiblackness in Education Policy and Discourse.” Theory Into Practice, vol. 55, no. 1, 2015, pp. 11–19., doi:1 0.1080/00405841.2016.1116852. Dumas, Michael J., and Kihana Miraya Ross. “‘Be Real Black for Me.’” Urban Education, vol. 51, no. 4, 2016, pp. 415–442., doi:10.1177/0042085916628611. “Efe, Doula and Student Midwife.” Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 4 Mar. 2019. Video Interview. Favela-Gary, Olivia, host. “Racha the Midwife.” This American Midwife, Apple Podcasts app, 13 February 2019. 31 of the OpFreire, Paulo. Pedagogy

pressed. Continuum, 1970. Graham, Nathalie. “Meet the Trans Midwife Changing the World’s ‘Most Gendered Profession’.” Slog, The Stranger, 8 Jan. 2019, slog/2019/01/08/37690044/meetthe-trans-midwife-changing-theworlds-most-gendered-profession. Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press, 1997. Haskell, Rob. “Serena Williams on Motherhood, Marriage, and Making Her Comeback.” Vogue, Vogue, 10 Jan. 2018, serena-williams-vogue-cover-interview-february-2018. Helm, Angela. “Kira Johnson Spoke 5 Languages, Raced Cars, Was Daughter in Law of Judge Glenda Hatchett. She Still Died in Childbirth.” The Root, The Root, 19 Oct. 2018, www. Hill Collins, Patricia. “Mammies, Matriarchs, and Other Controlling Images.” Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Unwin Hyman, 1990. Howard, Jacqueline. “Childbirth Is Killing Black Women, and Here’s Why.” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Nov. 2017, www. black-women-maternal-mortality/ index.html. Hurtado, Aída. “Theory in the Flesh: Toward an Endarkened Epistemology.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, vol. 16, no. 2, 2003, pp. 215–225., doi:10.1080/095 1839032000060617. Logan, Onnie Lee, and Katherine Clark. Motherwit an Alabama Midwife’s Story. Plume, 1991. Lorde, Audre. A Burst of Light and Other Essays. 1988. Ixia Press, 2017. Lugones, María. “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception.” Hypatia, vol. 2, no. 2, 1987, pp. 3–19. JSTOR, www.jstor. org/stable/3810013. Luna, Zakiya, and Kristin Luker. “Reproductive Justice.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, vol. 9, no. 1, 2013, pp. 327–352., doi:10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-134037.

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Johnson, Kimberly Ann, host. “Racha Lawler on Black Midwifery and Systemic Racism in Health Care.” MagaMama with Kimberly Ann Johnson, episode 38, Magamama 3, Aug. 2018, https://www.magamama. com/podcasts/ Martin, Nina. “A Larger Role for Midwives Could Improve Deficient U.S. Care for Mothers and Babies.” ProPublica, 9 Mar. 2019, Martin, Nina, and Renee Montagne. “Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth.” ProPublica, ProPublica, 7 Dec. 2017, article/nothing-protects-black-women-from-dying-in-pregnancy-andchildbirth. McCourt, Christine. Childbirth, Midwifery and Concepts of Time. New York: Berghahn , 2009. “Miriam Zoila Pérez: How Does Racism Affect Pregnant Women And Babies?” NPR, NPR/ TED, 16 Mar. 2018, www.npr. org/2018/03/16/593870089/miriam-zoila-p-rez-how-does-racism-affect-pregnant-women-and-babies. Mitchell, Katie. “Why We Need To Talk About Maternal Mortality After Erica Garner’s Death.” Bustle, Bustle, 17 Dec. 2018, after-erica-garners-death-we-needto-talk-about-how-maternal-mortality-affects-black-women-7739678. Morgan, Jennifer L. “ ‘Some Could Suckle over Their Shoulder:’ Male Travelers, Female Bodies, and the Gendering of Racial Ideology, 1500-1770.” The William and Mary Quarterly 54.1 (1997): 167-92. Web. Muhammad, Asasiya. (thepeoplesmidwife). “At 2 cm she said she couldn’t imagine how contractions could get any more intense. 12 hours later she breathed her way to 6 cm…” Instagram, 2 Mar 2019, https://www. Muhammad, Asasiya. (thepeoplesmidwife). “There are only a few people that I look to for inspiration and she is definitely one…” Instagram, 26 Jun 2018, https://www.instagram. com/p/BkgMScTg0tL/. Murphy-Lawless, Jo. Reading Birth and Death : A History of Obstetric Thinking. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1998. Nash, Jennifer. “Practicing Love: Black Feminism, Love-Politics, and Post-Intersectionality.” Meridi-

ans 11.2 (2011): 1-24. Web. Owens, Deirdre Cooper. Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology. University of Georgia Press, 2018. “Qiddist, Doula”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 13 Mar. 2019. Roberts, Dorothy. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. Vintage Books, 1997. Russel Y Rodríguez, Mónica. “Confronting Anthropology’s Silencing Praxis: Speaking Of/From a Chicana Consciousness.” Qualitative Inquiry, vol. 4, no. 1, 1998, pp. 15–40. “Sade, Doula”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 8 Mar. 2019. Telephone Interview. @SassyE.” Doulas are not the solution to Black women dying or being at risk of dying in childbirth and after. Doulas are the solution. Doulas are the not the solution. Doulas are not the solution. Doulas are not the solution. Doulas are not the solution.” Twitter, 27 Feb 2019, 11:01am, Schalk, Sami. “Coming to Claim Crip: Disidentification with/in Disability Studies.” Disability Studies Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 2, 2013, pp. Disability Studies Quarterly, 04/18/2013, Vol.33(2). Sharpe, Christina Elizabeth. In the Wake : on Blackness and Being. Duke University Press, 2016. “SJ, Doula”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 4 Mar. 2019. Smith, Susan Lynn. Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired : Black Women’s Health Activism in America, 18901950. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995. “These Doulas Are Delivering Support for Black Mothers.” HuffPost, The Huffington Post, 28 Feb. 2019, watch?v=VS-XS8oCHN4& Thomas, Mary-Powel, et al. “Doula Services Within a Healthy Start Program: Increasing Access for an Underserved Population.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 21, no. Supplement 1, 2017, pp. 59–64. Tinsley, Omise’eke Natasha. “Black Atlantic, Queer Atlantic: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage.” GLQ, vol. 14, no. 2/3, 2008, pp. 191–215. Valeii, Kathi. “Birth Needs a #MeToo Reckoning.” Dame Magazine, 26 June 2018, www.damemagazine.

com/2018/06/18/birth-needs-a-metoo-reckoning/. Varner, Cheyenne. “Life’s Work: A Photo Audio Documentary Project.” Everyday Birth Magazine, Everyday Birth Magazine, 25 Feb. 2019, Varner, Cheyenne. “Stop Telling Me Black Women Die During Childbirth And Start Showing Me How We Can Thrive.” Blavity Opinions, Blavity , 11 Mar. 2019, stop-telling-me-black-women-dieduring-childbirth-and-start-showing-me-how-we-can-thrive. “Venus, Nurse Midwife”. Interview. By Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike. 6 Mar. 2019. Telephone Interview. Villarosa, Linda. “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-orDeath Crisis.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Apr. 2018, magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html. Washington, Harriet A. Medical Apartheid : the Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. 1st ed., Doubleday, 2006. “What Is Birth Justice?” Black Women Birthing Justice, Black Women Birthing Justice , 2017, Wolf, Jacqueline H. “Risk and Reputation: Obstetricians, Cesareans, and Consent.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol. 73, no. 1, 2018, pp. 7–28. Wynter, Sylvia. “‘No Humans Involved:’ An Open Letter to My Colleagues.” Forum N.H.I. Knowledge for the 21st Century, vol. 1, no. 1, 1994, pp. 42–73.


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Degrees Don’t Make Them Distant:

Researching with Graduate Students By Andrew Laeuger

Given Northwestern University’s outstanding reputation, it is no surprise that this school has a sizeable graduate student population. In fact, according to the official Northwestern website, more than 8,000 undergrads call this place home, while over 13,000 graduate students hide among us, sneaking back to their apartments on the 201 while we eat at Sarge and Allison. Though there are few classes on campus in which graduate and undergraduate students mix, there are many opportunities to interact with graduate students within Northwestern’s academic research environment. To learn more about the experience of researching with graduate Wildcats, I caught up with Daniel Grass, a junior in the Integrated Sciences Program who works with many graduate students and postdocs in a laser optics lab.


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AL: When you first joined your optics lab, were you the only undergraduate at the time? DG: I was the only undergraduate at Northwestern in this lab. However, when I joined, the lab at Reno (University of Nevada, Reno, the prior location of the optics lab group) was transitioning to Northwestern, so I believe there were undergraduates back there. However, I never interacted with any of them. AL: Since you were the first Northwestern undergraduate in your lab, was that new step in your college experience daunting? DG: It was a little daunting. … But everyone was really supportive. The postdocs specifically gave me projects that I could work on at my own pace and that weren’t too high-pressure or dependent on the results or a certain calculation. Everyone felt new to the environment and I had been at Northwestern longer than most of the graduate students moving here from Nevada. So, in my specific scenario, there wasn’t much pressure or any awkwardness really. AL: What did you do to adjust to a lab setting with a lot of grad students? DG: In high school, I definitely knew a decent amount [about physics], but you have to reset that idea and know that you’re one of the least informed people, or the least informed person, in the room. This doesn’t necessarily mean biting your tongue, but just remembering that they know what they’re doing better than you do. Sometimes, when making comments or suggestions, I would preface those comments with the notion that “I might be telling you that water is wet, but here’s an idea to consider.” I just made it clear that I knew my position, and in turn, no external pressure was placed on me. AL: You’ve now been researching with grad students for 3 years. What has been the best part about your time, and what part has taken the most time to become comfortable with? DG: I like knowing that these graduate students and postdocs have been in my shoes before — they’ve taken courses that I might want to take. It’s nice to have a bunch of different experienced voices in the room that I can just chat with. As for the hardest thing to adjust to, there really isn’t much. We all had relatively shared experiences here at Northwestern, so we all took life as it happened. AL: Are there any other advantages to working with graduate students that you’ve seen specifically within the realm of research? DG: Generally, it’s the sort of advantages you would expect with more educated students: they would always be helpful with ordering parts or just bouncing off ideas. Postdocs are also able to easily adjust their daily schedules — they usually roll up whenever they feel like it, but work until they finish the work they need to do. 34

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FEATURE I also worked for six months at Northwestern in a chemistry lab, where the postdocs show up at 11 a.m. but stay until 8 at night. They definitely get their work done, and they work hard. Since the postdocs worked rather adjustable schedules, I could be confident that when I came into the lab after classes, there would be at least one graduate student there to answer any questions or concerns I had. AL: Northwestern has twice as many graduate students as undergraduates. Do you think this hampers the ability of undergraduates to embark on their own projects? DG: A lot of professors have specific projects and tasks set aside that undergraduates can complete. They’re certainly not menial, whereas a project given to a high school student may be. They’re important, but not too daunting. Professors know that to do good research, you need a mix of undergraduates and graduate students to take on a variety of projects. It’s just a matter of finding a professor who is doing work that is undergraduate-friendly, and that’s a relatively easy process. AL: You mentioned that when you first joined this lab, your projects or contributions were generally proposed by other group members. What habits can undergraduates pick up to get the most out of their time researching with older students? DG: Listening is a key component. These experienced researchers know the common pitfalls and have likely made mistakes similar to those you can and will make. For research in general, always assume that you’ll forget things — constantly document your work and check over your steps for consistency. Even in minor details, always be asking yourself, “What am I missing here? What haven’t I counted for? How can this go wrong?” Every little part needs to be checked when you’re doing novel research. Be aware that, however incredibly helpful graduate students may be, you will be the most informed person regarding your specific project. Have confidence! Second check rather than second guess. AL: Do you have any other final advice for new researchers about getting involved in this process? DG: In my experience, as long as you try at something, your teammates will be gracious that you are contributing to their work. It’s extremely unlikely that if you encounter difficulties, you will be holding up the entire lab. There aren’t any downsides to it, so I’d say it’s good to just jump in and see what you learn and where you go. And, of course, there will always be people there to help you.


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Department of International Studies

#MeToo In The European Parliament: A Case Study In Feminist Institutionalism

by Nicole E. Fallert


were treated in this environment, and experienced unwanted sexual attention and aggression.1 Amidst rampant sexual harassment, Ponte saw that a “culture of silence” dominated the European Parliament, or E.P. Ponte said her colleagues told her, “‘This is normal behavior. You can’t change the rules. Politicians are like that.’”2 Ponte’s friends and family know her to always be carrying a notebook, so it

It all started with a notebook. Jeanne Ponte was 23 years old in 2014 when she began working as an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant, or APA, for a French Member of the European Parliament, or MEP, in Brussels, Belgium. As a young woman in a male-dominated workplace, she immediately noticed how females

1 The definition of “sexual harassment” in this paper will accord with the EU’s official definition; “where any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading humiliating or offensive environment.” 2 Appendix 1 36

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Figure 1 ◀

wasn’t an odd choice for her to begin recording accounts of inappropriate behavior in a small flowered journal in response to what she saw. The “Little Sexism Notebook” contained over 80 testimonies by the time the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October 2017 and the viral #MeToo movement shook storied institutions around the world.3 Then Ponte’s boss French MEP Edouard Martin mentioned the notebook, with her permission, in an interview on a local radio station at the same time #MeToo went viral on social media. As the world opened its eyes to the reality of sexual harassment, Ponte’s story went everywhere within days. The notebook’s revelation signaled the start of the Parliament’s own #MeToo movement. The months following Martin’s interview brought rapid action to address Ponte’s revelation of the “open secret” of gender-based violence in the Parliament.4 Interview requests flooded Ponte’s inbox. Strangers recognized her on trains. But spokespeople from the E.P. encouraged Ponte to tell her story, so she went for it. Ponte answered every interview request, never speaking alone and never

giving names in an effort to keep the story about the problem, not the perpetrators. Then, in January 2018, Ponte and a coalition of Parliament workers officially started the MeTooEP movement. The following October, they established, an anonymous blog for survivors to publish testimonies of sexual violence in the E.P. Shortly after, they announced the MeTooEP pledge in February 2019 for candidate MEPs to sign and promise to no longer condone this behavior ahead of the E.P. elections that May. The activism following the notebook’s reveal raised an essential question for me: How do feminist movements

“The ‘Little Sexism Notebook’ contained over 80 testimonies by the time the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.”

3 Corine Goldberger, “Jeanne Ponte, the Parliamentary Assistant Who Pins the Machos.” Figure 1. 4 Nicole Fallert, “Inside the Fight to Make the European Parliament Take Sexual Harassment Seriously.” Figure 2. 37

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2014 Jeanne Ponte begins recording accounts of sexual harrassment

2014 Bureau decisions establishes EP Advisory Committee on harassment

10/15/17 Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo tweet goes Viral

10/5/17 The New York Times breaks the Harvey Weinstein scandal

10/26/17 EP passes antiharrassment resolution

October 2017 Jeanne Ponte’s notebook goes public

October 2018 established

January 2018 MeTooEP Movement established

May 2019 European Parliament Elections

February 2019 MeTooEP conference announcing MeTooEP Pledge

make institutional change? This thesis used the unprecedented campaign of MeTooEP as a case study to make sense of the way feminist movements can permanently impact patriarchal structures. My study of MeTooEP demonstrated to me that the movement’s strength was its ability to focus public attention on the internal, formal attempts the E.P. had been taking to address gender-based violence, and how that focus revealed mechanisms that favored those in power, rather than their victims. MeTooEP is a “causal story;” it is a reaction which explains the issues of sexual harassment through symbology and storytelling.5 These totems also instigated a refocusing on the gender equality agenda across the international political environment; at the same time that the E.P. refocused its gender equality agenda, so did other organizations in the international political environment, such as the United Nations. By making sense of this recent history, this discussion develops the study of #MeToo’s contributions to gender equality policy by applying

Figure 2

a feminist institutionalist lens to a social movement.6 This thesis is meant to be a tool for feminists building movements, so they too can change their institutions from within. I hope this thesis becomes part of a growing scholarly body of work concerning #MeToo as a defining social mobilizer, rather than as a viral flashpoint. The image is a striking testimony to the power of a social media message such as #MeToo. First, I want to establish how the virality of #MeToo was a “focusing event” for the issue. According to Birkland, Focusing events can lead interest groups, government leaders, policy entrepreneurs, the news media, or members of the public to identify new problems, or to pay greater attention to existing but dormant problems, potentially leading to a search for solutions in the wake of apparent policy failure.7

#MeToo re-oriented MEP and interest group attention regarding the issue of sexual harassment. Subsequent “media propagation” of symbols related to the

5 Deborah Stone, “Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas.” 285 6 According to Lune (2014), social movements are “sustained and organized campaigns for social change” (p. 161). 7 Thomas A. Birkland, “Focusing Events, Mobilization, and Agenda Setting.” 55 38

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event, such as Ponte’s notebook, “give less powerful groups an advantage in policy debates.”8 MeTooEP also draws symbology through the MeTooEP blog and the Pledge. This is one explanation why we see anti-harassment policy reach the agenda created — or, an opportunity to make institutional change, in the eyes of Birkland. Work had been done before #MeToo’s rise, but the image of MEPs holding signs in a 2017 Strasbourg plenary session alerted feminists within the institution that this was the chance to do more. Unprecedented issue visibility in the Parliament heightened the importance of gender-based violence to its members. The pro-change group, some of whom are victims of such violence, were “suddenly” given enough attention to mobilize their cause, while more powerful groups, such as E.P. leaders and MEPs, were given a window to respond — or defend the existing policies. The understanding of #MeToo as a focusing event explains how MeTooEP rose as a highly-organized advocacy coalition which was able to achieve sustained relevance within the E.P. community. One reason MeTooEP has sustained the energy from the focusing event for nearly two years is that the movement asserts who, and what, is to blame for the issue.9 The coalition identifies causal factors for sexual harassment and violence in the Parliament: failed formal mechanisms and a culture of silence. As 2020 looms, many discussions of #MeToo read as if the movement is over and done. MeTooEP’s strategy has kept the focal event from “blowing over;” it is

unique in that the movement has been mobilized for over two years.10 Focal events are received differently among policy communities, but the case of #MeToo upholds Birkland’s argument about saliency. If the event gives human agency and cause to an issue, interest groups will better influence the policy agenda. The interpretation of #MeToo as a focusing event helps us understand why the mobilization of MeTooEP was significant, and how the movement’s sustained visibility and political pressure — especially given the status quo of the pro-change coalition in the Parliament — are leading to the 2019 elections.

Feminist Institutionalism (F.I.) In studying MeTooEP, I have drawn on the feminist institutionalist approach. If institutions are a “collective entity or any way of organizing relationships that are widely familiar and routinely practiced” and often contain “unwritten rules,”11 feminist institutionalism is an approach that strives to examine how institutions’ organization and rules form, and how they are influenced by gender inequalities. Krook and Mackay explain that F.I. theory evolved along with neo-institutionalism to provide a framework that explained how our increasingly organized world is gendered.12 In other words, feminist institutionalism looks at how ideas, norms and values are experienced unequally along the lines of gender.13 In the E.P. context, F.I. urges us to evaluate the Parliament’s organization and rules in relation to gendered criteria. In an ever-structured society, gender

8 Ibid. 56 9 Ibid. 67 10 Ibid. 72 11 Howard Lune, Understanding Organizations. 2 12 Ibid. 125 13 Mona Lena Krook and Fiona Mackay, Gender, Politics and Institutions. X. 39

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norms become further incorporated into institutions’ policies.14 Feminist institutionalists study how these invisible social constructs are reflected as a “logic” determining attitudes and actions.15 For feminist institutionalists, metrics frequently used to provide gender equality do not do enough to correct disparity and the patriarchal structures that constraints women’s actions.16 This thought process emphasizes the importance of paying attention to qualitative factors to measure how organizations are gendered. A byproduct of a more organized world is an increase in the number of social movements, including MeTooEP.17 The F.I. lens also provides an understanding of the potential impact of movements such as MeTooEP by showcasing how these coalitions can become “legitimate participants” in the organizational world.18 In an environment of organizations, external social movements like MeTooEP are issue “entrepreneurs” advocating new demands.19 Furthermore, feminist institutionalism evaluates organizations as “open systems,” suggesting that the internal structure of the Parliament does not function in “isolation” of the greater European political and historical environment.20 Values, norms, and beliefs concerning gender trickle in from the European political context into the Parliament’s culture and decision-making. The F.I. lens reveals that this environment affects the Parliament because gender inequality and discrimination are functions of power more broadly in Europe.21 The

E.P. is a gendered institution because external conditions in Europe influence the Parliament’s status quo. My analysis follows the three components of the feminist institutionalist framework: formal processes, including the mechanisms, committees, laws, etc. already addressing gender-based violence in the Parliament; informal processes, such as the empowering social movement that rose in reaction to a focal event; and connections between the formal and informal processes, or how long a social movement lasts until its terms must be institutionalized.22 The efficacy of the Parliament’s formal processes regarding sexual harassment demands an analysis of MeTooEP as an empowering reaction to these formal processes. However, social movements may only last to an extent before they must work with institutional structures.

Why the E.P.’s steps against gender-based violence weren’t enough It’s important to acknowledge that a history of gender equality work existed in the Parliament and the greater political environment long before #MeToo went viral. While gender-based violence was on the Parliament’s policy agenda, these formal attempts did not successfully change the institutional logic which enables an environment of harassment in the first place. Reflecting on the Parliament’s formal processes, which existed before #MeToo, lets us understand how they do not “have the

14 Mona Lena Krook and Fiona Mackay. IX 15 Howard Lune, Understanding Organizations. 79 16 Ibid. 17 Howard Lune, Understanding Organizations. 127 18 Ibid. 19 Mona Lena Krook and Fiona Mackay, Gender, Politics and Institutions. 191 20 Howard Lune, Understanding Organizations. 107 21 Mona Lena Krook and Fiona Mackay, Gender, Politics and Institutions. 3 22 Ibid 4-6 40

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“Values, norms, and beliefs concerning gender trickle in from the European political context into the Parliament’s culture and decision-making.” effects the creators intended” and are too weak to support survivors of gender-based violence.23 The E.U. has taken legislative steps against gender-based violence since its initiation. The Maastricht Treaty (1993), the Treaty of Rome (1957), and Treaty of Accession (1973) provided initial protections to women in E.U. institutions, establishing “equal opportunities and equal treatment” for all E.U. citizens.24 The European Convention on Human Rights (1953), as well as these treaties, expect that all new member countries promote human rights and anti-discriminatory policies in order to be granted accession — a meaningful first step against gender-based violence.25 Formal measures to protect women have been a priority in the Parliament’s work for years since the E.U. was founded. In 2009, the Parliament passed a resolution which recognized that male violence against females was an “inequality” issue and a “public health problem,” heightening the status of gender-based violence on the E.P. agenda.26 A related 2011 resolution “demands Member States to ensure that perpetrators are punished in accordance with the gravity of the crime,”27 while a 2012 directive was passed by the Parliament and the

Council “call[ing] on the Member States to improve their national laws and policies to combat all forms of violence against women and to act in order to tackle the causes of violence against women, not least by employing preventive measures, and called on the Union to guarantee the right to assistance and support for all victims of violence.”28 However, member countries have been slow to implement anti-discriminatory measures, let alone criminal punishment for sexual harassment. By 1992, France was the only member state with penal law addressing sexual harassment.29 In other states, broadly written laws concerning domestic violence are applied to cases of sexual harassment.30 E.U. policy is not sufficient because it does not require member countries to implement universal anti-discrimination standards and specific rules applying to gender-based violence. But the fact these policies reached the Parliament floor reveals to us that legislators knew gender-based violence was an issue long before MeTooEP. In February 2014 — three years before #MeToo went viral — the European Parliament Recommendations to Commission on Combating Violence against Women were announced. The recommendations focus on six areas

23 Howard Lune, Understanding Organizations. 11 24 Gender Equality in Ireland, “Equality between Men and Women.” 25 European Court of Human Rights, “Gender Equality.” 1 26 European Parliament, “Elimination of Violence against Women.” 2 27 European Parliament, “European Parliament Resolution of 5 April 2011 on Priorities and Outline of a New EU Policy Framework to Fight Violence against Women.” 28 “Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 Establishing Minimum Standards on the Rights, Support and Protection of Victims of Crime and Replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220JHA.” 29 Tanya Martinez Shively, “Sexual Harassment in the European Union: King Rex Meets Potiphar’s Wife.” 1103 30 Ibid. 41

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Figure 3: Members of the European Parliament hold up #MeToo signs in plenary session in Strasbourg, France in October 2017.

“underlying any measures to combat violence against women:” policy, prevention, protection, prosecution, provision, and partnership.31 By recommending policy to the Commission, the Parliament appears already aware of issue prevention in the context of Europe. The irony is how quickly it becomes clear that the Parliament’s recommendations do not recognize what is happening within its own walls.

received a formal complaint of sexual harassment, according to a E.P. press release immediately following an episode in which MEPs held up #MeToo signs during the plenary session.3233 By 2019, the Committee had received 16 complaints, according to E.P. Quaestor and Committee Member Elisabeth Morin-Chartier. Fifteen of these cases have been closed and one is ongoing. The president has imposed sanctions on five cases, two involving MEPs.34 There is a clear discrepancy between the number of cases which reach the president’s desk and the pages of testimonies accessible on, however. After Ponte’s notebook became public, an official statement entitled “Parliament rolled out campaign against sexual harassment last year,” claimed the Committee was ahead of MeTooEP in battling sexual harassment. However, the high number of harassment reports exposed by MeTooEP

The Committee MeTooEP also drew public attention to the fact that existing response mechanisms did not allow victims to feel safe enough to share their stories. Since 2014, the Advisory Committee on Harassment and its Prevention at the Workplace has been the body that hears victim testimonies. It consists of five members nominated by the Parliament’s president. As of October 2017, the Committee had never

31 Parliament, “European Parliament Resolution of 25 February 2014 with Recommendations to the Commission on Combating Violence Against Women.” 32 European Parliament, “Parliament Rolled out Campaign against Sexual Harassment Last Year.” 33 Judith Mischke, “#MeToo: Female MEPs Tell of the Own Sexual Harassment Experiences.” 34 Appendix 6 42

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and the low number of cases reviewed by the Committee contradicts this claim that the Parliament was in control of the situation. The Committee’s “campaign” consisted of mere leaflets distributed to MEPs explaining “how to avoid improper behavior towards your staff.”35 The “pro-active” action by the Committee was clearly not successful, given that over 127 female and 11 male E.U. employees reported cases of sexual harassment to POLITICO Europe in 2017.36 Even more revealing is the fact that only about 40 out of 751 MEPs have opted for mandatory anti-harassment training.37 Therefore, few officials are even aware of the E.P.’s official definition of sexual harassment, let alone that the Committee exists to hold them accountable. The 80 testimonies in Ponte’s notebook alone demonstrate the issue is much greater than the Committee can handle.

law against gender-based violence at the time this thesis was written. Especially in the case of the October 2017 Parliament resolution reacting to #MeToo, these suggestions from the Parliament have not yet influenced the Commission to use its right of initiative to propose such a law. According to E.U. law, the right of initiative is only for the Commission; the Commission pitches legislation and the Parliament sees through its development with the help of the Council.40 Given that ideas of harassment and legal approaches vary by member country, the likelihood that MEPs would agree on a single policy seems low, even if it is initiated. The October 2017 resolution may not have resulted in an E.U.-wide law, but the measure is different from the previous anti-harassment resolutions passed from the 1970s through 2014. The resolution was an instance in which #MeToo was mentioned in an E.P. measure, the first official response to the movement.41 The fact the resolution is a direct response to the #MeToo movement also changes the meaning of a “zero-tolerance” approach to gender-based violence. The 2017 resolution reiterates a 2014 resolution’s zero-tolerance policy, but this time it was a response to a feminist social movement.42 In the F.I. perspective, the Parliament’s decision to formally address #MeToo and advocate for those without power is considered a feminist win.43 As a result, the resolution is a “resource” that gives power to individuals

Barriers to a European Solution MeTooEP brought attention back to the resolutions the Parliament had previously passed to address sexual harassment. It also indicated that these attempts didn’t succeed. Resolutions are non legally-binding “[suggestions for] a political desire to act in a given area.”38 These create policy windows for the E.U. — opportunities for ideas to reach the Commission’s agenda and the Parliament to pressure member countries to pass specific national laws.39 The most significant reason Parliament resolutions aren’t credited with addressing this issue is the absence of an E.U.-wide

35 European Parliament, “Parliament Rolled out Campaign against Sexual Harassment Last Year.” 36 Ryan Heath, “Harassment in the Brussels EU Bubble.” 37 Appendix 1 38 Nicholas Moussis, “3.3 The Legal System of the European Union.” 39 Thomas A. Birkland, “Focusing Events, Mobilization, and Agenda Setting.” 40 “Right of Initiative.” 41 European Parliament, “Combating Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the EU.” 42 Ibid. 43 Moya Lloyd, “Power, Politics, Domination, and Oppression.” 112 43

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“Only E.U. law fully binds the member countries.”

the European political context. National lethargy toward the issue of gender-based violence trickles into the Parliament. Courts have also diminished interest in proposing a European anti-gender violence law. In connection to the aforementioned parliamentary immunity, few member countries would feel compelled to direct their resources to European harassment cases rather than their own legal priorities, further disincentivizing the acceptance of an E.U.-wide law. Gender parity within the Parliament also matters in making E.U. law. If there were more female MEPs, the 2017 resolution may have been more widely endorsed, prompting the Commission to initiate a law. For example, Hungary has many more male MEPs, a likely explanation for why that country has yet to act locally on behalf of the Resolution. Hungary’s MEPs are only 19% female.47 Official Parliament measures are only as effective to a member country, and the E.U. at large, as the priorities of that nation’s MEPs. Further, the Resolution may have been passed for more political reasons by some MEPs. The fact that members have been slow to implement the resolution nationally suggests some may have voted to pass the measure in solidarity with the Parliament, but fear local repercussions from voters for promoting such a policy. The Parliament continues to make suggestions, however. On Nov. 9, 2018, MEPS adopted renewed measures against sexual harassment.48 As in previous examples, the language used by the E.P. can recommend, but not make law. By merely “adopting measures,” the E.P. is not indi-

in the institution.44 In this way, we see how the Parliament was making the greatest effort within its competence to address gender-based violence. The absence of a Commission proposal is one part of a long history of approaches to gender-based violence existing on the policy agenda without resulting in executed change. For example, the E.U. Committee on Employment and Social Affairs was appointed in February 2001 to produce a report on harassment at the workplace.45 Nearly six months later, the report moved for a motion for a resolution addressing the “calls” and “recommendations” for institutional action. This resolution merely suggested that member countries establish procedures, training programs, and confidential mechanisms for reporting. As long as formal responses remain in the form of resolutions, member countries will never be legally compelled to make changes on the national level. Only E.U. law fully binds the member countries. As a result of the resolutions system, each E.U. member country has approached the Parliament’s October 2017 resolution differently. It is up to them to decide how to implement the document’s suggestions. France, for example, legally banned street harassment in August 2018. In a November 2017 survey of Hungarians, half of all respondents believed sexual harassment cases require no legal consequences.46 Recall how the Parliament is not “isolated” from

44 Ibid. 45 Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, “Report on Harassment at the Workplace.” 46 Kitti Erdo-Bonyar, “Hungarians’ Views On Sexual Harassment - Survey.” 47 European Parliament, “Men and Women Distribution.” 48 European Parliament, “MEPs Adopted Measures to Combat Mobbing and Sexual Harassment.” 44

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cating a permanent change on any level. The measures instead constitute another kind of resolution. However, 528 of 751 MEPs voted in favor of the measures, which ask the Commission to develop legal standards concerning violence against women. These standards may be applied within the E.U.’s jurisdiction. By creating a unified judicial approach to sexual misconduct, MEPs would be considered under European law — potentially eliminating the power of parliamentary immunity. The fact remains that the Parliament can only work within its competences; an E.U.-wide law would need to come from the Commission and the Council. However, even if this were passed by the E.P., successful implementation would not be guaranteed. Because the Parliament is not isolated from the European political environment, the E.U. would struggle to remove local barriers and pass a supreme law banning gender-based violence.

tained public relevance through its symbology. Time magazine’s cover of “the empty chair,” the Time’s Up logo, actresses donning black gowns at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, and pussy hats at the 2017 Women’s March: these images have come to represent the #MeToo ascendence to the public agenda. Ponte’s flowered notebook now joins these symbols as artifacts of this history. While an artifact implies temporality, Ponte’s notebook joins these symbols as signals of a more permanent realization: the breakage of a culture of silence. Recurring symbols of #MeToo like Ponte’s notebook are more than a flash of celebrity endorsement or scandalized firings. They demonstrate cause and intent. Stone writes, “[Causal stories] claim that a condition formerly interpreted as accident is actually the result of human will, either indirectly (mechanical or inadvertent cause) or directly (intentional cause); or they show that a condition formerly interpreted as indirectly caused is actually pure intent.”51 Symbols attribute intent over accident. Ponte’s physical representation of the invisible culture of harassment “describes harms and difficulties, attributes them to actions of other individuals or organizations, and thereby claims the right to invoke government power to stop the

#MeToo’s storytelling devices What is dangerous is silence. Sexual harassment is an open secret because every worker, woman or man, knows who they need to avoid. They know what kind of strategy you need to develop in order to not be looked at as a piece of meat — to try to protect yourself. - Jeanne Ponte49

“Activists use symbols like the notebook to “manipulate” the issue — to myth-make.”

Causal stories like those of MeTooEP are amplified through illustrative tools. According to Stone, “[the] deliberate use of language and of symbols in particular [is] a way of getting an issue onto the public agenda or, alternatively, keeping it off.”50 The #MeToo movement has largely main-

49 Appendix 1 50 Deborah Stone, “Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas.” 282 51 Ibid. 289 45

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Figure 4 ▶

“Resources” • • Feb Conference • MeTooEP pledge


“Power” • Privileges • Broker deals • Power as domination

harm.”52 Activists use symbols like the notebook to “manipulate” the issue — to myth-make. The narrative associated with the symbols reinforces the issue’s human culpability everytime it confronts the public eye. We see the notebook and we assign how all are responsible for this, and what we can do to address this violence. In the F.I. perspective, causal symbols are “resources” which give power to MeTooEP. For someone encountering these symbols for the first time or the hundreth, they provoke the mind to recount why the issue was caused and to what end it has been addressed. Consider the MeTooEP logo: the feminine pink-purple color, the logo with a faded E.U. flag; the logo is a causal device. The logo keeps the issue in public consciousness when shared on social media or posted on the MeTooEP pledge. Subconsciously, we see these symbols and attribute causality to the image. This meaning-making process fueled MeTooEP into public consciousness following #MeToo’s virality.

context of a feminist movement, “em-powerment” is a process in which resources transform into the power necessary to make institutional change. When the Parliament’s formal processes couldn’t address an institutional issue, a group of workers without political power gathered resources: testimonies on the, participation in the MeTooEP conference, over 300 signatures on the MeTooEP pledge. This conceptualization of empowerment as a process explains how these resources made the group powerful enough to influence the policy agenda, according to a 2019 article for the journal Women’s Studies International Forum by S. Laurel Weldon. Weldon writes that #MeToo was able to make an impact on the institutional level because of its specific approach to de-powering patriarchal structures and em-powering targeted groups.53 Weldon also suggests that “power flows through us by virtue of our social identity and institutional position, whether or not we wish to exercise power (fig. 4).54 On the other hand, we may be silenced by Empowerment these same identities and social positions 55 Empowerment is a word frequently in other contexts.” Highly bureaucratic used in media concerning #MeToo. In the environments like the Parliament quiet the 52 Ibid. 53 S. Laurel Weldon, “Power, Exclusion and Empowerment: Feminist Innovation in Political Science.” 54 S. Laurel Weldon, “Power, Exclusion and Empowerment: Feminist Innovation in Political Science.” 130. 55 Ibid. 46

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power of certain groups, such as APAs, female MEPs, and other marginalized groups in order to maintain a functioning system, often without these groups’ conscious consent. Em-powerment refers to the conscious process of breaking that silence. The “em” prefix to the word “power” implies the act of silenced groups of gaining governing ability by collecting resources. According to feminist institutionalists, MeTooEP is an example of em-powerment because victims whose voices were previously silenced by an institutional force are now given the power to speak, and, eventually, influence dominant Parliament decision-makers. Em-powerment is a necessary phenomena, given women’s traditional roles within institutions. Historically, female power in this context is implicit rather than explicit.56 Their authority is so silenced that women cannot access labor without the help of men and must influence others indirectly in order to achieve their goals. Resources such as money and education are typically given by men to women so they may gain access to any level of labor, let alone excel. According to the October 2017 Parliament resolution, 75% of women in top management positions in Europe have been sexually harassed. Even if women gained enough resources to be influential in institutions, they still lack sufficient social resources to protect themselves from the dominating power of men. While men have the pleasure of accessing any organizational resources they please, women must only engage with men in situations which are dictated by the level of resources they own.57 By merit of their position, women in the Parliament have acquired enough resources to presumably

be influential; however, they cannot be totally powerful in the way that males in the institution can, as “power consists in the relationship between men and women, a relationship that accords men certain powers over women.”58 Here we see why no amount of formal work by the Parliament could successfully address the invisible discrepancy between the resources available to men versus women. Due to socialized institutional logics, organizations dominate social groups in the way that men dominate women.59 In the social understanding of men as sexually dominant of women, masculine institutional logics are dominant to feminist institutional logic. MeTooEP is propelled by feminist institutional logic. Therefore, through the process of em-powerment, MeTooEP has gathered resources to challenge the power of dominant decision-makers. Because the Parliament is in the resource-holding role, the institution will dominate MeTooEP no matter what. Therefore, MeTooEP must use the Parliament’s own institutional logic as a means to an end, in order to make an organizational change. This explains why the em-powerment process is a continuous cy-

“‘Em-powerment’ is a process in which resources transform into the power necessary to make institutional change.”

56 Ibid. 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid. 114 59 S. Laurel Weldon, “Power, Exclusion and Empowerment: Feminist Innovation in Political Science.” 47

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“Feminist solutions like Burke’s and Ponte’s have adapted to being left out of formal peace talks.”

male APAs may seek further responsibility or promotion by silencing and objectifying their female equals. Male employees are also more likely to work full-time — there were 367 males on part-time E.P. staff vs. 1,221 female part-time staffers in 2017 — granting them more opportunities to connect with promotion opportunities.61 In 2017, the number of women in middle cle of gathering resources, gaining power, management posts in the E.P. Secretariat and making change. increased by nearly 40%; however, merely The em-powerment process can be incorporating women within a patriarchal stalled by conflicting ideas of gender equal- structure does not eliminate the risk of ity among EU decision-makers. Even if gender-based discrimination.62 For these MeTooEP appeals to their decision-mak- reasons, em-powerment must be an effort ing logic, inherent norms can conflict from the ground up. If only top officials with the acceptance of the cause. An em- make changes, the issue will persist on othpowered formal Parliament approach to er levels. gender-based violence must coalesce the diverse positive and negative associations #MeToo as Entrepreneurship of female power from within the bloc, but Em-powerment from the ground this is easier said than done. up requires issue entrepreneurship — the With thousands of international emcampaigning of a movement within an ployees, the Parliament consists of conflictinstitution to gather resources. MeTooEP ing perceptions of female value. For examexemplifies how feminist movements ple, only two women hold management within organizations are self-starting and positions in the Parliament, whereas over risk-averse. half of APAs are female.60 Employing more The Me Too Movement is a recent women in secondary and tertiary roles in chapter in a much longer feminist history. the Parliament reinforces ideas that wom- In the U.S., the Me Too Movement existed en should supplement men’s work. Even if long before #MeToo went viral on OctoAPAs are working for female MEPs, they ber 15, 2017, eleven days after The New still exist beneath the dominating power of York Times published an report revealthe institution. Male APAs may presume ing sexual harassment allegations against they have more power than their female Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.63 counterparts and even exert that power in Tarana Burke founded the Me Too Movethe form of sexual misconduct. Perpetrament in 2006 to support victims of sexutors sexualize victims in situations when al violence and “to build a community of both actors hold the same amount of powadvocates,” initially for black and low-iner in order to appear dominant. Therefore, come women.64 The hashtag didn’t go vi60 European Parliament, “Women in the European Parliament.” 61 Ibid. 62 Ibid. 63 Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” 64 MeToo Movement, “History & Vision.” 48

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“Sexual harassment in the Parliament is a form of social war.”

ral until American actress Alyssa Milano posted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet” on October 15th.” According to the Pew Research Center, #MeToo has been used more than 19 million times through September 30, 2018.65 The virality of the phrase stimulated responses from organizations across the globe,66 and allegations against powerful individuals in politics, television, and journalism, among other industries, came to light.67

The understanding of the em-powerment process raises a new point about the nature of feminist movements like #MeToo. The process is entrepreneurial.70 Feminist institutionalists argue that “gender equality entrepreneurs ... are needed to construct and frame reform proposals to mobilize coalitions of different interests to work together.”71 Women create solutions to social violence and have been self-starters when brokering deals because they have historically been unseated at the negotiation table, according to Casale.72 She added that peace talks which include women are 35% more likely to last 15 years or more. This fact is not because women are pacifiers:

“Just because the media pressure of Hollywood is behind us does not mean it is not still happening,” Ponte told EUobserver in October 2018.68

The MeTooEP movement was officially started in March 2018 by Jeanne Ponte and a coalition of E.P. workers in an effort to break down normalized behavior and make invisible violence visible. The coalition supported the implementation of the October 2017 resolution, which had been passed in plenary session the previous October, gaining 1,000 signatures within one week to present to the Parliament.69 The blog followed this petition, especially as it became clear that enforcing new measures against sexual harassment could be an uphill battle; change means giving up normative, formal patriarchal structures. The resistance brings a historically private issue into the political arena, through individual workers who call attention to the blurred boundary between governmental and personal behavior.

Often there’s this inherent argument being made that women are inherently more peaceful. I do not subscribe to that school of thought. I think if the situation were flipped, we would do just as much as men. It’s about power. It’s about resources. It’s about getting the most inclusive view of how to solve society’s problems — which is what a peace agreement is — how to solve societal problems ... The argument is that no, it’s not that women are more peaceful, nice or better people. We have been traditionally left of power

65 Monica Anderson and Skye Toor, “How Social Media Users Have Discussed Sexual Harassment since #MeToo Went Viral.” 66 Google Trends, “Me Too Rising.” 67 Zarkov, Dubravka, and Kathy Davis. “Ambiguities and Dilemmas around #MeToo: #ForHow Long and #WhereTo?” European Journal of Women’s Studies 25, no. 1 (February 2018): 3–9. doi:10.1177/1350506817749436. 68 Petter Teffer, “Frustrated EU Parliament Staffers Set up #MeToo Blog.” 69 Sally Farhat, “#MeTooEP: Fighting Sexual Harassment in the European Parliament.” 70 Mona Lena Krook and Fiona Mackay, Gender, Politics and Institutions. 191 71 Ibid. 72 Appendix 7


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without risk. The consequence of #MeToo is the potential loss of some goals as a compromise for investment from institutional leaders. Thus, MeTooEP cannot gain the support of all MEPs without capitulating on some elements of its platform, an issue that will likely be raised in the 2019-2024 mandate. The success of any entrepreneur depends on the interest of investors. For MeTooEP, the investors are people with power in the Parliament. Until the Parliament has a full stake in the cause of movement, i.e., feminists holding all the positions of influence, MeTooEP will have to strike deals with Parliamentary leadership. According to Casale, the movement must “play the short and the long game.”75 To focus too soon on the end goal — new Parliament organizations and E.U.-wide laws against sexual harassment — would be self-sabotage for MeTooEP. Empowering less powerful individuals too quickly shocks the patriarchal system and is an impetus for even more social violence, i.e., pushback from powerful Parliament voices, such as the conservative MEPs. For now, as the movement’s symbols gain visibility, their testimonies will legitimize the need to put more resources into the issue of sexual harassment, helping the issue gain stakeholders — to em-power. ■

structures and had to go around the system to be entrepreneurs of our own needs, and society’s needs. That creativity gives us a leg up in solving problems.73 Feminist solutions like Burke’s and

Ponte’s are distinct because they have adapted to being left out of formal peace talks. An example of a formal peace agreement is the structure of the Advisory Committee — victims were not at the decision table. Low trust in the Committee pushes victims away from formal mechanisms and toward their own answers: the MeTooEP blog and pledge. Sexual harassment in the Parliament is a form of social war. If victims had been included in discussions at the beginning, the violence may have been avoided. If victims had been included as the conflict started to arrive, they could have asked for protection for their bodies. Now, the conflict has occurred, and the victims are finally being included in reconstructive conversations to demand equal resources to recover.74 Women in the Parliament are now creating structures to heal on their own because they never got to fight for their security in the first place. But no entrepreneurial venture goes

73 Appendix 7 74 Appendix 7 75 Ibid.


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1/11/21 10:16 AM EN. ———. “Salaries and Pensions.” Accessed April 8, 2019. ———. “The Parliament Budget.” Accessed April 8, 2019. http:// ———. “Women in the European Parliament,” March 8, 2018. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. “Violence against Women: An EU-Wide Survey,” 2014. https://fra. European Women’s Lobby. “European Coalition to End Violence against Women and Girls.” European Women’s Lobby (blog), March 6, 2017. https://www.womenlobby. org/European-Coalition-to-end-violence-against-women-and-girls. Gender Equality in Ireland. “Equality between Men and Women.” Gender Equality in Ireland (blog). Accessed April 14, 2019. WP13000032. “Glossary of Summaries.” EUR_Lex (blog). Accessed December 12, 2018. initiative_right.html. “Golder et Al. - 2017 - Votes for Women Electoral Systems and Support for.Pdf,” n.d. Golder, Sona N., Laura B. Stephenson, Karine Van der Straeten, André Blais, Damien Bol, Philipp Harfst, and Jean-François Laslier. “Votes for Women: Electoral Systems and Support for Female Candidates.” Politics & Gender 13, no. 01 (March 2017): 107–31. S1743923X16000684. Google Trends. “Me Too Rising,” n.d. https://metoorising. Howard Lune. Understanding Organizations. Cambridge: Polity Press, n.d. IANS. “UN Conducts #MeToo Survey; One in Three Employees Report Sexual Harassment.” The Economic Times, January 16, 2019. magazines/panache/metoo-one-in-three-un-employees-report-sexual-harassment-in-past-two-years/articleshow/67552001.cms. Jennifer L. Berdahl, Marianne Cooper, Peter Glick, Robert W. Livingston, and Joan C. Williams. “Work as a Masculinity Contest.” Journal of Social Issues 74, no. 3 (2018): 422–48. Jess Cartner-Morley. “Dior Delivers 1960s Feminism to a New Generation in Paris.” The Guardian. February 27, 2018. Jodi Kantor, and Megan Twohey. “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” The New York Times, October 5, 2017. https://www.nytimes. com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html. Jonathan Steele. “Immunity of Parliamentary Statements.” Nottingham Law Journanl 21 (Annual 2012). http:// do?id=GALE%7CA327955036&v=2.1&u=northwestern&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w. Judith Mischke. “#MeToo: Female MEPs Tell of the Own Sexual Harassment Experiences.” POLITICO Europe, October 25, 2017.

ment-metoo-female-meps-tell-of-their-own-sexual-harassment-experiences/. Kitti Erdo-Bonyar. “Hungarians’ Views On Sexual Harassment Survey.” Daily News Hungary, November 20, 2017. https:// Lewis North. “Catherine Bearder MEP Statement on Sexual Harassment in the European Parliament.” Catherine Bearder MEP (blog), October 24, 2017. catherine_bearder_mep_statement_on_sexual_harassment_ in_the_european_parliament. Lyric Thompson, and Teresa Casale. “Baby Steps toward a Feminist United Nations.” Foriegn Policy, January 29, 2019. Maia de la Baume. “European Parliament Gets MeTooEP Blog.” POLITICO Europe. October 8, 2018. https://www.politico. eu/article/european-parliament-gets-metooep-blog/. Maia de la Baume, and Philip Kaleta. “German Conservatives Resist #MeToo Measure in European Parliament.” POLITICO Europe. January 29, 2019. article/german-conservatives-resist-metoo-european-parliament-measure/. Martin Banks. “EU Election Candidates Urged to Join Fight against Sexual Harassment.” The Parliament Magazine. February 7, 2019. https://www.theparliamentmagazine. eu/articles/news/eu-election-candidates-urged-join-fightagainst-sexual-harassment. Meaghan Beatley. “Andalusia’s Far-Right Vox Party Espouses an ‘anti-Radical-Feminist’ Platform.” PRI, December 22, 2018. ———. “Betting on Anti-Feminism as a Winning Political Strategy.” The Atlantic. April 24, 2019. https://www.theatlantic. com/international/archive/2019/04/spain-vox-feminism/587824/. MeToo Movement. “History & Vision.” MeToo Movement (blog). Accessed April 10, 2019. about/#history. “MeTooEP.” MeTooEP (blog). Accessed December 12, 2018. Mona Lena Krook, and Fiona Mackay. Gender, Politics and Institutions. Basingstoke, Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Monica Anderson, and Skye Toor. “How Social Media Users Have Discussed Sexual Harassment since #MeToo Went Viral.” Pew Research Center. Accessed April 8, 2019. Moya Lloyd. “Power, Politics, Domination, and Oppression.” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politicos. Oxford University Press, 2013. Nicholas Moussis. “3.3 The Legal System of the European Union.” Blog. Europedia.Moussis.Eu (blog). Accessed December 9, 2018. Book_2/2/3/3/index.tkl. Nicole Fallert. “Inside the Fight to Make the European Parliament Take Sexual Harassment Seriously.” Vox.Com. March 22, 2019. me-too-european-parliament-leads-to-sexual-harassment-pledge. Paula England. “The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled.” Gender & Society 24, no. 2 (April 2010): 149–66. Peter Teffer. “Frustrated EU Parliament Staffers Set up #Me52

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Too Blog.” Euobserver. October 4, 2018. Rachel A. Dudley. “Confronting the Concept of Intersectionality: The Legacy of of Audre Lorde and Contemporary Feminist Organizations.” McNair Scholars Journal, 2006. Rachel B. Vogelstein, and Jamille Bigio. “Three Things to Know: The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017.” Council on Foreign Relations, October 13, 2017. https:// Ryan Heath. “Harassment in the Brussels EU Bubble.” POLITICO Europe, October 23, 2017. https://www.politico. eu/blogs/playbook-plus/2017/10/sexual-harassment-assault-in-the-brussels-eu-bubble-metoo/. S. Laurel Weldon. “Power, Exclusion and Empowerment: Feminist Innovation in Political Science.” Women’s Studies International Forum 72, no. January-February 2019 (2019). S0277539517305071. Sally Farhat. “#MeTooEP: Fighting Sexual Harassment in the European Parliament.” AN-NAHAR. October 10, 2018. Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH). “S. 1141 - Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017.”, March 16, 2017. “Shaping Europe.” House of European History (blog). Accessed December 12, 2018. “Shively - Sexual Harassment in the European Union King Rex .Pdf.” Accessed December 6, 2018. https://digitalcommons. Tanya Martinez Shively. “Sexual Harassment in the European Union: King Rex Meets Potiphar’s Wife.” Louisiana Law Review 55, no. 6 (July 1995). Teresa Casale. “A Seat at the Table for Women -- And A Big Step Closer to World Peace.” Ms. Magazine, October 10, 2017. Teresa Casale, Lyric Thompson, Sarah Gammage, and Lila O’Brien-Milne. “Progress Under Threat: A Report Card on the Secretary-General’s Second Year from the Feminist UN Campaign.” International Center for Research on Women, 2018. WebReady.pdf. Teresa Welsh. “Guterres Improves Grade on Feminist UN Campaign Agenda.” Devex, January 24, 2019. https://www. The Council of the European Union. “COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2000/78/EC.” Official Journal of the European Communities, November 27, 2000. legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32000L0078&from=EN. “The Legal System of the European Union.” Europedia.moussis. eu. Europedia.Moussis.Eu (blog). Accessed April 1, 2019. index.tkl. Thomas A. Birkland. “Focusing Events, Mobilization, and

Agenda Setting.” Journal of Public Policy 18, no. 1 (April 1998): 53–74. United Nations. “Gender Equality,” n.d. en/sections/issues-depth/gender-equality/.


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Interview with Kimani Isaac

By Caroline Hsu

Kimani Isaac is a fifth-year Learning and Organizational Change (LOC) student, and a knowledgeable resource for everything to do with Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). During her time at Northwestern, she’s participated in many of the programs that the OUR offers, from Summer Undergraduate Research Grants (SURGs) to Undergraduate Language Grants (ULGs). I sat down to talk to Kimani about her experiences with the OUR and the wonderful world of undergraduate research.


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CH: How did you first hear about the Office of Undergraduate Research? KI: Wow, that takes me back! When did I get so old? I believe the first time I heard of the OUR, I was doing this Summer Academic Workshop, and they came to do a presentation. I remember they had these weird (but cute!) cut-outs of all their research grants, and I think it was [OUR Director] Peter [Civetta] who came to give the presentation to us. I think it was during the same week that I learned about the Office of Fellowships, so that was the week I learned about really cool opportunities to design projects or do research. Basically, that was the week I learned about making money at Northwestern! CH: What grants and programs offered by the OUR have you participated in? KI: It’s not every single one, but it’s definitely close! I’ve been very lucky in my experience at the OUR. I started out with a URG for the summer, and that was the first major project that I did. It was a series of paintings that depicted two people’s experiences of their synesthesia. [Note: Some of Kimani’s SURG paintings are currently hanging on the walls of the OUR!] Then, I also applied for the ULG, and was lucky enough to get that. I studied in Morocco for two months learning French. I also attempted to apply for the Circumnavigators Travel Grant and the Academic Year URG, but for the Circumnavigators Grant, my study abroad interfered with my eligibility. CH: What advice do you have for students who want to get into undergraduate research, but don’t know where or how to start? KI: Go talk to an advisor! I don’t mean that in a rude way, or a dismissive way, I just mean that everyone who works in the OUR is a sweet and caring human being who is hired to help you do the things that you want to do. If you are unsure of what it is you want to do, or unsure about what research even is, it costs nothing except a half hour of your time to come in for an advising appointment, talk through your interests, talk through what research is, and learn about it. Or, if you’re shy or introverted, you don’t have to make a one-on-one advising appointment. During normal life, when there isn’t a pandemic, there are on-campus events where you can go and learn about what research is and what opportunities are available. At what other point in your life are you going to get paid to do a project that you designed, from start to finish? CH: Lastly, what is the most underrated resource that the OUR offers? What’s something that a lot of people don’t know about, but has been very helpful for you? KI: There’s a lot! When you walk in, there are a lot of awesome decorations and posters and pictures of cats, and it’s a really fun, cool office. It’s scary, because you’re walking into the Financial Aid building, so I personally get sweaty, but when I walk past Financial Aid and see the lighted office behind the glass door, and there are all these cat posters and paintings and snacks, it’s just a really warm and welcoming environment. People get really intimidated either because of the building that it’s in, or the location, or the fact that it has “Office” in its name, but it’s really not that stressful if you just pop in, say “Hey” and grab some Teddy Grahams and go about your day! 55

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Department of German

Type 2 Diabetes Care and Management:

A Comparison of German and American Approaches by Sarah Dinegar Abstract Type 2 diabetes, or T2D, affects over 422 million people worldwide. In 2017, diabetes care for the 29 million T2D Americans cost $327 billion, an approximately 88% increase from an American Diabetes Association estimate of $174 billion in 2007. These exorbitant costs are primarily associated with the consequential secondary complications and hospitalizations of T2D. These include cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s, and lower limb amputation. Within their multi-payer healthcare system, Germany has used standardized, evidence-based interventions called Disease Management Programs, or DMPs, to manage T2D since 2002. Studies have shown markedly improved healthcare delivery and health outcomes since DMP implementation, including reduced incidence of diabetic secondary complications, decreasing financial burdens of T2D in Germany. No such programs exist in the United States’ fragmented healthcare system. American reform configuration warrants examination of and comparison with German T2D DMPs’ successful methods. This study employs interviews and surveys to investigate German and American primary care physicians’ opinions of the efficacy of their nation’s respective T2D management methods in improving health outcomes, healthcare costs, and quality of care. German physicians reported similar protocol and resource availability for T2D management, as they all enroll their T2D patients in DMPs. In contrast, American physicians’ responses varied widely by clinical network and patients’ insurers. This thesis will discuss strengths and weaknesses of both systems as well as outline several universal challenges encountered with management of T2D. It will also provide insight into primary care physicians’ opinions and recommendations on best directions forward for chronic disease management, particularly addressing these universal challenges. 56

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Background Information & Literature Review

according to Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.5 From 2012 data, the nationwide German National Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults found the overall prevalence of T2D to be 7.4% in the German population between 18 and 79 years of age.6 Average healthcare expenditures for diabetics were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures in absence of diabetes would be.7 Furthermore, care for diagnosed diabetics accounts for 1 in 4 healthcare dollars in the U.S., more than half of that expenditure being directly attributable to diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.8 These massive costs in both nations are not primarily associated with the molecular cause of diabetes — the body’s inability to properly metabolize glucose — but instead are largely associated with consequential long-term complications and hospitalizations due to prolonged high glucose levels, including cardiovascular disease, leading to heart attack and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, Alzheimer’s, and lower limb amputation.9 In Germany, individuals with T2D had 1.81 times higher direct annual healthcare costs, €3352 vs. €1849, and 2.07 times higher indirect annual healthcare costs, €4103 vs. €1981 annual healthcare costs than those without diabetes.10 As expected, these increased costs were significantly associated with cardiovascular complications, long duration of diabetes, and treat-

1. Why Type 2 Diabetes Needs to be Noticed Type 2 Diabetes, or T2D, is one of two types of Diabetes Mellitus, a pathology characterized by the body’s inability to control the blood concentration of the small sugar called glucose that is central to nutrition and metabolism.1 Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus usually manifests itself early in life and is defined by the body’s inability to produce insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose levels.2 T2D, however, typically develops later in life and is defined by progressive increased resistance to insulin due to prolonged high blood glucose levels. This thesis deals exclusively with T2D. T2D has steadily risen to be one of the most significant health concerns worldwide: the number of individuals affected has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.3 According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report in 2017, 8.9% of the U.S. population, or 29 million people, have T2D. It was America’s seventh leading cause of death in 2015. The number of adults diagnosed with T2D is estimated to have tripled in the last 20 years,4 which would suggest there are fundamental environmental or behavior contributors associated with this non-communicable disease. There were approximately 5.8 million people with T2D in Germany as of 2010,

1 American Diabetes Association, 2 Ibid. 3 C.D. Mathers and D. Loncar, “Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030,” PLoS Med, 3(11), e442. 4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National diabetes statistics report” (2017). 5 T. Tamayo , R. Brinks, A. Hoyer, O. Kuß and W. Rathmann, “The prevalence and incidence of diabetes in Germany: an analysis of statutory health insurance data on 65 million individuals from the years 2009 and 2010,” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 113(11), 177. 6 Ibid. 7 CDC, “National diabetes statistics report” (2017). 8 American Diabetes Association, “Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017” (2018), Diabetes care, 41(5), 917-928. 9 C.D. Mathers and D. Loncar, “Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030.” 10 S. Ulrich, R. Holle, M. Wacker, et al., “Cost burden of type 2 diabetes in Germany: results from the population-based KORA studies,” BMJ open, 6(11), e012527. 57

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ment with insulin.11 Beyond the intangible costs of pain, suffering, and decreased quality of life that Type 2 diabetics experience with the accompanying health problems of T2D, these economic estimates highlight the substantial financial burden that diabetes imposes on society. The estimated total economic cost due to diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 was $245 billion, a 41% increase from the previous estimate of $174 billion in 2007.12 This cost was estimated to be $327 billion in 2017, a further 26% from 2012 once adjusted for inflation.13 Of this total, $237 billion were due to direct medical costs while $90 billion can be attributed to reduced productivity.14 These ever rising costs are due to both the growth in T2D prevalence and the increased medical costs per diabetic, particularly among the population aged 65 years and older, thus contributing heavily to the growing economic burden of the Medicare program.15 While these reported costs did not distinguish between Type 1 and 2 diabetes, 90 to 95% of diabetes cases in the U.S. are T2D, so the heavy majority of these costs can be assumed to be associated with T2D.16 Diabetic progression is identified by a patient’s glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) value, a key diagnostic marker used as an index of mean glycemia, or blood glucose levels, in diabetics. HbA1c levels correspondence to diabetic progression do vary slightly among individuals, but the general, universal parameters are as follows: <5.7% = normal, 5.7–6.5% = prediabetic, >6.5% =

diabetic. More than one in three American adults fall into this category of prediabetes — approximately 33.9% of the U.S. adult population.17 Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that nearly 90% of those 84.1 million adults are unaware they are prediabetic.18 Prediabetes often leads to T2D, and elevates risk of heart disease and stroke.19 The consequential health and economic detriment that the massive and growing epidemics of prediabetes and T2D in both Germany and the U.S. calls for drastic action. This study will examine how such action ought best be taken. 2. German & American Healthcare Systems Compared Many industrialized countries employ a universal mandate for healthcare coverage, of which there are three primary program types. Universal coverage is characterized by a health insurance mandate and alleviates the costly overreliance on emergency services that comes from a lack of preventive care for uninsured populations. In the first type of universal coverage, a national health service, medical services are delivered through government-salaried physicians in publicly-owned and -operated hospitals and clinics, financed by the government through tax payments. Private physicians collect their fees from the government and have specific regulations on their practices. Examples of this system include the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Spain. In the second type, a national health insurance or single-payer system, a single government entity collects all

11 Ibid. 12 American Diabetes Association, “Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2012” (2013), Diabetes care, 36(4), 1033-1046. 13 American Diabetes Association, “Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017” (2018). 14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National diabetes statistics report” (2017). 15 American Diabetes Association, “Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017” (2018). 16 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National diabetes statistics report” (2017). 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 58

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“American medical treatment is often overspecialized, extremely inequitable, and problematically neglectful of primary and preventative care.” healthcare fees and pays out all healthcare costs. Canada, Denmark, and Sweden all employ this method in which medical services are publicly financed but not publicly provided. In the third type, a multi-payer health insurance or all-payer system, universal health insurance is provided via not-for-profit health insurance funds, or “sickness funds,” that collect premiums from employees and employers and that are used to eliminate the administrative costs for billing by paying physicians and hospitals at uniform rates. Japan, France, and Germany all utilize this system. In contrast, the U.S. healthcare system is unique and not uniform, with no universal health care coverage mandate.20 Instead of operating a national health service, a single-payer national health insurance system, or a multi-payer universal health insurance fund, the U.S. healthcare system can be best described as a hybrid system. In a Commonwealth Fund Commission healthcare comparison contrasting the U.S. with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K., the U.S. ranked last overall in many categories.21 This demands attention, especially with the American healthcare system being by far the world’s most expensive per capita. U.S. healthcare specialists are

among the best in the world, but American medical treatment is often overspecialized, extremely inequitable, and problematically neglectful of primary and preventive care.22 While the U.S. ranked fifth for quality of care, it came in last in efficiency, healthiness of citizens’ lives, and efficiency among those 11 countries. Germany fell in the middle of the pack among the 11 countries regarding healthcare spending per capita at $4,495, while the U.S. ranked highest at $8,508. However, Germans were the most likely of the 11 nationalities to hear back from a doctor quickly if they had a question, the most likely to be able to get a same-day or next-day appointment, the most likely to be able to access doctors after-hours without problem, and were found to rarely use emergency rooms. The U.S. was at low end for each scenario.23 Additionally, according to an analysis in the American Journal of Public Health, for each $100 Germany spends on healthcare, it extends life by about 16 weeks. Meanwhile in America, each $100 spent on healthcare resulted in only two to three weeks more of longevity.24 3. Type 2 Diabetes Care Compared 3.1. Type 2 Diabetes Care in the German Healthcare System The nearly 6 million Type 2 diabet-

20 Department of Professional Employees, “The U.S. Healthcare System: An International Perspective Factsheet.” 21 K. Davis, K. Stremikis, D. Squires, & C. Schoen, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2014 Update.” The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. 22 Department of Professional Employees, “The U.S. Healthcare System: An International Perspective Factsheet.” 23 E. Mossialos, M. Wenzl, R. Osborn & C. Anderson, “International Profiles of Healthcare Systems,” The Commonwealth Fund. 24 O. Khazan, “What American Healthcare Can Learn from Germany,” The Atlantic.


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“Prevention is a priority in German healthcare, so Germany has tried to combat its diabetes epidemic with a preventive outlook.” ics in Germany is shown to be a 38% increase from 1998.25 Individuals with T2D in Germany were found to incur approximately twice as high both direct and indirect healthcare costs annually than those without it.26 T2D complications, which include foot amputation, retinopathy, blindness, nephropathy, end-stage renal disease, stroke, myocardial infarction/cardiac arrest, ischemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, and angina pectoris, have been shown to have a significant impact on total healthcare costs in Germany not only at the time of an event, but also in subsequent years.27 Direct medical costs of diabetes in Germany averaged 21 billion euros, and the prevalence of the disease in Germany is projected to continue increasing in upcoming years.28 Prevention is a priority in German

healthcare,29 so Germany has tried to combat its diabetes epidemic with a preventive outlook. Disease Management Programs, or DMPs, are programs geared towards specific groups of patients suffering from a chronic illness, such as T2D, who receive a standardized, coordinated, set of evidence-based interventions. The goals are to enhance the patients’ long-term health outcomes, lower healthcare spending by reducing the need for hospitalization and other costly treatments, and improve quality of medical care.30 Though many of America’s pioneering DMPs in the 1990s did not show short-term positive impacts, other nations including Germany have since tried to follow suit with their own nuanced approaches.31 German statutory health insurance funds started offering DMPs nation-wide in cooperation with primary care physicians in 2002.32 As of 2006, 75% of primary care physicians in Germany were registered with DMPs,33 and nearly four million patients had been enrolled in T2D DMPs by 2014.34 In German DMPs, the primary care physician sees DMP-enrolled patients approximately every three months, keeps close tabs on their adherence to program protocol, and coordinates specialist referrals. The DMP protocol includes diabetes education, nutrition consultation and guidelines, enrollment in fitness classes and gym membership, reg-

25 “Diabetes in Zahlen,” Deutsche Diabetes Hilfe. 26 S. Ulrich, R. Holle, M. Wacker, et al., “Cost burden of type 2 diabetes in Germany: results from the population-based KORA studies.” 27 K. Kähm, M. Laxy, U. Schneider, et al., “Health Care Costs Associated With Incident Complications in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in Germany,” Diabetes Care, 41(5): 971–978. 28 I. Köster, I. Schubert & E. Huppertz, “Follow up of the CoDiM-study: cost of diabetes mellitus 2000–2009,” Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 137:1013–16. 29 O. Khazan, “What American Healthcare Can Learn from Germany.” 30 S. Brandt, J. Hartmann & S. Hehner, “How to design a successful disease-management program,” McKinsey & Company. 31 Ibid. 32 Bundesversicherungsamt, Zulassung der strukturierten Behandlungsprogramme (Disease Mangement Programme – DMP) durch das Bundesversicherungsamt (BVA). 33 H. Nagel, T. Baehring & A. Scherbaum, “Implementing Disease Management Programs for Type 2 Diabetes in Germany,” German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at the Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany, 50-53. 34 S. Fuchs, C. Henschke, B. Blümel & M. Reinhard, “Disease Management Programs for Type 2 Diabetes in Germany,” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 111(26), 453–63. 60

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ular foot, eye, and kidney exams, medications (varies by disease progression), and strict, routine blood sugar checks. Recent studies have shown markedly improved health care delivery and decreases in enrolled patients’ HbA1c values35. Furthermore, Germany’s DMPs significantly reduced incidence of several diabetic medical complications and had lowered overall cost of care by 13% as of 2010.36 These successful results, coupled with some of the past, more mixed, results warrant further investigation into these programs’ efficacy, as there are many variable factors. This study approached evaluating the efficacy of T2D DMPs via inquiry of opinions of Germany primary care physicians. As they have been administering T2D care through these programs to their patients for many years, they have important firsthand insights into the strong and weak points of the DMPs. Due to the lack of centralization of information from the nature of the U.S. healthcare system, comparable statistics for the U.S. disease management are largely inaccessible and progress is thus harder to discern. However, the nationwide success of German T2D DMPs apparent from these certain studies warrants a point of comparison with the differing American approach.

a necessity. As discussed in the German healthcare section, disease management programs emphasize educating the patient on how to better self-manage their conditions using evidence-based guidelines. Fragments of U.S. healthcare have also been making efforts to utilize models of integrated care with some characteristics similar to the German DMPs. Integrated care, also known as coordinated care, and patient-centered collaborative care, or disease management, have the clear purpose of providing individuals with chronic diseases with coordinated care that empowers the patient and as a result reduces demand for hospital admissions and improves health outcomes. One particular initiative in the U.S. towards better disease management is seen in the rise of accountable care organizations, or ACOs, which have been piloted in recent years by private insurers, states, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.37 ACOs stand to improve clinical integration and coordination and build a sharper focus on prevention, disease, management, and self-care.38 Another example of American disease management can be seen with the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care for Diabetes. Their guidelines include recommendations for glucose monitoring, nephropathy screening, glycemic control, blood pressure control, lipid management, immunizations, detailed guidelines for lifestyle management regarding nutrition, weight management, physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and effective strategies for coping with

3.2. Type 2 Diabetes Care in the American Healthcare System With the rising burden of chronic disease, America’s aging population, and a tight financial healthcare climate, delivering better care in a more cost–effective and health outcomes–focused way is

35 K. Kostev, T. Rockel & L. Jacob, “Impact of Disease Management Programs on HbA1c Values in Type 2 Diabetes Patients in Germany,” Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 11(1), 117-122. 36 S. Brandt, J. Hartmann & S. Hehner, “How to design a successful disease-management program.” 37 Health Policy Institute, McCourt School of Public Policy, “Diabetes Management Programs: Improving Health while Reducing Costs?,” Georgetown University. 38 M. McClellan, J. Kent, S. Beales, et al., “Accountable care: focusing accountability on the outcomes that matter: report of the Accountable Care Working Group,” World Innovation Summit for Health. 61

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“There is an enormous need to more robustly incentivize both patients and providers to focus heavily on successfully fulfilling preventative protocol, particularly in the case of T2D.”

stress.39 Providing guidelines-based care is challenging for primary care physicians largely due to the insufficient amount of time primary care physicians have to spend with each patient; studies found that only on average 54.9% of necessary recommendations were found to have been provided to adult patients by their primary care physicians.40 U.S. healthcare’s current fee-forservice reimbursement system, which is characterized by physicians being paid per person per visit rather than being paid on a basis of patient health outcome metrics, generally does not offer specific compensation to healthcare providers for emphasizing preventative guidelines to help patients make changes to improve their health. Prevention is not deemed to be at the forefront of importance in American healthcare.41 But for T2D, research clearly shows that high-risk individuals can avoid developing T2D — or, those already diagnosed can improve or reverse the condition — by implementing preventive lifestyle improvements, including losing weight through dietary intervention and regular physical activity.42 Given both the health outcome and financial motivations, there is an enormous need to more robustly incentivize both patients and providers to focus heavily on successfully fulfilling preventative protocol, particularly in the case of T2D. As no experiential research of primary care physicians with disease management programs exists, this study provides new insight into what methods of chronic care management providers of primary care themselves believe most effectively improve health outcomes, health-

care costs, and quality of care for patients – from the approaches used in the doctor’s office with the patient to the insurance and policy level. 4. Purpose of Research Study Questions This study will address the following questions: A. In the opinion of German primary care physicians, what are T2D DMPs’ biggest: 1. Strengths? 2. Weaknesses? 3. Areas of possible improvement? B. In the opinion of American primary care physicians, what are their T2D care’s greatest: 1. Strengths? 2. Weaknesses? 3. Areas of possible improvement? C. In the opinion of German primary care physicians, how effective are German

39 American Diabetes Association, “Standards of medical care in diabetes,” (2017), Diabetes Care, 40(S1), S1–S131. 40 E. A. McGlynn, S. M. Asch, Adams, et al., “The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States,” New England Journal of Medicine, 348(26), 2635-2645. 41 B. Frist & A. Rivlin, “The Power of Prevention,” U.S. News and World Report. 42 C. D. Mathers & D. Loncar, “Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030,” PLoS Med, 3(11), e442. 62

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T2D DMPs in: 1. Improving health outcomes of T2D patients? 2. Reducing costs associated with secondary complications of T2D? 3. Improving quality of care delivered to T2D patients? D. Considering the opinions of all of the physicians questioned, what are the current most effective management and treatment practices for T2D? E. Looking forward, what changes in physicians’ practicing or healthcare policy would be most effective at improving the health outcomes, cost burdens, and quality of care of T2D patients?

conducted an informative interview with an employee of the YMCA who runs Denver’s branch of the Diabetes Prevention Program, or DPP. The YMCA runs their DPP in a partnership with the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. This DPP program is a version of a nationwide, year-long lifestyle intervention program for individuals at risk of developing T2D that was started by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Data from all 11 interviews was used in interview results, and a total of 24 survey responses administered to primary care physicians were correctly filled out and recorded. The interviews were all initially recorded, and I listened back to each recording following the interviews to take detailed notes, then deleted the recordings. The data from the results were compiled into qualitative results, analysis, and conclusions.

Research Methods & Designs Overview In Germany, I interviewed 8 primary care physicians, emailed them a link to an online survey, and requested they forward the link to primary care physician colleagues to fill out the survey as well. The length of time they have practiced medicine was asked in the survey, but otherwise, no other personal or demographic information was recorded. Data from all 8 interviews were used in results, and a total of 7 survey responses were correctly filled out and recorded. All recruitment of and communication with German physicians, including emails, the interviews, and the surveys, was conducted in German. In the U.S., in Colorado, I interviewed 9 primary care physicians, emailed them a link to an online survey, and requested they forward the link to primary care physician colleagues to fill out the survey as well. I also interviewed a care coordinator in one of the primary physician’s offices for supplemental, contextual data. Additionally, I

Results 1. German Physician Results 1.1. T2D Diagnosis & Disease Management Program Protocol in German Healthcare Every 2 years after age 35, patients have a check-up that is covered by health insurance, though not everyone goes in reality, physicians reported. There is a screening for T2D at this check-up in the measurement of HbA1c, and it was stressed that many patients do not realize they have T2D. Though the exact designations of HbA1c levels vary by age and race, general parameters in Germany were the same as the U.S., where under 5.7% is normal, 5.7– 6.5% is pre-diabetic, and over 6.5% is diabetic. If patients have a prediabetic HbA1c, physicians typically do not yet recommend DMP enrollment but rather recommend lifestyle changes, including nutritional in63

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struction and an increase in physical activity. They also request the patient come in for more frequent appointments. When a patient is diagnosed with a diabetic HbA1c, they are enrolled in a T2D DMP. To enroll their patients in a DMP, German physicians must take an education course; most primary care physicians participate in DMPs. DMPs are largely covered by “Krankenkassen,” or health insurance. Approximately 75 to 90% of the program components are fully covered by insurance, and patients are generally willing to pay the remaining small amount out of pocket, reported physicians. Health insurance pays for most medicines that the doctor deems necessary. The T2D DMP protocol includes enrollment in a diabetes education course, enrollment in fitness programs, and consultation with a dietician to supplement nutrition recommendations from the doctor. The DMP protocol also includes regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist, or an eye doctor; a podiatrist, or a foot doctor; a nephrologist, or a kidney specialist; and in extremely progressed cases, an endocrinologist, a hormone specialist. The primary care physician receives feedback from each specialist; they oversee and direct all aspects of care for the patient. A DMP participant must come to regular appointments every three months. Participants receive a phone call from the health insurance company if they miss an appointment, in which the health insurance company tells them that they will be dismissed from the program if they miss two appointments in a row. One doctor explained how the requirement of seeing all of his DMP patients every three months is not a challenge, thanks to the appointment scheduling format that changed with the implementation of DMPs: the blocks

from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. every day are only for the already planned appointments like these DMP appointments, which are each very brief, leaving sufficient time throughout the day for appointments regarding more proximate or urgent illnesses, explained this physician. 1.2. Strengths & Weaknesses of T2D DMP Most of the doctors reflected that they remembered having been quite annoyed with DMPs when they were first implemented. They thought, “Why do I need to do this? This is pointless; I already administer good enough care myself. For whom should we do this? For the health insurance companies?” But now, approximately 16 years after DMP implementation, almost every physician interviewed admitted that they think the DMPs do add value for a variety of reasons. These reasons include the structure and regularity inherent to DMPs, the sustainability of lifestyle changes they have seen in their DMP-enrolled patients over time, the decreased incidence of secondary complications in DMP-enrolled patients, and the accountability that results from the DMP platform. However, physicians also reported weaknesses, including excessive documentation and bureaucracy, a lack of customization to patients, the potential for alternate financial motives, and a lack of added value. 2. American Physician Results 2.1. T2D Diagnosis and Care Protocol in American Healthcare U.S. physicians typically start checking for T2D around age 40, though they may begin at a younger age if the patient is obese or if there is family history of T2D. T2D used to be called “adult onset” diabetes, but it is now called Type 2 instead; in recent years, there have been more and 64

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more children diagnosed. Thus, screening of overweight individuals for T2D is starting much younger and more often. Most physicians interviewed said they are able to catch T2D patients fairly early and on the preventive side, if the patients are coming for their regular annual or biannual checkups. While older patients tend to meet those standards, younger adults generally are not as consistent. A physician noted that amidst their busy lives, adults often do not want to make the time to go to the doctor for these preventive visits and are further disincentivized when their insurance doesn’t cover it. Although regular preventive visits are covered in Medicaid and some private insurers, they are unfortunately not covered by all insurers. Some physicians interviewed have encountered this problem in practice, and these physicians said they thus pick up T2D incidentally more often than through preventive care. One physician explained that, in addition to the financial and time reasons, “A lot of people don’t want to have a chronic disease, so they ignore it for a while.” The high blood sugars characteristic of T2D do not cause debilitating symptoms until they are present for a prolonged period of time. A physician said that in her patient population in her smaller practice, some patients will not come in until their glucose level is so high that it can’t even be read on the glucometer, which tops out at 600. Often the reason patients visit the doctor’s office is because of a yeast infection or bacterial infection in the skin, which can occur as a result of these prolonged high blood sugars. At this point, patients have presumably had high glucose levels for a long time and thus often have the severe secondary complications of long-term organ damage, such as kidney failure, gangrene, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Manifestations of

secondary complications are very hard to predict and widely vary from patient to patient. An inadvertently helpful area of incidental T2D detection is in pregnant women, as they are all screened for the disease at their first prenatal visit. One physician remarked that many patients who do not come in regularly often go ten years with T2D before being diagnosed. She inquired, “Is that the fault of [the] health system? Of the patients for not coming in? Of the doctors? Hard to say.” However, networks such as Kaiser Permanente, America’s largest integrated managed care consortium, and HealthOne Colorado Care Partners, a clinically integrated network and accountable care organization, focus more heavily on prevention. The physicians within these networks reported that they diagnose pre-diabetes much more often from preventive screening than by chance, as their patients tend to come more regularly for their insurance-covered, preventive visits. A HealthOne physician stated that he rarely sees secondary complications in his patients as compared to 30 years ago, because they “catch [T2D] earlier, treat it harder, and have more drugs.” Though the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has recommended HbA1c as the best test for screening for T2D, a HbA1c test is currently covered by most insurances only if an abnormal glucose level has been diagnosed first for many practices. Kaiser Permanente, however, runs preventative labs including HbA1c on a regular basis. For anyone with a BMI of over 25, which is considered overweight, HbA1c screening is always included. HbA1c testing will probably be more widely covered, without needing the glucose test first, in upcoming years, however, one physician explained. After discussing weight loss, diet, 65

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“Universal coverage alone does not solve every problem. But such universal healthcare access would at least remove financial barriers for T2D patients.”

trouble with insurance coverage of these newer, more effective medications and thus cannot afford them. Retrospective research showed that German physicians utilize fairly similar medication guidelines; the medication details were discussed in this American section because this information was learned from the American physicians; the language barrier inhibited discussion of specific medications beyond Metformin and insulin with German physicians. In regards to the specialist visits that are sometimes part of T2D care, the majority of physicians said that they only send their very progressed cases of T2D to endocrinologists and nephrologists, though many T2D patients do end up needing nephrologist attention at some point in their care. Most physicians said they give foot exams at every appointment and administer an annual microalbumin check for kidney function. In addition, an annual eye doctor visit is required for all T2D patients to check for retinopathy. Patients are referred to specialists under supervision of the primary care physician when needed. One physician noted that if a specialist recommends an expensive medication, Medicare or Medicaid is more likely to cover it than if a primary care doctor recommends it, so that is sometimes the reason for specialist referral. However, it is often difficult to make an appointment with a specialist, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid patients, as many providers do not get a significant reimbursement for seeing these government-insured patients.

exercise, lifestyle changes, and food diaries, most physicians put T2D patients on the fairly inexpensive, generic medication Metformin. Metformin works by lowering glucose production in the liver and improving the body’s insulin sensitivity, and the majority of T2D patients stay on Metformin for life. At Denver Health, the physician said she puts almost all T2D patients on, in addition to Metformin, a lowdose ACE-inhibitor, which lowers blood pressure and maximizes blood flow to the kidneys, and a statin, which lowers cholesterol. After these “first line of defense” options come sulfonylureas, which help the body secrete more insulin. These are followed by newer, more expensive medications, including GLP-1 receptor agonists and SGLT-2 inhibitors, which lower blood sugar, help enable weight loss, and lower risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events, or, at last resort, insulin. GLP-1 receptor agonists respond quickly to rises in a patient’s blood sugar but also do not cause hypoglycemia. This new medication is thus extremely beneficial for elderly T2D patients, as hypoglycemia is a common problem that arises with insulin use and can be particularly dangerous for seniors. Physicians noted that many patients have

2.2 Strengths & Weaknesses of American T2D Care Protocol The majority of strengths of T2D care in the U.S. revolve around the opportunity for innovation that is possible to 66

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some degree within the American healthcare system. This flexibility enables the potential for rapid evolution of improvement of care. While this potential has certainly not yet been realized throughout the entire healthcare system, there are strong examples of promise that were elucidated in several of the American physician interviews. Such strengths include increased utilization of technological tools for T2D management and accountability, development of nuanced, robust management programs such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, increased use of the motivational interviewing technique with patients, and the evolution towards team-based care and improved transitional care. The majority of the weaknesses stem from the disparities within the U.S. healthcare system, given its lack of uniformity across payers and providers. While this gives rise to some of the benefits of innovation discussed above, it also poses many challenges revolving around unequal access to adequate care and resources for both patients and providers. As one of the physicians interviewed said, “Access is everything. If it wasn’t disincentivizing to come see me, patients would come in more often and be able to get questions answered. If the healthcare system was free, socialized, single-payer, whatever you want to call it.” However, as previously discussed in the weaknesses of Germany’s T2D care, universal coverage alone does not solve every problem. But such universal healthcare access would at least remove financial barriers for T2D patients, allowing them access to the medications and effective intervention programs they need. Key weaknesses include the high cost of medications, the lack of insurance-covered diabetes education, overcrowding of the public healthcare system, and America’s

somewhat cultural focus on reactive rather than proactive healthcare.

Analysis 1. Similarities Between German and American T2D Care Despite the wide variance of resources available to T2D patients across Germany and the U.S., the two nations do share much of the basic protocol when diagnosing and administering care for this disease. To start, both German and American physicians stated that the target HbA1c, and thus recommendations surrounding it, varies from patient to patient, especially in respect to age. Older patients do not need to keep their HbA1c as low as middle aged or younger patients, because older patients may die before most of the consequences of T2D affect them, and because a low blood sugar is more dangerous for elderly people. Next, doctors in both countries generally want to see their T2D patients every three months until they have their condition controlled, at which point bi-annual appointments become the norm, although this frequency is typically not achieved across all patient populations in reality. Both American and German physicians also agreed that diabetic education is a factor critical to success for their T2D patients, and that the intensity of this education need be improved, delivered more frequently and for a longer total period of time, and, in the U.S., made more widely available at no cost to all T2D patients. Another shared characteristic of the T2D protocol was that primary care physicians usually oversee most diabetic care. Doctors universally try to personalize care to each patient and recommend small, realistic lifestyle changes with which they follow up at the following three month ap67

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pointment. Examples of such recommendations from both German and American physicians included to only drink water and cut out sugary drinks, eat five handfuls of veggies per day, or lose ten pounds, rather than 50 pounds. Both nations’ physicians also said that they send their T2D patients who have progressed so far as to need insulin to the endocrinologist approximately every three months, in addition to the three-monthly primary care visit. Finally, some German physicians explained that the success of DMPs in preventing secondary complications does not usually come from completely curing the patients and graduating them from the program. It rather comes from the typically lifelong enrollment in the DMP where patients achieve a state of controlled T2D, in which they have an HbA1C of 7 to 8% and are stabilized with just Metformin. In the same light, American physicians largely agreed that while T2D is reversible, most patients do not enact drastic enough sustainable lifestyle change to achieve such reversal but rather are stabilized or controlled with Metformin and some small lifestyle improvements. The physicians interviewed generally concurred that while a T2D patient’s health will rarely be rapidly reversed, success comes through working together as patient and doctor, month after month, year after year, to implement and sustain small lifestyle changes that all add up to a healthier patient. Both nations also encounter several similar challenges with T2D management, however. One challenge is how diabetes is a “silent disease” that often is not tended to until it has progressed, because many people are unaware that they are diabetic. Physicians have to work to convince the patient of the importance of lifestyle changes and motivate them to make these chang-

es, because high sugar levels alone do not have immediate detrimental effects. Other challenges include the inevitable variety of patient compliance level, the difficulty of sustaining lifestyle changes, the immense control possessed by pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare professionals’ lack of time; they complained of spending too much time on bureaucratic paperwork and not enough time with patients. Another challenge both German and American physicians strived to solve was reaching rural patients. A primary care physician interviewed who works in a small, rural German town explained how, in rural areas, primary care physicians must try to do all treatments for their patients since specialists are so few and far between. One hopeful solution to this issue of reaching rural populations is increased use of telemedicine, which will be discussed in the upcoming recommendations and future directions section. 2. Differences Between German and American T2D Care Challenges unique to the U.S. include T2D’s disproportionate detriment to minority populations and people of lower socioeconomic status, prohibitively expensive pharmaceuticals, conflicting financial interests within American healthcare, and rising T2D rates in children. Challenges unique to Germany primarily consisted of the aforementioned downsides of the DMP. The main distinct forte of American T2D care, as discussed in the U.S. strengths section, is the greater prevalence of new, creative methods to try to drive behavior change and lifestyle improvement of T2D patients. The German physicians embraced much the mindset that this DMP is a set protocol; regardless of whether it was succeeding at improving health out68

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comes and reducing costs incurred, they would follow it and not challenge it to be improved. Some German physicians stated they wouldn’t change anything about the DMP when asked in interviews — they considered it a very good and well-structured program. They believed the lack of a 100% success rate for it was due to patients’ discipline, thus outside of their responsibility. While this physician satisfaction illustrates potential effectiveness of DMPs on one hand, it also illustrates an inflexible cultural mindset within Germany that prevents flexible innovation, as in the U.S. In the U.S., some of the more progressive primary care practices put heavy emphasis on the constant effort to innovate new and better ways to improve their T2D patients’ health outcomes and reduce their cost burdens. While not all American providers are of this mindset, it was more common as compared to Germany. And though Germany’s T2D DMPs have been more successful in improving T2D than American healthcare on average, the novel T2D care in some of the more progressive primary care practices in the U.S. most certainly trumped the results of the DMPs in terms of both economic savings and improving patient outcomes through innovative methods of driving lifestyle change. Many of the recommendations for future directions in the upcoming section come from these American primary care practices, as the German physicians offered far fewer ideas for change and means of improvement as compared to the U.S. physicians. As for fortes unique to Germany, several of the German physicians did recount very positive results of success from their T2D DMP patients. One physician talked about how he observed significant lifestyle improvements in his patients, though he is not positive if it is a result of the DMPs.

He thought that cultural and generational improvement could be contributing factors (“70 is the new 60,” he said). He explained that people exercise much more now; many of his T2D patients enroll in sport programs that are insurance covered as part of their T2D “Kassenleistung,” or services covered by health insurance. Most of the German physicians recounted that, on average, their T2D patients’ health has improved since DMP implementation. This view, paired with the studies showing DMP efficacy, suggests that DMPs have, in fact, been an advantageous addition to German chronic care management. 3. Recommendations for Improvement of T2D Care The concluding recommendations for improvement include increasing use of motivational interviewing to better ascertain root causes, addressing and striving to alleviate social determinants of health, increasing use of technological tools for T2D accountability and management, providing broader access to free T2D education, increasing employment of team-based care and home visits, and revisiting payment incentive structures to shift towards more value-based, rather than fee-for-service, healthcare. Several German physicians stated that the problem with the T2D DMPs was a lack of a rewards principle; they believed there would be greater success in improving patient health if both the patient and the physician were rewarded monetarily for achieving progress. They explained how they thought that such monetary incentives would end up saving money at the end of the day. However, it is highly improbable that T2D patients will be paid by health insurance companies for adhering to program protocol and achieving health improvements any time in the 69

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near future, in either German or American healthcare. Change that is more probable, however, is change surrounding physician payment. Several physicians interviewed brought up the recently catalyzed shift in American healthcare from fee-for-service, or FFS, to value-based reimbursement. The FSS payment model that has dominated U.S. healthcare for decades is characterized by physicians being paid per person and per visit, as mentioned in the introduction. Since physicians are not incentivized to make efforts to provide preventive care to patients and American culture does not emphasize prevention, many patients wait until they are in dire need before coming in to the doctor’s office, compromising prevention efforts. Additionally, physicians are not reimbursed based on quality of care or their patients’ health outcomes, so there is little differentiation between effective and ineffective patient-physician interactions. This payment model based on patient volume also disincentivizes doctors to take the time to explain the necessary lifestyle change advice to patients; prescription writing is faster thus allows for seeing more patients. A societal shift from the exorbitantly expensive reactive care to the much more cost effective and quality-of-life-improving proactive care described throughout this paper can likely only be driven by economic means. The answer to this need comes from the value-based primary care reimbursement model, which incorporates clinical outcomes into provider payment and provides differential reimbursements based on measures of medical costs incurred and clinical quality.43 This transition is well un-

derway, as nearly a quarter of reimbursement among U.S. healthcare organizations has turned value-based in recent years, replacing a fee-for-service dominated system that had been stagnant for decades. To succeed, the value-based revolution will have to overcome barriers including changes in infrastructure requirements, regulation/ policy, information technology, and administrative details. But value-based contracting does hold promising potential for chronic care management, because, as stated by a HealthOne physician, “To succeed in value-based contracting, you’ve got to focus on prevention.” Only the upcoming years will tell to what extent value-based care improves the health outcomes of, quality of care for, and cost burdens incurred by T2D patients. If it is successful, perhaps Germans will be investigating American value-based T2D management programs in the future, instead of Americans investigating the German T2D DMPs as has been done in this thesis.

Conclusion This paper has laid out findings of similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses of T2D management methods in Germany and the U.S., as well as best directions forward. Germany champions the strength of providing fairly effective DMP-administered T2D care through their universal health insurance coverage, while the quality of T2D care and resources available varies widely in the U.S., depending on healthcare providers and insurers. With a high number of Americans lacking comprehensive insurance, or with none at all, many who need healthcare to control their T2D end up suffering expensive hospitalizations due to secondary complications that occur with the lack of preventive care, which is detrimental to

43 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Changing Landscape: From Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Reimbursement.” 70

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all parties. Noteworthy strengths of Germany’s T2D DMPs included better blood sugar level monitoring, due to the frequency of visits; improved patient accountability, from health insurance companies calling patients if they miss an appointment; more regular specialist visits, reducing occurrence of secondary complications; and availability of access to T2D management resources without financial barrier. German DMP key weaknesses included lack of customization and excessive bureaucratic documentation for minimal added value. Strengths of American methods revolved around a greater prevalence of innovation, exemplified by increasing utilization of technological tools and motivational interviewing techniques, as well as an evolution towards team-based care delivery and value-based reimbursement models. Weaknesses stemmed from systematic inequality of access in U.S. healthcare, including lack of insurance-covered diabetes education, prohibitively high costs of medication, and insufficient provision of affordable preventive care. Despite these differences between German and American T2D care, both nations do encounter several universal challenges in T2D management. Such shared challenges include imperfect patient compliance

and difficulty of achieving sustainable lifestyle changes — indicating a need for improvement in both nations’ T2D care. Due to the strict structure of German DMPs, there was less impetus to create creative methods to overcome this barrier and drive patients’ lifestyle improvements among German providers, as compared to select U.S. providers. Yet, nearly all physicians agreed on needing to address these universal challenges. Primary recommendations included restructuring the payment incentive system, based on rewarding improved health outcomes, as well as increased utilization of home visits, dieticians, mental health counselors, technological tools for patient communication and accountability, team-based care, and rigorous diabetes education. Evidently, the future of improving T2D care and management hinges on an intensification of preventive measures, which must be directed by primary care providers, incentivized by insurers, and achieved by patient–physician cooperation. This heightened prevention is the only way forward — not only for the sake of financial reduction it is sure to bring, but first and foremost, for the health outcomes of millions of present and future T2D patients that it can improve. ■


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Bibliography American Diabetes Association. (2013). Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2012. Diabetes care, 36(4), 1033-1046. American Diabetes Association. (2017). Standards of medical care in diabetes. Diabetes Care, 40(S1), S1–S131. American Diabetes Association. (2018). Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017. Diabetes care, 41(5), 917-928. American Nurses Association (ANA). (2012). The Value of Nursing Care Coordination. Bahr, D. & Huelskoetter, T. (2014). Comparing the Effectiveness of Prescription Drugs: The German Experience. Center for American Progress. Beamesderfer, A. & Ranji, U. (2012). U.S. Health Care Costs, Background Brief. Kaiser Family Foundation. Behrick, E., Hood, E., & Barnett, J. (2018). Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017. United States Census Bureau. Bloom, F. J., Graf, T., Anderer, T., & Stewart, W. F. (2010). Redesign of a diabetes system of care using an all-or-none diabetes bundle to build teamwork and improve intermediate outcomes. Diabetes Spectrum, 23(3), 165-169. Brandt, S., Hartmann, J., & Hehner, S. (2010). How to design a successful disease-management program. McKinsey & Company. Bundesversicherungsamt (2016). Zulassung der strukturierten Behandlungsprogramme (Disease Mangement Programme – DMP) durch das Bundesversicherungsamt (BVA). Burton, Rachel. (2012). Improving Care Transitions. Health Affairs Health Policy Brief. Buttorff C., Ruder T., & Bauman M. (2017). Multiple Chronic Conditions in the United States. Rand Corporation. Care Transformation Center Advisory Board. (2014). The care transformation alphabet: What’s the difference between CI, ACO, and PCMH? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Now, two out of every five Americans is expected to get type 2 diabetes during their lifetimes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). National diabetes statistics report, 2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Diabetes Home, Type 2 Diabetes. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Ser-

vices. (2013). Press release, Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations succeed in improving care, lowering costs. Congressional Budget Office. (2017). The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 and the Individual Mandate. Davis, K., Stremikis, K., Squires, D., & Schoen, C. (2014). “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2014 Update.” The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. Department of Professional Employees. (2016). The U.S. Healthcare System: An International Perspective Factsheet. Diabetes in Zahlen. (n.d.) Deutsche Diabetes Hilfe. End of Life Care. (2013). The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Evidence for Integrated Care. (2015). McKinsey & Company. Feeley, T. W. & Mohta, N.S. (2018). New Marketplace Survey: Transitioning Payment Models: Feefor-Service to Value-Based Care. New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst. Frist B., & Rivlin A. (2015). The Power of Prevention. U.S. News and World Report. Fuchs, S., Henschke, C., Blümel, B., & Reinhard, M. (2014). Disease Management Programs for Type 2 Diabetes in Germany. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 111(26), 453–63. Harbage, P. & Furnas, B. (2009). The Cost of Doing Nothing on Health Care. Center for American Progress. Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Disease. (2019). Center for Disease Prevention: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Health Policy Institute, McCourt School of Public Policy. (2003). Georgetown University. Diabetes Management Programs: Improving Health while Reducing Costs? Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). (2015). Health insurance in Germany. Kähm, K., Laxy, M., Schneider, U., et al. (2018): Health Care Costs Associated With Incident Complications in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in Germany. Diabetes Care, 41(5): 971–978 Key Facts about the Uninsured

Population. (2018). Kaiser Family Foundation. Key Features of the Affordable Care Act, By Year. (n.d.) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Khazan O. (2014). What American Healthcare Can Learn from Germany. The Atlantic. Knox, R. (2008). Keeping German Doctors On A Budget Lowers Costs. National Public Radio. Koch, K., Miksch, A., Schürmann, C, et al. (2011). The German Health Care System in International Comparison: The Primary Care Physicians’ Perspective. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 108(15): 255–261. Köster, I., Schubert, I., & Huppertz, E. (2012). Follow up of the CoDiM-study: cost of diabetes mellitus 2000–2009. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 137:1013–16. Kostev, K., Rockel, T., & Jacob, L. (2016). Impact of Disease Management Programs on HbA1c Values in Type 2 Diabetes Patients in Germany. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 11(1), 117-122. Laxy M, Stark R, Meisinger C, et al. (2015). The effectiveness of German disease management programs (DMPs) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease: results from an observational longitudinal study. Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome, 7: 77. Link, C. L., & McKinlay, J. B. (2009). Disparities in the prevalence of diabetes: is it race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status? Results from the Boston Area Community Health (BACH) survey. Ethnicity & disease, 19(3), 288. Long, M., Rae, M., Claxton, G., Jankiewicz, A., & Rousseau, D. (2016). Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums. Jama, 315(1), 18-18. Majerol, M., Kewkirk, V., & Garfield, R. (2015). The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts about Health Insurance and The Uninsured in the Era of Health Reform. Kaiser Family Foundation. Mathers, C.D., & Loncar D. (2006). Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLoS Med, 3(11), e442. McClellan M, Kent J, Beales S, et al. (2013). Accountable care: focusing accountability on the outcomes that matter: report of the Accountable Care Working Group. World Inno-


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vation Summit for Health. McGlynn, E. A., Asch, S. M., Adams, et al. (2003). The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(26), 2635-2645. Medicaid: Changes under the Affordable Care Act. (2017). Health Reform Tracker. UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy. Mossialos, E., Wenzl, M., Osborn, R., & Anderson, C. (2015). International Profiles of Healthcare Systems, 2014. The Commonwealth Fund. Mostashari F, Sanghavi D, McClellan M. Health reform and physician-led accountable care: the paradox of primary care physician leadership. JAMA. 2014; 311(18): 1855 – 6. Nagel, H., Baehring, T, & Scherbaum, A. (2006). Implementing Disease Management Programs for Type 2 Diabetes in Germany. German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at the Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany, 50-53. National Diabetes Statistics Report (2017). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of

Health and Human Services. 3-9 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (n.d.) Changing Landscape: From Fee-forService to Value-Based Reimbursement. Neu, A., Feldhahn, L., Ehehalt, S., Hub, R., Ranke, M. B., & DIARY group Baden‐Württemberg. (2009). Type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents is still a rare disease in Germany: a population‐based assessment of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and MODY in patients aged 0–20 years. Pediatric diabetes, 10(7), 468-473. North Texas Clinically Integrated Network, Inc. (TXCIN). (2019). Cracking the Shared Savings Code. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2015). Health at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators. Paradise, J. (2015). Medicaid Moving Forward. Kaiser Family Foundation. Reinhardt, U. (2009). Health Reform Without a Public Plan: The German Model. The New York Times. Ridic, G., Gleason, S., & Ridic, O. (2012). Comparisons of health care systems in the United States, Germany and

Canada. Materia socio-medica, 24(2), 112–120. Rosenbloom, A. L., Joe, J. R., Young, R. S., & Winter, W. E. (1999). Emerging epidemic of type 2 diabetes in youth. Diabetes care, 22(2), 345-354. Tamayo, T., Brinks, R., Hoyer, A., Kuß, O., & Rathmann, W. (2016). The prevalence and incidence of diabetes in Germany: an analysis of statutory health insurance data on 65 million individuals from the years 2009 and 2010. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 113(11), 177. Tilburt, J.C., Wynia, M.K., Sheeler, R.,D., et al. (2013). Views of US physicians about controlling health care costs. JAMA. 310(4):380-388. Ulrich, S., Holle, R., Wacker, M., et al. (2016). Cost burden of type 2 diabetes in Germany: results from the population-based KORA studies. BMJ open, 6(11), e012527. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. (2013). National Research Council. Winkler, E., Basch, P., & Cutler, D. (2012). Paper Cuts: Reducing Health Care Administrative Costs. Center for American Progress.


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Alexander Ross, a biomedical engineering student in his junior year, shares what a typical day in the BIGMed Lab looks like. He spent summer 2019 working in the lab after receiving a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) for an independent project, “Optimizing superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for natural killer cell labeling.” Ross conducted in vitro cell studies to analyze and manipulate the interaction between cell cultures and nanoparticles. He looked at the toxicity of nanoparticles to tumor cells, furthering the BIGMed Lab’s cancer immunotherapy research.

in the life of a summer student researcher 74

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7:00 a.m.: Wake up, shower, and get dressed. 7:30 a.m.: Eat breakfast, usually a bagel. 8:00 a.m.: Leave Evanston residence and head to the nearest bus stop. Take the Intercampus shuttle to Northwestern’s Chicago campus, to the Feinberg School of Medicine. 9:00 a.m.: Arrive at the BIGMed Lab. Prepare cell cultures and synthesize nanoparticles for experiments later in the day. Take inventory of lab supplies. 10:00 a.m.: Depending on the day of the week, attend lab meetings, in which lab members present findings from recent experiments, or attend journal club, in which a lab member shares relevant literature and avenues for future research. Engage in discussion and receive feedback from the principal investigator.

11:00 a.m.: Receive daily or weekly tasks for independent project from postdoctoral mentor. Tasks may include incubating cells, applying nanoparticles to cells, running tests with a photometer or infrared spectrometer, and/ or designing magnets to fine tune the properties of nanoparticles. Noon : Grab lunch with colleagues. 1:00 p.m. : Continue work on independent project. Leave the lab once there’s a good stopping point, depending on the stage and success of the experiment at hand. 5:00 p.m. : Take the Intercampus shuttle back home to Evanston. 6:30 p.m. : Make dinner or get takeout — Chipotle is always a go-to!

8:00 p.m.: Relax! Call friends, work on language learning, plan a trip for later in the summer, watch a movie, and so on. 10:00 p.m. : Get ready for bed, then sleep and recharge!

Ross said that future summer researchers should try to stay open-minded. “Things change in research very, very quickly,” he said, as he discovered with his own continuously evolving project.

7:00 p.m. Eat dinner. Interview conducted by Niva Razin


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Department of History

“A Man With Many Faces, All Turned in the Same Direction”:

Julius Lester on AntiSemitism, Anti-Blackness, and Black-Jewish Coalitions by Jessica Schwalb Beginning in the early 20th century, Black and Jewish civil rights activists joined forces to protest racial discrimination, forming institutional and individual relationships.1 However, countless historical scholarship has highlighted that the popular mythology around this so-called Black-Jewish alliance romanticizes a relationship that was in fact fraught with contradiction from its inception.2 A particularly potent strand of the myth describes a conflict-free Black-Jewish coalition in the early 1960s, emblemized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, religious and civil rights leaders, who marched arm in arm across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to advocate for voting rights. The myth then turns sour around 1965, with the rise of the Black Power movement

and repeated, reciprocal accusations of anti-Semitism and anti-Blackness that captured national media attention and divided the former allies. Historians appear undecided on whether the Black Power movement instigated the end of the Black-Jewish alliance or merely revealed how frayed the alliance had already become.3 However, most scholars mark the end of the Black-Jewish alliance with the rise of Black Power, and tend to blame Black leaders’ anti-Semitism for causing the tension.4 Yet, historians have not adequately taken up the question of how and why Black activists accused Jews of anti-Black racism during major moments of tension between the two groups. Few scholars address Jewish racism against Black Americans as a key factor in damaging Black-Jewish relations.

1 Clayborne Carson, “Blacks and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement,” in Strangers and Neighbors: Relations between Blacks and Jews in the United States, edited by Maureen Adams and John Bracey (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000) 2 Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz, The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporaism. (Indiana University Press, 2007). 3 Eric Sundquist, Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, and Post-Holocaust America (Belknap Press, 2009) 4 This line of thinking is repeated in, for example, Robert G. Weisbord and Arthur Stein Bittersweet Encounter: The Afro-American and the American Jew (Negro Universities Press, 1970); Struggles in the Promised Land: Toward a History of Black-Jewish Relations in the United States, edited by Jack Salzman and Cornel West (Oxford University Press 1997); Cheryl Greenberg, Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century (Princeton University Press, 2007). 76

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“Lester straddled both sides of the debate about Black anti-Semitism and Jewish anti-Black racism.” Although the popular historical narrative of Black-Jewish relations tends to paint with broad strokes, activists and critics held lively debates over anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism in essay collections and leftist newspapers from the 1960s through the 1980s. Black and Jewish writers publicly disagreed about the cause of tension between their communities and presented a nuanced analysis of the reasons the Black and Jewish communities increasingly clashed after the mid-’60s. Julius Lester was a key participant in these debates about Black-Jewish relations. A folk singer born in St. Louis, his guitar brought him into collaboration with Pete Seeger and into grassroots organizing with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Lester became involved in the most polarizing moments of tension between Black and Jewish civil rights organizations in the late 1900s. He wrote essays, political treatises, and novels about anti-racist activism and Black identity. In the early 1980s, Lester converted to Judaism and published a memoir entitled “Lovesong: Becoming a Jew.”5 That Lester both instigated Black-Jewish conflict and later became a Black Jew is more than historical anomaly. His life circled around issues of Black anti-Semitism and Jewish anti-Black racism when he was studying at Fisk in Nashville, organizing for civil rights in New York City and Mississippi, and teaching in Amherst, Massachusetts. At various moments in his

career, Lester straddled both sides of the debate about Black anti-Semitism and Jewish anti-Black racism. His writing reveals that these debates were embedded in conversations about whiteness, and about the tension between American Jewish privilege and the persistence of anti-Semitism. Lester’s work allows us to grapple with how Black activists viewed their Jewish allies’ relationship to racial privilege and power. By analyzing moments of Lester’s life when he was deeply involved in major conflict between Black and Jewish civil rights groups, we can better understand how and why Black activists’ critiques of Jewish racism were transformed into debates over whether those critiques were antisemitic. Throughout his career as an activist and intellectual, Lester encouraged American Jews to reconsider how they discussed race, power, and privilege. In the 1960s, Lester frequently called out Jewish racism against Black people. His early work reflected a growing consensus among some Black activists who argued that anti-Semitism was far less important than anti-Black racism. Lester and others described how Eastern European Jewish immigrants to the United States were not always considered white in the country’s racial hierarchy, but by the mid-1900s, most American Jews had gained access to the privileges of whiteness long prohibited to Black Americans, including housing, education, jobs, and freedom from violence.6 Though

5 Julius Lester, Lovesong: Becoming a Jew (Henry Holt & Co, January 1988). 6 A small number of historians have analyzed the ways European Jewish immigrants to the United States navigated civil rights coalitions while grappling with their own whiteness, notably Eric Goldstein’s The Price of Whiteness. See also Cheryl Greenberg “I’m Not White -- I’m Jewish: The Racial Politics of American Jews” in Race, Color, Identity: Rethinking Discourses about “Jews” in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Efraim Sicher (Berghahn Books, 2013) 77

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“Many Jews struggled to reckon with their newfound privilege while still defining themselves as victims.”

itism with the fact of white Jewish privilege. In response to Lester and other Black writers who critiqued their privilege and power, American Jews and Jewish institutions tended to exaggerate the threat of anti-Semitism and minimize the racism that Black Americans faced. Whereas Lester in his early activism dismissed anti-Semitism and emphasized anti-Blackness, most Jewish groups claimed anti-Semitism was more important than racism and implied that one should choose which oppression was most severe and dismiss the other. In the 1960s, Lester was part of a cadre of Black civil rights activists who rejected national outrage over Black activist groups’ alleged anti-Semitism and instead emphasized the importance of discussing Jewish anti-Black racism. In his later writings, Lester reversed course and began to argue that anti-Semitism was more pressing than anti-Black racism. Most scholars have ignored Lester’s analysis of these issues, perhaps because his views complicate questions about Black-Jewish relations, whose answers the historical literature has tended to oversimplify. A handful of scholars from religious studies, history, and gender studies have analyzed Lester’s political and personal evolution, but they tend to read his complex relationship to identity, race, and radicalism rather uncharitably. These authors describe Lester as disingenuous, and some argue that his 1982 conversion to Judaism was motivated by a psychological desire to redeem himself from having been accused of anti-Semitism

American Jews’ relationship with whiteness was tenuous, Lester’s early writing epitomized how, as literary scholar Efraim Sicher notes, “Blacks have often perceived Jews as whites and identified them with the dominant White society that segregated and enslaved them.”7 In the face of Lester and other Black activists’ critiques, many Jews struggled to reckon with their newfound privilege while still defining themselves as victims, “feeling [themselves] oppressed and poor yet anomalously burdened with prosperity.”8 American Jews’ newfound whiteness in the United States did not preclude them from experiencing anti-Semitism, nor did it minimize their fears of potential future anti-Jewish violence.9 Paul Berman described this mindset well in a 1994 New Yorker essay about American Jewish politics: “For the driveway may be long and circular, and the living-room carpet may be thick, but the enemy-memory does not fade.”10 Many Jews clung tight to their “enemy memory” and rejected Lester’s, and others,’ charges to contextualize anti-Sem-

7 Efraim Sicher, introduction to Race, Color, Identity: Rethinking Discourses about “Jews” in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Sicher, Berghahn Books, 2013., 3. 8 Blacks and Jews: Alliances and Arguments, ed. Paul Berman (New York, Delacorte Press, 1994), 13. 9 “Jews...are both white and not quite white; they are simultaneously participants and antagonists of whiteness.” Susannah Heschel “Reading Cynthia Baker’s Jew with James Baldwin” Marginalia (LA Review of Books) July 5, 2017. 10 Paul Berman, “Reflections: The Other and the Almost the Same,” The New Yorker, February 28, 1994, 61-66. http://writing. 78

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in the past.11 In a chapter dedicated to Lester at the end of his history of Black-Jewish relations, “Strangers in the Land,” literary scholar Eric Sundquist argues that Lester’s writing presents “Jewishness ... as one way to escape the most hateful stereotypes and primordial fears of black life.”12 But neither Sundquist nor academic historians adequately address Lester’s countless essays about the relationship between Black and Jewish identity and between anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism. Few explore how Lester’s trajectory helps illuminate Jewish and Black Americans’ changing relationships to politics and race. To solely focus on Black activists’ alleged anti-Semitism, as many Jews at the time did and historical scholars have done, clouds historical understanding of the debates around Black-Jewish tension. This also ignores Black Jews, whose unique relationship to both anti-Semitism and racism complicates easy assumptions about race and identity. Lester and his contemporaries mostly referred to Black and Jewish communities as discrete and non-overlapping, and tended to see an interest in racism and anti-Semitism as mutually exclusive.13 Unlike many Jewish writers and activists who argued that Black Americans disproportionately held latent anti-Jewish prejudice, Lester made space in his writing for the idea that American Jews could be racist, even as they themselves could also be the targets of anti-Semitism. After he converted to Judaism, Lester also opened a conversation about the often-ignored fact that not all American Jews are white.

Lester frequently decried the skepticism and isolation he faced when entering mostly-white synagogues as a Black man. Accusations of Jewish racism take on new weight when we consider Black and other non-white Jews, such as Lester, who in the late 1980s wrote of facing prejudice from fellow Jews. However, for most of his life, nonwhite Jews were hardly on Lester’s radar, with little more than the oft-ridiculed Sammy Davis Jr. to refer to as a prominent example of someone who traversed Black American and Jewish identity. To this day, the perspectives of non-white Jews remain absent in most scholarly work about Black-Jewish relations. The recent publication of sociologist Bruce Haynes’ “The Soul of Judaism” is one of few inquiries into Black Jewish identity. Haynes surveyed various Black American Jewish communities, currently estimated at around 2% of the American Jewish population or approximately 200,000 people. He delved into how anti-Semitism, racism, and representation manifest uniquely for Jews of color.14 But Haynes is one of few scholars engaging in the depth and singularity of the experience of non-white Jews. In light of scholarly neglect, Lester represents a singular voice on the history of Black-Jewish relations, as a figure both involved in moments of debate over Black anti-Semitism and Jewish racism and who himself complicates the historiography around such moments. Julius Lester’s role in and writing about key moments of Black-Jewish tension are important reminders of the reduc-

11 See: Alyson Cole, “Trading Places: From Black Power Activist to ‘Anti-Negro Negro’.” American Studies 44, no. 3 (2003): 37-76 and William D. Hart, Black Religion : Malcolm X, Julius Lester, and Jan Willis. (1st ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). 12 Eric Sundquist, Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, and Post-Holocaust America (Belknap Press, 2009), 510 13 See: Bruce D. Haynes. The Soul of Judaism: Jews of African Descent in America. (New York University Press, 2018), 6-7. “Though two rabbis in Greenwich Village in 1964 formed a network of “assistance” for Black Jews that also sought to increase Black-white Jewish interaction called Hatzaad Harishon, most mainstream Jewish perception remained that American Jews were white until the highly publicized airlifts of African and Ethiopian Jews flown to Israel in 1985 and 1990.” 14 Haynes, introduction to The Soul of Judaism. 79

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“Black Jews, whose unique relationship to both antiSemitism and racism complicates easy assumptions about race and identity.” tive ways activists, reporters, and historians discussed anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism. Lester was widely seen as a spokesperson for Black radical anti-Semitism during the 1968 New York City teachers’ strike, and thus his subsequent critiques of Jewish teachers’ anti-Black racism fell on skeptical ears. During the following decade, Lester critiqued what he perceived to be widespread Black anti-Semitism in a moment of national Black-Jewish tension over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and entered a dispute over domestic and foreign policy issues. In the 1980s, Lester accused famed author James Baldwin of anti-Semitism and sparked a national controversy about anti-Semitism, academic freedom, and Black Studies. In each of these mo-

ments, reciprocal accusations of Jewish anti-Black racism and Black anti-Semitism divided former coalition partners, forcing activists to pick sides and either ignoring or insulting those who crossed the proverbial, and sometimes literal, picket line. Lester’s role in these three moments of Black-Jewish tension, coupled with his personal evolution from Black Power advocate to critic of Black Studies and newly-converted Jew, reveal that Black and Jewish activists used accusations of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism to reinforce reductive myths about Black-Jewish relations. Lester’s life and work prove that more complicated stories about anti-Semitism and anti-Blackness rarely stick. ■

Bibliography Archival Materials Julius Lester papers, Jones Library, Amherst, Massachusetts. Folders used: About Lester 1968-89 About Lester 1990-96 Correspondence — personal: A (general) Journals — 1959/60’ Lectures and conferences –– radio commentary Notebooks –– blue University of Massachusetts University of Massachusetts-Amherst Archives, University Library, Amherst, Massachusetts. Boxes used: Lester, Julius. Faculty Senate Committees 1987/88. 1988 Chancellor’s Office Drawer IX Faculty Personnel, Box 15 of 18 Chancellor’s Files 1985-88 Graduate to Long 90-050 box 3 of 6, file “Lester,


Published Primary Sources Berube, Marilyn ed. Confrontation at Ocean Hill-Brownsville: The New York School Strikes of 1968. New York, Praeger, 1969. Hentoff, Nat ed. Black Anti-Semitism and Jewish Racism. New York: R.W. Baron, 1969. Lester, Julius. Look Out Whitey! Black Power’s Gonna Get Your Mama. New York: Grove Press, 1968. Lester, Julius. Revolutionary Notes. New York: RW Baron, 1969. Lester, Julius. “It’s Nation-Time? Late Again.” Essence, October 1972, p42-43. Retrieved from http:// login?url=https://search-proquestcom.turing.library.northwestern. edu/docview/1818427499?accoun-

tid=12861 Lester, Julius. All is Well. New York: Morrow Press, 1976. Lester, Julius. Lovesong: Becoming a Jew. New York: Henry Holt & Co, January 1988. Lester, Julius. “Academic Freedom and the Black Intellectual.” The Black Scholar 19, no. 6 (1988): 16-26.

Secondary Sources Berman, Paul ed. Blacks and Jews: Alliances and Arguments. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994. Biondi, Martha. The Black Revolution on Campus. California: University of California Press, 2012. Bracey, John and Adams, Maureen, ed. Strangers and Neighbors: Relations between Blacks and Jews in the United States. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.


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Causey, Virginia. Review of The Strike That Changed New York, by Jerald Podair. Journal of American Ethnic History 24, no. 3 (2005): 106-07. Chertoff, Mordechai ed. The New Left and the Jews. New York: Pitman, 1971. Cole, Alyson. “Trading Places: From Black Power Activist to ‘Anti-Negro Negro’.” American Studies 44, no. 3 (2003): 37-76. Dollinger, Marc. Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s. Boston: Brandeis Press, 2018. Eisenberg, Ellen. “State of the Field: Jews & Others.” American Jewish History 102, no. 2 (2018): 283-301. Fischbach, Michael. “The 1967 SNCC Newsletter Controversy, Black-Jewish Relations, and the Demise of SNCC.” Unpublished manuscript fragment, 2019. Fischbach, Michael. Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color. California: Stanford University Press, 2019. Forman, Seth Adam. “The Unbearable Whiteness of being: Jewish Black Americans in the Jewish Mind: 1945-1972” PhD dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1996. http:// login?url=https://search-proquestcom.turing.library.northwestern. edu/docview/304315668?accountid=12861. Friedman, Murray. What Went Wrong?: The Creation and Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance. New York: Free Press, 1995. Greenberg, Cheryl. Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2006. Goldstein, Dana. “The Tough Lessons of the 1968 Teacher Strikes.” The Nation, September 24, 2014. https:// Goldstein, Eric. The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008. Gordon, Jane Anna. Why They Couldn’t Wait: A Critique of the Black-Jewish Conflict over Community Control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, 1967-1971. New York: Routledge-Falmer, 2001. Hart, William D. Black Religion : Malcolm X, Julius Lester, and Jan Willis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Haynes, Bruce D. The Soul of Judaism: Jews of African Descent in America. New York: New York University Press, 2018. Heschel, Susannah.“Reading Cynthia Baker’s Jew with James Baldwin” Marginalia (LA Review of Books) July 5, 2017. https://marginalia. Jones Bartlett C. Flawed Triumphs: Andy Young at the United Nations. Lanham: University Press of America, 1996. Kaufman, Jonathan. Broken Alliance: The Turbulent Times Between Blacks and Jews in America. New York: Scribner, 1988. Kaye-Kantrowitz, Melanie. The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporaism. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2007. Lilienthal, Dr. Alfred M. “The Changing Role of B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 1993, 18. https://www.solargeneral. org/wp-content/uploads/library/ ADL/the-changing-role-of-the-antidefamation-league.pdf Meyer, Adam, “Gee, You Don’t Look Jewish: Julius Lester’s “Lovesong,” An African-American Jewish-American Autobiography” Studies in American Jewish Literature (1981-) 18 (1999): 41-51. http://www.jstor. org/stable/41205904. Perlstein, Daniel. “The Dead End of Despair: Bayard Rustin, the 1968 New York School Crisis, and the Struggle for Racial Justice.” Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 31, no. 2 (2007): 89. html/cchr/justice/downloads/pdf/ the_end_of_despair.pdf. Phillips, William M. An Un-Illustrious Alliance: The African-American and Jewish Communities. California: Praeger, 1991. Podair, Jerald. The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis. Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2002. Polos, Nicholas C. Black Anti-Semitism in Twentieth-Century America: Historical Myth or Reality? Paper presented at the American Historical Association’s Annual Conference at New Orleans in December, 1972 and at Hebrew Union College, 1975. Reprinted in the 1975 American Jewish archives as part of larger collection: Morris U. Schappes, Horace Mann Bond, Bayard Rustin, et al., “Papers and Proceedings of a Conference on Negro-Jewish Relations in the

United States,” Jewish Social Studies, XXVII, No. 1 (January, 1965); http:// polos.pdf. Rosenblum, April. “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of Our Movements” (zine) 2007 https:// Salzman, Jack and West, Cornel ed. Struggles in the Promised Land: Toward a History of Black-Jewish Relations in the United States. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1997. Sicher, Efraim ed. Race, Color, Identity: Rethinking Discourses about “Jews” in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Berghahn Books, 2013. Sifry, Micah L. “Jesse and the Jews: Palestine and the Struggle for the Democratic Party.” Middle East Report, no. 155 (1988): 4-11. doi:10.2307/3012077. Staub, Michael E. Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Stivers, Mike, “Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Fifty Years Later.” Jacobin, September 12, 2018. https://www. Sundquist, Eric, Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, and Post-Holocaust America. Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2009. Ward, Eric. “Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism” The Public Eye, June 29, 2017. https://www. skin-in-the-game-how-antisemitism-animates-white-nationalism/ Watts, Jerry ed. Harold Cruse’s The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual Reconsidered. New York: Routledge, 2004. Weisbord, Robert G. and Stein, Arthur. Bittersweet Encounter: The Afro-American and the American Jew. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1970.


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Tracking Northwestern’s Research Response to COVID-19 By Grace Lee and Prerita Pandya

The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of everyone’s lives. As of May 2020, over 3.5 million people around the world have been infected, and more than 30 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment. In the midst of this global crisis, Northwestern staff, faculty, students, and researchers are working tirelessly to research and develop drugs effective against the virus. Take a look at this timeline for a glimpse of Northwestern’s research efforts against COVID-19.


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March 2, 2020

March 24, 2020

In collaboration with the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the University of California Riverside School of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine identifies a potential drug target. Using a model from the earlier SARS outbreak, the researchers suggest that the inhibition of the protein nsp15 may be effective in slowing viral replication.

A Northwestern laboratory receives the rapid response research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its project developing self-sanitizing face masks. As the coronavirus is thought to spread through respiratory droplets, including antiviral chemicals in face masks could reduce the virus’ activity in these droplets.

March 13, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dr. Karla Fullner Satchell, a professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Feinberg, publishes a study about using soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a potential coronavirus infection therapy agent. ACE2 is a receptor that is critical in allowing the virus entry into host cells.

Dr. Robert O. Bonow, a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, publishes a study, “Association of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with Myocardial Injury and Mortality.” The article outlines data from various studies done in China, Italy, and the U.S. during the earlier days of the pandemic, especially regarding the interaction of COVID-19 and myocardial injury and how that impacts mortality.

March 19, 2020 Feinberg researchers reveal another potential drug target: nsp10/16. The protein plays a critical part in viral replication by allowing the virus to “hide” from the host’s immune system. 83

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April The Feinberg School of Medicine implements a COVID-19 taskforce with the purpose of facilitating research projects, by connecting them to samples, clinical information, and other relevant information. The task force is working to ensure that Northwestern can facilitate the many ideas that the Feinberg faculty has for innovative research.

March 30, 2020

April 2, 2020

With a growing influx of COVID-19 tests that need to be processed at Northwestern Medicine, a special testing team is established in what was previously lab space. The team is made up of six Feinberg research staff that work in shifts.

Working with Cornell University, Northwestern researchers develop a new, bacteria-based platform to assist in the race to find COVID-19 treatments. This cell-free biotechnology is projected to accelerate drug production by almost tenfold.

March 31, 2020

April 9, 2020

A COVID-19 drug trial begins at Northwestern Medicine. Remdesivir, the drug being tested, is an antiviral drug that was developed for Ebola virus treatments. The first Chicago-area patient to enroll in the trial was an 89-year-old man in intensive care. Animal models have shown that this drug exhibits antiviral capacity against coronaviruses, including the current SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.

Northwestern sociologists lead a national survey investigating the public impact of COVID-19. The data are organized into a web database, CoronaData U.S. Their “COVID-19 Social Change Survey” asks respondents about their current feelings in regards to the current situation, as well as how they are preparing and managing during the pandemic.


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April 13, 2020 In collaboration with ShanghaiTech University, Northwestern researchers use the cell-free production method to produce valinomycin. Valinomycin has been shown to effectively target SARS-CoV strains in vitro. Using cell-free technology ramped up the production by almost 5000 times. Northwestern, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leads an effort to create a peptide-based therapy that targets the coronavirus’ spike proteins. If successful, this could reduce the virus’ ability to infect healthy cells and cause COVID-19.

April 24, 2020 Northwestern Medicine begins testing the drug Sarilumab for patients who experience what is called a “cytokine storm.” The cytokine storm is caused by a hyperinflammatory response that can be potentially fatal. Sarilumab is commonly used to reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

April 20, 2020 Another NSF RAPID grant is issued for a group of Northwestern synthetic biologists who are working to develop a one-step diagnostic tool. The researchers hope to produce a user-friendly test that is both convenient and quick in generating results, much like a pregnancy test.

Working hand in hand with many institutions around the world, Northwest-

ern University’s researchers are working hard to stand against this crisis. In this time of immense uncertainty, each of these events is a step that Northwestern is taking towards understanding and managing the virus and global pandemic. The Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal thanks our researchers and all those who are working in the front lines of this pandemic, and we encourage our readers to show their support by practicing social distancing and maintaining safe practices.


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Department of Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences Department of Economics

Colonial Distortions by Hassan Sayed In this paper, I present a simple game-theoretic model in which a colonizer can both extract resources from local populations and distort the “social fabric” of this local society as a means of suppressing threats of rebellion. This concept of social fabric, in turn, derives from a primitive notion of cooperation in repeated games played by a continuum of players in the local society. The analysis of social norms and social fabric is motivated by literature in postcolonialism that emphasizes cultural and social spaces as some of the main sites through which colonization operates. The game generates a sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium where higher rates of extraction accompany greater distortion of social fabric; economic extraction and social repression operate in simultaneity. In the context of multiple equilibria, social fabric distortion and extraction are positively correlated. By emphasizing “informal” social channels rather than “formal” institutional channels, this paper also provides new ways in which to examine the persistent effects of colonialism on postcolonial economic growth.

1: Introduction

postcolonial states can be explained by the degree of extraction resulting from institutions established by colonizing powers. Acemoglu and Robinson’s “Why Nations Fail”2 suggests that inclusive institutions, characterized by ease of entitlement to property, economic security and involvement in political processes, allow for greater long-run economic prosperity than

Since the turn of the century, economics’ discourse on colonialism has focused on the effects of formal colonial institutions on economic outcomes within the modern day. Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson’s “Colonial Origins of Comparative Development”1 utilizes empirical data analysis to posit that economic gaps in

1 Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson, “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An empirical investigation,” American Economic Review, 91(5), 1369-1401. 2 Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty,” Crown Publishing Group. 86

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those with extractive institutions, where a state extracts resources and wealth from one subset of the population for the use of another, reducing incentives for work and investment. These institutions find their origins in the colonial period, and hence serve as the primary means for looking at the effects of past colonial policies on future economic growth. However, most of this work on colonialism has been confined to “formal institutions” — usually measured via property rights or corruption indices — and has predominantly utilized empirical rather than theoretical frameworks. This presents two problems. First, there is no basic economic model or “theory of colonialism.”3 Second, there has been little done to center the cultural and social effects of colonialism at either a theoretical or empirical level. A sole focus on economic actions (property rights, taxation, and resource extraction) leading to economic outcomes (modern property security or output per capita) ignores violent channels, such as the suppression of local religious, social, and cultural practices, that impact postcolonial economic livelihood. In other social sciences and the humanities, the field of postcolonialism engages with the destructive and exploitive impacts of colonialism and imperialism on the culture and society of previously colonized peoples. Said4 writes that “[a]t the heart of European culture during the many decades of imperial expansion lay an undeterred and unrelenting Eurocentrism ... [that] subordinated [colonized peoples]

by banishing their identities, except as a lower order of being. ... This culture process has to be seen as a vital, informing, and invigorating counterpoint to the economic and political machinery at the material center of imperialism.”5 Processes of social organization based on stereotyping and othering are inherent to the process of colonialism; the colonizer demarcates the boundaries of what a colonized people can or should be, in terms of race, religion, and caste, and rules over peoples precisely in terms of these manufactured boundaries as a process of subjugation.6 How can economic models link colonialism’s resource extraction with its social effects? A literature on social norms has emerged within game theory that could be used to analyze the effects of colonialism on local social order. Kandori7 uses the Folk Theorem to define social norms as a subset of the informal enforcement mechanisms that generate cooperation in infinitely played games. Stanish8 takes the view that for a rational agent to maximize long-term utility and achieve an objective, cooperation with others may be necessary; this gives rise to altruistic behaviors. Differences in these objectives and the degree of cooperation necessary to achieve them generate cultural divides depending on geographic and historical phenomena. The goal of this work is to establish a simultaneity in what I call “social fabric distortion” and extraction of resources from colonies by colonizing powers, and to establish this simultaneity via a (game) theoretic approach rather than an empirical

3 One of the only game theoretic works is Nunn (2007), who presents a game-theoretic model where colonizers choose a tax and a parameter of institutional strength that affects the output of colonized people. 4 Edward Said, “Culture and Imperialism,” Vintage Books. 5 pp. 224. 6 Homi K. Bhabha, “The Location of Culture,” Routledge. 7 Michihiro Kandori, “Social Norms and Community Enforcement,” The Review of Economic Studies, 59(1), 63-80. 8 Charles Stanish, “The Evolution of Human Co-operation: Ritual and Social Complexity in Stateless Societies,” Cambridge University Press. 87

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one. I describe a model that uses repression of “social fabric,” an indicator of the intactness of local social norms, as a means of repressing resistance to colonial rule, thereby easing the process with which a colonizer can extract profit and resources. In the second section of this article, I provide a model of social fabric and social norms created through repeated cooperation within a population and which describes a mechanism through which outside powers can disrupt that cooperation. Section 3 utilizes this model as a primitive model to set up a basic game between a “colonizer” and colonized “local society,” where the local society can choose to resist colonial rule or accept a given level of extraction. Notably, the colonizer can reduce the threat of successful rebellion by distorting social fabric. Conclusions of the work are drawn in Section 4, where I outline future avenues of research.




d (x) dx > 0 for any 0 # x1 # x2 # 1 . A population member with a higher value of represents a member of the population who views local social norms as more important and is thereby more willing to cooperate with those local customs and traditions. I define the local society S to have a level of social fabric s signaled by the share of the population [0,1] that follows the local social norms of that society. Suppose that the people of this local population can choose between two actions: L, cooperate based on local social norms and receive a continuous flow of income f(θ), or A, deviate from those norms (or cooperate based on “alternative” principles) and receive a one time payoff of c . The payouts from L and A for a member of the local society with a cooperation parameter of θ are: 3 f (i ) v ( L, i ) = / f ( i ) i t = 1-i t=0

2: A Model of Social Fabric Distortion



and v (A, i) = c + / 0 = c

This section presents a model of “social fabric” within a society that derives from primitive notions of social norms as cooperative strategies within repeated games. Let the population of a to-be-colonized society S be represented by a unit interval continuum [0,1]. Moreover, let each member of this society S have a disposition θ towards cooperation with local social norms. This θ is precisely the discount factor of that member of the population, which drives cooperation in the context of repeated games. θ has a cumulative density function D with support on [0,1] such that: • D (0) = 0 and D (1) = 1 ; • D is continuously differentiable with probability density function d;


f is a continuous function f : [0, 1] 7 [0, + 3) such that f (0) $ 0, f (i) > 0 for θ > 0, and f ($) is weakly increasing. The weakly increasing property reflects that individuals may receive some additional sort of utility from cooperating dependent on their discount factor. This structure provides a powerful and intuitive interpretation for a population member’s willingness to cooperate based on local social norms. Each period, an individual with a cooperative tendency (or discount factor) receives a payout of f(θ) from cooperation, leading to a lifetime f (i ) present discounted value of 1 - i . Choosing to “cheat” on said cooperation leads to a one-time payoff of c . 88

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will prefer A to L, meaning the rest of the population will prefer L to A. Since f (i ) lim i " 1 1 - i =+ 3 , it is impossible for a member of the population with θ = 1 to prefer A to L unless c =+∞. By incurring a cost c , an outsider (i.e. a colonizer) is able to set the social fabric to s , but can never set social fabric to 0. The correspondence between cost and social fabric naturally gives rise to a cost function c (1 - x) : [0, 1) 7 [0, 3) such that for a given level of social fabric 1 - x, a cost c (1 - x) is necessarily incurred to set the social fabric to that level.9 The choice of the argument as 1 - x rather than x is such that when x = 0 , the level of social fabric is at 1 - x = 1 so that the colonizer is not changing the social fabric; as x increases, the costs represent larger and larger changes to the social fabric away from 1. Note that if f (0) = 0 , c (1 - 0) = f (0) c (1) = 0 since 1 - 0 = f (0) = 0, so a member of the population with θ = 0 will be indifferent between L and A when c = 0. Throughout this paper, I will also define c ($) to be a function c (s) : (0, 1] " [0, + 3) , where s = 1 - x is the level of social fabric. The actual function c (s) and c (1 - x) are identical, they simply utilize different arguments. A strictly increasing distribution D of θ gives rise to a cost function c ($) for the colonizer such that: • c (s) : (0, 1] 7 [0, + 3) gives the cost of setting social fabric to s; f (D (1 - s)) • c (s) = 1 - D (1 - s) ; • c (0) = 0 if f (0) = 0 ; • lim s " 0 c (s) =+ 3 ; • c'(s) # 0 for all s (this holds strictly for s < 1 );

The parameter c represents an incentive for a member of a local society to switch to a non-cooperative equilibrium based on an external stimulus. In one sense, it is more useful to look at f (i ) v (L, i) - v (A, i) = 1 - i - c , which is the “gain” from following local norms. To this end, c can be interpreted as a bribe or threat put forth by a colonizer which forces a portion of the locals to deviate from their original institutions and norms. A colonizer could offer a member of the population landownership in exchange for financial or religious patronage, or could discourage the use of local languages in favor of a colonizer’s language, with failure to subscribe to this policy resulting in physical punishment. In the presence of no colonization in a precolonial world, c = 0 so that there is no incentive to deviate from L to A for any member of the population.

2.1: Deriving the Cost Function For any value of c , a member of the local population will switch from local social norms L to alien social norms A if and f (i ) only if #c. 1-i For every i d [0, 1) , there exf (i ) ists a unique c ≥0 such that 1 - i = c . f (i ) Consequently, for i > i, 1-i > c , f (i ) and for i < i , 1 - i < c . In turn, exactly 1 - s = D ( i ) of the population will weakly prefer alien norms so that s will prefer local norms. f (i ) Let c = 1 - i $ 0, which gives the necessary c since i < 1. To see that c is unique, note that since f(θ) is weakf (i ) ly increasing, 1 - i is strictly increasing f (i ) in θ, meaning that for i > i , 1 - i > c . f (i ) Similarly, for i < i , 1 - i < c . Since i~D, 1 - s = D ( i ) of the population



9 The domain is [0,1) rather than [0,1] because the social fabric can never be set precisely to 0 for any finite cost c


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c" (s) > 0 for all s in a neighborhood members of the local society have no problems generating cooperation and following of 0. similar customs and traditions and are able to fully enjoy whatever level of resources 3: The Colonization Game This section utilizes the primitives of they are endowed with. However, at lower social fabric from the previous section to levels of social fabric, there is an imbalance build a simple model of colonization cen- in cooperative incentives that manifests ittered around two ideas: distortion of social self as a lack of ability to cooperate based fabric and extraction of resources. After set- on local norms. Consequently, the society ting up the initial conditions of the game, I has a harder time sharing its resources. Suppose that the local society possesssolve for sub-game perfect Nash equilibria, derive properties about the solutions to the es some resource endowment y . While game, discuss comparative statistics to the a very narrow interpretation of y may solutions, and end by computing a solution consist of just raw materials, I take this to a very basic iteration of the model. Sup- measure of “resources” to be very general, pose there are two players: C, the coloniz- including the value of labor that a given er, and S, the local society under threat of society possesses, which a colonizer can colonization, above. Let N be the notation utilize through forced labor and enslavefor the player “nature” to formalize notions ment. Within the model, the local society of uncertainty. Throughout the model, I can take two actions in the presence of colassume that C and S are risk-neutral in re- onization. They can take action W, work and receive utility from whatever resourcgards to uncertainty. es they possess. The full level of resources may potentially be extracted at a rate 3.1: The Local Society t d [0, 1], , meaning that locals only posThe locals’ payoff is governed by the sess resources (1 - t) y so that their total amount of resources they can derive benpayoff is u ((1 - t) y , s) . The other action efit from, denoted y, as well as their social is to rebel against potential colonization, fabric s, which is precisely the level of sodenoted R. The set of possible actions is cial fabric as determined in the previous hence {W, R}. section. In particular, s = 1 corresponds In the event of a successful rebellion, to an intact, cooperative society based on s is reset to 1 and with certainty the local local norms and s = 0 to a chaotic, unsociety receives payout u ( y , 1) = y ; that cooperative society. Then, the payoff of is, any external social stimuli generated by the local society is given by the function the arrival of the colonizers are erased. If u (y, s), u : R # [0, 1] 7 R, where rebellion fails, they receive payoff –M, for • u (y, $) is strictly increasing in s for y > 0; M $ y . The process of rebellion is gov• u ($ , s) is strictly increasing in y for s > 0; erned by uncertainty, and the probability • u (y, 1) = y ; of successful rebellion is directly depen• u (y, s) > 0 for all s > 0 and y > 0; dent on the level of social fabric. Let this • u is C2 ; probability be given by a function p (s) , • lim y " 3 u (y, s) =+ 3 for all s; where p : [0, 1] 7 [0, 1], such that • and u (0, s) = 0 for all s. • p ($) is strictly increasing in s; At higher levels of social fabric, the • p is continuously differentiable; •


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and y +MM d p ((0, 1)), that is, there exists s* such that p (s *) = y +MM , p (s) < y +MM for all s < s*, and p (s) > y +MM for all s > s * . When a society is more intact and s is closer to 1, it is easier to coordinate rebellion. When social fabric is less intact, it may be harder to coordinate rebellion and, moreover, some deviant locals may ally themselves with a colonizer. The final assumption guarantees that when faced with the lottery of rebellion, there is a threshold of social fabric at which the expected value of rebellion is 0; below that threshold the expected value of rebellion is negative and above it is positive. The expected payoffs of the locals S from each action are given as below: rWS = u ((1 - t) y , s) Er SR = p (s) y - (1 - p (s)) M In the event the locals work, their payoff is strictly decreasing in t and strictly increasing in s. In the event of rebellion, their expected payoff is strictly increasing in s, since p (s) is strictly increasing in s. That is, for any level of social fabric, working with no extraction is weakly preferred to risking rebellion at that specific level of social fabric. Note that this holds strictly at s* since u ( y , s *) > 0 = p (s *) y - (1 - p (s)) M , and holds weakly at s = 1.

• •

lim s " 0 c (s) =+ 3; and c'(1) # 0 with c'(s) < 0 for all s < 1. Since the probability of successful rebellion is dependent on s through the function p (s), the colonizer is able to suppress the threat of potential rebellion by exerting a cost to suppress social fabric. The colonizer makes two moves: first it proposes a rate of extraction t d [0, 1] on S’s resources y ; second, it sets the level of local social fabric to s, thereby incurring the corresponding cost c (s) . If the local society decides to work, the payoff for the colonizer is given by rWC = ty - c (s) In this event, the colonizer’s payoff is strictly increasing in extraction t and decreasing in s. If the locals decide to rebel, the expected payoff of the colonizer is given by Er CR = (1 - p (s)) y - p (s) M - c (s) If rebellion succeeds with probability p (s), the colonizer “loses” and receives payoff –M; if rebellion fails with complementary probability, the colonizer captures all the resources and receives y . In either case, the colonizer will have already chosen a level s of social fabric distortion and incur the cost c (s) . Since - p (s) is decreasing in s and - c (s) is increasing in s, there is ambiguity as to whether the expected payoff 3.2: The Colonizer from rebellion is increasing or decreasing The other player in the model is the with respect to changes in s. colonizer C. The colonizer is able to extract from the locals by imposing a rate of ex- 3.3: Design of Game traction t d [0, 1] on the locals’ resources The basic design of the game is as y so that the payoff the colonizer gains follows. First, the colonizer makes a choice from extraction will be ty . (t, s)d [0, 1] # (0, 1] of extraction of reThe colonizer can reduce social fab- sources and social fabric. Then, observing ric to the level s by incurring a cost c (s), these proposed choices, the locals decide which is precisely the one introduced whether to work or rebel. If the locals deabove, such that cide to work by playing W, the game ends • c (1) = 0; with the colonizer and local society respec91

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tively receiving payouts: rWS = u ((1 - t) y , s) and rWC = ty - c (s) If the locals pick action R and rebel, the player nature N moves. With probability p (s), rebellion succeeds and the game ends with payoffs: r SR,succeed = y and r CR,succeed =- M - c (s) If rebellion fails, with probability 1 - p (s), the payoffs are respectively r SR,fail =- M and r CR,fail = y - c (s) This is illustrated in the extensive-form game tree in Figure 1, where the top payoffs are those of the colonizer and the bottom those of the local society.

3.4: Solving for Sub-game Perfection In this section, I describe a series of sub-game perfect Nash equilibria to the colonization game. 3.4.1: Finding the Optimal Rate of Extraction Fix y and M d R + . Recall that the respective expected payoffs for S from working and rebelling are given by ErWS = (1 - t) y (s) and Er SR = p (s) y - (1 - p (s)) M For a given t d [0, 1] and s d (0, 1], working is weakly preferred to rebellion if and only if u ((1 - t) y , s) $ p (s) y - (1 - p (s)) M In particular, for a given value of s = s , the locals are indifferent between work and rebellion if and only if u ((1 - t) y ), s ) = p ( s ) y - (1 - p ( s )) M By utilizing the strictly-increasing properties of the utility and probability functions, the Implicit Function Theorem suggests that for every s d [s *, 1], where s * = y +MM there exists a unique t d (- 3, 1) such that the locals are indifferent between rebellion and working. This generates a function

t (s) : [s *, 1] 7 (- 3, 1] which gives the rate of extraction that makes the locals indifferent between rebellion and working. Since the local’s payoff is strictly decreasing in the rate of extraction t, if the colonizer sets an extraction rate t > t (s) at a given level of social fabric, the locals will strictly prefer rebellion over work; if the colonizer sets t < t (s) , the local society will strictly prefer work over rebellion. Since the colonizer’s payoff is strictly increasing in t, they will set t as high as possible to extract maximum possible resources from the locals. If they desire a situation with no rebellion, the colonizer will always try to set t = t (s) . In this case, for a level of social fabric, they will set a rate of extraction T(s) as follows: Z]0 t (s) < 0 ]] ] T (s) = []t (s) t (s)d [0, 1] ]] ]1 t (s) > 1 \ T(s) can be further reduced to: max {0, t (s)} s $ s * T (s) = ) s< s* 1 where as before s* solves p (s) = y +MM . For s d [s *, 1], setting the extraction rate and social fabric to (t (s), s) results in a local society that is indifferent between working and rebellion. However, if t (s) < 0 (which can happen when p ($) and u ($ , $) assume certain forms), the colonizer is forced to set an extraction rate equal to 0, and the locals prefer rebellion. Any extraction rate in [0,1] will result in a local society that prefers working over rebellion. In turn, given that the colonizer would like the locals to work instead of rebel, T(s) gives the optimal rate of extraction for a given level of social fabric s, allowing the colonizer to extract as much of the locals’ resources as possible without encountering a credible threat of resistance.


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Note that for s < 1 , the colonizer can set (t, s) = (0, 1) = 0 , which yields a higher payoff than and hence dominates picking T (s) = 0 for any s < 1 . In turn, it is sufficient to look at t (s) on [s*,1] only when T (s) = t (s) . It turns out that since the domain [s*,1] is compact, the equation T (s) y - c (s) has a solution. There are naturally three types of solutions: set s = 1, set s = s *, or set s = s' d (s *, 1) . These result in extraction rates of t (1) = (1 - p (1)) + (1 - (p (1)) My , t (s *) = 1, and t (s'), respectively. This gives rise to the following solutions: • The colonizer sets social fabric s = 1 and sets the extraction rate to (1 - p (1)) + (1 - p (1)) My . Minimal extraction and resource extraction follows in the stead of no social fabric distortion. The locals work. If p (1) = 1 , this equilibrium is a “no colonization” equilibrium ( t = 0 and s = 1 ). • The colonizer sets social fabric to s' ! (s *, 1) and a tax rate t = t (s') d (0, 1] . Partial taxation or extraction is accompanied by some non-trivial degree of social fabric distortion. The locals work. • The colonizer sets social fabric s = s * and fully extraction with rate t = 1 . Full extraction of resources accompanies a heavy erasure of social fabric. The locals work. These equilibria possess a set of properties that positively correlate the extraction rate directly to distortion of social fabric: as extraction increases, the level of social fabric falls. That is, rates of extraction and social fabric levels are negatively correlated: for any two data points (t, s) and (t', s') , if s' < s, then t' < t. Suppose there were two observed

▼Figure 1. Extensive-Form of Colonization Game

A graph of t (s) and T(s) is shown in Figure 2. t (s) is shown in a dashed line at the bottom to illustrate a situation where t (s) goes below 0, thereby binding T(s) at 0. 3.4.2: The Colonizer’s Preference for Extraction Since the colonizer is always playing an optimal extraction rate by choosing T(s) for a given s, they next evaluate for which, if any, values of s the colonizer will prefer a non-rebellion situation — since M $ y $ (1 - t (s)) y for all s, it does follow that the colonizer always weakly prefers a local society that is working to one that rebels. Then, the colonizer chooses s to maximize T (s) y - c (s) 93

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equilibria, one where the the extraction rate and social fabric were at (t, s) and another where the extraction rate and social fabric were at (t', s') , where s' > s but t' $ t. Suppose that the locals prefer to work in either case. In the first case, the payoff for the colonizer is ty - c (s), while in the second the payoff is t' y - c (s') . But since c (s) is strictly decreasing, c (s') < c (s), and since t' $ t, it follows that ty - c (s) < t'y - c (s') . That is, since the locals will work in either case, (t', s') strictly dominates (t, s) . This contradicts that (t', s') and (t, s) are both potentially optimal choices for the colonizer. This result forms the core finding of this paper: historically, the more colonizers extract from a local population, the more it is necessary for them to distort social fabric. In practice, it is possible that fundamental differences in the distribution of θ (and hence the cost function), the shape of the rebellion probability function, the endowment of a region with resources y for extraction, and the potential punishment for rebellion M will cause variation in optimal solutions; these last two properties are discussed in the next section. However, controlling for these factors, the pattern we should observe is one of negative correlation between economic extraction and social fabric levels (or a positive correlation between economic extraction and social fabric distortion). The purpose of the case studies in the next chapter is to take these results and discuss historical examples which fit the predictions of this colonizer model.

▼Figure 2. The Extraction Function T(s)

colonized populations and, by incurring a cost, can also distort “social fabric” to suppress the threat of local resistance against colonization. The colonizer first chooses a rate of resource extraction t d [0, 1] on a level of local resources y and then a level of social fabric s d (0, 1] . A social fabric value of 1 represents an intact society, while social fabric closer to 0 represents in an increasingly chaotic, noncooperative, and suppressed population. When choosing a level of social fabric s, the colonizer incurs a cost of c (s) $ 0. This reflects that there are administrative or military costs associated with distorting social fabric. As s approaches 0, c (s) approaches infinity, meaning that it is increasingly difficult to set social fabric equal to 0. After observing the rate of resource extraction and the level of their social fabric, the colonized local society then decides whether to rebel against colonial rule or to accept their fate. In the case of rebellion, the probability of successful rebellion is strictly increasing in the level of social fabric; if the colonizer sets social fabric to lower levels (i.e. distorts social fabric more), the probability of successful rebellion is lower. Hence, to reduce the threat of successful resistance, the colonizer has a tangible incentive to distort social fabric. In the event

4: Conclusions In this paper, I have provided an economic framework that links colonial resource extraction with its social effects. Colonizers can directly extract resources from 94

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that rebellion is successful, locals are able to enjoy the entirety of their resources y without any level of extraction or taxation. In the event that rebellion fails, however, locals receive some negative payoff –M. From the colonizer’s end, successful rebellion results in a payoff of –M and failed rebellion in the payoff y . Whoever wins the rebellion is able to enjoy the entirety of resources, while the other player is duly punished. In the event of working, locals receive a payout (or utility) u (ty , s) for a rate of extraction t and social fabric s. u ($ , $) is strictly increasing in both arguments and u (y, 1) = 1 for all y. Hence, social fabric acts as a sort of “scalar” for locwal payoffs; higher levels of social fabric allow a society to enjoy its resources more than lower values. This game generates three types of Nash equilibria. In the first, a colonizer does not distort social fabric and is able to extract from the local population just enough to keep them indifferent between rebellion and work in a risk-neutral framework. In turn, the locals work. Assuming that the probability of successful rebellion is equal to 1 when s = 1 , this leads to a rate of extraction of 0. Hence, this equilibrium corresponds to a situation of “no colonization”: there is no resource extraction and no social fabric distortion. Since this equilibrium involves “no colonization,” we would not expect to observe such a situation if we notice a system of colonization in place. In the second equilibrium, a rate of extraction between 0 and 1 accompanies social fabric distortion: the rate of extraction t is set strictly greater than 0 and the level of social fabric strictly less than 1. In the third Nash equilibrium, a total extraction of resources also accompanies social fabric

distortion: t is set to 1 and s < 1. In both cases, the locals work, but are precisely indifferent between working and rebelling. If there are multiple equilibria, the set of optimal solutions for the colonizer involves higher rates of extraction occurring with strictly lower levels of social fabric, or higher rates of social fabric distortion. This in turn establishes a simultaneity of social fabric and extraction. Observed resource extraction does not occur without distortion of social fabric, and social distortions never occur without nontrivial extraction. What exactly is “social fabric,” and what is the economic basis for the notion of “social fabric” I present? I define a level of social fabric s d [0, 1] to be the share of the local population that cooperates with a local social norm. I define a social, or cultural, norm as a unique Nash equilibrium strategy that generates cooperation in a repeated game and is derivative of some past historical evolution of norms within a given society or culture. I model the local population as a unit interval in [0,1] and endow each member of that population with a disposition towards cooperation of i d [0, 1] which is distributed via a continuous and differentiable CDF D. θ is the discount factor of a given member of a population, which comes into play during infinitely repeated games. Based on this parameter, each member of the population chooses to “cooperate” or “not cooperate” with a local norm. Cooperating based on social norms leads to a payout of f (i) each period for an infinite sequence of pef (i ) riods, leading to a lifetime payoff of 1 - i . Failure to cooperate with these norms results in an instantaneous payoff of c for some c given exogenously, and 0 in all periods afterwards. In the absence of colonization, c = 0 so that all members of the population cooperate with the local 95

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and Asia, colonialism was motivated not only by a desire to extract profit but also to “civilize the savages,” non-Western populations, which occurred amidst an obsessive backdrop of othering, racial hierarchy, and a desire to document, organize, and reproduce organized forms of knowledge. colonialism operated through physical and psychological violence, geographic and identity-based separation, institutional and informal policymaking. The way in which European colonization busied itself with resource extraction from local populations cannot be separated from the persistent social disruption it inflicted upon those same populations. The first contribution of this paper is to develop an economic “theory” or “model” of colonialism. A proper theory behind economic phenomena is necessary to perform serious structural, empirical investigations of these phenomena. While the model I present in this paper is very simple, it is simultaneously effective, and should be seen as the starting point for a swathe of future literature on economic theories of colonialism. Such theories, I argue, should not simply involve notions of “extraction” in an institutional sense, by providing continuity with the current literature on inclusive and extractive institutions, but also model the interplay between colonialism and social behavior. The second contribution of this paper is to turn discussion of the effects of colonies on current economic growth increasingly towards the role of social norms and structures. The social divisions and trauma caused by the colonial project have path-dependently endured into the present day. Manipulation of populations and social fabrics as collections of social norms has forever changed how postcolonial populations have conceived of them-

norm. However, if colonization occurs and the colonizer incurs a cost of social fabric c (s), c = c (s) $ 0. . By setting c high enough, the colonizer can get a fraction s of the population to abandon local norms in favor of some instantaneous reward from the colonizer depending on the shape of the CDF of D. Hence, the shape of the colonizer’s cost function c ($) is fundamentally linked to the distribution of the parameter θ within the local population. The direct interpretation of c is that it is the utility gained from deviating from a local norm. However, it is much more useful to look at the relative gain from following a local norm versus deviating f (i ) from that norm, which is equal to 1 - i - c . Now, as c grows, for a given θ, there is a lower incentive to cooperate with the local norms. This may not be because there is an actual reward for refusing to cooperate with a norm (in the sense of a bribe from the colonizer) but that there is an active punishment for cooperating with local norms. Resistance to colonial rule may be punished via threats of violence, or local social or cultural practices may be actively criminalized. Why are the “social” or “cultural” effects of colonial policies particularly important? The massive work in postcolonialism through fields like anthropology, history, and critical theory has tasked itself with looking at the effects of both formal and informal colonial policies on the colonial and postcolonial populations. This extends beyond a simple “institutional” characterization of colonialism and moves to study the everyday livelihoods of colonial populations, analyzing the ways in which they engage with and conceive themselves in relation to colonial powers and their own populations. In the cases of Western European colonization of Africa 96

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selves in relation to their own populations, their ex-colonizers, and the rest of the world. There is no reason to believe that identity formation exists in a vacuum and disappeared immediately after colonizers abandoned their colonies; rather, the social traits and divides populations took on as a result of the colonial period have persisted. Said10 writes that the intertwined projects of imperialism and colonialism most paradoxically allowed “people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. ... No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies.”11 While this paper has not explicitly examined the postcolonial period, it serves to lay the groundwork for future economic studies of colonialism by stressing the key role of social norms and social fabric in serving as a backbone of colonizers’ capacity to assert dominance and thereby ease their process of profit extraction. In turn, these factors are instrumental in looking at

persistent colonial effects on modern-day economies. For the time being, literature in the field of economics has largely confined itself to a narrow study of the path-dependent effect of “formal” colonial institutions on modern economic growth. While formal institutions are key for looking at incentives for investment and notions of economic mobility within markets, the marked and persistent social and cultural effects of historical events have shown themselves to be equally as important. Hence, the development of theories of social fabric and colonialism are necessary to look at the postcolonial persistence of these effects and, in turn, provide new empirical and theoretical frameworks for examining central questions within economics. ■

10 Said, “Culture and Imperialism.” 11 Ibid., pp.336.

Bibliography Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2001). The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An empirical investigation. American Economic Review, 91(5), 1369-1401.

Kandori, M. (1992). Social Norms and Community Enforcement. The Review of Economic Studies, 59(1), 63-80.

Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2012). Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. Crown Publishing Group.

Nunn, N. (2007). Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa’s Past to its Current Underdevelopment. Journal of Development Economics, 83(1), 157-175.

Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The Location of Culture. Routledge.

Said, E. (1994). Culture and Imperialism. Vintage Books.

Stanish, C. (2017). The Evolution of Human Co-operation: Ritual and Social Complexity in Stateless Societies. Cambridge University Press.


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by Niva Razin


Faculty researchers and underclassmen share advice that they would have given their younger selves at the start of their research journeys. 98

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“Be direct with a mentor [or] supervisor about how much independence you want on a project. Be mindful of what sorts of techniques and what sorts of research you’d like to do. Comb through some journals and find things that really fascinate you and then try to find an advisor for that.” Tzvi Herzog ’20, The Meade Group

Patrick Kim ’20, The Lee Lab, The Mirkin Research Group

“It’s important to be open-minded because the project that you think you’re going to work on isn’t always going to turn out the way you want it to. If you’re more open to more opportunities and different directions, then you can realize the potential in different routes and ... choose the type of research that you want to do better and more quickly.”


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“There are really two parallel things that one should do: be familiar with the literature and be familiar with the tools one is going to use for the research. The most important thing is that you have to know what has been done in [your] particular field. In the old days, we had to go to the libraries and search the literature [manually]. That’s a very laborious process, but today, with computers, it’s a lot easier. Then, for experimental research, I think the young researchers should also get familiar with the tools required for the research.”

Richard Richter ’20, Language and Communication in Aging and Neurodegeneration Research Group

Dr. Yip-Wah Chung, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

“The relationship that you have with the other people in your lab and with your principal investigator is really important. So, try to establish relationships early on. I wish that I connected to my lab members earlier on in the process. I know I wouldn’t have had to figure out so much on my own if I were just more willing to ask for help when I needed it.”


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“I would advise my younger self to go for the dreams that I had, that inevitably there would be some disappointments but that overall the enjoyment … the achievements would be significantly greater and more worthwhile than the few disappointments. … Keep going in the face of the inevitable setbacks.”

Dr. Alvin Bayliss, Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

Dr. Allen Taflove, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

“I would [also] encourage my younger self to deal with everyone in a mature and reasonable manner, regardless of personality type, and hope for the best as far as colleague-ships and relationships.”

“Make sure you leave different routes open to do research; [don’t] get too focused in one particular area so that you can’t deviate; take another path to another area. In my research, I have worked in many, many different areas, and that’s given me an advantage over other people who specialize and are just focused in one area.” 101

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Northwestern University Qatar

Political Science


Educational Constraints in Palestine by Noor Mazen


tion, and Area C’s civil and security administration. Israel’s control over Areas B and C further complicate Palestinian students’ mobility to schools; in particular, Israel has not provided permits to schools in Area C, so they are considered illegal and are under constant threat of destruction.4 This paper examines the historical background of the occupation, and discusses previous research on educational constraints in the West Bank because of this occupation. It analyzes the collected interviews in the context of previous research and discusses its methodology.

The right to education is a universal human right. It is fundamental for the existence of other human rights since it promotes independence and empowerment.1 This research learns from Palestinians themselves on how their educational journeys have been affected by the political, economic, and social situation in the occupied West Bank.2 To study educational constraints in Palestine, I, along with my research partner Mariam Al-Dhubhani, collected ethnographic interviews from cities and villages in Areas A and B.3 The difference between the areas is that the Palestinian Literature Review: Education National Authority, or P.A., controls Area Under Occuption A’s civil and security administration, while When Israel declared its indepenIsrael controls area B’s military administra- dence in 1948 after Britain’s withdrawal, 1 Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN 1948; Article 13, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN 1966. Retrieved from 2 Acknowledgement: I was able to conduct this research (IRB #MODCR00000) with a summer URG grant (758SUMMER1915583) from Northwestern University. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Professor Jocelyn Sage Mitchell, my research supervisor, Mariam Al-Dhubhani, my research partner, and all the interviewees for sharing their stories. 3 As I discuss in my Research Methodology section, visa issues prevented me from conducting interviews in Area C the summer of 2019. 4 “Israeli Authorities Knock down Part of Bedouin School in West Bank,” Retrieved from 102

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tensions between Israelis and Arabs escalated into the 1948 war,5 resulting in the expulsion of at least 750,000 Palestinian Arabs, the occupation of 78% of historic Palestine by Israeli forces, the destruction of about 350 villages and cities, and the killing of about 15,000 Palestinians.6 This event, known as “Nakba,” defined Palestinians’ future of statelessness and occupation, and now forms the basis for their distinct national identity.7 One of the biggest consequences of this series of historical events has been the lack of Palestinian territorial autonomy, which was further deepened by the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Israel seized control over the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank from Jordan, as well as Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, bringing the remaining Palestinian population under Israeli governance.8 Popular resistance movements began to develop as a response to the occupation, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the 60s9 and Hamas in 1988.10 The first intifada “uprisings” started in 1987 when Palestinian frustration turned into protests and Israel responded with heavy violence. This drew international attention, resulting in the Madrid Talks in 1991, where Israel and Palestinians joined official negotiations for

the first time, but the PLO was excluded.11 As the Madrid process slowly continued, secret talks began between Israel and Palestinian negotiators from PLO to complete the Declaration of Principles (DOP), known as the Oslo Accords, without the knowledge of Yesha Council, an Israeli extremist settler movement, or Hamas.12 In 1993, leaders from Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords, excluding Hamas, to start a peace process between Israel and Palestinians.13 The Oslo Accords were intended to give self-determination to the Palestinian people14 and create a future Palestinian Authority to govern Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.15 The type of power and responsibilities of the Palestinian Authority was stated in the Interim Agreement.16 Importantly for this research, Oslo 2 called for the division of the West Bank into three areas: Area A, B, and C, with varying levels of control by Israel and the P.A., and specified a gradual withdrawal of Israel and a transition of power to the P.A., but these deadlines were never met.17 To address these issues, U.S. President Bill Clinton held the Camp David Summit in 2000, but it ended without an agreement between both parties.18,19 The Oslo Peace Process collapsed with the controversial visit of Is-

5 “Palestinian territories - Timeline,” Retrieved from 6 “The Nakba did not start or end in 1948,” Retrieved from 7 Hussein Ibish, “A Catastrophe That Defines Palestinian Identity,” Retrieved from archive/2018/05/the-meaning-of-nakba-israel-palestine-1948-gaza/560294/ 8 Johnny Harris and Max Fisher, “The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history,” Retrieved from watch?v=iRYZjOuUnlU 9 Ibid. 10 Charles D. Smith, “Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict: a history with documents,” Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, pp. 411. 11 Ibid., pp. 419. 12 Justus Weiner, “Spoiler Diagnosis And Management In The Oslo Peace Process: A Critical Analysis,” 1–64. 13 Harris and Fisher, “The Israel-Palestine Conflict.” 14 Smith, “Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” pp. 436. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid., pp. 447. 17 Ibid. 18 “Palestinian Territories - Timeline” 19 Weiner, “Spoiler Diagnosis.” 103

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raeli politician Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, which helped spark the eruption of the Second Intifada.20 More than twenty years later, as a result of the Accords, the West Bank and Gaza suffer from a lack of economic prosperity,21,22 a lack of freedom of movement,23 as well as many constraints Israel continues to apply on Palestinians living inside the West Bank and Gaza.24 Israel’s creation and occupation of Palestine marginalized Palestinians, leaving them with little control over their lives and futures. The protocol that has been implemented after the Oslo Accords works to restrict Palestinians from receiving full autonomy over their land and resources. Israel’s occupation extracts political autonomy from Palestinians by governing the majority of the West Bank’s security and administration through military control and checkpoints. The Israeli government also controls the economy of the West Bank by surveilling imports and exports. By looking at education in the West Bank within this context, it will be clear why Palestinians continue to face educational constraints. The Israeli occupation of Palestine

creates political, economic, and social obstacles to education.25 Israeli army occupation creates many political constraints in Palestine through frequent house demolitions, school and university invasions, forced displacement, hundreds of military roadblocks, visa restrictions, and barrier wall construction, which is illegal under the Geneva Convention. All of these prevent thousands of teachers and students from reaching their schools or universities.26,27,28,29 During the second intifada, Pearlman (2003) stayed in the West Bank for a month to conduct interviews with Palestinians who experienced the uprisings under the occupation. Some of the constraints Palestinians faced during the second intifada are similar to the political constraints Palestinians continue to face today. In an interview with three friends in a village near Bethlehem, Narimen, Jamila, and Sultan described the checkpoints they face as they travel between Hebron and Jerusalem.30 Specifically, Jamila talked about how soldiers closed schools to stop children from throwing rocks.31 In another interview, Osama, a financial advisor, talked about how he was arrested at the age of

20 Smith, “Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” pp. 482. 21 Rabeh Morrar and Faïz Gallouj, “The growth of the service sector in Palestine: the productivitychallenge,” Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 19(1), pp. 179-204. doi:10.3917/jie.019.0179. 22 “The World Bank In West Bank and Gaza,” Retrieved from 23 Hanaa Hasan, “The Paris Protocol and the impoverishment of the Palestinian people,” Retrieved from 24 Petter Bauck and Mohammed Omer, “The Oslo Accords fell well short of their goals,” Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera. com/indepth/opinion/2013/09/2013912114245222394.html. 25 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Access to Education in Area C of the West Bank,” Retrieved from west-bank 26 Maya Rosenfeld, “Confronting the Occupation: Work, Education, and Political Activism of Palestinian Families in a Refugee Camp”, 2004. 27 UNICEF, “Education Under Occupation: Access to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” oPt/UNICEF_Under_Occupation_final-SMALL.pdf 28 Bree Akesson, “School as a place of violence and hope: Tensions of education for children and families in post-intifada Palestine,” International Journal of Educational Development, 41, 192–199. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.08.001 29 “Israel Restricting Visas for Academics Visiting Palestine Universities,” Retrieved from https://www.middleeastmonitor. com/20190711-israel-restricting-visas-for-academics-visiting-palestine-universities/. 30 Wendy Pearlman, “Occupied voices: stories of loss and longing from the second Intifada,” New York: Thunders Mouth Press/ Nation Books, pp. 28. 31 Ibid., pp. 29. 104

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17 for six months in an ‘administrative detention’ without clear reason.32 Although he did not specifically talk about education, he faced these constraints during his school years.33 Sana, a ninth grader, talked about how Israeli soldiers shot at them as they left school.34 He also took the longer route because roads were closed due to the conflict.35 In an interview, a mother, Muna, narrated the story of her son who was shot to death while he protested outside a checkpoint.36 The mother talked about how her child was a kind person, but with his death, his future was cut to an end.37 As a result of these constraints, schools in the West Bank can be seen as places of violence and nurture. Bree Akesson (2015) conducted ethnographic interviews in Area A, B, and C to weight schools in the West Bank as a place of both “violence” and “hope.” Akesson’s analysis of schools as a “place of violence” shows how political constraints by the Israeli occupation affect education in the West Bank. In her research, she describes schools as a “place of violence” because of harassment from Israeli military (checkpoints and school invasions) and settlers (throwing stones at Palestinians), as well as the demolition of schools in Area C.38 Similarly, Salah Alzaroo and Gillian Hunt’s39 research analysis shows the political constraints Palestinians

“Schools in the West Bank can be seen as places of violence and nurture.” face as they pursue education. Alzaroo and Hunt conducted 13 ethnographic interviews with households in two camps, Al Fawar and Al Aroub, both in the Hebron area.40 The authors use ideologies of political education,41 conservative, liberal, and radical education, to assess their results. Conservative education is when education reinforces, supports, and legitimizes the existing system of government.42 It is connected to the idea of school as a “place of violence” since education is used as a tool of oppression. This includes the closure of Palestinian educational institutions, oppression of teachers and students in the West Bank by the Israeli army, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as well as censorship of the curriculum for Israelis and Palestinians.43 Akesson’s44 analysis of school as a “place of hope” shows how Palestinians try to defeat these political constraints by resisting occupation through a liberal education, which allows an individual to make up his or her mind after consideration and discussion of relevant evidence.45 The

32 Ibid., pp. 41. 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid., pp. 63. 35 Ibid., pp. 64. 36 Ibid., pp. 83. 37 Ibid. 38 Akesson, “School as a Place of Violence and Hope.” 39 Sarah Alzaroo and Gillian L. Hunt, “Education in the Context of Conflict and Instability: The Palestinian Case,” Social Policy and Administration, 37(2), 165–180. doi: 10.1111/1467-9515.00332 40 Ibid. 41 Clive Harber, “Schools and Political Learning in Africa: themes and issues,” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 21(1), 61–72. doi: 10.1080/0305792910210105 42 Alzaroo and Hunt, “Education in the Context of Conflict and Instability.” 43 Ibid. 44 Akesson, “School as a Place of Violence and Hope.” 45 Alzaroo and Hunt, “Education in the Context of Conflict and Instability.” 105

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“Palestinians continue to face these constraints on a daily basis.” authors discuss how Palestinians have accepted education without looking at the economic factor because they value education and because they have nothing to lose. A liberal education is connected to the idea of education as a “place of hope” because education is used as a coping strategy for the occupation — although Palestinians will not benefit fully because of unemployment.46 Research conducted by Maya Rosenfeld47 in Dheisheh, a refugee camp in the south of Bethlehem, notes the following attitudes towards education among Palestinians: education is considered an attribute or trademark comparable to other character qualities and is seen as enlightenment rather than a certificate. Education is highly valued among families across Palestine, with 95.4% of children enrolled in basic education.48 Besides political constraints, economic and social constraints imposed by the occupation affect the quality and level of education. Classrooms and curriculums are underdeveloped as a result of low budgets, high unemployment rates, and low salaries.49,50 Social constraints also affect edu-

cation in Palestine considerably, including gendered views of the role of women as housekeepers and mothers, and the role of men as providers and a main source of income.51 Many females pursue an education in the West Bank, but social constraints and gender inequality still exist. Although it is not always directly linked to the occupation, a research study by Karam Dana and Hannah Walker52 explores how the occupation affects both genders who travel to work or school because of checkpoints and how females are more likely to be discriminated against by the IDF.53 As a result, some families will prevent their daughters from working because of harassment.54 If we look at how the occupation results in gender inequality, it relates to schools as a “place of violence.” The study also shows gender differentials in both employment and compensation. In the study, male respondents answered that there are many service jobs suitable for women, as opposed to labor positions, but females still receive lower wages for their jobs.55 Meanwhile, men have added pressure to find masculine jobs that pay well to support their families.56 These are the common political, economic, and social constraints Palestinians face as they pursue education. Although many of the existing research was conducted in the early 2000s, Palestinians continue to face these constraints on a daily basis.

46 Ibid. 47 Rosenfeld, “Confronting the Occupation.” 48 “Education and adolescents,” Retrieved from 49 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, “Education Denied,” Retrieved from book.pdf 50 UNICEF. (2018). State of Palestine Country Report on Out-Of-School Children. Retrieved from OOSC_SoP_Full_Report_EN.pdf 51 Karam Dana and Hannah Walker, “Invisible disasters: the effects of Israeli occupation on Palestinian gender roles,” Contemporary Arab Affairs, 8(4), 488–504. doi: 10.1080/17550912.2015.1090100 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid. 54 Ibid. 55 Ibid. 56 Ibid. 106

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Israeli occupation has halted Palestinians for progressing and developing themselves for the better. Therefore, it is important to amplify the existing narratives to show the continued effects of the Israeli occupation.

Research Methodology In conjunction with my research partner, Mariam Al-Dhubhani, our field research in Palestine encompassed 29 days over the summer of 2019. I was in the field on July 2–18 and August 18–24 while Al-Dhubhani was in the field July 2–28.57 Our research method was primarily ethnographic, recording and transcribing interviews for future use in both written and visual narratives. We had three interview guides for students, teachers, and workers.58 The interview guide was in Arabic. Interviews were semi-structured, meaning that, while the section order is followed, the questions are not fixed — they vary based on the direction of the conversation and based on the subjects’ answers.59 The interview guide was always subject to change based on the subjects’ responses. The semi-structured interview guide, in general, consisted of five sections. The first section aimed to ease the subjects into a conversation by asking them to paint a picture of their daily life and the village they come from. The purpose of the second section was to ask the subjects to paint their educational journey. The third section examined educational constraints. The fourth section queried the dreams and hopes of subjects in the absence of these constraints. In the last section, we asked subjects to be creative by offering solutions to their own constraints.

My research had nine separate stratified groups of people whom I wanted to interview: people in all three areas of Palestine (Areas A, B, and C) because life in each of these areas deals with a different set of constraints on education, and three groups of people within each of these areas — students, workers, and teachers — to make sure to capture a diverse group of voices about how educational constraints have affected them. However, due to logistical and security reasons, we were only able to cover Areas A and B. To cover Area A, Mariam and I traveled to Ramallah, Nablus, and Bethlehem. In Ramallah, we went to universities and downtown Ramallah to conduct interviews with students, teachers, and workers. In Nablus and Bethlehem, we went to different universities to interview students. Since people from Area B come to universities in Area A, we were able to simultaneously interview students from different villages. We were also able to interview Arab Israelis who study in Area A. During my second visit to the West Bank, I stayed in Salfit to interview teachers and workers in Area B. I was able to interview private tutors, school teachers, and Palestinians who work in Israel. Demographics and Sampling In these two areas, we used non-probability and intercept sampling. Although non-probability sampling is not a perfect way to collect data, due to the increased chance of bias in the respondents sampled, Reynolds, Simintiras, and Diamontopoulous (2003) have highlighted how probability sampling in developing countries is often a luxury, and non-probability methods are often the best option for scholars

57 Mariam Al-Dhubhani originally received the summer URG grant with me in a joint proposal, but she had to decline the award due to early graduation. Nevertheless, due to personal interest in the project, she self-supported her travel to Palestine this summer to conduct the research with me. 58 For the full thesis, including appendices with interview guides, see 59 H. Russel Bernard, “Research methods in anthropology qualitative and quantitative approaches,” Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 107

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with slimmer research budgets. Nevertheless, there are many scholars who have successfully used non-random sampling in the Middle East, such as Martin’s assessment of political socialization and media consumption among youth in Jordan60 and Kousha and Mohseni’s assessment of Iranians’ level of happiness and general life satisfaction.61 Most relevant for my project, Wendy Pearlman of Northwestern University has successfully used non-random interview techniques in Palestine62 and Syria63 to capture Palestinian voices and give humanizing details to the dry facts reported in the media or collected by organizations. Because the point of my project in Palestine is not to give, or claim, a representative sample of all Palestinian voices, but rather to highlight the experiences of individuals

who have experienced problems with pursuing their human right to an education, the non-probability sampling of my interviews does not detract from the power of these voices or the usefulness of the research. That said, there are ways to ensure that a diverse sampling of voices is heard, through the use of stratified sampling.64 I chose to create targeted quotas of people in Areas A, B, and C, because life in each of these areas deals with a different set of constraints on education. I also created targeted quotas of three groups of people within each of these areas — students, workers, and teachers — to make sure that I heard from a diverse group of voices about how educational constraints have affected them (see Table 1).

60 Justin Martin, “News Consumption and Political Socialization Among Young, Urban” 61 Mahnaz Kousha and Navid Mohseni, “Are Iranians Happy? A Comparative Study” 62 Wendy Pearlman, “Occupied voices: stories of loss and longing from the second Intifada,” New York: Thunders Mouth Press/ Nation Books. 63 Wendy Pearlman, “We crossed a bridge and it trembled: voices from Syria,” Custom House, New York, NY. 64 Daniel J. Levitin, “Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era. New York: Dutton. 108

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Besides our initial contact list, we also used intercept sampling65 to collect interviews, which helped us access a more diverse pool of people, especially workers and high school students. During different times and days, we approached subjects, introduced ourselves and the research purpose, then asked for an interview. Instead of signatures, we asked for verbal consent. In sum, while my interviews were not randomly selected, by stratifying my sample and by using intercept sampling, my interviews provide a diverse selection of different viewpoints across Palestine.

Military Occuption Many Palestinians mentioned specific instances of violence by the Israeli occupation. Those who witnessed or experienced violence are the same interviewees who mentioned jails, checkpoints, house demolitions, settler violence, school invasions, etc. Violence is also associated and mentioned by Palestinians who have experienced the First or Second Intifada. Among the interviewees, 20 Palestinians above the age of 30 experienced either the First or Second Intifada. Their memories of the Intifada are related to violence, which ultimately hindered their journey to Results and Discussion education. Anas, a 49-year-old construction To analyze the collected 58 interviews, each interview is coded with num- worker in Israel, recalls the closure of bers based on the following groups: Mil- Al-Najah University in 1994: itary Occupation, Checkpoints, Economic The [military] surrounded the Concerns, Gender Issues, Political Diviuniversity for four days … because sions, and the Educational System. Each they wanted to arrest several armed men inside the campus, and at that group has a list of entries with a specific time there were university elections code, which is used whenever an inter… but the security closed the doors viewee talks about a particular constraint, and refused to let the military inside such as jail, a low salary, unemployment, … I still remember these days. … In the etc. For example, if an interviewee speaks last two days, there was no food left. about being detained by the IDF, the quote During the first two days, they used to is highlighted with a code, such as 1002a. give us boiled hummus twice a day, and 65 David McKenzie and Johan Mistiaen, “Surveying Migrant Households: A Comparison of Census-Based, Snowball, and Intercept Point Surveys,” In Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 172: 339–360. 109

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during the last two days, they gave us water and salt to drink.

The IDF still frequently invades universities and schools to arrest politically active students. Palestinians have been detained and tortured in Israeli jails for their political activism. Mohammed, a 23-yearold university student, has been arrested twice for his political activism, which forced him to miss a year in high school: I was arrested once during school and once during university. During school they jailed me for a year and four months. This is why I entered university late. I am 23 and I am still a senior ... I missed a year during school, and I had to repeat it with students younger than me … It was during Nakba protests. Two Palestinian martyrs lost their lives, Nadeem Nawarah and Mohammed Abu Daher. During the protests, I stayed nearby to rescue them but I was caught by the military … When I saw two people sacrifice their lives in front of me, I could not run away and leave them alone … I felt like I could offer them help … I was also detained for the second time during a protest against a military checkpoint.

During the second arrest, he was detained for ten months, which affected his university studies. Mohammed said he wanted to pursue a master’s degree abroad, but he is not allowed to leave the country due to his previous arrests. Fayza, a 41-year-old teacher, spoke about her husband’s arrest, and how it prevented him from attending their daughter’s graduation: He was arrested for the second time in 2014 at the administrative detention for six months. It was the most difficult time for me. He was one of the people that refused to eat for 63 days, and he

suffered a lot to the point he almost lost his life because of a stomach bug … Imagine [that] every day you are waiting to hear the bad news because [the prisoners] are demanding their rights … What made it more difficult is that my eldest daughter … was graduating from high school … He was supposed to be released four days before her results were out, but his detention was extended … Well, she now graduated with a degree in laboratory medicine, and life goes on.

Many Palestinians continue to face similar political constraints and violence resultant of the Israeli occupation, preventing or hindering their attendance at class or graduation. Children are also prone to this violence. Mariam, a 47-year-old teacher, decided to major in education after her two twins witnessed violence during the Second Intifada. Her children thought their father had died after he was shot in the shoulder at a checkpoint. Mariam’s children feared going to school because of this incident. She decided to help children like her own. After taking a gap year from university, Mariam returned and changed her major. What happened to my children is also what children in Palestine suffer from. … Our children face direct and indirect violence from the occupation … and if we fail to take their hands and help them, they will get lost … [Our children] are our biggest investment.

Checkpoints Palestinians who travel to different cities for work or school are likely to face checkpoints on the way. The problem is that they are unpredictable. Some days it takes less than ten minutes to pass the point, while on other days, it takes several hours.


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Hazem, a 22-year-old university student in Bethlehem, spoke about struggling through checkpoints as when returns home to Jerusalem: Sometimes there are 100 or 200 people at the checkpoint, so we have to wait an hour. There were days we returned to sleep in Bethlehem. The road that usually takes ten minutes in the car can take more than an hour … If I leave university at 4 p.m., I arrive home at 6 or 7 p.m. I lose all my willpower to study with the exhausting road and the traffic, but then I have to go study, and on the other days I have to go work.

Since checkpoints are unpredictable, Palestinians cannot plan ahead for days they will be late. This uncertainty can be mentally exhausting and can result in consequences for students and teachers as well as workers. Lana, a 19-year-old finance student, recalled what happened to her friend on the same day she was interviewed: Today, when my friend was inside the ford passing [Hallamis Checkpoint], the soldier told them to return. She was going to be one hour late, but by coincidence, the soldier shift changed, and they told them to come back because they opened the border.

uation in the West Bank also demotivates students as they pursue education, since it is hard to cover university fees, and students may not find jobs after graduating. One mechatronics engineering student said he knew he would not find a job with his major once he graduated: I chose the major I wanted … and I was hoping and planning … to finish the bachelor’s degree [here] … and if God wills and blesses me with a scholarship … I will leave for a country like Germany that is interested in the industrial area. … My major is insignificant in Palestine because we are a state that depends on imports more than exports.

This reliance on imports is because the West Bank was not allowed to have industrial factories after the Accords. Furthermore, if there are jobs available for specific majors, it is difficult for graduates to find a job because the market is too saturated: Why does no one major in pharmacy? It is because there are 3000 unemployed pharmacists … For example, in our village, … only two pharmacies are allowed, but this year, four people are studying pharmacy.

Due to the uncertainty related to checkpoints, many students and workers decide to move from home to the dorms, while others choose universities in more accessible areas.

Those who do manage to gain employment earn low salaries, not enough to provide for their families. Tamer, an owner of a gold shop in downtown Ramallah, said:

Economic Concerns The Oslo Accords have affected the Palestinian economy considerably, creating high levels of unemployment and resulting in low salaries. Because of the low salaries, both teachers and students often work multiple jobs to provide for themselves and their families. The economic sit-

As I work, many people come to sell their gold to pay for their children’s university fees. Now it is the time for university admissions, and a Birzeit student would need to at least pay 1000 dinars. This installment is a lot, so some people come to sell their gold to educate their children.


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In addition to the low salaries, teachers and civil servants’ salaries were cut in half when Israel withdrew tax money from the P.A. Alia, a geography teacher, spoke about how this affected her family’s economic situation: I built the second floor of our house, and all the loans were on me, as well as installments for furniture, which I paid with half of my salary. My husband is also a teacher, but he owns a car, and half of his salary goes to installments for the car. … When they cut our salaries, how are we supposed to live? The bank takes 1500 to 2000 shekel, and only 500 are left. What is it enough for? Fuel? Water? Electricity? Vegetables, or for my children’s pocket money?

he should study at the university for four years, and then return to work in Israel? Why doesn’t he work in Israel from the beginning? It is because he sees [the difference between] his uncles and neighbors who work in Israel, and the people who work in the West Bank. So, he says he does not want to study. But then look at my daughter, she just graduated from the university.

She added:

Because of the economic situation in the West Bank, many people tend to work in Israel to receive a higher salary. Bushra, a 19-year-old university student, whose father is a teacher, said: Nothing motivates people to study nowadays. A student [that] my father teaches said, “I go to Israel, and the salary you make in a month, I can receive it in one day.”

Gender Norms Men have added pressure to provide for the family. Thus, they only focus on ways to obtain money rather than to pursue their dreams. As a result, men tended to be more pessimistic towards education, and were likely to study primarily for the degree. In contrast, although many females provide for their families, they tended to be more optimistic and focused on receiving education in the best possible way. Tala, a 38-year-old teacher in Ramallah, talked about why males prefer working: My son in grade ten is asking me why

There was a kid called Monjd that I taught. He was an orphan and refused to attend school for the first three years … When he was eight years old, he enrolled in grade one. I used to follow up with him because he was unique. When he enrolled in grade ten, despite having high grades, he dropped out. I went to his house, his teachers, school consultant, and people from the ministry also went, but he refused [to return], saying he wanted to help his family and sisters. His sisters are finishing their university years, but he decided to work to support his mom and sisters … Until today, he did not return to school.

These gender norms affect teachers as well. Since male teachers have to work multiple jobs, they cannot put their full effort into teaching, which ultimately affects students. Shatha, a 44-year-old social studies teacher, said: No offense, but a male teacher is different than a female teacher ... A male teacher has students, a family and responsibilities to take care of, and his salary is not enough. He has to work an additional job at night to spend on the house ... His priority is not the school anymore, but to find a source of living.

However, some women also continued to face social constraints because of culture and traditions. Nada, a 29-year-old


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jewelry designer from Ramallah, could not work in the field she majored in: I studied civil engineering … but the major did not suit my parents’ culture and traditions. Unfortunately, I had to study another major that pleased my parents, so I studied English. I did not like it, and I did not want to work with this degree … As I was majoring in English, I learned how to make jewelry … I decided to pursue this path. It has been nine years since then.

ence and international relations student, said that an arrest could put students far behind in school: When you talk about Hamas, you are talking about being chased by an occupier. … Many students were removed from the university for six months, and this is not a short period. Six months means a semester, and for engineering students, six months means a full school year.

Political Activism Interviewees also talked about the political division in the West Bank and how it affected education. Hamas supporters in the West Bank are marginalized by the P.A., as well as by the Israeli government. Those who show support for Hamas can either be detained or left unemployed after graduating. Birzeit University Student Council runs free elections every year, and almost every year Hamas wins the seats. However, they are usually arrested. Radi, a 19-year-old student, recalled the arrest of Omar Al-Kisawni, a previous student leader: Israelis came as Arab journalists, claiming they wanted to shoot footage of the university, since it is historical. They manipulated the security guards using verified papers from an official institution, and they were allowed inside the campus. A few hours later, around 3 p.m., I was walking near the college of literature and I wanted to visit the student council for help. Then, I saw our previous leader on the floor, while they were stepping on him and hitting him severely ... The violence was inhumane. University students tried their best to fight back by throwing rocks, but they had weapons.

She said that many students were arrested in administrative detention without any charges, and that the period of time was extended repeatedly. This was not only applicable to Hamas-supporting students, but also students affiliated with other political parties. Sameera mentioned a friend, also a journalism student, who missed a full year of school while being detained without being charged for a crime. Educational System Many teachers complained about the educational system. Some teachers end up working with temporary contracts for years, and those who have a permanent contract can be transferred to more than three schools in less than a year. Basel, an Islamic teacher at a male school, said: We are like soldiers; we go wherever they want us to be. The ministry has the power and can relocate us to any school whenever.

This can be exhausting to teachers who are forced to continuously adapt to different environments. For temporary teachers, it can take years to sign a permanent contract and sometimes they never do. Abdullah, a 64-year-old teacher, said he retired without any benefits:

Sameera, a 23-year-old political sci-

I worked with the Ministry of Social Affairs … I served eight years with a temporary contract on the illusion


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… I heard my friends congratulating me behind the trees that I passed. … I was excited and scared as I picked the rocks. … I asked for my grade … and they told me. … I did not know if I should side with the soldier or not, but from the excitement, I worked extra hard to pick up the rocks.

they would give me a permanent one the next year. When I turned 60 years old, they referred me to retirement, but I only had a permanent contract for eight years, which is not applicable for retirement … I served for 16 years in total, and only eight years with a permanent contract. … They gave me hope that the previous eight years would count for the service, but when I turned 60 they told me I am not eligible for retirement.


Besides teachers, many students complained about the current curriculum, since it relies on rote memorization. Dalia, a business student, said: I could not wait until I graduated from school. All you do in school is memorize text, and teachers only want you to finish the assigned readings.

Students in high school also face the pressure of Tawjeehi, the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination, the college entrance exams used in Palestine and Jordan. Entire families and villages wait for high school seniors’ grades to be released. Students can only pursue specific majors based on their grades after graduating from high school. Some disappointed students are forced to repeat senior year to enter the major they want, while others receive the “good” news. Tamer, a journalism professor at one of the universities in the West Bank, recalled the moment he received his grade: It was one of the happiest days of my life when Tawjeehi grades were out. I was working at a construction site [in Israel], and returning back in the cars that take workers to the village … Palestinians were throwing rocks … and the Israeli military got us out of the vehicle, and asked us to pick [up] the rocks from the road. I was picking up the rocks after a very long day of work.

Palestinians until today struggle to attain their fundamental human right to education due to the ongoing Israeli occupation. From the collected interviews, Palestinians face political constraints, such as checkpoints, imprisonment, as well as university invasions and closures by the IDF. Regarding economic restrictions, students and teachers suffer from high university fees, unemployment, having to work multiple jobs, and salary cuts. Students and workers complained about unemployment after graduating and working in jobs different from their major. Therefore, many Palestinians decide to work in Israel as laborers for higher salaries. Finally, social constraints differed based on gender. From interviews with male and female students, it was evident that women tended to be more interested in education and were more likely to perform well, while men cared more about earning money. For Palestinians in the West Bank, these constraints are a reality they have no control over. Since the occupation of Palestine began, Palestinians’ autonomy over their lives, land and resources has been taken away, as well as their autonomy over their own narrative. Existing research about education in the West Bank has been available since the early 2000s, but 20 years later, Palestinians continue to face the same constraints without many improvements. Does this not say much about the nature of the occupation, and its ability to halt progress and change in Palestine? ■


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Department of Philosophy

The Subsumptivist Generalist Position in Ethical AI Research and Its Motivation by Jun Kyung You Enframing The future will see autonomous machines acting in the same environment as humans . . . thus hybrid collective decision-making systems will be in great need.1

Given that propositions made by artificial intelligence researchers on the future ubiquity of artificial agents are true, making sure artificial agents operate under the purview of morality seems evidently important. Indeed, it can be dangerous to give artificial agents tasks that have to be carried out in a mixed environment with both humans and machines, in a “real-world” environment with ethical risk. Take an example of a service robot in a home tasked with cleaning up the house. What would happen if the robot is not able to make the value distinction between a baby and an empty paper bag?2 Although human agents may also make mistakes in

navigating situations with ethical risk such as these — for example, we could conceivably hit the baby with a broom while sweeping the floor without knowing — that does not mean we cannot gauge the ethical risks involved and decide what to do. In other words, we are capable of “ethical decision-making.” If we want an autonomous artificial agent that can serve as an adequate replacement of a human agent in a real-world environment, it follows that the artificial agent must replicate this capability to some degree as well. For this replication to be adequate, we should ask ourselves what ethical decision-making exactly entails. I argue in this paper that, in asking what ethical decision-making entails, many current approaches in ethical AI research are misguided in their inquiries. The approaches where a “correct moral theory” is proposed either through reference to evo-

1 Greene, J. et al, “Embedding Ethical Principles in Collective Decision Support Systems,” in Proceedings of the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2016. p.4147. 2 Wallach, W, and Colin A. Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong. Oxford University Press, 2010. p.15. 117

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lutionary psychology3 and machine learning4, or through aggregation of individual preferences into a general policy,56 seem particularly problematic. Where these approaches go wrong is best explained by first introducing Heidegger’s idea of enframing, which is suggested in his essay, “The Question Concerning Technology.” Enframing, the character of modern technology, according to Heidegger, “is a challenging [Herausfordern], which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored as such. ...7 Agriculture is now the mechanized food industry. Air is now set upon to yield nitrogen, the earth to yield ore, ore to yield uranium.”8 Enframing forces and organizes something into a “standing-reserve,”9 or a posture of readiness for a further purpose. Heidegger’s discussion of the Rhine’s transition into a “standing-reserve” is perhaps the clearest illustration he gives of this idea: The hydroelectric plant is set into the current of the Rhine. It sets the Rhine to supplying its hydraulic pressure which then sets the turbines turning. This turning sets those machines in motion whose thrust sets going the electric current for which the long-distance power station and its network of cables are set up to dispatch electricity. In the context of the interlocking processes pertaining to the orderly disposition of electrical energy, even the Rhine itself appears as something at our command. The hydroelectric plant is not built

into the Rhine River as was the old wooden bridge that joined bank with bank for hundreds of years. Rather the river is dammed up into the power plant. What the river is now, namely, a water power supplier, derives from the essence of the power station ... But, it will be replied, the Rhine is still a river in the landscape, is it not? Perhaps. But how? In no other way than as an object on call for inspection by a tour group ordered there by the vacation industry.10

Heidegger notices that modern technology’s optimizing, stockpiling, and streamlining of nature express a particular approach to nature: nature is an exploitable system that should be organized and made ready for a further purpose. Consider the difference between the significance of the wooden bridge and the hydroelectric plant over the Rhine. The wooden bridge was used for people to be able to live despite the existence of the Rhine. The Rhine as it stands was taken for granted, and no efforts were made to alter it. There was no purpose to the Rhine; it was simply a part of the landscape. The dam connected to the power plant, on the other hand, was built with the intention to exploit the hydroelectric potential in the Rhine. The Rhine itself was optimized to produce this hydroelectric resource. The Rhine was repurposed to provide resources, and is seen as something exploitable for an additional end. Even the scenery that the Rhine provides was repurposed for use

3 Sotala, Kaj., “Defining Human Values for Value Learners,” in AAAI-16 AI, Society and Ethics Workshop, p. 113-123. 4 Conitzer, V., Walter, S., Borg, J., et al. “Moral Decision-Making Frameworks for Artificial Intelligence,” In Proceedings of the Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-17) Senior Member / Blue Sky Track, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2017, pp. 4831-4835. 5 Noothigattu, R. et al., “A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making,” Proceedings of Autonomous Agents and Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference, 2018 6 Awad, E., et al. “The Moral Machine Experiment.” Nature vol. 563, 2018. 7 Ibid. 8 Heidegger, p.15. 9 Ibid., p.17. 10 Ibid., p.16. 118

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“Ready-Ethics is more interested in the practice of morality than the justification behind what is determined as morally acceptable.”

ethical principles are not available, we must use an ‘approximation as agreed upon by society.’11

by the vacation industry for its exploitation of entertainment value. Technology’s purposeful organization of the world in readiness of a further end — that is what Heidegger means by enframing. With the exposition of enframing at hand, I can now state the goal of this paper. I propose that there is a risk where ethics is influenced by enframing in ethical AI research. Ethics is stripped of contextualism, altered in its moral motivation, and even trivialized in some cases to further enable the wider adoption of AI. I call this resulting ethics “Ready-Ethics.” In this paper, I explain and demote the approach to normativity that Ready-Ethics endorses, with the aims of steering ethical AI research to more sensible ethical frameworks and more desirable motivations.

Ready-Ethics Arguably the main obstacle to automating ethical decisions is the lack of a formal specification of groundtruth ethical principle, which have been the subject of debate for centuries among ethicists ... When ground-truth

Ready-Ethics, above all, is the transformation of ethics into an empirical field of study. This transformation has understandable incentives. AI is a tool meant to not only enhance, but also to completely replace human agency where it seems valuable to do so. For replacement to be as widespread as possible, it must be able to replicate what is essential to human agency. Since ethical decision-making is an important aspect of human agency, it follows that ethical decision-making must be replicated to some extent. In the face of this need, ethics is expected to be answerable to the demands of technology as a “standing-reserve.” Ethics is expected to have a “formal specification of ground-truth ethical principle”12 prepared for ethical AI research. The history of moral philosophy, in light of technology’s demand, is reinterpreted as a process to arrive at this “formal specification” — as if the great names in moral philosophy all were, in fact, looking for this “formal specification.” The reinterpretation of ethics through technology mirrors what happened between nature and technology in Heidegger’s Rhine example. Just as the hydroelectric plant altered the meaning of the Rhine, ethics is also enframed into Ready-Ethics due to technology. Ready-Ethics and ethics contrast in their attitudes and, consequently, their approaches, to normativity. Ethics, among other things, inquires, “What should I do here? Is what I have done a good thing?” In ethical inquiries such as these, the “should” “remains indeterminate.”13 What

11 Noothigattu, R. et al., “A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making,” Proceedings of Autonomous Agents and Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference, 2018. p.1. 12 Ibid. 13 Habermas, J. “On the Pragmatic, the Ethical, and the Moral Employments of Practical Reason.” Justification and Application. 119

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is intuitively good or morally desirable is not accepted by the virtue of it appearing so. Rather, we look for justifications that can ease the indeterminacy. Ethics is also necessarily intertwined with moral motivation. Behind the normative inquiries in ethics, there is always the assumption that one must aim for moral improvement. Ready-Ethics, on the other hand, treats normativity as a subject of an empirical study because it is only concerned with finding instances of human moral acceptability. No motivation to improve one’s moral conduct is involved. There is only, or at least overwhelmingly, the motivation to make artificial agents comply with current norms. Ready-Ethics is more interested in the practice of morality than the justification behind what is determined as morally acceptable because ethics is only inquired with the purpose of replicating an aspect of human agency. To bring ethics into an implementable form, Ready-Ethics assumes the existence of a useful pattern to be found in the practice of morality and attentively follows what is available based on observable conduct. Therefore, despite dealing with the same subject matter of normativity, Ready-Ethics is not a branch of ethics. Rather, it is a branch of AI research where the technological need for the social acceptance of AI launches an empirical inquiry into the normative. Ready-Ethics is an enframing of ethics’ motivation and how it engages with normativity, which is pushed forward by the need to propagate AI technology. The interested reader may have two questions: First, why should I believe that

Ready-Ethics is indeed the approach that drives the research in replicating ethical decision-making in artificial agents? As Heidegger presented a real-life case with the Rhine to prove his point with enframing, I shall do the same through examining actual cases.

Subsumptivist Generalist Position in Ethical AI First, we summarize global moral preferences. Second, we document individual variations in preferences, based on respondents’ demographics. Third, we report cross-cultural ethical variation, and uncover three major clusters of countries ... We discuss how these preferences can contribute to developing global, socially acceptable principles for machine ethics 14 We consider approaches that query [people] about their judgments in individual examples, and then aggregate these judgments into a general policy. We propose a formal learning-theoretic framework for this setting.”15

One recognizable trend in the recent literature on ethical decision-making replication is the prominence of the Subsumptivist Generalist Position, or SGP. It believes that “the moral status of an act is determined by its falling under a general moral principle,”16 meaning that the moral value of an action “X” is determined by the degree of its compliance to a general moral principle “Y.” One may question what is meant by a “general moral princi-

13 Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. p.2 14 Awad, E., et al, p.1. 15 Conitzer, V., and Zhang, H.. “A PAC Framework for Aggregating Agents’ Judgments,” AAAI (2019). 16 Strahovnik, V. “Introduction: Challenging Moral Particularism.” Challenging Moral Particularism, edited by Mark Norris, Lance et al., Routledge, 2008, p.1. 120

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“A programming approach aims to make artificial agents act in morally acceptable ways via programmed moral principles.” ple.” While there are at least six different ideas of moral principles in circulation,17 since the ethical principles that guide actions of artificial agents are expected to be strictly applied, it suffices for our purposes to think of moral principles as generalized, exceptionless imperatives for or against actions, such as “thou shalt not kill.” SGP, with little exaggeration, defines current ethical AI discourse. The dominant viewpoint seems to be that ethical decision-making should be replicated in artificial agents, under the assumption that the moral life is sufficiently representable through principles.18,19,20,21,22 These works usually start by citing Asimov’s three laws of robotics — which apparently does more than simply fascinating the lay.23 Asimov’s laws are provided as a springboard to justify the researcher’s motivation in devising moral principles that are sophisticated enough to be compelling, who uses the insufficiency of the three laws to show the relevance and necessity of her approach. The direction of inquiry into normativity is framed in terms of principles from the very start. The dismissal of Asimov’s laws

are followed by the elaboration of other moral systems that seem more applicable and more impressive, such as the “utilitarianism, Kantianism, Smithianism, and deontological” moral theories.24 Sharkey provides a useful recapitulation of the ideas presented by and implemented in ethical AI research, from which one may observe the dominance of SGP.25 She makes the distinction between “programming” and “training” approaches in producing ethical artificial agents. A programming approach aims to make artificial agents act in morally acceptable ways via programmed moral principles. The most concrete example that she features is presented by Anderson and Anderson, who used inductive logic programming with a machine learning approach so that the artificial agent could extract moral principles from a set of human decisions.26 The artificial agent can then make choices based on the extracted principles in hypothetical situations. In the “training” approach, efforts are made to “raise” artificial agents so that they can be a part of the moral community. The

17 Schroeder, M. “A Matter of Principle.” Noûs, vol. 43, no. 3, 2009, p. 569. 18 Goodall N.J. (2014) Machine Ethics and Automated Vehicles. In: Meyer G., Beiker S. (eds) Road Vehicle Automation. Lecture Notes in Mobility. Springer, Cham. p.7 19 Anderson, M. et al. “A Value Driven Agent: Instantiation of a Case-Supported Principle-Based Behavior Paradigm.” AAAI Workshops (2017). 20 Powers, T.M. “Prospects for a Smithian Machine,” International Association for Computing and Philosophy, College Park, Maryland, July 2013. 21 Powers, T.M. Prospects for a Kantian Machine, IEEE Intelligent Systems 21 (4), 2006. 22 All the block-quoted articles except for the Heidegger one may also join this list of footnotes. 23 Asimov, I., Runaround. Astounding Science Fiction 29, 94-103, Mar., 1942. 24 Goodall, p.7 25 Sharkey, A. Ethics Inf Technol (2017). 26 Sharkey, p.5 121

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rationale behind this approach is that “programming” an artificial agent to act in a morally acceptable way seems too difficult because moral norms that yield definite judgments are “subtle and context dependent” on the time of application.27 One notable research example that Sharkey cites is that of Riedl and Harrison, who, in their research, “told” stories that contain sociocultural values to artificial agents, and attempted to instill those values via machine learning techniques.28 The programming approach is most clearly reliant on the view of moral life that ethical decision-making depends on principles or algorithmically-interpretable patterns. A non-SGP approach to morality precludes the possibility of morality being fully programmable in terms of laws. The programming approach requires the existence of generalized and exceptionless moral principles so that these moral principles are programmed into the agent. Winfield et al. engage on a project on the “ethical robot” that serves as a good example in showing that SGP is required for the programming approach. The most important piece in Winfield’s decision-making model of ethical robots is the Consequence Engine, which provides the capability to “generate and test what-if hypotheses.”29 The testing of hypothetical situations and actions is done through pre-programmed principles. Having formalizable moral principles at hand would surely streamline this process. The pragmatics of SGP, or the benefits of assuming a principle-driven moral life, is clear for the programming approach.

As for the training approach, the bigger problem is with its reliance on a different product of Ready-Ethics, which I will return later in a later section. However, it must still be noted that the training approach was suggested with the intent to circumvent the technical problem of assuming SGP, rather than with the intent to have a different take on the moral life. Malle, for instance, only seems to find the training approach desirable because it seems hopelessly difficult to program moral principles that are too “subtle and context dependent,”30 and so cannot readily be expressed in decipherable form. The predominance of an SGP-motivated approach in ethical AI research is troubling. SGP as a moral theory is not in a secure enough position to be the default framework for the replication of ethical decision-making. Pointing out that SGP does not hold a particularly intuitive swing is borderline trivial. We can think of Kant’s example of the murderer at the door and see how intuitive the strict adherence to the principle “one should not deceive” looks, and quickly move on. Moral theories that completely reject the need

“In the ‘training’ approach, efforts are made to ‘raise’ artificial agents so that they can be a part of the moral community.”

27 Sharkey, p.6 28 Ibid. 29 Winfield, A. F. , Blum, C. and Liu, W. (2014) Towards an ethical robot: Internal models, consequences and ethical action selection. In: Mistry, M. , Leonardis, Aleš, Witkowski, M. and Melhuish, C. , eds. Advances in Autonomous Robotics Systems: Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference, TAROS 2014, Birmingham, UK, 1-3 September 2014. p.87 30 Sharkey, p.6 122

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for contextual considerations in evaluating an action, as opposed to considering the action’s adherence to a principle, are discredited.31 This is because there are powerful arguments against SGP. There at least needs to be a dedicated defense of SGP to justify its applicability in ethical AI. I find Dancy’s argument for the holism of moral reasons especially effective in showing the flaws of SGP. The holism of moral reasons is that what counts as contributing to the assessment that an action is “good” might contribute to the assessment that an action is “bad,” depending on the circumstance where the actions are delivered. Dancy gives an example of a man who strikes a woman with his car and puts her in a hospital, to provide a case for the holism of moral reasons.32 It is apparent that we would approve of the man’s decision to make amends by visiting her, paying for special care, and so on. Perhaps the principle that could be extracted from this is that “it is approvable that a person who gets another person involved in a car accident make amends for this other person.” But we do not approve the man’s doing so, say, with the ultimate ends set at seducing her away from her partner. We cannot reasonably say that we approved of the first situation because we knew that the man was not intending to seduce the woman and that this knowledge could have been part of the extracted principle. This is because there could be a myriad of defeating reasons introduced to make the man’s decision look repulsive. For example, the man may have provided such care only to prevent her from suing him. If all the possible exceptions were to have been included in

the formed principle, it would cease to be meaningful. The change of our overall moral judgment between the two situations is dependent on the flux in the valence of each of the man’s actions and on the information that is revealed to us. The man’s actions to make amends in the first situation is not morally equivalent to what he does in the second situation, although the content of the action itself, if taken in isolation, does not change. For example, payment for special care for the sake of the woman, although the action itself is same on its own, can be interpreted as a “necessary investment” for the man’s seductive projects. These efforts add to our disapproval of the man’s actions rather than the approval of the man’s actions. The more elaborate and time-consuming the man’s effort to provide care for the woman, the more approving or repulsive our reaction grows, depending on the context. SGP at least seems to be a view that requires thorough examination if there are reasons to think that generalized moral imperatives cannot reliably apply to another situation. Reasons for a judgment in a situation is not guaranteed to have the same valence in other situations. By taking the lengths to express a Particularist point, I do not suggest that Particularists necessarily have it right when it comes to understanding what a moral life entails. Rather, what I claim is that the amount of argumentative defense that is required for an SGP-motivated approach is not a simple task and therefore does not coincide with the unqualified dominance it has as the philosophical background for ethical AI research. Also, I wish to make the larger point that there

31 Lance, M., Little, M. “From particularism to defeasibility in ethics,” Challenging Moral Particularism, edited by M., Lance et al., Routledge, 2008. p. 54 32 Dancy, J. Moral Reasons. Blackwell, 1993. p.80. 123

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“SGP as a moral theory is not in a secure enough position to be the default framework for the replication of ethical decision-making.” must have been a reason external to the argumentative soundness or intuitive appeal that made SGP gain its prominent status. I hypothesize that the technological need of ethical AI research enframed ethics into Ready-Ethics, which views normativity as fully explainable through SGP. As ethics was reorganized into its empirically tractable counterpart that is Ready-Ethics, the need to propagate artificial agents presented by technology gave way to an approach to normativity where it only makes sense to adopt SGP as the default theory for the replication of ethical decision-making. SGP, which posits that the totality of moral life is explainable through principles, allows for the possibility that a “formal specification” of morality is discoverable. Although SGP is a theory of what moral life consists of, it cannot have been chosen as a default theory for the replication of ethical decision-making by a responsible moral theorist given its controversiality. Given these reasons, I believe that SGP was promoted through the needs of technolog-

ical development, specifically through the mechanism of enframing that Heidegger proposed.

Conclusion Through this paper, I provided an exposition of Heidegger’s theory of enframing and provided an explanation for why that phenomenon can be useful in explaining an existing trend that adopts SGP as the philosophical basis for the ethical AI research projects. From this, it may be re-emphasized that all decisions made by those who devise ethical decision-making frameworks contribute to their projection of a certain viewpoint about ethics that is embodied through the implementation of those frameworks, whether the creators of such agents actually believe in those moral viewpoints or not. Additional argumentation is needed to examine whether the implementations based on enframed ethics are indeed dangerous. ■

Bibliography Anderson, M., Anderson S., Armen, C. MedEthEx: A prototype medical ethics advisor. In Proceedings of the eighteenth conference on innovative applications of artificial intelligence. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press, 2006. Anderson, M et al. “A Value Driven Agent: Instantiation of a Case-Supported Principle-Based Behavior Paradigm.” AAAI Workshops, 2017. Awad, E., et al. “The Moral Machine Experiment.” Nature vol. 563, 2018. Chopra, S., and White, L.. A Legal

Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents. The University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 2011. Conitzer, V. “Artificial Intelligence: Where’s the philosophical scrutiny?” Prospect, May 4, 2016. Conitzer, V., and Zhang, H.. “A PAC Framework for Aggregating Agents’ Judgments,” AAAI (2019). Conitzer, V., Walter, S., Borg, J., et al. “Moral Decision-Making Frameworks for Artificial Intelligence,” In Proceedings of the Thirty-First

AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-17) Senior Member / Blue Sky Track, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2017, pp. 4831-4835. Dworkin, G. “Theory, Practice, and Moral Reasoning.” The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, by David Copp, Oxford Univ. Pr., 2011, pp. 624–644. Dancy, J. Moral Reasons. Blackwell, 1993. Floridi, L., Cowls, J., Beltrametti, M. et al. “AI4People—An Ethical


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Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations.” Minds & Machines (2018) 28: 689. https://doi. org/10.1007/s11023-018-9482-5 Floridi, L. The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Habermas, J. “On the Pragmatic, the Ethical, and the Moral Employments of Practical Reason.” Justification and Application. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993, pp.1-17. Greene, Joshua et al, “Embedding Ethical Principles in Collective Decision Support Systems,” in Proceedings of the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2016. Goodall N.J. Machine Ethics and Automated Vehicles. In: Meyer G., Beiker S. (eds) Road Vehicle Automation. Lecture Notes in Mobility. Springer, Cham, 2014. Guarini, M. “Particularism and Generalism: How AI can Help us Better Understand Moral Cognition,” in Technical Report for Machine Ethics Symposium, American Association for Artificial Intelligence Fall Symposium, Nov. 2005 Guarini, M. “Particularism and the Classification and Reclassification of Moral Cases,” Intelligent Systems, IEEE. 21, Vol. (4), 2006. pp. 22- 28. Heidegger, M. “The Question Concerning Technology.” The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Garland Publishing, 1977, pp. 3-36.

Noothigattu, R et al., “A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making,” Proceedings of Autonomous Agents and Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference, 2018. Lance, M., Little, M. “From particularism to defeasibility in ethics,” Challenging Moral Particularism, edited by Mark Norris, Lance et al., Routledge, 2008, pp.54-74. Malle, B.F. “Integrating robot ethics and machine morality: the study and design of moral competence in robots,” Ethics and Information Technology. 2015, Vol. 4. pp.243-256. Malle, B.F., and Scheutz, M. “Moral competence in social robots,” IEEE international symposium on ethics in engineering, science, and technology. Presented at the IEEE international symposium on ethics in engineering, science, and technology. Chicago, IL: IEEE, June 2014. pp. 30-35. Schroeder, M. “A Matter of Principle.” Noûs, vol. 43, no. 3, 2009, pp.568580. Strahovnik, V. “Introduction: Challenging Moral Particularism.” Challenging Moral Particularism, edited by Mark Norris, Lance et al., Routledge, 2008, pp. 1-11. Powers, T. M. “Models for Machine Ethics.” Philosophy and Computers, Vol. 14 No.1, p.4. URL= https://cdn. resource/collection/EADE8D528D02-4136-9A2A-729368501E43/ ComputersV14n1.pdf Powers, T.M. Prospects for a Kantian

Machine, IEEE Intelligent Systems 21 (4), 2006. Powers, T.M. “Prospects for a Smithian Machine,” International Association for Computing and Philosophy, College Park, Maryland, July 2013. Wallach, W, and Colin A. Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong. Oxford University Press, 2010. Wallach, Wendell and Allen, Colin. (2011). “Moral Machines: Contradiction in Terms, or Abdication of Human Responsibility?”https:// Moral_Machines_ Contradiction_in_Terms_or_Abdication_of_Human_Responsibility Wheeler, M., “Martin Heidegger,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL < heidegger/>. Winfield, A. F., Blum, C. and Liu, W. (2014) Towards an ethical robot: Internal models, consequences and ethical action selection. In: Mistry, M., Leonardis, Aleš, Witkowski, M. and Melhuish, C., eds. Advances in Autonomous Robotics Systems: Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference, TAROS 2014, Birmingham, UK, 1-3 September 2014, pp. 85-96. Wolf, S. “Moral Saints,” The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 79, No. 8, Aug. 1982, pp.419-439.


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Media Studies Goes Transnational

with professor Anthony Fung by Sally Hong

Anthony Fung, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s

School of Journalism, was a visiting professor at the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs in the Winter 2020 Quarter. During this time, he taught two classes regarding transnational media and cultural studies, both of which were a part of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Radio/Television/Film. Professor Fung is a prominent researcher and author in the field of global media, popular culture, creative industries, and youth culture, among several others. He is particularly interested in studying and promoting cultural studies in Asia.


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aving grown up exposed to music and film from around the world, professor Anthony Fung had a strong conviction that whatever he did in the future, it would be related to the media. Not only did he obtain undergraduate, masters, and PhD degrees in media studies, but he also took on jobs in the industry, including a reporter, TV program host, radio show DJ, and fashion columnist. “My work, my hobby, and my leisure are all the same thing,” he said. He finds it meaningful to study what he calls “day-to-day knowledge,” or knowledge we are constantly surrounded and influenced by. “People spend so much time listening to music, watching videos, and socializing on social media,” said Fung. “I think my research is most related to our daily lives but is the least studied.”

Fung said he initially studied music because it was less limited by cultural and geographic boundaries than other forms of pop culture. “People these days might not know Korea, but [they] listen to K-pop. I grew up listening to both Western popular music and J-pop,” he said.

“In the past, when we referred to globalization, it always meant Americanization.”

However, Fung’s research interests have changed as dominant forms of media give way to new mediums and methods of communication. Fung noticed that the most prominent form of media was also constantly changing, and that his topic of research had to change with it. When television was the most important form of entertainment, he conducted research regarding Korean and Japanese TV dramas, as well as Asian shows influenced by American TV, like “Ugly Betty” or “Survivor.” Now, Fung spends most of his time researching social media and games. Fung is fascinated by how media is constantly changing. In the past, his research was classified as “popular culture,” broadly referring to music, animations, TV, and movies. Now, popular culture is increasingly global and creative. With the rise of new forms of media, including social media platforms like Youtube and TikTok, it is often called the “creative industry.” Fung also noted that media studies is becoming increasingly globalized, recalling “Parasite,” a Korean film that won the Oscar for best picture in February, the first Asian film to do so. Researchers like Fung now have to study the international flow and impacts of diverse cultures and markets, in addition to local influences. 127

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FEATURE “In the past, when we referred to globalization, it always meant Americanization,” Fung said. “TikTok started as a company based in Beijing, but now teenagers all over the world are using it. The impact is far bigger than what we expected.” While working in the internal research department for TikTok, the widely popular video-sharing app, Fung realized that social media had become a new form of professional culture. “Professional culture in the old days meant it must be recognized by others in the community of others in the same profession,” Fung explained. “Now, with the new culture, not only is it online, but it is also often transnational.” Fung’s own research keeps him busy, but he also finds time to serve as a mentor for undergraduate researchers. He considers students especially valuable assets in media studies, since young people are the primary consumers of social media and are particularly knowledgeable about its production, functions and culture. Fung said he hopes that undergraduate students continue to maintain their interest in research and academia, fields that he believes have unique merits. “There are not many jobs one could find that are always interesting. Many treat their job as a burden, but research is different. You find it interesting, and you study a topic because you like it,” said Fung. “It’s a kind of lifelong job: if you finish a topic, you will always find a new one. It’s a never-ending process.”


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Human Development and Psychological Services

Evaluating Interactive Social Justice Education: The Relationship between Responsive Fiction and Social Empathy by Samantha Oberman In our current political climate, there is an increased effort to make a difference in the world. Companies are paying for diversity and inclusion programs to try to eliminate racism and sexual harassment in the workplace.1 There is a push for schools to fund civics programs that encourage students to take action within their communities,2 while non-profits continue to educate the public on social justice issues to encourage positive change. Despite this increase in programming and attention, there has not been a commensurate increase in research on the efficacy of such educational programs. Of the work that has been done, ethnographic and correla-

tional research has shown an indirect positive influence of social justice education on various educational outcomes. However, analyses of the addition of social justice frameworks to curriculums have focused on the effects on schools as a whole, rather than analyzing the programs’ effects on learners.3,4,5,6 Social justice education — the teaching of systemic inequality and social oppression with the goal of developing a commitment to lasting changing and skills necessary to foster that change — has a robust theoretical foundation.7 It rests on the notion that a deep understanding of systemic injustice, and how we contribute to

1 Josh Bersin, “Why Diversity and Inclusion Will Be a Top Priority For 2016,” Forbes, accessed May 13, 2019, https://www.forbes. com/sites/joshbersin/2015/12/06/why-diversity-and-inclusion-will-be-a-top-priority-for-2016/#1139a0922ed5 2 Sarah Shapiro and Catherine Brown, “The State of Civics Education,” Center for American Progress, accessed May 13, 2019, 3 Kathleen Marie Brown, “Leadership for Social Justice and Equity: Weaving a Transformative Framework and Pedagogy,” Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 77–108. 4 Aaron Einfeld and Denise Collins, “The Relationships Between Service-Learning, Social Justice, Multicultural Competence, and Civic Engagement,” Journal of College Student Development, 49(2), 95–109. 5 Carolyn M Shields, “Dialogic Leadership for Social Justice: Overcoming Pathologies of Silence. Educational Administration Quarterly,” 40(1), 109–132. 6 George Theoharis, “Social Justice Educational Leaders and Resistance: Toward a Theory of Social Justice Leadership,” Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(2), 221–258. 7 Maurianne Adams and Ximena Zúñiga, “Working for Social Justice,” In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 599–604). New York, NY: Routledge.


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forms of oppression through our language, behavior, and thoughts, can teach us to analyze and change our behavior, leading to individual accountability and ally-ship towards marginalized groups.8 This educational theory requires a deep level of empathy in order to analyze one’s own privilege and treat everyone with respect and value, regardless of social identity.9 In addition to the educational theory, there is strong psychological evidence that empathy, specifically social empathy, leads to prosocial and helping behaviors.10 Research has shown that by increasing one’s likelihood to develop empathy about a social issue, such as by having someone focus on how another person in that situation feels, rather than focus on objective facts, they become more likely to aid in that particular issue.11 However, there is a gap in the literature analyzing the effect of social justice education and the differences in participants’ empathy levels after engaging in this type of education. Although limited, research on specifically interactive and web-enhanced learning has shown to increase engagement in students.12 Introducing an interactive component to education results in higher levels of conceptual learning,13 cooperative prob-

“Evaluating social justice education is a largely unstudied field.” lem solving,14 and student participation.15,16 In addition, there is ample evidence that storytelling and fiction can increase empathy and improve theory of mind17 because it forces the reader to strengthen their perspective-taking skills.18 Therefore, interactive fiction and choose-your-own-adventure stories that focus on social justice issues are a theoretically robust area of study. This study analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of two social justice education pedagogical approaches, online and facilitated, and the differences in how participants demonstrate empathy between the two approaches. Analysis was conducted through both quantitative and qualitative measures. Adult-age participants attending a social justice education workshop in Chicago were given a pre- and post-test to analyze changes in their social empathy. They then participated in a one-hour focus group interview where they discussed their

8 Barbara J. Love, “Developing a Liberatory Consciousness,” In “Readings for Diversity and Social Justice.” 9 Suzanne Pharr, “Reflections on Liberation,” In “Readings for Diversity and Social Justice.” 10 C. Daniel Batson, Johee Chang, Ryan Orr, and Jennifer Rowland, “Empathy, Attitudes, and Action: Can Feeling for a Member of a Stigmatized Group Motivate One to Help the Group? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,” 28(12), 1656–1666. https://doi. org/10.1177/014616702237647 11 Batson et. al, “Empathy, Attitudes, and Action.” 12 Peter DePietro, “Transforming Education with New Media: Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning and Web 2.0,” International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society, 8(5), 1–11. 13 Carl N. McDaniel, Bradford C. Lister, Michael H. Hanna, and Harry Roy, “Increased Learning Observed in Redesigned Introductory Biology Course that Employed Web-enhanced, Interactive Pedagogy,” CBE—Life Sciences Education, 6(3), 243–249. https:// 14 Jennifer K. Knight and William B. Wood, “Teaching More by Lecturing Less,” Cell Biology Education, 4(4), 298–310. https:// 15 Rina Benmayor, “Digital Storytelling as a Signature Pedagogy for the New Humanities,” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 7(2), 188–204. 16 Knight, J., and Wood, W.B., “Digital Storytelling.” 17 David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind,” Science, 342(6156), 377–380. 18 Loris Vezzali, Sofia Stathi, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, and Elena Trifiletti, “The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105–121.


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experiences in the workshop. Interview responses were coded using a combination of established social empathy subscales, dimensions of knowledge and cognitive processes, and grounded theory. Evaluating social justice education is a largely unstudied field. This study begins to fill that gap through its evaluation of two social justice education pedagogies, online and facilitated, by analyzing how participants demonstrate social empathy in both conditions and what their strengths and challenges are in each. The decision to focus on demonstrations of social empathy is rooted in the research that social empathy is a strong predicting factor of social action.19,20 Since informed social action is one of the main goals of social justice education, social empathy is a strong proxy for success. This study examined the program “Tomorrow,”21 which is hosted on the website of the non-profit Unsilence. Unsilence is a Chicago based social justice education 501(c)(3) non-profit. Its mission is “to illuminate stories of human rights and ignite action against injustice,” (UNSILENCE, n.d.)22 which it works to accomplish by designing and implementing educational programming on social justice and human rights in schools, community centers, museums, and other institutions. Unsilence programming is rooted in its educational framework, which breaks down barriers to social justice and access to human rights into three forms of silencing: institutional, cultural, and personal silencing. Unsilence creates both online and facilitated learning

experiences that teach participants about the systemic silencing of injustice in an effort to increase empathy and lead to informed action.23 “Tomorrow” is a chooseyour-own-adventure story24 based on a teacher’s original testimony that navigates participants through the aftermath of a student’s suicide at a high school. “Tomorrow” can be completed online or be facilitated by a trained Unsilence facilitator. This study analyzed the implementation strengths and weaknesses and learning outcomes of “Tomorrow” as both an online tool and as a facilitated workshop for students and educators in the Chicago area, by analyzing how participants demonstrated social empathy

Research Questions In light of the gaps in research on social empathy and interactive storytelling in social justice education, there are two central research questions at the heart of this study: 1. What are the differences in the way social justice education participants demonstrate social empathy between online group learning experiences and facilitated learning experiences? 2. What are the implementation strengths, challenges, and learning outcomes of online versus facilitated interactive social justice pedagogies?

Methodology Participants Participants consisted of educators,

19 Batson et. al, “Empathy, Attitudes, and Action.” 20 Elizabeth A. Segal, Karen E. Gerdes, Cynthia A. Lietz, M. Alex Wagaman and Jennifer M. Geiger, “Assessing empathy,” New York: Columbia University Press. 21 Danny M. Cohen, Sammi Oberman and Anya Patel, “Tomorrow,” Retrieved from 22 “UNSILENCE,” accessed May 6, 2019, from 23 “UNSILENCE.” 24 Unsilence uses the phrase “choose-your-own-adventure” because that is established terminology associated with this type of methodology. However, it is in no way meant to trivialize suicide or stories of suicide. 131

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▶Table 1 Social Empathy Index (SEI). A modified version of the SEI,27 was used as the pre- and post-survey. This instrument is the most recent and robust empathy measure currently available and has a particular focus on social justice and systemic social justice issues. Therefore, it is a particularly useful measure to assess change in participants’ social empathy. The final measure consisted of 32 items (α = .78) focusing on self-other awareness, perspective-taking, contextual understanding of systemic barThe program: “Tomorrow” riers, and macro self-other awareness or “Tomorrow” is a social justice properspective-taking (Appendix A; Appengram that can be experienced as an online tool or as a facilitated workshop. It consists dix B). of a choose-your-own-adventure story Procedure that follows a high school the day after one This study implemented a mixed of its students has died by suicide.26 The method design to collect data. All particistory in “Tomorrow” is based on an orig- pants began by completing the Social Eminal testimony from a high school teacher pathy Index, or SEI, pre-test (Appendix who submitted her story to Unsilence for A) before participating in the workshop. I use in mental health programming (See randomly assigned participants to receive either the online or the facilitated program Appendix E for sample of “Tomorrow”). of “Tomorrow.” The facilitated group reMeasures ceived a completely facilitated group exstudents, and other Chicago residents (Table 1). The demographic breakdown aligns with the overall demographic data of Unsilence participants.25 The sample was generally equally distributed between online and facilitated conditions. As shown in Table 1, all demographic factors were split between workshop type, and a series of t-tests showed no significant differences based on demographic factors between the two randomly assigned groups.

25 “UNSILENCE.” 26 Cohen et. al, “Tomorrow.” 27 Elizabeth A. Segal, Karen E. Gerdes, Cynthia A. Lietz, M. Alex Wagaman and Jennifer M. Geiger, “Social Empathy Index [Measurement Instrument],” New York: Columbia University Press.


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perience. The online group completed the program on a tablet in small groups and received no facilitation. I met with both groups in person. After the workshop, for both the online and facilitated, participants completed a post-test, repeating the SEI (Appendix B). This provided data on participants’ change in beliefs related to the contextual understanding of systemic barriers and the macro self-other awareness and perspective-taking.28 I then collected qualitative data through in-person semi-structured small group interviews. Focus Group Interview Analysis I used a grounded theory approach to analyze the focus group interview transcripts.29 From the open codes, I saw three general themes begin to emerge: demonstrations of social empathy, demonstrations of learned knowledge, and personal reactions and opinions. I wrote the coding scheme based on the literature in these categories. The codes for demonstrations of social empathy were rooted in the literature on subscales of social empathy: Af-

fective Mentalizing, Perspective-Taking, Self-other Awareness, Affective Response, Emotion Regulation, Contextual Understanding of Systemic Barriers, and Macro Self-other Awareness or Perspective-Taking.30 When grouping open-codes about knowledge, I realized that they aligned with Bloom’s Dimensions of Knowledge Taxonomy.31 In order to understand and compare demonstrations of different types of knowledge, I used the updated version of Bloom’s taxonomy as a guide when writing the coding scheme. Bloom’s taxonomy describes four dimensions of knowledge: factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive. These dimensions of knowledge exist as distinct categories and not as a spectrum or a hierarchy.32 When I created the codes, I did not assign values to them. I instead described the qualifications for each dimension of knowledge and cognitive process together in addition to how they related to the data. Lastly, I separated participants’ personal reactions and opinions from social empathy and knowledge

28 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 29 Kathy Charmaz, “Grounded Theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods,” in N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research (Second, pp. 509–536). California: Sage Publications, Inc. 30 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 31 David R. Krathwohl, “A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview,” Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 212–218. Retrieved from JSTOR. 32 Ibid.

▶Table 2


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Figure 2◀


in order to conduct separate analyses.

Social Empathy Index Results I analyzed the differences in the way participants demonstrated empathy before and after the “Tomorrow” workshop by comparing participant scores on the SEI33 before and after participating in a one-hour workshop on mental health and social justice. All numerical results can be found in Table 2. As shown in Figure 2, the post-test score distribution, the red dotted line, is significantly greater than the pretest score distribution. An insignificant difference would visually have more overlap, specifically around the mean. I found that there were no statistically significant differences in social empathy between participants in the online condition (M = 5.36, SD = 0.09) and the facilitated condition (M = 5.28, SD = 0.08); t(19) = 0.171, p = 0.05) at the end of the program. This means that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the slight difference found between the scores of participants in the facilitated versus online conditions were due to the different conditions.

In accordance with social justice theory and social justice education learning objectives, I hypothesized that participants’ social empathy scores would increase after participating in the workshop. I also hypothesized that the increase would be greater for those who participated in a facilitated version of the workshop than for those in the online version. The dependent variable was the difference between the pre-test and post-test scores. Both tests were adaptations of Segal et al.’s (2017) SEI. As shown in Table 2, the results aligned with the first hypothesis. While causal claims cannot be made due to the absence of a control group, a paired t-test showed a statistically significant increase of 0.14 points between pre-test and posttest scores, resulting in a 0.52 effect size. This means there was a moderately large increase in social empathy scores from before and after the workshop that was not due to chance. However, the results showed no significant difference between the online and facilitated conditions. I used qualitative focus group data to investigate

33 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 134

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“There was a pattern showing a connection between empathy and engagement.” what a 0.14-point increase on the social empathy index looks like in reality. The focus group data were purely exploratory and were used as an opportunity to describe the quantitative results and explore the nature of what had been gained from the experience. Associations Between Social Empathy and Dimensions of Knowledge Through an iterative process, the final coding scheme included three main themes: Investment in Characters, Social Justice Learning, and Connection to Self. The following abridged section will explain each theme and the practical implications of the data. Theme 1: Investment in Characters. Through grounded theory, I found that participants who demonstrated high levels of affective mentalizing and perspective-taking also reported high levels of engagement and enjoyment in the program. Affective mentalizing occurred when a participant imagined a character’s response or how an individual would feel in a given situation. It is common for people to experience affective mentalizing when reading a vivid book, speaking to someone on the phone, or listening to a friend describe an experience. All of these situations elicit the creation of a visual image, which can spark a physiological response.34 Perspective-taking, another aspect of empathy, is the attempt to understand what other people are thinking and feeling based on their personal situations.35

Perspective-taking utilizes theory of mind, the psychological process of understanding that other people have their own thoughts and experiences that differ from our own. Therefore, perspective-taking is the ability to receive information regarding how an individual is responding to a situation, and to utilize the knowledge to infer how the individual feels in that situation. In order to achieve actual perspective-taking, one must separate how their own reaction to the situation and use the information given to imagine how the other person feels.36 This is commonly referred to as “stepping into someone else’s shoes.” Throughout the interviews, there was a pattern showing a connection between empathy and engagement. These findings are significant because they not only contribute to new paths for research but are essential for social justice education designers in understanding what aspects increase empathy. Theme 2: Social Justice Learning. The second theme combined the empathy subscales that specifically focus on social empathy — the contextual understanding of systemic barriers and macro self-other awareness or perspective-taking — with conceptual and procedural knowledge dimensions, based on Bloom’s taxonomy. Contextual Understanding of Systemic Barriers, referred to as “contextual understanding” for brevity, is the ability to apply a sociohistorical context on a macro-scale to a given situation in order to fully understand the differences of one’s lived ex-

34 Ibid. 35 Ibid. 36 Ibid. 135

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periences compared to those of one in a different social group or identity.37,38,39 It is crucial for an individual to understand the systemic nature of oppression and how it affects individuals differently based on context and culture, in order to develop a true sense of social empathy. Participants demonstrated this throughout the interviews. Macro Self-Other Awareness or Perspective-Taking, or MSP, is the most complex aspect of social empathy and the most difficult to achieve. MSP combines macro self-other awareness and perspective-taking by using the contextual understanding of sociohistorical factors to simultaneously put oneself in the shoes of someone who holds different identities — perspective-taking — and understand that they are different and will never fully comprehend their experience — macro self-other awareness.40 One cannot express social empathy without reaching a level of acceptance with this dichotomy. Perspective-taking is essential in gaining empathic insight, which often leads to social responsibility. However, believing that one understands the experiences of those who have been oppressed is an impossible and potentially harmful practice. Therefore, MSP is demonstrated by an ongoing willingness and desire to learn about others’ perspectives, experiences, and needs.41,42 Social justice learning is rooted in making informed social change, either within oneself or in the world. This research highlighted the importance of com-

bining conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, contextual understanding, and MSP in motivating participants to not only make change but to make this change informed and positive. Theme 3: Connection to Self. The final theme focused on metacognitive knowledge and the connections participants made between the workshop and their own lives. Many participants related the content to their own lives without being prompted by the facilitator. This is significant for two reasons: social justice education requires learners to self-reflect and think critically on their own life and past behaviors, and it acts as an example of overcoming personal silencing. According to the taxonomy, metacognitive knowledge refers to one’s awareness of their own knowledge and understanding.43 It was defined on the coding scheme as demonstrating self-awareness in relation to mental health or social justice. This theme does not include any empathy subscales because empathy does not require a connection to oneself. This theme solely focuses on using the information in order to critically analyze one’s own thoughts and behaviors. Many participants brought up their personal experiences without being prompted. This is because the interview protocol did not directly ask participants to bring up their own experiences in order to ensure their own emotional safety. Regardless, six participants shared a story of someone who had either attempted suicide

37 Ibid. 38 Elizabeth A. Segal, “Social Empathy: A Model Built on Empathy, Contextual Understanding, and Social Responsibility That Promotes Social Justice,” Journal of Social Service Research, 37(3), pp. 266–277. 39 Karen E. Gerdes, Elizabeth A. Segal, Kelly F. Jackson and Jennifer L. Mullins, “Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice,” Journal of Social Work Education, 47(1), 109–131. JSWE.2011.200900085 40 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 41 Ibid. 42 Segal, “Social Empathy.” 43 Krathwohl, “A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy.” 136

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or died by suicide. It is important for practitioners of social justice education to be prepared to handle students who disclose personal experiences. Participants in this workshop were never asked to share their own experiences, but many chose to do so. The story in “Tomorrow” highlights the lack of training that teachers and educators receive on mental health issues, and the consequences for that lack of training; participant responses further supported the need for practitioners and educators to be able to safely handle these conversations. Because the fictional narrative is so close to students’ experiences, it is highly likely that students will express a wide range of reactions when implemented in classrooms. While these results show that the tool has benefits when experienced online or when facilitated, teachers must always be aware of what it can evoke in students and be trained on how to safely handle those reactions.

rather than between groups. While this type of research design is subject to practice effects, I am confident that this did not significantly alter the data because practice effects tend to be seen when assessments measure a skill or ability that can be increased simply by taking the assessment.44 The SEI does not meet this requirement, and instead asks participants to rate their reactions and feelings to given statements.

Limitations Study design. Due to a lack of research in social justice education evaluation, the present study was exploratory. Therefore, no causal claims could be made. However, the study made a significant contribution to the field by analyzing patterns between social empathy and dimensions of knowledge. This study utilized a within-group design, analyzing change within participants

Implications for Education Design and Implementation Engagement and perspective-taking. The associations found in this study between engagement, knowledge, and social empathy discovered in this study are helpful for further work in the design and implementation of social justice education. Engaging students can be an uphill battle, and many educators utilize harmful peda-

Future Research Most importantly, this study did not allow for the generation of causal claims. Therefore, this research shows patterns in how participants understood and made sense of what they experienced in the workshop. Future research should not only test for a causal increase in social empathy due to social justice education, but also test the relationship between social empathy and various dimensions of knowledge. In addition, future research should also analyze the long-term effects of social justice education.

44 Gary Charness, Uri Gneezy and Michael A. Kuhn, “Experimental methods: Between-subject and within-subject design,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 81(1), 1–8.

“Choose-your-own adventure stories did not ask the reader to play the role but instead gave them agency in their education.” 137

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gogies such as simulations and role playing in an effort to increase student engagement.45 The results in this study highlighted a pattern between engagement, perspective-taking, and affective mentalizing that participants enjoyed without being subject to emotional manipulation, student shock, or trivialization of issues.46,47 It also found that interactive storytelling, specifically choose-your-own-adventure stories, did not ask the reader to play the role but instead gave them agency in their education to learn about different perspectives from a safe distance. Educational designers should prioritize having students practice perspective-taking skills using storytelling, particularly by reading stories from different perspectives. Social justice learning. The most complicated relationship demonstrated in this study was that between conceptual and procedural knowledge, contextual understanding, and MSP. All of these domains are essential to social justice learning;48,49,50,51,52 however, this study highlighted the interconnectedness of these concepts in how participants learn. Conversations about social justice within focus groups had aspects of all of these codes. Therefore, when designing social justice education, it is important to have multi-

layered learning objectives that cover all of these concepts. Participants benefited from having both abstract concepts and specific examples at their disposal. When teaching about complex social justice theory, it is useful to combine conceptual knowledge with stories that demonstrate the application of these concepts. This helped students demonstrate contextual understanding and MSP, or social empathy, because they could use specific examples from the story to apply the knowledge they had learned. Because contextual understanding and MSP are most important in motivating individuals to take social action,53 it is important to ensure students have tangible examples to demonstrate they have mastered this material. Teacher preparedness. Social justice education evokes a wide range of responses from learners. This workshop did not require or encourage any form of self-disclosure. However, at least one person in every group spoke about themselves or their own experiences in some capacity. Therefore, it is essential that teachers are able to facilitate these conversations with their students and have access to additional resources when necessary.

45 Rebecca Onion, “Classroom Historical Role-Playing Games Can Easily Go Wrong. So Why Do Teachers Keep Assigning Them?”, accessed May 21, 2019, 46 Stacey Mann and Danny M. Cohen, “When a Boxcar Isn’t a Boxcar,” Exhibitionist: The Journal of the National Association of Museum Exhibitions, 30(2), pp. 26–31. 47 Lee Anne Bell, “Storytelling for Social Justice: Connecting Narrative and the Arts in Antiracist Teaching,” New York, NY: Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group. 48 Ibid. 49 Maurianne Adams and Ximena Zúñiga, “Working for Social Justice,” In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 599–604). New York, NY: Routledge. 50 Barbara J. Love, “Developing a Liberatory Consciousness,” In “Readings for Diversity and Social Justice.” 51 Elizabeth A. Segal, “Social Empathy: A Model Built on Empathy, Contextual Understanding, and Social Responsibility That Promotes Social Justice,” Journal of Social Service Research, 37(3), pp. 266–277. 52 Ximena Zúñiga, Gretchen E. Lopez, and Kirstie A. Ford, “Intergroup Dialogue: Critical Conversations about Difference and Social Justice,” In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 645–650). New York, NY: Routledge. 53 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 138

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Conclusion Based on the SEI results in this study, it is clear that there was a statistically significant increase in social empathy in participants from before the workshop as compared to after. The interview data contextualized this finding and demonstrated that an increase in social empathy is related to engagement and knowledge. These findings are essential in moving forward for researchers, educational designers, and teachers. Utilizing affective mentalizing and strengthening perspective-taking skills are related to engagement and have the potential of making social justice learning richer and more enjoyable through interactive storytelling. Conceptual and procedural knowledge and social empathy are interrelated concepts that should be taught and researched together. Lastly, social justice education evokes a lot of emotion and self-reflection in students that teachers

need to be prepared for. There is a strong need and desire for social justice education. However, this education is not sufficient without robust research and evaluation of its impact. This study demonstrated a novel method for evaluating social justice education by using social empathy as a proxy for success and utilizing mixed methods. Increasing social empathy increases one’s likelihood to take social action54,55,56,57 and participate in helping behaviors.58,59 Therefore, working to increase social empathy through education helps to make tangible change against injustice. This is an incredibly important and relevant field of research because today’s society needs to enact change. More research on this topic should focus on how to expand the impact and access of social justice education in order to keep working towards a more just society. ■

54 Karen E. Gerdes, Elizabeth A. Segal, Kelly F. Jackson and Jennifer L. Mullins, “Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice,” Journal of Social Work Education, 47(1), 109–131. JSWE.2011.200900085 55 Martin L. Hoffman, “Empathy and Prosocial Activism,” In N. Eisenberg, J. Reykowski, & E. Staub, Social and Moral Values: Individual and Societal Perspectives (pp. 65–87). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. 56 Elizabeth A. Segal, “Social Empathy: A Model Built on Empathy, Contextual Understanding, and Social Responsibility That Promotes Social Justice,” Journal of Social Service Research, 37(3), pp. 266–277. 57 Segal et. al, “Assessing Empathy.” 58 Batson et. al, “Empathy, Attitudes, and Action.” 59 Martin L. Hoffman, “Empathy and Prosocial Activism,” In N. Eisenberg, J. Reykowski, & E. Staub, Social and Moral Values: Individual and Societal Perspectives (pp. 65–87). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.


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Appendices (A-D) Appendix A: Pre-test Survey Adapted Social Empathy Index


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Appendix B: Post-test Survey Adapted Social Empathy Index

Appendix C: Interview Protocol


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Appendix D: Sample of “Tomorrow”


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sin/2015/12/06/why-diversity-andinclusion-will-be-a-top-priority-for2016/#1139a0922ed5 Bodine, A. (1975). Androcentrism in Prescriptive Grammar: Singular “They”, Sex-Indefinite “He”, and “He or She.” Language in Society, 4(2), 129–146. Retrieved from JSTOR. Brown, K. M. (2004). Leadership for Social Justice and Equity: Weaving a Transformative Framework and Pedagogy. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 77–108. https://doi. org/10.1177/0013161X03259147 Brown-Henderson, L. (n.d.). Sustained Dialogue Assessment. Lecture. CDC. (2001). Suicide Contagion and the Reporting of Suicide: Recommendations from a National Workshop. Retrieved May 10, 2019, from Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded Theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research (Second, pp. 509–536). California: Sage Publications, Inc. Charness, G., Gneezy, U., & Kuhn, M. A. (2012). Experimental methods: Between-subject and within-subject design. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 81(1), 1–8. https:// Cohen, D. M., Oberman, S., & Patel, A. (2018). Tomorrow. Retrieved from Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research Methods in Education (8th ed.). New York, NY: Routeledge. Collins, P. H. (1993). Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 615–621). New York, NY: Routledge. Colorado, J. T., & Eberle, J. (2010). Student demographics and success in online learning environments. 7. DePietro, P. (2012). Transforming Education with New Media: Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning and Web 2.0. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society, 8(5), 1–11. Einfeld, A., & Collins, D. (2008). The Relationships Between Service-Learning, Social Justice, Multicultural Competence, and Civic Engagement. Journal of College Student Devel-

opment, 49(2), 95–109. https://doi. org/10.1353/csd.2008.0017 Fontana, & Frey. (2000). The Interview. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research (Second, pp. 651–652). California: Sage Publications, Inc. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed). New York: Continuum. Gerdes, K. E., Lietz, C. A., & Segal, E. A. (2011). Measuring Empathy in the 21st Century: Development of an Empathy Index Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice. Social Work Research, 35(2), 83–93. Gerdes, K. E., Segal, E. A., Jackson, K. F., & Mullins, J. L. (2011). Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice. Journal of Social Work Education, 47(1), 109–131. JSWE.2011.200900085 Gorski, P. C. (2006). Complicity with conservatism: the de‐politicizing of multicultural and intercultural education. Intercultural Education, 17(2), 163–177. https://doi. org/10.1080/14675980600693830 Hoffman, M. L. (1989). Empathy and Prosocial Activism. In N. Eisenberg, J. Reykowski, & E. Staub, Social and Moral Values: Individual and Societal Perspectives (pp. 65–87). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Hutchinson, J. N., & Romano, R. M. (1998). A Story for Justice. In W. Ayers, J. A. Hunt, & T. Quinn, Teaching for Social Justice. New York: Teachers College Press. Johnson, A. G. (2006). What Can We Do? In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 621–625). New York, NY: Routledge. Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind. Science, 342(6156), 377–380. science.1239918 Kim, E. (2015). Quantitative Evidence on the Uses of the First Person Pronoun (I and We) in Journal Paper Abstracts. Journal of the Korean Society for Information Management, 32(1), 227–243. KOSIM.2015.32.1.227 Kim, K.-J., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). The


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Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says... 9. Knight, J. K., & Wood, W. B. (2005). Teaching More by Lecturing Less. Cell Biology Education, 4(4), 298– 310. Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 212–218. Retrieved from JSTOR. Lee, E. (1991). Taking Multicultural Anti-Racist Education Seriously: An Interview with Enid Lee. Love, B. J. (2000). Developing a Liberatory Consciousness. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 610–615). New York, NY: Routledge. Madriz, E. (2000). Focus Groups in Feminist Research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research (Second, pp. 835–850). California: Sage Publications, Inc. Mann, S., & Cohen, D. M. (2011). When a Boxcar Isn’t a Boxcar: Exhibitionist: The Journal of the National Association of Museum Exhibitions, 30(2), 26–31. McAllister, G., & Irvine, J. J. (2002). The Role of Empathy in Teaching Culturally Diverse Students: A Qualitative Study of Teachers’ Beliefs. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(5), 433–443. https://doi. org/10.1177/002248702237397 McDaniel, C. N., Lister, B. C., Hanna, M. H., & Roy, H. (2007). Increased Learning Observed in Redesigned Introductory Biology Course that Employed Web-enhanced, Interactive Pedagogy. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 6(3), 243–249. https:// Montfort, N. (2011). Toward a Theory of Interactive Fiction. In K. Jackson-Mead & J. R. Wheeler, IF Theory Reader. Boston, MA. Onion, R. (2019, May 20). Classroom Historical Role-Playing Games Can Easily Go Wrong. So Why Do Teachers Keep Assigning Them? Retrieved May 21, 2019, from Slate Magazine website: https://slate. com/human-interest/2019/05/ history-classroom-role-playing-games-slavery-holocaust.html Pharr, S. (1996). Reflections on Liberation. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and

Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 604–610). New York, NY: Routledge. Savin-Baden, M., & Tombs, G. (2017). Research Methods for Education in the Digital Age. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing. Segal, E. A. (2011). Social Empathy: A Model Built on Empathy, Contextual Understanding, and Social Responsibility That Promotes Social Justice. Journal of Social Service Research, 37(3), 266–277. 080/01488376.2011.564040 Segal, E. A., Gerdes, K. E., Lietz, C. A., Wagaman, M. A., & Geiger, J. M. G. (2017a). Assessing empathy. New York: Columbia University Press. Segal, E. A., Gerdes, K. E., Lietz, C. A., Wagaman, M. A., & Geiger, J. M. G. (2017b). Social Empathy Index [Measurement Instrument]. New York: Columbia University Press. Shapiro, S., & Brown, C. (n.d.). The State of Civics Education. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from Center for American Progress website: https://www.americanprogress. org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2018/02/21/446857/state-civics-education/ Shields, C. M. (2004). Dialogic Leadership for Social Justice: Overcoming Pathologies of Silence. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 109–132. https://doi. org/10.1177/0013161X03258963 Stephan, W. G., & Finlay, K. (1999). The Role of Empathy in Improving Intergroup Relations. Journal of Social Issues, 55(4), 729–743. Stewart, D. L. (2012). Promoting Moral Growth Through Pluralism and Social Justice Education. New Directions for Student Services, 2012(139), 63–72. ss.20023 Stover, W. J. (2005). Teaching and Learning Empathy: An Interactive, Online Diplomatic Simulation of Middle East Conflict. Journal of Political Science Education, 1(2), 207–219. https://doi. org/10.1080/15512160590961801 Sustained Dialogue Institute. (n.d.). Our Impact: SDI. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from Theoharis, G. (2007). Social Justice Educational Leaders and Resistance: Toward a Theory of Social Justice Leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(2), 221–258. https:// Troyna, B. (1987). Beyond Multiculturalism: Towards the Enactment of Anti-Racist Education in Policy, Pro-

vision and Pedagogy. Oxford Review of Education, 13(3), 307–320. Tyndale, E., & Ramsoomair, F. (2016). Keys to Successful Interactive Storytelling: A Study of the Booming “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” Video Game Industry. Journal of Educational Technology, 13(3), 28–34. UNSILENCE. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2019, from about Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2015). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105–121. jasp.12279 Webb, C. (1992). The use of the first person in academic writing: objectivity, language and gatekeeping. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 17(6), 747–752. https:// tb01974.x Zúñiga, X., Lopez, G. E., & Ford, K. A. (2012). Intergroup Dialogue: Critical Conversations about Difference and Social Justice. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, D. C. J. Catalano, K. “Safire” DeJong, H. W. Hackman, L. E. Hopkins, … X. Zúñiga, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (4th ed., pp. 645–650). New York, NY: Routledge.


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Meet the

Office of Undergraduate Research by Joy Zheng Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) was formally established in the 2012-13 academic year to extend support for student research beyond campus labs and research groups, and to serve as an information source for undergraduate researchers and prospective researchers. Every year, the OUR awards research funding to hundreds of students, often for independent research projects. The office also provides advising, peer mentorship, and workshops, and hosts the annual Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition. Read on to meet the people behind the OUR, who work to make these opportunities possible.


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Office of Undergraduate Research

Megan Novak Wood As the associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Megan Novak Wood advises students and administers the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program and Undergraduate Language Grant program. Novak organizes the programs and helps students throughout the grant application process. She also runs workshops on creating and presenting poster presentations, orientation for the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, and other professional development workshops. One of her favorite research projects was an interdisciplinary materials science project that incorporated the sciences and the arts. The student researcher created an electrospray to replicate Japanese ink marbling techniques. Using the traditional method, a significant amount of paint is wasted, so the student worked to develop a technology that would reduce the amount of waste while maintaining the visual appearance of traditional techniques. In her free time, Novak explores the neighborhoods of Chicago with her family. They enjoy picking a single neighborhood and spending the day getting to know the culture and people and learning more about the city.


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Office of Undergraduate Research

Bryce O’Tierney

Bryce O’Tierney is the first face you see when you enter the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). Not only does she let your advisor know that you are here for your appointment, but she is also in charge of administration and communication in the office. O’Tierney supports other staff members by helping them establish the budget, coordinate the Weekly Blast, and arrange the Chicago Research Symposium. On an average day, she assists students with paperwork, conducts onboarding sessions to the various grants sponsored by the OUR, plans for workshops, or greets visitors to the office and answers their questions. She enjoys getting to know Northwestern students and often chats with them about their classes and interests. One of the most memorable research projects she has encountered explored sneaker design and its relationship with gender roles and social interactions. O’Tierney is also a professional musician. She is a Bienen and Weinberg alumna and is currently in a duo with her twin sister. She mainly plays the violin, but she enjoys playing the piano and singing as well.


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Office of Undergraduate Research

Jennah Thompson-Vasquez

Jennah Thompson-Vasquez plays an integral role in the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) as the third advisor and outreach coordinator. She works with students to develop their research ideas and interests, directing them to resources, helping them draft proposals, and connecting them with faculty. For outreach, she often visits classes, distributes promotional materials, and communicates with other offices around campus on the behalf of the OUR. One research project that stands out to Thompson-Vasquez was that of a first-year student interested in the effects of the Maoist Revolution in Nepal. The student studied how the political and domestic roles of women in Nepali society shifted as a consequence of the Revolution. To relax, Thompson-Vasquez partakes in hobbies that fuel learning; she loves to read, enjoys the visual arts, and, when the weather allows, she also cares for her garden.


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Office of Undergraduate Research

Evangeline Su Evangeline Su is the undergraduate workshop coordinator. She runs the Science Research Workshop during winter quarter and the Finding a Lab workshops throughout the year. She helps students apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) program and identify potential labs and faculty with whom to work. She also teaches students how to read research papers and make the most out of their mentorship experience. Su enjoys seeing students grow, gain knowledge about their interests, and learn from their peers over the course of the workshops. Su is an avid advocate for women and underrepresented identities in STEM. She advises both the Association of Undergraduate Women in Science, providing resources and opportunities for its members to be involved in science research, and Maker Girl, which supports STEM Circuits, a graduate and postdoctoral program for women in STEM.


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Office of Undergraduate Research

Peter Civetta Peter Civetta is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). He oversees all aspects of OUR operations, from outreach and promotion to grant management and administration. Depending on the day, he could be in classrooms talking about the resources that the OUR offers, or in his office advising students on their emerging research ideas, or running grant workshops. The projects that Civetta enjoys the most are the more untraditional and artistic ones. Five years ago, a watershed moment occurred when two Bienen students applied for a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) to fund their recording of a big band jazz album. Ever since, there has been a rise in creative arts projects, from screenplays to music recordings to choreography. Civetta said he is excited to see more arts and humanities students create their own projects. Outside the office, Civetta continues his passion for the arts by running a non-profit children’s theater, The Extraordinarily Sophisticated Imagination Club, for kids ages 5 to 12, and the Secret Grandpa Improv Company, for high schoolers. Some participants have been in the organization since they were in the sixth grade, and Civetta said he loves watching them develop creatively and as individuals. 150

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Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Missing the Point:

China, Chineseness, and Rhinoceros Endangerment by Isabelle Zinghini

Introduction Rhinoceroses are being killed in staggering numbers in Africa to fuel an illegal trade driven mostly by demand for horns that comes primarily from China and Vietnam. The black rhino population, for example, has dropped from 70,000 individuals in 1970 to an estimated 5,500 today.1 Although the trade in rhino horn was banned in China in 1993, a thriving black market has emerged and demand for rhino horn remains high; in 2014, the price peaked at $60,000 per kilogram. Anti-poaching efforts in South Africa have failed because the trade is so lucrative.2 The threat posed to rhinoceros populations by poaching and the illegal trade in horn threatens to drive certain species of rhino to extinction. This is not, however, just a matter of conservation. As Ursula Heise argues, animal endangerment and extinction problems

are “primarily cultural issues, questions of what we value and what stories we tell, and only secondarily issues of science,” law, or trade.3 Heise’s research shows that certain endangered species, often called “charismatic megafauna,” are disproportionately represented in conservation efforts and literature, while other species — most often species of fish, reptiles, plants, insects, and fungi — are not given the same amount of attention. “Charismatic” animals attract attention not only because they are big or cute, but also because they are invested with deep symbolic and cultural meanings. It is essential to take these meanings into account when looking at discourses surrounding extinction and endangerment because conservation efforts and the representational forms they deploy are influenced by emotional responses to the potential loss of a creature that audiences

1 The Javan rhino is even more critically endangered, with only 69 Javan rhinoceroses left in the wild. “Rhino Populations | Rhino Facts | Save the Rhino International,” Save the Rhino, accessed May 01, 2019, 2 Andrea Crosta, Kimberly Sutherland, and Chiara Talerico, “Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam.],” Elephant Action League, July 2017, Grinding-Rhino-July2017-Elephant-Action-League.pdf 3 Ursula Heise, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 151

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“When the threat [to wildlife] is presented as an entire country or culture, conservation discourses can prioritize stereotypes over accuracy.” hold dear. Discourses produced as part of efforts to conserve culturally meaningful animals go far beyond the facts — they fall at the intersection of national pride, sadness and anger about losing beloved animals, and fear of threatening entities that are a danger to wildlife. This fear of threats to wildlife can be as concrete as poachers, or as abstract as climate change, but when the threat is presented as an entire country or culture, conservation discourses can prioritize stereotypes over accuracy. Like the panda in China or the bald eagle in the United States, the rhinoceros is a culturally important animal in Africa and East Asia, as well as a well-known and beloved animal around the world. In South Africa, the rhinoceros is so important that it is on the South African 10 rand bill. Rhinoceros endangerment has thus attracted attention from governments, non-governmental organizations, media outlets, and popular culture. In 2012, Robert Hormats, the United States Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, held a press briefing under the subject, “The U.S. Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking.” He gave an overview of the current issues in international wildlife trafficking and the United States’ role in prevention efforts, and answered questions from media outlets around the world. One of the topics of interest was the ille-

gal international trade in rhinoceros horn from South Africa to China and Vietnam. Hormats explained that rhino horn has “become part of what people regard as traditional Chinese medicine”: Most of these traditional Chinese medicines are not illegal. You go to a store — I’m sure you’ve seen these stores, where they have roots and all these things. You don’t know what’s in them, but they evidently work for people. But rhino horn certainly doesn’t work, and these — for anything [sic].4

Hormats was adamant that the Chinese government tell its citizens “what works and does not work” as medicine in order to reduce Chinese demand for rhino horn. In doing this, he attributed rhino horn demand to traditional Chinese medicine, and indirectly described this type of medicine by associating it with “roots and all these things” and later as “natural products.” Although medicine is not the only documented end use of rhino horn, it is the one most commonly cited in the West.5 Yet the meaning of “traditional Chinese medicines” as cited by Hormats can be elusive — what makes them “traditional”? And what makes them “Chinese”? Hormats’ comments exemplify a discourse of rhino endangerment that is rooted in preconceptions about China and Asia that generally supersede more objective

4 Robert Hormats, State Department Foreign Press Center Briefing (As Released by the US State Department) Subject: “The U.S. Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking,” briefer: Robert Hormats, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Department of State Location: The Foreign Press Center, Washington, D.C. Time: 9:00 a.m. EST Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012 5 Yufang Gao, Kelly Stoner, Andy Lee, and Susan Clark, “Rhino horn trade in China: An analysis of the art and antiques market,” Biological Conservation 201 (2016): 343-347. 152

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“Buzzwords can help reduce a complex problem into a persuasive maxim.” analyses of what is driving poaching. It is this discourse, which overwhelmingly attributes the Chinese and Vietnamese demand for rhino horn to culture in general and tradition in particular, that is concerning. As Allen Chun articulates in his article on the construction of Chineseness, “it is more important to know who is speaking, how statements are produced and disseminated, how they relate to other discourses, and, finally, how they become systematized and institutionalized, if at all.”6 The focus of this thesis is on how China’s role in the illegal trade in rhino horn is imagined as a problem of culture filtered through three interrelated lenses: tradition, medicine, and race. These are not mutually exclusive concepts: they often express the same ideas in different ways, though it is useful to consider them separately so that we can better understand both what is unique to each one and where and how they overlap. For the purposes of this publication, the emphasis will be on the tradition lens, and I argue that this form contributes to a discourse of endangerment that is grounded in long-standing and often problematic ideas about tradition as the defining element of Chinese culture.7 This reinforces a narrative that blames rhino horn demand, and by extension the slaughter of rhinos, on Chineseness itself.

Tradition as Buzzword

As with most issues in which governments and non-governmental organizations intervene, the rhino conservation discourse is shaped by buzzwords that appear self-evident but in fact can encompass a variety of meanings without ever being defined. Cornwall and Brock point out that the reliance of global development groups on buzzwords (e.g., “participation” and “empowerment”) has shaped policy by streamlining intervention into one-sizefits-all, apolitical packages.8 NGOs and government bodies often use buzzwords that can energize and inform the public without being overly specific, and these buzzwords can help reduce a complex problem into a persuasive maxim. Cornwall and Brock use the example of “poverty reduction,” an innocuous-sounding term used by powerful development agents like the United Nations and World Bank to describe their initiatives and interventions. Poverty reduction is so frequently cited that it has evolved past its literal meaning of reducing poverty to become a blanket term for any intervention that changes the financial state of a country. Words like “participation” and “empowerment” have followed a similar trajectory. A buzzword is rarely explicitly defined because it is constructed to be self-evident, yet its vagueness allows it to take on a variety of different meanings. The buzzword that is most important to this discussion — tradition — is as potent as it is vague, a combination that allows it to be used in a variety of ways within the Western discourse of rhino horn demand. Although never explicitly defined, “tradition” has several different meanings in the materials I study here. The websites of the World Wildlife Fund, Humane

6 Allen Chun, “Fuck Chineseness: On the Ambiguities of Ethnicity as Culture as Identity,” Boundary 223, no. 2 (1996): 115 7 Discussion of the medicine and race lenses can be found in the unabridged version of this thesis. 8 Andrea Cornwall and Karen Brock, “What do buzzwords do for development policy? A critical look at ‘participation’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘poverty reduction’,” Third world quarterly, 26.7 (2005): 1043-1060. 153

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Society International, and Save the Rhino use the phrases “Traditional Chinese Medicine,” “traditional Chinese texts,” “traditional Asian medicine,” and “traditional medicines” to describe end uses of rhino horn. The capitalized “Traditional” of Traditional Chinese Medicine characterizes the Chinese medicines that are included in the canon of the state-sanctioned Traditional Chinese Medicine institution, whereas the lower case “traditional” in “traditional Asian medicine” seems to refer to any medicine that falls outside of the limits of modern biomedicine. The phrase “traditional Chinese texts” is used on the Save the Rhino website to refer to the “Bencao gangmu,” or “本草綱目,” a Chinese pharmacopeia written in 1597. In this case, “traditional” might just as easily be replaced with ancient, pre-modern, or imperial. While uppercase Traditional as part of “Traditional Chinese Medicine” and lower case traditional as in “traditional Asian medicine” are both functioning as adjectives, the former is part of the noun phrase “Traditional Chinese Medicine,” whereas the latter is used to directly describe a certain type of medicine practiced in or attributed to Asia.9 Perhaps the most striking use of “traditional” is in describing the use of rhino horn as an anti-cancer strategy — a practice that seems to have begun following an early 2000s rumor that rhino horn cured a high-ranking Vietnamese official’s cancer. According to the WWF website, “powdered horn is used in traditional Asian medicine as a supposed cure for a range of illnesses — from hangovers to fevers and 9 This is a case in which two of my lenses, tradition and medicine, overlap. There is a discussion of TCM from a medicinal standpoint in the next section. 10 “African Rhinos,” World Wildlife Fund website, Accessed May 01, 2019, species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/ 11 Crosta, “Grinding Rhino”

even cancer.”10 The use of rhinoceros to cure cancer and hangovers is a demonstrably recent phenomenon, but there is no definition of “tradition” that could make this WWF statement factually accurate.11 Nor is there clear evidence that this is a widespread practice, if it is even happening at all. Instead, the rubric of tradition is used not only to substantiate a rumor, but also to suggest that the use of rhino horn for curing cancer or treating hangovers is common practice. Perhaps most importantly, the power of tradition as a way to explain China and Asia in this context comes from its opposite, an implicit Western modernity, which is the position from which Hormats and the WWF speak. In this way, the discourse surrounding rhino poaching and the illegal trade in horn is part of a much older discourse of China and Asia as sites of an only partial or superficial modernity, overlaying a traditional essence. As a method of creating meaning, this discourse renders Chinese practices, whether real or imagined, not simply traditional, but also decisively not modern. The use of “traditional” to describe medicines that have no clear roots in long-standing medical practices exemplifies how NGOs, governments, and the media tap into a discourse of Chinese and Asian backwardness. This is reinforced by the maintenance of an implicit traditional/

“Orientalism has little to do with a ‘real Orient,’ but rather with ideas about the Orient produced by and for the West.”


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“The use of [the word] tradition ... characterizes China as a place that is insufficiently modernized.” modern binary. In “The Idea of Provincializing Europe,” Chakrabarty writes, If ‘political modernity’ was to be a bounded and definable phenomenon, it was not unreasonable to use its definition as a measuring rod for social progress. Within this thought, it could always be said that some people were less modern than others, and that the former needed a period of preparation and waiting before they could be recognized as full participants in political modernity.12

The use of “traditional” to describe Chinese medicines, texts, and culture invokes this traditional/modern binary and uses it to perpetuate stereotypes about China as a place that is not yet capable of fully participating in a modernity, defined in this case by care for endangered species. Characterizations of the traditional and modern often split along the East/West binary in general — for example, modern medicine and Western medicine are nearly synonymous. This discourse about tradition as a feature of Chinese culture that bars it from modernity is omnipresent in discussions about China, and the rhino horn trade is just one area in which it can be found. While tradition has different literal meanings in different contexts, its constant presence reinforces its status as not only an important feature of Chinese culture, but a feature that differentiates it from Western cultures. China’s role in the rhino trade is thus signified not as a function of increased purchasing and investment power, or the

excesses of its consumer culture, but rather as one defined by China’s and Asia’s traditional essence, which is also to say their failure to be fully modern. The idea of China as a site of tradition always in contrast to Western modernity is, of course, part of a long strain of Western scholarship. For Edward Said, the West’s production of knowledge about Asian or “Oriental” traditions created a cultural binary that privileged the West and its claims to progress. Said famously calls this process “Orientalism,” in which a certain understanding of Asia is created as the inverse of the West. Orientalism has little to do with a “real Orient,” but rather with ideas about the Orient produced by and for the West. A feature of “the Orient” as constructed by the West is its position as “a kind of ideal and unchanging abstraction.”13 This idea of an “unchanging abstraction” comes through in the frequent use of “traditional” in descriptions of Chinese demand for rhino horn. The label “traditional” characterizes these medicines as unchanging, and the medical culture in which they are produced as stagnant. This perception of the Orient as an unchanging entity allows for Western media outlets and government officials to refer to recent or rumored medical phenomena, like using rhino horn as a cancer cure, as “traditional.” As the examples above have shown, tradition functions as a buzzword with special potency in the discourse of rhino endangerment. More often than not, the term is used directly, though in some cas-

12 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference-New Edition (Princeton University Press, 2009), 9 13 Edward Said, Orientalism: western conceptions of the Orient, 1978 (Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin Press, 1995), 5 155

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es, tradition is evoked in subtler ways that also reinforce the fundamentally Orientalist nature of this discourse. Because of this, certain images and sounds, regardless of their origin, are immediately recognizable as Chinese or Asian, as is shown in the music of a video released by WWF called “Demand for rhino horn in Asia fuels African poaching crisis.”14 This WWF video exemplifies how Orientalist representations of China subtly, almost subliminally, link Chinese tradition to the demand for rhino horn. The video consists of a series of photos and captions with background music. It opens with an image of the WWF logo, and the sound of chimes and a flute in the background. The music uses a pentatonic scale and instrumentation that is not only instantly recognizable as Chinese to Western audiences, but also of a classical style that evokes ideas about pre-modern China. Beyond simply signaling that rhino poaching is an Asian or Chinese problem, this music suggests that it is also a problem of Chinese culture. After the video shows the WWF logo, it fades into a photo of a majestic-looking rhino, and then to another of a rhino with its young. It then abruptly shows a photo of a poacher selling a horn, and then cuts to a bloody rhino with its horn cut off. The transition is jarring, and the gory photo feels out of place with the upbeat music in the background. The disjunction between the soundtrack and this gruesome and upsetting photo links traditional Chinese culture to the slaughter of animals in a way that elicits a strong emotional response. The use of tradition, both as a buzzword and as an aural cue, links the poaching problem to a particular aspect of Chinese culture. It reinforces the traditional/

modern binary and characterizes China as a place that is insufficiently modernized through Orientalist framings of the rhino-poaching problem. But discourses about tradition are not the only ways that representations of demand for rhino horn point to Chinese culture and Chineseness. In addition to using music immediately coded as Asian, the WWF video represents Asia through a still-life photo of medicine bottles and boxes with photos of rhinoceroses and Chinese characters on them. This image and others like it represent an important representational mode that, although fundamentally tied to the discourse of tradition, draws attention to another element of Chinese and Asian culture: medicine. A discussion of medicinal representations of rhino horn can be found in the unabridged version of this thesis.

Conclusion My research on the discourse of endangerment as it pertains to the rhino horn trade is only one small part of a larger set of scholarship on the exotic animal parts trade to Asia. The rhinoceros is not the only animal trafficked to Asia — animals like the pangolin, tiger, and elephant have been poached and illegally traded for their scales, bones, and tusks. These cases, like that of the rhinoceros, warrant the attention of cultural scholars to assess the similarities and differences in their representations of China and Asia. There is also work needed on representations of the supply side of the rhino horn trade, as little has been done to situate representations of poachers in existing scholarship on Africa. This research has practical implications for conservation efforts. If discourses of endangerment are more closely gov-

14 International, WWF, “Demand for Rhino Horn in Asia Fuels African Poaching Crisis | WWF,” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Sept. 2012, 156

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erned by problematic ideas about Asian and Chinese medicine, tradition, and race than by facts and evidence, policy responses will fail to adequately address the issue. On October 6, 2018, the Chinese government released a notice of its intent to repeal the 1993 prohibition on the trade of rhino horn and tiger bone to allow the trade in special circumstances. The government emphasized its commitment to strictly regulating the trade, but detailed new exceptions to the ban.15 Exceptions to the ban include uses of rhino and tiger products for kexue yanjiu (科学研究), or “scientific research,” including the collection of genetic materials. Another exception is for yixue yanjiu (医学研究), or “medical research,” and treatment of critical and incurable diseases. The report reads, “medical research and treatment of critical illnesses, incurable disease, etc. necessitates the use of rhino horns or tiger bones…”16 This move defies simple interpretation, but could be seen as part of the Chinese government’s desire to promote the state-sanctioned institution of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a form of soft power. A month later, however, the Chinese government announced its decision to reinstate the ban after fierce backlash from conservationists.17 The legalization of the rhino horn trade for medical and scientific research perhaps indicates a shift in Chinese policy that promotes science and medicine with Chinese characteristics. In a landscape that consistently characterizes China as a place of tradition, the temporary lift on the ban of rhino horn products can be seen as an attempt to restructure modernity in a way

that is pluralistic and can include China in its definition. The Chinese government’s quick reversal of the new policy after outcry from conservation groups is puzzling. The blowback from conservation groups was not an unprecedented response, and the Chinese government could have easily anticipated it. If the government was willing to withdraw the new policy after these organizations responded in a way that was appropriate and expected, why try lifting the ban in the first place? Did the Chinese government not expect conservationists to react this way? Or was the government planning on trying to weather the criticism, and changed its mind for some reason? Although the Chinese government’s motivations cannot be fully known without more information, there is a clear miscommunication between these actors. If conservation organizations are as serious about reducing China’s demand for rhino horn as they claim to be, there is a disconnect somewhere in that network. I suspect that this miscommunication is at least partly due to the tendency of governmental, nongovernmental, and popular characterizations of rhino horn demand to prioritize long-standing stereotypical ideas about China over other factors, ultimately Orientalizing the issue. To move forward, conservationists need to separate factual evidence of rhino horn demand in China from the Orientalist discourse in which it has become intertwined. Animal endangerment is as much a cultural issue as it is a scientific issue, and understanding the cultural nature of this

15 All translations of the Chinese language text are my own. The source for the original report can be found here: 国务院关于 严格管制犀牛和虎及其制品经营利用活动的通知(国发〔2018〕36号)_政府信息公开专栏, Accessed May 15 2019, 16 The original Chinese reads: “三是因医学研究或临床救治危急重症,疑难杂症等需要利用犀牛角或虎骨的” 17 Javier Hernández, “China, After Outcry, Reinstates Ban on Rhino and Tiger Parts in Medicine,” The New York Times, November 12, 2018, 157

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issue is a necessary step in the process of shedding Orientalist attitudes. Recognition of this discourse of endangerment also has tangible policy applications. A fuller understanding of the place rhino horn occupies in China can lead to informed poli-

cy solutions that take into account the perspectives of actors across the board. This is a necessary first step in the conservation of one of Africa’s, and the world’s, most charismatic megafauna. ■

Bibliography “African Rhinos.” WWF. Accessed May 01, 2019. knowledge_hub/endangered_species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/. Andrews, Bridie Jane. The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine, 18951937. University of Hawaii Press, 1996. Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference-New Edition. Princeton University Press, 2009. Chakravarty, Rohan. “Halloween in the Wild.” Green Humour. October 2012, Accessed May 01, 2019. http:// Chun, Allen. “Fuck Chineseness: On the Ambiguities of Ethnicity as Culture as Identity.” Boundary 223, no. 2 (1996): 111. doi:10.2307/303809. Cornwall, Andrea and Brock, Karen. “What do buzzwords do for development policy? A critical look at ‘participation’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘poverty reduction.’” Third world quarterly, 26(7): 2005. 1043-1060. Crosta, Andrea, Sutherland, Kimberly, and Talerico, Chiara. “Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam.” Elephant Action League. July 2017. Accessed May 2019. https://elephantleague. org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ Grinding-Rhino-July2017-Elephant-Action-League.pdf. Gao, Yufang, Stoner, Kelly, Lee, Andy and Clark, Susan. “Rhino horn trade in China: An analysis of the art and antiques market.” Biological Conservation 201 (2016): 343-347. “Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam.” Elephant Action League, 2012. Han, Chong-suk. “Being an Oriental, I Could Never be Completely a Man: Gay Asian Men and the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class.” Race, Gender & Class 13 (2006). Heise, Ursula K. Imagining Extinction:

The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. Heller, Natasha. “Why has the rhinoceros come from the west? An excursus into the religious, literary, and environmental history of the Tang Dynasty.” The Journal of the American Oriental Society 131, no. 3 (2011): 353+ Hernández, Javier C. “China, After Outcry, Reinstates Ban on Rhino and Tiger Parts in Medicine.” The New York Times. November 12, 2018. Accessed May 01, 2019. https://www. asia/china-rhino-tiger-ban.html. Huang, Lixin. “Rhino horn is no medicine.” New Scientist Vol, 222 Issue 2966, 2014. Imgur. December 27, 2018. Accessed May 01, 2019. oEGHey0. International, WWF. “Demand for Rhino Horn in Asia Fuels African Poaching Crisis | WWF.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Sept. 2012, www. Lee, Robert. Orientals: Asian Americans in popular culture. Temple University Press, 1999. Parker, Jeannie Thomas. “Chinese Unicorn – The Mythic Chinese Unicorn.” Chinese Unicorn. Accessed May 12, 2019. Pinn, Ingram. “Ingram Pinn’s Illustration of the Week: Rhino Horn Medicine.” Financial Times. November 02, 2018. Accessed May 14, 2019. http:// PlanetSave. “3D Rhino Horns - Conservation or Exploitation?” July 05, 2015. Accessed May 08, 2019. https://planetsave. com/2015/07/06/3d-rhino-horns-conservation-or-exploitation/. “Poaching | Rhino Threats | Save the Rhino International.” Save The Rhi-

no. Accessed May 01, 2019. https:// threats/poaching-rhino-horn/. “Rhino Poacher Poached By Donno | Nature Cartoon.” TOONPOOL. Accessed May 15, 2019. https:// Poacher poached_143808. “Rhino Populations | Rhino Facts | Save the Rhino International.” Save The Rhino. Accessed May 01, 2019. rhino-info/population-figures/. Royaards, Tjeerd. “Talking Satire and Controversy in South Africa.” Cartoon Movement, 2015, Said, Edward W. “Orientalism: western conceptions of the Orient. 1978.” Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin (1995). Scheid, Volker. Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis. Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 2005, 5. State Department Foreign Press Center Briefing (As Released by the US State Department) Subject: “The U.S. Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking” Briefer: Robert Hormats, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Department of State Location: The Foreign Press Center, Washington, D.C. Time: 9:00 a.m. EST Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012 “Superstition By Riemann | Love Cartoon.” TOONPOOL. Accessed May 14, 2019. https://www.toonpool. com/cartoons/Superstition_25203. World Wildlife Fund. “Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Rhinos (Video 4) | WWF.” YouTube. September 22, 2013. Accessed May 01, 2019. watch?v=klUGnOEo9gE. “World’s rhino conservationists gather in China to call for an end to illegal rhino horn trade.” States News Service, 7 June 2012.


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2019 Award Winners Harold B. Gotaas Award This award is given annually to a senior in the McCormick School of Engineering who has performed exemplary engineering research. The winner is determined by a panel of faculty members on the basis of a research paper and presentation by a group of selected finalists before the judging committee. The award is named for Dr. Gotaas, who was Northwestern’s Dean of Engineering between 1957 and 1970. The 2019 Gotaas Award was presented to Shristi Dugar, for her project entitled “Phase Boundary Mapping of Tin-doped Zinc Antimonide.”

Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Awards Starting in Spring 2018, the Northwestern University chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, partnered with Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research to fund awards for the best overall poster and the best overall oral presentation at the University’s annual Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition (Expo). Expo is the largest student conference on campus and focuses on original research and creative work by Northwestern’s undergraduates across all disciplines. The $500 Sigma Xi Best Oral Presentation Award was presented to Hollyn Cetrone for her project entitled “Maternal Depression in Tanzania”. The $500 Sigma Xi Best Expo Poster Presentation Award was presented to Talia Waxman for her project entitled “Teen Girls Participatory Photovoice”.


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2019 McCormick School of Engineering Gotaas Award

Shristi Dugar Shristi Dugar graduated from Northwestern in June 2019 with a bachelor’s in materials science and engineering. After graduation, she worked in Chicago as a supply chain and procurement consultant at GEP, a global provider of strategy, consulting, software, and managed services solutions. In the near future, she intends to work in the field of renewable energy in Nepal, her home country. Dugar started working in professor Jeffrey Snyder’s group in materials science after receiving an undergraduate research grant for summer 2017. She continued working on the same project for her thesis. Dugar’s research involved the study of thermoelectric materials, in particular, zinc antimonide (ZnSb). Thermoelectric materials can generate electric power from temperature differences, completely in the solid state, thereby allowing flexibility in size and shape of the generator. Thermoelectric generators are used in specialty applications like powering probes for deep-space missions. They could also potentially be used for waste heat recovery in electronics and cars. Zn, Sn, and Sb are environmentally friendly, cheap, and abundant and would be viable from a commercial standpoint for mass production and availability. However, the use of ZnSb, or any other thermoelectric material, for practical applications depends upon its energy efficiency and consistency of properties upon manufacture. The latter is the sticking point: while many researchers have studied ZnSb properties, their results have not been reproduced consistently. In the course of Dugar’s research, she investigated how making ZnSb samples at different starting points in the phase space of the Zn-Sn-Sb system affects the 160

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samples’ thermoelectric properties and efficiency. She hypothesized that the wide variability of these starting points is the probable cause of discrepancies in the ultimate measured values. In fact, she found this to be the case. Her research showed that thermoelectric materials can be synthesized for maximum energy efficiency and consistent operating characteristics. This finding opens the door for their widespread commercial application. In addition to Dugar’s undergraduate experience at Northwestern, she has been the education director of the Himalaya Project. In this capacity, she mediates between international and local Nepalese organizations to organize human resources and infrastructural facilities and curriculum materials to provide scholarships to students to study Himalayan Tibetan medicine and provide health services in the remote region of Dolpo, Nepal. She reported on the activities of the Himalaya Project at the 2018 Clinton Global Initiative Conference. ■


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2019 Sigma Xi $500 Best Expo Oral Presentation Award

Hollyn Cetrone Hollyn Cetrone graduated from Northwestern in June 2019 with a neuroscience major and a global health studies minor. She is originally from Orinda, California. Cetrone started research in the Young Research Group lab with Sera Young in January 2018 and began her own independent research project within the lab the following summer, when she traveled to Tanzania. She is currently attending Northwestern’s Masters in Public Health program, where she is concentrating in epidemiology. In the summer of 2018, Cetrone worked with the research team of Tanzania’s Singida Nutrition and Agroecology Project (SNAP-Tz) to evaluate the project’s impact on maternal depression. SNAP-Tz is a participatory agriculture and nutrition intervention aiming to improve sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and gender equity in Singida, Tanzania. Cetrone assisted in data collection for the annual survey, which is issued throughout the 20 villages included in the project. She conducted cognitive interviews with survey enumerators to qualitatively understand how depression is perceived in the region. She conducted quantitative analyses and found that SNAP-Tz women were at an 11% decreased risk for probable depression compared to women in the control group after two years of interventions. Qualitative data from cognitive interviews also supported these findings. To see why this impact on maternal depression occurred, Cetrone ran a mediation pathway analysis. She found that food security was a significant mediator of the pathway and accounted for 22% of the changes seen in maternal depression. This was one of first findings indicating that a nutrition and agriculture intervention can decrease maternal depression. Cetrone was invited to present her findings at the annual Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health Academy Conference in Hyderabad, India 162

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2019 Sigma Xi $500 Best Expo Poster Presentation Award

Talia Waxman Talia Waxman graduated from Northwestern in June 2019 with a bachelor’s in anthropology and global health studies. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Kaplan Humanities Scholar Program, volunteered as a health educator and leadership council member with Peer Health Exchange, served as a counselor and co-chair for the Chicago Undergraduate Program, and interned at Family Matters, a community organization. Her passion for health equity and social justice motivated her research experience. Waxman’s senior thesis research explored how the process of community-based participatory research amplifies previously marginalized voices and illuminates important kinds of knowledge. She drew on her experience facilitating a multi-week Photovoice project in fall 2018 with a research team on Chicago nonprofit Family Matters’ Teen Girls Program. Their photographs and group discussions documented the ways that young women respond to, resist, and heal from impacts of violence. The process of this participatory research was itself transformative by building community, challenging power dynamics, and producing unique and embodied narratives. It was a form of responding to, resisting, and healing from structural violence.


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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS Sam Allnutt Sarah Dinegar Nicole Fallert Noor Mazen Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike Samantha Oberman Hassan Sayed Jessica Schwalb Jun Kyung You Isabelle Zinghini 164

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Sam Allnutt— Assessing Racial Discrimination of Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft Sam Allnutt (Class of 2019) graduated with a major in statistics and minor in economics. He is interested in the application of statistical methods to economics and other social sciences, particularly as applied to policy research. After spending the summer relaxing and traveling postgraduation, he is now working as an economic consulting analyst for Analysis Group. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in either statistics or economics.

about what goes on behind closed doors in NFL front offices, which led me to this research question. As with any sensitive and politicized topic, empirical research based on sound methodology is critical to work towards a productive solution. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? Quantitative research is a good jumping-off point to begin to understand these issues, but we can only interpret so much from observational data analysis. If there is discrimination at play, it will take a collective effort of interdisciplinary research to develop comprehensive evidence and perhaps spur the NFL into action.

What is your research, in a nutshell? My research aims to evaluate quantitative evidence for racial discrimination against minority quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft. The quarterback position, possibly the most important in sports, has historically been predominated by white athletes. I use empirical performance data to determine whether minority quarterbacks are systematically undervalued by NFL organizations. How did you come to your research topic? Back in 2016, I followed Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest saga closely, hoping that he wouldn’t be punished for an act of defiance against profiling and police brutality. The collusion settlement reached in 2019 led me and many others to believe that racial biases and stereotypes may be working their way into decisions made by NFL franchises. I became curious 165

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Sarah Dinegar— Type 2 Diabetes Care and Management: A Comparison of German and American Approaches Sarah Dinegar (Class of 2019) studied biological sciences and German as an undergraduate. She is passionate about spearheading efforts to bring adequate preventive care to populations whose quality of care is compromised by social determinants of health through her future career as a physician, as she believes that broadening access to primary care is fundamental to improving health outcomes. Since graduation, she has applied to medical schools for Fall 2020 matriculation and started work as an analyst on the Patient Education team at DaVita Kidney Care in Denver, Colorado. She works with team members to analyze clinical effectiveness of educational programming, develop program improvement proposals, and work to increase utilization of kidney disease education programs worldwide. With this healthcare management and policy groundwork, she hopes to enter medical school well-equipped to improve her future patients’ lives at both the individual and larger scale by working to drive healthcare policy shifts towards heavier investments in preventive care, particularly for chronic disease patients.

physicians to learn about their experiences with and opinions of their nation’s Type 2 Diabetes management methods regarding efficacy in improving health outcomes, healthcare costs, and quality of care. As I assessed the merits of the two nations’ differing chronic disease management practices, I learned a wealth of information about both healthcare systems regarding the insurers, providers, and resources available. After analysis of my interview and survey data, I found that the most effective methods to improve health outcomes and reduce cost burdens for Type 2 Diabetics include restructuring of payment incentive system based in rewarding improved health outcomes, broader insurance coverage of home visits, dieticians, mental health counselors, and rigorous diabetes education, as well as increased utilization of technological tools for patient communication and accountability and teambased care. How did you come to your research topic? As a double major in Biological Sciences and German with a passion for healthcare reform, I sought to combine my interests into this research project. I had learned about the molecular cause of Type 2 Diabetes in my biochemistry class sophomore year. I was very fascinated in learning how the biological manifestation of this disease, while affected by some genetic

What is your research, in a nutshell? I interviewed and surveyed German and American 166

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predisposition, was actually heavily preventable and manageable through lifestyle improvements. While abroad junior fall, I felt a strong cultural difference of Germans having much more of a preventive mindset in all aspects of health and lifestyle (as well as other areas of society) as compared to the more reactive mindset of many Americans. I was thus curious of the prevalence in Germany of the chronic diseases that had been skyrocketing in the U.S. with the obesity epidemic particularly T2D, heart disease, and kidney disease. As I researched the German healthcare system’s reaction to trying to reduce rates of these diseases, I found out about Disease Management Programs (DMPs). The most successful of the German DMPs appeared to be for T2D, so I thought it would be interesting to investigate primary care physicians’ opinions of the efficacy of these programs in terms of improving health outcomes, quality of care, and healthcare costs. While there are no exactly parallel programs in the U.S., I decided to compare the overall American T2D management methods with the German T2D DMPs and ask all the physicians what they believed to be the most effective methods as well as best steps forward. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? Evidently, a future of improving T2D care and management hinges on an intensification of preventive measures, which must be directed by primary care providers, incentivized by insurers, and achieved by patient–physician cooperation. This heightened prevention is the only way forward – not only for the sake of financial reduction it is sure to bring, but first and foremost, for the health outcomes of millions of present and future T2D patients that it will indisputably improve. Future researchers might identify primary care practices using any of the above recommendations and seek to prove most effective methods by analyzing the impact of each factor quantitatively (with HbA1c levels, other health outcome metrics, hospitalizations, overall T2D patient costs) and qualitatively (quality of care, satisfaction of patients and physicians).


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Nicole Fallert— #METOO in the European Parliament: A Case Study in Feminist Institutionalism Nicole Fallert (Class of 2019) has always been passionate about storytelling with a global perspective. At Northwestern University, she double-majored in journalism and international studies with a minor in business institutions, a path which led her to SciencesPo in 2017 to study European Union policy. The following summer, she reported for Politico Europe in Brussels, Belgium, where she drew from specific insights on the female experience within this institution to write her senior thesis. Her reporting also appears on 90.5 WESA and She currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she is a news consultant at Meltwater, an international media monitoring firm. Nicole eventually plans to pursue a Master's degree in either journalism or international policy and would love to be an editor or professor.

movement was received abroad. The following summer I reported for Politico Europe in Brussels as the MeTooEP movement was initially making headlines. The combination of these two experiences specifically raised questions regarding the way #MeToo was being discussed globally and how we could make sense of the true impact. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? My hope is this work is a roadmap for future feminist movements looking to impact their own institutions. Also, I intended to add to the growing field of scholarship dedicated to #MeToo by adding a unique international perspective (which I felt was largely missing from the narrative). What is left to discover is whether the momentum iniated by MeTooEP will have permanent impact as the newly-elected parliament is initiated following the spring 2019 E.P. elections. Hopefully right-leaning political coalitions in the E.P. do not deconstruct the fibers of the policies set by feminists the past two years.

What is your research, in a nutshell? Making sense of the impact #MeToo had on international institutions through the specific case study of MeTooEP in the European Parliament from the years 2017-2019. How did you come to your research topic? When studying at SciencesPo in Paris, France in 2017, I gained a unique perspective of the way this 168

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Noor Mazen— Quyud: Educational Constraints in Palestine Noor Mazen (Class of 2020) is a Palestinian journalist and filmmaker. She is currently a senior at Northwestern University in Qatar and works for the Daily Q, the university paper. She has previously interned at the Brookings Center in Doha and Vice News on HBO. Last year, Noor co-produced two documentaries in Yemen, “In The Middle” and “Samsurat Al-Nuhas” (2019), which are currently being screened in different festivals. “In The Middle” has recently won the best documentary award at Ajyal Film Festival, 2019. Noor is also interested in research and human rights, and is currently conducting a study about educational constraints in Palestine.

including Occupied Voices by professor Wendy Pearlman. The book included stories from Palestinians during the Second Intifada, an event I knew a lot about, but never connected too. I only understood the weight of the event after relating it to people, their faces and their stories. After all, stories humanize people, and as a Palestinian living in the diaspora, I only felt attached to Palestine by reading them. The research follows a similar stance. After several discussions with Professor Mitchell, we agreed on narrating stories of Palestinians through the lens of education. By reading stories about the constraints Palestinians face while pursuing their basic human right, I hope for people to associate with their struggle and understand the continued cost of occupation.

What is your research, in a nutshell?

Where do you see the future direction of this work leading?

The research learns from Palestinians themselves how their educational journeys have been affected by the political, economic and social situation in the occupied West Bank.

The current research only uses few quotes from many stories, but I am hoping to turn these quotes into fullfledged narratives written in a book or documented in a movie. Nonetheless, I hope that future researchers will continue adding to the existing narrative, or building new ones, until progress is made.

How did you come to your research topic? I was having a conversation with my supervisor, Dr. Jocelyn Sage Mitchell, during my first days as a freshman. As we were talking, I mentioned my goal to write narratives about Palestinians living in the West Bank. Although it was a plan for the far future, professor Mitchell still suggested applying for the Summer URG grant and recommended several books, 169

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Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike— Radical Redress: Black Birth Workers Respond to Maternal Mortality Onyinyechi Jessica Ogwumike (she/they) (Class of 2019) graduated from Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences with departmental honors in African-American studies. Jessica completed pre-health coursework, and their primary passions include birth and racial justice. At Northwestern, Jessica worked as a Writing Place tutor, organized toward the improvement of the university’s mental health resources and the well-being of Black students, and co-founded an artist collective for creatives of color. They are a labor doula and look forward to serving the Lawndale community as a Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP) fellow, working as a care manager of Lawndale Christian Health Center. Jessica hopes to go on to develop a birth work practice, using empathy and curious communication to support people and communities as they grow lives that center healing justice and connection.

and witnessing the re-orientation of national conversations that Black birth workers perform via social media. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? I would like to see future researchers attend to how the conversation surrounding Black maternal mortality post-media sensation has and has not influenced policy change, and the efficacy of such policy for Black birthing populations specifically.

What is your research, in a nutshell? My research responds to predominant depictions of Black maternal life and death by centering Black birthing people and birth workers’ counterrepresentation of Black birth. How did you come to your research topic? I came to a passion for alternative birth storytelling by attending events hosted by Chicago Volunteer Doulas 170

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Samantha Oberman— Evaluating Interactive Social Justice Education: The Relationship between Responsive Fiction and Social Empathy What is your research, in a nutshell?

Samantha Franzblau Oberman (Class of 2019) studied human development and psychological services, gender and sexuality studies, and psychology. During her time at Northwestern, she was a member of WildCHAT, Northwestern’s only student-run mental health hotline, and served on the organization’s executive board for two years. She started and ran a listening workshop to teach Northwestern students how to better support their friends and promote positive mental health on campus, and served as a listener on the hotline. Samantha also worked as a research assistant for Terri Sabol in the Development Early Education Policy (DEEP) Lab, and for Danny M. Cohen in the Unsilence Lab. In the Unsilence Lab, she was a general member for a year, after which she began to serve as a mentor for undergraduate students. She helped to create social justice education programming, including “Tomorrow,” which can be found at Now, Samantha is working at the Noble Academy in Lincoln Park, teaching high school diverse learning students. She is simultaneously getting her master’s in teaching, specializing in special education, from the Relay Graduate School of Education.

My project analyzed two different social justice interactive pedagogies in relation to participants’ social empathy. I studied Tomorrow, a social justice program that guides participants through an interactive story about the barriers to addressing mental health and suicide in high school. Through this story, participants learn about the personal, cultural, and institutional factors that prevent conversation about these topics, and how that silencing hurts students. Through a peer-reviewed Likert-scale measure I compared how going through these program, either facilitated or working through the online program in small groups without facilitation, affected participants’ social empathy. In addition, I interviewed participants to collect qualitative data on their experience of the program and what they learned. Overall, I found promising results on the relationship between social justice education (SJE) and social empathy. I focused my final claims on a call for education designers and teachers to include interactive storytelling in their classrooms; a call for researchers to do more research on the relationship between conceptual knowledge and social empathy to empower our students to be socially aware; lastly, a call for teachers and administrators to be prepared to have these crucial conversations. 171

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How did you come to your research topic? I’ve always been passionate about education and what the main goal of education should be. During my time at Northwestern I spent a lot of time studying social justice and working for a SJE non-profit, which claimed that their programs increased empathy that ultimately led to social action. I was fascinated by the idea that empathy could lead toaction and found a lot of literature supporting that claim. However, I couldn’t find any robust literature on what types of programs or pedagogies increased empathy. There was significant research on what SJE was and what the learning goals of SJE were. However, there was not commensurate research on what programs were achieving these goals. So, I decided to find out myself! I studied what the relationship was between SJE and social empathy and how this differed when engaging in facilitated workshops versus non-facilitated online led workshops. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? This research project was fundamental in its effort to understand the relationship between social empathy and social justice education. Most importantly, my study was exploratory and designed to look for relationships rather than make causal claims. Future research should take the relationships I found and run true randomized control trials to identify any causal relationships. In my conclusion I hypothesized the nature of these relationships based on participant responses, however the field requires more rigorous experiments. Additionally, this project also discussed education design and implementation. Not only researchers, but teachers, education designers, policy makers, and donors could use this research to inform what types of education should be prioritized. SJE has historically been ignored due to the lack of understanding of its impact. However, now more than ever it is essential that we teach our children to be empathetic and socially aware. My study highlights the importance of this work, and the potential impact it can have.


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Hassan Sayed— Colonial Distortions: A Model of Extraction and Social Fabric Hassan Sayed (Class of 2019) graduated from Northwestern’s Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences (MMSS) program. In his free time, he composes music. Sayed is currently pursuing a PhD in microeconomics at Princeton University. What is your research, in a nutshell? I design a game-theoretic model that links the extractive facets of colonialism with its disruption of local social orders. How did you come to your research topic? I’ve always read lots about the destructive social impacts of colonialism in my humanities classes and my own personal reading, partially with applications in South Asia. However, nothing in economics was out there that really described these social effects, and I thought that was a problem for economic researchers that wanted to study colonialism in any way. So, I set about trying to create some economic theory that tied together colonial resource extraction and disruption of social fabric. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? No one in economic theory has done any work that combines colonialism with its social effects — so this 1) exhibits a model for building political economy models on underlying social trends and 2) opens up avenues for structural econometric work that relies on my theoretical model as a primitive. 173

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Jessica Schwalb— “A Man With Many Faces, All Turned in the Same Direction”: Julius Lester on Anti-Semitism, Anti-Blackness, and Black-Jewish Coalitions Jessica Schwalb (Class of 2019) studied history and Spanish, with a focus on civil rights history and the relationship between Ashkenazi Jews and whiteness in the United States. She is interested in how collective memory and historical narrative shape social movements, and how leftist movements form coalitions to fight white supremacy and other forms of oppression. Since graduating, she has accepted a Fulbright research study award to continue her past research about the Palestinian population of Chile.

in American Jewish communities surrounding the end of the famed “Black-Jewish coalition”during the 1950s-1960s, and hoped to interrogate and problematize the popular understanding that Black activists’ antiSemitism was the major cause of that coalition’s rupture. I found Lester’s work and life an unexpected, complex, and illuminating look at the most contentious moments of disagreement about the nature of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism between Black and Jewish civil rights groups, and believe him to be a surprisingly understudied figure of the Civil Rights movement.

What is your research, in a nutshell?

Where do you see the future direction of this work leading?

I explore the life and writings of Julius Lester, a Black civil rights activist who converted to Judaism, reveal the lack of visibility of Black Jews in the 20th Century and lack of white Jewish willingness to confront racism. My research centers around the underlying assumptions about oppression, power, and identity in major moments of controversy over so-called Jewish racism and Black anti-Semitism, moments that roiled civil rights groups during and after the 1960s and that continue to polarize political parties in the 21st century.

While historians have studied Black-Jewish relations in the 20th century, further inquiry into the racialization of Jews and the relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Blackness are crucial to understanding the criticism of the Civil Rights movement. Where interracial coalition and solidarity are concerned, there is no shortage of contention — I therefore hope that other scholars will seek out figures whose voices are not often highlighted within dominant historical narratives of Black or Jewish civil rights struggles in order to more deeply contend with the legacy of deep disagreements over the nature of racism in this country.

How did you come to your research topic? I learned about Lester in an African American studies class in the context of a feud he had with James Baldwin. I had long been interested in historical narrative 174

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Jun Kyung You— The Subsumptivist Generalist Position in Ethical AI Research and Its Motivation Jun Kyung You (Class of 2019) graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor’s in philosophy, with honors with distinction. At Northwestern, You was briefly a research assistant with the Jewish Studies Department. You served as an army sergeant in the Korean military partway through his studies, where he translated and edited official documentation and communications.

examined. Consulting philosophers, which to some extent is a process that is already ongoing in some institutions, would allow these commitments to be responsible commitments.

What is your research, in a nutshell? The unabridged version of the thesis is concerned with the motivations, current efforts, and the very possibility of replicating ethical decision-making in artificial agents. How did you come to your research topic? AI suggests a pipe-dream where, in a sufficiently advanced state, a tool could completely “replace” a human agent. I was intrigued by whether our capacity to make decisions in ethical situations could also be replaced true impact. Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? Ethical AI researchers, in the course of suggesting a way to replicate ethical decision-making, make philosophical commitments to their view on what morality consists of. I find that some of these commitments are not well175

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Isabelle Zinghini— Missing the Point: China, Chineseness, and Rhinoceros Endangerment Where do you see the future direction of this work leading?

Isabelle Zinghini (Class of 2019) double majored in Asian languages and cultures, with a concentration in Chinese, and physics. She took several engineering courses in her last two years of college, and decided to pursue a career in engineering after graduation. She currently uses her physics and Chinese experience as a design engineer in Chicago, for a company with a strong presence in China and Taiwan.

I see several great opportunities for future researchers to build on this. The rhinoceros is not the only animal trafficked to Asia — animals like the pangolin, tiger, and elephant have been poached and illegally traded for their scales, bones, and tusks. These cases, like that of the rhinoceros, warrant the attention of cultural scholars to assess the similarities and differences in their representations of China and Asia. There is also work to be done on representations of the supply side of the rhinoceros horn trade, as little has been done to situate representations of poachers in existing scholarship on Africa.

What is your research, in a nutshell? The rhinoceros is being poached to extinction due to high demand for rhinoceros horn in parts of Asia. My thesis examines the representations of Asia’s (and particularly China’s) role in the endangerment of the rhinoceros, and how those representations fit into larger discourses on China and Asia. How did you come to your research topic? I spent a quarter abroad in South Africa studying public health, during which we visited Kruger Park for a safari. A researcher from Kruger told us that rhinoceros were being poached to near extinction their horns were worth exorbitant amounts in China and Vietnam, even though rhinoceros horns are only made of keratin (the material of our fingernails)! My initial intention was to simply figure out why something made of a material I found commonplace would be worth so much, but as I researched my topic evolved to focus on representations. 176

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