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SSRD 2024 Schedule: Room 6

Room 6 Schedule: Collins 318

ZOOM link for off-campus community members
  • 9:00 a.m. | EUGENE MILLER | Identity Struggles at the Borderlands: Examining the Personal Narrative in Anzaldúa’s Borderlands: La Frontera

    My analytical essay, Identity Struggles at the Borderlands, examines Gloria Anzaldúa's text Borderlands: La Frontera and its engagement with Chicanx identity across the borderlands. I examine her use of literary devices such as code-switching, personification, imagery, and double-consciousness. Her work navigates the challenges of Chicanx culture by blending Spanish and English to preserve cultural significance and provides imagery like border checkpoints to illustrate fears of cultural rejection and separation. I argue that Anzaldúa’s use of double-consciousness explores struggles of identity and that she shows this by using second-person pronouns which bring empathy and understanding of Chicanx struggles that illustrate complexities of language, identity, and community to multiple readerships.

    Faculty Sponsor: Teresa Hernández
    Discipline: English

  • 9:20 a.m. | LOGAN COPELAND | Investigating Protestantism's Origins and Ambitions

    In modern America, Protestant theology is declining. The vast majority of Protestant Christians are unaware of Protestantism’s original ambitions. Namely that its formation was centered around the plethora of ways in which the Bible is to be interpreted apart from the dogmatism of the Church. Amongst these interpretations is the application of historical and content criticism. Only by uncovering the original insights of the protestant reformation can Christianity regain the pursuit of truth that led Protestantism’s early history. By looking at the inquiries of Martin Luther, John Calvin and other theologians, can Protestantism regain its veritatis studium.

    Faculty Sponsor: Stephen Patterson
    Discipline: Religious Studies

  • 9:40 a.m. | SOPHIA PICCIRILLI | The Kaleidoscope Project

    This independent thesis will focus on creating a theater program that is geared toward success for people with physical and mental disabilities. I will design a specific month-long acting program with 30- minute sessions meeting twice a week. The program will be geared to support and ensure the success of students with intellectual and physical disabilities. It will map out teaching students the fundamentals of acting. They will achieve success in theater, in a way that's supported by their instructors and/or directors. This research will allow programs in the Salem community to see that including special needs people in the performing arts space is possible and necessary.

    Faculty Sponsor: Robert Brewer-Wallin
    Discipline: Theatre

  • 10:00 a.m. | ANDREW CARUANA | Disability Joy

    This thesis explores the concept of Disability Joy, which I define as a celebratory experience of disability where community, affirmation, understanding, and lived experience exist in harmony within disabled individuals and enable them to be their best selves. Utilizing methodologies from the public humanities, including a combination of interviews and theory, the thesis analyzes Disability Joy using queer/feminist and crip-theory lenses. I argue that the concept of Disability Joy encompasses people with disabilities and also caregiver relationships and that an exploration of this topic invites us to think about the broader implications of a more comprehensive adaptation of disability joy as a counter-cultural movement against capitalist oppression.

    Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Peterson-Boring; Rachel Steck
    Discipline: Disability Studies

  • 10:30 a.m. | LAUREN MEEKINS | Creating Healthier Partnerships in Community Service-Learning: Centering CBO Perspectives

    Community Service-Learning (CSL) is an experiential and high-impact teaching strategy that has been widely adopted across higher education in the United States and throughout the world (Trending Topic: High-Impact Practices, n.d.). The literature has arguably neglected exploring best practices for fostering and maintaining healthy relationships between the stakeholders, mainly a college or university and a community-based organization (CBO). The objective of this project is to bridge the gap between academic theory, and the reality of working in the nonprofit sector– along with the challenges and triumphs associated with those realities–by bringing the voices of community partners to the forefront.

    Faculty Sponsor: Maegan Parker Brooks
    Discipline: Civic Communication & Media

  • 10:50 a.m. | COLE LINDBERG | An Analysis Of Willamette Community Traditions on Willamette Swim Team Recruit Tours

    There are a variety of traditions and rituals present among the Willamette university campus community. Whether it be the star trees, the seal, or the colloquially titled chicken fountain, these rituals play a significant role in defining our community culture. On swim team recruit tours, these rituals are addressed in a way which provides insights into unconscious attitudes surrounding Willamette campus traditions. Through humor, not only do the swim team athletes communicate community norms to prospective athletes, but also reflect the incongruity and cognitive disconnect these rituals hold in students’ perspectives.

    Faculty Sponsor: Peter Wogan
    Discipline: Humanities

  • 11:10 a.m. | INÉZ NIEVES | “Long Live America and Democracy”: The “Japanese Question” in Local and State Salem Politics

    Salem became an important location for Japanese internment because of its place in Oregon politics, shaping the policies that would ultimately imprison 221 Japanese-Americans living in Marion and Polk Counties. This presentation focuses on the lives of two key historical actors, Governor Sprague and Reverend Kuroda, their role in the debate over the Japanese Question, and the impact their decisions as local Salem leaders had on the construction of Japanese internment as a political system. As extensive archival research shows, state government was complicit in, if not actively abetting this process of de jure “othering.”

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 11:30 a.m. | ALAN COHEN | Economic Inequalities in Public History Works: The Importance of Incorporating a Class Perspective

    Despite current efforts to diversify public history works to include new perspectives on racial, gender, and Indigenous minorities, I argue that many sites lack a perspective on social class as the main underlying factor for the historical conditions of these social groups. By analyzing public history sites in and around Salem, such as the Willamette Heritage Center, Asahel Bush House, and Salem Historic Chinatown, among others, I explain the importance of portraying public history sites with a class perspective, some challenges that these sites may encounter, and some suggestions for incorporating a class perspective in public history works going forward.

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 2:00 a.m. | SHIV RENJEN | Conflict in Public History and Its Importance

    My presentation is centered around the current conflicts in public history over how our country’s past is presented. This has become an increasingly prevalent topic of debate with current issues like the disagreement over what to do with Confederate statues, or how in recent years the public narrative surrounding the nation's treatment of Native Americans has shifted. Overall, it is important to consider how both the history we present and how we present it matters greatly as properly confronting our country’s shared history matters to how we move forward.

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 2:20 p.m. | JORDYNN RATTERMAN | Diversifying Oregon History: The Remarkable Life of Letitia Carson

    To achieve greatness in the future, we must first address the past. Letitia Carson was an incredible figure in Oregon history, whose story has been purposely erased – until now. This presentation delves into her astonishing life and accomplishments as a former slave in the United States, the circumstances that she refused to let define her life, and how important it is that we share these stories amongst ourselves to learn and grow as part of a larger community.

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 2:40 p.m. | ALEX SIMS | A Guide to Oregon History for WU Students

    This presentation will provide an overview of a website developed to convey key elements of Oregon History influenced by Settler Colonialism and supporting white supremacy. It will then cover the history of the founding of Willamette University focusing on Indigenous communities. Finally, it will cover where and how this history is presented around the campus through plaques and statues.

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 3:10 p.m. | ABIGAIL JENSEN | The Willamette University and Northwest Collection- Creating Willamette’s Reference Collection

    This project will illustrate the materials contained in the Willamette University and Northwest Collection in the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections and the process of creating a navigable reference collection. Interesting items from the collection– including a Tibetan prayer book, a teaching exam from 1879, and some excuse notes from 1901– and the operation of processing it will be highlighted.

    Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Eisenberg
    Discipline: History

  • 3:30 p.m. | MADELINE MOORE | Transgression and Transformations: Gender and the Body in Medieval Europe

    This project delves into the intricate resilience of medieval women within patriarchal constraints. Through a fusion of prose, poetry, and visual art, it sheds light on the nuanced strategies employed by these women to carve out their own spaces in medieval society. Exploring the early Christian era and the mystical realms inhabited by figures such as Hildegard and Mechthild, this project unravels the threads of religious identity, gender expectations, and the pursuit of autonomy. Poetic verses interact with vivid imagery, prompting reflection on the similarities between the spiritual life of these influential figures and their assertion of female authority.

    Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Peterson-Boring
    Discipline: History

  • 3:50 p.m. | KATE WEST | Transgression and Transformations: Gender and the Body in Medieval Europe

    This project uses various artistic mediums to explore how medieval women both used and revised Christian theology to create new avenues of understanding the divine and the inherent dignity of divine creation. It discusses how the symbols of the medieval Church, along with the writings of female mystics allowed for expansive meaning-making through embodied spirituality. This project is especially attentive to the ways in which medieval mystics, such as Hadewijch and Julian of Norwich, utilized carefully curated language and images to communicate the intrinsic value and worthiness of all human beings.

    Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Peterson-Boring
    Discipline: History

  • 4:10 p.m. | ANIKA LAURIE | Transgression and Transformations: Gender and the Body in Medieval Europe

    This project is a visual art piece depicting two women from the late middle ages invoking their key ideas, concepts, and beliefs to incorporate to a modern audience depicted visually through repeating symbols and iconography that would be reminiscent of medieval illustrations and church windows. The project will explore themes of gender and sexuality, the relationship between human and divine, and the connections of identity and power as explored by both nuns and beguines in the 12th and 13th centuries. Of particular interest is the ways in which women’s works, in response to male clergy, could unsettle and critique the church.

    Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Peterson-Boring
    Discipline: History

  • 4:30 p.m. | MADELEINE MONTAYNE | Where Their Eyes Do Not Follow

    Where Their Eyes Do Not Follow This project is a short piece of historical fiction that explores themes of gender, sexuality, and class, all while mapping the domestic duties of women in 13th century Europe. It delves into the possibility of a homoerotic space in a friendship between two young women (which could be classified as queer by modern standards) and the possibility of physical space in which that relationship could exist. The story also explores what these people understood the nature of their relationship to be and how that understanding interacted with their respective classes, broader societal and cultural expectations, religion, and the elements of the world around them.

    Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Peterson-Boring
    Discipline: History

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