Subscribe to RSS Feed

Thursday, April 27th
9:00 AM

Specialty Coffee Certification and Livelihoods in Chiapas, Mexico

Meghan Montgomery

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

The global market for specialty certified coffee, including organic, fair trade and Rainforest Alliance, is rapidly expanding in the global market in response to changes in the ecological, economic and social conditions of coffee production systems. Certification represents a strategy that promises to further conservation goals while giving producers a stronger position in the production system, promising higher prices, trade network access and training to improve cultivation practices. Recent research indicates that the benefits of certification are not universally conferred on producers and that there is a lack of understanding about the constraints that small-scale growers face in becoming certified (Mendez et al. 2010). In order for certification programs to achieve conservation, economic and social justice goals, it is critical to understand the factors that limit certifications’ impact on small-scale farmers (Gobbi 2000). This study explores the dynamics of small-scale coffee production and certification in Chiapas, Mexico in order to understand the social, economic and ecological challenges that limit certification system impacts. Certifying organizations, notably Fair Trade International and the Rainforest Alliance, claim to leverage consumer values to further social, economic and environmental justice goals. Research into the real and perceived effects that these programs have on producer livelihoods is of critical importance in order to understand and improve their impact.

Coffee farms in Chiapas border intact protected landscapes and biosphere reserves, and have the capacity to maintain ecosystem services of local and global significance if managed in an ecologically sound manner. Much of the previous research on coffee production practices has focused on specific ecological processes that sustainable cultivation can enhance. However, there has been less attention on understanding how to work with growers themselves to promote and effectively apply ecosystem-based adaptations.

In order for the ecological benefits of certified coffee production to be fully realized, the production practices need to be applied at a broader spatial scale. Additionally, certification has the potential to provide critical benefits to small-scale growers by providing higher prices and training resources to offset production costs. However, many small-scale growers have difficulty in accessing these resources, limiting the efficacy of certification’s economic and ecological impacts.

This research examines that factors that constrain small-scale coffee growers’ abilities to adopt specific ecologically-based production practices on their farms. The study takes a qualitative methodological approach, using participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with small-scale coffee growers in one community in Chiapas. These data are augmented by quantitative data gathered through a randomized close-ended survey and empirical information about income and yields in order to analyze the real economic influences of certification.

9:20 AM

Reading to Dismantle: Citizen and Modes of the (Il)literacy Narrative in African American Literature

Alicia M. Mountain, University of Montana

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

9:20 AM - 9:35 AM

Though the trope of the black literacy narrative has served as a model for liberation throughout African American Literature, a quick glance at the news makes clear that true freedom from white supremacy has not been achieved. While scholarship around literacy narratives of canonical black authors is robust, little attention has been paid to the multi-modal illiteracy of white figures whose failures of reading re-inscribe racial oppression. My paper, "Reading to Dismantle: Citizen and Modes of the (Il)literacy Narrative in African American Literature," fills in a gap in scholarship by identifying three modes of literacy (academic, social, and critical) that have been necessarily mastered by black characters and literary figures for survival, while white figures have remained illiterate in these ways. My work examines these three modes of literacy as they are played out in racialized scenes from texts by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Nella Larsen, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Toni Morrison, Randall Kenan, and Ralph Ellison; I then focus on Claudia Rankine's 2014 hybrid text, Citizen, as an example not of a black literacy narrative, but of a white illiteracy narrative that identifies the real work to be done in dismantling white supremacy. I argue that modeling the identification and pursuit of white racial literacy, rather than black literacy narratives is the requisite next step in the work of racial justice. For generations, the field of African American Literature has laid the groundwork for the project of white racial literacy-- the time has never been more ripe to carry this forth this urgent work.

9:40 AM

Vocabulary Instruction in the Common Core Era: A Collective Case Study on Vocabulary Instruction in Fifth-Grade Classrooms

Farrukh Nazir

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

9:40 AM - 9:55 AM

This qualitative research study investigates how vocabulary instruction takes place in two fifth-grade classrooms from both teachers’ and students’ perspectives. Vocabulary knowledge possesses key importance in learning to read, academic success in all school subjects, and achievement in life beyond school (Graves, 2016. p.2). The fifth-grade is a critical period for successful transition to middle school. The change in the nature of text from narrative text in storybooks to informational text in the textbooks becomes a challenge for students to understand and successfully comprehend (Best, Floyd & McNamara, 2004). Due to the importance of vocabulary, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) also put an increased focus on the process of vocabulary acquisition. Shifts in the vocabulary instruction after the development of the CCSS is one of the six “shifts” because of the CCSS (Coleman, as cited in Graves, 2016). Recent vocabulary research has found that vocabulary instruction in classrooms is weak, thin, and not research-based (Carlisle, Kelcey & Berebitsky, 2013; Graves, 2016; Wright & Neuman, 2014). To investigate vocabulary instruction the theoretical framework for this study drew upon the situated learning theory proposed by Lave (1988) and the activity theory developed by Leontiev (1979), both of which are derived from Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. These theories provide a way to understand vocabulary instruction by focusing on instructional context, vocabulary activities, collaborative peer interaction, the interaction of the learner in the classroom with both teacher and students, purpose of instruction, and instructional strategies. This collective case study intends to identify how teachers teach vocabulary, strategies teachers use to teach vocabulary, and students’ perception of vocabulary instruction.

Data were collected through classroom observations in both fifth-grade classrooms for 200 hours and interviews from both teachers and students. Teachers in both classrooms were asked to identify six students total with strong, average, and weak reading skills to take their view of vocabulary. Within-case and cross-case analysis will be used to analyze data. The within-case analysis is the identification of themes and thematic analysis within each case, while cross-case-analysis is defined as thematic analysis across cases (Creswell, 2013). In collective case studies, the participants generally share some common characteristics, and the data is analyzed in both ways to discover converging, diverging, and novel themes (Creswell, 2013; Merriam, 1998, 2009).

Preliminary analysis reveals teachers use a variety of instructional strategies. Students interview analysis shows their diverse instructional needs and levels. This study is significant because of the use of a case study approach. Case studies are the best approach to investigate educational processes, problems, and programs to develop an understanding of the case and improve practice (Merriam, 2009). This study is also important because of the involvement of students in the study to understand their perspectives on vocabulary instruction in addition to the involvement of teachers. Moreover, the study is significant because it took perspectives from strong, average and struggling students. Findings of the study can be used as a guideline in devising vocabulary instruction to meet the instructional needs of students.

10:00 AM

Sorry, Not Sorry: Exploring Face Negotiation and Gendered Apologies

Callie Parrish, University of Montana, Missoula
Shanay Healy, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

10:20 AM

The Dakota Access Pipeline: Privatized Permitting and the Future of Industrial Megaprojects

James Robert Harper

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

10:20 AM - 10:35 AM

1:05 PM

Shifting Demographics in Swan Valley, Montana

jedd sankar-gorton, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

1:05 PM - 1:20 PM

In Swan Valley, Montana, there is a significant shift in demographics going on. A once strong resource extraction based economy shifted to a service, education, and construction based economy in the last 30 years. Real estate values and median age have increased significantly. A divide exists between groups perceived as the more educated newcomers and the longtime residents who feel their autonomy is shrinking. One of the many trends associated with this is amenity migration, which is the movement of people in pursuit of cultural and natural amenities. This trend and others associated with the demographic shift can have both negative and positive impacts on rural communities. What does that look like in the data though? Through the use of publicly available data collected through the Census and American Community Survey we can look quantitatively at these issues and find the fingerprint that this demographic shift has left on the community. An improved understanding of how these trends look in the data will allow better preparation for and response to them in the future.

1:25 PM

Effects of Depression Treatment Type on Public Stigma

Kali Diane Strickland, University of Montana - Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

1:25 PM - 1:40 PM

1:45 PM

“Ther Hewe Houndes on Cristen Men”: Reading Monstrosity and Contemplating Salvation in The King of Tars

Briana J. Wipf, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM

Medievalists who incorporate critical race theory and postcolonialism in their work have found in the fourteenth century Middle English romance The King of Tars a text ripe for interpretation. The poem features the marriage of a black Muslim Sultan and white Christian Princess who conceive a child, which is born a shapeless lump of “flesche…withouten blod and bon” (577, 579). Upon Christian baptism, this so-called monstrous birth transforms into a healthy baby boy, leading the sultan to request Christian baptism. When the sultan is baptized, “His hide that blac and lothely was / Al white bicom thurth Godes gras / and clere withouten blame” (922-24). The poem, with its emphasis on categorical differences of groups of people and even the difference carried by skin color, seems to invite a reading that considers race, or at least some sort of social mechanism that accounts for proto-racialization. While historians agree that the modern concept of race did not emerge until the fourteenth century, The King of Tars seems to support the argument of critics such as Geraldine Heng who argue that race-making mechanisms existed in the Middle Ages and that literary critics ought to interpret medieval texts with race in mind. My approach to The King of Tars takes the work of critics such as Heng, Lisa Lampert, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, and others seriously, but I also read The King of Tars as a text demonstrating deep ambivalence about difference. I apply monster theory in my reading, arguing that the text’s association of Muslims with dog-headed monsters places it amidst a genre of medieval art and literature that imagined unknown monstrous races at the edges of the known world. By participating in this genre, The King of Tars reinforces assumed differences between Muslims and Christians, but it is not that simple. The monster, according to Cohen in “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” is “difference made flesh, come to dwell among us” but also reveals “that difference is arbitrary and potentially free-floating, mutable rather than essential” (7, 12). Thus, by reading monstrosity it The King of Tars, I identity the ambivalence the text betrays about the physical differences of Christians and Muslims. Within that ambivalence is the implicit question – is our difference intractable, or is it merely superficial? My reading of The King of Tars is important both to understanding of difference in the Middle Ages but also to the ways in which contemporary American culture envisions “difference made flesh,” in the words of Cohen. The monster as a category continues to be deployed in contemporary American politics, most notably in the recent “travel ban” imposed by President Donald Trump in the form of two executive orders. While I do not directly discuss Trump and contemporary America in this paper, I argue that considering white America’s portrayal of the Muslim other through the lens of the longue durée is essential to understanding the full implications of contemporary political discourse.

2:05 PM

Dynamic, Reversible 3D Cell Culture Matrices

Kristian Stipe, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

2:05 PM - 2:20 PM

Three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures are becoming the research tool of the future as they closely mimic the physiological environment of cells. A major drawback of current 3D culturing systems is the inability to easily recover entrapped cells for subsequent analyses or subculturing. In this context, we developed a dynamic, reversible 3D cell culture system based on hyaluronic acid and gelatin. Our data so far indicate that the hydrogels are thixotropic, are stable at physiological temperatures, do not display significant amounts of swelling in aqueous environments, and are cytocompatible. Furthermore, these matrices allow for facile recovery of entrapped cells by simple centrifugation. Overall, our results indicate that these materials could potentially revolutionize the traditional cell culturing methods by enabling efficient, large scale, high throughput cell cultures in 3D.