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Friday, March 4th
9:00 AM

Burial, Mourning, and Death Practices Among African Americans in the American South 1848-1877

Chris Varney

UC 330

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

The discussion of death and death practices within the humanities discipline is crucial to our understanding of what it means to be human, grief, and historical injustices. Historical discussions of death practices help illuminate the changing values of society. Between 1848 and 1877 death was a prominent part of people’s lives, in no small part because of the American Civil War, but also because of the institution of slavery. Death practices were much different during this period than today and understanding how people historically treated the dead helps us to better understand the people themselves. Pieced together from memoirs, plantation ledgers, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church records, and newspapers is the study of burial, mourning, and death practices among African Americans in the American South 1848-1877 with the intention of exemplifying agency within these practices, contrasting these practices from Antebellum to Postbellum, and detailing both how these practices were influenced by enslavement and emancipation as well as how these practices influenced Southern culture more generally.

The Antebellum and Postbellum South experienced rapid change between the years 1848 and 1877. Perhaps most prominent among those changes was the emancipation of approximately four million enslaved Black people. Impacted by emancipation was the burial of the dead. It is important to understand that the ways in which enslaved and free Black people mourned and buried their dead could be tools of resistance. Holding funerals even when it was dangerous to do so, maintaining watch over the dead, and expressive displays of grief, enslaved and free Black people carved out their own practices distinct from white people. Through critique of white Christians, songs of mourning, and traditional West African burial customs Black people took back control of their narrative and resisted white supremacy. In the midst of sorrow, slavery, and unprecedented change Black people were able to validate their own humanity when the white South would not.

This study seeks to illuminate customs that were born out of necessity and represented self-affirmations of humanity in the face of violent white supremacy. Furthermore, this study is relevant because many of the funeral and religious customs that Black people practiced during this time period persist today. The origins of these burial customs are firmly rooted in West Africa, representing an unbroken link from past to present. When studies of Reconstruction, enslavement, and the Civil War era discuss death it is often a discussion of scale and brutality. The heart of this study is its assertion of the presence of humanity and agency within death and mourning.

9:20 AM

Separate and Inequal: Black American Sailors in WWII

Lance D. Foster

UC 330

9:20 AM - 9:35 AM

2022 GradCon Proposal

Separate and Inequal: Black American Sailors in WWII

Scholars and historians consider the United States military as being at the forefront of racial integration. Military service is supposed to be the ultimate example of citizens banding together for the common defense of the country. While there are many examples of the military creating a sense of racial equality throughout the two hundred plus years of the US, WWII gave light to racism and discriminatory practices in the US Navy. The events surrounding the explosion at the Navy base at Port Chicago, California on July 17, 1944 showed how the military acted contrary to its perceived reputation of inclusion by creating a hierarchy within the established military hierarchy. The events and practices placed the needs of the military ahead of the lives required of the personnel to maintain the mobilization and support systems for WWII through Port Chicago’s officers, training, safety culture, and view of Black American sailors.

Racism and discrimination are part of the complex history of Black Americans in the US and military. Shown by training records, government documents, and the pre-war careers of some of the key people involved in the conditions prior to the explosion. These sources show that Port Chicago had an environment of discrimination and almost criminal disregard for the lives of Black sailors. In the past, Port Chicago and events showing discrimination have focused primarily on the first-hand survivor accounts of those directly affected. In contrast, this paper will look at the both the larger picture of how Black sailors died as a result of decisions made by the Navy to satisfy the immediate needs of war with safety and equality as distant if not ignored factors.

In consideration of looking beyond the discipline of history, this paper will engage a wide audience by showing how popular opinion misperceives the military as being progressive in race relations. The conclusions drawn show that the macabre business of making war abroad came at a domestic cost, the trust of Black Americans. A deeper understanding of the duality of the experiences faced by Black Americans, we as a society can continue to see why there is mistrust that the government acts in the best interest of all citizens regardless of race. This paper looks into the crucible of race relations in the US through the lens of the military to show how those who volunteered for service faced unknown perils and threats far from the battlefields on the perceived safety of American soil.

11:00 AM

THE HERITAGE OF ENTITLEMENT: White Nationalism in American Politics

Isabella A. Brown, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

This essay will mainly focus on entitlement found in American government policy by white nationalists. What role does the behavior of white nationalists in politics have on understanding the power that ideology has on shaping American Heritage? Laura-Jane Smith emphasizes the importance of critical realism in identifying the structures at work to understand the social World that generates events and discourse (Smith 2004:58-62). By using the anthropological theory of rights and critical realism, I hope to explore the mindset of the far-right and the role they play in institutions. I hope to determine if White Nationalists are rightful heirs of the American past by looking at what heritage was pulled from during the insurrection by rioters. Janet Blake concluded that the identification of cultural heritage is a political act given its symbolic relationship to Culture and society in general (Connolly 2015: 40). I hope to understand how Michael Brown's theory of liberal pluralism, in which conflicts over values are inevitable when societies encompass groups that practice different ways of life, apply to American Culture (Brown 2013).

11:20 AM

How Political Parties Respond to Crisis: Lessons from the 1890s

Alan Okagaki, The University Of Montana

UC 330

11:20 AM - 11:35 AM

The United States is politically deeply polarized and this polarization has affected its ability to govern itself. Most Republicans believe that Joe Biden is not the legitimate U.S. president; the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol was unimaginable until it happened; and bi-partisan cooperation has largely disappeared in Congress for even routine functions. But this is not the first time the United States has gone through a political crisis that threatened the existence or fundamental aspects of the republic. The most consequential was the sectional-slavery disputes leading to the Civil War, but with that one exception, crises have resolved with the republic intact, albeit changed.

My presentation will be an analytic case history of another time of crisis, the 1890s, to learn how the American political system confronted crisis then, and to extract lessons that might be applicable today. Various academicians and popular writers have likened today’s politics to the 1890s. The 1890s were characterized by extremes of wealth and inequality, political corruption, and unconstrained power of corporations and trusts. The Panic of 1893 resulted in deep economic hardship and contributed to labor unrest. Immigration from eastern and southern Europe sparked Nativist backlash. Agrarian populist movements and radical left movements threatened the political order. Economic and political elites feared these forces might tear society apart.

The defining feature of my case history will be its combination of rigorous historical analysis with empirical, behavioral-based political science. It fits within the literature on American Political Development, a field that encompasses American history and political science. My research will emphasize political parties and Congress. In examining periods of crisis, most political history has gravitated to the role of presidential leadership. I am more interested in how political systems as a whole – as manifested in political parties, party systems, and Congress – have adapted in response to crisis. Also, I wish to understand the impact the parties had on the electorate as a whole. Did the parties exert any positive leadership to the mass public towards resolution of crisis, or did they solely throw gasoline on the fire for partisan gain?

Methodologically, the case histories will be guided by the political science literature on the causes of polarization in the United States, its manifestations in the electorate, and its impact on governance. That literature will point me to the events, trends, and processes of the 1890s that most closely parallel or are most germane to today’s political crisis. The most important historical source material will be the proceedings of the Democratic and Republican Party National Conventions for 1892, 1896, 1900, and 1904. Those proceedings contain all speeches delivered at the conventions, the party platforms, voting tallies, and transcriptions of committee and floor deliberations. I will examine other political party records as needed, as well as actions taken by Congress and the associated deliberations. My ultimate interest is to find lessons from history that can inform future action today. Thus, my presentation will conclude by commenting on insights from the 1890s that might inform our understanding of the 2020s.

1:30 PM

Measures of cardiovascular risk in wildland firefighters (WFFs)

MD ZAHID HASAN, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Measures of cardiovascular risk in wildland firefighters (WFFs)

Purpose: As the population across the western United States grows, and as fires increase in size and intensity, an increasing number of wildland firefighter operations are needed to protect vulnerable communities. WFFs are involved directly or indirectly in fire suppression activities and have high exposure to smoke and other risk factors including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These exposures affect respiratory health, cardiovascular health, and oxygen-carrying capability. Notably, cardiovascular health is implicated in a huge percentage of sudden deaths of WFFs both on and off the job. Several studies in this worker population have focused on acute health outcomes, but little is known about the long-term health risks among this group. We aim to test the hypothesis that WFFs have higher lifetime cardiovascular risk compared to a non-WFF comparison population A better understanding of cardiovascular risk among WFFs can inform prevention strategies to benefit the long-term health of this worker population.

Method: We will characterize cardiovascular risk among WFFs from medical screening examinations conducted by the Department of Interior Medical Screening Program (DOI MSP) between 2014 and 2018. Specifically, we will apply the measures of Body Mass Index (BMI), total cholesterol, smoking, blood pressure, blood glucose to calculate a cardiovascular risk score. The measures of every specific variable related to cardiovascular health and the cumulative risk scores among WFFs will be compared to the cardiovascular risk factors and score of NHANES population. For every specific continuous variable related to cardiovascular health, we will conduct two-sample t-test. Then we will conduct two binomial proportion test ( if nπ(1-π)≥5 for both groups) or fisher’s exact test (if nπ(1-π)groups) based on the overall cumulative cardiovascular health score to measure the significance of difference of cardiovascular health between these two population.

Originality: The findings from this study will help to understand the existing short and long-term health cardiovascular health risks among WFFs. From this assessment, we can then explore the association between the occupational history of WFFs and the cardiovascular risks and better estimate lifetime CVD risks. This study can also inform the design of a cohort study to reduce the mortality by diseases associated with the WFFs’ occupation and increase occupation-friendly safety measures. This study will be among the very first to explore the long-term health impacts of wildland firefighting in such a comprehensive way.

Significance: The increasing number of wildland firefighters each year calls for more attention on the health and wellbeing impacts of working in this profession. With a better understanding of the cardiovascular health of WFFs, firefighting agencies can take steps to reduce risk, benefiting the long-term health of WFFs.

1:50 PM

The Role of Adaptive Mutations in Mouse Adapted Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

Shanna S. Leventhal, University of Montana, Missoula; NIAID, NIH
David W. Hawman, NIAID, NIH

UC 330

1:50 PM - 2:05 PM

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV) is endemic in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The geographic distribution of CCHFV is expanding as Hyalomma ticks, the main carriers of the virus, migrate northward. Infection with CCHFV initially manifests with non-specific symptoms including fever, muscle pains, and nausea that may progress into a hemorrhagic phase characterized by severe bleeding throughout the body. The case fatality rate is reported to range between 9-50%. With increasing numbers of humans at risk, further understanding of how the virus causes disease is essential for developing effective therapeutics. Studies investigating the host and viral determinants of pathogenesis, however, have been constrained due to mouse models requiring mice to be deficient in initial innate immune responses to manifest CCHFV disease symptoms after infection. However, we have recently developed a mouse-adapted CCHFV (MA-CCHFV) which presents with disease similar to human CCHFV cases in fully immunocompetent mice. We hypothesize that adaptive mutations in MA-CCHFV have enabled the virus to overcome mouse innate immunity and cause disease in immunocompetent mice.

CCHFV is an RNA virus with three genomic segments. The S segment encodes the nucleoprotein (NP) and a non-structural protein (NSs) while the M segment encodes a large multi-unit protein which is later cleaved into two structural glycoproteins and three non-structural proteins. The L segment has largely unknown function(s) but does encode a protein required for viral replication. Compared to parental strain CCHFV-Hoti, MA-CCHFV has 6 mutations which result in changes to proteins encoded by the virus. Two mutations occur in the NP, one in the NSs, two in the M segment non-structural proteins GP38 and NSm and two in the viral L protein. These mutations likely indicate key proteins CCHFV uses as virulence factors to cause severe disease. To determine the role of these adaptations, we are examining the responses of human and mouse cell lines to infection with parental and MA-CCHFV strains. In addition, we can express the viral proteins independently of the virus to isolate the specific roles of these proteins and understand how they affect the initial immune responses in mouse cells. Understanding how these mutated proteins uniquely interact with the mouse immune system will help identify the host and viral determinants of CCHFV-induced disease. This will support new avenues of focus in CCHFV research to develop effective therapeutics and vaccines.

This research is funded by the Intramural Research Program, NIAID, NIH.

2:30 PM

Determining the Efficacy of Manual Therapies for Treatment of Headache and Dizziness: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Nicholas Verlanic, University of Montana, Missoula
Shane Murphy, Univesity of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Title: Determining the Efficacy of Manual Therapies for Treatment of Headache and Dizziness: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Purpose: Headache and Dizziness are two common symptoms in concussion patients. These two symptoms are often persistent and the limiting factors in return to play protocols. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the efficacy of different manual therapy treatments as a method of treating headache and dizziness.

Methods: We selected to search the database PubMed in October 2021. Studies eligible for inclusion were peer-reviewed articles in which the authors collected either visual analog scale (VAS) or numeric pain rating scale (NPRS) for headache and dizziness intensity. Articles could not be included in this systematic review if they were case review or reports, other systematic reviews/meta-analysis, or a narrative review. Pilot studies were also excluded from being included in this systematic review. To be eligible for inclusion articles had to be published in English. Studies that were identified by the original search were screened according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. One independent reviewer extracted the data from the 8 articles that cleared the screening process. The outcome measures that were collected from each article were (1) what form of manual therapy was used and (2) headache or dizziness intensity rated using either a VAS or a NPRS. 175 articles were identified through the database search of these 8 were included in this systematic review. Articles were grouped by whether they reported on headache or dizziness or both and what method they used to quantify intensity of the symptom in question.

Originality: As a systematic review we wanted to consolidate the best information for current and future clinicians.

Significance: With the growing use of manual therapies among athletic trainers the evidence of their use in patients suffering from either headache or dizziness needed to be evaluated.

Key Words: Visual analog scale, numeric rating scale, pain, balance, head injuries

2:50 PM

Comparing the Effectiveness of Different Modalities for Myofascial Pain Relief: A Systematic Review

Sola Yeager, University of Montana, Missoula
TediJo Pederson, University of Montana, Missoula
Dr. Shane Murphy, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

2:50 PM - 3:05 PM

Title: Comparing the Effectiveness of Different Modalities for Myofascial Pain Relief: A Systematic Review

Authors: TediJo Pederson, Sola Yeager, Dr. Shane Murphy

Purpose: Myofascial pain is a prevalent health problem faced by a large percentage of the general population. Prevalence of myofascial pain has been estimated to affect 46%-85% of the general population at some point during their lifetime. The objective of this systematic review was to compare the effectiveness of dry needling (DN), trigger point compression (TPC), and cupping at treating patients with myofascial pain.

Methods: In this systematic review, PubMed was used to search for literature pertaining to DN, TPC, and cupping in the treatment of patients with myofascial pain. No filters were applied to our PubMed search results. Our population of interest was anyone who was suffering from myofascial pain (MP) or pain stemming from myofascial trigger points (MTP) and received dry needling (DN), cupping, or trigger point compression (TPC). Visual analog scale (VAS) was chosen as an outcome measure in this systematic review. 63 peer reviewed articles met our initial search criteria. After reading titles, abstracts, and the full text, 16 articles met all inclusion criteria and were used in this study.

Originality: Currently, there is no published literature that compares the efficacy of DN, TPC, or cupping. By determining which modality is the most effective at treating patients with MTP or myofascial pain, clinicians can provide enhanced care and provide the patient with maximal pain relief.

Significance: DN and TPC were both shown to decrease pain in short-term periods. However, clinicians should treat patients with MTP or myofascial pain with DN as it was the only examined modality able to provide pain relief in both short-term and long-term periods. We cannot recommend cupping as an effective method to treat patients with MTP or myofascial pain due to a lack of literature. Clinicians who lack access to DN may use TPC, however, it is unknown how long TPC may relieve patients of pain.