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Friday, April 15th
4:00 PM


Jake Yerger

UC 332

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

As it pertains to Native Americans, the tension between the law and society has, over time, resulted in significant political and legal consequences. My paper examines the evolution of tribal sovereignty under federal law in an attempt to uncover some of the prevailing historical causes of the unique status of Native Americans under the law, and how history has played its role in determining social conditions on tribal lands. I maintain that the rhetorical construction of European self-identity contributed to the perception of native peoples as existing apart from white society in the United States from the colonial era onward. Work by several scholars of rhetoric and political discourse is presented to demonstrate how the collective self-identity of a people can be constituted through discourse, and how that discourse can determine the actions of a given people. The work of Maurice Charland, who first edified the theory of constitutive rhetoric, is given primacy in this discussion.

In the case of Europeans in North America, a discourse which promoted the primacy of the colonizing nation, combined with the hostility of Native Americans to the establishment of colonies on the Atlantic coast, led to a perception that native peoples existed at odds with civilization. Examination of US Supreme Court decisions, legislation enacted by Congress, and the experiences of Native Americans as documented by historical case study demonstrate that this attitude remained intact after Native American lands became part of the United States. Statistical data and other scholarly work suggest that this perception is partly responsible for the social conditions in which Native Americans now live.

4:20 PM


Jacob Allington

UC 332

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

Indonesia, a country once characterized by rampant poverty and stagnant economic growth, is now home to the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Much of Indonesia’s economic success was fueled by the dramatic increase in economic growth that began in the 1970s. Surprisingly, this growth was accompanied by systemic corruption. While such an occurrence may be an anomaly, a number of economists hypothesized that corruption may actually lead to increased economic growth long before there was any real-world growth pattern to substantiate it. This view of corruption, which is known as the “corruption as grease theory,” has been the subject of much debate and while most economists believe it has been disproved, it may hold true given certain conditions. Much of the previous literature attempts to evaluate the corruption as grease theory using either a case-study approach or an applied theoretical approach. My analysis is different since I conduct a cross-section analysis of corruption and growth using a large swath of countries in a variety of developmental stages in an attempt to uncover the conditions under which corruption may prove beneficial. In my model, GDP growth serves as the dependent variable and corruption serves as the key independent variable. The control variables change depending on the version of the model but pertain to one of the following categories—capital, education, geography, health, natural resources, institutions, technology, or infrastructure. Whether corruption is wholly detrimental to economic growth or partially beneficial, it continues to be a major part of global economic activity.

4:40 PM


Ariel Teresa Leigh Petersen

UC 332

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Since their domestication, dogs have played an important role in human society. People put them to work hunting game, herding livestock and guarding the home, and also keep them as companions. As dogs increasingly occupy a meaningful position in the lives of their owners, the startling lack of research on dog-human interaction becomes increasingly apparent.

This research discovers different ways people relate to their dogs, and the meaning dogs hold for their owners. While conducting observations, I identified and interviewed owners who exhibited an emotionally meaningful attachment to their dogs. I then used Glaser and Strauss’ grounded theory approach to analyze the data. The observations and in-field interviews I collected in public, dog-friendly places allowed me to gain insight into the relationships between dogs and their people.

Owners in my study tended to adopt their dogs for a variety of reasons, including for companionship, as a replacement dog, and as a precursor to parenthood. Dogs also provided access to meaningful relationships with others, as when owners stated they often socialized with other dog people. They also described structuring their lives and everyday routines around their dogs. Through the language they used, owners conveyed a sense that their dogs were members of the family and had individual desires, preferences, and rights not unlike those we ascribe to humans. The idea that dogs possess rights similar to those of humans suggests that some dog owners hold a worldview akin to deep ecologists: that humans are equal, rather than superior, to other animals.

5:00 PM


Alyssa Rabil

UC 332

5:00 PM - 5:20 PM

In the quest to become an excellent journalist, sometimes the most basic aspects of human behavior are sacrificed. I want to examine the moral implications of asking a journalist to go into an area where people are in need and not offer any help. Is it realistic to believe that journalists are always part of the background and never interfere or play a part in the story? Do journalists become “part of the story” thereby risking the objectivity of the story as soon as they help? Does having a journalist in a disaster area have an effect on the outcome of the situation? Some argue that, in a disaster area, it is possible to devote time to helping people without that taking away from solid reporting. Others say that being a journalist is constant and that being an aid worker is not part of the job description. Is there value in experiencing the situation fully by becoming personally involved or does this always create bias that will later influence the story? I will examine this topic from a philosophical and professional perspective and support my conclusions with stories from sources who have been in this kind of ethical situation. I will speak with experienced philosophers who study theories of morality and ethics and I will closely examine the teachings of philosophers, including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to determine whether a basic guideline for human behavior exists. I will also draw on the personal experiences of seasoned journalists and I will examine their behavior in times of crisis when people are in need. I aim to find out if humans have a basic obligation to help, and if we do not, what kind of emotional damage is done by recording, photographing, or writing about pain without stopping pain.