Oral Presentations: UC 331
|Friday, April 27th|
Angels and Demons: A Southern Crusade for Equal Rights and Justice
9:00 AM - 9:20 AM
"You Know Where I Stand"- The Irish Catholic Response to the Boston Busing Crisis of 1974
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM
In 1974, a federal court order mandated busing in Boston Public Schools after decades of de facto segregation; in response, the city’s majority Irish Catholic population became unparalleled in their resistance to busing in comparison of the rest of the city and even in the face of their own diocese. In this essay, I argue that despite support for desegregation from most of the Archdiocese of Boston as well as the newly seated Bishop, Irish Catholics living in the area refused to support integration efforts via government intervention. Using the family first theology of Irish-American Cardinal William O’Connell as their justification, Irish Catholics rejected the gospel-based, pro-integration policies of the archdiocese. By analyzing the motivations of the anti-integration Irish through the lens of religion rather than race, this essay allows for a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind the actions taken. Most previous scholarship has focused on the racial aspect of the crisis. Though race played an important part in the resistance to the archdiocese, the religious motivations played a crucial role in the organization of anti-busing Catholics. My research newly exposes the link between the family first theology of O’Connell and parents’ decisions to send their children to Catholic schools during the anti-busing efforts. The organizers of these efforts grew up under this theology and were heavily influenced by O’Connell’s message of familial choice.
Fantasy versus Reality: A Twenty-First Century Film Series to Explore How the Absurdity of Alternate Realities Affects the Individual in the Audience
Courtney Wunderwald, University of Montana, Missoula
9:40 AM - 10:00 AM
The purpose of this study is to understand how film viewers contextualize on-screen alternate realities with their personal perspectives, and if that is accurately represented by scholarly film critique. I then compared my findings with filmmaker interviews, which discuss their reasons for including specific imagery, symbols, and characters to evoke certain emotions or reactions from their audiences. My project aspired to offer a method that might redefine how viewers reflect on films and to open a discussion to gather data from audiences before assuming their reactions to film critique. I was always fascinated by the power of cinema, particularly how absurd scenes stuck in my mind for years afterward and changed my perspectives on life. This project developed as I wanted to discover whether other viewers had similar reactions, or if they interpret the films completely different than I would have analyzed myself. I hosted a three-part film series of Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010), Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), and Richard Linklater’s Waking Life (2001) at the University of Montana in November 2017 and February 2018. Participants who attended the separate events took part in a forty minute discussion immediately after the film, as a form of my qualitative research. The discussion consisted of a set of open-ended questions to determine specific film aspects that were most important to the participants. I hypothesized that the viewers would find the most absurd or grotesque scenes to be most vividly memorable, but to compensate for the alienating nature of the alternate reality, they would subconsciously gravitate toward scenes depicting a positive human exchange or connection by overcoming negative struggles. I based my concept on the logic that the viewer has more firsthand experiences of human relationships rather than absurd dreamscapes and depicted character imaginations.
Creating Shift in Power and Gender Dynamics in Professional Cultures: Combatting Sexual Harassment Through Interdisciplinary Education
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM
The #metoo movement has taken our world by storm, and made the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and gender based violence in our workplaces both watercooler and dinner table conversation. As society reels from the daily accusations of assaults, attacks, and aggressions, we acknowledge that this is not a newly discovered problem in our country’s various industries, but an impromptu collective unveiling of a common cultural phenomena. Sexual harassment in the workplace was labeled as a form of discrimination decades ago, but here we are confronted with the reality that sexual harassment is still incredibly commonplace. Discriminations which have the potential to have a direct, negative effect on one half of our workforce must certainly have a dampening effect on vast swaths of our population. Drawing on scholarly articles from various business journals this paper will explore the history and current state of laws, policies and trainings designed to combat sexual harassment in our nation’s businesses. I will focus on an approach which aims to decrease gender based discriminations through leadership driven cultural change within our institutions. Because business leaders are being shaped through their college education, I will expand on the important role collegiate level education can play in proactively changing the cultural tides in power and gender dynamics in our institutions; particularly if we provide an interdisciplinary education to those who are seeking to become tomorrow’s leaders of industry. This paper encourages the development of an interdisciplinary course of study at the university level which weaves together Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Business programs for the purpose of arming our leaders with the skills with which to cultivate diverse, productive, professional environments where every person can fully and safely contribute.
Creating the Fourth Wave: The Evolution and Impact of the Black Athlete Protest
Reagan Colyer, University of Montana
10:20 AM - 10:40 AM
In 1968 in Mexico City, John Carlos and Tommie Smith became the subjects of a photograph that would become synonymous with Black Power the world over. Both athletes would be suspended from the US track and field team, and both would be ordered to leave the Olympic stadium—all for removing their shoes, unzipping their jackets, and raising a fist.
Before and since the 1968 Olympics, athletes of color have chosen to utilize the venue of major sporting events to voice their feelings on race relations, institutional racism, and systemic violence. But why do protests in athletic contexts garner the reaction they do? What goes into the orchestration of an athletic protest? And most importantly, have the choices made by John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Colin Kaepernick, and their ilk brought about any change in society’s conversations about race?
My research has centered on these telling questions. With assistance from Harry Edwards, who was a key orchestrator of both the 1968 Olympic protest and Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games beginning in 2016, I explore the impact athletes have had on sports and society at large, the repercussions they face and risks they run in speaking as they do, and the cultural and social legacy of the black athlete’s decision to protest.
I conducted the majority of my research through academic and journalistic means, exploring the nuances in putting together a protest, variations in public sentiment and reaction, and personal experience of the public and private actors involved. Hopefully this project can contextualize and quantify the changes that athletes like these have wrought, and give the basis for a prediction of what’s to come.
Rostov Undone: Jews, Gentiles, and the State Mediation of Anti-Semitic Violence
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM
The Possible Effects of Fluctuating Selection on the Gene RLG1A in Mimulus Guttatus (Yellow Monkeyflower)
4:00 PM - 4:20 PM
Rocky Mountain High: An Investigation of Downhill Snowspnorts and Marijuana Use
Silas Phillips, University of Montana, Missoula
4:20 PM - 4:40 PM
What comes to mind when you imagine a ‘stoner?’ Most stereotype the term– some couch-bound, chip-munching slouch with a foggy gaze (and perhaps a goofy grin). Marijuana and its chemical effects hold an increasing presence in American minds. With full legalization of recreational use in 8 states and various degrees of medical legality in 18 others, the substance is caught up in a cultural shift. Our society is tackling the ethicality of marijuana, and the stigmas built around the drug are changing. What was once cited for ‘reefer madness’ is becoming (to some) a medical treatment, or just another way to enjoy a Friday night.
Whether legal or not, people use marijuana for their own purposes– this is where my interest lies. The phenomenon I’ve found most engaging is this: people get stoned and hurl their bodies down a mountain on a pair of skis. Anyone who hits the slopes on the weekend can witness this, especially if you’re with the right cadre of college students. This intensely physical activity flies in the face of stereotypical stoner behavior. By asking the question “why do people ski/snowboard and use marijuana?” this paper ethnographically explores the culture of downhill snow-sports (skiing and snowboarding) and its interplay with the use and experience of marijuana. Data collection will be conducted through semi-structured interviews and participant observations. It will rely upon literature regarding the anthropology of drug use, biochemical aspects of marijuana, and ‘flow theory’ as outlined by the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Understanding drug use through an anthropological lens offers alternatives to our societal stigmas– I suggest the effects of the drug are not purely biochemically determined, but are also mediated by the user’s culture, environment, and intention.
Commissioning the Scanning Photoionization Microscopy Lab at the University of Montana
4:40 PM - 5:00 PM