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Art & Sustainability Fundraiser

Andrew L. Josten, University of Montana, Missoula
Brett Kaplan, University of Montana, Missoula
Tye Brown, University of Montana, Missoula

Visual and auditory art are incredibly powerful tools of expression. They have the ability to communicate influential ideas to the public in ways that otherwise cannot be expressed at nearly the same caliber. Artists of so many backgrounds, trades, talents, and mediums have been telling moral and ethical stories while emphasizing important societal subjects for years through theater, film, music, art, photography, writing, and so much more. With the impacts of climate change becoming ever more present, education, urgency, optimism, and courage are so essential to making necessary individual and societal change. In crises like this when experts and scientists tell us loud and clear what is wrong and what needs to be done, people often respond emotionally rather than rationally. Art is often an emotional communicator and can better persuade and inspire that population.

Given the pandemic situation, this project will be held at the UM Flat and will be a collaboration between artists of the UM and Missoula communities and the Climate Change Studies program that raises money for UM Sustainability projects such as refillable water bottle stations. Such an event could include original or unoriginal art works by artists of all disciplines: music, dance, photography, visual art, writing, and more. In order to quantify how well the event will communicate to and inspire those who come, a survey will be made available to visitors to measure their emotional responses to the artwork. This project draws ideas from past UM art shows organized by Nicky Phear, Project Earth, orchestrated by UM’s Dr. James Smart, and from art shows and exhibits around the world that seek to educate about climate change as we do. This exhibition will offer an expressive and educational environment open to creative ideas that communicate optimism, empowerment, necessary change, and urgency. Overall, this project is a framework for the Art and Sustainability fundraiser that will be held in Autumn 2020.

Best Therapeutic Techniques for Preventing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Firefighters/First Responders

Hannah DeBellis

The purpose of this study is to provide a condensed, concise list in which first responders can see the best therapeutic practices for them at this time. At this time, the rate of suicide for firefighters is approximately eight times higher than that of the average person. Given this rate, I am interested in doing a metanalysis to find which techniques and therapeutic methods are most effective and to find the empirical data to support their success. I will be gathering data from various sources such as the APA, Medical Journals, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), etc., and use SPSS to evaluate the frequencies of the therapeutic techniques. The significance of this topic is particularly special to me as my father has been a firefighter for over twenty-one years. I have seen first-hand how the stress of the job coupled with lack of mental health support can result in devastating outcomes. Because there is so much data out there, my goal is to do the meta-analysis and devise a concise list of the top therapeutic interventions and give the empirical data to support these techniques. Firefighters are the heroes of our society and I believe it is extremely important to provide the best help we can for this group of people. This group of individual’s sees traumatic events every day, and I believe it is necessary to start providing better, more efficient mental health help for these heroes.

Black Catholics: The Religious Experience of the Enslaved in the River Parishes of Louisiana, 1803-1865

Madeline Hagan, University of Montana, Missoula

In his 1906 work The Negro Church, W.E.B. Du Bois introduces the concept of the “veneer of Christianity.” Du Bois argues that before emancipation, Christianity did not belong to black Americans, and that the religious and spiritual practices observed by slaves was merely African traditional spirituality covered by an inauthentic mask of Christianity. The “veneer of Christianity” did not apply to the enslaved population of the Louisiana river parishes. Instead between 1803 and 1865, enslaved black Catholics in the Louisiana river parishes facilitated their own practice of Catholicism through the syncretism of traditional African spirituality and Catholicism, challenging the notion that Christianity was merely a veneer that masked traditional African spirituality. Utilizing a variety of sources including water color paintings, letters, and slave testimonials, this project seeks to show that, despite Catholicism being a white led religion in the river parishes, slaves were able to exercise some degree of freedom in their implementation of self-facilitated spirituality which included aspects of both Catholicism and traditional African spirituality.

Jane Austen's Influence on the Modern Novel

Abigail L. Nordstrom, University of Montana, Missoula

Although she is often touted as the author of “boring chick lit,” Jane Austen remains a literary giant who wrote six novels that are all designated as great classics. While each of her books, and characters, earned its place as a great classic with its own merits, Austen’s novel Emma has an impact that reaches well beyond the canons of classic literature. In this novel, Austen introduced a new concept: the unreliable narrator. By using an unreliable narrator, Austen trusted her readers’ ability to think critically and figure out the truth using context aside from the narrator’s perspective. In addition to this innovation, Austen also used free indirect discourse to create a new kind of storytelling in Emma, influencing fiction in a way that spans genres and time. Through research on the technical and stylistic aspects of her writing, I am exploring the impact of Austen’s Emma on the modern novel. I will specifically examine Austen’s use of free indirect discourse and the influence of Emma on books spanning time and genre, including Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and James Joyce’s The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Through my research, I have found parallels between these novels and Austen’s essential work perfecting free indirect discourse. My focus will be exploring Austen’s new brand of an unreliable narrator, specifically examining how it changed the nature of narration and established a phenomenon that would help define the modern novel.

Kim Williams: Professionalizing Domesticity in Montana and Abroad

Emmett Ball

Kim Williams was a renowned writer and naturalist living and working in Missoula, Montana in the 1970s and 80s. She gained national recognition for her regular guest appearances on National Public Radio’s program “All Things Considered,” where she offered home-spun lessons on frugality, naturalism, and happiness through simplicity. Williams’s professionalization of domesticity was the culmination of a lifelong battle in an attempt to reconcile her own personal conception of femininity against her conflicting aspirations for a professional career and a familial, domestic life. There is little scholarship analyzing Williams’s personal life, and no known scholarship has attempted to condense her life into an analytical biography. This paper has consulted Williams’s personal writings through three distinct periods of her life: working in the advertising field in Los Angeles, living as a domestic housewife in Santiago, Chile, and living in Missoula, Montana when she worked as a media personality and educator. These writings are found in the larger collection of the Kim Williams Papers, housed in the University of Montana’s Archives and Special Collections. Using her own words, the paper outlines Williams’s ongoing crisis of identity as she lives different lifestyles, attempting to balance social expectations with personal aspirations. Her eventual arrival at a personalized blend of media personality and Home Economics educator was an amalgamation of the conflicting interests in her life of domesticity and professionalism, a reflection of the conflict many women faced in the era of second-wave feminism.

Legal Interpretation

Mykaila Ashynn Berry

The purpose of this project is to provide a fresh and in-depth analysis of legal jurisprudence through the use of two of the most important legal theorists of our time, H. L. A. Hart and Ronald Dworkin. This project focuses on how Dworkin’s position in his famous paper “Hard Cases”, helps us understand an important Supreme Court case, Cohen v. California. Cohen will be the main focus of my project. The project will discuss the case and the possible ways of deciding the case. Then the project explains both Dworkin’s and Hart’s positions. Finally, the project will analyze how Dworkin’s position, helps solve the case and problem of legal jurisprudence exemplified by Cohen.

This project is one that I have spent both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 researching and analyzing. I have always had a curiosity to understand what law is. In the Fall of 2019 I completed an independent study that allowed me to spend time reading Dworkin and working through the different ways to interpret legal statutes. The impact that Dworkin made on me was that there seems to be principles that help guide how judges interpret the law, but these principles are very rarely ever written down. This pushed me to go further and to research the history of why philosophers started to discuss legal interpretivist.

The significance of this topic is that it is specific to my area of study. I am a philosophy major who intends to go to law school. In order to successful undertake such a task, I need to understand the reasons that guide judicial decision makers in interpreting laws in particular ways. I believe the position Dworkin espouses allows legal scholars to go deeper to understand what exactly goes into a judicial decision. By revealing how underlying normative principles of our legal system guide legal decisions.

Margaret Van Fleet: Clubwoman, Educator, Suffragist

Rachel Gebhardt, The University Of Montana

Margaret Van Fleet: Clubwoman, Educator, Suffragist

Margaret Van Fleet, a resident of Larimore, North Dakota from 1910 to 1920, was a well-known district organizer for the suffrage cause. I am exploring Van Fleet’s educational background as well as her reform activity in Progressive-era North Dakota through my research in federal census records, local newspapers such as the Ward County Independent, and period publications such as Public Documents of the State of North Dakota, The Register of Women's Clubs, and the Debris Yearbooks from Purdue University, her alma mater. Like other women of her generation, Van Fleet was involved in many activities and clubs. While enrolled at Purdue University between 1899 and 1902, Van Fleet was involved in multiple clubs such as the Philathean Literary Club, a Wood Carvers Club, and the Young Women’s Christian Association, which possibly introduced her to the suffrage movement. After graduating from Purdue with a Bachelor’s in Science, Van Fleet was employed as a teacher at the Normal School in Minot, North Dakota, which, along with her work as secretary for the North Dakota Anti-Tuberculosis Association, gave her a reputation throughout the state that she was able to use to promote the suffrage cause. Her youthful activities and subsequent career as a district suffrage organizer will expand our knowledge of what progressive-era women were passionate about and how they went about initiating systemic change in North Dakota. The research will allow us to understand Mrs. Van Fleet’s life as a lesser-known suffragist, which will give us a better understanding of western women’s reform activities.

Native Prairie Restoration on Campus

Sylvia Wood, University of Montana, Missoula
Henry Deluca, University of Montana, Missoula
Dominique Nault, University of Montana, Missoula

Native Prairie Restoration

Water conservation is a continuously growing issue across Montana due to fewer days of summer rainfall and increasing temperatures year-round. Even though Missoula sits upon its own aquifer, as wintertime snow pack diminishes, so too does its surety of being fully replenished. One major source of water consumption is the traditional lawn. Kentucky bluegrass lawns are abundant on the University of Montana’s campus, using an estimated 1,246,000 gallons of water every time the turf is fully saturated. Removing even a small portion of lawn is an effective way to reduce water consumption.

The University of Montana Climate Solutions class has created a detailed plan to extend the Ethnobotany Garden surrounding the Payne Native American Center to the space north of the International Studies building by removing the lawn and replacing it with perennial, drought-tolerant native plants. We initially planned to execute this restoration in the spring of 2020, but have been forced to postpone due to campus closure and stay-at-home orders resulting from the current COVID-19 crisis. Once the pandemic passes, we will be planting Idaho Fescue, golden currants, arrowleaf balsamroot, chickweed, blanketflower, and several other native species.

Natural prairie restoration on campus will not only combat water waste, but also restore the natural habitat of the Missoula valley, promote native pollinators, and decrease emissions from lawn-mowing. Gas-powered lawn and garden equipment are a potent source of greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollutants including volatile organic compounds, carcinogenic exhaust, fine particulate matter, and criteria pollutants. Hundreds of pounds of pollutants are generated each year just to maintain UM’s lawns. Meanwhile, native xeriscaping requires no mowing and actually sequesters carbon instead. By restoring this space, we are cutting emissions and adapting to a changing climate while restoring Missoula’s cultural identity.

On Angels’ Wings: Tokareva and Ulitskaya's Use of Idolatry

Courtney Bentz, University of Montana, Missoula

In his essays on Greek deities, Ralph Waldo Emerson declared: “Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” While the idea of gods taking a corporeal form or angels walking among humans is a common literary trope, seldom do mortal characters find themselves compared to the divine without negative repercussions. Select post-Soviet women writers, however, flip this trope to explore the opposite. They instead embrace the human as holy, restrained by little consequence, as a means to highlight its destructive qualities in the context of an intimate relationship. These contemporary authors, Viktoria Tokareva and Lyudmila Ulitskaya, incorporate human divinity as a major thematic aspect in two of their short stories. By attributing divinity to their male partners, the characters of Tokareva and Ulitskaya demonstrate the danger in holding one’s partner to unrealistic standards.

Using Mary Ann Stenger’s critical theory on idolatry of the sexes as a point of departure, I will first examine the presence of idolatry in relationships, in addition to its similarities to objectification. Additionally, through research on each author’s background, I will establish a connection between post-Soviet women writers and themes of isolation and relationship conflict that often feature in their works. Ultimately, by introducing idolatry as a means of conflict, Tokareva and Ulitskaya provide commentary on the consequences of objectification in relationships. In Tokareva, idolatry robs a couple of the chance to be happy together, and in Ulitskaya, idolatry becomes a tool of abuse. This drives the male into isolation, alienating him entirely from society and preventing him from leading a fulfilling life.

Phillis Wheatley and Judith Sargent Murray: Revolutionary Founders in Women's Political Activism and Women's American Literary Tradition

Rebecca Warwick

During the Revolutionary War the dominant belief, held by men and women alike, was that women did not possess the mental capacity or intelligence for politics. Many perceived that women were strictly domestic beings, and therefore could not participate nor contribute to the inherently political war effort. Nonetheless, a few brave women such as Phillis Wheatley and Judith Sargent Murray insisted on participating in the political dialogue of their new nation through their poetry.

Through the respective lenses of gender and race, Murray and Wheatley used their literary skills and intellectual abilities to engage with the themes of patriotism, freedom and religion within their poetry. Ultimately, they shaped the nation’s broader political dialogue, pushed gender boundaries, and aided in strengthening the foundation and growth of women’s American literary tradition.

Thanks to the rise of the study of women’s history in the 1970s, there is no scarcity of secondary scholarship on politically active women in New England during the Revolutionary War. Although I engage with these broader historical dialogues, for the purpose of this research paper, I primarily focus on primary sources as they pertain to Judith Sargent Murray and Phillis Wheatley, such as their published works, birth and death certificates.

Relative to their politically active and revolutionary peers, Murray and Wheatley stand out as two women who took advantage of the opportunities they received and shared similar achievements in life despite their different backgrounds. Both led extraordinary lives and expanded the arena of possibility for women during the Revolution.

Progress and Patriarchy: Female Students at the University of Montana 1918-1922

Natalie Mongeau

Physical Education student Lillian Christensen embodied the reality female students faced while pursuing higher education at the University of Montana in the 1920s. Known as “co-eds,” women were expected to be more than just successful in academics. Coeds were expected to pursue women-acceptable majors, attend clubs, organize events, and participate in the campus traditions that all reinforced gender standards. Essentially, the ideal coed was expected to succeed at everything while their academic achievements were seen only as a path to their ultimate role of wife and mother. Even while women were achieving significant victories for women's rights in the 1920s, coed students were engaged in balancing ingrained social expectations with social progress. In many ways, Lillian Christensen demonstrated a forward progression of women's rights; she was an independent adventurer, a five sport athlete, and a campus leader. She was able to push those limits because she also modeled acceptable social behavior. She participated in clubs, attended formal dances, and led campus traditions. Lillian Christensen's life at UM reflects the experience of other ordinary women students who spent their life balancing their obligations to both social progress and patriarchal traditions.

Re-interpreting a Complex Maya Burial at Tutu Uitz Na

Justine Marie Bye, University of Montana, Missoula

In 2017, John Walden led an excavation of the Tutu Uitz Na intermediate elite center, found in the Maya site of Lower Dover, Belize. He and his team uncovered two burials, designated SG1-BU2 and SG1-BU3. Their initial report claims that there were three individuals, all sacrificially bound and killed within an eastern triadic shrine. In 2019, Dr. Kirsten Green-Mink and Justine Bye, both of the University of Montana, re-analyzed the Tutu Uitz Na burials and performed a comprehensive bioarchaeological analysis. SG1-BU2 was found to contain three individuals – 2 adults and 1 subadult. SG1-BU3 contained one adult, likely of high status as they presented cranial and dental modifications. None of the individuals were found to have any binding material, nor did the layout of the skeletal elements strongly validate a sacrificial theory. We propose that alternative scenarios be considered in explaining the presence of these interments in the Tutu Uitz Na eastern triadic shrine. The purpose of the 2019 analysis is to better explain mortuary behavior and the identities of those interred within the highly ritualized space of the eastern triadic shrine.

The Great Turning: A Call for Systems Thinkers

Gabriella M. DeMarce, University of Montana, Missoula

David Orr, in an article on ecological intelligence reminds us that the modern world was shaped by people who did not understand that our social and economic systems could not coexist with the rest of the biological or natural systems on Earth (Orr, 1994). My research is rooted in Orr’s argument and discovering ways to shift this degrading paradigm. With my belief in the power of education in empowering youth and my background in environmental and climate change studies, I see a future in great need of people who holistically understand the functions of all types of systems and can use that understanding to drive intelligent and innovative interactions with them. The purpose of the study was to gain insights from educators around Missoula County in Montana about their perception of systems thinking principles and methods and its role in classroom learning. A mixed-method, 16-question survey was distributed out to K-12 educators around Missoula from various elementary, middle and high schools as well as a few independent schools. The responses suggest that although the majority of educators believe systems-thinking integrated into the classroom is important, many either don’t understand it or can’t move beyond an abstract understanding. It also suggests that some educators utilize systems-thinking methods for classroom activities but don’t necessarily identify it as such. Based on these findings, more research is recommended to confirm and compare the data to other schools around the country with the same standards and with other countries with different standards. The next step is to explore how to successfully integrate systems-thinking principles into the standard classroom setting, which may include additional teacher training and adjusted standards, and continuing to evaluate its outcome on students understanding, decision-making, and critical-thinking in the face of climate change.

The People and the Handaxe: A Look at Acheulean Tool Manufacture

Deborah Jean Dhue, University of Montana, Missoula

The People and the Handaxe: A Look at Acheulean Tool Manufacture


The Acheulean tradition is one of the most refined stone tool technologies in human prehistory. It also represents the second oldest tool making tradition in the history of early humans. Following the Oldowan, evidence of the Acheulean is found across much of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Acheulean tradition is represented by symmetrical handaxes that were used for the butchering and processing of animals along with a variety of other tools including scrapers on flakes. While we know little about the socio-economic organization of the hominins responsible for the Acheulean tradition, stone tools, faunal remains, and site contexts have provided insights into their lives.

Much is still unknown about the production and use of these tools, and even less is known about the people themselves, including linguistic capabilities and cultural traditions. This presentation makes use of processual-plus theoretical perspectives, to address the manufacture of Acheulean handaxes in order to derive insights into Acheulean ways of life with a particular focus on land-use patterns in North Africa.

The landscape of the Sahara has shifted dramatically throughout the geologic time. Knowing how humidity levels have changed the grazing patterns of herbivores in the region can help us understand the hunting patterns of hominins, specifically the populations associated with the Acheulean. Seeing their relationships with herbivores and the landscape, we can address the role of hunting in Acheulean subsistence economies. One approach to this problem is to examine relationships between the projected geo-spatial positions of ecological productive patches and concentrations of Acheulian cultural materials.

The Story of Wyoming v. United States: The Law and Politics of Federalism at the National Elk Refuge

Garrett P. Musso

The question “who owns wildlife?” has plagued the United States since before its conception. The very act of owning something wild seems paradoxical, let alone managing something wild. Federal bodies of law, such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Park Service Organic Act or the National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act, dictate that wildlife falls under public ownership, while state governments commonly endeavor to assert sovereign ownership of wildlife on the basis of doctrines like the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and tribal entities advocate for common ownership and access to wildlife resources based upon traditional uses and treaty rights.

Although principles of federalism (which are embedded throughout public law) encourage federal, state, and tribal agencies to work concertedly towards productive wildlife management, competing interests and conflicting values cripple any sense of cooperation. As a result, valuable resources and public funds are lost to litigation, incompatible management strategies, and bureaucratic trappings. The story of Wyoming v. United States exemplifies the tension resulting from the complex nature of wildlife law, specifically where state interests collide with federal interests. While the courts made clear that federal agencies retain final decision-making authority, the practical implications of properly exercising that authority remain muddled.

This discussion will focus on articulating the importance of federalism in understanding the law and politics of wildlife management in the United States. Through the review of legal documents, court rulings, scholarly articles, agency plans, and other related sources, this analysis will identify the key issues that contributed to the litigation in Wyoming v. United States and will discuss how pervasive those issues remain nearly two decades later

Traditional Health and Science at Fort Belknap

Sydney Akridge, University of Montana, Missoula

Historically, indigenous people living in the U.S. were not legally allowed to use or practice traditional healing methods that they had been using for many years before North America was settled by Europeans and many years before the United States government was formed. The Indian Health Service clinics and hospitals also did not historically offer traditional health services. Before the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the federal government could convict practitioners of traditional healing. Today, health centers like the Southcentral Foundation in Alaska and the Seattle Indian Health Board have clinics specifically for traditional health services. The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center has also been adding traditional health services and education. In Montana, out of the 8 reservations in Montana, 6 reservations have a hospital or clinic ran by IHS, and two reservations compacted to run their own clinics. As part of the JRNL 411 Reporting Native News project, I will be looking specifically at Fort Belknap under the scope of “science and its interaction with tribal culture.” I want to look at traditional health under the lens of science and culture. Traditional health has many aspects. Currently, at the Fort Belknap reservation, the demonstration farm that is part of the Aniiih Nakoda College grows many different plants including some that can be used for traditional medicine, and the Fort Belknap Unit Hospital run by IHS is hiring a traditional healer and counselor. During my research, I will speak to members of the Fort Belknap reservation, people at the Fort Belknap Unit Hospital and other traditional health experts around the country. My research and feature story that I produce will show the accessibility, purpose and result of traditional health options on the Fort Belknap reservation.

VALIDE SULTAN: The Power of the Ottoman Queen Mothers in the 16th and 17th Century

Madison A. Derendinger

The Ottoman Empire had its roots as a Turkish frontier kingdom on the edges of Constantinople, the grand city of the East Roman Empire. Ottoman Sultans were warriors, or Gazi’s in Turkish and military conquests were a given. Sons of the Sultans were to be raised diligently by their mothers in faraway provinces, to be judged on his skill in statecraft. When Constantinople fell, the Sultans and their kingdom became centered around the city—subsequentially, the empire grew urbanized. Military expansions slowed after Suleiman I (1566) and the influence of the imperial harem grew. The leading player inside the imperial harem was the Valide Sultan, the Sultans mother. Her duty stayed the same, to raise future Sultans. But now that the center of Ottoman power was sedentarized in Istanbul, Valide Sultan’s took advantage of their proximity.

Failed military expansions and lack of worldly experience from the new Sultans, lead them to retreat further into their harems, away from their duties of kingship. With this vacuum of power, Valide Sultans, incrementally redefined their role of power, as women, in an Islamic empire. Through notable Valide Sultans of this period (1533-1687 AD), I will show how these women used both the Ottoman-Islamic matriarchal structure of childrearing and running the imperial harem, along with the patriarchal system of Sultanic domestic power to increase their position and political prestige within the empire.

Often, in the west, the Islamic veil is seen as a symbol of women’s subordination. The use of the Valide Sultan is not to exaggerate the limitation Islamic women face(d), but rather to show the nuance of power in both the public and private sphere. The Valide Sultan’s teach us the permeability of the patriarchal power structure within the Ottoman Empire.

Zero Waste Education

Zoe M. Transtrum
Adison Thorp
Grace Stavich
Christian Fauser

Climate change is a global crisis that calls for local action. When it comes to reducing our impact on the Earth and its climate, Zero Waste has become a strong mitigation strategy because solid waste generates greenhouse gas emissions, increases the city’s carbon footprint, and impacts the quality of living. Zero Waste looks to reduce the amount of waste coming in and out of a system, prioritizing upstream solutions and providing avenues so no waste goes to the landfill. In February 2016 the City Council of Missoula adopted the Missoula Zero Waste Resolution to reduce its landfill disposal 90% by 2050. As of right now, the University of Montana has yet to commit to the city’s goal of Zero By Fifty. However, UM’s participation in this ambitious goal is crucial. Our team’s goal is to conduct research and form an educational strategy to aid the UC Food Court in going Zero Waste. Education is a crucial component of Zero Waste, as it requires a knowledge of correct waste disposal and calls for an overall cultural shift on campus. Educating the students at UM is necessary for Zero Waste to be successful and become an integral part of campus culture so it can continue in the future and inspire other sustainable changes on campus and beyond. Our project looks to create an educational campaign around Zero Waste to help UM campus become more resilient in the face of climate change.