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Friday, April 22nd
9:00 AM

African American Women's Sisterhood Found in Political Organization: Perspectives from the Late Nineteenth-Century United States

Camdyn Averey Hitchcock, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

This paper shows that despite being excluded from white women’s sisterhood, African American women created their own sisterhood through the formation of political organizations in the nineteenth century. While reading about how Southern White women bonded over and created a sisterhood around their mutual distaste for African American women and the woman’s sphere, I realized African American women had to create their own sisterhood. Through research into sources such as cartoons, poem books, and suffrage convention minutes, I found that the majority of their sisterhood revolved around the creation of suffrage political organizations. I began by researching Southern White sisterhood and found that they also bonded through suffrage organizations. However, they continued to exclude African American women from these organizations. I then moved on to African American Suffrage organizations and found that a sisterhood was created through these organizations. After explaining both sides, I analyzed why sisterhood was crucial for the suffrage movement for African American women and why the suffrage movement was crucial for creating an African American sisterhood. This project contributes to my field of study, the African American Studies Program, by showing that African American women rose above the ostracization and created a sisterhood that did not revolve around slavery. Throughout my studies, I’ve learned about white sisterhood and the white woman’s sphere. I’ve also learned about African American women creating a sisterhood through slavery by watching each other’s children while the mother was working. However, I never read or learned about how this sisterhood evolved after the abolition of slavery. My research shows that these women did not let the oppression of slavery negatively impact their inner societies like sisterhood, which is what previous research suggests.

9:20 AM

The Cult of Domesticity and its Effects on African American Women in the Northern United States from 1820-1860

Cassidy Ann Vandervoort, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

Throughout the early to mid-nineteenth century, the Cult of Domesticity thrived in both southern and northern middle-class homes in the United States. Women of all races were expected to focus on the building and strengthening of the home and family, and African American women were no exception. In this paper I seek to explain the environment African American women were living under in the Cult of Domesticity and how African American men shaped and perpetuated the ideal of True Womanhood in their communities. I will use a collection of primary and secondary sources. Primary sources will focus on journal entries, personal narratives, and autobiographies of African Americans living and traveling throughout the north during this time period. This paper will rely heavily on African American newspapers in the North. These newspapers, written primarily by Black men, will be used to show the pressure on Black women to maintain and uphold the Cult of Domesticity not only within their homes, but also within their communities. Following the era of Republican Motherhood, the Black community hoped to integrate into white social norms, as shown in articles written by women. Using secondary sources, I will discuss specific African American women throughout the period who dealt with the consequences of the Cult of Domesticity. I will also discuss Black men’s desire to uphold this cultural norm while generally not being able to financially support their families on a single income. African American women in the North were unable to conform to the Cult of Domesticity due to the lack of higher wages for Black men during the period, forcing most Black middle-class homes to need not one, but two, incomes.

9:40 AM

Caution in Stalin's Wake: Perspectives of American Leaders

Keegan Sorelle Lundman, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM

President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to the White House with as much experience in military and diplomatic affairs as anyone who has held the office. From the very beginning of his first term, he faced challenges that put his experience to good use. The death of Josef Vissarionovich Stalin on March 5, 1953, created tensions for Eisenhower’s administration that hardly abated until the Geneva Summit in July of 1955. Throughout the succession struggle in the Kremlin, Eisenhower and his administration worked diligently to understand the complicated dynamics of the Soviet power hierarchy. Complicating factors for understanding what was happening in Moscow included the changing of titles, a profound lack of transparency, and shifting meaning to existing positions of power. Throughout the succession struggle that followed Stalin’s death, Eisenhower’s approach to the Soviet Union was marked by wise and measured caution. From the outside, Eisenhower’s bold speeches and plans for collaborative peace-making may have seemed almost too daring in the face of so much uncertainty. In reality, however, the President carefully considered and discussed every speech, press release, and meeting, and he acted only after an incredible amount of caution and forethought.

10:00 AM

A Means to Oppression and Resistance: An Examination of the Role of Rum in Jamaican Slavery During the Late Eighteenth Century

Kali Zaglauer, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

Across human history, alcohol has operated as a driving force behind the development of economies, societies, and historical events. In the eighteenth century, sugarcane was produced on a massive scale in the Caribbean on slave plantations and then went through a distillation process to become the consumable currency that is rum. This liquid gold was used to purchase anything from more alcohol to human beings. Jamaica, colonized by the British in 1655, was one of the main sources of sugar cane and thus became one of the most chief colonies for the production of rum. My paper explores the place and role of rum in Jamaican slavery. More specifically, I focus on the question of how rum affected the relationship between the enslaved and the enslavers in Jamaica and how it affected the daily lives of enslaved Jamaicans. It draws on my research into primary sources such as British newspapers, slave narratives, fugitive advertisements, and records regarding Jamaican rum plantations. It also draws on previous scholars’ work on the relationship between alcohol and slavery in the British Americas. Rum, slaves, and the Caribbean all are intertwined in a deep relationship, but many of the complex aspects remain woefully under-explored. My overall objective will be to display the effect producing and interacting with rum had on the daily lives of the enslaved and how rum simultaneously aided and inhibited their freedoms of autonomy and expressions.

10:20 AM

Differences in Childhood Bullying Experiences and Self-Harm and Suicidality Across Subgroups of Sexual Minorities

Jesse Jewell, The University Of Montana

UC 330

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

Sexual minorities (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer) are at greater risk for childhood bullying, self-harm, and suicidality than the heterosexual population. Research has also shown that bullying victimization is related to increased negative mental health outcomes. Additionally, some subgroups of sexual minorities, such as bisexuals, have been reported to experience higher rates of adverse mental health than their gay and lesbian peers. However, less is understood about how the relationship between childhood bullying and deleterious mental health may impact different subgroups of sexual minorities.

The current study examined responses from 1,507 sexual minority participants in the Generations: A Study of the Life and Health of LGB People in a Changing Society dataset (Meyer, 2020). Sexual minority participants were grouped into four categories (i.e. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and ‘additional’; ‘additional’ was comprised of queer, pansexual, asexual, same-gender loving, anti-label, and other) to investigate if the relationship between childhood bullying and self-harm and suicidality differs between subgroups. The study analyzed the relationships between reported childhood bullying experiences and three mental health outcomes: frequencies of engaging in self-harm, experiencing suicidal ideation, and making a suicide plan. Results indicate that no significant differences between sexual minority subgroups were found. This highlights that childhood bullying relates to similar levels of harmful mental health consequences across all sexual minorities regardless of which subgroup they identify as. These results point to the need for equally supportive and effective interventions for sexual minorities that experience bullying in order to ameliorate potential mental health challenges including suicidality.

1:40 PM

Graduation Rates and Property Taxes in Montana Impacting Accessibility to Education

Abigail K. Robideaux, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

  1. The question being asked is how property taxes correlate with graduation rates in Montana and if there is a way to change the funding of the education system to increase accessibility to higher education.
  2. The purpose of this research is to advocate for changing how the education system is funded. Currently, public schools are being funded based off the property taxes in a certain neighborhoods and counties and there is greater need to understand how those numbers relate to who is graduating where. The intention is to collect this data so in the future, students who have higher need of assistance will get the help so they can graduate.
  3. The methods being used are having conversations with local public-school officials to gather data as well as analysis of peer reviewed articles. The data that counties have collected on their student’s graduation rates and W-2 information for property taxes is where a lot of the information is coming from but due to a lack of information being at one resource, multiple officials have helped in the process of gaining all the data.
  4. This work is significant because it will lead to more awareness of how the education system functions in relation to funding as well as provide insight on how many students are graduating. The goal is to collect enough data to have an impact on where funds are being sent, eventually leading to more students graduating as well as help in the process, leading to greater access to higher education, which in turn, helps the economy and the state of Montana as a whole.

2:20 PM

Learning to see human: universal aspects and cultural variations in the development of anthropomorphism

Kit Smith

UC 330

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

Anthropomorphism is the tendency to attribute human characteristics (i.e. emotions, intentions) to nonhuman animals, technologies, and nature. This disposition varies by individual, but there may be factors that contribute to one’s tendencies. The current study investigates cultural contributions to the development of individual anthropomorphism by assessing the anthropomorphic tendencies of children and adults from China and Canada. The Chinese sample included children (4-6 years; N=299) and adults (16-28 years; N=294); the Canadian sample included children (4-6 years; N=103) and adults (17-52 years; N=158). All participants were administered the Individual Differences in Anthropomorphism Questionnaire - Child Form (IDAQ-CF), a 12-item measure assessing individual differences in the tendency to anthropomorphize nonhuman entities. The scale ranges from no attribution to full attribution - children responded on a 4-point scale and adults on a 10-point scale. To test for cultural differences, I ran independent-samples T-tests for both the child and adult samples, and repeated-measures ANOVA, with culture and age group as the between-subjects factors and IDAQ-CF subscales (animals and technology/nature) as the within-subjects factor. Children from China more readily anthropomorphized technology, nature, and animals than children from Canada. Adults from China more readily anthropomorphized technology and nature than those from Canada, but the adult samples did not differ on the animal subscale. The difference on the technology/nature subscale present in the child sample becomes more extreme in adulthood, but the difference in the animal subscale does not persist. It may be that entities that do not provide many cues regarding internal state are more sensitive to cultural conceptions than entities that provide many cues. The study of anthropomorphism has broad implications for how people understand and treat both human and nonhuman others, and it reflects a diversity of worldviews about who or what has emotions, intentions, and conscious minds.

4:00 PM

Christianity's Influence on Thoughts Toward Freedom and Abolition Within the Enslaved Community

Rachel Lynn Anderson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

This essay will examine the numerous ways in which Christianity influenced the enslaved community’s attitudes toward freedom and abolition in the American South in the late 18th century to the American Civil War. This paper will also highlight the differences in the biblical interpretations of the white church and the Black church and how those interpretations contributed to differing attitudes toward freedom and abolitionism. This paper will utilize the historical analysis of biblical text, community stories, and slave narratives by individuals such as William J. Anderson and Harriet Jacobs. Religion, particularly Christianity, heavily influenced the enslaved community, was a huge contributor to the abolitionist movement, and continues to play a huge role in Black culture today. There were many contributing factors to the antislavery and abolitionist movements, both among freed people and the enslaved. Christianity is one. And it is important to see the extent to which the introduction, and practice, of the religion among those who were enslaved influenced and shaped their thoughts of freedom.

4:20 PM

The Abolitionist’s Handbook: The Alternative Techniques and Roles of U.S. Abolitionists

Kasey Swisher, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

Despite the instrumental role abolitionists have played in the progression of human rights in early American history, seldom do we learn about the contrasting methods abolitionists used to further their pursuits. This paper seeks to remedy this shortcoming by exploring the various mechanisms U.S. abolitionists used during the antebellum and Civil War periods. Moreover, while there is currently an abundance of historical works that document the individual lives and impact made by abolitionists of this time, little research focuses on the analysis of the different techniques used by those abolitionists. This paper will provide an analysis of a wide array of strategies used by a diverse pool of abolitionists. To best carry out this task, I will be examining primary sources that include, but are not limited to, autobiographies, musical scores, newspaper articles, poetry, and political leaflets, which I will then couple with various secondary sources to ensure a robust view of the scope of the work of the abolitionists discussed. I will then examine and document the divergence of the methods used, and with this information in hand, I will identify the role these techniques play in the grand scheme of the abolition movement.

4:40 PM

The Progression of Pernicious Political Polarization by Traditional Media in Antebellum America: An Analysis of How Newspapers Used Racial Intermarriage to Stoke Division within the Abolition Debate

Shelby Fisher, University of Montana

UC 330

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Media plays a significant role in public perception of social movements. Today, we have a 24-hr news cycle that is particularly powerful when it comes to shaping the narrative of current events and social issues. In order to maintain viewership, some popular mainstream media outlets use their platforms to stoke the fires of pernicious political polarization. Before the advancement of technology, newspapers held that power. Newspapers leading up to the Civil War used their power to sway public opinion and fuel polarization surrounding racial intermarriage within the abolition movement in order to sell papers and gain notoriety. My paper asks and answers the following question: How did traditional media cover the crossover between racial intermarriage and abolition? My research began by looking at the evolution of United States anti-miscegenation laws. I found that a handful of abolitionists used the topic of racial intermarriage and the morality of these laws to make their points. I hypothesized that, much like today, newspapers in Antebellum America used their platforms to stoke divisions within the abolition movement and its opposition. To test my hypothesis, I analyzed articles pertaining to intermarriage within abolition and its actors from several newspapers from both the North and South leading up to the Civil War. I found several newspapers and their editors added to the already polarizing topic of intermarriage, its morality, and legality. I then analyzed these newspaper articles as well as pamphlets and records of abolition activists who both opposed and supported racial intermarriage. My paper concludes by gesturing to the parallels between antebellum era traditional media’s role in political, social movements and the role modern media outlets play in political, legal, and social discourse.