2020

The Humanities Center held its 8th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, October 23rd at 3:00 PM via YouTube livestream. This year’s event featured 6 undergraduate students from the College of Humanities and their research.

Claire Gillett: “The Folkway Podcast: Preserving and Perpetuating Canadian Fiber Art Traditions Through Digital Storytelling”

The maritime provinces of Atlantic Canada have a rich culture of textile art. Spinning, rug hooking, knitting, and quilting have been ingrained in the history of the area for generations. With declining youth populations in Atlantic provinces, the number of experienced textile artists is waning. Without artists to carry on the craft, these traditions are in danger of extinction. This presentation introduces “Folkway,” an ongoing podcast that highlights the fiber art traditions of Atlantic Canada. Drawn from oral histories of artists living in this area, “Folkway” captures and preserves their stories and techniques, making them available to a younger, wider audience.

The presentation will consist of a brief overview of the research behind the podcast. Collecting and compiling oral histories of Canadian fiber artists has been underway for the past several months. The raw material from these interviews will be submitted to the William A. Wilson folklore archive at BYU, as well as an archive in Nova Scotia where future researchers  can access it. After an overview, I will present a sample of the podcast and discuss its distribution. Interview material is currently being edited into six digestible and compelling episodes. Each episode offers a sampling of maritime fiber art culture–described by the artists themselves. Later this year, “Folkway” will be released through several public platforms including Apple podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Social media campaigns and a website will accompany

its release. This method of distribution caters specifically toward a younger audience in hopes that it will encourage potential tradition bearers to learn fiber art techniques themselves.

Jacob Jensen: “Deification in 16th century German Painting: John the Beloved as Alter-Christus”

In sixteenth-century Germany, Matthias Grünewald painted several images of the crucifixion, ranging from altarpieces to small devotional works. ​Small Crucifixion ​ (1511–1520), a panel painting that hangs in the United States’ National Gallery, uniquely emphasizes St. John as an ​alter Christus, ​ a dramatic deviation from the typical focus on Jesus Christ’s suffering and Mary’s secondary role as co-sufferer and co-redemptrix. While ​altera Christi ​ are not uncommon in sixteenth-century devotional imagery, my research demonstrates that the iconographic, formal, and semiotic association between St. John and Jesus Christ elevate him beyond typical ​altera Christi, ​ equating him with Christ in the image, functioning as a representative of the living Christ in an image of the deceased Lord. The formal study of the piece is demonstrated by showing unique characteristics in contrast to Grunewald’s three other crucifixion images, as well as famous crucifixion scenes from previous artists with whom Grunewald would undoubtedly have been aware. A further examination of prominent ​altera Christi ​ is also included, demonstrating the unique aspects of  runewald’s choice of iconology. Evidence can be found suggesting precedence for such iconography in remote convents, where artist-nuns of the middle-ages began the unique practice of deifying the Saint in both paintings and liturgies. In a time where the cult of St. John was relatively new, the emphasis on the Beloved apostle over the mother of Jesus is exceptionally rare, and virtually unstudied.

Alexandra Carlile: “Victim turned Victor: Marguerite de Navarre as Raphael’s St. Margaret”

Raphael (1483–1520) painted two versions of St. Margaret and the Dragon (1518), both of which explore issues of gender and power in the life of their intended audience: Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549), the powerful sister of King Francis I of France. The two images depict St. Margaret, the patron saint of childbirth, as she emerges from the side of a dragon. I argue that both versions include anatomically-based references to the vagina and the umbilical cord in order to transform the compositions into socially- and politically-charged “birth scenes.” The paintings refer to both male and female cultural spheres to create a dually-gendered space, reflecting on Marguerite’s complicated societal role as a woman participating in a patriarchal power structure. Contrasting the two paintings reveals two distinct versions of St. Margaret as the “delivered” and the “deliverer,” both of which have implications for Marguerite de Navarre’s experiences with sexual assault. My presentation will explore how Raphael’s consistent use of birth imagery and contrasting depictions of St. Margaret in the two versions of St. Margaret and the Dragon recast the triumph of the beloved saint into a political and social triumph for her modern namesake, Marguerite de Navarre, in her work against sexual violence.

Sarah Hill: “Authorial Stance Analysis Across Disciplines”

The purpose of this research study is to analyze the lexical and syntactic features which make up authorial stance in published academic papers across multiple disciplines. Authorial stance is defined by use of reporting verbs when referring to citations to academic papers, the use of integrated citations versus non-integrated citations, and general usage of summaries and quotations. Previous studies have investigated authorial stance and have found patterns in reporting verbs and citation methods (Hyland, 2002; Samraj, 2008). However, their analyses have been limited to a small number of disciplines or a small number of sample texts. It isessential to identify different patterns and features across multiple disciplines and in large numbers of texts in order to assist university students across multiple disciplines.

University advisors and/or professors often find difficulty in defining authorial stance to university students. University students themselves generally learn authorial stance inductively during years of study without learning explicitly defined features. With the assistance of Dr. Rawlins, I am conducting a study detailing the way that authorial stance is created across 8 disciplines, which will then be an expanded and updated version of Hyland’s 2002 analysis. I am collecting and organizing approximately 250 published research articles from 8 disciplines (Political Science, Physics, Philosophy, History, Biology, Applied Linguistics). From there, I am employing Hyland’s authorial stance coding scheme to mark every reporting verb in the introduction and literature review section of every paper using the qualitative research analysis tool Dedoose. The outcomes will be demonstrated through statistical analyses of quantified codes for the articles combined, resulting in a corpus of authorial stance that can be used for further data mining. Providing this detailed analysis of the elements included within authorial stance over multiple disciplines will assist future university students and professional advisors to produce effective theses and/or dissertations.

Louisa Ballif: “Re-contextualizing the Complicated Realities of Sławomir Mrożek ‘A Summer’s Day‘”

Sławomir Mrożek’s writing is a compelling convergence of satire and sincerity. His narratives often hinge on characters use of agency when confronted with the “other” and their complicated realities. These themes are fruitful in their original context. However, despite Mrożek’s status among satirists and in Poland, there are limited translations andadaptations of Sławomir Mrożek’s work outside of Poland. This lacking is what drives my two-part project. The first part is a screen adaptation of Sławomir Mrożek’s 1983 play A Summer’s Day. Equally important will be the accompanying academic paper that acts as a simultaneous defense of the adaptation and an exploration of the themes in the original. Though the original is set “the fractured reality of socialism in Poland” the purpose of this adaption is to extend the specificity of Mrożek’s reality into the different but reflected realities of the contemporary context (Nyczek, Around Mrożek).  The argument underpinning both the adaptation and the paper is that it is the re-contextualizing that offers a richer understanding of both times and places.

Abby Thatcher: “Practically Genuine”: Ventriloquism, Eugenics, and Deforming Editing within ‘Hawkie’: An Autobiography of a Gangrel

My project explores Victorian freak studies, the nature of disability, and ultimately,textual editing and production as it relates and intersects with disability theory. I focused my research primarily on WilliamCameron’s ‘Hawkie’: An Autobiography of a Gangrel, Peter MacKenzie’s Glasgow Characters, and Robert Burns’ “The Jolly Beggars.” My argument centers upon editing’s role as bodies are formed, manipulated, and coerced within nineteenth-century literatures; the corporeality possible through a strongly edited or dictated “voice” is determined by the interplay of editor and author, as langue—in my project as both language and literal tongue—is mediator,whether equalized or not. I further question the connections between a “body” of text and the physically deformed bodies of figures such as William Cameron, the author of ‘Hawkie’: An Autobiography of a Gangrel, and the primary focus of my project. I argue towards editing, as conducted by the editor of ‘Hawkie’: An Autobiography of a Gangrel, John Strathesk, as a tool of ventriloquism, a mode of fin de siecle eugenics in Victorian Scotland, and as ultimately deforming. In particular, I argue that textual editing operates much as genetic editing and eugenics does when working with the voices of the disabled, the “freak,” and the perceived poor. By editing—and thereby eliminating—Cameron’s true voice on the basis of bodies, fit or unfit, Strathesk effectively neuters Cameron’s ability to be reproduced himself. Authors cannot imitate style when it has been so thoroughly transformed. By doing so, Strathesk sterilizes a disabled voice, and further, does so without his consent, raising grim parallels towards eugenic practices of court-mandated sterilization of the disabled. Further, sterilizing Cameron’s voice, and thereby controlling his textual (re)production, manifests late nineteenth-century’s post-Darwinism social anxiety.

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