ORCA Symposium 2017

Date(s) - 10/13/2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

3108 JKB


The Humanities Center in coordination with BYU’s Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) will hold its annual ORCA Symposium on Friday, October 13th at 3:00 PM in 4010 JFSB. This year’s symposium will feature student research on a variety of topics of interest in the humanities.

Allen Kendall – Antiochus IV and the Origin of Jewish Martyrdom Literature

There is, however, ample evidence of martyrdom as an ideology within Jewish literature before Christianity. This paper argues first that such a genre of Jewish martyrdom truly existed and predated the Christian tradition by comparing Jewish texts containing martyrological elements which we can assert with certainty were written before the advent of Christian martyrdom literature. These include the biblical book of Daniel, the tale of Susanna in the Septuagint, 2 and 4 Maccabees, the Ascension of Isaiah, and passages from Josephus’ War of the Jews and Philo’s Every Good Man is Free. These show enough narrative and thematic unity with each other to demonstrate that the similarities are not coincidences, but rather trends in a united genre. Second, this paper points to the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV—the first major attempt to stamp out Judaism which occurred shortly before the first martyrdom texts were written—as the impetus of the martyrdom literary tradition.

Rachel Casper – Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye: How Compositionists and Applied Linguists View and Assess Student Texts Differently

The epistemological divide between rhetoric and linguistics, dating to Grecian times, effects the way teachers assess writing modernly. For instance, composition teachers (trained in rhetoric) are likely to “see” the rhetorical, organizational, lexical, and grammatical features of student texts differently than ESL writing instructors (trained in linguistics). This can negatively affect how ESL writers are prepared for a first-year writing course (FYC) and how their writing is graded once they arrive. We present evidence of differential assessment practices between compositionists and ESL writing teachers drawn from eye-tracking research data. This data measures the miniscule eye movements teachers make while reading student texts. Accordingly, we asked 5 compositionists and 5 ESL writing teachers to read and assess two similarly weak FYC essays using our eye-tracking device. One essay was written by a native English speaking student and one by an ESL student. The writing teachers were then asked to describe their reading and rating experience in in-depth interviews.

Terence Wride – Restoring Life to the Student Writings of the Intermountain Indian School

While many continue to re-narrate the complex history of the Intermountain Indian School, as well as other boarding schools throughout the United States through the lenses of their respective fields, Yale literary scholar Robert Parker’s recovery project, Changing is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930 (2010), is the only critical anthology to include even a brief segment of “Boarding School Poems” in a way that recognizes boarding school writings as valuable and connecting links between early Native autobiographies and contemporary fiction. By reviving and analyzing the student literary works of the Intermountain Indian School through a recovery process that has yielded over 1,500 poems that span three decades, my project celebrates these students’ writings as vital contributions to community specific, as well as continental, Native American narratives and literary histories, and has provided a unique opportunity to research the Native boarding school experience through the students’own literary voices. Further, rather than remaining solely victims of systematic mistreatment, my project also celebrates these students for their creative achievement and ability to produce sophisticated literary work from within a hostile environment.

Heidi Herrera – The Women of Guernica: A Compilation of Interpertations

Although there is a wealth of scholarship on Picasso’s Guernica (1937), until recently there has been a distinct lack of analyses completed through feminist methods, an approach essential to a holistic understanding of Guernica. Focusing my research on the women of Guernica, I have assessed relevant scholarship published since the painting’s completion, compiling publications which address the treatment and symbolism of the women in Guernica.

Gina Fowler – A Work of Virtues: Hildegard von Bingen

For my ORCA project, my faculty mentor and I identified a well-known female composer from the 12th century named Hildegard von Bingen, who is not currently featured in the Sophie Digital Library. Hildegard von Bingen is an important historical figure, who is remembered for her theological treatises, her well-recorded visions from God about salvation, scriptures and the nature of the divine, and her musical compositions. Almost as important as her own works and writings is the research published about her life prior to the 19th century unification of Germany in an attempt to create a common Germanic history. Much of this research is primarily available as hard copies in European libraries and collections, available only to scholars with access to European archives or a very few North American research libraries, who hold non-circulating copies. In order to broaden the availability of these resources, I was able to digitize approximately 1200 pages of text, which will be added to the Sophie Digital Library website, along with a short biography and scholarly introduction based on my own research.

Heidi Pyper – Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà: Construction and Creation from a Dual Gender Perspective

As the final work of the aged Michelangelo’s hand, the Rondanini Pietà—containing an upright Jesus supported from behind by Mary—reveals a complicated history of being worked and reworked and exhibits certain ambiguities of form.  For centuries, scholars have puzzled over the exposure of Mary’s leg. The supporting figure has been traditionally regarded as Mary, and yet this detail defies standard iconography. This paper explores the sculptor’s process and the issue of identity in the Rondanini Pietà’s supporting figure within the context of personal devotion.

Catering by Brick Oven

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