ORCA Symposium

Date(s) - 10/14/2016
3:00 pm - 4:30 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 14th at 3:00 PM. This year’s symposium will feature student research on a variety of topics of interest in the humanities.

Tamara Thomson — “The Intersection of Truth, Memory, and Fiction in State Mental Hospital Patient Experience”

RelyiTamara Thomsonng upon my research for context and as a foundation, I have composed six short stories dealing with the experiences of the youth patients and staff at the State Hospital which are based on the actual relationships and events that I experienced while working there in the early 1990’s. I believe that a fictive narrative can go beyond the mere facts of my experience, and the experience of those I have interviewed, to portray an authentic emotional truth about mentally and emotionally ill people who are often marginalized or completely disenfranchised from society.This presentation will give a brief description of my project and then I will read one of the stories I wrote.

Michelle Turner — “Interpreting Art History by Brazilian Modernist Anita Malfatti”PaulaMichelleTurner

This presentation will focus on the study of artist Anita Malfatti´s lectures as she taught Art History in early and mid-20th century in Brazil. By transcribing and studying her notes, I am trying to understand what her interpretation, and focuses were as she taught in São Paulo. Ms. Malfatti was the first artist to exhibit modern art in Brazil and one of the first to teach a history of modern art as well. I have transcribed her lectures on the subject and am analyzing their contents. This research also includes a critical comparison of her lessons from the early 1930s and the late 1940s including any changes regarding her stance and opinion on Ancient and Western Art.

Joshua Matthias — “Topic Adaptation for Machine Translation”

Joshua MathiasAdapting machine translation to specific domains or subject matter is essential to improve translation quality, and this is still a new field of research. Professional translators need to translate documents with the subject matter and domain in mind, in order to create a translation that uses the correct type of language and terminology for the domain, whether it be legal, political, technological, religious, or other types of documents. A machine translation system can be adapted to a specific domain by using training data from the same domain. My goal is to demonstrate improvements in statistical machine translation for specific domains using different methods for evaluating training data to be used for the machine translation system.


Catie Nuckols — “From Imposition to Integration: Teotihuacan Influence on Maya as Evidenced by Stela 7 at Piedras Negras”

The Trapeze and Ray motif found in Mayan art aCatie-Nuckolsnd the possible implications that it holds for understanding Mesoamerican culture and even politics will be the focus of this presentation. In analyzing the appearances of this motif in Late Classic Maya imagery, I have found that it commonly forms part of a “triple alliance” of iconographic elements: the Trapeze and Ray motif, the ochk’in kalomte’ title, and the War Serpent headdress. These elements all became integrated parts of Mayan art culture, despite having origins in and/or ties to the Central Mexican city of Teotihuacan. My research has revolved around analyzing the meaning of these elements and the consequent implications for our understanding of how Teotihuacan influenced the Mayan, even years after the city ceased to exist.

Katie Bowman — “Annotated Edition of the Reminiscences of Nate Salsbury”

Katie-bowmanThe purpose of this project was to prepare the unpublished manuscript Reminiscences of Nate Salsbury, written in the 1890s, for publication and to enter the critical conversation on the development of the frontier myth in American history. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Exhibition, an elaborate production demonstrating the key components of the American West, toured Europe in 1887-1888 where it sparked an international obsession with Western frontier culture that shaped the identity of the US in the eyes of Europe. Significantly absent from all published accounts of this transatlantic event is the perspective of Nate Salsbury, business partner to William F. Cody and creator of the show. The absence of Salsbury’s viewpoint leaves a gap in the biography of William F. Cody, the narrative of the Wild West Exhibition and the history of the American frontier. Beyond helping fill the historical gap, I looked at how Salsbury’s writing changes our understanding of that history. Through biographical research, editorial work, annotation, appendices and critical analysis I explore how Salsbury throws practical light on the creation of the mythic figure of Buffalo Bill and consequently the nationalizing myth of the American Frontier.


Catering by Brick Oven


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