Mark Your Calendars for Scholars’ Studio

Mark your cal­en­dars for Schol­ars’ Stu­dio: Worlds Col­lide Research @the Com­mons, which will be held Thurs­day, Nov 21st from 4–5:30 pm in the Research Com­mons Pre­sen­ta­tion Place.  Speak­ers include the School of Music’s Kather­ine Isbill Emeneth!  
Pro­pos­als were received from from 17 dif­fer­ent depart­ments!  All 10 pre­sen­ta­tions this quar­ter are from doc­toral students.
Here is the lineup of stu­dent pre­sen­ta­tions for this quarter’s Schol­ars’ Studio:
Semi­otics in Creole-Speaking Melane­sia. Andrew Liv­ingston, Lin­guis­tics. Melane­sian cre­oles arose from con­tact between Eng­lish and many lan­guages of the South Pacific. Inter­est­ingly, a great deal of the regional gram­mat­i­cal fea­tures sur­vived in the result­ing cre­ole lan­guage, but used a mostly Eng­lish lex­i­con to express this gram­mar. When lan­guages col­lide, they sel­dom do so with­out affect­ing other parts of the speak­ers’ worlds; this pre­sen­ta­tion focuses on com­par­ing the results of lan­guage col­li­sion with the results of cul­tural col­li­sion, with an empha­sis on semi­otics in adver­tis­ing and other signage.

Mas­sacring the Colo­nials à la Fou­cault, Alan-Michael Weath­er­ford, Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture. The scene: The Hait­ian Rev­o­lu­tion. The char­ac­ters: African slaves vs. French Colo­nials. Result: One of the blood­i­est colo­nial mas­sacres known to man. This pre­sen­ta­tion com­pares two pub­lic scenes of tor­ture (one in Foucault’s “Sur­veiller et Punir” and another in Alejo Carpentier’s “El Reino de Este Mundo”) as to expose a crit­i­cal issue in apply­ing Fou­cauldian tra­jec­to­ries of power to con­texts for­eign to those ana­lyzed and pro­duced in France. The texts ana­lyzed are in French and Span­ish, but addressed in English.

Nat­ural and Cul­tural Worlds Col­lide: the New Nep­tun­ian Course of Cal­i­for­nia Civ­i­liza­tion, John Paul Calavitta, Eng­lish. With global warm­ing, nat­ural and cul­tural worlds col­lide. Chang­ing tem­per­a­tures dis­solve the bound­aries delin­eated by West­ern dualities—between real/not real, material/immaterial, sacred/profane, body/spirit, self-other. The beach is the bound­ary line between ter­res­trial and aquatic where this change is most read­ily tak­ing place. Beaches are an endan­gered species: retreat­ing the world over: they are also stolen, moved, stained, sorted, eroded, combed, devel­oped and replen­ished by deplet­ing other beaches (Honolulu’s Waikiki is com­pletely replen­ished from the sands of other beaches, some as far away as Cal­i­for­nia). I posit the beach as a rhi­zomatic metaphor symp­to­matic of a het­ero­ge­neous but threat­ened global sub­jec­tiv­ity: the beach, com­posed of dis­parate forms, is under threat. It breathes and has the abil­ity to adapt by chang­ing shape. It regen­er­ates and pro­tects itself: hun­kers down and flat­tens dur­ing storms, pulls back land­ward. Over­all, the beach is lim­i­nal con­tact zone, a new metaphor for a col­lid­ing world.

Pro­mot­ing Pos­i­tive Inter­ra­cial Inter­ac­tions in Young Chil­dren, Ari­anne Eason, Psy­chol­ogy. Despite rapidly increas­ing racial/ethnic diver­sity in con­tem­po­rary soci­eties, peo­ple expe­ri­ence sur­pris­ingly lit­tle pos­i­tive inter­ra­cial con­tact in their every­day lives. Find­ing ways to facil­i­tate pos­i­tive cross-race encoun­ters is thus increas­ingly impor­tant. In the present research, we exam­ined one strategy—asking whether sub­tle expo­sure to exam­ples of pos­i­tive cross-race inter­ac­tions would pro­mote affil­ia­tive inter­group behav­ior among chil­dren. In two stud­ies, 3–4-year-olds (Study 1) and 7–11-year-olds (Study 2) were inci­den­tally exposed to (i.e., primed with) images of pos­i­tive cross-race or same-race inter­ac­tions and sub­se­quently inter­acted with a mem­ber of a racial out­group. In both stud­ies, chil­dren sat closer to the out­group inter­ac­tion part­ner after expo­sure to pos­i­tive cross-race inter­ac­tions, pro­vid­ing evi­dence of more pos­i­tive, affil­ia­tive inter­group behav­ior in this prim­ing con­di­tion. Addi­tion­ally, in Study 2, expo­sure to pos­i­tive cross-race inter­ac­tions also affected children’s per­cep­tions of the like­li­hood of cross-race friend­ships. Thus, sub­tle envi­ron­men­tal cues can facil­i­tate affil­ia­tive behav­ior in cross-race interactions.

Coun­ter­ing Con­flict with the Mun­dane: Eth­nic Inter­ac­tion and Civil Soci­ety in Latvia, Indra Ekma­nis, Jack­son School of Inter­na­tional Stud­ies. Latvia shares a dis­tinct inter­est group with the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion: eth­nic Rus­sians. As a post-Soviet state, Latvia has found inte­grat­ing these pop­u­la­tions both socially and polit­i­cally dif­fi­cult. Com­pound­ing this chal­lenge, elites stand to gain from cul­ti­vat­ing inse­cu­rity and eth­nic ten­sions in pub­lic dis­course. But do indi­vid­u­als feel this ten­sion in their day to day lives? This pre­sen­ta­tion explores mech­a­nisms for mea­sur­ing eth­nic inte­gra­tion in mun­dane inter­ac­tions. I argue that the hype of the elite-led dis­course fails to hold up in every­day life.

And one for all: The Clash between Com­mu­ni­tar­ian and Autonomous Soci­eties in Genetic Research, Emmi Bane, Insti­tute for Pub­lic Health Genet­ics. Our genes are a grow­ing global indus­try, with enor­mous num­bers of inter­na­tional research pro­to­cols bring­ing sci­en­tists together. China is home to the largest gene sequenc­ing facil­ity in the world, but poli­cies that gov­ern inter­na­tional research were designed by the west­ern world. As the east begins to out­pace the west in the research arena, is it appro­pri­ate to main­tain an exclu­sive focus on autonomous indi­vid­u­als as the stan­dard for respect for per­sons? How can com­mu­ni­tar­ian soci­eties like China’s com­pro­mise with autonomous soci­eties to achieve con­so­nant, eth­i­cal research col­lab­o­ra­tions? How dif­fer­ent are our goals, and in what respects are we the same? Do we all want the same things from sci­ence? Do our expec­ta­tions dif­fer? East is meet­ing west to explore the most basic com­po­nents of our com­mon human­ity, yet our dif­fer­ences inter­fere. Explor­ing the under­pin­nings of our eth­i­cal frame­works is cru­cial to improv­ing not just pol­icy, but fair­ness, sen­si­tiv­ity, and the integrity of research.

Lab­o­ra­tory Time Travel, Sonia Sing­hal, Biol­ogy. Col­li­sions of the present day and the long-ago past–such as rean­i­ma­tion of dinosaurs in “Juras­sic Park”– are usu­ally the realm of sci­ence fic­tion. But in when study­ing evo­lu­tion in microbes (e.g., viruses and bac­te­ria), it is sci­ence fact. Because time runs dif­fer­ently for microbes, we can evolve them for hun­dreds of gen­er­a­tions in only a few days. At the end of the exper­i­ment, we have both the great-great-great-great grand­child from the final gen­er­a­tion and also the orig­i­nal par­ent, and we can com­pare the two directly. By bring­ing the past and present together in one moment in the lab­o­ra­tory, we can explore ques­tions from how bac­te­ria come to resist antibi­otics to how coop­er­a­tion evolved.

Mozart in the Wild West, Kather­ine Isbill Emeneth, Music. What is Mozart doing in the Wild West? This lec­ture dis­cusses Clas­si­cal music in the early days of the west­ern United States. From the Gold Rush for­ward, the West expe­ri­enced unbe­liev­able growth and appre­ci­a­tion for Clas­si­cal music. Min­ers and tourists alike flocked to var­i­ous con­certs and cheered wildly for their favorite com­posers and musi­cal celebri­ties from Europe and the East. Amer­i­can Clas­si­cal music stud­ies focus on the east­ern states’ adop­tion of Euro­pean art music from Colo­nial times. The West has been largely over­looked. Research indi­cates cities like San Fran­cisco grew musi­cally much faster, although later, than those cities in the East. The Wild West and the music salons and con­cert halls of Europe are not two enti­ties that seem to fit together. This talk will illus­trate how the refined world of Clas­si­cal music col­lided with the coarse and rough Wild West.

Nanoscience in Health­care: Diag­nos­ing Drug Resis­tance in Devel­op­ing Nations, Shin Inoue, Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing. Drug-resistant tuber­cu­lo­sis (TB) is emerg­ing to be a global threat. TB affects nearly a third of the global pop­u­la­tion and claims over a mil­lion lives each year. Most of the TB cases are con­cen­trated in devel­op­ing nations where proper infra­struc­tures and treat­ments are lim­ited. Cur­rent meth­ods used to deter­mine antibi­otic resis­tance of TB are more com­pli­cated than detec­tion of sus­cep­ti­ble cells, which leads to many unde­tected cases. To pre­vent fur­ther trans­mis­sion, there is a need for a rapid yet afford­able drug resis­tance detec­tion method. In my research, I am using nanoscience to deter­mine drug sus­cep­ti­bil­ity. When TB cells are grown in the pres­ence of drugs such as iso­ni­azid, the cells outer wall will be inhib­ited then die. This alters the elec­tri­cal prop­er­ties of the cells and can be rapidly detected using dielec­trophore­sis, reduc­ing the detec­tion time from weeks to a few days. Using this plat­form, we are devel­op­ing a low-cost device for use in resource lim­ited settings.

Higher Ed and Ath­let­ics: When Iden­ti­ties Col­lide for the Devel­op­ing Indi­vid­ual, Mike Bryant, Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion. Indi­vid­u­als that hold dual roles of stu­dent and ath­lete often engage in a col­li­sion of scholas­tic and ath­letic pri­or­i­ties dur­ing their tenure on cam­pus. As life as a stu­dent ath­lete can be demand­ing, chal­lenges are often height­ened for the indi­vid­ual simul­ta­ne­ously devel­op­ing a per­sonal iden­tity alter­na­tive to the tra­di­tional norm (e.g. non-heterosexual). Col­lid­ing influ­ences across both roles and iden­ti­ties as stu­dent and ath­lete have the poten­tial to cre­ate sig­nif­i­cant impact for these indi­vid­u­als. Uti­liz­ing Bronfenbrenner’s (1993) Eco­log­i­cal Sys­tems Model of human devel­op­ment, the focus of this work is on the Mesosys­tem. This pre­sen­ta­tion exam­ines how the influ­ences most prox­i­mal to the devel­op­ing indi­vid­ual inter­act with one another and the impact these inter­sec­tions cre­ate upon the per­son and their expe­ri­ences on campus.

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