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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