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2017 Social Sciences Graduate Research Showcase

Research Poster Presenters

Research Poster Presenters

Below is the full list of research poster presenters accepted to the 2017 Social Sciences Graduate Research Showcase. Congratulations to all of our graduate student researchers! 

Joanna Beltrán Girón

Title: Popular Liberation in the Midst of a Peaceful War

Department: Latin American Studies

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Abstract:  My research seeks to investigate identity formation, trauma and resilience in the context of political polarization and the gang phenomenon in El Salvador. I argue that societies who resolve conflicts through the means of violence can be understood through a liberation psychology framework. Liberation psychology could be a profound tool for understanding the current social conflict in El Salvador, and whence could become a transformative tool for mobilizing collective action. In an effort to understand how Salvadorans (re)construct their collective identity in the midst of violence and right-wing leaning demonizing media displays, I conducted a mixed-method research at four universities in San Salvador, El Salvador. In total, I collected 391 questionnaires. By running an ANOVA, I found empathy was significantly correlated with exposure to the Fear treatment (F = 3.399, p = .034). By running a PCA I found five scales: Empathy, Punitive Policies, Perception of Gang Power, and Humanizing Views Toward Gang Members. Those who read the human rights-based newspaper article had more empathy for gang members than those who read the fear-based article. The more empathy students had: the less punitive attitudes they had toward gangs, the less they perceived gangs as powerful, and the more humanizing views they had toward gangs. My findings indicate people tend to show less empathy for gang members when they are triggered with demonizing news reports. Participatory Action Research informs my next direction which is to understand gang members’ perceptions and attitudes about the media’s representation of them.  

Lucy Flamm

Title: Constructing the Narrative: The Importance of Multi-Medium Source Material in Examining Contemporary Iran

Department: Middle Eastern Studies and Information Science

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Abstract:  Historians are taught to look to the archive as the foremost site for constructing events of the past. However, in examining Iran in the 20th century such an approach will only bring about an incomplete depiction of the social and political landscape. Tracing documentation practices from the fall of the Qajar family to the rise of Khomeini, this research argues that untraditional mediums for historians — such as poetry, fictional literature, and oral histories — are necessary to chronicling political, social, and ideological developments otherwise absent from the written court histories and archives of Iran.

Works by Zeyn al-Abedin Maraghei, Ahmad Shamlu, and their contemporaries illustrate how literature has consistently served as a mode of expression for the undocumented voices of activists, women, and racial and religious minorities. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s state-sponsored military police and intelligence network suppressed all oppositional narratives. Consequently, oral histories become essential to reconstructing the history of Iran under the Shah. Social histories allow insight to events otherwise undocumented in formal Iranian archives, including the 1963 national pro-Khomeini demonstrations, vast persecution of the Bahai’s, and omnipresent instances of disappearance, torture, and murder by forces of the regime. Such testimonies are pivotal to reshaping the historical discourse of cultural trends and transformations, and enhancing global understanding of the norms, concerns, and constraints that shaped Iran in the 20th century. It is only through embracing mediums of historical documentation outside the formal archive that the scholar and inquisitive individual alike can best understand the Iranian domestic and transnational landscape past and present. 

Kyser Lough

Title: The whole picture: Journalistic identity practices in words and images on Twitter

Department: School of Journalism, Moody College of Communication

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Abstract:  As journalists continue integrating social media into their professional work, they wrestle with ways to best represent themselves, their organizations, and their profession. Several recent studies have examined this trend in terms of branding, raising important questions about the changing ways in which journalists present themselves and how these changes may indicate dramatic shifts in their personal and professional identities. This study combines a visual content analysis of the images journalists use in their Twitter profiles with analyses of their profile text and tweets to examine how journalists represent themselves online with an eye toward individual and organizational branding. Findings indicate journalists choose a branding approach and apply it consistently across their profiles, with most profiles consisting of a professional headshot but notably lacking organizational identifiers such as logos. Journalists also tend to lean toward professional rather than personal images in their profile and header photos, indicating a possible predilection for professional identity over personal on social media.

Collin Hansen

Title: Sweet Casa Alabama (and Arizona and...): Examining the Economic Impacts of State Immigration Reform

Department: Economics

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Abstract:  The discussion of the economic impact of undocumented immigrants in the United States is becoming increasingly important as more states are enacting reforms designed to reduce the number of aliens within their borders. This paper looks at the labor market impacts of two frequently implemented policies: E-Verify and ``Show Me Your Papers'' (SMYP). Using a difference-in-difference strategy, I examine the separate and combined effects of these laws on the employment and wages of likely unauthorized, working-age men and women and the groups of low-skill workers with whom they are most likely to compete for jobs. I also look at how these laws impact state-level economic outcomes, such as industry-specific GDP. This work will be complete by the date of the showcase.

Yookyung Lee

Title: Interplay among Paternal Warmth, Maternal Parenting Stress, and Children’s Behavior Problems across Three Time Points

Department: Educational Psychology

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Abstract:  Children are vulnerable to disruptive life events such as depression (Stark et al., 2008) or antisocial behaviors (Fosco, Stormshak, Dishion, & Winter, 2012). Importantly, positive parenting behaviors (Smetana, Crean, & Daddis, 2002) and less parenting stress (Baker, Blacher, Crnic, & Edelbrock, 2002) tend to be associated with fewer behavior problems among children. However, the majority of studies on these topics have focused on mothers (Bronte-Tinkew, Moore, & Carrano, 2006), and little research has examined how paternal warmth, maternal parenting stress, and children’s adjustment were related to one another over time (Bronte-Tinkew, Moore, & Carrano, 2006). Additionally, these associations between family stress, parenting behaviors, and child adjustment have been primarily conducted in the United States and have not been replicated in other countries. In the present study, a three-wave cross-lagged path analysis examined the relationships among paternal warmth, maternal parenting stress, and children’s behavior problems across three time points. This study analyzed data from a longitudinal research project, The Panel Study on Korean Children, which was collected in 2011 (Time 1; T1), 2012 (Time 2; T2), and 2013 (Time 3; T3). A total of 1824 families with a three-year old child (at the time of T1) were interviewed or answered questionnaires three times while the child was between three (M age = 3 years, 2 months) and five years old (M age = 5 years, 2 months). The results showed that paternal warmth, maternal parenting stress, and children’s behavior problems were positively associated with one another at each time point; and all these three variables showed that greater values at earlier waves predicted greater values at later waves. In addition, there were indirect longitudinal effects in both models. Higher earlier levels of paternal warmth predicted lower maternal parenting stress at T2 after controlling for maternal stress at T1 (p = .000 for internalizing behavior problem model; p = .000 for externalizing behavior problem model), and this lower maternal stress subsequently predicted fewer children’s behavior problems at T3 after controlling for behavior problems at earlier waves (p = .000; p = .000). Also, greater paternal warmth at T1 predicted lower maternal parenting stress at T3 via fewer children’s externalizing behavior problems at T2 (p = .000). There were bidirectional effects as well in both models. Lower maternal parenting stress at T1 predicted lower stress at T3 via fewer behavior problems at T2 (p = .000; p = .000) as well as via paternal warmth at T2 (p = .043; p = .061, marginally significant). This study highlights the predictions of later constructs through earlier constructs using a longitudinal model; and demonstrate mutual influence in the relationships between parent and child, in contrast to the unidirectional effects only go from parent to child. This study has implications for families in Korea, by highlighting the importance of positive fathering in terms of maternal psychological well-being and children’s development throughout the life-span.

Kyongjoo Hong

Title: Longitudinal Relationships among Fathers’ Warmth, Mathers’ Depression, and Children’s Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems during Early Childhood

Department: Educational Psychology 

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Abstract:  Evidence from earlier studies suggests that parental warmth is associated with fewer behavior problems among young children (Chen, Liu, & Mowei, 2000). Yet the vast majority of this research has focused on mothers’ warmth (Deater-Deckard, Ivy, & Petrill, 2006). Furthermore, one of the strongest predictors of young children’s behavioral problems is mothers’ depression (Feng, Shaw, Skuban, & Lane, 2007; Mesman & Koot, 2001). Although previous research has investigated the relations between parental warmth and children’s adjustment and between maternal depression and children’s behavior problems, the majority of studies on these topics have focused on maternal warmth (Kim & Jung, 2015), and have been limited to either one or two time points (Waller et al., 2014). Very little research has examined how fathers’ warmth, mothers’ depression, and children’s adjustment are associated with one another and how these relations vary over time. The present longitudinal study aimed to investigate the interplay among fathers’ warmth, mothers’ depression, and children’s behavior problems across the three time points using a three-wave cross-lagged path analysis. We analyzed data from a longitudinal research project, The Panel Study on Korean Children, which were collected in 2011 (Time 1; T1), 2012 (Time 2; T2), and 2013 (Time 3; T3). A total of 1824 families were included in the study, and both parents were interviewed and completed questionnaires at each time point. The children were between three (M age = 3 years, 2 months at T1) and five years old (M age = 5 years, 2 months at T3).

The results showed that fathers’ warmth, mothers’ depression, and children’s behavior problems were positively associated with one another at each time point; and that higher values of each variable at earlier waves predicted higher values at later waves. Furthermore, there were bidirectional effects in both models. Higher levels of mothers’ depression at T1 predicted higher depression at T3 through increases in children’s behavior problems at T2 (p = .010 for internalizing model; p = .027 for externalizing model). Mothers’ depression at T1 affected children’s internalizing and externalizing at T2, which then predicted mothers’ depression at T3. In addition, there were indirect effects from fathers’ warmth to mothers’ depression through children’s behavior problems in the externalizing model. Specifically, greater fathers’ warmth at T1 predicted fewer children’s behavior problems at T2, and these fewer problems subsequently predicted mothers’ lower depression at T3 (p = .048). For the internalizing model, there were direct (marginally significant) effects from fathers’ warmth at T1 to fewer children’s behavior problems at T2, and from fewer behavioral problems at T2 to lower mothers’ depression at T3 (p = .007), although the indirect path was not significant. This study examines the predictions of later constructs through earlier constructs using a longitudinal model. The findings demonstrate mutual influence in the relationship between mother and child, in contrast to unidirectional effects from mother to child. This study has implications for families by highlighting the importance of paternal warmth in terms of maternal mental health and children’s adjustment throughout the life-span.

Nathan H. Choe

Title: How Do Students’ Goals in Group Project Predict their Project Commitment and Emotions?: Focusing on the Difference between Korean and American College Students

Department: STEM Education

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Abstract:  This study analyzed data from each 40 undergraduate students from United State southwest state and 40 South Korea. A total of 77 items were presented via an online survey application (Qualtrics). Number of American student participants’ gender was each 20 with 98% in the 18-25 age range. Among 40 South Korean undergraduate students, 24 were men and 16 were women, with 80% in the 18-25 age range. From our previous study in regression models (Park, Choe, Schallert, and McGinn, 2016), we had eight different goals as predict variables, and same predictor variables were used in this study. Three outcome variables were goal commitment, negative emotions, and positive emotions. Goal commitment items were adapted from Hollenbeck, Williams, and Klein (1989), and positive and negative emotions were adapted from Kim et al. (2012). Descriptive statistics are presented in Table 1 (means, standard deviations, and reliabilities on all measures). The overall regressions accounted for a significant amount of variance in several criterion variables, with participants’ eight goals for their group project accounting for 57% for US and 47% for S. Korea of the variance in group goal commitment and 37% for America and 38% for S. Korea in positive emotions. Negative emotions models for both American and S. Korean Students were not significant (See table 2). Individual outperformance goal predicted group goal commitment negatively with standard beta value of -.536 for US students while group contribution predicted group goal commitment positively with standard beta values of .437 for S. Korean Students. Other predict variables were not significant predictors for group goal commitment. In predicting positive emotions, relatedness were positively significant for both American (β= .546) and S. Korean Students (β=.448) and individual outperformance was an additional negative predictor for S. Korean Students. 

Desirée Pallais

Title: Learning to design asset-based literacy pedagogies for Spanish-speakers in a bilingual pre-service preparation program.

Department: Curriculum and Instruction

Contact information: desiree.pallais@utexas.edy

Abstract:  The main goal of this study is to understand how bilingual teacher candidates develop pedagogical Spanish competencies to teach literacy and demonstrate these competencies discursively, specifically in the context of preparing and delivering reading and writing lessons using informational texts for Spanish-speaking students as part of a pre-service preparation that has a social justice orientation. In addition, this study seeks to describe the perspectives of the participants regarding their Spanish language and literacy learning as part of this bilingual pre-service curriculum. I will be beginning the pilot study for my dissertation by the date of the showcase.

Janice F. Hernandez

Title: The Employed Caregiver Project: Effects of Caregiving on Employees

Department: UT School of Nursing

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Abstract: As the aging population grows, family members must often assume the duties of caring for an aging family member while maintaining employment and family responsibilities. The weight of balancing work, family and caregiving needs is a concern not only for the employed caregiver but also for the employer. To assist the employed caregiver in maintaining work–life balance, employers must recognize the demands of caregiving on the employed caregiver. The purpose of the Employed Caregiver Project was to obtain information from employees regarding the extent of caregiving involvement, the impact of caregiving on employment, and the need for caregiving support in the workplace. Results showed employed caregivers have difficulty maintaining a work–life balance. Caregiving responsibilities affected 29.35% of employees. Various caregiving tasks included providing personal care, driving to appointments, grocery shopping, arranging meals, and housekeeping. Caregiving impacted employment by means of missed workdays, leaving early, arriving late, being unable to focus at work and rearrangement of work schedules. Employed caregivers were interested in educational resources, caregiving assistance, caregiving classes, support groups, management strategies for work/caregiving balance, and communication strategies with health care professionals. These findings are expected to generate knowledge aimed at better understanding the employee struggling to maintain a work–life balance. Identification of the issues that employed caregivers encounter will support the development of elder-care educational and information resources to aid employers and employees to more efficiently address caregiving-related issues in the work environment. Key Words: Caregiver, Employed caregiver, and caregiver interventions. At this point in time I will be working on developing educational resources for caregivers via a website.

Billy Table

Title: HPV Disclosure Among Young Adults

Department: Advertising/Communication

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Abstract:  Infection and diagnosis of the human papillomavirus (HPV) generate substantial support needs for individuals, though little research has highlighted disclosure difficulties. The decision to self-disclose brings forward a struggle in weighing the desire to receive support versus avoiding negative consequences associated with stigma (Greene, 2000). However, disclosure of STI-positive status between friends can strengthen interpersonal relationships, individual coping, and fulfill support needs. Additionally, despite efforts to educate the public about HPV and significant uptake of the HPV vaccines, there are still common misconceptions about what HPV is, who can become infected, and what happens when one becomes infected. While many individuals disclose regarding sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) in an effort to gain social support, seek health advice, and provide transparency to sexual partners, social risks create obstacles for these conversations to occur. Stigma associated with STI disclosure creates communication barriers, and emerging literature reflects concerns about disclosure responses.

The present study extends the use of a multiple goals perspective to assist in identifying disclosure messages that attend to positive supportive outcomes and uptake influence for the HPV vaccine. Given that the process of the disclosure is distinctive in its attention to instrumental, identity, and relational goals, using this approach provides a basis for assessing the types of responses to these disclosures. The content of disclosure messages in the present study were formed by the various goals that are relevant in HPV disclosures. To gain a deeper understanding of how individuals react to various messages of HPV positive disclosures, the following research questions were posed:

RQ1: Do HPV disclosure messages that vary in the extent to which they address multiple goals elicit different responses from their recipients?
RQ2: Do HPV disclosure messages that vary in the extent to which they address multiple goals influence recipients to get the HPV vaccination?

To answer these questions, we targeted disclosures to best friends. Disclosures between friends are common, and participants, regardless of gender, will be able to select their best friend with whom they are close enough that confidential information would be normal to receive. Preliminary data recruitment involved a purposive convenience sample of undergraduate students from a large southern university. Because the focus of the study is on individuals over 18 years old and within the age group that may still receive the vaccine, participants were limited to emerging adults ages 18 to 26.

The goals addressed within the message manipulations are supported by Caughlin et al.’s (2009) study on HIV-positive disclosures between siblings. A total of 24 disclosure messages (outlining 6 message types) were developed, and participants (N=???) were asked to imagine a best friend disclosing an HPV-positive diagnosis. Additional measures included in the present study design include closed-end responses to disclosure, competence, relational change, and realism. The closed-end items (as adapted from Caughlin et al., 2009) serve as a confirmatory measure for the findings in the receiver responses. The competence and realism measures provide a holistic view of the receiver’s perception of the disclosure message, and allow the researchers to address limitations of the message designs. The measure of relational change (Vangelisti & Young, 2000) contribute to the understanding of stigma and HPV, and how difficult disclosures serve to promote or hinder intimacy between interaction partners.


Jaimie O'Gara

Title: Father figure Presence and Externalizing and Internalizing Problems in Mexican American and Dominican American Children

Department: Steve Hicks School of Social Work

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Abstract:  The importance of father presence on child development is evident in the literature. Less is known regarding whether the benefits of biological father presence generalize to other father-figures. This study examined whether father figure presence in Mexican American (MA) and Dominican American (DA) homes predicted child externalizing/internalizing problems. Longitudinal data on perceived social support, parenting practices, and child externalizing/internalizing problems was collected from MA (n = 414) and DA mothers (n = 336). Linear regression analyses examined whether perceived social support and parenting practices mediated the relationship between father figure presence and child functioning. Evidence of mediation was not supported; however, direct effects of father figures' impact on child functioning were significant and differed by ethnicity. Categories of father figure presence were: (a) biological father, (b) step-father, (c) other adult male, and (d) no adult male. For MA children, residing with a step-father or other adult male predicted increased externalizing problems compared to children residing with a biological father. For DA children, residing with no adult male predicted increased externalizing problems compared to children residing with a biological father. Harsh parenting significantly predicted internalizing behavior in children of both groups. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.


Calandra Lindstadt

Title: Memorable Messages About the HPV Vaccine in Young Adults

Department: Advertising/ Communication

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Abstract:  Memorable messages are defined as communication that is remembered for a long period of time and has had a lasting impact on the listener (Knapp, Stohl, & Reardon, 1981). What’s more, memorable messages have been found to guide behavior long after initial exposure (Smith & Ellis, 2001). This relationship between memorable messages and behavior has held true in a variety of domains including public health communication (Ford & Ellis, 1998; Nazione et al., 2011; Steimel, 2013). A study conducted by Smith et al., (2009) assessed the effectiveness of memorable messages about breast cancer and found that 60% of women were able to recall a memorable message, describe it, identify the source, and note whether it had an impact on their behavior with regards to prevention or detection.

The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was approved eleven years ago, in 2006, making today’s college students among the first of a generation to grow up with advertising campaigns promoting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. These individuals will shape the future conversation about the HPV vaccine, yet we know little about their perceptions of HPV vaccine advertising or the HPV vaccine itself. Beyond this, we have little knowledge of where they are getting the majority of their information about the vaccine. While there is much debate over the efficacy of drug advertising as a way of disseminating knowledge to the public, presumably advertising is having some impact on this group (Ventola, 2011). Knowledge of preventable/treatable diseases can fall into four topics: awareness, prevention, detection, and treatment (Smith et al., 2009). Understanding the topics and sources of messages that are remembered about the HPV vaccine can improve the efficacy of future HPV vaccine outreach. Therefore, the current research considers the impact of HPV vaccine advertising on American young adults (ages 18-26) to better understand the content of memorable messages about the HPV vaccine, where individuals are being exposed to these messages, and the impact of HPV advertising on HPV vaccination behaviors.

RQ1a: What, if any, memorable messages about the HPV vaccine do young adults recall?
RQ1b: What topics do these messages fit into (awareness, prevention, detection, treatment)
RQ2: What sources of memorable messages about the HPV vaccine do young adults recall?
RQ3: What is the relationship between different topics, sources, and preventive behavior (uptake of the HPV vaccine)?

To answer these questions, we limited our sample to emerging adults, ages 18-25, because the focus of the study is on individuals over 18 years old and within the age group that is young enough to still receive the vaccine. Preliminary participant recruitment involved a purposive convenience sample of students attending a large, southern university. Students received no financial incentive for participation. Students were given an online survey with open and closed ended questions about memorable messages about the HPV vaccine. By the time of this showcase, preliminary data will have been collected and analyzed.

Marisa Calderm

Title:  Assessing Foundation Year Programs

Department:  LBJ School of Public Affairs

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Research Problem
Foundation Year Programs provide a well-rounded college preparatory experience, but typical metrics of academic success such as GPA or test scores do not show the full picture of college readiness. International student populations also have unique needs that program evaluators must consider. This project seeks to develop a framework to answer the following questions:
1) How do we define college readiness for international students?
2) Given the practical limitations of the Foundation Year, how do we best assess college readiness for these students?

This project seeks to find weaknesses in the current program structure and suggest areas for improvement. We will be collecting preliminary data using surveys, grades, attendance, and test scores to gain an overall picture of how well the current program meets our stated objective of college readiness. I will also conduct an in-depth literature review on international student college readiness to develop institutional knowledge on best practices and standards.

I will be presenting my preliminary findings from surveys and proposed methodology at a conference in mid-October. By the time of the Graduate Research Showcase I hope to have completed my literature review and have a detailed outline for the thesis completed, in addition to those findings.

Shery Chanis

Title:  Visualizing Guangdong and the World: Maps in the Comprehensive Gazetteer of Guangdong of Late Ming China

Department: History 

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Abstract:  This poster presentation draws on the maps from a centuries-old Chinese genre known as local gazetteers to examine the early modern world from the late Ming Chinese perspective. While many historians have fruitfully used local gazetteers to study local histories, I place these local gazetteers in a broader and more global context. In particular, this presentation analyzes the first three editions (1535, 1561, and 1602) of the Comprehensive Gazetteer of Guangdong (Guangdong Tongzhi) to examine local ideas and descriptions of the world through the southernmost maritime province of Guangdong, which was far away from the imperial capital of Beijing. I propose that the Comprehensive Gazetteer of Guangdong was both an administrative space to record the history, landscape, administration, and events, as well as a space in which gazetteer compilers mapped its boundaries that defined Guangdong and the world around it. Although text was the primary form of mapping in local gazetteers, the compilers increasingly presented Guangdong visually to depict both provincial geography and other landscapes. More specifically, despite Beijing’s long-standing policy of maritime prohibition, gazetteer maps showed more details of the waters over time, revealing an increasing concern for the seascape in Maritime East Asia, which was filled with trade activities and plagued by piracy and unrest at the same time. By devoting attention to the sea, these gazetteer compilers redefined the boundaries of Guangdong and their maps magnified the fluidity of imperial boundaries that often characterized the early modern world. The perspective of the southern maritime province showed that late Ming China was far from being a closed empire as it engaged in the global early modern world. For this topic, I have the materials and have drafted a rough chapter as part of my dissertation. I am planning to revise the chapter next Spring.


Alec S. Hurley

Title:  Divide and Conquer: Sport and the British Colonial Enterprise in India (1850-1900)

Department:  Kinesiology - Physical Culture and Sport Studies

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I) Topic Summary and Research Plan
This project seeks to address two understudied areas within the relationship of sport and European colonization in the mid to late nineteenth century – focused specifically on the British colonial enterprise in the Indian subcontinent. First, the paper seeks to build on existing research, demonstrating sport was a calculated and intentional aspect of the colonial enterprise. Second, the project proposes the implementation of sport was designed to capitalize on pre-existing fractures within the colonized population, thereby further isolating and weakening the native population.

Existing research reveals several dominant themes. Centered on constructions of masculinity (Dimeo, 2002), the prevalence of the military as overseers of the cultural transfer (Hess, 1998), and the sport arena as a non-violent stage of resistance (2006), only tangentially are aspects of intentionality and the purpose of sport addressed. The current project seeks to address a gap in the research through an examination of the importance of the role of sport from the perspective of the colonizer. Understanding how sport was deployed as a direct and calculated driver of imperialism provides additional context to the existing subaltern research.

To this point, a brief literature and article reviews have been completed. The material gathered at this stage has been primarily secondary in nature, but will move to archival research over the next week. A collection of nineteenth century Indian newspapers (in English – but with papers addressing the colonized and colonizer perspectives) will be the focus of the primary research. This is in line with existing methods of inquiry into this topic.

II) State of work by time of showcase
The state of the work by November 3rd will be in the preliminary draft stage. The plan for the research is to submit the piece to the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) conference in early 2018, with the goal to publish the article later in the Fall of that year.


Katie E. Bradford

Title:  Kenneth Burke's rhetorical philosophy: A framework for understanding changing social norms associated with smartphones in face-to-face interactions

Department: Communication Studies

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Abstract:  Everywhere we go, people have smartphones with them. A pervasive use of smartphones has led to changing societal norms for how people communicate in face-to-face interactions. This poster proposes a conceptual framework for an understanding of these changes. Rhetorical critic Kenneth Burke was concerned about societal shifts and proposed a philosophy that has been applied to a variety of texts. This poster applies Burke’s concepts of orientation, form, and frames of acceptance not to a text per se, but to situations of human interaction, demonstrating that Burke can help us “read” these types of texts, too.

This poster explains Burke’s concepts of orientation, form, and frames of acceptance and uses these concepts as a framework for understanding changes in social interaction. For instance, ramifications of the prevalence of smartphones can be explained as changes in in orientation, that is, in how we make sense of things in the world. New expectations and social patterns in our face-to-face interactions can be viewed as changes in form, that is, in the recognizable patterns derived from our experiences. Finally, Burke’s “frames of acceptance” refers to how we approach and name a situation, e.g., positively or negatively. Burke demonstrated how frames of acceptance vary by person, meaning that people can have differing viewpoints about the same situation. Therefore, the concept frames of acceptance accounts for the fact that some people will be bothered by the presence of smartphones in face-to-face interactions while others will wonder, what’s all the fuss about? In this poster, cartoons, new products, and advertising examples illustrate some of our attitudes about changes in social patterns.

Kenneth Burke’s concepts of orientation, form, and frames of acceptance bring organization and structure to a phenomenon—in this case the pervasive use of smartphones—that is omnipresent in our culture but that has not yet been formally described. This poster illustrates that Burkean theory illuminates both how existing expectations in social interactions are challenged, and how new norms of social interaction might be created.

This poster will be presented at the National Communication Association Conference in Dallas, Texas, in November 2017.

Daniel Ng

Title:  Recognizing Hijras in Bangladesh: Gender, Authenticity, and Forensic Science

Department: Anthropology 

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Abstract:  My research takes as its starting point the recent dispute between Bangladeshi hijras – or those (now officially) recognized as third gender – and the state over questions of hijra identity, authenticity, and recognition. In the spring of 2015, the government of Bangladesh announced plans to hire fourteen hijras as traffic control officers. However, of the fourteen hijras originally appointed to these positions, twelve were disqualified after an official medical test deemed them “fully male” (i.e. their male genitalia were found intact), despite resounding claims of their legitimacy and authenticity within the hijra community. The heated debate occasioned by this incident reveals the constraints of state recognition and raises critical questions about what it means to be hijra in Bangladesh today. The primary research questions guiding my project are: what are the constraints and possibilities of official gender recognition? What significance does such recognition have on the lives of hijras in Bangladesh? How does the government “confirm” the authenticity of hijras’ identity status, and in what ways do such procedures align with or contradict hijras’ own claims about themselves? For the showcase I will be working through the data that I collected over the course of twelve weeks conducting fieldwork in Dhaka, Bangladesh this past summer. The two main ethnographic techniques I used were participant observation and unstructured interviews. The majority of my data, however, is drawn from my conversations – both those formally organized and those that occurred more “spontaneously” – with a range of local people including hijras, state officials, medical practitioners, NGO workers, and researchers situated both within and outside of the academy. This research contributes to current scholarship on hijra subjectivity and identity. While current studies shed valuable light on the complex inner workings of hijra communities (Nanda 1990; Reddy 2005), scant literature examines the influence of the state on hijra identity and experience. In addressing broader questions of gender, recognition, and state, this research also speaks beyond the particular experiences and histories of hijras in Bangladesh. That is, by studying such questions in their specificity and complexity in relation to Bangladeshi hijras, we may arrive at a better understanding of how to engage them in other places and times as well.    

Julia Earle

Title:  The stone and the mountain: Reconstructing meaning in material choice and quarrying activity at Maucallacta, Peru

Department: Anthropology 

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Abstract:  I will present my archaeological fieldwork during August 2017 in the province of Arequipa, Peru, as well as outline some of the next steps of analysis. In collaboration with the University of Warsaw’s Apu Coropuna Project and with the support of the National Geographic Society, I conducted a survey within a 30-kilometer radius of the site of Maucallacta, an administrative center established by the Inca Empire to maintain control over the area. The objective of this survey was to locate the sources of the stone used to build the structures at Maucallacta. My interest in materials stems from historical accounts that attest to the Inca’s selectivity in regard to the stone they used for their most important structures; for example, many of the structures in the imperial capital of Cusco were built of andesite from the Rumiqolqa formation, in spite of the fact that it was not the closest or most easily procured andesite nearby. The Rumiqolqa andesite held such importance, in fact, that the Inca emperor Wayna Qhapaq transported it over 1,200 km to Ecuador to build his new capital.

Maucallacta’s precise location appears to have been selected in part to claim access to a particularly important rocky feature on the landscape: Mt. Coropuna, a dormant snowcapped volcano. According to historical records, Coropuna was one of the most important mountains that the Inca worshipped, to which human and animal sacrifices were made. The Apu Coropuna team has interpreted Maucallacta as the primary center of Coropuna worship. Thus, my research seeks to elaborate on the relationship between Maucallacta and its environment by considering the material from which it was built.
My collaborator and I discovered that the site of Maucallacta is built upon a rough andesitic formation, with pink ignimbrite outcrops located above the site farther up the formation. In contrast to my initial expectations, the usnu and kallanka structures – both distinctive Inca forms – are constructed of local ignimbrite. The rest of the structures are built of a staggering assortment of stone – 29 variations in total – the vast majority of which is not found in the site’s immediate surroundings. Given the large number of structures at Maucallacta, we suspect there were more types of stone used that we were not able to document given our short time at the site itself.

We conducted a survey within a 30-kilometer radius of the site after identifying the geological formations that yielded similar types of stone as is used at Maucallacta, and used Google Earth to locate areas that appeared particularly potential based on apparently unnatural rock fall. We identified 11 pre-Hispanic quarries in total and recorded evidence for stoneworking at those locations together with the cultural and natural features in their vicinities. The results of this survey have informed preliminary observations as to common patterns in quarry locations, methods of extraction, and toolkits.

We also collected 176 geological samples from 107 locations. We have macroscopically identified potential matches from these outcrops for 23 samples taken from Maucallacta. I will be conducting nuclear activation analysis (NAA) on these samples in collaboration with Dr. Sheldon Landsberger of the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab at the University of Texas. We will determine whether geological and archaeological samples match based on the composition of rare earth elements present in each sample. The results of this analysis will mark the first application of NAA to architectural materials in the Andes.
In sum, this presentation will describe the preliminary interpretations of the architectural material choices at Maucallacta as well as the evidence identified at quarries that might suggest patterns for quarry locations and technologies of extraction in the Arequipa region.

Hye Ryung Won, Zilong Pan

Title:  STEM teaching and learning in Early Childhood Education

Department:  Curriculum & Instruction

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Abstract:  The study focuses on the development of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in early childhood education, especially Pre-k through K, which is relatively given less attention than other age groups. This poster presents an preschool teacher’s a series of three STEM activities (with emphasis on engineering) as she incorporates STEM in her Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) classroom over a month. In addition to examining the inclusion of STEM components in a preschool setting, this study demonstrates the preschooler’s engagement with STEM concepts as well. Our findings provide support for the early childhood educators who want to bring STEM into their classroom but still do not have concrete examples to use as a model for future application.

Briana Barner

Ttile:  “The Conversations That Black People Have When White People Aren’t In The Room”: The Podcast As Public Sphere 

Department:  Radio-TV-Film 

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Abstract: Podcasting is a space that was initially dominated by White male voices. Despite the Whiteness (and maleness) of the podcast world, there has been a quiet disruption over the last few years by podcasters of color. The Huffington Post has described this current era as the “Golden Era of Black Podcasting.”

This paper will explore the ways that three podcasts hosted by people of color—“The Read,” “Another Round” and “For Colored Nerds” disrupt the exclusion of people of color from the podcasting space. Building upon Juergen Habermas’ notion of the public sphere, I will expand upon this theory using Gwendolyn Pough’s notion of “bringing wreck,” which she defines as “shed[ding] new light on the things Blacks have had to do in order to obtain and maintain a presence in the larger public sphere, namely, fight hard and bring attention to their skill and right to be in the public sphere” (Pough, 17). From there, I will discuss Jacqueline Bobo’s definition of the interpretive community that Black women create to legitimize and critique works done by them and other Black women. I will use these terms to analyze how the hosts of “The Read,” “Another Round” and “For Colored Nerds” have used the podcast space as alternative counterpublics (as offered by Nancy Fraser) to offer unique and nuanced perspectives on the Black experiences in America. To conclude, I will address the importance of these alternative counterpublics, who is left out of these spaces and the impact that distribution has on these spaces (only one of the podcasts I discuss is an independent podcast).


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