Writing & Rhetoric
Languages & Culture
Languages & Culture
“Digital Divides and Inclusion: What’s in a Name?”
Digital Divides have persisted since the term was first used in 1995 to describe households with internet access, and those without. The 21st Century phrase to combat the Digital Divide gap is Digital Equity and Inclusion. This presentation will interrogate what equity and inclusion mean in different contexts in regions of the United States and Canada. How do government entities and grassroots organizations define digital divide, inclusion, and equity? The presentation will articulate the ways in which equity and inclusion are enacted or ignored while attempting to bridge the gap.
"The Pancreas and the Potluck: Diabetes, Climate Change, and the Art of Personal Narrative"
Covering everything from gay diabetic sex to humans' first understanding of diabetes, Taylor's next memoir, tentatively titled In Range, explores our 3,500-year understanding of type 1 diabetes. Peppering "breakthrough" moments in scientific and medicinal understanding, paired with Taylor's personal stories, this project seeks to highlight the daily, private moments of dealing with chronic illness by exploring the great American potluck, doctor appointments, childhood sleepovers, climate change, and the erosion of the body.
Rachel Mason Dentinger
"Wastes or Weapons? Conflicting theories of plant chemicals in 1960s biology"
By 1968, coevolutionary biologists saw the world as an ancient battlefield where plants wielded chemical “weapons” against insect aggressors; but critics claimed that plants merely excreted toxic “waste.” This dispute underscores the significance of metaphor in science. Scientific narratives may transform nonhumans into passive objects—or they may enable us to see nonhumans as powerful agents in the world.
"Expertise isn’t flying! It’s falling with style"
A beautiful performance is often not only a matter of incredible skill, but also elegance, composure, and the refinement of one’s ability to do well in style. Style and expertise go hand in hand. The aesthetic properties of an expert’s personal style are representative of the cognitive mechanisms typically associated with skilled action control – even when those actions are performed automatically. Consequently, this essay makes two contributions. First, I construct a model for a strategy that aids in determining whether actions are skilled by reference to their aesthetic properties. Second, I show that an aesthetic analysis of personal style is an exemplar of the foregoing model. This claim is substantiated by an examination of recent empirical evidence concerning Optimal Control Theory (OCT) to link together the aesthetics of style with the cognitive mechanisms of expert action control.
Racial Epistemologies explores knowledge as a tool for living and surviving racial oppression, building on race scholarship that centers perspectives and identities of oppressed peoples. This rhetorical essay investigates W.E.B. Dubois’s contribution to knowledge formation, his intellectual reverberations becoming resources for living and acting within oppression. Beyond racism as perpetual abjection and harm, DuBois’s epistemological inventiveness and generativity anticipates futures.
"’But I have Better Grounds’: Latter-day Saints and Creationist Claims to Scientific Authority"
Expertise, Exegesis, and Ecclesiology analyzes conflict between creationism and biological evolution in the LDS Church as a case study in knowledge production, epistemological conflict, and competition for cultural authority. Twentieth-century scientific knowledge production and shifting philosophies of science challenged LDS creation traditions, while remaining sufficiently malleable to allow a defense of tradition through marshaling scientific authority. Through abundant original research (and remedying lacunae of prior investigations), the entwined roles of religious and scientific authority structures, social settings, educational trends, and latent assumption are examined. This analysis provides insight into broader American religious epistemologies, scientific interactions, and the making of socio-cultural norms.
"Jean Cayrol: from the Camp to the City"
Jean Cayrol was among the first concentration camp survivors in France to publish literary reflections on his experience. However, in the late-1960s, Cayrol’s texts turned towards questions of urban space and geography. By reading Cayrol’s concentration-camp writings in continuity with his writings on space and place, this talk will illuminate the shared stakes of reflections on the legacy of the Holocaust and postwar urban life.
"Manifest Disaster: Climate and the Making of America"
Manifest Disaster will explore how climate and perceptions of climate and climate change shaped the history of the United States. It will demonstrate that the diverse inhabitants of North America have long held contesting ideas about and perceptions of the continent’s climate. Manifest Disaster will further illustrate how these climatic perceptions both shaped the development of the U.S. and transformed its environment, and also influenced other regions of European settlement. By combining environmental history with cultural and intellectual history, as well as the history of science, environmental humanities, geography, and other disciplines, it will help illuminate the longer and little-known history of the most contentious environmental issue of our time.
"Ethical Considerations Regarding the Health Needs of Muslim Women in Biomedical Research"
Muslim women are among the most disadvantaged and understudied groups in the U.S. Meeting the healthcare needs and understanding the values of this growing population in clinical trials, at least from the social justice perspective, is important. In my research, I will answer questions such as whether clinical trials need to consider the cultural practices of a group, like Ramadan fasting, and if it would make a difference in drug metabolism analysis.
"On the Periphery of (the) Capital: Urban Planning and Delinquent Cinema during the Francisco Franco Dictatorship"
This talk explores how the architecture of Spain’s Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) functioned to materialize the ideology of the regime and left an enduring legacy in its capital city. Analyzing the regime’s urban planning discourses together with the delinquent urban cinema cycle known as CineQuinqui, I argue that the biopolitical strategies of urban development constructed Madrid’s periphery as a boundary zone that restricts political participation and generates social alienation