Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

The Global and Local Impact of Conflict in World History

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Time: 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Location: Roth Nelson Room
Description: Students will present original research completed for courses in European, East Asian, Islamic World, and South Asian history. The local impact of global change/conflict (political, economic, cultural) represents a common theme found in the presentations of this session.

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Elisa Chavez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. David Nelson
United States and Japan - Allies to Enemies in Two Decades

Early twentieth century United States-Japanese relations fluctuated greatly. During the First World War, the US and Japan worked together as allies, but the interwar years saw the two nations drift apart. By looking at primary sources, including political documents, executive orders, and inter-war treaties, and popular reaction to international agreements, this paper explores the series of events that occurred in US-Japanese relations during the decades between the two world wars. Domestic political changes that occurred in both nations adversely affected foreign policy, leading to a deterioration of diplomatic relations. Within the United States, popular resentment toward Asian immigration festered. By the late 1920s, Japan’s domestic politics became more volatile, partially in response to perceived international slights. By December 7, 1941, Japan no longer perceived any benefit from international efforts to preserve the status quo, particularly with the onset of a global depression after 1929.




Student(s):
Mollie Herlocker

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. David Nelson
From Superman to Deathstroke: Cultural Shifts in 20th Century DC Superhero Comics

American optimism and their trust in government institutions and politicians from the New Deal era through the 1950s slowly gave way in the 1960s through 1980s to Cold War fears, racial tensions, and political tragedies and scandals that fostered cynicism and distrust. The effects of the Cold War and domestic upheavals upon the collective American psyche can be examined through changes in the characters and story arcs of superhero comics during this period. The material to be examined in this paper are the Golden Age debuts of Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman; the Silver Age formation of the Justice League of America and the Teen Titans; and the Bronze Age rebirth of superheroes like Green Lantern and the Flash, and two of the more controversial storylines of their times: “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” (Fall 1971) and “The Judas Contract” (Summer 1984).




Student(s):
Jennifer Robinson

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. David Nelson
You Say You Want a Revolution? Rock 'n' Roll Reciprocity between Great Britain and the United States

Though rock 'n’ roll found its beginnings in America, some of the most famous rock 'n’ roll emerged from the working class of Britain. This generation of British laborers took hold of the rebellious new form of music in reaction against the elite British class during the post-WWII years. Soon Britain’s version of rock came back to infiltrate American culture, permanently altering both societies in what is now known as the British Invasion. Using interviews and magazine and newspaper articles, this paper breaks down the evolution of British rock music and its effect on American culture as well the degree to which the final frontier of America altered how British artists measure success.




Student(s):
Anthony Santiago

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michaela Reaves
Rebels in the CCCP: Analyzing the Soviet Youth in the 1980’s

By the 1980’s the Russian economy teetered on the edge of decline. A new generation of youths believed that Soviet-style Communism had failed. A significant portion of the Soviet youth revolted against the Soviet government and increased crime among young citizens served to undermine the country’s unity as well as the image of the hardworking communist. The United States CIA monitored these changes and in the early 1980’s began to posit that this new wave might herald significant change within the Soviet Union. An examination of these CIA declassified documents describes the changes in the Soviet youth culture and suggests that this new wave helped bring an end to the Cold War by means of increasing petty crime, advocating dissenting political opinions, and sponsoring a resurgence of religion. The regime’s attempt to mold the youth into individuals that would act collectively and uphold the law had failed.




Student(s):
Megan Suhosky

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. David Nelson
Effectiveness of Violence in Northern Ireland

Conflict has been ubiquitous in Ireland for centuries, however the time period commonly referred to as “the Troubles,” (1960s to 1990s) is unique in that violence served not only as an act of retaliation, but also as a response to social discontent. This research, drawing from primary sources such as personal accounts, interviews, government documents, and periodicals produced by various actors and groups engaged in the conflict, identifies the different forms of violence present and measures the effectiveness of such forms of violence in terms of public, military, and political responses. Personalized forms of violence such as premeditated murders, strategic assassinations and even hunger strikes, though less prevalent in frequency and breadth, had greater significance in terms of shaping general perceptions than public forms of violence such as terrorism, police activity, as well as socioeconomic violence in the form of inequality and discrimination.




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