English 2013
  • There She Is: Miss? USA
    Molly French
    Mentor: Sergey Rybas

    The purpose of this study is to examine the controversy of transgendered women in American beauty pageants. This study will look at the Miss Universe Organization and recent decisions to allow transgendered women to compete. At one point the Miss Universe Organization had a rule that contestants must be “natural-born women.” This project will look at the past Miss USA winners and will analyze their characteristics compared to Kylan-Arianna Wenzel, Miss California USA 2013, and Jenna Talackova, a transgendered Miss Canada contestant. The purpose of this research is to analyze the Miss Universe Organization, especially looking at Miss USA, to see what exactly the organization stands for, while trying to understand the controversy and incidents behind the Miss Universe Organization’s accepting of transgendered individuals. This study will use Gayatri Spivak’s concept of the subaltern to look at transgendered individuals who are excluded from society’s established structures for how things should be. By looking at the Miss USA Organization, this study will give a concrete idea about what exactly the Miss Universe Organization considers the “perfect” role model and how these stereotypical and objectifying standards placed on women do not fit the mold of our society.

    Tragedy and Media
    Magen Goldstone
    Mentor: Sergey Rybus

    In television, broadcasts that cover tragedy adapt to fit the public’s needs of what society considers a tragedy. This study concentrates on Michel Foucault’s Panopticism. This study uses Panopticism to analyze media coverage from the prime broadcasting news channels the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, as well as when the Columbine school shooting happened. Panopticism allows this study to compare and contrast the first and recent school shootings for this project pinpointing the differences and similarities between what has been covered and the prime point of topic (Columbine-the shooting in whole; Sandy Hook-the children), and trying to answer the question of whether media is appropriate when dealing with tragic events or not. Like Panopticism the media watches the public and bases their broadcasts and coverage on what the public wants instead of covering all that is a part of the story. Research has been done on what is considered a tragedy in the media, as well as, the public’s views. In defining tragedy this allows the study to look at how the media is changing its perspective of tragedy to fit the public’s changing views of tragedy.

    The Subaltern in Time’s Person of the Year
    Andrew King
    Mentor: Sergey Rybas

    Time’s Person of the Year award is an annual prize given to the person who the magazine’s editors deem the most important person, “for better or worse” for the calendar year. In many cases, the winners, such as “The Protestor” in 2011, “You” in 2006, or Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, represent a group with below average visibility or influence. Postcolonialist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak speaks of the idea of the subaltern in, “Can The Subaltern Speak?”, and her definition matches many of the groups represented by the various Persons of the Year. Spivak comes to the conclusion that the subaltern cannot, in fact, speak. This research looks at the past 25 years of the award, and attempts to disprove her theory, showing that some subaltern groups can find a voice in the mainstream. It identifies groups, if any, represented by those who win the award and determine if a subaltern group is represented. If such a group can be identified, research determines whether the title of “Person of the Year” has a positive effect on the groups. It will also show that the magazine has, in the past 25 years, grown more consistent in representing a subaltern group with the award.

    Hegemonic Male Domination in Men’s Health Magazine
    Shelby Morris
    Mentor: Sergey Rybas

    Men’s Health magazine has long been associated with the fit, healthy, white male. By doing so, the magazine inadvertently reinforces the western ideals of the hegemonic male, discussed by Foucault. However, the findings from analyzing 8 years of magazine covers (2008-2013) suggest a change, which results in a more realistic representation of the ideal male. It may appear, thus, that the magazine is giving a voice to the subaltern class – the ordinary male. In this study, I rhetorically analyze the 3 aspects (markers) in which change is the most notable: images (visual representation of the male body), the idea of male power, and the idea of appropriate male behavior. Relying on Gayatri Spivak’s discussion of the subaltern, I argue that, albeit so paying attention to the ordinary male, the magazine all but upholds the stereotype of male beauty which remains dominated by the hegemonic male.

    ReCap, Capital University’s Literary Magazine
    Rebecca Muntean, Max Quay
    Mentor: Kevin Griffith

    This session will showcase ReCap, Capital University’s literary arts magazine. The magazine underwent an extraordinary transformation over the past two years: the 2012-2013 academic year being the most impressive accomplishment of goals yet. This year the magazine transitioned into a national publication for writers from across the country, both nationally known poets and undergraduate and graduate students. ReCap received an updated, revamped website - recapmag. org - and published its first-ever webzine. Both the webzine and the print issues were open to national submissions. This was also the first year the magazine staff was involved with community service activities and conducted creative writing exercises with the children of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition after-school program. ReCap is an important university publication that teaches students the process of publishing as well as the importance of having creative work critiqued. The ReCap staff takes its job seriously, promoting professionalism for the staff and submitters alike.

    A New Historical Approach: Black Mountain and the Shaping of Creeley’s Early Voice
    Rebecca Muntean
    Mentor: Kevin Griffith

    Robert Creeley’s work is complex in theme, staccato in rhythm, and infused with emotional intensity. To best understand him as a writer, one must visit a wide spectrum of influences—jazz music, artwork, raising pigeons and chickens, heartache. And to write as he did, one must undergo rigorous scrutiny as his student, as many did at Black Mountain College in the 1950s. Creeley, along with colleagues like
    Charles Olson and students like Michael Rumaker, created a legacy that would surpass the college’s twenty-three-year existence and into prestigious MFA program Warren Wilson College, the university that currently exists in Black Mountain’s place. In this essay, I will apply a New Historicism critique to the life and works of Creeley and reveal that micro-experiences influenced Creeley’s poetry in opposition to totalizing truths that do not accurately reflect the depth of his poems.

    The Bohemian Village
    Caleb Ray
    Mentor: Lisette Gibson

    One of the defining moments in the gay rights movement was the Stonewall Riots of 1969. These riots showed America that the homosexual community was not as compliant as once thought. Before this, however, was the Beatnik movement. Post-WWII America was changing, and with that change social figures were arising, both gay and straight. Greenwich Village in particular was a hub and host for homosexuals and their activities. The objective of this research is to show how Greenwich Village played a crucial role in the Stonewall Riots. This research will explore the bohemian cultural influence in Greenwich Village and the creation of a gay friendly culture, and how these preconditions lead to the eventual Stonewall Riots. Greenwich Village played host to The Stonewall Inn, thus host to the riots that changed the way gays were viewed in America. Through this project I have learned the history of Greenwich Village and its bohemian roots and just how important the Village was to The Stonewall. I have strived to inform others on one of the defining moments in gay rights history, and how it
    came to be.

    The Effect of on First Time Voters in the 2008 Presidential Election
    Kristen Shlakman
    Mentor: Sergey Rybas, English

    The project discusses the effects of in the 2008 Presidential election. I discuss the websites postings and their effect on first time voters between the ages of 18-22. I will analyze exit polls and the website’s postings two weeks prior to November 4, 2008 and analyze the impact the website had on first time voters and the eventual outcome of the presidential election. The project analyzes the use of Social Identity Theory by identifying the first-time voter’s individual self-concept, and understanding of the election and its candidates perceived in a relative social group, in this case, I will use the theory to identify and explore the idea of intergroup favoritism and examine how the endorsement of President Obama affected the decision of the first time voter. During this study I will explore tactics and strategies of to gain an understanding of why the website was successful in influencing first time voters in the two weeks before the 2008 election. I will examine what tactics and strategies made the website’s message to support President Obama successful. The project will address how this website’s tactics and methods were successful and relatable to first time voters in the election.