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A Political Critique of the Objectification of Science and Religion

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This essay explores the role of religion, science, and the secular in contemporary society by showing their connection to social and political legitimacy as a result of historical processes. In Chapter One, the essay presents historical arguments, particularly linguistic, which

This essay explores the role of religion, science, and the secular in contemporary society by showing their connection to social and political legitimacy as a result of historical processes. In Chapter One, the essay presents historical arguments, particularly linguistic, which confirm science and religion as historically created categories without timeless or essential differences. Additionally, the current institutional separation of science and religion was politically motivated by the changing power structures following the Protestant Reformation. In Chapter Two, the essay employs the concept of the modern social imaginary to show how our modern concept of the political and the secular subtly reproduce the objectified territories of science and religion and thus the boundary maintenance dialectic which dominates science-religion discourse. Chapter Three argues that ‘religious’ worldviews contain genuine metaphysical claims which do not recognizably fit into these modern social categories. Given the destabilizing forces of globalization and information technology upon the political authority of the nation-state, the way many conceptualize of these objects religion, science, and the secular will change as well.

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2018-05

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The Forgotten Fight: A Diplomatic and Military History of the American Expeditionary Force Northern Russia, 1918-1919

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The American entrance into World War I instituted a fundamental change in the nation’s handling of foreign policy. The established precedent of isolationism was rooted in Washingtonian affairs and further emphasized by the policies of the Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt

The American entrance into World War I instituted a fundamental change in the nation’s handling of foreign policy. The established precedent of isolationism was rooted in Washingtonian affairs and further emphasized by the policies of the Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary. President Woodrow Wilson, by choosing to engage in a European war, created a milestone in American history by sending troops across the Atlantic to “repay Lafayette’s debt.” However, while World War I shaped American relations with western Europe, it also played an important role in Russian-American relations with Wilson’s decision to intervene in the Russian Civil War. Like his Fourteen Points at the Treaty of Versailles, Wilson asserted the legitimacy to intervene in Russia through pro-democratic rhetoric. This historic decision not only marked one of the first pro-democratic interventions in American military history, but it became the foundation for containment strategy during the Cold War twenty years later.
Furthermore, this paper will look to highlight and bring forth the stories and testimonies of those who fought in the American Expeditionary Force in North Russia (AEF-NR). Examination of the American leaders in the region as well as the geographical situation will address why the AEF-NR’s intervention was far more violent than that of the American Expeditionary Force of Siberia, telling the story of the ‘Forgotten Fight’ and its significant effect on American-Russian foreign relations.

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2018-12

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Curation and Hegemony

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Recognition of sovereignty provides the means by which states have their independence and sovereignty formalized. In cases of secessionist conflict, the decision to grant or withhold recognition of a new state is forced upon the international system, unlike cases that

Recognition of sovereignty provides the means by which states have their independence and sovereignty formalized. In cases of secessionist conflict, the decision to grant or withhold recognition of a new state is forced upon the international system, unlike cases that deal with decolonization or internationally imposed partition. Recognition therefore provides a means by which members of the international system can curate the potential international membership from a set of new secessionist states. A central feature of this curatorial function is that it does not proceed evenly, multilaterally, or simultaneously across all cases. Instead, curation proceeds along hegemonic lines in a Gramscian sense: recognition is granted by great powers that lead particular hegemonic systems in an effort to expand their images of social order to new states. These fractures are expressed clearly in cases of split or contested recognition. The paper proceeds from a discussion of secession since the end of the Cold War, then assesses the input of contemporary literature, and ends with the suggestion of curation as a new means to understand the dynamics of international recognition.

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2015-12

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A Comparative Analysis of Cold War Films from Britain and America: Perspectives of the Political Atmosphere

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Popular culture has a longstanding tendency for being affected by, and reversely affecting, politics. Films, in particular, can exist as either purse “escapism” or heady pathways for political commentary. During the Second World War, governments in both the United States

Popular culture has a longstanding tendency for being affected by, and reversely affecting, politics. Films, in particular, can exist as either purse “escapism” or heady pathways for political commentary. During the Second World War, governments in both the United States and Great Britain used film as a vessel for their own messages, but after the war ended, the two nations allowed their respective film industries more free expression in commenting on wartime and post-war politics. Film also provided particularly vivid political commentary during, and in the years immediately following, the Cold War. Though film has a longstanding history of being a force for political commentary, the medium’s specific engagement with the Cold War holds particular significance because works produced by the two nations’ film industries paralleled the social trend toward political activism at the time. While films produced in the UK and the United States in the 1960s addressed a wide range of contentious political issues, a huge body of work was spurred on by one of the most pressing political tensions of the time: namely, the Cold War.

The United States and Great Britain were major, allied forces during the Cold War. Despite their allied positions, they had unique politico-social perspectives that greatly reflected their immediate involvement in the conflict, in addition to their respective political histories and engagement in previous wars. As the Cold War threat was a large and, in many ways, incomprehensible one, each country took certain elements of the Cold War situation and used those elements to reflect their varied political social positions to a more popular audience and the culture it consumed.

In turn, filmmakers in both countries used their mediums to make overarching political commentaries on the Cold War situation. This analysis looks at five films from those countries during the 1960s, and explores how each representation offered different, often conflicting, perspectives on how to “manage” Cold War tensions, while simultaneously reflecting their conflicted culture and political decisions. The films analyzed reveal that each country focused on contrasting perceptions about the source of the threat posed by Soviet forces, thus becoming tools to further promote their distinct political stances. While the specifics of that commentary changed with each filmmaker, they generally paralleled each country’s perspective on the overall Cold War atmosphere. The British message represented the Cold War as a very internal battle—one that involved the threat within UK borders via the infiltration of spies the tools of espionage. In contrast, the American films suggest that the Cold War threat was largely an internal one, a struggle best combatted by increasing weaponry that would help control the threat before it reached American borders.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Building an Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Colonial and Georgian Architecture to Colonial Culture in Old Virginia in the Seventeenth Century to Eighteenth Century

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important pieces and projects the colonist's need to connect to the past as well as their innovations in their own cultural exploration. The thesis examines the living conditions of the colonists that formed Jamestown, and describes the architectural achievements and the historical events that were taking place at the time. After Jamestown, the paper moves on to the innovations of early Virginian architecture from Colonial architecture to Georgian architecture found in Williamsburg. Conclusively, the thesis presents a historical narrative on how architecture displays a collection of ideals from the Virginian colonists at the time. The external display of architecture parallels the events as well as the economic conditions of Virginia, creating a social dialogue between the gentry and the common class in the colony of Virginia.

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2015-05

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Is the "Special Relationship" Still Special? The Politics and Role of Anglo-American Relations since 1980

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This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown,

This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, and Barack Obama and David Cameron, it explores if the so called ‘special relationship’ remains so special today in a world of growing political animosity and challenges. The thesis argues that the success of the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and United Kingdom has not been just due to similar political ideologies or goals, but also personal friendships which often overcame national interests or immediate personal political gain. Furthermore, it is often the periods of disagreement between these sets of leaders that helped strengthen the relationship between America and Britain, evidenced by episodes like the Falklands War, policy towards the Soviet Union, the invasion of Grenada, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, the thesis explores how current relations have deteriorated due to problems on both sides of the Atlantic under the Obama, Brown, and Cameron administrations, but the research concludes that the special relationship is, while damaged, alive and fixable.

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Created

Date Created
2015-12