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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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Right Then

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A collection of poems concentrating on 15 small moments, tied together to explore the ardor, tensions, and fragility a relationship. Conceptions of language, teeth, domesticated dogs, and a car accident recur throughout the manuscript as a means of navigating this

A collection of poems concentrating on 15 small moments, tied together to explore the ardor, tensions, and fragility a relationship. Conceptions of language, teeth, domesticated dogs, and a car accident recur throughout the manuscript as a means of navigating this narrative and of questioning the role of memory in our lives.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Joseph Rotblat, the Physicist Who Left the Manhattan Project: a Biography of Scientific Responsibility

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Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957,

Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957, of the Pugwash conferences, which emerged as the leading global forum to advance limits on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Rotblat's efforts, and the activities of Pugwash, resulted in both being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Rotblat is a central figure in the global history of resistance to the spread of nuclear weapons. He also was an important figure in the emergence, after World War II, of a counter-movement to introduce new social justifications for scientific research and new models for ethics and professionalism among scientists. Rotblat embodies the power of the individual scientist to say "no" and thus, at least individually, put limits of conscience on his or her scientific activity. This paper explores the political and ethical choices scientists make as part of their effort to behave responsibly and to influence the outcomes of their work. By analyzing three phases of Rotblat's life, I demonstrate how he pursued his ideal of beneficial science, or science that appears to benefit humanity. The three phases are: (1) his decision to leave the Manhattan Project in 1944, (2) his role in the creation of Pugwash in 1957 and his role in the rise of the organization into international prominence and (3) his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. These three phases of Rotblat's life provide a singular window of the history of nuclear weapons and the international movement for scientific responsibility in the 50 years since the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. While this paper does not provide a complete picture of Rotblat's life and times, I argue that his experiences shed important light on the difficult question of the individual responsibility of scientists.

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Date Created
2015-05

Memory Wipe

Description

Memory Wipe is a 22 minute, video art piece that utilizes home movie footage filmed on VHS and 8mm, as well as television and cartoon ephemera, to explore the way in which personal memory is constructed and altered through the

Memory Wipe is a 22 minute, video art piece that utilizes home movie footage filmed on VHS and 8mm, as well as television and cartoon ephemera, to explore the way in which personal memory is constructed and altered through the process of recording and viewing. Three recent events in my life inspired work: the discovery of a box containing my favorite childhood media, the revelation that I am the last male of my family, and the impending sale of my family's farmland. My mother never used a video camera, insisting that her childhood was lost in footage filmed but never watched. It should also be noted that not once do I appear in this piece; therefore, I decided to extract myself from the narrative. Rather than simply guide the audience along with anecdotes from my life, I instead invite viewers to draw their own meanings and create their own nostalgias from the piece. Originally, Memory Wipe was to be accompanied by live narration, but all things considered, I thought I would let it speak for itself. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E42a6Koma4

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Date Created
2015-05

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Brazilian Civil-Military Relations: Military Coup Risk Analysis

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This thesis deals primarily with contemporary Brazilian civil-military relations. For most of the 20th century Brazil’s political system was stuck in a cycle of repeated military intervention. At present, Brazil operates as an electoral democracy and has kept the military

This thesis deals primarily with contemporary Brazilian civil-military relations. For most of the 20th century Brazil’s political system was stuck in a cycle of repeated military intervention. At present, Brazil operates as an electoral democracy and has kept the military out of politics since 1985. In order to understand the likelihood of another coup d’état, this thesis considers threats to the military’s corporate interests and deflations of the government’s political legitimacy within Brazil. Given the lack of significant threats to the military’s self-interest and the absence of serious legitimacy deflations, the Brazilian government appears unlikely to have a coup d’état in the near future. It is, however, important to remember that the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics could challenge Brazil’s current political stability and alter the likelihood of military intervention.

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Date Created
2014-05

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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Description

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Description

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Women's Memories of War: A Historical Comparative Analysis of French Women's Writings from the French Revolution and World War I

Description

Women. War. What is the relationship between women and war? As evidenced by movies, popular memoirs and journals, there is a definite relationship between men and war. However, this definite relationship has created a problematic and a complex relationship between

Women. War. What is the relationship between women and war? As evidenced by movies, popular memoirs and journals, there is a definite relationship between men and war. However, this definite relationship has created a problematic and a complex relationship between women and war. The two historical events that are considered as the ‘turning points’ for women are the French Revolution and World War I are compared in this thesis. The popular perception of women’s legacy of the French Revolution is that the Revolution cultivated the ideas of Republican Motherhood and the Cult of Domesticity while World War I catapulted women to the public sphere. These two contrasting legacies are compared to see if French women’s lived experiences, memories, and writings verify these popular perceptions. Or, do the writings of the French women present a different argument? The thesis compares the writings and the lived experiences of the French women through three different themes: the argument for political rights, victimization and agency, and gendered connections (the development of sisterhood for the Revolution) or gendered divides (women’s role on the home and war front). In addition, these three themes come together to show how it is difficult to come up with a collective, public memory.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Highly Gifted Students in the Sciences: Predicting Academic Proficiency Based on Personality, Conative, and Cognitive Traits

Description

This study sought to identify traits that act as possible predictors of academic science proficiency of highly gifted adolescent students. A combination of cognitive, personality, and conative traits were selected for evaluation as predictors of scientific proficiency using student General

This study sought to identify traits that act as possible predictors of academic science proficiency of highly gifted adolescent students. A combination of cognitive, personality, and conative traits were selected for evaluation as predictors of scientific proficiency using student General Ability Index (GAI), Revised NEO Personality Index (NEO-PI R), and Kolbe Index scores to evaluate each, respectively. Statistical correlational analyses revealed that high expressions of the conative trait Fact Finder and the personality traits Ideas and Straight-forwardness predicted higher degrees of academic science proficiency. In contrast, lower expressions of the personality traits Excitement Seeking and Order predicted higher degrees of scientific proficiency. Further, stepwise regression confirmed that the NEO-PI R facets of Excitement Seeking and Ideas traits were significant predictors of science proficiency and suggested that the personality trait Vulnerability may also be a predictor. The repeated appearance of the Excitement Seeking and Ideas facets and the dependence of the other identified traits suggests that these traits were the most promising possible predictors of scientific proficiency in highly gifted students and should be the target of future research.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Partisan Voters' Expectations for First Ladies

Description

This thesis determines how first ladies portray their role through their speeches and whether this role meets partisan voters' expectations. Research includes an examination of first ladies' biographical information, content analysis of various speeches, and analysis of public polls to

This thesis determines how first ladies portray their role through their speeches and whether this role meets partisan voters' expectations. Research includes an examination of first ladies' biographical information, content analysis of various speeches, and analysis of public polls to determine Republicans' and Democrats' role expectations and the role that first ladies portray. Analysis shows that first ladies meet some of their partisan voters' expectations and that party identification greatly influences the role they enact.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05