Matching Items (8)

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Conservation Conundrum: Living Religiously through Sustainability and Liberation Theology

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This thesis reflects on how we understand the psyche, religion, and care for the Earth and the suffering Other. Through a hermeneutic walk through the works of Martin Heidegger, John

This thesis reflects on how we understand the psyche, religion, and care for the Earth and the suffering Other. Through a hermeneutic walk through the works of Martin Heidegger, John D. Caputo, and Friedrich Nietzsche, we come to have an understanding of the incredible importance of words, language, and stories. Technological language is taken as a threat to what makes humans unique, if it makes us say that what matters most must be able to be measured. The myth of Cupid and Psyche leads us to an understanding that the psyche is made of words, and that stories are true, not factual. The way in which meditative thinking requires us to open to other ideas leads us to postmodernism. A discussion of Pope Francis's encyclical, "Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home," aims to persuade Catholics that climate change is a complex and real issue worthy of our attention. As people of faith, we must acknowledge our sins against the Earth and against the poor. We have the power to create positive change, yet we waste our resources. Evidence is given that the poor are effected at a greater degree by climate change. Liberation theology is discussed as one way Catholics can care for the suffering Other. Through my reading of Caputo's "On Religion," we are all more religious than we think, and therefore must all play a part in the care of our common home. A new and more inclusive conversation from a place of love about all of these issues is needed to create revolutionary change.

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  • 2017-05

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Calculative Thought with a Meditative Purpose: Forensic Science and Hermeneutic Thought

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As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a practice of interpretation. This method of approach does not ignore a person’s bias, instead bias is highlighted, understood, and possibly even overcome. In the following pages the basic definition and process of hermeneutics will be discussed. Leading into the difference between calculative and meditative thought – scientific and philosophical – in order to later discuss the possibility and need to merge the two in the field of Forensic Science. Forensic Scientist uses hermeneutic thought by way of merging calculative and meditative thinking. In order to support this claim artistic renderings of ‘the pieces of an unknowable whole’ were created to literally illustrate this truth.
Forensic science is tasked with using calculative thinking with scientifically accepted methods of measurement and detection as well as the meditative task of applying their data to messy, real-world events. In order to support my supposition of forensic scientists being hermeneutical workers, three paintings were created. The three paintings can be considered a tryptic of sorts due to the context in which they are presented: forensic science. They each tell a story that is weaved within each other – spatter indicating violence long past, the empty void of a body gone, and the cold decomposition of a victim found. It is the forensic scientist that must interpret each piece separately and is tasked with finding how and why they are put together. The hermeneutical work of the forensic scientist interpreting a crime scene uses the same methods as one who interprets text. A forensic scientist opens possibilities of meaning in the same way that Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle does. There is interplay between the interpreter (the forensic scientist) and the text (the crime scene), questions are formed (what happened here?) and responses are made (evidence found at the scene). This question and response outlook is what make the forensic scientist a hermeneutic thinker.

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  • 2018-05

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Tongues Becoming a Virtuous Woman: A Philosophical and Communicative Approach to Young Women's Speech

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Four hundred years after the word "virtuous," came to be associated with a woman's sexuality, today's female adolescent seemingly has everything. Yet, there is a psychological civil war raging in

Four hundred years after the word "virtuous," came to be associated with a woman's sexuality, today's female adolescent seemingly has everything. Yet, there is a psychological civil war raging in the psyche of the 21st century young American female because her mind is divided against itself due to the conflicting instructions of who and what she should be. She has so many choices; it is easy to become overwhelmed by them. Today's female youth is threatened. She communicates more and more, but her ability to express herself is inhibited because she is unsure of how to develop an authentic sense of self. It is a hermeneutic understanding of communication and what it means to be "virtuous" that can free young women to cultivate authentic self and continue to make decisions that support such a lifestyle. It is the aim of this thesis to reclaim the word "virtuous" for the benefit of today's young women. Deeper understanding of hermeneutics and communication allow us to view this word in a different light and read the entirety of Proverbs 31 as feminists. Young women have always faced challenges in adolescence, but a return to classical wisdom and philosophy will equip them to further advance themselves and their communities, rather than forcing them into a life of speaking tongue twisters. The virtuous young woman does not know what the future holds, but armed with the lessons of tradition and the fire of hope, she may speak a virtuous magic over the world with a tongue fit for the challenge.

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  • 2018-05

La Inmaculda Madre: A Creative Project on the Image of La Virgen de Guadalupe and its Influence on Latina Women

Description

The image of La Virgen de Guadalupe is an iconic symbol for many in the Catholic Religion and those with Mexicana/ indigenous roots. Her image has played a vital role

The image of La Virgen de Guadalupe is an iconic symbol for many in the Catholic Religion and those with Mexicana/ indigenous roots. Her image has played a vital role in the personal and religious agency of Latina women raised Catholic. The image of La Virgen de Guadalupe sets up many expectations of what a woman in my culture should grow up to be. Purity, chastity, and motherhood are tied into the story of La Virgen. All words that prevent self-identity and self-pleasure. However, moving away from the characteristics that are constructed by those in power she has become much more. Through words and language we retell the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe and give her the capacity to become a symbol of hope and courage. This reclamation offers women the power to express self-identity and pleasure and allows us the ability to see La Virgen as women. Following writers such as Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Carol Gilligan and others, I have created a creative project with the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe and words that are associated with La Virgen. Some of these words will lead to La Virgen and some will block however we still must work with them to get to La Virgen that will correspond with our soul. The words came from my own personal thought and from my writing. In addition, some words are borrowed from the authors that helped in my writing. I hope my creative project will give the capacity to think beyond the ideas that restrict us from true self identity and pleasure for Latina Women.

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  • 2018-05

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State of the Union: A Third World Feminist Approach to Unions, Unity, and Advocacy

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Conducting an auto-ethnographic power analysis of a Service Industry Union (SIU) I use a feminist methodology to examine the ways women of color workers are accounted for, empowered, erased, silenced,

Conducting an auto-ethnographic power analysis of a Service Industry Union (SIU) I use a feminist methodology to examine the ways women of color workers are accounted for, empowered, erased, silenced, or disempowered within advocacy organizations. As I examine the micro and macro structures of power between the SIU and the grocery store, janitorial, slaughterhouse, and union workers who compose this institution, I write with the goal of amplifying the voices silenced and lost in the translation of power in our everyday lives. Critical to this analysis are notions of advocacy, home, voice, and empowerment.
In “Voices: Power and Powerlessness in Experiences of the Self,” I write about my authoethnographic journey and the complicated sense of power I had within this organization, which often became a source of penalty. Throughout my work, I play on the etymology of advocacy—to give voice to another—and the idea of advocacy groups as “voices” for the seemingly disempowered. Concepts of voice and voiceless-ness, who can give voice to another, how, and if we should even be a voice for others, are a constant theme. In “Shadowing: Blurring the lines between Empowerment and Disempowerment Roles,” I explore moments where my translator role as a bilingual, among other roles, became imperative to my understanding of my own actions and those of others within the SIU’s advocacy. Lastly in “Speaking and Speaking Over: Getting tangled in the Web of the Relations of Power,” and in “Erasure and Representation: the Silences between the lines,” I capture a few of the ways the voices of others and myself were either amplified, spoken for, or erased whilst the Union attempted to advocate (“give voice to,” “call forth”) for workers using what I perceived to be a classic business-unionism model.
From my observations of the relations between workers and the union employees, I argue that the SIU operated within systems of power, and was often on par with corporations in terms of power. Then, I theorize that what is needed is a third-world feminist approach to unity and unions that seeks to dismantle all systems of oppression and reorganize the systems of power to end all kinds of oppression—not just class-based, worker versus corporation, oppression. This would be a solution to the problems of speaking for, silencing, and erasure that the union encountered. As I use a full-force combination of theory and activism in my “Praxis” chapter to make such claim, I delve into feminist of color ideals of solidarity. In a feminist solidarity, individuals are united by their differences, not by homogeneous experience or identity. I advocate for a third-world feminist approach to unionism through feminist solidarity, and I emphasize love and friendship as the backbone of such an endeavor.

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  • 2016-05

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Observer #9

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The culture surrounding death in America is one of science and silence. When possible, death is hidden away from the public view. When exposure to death is unavoidable, it is

The culture surrounding death in America is one of science and silence. When possible, death is hidden away from the public view. When exposure to death is unavoidable, it is sensationalized, made into a spectacle. Our dying are put into hospice care, nursing homes, and other hidden spaces, or else they are plastered over the news and internet. So, we get one of two views of death: the sterile, silent death that happens in the presence of medical professionals or the bloody, tragic deaths that are constantly reported across news outlets and social media or sensationalized on entertainment platforms such as movies and video games. Entire genres of television and movies are created on the foundation of bloody deaths and we are exposed to the concept of death constantly.

Despite the consistent coverage of death on a large scale, the average person is not often exposed to death on a personal level in this day and age. The deaths we see on television or in the movies are not typically connected to people with whom we are attached and so we are not required to work through our emotional response and experience. We are afforded the space to be a casual observer in most of the deaths that we see—we do not need the emotional and mental tools to cope with death on a personal level. While this distance from death may be true of the American whole, it is not entirely generalizable. Professionals in select fields are required to deal with death on a much more regular basis than the average person, including, but not limited to, healthcare and forensic professionals. In these professions, death is a fundamental aspect of the job—either as an expected risk or a necessary precursor. These professionals deal intimately with death, its causes, and its effects on a regular basis because of their chose line of work and, in doing so, are regularly exposed to death and other trauma which has the potential to affect them on both a professional and personal level. In doing so, these professionals are required to, as scientists, analyze and record these experiences with death through the lens of objectivity. These professionals are expected to maintain a professional distance while also being required to give an empathetic response to other’s trauma. The potential effect of this secondary trauma on these professionals is only sharpened by the culture of machismo in these science-based fields that prevents many professionals from expressing emotions regarding their job and getting the social support they need from others within their community.

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  • 2018-12

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An Invisible Politics: A Feminist/Interpretive Approach

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Every day we pass people without thinking everyone has a story. If an individual looks “normal,” any struggles faced living with an invisible disability are left without words or

Every day we pass people without thinking everyone has a story. If an individual looks “normal,” any struggles faced living with an invisible disability are left without words or thoughts due to the dominant norm—ableism. Conversely, a more visible disability may not be dismissed as quickly. Who are unseen, ignored, and misunderstood are those who live with invisible disabilities not only in a dominant able-bodied society, but also within academic scholarship as well, because they do not fit into the dominant definition of disability. In turn, binaries form between power relations and within knowledge production that create exclusion. This thesis is an intersectional analysis on expanding the definition of disability, specifically invisible disability, in order to deconstruct, challenge, and transform the hegemonic conceptualization of disability and break binaries in order to give voice to ignored and misunderstood narratives of invisible disabilities as well as foster and create nuanced understanding within knowledge production and power itself. I particularly use an autoethnographic approach to conduct this analysis of my own everyday, lived experience as a young, mixed race woman living with an invisible disability, or chronic illness, on how ableism operates in the medical sphere and at the academy, further exploring what it means to be a “good” or “bad” chronic illness patient and categorized and labeled by the stigmas attached to the definition of disability.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Fostering Creative Compassion in Honors Students Through Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Mindfulness

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This quasi-experimental, concurrent, mixed method, action research study sought to evaluate how an elective 1-credit course informed by mindfulness and culturally sustaining pedagogy influenced honors students’ academic self-efficacy, self-compassion, and

This quasi-experimental, concurrent, mixed method, action research study sought to evaluate how an elective 1-credit course informed by mindfulness and culturally sustaining pedagogy influenced honors students’ academic self-efficacy, self-compassion, and their meaning-making about what it means to be an honors student. Theoretical perspectives and research guiding the study included: academic self-efficacy, culturally sustaining pedagogy, mindfulness, and third space. Drawing from these perspectives, the 9-week Creative Compassion course utilized poetry and rap as a way to enact culturally sustaining pedagogy and also as a vehicle for students to practice mindfulness. Findings from quantitative data from pre- and post- surveys of a treatment and control population, as well as qualitative data (open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and student artifacts) from the treatment population are presented here. This study revealed the following: practices informed by culturally sustaining pedagogy positively impacted students’ mindfulness, these same practices allowed for the creation of a third space within the classroom, and improving student self-compassion should be an increased priority. Additional implications for research and practice are also presented.

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Date Created
  • 2019