Humanities I

Moderator: Lisa Nicoletti

History Panel 1: “Britain at War”

Britain and D-Day
Barrett Keene
Research Advisor: Dr. Chad Fulwider, Department of History

I plan to approach the idea of Great Britain and the impact it had during “D-Day”. I want to look at each key factor in close detail, to understand what went into planning this invasion, as well as comprehend the way Britain was a huge helping factor with this invasion in planning, providing their troops, vehicles, and much more. Along with looking at the planning, I will analyze the factors leading up to “D-Day”. Why did Operation Overlord need to take place? What driving factors pushed for the United States of America, Great Britain, and many other nations to make this invasion possible?

The Battle of Britain
Brady Robinson
Research Advisor: Dr. Chad Fulwider, Department of History

I will demonstrate that Hermann Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe, exaggerated the German advantages as well as ignored the strength of the RAF. The developing certainty that Goering advocated came with haughtiness. I will utilize the absence of insight as a method for attempting to demonstrate and explain the bombing plan of the Germans in their endeavor to control the air over England. I will utilize segments from Stephen Gumbay's book, "The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain" and "Adding to its own annihilation: the Luftwaffe and the clash of Britain," an article composed by Officer Barley of the RAF to portray areas in which the German military lost assets that would have extraordinarily influenced the assault on the British mainland.

George Washington’s Spies
Chris Stevens
Research Advisor: Dr. Chad Fulwider, Department of History

My main argument is that the Culper Ring, a network of spies for the Continental Army, was a major aid to General Washington in helping him defeat the British Empire. To support this, after I discuss how the Culper Ring operated, including location, time, figures involved, and how their messages were secretly sent to General Washington, I will discuss two major achievements that the Culper Ring was responsible for in helping defeat the British. My main point is not to argue that the Culper Ring was the most important factor in the Continental Army defeating the British. I think there are tons of factors that helped the Continental Army defeat the British, such as the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean weakening the communication between British generals, the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, the help received from the French, and the British commanders’ lack of knowledge of the terrain. All of these are important aspects that enabled a British defeat, but I will only focus on how the Culper Ring aided the American Victory.


Humanités II (Présentation de groupe en Français)

Moderator: Andia Augustin-Billy

Le pouvoir obtenu par la classification du sexe dans la littérature francophone / Power Obtained by the Classification of Sex in Francophone Literature
Theresa Johnson
Research Advisor: Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, Département de Français

Dans L'enfant noir de Laye et Une vie de boy d'Oyono, le genre et sa relation au pouvoir sont des thèmes impotants. Les différents types de pouvoir sont exercés à partir de traits associés au genre, causant donc des stéréotypes et le pouvoir systémique. / In Laye's L'enfant noir and Oyono's Une vie de boy, gender, and its relationship to power hold significant themes. Different types of power are wielded from traits associated with gender therefore causing stereotypes and systemic power.

Une vie de boy : la privation de pouvoir masculin et la perpétuation de la violence contre le corps noir / Une vie de boy: The Deprivation of Male Power and the Perpetuation of Violence Against the Black Body
Madison Holden
Research Advisor: Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, Département de Français

Ce roman utilise le colonialisme et l'exploitation des indigènes pour illustrer la dynamique du pouvoir entre le commandant et Toundi. En examinant l'impact du pouvoir masculin sur l'autorité et l'autonomie d'une personne, Une vie de boy révèle comment la privation de ce pouvoir affecte positivement la capacité d'une personne à se reprendre en main, même dans des situations telles que le colonialisme qui implique une violence systématique. / This book utilizes colonialism and the exploitation of indigenous peoples to illustrate the power dynamic between the commander and Toundi, two of the most important characters. By examining the impact of male power on a person’s authority and autonomy, Une vie de boy reveals how the deprivation of this power positively affects a person's ability to take control of their lives, even in difficult situations. such as during times of colonialism, which entails systematic violence.

Recadrer et refuser: comment Toundi dans Une vie de boy démantèle le pouvoir colonial / Reframe and Refuse: How Toundi in Une vie de boy Dismantles Colonial Power
Audrey Gibson
Research Advisor: Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, Département de Français

Tout au long de l'histoire, un modèle d'exercices de domination à motivation raciale existait, conduisant souvent à l'octroi du pouvoir par la suprématie blanche à ceux d'une certaine race. À l'époque coloniale, les pays européens ont cherché à démontrer leur pouvoir en colonisant les nations africaines et en revendiquant ces régions comme les leurs. Cet acte d'impérialisme était conforme à de nombreux sentiments racistes des colonisateurs, qui ont eu un impact diviseur et destructeur sur la vie des peuples indigènes qu'ils ont touchés pour les années à venir. Les effets du colonialisme européen sur les peuples d’Afrique sont abondants dans le roman Une vie de boy de Ferdinand Oyono (1956). On le voit notamment à travers les personnages blancs du livre qui cherchent à exercer leur pouvoir sur les personnages noirs, principalement sur le jeune personnage de Toundi, par la violence. Afin de subvertir ce système de pouvoir, Toundi déplace la lentille à travers laquelle il voit ses colonisateurs—appliquant efficacement ses propres idéologies culturelles sur eux—et refuse de céder au plaisir des Blancs qui tentent de lui faire du mal, montrant que le pouvoir se construit culturellement, et lui permettant de retrouver sa propre identité et son sens du pouvoir personnel dans son monde. / Throughout history, there has been a pattern of racially motivated exertions of dominance, often resulting in white supremacist notions of power being granted to those of a certain race. In the colonial era, European countries sought to demonstrate their power by colonizing African nations and claiming those areas as their own. This act of imperialism was congruent with many racist sentiments held by colonizers, which had a divisive and destructive impact on the lives of the indigenous peoples they touched for years to come. The effects of European colonialism on the people of Africa are plentiful in Ferdinand Oyono’s novel Une vie de boy (1956). One sees this particularly through the book’s white characters that seek to exert power over black characters, mainly over the young character of Toundi, through violence. To subvert this system of power, Toundi shifts the lens through which he sees his colonizers—effectively applying his own cultural ideologies onto them—and refuses to give into the pleasure of the whites that attempt to hurt him, showing that power is culturally constructed, and allowing him to regain his own identity and sense of personal power in his world.

L’Éducation comme une barrière dans L’enfant noir / Education as a Barrier in L’enfant noir

Veronica Seal-Bravo
Research Advisor: Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, Département de Français

Dans son livre biographique, L’enfant noir, Camara Laye dépeints l’éducation comme un point de discorde pendant son enfance. Laye souhaite appartenir à sa communauté et, par association, sa culture. Néanmoins, chaque fois qu’il pense aux possibilités d’avancer ses études, Laye sent peur, tristesse, il se sent aliéné : tout parce qu’il ne veut pas quitter sa culture. À son point de vue, l’éducation et la culture s’excluent mutuellement. En analysant un passage du roman, on verra la manière dont l'éducation lui apparaît comme une barrière entre la culture qui le passionne et où il voudrait appartenir. / In his biographical novel, L’enfant noir, Camara Laye portrays education as a point of contention during his childhood. Laye wishes to belong to his community, and by association, his culture. However, whenever he thinks about the possibilities of advancing his studies, Laye feels fear, sadness, and alienation: all because he does not want to leave his culture. From his point of view, education and culture are mutually exclusive. By analyzing a passage from this novel, we will see how education appears to him as a barrier between the culture he is passionate about and where he would like to belong.

La souffrance dans l'éducation / Suffering in Education
Zuri Jenkins
Research Advisor: Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, Département de Français

En tant que jeunes adultes, l'apprentissage et l'éducation peuvent prendre de nombreuses formes, et toute l'éducation que nous recevons à cet âge nous aide plus tard dans la vie. Notre environnement, les personnes avec lesquelles nous communiquons et même les conseils que l'on nous donne peuvent faire de nous les adultes que nous sommes. Et pendant cette période, avant que nous devenions adultes, nous sommes aussi confrontés à de nombreuses difficultés, certaines faciles, d'autres difficiles, et elles nous développent toutes et nous enseignent l'empathie. Et à travers nos procès et nos diverses difficultés en tant que jeunes adultes, nous pouvons devenir de grands adultes et avoir beaucoup de succès. Dans le roman L'enfant noir, nous examinons comment l'éducation scolaire nous forme et comment l'éducation que nous recevons des adultes nous forme. Nous lisons comment il devient un homme et apprend que ses souffrances et ses procès font de lui un jeune homme et le mènent au succès dans sa vie. De même, dans Une vie de boy, nous voyons comment la souffrance que connaît Toundi le rend très mature pour son âge et fait de lui une meilleure personne que ceux qui l'entourent. Ces deux romans font comprendre aux lecteurs que le fait de traverser des difficultés et de connaître toute forme de souffrance apprend aux jeunes adultes, et que sans cela, nous pouvons devenir trop privilégiés et trop effrayés pour continuer à grandir.En utilisant ces deux romans, nous pouvons examiner les thèmes familiers de Ferdinand Oyono et de Camara Laye, à savoir la souffrance, la masculinité et l'éducation. À travers ces trois thèmes, dans les deux livres, nous voyons de jeunes enfants devenir des adultes, et nous voyons aussi comment ils forment le type d'adulte que ces jeunes enfants deviennent. / As young adults, learning and education can take many forms, and all the education we receive at this age helps us later in life. From our surroundings, the people we interact with, and even the advice we are given can shape us into the adults we are. And in this time, before we become adults, we are also faced with many trials, some easy and some difficult, and they all develop us and teach us empathy. And through our trials and various struggles as young adults, we can become great adults and be very successful. In the novel L'enfant noir, we examine how an education at school shapes us and the education we receive from adults forms us. We read how he grows into manhood and learns that his suffering and trials ultimately make him into a young man and lead to success in his life. Also, in Une vie de boy, we see how the suffering that Toundi experiences makes him very mature for his age and makes him a better person than those surrounding him. These two novels make readers process how going through trials and experiencing any form of suffering teaches young adults, and without it, we can become too privileged and too scared to continue to grow. Using these two novels, we can examine Ferdinand Oyono and Camara Laye's familiar themes of suffering, masculinity, and education. Through each of these themes, in both books, we see young children become adults, and we further see how they create the type of adult these young children become.


Social Sciences (PSC Panel 2)

Moderator: Amanda Donahoe

The Influence of Corruption on the Foreign Relations of Mauritius
Taha Hayat
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

Through the study of corruption statistics, academic literature, and investigative journalism, I plan to answer the question of why the island nation of Mauritius, previously seen as a long-time Western and Indian ally in the Indian Ocean, has slowly begun to shift its foreign policy towards China, in the form of business and naval contracts. Throughout my project, I plan to explore how corruption affects all sectors of Mauritian civil society, particularly foreign relations, and how this in turn affects the diplomatic decisions made on behalf of the island nation.

Brexit: The Struggle Northern Ireland Faces
Kennedy Wilcher
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

My senior thesis project is focused on Brexit and its impacts on the rights of people in Northern Ireland. For example: how does Brexit affect those with different citizenships as Northern Ireland allows for its people to pursue both a British and Irish passport if they so choose. Brexit affects this because the Republic of Ireland is still within the European Union and thus are given certain rights and privileges that the United Kingdom will no longer receive due to their leaving. This places Northern Ireland at an extreme disadvantage as they share a border with Ireland and do not wish for the turmoil at the border to return. I am conducting interviews with civil servants around Northern Ireland to hear their experiences and the effects felt by Brexit. My hypothesis is that certain identities regarding citizenship are faced with more disadvantages than others because of the loss of the Great Britain’s European Union membership.

ISIS and Q-Anon: Defining the Boundaries Extremism and Radicalism
Maria Zabaneh
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

Terms such as extremism and radicalism have been continuously misused by mainstream media. Groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Q-Anon have become more prevalent in today’s society and have left scholars to question their origins and what terms they fall under. To further understand how these groups resemble and differ one another, this study will attempt to shed light on concepts such as radicalism and extremism and the boundaries of these concepts when relating to groups such as ISIS and Q-Anon and how these forces were successful in polarizing certain communities. It is predicted that in understanding concepts such as extremism and radicalism, scholars will be able to define groups such as ISIS and Q-Anon and understand both their shared and unshared characteristics.

Is Hamas A Legitimate Government
Cade Lastovica
For my project I will be presenting research on the group known as ‘Hamas’ located in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. My research focuses on the governmental structures that are put in place and how they affect the citizens they work for, along with social and military structures set up in Gaza to determine if Hamas is a legitimate government.

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