College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of History and Anthropology

Activities and Events

Celebration of Student Works
HST301, Theory and Methods
Dec. 10, 2013, AU111

This event was a poster presentation of student research projects.  Below is a sampling of student abstracts.

The Door Painted Yellow:

Faith, Citizenship, and Conscientious Objection in Great War America

by Evan Comer


Tilman Soldner was a dentist by trade and a conscientious objector by faith who had been drafted, court-martialed, and sentenced to twenty years in prison for failing to comply with a commanding officer's orders during the Great War.  When he returned to the Mennonite community in Berne, Indiana two years after his initial sentence, Soldner had intended to take up his dental practice. However, that was not the reality he inherited.  One day while he was at work, the door to Soldner's dental practice was vandalized--painted yellow by supporters of the war effort-- in an attempt to brand him before his peers as a "slacker."  This is just one of many examples of the cultural violence to which conscientious objectors during the First World War were exposed. Using sources collected from the Plowshares digital archive, Bethel College's World War I Schowalter audio collection, the records of the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as the New York Time's national news coverage of the war response. I argue that this cultural violence, though, was not an end unto itself.  Instead, it enforced and affirmed who could and who could not be considered made factocitizen of the United States on the basis of ideology, conscience, and belief.  To accomplish that, this paper blends peace and conflict studies concepts of structural and cultural violence with Althusser's broader theories of the repressive and ideological state apparatuses to show the ways in which both the state and pervasive ideologies acted in concert to determine who belonged and who did not on the basis of what individuals thought and believed, what faiths were legitimate, and what languages could be spoken at church in Great War America.


Rewriting the Symphony:

Grassroots Activism and Performance of Women's Symphonies in the 20th Century

by Donald Bradley

Prior to the 20th century, women in the U.S. were confined in regards to opportunities and freedoms in instrumental music. From instrument choice, to performance and education opportunities, art music for women was something separate from the venerated masculine expression which had come to be associated with the symphony and the Western European art music tradition. This paper focuses on the women who combated these gender norms in music by examining the performance and reception of women's symphonies of the early to mid 20th century and the agency of individual activists and performers in their own communities, such as 19th century renowned violinist Camille Urso and the founder and conductor of the Orchestrette of New York Frederique Petrides, who published the newsletter Women in Music from 1935-1940 as a way of uniting the greater community of women musicians. I also explore the smaller scale activism in communities through education and civic orchestras, which I am calling grassroots activism. I argue that the combination of grassroots activism and virtuosic performance challenged the male-dominated symphony, proving women's capabilities as instrumentalists and creating a space for women in professional instrumental music. This paper also connects women's symphonies across the 20th century and the United States, tracing and examining current dissatisfactions of the status of women in music. I use interviews with Frederique Petrides, Camille Urso, Lillian Poenisch (founder of the Chicago Woman's Symphony), performance reviews in music journals and newspapers, and the newsletter,Women in Music,to explore how these women saw their own activism, and the greater effect that they had on the musical world.


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