College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of History and Anthropology

Student Poster Presentation Abstracts

Event: December 4, 2014 2pm-5pm

Location: Schrott Center

Faculty Sponsor: Vivian Deno

Sarah Terheide

The Grand Dérangement: The Integral role of Longfellow's epic, Evangeline, in the reanimation and preservation of the ruthless expulsion that dismembered Acadian society in 1755.

In 1604, three years before the founding of Jamestown, a Huguenot nobleman by the name of DeMonts traveled and planted the seeds of French colonization on the Ile de St. Croix, on the Bay of Fundy. He was sanctioned by Henry IV to do so and set the roots for a culture that would reside in Nova Scotia in some form for 149 years. William Faulkner Rushton and Mark A. Rees are two leading authors who explored the role of the Acadians in early colonial society. These colonists traveled from France in groups of families in search of a life rich in resources, and in liberty to live by their own means, not under the direct control of any government. They differed from their English and French counterparts because of their filial relations with the native MicMac population. Their coexistence with the natives taught them to survive the terrain and learn it by heart. In the pursuit of material wealth and resources, the English tore 18,000 Acadians from their roots in 1755 in a mass deportation. They intentionally separated families and cast them into hostile British colonies, in some cases resulting in indentured servitude, and often leading to disease and death. Their plights were all but forgotten until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his work of fiction, the epic poem, Evangeline in 1847. I argue that, while the story was not entirely historically factual, it revived an interest in the topic and inspired the ancestors of Acadians, as well as researchers to bring the truths of the matter to light, and animate the rich culture that had become shadows of memory.

Bryan Richter

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Cold War Policies and the Vietnam War

From 1953-1961, the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower was fundamental in shaping United States Cold War Policy.  Many authors such as Michael Hunt and Larry Berman have written that Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy were responsible for the Vietnam War. However, the role that Eisenhower's administration played, particularly from 1953-1954, has only recently been discussed in work done by David Kaiser. In order to understand this role, I examine not only decisions relating to Southeast Asia, and Vietnam Specifically, but also at the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. This work draws on a large collection of personal papers from Dwight Eisenhower's presidency to discuss the central role of Eisenhower's decisions in shaping Cold War mentality. I argue that Eisenhower's policy of forceful resistance to communist expansion, set up Vietnam as the proxy conflict of the Cold War, and formed the Framework for the escalation of the war under Johnson. Because of this, Dwight D. Eisenhower can be considered one of the most critical, albeit unintentional architects of the Vietnam War.

Ashley Krutz

Sultry Señoritas and Savage Amazons: Representations of Soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution

In 1916, ninety soldaderas, female soldiers, were tied together with rope alongside their children and murdered by a firing squad. Pancho Villa, one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution, ordered the slaughter when the women refused to identify the soldadera who attempted to shoot him.Witnesses recall the dying women screaming for vengeance, as they cursed Villa and his army. This incident reveals the true bravery, solidarity, and perseverance of the soldaderas. Although there has been significant scholarly research in regard to the Mexican Revolution, few scholars have explored the representation and participation of women. Soldaderas are typically not credited for their participation during the revolution, which made it easier to exclude them from post-revolutionary rights. Some scholars, such as Elizabeth Salas and Elena Poniatowska, have argued that soldaderas were often more than mere camp followers, and that these women actually participated in the armed conflict alongside the men as soldiers, generals, and spies. The myth of the soldadera, as portrayed in United States newspapers and by the post-revolutionary government in Mexico, was essential to maintaining the memory of the revolution as a masculine event through a transnational discourse of war and gender. This paper addresses the following questions: What was the benefit of remembering the soldaderas in terms of domestic duty, objects of lust, or savage Amazons? Why were soldaderas remembered at all, when female participation in war has historically been forgotten?

Alexandra Ranallo

"Transforming Individuals": The Orphan Train Movement and the Creation of Productive Citizens

In 1926 Lee Nailing, an Orphan Train rider, fell asleep on a train that was taking him west with his father's address safely put away in his coat pocket. When he awoke the letter was missing and the Children's Aid Society (CAS) agent accompanying Lee and his brothers said, "Straighten up and sit down, boys. You're starting a new life now. A clean break is best." Between 1853 and 1929 an estimated 250,000 children were sent west as a way to train them to be productive members of society. The CAS was the institution created by Charles Loring Brace to help the thousands of children that became victims of crime and poverty as they were left to fend for themselves on the streets of major East Coast cities. Historians have argued that the Orphan Train Movement (OTM) was a very successful program because it took the children off the streets and placed them in proper homes. By looking at the institutional records of the CAS, such as their annual reports and newspaper articles, this paper theorizes that the institution is an "architecture that would operate to transform individuals." By taking a Foucaultian approach of the power of discipline & transforming individuals this work looks at how the institution created the positive depiction of the Orphan Train Movement.

Peter Maxwell

When Ally Becomes the Enemy: Republican Resistance to Joe McCarthy

What happens when your political cohorts become your greatest opposition? Between 1952 and 1957, the McCarthy Era of communist hunting characterized the fifties as a time when fear dominated American society. Any person with expressed negative views of McCarthyism was branded a communist sympathizer, losing them all credibility and respect. The Green Feather Movement and Joe Must Go campaigns supported right-leaning values, but resisted the republican extremist beliefs that were perpetuated within American communities. While other historians focus on the Army-McCarthy hearings as the major loss of support for the Wisconsin senator, my research of the Green Feather Movement and Joe Must Go recall will examine the motives and actions of the republicans in their battle against their right-wing extremist counterparts during this era of political unrest. The resistance presented by the two right-leaning groups effectively eliminates the opinion that all republicans during this time were fear-inspired radicals that sought total political repression. This research explores the Green Feather Movement Collection from the Indiana Historical Society and Leroy Gore's biography, Joe Must Go, as they led the fight against extremists on the college level and through recall movements; along with the opposition they faced from the McCarthy supporters during the senator's tenure in office.

Kelly Poduch

Living among the Feebleminded: Nordic Eugenics and the Fear of Insanity 1870-1920

Eugenic ideas were embraced and reflected in policies and social attitudes in Progressive America and affected all walks of life, crossing international, gender, and class boundaries. The state of Indiana created a Mental Defectives Committee provided evidence of the immense burden on society through field studies of "low-grade" families. Eugenic criminology allowed for the unnecessary incarceration, sterilization, and isolation of any members of society seen as being weak minded. Criminality and feeblemindedness were seen as interdependent. Amos Butler, George Bliss, Harry Sharp, and John Hurty were the leading eugenicists. These forerunners pushed the eugenic gospel and decided who was unfit for civil society. Scientists and doctors were believed to hold all the answers and power. Legislation was passed and institutions were created to control the degenerates and their linked criminal behavior to keep a clean, healthy society according to the era's definition of insanity and the need to incarcerate and isolate the inferior population. Through analysis of articles written regarding the problem of degeneration of society by the forerunners in the field and the studies of a state led organization, this paper portrays the ideas and suggestions of the leading class by means of an institutional system through a modern lens to highlight the societal problems that underscore the theme of eugenic criminology.

Caroline Jones

It Looked To Me Like She Can Ride As Good As Anybody: The Fight for Women in American Horse Racing

In January of 1969, Barbra Jo Rubin sued the Florida State Racing Commission for refusing to give her a jockey's license, the first step in becoming a pro jockey, and won her case. Rubin like many other female hopeful jockeys at the time was an exercise rider for the tracks and had more than enough experience on thoroughbreds to qualify her for the role of jockey. Once tested, she breezed through and impressed the stewards administering it to the point they stated "It looked to me like she can ride as good as anybody". If this was the level of skill women riders had, then why did they face such ardent opposition to ride and compete? This project focuses on the forced hard earned change in the participation of women, specifically as jockeys which was the most is closed off role, had in the sport. This change in participation of female jockeys represents a larger change in women's role in professional horse racing as a whole. The first women jockeys in the late 60s had to fight, in various ways, to be allowed to compete in general and then to be taken seriously as professionals once allowed in. Facing down boycotts, legal maneuvers, public and professional disproval, and reluctant or stubborn owners and trainers, female jockeys such as Barbra Jo Rubin along with Diane Crump, Penny Ann Early, Kathy Kushner and more are examined from their first chances to ride to the drastic change in how they are viewed today in being honored in legacy and legend races. Even though they were working towards their own acceptance into the industry, their individual struggles, when united, presented a powerful force of change that Allowed women to make their mark in the sport of American horse racing.

Dan Johnson


Gunpowder Politics: Patriot and Volunteer Cooperation in 18th Century Ireland

Neil Garnham, Padhraig Higgins, and other historians have established that the relationship between Patriot Members of Parliament and Volunteer units derived primarily from the Protestant nature of their two groups. Few of these histories, however, offer more than a passing mention of the "armed citizenry" nature of the Irish Volunteer movement during their active period from 1775-1785. Expanding upon works by these historians, I argue that the usage of firearms in this movement designated the Volunteers as an informal army of the Irish Patriot political elite. Focusing on the actions of the Dublin and Armagh Volunteers, I seek to show an application of this grassroots pressure of Parliamentary politics. This paper explores their relationship primarily through correspondence between leaders of the two groups, as well as the Parliament Members' accounts of the movement in their memoirs.

>Stephanie Dlatt

Hoosiers in the Holocaust: Using Oral Histories in Holocaust Education

"I don't know which side was worst. The dead's problems were over but the survivors were caged up."

-William Arland

Mr. Arland is one of the many that had their experience in the Holocaust documented. In 1983, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indiana reached out to veterans and survivors to document personal experiences during the Holocaust during the mid-20th century. These Hoosiers help to fill in the gaps of Holocaust education that physical documentation cannot. Several historians denounce the use of oral histories due to interviewer bias, unreliable information, and phenomenological thinking. This paper examines the use of oral history in Holocaust education and argues for the use of personal narratives. These personal narratives help to document the experiences that affected the entire state of Indiana and its future generations of Hoosiers. Oral histories necessitate the change in properly recording, understanding and instructing history of the Holocaust for the modern age. This paper draws from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, the USC Shoah Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis, the Jewish Collections at the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana Jewish historical Society and the brave stories of those that chose to take a stand for justice. "For the dead and the living, we must bear witness."

- Elie Weisel

Logan Counard

Fabricating the American Dream: Northeast Wisconsin's Belgian Settlement and the Myth of the Model Immigrant, 1852 - 2014.

Between the years 1852 and 1858, over 15,000 Walloon immigrants left Brabant in Belgium and settled in Door County, Wisconsin. By 1900, the community was the largest concentration of Belgian-Americans in the United States. Today the group has a population of over 56,000, and maintains a unique cultural identity through the celebration of traditional Belgian harvest festivals and the continued use of the Walloon language (one of two places in the world where Walloon is spoken actively today.) In both scholarly writing and popular histories as well as newspaper accounts, these settlers are almost always portrayed as noble pioneers, and have been used as symbols of the American dream. Since 1966 when William Peterson declared Japanese-American immigrants to be "super minorities" in an article for the New York Times, the term "model minority" has been used to discuss ethnic groups that many have a positive perception of, and who are used to illustrate a path to success for other non-model minority peoples. Though successful in their own right, the extent to which Door County's Belgian community is held up as a model for immigrant behavior is striking, especially in comparison to other ethnic groups. In Michael Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip (1973), the poverty and harsh aspects of rural life among German and Dutch settlers in the state are emphasized, while the ethnic Walloons in Door County are most often described as uniformly hard-working, morally upright, and family-oriented. In One America (1937), Francis Brown also draws direct comparison between Belgians and other less-favored ethnic groups such as Jews. This paper argues that the consistent portrayal of Walloons in Northeast Wisconsin as model immigrants stems from immigration propaganda, Belgium's role in both the first and second World Wars, and the great sense of pride felt by Wisconsin's modern Wallon-descending population - many of whom are the ones writing about the community so favorably.

Michael Conway

The Crucible of Faith: The Debate on Religious Allegiance in pre-Civil War England, 1625-1642

John Morrill, Michael Braddick, and other historians have argued since the 1980s that religion played a central role in framing the context of allegiance and the ensuing rivalry that developed in pre-Civil War England. Additionally, the factionalization of individuals has been framed as the compilation of a variety of factors, of which religion plays an ancillary role. Whereas religion has largely been discounted as a central part in determining allegiance, this paper seeks to examine the functional, organic role that religion played in pre-Civil War allegiances and establishing religion as a primary motivating factor in determining allegiance, coalescing with other factors. Using Parliamentary Records, Proclamations by King Charles I, Pamphlets, and Citizens' Petitions, this paper seeks to explicate the prominence of religion within a panoply of motivating factors.

Sarah Bowman

Behind the Mirror: How Madam C.J. Walker Empowered African American Women in the Early 20th Century

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Madam C.J. Walker created a tremendously successful hair care company that established her as the first black millionaire. Advertisements coming out of the Indianapolis headquarters -and targeted towards black females- claimed that a job with Walker Manufacturing Co. topped any other means of employment. African American women typically held jobs as domestic servants or laundresses, in which they worked long hours and received insufficient wages. Thus, black women eagerly seized the opportunity to become Walker agents and enjoy flexible hours and an increased income. Yet many eventually realized that selling Wonderful Hair Grower was not as wonderful as it was portrayed to be. Historian Susannah Walker argues that employment as an African American hairdresser was not as prosperous or accommodating as it was promised. Although I agree with S. Walker, my examination of letters from agents to F.B. Ransom, general manager of Walker Mfg. Co., show that they, too, struggled. This project discredits the popular notion that employment with major black beauty companies was trouble-free and lucrative.

Mike Buckman

From Corn Fields to Nationalist Machine: How the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant transformed rural LaPorte Indiana into a government manufacturing superpower

The Kingsbury Ordnance Plant was commissioned by the Federal Government in 1941 for the impending war effort. The plant was built in the middle of LaPorte County Indiana where there were thousands of acres of farms and fields that would have to be displaced in order to build the plant. Many workers came to work in LaPorte from the surrounding area and even from other states.> My paper examines the ways in which the Federal Government pushed nationalist ideologies onto the people that worked in the KOP. I accomplish this by looking at the onsite newspaper, The Pellet Press, to see the everyday workings of the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant, and how the men and women working were influenced by these ideals that were being pushed on them. This newspaper was supposed to be written by the workers, for the workers; but by examining The Pellet Press, I show how the government influenced and censored the employees through articles and editorials that were written by employees that loved the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant as well as the United States. While there is a lot of scholarly writing about war work during WWII, examining the KOP's push for nationalistic ideals can give new insight into the lives of federal ordnance workers. This new perspective shows that the government tried, and ultimately succeeded in censoring negative perceptions of the KOP from the inside to the public population and other employees.