Session B: 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Humanities and Social Sciences. Session B – Oral Presentations, Parlor A, Union

SESSION B (10:45AM – 12:15PM)
Location: Parlor A, A. Ray Olpin University Union



Rhetorics of Erasure: Critiquing the Role of the U.S. Educational System in Indigenous Cultural Genocide
Alisen Allen Setoki, Southern Utah University

Faculty Mentor Nicole Dib, Southern Utah University

SESSION B 10:45-11:00AM
Parlor A, Union

Indigenous communities in the United States have faced a debilitating history of erasure and violence, a history we can trace through policy and rhetoric. This history includes criminalizing the use of Indigenous languages and dances, boarding schools that aimed to “kill the Indian,” and the unethical seizure of Native lands. Yet despite the immensity of these events, most non-Indigenous Americans remain ignorant of these historical injustices. This presentation will examine the role that educational systems played-and still play-in the cultural genocide and erasure of Indigenous peoples. My presentation will first examine the United States’ removal of Native American children in the mid-1800s from their communities in order to immerse them in a westernized education which resulted in a devastating loss of culture and language. I will also examine this history in light of rhetorics such as the infamous slogan “Kill the Indian, save the man,” Richard Henry Pratt’s formulation for justifying the violent goals of institutions like the Carlisle Boarding School. This presentation will then examine how cultural genocide has been carried out through the erasure and whitewashing of Native history taught in public educational systems. I will articulate how the study of Indigenous people is often approached through an abstract lens rather than by studying the voices of those with lived experience. For example, Indigenous communities are further erased through the misrepresentation of their culture with mascots that purport to “celebrate” Indigenous communities, and through the insidious use of racial slurs in school marketing, such as the “Redmen.” My presentation will close with an analysis of how Indigenous scholars have faced attempted academic suppression in higher education when engaging with difficult history and topics. Higher education-with its attention to history and rhetoric-can be a space to change the conversation around Indigenous communities and representation.



The Influence of Education of Police Officer Performance
Jun Hanvey, Southern Utah University

Faculty Mentor Joshua  Price, Southern Utah University

SESSION B 11:05-11:20AM
Parlor A, Union

The United States is an incredibly diverse place, in terms of geography, people, and politics. It’s no secret that political views can be incredibly divisive. But how is an individual’s political ideology formed? Some suggest that people’s beliefs regarding individual policies are primarily formed through a partisan lens. (Borick & Rabe 2010) However, others have found that there are subconscious factors that can influence a person’s beliefs. Oxley’s research shows that a person’s sensitivity to sudden noises and threatening images can be an indicator of their support of policies. (Oxley et al., 2010) And of course, social factors play a part. Research has found that the more “red” or “blue” a state is influences how the residents of said state interpret terms like “liberal” or “conservative.” (Feinberg et al., 2017) I intend to examine the influence of geographical factors on political ideologies. Political leaning (in the United States) is correlated with the region in which one lives. For example, southern states which are generally hotter tend to have more conservative citizens. It has also been theorized that people living in states that are more likely to experience natural disasters are more supportive of traditionally conservative policies. (Conway et al., 2017) As certain geographical features imply different living styles and communities, it is reasonable to assume that people may subconsciously derive their support of certain ideas and policies from the physical environment they live in. Assessing the magnitude of this effect (if any) allows for a deeper analysis of the psychology that underlies political affiliation. We are living in a time and place where differences in political ideology threaten relationships, jobs, and communication. Gaining a deeper understanding of the origin of these differences could potentially mend some of the intense division we see between people of different political ideologies.



Paying Attention: What Graphic Novels Can Teach Us About Human Rights
Ethan Morin, Utah Tech University

Faculty Mentor Brooke Hotez, Utah Tech University

SESSION B 11:25-11:40AM
Parlor A, Union

In 1946, Miné Okubo published Citizen 13660, a graphic narrative of her life in the internment camps that Americans of Japanese descent and Japanese immigrants were sent during WWII. Okubo was an artist, so she illustrated life in the camps. This analysis of Citizen 13660 draws on Michael Galchinsky’s paper “The Problem With Human Rights Culture” which deals with the relationship between art and human rights. It examines conventions and devices of the graphic novel genre according to theorists Scott McCloud, Will Eisner, and Rachel Rys, using their work to understand how graphic novels operate within a “theory of comics.” How does Okubo’s work conform to this theory, and how does it distinguish itself? This essay also looks at Citizen 13660 as a work of human rights art, representing the graphic novel genre as a whole and how it might contribute to human rights. This paper explores the role of human rights literature in allowing readers to understand and interpret history through the lens of the lived experience of individuals as opposed to the lens that is provided by institutions, which may be incomplete, lack nuance, or be actively harmful to specific communities. Citizen 13660 represents the way that graphic novels allow readers to interpret history through the experiences of people who lived it, therefore contributing to a culture that is more aware of human rights and more empathetic to ways in which they are threatened or infringed upon.


An Objective Empirical Evaluation Of the performance International Regimes
Hugh Kerry, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Samuel Otterstrom, Brigham Young University

SESSION B 11:45-12:00PM
Parlor A, Union
Social Sciences

Historically, analysis of political leadership has largely been evaluated by philosophical and journalistic means. The political science and analysis that exists in this area consists largely of attempts to probe public opinion as opposed to the evaluation of the direct effects of a regime’s policies’ effects on its population’s well-being. Although the evaluation of individual policies’ effect on well-being persists, there has yet to be a thorough analysis of the effects of international and historic regime types on several measures of well-being simultaneously. As a way to attempt to evaluate political leadership independently I have produced two databases containing a series of variables which are indicators of and or surrogates for well-being. Using Leadership as the unit of an Index I have evaluated the change in and value of these Social, Economic, and Political indicators of well-being which include empirical measures of:
1 – Corruption
2 – Human Rights (Incidence of Torture and Killings per capita)
3 – Crime (Murder Rates)
4 – Mental Health (Suicide Rates)
5 – Wealth (income per capita)
6 – Health (Early Deaths per capita)
7 – Productivity
8 – Opportunity (Surrogates for social mobility)
9 – Consistency of economic growth
10 – Family Health (Teen birth rates)
The average of these ten indicators creates the Leadership Index, which is intended to evaluate the quality of governance in a country in the same way the Human Development Index and World Happiness Report measure the quality of life in a country. The findings of this study show several clusters of leaders which are often considered to follow certain ideological governance styles which perform differently. One example of this is the comparatively high scores of Western Liberal Democracies like the UK or Sweden in the consistency, Human rights and corruption categories while scoring relatively poorly in the Wealth, Productivity and Mental Health categories. Another finding was that the highest scoring region overall was Eastern Asia between 1960 and 2010, this was especially the case of the three of the Four Asian Tigers measured: South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore which had exceptionally high scores. This could mean that the regimes in charge in eastern Asia Governed more effectively during this period, and it could also mean that Eastern Asia was the most lucky for circumstantial reasons.


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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program Copyright © 2023 by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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