Session C: 1:45PM – 3:15PM

Humanities and Arts. Session C – Oral Presentations, Room 312, Union

SESSION C (1:45PM – 3:15PM)
Location: Room 312, A. Ray Olpin University Union


Philosophy of Love and Forgiveness
Sydney Ballif, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Andrew Reed, Brigham Young University

SESSION C 1:45-2:00PM
Room 312, Union


Defining love and conceptualizing forgiveness is a trending topic in the philosophical discourse. Determining how, what, and why we love is at the forefront of intellectual’s minds. My research paper aims at creating a scaffolding of love through the lens of Charles Griswold’s conditions of forgiveness. Transposing Griswold’s conditions onto love provides a robust and fuller definition of love and affords a clearer orientation for romantic love



Points, Lines, and Bodies: The Mereological Problem in Leibniz
Jackson Hawkins, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Mike Hansen, Brigham Young University

SESSION C 2:05-2:20PM
Room 312, Union

Of all the great 17th century metaphysical systems, that of Gottfried Leibniz is undoubtedly the most extravagant. Oscillating between meticulous logic and fantastic speculation, the challenge of appropriately interpreting Leibniz’s project is exacerbated by the scarcity of full-length treatises in his corpus. The great majority of Leibniz’s philosophical insights are contained in brief essays, prolegomena to unfinished works, and correspondences with his contemporaries, resulting in a remarkably diffuse body of literature. The work of tracing the historical and intellectual development of Leibniz’s numerous distinctive concepts is thus as important as it is difficult. In this project, I strive to illuminate at least one aspect of this progression, namely, the issue of Leibniz’s mereological thought: how parts relate to wholes in his view. It is well known that the Leibnizian system hinges on causally-isolated, simple substances which Leibniz would eventually dub “monads”. However, the question of how the monads relate to extended matter — whether as parts or in some other fashion — is significantly more opaque. As my research demonstrates, Leibniz does indeed possess a sophisticated mereological worldview, but the extent to which it lends itself to a single, coherent metaphysical picture may be uncertain. I attempt to expose an apparent disconnect which arises from an intertextual consideration of several Leibnizian discourses, and seek a way of reconciling this inconsistency while remaining faithful to Leibniz’s long-term philosophical project.



The Reality of Kafka’s Absurdity: The Trial
Brandan Ivie, Southern Utah University

Faculty Mentor Nicole  Dib, Southern Utah University

SESSION C 2:25-2:40PM
Room 312, Union

Kafka’s The Trial is a piece of absurdist fiction that pulls its audience into the central conflict and asks the question: what is Jay’s crime? Unfortunately for the audience sense of closure, this very question is never overtly answered; furthermore, when we understand the genre expectations, we begin to realize this uncertainty was purposeful rather than incidental. Instead, the question of the crime is what allows us to explore the abstract presence of “The Law” within this obscure world. In this presentation, I will explore the formal and structural elements of The Trial to argue that this literary world may be more hyper realist than its surrealist appearance may present. I will further demonstrate how the dystopian world of The Trial reflects our real world in many intriguing ways, particularly that of the world at the rise of Nazi power in the early 20th century. However, while Kafka’s novel may critique a regime like that one, it serves as a reflection on the human condition and Western society’s tendency to want to locate criminality in clear, certain terms. My paper will also discuss how there is guilt that is present within human individuals that the novel is committed to examining, and this sense of guilt is tied to the nature of Jay’s crime as well as to the nature of his society. Through this analysis I will address Jay’s unidentified crime as a plot device, and I will ultimately link this to the novel’s investment in critiquing power systems through law, literature, and justice.


“And Who Has Not Had Their Ears Tickled?” Sophia and the British Musical Miscellany
Janice Bunker, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor Jane Hatter, University of Utah

SESSION C 2:45-3:00PM
Room 312, Union

Historian Charles Burney (1726-1814) mentions an ancient Grecian woman named Lamia who played the flute. Plutarch and Athenaeus both wrote about her as a “most celebrated” female flutist. Burney’s opinion is that her fame was based on her abilities as a courtesan rather than her abilities on the flute. Greek artifacts from this time often depict female musicians performing naked and describe them in erotic terms. However, it is possible that some female musicians were not prostitutes, yet were perceived and portrayed as sexual objects because their performances were controlled and viewed by men, and the artifacts we have were created by men. In the eighteenth century, similar attitudes existed: public female performers “were” socially inferior and morally loose, and most public performances were controlled by men. Domestic female performers were considered socially and morally superior, but there was a fine line of demarcation. In addition, flute was not considered a proper instrument for a woman. Thus, information about female flute players performing either in public or at home is difficult to find, and if it exists, is in non-traditional resources. The current research project will review non-traditional literature for clues about female domestic musicians who may have played the flute. For example, we have financial records that show a Scottish noblewoman purchased a flute and paid for flute lessons for one of her daughters from 1702 to at least 1717. James Freebairn, a Scottish historian, mentions several women whose flute-playing delightfully “tickled the ears” of their audiences around 1727. We have artwork from the mid-1700s depicting female flutists. A strong piece of evidence is the Scottish National Library’s copy of the first volume of The British Musical Miscellany bearing the signature Sophia Eyre and the year 1733 on the title page. As was common with miscellanies of the time, the pieces are arrangements of theater, popular, and folk songs. The score includes separately notated flute parts, which made it more attractive to amateur musicians, many of whom were women. It is possible that some female domestic musicians could have played the flute. The current research project will analyze pieces in the score, including their origin, technical details, and their post-publication existence. This will shed light on the musical culture in which female domestic musicians lived and transmitted musical knowledge to the next generation. Results from the current research project will reveal hints about the musical lives of eighteenth-century women and their networks of influence, and add significantly to the growing body of knowledge about underrecognized women musicians who were working toward enlarging their musical spheres and paving the way for the female musicians of today.


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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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