Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

2017 DCC Undergraduate Research Conference - Abstracts and Papers

Mary CERULLI (Health and Societies)
GO ASK THE MIDWIFE: Professional Identity in Cape Town, South Africa

The legacy of gendered professionalization, the racial hierarchy of apartheid, and profound health care policy changes in the post-apartheid era facilitated a specific scrutiny of maternity nurses working in the public sector in independent Midwife Obstetric Units in South Africa. Within scholarship on the quality of maternity care in South Africa, the professional identity of nurses is used to explain issues of rudeness and abuse faced by patients (Jewkes, Abrahams & Mvo, 1998). However, the perspective of nurses themselves on their experience of identity and how it shapes their work is notably absent. It is the aim of this paper to connect the social forces that have shaped the nursing profession and its narratives to original data about nurses’ experience of profession and identity. I will argue that three factors – the valuation of autonomy as a practitioner, a close connection to community, and intentional distancing from the private obstetric standards of care – provide an alternate narrative of how professional identity is experienced by nurses working in primary, public maternity care as a factor that promotes rather than denigrates quality care. 
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Alexis Montouris CIAMBOTTI (Political Science / Classical Studies)
IMPERIAL DEMOCRACY: Institutional Design and The Citizenship Law of 451/450 BC as an Athenian Strategy
for Empire

The Athenian assembly in 451/450 BC passed the Citizenship Law (CL) as a measure of strategic institutional design, defined in terms of the composition of a political body, to ensure that Athenian interests would maximally inform future imperial domestic and foreign policy. The CL strategically homogenized every democratic institution in Athens into the immediate posterity, and the assembly of 451/450 BC used the CL to narrow the composition of the electorate in the political institutions such that every vote on every policy, case, or agenda maximally represented Athenian interests. Although the CL was unprecedented in its substantive alterations to citizenship, its applications for strategic institutional design find definitive epigraphical precedent only in the Decree relative to Erythrae of the mid-450s BC. The CL simultaneously reflected an evolving social consciousness among the Athenian voters; namely, a narrowing in their focus from the Athenian state writ large to its relationship with the individual citizen. Aeschylean tragedy prior to the CL illustrates the narrowing consciousness as dramatic performances reflected the collective social identity and sentiments in Athens.
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Benjamin FOGEL (History / Psychology)
TRIMMING LIBERTY'S TREE: John Dickinson Before He Was ‘A Farmer’

John Dickinson (1732-1808) did more to affect the founding of this nation than nearly any man, yet his refusal to sign the Declaration of Independence has confounded scholars for centuries. He had earned the sobriquet “Penman of the Revolution” for his Letters from a Farmer (1768) and The Liberty Song (1768). He was the de facto voice for the colonies, drafting the Declaration of Rights and Grievances (1765), the Petition to the King (1774), the Olive Branch Petition (1775), the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms (1775), the Model Treaty, (1776) and the Articles of Confederation (1777). He was an elected representative in the Delaware (1759-1761) and Pennsylvania (1762-1764) Assemblies a delegate to the Stamp Act (1765), First Continental (1774), Second Continental (1775-1776) and Confederation (1779-1781) Congresses, and the President of Delaware (1781-1783), Pennsylvania (1782-1785), and the Annapolis Convention (1786). He personally took up arms during the Revolution and served as colonel in Pennsylvania’s militia and before joining Delaware’s. And yet, he abstained from the vote on Independence. Dickinson is largely forgotten and oft neglected for this decision. It has become his sole legacy and source of confusion about his politics. Only two proper biographies have been published on Dickinson and neither offers an adequate explanation for his fateful decision. Contradictory claims have failed to explain the apparent paradox: How could Dickinson, that staunch advocate for the American cause reject the Declaration, yet still fight for liberty? Several recent discoveries at archives in London and Philadelphia offer a unique glimpse into Dickinson’s education and legal career that help construct a new understanding of his theory of government, conceptions of rights, and jurisprudence. With these tools, this thesis reconsiders the nuances of his politics and presents a new perspective on his ideological influences. 
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Anna GARSON (History)
OUT OF CONTROL: The Ulster Special Constabulary, the Cushendall Incident, and Anglo-Irish Relations,

On June 23, 1922, in a village called Cushendall in Northern Ireland, three young Catholic men were brutally murdered by members of the Protestant-majority Ulster Special Constabulary, a newly formed quasi-military police force. The Specials claimed they had been attacked and fired in self-defense, a lie accepted by the government of Northern Ireland. Subject to four investigations – including one ordered by Winston Churchill – hundreds of letters of correspondence, and two trials, the truth of the incident was suppressed and all files relating to the matter were classified for 75 years. Analysis of the incident is almost entirely absent from secondary scholarship, or when mentioned at all is discussed anecdotally with little supporting archival evidence. Why, then, is this particular moment of violence, which – based on the enormous and recently declassified archival records – appears to have been an immense problem for the Northern Ireland government, worthy of study now? This thesis argues that the Cushendall incident exposes competing authorities and political ambiguities and inconsistencies within the very new Northern Ireland government, and is evidence of the state’s deliberate encouragement of the Ulster Special Constabulary to be the violent Protector of Northern Irish Protestant, Unionist, and Loyalist supremacy at the expense of the Catholic minority. The Specials were designed to organize Protestants and to disorganize Catholics: the Cushendall episode tested whether the new Unionist regime would be free to keep the Ulster Special Constabulary from British scrutiny, and determined the tone with which the government of Northern Ireland would approach the next 50 years of sectarian conflict. 

Rebecca HEILWEIL (Political Science)

Despite its vagueness and abundance of theoretical interpretations, discussion of free speech, both the Constitutional right and the cultural expectation, is imperative for study of American press history. To study the relationship between free speech and the American press, text-mining provides a useful way to track when and why American media covers free speech, revealing that, since the middle of the twentieth century, coverage of free speech has not been driven primarily by major First-Amendment cases, despite free speech’s origins as a fundamentally legal concept. Instead, the American media has been highly engaged in covering free speech issues when significant members of the public have believed that a group or individual has employed their First Amendment right incorrectly or immorally, or when it has been unclear if a person or institution is deserving of free speech rights. 
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Jessie LU (Anthropology) 
FORGOTTEN DISTRICT: Non-Profit Governance in the Ugandan Welfare State

The increasing presence of non-profit and non-governmental organizations as healthcare providers in Uganda has altered the role of the nation state in providing health services. This alteration of the nation state is especially salient in Bududa district, located in a region of Uganda that has been labeled as “the forgotten district,” where traditional modes of the government oftentimes do not reach. Through three months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Bududa, this thesis attempts to address the ways in which individuals understand their relationship to the government vis à vis the health welfare system, and the ways in which the presence of the non-profit alters this understanding. I argue that the non-profit clinic alters citizen relations to the state because of its ability to provide the health services that the state cannot. Within this argument, I first establish that political forms of the state do not directly reach the rural district of Bududa. Rather, healthcare becomes the primary way through which individuals interact with the Ugandan government. I then argue that individuals measure the inefficacy of this government service through the pharmaceuticals that they do or do not receive, as well as through the characterization of healthcare workers who distribute the pharmaceuticals as corrupt. Lastly, I demonstrate that these logics of pharmaceuticals as a measurement of quality care qualify the non-profit as a more desirable site to receive care. In this process, the non-profit creates a form of governance that functions as an alternative to the state. I end by thinking through the implications of these multiple forms of governance on the current and future role of the Ugandan state in development. 
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Samantha RAHMIN (History / Psychology)
WHO'S INVITED? The Desegregation of Emory University, The University of Pennsylvania,
and Princeton University

This paper deconstructs the desegregation of Emory University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University. Analyses of these schools’ various archival collections reveal that each school desegregated when doing so would foster a more positive national reputation. Both local contexts and individual agents catalyzed each school’s desegregation process. While each school had desegregated by the early 1970s, the schools did not begin integration processes until a more significant proportion of black students attended each university. 
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Jordan ROSMAN (Political Science)
POPULIST PARANOIA: The Roots and Style of Agrarian Reform Throughout the Late Gilded Age

The end of the 19th century witnessed a spectacular display of popular discontent in the United States. Anxious and frustrated, agrarian reformers attacked Gilded Age economic and political inequalities and had called for a series of unprecedented public policy proposals. This “Populist impulse” has long drawn the attention of political scientists and historians alike. Many scholars have praised the Populist revolt as a model reform movement for having shed light on serious civic inequities. Any assessment of the Populists however, requires a sober analysis of their disturbing rhetorical and political tendencies. They frequently engaged in scapegoating and adopted a paranoid style of unfounded conspiracy theories. Thus, this paper will attempt to rehabilitate elements of the “Hofstadter thesis” and will promote the revisionist approach towards understanding the Populists. It will do so by analyzing the relationship between the historical and social roots of Populist anxieties and their paranoid style. 
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Alec WARD (History)
ORANGE, GREEN, AND BLUE: Police Reform and Sectarian Politics in Northern Ireland, 1922-2001

This paper examines the ways in which political processes and interests affected attempts to reform Northern Ireland's policing infrastructure in three major moments during the 20th century. In each of these cases, a major political event prompted the creation of an expert committee charged with proposing a set of reforms; the Committee produced a recommendation to "de-sectarianize" Northern Irish policing; and the suggested platform was modified during the political processes of passing it into law. In tracking these processes, the paper explores the linkage of policing, conflict, and political power in a region which has remained deeply divided in ways that make it, in the author's view, illustrative of trends in politics and policing which have broad implications for communities and challenges worldwide. 
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Olivia WEBB (Health and Societies)
VOICELESS: The Construction of Homelessness Policies from 1980-2016

Homelessness policy is confusing. Over the last several decades, the policies have been applied without clear direction. In the 1980s, activist Mitch Snyder went on a 52-day hunger strike to force federal appropriation of money to a homeless shelter. In contrast, the Housing First policy of the 2000s explicitly provided free apartments to homeless people. How can these vastly different policies be explained? Are there any common factors in homelessness policy since the 1980s? How is homelessness policy at the city level different from federal policy? How has health been integrated into homelessness policies? These questions can be at least partially answered by reviewing the history of homelessness policy since the 1980s. When looking at these policies chronologically, in conjunction with prevailing historical events and people, several broad categories emerge. Namely, the 1980s were characterized by emergency-style policy, the 1990s by criminalization of certain homeless behaviors, and the 2000s by a focus on policy efficiency. One commonality is that, for the most part, homeless voices have not been heard. Politicians have felt compelled to help the homeless population in ways that maximize their own capital, whether this occurs through quelling the voices of angry activists, removing the visible homeless through criminal approaches, or quantifying eradication with hotspotting techniques. 
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