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March 30, 2022

UCO Liberal Arts Symposium 2022: Modern Mosaic

The University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Arts hosts the 34th Annual Symposium on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, offering students the opportunity to present their exemplary writing and research and to participate in other academic and creative activities. Classes in the College of Liberal Arts are redirected during the event to allow students to participate and to give classmates the chance to experience the scholarly and creative work of their fellow students.

This long-standing tradition is one of the most important and visible celebrations of the creativity and scholarship of our students.

All Day Events

The Medieval Society at UCO

Exhibit: Stained Glass Window
Presenters: Zoë Adams, Victoria Birney, Julia Boydston, Emily Cowen, Kendra Dittmer, Richard Durham, Dillon Evans, Aliessia Jones, Maddie Lawson, Baylee Mage, and Zane Powell Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Reid Weber and Dr. Jessica Appleby

Video Presentation

Papers/Video: Public Administration: Inequalities, Nonprofits, Communications, Indigenous Governance
Abstract: This discussion panel presents research papers dealing with a number of disciplinary areas impacting
public administration.
Presenters: Gul Azfar, “Post Pandemic Perceptions of Essential Work: Worker’s Struggle and Inequality,” Mayona Presley, “The Effect of COVID-19 on Communication Within Higher Education Institutions with Faculty and Student Organizations,” Brianna Stevens, “Human Nature: Leveraging Natural Instincts toInspire Volunteers,” Melissa Rosenfelt, “Indigenous Sovereignty,” and Paige Henderson, “Collaborative Government”


Poster Presentations

Poster: The Points of Explosion for the Women’s Liberation Movement and Lesbian Feminism
The Women’s Liberation Movement was originally against queer women, particularly lesbians. So lesbian feminists separated themselves from the movement, created a controversial document called “The Woman-Identified Woman,” and organized a zap under the title, “The Lavender Menace.” However, after the zap there were still massive tensions between straight and lesbian feminists on what it meant to be a “true feminist,” which included biphobia and transphobia that we still see today.
Presenters: Mikayla Maiahy Faculty

Poster: Exploring the Intersections of Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Patients: Official Survey Findings
In the politically conservative state of Oklahoma, 57% of voters approved the implementation of a medical cannabis legalization initiative, State Question 788. To become a medical cannabis patient under the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), there are no specific qualifying medical conditions. However, there is a gap in documentation and measurable data about Oklahoma medical cannabis patients’ experiences or hardships. This on-going survey is part of a greater McNair Scholar’s focus group study that implements an intersectionality analytical framework as the methodology. This study centers Oklahoma’s medical cannabis patients who identify as a member of a historically excluded group. Identities including racial, ethnic, gender and sexually diverse groups.
Presenter: Jessica Addai Faculty

Poster: McGirt v. Oklahoma
This poster traces the contours of the monumental U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the rights of indigenous nations.
Department: Political Science
Presenter: Melissa Rosenfelt


9-11 a.m.

Activity: Mock Crime Scene Investigation
Department: School of Criminal Justice
Presenters: Eric Adkins, Meghan Allen-Beene, McKaylee Prieto, Matthew Councill, Chasey Tooker, and Malanie Bach
Moderator: Dr. Donald Mizell

9-10 a.m.

Papers: Ethics in Contemporary Media
This panel of presentations and papers takes a piercing look at ethics in modern media. The first presentation is based on a simulated business named “Octagon” which focuses on showcasing stories that might not get much attention in mainstream media. The focus is on eight demographics, such as race, ethnicity, age, etc,, to ensure that the platform is as diverse, inclusive, and respectful as possible. Jones continues with a separate research project that focuses on the famous reporter, Connie Chung, whose career went downhill after she used deceit to get information out of former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich’s mother, Kathleen Gingrich. Jones goes in depth on why this was wrong and the consequences of her actions. Her paper emphasizes the importance of integrity for journalism. Schifferdecker tackles the phenomenon of thousands of people going missing every year but only a few are reported on, and those few are typically white women. Well known missing persons cases such that of Gabby Petito exemplify the disparity of those getting a lot of media attention while many others get little to none. It is impossible to report on all 87,500 cases (the number of missing persons in 2019 according to the FBI) but when everyone who does receive media coverage looks the same that’s when there’s a problem.
Presenters: Eden Jones, Jamie Hardison, Jocelyn Schifferdecker, and Joseph Morales, “Octagon,” Eden Jones, “Just Between You and Me,” and Jocelyn Schifferdecker, “ Missing White Woman Syndrome”

Papers: Understudied Perspectives in Sixteenth-Century Literatures
These three presentations highlight research in sixteenth-century literature and culture that counter dominant modern narratives about the norms, practices, and prejudices of the time. Guigar notes that Micheline White, Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, and Sheryl A. Kujama-Holbrook have confirmed Katherine Parr’s work, as Henry VIII’s wife and widow, in pushing an agenda through Henry’s court to work to 1) unify the country in Henry’s war endeavors and 2) improve the literacy of the country. Parr inspired Henry’s children, Mary, Edward, and Elizabeth, and influenced the directions each took, during their later reigns, in reforming the church and educating their citizens. Bradford focuses on the rhetorical strategies Elizabeth I used in the early years of her reign to address discoursal issues of legacy, gender, religion, and marriage. Elizabeth I famously led England into the much-romanticized “Elizabethan Age,” a forty-five-year reign which Lewis Spitz calls a “love affair between her majesty and the English people.” Elizabeth emphasized the idea that she was married to her country, perpetuating her idealization as “Gloriana.” In order to achieve this status, Elizabeth had to subvert the ideas that others had for her Queenship. Bingham describes how Africans in Early Modern England lived largely understudied but not entirely undocumented lives. Beginning with Imtiaz Habib’s groundbreaking archival work, scholars began to uncover information about the lives of Black Africans in England during this time. The early moderns had very different understandings of skin color and race, which allowed for possibilities for all kinds of experiences. The kind of extreme prejudice based on skin color would come with the official beginning of chattel slavery in 1677.Understudied Perspectives in Sixteenth-Century Literatures Abstract: These three presentations highlight research in sixteenth-century literature and culture that counter dominant modern narratives about the norms, practices, and prejudices of the time. Guigar notes that Micheline White, Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, and Sheryl A. Kujama-Holbrook have confirmed Katherine Parr’s work, as Henry VIII’s wife and widow, in pushing an agenda through Henry’s court to work to 1) unify the country in Henry’s war endeavors and 2) improve the literacy of the country. Parr inspired Henry’s children, Mary, Edward, and Elizabeth, and influenced the directions each took, during their later reigns, in reforming the church and educating their citizens. Bradford focuses on the rhetorical strategies Elizabeth I used in the early years of her reign to address discoursal issues of legacy, gender, religion, and marriage. Elizabeth I famously led England into the much-romanticized “Elizabethan Age,” a forty-five-year reign which Lewis Spitz calls a “love affair between her majesty and the English people.” Elizabeth emphasized the idea that she was married to her country, perpetuating her idealization as “Gloriana.” In order to achieve this status, Elizabeth had to subvert the ideas that others had for her Queenship. Bingham describes how Africans in Early Modern England lived largely understudied but not entirely undocumented lives. Beginning with Imtiaz Habib’s groundbreaking archival work, scholars began to uncover information about the lives of Black Africans in England during this time. The early moderns had very different understandings of skin color and race, which allowed for possibilities for all kinds of experiences. The kind of extreme prejudice based on skin color would come with the official beginning of chattel slavery in 1677.
Presenters: Brandy Guigar, “Katherine Parr’s Crown was full of Pencils,” Ashlyn Bradford, “The Ascension of Gloriana,” and Sherry Bingham, “Shadows of the Invisible: Black Lives in Early Modern England”

Discussion Panel: Violence, Representation, and Power: The Struggles and Liberation of Womanhood
This discussion panel focuses on the multifaceted lives that women embody. From activism to violence, women’s lives and bodies are ignored, rejected, and abused by legal and illegal societies. Through this discussion panel, each presenter focuses on an aspect of womanhood: misrepresentation (or lack thereof), sexual and physical abuse, and feminine liberation.
Presenters: Lydia Perez, Tyson Anderson, and Merrick Sloane

Papers: What Makes a Villain? Systems of Morality and Value in Shakespeare’s Plays
This panel addresses moral and value systems in Shakespeare. Joshua Lloyd’s paper considers competing systems of morality in The Merchant of Venice. Kari Hampton then considers the negative value racism assigns in Othello, and how we might understand a play that values its villain so much. This thread is expanded in Thuy Le Minh Nguyen’s consideration of Iago’s villainy—his immorality and the fascination it holds for audiences.
Presenters: Joshua Lloyd, “Biblical Allusions and Allegories in The Merchant of Venice,” Kari Hampton, “Characterization of Iago,” and Thuy Le Minh Nguyen, “Deciphering the Power of Iago”

Papers: Misrepresentations in Pop Culture
This panel examines three perspectives concerning proper representation in pop culture entertainment. Miller asks should cisgender and heterosexual actors plays LGBTQ+ roles in TV and Film? When cisgendered and heterosexual actors and actresses play LGBTQ+ roles there can potentially be a projection of sterotypes. These people don’t have the lived experience that real-life LGBTQ+ people go through. It is, however, an actor’s job to put on an act and play a role that isn’t themselves. Meanwhile having only LGBTQ+ actors and actresses play queer roles can limit their careers. Thornton’s essay analyzes the presentation of masculinity found in the iconic starship captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series. It particularly focuses on aspects of military masculinity, such as colonialism, leadership, repressed emotions, the idea of the “quiet man,” and ruthlessness, as described in the work done by Gregory Blackburn and Ralph R. Donald. Despite Star Trek’s setting in a pseudo-militaristic, naval-inspired organization, military masculinity is only partially applicable to Kirk’s characterization, as he deviates from it in several ways. This essay explores the ways in which Kirk sometimes subverts military masculinity and sometimes upholds it, emphasizing the idealistic future portrayed in Star Trek: The Original Series. Lomelin discusses the brief history of video game developer CD Projekt Red and the unethical business practices they performed leading up to the release of their bug-ridden game Cyberpunk 2077.
Presenters: Olivia Miller, “Is It Ethical for Heterosexual and Cisgender Actors to Play LGBTQ+ Characters?”, Robyn Thornton, “Man of the Future: The Masculinity of Captain Kirk,” and Christopher Lomelin, “Cyberpunk 2077: The Ethical Dilemma of Misrepresentation”

Papers: Explaining the Universe Through the Paradigms of Mysticism, Philosophy, and Science
Abstract: This panel traces various perspectives used to understand the nature of existence through alchemy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. Vanlandingham notes that in recent years, the study of Western European alchemy has reached a fever as researchers have published new understanding of this proto-scientific art. Alchemy’s extensive connections with mysticism and spirituality directly contrast it with the more rigorous and empirical discipline of the sciences. Yet, as many scholars attest, alchemy was fundamental in the development of many scientific schools of the modern world such as chemistry and pharmacology. Spahn analyzes Wiggenstein’s logical atomism. In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein presents his theory of metaphysics, which includes his theory of logical atomism. Spahn outlines Wittgenstein’s argument for logical atomism and then argues that his explanation of the totality facts implies a contingent relationship between facts and weakens his own argument, thus leading to the denial of proposition two, which asserts the existence of atomic facts. Spahn then turns to identity theory and the multiple realizability thesis.
Presenters: Ryan Vanlandingham, “Mysticism and Alchemy: Linking Magic and Science in the Early Modern Period,” and Sara Spahn, “Wittgenstein’s Logical Atomism” and “Identity Theory and the Multiple Realizability Thesis”

Papers: Capitalism and the Environment
These papers all examine aspects of capitalism and class within ecocritical approaches to literature and popular culture. Wilkie analyzes the video game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons which reflects the progression toward a more materialistic society. The video game’s popularity exhibits the societal addiction to materialism while simultaneously showing how society relies on materialism through capitalism. The game feeds this addiction in a fake inconsequential world. Through the lens of ecomaterialism, critics show how this kind of growth and addiction within societies is harmful for the environment and humanity. Arnold looks through the prism of Frank Herbert’s Dune to show how the commodification of the planet Arrakis’s spice and water ultimately creates the conditions for ecological disaster. This paper explores how commodification of natural resources creates conditions for ecological disaster as well as human devaluation. DeCelle focuses on The Devil We Know, a documentary that sheds light on the massive injustices committed by DuPont. DuPont’s creation and mass dumping of a chemical known as C8 contaminated the world and caused mass death and complications due to cancers and other diseases. While this documentary confronts the immense environmental justice issues that occurred due to DuPont, it subtly reveals how different positions within certain class dynamics relate to the level of harm these injustices inflict.
Presenters: Shahannah Wilkie, “An Analysis of Animal Crossing through Ecomaterialism: From Colonization to an Environmental Crisis,” Arielle Arnold, “How the Commodification of Arrakis’s Resources Creates the Conditions for Ecological Disaster in Frank Herbert’s Dune,” and Audrey DeCelle, “Environmental Injustice and Class Inequality in The Devil We Know”

Papers: Philosophy and Music 1
This panel (1 of 2) presents research on such areas as music and emotions from the Philosophy and Music class followed by questions and answers.


10-11 a.m.

Papers: Ancient Philosophy
Abstract: “The Form of a Name in Plato” provides a novel reading of one of Plato’s most difficult dialogues, the Cratylus. This paper tries to make sense of Plato’s philosophy of language by explaining the relationship between names and Platonic forms. “Epicurean Hedonism” explains the distinction between kinetic and katastematic pleasures in Epicurean hedonism, and uses this distinction to solve a major problem in Epicureanism, the purported equivalence between pleasure and happiness.
Presenters: Taylor Baker, “The Form of a Name in Plato,” and Sara Spahn, “Epicurean Hedonism.”

Slide Show: Genital Perceptions: Analyzing the Unspeakable
Abstract: The theme of this panel centers on media portrayals and public perceptions of reproductive organs and systems in diversely-bodied individuals. Stewart presents research over the history of menstruation in the United States. Menstruation has historically been a very stigmatized topic in many cultures. The twentieth century United States is no exception, and menstruators have been steeped in shame and expectations of concealment throughout. By analyzing primary source documents from 1920 to the present day, this research compares explanations for menstruation, the social code for menstruators, and how menstruators have been treated for pain and other related symptoms. Donnell discusses how the language that is being used to sell and oppose male birth control is often limited in its diversity and inclusion of people that are not cisgender. This presentation is going to look at the language being used to express the demand, and the opposition, for more male birth control options and the impact of language on the perspectives on hormonal male birth control. Jones presents and analyzes how social media impacts women’s health by looking at social media platforms that make content surrounding abortions and vaginal health.
Presenters: Emma Stewart, “Menstruation and the Media,” Skyler Donnell, “Representation and Impact of Male Birth Control on Social Media,” and Paige Jones, “The Hold That Social Media Has on Women’s Health”

Discussion Panel: Restoring Faith in Election Integrity
Abstract: This panel addresses some of the issues surrounding election integrity and faith in our elections.
Presenters: Jordan Chavez, Melissa Rosenfelt , Joshuah Garrett, Chrystalynn Sanchez, Gabe Powell, and Devin Doutaz

Papers: Others, Alterity, and Meaning in Shakespeare
Abstract: These three presentations explore the deep meaning within the works of Shakespeare. Wilkie studies the gaps in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and identifies a hidden message given by Shakespeare. Anti-Semitism was very common during this time, so many jokes in the play poked fun at Judaism. However, even though “The Merchant of Venice” may seem to favor Christianity, it also subtly and ironically criticizes Christian hypocrisy. Hampton’s research is about the colonialist view of Othello. This viewpoint solidifies the Othered behavior that the surrounding characters of this play place upon Othello. Regardless of his status and stature in society, he is a target of racial disparity. This disparity allows critics to talk about class and race in the period of the play but also to evaluate how these elements, in turn, fuel Othello’s dramatic end. Haddad notes that “Hamlet” represents Shakespeare’s underlying understanding of meaning in human mortality, particularly the yearning for the ghosts of our past. “Hamlet” shows the futility of death and the dangers of dwelling heavily on grief. Shakespeare’s ghosts are his yearning, bringing meaning to his own grief in tragedies he experienced. His yearning for the dead prevents moving forward in life, even as the imprints of loved ones build us into who we are. Through experiencing our own pandemic, many of us learned to anticipate separation, to understand the isolation of death. Audiences today can connect to the universal experience of the fragile mortality in the tragedies of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
Presenters: Shahannah Wilkie, “Shakespeare’s Hidden Message in Merchant of Venice: Calling Out Irony in a Religious World, ” Kobi Hampton, “Colonist Ideology and Race in Othello,” and Renee Haddad, “The Ghosts of Shakespeare”

Papers: Philosophy and Music 2
Abstract: This panel (2 of 2) presents research on such areas as music and humor from the Philosophy and Music class followed by questions and answers.
Presenters: Chazlen Rook, “Senses of Humor in Instrumental Music,” and Michael Byfield, “Music and Emotional Expression”

Papers: Intersectionality and Social Issues Within U.S. Communities
Abstract: This group presentation consists of three scholars presenting on several research topics such as Indigenous generational trauma, Oklahoma medical cannabis patients, and Latinx mental health. Smith’s research studies the complications regarding generational trauma within indigenous communities. Intergenerational trauma is passed down through descendants and family so fluidly that some will feel as if they had experienced it firsthand. The consequences of these traumas manifest through generations and can cause severe problems for those struggling with predisposed fear. The problems are often severe and lead to addiction, domestic abuse, mental health problems, and deteriorative living conditions. Smith reviews problems and possible ways to help those affected to move forward and heal from their family’s past experiences. Addai’s research looks at Oklahoma, where 57% of voters approved the implementation of a medical cannabis legalization initiative. To become a medical cannabis patient under the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), there are no specific qualifying medical conditions. This makes Oklahoma a unique location to explore the diversity of medical cannabis patients, however, there is a gap in documentation and measurable data about patients’ diverse experiences. Addai’s ongoing survey and focus group center on Oklahoma’s medical cannabis patients who identify as members of historically excluded groups regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Lopez’s research highlights how religion, cultural norms, and toxic gender roles all impact mental illness in the Latinx community. There have historically been barriers to mental health such as language differences, health care coverage, cultural competency levels, and the legal status of immigrants. Catholicism, Machismo, and Marianismo all add pressure to lifestyle expectations and the performance of gender. Lopez plans to educate others to build and share cultural competency.
Presenters: Mikele Smith, “Impacts of Indigenous Generational Trauma,” Jessica Addai, “Exploring Intersectional Identities of Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Patients: Official Survey Findings,” and AnaMar

Papers: How Ethical is Media Coverage of Death?
Abstract: This panel uses an ethical framework to take a hard look at how death is covered by contemporary media. Farris examines how ethical national reporter Felicia Somnez’s actions were when she tweeted a link resurfacing rape allegations against Kobe Bryant shortly after the NBA star perished in a helicopter accident. Wagar investigates the media’s role in the events surrounding the BTK Killer and the ethical issues with their coverage. BTK was a serial killer who was prevalent in Kansas between the 1970s and 1990s, and he reemerged in the early 2000s. BTK thrived off the media coverage of his crimes. His main form of communication with society and investigators was through anonymous letters published in local newspapers and broadcasted. Although it is the media’s duty to inform the public, there are still ethical issues with publication of BTK’s communications. Primarily, the media indulging the serial killer may have “fueled the fire.” In a similar vein, Boyd critically analyzes how the media portrayed Kyle Rittenhouse as a vigilante killer even before his jury verdict in this well-publicized murder trial.
Presenters: Lauren Farris, “When Can We Talk about the Dead?” Hannah Wagar, “The Role of Media Ethics in the Coverage of the BTK Killer,” and Logan Boyd, “Omission Neglect: A Spotlight on Unethical Narratives in the Media”


11 a.m.- noon

Papers: Three Interpretations of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea
Abstract: This panel takes up the literary and cultural significances of Jean Rhys’s postcolonial novel Wide Sargasso Sea and the ways that it responds to—and resists—effects of Englishness, colonization, and canonicity. An important feminist voice, Jean Rhys was one of many Caribbean writers who helped diversify post-WW2 British literature. Our three panelists analyze the novel through multiple lenses and themes, such as victimhood, possessiveness, neglect, hybridity, spaces of belonging, and embodied trauma.
Presenters: Ainsley Clifton, “Victimhood in Wide Sargasso Sea”; Stephie Pinero, “Possessiveness in a Response to Neglect in Wide Sargasso Sea,” and Brandon Allen, “Inflammable: Setting as Embodied Trauma in Wide Sargasso Sea.”

Slide Show: Sharing Our Passion for Photography
Abstract: Senior Photographic Arts students share their portfolios and talk about their passion for photography.
Presenters: Rani Peoples, Brooklin Layman, Madalyn Nix, Cameron Abel, Manuela Soldi, Jessica Juarez

Papers: Historical Research
Abstract: This panel explores three fascinating historical accounts.
Presenters: Trista Wilmot, “Distinguishing the Unknown: A Study of a Ceramic Figure of Unknown Origins,” Autumn Mathews, “From Playgrounds to Battlegrounds: Exploitation of Igbo Children During the Nigerian Civil War,” Kenia Bettencourt, “An Atom’s Weight of Good,” and Paige McCracken, “That’s All, Folks! Lloyd Rader Sr., Hissom Memorial Center, and the Deinstitutionalization of Oklahoma”

Papers: If Plato and Aristotle Were Film Critics
Abstract: Five students , each having selected a different film, speculate about how Plato and Aristotle would likely evaluate Blade Runner, Dogville, Ex Machina, Uncut Gems, and Fellowship of the Ring. Each student shows a brief clip from each film and reads a short paper about how Plato and Aristotle would be expected to assess the film.
Presenters: Taylor Baker: “Blade Runner,” Jessica Brazell, “Dogville,” Jacob Morrow, “Ex Machina,” Bailey Pelletier, “Uncut Gems,” and Devan Wright, “Fellowship of the Ring

Papers: Changes and Progression within Queer Sub-Communities
Abstract: As we progress and learn more about the LGBTQIA2S+ community, it is important for us to continue asking questions and educating ourselves. The three discussions aim to do just that. Stone shares the importance of chest binding and how it can help individuals relieve gender dysphoria. Bass shares a new concept of intersectionality involving those who are neurodivergent and queer. This includes vocabulary and the experiences of the neuroqueer community. Tennant-Hill shares an introduction into the aromantic and asexual communities, including vocabulary, experiences, and clarification on common misconceptions. These three topics are just a few in the long line of understanding and progressing to create environments of understanding and growth.
Presenters: Grey Stone, “Mind the Bind: An Educational Initiative for Safe Chest Binding,” Eden Bass, “Neuroqueer: The Intersectionality of Neurodivergence and Queerness,” Tix Tennant-Hill, “No Birds and Bees for Me: A Closer Look at the Aromatic and Asexual Communities”

Papers: Hidden Figures: The Various Experiences of Black Women
Abstract: The view of black women is often unseen and not noticed. The reason they are often unseen is due to white patriarchy and the black hyper-masculinity where the viewpoint is focused on black men and white women. Within society today, black women fight to be heard constantly even within their own community. For instance, Black Lives Matters was started by a black woman; however, the primary focus has been on fighting for justice of black men. As well as when it comes to womanhood, the white woman perspective is seen as more prevalent than the black woman. “Waiting to Exhale” is a poem/presentation about the triple consciousness that a Black Woman has. They see the world through three different lenses: Blackness, Womanhood, and America. While “Black Minds Matter” focuses on the discrimination and hardships that black disabled and mentally ill women face day to day from both outside and within the black community. Then, Williams presents research about the things they face at predominantly white universities as well as the way they are viewed and hardships they experience.
Presenters: Taleaha Lee, “Waiting to Exhale,” Keryee Morton, “Black Minds Matter,” and Maya Williams, “Intersectionality in Higher Education: A presentation of the Black Woman’s Experience”

Papers: Current Challenges in American Foreign Policy: Ukraine Invasion, Space Weapons, and the China-Taiwan Dispute
Abstract: This panel provides three perspectives on contemporary American foreign policy, each focusing on a different issue. The first presentation addresses the challenges of hybrid and cyber warfare, particularly in the current context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The second presentation weighs the options available to the United States to deter Chinese military action against Taiwan. The third presentation looks at the ongoing militarization of outer space, and the possibilities for international regulation of that emerging theater of conflict.
Presenters: Stephen Hochstetler, “Hybrid Warfare: An International Law and Cyberspace Paradox?” Devin Doutaz, “Protecting Satellites and Peace in Outer Space from Weapons,” and Clarence Long, “How Should the U.S. and the International Community Effectively Handle the China-Taiwan Dispute?”

Slide Show: Applying Content Analysis in Communication Research
Abstract: This panel presents content analysis research applied to three very different areas of communication. Clark, Trejo, Stoli, and Tignor conduct a content analysis exploring the processes of grief that can assist in the journey of healing. Grief is widely misunderstood as it encompasses the complexity of processing emotions; however, analyzing factors that affect grief as well as correlating the stages of grief which include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance is of deep importance. This research examines the taboo topic of grief which provides valuable insight as to how to interpersonally establish a link between grief and vulnerability. The team of Maroney, Gonzalez, and Cooper examine how birth control is marketed through recent advertisements to communicate perceptions of sexuality, family, gender, and overall sense of self. McLaughlin, Caplinger, Culp, and Brackelsberg examine the conversational elements of Spotify’s top streaming podcast for the U.S.A.: The Joe Rogan Experience in order to gain insight for media professionals interested in the relational aspects present in a prominent podcast.
Presenters: Grace Clark, Alex Trejo, Lauren Stoll, and Gunnar Tignor, “A Content Analysis Exploring the Link Between Grief and Vulnerability,” Mikena Maroney, Yesenia Gonzalez, and Tyra Cooper, “Birth Control: How it is Advertised to Women in the United States,” and Nydra McLaughlin, Mykayla Caplinger, Linus Culp, and Brianna Brackelsberg, “Elements of a Successful Podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Noon–1 p.m.

Distinguished Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Gary K. Wolfe
Science Fiction Critic, Editor, and Podcaster and Winner of the prestigious Hugo Award “Asking the Next Question, or, the Future as Mosaic”

1–2 p.m.

Papers: Dark Environmentalism
Abstract: This panel looks at the darker side of ecocriticism. Nickles examines Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown.” The loathing, disgust, and/or dismissal of a part of Nature is widely considered to be what is known as ecophobia. “Young Goodman Brown” uses the Gothic genre as an ideal lens to view ecophobia through; this includes what humanity fears the most – desires, social class, mental health, emotional trauma, The Self, mortality, religion, change, etc. Despite ecophobia being seemingly prevalent in “Young Goodman Brown,” there is room for the possibility that he was not critiquing Nature, but what humanity has done to it. Wilhm notes that apocalypse narratives are a staple of human storytelling—humanity has been weaving tales about oncoming inevitable ends for nearly as long as stories have been woven at all, and this brand of narratives has the unique potential to be especially powerful and moving to audiences. The Persona, a series of role-playing video games from Japanese company Atlus, is no exception. These games frequently feature apocalyptic scenarios that must be prevented by their main cast, the roots of which can always be traced back to some fatal flaw inherent in society which must be addressed. Two notable installments from this series— Persona 3 and Persona 5—display the vast spectrum of themes this narrative formula can portray, and their starkly contrasting tones can lead to audiences deriving very different messages from them in spite of their similar foundations.
Presenters: Alyssa Nickles, “The Most Destructive Fear: An Ecophobic Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’,” and Dev Pine Wilhm, “Apocalypse Through the Lens of Persona”

Slide Show: The Combination of Historical, Political, and Societal Impacts Faced by Queer People in the Healthcare System
Abstract: In a politically charged era, the lack of queer representation in society perpetuates the stigmatization of gender diverse individuals. Disparities arise in a plethora of ways, especially in medical settings. All individuals deserve equal representation, which is arguably not received by those who do not subscribe to heteronormative lifestyles. This disparity is demonstrated by the labels prescribed to transgender individuals since their prominence in medical literature. Medical professionals-based descriptions on differences in sexual development and/or non-compliance to the gender binary. These terms impede understanding and acceptance of transgender people in medical and social context. A mixture of analysis of literature reviews and previous survey results may help determine the intersectional correlations between the disparities in healthcare for gender nonconforming individuals. This correlation allows for a deeper perspective to be gathered regarding how the lack of representation creates these results. Gender nonconforming individuals who seek healthcare face a myriad of barriers to gain access to inclusive and comprehensive medical services. Systemic barriers exist to inhibit the advancement of the quality of care that transgender individuals receive. The inequity of healthcare access for gender nonconforming individuals prevents the healthcare system from being a healthcare community.
Presenters: Grace Payne, Mackenzie Martin, and Lauren Watkins

Discussion Panel: Critical Race Theory
Abstract: This panel discussion explores some of the recent controversies centering around Critical Race Theory and addresses some of the recent bills in the Oklahoma Legislature on this topic.
Presenters: Jordan Chavez, Melissa Rosenfelt, Joshuah Garrett, Gabe Powell, and Chrystalynn Sanchez

Activity: Learn How to Play Chess!
Abstract: The Chess & Games Club runs an hour-long chess tutorial for people new to the game. Boards and clocks are provided.
Presenters: Joshua Reynolds and Joel Woodland

Slide Show: An Analysis of Gender in World Religions
Abstract: Fitch explores how historical persecution has influenced the ways that ethnic identity interacts with gender performance. Jewish gendered thought is a mix of inversion and subversion, fiction and fact, and this presentation analyzes how antisemitic stereotypes have transformed into legitimate gender diversity. Reavis offers an analysis of the gendered nature of the Ganges, particularly regarding the goddess Kali. The goddess Kali is often portrayed as a “mother nature” figure, representing both femininity and sexuality in Hinduism. This research also provides analysis over the demon Kali (not to be confused with the Goddess) and how he represents the age of Kali Yuga. This is the current age we live in, the age of vices, filth, and pollution of the sacred. In order to fully understand the sacredness of the Ganges and the pollution, this analysis links the start of the contamination of the Ganges with the rapid urbanization of India during the 20th century with British colonialism. McKernan’s research takes an intersectional approach and looks at the various identities and cultures practicing neo-pagan religions and aims to shift the patriarchal narrative that has followed neopaganism. Neo-paganism as a religious movement has been on the rise not only within the United States, but also across the world. TV shows and movies like American Horror Story: Coven and Hocus Pocus created a ripple in pop culture’s perception of witchcraft and neopagan practices that has had a lasting impact. Social media and entertainment outlets have portrayed different sensationalized facets of these movements, like witchcraft and other forms of pagan activities such as alchemy and herbology in a romanticized way.
Presenters: Alexis McKernan, “From Persecution to Romanticism; An Analysis of the Revitalization of Neopagan Practices and Identity Through Social Media,” Maya Fitch, “Fact and Fiction, A History of Gendered Jewish Stereotypes,” and Jacob Reavis, “An Analysis of Gender and Religion Along the Sacred Ganges River”

Papers: Film Studies
Abstract: This panel features research from two courses, Film History and Film Criticism
Presenters: Dakota Britton, “Is Cinderella a Feminist? A Cinematic Journey of Representation and Empowerment,” Rebel DeHart, “Barbie as The Princess and The Pauper: Blurring the Binary ” and Maison Smith, “Production Ethics and Audience Reception of Disability”

Papers: The Powerful Reverberations of Symbolism Expressed Through Visual Forms in History
Abstract: Jones notes that the labrys is one of the most important religious symbols in ancient Minoan Crete. This paper begins by analyzing the origin, meaning, and application of the labrys in Minoan culture before examining the connection between this object and the divine. Several archeological research papers, including Sir Arthur Evans, A.B. Cook, and Margaret Waites, were analyzed and compared to one another regarding their statements about the connections between the labrys and the divinity of Minoan Crete. Combs focuses on how the visual classifications of society have played an important role in the creation of many prejudices against minority groups. The research here examines the casta paintings of Latin America during the colonial period. Casta paintings depicted the social standing of an individual based on the color of skin and the mixture of one’s race. These painted depictions of racially mixed families not only represented the rights and privileges of certain race groups, but also depicted the social standing of women and children. These colonial visual representations of the racial, social hierarchy have had lasting effects regarding racism and sexism, and have created many prejudices between minority groups. Mikelson shows how Japan’s traditional religion of Shinto is still intertwined in the culture today. Japan has proven to have extreme influences on this religion within society and the government. Shinto was abolished from the state in 1945 during the American occupation. SCAP had claimed that Shinto had promoted militarism and mislead the Japanese people into war. Along with the abolishment of Shinto intertwined with education, the state had stopped financial support for Shinto shrines. The ultimate execution of the practice of Shinto was performed by the emperor on New Year’s Day 1946, The document stated that the emperor shall be referred to as Akitsu-Mikami (Manifest of God) or in western terms divine (Mcclain, 540). This abolishment of Shinto reduced support of the religion and shrines had been torn down or left untouched. The surviving architecture of Shinto survives within the handful of shrines in Japan and overseas. Shrines are an impeccable part of the Shinto religion and are a place to practice the religion or give offerings to deities. Creating a basis of historical context followed by analyzing Shinto shrines creates a diverse window to understand the Japan’s culture.
Presenters: Aliessa Jones, “”Labrys: The Minoan Double-Headed Axe and the Feminine Divine,” Brandon Combs, “Identity in the Visual Form: Casta Paintings of Colonial Latin America and Their Effect on Visual Classification in Modern Society,” and Kristofer Mikelson, “Shinto Art and Architecture”

Papers: Gender, Sexuality, and Identity in Shakespeare
Abstract: This panel considers questions of gender and its implications in Shakespeare’s work, with focus on contemporary contexts for Elizabethan audiences and modern perspectives and implications. What does a reconsideration of the possibilities of gender and sexuality for the early modern world offer us today? McNeil examines how madness in women is perceived and portrayed, female violence and its relationship to repression and to outbursts, and, finally, depictions and representations of magic and madness. What was true madness during the Elizabethan period? The repeated notion of madness portrayed in Shakespeare’s plays takes away from the importance of free will and surrenders to tragedy and violence. Westfall seeks to establish the idea that Shakespeare and his culture were undoubtedly queer, through Twelfth Night’s depictions of unconventional characters and plots. The discussion here focuses on the relationships between Viola/Cesario and Olivia and on the fluidity of gender represented throughout the play. Analysis of these topics and characters allows for a better understanding of Twelfth Night through the queer lens and a consideration of Shakespeare and Shakespearean culture as queer allies. Reust shows how many of Shakespeare’s plays push gender boundaries, allowing characters the freedom to act without restriction. In his dark and superstitious play Macbeth, though, gender is not expanded. Instead, it is painted as a prison cell to escape. Concepts of morality as defined by religion and moral philosophy during the Early Modern period offer insight into how the play genders morality. It also reveals that determining masculine traits as superior and feminine traits as undesirable leads to horrific consequences, as the characters’ actions lead to death and ruin.
Presenters: Cristina McNeil, “Madness in Shakespeare: Gender and Female Violence,” Brandon Westfall, “Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: A Queer Eye,” and Heidi Reust, “Gendered Morality in Macbeth”

Discussion Panel: Cora Diehl and Helen Churchill Candee: An Insider, an Outsider, and the Fluidity of Power in Oklahoma
Abstract: In 1891, Cora Diehl was the first and only woman elected to territorial office in Oklahoma, but for the next 130 years, her history was largely unknown. Cora’s marriage in 1893 signaled her erasure from Oklahoma memory, but for the 70 remaining years of Cora’s life, she worked alternately inside and outside the specified gender constructions of the Progressive Era to achieve power and autonomy unique for a woman of the early twentieth century. Unlike Cora Diehl, whose life and work were rooted in Oklahoma, Helen Churchill Candee was an outsider, an Eastern socialite whose only interest in the territory was as the means to secure the divorce that the New York courts had denied her. While she only lived in Oklahoma (Guthrie) for a short time in 1895-6, Candee was exposed to and recognized the opportunities that were available to women in the region and she utilized those opportunities to their fullest, reinventing herself multiple times and using her acquired authority and influence to improve her own life and the lives of others. These two women leveraged the fluidity of power in territorial Oklahoma to achieve both social and political access to power in a country that still withheld political participation from women. We compare these women and their methods, impacts and results.
Presenters: Christine Carlson and Sandi Colby

2–3 p.m.

Papers: Perspectives of History: Peace, Gender, and Environmental Disaster
Abstract: This panel presents three fascinating historical treatments illuminating (1) paths not followed in the quest for sustained peace, (2) the use of literature to encourage gender differentiation, and (3) the very nature of historical research itself to inform more inclusive and diverse perspectives as applied to the very familiar environmental disaster, the Dust Bowl.
Presenters: John Sadler, “A Dust Bowl Historiography,” Kaitlyn Mannis, “Entertaining While Indoctrinating: Children’s Literature in the Victorian Period,” and Logan Ray, “The Agrarian Road to Peace: Henry Morgenthau’s Failed Post-War Plan for Germany”

Papers: Inflicting Harm Through Injustice, Language, Violence, and Media Coverage
Abstract: This panel presents research on wrongful convictions, domestic violence, and pejorative language.
Presenters: Zoey Hicks, “How Wrongful Convictions Harm Individuals and the Public Safety, and Why It Needs Reform,” Christina Turquette, “Effects of the Pandemic on Domestic Violence,” Daniel Schudalla, “The Pejorative Nature of Slurs—Intentional Expressivism,” and Theetso Thuku, “Media and Mental Health”

Papers: Religious Violence against Those Accused of Dark Magic
Abstract: This panel reveals some of the numerous battles against witches and others perceived to be demon-possessed throughout history. Mickelson describes the East Java Witch Hunts in Indonesia during the 1990s-2000s. The most prominent case that took place was located in East Java, referred to as the “Ninja Case.” The victims that were hunted for sorcery in East Java’s “Ninja Case” had no association with dark magic. Rather, the East Java witch-hunts may be a facade for a greater problem in East Java, religious violence. Carlson recounts how in 1899, Solomon Hotema, a prominent Native American minister participated in a discussion regarding a group of surprising and heartbreaking deaths in his community. Afterwards, Solomon gathered two young followers and struck out to rid the group of the supposed witches he blamed for the group’s misery. That night, Solomon and his protégés carried out the murders of three innocent Choctaws. This study discusses Hotema’s history, his religious affiliation, the puzzling details surrounding the murders, and the perception of the American people regarding the events. Newspaper articles and illustrations reveal how religious missionaries contributed to Native assimilation. Lessley picks up a different historic thread of alleged demonic possess in Catholic nuns during the Reformation Era in France.
Presenters: Kristofer Mikelson, “East Java Witch Hunts,” Christine Carlson, “The Witch Murders of 1899: Solomon Hotema’s Christian Crusade,” and Rebecca Lessley, “A Study on Demonic Possession in Reformation Era France”

Discussion Panel: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life
Abstract: The biggest concern in ancient Greek philosophy was how to lead a good life. This roundtable discussion panel considers different approaches to this topic among Greek philosophical schools (Platonists, Aristotelians, Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics), with an emphasis on how we can apply these lessons in today’s world.
Presenters: Jordan Chavez, Jessica Pandey, Ana Savva Garcia

Slide Show: Policy, Treatment, Language: Paths Toward Change
Abstract: In 1981, the United States first identified cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). While evidence suggested AIDS was not exclusive to gay men, the illness had become synonymous with the community. HIV/AIDS and the queer community were stamped with an unwavering stigma that continues to permeate our society more than 40 years after AIDS was first identified. This presentation analyzes how policies in the state of Oklahoma influence enacted and perceived stigma toward people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) compared to other state and federal policies and how stigma and policy contribute to the ongoing HIV epidemic. By looking at the many names HIV and AIDS have gone through, the history, stigma and treatment of the virus and the syndrome can be traced. The language surrounding treatment and the very people it affects can also lend valuable insights on the history of the condition. The terminology surrounding HIV/AIDS still shifts and changes to this day, but it can also be a useful case study on why language is important when it comes to referring to diseases and conditions. With the growing acceptance of genders outside of the binary, gender neutral wording is needed to have everyone in any culture feel more accepted within their community. Language is the most prominent form of communication, so it is important for everyone in any culture to have a way to be represented. Delving into six of the world’s languages, looking specifically at gender neutral pronouns, this is an attempt to realize how many languages have gender neutral pronouns by interviewing language professors at the University of Central Oklahoma. Of six languages explored, few had gender neutral pronouns or wording.
Presenters: Jayce Camp, “Policies of Stigma: An analysis of policies and stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV/AIDS in Oklahoma,” Philana McHenry, “Tracing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Using Language: An Insight to Activism, Bigotry, and Treatment,” and Aster Yeoman, “Language Usage: Pronouns”

Papers: The Propensity to Blame Women Through the Power of Myth-Making
Abstract: Women have often been attacked through the power of folklore, myth, and religious belief. Jones examines the relationship between gender and witchcraft, specifically on why women were more heavily represented in witchcraft trials. Using demonology texts, like Daemonologie and Malleus Maleficarum, alongside legal court cases, this paper analyzes how pre-existing beliefs on gender and sex affected the public views when accusing people of witchcraft. Simunek describes how society has interacted with the folklore about south Asian witches through different time periods. Specifically discussed are gender and societal roles and their connection to paranoia and witches. In a more contemporary vein, Heidi Reust looks at involuntary incels, young men who feel victimized due to their lack of sexual relationships. Incels blame women who they view as evil antagonists. The incel community exists solely on the web, often sharing their thoughts on forums. Coding these forums to identify recurring themes and their subcategories gives insight into the subculture of incels and how they communicate gender frustrations. When viewing these themes through theories such as SelfFulfilling Prophecy (Merton 1948), Standpoint Theory (Hegel, 1807), and Groupthink (Janis, 1972), a clear picture of the life cycle of an incel, “The Creation Myth,” begins to come forward. These findings reveal how the minds of these young men are molded and indoctrinated into the nihilistic and misogynistic incel community. Proper communication and preventative measures could address, incels before gender violence sets in.
Presenters: Aliessia Jones, “Gender and Witch Hunts: A War on Women?”, Andi Simunek, “Witches and Women in South Asia,” and Heidi Reust, “The Creation Myth of Incels”

Slide Show: We’ve Always Been Here: Digitizing The Center’s Archive of Rare BGLTQ+ and Feminist Periodicals from the 1970s-2010s
Abstract: Oklahoma is a notoriously red state smack dab in the center of the Bible Belt, and is not commonly known for being progressive or accepting at any capacity. Conservative and binary notions around gender and sexuality are still prevalent today, but queer and feminist groups have existed within the state for years. From works like The Celibate Woman to BLK, these articles demonstrated a deep understanding of identity and, what is now known as intersectionality, during a time when it was dangerous to live authentically. These important primary sources explore race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability in ways that are historically relevant. Through the largest book donation at the University of Central Oklahoma, over 40,000 pages worth of rare materials from the 1970s to late 2010s were gifted to the Women’s Research Center and BGLTQ+ Student Center from Herland Sister Resources, a lesbian feminist collective within Oklahoma City. These materials vary in content and style and provide a deeper understanding of the feminist and queer communities active within Oklahoma and the greater Bible Belt. Through a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a team of undergraduate students are working during the Spring 2022-Fall 2022 semester to digitize these rare periodicals for use by academics throughout the country. This process not only works to preserve these documents, but also to celebrate and promote quality access. This panel presentation focuses on the input and experiences of the students working on this grant and provide an understanding into the different works that are being preserved.
Presenters: Maya Fitch, Emma Stewart, Mikele Smith, Skyler Donnell, and Alexis McKernan

Papers: Finding the Meaning of Life Through Literary Expression
Abstract: This very creative panel explores understandings of identity and empathy in the context of the wider community. Rarick reads from an original short story “Ascension” which explores the idea of societal expectations and what happens when we choose ourselves over our community. It also explores the concept of destiny and how sometimes things in our lives feel fated to happen, no matter what we do. Set in an alternate Earth, “Ascension” is about destiny, consent, and difficult decisions in the face of equally difficult circumstances. Davis describes the ten-minute play Hot Dog Holdup about a downon-her-luck woman named Patricia. One night, toward the end of her shift at a crummy fast-food joint, when there are no other customers and she is alone, an armed man by the name of Marcus comes in with the intent to rob the place. Through deadpan seriousness that reflects her inner lack of interest in life, heavy sarcasm, and pointed observations about Marcus, she embarrasses the wouldbe robber and talks him into backing down. Instead, he orders dinner and suggests someplace nicer that is hiring before leaving. In the end, no one is hurt, and Patricia has a slightly renewed hope in a chance for a better life. This play speaks to the plight of workers trapped in minimum wage jobs while also showing that even “criminals” have empathy. Jacobs takes a literary journey based on a personal pilgrimage as part of the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life to commemorate the Anniversary of World War II, with the Japanese Buddhist order, Nipponzan-Myōhōji, from Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland to New Delhi, India. This poetic inquiry explores the line of conflict between historic tragic brutality and the poetic act. This literary work shifts into a poetic narrative mosaic, mutating through exploring memory, decolonizing, otherness, romanticization of the other, queering identity, the elicit and hidden in queer identity with overlapping Rhizomatic voices.
Presenters: Brian Jacobs, “Post-Modern Mosaic: Un-humdrum’d Rhizomatic Possibilities: Poets & Pilgrims as the ‘True’ Auditors of the World; Exploring Deleuze, Guattari & Glissantre,” Linn Foster Rarick, “Ascension,” and Meredith Davis, “Hot Dog Holdup”


5–6 p.m.

Special Roundtable Event: Beyond HB 1775: Academic Freedom and Diversity in the Classroom
Participants: Laura Dumin, Associate Professor of English and Technical Writing, University of Central Oklahoma Moises Echeverria, President and CEO, Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice Clarence Long, Undergraduate Student, University of Central Oklahoma Jerry Elix, Professor of Political Science, Langston University
Sponsored by: The UCO College of Liberal Arts Good Trouble Task Force (GTTF)