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History.

Alexander the Great: Audience(s) and Public Image(s). Jeffrey Easlick, Saginaw Valley State University, Department of Philosophy

Alexander scholars hold diametrically opposed opinions about such fundamentals as his moral character, the purpose underlying important actions he took, and the overall value of his impact on history. Several pivotal events are particularly resistant to explanation, such as Alexander's decisions to destroy utterly the city of Thebes, to burn Persepolis after it had already been sacked, and to embark on the disastrous march through Gedrosia. Many scholars condemn Alexander's actions as those of a cruel megalomaniac, a view exemplified by Brian Bosworth and Ian Worthington. Others, such as Paul Cartledge, Frank Holt, and Peter Green, base their views on a more complex understanding. This paper argues these three decisions may have rested on Alexander's desire to project a carefully reasoned public image to distinct audiences, as a means of exerting influence over those audiences. Many scholars agree that Alexander masterfully constructed and manipulated his public image. Image management was an integral part of Alexander's strategy for exerting control over his vast empire, and these three enigmatic decisions are better explained within this context.

Silent Women in the Mytiline Debate: A Feminist Revaluation of Thucydides' Rhetoric. Jacob Glicklich, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department of History

One of the leading trends for gender studies in the subjects of both English and History involves attempting to recapture silenced female voices in canonical texts. Such scholarship also explores the basis of gendered power structures that have caused women to be marginalized, silenced and extinguished. As one of the foundational pieces for both history and rhetoric in the classical world, Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War offers a rich source for such exploration. In line with scholars like Glenn, Ratcliffe and Lyon, this paper will explore the positioning of violence, authority and identity in the context of Thucydides' work. Specifically, it will focus on the debate over Mytilene, and the context in which patriarchal tropes dominate ostensibly universal concerns.

Teaching Napoleon: Lecture Outline and Course Syllabus. (Poster) Thomas J. Vance, Portage Public Schools, Portage, MI

Those planning a single lecture or an entire college course on Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) face the same challenge as biographers--the vast amount of available resources. This poster provides an outline for a one-hour lecture and a syllabus for a 15-week undergraduate class (most college courses cover the French Revolution and Napoleon, but this plan is exclusively on Napoleon). The single lecture is best with the handout of a chronology (see Ida M. Tarbell's in her 1896 biography) to prevent the need to touch on his entire life. The lecture includes his relevance in American popular culture and reasons for his greatness, his fall, and his legacy. The semester course uses recent works available in paperback including Rafe Blaufarb's Napoleon: Symbol for an Age, A Brief Biography with Documents (2007), Philip Dwyer's biography (2009); and Charles Esdaile's Napoleon's Wars (2009). Two classic biographies reissued in paperback, Felix Markham (1966) and J. Christopher Herald (2002), also make excellent textbook options, while a course pack contains excerpts from out-of-print works. In addition to covering his life and campaigns, the class includes literature, art, films, museums and battlefields, the craft of Napoleonic biography, samples of the finest narrative writing, and the future of Napoleonic studies.

Using Probate Inventories to Determine the Standard of Living in Colonial New England. Amber Berkobien, Dennis Miller, Adam Pomaville, Saginaw Valley State University, Department of History

This paper analyzes probate inventories from Plymouth Colony in New England, dating from 1628-1687. The data were collected from the Plymouth Colony Archive Project (http://www.histarch.uiuc.edu/plymouth/), and these probate records represent property owned by individuals when they passed away. Accordingly the information within these inventories can tell researchers a lot about the standard of living and the distribution of wealth within colonial communities. The authors divide the materials listed in these inventories into multiple use categories, and they also group the inventories temporally in order to chart changes over time. Using secondary source literature for context this paper investigates these inventories in order to understand the distribution of wealth in colonial New England. The paper asserts that these inventories demonstrate a general increase in the standard of living and, as opposed to patterns of wealth distribution in the Chesapeake, the emergence of a "middling" economic class. The paper also demonstrates changes in how livestock and land ownership exist as markers of economic success. The overall conclusions demonstrate the ability for New England property owners to attain a general "competency" or degree of economic independence.

Twilight Zone: The Shifting Language of War from 1945-1950. Katherine Ellison, Western Michigan University, Department of History

In the period following World War II, the United States embarked upon a journey of continuous warfare that has lasted until the present day. Despite the cessation of armed conflict with the end of World War II, President Harry Truman desired to maintain and expand executive power under the Commander in Chief Clause in the Constitution, leading to a state of continuous warfare. This continuous warfare would later become the Cold War, but in this early period post-WWII and pre-Cold War, the United States found itself in neither a position of peace nor a position of traditional war; instead, the country was in a twilight zone somewhere between war and peace. At this point, the nation experienced a shift in the language of war promulgated by the speeches and debates of the President, Congress, and other high-ranking government officials. This change in the language of war shows a move away from traditional war to preventive war and finally cold war, all the while making peace and war less separable and more synonymous.

To "promote the convenience of its citizens": The Efforts to Create the Huron Territory, 1828-1836. Sarah Erskine, Saginaw Valley State University, Department of History

In 1828, politicians in Michigan Territory appealed to the federal government for permission to create a new territory comprised of the land in the upper peninsula and to the west of Lake Michigan. Citing the fact that the territorial seat of Detroit lay too far away from the fur trade communities in the north and from the lead mining settlements along the Mississippi River, these legislators claimed that a new "Huron Territory" would provide a more efficient government. Analyzing published primary sources as well as those archived in Central Michigan University's Clarke Library, this paper traces these attempts to create the Huron Territory from 1828 to 1836. It argues that those behind the push to create the territory were heavily invested in the fur trade and in the lead mining economies of western Michigan. Despite the rhetoric of improving administration efficiency, these individuals created an uneasy alliance that looked to cement U. S. control of former Native American lands and to open the region to economic development. The paper accordingly asserts that profiting from land speculation was the underlying motive for the Huron proponents.

Killing in the Fields: The Silent Threat of Landmines in Cambodia. Mark Freel, University of Michigan-Flint

In times of war, landmines are very simple and effective, easily fulfilling their roles as deterrents and killers. Landmines are cheap and difficult to find due to their small size. The designers of the landmine however, probably never realized the disastrous effects the landmines would cause, once the wars in which they were designed for were over. Unfortunately, landmines now plague many countries causing the inhabitants of war stricken countries to be maimed, or worse killed. Cambodia is a case in point. According to experts in the field, 20,000 people in Cambodia (80% of these being civilians) are maimed or killed each year by landmines, and approximately one fifth of those are children. This paper will focus on the history and extent of this problem and will then explore possible solutions. More funding is needed to discover new technology and to pay for man power to find and disarm or explode the mines. More publicity needs to be given to this problem, and there needs to be a global effort to find ways of preventing landmines from ever becoming a problem for civilians again.

The Legal Status of Women in the Post-American Revolution. Taylor Gibson, Alma College, Department of History

Within the historical community, there is great disagreement among scholars as to whether or not women benefited legally from the American Revolution. Some scholars believe that significant changes did not occur; they argue the laws that gave women legal rights cited in state constitutions were parallel to the laws that governed them as colonies, which were Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. Others argue that state-level changes in laws regarding the property rights of married women were enough to give women a powerful legal status, allowing them to become economic stakeholders in society. However, the legal status of women, both free and enslaved, white, African-American, and Native American, is too diverse to categorize as either a success or a failure. Progress was made in certain areas such as property, divorce, and childhood custody, while in several matters, such as marriage and the right to privacy, legal rights were revoked. Thus, the legal rights of women in the post-Revolution era defy simplistic categorization.

Blood for Diamonds: A Historical Approach to the Growing Problem of Conflict Diamonds in Sierra Leone and Angola. Jordan Hackett, University of Michigan--Flint

"I was captured ... they took me with them. Then they gave me drugs. After they gave me drugs, I started killing. While I was shooting, I had no idea how many people I was killing. But I wasn't myself when I was doing it. They would have killed me if I'd refused" (Ashby). This horrifying account is from a child soldier in the Rebel United Front (RUF). With a rifle in hand and drugs in his veins, he was told to kill or be killed. After being an RUF soldier for eight years, he was finally rescued by the charity CARITAS at twelve. Cases like this are not uncommon. For children in conflict zones of Africa such as Sierra Leone and Angola, this is a reality every day. The violence associated with conflicts diamonds arises from much bigger political, social, and economic problems in the area. This paper will explore the history of the diamond conflict, focusing specifically on Sierra Leone and Angola, in order to discover the social and economic causes and to point to possible solutions to this ongoing problem.

Czechoslovakia's Lost Torah Scrolls: Remnants of a Community. Mark Hoolihan, Michigan State University, Center for Integrative Studies in Social Science

The Shaarey Zedek Congregation in East Lansing Michigan houses an old Torah scroll with the inscription "Moravske Budejovicke". It is an artifact from a Jewish community that is no more. By tracing the history of this scroll and many others like it we see a story of destruction and preservation, neglect and memory. When the Nazis eliminated the Jewish communities of Bohemia and Moravia their religious artifacts were collected in the Jewish Museum in Prague. This situation was unique in Nazi occupied Europe. This paper will trace the story of the Torah scrolls from near destruction to neglect following the war and ultimately preservation and dispersal around the globe. Through this story the memory of a Jewish community that it no more will be brought to life.

Anti-Semitism in Victorian Britain. Ryan Huey, Central Michigan Univ., Dept. of History

A string of reforms in the decades leading up to and culminating with the Emancipation of the Jews in 1858 intended to give Jews legal equality in the social and political spheres of Victorian Britain, but pre-existing stereotypes and de facto social constraints continued to limit opportunities for Jews, preventing true equality. Anger over the passage of the Emancipation Bill in addition to a major influx of Jewish immigrants in the 1880s contributed further to the backlash against the Jewish community. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's foreign policy in regard to the Ottoman Empire became a contentious matter that ultimately further reinforced anti-Semitic sentiments among the public, which led to a series of laws meant to limit the extent of Jewish Emancipation.

The Diplomatic Record of Israel-Palestine: June 1967-Present. Max B. Kantar, Ferris State University, History Department

It is widely accepted in the United States that Israel's posture towards the Palestinians is and always has been, a natural reaction to ceaseless terrorism highlighted by the refusal of decades of Palestinian leadership to accept peace and coexistence with the state of Israel. The truth, however, is radically different. Dating back to the mid-1970s a near-unanimous international consensus has existed on the basic terms--firmly rooted in fundamental principles of international law--required for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The documentary record clearly and unambiguously reveals that the leadership of the Palestinians has historically accepted these terms and the government of Israel has, almost without exception, rejected them. In addition to copiously documenting the diplomatic record of Israeli-Palestinian relations in the post-June 1967 period to the present, this paper, drawing from an enormously broad range of primary sources, chronicles repeated Israeli military campaigns initiated with the sole purpose of destroying the threat of independent Palestinian nationalism aimed at establishing a sovereign and contiguous state in the occupied territories alongside of the state of Israel in its internationally recognized borders.

Mahan and Roosevelt. Jeffrey Pollock, Ferris State University Humanities Department

This paper details the influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan on the policy, both naval and foreign, of Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt found the writings of Mahan useful and informative during his time as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and during his time as President of the United States. Using the commentary of Roosevelt on the works of Mahan one sees the arguments that Roosevelt found most compelling, which were then advocated and put into practice while Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy and President of the United States. The geopolitical concerns, naval policy and strategy of the Roosevelt presidency were directly influenced by the ideas advanced by Mahan in his writings and these ideas were put on display in the actions and speeches given by Roosevelt during this time. Both men were students of history and had a strong sense of the place of the United States on the world stage. Some, like Harold and Margaret Sprout, have advocated that Roosevelt was the embodiment of Mahan in the office of the President, but it is much more accurate view Roosevelt as accepting theories that advanced his long established views on the potential for American power.

An Introduction of Faith and Simplicity in Waldensian Architecture and Lifestyle. (Poster) Kathleen M. Demsky, Andrews University, School of Architecture

There is a place of majestic grandeur in the northern Alps of Italy that few travelers to Europe discover. Nestled in these Alps lay the Piedmont valleys, home of Waldensian Christians. For a thousand years, these witnesses to the truth found refuge in seclusion and obscurity in these dense alpine valleys. The name "Waldenses". is derived from Vallis Densa meaning a dreary, or dark, deep valley. These ancient peoples sacrificed all worldly honor and material goods to dwell in peace, practicing the pure faith of the Apostles with a patience and constancy that was an honor to their Creator and Redeemer. History relates that these ancient believers occupied these valleys from the ancient times to avoid the persecution inflicted on them by the Romans. The Scriptures were central to the Waldensians' lives of faith. Men, women, and children committed large passages of Scripture to memory. They were not content to keep the truth found in Scripture to themselves. Acting as troubadours, Physicians, and merchants they went as missionaries to many parts of the world far removed from their native valleys. Wherever they found hearts open to the gospel they shared their faith at the risk of persecution and death notwithstanding the crusades against them, and the inhumane butchery to which they were subject. They were hunted to death: yet their blood watered the seeds of the Reformation.

Motherhood: The Foundation for an Aryan Germany. Momoko Montgomery, Ferris State University, Department of History

During World War II, women of war-involved countries were depended on to help in the war effort. Many women filled jobs left behind by men who went to war, but other women, specifically German women, fulfilled another duty to their country: to be mothers and aid in the creation of an Aryan Germany. Hitler's mission to create a pure Aryan race in Germany was a plan that would only succeed with the help of Aryan German women and their willingness to breed and build up the master race. This paper examines how Hitler's plan for a master race resulted in the mobilization of German women to embrace the role of motherhood. Their role as mothers was glorified by the German government in efforts to rally more German women to help create Hitler's vision of a master Aryan race. In detail, this paper analyzes all marital statuses of German women during Hitler's reign and how they contributed to the development of a master race in Germany as the guardian of Aryan racial purity and as mothers.

The Rise to Power of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Ishan Purani, University of Michigan--Flint

The ethnic conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the local government has a long history that continues to affect a broad section of the population of Sri Lanka, causing bloodshed and the loss of countless lives. Ever since it has been established, the LTTE has had only one goal: is to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The campaign, founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran, has developed into Sri Lankan Civil War; one of the longest armed conflicts in Asia and to this day countless lives are being sacrificed to this crisis. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are notorious for recruiting child soldiers and committed many cruel attacks on civilians; also pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks. The LTTE have been involved in the assassinated of many Sri Lankan and Indian politicians. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are also one of the only terrorist organization known to possess aircrafts and have conducted more suicide bombing than Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al-Qaeda combined. This paper will focus on the history of the conflict leading to terrorism and will attempt to suggest methods for peaceful coexistence of the factions concerned.

"The trail where they cried": The Cherokee Nation's Fight for Survival on the Trail of Tears. Sean Rilett, University of Michigan--Flint

In 1838 under the enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, approximately fifteen thousand Native Americans living in the Southeast were forced from their homelands and marched to Indian reservations across the Mississippi into Indian Territory in Oklahoma (Berry). The journey killed one-third of the Native American population being moved and has come to be known as the Trail of Tears. Consequently, the event has tarnished the U.S.'s history as an inhumane act on the part of our young government for at one time Europeans were merely guests to the Cherokee and other native tribes of North America. The Trail of Tears and the deliberate mistreatment of Native Americans by the government in early U.S. history have led to generations of resentment and mistrust, continuing to be a seemingly interminable civil dispute. In hopes of one day reaching compensation and peaceable terms between Native Americans and the U.S. government, it is necessary to first understand the history surrounding the Trail of Tears and with this knowledge develop a resolution to heal the unseen wounds of the truly native citizens of America.

Creativity and Its Discontents: Joseph Brewer at Olivet College, 1934-1944. Keith Snedegar, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah

Joseph Brewer's presidency is often remembered as the "English Decade" of Olivet College. When he arrived at Olivet in January 1934, Brewer came with a mandate from the Board of Trustees to reinvigorate the tiny, ailing Congregationalist college. His adoption of the Oxford tutorial system and his hiring of the novelist Ford Madox Ford have garnered widespread, and mostly positive, attention ever since. Somewhat forgotten is that Olivet's dynamism under Brewer was not limited to a sort of anglophilia. Brewer promoted an international spectrum of liberal artists. He supported Pedro Paz, the Ecuadorian conductor of the Olivet orchestra, and created a resident-artist program, which brought the American modernists George Rickey and Milton Horn to campus. The German exiles, Friedrich Solmsen (a brilliant classicist) and Golo Mann (son of Thomas Mann) also joined the teaching staff. Brewer's friend, the Polish philosopher Alfred Korzybski visited frequently and presented an influential series of lectures on General Semantics. By 1937, little Olivet had become a hotbed of scholastic innovation. Predictably, a backlash ensued. The devout Midwestern community which sustained the college recoiled against what it perceived as atheist, socialist, and libertine professors corrupting its youth. Brewer's inability to improve Olivet's financial balance sheet made his educational experiment vulnerable. When major Congregationalist donors withdrew their support he had no choice hut to resign. Within four years of Brewer's departure the institution had largely erased his curricular and faculty legacies.

Reinvigorating the American Spirit and History through Patriot Week. Michael Warren, Oakland Circuit Court and Cooley Law School

Recognizing that many of our current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning, Judge Michael Warren and his daughter Leah organized the inaugural Patriot Week in 2009. If we are to maintain our liberty in a free republic, our citizens must have a deeply rooted understanding our Constitution, its generating history, and its underlying First Principles. Unfortunately, large portions of our students and the general public are ill-informed. Patriot Week is designed to reinvigorate our appreciation and understanding of America's spirit and history. Patriot Week focuses on our First Principles (the rule of law, equality, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, limited government, and the right to alter or abolish an oppressive government); key historical figures; founding documents; and symbols (represented by historical flags). Anchored by the key dates of September 11 (the anniversary of the terrorists' attacks) and September 17 (Constitution Day, the anniversary of when the Constitution was signed), each day has a separate focus. Judge Warren addresses the successful nature of the inaugural Patriot Week and explores how to spread its effect across the nation.

Converted Barbarians: The Legacy of the German Saxons. Desiree Sharland, University of Michigan--Flint, Department of History

The Saxon tribes of Germany have been very significant in affecting the historical development of multiple countries. They invaded the British Isles in the fifth century C.E. This event contributed to England's current culture and helped to shape its political boundaries by pushing the original inhabitants to live in what are now the nations of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Not only affecting the British Isles, the Saxons also helped to shape the development of the people of Germany and its political landscape. It took Emperor Charlemagne three decades to subdue them. The Saxons became the first dynasty to rule over Germany after the Carolingians and were marked by success. They also became the first German emperors. In addition, they had influential connections with other countries and their monarchs through marital relationships. This paper will focus on the Saxon tribes of German, arguing that they deserve stronger recognition for their contributions than has generally been the case.
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Publication:Michigan Academician
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Date:Sep 22, 2012
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