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University of Washington Undergraduate Journals

Law Review

Spring 2007-

Directory of Current Undergraduate Journals in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with content accessible online. Featured in intersections Online

Purple and Gold:
Journal of
Studies in History


Directory of Current Undergraduate Journals in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with content accessible online. Featured in intersections Online

Jackson School

Spring 2010 -

Directory of Current Undergraduate Journals in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with content accessible online. Featured in intersections Online

The Orator


Directory of Current Undergraduate Journals in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with content accessible online. Featured in intersections Online



Speaking "out": Ideologies, identities, and individuals in coming out stories

By Alex Kim
University of Washington, Seattle

Social identities have emerged as a major mode of social participation today, particularly with regard to politics but in other spheres (sexuality, religion, race, disability, etc.) as well. A conflict persists among anthropologists about whether identities can be productive for cultural study or whether identities are too subjectively produced, too circularly defined to be useful. This paper takes the position, articulated by a variety of writers, that while it is true that identities are social constructed through various subjective lenses and obviously nothing like the essential categories which they are sometimes used as, identities nonetheless are claimed and disclaimed by social actors for a variety of purposes. I attempt a synthesis of theory in language and sexuality studies as well as narrative and identity theory to produce a method and theory for looking at how the telling of personal narratives of a particular "genre" (in this case, 'coming-out stories') comprise a definite locus wherein actors create, deconstruct, define, and dissociate their own positions.   .pdf

Traces of Identity

Myth and Monument in the New South Africa

By Steven C. Myers
University of Washington, Seattle

The myths of the past that once defined South Africa’s national identity were shattered on May 10, 1994 with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela following his victory in South Africa’s first fully democratic election. Now, no longer does a colonial power or an oppressive minority control South Africa’s destiny. South Africa’s future is now in the hands of all South Africans, and the myths of the past are either inappropriate or insufficient to the expression of this new identity.  Since those historic elections the question of which myths would emerge to define the new South African identity, and how they would come to be represented within the South African landscape, has remained largely unresolved. This is not to say that there are no myths, and no monuments, in the new South Africa. But it remains as yet unclear which heroes, which events, which ideas will coalesce to form the core of South Africa’s new national identity. The stories that will become those myths for the new South Africa are still under negotiation; still swirling around, waiting to materialize under a consensus that says, “This is who we are.” It is safe to say, however, that just as Myth and Monument played an important role in shaping the past identities of South Africa so, too, will they have a significant influence on the reshaping of that identity in the future. I will attempt to bring clarity to these issues by examining some possible directions that myth-making, monumentation and identity formation in South Africa might take.   .pdf

Moving Beyond Borders

The Creation of Nomadic Space Through Travel

By Erin Bestrom
University of Washington, Seattle

International travel provides a unique opportunity for self-exploration and the development of cultural awareness and multidimensional perspectives. The process of removing oneself from familiar surroundings and venturing into foreign and strange lands produces a space where the traveler may consider new philosophical ideas and develop new ways of seeing the world. I explore in detail the process of international travel and use travel narrative as a foundation for a discussion of difference, identity and the development of nomadic thought. Nomadic thought is a concept used to describe ideas and identities that exist outside established frameworks or hierarchical categorizations, and are in a state of perpetual fluctuation. I argue that international travel provides an inherent opportunity for self-reflection and transformation which can produce a space where nomadic thought and dialogue may occur. I conclude that nomadic thought is a critical component of international dialogue and conflict resolution, and should be a core component of international education programs.   .pdf

Religious Transformations

The Protestant Movement in the Dominican Republic

By Daniel F. Escher
Princeton Theological Seminary

This study is an exploratory analysis to understand evangelical Protestant church growth in the Dominican Republic. In light of social, economic, and religious needs there, and due to the inefficient supply of religion from the Roman Catholic Church, Dominicans seek sources of fulfillment. Protestant churches reach out to them more efficiently because—in organizational terms—they are entrepreneurial, decentralized communities, who are responsive and adaptive to local custom. I show that Protestant churches multiply rapidly while maintaining their religious identity; indeed, they grow because of it. In ideological terms Protestant churches carry a specific theological orientation that emphasizes affective worship, a spiritual experience of a God that is said to intervene supernaturally, and a demanding moral world. I combine two conceptual traditions to explain Protestant expansion—religious economy and sub-cultural identity theory. These theories presume specific social and metaphysical rewards, predict the creation of religious boundaries, and explain the boundary-keeping characteristics of the moral worlds established by evangelical Protestant Dominicans.   .pdf

The Similarities of Difference

A Comparative Analysis of the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

By Lisa Mahlum
University of Washington, Seattle

As generations become further removed from the Holocaust, the process of memorialization becomes increasingly important for understanding the significance of the Holocaust, as memory is the tool through which the past becomes immortalized. In this essay, I compare the way in which the United States and Germany memorialized the Holocaust in the late 20th century by comparing the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston to the Memorial to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. Both Boston and Berlin have used memorials not only to publicly portray their involvement with the Holocaust in the past, but also to solidify their current remembrance of the Holocaust for the future. By looking at the historical and social debate that shaped the creation of each memorial and by examining the physical symbols and structures used to represent Holocaust memory, I use this essay to draw a historically unprecedented comparison between these two memorials to show how these two seemingly different memorials are fundamentally similar in their purpose to create a collective memory.   .pdf

The End of (the Other Side of) the World

Apocalyptic Belief in the Australian Political Structure

By Keith Gordon
Puget Sound University

In the United States, hundreds of thousands of Christians trust their hearts and souls to the belief that the world is on its final chapter. In their understanding, this chapter that spells out the last days is available to them in a proverbial ‘advance printing.’ This notion, known as dispensationalism, is a potent force within modern American Christian circles. Dispensationalists adhere to the belief that God’s foreordainment of the end times is available to them in the form of Biblical prophecy. Clearly such a belief deeply affects an individual’s outlook on life on a personal level, but by extension these same beliefs have the potential to affect larger national and global spheres. Just such a thing is happening now, in the United States, where a large number dispensational Christians are looking to the political arena as a venue to exercise their beliefs. In other words, these Christians base their political actions (the votes they cast and the lobbies they endorse) upon their prophecy belief, hoping to influence and direct U.S. foreign policy to fulfill Biblical prophecy. I ask, is this happening anywhere else? Is this a distinctly American phenomenon? America, occupying the position as the (arguably) eminent superpower in the world, has a certain responsibility to uphold, and allowing extreme and fatalistic worldviews to influence decision making at the highest level of government not only raises concerns but compromises that responsibility. To answer this question we look to Australia. The similarities run deep between America and Australia, making it a logical choice to use as a test study. Both countries share deep cultural roots that begin with their conceptions from British colonialism, lending both an analogous cultural background. Both are populated with a core demographic of white Anglo-Saxon Christians, with large immigrant populations from Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Both share a colorful history largely centered upon a ‘frontier’ mentality. Though other factors would shape them into the distinct societies they are today, their similar pasts provide an immense cultural foundation upon which both societies are built.     .pdf

Marriage in Black and White

Women's Support for Law Against Interracial Marriage, 1972-2002

By Madeline Baars
University of Washington, Seattle

One of the most interesting aspects of the study of interracial marriage is the variation in approval that exists along racial, regional, age and gender lines. Among mixed black and white couples, the most common combination is a white wife and a black husband.  Black men that enter marriages with women of a different race tend to have a high level of education, high level of income, and high status career compared to the average black male.  The marrying-out of desirable black men, in combination with other factors such as institutionalized racism and high rates of mortality and incarceration, limit the number of potential black male partners considered economically viable.  This tightened marriage market is particularly salient for well-educated black women, who have a harder time finding black mates with similar levels of education and economic prospects than do their white counterparts. This paper will utilize data from the General Social Survey to compare white and black females’ views on interracial relationships, tracking trends in opinion over the past three decades.  Using the GSS data, I will test the effects that a series of independent variables, including race, age, level of education, geographic region, and urbanicity, have on opinion about racial intermarriage for these two groups of women over time.    .pdf