Sewanee Senior Honors Theses 2016


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Zanmi Kafe: Coffee Agroecology and Ant Diversity in Haiti
    (University of the South, 2016-04-17) Fripp, Geanina; McGrath, Deborah; Summers, Scott
    Zanmi Kafe is a coffee-based agroforestry reforestation project in the Central Plateau of Haiti, that aims to promote the adoption of more sustainable agroecosystems in order to improve livelihoods and foster community development. Coffee provides a livelihood for many small farmers throughout the tropics, however due to the high demand for coffee, many small coffee farms are undergoing agricultural intensification to increase coffee yields. Many studies have investigated the effects of the transformation of coffee agroecosystems from shaded to unshaded systems on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sun coffee systems have been correlated with a decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem services while shade coffee systems support higher biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some coffee agroecosystems in the Central Plateau of Haiti are undergoing transformation from disturbed, unshaded to less disturbed, shaded systems. In this study we examined the ant fauna present on 15 farms in order to monitor future changes in the conditions of the agroecosystems. We also examined the coffee pests/diseases present to determine if there was an association between ant diversity and abundance and the presence of coffee pests/disease. We collected 21 species of ants from 17 genera and Solenopsis geminata was the dominant species on all the farms. We recorded the presence of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix), the coffee leaf miner (Leucoptera coffeella), and the green coffee scale (Coccus viridis) on the coffee seedlings. There was no statistically significant difference between the ant diversity and the abundance of Solenopsis geminata and the presence of coffee pests on the farms. However, a few trends were observed and future monitoring of the ant fauna and pests is critical in maintaining the health and production of the coffee trees.
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    Flowing and Flown: Images of Water in the Work of Elizabeth Bishop
    (University of the South, 2016) Nelson, Nathaniel
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    “ Our Anglo-Saxon Blood”: How Belief in Anglo-Saxon Racial Supremacy Connected Men at the University of the South Architecturally and Ideologically to the Larger Nation from 1886-1912
    (University of the South, 2016-04-26) Jetmundsen, Taylor
    In August 1890, the Board of Trustees for the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee met for their annual deliberations. When the Board left Sewanee several days later, they had accepted both the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor, the Rev. Telfair Hodgson, and the first long term architectural plan for the University since before the Civil War. The events were entirely related. A young trustee and architect named Silas McBee came to the meetings bearing a new plan for the university: a grand quadrangle built in the latest collegiate architectural style. This style, collegiate Gothic, was only four years old and existed entirely in the North. Silas McBee wanted to bring it South to his alma mater. After McBee and his partner, A.M.Mc. Nixon, an architect from Atlanta, Georgia, presented their plan, a debate broke out over more than just what The University of the South should look like, but what vision the leaders of the small university should follow. A small group led by George R. Fairbanks from Florida saw the new plans as a betrayal of the founder’s vision for a university with colleges for every discipline covering their land on the Cumberland Plateau. The rest saw the $20,000 and beautiful plan that Silas McBee had brought with him, and sided with the new plan. Seeing the act as a betrayal of his own vision for the University, Vice-Chancelor Hodgson went to his office during the lunch break and drafted a letter of resignation, which he left for the Board when they returned for their afternoon session. To these men, architecture meant more than just appearances; it was a crucial part of the educational mission of the University of the South. As the-turn-of-the-century approached, a new way of viewing architecture made its way from Victorian England stressing that architecture created the morals of a society, rather than the conventional view that architecture reflected the values of that society. Architecture, then, was as much about the morals of the men designing and building churches and schools throughout the turn-of-the-century as it was about aesthetics. At Sewanee, architecture revealed a belief in Anglo-Saxon racial superiority rooted in antimodernism. This same impulse influenced how these men viewed the wider nation, and the South’s role in the modern world, connecting them to larger national discussions about race in the national and international context. Others have not seen the connection between Sewanee and the wider nation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In Sewanee Sesquicentennial History, Samuel R. Williamson Jr., a former Vice Chancellor of the University, identified a martial spirit at Sewanee, but saw it as separate from the Lost Cause until 1910. Williamson thought it was simply Southern nationalism. He identified a measure of racial respect as well as charity through the Episcopal Church. The racial respect Williamson observe, however, was more likely a result of the small number of blacks and the paternalism that the Sewanee leaders displayed towards African-Americans, rather than Sewanee actually being a bastion of racial good will in the South.
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    The Franco-Prussian War: Its Impact on France and Germany, 1870-1914
    (University of the South, 2016-04-11) Murray, Emily
    Historian Niall Ferguson introduced his seminal work on the twentieth century by posing the question “Megalomaniacs may order men to invade Russia, but why do the men obey?” He then sought to answer this question over the course of the text. Unfortunately, his analysis focused on too late a period. In reality, the cultural and political conditions that fostered unparalleled levels of bloodshed in the twentieth century began before 1900. The 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the years that surrounded it were the more pertinent catalyst. This event initiated the environment and experiences that catapulted Europe into the previously unimaginable events of the twentieth century. Individuals obey orders, despite the dictates of reason or personal well-being, because personal experiences unite them into a group of unconscious or emotionally motivated actors. The Franco-Prussian War is an example of how places, events, and sentiments can create a unique sense of collective identity that drives seemingly irrational behavior. It happened in both France and Germany. These identities would become the cultural and political foundations that changed the world in the tumultuous twentieth century. The political and cultural development of Europe is complex and highly interconnected, making helpful insights into specific events difficult. It is hard to distinguish where one era of history begins or ends. It is a challenge to separate the inherently complicated systems of national and ethnic identities defined by blood, borders, and collective experience. Despite these difficulties, historians have often sought to gain insight into how and why European nations and identities developed as they did. Any answers gained can offer unique insight into how nation-states, cultural loyalties, and historical conflicts alter international stability. It may seem as though the political and military conflicts of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe have been examined with a fine-tooth comb; however, modern trends in evaluating this time period have obscured important antecedents. In recent years, the study of World War One and World War Two has been viewed as a single twentieth century conflict defined by causes dating to the turn of the century. A genuine understanding of twentieth century events cannot be obtained though if the era is isolated from the actions and events which preceded it. This perspective limits genuine comprehension. It misses how far earlier military events, cultural ideologies, and expressions of nationalism drove the instigators of both world wars. In particular, the acute animosity between France and Germany originated in the modern era with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Each nation created ideals of national superiority that conflicted with the other’s, dwelt on a cultural desire for retaliation known as Revanchism, and established patterns of nationalistic expansionism through unilateral military action. All of these habits defined the culture of both countries well before 1914 and motivated their belligerence in the twentieth century.
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    From Piety to Reflection: The Purpose of Primers in Late Tudor England
    (University of the South, 2016-04-22) Stokes, William
    The story of the 16th century was one of major changes for the English nation. On a national level, English government changed and yielded a more centralized and controlling state. On a cultural level, English society began to change as more and more people began to read and have the economic ability to buy reading material produced by printing presses. On a religious level, the English church, through many twists and turns, transformed from a Medieval Catholic institution with loyalty to Rome to a Protestant entity responsible to its monarch. But what did these changes mean for the English men and women who populated the towns and villages in this still predominantly agricultural society? It is hard to answer this question because this segment of the population left few written records. This thesis will consider a rare window into the lives of the insignificant laity by examining the change in primers, or Books of Hours. While it is true that not all of the English population could read these books, they were still produced on a mass scale to appeal to a broad audience. The first segment of this paper shall look at a group of primers produced in the reign of Mary Tudor. This section will show that while Mary’s regime sought to re­establish Roman Catholicism in England, the religion actually practiced through the use of these primers was not Medieval in nature nor was it like the Catholicism practiced on the continent in the 1550’s. The second segment of this paper will proceed to chart the disappearance of the primer tradition in Elizabeth’s reign. By the 1570’s English religion had changed to the point that the purpose and method of prayer had completely transformed. By examining Richard Daye’s A Booke of Christian Prayers and comparing it with the primer produced during Elizabeth’s first year as queen, it will be evident that the English church had completely changed and the English people had more or less accepted this.