Sewanee: Scholarship Sewanee 2024

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 16
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    Design and Construction of a Low-Cost Raman Spectrometer For Undergraduate Advanced Laboratory Experiments With Graphene
    (University of the South, 2024-04-26) Garai, Máté; Dr. Randolph Peterson
    High spatial resolution spectrometers often pose a financial burden to educational institutions due to their high precision fabrication, manufacturing, and maintenance costs associated with using the instrument. An alternative is an in-house design and construction using readily available optical components. This study presents a low-cost Raman spectrometer with an integrated 90X magnification long working distance microscope designed to analyze and characterize graphene and similar two-dimensional materials. These materials have gained significant attention due to their exceptional electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties, necessitating the availability of cost-effective analytical tools, such as a Raman spectrometer. The system is constructed using readily available components, including a 532 nm 300 mW probing laser, a confocal microscope design with integrated Köhler illumination for simultaneous image acquisition, and an education-grade Ocean Optics UV-Vis spectrometer with a customizable open-source LabView application, all within a budget of less than $10,000. The high-magnification microscope incorporated into the design allows for precise sample observation and positioning, thus enhancing the accuracy of graphene identification from Raman measurements on sub-ten micron size samples. We present results from various carbon-based materials, including commercial and exfoliated graphene flakes, along with the detailed layout and design parameters of the apparatus. The intuitive and open-source layout of the design makes it optimal for use in undergraduate advanced laboratory experiments. Students may use it to find, map, and quantitatively analyze exfoliated graphene samples for further experimentation. For students interested in instrumentation, the current design can be customized and improved upon, introducing them to the challenges of the world of optical design. For students interested in condensed matter experimentation, the Raman system serves as a versatile analytical tool for the characterization of materials and the investigation of light-matter interactions in various solid- state samples.
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    Expression and Reception: Gendering the Publick Universal Friend
    (University of the South, 2024-04-26) Williams, Rachel; Lively, Emma
    Our research focuses on the Publick Universal Friend, a religious leader from Rhode Island in the late eighteenth century, and the intersection between gender, gender expression, power, and religious freedom. The Publick Universal Friend claimed to be a genderless spirit sent from God inhabiting the body of the deceased Jemima Wilkinson. During the Friend’s time as a religious leader and in modern scholarship, the Friend has been referred to by several names, including the PUF and Jemima Wilkinson. The gendered pronouns used to refer to the Friend also vary, referencing the Friend as they/them, she/her, and even he/him in some cases. Scholars have begun to assess the gender identity of the Publick Universal Friend through their historical writings and biographies, but looking into discrepancies among scholars like Larson and Brekus, there is no real consensus over how the Friend’s gender identity affects the structures of gender and power. Embracing the blurry lines between the possible gender identities of the Friend, we seek to analyze the stakes of these differing arguments. The Friend’s work as a prophetess can be read as empowering, one of the earliest powerful female religious figures in the US. Alternatively, does calling the Friend Jemima and using exclusively she/her pronouns deny the theology behind the death of Jemima and the resurrection of a “genderless spirit?” Then again, what does it mean to apply gender and transgender* theory to the late eighteenth century? Perhaps the masculinity of the Friend denies the power of women to hold religious leadership and actually mimetically reinforces gender stereotypes. There is no consensus, but rather than create one, we hope to analyze what is to be gained and lost in arguing that the Friend fits into a limiting category of gender.
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    Research of evolution of the immigration in Austria after the fall of the Iron Curtain
    (University of the South, 2024-04-26) Brewer, Adelai Irie
    Immigration is a movement that has occurred since the beginning of time, and everyone is in one way or another connected to it. It is how countries were established and cultures were created. Austria, located in the center of Europe, has been a primary location for immigration since the Habsburg Empire. It has been a route for passing through many immigrant paths, especially the Balkan route. Over time, it became a location of permanent residence for many of those originally just stopping through. Its geographic position between the Eastern and Western Bloc made the country an important transit route for refugees, especially during the Cold War. There have been many differing views on immigration in Austria, and it has been at the forefront of their government since the fall of the Habsburg Empire. The issue of immigration has caused numerous governments, coalitions, and parties to form in Austria throughout its history. Still, the most prominent time for these was after World War II and following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The evolution of immigration in Austria since the fall of the Iron Curtain has been heavily influenced by the presence of changing politics and new cultural forms. In my paper, I examine this evolution through a theoretical framework that draws on cultural theory, and the concepts of hybridity and cosmopolitanism. I will look at the policies and governments as well as their changes through three main periods: the fall of the Iron Curtain, contemporary Austria, and present-day Austria.
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    Religious Issues Within The Supreme Court
    (2024-04-26) Friedman, Ellie; McVey, Sheppard; Kennedy, Sally
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious group that was formed in the 1870s by Charles Taz Russell and continues to be active today. Their millennialism foundation believes in the second coming of Christ, and they seek to share their beliefs with all who are willing to listen. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that society would not be saved without intervention from the second coming of Christ. Many members’ beliefs and values have come into conflict with external factors such as the United States law. We are focusing on how Jehovah's Witnesses interact with the law within the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States, and how their religious beliefs interfere with expectations that are put upon American citizens. We are examining cases of how Jehovah’s Witnesses have acted on their religious beliefs and subsequently come into conflict with the law. How were Jehovah's Witnesses seen as “Un-American” and exempt from the law? Throughout this research project, we will explore three Supreme Court Cases that involve disputes between Jevohah’s Witnesses beliefs and the medical field, education, and property rights. These court cases include Hall vs. Commonwealth, West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, and The People of the State of Illinois v. E.G., a Minor. By examining these court cases separately and then drawing on common themes, our sources will provide insight into how Jehovah’s Witnesses' beliefs adversely interact with outsiders' perspectives. Common themes we hope to further explore are religious freedom, freedom of speech, and individual versus state rights. This research is important because it examines the disconnect between new religious movements and the United States law. Researching Jehovah’s Witnesses specifically can illuminate themes that can be generalized to other religious movements to help us better understand these relationships.
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    Doing More Harm Than Good: US Foreign Aid and the Loss of Indigenous Culture in Guatemala
    (University of the South, 2024-04-26) Atkinson, Jessie
    Foreign aid is a relatively novel topic, mainly surfacing after the Second World War and during the Cold War. Its origin is partly rooted in self-preservation, ‘red scare’ instincts in uncertain post-war times. Foreign aid is defined as “private or public bilateral or multilateral assistance to nations suffering the ravages of war, natural calamity, or long-standing poverty” with the hope of creating self-sufficient, capitalistic economic growth for the receiving countries (Godfried & Lynch 1). However, the focus has shifted to emphasize humanitarian aid and supporting the wellbeing of all peoples, aligning with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Despite the goal appearing to be humanitarian aid, there are national interests being protected through foreign aid programs. I will present the impact of international development and foreign aid being sent from the United States to Guatemala, specifically its effects on the indigenous populations. What are the effects of foreign aid on receiving countries? Do aid programs consider priorities and concerns of the entire population, including indigenous peoples? Does the Guatemalan government get consent from indigenous peoples to accept these aid programs? I argue that international development does not reach the indigenous populations of Guatemala due to discriminatory obstacles put into place by the urban, elite population or government; and when it does reach the indigenous communities, it has a negative impact on their distinct cultures. The obstacles put into place use outdated, colonial ideas of racial hierarchy to keep the indigenous populations below the poverty line and decrease their agency. In return, those in power can maintain or improve their socio-economic positions. My research explores agricultural and social aid programs from the 1950s to present day to prove the existence of hurdles used to marginalize and oppress indigenous peoples in Guatemala. My presentation will begin with my theoretical framework before moving on to background information of Guatemala, indigenous peoples, and U.S. foreign aid. I will then present my research of agricultural and social aid programs and their effects on indigenous cultures. Finally, I will introduce new approaches to development that must be implemented to maintain and celebrate indigenous knowledge and culture.