Panel Abstracts

10-10:50 a.m.

A Session—Valders 206
Elegant and Inelegant Bodies

  • Lindsey Row-Heyveld

“If he say true, thee lies”: Fraudulent Disability in Early Modern England

My presentation will introduce my research on the fear of fraudulent disability in the literature and culture of early modern England. I will trace how changes in social welfare policies motivated by the Reformation instituted a new system of disability compensation, and, with it, an increased concern that able-bodied persons would try to pass themselves off as impaired. Fears of feigned disability also shaped, and were shaped by, the theater. I have identified more than thirty plays from this period that feature characters who counterfeit blindness, deafness, paralysis, “madness,” and other impairments. The theater seized on and teased out fears of fraudulent disability, staging literary fantasies about the nonstandard body and creating social realities for people with disabilities. My presentation will offer examples from early modern print culture (including ballads, social policy handbooks, and personal-protection guides), as well as brief analysis of fraudulent disability in an exemplary play, Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair. Through this examination, I hope to demonstrate the prevalence and the persistence of the fraudulent disability tradition, as well as the way in which early modern ideas about the nonstandard body are still influential today.

  • Margaret Britton

Dance Music “Not Meant for Dancing”: On the Relationship Between Dance Gesture and Musical Gesture in Chopin’s Mazurkas

In 1833, Berlioz noted that it was not only “Polish elements” that gave Chopin’s mazurkas their unusual character, but also the “thousand nuances of movement” that Chopin alone was able to convey in performance. I propose that the “nuances of movement” Berlioz perceived may have been Chopin’s musical expression of the physical gestures of the danced mazurka. Despite Chopin once writing that his mazurkas “are not meant for dancing,” I will show that all connections with the danced mazurka were not lost in Chopin’s stylized pieces for solo piano. It is known that Chopin was a skilled dancer, and as such his physical understanding of the mazurka’s steps must necessarily have informed his translation of those motions into musical analogues. Drawing on recent theories of musical gesture, I examine possible relationships between musical gestures featured in Chopin’s mazurkas, and the choreography of the ballroom mazurka as described by dance master Henri Cellarius in his 1847 treatise La danse des salons. Using Chopin’s Mazurka in C# Minor, op. 50/3 as a case study, I will illustrate how the steps of the mazurka informed the manner in which Chopin crafted both large and small musical structures in his mazurkas.

  • Stephanie Fretham

Metals, Brains, and Worms

The development and maintenance of neurons throughout the lifespan is a complex process and depends on many factors. My research focuses on the role of heavy metals in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. Essential metals such as iron, manganese, and copper serve as cofactors in many proteins necessary for energy production, oxygen transport, and gene regulation. Nutritional and genetic deficiencies of these metals result in abnormal neurodevelopment. However, the presence of excess metal in the brain also leads to developmental abnormalities and neurodegeneration. Furthermore, exposure to non-essential metals such as lead and mercury also disrupts neurodevelopment and causes neurodegeneration. Using C. elegans, a small nematode system, my research combines genetic and environmental manipulation with imaging and behavioral measurements to address the cellular mechanisms by which metals affect neuronal health for better and worse.

10-10:50 a.m.

B Session—Olin 102
Demystifying Creative Processes

  • Rachel Faldet

Falling Leaves:  Exploring Life Cycles Through Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is a slippery genre that combines truth, artistry, and research. It involves, for a writer, a willingness to look inside herself and pay attention, a willingness to look outside herself and pay attention, and a willingness to take risks with content and presentation on the page. This presentation focuses on an essay that grew out of an in-class writing prompt that I gave to my creative nonfiction class one autumn afternoon in Olin 105. I piled a heap of maple, burr oak, dogwood, and red bud leaves on the desk, then asked each student to take one, study it carefully, and write whatever came to their minds for fifteen minutes. I took a blood-orange-red maple leaf and did the prompt, too. That quick writing offered a wealth of inspiration for me — which, after many drafts, resulted in my lyric essay, "Leaf Senescence" published in Ruminate Magazine in Spring 2013. The piece explores the natural cycle of growth and death;  it weaves science with the personal stories of two men I love whose bodies are failing. I will also speak about the writing process and making personal stories have universal meaning.

  • Ben Moore

Daily Portraits: Process and Surface as Subject

During this past January term at Luther, I did not have any teaching responsibilities and took the opportunity to rethink my studio practice. I had found that much of my painting practice had become very prescribed, and I began the process of making one painting per day to challenge my own assumptions about the act of making. Works created over this short period had set parameters: paintings had to be from life, either live model or self portrait; all paintings were to be modest in scale, 11” maximum; paintings were painted on raw paper to shift focus from mark to surface; and lastly, each painting was to be completed in one day. What started out as painting exercises quickly turned into something of great value to me. The timeframe in painting each work shortened drastically to three hours, greatly increasing the focus of observation and attentiveness to the act of painting. The relationship among paint, paper, and observation supersede imagery. These small paintings have a presence in paint that holds the sense of observation beyond the actual sitting and making of the work, and transfers that presence onto the viewing of the work. There is a sense of fragility and trust that comes from the speed of making these paintings that sit on the surface of the paper. The act of painting, or the practice of painting, drives this work.

  • Thomas C. Johnson

Hours with Amanda / Hours with Novian / Hours with Ben

Hours with Amanda, Hours with Novian, and Hours with Ben are three films each offering an intimate portrait of a Luther College faculty member. In Hours with Amanda, Amanda Hamp reflects on where she finds balance—in walking, in resting, and in dancing. In Hours with Novian, Novian Whitsitt reflects on where he finds balance—in cycling, in writing, and in family. In Hours with Ben, Ben Moore reflects on where he finds balance—in preparing, in painting, and in fishing. While each film is independent of one another, these films are hinged together as a triptych. In this presentation, I will outline the processes of producing these films. Along the way, I will highlight work performed in the four stages (script and research, pre-production, and post- production) of the creation of a documentary. After this, I will screen one of the three films and spend a bit of time deconstructing its technical and aesthetic elements. Finally, I will touch on what’s next for these films.

11-11:50 a.m.

A Session—Valders 206
Figuring Cultures in a Global Context

  • Michael O’Brien

Carnival Indoors, Online, and All Year Round: New Virtual and Live Spaces for Argentine Murga Performance

Murga porteña, a form of street theatre involving dance, costumes, ensemble drumming, and satirical song, has been a fixture of the celebration of Carnival in Buenos Aires for the better part of a century. Murga has recently been recognized by the national and municipal government as a form of cultural patrimony, and murga performers have gained access to performance spaces and accrued cultural capital. This growing prestige has led many murgas to expand to a year-round rehearsal and performance cycle, including indoor performances at cultural centers and other concert venues. Additionally, murgas have embraced technologies of mediation and reproduction, using social media and video as additional stages for collective performance. Yet this increasing mediatization and professionalization has not led toward commodification of the practice, nor have these new media supplanted the live performance.  Indoors, murga is a sonically and spatially unruly genre whose aesthetic practices (deafening bass drums, large number of dancers, and clever, subtle wordplay) are not only at odds with the small spaces and poor amplification in these new venues, but also with themselves. Thus, these new forms of mediated and live murga are experienced not as coherent wholes, but fragmentary experiences. Many murgueros use virtual and mediated performances as necessary supplements to understand the performance text, while still privileging the embodied and collective experience of live performance.  Mediation and virtual spaces serve to supplement the live experience of murga performance, but do not replace it.

  • Hongmei Yu

From Kundun to Mulan: A Political Economic Case Study of Disney and China

This case study examines the Walt Disney Company’s foray into the Chinese market from a political economic perspective. It focuses on two film-related events: 1) the Kundun incident in 1996 that displays the ideological confrontation between Disney and China in the post-Cold War era, and 2) the production of Mulan in 1998 as both a political compromise and a strategic marketing decision for Disney to regain the Chinese market. The conflicts and negotiations between Disney and China provide a telling example to study the local operation of global capitalism. While many believe that the advent of globalization will open more free markets for fair competition, this study reveals how the government policy-making intervenes in the global entertainment industry, and sheds light on the political and economic struggles behind the silver screen.

  • Evgenia Fotiou

“We are the Indians of Greece”: Redefining Indigeneity and Religious Minority Rights

This presentation will challenge the way we usually use the term "indigenous" (which has traditionally been used to describe the original inhabitants of former colonies) using the example of religious revitalization in Greece. I will discuss the ways Greek Religion is being reconstructed, providing meaning to contemporary subjects’ experience and challenging mainstream religious discourse in Greece. The revival of pre-Christian spiritual traditions is not unique to Greece but is a common trend in Europe in the last 20 years, emphasized by the founding of WCER (World Congress of Ethnic Religions). These movements have a fundamental difference from neo-pagan movements in North America that complicates the concept of indigeneity. European movements are more concerned with issues of identity and in the case of Greece with religious freedom. Specifically, Greek neo-pagans are in the precarious position of living in a state that does not officially recognize their ancestral religion. They aim to reconstitute what they perceive as their authentic religious tradition and to revive the fundamental principles of polytheism that they deem relevant to contemporary life while arguing that Christianity is essentially an imposed foreign religion.

11-11:50 a.m.

B Session – Olin 102
Access and Advantage

  • Brad Miller and David Ranum

Scaling Up Courseware: From One Student to Thousands

For the past three years we have been developing, using, and sharing the Runestone Interactive toolset for building interactive, web­based computer science courseware. This fall, some 43,000 students from 166 countries have used our textbook. Providing a textbook online allows us to collect a vast amount of data about how students learn using online material. We know which examples interest them, which concepts are troublesome for them, and what they are choosing to read. In addition, the students themselves get instant feedback. These tools, used by a growing number of authors from around the world, allow the easy creation of laboratories, class presentations, chapters, or even complete on­line books that contain a wide array of valuable teaching and learning aids. Examples of materials created using the Runestone Interactive Tools can be found at In this presentation, we will give a short introduction to the toolset, show the types of materials that are produced, and share our experiences of using the book in our own classroom. We will also provide an overview of the vast amount of data that is collected about how students use the materials and present some ideas about how this can inform our teaching.

  • Gokhan Savas

Understanding the Net and Gross Effects of Gender and Race in College Enrollment

In this presentation, I will discuss gender and race differences in college enrollment of recent high school graduates in the United States. Utilizing nationally representative data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), I investigate the following research question: Among those who have completed high school or received a GED, to what extent are gender and racial/ethnic differences explained by students’ pre-college academic achievement, educational and parental expectations net of socio-economic background, family structure and high school characteristics? I find that there is a female advantage in overall college enrollment, and it exists across racial/ethnic groups. I also find that there is a net black/Hispanic advantage in overall college enrollment in the United States. The results have changed when it comes to “institutional selectivity”. I will present my quantitative research results and discuss the gross and net effects of gender and race in college enrollment.

  • Megan Strom

Social Justice Through Minoritized Media: A Linguistic Approach to the Study of Ideology

As the current population of Latinos in the United States reaches more than 50 million, this group is increasingly more present in the English-language media. However, their presence in all forms of mainstream media is overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical, and discriminatory. My research considers how media created by a minoritized group, Latinos in the United States, challenge the negative representations found in the mainstream media. In this presentation, I summarize the results of five studies I have carried out that have focused on the representation of ideology in Spanish-language media in the United States. The studies constitute a critical linguistic approach to the written, spoken, and visual representation of Latino immigrants in local news articles, news photographs, newspaper advertisements, and television advertisements. The questions I address are: 1. What ideologies are represented by Spanish-language media in the United States? and 2. What role do Spanish-language media play in challenging dominant ideologies found in the English-language media? My results show the ways in which these media achieve, to differing degrees, social justice for Latinos: for example, while local print news articles tend to represent Latinos negatively, news photographs represent Latinos as powerful members of the community who can bring about change.

1-1:50 p.m

A Session – Valders 206
Knowing Our Place

  • Rachel Vagts and Sarah Wicks

The Presence of Digital Archives at Luther College: The Postville Project

The mission of the Luther College Archives is to collect, organize, preserve, promote and make available records of enduring historical, legal, administrative and fiscal value. Traditionally, archives have worked with physical materials, often items that are antiquated and one-of-a-kind. The digital age has presented many new options for organizing and making available historical records that exist in both physical and, more commonly, digital formats. One way that the Luther College Archives is embracing this progression is through the creation of The Postville Project, a digital archive project initiated between Luther and the University of Northern Iowa. Created in 2009 with grant funding from the State Historical Society of Iowa, The Postville Project collects and makes accessible a variety of primary and secondary source materials related to the community of Postville before, during and after the 2008 immigration raid. Learn how our digital project has evolved with emerging technologies, how we work with donors and our partner institution UNI, and how digital archive projects are changing the way the public can interact with rare and exceptional materials.

  • Steve Holland

Are Bike Trails Worth It?

On September 5th, 2013, Winneshiek County was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to, among other things, build a new bike path connecting the Trout Run Trail to the village of Freeport. One of the key components of the grant proposal was a finding that the benefits of the project would exceed the costs by a factor of more than 6 to 1. Despite the importance and ubiquity of benefit cost analysis in public policy decision-making, very little is understood about how these studies are conducted. In this presentation, the author of the benefit cost analysis for the Freeport bike trail project will share how it was done in that case and, in the process, touch on larger questions such as: What are the benefits of a bike trail? How does one put a dollar value on those benefits? Is benefit-­‐cost analysis a reliable method to determine whether to go ahead with a public works project?

  • Richard Bernatz

Upper Iowa River Flood Frequency Estimation by the Neyman-Scott Rectangular Pulse Rainfall Model and TOPMODEL

A spatial-temporal Neyman-Scott Rectangular Pulse (NSRP) stochastic rainfall model is developed for seasonal-continuous simulation to project annual discharge probabilities from a relatively small watershed, the  Upper Iowa River watershed upstream from Decorah, Iowa. NSRP rainfall data is used as rainfall input to TOPMODEL, a conceptual, semi-distributed rainfall runoff model, to calculate river discharge at a site common to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauging station in Decorah, Iowa. Annual peak flows based on simulated rainfall are used to fit a log-Pearson type III distribution to project 1%-, 0.2%-, and 0.1%-annual (100-year, 500-year, and 1000-year) discharges. These results are compared to projections for the same frequency flows based on observed annual peak flow data measured at the USGS gauge site in Decorah. The NSRP model parameters are modified to reflect changes in environmental storm parameters (e.g. rainfall intensity and storm frequency) due to a warming atmosphere to study the sensitivity of annual peak flows due to climate variations.

1-1:50 p.m.

B Session—Olin 102
Hidden Stories

  • David Faldet

White Settler Colonialism and the Ethnic Cleansing of the Winnebago

The “settlement” of much of North America during the Nineteenth Century by whites took place, in part, by removing and resettling Native Americans. Removal became federal policy with passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and continued until there was no more “frontier,” roughly 1890. The Winnebago Indians were “removed” ten times between 1827 and 1874. This presentation will examine the extreme consequences of removal for the Winnebago and the role white settler violence played in the federal government’s methods for justifying removal. The presentation will look at the way white settler violence was used by the federal government under Jefferson in the early development of federal policy, as well as the way such violence figured in an 1827 Winnebago removal in Wisconsin (before the 1830 Removal Act). It will also look at the role white violence played in the removals of 1848, 1862, and 1864 where the government argued that displacement was for the good of the Winnebago.

  • Matthew Simpson

Dissimulation and Literary Form in Descartes’ Meditations

The well-known problems in the argumentation of Descartes’ Meditations have led some scholars to propose that the work contains dissimulation, that Descartes deliberately hid his considered metaphysical views. The idea, roughly put, is that Descartes was so capable a thinker, and some of the arguments of the Meditations so weak, that he could not have been sincere in proposing them. A parallel scholarly conversation has considered the literary form of the Meditations, especially with reference to books of spiritual exercises in the Roman Catholic tradition. The question of literary form has important consequences for the issue of dissimulation because judgments about the work’s sincerity will hinge on what kind of book we think Descartes wrote and, in particular, on our understanding of the nature and role of argumentation within the literary form in question. This essay takes the Cartesian Circle, a familiar problem in the third Meditation, as a case study of the ways that the Meditations might function as “cognitive exercises” and of how logical fallacies might come to have a place within this literary form as Descartes employs it without dissimulation (or gross error) on his part.

  • Jonathon Struve

Engaging Modernity through the Arts: Berlin Cabaret during the Weimar Republic

Following World War I, many young German intellectuals and artists found themselves searching for ways to contribute their creative voices to a new era. The collapse of the monarchy and founding of the Weimar Republic, the dizzying pace of contemporary society, and the emergence of Berlin as a modern metropolis brought about an enormous cultural and political shift, and for many intellectuals, these changes required new means of artistic expression suited to the times. For a handful of these artists and intellectuals, including composer Friedrich Hollaender, political satirist Kurt Tucholsky, and author Walter Mehring, the cabaret became an ideal vehicle for artistic expression. Although cabaret itself was not new, they saw in its inherent spontaneity and variety an ideal platform for music and satire that could both criticize and celebrate aspects of contemporary German society. Exploring compositions emerging from the early Weimar Republic reveals the ways in which these songs and texts engaged with contemporary culture. From defiant criticism of military action and government officials to the celebration of the Berlin metropolis, and from sarcastic critiques of modern society to joyous revels in entertainment and escapism, these songs demonstrate how artistic works serve as meaningful reflections of and responses to present circumstances.

2-2:50 p.m.

A Session—Valders 206
Women's Lives and Histories

  • Philip Freeman

The Life of Saint Brigid

The early medieval Life of Saint Brigid by the Irish churchman Cogitosus tells the story of the first and greatest female saint of Ireland. Brigid was a remarkable woman who founded a monastery at Kildare west of Dublin in the century after Saint Patrick and there established an usual religious community where Christian men and women lived and worked together as equals. The Life of Saint Brigid is our earliest source for the story of Brigid and is a fascinating mixture of Christian and pre-Christian material, but the various medieval manuscript sources have never been properly edited. I am currently working on producing the first scholarly edition of the Life and would like to share with students and others the challenges and rewards of my research.

  • Anna Peterson

Emancipating Pregnancy and Childbirth: The Politics of Maternity Homes in Early Twentieth-Century Norway

The transition from home births to institutional births in Norway was fraught with power struggles. In 1915, the Norwegian parliament passed a comprehensive piece of maternity legislation that provided compensation and free midwifery to members of the national health insurance and members’ wives. The law also contained a clause that allowed local welfare offices to make compensation contingent on a woman giving birth at a maternity home. Feminists and midwives had worked together to try and get this legislation passed, but they disagreed over the issue of maternity homes. Leading feminists had a vision of maternity homes as places where women would help women and working-class mothers would receive modern, hygienic birthing assistance. They intended for midwives to run these homes and provide personalized assistance to grateful working-class women. What happened in reality was quite different. Between 1910 and 1930 feminists, midwives and working mothers fought for the type of birth experience they thought best. By examining a diverse range of archival sources, my presentation will detail the far-reaching effects this maternity legislation had on women’s relationships with one another and the state. My research will also pay attention to the ways in which women resisted, encouraged, and negotiated the medical management of pregnancy and childbirth.

  • Julia McReynolds

Pharmaceutical Abortion and Reproductive Rights Activism in Argentina

In 2007, Argentina’s health ministry estimated that between 460,000 and 600,000 abortions occur there each year, implying there is more than one abortion for every two live births in the country—nearly all of them illegal. Clandestine abortions pose a serious threat to women’s health in Argentina, as in all of Latin America. But there is some evidence that illegal abortion has become safer in recent years. This is in large part a result of the wide availability of misoprostol, a pharmaceutical sold to treat gastric ulcers that also induces abortion. My research analyzes the role played by activist networks in disseminating information about inducing abortion with misoprostol. This type of activism creates tensions in the abortion-rights movements, as activists balance pressuring the government to legalize abortion with providing direct assistance to women who might otherwise risk their lives with back-alley abortions. I argue that this is opening up a space where doctors and activists work together to assert reproductive rights in opposition to the legal framework in which abortion is illegal. It also results in the democratization of abortion practice, as relatively safe abortion becomes available to lower-income women.

2-2:50 p.m.

B Session—Olin 102
Grief and Gratitude

  • Maryna Bazylevych

Moral Economy and Informal Exchanges in the Ukrainian Health Care System.

In this presentation, I offer ethnographically based analysis of bioethics and informal economy in the Ukrainian health care system. Some sources estimate that more than 50% of all health care financing originates from unofficial and quasi-formal payments. I ask: how do the health care professionals and patients understand their participation in the unofficial system? I investigate how gratitude is implicated in considerations of morality and professionalism as the health care system is changing from the socialist ideal of universally free and accessible coverage to the market-based principles. Ukrainian medical personnel routinely participate in informal exchanges with the patients and their peers, and often deem the ability to earn decent income as evidence of their professional success. While informal exchanges served as a personalizing technique based on obligation during Soviet times, post-socialist physicians link professionalism and personal enrichment emphasizing their role as expert clinicians. I argue that this process is guided by conflicted rules that distinguish between gratitude on one hand, and inappropriate exchanges, commonly termed as “bribes,” on the other hand. A bribe is understood as an informal payment for services that are illegal or that otherwise violate the scope of the physicians’ professional responsibilities. Gratitude, on the other hand, is understood as a gift that a patient gives to a physician for the services that the physician normally conducts at work and that do not violate professional or legal codes. The temporal dimension is of paramount importance. Gratitude cannot be a pre-requisite for delivering a quality service. Rather, it follows treatment. I discuss gratitude as rooted firmly in the affect realm, while bribe—in obligation realm. I argue that gratitude is an interactive process where patients and physicians construct the informal practice together, thus subverting formal rules.

  • Sarah Wilder

An Engaged Study of Communication Practices Surrounding Later-Life Widowhood: “We Just Talked About What It Is Like to Not Have Your Buddy”

The present study addressed the question of how later-life widowed individuals communicate, navigate, and transition to widowhood. To do this, I focus on supportive interactions, narratives, and advice for future widowed individuals to consider based on participant experiences. Grounded in the interpretive paradigm, I interviewed 23 widowed individuals. For social support, themes emerged regarding the importance of both tangible and emotional supportive interactions in adjusting to widowhood. For narrative, one theme emerged regarding the idea that most widowed individuals do not discuss their widowhood and a master narrative emerged that widowhood is unique to each individual. Seeking advice for future widowed individuals based on the participants’ experiences, the themes of the importance of preparing for death, accepting the loss and moving forward, and remembering the good times emerged. Practical implications of the findings are discussed. As an engaged project, I also discuss working with the directors of local assisted living homes to create a tangible resource for their facilities as well as presenting and participating in programs about bereavement with residents.

  • Ginger Meyete

Grief in the Lives of Lesbians Age 60 and Older

The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experiences of self-identified lesbians age 60 and older concerning grief related to various life experiences. The purpose goes beyond describing the phenomenon of grief related to death loss. The purpose includes exploring grief related to overt or covert discrimination due to ageism, sexism, and/or homophobia as well as the connection between the personal and the political in terms of changes needed to lead to social justice. The study uses qualitatative grounded theory methodology. Sampling consists of snowball sampling followed by theoretical sampling. A total of 27 women participate in this study. Data collection is conducted through 3 focus groups, 22 individual interviews, and 1 interview with a lesbian couple. Data analysis takes place throughout the study. Constant comparative analysis is used, and data analysis is assisted by use of the HyperResearch software program. These older lesbians experience an underlying global grief in many aspects of their daily lives due to the lack of acceptance, celebration, and support of their primary relationships as well as their lesbian identity. Grief for many women is mitigated by positive coping strategies, support systems, and their vision for social action and change.

3-3:50 p.m.

A Session—Valders 206
Racetracks, Avalanches, and Cycles

  • Mike Johnson

Finding the Catalan Numbers While Predicting Avalanche Sizes in the One-Dimensional Sandpile Model

The study of avalanches in the one dimensional Bak, Tang, Wiesenfeld (BTW) sandpile model is deeply connected with number theory. Using this model, we represent sandpiles as lists of numbers, describing how many grains of sand are at any of n consecutive locations. The BTW model characterizes the repeated process of adding a grain of sand randomly to the sandpile. Avalanches occur in this model when the slope of the sandpile becomes too large. Analysis of the number of recurrent states for a sandpile reveals interesting applications to number theory. We provide an alternate proof to the result that the number of recurrent stable states for a sandpile with n locations is equal to the n+1th Catalan number, where the nth Catalan number is defined by C(n)=(2n!)/[n!(n+1)!]. Also, using a trough model, we characterize all avalanches into two types depending on the location of troughs. We then predict the size of avalanches that occur by the size of the sandpile and the type of avalanche.  The avalanche sizes associated with each type can be represented by either the sum of consecutive integers or by the product of two integers with a controlled sum. We then provide bounds on the sandpile size required to observe an avalanche of particular size 2^k(2n+1). These estimates depend only on n and k, and not on the overall size of the avalanche.

  • Elizabeth Golovatski

Properties of a Magnetic Racecar: Spin Manipulation and Spintronic Devices

The electron—the workhorse of all electronic devices—has an underutilized property called “spin” that effectively makes it a tiny magnet.  And like the magnetic needle on a compass responds to the magnetic field of the earth, the spin of an electron can be manipulated by changing its magnetic environment.  In a material where the magnetic field isn’t constant in space, the spin of an electron will change its orientation as it moves through that region.  Fundamental conservation laws in physics then dictate that the material itself must undergo an equal and opposite change.  My research involves calculating the transport of electrons in domain walls (one kind of these special magnetic regions), and how we could use this to develop new memory devices that operate by stringing tiny magnetic regions on a nanowire “racetrack” and moving them around to manipulate data.  I will show my most recent calculations showing how two domain walls interact with each other to make this motion harder or easier, depending on how far apart they are.

  • Marjorie Wharton

Paul Klee. One creative expression leads to another. Or results from it.

Paul Klee is the name of an artist, linguist, violinist, art theorist. Paul Klee is the name of a poem by Paul Eluard that has all the characteristics of a French classical tragedy. Paul Klee is the name of a song by Francis Poulenc that he wrote because he needed a song that would “go with a bang” in his song cycle Le Travail du peintre (The Work of the Artist). Not everyone agrees that Le Travail du peintre is a song cycle. And my on-going, soul-consuming, insomnia-filling, incomplete scholarly project is to show that Le Travail du peintre is both a song cycle and a poetry cycle. I can’t prove that in 11 minutes, but I can show that it is “Paul Klee” as song and poem that marks with a bang the Golden Ratio of both. There will be a performance of Paul Klee the song (43 seconds), comments about the music, a brief analysis of Paul Klee the poem, and slides of works by Paul Klee.

B Session—Olin 102

Disciplining Behaviors

  • Brian Caton

“Animals in the Archives: Studying Colonial Animal Breeding at the National Archives of India”

This presentation will review my experiences conducting research on the Government Cattle Farm, Hissar, in the records of the National Archives of India, New Delhi. The GCF was created in the early nineteenth century as a means to solve problems of military logistics, but did so by trying to breed stud animals which could then be sold, lent, or distributed in order to “improve the local breed” of camel or bullock (and, later in the century, sheep). Because animals do not write their own histories, I will consider the methodological problems of trying to recover the histories of animals in records that humans keep. I will also discuss the particular archival issues pertaining to the preservation of early nineteenth-century documents in India, including animals’ presence in archives: termites, worms, squirrels, and rhesus macaques.

  • C. N. Gomersall

The Economics of Procrastination

Economists bang on about saving all the time, trying to explain why some people, apparently more self-disciplined than I am, put aside a certain amount each month and end up with enough to retire on after, say, fifty years. For every one of these virtuous souls, however, there must be a hundred of us who procrastinate, yet this behavior is much less well studied by economists than is saving—in spite of these two patterns’ being similar in some ways. To study procrastination, I obtained access to a large data set from NaNoWriMo, an exercise which, each year, invites people to write 50,000 words during November. The quality of their work is not the issue; the challenge is simply to produce a piece of adequate length. Each writer reports daily on the number of words he or she has written. Thus we might, at the extremes, categorize writers as the Overachievers (rattling off the whole task in the first few days), the Anal (writing 1,667 words a day every day, including Thanksgiving) and the Procrastinators (and you know who they are). What have I learned? Little as yet but, as statisticians like to say, I’m torturing the numbers until they confess.

  • Nancy Simpson-Younger

Staging the Sleeper in John Lyly's “Endymion”

What happens when you have a sleeping body lying on stage for three acts of a performance? In John Lyly's 1591 play Endymion, the characters are forced to confront this question. Some of them decide to gawk at the body; some try to wake it up, and some try to move it around for fun (and then get punished by fairies). My paper argues that all of these responses help Lyly to create an overarching definition of virtuous conduct toward vulnerable people in the world of the play. For Lyly, human beings ought to make personal sacrifices in order to safeguard a sleeping person—implying that physically vulnerable figures remain worthy of protection, and that their needs ought to be prioritized above an observer's personal desires or wishes.

4-4:50 p.m.

A Session—Valders 206

Networks of Oppression and Resistance

Presenters: Radford-Hill, Nave, Merritt, Kientz Anderson, Hurley

Since 1989, when UCLA law professor Kimberle' Crenshaw introduced the concept of intersectionality, academics and activists have been striving to identify how different kinds of oppression interact and intersect. We see intersectionality at work in the life of a black maid, for example, who may experience exploitation based upon her race, gender, class, ability, and sexuality—none of which can be or should be separated into discrete units. In this roundtable discussion, participants will examine the complex and varied ways that social, economic, and cultural discourses and institutions intersect to perpetuate oppression and domination. Perhaps even more importantly, they will consider how to respond to these issues as they manifest in and out of the Luther College community. While they will articulate how hierarchical ideologies such as sexism, racism, speciesism, abilism, heteronormativity, and others exist as parts of a complex, interconnected “network” of domination that is global in scope, participants will also reflect on the ways the metaphor of “network” or matrix can provide a theoretical and practical foundation for innovative and truly liberating discourses that will not only deconstruct explicit and implicit exploitative practices and policies, but will also lead to new forms of consciousness, knowledge, and social institutions.

4-4:50 p.m.

B Session – Olin 102
Doing Public Scholarship Online: A Conversation

Presenters: Todd Green and Amy Weldon

In their experiences writing blogs that connect their scholarly concerns with national audiences — Green for the Huffington Post, Weldon for her blog "The Cheapskate Intellectual" — both Todd Green and Amy Weldon have found some unexpected advantages and drawbacks to this form of thinking out loud in public. Green will describe his experiences, both positive and negative, conducting conversations about and fielding responses to his work on Islam and Christianity in post-9/11 America, while Weldon will discuss the pleasures and ironies of being a techno-skeptic trying to use a blog to develop a book manuscript and bring national attention to local environmental issues. The emphasis will be on questions and conversation with the audience.

7:30 p.m.

Shakespeare in Song and Sound

Congregational Church, 209 W. Broadway, Decorah

In conjunction with Water Street Music Series

  • Kate Narveson, Kathy Reed, Brooke Joyce, Kristen Underwood

We have been collaborating to research texts in Shakespeare that speak directly or indirectly about music and are putting together those texts with old and new music in a program called "Shakespeare in Song and Sound." New music will be composed by students in Joyce's composition class, and both old and new music will be performed by students in Reed’s ensemble, Collegium Musicum.

Thanks to the Dean's Office for their support, Kristin Anderson for her graphic design work on the posters and programs, and the Faculty Research Symposium Organizing Committee for their hard work.