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Oshkosh Scholar Volume XV Is Here!

Oshkosh Scholar, the UW Oshkosh undergraduate research journal, is a collaborative effort between students and faculty at UW Oshkosh. Students are involved in editing and production coordination, and faculty review articles through a blind review process.

About the Authors and Work

Olivia Smith - "Framing Womanhood: Benevolent Sexism and Racialized Rhetoric in Antichoice Image Campaigns"

Olivia Smith graduated Summa Cum Laude from UW Oshkosh in spring 2020 with a BSW and minors in social justice and women’s and gender studies. While at Oshkosh, she was the president of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, a member of Be The Match, a volunteer for Special Olympics, and a mentor at the local Boys and Girls Club. Olivia demonstrated a deep passion for her major and both of her minors, and, through her dedicated work, she received the Helen Bannan Women’s Studies Award in 2019. Upon graduation from the Honors College, she received the Honors medallion. She engages in feminist activism and her passion for women’s rights and reproductive justice inspired her to choose this research topic. She was hired before graduation and currently works as an Initial Assessment Case Manager for Rock County Child Protective Services. She continues to carry her activism and passion for change into her career and personal life.

Dr. Caryn Murphy is a professor in the department of Radio TV Film where she teaches courses in film and television history and criticism. Her research on the politics of race and gender in media representations has appeared in Media History, the Journal of Popular Culture, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, and many edited volumes. She served as the interim director of the women’s and gender studies program at UWO from 2018–2020, and she is a past recipient of the Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award.

Framing Womanhood: Benevolent Sexism and Racialized Rhetoric in Antichoice Image Campaigns

This paper addresses how the image campaigns funded by antichoice groups perpetuate sexist and racist viewpoints ideas connected to womanhood and how these ideas are absorbed into public opinion in America. Although previous research has identified many framing methods of antichoice groups, there is a lack of research on the vital role of antichoice media campaigns and framing methods used in images. By analyzing data trends from local and national antichoice groups on the internet and social media, I identified the key areas of prejudice, including femininity and womanhood framings and discursive association framings. Examples of the motherhood ideal, victimization and protector framing, #UnbornLivesMatter, and the Black Genocide Movement all serve as evidence of how antichoice images perpetuate sexist and racialized rhetoric. Antichoice groups continue to spread harmful stereotypes of womanhood while simultaneously incorporating racialized rhetoric that vigorously targets black women.

Molly Hennig - "Bringing Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben into Present-Day Performances"

Molly Hennig is a fifth-year student of vocalperformance under Dr. Anna Hersey at UW Oshkosh. In 2019, Molly studied Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben under OSCRA’s Undergraduate Research Grant. Molly received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research in 2019 for her performance of Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs and again in 2020 for her performance and presentation on her research of Frauenliebe und Leben. In the summer of 2020, Molly studied Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre under her second research grant from OSCRA. Molly plans to pursue graduate studies in musicology and voice for Fall of 2021.

Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey is a noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature. Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm. Her first book, Scandinavian Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction and Repertoire was published by Rowman & Littlefield. Dr. Hersey holds master’s degrees in performance and musicology from the University of Minnesota and earned a doctorate from the University of Miami. She is associate professor of voice at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

 

“Bringing Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben into Present-Day Performances”

Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben is a song cycle with content that modern audiences may view as problematic. The piece’s text features a woman who falls in love with a man and is seemingly dependent and submissive to him. However, there is creative room in the piece’s performance that allows it to remain relevant in the present day. This article compares and contrasts several scholarly examinations of Frauenliebe und Leben, then analyzes six recorded performances of the piece, connecting each performance to one of three possible interpretations in order to demonstrate how vocal technique and expression alters the cycle’s message.

Gabrielle Newman - "Reframing Womanhood: A Rhetorical Analysis of Ada James’s 'The Womanly Woman'"

Gabrielle Newman is a senior at UW Oshkosh, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in business. She is a member of The Honors College at UW Oshkosh and has been an active component of student life while at UWO. She is the current President of the Communication Club, the official student organization of the communication studies major, and has served in this role for two consecutive years. Gabrielle has enjoyed exploring her interests in civic life and politics while at UWO and even served as a student intern for the American Democracy Project, helping students register to vote for the 2018 midterm election. In the spring 2020, she enjoyed the opportunity of taking a communication studies course that discussed the history of the women’s suffrage movement, for which this paper was originally written. Her hopes are to continue learning all that she can in her last year at UWO and to transfer her skills and passion for civic engagement into a productive career and life after graduation.

Dr. Carmen Heider is a professor in the communication studies department, and she also teaches in the social justice and women’s and gender studies programs. She earned her Ph.D. from Penn State University, and her research focuses on rhetoric, gender, and activism.

 

Reframing Womanhood: A Rhetorical Analysis of Ada James’s “The Womanly Woman”

On June 10, 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. While this action did secure Wisconsin’s place in the narrative of the women’s suffrage movement, such success was only gained after decades of struggle by dedicated activists such as Ada James. Ada James of Richland Center, WI was among the most prominent suffrage activists in her state whose relentless pursuit of legislative change was a key factor in the advancement of women’s rights in Wisconsin. This essay explores the work Ada James and focuses on her 1919 speech “The Womanly Woman.” In her work as an activist and orator, Ada James challenged the hegemonic norms surrounding womanhood through her use of the rhetorical strategies of reframing, the implied we, and ethos, the use of argument from character. Through these strategies, James offered a new perspective on womanhood and provided the foundation for the future of femininity.

Ash Bott - "Hard Times and Soft Bodies: Poverty and Emasculation in Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing"

Ash Bott graduated from UWO in spring 2020 with a bachelor of the arts degree in English and a minor in Spanish. After working and writing for a couple years, they would like to go to graduate school and continue their education.

Dr. Don Dingledine received his Ph.D. in American literature from Temple University. A four-time recipient of The Honors College’s Outstanding Teaching Award, he teaches courses on American literature, history, and culture. His publications include essays on American literary journalism from the Great Depression, African American soldiers in Civil War literature, the marriage plot in Reconstruction-era novels, naturalism as a vehicle for social protest and reform, Moby-Dick as a model for the interdisciplinary work of honors programs, and the transcendence of gender binaries in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

 

Hard Times and Soft Bodies: Poverty and Emasculation in Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing

Waiting for Nothing (1935), Tom Kromer’s mostly forgotten semiautobiographical proletarian novel, exposes many of the Great Depression’s unbearable hardships, including hunger, homelessness, and prostitution. Rife with implicit critiques of gender norms and filled with nontraditional depictions of male bodies, the novel seemingly contradicts many of its contemporaries’ constructions of gender, in which authors responded to the era’s economic insecurities and male anxieties by valorizing physical strength and male virility. Particularly interesting is the novel’s inclusion of an effeminate queer man whose physical body blurs gendered lines and who further emasculates the novel’s protagonist through prostitution. The novel’s prostitution scene also mirrors a scene depicting religious charity, suggesting that men are emasculated through aid. Although its nonnormative depictions seem to contradict the era’s literary and artistic constructions of gender, Waiting for Nothing  still reinforces the Great Depression’s male anxieties, especially in situations of extreme poverty, by showing a cisgender man who ultimately becomes emasculated and controlled by powerful queer and feminine figures. The novel’s depictions of gender, though nontraditional, help readers understand the era’s male insecurities, especially as they relate to poverty and charity.

Samantha Moore - "Visual Cyborgs, (Un)faithfulness, and Body Autonomy: A Cyborg Feminist Analysis of 'Alita: Battle Angel'"

Samantha Moore is a senior at UW Oshkosh majoring in anthropology and women’s and gender studies. She is passionate about activism and aspires to work at a nonprofit, become a professor, or be an author. She believes that the stories we tell have a great impact on our culture and is passionate about disrupting problematic stories and creating new ones.

Dr. Caryn Murphy is a professor in the department of Radio TV Film where she teaches courses in film and television history and criticism. Her research on the politics of race and gender in media representations has appeared in Media History, the Journal of Popular Culture, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, and many edited volumes. She served as the interim director of the women’s and gender studies program at UWO from 2018–2020, and she is a past recipient of the Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award.

 

Visual Cyborgs, (Un)faithfulness, and Body Autonomy: A Cyborg Feminist Analysis of Alita: Battle Angel

 In this essay, I analyze the 2019 movie Alita: Battle Angel from a cyborg feminist perspective. In my research, I investigate how cyborg feminism illuminates problematic representations of gender, bodies, and sexuality in Alita: Battle Angel. Even further, how does Alita: Battle Angel illustrate both the possible issues with cyborg feminism and the dire need for true cyborg feminist revolution in popular media? I discuss how narrative and visual elements combine to infantilize Alita and make her vulnerable; how the male control of her cyborg body robs Alita of her autonomy; and how, even with complete freedom to construct her cyborg form, the producers still chose to recreate gendered categories and unrealistic expectations of the female body, sexualizing it for the male gaze. I also discuss how Alita, despite being a cyborg, eventually transforms into a goddess figure and reifies established conceptions of identity. This essay questions the cyborg’s ability to challenge rather than reproduce gendered categories and encourages more mass media to embrace feminist theorist Donna Haraway’s original aspirations to use the cyborg metaphor to subvert these reproductions.

Elijah Schmidt - "Purity Redefined: Sébastien Laudenbach’s De-Christianized Film Adaptation of the Grimm Fairy Tale, ‘The Maiden Without Hands’”

Elijah Schmidt graduated from the The Honors College at UW Oshkosh with a major in German and a minor in creative writing in May 2019. His research began as an Honors thesis in the fall semester of 2018, which he completed and presented in spring 2019. He returned the following semester as a special student to further his communication skills in German while continuing to refine his thesis. His interests are in German language education, jewelry making, and guitar playing. He is currently pursuing placement as an English teaching assistant through Fulbright Austria.

 

Dr. Elizabeth Wade-Sirabian received her Ph.D. in Germanic languages and literatures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the UW Oshkosh faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (now named Global Languages and Cultures) in 1997 and teaches German language, literature, and culture at all levels. Dr. Wade-Sirabian’s teaching and research interests include medieval and early modern literature and culture, manuscript studies, medieval magic, and fairy tales.

 

Purity Redefined: Sébastien Laudenbach’s De-Christianized Film Adaptation of the Grimm Fairy Tale, “The Maiden Without Hands”

This article investigates how director Sébastien Laudenbach’s animated film The Girl Without Hands (2016) reinterprets the grisly and lesser-known Grimm fairy tale it is based on, “The Maiden Without Hands” (“Das Mädchen ohne Hände”), while also considering the Grimms as adaptors of the story. My focus lies on the distinct processes of each adaptor and how they correlate to their respective interpretations of the Handless Maiden as a metaphor for purity. I conclude that the work done by the Grimms contends that purity is derived from the girl’s separation from the world and reliance on God. Their long editing process (lasting over forty years) shows a quest for perfection that is reflected in their Handless Maiden’s faith and piety.  Laudenbach, on the other hand, created the bulk of his movie alone as a passion project over the course of a single year, improvising his story with minimalist art and animation. He substitutes the Grimms’ Christian influences for pagan ones, implying that the girl’s purity originates from her authenticity and her connection to nature, thus reflecting the embrace of imperfection.

Sam Diemel - "Beginning to End: Mastery, Hierarchy, and the Anthropocene in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick"

Sam Diemel graduated from UW Oshkosh in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education of English. Through research and personal experiences during her college career, she became interested in the ways Western culture, primarily capitalism and Judeo-Christian traditions, impacts the Anthropocene. She hopes to teach students to be critical readers and writers and continue her own research in the future.

Dr. Don Dingledine received his Ph.D. in American literature from Temple University. A four-time recipient of The Honors College’s Outstanding Teaching Award, he teaches courses on American literature, history, and culture. His publications include essays on American literary journalism from the Great Depression, African American soldiers in Civil War literature, the marriage plot in Reconstruction-era novels, naturalism as a vehicle for social protest and reform, Moby-Dick as a model for the interdisciplinary work of honors programs, and the transcendence of gender binaries in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

 

Beginning to End: Mastery, Hierarchy, and the Anthropocene in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick

The beginning of the Anthropocene, which atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen describes as the epoch in which humans have become “a major environmental force,” is highly contested. Some say it began with the Industrial Revolution, while others argue that the beginning of modern agricultural practices marks the start. Inspired in part by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, this essay explores the possibility that the Anthropocene began at the very beginning—or at the Judeo-Christian beginning, to be specific. In Genesis, Adam is tasked with naming and classifying nonhuman animals, thus beginning a tradition of anthropocentrism that has encouraged a mastery over animals and other living beings. Using literature in the field of animal studies and incorporating scientific research of the whaling industry and the Bible, This essay argues that the Judeo-Christian tradition has led to the exploitation of the natural world, represented by the whaling industry present in Moby-Dick, eventually culminating in a battle between man and nature. As the man-made Anthropocene turns around to strike back at man, so Moby Dick turns his harpoon-filled head to sink the Pequod.

McKenzie Kalscheuer - "The Effects of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity"

McKenzie Kalscheuer is a junior at UW Oshkosh where she is majoring in marketing, minoring in information systems, and has earned a Spanish language certificate. She is in The Honors College and also a member of the Business Scholars program. McKenzie is active on campus as she serves as the Digital Marketing Specialist at Reeve Union and a Graphic Designer at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. In the past year, she was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success, and she plans on using all of her experiences to become a future leader.

Dr. Heike Alberts teaches a wide range of human geography classes for the Department of Geography and interdisciplinary courses for The Honors College. She has overseen several previous Oshkosh Scholar projects. Her own research deals with migration, urban issues, and chocolate.

 

The Effects of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity

Millions of children in the world are considered overweight or obese, making childhood obesity an epidemic; however, it has not received the recognition befitting such an important health issue. Many factors, such as advertisement, can influence food choices and eating habits.  With this in mind, I studied various food advertisements to determine whether or not there is a correlative relationship between the external factor of food advertising and the prevalence of childhood obesity. Through my search for secondary data, which provided insights into both unhealthy food advertisement and childhood obesity rates, I found that there is a significantly weak, positive relationship between the two variables. Although the promotion of unhealthy foods may play a role in a child becoming overweight, the increased frequency of food advertisements does not directly correspond to an increased rate of overweight children. Actions such as promoting healthier alternatives, enacting more rigorous food regulations, and continuing to research childhood obesity are promising ways to fight this epidemic.

Macrina Schry - "God is an Old Drag Queen"

Macrina Schry will graduate in the spring of 2021 from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a major in English and minors in business administration, law and policy, and Spanish. She is a member of The Honors College and the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Vice President of Sigma Tau Delta, a student editor for The Oshkosh Scholar, and a certified SAFE Ally. Her play “God is an Old Drag Queen” was the first-place winner of the 2020 Student Playwriting Contest, and she is the recipient of the university’s Celebration of Scholarship: Best Class-Embedded Research Award in 2020 for her work “Revolutionary for the Sake of Revolutionaries: The Profound Rhetorical Message in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.” She would like to thank everyone whose support has afforded her the privilege of sharing her voice, and hopes that her work encourages others to reflect on their own beliefs and the experiences that may have shaped those beliefs, with the possibility that this examination of self might inspire positive change and foster attitudes of acceptance.

Mr. Richard Kalinoski is an award-winning playwright and theatre director at UW Oshkosh.  He received his MFA from Carnegie-Mellon.  Mr. Kalinoski teaches courses in creative drama, playwriting, and American theatre history.  His play, Beast on the Moon, received a Moliere award in 2001 in Paris.

God is an Old Drag Queen

Catholicism is one of the most prominent religions in the world, with over 70 million people (approximately 22 percent of the population) practicing the faith in the United States today. The Catholic doctrine, founded on the ideals of unconditional love and forgiveness, is attractive to practitioners and converts alike, and in the face of tragedy, many will turn to their faith for comfort, solace, and answers to some of life’s most difficult questions. But what happens when the precepts of that faith offer no relief? God is an Old Drag Queen addresses this idea through Renee Ridley, a disillusioned seventeen-year-old senior at the prestigious parochial school St. Xavier’s Academy. Born into privilege, Renee spent most of her life attempting to live according to the rules of her family and faith until tragedy puts her choices into perspective. In an attempt to relieve her grief, on the night of the prom, Renee sneaks away from the festivities to the school chapel where she, unbeknownst to her conservative and extremely religious parents, has commissioned Matthew, the school priest and a childhood friend, to hold a funeral for her estranged brother, Richie.

Torn between the guilt he harbors for his best friend’s tragic death and protecting his own reputation, Matthew begrudgingly agrees to perform the service. As the night evolves, Renee’s anger toward her family and faith and Matthew’s reticence in the face of self-acceptance come to a head, uncovering secrets that both parties would have liked to remain buried.

Set in Boston Massachusetts in 1990, twelve years before the Spotlight investigations come to light, when the country was caught in the grips of the AIDS epidemic, a disease that science was still struggling to understand, God is an Old Drag Queen uses the characters of Renee, Matthew, and James to detail the struggle that many Catholics endure to find peace in their faith in the face of injustice, as well as its ability to endure in spite of it.

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Interested in the opportunity to publish your work? Review the Submit page to learn about our process and find out how to submit your work. Before submission, make sure to revise your paper to conform to our guidelines. You can also explore past volumes of the journal.

Working toward publication can be an exciting way to refine your project and get recognition for your efforts, and it has external rewards as well. Getting published can:

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  • demonstrate to potential employers your ability to communicate complex ideas.

Oshkosh Scholar is an annual publication. Print copies of Oshkosh Scholar are available in the Polk Library entryway or Dempsey 317.

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