Phi Alpha Theta Panel

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Phi Alpha Theta Panel: Scholars Week

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Event

Abstract/Description

Presenter: Joshua Ratsch

Title: “A United Failure: The Failure of the United Nations, United States, and Global Community in Preventing and Responding to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide”

Abstract: Following the Holocaust, the global community resolved itself to actively prevent future periods of genocide. However, the United Nations and United States lack of a response to the genocide in Rwanda allowed for the death of nearly 1 million Rwandans. The inaction exhibited by the United Nations Security Council and the Clinton Administration did relatively little to prevent or mitigate the killings despite future warnings. Restrictions placed by the mandate on the United Nations Mission for Rwanda allowed for little to be done by UN forces on the ground in Rwanda. The global community, who had been so resolved in its commitment to “never again”, sat largely inactive, watching a small African nation consume itself in destruction. The utter failure of the United Nations and larger global community to do anything about the genocide is one of the greatest humanitarian failures of the 20th century, and maybe even human history.

Presenter: Quinn Litchfield

Title: “A Revolutionary Way of Cooking: Advertisement and the Adoption of the Microwave Oven in American Society” Abstract: Nowadays, microwave ovens reside in most American kitchens as a key kitchen appliance. The creation of the microwave resulted as an attempt by the post WWII defense conglomerates of America to consumerize radar technologies from the war. As part of this plan, these conglomerates embarked on a massive advertising campaign to paint the appliance as revolutionary to the kitchen. The microwave did not live up to the promises of the advertisements, and I wanted to examine the reactions of Americans to the kitchen appliance as well as how these reactions affected the adoption of the microwave into the American kitchen. To examine the advertisement strategies employed by the conglomerates, and the reactions of Americans I examined newspapers from the time as well as microwave cooking recipe books that came included with purchased microwave ovens. By examining opinion pieces about the microwave, I could better grasp the American attitude toward the microwave oven and compare the advertised uses of the microwave to the actual use consumers found for the appliance. The microwave did not live up to the advertisements claiming it to be the future of cooking. Some Americans felt frustrated at the shortcomings of the microwaves, but others embraced the appliance for its utility as a supplemental appliance to the oven. This more realistic stance

regarding the capabilities of the microwave appeared to settle as the primary attitude towards the microwave oven, which allowed for an overall more positive view towards the appliance.

Presenter: David Adams

Title: The One Divides and Two Combines Controversy in Chinese Dialectical Philosophy: Prelude to the Cultural Revolution

Abstract: The period between the end of the Great Leap Forward and the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, from 1962 to 1966, is often seen as a lull period in Mao Zedong’s control and direction of the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese politics in general. However, as this paper argues, this period was anything but a lull. Instead, the Communist Party was engaged in fierce ideological struggle within itself over the direction of Marxist philosophical concepts, starting with struggle against Soviet “revisionism” and extending into Chinese philosophical circles themselves. Analyzing these debates, most notably between party philosophers Ai Siqi and Yang Xianzhen, provides insight into the rationale behind the start of the Cultural Revolution as an attempt at ideological renewal amidst what Mao and other orthodox Marxist- Leninists saw as bureaucratization and degradation of ideology within the Party. With Yang Xianzhen’s move to the left after the beginning of Reform and Opening Up, the legacy of these debates provides an interesting parallel to the modern ideological shifts and actions of the modern Communist Party of China under Xi Jinping.

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Phi Alpha Theta Panel: Scholars Week

Presenter: Joshua Ratsch

Title: “A United Failure: The Failure of the United Nations, United States, and Global Community in Preventing and Responding to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide”

Abstract: Following the Holocaust, the global community resolved itself to actively prevent future periods of genocide. However, the United Nations and United States lack of a response to the genocide in Rwanda allowed for the death of nearly 1 million Rwandans. The inaction exhibited by the United Nations Security Council and the Clinton Administration did relatively little to prevent or mitigate the killings despite future warnings. Restrictions placed by the mandate on the United Nations Mission for Rwanda allowed for little to be done by UN forces on the ground in Rwanda. The global community, who had been so resolved in its commitment to “never again”, sat largely inactive, watching a small African nation consume itself in destruction. The utter failure of the United Nations and larger global community to do anything about the genocide is one of the greatest humanitarian failures of the 20th century, and maybe even human history.

Presenter: Quinn Litchfield

Title: “A Revolutionary Way of Cooking: Advertisement and the Adoption of the Microwave Oven in American Society” Abstract: Nowadays, microwave ovens reside in most American kitchens as a key kitchen appliance. The creation of the microwave resulted as an attempt by the post WWII defense conglomerates of America to consumerize radar technologies from the war. As part of this plan, these conglomerates embarked on a massive advertising campaign to paint the appliance as revolutionary to the kitchen. The microwave did not live up to the promises of the advertisements, and I wanted to examine the reactions of Americans to the kitchen appliance as well as how these reactions affected the adoption of the microwave into the American kitchen. To examine the advertisement strategies employed by the conglomerates, and the reactions of Americans I examined newspapers from the time as well as microwave cooking recipe books that came included with purchased microwave ovens. By examining opinion pieces about the microwave, I could better grasp the American attitude toward the microwave oven and compare the advertised uses of the microwave to the actual use consumers found for the appliance. The microwave did not live up to the advertisements claiming it to be the future of cooking. Some Americans felt frustrated at the shortcomings of the microwaves, but others embraced the appliance for its utility as a supplemental appliance to the oven. This more realistic stance

regarding the capabilities of the microwave appeared to settle as the primary attitude towards the microwave oven, which allowed for an overall more positive view towards the appliance.

Presenter: David Adams

Title: The One Divides and Two Combines Controversy in Chinese Dialectical Philosophy: Prelude to the Cultural Revolution

Abstract: The period between the end of the Great Leap Forward and the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, from 1962 to 1966, is often seen as a lull period in Mao Zedong’s control and direction of the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese politics in general. However, as this paper argues, this period was anything but a lull. Instead, the Communist Party was engaged in fierce ideological struggle within itself over the direction of Marxist philosophical concepts, starting with struggle against Soviet “revisionism” and extending into Chinese philosophical circles themselves. Analyzing these debates, most notably between party philosophers Ai Siqi and Yang Xianzhen, provides insight into the rationale behind the start of the Cultural Revolution as an attempt at ideological renewal amidst what Mao and other orthodox Marxist- Leninists saw as bureaucratization and degradation of ideology within the Party. With Yang Xianzhen’s move to the left after the beginning of Reform and Opening Up, the legacy of these debates provides an interesting parallel to the modern ideological shifts and actions of the modern Communist Party of China under Xi Jinping.