Tag Archives: Humanities

Culture, tourism, and economics: An analysis of tribal lands in Utah

Matthew Dye, Snow College


Many Native American reservations in the United States are increasingly relying on casinos and other forms of gambling to bolster local economies. However, since the state of Utah does not allow gambling on tribal lands, Native Americans in Utah must rely on other activities to bring tourism to their communities. Many resources that are available to tribes across Utah, including pow wows and other cultural events, have become central economic activities and means for increasing tourism to tribal lands. These cultural events serve two purposes, as they serve as a means of cultural education to the larger public, in addition to providing a mechanism for increasing tourism. For this project, I will focus on how the different Native American tribes in Utah use their own unique cultures to attract tourism, and its accompanying economic benefits, to their communities.

Blood and Ink

Keiran Presland, Dixie State University


A nonfiction narrative essay, “Blood and Ink” chronicles a moment during which I experienced a rite of passage. I had a quill pen wrought on my forearm to remind me every day that the act of writing is an essential and permanent component of my life and my identity. This essay employs structural and thematic principles articulated by theorists like Vivian Gornick and Dinty W. Moore. In addition, it reveals the stylistic influence of the essayists E. B. White and Annie Dillard. With “Blood and Ink,” in short, I exploit my past and utilize my intellectual training to produce a work that at once is deeply personal and technically sound.

Investigating the Bilingual Advantage in the Discrimination of Thai Stops

Matthew Halverson, University of Utah


Adults learning second languages typically exhibit a great deal of difficulty discriminating the sounds of the new language. For example, the English R and L sounds (as in ‘lead’ vs. ‘read’) are difficult for native speakers of Japanese to discriminate because there is no such sound contrast in Japanese. Despite these difficulties, some research indicates that there are cognitive benefits of being bilingual. For example, Bialystock et al. (2003) found that bilingual children performed more accurately on tasks testing phonological awareness (a measure of sound-related skills) in English when compared to monolingual English speakers. Antoniou, Best, and Tyler (2013) found that Greek-English bilinguals were better at discriminating contrastive word-initial consonants in the language Ma’di than English monolinguals—but that they performed worse than Greek monolinguals. We thus see that the apparent bilingual advantage may be confounded with the particular language backgrounds of participants in these studies. The present study attempts to tease apart the contributions of language background and bilingualism. Spanish-English bilinguals were compared to English monolinguals in their ability to discriminate Thai sounds. The predictions were that if Spanish-English bilinguals performed better than English monolinguals, it would indicate that bilingualism was responsible for the advantage. On the other hand, if there was not a significant difference or the Spanish-English bilinguals performed worse than English monolinguals, the results could be attributed to language background. We found that there was not a significant difference between how the Spanish- English bilinguals performed compared to English speakers. We note that the study, however, is limited due to a lack of a Spanish monolingual group, thus we were unable account for a possible effect of language background.

Ho Chi Minh Friend or Foe? New Revelations from the Pentagon Papers

Jacob Oscarson, Dixie State University


In 1971 the New York Times printed sections of a classified Department of Defense report known at the Pentagon Papers. The papers were a detailed history of the Vietnam War from its very beginning in the 1940s when Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh were officially considered US Allies against Japan. One phenomenon that the papers reveal quite clearly is that while President Roosevelt was dedicated to a policy of support for national liberation movements, that others within his administration did not hold the same view. This is clearly portrayed in the discrepancy between internal documents of the US Secretary of State in August, 1940 that are in clear contradiction to the Atlantic Charter that President Roosevelt promoted one year later. Throughout the history of the Vietnam War, such discrepancies between internal views and public statements were quite common. In the final days of President Johnson’s administration, he had Daniel Ellsberg collect a detailed report on all aspects of the conflict in order to shape a better policy. When the Nixon administration ignored Ellsberg’s expertise, he leaked partial elements of the documents to the New York Times. In the last decade, the US Government has now released the full details of the report for the general public. This paper will discuss the beginnings of the war during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations in regards to new information provided in the complete Pentagon Papers report.

Blood Lines: Flash Narrativ e Technique and Creative Nonfiction

Jordan Kerns, Dixie State University


In my creative compilation, I explore four different classifications of the word blood in four flash non-fiction pieces. I utilize the writing technique of compression, so none of my stories exceed 400 words. Flash pieces give information to the reader through the techniques of inference and understatement. Throughout my stories, I show readers my relationships with other people, my thoughts about myself, and my opinions about certain possessions through the use of flash methods and with an underlying theme of blood. The first story, “Cremation,” illustrates my relationship with my brother through a cryptic conversation we had about death—its tie to the theme being our blood relation. The next piece, “Blood Lines,” describes a pair of sweatpants I stole from my father with subtle clues that hint at the bad blood left between him and my mother and my mother and me. The third flash, “Blood and Frosting,” is a second-person narrative about the process the narrator takes to make red velvet cupcakes for her friends and family. The last work, “Syrup and Sky,” is another descriptive paragraph about a picture I drew in high school of a poorly-drawn wolverine covered in the blood of his kill. I aim to connect with my readers through these simple moments of life, make them feel either happy or sad or anything in-between, and make them see the beauty and complexity in mundane things.

Traumatic Brain Injury: An Argument for Awareness

Wendy Stabler, Dixie State University


Injuries to the brain, scalp, and skull are considered to be head injuries. In recent years, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has become the “silent epidemic,” leaving survivors to fend for themselves in most aspect of their lives. A massive lack of knowledge and understanding with regard to TBI besets the community and Dixie State University (DSU) in particular. As a result TBI students do not receive the services, resources, and empathy they need for scholastic success. In order to ensure that TBI students can thrive on campus, DSU’s Disability Resource Center, administrators, and instructors need to implement new programs that support TBI students and educate the general campus population about the effects and learning styles associated with TBI. Some of these new programs (i.e., better accommodations, a TBI support group, DSU training on TBI) may be extensive and difficult to incorporate at the University, but they are critical for TBI students. Drawing upon published data and statements provided by TBI students and educators, with this paper, an exercise in rhetoric, I will demonstrate how more knowledge and information on this campus will empower instructors as well as TBI students, potentially yielding higher graduation rates for TBI students. Once the recommendations are implemented, DSU will in turn be a leading university in TBI student support. The hope is that these findings and arguments can be used to help TBI student communities in other higher-education settings.

The Desert as an Objectiv e Correlative: A Creative Writer’s Perspective

Missy Jessop, Dixie State University


I moved from the suburbs of Salt Lake City to southern Utah just about four years ago, and the land continues to evoke fear and reverence in me as it did when I first arrived. Moreover, the desert has worked itself into my writing. Not only do my conflicted feelings about this place surface in both my prose and my poetry, but images of the landscape, as well as its animals and climate, appear over and over. The desert, I would argue, functions as an objective correlative, directly complementing and indirectly commenting upon the actions, images, people and scenarios that comprise this work. As such, I have begun to agree with Wordsworth’s observation that “a large portion of every good poem…must necessarily, except with reference to the metre, in no respect differ from that of good prose.” In this presentation, I plan to share “flash” works of prose and poetry that problematize the alleged divisions between different literary forms. In support of my findings, I will draw upon the ideas of such writers and critics as David Lee, Sarah Kay, and W.B. Yeats. It is my hope that the audience will be reminded of the connection between nature, landscape, and artistic expression, and how this connection can be tangibly observed by individuals in their own creative lives.

Sowing the Seeds of Love: The Importance of Adult Romantic Attachment for Pregnancy and Child Development

Lyndsey Craig, Christy Fiscer, RonJai Staton, Michelle Hammon, Deborah Decker, Tina Boren,
Justin Nuckels, and Zac Olson, Dixie State University


A mother’s attachment representation may be important for her experience of pregnancy and interactions with her infant after birth. Specifically, insecure attachment representations may increase the risk of stress during pregnancy, and stress during pregnancy may have adverse effects on the child’s health and well-being. Women who gave birth in Washington County, Utah between 2009 and 2011 volunteered to participate in a study of attachment representations, pregnancy experience, birth experience, and child development. The results of this study are expected to indicate mothers’ adult romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance, and her prenatal attachment is negatively associated with her assessment of her pregnancy and birth experience. We expect to find a positive association between mothers’ adult romantic and prenatal attachment representations, and her attachment representations with her child. These results could indicate a need in the Washington County area for more education on the importance of attachment to improve the pregnancy experience, and promote mental health and well-being in mothers and their young children.

To Kill a Rooster

Rachel Sharich, Dixie State University


Non-traditional students face innumerable challenges during the course of their studies but can find a successful balance if they have the proper tools and a determined mindset. Going back to school after a decade or more is a daunting task when considering work and bills, kids and dinner, laundry and car repairs. In 2007, I attempted to describe my city-girlturned- agrarian-survivalist efforts in self-reliance after gutting my extra rooster and cooking him for dinner. Then, my life changed. I became a full-time college student and after a few semesters, I realized that my knowledge of grammar and punctuation had grown significantly since my rooster-killing musings. I re- learned comma rules, proper use of semi-colons, and the difference between a dash and a hyphen. Although storytelling is a personal strong suit, I now see many flagrant errors in my past writing. Comma splices are scattered throughout email, journal entries, and even handwritten notes. I overburdened any sense of idiosyncratic expression with abundant stylistic fragments. I attach my success or failure as a human being to the letters on my report card; I have always been an ‘A’ student. College cannot be the top priority for most non-traditional students. I strive for some sense of lop-sided equilibrium each day and encourage other potential students to realize their own dream of earning a college degree, no matter their circumstances. I enjoy assisting other students in correcting their own writing errors. I am content with any passing grade because I am seeing my work, and my life, change for the better.

Yellow Monster in the Heart of Dinétah: Uranium Profiteering and the Poisoning of the Navajo Homeland

Marcos Camargo, Dixie State University


Since Europeans began to settle in the Western Hemisphere, Native-Americans faced a prolonged and painful voyage of dispossession. Traditionally historians look at the cultural, demographic, and political losses faced by Native Americans, rarely addressing the geographic aspect of the loss of natural resources. In the early period of the Cold War, uranium because a very precious commodity for both Americans and Soviets in the production of nuclear weapons. Since the best sources for uranium in North America were located primarily on Navajo lands in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, the US Federal Government was forced to form a new relationship with Navajo leaders. These political advances undercut egalitarian traditions in Navajo governance, facilitating a new hierarchical structure where individual tribal members could exploit the American demand for uranium for their own personal profit. Through institutions like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US government did their best to hand-pick tribal officials who would acquiesce to their intensified desire for Navajo resources. This paper will investigate tribal reactions to the Navajo leadership’s complicity with US uranium policy and corporate profiteering. Only when the tribal government acted in the interests of the tribal community as a whole, through regulations that protected the Navajo homeland, were the wrongs perpetrated by outside forces able to be mended.