• The legacy of shamans? Structural and cognitive perspectives of prehistoric symbolism in the Bering Strait region

      Qu, Feng; 曲, 枫; Potter, Ben; Schweitzer, Peter; Plattet, Patrick; Koester, David (2013-08)
      This research explores the meanings of prehistoric artistic artifacts discovered in the Bering Strait region. The research focuses on the prehistoric period between AD 100 and 1700, including Okvik culture, Old Bering Sea culture, Punuk Culture, Birnirk Culture, Thule culture, and Ipiutak Culture. My archaeological data in this research were collected from the archaeological collections of the Okvik site on Punuk Islands, the Kukulik site on St. Lawrence Island, and the Nukleet site at Cape Denbigh at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Based on abundant ethnographic records from the Bering Strait region, this research relies on ethnographic analysis as methodology to approach prehistoric symbolism. Applying ethnographic analysis results in diverse interpretations of the archaeological artifacts, which bear potential spiritual or secular meanings. Theoretically, the research provides an assessment of contemporary archaeological theories such as cognitive archaeology, structural archaeology, and shamanism theory (general shamanism theory and the neuropsychological model) in order to examine the reliability of these theories in the study of prehistoric art. Due to the problems of cognitive, structural, and shamanism theories, the conclusion of this research builds on practice theory and animist ontology to interpret the variants of art productivity, cosmological structures, and relationship between humans and materials.
    • "Let us die trying": a post-colonial reading of Velma Wallis

      Myers, Seth G. (2006-05)
      This essay explores the work of Velma Wallis from the perspective of post-colonial theory. Her works, Two Old Women and Bird Girl and the Man who Followed the Sun are read within this theoretical framework as volatile and resistant texts, in opposition to readings that might limit their meaning as ethnographic or otherwise. I outline the generalities of my theoretical framework with reference to Edward Said and Homi K. Bhabha, before I approach a discussion of Native American literature and Velma Wallis specifically. Within this theoretical framework, I find that Wallis resists, not only generic definition, but the larger structures of colonialism, through an exploration of resistance within so-called colonized groups. She performs this resistance by demonstrating the power of language, that survival is itself resistant, the resistance of feminism, and the importance of positive dialogue in a world of cultural contact.
    • Letters as literature: semantic and discursive features of irony in "Letters to Howard"

      Cook, Corinna Jo; Schneider, William; Koester, David; Ruppert, James (2011-12)
      This thesis examines the literary features of the Letters to Howard, a series of letters to the editor of the Alaskan newspaper, the Tundra Times. Published over the course of several months in 1973, the letters were signed by two semi-fictional characters: an old Eskimo man, Naugga Ciunerput, and a lost VISTA volunteer, Wally Morton, the two lone inhabitants of the imagined Land's End Village, Alaska. Naugga and Wally had a pointed agenda: they were addressing editor Howard Rock and his readership with their concerns regarding the newly-passed Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANCSA. In truth, Naugga and Wally's letters were written by two graduate students, Fred Bigjim (an Inupiaq from Nome studying education) and James Ito-Adler (a law student who had switched to anthropology). The use of irony in these letters is the subject of my analysis here; I focus first on the semantic layers of irony and second on its discursive dimensions. This thesis' ultimate goal is to illuminate the ways in which these letters contest history, frame the nature and distribution of power, and examine the myriad tensions at play between Native peoples' historic, cultural, and political ties to the land.
    • A lexical transducer for North Slope Iñupiaq

      Bills, Aric R.; Tuttle, Siri; Levin, Lori; Berge, Anna; Kaplan, Lawrence (2011-05)
      This thesis describes the creation and evaluation of software designed to analyze and generate North Slope Iñupiaq words. Given a complete lñupiaq word as input, it attempts to identify the word's stem and suffixes, including the grammatical category and any inflectional information contained in the word. Given a stem and list of suffixes as input, it attempts to produce the corresponding Iñupiaq word, applying phonological processes as necessary. Innovations in the implementation of this software include Iñupiaq-specific formats for specifying lexical data, including a table-based format for specifying inflectional suffixes in paradigms; a treatment of phonologically-conditioned irregular allomorphy which leverages the pattern-recognition capabilities of the xfst programming language; and an idiom for composing morphographemic rules together in xfst which captures the state of the software each time a new rule is added, maximizing feedback during software compilation and facilitating troubleshooting. In testing, the software recognized 81.2% of all word tokens (78.3% of unique word types) and guessed at the morphology of an additional 16.8% of tokens (19.4% of types). Analyses of recognized words were largely accurate; a heuristic for identifying accurate parses is proposed. Most guesses were at least partly inaccurate. Improvements and applications are proposed.
    • Liberation dreamin’ (a good time holiday eight-track for the real American)

      Sanders, Craig S.; Brightwell, Geraldine; Farmer, Daryl; Schell, Jennifer (2016-05)
      The eight short stories that make up Liberation Dreamin’ follow protagonists who yearn to be heroes, saviors, caretakers, and liberators. These are characters fueled by the power of metaphor, lost in the idea of America as they expose the fabulism of reality itself through their absurd attempts to realize their often idealistic wishes and longings. They hunt treasure in the forest of northwestern Pennsylvania, shoot hot air balloons out of the sky, run major celebrities down with their cars on nights of blinded judgment, and even kidnap roadrunners. They stage protests for bigots’ funerals, wage strange wars with dairy farm animals, have misguided epiphanies in checkout lanes, and write urgent letters to Santa Claus himself. These pieces seek to render the biblical commonplace and highlight the profundities of everyday trivialities. As is suggested by the collection’s parenthetical subtitle, A Good Time Holiday Eight-Track for the Real American, these are stories that strive to be musical. In this book of satire and ridiculous narratives, imaginary human beings are at home in their preoccupation with holidays and anniversaries. A sociopolitical commentary on the American Dream and dreams in general, Liberation Dreamin’ runs on anger, humor, foreign policy, and ultimately hope.
    • The life history of Effie Kokrine through personal recordings

      Freiburger, Annette J.; Schneider, William S.; Morrow, Phyllis; Mangusso, Mary C. (2013-08)
      This thesis is a combination of tape transcriptions and research to document the life history of Athabascan leader Effie Folger Kokrine. Effie Kokrine was well known in the Interior of Alaska, but her impact reached much farther, and in many directions, as she loved to travel and share her stories with people in many different states and in several other countries. Sharing stories was only one of her many talents. She was an Alaska Native culture educator, a champion dog musher, an expert seamstress, skin sewer and beader, hunter, fisher, cook and bottle washer. Effie stayed active and busy right until her sudden death from heart failure. She believed that every person should contribute to the well-being of the community, and she did her part by volunteering with the Junior Dog Musher's Association, the American Legion Post #11 Women's Auxiliary, the Badger Lion's Club, and speaking to almost every group that invited her, which was many. The only reason that she would turn someone down who invited her to speak was if she had a prior commitment. She was a favorite speaker of various groups, especially those involving children, because of her history, and because of her humor. The intent of this thesis is to attempt to capture some of that history and share some of the stories.
    • Life on two continents: understanding different roles of Chinese grandparents who have grandchildren born in the U.S.

      Qiao, Tianyu; 乔天钰; DeCaro, Peter A.; Taylor, Karen M.; Kan, Rosalind (2014-05)
      The present research explored the roles Chinese grandparents play regarding their grandchildren born in the United States. Due to the differences in language, cultures and family values in China and the U.S., these Chinese grandparents balance their lives between two continents and experience possible disconnect in communication with their U.S.-born grandchildren. In order to understand the lived experiences of these Chinese grandparents and to develop co-constructed meaning of their intercultural interactions, this research employs qualitative narrative analysis as the primary method. Eight conversational interviews were conducted and four emergent themes were discussed. This research shows that Chinese grandparents do encounter difficulties, cultural conflicts and disconnect with their grandchildren because they split their time between living in China and the U.S. There are insights provided to mitigate these problems.
    • Liitukut Sugpiat'Stun (We Are Learning How To Be Real People): Exploring Kodiak Alutiiq Literature Through Core Values

      Drabek, Alisha Susana; Barnhardt, Ray (2012)
      The decline of Kodiak Alutiiq oral tradition practices and limited awareness or understanding of archived stories has kept them from being integrated into school curriculum. This study catalogs an anthology of archived Alutiiq literature documented since 1804, and provides an historical and values-based analysis of Alutiiq literature, focused on the educational significance of stories as tools for individual and community wellbeing. The study offers an exploration of values, worldview and knowledge embedded in Alutiiq stories. It also provides a history of colonial impacts on Alutiiq education and an in-depth study of the early colonial observers and ethnographers who collected Alutiiq oral literature, clarifying the context in which the stories have been retold or framed. Collections of traditional Indigenous literatures are valuable on many levels. This collection is of historical and personal significance for local Kodiak Alutiiq tribal members' identity as it makes these resources more accessible for community members and educators, and therefore accessible to younger and future generations. The conclusion also provides recommendations for next steps for developing curriculum and revitalizing Alutiiq oral traditions. The book is intended to contribute to an understanding of the evolution of cultural traditions in Alaska, and to serve as a model for similar cultural reclamation and education efforts.
    • The limitations of service members' constitutional rights

      Leonard, Dene Ray (2003-12)
      This thesis reviews the constitutional rights of service members and how they are limited by the military. These affected rights include the First Amendment's rights to free speech, religious exercise and the ability to petition the government for redress of grievances; the Fifth Amendment's due process clause; and the Sixth Amendment's right to a jury of one's peers. The discussion section of this thesis argues two justifications used by the military for limiting service members' rights. The first justification is in support of good order, discipline and morale. The second justification is in support of uniformity. The latter discussion also identifies the U.S. Supreme Court's treatment of the military as a separate community and how the military is guided by a different standard. To support the separate community justification the U.S. Supreme Court has deferred most of its rulings on the rights of service members back to military leaders. At the conclusion of the discussion section an application of previous U.S. Supreme Court cases and military court cases is used to anticipate the future of the military's body art policy.
    • Lithic analysis at the Mead Site, Central Alaska

      Little, Allison A.; Potter, Ben; Irish, Joel; Plattet, Patrick (2013-08)
      The purpose of this study is to understand chipped stone technological behaviors at the Mead Site located in central Alaska. Lithics from each cultural occupation ranging in age from 11,460BP to 1420BP were analyzed and compared. Specific objectives include (1) characterization of variability in raw material and use for each cultural component, (2) description of lithic stages of reduction represented in each component, (3) description of the basic lithic industries represented. and (4) the identification and characterization of spatial organization and lithic behaviors. Results indicate (1) the tools and debris from Cultural Zone (CZ) lb and CZ2 show preferential use of local materials, while the tools from CZ3b and CZ4 are largely manufactured using nonlocal materials, and the debitage assemblage is dominated by locally available material, (2) CZ1b was a long term occupation, while CZ2, CZ3b, and CZ4 were short term camps, and (3) CZ4 is characterized by intensive primary reduction of a local quartz, while CZ2 is characterized by biface production. These patterns suggest similar technological strategies were employed at Mead in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene with an increase in tool form diversity and greater reliance on higher quality locally available materials during the Mid Holocene.
    • Lived ethnicity: identity, consciousness, and discursive practice in Grayling, Alaska

      Raymond-Yakoubian, Brenden (2000-12)
      This thesis is an analysis of data collected from academic, archival, and ethnographic inquiries into the lives, culture, and history of the residents of Grayling, Alaska. The main argument forwarded in this thesis is that forms of discursive practice provide a means, emic and etic, for critically engaging the historically and locally constructed web of meanings that inscribe and inform the lived social reality of ethnic identity of ethnic identity and consciousness in Grayling. Using a communicative-discursive theoretical framework, influences and forces which inform this 'lived ethnicity, ' the strands of the web, are understood dialogically - as discursive forms and 'voices'; they are presented in the shape of local narrative, theoretical debates, explorer's journals, social science observations, etc. The sociohistorical and individual construction of the concepts of 'culture, ' 'history, ' and 'identity' are given particular attention, using the above-mentioned discursive forms and their related contexts as guiding interpretive frameworks.
    • Living A Tattooed Life: The Female Experience

      Cleveland, Kara G.; Brown, Jin (2008)
      The present research is rooted in Human Science, and employed the epistemology of Constructionism, as well as the theoretical perspective of Social Construction of Reality. I used Narrative Inquiry as methodology and conversational interviewing as my method of collecting data. I interviewed six women who provided narratives of their lived experience of constructing their identities through tattoos. Three emergent themes, along with three sub-themes, are discussed in regards to the lived experiences of tattooed women: (1) becoming tattooed constructs who you are; (2) becoming tattooed develops relational identity with (a) friends, (b) the tattoo community, (c) family; and (3) the communication of "tattoo remorse" is differentiated from an earlier recognition of tattoo regret. This research provides insight into the lived human experience of tattooed women through their own natural language.
    • Living the frontier myth in the twenty-first century

      Tyrrell, Laurel Beach (2002-05)
      On the cusp of the millennium, a small number of people live near the community of Central, Alaska in the heart of the state that calls itself 'The Last Frontier'. On the edge of largely uninhabitated lands this group of people have chosen a way of living consistent with traditional American ideals of self-reliance, independence, solitude, and wilderness. Seeking a place to build a quality life integrating meaning and value, far from crowded situations, they have planted themselves in a wild and natural setting. Their narratives display the influence of the physical environment on their view of themselves, others, and the broadening of their inner capabilities. Their stories communicate the fear that this distinct way of living is being brought to an end through conservation efforts and government regulation. Preserving this lifeway is important as it contributes to the richness of human diversity and expresses universal themes in its stories.
    • Local control in economic development: an urban - rural comparison in the North

      Herschleb, Anne L. (2002-05)
      This thesis examines economic development proposals in two communities in Alaska: Girdwood, a small urban community in the south-central area of the state; and Nuiqsut, a small rural community on the North Slope. Each community in located within a larger, regional government and has little formal control over economic development within its jurisdiction. The study's framework is based on an examination of contemporary urban political theories and their application to non-urban settings; inherent in the framework is an emphasis on historical, cultural, and social values to understand the political dynamics that affect decision making in communities. The study finds that the structure of local government may lead to a lack of historical, social, and cultural considerations in economic development decisions made by the more dominant government entities, unless the dominant government shares the values of the affected community. A major implication is to expand current explanations of economic development in urban and rurual communities by including the influences of historical, social, aand cultural values of affected communities, as an alternative to the market model.
    • The looking glass effect: the influences of clinical supervision on student attitudes toward evidence based practices

      Leonard, Hugh D.; Campbell, Kendra; Rivkin, Inna; Gonzales, Vivian M.; Fitterling, Jim (2019-08)
      The current study explored how graduate students' attitudes toward evidence-based practices (EBPs) are influenced through clinical supervision. Despite being widely endorsed by professional entities, such as the American Psychological Association, members of the profession have mixed attitudes toward the EBP approach. Mixed attitudes toward EBPs have potentially detrimental effects, such as resulting in clinicians simply dismissing the notion of evidence-based treatment decision making and instead utilizing interventions that are without scientific support and potentially ineffective and even harmful. Resistance toward EBPs has been studied, but largely unstudied is how negative attitudes toward EBPs are developed and propagated to others. Professional identity solidifies in graduate school by way of clinical supervision. The goal of this study was to illuminate underlying influences of clinical supervision on graduate student attitudes toward EBPs, as clinical supervision may be the root cause of resistance toward EBPs. Perceived supervisor credibility influences professional identity development and may be influenced by a positive supervisory working alliance, theoretical orientation match, and overall acquiescence to a clinical supervisor; and these factors may affect attitudes toward EBPs. However, no previous research exists to directly confirm this notion. This study sampled from Ph.D. and Psy.D. clinical psychology graduate students who had started seeing patients (n = 157). Participants completed an online survey battery measuring perceived supervisor credibility, supervisory working alliance, student attitudes toward EBPs, perceived supervisor attitudes toward EBPs, and dispositional psychological reactance. It was predicted that students would perceive their supervisor as credible when their theoretical orientations matched, a positive supervisory working alliance existed, and students' psychological reactance was low. It was also predicted that supervisor attitudes toward EBPs would predict student attitudes toward EBPs when perceived supervisor credibility is high, students' dispositional psychological reactance is low, supervisory alliance is high, and theoretical orientations matched. Simultaneous linear regression and hierarchical regression was used to test the study hypotheses. The results partially supported the study hypotheses. It was found that a positive supervisory alliance predicted perceived supervised credibility. However, the remaining hypotheses were unsupported. Results contribute to the sparse research base on supervisor credibility in that preliminary support is provided that perceived credibility occurs when students and supervisors have a good relationship. Noteworthy are that results yielded from correlations suggested that students' global appreciation for research was related to theoretical orientation match of their clinical supervisor, supervisors' and graduate program's favorable attitudes toward EBP's, and to multi-faceted supervisory relationships such as having a clinical supervisor also as a research supervisor. These findings suggest that student internalization of supervisor attitudes may have less to do with perceived credibility and more to do with attitudes toward research. Future research should consider exploring attitudes toward research in the context of development of attitudes toward EBPs.
    • Losing Ground: An Ethnography Of Vulnerability And Climate Change In Shishmaref, Alaska

      Marino, Elizabeth K.; Schweitzer, Peter (2012)
      This dissertation presents an ethnography of vulnerability in Shishmaref, Alaska. The village of Shishmaref, population 563, faces imminent threat from increasing erosion and flooding events -- linked to climatic changes and ecological shift -- making the relocation of residents off of the island necessary in the foreseeable future. In spite of ongoing conversations with government agencies since 1974, an organized relocation has yet to occur in Shishmaref. While ecological shift and anthropogenic climate change are no doubt occurring in and around the island, the literature on vulnerability and disaster predicts that social systems contribute at least as much as ecological circumstances to disaster scenarios. This research tests this theory and asks the question: what exactly is causing vulnerability in Shishmaref, Alaska? The resulting dissertation is an exploration of the ecological, historical, social and cultural influences that contribute to vulnerability and risk in Shishmaref. Unlike common representations of climate change and disaster that present the natural environment as a sole driver of risk, this research finds complex systems of decision-making, ideologies of development, and cultural assumptions about social life contribute to why Shishmaref residents are exposed to erosion and flooding and why government intervention and planning remains difficult.
    • The low back vowel in mid-coast Maine

      Davidson, Gail (2011-05)
      In mid-coast Maine, the words cod and caught sound like they contain the same vowel phoneme, employing the sound [a], a low back vowel. The word father contains a separate contrasting phoneme, spoken as [a], a low central vowel. This paper attempts to show that this perceived similarity in [a] and difference from [a] is in fact real. Unlike in the area of the Northern Cities Chain Shift, where the sound of the vowels in cod, caught and father all approach [a], the vowel in cod and caught in mid coast Maine remains low and back, occasionally rounded, more often not, while that in father is low and central. Twenty-six current speakers of varying ages, most residents since early childhood, were interviewed to compare these sounds. Each speaker was recorded reading a prepared story and a set of words included in a frame sentence. Formant frequencies for this recorded data were then analyzed. Statistical tests, including t-tests and ANOVAs, were run to compare the vowels and to test the validity of the hypothesis. Normalizing the data for one single vowel sound proved to be unworkable, so men and women were treated separately, as were Narrative and Frame data. The low back vowel was found to be stable in mid-coast Maine, including the same sound in cod and caught, and it was found to contrast with the low central vowel in father. Available historical evidence points to these vowels having been stable in this region for over a hundred years. This contrasts with changes in the vowel sound in the same words in the rest of the United States.
    • Lower Tanana Athabascan verb paradigms

      Urschel, Janna Mercedes (2006-05)
      This thesis presents documentation of verb paradigms in the Minto-Nenana dialect of the Lower Tanana Athabascan language, based on fieldwork with four native speakers of the language. Lower Tanana is a severely endangered language spoken in the Interior region of Alaska. The paradigms document the combinations of five Athabascan verb prefixes: classifier, subject, mode, conjugation, and negation. Introductory material describes the Lower Tanana language and outlines the grammar of Lower Tanana verbs, with reference to properties of verbs exemplified in the paradigms. These introductory sections are addressed to teachers and learners of the Lower Tanana language, that they might make optimal use of this thesis as a reference tool in language revitalization efforts.
    • M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder Of The Alaska State Fair

      Colberg, Talis James (2008)
      This dissertation presents the life of M.D. Snodgrass as an example of how the Alaskan frontier transformed an unremarkable middle aged migrant into a socially prominent civic leader. The life of M.D. Snodgrass exemplifies how American frontier society provides ordinary people with exceptional opportunities to flourish and prosper. One of the end results of Snodgrass's taking advantage of Alaskan frontier opportunity was the Alaska State Fair. The dissertation divides the life of Snodgrass into four phases with the following findings: (1) The first thirty-one years of Snodgrass's life was spent outside of Alaska. His early life in Kansas demonstrates: the forces which formed Snodgrass, the absence of noteworthy activities and the habits he embraced that would remain constant in his long life. (2) The second thesis section documents: how upon arrival in Alaska he was immediately confronted with challenges and opportunities in the wilderness that built his self-confidence, and how he devoted most of the last six decades of his life to advancement of agriculture in Alaska. (3) The third part addresses his political career, with the following observations: the unsettled frontier society had no established upper class and he became socially mobile; being present at the creation of a political system allowed him to attain extraordinary prominence rapidly; and he learned to take risks, to lose and yet keep trying. (4) The final phase demonstrates that by definition a frontier society lacks institutions, and Snodgrass seized the opportunity to be a participant in the creation of two colleges and became the founding figure of the Alaska State Fair. The author concludes that had M.D. Snodgrass never left Kansas he probably would never have been a representative, senator, college trustee, founder of experiment stations, state presidential elector, or the founder of a state fair. A normal individual can accomplish exceptional feats in a frontier setting where the open environment encourages the development of human potential.
    • The maiden's firestorm

      Aruffo, Heather; Soos, Frank; Johnson, Sara Eliza; Carr, Rich (2019-05)
      The Maiden's Firestorm is a work of speculative fiction set in the fictional Solonian Worker's Republic, a country reminiscent of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. Geopolitically, the novel centers around the conflict between the Solonian Worker's Republic and the nomadic Kyzare, an ethnic group with terrifying telepathic abilities caused by an element called Yinitrium. The story is told through the point of view of two adult children of a mixed race Kyzare-Solonian family, who must navigate the consequences of their marginalized identities in a hostile world. The first point of view follows Rakell, an engineering student who is recruited to work on a top secret weapons project, and is given the choice between Party membership and denouncing her mother, a former Worker's Party member. The second point of view follows Rakell's older brother Yeordan, who is forced by the Solonian state to spy on their estranged father, a Kyzare nationalist in charge of the Mind Warriors. The stories are interwoven throughout the novel, and are used to develop themes of political and familial loyalty, as well as nationalism, and the role of personal relationships under extenuating circumstances. The novel uses speculative fiction to address real world historical and political questions. The relationship between the Kyzare's telepathic abilities and Yinitrium allows the speculative elements to function as metaphor, and mirrors Solonian attempts to weaponize Yinitrium. In this way, power is explored as a theme, as both groups use the element to exert control over the continent.