Browsing Consortium Library Prize Winners by Publication date
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The Provisional Government and 1917: The Legitimacy ParadoxThe significance of the Russian revolution has been a hitter ongoing argument for historians and political scientists alike. Couched within that debate is the significance and meaning of I bl 7. For some, the significance of 1917 is based around the rise of the Bolsheviks to power and the centrality of class struggle. For others, it is a critical moment of hard political power wielded by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.1 But, behind that debate, lays the meaning of 1917 and the Provisional Government. In the simplest of terms, there was a crisis of legitimacy. To understand the meaning of 1917 it must be recognized that, while the Russian Provisional Government was perceived as a legitimate government externally, internally it was considered almost wholly illegitimate. The events of 1917, and thus the events of the revolution and civil war that followed, hinged upon the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Provisional Government. Thus the Provisional Government represents a critical factor; the understanding of 1917. One must recognize that the Provisional Government failed to survive, at least in part, because its leaders assumed its legitimacy, while the Russian population increasingly rejected it. The leadership utterly failed to obtain a sovereign and legitimate mandate, either through legislation, by the popular consent of the Russian people, or by investit ure of authority through institutional succession. The purpose of this paper is to illuminate some of the points which caused the Provisional Government to fail. In particular there appear three critical reasons for this failure; the internal politics of the Provisional Government, its relation to the Army, and its relation to the Russian population.
The Journal of Fred W. FickettWhen I was assigned to transcribe the Fred W. Fickett journal as part of a research project 1 was excited at what the project might bring. Little did 1 know that it would take me on a journey of Alaskan history and the surprising and interesting collection of documents relating to it. The process of transcribing Fickett's journal was both exciting and frustrating. Each page brought new discoveries and new complications. Fickett’s struggles along the way, his descriptions of the horrible things they were forced to eat as their stocks grew thinner and thinner, the difficulty travelling through slushy snow and cold, all were little windows into the past. 1 grew to like Fickett, his descriptions of the horrible food almost had a sense of a badge of honor, a brag about how bad things got. Not all elements of the journal were windows into the past. When the words were obscured or Fickett’s handwriting became illegible I would sit alone in my room and mutter my frustrations and irritations to Fickett and the journal. His misspellings, although indicative of a time when the spellings of words was more fluid, provided me with some amusement along the way. Perhaps the most frustrating portion of the process was the transcribing of his sun observations. They in and of themselves entailed complications with trying to recreate his tables, but they were made worse when he had crossed them out and rewritten new numbers next to the old ones. 1 had some things to say to Fickett about that as well. When it came to write the paper, 1 first began comparing the two primary sources of the journey. Lt. Henry Allen’s report on the 1885 expedition was integral to my research because it provided me with an anchor for what Fickett was describing. By comparing the two I was able to discover facts about the trip that are glossed over in one, but written in detail in another, and it provided me with a fun way to see what each man felt it important to record along the way. One of my most intriguing discoveries was that there seemed to be some suggestion of tension between Fickett and Allen, which was not really enough to confirm solidly, but certainly gave me an impression of some conflict. My research extended outward to the ARL1S and the Consortium library, where I looked for information regarding previous expeditions to see where people had explored prior to Allen and Fickett, and what was said about the trips. There were a number of trips that I found interesting, and that Fickett and Allen had found interesting too. 1 enjoyed finding references to the books 1 was looking at in Fickett and Allen’s journals, and finding references to Fickett and Allen in reports written around the same time. 1 looked also into journals and websites, where I found old Science articles regarding the trip and their discoveries. These articles were interesting insights into what the scientific and lay scientific community found interesting about Alaska. Some of them were written by Allen himself and mirrored what he had put in his report. This is also where I discovered most of the articles that reference the expedition, and Allen’s report in particular. Despite all my research I never found a book or journal that cited Fickett. Although some made mention of the existence of the journal, whether it was read or not remains unclear. My path wrapped full circle, and I found myself again looking into the archives, and discovered that the journal that I was working from and that 1 had transcribed, turned out to be a transcription written by Fickett shortly after he finished his trip from the notes he took along the way. In researching further, I found the original journals he took, and in reading these, 1 discovered that my earlier impressions of tension between Allen and Fickett was, if not confirmed, at least reinforced by additional comments that did not make the transcription 1 had worked from. The archives had more secrets to reveal. I had found an entry regarding a handkerchief that had been used as a flag, and in researching the archives I found the handkerchief. In my head, as I read the journal, the handkerchief I pictured was a white silk handkerchief, so 1 was surprised to see a brightly colored handkerchief, still tied to the stick which had made it into a flag. It was a real connection with history to see this artifact. Although a great deal has happened in Alaska in the past 150 years, so much so that Fickett would barely recognize the places he traveled, I can look at a handkerchief that was carried by the first Euro-Americans to travel to the head of the Copper River. I found this a truly inspiring project. It is the first project where I have felt a part of the research community. Most papers involve research previously done, primarily, but between being the first one to transcribe this journal and writing a comparison between Fickett and Allen's observations, something which I cannot find reference to anywhere else, 1 feel like I have had a small opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the knowledge of Alaskan history. It has been a very exciting experience, and 1 only hope that my efforts will prove to be worthwhile for further research.
Neurowhat? Neurorhetoric: The Marriage of Rhetoric and NeuroscienceIn 1990 president George Bush senior made an official proclamation that the 1990s would be the “Decade of the Brain.” But interest in the brain did not stop after 1999, it only continued to grow. In 2013 president Barack Obama proposed the BRAIN initiative, Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. Bush and Obama state that advances in neuroscience are getting science closer to creating better treatments and cures for brain disease and mental illness, like Parkinson’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and PTSD. But neuroscience advancements have become of interest to more than the presidents and the medical community. The media and the public have caught the brain craze as well. Magazines feature articles about neuroscience reports, and more nutritional supplements are showing up to help maintain and improve the brain. Books and games advertise their ability to train your brain and exercise your mind. It is not only the presidents and the public that have a growing investment in neuroscience. New fields in academics are starting to show up, like neurolaw, neuroeconomics, neuroeducation, and neurorhetorics. The growing field of neurorhetorics has much to offer to academia. Neurorhetoric can look at the growing persuasive appeal of neuroscience and neuroimages, but it is also a versatile field for interdisciplinary discussion. Neurorhetoric looks at neuroscience research to see what new perspectives can be gained to create and add to conversations in rhetoric and rhetorical theories. In collaboration with neuroscientists, rhetoricians in neurorhetoric can look at the language and structures in neuroscience to provide new insight to scientists in how they rhetorically frame their research, bringing about new questions for neuroscience research. Hall 2 Neurorhetoric can add to a number of different rhetorical fields, such as feminist and gender studies, animal studies, and the rhetoric of disability. In 2010 Rhetoric Society Quarterly published a special issue on neurorhetoric, featuring Jordynn Jack and Gregory Appelbaum’s “’This is Your Brain on Rhetoric’: Research Directions for Neurorhetorics,” which has since become the cornerstone of neurorhetoric research. I will be using it to look at the methodology taking shape for neurorhetoric, and the conversations that have started in neurorhetoric about the appeal of neuroscience. I will then look at some of the ways neurorhetoric is interacting with the rhetoric of disability to display one of the ways neurorhetoric is being used. Neurorhetoric as a field of rhetoric inquiry sounds harrowing as an undergraduate, and I will recount my experience in looking into this field.