The tenth publication of Davidson History Journal includes work from the Fall 2022 semester. The editorial staff would like to thank Davidson’s History Department and all student contributors.
Stylistic and Religious Importance of Guido Di Graziano’s Sermon to the Birds. Written by Kaiyan Wang and edited by Victoria Pekarovic.
This paper discusses Guido Di Graziano’s painting, “Francis of Assisi, preaching to the Birds,” and its significance in terms of both accurately illustrating the story of St. Francis’s miracle and symbolizing Graziano’s stylistic advancements. By comparing the portrayal of the birds in the painting with the description in the original story of “Sermon to the Birds,” Kaiyan argue that Graziano’s portrayal of naturalistic gestures of the birds suggests their angelic and humane spirits.
The Under-appreciated Religious 1960s. Written by Ariana Molina and edited by Jennevieve Culver.
Ariana’s paper had the topic of “I Disagree” where the objective was to find primary sources to refute a secondary source claim. For this piece, Ariana focused on an underrepresented view of the 1960s counterculture era. Where historical memory paints this time period as free-willed and going against social norms, this paper highlights the glossed-over religious movement that took place during the era.
Mergers, Mandates, and Monopolies: A Short Legal History of the Duke Energy Company. Written by Jackson Warmack and edited by Katherine Drozd.
America’s second-largest public utility, the Duke Energy Company, headquarters twenty miles south of Davidson College. As the passion project of monopolist James B. Duke, the company has a tenuous relationship with the law. This paper explores the legal history of the Duke Energy Company, explaining how societal pressures influenced legal proceedings.
Photography of Haussmannization: Charles Marville, 1859-1879. Written by Victoria Pekarovic and edited by McNeill Franklin.
During the mid-nineteenth century, Emperor Napoleon III, the contemporary leader of France, and Baron George-Eugene Haussman worked in tandem to modernize the empire’s capital: Paris. Napoleon Haussmann acknowledged the power of public image through the use of photography, and chose to hire an obscure French photographer named Charles Marville to document the old and new Paris. From 1859 to 1879, Charles Marville was the official photographer of Paris, documenting the city during an extraordinary transition period. This essay examines the role photography played in the Hausmannization process.
The Portrayal of Gender and Emotion in Cligés. Written by Mary Herdelin, Katheryn Livingston, and Umut Turk and edited by Anika Banerjee.
In the Song of Roland and an Arthurian Romance Cligés, we find evidence to suggest that emotions play a bigger twelfth-century romance literature than in ninth-century Epics. Compared with previous scholarship by the American medievalist R.W. Southern identified this transformation of “Epic to Romance” as representative of greater societal complex emotions and a greater understanding of the emotional self. In the specific Romance we studied, deeply emotional monologues are a medium for conveying deep emotions and providing agency to characters of all genders. Through close reading and digital text analysis, we can better understand gender roles within these literary works and thereby societal transformations.
An Agenda of Cultural Continuity: Literacy, Christianity, and Cherokee Agency at Springplace Mission. Written by Violet Calkin and edited by Crosby Boe.
This piece demonstrates how the Cherokees maintained a sense of agency in their interactions with white settlers despite Europeans’ attempts to assert governance over both the land and identity of Native people. Using the Cherokees of the Moravians’ Springplace, Georgia Mission as a case study, Violet demonstrates that they maintained tribal identity by adopting some parts of white culture while rejecting others. The Cherokees’ embrace of mission schools as a social, political, and economic tool for negotiation alongside their resistance to Christianity is the perfect example of this dynamic. Ultimately, Violet argues that the Cherokees did not passively receive Whites’ “civilization” agenda but rather sustained a resolute and enduring commitment to cultural continuity.
“Turmoil” in Tiananmen, 1989: Student Motivations Against the Chineses Communist Party’s Political Framing. Written by Ian Smith and edited by Nathaniel Laverick.
On June 3, 1989, months of protests led by some of Beijing Universities’ student organizations culminated in a massacre orchestrated by the top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.). The student movement had originally developed from the goals of publicly challenging the internal corruption of the C.C.P. as well as advocating for greater degrees of democracy, freedom, and lawfulness in the P.R.C. Importantly, throughout the Tiananmen Movement the Party would utilize the media and frame the protests with increasingly critical, “counterrevolutionary” labels. While prior scholarships have identified causal relationships of the Tiananmen Movement’s origins through various historical and political lenses, this paper specifically examines how the C.C.P.’s progressively negative political framing of student leaders in the 1989 Tiananmen Movement influenced the actions of protesters throughout the height of the movement leading up to the eventual military crackdown.
Gender, Genitals, and Germs, Oh My!: The Depiction of Sex Workers in Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Work. Written by Jennifer Cole and edited by Henry McGannon.
The topic of this paper centers around Toulouse-Lautrec and the presentation of gender within his work, particularly his depictions of sex workers, a heavily regulated and stigmatized career during the 19th century. Many of his paintings refrain from sexualizing the women and focus instead on depicting the mundanity of their careers and the procedures they were subjected to. The paper posits that his own alienation from bourgeoisie society due to his disability encouraged a sense of camaraderie with this similarly alienated women, leading to his more sympathetic portrayals. Additionally, the paper examines how his more casual approach to nudity and sexuality continued practices from impressionism into the Post-Impressionist movement.
What Does the Goddess of Democracy Symbolize? Written by Charlie Lorentzen and edited by Crosby Boe.
The original Goddess of Democracy carried with it tremendous importance as a revitalizing and unifying symbol of the 1989 student protests of Tiananmen Square. Since then, the Goddess has had various changes in meaning as it continues to be used as a symbol against repression of free speech and protestation in China. A replica created in 2008 was removed from Hong Kong soil over night in 2021. This marked the most recent move by the Chinese government to crack down on Hong Kong’s historic freedoms and another shift in meaning of the iconic Goddess of Democracy statue. The Goddess now represents the fight of Hong Kong students and citizens to regain these freedoms, however since the removal in 2021, it is unlikely that the Goddess of Democracy or any large scale replicas will ever exist on Chinese soil again.
Cherokees and Christianity. Written by Sunny Baek and edited by Victoria Pekarovic.
The “successful Christian missionary” stories are more complicated than it sounds. Conversion was tangled up with political, economic, and survival of many Native American Tribes. This paper focuses on Cherokee Nation and how they adapted Christianity in their own way. Cherokee nation well strategized and utilized the opportunity of the missionaries and protect themselves. Ultimately, acceptance of Christianity was motivated by economic and political grabs from Cherokee who were fighting for their rights and survival.
Capstone Final Research. Written by Zach Neville and edited by Henry Wilkerson.
This documentary reader investigates the histories of the Black women who worked at the Davidson College laundry from its establishment in 1921 until it was decommissioned in 2014. Drawing primarily from interview transcripts, photographs, and archived College records and publications, I reconstruct alternative campus geographies that are grounded in how those women understood and navigated their relationship with the laundry and the College. Specifically, I explore how Black laundresses traversed geographies of employment, of housing, and of family. The College played a significant role in imposing inimical geographies on Black laundresses; however, those women also developed ingenious and labor-intensive strategies to shape those geographies for themselves. These geographies gesture toward a set of reparative demands that the College has not only yet to fulfill, but in some cases actively suppresses through its own institutional narratives of the laundry and those who worked there.
The Female Gaze in Impressionist Art. Written by Emily McDill and edited by Eamonn Choukrane.
This paper examines how feminine subjects were depicted differently by male and female painters in Impressionist art. To do so, Emily compares the work of artists Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir with that of Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Eva Gonzalès. Ultimately, Emily concludes that these female painters contributed a unique perspective to the Impressionist art movement that challenged the male gaze and reflected bourgeois social expectations for women in fin de siècle France.
The Second Civil War: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss. Written by Jennevieve Culver and edited by Katherine Drozd.
In September of 1962, the University of Mississippi bore witness to the most serious conflict between state and federal authority since the Civil War. James Meredith uprooted the state of Mississippi by becoming the first black person to attend Ole Miss. The story of the Battle of Ole Miss is so shocking yet has been almost entirely removed from the narratives of the Civil Rights Movement. This paper aims to right this historical wrong and bring the story of the integration of Ole Miss into light for the ways in which it revealed the white supremacy entrenched in Southern institutions and government and catapulted nationwide change in advancement for black educational opportunities.
Capstone Final Paper. Written by Jenny Ruvalcaba and edited by Will Kiernan.
This paper focuses on the establishment of the Linden Cotton Mill (1890) and Delburg Cotton Mill (1908) and its transition into the Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College. Jenny tracks its various owners and businesses as well as its racial makeup from its foundation to its current state to investigate the manner that infrastructure comes to be reorganized or defined to fit its current population. This idea is expanded by investigating how space can come to exclude or deteriorate people from diverse racial and economic backgrounds from taking use of the facility based on its legacy and history.
Boriken Taíno Survivance. Written by Rachael Devecka and edited by Henry Wilkerson.
The first people to discover Colombus upon his arrival in the so-called New World were the indigenous Taíno, a group native to Cuba, Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. For decades, scholars and popular discourse alike believed that Puerto Rico’s Taíno people had been wiped out and their culture had died. However, in the 1970s, an emergent revival movement began on the island, declaring that the Taíno were present and fighting for their culture and rights. This paper seeks to understand scholarly discourse around the revival movement and argues that this movement is an example of indigenous survivance.
The Complex Relationship Between Indigenous Women and Media. Written by Eva Schooler and edited by Shen Lou.
From the start of European contact with Indigenous Americans, colonizers weaponized media portrayals of Indigenous women to promote propaganda. These images also reflected the sexualized attitudes of colonizers towards them. Over the past few decades, Indigenous women have worked to reclaim their own narratives through film, scholarship, and cultural reclamation. This essay examines the evolution and impact of Indigenous women in media.
The Consolation of Philosophy: A Condemnation of Philosophy. Written by Colby Johnson and edited by Mary Herdelin.
This essay analyzes Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy. Colby covers a range of facets about the book, starting with background and context for both Boethius and his crowning achievement. Then, Colby moves into an examination of the form of the book and its place in the legacy of Classical tradition. Finally, Colby analyzes the content of the writing itself before concluding.
Odilon Redon (1840-1916): Orientalism and Symbolism. Written by Michael Kariher and edited by Nada Shoreibah.
Odilon Redon’s unique artistic style, heavily influenced by his upbringing and interest in Eastern art, made him a significant member of the symbolist movement and precursor to later Surrealist and Dadaist movements. Despite Redon’s family producing their fortune in the slave trade, Redon would frequent bohemian circles. These contradictions would not limit Redon but encourage the development of unique views on art and life. In spite of the rise of Orientalism, which exoticized foreign cultures and art styles, Redon’s depictions of foreign religions and cultures, particularly Buddhism, were a genuine reflection of his personal interpretation.
The Sexual Colonization of the Native Southeast. Written by Mary Shandley and edited by Jennevieve Culver.
Early European colonizers weakened Native American societies not only through war and disease, but also through sexual colonization. Centuries of sexual assault of Native women, cultural assimilation into European norms, and manipulation of Native reproduction caused a shift in the gender ideologies of Native Southeastern communities. Native cultures today are still recovering from the cultural impact of sexual conquest.