ELWS Alum and Current Student to Present Research

Dec 22, 2020

ELWS Alum and Current Student to Present Research at "Listening to Voices of Protest and Critique"

Friday, March 5, 2021
12:00–1:00 pm

Please register to have the Zoom link sent to you.

Reading the Protest Signs: Blaming Justice System as "Rapist”   

Asmita Ghimire (MA, English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies, UMN–Duluth, 2020 LRS Travel Award winner; PhD candidate, University of Texas - El Paso)

Feminists in the Global South differentiate themselves from feminists in the Global North via intersectionality, noting their cultures, economic statuses, political systems and experiences. Particularly, pioneering studies on transnational feminism highlight the identification of women in the Global South in terms of different cultural and material situations (Narayana, Mohanty), experiences based on political situations and war (Anzaldúa, Cooke), and political praxis (hook, Naples). Some even go beyond these geographical, material, cultural, and political factors to examine the complexity of intersectionality in terms of discursive representation (Narayana). This presentation goes beyond these concepts of intersectional difference, as highlighted by feminists in both Global South and North, to propose that feminists across cultures may need to rethink their paradigm of intersectional differences. By highlighting concurrent struggles by female protestors across cultures for political justice, as exemplified by recent incidents of protest against female rape in both the Global South and North, this presentation studies the protest sign from the Suresh Canagarajah perspective of World English and rhetorically analyzes the use of protest sign from the Kenneth Burke perspective of identification. The use of World English allows the travel of protest signs from one culture to another, from India to Nepal and Mexico to the United States, and this success in sharing protest signs suggests that female oppression is not culturally specific. This presentation concludes that these protest signs against rape illustrate that women across cultures share similar oppressions.  

Field Mice: A North Dakota Family Farm Faces the Pernicious Effects of Modern Agribusiness

Sarah Lawler (MA candidate, English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies, UMN–Duluth, 2020 Summer Thesis Fellowship winner)

“Field Mice” is a literary nonfiction narrative concerning the author’s experiences on her family’s farm in South Central North Dakota, in which she critiques modern agribusiness practices necessitated by monocultural farming. Of these practices, the use of glyphosate, a plant desiccant found in popular herbicides such as Roundup, is examined for its deleterious effects on land, nonhuman, and human health. Despite growing evidence to suggest that glyphosate is not the innocuous product it was misleadingly marketed to be, farmers continue to rely on the synthetic technology to meet industry demands for product yield and profit gain. The tensions between agricultural progress, farmers’ livelihoods, and a symbiotic land ethic underscore the narrative as the author grapples between her family’s past practices, the terrible consequences on her father’s health, and the future of their farming legacy.