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Best of Curo 2006

Humanities and Social Sciences

Differences in Environmental Reporting: China & The United States

Kelly Proctor

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lee B. Becker

The University of Georgia

International news bureaus report that a buzz of discontent is growing in China, as the country’s citizenry start to question the government’s Communist message communicated often through the media. The discontent grows louder in areas outside of Beijing—the center of censure—and where competition for profit has made newspapers look for contentious subjects that will spike readership.  This project seeks to define how the Chinese newspaper is changing, and how it differs from its U.S. counterpart. The project focuses on Chinese and American newspaper coverage of the environment, a controversial topic that is sometimes repressed in China. To achieve this comparison, the environmental coverage of two Chinese newspapers, the progressive JieFang Daily and the more conservative NanFang Daily, was collected and compared with The New York Times over a 15-week period.  An analysis of the data found that these two Chinese newspapers still seemed reluctant to criticize the government–-most certainly not in the style of the New York Times. Some data indicate, however, that with financial incentive from the country’s burgeoning consumer class, Chinese media may be more willing to do so in the future.


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Theory and National Identity: Yugoslavia in the late 1940s and 1950s

Michael Davis

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Keith Langston

The University of Georgia

During the late 1940s and 1950s, Tito’s communist regime in Yugoslavia was forced to contemplate the recurring conundrum facing Belgrade: how to assimilate the various ethnic and religious factions into a greater Yugoslav identity. Ethno-religious tensions had provided opposition to Yugoslav identity since the nation’s inception in 1918, and prior governments had compensated by asserting Orthodox Serbian preeminence at the expense of national minorities.  Tito’s regime established the most viable sense of a greater Yugoslav identity following its split with the Cominform in 1948, an event that forced the regime to contemplate how to draw upon the support of all its citizens in the face of Soviet and Western pressure.  As historians such as George Hoffman, Charles McVicker, Fred Neal, and Paul Shoup note, Tito’s regime devoted considerable effort towards generating a body of theory to underlie the new Yugoslav identity. This was accomplished primarily through theoretical positions regarding domestic policies and foreign diplomacy. This paper will focus upon the theoretical positions (though not actual implementation) regarding the withering away of the state and party, rejection of collectivization of agriculture and recognition of the peasantry, socialist democracy, and nonalignment during the Cold War. The importance of these positions in reducing tensions between the ethno-religious factions will be discussed in context of the larger struggle to establish a coherent Yugoslav identity.



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Containerized Shipping: A Gap in National Security

William Draxler and Joshua Heard

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael Speckhard

The University of Georgia

Although it is the lifeblood of the global economy, the containerized shipping system is also a major vulnerability to American national security. This key instrument of globalization has many economic advantages, but it also provides an avenue for criminal syndicates to engage in human and drug trafficking. Worse, a terrorist organization could very well use a shipping container as a delivery system for a weapon of mass destruction or to smuggle terrorists into the country. These containers could be used to transport illicit material to a destination where it would be used to construct a weapon of mass destruction. To address this threat, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has erected numerous programs to secure the supply chain, but these are riddled with problems. We propose a series of measures to correct the problems in two of these programs, the Container Security Initiative and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. These measures include increasing staff, distributing better detection equipment, and establishing the authority of customs officials to improve implementation of these programs. We also propose an independent measure for establishing a new standard in the security of ship manifests and the development of a culture of security--both small steps in ensuring security in every stage of the global supply chain.


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The Saudi Solution: Answering the Call for Reform

Tyler Pratt, Elizabeth Kirby, and Aqsa Mahmud

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherry Lowrance

The University of Georgia

Saudi Arabia has long served as the world's primary breeding ground of violent religious fundamentalism.   Unfortunately, rather than acknowledging and working to combat the forces in Saudi Arabia that breed terrorism, the U.S.-Saudi relationship continues to be dominated by narrow energy interests.  For decades, Washington provided for Saudi security, offered advanced weaponry, and turned a blind eye to the country’s turbulent internal affairs in return for Riyadh’s use of its vast petroleum reserves to stabilize world oil prices.   But the global democratization of violence and the continued rise of non-state actors have eroded the traditional barriers between a foreign state’s domestic affairs and U.S. national security.  U.S. policymakers must realize that Saudi domestic policy will critically impact U.S. security in the years to come.  The United States has a strongly vested interest in the emergence of a Saudi society that breeds less hostility and anti-Western violence.  U.S. policy regarding Saudi Arabia must adapt to meet this challenge; Saudi reform efforts, not U.S. energy concerns, must form the core of a modern U.S.-Saudi relationship.



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Striking the War Machine: The Anti-War Folklore of American Civilians and GI’s during the Vietnam War

Betsy Beasley

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elissa R. Henken

The University of Georgia

Typical popular conceptions of the Vietnam War tend to construct two polarized camps of American reactions to the war.  According to this view, “doves”—or those opposed to the war—consisted of college students, activists, and hippies; “hawks”— those supporting the war—were the U.S. government, anyone involved in the U.S. military, and anyone over thirty.  This dichotomy is problematic, as I discovered upon evaluating the folklore of the Vietnam War.  I came to the project to look to the historical record to evaluate the chants, legends, personal experience narratives, jokes, folk songs, and folk images of both American civilians and enlisted Americans in Vietnam.  A group’s folklore concerning a specific topic like the war reflects as well as determines how the group feels about it; folklore both expresses a group’s attitude toward the subject and influences how members of that group approach the subject, being affected as they are by folk culture.  As such, historical folklore, difficult as it is to collect, is imperative to a thorough examination of history.  Through my research, I found that the dialogues of civilian protestors and of American GI’s were more similar than different; in fact, most folk culture of American enlisted men was remarkably anti-war.  While civilian protestors were more visible in their opposition, many American GI’s fought against the war subtly, through their everyday speech rather than through marches and sit-ins.  Although GI protest folklore did include some overtly anti-war speech, such as slogans on buttons distributed by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, most anti-war folklore took the form of jokes, songs, and rumors that only hinted at an anti-war message.  The folklore of these GI’s did not pronounce disapproval of the war, as did the folklore of civilian protestors.  Rather, this form of GI folklore—as exemplified by one rumor that the toy company Mattel had manufactured the American military’s M-16’s—communicated a distrust of the war machine, and of the war itself, without resorting to slogans used by civilian protestors (such as “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”) that were much more explicitly forms of protest.  This study is significant in that it bridges the imagined irreconcilable opposition between GI and civilian protestor during the period.  While each side implemented very different methods to demonstrate their contempt of the war, surprisingly a number of themes developed between the two sides, proving that, despite perceptions in the popular imagination, civilian protestors and American GI’s were not such polar opposites after all.



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Three Republican Archetypes Square Off in North Georgia

Sara Swart

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Charles S. Bullock III

The University of Georgia

In the northernmost corner of Georgia, Democrats had controlled the State Senate seat since Reconstruction.  Past success did not prove to be an indicator of future performance, however, as Republican Nancy Schaefer beat Democrat Bob Stowe in her first successful bid for election.  On the day Schaefer’s predecessor, former senator Carol Jackson, a Democrat from Cleveland, decided to not run again, she may have sealed the fate of her party in Georgia’s northernmost district for the coming decade.   The general election, however, proved to be a yawner in comparison to the primary and following run-off elections.  Superior name recognition, political experience, a strong support network, a conservative North Georgia political climate, and favorable events in national politics combined to bring Schaefer victory.



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"Fracturing Fairy Tales": Lu Xun's Old Tales Retold Reveals Power in Ancient Chinese Mythology

Laura Belle Kearns

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kam-Ming Wong

The University of Georgia

A society's sytem of beliefs, culture and mores is rooted in its mythology, and thus an examination of a society's mythology greatly enhances the understanding and perspective of a people's history. Lu Xun's Old Tales Retold, written between 1922 and 1935 following China's 1919 May Fourth Movement, exaggerates mythology's historical value to comment on a pivotal segment of China's past. The text's eight short stories find their basis in classical Chinese myths that had once been the core of China's culture. These old myths had helped shape the ancient, feudal, Confucian society that subsisted until its collapse in 1911 with the birth of the Republic of China.

As an outsider seeking an insider's knowledge of Chinese culture, I not only read English translations on the May Fourth Movement and Lu Xun's life, but also translated and compared the Chinese texts of Lu Xun's Old Tales Retold and the vernacular and ancient Chinese myths that were the basis of Lu Xun's book. When the ancient government and society were drastically shifting, Lu Xun transformed ancient, essential myths into modern stories to convey his opinion of the permanency and significance of the changing circumstances. Native Chinese scholars have studied Lu Xun's Old Tales Retold, but a foreigner's comparative analysis of Lu Xun's text and ancient Chinese myths allows a fresh perspective. By explaining how Old Tales Retold reveals both historical significance and an individual's (Lu Xun's) beliefs, this analysis will permit me to demonstrate mythology's true insights regarding mankind.



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Allison Banks
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Michael Marshall & Prof. Stephen Scheer
University of Georgia

I have always believed in the importance of awareness of places, both large and small, and of our interpretations of them, our memories and imagined histories of them. When I began making photographs, it was very much an exercise in thinking about how I grew up, and from where I came. The photographs were my interpretation, my applied meaning, and my dream of a world. Since then, I have continued to broaden the terms of my history, becoming aware of the greater context in which I am situated.   My interest in the idea of The Neighborhood has grown, and I have begun exploring the ways in which we dress our yards, prune our shrubs, walk our dogs, park our cars, and feed our birds. I concentrate my vision on what is small, not entire yards, and thus each photographed object becomes a symbol of itself, encouraging us to consider new ideas about its meaning. In this way, I hope to more broadly define what it means to own a piece of land, to care for it and decorate it. My photographs are quiet, personal, and about a certain way of seeing and arranging photographic space. I hope for them to be not only about how things look, but also about how we look at things, and how it is possible that by slowing down and reflecting on what may initially seem small or inconsequential, we may come to recognize something more in our lives.


Cameron Dye
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Joe Sanders
University of Georgia

My work is an exploration in aesthetics as I combine kitsch imagery with a formalist sensibility. I am influenced by a wide variety of sources from the works of surrealists like André Masson and Stanley William Hayter to images from popular culture, such as cartoons, cereal boxes, and psychedelic posters. My prints usually begin as abstract, automatic drawings and slowly develop into works with intentionally cute and grotesque, representational imagery. I am interested in creating visual tension between opposing elements, such as cute and grotesque or tasteful and tasteless, as a way of creating excitement.



Alexis Gregg
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Ted Saupe
University of Georgia

My recent work in clay has taught me the power of intuition - I no longer dwell on the significance of what I’m doing. Instead, I allow my hand to respond to the surface as if I had closed my eyes. The forms I have been creating give me an excitement and drive that I have not before experienced. It’s as if clay has taught me to play and that when making art is fun, the results are also good. After the initial form is made, I step back and find the hidden faces and shapes that appear. I’ve come to realize the energy that is put into making a piece defines the energy it possesses on its own. Ultimately, I want my works to stand strongly as individuals with personality and mystery.


Graphic Design

Jennifer Xin
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Lanny Webb
University of Georgia

Graphic design involves the use of typography, color, imagery, and conecpt to organize and deliver content and to elicit a feeling or response appropriate to the client's needs. In my work, I try to achieve a balance between a playfulness that will draw in the viewer and a sense of order to establish a hierarchy of onformation. The end product should be regarded as effortless and simple. To me, the overall message should never be obscured or overtaken byt the artis;s oen whimsies or stylizations; otherwise it ceases to operate as a vehicle for communication and instead begins to call attention to itself as an end unto itself. Ultimately, my work is about using elements of design in their essences and letting them speak directly without attempting to embellish and clutter them with excess.

Urban Sprout is a hypothetical seed company that acters to city-dwellers. It specializes in gardening kits that provide everything one initially needs to start planting. The company's aim is to promote awareness of nature in urban environments. Its main clientele includes young professionals, teenagers, and children. I created a business stationary system, seed packaging, and cartons for a gardening kit that are both playful and hip.


Scientific Illustration

Courtney Reece
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Gene Wright
University of Georgia

Most often, scientific illustrators use their artwork as visual communication to teach scientific concepts. Although a unique path, I use scientific illustration to blend my passion for art with my interest in science and medicine. It allows me not only to express myself, but also to combine the precision and academics of a scientist with the passion and creativity of an artist. I have always had a strong desire to share knowledge and my art with others and through this major I am able to accomplish both.   After graduating from Georgia with an interdisciplinary degree in scientific illustration, I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my medical illustration degree. Having an interest in a variety of medical fields, I am excited to have the opportunity to explore each of them in depth. I will be able to study with experts in a range of medical fields, while also exploring new techniques in my artwork. Even more thrilling is the possibility of my illustrations being used to teach scientific concepts to students ranging from elementary school to medical school.


Drawing & Painting

Samuel Stabler
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Joseph Norman
University of Georgia

My work is an assimilation of the many things that I experience from day to day, from the mundane to the extraordinary. The subject, imagery, color palette, and techniques come from things I have observed.   I have had the fortune to spend time in Italy, central Europe and Cuba. It is primarily from these travel experiences that I have found the content that drives my work. I am inspired by the deep greens of the Cuban rainforest and the pastels of Caribbean architecture. I documented the vibrant earth tones of Italy and the countless shades of gray from the cities of Eastern Europe. I sketch the lines in the architecture and the textures of the land as I move from place to place.   In every location, I seek out the local artists. My subject matter is sparked by the many people I meet. Most importantly, I notice subtle cultural differences and how that might define me and my own beliefs.


American Stranger

Shehzeen Choudhury
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Judith Ortiz Cofer
University of Georgia

Creative writing piece: "American Stranger"  

My current project is a collection of short stories that explore cultural boundaries, political, and moral issues from national and international perspectives. I write about boundaries because they seem concrete at first glance but are in reality quite permeable. In the short story "American Stranger," I have tried to merge the American world with the Bangladeshi world through the custom of arranged marriage and the conflicts that ensue. All my stories are based on or inspired by true stories. Following the traditions of Bangladesh for fourteen years and seeing a cousin get married to a man who only saw her for a few seconds in candlelight made me want to explore the emotions that come with this experienced shared by many in various corners of the world. Although the setting is unique, I believe the feelings of love, loss, sacrifice, and compromise that the story conveys are not restricted to one region of the world but are truly universal. Through this story I have tried to portray a world of traditions by describing the reactions from two different points of view. Here the distinct stories of two individuals from two different paths of life meet and are soon to become one.  



AUX Launch: Art, Representation and Commerce on the Web

John Crowe
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Mark Callahan
University of Georgia


AUX Launch utilizes the web as a platform where the lines of separation between art, design, and commerce are blurred. Competition between traditional music industry distribution strategies and alternative models such as filesharing and inexpensive downloads is contributing to the emergence of new web-based models of artistic representation and content distribution. This project combines creative and technological research in the creation of a web site that accompanies the publication of AUX, a collection of experimental sound from Athens, Georgia . The development of the AUX web site is one component of collaborative project supported by Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE), an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA. The initial stage of the project brought together recording artists who share a connection with Athens’ thriving independent music scene and graduate students in the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s acclaimed Printmaking and Book Arts program. The result was a limited-edition audio CD in unique packaging printed and assembled by hand. AUX Launch supports the distribution of the CD and will remain online as documentation of the project when the edition is no longer available. The site, AUXcd.com, provides information about the artists on the compilation and sense of context for the project within the global community. The development of the site is the result of individual effort using Macromedia Flash software and original ActionScript programming. The project evolved through numerous prototypes and code refinements to launch-ready status. The innovative design reflects the unconventional nature of the compilation through the use of layered graphics, sound, animation, and minimal text. A dynamic interface activates subtle contrasts in color, negative space, and popup animations, creating moments of intuitive navigation and discovery.



Being: Interpretations of Interpretations

Charlotte Foster
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Rebecca Enghauser
University of Georgia

Research in Performing Arts: Dance

Being (Interpretations of Interpretations) was developed through abstract gesture studies in the modern dance idiom. My goal was to develop new movement phrases, which would produce an emotionally affective work. The abstract gesture studies were based on emotional responses to war, specifically the emotions of denial, courage, and detachment. Movement vocabulary was abstracted from photographs of people that exhibited strong emotion. Examining select photographs and identifying details to influence the shape, texture, and emotional response led to the creation of my movements. These movements were threaded together using various speeds and dynamics. Throughout the process, it became unnecessary that the audience draw a connection between my movement and war and more important that the audience have their own interpretation of the work. Choreographic elements that were explored to provide interest in the movement vocabulary were change of level, overlapping movement rhythms, spatial design, orientation of the dancers to the audience, and diversity of cast. Strong lighting elements such as individual pools of light for each dancer were also utilized to elicit an emotional response. Though each dancer brought a unique experience to the stage and had various strengths and weaknesses, they worked together as a congealed group, attempting to change their movement tendencies and adapt to each other. This piece received favorable feedback, both locally and regionally, touching many viewers on a deep emotional and personal level.



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