|Friday, April 20th|
Morgan Welch, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Peter Judge, Ph.D.
For my research paper, I have compared what biblical scholars note as the authentic and inauthentic letters of Paul and examined how these letters differ in their attitudes towards women’s roles in church leadership. Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are noted as Paul’s authentic letters and are typically seen as portraying a message that is quite radical in embracing the equality of all people that are in Christ. In contrast, the inauthentic letters – Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus – seem to convey a more conservative and gender-exclusive message that contradicts Paul’s previously written authentic letters. I have examined passages from Paul’s authentic letters in order to demonstrate how he himself gives support to the spiritual gifts of women and lifts them up as worthy contributors to the life of the Church. Conversely, I have chosen specific passages from inauthentic letters to shed light on how later schools of Pauline thought worked to regain the patriarchy of their culture by suppressing the leadership of women. After setting the historical background for understanding Paul’s letters, I then go on to examine how the Church Universal is still divided over the discussion of women’s rights in concerns to church leadership. My goal is not to deem the inauthentic letters “wrong” and the authentic letters “right,” but instead, I hope the reader will understand the complexity of Paul’s letters in order to realize that the topic of women’s equality in the church has been and still continues to be controversial among believers of the past and present.
Mary Bordonaro, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Matthew Fike, Ph.D.
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to explore the connections between the fictional queens Hippolyta and Titania and Queen Elizabeth I, and to build upon these connections to understand the effect that these characters have on Shakespeare’s modern female audience. I build upon the idea of Hippolyta’s “process of domestication” put forward by Kathryn Schwarz in “Tragical Mirth: Framing Shakespeare’s Hippolyta” and the eternal nature of the legacy of queens as told by Susan Frye in “Spectres of Female Sovereignty in Shakespeare’s Plays” in order to give new meaning to the life of Elizabeth I as told by Alison Weir. Queen Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream acts as a symbol of the masculine drive to conquer and diminish powerful women through marriage, a situation that is directly connected to the struggles of Queen Elizabeth I regarding marriage, autonomy, and authority. Queen Hippolyta can be seen as an Elizabeth who marries and submits to her husband, while Queen Titania can be seen as an Elizabeth who tries, and fails, to retain her autonomy and power after marriage. The result of these connections is a further understanding of not only Queen Elizabeth I, but also of the power that men hold in marriage and sex, even in our modern society, as seen by the recent prominence of #metoo and the outing of a variety of rapists and harassers in Hollywood.
Samantha Lee, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Laura Dufresne, Ph.D.
This paper looks at courtship and marriage dynamics during the Middle Ages, focusing on the treatment of women. Laws were provided by the church and state, but were carried out in a way that contributed to the systematic repression of women at the time, and often contradicted themselves. Between their families and aggressive suitors, women lived in a society pitted against them.
Caitlan Boudreaux, Winthrop University
Previous research in this series suggested that young adults feel positively toward interracial, interreligious, and inter-political relationships. They were especially supportive of interracial relationships and most concerned about interreligious pairings. When asked how their parents would feel, these young adults believed that their parents would agree with their stance on religious similarities, but would be less accepting of interracial relationships than their generation. In order to investigate this idea, I am examining young, middle, and older adults' perceptions of interracial, interreligious, and interpolitical relationships. Participants are currently being recruited through an online format. Each participant will respond to a scale that assesses attitudes toward interracial romantic relationships. Participants will then respond to the same scale; however, “interracial” will be replaced with “interreligious.” Interreligious is defined as two people of different religious belief systems. Participants will encounter the same questions, but this time they will refer to an “interpolitical” relationship, defined as two people with different political belief systems. Participants will also rank how important race, politics, and religion are when choosing a romantic partner. My goal is to compare different age groups' views on this topic in order to find out if there are major generational differences in acceptance levels.
Jesse Lester, Winthrop University
Although there are relatively few prominent white women in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, it seems that Ellison had an important purpose for these characters. Almost immediately, the book suggests that despite their differences, white women and black men, like the novel’s narrator, share a common bond. Both groups are seen to be controlled by society’s dominant group, white men. Of course, despite this shared bond of being dominated, there exists a divide between the narrator and white women, a divide perhaps created by the de-facto ruling class that controls both groups. The narrator and other black men see white women as sexual objects first and as people second, and this is seemingly due to indoctrination by popular society that wants them to view women as objects. Similarly, white women, like Sybil from the Brotherhood, also view the narrator as a stereotype and not a person thanks to the same kind of societal indoctrination. The power white men exert on the interactions between these other groups of American society is represented in other ways in the novel. For example, black men like Dr. Bledsoe and white women like the unnamed Brotherhood member frequently use the narrator and other downtrodden members of society so they can benefit in their own way, becoming privileged minorities within their own oppressed groups. In addition, this paper also seeks to examine the novel’s depiction of white women alongside black women, as both groups are represented in wildly different ways throughout the novel.
Lauren Kelly, Winthrop University
For more than twenty years, the issue of women’s empowerment in developing nations has moved to the forefront of both government and non-government organization (NGO) agendas. It has been largely recognized that, historically, women in developing countries have been excluded from participating in the social, economic, and political development of these countries. In addition, frequently women’s rights are not protected, and they are therefore impeded from full economic and social participation. Empowering women leads to more stability and prosperity for families. One of the main tools being used to help empower women is microfinancing (small credit loans aimed at helping low-income women become more financially independent.) There is much debate within the microfinancing world as to the most effective way to administer these loans, and how best to measure the loans’ empowerment effectiveness. This thesis aims to compare the impact of a minimalistic versus holistic approach to microfinancing on the levels of women’s empowerment. This will be done by analyzing the two approaches through studies conducted across the globe in developing nations, based on specific criteria, as well performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Empowerment criteria were decided on through an examination of over fifteen studies done worldwide. A conclusion was drawn that a holistic approach to microfinancing is the best choice, resulting in the highest levels of empowerment for the women. It is recommended that all governments and NGOs implement a holistic approach to their microcredit programs.
DIGS 221 Session I, 12:45-2:15 p.m.