Welcome to Capstones Class of 2020
The Department of History is proud to present our senior capstone presentations.
Click on each student name below to see their presentation title and synopsis.
History Capstones - Class of 2020
“Western Temperance? No! Japanese Temperance!”
The word alcohol, people view it as a way to get drunk or get pleasure from being drunk. However, there is more to it, in Alcohol a history by Rod Phillips, as stated “In time, they extended their alcoholic beverage and, to some extent their alcohol cultures to the wider world.” The quote is saying that alcohol has many purposes to show status, power, culture, religion, community, and more. Yes, there are people who do drink but there are others who would follow the temperance movement. In the Women’s Christian Temperance Union view of temperance as “sober and pure world” by abstinence, purity, and evangelical Christianity. During 1998 to 2015, scholars have developed two groups about temperance in Japan. Most scholars saw it as a way to westernize, but other scholars view temperance as an important factor of Japan. Which provides a huge gap of understanding of temperance in Japan. There are sources to support temperance as an important factor in Japan like which includes a lot of photographs of Japanese women who were involved in Japanese WCTU in way of teaching in Japanese culture, and how temperance was used to benefit the economy and women education in Japan.
“The Role of Drinking in the British Military in Colonial India”
“The Transformation from Ale to Beer in Early Modern Britain”
This project examines the role that hops played in the development of brewing beer in the 18th Century, while also looking at how brewing beer shaped 18th Century British and Scottish society. Hops changed the way beer was made; moving the production away from ale and ale wives and into the hands of men who produced and traded hopped beer.
Drunken Bonds: “The History of Alcohol in 19th and 20th Century American Fraternities”
Student life within American Higher Education maintains a long-standing history of change over the past 200 years. Alcohol had always been an integral part of a student’s social life since the 18th century. Students commonly drank Beer and Wine within university dining halls. However, once the Temperance movement became prominent in the 19th century, alcohol shifted from a typical facet of socialization towards a social taboo. Many American universities denied the use of alcohol on campus. More importantly, Fraternities existed as student led organizations that became a place where alcohol use remained ingrained as a consistent social activity. Ultimately, despite open denial, student alcohol use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries became a clandestine activity that most prominently existed in fraternities because of their popularity as a social gathering space as well as their ability to remain uncontrolled by university administration.
“Our Most Valuable Asset”: Alcohol and The Third Reich’s Pursuit of a “Racially Pure” Nation”
Germany’s Third Reich garners much interest and attention in both popular and academic circles alike. As a result, there is an incredible number of books and other scholarly work published regarding Nazi Germany. However, there is not one book that solely delves into the topic of the Third Reich’s relationship with alcohol. As a result, in order to get a glimpse of what other scholars have discovered about the Third Reich’s relationship with alcohol, it is necessary to look in larger works regarding other topics. These works discussions of the Nazi relationship with alcohol present the Third Reich’s practices as contradictory and paradoxical, with extra rations of alcohol being supplied to soldiers tasked with carrying out the executions, while simultaneously legislation passed legalizing the sterilization of alcoholics. This paper instead claims that the Nazi regime’s policies on alcohol were not contradictory, but malleable and perceptions on alcohol were twisted and turned in order to be consistently furthering their efforts to create a “pure Aryan nation.”
“Creating lo mexicano: The Influence of songs about Tequila from the Golden Age of Cinema”
After the Mexican Revolution, the government sought to unite a very divided country. The Golden Age of Cinema in Mexico proved to be a strategic medium through which to influence Mexicans throughout the nation in what would come to be known as lo mexicano. Charros and tequila were used liberally and strategically in movies that portrayed national behavior and accepted attitudes and ideologies. Specifically, songs about tequila performed by charros during this time were essential to the extensive influence of this new Mexican identity. The songs analyzed in this paper look specifically at songs about tequila that showed how this new identity affected accepted gender roles, patriotism, and the main characteristic of the charro himself, his machismo.”
“Through the Eyes of Native Americans: Film, Alcohol and the Mainstream Audience”
For years there has been studies done on Native Americans- often this has led to a fascination for Native American culture. However, when it comes to our fascinations, Hollywood has profited off of the white imagination for years. Hollywood has continually re-created the Native American figure to perpetuate stereotypes about Native American culture. One of the most beloved genres that is most guilty of stereotypical Native American images is the Western.
While the end of the classic 1960s Western genre would seem to signify change for Native American portrayal that is far from the truth. Later movies, created and directed by Native Americans continued to perpetuate stereotypes: particularly that of the drunken stereotype. While it would have seemed that the American Indian Movement (AIM) of 1968, would have casted more positively founded images of Native Americans, the “drunken Indian” stereotype more than ever, is embraced by Native American directors themselves. Native Americans embrace the drunken stereotype because of white dominant ideologies that Native Americans feel they have to mold to in order to fit into mainstream society.
“The Portrayal of Egyptian Drinking in Popular History Books: Why so Inaccurate?”
Post-prohibition culture in the United States has guided American citizens to view alcohol from a negative scope. By associating alcohol with lethargic, and oftentimes rude behavior, research has dwindled on the topic. In Ancient Egypt, beer and bread were essentially the bread and butter of their society. Beer was drank by people regardless of their age, gender, or social class. Wine as well was a relative part of their social structure as it became a drink for the elites of society. Yet, across the work of Egyptologists and general information sources alike, the topic at large is being neglected due to the standards set in the U.S.. Ultimately, due to the demonization of alcohol in America, readers are losing an important cultural element for the people of Ancient Egypt.
“Alcohol Advertising and its Role in Crime in Urban African American Communities”
In my capstone paper, I look at the relationship between alcohol advertising, alcohol outlet density, and their role in crime in urban African American communities throughout the United States. With more alcohol outlets in urban African American communities, more alcohol marketing in those same neighborhoods, and the knowledge that when just one of these two things increases crime increases as well, I analyze research done by historians and social scientists concerning these factors, as well as advertisements for malt liquor in the 1990s targeted towards the African Americans as well as references to alcohol and unpaid advertising from the artists themselves. I argue that these artists and the advertising become a part of a racist structure concerning alcohol and alcohol related crime. They are marketing a substance that is detrimental to their communities, both the paid marketing, as well as the unpaid marketing.
“Legal Imperialism and Alcohol Regulations in Ireland”
The old adage, “the sun never sets in the British Empire” stands to show the reach and influence that British colonialism and imperialism had on the world. Despite the worldwide influence of the British Empire, the British Isles, especially Ireland, were affected by their time under British rule as well. One unexpected yet subtle way through which the British exercised imperial control over Ireland was through alcohol-related regulations. Imperialism can be seen through British public sentiments about the inability of Ireland to self-govern and have its own parliament, and about diminishing the Irish distillation industry. During the policy-making process, imperialism is seen when no consideration is given to how regulations negatively affected Ireland when debating and amending alcohol regulations in Parliament. Most significantly, imperialism was shown when a regulation had harsher requirements, qualifications, or punishments for its implementation in Ireland.
“Craft Beer: The Rise of Neo-localism in America”
There were two times where craft beer attempted to establish itself in the history of beer, but it was not until the third craft beer movement in which it started to make an impression. That time period started in 1978 and is still rapidly growing today. Craft beer is important in the history of the United States because it started around a time period where there were a bunch of changes going on, such as in politics, the ongoing civil rights movement, and also the shaping of women’s rights and equality. The craft beer movement is changing American culture from a society that is built around large corporations and masculinity, into a society that is focused around neolocalism through the themes of personal identity relating to community involvement, environmentalism, and independent ownership which can be found in the broad context of the consumer, producer, and advertising. This argument is shown through the case study of Sierra Nevada Brewing.
“The Role of Advertising in the Transformation of the Beer Industry in WWII”
From changes to production, to the introduction of modern day advertising, World War Two allowed the brewing industry to stake its claim as an essential business leading it to become one of the most valued and popular industries during the war and after the wars end. Brewers tapped into the patriotism of likely consumers by advertising beer as a morale booster for soldiers as well as a way to support troops from the homefront.
“Moderation and Overindulgence: Greek Wine-Drinking and the Importance of the Happy Medium”
During Classical Greece, alcohol consumption grew more complexity as societal expectations rose. After decades of scholarship, many thinkers analyze the Greeks’ heavy drinking yet fail to notice the observation that there was heavy drinking in Greece, yet there is documentation that drinking in moderation was highly valued in Greek society and that drunkenness was looked down upon. An analysis of primary sources on this topic shows the primary represented drinking culture to be at events meant for drinking and drunkenness, such as libations and the famous Symposium, along with many other feasts and festivals.These drinking events happened quite often, making it seem as if wine-drinking happened twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This paper will explore both primary and scholarly sources to argue that the contradiction in representation of Greek drinking exists because there was often a time and a place for the heavy drinking and that the search for a “happy medium” with drinking was a constant and complex discussion.
“Australian Aboriginals: Steady Drinking, Failed Policies and Unsuccessful Intervention”
Ever since the colonization of Australia began in 1788 by the British there has been a division between people who are in power and the aboriginal communities. The people who colonized Australia have long tried to suppress and change the drinking habits of the Aboriginal people. But in the last 100 years, aboriginal binge drinking has increased leading to many people within their communities to an early demise. This has led to the Australian government creating policy after policy and staging highly controversial interventions in their community to help curb drinking habits and improve their overall well being, but they have yet to be successful in their efforts because of their lack of understanding and acceptance of aboriginal culture. But nevertheless, the Aboriginal community is still working hard to help their people, and are doing it without the “help” of the Australian government.
“Temperance and Childhood: The Role of Adolescents in the Temperance Movement”
Children are often ignored in the study of history. We acknowledge their presence but our focus is on the adults, those we perceive as having agency. This is particularly true when doing scholarship on the Temperance Movement of the turn of the twentieth century. It is the mothers, fathers, pastors who hold our attention. My research into the Temperance Movements of the United States and England during the turn of the twentieth centuries have proven a different point. Children had agency. They were vital members of the Temperance Movement. Not only were they a center of focus for adults who wrote children’s books, curriculum, pamphlets in order to raise the next generation to follow temperance children themselves banded together for the cause. They created chapters of their own temperance organizations, sold postcards with temperance messages, and proudly displayed their temperance views to others in order to grow the movement.
“Confucian and Zhou Attitudes Towards Alcohol: a Comparative Analysis”
Through a comparison of literature, this project looks at the ways in which Confucian historical practices have shaped and colored modern understandings of Western Zhou China. Ritual was a central part of Confucian ideology and many of these rituals stemmed from the Western Zhou Dynasty of China. Dating from 1045 BCE-771 BCE the Western Zhou kept their own histories which were later edited, compiled, and commentated on by Confucian scholars, as commentary and history were both vital aspects of Confucian ritual. By examining the similarities and differences between Zhou and Confucian wine rituals in particular, distinguishing becomes difficult between what is Zhou and what is Confucian and the historical record becomes difficult to discern.
“Drinking Together: Sexuality, Gender, and Elite Status at the Greek Symposium”
The ancient Greek institution of the symposium simultaneously mirrored and subverted norms of gender and sexuality within Greek society by keeping wealthy male citizens as its primary practitioners, while at the same time mandating imperfect equality amongst those who were attending regardless of gender, wealth, or social status. These norms were often bent or shifted entirely at the symposium in order for women and younger people to attend, always as either objects of sexual desire or as another form of entertainment, like dancing or playing music. While equality was required at such parties, it was imperfect and often insubstantial, and true equality among those in attendance was impossible due to outside pressures, economic status, gender, and power imbalances caused by all of these factors and more. Despite this impossibility, imperfect equality was better than none at all, and the symposium effectively allowed for this flawed but equal space to exist.