The Oneonta Convivium Proceedings

Oneonta Convivium
Volume XVII

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What You’re Really Saying:
How Voice Production Communicates by Andrew Kahl

A Tasty Approach to Green Chemistry
by Jacqueline Bennett

Old Lessons For A New Millennium: Nature Writing And Environmentalism In The 21 St Century
by Daniel G. Payne

The Nonverbal Persuasion Of Ritual Rhythms
by Joshua Frye

Biodiversity Loss: A Global Challenge
by Gregory Fulkerson, Laura McKinney, and Edward L. Kick

Electronic Music Performance: A Historical Perspective
by Orlando Legname


This edition of the Convivium proceedings contains papers that were presented in the years 2006 to 2010.1 have tried to contact all those who gave presentations since the last volume of this publication. Thanks to the authors who were able to make their presentations available in written form to be published here.

I would also like to thank Lorin Levins of the College Publications Department for the work she did getting this ready for publication and assisting with editing.

I also thank Colby Thomas and the members of the Convivium Committee for their help in making this publication possible.

Jim Coan, Editor

What You're Really Saying: How Voice Production Communicates

Andrew Kaid Theatre

Let me start with a few disclaimers. I am not a linguist, though I will talk about language, paralinguistics, and speech. I am not a medical professional though I will talk about anatomy, physiology, and vocal health. I am not a singer though I’ll talk about voice placement, resonance, intonation, and diaphragmatic breathing.

I am not a physicist though I will discuss harmonics, frequencies, vibrations, and energy. I am not a shaman though I will talk about healing, spiritualism, and holistic health. I am not a psychologist, though I will speak of the relationship between physical and mental health.

What I am is a performing artist, a trained professional voice user, a frequent consultant on problems with vocal usage in performance and an advocate that effective, healthy, and dynamic vocal usage is not the singular domain of any of the professionals I have just named. I am also a teacher—which has afforded me the arrogance as well as the practical experience and opportunities for observation and exploration—to believe that I know enough about any of these subjects to wade in and throw ideas around.

This discussion is based on a few presumptions about the voice. There is much about vocal communication that we take for granted. Here are a few suppositions that help me to frame my work with actors, voice students, and other people with whom I work and consult:

The voice does not lie — it communicates the self; all of the insecurities and areas of confidence. It expresses personality and most of us are keenly attuned to inferred messages and relational cues that come from the SOUND of voices we hear. As listeners, we recognize that the voice is more trustworthy than words. If sound is the cake, words are the icing.

This assertion may be counter-intuitive to some academics who rely on the logical assertion of words and maintain an innate belief in the superiority of verbal expression. But in interpersonal communication, verbal messages are typically eclipsed by the influence of sound. The voice expresses a social need to communicate, relate and bond with others. Sound is far more influential in the development of social relationships—attraction, tolerance, repulsion—than what we have to say.

The voice is energetic — not a substance, but a flow of dynamic energy— only discernible in relation to what can be heard, said, expressed or released. As a result we can roar, whisper, interject, berate, croon, rant, murmur, moan, guffaw, wail, sob, plead, console, and praise with SOUND. The energetic qualities of the voice carry the primary thrust of what we communicate. As a result, the voice has effective and communicative power. We use it to influence people and assert our identity. The sound of the voice communicates with a different part of the brain than language. Tone, pitch, quality, rate, and inflection—the essential components of human voice perception—are processed in the right temporal lobe while language is processed in the left hemisphere of the brain.

Along with these these two suppositions, I would also like to point out two common misperceptions about the voice that may impede our capacity to develop fully expressive use of the voice:

Effort is required to “strengthen the voice” — Americans in particular are trained to work harder to get the results they want. What is required is not “strengthening” in a muscular sense, but ßexihility and resilience. You don’t want to “strength train” your voice because this becomes an invitation to develop habits of physical tension that impair the natural mechanisms of breath, phonation, resonance and articulation. Kristen Linklater, one of the most influential voice teachers working in contemporary theatre, wrote—and recently revised—an outstanding book on voice training for actors that has become a fundamental text in American theatre. The book is called Freeing the Natural Voice, and since its publication it has profoundly shifted attitudes and approaches to voice training in acting conservatories and training programs. Her central tenet is the title of the book. The voice is fully available when the voice user removes the habituated blocks and impediments that restrict power, freedom and fluency.1 Conditioning is a matter of removing mental, physical and emotional roadblocks so that the physical mechanisms can work efficiently. In Linklaters model, tension is the enemy. Her work is not an anomoly, but an indicator of a wider movement toward natural expression in contemporary performance training.

You are “stuck” with the voice you have—anatomy is cruel... — In

short, no. There are physical parameters. Your vocal tract is of a particular size. Your articulators are of a particular shape. The vocal folds—while resilient and swift to heal—can sustain permanent damage from trauma or

chronic misuse. Specific maladies and conditions like spasmodic disphonia or vocal fold paralysis can disrupt the voice. Age, smoking, alcohol and hard living can eventually reduce power, range and flexibility, but in almost every case where a person is struggling with voice issues, there are effective interventions available to improve sound quality, resonance, breath support and articulation. Most voice issues that do not have a specific medical cause can be improved by addressing the mechanics of voice production, the underlying tensions and anxieties and the imagery for using the voice being employed by the speaker.

Energy and sound

Breath begets vibration, begets amplification, begets articulation, begets communication, begets response, begets inspiration, begets breath.. .Breath is active, pulse is active, blood flow is active, cells are dancing all over the place. Neurons are firing, electricity is pulsing around like a million firecrackers in your nervous system. The miracle is that there aren’t more parts of us that can make noise and vibrate on cue. Our voices are an extension of the life energy that defines us. But the process for making sound is a unique physical phenomenon. We inhale, we exhale, vibration occurs in the vocal folds and sound is generated. The experience is obvious and familiar, but utterly mysterious when we begin to examine what makes the voice physically possible.

The engine of the voice is breath. Efficient use of the diaphragm—the muscular membrane that divides the lungs from the lower organs—coupled with free and responsive movement in the ribs and abdomen maximizes the volume of the inhale. Smooth and controlled engagement of one muscle group at the point of exhale—the transverse muscles buried deep in the abdomen—provides the most efficient foundation for supporting the outward flow of breath needed to phonatc—that is, to make noise. Phonation is not a direct muscular activity any more than twanging a rubber band requires the exertions of the rubber band.

The cartilaginous attachments for the vocal folds respond to a nerve impulse to vocalize sent from the brain. The folds draw together across the opening of the glottis. The flow of air across the folds “flaps” the folds together creating rapid interruptions in air flow that are audible as vibrations. Pitch is controlled, to some extent, by the length and tautness of the vocal fold tissue. The effect is like playing just the mouthpiece of a saxophone—audible, but lacking power, harmonic reinforcement, or shape.

This vibration, then, is amplified by rebounding off of any hard surface adjacent to the source of vibration. The most direct resonance travels straight up the tube of the pharynx and since the passageway is roughly the shape of a closed cylinder about 17—18 centimeters in length it creates a series of harmonic pitches—typically at three different frequencies—called formants The interplay of these formants creates the essential sound of the human voice, which is quickly rearranged and manipulated by the shape of the upper pharynx and subtle movements of articulators in the mouth. These articulators are the lips, teeth, hard and soft palates and tongue.

The resonance of the voice is further reinforced by indirect vibrations that operate off of any hard or bony surface they can End in the body. Relaxed muscle is able to vibrate in concert with this resonance while contracted muscle tends to deaden the vibration. This characteristic, in part, allows a speaker to shift the qualities of the voice.

Singers are familiar with distinctions between chest voice and head voice—or high, middle and low ranges. These ranges are partly reflective of pitch but also rely on free vibration in particular areas of the body. “Chest resonance” uses the larger bony structure of the spine and rib cage to transmit lower frequency vibrations. Mid-range frequencies find optimal reinforcement in the areas closest to the vocal folds, while high resonances, in tighter wave patterns, tend to find optimal resonance at the upper end of the vocal tract in the sinus cavities, face, and dome of the skull.

Most anatomical discussions of resonance give short shrift to resonation outside of the vocal tract. But the expressive significance of these sympathetic areas of resonance is critical to sensing how the voice FEELS. And as most actors and singers can attest, sensing these areas of resonance is fundamental to the expressive use of the voice.

“Why don’t I already know this? My voice has been with me all my life..

Elecution, debate, and rhetoric were once integral to the American educational system. These old-fashioned disciplines were tied to classical notions of oratory that have been largely supplanted by the drive for computer literacy and newer innovations in education. While I am not arguing for a return to slates and chalk, the instilled practice of oral presentation and rhetoric did establish voice habits— often at a young age—that promoted breath support, resonance, and articulation as necessary skills.

By the time most contemporary students reach a college environment, their reticence to speak publicly is already deeply entrenched. Worse, the shrunken realism of television and mediated news, talking head punditry and formulized entertainment has given our public discourse the inarticulate flatness of wallpaper paste or playground name-calling. Sadly, by comparison to the current norms of public debate, impassioned oratory seems either pompous or over-zealous to most contemporary listeners.

Health and the voice

Muscles and organs that shift to support the voice extend from the floor of the pelvis to the dome of the cranium. When the body is fully resonant, all of it can vibrate. The voice follows the pathway of energy centers in the body—chakras, in traditional Indian medicine—and imagery that reinforces awareness of this pathway of the voice through the body, can exert a powerful influence on a voice student when these energy centers are equated with the flow of sound. Meridians of energy flow in the body, as described in traditional Chinese medicine, and may also have a direct influence on the sound and harmonic resonance of the voice.3

If words like chakra, meridian, and holistic health make your skeptical scientific mind uneasy, consider this: Eastern medicine has used vocal intonation in conjunction with healing and meditation for thousands of years. The power of this imagery to influence the release of tension and promote healing in the body is Ending increasing support from Western medicine.

The voice itself may even have healing properties. According to the National Institutes of Health, singing releases substances in the brain that serve as natural pain killers. Studies have confirmed that singing has a range of positive effects on Alzheimer’s patients who may struggle to recognize spouses and children but can still retain the lyrics of songs from their youth.4 Singing, used therapeutically with the elderly, has resulted in documented benefits that include reduced cases of eyesight problems, depression, and a decreased demand for medications and medical appointments. Singing boosts the immune system and improves lung capacity, energy and—believe it or not—posture. The benefits have proven so overwhelming that arts therapy programs that include singing have become the norm rather than the exception as a treatment option in hospitals and care centers.4

Similarly, laughter has been proven to improve heart function and circulation while providing a great workout for the diaphragm and abdominal muscles.

Laughing burns calories and boosts the metabolic rate, reduces stress and clearly improves mood.6 While these benefits are not strictly the result of vocalization, spontaneous laughter is consistently vocalized unless the laugher makes a conscious choice to inhibit the vocalized response. An open laugh connects a diaphragmatic spasm with phonation and resonance.

Like laughing, crying and wailing use a similar diaphragmatic spasm to express grief and sadness. The truism, “sometimes you just need a good cry” has some basis in fact. To affect this, the body creates spasms in the involuntary mechanisms of vocalization, resulting in a cathartic release of overwhelming emotion. Typically, after freely released laughing and crying, the relative pitch of the voice drops—often significantly. Why? Reduced tension in the throat allows the vocal folds to lengthen and rib tension has been disrupted, allowing fuller and deeper breath support and body resonance. At the same time muscles in the face shoulders, chest and lower torso are in exhausted recovery from spasmodic contractions. These muscles normally activate to shield our vulnerable emotional selves, but in the aftermath of emotional outbursts we let our guards—and our voices—come down.

Kristin Linklater confirms the close link between physical tension in the body, emotional release and the flexibility of vocal expression in Freeing the Natural Voice when she writes, “Blocked emotions are the fundamental obstacle to a free voice.” As a second assertion, she states that “Muddy thinking is the fundamental obstacle to clear articulation.”7 In both cases, Linklater is drawing a close connection between the tensions of the body and the expressive capacity of our emotions and thoughts. But the tools of free expression are not the exclusive domain of actors and performers who use the body and the voice to impersonate characters. We all play roles in our lives and manipulate the body and voice to express our ideas, needs and desires. We all deserve the expressive freedom, and healthful benefits, that the voice can unlock.

Roleplaying and imagery as voice tools

So where do we begin? How do we improve our sound, resonance and projection of the voice? There are some pitfalls that make adjusting the voice difficult. The first has to do with our efforts to critically observe our own voices. The voice is largely controlled autonomically. The brain and nervous system do not work exclusively or directly with our central nervous system to express with the voice, so modulating specific aspects of vocal usage can be like doing brain surgery with a butter knife—using a blunt tool to modify a subtle mechanism. Worse, seeking out vocal flaws and problems accentuates the tensions and habits that contribute to the sound. How do you NOT nasalize sound, or tighten the throat to create stridency if the only awareness you have is for what you have been critically informed is wrong?

Without an alternative to your habit to explore, changing the habit can be difficult and ego-sapping. A feeling of hopelessness may emerge along with a desire to CONTROL the voice. This frustration, in turn, only magnifies insecurity, tension and the sense that muscular exertion will somehow overcome a perceived weakness. The result is often a voice in crisis and a voice user in peril of doing real damage. Our work ethic becomes our own worst enemy. We strain to HEAR how the voice can be improved and fail to feel the voice resonating in the body or straining to overcome our own physical constrictions.

With the voice, sensation and imagination are far more powerful tools than critical analysis.We are intuitive role players. We use empathy to project ourselves into viewpoint, character and imagined circumstance. We PLAY ROLES IN LIFE. These roles even have names; parent, teacher, spouse, employee, colleague, friend. We learned to play these roles by imitating and adapting models from our own experience. Only inhibition (fear of judgement) and stunted imagination limit our capacity to use role playing and imagery as tools to influence vocal and physical expression.

For example, if a speaker has pronounced nasality, tension in the solar plexus and lower ribs, a slight chin thrust, a strident compression of the vocal folds and tongue tension that impedes mid-mouth resonance, I could try to individually coach the speaker away from each of these vocal mannerisms. I could point out each of these flaws and make the client acutely aware of what was wrong and how to shift the body to modify the habit. Eventually, the client might be able to address these habits and possibly correct them, but the process could be lengthy, cumbersome and frustrating.

By contrast, I could ask my client to impersonate a character who had a head cold, a beer gut, a powerful chest and a constant habit of yawning. After doing twenty jumping jacks as this character—something miraculous happens—a breathless, overweight, denasalizing slob subplants the tensions of habit and the client s imagination creates a character. Instead of responding to criticism, the client becomes engaged in the imaginative game of CREATING a characterization. The voice is new and feels different in the body. Calibrating the difference between the two extremes becomes a matter of creative choice rather than of

correcting a list of “flaws” deeply ingrained in the self-image and defensive perceptions of my client.

The greatest advantage of this method is that it removes the primary obstacle for change—the distressing sense that “I don’t sound like me.” Even if that was the goal in the first place, displacing someone’s identity by changing the sound of the voice can be an alarming transition. I have seen students and clients burst into tears, erupt with convulsive laughter and physically collapse from this transformation. The tensions and barriers that have been socialized and instilled into our voices are deeply rooted in our identities and are difficult to release.


Vocal expression that is not housed in literal language is known as paralanguagc, and its study is known as paralinguistics. According to paralinguistic studies, “Fundamental frequency of the voice is directly affiliated with psychological arousal or stress and is generated by an increase in general muscle tension.”0 Basically, the higher pitch migrates above optimal pitch—the pitch at which the voice is most comfortably audible and projectable—the more likely it is that the speaker—regardless of gender—is stressed. Anyone listening to the voice is attuned to this stress.

In a series of University studies examining the paralinguistics of German and American speakers, several factors related to this vocal indicator were described. First, perceptions of social status and relative authority were seen to correlate with pitch range. Lower pitched voices were associated with more respectful communication and the intention to create a positive and authoritative impression on other people. Higher pitches contributed to an increase in emotional stress and a decreased sense of respect for social position. The results were consistent across both linguistic groups, though it was noted that the median pitch of the Germans was higher than their American counterparts.9

Ultimately, analysis of paralinguistics in a scientific context is still struggling to wrap its methodical arms around the complexity of the human voice. What artists explore intuitively, through imitation and experimentation, is still an awkward Frankenstein monster for scientific inquiry. Vocal usage is highly individual and until we can dissect the physical components of emotion and thought, we will be hard pressed to medically encapsulate the nuances of the paralinguistics.

Nevertheless, clinical application of paralinguistics is finding its way into diagnostic medicine. Many doctors now receive training in appropriate vocal communication and listening skills, from—that’s right—voice coaches. Cues associated with pitch, rate of speech and breath support are increasingly a relevant part of medical assessment.111 Western medicine has gradually caught on to the fact that treating the whole patient means not just listening to what people say, but how they say it.

So, what are voice coaches bringing to this process that has the potential to provide richer expression, better health and less stressful communication? They are teaching effective communication that preserves vocal health, intelligibility, and expressiveness for an actor on stage, but that also has wider applications for anyone interested in using the voice more constructively. Inventive teachers use a wide range of exercises and imaginative approaches. They borrow from speech pathologists, singing teachers, linguists, and therapists to explore the connections between the body and the imagination. Overarching this exploration is an awareness of conscious usage of the voice. How does using the voice expressively become a conscious choice? And how is it possible to ingrain habits of healthy usage that are of optimal value to a speaker?

Freeing the voice is a quest to release deeply rooted tensions in the body and surrounding the breath. This reduction of tension eases the mechanics of breathing, allows fuller resonance, diaphragmatic movement, and a supported flow of sound. The training and unrestricted shaping of articulators sharpens the ability of a speaker to shape words with precision and clarity and the ultimate goal is to attach this energy to the need to communicate with expressive intention. The repercussions of changes to this subtle process can be profound, with benefits to health, career, self-awareness, and relationship-building. The greatest benefit of all is achieved when consciously learned voice techniques become consistently ingrained as a speakers unconscious preference to make healthy, unconstrained, and expressive use of the voice.

References Cited

1 Linklater, Kristen. Freeing the Natural Voice; Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language. Drama Pulbishers, Hollywood, 2006. Revised from the original publication date of 1976.

“ Sundberg, J. Scientific American. March 1977. As cited at 3/17/2009.

3 Morgan, Michael. Constructing The Holistic Actor: Fitzmauricc Voiccwork. Vdm

Verlag Dr Mueller E K, 2008.

4 NIH News in Health, June 2008. Ol.htm

4 “How Singing Improves Your Health (Even if Other People Shouldn’t Hear You Singing),” June 6, 2006. singing improves your health even if other people shouldnt hear you singing.htm

6 Jenkins, Bonnie. “Health Benefits of Laughter: Send in the Clowns” ANM

Health Newsletter, 2009.

7 Linklater, Freeing the Natural Voice, Revised Edition, pg. 25.

4 Scherer, U., Helfrich, H„ and Scherer, K.R. “Paralinguistic Behaviour: Internal Push or External Pull?” Study results from Justus-Liebig University, 1980. Pg 280. files/1980 Scherer Giles.pdf

9 Scherer, Helfrich and Scherer, pgs. 279—280.

Iu Eisenberg, Abne. “Paralinguistics: It’s Clinical Application.” Dynamic Chiropractic, April 26, I99I, Voi 09, Issue 09.

A Tasty Approach to Green Chemistry

Jacqueline Bennett Chemistry C Biochemistry

What do you think of when you hear the word “chemical”? Most people immediately imagine the nasty side of chemistry: poisons, toxic spills, leaking barrels of toxic waste, nuclear bombs, and/or smokestacks releasing who-knows-what into the atmosphere. No doubt, many of you are familiar with one of the symbols for poison on all household “chemicals.” The most familiar is probably the skull-and-crossbones, which appears on household products that are toxic when ingested. Unfortunately, many children associate this “Jolly Roger” symbol with pirates—and many children love pirates—so this particular symbol may often not be an effective deterrent. Because of children's affinity for pirates, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh created a new symbol in the 1970, Mr. Yuk®, whose jaundiced face displays an unmistakable reaction to a very bad taste.

Some of you may have specifically thought of derailed train cars spewing green fumes into the atmosphere. And off course, as everyone knows, all chemicals, particularly the really nasty ones, release green gas! Some of you may have thought of the characteristic mushroom cloud following a nuclear explosion, such as the bombing of Hiroshima. Some may have thought of the Bhopal disaster in India, when an accident at a chemical plant poisoned thousands of residents. And of course, many of you may have recalled smoke stacks releasing some sort of smoke into the atmosphere and thus polluting the environment. Ironically, what most people don’t realize is that all, or nearly all, of this “smoke” is actually just steam.

Some less scrupulous people have seized upon this fear of all things chemical to either play pranks on the less scientifically literate or market their products with propaganda. A notable case of the former is the Coalition to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide,1 or DHMO, a site dedicated to getting viewers to sign their petition. This organization claims, among other things, that DHMO has the following dangers: death by inhalation, tissue damage, and generally events associated with disaster and destruction. They state that DHMO is used in nefarious places such as abortion clinics and nuclear plants, and is a critical ingredient in animal research, chemical warfare, and torture. The coalition claims that DHMO can be found in malignant tumors, toxic cleaning solvents, prisons, acid rain, industrial waste, and baby food. After reading through all of the terrible things that DHMO is associated with, one would naturally conclude that DHMO is supremely nasty stuff, and would be compelled to sign the petition and

wonder why it has not been banned already. However, there is a critical piece of information missing. While everything this organization says about DHMO is true, it is not the entire truth. The scientifically literate would immediately recognize that DHMO is simply water, named with the frightening-sounding dihydrogen monoxide moniker. Once this fact is realized, it is easy to see that drowning, frostbite, and hurricanes are all associated with water—that water is involved in all human activities, be they good or bad. Then there are the marketing folks who use references to chemicals or science to sell products. From “scientifically formulated” cosmetic creams that are superior to their competitors to “chemical-free” products that are also superior to their competitors, advertisers manipulate the general publics lack of scientific literacy to sell their products.

Of course, nothing other than a perfect vacuum can claim to be chemical-free. Even then, the vacuum must be contained somehow and that container is itself some kind of chemical. The controversy over the use of the term “chemical free” in marketing materials became so bad that in 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry offered a million pound reward to anyone who could provide them with an authentic sample of a chemical-free product.” Of course, this challenge is impossible to meet since everything is made up of chemicals, including the seemingly harmless water. As Paracelsus stated, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.” For example, common household items that most people consider benign can be toxic in large enough doses. Water can even be toxic in excess. If one ingests more than 1.5 gallons of water all at once, then it is likely to be fatal. There was a case in the media a few years back where a mother of three participated in a radio contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii,”3 in which contestants drank huge amounts of water without urinating to win a Wii gaming system. Later that day, the woman died due to water toxicity. It is estimated that she drank over two gallons of water during the contest.

So, chemicals can be bad but we need to gain perspective. Chemical accidents and disasters gain quite a bit of press when they occur, but, as the table below illustrates, biological hazards give us much more to fear than do chemical hazards. The worst chemical disaster of all time was the Bhopal incident in 1984. Since then, about 20,000 people have died either from direct exposure or from long-term consequences. In contrast, the worst biological disaster, the Spanish Flu of I9I8, killed an estimated 20-100 million people in only six months. There are several other notable biological disasters that have also killed far more people than the Bhopal disaster and summarized in Table I. Thus, chemicals have received an undeserved bad rap.

Table I. Major chemical and biological disasters.4

Chemical Disasters

Biological Disasters

Bhopal, India ('20,000 since 1984')

Spanish flu (20-100 million in six months')

Hiroshima (140,000)

Black Death (~I00 million in 200 years)

Nagasaki (80,000)

Malaria (2.7 million/year)

Chernobyl (4,000)

HIV (25 million since 1981)

Then there are the many chemicals that have changed the world for the better.

The invention of soap is probably the most important innovation, saving countless through the mere recognition of the importance of hygiene for preventing the spread of disease. Antibiotics, too, have saved numerous lives once a disease is contracted. Only a century ago the life expectancy was half of what it is now, and we owe this largely to the development of chemicals that prevent or treat disease. Other notable chemicals are polymers and silicon products, which enabled the digital revolution we are experiencing to occur. Another notable chemical contribution was the development of birth control pills, which made equality of the sexes a reality. Reproductive control could not have occurred otherwise.

While chemicals are not bad, in and of themselves, some methods used to create the desirable ones do more harm to the environment than is necessary. This is where “green chemistry” becomes important. Green chemistry is a philosophy of considering the environment when designing reactions. The EPA has embraced the “12 Principles of Green Chemistry,” listed below and originated by Paul Anastas.0

  1. Prevent waste
  2. Design safer chemicals and products
  3. Design less hazardous chemical synthesis
  4. Use renewable feedstocks
  5. Use catalysts
  6. Avoid derivatives
  7. Maximize atom economy
  8. Use safer solvents and reaction conditions
  9. Increase energy efficiency
  10. Design chemicals and products to degrade after use
  11. Analyze in real time
  12. Minimize accident potential

In this talk, the green chemistry method I will discuss addresses Principles I,

3,4, 8, and 9 most directly, although all 12 principles are addressed to some extent. The innovation my group recently made involved the synthesis of a group of compounds known as iminės, which are essential in many industries and are traditionally synthesized under extremely non-green conditions. The reason we wanted to explore iminės is the variety of transformations possible for them. To demonstrate the utility of iminės, Figure I shows a few examples of transformations that have iminės as their starting material. These examples are but a few of all the transformations possible, thus, a more effective and green imine synthesis would have significant environmental and economic impact.

Some examples of reactions starting with imines.
Figure 1. Some examples of reactions starting with imines.











A traditional imine synthesis often involves boiling the reacting compounds in toluene, a petroleum-based solvent, for at least four hours in the presence of some method to remove water as it is formed. The general reaction is shown below. Reactants (starting materials) are on the left and products are on the right. The arrows pointing both ways indicate that the reaction is in equilibrium, meaning that reactants are not fully converted to products.

Le Châtelier’s Principle
Le Châtelier’s Principle






Le Châtelier s Principle, a concept taught in first-year chemistry and used frequently from then on, states that an equilibrium reaction may be shifted toward products by either adding a large excess of one of the reactants or by removing one of the products as it is formed. Since the reactants in the imine synthesis tend to be somewhat expensive and it would be difficult to remove the one used in excess, the traditional way to force the reaction toward the desired imine product is to remove the water. Indeed, two main methods of water removal are common. One method involves a complicated assembly of glassware called a Dean-Stark trap. When an imine synthesis involves boiling in a solvent such as toluene, the water boils off along with the toluene and then condenses and drips into a trap that acts as a “fat” separator. The water collects over the course of the reaction and can be measured using gradations on the trap. Since the theoretical amount of water can be calculated, the reaction is presumed to be complete once the theoretical amount of water has been collected. Molecular sieves are another option for removing water and often used in combination with DCM. Molecular sieves are small beads that have extraordinarily tiny pores throughout them that trap small molecules while larger molecules, which do not fit in the pores, are unaffected. They essentially act like a water “roach motel”—water gets in but it cannot get back out.

So, before I begin the discussion of our method, I need to give you a little background in synthetic chemistry. Please note the times in parentheses. There are four basic steps in a synthetic process:

General synthetic method:

  1. Synthesis: reaction conditions (e.g., boiling in a solvent)
  2. Isolation: removal of the majority of undesired materials (e.g., solvent removal)
  3. Purification: removal of remaining impurities (e.g., unreacted starting materials)
  4. Analysis: determination of quality and quantity of product Quality is determined by melting/boiling point and instrumental techniques.

Quantity is determined by the percent of the theoretical amount actually formed.

Traditional imine method:

  1. Synthesis: (4-6 hr)Mix reactants in 50-100 mL solvent Boil for 4-6 hr Remove water (Dean-Stark or molecular sieves)
  2. Isolation: (minutes to hours), Remove solvent, usually under vacuum (heat often necessary)
  3. Purification (recrystallization if solid or distillation if liquid): (minutes to hours)
  4. Analysis (mp, spectroscopy, yield) (< I hr)

The solvent in a traditional synthesis, as mentioned before, is usually a petroleum-based solvent, such as toluene, or a halogenated organic solvent, such as dichloromethane. Some common traditional solvents and their characteristics are listed in Table 2. In contrast, characteristics of greener organic solvents are listed in Table 3. The information included boiling point (bp), the time for biodégradation, the time for half of the material to degrade in the atmosphere, the National Fire Protection Association rating (health risk, flammability, and reactivity; higher numbers are more harmful), hazards (carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic), and the cost per liter.

Table 2. Properties of traditional organic solvents.






Atm half life

NFPA Rating (H, F, R)


$/L (Feb 09)




d/ w

4 m

2, I, 0

Q, M, T




d/ w


2, 3, 0



tetr ahydro furan


d/ w

I d

2, 3, I



Table 3. Properties of greener organic solvents.






Atm half life

NFPA Rating (H, F, R)


$/L (Feb 09)

ethyl lactate




I, 2, 0



lactic acid




3, I, I






2 h

3, 2, 0



Ethyl lactate is a naturally occurring compound round in wine, chicken, and fruits. It is renewable, meaning it is not derived from petroleum-based resources, but rather, can be made from lactic acid (milk) and ethanol (corn). It is readily biodegradable and is even approved as an FDA-food additive, found in strawberry milkshakes and just about anything that has a fruity and/or butterscotch flavor. The use of ethyl lactate as a solvent in organic synthesis is fairly recent.

It is most commonly used these days to clean electronics. Lactic acid naturally occurs in milk and cheese (and muscles sore from exercise). It is also renewable and biodegradable and is a flavor additive for many foods, such as candy, olives, cheese, and bread products. Limonene is naturally found in citrus peels and is a by-product of orange juice production. It is also renewable and biodegradable, most commonly used in citrus household cleaners. Limonene is being studied for its role in cancer prevention.6

We focused on ethyl lactate for imine synthesis because of research we had performed earlier. The first green solvent we chose was ethyl acetate because it has similar physical properties to toluene, which is one of the most common solvents used to make iminės. Ethyl acetate is renewable and biodegradable, formed from the reaction of acetic acid (vinegar) and ethanol. What we found was the reactions produced excellent quality crystals at room temperature, albeit with terrible yields. We then tried ethanol, which produced excellent yield but poor quality crystals. What we needed was a solvent that combined the properties of both in the hopes of obtaining both excellent quality and excellent yield. Of course, we realized that the exact opposite of what we wanted might occur. Ethyl lactate seemed a logical choice since it shared characteristics of both compounds as shown below.

Ethyl Lactate
Ethyl Lactate








Our imine method:

  1. Synthesis: (<I0 min)Mix reactants in 5 mL ethyl lactate with 0-40% water Let sit at room temperature for up to ten minutes.
  2. Isolation: (<I5 min), Add brine (salt water), filter, rinse with water Air dry to remove the residual water.
  3. Purification: none necessary
  4. Analysis (mp, spectroscopy, yield) (< I hr)

Table 4. Comparison of our imine method to recent “green” methods.




time, auxiliaries

yield & mp



yield & mp HI 114 c.

Guzen, 2007: cinnamaldéhyde + aniline

5-10 min sonication; EtOH; silica; DCM purification

>85%, nr [I09°C]

3 min;

80% EL



Schmeyers, 1998: p-chlorob enzaldehyde + p-anisidine

thorough grinding, RT 6 h; vac removal of water at 80°С



I min; 100% EL



Schmeyers, 1998: p-nitrobenzaldehyde + p-anisidine

thorough grinding, heat 24 h; vac removal of water at 80°C



3 min; 100% EL



Tanaka, 2000: p-bromo aniline + b enzaldehyde

I h RT with stirring



5 min; 70% EL



Our results were astounding! We found that nearly every combination of starting materials we tried (and we tried 17 combinations) resulted in excellent quality and excellent yield in a much more benign and much less energy-intensive system than any previously published. For comparisons, see Table 4 above for our head-to-head comparison with recent “green” imine syntheses. To understand the comparison, the higher the percent yield, the better. The maximum yield one can achieve in a “perfect” world is 100%. All of the yields below are comparable or better than those previously published. Melting points are used to assess purity. The lower the melting point, the less pure the compound is, thus, higher melting points are better. I should point out that all of the literature methods compared in this talk are for compounds that were purified by recrystallization. In contrast, our products were analyzed without purification. Note that our melting points are comparable to or higher than the previously published methods. The methods used in the literature procedures are described below.

The Guzen7 method used ethanol as a solvent and silica as a catalyst. Reactions were sonicated (energy from sound) for 5—10 minutes. If you have ever had jewelry cleaned professionally, you have likely seen (and heard) a sonicator. Even though the synthesis conditions are largely green, the benefit is offset by the use of DCM in the purification steps. Our reaction took a little less time but required no catalyst or energy input.

The Schmeyers0 method used solventless conditions. Instead, they ground the two reactants together and let the mixture sit anywhere from 2—120 hrs, depending on combination, usually without any additional energy input. The third example in Table 4 was one of the examples that required heat along with a significant amount of time. The Schmeyers method is limited to reactions in which both starting materials are solids. Many potential combinations of starting materials are liquid, as in the Guzen and Tanaka examples in the table. In addition, the water that was generated through the Schmeyers method was removed under vacuum at 80°C for an unspecified amount of time, though this procedure is usually an overnight procedure. Thus, a significant amount of energy was used to remove water. Our method was much more efficient. The reactions were complete in minutes, in one case the Schmeyers 24 hr with heat compound was complete within 3 minutes using our method. In addition to the time savings, our yields were comparable and our melting points were comparable or better. Plus, we allowed our water to air dry instead of using an energy-intensive method to remove it. This was facilitated by the fact that our products were crystalline, rather than powder, and thus had less surface area for water to adhere.

The Tanaka9 method used water as a solvent and called for mechanical stirring for one hour, which requires a specialized apparatus. Note that our reaction was faster, had comparable yield, and significantly better quality.

Again, I should emphasize that all of the literature melting points in Table 4 were purified—ours were not. The ability to avoid extra purification steps results in both a significant time savings as well as an enormous savings in the number and quantity of chemicals involved. At this point we have synthesized 17 iminės, which are now published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry.1'-' All examples were complete within 10 minutes and all but one were conducted at room temperature. (One starting material required heat to keep it dissolved long enough for the reaction to occur.) To give you an appreciation for the simplicity of our method, please see the video at my website.11 The only editing I did in this video was to remove three minutes of nothing apparent happening. The video shows a flask containing a liquid (ethyl lactate and water with p-toluidine) with a black light situated above the flask. Then, a student adds another liquid containing ethyl lactate and water with salicylaldéhyde) and gently swirls the flask to mix the contents. The flask is allowed to sit undisturbed from that point. The contents of the flask appear black immediately after the two reactants are combined. Shortly after the three minutes was cut, a yellow glow appears in the center of the flask and quickly spreads until the entire contents

are glowing yellow. This glow arises from the fluorescent imine product as the reaction progresses. The entire process if finished in just over four minutes.

We are currently testing the breadth of our method by evaluating more diverse combinations of starting materials. We are also developing green methods for converting these iminės into other useful materials. This semester,

Brendan Walker is making compounds known as aziridines, which are useful intermediates in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. He is investigating the use of lactic acid as an alternative catalyst to more toxic and expensive options. Eli Spina, Caitlin Heuberger, Miyeon Presky, and Jessica Rodriguez are working on azetidines, which are analogs of beta-lactam antibiotics, which include the penicillin family. Azetidines do not contain the “Achilles Heel” of the beta-lactam antibiotics that many bacteria can exploit and thus may be an effective strategy for defeating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In conclusion, I would like to state first that we have awesome students! This breakthrough would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of my group members. Their work led to the discovery that food additives can be used as effective solvents for a large number of compounds. And, as advice to other junior faculty, try to combine your teaching and research interests. With our teaching loads, this integration is extremely important for both productivity and innovation. This project originally started as an attempt to design a green chemistry experiment for one of my courses and resulted in a significant contribution to my students, chemical education, and synthetic organic chemistry. I also encourage you to think outside the box. Question conventional wisdom and try to improve on it. Had I blindly adhered to over a century of conventional wisdom and accepted that water must be removed in this particular reaction for it to work well, I never would have considered adding water to make the reaction more effective. Just because something has been done a certain way for a long time does not mean it is the best way.


I would like to express gratitude to the BLONDES (Building a Legacy of Outstanding New Developments and Excellence in Science), my research group for all their hard work. I thank the Faculty Research Grant program for the funding to begin this project and the Dreyfus Foundation for partial funding.


I Way, T. Dibydrogcii monoxide research division. Retrieved 25 Jan 2010, from

“ Royal Society of Chemistry. (2008). £1,000,000 for 100% chemical free material?. Retrieved 25 January 2010, from

3 MSNBC. (2007). Woman dies after water-drinking contest: Water intoxication eyed

in ‘bold your wee for a wii’ contest death. Retrieved 25 January 2010, from

4Epic disasters: Tbc world’s worst disasters. Retrieved 25 January 2010, from

4 Anastas, P. T., and Warner, J. C. (1998). Green chemistry : Theory and practice. Oxford University Press.

6 Crowell, P. L„ Elson, C. E„ Bailey, H. H„ Elegbede, A., Haag, J. D„ and

Gould, M. N. (1994). Human metabolism of the experimental cancer therapeutic agent d-limonene. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 35 (I): 31-37.

7 Guzen, K. P., Guarezemini, A. S., Orfao, A. T., Cella, R., Pereira, C.

M., and Stefani, H. A. (2007). Eco-friendly synthesis of iminės by ultrasound irradiation. Tetrahedron Tetters. 48 IO): 1845—1848.

4 Schmeyers, J„ Toda, F., Boy, J., and Kaupp, G. (1998). Quantitative solidsolid synthesis of azomethines. Pcrkiii Transactions 2. 1998 (4): 989—993.

9 Tanaka, K., and Shiraishi, R. (2000). Clean and efficient condensation

reactions of aldehydes and amines in a water suspension medium. Green Chemistry. 2 (6): 212—272.

Iu Bennett, J. S., Charles, K. L„ Miner, M. M., Heuberger, C. H., Spina, E.

J., Bartels, M. F., and Foreman, T. (2009). Ethyl lactate as a tunable solvent for the synthesis of aryl aldimines. Green Chemistry. II (166— 168).

II Bennett, J. S. Blondes: Projects. Retrieved 25 January 2010, from


Daniel G. Payne English


At the time of his death in I92I, John Burroughs (born in Roxbury, New York in 1837) was Americas most beloved nature writer, a best-selling author whose friends and admirers included Walt Whitman, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. The popularity of his work encouraged his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, to publish or reissue the work of several other nature writers, including that of Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Since 1992, SUNY College at Oneonta has hosted the biannual John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar (“Sharp Eyes”), which honors the influence of Burroughs on American nature writing. The scope of the conference is not limited solely to Burroughs, however, as each year the writers and scholars in attendance focus on a theme of significance to modern nature writers and scholars of literary environmentalism. The theme of the 2010 conference is “Old Lessons for a New Millennium” and will examine the work of writers who contributed to the early conservation movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the work of contemporary writers who are influencing the development of early twenty-first century environmentalism. This presentation will give a brief overview of Burroughs’s life and work and introduce some of the topics that will be addressed at the 2010 “Sharp Eyes” conference.

This year, from June 7—II, SUNY Oneonta will once again host the “Sharp Eyes” conference, the sixth in the John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar series. The first two conferences (held in 1992 and 1994) were organized and directed by my former colleague Charlotte Walker, and in 2004,

I resuscitated the event, which has been held biannually ever since, including a “guest hosting” by Vassar College in 2008. The 2010 conference at Oneonta is affiliated with the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, an international organization that now has well over 1000 members—and through their help and support, this year we will have presenters from all over the United States and Canada, and from as far away as Singapore. Two collections of essays from the conference have been published.

What I’d like to do first, is to talk a little bit about John Burroughs, the writer whose work served as the inspiration for many in the conservation of movement of the late I9th- and early 20th centuries—and well as the inspiration for this conference series held in his honor. Burroughs was a local boy—he was born on a dairy farm in nearby Roxbury, NY, Delaware County, on April 3, 1837. The seventh of Chauncey and Amy Kelly Burroughs’s ten children, was a bookish, thoughtful child who was considered a bit of an oddity by his family. His father Chauncey was a Baptist fundamentalist, who harbored a quiet terror that his son might become—a Methodist minister. There was no need to worry about that, however, for even as a boy Burroughs turned away from the religion of revelation espoused by his father. As Burroughs later recalled, his father was a good man, though narrow-minded and bigoted in his religious views, and wrote about an incident he observed as a boy: “I remember when a mere lad hearing him pray in the hog-pen. It was a time of unusual religious excitement for him, no doubt; I heard, and ran away, knowing it was not for me to hear” (Barrus, OFJB 56).

When Burroughs was just 17 he left home, taking a series of positions as a rural schoolteacher in places in upstate New York like High Falls, Olive (where he met his wife-to-be, Ursula North) and even as far afield as Buffalo Grove, Illinois. About this time he began reading Emerson, Ending in the great philosophers work “a revolutionary, natural theology that was the solvent of encrusted forms and traditions” (Renehan 46). He began to write his own essays, but his early efforts were so derivative of Emerson that when he submitted “Expression,” a transcendentalist inspired essay on understanding the universe to The Atlantic Monthly in I860, James Russell Lowell, the magazines editor, refused to print the article until he carefully verified that Burroughs had not plagiarized an obscure piece from Emerson (Barrus, LL 1:52). This experience was partly responsible for the turn toward nature writing that Burroughs took thereafter. To counterbalance Emersons influence on his style and subject matter, Burroughs began to devote his writing to outdoor themes and the familiar rural landscape of his youth; and to cultivate a clear, straightforward style grounded in the concrete and the specific.

This change of approach was supported by the writer who became Burroughs’s second great literary influence, Walt Whitman. In 1864, the 27 year old

Burroughs took a job as a treasury clerk in Washington, D.C. He met Whitman, who was working as a nurse in the great military hospitals set up in and about the nations capitol, and the two soon became fast friends. In 1867, Burroughs wrote his hrst book, entitled Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person—which was probably co-written, or at least heavily edited, by Whitman himself.

It was Burroughs second book, however, Wake-Rohn (I87I), that established the upward trajectory of Burroughs’s literary career. The collection of natural history essays, largely composed of vivid memories and imagery from his Catskill boyhood—and, paradoxically, primarily written while he set in front of a vault at the Treasury Department—was greeted by enthusiastic reviews. As William Dean Howells (one of the deans of American literature during that period) wrote in an unsigned review that appeared in August I87I edition of The Atlantic Monthly wrote: “It is in every way an uncommon book that [Burroughs] has given us; fresh, wholesome, sweet, and full of a gentle and thoughtful spirit; a beautiful book” (254).

Over the next fifty years, Burroughs published hundreds of essays in the leading periodicals of time—most dealing with natural history, but many touching on diverse topics such as philosophy, literary criticism, religion, etc. Hundreds of thousands of copies of his books were sold (there were about I Уг million in print at the time of his death in I92I), and his popularity was so immense that it inspired the publisher, Houghton Mifflin, to reissue or publish for the first time the work of other nature writers, such as Henry Thoreau and John Muir. He was honored with numerous awards, including a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in I9I6, and honorary degrees from Yale, Colgate, and the University of Georgia. In his later years his rural retreats in the Hudson Valley (“Slabsides”) and Roxbury (“Woodchuck Lodge”) became popular pilgrimage sites for nature lovers and admirers of “the Sage of Slabsides.”

Included among Burroughs’s friends and admirers were John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone. Ford was an ardent admirer of Burroughs, and bought some of the property near Woodchuck Lodge that had once been part of the old Burroughs Farm, to present to his friend as a gift. He also presented Burroughs with a Model T—which the old bird watcher promptly backed through the back wall of his barn. Ford, Edison, Firestone, and Burroughs also went on a well-publicized “camping trip” in 1914, that was probably one of the oddest experiences in Burroughs’ long experience in nature—replete with a caravan of Model T s, servants, and luxuries of all sorts.

It was, however, the connection to Roosevelt and to Muir that had the most profound and lasting consequences for American environmental history. While Burroughs was not as politically active as his two friends were, he was a key figure in the coalescence of forces that resulted in the first great era of environmental reform—the conservation movement of the Progressive Era. In 1903 he toured Yellowstone National Park with President Roosevelt (TR then went on to tour Yosemite with Muir), and was visited at Slabsides by the President that summer—a visit that, Burroughs said delightedly, must have really steamed his wealthy neighbors across the Hudson, the Vanderbilts, et al.

Despite his reluctance to wade directly into the political fray over conservation, Burroughs’s indirect contribution to the cause was immense. It was he who attracted a mass audience for nature—an audience that was without precedent in the United States, and that was crucial to the development of political support for conservation programs and legislation. There is little doubt that Burroughs’s nature essays don’t have the same rhetorical bite that those of Thoreau or Muir do—but as biographer Edward Renehan writes, “there is one important thing that redeems Burroughs. In essay after essay, he tried to instill a new, modern element of faith into the faithless decades of the Gilded Age” (4). This faith— “the faith of a naturalist” as Burroughs calls it, seeks to reconciled modern scientific knowledge with the human longing for a spiritual side to life. As he wrote in an essay entitled “The Faith of a Naturalist”:

Amid the decay of creeds, love of nature has high religious value. This has saved many persons in this world—saved them from mammon-worship, and from the frivolity and insincerity of the crowd.. .It has made them contented at home wherever they are in nature—in the house not made with hands. This house is their church, and the rocks and the hills are the altars, and the creed is written in the flowers of the field and the sands of the shore.. .Every walk to the woods is a religious rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance.. .It is not an insurance policy underwritten by a bishop or priest; it is not even a faith; it is a love, an enthusiasm, a consecration to natural truth” (Accepting the Universe II6-II7).

Burroughs died in I92I while on a train ride back to his New York home from California. His final words—“Are we home yet?”—were a remarkably fitting coda to the career of a writer so closely identified with his native Catskill region. In many of his essays, Burroughs imaginatively explores the woods and fields of home, and in so doing he transcends the local and examines the universal theme of our relation with nature and our native landscape. Burroughs’s emphasis on “place” and the local now seems modern once again, as the current interest in bioregionalism, locally grown produce and other foods, and many other such issues indicates.

The 2010 conference—“Old Lessons for a New Millennium: Nature Writing and Environmentalism in the 21st Century”— will focus on the work of writers, like Burroughs, who contributed to the early conservation movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the work of contemporary writers who are exerting an influence on the development of early twenty-first century environmentalism. As noted in this years Call for Papers we were looking for presentations on the influence of modern writers such as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibben, Rick Bass, Barry Lopez, and Terry Tempest Williams on the current environmental debate; notions of “deep” versus “shallow” ecology; nature writings role in times of environmental crises (such as nuclear proliferation, overpopulation, global climate change); fostering the “sense of wonder” and environmentalism in children’s literature; and questions relating to sustainability and the development of a green society.

I’d like to close with a quote by Burroughs, the genius loci of our Catskill region: “Look underfoot. You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don’t despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world.”

The Nonverbal Persuasion of Ritual Rhythms

Joshua Frye Communication Arts

Ritual Rhythm and Healing

Humans have long associated rhythmic movement with power. Whenever movement occurs, “time is consumed, energy is released, and space is covered” (Sehon & O’Brien, 1951). The Greek God Helios and the Roman God Apollo’s chariot moved across the sky in predictable ways. Measurable movement was the source of their power. To this day the association between movement and power continues. There is an important distinction to be made, however, between deliberate rhythmic movement and uncontrollable rhythmic movement in terms of the power source. Historically, convulsions and epileptic “fits” or “spells” were considered a sign of an individual’s giftedness in virtue of their being visited by some superior cosmic energy or force. For example, in some art critic’s and epileptologist’s interpretation of Raphael’s last painting La Transfigurazionc, there is a meaningful—indeed transcendent—connection between Christ’s transfiguration on Mt. Tabor and the epileptic boy whom in biblical times, would have been believed to be possessed by demons (Janz, 1986). In other words, the human perception of a spontaneous, uncontrollable bodily rhythm correlated with mysterious, and often damaging or evil power. Over time, cultural rituals have developed that seem to try to trap, capture, or instigate this experience of being seized by an outside force. Interestingly, instead of erratic, uncontrollable rhythm, the use of equidistant vibrations or regular rhythmic patters, were perceived to be healing instead of damaging.

Trances and hypnotisms are both types of ritual performative states during a shamanic healing session that are deliberately brought about through rhythmic movements of energy. The shaman uses his voice and rhythmic instruments such as drums and maracas to create a state of mind which is more conducive to influence and suggestion. The shaman uses his voice to chant and oftentimes this is used in conjunction with a drum to construct a repetitious, monophonic vibration which is used to either put the shaman in a trance or hypnotize his patient in order for bodily healing to take effect (Rogers, 1982). Relaxation, light, and deep hypnosis are all physical states created by the nonverbal persuasive power of rhythm wherein verbal messages may take root and influence healing of some kind.

One does not have to look only to exotic anthropological studies of shamanism and ancient belief-systems to locate the persuasive use of rhythm in healing.

In modern western traditions of healing the relationships between ritualized rhythm and bodily effect can be glimpsed through the practice of alphagenic programming. According to clinical psychologist Anthony Zaffuto (1974), ritualizing meditative or yogic practice whereby one mentally controls and slows down their pulse rate and breathing can help an individual manipulate their brain wave patterns. The goal is to enter alpha or lower-frequency theta rhythms and subsequently regulate the body. Consequences of ritually practicing this either in a group setting or alone can lead to beneficial health outcomes such as decreases in metabolic rates, day-to-day anxiety, minor physical irritations, increases in stress-coping ability, reflex rate, concentration ability, learning capacity, and relaxation ability.

Another example of how rhythm is linked to the nonverbal persuasion of healing can be found in osteopathy literature. According to numerous researchers (Frymann, I97I; Michael & Retzlaff, 1975; Upledger & Karni, 1975), the movements of the human cranium can be used to diagnose and treat certain illnesses. Osteopathic doctors (D.O.) that practice craniosacral therapy are trained to develop a very fine sense of touch in order to be able to detect very subtle rhythmic shape changes in bodily tissue that they then compare to what they call the “ideal rhythm”. The differences between an individuals cranial rhythm and the ideal rhythm will assist the D.O. in evaluation and treatment. Osteopathic practice is controversial and D.O.s claim that this low-amplitude pulsating of the cranial plates is an involuntary primal movement of energy whose rhythmic patterns can reveal what stresses and tensions your body is carrying, as well as diagnose the overall health of the individual. Next, religions use of the nonverbal persuasion of rhythm is discussed to reveal its application in ceremony to strengthen doctrinal adherence and shape perceptions of time.

Ritual Rhythm and Religion

It is not surprising that the persuasive rhythm of dance was used early in the history of mankind to reach common ecstatic experience, in which especially the lost union with others.. .could be relieved (Porteus, I93I, p. 22)

In one traditional Ojibway dance ceremony rhythm operates as nonverbal persuasion analogously to the way the conditional syllogism operates in verbal persuasion. A conditional syllogism is an argument that takes an “if-then” form, employs a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. For example,

Major Premise: If the United States regulates the market, then the market will succeed.

Minor Premise: The United States will regulate the market.

Conclusion: Therefore, the market will succeed.

In the nonverbal realm of rhythm, this kind of logic is paralleled. Take, for example, this description of an Ojibway ceremony: “Three times the Anishnabeg chief tapped the drum lightly. On the fourth stroke, the drummers themselves joined, the singers’ voices carried across the sunlit meadow, and the dancers began anew.” In this example the rest of the drummers knew the conditional (rhythmic) formula: If the Chief taps his drum thrice, the drummers shall join on the fourth beat. In other words, during this ceremonial ritual, after the chief has tapped his drum three times, the rest of the drummers were to join in, following the beat introduced by their leader. After the drummers collectively converged through rhythm, the singers also joined in. After the singers, the dancers began again. Thus repeating a cyclical rhythm found so often in Native American ritual (Lake, 1983). This ritual practice of cyclical rhythm performance symbolically enabled the individual members of the tribe as well as the whole tribe to purge time before that enacted moment and begin anew.

Repetition is an effective technique of persuasion. This has been demonstrated most obviously in well-known advertising campaigns. In terms of jingles, slogans, color schemes, and images, the consistent presentation of a certain message in a certain way will eventually wear down even the strongest of wills or intellects. In the nonverbal realm of rhythmic persuasion, this technique of repetition may be most easily apprehended in the Roman Catholic Church use of the intermittent volley between standing, sitting, and kneeling during mass. The protestant faiths also manifest a similar approach to ritual rhythmic persuasion in the form of the litany. The regular collective oratorical rehearsal of prayers and creeds leaves an imprint on the worshipers. I contend that perhaps even more powerful than the doctrinal content inherent of these oral rehearsals in keeping congregants identified and faithful is the repetitious rhythmic quality of these bodily actions thus creating an attitude complimentary to the reciprocal relation between word and body in these ritual events within the ritual of church going itself. There is tessellated rhythm in most traditional religious ceremony. Next, the institution of education is discussed with an eye toward various educational philosophies and learning exercises.

Ritual Rhythm and Education

For, after all, the aim of education is to do away with the harmful and useless habits, to encourage those that are beneficial and profitable. Brain, nerves, and muscles ought to thrill with an intense vital stream, whose function it is to transmit sensations, emotions, and ideas. The power that sends forth this stream and regulates its output is rhythm (Jaques-Delacroze, 1930)

Elizabeth Sehon, professor of physical education at the University of California believes that “one of the strongest and most joyous urges of man is that of responding to rhythm” (I95I, p. 3). Because human beings since conception are caught up in and respond naturally to all kinds of rhythmic patterns (in nature, in their bodies, in daily activity, and in relationship to other humans), educational practice has long made use of formalizing rhythm. When done effectively, rhythm in education can help children release tensions, improve large motor skills, expand concepts, shape discipline, respond to stimuli in structured ways, and learn patterns of behavior.

In educational settings, educators prompt both locomotive and axial bodily movement in order to accomplish one or more of the above educational objectives. Oftentimes in elementary education, the rhythmic activity lessons that are built into the curriculum are a type of nature mimesis. Enacting the rising and setting of the sun or a tree swaying in the wind employs axial body motions of squatting, standing, bending, swaying, and the motion of the arms. The bodily attitude that is fostered for the child is one of being connected to nature by virtue of rhythmic understanding. The rhythmic diversity of nature is used as a template to teach the child an embodied form of communication that has wide-ranging potential to express differing kinds and degrees of power and emotion. The reason these educational lessons in rhythm are rituals is because students are exposed to these lessons in a patterned fashion. Certain times of day and days of the week are devoted to classes such as physical education and music where these forms of kinesthetic, rhythmic persuasion are integrated into the curriculum.

Waldorf educators mimetically follow the variations in human respiration (e.g., inhaling and exhaling) to structure a specific lesson and an entire days learning. Inbreathing exercises and lessons allow children to recoil into a contemplative place where they can focus on artwork, sustained language or literature lessons, or

collective storytelling. Outbreathing exercises and lessons are rhythmically upbeat activities where children engage in locomotion to explore space with their bodies in time measured by the teacher.

Another example of rhythms nonverbal persuasion in the arena of education can be seen in the use of nursery rhymes. According to Burland (1972) many English nursery rhymes are echoes of old chants. Early childhood educators Barbara Patterson and Pamela Bradley identify nursery rhyme songs like “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush” as important domestic rituals that supply strength, form, and security for children's daily experiences. The use of rhythmic song and verse in domestic rituals during early childhood helps to foster a child’s sense of the world as a stable, predictable place where hourly, daily, and weekly routines order their experience. Through the rhythmic use of such songs and nursery rhymes attached to domestic chores and tasks, children internalize the message these rhythms foster and develop world-views and perceptions that will help them see anything outside the ordinary as an anomaly, not the norm. Last, the use of rhythmic persuasion fits seamlessly into common political rituals to either strengthen or weaken the subjects’ will.

Ritual Rhythm and Politics

As far as the persuasive use of rhythm in political rituals is concerned, there are two prime examples I’d like to address. First is the military use of drum, bulge, and march to discipline troops and prepare them to respond uniformly to orders. The use of the drums and bugles are only complimentary to the marching. Marching is a very basic form of nonverbal persuasion. Hypnotists recognize that the effects of the constant thump, thump, thump of the feet in collectivity render the marcher more easily controllable by those who would control them.

In the case of organized militaries, marching is accompanied by percussive instruments to amplify the effect of the marching’s repetitious monotony. In the case of organized militaries, marchers are instructed that marching practice will make them better soldiers. Marching can be used to train soldiers because individuals are more receptive to the ideological indoctrination that occurs during the marching drills. Although marching as training is used to shape individuals into obedient soldiers, the marching is more important as practice for passive acceptance of orders during combat when otherwise survival mechanisms may interrupt the maintenance of order and successful execution of the military strategy. The most notorious of all organized military marching is the German Nazis. According to Bosmajian (1968) understanding Nazi persuasion is

incomplete without going beyond oratory, radio, and press to nonverbal communication such as symbols and marching. In particular, the marching impressed the mood and affected the soul of the marcher.

The military use of marching in Nazi Germany reached new depths in the history of mass brainwashing with the help of the nonverbal persuasion of rhythm. According to one Nazi propagandist, the marching helped “participation of the individual in the being and becoming of the whole” (Bosmajian, 1968).

The individual loses his own identity and is subsumed by the collective identity of the army. When the Nazi marchers added the technique of goose-stepping, the persuasive function of the movement molded the individual soldiers to be overcome by “discipline, unanimity, solidarity, and rhythm of the marching” (p. 19). As Bosmajian said, “he who marched succumbed to even stronger influences; there was the unifying rhythm created by a feeling of community” (p. 19). Thus the marching functioned to subvert individual identity, perform ritual self-display of aggrandizement, and create social unification until at last the Nazi, like all participants in such non-verbally persuasive rhythms “moves according to one law and one time” (Gross, 1897, p. 20).

The second example of rhythm as persuasion in politics is the use of music in social movement protest. It has been demonstrated that rhythm is capable of producing light hypnosis (Irvine & Kirpatrick, I97I). Furthermore, Stewart et al. (2007) argue that because of the effect of light hypnosis on social movement participants, when combined with the body’s physiological responses, individuals may be more susceptible to rhetorical commands issued by a protest leader or fortified to face threats of violent repression from state authorities.

Of Health, Happiness, Discipline, and Liberation

In charting the ritual uses of rhythm as an agent of nonverbal persuasion this paper discussed how religions, politics, education, and healing all institutionalize patterned sound and movement in order to achieve their desired ends. Both obscure and conventional political, educational, religious, and healing traditions and institutions weave the nonverbal persuasion of rhythm into their practices. The effects of such persuasive efforts include diverse somatic and psychological experiences such as nature mimesis, expelling evil spirits, enhanced bodily control, concentration ability, sense of security, temporal renewal, religious devotion, social unification, propaganda, and brainwashing.

Burke (1984) claimed that “words and bodies act in reciprocal relation”. If this is so, how much more might bodies and rhythms act reciprocally? It is common knowledge among communication scholars that the nonverbal accounts for as much as ninety percent of a messages intent and effect. Rhythm is a neglected but significant aspect of nonverbal persuasion. Because this essay has argued there are good reasons to believe the human body influenced by ritualized rhythm makes the mind more manipulable, it may not be acceptable to categorize human bodies squarely in the realm of (nonsymbolic) motion as conventional physics and biology purport. Furthermore, it is overly limiting to focus persuasion research on cognitive processes and structures.

The conceptual charting that I have developed in this paper is the persuasive function of rhythm in rituals. Rhythm is a powerful agent of nonverbal persuasion and influence on human beings—the symbol-using, story-telling animal. Rhythm in ritual settings can be used to manipulate the human body, which responds symbolically to stimuli, to express a wide variety of emotionally-charged actions and to strengthen a belief-system or reaffirm adherence to a doctrinal ideology.


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Biodiversity Loss: A Global Challenge*

Gregory Fulkerson Sociology - SUNY Oneonta Laura McKinney & Edward L. Kick Sociology & Anthropology - North Carolina State University


This paper considers three macro-sociological theories that attempt to explain biodiversity loss. The first is human ecology, which is mainly concerned with the effects of population size; the second is ecological modernization, which focuses on the strength of democracy to solve environmental problems; and the third is political economy, which argues that the global capitalist system of stratification between countries creates and perpetuates environmental inequality with poor nations shouldering burdens such as biodiversity loss. Results mainly support human ecological and political economic hypotheses. Support is not found for ecological modernization theory. Implications are considered with respect to policy making and state environmentalism.

This paper applies a macro-comparative sociological perspective to the study of biodiversity loss, which is defined as the loss of variation within and among species both within and among ecosystems. To a large extent, biodiversity loss is thought to be primarily caused by humans, as the natural rate of loss is believed to be a fraction of the current rate that is being empirically observed. Because of this fact, scholars are examining the causal mechanisms that link human activity and impact to biodiversity loss. Proximate causes are theorized to be the sheer size and growth of the human population on the planet, the expansion of the population into biologically diverse ecosystems, and the increasing level of human consumption that is more resource intensive. More distant causal mechanisms are theorized to be the result of global economic processes and the uneven distribution of environmental problems across nations. In less developed countries that are unable to afford the “luxury” of preserving natural resources for their own sake, there is a growing tendency to use these resources—e.g., timber and agricultural products that require the clearing of biologically diverse areas— as a means for gaining a more favorable economic position in the global economy.

In addition, there is a potential for national and international policies to limit

or reverse ecologically destructive practices that are contributing to biodiversity loss. The impetus for such policies is thought to be driven by international and national organizations, and the effectiveness of such policies is believed to be adequate. Each of the above mentioned causal mechanisms can be discovered in the context of three competing theories that will be outlined below. After discussing these theories, we will present the Endings of an empirical analysis that examines biodiversity loss by nation.

Explaining Biodiversity Loss: Three Theories

Human Ecology

Arguments that posit that population growth and size are the primary causal mechanisms driving anthropogenic biodiversity loss come from the human ecological theoretical perspective. In sociology, this approach originated with classical ecologists (e.g., Park and Burgess I92I) and neo-orthodox ecologists (Duncan I96I, Schnore 1965, Hawley 1973, Ehrlich and Holdren 1971), and has been applied more specifically to environmental issues in the new human ecology perspective (e.g., Dunlap and Catton 1979). Currently, the most relevant manifestation of this perspective can be found in the IPAT model (Commoner, 1972; Ehrlich & Holdren, I97I; Holdren & Ehrlich, 1974) that suggests that environmental impact (I) is a multiplicative function of population (P), affluence (A), and technological development (T). Ehrlich and Holdren (I97I) were particularly concerned with effects of population, making them part of the Malthusian tradition, while Commoner (1972) was more concerned with technology’s deleterious effects.

An alternate version of the IPAT model that allows for empirical testing is STIRPAT (i.e., STochastic estimation of Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology) (York et ah, 2003a, b), which shares the same theoretical position but makes a methodological adjustment. The STIRPAT model has been applied to analyses of the impact of population and/or affluence on deforestation (Shandra 2005), carbon dioxide emissions (Dietz & Rosa,

1997), methane emissions (York et ah, 2003b), and the overall ecological footprint of nations (Dietz, Rosa, & York, 2007; York et ah, 2003a). Findings from these analyses demonstrate population and the correlates of modernity and technology (e.g., urbanism and affluence) are important factors in determining environmental impacts, with population being a consistent force behind various forms of environmental degradation. From this we hypothesize the biodiversity loss will increase with greater population, affluence, and technology.

Ecological Modernization

As opposed to the IPAT/STIRPAT models discussed above, which suggest that economic growth happens in proportion to environmental impact, the ecological modernization framework (e.g., Christoff 1996; Cohen 1999; Mol 1995, 2001; Mol and Spaargaren 2000; Spaargaren, Mol, and Buttel 2000) argues that environmental improvements and economic growth can happen simultaneously. With advanced modernization comes a form of ecological rationality, in which it becomes both economically and ecologically desirable to engage in “green” business practices. There is some debate within the ecological modernization perspective as to how this comes about. Christoff (1996) notes a “weak” form of ecological modernization associated with its earliest formulation (Huber 1985) that contends that ecological improvements will come about automatically as the market is self-correcting. In this case, the decision to go “green” is based entirely on a cost-benefit analysis in which the true ecological costs are brought into consideration. Another way to think of this is by considering the Ecological Kuznet s Curve, which state that as nations modernize they hrst go through a period of ecological decline, followed by a leveling off, and finally end with ecological improvements. This is analogous to economist Simon Kuznet s argument that this same inverted U-shaped (quadratic) pattern holds for income inequality.

Proponents of what Christoff (1996) calls the “strong” version of ecological modernization theory maintain that in order to see ecological improvements in late modernization, it is crucial for governments to intervene and regulate business practices, as the market is not self-correcting. This is the position of more contemporary proponents of the theory (Mol 1995, 2001; Mol and Spaargaren 2000; Spaargaren, Mol, and Buttel 2000). From the ecological modernization perspective, environmental improvements at the national level result from having a strong democratic political context, as indicated by a healthy presence of non-governmental organizations and robust civil society. From this perspective, we would predict that having more national and international nongovernmental organizations should thus result in less biodiversity loss.

International Political Economy

The third theoretical perspective we consider is that of international political economy (Amin 1974, 1976; Frank 1978; Wallerstein 1974). This perspective grows out of a critique of modernization theory, and maintains that sustainable capitalism is an impossible outcome, since businesses are driven by the pursuit of profits that are maximized by externalizing ecological costs, and because governments are more interested in taxing revenues generated by profit-seeking businesses than they are in protecting the environment (e.g., Roberts et ah, 2004; York et ah, 2003a, b). Hence, political economists would argue that actions taken by governments that are supposed to protect the environment are nothing more than “window dressing” (Buttel 2000), or are symbolic gestures aimed at appeasing environmental activists without actually challenging the fundamental practices of businesses responsible for ecological problems.

In the global context, the international political economy perspective views the world as a hierarchical system that includes a core, semi-periphery, and periphery. Nations can be located in any of these three categories with those in the core enjoying the most economic growth at the expense of other nations, those in the semi-periphery benefit from the exploitation of peripheral nations but suffer from the exploitative relationships they have with core countries, and peripheral countries are largely stuck in a dependant relationship with other nations, mired in debt that prevents them from growing and maintains in them a source of cheap labor and resources for the world (Galtung, I97I; Wallerstein 1974; Frank, 1978). From this perspective, nations in the core may be able to enjoy the luxury of ecological reforms largely because they have turned to peripheral nations for cheap resources and as havens for poor environmental industrial practices. In turn, core nations can reap the benefits of externalizing costs to the environment without seeing the tradeoff, since the externalities are exported to the environment and its inhabitants in peripheral countries in a form of ecologically unequal exchange (Jorgenson 2003,2004, 2006a,b, 2009).

Data and Methods

Our analysis includes data on 139 countries from a variety of sources. These data are analyzed through structural equation modeling (SEM) using AMOS software. Previous analyses of biodiversity loss employ other techniques (Hoffman 2004), such as negative binomial regression, which we believe are not adequate for testing the indirect (distant) relationships specified by international political economy theory. Moreover, SEM techniques allows us to employ latent variables and model error more appropriately for theoretical constructs that are often measured with single variables without model specified error terms (Bollen 1989; Grace and Bollen 2008). Below we offer a description of the variables used in our analysis.

Dependent Variable

Global Threatened Species. We use a latent measure of global threatened species that is indicated by each nations threatened bird and mammal species as a proportion of the world s threatened bird and mammal species (World Resources Institute 2009). Examining these variables as separate indicators of the same underlying variable allows us to ascertain the combined and separate effects of the independent variables on our dependent variables at the same time (Cardillo et ah, 2005).

Independent Variables

IPAT/STIRPAT Variables. As discussed in the section on theory, the key human ecology models are IPAT and STIRPAT that suggest environmental impacts are the result of population, affluence, and technology. Empirically, we examine these effects by including Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP/С) for the year 2000 and the percent urban as an indicator of technological advancement and affluence, consistent with other cross-national quantitative studies. These variables are in our view both indicators of modernization (Lerner, 1958; Rostow, I960; Smeiser, 1964; Parsons, I960). Finally, we include a variable for population size also from the World Resources Institute (2009). For reasons beyond the scope of this paper, we model population as being influenced by the level of modernization (affluence and technology, in the IPAT model), and these it turn are predictors of biodiversity loss.

Ecological Modernization Variables. We include the latent variable, organizational capacity as an indicator of the strength of national democracy. In turn, this should be related to environmental outcomes such as biodiversity loss. This latent variable is indicated by the number of environmental NGOs (Beckheld 2008) that explicitly focus on environmental or animal rights issues (Smith & Wiest, 2005), and the number of international NGOs (World Resources Institute (2009).

Political-Economy Variables. To measure the impact of the global hierarchy on biodiversity loss, we include a measure of “world system position” (based on Snyder and Kick, 1979)

Control Variables. We include in our analysis a number of variables known to be related to biodiversity loss, including latitude (Cardillo et ah, 2005; York et ah, 2003a) and land area (Cardillo et al., 2005; Gaston, 2005). Together these variables account for the size of nations, since larger nations include more land and thus potentially more species, and latitude accounts for climatic zones which are associated with varying levels of species richness.

Analysis and Results

The results of our structural equation model analysis are presented in Figures I and 2. The first of these figures does not include variables indicating ecological modernization: organizational capacity (an indicator the strength of democracy), and is the “best fitting” model1 of the two we present. Figure 2 includes these variables and is offered for illustrative purposes only, as it is not a good fitting model to the data. If we examine both models simultaneously, we can see a number of similarities beginning with the variables located on the left side of the figure that include our measure of world system position international political economy variable and our control variables, and how they relate to modernization and population (IPAT variables). World system position has a strong positive relationship with modernization and population, meaning that “core” countries tend to be more affluent, technologically advanced, urban, and support larger populations. We also note that net of modernization and population effects (IPAT) that countries in the core have less threatened species, consistent with the idea that core countries can export their environmental problems to the periphery. From the IPAT variable, we note that modernization itself has a weak positive direct relationship with the dependent variable, and a negative and moderate indirect relationship because of its negative relationship with population. It has been documented widely in the field of demography that modernization decreases population as countries begin to age and have fewer children. The major threat to species in the model comes by way of population size, consistent with the Malthusian side of the IPAT school, as it has a strong positive relationship with the number of threatened species. We would also note that because world system position increases population directly that this is offset by the modernization process which decreases population. This suggests that those countries higher in the world system that have not experienced modernization—in other words, the semi-periphery—are the most likely to experience species loss. In terms of the control variables, we would note that latitude has a moderate negative relationship with the dependent variable and that land area has a moderate positive relationship with the dependent variable. Interestingly, neither of the control variables has as much predictive power as the sheer size of the human population. In sum, as Figure I shows, threatened species are maximized in large temperate/ tropical nations in the semi-peripheral zone of the world political economic hierarchy where populations are high and modernization is low (because it is not reducing population size).

Figure 1. SEM of Biodiversity Loss, Measured as Global Threatened Species, N=139 Countries. Note: All relationships statistically significant at the .05 level or better in a one-tailed test; Model Fit: χ2=21.402, df=11, ratio=1.946, RMSEA=.083, NFI=.959, RFI=.865, CFI=.978, TLI=.929, IFI=.979
Figure 1. SEM of Biodiversity Loss, Measured as Global Threatened Species, N=139 Countries. Note: All relationships statisticall


















Figure 2. SEM of Biodiversity Loss, Measured as Global Threatened Species, N=139 Countries. Model Fit: χ2 =126.895 (significant at .01 level), df=24, ratio=5.287, RMSEA=.176, NFI=.866, RFI=.694, CFI=.885, TLI=.736, IFI=.889.
Figure 2. SEM of Biodiversity Loss, Measured as Global Threatened Species, N=139 Countries. Model Fit: χ2 =126.895 (significant



















As mentioned above, the model in Figure 2 is shown for illustrative purposes as a test of ecological modernization theory. What we see in this model is that the organizational capacity of nations is increased as a result of modernization as predicted by ecological modernization theory. However, the organizational capacity itself has no statistically significant relationship with the dependent variable—in other words, the stronger democratic context does not improve this particular environmental outcome.


This analysis has offered an empirical test of three competing macrosociological theories that attempt to explain the anthropogenic causes of species loss in the world. These theories included the human ecological, ecological modernization, and international political economy perspectives. The human ecological perspective predicts that environmental impacts will result from population, affluence, and technology. Our analysis support strongly the idea that population size is a key determinant of species loss. However, modernization itself, while having a direct positive (statistical) impact, is largely offset by the fact that it contributes to a reduction in population size. Thus, the entire IPAT model is not supported in a simple additive sense, but rather as a complex interrelationship of these variables that influence our environmental outcome in both direct and indirect ways. Clearly, the most important of the IPAT variables is population, consistent with the Malthusian tradition. The prediction of international political economy that environmental problems will be worse in peripheral countries of the world (those lower in world system position) is supported in the model in terms of a direct relationship. However, because semi-peripheral nations have more population growth, the effect of world system position on population is likewise important to note. In either case, our analysis suggests that core countries are faring better than the rest of the world when it comes to limiting biodiversity loss. Finally, the prediction of ecological modernization theory that advanced modernization and democracy will result in improved environmental conditions—in this case the protection of biodiversity— is not supported, since organizational capacity had no effect on biodiversity loss (threatened species).

 A later, alternative version of this paper has been published in the journal,
Organization ami Environment, under the title “World System, Anthropogenic, and Ecological Threats to Bird and Mammal Species: A Structural Equation Analysis of Biodiversity Loss” in volume 23, issue I, pages 3—31.


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Electronic Music Performance: A Historical Perspective

Orlando Legname Music & Musk Industry

Electronic music performance has changed significantly since it started almost a century ago. The advances in technology opened possibilities that could not be even imagined before.

Computers and digital devices became faster and cheaper and this allowed composers to have equipment in their own home studios and dedicate a lot of time for the creative aspect.

Electronic music is a term that describes music that involves the use of electronic devices solely or in addition to traditional acoustic instruments. Initially there was the use of electromechanical devices such as the telharmonium, electric organs and later the electric guitar. Electroacoustic music is a term used in the same sense and also sometimes used for music that incorporates electronic and acoustic instruments. Computer music started with the advent of digital computers. The first very expensive computers would take hours to process a program to generate a sound output. Recently, portable computers became very powerful in order to process very complex tasks in real time, changing significantly how computer music is created. Both composers of western art music and popular artists have access to devices in their home studios that can produce high quality audio.

Advances in interfaces that connect real world phenomena and translate them into binary computer language gave birth to Interactive Systems. Sensors capture events and information such as movements and temperature and transform them into anything a computer can output such as sounds.

Aesthetically, electronic music brought up serious questions. The power of new computers made possible interactive systems, where computers participate as performers and make decisions on what to play or output. If the computer is “creating” to what extent the output is done by the programmer? Can computers create anything?

Philosophers such as Hubert Dreyfus have argued that machines will never have the creative aspect and many programmers believe they will. Robert Rowe has published two books on interactive music and he states that of his motivations for using computers in composition is “the fact that interactive systems require the participation of humans making music to work.” (Rowe, 2001)

Electronic music now also refers to music created by pop artists who use synthesizers, drum machines and samplers as a component of their music.

This article will describe how the development of electronic music occurred throughout the twentieth century with a historical perspective.

Early Twentieth Century

One of the first electronic music instruments in history was the Telharmonium, a primitive synthesizer invented by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. It weighted 200 tons and was an array of dynamos that produced sounds, which could be broadcasted via telephone lines.

In Italy Ferrucio Busoni (1911) published in 1907 Sketch of a New Aesthetics of Music, where he discusses issues about the future of music including microtonal and electronic music. Edgar Varèse was Busoni s pupil and was extremely influenced by him.

Futurism began in Italy in the beginning of the twentieth century as an art movement. Luigi Russolo was an Italian painter who belonged to it. He believed that noise would be incorporated in music in the twentieth century and he wrote the manifesto L’arte de i rumori, The Art of Noise (Russolo, I9I6). During the I9I0s the Italian Futurists created noise instruments based on nature sounds and the environment. The first instrument they built was the intonanmori, a series of boxes with a mix of mechanical and electrical sound-generating devices. The futurists created orchestras with groups of sounds that included: rumbles, roars, hisses, buzzes, screams, groans, laughs, and other percussion noises from metal, or other materials.

In Moscow, Leon Theremin invented an instrument he called Acthcrphonc that later became known as Theremin. The device had two antennas and the performer could change the pitch by changing the distance between his or her hand and one of the antennas and control the volume by changing the distance between his or her hand and the other antenna. Leon Theremin became very famous in the 1920s when he moved to New York City and the popularity of his curious instrument grew. Clara Rockmore was Russian violinist and became a Theremin virtuoso performing solo concerts and with symphony orchestras. The sound of the theremin was used in science fiction movies in the 1940s and 1950s. During the 1960s and 1970s rock musicians such as the Beach Boys and Jimmy Page used the Theremin. Leon Theremin’s invention was so interesting that almost a century after with the computer technology available, many people still use it.

The French Maurice Martenot was a cellist and inventor. He met Leon Theremin and in 1928 developed an instrument that become known as the Omits Martenot, which was similar to the theremin but used a string and a ring attached to a finger. Later the device incorporated a keyboard. Many composers wrote for the Ondes Martenot. Oliver Messiaen used it in his Turangalila-Symphonic and the Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine among others. Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Maurice Jarre, and Pierre Boulez were among other composers who wrote for the instrument.

Between 1929 and I93I, Edgar Varèse composed Ionisation for thirteen percussionists using noise instruments such as sirens and anvils. It was the first western composition only for percussion and it premiered on March 6 1933 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The development of the new phonographs allowed the change of a record speed. In 1922, Darius Milhaud (1892—1974) experimented with phonograph speed changes of vocal parts and Ottorino Respighi (1879—1936) used a phonograph recording of nightingales in his Pini di Roma, Pines of Rome. John Cage (I9I2— 1992) composed Imaginary Landscapes No. I in 1939 for multiple phonographs at variable speeds. At that time the composer was already experimenting with indeterminacy.

The Hammond Organ was an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond. It was based on the thelharmonium and its patent for the motor driven tone wheel was granted in 1934. It went into production the next year.

After the War

With the development of tape recorders, engineer and broadcaster Pierre Schaeffer experimented with transformation of natural sounds. He used tape manipulation to edit, change the speed, and reverse the sounds to achieve new sonorities. This became a movement called Musique Concrète. Schaeffer established the Groupe dc Recherche dc Musique Concrète—GRMC, Research Group on Concrete Music which had the participation of composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luc Ferrari, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 1958, Schaeffer created the Groupe des Recherche Musicales—GRM, The Group on Musical Research, which today is a DSP software development company.

Hebert Eimert established the Nordmstdcutsehcr Rundfunk studio in Cologne, Germany in I95I. Karlheinz Stockhausen joined him later. They used wave generators and filters to create what they called Elektronische Musik. In Cologne, Stockhausen composed Cesano der Jünglinge, Songs of Children, a piece based on a text from the Book of Daniel and it is to be performed with five speakers.

Luciano Berio and Bruno Maderna established in Milan, Italy, the Studio di Fonologia Musicale and became its Artistic Directors. Many important pieces came out of the studio, and among them was Berios Omaggio a Joyce of 1958.

The first him to use an exclusive electronic score composed by Louis and Bebe Barron was the classic science fiction him Forbidden Planet that premiered in 1956.

Max Matthews began experimenting with computer programming at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey and wrote the first wide-spread sound synthesis software, the MUSIC4. Later he became known as the father of computer music.

Edgar Várese premiered his Poème Electronique with an installation of 425 speakers at the Brussels World Fair at the Phillips Pavilion in 1958. This was a breakthrough in multichannel music.

Vladimir Ussachevsky (I9II—1990) and Otto Luening (1900—1996) founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center with a grant from the Rockfeller Foundation in 1958. It was the first center for electronic music research in the United States. The studio had state-of-the-art equipment such as the RCA Mark II, the first programmable electronic music synthesizer. Many composers worked there, among them were Milton Babbit, Mario Davidovsky, Luciano Berio, and Charles Dodge.

Mario Davidovsky experimented with the combination of acoustic instruments and tape and composed Synchronism I for Flute and Fapc in 1962. This was the first of many compositions where the Davidovsky works with perfect synchronization between events on the tape and the live performance.

Composer Morton Subotnik and Ramon Sender established the San Francisco Music Center in 1962 to promote electronic music. Subotnik commissioned Donald Buchla to build modular voltage-controlled synthesizers. He then used Buchla’s synthesizers in his lengthy compositions such as Silver Apples of the Moon (1967) and The Wild Bull (1968).

At the Audio Engineering Society convention of 1964, Robert Moog demonstrated his subtractive synthesizer, which used a keyboard. His company, which first made Theremins, started to commercialize modular synthesizers that became widely used by musicians of both pop and art music.

The Mellotron was an electromechanical instrument and a primitive sampler with tape loops triggered by a keyboard. It was first built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s.

American composer Alvin Lucier worked with experimental music and developed a new concept of music in his performance of Music for Solo Performer in 1965.

In the piece the performers alpha brain waves are transmitted to amplifiers and speakers to resonate percussion instruments around the concert hall.

Max Matthews and F. Richard Moore developed GROOVE in 1967. The system was designed to digitally control analog synthesizers in real time. Composers Laurie Spieglel and Emmanuel Ghent used it extensively.

Composer, conductor, and musical genius Pierre Boulez joined computer music composer Jean Claude Risset in 1976 to establish the Institut dc Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique, IRCAM, funded by the French government and intended for research in science, music, and electro acoustic music. Luciano Berio was among the initial administrators. The center developed the 4X computer system for real-time digital signal processing used by Boulez in Repons (1981). IRCAM has attracted renowned people from all over the world and remains one of the most prestigious organizations of its kind.

During the 1970s, computers became more available, faster, and cheaper. Manufactures of electronic music devices created a consortium to work on a standard for communication between different devices. In 1983, MIDI specification 1.0 was released setting a milestone for both consumer and professional use of electronic music instruments.

John Chowning discovered the technique of frequency modulation in which frequencies are modulated by another frequency in the audible range. This results in a more complex waveform and consequently timbre. In the next decade a major company decided to invest in his idea and released in 1983 the Yamaha DX-7, the first stand-alone digital synthesizer.

Computer scientist and composer Barry Vercoe was a founder of the MIT Media Lab in 1984. Vercoe used variants of the former MUSIC4 and MLJSCV and developed CSound in 1986, a language for computer music that became popular among composers because it runs on personal computers.

With the development of computers, it was possible to make them “act” as performers and this was the beginning of “Interactive Music.” Also in 1986, Miller Puckette while at IRCAM in Paris developed MAX, an object-oriented program for MIDI interactive computer music. Later, David Zicarelli, developed the program for the Macintosh platform, added digital audio synthesis (MSP) and commercially released as MAX/MSP.

Robert Rowe began working on a program for interactive music called Cypher in 1987. The system uses what he calls “machine listening” where the computer can “listen” to audio and MIDI inputs and then produce a response.

Tod Machover is a composer who was the Director of Musical Research at IRCAM in 1980. He joined the faculty of the Media Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT in 1985. In the 1990s he developed interactive new instruments called Hypcrinstnuncnts.

Many other developments in computer programs took place in the 1990s, and in 1996, James McCartney introduced SuperCollider, a real-time sound synthesis programming language.

Composer and professor emeritus of University of California Santa Cruz David Cope developed a computer program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) in which the computer system “learns” the style of a particular composer and “composes” music in that style. The system has raised all sorts of aesthetic, philosophical, and ethical questions. The reactions from the listeners vary from delight to anger and the author considers the possibility that audiences from the future will accept more this kind of experiment.

Pop Music

The availability of electronic music instruments in the 1960s opened the opportunity for pop music as well and many artists started to use them in their music. The Beach Boys used electronic manipulation and a Theremin for the first time in a pop album with the release of Pet Sounds in 1966. At the same time, the Beatles used tape manipulation in the album Revolver. Walter Carlos helped Robert Moog in the development of the commercial synthesizer and in 1967 he released Switched On Bach, the first album to use synthesizers. The Beatles used electronic manipulation of samples in Sot. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The next year, two albums with use of electronic manipulation were released, the Grateful Deads Anthem of the Sun and the Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s Uncle Meat.

Krautrock was an emerging scene in Germany around 1968 with psychedelic, progressive and avant-garde influences from composers such as Stockhausen. Some of the experimental bands from movement were Tangerine Dream, Can, Neu, and La Düsseldorf.

English guitarist and drummer Michael Giles formed the band King Crimson. The release of the first album, In the Court of the Crimson Kino, set a milestone for progressive rock featuring experimentation, avant-garde and rock in 1969. In New York, Francisco Grasso began developing the techniques of DJing at the Sanctuary Club.

In 1970, the German band Kraftwerk formed being the first exclusively electronic music pop band. They made significant contributions to the development of the held. Tangerine Dream released Electronic Meditation, an experimental work of electronic music, and Can released Tango Mapo.

In 1972, English band Pink Floyd released the album The Dark Side of the Moon with extensive use of synthesizers and concrete tracks. Joe Zawinul introduced the synthesizer sound to Jazz in the band Weather Report.

Robert Fripp and Brian Eno collaborated in the release of the Ambient and Loop Electronica No Poosyfootinp in 1973. The same year Mike Oldheld released Tubular Bells and Rick Wakeman became a star with The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Around the same time Keith Emerson takes the modular synthesizer to the road.

In the next years of the decade there were the development of the Punk rock scene and the Disco in the clubs of New York. In the Bronx and Brooklyn the Hip Hop scene emerges and in 1976 Grandmaster Flash releases Super Rappin. Performance art and music group Throbbing Gristle started the Industrial scene in England and established Industrial Records. The band releases the album Second Annual Report in the following year.

Sugarhill Gang brings Hip Hop culture to the mainstream with Rapper’s Delight in 1980. In the first years if the decade, Techno develops in Detroit, House in Chicago, and the Goth scene emerges in Europe. William Gibson publishes Ncuromanccr in 1984, starting the cyberpunk culture.

British band Radiohead formed in 1986 as an alternative band. They turned to electronic experimentation with OK Computer 1996. The band had influences from Krautrock, avant-garde, and used unusual sounds such as the Ondcs Martenot. In the album Kid A (1999) they used a sample from an electronic composition by the computer music composer and Princeton professor Paul Lansky in the song Idiotcquc.

Herbert J, DJ Pierre and Spanky using tone generators and filters accidentally create Acid House in Chicago in 1987. Trip Hop emerges in Bristol in 1989 as a down-tempo mix of house and hip hop.

Trent Reznor started Nine Inch Nails in 1988. The band has had influences from electronica, alternative, rock, and industrial from which many sounds and noises come from. Although the Ohio band is successful, Reznor remains its only constant member.

In the mid 1990s in the United Kingdom developed the style Drum ’N’ Bass.

The genre uses fast breakbeats of around 160 bpm and half-tempo subsonic bass lines.

Another important genre developed in the nineties was Trance. With a tempo between 130 and 160 beats per minute, it features quarter note drum and bass patterns with synthesizer melodic lines at 16th or 32nd notes. Arrangements are usually arpeggios performed by MIDI sequencers. The result supposedly puts the listener in a particular state of consciousness.

Technology continues to advance rapidly opening every day a new opportunity to composers of both pop and art music. Human creativity has no limits and musicians will continue to use all available tools to express their art. Maybe in the future the participation of the computer will be more significant because of its capabilities, but human interaction and creativity will always be among the most important factors.


Busoni, Ferrucio. (I9II). Sketch of a new esthetic of music. New York: G. Schirmer.

Chadabe, Joel. (1997). Electric Sound. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Cope, David. (I99I). Computers and Musical Style. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.

(1996). Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.

Dreyfus, Hubert. (1972). What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason. New York: Harper & Row Pub.

Mind Over Machine. New York: The Free Press.

Rowe, Robert. (1993).
Interactive Music Systems: Machine Listening and Composing. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.

Machine Musicianship. Cambridge: M. I. T. Press.

Russolo, Luigi. (I9I6).
L’arte dei rumori. Milan: Edizioni Futuriste

Printed at State University of New York College at Oneonta

Volume XVII 2006–2010

The Oneonta Convivium Proceedings

Volume XVI 2002–2005

The Oneonta Convivium Proceedings 

Volume XV 2001–2002

The Oneonta Convivium Proceedings

Volume XIV 1997–2001

The Oneonta Convivium
Volume XVI

College at Oneonta seal


Education, Research, and Public Service:
BFS Program for Local and Environmental Good
by Bill Harmon

Characteristics of Ceramic Matrix Composites
by Kamala Mahanta

by Paul Lilly 

Mammoth Cave, Cosmic Rays, and the Origin of the Ohio River — How These Diverse Threads Help to Untangle the Climatic History of the Eastern United States
by Art Palmer

Use of Bioinformatics Tools in the Analysis of Proteins Encoded by the Neighbor of the cytochrome с Oxidase IV Gene Invertebrates
by Craig Scott (student) and Nancy Bachman

​​​​The Ethics of Challenging Indigenes
by Brian Haley

Science Fiction: Towards a Humanistic Technology
by Beth Small

Comparison of Russian & American Business Organizations
by Robert Rothenberg & Tatyana V. Melnikova 

Mass Balance of the Taku Glacier, Southeastern Alaska
by Evan MankofF

Thomas Hardys Literary Impressionism
by Mary Lynn Bensen

Animal of Mass Destruction: An Exotic Species Threat Now in Our Midst
by Thomas Horvath

Projecting the Campus: Representation and the Professoriate
by Richard Lee

Your Earliest Memory May Be of a Dream
by Mary Howes

Nineteenth Century Child Guardianship Changes in New York
by Marilyn Helterline

An Investigation of Student Perceptions of Fairness of Classroom Policies
by Lisa Flynn

Learning from the Dogon: Culturally Relevant Teaching
by Zanna McKay


The Oneonta Convivium Committee is pleased to announce that the publication is back, with some changes.

We have changed our name from “Collected Essays” to “Proceedings.” The name change reflects the change in presentations. Since the last volume, we have had presentations that included an original short story reading, and a vocal musical presentation. We look forward to the day when we will have visual presentations as well. We also hope in the future to be able to include those in our publication.

We have also changed our name from the “Oneonta Faculty Convivium” to the “Oneonta Convivium” because our presentations are not limited to faculty presenters. We regularly have student presenters, and we would welcome appropriate presentations from any college employee.

We have kept the numerical sequence because we want to make it clear that this is a continuation of the prior works. Our last publication was volume XIII (dated: 1996—1997, although it included some later materials). These newest volumes represent an accumulation of presentations since that date. Because of the large number of papers, and in order to maintain our format, we have had to issue three volumes (XIV, XV, & XVI). We have tried to contact all presenters from Fall 1996 through Spring 2005 (unless they had already been included). A total of 15 have responded positively, and their works are presented here in chronological order. If we have missed anyone, please contact the Convivium Committee.

The members of the Convivium Committee would like to thank Ms. Sue Nelson & Ms. Katherine Milavec for their ongoing work in organizing the lunches, and Ian Fascell at the Instructional Resource Center for his help and advice in producing these proceedings in printed form. We are also deeply grateful for the continuing support of the College at Oneonta for both the Convivium lunches and the publication of these proceedings.

Robert Rothenberg

For the Convivium Committee

What is the Convivium?

The Convivium Lunches represent opportunities to hear (and perhaps see) what other faculty, students, and staff are doing. We meet for lunch and an informal presentation several times each semester. Presentations may interesting because the presenters are “doing interesting stuff,” because parts of their work overlap with ours, or merely because its a free lunch. We may be entertained, educated, or bored to tears. Sometimes more than one in the same presentation. I have been impressed by the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received.

For the presenters, the experience can also be positive. Most of the presentations are followed by a Q& A session, at which the attendees often make suggestions that provide the presenters with “food for thought” (a particularly appropriate metaphor). The lunches also provide the presenters with a friendly environment in which to present serious research (sometimes in an early stage), and a publication opportunity.

On a personal note, my presentation forced me to rethink a project that I had prepared for a specialized audience (teachers of law), and to make it palatable for a much more general group. Such an exercise brings one’s thoughts into sharper focus, and sometimes suggests questions that would not otherwise occur.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the lunches is the opportunity to hear the student presentations. Since our institution is about the students, it is gratifying to see our efforts “paying off.” Being new to the Committee,

I have only attended one such presentation, but both the students were well prepared and enthusiastic. It is unfortunate that we cannot give them more opportunities for such experiences. Finally, one of the most enjoyable opportunities is to see friends and colleagues, and have a few minutes in which to catch up on what has been happening to them since we last met.

Animal of Mass Destruction: An Exotic Species Threat Now in Our Midst

Thomas Horvath
Exotic species (also known as non-native, nonindigenous, or alien species) are organisms that are found far outside their native range. These species often are transported, either intentionally or unintentionally, by humans. Exotics pose one of the most problematic environmental concerns worldwide, as they tend to reduce native biodiversity and are extremely difficult to remove once established. In the US, over 50% of the federally listed species (those threatened or endangered) are negatively impacted by exotic species.One of the most problematic of the exotic species that has taken hold in North America is the zebra mussel (Drcisscna polymorpbà). This tiny mollusk, usually no more than an inch long, has caused wide-spread ecological and economic impacts. Although exotics have been causing problems for centuries, it was the invasion of the zebra mussel that finally prompted federal action to combat exotics (e.g., Executive Order 13112 established the National Invasive Species Council in 1999).

The zebra mussel’s ability to successfully invade the freshwaters of North American and be such a nuisance stem from its life cycle. Zebra mussels are dioecious, meaning there are both male and female mussels. Females can produce over a million eggs per reproductive season, which around this part of the country goes from about May to September. Zebra Mussels are broadcast spawners, meaning that eggs and sperm are sent into the water column, where fertilization occurs. A developing larva, or veliger, will stay in the water column for 2—4 weeks, during which time it is easily dispersed anywhere the water is flowing. A mature larva will then settle onto available hard substrate, secure itself by producing byssal threads, and then metamorphose into an adult. The adults continue to secrete new threads, thus firmly attaching to the substrate. Mussel densities can reach many 100’s of thousands per square meter, with mussels piling up many inches thick. These dense accumulations on hard substrate, and the mussels feeding habits can disturb the ecosystems they invade.

The most obvious ecological impact zebra mussels have are on our native freshwater clams in the family Unionidae. Unionids provide a favorable substrate for zebra mussel attachment. Large accumulations of zebra mussels on the unionids will eventually kill the host bivalve by depriving it of food, interfering with the normal valve movement, and adding weight to the clam to carry around. In many of the ecosystems now harboring zebra mussels, the unionids have all but disappeared. This direct threat to unionids is regionally problematic because North America is home to the highest biodiversity of unionids in the world. To make matters worse, almost 70% of the native unionids are already listed as threatened or endangered, and the arrival of zebra mussels could be the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back.

Less direct impacts come from the feeding behavior of zebra mussels. They are avid filter-feeders, meaning they siphon water and filter out the suspended material. Some of what they siphon is digested and the remainder is either discarded as feces or pseudofeces, both of which become available to other bottom-feeding organisms. In essence, zebra mussels can “flip” the energetics of lakes from a system normally having high energy resources in the water column to a system where the high energy resources are in the bottom sediments. For example, a typical lake has a trophic structure where the algae feed the zooplankton, which feed the smaller bait fish (planktivores), which then feed the larger game fish (piscivores). In invaded lakes, the zebra mussels out-compete the zooplankton and decrease the available energy to the high trophic levels. However, the bottom-feeding invertebrates often respond positively, which may compensate other energy paths. This issue is certainly unresolved. Additionally, zebra mussels are selective filterers in that they remove the “good algae” and leave the “bad algae” behind. Lakes with zebra mussels often experience blooms of the noxious blue-green algae that can produce substances that are toxic to other organisms including humans. They also impart a bad taste and odor to water. All the filtering activity does allow for more light to reach the bottom of invaded lakes, which stimulates aquatic plant growth.

Economically, the zebra mussel has cost raw water users in North America billions of dollars. Zebra mussels will settle in large numbers in intake pipes, thus clogging them. Industry has to shut down systems for routine cleaning, or install expensive preventative measures to keep pipes zebra mussel free. When zebra mussels get into water bodies that serve as drinking water sources, the above-mentioned problem with algae blooms causes expensive problems to municipalities. The Great Lakes region has experienced substantial declines in water quality directly related to zebra mussels. Recreational use of infested waters also is impacted. The massive numbers of zebra mussel shells that accumulate can wash-up on shore and be unsightly or cut hands and feet of bathers. Boats and motors are suitable sites for zebra mussel attachment. This biofouling can damage watercraft.

North American has experienced a very rapid expansion of zebra mussels since it was first introduced in around 1986 in Lake St. Clair (between lakes Huron and Erie). Within the first couple of years following the introduction, zebra mussels were found in all the Great Lakes. In the few years that followed, zebra mussels had spread to nearly all connected waterways, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Mohawk, and Hudson rivers. In the early 1990’s, inland lakes, not directly connected to the Great Lakes were colonized. New York now has at least 20 lakes colonized by zebra mussels.

Locally, zebra mussels have been surprisingly absent from lakes and rivers, despite the fact that the area has been surrounded by mussels for many years. Oneonta area is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the Susquehanna River, the largest of the Bay’s tributaries, having its origin in Otsego Lake, home of the Biological Field Station (BFS). The first zebra mussel population in the watershed was found in 2000 by a BFS researcher. This caused great concern through the Bay’s watershed and discussions about draining the reservoir as an eradication method were ongoing. However, in 2002 the mussel was confirmed to have established in nearby Canadarago Lake. The local community is making great attempts to limit the further dispersal of zebra mussels to other area lakes. Recreational boating is suspected to be the main way zebra mussels get dispersed from lake to lake. Because the mussels are found in large numbers on aquatic plants, and these plants can get entangled on boats, motors, and trailers, boaters going from one lake to another serve as vectors for dispersing zebra mussels. The best way to prevent the further spread of zebra mussels is to prevent inadvertent transport by boaters. A number of local, state, and federal agencies actively disseminate information to recreational boaters to educate them about what they can do to prevent dispersal. However, Canadarago Lake is drained by Oaks Creek, which gives the mussel a means to spread into the Susquehanna River. More research is planned to investigate factors that may limit the dispersal of zebra mussels through these connected waterways.

“Projecting the Campus: Representation & the Professoriate,


The Absence of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service”

Richard Lee English

There is a relationship between the cultural system of institutional academics and the cultural system that represents that world: the campus novel. More broadly, representations of teaching faculty and their professional lives operate in narratives in ways that call into question the relationship between the “Real” and “Representations of the Real”:

I. There is often a connection between teaching & violence (physical or emotional), what I will come to call externalized action, in the sense that the representations of the life of the mind seem to often include, or even require, substantial attention to a context fraught with domination and power relations in general. Sometimes, the violence is visceral and central to the narrative:

Examples —

Nightwatchmen, by Barry Hannah (1973) where professors of the Humanities—especially English professors—at Southwestern Mississippi University, are beheaded in the halls of the Administration Building. Boring professors who seem unable to publish tend to be especially at risk in this novel.

The Rebel Angels, by Robertson Davies, in which a member of the Comparative Literature Department at a Canadian University—a Catholic priest, no less, calling up memories of Aquinas and the City on the Hill—conducts archival research which leads to the discovery of just who is murdering the graduate faculty of the program.

Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee, which folds together sexual dominance and dramatic violence as the narrative focuses on the changing nature of the South African university systems as it emasculates a formerly tenured English professor first by demoting him, then involving him in a student-directed affair (also a theme in such other texts as Blue Angel, by Francine Prose) which causes his dismissal. Central to this narrative is the brutal rape of the professor’s progressive daughter at the hands of black Africans amongst whom she had sought to live.

It’s probably not surprising that Pop Culture’s representations of the teaching professional—often constructed by those outside of the Academy--seem to require violence and sexual impropriety. Three video clips follow (the first, from 1984, shows Clint Eastwood as an Art History Professor; the second, from 1977, shows Donald Sutherland as a desperate English Professor; the third, from 2002, offers Michael Douglas as a terminally blocked author/professor conducting a writing seminar). In these clips, it is not just THAT we see representations of Professorial instruction in the Humanities (inevitably white, male, tweedy, oriented on things other than the work in front of them) but HOW those representations function. Clip I stars Clint Eastwood, Clip 2 Donald Sutherland, Clip 3 Michael Douglas;

—The Sutherland clip, from Animal House, with its withering take on what I will later call the indexical effect of instruction is sandwiched between a scene of sadomasochism and a scene of sexual voyeurism (Bacon and Legs?). In the interests of gender equity I could have shown a scene from The World According to Garp, where the writer/hero’s wife, played by Mary Beth Hurt, allows herself to be drawn into an affair with a callow graduate student named Michael Milton. The intertextual connection—where texts are only able to refer to other texts, rather than to the “world” itself— between the two clips is obvious. In Garp, the professor’s infidelity leads to castration (Milton’s), the death of a child by misadventure, and the failures of both speech and writing.

—The Eastwood clip, from The Tiger Sanction—and by the way, when was the last time you received a rousing ovation for telling your students what you really felt about them?—has the hyper-virile Eastwood avoiding the sexual bargaining of a nubile co-ed. In this clip, violence and sex also encapsulate this scene

quite graphically—Eastwood is an Art Historian/World-Class Mountaineer/Professional Assassin—but he only kills to earn money for black-market Impressionist paintings.

—In the third clip, from the him version of Michael Chabon’s The Wonder Boys, this opening scene shows us the isolation of REAL writing—in the figure of Tobey Maguire as he is vilified (Maguire is the only real writer actually IN the narrative—by his writing peers. The professor, Michael Douglas, must be ejected from the campus before he can productively represent again.

Much of the plot of this movie—aside from the dissolution and sexual proclivities of the English Professor—involves the need to dispose of the body of a dog that has been shot by Tobey Maguire’s character.

2. The sexual improprieties of especially, but not only, male professors

extends the line from violence into domination and power relationships in general. Examples include: Lolita, the already mentioned Bitte Angel and Disgrace, David Lodge’s various campus novels, especially Changing Places and Nice Work (1988)—in which a female instructor of English named Robyn Penrose, who will be mistaken for a man in her application, is hired at Lodge’s fictionalization of the University of Birmingham (see Lodge’s author’s note to this novel, below). In the third chapter of Nice Work, a third-person narrative relation of Robin’s lecture—on castration and sexualization in I9th-century industrial novels written by women—is interspersed with descriptions of unemployed youths preparing to go a-mugging, and a “good-old-boys”’ decision to eliminate jobs at a nearby industrial complex. In these cases, and others, novels written by those from within the Academy continue certain textual traditions, while adding one that perhaps typifies what we can call “campus novels” in general: texts primarily concerned with issues of campus relations that take into account teaching, scholarship and professional service—the tripod upon which our existences sit. This definition thus excludes narratives that use a campus, or a teacher, or a writer as a plot device—or as a simplistic characterization that carries echoes of the kinds of tweedy stereotypes we have come to recognize—which is subordinated to some other, dominant narrative purpose (such as the solution to a crime, or the development of a character).

I suggest, cautiously, that campus novels call into question the act of representation itself evenor perhaps especially—as they make a claim to realistic representation of this environment. They do this by a sometimes obvious, sometimes surreptitious concern with the possibility of writing

itself ever really reflecting reality. Before I discuss several examples of this, I need to take a walk through some basic issnes in theories of representation. I’d like to do this by focusing on what we can call a precursor text for all future textual representations of Professors of the Humanities, a selection from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels that highlights the implicit connection between words and the things to which they refer that powers realistic representations in general:

During Gulliver’s sojourn on the Isle of Laputa, he encounters the Academy of Lagoda, and he listens with rapt awe as learned Professors of Language discourse upon their schemes to systematize their language(s):

We next went to the School of Languages, where three Professors sate in Consultation upon improving that of their own country...

The first Project was to shorten Discourse by cutting Polysyllables into one, and leaving out Verbs and Participles, because in reality all things imaginable are but Nouns.

He [a Professor of Language] assured me, that this Invention had employed all his Thoughts from his Youth, that he had emptied the whole Vocabulary into his Frame, and made the strictest Computation of the general Proportion there is in Books between the Numbers of Particles, Nouns, and Verbs, and other Parts of Speech.

One Professor has constructed a scheme for making “concrete” all possible combinations of language. He will construct a “literary engine,” not unlike a Japanese katakana frame—each character or word occupies a discrete square on a machine. Turning tiny handles enables a language “user” to isolate the actual word/symbol and array it in sequence with others so that a finite model of language would be available for display:

Six Hours a-day the young Students were employed in this Labour, and the Professor shewed me several Volumes in large Folio already collected, of broken Sentences, which he intended to piece together, and out of those rich Materials to give the World a compleat Body of all Arts and Sciences; which however might be still improved, and much expedited, if the Publiek would raise a Fund for making and employing five hundred such Frames in Lagado, and oblige the Managers to contribute in common their several Collections.

But more amazing—and more central to our focus today—is another idea: one that insists that words are intimately and inextricably linked to the things to which they refer.

The other, was a Scheme for entirely abolishing all Words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great Advantage in Point of Health as well as Brevity. For it is plain, that every Word we speak is in some Degree a Diminution of our Lungs by Corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of our Lives. An Expedient was therefore offered, that since Words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on. And this Invention would certainly have taken Place, to the great Ease as well as Health of the Subject, if the Women in conjunction with the Vulgar and Illiterate had not threatened to raise a Rebellion...

However, many of the most Learned and Wise adhere to the New Scheme of expressing themselves by Things, which hath only this Inconvenience attending it, that if a Man’s Business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged in Proportion to carry a greater bundle of Things upon his Back, unless he can afford one or two strong Servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of those Sages almost sinking under the Weight of their Packs, like Pedlars among us; who, when they met in the Streets, would lay down their Loads, open their Sacks, and hold Conversation for an Hour together; then put up their Implements, help each other to resume their Burthens, and take their Leave. ..

Ultimately, the learned experts insist that communication can proceed using the tactile manipulation of objects themselves:

But for short Conversations a Man may carry Implements in his Pockets and under his Arms, enough to supply him, and in his House he cannot be at a loss: Therefore the Room where Company meet who practise this Art, is full of all Things ready at Hand, requisite to furnish Matter for this kind of artificial Converse... Another great Advantage proposed by this Invention, was that it would serve as a Universal Language to be understood in all civilized Nations, whose Goods and Utensils are generally of the

same kind, or nearly resembling, so that their Uses might easily be comprehended. And thus Embassadors would be qualified to treat with foreign Princes or Ministers of State to whose Tongues they were utter Strangers.

This scheme is central to a simplistic way of viewing the world and language use, and Swift is delightfully satirizing this sense. However simple it seems when viewed in this way, however, this assumed connection between words and things exists as a way in which we often uncritically consume narrative representations of reality: we ascribe a level of belief—whether scant or great—to the belief that an accurate, mimetic, representation of the real is at least possible. We can call this Platonic Rcflectionism—the belief that the things in the world can be mimetically conveyed—like an artist holding a mirror up to nature, in M.H. Abrams’s famous construction. Ultimately, however, the relationship between words and the things to which they refer is arbitrary (and consensual); therefore, representations which seek to elide the disjuncture collapse under the weight of that which they cannot say. In other words, the more a narrative strives for “realism," the more it displays its own ambivalence about its ability to represent. Simply switching the elements of the relationship is but a first step, though an important one. Instead of adhering to the commonsensical truism that “good” art is an imitation of life, we are well advised to consider Oscar Wilde’s suggestion^) that the relationship between Art and Life is best viewed obliquely: “A really well made buttonhole is the only link between art and nature” & “Paradoxical though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”

In Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century England, John Bender suggests that narrative (and art in general) is part of a continuing construction of our sense of the Real, rather than either a cause or a reflection: I consider literature and the visual arts as advanced forms of knowledge, as cognitive instruments that anticipate and contribute to institutional formation.. .[narratives] are primary historical and ideological documents; the vehicles, not the reflections, of social change. (I) Anthropologist and cultural critic Clifford Geertz concurs, stating that a more subtle construction of the Self who consumes narrative representations is the proper focus for consideration:

Subjectivity does not properly exist until it is.. .organized; art forms generate and regenerate the very subjectivity they pretend only to display. Quartets, still lifes, and cockfights are not merely reflections of a pre-existing sensibility analogically presented; they are positive agents in the creation and maintenance of such a sensibility.

Thus, a focus upon how representation operates—not alone upon what the representation shows—is necessary and appropriate. A common way of looking at representation itself is one that analyzes the ways that one can properly represent something. “All representation is of someone or something, by someone, for someone”.. .& there are three basic types of representation:

Iconic, looks like

Symbolic, arbitrary, stands for

Indexical, indicates a relationship, like cause and effect

(McLaughlin 1-5)

Sock puppet


Iconic Representation: Resemblance, no matter how feeble, allows us to construct a connection—realism in the visual arts is the most obvious example...

Tree with the leaves shaped to look like a globe of the earth.

Symbolic Representation is arbitrary and consensually derived.

ALL literary representation falls into this category, as do the creations of what Aristotle called homo symbolicus generally.

Human footprint

Indexical Representation suggests a relationship between the trace and some maker. For example, a footprint presupposes the passage of a human; thus, the effect (representation) suggests a causative agent.

All three pictures represent a human being, each in a quite distinct way. The sock-puppet “looks like,” the tree symbolizes (change over time, mortality, bilateral symmetry, etc.), the footprint points to cause and affect (the passage of a human leaves a trace

smoking pipe
("The Treason of Images")
An egg, a hat, and a glass in two columns
("the Key of Dreams")







But, as Rene Magritte’s surrealist paintings, The Key of Dreams and The Treason of Images, make clear, the relationship between words and the things to which words refer is inevitably arbitrary. Second, as the caption below the pipe in The Treason of Images makes clear, “this is not a pipe.” Representations displace the real, in literal and figurative ways. What is important to us is the fact that literary realism, the ways in which we buy into narrative—in this case, narratives about professors of the Humanities—are conventions, constructions of cultural, and not, therefore, inevitable or “real.”

• We affiliate ourselves with texts that most closely subscribe to the world we know...

• But we also wish to “suspend our disbelief” and “visit” other times, worlds, possibilities.. .as long as the rules for engagement are not too extreme...

• We naturalize, make normal, various narrative conventions, including “rules” such as Aristotelian coherence, the reality effect, and our expectation of the integrity of characterization.

N.B.—We KNOW that fiction is not real, but we have to he constantly reminded of that fact! For example,

Like Changing Places, to which it is a kind of sequel, Small World resembles what is sometimes called the real world, without corresponding exactly to it, and is peopled by figments of the imagination (the name of one of the minor characters has been changed in later editions to avoid misunderstanding on this score). Rummidge is not Birmingham, though it owes something to popular prejudices about that city. There really is an underground chapel at Heathrow and a James Joyce Pub in Zurich.. .The MLA Convention of 1979 did not take place in New York, though I have drawn on the programme for the 1978 one, which did. And so on. (“Authors Note” to Small World. David Lodge, 1984)

Lodge feels compelled to remind even his implied readers—who are presumably fairly sophisticated—that he is not writing a roman à clef, nor even “basing” his novel on the real.

But What about “Scholarship” & Professional Development?

We began by looking at, and talking about, teaching. Our professional lives consist, too, of service to our professional development and service to our institutions. As regards scholarly activity, the absence of any real “activity” seems all too apparent. Alas, scholars at a professional conference are no better behaved, no more focused than were the students in the classroom in Animal House:

Persse yawned and shifted his weight from one buttock to another in his seat at the back of the lecture room. He could not see the faces of many of his colleagues, but as far as he could judge from their postures, most of them were as disengaged from the discourse as himself. Some were leaning back as far as their seats allowed, staring vacantly at the ceiling, others were slumped forward onto desks that separated each row, resting their chins on folded arms, and others again were sprawled sideways over two or three seats, with their legs crossed and arms dangling limply to the floor. In the third row a man was surreptitiously doing the Times crossword, and at least three people appeared to be asleep...” (Lodge, Small World 13)

Concerning the value of scholarship in general, one might turn to Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov (1962); to Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis (1954); to Publish and Perish, by James Hynes (1997); to Straight Man, by Richard Russo (1998); or to Moo, by Jane Smiley (1995). In fact, Writing, its ties to representation ingenerai, and its significant absence-failure—occurs in too many texts to mention! Writing becomes the true focus of novels that purport to represent professorial existence, but the perspective on language almost inevitably points to writing’s own inability to represent (because of the arbitrary nature of symbolic representation, for one thing).

Professional Service & Administration?

• from Straight Man

Novel starts with The Chair of the English Dept, being attacked by

a poet with a spiral-bound writing journal during a Personnel Comm. Meeting.. .Huck & Tom revisited, as Lucky Hank later snoops—from his loft in the ceiling—on his faculty’s recall meeting of his leadership.. .”writing” drops” from on high to end the problem...

• From Moo

— Who is the most powerful administrative force in the novel? A secretary, Mrs. Walker.

As David Lodge puts it in Nice Work, one of very few campus novels that exhibit females professors in anything other than stereotypical, subordinate roles,

“What’s the point of it, then?” He said. “What’s the point of sitting around discussing books all day, if you’re no wiser at the end of it?”

-“Oh, you’re wiser, said Robyn. “What you learn is that language is an infinitely more devious and slippery medium than you had supposed.” (244)

Much of what readers absorb as they read these texts is tied to philosophical realism which counters the pre-modern notion that “universals” (abstractions) contain truth: Descartes, Locke, Thomas Reid, etc., posit the particularity of individual experience as the key to “truth” and the “real”

** Therefore, the particularity and specificity of narrative representations accumulate into a structure which acts as if real.    BUT...

Smoking pipe


A Picture of a Pipe is NOT a Pipe!


The particularity of experience—a positive marker for readers to buy into the real, and thus to affiliate—is a part of the reality effect: one of the narrative conventions that we uncritically assume are part of the way narratives should operate. Many campus novels link the act of writing to specificity and narrative realism—even as some of them comment on this very fact (meta-narratively):

Back when I was a writer [says “Lucky Hank” Deveraux, terminally blocked from writing these last ten years], I might have to justify such musings, since odd details and unexpected points of view are the stuff of which vivid stories are made, but now such thoughts seem more like evidence of an unbalanced mind...” (Russo, 73)


“Is this where the narratee sits? [Morris Zapp] enquired. Philip [Swallow], gazing absently into the fire, smiled vaguely, but made no

reply [Philip tells a story to Morris, adding, after what seems to

be a superfluous detail].. .”That comes into the story.”

“I should hope so, said Morris. There should be nothing superfluous in a good story.”.. .[story continues, Philip mentions that],. .”I was sitting next to an English businessman, a salesman in woolen textiles I think he was...”

“Is that relevant?” [asks Morris]

“Not really.” [replies Philip]

“Never mind. Solidity of specification,” said Morris with a tolerant wave of his cigar. “It contributes to the reality effect.” (Lodge, Small World, 67)

By Way of Conclusion...

• Wish fulfillment and “affiliation” notwithstanding, all those narratives which most aspire to realistic portrayals operate by way of a significant absence:

They will tend to focus on WRITING as either a dominant or implied theme... (meta-narrative or the inability of characters TO write) BECAUSE... the text is forced to contend with its own inability to represent.


• * The themes of violence (physical and psychic) and dominance (sexual and social) are prevalent because these distracters occlude the fact that

the cultural systems (of colleges and college novels) share a narrative logic. This narrative logic questions the direct transmission of information (a mimetic conception, an iconic construction), but fears that symbolic (arbitrary/consensual) and indexical categories—where, for example, we “exist” only insofar as the traces of our actions are apparent—are insufficient. Finally,

Texts Are Always About Other Texts!

EXTERNALIZED, particularized ACTION is prioritized over

INTERNAL (unrepresentable, passive) WORK!

The pretense of mimesis is uncovered by the fact—on campuses real and fictive—that only indexical. indirect measurements of the professoriate are possible (Ravelstein, e.g.)

Works Cited

Amis, Kingsley. Lucky Jim. Compass Books Edition. New York: The Viking Press, 1958 (1953).

Bender, John. Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in Eighteenth-Century England. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Hynes, James. Publish and Perish: Ehrec Ealcs of Tenure and Terror. New York: Picador, 1997.

Lodge, David. Changing Places: A Talc of Two Campuses. New York: Penguin, 1978 (1975).

—. Nice Work. London: Martin Seeker & Warburg Ltd., 1988.

—. Small World: An Academic Romance. New York: Macmillan, 1984.

McLaughlin, Thomas. “Representation.” Critical Terms for Literary Study (2nd Edition). Eds. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin. University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire. New York: Vintage International, 1962.

Russo, Richard. Straight Man. New York: Random House, 1997.

Smiley, Jane. Moo. New York: Ivy Books, 1995.

APPENDIX: Campus Novels

N.B.—This is not meant to serve as a definitive list. This author has not read all of the texts mentioned here. An asterisk (*) reflects the author’s awareness of the fact that the marked text is not primarily a campus novel in the sense that it has been defined within (4).

• Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Marrie*

• Amis, Kingsley. Lucky Jim

• Bellow, Saul. The Dean’s December —. Ravelstein*

• Bradbury, Malcolm. Stepping Westward —. Rates of Exchange

—. The History of Man

• Byatt, A.S. Possession —. The Biographer’s Talc —. Babel Tower

• Carrier, Warren. Death of a Chancellor

• Chabon, Michael. Wonder Boys

• Coetzee, J.M. Disgrace

• Conroy, Pat. The Lords of Discipline

• Cross, Amanda. Death in a Tenured Position* (Kate Fansler mystery series)

Et alii

• Davies, Robertson. The Lyre of Orpheus —. The Rebel Angels

• DeLillo, Don. White Noise*

• Dobson, Joanne. The Northbury Papers

• Everett, Percival. Erasure

• Färber, Jerry. Gorman

• Fisher, Dorothy. Seasoned Timber

• Fitzgerald, F. Scott. This Side of Paradise*

• Fowles, John. The Ebony Tower

• Frayn, Michael. Head-Long*

• Galbraith, John. A Tenured Professor

• Gill, Bartholomew. Death of a Joyce Scholar*

• Godwin, Gail. The Good Husband

• Grudin, Robert. Book

• Haley, Susan. A Nest of Singing Birds

• Hannah, Barry. Nightwatehmcn

• Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure

Hassler, John. The Dean’s List Hassler, Jon. Rookery Bittes

Heilbrun, Carolyn. Writing a Women’s Life* (pen name for Amanda Cross) Lt alii

Hynes, James. The Lecturer's Laic —. Publish ami Perish (novellas)

Isherwood, Christopher. A Single Man Jarrell, Randall. Pictures from an Institution Jones, D.H. Murder at the MLA Kelly, Nora. My Sister’s Keeper L’Heureux, John. The Handmaid of Desire Lodge, David. Changing Places —. Small World —. Nice Work

—. The British Museum is Palling Down —. Thinks

Lurie, Alison. Imaginary Friends —. The War Between the Tates McCarthy, Mary. The Groves of Academe Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita*

—. Pale Fin —. Pnin

Oates, Joyce Carol. Unholy Loves Osborn, John Jay. The Paper Chase Parker, Robert B. The Godwulf Manuscript*

Pelletier, Karen. The Northbury Papers —. Quieter Than Sleep Perotta, Tom. Joe College Peterson, Bernard. The Caravaggio Books Powers, Richard. Galatea 2.2 Prose, Francine. Blue Angel Roth, Phillip. The Humait Stain Ruff, Matt. Fool on the Hill: A Novel Russo, Richard. Straight Man

—. “The Whores Daughter” (from Student Bodies and The Whore’s Daughter)

Sarton, May. The Small Room

Sayers, Dorothy. Gaudy Night

Sharpe, Tom. Porterhouse Blues

Smiley, Jane. Moo

• Snow, C.P. The Masters

• Stegner, Wallace. Crossing to Safety

• Steinberg, Janice. Death of a Postmodernist

• Tarloff, Erik. The Man Who Wrote the Book

• Thompson, Charles. Halfway Down the Stairs

• Wilhelm, Kate. The Hamlet Trap —. Stoner

• Wolff, Geoffrey. The Final Club

Your Earliest Memory May Be of a Song: Or a Bear

Mary Howes Psychology

Our earliest memories have been described as “fragment” or “island” memories, because they usually have little context. That is, the individual does not recall what happened before, or after, the recalled episode. And the episode itself is usually brief. It has been described as similar to a stage, a bright scene on which the curtain briefly lifts, then closes again (Salaman, 1970).

Fragment memories date, on average, to the age of three years (Dudycha & Dudycha, 1933). The type of events that an individual experiences as a small child appears to influence the age of earliest occurrence (among other variables). Striking episodes such as the birth of a sibling, or moving from one home to another, may produce particularly early recollections (Usher & Neisser, 1993).

A question of theoretical interest centers on why the given fragment memories are retained permanently, when everything else has been forgotten. In general, we are amnesic for the first years of our lives. Although a sibling birth is indeed a notable event, many fragment memories involve less dramatic content. Two major theories have been advanced in the literature concerning this issue. It has been established that most early memories show distinct emotion (either positive or negative). According to one view, the fact that the memories were emotional leads to them being rehearsed frequently. That is, they are either thought about a good deal, or talked about, and one or both of these factors strengthens the memory to the point where it endures into adult life. Another model posits that emotion directly strengthens memory, such that it is the emotion itself that produces the longevity of the fragment episodes (White & Pillemer, 1979).

Across the literature, recollections of earliest memories have been reported in the form of events. The individual remembers some, usually brief, happening. In an earlier study conducted here at SUNY, Oneonta, our participants also described events (Howes, Siegel & Brown, 1993). However, one individual reported that her earliest memory consisted of the

recollection of an object. It was a memory of a child’s chair.

This raised the possibility that some of the first memories of life may consist of non-episodic recollections. The possibility was bolstered by the fact that one of my own early memories is of a child’s three-legged stool, which I recall as being mine although I do not recollect any episode in which it played a part. Given this background, I conducted a second study, with support from three student associates (Anna Legname, James Diego and Kathryn Valesco).

In the second study, students at Oneonta were asked to think back to their earliest memory, as best that memory could be identified. They were told that the memory could be of anything at all: a face, a song, an event, an object, and so on. They were also told that they would probably not be able to identify their earliest recollection, as against later recollections, with certainty, but should simply pick the candidate-memory that seemed the most likely for their earliest. They were then asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning numerous properties of this memory. They were also asked to briefly describe the memory.

When the questionnaire had been completed, participants were asked to fill out a second questionnaire, tapping their second-from-earliest memory, as best they could identify it. 284 individuals participated, generating a total of 568 memories.

The results of the study were as follows.

The most frequently recalled type of memory involved an episode (65%), followed by object memories (14%), memories of faces (6%), of landscapes/scenes (5%), of songs (3%), of being in a certain spatial location (.9%), of animals (0.4%) or dreams (0.2%). A few participants failed to respond to the question.

Participants had been asked whether their memory had been rehearsed or reactivated in some fashion (through thinking, talking or seeing pictures). The majority (84%) had been reactivated, with “thinking about” as the most common form of reactivation. The remainder, who reported that there had been no earlier form of rehearsal, showed essentially the same pattern of episode and object memories as the majority (64% and 14%).

The memories of being in a spatial location were very brief, and perhaps primitive. An example of this form of recollection was, “I was in my fathers arms and I was looking at a barn door”.

Reported ages for the memories dated from under a year, to ten years, with an average age of 3.9 years. The higher than typical average age reflected the fact that a substantial number of individuals (45) could recall no memory until the age of seven or older. The modal age for the memories was three years.

Episode and object memories showed no relation to age. That is, one type was not typical of a younger or of a later age.

The majority of memories were characterized by emotion (69%), of which 22% were negative, and 43% positive. The pattern of emotion differed across episode and object memories. Object memories were significantly more positive than were episode memories overall, as indicated by a chi square test of significance.

There was also a significant gender difference reflecting the type of memory reported, with male participants recalling on average more object (and fewer episode) memories than female participants.

Based on the data, it is clear that humans do recall isolated objects among their earliest memories. Earlier studies had failed to identify this, presumably due to the wording of the instructions.

Given that objects do rank among our earliest recollections, a direct reactivation hypothesis would predict that objects receiving high levels of reactivation should constitute most of these very early memories. It appears unlikely that individual objects would be the subject of discussion (or even of thought), but certain objects are encountered frequently in the life of a young child. Items of furniture and the fittings of a house, for instance, would be seen repeatedly on a daily basis, and would thus accumulate many hundreds of reactivations. Also, the longer the individual was in contact with an object, the more likely it should form the basis of an early memory.

Furniture and house-related items (such as wallpaper) did not constitute the content of the reported object memories. There was no single item of

adult-type furniture (or “fittings”) reported. Also, the objects that were recalled varied in terms of the length of time that they had been presented in the participants’ environment from a few weeks, to several years. There was no pattern favoring a long period of contact. A strong reactivation hypothesis was thus not supported.

In contrast to the reactivation hypothesis, if emotion forms the base of permanent early recollections, then objects likely to elicit emotion in the child would be expected to be the content of early object-memories. Such objects might be toys of a certain kind, and objects of attachment such as child-blankets, as against, for instance, rattles, building blocks, plastic rings, and so on.

Two classes of object constituted the bulk of all reports. These were stuffed animals (with teddy-bears included in this class), and dolls. Following these common responses there were a range of objects that were reported more than twice (child furniture, candy jars!, pictures), and a wide range of objects reported only once. This latter included a toy with wheels, a small blanket, a dolls house, a dolls’ tea-set and a glow-worm night-light). None were of cups, spoons, high chairs, or other objects that might have been commonly encountered but were unlikely objects to elicit affection or emotion in a child.

The data of the present study thus appear to support a direct-emotion hypothesis concerning the longevity of fragment memories, rather than a simple reactivation hypothesis. It is of course likely that the two factors work together, but reactivation alone does not appear to provide permanent early memories.

The advanced age reported by a few participants, relevant to their earliest memories, remains puzzling. The explanation most commonly put forward for this phenomenon is that of repression, implying emotional distress related to early memories. Other explanations are possible, however.

I know of several individuals who do not possess early memories, although their childhood experiences, to the best of their knowledge, were not negative or traumatic, and their mnemonic capacities as adults are strong. It may be that episodic information is simply of less interest to some children than others, even though episodes remain the most likely source of very early memories. The issue remains to be examined further.


Dudycha, G. J. & Dudycha, M.M. (1933) Some factors and characteristics of childhood memories. Child Development. 4, 265—278.

Howes, M., Siegel, M. & Brown, F. (1993) Early childhood memories: Accuracy and affect. Cognition. 47. 95—119.

Salaman, E. (1970) A Collection of Moments. London: Longmans.

Usher, J. A. & Neisser, U. (1993) Childhood amnesia and the beginning of memory for four early life events. Tournai of Experimental Psychology. General. 122, 155—165.

White, S. H. & Pillemer, D. B. (1979) Childhood amnesia and the development of a socially acceptable memory system. In J. F. Kilhstrom and F. J. Evans (Eds.)., Functional Disorders of Memory, pp 29—73. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum.

Nineteenth Century Transformations of Child Guardianship:

A Case Study of the Addition of a Guardianship Clause to the 1848 New York State Married Women's Property Act

Marilyn Helterline Sociology, Women's Gender Studies

During the nineteenth century men in the United States lost their common law right to sole guardianship of their children. Sociologists and historians have attempted to explain this change. Change that occurred over a period of nearly a century and a half and separately in the courts and legislatures of each state needs to be looked at with greater historical specificity. This paper looks at the efforts between 1848 and 1862 to add an equal guardianship clause to the Married Women’s Property Law in New York State. This case is used to evaluate existing theories of change.

Nineteenth Century Child Guardianship Changes

Between 1790 and 1930, first in the courts and later in the legislatures of the states, legal traditions that gave fathers control over children in intact marriages, the right to appoint guardians for their children in case of their deaths without the consent of their mothers, the right to apprentice their children without the consent of their mothers, and the right to custody of their children after separation or divorce were eroded. Fathers’ rights, based on common law (Goldstein and Fenster 1994) seem to have been uncontested in the eighteenth century. In 1796 in Nickols v. Giles in Connecticut a federal court awarded custody of a child to her mother rather than a father with a questionable temper and little property (Boris and Bardaglio 1983). This signaled a change in the courts. In the early nineteenth century there were an increasing number of custody awards to mothers (Grossberg 1985; Zainaldin 1979). In the 1840s and 1850s states began to liberalize divorce laws (Brown 1981) and in some cases these laws supported the emerging pattern of judicial discretion (Zainaldin 1979). In these early cases the judgments were made based on the “best interest of the child,” but in the 1840s the “tender years doctrine emerged,” and by the 1880s the courts generally accepted that it was in the best interest of a child to grant custody to the mother. The change from common law occurred primarily in the courts. In 1900 only nine states and the District of Columbia gave women equal guardianship by statue. Women’s equal rights to guardianship were generally written into law between 1900 and 1930 (Brown 1981).

Explanation and Analysis of Change

Why did these changes occur? Five explanations appear in the historical and sociological literature on this topic. These are not mutually exclusive explanations and many social scientist argue that there were multiple causes of this change. The first explanation is that guardianship changes reflect changes in the roles of men and women and the ideology of motherhood (Goldstein and Fenster 1994; Grossberg 1983; Maidment 1984; Mason 1994; Vanderpol 1982). Lisa Mclntrye (1984) argues that while social scientists have studied the idealization of women that justified this change, they have not sufficiently studied the vilification of men that justified this change. The second explanation is that the change resulted from the activism of feminists. This cannot be the only explanation because the changes began before the feminist activism of the nineteenth century. There is no doubt that guardianship reform was an issue pursued by some feminists in the nineteenth century (Brown I98I; Maidment 1984; Mason 1994). Debra Friedman (1995) argues that because of the lack of consensus on divorce among nineteenth century feminists, the activism on this issue was modest. Maidment (1984) points out that the middle class women who fought for change were not always feminists, but sometimes women motivated by their own custody battles. A third explanation is that men willingly gave up custody when children ceased to be economic assets (Boris and Bardaglio 1983; Gordon 1988). This explanation has significant weaknesses. Children had ceased to be economic assets among the affluent long before these guardianship changes (Friedman 1995; Goldstein 1994). Mason (1994) argues that men would have wanted to maintain custody as a means of deterring women from seeking divorce. The state is a third party in the explanations of guardianship change. Some argue that the rising divorce rate and the lowering middle class birth rate were seen as a crisis and the growing judicial discretion reflects the intervention of the state to protect the social order (Friedman 1995; Grossberg 1985; Mclntrye 1994). Susan Boyd (1989) argues that the primary purpose of patriarchy is the control of women for reproduction and male privilege is secondary. When male privilege or guardianship rights interfered with the primary function of patriarchy, men lost privileges. The final explanation for nineteenth century custody changes is that the interests of women and the state coincided and produced a coalition that usurped male privilege (Gordon 1988).

I860 Change in Guardianship Clause in New York State Womens Property Act

Between 1848 and I860 in New York State a successful campaign was waged to add an equal guardianship clause to the 1848 Women’s Property Law, but this part of the law was repealed in 1862 and replaced by a much weaker guardianship clause. Legal changes in New York State were influential because it was a large state, the center of the press, and an exporter of lawyers (Hartog 2000).

Both primary and secondary sources were used to study this change. While there is no single study of this specific event in the history of guardianship, many scholars that have studied the general pattern of change have looked at this change in the law. Norma Basch (1982) wrote a book focusing specifically on women, marriage, and property in nineteenth century New York law. The coverage in the New York Times was examined. Most information was obtained from biographies, papers, and letter of the leader of the nineteenth century feminist movement that were active in New York State: Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Ernestine Rose, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A major source of information was the History of Woman’s Suffrage edited by Stanton, Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage ([ISSI] 1969).

In March of I860 Governor Edwin D. Morgan signed a bill into law that had been passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate. The law stated: “Every married woman is hereby constituted and declared to be the joint guardian of her children, with her husband, with equal powers, rights, and duties, in regard to them, with her husband” (Basch 1982: 234). This was revision of the 1848 Married Womans Property Law. In 1854 the New York State Assembly discussed changes in the 1848 law, including changes in guardianship. The Assembly appointed a Select Committee. In March of 1854 the Committee reported to the Assembly. It rejected most proposed changes on the basis that God had made men superior to women and that conflict in the family could only be avoided with a single head, but the report granted the need for some change. They recommended “the assent of the mother, if she is living, be necessary to the validity of any disposition of a child by means of appointment of guardians or of apprenticeship” (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969: 617). All but one member of the Committee signed the report, but the change failed to pass the Assembly. Again in 1855 the Assembly held a hearing on changing the law, but no change resulted. In 1859 a revision of the Married Womens Property Law supported by Senator Andrew J. Colvin passed the Assembly, but was never voted on in the Senate. Finally, after discussion in the Judiciary Committee a revision of the Married Women’s Property Law containing the guardianship clause was approved by the Judiciary Committee, the Senate, and the Assembly (Stanton et al.[ISSI] 1969). In I86I Clark Brooks, separated from his wife, went to court to get custody of his son. The judge in the New York State Supreme Court ridiculed the new law that allowed a wife to leave her husband and retain custody. He ignored the law and affirmed paternal rights by granting custody to the father (Hartog 2000). In 1862 the clause giving mothers an equal right to their children was repealed and replaced with a clause giving far less rights. The new clause read: “No man shall bind his child to apprenticeship or service or part with the control of such child or create any testamentary guardianship therefore, unless the mother if living, shall signify her assent therto” (Basch 1982: 237).

Explaining the Change in the Guardianship Clause

Few would question the contribution of role changes to facilitating this legal change. The language of the cult of motherhood is present in the speeches of supporters According to Basch: “The common law violated the sanctity of motherhood ... Thus ... they argued that the care of children was women’s own special function.” (1982: 80). But, as Mclntrye suggests, the “vilification of men” was important in justifying these changes. The fight for custody rights among New York feminists was fought both at women’s rights meetings and in the temperance movement. When women first met in a separate temperance meeting in Rochester in 1852, Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued for the right to divorce drunkards and that drunkards should not have control over their children (Harper [1898] 1969). The infidelity of men was also a frequent theme in guardianship discussions. At an 1852 Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, Carolina Howard Nichols complained that women who divorced unfaithful or abusive husbands lost their children (Harper [1898] 1969). In 1853 at the Women’s Rights State Convention in Rochester, William Henry Channing presented a set of resolution to the Convention. One resolution argued that women should have guardianship of their children “where, by habitual drunkenness, immorality, or improvidence, fathers are incompetent to the sacred trust” (Stanton et al [ISSI] 1969: 582). Similar themes appear in Stanton’s 1854 address to the Women’s Rights Convention in Albany that was adopted by the Convention as their address to the Legislature of New York. In 1854 she describes men as having “an inordinate love of power” that has led to the creation of laws that allow a man to “apprentice his son to a gamester or rum-seller” and “bind his daughter to the owner of a brothel.” She complains of the mother’s inability to maintain custody and protect her child from men that beat them and that they abandon because of “profligacy and confirmed drunkenness” (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969: 602—3). While statements referring to women as morally superior do not appear, it is men not women that are associated with drunkenness, abuse, infidelity, gambling, and brothels. An exception is found in a letter written by Channing and read at the 1853 National Women’s Rights Convention in Cleveland, where he advocated that “confirmed drunkenness of either the husband or wife be held as sufficient grounds for divorce; and that the temperate partner be appointed legal guardian of the children (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969: 131).

If the idealization of motherhood and the vilification of men contributed to the change in guardianship, the above quotes by leading feminists of the era demonstrate that feminist were active in trying to bring about change. Between 1848 and 1862 feminists in New York State consistently advocated for change in guardianship laws. It appears in the Declaration of Sentiments that was produced at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Ernestine Rose, a New York feminist, raised the issue again at the Second National Women’s Rights Convention held in Wooster in 1851. The following year at the 1852 convention in Syracuse, Lucy Stone and Carolina Howard Nichols discussed the issue (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969). In 1853 Rose again raised the issue at the National Women’s Rights Convention in Cleveland (Kolmertin 1999) and the same year Rose, William Henry Channing, and Matilda Joslyn Gage advocated change at a State Women’s Rights Convention in Rochester. At this meeting, they progressed from complaints about guardianship to concrete plans to change the New York laws. They left the Convention to plan an address to the Legislature, run a petition drive, and plan a convention in Albany during the next legislative session (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969).

In the ten weeks prior to the February 14 and 15, 1854 State Convention in Albany, they collected six thousand signatures on a petition that called

for changes, including equal guardianship (Harper [1898] 1969). At the Convention Antionette Brown asserted that the mothers of New York State did not want to give up the guardianship of their children (Stanton et al.[ISSI] 1969). Stanton gave her speech, which associated men with rum, abuse, and brothels, and advocated equal guardianship. Channing made a motion to adopt it as the Conventions’ address to the Legislature (Gordon, 1997). On February 20, 1854 copies of the speech and the petitions were delivered to the Legislature. When this failed to produce a change, the movement did annual petition drives until the law was changed in I860 after a second speech by Stanton to the Legislature. During these years the issue of guardianship continues to be discussed at conventions. At the 1856 Women’s Rights Convention in New York, Lucy Stone pointed out that Michigan had a equal guardianship law pending, a right that New York women lacked. Again Rose raised the issue. There was no national convention in 1857, but in response to speech by Sarah Hallock on New York laws the issue was raised by a member of the audience at the 1858 convention (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969).

While feminist efforts between 1848 and I860 to add an equal guardianship clause to the New York State Women’s Property Law do not support Friedman’s hypothesis that feminists were too divided on the issue of divorce to advocate for this issue, her hypothesis may be correct in other states or later in New York. Divorce does not appear to have been a seriously divisive issue in the New York movement until the I860 National Women’s Rights meeting in New York in May, two months after the change in the law. Elizabeth Cady Stanton had created a controversy in 1852 at the Women’s State Temperance Convention when she advocated changes in marriage and custody laws to take away the rights of drunkards to their wives and children (Barry 1988). While many of the temperance advocates were shocked by her speech, feminists supported her. Among those who supported her during this controversy were Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Frances Gage, and Martha Wright (Harper [1898] 1969). The following year at the Rochester State Women’s Temperance Convention, Stanton who had been elected as president the previous year in spite of the controversy, again advocated separation from drunkards (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969) and this time she was defeated by three votes in her attempt to retain the presidency (Harper [1898] 1969). This controversy occurred within the Temperance Movement and feminist supported Stanton. The division within the temperance movement probably had little effect on future attempts to

change New York laws because the New York temperance movement faded in the mid 1850s and did not emerge again until 1879 (Barry 1988). Divorce does not appear as a significant divisive issue in the women’s rights movement between 1848 and I860. A rare and seemingly civil mention of it occurred in the 1853 convention when Antionette Brown suggested substituting the word separation for divorce in William Henry Channing’s resolution to deprive drunkards of custody (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969).

In I860 the situation changed. A liberalized divorce law had been passed in Indiana and a similar bill was introduced in New York (Lutz 1974). At the I860 Convention Stanton advocated the right to end marriages that did not produce happiness. Brown strongly objected (Barry 1988: 139) and Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison tried to have Stanton’s resolution expunged from the record of the Convention. The controversy continued outside the Convention. Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Herald Tribune, used the paper to support Phillips (Lutz, 1974). While divorce was clearly a controversial issue in I860, of the women who presided over national women’s rights conventions between 1848 and I860 all supported Stanton’s position on divorce reform, except Lucy Stone (Griffith 1984). Ernestine Rose (Lutz 1974) and Susan B. Anthony (Griffith 1984) supported her at the I860 meeting. Lucretia Mott, who helped organize the Seneca Fall meeting sent her a letter of support after the I860 controversy. Martha Wright signed a feminist appeal for divorce reform in New York State in I860 (Stanton et al. [ISSI] 1969: 525). Paulina Wright Davis also held liberal view on divorce (Palmer 2002). While Stone did not want divorce included as a women’s rights issue, she did not object to divorce reform and in 1852, when it was less an issue of public controversy, at the 1852 National Women’s Rights Convention had said: “In questions of marriage and divorce ... both parties in the compact are entitled to an equal voice” (Stanton et al [ISSI] 1969: 525).

Even if divorce had been a divisive issue, it would not have stopped women’s rights activist from advocating for reform of guardianship laws. Problems with current guardianship laws were usually discussed in the context of widowhood, apprenticing children, or separation as they were in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 1854 address to the Legislature. She does not mention divorce. If divorce reform and guardianship reform were issues in the same speech, they were often treated separately. Anthony’s speech to the 1854 convention is an example of this. Her speech included a list of proposals.

The proposal that drunkenness be a grounds for divorce and the proposal of equal custody rights were separate, and not even adjacent items (Gordon 1997). The Declaration of Sentiments is an exception to this pattern. Divorce and guardianship appear in the same resolution.

Is there evidence that men voluntarily gave up guardianship in the case of the New York guardianship clause? There clearly was some resistance.

New York feminist lobbied the legislature for change for six years before they succeeded in getting the clause passed and then the Legislature substantially weakened the clause two years later. Still, the reform was proposed by Senator Andrew ). Colvin, passed by a male legislature, and a male governor signed it into law. There were men within the women’s rights movement, including William Henry Channing that supported guardianship change. There is also evidence of support from men outside the movement. Fathers were said to be supporters of the women’s property laws and Elizabeth Cady Stanton said that support for the reform of the New York’s married women’s property reform came from the men of the Dutch aristocracy who wanted to see their wealth passed on to their daughters and grandchildren (Stanton and Blatch 1922). Basch (1982) sees this as a continuation of a legal trend that had begun earlier with the creation of trusts. Fathers created trusts to be administered for their daughters. This allowed them to pass money to their daughters without giving control over it to their sons-in-law. Clear support for guardianship change came from one father. In 1858 Francis Jackson donated five thousand dollars to the women’s rights movement. Jackson seems to have been motivated by his own family troubles. His son-in-law had used Massachusetts’ guardianship laws to remove his children from Jackson’s daughter (Anthony 1954). While there was no consensus among men of the affluent classes to give up guardianship rights, there were male supporters.

Does this temporary change in the New York guardianship laws reflect the interests of the state or a coalition of women and the state?

The Legislature was reluctant to support women and provided only weak support after being pushed by women activists. Except for the governor’s I860 signature, the executive branch is invisible in the history of the debate over the law. No state agencies appear as advocates for change at this time in New York. The New York Supreme Court ridiculed the law and Basch (1999) argues that in general the courts in New York weakened the legislative reforms in the Property Law with conservative interpretations. But Stanton in her I860 address to the Legislature does argue that the changes in position of women benefit women, the sons they raise, and consequently the nation (Miller 1999). The I860 change in guardianship seem to have been promoted by both men and women of the propertied class and for the benefit of the women and grandfathers of this class. The state does not seem to have taken a significant role in this change. There is more support for the concern of the state in property law reform. The guardianship clause may have benefited from it inclusion in a bill on property reform. Basch (1999) argues that part of the motivation of Assemblyman Thomas Hertell who had proposed a bill to reform married women’s property law in 1837 was that protecting the assets of women married to drunkards.


The I860 addition of an equal guardianship clause to the 1848 New York State Married Women’s Property Law was primarily a result of the efforts of women’s rights activists. During the period from 1848 until I860 divorce was not a sufficiently divisive issue among women’s rights activists to prevent their efforts to change guardianship. The separation of the issue of guardianship from the divorce issue, by discussing it in the context of separation, widowhood, and apprenticeship probably contributed to the lack of controversy on this issue. They were able to bring about some change because of idealization of mothers and the vilification of men in the culture at this time. They received support from some men. Both property law reform and guardianship change seems to have been seen by some men as a means to protect their daughters and grandchildren. The process of change was slow and the law was weakened in 1862 because the activists faced significant resistance in the male Legislature. The state does not seem to have taken a significant interest in the issue of guardianship, but property law reform was seen as a way to avoid pauperized women and children becoming a burden on the state. Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued that the society would benefit from guardianship reform that would protect women and children from morally degenerate fathers and husbands, but the state does not appear to have echoed her concerns. When the women’s rights activists stopped meeting for the duration of the Civil War and concentrated their energies on the abolitionist cause, the Legislature substantially weakened the I860 law.


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An Investigation of Student Perceptions of Fairness of Classroom Policies

Lisa Flynn1
 & Business


This study investigates student responses to two scenarios, a student missing more classes than acceptable as per the syllabus, and a student failing to hand in a paper by the due date. In both scenarios the policy states that failure to meet the requirements will result in automatic failure in the course. Students were asked to evaluate the fairness of an instructor’s actions, where in one scenario the instructor enforced the policy and failed the student for missing classes and in the other the instructor allowed an extension of time to complete the paper. The study revealed that just over half of the respondents viewed failing the student for too many absences as unfair, and that over 90% of the respondents answered that it was fair for the instructor to allow an extension of time to complete the paper. Subgroup data was collected for both scenarios, with the only statistically significant Ending being that students receiving a scenario where the instructor and students negotiated the absence policy rated the action as less unfair than when the absence policy is state mandated. We speculate that the scenarios and outcomes need further refinement in response to student comments that the consequences were too harsh and the reason for noncompliance by the student in the scenarios needs more explanation in order to make an accurate assessment of fairness of policies and their implementation by the instructor.

The current study arose as a result of an initial inquiry in a CPA Law class, where the instructor posed a series of questions to students relating to contracts. The instructor was interested in an apparent misunderstanding of contract law and the students’ misapplication of the principles of contract law to specific scenarios. To bring the principles more clearly into focus for the students, the professor created scenarios involving policies stated in a course syllabus. The first scenario related to a student missing more than the acceptable number of classes and failing the course. The second illustration dealt with a student receiving an extension of a deadline for a paper submission, without which (s)he would have failed the course. The students in the CPA Law class were asked to assess the fairness of enforcing and waiving the policies as stated in the syllabus, and the professor received inconsistent answers from the students. This prompted the instructor to do some further investigation into college students’ perceptions of fairness of instructor policies in the classroom.

The goal of this line of research is to better understand the ways in which students perceive and assess the fairness of instructor policies, for two different reasons. The first is to see if adjustments are warranted in instructors’ approaches to courses and students, and the second is to correct any misconceptions of the students to help them fully understand course requirements, instructor policies, and to have appropriate expectations with respect to the courses they take and what the workplace environment requires.

In the researchers’ initial investigation, open ended essay questions were developed as either part of class requirements or as extra credit opportunities. The essays asked the two questions referred to above, where the students were asked to evaluate whether it was fair for the instructor to fail a student for missing too many classes and whether it was fair for the instructor to grant an extension to a student for a paper if without the extension, (s)he would fail the course. The essay questions were given to students other than those in the original CPA Law class, and responses were categorized and reported in a prior publication (see Rothenberg, et ah, 2004 for results of the study). Based upon the issues identified by the student responses, the survey instrument was refined for the current study to take into account external factors and to determine whether the students were evaluating the policy itself or the enforcement of the policy, and if they could articulate that difference.

The questions remain in essay format and the two scenarios have both had one series of manipulations added to them for this study. For the question regarding absences, in the initial investigation it was clear from student responses that the students were at times addressing the policy itself and at times were addressing the instructor’s enforcement of the policy. In order to get clear responses to the fairness issues of interest, the absences

question clearly asked students to address whether the policy itself was fair and then separately, whether the instructors implementation of the policy was fair. The manipulation for this question revolved around the way in which the policy was decided. Specifically, the question was asked in four ways, where the student would receive one of four possible situations: the policy was mandated at the state level, mandated at the college level, the policy was the instructor’s own policy, or the policy had been negotiated by the students and the instructor early in the course. The reasoning for this manipulation stems once again from the initial research, where responses questioned the very basis of an absence policy where a student fails the course after only a few absences. The actual essay question is as follows:

Assume there is a(n) [state mandated, college mandated, instructor mandated] policy [negotiated between the instructor and students] in which it is stated that students who miss more than two classes must fail the course. The instructor has published and discussed this policy clearly in his/her syllabus. Assume further that a student in this class misses four classes due to a lot of problems at home. The instructor fails the student in the class. A) Is this policy fair? B) Is the instructor’s implementation of the policy fair?

The second essay question involved a missed deadline for handing in a paper. Based on the initial response given in the CPA Law class, the researchers were interested in whether or not students would view the enforcement of the policy differently if it applied to themselves or to another student. For the current round of essays, the paper deadline scenario was manipulated to have one of three possibilities: the respondent is the student in the situation, the student in the situation is someone in the respondent’s class, or the student in the situation is in another class altogether. The actual essay question is as follows:

Assume an instructor has a published and discussed policy requiring submission of a paper on a certain date. If not submitted on time, the student will fail the entire course (as opposed to receiving a failing grade on just the paper). [You, a student in a class you are taking, a student in another class] have (has) had a number of personal problems at home and failed to hand in the paper on time. [You, he/she] request(s) an extension of time of a week for handing in the paper, and it is granted. Do you think this is fair?

The two sets of essay questions were handed out to students in business law and accounting courses, with the students ranging from sophomore to senior status. Ninety-six students responded in a usable fashion to both questions. Three sets of responses were recorded: fairness of the absence policy, fairness of the implementation of the absence policy, and fairness in granting the paper extension.

Beginning with the question pertaining to absences, out of the total number of responses, 53% found the absence policy to be unfair, while 50% found the implementation of the absence policy to be unfair. Then the responses were categorized by manipulation, which reveals the following descriptive information regarding the absence policy:

Manipulation of Absence Policy:

Subgroup N

Percent of Subgroup responding ‘Unfair’ to Absence Policy

State mandated policy



College mandated policy



Instructor mandated policy



Negotiated policy



A t-test of means was conducted between all subgroups, and the difference between state mandated policy and instructor-student negotiated policy does reach statistical significance at the .05 level (t-value of 2.022). All other differences are not statistically significant. There were no statistically significant differences among the manipulations for the implementation of the absence policy. All subgroups showed approximately 50% of responses as unfair, ranging from 48% to 52% among the four groups.

The results for the second scenario were quite different from the first scenario. Taken overall, just over 9% of the respondents found the granting of a paper extension to be unfair, indicating that most students (over 90%) perceived the lack of enforcement of the stated policy to be fair in that situation. By way of contrast, only half of the students responding to the first scenario would presumably say that lack of enforcement of the absence policy is fair.

Categorizing responses according to the manipulations of the paper extension scenario provided the following results:

Manipulation of Paper Extension: Subgroup N Percent of Subgroup responding ‘Unfair’ to Subgroup N granting of extension
Student him/herself requests extension 28 7%
Member of student’s class requests extension 34 15%
Student in another class requests extension 34 6%

While the percentages suggest there may be some perception differences depending on which individual requests more time for handing in a paper, there were no statistically significant differences between the subgroups for the extension manipulations. The authors do note, however, that in both scenarios the small numbers within subgroups make statistical inference difficult. It is noteworthy that the percentage of students thinking it is unfair for a student within their own class to receive an extension is more than double the percentage of students thinking it is unfair for themselves to receive one, or someone from another class entirely. It has been both the perception and concern of the researchers that students appear unable to clearly apply rules of fairness consistently, without reference to whether or not they benefit or are harmed personally by the application of a principle. These responses, though they lack the statistical backing for concrete conclusions, do provide some indication that more scrutiny is warranted.

The summary of our Endings from this study is that students overwhelmingly view a bending of the rules as fair with respect to granting a paper extension, but do not react in a comparable manner with respect to a refusal to bend the rules in the absence scenario. When the manipulations were investigated, we found some preliminary evidence that students view the policy itself to be more fair if they have had input into crafting the policy, at least with respect to the number of absences. No other manipulations produced statistically significant differences between subgroups. It was and still remains a concern of the researchers that the goal for many students is to do well, regardless of how, and that either enforcement of rules or a lack thereof is acceptable as long as the student benefits.

Areas for further research revolve around both the weaknesses in the current study and a desire to expand the work. The sample size has been

increased in the next stage of the research in order to test manipulations in larger subgroups, where it may be possible to achieve some statistically significant differences. In addition, many students voiced disagreement with the severity of the outcomes in the scenarios, indicating that failure for the whole course was unreasonable, particularly in the paper extension scenario. Student reactions to the severity of the consequences will be addressed by altering the policy statements in such ways as having a loss of points on the final average for excessive absences instead of a failing grade in the course, and having a failing grade on the paper instead of failing the entire course. Additionally, there was much written by the students about the nature of the personal problems listed in the scenarios. The problems were purposefully undefined in the original and current studies because the authors felt the reason for the failure to comply with the policy was irrelevant to the fairness of the policy and its implementation. However, it was an issue that was raised repeatedly and the students stated in a great majority of the responses that the nature of the personal problems was highly relevant in assessing whether or not the consequences of noncompliance with the policy should be implemented fully.

Related to expansion of the current work, future scenarios will move beyond the classroom and address issues relevant to the workplace. There are parallel questions such as the consequences for missed days at work and missed deadlines due to personal problems. It would be interesting to see if students view the classroom environment differently than the working environment. At the heart of the issue is the student perception of the acceptability of‘excuses’ for non-performance, and whether the classroom environment prepares students adequately for the work environment in this area of expectation. Students’ perceptions of fairness of rules share in defining the classroom environment, and may limit the ability of faculty to serve as mentors and role models, to the extent that instructors are viewed as unfair when enforcing the rules as well as unfair when waiving the rules. A principal aim of the research is to hrst identify the predominant perceptions students hold and then use that information to alter expectations and perceptions where needed in order to establish better learning environments, better relationships between instructors and students, and realistic expectations about the work environment outside the classroom.


Rothenberg, Robert, Lisa Flynn, Richard Insinga, and Anuradhaa Shastri, “Exploring Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Instructors’ Behavior,” North East Tournai of Legal Studies Vol. 12 (2004).

Pedagogy of Privilege
Zanna McKay Elementary Education and Reading

“But what can we do about it in our classrooms?” students in educational foundations classes exclaim. Learning the history of education in America, including the history of blacks, women, Native Americans and other minorities, in addition to an overview of educational finance, students are confronted with the terrible inequities of power.

To help you understand my response to this question, I will share with you the beginnings of my understanding of the limits and constraints inherent in instances of institutional privilege, not only for those who are obviously disempowered but also for those seemingly privileged.

During the two years I taught at the American Institute School of Bamako (AISB) one of my biggest projects each year was taking my students to live with the Dogon for a week. The Dogon are one of the last of the indigenous peoples who have not been converted but have maintained their worldview for hundreds, if not thousands of years. They live in cliff dwellings, growing onions as they have for generations.

I developed an integrated curriculum that involved students researching, investigating and making a power point presentation about an aspect of Dogon life. Preparation for the trip, especially the second year, was very involved. Each student interviewed at least one person from the Dogon about some aspect of Dogon village life. These people included the three guides who would accompany us, a local man who was now a practicing physician in Bamako, and the many local people who were Dogon and provided services to the ex-patriot community. Following these interviews they investigated through books and the Internet the ideas and questions their interviews highlighted for them. Our guides provided excellent resources by reading stories and myths into tape recorders, as well as offered their insights as “border crossers” (Giroux, 1992).

While watching the guides interpret and translate for students, I often wondered about the amazing strengths they showed in “reading the world” (Freire, 1993). They spoke upwards of eight languages each and could

reasonably discuss the difference between the worldview of the Dogon and the Fulani, yet only one of them could read at all. Did illiterate really describe them? These men developed a strong sense of communitas and lived in a place of liminality, between the worlds of the Dogon as they have lived and the modern visitor as the world is now. They traveled the chaos of limanility and brought some sense of understanding through to both worlds, as well as provided a much needed income to the Dogon villages (Turner, 1997).

As a group we prepared for our trip by having a parent night where the students presented what they would investigate. The local travel agent also worked closely with me and the students to develop a trip with meaningful exchange among students and villagers. I watched these students of privilege and power look to others to understand the world they would be entering. The actual trip provided a period of liminality, as it required a day and a half of bus travel on dirt roads, followed by a challenging hike down a thousand foot escarpment. During this time students read, played cards, and more and more just stared out of the window at the never-ending savanna. The world of the African bush became more and more real, and as this happened, the world of their place of privilege and power receded somewhat.

A dogon village filled with straw huts
Arriving at our Dogon village.









Arrival in the village brought work for students to organize resources and begin their studies. Each student used the digital cameras, and some used the video camera. We worked as a group each day to learn the traditional style of pottery making. We dug our own clay, wedged the clay, and each student formed a pot. During this time about half of the class did pottery and the other half learned about village life. Then they switched. Students shadowed a person in the village doing tasks such as pounding millet and grinding nuts with a stone, cooking and hauling water. Students were required to keep a journal with questions and observations, as well as produce a poem and some watercolor sketches. Because of these requirements, students could be seen spending long periods of time watching the cliffs or people in the quiet of a time before machines. Their reflections were powerful reminders of the need we have for reflection. We also conducted a deforestation research project that sent data back to Washington D.C.

The daily chores of a Dogon family would include pounding millet, cooking porridge, grinding peanuts by stone, hauling water to wash and working the fields.

Finally, students produced books about themselves that covered interesting personal facts, such as where they are from, what their family looks like, what their dreams are, and even the music they like. Every other page was left blank. When AISB students went to the Dogon school they met with an interpreter and a Dogon student and wrote down the Dogon student’s information on the blank pages. These books were left as gifts for the village students. Many of my students continued to write to their friends in the village after they returned home. When we discussed this project later, students were more surprised by their similarities to the Dogon children rather than their differences.

AISB students paint under the watchful eye of village children.
AISB students paint under the watchful eye of village children.


















AISB students paint under the watchful eye of village children. 53



As an aspect of our project, students had a Night of the Dogon presentation for the International Community of Bamako, West Africa. They presented their power point presentations and produced a display of their art and writing. The students also developed a fundraising project to buy a hand pump for the village well and school supplies for the school. As a personal aside, the supplies provided brought a flourishing of art produced by the children of Dogon. I bought these amazing pictures of masked dancers and mud huts when I returned for my own time of reflection in the cliffs of the Dogon.

A mask dance celebration was provided for us by the Dogon.
A mask dance celebration was provided for us by the Dogon.









A mask dame celebration was provided for us by the Dogou.

Pedagogy of Privilege seeks to liberate the advantaged in society from their bondage and to empower them to be able to connect with others and see that all humans can live rich and full lives, that the lives of the temporarily economically privileged can be immeasurably enhanced by developing an understanding of others and a capacity to be in service to something larger than themselves. We want to nourish the capacity of those of economic and political advantage to both understand and transform their world through connection (Noddings, 2003).

Six tenets of culturally relevant teaching for Pedagogy of the Privileged based on the tenets for multicultural education by Ladson-Billings and revised by me are:

Students whose education, economic, social, political and cultural futures are most secure arc helped to recognize the intellect and leadership qualities of those whose same futures arc most tenuous.

Students are apprenticed in a learning community rather than taught in an isolated and unrelated way.

Students’ real-life abilities for connecting and empathizing are legitimized, as they become part of the “official” curriculum.

Teachers and students participate in a broad conception of literacy that incorporates both literature and oratory in the worlds of both the privileged and the oppressed.

Teachers and students engage in a collective struggle against the status quo. Teachers do not accept the prevailing belief that their students cannot understand power differentials and act to change unfair practices. They have high expectations for their students and convey their belief to the students.

Teachers and students are cognizant of themselves as political beings.

I guess the answer for education students who wonder, “What can we do about inequities of power?” is as much about them, their lives and their abilities to connect and really see others and themselves, as it is about learning what to do for others. There is a saying in the bush, if you meet someone on the trail the traditional greeting is “I see you,” and the answer is, “Then I am here.” I hope that my students moved a little closer to at least beginning to say, “I see you.” I believe we now live in a world that needs more than anything to educate children to see and be seen, a world in which we can all say, “Then I am here.”


Henry Giroux, “Paulo Freire and the Politics of Post colonialism,” (1992).

Nel Noddings, Happiness in Education. New York: Cambridge Press, 2003.

Paulo Freire, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” Continuum (1993).

Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” Independent School Journal (Winter 1990).

Victor Turner, Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1997.

The Oneonta Convivium
Volume XV 2001-2002

College at Oneonta seal




Education, Research, and Public Service:

BFS Program for Local and Environmental Good
by Bill Harmon

Characteristics of Ceramic Matrix Composites
by Kamala Mahanta

by Paul Lilly

Mammoth Cave, Cosmic Rays, and the Origin of the Ohio River — How These Diverse Threads Help to Untangle the Climatic History of the Eastern United States
by Art Palmer

Use of Bioinformatics Tools in the Analysis of Proteins Encoded by the Neighbor of the cytochrome с Oxidase IV Gene Invertebrates

by Craig Scott (student) and Nancy Bachman

The Ethics of Challenging Indigenes

by Brian Haley

Science Fiction: Towards a Humanistic Technology
by Beth Small

Comparison of Russian & American Business Organizations

by Robert Rothenberg & Tatyana V. Melnikova

Mass Balance of the Taku Glacier, Southeastern Alaska

by Evan MankofF

Thomas Hardys Literary Impressionism

by Mary Lynn Bensen


Animal of Mass Destruction: An Exotic Species Threat Now in Our Midst
by Thomas Horvath

Projecting the Campus: Representation and the Professoriate
by Richard Lee

Your Earliest Memory May Be of a Dream
by Mary Howes

Nineteenth Century Child Guardianship Changes in New York
by Marilyn Helterline

An Investigation of Student Perceptions of Fairness of Classroom Policies
by Lisa Flynn

Learning from the Dogon: Culturally Relevant Teaching
by Zanna McKay


The Oneonta Convivium Committee is pleased to announce that the publication is back, with some changes.

We have changed our name from “Collected Essays” to “Proceedings.” The name change reflects the change in presentations. Since the last volume, we have had presentations that included an original short story reading, and a vocal musical presentation. We look forward to the day when we will have visual presentations as well. We also hope in the future to be able to include those in our publication.

We have also changed our name from the “Oneonta Faculty Convivium” to the “Oneonta Convivium” because our presentations are not limited to faculty presenters. We regularly have student presenters, and we would welcome appropriate presentations from any college employee.

We have kept the numerical sequence because we want to make it clear that this is a continuation of the prior works. Our last publication was volume XIII (dated: 1996—1997, although it included some later materials). These newest volumes represent an accumulation of presentations since that date. Because of the large number of papers, and in order to maintain our format, we have had to issue three volumes (XIV, XV, & XVI). We have tried to contact all presenters from Fall 1996 through Spring 2005 (unless they had already been included). A total of 15 have responded positively, and their works are presented here in chronological order. If we have missed anyone, please contact the Convivium Committee.

The members of the Convivium Committee would like to thank Ms. Sue Nelson & Ms. Katherine Milavec for their ongoing work in organizing the lunches, and Ian Fascell at the Instructional Resource Center for his help and advice in producing these proceedings in printed form. We are also deeply grateful for the continuing support of the College at Oneonta for both the Convivium lunches and the publication of these proceedings.

Robert Rothenberg

For the Convivium Committee

What is the Convivium?

The Convivium Lunches represent opportunities to hear (and perhaps see) what other faculty, students, and staff are doing. We meet for lunch and an informal presentation several times each semester. Presentations may interesting because the presenters are “doing interesting stuff,” because parts of their work overlap with ours, or merely because its a free lunch. We may be entertained, educated, or bored to tears. Sometimes more than one in the same presentation. I have been impressed by the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received.

For the presenters, the experience can also be positive. Most of the presentations are followed by a Q& A session, at which the attendees often make suggestions that provide the presenters with “food for thought” (a particularly appropriate metaphor). The lunches also provide the presenters with a friendly environment in which to present serious research (sometimes in an early stage), and a publication opportunity.

On a personal note, my presentation forced me to rethink a project that I had prepared for a specialized audience (teachers of law), and to make it palatable for a much more general group. Such an exercise brings one’s thoughts into sharper focus, and sometimes suggests questions that would not otherwise occur.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the lunches is the opportunity to hear the student presentations. Since our institution is about the students, it is gratifying to see our efforts “paying off.” Being new to the Committee,

I have only attended one such presentation, but both the students were well prepared and enthusiastic. It is unfortunate that we cannot give them more opportunities for such experiences. Finally, one of the most enjoyable opportunities is to see friends and colleagues, and have a few minutes in which to catch up on what has been happening to them since we last met.

The Ethics of Challenging Indigenes

Brian D, Haley
aThinking is a dangerous job, even in the First World.”
Ali Salim, 2001

An important concern in anthropology and related disciplines today is how to practice a truly postcolonial scholarship, one that no longer supports the powerful over the weak, and, in particular, the power of nation-states or global capitalism over indigenous peoples. Over the past several decades, we anthropologists have become sensitive to our discipline’s colonial past, and accompanying this sensitivity is widespread desire to practice an anthropology that is not hegemonic, and may instead empower indigenous peoples.1 How to do that is often a topic of vigorous debate and experimentation. We have seen new or renewed emphases on the ethics of anthropological practice, collaboration with consultants’ communities, and multivocality in anthropological writing. I do not intend to argue that all of these explorations are failures or that anthropologists should abandon seeking ways to practice that challenge the status quo of power relations. What I will address is the outcome of one variation of a new postcolonial ethic that requires the scholar to constrain his or her own authority by deferring to indigenous speakers. I do so because I have some relevant experience to share that suggests the results are not what scholars seek to achieve.

No anthropologist wishes to be the type of scholar pilloried in native critiques as a thorn in the native’s side (see, especially, Deloria 1969), even though such critiques are polemics rather than reviews of the complete spectrum of anthropological practice (Lurie 1998). Polemics have their place: they inspire reflection, retrospection, and reform.” But some anthropologists do embrace these polemics as accurate histories of their discipline (see, e.g., Biolsi and Zimmerman 1997; Thomas 2000). Such an interpretation of polemical texts may be used to underwrite strongly worded condemnations of colleagues that further polarize the discipline. More that a few young scholars have used polemical native critiques of anthropology as proof of what amounts to the discipline’s ‘original sin,’ which they—as a new generation—will help to confine to the past by implementing a postcolonial ethic.

From this point of view, the only ethical practice is for anthropologists to never challenge or contradict indigenes. If the anthropologist does recognize or suspect inaccuracies or a lack of truthfulness in statements by indigenes, he or she should still not make any statements that publicize the error. Often, the justification given is that indigenes are history’s victims, and they need the tables balanced against dominant institutions of society that holds no distinguishing talent for truthfulness. In practice, then,
the truth value of statements made by indigenous speakers arc treated as if they always exceed the truth value of comparable or competing statements by non-indigcnous persons, including scholars. I wish to question this particular postcolonial ethic. Admittedly, my abstraction risks hyperbole. I am not suggesting that many anthropologists necessarily verbally articulate the proper ethical relationship of anthropologist and indigene in precisely this fashion, but what I am willing to argue is that more than a few practice my abstraction of a postcolonial ethic and are willing to condemn and misrepresent the scholarship and motives of their colleagues who do not. Thus, it is through the evidence of words and acts reasonably consistent with my above phrasing that I allege such an ethic exists.

The basis of my critique is the categorical nature of the ethic, the assumed concreteness of the indigenous slot—indigeneity’s alleged immutability and discreteness—and what trouble such assumed concreteness and categoricalness in practice can cause. The problem is simple: the ethic privileges indigeneity, blanketing the category in cultural capital that overrides all specifics. This reflects a widespread cultural trend. Indigenous identity and culture are in. There is a worldwide run on everything pertaining to indigenous culture and identity. Untold numbers of people are scurrying to End lost indigenous ancestry in their family trees and to reorient their lives around what they interpret as their lost/regained indigenous cultural heritage. This has led to a condition in which successful indigenes may have origins that do not conform to society’s expectations, which are that those claiming indigenous status are the descendants and perpetuators of pre-colonial groups, and history’s colonial victims. The wise observer can never be too sure about what is hiding behind a screen of indigeneity. Who will be hurt by the use of this ethic too often goes unasked, but there is mounting evidence that among those who are harmed by this ethic are other members of indigenous communities.

Although I favor letting indigenous peoples (and everyone else, for that matter) speak for themselves, in one particular project my colleague

Larry Wilcoxon and I have not adopted the always-yield-to-the-indigene ethic. In response, some of my colleagues who perceive themselves as being successful and, perhaps, model postcolonial anthropologists
("Some anthropologists (myself included) generally embraced these changes and have had relatively good relations with Native Americans over the years.”) have cast us among anthropologists whose work allegedly “undermines the efforts of anthropologists working to build relationships of mutual trust with Native American communities” (Erlandson 1998:483).3

What did we do to draw such strong criticism? To begin with, we performed a pair of environmental review studies in which we examined the history of cultural values associated with Pt. Conception, California, by people identifying themselves as Chumash.4 The cultural values are based on stories that state that the souls of the dead leave this world for the afterworld from this location. A number of problems emerged in the data that we collected, some of which we later published, and others we continue to study and write about. Foremost among these was that even though the cultural values associated with Pt. Conception were being expressed publicly as ancient and persistent tradition, all lines of evidence confirmed that the importance of Pt. Conception to living peoples arose in the 1970s as part of an effort to block a major energy-related construction project. That 1970s political event was the turning point that publicly legitimized a change of ethnic identity among certain families
from Chicano, Spanish, white, and Californio to Chumash. Physical occupation of the construction site by these “Indian traditionalists” was an effective part of the opposition to the construction project. And yet, it was also clear that for these people, Pt. Conception retains the significance it acquired in those 1970s political activities—it is their sacred place now.

The more disturbing find we made was that although opposition to the 1970s project came from a large and diverse cross-section of the public, anthropologists participating in that event altered historical records and introduced flawed ethnographic data to strengthen the image of persistent traditional indigenous belief and practice. These actions appeared to be contrary to anthropological ethics guidelines regarding research integrity and public truthfulness (see, e.g., American Anthropological Association 1998). Our colleagues’ alleged verification of the claims of wo-Chumash was crucial to the successful legitimization of these people as the most authentic traditional Chumash. In other words, our colleagues had helped create

indigenes without realizing it. The presence of new indigenes created a new problem: there were pre-existing Chumash communities that were none too happy at being outmaneuvered politically by neo-Chumash. These preexisting Chumash were descendants of the local aboriginal occupants of the region who, in most cases, had maintained a social identity as local Native Americans in several small communities and scattered families. With few exceptions, these communities and families had been identified continuously as local indigenes since colonization of the region.0 In contrast, the neo-Chumash families have their origins in Spain’s colonization of California in 1769—1820. These were soldiers, their families, and a few other colonists who came to California from what is now northwest Mexico.6 Contrary to the suggestions of some of our critics, the non-indigenous colonial roots of neo-Chumash families are well-established in the historical literature on Spanish-Mexican California and Chicano history. The families descended from these colonists were demonstrably and publicly content with their colonial ancestry until the late 1960s, when some were receptive to suggestions from local genealogists and historians that perhaps they had local indigenous ancestry as well (Haley 2002, In press; Haley and Wilcoxon n.d.).

Neo-Chumash have had mixed success in establishing themselves as legitimate Chumash. In general, non-Chumash have been more accepting of neo-Chumash identity claims than the old Chumash communities have been. This is significant itself, because certain non-Chumash, especially anthropologists, the press, and local government agencies have a greater influence on public legitimacy than do the old Chumash. Outside interests benefit by having political allies whose public persona is that of assertive local indigenes, so mutually supportive relationships have been nurtured by both parties. The pre-existing Chumash communities, on the other hand, have generally rejected the neo-Chumash, often in harsh terms. Friction began almost immediately in the late 1960s and became public very quickly in the early 1970s (O’Connor 1989). When we interviewed members of the old Chumash communities in 1993, we were still often told that the neo-Chumash are “wannabees.” The contest reappears periodically in the press, though the individual antagonists often change.7 Neo-Chumash responded to this rejection by claiming an ‘underground Mexican phase’ in their family histories, during which it is claimed they maintained public identities as Mexican while secretly maintaining Chumash traditions. Many neo-Chumash then claimed to be culturally the most “authentic” or “traditional” Chumash. Their impact on popular understandings of Chumash culture has been significant, and they have appeared in textbooks, television documentaries, doctoral dissertations, and so on as spokespersons for and representatives of “authentic” Chumash tradition.

Their success in convincing anthropologists of the accuracy of their claims of Chumash origins ranks among the most significant neo-Chumash political achievements. These successes come among anthropologists whose specializations lead them to be ignorant of the relevant historical literature and archival sources. Luckily for the neo-Chumash, a strong postcolonial ethic of not challenging indigenes is also present among the anthropologists convinced of neo-Chumash legitimacy. Indeed, the ethic makes it easier for these anthropologists to be duped by neo-Chumash claims and for these errors to compound. Thus, one anthropologist depicts neo-Chumash claims that they “Jo have documented California Native ancestors” as more authoritative than the social history revealed in records, and makes the added mistake of accepting neo-Chumash descriptions of “problems” with specific records and researchers mistakenly presumed to be the sources of all challenges to their claims (Wilson 1998:496). The combination of accepting neo-Chumash as indigenes plus the belief that it is improper to challenge indigenous statements produces a circularity: because these persons are indigenes, it is inappropriate to look at historical evidence pertinent to their claimed indigeneity. Anthropologists who do so are condemned. For example, one defender of neo-Chumash claims characterized Haley and Wilcoxon (1997) as “inexcusable meddling in Indian politics” (Erlandson 1998:484). This position fails to address the reasonableness of the questions, How did they become Indian?; What makes them Indian?; and, What keeps them Indian? But reflecting awareness of how such questions play out, this critic also offers four different versions of neo-Chumash origins allegedly in the region’s aboriginal inhabitants. Parts of these stories are incompatible with one another, and in any case, none are backed up by research or even passing familiarity with the relevant evidence. Indeed, this critic will not allow himself or anyone else to examine the evidence. Not surprisingly, therefore, the author’s assertions are disastrously in error.

This willingness to defend neo-Chumash claims as truthful without research as a basis for doing so is reinforced by past personal investment of time and energy to establish oneself as new kind of enlightened scholar claiming a unique moral respect for indigenous self-determination. For their support of neo-Chumash claims, these anthropologists get access to

“traditional” knowledge and indigenous perspectives for their ethnographic studies, and political support for their archaeological or other projects. The situation fits what David Stoll (1999: 277) describes as one in which scholars “insecure about their moral right to depict ‘the Other’... validate [their] authority by claiming to abdicate it.” Indeed, the more “activist” or “radical” the indigenous voices they can abdicate to, the stronger they believe their own postcolonial credentials are (see, e.g., Erlandson 1998:483,484; King 1998:485).

Anthropologists who accept and support the neo-Chumash claims of Chumash ancestry conclude that we must have some unholy reason for challenging an indigenous group, and speculate at great lengths about our motivations. One characterizes our work “as yet another attempt by white anthropologists to divide the Chumash Indian community for their own purposes” (Erlandson I998:484).9 Again, the circularity surfaces: local aboriginal origins are presumed. When Wilcoxon and I criticized another colleague for authorizing an individual’s claims of local indigenous ancestry without researching it first (Field 1999; Haley and Wilcoxon 2000), we received the following rebuttal:

I don't think it is the business of anthropologists to play the genealogy card with Native persons with whom they happen to disagree politically. Certainly I know more than a little about the genealogies of those with whom I agree and disagree in the Essclcn and Ohion с regions. I have taken my cue from the leadership of these peoples that it is quite inappropriate to use family histories as ammunition for political battles. This is an ethical point I would like to такс as I agree collcgially to disagree with Haley and Wilcoxon (Field 2000: 273).

I asked this scholar (who does not do research in the Chumash region) what these political disagreements were, but he did not respond. Of greater interest, however, are the implications of this statement for deriving some general ethical principles for anthropological practice. Is it acceptable for anthropologists to publicly support Native claims without checking their accuracy first? Is it acceptable for anthropologists to deceive the public and policymakers as long as Native leaders insist on this course of action? What if the Native group lacks unified leadership? If the anthropologists do not disagree politically with the Natives (and this is certainly applicable to us), can we describe their origins then? What is it about Native-ness that makes it subject to unique ethical principles? Can persons or groups become Native and take advantage of those unique principles?

The American Anthropological Association’s Code of Ethics provides some guidance on these questions.111 Without going into all possible relevant passages in the AAA’s code, it is nevertheless explicitly clear that anthropologists are instructed that “they should not deceive or knowingly misrepresent..., or attempt to prevent reporting of misconduct, or obstruct the scientific/scholarly research of others.” As a responsibility to the public, anthropologists “must be truthful; they are ... responsible for the factual content of their statements They should make clear the empirical bases

upon which their reports stand, be candid about their qualifications and philosophical or political biases, and recognize and make clear the limits of anthropological expertise.” The code makes no mention of unique treatment for persons or groups identifying themselves as Natives or indigenes or their leaders, if there are any; instead, it states “The same ethical guidelines apply to all anthropological work.” Our critic’s position does not appear to conform well to these guidelines, so if he believes the guidelines are flawed he should explain this in detail to his colleagues so that his concerns may be properly considered.

For all the talk among professionals of an ethic of yielding to indigenous voices, the public and policy makers still expect anthropologists to possess empirical, fact-based, objective knowledge about indigenous peoples. Clearly, the AAA expects the same. In validating the claims of neo-Chumash to the public and policy makers, my colleagues are playing to this expectation, and are still claiming to be authorities. If we are correct that neo-Chumash origins and social history from colonization to the present are quite distinct from Chumash origins and social history then the shoe is definitely on the other foot, and those who accuse us of “meddling” in Chumash politics have, in fact, helped to create and sustain replacement Indians who detract from Chumash involvement in the very processes our critics claim to support.

The mere possibility that anthropologists may have contributed to the disempowerment of a community through their insistence that they, and we, must blindly yield to and support the most vocal local indigenes requires that we investigate what the facts arc. No other option is ethical. More than two decades of complaints from old Chumash communities have raised that possibility. Anthropologists need to respect the public’s expectation that our Endings are based on empirical evidence, or else we will surely someday be dismissed by the public and policymakers alike as unreliable.11

Before closing, I must draw attention to some final complexities of indigenous legitimacy in this case. It is easily demonstrated that one or more distinct neo-Chumash communities exist—they are an ethnic group, albeit a new one and one that not everyone considers legitimate. Their recorded history is different from the version they embrace, but that in and of itself does not distinguish them from other cultural groups around the world. Neo-Chumash persons are as sincere in their beliefs and practices associated with Point Conception as other ethnic groups are regarding their own beliefs and practices. And, as the historical record makes abundantly clear, their cultural identity emerged partly as a reaction to their own history of being colonized and subordinated by Anglo Americans. I do not wish to minimize the significance of their own historical experience of discrimination. Nevertheless, all of this ignores significant issues in the case. The neo-Chumash have not been accepted by the old Chumash, who have consistently expressed a strong desire to represent their own interests. Gains by the neo-Chumash come at the expense of the old Chumash, who have on occasion lost the remains of their dead, input in local decision-making, and wage income from environmental monitoring. Anthropologists whose ethical focus too narrowly considers the impacts of their work on a single subject group may miss how other groups may be affected by their actions. When is it ethical to challenge indigenes? One circumstance may be when other anthropologists have systematically misinformed the public and policymakers and show no inclination to recognize or correct their own mistakes, and when their misinformation may be influencing policy in ways that harm other communities or exclude them from full social participation.

References cited:

American Anthropological Association

—1998, Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association. Electronic document, Bancroft, Hubert Howe

—1884-90, History of California. Seven volumes. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co.

—1964, California Pioneer Register and Index, I542-1S4S, Including Inhabitants of California, 1769-1800, and List of Pioneers. Baltimore: Regional Publishing Co. Banks, Sandy

—1997, Native Americans Resurrect Heritage. Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1997, Wednesday, Valley Edition, Part A; Page I.

Biolsi, Thomas and Larry J. Zimmerman, editors

—1997, Indians and Anthropologists: Vinc Dcloria, Jr. and the Critique of Anthropology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Bustillo, Miguel

—1996, 2 Chumash Leaders Can’t Get Together On Powwows. Los Angeles Times, September 8, 1996, Sunday, Ventura County Edition, Part B; Page I. Camarillo, Albert

—1979, Chicanos in a Changing Society. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press.

Corwin, Miles

—1987, Heritage of Indians questioned: Genealogists cast doubt on background of Chumash group. Los Angeles Times, May 26, Part I, page 3. Cowan, Robert G.

—1977. Ranchos of California: A List of Spanish Concessions 1775-1822 and Mexican Grants I822T846. Los Angeles: Historical Society of Southern California.

Deloria, Vine, Jr.

—1969, Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: Macmillan. Erlandson, Jon Mcvey

—1998, The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Current Anthropology 39(4):477-485.

Field, Les

—1999, Complicities and Collaborations: Anthropologists and the ‘Unacknowledged Tribes’ of California. Current Anthropology 40(2):I93-209.

—2000, Reply. Current Anthropology 41(2): 273-274.

Haley, Brian D.

—1999a, Indigenous Politics, the New Primitivism, and Responsible Research. UC MEXUS News 35, Winter 1999.

—1999b, The culture of indigenous rights activism and David Stoll’s 'Rigohcrta Mcnchú.’ Human Rights Review I(I):9I-98.

—2002, Going Deeper: Chumash identity, scholars, and spaceports in Radie’ and elsewhere. Acta Americana I0(I):II3-I23.

—In press, The Case of the Three Baltazars: Indigenization and the Vicissitudes of the Written Word. Southern California Quarterly (forthcoming 2003).

Haley, Brian D. and Larry R. Wilcoxon

—1997, Anthropology and the Making of Chumash Tradition. Current Anthropology 38(5):76I-794.

—1998, Reply in: The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Current Anthropology 39(4):50I-508.

—1999, Point Conception and the Chumash Land of the Dead: Revisions from Harrington’s notes. Journal of California and Gnat Basin Anthropology 2I(2):2I3-235.

—2000, On ‘Complicities and Collaborations.’ Current Anthropology 4I(2):272-273.

—n.d., How Spaniards became Chumash, and other tales of ethnogenesis. (Ms.).

Harris, Carl V., Jarrel C. Jackman, and Catherine Rudolph, editors —1993, Santa Barbara Presidio Area 1840 to the Present. Santa Barbara: University of California, Santa Barbara Public Historical Studies and Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

King, Chester

—1998, The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Current Anthropology 39(4):485-486.

Lurie, Nancy Oestreich

—1998, Review of Indians and Anthropologists: Vine Deloria, Jr., and the Critique of Anthropology. Current Anthropology 39(4):572-573.

Mason, William Marvin

—1998, The Census of 1790: A Demographie History of Colonial California. Menlo Park, California: Ballena Press.

McLendon, Sally and John R. Johnson, editors

—1999, Cultural Affiliation and Lineal Descent of Chumash Peoples in the Channel Islands and the Santa Monica Mountains. Two volumes. Report prepared for Archaeology and Ethnography Program, National Park Service. Santa Barbara and New York: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Hunter College, City University of New York.

Northrop, Marie E.

—1984, Spanish-Mcxican Families of Early California: 1769-1850. Volume II. Burbank: Southern California Genealogical Society.

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O’Connor, Mary I.

—1989, “Environmental Impact Review and the Construction of Contemporary Chumash Ethnicity,” in Negotiating Ethnicity. Edited by Susan Emley Keefe, pp. 9-17. NAPA Bulletin 8.

Pitt, Leonard

—1960, Tbc Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, IS46-IS90. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Ruyle, Eugene E.

—1998, The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Current Anthropology 39(4):487-49I.

Sánchez, Rosaura

—1995, Telling Identities: The Californio testimonios. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Stoll, David

—1999, Rigohcrta Mcnehu, and the story of all poor Guatemalans. Boulder: Westview Press.

Thomas, David Hurst —2000, Skull Wars. New York: Basic Books.

Wilson, Diana Drake

—1998, The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Current Anthropology 39(4):49I-496.


1 I do not mean to endorse the view that anthopologists historically have always abetted colonial interests, as I think the discipline’s record reveals equally significant reformist and stronger counter-hegemonic strains.

2 I was lucky enough to read Vine Deloria. Jr.’s famous critique of anthropologists as a college freshman, and it helped me enter anthopology with my eyes open to the potential for abuse. It was soon evident to me that Deloria had been selective in his appraisal of anthropology and anthropologists.

3 This essay largely springs from the fallout over Haley and Wilcoxon ( 1997 ). which included efforts to block publication of an ethnohistorical research essay that had already passed peer review (Haley and Wilcoxon 1999 ). Our related works addressing some of the ethical issues raised by this and other cases are Haley ( 1999a. 1999b. 2002 ) and Haley and Wilcoxon ( 1998. 2000). Empirical studies presenting and supporting our interpretations are the afore-mentioned Haley and Wilcoxon ( 1997. 1999 ). a manuscript nearing completion ( Haley and Wilcoxon n.d.), and Haley (2 002. In press).

4 In many jurisdictions, proposed construction projects require specialized studies conducted in advance to determine the proposed project’s environmental and social impacts. Our studies were performed in this context in accordance with U.S. federal environmental and historic preservation laws.

5 For a demonstration of the continuity of historical Chumash communities, see McLendon and Johnson (1999). Complicating matters regarding Point Conceptions cultural significance, some members of these old Chumash communities have embraced the views originating in the 1970s with the neo-Chumash.

6 Among the more relevant of a long list of publications are Bancroft (1884—1890), Northrop (1984,1986), Mason (1998), Pitt (1960), Cowan (1977), Camarillo (1979), Harris et al. (1993), and Sánchez (1995).

7 Haley and Wilcoxon (1998:504),* for other examples, see Corwin (1987), Bustillo (1996), and Banks (1997).

8 These versions are as follows: 1) “After decades of being told that their ancestral cultures were wicked, barbaric, decadent, inferior, or extinct, many Native Californians went underground with their cultural identity. They intermarried with others of various racial or ethnic identities, and many denied their Indian heritage to the public, friends, and even family” (Erlandson 1998:478,* cf. Haley and Wilcoxon n.d.),* 2) “Mission records suggested that one of Madelaine Halls ancestors was a Mexican (part-Indian) woman living in Santa Barbara almost 200 years ago who had married an Indian man [Policarpio] of unknown (possibly Chumash or California Indian) origin who probably was not the father of the womans child. Who fathered the child is not known, but it is not inconceivable that an Indian woman living among the Chumash after the death of her Indian husband may

have borne the child of a Chumash man” (ibid., 482,* cf. Northrop 1984:55),* 3) “Subsequent research suggested that Policarpo, the Indian “man from the south,” came from Baja, California. His wife, Maria Manuela Quejada, born in Los Angeles ca. 1798, reportedly had three children out of wedlock with Miguel Cordero, a native Santa Barbaran of Mexican descent who was married to a half-Chumash woman. Of the other 11 great-great-grandparents of Madelaine Hall listed by Wilcoxon et al. (1986), two also had a parent whose birthplace was not recorded” (ibid., 482 n. 3,* cf. Haley 2002),* and 4) “Travis Hudson showed in the early 1970s that Ruiz had Chumash ancestors in his father s lineage” (ibid., 482,* cf. Haley In press).

9 For more speculation about our motives, see King (1998) and Ruyle (1998).

10 The Association s code of ethics is intended to “foster discussion and education. The American Anthropological Association (AAA) does not adjudicate claims for unethical behavior.” AAA is not a licensing association.

11 While a critique of objectivity may be raised here in response to my proposal, its relevance must be considered in the context of an anthropological praxis that derives from—and plays to—public expectations on the nature of the anthropologist s task.

Spanish Science Fiction: Towards a Humanized Technology

Elizabeth Small Foreign Languages & Literatures

[This talk was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of illustrations related to technology and Spanish science fiction. Where germane, the slides are described in brackets.]

Thank you all very much for coming. I was really flattered when I was asked to do this; I’ve been very impressed by the previous convivia I’ve attended, and I hope I won’t disappoint you too much.

I got into Spanish science fiction in that awkward period between finishing my dissertation and actually graduating, when I never wanted to read another late-Romantic poet ever again. So I went back to a youthful obsession, science fiction, and I found some written in Spanish, much to my surprise—your surprise too, perhaps? Well, yes, Spanish science fiction! It’s not as renowned as the English-language or Russian branches, since generally Spanish-speaking authors have gone for supernatural rather than technological fantasies. And science fiction is not a mainstream current in Spanish literature, any more than it is in the US, but in this age of the Internet, desktop publishing, and our incredible him technology, it has had a nice little boom, from new publishing houses in Spain, to fanzines (those are non-commercial magazines by and for fans), to websites and cartoons. OK so not all the slides I had up before were science fiction, but they’re funny, and comic books and the whole fantasy art and illustration side of the genre are just as important as written science fiction.

Spanish science fiction does follow the English and American models, sometimes slavishly, but in my opinion the least derivative stories tend to be in the social-criticism vein, heirs of Ray Bradbury, if that helps you place them. This novella, “El orgullo de Dios”/”The Pride of God,” was one of the stories I discussed recently in an article about religion in Spanish science fiction—not that Spanish science fiction completely rejects religion, but the vast majority that mentions it at all, will reject the social-control implications of organized religion. And notice in this drawing, how organic the spaceships are—not metallic-looking, mass-produced machines, not the clean, sterile products of a totalitarian state. Today’s Spanish science fiction has its roots in the Franco era, when science fiction was censored, and had an underground, subversive edge—the essence of science fiction was inherently at odds with Franco’s traditionalist ideology. Here’s another illustration from a cautionary tale about first contact with another sentient civilization, against which a religious crusade is quickly waged and the alien civilization destroyed. A nice ironic touch on this crusader’s helmet—it says “no matarás”/“thou shalt not kill.”

At the end of the Franco dictatorship, Spanish science fiction makes for an interesting footnote to the process of re-creating the nation’s sense of self. Remember on the original Star Trek series, how the multi-cultural bridge crew was composed? What nationality was the navigator, the weapons control officer, the communications officer? And the captain, of course, was American. Well, in Spanish stories of space exploration (the very few which follow the Trek model), which nationalities would be represented on the bridge? And what role would the Spaniard have? This was going to be the topic of my presentation, and I would have spent twenty minutes showing you that the captains of starships in Spanish science fiction following the Star Trek model, were generally German or American, and the Spaniard was invariably the communications officer. So now those of you who were interested in my original topic won’t go away entirely empty handed.

I changed my topic when I learned that Jim Greenberg was reading Ortega y Gasset, a Spanish philosopher from the early I900’s who had some interesting thoughts on the dehumanizing effects of modernity, and since I’m giving a paper at a conference in April on almost this same topic,

I’m really interested in hearing what you all have to say in the discussion afterwards. The question is, what have Spanish attitudes towards technology been? Specifically, can human culture survive our advances in technology?

Is technology just a different kind of clothing upon an essentially unaltered human condition, or is it a binding straitjacket that might be good for some things but will ultimately deform and destroy what it seems to protect?

This question has troubled Spanish writers far enough back that we can End some of the biggest names in nineteenth-century realist-naturalist prose felt compelled to write science fiction (occasionally).

Take Leopoldo Alas, Clarín, one of the top three or four novelists of the late nineteenth century, who wrote a short story in 1886 called “Cuento

futuro”/“Future Tale,” gathered with many others in this volume [slide of book cover, De la luna a mccanópolis, Antología de la ciencia ficción española, IS32—1913 / From the Moon to Mccanopolis: Anthology of Spanish Science Fiction, 1832—1913]. In Clarin’s story the advances of technology have left humanity so well-cared-for, so sated, so bored and tired of mere existence (since all causes of struggle had been solved), that all humanity decides to commit suicide at the same time. The scientist in charge of the immolation and his wife, Judas Adambis and Evelina Apple, are left alive and naturally End their way to the Garden of Eden. There Evelina does eat of the apple, but her husband refuses and demands a divorce, which he is granted. She is expelled to lonely mortality and he continues to live in Paradise for centuries after she is gone, until he finally tires of his solitude and also leaves to die, so ending the history of mankind, but not the world. Technology is not evil or dehumanizing in this story, it is the ease and leisure that it brings that saps away the will to live. And among the bland sameness of universal well-being, art, poetry and philosophy find no deep dilemmas to consider and human culture dribbles away into meaninglessness. Sound like network television to anyone? No, sorry, it was 1886.

“Mecanópolis” was written by the very famous essayist, scholar and philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno, in I9I3. Obviously times had changed and though the horrors of World War I had not yet affected attitudes to technology, that was not far away, and not unforeseen. Unamuno’s great concern was not the ennui of prosperity, it was the loss of human contact as a result of the progressive multiplication of machines around us. In his story a man gets lost in the desert and stumbles upon a train with no visible driver. He gets in and it takes him to a city in which all the living inhabitants have died or fled, all the people, animals, rats, everyone, leaving all the machines on to continue cleaning the streets, creating the industrial products, running the theaters and everything. The man finally loses his sanity when the Mecanopolis newspaper prints an editorial expressing pity for him—the idea of a soulless mechanized civilization drives him to jump in front of a moving streetcar and he wakes back in the desert where he is revived physically and spiritually by the uncomplicated hospitality of a group of Bedouins.

Let’s look at an example of hard science fiction from much later,

1978, which quite directly tackles the subject of how might one design a functioning human society to meet a technological challenge? The problem was the evacuation of a planet, which would become necessary several

generations in the future and then require the whole population to survive another few generations’ worth of sub-light speed space travel before arriving at a suitable new home. This novel [slide of book cover El Señor de la Rueda / Lord of the Wheel] creates a retro-medieval society on wheels which meets not only the technological future needs of the planet’s people (the rocket engines they will eventually use in space are similar to those powering their castle-cars, etc.), but the non-technological trappings, the humanistic elements of customs, myths and history are designed too, to ensure the people are comfortable with the constant traveling they face. Here a very nice balance between technology and humanity is maintained by the apparently benevolent wisdom of a very few people, the hidden planners. Even more recent works of Spanish science fiction still follow a similar line of mistrusting totalitarian systems and the uses to which they put technology—sort of the “guns don’t kill people, people do” attitude towards technology which Ends the roots of amorality in human nature and politics, not in the dehumanizing effect of technology. Of course, it’s the technology that enables the total control of these dystopias. But on yet another hand, more advanced technology also means the possibility of more nuanced relations between people and machines—or computers.

Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sánchez are a pair of authors whose collaborations have been winning them prizes recently. They are both scientists themselves, and that might explain their much more optimistic attitude toward human-cyborg relations, if you will. The story this illustration is from, “Me pareció ver un lindo gatito”/“I Thought I Saw a Pussy Cat,” shows their characteristic comic touch and perforce humanizes the technology since all the human crewmembers have been killed when the story begins, leaving the ship’s computer to be the protagonist and deal with the hostile aliens, aided only and unwittingly, by the ship’s cat (who is not humanized in any way, and none too pleased with events as they unfold) [illustration shows a creepy alien above an annoyed-looking black cat]. In its death throes, the computer spends some time recalling its relationship with the human crew and discerns a pattern of nostalgia for them in its recollections: “It was hard to admit it, but it was nice being around those guys. From the start they took [me] on as an advisor, and not just in scientific matters” (IS). This is a self-aware computer, capable of self-sacrifice for the good of humanity—Gallego and Sanchez’s resolution of the tension we’ve seen between humans and our machines relies on making the machines human in every way except their physical circuitry. I won’t go into any more detail, for lack of time, but the computer does win, and the cat lives happily ever after.

Another Gallego and Sánchez story posits a similarly humanized relationship between people and their computers. In “Dar de comer al sediento”/“Feeding the Thirsty,” a college professor is trying to write a science hction-fantasy novel for an interstellar science fiction contest not unlike the one this novella won (in the novel its the Polyfacetic University of Centaurus; in real life it’s the Polytechnic University of Catalonia). But the character’s novel is so excruciatingly bad that the style-checker in his word-processor keeps interrupting him with comments like, “Do you know the real meaning of the word ‘stolid’? Perhaps it’s not the best choice for the protagonist” (203). The style-checker is in automatic mode, and since the professor is working with a pirated copy of the software, he can’t turn the style-checker off. Not that anyone here would relate to his situation, of course not. This novella, like Gallego and Sanchez’s earlier story, features a number of characters who are actually self-aware computer programs, including the style-checker, potty-mouthed viruses and virus-protection mercenaries. It’s a lot of fun and thoroughly lighthearted, but it’s not too unfair to compare this novel to Unamuno’s Mecanópolis, the one with the mechanized city devoid of any living beings. Here it’s the exact opposite: the only really humanized characters, with a very few exceptions, the only ones with a sense of community, compassion and camaraderie, are the computer programs.

The ultra-technologized society of human beings in Gallego and Sanchez’s universe is morally bankrupt, vapid, superficial, and utterly soulless.

All the stories I’ve mentioned today point out the modern trend towards asking machines to do what we used to ask of our fellow human beings. A recent New York Times article asked whether time spent in Internet chat rooms can properly be called social interaction, when one’s direct interaction is with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. And the creators of that interface will make it more or less dehumanizing, but it still is a non-transparent barrier. Gallego and Sánchez do seem to have hit on a point either lost on earlier writers of Spanish science fiction, or perhaps it could only have found its way into works that deal with advanced computers, not the mechanical monsters of the nineteenth century. With the self-aware computer programs in these recent stories, we begin to recognize that we can choose to put our best qualities into our creations, and none or few of the worst. Like the moral rectitude of Asimov’s robots, the ship computer’s valiant self-sacrifice or the

decentralized resilience of our own Internet, technology as it functions in human society may embody important human ideals. But even so, Gallego and Sánchez share with Unamuno and with us now a concern as old as the Industrial Revolution: the danger of a mechanization of society, a loss of poetic and spiritual sensibility, and a loss of human solidarity that permits the application of technology towards atrocities even today.

Comparison of Russian and American Forms of Doing Business

Robert Rothenberg and Tatyana V. Melnikova Economics & Business


In discussions between Russian and American business faculty, it became clear that there were differences in forms of business organizations (forms) in the two countries. In some cases there were incongruities between forms (e.g.: there is no U.S. equivalent of the Russian Unitary Enterprise with Rights of Economic Management); in others, there were differences in structure or use of similar forms. The authors have written one paper comparing proprietorships, partnerships and limited partnerships, and are currently working on a second, comparing corporations, joint stock companies and limited liability entities. The presentation at the convivium was intended to communicate some of the Endings from the authors’ research.

The papers were/are written for lawyers, teachers of business law, and possibly businesspersons. Almost all of the attendees at the convivium fell into none of these categories. Accordingly, it was necessary to first present some of the characteristics of U.S. forms. Then, a brief comparison of interesting differences between the countries would be more meaningful. Due to time limitations, these findings are illustrative rather than comprehensive, and may be superficially stated.

Russian law concerning business entities is largely governed by the Russian Civil Code. This statute applies throughout the Russian Federation. U.S. law concerning forms is created at the State level, and may differ from one State to another. This presentation focuses on U.S. law as exemplified by New York.

Overview of New York law:

In choosing a form for doing business, there are six basic factors to consider:

  1. Ease and cost of formation.
  2. How to manage the form.
  3. Taxation of the profits and losses.
  4. Distribution of the profits and losses.
  5. Personal liability of the owners of the business.
  6. Transferability of interests and/or withdrawal from the business.

In choosing a form for doing business, there are several basic forms that commonly occur:

  • Proprietorship.
  • Partnership.
  • Limited partnership.
  • Corporation
    • Publicly held.
    • Closely held.
    • "S” Corporation.
  • Limited Liability Entities.

A proprietorship is a business owned by one person. It is easy to create (in some cases requiring no formal act) and relatively inexpensive. The owner makes all management decisions, profits and losses are taxed directly to the owner, and all profits and losses belong to the owner. He/she is liable for the business’ debts. A proprietorship may be terminated at the will of the owner, or may be sold by the owner to another. A proprietorship may operate under its own name or an assumed name.

A partnership is a business owned by two or more persons (or other forms - e.g.: two persons, a person and another partnership, a person and a corporation may own a partnership). It is relatively easy to form (although more difficult than a proprietorship) and relatively inexpensive. All the partners make management decisions together (the advantage is greater input, the disadvantage is loss of control). Profits and losses are shared, and each partner is responsible for the taxes on his/her share. All partners are responsible for the debts of the business. (This is a joint and several liability. If a partnership is bankrupt with no assets and $10,000 in debt, any one partner may be personally responsible for the payment of the entire $10,000. He/she may then seek reimbursement from the other partners, but if they have no funds, he/she suffers the entire loss.) Because of the close working relationship of the partners, and the voluntary nature of the relationship, a partner’s interest is usually not transferable without the consent of the other partners. The entire partnership business may be sold to another party or group.

A limited partnership is a peculiar form in which there are two classes of partners: those who are full partners and those who are limited. There are two critical differences: limited partners are not personally liable for the business’s debts, but this comes at the price of exclusion from the management of the business. All limited partnerships must have at least one financially responsible general partner. Limited partnerships are of little significance in the current business environment. They are generally more difficult and expensive to form than regular partnerships. Profits and losses of limited partnerships are allocated to the partners and the partners pay taxes on them. General partners are personally for the business debts, limited partners are not. General partners usually cannot transfer their interests without the consent of the other general partners; limited partners may transfer their interests to anyone.

A corporation is a different form in that it requires the consent of government to create. While not legally mandated, proprietorships, partnerships and limited partnerships are usually managed by the owner or general partners. Corporations are run by professional managers who may also be owners (shareholders), but are not required to be so by law. Corporations are taxed on their profits. When profits are distributed to the owners (in the form of dividends) the owners pay taxes again. The owners of a corporation are not personally liable for the debts of the business, and they may transfer their shares to anyone. One can think of corporations in three sub classes as shown above. Publicly held corporations include entities which are recognizable to all of us (IBM, General Motors, etc.) All the characteristics stated in this paragraph apply to them. A second kind is the closely held corporation. This can be owned by as few as one person, but often includes a small group (friends, family unit, etc.) The ownership of a closely held corporation is often restricted to the group by agreement, making it harder for shareholders to get out of the business. Shareholders in closely held corporations are often also involved in the decision making process. A third sub class is the “S” corporation. This is limited to no more than 75 shareholders, and pays no taxes at the corporate level. Profits of the corporation are allocated to each of the shareholders, and they pay taxes on

those profits on their personal tax returns (whether or not they profits are distributed).

Limited liability entities are similar to “S” corporations, but may consist of more than 75 participants. They are created by government charter, and the process is somewhat complex.

Interesting findings about Russian forms:

In general, it is more costly and time consuming to create a form in Russia. The cost to form a proprietorship, for example, is $25 in New York, and about $10 in Russia. However, the average U.S. salary is $2,000 per month; the average in Russia is $100. Thus it takes about 1.25% of a month’s salary to form a proprietorship in New York but about 10% of a month’s salary in Russia. Creating a form in New York takes very little time. Usually one fills out a fairly simple document and files with the County Clerk or Department of State. It can be done by mail in a few days. Creating a form in Russia takes at least a week, often a month or more. It usually must be done in person, and requires multiple trips to one or more offices of government.

Russian forms are subject to an additional burden: they often have minimal capital requirements defined by statute. Thus, for example, a Russian joint stock company must have a capital of not less than $320. No such requirement exists in New York. It is theoretically possible to form a New York corporation with as little as $1.00, or possibly even $0. This amount may sound trivial, but it should be noted that $320 is more than three month’s average salary in Russia. The U.S. equivalent would be more than $6000.

In New York, an individual, or a group could form a business named “Oneonta imports.” Assuming the business were successful, and it were later sold to another individual or group, the first owner could realize a substantial amount of money from the sale of the business’ name and the “goodwill” associated with that name. The successor could then operate its business as “Oneonta imports,” building on the established goodwill without having to create it from scratch. Russian law, however, requires that proprietorships, partnerships and limited partnerships be created in the names of their owners; “assumed names” may not be used. In such a case, the name could not be “Krasnoyarsk imports” but would have to name the owner(s). When

the business is subsequently sold, any goodwill cannot be sold, as the identity of the new business would be different. This would seem to deprive the Russian businessperson of a substantial asset. (Joint stock companies and limited liability entities may do business under assumed names in Russia.) The authors believe that businesses in Russia do use assumed names, and do transfer these to new owners, but this process is apparently not within the statutory framework. An open question, for further research, is whether such transfers (since not contemplated by statute) could be enforced in a Russian court. Another broader area for further investigation is to what extent there are differences between Russian statutory rules and Russian practice.

Russian law states that only entrepreneurships and legal entities may form partnerships; individuals who are not entrepreneurships, may not.

Thus, if two individuals wanted to form a partnership, they each would have to form an entrepreneurship, and these entrepreneurships would then form the partnership. This entails the payment of three filing fees, and the time necessary for two sets of filings. By contrast, in New York, there are no such limits.

Russian law allows one to be a partner in only one partnership. New York law makes no such distinction. From a practical standpoint, this may not be much of a problem, as partnership may not be the most desirable form to select, however, it does restrict one’s possibilities. Would an individual enter a partnership when he/she might later have an opportunity to enter a different one? While one might think to simply leave the now less desirable partnership, it might be difficult. In some cases, there might even be financial losses involved that would discourage one from leaving. The New York approach is that one can be a partner in any number of partnerships as long as one is able to fulfill one’s commitment to each of them, and none of them represents an improper conflict of interest to any of the others.

Russian law requires a founding contract to create a partnership. New York law requires no equivalent document. As a matter of practice, New York lawyers will recommend that such a document be prepared. But the client, who is often trying to save money, often defers this process until a later time. Often, there is a problem before that time comes. In this regard, while Russian law may be more restrictive, it is, in the authors’ opinions, beneficial.

An interesting aspect of Russian law is the form called “simple partnership.” Having identified all the business “entities” and concluded most of the draft of the first paper, the authors were discussing the small number of partnerships that exist in Krasnoyarsk (only 12). Dr. Melnikova suggested that one reason for this was that Russians would probably opt for simple partnerships instead. “What is that” Prof. Rothenberg asked. “Why didn’t we talk about that before?” “Because it is not an entity” was the reply. One of the things about multi-national research, which makes it interesting, is the need to constantly be on one’s toes to avoid any misunderstanding.

The simple partnership is a form of doing business that, like the proprietorship, is not an entity. It is a relationship that is created by contract. There are no formal requirements: it is not registered, it does not pay taxes or hie tax reports, it can be formed without cost and immediately. Because it is not registered, it is invisible and there cannot be a complete count of the number of these in Russia. It seems logical that it is the most popular form of those including unlimited owner liability. New York law has no equivalent.

In Russia, what we think of as a corporation is called a “joint stock company”. Russian law recognizes two kinds of joint stock companies: open and closed. These correlate with our publicly held and closely held corporations. The closed joint stock company’s shares may only be distributed among a select group, and there may not be more than 50 shareholders. Shareholders may transfer their shares, but other shareholders have a priority right. New York closely held corporations have no such restrictions unless they are imposed by the shareholders at the formation of the entity.

In Russia, it is comparatively expensive (about 1/3 of a month’s salary, compared with 7% of a month’s salary), and procedurally complex, to form a joint stock company. There are many documents that must be hied and it could take from several weeks to several months to do so. As in the case of the partnership, joint stock companies must prepare certain documents that New York corporations are not required to prepare. It is usually recommended that they do so, but often, a small group will defer this procedure, often until it is too late. Under Russian law, before a joint stock company can be formed, there must be proof that the charter capital has been paid or contributed. In the case of cash, this proof is a receipt from the bank that money has been deposited into the joint stock companies

account. In New York, one cannot open a bank account in a corporate name until the charter from the State has been issued. Russian law requires a minimum contribution to form a joint stock company; the equivalent of $3,200 for an open joint stock company and $320 for a closed joint stock company. Using comparative monthly salaries, this would be equivalent to $64,000 and $6,400 respectively. The U.S. author has formed many closely held corporations over the years, few of which have been capitalized in this amount. Most are formed using no-par value shares (a concept which does not exist in Russia), and the assets contributed are usually of minimal value. One could argue whether this requirement is a healthy one or not. Clearly it represents a barrier to entry into the marketplace; on the other hand, it may prevent undercapitalized businesses from being formed and going bankrupt later.

Russian law restricts a joint stock company’s ability to generate funds using preferred stock and/or bonds. New York law imposes no such restriction, but, instead, depends on the marketplace to impose reasonable restrictions. The authors plan, in a future paper, to examine the balance sheets of the “Fortune 500” companies, to determine how many of them would be in violation of Russian law in these areas. Russian law requires open joint stock companies to communicate with their shareholders.

The defined procedure is publication in “the mass media.” In the U.S., such communication is usually by annual reports that are mailed to the shareholders.

The management of the Russian joint stock company, compared to the management of the New York corporation is a topic that will also be discussed in a future paper.

Russian law specifically provides for two business entities that exist in American practice, but are not separately defined by law; the dependent business company and the subsidiary business company. The dependent business company is a joint stock company in which another company or participant has more than 20 percent of the voting shares, or a limited liability company in which another company or participant has more than 20 percent of the charter capital. Formation of a dependent business company requires publication in a newspaper that deals with the creation of such entities. However, at the present time, there is no such newspaper. In practice, one would go to the Antimonopoly Board for the city of Krasnoyarsk, and

ask for permission to form the dependent business company anyway. They might grant this, or require publication in some other business newspaper (for example: the newspaper that deals with liquidations, or the one in which the annual report data is published.) The dependent business company is similar to a New York corporation in which another corporation has a “significant influence.” Usually this requires a twenty- percent or more ownership. New York law does not recognize this special situation; accounting practice, however, does.

The subsidiary business company is a business company (joint stock company, limited liability company, or company with supplementary liability) in which another business company or partnership, (the principal), “has the possibility of determining decisions taken by such company.” Under these circumstances, the principal will be jointly and severally liable with the subsidiary. The subsidiary company is not responsible for the debts of the principal, but if the principal has a right to give the subsidiary mandatory instructions, it will be responsible for the fulfillment of such instructions and the results thereof. This is true whether or not the instructions were given. If the subsidiary becomes bankrupt as a result of the actions of the principal, the principal will have secondary liability for the debts of the subsidiary company. In addition, if there are other participants or shareholders in the subsidiary company, they have the right to demand compensation from the principal for damages caused by the principal to the subsidiary company.

This is similar to a New York situation in which one corporation has “control” over the activities of another corporation (usually by ownership of a majority of the shares), and can therefore exercise control. New York law does not recognize this as a special situation; accounting practice, however, does.

A uniquely Russian entity is the “company with supplemental liability”. A company with supplemental liability is a company, with one or more founders. The charter capital is divided into shares of a certain size, according to the founding contract. Each participant in such company is secondarily liable (jointly and severally), for additional (supplemental) capital contributions in some multiple (equal for each of them) of their original capital contributions. This multiple must be stated in the founding documents. The company must be designated as a company “with supplemental liability.” In all other respects the company with supplemental liability shall be treated as a limited liability company. This type of entity may be deceptive to the uninitiated. Assume for example that one invests the

equivalent of $1,000 in such an entity with a multiple of three. One might assume that one’s supplemental liability is $3,000. However, the statute creates supplemental liability based on the charter capital of the entire entity. Thus, if there are a total of ten participants under similar conditions, each of them could be liable for up to $30,000 of supplemental contributions. (Contributions would be limited by the excess of the debts of the entity over its assets.) A participant in such an entity, who pays more than his/her prorata share, would be entitled to recover from other participants, provided they have assets and can be found.

The American limited liability company is a hybrid business form that has the limited liability advantage of a corporation, the single level of taxation advantage of a partnership, and is open to an unlimited number of participants. In Russia, the limited liability company does not have the same tax advantage. It must pay taxes and hie reports. (In Russia, the limited liability company must pay and hie quarterly.) It is also limited to no more than 50 participants. Despite this, it is the most widespread form of business organization because of the relative simplicity of its formation when compared to the joint stock company. (It is also highly popular because of the limited liability feature.) Just as with joint stock companies, Russian limited liability companies can only be formed after there is proof that part of their charter capital has been paid.


The business organizations in Russia today are not recent discoveries. They have a history that is hundreds of years old, which was interrupted during the communist era. Through their own traditions, and many years of interaction with businesses in Europe, the Russians have kept up with much of what has happened in the commercial world. Where they have fallen behind, they are rapidly catching up. Russian law is in transition. One former student (now a businessman) commented that Russian business law is like a balance sheet: it tells you the status today, but you know that the next time you look at it will have changed. As Russians have a chance to see the operation of their systems, it seems logical that the pace of transition will decrease, and there will be greater stability.

While there is great similarity between Russian and American entities, there are sufficient differences between them, and even differences among the same entities, that one should not assume one understands the proper methods to use in the others country. In some cases, the available information may be incomplete or even incorrect. In a recent situation, a Russian business had proposed establishing a U.S. venture. They Russians met with a Russian advisor and decided to form a U.S. partnership. On discussion with an American lawyer, it was quickly decided that this was an unacceptable form of doing business. However, based on the information in the possession of the Russian consultants, their conclusion was reasonable. If considering the formation of a business venture in another country, the advice and counsel of competent and experienced local consultants is imperative.

The authors’ work has been made possible by grants from two sources: the Eurasia Foundation (with the support of the USAID) and the USIA.

Mass Balance of the Taku Glacier, Southeastern Alaska

Evan Mankoff (Student)


The Taku Glacier is a temperate, maritime glacier of the Juneau Icefield. Mass balance studies have been conducted here since 1946, showing positive overall volume gains, thereby resulting in the glacier’s continued advance. Since 1890, the termini of the Taku and the Hole-in-the-Wall glaciers have advanced 7 km and 3.2 km respectively. Surface measurements in 2001 show that 2822.22 m3 of water equivalence was retained above the ELA, thus contributing to the long-term positive budget.


During the summer of 2001, I took part in the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP). My participation was partially funded by the Student -faculty Grant Program. While involved with the program I studied the annual mass balance of the Taku Glacier. The following is a report citing the held work completed, data collected, the manner by which it was obtained, and post-held season analysis.


JIRP has been conducting an expeditionary and held science program for the past 54 years. During the summer of 2001, thirty students (both graduate and undergraduate) participated in the program conducted on the Juneau Icefield, Alaska, and adjoining segments of the Atlin Lake region on the Alaska-BC-Yukon border.

My goal, determining the annual mass balance of the Taku Glacier and its tributaries, is one of many ways to determine the general regime, or overall health of a glacier. The Taku has eight primary tributaries and two terminus tongues (the Taku and Hole-in-the-Wall) (figure I).

The analysis of mass balance of a glacier is determined by the measurement of water volume that enters a glacial system as snow compared with that which is lost via melting, or the difference between the net snow accumulation and the net ice loss over one year.

The Taku Glacier is a temperate, maritime glacier that has been advancing since 1890 (Pelto et. ah, in progress). Since this time advances of more then 7 km at the Taku terminus, and 3.2 km at the Hole-in-the-Wall terminus have occurred (figure 2). This glacier is the largest fed by the Juneau Icefield (Pelto and Miller, 1990), with a drainage basin of 824 knr. Studies of the Takus mass balance are continual from 1946 to present, with previous terminus locations being determined by photo and early survey work.

When examining the mass balance of a glacier there are three import zones; the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), the zone of ablation, and the zone of accumulation. The ELA is an elevation, at which ablation and accumulation are equal on an annual basis. The zone of ablation is an area, located at all elevations below the ELA. Ablation is the result of numerous processes including melting, evaporation, wind erosion, and calving (Martini et ah, 2001). The zone of ablation is characterized by the loss of a greater volume of water/snow then was added in the past year. The zone of accumulation is the area of a glacier located at higher elevations then the ELA. At these elevations annual accumulation exceeds ablation.

The mass balance of a glacier is controlled by three main factors; I) amount of ablation and ice loss at the terminus, 2) the percentage of the glacier’s total area within the maximum accumulation area (MAA), and 3) the accumulation area ratio (AAR). The AAR is the percentage of a glacier’s total area above the ELA, this area is the focus of this paper. Currently a grounded terminus and lack of calving creates a greater dependence on the AAR and MAA values (Pelto and Miller, 1990). Surface balance is determined almost solely by climate in areas where calving is not a significant factor in volume change (Pelto, 1989).

Mass balance calculations from the 2001 field season indicate an AAR of 86% and an MAA of 82% (with 1000—2000 m representing the Maximum Accumulation Area). The threshold values for a low calving glacier to retain its terminus location without retreat are 67% and 50%, AAR and MAA respectively (Pelto and Miller, 1990), any values larger then these will

result in an overall advance. Since the values from the Taku are above the threshold and have been for most of its recorded history, it is reasonable to assume that advance will continue, barring changes in calving activity etc. Appendix I contains a sample of the held data obtained at pit locations.

Mass Balance Measurement Methods

In the accumulation zone a series of snow test pits were dug within the vicinity of several permanent held camps on the Taku Glacier. The mass balance measured in this study is a surface balance, a number of additional techniques have been implemented in recent years, helping to reduce and better understand the sources of errors inherent in our held techniques (Pelto and Miller, 1990).

Access to the pit locations was gained by hiking and cross-country skiing, in addition to logistical support provided by helicopters. A total of thirteen snow pits were completed, with nine located within the drainage basin of the Taku, each measuring 2 meters by 3 meters, and ranging in depth from 4.7 to 8.0 meters.

Once the pit is completed a ladder is hung on a sidewall of the pit, thus allowing samples to be extracted through the vertical cross-section of the pit wall (figure 3, photo). A coring device, with a known volume, is used to extract snow/ice from the wall of the dug pit. These samples were weighed, and their density (p) determined (Equation I). While coring, all samples are removed from the southern wall (north facing walls) of the pit, this minimizes inherent problems resulting from the influence of solar energy causing ablation.

Equation one. P equals mass divided by volume

Since mass balance measurements are made annually, it is important to identify the surface along which snow/ice changes from thus marking the boundary between this year’s residual accumulation and last year’s summer surface. Various characteristics are implemented in identifying this boundary:

  • Presence of a dirty layer, as a result of dust and other fine debris being introduced by winds originating down glacier
  • Relic undulations, wind-rippled surfaces or sun-cups a result of surficial ablation
  • Unusually thick ice stratum
  • Increase in density, a consistent density of ,7g/cm3 was considered last years accumulation
  • Presence of depth hoar, very loose granular snow/ice grains, generally found below a very dense layer (Miller, 2001)

Each pit is different and a combination of these and other techniques may be necessary to determine the horizon of contact between this years and last years accumulation.

Structures in the Ice Column

General increases in density occur with greater depth, as a result of pressure and recrystalization. In addition, ice lenses, laminae, ice columns and continuous ice layers are also very often present.

These four structures are the result of meltwater percolating downward through the snowpack, eventually refreezing and forming horizontal structures (Pelto et ah, in progress). Ice lenses are layers that can be seen in the vertical cross-section, however, they are not continuous on all pit walls.

If these layers are continuous on all pit walls they are denoted as continuous ice layers. Laminae are continuous or non-continuous layers that possess recognizable fine layers, as the result of differing densities or ice grain size. Finally, ice columns are vertical columnar structures that ranged in diameter from 3 cm to 15 cm, and 5 cm to nearly 200 cm vertically.

While making mass/density measurements it was important for us to keep the core centers equidistant from each other, regardless of the presence of these structures. Actually, it is important to incorporate these structures just as a typical snow core, as these ice structures are a part of the internal accumulation.

Limitations of Methods and Data

Although this study did not target errors of held methods or data obtained during a surficial mass balance study, it is important to mention them. I) The density of measurements averages I per 79 km”, as only nine pits were located within the 824 km” drainage basin. 2) Measurements are only taken from locations above the ELA. 3) Measurements were carried out by several researchers. 4) Error in studies arises from the inability to conduct studies at the beginning and conclusion of the ablation season (Miller, 2001).

Annual Balance Calculation

Since measurements were not taken continuously through the entire snow column, rather at a 10cm increment (figure 4, photo), the summation of our data will yield only a portion of the total volume present. To account for voids between samples, each vertical cross-section is divided into 10 cm “slabs” (each slab represents 10 vertical cm and the width of the coring device). Within each slab is a core measurement (yielding a mass and therefore a density), this value will be representative for the entire slab thickness. Dividing the density of the core (p(), by that of water (p =1), and then multiplying by the slab thickness (t(), the water equivalence is determined for each slab. The sum of these values will result in the entire cross-sections water equivalence (b(). These formulae are shown by Equations 2 and 3.

Equation 3 sigma b equals b

Partially based on work by Pelto and Miller, I have divided the drainage basin into six zones based on elevation (0—750 m, 750—1000 m, 1000—1250 m, I250-I500 m. I500-I750 m, and 1750-2000 m) (Pelto and Miller, 1990). The 0—750 m range represents the zone of ablation, although the ELA is still under investigation I have used 750 m as a representative ELA. This means that 750—2000 m represents the zone of accumulation.

The annual balance (bn) the sum of the products of the mean annual balance (bz), average water equivalence of pits within a given range, and the glacier surface area (az) within each 250 m elevation zone of the Taku, (at)

is the total glacier area (Pelto and Miller, 1990). Glacier surface areas were determined using a 97% area graph, and based on Pelto and Miller’s 1990 drainage basin map (figures 5 and 6). Equation 4 is used to calculate the annual mass balance.

Equation 4). bn = az ( bz / at )

An example of the values used in 2001 calculations is found in Appendix I. All measurements were obtained above the ELA, thus all calculations in this paper deal with positive values.

Figure 7 shows calculations from the Taku dating back to 1946.

The summation of annual bn values results in a positive value of 13.82 m (excluding 2000 values). This value is thought to be the major factor causing continued advance, over the last century.

Calculation Results

In a typical annual mass balance study, the volume of water retained above the ELA and the volume below the ELA that is lost would be determined. However, this study looks only at values above the ELA. Equation 5 was used to determine this value.

Equation 5). Σ [ (bz) (az) ] = Bp

The calculated Bvalue for 2001 is 2822.22 m3, meaning that 2822.22 m3 of water was retained above the 2001 ELA.

Unfortunately, I am unsure how this number compares with calculations from the past years, as I am not considering the volume lost from the glacial system.


I would like to thank the Oneonta Student-Faculty Grant Committee and The Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research for their financial support helping make this research project feasible. In addition, I would like to thank Dr. P. Jay Fleisher for his guidance and patience while performing post-field analysis.


Martini, I. P., Brookfield, M. E„ and Steven Sadura, 2001. Principles of Glacial Geomorpbology and Geology: Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, pp. 381 Miller, Maynard M., 2001. Key mass balance criteria for differentiating mass balance/annual accumulation segments: Lecture on the Juneau Icefield, July 25th 2001

Pelto, M. S., Miller, M. M., Ramage, J., and S. McGee, 2001. Limitations and Applications of Remote Sensing Data for Mass Balance Determination on the Taku Glacier and Lemmon Creek Glacier, Alaska: Open file report obtained from Mauri Pelto, Pall 2001 Pelto, M. S. and Maynard M. Miller, 1990. Mass balance of the Taku Glacier, Alaska; Prom 1946 to 1986: Northwest Science, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 121—130

Pelto, Mauri S., 1989. Satellite determination of Coast Range, Alaskan

glacier mass balance related to atmospheric circulation: Remote Sensing and Large-Scale Global Processes, IAHS Publ. no. 186, pp. 127—137


Figure I: Base map of the Juneau Icefield
Figure 2: Advance at the terminus of the Hole-in-the-Wall and the Taku termini since 1890
Figure 3: Photo of student taking a core from the wall of a test snow pit
Figure 4: Photo of pit wall after samples have been removed at 10 cm increments
Figure 5: Map depicting the area within elevation ranges
Figure 6: Table containing area, mean annual balance, bn values, pit locations and pit elevations
Figure 7: ELA and bn values for the Taku Glacier, 1946—2001
Appendix I: Example of data obtained at all pits within the Taku drainage basin

Map showing the Taku Glacier drainage basin, Pelto and Miller, 1990.

Figure I:

Map showing the Taku Glacier drainage basin, Pelto and Miller, 1990.

Diagram depicting the terminus of the Taku and the Hole-in-the-Wall Glaciers at various times in the past. Since 1890, the Taku has advanced 7 km and the Hole-in-the-Wall has advanced 3.2 km, Pelto and Miller, 1990.

Figure 2:

Diagram depicting the terminus of the Taku and the Hole-in-the-Wall Glaciers at various times in the past. Since 1890, the Taku has advanced 7 km and the Hole-in-the-Wall has advanced 3.2 km, Pelto and Miller, 1990.


Student taking core from pit wall.

Figure 3:Student taking core from pit wall.

Vertical cross-section of a pit wall after coring is complete. Each core is 10 cm apart from each other.

   Figure 4: Vertical cross-section of a pit wall after coring is complete. Each core is 10 cm apart from each other.

Map of area at elevations of 750 meters and above. Dark Green (750–1000m), Blue (1000–1250m), Light Green (1250–1500m), Red (1500–1750m), and Orange (1750–2000m). Based on figure 1, Pelto and Miller, 1990.


Figure 5:Map of area at elevations of 750 meters and above.Dark Green (750—1000m), Blue (1000—1250m), Light Green (1250—1500m), Red (I500-I750m), and Orange (I750-2000m). Based on figure I, Pelto and Miller, 1990.






58 38' 03.8"

134 14’ 12.5"



58 37' 04.2"

134 7' 40.9"



58 37' 59.8"

134 26' 00.0"



58 31' 09.0"

134 19'38.4"



58 36' 19.8"

134 11'08.4"



58 40' 00.6"

134 15' 58.6"



58 43' 03.0"

134 12' 29.4"



58 50' 20.4"

134 14’ 39.2"



58 51'13.4"

134 10' 33.9"


Range (m)

# of Pits w/in Range

% of Pits w/in Range






Area (km2)

% km2




































































Accumulation Zone













(az)= Glacier surface area within a given range, (bz)= the mean annual balance, (at)= the total glacier area, (bn)= the annual balance, as derived from Equation 4, (bn/100cm)= the (bn) value in meters.


ELA (m)

bn (mm)


ELA (m)

bn (mm)









































































































































































Figure 7:

ELA and bn values for the Taku Glacier, 1946—1999, from Pelto et» ah, in progress»

Pit III, Flag 16 of the Taku profile   

N    58    38’    03.8"
W 134 14’ 12.5"

Depth (cm)

Mass (g)

Ice Layer


Field Mass (g)


Water E






































3 cm @55 cm










































3cm @II0cm

















































0.5cm @I80cm







0.5cm @I90cm







2cm @19 6cm





















I cm @235cm










































0.5cm @290cm














I cm @315 cm





















I cm @340cm










































0.5cm @400cm





















I cm @430cm







2cm @448cm







I cm @459cm














I cm @470cm







I cm @485cm







3 at 0.5cm@495cm







I cm @505cm











































































*Depth from which

no held data

were collected. However

values of water equivalenc

are extrapolated from values abo

ve and bel

А-Depth in cm from snow surface, В-Adjusted mass, obtained by subtracting weight of sample bag, C-Continuous ice layers, ice lenses, laminae, and ice columns present within the vertical column, D -Un adj us ted mass, including the weigh of sample bag, E- Water Equivalence, density times 10cm sample increment.

Appendix I

Thomas Hardy's Literary Impressionism

Mary Lynn Bensen Milne Library

In fact, precisely at this transitional point of its nightly roll into darkness the great and particular glory of the Egdon waste began, and nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at such a time. It could best be felt where it could not be clearly seen its complete effect and explanation lying in this and the succeeding hours before the next dawn: then, and only then, did it reveal its true tale. (The Return of the Native 4)

In this passage from the 1878 edition of the novel, Thomas Hardy, with carefully wrenched syntax, described the paradoxical conditions necessary for discerning the heath’s “true tale,” as if in daylight it were invisible, but in darkness its “great and particular glory” would be revealed. Yet in the I9I2 Wessex edition, Hardy revised “reveal” to “tell,” changing the process from revelation to discourse and the mode of knowledge from unmediated access to the real to mediated representation. In presenting the process by which characters succeed and fail at discerning “true tale[s],” Hardy offers readers a similar mode of access to the “true tale[s]” of his novels, which refigures the act of reading in terms of impression formation.

Equating the heath’s “complete effect and explanation” with its “true tale” is critical to the notions of the true and to their discernment in the novel. The “true tale” is not to be mistaken for truth nor the “complete effect” for completeness. The tale’s truth lies in the fullness of its effect, drawing together both thought and feeling, under conditions of partial visibility which limit knowledge. The passage is devoid of specific detail, but offers instead a comprehensive and suggestive impression of the heath. The failure of the eye to see clearly enhances feeling and activates imagination in the narrator who becomes more open to the possibility of the “glory” of the “waste.”

The “true tale” is created in its telling, existing in that moment, although discerned in time by means of its distinction from other tales. Hardy’s “true tale” expands the boundaries of narrative beyond formulaic beginnings, middles, and endings by virtue of its discontinuous, varied,

and recursive nature. The “true tale” leaves impressions of strangeness and incongruity that, in turn, provoke readers/observers into attempts at demystification. It leaves strong, unforgettable memories in characters and readers by virtue of its aptness, its vividness, and its power to engage the emotions. The moving effect of the novels’ “true tale[s]” subjects to question received concepts both of truth as linked to visible evidence and of narrative as a linear sequence.

My study demonstrates the significance of the impression as the main mode of storytelling in Thomas Hardys fiction. Although Hardy’s literary technique suggests parallels with Impressionist painting, I show how his concern with the visible has less to do with recording what the eye sees than with the eye’s propensity for error, with the actual and figuratively blinding effects of light and obscurities that leave observers dependent upon other senses and faculties. The suggestive impression contrasts with certain knowledge, which is all but unattainable in Hardy’s novels. Hardy remarks that, “We don’t always remember as we should that in getting at the truth, we get only at the true nature of the impression that an object, etc., produced on us, [...]” (Florence Hardy, Later Years 9).

The novels depict changing modes of impression formation in rural England during a time of transition from the 1830s to the 1880s. Raymond Williams describes the dynamics of change in Dorset, Hardy’s birthplace and the region memorialized as Wessex in his novels:

Thomas Hardy was born a few miles from Tolpuddle, a few years after the deportation of the farm labourers who had come together to form a trade union. This fact alone should remind us that Hardy was born into a changing and struggling rural society, rather than the timeless backwater to which he is often deported. (197)

Wessex society is marked also by both a residual orality and a developing literacy. This shift from oral to literate knowledge redirects attention from the world to the written text, isolating the individual from the environment and the text from the original voice, and increasing reliance on sight to the exclusion of the other senses.

According to Eric Havelock, the shift away from orality is accompanied by an intellectualism in which a “‘true’ mental act of knowing” begins to take

precedence over the “oral act of feeling and responding” (IIS). Anne Carson elaborates upon these effects in Eros the Bittersweet, concluding that “oral cultures and literate cultures do not think, perceive or fall in love in the same way” (420). She describes the shift which accompanies growing literacy:

As the audiotactile world of the oral culture is transformed into a world of words on paper where vision is the principal conveyor of information, a reorientation of the perceptual abilities begins to take place within the individual [...]. Reading and writing require focusing the mental attention upon a text by means of the visual sense. As an individual reads and writes he gradually learns to close or inhibit the input of his senses, to inhibit or control the responses of his body, so as to train energy and thought upon the written words. (43—44)

As a counter to their own literariness, Hardy’s novels persistently draw attention to that which is unavailable to sight and foreground voice in the telling and discerning of the “true tale.” Permeated with the sense of loss associated with historical change, Hardy’s work moves beyond loss to draw attention to the linguistic effects associated with advanced literacy. For it is the novels’ carefully crafted language that opens to readers the mind of an author whose perception, memory, and imagination transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, give substance to the immaterial, and voice to the silent.

Hardy compresses two distinct, but equally valid possible ways that Gabriel Oak “knew” Bathsheba Everdene in Far From the Madding Crowd (16). Upon unexpectedly encountering the “handsome,” “dark-hair[ed]” Bathsheba a second time, “Oak knew her instantly as the heroine of the yellow waggon, myrtles, and looking-glass: prosily as the woman who owed him twopence” (4, 5, 16). A close reading of Gabriel’s recognition of Bathsheba underscores a mode of knowledge that is critical to Hardy’s literary impressionism; namely, that Gabriel’s assigning to her the abstract category of “heroine” is particularized in the images of the story about her in which he participates through experience, memory, and imagination. In other words, the possibility of fixing her in an already fabricated category is partly undermined and partly enabled by attention to particularity, diversity, and change.

The passage raises fundamental questions about the nature of Gabriel’s perceptions and of the language in which they are cast. Paradoxically, the reader’s impression of Gabriel and his ways of knowing is formed upon that which is not properly Gabriel’s—the narrator’s articulation of Gabriel’s impression of Bathsheba—an impression that, for the reader, discloses as much or more of Gabriel and the narrator than it does of Bathsheba.

In Gabriel’s brief moment of recognition, the juxtaposition of the cluster of images with the “fact” about Bathsheba throws the two clauses into a relationship that draws attention to the differences which distinguish them, dictated primarily by the use of “prosily” in the second clause with its implications for knowing Bathsheba “poetically” in the first clause. By pointedly not using “poetically” to complete the opposition, the narrator urges the reader to reread the text, to interpret this absence as meaningful, and to recognize both the constructed nature of the opposition and the limitations automatically imposed by the artificial, but useful classification scheme.

The use of the adverb suggests that difference lies in how rather than what Gabriel knows. Gabriel’s acts of remembering and forgetting shape his image of Bathsheba in conjunction with his romantic idealization and playful imaginings. His emotionally charged vision, however, is tempered by his seemingly “factual” account, and the two together epitomize Gabriel’s understanding.

The novelty of the “handsome” Bathsheba’s surveying herself in a “looking-glass” from atop a “waggon” filled with an odd assortment of her belongings captures Gabriel’s attention and creates a vivid impression of her. The narrator clarifies the subjective nature of all impressions, including that of Gabriel:

In making even horizontal and clear inspections we colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in. Had Gabriel been able from the first to get a distinct view of her countenance, his estimate of it as very handsome or slightly so would have been as his soul required a divinity at the moment or was ready supplied with one. Having for some time known the want of a satisfactory form to fill an increasing void within him, his position moreover affording the widest scope for his fancy, he painted her a beauty. (16)

Gabriels vision of Bathsheba grows out of his own romantic predilections and his unfulfilled desire, which lead him to see her as a “beauty” in spite of, or because of, his having had no “distinct view” of her. His impression demonstrates the selection and imaginative altering of that which the eye sees in accord with individual predisposition and constitutes a vision of Bathsheba rather than a precise, empirical observation. Gabriel’s desire for a “heroine” combined with his memory of Bathsheba and the objects around her lead him to form an impression, which appears suddenly as a compelling vision evoking Bathsheba’s presence without actually portraying her.

Hardy transforms images of flowers, conveyance, and mirror, linking them to the undepicted “heroine” to transcend the ordinary and move the reader to take pleasure in this strange, but fitting impression. The withholding of detail about the novel’s characters marks Hardy’s writing style, as he engages the reader’s attention by failing to satisfy the desire for knowledge, by playing on the reader’s curiosity, and by using language to stir imagination—strategies that lead readers to experience feelings similar to those of the novels’ characters. This constellation of images leaves readers feeling as if they know Bathsheba even if they cannot describe her.

The impression asserts its verity in terms of an emotional logic that, nevertheless, requires the grounding offered by the “factual” account for its believability, the truth of which is convincing at first glance. Yet, this seemingly indisputable “fact” about Bathsheba is one selected by Gabriel from among others in the telling of her tale, the accuracy of which is put into question by the subjective nature of his vision. Bathsheba both is and is not the “woman who owed him twopence.” Her failure to acknowledge Gabriel or her debt to him suggests a lack of obligation on her part as if in her own estimation she owes him nothing, and, therefore, cannot be like “the woman” to whom the second clause refers. The “fact” reveals a partial truth, that money was received from Gabriel by Bathsheba, but as to whether the money is perceived as a gift or a loan cannot be clearly discerned in the absence of Bathsheba’s view of the matter.

Paradoxically, the truth of the first clause is felt to be greater than that of the second because it renders Bathsheba’s complex nature more memorably and more completely, if less certainly. Gabriel’s subjective impression of her, the emotional truth of his vision, which is based upon his seeing her rather than simply imagining her, has the convincing force of genuine emotion

absent in the second clause. The memorable quality of the constellation of images contrasts with the relative insignificance of the narrative of “fact.”

The hrst clause forms a mini-saga that neither describes nor informs, but accomplishes the tale’s telling through rendering in Gabriel’s impression. Bathsheba’s significance, an intangible measure of her substance, Ends more truthful expression in Gabriel’s subjective, imaginative response than in the “objective,” but less substantial “fact.”

Hardy writes in the “General Preface to the Novels and Poems,” which introduces the standard Wessex Edition, published in I9I2:

Positive views on the Whence and the Wherefore of things have never been advanced by this pen as a consistent philosophy. Nor is it likely, indeed, that imaginative writings extending over more than forty years would exhibit a coherent scientific theory of the universe even if it had been attempted—of that universe concerning which Spencer owns to the “paralyzing thought” that possibly there exists no comprehension of it anywhere. But such objectless consistency never has been attempted, and the sentiments in the following pages have been stated truly to be mere impressions of the moment, and not convictions or arguments, (xii)

In these introductory remarks, Hardy both acknowledges and counters prevailing views of the impression’s provisionality and its competition with “convictions and arguments” in terms of truth-telling ability. I have shown how the impression renders the effect of truth in the telling and discerning of “true talejs]” by means of which the author’s personal vision is shared with readers through the novels’ characters, including the narrators. For those who read or reread Hardy’s preface after reading the novels, the passage assumes the appearance of strategically placed understatement—an oxymoron that slights Hardy’s mode of storytelling and (like the oxymoronic phrase “true tale”) joins contraries to provoke wonder in readers, whose impressions of Hardy’s novels linger in memory as testimony to the power of the texts’ language. Hardy’s strategy of self-effacement points to his achievement without reveling in it. By deflecting attention away from himself, Hardy graces his work with that touch of sublimity which transforms self-expression into great art and ordinary lives into extraordinary tales.

Works Cited

Carson, Anne. Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1986.

Hardy, Florence Emily. The Later Years of Thomas Hardy. 1892—1928.

New York: Macmillan, 1930.

Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd. 1874. London:

Macmillan, 1949.

—. General Preface to the Novels and Poems. The Works of Thomas Hardy in Prose and Verse. I9I2. N. p.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985.

—. The Return of the Native. 1878, London: Macmillan, 1964.

—. The Return of the Native. I9I2. N. p.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985.

Havelock, Eric A. The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy From Antiquity to the Present. New Haven: Yale UP, 1986.

Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. New York: Oxford UP, 1973.

Oneonta Convivium
Volume XIV 1997-200I

College at Oneonta seal



Education, Research, and Public Service:

BFS Program for Local and Environmental Good
by Bill Harmon

Characteristics of Ceramic Matrix Composites
by Kamala Mahanta

by Paul Lilly

Mammoth Cave, Cosmic Rays, and the Origin of the Ohio River — How These Diverse Threads Help to Untangle the Climatic History of the Eastern United States
by Art Palmer

Use of Bioinformatics Tools in the Analysis of Proteins Encoded by the Neighbor of the cytochrome с Oxidase IV Gene Invertebrates

by Craig Scott (student) and Nancy Bachman

The Ethics of Challenging Indigenes

by Brian Haley


Science Fiction: Towards a Humanistic Technology
by Beth Small

Comparison of Russian & American Business Organizations

by Robert Rothenberg & Tatyana V. Melnikova

Mass Balance of the Taku Glacier, Southeastern Alaska

by Evan MankofF

Thomas Hardys Literary Impressionism

by Mary Lynn Bensen

Animal of Mass Destruction: An Exotic Species Threat Now in Our Midst
by Thomas Horvath

Projecting the Campus: Representation and the Professoriate
by Richard Lee

Your Earliest Memory May Be of a Dream
by Mary Howes

Nineteenth Century Child Guardianship Changes in New York
by Marilyn Helterline

An Investigation of Student Perceptions of Fairness of Classroom Policies

​​​​​by Lisa Flynn

Learning from the Dogon: Culturally Relevant Teaching
by Zanna McKay


The Oneonta Convivium Committee is pleased to announce that the publication is back, with some changes.

We have changed our name from “Collected Essays” to “Proceedings.” The name change reflects the change in presentations. Since the last volume, we have had presentations that included an original short story reading, and a vocal musical presentation. We look forward to the day when we will have visual presentations as well. We also hope in the future to be able to include those in our publication.

We have also changed our name from the “Oneonta Faculty Convivium” to the “Oneonta Convivium” because our presentations are not limited to faculty presenters. We regularly have student presenters, and we would welcome appropriate presentations from any college employee.

We have kept the numerical sequence because we want to make it clear that this is a continuation of the prior works. Our last publication was volume XIII (dated: 1996—1997, although it included some later materials). These newest volumes represent an accumulation of presentations since that date. Because of the large number of papers, and in order to maintain our format, we have had to issue three volumes (XIV, XV, & XVI). We have tried to contact all presenters from Fall 1996 through Spring 2005 (unless they had already been included). A total of 15 have responded positively, and their works are presented here in chronological order. If we have missed anyone, please contact the Convivium Committee.

The members of the Convivium Committee would like to thank Ms. Sue Nelson & Ms. Katherine Milavec for their ongoing work in organizing the lunches, and Ian Fascell at the Instructional Resource Center for his help and advice in producing these proceedings in printed form. We are also deeply grateful for the continuing support of the College at Oneonta for both the Convivium lunches and the publication of these proceedings.

Robert Rothenberg

For the Convivium Committee

What is the Convivium?

The Convivium Lunches represent opportunities to hear (and perhaps see) what other faculty, students, and staff are doing. We meet for lunch and an informal presentation several times each semester. Presentations may interesting because the presenters are “doing interesting stuff,” because parts of their work overlap with ours, or merely because its a free lunch. We may be entertained, educated, or bored to tears. Sometimes more than one in the same presentation. I have been impressed by the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received.

For the presenters, the experience can also be positive. Most of the presentations are followed by a Q& A session, at which the attendees often make suggestions that provide the presenters with “food for thought” (a particularly appropriate metaphor). The lunches also provide the presenters with a friendly environment in which to present serious research (sometimes in an early stage), and a publication opportunity.

On a personal note, my presentation forced me to rethink a project that I had prepared for a specialized audience (teachers of law), and to make it palatable for a much more general group. Such an exercise brings one’s thoughts into sharper focus, and sometimes suggests questions that would not otherwise occur.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the lunches is the opportunity to hear the student presentations. Since our institution is about the students, it is gratifying to see our efforts “paying off.” Being new to the Committee,

I have only attended one such presentation, but both the students were well prepared and enthusiastic. It is unfortunate that we cannot give them more opportunities for such experiences. Finally, one of the most enjoyable opportunities is to see friends and colleagues, and have a few minutes in which to catch up on what has been happening to them since we last met.

Education, Research and Public Service: BFS Programs for Local Land Environmental Good (An Update on the Biological Field Station)

Bill Harmon

There have been many changes as the Field Station has grown over the last several years. Some of you remember an open held at Otsego Lake where we built a dock to tie up Gary Holway’s and my boats. The John boats and the RV Anodontoides came later. At that time we had 360 acres on what we now call the Upper Site. We were allocated enough temporary service funds to hire a handful of students that we involved in faculty research projects. At that time I chaired the BFS Committee which reported to John New, the first chairman of the Biology Department. The main laboratory and a held lab on the Upper Site were built in the 1970s. With the support of the Otsego County Conservation Association we started a pre-college internship program, the FHV Mecklenburg Internships. Somewhat later I was appointed Director of the BFS and now report to the Dean of Science and Social Science.

We now have 80 feet of floating docks at which our more than 12 boats of various sizes can be moored. We have access to Weaver Lake and over 20 ponds on more than 2,500 acres of land owned by the State University and the Oneonta Foundation, and others where access is provided by private owners. Rum Hill and the Thayer Farm were donated by the Thayers; Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary was a gift from Tom Goodyear; access is provided to the Weaver Lake site, owned by Bill Isaacs; and we oversee Greenwoods Conservancy, owned by the Peterson family.

Thanks to the generosity of local citizens and foundations our program budget now exceeds $100,000 annually for applied research and educational programs. We have a research team of between 15—20 sponsored precollege, undergraduate and graduate interns working for local environmental good. We have an endowment of about $800,000 towards an Otsego Lake Research Chair and $1.2 million endowment to support programs and infrastructure at the Thayer Farm. In addition to our intensive summer

courses for pre-college and college students we provide day trips on Otsego Lake and our upland sites for more than 1,000 pre-college students annually. The last few years we have had 4 to 6 graduate students on site. This year two post-graduates, Jeane Bennett O’Dea and Dave Warner, have been sponsored to work with us.

Matt Albright serves as permanent staff, Doug Hamilton is with us during the summers. Tom Horvath, who will start as a new limnologist on the biology faculty soon, is the BFS Visiting Researcher this summer. A cadre of volunteers helps with office work, our newsletter (the “BFS Reporter”), production of educational videos, and under Paul Lord’s direction, a host of SCUBA divers.

Earle Peterson has almost completed a conference center and wet lab for our use at Greenwoods to complement the trailhead shelter he built at Cranberry Bog. We are cleaning out several buildings at the Thayer Farm in preparation for moving some of our operations to that site. The residence will soon be available for personnel. We are using the shop and equipment bays at this time. The main barn is now being used for furniture storage. We intend to move some of our water oriented activities to the boathouse creating a classroom/laboratory facility as well as diving locker and fisheries oriented equipment storage. Someday the hop-shed will become office and an upland classroom/laboratory space, while the saphouse/clubhouse will be developed as a trailhead shelter/interpretive center/office for the pre-college field trip programs. The remaining barns and sheds will be used for equipment storage.

We look forward to the future as we involve more and more of our biology and environmental studies majors in sponsored research. To date we have worked from Western West Virgina to the Adirondack High Peaks, from the Neversink River in Orange County downstate, to Oswego, Ontario, Schuyler and Madison Counties in Central and Western New York. At the same time we are ever mindful of our unique position at Otsego Lake, the headwaters of the Susquehanna River and the gateway to the Chesapeake Bay, and Oneonta’s environmental link to the entire Middle-Atlantic Region. Our efforts, in concert with other local groups and agencies, have successfully brought considerable funding for implementing the Otsego Lake Management Plan. This is consistent with one of our primary missions, which is to apply our research to better manage our natural resources.

Unique missions/goals/activities (in comparison to typical on campus, student oriented, departments)

  1. We provide environmental education programs serving pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students and professionals.
  2. Articulation of education, research and public service into relevant activities for local environmental good.
  3. Main Laboratory -18,000 ft2
  4. Acreage - 2500+ and access to two major lakes including Otsego, 4,226 acres surface area.
  5. Academic staff- One faculty, one staff assistant.
  6. Transportation - Twelve powerboats including the 45 ft. RV Anodontoides. - Three motor vehicles.
  7. Programs (serving educational institutions statewide):
    1. Formal intensive field-oriented courses and independent research offerings for high school, undergraduate and graduate students (400 annually).
    2. Resources for thesis (MA) and faculty research (7 graduate students, 1998).
    3. Science Discovery Program (day or overnight held experiences for Pre-К through Elder Hostel [primarily secondary schools])
    4. High school and undergraduate sponsored summer research internships (15—20 annually), the majority for local environmental research supporting lake and watershed water quality management.
  8. Publications -For the last five years, 150+ contributions by students and faculty to BFS Annual Reports, Occasional and Technical Papers and refereed journals.
  9. Academic program budget:
    1. SUNY Oneonta - $9,000
    2. Granting agencies, research - $20,000
    3. Local foundation and citizen support for research and pre-college environmental education - $130,000
  10. Strengths:
    1. Articulation of education, research and public service into relevant activities for local environmental good.
    2. Excellent laboratory facilities and state-of-the-art equipment for limnological analysis.
    3. Outstanding computing infrastructure.
    4. Talented cadre of specialized volunteers from the community.
    5. Historic personal ties to community leaders.
    6. Source of ecological research outcomes to local, state and federal agencies for use in setting environmental agendas and securing resources for funding mitigative actions.
    7. High level, non-financial community support via public appearances, media interviews, private forums, consultations and board memberships.
    8. Providing out-of-region and state environmental consulting services.
  11. Weaknesses:
    1. No adequate living facilities on site (campus 25 miles away).
    2. Few formal summer course offerings because of a lack of institutional support for temporary teaching faculty during summer held seasons.


Figure 1. The articulation of BFS programs, goals and Missions:



Figure I. The articulation of BFS programs, goals and Missions:

The BFS was created to serve the college and the community through research and instruction. We integrate those roles into a single coordinated effort addressing regional environmental problems (programs - inner circle of arrows'). Our goals (middle circle) are to enlighten students of all ages, creating professional scientists and an informed citizenry that can do environmental good, while at the same time supporting our efforts. We see our missions (outer circle) as preserving and enhancing the quality of natural resources through the attainment of our goals, and to support the scientific community and their institutions, specifically the SUNY College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, through endowments that will enable us to continue our services in perpetuity.



The Need for the Development of a Material Property Database for Ceramic Matrix Composites: The NASA Experience


Kamala Mahanta Physics and Astronomy

The Prelude

I developed interest in Composite Materials through the teaching of Strength of Materials (Engr 315) on the three-two engineering program at SUNY, Oneonta. In the year 1990,1 was awarded the Walter B. Ford grant to attend a two-week long short course entitled “Principles of Composites” which turned out to be an exhaustive exercise in the held of composites. While I disseminated the information locally at seminars at SUNY, Oneonta, I was on the lookout for an opportunity to utilize and build upon my knowledge of composites in an application and research oriented environment, which finally came through for me in the form of a fellowship for summer research. In the summers of I99I, 1992,1 went to NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama as an informal visitor and visited their Composite labs and initiated a dialogue for research. Following that visit, I was awarded, in the year 1994, a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship to work on the development of a Material Property Database on Ceramic Matrix Composites. A very encouraging outcome of the fellowship was the award of a contract for about $45,000, one of only four selected out of 45 fellowships, which was then followed by the second round of the summer fellowship and a second contract worth about $50,000. The final report for the research was submitted to NASA/MSFC in the summer of 1997.

CMC: Ceramic Matrix Composites: The Material

This is a special breed of ceramic-based composite material designed for use at operating temperatures higher than the melting points of even the very advanced metal superalloys. CMCs are primarily targeted for applications demanding structural integrity at elevated temperatures (4000 F—5000 F).

These materials carry the favorable characteristics such as low density, chemical inertness, and high hardness exhibited by monolithic ceramics.

On the other hand, the brittleness and poor reliability of strength that plague monolithic ceramics have been considerably overcome by giving these materials a composite structure of monolithic ceramic fibers, particles and/or whiskers added to a monolithic ceramic matrix.

The extraordinary characteristics of CMCs have made it a rapidly growing field in the study of structural materials. To date, the focus has been mainly on achieving structural integrity at ambient temperatures and it is only recently that emphasis has been placed on the mechanics and mechanisms governing the elevated temperature structural performance of CMCs. The fundamental understanding of the characteristics of CMCs is still in a state of evolution.

The importance of Ceramic Matrix Composites can be well comprehended by examining some recent design trends:

Sweeping changes have become necessary in the design and performance requirements of future flight vehicles due to ambitious objectives of the civil and military space and aerospace programs of the US and the aerospace programs of the European community, Japan and the former Soviet Republic. As the goals become more and more ambitious, so do the design requirements.

Future goals in aeronautics include faster cruising speeds, increased altitudes, higher thrust-to-weight ratios and an overall improved flight performance and these have led to key design requirements such as reduction in material fabrication and maintenance costs, reduction in weight, extended life and higher operating temperature.

Similarly, future goals in space such as lower transportation costs to space, long duration space flights, Planetary missions, extraterrestrial bases (!) ask for key design requirements such as low launch weight, small structural distortion, long-term environmental stability, and survivability from external hostile threats (“Klingon” attacks? No! Micro-meteorites? Likely).

To achieve such goals by meeting the design requirements, breakthroughs are needed in the disciplines of Dynamics, Structures and Materials as well as Controls, Avionics, Optics, Electro-magnetics, Acoustics.

Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC): an enabling technology in Materials

The performance boundaries set by metals and their superalloys in gas turbine and rocket engines need to be surpassed for significant gains in system performance and Ceramic Matrix Composites, with their high thermal and mechanical performance capabilities, may provide industry with some of the answers.

As mentioned above, Ceramic composites are made out of advanced Ceramics reinforced with high strength fibers, whiskers or particulates.

Advanced ceramics, developed from pure, inorganic, non-metallic powders have the following advantages and disadvantages.


Compared with traditional metals

  • High elastic modulus
  • High strength
  • Low relative weight
  • High hardness
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • High Temperature resistance
  • Low thermal conductivity (valuable for insulation but detrimental to thermal shock resistance)

These advantages make ceramic materials viable candidates for high temperature structural application.

Examples of such ceramics: SiC, Si3N4, A1,03


  • Brittleness and poor reproducibility
  • Microscopic imperfections in the material can result in catastrophic failure

Solution: Reinforce the ceramic with high strength fibers, whiskers or particulates

The result is that catastrophic failure is replaced by graceful failure due to processes such as fiber bridging, crack deflection etc. And we get Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC)!

Importance of research on Ceramic Composites:

Accelerated research on CMCs is essential because CMCs are critical for meeting the goals of advanced aerospace applications such as:

  • High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) and its proposed Enabling Propulsion Materials Programs Initiative(EPM)
  • National Aerospace Plane (NASP) - Problematic
  • Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF)
  • Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET)
  • Boost Guide Vehicle (BGV)

Three important collections of recent research proceedings are:

1. High Temperature Behavior of Ceramic Composites; edited by S. V. Nair and K. Jakus; Butterworth-Heinneman, 1995.

2. Ceramics and Ceramic Matrix Composites: Flight Vehicle Materials, Structure and Dynamics, Vol. 3, edited by S. R. Levine, A. K. Noor, S. L. Venneri, 1992.

3. Ceramic Matrix Composites : Advanced High Temperature Structural Materials: Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, voi 365, edited by R. Lowden, M. K. Ferber, J. R. Heilman, K. K. Chawla, S. G. DiPietro.

Application of CMCs: The High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT): A Supersonic Transport: A partnership (1989) between NASA and US aerospace industry.

(Ref. August, 1997 issue of the “Aerospace America” published by the AIAA)

A projected world aviation market and feasibility study based on the Concorde experience showed the potential market for 1000 SSTs (Supersonic Transport) to complement the subsonic offerings. However, revolutionary

leaps in technology are required for an environmentally acceptable, economically viable SST. The High Speed Civil Transport has been designed with this in mind.

The companies involved are:

  • Boeing/McDonnell Douglas
  • General Electric
  • Pratt & Whitney

In 1993, an enabling technology program involving the above companies began and is continuing.

The existing Mach 2 Concorde and Russian TU-I44 airplanes are neither environmentally acceptable nor economically viable.

Environmental concern: How CMCs can help.

Ozone depletion: At about 60,000ft, nitrogen oxides emitted by the airplane use energy from the ultraviolet radiation and break down and deplete the ozone by forming molecular oxygen.

Ceramic Matrix Composites are viable candidates for a liner material needed (for the 3500 F environment and 9000-hr life requirements) to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides.

Noise and Weight Reduction: Acoustic tiles made out of Ceramic Matrix Composites can reduce noise and nozzle weight.

The SSTO (Single Stage to Orbit) vehicle:

This is a work-horse, being designed for transportation of goods required for the construction of the International Space Station (ISS).

It is a single stage shuttle that discards only fuel.

There will be CMC parts in it.

About the structure of CMCs:

It is a composite of Ceramic matrix and fibers or whiskers or particles, just

like fiber glass or straw reinforced mud bricks, only more structured. Examples:

SiC/SiC - Silicon Carbide fiber/Silicon Carbide Matrix C/SiC - Carbon fiber/Silicon Carbide Matrix

Al,03/SiC - Aluminum oxide fiber/ Silicon carbide Matrix with particle reinforcement

CFCC: Continuous Fiber Ceramic Composites are the most favored breed of CMCs

The matrix is built upon the fibers (unidirectional or at angles) or woven mats or 3-Dimensional objects called Preforms.

Techniques for building the matrix: the Densification Process

CVI/CVD: Chemical Vapor Infiltration/Deposition

The matrix material is allowed to flow over the Preform using different techniques

  • Isothermal: the preform is kept uniformly heated
  • Thermal Gradient: the preform is heated from one side
  • Pressure Gradient: the reactant gases are forced through the preform
  • Forced Flow: combination of thermal gradient and pressure gradient
  • Pulsed Flow: the reactor is alternately charged with precursor gas and evacuated

In Conclusion:

Ceramic Matrix Composites possess the attractive properties of ceramics such as high melting temperature, high strength and stiffness at elevated temperature, low density, excellent resistance to environmental effects combined with improved toughness and mechanical reliability. This breed of material has been considered to be an enabling technology with potential for use in systems that demand far greater material performance than what is currently available with superalloys and other candidate materials for such applications.

However, it is obvious that for any serious commitment of the material toward any of the intended critical thermo-mechanical applications to materialize, vigorous research has to be conducted for a thorough understanding of the material properties of CMCs.

This need to make the high technology of CMCs mature has led to the characterization of materials such as C/SiC, SiC/SiC, SiC/AL, 03, SiC/Si3N4, SiC/glass, SiC/C, SiC/Blackglas all over the world. A significant amount of data has been generated by industries, national laboratories and educational institutions within the USA.

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center has been collecting the “pedigreed” CMC data for storage into a CMC database within its materials database system MAPTIS (Materials and Processes Technical Information System).

The task of compiling the CMC database requires effort in various directions, which may be represented by the following diagram:

CMC Database In MAPTIS

Data Acquisition Data Analysis System Development Data Transfer
Phone Contact Literature Search For Models For Data Validation Hardware & Software Screen and Input
Lab Visits, Data from Literature Reading Reports to Check For Adequacy Of Information On the Material, Test Techniques and Material Properties Compatibility & Procurement File Generation In MAPTIS

This CMC database is designed to help NASA/MSFC’s scientists and engineers in their in-house design and development projects and will be available to all national and international MAPTIS users in support of the global effort toward the progress of CMC application.

The details of the work is not given here because those are being submitted for publication.


1. Ceramics and Ceramic Matrix Composites: Flight-Vehicle Materials, Structures, and Dynamics - Assessment and Directions, Vol. 3: edited by S. R. Levine, A. K. Noor, S. L. Venneri, ASME, 1992.

2. T. P. Herbell and A. J. Eckel: “Composites in High Speed Turbines for Rocket Engines”, NASA/Lewis Report.

3. DuPont Report, October, 1994, “C/SiC Turbine Rotor Development Program”.

4. Williams International Report, April, 1995, “Ceramic Composite Turbine Engine Component Evaluation”

5. Southern Research Institute Report, August, 1990, “Physical, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties of Two RCI Graphite/Silicon Carbide 2D Composite Materials at Room and Elevated Temperatures”.

6. High Temperature Mechanical Behavior of Ceramic Composites: edited by S. V. Nair and K. Jakus, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1995.

7. Understanding ORACLE: J. T. Perry and J. G. Lateer, Sybex, 1989.

8. E. Lara-Curzio, M. K. Ferber, and R. A. Lowden: “The Effect of Fiber Coating Thickness on the Interfacial Properties of a Continuous Fiber Ceramic Matrix Composite”, Ceram. Eng. Sci. Proc., 15, 5 (1994) 989-1000.

9. C. H. Henager, Jr., R. H. Jones: “Environmental Effects on Elevated Temperature Subcriticai Crack Growth of SiC/SiC Composites”, presented at the meeting on “Critical Issues in the Development of High Temperature Structural Materials”, March 7—March 12, 1993, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

10. R. H. Jones, C.H. Henager, Jr., C.F. Windisch, Jr.: “High Temperature Corrosion and Crack Growth of SiC/SiC at variable oxygen partial pressures”, presented at the Japan-USA Seminar, Development and Environmental Characteristics of New Materials, June 7—9, 1994, Mt. Hood, Oregon.

11. ORNL Report on CFCC supporting technologies submitted to the Department of Energy - Bi-monthly progress report for October— November, 1993.

12. ORNL Report on CFCC Supporting Technologies submitted to DOE: Bimonthly progress report for August—September, 1994.

13. Ceramic Matrix Composites : Advanced High Temperature Structural Materials, Materials Research society Symposium Proceedings, voi 365, edited by R. A. Lowden, M. K. Ferber, J. R. Heilman, K. K. Chawla,

S. G. DiPietro

14. Launchspace: The Magazine of The Space Industry, March 15, 1997 issue.

15. Aerospace America: The AIAA Journal: August, 1997 issue.


Paul R. Lilly, Jr. English

My father saw it in 1968, a few months after Martin Luther King was shot dead as he stood on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

The building holding the Cyclorama was round, situated in a park in a black neighborhood of single-family frame homes in Atlanta. My father was in Atlanta on business. Somehow the Battle of Atlanta came up in one of those after-work cocktail conversations, he being a Yankee, his hosts genial Southerners with crew-cuts. They said he should see it. The biggest painting in the world. So he took a taxi there, perhaps with one or two of the others, salesmen who lived in the white suburbs of Atlanta. Or he went by himself.

Either way, he bought a ticket and found himself walking around and around the painting, looking up at General John A. Logan, who is galloping to the rescue, leading Union reinforcements towards a nearly finished brick house shrouded in white gun smoke. General Logan sees Confederates are in the brick house, crammed into the second floor. These are firing their Enfield rifles from the upstairs windows at masses of Shermans soldiers, who are from the wintry flatlands of Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois. The Confederates, who are from farms and villages in Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, crouch behind bales of cotton stacked in front of the brick house. They are firing their rifles or jamming ramrods into muzzles, falling wounded or dead. More swirls of gun smoke rise above the cotton bales nearly concealing the brick house.

My father walked around again.

When he returned to JFK from Atlanta on a Delta DC-8, he gave me a plastic model of the plane he had flown. It was about the size of a silver butterfly impaled on a curving spike. I was ten.

He also gave me this: a packet of six color reproductions of sections of the circular painting. If you lined them up the right way they blended into an enormous battle without beginning or end. The one scene that stood out for me was that unfinished brick house turned into a small fort, the men packed

into the ground floor, then the second floor, firing out the windows, hearing bullets chipping the bricks. I was unaware of who was on which side, what the Civil War was about, or why such a mass of men came to be shooting and reloading as fast as they could. But I could easily put myself in the upstairs window of my own bedroom, aiming an imaginary rifle at shadowing figures running through the barberry hedge and across the grass next to the garage.

Years later I thought of the owner of the brick house, directing all those red bricks to be laid, seeing it nearly finished and ready for work inside with plaster over lath strips. Then one day the workers, who were surely black slaves, but craftsmen, not field hands, dropped their tools. In the night the word had swept through one dark cabin after another: the left wing of Sherman’s army had crossed the Chattahoochee River.

My father walked one last time around, past General Logan on his horse, past the groups of running soldiers with blanket rolls slung over their shoulders, their slouch hats dusty and their beards full of sweat.

Perhaps he was thinking of his great-grandfather, James O’Donnell, who joined the Union army in May of I86I when President Lincoln called for troops. O’Donnell was twenty, visiting California at the time, so he enlisted in Sacramento as a private in the U.S. Cavalry, and served in the Nevada Territory until the end of the war. Still, he was in the Civil War, was photographed in the uniform of the Grand Army of the Republic, marched in G.A.R. parades in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and wrote a poem published in the New York Times in I9I2, “Marching Away.” My father must have wondered what would have happened if O’Donnell had found himself running, with so many others, towards the brick house.

In the package of the six reproductions was a brief description of the Cyclorama: the painting is twenty feet high. General Logan commissioned it in 1885. He hired twenty German painters to do it, recreate the Battle of Atlanta. There is a small photograph of the painters. They stand on ladders, on cluttered scaffolding, brushes in hand. Their mustaches droop, no one smiles. Over their heads General Logan is riding a black horse, waving his hat. Two German painters facing the camera block out the brick house with their shoulders, but to their left you can see in the distance the church steeples of Atlanta. The horizon is hazy with the heat of July 1864. The Georgia sun is burning up the woods, the broken fences, the railroad line leading into Atlanta. The steel rails are too hot to touch, and the soldiers’ shirts are stained black with sweat. The photograph reveals that the painters are not half finished.

In the fourth of the six reproductions—easy to overlook—is a maple grove on a small hill. Here General Sherman is watching, mounted on his horse. He is thinking of the dead General James McPherson, his protégé, a thirty-four year old Corps Commander. McPherson was shot in the back only hours before by Confederate troops as he attempted to escape a sudden breakthrough of his lines. Now these same lines are disorganized and broken. The soldiers wearing blue shirts need a leader, someone to gallop up and rally them. General Logan, or “Black Jack” as he was called by his troops because of his dark complexion, arrives just in time, waving his hat.

Back on the hill, General Sherman waits for vengeance. The Confederates are committed, he sees. They are dug in around that brick house down there. Sherman is already directing reinforcements that will drive back their left flank, sending the Confederates down the stairs from the second floor three steps at a time, out the back door, towards the outer breastworks of Atlanta. Where Sherman wants them.

I am in the Cyclorama, thirty years later. An hour ago I drove along the Martin Luther King Highway into the black neighborhood of the frame houses facing the park. The grass in the park needs cutting. The Cyclorama is run by the National Park Service, the ticket sellers are African-Americans, as is the guide who directs us to our chairs in the auditorium. The lights begin to dim. She stands in front of us on a podium while a taped voice narrates the events of the Battle of Atlanta, which was really several battles, the voice explains. The guide hefts her flashlight, frowning. She is waiting for the narrator’s basso profundo to end. Her earrings are gold hoops, and she tugs at one in distraction.

The Cyclorama begins to move. The brick house comes into view before I realize that the platform we are sitting on is moving, and the painting is stationary. Glancing up at the ceiling’s dimmed lights, the roof itself seems to be rotating. I feel dizzy. I can hear electric motors pushing the platform. The voice speaks over recorded sounds of battle, shouts of men, explosions.

The brick house glides closer to us. I see the upper window of my bedroom, smoke hiding the protruding rifle barrels. There is General Logan, galloping to the rescue, his reinforcements double-timing it behind his giant black stallion. He is waving his hat, his hair is long and trails behind him. The troops rally around him, begin to assault once more the brick house filled with Confederates who are firing from the windows or from the porch, or packed in solidly behind cotton bales in the front yard. All around the house are the bodies of dead horses tangled in their traces, cannons abandoned, wheels broken from shell blasts. Still, the Confederates load and watch the men from the wheat fields of Indiana, Iowa, move closer. Bullets hit the new bricks and chip them. Confederates are going down in rows, falling. Atlanta is three miles behind them. They see they will not be able to hold out much longer. Retreat is what they will do next. The taped voice ends.

The guide snaps on her microphone. She is young, born after those shots in Memphis split open the night. She taps her palm with her flashlight, evinces impatience. The painting is one hundred and thirteen years old, she says. General John Logan commissioned it, and had himself placed galloping to the rescue, when McPherson died. General Logan didn’t like Sherman, so he directed his German painters to put Sherman on a far ridge, away from the battle. She aims her flashlight at Sherman, and the white cone of her light shows that he is indeed tiny, far from the action, perhaps not in control at all, only hoping that all this chaos under the Georgia sun will turn to his advantage.

The guide says that only one African-American man is in the painting, and she aims her flashlight again. An older man wearing a red scarf around his neck stares aghast at the sight of thousands of soldiers firing away within a vast landscape of smashed trees, twisted train rails, artillery caissons crushing wounded soldiers who lie in the horses’ path. Many of the cannons are tipped over, useless, and the brick house seems on fire there is so much gun smoke. The man in the red scarf misses none of this.

The guide says that although only one African-American man is in the painting, over two hundred thousand joined the Union army, fighting in battles like Fort Wagner in South Carolina, and the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia. Some in the audience murmur in surprise at this, others nod knowingly.

The guide says there is only one woman in the painting, and points her flashlight at a woman standing outside a small cabin, her domestic tasks interrupted by the appearance of so many men arranged in rows to kill one another. The woman scans the transformed landscape, her hands clawing at her apron. She is stunned, her laundry forgotten, the small fire under her cooking pot already gone out.

The guide says many women disguised themselves as men during the Civil War, enlisted as soldiers and fought on both sides.

A sigh goes through the audience, which is nearly all white: how many of these thousands of soldiers running, crouching, shooting are actually women? Which ones, come to think of it, are really black, their faces painted white by German painters whose ignorance of the actual battle forced them to rely on General Logan and his assistants for the information they needed to paint it back into life, some twenty years after the event?

Some in the audience whisper, heads come together, separate. A woman seated to my left points to a particular soldier, but I cannot determine which one. The guide says that the diorama, the lifelike three-dimensional modeling of cannons, wagons, and soldiers arranged at the bottom of the painting, was added in 1922. The largest of these figures is only three feet high, but together they create the illusion that some soldiers are walking out of the painting, headed for the audience. She points her flashlight at a wagon that is tipped on its side, and says there is a door in the wagon that leads behind the painting.

The guide’s flashlight picks out a dead soldier in the diorama, facing the audience, and the guide says that in 1939, the year the MGM film Gone with the Wind opened, the mayor of Atlanta arranged for a dead soldier to be added to the diorama. The face of the soldier was modeled on the actor Clark Gable. It is hard to see the resemblance from the rear seats but the audience laughs.

We are going around for a second time, and the brick house floats towards us from our right.

The guide says the painting took two years to complete and is insured for twenty million dollars. It was restored in 1970, a process which took three years and cost five million dollars. That is when the seating platform was motorized, so now viewers don’t have to walk around it as my father did, with his hands behind his back, thinking of James O’Donnell in his private’s uniform, posted in a sequence of dreary forts in the Nevada Territory,

but missing all these bullets flying around Atlanta. O’Donnell’s four-year enlistment expired in May of 1865. He came back to Brooklyn first by horse and then by train, ready to marry a woman named Helen. She lived in Bay Ridge and liked to walk along the promenade overlooking the bay. She would twirl her white parasol and write to him that the whitecaps gliding into New York Harbor were like so many white ponies, trotting in rows.

The motor noise under the seats ceases, the lights go on, and some from the audience stand up, rubbing their eyes. Others begin to hie out to my left. The guide urges everyone to walk carefully. She snaps off her microphone, walks quickly away.

The brick house has stopped directly in front of me, my bedroom window just a short walk beyond the guide’s podium. I am dizzy again. The world’s largest painting moves under its own power: a slender Confederate aims her Enfield rifle in my direction, a crouching Union soldier scrapes white paint from his fingernails. My father walks past, his hands clasped behind him, his eyes on a dark-complexioned man on a black horse who is waving his hat for all he is worth.

New visitors are filing in to my right, some of them teenagers who start running for certain seats they suddenly feel are important to them. But the seats, except for mine, are all empty. There is plenty of room.

Mammoth Cave, Cosmic Rays, and the Origin of the Ohio River

Arthur N. Palmer Earth Sciences


The Ohio River is by far the largest river in the eastern United States (Figure I). It looks as though it has always been there and always will. But the present Ohio is a geological accident, and its path has changed considerably over the past few million years. This is a difficult story to unravel, because as a river continues to erode its valley it obliterates most of the clues to its own former character.

Figure 1: Location of Mammoth Cave relative to the Ohio River basin.
Figure 1: Location of Mammoth Cave relative to the Ohio River basin.











Mammoth Cave National Park, in west-central Kentucky, lies 50 miles south of the Ohio River. So how can it help us to interpret the river’s history? The cave is located along the Green River, which is a tributary of the Ohio, and any changes in the Ohio are reflected by similar changes in its tributaries. Mammoth Cave was formed, and is still enlarging, by underground water draining underground to the Green River through soluble limestone bedrock. As the river deepens its channel, successively lower cave passages are formed by the dissolving action of underground water, while the older passages are left high and dry. Unlike surface features, these abandoned passages are sheltered by the surrounding rock and can survive intact long after they have been abandoned by their underground streams. Thus the record of the Ohio’s history is locked away in the passages of Mammoth Cave.

Description of Mammoth Cave

There are thousands of caves in the Ohio River basin, but Mammoth Cave is one of very few that is large enough to contain sufficient clues to solve the puzzle presented here. Many individual underground streams run through the cave today, and their history can be traced backward in time by observing the pattern and elevations of older, higher-level passages. Many of these are shown on the public tours offered by the National Park Service.

In addition, hundreds of miles of passages are accessible only to properly equipped explorers. With 370 miles of mapped passages, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world by a wide margin. These openings interconnect on various levels to form a complex tangle that on a map seems entirely haphazard (Figure 2). The cave spans about 400 vertical feet and extends through almost the entire thickness of the local limestone (Figure 3). Individual passages are no more than 100 feet high, and most are far smaller. The cave’s history of exploration is described by Brucker and Watson (1975) and Borden and Brucker (2000).

Figure 2: Map of major passages in Mammoth Cave. At this scale the passages appear only as wiggly lines. Many passages cross each other at various levels. The complexity of the cave is barely suggested in this simplified map. The names (e.g. Roppel) refer to different sections that were explored independently and later connected by further discoveries. The part labeled “Mammoth” includes the tour routes open to the public. Mapped by the Cave Research Foundation and the Central Kentucky Karst Coalition.

Figure 2: Map of major passages in Mammoth Cave. At this scale the passages appear only
as wiggly lines. Many passages cross each other at various levels. The complexity of the cave
is barely suggested in this simplified map. The names (e.g. Roppel) refer to different sections
that were explored independently and later connected by further discoveries. The part labeled
“Mammoth” includes the tour routes open to the public. Mapped by the Cave Research
Foundation and the Central Kentucky Karst Coalition.

Interpretation of the Cave

In the 1970s, after several years of helping to explore Mammoth Cave, my wife, Margaret, and I decided to put our geologic backgrounds to better use by trying to track down the cave’s evolutionary history. This required several steps: (a) re-survey the major passages to obtain accurate elevations; (b) map the rock strata in each passage, to determine how the geologic structure influences the cave pattern; (c) relate the cave to the surrounding land surface; and (d) interpret the geologic history of the cave. The preliminary results were published as a geologic guide to Mammoth Cave National Park (Palmer, I98I).

Figure 3: Cross section through Mammoth Cave, showing major levels and their relation to the land surface and geology. A = large upper-level passages with thick sediment fill; B and C = major lower levels, main tubular passages with little sediment; D = youngest passage level, partly filled with water; E = springs along the Green River; F = actively forming shafts and canyon passages draining water from the surface.

Figure 3: Cross section through Mammoth Cave, showing major levels and their relation to
the land surface and geology. A = large upper-level passages with thick sediment fill; B and C
= major lower levels, main tubular passages with little sediment; D = youngest passage level,
partly filled with water; E = springs along the Green River; F = actively forming shafts and
canyon passages draining water from the surface.

Earlier researchers had noted that the cave occupied a variety of levels, but without accurate maps they could not distinguish one level from another, or determine their elevations. Some researchers assumed that the passages simply follow favorable rock strata, which in this region have a tilt (dip) of less than a degree to the northwest. Our survey showed several discrete passage levels that were consistent throughout the cave. Furthermore, they showed no relation to the geologic structure. For example, passages that cluster at any given elevation are located in different rock units. Thus the cave must have been controlled by the elevation of the Green River, into which the cave water drains.

The uppermost (oldest) levels in the cave are huge canyon-like galleries up to 100 feet high that are partly filled with thick beds of sand and gravel (Figure 4). They indicate very slow and continuous downward erosion by the Green River and its tributary cave streams, interrupted by periods when the river valley became partly choked with stream-borne sediment. The lower levels in the cave (i.e. more recent) are wide tubes with little sediment £11 (Figure 5). They represent several distinct pauses in the downward erosion of the Green River, which allowed the passages enough time to enlarge, but without the deposits of thick sediment that are so common in the upper levels. The lower passages are smaller but more numerous than the upper ones.

Figure 4: An example of an upper-level passage in Mammoth Cave, with remnants of sediment fill on the floor and left-hand wall. The posts and trail are remnants of a former tourist trail. Because the caves are totally dark, cave photos were taken with the aid of flash guns.

Figure 4: An example of an upper-level passage in Mammoth Cave, with remnants of sediment
fill on the floor and left-hand wall. The posts and trail are remnants of a former tourist trail.
Because the caves are totally dark, cave photos were taken with the aid of flash guns.

Figure 5: An example of a lower-level passage in Mammoth Cave. Note the low tubular cross section and lack of sediment fill, except for a few bedrock slabs that fell from the ceiling.

Figure 5: An example of a lower-level passage in Mammoth Cave. Note the low tubular cross
section and lack of sediment fill, except for a few bedrock slabs that fell from the ceiling.

Relating the Cave to the Land Surface

The upper cave levels lie at and above the elevation of a broad bench in the land surface, called the Pennyroyal Plateau, which is studded with depressions (sinkholes) formed by collapse and subsidence into underlying caves. Mammoth Cave is located in the neighboring Chester Upland, which is capped by resistant sandstone, so that it stands several hundred feet higher than the Pennyroyal (Figure 3). The sandstone has also protected most of the high cave levels from being destroyed by erosion.

By examining the drilling records of water wells, we realized that the Pennyroyal and neighboring flat regions had once been covered by a thick layer of loose sediment, most of which has since been removed by erosion (M. Palmer and A. Palmer, 1975). This correlated well with the sediment in the upper levels of Mammoth Cave. We estimated its age to be millions of years but could not be more specific.

The change from large upper-level cave passages to the smaller, more numerous lower passages indicates a major climate change. The upper levels show evidence for slow river erosion alternating with widespread sediment accumulation, which probably represents a lengthy period of slow alternation between wet and dry climate. The lower cave levels indicate a period of rapid erosion interrupted occasionally by static river levels. This rapid dissection turned the Green River valley into a deep, narrow canyon. Surface streams on the Pennyroyal found underground paths through the limestone and formed caves. Today the plateau retains its generally flat aspect, but its surface is dimpled by sinkholes, like potholes in a road. The cause for the accelerated erosion was almost certainly the spreading of glaciers across much of North America, which took place several times during the past two million years. But glaciers have a complex effect on the land surface and are unlikely to have caused the single abrupt increase in erosion that is so clearly recorded in Mammoth Cave. How did this happen?

While the upper cave levels were forming, the Ohio River was fairly small, with its headwaters in what is now eastern Indiana. It was no larger than its tributary the Green River. Most of its huge present basin was originally drained by a large river that drained northward across what is now Ohio, through northern Indiana and Illinois, and then into the Mississippi River (Figure 6). This northerly river was named the Teays River by the geologists who discovered its channel deeply buried beneath glacial sediment. During the hrst major advances of glaciers across what is now the northern United States, the Teays was covered completely by thousands of feet of ice. The glaciers buried the channel beneath thick deposits of mud, sand, and gravel. Streams draining from the east were unable to follow their original course. Instead they were diverted along the front of the ice and into what was then a very modest Ohio River. The Ohio happened to lie near the maximum extent of the glacial advances. In a very short time (geologically speaking) the Ohio had become the largest river in the East. This diversion of the Ohio River had long been recognized (Wayne, 1952), but its timing was uncertain.

The suddenly powerful Ohio began to erode its channel rapidly downward. Its tributaries, including the Green River, had no choice but to do the same. We assumed that the underground streams in Mammoth Cave did likewise, as they are merely tributaries of the Green River, and that they abandoned their original routes in favor of a succession of lower routes that are now preserved as the lower levels of the cave. If the passage levels in the cave could be dated in some way, the evolutionary history of the Ohio River basin could be clarified.

Figure 6: Evolution of the  Ohio River: (a) pre-glacial  pattern, more than about  2 million years ago;  (b) post-glacial pattern, less  than about 2 million years  ago. (Modified from Wayne,  1956.)









Figure 6: Evolution of the
 Ohio River: (a) pre-glacial
 pattern, more than about
 2 million years ago;
 (b) post-glacial pattern, less
 than about 2 million years
 ago. (Modified from Wayne,


Assigning dates to the various cave levels was a difficult nut to crack.

We made an early guess with the aid of a visiting German geologist who was studying the relation between glaciation and landscape development (Miotke and Palmer, 1972), but the dates were vague. It is possible to date certain cave minerals with radioactivity from tiny amounts of uranium, but the technique had too limited a range (Hess and Harmon, 1981). The magnetic character of the cave sediments showed the upper levels of the cave to be more than about 800,000 years old, but that was the only concrete evidence supplied by this technique (Schmidt, 1982). Despite a lengthy search, we could End no recognizable fossils in the cave sediments. Our semi-final estimates for the age of Mammoth Cave and its surrounding landscape (Palmer, 1989) were:

(a) highest levels ~ 10 million years old; (b) Pennyroyal Plateau ~ several million years old; (c) beginning of rapid erosion ~ I million years ago. This was a good start, but, as in a detective story, it was based mainly on subtle clues rather than hard evidence.

An Unexpected Breakthrough

Then, in the mid-1990s, a new method of dating cave sediment was developed by Darryl Granger, now of Purdue University. The technique had been used earlier for surface studies, but not in caves. The analysis works like this: The earth’s surface is constantly bombarded by cosmic radiation. Where the radiation hits rock or sediment that contains quartz (composed of silicon dioxide), tiny quantities of the radioactive isotopes aluminum-26 and beryllium-10 are produced. The process involves a complicated dance between sub-atomic particles which, except to a physicist, might seem to verge on alchemy. Because the two isotopes decay radioactively, they quickly reach a maximum concentration where the amounts produced by cosmic rays are balanced by the amounts lost by radioactive decay. At equilibrium there is about 6.8 times more aluminum-26 than beryllium-10.

If quartz sediment is carried underground by running water, the sediment is shielded from further cosmic radiation. As the two radioactive isotopes decay, they are no longer replenished. Aluminum-26 decays faster than beryllium-10, and so the ratio drops below 6.8. The decay rate for each is known, and so by measuring them both and determining the ratio, it is possible to calculate the amount of time that has elapsed since the sediment was carried underground (Figure 7). Ages up to about 5 million years can be determined in this way with about 90% precision. Beyond about 4 million years the aluminum-26 drops below the level of beryllium-10, and the ratio becomes less than one. As the graph flattens out, the dates become progressively less accurate. The technique is not easy, as the samples require about six months of lab preparation. The measurements require an unusually large particle accelerator (Figure 8), and only a few in the country are up to the task.

Figure 7: Ratio of aluminum-26 to beryllium-10 in quartz sediment in relation to elapsed time since burial of the sediment (see Granger et al., 2001).

Figure 7: Ratio of aluminum-26 to beryllium-10 in quarte: sediment in relation to elapsed time since burial of the sediment (see Granger et al, 2001).

Figure 8: Half of the large particle accelerator at Purdue University, with which the Mammoth Cave samples were analyzed.

Figure 8: Half of the large particle accelerator at Purdue University,
with which the Mammoth Cave samples were analyzed.

Mammoth Cave is ideal for this kind of analysis because it contains a large amount of quartz sand and gravel derived from erosion of the sandstone cap-rock. The water that transported the sediment underground is the same that dissolved the cave passages. The sediment in any part of the cave is approximately the same age as the latest stage of passage enlargement.

In 1996, when we learned of Granger’s technique, we invited him to take a look at Mammoth Cave. We guided him and his Ph.D. student, Derek Fabel, to significant sites in the cave and supplied the elevations and passage interpretations for a variety of samples collected under Park Service permit. The results looked promising, so they returned for further samples.

A curious problem arose. Many sediments in the upper levels gave essentially the same dates, regardless of their elevation. This made no sense, because surely the highest levels were oldest. And then we dimly recalled our 1975 interpretation of the Pennyroyal surface — that near the end of the period of slow erosion, the land surface had been covered by a thick layer of sediment. So all of the superficial layers of sediment in the upper levels would be of the same age. The aluminum-beryllium age repeatedly came out to be 2.6 million years. The age of the Pennyroyal and its sediment cover had been resolved.

Deeper sediments in the upper cave levels gave ages up to about 4 million years. Considering the great length of time required to form such large cave passages, before they could fill with sediment, one can easily imagine ages up to about 10 million years.


The final aluminum-beryllium dates for the various events, compared to those based on circumstantial evidence, are summarized below (Granger, Fabel, and Palmer, 2001):

Event    Ages:    Palmer (1981)    Granger et al. (2001)

Uppermost cave levels formed    10 million years    more than 4    my

Pennyroyal Plateau surface    few million years    more than 2.6 my

Thick sediment accumulation    few million years    2.6 my

Diversion of Teays into Ohio    ~I-2 my    ~2 my

Passages at level В (Fig. 3)    ~0.7 - I my    1.5 my

Passage at level С (Fig. 3)    ~500,000 years    I.I my

Although the quantitative ages fall roughly within the same time frame as our earlier qualitative ones, we had tended to underestimate the ages. Part of the reason is that in recent decades glacial geologists have moved their estimates for the onset of continental glaciation in North America from about I million years to about 2 million years ago. Dating of surface features and events is extremely difficult, and that is why the evidence from Mammoth Cave is so helpful.

Our original purpose was simply to understand the cave. By the good fortune of a long thread of geologic coincidences, aided by cosmic radiation and much collaboration, the various studies of Mammoth Cave have helped to dehne the climatic and drainage history of the entire Ohio River basin.

References Cited

Borden, J.D., and Brucker, R.W., 2000, Beyond Mammoth Cave. Carbondale and Edwardsville, 111., Southern Illinois University Press, 353 p.

Brucker, R.W., and Watson, R.A., 1976, The longest cave. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 316 p.

Granger, D.E., Fabel, D., and Palmer, A.N., 2001, Plioecnc-Plcistoecnc incision of the Green River, Kentucky, determined from radioactive decay of cosmogonie ЛА1 and 10Bc in Mammoth Cave sediments. Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 113, No.

7, p. 825-836.

Hess, J.W., and Harmon, R.S., I98I, Geochronology of speleothems from the Flint Ridge - Mammoth Cave System, Kentucky, USA. Proceedings of 8th International Congress of Speleology (Bowling Green, Ky.), Vol. 2, p. 433—436.

Miotke, F.-D., and Palmer, A.N., 1972, Genetic relationship between caves and landforms in the Mammoth Cave National Park area. Geographic Institute, Technical University of Hannover (Germany), 69 p.

Palmer, A.N., I98I, A geologie guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. Teaneck, N.J., Zephyrus Press, 210 p.

Palmer, A.N., 1989, Gcomorphic history of the Mammoth Cave System, in W.B. White and E.L. White (eds.), Karst Hydrology — concepts from the Mammoth Cave area. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, p. 317—363.

Palmer, M.V., and Palmer, A.N., 1975, Landscape development in the Mitchell Plain of southern Indiana. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Vol. 19, No. I, p. 1—39.

Schmidt, V.A., 1982, Magnctostratigraphy of sediments in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Science, Vol. 217, P. 827-829.

Wayne, W.J., 1952, Pleistocene evolution of the Ohio and Wabash valleys. Journal of Geology, Vol. 43, p. 449—481.

Use of Bioinformatic Tools in the Analysis of Proteins Encoded by the Neighbor of the Cytochrome с Oxidase IV Gene in Vertebrates

Craig M. Scott (Student) and Nancy J. Bachman


Bioinformatics is the use of Internet and PC-based computer programs in the identification, analysis, and characterization of genetic and molecular biological data. The goal of this research project was to use these tools to analyze complementary DNA (cDNA) clones of the Neighbor of the Cytochrome с Oxidase IV gene in two species, zebrafish and clawed frogs. These were analyzed in pieces and then aligned with computer based software to produce the entire cDNA sequence. These alignments were then further compared to identify conserved regions of the encoded protein. Further computer analysis identified another gene named CGI-II2 that shares a common origin with the NOC4 gene. The use of the PC and Internet based computer programs in analyzing sequence data, identifying conserved regions, and searching for similarities with other proteins of known function has greatly accelerated genetics research.


Proteins are among the most crucial molecules of life. Proteins carry out all of the functions of the cell including constructing cellular organelles, catalyzing reactions, and regulating cell activity. The variations in chemical make-up and structure of different proteins are significant and unique. Our research involved the study of a protein called Neighbor of the Cytochrome с Oxidase IV (NOC4) using two different species, zebrafish (Danio rcriS) and clawed frog (Xmoptts lacvis). Neighbor of Cytochrome с Oxidase IV is encoded by a gene linked to the cytochrome с oxidase IV gene on human chromosome 16 (Bachman et al. 1999).

Bioinformatics is the use of computers to model, analyze and sort biological data. These tools provide new approaches to better understand molecular biological processes (Person, 2000). These molecular software

packages assist in the sequencing and analysis of vast amounts of data in a rapid and accurate manner. These tools have been increasingly used in recent years.

To understand the structure and function of the Neighbor of Cytochrome с Oxidase IV (NOC4) gene, the complementary DNAs (cDNAs) of two additional vertebrate species were characterized. These cDNAs were identified through Internet-based computer searches of clones with similar DNA sequences from other species. Commercially obtained cDNAs representing these sequences were characterized using molecular genetic methods, including plasmid DNA isolation, restriction endonuclease mapping, and dideoxy DNA sequencing. Computer programs were used to transcribe and translate the DNA data to create a protein sequence. These sequences were then analyzed to determine the protein structure of each species. Analyses were also performed to show similarities between the sequences and to identify conserved domains. These domains were identified with the hope that the amino acid sequences might suggest a possible function for the protein.

With the rough draft of the human genome project released in June 2000, the hrst real breakthrough in understanding the genetic makeup of humans was accomplished. Given the assumption that proteins maintain similar sequence and shape to carry out their functions, the identification, isolation and analysis of the same proteins from different species should prove significant to understanding human proteins.


The isolation and characterization of cDNAs, and identification of conserved regions of the Neighbor of the Cytochrome с Oxidase IV protein sequences was a multiple step process. Complementary DNA clones of each species were obtained commercially and then grown in liquid cultures with antibiotic selection. Each cDNA was then subjected to a series of steps for the isolation and purification of the plasmid DNA from the Έ. coli bacterial host. This was done with a prepared kit supplied from Qiagen (Valencia, CA). After completion of the purification, the concentration of the sample cDNA was then determined using a spectrophotometer. DNA sequencing primers (short DNA strands of 17—20 nucleotides) were then designed, based on the vector structure or preliminary DNA sequencing results, and constructed on an automated DNA synthesizer by an outside contractor. The cDNA plasmid and sequencing primer was then shipped to Cornell University to be sequenced. The DNA sequencing was done with an automated cycle sequencing technique that utilizes fluorescent dyes that tag individual nucleotides. These nucleotides were incorporated in a DNA synthesis reaction primed with synthetic DNA primers. These primers were elongated with the tagged nucleotides into chains of different lengths, that were separated by denaturing polyacrylamide gels. The sequence information was obtained from a scan of the fluorescent products in the gel. The sequencing was then repeated several times, as an individual run only accurately produces approximately 300 base pairs of sequence. After each sequencing run, a new primer was constructed at a different location along the cDNA to continue the sequencing. Since the gene of interest is roughly 1,100 base pairs, there were a total of 5 sequence runs in each direction.

Any errors that might have occurred from the sequencing the DNA in one direction was corrected with a second sequencing run in the opposite direction on the complementary strand.

Using a PC based computer program (Vector NTI Suite v6.0, Contig program), the sequence data collected from the multiple runs was compiled to construct a “contig” or assembled nucleotide sequence of the complete cDNA insert. With the help of Internet and PC based software packages such as the Contig program for Vector NTI Suite v6.0 and Translate from the DNA sequence was then translated into its amino acid sequence. The compiled sequences for NOC4 were then compared from different vertebrate species including zebrafish, Xenopns, chicken, human, and mouse. Two invertebrate species, Drosophila (fruit fly) and C. elegáns (nematode worm) were also included in the analysis.


The deduced protein sequence of Neighbor of Cytochrome с Oxidase IV (NOC4), a closely linked expressed gene to cytochrome с oxidase subunit IV (COX IV), a subunit of the mitochondrial respiratory protein cytochrome oxidase, was analyzed for conserved domains. Following DNA sequencing and analysis of the protein sequences from different species using the Vector NTI software, an alignment was performed (Figure I). The alignment of human, chicken, mouse, zebrafish, Xenopns, Drosophila and C. elegans protein sequences showed the protein is highly conserved. This alignment utilized the Clustal

W algorithm (Thompson et ah, 1994) to analyze two or more nucleotide or amino acid sequences. This type of dynamic program scores matches and mismatches to show optimal alignment between sequences by way of a matrix table. Using this alignment, a conserved domain of about twelve amino acids was found in all members of this protein family. From this data, a phylogenetic tree was constructed using Vector NTI software (Figure 2). This program uses the neighbor joining method of Saitou and Nei (1987) and produces a scheme showing the relatedness of proteins from different organisms.


The use of bioinformatic tools has allowed the identification and analysis of conserved regions of the NOC4 protein. The goal of this research project was to see if there was a relationship in sequence and possible function of the NOC4 proteins from zebrafish and clawed frog. From the data collected and the analysis that was completed, the NOC4 protein is highly conserved in vertebrates. Comparisons of the protein with that from the other species showed that there are areas of conservation across all species, which even extends to two invertebrate species.

This study has also helped us distinguish between the two related proteins NOC4 and CGI-II2. The CGI-II2 gene (from Comparative Gene Identification isolate 112; Lai et ah, 2000) encodes a novel protein of unknown function identified as similar to NOC4, using an internet database search program called Blastp. Better understanding of the NOC4 protein has lead to the knowledge that many sequences identified in the NOC4 family are more closely related to the CGI-II2 protein. The zebrafish cDNA that has been completely analyzed (Figure I) encodes a protein more closely related to the CGI-II2 protein from humans than it is to the NOC4 proteins. However, we were able to identify the zebrafish cDNA for NOC4, and have completed its characterization as well.

Computer based phylogenetic analysis of the sequences suggests that at one time, the CGI-II2 and NOC4 proteins derived from a common ancestral gene, but over time have diverged to give two similar, but unique proteins. Although the functions of the two proteins have not been determined, it is reasonable to assume that the determination of one protein’s function could also yield insight into the role of the other.

The use of the PC and Internet based computer programs for analysis of sequence data has greatly increased research productivity. The ability to analyze hundreds to thousands of different sequences and to translate cDNA sequences to amino acid sequences in minutes has greatly sped up sequence analysis. Speed, coupled with the precise and accurate output, shows that the use of bioinformatics is a worthwhile and necessary tool for modern molecular genetic research.

Figure 1: Amino acid sequence alignment of NOC4 proteins from human (GenBank AF005888), mouse (AF052621), chicken (AI982207), Xenopus (AW460924), and CGI-112 proteins from human (BE293727), zebrafish (AW133627), D. melanogaster (AI534856), and C. elegans (Z797541).

Figure 1: Amino acid sequence alignment of NOC4 proteins from human
(GenBank AF005888), mouse (AF052621), chicken (AI982207), Xenopus
(AW460924), and CGI-112 proteins from human (BE293727), zebrafish
(AW133627), D. melanogaster (AI534856), and C. elegans (Z797541).

Figure 2: Phylogenetic analysis of the NOC4 and CGI-112 proteins.

Figure 2: Phylogenetic analysis of the NOC4 and CGI-112 proteins.


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