“Daughters of Freemen”: The Women of Lowell and The Built Environment that shaped their labor organizing | Spring 2018
Abstract: The women of Lowell have been widely studied by historians interested in industrialism, labor organizing, and feminism. Research on the women of Lowell has narrowly focused on specific historical events, social histories or architectural elements without integrating multiple disciplinary approaches. I aimed to identify the spaces where women organized the strikes of 1834, 1836 and the continued labor action of the 1840s. My intention was to tell a more nuanced story about how the built environment of Lowell interacted with the women, their experience of industrial labor, and their subsequent labor organizing. Three things became clear to me in the research of Lowell. First, the built environment of Lowell and the corporation’s treatment of their employees are engaged in an interwoven relationship. As the treatment of employees in Lowell became more exploitative in nature, that was mirrored in the built environment. Second, though the built environment of Lowell was organized to assert control, the design had unforeseen consequences that allowed the women of Lowell to form a tight-knit community, organize across various mills and in various locations, and ultimately, assert their agency physically and publicly in the built environment. Third, the corporations in Lowell continued to actively frame the public perceptions of Lowell in the U.S. by using picturesque imagery and advertisement. However, the imagery does not align with the historical events taking place in Lowell; the implications of which merit further study. The women of Lowell and their interactions with the built environment pose questions not only around emerging industrialism in the United States but also around the design of urban environments, ownership of those spaces, and the social and cultural perceptions that shape interactions within them.
The Secular As Sacred: Lambeau Field | Fall 2017
Abstract: Previous generations of scholars have focused on the organizational similarities between religion and sport however, few have looked at how this similarity has been physically manifested in creating sacred spaces out of previously considered secular spaces. Lambeau Field is the oldest continually used sports stadium in the United States and is located in the smallest sports market – Green Bay, Wisconsin. Yet, it has taken on mythic status as a sacred space, not only for Green Bay Packer fans, players, and coaches but for the National Football League at large. While I explore the similarities between religion and sport, as well as the theoretical definitions of sacred and religion, I also explored newspapers, fan blogs, and the material culture of Green Bay fandom to more fully understand why Lambeau Field has become sacred. I also explore how the architecture and the stadiums many renovations have been purposely constructed to obscure modernity and to contribute to a sense of fluidity through time, a sort of created historicism. I argue that focusing solely on the theoretical negates the true power of Lambeau Field – fan agency. Lambeau Field is sacred because the fans believe it to be so and because the fans are continually negotiating and renegotiating the spaces meaning through the creation of tradition. Ultimately this paper aims to create a discussion around how human agency creates sacred space out of traditionally secular space by the creation, interpretation, and negotiation of tradition.
Undergraduate Academic Research
Tattoos: Art or Cultural Oddity? | Spring 2013
Abstract: Tattooing is one of the oldest and most widespread means of permanent body adornment. Dating back over thousands of years, tattoos have only become more common as technological advances are made. However, tattooing is still not largely considered an art form. As tattoos play an increasing role in our society, it is crucial that the art world recognizes them not as part of a deviant subculture but instead, art. Tattooing is gradually more the focus of academic work but is not yet a large field of study. By reading the work of tattoo historians, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, doctors and my personal time in the tattoo community – I composed the research into the intersections of tattooing, art, and the Art world. I aim to discuss the problems with tattooing fitting into the typical definitions of art and posit that by focusing on aesthetic value, technical skill, and artistic quality – tattooing can and will eventually leave its permanent mark on the art world.