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Historical Contexts

location_on Location: Emanuele B

(Links to papers / posters are embargoed until 4/7)

access_time April 08 01:00-01:50

All times in Eastern Time Zone

  • assignment_ind Earley, A. “ The Space Between Mathematics and Religion ”
    This paper explores the relationship between mathematics and religion by taking a closer look at how great mathematicians through the ages have balanced these two subjects. By analyzing this interrelationship through the lense of Pythagoras, Newton, and Erdős, we can see the various connections between the disciplines. Pythagoreas married these two subjects together through his self-titled philosophy, Pythagoreanism, which claimed that the planets moved in paths described by mathematical equations and in doing so, played a great, inaudible symphony called “the harmony of the spheres.” Newton was a devout Christian and despite discovering the most foundational equations in physics, held that God, not gravity, held the material world in place. Erdős, a contemporary mathematician of the 1900’s, believed that mathematics was religion in and of itself and despite being an atheist, spoke of “the Book,” a work that God created that contained the most beautiful mathematical proofs. By exploring these great mathematicians’ philosophies, we can hope to deepen our understanding of these two seemingly unrelated subjects.
  • assignment_ind Jones, K. “ Montezuma Red: A Brief History of Lipstick as a Symbol of Patriotism ”
    For many women in the United States today, the application of lipstick is a simple part of their daily routine. The color and style of the cosmetic varies with each woman’s preference. However, this was not the case during the 1940s. As the United States became involved in WWII, many women found themselves on the front lines of the home front, working to help support their families and produce the goods and supplies needed for the war effort. During this challenging era, patriotism was championed across the nation in both large and small ways. Some of these efforts are familiar to us, such as the purchase of war bonds, while others are more surprising. One such show of patriotism was in the use of red lipstick. Boosted by the development of “Montezuma Red” lipstick by Elizabeth Arden, women across our country were encouraged to show their support by proudly wearing this bright cosmetic as a symbol of freedom. This project examines selected primary and scholarly source material to demonstrate the development and significance of lipstick as a symbol of patriotism in the United States.
  • assignment_ind Wright, K. “ Painting With Tainted Colors: How Period Pieces Marred Anne Boleyn ”
    Warm. Icy. Sweet. Bitter. Historical fiction has long cast Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, in the light of extreme favor or disdain. Recent work to change this narrative has highlighted the problematic nature of cultural memory: inaccurate but appealing period pieces have supplanted complex historical realities. This raises a concern for period pieces and highlights the depth of their potential for inaccuracy. Although historical fiction may have benefits, its dangers should be carefully analyzed. Anne Boleyn’s story has been written several times over, to the point where an artist’s frenzied creativity has turned into inauthentic depiction. Consequently, academics and consumers alike must reexamine their view of period pieces and recognize the need to educate themselves on the implications of such a genre. Using the figure of Anne Boleyn as a case study, this presentation will utilize selected scholarly literature to examine how historical fiction impacts historical literacy. An original survey will further examine the importance of questioning fiction.
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