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Fall 2014

The Fall 2014 edition of The Journal was the third edition to be put online. For past editions of The Journal visit the archives. For the current edition of The Journal visit our homepage.

Note from the Editors

Fall 2014

Dear Reader,

When we began thinking about the Fall 2014 issue last spring we were thrilled at the prospect of sorting through what we knew would be a fine collection of creative ideas, striking photography, and inspired writing. Since then, the two of us have spent many fall afternoons working out the finer details of every aspect of the issue for you, our reader.

We have the past editors of The Journal to thank for the sturdy foundation they left for us work off of. Erin Tiernan worked to expand our readership across the Dartmouth campus and Kate Moritz and R. Jamaal Downey succeeded in acquiring an ISSN number The Journal, which allows for issues to be distributed and displayed at other universities within the United States. For this issue, we have contributed by adding a special feature to each issue called "MALS Spotlight." This new addition was designed to bring attention to MALS students or alumni that have been involved in inspiring projects or academic research. The Fall 2014 Spotlight will focus on Brian Young's thesis research in Bhutan. This year we also decided on a motto for the Journal, "To chase down the truth, wherever it lies." The quote is attributed to Tom Zoellner, MALS '11, in describing the vision of our program.

We would also like to thank Wole Ojurongbe for the time he continues to commit to The Journal, from visiting classrooms to help promote it, to encouraging students to submit their work. We would additionally like to thank to Professor Donald Pease, Amy Gallagher, and Sarah Kleberg in the MALS office, Jackson Shultz for his management of our online presence, and our five assistant editors.

In reviewing the final list of pieces for the fall issue, we found ourselves wondering, "Is there a central theme weaving these pieces together?" It quickly became clear that we were looking at a very global collection of work. These submissions covered journalism, travel, history, and culture from around the world. This international Fall 2014 issue will take you from the hot asphalt in Florida to the frenzy of an Indian marketplace, from Kublai Khan's capitol of Xanadu to the imperial family of Japan. With the encroachment of the Digital Age and the ease at which we are able to travel, the world is getting smaller, but The Journal is not.

We are already thinking about the Spring 2015 issue and what the next steps might be for the further development of The Journal. We are eager to hear from you, our readers, about any ideas or suggestions you might have. In the meantime, enjoy this issue and the journey.

Amani and Kelsey

Editors-in-Chief Assistant Editors Web Team
Amani Liggett
Kelsey Smith
Carmen Brady
Kelley Bumstead
Gregory Poulin
Amanda Spoto
Brian Young
Jack Shultz

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Creative Writing

The Creative Writing track gives students the opportunity to engage in non-fiction, fiction, personal essay, screenwriting, poetry and journalism projects. Below are the articles from the Fall 2014 edition of The Journal. Hover over the title of the article for more information.

Fall 2014

If You Have Me

Laura Jean Binkley

If you have me, then I have you, which means
there was a time when out of gathering clouds
you emerged whole and undaunted by everyday
trifles, buying milk for example, when you
were out of milk. More . . .

Leaving Behind, and Coming to Find

Sarah Decker

It's hard to say "No thank you," when they swarm like ferocious bees; beautiful, but relentless in their desire to push a product. "You need?" the woman with jars filled with fresh cut flowers, asks as I walk by. I pause to take a look and breathe in the unfamiliar scents bursting from the flora. She takes a green stem with multiple fuchsia orchids attached to it and juts it out for me to take hold. Each petal, in the shape of an oblique starfish, quakes as she entices the cash from my pocket. In the center of each bloom a gnome-like face stares back at me with a mildly interested smile. "You take. Very pretty." She says thrusting it toward me. I shake my head and continue to walk with our group. We are all Americans, with the exception of our local guide, Amit, who was born to barter, as he grew up in these congested streets of New Delhi. Around another corner of the market a group of women sit behind a mesmerizing stack of saris. The cheerful dazzle of color brings me closer. "Lady you like? Name your price lady. Good quality. Very beauuutiful." The saleswoman draws out this last word and she caresses my hand with the delicate cloth.
More . . .

Creative Writing by Shelby Kittrell

Those Hands

Only by judging the lines in his hands could one surmise the vitality of his youth. Those hands that once held hand grenades could no longer hold an apple. Those hands once held tight to the woman he loved. That same woman now cares for him as a child rather than a lover. Those hands miss the strength they once possessed, as well as the should be effortless ability to caress the spine of a book.
More . . .

First in Florida

Yield to the palmetto bugs and grasshoppers. Semi trucks and smog pass by on hot asphalt. Too much methane in the brain alters perceptions so that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
More . . .

Response to Xanadu

Kevin Warstadt

And from the pit I saw the keep
That that mad poet glimpsed in sleep
Its banners flying in the air
And glass that shone with solar glare. . .
More . . .

In the Desert*

At twelve o’clock noon on a Sunday, an SUV sped down a small Arizona side road. The machine glided over the weathered asphalt, cutting through the desert air, heavy with the heat of the midday sun. In the passenger seat sat one Gustav Miller. Mr. Miller, a cellist, wore a pair of aviator sunglasses. He always wore them. Overwhelming light flooded his pupils and futilely assaulted his useless retinas. Miller was blind.
More . . .

*This piece was not featured in the print edition, but the editors would like to share it here.


Thea Martin

Skirts spread wide, the dress lies quiet,
face down across two chairs.
Eight strong women: friends, family, bride;
worshipping, wondering, stare.
More . . .

*This piece was not featured in the print edition, but the editors would like to share it here.

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Cultural Studies

The Cultural Studies track allows students to explore diverse fields such as gender studies, ethnic studies, media & performance studies, post-colonial studies and many other topics. Below are the articles from the Fall 2014 edition of The Journal. Hover over the title of the article for more information.

Fall 2014

A Critical Look at Media Coverage in the Killing of Trayvon Martin

Wes Benash
Ten years ago, I was an undergraduate student of journalism. One of the research projects I produced during that time was an extensive analysis of how partisan media influenced and drove news reporting, most significantly in the case of the Iraq War. In seeing how media partisanship has greatly increased since the early stages of the Iraq War, I chose to revisit the subject, but with a blank research slate. This essay discusses a specific event - the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin - as a way of analyzing the influence of partisan media in the American news market. More . . .

On The Wall: Reflections on Class and Incarceration

Trisha Denton
Over the course of this term I often studied in the basement of Baker Library, emboldened by the colors of Orozco's mural, The Epic Of American Civilization. I like the space because of its walls, but also because of its silence. It is a safe container for my senses to come to rest and stew in its contents. I used this container to absorb a difficult subject: mass incarceration. I was studying incarceration as part of a class entitled "Telling Stories for Social Change," facilitated by Chilean-born artist and activist Pati Hernandez. A disciple of philosopher and educator Paulo Freire, Hernandez models critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy pairs reflective thought and action with theoretical study. The practice of integrating the two is known as "praxis." More . . .

Bikers: A Sustainable Subculture Model

Brad Mindich
I ride a Harley. It's a 2006, black pearl-colored Road King with almost 50,000 miles on the odometer. I've put all these miles on the bike myself from my, mostly solo, travels across the US and Canada. More . . .

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Globalization Studies

The Globalization Studies track provides students with the option of exploring government, war & peace, politics, public policy, sociology, and anthropology using a global lens. Below are the articles from the Fall 2014 edition of The Journal. Hover over the title of the article for more information.

Fall 2014

Who Needs a Homeland?
Romanticism and the (Un)settlement of Modern Day Armenia

Joshua Semerjian
There are two Armenian identities at work in understanding the longing to know and preserve Armenianness. The first is the physical and emotional ties to either an Armenian community in diasporas or in the homeland. These ties are universally expressed among many ethnic groups, and are sometimes suggested to be primordial. The second is a political identity, one in which people feel compelled to support Armenian causes and interests. Feeling Armenian and supporting Armenia mark the core Armenian identities that explain the interest in building a strong Armenian nation. Central to maintaining this core is solidarity around unaccomplished goals necessary for nation building. These identities, coupled with contention around questions of genocide and territorial boundaries, impassion them to feel like they need a home country to speak of and write about, to celebrate and perhaps even to visit or repatriate. More . . .

Eternal Chrysanthemum: The Enduring Legitimacy of Japan's Imperial Family

Ethan Woodard
The imperial family of Japan is the oldest and longest unbroken hereditary monarchical line in the world. Since the fall of Rome and before the birth of Islam, for 1500 years the Yamato family have successfully laid claim to the title of Emperor. How did a royal family with the crest of a delicate chrysanthemum and drained of nearly all military might in the 12th century manage to hang onto a position of such authority for centuries, even as the rest of the nation fractured and reunified around them? The answer lies in the unique and isolated nature of Japan, its long history as a singular and definable nation, and the remarkable way that its politics and religion interact at the imperial level. The Yamato family maintained their status and legitimacy by becoming deeply ingrained as the Shintoistic personification of the Japanese nation and to remove them would destroy what it meant to be Japanese. This was accomplished not through a claimed legal authority or direct divine mandate, like Western monarchs, but through the fundamental nature of the native religion and a deeply ingrained concept of Japan as a singular idea. More . . .

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Liberal Studies

The Liberal Studies track is interdisciplinary in nature and allows students to engage in both directed and independent work on subjects that are not bound by the curricula of traditional disciplines.

Fall 2014

Art Education and Community: How do community-based art projects contribute to the social and artistic development of adolescents at risk?*

Kuo Pin Lin
Different educational trends develop in different times. Post-modern views on the arts emphasize the interaction and connection between individual expression and social developments, with artworks examining and reflecting on issues such as the environment, community, society, and politics. Community-based art is any art created with the purpose of engaging a particular community into a larger dialogue with the goals of generating positive change. It is art created by artists and people whose lives directly inform the subject matter. More . . .

*This piece was not featured in the print edition, but the editors would like to share it here.

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The Journal includes photographs from students and alumni.

Fall 2014

Jennifer Cormack Mara Laine Mara Laine
Farah Salam Jennifer Cormack Mara Laine

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MALS Spotlight: Brian Young

Fall 2014

When Brian Young began thinking about his thesis he knew he was interested in exploring the impact of development on the everyday life and culture of the Bhutanese people. He was specifically interested in focusing his research on the nomadic yak herders of Merak, a village in Bhutan. In 2014, the Graduate Alumni Research Award and MALS thesis award allowed for Brian to travel to Bhutan to live there for three months, part of which was with a Bhutanese family.

Young's thesis research on the Eastern Himalayan Brokpa people of Merak was centered on the impact development was having on the region's traditional culture and family life. Brian integrated himself in his host family's lifestyle in the midst of the Khaling jungle. It was here that he lived in their hut and helped with the everyday chores of milking cattle, sewing, and fetching water, in addition to his research.

The project explores how capitalist development, as well as Gross National Happiness (GNH) (Bhutan's guide for ethical development) is impacting traditional definitions of family and identity in a rural village in Bhutan. This research plays an important role as Young explains, "It adds to our understanding of contemporary Bhutan and it also contributes to the field of anthropology by showing how modern development affects family, identity, culture, everyday life, and relationships between generations in a rural village." Located between India and China in the Himalaya, Bhutan is a small country of under 1,000,000 people. Beginning in 2005, the Bhutanese government adopted a framework for modernization in accordance with an articulation of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Young spent time in the capital Thimphu, interviewing government officials about Bhutan's GNH. "I wanted to see how GNH was actually put into practice, how development impacted the quality of daily life, including relationships across three generations of family," said Young.

While in Bhutan, Brian interviewed many different people but mostly focused on his host family as representative of Merak people and culture. He was able to compare the experiences of three generations (grandparents, parents, and children) and how the varying generational differences formed the identity and understanding of everyday life. He witnessed the cultural changes occurring rapidly with the children of the family, such as the daughter talking on Facebook or the son gelling his hair according to fashions popular in Korea. Young wrote that, "While members of the older generations are concerned about the loss of traditional dress and language, close ties are still maintained between children and parents in the family that I lived with, for example through daily conversations by cell phone."

During the course of the trip, Young was able to collect audio recordings of over one hundred interviews and rituals, as well as video and audio recordings of daily life and stories about religious beliefs and practices.

With assistance from the Nuekom Institute travel grant and the Graduate Student Council travel grant, Brian recently returned to present his research at a conference in Bhutan sponsored by the United Nations Population Development Fund. In his presentation, he emphasized the loss of lands, languages, and livelihoods and the effect on Gross National Happiness and overall well-being. "I see a lot of disadvantages of development," Young states. "I see how it can interrupt and distract from your happiness."

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Contributor Bios

Authors - Fall 2014

Wes Benash is 32 years old and originally from New Jersey, but has been living in Claremont, New Hampshire for the past 9 years. He graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and received a master's degree in library science from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Wes is a MALS student currently working at the Baker-Berry Library here on campus at Dartmouth. He is married and has a cat.

Laura Jean Binkley is a singer/songwriter/poet and part-time MALS student on the Creative Writing track. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Missouri before moving to Brooklyn where she lived and worked for five years honing her folk-rock style as she sang and played her guitar everywhere from the LIC Bar to the Bitter End (and all the subway stops in-between.) Her favorite poets are the ones who find beauty in all things and who make her laugh. She is planning to graduate in the Spring of 2017.

Sarah M. Decker graduated in 2008 from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a B.A. in English Literature. She was also actively involved with the college's literary club, Scarlet Letters, as well as submitted work to the college's literary journal, Images Magazine, and wrote articles for The Independent News Magazine. In 2007, Sarah attended a study abroad writing workshop in India. As a member of Sigma Tau Delta, a national English society, she presented a collection of her poetry titled "Nature of Sin" at the 2006 International Convention in Portland, Oregon. As a MALS student, she looks forward to expanding her academic knowledge, as well as connecting with other colleagues in this profession, while continuing to write and communicate with the world at large.

Trisha Denton hails from the sprawl of Detroit. The interdisciplinary artist writes for the stage, as well as folklore, fairy tales and fantasy for all ages. She also devises, directs and performs original theater. Trish received a BA from Goddard College, and she has worked with organizations such as Shelburne Museum, Burlington City Arts and Very Merry Theatre as a teaching artist and theater director. To date she has choreographed/directed around 55 children's shows, as well as written and directed over 100 original short plays. Trish currently attends Dartmouth College in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program researching the persistence of imagination in oppressive environments.

Shelby Kittrell is concentrating in Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. She is currently working on her thesis which is a collection of prose poems. Her work is largely influenced by the ordinary words people say and her observations of human behavior.

Brad Mindich left the media business several years ago to start two creativecentric companies: one is a brand-turnaround and consulting agency, and the other is a social archaeology/archiving company. The companies have had the privilege of working with a range of clients - from Metallica, Norah Jones, and Elvis Costello, to Gannett, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and Mercedes-Benz. Brad added some complexity to his life by entering the MALS program part-time, but for good reason as he is exploring ways to combine the interdisciplinary, academic field of Cultural Studies - specifically in the areas of sub-cultures, memory, fans and music engagement, identity, and nostalgia - with entrepreneurship to create new business and creative initiatives.

Joshua Semerjian is interested in cultural histories, particularly in the contexts of childhood/youth, gender/sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and nations/borders. Joshua's research takes a relational approach to critical inquiry that ends up being paradoxical or otherwise circular where the answer is always a new question. To struggle, according to Joshua, is to know what exists, but it's also a battle that can never be won. Joshua enjoys hiking, extreme rides, death metal music, and keeping people guessing about where he lives.

Kevin Warstadt grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied film and literature at Georgia Tech where he earned his B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture. While there he directed the award nominated short film, With a Whimper. He now studies writing and culture at Dartmouth in the MALS program, with a focus on Russian culture. He manages and is a contributor to

Ethan Woodard is a Second Year MALS student on the Globalization Studies track from Glover, Vermont by way of Portland, Maine. This past fall he began work on his thesis entitled: "Legitimacy & the Foundations of Government: Confidence, Trust and Participation in Modern Democracy". His primary research interest focuses on questions of legitimacy in Democratic governments, but he is also interested in questions of global public opinion, comparative politics, and the study of sub-cultural globalization.

Editors - Fall 2014


Amani Liggett is from Sacramento, California, where she received her bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy at UC Davis in 2011. Afterwards, she worked as an inner-city reading comprehension tutor in Sacramento, as well as a grant writer for a Sacramento-based nonprofit that focused on refugee resettlement, victims of human trafficking, and helping the financially illiterate. Amani began attending Dartmouth College as a graduate student in the fall of 2013 in Dartmouth's MALS program, where she is now the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the MALS Journal publication. Through Dartmouth she attended a Literature Summer School at Oxford University this past summer, and presented a paper at the 2014 AGLSP annual conference. Amani is currently working on her thesis about the history of women who have acted as Hamlet onstage.

Kelsey Smith, originally from East Corinth, Vermont, graduated from The University of Vermont in 2011 where she received a bachelor's degree in political science. After college, Kelsey worked as a public relations and communications assistant for The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and then as an account management specialist at The Advisory Board Company, a healthcare consulting company based in Washington, D.C. In the winter of 2014, Kelsey ventured back to New England to attend the MALS program at Dartmouth and is currently working on her Independent Study with Professor Christopher Wren, former correspondent and bureau chief for The New York Times. Her study seeks to address the question of whether print magazines can still be considered relevant in today's digital age.

Assistant Editors

Carmen Brady finished from Dartmouth with an AB in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1998 and spent time working as a juvenile services assistant for Child Haven in Clark County, Nevada before moving to Washington, DC in 2006. After working as a Congressional intern in the House of Representatives, she transitioned to the Senate in 2007 with a permanent position as Constituent Services Coordinator for a Nevada Senator. Her time as a MALS Creative Writing student has allowed her to hone underdeveloped creative gifts and has opened up numerous opportunities such as the Oxford Creative Writing Summer Program in 2014. She hopes this time will also work towards building a bridge towards a career in helping coach and counsel others in the future.

Kelley Bumstead, originally from Cape Cod, studied journalism at the University of Tampa and Boston University before coming to Dartmouth. She has lived and traveled all over the world and is researching sports culture and expatriate communities in the Far East, where she taught English for five years. Gregory Poulin is currently studying government and globalization at Dartmouth; he is a graduate of Wheaton College where he earned his BA in political science and history. His research has appeared in a variety of publications including The Diplomat, Real Clear World and China-US Focus.

Gregory Poulin is currently studying government and globalization at Dartmouth; he is a graduate of Wheaton College where he earned his BA in political science and history. His research has appeared in a variety of publications including The Diplomat, Real Clear World and China-US Focus.

Amanda Spoto, originally from Staten Island, New York, is a recent '14 graduate from Dartmouth College. She majored in English (Concentration in Cultural Studies and Popular Culture) and a did a minor in Native American Studies (Concentration in Government). She wrote a senior English Honors Thesis entitled, "Decoding the Alternate Gaze Amidst the American Labyrinth: Counter Memory and Re-remembering in Native American Literature" under Professor Pease (ENGL Dept.) and Professor Taylor (NAS Dept), and is currently on the Cultural Studies track in the MALS Program. She has a strong interest in law school, and may soon pursue a Ph. D.

Brian Young is a MALS student currently writing his thesis on development and its impact on culture within the country of Bhutan, specifically within the Brokpa ethnic group. He recently returned from doing ethnographic field research in Bhutan, where he lived with a semi-nomadic yak herding family in the jungle. His research focuses on three generations within one family, analyzing the changing structure of the family, relationships between each generation, and different identities of each generation formed by, among other things, their different experiences with modernization and development.

Web Team - Fall 2014

Jack Shultz grew up in Walla Walla, Washington and studied women and gender studies at Washington State University. Upon receiving his bachelor's degree he moved to New Hampshire to complete the MALS program at Dartmouth College. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at New England College. His first book, Trans/Portraits will be released from the University Press of New England in October 2015. He currently works as a web programmer and analyst for the Geisel School of Medicine, and as an adjunct professor at New England College. His research interests include technology law, social media studies, women and gender studies, critical race studies, queer theory, and oral history. He enjoys alpine skiing, kayaking, debating quantum theories, spending time with his obnoxiously large Newfoundland dog, and writing. Of note: Jack is a major fan of the Oxford comma.

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