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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 10:30am - 11:45am
Cultures in Transition — Huntley 230

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Chinese Cinematic Experience (Paper)
Yolanda Yang, Savannah Kimble
By comparing movies shown in Chinese cinemas and their original version shown in the US, we have proven that a number of films are censored by the Chinese authorized institution SARFT. Our findings include: the main reason for censorship is the various cultural differences between China and the western countries; there are three main types of censorship: film clipping, film editing and eliminating from cinemas; the globalization trend has caused some films that were initially censored in China to become accessible in their full formats now; the growing of Chinese economy has resulted in Hollywood catering movies to Chinese audiences. Besides, we also interviewed local Chinese people and professors in Beijing, collecting their views of the movie censorship policies; thus, by observing how the policies has influenced people's life currently we could possibly predict the changes of the policies in the near future.

“Candle in the Wind”: Modern Material Culture and Iconography in American Cemeteries (Paper)
Bryan D’Ostroph
When one reflects upon a life they have lived, by whom or what do they want to be remembered? In modern American cemeteries, there has been a shift since the end of the twentieth century to memorialize one’s life through novel forms of gravestone iconography and material culture. This shift is somewhat of a paradox, as the specificity of the objects has decreased in scope while the variation has increased. By employing anthropological theory and case studies from the field, this research begins to look at how this paradoxical shift has changed social relationships in American communities and whether this has shaped a new form of solidarity amongst its members.

The Faeries of Tomm Moore's Song of the Sea: Ancient Roots and Modern Connotations (Paper)
Alice Kilduff
Tomm Moore’s animated feature Song of the Sea urges Irish audiences to return to their pre-Christian roots. Cultural revival not only gives Ireland a distinct identity in the post-colonial and post-Celtic Tiger age but also serves as an environmentalist strategy: given the animistic nature of druidism and the superstitions descended from it, the Irish cannot revive their culture without protecting the environment, and vice versa. In this paper, I discuss how the faeries are the central vehicles for this message in the film, harnessing Irish oral tradition that views the faeries as both the ancients and the intermediaries between nature and humanity. Moore takes stories and taboos about faeries and updates them, breaks them, turns the faeries into creatures with which humans must interact, whose survival depends on being remembered by humanity. Through interaction with faerie mythology, nature regains its sacredness, and a mandate for its protection is thereby created.

Heroes, Zombies, & Paranoia: American Film after 9/11 (Paper)
Virginia Kettles
My research paper looks at the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and its effects on American cinema in the years following the event. This draws specifically on films directly about 9/11, censorship of films with terrorist or twin towers imagery, the rise of escapism with fantasy epics, and the connection of increasingly-popular zombie films with the War on Terror.

Ambition in Italy: A Cultural Examination of the Transition Between School and Work (Paper)
Diana Banks
This presentation will explore the themes of ambition and motivation through the lens of a critical transition in emerging adulthood - the transition from school to the working world, where many young people face the smaller questions of, "What do I want to do" along with larger concepts of "Who do I want to be?". I investigated the factors of influence during this decision-making process, and went to Italy to understand how Italians and Americans feel differently about pursuing their "next step". My presentation will explore interview accounts to reveal insights about the Italian school system, the influence of cultural expectations, and methods of encouragement that affect motivation and ambition during this stage of life. These findings are relevant to the way we choose to guide young adults through the process of actively navigating their future, but explores a transitionary period that is felt and understood personally by all.


Friday March 17, 2017 10:30am - 11:45am
Huntley 230