Current Issue

Volume XIII


Dr. Abigail Alexander, Kennesaw State University

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Emily Cerimele, St. Olaf College

This project examines existing research to provide an overview of educational opportunities for children with disabilities in China. Educational inequality represents a significant issue in our world today, especially for marginalized groups. Receiving a vigorous education opens the door to more opportunities and promotes greater social equality. In China, however, children with disabilities face immense obstacles in receiving education, and most of them do not receive a strong education. They have two options for their education: attending public schools in classrooms with children without disabilities or attending special education schools. Both options have shortcomings with regard to accommodating and educating children with disabilities. While the available body of research in this area has been increasing in recent years, much of this research has a limited scope and focuses only on specific areas, schools, and subsets of the population. Additional research on different population subsets must be done to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this issue in China so that people may more effectively work toward increasing educational opportunities for children with disabilities. Many methods can be used to enact this change, including providing specialized training to teachers, giving more resources to parents of children with disabilities, and increasing government protections for educational equality.

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Jodie Clay, St. Olaf College

In the realm of television advertising, American audiences often perceive commercials as intrusive, with a substantial 65% finding them unappealing (Wang, 2017). Surprisingly, a global phenomenon unfolds as people from all over the world eagerly consume compilations of Japanese advertisements. This paper aims to investigate the underlying reasons for this stark contrast and uncovers the intricate interplay of consumer culture, traditional beliefs, and advertising regulations that shape the advertising landscape in Japan and America. Drawing from cultural theories, Japan’s consumer culture is a "high-context society" that relies on familiar symbols and icons to effectively communicate. America’s consumer culture, on the other hand, is a "low-context culture" requiring Western traditions of rhetoric and logic to employ a push-pull approach to communicate ideas and actions. Based on traditional beliefs, Japan highly values connection and efficiency while America instead values power, innovation, and individualism. Thus, Japan prioritizes fostering positive sentiments surrounding their products and never over-interpreting a product for fear of insulting the customer's intelligence. American advertisers attract the audience's attention by emphasizing the customer as an individual and focusing on surprising the customer while communicating in a straightforward manner. Moreover, stringent advertising regulations in Japan enforce portraying a healthy society and lifestyle and forbid misleading or explicit content. By contrast, American advertising guidelines are more relaxed and stipulate that advertisers must not mislead or showcase violence and nudity. These differences are highlighted when comparing Japanese and American Coca-Cola commercials and Japan’s famous bread company Pasco's soft-selling marketing campaign to America’s cheese company Sargento's hard-selling advertising style.

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Addie Rossinow, St. Olaf College

China is known for being the largest contributor to climate change. Its most significant problem is air pollution. Not only is air pollution visibly damaging to the environment, but it is also greatly harming the economy. By transitioning from non-renewable energy to renewable energy such as solar power and hydropower, creating incentives for the population of China to widely use electric vehicles rather than gas-powered vehicles, and committing to a project to plant 88 million acres of forest, China has ambitious goals to greatly improve the air quality. This paper engages in scholarly research to explore China’s plans to improve the country’s air quality and become a global leader in reversing the effects of air pollution.

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Cambios paradigmáticos queer que desvían el estereotipo del maricón: el cine cubano y los filmes sobre Cuba

Julia DeVane, Georgia College and State University

Both Cuban cinema and films regarding Cuba in the last decades of the twentieth century saw a significant change in filmic portrayals of gay males and their relationships with one another as representative as social Otherness. In New Maricón Cinema: Outing Latin American Film (2016), Vinodh Venkatesh contextualizes this change as a paradigm shift, as defined by the portrayals of gay males and their relationships. For Venkatesh, the films that rendered what modern viewers recognize as stereotypically queer supporting characters fall into the category of pre-paradigm, or “Maricón cinema,” while those that showcased gay males as protagonists signal a post-paradigmatic mentality, or “New Maricón cinema” (7). This essay engages with Venkatesh’s model to analyze how the temporal and thematic changes proposed by the author are present in Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s Fresa y chocolate (1993) and Julian Schnabel's Antes que anochezca (2000). These films resonate on opposite sides of this profound change, but they both explore life through highly visible queer figures in Cuba and offer a specific optic within queer studies regarding how these characters and their relationships document change within Cuban queer public culture.

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La representación superficial del régimen de Trujillo En el tiempo de las Mariposas: Un análisis de la obra cinematográfica de Mario Barroso

Lelani Smith, Kennesaw State University

This manuscript explores how Mario Barroso, director of the 2001 film En el tiempo de las Mariposas, creates a superficial version of the official history, the fictional history by Álvarez, the collective memory of Rafael Trujillo’s regimen as dictator of the Dominican Republic and the Mirabal family’s lives. This study examines the relationship between the tyrant and Patria, Dedé, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal, better known as Las Mariposas. Diving into the incongruencies between real life accounts, Julia Alvarez’s novel and Barroso’s film (both entitled En el tiempo de las Mariposas), this project also engages with scholarly sources to determine the significance of, motivations behind and consequences of specific changes to the retellings of these lives. 

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