By the early 20th century, persons of Japanese ancestry constituted the largest ethnic group in Hawaii. In response to the large population of Japanese residents and Japanese Americans in the Territory, white elites voiced strong concerns about the potential influence that these individuals would have. Fearing that Japan would take over Hawaii through the “fifth column” living on the Islands, white Americans targeted Japanese Americans who had dual citizenship status. According to Japan’s nationality laws, children born to Japanese citizens were automatically granted citizenship regardless of where they were born. Those with dual citizenship faced pressures to “Americanize” by adopting Western practices and expatriating from Japan. Japanese individuals in Hawaii faced additional pressures and limits to their rights because of its territorial status. Nonetheless, many Japanese Americans with dual citizenship status in Hawaii embraced Americanization efforts and used expatriation as a way to secure better treatment and rights.
by Grace Corkran
Faculty mentor: Dr. Steven Harris
During WWII, 1.3 million people were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau; 1.1 million died there. This notorious death camp was just one part of the intricate system the Nazis created to exterminate the enemies of the Third Reich. After the liberation of the camps by the Allies at the end of the war, historians have deconstructed what life was like in the camps based on the personal testimonies of adult survivors and the accounts of the children imprisoned. Though many aspects of life in the camps and the conditions of the prisoners have been examined, few historians have focused on the experiences of pregnant women in the concentration camps for the tragic reason that very few of these women survived their ordeal. While this was the reality for the majority of the women, not all pregnant women were selected to die. The Nazis were not in the position to immediately exterminate all their enemies and had to instead create a system that organized their killing into stages where life and death were selected based on certain criteria. Throughout my research paper, I hope to explore and answer the following question: what were the determining factors that sentenced pregnant women to either life or death during the selection processes in the Nazi concentration camps?
by H. Sumner Bridenbaugh
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allyson Poska
Midwives had long been considered experts in pregnancy and childbirth prior to the Scientific Revolution and the professionalization of the medical field. However, in the late seventeenth century, we see an interest in the realm of childbirth from male surgeons and physicians seeking scientific understandings of pregnancy and women’s bodies, who began to publish pamphlets and treatises on their findings. However, by analyzing midwifery manuals written by seventeenth-century women, such as Justine Siegemund and Jane Sharp, we can see midwives were on an equal level of medical and anatomical understanding as male practitioners from their experiential education and were uniquely qualified for their position.
by Tara Scroggins
Faculty mentor: Dr. Steven Harris
As media coverage of Alcatraz increased, popular culture glorified prison systems. Throughout the years, the amount of federal prisons multiplied as the media grew fascinated with incarceration. This expansion posed a new question: did the media’s representation of Alcatraz play a role in the idealization of building prisons? In my media-focused argument, I hypothesize that the media’s support of Alcatraz prison led to the construction of the multitude of prisons today.