(Rice University, 2017) Pemantle, Walden; Moran, Michael
Following the abolition of slavery or serfdom, wage labor became the norm for the laboring class of many nations. This article examines how capitalism and wage-labor replaced slavery and serfdom with other forms of coerced labor. The article uses the treatment of freedmen in Reconstruction-era Southern United States, Prussian ex-serfs in imperial Germany, and colonial subjects in German Togo as case studies to argue that government interference, commodification of labor and goods, and prioritization of surplus value (profit) each contributed to particularly coercive systems of wage labor.
This paper defines and examines the Obama Doctrine by contextualizing it through the lens of other presidential doctrines and schools of realism and idealism. In addition, it seeks to establish the doctrine's tenets and contradictions. It then examines Obama’s arc of disenchantment with the Arab Spring and explains how this arc affected the way he made policy regarding the Middle East.
This essay considers how British literature in the eighteenth century participated in creating a singularly domestic image of women. Addressing gender roles, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, Mary Hays’s Emma Courtney, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey form a literary progression with which to compare nonfiction historical sources. The critique suggests how the changing economic framework disenfranchised women as it enabled men to advance. It further identifies three aspects contributing to women’s confinement to the home: first, growing authority over domestic staff; second, responsibility over children’s education; and third, a supposed inability to engage with public, political thought. Furthermore, it recognizes how the domestic sphere simultaneously became a women’s source of authority while preventing her from engaging with the world at large. Within these topics, the essay considers how a growing feminist voice in British fiction toward the end of the eighteenth century allowed female authors to push against the devaluation of women.
The Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), which controlled the world's largest crude oil reserve and was once the largest American investment overseas, often claimed that its petroleum extraction activities contributed to the modernization of Saudi society. Scholars have critiqued Aramco's narrative of enlightened self interest by showing how the company clung to a racialized labor hierarchy and repeatedly eschewed reforms. This essay continues that criticism by examining Aramco’s policies on women and the family. Using internal memos and publicity materials released between 1940 and 1970, this study reveals how Aramco’s American owners used gender to understand, manage, and Orientalize their Saudi employees. In its public image, Aramco claimed to be liberating Saudi women from an anachronistically oppressive society. Yet in the jobs it did (and did not) offer to women, as well as the housing options it gave to Saudi families, the company’s policies demonstrate a similarly patriarchal logical work.
(Rice University, 2017) Altschul, James; Hahn, Christina
Thomas Jefferson’s religious beliefs remain a point of contention in contemporary political discourse, with actors on many different sides of religious debate seeking to claim him as an advocate for their position. In this paper, I attempt to understand Jefferson’s beliefs in his own words, examining his writings on spirituality, religious institutions, Christianity, miracles, and morality in both his letters to friends and colleagues, as well as his own abridged version of the bible. Though Jefferson was far from orthodox, I argue that he never saw himself as anything but a Christian; he simply had strong and independent convictions about what being a Christian meant. I also argue that his secular humanism was largely responsible for guiding his thoughts on religion, and at times became the position to which he ascribed most dogmatically.
(Rice University, 2017) Hood, Nikolai; Fritz, Anna Yen
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) perceived that certain fundamental structures’ from language to justice’ which had previously been enshrined by religious transcendence were by his time decaying through the democratizing impulses of the nineteenth century. He pondered the implications of this decay in its various manifestations, most significantly with respect to morality. Nietzsche viewed these structures not only as the means through which inter subjectivity takes place, shaping human relations and the communities that they make up, but also as the foundation of the human mind’ the self and its interior world. This paper takes as its starting point Nietzsche’s analysis of the decay of the state and explores the consequences of the dissolution of intersubjective structures in general on human communities and human consciousness.