Five HTS Majors to Present at Spring Research Symposium

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The students and their abstracts can be found below:

Poster Presentation # 116
The Sweating Sickness: Political and Social Impacts
Hannah Corpe
John Tone, PhD (History and Sociology)

From 1485 to 1551, a disease ravaged England, the exact causes of which are still unknown. The most notable symptoms include sudden onset, delirium, fever, headache, and the copious sweating that provided the diseases’ name- the English Sweating Sickness, or Sudor anglicus. Concurrently with the five outbreaks, England was also going through political and social upheavals. In my research, I will prove that although the disease is most notable for striking in England, it in fact was found in several other places. This is significant because of how the disease was viewed by contemporaries- as a punishment from God for sins exclusively limited to the English people- which has impacted and restricted our understanding of the disease. I will use primary source documents, as well as existing analyses in published, accredited articles and journal entries to explore the discourse surrounding the sweat and the cultural, social, and political climate in England at the time. The implications of my research include furthering our understanding of the sweating sickness as a disease by synthesizing information from outbreaks of the disease in other places with our knowledge of provable outbreaks of the disease in England. This will not only provide a more complete understanding of the disease as a whole but will also lend itself to more entirely appreciating the impacts of the social and political environment of England at the time on the recording and comprehending of the disease.

Oral Presentation
Lucy Groves
John Tone, PhD (History and Sociology)

Secret supernatural powers are hidden in the mountains of North Georgia. This research project is a documentary film that focuses on men and women who possess the gift of spiritual healing for various medical conditions. Personal interviews with these healers and the healed record for the first time the details of this secretive tradition. Stories of conjuring warts or poison oak, along with drawing fire and stopping blood, reveal generations of communities relying on their neighbors for help when doctors and hospitals were far away. In this year-long research project inspired by childhood encounters with oldtime healers through grandparents living in rural North Georgia, I made inroads with individuals who for years have protected their practices in order to shield them from the outside world. Known only by word of mouth, this dying art is at risk of going extinct in the modern world without any historical record of its existence, so this documentary and the interviews themselves are pivotal artifacts for American history. Whether one believes in the validity of the healing or not, the communities where it thrives fully accept it and have put their lives in its hands for over 200 years.

Oral Presentation
The History of Greenlandic Colonialism and its Effects on Modern Mental Health
Kaley Parchinski
John Tone, PhD (History and Sociology)

Recent economic and political changes in the Arctic have led to the highest suicide rates in the world. In Greenland, the problem is particularly acute: almost 87 per 100,000 people commit suicide every year in the capital city of Nuuk (Bjerregaard, et. al., 2015). Community activists, health workers, and government agents are aware of the problem and work to prevent suicide (Redvers, et. al., 2015). However, some underlying causes of suicide are not easily overcome. Under the Home Rule Act of 1979, Greenland enjoys limited self government as part of Denmark, but Danish colonialism still shapes economic and political life and contributes to the high rate of suicide.

Poster Presentation # 117
Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy: A Modern Practice
Kathryn Stauduhar
Amy D'Unger, PhD (History and Sociology)

The topic of sexual conversion therapy has become a political talking point in recent years, but has had a place in US history since the creation of eugenics and the development of modern psychology. This paper explores the creation of eugenics, the development of modern psychology, and founding of ex-gay ministries in relation to the practice of changing a person’s sexual orientation. Specifically this paper analyzes the work of Eugen Steinach, Freud, and conversion therapy techniques. While some techniques like aversion therapy, which is used effectively to treat other mental health disorders, it will be scrutinized in the context of treating homosexuality. Furthermore, it discusses the social institutions that hindered gay people in the United States, how they prevented social progress, and how they are still implemented today. Because the rhetoric surrounding human sexuality is so complicated, this paper utilizes original source material and synthesizes it with modern statistics to analyze said social institutions. The Stonewall riots triggered the beginning of the Gay Rights movement and brought the the topic of homosexuality into the media, and into American homes. This exposure raised questions about homosexuality, its validity, and the validity of trying change sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association changing their stance on the diagnosis of homosexuality as a mental disorder drastically changed the validity of institutionalized medical conversion therapy. The slow acceptance of homosexual relationships among members of the medical and psychological community, beginning with the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the DSM, allowed for the religious community to take over the business of conversion therapy, where they remain protected by a variety of religious freedom laws.

Poster Presentation # 118
Reconstructing Atlanta: Newly Discovered Stories of Post-slavery Atlanta
Yonatan Weinberg and Ali Yildrim
Douglas Flamming, PhD (History and Sociology)

Ali Yildrim and I are researching the years immediately following reconstruction in Atlanta with newly compiled databases. This research is for a History and Sociology symposium arranged by Dr. Douglas Flamming. We are searching online newspaper collections and ancestry databases to assemble new characterizations of people, like former slavetraders, and to discover little-known intentions behind the missionaries starting schools for freedmen. Some of the documents we have discovered include Johnson’s presidential pardon for A.K. Seago, an Atlanta slavetrader, as well as his tax documents. We even located his former business in the heart of downtown atlanta and superimposed it onto the wings restaurant currently there. We also found the annual report of the Freedman’s Aid organization that founded Clark University, highlighting its competitive, religious motivations. They explicitly said that a prominent rationale for educating freedmen was that they would combat Romanist (Catholic) religious ideology and promote their Protestantism.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Created: 04/17/2017
  • Modified By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Modified: 04/17/2017


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