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Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers, Welcome to this 2019-2020 special edition of Artifacts! Throughout the academic year, the Campus Writing Program, the Department of English Composition Program, and the Writing Center support and celebrate MU’s students

Picture of cover of the book by Hurston

Literacy’s Effect on Black Women: A Personal Narrative

Janie’s narrative in Their Eyes Were Watching God exemplified this for me. It allowed me to parallel myself with Janie, to compare my experience as a Black woman with hers, and embolden me to find my own truth and seek fulfillment within my life.

Image of Sperm Tail Lengths from Grace's Poster

Beef Cattle Fertility

The objective of this study was to determine factors of sperm structure that influence fertility within bulls. We hypothesized that as the mitochondrial sheath on the tail lengthens, the increased energy production of the sperm cell would impact bull fertility. In the results of this study, we found a positive correlation between the mitochondrial sheath length and the fertility rates of bulls, indicating that mitochondrial sheath structure influences fertility.

Original Art showing DNA and the title of the Paper

The Misleading Nature of Scientific Publications

This paper was composed as part of an honors writing intensive assignment in BIOCHM 2482H taught by Dr. Thomas J. Reilly. In the course, students were encouraged to analyze and criticize scientific publications that are often held to unrealistic standards of rigor by the public. The assignment entailed a reading of The Double Helix, which described the discovery of the structure of DNA from the perspective or Dr. James D. Watson, and then analyzing the wholly different experience depicted by this book as compared to the formal publication of the discovery in Nature. This paper explores the scientific endeavor as but one part of a web of beliefs and attitudes that constitute a social identity rather than a concept to be understood in isolation.

A picture of the eifle tower

The Burqa Ban: A Discourse on Post-Secular Religious Freedom

What—if any—authority does the government have to intervene in the affairs of private individuals? This question lies at the heart of the following discourse on the appropriate limits on a government’s right to regulate. Using France’s 2011 Burqa Ban as a framework, this paper evaluates several competing theories on these limits and their relative significance. Though none of these theories can fully capture the complexity of this subject, they provide invaluable insight into the various postulates used to justify state control over private behavior.