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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.

Original artwork by Ashley Hollis of plastic bag with sad face and text

A Plan for Plastics

Consumption of plastic and efforts to reduce plastic waste have been a popular topic of the past year. When a video showcasing plastic straw litter went viral, many businesses, such as restaurants and dining chains, stopped providing plastic straws unless…

Author self portrait in military dress

How Has Learning English Helped Me to Build Confidence and Communication Skills?

Last year, when I was in military service in South Korea, I was taking a subway to go home during my break. I was waiting for my subway, wearing a military uniform and carrying a backpack. Then one girl came…

Fear of Fear Itself: A Deeper Look Into U. S. Birthing Culture

Imagine a woman giving birth. What exactly comes to mind? For many Americans scenes of a screaming woman laying flat on a hospital bed in an all white room probably flashes before them. For others around the globe, the picture…

Good Will in Globalized World

The community guides the individual’s behaviors and actions and controls misbehaviors and bad actions. This society starts from the family and ends with the people who are living in the surroundings. The small society, however, has interrelationships with other societies,…

Care for Life? The Failing System of Nursing Home Care in the United States

The phrase “respect your elders” is ingrained in most minds at a young age. This phrase, however, has been lost somewhere. A lack of respect for the elderly is especially present in the quality of health care they receive. Not only are the elderly discriminated against in the US health care system, many of their health problems are cast off as “getting old.”

Questions of Policy

Many of the pieces published in this issue invite readers to think deeply about questions of policy—which course of action should be pursued in a given set of circumstances?

Of Men and Martians: A Close Reading of a Cow Pea

I was really looking forward to going to the “Food: Fact or Fiction” exhibit at the Perlow-Stevens Art Gallery, and I was disappointed when the weather interfered with our class trip. This exhibit seemed like it might be a good place to find ideas regarding the Mizzou Advantage initiative of “Food for the Future,” so my friend and I decided to make our own excursion to the gallery one afternoon.

Failing to Make the Grade: How the School Lunch System is Falling Short of Its Purpose

With over 1/3 of the nation’s children overweight or obese according to the Center for Disease Control, concerns over what children are consuming have become ever more prevalent among parents across the United States. Serving over 32 million children a year, the lunch program certainly plays a large role in what our nation’s children consume on a daily basis.

Essay Contest Winners!

The winners of our essay contest (sponsored by Mizzou Advantage) imagine new approaches to the ways we produce and consume food.

U.S. Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and Minority Participation in Research

The U.S. Syphilis Study at Tuskegee studied the condition and progress of nearly 400 African-American males with diagnosed syphilis. Lured to the hospital with promises of free transportation, lunches, medical care, and burials, the subjects were observed for nearly 40 years and never informed of their condition. These subjects also were never notified of their participation in a research study, and, though efficient syphilis medications were available, they were not administered treatment.

Representation through Documentary: A Post-Modern Assessment

Like photography, documentaries are a representational medium: They record and occasionally reconstruct the everyday reality viewers typically cannot experience themselves. Because photography is an indexical sign signifying truth, audiences understand the documentary, a moving photograph, to signify truth also. However, they are able to make the distinction between the “everyday reality” presented by documentaries and the fictive “reality” of cinematic films.

Women Veterans Face Challenges of Homelessness

Tina Conroy's voice cracks mid-sentence and mid-sob over the phone in the Veterans Affairs office (VA) of Columbia while a comforting voice reminds her she can stop if it becomes too painful. "We had nowhere else to go. We had no money, and it was me and my two children, and my daughter and her family."

American War Mother's Memorial

Relaunch

In this inaugural issue of Artifacts’ relaunch, an emerging theme of these essays, stories, and poem is the work of remembering. Some do this by drawing our attention to aspects of history that still affect us decades later even when they are missing from our daily consciousness.

Environmental Issue

The myriad ways in which environmental conservation, stewardship, and sustainability find expression on MU’s campus would probably surprise most people. Global warming, electric cars, renewable energy——these may be controversial matters in our society, but as we watch the slow and uncertain rise of so-new technologies, and follow the political calculations surrounding policy changes shift with the price of oil, on the local level many are taking decisive action.