Selections from studies in Theoretical Physics, UX Design, and Women's & Gender Studies
CONTENT WARNING: Some articles contain discussion about sexual assault and/or violence which may be not be suitable for all readers.
LINEAR STABILITY OF SATURN'S RINGS
Using a linear stability analysis of a system of n equal-mass bodies in circular orbit about a large primary mass, the compositional dynamics of Saturn’s ring system is determined. Using a linear stability matrix and determining the associated eigenvalues, the inequality dictating the relationship between the cumulative mass of the n bodies and the mass of Saturn is derived. The results regain Maxwell’s crucial theoretical conclusions on the stability of Saturn’s rings, proving that a system of n non-interacting bodies in planar circular orbit exhibits stability, even against in-plane perturbations. Centrally, the derived mass ratio inequality relationship sufficiently predicts the many- body nature of Saturn’s rings and aligns with spectroscopic and experimental data.
SILENCING FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBERS
Predominantly affecting Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, more than 45,000 people have lost their lives to suicide bombing attacks between the years of 1981 and 2015, making suicide bombings a deadly form of terror. Western discourse on female suicide bombers deliberately objectifies the female body, victimizes women who execute violence, and employs western rescue politics to recharacterize women exercising non-normative agency as passive, unconscious beings, ultimately suppressing Middle Eastern women’s voices in the public sphere.
ARTICULATING A LESBIAN IDENTITY THROUGH THE LESBIAN ART PROJECT
The Lesbian Art Project, founded by Terry Wolverton and Arlene Raven in 1977, utilized performative art, visual art, and educational reform to articulate lesbian identity narratives and ultimately augment lesbian women’s agency in the western United States.
CRIMINALIZING NON-WHITE BODIES
Richard Banks’ Beyond Profiling: Race, Policing, and the Drug War and Julilly Kohler-Hausmann’s The Crime of Survival: Fraud Prosecutions, Community Surveillance and the Original “Welfare Queen” illustrate mass incarceration and welfare stereotypes as criminalizing racially marginalized individuals to ultimately suppress the agency non-white communities.
POLITICS OF RESCUE IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Inderpal Grewal’s On the New Global Feminism and the Family of Nations: Dilemmas of Transnational Feminist Practice and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu’s Rethinking Global Sisterhood highlight global political narratives of rape and cultural backwardness to illustrate the politics of rescue present in Western military interventions into the Global South.
SEXUALIZED TORTURE IN THE ABU GHRAIB PRISON
Ivan Greenberg’s From Surveillance to Torture: The Evolution of U.S. Interrogation Practices during the War on Terror and Diane Marie Amann’s Abu Ghraib utilize the Abu Ghraib prison to highlight emasculation through sexually-based torture as a militaristic tactic employed by Western powers to express dominance over a space.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE
Rhonda Copelon’s Gender Crimes as War Crimes: Integrating Crimes against Women into International Criminal Law and Patricia Weitsman’s The Politics of Identity and Sexual Violence: A Review of Bosnia and Rwanda explore the objectification of women through identity politics during the Rwandan Genocide as it ultimately precipitates permissible sexual violence against women in militant environments.
SILENCING HISTORICAL CULTURAL CONTEXTS
Lila Abu-Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Need Saving? and Ayesha M. Imam’s Women’s Reproductive and Sexual Rights and the Offense of Zina in Muslim Laws in Nigeria illustrate Western portrayals of violence against women in the Global South as an inherent consequence of barbaric, backwards cultures centered in non-Westernized spaces by silencing the historical context in which such human rights violations arose.
DEFEMINIZING THE NON-ELITE WOMAN
Rosalyn Terborg-Penn’s Discrimination Against Afro-American Women in the Woman’s Movement, 1830-1920 and Ellen Carol DuBois’ Working Women, Class Relations, and Suffrage Militance illustrate the defeminization tactics employed by the 19th and 20th century Woman’s Movement to alienate racially marginalized and working class women from women’s rights activism.
VICTIMIZATION OF THE COLONIZED NATIVE WOMAN
Lata Mani’s The Female Subject, the Colonial Gaze: Eyewitness Accounts of Sati and Cesare Lombroso and Guglielmo Ferrero’s Sexual Sensitivity (Lesbianism and Sexual Psychopathy) explore the role of victimhood in societal portrayals of native femininity through analyses of sati practices contrasted with female criminality to ultimately parallel female agency with passive unconsciousness.
EXPLOITING FEMININITY IN POLITICS
Female politicians such as Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards currently seeking to address women’s rights, low-income relief, and Social Security legislation embrace gender stereotypes of femininity and motherhood that allow women to efficaciously represent interests of individuals in feminized domains of democratic politics.
FGM AND WOMEN’S HEALTH
Cultural, political, and biological factors perpetuating female genital mutilation (FGM) of women in developing African countries spark local, national, and global responses as illustrated by Anne Firth Murray’s From Outrage to Courage: Women Taking Action for Health and Justice, Thomas Lemke’s Biopolitics: An Advanced Introduction, and Peggy Antrobus’ The Global Women’s Movement: Origins, Issues, and Strategies.
DEVIANT MONSTROSITY AND RACED PROSTITUTION
The racing of prostitution in the United states reinforces scientific racism based on disease, dehumanizes native individuals through hypersexualization, and impedes native populations in possible career paths to ultimately uphold society’s belief in the innate monstrosity of non-white populations.
ILLNESS AS A SYMPTOM OF MONSTROSITY
Claire de Duras’s Ourika, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde each examine how underlying deviance of monstrous characters manifests physically through illness, associating self-perceived monstrosity with socially inhibiting physical defect.
Both Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Siobhan Somerville’s “Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body” explore the feminine bodily characteristics that patriarchy uses to stereotype homosexuals in order to inhibit their agency in public spheres.
PERIPHERAL VISION LIMITATIONS INHIBIT CALL OF DUTY MULTIPLAYER FIRST-TIME USER EXPERIENCE
The Call of Duty Multiplayer heads-up display (HUD) relegates game-critical health and weapon information to widgets in the lower periphery of the screen, inhibiting the first-time user experience. Essentially, limitations in spatial resolution across a visual field impede peripheral vision in video game interactions such that new players cannot effectively localize the peripheral health and weapon widgets. This ultimately disrupts a new player’s capacity to achieve success in Call of Duty’s Multiplayer modes wherein health and ammunitions are precious resources anchoring the game experience.