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    6449 research outputs found

    When Words Fail: The Use and Misuse of Narratives in the Prison Abolition Movement

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    Inspired in part by my experiences at that internship, and a newfound appreciation for the impact of stories, this paper explores the role of narratives in the way we talk and think about prisons. Narratives, or storytelling, are not neutral accounts of the way the world works but are rather informed by social structures of power and control, necessitating subjecting them to critique and analysis. When used for social movements, this becomes especially true. In this paper, I will analyze how narratives are written/spoken and disseminated as part of the abolition or criminal justice reform movement. In organizations and movements that are reformist, I demonstrate that narratives follow neoliberal logic, and are individualizing, rely on free market ideology, and depend upon short-term organizing. As a result, these narratives not only reflect the carceral state, but continuously uphold it. In opposition, narratives used by organizations that are expressly abolitionist resist individualization, short-term organizing, and recognize the carceral state’s operations as rooted in white supremacy, effectively pushing for abolition and improving the lives of incarcerated people. Overall, I argue that narratives are incredibly important tools for exposing the harsh conditions of incarceration and the truths of the carceral state; but when fighting for abolition, narratives must be subject to critique and analysis

    Linking the Population of Binary Black Holes with the Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background

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    The astrophysical stochastic gravitational-wave background (SGWB) is the product of overlapping waveforms that create a single unresolvable background. While current LIGO sensitivity is insufficient to uncover the SGWB, future space-based detectors and Third Generation (3G) experiments are expected to probe deep enough for detection. Predictions of the SGWB can constrain future searches as well as provide insight into star formation, merger history, and mass distribution. Here, three primary methods are used to calculate a theoretical SGWB. The first method integrates over a precomputed mass distribution probability grid, while the second and third employ Monte Carlo integration with simulated data. After standardizing a prior distribution across both methods, the output energy density spectra is analyzed with regard to parameters such as binary black hole mass, merger rate, and spin distribution. Increasing the maximum merger mass shifts the gravitational-wave (GW) energy density peak to lower frequencies, while increasing merger rate parameters increases the GW energy density. In addition, higher spin magnitude and more closely aligned spins produce a maximum GW energy density higher in amplitude and frequency

    A Note from the Art Collective of Tapestries

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    Beyond the Institution: Radical Archiving Practices in Community- Based Archival Work

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    Throughout my time at Macalester, I have become increasingly aware of a tension that exists between those housing the archive and what the archive seeks to document. Many of the archives that document the lives of those who have been victims of structural violence and those forcibly pushed to the outskirts of society, are housed within large institutions. Oftentimes these large institutions rest upon the very colonial and white supremacist harm they work to document. In this paper, I acknowledge this tension and ask what it looks like to move beyond housing identity-based history at an institution and in the hands of the perpetrators, and instead what it looks like to place these histories back into the communities they emerge from. Drawing upon the Lesbian Herstory Archive, Queer Newark Oral History Project, and Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre Community Archive as case studies for community archival work, this paper will examine radical archiving as a theoretical framework geared towards equity and justice in archival spaces. Using case study review as a methodology, I will draw conclusions as to what community-based archiving looks like as a practice. Together these case studies will illustrate what community archiving looks like in practice and how radical archiving, as a framework, provides the tools necessary to engage in community-based archiving

    A War on Resistance: Police Repression and Criminalization of Land Defense Movements

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    Statement of Purpose: In this paper, I examine the roles and functions of policing in the United States in relation to environmental justice movements and protest. Building upon analyses of the history of policing and their role in enforcing and maintaining racial capitalism, I explore how the police enable and protect the destruction of land and environments. To demonstrate the intersections of policing, racial capitalism, and environmental crises I use three case studies: the protests at Standing Rock to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, the movement to Stop Line 3, and the movement to Stop Cop City. I found my way to this paper primarily from my own involvement in the movement to Stop Line 3 here in Minnesota, which I became increasingly involved with as the uprisings following the murder of George Floyd were unfolding across the country. Seeing firsthand the police violence that land and water protectors were met with as we took action to stop the construction of a tar sands oil pipeline on treaty land, opened my eyes to the mechanisms that the police state uses to support the interests of private corporations and the resulting destruction of land, and to criminalize those who resist these projects. In this paper, I seek to be in conversation with abolitionist scholars who are using their scholarship and activism to liberate communities everywhere

    Concrete Legacy: The Effects of the Interstate Highway System on Black Communities in the U.S.

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    This article examines the role that racism, racial capitalism, neoliberalism, and classism played in the construction of the Interstate Highway System as a part of 20th-century urban renewal. It will first understand the context of American urban renewal and then look at the policy specific to the Interstate Highway System. After that, I will discuss the resistance many communities portrayed and how bureaucracy stood firm against grassroots organizing. Then, this paper will explore the process of highway removal and new construction, as well as reparations for the communities most affected by the Interstate Highway System. Finally, I will give warnings of possible ramifications that could emerge from highway removal. This article is rooted in the community of Rondo/Old Rondo in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where this paper got its start. The Rondo community was targeted by city planners to be destroyed as the highway rolled in, as were many other Black communities in the United States. Hundreds of homes were damaged, but now, the community, in partnership with the city government, is making plans for repair. I recognize the importance of the Rondo community and the City of Saint Paul to the future of highway-related reparations and this paper specifically. The answer to the question of the most effective way to restore and repair affected communities lies within those very people

    On the Backs of Slaves: A Comparative Study on the Glamorization of Colonialism at the University of Amsterdam, Harvard University and Georgetown University

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    This capstone project explores the intricate relationship between colonialism, the slave trade, and higher education, focusing on the University of Amsterdam, Harvard University and Georgetown University. It argues that these institutions are deeply intertwined with slavery and colonialism, shaping their foundations and contributing to present-day structural inequalities in higher education. This essay highlights the perpetuation of elitism and exclusion by critiquing the University of Amsterdam for celebrating the Dutch East India Company (VOC) without acknowledging its connection to the slave trade. It also discusses Harvard University\u27s historical ties to slavery and the slave trade, including the institutions use of slave labor and their scientific research that reinforced racial hierarchies. Georgetown University’s connection to the Jesuit religion and their involvement in the sale and use of slaves is explored while also emphasizing the institution\u27s recent efforts for acknowledgment and reparations. This capstone concludes by calling for a more inclusive and critical approach to higher education, recognizing the need for ongoing examination and acknowledgment to address the lasting impact of colonialism on academic institutions and advocating for increased accessibility and racial equity in higher education

    Abolish r(ICE): (Dis)ability, Immigration, and Asian American Resistance

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    In 2021, Minneapolis-based Khmer artist, Kat Eng designed the “Abolish r(ICE)” t-shirt as part of a fundraiser for Southeast Asians and their families experiencing deportation. Inspired by the iconic Three Ladies Brand jasmine rice bag, Eng re-imagined the three ladies as freedom fighters in response to heightened immigration policing and detention of Southeast Asian communities. In this paper, I unpack and contextualize the Abolish r(ICE) t-shirt campaign within immigration debates, the contemporary abolitionist movement, and Asian American resistance. The Abolish r(ICE) shirts also function as a form of political education and an invitation specifically to Asian American youth to learn more about Southeast Asian issues and the larger movements towards abolition. Through a reading of the Abolish r(ICE) campaign I show how Kat Eng along with their collaborator Stephanie Shih draw upon food imagery and branding as part of their larger work to link Asian American cultural formations and urgent political issues. In doing so, the artists unapologetically center Southeast Asian American aesthetics, imagery, and voices as part of amplifying the Asian American community organizing against deportation. The design and imagery of the logo centers Southeast Asian and Asian American experiences and histories within the larger contemporary movement towards abolition and continued debates around immigration and detention policies within the United States. Applying a disability justice framework, I unpack how we might understand (dis)ability not just as an object of study but as an analytic. Drawing upon feminist-of-color disability studies, I argue for a disability justice approach to unpack immigration, deportation, and imperialism as discourses of state violence. What does disability justice reveal to us about “the refugee”, immigration and the carceral system? How are young contemporary Asian American artists using iconic household goods and foods as a critique of the U.S. Empire? Why does the model minority myth overlook Southeast Asian refugees? How do we understand state violence against Southeast Asians through immigration and detention as an issue of disability justice? In this paper, I explore these questions and make connections around Asian American abolitionists organizing across both national and local scales connecting the Twin Cities. Overall, I argue that by using a feminist-of-color disability studies analysis of the Abolish r(ICE) campaign we can further deepen our understanding of power and resistance that moves us beyond a liberal project of inclusion and representational politics

    Urban Farm, Not Toxic Harm: East Phillips Urban Farm and the Indigenous Right to the City

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    The East Phillips neighborhood in South Minneapolis has been planning to transform an abandoned warehouse into an indoor urban farm for nearly a decade. When the city of Minneapolis announced it would demolish the warehouse–releasing arsenic from the soil into the community–and use the land for a public works facility, a fierce battle over environmental justice and the right to produce space (a theory popularized by Henri Lefebvre) ensued. East Phillips is a geographically significant place: It has the largest urban concentration of Indigenous people in the country, and it is the birthplace of the American Indian Movement. Indigenous land defenders led the community in a series of protests over the span of 2022 and 2023 that halted the city’s plans. This initiative is an excellent case study to examine who gets to determine how space is produced, how marginalized communities push back against colonial planning practices to create counter-spaces, and what successful community-led planning initiatives can look like. This paper will explore the history of the contested land as abstract space, East Phillips as a marginalized place and hot spot for community organizing, the production of space and the Indigenous right to the city, environmental justice, and community-driven planning initiatives as a tool for resistance, healing, and growth

    The Hodgkin-Huxley Model for Neuron Action Potentials: A Computational Study

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    Neurons are the fundamental units of the nervous system that receive stimuli as signals and pass on this information to other cells in different parts of the body. An action potential refers to the transmission of the electrical nerve impulse along the neuron. In their seminal work published in 1952, Alan L. Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley proposed a mathematical model of neuronal membrane action potentials based on a series of experiments they conducted using the giant squid neuron. This thesis is a study of the nature of the action potential used to transfer signals along the neuron based on the Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model. The model consists of four coupled differential equations that contain non-linear terms and have no analytic solutions, and so numerical methods must be employed. In this work we developed MATLAB programs using the Runge-Kutta and Finite Difference Explicit Method to solve the space-clamped and full spatial and temporal HH equations respectively. Results illustrated that the solutions from these programs are consistent with current understanding of action potential behavior. The space-clamped calculations describe the behavior of an action potential as it evolves through time when a uniform potential is maintained in the neuron. The full spatial and temporal calculations describe how action potentials evolve in both space and time. The results can be interpreted as a type of non-linear diffusion of voltage, but with important differences compared to classical linear diffusion. Finally, some preliminary work on extensions of the HH model is provided


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