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Spring 2015

First Prize: Ian Zatkin Osburn, Taming Hollywood: Transnational Censorship in Historical Context
Although Hollywood has often been understood as a hegemonic force that unilaterally exerts cultural influence towards Americanizing the world, historically, this narrative misses the interplay that has occurred between states and film producers. This paper seeks to problematize the understanding of Hollywood as a unilateral, invasive force by examining three regimes that have censored and utilized Hollywood for their own purposes: the Third Republic in France, the Korean military dictatorship following the Korean War, and contemporary China. Each case offers insight into how other countries have resisted and utilized Hollywood for the advancement of their own interests both domestically and internationally. By examining censorship and its projection beyond a country’s borders, we gain a better understanding of the limitations on Hollywood as both a cultural hegemonic force and as a global force of Americanization.

Runners Up: Gabrielle Garfunkel, Takayumi Izumi, Lindsey Shoenhard
Gabrielle Garfunkel, Effects of Fair Trade on Coffee Farmers
This paper will provide a review of the available literature on Fair Trade certification and its effect on local farmers. While Fair Trade promotes the image of helping farmers receive higher wages and increased educational opportunities, with more extensive research it becomes clear that to obtain these benefits a farmers must complete a series of tasks and requirements which great reduce their autonomy. Even after doing everything to obtain certification, farmers are not eligible for many of these benefits until many years later. Despite an overwhelming amount of negative reviews on the certification, several advantages presented themselves as well. While not a perfect system, Fair Trade does provide poverty alleviation aid and empowers women to change their social status, among other things. However, until consumers choose to educate themselves on what happens behind the scenes, it is unclear how much Fair Trade can improve the situation of the coffee farmer.

Takayumi Izumi: Outsiders’ Significant Influence on the Cambodian Civil Conflict and Resolution
The Cambodian civil war started in 1978 among four factions in Cambodia. This conflict was not simple to analyze because it was a mixture of intrastate conflict and interstate conflict. In other words, the civil war can be categorized into intrastate conflict between three allied parties and one party, whereas it was also interstate conflict because some of parties were strongly supported by countries involved in the Cold War, indicating the conflict was an extension of the Cold War. This paper does not explain the entire conflict, but specifically chooses certain phases of the conflict up to and including the first election in 1993, in order to illustrate how outsiders influenced the civil war: some outside countries, such as Vietnam and China, worsened the conflict, while other outsiders, such as the Permanent 5 and The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), contributed to the achievement of the Paris Peace Accords. Yet, during implementation process, UNTAC achieved some successful implementations, whereas it failed to achieve the cease-fire.

Lindsey Shoenhard, Criminalizing Children and the “Choice” between Defending the Best Interests of the Child and Defending the Best Interests of the State—Unaccompanied Child Migrants in the U.S.
The 2014 spike in the number of unaccompanied child migrants encountered by U.S. Border Patrol brought increased attention to what some claim is an issue of national security, while others claim is a humanitarian crisis—the amount of unaccompanied children “surging” into the United States, and the way they are treated in their interactions with U.S. government agencies. This paper begins by examining the historical and humanitarian reasons why the United States has a responsibility to prioritize the best interests of unaccompanied migrant children, as defined in the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. It then goes on to discuss the ways in which these best interests are not currently considered by U.S. immigration law, and the improvements in policy that could be made to protect them. Finally, it examines the national climate of fear in the United States, and how it creates an environment in which the best interests of the nation and the best interests of unaccompanied migrant children are constructed as opposites. This paper shows that this ideology leads to discrimination, which is seen in the ways that citizen children born have their best interests catered to, while non-citizen children do not.

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