Here’s some of the exciting research being done by students in the JCU history program:

Sarah Narkin, “Seventeenth Century Catholic Recusant Women.”

In seventeenth century England, there were numerous social, legal and political pressures placed upon the English population in the hopes of ensuring religious conformity to the Church of England. English Catholics –both men and women- were thus faced with the choice of whether to openly declare their Catholicism or whether to conform. Recusant historians have argued that English women –more commonly than their male counterparts- chose the path of recusancy and received much public reprisal for doing so. Yet, in choosing recusancy, these women oftentimes –intentionally or unintentionally- became a very public and gendered subversive force. This paper explores and compares the writing and agency of three highly literate seventeenth century Catholic recusant women (Mary Ward, Elizabeth Cary, and Elizabeth Cellier) and demonstrates how all three women utilized their dual marginal position (as Catholics and as women) to challenge patriarchal power and assert their right to partake in public dialogue.

Alex Coley, “Translating the Public Image of Queen Elizabeth I.”

Traditional images of monarchy are centered around a king, and uses his body to convey a multitude of different messages to the people. When Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne she had to change the traditional images to fit a female monarch. Through her personal speeches, personal and state letters, and her portraiture she was able to create a public persona the effects of which continue to be felt today. In her battles against these long standing beliefs about the image of the sovereign she was met with both success and failure that can be seen through the English people’s willingness to accept Elizabeth’s radical agenda.

Jennifer Monroe, “The rise of Castro and the fall of Che: Comparing the revolutionary tactics of Modern Latin America’s two greatest guerrilla fighters, and the results of their revolutions.”

The power and influence of both Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during the mid 20th century changed the course of world history and the Latin American nations as a whole.  The Cuban Revolution spawned an era of civil unrest among Latin American cultures and in the decade following Fidel Castro’s successful defeat of Fulgencio Batista’s regime, the idea of revolution was an eminent front. When Che implemented his revolution in Bolivia in 1966, he was fueled by the radical changes and the success he achieved in Cuba with Castro. Castro and Che’s bond raises the question; would Fidel still have been successful without the influence of Che, and would Che have still failed even with the help of Castro? This paper analyzes that question, and seeks to answer why Castro’s plan for revolution in Cuba and Che’s plan for revolution in Bolivia evoked two very different outcomes.

Pietro A. Shakarian, “Haze Over Ararat: The Correlation of Environmental and National Movements and Historical Circumstances in Soviet Armenia”

This paper examines the correlation between environmental and political-national movements based upon the historical example of Soviet Armenia in the late 1980s.  Armenian environmental movement flowered in the Soviet Union after leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated his reforms of glasnost (political openness) and perestroika (economic restructuring).  The research focuses on three major concerns by Armenian environmental activists: a) nuclear hazards, b) air pollution, and c) hydraulic resources.  The historical development of these problems, as well as their impact on the local environmental movement, is carefully scrutinized using primary and secondary sources. The paper illustrates how environmental concerns transitioned into a more broad-based national movement and concludes by examining Armenian environmental movement during Armenia’s early years of independence from the Soviet Union.