The Making of the DLR Part 2: Editorial Team

Hello and welcome to the second installment of The Making of the Digital Literature Review. The Digital Literature Review is created though the hard work and contributions of all of its individual undergraduate members. These members are divided into three teams (Design, Editorial, and Publicity) at the start of each issue, and they collectively work throughout the semester in order to edit, produce, and publish the Digital Literature Review. The start of school year begins with the teams studying a particular theme designated for that year, under the guidance of a professor. The next semester involves receiving submissions for the journal and readying them for publication.

In this post, we will cover the duties and responsibilities of the members of the Editorial team, as well as have the team members share their personal thoughts and experiences about the immersive class. They will cover the challenges they’ve had to endure as well as their triumphs throughout the semester as they collectively worked to improve the content and accuracy of Ball State’s Digital Literature Review.

The responsibilities of the Editorial team:

  • Review submissions to the journal for quality
  • Send acceptance/refusals to authors
  • Copy edit accepted submissions to the journal
  • Review and copy edit the DLR in its final stages

Responsibilities and course work as a student in this immersive learning class:

  • Study the material of the designated theme for the year
  • Assigned blog entries for our DLR blog
  • Write for the DLR blog and possibly for the English Department blog
  • Create a capstone project

Our Editorial Team members:

esther

Esther Wolfe, Team Leader, Senior

sadie

Sadie Brown, Senior

nikole

Nikole Darnell, Sophomore

caitlin

Caitlin Dashiell, Senior

kathryn

Kathryn Hampshire, Sophomore

bryce

Bryce Longenberger, Junior

isabel

Isabel Vazquez, Junior

 

What was it like building the Editorial team and putting into practice your process?

 

Esther: We really wanted to build on the foundation from last year. This year it was more about making the process more efficient. It was especially important in training the new members in our editorial process: creating dress rehearsals, and training processes.

 

Nikole: Some parts of the process could get overwhelming considering that you would have to show up to class on certain days and copyedit huge sections of text. I mean it’s feasible to get it all done, but just be ready to work hard when you come into the team.

 

Kathryn: Even though I knew this was the team I wanted to be a part of, I didn’t really know what to expect. It ended up being a lot more than I did expect though, and that was just really exciting as the year progressed. I thought it would be a lot of copyediting, but it turned out to be a lot more than that, which was really great.

 

Isabel: It was great to see such a large group working together to achieve one goal. Especially since I was able to still voice my opinions and be heard when I thought somethings should be changed. It’s a real confidence builder to know that I could polish my new skills and apply them to a real world experience.

 

So how did your team overcome the big challenges during the course of the year?

 

Kathryn: Well one of the big things we worried about was how to keep our documents straight. We were really concerned that our system wouldn’t be efficient enough. Fortunately we came up with a great folder system that really helped us get ourselves organized and keep all the various versions of documents separate.

 

Bryce & Kathryn: We can talk about how tough it was to work on our peers’ submissions to the journal.

It was an issue that really came up a lot. We had to make sure we remained professional and respectful because some of these papers were from people we see every day. Everyone was really thorough and approached each paper so carefully and honestly that I think that everyone was able to accept that we had made the right decisions.

We knew that every factor we could think of was considered and our decisions were made based on that.

 

Isabel: I think the most stressful part was just not having any idea what to expect. I’d never really done any immersive class work before and so this whole thing was a completely new experience to me. By the end of the semester I felt a lot more confident in my abilities, and I know if I need to do this type of thing again, I’ll have no problems.

 

Discuss some of the best things you experienced on the Editorial team.

 

Esther: I think another thing that might be challenging about the editorial team is that, even if you try, you can never anticipate all of the things that are going to pop up. So we just tried to make sure we had a protocol in place about how to react and deal with those things that just popped up on the day-to-day basis.

 

Isabel: It was really cool if I was struggling that I could approach the other members and get help. That really helped when I was learning to sculpt this level of academic work and to tailor it to a specific audience.

To see more of The Making of the DLR, check out the first installment and the last installment covering the two other hardworking teams.

If you’re interested in joining the DLR team for the upcoming issue, contact Dr. Joyce Huff.

Also, don’t forget to check out our website, Facebook, and Twitter for more information and regularly updated posts.

Advertisements

The Making of the DLR Part 1: Design Team

By: Isabel Vazquez

Hello and welcome to the first installment of our blog series, The Making of the Digital Literature Review. The Digital Literature Review is created though the hard work and contributions of all of its individual undergraduate members. These members are divided into three teams (Design, Editorial, and Publicity) at the start of each year, and they collectively work throughout the semester in order to edit, produce, and publish the Digital Literature Review. The start of school year begins with all the students studying a particular theme designated for that year, under the guidance of a professor. The next semester involves receiving submissions for the journal and readying them for publication.

In this post, we will cover the duties and responsibilities of the members of the design team, as well as have the team members share their personal thoughts and experiences about the immersive class. They will cover the challenges they’ve had to endure as well as their triumphs throughout the semester as they collectively worked to improve the image and design of Ball State’s Digital Literature Review.

The responsibilities of the Design team:

  • Create flyers and handouts for the DLR and Gala event
  • Create flyers for recruiting new members every school year
  • Format the compiled journal for publication
  • Work with InDesign, Photoshop, and other Adobe Creative Suite applications
  • Choose, take, and edit photos for purposes within the journal
  • Create an image design for the cover of the journal

Responsibilities and course work as a student in this immersive learning class:

  • Study the material of the designated theme for the year
  • Write for the DLR blog and possibly for the English Department blog
  • Create a capstone project

Our Design Team members:

Daniel Brount, Team Leader, Junior

daniel

Isaha Cook, Senior

isaha

Alex Selvey, Senior

alex

What made you decide to be part of the Design team? What parts of it sounded appealing?

 

Daniel: I really enjoy design, especially as far as trying to find the proper visual representations for things. It’s really interesting to think of different ways to represent something as complicated as slavery and to then translate that representation into something visual through InDesign. It was hard to think about how you represent slavery visually without causing any triggers or doing anything too one-sided? We didn’t want to make the visual aspect of the journal to seem too far in the past or too much about abuse, because there’s so many different elements to it.

 

Isaha: I decided to join the Design team because it gave me an opportunity to enhance my skill set in design and making images. I’ve had a lot of time over the years to practice with writing and editorial processes; that’s why I was gravitating more towards the Design Team just because I had already explored other elements of publication and here was this new world of design that I was learning about. This also would give me more skills to take and apply in a real-world job. I feel like I’ve become a more rounded individual; in terms of that, I can do the editing and also come up with a fun or a very serious design.

 

Alex: I joined the Design team because I had a bit of an interest in Design but wanted to improve my skills and learn more. Also, I really just wanted to learn to communicate with people effectively through visual media.

 

What kind of projects and work do you perform on the Design team?

Daniel: Last semester we worked a lot on the general image of the DLR. We updated our logo, made it look a little bit cleaner, a little bit more modern. We really reworked our entire website to try and build something that would really represent our professional aspect and the fact that we do have a different theme every year. We didn’t want it to look like just one thing. For example, the original design really played up that year’s theme, so that’s all that you saw on the website. Then we decided that the design we came up with could really stand the test of time. There’s a space on it where you can put the banner for that year, so you can still see what the theme is for that year without the whole website screaming “Slavery Now” or “Hauntings” or “Freakshow.” That should be pretty good for future years, so they don’t have to redo the website again.

And the rest was just advertising, doing the flyers, figuring out the exact layout of the inside of the actual journal itself, which involved questions, again, of how one best portrays the topic of slavery. We talked a lot about what colors we wanted to use, because we didn’t want it to be just black and white. What colors can we get away with? We didn’t want to use red because it makes you think of blood, and we didn’t want colors that seemed too racially focused. So, we went with a blue-gray theme. It was very neutral; it added vibrance to an otherwise potentially blank slate.

 

What do you most enjoy about being part of the team?

 

Isaha: I believe that focusing on making a professional presentation, especially with all of the documents and media we had to create over the semester, for me, was what I liked the best. Being a part of the team helped me realize that this isn’t something that I’m creating for just my teachers’ or peers’ eyes, which is something that you don’t really get in other college courses. With this, you get to think about who is going to happen upon our website and download this product that we worked so hard on, who is going to see all the things that we’ve done over the semester? To me, that was a driving force, to keep it really professional and just do the best work that I possibly could.

 

Was it difficult to balance this project along with other classes?

 

Alex: At times, it could be. But in general, this class is pretty comparable to an average workload of a normal class. Having work days in class is really helpful, however. At times it seems like it could be more, but in general it’s about the same as a regular class.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Digital Literature Review teams, look forward to our upcoming installments of The Making of the Digital Literature Review featuring the Editorial and Publicity Teams!

If you’re interested in joining the DLR Team for the upcoming issue, contact Dr. Joyce Huff.

Also, don’t forget to check out our website, Facebook, and Twitter for more information and regularly updated posts.

Giving a Voice to the Choiceless

By: Caitlin Dashiell

Hidden in plain view, captured prisoners and soldiers of the Nazi army comprised the inhabitants of three internment camps known as Auschwitz in Germany during the Holocaust. Siphoned back and forth between death, prison, and forced labor, Auschwitz’s imprisoned individuals were made to identify as Jewish, or with ethnicities or social classes determined by German Nazi standards to be equally inferior. Marked as inadequate for the human race, these individuals were brought into the triad of camps to be traumatized, enslaved, and often fatally poisoned within gas chambers. This narrative of the Holocaust is known by individuals around the world, whether they lived during the time of the Second World War or not, because of how it embeds itself into the cultural narrative of many countries globally. As these horrors border on the surreal, passed down because of trauma often impossible to comprehend, it takes the accurate communication of memory to keep the events of the past living. Opening on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the “Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz” exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH takes on this challenge of memory transmission, offering representational personal belongings from once-captive prisoners in Auschwitz, in tandem with the personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and now Cincinnati residents, Werner Coppel and Bella Ouziel. Through this strategy, the Freedom Center not only represents an event of trauma, but transmits the story of the Holocaust to those who can only understand through the absorption of these communicated memories.

Told chronologically, “Unlocking the Gates” conveys the story of a man and woman living through the trauma of the Holocaust, from their initiation into the camps to their escape. Visitors walk past what architect Peter Zumthor would call “surrounding objects,” which make the otherwise blank walls and floors echo with the narrative being communicated (54), and come to screens displaying videos of Werner and Bella telling their stories. The physical artifacts and candid verbal narratives come together to express and transmit how a person can be stripped of his or her identity and reduced to what Werner calls “consumable raw materials.” Werner and Bella tell their stories, acting simultaneously as a voice for themselves, and for those that have been silenced.

Broken into stages, and communicated through groupings of objects and their location in the exhibit, artifacts and screens are split into structured rooms connected by corridors, and are paired together in correspondence to each phase of life in Auschwitz, as noted by the exhibit’s narrators. The initial set of items speaks to the fears of those targeted individuals who were unable to escape who they were. Books, paper ephemera, and embroidered tokens of being marked a Jew sit in glass cases, serving as objects that attest to the Nazi’s destruction of people’s lives and identities. The Jewish people were identified through markers on their homes, their clothing, their passports, and often on their businesses, objectified through physical signs of banishment. These indicators became the first level of identity erasure for the Jewish people.

Moving into the second spatial construct of the exhibition, visitors start in a corridor which details the process of capture for the Jewish people. As Werner explains in the video at the end of the corridor, “When I got off the train, I heard ‘women and children to the left: men to the right,’” which would become the last words many heard before the Nazi’s silenced the voices of those who entered Auschwitz. Visitors are transported back to the moments preceding Werner’s capture through the use of present-day spatial constriction within the exhibit, as well as visuals that signal entrapment. Here, visitors to “Unlocking the Gates” see the birth of identity erasure, as images and ephemera of individuals boarding train cars coat the walls of the exhibit. This progression through the tight corridor and into the exhibit signals how the exhibit shifts the visitors’ focus from the process of initial emotional destruction and mental degradation in the camps to that of physical erasure and trauma. Not only are the Jewish people, in addition to others identified as inferior to the German race, stripped down to a single term defining their worth, but their understood environment is erased from their lives.

Because the exhibition forces visitors to continue to progress claustrophobically through tight spaces and corridors, visitors gain a greater level of clarity about the approach taken by the Nazi army to control the intake and distribution of bodies into Auschwitz. Taking this even further, visitors to “Unlocking the Gates” are drawn to wall displays that convey and transmit some of the dialog of the Nazi enforcers within the camps, with one army general commenting that “shooting became a strain,” indicating how, as time went on, the Nazi mentality went from using brute force to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality with the transition to the gas chambers. The Nazis made use of deceptive language and actions to sanitize themselves, and the greatest abuse of power became the manipulation of once harmless constructs for the benefit of the “master race.” Even through infrastructure as harmless as the railway system within Germany, the Nazi’s utilized these lines for transport to Auschwitz, taking advantage of an existing infrastructure for the supposed betterment of the race, shuttling “inferior” individuals (often) to their eventual death in Auschwitz. Through the language and conveyed memories of this exhibit, representation becomes transmission, with visitors interacting with memories through the startling dialogue that catches individuals within the physical architectural boundaries of the exhibition. Visitors to “Unlocking the Gates” now possess a richer internal understanding of the past, as communicated memories impose themselves on visitors through language and visual indicators of trauma.

The final portions of this exhibit not only touch on, but uncover in-depth, the process of forced labor and escape within Auschwitz for Werner and Bella, as the exhibit also presents the personal objects and struggles of this man and woman specifically. Werner and Bella look directly into the camera to speak, giving life to their personal belongings, as only the potency of words and language can. The Nazis took things that were necessary, though maybe not beautiful, and bent them to their will, infecting the social structure, the infrastructure, and the consumable goods with the blood of those not included in the “master race.” However, what Werner and Bella tell us through their accounts of labor, as they approached their opportunities for freedom, is that their work and daily activities were never done without losing sight of how to make it out alive. As read in a letter written by a mother on one of the trains into Auschwitz: “remain free people, and observe everything with open eyes.” Perhaps this heightened perception and observation was what assisted Bella and Werner in surviving. Though this woman may not have survived to return to her children, her words live on through this exhibit as a testament to how language and written memories offer a unique perspective on historical events. Emotionally charged, this exhibit merits praise for how it transports visitors back to a time of captivity and constriction, while still keeping them with one foot firmly in the present.

“Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later” is one city’s way of remembering a time of incommunicable strife and trauma. Drawing parallels to American slavery, and what are commonly considered acts of enslavement, “Unlocking the Gates” demonstrates the systematic oppression and inhumanity evident in the structuring of Auschwitz. The decision to incorporate this exhibition into The Freedom Center was grounded in learning about and reflecting on historical events that challenged the strength of the human spirit amidst extreme oppression, as explained by executive director Sarah L. Weiss. The victims of the Holocaust and the concentration camps of Auschwitz were defined by their ability to act as a piece of a machine, stripped of freedom, and devoid of the ability to make choices. In an attempt to educate visitors and offer reflection on the events of the past, the chief desire of The Freedom Center in the display of “Unlocking the Gates” is to communicate the security of freedom “in all its forms,” whether this be through testimony, representational physical objects, or the power of the written word (“Powerful Exhibit”). Communicating memory through personal testimony and tangible objects is how this exhibit makes its mark on modern day discourse regarding slavery and institutional oppression.

Though the American public cannot directly or accurately understand what going through this process of erasure and rebirth entailed, what can be communicated is how these events can be included in our national narrative, in order for us to understand trauma and slavery outside of traditional definitions. These transmissions of memory can be used to develop how we better understand and react to our own trauma, in addition that of other countries, to strengthen how the memory of events of global impact are incorporated in our society. Here, transmission of memory and language through spoken and written form, as it relates to personal objects, serves as an aid for our collective memory; giving way to how we interpret the experiences we have not lived through. The exhibit ends with both Werner and Bella offering their thoughts 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, and as each of them speaks, voices tense, they talk about looking back after 70 years. Now with scars, tattoos, and, most importantly, families, Werner and Bella are reminded of where they have been, what they have achieved, and how survival is rooted most deeply in the retained memories of what is good.

_______________

Works Cited

“Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later.” The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinatti, OH 45202. 7 February 2015.

Zumthor, Peter. Atmospheres: Cultural Environments, Surrounding Objects. Reinach: Birkhauser, 1998. Print

“Powerful Exhibit Shares Local Stories of Despair, Hope and Loss During the Holocaust.” National Underground Railroad Freedom Center . N.p., 14 Dec. 2014 Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

Western Europe: Key Recommendations

By: Lucy Mahaffey

In the following post, undergraduate student Lucy Mahaffey from University of Oklahoma examines comparative data about the anti-trafficking practices of both Greece and Norway and offers recommendations for other countries looking to improve their anti-slavery policies.

Western Europe is often looked to for ideal infrastructure and government. In instances of human trafficking, it has led the abolitionist movement with the United States. However, there is a gap between what has been theorized and what is being practiced. According to its membership in the United Nations and the European Union, as well as its income level, Norway could be more effective, but it is by far one of the all-around best European counties when it comes to anti-trafficking practices. Greece is sluggish and still appears to be in new territory by comparison. The challenge facing Greece today is to bring its prevention, intervention, and prosecution forward to compare more favorably with its EU neighbors. This could be done by strengthening local and national education programs, seeking swifter ways to intervene when cases occur, and following through with stronger and more effective prosecution and reformative incarceration of traffickers. In short, funding is needed for law enforcement and lawyer training as well as emphasizing incarceration as “an arena of developing responsibility” (James) instead of solely for punishment. Through these actions, with emphasis on mitigating corruption and discrimination, true and unbiased justice in Greece would prevail.

 

Prosecutions and Convictions – Norway and Greece

Overall, in Greece there was a general lack of prosecution in human trafficking cases and a “new territory” feel to procedure. Although they are making progress, there is a large gap between Greek actions and those of countries from the rest of Western Europe. According to the 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP Report), Greek police investigated 37 human trafficking cases in 2013 (46 cases in 2012; 11 investigations were for forced begging or labor.) NGOs reported in four cases, with sentences ranging from 15 to 22 years’ imprisonment and fines the equivalent of approximately $14,000 to $70,000. Concerning Greek actions in 2013, the TIP Report also states that “the government prosecuted 142 defendants on suspicion of committing trafficking-related crimes” (“Greece” TIP Report), but this was less than the 177 from 2012 (as well as the 220 in 2011.) Out of 177 defendants, there were 26 who fell into the labor trafficking category whereas 23 were categorized for labor and sexual exploitation. There was not full data available for the TIP Report from “approximately half of the courts in Greece” (“Greece” TIP Report).

Year 2012 2013
Greek Trafficking CASES/CONVICTIONS 27/177 46/142
Greek Conviction Rate 15% 32%

One aspect that the TIP fails to look at is the conviction rate. It is not difficult to discern from the data and is important to consider for progress of efforts over time. In 2013, for instance, the government convicted 46 traffickers and acquitted 16 (32% conviction rate with 46 of 142 defendants), compared with 27 convictions and 16 acquittals (or a 15% conviction rate) in 2012 (“Greece” TIP Report). This shows a good improvement; however, each judge has a varying degree of knowledge of trafficking and, thus, largely lacked consideration of victims. It also seems that prosecution was not consistent. Also, lawyers for traffickers (or suspects) often portrayed their clients as pimps, rather than traffickers, with the hopes of a less harsh punishment of five years’ imprisonment or to avoid prison by paying fines. For Greece, there was no data available to breakdown defendants into either sex or labor trafficking.

Norway, on the other hand, has a great infrastructure for combating trafficking, but their conviction rate over the last few years shows that there has not been enough allocated to effectively combat trafficking (“Norway” TIP Report).

Norwegian authorities initiated 69 investigations in 2013. Thirty of these were for sex trafficking and thirty-nine were for labor trafficking. The government prosecuted six sex trafficking suspects (20% cr) and three labor trafficking suspects (13% cr) in 2013 (compared with two suspects (8% cr) and six suspects (28%) in 2012.) Authorities convicted three sex trafficking offenders and two labor trafficking offenders in 2013, compared with three sex trafficking offenders and four labor trafficking offenders convicted in 2012. These are interesting findings, indicating that perhaps there is a finite amount of resources, which are simply reallocated to whichever type of cases (sex or labor) that were lacking the previous year. The Norwegian government needs to allocate more time and energy into trafficking cases.

Year 2012 2013
Sex Trafficking CASES/CONVICTIONS 6/30 2/26
Norway ST Conviction Rate 20% 8%
Labor Trafficking CASES/CONVICTIONS 3/39 6/22
Norway LT Conviction Rate 8% 28%

A Final Word

Norway is by no means perfect in its efforts to combat trafficking, and Greece should not be vilified. Europe and global stakeholders may use the lessons these two countries provide to improve standards, enhance understanding, and encourage collective effort in combating trafficking. The topics touched upon, such as funding, education, and swifter intervention, are much needed. They are, however, only a starting point. Slavery today has widely been acknowledged as a global atrocity by governments, religious leaders, and businesses alike. It is crucial, however, to delve deeper into the subject matter to carry the global perspective beyond mere acknowledgement and to truly question the norms of today. Why is there any trafficking in Norway, a country with a GDP exceeding three-fourths of the world’s countries? Is Greece to blame for its sluggish anti-trafficking actions, or is this a result of external pressure from economic policy and internal government turmoil? The world must ask these far-reaching questions, refusing to simply accept a prosecution as the final answer to trafficking and remembering to examine the “best practice” countries and regions without idolizing them. Through this perspective, future studies on trafficking today may build a more thorough picture of serviceable policy and create the lasting change we all desire.

__________________

Works Cited

“Greece.” Trafficking in Persons Report 2014. US Department of State, 2014. 188-9. Web.

James, Erwin. “Norwegian Prison Inmates Treated Like People.The Guardian 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.

“Norway.” Trafficking in Persons Report 2014. US Department of State, 2014. 299-300. Web.