Visual Communication 2016

Fermentation Rates of Varying Carbohydrate Solutions Utilizing Saccharomyces Cerevisiae to Facilitate Ethanol Production• Survey/Report Analysis

MRSA Gene Sequence Suggesting Possible Myristoylation in Prokaryotes • Poster

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Public Opinion on the Use and Legality of Cannabis among the Lone Star College-Montgomery Community • Survey/Report Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized

Aisyah Ahmad Abir

Genre: Technical Description
Title: The Ketupat and its Significance to the Malay Culture
Student: Aisyah Ahmad Abir
Professor: Lori Hughes


The key to writing an effective technical description is to ensure that it contains sensory perceptions, incorporates images when possible, and includes as many descriptive details as possible to the audience without being over-whelming, or crafting a procedural document, such as a manual. What I particularly admire about Aisyah’s description of the Malaysian dish, Ketupat, is her strong purpose statement, well-organized body paragraphs, clear headings, and explanations of the cultural significance of this artistic treasure. I learned (in a relatively succinct document) what Ketupat looks like, how it is crafted, and why it is so important to her culture—all great qualities of an effective technical description.

-Lori Hughes


The Ketupat and its Significance to the Malay Culture

Aisyah Ahmad Abir

In most cultures, during festivities and times of celebration, food plays a significant role. Whether Thanksgiving or Christmas, no less than a grand feast is expected. In Malaysia, food is arguably the largest part of its multiracial culture. While various regions in Malaysia prepare different dishes, the one dish common to almost all Malay households during festive times, is the Ketupat (pronounced Ke-too-pat).  Typically, diamond-shaped, the Ketupat is a dumpling made of rice filled into a woven leaf pouch [1]. While commonly found throughout Southeast Asian cultures under varying names, it is easier defined as “packed rice.” The purpose of this description is to provide to all a thorough description of the Ketupat, detailing its nature and cultural importance to the Malay race in particular. However, contexts such as details of how to weave the Ketupat and its richer origins are not discussed in the succeeding text.

The Ketupat’s Art

img01  img02
Figure 1: Traditional Ketupat hung from a high surface(
Figure 2: A Close-up of Ketupat weave (

In its form, many regard the weave of the Ketupat as beautiful art. Young green leaves are used to create an interlocking crisscross pattern that envelops the diamond shape. Fresh leaves are used to provide both flexibility and strength, as well as provide a brighter and more vibrant color.

Techniques to weave the Ketupat are often passed down from one generation to the next, and are a skill no longer known to many modern Malaysian households. The most common leaves used to weave the Ketupat are coconut leaves due to its large size and flexible properties. Two long rectangular sections of the leaves are held with one leaf on each hand. These are then woven to intercross one another and ultimately create its final form. Depending on the skill level of the individual, the weaving process can take anywhere from less than a minute to ten minutes or more to construct a single Ketupat.

Figure 3: Process of weaving a Ketupat using ribbons (

Several steps are taken to prepare and serve the Ketupat. Once the outer shell is woven, rice grains are poured into the Ketupat, which is then boiled. When the rice cooks, it expands into the pouch and is compressed into taking the diamond-shape of the pouch. This process, although simple, can take hours until the rice is fully cooked. When serving this dish, the Ketupat is cut open, the outer leaves are removed, and the packed rice is cut into smaller cubes. This dish is never served alone; rather, it is always accompanied by other dishes, most commonly by a thick peanut sauce. The reason for this is that the Ketupat, by itself, tastes no different from normal rice. The sole difference is the texture of the food, as the Ketupat is thicker and stickier than the rice commonly found. Like white rice, it is bland and requires the sweetness, saltiness and spiciness of accompanying dishes to enhance the eating experience.

The Significance of the Ketupat to the Malay Race

Malaysia is a nation made up of three major races: Malays, Chinese and Indians. Malays are often referred to as the natives of Malaysia and are primarily Muslims. Therefore, due to its Islamic origins, it is understandable why the Ketupat is most prevalent in the Malay culture. [1]. While the Ketupat is eaten during other occasions, the dish is especially important during Eid al-fitr celebrations.  Much like Christians celebrate Christmas and Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Muslims celebrate Eid al-fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan. During this month, Muslims fast from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Therefore, after a full month of fasting, one can imagine the importance of food as a component to this particular celebration. The Ketupat in particular is significant to Eid al –fitr due to its origins that trace back to the 15th century. The celebration of Eid al-fitr is a time where Malays are encouraged to return to their roots, and continue traditions passed down over generations. Thus, although other dishes may differ from household to household, the Ketupat remains as a continued tradition found across Malaysia.

Other Types and Uses

Although most commonly diamond-shaped, the Ketupat can take multiple other forms. The types of leaves used can also differ, such as the use of palm or pandan leaves. Ribbons are often used to produce Ketupat as decorations during festive occasions such as weddings or religious celebrations. While the tastes may vary slightly depending on which leaves are used, the biggest difference is regarding the aroma of the Ketupat. Pandan leaves are known for their sweet aromatic properties and is commonly found in Malaysian dishes. Moreover, varying grains can also be used, which can change the taste and textures dramatically.

img04 img05
Figure 4: Triangular-shaped Ketupat made of palm leaves ((
Figure5: Ketupat served with other dishes  (

The Ketupat is a simple dish but represents a larger meaning to the Malay culture. It is a tradition and requires a skill that is passed down over many generations. Traditions are important to preserve, as they remind a culture of its values and roots, serving as a grounding force. Today, many Malay homes no longer weave the Ketupat; instead, they purchase the ready-made products available in local supermarkets. Thus, it is important to spread the knowledge of this tradition and continue this practice for many generations to come.

Work Cited

[1]  P. Nugraha et al. (2014). Muslims celebrate Lebaran Ketupat a week after Idul Fitr. The Jakarta Post. [Online]. Available:

Posted in Visual Communication 2017

Aimee Beliveau

Vascular 3D Visualization Software

Reducing the Time and Ionizing Radiation Needed for Successful Liver Tumor Embolization Procedures

Download Presentation (pptx)

Posted in Visual Communication 2017

Anthony L. Brown

Genre: Personal Reflection paper
Title: Psychoeducational Group for Couples with Young Children
Student: Anthony L. Brown
Professor: Cynthia Trumbo

Parenthood is a demanding job for which there is no “user’s manual” and or time off. For parents of young children, time is often spent balancing work demands, relationship needs, and child rearing, all of which can be very rewarding, yet exhausting. Human Services student Anthony Brown developed a psychoeducational group to educate and assist couples at this stage of life. First, he identified specific research to support his rationale and develop relevant content. Next, he methodically structured each session with relevant discussion topics and activities. By the final session, Anthony developed brief survey questions to assess members’ overall satisfaction with their group experience. Overall, his proposal illustrates how research can inform treatment practices.

-Cynthia Trumbo


Psychoeducational Group for Couples with Young Children

Anthony L. Brown
Lone Star College-Montgomery

The purpose of this educational group is to provide information to couples of young children on how to maintain and nurture their relationship after recently having children. The instructor would integrate ideas from family, cognitive and behavioral therapies, and laboratory-based marital interaction research to share with the couples to prevent marital distress, and dysfunction (Myrick, 2011). The instructor is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has facilitated numerous family and marriage groups. The main objectives of this group are as follows: 1) Provide couples with education and information for maintaining healthy relationships, 2) Offer stress reducing techniques, and 3) Provide couples with an outlet to share their own experiences with other couples. Furthermore, couples are encouraged to keep in contact with the other couples outside of the group to arrange playdates, and assist each other with childcare for previously arranged date nights.

This group is important for couples (both married and unmarried) who are struggling in their relationships after having children, to strengthen their relationships and teach skills that foster healthy relationships. This group is designed for couples, ages 18 and older, who have recently had children. The starting age of 18 is to ensure that we will have consenting adults in the group who are able to make decisions without parental consent. Couples in this group are dedicated to maintaining and enriching their relationships and realize that children who grow up in a healthy, two-parent family do better on average on a host of outcomes, and that healthy relationships yield many benefits for adults and communities (Myrick, 2011). The addition of children to a relationship can be a tough conversion for most couples. In order to alleviate the stresses of this major life event, an educational group would be invaluable in the couple’s transition from a couple to a family (Myrick, 2011). Because most participants would be new to the group experience and may need additional counseling resources, the instructor would refer those couples to counseling professionals who could assist them. The membership size would be open to ten couples who would be encouraged to attend each session.

The leader would facilitate discussion session by addressing problems couples have maintaining their relationships. Hearing from other couples would help stimulate thought and discussion within the group (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2015). The leader would also discuss what some therapists refer to as the “fish bowl theory”, related to the interconnectedness between the parental bond and the well-being of children (Mitcham, 2009).  A prevalent theme throughout the group would be to make couples aware of how important their relationship is to the health and well-being of their family as a whole. By choosing to attend the group, they have made it a priority to continue to enrich their lives and the lives of their children.


The group would last seven weeks, meeting once per week for two hours, at a local church. The first hour of the first meeting would serve as an “icebreaker” activity where members would get acquainted, review group’s purpose, norms, and give members an opportunity to discuss their expectations. The instructor would open each session with personal anecdote from his own experiences of raising children, and ask participants to share their stories. This icebreaker activity would help relax and get them ready to fully participate in the learning and discussion presented for that session. Group members would also be encouraged to share any amusing stories or observations they had experienced since the last group session. After the leader and group members shared, the leader would discuss the activities and topics planned for the session.



Purpose: “Introductions and Expectations”

Theme: Icebreaker

Activities: In session one, the leader would set the tone by letting the group members know that the educational group is meant to be informative and fun. He would provide the group members with his credentials and restate the goals and purpose of the group. Next, the leader would communicate to the group that since there will be no children attending the group, members should view their time in the group as time to “recharge their parental and relationship batteries.” To begin, the group leader would conduct a round by asking each couple if they would share any pictures they may have of their children and answer the following questions: 1) How long have they been in their relationship? 2) How many children do they have and what are their ages? and, 3) Would they share a story about the last time their spouse or children made them smile? Once the round was completed, the leader would conclude the discussion and summary of the session.


Purpose: “Communication and Children”

Theme: Effective Ways to Communicate

Activity: The leader would request group members to participate in a role-playing game. The leader would ask the couples to create a scenario where one couple was trying to communicate with each other while another couple played the role of their children. The role-playing activity would allow the leader to observe what may be effective versus ineffective about each couple’s communication patterns. The leader will then discuss the ineffectiveness of patterns such as ignoring children (Levine, 2005).


Purpose: “Establishing Personal Boundaries”

Theme: Personal Space

Activities: The leader would discuss with members the importance of maintaining individuality and emphasize that creating boundaries is not the same as creating “barriers” in a relationship (“Personal Boundaries,” n.d.). The leader would use a “sentence completion” handout to help members set boundaries with their partners and children. The notecard would read “We will be setting better boundaries for ourselves and the children, such as _________,” leaving enough space for each couple to write their answers. The leader would then ask members to read aloud and discuss their answers with the group.


Purpose: “Child-Rearing and Well-Being

Theme: Discipline

Activities: Leader would lead a discussion concerning common myths and misconceptions about child rearing and tantrums. The leader would give each couple a “true/false” quiz related to the myths of temper tantrums developed by Levine (2005). There will be nine questions: “1) Are temper tantrums unhealthy? 2) Is a temper tantrum-prone child a bad child? 3) Do temper tantrums lead to delinquency? 4) Are you a bad parent because your child has temper tantrums? 5)Is there anything you can do about your child’s tantrums? 6) Are temper tantrums attempts to manipulate? 7) Does responding to your child’s tantrum spoil them? 8) Should you always have full control over your child? 9) Is there one “right” way to cope with temper tantrums?“(Levine, 2005, p. 9-12). Once the leader dispels these myths he will provide information about how to effectively deal with temper tantrums when they arise.


Purpose: “Daddy and Mommy Time”

Theme: Date Night

Activities: The leader would discuss the importance of establishing “date night” for couples and solicit ideas from the members. Each couple would pick one of the ideas, have a date night of their own, and share their experiences the following session.


Purpose: “Me Time”

Theme: Self Care

Activities: Leader would discuss the importance of maintaining self-care and proper work life balance. Couples would discuss ways they have struggled and brainstorm ideas for maintaining home and work balance.


Purpose: “What have You Learned?”

Theme: Group Closing

Activities: This final meeting will be a review and discussion of the topics covered during the course of the group. The leader would encourage members to share what they learned. During the final meeting, members would be encouraged to exchange information so they could keep in touch with other members for playdates and childcare arrangements.



During the final ten minutes, group members would be asked to anonymously evaluate the effectiveness of the group and leader. Questions would be rated on a scale of one to ten and include: 1) How likely are you to recommend this group to other couples you may know, 2) How effective was the instructor in relaying information, 3) What is the likelihood you would attend another group with this instructor?

They would give their surveys to the instructor as they exited.



This educational group was designed for adult couples with young children, to help them maintain healthy relationships. The main objectives were to: 1) Provide couples with education and information to maintain their healthy relationship, 2) Offer stress reducing techniques, and 3) Provide couples with an outlet to share their experiences with other couples. Topics addressed included: communication skills, maintaining personal boundaries and well-being, child rearing, date night ideas, work versus home life strategies, and self-care ideas. The important premise of this group was to strengthen families by improving the relationship of the parents. As adults, parents provide the foundation of the family, which allows the children to grow up in a healthy environment.



Jacobs, E.E., Schimmel, C.J., Masson, R.L., Harvill, R.L, (2015). Group counseling: Strategies

       and skills. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Levine, J. (2005). Everything: Parents Guide to Tantrums. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Mitcham, Bill. (2016). Parent’s bond impacts children. Retrieved from



Myrick, M. (2011) Marriage and relationship education: (MRE) program development

       management manual. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Personal Boundaries in a Relationship. (n.d.). Retrieved from



Posted in Visual Communication 2017

Victoria Webb

Victoria Webb
U.S. History 1302
Professor Craig Livingston
Spring 2017




During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a group of journalists confronted Americans with the ills of their society.  “Muckrakers,” as they were called by Theodore Roosevelt, published articles and books detailing social, political and economic issues in the hopes of educating the public and prompting reform.  Five such muckrakers were especially influential during this time and have been credited with exposing the harsh truth and inciting reform in the areas they focused on.

Two factors, economic and intellectual, helped shape the successful achievement of these journalists.  First, printed media underwent huge growth from the 1870’s to the early 1900’s.  Daily newspapers increased from 574 to 2,600.  Periodicals such as McClure’s Magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal were priced at 10 cents, therefore making them affordable to a greater percentage of the population.  The Ladies’ Home Journal had circulation numbers of over 1,000,000.  Second, Americans, especially the growing middle class, had an appetite for realism.  They wanted to see America portrayed in a truer light, with objectivism and skepticism.  The muckraker journalists were doing exactly that.

One such writer and socialist, Upton Sinclair, wrote about the filth and unsafe conditions occurring in meat packing plants.  His 1906 book, The Jungle, was truly an eye-opener for the public and Congress alike.  Not long after his book was published, the government passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Another journalist taking on industry was Ida Tarbell.  Through her investigative journalist work, she exposed the shady practices of J.D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Company.  Her articles were printed in 19 installments in McClure’s Magazine and eventually compiled into a book, The History of Standard Oil Company.  She has been credited with being one of the reasons why the Justice Department eventually broke up Standard Oil.

Lincoln Steffens was an author who took on corruption at the local government level.  He also wrote a series of articles in McClure’s that were later published into a book titled, The Shame of the Cities.  He exposed bribery and shady deals in such cities as St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and New York City.  His work exposing corruption on Wall Street helped to bring about the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

Jacob Riis highlighted the deplorable conditions of slum, tenement housing in New York City.  His book, How the Other Half Lives, was unique because he included a photograph of homeless children sleeping in a hallway.  Not soon after, New York passed legislation, the “New” Tenement Housing Law.

Finally, George Kibbe Turner was especially influential with his work, bringing attention to a social cause of the time, prostitution and the white slave trade.  He published articles in McClure’s Magazine such as, “The Daughters of the Poor . . . ,”  and was successful in bringing to light the disintegration of families in the ethnic urban areas.

When Theodore Roosevelt coined the term, “Muckrakers,” he meant it in a negative way.  However, these Muckrakers embraced that label and wore it as a badge of honor.  Through their work, these Progressives were able to bring uncomfortable truths to light.  They were instrumental in bringing about reform and helping to make America better for all of her inhabitants.

Posted in Visual Communication 2017

Jasym Mireles Venegas

Jasym Mireles Venegas
Dr. William Morgan
Honors History 1302
Genre: Historiography Essay
Word Count-5456

HIST 1302: United States History Since 1877

As an overview of how and what historians have written concerning the civil rights movement, Jasym Mireles has constructed a thorough analysis that traces the evolution of how this important topic has been understood over successive generations. In examining the role of leadership versus grass roots organization, Mireles juxtaposes the “top-down” perspective of scholars highlighted by prominent individuals with a “bottom-up” approach that privileges ordinary activists. Notably, Mireles extends the two different perspectives to include mostly understudied groups and themes, such as the role of religion and bureaucrats in the civil rights movement, to add important areas of investigation to the two contrasting approaches in understanding this history. This novel organization, facilitates a more nuanced depiction of this era.

-Bill Morgan



Declan Haun
      Protester Carrying “Justice” Sign, Monroe, North Carolina, August 26, 1961
Gelatin silver print


This historiography focuses on leadership in the American 1960’s Civil Rights Movement as exposed throughout three key periods in time: the 1960s to the 1970s, the 1980s to the early 1990s, and the late 1990s to the 2000s. In order to effectively accomplish this task, multiple scholarly articles from each of the aforementioned periods will be analyzed. Overall consensus reveals that there are three ways to study civil rights leadership, beginning with the “top-down” approach that emphasizes the achievements of prominent individuals and high tier organizations, continuing with the “bottom-up” approach that focuses on the people’s struggle, and ending with the “mixed” approach that takes into account previous scholarship while adding new areas of focus. The research provided gives a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, tracing how historians have altered and modified their viewpoints throughout time. The overwhelming conclusion of this project is that ‘the people’ had the greatest impact on the Civil Rights Movement because it was they who drove the movement forward, both at a local and national level. Future analysis should continue exploring the people’s effect, particularly in relation to how the social conditions they endured impacted their desire and ability to lead.

Leading the Civil Rights Movement

Although historians oftentimes wait until a major event is over to begin writing about it, this was not the case with the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Writings and debates over which entity led the blacks’ struggle towards equality and increased freedom began to appear in the waning years of the movement, starting in the mid to late 1960s, and continuing until today. Gradual additions to the larger scholarship of civil rights leadership have resulted in an ongoing revaluation of the understanding of the Civil Rights Movement itself, particularly whether it was an elite’s movement or “the people’s movement.” These contrasting perspectives have allowed civil rights leadership to become a narrative that is simultaneously dynamic and diverse in nature. Moreover, this topic has become unique because both past and current analyses noticeably reflect the social ethos of the era in which they were written.

In response to the heated atmosphere of the 1960s, which was centered on heeding the nation’s cries for justice, the first distinct category of the historiography of leadership in the Civil Rights Movement appeared. This initial examination lasted from the 1960s to the 1970s, when students of this movement fervently argued that the correct way to interpret the civil rights is to analyze it from what has come to be called a “top down” approach. This perspective, also referred to as the traditional approach, asserts that the plethora of achievements accomplished during the Civil Rights Movement was primarily due to members of the “top” class of society, whether they be leaders, organizations, or church ministers. Without the guidance and direction these entities provided, early historians claim, the movement would not have been united enough to accomplish any of its major goals. Though these early historians agreed on the “top down” approach itself, there is widespread, noticeable disagreement when it comes to which “top” party of the Civil Rights Movement had the most authority and impact to lead.

TOP-DOWN APPROACH (1960s-1970s)

            The Prominent Few. In the immediate aftermath of the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Kenneth Clark initiates a long, ongoing debate over the impact of the Civil Rights Movement by analyzing this movement through the traditional approach, arguing that individual leaders were at the forefront of the social change initiative. However, Clark emphasizes that some leaders, namely W. E. B Du Bois, were more effective at spearheading social change than leaders like Booker T. Washington because the latter was “pragmatic and practical, but not [as] militant or crusading” as leaders like Du Bois, who were immensely active in bringing about tangible change through any means necessary, even if it meant inciting violence (244). Using this perspective, one that favors Du Bois over Washington, Clark privileges the idea that in order for an individual to be a true leader in the Civil Rights Movement, he had to be aggressive in pursuing his objectives. Moreover, Clark separates himself from other Civil Rights Movement scholars because unlike many who idolized Martin Luther King Jr., he proposes that leadership began well before King’s time, reiterating his avid support for Du Bois by claiming that, in the 1940s, Du Bois “may well have been the most important figure in the American civil rights movement in the twentieth century” (244). Determined to increase blacks’ rights well before the 1960s, Du Bois established a solid groundwork for future leaders to pursue blacks’ social goals. This point underscores the claim that all subsequent civil rights leaders owed their emergence to the support structure envisioned by Du Bois. Further providing support for his belief that the 1960s was an era of the prominent few, Clark states that “civil rights organizations were never revolutionary” (247). Instead, it was black men that had risen to fame within black communities who inspired change for generations after their time because, as Clark emphasizes, these leaders pushed for drastic social inclusion that created a ‘domino effect,’ which ultimately allowed organizations to flourish.

Following Clark’s argument that leadership in the Civil Rights Movement was composed of a few individuals, Harold Nelson makes similar claims in an effort to further emphasize the role of central figures in having the most critical impact on the movement, a contention that highlights the larger “top-down” narrative of this period.  However, while Clark was a believer primarily in leaders who were militant intellectuals, Nelson argues that civil rights leaders were charismatic, predominantly ministerial men who had “broken the traditional white-rooted black leadership structure of southern communities” (Nelson 356). Under the supervision of men in this particular category, such as Martin Luther King Jr., “the [Civil Rights Movement] achieved its…goal of gaining formal access to the full range of institutional roles within the southern social structure,” allowing the movement itself to be propelled forward into becoming a legitimate cause the country could and needed to get behind (Nelson 359). In addition, Nelson’s analysis makes it apparent that “self-proclaimed ‘activists’” and everyday citizens were not true change-makers because they “advocated either violent or separatist strategies” and were thus, in Nelson’s view, an unwanted side effect of the 1960s rather than a revolutionary force (354). In their place was a “complex structure including a cadre of leaders…representing the general…[black] community” who efficiently led the movement through their charm, motivational diction, and strategic coordination skills (Nelson 363).

            Major Organizations. While certain historians directed their attention to the leadership ability of particular men, other civil rights scholars aimed to demonstrate that major protest organizations made up the foundational structure of the movement itself. Although Kenneth Clark disagrees with the idea that organizations were the sole agent of social change, he contends that some, like the NAACP, helped remove “almost every legal support for racial segregation” and were therefore important in the movement’s attempt to acquire governmental support (Clark 249). This achievement, though, was able to occur merely because of the leadership of the individuals who, through their capacity to oversee these organizations, were able to ensure legal leaps were made to protect the African American community against discrimination.

Like Clark, Howard Nelson argues that the success of organizations such as CORE and the NAACP was because they “could unite under individual charismatic leaders who articulated what was essentially a single general demand” (Nelson 359). While the organizations’ work was a fundamental facet of the overall movement, the origin of their various successes can ultimately be traced back to the people who molded, gave direction, and instilled purpose in the organizations themselves, the leaders. Were it not for these select men, Nelson implies, the organizations would not have had that “single general demand” to pursue, which may have ended in these various organizations’ failure (359).

Moving forward into the historiography, August Meier opposes Nelson’s viewpoint, vehemently declaring that although the NAACP and other organizations were regarded as “conservative” in the 1960s, they played an immensely important role in allowing the Civil Rights Movement to be born in the first place (437). These entities, Meier claims, paved a clear-cut, unwavering path for future change to take place because they ceaselessly fought to end “segregation and other forms of racial discrimination,” unlike the “accommodating ideology of [leaders such as] Booker T. Washington” (438). It was the initial leaders, not the organizations, who were reticent and complacent when it came to civil rights activism. Thus, it was the work of pre-civil rights organizations that stirred leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King to be created. Further, Meier reveals that when the NAACP waned in popularity, organizations such as CORE and SCLC took over the leadership role, inspiring events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott (and later Freedom Summer), which revolutionized the movement’s push for social inclusion. In Meier’s viewpoint, this demonstrates that organizations were present before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement occurred, ceaselessly working and leading people while at the same time encouraging the rise of those prominent individuals Clark and Meier pledge their support to.

Agreeing with Meier over the importance of civil rights institutional bodies, Bo Wirmark continues the debate by focusing specifically on the nonviolent action used by individuals in the Civil Rights Movement, emphasizing the important role organizations like the NAACP, CORE, SCLC, and SNCC (most importantly the latter three) played on bringing about change. Indeed, Wirmark states that SNCC allowed the “nonviolent struggle [to be] carried into the most remote parts of the South,” thereby empowering people, namely students, to make their demands heard (118). By providing students and other activist groups with the tools and supervision needed, organizations were effective in expanding the movement and in allowing a greater amount of people to feel included. Without these organizations, though, many fringe groups would not have had access to platforms that allowed them to raise their voices and ultimately achieve the radical impact they did.

Although not explicitly a part of the category of historians who claimed that organizations were significant, Howard Nelson makes a unique contribution to the historiography of civil rights leadership by bringing attention to the important role played by another type of institution: the government, namely black government officials. Nelson sternly proposes that the civil rights movement justly appeared to be led by “very few leaders…who were visible in direct-action campaigns, were the spokesmen of the organization[s] and were accorded leadership status by their followers,” exemplified by Martin Luther King Jr. and other appealing men (363). However, there were other people who must be heeded when understanding the historiography of the Civil Rights Movement. Indeed, as the movement blossomed into the “direct-action phase” characterized by the increased activism of the 1960s, Nelson states that there emerged minor, yet necessary, social justice politicians, policy makers, and government officials who became known as “latent leaders” (363). These latent leaders took on the imperative role of ensuring that the things “charismatic leaders” were advocating for—free speech, equal rights, etc.— would be sanctioned by institutional offices and governmental departments (Nelson 363). Thus, while the prominent few were of major importance, so too were their governmental and institutional counterparts who, through their high-rank positions, managed to influence policy to reflect the 1960’s theme of social justice. This contribution brings attention back to the ‘noticeable’ men while at the same time keeping in mind that organizations, including governmental ones, were responsible for leading the legislative and judicial front of the Civil Rights Movement.

            Religion. Another crucial player in this revolutionary social movement were religious entities, and Jeffrey Hadden ties this perspective into leadership by stating that the clergy “as a group, [were] probably more deeply concerned about civil rights and social justice than any other group in [1960’s] society” (120). Though this may have been true in thought, Hadden effectively argues that despite the clergy’s concern for social justice, they failed to live up to it in practice. Indeed, this historian claims that the church “permitted people to sit in comfortable pews and reaffirm belief in brotherhood and love while escaping the implications and applications of this belief,” indicating that the clergy served more as a morale booster than an actual agent of change (Hadden 122). Thus, the 1960’s church was a ‘moral leader’, but it was not a physical leader willing to motivate churchgoers to leave the confines of the pews to actively seek an end to racism.

In an additional study conducted by Hadden, he and Raymond Rymph find that “clergymen have been at the forefront of the civil rights movement,” yet their role and stance in leading their congregations to support black equality vary greatly (Hadden and Rymph 51). These historians’ case studies found that even if in the overall picture the church played an imperative role in shaping the outcome of the civil rights movement, it is necessary to analyze individual clergymen’s motivations to become involved in civil rights because the actions taken by clergymen largely depended on “strong pressures…to conform to the expectations of their [clergy]” (52). This indicates that religious institutions were not cohesive in their stance against segregation, so Hadden and Rymph assert that it would be incorrect to assume that the church itself was an outspoken and supportive leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, one must study the “range of theoretical perspectives which seem appropriate for analyzing” individual support for this movement, which means that one must look at clergy support on a case-by-case basis; there were many clergymen who led, but there were those who did not (61).

In contrast to Hadden and Rymph, who are fervent believers that certain clergymen did, to a great extent, participate in the Civil Rights Movement by leading church-goers to act on their moral beliefs, Kenneth Eckhardt argues that the “relationship between religious commitment and…support of the civil rights movement remains unclear” (197). This is because, according to the data this historian has amassed, churches perform “a dual function in social life,” leading people to change their attitudes on black equality depending on the implication it has on the church (Eckhardt 197). Religious and church commitments can either inhibit “attitudes of social protest when a fatalistic orientation is held toward God” or it may “instill in individuals a concern for social change if God’s word is known” (Eckhardt 203). This signifies that churches did not necessarily play a leading role in the civil rights movement itself, even though they did occasionally inspire people to push for social change.

Bottom-Up Approach (1980s-early 1990s)

            Once the omnipresent feelings of excitement and action that permeated the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement died down, a new wave of civil rights leadership historiography emerged. This new generation lasted from the 1980s to the early 1990s and was composed of civil rights students who sought to reconfigure the historiography of leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, moving away from the traditional “top down” approach and instead replacing it with a novel “bottom up” approach, through which increased attention was placed on the role ‘the people’ played in mobilizing and spearheading the Civil Rights. Through this new perspective, revisionist historians pondered whether the civil rights movement was truly a movement that was led by the plethora of “top” entities who supposedly won major racial battles, such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, through their charisma and organizational abilities. Instead, new scholars strongly argued that the central point for civil rights research should move to local communities and grass-roots organizations. Prominent men such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, and organizations such as the NAACP, would not be removed from the overall picture because they were indeed important, but they would be of secondary importance to the “bottom” groups because it was these groups who gave the movement its momentum. Without the people, these historians assert, “top” parties would have no power.

The People. Among the initial historians to direct this historiography towards the aforementioned direction is Kim Rogers, who states that when people view King as the guiding force of the Civil Rights Movement, it “obscures the local origins and strengths of the Civil Rights Movement itself [because it overlooks] the process of mobilization at local levels” (567). By focusing on the prominent few and on “top” groups, past historians profoundly “diminish the radical and populist origins of the civil rights movement” in a way that limits the general public’s perception of the repercussions the Civil Rights Movement had; it was a movement for the people, by the people, and that “expanded opportunities and possibilities for all black Americans” (Rogers 567).

Echoing Rogers’ claim that power stems from the people, Clayborne Carson fervently argues that the widespread perception of individual charismatic leaders as the principal contributors to the Civil Right Movement is fundamentally erroneous. Indeed, Carson argues that the portrayal of King as the “initiator and sole indispensable element in the…black struggles of the 1950s and 1960s” is a “myth” because it comes at the expense of the entire black movement (448). By omitting the experiences of millions of Americans who consciously chose to support the movement’s cause, argues Carson, previous analyses of this movement have been critically incomplete. Moreover, many members of the Civil Rights Movement “did not wait [for leaders] to act before launching their own movement,” underscoring that the so-called ‘top’ leaders were not essential to local forms of activism because when people had the desire to pursue equality, they would do so of their own accord (Carson 451).

            The Students. Like Carson, Doug McAdam passionately reiterates the theme of the 1980s and 1990s era that leadership of the civil rights movement was dominated by the people. However, instead of focusing on black communities in general as Carson does, McAdam specifies his scope to students, claiming they “served both as the organizational basis for much of the activism of the Sixties as well as an important impetus for the broader counterculture that emerged” during the entire movement” (Weinberg 213). Were it not for the efforts of students, many of the drastic changes that occurred throughout the 1960s, including the rise of groups who opposed the American norm in an effort to assert their individuality, would likely not have taken place. Additionally, McAdam aptly shows that students’ successful use of non-violent protest, specifically during the Freedom Summer of 1964, led both prominent leaders and the black community to realize that this form of protest, student activism, was invaluable in the struggle for equality. [1]

Further supporting the mindset that students were drastic change makers is Jack Weinberg, who asserts that “students who were radicalized in the 1960s…ended up dedicating their lives to the social movements of their time” (Weinberg 214). Thus, students not only helped the movement when they were young by being active participants like McAdams had previously proposed, they also continued the fight for equality as they grew older, likely increasing the scope and impact of the Civil Rights Movement for years after the 1960s.

The Mixed Approach (late 1990s-2000s)

            Bureaucrats. Leaving behind the era that concentrated solely on the “bottom” participants of the 1960s fight for equality, historians in the late 1990s to 2000s revisited the historiography of leadership in the civil rights and, instead of moving forward with a completely novel approach as revisionist historians did, came up with a “mixed” approach. Under this style of assessment, scholars tend to recall both traditional and revisionist perspectives while adding new focal points to each of these major categories. Post-revisionist historians do not limit themselves to a specific “top-down” or “bottom-up” approach, instead preferring to remember past scholarship and adding necessary revisions to the historiography of the leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.

Spearheading the mixed approach, Gavin Mackenzie & Robert Weisbrot analyze the traditional approach, but not by bringing attention to ‘prominent or charismatic’ men. Rather, these historians place significant emphasis on another dimension of the top-down viewpoint, the political level. They argue that Lyndon B. “Johnson’s commitments made him the nation’s foremost champion of civil rights reform” because he was able to mobilize bureaucrats around the nation to support the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among other pieces of legislation, which allowed social progress to be backed by the legal entities of the United States (Mackenzie & Weisbrot 365). By doing this, Johnson gave meaning and immortalized the work being performed by Civil Rights leaders and activists. Thus, Johnson’s administration was able to rally enough support to pass the bills that ultimately revolutionized the movement as a whole.

Like Mackenzie and Weisbrot, Aldon Morris echoes the top-down opinion that bureaucrats were an irreplaceable addition to the Civil Rights Movement. However, while Mackenzie and Weisbrot argue the entire movement relied greatly on Lyndon B Johnson’s skills and diplomacy, Morris makes it thoroughly clear that government representatives were solely important in the judicial front. Like revisionists had previously argued, Morris proposes that black masses led the movement’s overall direction because of their noteworthy numbers and unwavering support, yet nonetheless, it was “the actions of elites external to the Black community, [such as]…white judges and court justices” that ultimately turned civil rights goals into laws (524). It was therefore neither charismatic black leaders nor black bureaucrats, as previous top down governmental historians claimed, who led the judicial frontier of the Civil Rights Movement; it was sympathetic white officials who were responsible for the passing of major bills such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

            Local communities. Agreeing with Mackenzie and Weisbrot that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a crucial piece of legislation, Nancy Maclean highlights that this act paved the way for the broadening of equality to women, Mexican Americans, and other minorities. Unlike Mackenzie and Weisbrot though, Maclean does not accredit the passage of this act to bureaucrats, but rather revisits the 1980s to 1990s approach by proposing that the “prime mover [of the Civil Rights Movement] was the black freedom movement’s fight for jobs and justice” (Maclean 370). Local black communities, implies Maclean, became impossible to ignore when they realized they had the power to ensure that the blood and sweat shed throughout the early 1960s could be rewarded if the civil rights bills were passed.

Remaining true to the mixed approach, Aldon Morris reemphasizes “bottom-up” ideas by highlighting the leadership efforts of the people themselves, claiming that the Civil Rights Movement was not truly initiated until after the mid-1950s, when “Southern Black leaders…[grasped] that the fate of the [movement] rested in the hands of the Black masses” (Morris 524). Once leaders such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X comprehended that the power to create drastic change was in the hands of the black community, events such as the Montgomery “mass-based bus boycott” were able to take place (Morris 525) Along with events such as the one previously mentioned that helped drive the movement forward, the black community was incredibly effective at strategizing, and, Morris argues, this capacity to organize is what allowed the Civil Rights Movement, in its entirety, to succeed.

Women Power. Although women belong to the category previously mentioned because they shouldered major responsibilities when it came to getting communities organized, Maclean makes a noticeable effort to distinguish women from the communities themselves. Further, by studying women’s role in the 1960s civil rights, Maclean contrasts traditional ideologies that claimed the civil rights movement was led mainly by charismatic men (Clark), male politicians (Nelson), or clergymen (Hadden). Within her analysis, Maclean passionately argues that “when white women…chose African Americans as allies, the culture of exclusion started to give way as it never had before” (376). Though these white women may not have led the entire Civil Rights Movement, they were, in Maclean’s opinion, outspoken and zealous believers in equality. By striving to achieve gender equality, women became unintentional leading forces in the push for racial equality, ultimately winning “results that mattered to millions, even those oblivious to the source of the changes” (Maclean 376) This indicates that women played an imperative role in the Civil Rights Movement because through their efforts to ban sex discrimination, they allowed blacks (and other minorities) to move closer to banning race discrimination.

Evelyn Simien slightly echoes Maclean and brings attention to the plight of black women who were arduous activists in the African-American freedom struggle. Past historians, claims Simien, incorrectly assumed that “black leadership and civil rights movement participants [were]… a largely monolithic group” because these historians focused their studies solely on men, which resulted in a flawed indifference to “movement experiences determined by…sexuality” (747). While men played an important role in leading the movement, so too did women, and it is necessary, argues Simien, to include women in the historiography of a movement that not only affected blacks, but women as well. Without the efforts of strong female role-models such as Daisy Bates, the president of the Arkansas NAACP who ensured the successful integration of the Little Rock Nine into an all-white high school, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Diane Nash, and Rosa Parks, all of whom made impressive strides towards the achievement of social justice, the Civil Rights Movement would not have triumphed. It is therefore imperative, argues Simien, that both the traditional and revisionist approaches toward the study of black leadership within the civil rights, which extensively proposes that “black men led and women organized,” be revisited (747). New analyses must reflect an inclusive model that conveys that both “African American men and women influenced the political process via public persuasion, litigation, grassroots mobilization, and direct action” (Simien 747). While Simien contends that men undoubtedly also led the Civil Rights Movement, she makes it comprehensively evident that it was a sore mistake not to have included them in earlier analyses of the leadership in the civil rights.


By analyzing the historiography of leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, it is possible to infer that all three major time periods studied above contain valuable and adequate additions to the overall implications of the movement. Beginning with the “top-down” approach, there is stark disagreement as to how to correctly decipher “top down” leadership. Nevertheless, traditional historians like Clark, Nelson, and Hadden have accepted that the most important participants of the movement were those who were either at the national spotlight or those who had more power than the common man. While the idea set forth by this initial approach reveals that the ‘prominent few’, major organizations, and religion were all excellent at providing moral and/or emotional guidance, it fails to convincingly argue how it is justifiable to place the people and the local communities in the shadows when these men and women were responsible for the status those “top” entities received. On the other hand, the “bottom-up” approach clearly portrays local communities and students as the rightful leaders of the civil rights, claiming that these two groups had a massive national presence that, when correctly organized, had the power to demand and bring about drastic social change. Revisionist historians, including Rogers, Carson, and McAdams, were effective in showing the true authority of the people not only to lead locally, but also to make their voices heard to the point where national entities listened to their outcries. Lastly, the “mixed” approach has no central idea other than its desire to analyze prior scholarship in order to build upon past ideas. Thus far, it is evident that Mackenzie, Weisbrot, Maclean, Simien, and others have made valuable additions to the historiography that expand the reach of both the traditional and revisionist approaches. Because there is no overwhelming consensus of who led the Civil Rights Movement in the “mixed” approach, it does not efficiently reveal which civil rights entity was most crucial in moving the movement forward. However, this last wave of scholars has been successful in revitalizing this historiography and in providing new pathways for it to continue to develop. Future analysis should continue exploring the people’s effect, particularly in relation to how the social conditions they endured impacted their desire and ability to lead.

Bringing the historiography of leadership in the Civil Rights Movement to a larger context, it is imperative to recall that past misconceptions about this movement, primarily “1) that it accomplished everything that was needed for equality among the races and 2) that it failed to accomplish anything since racism and glaring inequities persist,” are still pervasive among the general population today (Hunter 64). Because this is so, further debate over the Civil Rights Movement is necessary in order to increase awareness of the movement’s numerous implications; though racism and other forms of discrimination still occur in the 21st century, one must acknowledge that it was through the leadership efforts of various entities, including prominent individuals, black communities and other minorities, churches, organizations, and governmental institutions, that America’s inherent prejudices were brought to light.


[1] See reference to McAdam in: Weinberg, Jack. “Students and Civil Rights in the 1960s.” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 2, 1990, pp. 213–224. Web.

Works Cited

Atwater, Deborah F. “Editorial: The Voices of African American Women in the Civil Rights

Movement.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 26, no. 5, 1996, pp. 539–542.

Carson, Clayborne. “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Charismatic Leadership in a Mass Struggle.” The

Journal of American History, vol. 74, no. 2, 1987, pp. 448–454.

Clark, Kenneth B. “The Civil Rights Movement: Momentum and Organization.” Daedalus, vol.

95, no. 1, 1966, pp. 239–267.

Eagles, Charles W. “Toward New Histories of the Civil Rights Era.” The Journal of Southern

History, vol. 66, no. 4, 2000, pp. 815–848.

Eckhardt, Kenneth W. “Religiosity and Civil Rights Militancy.” Review of Religious Research,

vol. 11, no. 3, 1970, pp. 197–203.

Hadden, Jeffrey K. “Clergy Involvement in Civil Rights.” The Annals of the American Academy

of Political and Social Science, vol. 387, 1970, pp. 118–127.

Hadden, Jeffrey K., and Raymond C. Rymph. “Social Structure and Civil Rights Involvement: A

Case Study of Protestant Ministries.” Social Forces, vol. 45, no. 1, 1966, pp. 51–61.

Hunter, Carol. “Nonviolence in the Civil Rights Movement.” OAH Magazine of History, vol. 8,

  1. 3, 1994, pp. 64–74.

Mackenzie, G. Calvin., and Robert Weisbrot. “The liberal hour: Washington and the politics of

change in the 1960s.” Major Problems in American History, vol. 3, no. 1, 2008, pp. 364–369.

Maclean, Nancy. “Freedom is not enough: the opening of the American work place.” Major

Problems in American History, vol. 3, no. 1, 2006, pp. 369–376.

Meier, August. “Negro Protest Movements and Organizations.” The Journal of Negro Education,

vol. 32, no. 4, 1963, pp. 437–450.

Morris, Aldon D. “A Retrospective on the Civil Rights Movement: Political and Intellectual

Landmarks.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 25, 1999, pp. 517–539.

Nelson, Harold A. “Leadership and Change in an Evolutionary Movement: An Analysis of

Change in the Leadership Structure of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.” Social Forces, vol. 49, no. 3, 1971, pp. 353–371.

Rogers, Kim Lacy. “Oral History and the History of the Civil Rights Movement.” The Journal of

American History, vol. 75, no. 2, 1988, pp. 567–576.

Simien, Evelyn M. “Black Leadership and Civil Rights: Transforming the Curriculum, Inspiring

Student Activism.” PS: Political Science and Politics, vol. 36, no. 4, 2003, pp. 747–750.

Weinberg, Jack. “Students and Civil Rights in the 1960s.” History of Education Quarterly, vol.

30, no. 2, 1990, pp. 213–224.

Wirmark, Bo. “Nonviolent Methods and the American Civil Rights Movement 1955-

1965.” Journal of Peace Research, vol. 11, no. 2, 1974, pp. 115–132.

Posted in Visual Communication 2017

Mark Talusan

Download Document (pdf)

The Government and Our Devices

Mark Talusan

Do you own a smartphone?

Yes  23  100%
No  0  0%

How often do you use your smartphone? Every hour      15    |    65%

When bored      8     |   35%

Contacted or     0    |   0% contacting

Not often     0     |    0%

What do you mostly use your smartphone for? Games    3   |   13%

Social Media     11   |   48%

Call/Text  6  26%
Email  1  4%
News  2  9%

Are you comfortable with the government asking to seize and search your phone?

Yes  14  61%
No  9  39%

Are you comfortable with the government inconspicuously snooping around your phone through backdoors or hacking?

Yes   4  17%
No    19  83%

Are you comfortable with the idea that the government tracks wherever you go with your phone?

Yes  8  35%
No  15  65%

Do you trust the government in everything they do with your phone? (Tracking, searching, accessing, etc.)

Yes  4  17%
No  19  83%

Do you believe that phone manufacturers should grant special permissions for the government to access and trace any phone?

Yes  6  26%
No  17  74%

If the latest iPhone gave special permissions to the government and you were given this phone, would you take it?

Yes  10  43%
No  13  57%

Congress recently voted to let internet service providers like AT&T sell your browsing habits 3rd parties. Are you comfortable that your web activity and search history could be in the hands of people you don’t know?

Yes  4  17%
No  19  83%
Do you own a social media account?
Yes  23  100%
No  0  0%
How often do you post or browse on it?
As often as possible  1  4%
Daily  12  53%
A few times a week  6  26%
Never  4  17%

Are you comfortable with the government having immediate access to your information via social media?

Yes  15  65%
No  8  35%

In 2012, Facebook handed over thousands of users’ private information to law enforcement. Are you comfortable with this?

Yes  16  70%
No  7  30%

Through NSA’s XKeyscore they are able to collect private citizen’s emails, files sent, search history, etc. Are you comfortable that your private info is potentially collected?

Yes   6  26%
No  17  74%

The government states that “programs that collect and analyze location data are lawful and intended strictly to develop intelligence about foreign targets. Do you believe this statement?

Yes  8  35%
No  15  65%

Do you own a personal email account?

Yes  23  100%
No  0  0%

How often do you use your email account?

Daily   7  30%
5 times a week   0  0%
Every other day   5  22%
Once a week   2  9%
Not at all often   9  39%

Do you believe that email services should grant special permission to the government it access anyone’s emails if they deem it necessary?

Yes  19  83%
No  4  17%

Do you believe that the mass surveillance of America is necessary to protect it from domestic and foreign dangers?

Yes  12 52%
No  11 48%

Do you believe that the government should transgress the 4th amendment (privacy) to keep America safe?

Yes  5  22%
No  18  78%
Posted in Visual Communication 2017 | Leave a comment

Pamela Branham

Fred Marer

Ceramics Collection


Fred Marer was born in 1908 in New York City and died in 2002 in Los Angeles. He grew
up very poor, “not even able to afford a nickel piece of candy,” but amassed an extraordinary collection of contemporary ceramics. Marer collected nearly 900 pieces and donated the core of his collection to Scripps College in Claremont, CA in 1994, and it is currently still on exhibit.

Marer began his college education on a scholarship at Fordham University and then
moved to Los Angeles for graduate study at USC, where he earned a master’s degree in
mathematics. Hoping to pursue a doctorate, he found employment as a social worker and
briefly worked as a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles public schools. He entered a PhD program at UCLA, but couldn’t afford to continue. Instead, he took a job teaching math at Los Angeles City College, where he served as head of the department, and made his living as a professor of mathematics for 30 years.

Marer started collecting early 1950s. His first piece was a striped bowl by Laura Andreson. This led to interest in a faculty exhibition at Los Angeles County Art Institute (later Otis Art Institute). At the exhibit, Marer spotted a tiny pot by Peter Voulkos and sent him a note asking if he could buy it. Voulkos scrawled his reply on the back of the note: “Sure. Come over any time.” When Marer returned, the pot had been stolen, but he bought two other pieces and continued going back to the ceramics studio and developed a friendship with Voulkos, prosperous on both sides.

Marer was a very generous man who purchased most of his art from the artists
themselves. Several artists remember Marer buying their pieces as soon as they came out of the kiln. Marer does not point to any compelling motivation to collect ceramics, but he does admit that, “When I was a child, I used to go to the library to get books before they were put on the shelves. I got works [from the Otis group] from their studio, often before they were exhibited.” He also acknowledges that he has been more interested in artists than in periods or styles. Marer observes, “I bought what I liked, practically always from people I liked.”

Andreson, Laura, “Bowl”, 1954

Reflecting on his acquisitive passion, he jokingly put it in financial terms. “When I was a kid, I couldn’t even buy a nickel piece of candy. When I was teaching at LACC, I had to do
something with all that money.”

Michael Cardew

Marer hosted regular dinners for artists and helped them find temporary housing and employment, as well as assistance with networking by putting new artists in touch with other artists and curators. “He was tremendously friendly and wonderfully warm, but he was also tough and demanding intellectually. He didn’t like small talk; if you made a loose remark, he would make you defend it. There was a real rigor to him.”

Marer served an important role for these artists because he purchased their works early in their careers when many of them needed the support most. He also provided both  oral and financial support to other struggling artists at the beginning of their careers—not just the Otis group. He began buying contemporary ceramics from emerging artists and had one rule, the work had to be affordable. As a result, some artists who should be in the collection priced themselves out of it.

Artists represented in his collection were expected to indulge Marer’s intellectual curiosity. Paul Soldner remarks, “When Fred came to visit, he would ask a lot of  questions. It wasn’t all admiration. He wanted to know philosophical reasons for what we were doing.” That makes this collection important—these works were acquired at the time they were made by a collector who knew the artists personally, not years after the fact and for monetary value only.

It offers unparalleled documentation and special insight into the creative development of that period. He rarely sold a piece from his collection–even when his modest apartment and garage were overflowing.

Henry Takemoto
Jun Kaneko
Lucie Rie
Hans Cooper

The Marer Collection is divided into three sections: First, “The Studio Pottery Tradition, 1940-1970:” This looks at the ways in which artists worked within the craft tradition; it asserts the unity of designer and maker and displays how they were influenced by other cultures. The work tends to be small in scale and, though not necessarily functional, still very similar to familiar forms.

A few of the artists are Lucie Rie, Margeurite Wildenhain, William Staite Murray, Kanjiro
Kawai, Bernard Leach, Hans Coper, Michael Cardew and more.

Second, “Innovation in Clay: The Otis Era, 1954-1960:” This examines the brief but important period during the mid-1950s, breaking down the barriers with a no-holds-barred approach in clay. They made ceramic objects that were often large in scale, bold, and sculptural rather than functional or utilitarian. Replacing the classical ideals of studio pottery with subjective ones derived from expressionist art, the Otis group led the shift in ceramics from an art based on preconception to one inspired by improvisation. Some of the more famous artists are Michael Frimkess, John Mason, Ken Price, Jerry Rothman, Paul Soldner, Henry Takemoto and Peter Voulkos.

Third, “Contemporary Ceramics in the Marer Collection, 1960-1990.” This explores the many stylistic avenues that this new freedom opened to artists from the 1960s to the 1990s. This period also marks the acceptance of clay as an art medium by the larger art
world. During this time, there was an art movement known as Funk Art which was the reaction against the nonobjectivity of abstract expressionism. It brought figuration back as subject matter rather than the non-figurative, abstract form of abstract expressionism. The “finish fetish” evolved from the “funk.” This movement valued fine craftsmanship, and the use of commercial glazes and paints on clay pieces. Many of the pieces were derived from pop art, everyday items (often enlarged), with sleek, commercial glazes. Artists included in this group—Jun Kaneko, Betty Woodman, Robert Arneson, Philip Cornelius, Rudy Autio, Viola Frey, Marilyn Levine, James Melchert, Ron Nagle, Patti Warashina, Peter Voulkos, as well as later works by many of the earlier artists.

Jerry Rothman
John Mason
Paul Soldner
Jun Kaneko
Peter Voulkos
Betty Woodman
Michael Frimkess
Ken Price

Marer’s associates say he was motivated by a pure love of art. Rarely did he sell anything from his collection—is was testament to his passion and commitment to art.

Ron Nagle
Patti Warashina
Kanjiro Kawai

Ai Wie Wei

Ai Weiwei (Weiwei), born in 1957, is the son of writer Gao Ying and poet Ai Qing. The family was exiled when Weiwei was only one year old and lived in small villages near  the North Korean border and in the province of Xinjiang for twenty years. Growing up in these harsh conditions Weiwei learned many of the practical skills that he would later apply to his art, such as making furniture and bricks. The family had been able to keep only one book, a large encyclopedia, Weiwei’s only source of information and education.

Ai Weiwei

As a young man, Weiwei spent a decade in New York, from 1983 to 1993, only returning to China when his father became ill. He started blogging in 2005. In May 2008, in response to the government’s lack of transparency in revealing names of students who perished in the 8.0 Shanghai earthquake due to substandard school construction, Weiwei recruited volunteers online and launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile over
5,000 names and information about the student victims. In 2009 he suffered a cerebral
hemorrhage from a beating from police after trying to testify for a fellow investigator of the shoddy construction and student casualties in the earthquake.

In November 2010 Weiwei was placed under house arrest and his studio demolished by
the Chinese police. In 2011 he was arrested and placed in detention for tax evasion for 81 days. Weiwei currently resides and works in Beijing. Some of the influences on Ai Weiwei have been Jasper Johns, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol.

Weiwei, 886 Antique Stools

I do not like the “art” of Ai Weiwei. It is too commercialized and impersonal for me. Much of it is large-scaled installations and a repetition of an everyday object or mere self-promotion. Also, much Weiwei, Forever Bicycles of the of the art seems created mainly for shock value. I understand this and appreciate using art to represent political views and causes. Then interpretations change over time. Take Manet’s, Luncheon on the Grass. At the time, it was considered scandalous and immoral. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon was hated by many and considered gross and inappropriate. However, today these pieces are coveted works of art.

Manet, Luncheon on the Grass
Picasso, Les Demoiselles D’Avignon

I want to like Weiwei’s work because when researching him, I have come to admire and
sympathize with him as a political advocate. Growing up in harsh conditions, exiled, hounded, investigated, jailed, beaten, refused permission to leave the country—these make me sympathize with him. To move past these hardships and continue to advocate for the Chinese people against the current regime and pursue what he is most passionate about, makes me admire him. For example, in one work Weiwei recreates a list of the names, posted on a wall, of the children who died in Sichuan. In another he posts an ink-jet print of an MRI of his brain after his beating by police in 2009. However, does this make him a political advocate or an artist?

I do not appreciate the “art” of dropping the centuries old Han Dynasty urn and painting
over the Ming vases. When we have something of historical and cultural significance, is it only ours to view, show, use, or even destroy? Or do we have a social responsibility to preserve and share it with others?

I feel we DO have a social responsibility not to harm or destroy anything of significance. When I first saw the Sunflower Seed Project I thought it uninspiring. If I were to visit the
museum, I would probably look at his Sunflower Seed exhibit and say, “Wow, that’s a lot of seeds, and, wow, those are all ceramic seeds!” and then move on. However, when viewing the video of the making of the “seeds,” I had a new appreciation because of the impact this project had on the lives of all the people making the seeds.

Would Ai Weiwei have been in the Marer collection? Marer was intimately connected to what he collected. He did not just collect the “pretties” and go home. He talked with the artists and asked them questions about their work; not only about the processes but also the inspiration and reason for creating such work. Marer even admitted that he purchased work even though he personally did not like it to keep from hurting the artist’s feelings. I do not believe that Weiwei’s work would have ended up in Marer’s collection for multiple reasons.

One of Marer’s steadfast rules was that art must be affordable. This alone would place Weiwei out of Marer’s price range. In 2012, Weiwei showed “Tree #11” at Art Basel. It was one in an edition of 15 actual dead trees and sold for $468,000. “If this was Joe Blow,” one collector said, “it wouldn’t mean anything.”

Much of Marer’s collection was ceramics. I cannot picture some of the large Weiwei installations or a mixed media via video in the collection.

Dropping of a Han Dynasty Urn and Colored Vases
Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern Turbine Hall
Tree #11 at Art Basel
Weiwei teamed up with Hong Kong-based toy designer Eric So to create a series of sculptures titled Aibuda meaning ‘”unlovable” in Chinese.

Marer seldom dealt with galleries because he felt no need to be introduced to artists already known to him. He also objected to what he characterized as the gallery hype that touted sometimes doubtful works as art. He bought the art because he liked it and he liked the artist. He did question the artists about their art and the inspiration behind it. When an artist previously collected by Marer veered too much toward acceptance by the larger art world, Marer would lose interest and stop collecting their work.  Similarly, he discounted art magazines as “too conventional.” He wanted to bring up political views, stimulate people’s minds to think outside the box, question authority. Weiwei, as a political advocate surely does question authority; however, I feel after viewing the plethora of selfies on the internet that much of Weiwei’s art is more about self-promotion than creation of art.

Ai Weiwei in selfie

Weiwei has gained the reputation of one of China’s most important artists.  His art and activism are interlinked. He has become a larger-than-life figure and social media has continued to enlarge this persona. However, I feel his influence is more in the arena of civil rights and political advocacy than art.


“Ai Weiwei Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., N.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Andersen, Lydia. “Shock Factor: Controversial Art throughout History.” The White Cube Diaries.    N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Callahan, Maureen. “The Overpriced World of Bad Art.” New York Post. N.p., 2014. Web. 19  Nov. 2016.

“Fred Marer, 93; Ceramics Collector, Math Professor.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times,

20 June 2002. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Koeninger, Kay, et al. “Revolution in Clay: The Marer Collection of Contemporary Ceramics.” Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA., c1994.

Perl, Jed. “Noble and Ignoble.” New Republic. N.p., 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

Review of Revolution in Clay: The Marer Collection of Contemporary Ceramics. Eds. Letitia Burns O’Connor and Brenda Johnson-Grau. Perpetua Press, 2012.

The Austin Chronicle Issue Archives. Vol. 15. Issue 13.

“The Top Living Artists of 2015.” Artsy. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

Posted in Visual Communication 2017 | Leave a comment

Cathy Lozano

In a composition, Cathy analyzes how irony is used to teach a very bitter lesson. Using excellent expression Cathy demonstrates control of structures. She generally uses the preterit past tense with ease: “hizo, invirtió, cambió, tumbó.” She correctly uses the imperfect tense: “no se necesitaba, sufría, parecía.” She complements her use of past tense with the conditional “vendría, enseñaría, habría”, and her use of the pluperfect “había gastado.” Her variety of verb structures continues in using the imperfect subjunctive forms: “para que le hicieran” and then the hypothetical if clause “si hiciera.” She demonstrates the use of idioms: “para mejorar, debió mantenerse un poco más humilde, portarse de esta manera, parecía un perrito faldero.” Her vocabulary is precise: “el problema económico, la mayoría de la población.” She shows an excellent command of Spanish throughout her work.

-Georgette Sullins

La ironía en el cuento “El banquete” por Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Don Fernando hizo de todo para mejorar la apariencia de su casa. Invirtió todo su dinero remodelándola. Contrató a personas para que le hicieran un jardín de estilo japonés. En el interior de la casa cambió alfombras, lámparas y cuadros. Tumbó paredes, pintó y cambió pisos entre otras cosas. Don Fernando se quedó sin plata después de terminar con la decoración de su casa. Para mi gusto, creo que exageró con los gastos que hizo. Entiendo que el presidente vendría a su casa pero no era para tanto.

En mi opinion, creo que don Fernando debió mantenerse un poco más humilde y así enseñaría al presidente que no se necesitaba ser una persona de dinero para ser inteligente. También creo que portarse de esta manera le enseñaría al presidente el problema económico que sufría la mayoría de la población.

En general el cuento, “El banquete,” me gustó mucho porque tiene mucha íronía. Por ejemplo, al principio cuando don Fernando se describe como una persona humilde, se ve después que en realidad no lo es. Lo que sí no me gustó de don Fernando fue que parecía un perrito faldero como decimos en México. Movió cielo, mar y tierra para apantallar al presidente. El hecho de que había gastado todo su dinero me molesta mucho. No creo que ni don Fernando ni su esposa tienen un poquito de sensatez. Si mi esposo hiciera lo mismo que don Fernando, habría divorcio seguro. Lo que me sorprendió fue el final del cuento, que el presidente recibió el golpe de estado.

Al pobre don Fernando le salió el tiro por la culata. Creo que esto fue como el karma, y la íronía del cuento. Ojalá que aprenda su lección y que no le vuelva a pasar lo mismo.

Irony in the Story “The Banquet” by Julio Ramón Ribeyro 

Don Fernando did everything he could to enhance the appearance of his house.  He invested all his money remodeling it.  He contracted people to build a Japanese garden.  In the interior of his house he changed out rugs, lamps and pictures.  He tore down walls, painted and changed out flooring among other things.  Don Fernando found himself without any money after finishing with the decorating.  To my taste, I believe that the money he spent was exaggerated.  I understand that the president of the country was coming to his house, but it wasn’t that big a deal.

In my opinion, I believe that Don Fernando should have behaved with more humility and in this way he would show the president that that one didn’t have to be wealthy in order to be intelligent.  I also believe that behaving in this way would show the president the economic problem that the majority of the population was suffering.

I generally liked the story “El banquete” because it has a lot of irony.  For example, at the beginning when Don Fernando describes himself as a humble person, one sees later that he really isn’t.  What I really didn’t like about Don Fernando was that he seemed to be a lap dog as we say in Mexico.  He moved the sky, sea and earth to court the president with favor.  The fact that he had spent all his money bothers me a lot.  I don’t believe that either Don Fernando or his wife had a bit of sense.  If my husband did the same as Don Fernando, there would have been a divorce for sure.  What surprised me was the end of the story, that the president experienced a government coup.

Poor Don Fernando suffered a blow.  I think this was karma and the irony of the story.  I hope he learns his lesson and that the same thing doesn’t happen again to him.

-Georgette Sullins  (trans.)


Posted in Visual Communication 2016

Isabela Delclós


In a journal entry reflecting on Spanish culture, Isabela remembers several architectural and sculptural works by Anton Gaudi. Her memories are grounded in a visit she made to Spain when she was twelve years old. She vividly remembers “la Sagrada Familia, el parque Guell, el geco y tambien la Casa Battlo.” Her composition utilizes the present and pluperfect tenses appropriately: “es, fui, podia, habia visto.” The reader feels her excitement as she uses argumentatives (“obras hermosisimas”), a variety of adjectives (“unico, maravillosas, inolvidable”) and exclamations (“Fue increible!”) He personal response recalling memories of her trip to Barcelona exemplifies her cultural sensitivity, enthusiasm for Gaudi’s work and command of Spanish.

– Georgette Sullins

Recuerdos de  España: Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí fue un arquitecto muy famoso de Reus, España. Gaudí creó muchos edificios, parques, y obras hermosísimas. Por eso, Gaudí es uno de mis artistas favoritos. Su estilo de arte es único. No hay otro artista como Gaudí. A mi parecer, sus obras son más que bellas, son maravillosas.

Cuando fui a España, visité la Sagrada Familia, el parque Güell, y también la Casa Batllo. ¡Fue una experiencia inolvidable! Mi obra favorita de Gaudí es su parque Güell. Me encantó el geco que hizo y también me encantaron las columnas que él creó. Recuerdo que yo caminé entre las columnas del parque y pude ver la belleza de su obra con mis propios ojos. ¡Fue increíble!

El parque Güell es muy diferente de sus otras obras. El parque Güell, en mi opinión, tiene más colores vibrantes y más “vida” en comparación a sus otras obras. Pero también me gustó la Sagrada familia mucho. Cuando entré a la Sagrada familia, me quedé muy sorprendida. ¡Era bonitísima! No podía creer lo que estaba viendo. El genio de Gaudí era evidente en todo lo que vi. Tenía doce años cuando fui a España, y ya había visto varias cosas bonitas a lo largo de mis años de viajes, pero nunca había visto nada tan detallado e intricado como ésta. Tuve la oportunidad de subir unas escaleras curvas que iban casi a la cima del edificio. Es algo que recordaré por el resto de mi vida.


Antoni Gaudí was a famous architect from Reus, Spain.  Gaudí created many buildings, parks and beautiful works.  For that reason, Gaudí is one of my favorite artists.  His style of art is unique.  There is no other artist like Gaudí.  In my opinion, his works are more than beautiful, they are marvelous.

When I went to Spain, I visited the Sagrada Familia, the Güel Park, and also the Batllo house.  It was an unforgettable experience.  My favorite work by Gaudí is his Güel Park.  I loved the gecko that he made and I also loved the columns that he created.  I remember that I walked among the columns of the park and I could see the beauty of his work with my own eyes.  It was incredible.

Güel Park is very different from his other works.  Guell Park in my opinion has more vibrant colors and more life in comparison to his other works.  But I also liked the Sagrada Familia a lot.  When I entered the Sagrada Familia, I was very surprised.  It was so pretty!  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  The genius of Gaudí was evident in everything I saw.  I was twelve years old when I went to Spain and I had already seen several beautiful things in my years of travel, but I had never seen anything so detailed and intricate as this.  I had the opportunity of climbing the curved staircase that went almost to the top of the building.  It is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Posted in Visual Communication 2016