Ashlyn Dacey’s “Domestic Violence on Indian Reservations in the United States” presentation discussed her 485 project on tribal laws, domestic violence on reservations, failing federal and state legislation, and abuses of power. However, the only aspects of her project that were presented were that of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and the revision of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. Dacey argues that these laws still to protect women on Native American reservations because non-Native Americans can not be charged by the tribe’s law enforcement while the Tribe and the local police enforcement units can not cross the line of jurisdiction. She provided only one primary source for an incident fitting these parameters and did not discuss any pushback from either side on legislation changes, instead favoring the ‘more needs to happen’ conclusion. Further examples of domestic violence and analysis could have strengthened her analysis.
Shannon Ball’s “Woman Must Have Her Freedom” presentation discussed her 485 project examining the Birth Control Review’s publications. She argued that the editor, Margaret Sanger, could not print more radical content due to the climate of the time. She presented the timeframe, World War I and the Red Scare; Sanger’s frequent arrests; the 1916 opening of a Birth Control Clinic in Brooklyn, NY.; the 1921 founding of the American Birth Control League; and, ultimately, the 1938 removal of birth control from the list of ‘obscenities’ in the Comstock Law. Ball’s argument was further strengthened by an analysis of the subtilties of including pieces by a sex therapist, Havelock Ellis, and adjusting the tone of abortion seekers to that of “sympathetic mothers” in order to maintain publication. Her argument was both clear and well delivered with a strong analysis of both the journal and the editor. Providing the perspective of a similar publication or a female with an opposing view to Sangers in this timeframe could add to the project.
Lila Spitz’s “The Depiction of African Americans in Six High School United States History Textbooks from the 1980s and the Early 2000s” presentation discussed her 485 project critiquing the lack of African American representation in textbooks. Her primary sources were three 1980s textbooks which were then compared to three from the 2000s via a 1 to 4 ranking system established by minds like the NAACP and James A. Banks. The chart provided to show her analysis was entirely unviewable due to white text on a pale blue background. The books were her primary sources; however, outside of the system of analysis, Spitz did not explain why these two time frames were chosen. Her conclusion that slight changes in the texts have been ineffective in presenting African American history, but she did not state whether she expected an evolution or devolution of the textbooks until after the presentation. This was also the case with questions regarding SOLs, teacher curriculum, and the business of textbooks. A deeper analysis into standardized testing, curriculum, and textbook sales could have fortified the project.