UVa-Wise history majors to present papers

 

Three history majors from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will travel to Christopher Newport University on March 23 to present papers at the annual Phi Alpha Theta Conference.

Ashlee Childress, a resident of Appalachia, will present a paper on “Medieval Ethiopian Slavery and Medieval English Serfdom.”

In her paper, Childress compares and contrasts the systems of human bondage in medieval Ethiopia and medieval England. She contends that Ethiopian slavery was justified under the Fetha Nagast, a law code based on the Bible, Roman law and Byzantine law. The Fetha Nagast justified slavery on religious grounds and established religious boundaries on the Ethiopian slave trade.

Matthew Donlevy, a resident of Virginia Beach, will present a paper on “Capitalism and Cowrie Shells: A Historiographical Analysis of the Underdevelopment Theory.”

Donlevy’s paper will address the various arguments regarding the economic impact that the Transatlantic Slave Trade had on the economic development of Western Africa. To better clarify the arguments of various historians, he focuses on two main points of contention. The first concerns what has been termed the “dependency theory,” or the “underdeveloped thesis.” The second aspect of Donlevy’s paper addresses the social and political implications of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Western Africa.

Murphy Mullins, a Midlothian resident, will present a paper entitled "Cherish This Independence: Tito, Yugoslavia, and Non-Alignment.”

In his paper, Mullins contends that Josip Broz Tito’s persistent independent personality and pragmatism allowed Tito to become a leading figure in the Non-Aligned Movement’s development in order to secure Yugoslavia’s international position and his own domestic credibility. Tito’s vision for non-alignment grew from his split with Joseph Stalin directly after World War II.