College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

School of World Languages and Cultures

2005 Capstone Class

The Spring 2005 WLC 400 Capstone Course was taught by Dr. Maria Zielina.

The Spring 2005 WLC 400: WLC Major Capstone Capstone Course was taught by Dr. Maria Zielina.

Student project abstracts are available below and were advised by Dr. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, Dr. Maria Zielina, Dr. Donaldo Urioste, Dr. Rafael Gómez and Dr. Shigeko Sekine.

The Capstone Festival was held May 20, 2005 and student presentations are available here.


  • Michael Beatie

    El béisbol latinoamericano: reflejos de una región

    Latin American Baseball: Reflections of a Region

    El “Baseball” es un deporte históricamente asociado con los Estados Unidos. No obstante, hace más de cien años que el juego se extendió desde Norteamérica hacia el norte de Latinoamérica. La historia del béisbol en esta región, y las experiencias de los peloteros latinos son indicadoras de la gran experiencia latinoamericana. El béisbol es un aspecto imprescindible a la identidad de Cuba, la Republica Dominicana, y el territorio americano de Puerto Rico, así como de ciertas regiones de México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Colombia, y Venezuela. A través de este proyecto, examino la historia del béisbol en Latinoamérica, y las experiencias de los beisbolistas latinos en las ligas latinoamericanas y norteamericanas como reflejo de la historia y cultura de Latinoamérica, y la influencia norteamericana en la región. Tal como el béisbol norteamericano ha sido amanerado por peloteros latinos, también ha sido afectado América Latina por la influencia de los EE.UU., y el béisbol nos sirve como ejemplo y evidencia de esto. El resultado—o la consecuencia—es una floreciente cultura beisbolera que produce héroes nacionales y regionales de un deporte adoptado, y crea algo verdaderamente latinoamericano.

    Baseball is a sport historically associated with the United States of America. However, the game spread into northern Spanish-speaking Latin America over one hundred years ago. The game’s history in the region and the experiences of Latino ballplayers are indicative of the greater Latin American experience. El Béisbol, as it is referred to in Spanish, is critical to the identity of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the US territory of Puerto Rico, as well as regions of Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. This capstone examines the history of baseball in Latin America and the experiences of Latinos playing in Latin American and North American leagues as a reflection of Latin American history and culture, and the impacts of US influence on the region. Just as professional baseball in the US has been significantly impacted by Latin American ballplayers, so too has northern Latin America been impacted by the US—for better or for worse—as is evidenced by the game of baseball. The result is a thriving baseball culture, one that produces national and regional heroes in an adopted game turned something truly Latin American.

  • Larry Corpuz


    Japan’s Mythical Creatures: Interpretation of Effects Upon Contemporary Japanese Society



    Although there are many mythical creatures in Japan’s folklore and myth, there are still some that exist apart from creatures that were brought into Japan’s culture due to outside influences such as Buddhism, etc. Although the stories encompassing these entities are thousands of years old, the Kitsune, Tanuki, Kappa and many other Japanese Mythical Creatures still affect the way Japanese Modern Society lives. They are seen everyday as effigies in front of stores and used daily in idioms and proverbs.

    In this study, I investigate the role of Mythical Creatures in Japanese contemporary society. How do these mythological creatures affect the way the Japanese live today? In what ways are they employed in everyday life? In what way do the Japanese perceive these creatures? I conducted a survey with Japanese people about their perspectives on these creatures. By researching the origins and folklore of these creatures, I have a deeper understanding and a unique perspective of Japan’s Mythological Creatures and their influence on contemporary Japanese Society.

  • Joe Lee


    A comparison between Japanese and American Athletes focusing on sports and culture: Yamato Damashii


    What is “Yamato Damashii”? How does modern Japan comprehend it? Since I was young I have heard the phrase “Yamato Damashii” often. Currently in the Japanese martial arts world the term “Yamato Damashii” is said quite often. So I have decided to make “Yamato Damashii” and its meanings the topic of my Capstone.

    For my research aside from literary research; I took surveys from 15 random Japanese people and 30 American martial arts fans to get the general idea on “Yamato Damashii.” I also did an interview with the noted Japanese – American martial artist Enson Inoue, to get his thoughts and opinions on this subject.

  • Alejandra Nieto

    La Ideología patriarcal en la sociedad mexicana y el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN)

    Patriarchal Ideology in Mexican Society and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

    A través de la historia, las mujeres han sido un grupo subyugado dentro de sociedades patriarcales. Con la modernización y la industrialización, este grupo condicionado para la docilidad y la servidumbre, se ha enfrentado directamente con las normas patriarcales tradicionales de la sociedad mexicana. Este enfrentamiento y desafió no ha sido fácil, ya que con un bajo nivel educativo y económico es nunca fácil y más aun cuando el sistema ideológico y cultural patriarcal de la sociedad mexicana proporciona lecciones a los que se atreven a desafiarle. A través de esta presentación trataré de presentar cómo la implementación del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN) y la llegada de maquiladoras a la frontera han afectado las vidas de miles de mujeres, particularmente en las ciudades fronterizas como Ciudad Juárez y El Paso, TX. Así que junto con la ideología patriarcal mexicana se ha permitido y fomentado un ambiente en donde muchas mujeres son humilladas, raptadas, violadas, y asesinadas.

    Throughout history women have been a subjugated group within patriarchal societies. With modernization and industrialization, this group conditioned for docility and servitude, has been thrust into direct conflict with the Mexican traditional patriarchal society norms. This has definitely not been an easy experience; fighting a battle ill prepared is never easy. Third World countries are more likely to have strong ties to their patriarchal pasts, and more likely to provide harsh lessons to those who stray from them. In this presentation I will try to present how the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the arrival of assembly plants to the border regions have affected thousands of women's lives particularly in U.S. and Mexico border cities such as Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. Due in part to the Mexican patriarchal ideology an environment has developed in this area that has promoted and even permitted the disappearance, rape and murder of many women; with little or no sign of action by the authorities.

  • Sylvia Sertov

    La importancia del corrido en la cultura mexicana” “La importancia del corrido dentro de la cultura mexicana. The corrido and its importance in Mexican’s culture” or “The importance of corrido within Mexican culture

    La canción folklórica mexicana conocida como el corrido juega un papel de suma importancia dentro de la cultura e historia mexicana. El corrido, cuya forma tiene sus raíces en el antiguo romance español, empezó a desarrollarse en México a medidos del siglo XIX, y se dedica a contar una historia. Estas canciones narrativas suelen presentar eventos de gran importancia local, o se dedican a las aventuras (grandes hazañas, batallas, peleas, muertes, etc.) de hombres. En México, el auge del desarrollo del corrido fue de 1910-1930, durante el período de la Revolución Mexicana. Los corridos de esta época se dedican a los eventos de la Revolución y las hazañas de los grandes revolucionarios (por ejemplo, Francisco Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, y Francisco I. Madero). Estas canciones fueron compuestas principalmente en los momentos de lucha, victoria y derrota de los personajes más importantes de la Revolución. A través de los corridos la gente del pueblo podía mantenerse informado de la situación político-social del México revolucionario; era la forma más práctica y sencilla para llevar las noticias de un lugar a otro. Este género musical generalmente era informado por la boca del vulgo; no solamente nos informaba de los héroes y bandidos sino también de ciertas regiones que fueron afectadas por la vida revolucionaria. Con esta canción de tipo épico lírico-narrativo podemos conocer la historia, los estragos, y la lucha de los revolucionarios, así como las hazañas de los héroes que dejaron su huella en la cultura e historia de los mexicanos.

    The Mexican Folk Ballad known as the corrido plays an important role within Mexican Culture and history. Dating back to the mid 19th century, the corrido has its origins in the old Spanish romance, and like its Spanish counterpart, the corrido tells a story. These ballads frequently present an event of great local importance, or recite the adventures (heroic deeds, battles, wars, fights over women, and/or deaths, etc.) of men. With few exceptions these ballads about the adventures of men, were composed and performed by men. In Mexico, the peak development of the corrido was from 1910-1930, during the period of the Mexican Revolution. Many battles and historical characters of that era (Francisco Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Francisco I. Madero, to mention a few), were immortalized via the corrido. These folk songs were mainly inspired during the moments of fight, victory and defeat of the important characters in the Revolution. Through the corridos, the people from small rural villages could be well informed about the socio-political atmosphere in Mexico. It was a practical and simple way to take news from one place to another. This musical genre was mainly informed by the town’s people. The theme of the songs dealt with not only personified, glorified individual achievements, but also depicted the country's area where the effect was more reflected. Via this narrative folk song (ballad) we can now learn and understand more about the history, struggles, and fights of the revolutionary people; and also the heroic deeds of the heroes that left their footprints in Mexico's culture and history.

  • Benjamin Terra

    Examinando la Diferencia que Hizo la Reforma Agraria para los Cafetaleros del Norte de Nicaragua, y la situación con que se enfrentan hoy en día en Matagalpa

    Examining the Difference that Agrarian Reform Made for Coffee Growers of Northern Nicaragua and the Situation they Face in Matagalpa

    En la región norte central de Nicaragua hay una provincia que se llama Matagalpa donde existe una verdadera cultura de café. El semestre pasado yo viví con los cafetaleros en una comunidad pequeña en las montañas de Matagalpa. Mientras que estaba allá me di cuenta de la importancia de la tierra para la gente, y que el bienestar de los campesinos tiene mucho que ver con su acceso a la tierra para cultivar su comida propia además de productos para vender. Aprendí que en la historia nicaragüense la tenencia de tierras es un asunto complicado, y que tiene bastante que ver con la revolución sandinista de 1979 y la Reforma Agraria que siguió. Para obtener unas relaciones personales y verdaderas de la lucha para la tierra de los campesinos, entrevisté a varios obreros en el campo tanto como a algunos de los socios de organizaciones en la ciudad de Matagalpa, sobre los problemas de la tenencia y la distribución de las tierras. La meta de mi investigación es informarlos de y mostrar los diferentes tipos de tenencia de tierras que existen en la región de Yasica Sur y relacionar estos ejemplos a la Reforma Agraria de la Revolución Sandinista, y discutir sus implicaciones socio-culturales contemporáneas.

    In the north central region of Nicaragua there is a province named Matagalpa, where a true coffee culture exists. I spent last semester living there, in a small community of coffee farmers in the mountains of Matagalpa. During my stay there, I realized the importance of the land to the local people, and that the well-being of the farmers in the countryside has a lot to do with access to land for growing food, both to eat and sell. I learned that land ownership is a complicated theme in Nicaragua’s history, and of its importance to the Sandinista Revolution of 1979 and the Agrarian Reform that followed. With the goal of getting personal, real life accounts of the rural agricultural worker struggle for land, I interviewed workers in the countryside, as well as organizations in the nearby city of Matagalpa, about problems regarding land ownership and the distribution of land. The goal of my project is to give a good illustration of different types of land ownership in the region of Yasica Sur and also to relate those examples to the Agrarian Reform of the Sandinista Revolution, as well as comment on its contemporary socio-cultural implications.