Browse Exhibits (4 total)

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Locked Away: The Hidden Atrocities of Forced Institutionalization

Throughout American history, families and governance have attempted to control and cure both physical and mental disabilities. This concept is most clearly manifested in the American institution. Beginning in the nineteenth century, institutionalization became a way to remove people with disabilities from the remainder of society, in hopes that this isolation would help to rehabilitate these individuals without disrupting the lives of the majority able minded and bodied population. By exploring how these structures became embedded in American society through a literature review, our exhibit will set the stage for our primary documentation of the individual institution experience.

Using materials from the University of Texas archives and lenses of medical paternalism, physical and mental disability, and minority mental health, our exhibit will explore the detrimental effects of forced institutionalization as a means to segregate society, and will examine the movements which shifted society’s view of mental and physical disabilities and which sparked reform efforts. 

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Voices from Confinement: A Look Inside Texas Prisons and Containment

From the rehabilitative labor prisons of the Jacksonian Era, to the modern day immigration detention facility, incarceration in its very definition separates people believed to pose a threat to society. In addition to a physical disconnect, there is also a societal divide attached to containment that strips the incarcerated of their voice in society, which limits their ability to speak up about their experiences and abuse they ecnounter within their confinement. Whether the incarceration is a result of xenophobia, racial discrimination, or actual justified cause, this schism creates negative stereotypes and misinformation at the expense of the incarcerated.  

This exhibit explores the effects of incarceration and internment from the 1940s to the 90s through the lens of these incarcerated peoples. Since incarcerated and detainees have a very limited voice in society and are often overlooked, we hope to share some of their thoughts on the realities of containment. The overall goal of this exhibit is to shed light on the personal qualities of incarcerated people in order to restore their dignity and give insight to the issues and problems that incarcerated people face within containment.  

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Gender Roles in the Public and Private Sphere: Marriage and Reproductive Health

This exhibit aims to explore the concepts of gender identity in both the private and public spheres. Though the materials represented are from vastly different time periods, their thematic congruency still enlightens gender discrepancies within their respective communities. Examining these archival materials through an intersectional lens, we are able to see previously underrepresented narratives and further research and contextualize their roles, themes, and positionings within their time periods.

In this exhibit, I will examine the ways in which reproductive health is conceptualized within a relationship and how the expected gender roles and power dynamics within a relationship alter the accessibility of reproductive health and sexual health for women. I will focus on Latino relationships and culture and examine how power imbalances in a relationship can infringe on the body autonomy of women.

Using "The lavves resolvtions to womens rights" as a jumping-off point, I will seek to examine the role intersex individuals assumed within the early Enlightenment society in England. I will explore both intersex positioning within the resolute gender binary present at the time, while also looking at the ideological shift of intersexual perception within law and medicine. 

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The Cause of the Texas Farm Workers' Union

The Texas Farm Workers' Union was an energetic, radical organization with a particular affinity toward direct actions such as wildcat strikes and highly publicized marches. The group, facing incredibly steep odds and with only extremely limited outside support, evidently decided that this particular style of agitation was their best chance at finally achieving the unionization of farm laborers in Texas.

Their urgent, bold, and anti-authoritarian organizational philosophy is a reflection of the strained relationships the Texas Farm Workers' Union had with farm owners and the Texas State government— traditional enemies of labor organizing— as well as with Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers, a less obvious adversary.

The story of the Texas Farm Workers' Union has unsettling implications for the modern observer. Despite their noble cause, the Union was eventually forced to cease operations due to financial difficulties. This points to the limitations of our political system and the injustices that remain entrenched within it, especially those between Texan farm owners and their workers.

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