O

A
OUTSTANDING
ACADEMIC
PAPERS BY
STUDENTS
A collaborative, international program

P

by academic research libraries
to encourage, recognize, and preserve
excellence in student scholarship

S

2015

USC LIBRARIES | USC UNDERGRADUATE
WRITERS CONFERENCE

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

OAPS
O U T S TA N DING
AC A D E M IC
PA P E R S BY
STUDENTS
APRIL 2015

USC LIBRARIES
USC UNDERGRADUATE WRITERS CONFERENCE
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

USC LIBRARIES
USC UNDERGRADUATE WRITERS CONFERENCE
Manuscript Editors: Nathalie Joseph and Shannon Zhang
Design: Howard P. Smith
Production Coordinator: Tyson Gaskill
Published by
Figueroa Press
840 Childs Way, 3rd Floor
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2540
© 2015 USC Libraries
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written
permission from the publisher, except in the context of reviews.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4522-4442-6
ISBN-10: 1-4522-4442-1

Contents
4 FOREWORD
Catherine Quinlan
6 INTRODUCTION
Nathalie Joseph
8 Putting Women on the Map: Gender and the American
Road Narrative
Oriah Amit
68 the effects of the us pivot to asia on european
strategic cooperation
Thomas D. Armstrong
82 First-Principles Nonlocal Response
in Atomically-Sharp Plasmonic
Nanostructures
Luke Bouma
104 Asiana 214: Investigating Cockpit Automation
and Cultural Issues in Aviation Safety
Stephanie Chow and Stephen Yortsos
128 Cyberstalking and Domestic Violence:
Developing and Defending a Policy Proposal
Angel Dominguez
148 THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF FULL IMMERSION IN A
VIRTUAL WORLD
Jake Green
178 CE CHIEN EST MOI: WHY VIRGINIA WOOLF WAS A DOG
Ryan Kindel
194 Long-Term, Comprehensive, Parent-Inclusive,
Sex Education (LCPSE) Curriculum Proposal
Anasa Matthews, Ashli McMiller, and Vernice Ward
206 NEITHER RHYME NOR REASON: THE CASE OF JAMES HACKMAN or
reason and the passions in eighteenth-century britain
Ena Nielsen
224 Theoretical Perspectives oN Intermittent
Explosive Disorder
Joanna Tavares
238 The Warsaw Autumn Festival: Redefining and
Rebuilding Polish Music After World War II
Emily Theobald
264 A RISK-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF CULTIVATING PESTRESISTANT CORN
Chukwumamkpam Uzoegwu

Foreword
CATHERINE QUINLAN
Dean of the USC Libraries

6

The Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS) program—now in its
6th year at USC—presents the excellent research and writing of our talented
students to an audience throughout the Pacific Rim. It is an audience of peers,
professors, and researchers who will discover their work, which is now part of
the global exchange of knowledge in their fields.
Connecting our students to broader communities of scholarship informs OAPS
and all that we do as an academic library. To advance that goal, for the first
time, we are bringing together the OAPS enterprise and the recognition program
of the USC chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Phi Kappa Phi is the
oldest, all-discipline honor society on our campus and represents communities
of inquiry throughout the entirety of USC.
Beginning with this volume, our OAPS publication now includes award-winning
student research selected by accomplished USC faculty who serve on the Phi
Kappa Phi executive board. The motto of Phi Kappa Phi is, “Let the love of
learning rule humanity.” Every paper we present in OAPS exemplifies a love of
learning, as well as the creativity and intellectual rigor that help transform the
love of learning into tangible, valuable discoveries.
I thank USC Phi Kappa Phi chapter president and professor of political science
Ann Crigler for joining us in this endeavor. I am also grateful to USC professors
Norah Ashe-McNalley and Nathalie Joseph, as well as student staff of USC
Scribe, who have done the excellent work of selecting and editing our 2015
papers. Dr. Cherrie Short, associate dean for global and community initiatives
in the USC School of Social Work, joined us once again to select outstanding
research by social work graduate students.
And finally, I thank Dr. Steve Ching, founding chair of the OAPS Task Force,
for inviting us to become the first North American institution to join OAPS.
His vision created this opportunity for our students and for our libraries, and
his exemplary leadership sets the standard of excellence for all of us who
contribute to this important and meaningful collaboration.

Introduction
NATHALIE JOSEPH

Associate Professor, Writing Program
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

8

Undergraduate student writing is in some ways a very strange genre. Students
sign up for a particular course or are compelled to take a course to meet various
requirements and are then presented with writing or research prompts of the
professor’s choosing. Over the years, I have seen my colleagues put extraordinary
work into the construction of these assignments. They build in true opportunities for
the intellectual discovery and development of their students and then guide young
writers to achieve these goals. They revamp their assignments year after year in
order to maintain their own sense of exploration and to keep their work topical and
relevant. They learn the “new” to keep their students’ experience fresh.
Even with the extraordinary faculty support and dedication available here at USC,
it’s worth noting that writing produced in reaction to a prompt is somewhat limited.
Inevitably, the work will show signs of the residual influence lingering from class
discussion or just the lack of flexibility in text when a writer is producing material to
meet a requirement rather than just to contribute new thoughts to a field of inquiry.
When my own students are dissatisfied with the parameters and details provided
by a grading rubric and press me to give them a greater sense of the distinction
between particularly an A and a B, I sometimes tell them that an A paper is often
one that temporarily makes me forget that I’m grading. In one sense, it’s like reading
something that’s captivating, something that holds your attention beyond the need
to evaluate its relative merit in response to a prompt. The papers in this collection of
OAPS made me forget that I was reading to check for uniform quality and to provide
a sounding board for the work of student editor Shannon Zhang. At times, I had to
re-review a text because I found myself just simply reading and letting my proverbial
teacher’s pencil fall from my hand. I hope that you find yourself reading these articles
with a similar pleasure and sense of abandon.
As always, a very sincere thanks is owed to Shannon for her two years of dedication
to this publication. She is hard-working, often holding herself to such a high standard
that I am left to say very little as her guide and mentor. This last semester, Shannon
served not only as the sole OAPS editor but also as the managing editor for Scribe
(scribe.usc.edu). It would seem that one responsibility would have to give way to
the other at times, but Shannon delivered for each at every crucial moment. A warm
thanks is also owed to the entire Scribe staff who provide extra eyes and ears for the
selection of these articles: Sheena Tehrani, Sam Cadwell, John Barbar, Mayra Moran,
Flyn Kaida-Yip, and Jackie Thomas.
A final thank you goes out to the authors themselves. It is students like you who
unknowingly push faculty to produce creative prompts and new pathways to motivate
you to become critical thinkers and writers in your own right.

Putting Women on the Map:
Gender and the American Road Narrative
ORIAH AMIT

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Departments of English Literature and Gender Studies
Thomas Gustafson and Richard Berg, Faculty Advisors

10

Points of Departure: The American Road in Cultural and
Historical Perspective

From the Oregon Trail to the iconic Route 66, America has been in a love affair
with the road for centuries. It begins with the pursuit of that ever-elusive concept
of freedom, evident in our most revered national myth of Plymouth Rock, a
journey that led from a land of confinement to one that offered seemingly
endless opportunity. Immense westward migrations toward the ever-receding
frontier are also indicative of the American pursuit of freedom, as this mythical
and “unexplored” territory—at least from the perspectives of white American
settlers—promised autonomy and adventure. Since then, the frontier has been
romanticized many times in the immensely popular Western film genre, itself a
testament to the enduring cultural appeal of the promised freedom by the West’s
open landscape. The same appeal is conjured up by the trope of the road, and
famously celebrated in Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” (1856), as an
opportunity for self-discovery as well as community formation. Though the poem
is celebratory, Whitman also emphasizes that the road is not the opportunity for
escape that it is assumed to be, as evidenced when he writes, “Still here I carry
my old delicious burdens, / I carry them, men and women, I carry them with
me wherever I go.”1 The sentiment is also reflected in the road narratives of the
Great Depression, with the works of authors such as John Steinbeck, John Dos
Passos, and Jim Tully critiquing the American dream of the road through their
representations of the hardships inherent to a life of nomadic travel.
Despite the bleak depictions of life on the road in literature of the 1930s and
‘40s, Jack Kerouac and other Beat writers remained fascinated with the tramping
way of life. While the rest of the nation was recovering from the traumas of

11

the Great Depression and World War II and eagerly embraced the stability of
middle-class suburban life, the Beats looked to the road as a site of resistance
against normative American social values. The idea of travel as an act of personal
rebellion particularly appealed to Kerouac. He based his early literary works on
the frenetic cross-country road trips he took with Neal Cassady, a personality of
great importance in the Beat circle who had been living the nomadic lifestyle for
longer than anyone else Kerouac knew. The incarnation of pure and unrestrained
American freedom in Kerouac’s eyes, Cassady became the inspiration for Dean
Moriarty in his thinly fictionalized novel On the Road (1957). Cassady is depicted
as a misunderstood prophet whose messages only Kerouac can decipher, but also
as a serial womanizer, moving from one woman to another almost as frequently
as he crosses state lines. Kerouac rationalizes Cassady’s behavior as necessary
to the pursuit of more important personal discoveries and spiritual exultations—
women simply cannot tie down a man like Cassady, who preaches that the most
important thing to remember on the road is “not to get hung-up.”2 Kerouac’s
depiction of Cassady speaks to the construction of the road as a male-dominated
cultural space, a landscape onto which the male imagination can project its
greatest fantasies. In order to fulfill these fantasies, women are needed in the
home to manage domestic labor and raise children, as well as in the bedroom,
motel room, or in the backseat of a car to meet men’s sexual needs. In all cases,
women constitute stops along the road rather than mobile bodies and minds in
and of themselves.
Although there is a wide body of American literature about the road, for the most
part, it is only visible through the narrative perspectives of heterosexual white male
protagonists. Thus, it is important to remember that the so-called “open” road has

12

not existed as a place of leisure or endless possibility for most Americans. In “Song
of the Open Road,” Whitman notes the absence of these marginal perspectives
when he writes, “You road that I enter upon and look around, I believe you are
not all that is here, / I believe that much unseen is also here.”3 Women are the
unseen travelers of the road, and their stories have value and importance despite
being less celebrated than Kerouac’s. From its earliest conceptions, the story of
the young woman who ventures out alone to explore the unknown necessarily
has involved the threat of imminent danger. French philosopher and literary critic
Hélène Cixous describes the fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” as an early example
of the female journey on the road. The tale makes a clear distinction between the
safety of the village, a domestic space, and the peril that lurks in the forest, a
place ruled by male characters including the Wolf and the Hunter, who eventually
saves Red Riding Hood. The fairytale’s didactic message is that women must be
protected once they set foot outside of the parameters of the home, a notion that is
reflected in the attitudes of literature about women and the road in the centuries to
follow. But Cixous’ reading of the story also emphasizes the potential for pleasure
that comes with mobility, particularly when it transgresses the protected gender
boundary of the domestic sphere.
Although the starting point for this project is the late 1960s, women had been
writing about the experience of traveling for decades, if not longer. In fact, an
articulation of the female experience is evident in nearly every major travel
movement in the United States. In 1924, blues singer Trixie Smith sang, “I got
the freight train blues, I got box cars on my mind,” calling to mind the trainhopping tramps and vagrants described by Jack London and W.H. Davies. The
late ‘20s and ‘30s also brought a series of novels that deal in part with the female

13

experience of road travel, including Agnes Smedley’s Daughter of Earth (1929)
and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Several decades
later, the popularity of On the Road and the beginnings of second-wave feminism
spawned a literary subgenre of female road narratives that, like its subjects, goes
largely unnoticed and unaccounted for in contemporary literary criticism.
One such narrative is that of Brenda Frazer, wife of Beat poet Ray Bremser, and
is laid out in her autobiographical novel, Troia: Mexican Memoirs (1969). Its
epigraph reads, “Damn the pain; it must be written,” beginning her story with
a strikingly bleak tone that turns to bitterness as the narrative progresses.
Frazer worked as a prostitute in various Mexican cities to support herself, her
husband, and their infant daughter, while he was unemployed and moving in
and out of prison. Far from creating any positive illusions about life on the road
for a female sex worker, she emphasizes the dangerous and unreliable nature
of her work, her emotional vulnerability as a young mother, and the constant
threat of run-ins with the police. Other female representations of women on
the road from the late ‘60s articulate a similarly difficult experience, notably
the narrative of Natalie Ravenna in Francis Ford Coppola’s early film The Rain
People (1969). Natalie (Shirley Knight) is a young housewife who discovers
that she is pregnant and decides to leave home, thinking that she will be able
to reclaim the personal freedom lost to domestic responsibility on the road.
Instead, she finds even greater restrictions there. Natalie, like Frazer and many
others, finds herself quickly becoming a trapped “prisoner of the white lines
of the freeway,” as Joni Mitchell famously sings in “Coyote” (1976), simply by
being alone and female on the road.

14

Though the narratives expressed in Troia and The Rain People cast doubt on the
possibility that the supposed freedom of the open road might extend to women,
other female authors do find the road to be a liberating space, and particularly
one where the restrictive social expectations of femininity can be abandoned.
Cherokee-American author Diane Glancy’s autobiographical collection of
poetry, Claiming Breath (1992), describes Glancy’s road travels as the basis for
a transformative process of identity formation. For her, the experience of driving
back and forth across the Oklahoma plains is conducive to healing the traumatic
historical memory of the earlier coerced road that her Cherokee ancestors were
forced to take during the Trail of Tears. Following in Glancy’s steps is Erika Lopez’s
graphic novel Flaming Iguanas (1997), the autobiographical story of a queer
Puerto Rican protagonist whose journey on the road is not only empowering
and gratifying, but also filled with humor. By demonstrating that women are not
always happiest when they are in the home, she directly confronts the ideology of
male-centered road novels:
Ever since I was a kid, I’d tried to live vicariously through the hocker-inthe-wind adventures of Kerouac, Hunter Thompson, and Henry Miller.
But I could never finish any of the books. Maybe because I just couldn’t
identify with the fact that they were guys who had women around to
make the coffee and wash the skid marks out of their shorts while they
complained, called themselves angry young men, and screwed each
other with their existential penises.4
Lopez’s novel destabilizes and rewrites the gender dichotomies ingrained in
the American cultural space of the “open road.” By presenting a radical new
category of female empowerment narratives on the road, she complicates our
understanding of both the works of male authors like Kerouac, Thompson, and
Miller, and of previous female representations such as the ones that appear

15

in Brenda Frazer’s Troia and Coppola’s The Rain People. Such varied narratives
demonstrate that there is no fundamental difference in the desires of men
and women for freedom and adventure. Furthermore, they prove that women
who travel and live on the road should not only be understood as vulnerable
and victimized, but also as empowered individuals capable of shaping their
own experiences.
The lingering influence of frontier ideology on road narratives means that the
genre has long been characterized by representations of white, heterosexual men
and the women they leave at home. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road does contain
brief mentions of Mexican and African-American characters, but, as with the
women in the novel, their images are always static. The people inside the car
are white, and for the majority of the trip, exclusively male. However, as the
narratives of Diane Glancy and Erika Lopez demonstrate, the last twenty years
have borne witness to dramatic shifts in the social and cultural space of the road,
and those shifts are amplified in pop culture representations. The road movie has
solidified a notion that Whitman expressed in “Song of the Open Road”—that
the road is not just a place for the solitary traveler, but a locus of community,
camaraderie, and social progress. While the commercial road movie is still
largely characterized by male-centered stories, it has significantly expanded
to include a range of female voices beginning with Thelma & Louise (1991), and
going on to include diverse films like Leaving Normal (1992), Even Cowgirls Get
the Blues (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), and more recently, Transamerica
(2005), among others. Moreover, the road movie has caught on internationally
and resulted in a surge of recent international female road films, including Sans
Toit Ni Loi “Vagabond” (1985), Sin Dejar Huella “Without a Trace” (2001), and
Vaibureta “Vibrator” (2005).

16

The treatment of female narratives in these films suggests that the road movie is
a highly self-conscious genre, and one that is inherently tied to conflicted notions
of the road’s cultural construction. By incorporating minority representations
into the mythology of the road, these films consider the impact of identity—
specifically the overlap of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation—
on shaping different experiences of the road. These narratives express how
belonging to a minority group places the individual at odds with society and
serves as the impulse for the road trip, whether that trip is structured as a form
of escape or, as most road trips are, a search for personal identity. In their variety
and scope, these female narratives bring together a diverse array of perspectives
on the American road in order to refashion the notion of white male exclusivity
that has long been the basis of its mythology.
1. “However long, but it stretches and waits for you”: Men on the
Literary Road

No study of the road in American fiction would be complete without acknowledging
the historical literary contributions of Walt Whitman, John Steinbeck, and Jack
Kerouac, who are today regarded as the founding fathers of the road genre in
American fiction. Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” was published before paved
roads became a defining feature of the American landscape, but the poem has
remained one of the most-cited texts by American road scholars for its influence on
the creation of the genre in the early 20th century. Whitman’s pioneering influence
has been noted in Kris Lackey’s RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative,
Katie Mills’ analysis The Road Story and the Rebel, and Ronald Primeau’s seminal
study of the road genre in American literature, Romance of the Road, in which
he writes, “‘Song of the Open Road’ is an epitome of the themes and concerns of

17

later American road narratives which invite readers to move against the grain and
challenge dominant values.”5 Because of its influence on the road tradition and
its prominence in studies about the genre, Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road”
deserves careful consideration in this chapter.
“Song of the Open Road” begins with a celebratory account of the many different
people who come together to occupy the space of the road. It is worth noting
that Whitman’s road is not designated as a masculine space, but instead as one
equally shared among men and women. In fact, Whitman views the road as a
site of community formation rather than solitary wandering, and as a result,
women form a necessary part of its constituency. His open invitation to women
is demonstrated when he writes, “Allons . . . whoever you are, come forth! Man
or woman come forth!”6 Interestingly, Whitman’s characterization of the road as
a communal space runs counter to the majority of road narratives that follow in
the decades after his poem’s publication. He avoids the strong sense of autonomy
that will later become one of the most integral tropes of the road, although, as
Gordon Slethaug notes, “there is plenty of self-celebration in other poems by
Whitman.”7 In “Song of the Open Road,” he instead seeks the company of others
on the lonely road that is defined as life itself, writing, “Camerado, I give you my
hand . . . Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?”8
Over the course of the poem, Whitman also emphasizes that his fellow travelers
are not among the same privileged class to which he belongs, but rather form
the outcasts of American society in the mid-19th century: “the black with his
woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person . . .”9 Although Langston
Hughes would criticize Whitman’s limited portrayal of African-American identity

18

in his later poem “I, Too, Sing America” (1945), Whitman’s brief inclusion of these
abject travelers reminds readers that although he celebrates the democratization
of mobility, he recognizes that the road is not a chosen path for many. As Kenneth
Kusmer notes in Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History,
many of the vagrants who ended up on the road out of economic necessity
included army veterans with physical or psychological injuries, escaped former
slaves or newly freed African-Americans with limited options for employment,
or simply poorly educated men and women seeking to escape the poverty they
faced in rural communities. By celebrating the existence of these men and
women on the road alongside himself, Whitman attempts to create an inclusive,
democratic community on the road. Though he avoids directly criticizing
America’s marginalization of its underclass, Whitman established a space for
later twentieth-century figures like John Steinbeck, Jim Tully, and even Charlie
Chaplin’s comic “little tramp” character to take a more critical stance on the
issue of vagrancy.
1.1: “I mean, whither goest thou, man?”: Jack Kerouac’s mythical
American Road

In 1893, American historian Frederick Jackson Turner announced the closing of
the frontier in geographical terms. But by the turn of the 20th century, Americans
were just getting their first glimpse into the frontier of the future, which existed
in the highways that would soon sprawl over the entire country. As evidence
of the influence of frontier mythology on road travel, Kris Lackey notes that
early automobiles were often referred to as “pioneering machines.”10 The early
influence of the frontier is still evident in the naming of American car models
today—the Expedition, the Explorer, the Trail Blazer, the Bronco, and so on.

19

American road scholar Phil Patton writes that automobiles and highways “froze
the values of the frontier by making movement a permanent state of mind,”11 a
process that paved the way for the success of Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957. On
the Road is revolutionary for making the road itself the destination, rather than
just the means of moving from one place to another. It defines the road trip as
a social protest against mainstream, middle-class American values, a shift that
gives the road the values that are associated with it today.
Noting that the connotation of social protest was not unique to Kerouac, Ronald
Primeau argues that, “in some ways, all road trips are protests. People leave
home to change the scene, to overcome being defined by custom, tradition, and
circumstances back home, and—at least for a while—to construct an alternative
way of living.”12 Kerouac’s work, however, is instrumental in situating the road
trip as a journey of spiritual longing; he imagines the mass exodus of young, hip
Americans from mainstream society to a mythical promised land, a Beat Paradise
that exists on the road if only they follow his invocation to “just keep rolling
under the stars.”13 More important, though less often discussed, is Kerouac’s
construction of the road as a site of male homosocial bonding, as On the Road
is predicated on the absence of women from its very first sentence. Kerouac’s
influence in reinforcing the road as a boys-only space is evident in the various
male-centered “buddy” road movies that rose to popularity after the publication
of On the Road.14
Before turning to a more sustained examination of Kerouac’s iconic novel, it is
first necessary to note the historical influence of road narratives of the Great
Depression. Just over a decade before Kerouac began writing, the migration of

20

families from farmlands in Oklahoma to the West inspired the popular genre
of what Slethaug terms “kin-trip” narratives, stories that complicate the single
narrator’s perspective with stories of other family members who are also along
for the journey. Of these narratives, perhaps the most enduringly popular is The
Wizard of Oz (book: 1900; film: 1939). A fantasy road narrative that provided
audiences with a much-needed distraction from the bleak reality of the country’s
economic situation, The Wizard of Oz also emphasizes the importance of home,
community, and family. Though she initially finds herself alone on a threatening
and dangerous road, Dorothy soon gains a series of companions, and realizes
by the end of the film that her family has been on the journey with her all along.
Another famous “kin-trip” narrative is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
(book: 1939; film: 1940), which chronicles the Joad family’s move from Oklahoma
to California in search of new opportunities in their worn-out jalopy. Theirs is not
so much a road trip in the conventional sense as it is an escape from poverty,
shaped by desperation and economic necessity. Like The Wizard of Oz, The
Grapes of Wrath places significance on the importance of family, a theme that is
poignantly captured in Steinbeck’s renaming of Route 66, the road that the Joad
family takes to California, as “mother road, the road of flight.”15
The Grapes of Wrath remained the most celebrated road story in American
literature until Kerouac’s On the Road dominated the genre just under a decade
later. The stunning disparity between the two texts sheds light on the rapidly
changing dynamics of the American road during the period. In the 1930s, novels,
films, and music about the road were used to critique the period’s economic
turbulence and appeal to the social conscience of their audiences. With the end
of the period, however, Slethaug notes that, “Gasoline as well as new and used

21

cars were all relatively cheap, young people could easily find part-time and fulltime jobs, and a new generation of youth had the money to spend and the time to
enjoy travel individually or with friends.”16 These factors allowed for the enormous
popular appeal of Kerouac’s literary road adventures, which transformed the genre
from one hoping to appeal to social conscience to one attempting to instigate a
new youth movement, urging young people—mostly men—to hit the road at top
speed, leave behind old social mores, and construct new identities for themselves.
Sal Paradise, the protagonist of On the Road as well as an avatar for Kerouac
himself, forms the ideal narrator for readers of the novel. He remains on the
outskirts of the narrative, simply following and documenting Dean Moriarty’s
frenetic adventures as they zoom from one end of the country to the other and
back. Dean is the radiant, beating heart of everything the Beat movement aspires
to, and Sal idolizes him as the model of a type of freedom he can only hope to
embody: “He was BEAT—the root, the soul of Beatific.”17 With an absentee father
and ex-wives and children spread out across the country, Dean remains free from
the deadening constraints of family, work, and the traditional American model of
stability. He perfectly captures the romantic beginnings of the Beat movement:
the exuberance, possibility, and promise of a new America full of radical and
exciting ideas. However, he is also an incredibly alienating figure; his presence
jeopardizes many of Sal’s relationships with others. Dean is a con man as well as
a wise man, and as the initial thrill of his magnetic persona fades away, it proves
ultimately counterfeit, just like the mythic promise of the road.
Judging by the sheer volume of literary criticism focused on On the Road, it
certainly appears as though more has been written about Kerouac than any other

22

author of the road genre. Primeau, Mills, Slethaug, and other major road scholars
have all made frequent reference to his tremendous influence on the genre.
On the Road is currently taught in countless high school classrooms across the
country, and has been referenced in numerous pieces of pop culture. In 2012,
it was adapted for the screen as a Brazilian-American collaboration between
producer Francis Ford Coppola and director Walter Salles, who previously
directed The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), a chronicle of Che Guevara’s motorcycle
trip through South America and perhaps the most influential non-Western road
movie of the twenty-first century. The sustained attention given to Kerouac’s
chronicle of his road adventures is a result of the many ways in which he
revolutionized the cultural space of the road. He and other Beat writers, as well
as Ken Kesey in the early 1960s, brought new meaning to the word “trip” through
their countercultural involvement in psychedelic drug use. In Beat writing, the
road trip is enhanced by the mind trip, whose vehicles of transport include
various uppers, downers, and hallucinogenic drugs. The conflation of language
associated with drug use and language associated with road travel is particularly
apparent in slang that arose in this period. Among these slang terms are the
aforementioned substitution of “trip” for the experience of psychedelic drug use,
“speed” for the drug methamphetamine, “gone” to express the state of being
deep in a drug euphoria, and “crash” to describe coming out of such a state. The
language of the substance-induced “trip” thus taps into the Beats’ longing for
spiritual as well as physical exploration. Their mode of transport has evolved, but
their desire still echoes Whitman’s conclusion in “Song of the Open Road” that
“the Soul travels; the body does not travel as much as the soul . . . and
parts away at last for the journeys of the soul.”18

23

Douglas Brinkley, famed creator of the Majic Bus, writes, “Kerouac is best
understood when you are older, for after all the hitchhiking and madcap driving,
and zany adventures, his despair lingers . . . His final message is that you’ve got
to get out and look for America . . . both within yourself and on the road . . .
and no matter what you find, you are better off than sitting in a cage.”19 Sal, the
protagonist of Kerouac’s On the Road, certainly does not find the America he
sought at the beginning of the novel, but his imagined destination is unattainable
from the start. Recalling the allegorical “road trip” of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s
Progress (1678), Sal believes he will find his “Celestial City” in the West, and
drives towards it with religious zeal. Indicative of his hopes, Sal’s name forms the
beginning of the word “salvation”, and its lengthened form, Salvatore, translates
to “savior” in Italian. Sal’s surname is the more blatant “Paradise,” and fittingly,
his journey west is filled with biblical prophesying about where it might be found:
“Now I could see Denver looming ahead of me like the Promised Land, way out
there beneath the stars, across the prairie of Iowa and plains of Nebraska, and I
could see the greater vision of San Francisco beyond, like jewels in the night.”20
With Sal’s search for Paradise, however, comes unavoidable disappointment. San
Francisco does not materialize as the holy land he earlier predicted, nor do any of
his other destinations. The final chapter of the novel transforms the road from the
site of Sal’s spiritual salvation to an endless circular path of yearning, searching,
and loss.
By the time Sal reaches the end of his road, the initial dream has soured, leaving
him to grumble about “the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our
actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road. All of it inside endless
and beginningless emptiness.”21 On the Road begins with a dream and ends with

24

disillusionment, and as Tim Hunt notes, “a return to the established order” that
Kerouac’s protagonist had been attempting to escape. The sense of despair in
Kerouac’s writing, as described by Brinkley, stems from the fact that Sal never
finds whatever it is that he was searching for by the end of the trip; the dream
of the road never quite matches its reality. The disillusionment that forms the
ultimate takeaway of Kerouac’s dream in On the Road is articulated by Theodor
Adorno in “Something’s Missing: A Discussion between Ernst Bloch and Theodor
W. Adorno on the Contradictions of Utopian Longing”:
[I]nsofar as dreams have been realized, they all operate as though
the best thing about them had been forgotten—one is not happy
about them. As they have been realized, the dreams themselves have
assumed a peculiar character of sobriety, of the spirit of positivism,
and beyond that, of boredom . . . one sees oneself almost always
deceived: the fulfillment of wishes takes something away from the
substance of wishes.22
Once the end of the road is reached, both Sal and the novel’s readers are left
with the sense of having been deceived. Kerouac’s promised utopia turns out to
be bleaker than initially imagined, a notion that becomes particularly important
when it is taken up and critiqued by road narratives that follow. In varying ways,
they all reveal a similar disappointment over having been misled by a vision of the
road that has been constructed as an extension of America’s cultural mythology.
The disillusionment present at the end of On the Road symbolizes the start of
an emerging shift in the depiction of the American road. This shift replaces the
communal feeling of Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road,” Steinbeck’s The Grapes
of Wrath, and Sal and Dean’s initial dreams in On the Road with an impending

25

sense of despair and fragmentation. The 1960s brought about a series of darkly
critical texts that center on motorcycling and the lurking dangers of the road,
which include Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels (1966), and films like Kenneth
Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), Roger Corman’s Wild Angels (1966), and Dennis
Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969). These texts replace the light social rebellion in which
Kerouac and his circle participated with actual criminal behavior. Easily the most
enduringly popular of these later narratives is Easy Rider, the story of two drugdealing buddies, Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt (Peter Fonda), who smuggle
cocaine from Mexico to Los Angeles and stash their payoff in the fuel tank of
Wyatt’s chopper. The main title of the film, Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild,” pays
homage to the rebellious social defiance of the 1960s, but also celebrates the
outlaw status inherent to biker culture. Like the motorcycle gang that becomes
the subject of Thompson’s Hell’s Angels, Billy and Wyatt take to the road not
simply as a protest of mainstream American life, but because they are forced out
of it. Although the romantic lens of counterculture somewhat colors these texts—
even Peter Fonda reduced Easy Rider to “a really good movie about motorcycles
and drugs”—they have a cynical and ultimately tragic view of America and its
future that is only hinted at in the conclusion of On the Road. The ad copy for
Easy Rider best captures the film’s unsettling tone in its tongue-in-cheek tagline:
“A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.”
Easy Rider begins with the idealistic notion that the road leads to freedom from
traditional American life’s constraints, but things quickly go south, literally and
figuratively. Wyatt and Billy hit the road on their choppers heading from California
to New Orleans, where they hope to arrive in time for Mardi Gras. Geographically
speaking, in relation to the larger body of texts about the American road, their

26

journey starts out in reverse—instead of moving West towards California, Billy
and Wyatt start there and head southeast on the iconic Route 66. As the film
progresses, the landscapes depicted on screen become increasingly threatening
and sinister. Idyllic scenes of sun-filled California and the desert lands of the
West turn to shadowy forests, and then hostile, rural Southern towns. Billy and
Wyatt also encounter several ominous setbacks on their way, including the
brutal murder of their temporary traveling companion, George Hanson (Jack
Nicholson), and a bad LSD trip in a cemetery. At the end of the film, their deaths
at the hands of two rednecks mark the final stage of the film’s disillusionment
with the road. While it once promised refuge for outcasts and non-conformists,
the road is no longer an escape route for such figures, as demonstrated by the
film’s violent ending.
Though tragic, Billy and Wyatt’s deaths are the culmination of a journey doomed
to failure from the start. They have been going the wrong way all along, a
sentiment that is reflected not only in their geographic reversal of the traditional
American road trip, but also in the fact that their “freedom” is built on money
from a drug sale they made at the beginning of the film. The progressively
menacing tone that the road takes on as they continue toward New Orleans is not
simply a critique of the reactionary hostility of the South, but their punishment
for the transgressions of their outlaw lifestyle. As George, the lawyer they pick up
halfway through their journey, points out, Billy and Wyatt symbolize a brand of
freedom that most Americans fear rather than celebrate:
Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
George: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But
talkin’ about it and being it, that’s two different things . . . Of course,
don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ‘cause then they’re gonna

27

get real busy killing and maiming to prove to you that they are. Oh,
yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about
individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.
Billy: Well, it don’t make ‘em runnin’ scared.
George: No, it makes ‘em dangerous.
The freedom that Billy and Wyatt represent to mainstream Americans is both a
challenge and a threat, and their deaths serve as their ultimate condemnation
by mainstream culture. Easy Rider is thus a film that is distinctly uneasy about
the construction of freedom as an American value, as well as the notion that
it can find expression on the road. Having bought their freedom (with money
acquired through criminal activity, no less) Billy and Wyatt exemplify the ultimate
emptiness of the value that most informs America’s cultural mythology.
Easy Rider is a cautionary tale that criticizes On the Road’s deification of road
travel as an antidote for middle-class complacency and the naïve idealism it
inspired in its readers. Billy and Wyatt form two opposite approaches to this
idealism: Billy’s immediate response to anything mildly idealistic is cynicism,
while Wyatt’s is enthusiastic approval. The dichotomy is best represented when
the two stay at a hippie commune and see its young residents planting seeds
in the rocky desert soil. Billy concludes, “they ain’t gonna make it . . . they ain’t
gonna grow anything here,” while Wyatt assures him, “They’re gonna make it.
Dig, man, they’re gonna make it.” The commune represents the pinnacle of 1960s
idealism, and Billy’s cynical response uncovers his own disillusionment with the
dream that led him to the road. Even darker, however, is Wyatt’s unshakeable
idealism, even when confronted with clear signs of the failure that the commune
kids will face in the coming winter months.

28

As the sixties wore on, Kerouac’s notion that freedom could be found on the
road became increasingly bleak. A similar sense of exasperation is illustrated
in one of the most famous scenes of Easy Rider, when Wyatt finally abandons
his optimism and admits, “We blew it.” The quote has largely been interpreted
as a comment on the failed idealism of the ‘60s, which constructed a dream
that could never come to pass in reality. By the end of Easy Rider, the refrain of
Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” takes on a portentous tone, marking Billy, Wyatt,
and the rebellious movement they represent as destined to certain death and
destruction. Curiously, women do not appear in Easy Rider, and are consequently
almost absent from the movement. As in On the Road, the only female characters
in the film exist to meet the sexual needs of the male protagonists, exemplified
by several sexually liberated women at the commune and two prostitutes hired in
New Orleans. By constructing women as stops along the road, Easy Rider shuts
them out of even the false construction of freedom that Billy and Wyatt create
for themselves. The following chapter will consider a series of revisionary road
narratives by and about women, which also critique and dismantle notions of
freedom on the so-called “open” road, but do so in very different ways.
2. Women in the Driver’s Seat: The Female Road Narrative in the
20th Century

American journalist Vanessa Veselka discusses a disturbing aspect of the lack
of female-centered road stories in an article for The American Reader, entitled
“Green Screen: The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why It Matters.” She
writes, “When a man steps onto the road, his journey begins. When a woman
steps onto that same road, hers ends.”23 Veselka suggests that this is the natural
conclusion in the cultural narrative around female drifters and hitchhikers, since

29

women on the road can only end their journeys in rape and death. As a result of
this pervasive narrative, women on the road become socially invisible, seen as
“already raped, already dead.”24 In contrast, the male traveler is perceived as
“potentially dangerous, potentially adventurous, or potentially hapless,”25 but in
all situations privileged with a degree of potential that is withheld from women.
The gap between male and female road narratives does not serve to protect
women from harm, but rather keeps them at home. The possibility of the quest is
barred to women because, as Veselka writes, “you can’t go anywhere if you can’t
step out onto a road.”26
Veselka sees the problem as a literary one, stating that “there is no female
counterpart in our culture to Ishmael or Huck Finn. There is no Dean Moriarty,
Sal, or even a Fuckhead. It sounds like a doctoral crisis, but it’s not.”27 It’s not
simply a “doctoral crisis” because narratives shape real-life perceptions; without
a positive narrative framework in which to place a woman traveling alone, her
journey becomes unrecognizable to the public, and therefore alienating and
threatening. While men on the road may arm themselves with the idealism of
centuries of male authors and road adventurers, women are a dangerous
blank page. It is presumed that they are running from something, or that
something is wrong with them, or perhaps that they are foolishly naïve enough
to risk near-certain sexual violence and death for a cheap ride—each line
of reasoning leads to the conclusion that perhaps female travelers deserve
what is coming to them. Instead of confronting the underlying problems in
our cultural narrative of the solitary woman on the road, it is preferable to
simply ignore her—“We turn away. We don’t want to see. We sanction [her]
invisibility . . . it’s just easier not to see.”28

30

Despite their invisibility, encounters with the road are not absent from the female
experience. Rather, they have been systematically expelled from American
road narratives. The most fundamental example of this exclusion occurs in the
first sentence of On the Road, where Sal simultaneously ousts his wife from the
narrative and begins his journey on the road with Dean: “I first met Dean not
long after my wife and I split up.”29 The erasure of Sal’s nameless wife is the first
step towards the homosocial bonding that occurs between Sal and Dean when
they leave the dreary domestic sphere behind. Kerouac would later receive some
criticism from female Beat writers for the lack of consideration he gives to female
characters in his novels. The most famous of these critically revisionist texts is
Joyce Johnson’s Minor Characters (1983), titled for the women who make up the
list of minor characters in Kerouac’s texts.30 The following descriptions of two
lesser-known women’s road narratives will be examined in the context of how
they engage with Kerouac’s myth-like conception of the road and critique his
assumptions about how it is experienced.
Literary criticism of the road in American literature, though sparse in general, has
historically granted more attention to men’s road narratives than those by and
about women. Cynthia Golomb Dettelbach’s In the Driver’s Seat: The Automobile
in American Literature and Culture (1976), which, as Alexandra Ganser notes,
is often cited as the first complete study of the road,31 takes all of its examples
from male writings, despite the fact that the 1960s and early ‘70s are particularly
rich periods of women’s road writing in America. Furthermore, the few critical
analyses published to date that do note the contributions of women to the genre
often relegate their discussion to chapters or sections within larger collections.
Ronald Primeau’s Romance of the Road, for example, is respected for its early

31

contributions to the field of road studies, but only mentions how female authors
“bring a different perspective and experience to their travels and writing,”32
discounting the possibility that their stories actively revise and reshape road
studies and even conceptions of the road itself. In focusing so narrowly on
male-centered texts, scholarship about the road has both contributed to the
decentralization of women on the road and overlooked a rich and diverse body
of literature.
Recently, a few more extensive studies of women’s road narrative have been
published. These include Sidonie Smith’s Moving Lives: 20th Century Women’s
Travel Writing (2001), Deborah Paes de Barros’ Fast Cars and Bad Girls (2004),
and Alexandra Ganser’s Roads of Her Own: Gendered Space and Mobility
in Women’s Road Narratives 1970–2000 (2009). Building on the important
contributions that the aforementioned studies have made to the scholarship
of marginalized women’s road narratives, this chapter will discuss several
important and often overlooked female road narratives of the last fifty years,
including Brenda Frazer’s Troia: Mexican Memoirs (1969), The Rain People (1969),
Diane Glancy’s Claiming Breath (1992), Erika Lopez’s Flaming Iguanas (1997),
Transamerica (2005) and Lana Del Rey’s “Ride” (2012). I have chosen these texts
for their significance in breaking down simplistic stereotypes of women on the
road and establishing a more complex narrative framework for female stories,
though they are not each without complications of their own.
Brenda Frazer’s autobiographical Troia: Mexican Memoirs (1969), originally titled
For Love of Ray, is both a road story and an ambivalent homage to Frazer’s thenhusband, Beat poet Ray Bremser. It chronicles the many trials she suffers over

32

the course of their relationship, the most central being the financial support she
provided him via sex work while she followed him across Mexico and around the
United States with their infant daughter. The narrative begins with a complicated
confession of Frazer’s consuming love for her husband:
Here is the way I really am: I HAVE GOT PLENTY OF NOTHING, if you
will excuse my banality. My heart belonged to Ray since I met him in
Washington, that is the basis of my life, and all life before that can
only be explained this way: that my heart knew that Ray was on his
way to me.33
That statement informs the painful series of events that follow, which describe
the depths to which Frazer would fall as a result of Ray’s destructive influence.
Throughout the narrative, Ray lurks as a menacing shadow, and his conviction
that it is Frazer’s duty to both conceal him from law enforcement and financially
support him becomes the impetus for Frazer’s agonizing experience on the
road. She does not willingly make the journey from town to town with her infant
daughter, but must do so in order to evade police while hiding her husband, and
later in order to follow him as he is jailed in Mexico, transferred to Texas, and
then transferred again to New Jersey. While the male Beat authors go on the road
for personal fulfillment and spiritual self-discovery, Frazer goes simply because
of her attachment to her husband. The sacrifices she makes to sustain his artistic
ambitions, which she supports without question despite his emotional and
physical abuses of her, illustrate the complicated expectations in place for female
members of the Beat generation.
Before his arrest, the unemployed Ray pressures Frazer to begin selling her body
as a way to provide an income for the family. She agrees on the terms that the

33

work will be temporary, but Ray’s arrest and imprisonment force her to take
on the role of primary earner for a longer period than she had anticipated. Her
narrative details the exhaustion and shame involved in sex work while moving
from town to town in Mexico with her daughter to evade the police and look for
potential clients. Like her narrative, Frazer’s authorial voice is fragmented and
undecided. She sometimes appears to feel empowered in her work, writing of
herself as a sexual subject and “enjoying what I am paid for, enjoying it immensely
at times.”34 At others, however, she shares her frustration at feeling manipulated
by her husband and ashamed of her work as a prostitute: “Ray is in control I
discover later, and I am just a useless wife who was so tired out that I did not
dare to enjoy anything anymore, the very dress that I wear is a badge and I know
that everyone knows what I have been through to keep things going.”35 The sense
of Frazer moving in and out of the painful realization of her hopeless situation
pervades the narrative, even as she resists characterization as a victim.
Living in a foreign country as the often-single parent to an infant daughter, Frazer
has few options for employment. She must generate income to cover rent and
living expenses on a consistent basis, but because she makes so little money as
a sex worker, she is forced into a frantic cycle of earning and spending. Frazer
participates in what is today referred to by sociologists as “survival sex,”36 a term
applied to sex workers who exchange sex for the fulfillment of basic, short-term
economic needs. Every time Frazer must once again pack up and leave one town
for another, her despair and weariness are evident. When she leaves Veracruz for
Texas, where Ray has been imprisoned for unlawful flight, she writes: “Just as the
going gets good, rather the staying, it is the end, and everything is abandoned . . .”37
While Kerouac writes about the road as promising excitement and adventure, Frazer

34

consistently laments the need to move. She strips away the romanticism of road
travel by articulating her experience as a single mother responsible for an infant, on
a tight budget, and under the constant threat of police detection.
Alexandra Ganser notes that it is important to remember that the female road
story is not uniform; it ranges “from narratives about adventure to stories about
coerced movement.”38 Frazer’s narrative falls somewhere in the grey area between
these categories, illustrating how the female experience of the road often evades
easy categorization. She challenges the simple depictions of women found in
the texts of male Beat authors, which consist of what Ganser calls “the beaten
wives” and mothers who stay at home, and “the Beat chicks,” who come along
on the road for short stints in the back seat.39 Instead, Frazer’s narrative is about
navigating the road while balancing her often-conflicting identities of mother and
Beat: “The bus ride to Mexico city . . . I am constantly with the baby on my lap,
broken hearted at every spell of crying, the frustration of not being a very good
mother really—trying to groove, trying to groove under the circumstances—and in
spite of it.”40 Her reflections on trying to be both a competent mother and Beat at
the same time portray the ways in which these roles are inimical; it is impossible
to “groove” when there is a crying baby in one’s lap, a constant reminder of “not
being a very good mother.”41 Instead of domesticating the space of the road by
bringing the mother out of the home, Troia highlights the sexual double standard
that is the prerequisite of every male Beat narrative: when men go on the road,
they leave their domestic responsibilities behind; when women go on the road,
they must bring them with them.

35

Frazer complicates the role of women in the Beat imagining of the road by
articulating a female subjectivity that is lacking in most Beat texts. Frazer retains
the signature aesthetic of Beat writing by adopting the model of free-association
used by Kerouac in On the Road, but pairs it with depictions lacking in his text
of female consciousness, desire, and sexuality. Furthermore, the narrative is an
expression of Frazer’s literary and artistic ambitions, from which women in the
Beat movement were historically excluded. In an interview with Nancy Grace
in Breaking the Rule of Cool: Interviewing and Reading Women Beat Writers
(1999), Frazer describes how she was attracted to the Beat movement because
it promised sexual freedom and appeared to embrace diversity. What she found
instead, as Troia demonstrates, were the same dominant values and gendered
restrictions that she had been attempting to escape from in mainstream
American society. From this perspective, Frazer’s return to her husband Ray at
the end of the novel might appear to be a disappointing testament to Frazer’s
complicity in her husband’s continued disrespect of her body, mind, and
emotional well-being. As Frazer claims in the 1999 interview, however, Ray was
the primary editor of the memoir, a position that put him in control of Frazer’s
narrative voice, just as he had control over her body as described in the text.
Despite any attempts on his part to edit the ending of the narrative into some
semblance of a happy ending, Ray cannot diminish Frazer being forced to put her
daughter up for adoption in Mexico, which imbues the ending of her narrative
with a sense of profound loss rather than closure.
Perhaps the most important, and least discussed, aspect of Frazer’s journey
on the road is that she has no car; all of the extensive traveling that occurs in
her memoir is done by bus. Though it may seem a minor detail, this is vastly

36

significant when considered in the context of the wider American experience of
the road. Irma Kurtz, author of The Great American Bus Ride (1993), a series of
reflections on her experiences of bus travel in America, points out that America
is a road country, and therefore, “[t]o be without wheels in America is to be
lame.”42 The public bus is the symbol of marginalized travel in America, the mode
of transport for, as Sidonie Smith describes, “the down and out, the errant, the
dispossessed, the poor, and the nut cases.”43 Frazer, a single woman who is visibly
poor (if not visibly a prostitute, if the self-conscious suspicions she describes at
several instances in her narrative are to be believed), and traveling by bus with
an infant, becomes the ultimate symbol for the abject traveler in the eyes of
more conventionally mobile Americans. As Smith alludes, bus travel has always
been linked in the American cultural imagination with a certain kind of highly
suspicious female sexuality, a category that Frazer often reluctantly recognizes
that she occupies.
Frazer’s lack of auto-mobility also coincides with her lack of control over the
journey she takes. Whereas Dean’s ‘49 Hudson in On the Road becomes a vehicle
for self-making and a marker of his footloose identity, Frazer’s lack of a car
emphasizes the fact that her journey is predetermined by her husband. Her lack
of agency is expressed in the process of her bus journey to Mexico City: “[Ray]
decided to stay in Mexico City for twenty-four hours more while it is decided for
me that I will travel to Veracruz by bus with N and the baby.”44 She lacks even
the ability to set her own travel plans, and is effectively just along for the ride
like one of the Beat chicks in the back seat of Dean’s Hudson. Furthermore, her
journey is not the free mad dash that Kerouac describes, but a nauseating flight
from place to place: “everything up until now has taken place fast on the go, the

37

screeching terror of speed, of everything falling out from underneath you . . .”45
The feeling refers not only to her constantly changing travel plans, but also to her
lack of control over her own movement. In her travels within the United States,
her movement is dually constrained by Ray and by the police, since she becomes
a fugitive through her association with Ray and her status as a sex worker: “I have
to go on . . . I am free of choices, being wanted by the police also.”46 Frazer’s
descriptions of the immobility she faces even while she is on the road mirror
the restrictions she faces as a wife, mother, and female member of the Beats.
Her story illustrates a fundamental difference between male and female travel
experiences within the Beat circle and in the 1950s, and portrays the way in which
the promise of freedom on the road is largely illusory for women of this period.
In the same year that Brenda Frazer’s memoir was published, Francis Ford
Coppola’s early feature The Rain People (1969) opened in American theaters.
Frequently referred to as Coppola’s most “personal” film,47 it is an intimate
exploration of the difficulties facing a married woman alone on the road.48 The
film follows protagonist Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight) as she decides to
leave home one rainy morning in her station wagon, without revealing to her
husband or parents where she is going. Over the course of the film, it becomes
evident that Natalie is pregnant, a responsibility for which she is not prepared.
As Coppola explains in an interview, Natalie’s road trip is a form of escape—
she wakes up one morning and “suddenly starts to feel her personality being
eroded” by her marriage and the looming possibility of having to care for a
child.49 She makes her cross-country trek in her station wagon, ironically the
symbol of suburban motherhood. Through her escape from home and the
stifling pressures of domesticity, Natalie reshapes the station wagon as a

38

symbol of her dissention, proving that women can also use auto-mobility to
rebel against social conventions.
Still, the film does not suggest that unhappily married women can find freedom
if they leave home for the road. Although Natalie’s station wagon provides her
with the mobility that Frazer lacks and allows her to physically escape the reality
of married life, she still finds that she cannot mentally separate her personal
identity from her role as a wife. The difficulty is expressed through Natalie’s
continuous references to herself in the third person, as when she explains her
reasoning for leaving home by saying, “the married lady—she was getting
desperate.” Also emphasizing the difficulty she finds in expressing her personality
are several ill-fated encounters she has with men on the road. The first of these is
with a hitchhiker, Killer (James Caan), a former college football player nicknamed
for his ferocity on the field, who is left mentally incapacitated by a concussion
and paid off to leave his university. Killer travels with Natalie for the majority of
the film, and his helplessness becomes so burdensome that she feels as though
she is caring for a small child. Stuck in the role of mother that she had been
attempting to escape, she seeks various ways to get rid of Killer that include
abandoning him at a gas station, but she later returns after feeling guilt over the
decision. Killer thus becomes a symbol for Natalie’s unborn child, a surrogate
who is finally aborted at the film’s tragic end when he is shot and killed while
trying to protect Natalie from an emotionally unstable cop (Robert Duvall) with
whom she is out on a date.
Though intellectually hindered by his injury, Killer is highly emotionally perceptive
and provides startling insight into Natalie’s difficulty in locating her personality.

39

At one point in the film, as he and Natalie are driving through the rain, he tells
her a story he has concocted about the rain people: “The rain people are people
made of rain, and when they cry, they disappear altogether, because they
cry themselves away.” Though seemingly childish, the story reflects Natalie’s
precarious self-identity; like the “rain people,” her personality is always on the
verge of dissolving away. In another complex scene, cinematography is used
to depict Natalie’s fragmented identity as she attempts to seduce Killer before
realizing that he is mentally impaired. In the scene, she is filmed through a dualpaneled motel mirror using multiple cameras so that her reflection is constantly
shifting across the screen. The camera work presents Natalie as elusive, just as
Natalie herself struggles to discover her desires now that she has left home to
reclaim her independence.
Natalie’s spiraling loss of self is again emphasized in several increasingly selfaccusatory phone calls she makes to her husband from telephone booths across
the country. In the first, Natalie explains the necessity of her departure by saying,
“I used to wake up in the morning and it was my day, and now it belongs to you.”
Later in the film, however, she becomes convinced that she herself is at fault for
her unhappiness in their marriage:
Always before I’ve been blaming you, because you’re the man. And
you’re the one who’s trying to trap me and turn me into a domesticated
wife with a bunch of kids. And I don’t think that anymore. I think it’s
me. It’s my fault. I’m the one who’s misled you. I’m the one that’s
incompetent . . . I’m a lousy wife.
After listing a series of flaws relating to her difficulty in fulfilling expected
domestic duties, which include her dislike of cooking and her supposed

40

sloppiness, Natalie concludes that she has proven to be a failure as a wife.
Because her entire identity is bound up in various performances of domesticity
involved in being a wife, the ramifications of her failure also lead her to assume
her incompetence as an individual. Her husband Vinny, unimpressed with her
confession and enraged that she still refuses to return, begins assuring her that
he will allow her to have an abortion if that will bring her home. Their utter failure
to understand one another is demonstrated when Killer severs the telephone line
outside of the booth in an attempt to get Natalie’s attention.
Natalie’s journey is an attempt to reclaim her freedom, but like Frazer, she
instead finds that the road only presents more of the same restrictions that she
had been trying to escape. At the beginning of the film, she justifies her decision
to leave to her mother by saying, “I just wanted to be free for a minute, five
minutes, half a day.” Once she is on the road, however, she does not find herself
“free,” but instead repeatedly discovers that she has been placed back into
the roles of wife and mother. This begins when she picks up Killer in what she
hopes will lead to a romantic fling, but as described earlier, instead finds herself
fully responsible for his well-being. In another attempted affair with a highway
patrolman who stops her for speeding (Duvall), she finds that he too cannot see
her as a distinct individual, but only as a projection of his former wife who died
several years before. In his attempts to impose his wife’s identity onto Natalie, he
nearly rapes her in his trailer before Killer bursts in and attacks him.
The tragically violent end of the film, which leaves Killer dead and Natalie
inconsolable over his loss, emphasizes that Natalie’s attempts to escape the
predetermined roles of wife and mother have been doomed to failure from

41

the beginning. The loss of Natalie’s personal identity, a theme that permeates
throughout the film, is made literal in Killer’s death. He now serves not as the
surrogate for Natalie’s unborn child, but as the embodiment of the personal
identity she had tried to reclaim on the road. His death also emphasizes that
other life growing inside of her, a life that will inevitably necessitate her return
home and her submission to the role of mother. Natalie’s inevitable fate is
emphasized in the closing scene when she cradles Killer’s body in her arms and
promises, “I’ll take you home and we’ll be a family.” Whereas Troia ends with the
loss of Frazer’s infant daughter to adoption, The Rain People ends with Natalie’s
resigned acceptance of her unborn child, which comes with the loss of her
personal freedom. In The Rain People, Coppola displays an early consciousness
regarding society’s troubling expectations of femininity, which can overwhelm
and eventually obliterate a woman’s personal identity. Unlike the cautionary
warning in Easy Rider’s violent ending, the final scene of The Rain People is a
lament. It reminds viewers that women undergo irrecoverable personal losses
when they take on the responsibilities of domestic life, and the trauma of these
losses haunts them even on the supposedly liberating open road.
2.1 “I pass thru Kansas all my life”: Mapping Out Heritage and Personal
Identity on the Road

The counterculture of the 1960s was mostly a white, middle-class movement,
and therefore it was mostly white women like Brenda Frazer and Coppola’s
Natalie Ravenna who found their way onto the road in this period. It would take
several decades before the road would become a space of female empowerment
that was also inclusive of racial, ethnic and sexual minority voices. With thirdwave feminism in the early 1990s, female writers and artists with ties to groups

42

that had been historically marginalized in American society began to assert
their voices in road narratives. In her brief, autobiographical poetry collection
Claiming Breath, published in 1992, Cherokee-American author Diane Glancy
describes the process of driving as the mapping of a fragmented identity on the
road. Separating her narrative position from the more limited ones of the women
before her, Glancy describes how she divorced her oppressive husband and
raised her two children on her own, using the road as an important part of her
career as Artist-in-Residence for the State Arts Councils of both Arkansas and
Oklahoma. For her, the road does not symbolize the yoke of male oppression, but
a way to escape it, as well as a path to the fulfillment of her literary ambitions.
The lure of the frontier, as the history of American migrations attests, involved
exploitation as well as exploration. As a result, the road has traditionally been
a threatening and dangerous space for Native Americans. In 1830, President
Andrew Jackson passed the “Indian Removal Act,” requiring Native Americans
to relocate to reservations that were outside of the vicinity of white settlements
and farms. Eight years later, government officials forcibly marched the Cherokees
from Georgia to Oklahoma in what has come to be referred to as the “Trail of
Tears.” Unlike the westward migration of white settlers looking for a brighter
future for themselves and their families, this road west had none of the romantic
associations of heroism and freedom. Slethaug notes that nineteenth-century
depictions of Native Americans on the road are “almost entirely negative, usually
consisting of images of sneaky, hostile, and marauding bands that were intent
on killing the white pioneers.”50 The characterization followed Native Americans
into more contemporary depictions in literature and film, particularly in Westerns
such as John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939) and, through a more critical lens,

43

The Searchers (1956).51 While several recent road movies have attempted to
rewrite Native American identity on the road, notably Powwow Highway (1989),
Sherman Alexie’s short story, “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” and
the film it inspired, Smoke Signals (1998), the central voices in these narratives
remain masculine.
The lack of female voices in literature of the road is thus only magnified in
marginal road narratives, a fact that challenges the apparent democratic quality
that Walt Whitman praised in “Song of the Open Road.” Diane Glancy is among
the first major literary voices to explore the experience of being female as well
as Native American on the road. Despite the many narratives that claim the
road as a masculine space, her work demonstrates its potential to unsettle
white American power structures built upon gender division and the oppression
of minorities. As Mikhail Bakhtin articulated in his 1937 article “Forms of Time
and Chronotope in the Novel,” on the road “[p]eople who are normally kept
separate by social and spatial distance can accidentally meet; any contrast may
crop up, the most various fates may collide and interweave with one another.”52
At its heart, as Bakhtin understands it, the road is perfectly suited to chance
encounters between people of different personal backgrounds and perspectives.
Viewing it in this light, the space of the road becomes fertile ground for the
establishment of a diverse community instead of the homogenous in-group
celebrated by Kerouac and the white, male-authored narratives after which his
work is modeled.
Diane Glancy and others successfully incorporate empowering solitary travel
into the female experience. Brenda Frazer did not have the privilege of solitary

44

travel, and therefore has few reflections to offer on the process beyond “got to
get there and quick—damn the crying and wet diapers and laps full of Gerbers
on the bus.”53 In contrast, Diane Glancy uses Claiming Breath to articulate
the experience of deliberate solitary and reflective travel as a process of selfdiscovery and self-shaping. The road for Glancy is not merely a physical space,
but a metaphorical one that divides her two identities of white American and
Native American: “I was born between 2 heritages & I want to explore that empty
space, that place-between-2-places.”54 Glancy maps out the metaphorical
space of inter-ethnicity through the process of physical road travel, finding the
intersection of the physical road and her inner road in the process of exploring
both simultaneously. In bell hook’s study of marginality as a site of resistance,
titled “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness,” she articulates a
similar notion regarding the intersection of physical and metaphorical space:
Spaces can be real or imagined. Spaces can tell stories and unfold
histories. Spaces can be interrupted, appropriated, and transformed
through artistic and literary practice . . . [This is a] message from that
space in the margin that is a site of creativity and power, that inclusive
space where we recover ourselves.55
In some sense, all road narratives tap into the notion of using physical space as
a way to “tell stories and unfold histories,” but for women, the process is even
more important because of their historical exclusion from the road narrative. By
articulating her experience of the road as a woman and as a cultural minority,
Glancy is able to narratively imprint her story onto the road narrative.
The concept of claiming space, which Glancy expresses in terms of the
physical imagery of the Oklahoma plains where her Cherokee ancestors were

45

forced to settle, is incredibly significant to her conception of the road. She
revisits the association of space with tribal territory, a historical trend that
was disrupted with the coerced movement of her ancestors. Being of mixed
heritage has forced Glancy to claim her own space in which to express an
identity that has traditionally been absent from the road as well as American
society at large. Glancy avoids deifying the freedom of the open road in a
manner similar to On the Road, but neither does she proclaim its failure
as Easy Rider does. Instead, she portrays how female authors view road
travel as a negotiation with boundaries, as well as with the possibilities
that are opened to them. Deborah Clarke argues that, “if western culture
and western literature have been predicated upon the woman in the house,
then the presence of women on the road radically unsettles assumptions
of domesticity, gendered identity, and gendered literature.”56 However, as
discussed earlier, Brenda Frazer’s Troia underscores how women are often
subject to the same requirements of domesticity on the road as they are
in the home, illustrating that simply being on the road does not inherently
unsettle gender roles or assumptions.
Unlike Frazer’s restrictive experience on the road, Glancy is able to rewrite
movement as empowering, even though it is frightening. She writes, “I had spent
years hiding behind my husband, the children & housework. Now the land & sky
were open. That’s what’s frightening about the prairie at first / its barrenness &
lack of shelter . . . I started late with only a map given to me by other women
who said the territory was there.”57 Glancy’s experience of an “open” road only
emerges after she leaves behind the domestic responsibilities of her “husband,
the children & housework,” an option that was not available to Frazer, Natalie,

46

or many other married women that came before her. These women had
previously traveled the same metaphorical territory and realized its potential
for “openness,” but were restricted in ways that Glancy is not. By constructing
her “map” as a gift from these women, Glancy erases the masculine associations
of the road and reclaims it as both a feminine space and a space for women
caught between two cultural identities. In doing so, she paves the way for the
female narratives that appear later in the 1990s, many of which similarly note the
increasing openness of the road for women and also introduce humor as a new
means by which to reshape it.
2.2 “But Damn, I Look so Good in my Biker Jacket”: The Role of Humor in
Dismantling Stereotypes of Women on the Road

As Alexandra Ganser notes, road narratives of the mid-1990s began introducing
humor to contest the seemingly one-dimensional victim narrative of the female
road experience. Diane Glancy’s Claiming Breath serves as a midpoint between
these later narratives and the earlier ones of the 1960s, like Troia and The Rain
People, which center on the difficulties of white women with husbands and
families on the road. Humor has been integral to distinguishing the narratives of
cultural, racial, and (in particular) sexual diversity from these earlier texts, as
well as making them more accessible to mainstream American audiences. The
use of humor in these narratives also plays an important role in shaping the
contemporary road movie genre more broadly,58 which has recently reached
a level of popularity in mainstream American culture that surpasses even
that of its origins in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The texts that this section
will focus on are Erika Lopez’s graphic novel Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated
All-Girl Road Novel Thing (1997) and the film Transamerica (2005).59 Like the

47

previous female-centered texts discussed in this study, these narratives have
been sparsely analyzed in critical studies of the road genre, but nevertheless
provide rich and varied depictions of mobility from racially and sexually
diverse female voices.
In her autobiographical queer picaresque, Flaming Iguanas, Erika Lopez recounts
her cross-country motorcycle road trip and shatters the view of women as victims
of the male mythology of road travel. She parodies the mythical journey of finding
oneself depicted by On the Road. In doing so, she finds much about herself to
parody as well. Far from self-deprecating, Lopez’s humor comes from a place of
female empowerment. It holds the potential to disrupt patriarchal oppression
that Hélène Cixous describes in her article “Castration or Decapitation?”:
Culturally speaking, women have wept a great deal, but once the tears
are shed, there will be endless laughter instead. Laughter that breaks
out, overflows, a humor no one would expect to find in women—which
is nonetheless surely their greatest strength because it’s a humor that
sees man much farther away than he has ever been seen . . . And her
first laugh is at herself.60
Lopez uses the dual-edged parody that Cixous references to mock not only the
masculine construction of the road and her own misadventures as a female
traveler in a traditionally male sphere, but also racial stereotypes in America. The
latter occurs as a parody of audience and self, and is evident in the cover art of
her graphic novel. It features a smiling reincarnation of Miss Chiquita, cover girl
of the Chiquita Brand American banana distributors. However, her traditional
outfit of puffed sleeves and fruit-studded headdress is enhanced with large gold
hoop earrings, bold eyeliner, shining leather motorcycle boots, and an actual

48

motorcycle. Conflating stereotypical images of Puerto Rican heritage through the
traditional Chiquita outfit and the more modern, “chola” cultural associations
of hoop earrings and thick eyeliner, Lopez pokes fun at the ways in which white
American culture tends to stereotype Hispanic women. In addition, however, the
various identities represented in the cover art also parody Lopez’s own attempts
to get in touch with a heritage that seems alien to her; later in the narrative, she
suggests that she feels more in touch with white American culture than with her
Puerto Rican heritage. With the addition of the motorcycle on which her avatar
sits, however, Lopez also suggests the reclamation of mobility, both literal and
figurative, that will take place in her narrative.
Bringing a third-wave, “riot grrrl” influenced feminism to the road experience,
Lopez reconstructs the road as a space open to women, as well as a site of
feminist contestation. She begins by making light of how the American road has
been constructed as the ultimate path to (masculine) self-fulfillment. Before she
leaves on her trip, she reflects:
Why was I doing this? What was I proving? What the fuck was this myth
that said you have to leave your job, your life, your tear-stained woman
waving good-bye with a kitchen towel behind the screen door so you
can ride all over the country with a sore ass, battling crosswinds, rain,
arrogant Volvos, and minivans?61
Lopez is unsatisfied with the male reasoning for leaving home to travel around the
country because it does not seem appealing or practical, and even less so when
applied to the female experience. Her reference to the dream of freedom as a
“myth” is particularly telling of her own suspicions of its construction, which are

49

enforced in her belittlement of the experience as a Quixotic quest in which men
do battle with “crosswinds, rain, arrogant Volvos, and minivans.” Nevertheless,
Lopez once again turns the comedy on herself—no matter how unappealing
the road may seem from a logical perspective, she nevertheless feels the same
impulse to abandon everything and set out to explore it.
The myth that solitary road travel is a positive, transformative experience is one
with which Lopez continually grapples over the course of the narrative. Toward
the beginning of her road trip, she writes, “I told everyone I was gonna do
this, so I gotta do it . . . or I will be living a life of feminist-sounding somedays.
And I will be more responsible, powerful, and amazing afterward.”62 Here, she
reappropriates the road experience by clarifying that she is not going on the road
for the reckless and seemingly pointless reasons that men do, but to reclaim
it as a feminist space. Nevertheless, her initial notion that the road holds the
mystical key to transforming her into a “responsible, powerful, and amazing”
woman forms a new myth that Lopez will spend the rest of her narrative tearing
down. Lopez parodies the fact that her impulse to assume that the road will
be transformative stems not from a Kerouac-influenced desire for adventure,
but from loneliness. Echoing a truth that Bruce Springsteen hit upon when he
sang, “Baby, I’m just a scared and lonely rider,” in his iconic “Born to Run,” Lopez
writes, “This is the loneliest feeling I can feel and it scares me to the point of
wanting to smoke a clove cigarette and do something like ride across the country
on a motorcycle I don’t know how to ride.”63 Her loneliness highlights another
aspect that separates her narrative from Kerouac’s: while he had Cassady as a
companion on the road, Lopez makes her trip alone. Instead of searching for
a companion, however, she sets out to prove that despite all of the cultural
stereotypes, women can travel the road alone.

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Lopez uses humor to negotiate myth formation and destruction, as well as
to disrupt the “rules” for women traveling alone on the road. To do this, she
relies on bonding with her audience through popular culture references, slang,
and citing previous female road stereotypes for the purposes of comedic
resignification. It is essential that her readers first recognize the tropes she is
parodying for her humor to function effectively, and to this end, Vanessa Veselka’s
notion that women on the road are seen as “already raped, already dead” is of
particular importance. Lopez dismantles this notion by writing, “There is this
myth that if you’re a woman traveling alone people will instantly want to kill you.
This is an example of where you shouldn’t listen to anybody. So much of the way
we live and the decisions we make in this world are based on fear . . .”64 Lopez
plays into traditional cautionary tales of women on the road to create a revisionist
road trope that empowers women rather than painting them as victims. In her
story, the road belongs to women just as much as it belongs to men, and she
challenges her audience to recognize that she, and they, have every right to
share it with male travelers. In addition to breaking down the stereotype, Lopez
also provides advice to future female travelers, writing, “The louder you laugh
and the farther apart you plant your feet, the more respect you’ll get. Take up
space because it’s not a school dance.”65 Instead of simply retelling her own
experiences, Lopez creates a road trip manual for her female readers. She uses
self-directed humor as a form of self-protection as well as self-parody, urging
other women traveling on the road to laugh “louder,” and therefore reclaim the
road as a safe and empowering space for women.
The road text’s effectiveness at telling the stories of historically marginalized
groups is due to the mutability of the genre and its ability to accommodate
a range of diverse narratives. Its increasing fusion with other genres in the

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past several decades have led Neil Campbell to term the road narrative a
“transgenre,”66 a term that is particularly appropriate when applied to the
road movie. The road movie nearly always uses comedy, which becomes more
important when it involves the journey of a marginalized figure, because it
is used to break down barriers between white, mainstream America and the
“other” within that culture. In RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative,
Kris Lackey writes, “freedom on the road is not mainly a product of will
and space but of privilege bestowed by race and class.”67 Although Lackey
particularly singles out race and class as markers of privilege in America,
privilege is also bestowed on individuals who conform to normative gender
standards. Director Duncan Tucker’s 2005 comedy-drama Transamerica takes
Lackey’s point one step further by portraying the road from the perspective
of a transgender woman, illustrating the way in which even cisgender female
privilege can be taken for granted on the road.
Transamerica follows Bree Osborne (Felicity Huffman), a pre-operative
transgender woman living in Los Angeles after she receives a phone call from
a teenager in a New York correctional facility looking for his father, Stanley
Shupack, an identity that Bree has been striving to bury. Bree’s therapist urges
her to meet him, and despite her initial resistance, Bree finally agrees when
her therapist threatens to withhold her signature from Bree’s sex reassignment
surgery authorization. Upset at the prospect of having her surgery delayed,
Bree flies to New York to meet her “alleged” son with the hope that she can
get the reunion over with quickly and return to Los Angeles in time for her
surgical appointment. Once she arrives, however, she finds herself unwilling to
reveal her full identity to her son, Toby (Kevin Zegers); instead, she comically

52

masquerades as a missionary from “The Church of the Potential Father.” After
hearing that he has been sustaining himself by hustling and has ambitions
of moving to Los Angeles to meet his “real father” and start a career in the
pornographic film industry, Bree takes pity and decides to take him back to
Los Angeles with her. Without enough money for his flight ticket as well as
hers, she buys a cheap used car from one of Toby’s drug-dealing friends and
the two set off on a cross-country road trip.
The driving force behind Bree’s road trip is the promise of her therapist’s
signature on a form that will allow her to have the sex-reassignment surgery for
which she has waited years to qualify. The surgery is crucial to Bree’s conception
of herself as a woman, because, like many other transgender women, she feels
uncomfortable living on the margins of either gender. Whereas Diane Glancy
yearns to explore “that place-between-2-places”68 of her heritage as a CherokeeAmerican, Bree is wholly averse to such exploration of the space outside of the
gender binary. As Sharon Cowan articulates, Bree does not want to live “a liminal
life on the frontier—on the threshold between genders.”69 Ironically, she must
nevertheless come to terms with her liminal situation on the frontier space of the
road. There, she is made to contend with her past in the form of her estranged
son before she is permitted to traverse the threshold of “normative” femininity.
Humor is used continuously in Transamerica, particularly in relation to Bree’s
attempts to live “stealth,” a term used within the transgender community to
refer to hiding one’s status as transgender. Her attempts to pass unnoticed in
mainstream society are put into sharp relief through the vehicle she acquires in
New York for the trip—a neon yellow station wagon with zebra print lining. If, as
Irma Kurtz suggests, one’s mode of transport becomes a reflection of one’s status

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in American society, Bree’s car becomes a constant humorous marker of her
status as “other” when all she wants to do is blend in.
Over the course of the film, Bree is continuously faced with challenges to the
legitimacy of her femininity. In a diner in Arkansas, a young girl asks her if she is
“a boy or a girl,” a question that reminds Bree that despite her efforts, she is not
perceived as a natural woman but as a “freak,” a label that she detests. Her road
trip is no longer a rebellious journey of self-making, but an attempt to merely get
back home while preserving a precarious sense of self that is constantly called
into question by those around her. As even the title Transamerica implies, no
matter how hard Bree tries to hide her status as transgender, it will always color
both her own identity and the way in which she is perceived by others. More
optimistically, however, the title also implies not only movement across the
country, but also the fluidity of gender in twenty-first century America. In this
sense, the film opens up the notion of community, suggesting that Bree is not
alone in her struggle and that there are other transgender Americans who identify
with her quest for mobility. Mobility is taken up and revised in the film not only
as a physical mode of transport, but as the freedom to cross a gender boundary
that Bree and other transgender individuals are currently restricted from crossing
without the consent of a psychologist. While Transamerica uses humor to explore
this issue, it does not trivialize its importance, as demonstrated when Bree asks
the doctor in charge of providing her surgical authorization, “Don’t you find it odd
that plastic surgery can cure a mental disorder?” Her exploration of her lack of
mobility on the metaphorical road to acquiring a female body thus remains at the
heart of her narrative, and challenges viewers to realize that the notion of gender
privilege remains one that is often taken for granted in our society.

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In contrast to the lighter tone of both Flaming Iguanas and Transamerica, the
configuration of women’s place on the road is taken up in a more complex and
unsettling way in the work of contemporary singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey.
Her 2012 music video “Ride” revises notions of freedom, mobility, and female
sexuality on the road in ways that seemingly counter its liberating construction
in many female road narratives of the last twenty years. Unlike Diane Glancy’s
Claiming Breath, Lopez’s Flaming Iguanas, and Tucker’s Transamerica, Del Rey
once again configures the road as a space where women only exist as passengers
in a realm of male mobility. In fact, her video insists that freedom can be found on
the back of a man’s motorcycle, a concept that echoes the complicated female
narratives that still exist on the margins of American women’s road stories.
Portraying a form of female mobility and sexuality that is neither simple nor
comfortable to consider, Del Rey challenges her viewers to consider that the road
still raises many unanswered questions regarding female travelers.
Evoking Easy Rider in its cinematography,70 “Ride” features widescreen shots of
Del Rey on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle against the backdrop of
the desert landscapes of Route 66. The young woman she portrays, implied to
be a sex worker, spends most of her time getting picked up by male drifters and
motorcycle gangs. Before the song begins, Del Rey narrates, “I was in the winter of
my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer.” Constructing her
mobility around these men that she meets on the road, Del Rey’s characters have
no distinct persona separate from the male figures with whom she travels. This is
further demonstrated when she continues, “My mother told me I had a chameleon
soul, no moral compass pointing due North, no fixed personality . . . Because I
was born to be the other woman, and I belonged to no one . . . to everyone.” The

55

empowered portrayals of female mobility in Glancy and Lopez’s texts appear to
be negated in Del Rey’s portrayal. Even Brenda Frazer, who might have arisen as
a parallel to Del Rey’s complicated portrayal of sex work on the road, is vocal
about her displeasure over having her mobility restricted by the men around her.
In contrast, Del Rey’s persona refuses to characterize herself as marginal and
instead celebrates her place as passenger in a male-driven fantasy, as well as
her status as “the other woman.” Through her repeated refrain of “ride, just ride,”
she also presents a nomadic longing that never materializes in the other female
road narratives discussed in this study.71 Without a specified end point, Del Rey’s
impulse to continue riding disrupts the very notion of road travel by suggesting
that it can exist as an endless circular movement.
The persona set forth in “Ride” recalls Irma Kurtz’s reflections on those women
on the margins of the road who unsettle normatively mobile Americans. As
suggested by the title of the song, Del Rey’s character is always a passenger,
mobile only by becoming an object and ornament of male desire. This position
leaves her with no set direction of her own. Nevertheless, Del Rey’s character
is the first among the works studied in this analysis to articulate the feeling of
having achieved absolute freedom on the road. Like Kerouac, Del Rey creates the
road as a mythological place where “the country that America used to be” still
exists, and where freedom is defined through the motto, “Live fast. Die young.
Be wild. And have fun.” She ends her song with the lyrics, “Are you in touch with
all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can
experience them? I have . . . I am free.” Recalling Easy Rider’s dark exploration
of freedom as a national value, Del Rey reminds viewers that the definition of
freedom, perhaps especially for women who make their living on the road, is
never straightforward and often unsettling.

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3. “Seek You”: The Female Road Movie in Contemporary International
Cinema

America has specific ties to the road genre for many reasons. American
manufacturers and entrepreneurs spearheaded the development of many
travel industries, making crucial contributions to the creation of railways,
airplanes, and automobiles. Furthermore, vast periods of American history are
characterized by the migration of large groups of people from one part of the
country to another—the influx of gold-seekers into California during the Gold
Rush, the movement of African-Americans from the farmlands of the South to
large cities on the East Coast, and the Western migration of many destitute
families as a result of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. For these historical reasons,
the road narrative has often been described as a distinctly American genre72
and even as an “American Archetype.”73 But a fascination with the road is by no
means exclusive to the geographical or cultural confines of the United States.
This section will discuss the portrayal of women on the road in a small sample of
international films, and how their representations revise the American myth of
the road narrative by filtering it through different cultural histories.
Director Ryuichi Hiroki’s 2003 road movie Vibrator is the story of a lonely woman
and her impulsive trip to Niigata with a truck driver she meets at a convenience
store. Hiroki is known for exploring Japan’s lost generation in critically acclaimed
films such as 800: Two Lap Runner (1994) and Tokyo Trash Baby (2000), and
he continues to explore that theme by examining love and companionship in an
increasingly isolated, post-industrial Japan. The story fittingly centers around
two free agents—Rei, a single freelance writer, and Takatoshi, the truck driver
she joins on the road whose job it is to haul freight cross-country. In a society

57

grounded in the importance of familial ties, their autonomy marks them as
marginal figures. Furthermore, through the variable nature of their work, they
form identities that counter and critique the American model of a stable career
and family life adopted by Japan in the post-war period. Although the film
captures a seemingly brief connection that forms between these two marginal
figures, it also refuses to offer neat solutions for the problems that arise for
women on the road.
Rei initiates her road trip with Takatoshi after feeling her cell phone vibrate in her
coat pocket when he enters the convenience store. The vibration is symbolic of
her sexual attraction to him, but also signals the awakening of her longing for a
change. As she looks at Takatoshi, an intertitle appears on the screen, reading,
“I want to go with you. I want to live. I’m still alive.” Rei’s articulation of her desire
to escape the deadening stagnation of her current situation via movement is
incredibly important in her conception of herself as a mobile figure. She does not
hesitate before wordlessly following Takatoshi out of the store and into his truck,
despite the many dangerous implications of women traveling alone with truck
drivers. The majority of the film from this point on is shot within the passenger
compartment of Takatoshi’s truck. The impact of Rei’s emotional issues, her
impulsivity, and the close quarters of her trip create an incredibly tense viewing
atmosphere, which is complemented by the film’s manipulation of preconceived
notions about women on the road. Although these conspire to create an initially
disturbing feeling of impending disaster, Rei remains unharmed and perhaps even
positively transformed by her journey with Takatoshi, an outcome that assists
in dismantling these stereotypes and reshaping them into the construction of a
legitimately “open” road for female travelers.

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As in Lopez’s Flaming Iguanas, the primary focus of the film is not the danger
of the road for women, but the loneliness of it, a notion that is brought up in a
central scene where Takatoshi explains his CB walkie-talkie. Rei asks him why he
repeats the letters “CQCQ”, and he answers, “Some people say it’s short for an
English phrase, ‘seek you’ . . . It’s the code for finding a buddy out there in a vast
sea of others.” The scene emphasizes both the loneliness of being on the road
and the need to find a sense of community that Whitman describes in “Song of
the Open Road.” Rei and Takatoshi briefly find this community in one another,
but the movie ends with Rei deciding to return to the convenience store where
she began her journey. The narrative choice to bring Rei back to the beginning
point of her journey critiques the notion of the road as an escape from structures
of oppression, by suggesting that the return home can also be a positive
experience. Rei’s view of herself as a mobile being and the subsequent personal
and emotional transformation rewrites the road as a place for female growth and
self-making, and also revises notions of the home as a stifling environment that
must be escaped. While many of the narratives discussed earlier present the road
as a path out of societal expectations of femininity, the ending of Vibrator instead
demonstrates that home too can be transformed into a site of contestation and a
space that supports progressive and empowering female expression.
Mexican director Maria Novaro’s film Without a Trace (2001) charts the road trip
of two women, both attempting to escape from threatening and abusive male
figures, from the U.S.-Mexico border to Cancún. Aurelia (Tiaré Scanda), a Mexican
sweatshop seamstress and the single mother of two young sons, steals a large
sum of money from her drug-dealer boyfriend and hopes to escape to Cancún
to provide a better life for herself and her family. Ana (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) is

59

a genteel and wealthy Spanish art broker dealing in forged Mayan pottery and
fleeing a persistent law enforcement official (Jesús Ochoa) who has caught on
to her illegal activity. Like Rei and Takatoshi, this unlikely pair meets at a gas
station convenience store, one of the few communal meeting spaces that exist
for solitary travelers on the road. Ana, lacking both a car and financial resources,
approaches Aurelia and proposes that she drive Aurelia’s station wagon to allow
her to rest in the back and feed her infant son, who is also along for the ride as a
silent passenger. Though initially suspicious, Aurelia finally agrees, and the two
set out on the road together.
Ana and Aurelia’s road trip negotiates with physical roadblocks and barriers to
mobility in several interesting ways. Over the course of their trip, they are tailed
by a red car with tinted windows, which, each woman assumes, contains the man
who is after her. Instead of posing a legitimate threat to the women, however,
the red car becomes a symbol of comic relief. They find new and creative ways of
leveraging the road to escape the car, at one point pretending their station wagon
has broken down and getting towed to a repair shop, only to exit through a back
alley when the red car shows up. At another point later in the film, they drive
through a roadblock sign, and when the car tries to follow them, it gets barred by
a cement mixer that backs up to close the path. Furthermore, Ana employs her
extensive knowledge of the Mexican wilderness, gained through her engagement
with the Mayan art forgers working in the area, to lead them down unmapped dirt
roads and allow them to eventually lose the red car for good.
Instead of taking on the dangerous and threatening connotations that it does in
many female road narratives, the road actively aids the two women’s escape.

60

The clearest demonstration of this occurs when Ana uses her knowledge of one
particular road to set up a trap for the red car (in the form of a hidden trench
in the road in the hopes that the driver will simply turn the car around once
he realizes that it cannot continue). Instead the car falls into the trench, and
the passengers drown in a lake beneath. Despite now having each committed
several punishable crimes, including second-degree murder, the drowned car
becomes symbolic of Ana and Aurelia’s ability to escape, as the title of the film
suggests, “without a trace.” Earlier in the film, they had already plotted out their
journey to a secret beach that Ana had secured as their escape destination. She
explains to Aurelia: “Look here. This is the coast of Tabasco. On the other side of
this lagoon is ‘Paradise.’ You know how to get to ‘Paradise’? On a dirt road. And
there are thousands of ‘Paradises’—towns, beaches, hotels, bars, brothels . . .”
The conversation is tongue-in-cheek, since Ana is referring to an actual town,
one of many locations in Mexico that is prefaced with “Paradise.” The scene also
seems like a direct reference to On the Road’s Sal Paradise, mocking the notion
of a metaphorical paradise that might exist on the road by listing off the various,
increasingly corporate forms that “paradise” takes in the “hotels, bars, [and]
brothels” that Ana recites. Unlike Sal’s futile destination, Ana’s “Paradise” is a
literal place that will take her and Aurelia to their intended paradise, a secret,
uninhabited beach near the Belize border. Furthermore, unlike the utopia that Sal
predicts the existence of but never finds, theirs actually materializes at the end of
the film, and is everything they had initially hoped for.
Because the film centers on two women on the road together, it draws inevitable
comparisons to Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise (1991). Maria Novaro, vocal about
her displeasure with the comparison, has stated, “It seems that you can’t film

61

a road movie with two female protagonists, because Thelma & Louise already
exists.”74 Though superficially similar, the two films speak to how the American
cultural perception of women on the road has remained surprisingly unchanged
in the last twenty years, despite the many new female road texts that have
emerged in that period. Overwhelmingly, Thelma & Louise is still viewed as the
pinnacle of the female road genre. This proves problematic in several ways, one
being that Thelma & Louise focuses more on the end of the road than on the
road itself. Drawing on Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Thelma and Louise are situated
as outlaws who cannot be allowed to survive beyond the end of the film. Their
ending serves as punishment, both by the law enforcement officials within the
narrative and by Scott himself as director of the film, for the transgressions
they make on the road. Thelma & Louise, like Easy Rider, ends with a cautionary
warning: the road is still a dangerous space for women. The ending of Novaro’s
film suggests the opposite. In fact, the film invites women to leave the constraints
and difficulties they face in the home to pursue their personal freedom on
the road. As discussed earlier, unlike Kerouac, Novaro proposes a utopia that
actually does materialize, and it exists as a feminine space where Ana and Aurelia
can raise Aurelia’s two sons without any disruptive male influences. Though
problematic in its own way by suggesting that the elimination of men will solve
both women’s problems, Novaro’s ending proves to be more hopeful about the
prospects of women on the road than Scott’s is, and more radical about the place
of women on the road.
While Vibrator and Without a Trace might appear to have somewhat more
simplistic endings than that of Thelma & Louise, they actually engage in a
radical transformation of the road into a space that is nonthreatening, and in

62

fact positively transformative for women. Their endings, unlike that of Thelma
& Louise, are not an ultimatum created as a result of patriarchal oppression.
Thelma and Louise must operate within a restrictive framework to choose their
own ending, but it is ultimately and inevitably linked to the insurmountable
restrictions they face. In contrast, Vibrator suggests that home remains a viable
option for return and Without a Trace proposes the possibility of legitimate
escape into a world where oppressive patriarchal systems no longer have any
bearing. Though less radical than the joint suicide pact at the end of Thelma
& Louise, the implications of the female utopia that Ana and Aurelia discover
are far more threatening to social conventions. Correspondingly, in Vibrator,
the physical return to the beginning of the narrative portrays home as a site of
transformation instead of stagnation, as it is depicted in On the Road. These
narratives reconfigure the notion of freedom in other cultural contexts, as well
as the solutions that the road provides for women looking for escape, and thus
rewrite the road as a supportive space for women.
Points of Return: The Ever-Winding Road

Since the late 1960s, women have found innovative ways to revise, parody, and
reconstruct the road narrative to conform to the female experience. Though by
far the most visible of these texts remains the problematic film Thelma & Louise,
its place at the pinnacle of our cultural imagination serves as testament to
women’s newfound visibility on the road. The female road experience has since
been taken up and reimagined by various other genres, and as this study has
sought to demonstrate, there is no one definitive female road narrative. The genre
includes road travel as racial and cultural identity formation, as queer adventure
picaresque, and as the path toward constructing a utopian, feminist community.

63

Other categories beyond the scope of this project have also emerged such as the
mother-daughter road narrative in Mona Simpson’s Anywhere But Here (1986)
and Esther Freud’s Hideous Kinky (1992). In addition, the place of the female
road narrative in the horror genre also deserves critical attention, as it appears
in such significant cultural texts as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), as well as
David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Drive (2001). Furthermore, the
evolution of the male road narrative to include racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity
in films like My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
(2004), among others, also deserves more sustained critical analysis. The
expansion of scholarship about these texts, as well as other currently evolving
female and male road narratives across various forms of media, will surely reveal
many more yet-uncovered roads.
The nature of the road itself makes any attempt to conclude a study of it
antithetical. The road continues. Through literature, graphic novels, films, and
music, women of various life experiences, ethnic and racial backgrounds, and
sexual orientations have taken up and transformed the road narrative. The road
narrative traverses transatlantic highways to be reconsidered in international
contexts and rewritten through the lens of other cultures. But most importantly,
the road narrative is also transformative for its readers, viewers and listeners.
It restructures the road as a space open to women as well as a site of feminist
contestation. It proposes that conforming to the domestic sphere is a choice
rather than a presupposed reality. It offers the road up as an escape, an
adventure, a space that encourages both rugged individualism and community
formation. It addresses the omissions in Kerouac’s On the Road and other malecentered road narratives by articulating a female consciousness of the road

64

experience. By providing a precedent for women on the road, the texts discussed
in this analysis make visible the woman on the road, and present road travel as
a viable option for their female audiences. Although much progress has been
made, the large and expanding body of women’s road texts demonstrates that
the road is only the start of a much longer journey, or perhaps many distinct
journeys, that are still being navigated.

65

ENDNOTES
Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road,” I.iv.1–2, www.poetryfoundation.org/
poem/178711.
2
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (New York: Viking, 1997), 120.
3
See note 1, II.i.1–2.
4
Erika Lopez, Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing (New York: Simon
& Schuster, 1997), 3.
5
Ronald Primeau, Romance of the Road: The Literature of the American Highway (Bowling
Green: Bowling Green State Univ. Press, 1996), 21.
6
See note 1, XIII.v.1–2.
7
Gordon E. Slethaug and Stacilee Ford, Hit the Road, Jack: Essays on the Culture of the
American Road (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Univ. Press, 2012), 7.
8
See note 1, XV.iii.1–4.
9
Ibid., II.ii.2.
10
Kris Lackey, RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska,
1997), 2.
11
Phil Patton, Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1986), 13.
12
See note 5, 33.
13
See note 2, 26.
14
For a more complete discussion of the male “buddy” genre in film, see “The Buddy
Politic” by Cynthia J. Fuchs, in Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark, eds., Screening the Male:
Exploring Masculinities in the Hollywood Cinema (London: Routledge, 1993).
15
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking, 1939), chap. 12.
16
See note 7, 28.
17
See note 2, 195.
18
Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road,” XIV.i.1–3, www.bartleby.com/142/82.html.
19
See note 5, 22.
20
See note 2, 14.
21
Ibid., 253–54.
22
Ernst Bloch, Jack Zipes, Frank Mecklenburg, and Theodor Adorno, “Something’s Missing:
A Discussion between Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno on the Contradictions of
Utopian Longing,” The Utopian Function of Art and Literature: Selected Essays (Cambridge:
MIT Press, 1988), 1.
23
Vanessa Veselka, “Green Screen: The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why It
Matters,” The American Reader, vol. 1, no. 4 (February/March 2013), 31.
24
Ibid.
25
Ibid.
26
Ibid., 33.
27
Ibid., 35.
28
Ibid.
29
See note 2, 1.
30
See Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983). Other women
in the Beat circle also contributed works that challenged the masculine insularity of Beat
1

66

culture, including Hettie Jones’s How I Became Hettie Jones (1990) and Diane di Prima’s
Recollections of My Life as a Woman (2001).
31
Alexandra Ganser, Roads of Her Own: Gendered Space and Mobility in American
Women’s Road Narratives 1970–2000 (Rodopi: Amsterdam, 2009), 50.
32
See note 5, ix.
33
Brenda Frazer, Troia: Mexican Memoirs (Champaign: Dalkey Archive Press, 2007), 1.
34
Ibid., 48.
35
Ibid., 114.
36
Elizabeth Bernstein, Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex
(Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2007), 21.
37
See note 33, 71.
38
See note 31, 41.
39
Ibid., 45.
40
See note 33, 9.
41
Ibid.
42
Irma Kurtz, The Great American Bus Ride: An Intrepid Woman’s Cross-Country Adventure
(New York: Poseidon, 1993), 21.
43
Sidonie Smith, Moving Lives: Twentieth-Century Women’s Travel Writing (Minneapolis:
Univ. of Minnesota, 2001), 194.
44
See note 33, 15.
45
Ibid., 16.
46
Ibid., 87.
47
Gene D. Phillips, Godfather: The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola (Lexington: Univ. of
Kentucky Press, 2004), 56.
48
Although The Rain People was favorably reviewed by Roger Ebert and starred James
Caan and Robert Duvall, who would go on to gain fame in their later collaboration with
Coppola in the hugely popular film The Godfather, it was not a commercial success and
today remains almost completely obscure.
49
See note 47, 55.
50
See note 7, 23.
51
Deborah Paes De Barros notes that The Searchers is perhaps “the most famous women’s
cinematic road story,” and argues that it illustrates the necessity of the heroine’s return
home. The necessity of return is interestingly challenged in several American female road
narratives that come afterwards, however, most notably in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise
(1991).
52
Mikhail M. Bakhtin, “Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel,” The Dialogic
Imagination: Four Essays (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1981), 243.
53
See note 33, 11.
54
Diane Glancy, Claiming Breath (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1992), 4.
55
bell hooks, “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness,” Yearning: Race,
Gender, and Cultural Politics (Boston: South End Press, 1991), 152.
56
Deborah Clarke, “Domesticating the Car: Women’s Road Trips,” Studies in American
Fiction, vol. 32, no. 1 (2004), 101.

67

See note 54, 86–87.
The use of humor in the road movie genre is widely popular with mainstream American
audiences and can be seen in films such as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987), Tommy
Boy (1995), and Little Miss Sunshine (2006), as well as road movies dealing specifically
with ethnic and cultural minorities, including Powwow Highway (1989), Smoke Signals
(1998), and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004).
59
Many other female road narratives have also used humor effectively, notably Leaving
Normal (1992) and Boys on the Side (1995), but they are beyond the scope of this project.
60
Hélène Cixous and Annette Kuhn, “Castration or Decapitation?” Signs: Journal of Women
in Culture and Society, vol. 7, no. 1 (Autumn 1981), 55.
61
See note 4, 26.
62
Ibid.
63
Ibid., 162.
64
Ibid., 111.
65
Ibid., 112.
66
Neil Campbell, The Cultures of the American New West (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ.
Press, 2001), 279.
67
See note 10, 21.
68
See note 54.
69
Sharon Cowan, “‘We Walk Among You’: Trans Identity Politics Goes to the Movies,”
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, vol. 21, no. 1 (2009), 107.
70
The title of Del Rey’s album is Born to Die, which darkly revises both Steppenwolf’s “Born
to be Wild,” the main title of Easy Rider, and Bruce Springsteen’s iconic album, Born to
Run.
71
Though perhaps less existentially cool, the lyric repetition of “just ride” also echoes
Billy’s response “I just gotta go” when asked why he and Wyatt have to continue moving in
Easy Rider, as well as Sal’s conclusion in On the Road that, “the only thing to do was go”
(p. 120).
72
See note 66.
73
Barbara Odabashian, “On the Road Again: An American Archetype” in Paul Loukides
and Linda K. Fuller, eds., Locales in American Popular Film, Beyond the Stars: Studies in
American Popular Film 4 (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State Univ. Popular Press, 1990),
50.
74
Claire Lindsay, “Mobility and Modernity in María Novaro’s Sin dejar huella,” Framework:
The Journal of Cinema and Media, vol. 49, no. 2 (fall 2008), 86.
57

58

The Effects of the US Pivot to Asia
on European Strategic Cooperation
THOMAS D. ARMSTRONG

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Departments of History and International Relations
Luis Simón, Faculty Advisor

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The current state of European strategic cooperation is optimistically described
as “splintered” and pessimistically labeled as “nonexistent” by politicians and
pundits alike. The EU’s potential retreat from staunch intergovernmentalism
frustrates those who hoped Europe could reach its supranational potential to
address global strategic challenges. The EU’s Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP), its subsidiary Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), the
European Defense Agency (EDA), and the European External Action Service
(EEAS) were all designed to address modern strategic challenges, which can no
longer be described as “state-versus-state.” Europeans have struggled to adapt
to a shifting security paradigm, in which terrorists, who operate globally and
without national affiliation, pose a significant threat to national and regional
security. Cyber warfare also presents a strategic challenge for the original EU
institutions. Recently, spying scandals, misguided austerity, and right-wing
nationalism have further slowed down European strategic development.
Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has been the “white
knight” of the European strategic community. From aiding German-oppressed
Western Europe in consecutive world wars to smaller-scale operational
assistance in the Western Balkans, the US has neutralized European strategic
shortcomings. Moreover, the very framework of European strategy and
European cooperation was molded by the US. From founding NATO as a
deterrent to the rearmament of West Germany to pushing for European
integration post-Cold War to stabilize Eastern Europe, the US has had a hand
in the pocket of European affairs.1 However, that era may be coming to a
close. The Obama administration has indicated that the US will adopt a “lead
from behind” mentality in the “European Neighborhood” as it rebalances

71

its strategic objectives to the Pacific.2 Furthermore, the US has ordered the
withdrawal of thousands of troops from Europe.3 The impact of the “pivot,”
the withdrawal of the troops, and what these buzzwords truly mean, will be
the focus of this article.
Ostensibly, Europe has only two options in the wake of a potential US
“abandonment”: either unite in the security vacuum left by America’s
withdrawal, or fail to achieve European strategic cooperation and witness
the potential collapse of the EU. However, both options are sensational and
unlikely. This article will suggest a third, more probable outcome: a fledgling
EU security nexus held afloat by continued American support. This article will
begin by unpacking the perceived US abandonment of Europe. Then it will turn
to an analysis of Europe’s three options, and finish with a discussion of the
future of Europe and the US.
THE MYTH OF US “ABANDONMENT”

The US withdrawal of troops from Europe is more symbolically significant
than operationally relevant. It must be underscored that with the exception
of a slight spike in the 1980s, the US has been withdrawing scores of troops
from Europe consistently over the last half century (from 438,859 in 1957 to
98,087 in 2005).4 Second, the reduction in numbers of American soldiers is
not equivalent to a reduced military presence in Europe. In fact, the US has
increased its missile-defense capabilities in Europe over the past few years
during this supposed “pivot.” In February 2012, the US Navy announced that
several guided-missile destroyers would be stationed at a base in Rota, Spain,
as part of a new US-NATO European missile defense shield that is currently

72

under construction. Additionally, existing US military units in Germany and Italy
are being “modernized, reorganized and given newer equipment.”5 US military
involvement in Europe is not disappearing, as reported in the press; it is being
remodeled with continued investment in military technology.
Further, despite decades of continued US troop withdrawal in Europe,
transatlantic cooperation has rarely been called into question. US troops have
effectively assisted European strategic actions in warring nations such as
Kosovo and Libya, despite continuous drawdowns in American troop levels.
However, as British Defense Secretary John Nott warned in 1982 in the wake of
US troop reductions from Europe during the Cold War, “It is well to remember
that it is not only numbers, but the perception of change, that is important. Any
reduction which was perceived to cast doubt on the strength of the American
commitment to Europe would serve only to weaken deterrence.”6 Although
Europe is no longer under constant threat of a Soviet nuclear attack, the
Secretary’s warning is still relevant. The perception of a US abandonment of
Europe is disturbing to Europeans unsure of how to cooperate with one another
in the absence of a significant US presence, and how to maintain security and
defense dominance without US support. Even though US abandonment is a
myth, there is a real threat that Europe will—in the words of Henry Kissinger—
“analyze themselves into self-fulfilling prophecies.”7 Even the perception of a
Europe without American support could destabilize the continent.
The US “pivot to Asia,” a term coined by the Obama administration that
has caused severe anxiety for European politicians and academics, may be
no more than a public relations move by the administration in response to

73

a rising China. China’s military budget has eclipsed the $100 billion mark
(according to China’s state media), allowing for developments in cyber
technology and weapons capabilities, including a new fleet of nuclearpowered ballistic missile submarines.8 The well-publicized “pivot” may be
designed to reassure those anxious about a US decline and to send a strong
message to China’s administration.
Recently, President Obama reassured Europe that “our relationship with our
European allies and partners is the cornerstone of our engagement with the
world, and a catalyst for global cooperation. In no other region does the United
States have such a close alignment of values, interests, capabilities, and
goals.”9 Regardless, the message is clear: America no longer desires to mediate
European strategic cooperation. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, Georgetown University Professor Charles Kupchan said,
“the drawdown of U.S. troop levels in Europe and the prospect of a ‘pivot’ to
Asia should help convince Europeans that ‘free-riding in perpetuity’ is not
an option.”10 Even if the “pivot” never develops beyond the hypothetical, the
message to Europe is clear: “pool it or lose it.”11
EUROPE’S FIRST OPTION: RENEWED STRATEGIC COOPERATION

Europe’s first option is what many Europeans and Americans have been
advocating for decades: the creation of a strategically united Europe, effective
without constant supervision and intervention from the US. One short-term
fix to US “abandonment” is an infusion of money by EU members. The EU
possesses a sophisticated Defense Technological and Industrial Base (DTIB)
and military potential second to none.12 However, their potential will never

74

be realized at current defense spending levels. The EU spends an average of
1.67% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense, compared to 4.9% in the
US, and the CFSP is woefully underfunded.13 Unfortunately, the prospect of
member states increasing their defense budget is growing ever more unlikely.
The Eurozone financial crisis is unrelenting, diverting funds from foreign
security and defense to domestic crises. Further, a growing voice of rightwing nationalism prevents the member states to committing more money to a
supranational network.14
Winston Churchill’s quote is appropriate: “Gentlemen, we have run out of
money. Now we have to think.”15 Without the infusion of money, the EU must
think its way into cooperation, a more durable, yet difficult, approach.
However, this is unlikely for two reasons. The first is the debate between
intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. Intergovernmentalists,
representing the majority of EU heads of state today, believe that security and
defense is fundamentally a national enterprise. A core principle of sovereignty
is national security defense—a government is entrusted with ensuring the
protection of their people and their people’s interests. While the definition
of protection and people’s interests is unclear, the reluctance of EU member
states to relinquish this core principle in favor of supranational control may be
reasonable. For example, France boasts an estimated 300 nuclear weapons,
which they have publicized to the world. Although they, like supranationalists,
ardently push for a strong EU CSDP and recommitted to NATO under President
Sarkozy, the French refuse to share their weapons, believing that national
ownership is their right.16 In the security domain, individual state interests
reign supreme.

75

The second reason that greater cooperation is unlikely is because Article V of
the NATO Treaty—an attack on one is an attack on all—thwarts EU member
state participation in CSDP.17 This too is understandable—why spend the
money and effort to build up defense capabilities if NATO guarantees
national security? Critics argue that this “lazy” mindset is potentially harmful
to the future of Europe—and they may be correct—but the mindset of the
states is nevertheless rational. Because of the NATO/US safety net, European
states are unlikely to increase defense spending and wholeheartedly push
for strategic cooperation.
EUROPE’S SECOND OPTION: COLLAPSE OF CFSP

The prospect of a strategically united Europe is fading; intergovernmentalists
might argue that the very possibility was a pipe dream all along. Could the
withdrawal of US troops be the knockout punch for supranational ambitions
of EU cooperation? This is not likely for one simple reason: the US will not
allow the collapse of the European project. From an economic perspective,
abandonment is senseless. Since the Marshall Plan and several other postwar
US investments, the US has spent a great deal of money both reconstructing
and creating a Europe that suits American strategic interests. Further, in 2011,
US direct investment in Europe accounted for more than half (or $2.3 trillion) of
their global sum.18 To withdraw completely while that investment is still yielding
returns would be a waste.
Moreover, Europe is—and will remain—America’s closest ally for a variety of
reasons. As Obama mentioned in the NATO Summit of 2010, the US and Europe
have a “close alignment of values, interests, capabilities, and goals.”19 Europe

76

is America’s deputy sheriff. Why fire the deputy sheriff in favor of a potentially
threatening partner in Asia? The positive returns of an exclusive relationship
between the US and Asian partners would have to greatly outweigh the
potential damages caused by an ineffective Europe. For the foreseeable future,
it is unlikely that such a union will come into existence.
A THIRD OPTION: LESS GLORIFIED SURVIVAL

The third option for Europe, although the least salutary, is the disintegration
of the EU security regime, leaving the entire continent reliant on US support.
Europe will not increase strategic cooperation because of a lack of domestic
will and money, a hesitancy to relinquish intergovernmentalist control in the
domain of security and defense, and the security blanket of America, despite
the so-called “pivot to Asia.” Europe will not fail entirely because the US will
not allow the devolvement of national strategic interests. Consequently, the
more likely scenario for the foreseeable future is a stalemate of inefficiency.
FUTURE FOR EUROPE

The future for European strategic cooperation will likely be limited. The EU will
struggle to maintain any joint operational capabilities due to a lack of efficiency
and cooperation, rather than equipment and personnel. The US will be
forced to supply greater security assistance in order to preserve transatlantic
interests. The future of European strategic cooperation will likely mirror the
EU’s response to the 2011 Libya crisis. In the Libya crisis, a cluster of member
states (including the UK and France) proposed a joint action while others
(including Denmark and Germany) opposed it. Despite EU fragmentation, the
mission was carried out successfully and the US “led from behind.”20 Future

77

cooperation may be in splintered form, but it will function via alliances of
subgroups of member states with logistical help from the US.
Eventually, the financial crisis in Europe will recede. In the best case scenario,
increasing GDPs and fewer domestic concerns will propel European countries
to refocus on strategic cooperation. However, it is more likely that Europe will
continue to stumble along and be guided and protected by the US. The greatest
fear for Europe and the world is not the collapse of the European security union
(because of the NATO safety net), but rather the collapse of the economic
union, which would have grave effects on the global economy. Europeans
have shown a greater propensity to cooperate with one another in economic
matters, but intergovernmentalist attitudes in the security sector will certainly
strain intra-European relations.
FUTURE FOR THE US

The future for the US under option three is not bright. America is likely to
grow even more overextended in the face of the “pivot” to Asia, which will
likely correspond to greater economic and military involvement in the Pacific,
and further maintenance of the European project. Growing nationalism and
isolationism brewing at home threaten America’s strategic agenda. According
to a recent Rasmussen poll, “51 percent of voters surveyed said they wanted
all US troops out of Europe, now. Only 29 percent favored keeping the troops
where they are.”21 As established earlier, US troop withdrawals in Europe do
not necessarily decrease the country’s military capabilities on the continent.
However, the isolationist attitude of an ever-growing majority of Americans is
telling. Opinions, such as the following written by famous conservative Patrick

78

J. Buchanan are widely shared: “As for Europe, the Red Army went home
decades ago. Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics are free. As President
Eisenhower urged JFK 50 years ago, we should bring U.S. troops home and let
Europe man up to its own defense. No one threatens Europe today, and we
could sell them all the missiles, tanks, ships, guns, and planes they need to
defend themselves.”22 Many Americans do not want to be involved strategically
with Europe any longer, despite the benefits of a European partnership. It is
unclear how the US government will be able to convey to the US public that a
continued strategic relationship with Europe is essential, and if the American
people will listen.
Additionally, the US faces a shrinking defense budget. American historian
Michael Auslin recently described the US budget crisis: “Pivot funding is in
danger from sequestration—forced budget cuts resulting from larger budget
politicking in Washington—that, if allowed to proceed, will cut another $500
billion from a defense budget already reduced by $900 billion since 2009.”23
If the US can barely pay for “pivot funding,” how will it pay for global strategic
objectives, specifically in Europe? The rebuttal that “the US has survived
thus far” is myopic. US strategic overextension under such budget stresses is
unsustainable. Either a restructuring of the US budget, such as the reallocation
of funds from Social Security to defense, an abandonment of a geostrategic
program, greater European responsibility in NATO, or another cut will have to
occur to keep the US fiscally afloat.

79

CONCLUSION

The US will not abandon European security in the wake of failed European
security cooperation. They will maintain a robust military presence in Europe,
honor NATO agreements, and continue to treat the EU as its key global ally.
However, continued US military support may have grave consequences for the
well-being of American domestic politics, and a failed CFSP may endanger the
European Union as a whole.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This article was conceived in July 2013 during my foreign study at the Institute
of European Studies (IES) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, through a program
coordinated by the University of Southern California. I am indebted to IES
Professor Luis Simón and Doctoral Researcher Daniel Fiott for their thoughtful
comments on an initial version of this article. This article originally appeared in
Cornell International Affairs Review, vol. 7, no. 1 (November 2013).

80

ENDNOTES
Luis Simón, “The US and Europe: A Geopolitical Perspective,” Lecture, Institute for
European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, June 17, 2013.
2
An Obama advisor, in an interview with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza in 2011, coined the
phrase “leading from behind.”
3
Patrick J. Buchanan, “Strategic Withdrawals,” The American Conservative 10.5 (May
2011), 13.
4
See chart 5 in Tim Kane, “Global U.S. Troop Deployment, 1950-2005,” The Heritage
Foundation, Center for Data Analysis, retrieved from www.heritage.org/research/
reports/2006/05/global-us-troop-deployment-1950-2005.
5
Julian E. Barnes, “U.S. to Cut Europe Forces in Remake,” The Wall Street Journal,
February 17, 2012.
6
“NATO Troop Withdrawals,” Committee on Foreign Relations: United States Senate
Second Session (1982), 1, retrieved from congressional.proquest.com/congressional/
docview/t29.d30.hrg-1982-for-0042.
7
Amitai Etzioni, “The United States’ Premature Pivot to ‘Asia,’” Society 49 (2012),
retrieved from springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12115-012-9572-6.pdf.
8
Jane Perlez, “Continuing Buildup, China Boosts Military Spending More Than 11
Percent,” The New York Times, March 4, 2012.
9
“Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: NATO: Chicago and Beyond,”
Congressional Documents and Publications 2 (2012).
10
Ibid.
11
This quote appeared next to a picture of Head of the European Defence Agency
Catherine Ashton on the cover of European Defence Matters, no.2 (2012).
12
Jan Joel Andersson, “Defense Industry and Technology: The Base for a More Capable
Europe,” in The Routledge Handbook of European Security (New York: Routledge, 2013),
105.
13
Ibid., 106.
14
Charles A. Kupchan, “The Potential Twilight of the European Union,” Council on Foreign
Relations Working Paper (2010), 2.
15
Note: this quote is also attributed to New Zealand physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford.
16
“NRDC Archive of Nuclear Data—Table of French Nuclear Forces, 2002,” Natural
Resources Defense Council, retrieved from www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datab16.asp.
17
Article V of NATO specifies that an attack on one NATO member state is an attack on
the alliance, provoking at least the possibility of a military response from NATO on the
aggressing nation. The military, especially nuclear weapon, capabilities of NATO are a
powerful deterrent.
18
James K. Jackson, “U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues,”
Congressional Research Service 7-5700, RS21118 (December 11, 2013), 3, retrieved from
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21118.pdf.
1

81

“Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: NATO: Chicago and Beyond,”
Congressional Documents and Publications 2 (2012), retrieved from search.proquest.
com/docview/1012764546.
20
The long-term success of the Libya operation is currently under question given the
continued instability in the country, and spillover tensions in Mali and the Sahel region
more broadly.
21
Rasmussen Reports, “51% Think U.S. Should Withdraw All Troops From Europe,”
retrieved from www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/
may_2012/51_think_u_s_should_withdraw_all_troops_from_europe.
22
See note 3.
23
Michael Auslin, “America Doesn’t Need a Pivot to Asia,” The Wall Street Journal,
August 27, 2012, sec. Opinion: Asia.
19

First-Principles Nonlocal Response
in Atomically-Sharp Plasmonic
Nanostructures
LUKE BOUMA

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Department of Physics and Astronomy

RAVISHANKAR SUNDARAMAN
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis

PRINEHA NARANG

Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

HARRY A. ATWATER

Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
Thomas J. Watson Laboratories of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology

we test our optical response calculations for spheres in the nanome
to replicate expected classical behavior.
84

tromagnetism
local electron
Introduction
tum tunnelin
Surface plasmon polaritons, oscillations of a metal’s
Surface plasmon polaritons, oscillations of a metal’s conduction electrons
enhancements
conduction electrons coupled with their associated eleccoupled
with
their
associated
electromagnetic
fields,
can
be
confined
to
dicted values
tromagnetic fields, can be confined to mode volumes
frequencies si
belowmode
thevolumes
diffraction
limit.
Such
confinement
enables
below the
diffraction
limit.
Such confinement
enables dramatic
predictions12 .
dramatic
electromagnetic
field enhancement
the
electromagnetic
field enhancement
in the near-fieldin
and
hasnearprompted
polarization in
field and has prompted studies aimed towards plasmonic
cancer
studies
aimed
towards
1,2plasmonic drug delivery agents,1,2 photothermal
3
an
applied ele
drug delivery agents , photothermal cancer therapy ,
4,5
6
4,5
6
on the inhom
therapy,3 quantum-emitter
non-linear
optics,
and improved
quantum-emitter
systems systems,
, non-linear
optics
, and
im7,8
proved
photovoltaic
. Understanding
the
ulti-field the metal. To
7,8
photovoltaic
devices.devices
Understanding
the ultimate limits
of such
9
characterizing
mate limits of such
field enhancement requires studying
enhancement9 requires studying light-matter interaction at atomic scales,
an
density
respon
light-matter interaction at atomic scales, an approach
perturbation
approach
take by developing
an ab-initio
quantum mechanical
we take
by we
developing
an ab-initio
quantum
mechan- model for
ical model
both
the ground
excited states
both the for
ground
and excited
states of and
atomically-faceted
metals.of
χ
atomically-faceted metals.
At the macroscopic scale, the plasmon resonances of
At thesystems
macroscopic
the plasmon in
resonances
of metallic
systems can
metallic
canscale,
be described
a classical
electroso that the cha
magnetic
framework.
Computationally,
Maxwell’s
equabe described
in a classical
electromagnetic framework.
Computationally,
 
depends on th
  solved within specified geometries using fitionsMaxwell’s
can be
equations
can
be
solved
within
specified
geometries
using
finite
that point an
 
nite element
methods
or
finite
difference
time
domain
 
element   methods
or finite
difference
time domain
techniques, along withall
theprevious ti
techniques,
along with
the
assumptions
of homogeneous
Computatio
 
dielectric
media
a
spatially
local
response.
These
assumptions
of with
homogeneous
dielectric
media
with a spatially
local response.
 
mentioned no
assumptions
macroscopic
Maxwell
constitutive
  give the
These assumptions
give
the macroscopic
Maxwell constitutive
relation between
been develop 
  and the elecrelation between the displacement field D
Drude-type m
the displacement field 𝐷𝐷  and the electric field 𝐸𝐸   within a material: 
  within a material,
tric field E
hard wall bou
 
rection terms
  
r, ω) =↔ 
r, ω).
(Equation 1) (1) 
(r, ω)E(
D(
 
glect quantum
 
recent work h

 

where  is   the dielectric tensor. Applying this relation
empirically ac
where 𝜖𝜖  
is the dielectric tensor. Applying this relation in a high-performance
 
in a high-performance
computing context allows forwarddensity gradi
 
computing
context
allows
forward-engineering
of
materials
for
desired
engineering   of materials for desired optical responses.
their validity
  recent theoretical and experimental work on
tional confine
However,
optical responses.
 
tron tunneling
plasmonic  systems with atomic-scale features has re  
with effectivevealed phenomena
beyond the scope of classical elecI.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

INTRODUCTION

noparticles and atomically-sharp cones, enabling cales. We present these calculations for the ground state
erve exponentially decaying electron densities outside
85
lattice units
away from our cone tips. Additionally,
heres in the nanometer diameter size regime 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
    in order

s
s
s
c
,
g
h
f

f
n
s
e
e
-

)

n
-

n
-

 
However, recent theoretical and experimental
work on plasmonic systems with
 

 
atomic-scale features
has revealed
phenomena
beyond
the scope
of classical
tromagnetism.
Instances
of this
include
spatially
non  
local
electron screening,
density
spill-out,
electromagnetism.
Instanceselectron
of this include
spatially
non-localquanelectron
 
10
, field
tum
tunneling between adjacent
nanoparticles
screening, electron density spill-out,  𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
quantum
tunneling between adjacent
!"#  
enhancements10 substantially below
their
classically
pre  
field
enhancements
substantially
below
their
classically
nanoparticles,
9,11
dicted values , and nanoparticle
plasmon resonance
 
11,12
predicted values,
and blue-shifted
nanoparticle   plasmon
resonance
frequencies similarly
frequencies
similarly
from
their Mie-theory 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
   
12
predictions
.
These
and
other
effects
arise
because
the arise
13
  predictions.
blue-shifted from their Mie-theory
These and other effects
  𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
   
polarization induced in a metal’s
conduction electrons by
 
polarization induced in a   metal’s conduction electrons
  by an
anbecause
appliedtheelectromagnetic
field
depends
microscopically
 
 
  of
electromagnetic field
depends
microscopically
on 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿(𝑟𝑟,
the inhomogenous,
onapplied
the inhomogenous,
anisotropic
electronic
structure
 
t)
!
!
, 𝑡𝑡

− 𝑡𝑡

)
=
  𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟

     
theanisotropic
metal. electronic
To first structure
order, the
microscopic
susceptibility
 of the
!
metal. To first order,
the(𝑟𝑟′,
microscopic 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"#
  𝑡𝑡 )  
 
characterizing this response  𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
can
be
written
as
the
charge
!"#
 
susceptibility characterizing this response
can be written as the charge
density
 
density response δn induced   by  a small external potential
response 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿    induced
potential perturbation  𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣!"#  :
perturbation
δvext : by a small  external
 

 
 
 
 
δn(
r
,
t)
 
 
  χ(
(Equation 2)(2)
r, r , t − t ) =       

 
 
δv   ext (r , t )
 
 
 
  𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, t)
so so
that
the
charge
density
at
a
given
(
r
,
t)
mathematically
!
!
−mathematically 𝑡𝑡
) =  
      on the 𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟, (𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡t)    
that the   charge density at a given
depends
depends on
the   potential and susceptibility
not 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"#
(𝑟𝑟′, only 𝑡𝑡
! )     at
 
 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"#
potential
susceptibility not only
that point and time, but within the
  at
that
pointand
  the whole structure for 𝛿𝛿

  and time, but within
  𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟 ! , 𝑡𝑡 − 𝑡𝑡 ! ) =  
structure
for all previous times.
allwhole
previous
 
  times. 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!
 
Computational
models capable
  of capturing the afore  
 
 
mentioned   nonlocal and quantum
  mechanical effects have
Computational models capable of
  capturing the aforementioned  nonlocal
been developed on multiple fronts.
Efforts to extend
 
 
  have been developed on multiple
  fronts.
and
quantum
mechanical
effects
  optical response with
Drude-type models for a metals’
 
 
 cor   and
hard
wall
boundary
conditions
hydrodynamic
Efforts
to extend
Drude-type
models
for
a metals’
optical response
with hard
(𝑟𝑟,
t)     𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟,
t)
13,14
  ne!have !found some
 
,
but
rection terms
success 𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

− 𝑡𝑡

)
=
 
   
 
wall boundary conditions and hydrodynamic
terms have
  found
  𝑡𝑡 ! )   correction 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"# tunneling
(𝑟𝑟′,
glect quantum coupling and
effects. While
 
14,15
  coupling and tunneling effects.
but
neglectthat
quantum
While
some success,
  has
 
recent
work
shown
  hydrodynamic models can
 
(𝑟𝑟,account
t)    
  has
empirically
account
for hydrodynamic
electron
density
spill-out
using
recent work
shown that
models can
empirically
 
15
  element framework
 
 
density
gradients
within
a
finite
,
  density gradients within a finite element
for electron density spill-out using
 
 
 
their validity
for sharp geometries
that introduce addi  
16
 
framework,
for sharp
geometries
that
introduce additional
  their validity
 
tional
confinement
effects
is   currently
unknown.
Elec  
 
  effects
tron
tunneling
hasisbeen
modeled
inElectron
nanoparticle
confinement
currently
unknown.
tunneling dimers
has   been
 
 
with effective-dielectric
quantum-corrected
models16 ,  but
 
 
 
(𝑟𝑟, t)    
 
 
 
 
 

86

modeled in nanoparticle dimers with effective-dielectric quantum-corrected
models,17 but these are dependent on experimental input parameters.
Finally, fully quantum mechanical approaches in time-dependent density
functional theory (TD-DFT) have been studied for clusters,18 nanoshells,19
and nanowire20 systems. Such approaches are limited by their computational
cost, but can be simplified in some metals by smoothing ionic core potentials
to a constant potential background referred to as jellium.21 Jellium TD-DFT
has been successfully used to study the optical response of smooth metallic
nanostructures such as nanoparticles22,23 and their dimers;24 the nonlocal
response of atomically-sharp structures, however, remains largely unexplored.
In this Summary, we develop a general quantum mechanical model for
computing the optical response of cylindrically-symmetric plasmonic systems.
In particular, we focus on nanoparticles and the quantum-mechanically
uncharted territory of plasmonic probe tips, which we model as mathematically
sharp cones. By exploiting the reduced dimensionality of these systems, we
extend the size of our computations toward thousands of electrons, enabling
predictions of surface plasmon resonance frequencies and field enhancements.
We use a jellium approach in our ground-state DFT, where we observe
electron spill-out and confinement away from cone tips as naturally-emerging
effects. For our excited state calculations, we apply a constant electric field
on nanometer-diameter Ag particles and find induced dipole behavior that
closely matches classical predictions. While our presented optical results are
preliminary, we demonstrate that the core functionality of our model works,
and outline the steps necessary for performing a subsequent optical study of
cone responses.

ters.
eters.
imetimehave
have
19
ire
19
wire
mpusmpuby
ls by
ntial
ential
DFT
DFT
onse
ponse
artipartie of
yseun-of
y un-

tum
ntum
onse
ponse
parpartumntumtips,
y tips,
exy, we
exs,
we
ands
sands
resnseresa
euse
wea
e we
from
from
exrfield
exfield
uced
duced
ons.
tions.
, we
y,
we
odel
model
ng a
ing a

87

I. THEORETICAL APPROACH

We aim to calculate the interacting microscopic susceptibility  response
  to

external perturbations within linear response TD-DFT, denoted  𝜒𝜒!"#    .  𝜒𝜒!"#    
 
 
is linked to the polarization induced by external potentials, and can be used
 
 
 
  to
to compute bound charge densities, induced dipole moments relative
 
 
perturbative fields, and the nonlocal dielectric function in any given system. 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
   
  2  
2 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿(𝑟𝑟,
In short,
    it allows full characterization of the metal’s  optical response 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡
)to=small 𝜒𝜒𝑡𝑡
)!"= 𝜒𝜒
!" (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡
− 𝑡𝑡 ! )𝑡𝑡
 𝜒𝜒
   
!"#
 𝜒𝜒!"#    potentials.
 
external
 
  = 𝜒𝜒!"#=(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝜒𝜒
!"# (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡
− 𝑡𝑡 ! )𝛿𝛿 𝑡𝑡

dielectric
function in any given system. In short,
it al  
dielectric
function
in
any
given
system.
In
short,
it
al  
 
 
 
lows full
characterization
of
the
metal’s
optical
response
lows
characterization
of the metal’s optical response
   fullexternal
 
 
to
small
potentials.
 
 
to
small
external
potentials.
 
WeWe
make
the
linear
response
assumption
of
TD-DFT,
namely
that
the
 
make the linear response assumption of   TD-DFT,   induced
 We   make the linear response assumption of TD-DFT,
 
 
namely
that 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿    
thefrom
induced
charge perturbations
density δn from
weak
charge
weak external
is linearly
 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"#  weak
   density
namely
that
the
induced
charge
density
δn
from
  𝑣𝑣

is linearly
dependent
on the!"   𝑣𝑣!"    
external
perturbations
δv
!
ext𝑡𝑡 ! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣 𝑡𝑡
δv
− 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡
)the
  write:
 = 𝜒𝜒(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
! ext
! (𝑟𝑟In, 𝑡𝑡′)    
!" (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
!"
is
linearly
dependent
on the
external
perturbations
dependent
on
applied
perturbation.
turn,
we
can 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡
)
= 𝜒𝜒 𝑡𝑡

− 𝑡𝑡

)𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
(𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡
′)    
 
 
!"
!" we can write
applied perturbation.
In turn,
!
!
 
 
applied
perturbation.
In
we
write
 
= 𝜒𝜒

(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡

− 𝑡𝑡

)𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
, 𝑡𝑡
′)    
! turn,
! (𝑟𝑟can
!"#
!"#
 
 
 
= 𝜒𝜒!"# (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡 − 𝑡𝑡 )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣!"# (𝑟𝑟 , 𝑡𝑡′)     
   (Equation
 
    δn(r,  t) = χKS (r, r  , t − t )δv
3)
(3)  
KS (r , t )
(3)
= χKS (r, r , t − t  )δvKS (r  , t )  
 
 
    δn(r,   t) =
(Equation
χext (r, r , t − t )δv
(4) 4) 
ext (r , t )
  𝑣𝑣
!" (𝑟𝑟,  𝑣𝑣t!"
)  =  𝑣𝑣
(𝑟𝑟,  t!)  =  𝑣𝑣 𝑛𝑛
𝑟𝑟,!𝑡𝑡 𝑛𝑛 + 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡𝑣𝑣
(4)
 
  = χext (r, r , t − t )δvext (r , t )  
!(!!,!)
!(!!,!)
!
!
   
  system
 
  = d = 𝑟𝑟
′ !!!!
d 𝑟𝑟′  +  𝑣𝑣
 
 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣!"#  
the
Kohn-Sham
potential. This fictitious
for vKS
!!!!!" 𝑣𝑣
 the
  Kohn-Sham
!"  
for
potential.
This fictitious
system of system
non-interacting 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿(𝑟𝑟, t) 𝑣𝑣
!"  
the
Kohn-Sham
potential.
This
fictitious
for
v
KS
 
of non-interacting
electrons is defined to have a potential
 
 
  𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟
! , 𝑡𝑡 − 𝑡𝑡 ! ) =  
   
of   non-interacting
is defined
to
a potential
electrons
defined
have
potential
given
byhave
the correlation,
sum
of the   external,
 sumtoofelectrons
given
byisthe
thea external,
exchange
 
! )  
 
(𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡 𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣

 
!"#
given
by the(potential
sum of the
exchange
and
Hartree
dueexternal,
to ionic lattice
and correlation,
elec  
 
  correlation,
 (potential
 mean
exchange
and Hartree
(potential
dueand
to ionic
lattice
and mean
  Hartree
and
due
to
ionic
lattice
mean
electronic   density   distribution) potentials: 𝑣𝑣
!"     𝑣𝑣!"    
 
tronic
density
distribution)
potentials:
 
electronic
density
distribution)
potentials:
 
 
t)  =  𝑣𝑣 𝑣𝑣
!" 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 + 𝑣𝑣!"# 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡    
!"t(𝑟𝑟,  
  ! 𝑛𝑛! 𝑟𝑟,𝑛𝑛𝑡𝑡 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡+ 𝑣𝑣+ 𝑣𝑣
!"𝑣𝑣(𝑟𝑟,  
)  =  𝑣𝑣
!" 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 + 𝑣𝑣!"# 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡      
!(!!,!)
 
= vdH!(!!,!)
r, t)]  +  𝑣𝑣
+ vXC
r, t)]
+ v(𝑟𝑟,
r, t) (5)  
vKS   (r, t) =
! [n(
ext ( 𝑛𝑛𝑡𝑡
[n( 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡
+
! vH
!"#
(r=,t)d  =
r, t)]
+!"
[n(
r𝑣𝑣,+
t)]𝑣𝑣(𝑟𝑟,
+ 𝑡𝑡)  
vext  𝑡𝑡)  
(r, t) (5)
XC
  vKS 𝑟𝑟
′ 𝑟𝑟′[n(
 +  𝑣𝑣 𝑛𝑛
v𝑟𝑟,
!!!!
!"
!"#
 (Equation
  5)
!!!! 
, t) 

n(
r 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟,
!!
!! 
, t)+
d33r 𝑟𝑟n(
r, t))t)+ vext
r, t) (6)
! r
! vXC (n(
(𝜒𝜒
=
)(𝜒𝜒
=)!!
(𝜒𝜒!"
−)𝐾𝐾!!−−
    =
!"# )(𝜒𝜒!"#
   ext  ((
, 𝑡𝑡 r−
)=
  (n(
(Equation
6) !" 
| 𝑡𝑡 +
vXC
r, t)) +
v
r
,
t)
(6)
= 𝜒𝜒(𝑟𝑟,
d r |r −
 
 
 
  𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!"# (𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡 ! )    
|r − r |
 
 
   
  local density
 
where
just just
a function
of the density 𝑣𝑣
 !"  
  becomes
becomes
a function
of thein the
density  in  
where
vXC 𝑣𝑣

!"   vXC  becomes just a function of the(𝑟𝑟,
density
where
t)     in
 
the
density
(LDA).6 with
Differentiating 𝐾𝐾
   
  local
approximation
(LDA).approximation
Differentiating
Equation
respect to𝐾𝐾    
the charge
the
local
density
approximation
(LDA).
Differentiating
 
  with respect
Eq.(6)
to the charge density we   can relate
 
 
 
Eq.(6)
with respect
to response
the charge
densityof
we
density,
the
interacting
response
inrelate
terms of the
  we can  express
the
material
inmaterial
terms
the
(known)
  can
 
 
  interacting
the
interacting
material
response
in
terms
of
the
(known)
!!
!!
non-interacting
susceptibility:
(𝜒𝜒
)
=
(𝜒𝜒
)
− 𝐾𝐾

− 𝐾𝐾

   
!!
!!
 
 
!"#
!"
!"
(known)
non-interacting
susceptibility:
 
 
(𝜒𝜒!"# ) = (𝜒𝜒!"susceptibility:
) − 𝐾𝐾 − 𝐾𝐾!"    
non-interacting
 
! !
 
  𝐾𝐾
!" =𝐾𝐾  !" 𝛿𝛿
! 𝐸𝐸
=!"
  𝛿𝛿/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛 𝐸𝐸
!",  /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛! ,  
 
−1
−1
ˆ −K
ˆ XC
 
)
=

)

K
(7)

ext
KS
−1
−1
 
 
 
ˆ −K
ˆ XC  
(7)
(χ  ext ) = (χKS ) − K
 
 
   
 2
(𝑟𝑟, t)    
ˆ 𝐾𝐾    
ˆ XC = δ EXC /δn  2 ,  
for𝐾𝐾    
K
the
Coulomb
operator,
and
K
ˆ the Coulomb
ˆ XC = δ  2 EXC /δn2 ,
 
for exchange
K
operator,
K
the
correlation
kernel.and
Thus
if we can compute
 𝜒𝜒!"      𝜒𝜒!"    
   
  compute
thenon-interacting
exchange   correlation
kernel. Thus
if we
the
susceptibility
χKS of
ourcan
system,
we
 
 
   

This fictitious system
for vKS the Kohn-Sham potential.
 
use explored.
a
 
 
   function
  electrons
non-interacting
becomes just a quantum
the
in     is defined to have a potentia
where
v
!! ofof
!!density
Summary
(𝜒𝜒
)
=
(𝜒𝜒
)
− 𝐾𝐾

− 𝐾𝐾 𝑣𝑣

!"     XCwe develop a general
e weIn this
 𝜒𝜒!"#response
!"  
given!"
by the sum of the
exchange correlation
      !"# (LDA).
mechanical
computingapproximation
the optical
the   model
localfordensity
Differentiating 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡)external,
=ionic 𝜒𝜒
!"lattice
(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,and 𝑡𝑡
−mean 𝑡𝑡
! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
!
elec
 In par-!! and Hartree
from
!! (potential due to
 
of cylindrically-symmetric
plasmonic systems. 𝐾𝐾
   
(𝜒𝜒!"# ) density
=tronic
(𝜒𝜒!"density
) can
−distribution) 𝐾𝐾
relate
− 𝐾𝐾!"     potentials: 88 !
Eq.(6)
with
respect
to
the
charge
we
 
= 𝜒𝜒

(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡

− 𝑡𝑡

)𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
ticular,
we
focus
on
nanoparticles
and
the
quantumex  
 
!"
 
  !"#
  tips,
the   interacting
material
response
in terms of the (known)
mechanically
uncharted territory
of plasmonic
probe
 
field
 
(
r
,
t)
=
v
[n(
r
,
t)]
+
v
[n(
r
,
t)]
+
v
(
r
,
t)
(5
v
 
  XC
KS
H
ext
which we
model as mathematically
sharp cones.   By exnon-interacting
susceptibility:
!! 

uced
  
, t)
ploiting the(𝜒𝜒
reduced
of these
= (𝜒𝜒!" )!! − 𝐾𝐾
−   systems, 𝐾𝐾
!"𝐾𝐾    
    we
n(
r
!"# ) dimensionality
 
 
= d3 r
r, t)) + vext (r, t) (6
extend the  size of our computations towards thousands
ions.
 |r − r | + v𝐾𝐾XC (n(
 
!
!
−1of surface   plasmon
−1
ˆ
ˆ
of electrons, enabling predictions
res!" =   𝛿𝛿 𝐸𝐸!" /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛 ,   𝐾𝐾
   

)
=

)

K

K
(7)
(Equation
7)
ext
KS
XC
y, we
 
    and field enhancements. We   use a
onance frequencies
  function of the density in 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟,   𝑡𝑡) = 𝜒𝜒
(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡 − 𝑡𝑡 ! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣!"just
(𝑟𝑟 ! , a𝑡𝑡′)    
jellium approach
we !"where vXC becomes
model 𝑣𝑣
approximation
    in our ground-state DFT, where
 
!"     !  
the
local
density
!
  and
electron
spill-out
confinement
from
2 , 𝑡𝑡′)     (LDA). Differentiating
!
ˆthe
ˆ (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
  away
==𝜒𝜒  !"#

)𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣 𝜓𝜓
! 𝑟𝑟
Coulomb
, 𝜀𝜀!and
    operator,
!"#
=𝑡𝑡with
δ!2,  ,𝑡𝑡E
/δn
, charge
for
K
the
operator,
K
ng observe
a for
Eq.(6)
respect
to(𝑟𝑟
the
density we can relate
XC
  exchange 𝛿𝛿
!XC 𝐸𝐸
!" /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛 𝐾𝐾
   
Coulomb
the
!" excone tips
as
naturally-emerging
effects. and
For 𝐾𝐾
our
  correlation
  field
material response
in terms of the (known
 
thecalculations,
if interacting
we can compute
cited state
we correlation
apply a constant  kernel.
electric
 
  Thus!the
  exchange
!
 𝜒𝜒!"    of our
kernel.
weparticles
can compute
non-interacting
  Thus, ifAg 𝐾𝐾

=χ  KS 𝛿𝛿
non-interacting 𝐸𝐸
!"
,   susceptibility:
on nanometer-diameter
and  findthe
induced
  /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛
!"
the   non-interacting
susceptibility
of
our susceptibility
system,
    we  
 
dipole behavior𝜓𝜓
that
closely
matches classical predictions. 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡
 is  
 
!
−1
 
 
will
its
response
external
perturbations,
=
(7
(χ )χ  ext
KS
system,
we will
have
its   response
to
perturbations,
 𝜒𝜒.(χ
   . )−1 − Kˆ − Kˆ XC
  external
  have
While our
presented
optical
results
aretopreliminary,
we
!"# 𝜓𝜓
!! 𝑟𝑟 , 𝜀𝜀!ext
   
 
 
 
 
demonstrateThe
that non-interacting
the !core functionality
of
our
model
! ! susceptibility
can
be
calcuχ
  (𝑟𝑟,  t)  =  𝑣𝑣! 𝑛𝑛ˆ 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 2+ 𝑣𝑣!" 𝑛𝑛2
   𝜒𝜒!"    
  ˆ
KS 𝑣𝑣
!" 𝐾𝐾
!"   =  the 𝛿𝛿
steps 𝐸𝐸
!" /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛
,  𝜓𝜓! 𝑟𝑟for, 𝜀𝜀performing
!    
for K
the Coulomb
operator, and KXC = δ EXC /δn
works, and outline
necessary
a 𝑣𝑣
!"    of     first-order
!
    exchange
!(!!,!) can compute
lated
within
the
framework
time-dependent
 
 
   optical 𝜓𝜓

the
correlation
kernel.
subsequent
study of
cone
responses.
! (𝑟𝑟)    
! 𝑟𝑟
′ if we  +  𝑣𝑣
 
= d!Thus 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝜀𝜀

   
!" 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

 is  
0    can
  be
! !"
!
!
 𝜒𝜒
 
 
!!!!
   non-interacting
 
susceptibility
be
calculated
within
the
framework
of our system, we
the
non-interacting
susceptibility
χ
scep- The
perturbation
theory.
We
let
ψ
(
r
),
ε
the
eigenpairs
 
 
KS
n  !
n  
 
! 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝜀𝜀

   
  𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

 is  
!
!
, 𝜀𝜀!    
have
its wavefuncresponse
!
!   𝑟𝑟unperturbed
 
  to external perturbations, χext .
  while
inear
of 𝜓𝜓
the
system
ψ   n (r,will
is
the
 
 The
 t)
APPROACH
, 𝜀𝜀!    be theχKS can be calcu
 
    THEORETICAL
ofII.
first-order
time-dependent
perturbation
theory.
We0 let   𝜓𝜓  !! 𝑟𝑟susceptibility
non-interacting
!
!

−∞    
  𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

 is  
o the
tion
of     the perturbed
system! that
as ψnthe
(rframework
)   when 𝜓𝜓
!starts 𝑟𝑟
lated 𝜀𝜀
!!    (𝑟𝑟)    
 , 𝜓𝜓
 
 
within
of first-order time-dependen
   𝜒𝜒!"
  suscep   𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 of
 the perturbation 𝜓𝜓
 ! 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡  is  
   wavefunction
eigenpairs
the
unperturbed
while
is the
the
interacting
microscopic
εn the
be the eigenpair
theory.
We
let ψn0 (r),of 𝜓𝜓
!!
(𝑟𝑟)    
  system
n beWe aim
t to

We
can then
compute
non-interacting
re𝜓𝜓
 is  
!−∞.
  calculate 𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿
(𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡
)
= ψ𝜒𝜒!"
(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑡𝑡
− 𝑡𝑡 ! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
 
 
  to external perturbations
   the unperturbed
tibility response
within
linear
of
system
while
r, t) is the wavefunc 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

 is  
 
n (
 
! 𝑣𝑣

 
ipole
sponse
of
the
finite
temperature
equilibrium
state
and 𝑣𝑣

(𝑟𝑟,   𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

+ 𝑣𝑣 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

+ 𝑣𝑣 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑡𝑡

   
! t)  =  𝑣𝑣
!"  
0
!"
!
!"
!"# 𝜓𝜓
! (𝑟𝑟)    
−∞     𝜓𝜓

χext is as
linked
to the
response
TD-DFT,
denoted
χthat
r𝑡𝑡)! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
when
of
the. We
perturbed
system
as 𝑡𝑡ψ−
 𝑡𝑡→  is  
perturbed
when
can
compute
ext .=
! 𝑟𝑟,tion
    then
 starts
n (
  𝜒𝜒!" system
=that 𝜒𝜒
!"#starts
(𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′, 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑟𝑟 ! , 𝜔𝜔
!
!(!!,!)
 
! −∞. We can
local
express
it
as
!
 
polarization
induced
by
external
potentials,
and
can
be
t

then
compute
the
non-interacting
re!
 
!
  𝜓𝜓

(𝑟𝑟)    
 
→ −∞      
= d 𝑟𝑟′ ! !∗  +  𝑣𝑣 ! 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟, 𝜓𝜓
(𝑟𝑟)    
!∗ 𝑡𝑡 ! +
! 𝑣𝑣 ! (𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡)  
!
!∗

! (!)!!"
! !
(! )!! (!!"#
!! (!)!state
!!
!finite
! ! and
used tothe
compute
bound charge
densities,
induced
dipole
sponse
temperature
  𝑓𝑓!"
response
of−the
finite
state,)equilibrium
and
   !!!!! of theequilibrium
  𝜓𝜓  !! 𝜀𝜀

1 𝜀𝜀
 ! temperature
×
+
 −2
(𝑟𝑟)    
  !
 non-interacting
!!! 𝑓𝑓!"
!!
!! !!!
!! !!!
!
!
moments relative to perturbative fields, and   the→nonlocal
express
it
as
!
−∞     𝜓𝜓
! (𝑟𝑟)    
  𝜒𝜒!" 𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟 , 𝜔𝜔    =  
 
 
  it as:
express
 
!∗ (!)! !
→ −∞    
!!
   
!
→ −∞     𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟 ! , 𝜔𝜔 =  
1− 𝜀𝜀
!
×
 −2 !!! 𝑓𝑓!"(𝜒𝜒𝜀𝜀! )!!
=𝑓𝑓!"
(𝜒𝜒
)!!
−! 𝐾𝐾 −!𝐾𝐾!"!!
 
 
 
!"#
!"
 

−∞    
!∗
!
!∗
!
!
 
!!
(!)!! ! !! (! )!! (! )
!! (!)!
 
 
! 𝜀𝜀
!→
1 𝑓𝑓
!" 𝜀𝜀! ×
+
 −2 !!!𝜒𝜒𝑓𝑓!"
!" 𝑟𝑟, 𝑟𝑟
,−∞     𝜔𝜔

   = 
    

! !!! !!
     𝑣𝑣

!"  0   ! 0∗
0
0∗
0𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖    
0 𝑣𝑣!"     0∗    0∗ 0 𝜒𝜒
0∗
!∗ (!)!
! ! !
!∗ (! ! )! ! (! ! ) 
)ψ 
)   
)ψ𝑟𝑟, 
)0 =
!,𝜔𝜔   

 !"
0r
0∗𝑟𝑟(
0 !
!!

+ 𝜔𝜔 

)   
)ψ 0∗!
!𝜔𝜔    

!
ψ
(
r

(
r
(
r
(
r

(
r

(
r
ψn0∗ (r)ψm
ψ
ψ
(
r

(
r

(
r

(
r
(
r

(
r

(
r
( 𝜒𝜒 𝑟𝑟

, 𝑟𝑟

, 𝜔𝜔

=
 
n
n
m
!" m 𝑓𝑓 𝑓𝑓 𝜀𝜀

 −2
n m
m 𝜀𝜀! n
m 1 −n
n × m
m
n r ) 

!!!
!"
!"
! 

χKS (r, r , ω)
fµT (εn )(1
!!
 
!∗ (!)! ! (8
! , 𝜔𝜔 !∗ = !!! !!
!!
 ) (8)
!∗ (!)! ! ! ! !∗ (! ! )! ! (!
!
!∗
 +− fµT  (εm )) ×  !!
  = −2
! )!
!) ! ! 𝜒𝜒
!+ 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑟𝑟
(!)!
! (!
!−
!n!
(!
!"
ε

ε

ω
˜
ε

ε
+
ω
˜
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
m
n
m 𝑓𝑓 𝜀𝜀

1 𝑓𝑓 𝜀𝜀

×
 −2
εm  −2
− εn!!!
−ω
˜𝑓𝑓=!"n 𝜀𝜀! 1   − 𝑓𝑓!" 𝜀𝜀!   εm×−𝜒𝜒!"
εn 𝑟𝑟,
+𝜔𝜔
˜! ,≡
!"   ! +
!"
!
m
    𝜔𝜔
=
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖    
!! ! 𝑟𝑟
!ω 𝜔𝜔
!!!
!! !!! !!
 
! !!! !!
 
 
1 −!𝑓𝑓!" 𝜀𝜀
!∗!
 −2 !!! 𝑓𝑓!" 𝜀𝜀!!!∗ (!)!
  𝐾𝐾
    𝜔𝜔
≡ 𝜔𝜔 +  𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖    (Equation  8)
  𝛾𝛾  is    
!
! ! !! (!
 −2 !!! 𝑓𝑓
!" 𝜀𝜀! 1 −
  𝑓𝑓!" 𝜀𝜀! ×
   
!! !!! !!
   
 
   
      𝜔𝜔

≡ 𝜔𝜔

+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖
   
!!
!! 𝛾𝛾
 is    
 
 
 
 
  iγ where γ is a material-dependent
(𝜒𝜒
)
=
(𝜒𝜒
)
− 𝐾𝐾

− 𝐾𝐾

   
means
we
can
compute
χ
using
the
results
of ground
for ω
˜ ≡ω+
dampKS
!"#
!"
   !"𝑣𝑣 (𝑟𝑟,  
 and where f is the
 
  𝜔𝜔
  ≡ density 𝜔𝜔

+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖     𝛾𝛾
 is    
filling
funcstate
functional
calculations,
ing parameter,
t)  =  𝑣𝑣
+ 𝑣𝑣from 𝜔𝜔
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖    where
for 𝜔𝜔 ≡
isFermi
a material-dependent
damping
parameter,
and
µT
!" theory
! 𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 and
!"
 
 
  the
   results
  𝜔𝜔 fully
≡ 𝜔𝜔nonlocal
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖     !
tion at ameans
given
chemical
potential.
The
there
determine
plasmonic
of the
ground
we can and
compute
χ
amp  
   temperature
!(!!,!) response o
KS using 𝛾𝛾
 is    
 
=
d 𝑟𝑟

 +  𝑣𝑣
 
  𝜔𝜔

≡ 𝜔𝜔

+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖
   
criticalwhere
insight
draw
from
this  filling
equation
is that the
a   given
system.
is    
!" 𝑛𝑛
!
is the
Fermi
function
atcalculations,
a given
temperature
and
  𝑓𝑓to
!"
state
density
functional
theory
andwe
from
unc𝐾𝐾   !"
= connect
  𝛿𝛿chemical 𝐸𝐸
!" χ/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛!!!!!
,   the macro
  purely  in 𝑓𝑓

is    
non-interacting
susceptibility
can
be
expressed
with
For
instance,
can 𝛾𝛾
 is    
!"
KS
 
  𝛾𝛾
 is    
 
  determine the fully nonlocal plasmonic response
  of
there
The
  𝛾𝛾  is    
 
terms of
ground
state
and
eigenvalues.
This
scopic
dielectricisfunction,
whose
 
    equation
potential.
Theeigenstates
critical insight
to draw
from
this
that
the
non-eigenvalues give us pa 𝑓𝑓
!" is    
 
! 𝐾𝐾
    𝑓𝑓

1
− 𝑓𝑓

 
4𝑚𝑚 𝑑𝑑 𝑘𝑘 𝛾𝛾

 is    
a given
system.
t the
 
!
!!!
      4𝑚𝑚 𝑓𝑓! 𝑑𝑑1! 𝑘𝑘− 𝑓𝑓!!!
 
  𝑓𝑓
! 1  − 𝑓𝑓 𝑞𝑞
 , 𝜔𝜔 =   − can  be
+ 𝜒𝜒
!" susceptibility
is       ! ×purely
! 𝑓𝑓
expressed
in the
terms
ground
!"
  𝜒𝜒!" 𝑞𝑞
 , 𝜔𝜔
=macro   of

×
! +
! state
 
 
(2𝜋𝜋)connect
(2𝜋𝜋)
ly in interacting
For
instance, we can
χ4𝑚𝑚
!
! 𝑓𝑓
! 2𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞

− 𝜔𝜔 𝑞𝑞


2𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞

+ 𝜔𝜔𝑓𝑓
2𝑘𝑘
 
KS 𝑞𝑞with 𝑓𝑓

1
− 𝑓𝑓

1
(2𝜋𝜋)
(2𝜋𝜋) 𝑑𝑑
𝑘𝑘
+
∙ 𝑞𝑞
! 𝑞𝑞 !−
!!!
  =   −   𝑓𝑓
!" is    
 !𝑣𝑣   !!! 𝑓𝑓
!" is    dielectric function, 𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞  ,   𝜔𝜔whose
×
+
This eigenstates
!
!give  𝜒𝜒
scopic
eigenvalues
us
pa!"  
!
!
   
(2𝜋𝜋)
(2𝜋𝜋)
and
eigenvalues.
This
means
we
can
compute
using
the
  𝑞𝑞
𝑓𝑓!!"
+ is    
2𝑘𝑘 ∙ 𝑞𝑞𝑓𝑓− 𝜔𝜔 𝑞𝑞
− 2𝑘𝑘 ∙ 𝑞𝑞𝑓𝑓+ 𝜔𝜔
!"
   
1
− 𝑓𝑓

   
4𝑚𝑚 𝑑𝑑
𝑘𝑘
!
!!!
!
  𝜒𝜒!" 𝑞𝑞  ,𝑓𝑓!" 𝜔𝜔
is    
=   −
×
+ 𝑓𝑓
     14𝑚𝑚
 
!
!
 
! +
! −
!
(2𝜋𝜋) 𝑑𝑑
!2𝑘𝑘 𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞 −𝑓𝑓𝜔𝜔 𝑓𝑓

1 − 𝑓𝑓!!!
− 𝑓𝑓
!!!
! 1 −
!
! ! theory
!(2𝜋𝜋) 𝑞𝑞 𝑞𝑞

4𝑚𝑚density 𝑑𝑑 𝑘𝑘

=   𝛿𝛿𝑓𝑓
results𝜔𝜔of=
ground
state
functional
calculations,
and
from
there
! 𝐾𝐾 𝐸𝐸

/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛
,  
  !" 𝜒𝜒𝜔𝜔 𝑞𝑞
 ,2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔     𝜔𝜔
+=   −  
!" ×
!" =
  𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞  , 𝜔𝜔2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
=   −
  ! ×4𝑚𝑚 !
! 𝑑𝑑
! ∙𝑘𝑘𝑞𝑞
(2𝜋𝜋)
! + 2𝑘𝑘 ∙ 𝑞𝑞 − 𝜔𝜔
! −(2𝜋𝜋) 𝑞𝑞
+ 2𝑘𝑘
(2𝜋𝜋)!
(2𝜋𝜋)  ! 𝑞𝑞 𝑞𝑞

2𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞

+ 𝜔𝜔

 
! 𝜒𝜒 𝑞𝑞

 , 𝜔𝜔

=
 
− 𝑓𝑓
! 1 − 𝑓𝑓 𝜔𝜔

= 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
 
!"
 
  𝑑𝑑
𝑘𝑘
4𝑚𝑚 system.
determine
the fully nonlocal
plasmonic
response
of a given
(2𝜋𝜋)! !!!
(2𝜋𝜋)!+
  𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞  , 𝜔𝜔
!      =   −
   𝑓𝑓
 
   𝑓𝑓      
!!! ×
!!
! +
(2𝜋𝜋)
(2𝜋𝜋)!(𝜒𝜒!"#
  𝜔𝜔 = 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔     𝑞𝑞

2𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞


)
=
(𝜒𝜒
)
− 𝐾𝐾

−𝜔𝜔𝐾𝐾!
!
!"
   
 
 𝑓𝑓!      
 
 
 
 
 
 
  𝜔𝜔

=
2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
  𝜔𝜔
= 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
 
 
 𝑓𝑓    !        
  𝑘𝑘   𝜔𝜔
  = 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
 𝜒𝜒!"
 
For  instance,
we can connect
with the macroscopic
dielectric
function,
  𝜔𝜔
= 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
 𝑓𝑓   !      
   
 𝑓𝑓! 𝑘𝑘  
      𝑘𝑘
 
   
 
 𝑓𝑓!      
whose
our system’s
resonant plasmon
   eigenvalues give   us parameters  including
 𝑓𝑓!         𝑘𝑘
 
  𝐾𝐾    
 
 
frequency.
Roughly outlining the   derivation,
expanding the   eigenfunctions
in
  𝑘𝑘
  𝑘𝑘
 
 
  𝑘𝑘
 
 
  space yields:
Equation 8 in the plane wave basis and𝑘𝑘  transforming to Fourier
 
 
 
! 𝐾𝐾

!" =   𝛿𝛿 ! 𝐸𝐸!" /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛! ,  
 
 

in𝛾𝛾  is    
Eq.(8)
in the
wave basis
and takquency. Roughly
outlining
derivation,
expanding
the
  eigenfunctions
 theplane
 
eigenfunctions
intransform
Eq.(8) in from
the
plane
wave
basis
and
tak , ω)
− 


χ(
q
,
ω)
the
Fourier
χ(
r

r
  ing
eigenfunctions
in
Eq.(8)
in
the
plane
wave
basis
and
taking   the Fourier transform
from
χ(r − r , ω) −→ χ(q, ω)
 
 
the Fourier transform
χ(r − r ,ω) −→ χ(q, ω)
  ing
yields
  transformfrom 𝛾𝛾
 is    
yields
ing
the
Fourier
from
χ(r − r , ω) −→ χ(q, ω)
  𝑓𝑓
!"yields
is      
89
 
yields 

 
  𝑓𝑓
!" is    
3
 
4m ! d
k𝑓𝑓 1 − 𝑓𝑓
d33 k 𝑓𝑓
!𝑡𝑡 1
 4m
  (
q
,
ω)
=

χ 𝑑𝑑 𝑘𝑘

4𝑚𝑚 

!!!(9)
KS 𝑡𝑡
) =!!! 𝜒𝜒
!" (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
−−𝑡𝑡 !𝑓𝑓)𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣
4m
k3𝛿𝛿𝛿𝛿(𝑟𝑟,
d
(
q
,
ω)
=

(9)(𝑟𝑟   ! , 𝑡𝑡′)    
χ
3
3!
!" 𝜒𝜒
!"χKS 𝑞𝑞
 ,𝑓𝑓𝜔𝜔
=
  −= − (2π)
×
+
3
3
(2π)
4m
k
d
is    
!
!
(
q
,
ω)
!
(2π)
(2π)
!"
!
! 𝑓𝑓
! 1 − 𝑓𝑓!!! 𝑓𝑓

1
− 𝑓𝑓

(2𝜋𝜋) 𝑞𝑞
3+ 4𝑚𝑚
2𝑘𝑘 ∙ 𝑞𝑞 −𝑑𝑑𝜔𝜔 𝑘𝑘 𝑞𝑞 − 2𝑘𝑘
∙ 𝑞𝑞 +(9) 𝜔𝜔

!!!
3  
(𝑟𝑟 ! , 𝑡𝑡′)    
q , ω) (2𝜋𝜋)
= −(2π)
(9)
χKS
(2π)
KS
= 𝜒𝜒
(Equation 𝑡𝑡
−! 𝑡𝑡 ! )𝛿𝛿𝑣𝑣 𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞  ,
=     −3
× 9)
+
  (
!"# (𝑟𝑟,  𝑟𝑟′,
!"#
3𝜔𝜔f
!
!
!
(2π)
(2π)
(1𝑞𝑞−+ffk−
)𝑞𝑞 −
(1 −
−(2𝜋𝜋)
) (2𝜋𝜋) ffk (1 
fk (1 
𝜔𝜔 𝑞𝑞! − 2𝑘𝑘 ∙ 𝑞𝑞 + 𝜔𝜔
2𝑘𝑘q∙)
 
ffk+
q
k𝑑𝑑(1
k+
q)
k (1 −
q1)− 𝑓𝑓!!!
!    𝑓𝑓

k− 𝑓𝑓
!
1− 𝑓𝑓
!!!
×
+
4𝑚𝑚 𝑘𝑘


f

f
)
f
f
!    

 
× 2fk (1−
k+
q ) + 2f
k (1+
q ) 𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞  , 𝜔𝜔 =   −  
× f
  
k−· q!fk− 

+

ˆˆ2𝑘𝑘
+
ˆ
× ! qq 2(2𝜋𝜋)
+∙ qq𝑞𝑞2−−
k𝜔𝜔2

k  2

! +
(2𝜋𝜋) 𝜔𝜔
= 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
2!k
k ·· qq𝑞𝑞k+

ω

2
k ·𝑞𝑞qk−
+2𝑘𝑘
ω
ˆ ∙ 𝑞𝑞 + 𝜔𝜔

 
× q2 +
+
2 

+ 2k · q − ω
ˆ
q 2− 2k· q + ω
ˆ
  𝜔𝜔
= 2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
q 2 +   2k · q − ω
ˆ
q − 2k · q + ω
ˆ
 
FIG.
FIG. 1:
1: Infinite
Infinite
 𝑓𝑓!Where
       
is
the
Fermi
function
for
eigenω
ˆ
=
2m˜
ω
and
f
 
  

is
the
Fermi
function
for
eigenWhere
ω
ˆ
=
2m˜
ω
and
f
k
FIG.
1:
Infinite 

nates
with
β
k
 Where
nates
with
β the
the
 𝑓𝑓and
is
the
Fermi
function
for
eigenWhere
ˆ
=
2m˜
ω
f
FIG.
1:
Infini 𝜔𝜔
= ω
2𝑚𝑚𝜔𝜔    
and
is
the
Fermi
function
for
eigenvalues
with
wave-vector
!! 

!       

k 𝑣𝑣

 
values
with
wave-vector
k.
Then
the
non-interacting
re
nates
with
β the
is
the
Fermi
function
for
eigenWhere
ω
ˆ
=
2m˜
ω
and
f
!"  
1
− 𝜖𝜖 𝑞𝑞

, 𝜔𝜔

=
lim
symmetric
struc
  values 

with wave-vector
k. Then the non-interacting re!→!
!
k
symmetric
struc
 
 
!th
nates
with
β
values
with
wave-vector
k. to
Then
the
non-interacting
resymmetric
struc
directly
the
macroscopic
dielectric
our 𝑘𝑘
 . sponse
Then
non-interacting
response
is directly
related to
the   macroscopic
  related
 𝑓𝑓!the
      is
sponse
is
directly
related
the
macroscopic
dielectric
ofsymmetric
our TD-DFT
TD-DFT
values
with
wave-vector
k.to   Then
the non-interacting
re- of
stru
sponse
isby
related
to   the macroscopic
dielectric
  function
of our TD-DFT
taking
zero-temperature,
long
wavelength
  𝑘𝑘
  the
 
function
bydirectly
taking
the
zero-temperature,
long
sponse
is
directly
related
to the macroscopic
dielectric
of the
our TD-DFT
dielectric
function
by taking
the zero-temperature,
longwavelength
wavelength
limit of
  of
function
by
taking
zero-temperature,
long
wavelength
  the operator
limit
the
Coulomb
acting
on
the
response,
 
  𝑞𝑞

≪ 𝜖𝜖

!
limit
of the
Coulomb
operator
acting on the
response,
function
by
taking
the
zero-temperature,
long
wavelength 𝑘𝑘
  of the Coulomb
B.
limit
on!→!
the!!
response,
1− 𝜖𝜖
  𝑞𝑞,acting 𝜔𝜔
= lim 𝜒𝜒
!" 𝑞𝑞,
  𝜔𝜔    
B.
Coulomb
operator
acting!!on𝜒𝜒operator
the
response:
! ! response,
limit
thelim
Coulomb
operator
1
− 𝜖𝜖 𝑞𝑞
, 𝑞𝑞
, 𝜔𝜔
    acting on the
  𝜔𝜔of =
!→! ! ! !"
B.
4π 𝜖𝜖

!   𝑛𝑛 𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡 + 𝑣𝑣!"# !!
 
4π(𝑟𝑟,   𝑣𝑣
!"
t)  =  𝑣𝑣
+ 𝜖𝜖𝑣𝑣!" 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡     B

χ
(
ˆˆ𝜔𝜔
))𝑛𝑛    𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡1 −
(10)
11 1−
q, ω
ˆˆ𝜔𝜔)) =
lim
!! 𝑞𝑞
, 𝜔𝜔
= lim!→! ! 𝜒𝜒!" 𝑞𝑞
KS
 

χ
(qq ,,𝑞𝑞,
ω
(10)
−−( 
(
=  =q→0
lim
2
KS 𝜖𝜖
q ,𝑞𝑞,ω
lim!→! 𝜒𝜒

!
 
!"
!(!!,!)
2
q
!
The
DFT

!

(Equation
10)
q→0
χ
(
q
,
ˆ
)
(10)
1
− 
(
q
,
ω
ˆ
)
=
lim
q
The
DFT
an
KS
 𝜖𝜖 q   2 χ=
dq 𝑟𝑟′ 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑡𝑡 + 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝑟𝑟, 𝑡𝑡)   an
 

ˆ )!!!!    +  𝑣𝑣!"   𝑛𝑛(10)
1   − (q, ω
ˆ ) 𝑞𝑞=q→0
lim

KS (
!
Theimplemen
DFT an
2
were
!!
q→0 q
were
implemen
The
DFT 𝑞𝑞
≪ 𝜖𝜖!  
 𝜒𝜒
1  
− ,𝜖𝜖for
= lim 𝑞𝑞
,
  𝜔𝜔
    = 1were
− 𝜔𝜔!!implemen
/(𝜔𝜔 + 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖a 𝜖𝜖
𝜔𝜔
!→! energy,
 𝑞𝑞, 𝜔𝜔ff the
Fermi
which
qq <<
! ! !" yields
f
available
plane
,
for
the
Fermi
energy,
yields
which in
in the
the limit
limit
<< 

f
available
plane
 which
were
impleme 𝑞𝑞
the
≪ yields 𝜖𝜖
standard 𝑞𝑞
≪ 𝜖𝜖q!  ,<<
instandard
the
for   𝜖𝜖!f  ,,the
relation:
for 
f theenergy,
Fermiyields
energy,
which
in limit
the limit
 !  
the
 forFermi
available
plane
Using
the
DFT
standard
relation
, 

the
Fermi
energy,
yields
which
in the  relation
limit q <<  𝜖𝜖

!   the
f
f
Using
the
DFT
available
plane
 
 
the standard relation    
!!
 
Using
the
DFT
gested
by
Isma
the standard
  𝑞𝑞, 𝜔𝜔 =  lim!→!
 
1 − 𝜖𝜖𝜖𝜖!relation 𝜒𝜒 𝑞𝑞

, 𝜔𝜔

   
  𝜖𝜖

gested
by
Isma
Using the DF 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚    
!
2
  !   !+ !" 𝑞𝑞

≪ω𝜖𝜖22!𝑣𝑣/(ω
2
iγ)
(11) 
(ω)
=
1

gested
by
Isma
!
!
(Equation
11)
  (ω) = 1 𝜖𝜖−𝜔𝜔
!! DFT
(11)
ωp /(ω
ical
wave
!"  1 +
 
=
− iγ) 𝜔𝜔
! /(𝜔𝜔
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖)
    𝜖𝜖  𝑞𝑞,
2
  −
ical
wave
gested
Ism𝑞𝑞
1 𝜔𝜔
= lim 𝜒𝜒
DFT
 
!→! ! by
!"
+ iγ)
(11)
= !  1    − ωpp2   /(ω
!
2
2
  (ω)
ical
wave
DFT
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖) 𝜖𝜖
𝜔𝜔 = 1 − 𝜔𝜔!! /(𝜔𝜔
core
architectu
 
/(ω
+
iγ)
(11) 
(ω)
=
1

ω
 
 
p
core
architectu
 
ical
wave
DFT
  !! /(𝜔𝜔 + 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖)!     𝜖𝜖
! 𝜔𝜔 𝜖𝜖
𝜔𝜔 = 1 −
 
!
architectu
 
 
 
1!−
/(𝜔𝜔 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖
)of 𝜖𝜖
𝜔𝜔  =𝑚𝑚
sis
in
lieu
, 𝑏𝑏!𝜔𝜔!!    core 𝑞𝑞
≪   𝜖𝜖!  
sis
in+
lieu
of     JD
JD
core
architect
 
  𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚  cylindrical
   
 
sis
in lieu ofreso
JD
A.
coordinates
 
 
accurately
 
A. Simplification
Simplification
for cylindrical
coordinates
 for cylindrical
    for
accurately
reso
sis
in
lieu
of
J
  𝑞𝑞

≪ 𝜖𝜖

A.
Simplification
coordinates
! 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚    A. Simplification for cylindrical
coordinates
!!
!!
 
accurately
reso
 
!
!
  𝑛𝑛, 𝑚𝑚     𝜖𝜖 𝜔𝜔for
sharp
cones
sim
(𝜒𝜒cylindrical
) 𝜔𝜔!=/(𝜔𝜔
(𝜒𝜒!"coordinates 𝐾𝐾
− 𝐾𝐾!"    
=
1−
+) 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖)
A. 𝜖𝜖!Simplification
!"#
sharp
cones res
sim
 −    
accurately
 
 The general 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚    𝑚𝑚above
  the non-interacting
sharp
! , 𝑏𝑏!      
form
for
response function
can
 
for
this
leap,
w
  𝜖𝜖
!   given
The
form
response
funcfor
thiscones
leap, sim
wsi
  𝑚𝑚non-interacting
sharp
cones
! , 𝑏𝑏!    
The general
general
form for
for   the
the
non-interacting
response
func  
 
 
 
for
this
leap,
w
 
 
The
general
form
for
the
non-interacting
response
funcpendent
section
 
 
 
tion
given
above
can
be
substantially
simplified
for
gependent
section
for
this
leap,
w 𝑚𝑚
substantially
    general
 be
simplified
for
geometries
with
cylindrical
symmetry.
This
, 𝑏𝑏

   
  𝑚𝑚form
tion
above
can
be
substantially
simplified
for
ge! , 𝑏𝑏The
! given
 
for
the
non-interacting
response
func  
!
!
!
! 𝜔𝜔

=
1
− 𝜔𝜔

/(𝜔𝜔
+ 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖
)
    𝜖𝜖

pendent
section 𝑛𝑛
,
!   𝑚𝑚
givenwith
above
can be
substantially
simplified
gedeveloped
a
TD
    𝑚𝑚 for
     
ometries
symmetry.
This
effectively
re   cylindrical
  tion
developed
a
TD
pendent
sectio
 
, 𝑏𝑏

   
ometries
with
cylindrical
symmetry.
This
effectively
retion
given
above
can
be
substantially
simplified
for
ge!
!
!a TD
  𝑚𝑚symmetry.
 
reduces
dimensionality
allowing
us
      our problem,
developed
1toto
− lower 𝜔𝜔
!sponse
/(𝜔𝜔 + 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖)
    𝜖𝜖
  𝜔𝜔 =
! , 𝑏𝑏
! of
  the
ometries
cylindrical
This allowing
effectively
to
 effectively
duces
the
dimensionality
of
our
us 𝐾𝐾
    𝜙𝜙
   reto exter
exter
developed
aT
duces
the  with
dimensionality
ofsymmetry.
our problem,
problem,
us
to
ometries
with𝑚𝑚cylindrical
Thisallowing
effectively
re- !sponse
 
 
, 𝑏𝑏

     
sponse
to
exter
 
!
! 𝑚𝑚

, 𝑏𝑏

     
duces
the
dimensionality
of
our
problem,
allowing
us
to
Eqs.
(12)
and
1
!
!
 
 
our
computational
cost
and
perform
calculations
 
Eqs.
(12)
and
1
ourlower
computational
cost
and
perform
calculations
at
experimentally
relevant
sponse
to
exte
lower
our
computational
cost
and
perform
calculations
duces the𝑛𝑛,dimensionality 𝑚𝑚 𝑏𝑏

! our
    problem, allowing
   𝑚𝑚! ,of
     
  𝑚𝑚 , 𝑏𝑏   us      to
Eqs.
(12)
and
1
  lower
our
computational
cost
and
perform
calculations
m
with
a
jellium
atlower
experimentally
relevant
length
scales.
If
we
rewrite
!rewrite
!
 
m
with
a
jellium
Eqs.
(12)
and
 
 
 
 
at
experimentally
relevant
length
scales.
If
we
ourIf we
computational
and perform
calculations
!
! a jellium 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚
   summed
 length
scales.
rewrite
each ofcost
the occupied
states
over
in
m
with 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃
, 𝜙𝜙

, 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

′, 𝜃𝜃
′, 𝜙𝜙

 𝜓𝜓
 
at
experimentally
relevant
length
scales.
If
we
rewrite
tential
of
a
giv
!
!
 
each
of
states
m)
in
tential
giv
  𝜙𝜙     (n,
  occupied
  length
m withofa ajelliu
of the
the
occupied
states
(n,
m) summed
summed
over
in Eq.(8)
Eq.(8)
at experimentally
relevant
scales. over
If   we
rewrite
  each
 
tential
of acom
giv 𝜙𝜙
   
each
of
the
occupied
states
(n,
m)
summed
over
in
Eq.(8)
reduce
our
  respectively
! (pairs
!of  azimuthal 𝑚𝑚

, 𝑏𝑏

   
  𝑚𝑚

, 𝑏𝑏

     
as
(m
,
b
)
and
(m
,
b
)
Equation
8
as
and
respectively
(pairs
of
azimuthal
quantum
reduce
our
com
!
!
tential
of
a
gi
!
!
1
1
2
2 𝐾𝐾

=
  𝛿𝛿 𝐸𝐸

/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛
,  
(m1of, bthe
(m2 , bstates
(pairs
of    azimuthal
each
occupied
(n,
over
in Eq.(8) 𝜙𝜙
    as
!" m) summed
!"
1 ) and
2 ) respectively
 
 
reduce
our
com
 
as
(m
,
b
)
and
(m
,
b
)
respectively
(pairs
of
azimuthal
To
appreciat
 
 
1
1
2
2
quantum
number
and
band
number),
the
azimuthal
comTo
appreciat
reduce
our
com 𝑚𝑚

, 𝑏𝑏

   
 
 
 number
quantum
and
number),
the
azimuthal
com! wavefunctions
as (m
bnumber
) and
(m
bthe
) !!azimuthal
respectively
(pairs
of
 number), 𝜙𝜙
   
2 , band
2  𝜓𝜓
 χ
and1 ,band
of! our 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃
, 𝜙𝜙 0, component 𝜓𝜓
!!the 𝑟𝑟
′, azimuthal 𝜃𝜃
′, 𝜙𝜙′
 azimuthal
To appreciat
0 
   
  1of our
 band
KS
and
number),
basis
the
0 (r,
0   (r  , θ component
φ
wavefunctions
φ),
ψ
,, comφ
),
basis
for
the ca
ca
  quantum
Tofor
apprecia 𝜃𝜃
, 𝜙𝜙
band
,   𝜓𝜓!! 𝑟𝑟′, 𝜃𝜃
′,ψ 𝜙𝜙

  θ,
 𝜓𝜓!! 𝑟𝑟,
n
n
 
ponent
φ number
of
our
wavefunctions
ψ
(r,
θ,
φ),
ψ
(r
,
θ
φ
quantum
number
and
number),
the
azimuthal
 
n
n
0
0   

),
 , unconstrained 𝑚𝑚

,   𝑏𝑏! wavefunctions
     
 
basis
for
the
ca
!ponent φ of
! !our
ψ
(r,
θ,
φ),
ψ
(r
,
θ
,
φ
),
consider
the
sic
 
0
0   

by
any
boundary,
can
be
simplified 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃
, 𝜙𝜙

, 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

′, 𝜃𝜃
′, 𝜙𝜙

 
 𝜓𝜓!unconstrained
by
any
boundary,
can
be
simplified
in
n
n
consider
the
basis
for
the
!
 
unconstrained
by wavefunctions
any𝜙𝜙    
 
ponent φ   of our
ψncan
(r, θ,be
φ),simplified
ψn (r , θ   , φin), consider the si
 boundary,
si
  𝑚𝑚

, 𝑏𝑏

     
!
!
unconstrained
by
any
boundary,
can
be
simplified
in
infinite
  spherical coordinates to express χKS as a block 𝑟𝑟
,!𝜃𝜃, 𝜙𝜙in, 𝜓𝜓!with 𝑟𝑟
′, 𝜃𝜃′, 𝜙𝜙
′ the
  p
 𝜓𝜓!! diagowith
infinite
ps
consider
     𝜒𝜒!"    asχa
spherical
express
a block
diagounconstrained
by
any
canas be
simplified
KS
  coordinates
 to  χboundary, 𝑚𝑚
!:  infinite 𝑚𝑚
= 𝑚𝑚! −
coordinates
to
express
block
diagonal
in
KS
 χ
   
with
p
 
 in spherical
spherical
coordinates
to
express
χ
as
a
block
diagoeigenfunctions
KS
 
KS
nal
in
m
=
m

m
:
eigenfunctions
with
infinite
p
2
1
nal
in m  =coordinates
m2 − m1 :   to
spherical
χKS as a block
diago  
 
  express
 
eigenfunctions
 
 χKS
   
nal in m 𝜙𝜙    
= m2 − m1 :  𝜓𝜓   ! 𝑟𝑟, 𝜃𝜃, 𝜙𝜙 , 𝜓𝜓 ! 𝑟𝑟′, 𝜃𝜃′, 𝜙𝜙′    
eigenfunctions
 
nal in m = m
!
!
  

  2 − m1 :  

m
im(φ−φ
 χKS     (12)
 
! (
m! −
im(φ−φ 𝑚𝑚
 =χ 𝑚𝑚 𝑚𝑚

!    ))
 
 
e
=
χ
ψ𝜒𝜒nlm
(rr! 𝜒𝜒
(12)
(Equation
12)= !!  !! !!!ψ
= 𝑚𝑚

− 𝑚𝑚

nlm
KS
e
=
χ
χ𝑚𝑚KS 𝜙𝜙
   
!"
!" 𝑒𝑒
!
!
KS
m
im(φ−φ )
KS 

ψ
(r
 
nlm
 
e
(12)
χ
χ   KS =m=m
 
 
 
im(φ−φ
)
m
m=m2 −m
−m1 χ
KS e
  (12)
ψnlm (
 
2
1
! χKS =
!
KS
− 𝑚𝑚

  𝑚𝑚

= 𝑚𝑚

, 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟
′,
 𝜓𝜓
!
! !  𝑟𝑟, 𝜃𝜃, 𝜙𝜙m=m
for
−m
 χ!  2KS
    1𝜃𝜃′, 𝜙𝜙′  
for
 !
   
for jjll Spherical
Spherical
m=m
−m1 ! !"(!!!! ) ! !"(!!!
)
  for
  𝜒𝜒
2!"
=
    𝜙𝜙
!= 𝑚𝑚
!
− 𝑚𝑚

  𝑚𝑚 𝜒𝜒

!" 𝑒𝑒
! !!! 𝜒𝜒
   !" 𝑒𝑒  𝜓𝜓 𝜒𝜒
!" = !!  !
for
!!  !
!
!
!!
 
l Spherical 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃
,
, 𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

′,j𝜃𝜃′, 𝜙𝜙

 
!
!
ciated
Legendr
 
!
!ciated
for
for
j
Spherica
l Legendr
  for
 
 
 
 
ciated
Legendr
 
!
 
m)
Z,
ll ≥ 

! !"(!!! ! ) 𝜒𝜒
!" = −2(n,
!!∈
!!
(n,
m)

Z,

ciated
Legend
! !!,
     ! 𝜒𝜒
=m
    𝜒𝜒
!" for
 
 χ!KS
!!
!" 𝑒𝑒
m !!  !
   
(n,for
m)!

Z,
l !≥
(! 

=
−2
[f
)) −

(13)
χ 𝑚𝑚

= (ε 𝑚𝑚
m
!!
! )!(!
!
!
µT
b
µT
m
! 1−
!   f
0,
A
a
norm
KS
1 𝑚𝑚
2b
2 )]
=
−2
[f


f

)]
(13)
χ
 
µT
m
b
µT
m
b
0,
for
A
a
norm
!"(!!!
(n,
m)

Z,
l

m 
 [f   (ε 1 1 ) − f (ε 2 2  χ
  𝜒𝜒
A 𝑒𝑒
a! norm 𝜒𝜒
)]!"    =   (13)
!!  !! !!
χKS
!∗ !"
!for
m =   −2
µT
m
b
µT
m
b
0,
m
=m
+m,
KS
1
1
2
2
!
(!)!
(!
2
1
finite-radius
KS
! ! !!
!! !co
m
=m
+m,
!
!
=
−2
[f

)

f

)]
(13)
χ
2
1
finite-radius
co
µT
m
b
µT
m
b
0,
for A a no
 
!
KS   (m
1 1
2
2 𝑓𝑓 𝜒𝜒
1!"
−2 𝑓𝑓 𝜀𝜀

! !!,
)− 𝑓𝑓

×𝑓𝑓
!! !!
! !!,
!"
!"   𝜀𝜀
b1 ))=
=(m
) !"
= −2 𝜀𝜀
!
×
!
! !!  
2b
  2𝜒𝜒
m
+m,
! !!!
!"
!!!!!!! ) −finite-radius
!" 𝜀𝜀!! !! !!!co
(m
(m
!!
12b=m
1 =1
2 b2 )
(!! !! )!(!! !! )(! ! )!(! !  )
we
can
expect
m
 
!)
1 +m,
we
can
expect
! !
!  
finite-radius
c
b12 )=m
=−
(m
! ! !"(!!!
1𝑚𝑚
2 b2  )
0∗
0
0∗
0  𝑚𝑚 𝑚𝑚

(m
=
= 0 !!  !
   )
! 2
  1 b!1 )ψ
0∗
0∗! 𝜒𝜒(
0
!∗
!
!∗
!"
(m
=m
(m𝜒𝜒

(
(
ρ
ρ
(
ρ
can
expect
! !!
2 b!"
(!)!radial
(!!
similar
ψ
ρ)ψ

ρ)ψ

ρ𝑒𝑒)ψ
)ψ    m
ρ!!
) !!! (!)!we
m
m
!
!
1 (
1  (
! !! canradial
! !!
similar
we
expec
m
b𝑓𝑓
b22 (
b22𝜀𝜀(

0∗11 b
0 22 b
0∗22 b
0 11 b
1
1 𝜀𝜀
m
) − 𝑓𝑓m 𝜒𝜒
! = −2   ! !!
  ×
!!,m

χKS =  

im(φ−φ )
χm
KS e

ψnlm (r

(12)

m=m2 −m1

for jl90Spherical
ciated Legendr
(n, m) ∈ Z, l ≥ 

−2
[fµT (εm1 b1 ) − fµT (εm2 b2 )]
(13)
χm
0, for A a nor
KS =
m2 =m1 +m,
finite-radius co
(m1 b1 )=(m2 b2 )
we can expect
0∗
0
0∗
0
ψm
(
ρ)ψm
(
ρ)ψm
(
ρ )ψm
(
ρ )
similar radial
2 b2
1 b1
1 b1
2 b2
×
the most natu
ε

ε

ω
˜
m 2 b2
m 1 b1
(Equation 13)
of spherical w
for P Legendre
The form given in Eq.(13) enables parallelization over m,
The form given in Equation 13 enables parallelization over m, the azimuthal l
ficient. Attemp
the azimuthal quantum number of any input system, in
quantum
of any input
system, in
lieu approach
of the standard
plane-waveinDFT
Eq. (14) in
lieu ofnumber
the standard
plane-wave
DFT
of threadnumerical
erro
ing
over
reciprocal
space
k-points.
approach of threading over reciprocal space k-points.
for

 
FIGURE 1. Infinite radius cone geometry in spherical coordinates with β  , the cone half-angle. We
 
study this cylindrically-symmetric structure in order to reduce the computational
cost of our TD  
DFT calculations. 𝜓𝜓
!"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗! 𝛽𝛽!"

!

! 𝑃𝑃

!! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"#

 
  𝑗𝑗
!    
The DFT and TD-DFT approaches discussed above were implemented
as an
 
 
extension to JDFTx, an open-source plane-wave density-functional
theory
 𝛽𝛽!" ,  𝑃𝑃!!    
  suggested by
software.25 Using the DFT++ algebraic formulation originally
 
Ismail-Bergi and Arias,26 we developed a spherical wave DFT
add-on
that 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚
∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚
∈ ℝ, 𝑃𝑃!! (cos 𝛽𝛽) =
 
 
! 𝑏𝑏
!"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗! (𝛽𝛽!" )𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"#    

II. COMPUTATIONAL OVERVIEW

 
  𝑃𝑃
!    
 

!

gth
e,

10)

B.

Computational overview

91

The DFT and TD-DFT approaches discussed above
were implemented as an extension to JDFTx, a freely
24
elds
available
plane
density
functional By
theory
software
.
inherits from
the wave
JDFTx’s
core architecture.
switching
to a spherical
wave
Using the DFT++ algebraic formulation originally sug25wave basis, we can accurately resolve the
basis inby
lieuIsmail-Beigi
of JDFTx’s standard
plane
gested
and Arias
we developed a spher11)
ical
wave DFT
add-on that inherits
from
the to
JDFTx’s
eigenfunctions
of mathematically
sharp cones
similar
those in Figure 1. The
core architecture. By switching to a spherical wave bamotivation
forJDFTx’s
this leap, which
necessitated
rewriting
plane-wave
sis
in lieu of
standard
plane wave
basis,
we can dependent
accurately
resolve
the eigenfunctions
of developed
mathematically
sections of JDFTx,
is outlined
below. We then
a TD-DFT extension
sharp cones similar to those in FIG. 1. The motivation
to compute
material
to external
potential
perturbations
for
this leap,
whichresponse
necessitated
rewriting
plane-wave
de- as outlined
ncpendent
sections
is outlined
below. We
in Equations
12 and of
13. JDFTx,
By combining
our parallelization
overthen
m with a jellium
gedeveloped
a
TD-DFT
extension
to
compute
material
rereapproach
toexternal
smooth the
ionic lattice
potential of as
a given
silver in
nanostructure,
sponse
to
potential
perturbations
outlined
s to
Eqs.
(12) and 13).
Byour
combining
ourtime
parallelization
oversize.
we substantially
reduce
computation
at a fixed system
ons
 
m
with
a
jellium
approach
to
smooth
the
ionic
lattice
porite
β  
tential
of
a
given
silver
nanostructure,
we
substantially
 
.(8)
 
 for the case
reduce
our
computation
time
at
a
fixed
system
size.
To
appreciate
the
necessity
of
our
switch
to
a
spherical
basis
hal
β   β  
To
appreciate
the
necessity
of
our
switch
to
a
spherical
 
om    
 
of mathematically
sharp structures, we consider
the simplified model of
! 

basis
for
the
case
of
mathematically
sharp
structures,
we
   
φ ),
  β   𝜓𝜓

!"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗! 𝛽𝛽!" !
!
!
an
infinite
radius
cone
with
infinite
potential
at
its
boundary.
The
analytical
!"#
consider
cone
!
in 𝑟𝑟
radius
=𝑟𝑟 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗= 𝑃𝑃
! (cos
!
β     the simplified model of an 𝜓𝜓infinite
!"#
! 𝛽𝛽 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗 𝑃𝑃

!𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒
(cos    𝜃𝜃) 𝜓𝜓
!"#
 !"! ! 𝛽𝛽!"
with   infinite potential at its boundary.
The
analytical
!
go- !"#
eigenfunctions
for such a system take the   form:
 
os 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 eigenfunctions
   
 
 
for such a system
take
!
  the form !"#
!
  𝜓𝜓 𝑟𝑟

= 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗 𝛽𝛽 𝑃𝑃

(cos 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒
    𝑗𝑗
!    
!"# 
! !r!"! ! !𝑗𝑗!      
!"#
m
imφ 𝑟𝑟

= 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗 𝛽𝛽 𝑃𝑃

(cos 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒
    𝜓𝜓
!"#
 
(Equation
! l β!"
P!l (cos
(14) 14) 𝑗𝑗
!    
  ψnlm (r) = Aj
  θ)e
nl !
12)
R
 
   
   
!
m
 𝛽𝛽
,  𝑃𝑃
   
 𝛽𝛽!" ,  𝑃𝑃!!    
for j   l Spherical
Bessel
functions
with
roots
β
,
P
asso!"
  ! nl l 𝑗𝑗
!    
   𝛽𝛽
!
 
ciated
Legendre
functions,
andwith
subject
to!"
the
for 𝑗𝑗!    Spherical
Bessel
functions
roots
associated
Legendre
,  𝑃𝑃conditions
 
!    
m
 
(n, m)

Z, l ≥ m ∈ R, Pl (cos β) = 0,
βnl || jl (βnl )   =
 
 
 
functions,
and subject to the constant.
conditions In 𝑛𝑛
, a 𝑚𝑚
DFT
∈ ℤ,model 𝑙𝑙
≥ 𝑚𝑚of ∈ ℝ, 𝑃𝑃!! (cos 𝛽𝛽) = 0,
13)
0,
for 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚 ∈
  A  𝛽𝛽a!"normalization
,  𝑃𝑃!!    
   
cone
geometries
with
finite-potential
wells,
!
for
A
a
normalization
constant.
In
a
DFT
(cos 𝛽𝛽)finite-radius
= 0, 𝛽𝛽

∥ 𝑗𝑗 𝛽𝛽

=
0    
 
 𝛽𝛽!"  !",  𝑃𝑃! !     !" 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ model 𝑚𝑚
∈ofℝ, 𝑃𝑃!! (cos
 
we can expect
the eigenfunctions to have qualitatively
!
  )𝑃𝑃
   
  𝑟𝑟 wells, 

finite-radius
cone geometries with finite-potential
can
expect
the 𝑏𝑏
!"#
= 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗!we
(𝛽𝛽!" 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒 !"#    
! (cos
)
!
similar radial and angular dependences,
which
means
!
! 𝑟𝑟

= 𝑏𝑏

 
 for 𝑚𝑚
to∈
ℤ, 𝑙𝑙
≥representation 𝑚𝑚
∈similar
ℝ,   𝑃𝑃!radial
(cos 𝛽𝛽
)
=that
0,dependences, 𝛽𝛽
!" ∥ 𝑗𝑗! 𝛽𝛽𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗
=!"
0    ! )
!"#
!" ! (𝛽𝛽
most𝑛𝑛,natural
basis
them
is
eigenfunctions
have
qualitatively
and
angular 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒 !"#    the 
  (cos 
𝛽𝛽) = 0, 𝛽𝛽 𝑛𝑛
,  𝑚𝑚 ∈waves,
ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚
(r)∈=ℝ, 𝑃𝑃
!!
∥ !" 𝑗𝑗
! !𝛽𝛽)𝑃𝑃
= 0    
imφ
!" ! (cos 𝑟𝑟
= 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒 !" 𝑏𝑏
r!"#
 !"! (𝛽𝛽
Pl (cos
of spherical
bnlm
Bj
θ)e𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗
l βnl R
!
which
means
the
most
natural
basis
representation
for
them
is
that
of
spherical 𝑃𝑃
!    
  Legendre
 
 
m,
for P
polynomials and B a normalization
coef  
l
!
 
  𝑃𝑃
!    Legendre
waves, 𝑏𝑏Attempting 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗
resolve
)𝑃𝑃! (cos   𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"#
   forform
ficient.
of
the
, in
!"# 𝑟𝑟 = to
! (𝛽𝛽!" !wavefunctions
 
!
!"# 𝑟𝑟

= 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗

(𝛽𝛽
)𝑃𝑃
(cos 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒
    𝑏𝑏
!"#
in Eq.
(14)
in
a
plane-wave
DFT
code
would
engender
ad!
!"
!
   
  𝑉𝑉
!   𝑃𝑃! Attempting
!
polynomials
and B a normalization
coefficient.
to  resolve
numerical
error.
 
   
   
wavefunctions of the form in Equation 14  in a plane-wave DFT𝑉𝑉code
would
  𝑃𝑃!    
!  
 
 𝜎𝜎    𝑉𝑉  
 
engender 𝑃𝑃
!       numerical error.
!
 
 
   
 
 
 𝜎𝜎    
  𝑉𝑉!   𝐸𝐸
!      
  𝑉𝑉
!    
   𝜎𝜎    
 
   
   

!
 
!  
  𝑏𝑏
!"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗! (𝛽𝛽!"  )𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"#    
 
!
 
  𝑃𝑃
!     𝑉𝑉
!   0, 𝛽𝛽 ∥ 𝑗𝑗 𝛽𝛽
! 𝑉𝑉!   𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℝ, 𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝛽𝛽) =
!" 92 !
!"
 
 
 
 
  𝑃𝑃
!    
 
 
 
 
! 𝑉𝑉
!  
 𝜎𝜎    !"#     𝑏𝑏
!"# 𝑟𝑟   = 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗! (𝛽𝛽!" )𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒
!
 
Table 1  
 
  𝑉𝑉
!  
  𝜎𝜎
(a0)  
Jellium parametrization
values
for 𝑉𝑉!,   the stabilizing background
 
  jellium potential in
 
 
  𝑃𝑃
!     decay
 
Hartrees,  𝜎𝜎    a surface stabilizing
length parameter, and 𝐸𝐸!    the cutoff energy
 
 
 
  structure calculations.  
  converge subsequent
required to
band
 
 
 
 𝜎𝜎    
 
 
  𝑉𝑉
!   𝜎𝜎
(a0)   𝐸𝐸
! (EH)  
SURFACE
  𝐸𝐸
!     𝑉𝑉
!    
 
β  
 
  4.0
Ag (111)  
-0.1354
0
 
 
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!    
 
 
 𝜎𝜎    
 
 
 
 
 
 𝑟𝑟   𝑉𝑉
!    
 
! ! !
β   𝐸𝐸

(E
)  
 
H 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒 !"#     𝜓𝜓

 
  !"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗!! 𝛽𝛽!" !   𝑃𝑃! (cos
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!       𝑉𝑉!    
 
 
 
 
 
 𝑟𝑟!  
 𝑟𝑟!    
    !
!
!"#
 
 
 
  𝜓𝜓!"# 𝑟𝑟 = 𝐴𝐴𝑗𝑗! 𝑗𝑗𝛽𝛽  !!"
    ! 𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒       𝑉𝑉
!    
 
 
   
 
   𝑟𝑟!  
 
 
 
 𝑟𝑟 𝛽𝛽
,  
   
 !  
 
 
 
!
  !" ,  𝑃𝑃!    
  𝑗𝑗!    
 𝑟𝑟!    𝛽𝛽
 
 
 
   
   𝑟𝑟!  
 
 
  𝛽𝛽
,  
   
 
 𝑟𝑟!    
 
!
! 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℝ, 𝑃𝑃!   (cos 𝛽𝛽) = 0, 𝛽𝛽
 𝛽𝛽!" ,  𝑃𝑃!    
 
 
 
  𝛽𝛽,  
 
 
 
 
 
  𝛽𝛽
,  
!
  ∥ 𝑗𝑗 !"#
!   𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑏𝑏𝑚𝑚
ℝ, = 𝑃𝑃
! 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗
(cos 𝛽𝛽
) )𝑃𝑃
= !0, 𝛽𝛽
!"
(cos 𝜃𝜃
)𝑒𝑒! 𝛽𝛽!"     = 0  
!"#∈ 𝑟𝑟
! (𝛽𝛽!"
!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FIGURE 2. Jellium
band structure for a  5-atom thick Ag(111) slab (blue) compared with a full DFT!
 
  we obtain
!"#
calculated band
structured
(red)
with
parametrization
given𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒
in Table (I).    The band match 𝑟𝑟
= 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗

)𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝑏𝑏
!"#
! (𝛽𝛽𝑃𝑃
!"
!    !
 
 
is adequate to replicate realistic Ag excited states for the nearly-free s electron in subsequent
TD  
 
 
 
DFT calculations
 
 
 
  𝑉𝑉
!   the potential contributions of lattice ions
    𝑃𝑃

!
For our jellium model, we smeared
 
 
 
 
  two variables, a stabilizing
 
and non-valence
electrons and parametrized
over
 
 
 
 
potential 𝑉𝑉!  and a decay length  𝜎𝜎    over which the   jellium potential background
 
 
 
decays. We selected the values of these parameters
work
  to match the full-DFT
 
 
 
 
 
function for
a (111) Ag surface with 𝐸𝐸
!a     thickness of 5 atomic layers, where the
 𝜎𝜎    
 
 
 
 
crystal surface
is selected to maximize
atomic packing.
Our parametrization
 
 
 
 
 
  𝑉𝑉
!     𝐸𝐸
!    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 𝑟𝑟!   𝑉𝑉
!    
 

 
 

 
 𝛽𝛽!" ,  𝑃𝑃!!       𝑃𝑃
!    
 
! 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℤ,   𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℝ,  𝑃𝑃!! (cos 𝛽𝛽)
= 0,
=𝑃𝑃0    
!"𝑙𝑙 ∥ 𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚
∈ 𝛽𝛽
ℤ,
≥𝑗𝑗! 𝑚𝑚𝛽𝛽!"
∈ ℝ,
! (cos 𝛽𝛽) =
93
 
 
 
  𝑛𝑛
, 𝑚𝑚 ∈   ℤ, 𝑙𝑙 ≥ 𝑚𝑚 ∈ ℝ, 𝑃𝑃!! (cos 𝛽𝛽) = 0, 𝛽𝛽
  𝑉𝑉
!  
!
!
  𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"# 𝑏𝑏
!"#
    𝑟𝑟 = 𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗! (𝛽𝛽!" ! )𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒 !"#     𝑏𝑏
!"# 𝑟𝑟 =   𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗! (𝛽𝛽!" )𝑃𝑃! (cos
!
 
values are presented in Table 1. Surprisingly,
 after exploring! various exponential
 
 
!"#
    𝑏𝑏
!"# 𝑟𝑟 =
  𝐵𝐵𝑗𝑗
! (𝛽𝛽!" ! )𝑃𝑃! (cos 𝜃𝜃)𝑒𝑒
falls
off, we found we could
 decay lengths  𝜎𝜎    over which the jellium potential 𝑃𝑃
!    
 
  𝑃𝑃

!    
eliminate
it entirely
from our model. This parametrization
finally enabled
 
 
 
 
 
of our jellium 𝑃𝑃
!     band structure with the full valence
    𝐸𝐸
!matching
 an approximate 𝑉𝑉
!  
 
 
  𝑉𝑉

 
electron
band
structure
of
Ag,
shown
in
Figure
2. It is evident from these plots
!
 
 
 
 
that our jellium parametrization provides
a reasonable description of the bands 𝑉𝑉
!  
 𝜎𝜎     𝑉𝑉
!    
 
 
 
within
3
eV
of
the
Fermi
level,
except
for
the
Shockley
surface states. With this
 
 𝜎𝜎    
 
 
  we then proceeded
 parametrization,
to ground-state
DFT calculations in our 𝐸𝐸
!    
 𝜎𝜎    
 𝑟𝑟!  
 
 
spherical basis.
 
  𝐸𝐸
!    
 
 
 
  𝑉𝑉
!     𝐸𝐸
!    
 III. RESULTS  𝑟𝑟!  
 
 
 
  𝑉𝑉
!    
A. GROUND STATE
 
 𝑟𝑟!  
 
 
 
    cone systems 𝑉𝑉
!and
nanoparticle
as a means of testing our 𝛽𝛽
,  
 We studied spherical
 
 
 𝑟𝑟
!  
ground
state DFT extension. With   the jellium  𝑟𝑟
parametrized,
there are only three
!  
 
 
cutoff for the nanostructure;
 input parameters for a given run:  𝑟𝑟!  , the radial
 
 
  ,   the radial cutoff for the simulation;
 𝑟𝑟
and 𝛽𝛽,  
, the half-angle of the structure.
!
   
   
  simulating a nanoparticle against a cone is
Thus 𝛽𝛽

= the 𝜋𝜋
    difference between
 𝑟𝑟!    
 
 
 
  𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋    for the former, and a desired
effectively just a matter of𝛽𝛽selecting 𝛽𝛽
,  
= 𝜋𝜋    
 
   
 
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    for the latter. 𝛽𝛽
,    
 
 
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    
 
  3 below, which plots the logarithmic 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃 such
   
Three
systems are given in Figure
 
 
 
of 𝜃𝜃
the    full spherical calculation volume
 electron density over the 𝑟𝑟, 𝜃𝜃    plane𝑟𝑟,
 
 for a nanoparticle of diameter 4.2 nm   and two different cones. These plots
  𝜒𝜒
!"#    
 
exponentially with increasing
 show the electron density   spill-out decaying
  𝜒𝜒
!"#    
 distance from the structure 𝜒𝜒
line    with quantum mechanical
  surface, in!"#
 
 
ℓ𝓁𝓁
and 3C, we observe that the electron 𝑌𝑌
ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)    Additionally,  in Figures 3B 𝑟𝑟
predictions.
 
 
 
  𝑟𝑟
ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)    
  𝑟𝑟
ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)    
 
 
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = (1,0)    
 
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚

=
(1,0)    
 
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = (1,0)    
 

94

density avoids the cone tips by one to two lattice units. This is a quantum
confinement effect, brought about when the length scales accessible to
electrons in the cones is on the same order of magnitude as the wavelengths
of electronic eigenstates. Finally, we can also observe faint Friedel oscillations
in the latter two figures as well, although for linear density plots (not shown),
they are visible for all three. These oscillations are expected to arise for such
systems due to the sudden cutoffs in their background jellium potentials (i.e.,
the surface cutoffs of the nanostructures). These boundaries effectively act as
perturbations on the valence electron Hamiltonian, which directly translates to
perturbations of the electronic wavefunctions and electron density.
B. OPTICAL RESPONSE

Following our calculations for the silver nanoparticle and cone systems in the
ground state, we computed their excited state responses as described in the
Cylindrical Simplification and Computational Overview sections. However, our
results as presented are preliminary; we have studied the optical response of
nanometer-scale Ag particles to ensure agreement with classical predictions,
but we have not yet performed optical studies on smaller nanoparticles or
sharp tip systems. Additionally, our calculations at present use a coarse
degree of accuracy as a means of obtaining preliminary results. For instance,
we have yet to include the exchange-correlation interaction within our
total material susceptibility calculation, and still need to incorporate a
nonlocal background dielectric contribution from our ionic lattice. Since
we have observed known experimental behavior for our control system of
large spherical particles, our immediate next steps are to incorporate these
refinements into our calculations and to probe smaller particle resonances,

95

 
 

 
  𝑙𝑙

, 𝑚𝑚 = (1,0)     𝑙𝑙

, 𝑚𝑚 = (1, ±1)    
in order to eventually study the plasmonic response of cones. The discussion
 
below focuses on the calculations
we have performed and what we can gauge
 
 
from their results in order to direct our immediate next steps.
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋, 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a0    
 
To compute the optical   response of a given geometry, we first use DFT in a 𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋/4, 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a0    
full local density approximation
(LDA) to compute the ground state electron
 
 
 
density of our structure   by minimizing the total  energy in all occupied states.
 
=!𝜋𝜋    = 100  a0     𝛽𝛽
= 10°, 𝑟𝑟! = 80  a0𝛽𝛽,  𝑟𝑟 𝛽𝛽
=
We subsequently run an electronic
minimization
the𝜋𝜋    
unoccupied
   
 
  to converge all
 
   
 
 
 
states to which electrons
under
perturbation.
With
  will be 𝛽𝛽 𝛽𝛽

excited
=
= 𝜋𝜋     𝜋𝜋
    𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋
    external
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    
 
ϯ    
 
 
 𝜒𝜒   ,  𝑣𝑣the
    material response 𝑝𝑝
compute
= 𝑣𝑣!"#
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    
!"#total
all states converged, we
to
      !"#
 
 
 
 
 𝛽𝛽
 𝛽𝛽 <
< 𝜋𝜋/2     𝜋𝜋
/2    
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    𝑟𝑟, 𝜃𝜃    
 
external perturbations. Approximating
to the case
of a long-wavelength
fixed
 
    𝛽𝛽 =  𝜋𝜋    
 
   
 
   
 
  𝑟𝑟
, a𝜃𝜃linear
    𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋    on
 
amplitude
electric field   incident
our nanostructure,
we apply 𝑟𝑟
, 𝑟𝑟
,  𝜃𝜃 𝜃𝜃
        𝑟𝑟, 𝜃𝜃      
 
 
 
 𝛽𝛽
< 𝜋𝜋
/2    
 
   
  𝜒𝜒
!"#    
external
of testing
the accuracy
of the resulting
induced
  𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋     potential. As a means
 
     
 
 
 
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    
 
 
 
   
 
 
polarization,
we focus on the
  test-case
  𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃    of a spherical nanoparticle with two
 𝛽𝛽 < 𝜋𝜋/2    

  𝑝𝑝

= 𝑣𝑣!"#  𝜒𝜒!"#  𝑣𝑣!"#    

  𝜒𝜒 𝜒𝜒

!"#
   
!"#    
  𝜒𝜒

!"#    

  𝜒𝜒

!"#    

ℓ𝓁𝓁
   
  𝑌𝑌
ℓ𝓁𝓁,!in
(𝛺𝛺)    
distinct
incident electric field
the𝑟𝑟first
the z-plane
within our
  𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃polarizations:
     
 

   

 

 

  𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟
𝑌𝑌 𝑟𝑟
𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)     𝑌𝑌
ℓ𝓁𝓁,!
(𝛺𝛺)     𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = 1,0)      
ℓ𝓁𝓁,!(𝛺𝛺)    
 
 
 
    potential
 
  harmonics 𝑟𝑟 ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)    
Representing
our
applied
linear
in
solid
, 𝜒𝜒
!"#      
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
  𝑚𝑚
ℓ𝓁𝓁 =
= 1,0)    
1,0)     𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 and
= 1,0)     𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = (1, ±1)    respectively.
these
two cases correspond
to 𝑙𝑙,𝑙𝑙, 𝑚𝑚
  𝜒𝜒
!"#    
 
    𝑟𝑟 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,!
  (𝛺𝛺)      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  𝑟𝑟
ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,!𝑙𝑙,
(𝛺𝛺)    
 
  = 𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 𝑚𝑚

= (1,
(1, 𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚±1)    
±1)    
= (1,
  ±1)     𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = (1,0)    
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚   = 1,0)    
   
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋, 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a
0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a0    
  𝑟𝑟
ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝑌𝑌ℓ𝓁𝓁,! (𝛺𝛺)    
 
     
 
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚     =   1,0)    
 
 
 
  𝑚𝑚
𝑟𝑟
(1,
±1)    
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚00,  𝑟𝑟
==(1,
±1)    
 𝛽𝛽
 𝛽𝛽 =
=𝑙𝑙, 𝜋𝜋, 𝜋𝜋
,
 𝛽𝛽 𝑟𝑟
!!== 𝜋𝜋
, 𝑟𝑟
!𝛽𝛽
=
40  a
40  a
,  𝑟𝑟
,  𝑟𝑟
40  a
=
= 50  a
50  a
,  𝑟𝑟
        40  a
50  a
   !
0
0=
0
0
0=
= 𝜋𝜋
/4, 𝑟𝑟
!!=
50  a
!
!
0    
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = 1,0)    
     
 
 
  𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 =   (1, ±1)    
 
   
 
 
 
 
  𝜋𝜋/4,
  𝛽𝛽 𝛽𝛽

=
= 𝜋𝜋
/4, 𝛽𝛽
𝑟𝑟= 𝑟𝑟
!! = 𝜋𝜋
/4, 𝑟𝑟
!=
= 40  a
40  a
,  𝑟𝑟
,  𝑟𝑟
40  a
=
=𝑟𝑟50  a
50  a
,  𝑟𝑟
        50  a0    
0
0=
0
0= 𝛽𝛽

10°,
=
80  a
!
!
!0
!
 
  0     0,  𝑟𝑟! = 100  a0     𝑙𝑙
, 𝑚𝑚 = (1, ±1)    
 𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋
, 𝑟𝑟

=
40  a
,  𝑟𝑟
=
50  a
0 !
!
   
 
 
 
 
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋, 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! =
     
 
 
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋,  𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a
 
0    
ϯ= 𝛽𝛽 𝛽𝛽

=
= 10°,
10°, 𝛽𝛽
𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟=
10°, 𝑟𝑟

=
80  a
80  a
=
,  𝑟𝑟
,  𝑟𝑟
80  a
=
100  a
100  a
,  𝑟𝑟
   100  a0    
 =
0
0
0
0
0    
!
! =
!
!
!
! 𝑝𝑝
=
!"#  𝑣𝑣!"#    
FIGURE
3. Ground state logarithmic
electron density plot
for𝑣𝑣(A)
a spherical
!"#  𝜒𝜒
 
 
0    nanoparticle,
    𝛽𝛽 =  𝜋𝜋/4, 𝑟𝑟! =   40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a
 
for
a
full
simulation
size
of
2323
electrons.
Scale bar: 0.5 nm.
  0    
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋, 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a
 
   
 
 
= of𝜋𝜋/4, 𝑟𝑟
! = 40  a0,  𝑟𝑟!
  a large half-angle cone with 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋/4,
(B)
a size
340 electrons.
  𝑟𝑟!
ϯϯ = 40  a
ϯ 0,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a0     for 𝛽𝛽 𝑝𝑝 𝑝𝑝

=
= 𝑣𝑣 𝑣𝑣
!"# 𝑝𝑝
 𝜒𝜒
= 𝑣𝑣
 𝑣𝑣
 𝜒𝜒
 𝑣𝑣!"#
 𝜒𝜒
   
     𝑣𝑣!"#    
!"#
!"#
!"#
!"#
 80  a
!"#
  with 𝛽𝛽 =
 
10°, 𝑟𝑟
!!"#
=
Scale
bar: 0.5 nm. (C) a sharp cone
0,  𝑟𝑟! = 100  a
0     for a size of 141
 
       
 
  𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋/4,Scale 𝑟𝑟
! =bar:
40  a
= 50  a
 
0
electrons.
1.00,  𝑟𝑟
nm.
! Notable
features
include the  exponentially decaying
electron spill-out
 
  80  a ,  𝑟𝑟   = 100  a       𝛽𝛽
confinement
=  10°,
  all three, as well as the electron
0 !
  𝑟𝑟! =
in
away from
the tips of (B)0 and𝛽𝛽(C).
=
10°, 𝑟𝑟! = 80  a0,  𝑟𝑟!
 
 
 
 
ϯ
 
  𝑝𝑝
= 𝑣𝑣!"#  𝜒𝜒!"#  𝑣𝑣!"#    
 
 
 
 
  𝛽𝛽
= 10°, 𝑟𝑟! = 80  a0,  𝑟𝑟! = 100  a
0    
    ϯ  
 
 
  𝑝𝑝
= 𝑣𝑣!"#    𝜒𝜒!"#  𝑣𝑣!"#    
 
 
 
ϯ
 
 
  𝑝𝑝
= 𝑣𝑣!"#  𝜒𝜒!"#  𝑣𝑣!"#    
ϯ
 

 

 

   
  xy-plane,
 
simulated
sphere, and the  second
in the
orthogonal to the first. 𝑟𝑟
, 𝜃𝜃    
ℓ𝓁𝓁ℓ𝓁𝓁 𝜒𝜒!"#     ℓ𝓁𝓁

 

to resulting
the case of
a long-wavelength
fixedfocus
amplitude
the
induced
polarization,
on0    theelectric
test,  𝑟𝑟! = 50  a
 𝛽𝛽 = 𝜋𝜋, 𝑟𝑟
! = 40  a0we
field
on   nanoparticle
our nanostructure,
we distinct
apply a incident
linear excase
of incident
a spherical
with two
ternal field
potential.
of testing
the accuracy
electric
polarizations:
the first
in the z-plane
withinof
  As a means
96
thesimulated
resulting sphere,
induced
polarization,
we
focus
on
the
testour
and
second
in
the
xy-plane,
= 40  a
,  𝑟𝑟
=
50  a
    𝛽𝛽
= 𝜋𝜋/4, 𝑟𝑟
!the
0 !
0
case of a spherical
nanoparticle
with two
orthogonal
to the
Representing
our distinct
applied incident
linear
  first.
electric field
polarizations:
in
the
z-plane
within
potential
in solid
r Yfirst
(Ω),
these
two
cases
  harmonics the 
,m
our
sphere,
the
second
in
the
xy-plane,
==
10°, 𝑟𝑟

=
80  a
,  𝑟𝑟
=
100  a
   
correspond
to (l,𝛽𝛽
m)
(1,and
0)
and
(l,
m)
=
(1,
±1)
respec0
0
To simulated
characterize
the
silver
nanoparticle’s
response
for
each
case of incident field
!
!
orthogonal to the
first. Representing our applied linear
 
tively.
we
the induced
dipolethese
moment
potential
in solid
harmonics
r Y,m (Ω),
twoparallel
cases
  compute
Topolarization,
characterize
the
silver
nanoparticle’s
response
for to the applied
ϯ
correspond
to (l,
m)𝑣𝑣field
=
(1, !"#
0)  𝑣𝑣
and
m)we
=
±1)
respec    which 𝑝𝑝
=
each
case offield,
incident
compute
the
external
in (1,
the
random
phase approximation
!"#(l,
!"#  𝜒𝜒polarization,
tively.   dipole moment
 
induced
parallel to the applied external
FIG. 4: Real part of th
(RPA) takes
† the   form:
the
silver in
nanoparticle’s
response
for silver sphere of radius r
!!
ϯ
field,Top𝑝𝑝characterize
==v𝑣𝑣
v
,
which
the
random
phase
apext
ext χext
(𝜒𝜒!" + 𝟏𝟏 − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!"
)𝑣𝑣!"#    
!"#
 
each case of(RPA)
incident
field
we compute the responding
 
proximation
takes
thepolarization,
form
to 2323 elec
 
ϯ
induced dipole   moment parallel to the applied external response 𝑝𝑝

= 𝑣𝑣

(𝜒𝜒
+ 𝟏𝟏
z
induced
by aof
!"part
FIG.
4:
Real
!"#
 
††  (χ
ˆ inKSthe
(Equation
+, (1which
1 − Kχ
)−1random
)vext
(15)
KS
field,   p p==vvext
vext
phase
ap-15) the
line sphere
(red) isofthe
pre
extχext
 
silver
radius
 
 
tion
for aϯspherical
diele
 responding
ϯ (RPA) takes the form !!
to 2323
el
field potential. This induced susforproximation
v   the external 𝑝𝑝

ext

= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒!" + 𝟏𝟏 − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!"

)𝑣𝑣!"#     𝟏𝟏

= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒
!" + lin
an𝑝𝑝identical
induced

 response induced by a
† eventually
−1
     
ceptibility
satisfy
three
when
for  𝑣𝑣!"#pshould
the
field potential.
induced
susceptibility
ˆ This
  response’s
= vexternal
)vcriteria
(15) should
the
ext
line (red)spherica
is the p
ext (χKS + (11 − KχKS )
 the
computed
over a range of time-varying incident field fre  
 
tion
for
a
spherical
di 𝑣𝑣

     
eventually
satisfy
three
criteria
when
computed
over
a
range
of
time-varying
!"#
thea external
potential. (1)
Thisit induced
susfor vext
quencies
sphericalfield
nanoparticle:
should be
  for
  identical induced
 an
ceptibility
should
satisfy three
criteria(1)
when
incident
field
frequencies
a spherical
nanoparticle:
it should  the
nearly
at eventually
similarforfrequencies
for nonidentical
 the same
 be nearly
response’s spheric
computed
of time-varying
incident
fre- and
  !"#      over a range
r0      the sphere’s ra 𝑣𝑣

field
polarizations
(i.e., the
nanoparticle’s
Drudefield
scat!"#
 𝑣𝑣
the
same
at
similar
frequencies
for
nonidentical
field
polarizations
(i.e.,
the
quencies
spherical
(1) it should
 𝐸𝐸
tering
response
benanoparticle:
spherically symmetric),
(2)be of     the induced dipol
!   for a should
nearly
at similar
frequencies
for
nonidentical
form
in Eq.(16)
  the
nanoparticle’s
Drude
scattering
response
should
bethe
spherically
sweeped
over same
incident
frequency,
it should
give
clas- symmetric),
  !   given(2) 𝐸𝐸

and
the sphere’s
fieldClausius-Mossotti
theofnanoparticle’s
Drude inscat  polarizations (i.e.,
    Ourr0computed
sical
form
the
dipole
induced
a
valu
swept over incident frequency, it should give the classical
Clausius-Mossotti
induced
dips
tering   response
be spherically
symmetric),
(2) induced
  the in
dielectric
sphere byshould
a uniform
field E0 , given
by26
 of
a
silver
! ! !! !
form
given
in
Eq.(1 𝐸𝐸

sweeped
incident
frequency,
it should
give
clas-field
form
the
sphere
by athe
uniform
,
  𝐸𝐸 𝑝𝑝

!of  𝑟𝑟!over
, 𝜔𝜔dipole
= induced 𝑟𝑟
!in𝐸𝐸a!    dielectric
 
!
of 0.25
eV (with 0.1
! ! !!ε(ω) − 1
3 dipole induced in a
! !!
  𝑟𝑟
sical    Clausius-Mossotti
form of the
Our
computed
va
(16)
are
shown
in !!FIGs
4 𝑝𝑝

, 𝜔𝜔

= 𝑟𝑟

given by27 p(r0 , ω) = ε(ω) + 2 r0 E0
!
26
! !! !
 
 
dielectric
sphere
by
a
uniform
field
E
,
given
by
0
induced
in
a
silver
teria
outlined
above,
 
   
eV (with
incident
field0
for ε(ω)  ε(ω)    
the standard
dielectric function
given in Eq.(11)

1
 of 0.25electric
! ! !! ε(ω)
! ! !!
3
r 0 E0
p(r!0 ,!ω)!!=𝑟𝑟!! 𝐸𝐸!    
(16) 𝑝𝑝 𝑝𝑝 𝑟𝑟

, 𝜔𝜔

= 𝑟𝑟

(Equation 16)
are
shown
in
FIGs
!
  𝑟𝑟! , 𝜔𝜔 =
ε(ω)    
! ! !!
ε(ω) + 2
teria
outlined abov
 
   
electric fiel
for ε(ω)
 
 𝑟𝑟!      the standard dielectric function given in Eq.(11)
 incident

 
for ε(ω)    
the standard dielectric function given in Equation 11 and 𝑟𝑟ε(ω)    
the
!      
 

   

sphere’s
radius. Finally, (3) the normalization of the induced dipole    moment
 𝑟𝑟 = 40  a    
!

0 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟

!!      
= 40  a0    
  !      match with the form given in Equation 16 for nanometer scale 𝑟𝑟

should
particles.

 
 𝜔𝜔 ≈ 5.2  eV  
  ! = 40  a0     𝑟𝑟

   
!!
 𝜔𝜔 = ! = 5.2  eV     𝜔𝜔

  ≈ 5.2  eV  
 
 
!!
= 5.2  eV     𝜔𝜔
!== 8.94  eV  
!
   
   
    𝑑𝑑
!≈=4.2    
8.94  eV   𝜔𝜔

   
 

   
    𝜔𝜔

=5.2  eV  
40  a0     𝑟𝑟
! ≈
   
   
!! 𝜔𝜔

= 5.2  eV     𝜔𝜔
=
≈ 5.2  eV  
!
   
   
 𝜔𝜔 = !! = 5.2  eV    
! 𝜔𝜔
! = 8.94  eV  
 
   
   
 𝜔𝜔 = 8.94  eV   𝑑𝑑
!
≈ 4.2    
 
 

97

 

ϯ 𝑝𝑝

= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒!" + 𝟏𝟏 − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!
 
 
 
  𝑣𝑣
!"#      
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!  
 
 
  𝑝𝑝
𝑟𝑟! , 𝜔𝜔 =

! ! !! ! 𝑟𝑟
𝐸𝐸    
! ! !! ! !

 
 
ε(ω)    
 
  𝑟𝑟
!      
 
 
FIGURE 4. Real part of the induced dipole susceptibility in the silver sphere of 𝑟𝑟! = 40  a0    radius
  to the response
(2.1 nm) from Figure 3A, corresponding to 2323 electrons. Points (blue) correspond
 
induced by a z-polarized incident electric field, while the line (red) is the predicted classical 𝜔𝜔
≈ 5.2  eV  
Clausius-Mossitti relation for a spherical dielectric. xy-polarized incident fields
  give an identical
  .
induced line shape (not plotted), demonstrating the response’s spherical symmetry
!! 𝜔𝜔
= ! = 5.2  eV    

 
 
 
Our computed values for the complex dipole moment induced in𝜔𝜔a! silver
sphere
= 8.94  eV  
 
with a frequency resolution of 0.25 eV (with 0.125 eV near the resonance
peaks)
 
 
are shown in Figures 4 and 5. They satisfy all three criteria outlined 𝑑𝑑
≈above,
4.2    
 
with z-polarized and xy-polarized incident electric fields giving nearly
identical
  𝛾𝛾
 

responses. The resonance line shapes we obtain clearly match the Clausius-

Mossotti form in both shape and normalization, although with slight offset in
the resonance of Figure 5 near 5.2 eV. We expect this offset to be a physical
effect that the bulk mean-field Clausius-Mossotti relation smooths out in the

98

local response, zero-temperature limits. The induced dipole moment we
calculate from the nonlocal response can be expected to deviate slightly from
the Clausius-Mossotti relation.
 

 

ϯ 𝑝𝑝

= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒!"
 
 
 
  𝑣𝑣
!"#      
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!  
 
 
 

!!

ϯ

)𝑣𝑣!"#     𝑝𝑝
= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒!" + 𝟏𝟏 − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!"
 
 
ϯ
  𝑝𝑝
= 𝑣𝑣!"# (𝜒𝜒!" + 𝟏𝟏 − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!"
 
!!
  !"#    
+ 𝟏𝟏   − 𝐾𝐾𝜒𝜒!"
)𝑣𝑣
  𝑣𝑣
!"#      
 
 
 
  𝑣𝑣
!"#      
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!  
 
 
 
  𝐸𝐸
!  
 
  𝑝𝑝
𝑟𝑟! , 𝜔𝜔 =

! ! !! ! 𝑟𝑟
𝐸𝐸    
!  ! !! ! !

!!

)𝑣𝑣!"#    

 
 
! ! !!
  𝑝𝑝
𝑟𝑟! , 𝜔𝜔 = ! !! 𝑟𝑟!! 𝐸𝐸!    
!
! ! !! ε(ω)    
  𝑝𝑝
𝑟𝑟! , 𝜔𝜔 = ! !! 𝑟𝑟!! 𝐸𝐸!    
!
  the induced dipole
FIGURE 5. Imaginary
part of
  moment in a silver sphere for parameters identical
 
 
to those in Figure 4. The curves
show an expected
shape for the sphere plasmon resonances of pure
ε(ω)    
 
      𝑟𝑟
!microscopic
jellium, confirming that our
model
approximately
reproduces expected macroscopic
 
ε(ω)    
 
results.
 
 
  𝑟𝑟
!      
  𝑟𝑟
! = 40  a0       𝑟𝑟
!      
 
 
  can also use these   curves to compute
We
the resonant plasmon frequencies of 𝑟𝑟
! = 40  a0    
  𝜔𝜔

our
silver
nanoparticles
by 5.2  eV  
finding where
Re(p)=0 or equivalently the frequency
 
40  a 𝑟𝑟
! =
0    
 
 
  which Im(p) is minimized.
 
at
For both
real and imaginary cases, this gives 𝜔𝜔
the
≈ 5.2  eV  
!!
  𝜔𝜔
= ! = 5.2  eV    
 
exactly what we would expect from 𝜔𝜔
≈ 5.2  eV  . These values are roughly
 
 
 
!!
 
the
  expected resonance frequency 𝜔𝜔 = ! = 5.2  eV    where the bulk plasma
 
!!
  𝜔𝜔
= ! =
frequency
of 5.2  eV    
silver is 𝜔𝜔! = 8.94  eV  
. In short, our optical response for pure
 
 
 
 
 
  𝜔𝜔
! = 8.94  eV  
 
 
  𝜔𝜔
! = 8.94  eV   𝑑𝑑
≈ 4.2    
 
 
 
 
 
  𝑑𝑑
≈ 4.2     𝛾𝛾
 
 
  𝑑𝑑
≈ 4.2    

 
 
 
 
 
ε(ω)    
99 𝜔𝜔
! = 8.94  eV  
 
 
 
  𝑟𝑟
!      
 
 
jellium in the case of spheres of diameter 𝑑𝑑 ≈ 4.2    nm match classically
 
  𝑟𝑟
! = 40  a0      
expected predictions.
  𝛾𝛾
 
  𝜔𝜔
≈ 5.2  eV  
C. DISCUSSION
 
 
In order to improve the quantitative
accuracy of our optical response
!! 𝜔𝜔
= ! = 5.2  eV    

data, immediate next steps for   our TD-DFT calculations include modifying
 
the dielectric function of our optical
response calculations to account for
 

8.94  eV   likely by including the 𝜔𝜔
! =background,
nonlocality of the d-electron jellium

nonlocal Kohn-Sham susceptibility
of Ag+ions. An accurate parametrization of
 
 
 

the background dielectric function 𝑑𝑑
≈ allows
4.2     us to capture interband losses, while
 
for intraband losses we can review
literature on experimental silver dielectric
 

functions to obtain a value for 𝛾𝛾  , the plasmon damping coefficient. Our present
 

calculations used 𝛾𝛾 = 60    meV based off similar work aiming to reproduce
 

experimental permittivities
within similar frequency ranges. However, this
 
 

=studied
0     𝐾𝐾
!"be
parameter should still
in order to determine 𝛾𝛾its=impact
60     on the
 

 
 
 
!!
!!
= 𝜒𝜒

− 𝐾𝐾
  𝜒𝜒

!"#
!" 𝐾𝐾
!" = 0     𝛾𝛾
= 60    
 
 
Additionally,  the TD-DFT
calculations performed thus far use RPA, namely we
 
 
 
  !
!
!!
!!
= 𝛿𝛿 𝐸𝐸

/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛
)  
!"
!"
= 𝜒𝜒!"
− 𝐾𝐾  . 𝜒𝜒
!"#
assume that 𝐾𝐾!" 𝐾𝐾
so
that
Equation
7
simplifies
to
= 0     𝛾𝛾
= 60    
 
 
 
 
Physically, this means
  that the electrons, responsible for   the formation of the
 
 
 = 𝜒𝜒the
!! with
!!
= other 𝛿𝛿
! 𝐸𝐸!"
/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛! )   𝐾𝐾
!"
plasmon, interact
potential
each
only
− 𝐾𝐾   𝜒𝜒
!"#
= 0     and with 𝐾𝐾
!"
!" background
 
 
 
 
through the potential
  originating from the ionic lattice and
  mean electronic
 
 
 
!!
!! 𝛿𝛿
! 𝐸𝐸!"
/𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛! )   𝐾𝐾
!" = Thus,
density distribution.
another
important
step
= 𝜒𝜒
− 𝐾𝐾     improving the 𝜒𝜒
!"#
!" toward
 
 
 
 
quantitative accuracy
exchange
  of our calculations is to add a nonzero
 
 
 
 
 
 
correlation kernel
(specifically, with 𝐾𝐾!" = 𝛿𝛿 ! 𝐸𝐸!" /𝛿𝛿𝑛𝑛! )  
), making our
 
 
 
 
 
approximation
(LDA).
 
  a local density approximation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

linewidth of resultant
  resonance curves.

100

IV. CONCLUSION

We have developed a fully quantum mechanical model for determining the
optical responses of cylindrically symmetric plasmonic nanostructures. The
model smooths the potential contribution from the ionic lattice and subvalence electrons to a jellium background, and we have shown that for a
sharply-decaying background potential, our jellium surface band structure
matches full-DFT LDA band structure calculations to sufficient accuracy. Our
subsequent ground state DFT calculations for spherical nanoparticles and
atomically-sharp cones yield the experimentally-observed effects of electron
spillout and confinement away from cone-tips. In computing the optical
responses of these structures to incident electric fields, we demonstrated
that our model microscopically computes responses of nanometer-scale
particles in sound agreement with classical electromagnetic predictions.
Continuation of this work will require refinement of our TD-DFT calculations
and a subsequent optical study of sharp cones, the primary platform for which
we developed this model, particularly in order to understand the effect of fully
nonlocal responses on field enhancement. Such a study would also benefit
from comparison of our linear response optical results with those from semiclassical hydrodynamic models described in the introduction, which can be
implemented in our current computational framework.
Finally, it is also worth noting that the model we developed in this work is
generally applicable to any cylindrically symmetric structure. While the
original intention of this Summary was to focus on the optical response of
atomically-sharp cones while using spherical nanoparticles as a control
system, the computational framework we developed can also be applied to

101

nanowires, or any cylindrically-symmetric dimer of nanoparticles, nanowires,
or cones. With further extensions this would enable studies of quantum emitter
systems, for instance bow-tie nanoantennae. Following full refinement of our
linear response TD-DFT calculations, the model we have developed will be
made available for free use toward these ends.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am deeply grateful to Ravishankar Sundaraman for invaluable guidance in this
project’s theoretical development and numerical implementation. I am also
thankful to Prineha Narang and Harry A. Atwater for enlightening conversations
and suggestions that focused the primary thrust of this work. We appreciate
the use of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC)
computational resources, as well as the support of the Caltech Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.

102

ENDNOTES
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2
Jibin Song, Jiajing Zhou, and Hongwei Duan, “Self-Assembled Plasmonic Vesicles of
SERS-Encoded Amphiphilic Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Cell Targeting and Traceable
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(2012), 13458–69.
3
Yun-Ling Luo, Yi-Syun Shiao, and Yu-Fen Huang, “Release of Photoactivatable Drugs
from Plasmonic Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Therapy,” ACS Nano, vol. 5, no. 10
(2011), 7796–804.
4
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of the Radiative Decay Rate of Emitters by Single Plasmonic Nanoantennas,” Nano
Letters, vol. 7, no. 9 (2007), 2871–75.
5
D. E. Chang, A. S. Sørensen, P. R. Hemmer, and M.D. Lukin, “Quantum Optics with
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6
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6, no. 11 (2012), 737–48.
7
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7638.
8
Harry A. Atwater and Albert Polman, “Plasmonics for Improved Photovoltaic Devices,”
Nature Materials, vol. 9, no. 3 (2010), 205–13.
9
C. Ciracì, R. T. Hill, J. J. Mock, Y. Urzhumov, A. I. Fernández-Domínguez, S. A. Maier,
J. B. Pendry, A. Chilkoti, and D. R. Smith, “Probing the Ultimate Limits of Plasmonic
Enhancement,” Science, vol. 337, no. 6098 (31 August 2012), 1072–74.
10
Jonathan A. Scholl, Aitzol García-Etxarri, Ai Leen Koh, and Jennifer A. Dionne,
“Observation of Quantum Tunneling between Two Plasmonic Nanoparticles,” Nano
Letters, vol. 13, no. 2 (2013), 564–69.
11
See note 9.
12
D.C. Marinica, A.K. Kazansky, P. Nordlander, J. Aizpurua, and A. G. Borisov, “Quantum
Plasmonics: Nonlinear Effects in the Field Enhancement of a Plasmonic Nanoparticle
Dimer,” Nano Letters, vol. 12, no. 3 (2012), 1333–39.
13
Jonathan A. Scholl, Ai Leen Koh, and Jennifer A. Dionne, “Quantum Plasmon
Resonances of Individual Metallic Nanoparticles,” Nature, vol. 483, no. 7390 (2012),
421–27.
14
Giuseppe Toscano, Søren Raza, Antti-Pekka Jauho, N. Asger Mortensen, and Martijn
Wubs, “Modified Field Enhancement and Extinction by Plasmonic Nanowire Dimers Due
to Nonlocal Response,” Optics Express, vol. 20, no. 4 (2012), 4176–88.
15
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Response of Metal Nanoparticles,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 115, no. 40
(2011), 19470–75.
1

103

Giuseppe Toscano, Carsten Rockstuhl, Ferdinand Evers, Hongxing Xu, N. Asger
Mortensen, and Martijn Wubs, “Self-Consistent Hydrodynamic Approach to
Nanoplasmonics: Resonance Shifts and Spill-Out Effects,” (2014), retrieved from
arxiv.org/pdf/1408.5862.pdf
17
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Quantum and Classical Plasmonics with a Quantum-Corrected Model,” Nature
Communications, vol. 3 (8 May 2012).
18
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Spectra of Bare Gold Clusters,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 118, no. 6
(2014), 3194–201.
19
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Properties of Silver Nanoshells from Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory
Calculations,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 118, no. 23 (2014), 12450–158.
20
GiovanniMaria Piccini, Remco W. A. Havenith, Ria Broer, and Mauro Stener, “Gold
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16

Asiana 214: Investigating Cockpit Automation
and Cultural Issues in Aviation Safety
Stephanie Chow
STEPHEN YORTSOS
Viterbi School of Engineering
Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and System Engineering
Najmedin Meshkati, Faculty Advisor

106

Introduction

Whenever you fly in an aircraft, whether you are sitting in the cockpit or in the
passenger cabin, and land at a “foreign” airport, your flight safety is at the mercy
of cultural factors and cockpit automation. It may not be politically correct to
mention the effects of culture, but recent rigorous research has proven that
even scientific theories, facts, and practices—which determine and govern
aviation systems’ operations—are subject to cultural influences. Moreover,
understanding the impact of cultural factors is of paramount importance
in aviation safety. In his forward to the seminal book, Culture at Work in
Aviation and Medicine, Captain Daniel Maurino, a former senior official with
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), succinctly addressed this
undeniable issue:
Why should the aviation industry be interested in culture? What has
culture to do with aviation’s goals of safety and efficiency transporting
people and goods? The answer is much; indeed, much more than an
appraisal at face value might suggest [emphasis in original].1
The aviation industry is becoming even more “international,” with international
traffic expected to provide an even greater share of world air transport. This
trend heightens the importance of the aviation technology transfer from
primarily Western aircraft and systems manufacturers to some 600 airlines and
air traffic control centers in countries around the world. There are approximately
93,000 daily flights scheduled for takeoff from over 9,000 airports around
the world. Commercial aviation has become a part of society’s everyday
life. Whether these magnificent machines are delivering packaged goods or
transporting people, flying is one of the most efficient modes of transportation,
connecting people, cities, and cultures around the globe.

107

As in-flight passengers, we have limited access around the airplane, and
therefore often overlook what occurs in the flight deck. Automation technology
for flight decks has advanced considerably over recent decades. The newer
generation of automated equipment usually simplifies pilot tasks or even
replaces some of the pilot’s decision-making activities. However, even though
these technical advancements have been impressive, flight deck automation is
far from eliminating the role of a pilot. Thus, cultural factors should now be given
even greater attention in global aviation safety.
Airline executives and airplane manufacturers have also acknowledged the
importance of cultural variables.2 Robert A. Davis, Vice President of Engineering
and Product Development of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, referred to
“diverse cultures” as one of six “Human Factor Challenges” facing his industry.
He stated, “Successful penetration of future growth markets will require us to
do better at taking into account the culture that our customers’ employees and
passengers bring to our airplanes. Furthermore, our designs must span a wide
range of human abilities across these cultures.”3
The media has covered stories on multiple aircraft accidents in the past
several years. These accidents have sparked debate on flight deck automation
and emphasized the effects of cultural influences. Boeing and other airplane
manufacturers are under pressure to explain whether flight deck automation and
pilot training has led to an increase in the probability of pilot error.
The focus of this case study is primarily on the National Transportation Safety
Board’s (NTSB) initial hearing of Asiana 214 in December 2013, as well as

108

published articles by aviation expert, Geoffrey Thomas. The NTSB’s initial hearing
laid a strong foundation for this research by investigating all of the post-crash
aspects of the accident. The evidence found in the investigation addresses how
humans interact with automation. Thomas’s articles on Asiana 214 provided
experienced insight on the improved need for crew resource management
(CRM) aviation training and cultural issues. In addition, Malcolm Gladwell’s
book chapter, “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes,” from Outliers: The Story of
Success, was key to a basic understanding of plane crashes’ cultural effects.4
The objectives of this research article are threefold: a) to introduce and provide
factual justifications for and examples of the critical impact of cultural factors in
aviation safety; b) to highlight the perils of unchecked cockpit automation; and
c) to examine the role of cultural factors and automation in the Asiana Flight 214
accident from an analytical perspective, by exploring the subsequent actions
that led to its crash.
Asiana Flight 214

On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Incheon, South Korea, crashed on
its final approach to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The Boeing 777
airplane hit the seawall at the edge of the runway, causing the tail to separate
from the fuselage, which skidded several hundred feet. The leaking oil from a
ruptured oil tank fell on the hot engine, quickly erupting into flames. Asiana 214,
carrying 307 passengers, suffered three fatalities.
The Asiana Flight 214 (AF214) trainee-flying pilot, Lee Kang-kook, was making his
first landing at SFO in a Boeing 777. With part of the airport’s automated landing
system dysfunctional, Lee had to visually guide the twin-aisle, large airplane

109

onto the runway. Up until the landing, the flight was reported to have no issues.
However, on approach, AF 214 was 400 feet above the San Francisco Bay, flying
too low and too slow. The Asiana 214 cockpit clearly displayed airspeed of 103
knots (118 mph), but the target speed was 137 knots (160 mph). According to
aviation experts, the pilot should have seen this as a warning to abort the landing
and circle the airport before attempting another landing.5
Immediately after the accident, the pilot in command was questioned and told
investigators that the aircraft’s auto-throttles were engaged and he had assumed
that the plane would maintain a speed of 137 knots. An investigation by the NTSB
found no indication of mechanical problems. No distress calls were reported
during the flight either, and the weather was clear that day, implying a clear
landing view. Therefore, some of the board members believe that the crash was
due to the pilot’s reliance on automated systems.
NTSB Hearing: Asiana 214

On December 11, 2013, the NTSB gathered to discuss what went wrong in the
cockpit of the Boeing 777 and what may have gone wrong in the emergency
response to the accident. The trainee pilot, Lee Kang-kook, told investigators
that he was stressed about the approach to an unfamiliar airport and thought the
auto-throttle was working before the jet landed. According to the NTSB report,
the auto-throttle had changed from “thrust” to “hold” at 1,600 feet in the air. The
function of the auto-throttle is to maintain speed. The flying pilot thought it was
always on. Because a pilot’s job is very intricate and requires attention to detail,
the safety board wanted to examine the errors in the auto flight system. Most
of these errors fall under the pilot’s understanding of the current flight system,

110

called mode awareness. Asiana has raised this issue in a recent filing with NTSB,
saying that “inconsistencies with the aircraft’s automation logic” were a culprit.6
In Panel 3 of the NTSB hearing, Dr. Kathy Abbott from the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) spoke about the human factors in flight deck
automation and referenced her group report called, “Operational Use of
a Flight Path Management System.” In this study, Dr. Abbott says, “The
data suggests that the highly integrated nature of current flight decks and
additional . . . add-on features have increased flight crew knowledge and
introduced complexity that sometimes results in pilot confusion and errors
during flight deck operation.”7
In investigative reports before the crash, when the trainee pilot was asked about
his confidence regarding his knowledge of the system, Lee said that he was
not so confident because he felt he should study more. Flight deck automation
is complex and requires extensive training. Pilots must be fully aware of the
function of the automation, and fully prepared, prior to take off. What makes it
difficult for the aviation industry to improve pilot training is that the complexity
of the system increases the difficulty in instructing the automation.
An instructor pilot was in the flight deck during the crash, and according to
Capt. Sung-kil Lee, Asiana B777 chief pilot, instructor pilots are the most “skilled
pilots.”8 All pilots are supposed to monitor cockpit equipment throughout the
flight even when they are not personally handling the controls. However, during
the crash, the instructor pilot did not step up to address the dangerous flight
conditions. A lack of communication, proper training, and overreliance on

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technology ultimately may be the fatal flaws that led to the tragic crash at San
Francisco Airport in July 2013.
Human Error

As stated earlier, initial data indicated that the crew let the plane’s
airspeed decline, which could have been the result of equipment failure, a
mismanagement of automated systems, or simply inattention.9 This broad
gap between actual speed and targeted speed could have been the result of
uncertainty regarding the crew’s understanding of the auto-throttle system.
Interviews during the investigation revealed that some of the crew (not just the
trainee captain) thought that the auto-thrust was always engaged. However, the
safety board suggests that the auto-thrust was not engaged, so the jet descended
faster than intended, leading to a slower forward speed.10 Bong Dong-Won, the
first relief officer, noticed the accelerated descent and called attention to it
“more than four times.”11 According to Bong, the pilots seemed to be correcting
the excessive descent rate; consequently, he did not advise further alterations.
However, the plane continued to slow down, despite the supposed “corrections”
that were occurring. This decrease in airspeed led to a low-airspeed warning
called a stick shaker, which causes the control lever to shake to get the pilot’s
attention. The captain is supposed to keep a hand on the lever. According to
Captain Lee, he was keeping his hand on the lever intermittently. Even so, the
lack of movement in the throttle levers did not cause him to worry because he
assumed that, once in danger, the auto-throttle system would come out of the
idle position and prevent the plane from reaching the minimum speed.12 This
assumption, however, was incorrect—the auto-throttle system remained in idle
mode. After a couple of vital seconds, the instructor pilot finally took charge and

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pushed the throttles forward, initiating a “go-around.” The instructor pilot lifted
the plane by an angle of greater than 10 degrees, but to no avail. Seconds after
the stick shaker activated, the plane’s fuselage smacked the seawall.13
According to Dr. Nadine Sarter, a human factors expert from the University of
Michigan, one of the most common types of pilot error is “mode error.” Mode
awareness is being aware of the current and future state of automation. Mode
error occurs when there is a misunderstanding of how the automation should
act. This type of error can lead to an error that is “appropriate for the assumed
but not the actual state of automation.”14 In one example, this confusion occurs
when the autopilot is in a mode called flight level change (FLCH). People have
even nicknamed this mode confusion as “the flitch trap.”
To add to Lee’s already-present nerves about landing at SFO, the glide slope,
which assists a pilot in landing, was out of service. The Visual Glide Slope
Indicator (VGSI) uses lights to establish a vertical approach path during an
airplane’s final approach and to determine whether the airplane is too high or
low for optimum landing. That being said, the glide slope was just one of the
tools that pilots have to assure the plane’s correct speed. The localizer, another
available landing tool similar to the glide slope, was working properly when
AF214 crashed. The localizer system gives horizontal guidance to guide the plane
toward the middle of the runway.15 Yet another alternative landing tool that was
working correctly was the Precision Approach Path Indicator, or PAPI. Like the
glide slope, this system also provides vertical guidance to assist the pilot in
maintaining the correct approach. PAPI uses two different colored lights, white
and red, to notify the pilot of his landing angle. In the PAPI system, if there are

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more white lights than red lights, the aircraft is approaching at an angle that is
too high. On the other hand, if there are more red lights than white lights, the
aircraft is approaching at an angle that is too low. A mnemonic used by trainee
pilots to depict the differences is, “red on white you’re alright, red on red you’re
dead.”16 The presence of these tools indicates that Lee had more than enough
help, electronically, to land the plane. Nevertheless, the pilots should have been
more than able to conduct a visual landing with or without automated assistance.
The most shocking statement is that “Captain Lee Kang-kook knew the glide
slope indicator on Runway 28L was inoperative,” but because other pilots were
doing visual approaches, the report says, “[Captain Lee Kang-kook] could not say
he could not do one.”17
Many aviation experts are dumbfounded at the thought of pilots not being
able to perform visual landings without automated help. Aviation expert Barry
Schiff is quoted as saying, “All that tells me is that pilots are not particularly
competent. They had a visual glide slope—all they had to do is look out their
window.”18 Jay Joseph of Joseph Aviation Consulting was also saddened by
the findings in the captain’s testimony: “Some of the problems we have now
[are] with a new generation of pilots who are accustomed to everything being
provided to them electronically, even to flying with the autopilot. It’s a sad
commentary about where aviation has gotten itself.”19 Asiana Airlines, in
particular, contributed to this reliance on technological assistance. Former
Delta Airlines and Asiana Airlines Captain Victor Hooper states that, “while
all Asiana pilots he flew with were extremely competent at executing the
training they were provided, there was minimal training in how to do a visual
approach.”20 The NTSB investigation findings indicate that Captain Lee was

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unprepared to fly a Boeing 777 based on prior training. However, despite his
lack of preparation, assistance and communication from the rest of the flight
crew should have prevented the disaster.
Envelope Protection

Boeing’s automation philosophy is illustrated in their design of flight envelope
protection features. The flight envelope protection system is an extension of
the aircraft’s control system that ignores the pilot’s instructions if the airplane
computers calculate that said instructions will lead to catastrophe. This
system allows the pilot a limited ability to override it by changing its default
limits. It is used in many modern aircraft and all fly-by-wire planes. Fly-bywire (FBW) is a digital system that replaces the conventional manual flight
controls of an aircraft. This system’s technology allows automatic signals to be
sent to perform functions without any of the pilot’s input.21 For example, FBW
automatically stabilizes aircraft. Even though both Boeing and Airbus have
adopted the FBW technology, they take different philosophical approaches in
their application.
Airbus designs its FBW aircraft with built-in hard limit protection, while Boeing
designs aircraft with soft limits. Boeing pilots have the final say and the ability
to override onboard computers during an emergency, a decision that has been
subject to controversy. However, this requires an expertise in the understanding
of flight controls, and the plane’s automation system enables the pilot to take
control if the sensors were inaccurate.22 Moreover, as the pilot is about to exceed
certain flight limits, the system warns the pilot while allowing adequate time for
the pilot to take control. In contrast to Boeing, Airbus believes that a pilot should

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never have to fly out of unsafe conditions and creates a hard protection envelope
that limits the pilot’s actions.
Experts often debate which of the two different flight envelope designs is safer.
Pilot control is the main factor that differentiates the two designs. Looking at
the statistical data, both Airbus and Boeing agree that there is no significant
difference in safety records.23 The small number of accidents and various degrees
of catastrophe make it difficult to determine if one system is safer than the other.
The two flight envelope designs illustrate the trust between technology
and the pilot. In Humans and Automation: System Design and Research
Issues, MIT professor Tom Sheridan discusses human trust in automation.
Sheridan states that human understanding of automation decreases as the
complexity of technology increases.24 With the assistance of automation,
tasks can be simplified or eliminated. Then, the original time to adapt to a
job in the learning curve will decrease, making it easier for pilots to complete
a task. Automation is as beneficial as it is dangerous. For humans who trust
automation, comfort from repeated cycles can cause users to be overly faithful
in the technology.
Cultural Effects on Aviation Safety

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has acknowledged the critical
importance of cross-cultural issues in aviation safety.25 According to Daniel
Maurino, ICAO experience supports the conclusion that the effectiveness of
human factors training may be diminished—or even denied altogether—by the
context within which such endeavors take place.26 The lessons from the ICAO

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Human Factors Program have also shown that “safety deficiencies that could be
addressed by human factors training in North America may not be effectively
addressed at all by training in other regions of the world [emphasis added].”27
Multiple studies have suggested that North American approaches to CRM
training may not be applicable in many other cultures.28,29,30 According to Robert
Helmreich, “this raises the important research question of how to measure
significant cultural differences and how to adapt training to reflect them.”31
The Airplane Safety Engineering department of Boeing Commercial Airplane
Group (BCAG) conducted an exhaustive analysis of hull loss accidents
for Western-built commercial jet transports over 60,000 lbs (27,216 kgs)
worldwide, for the period 1959 through 1992. The report noted a “strong
correlation” between accident rate and two cultural indices (i.e., Individualism
and Power Distance).32 The BCAG concluded, “This is an area that needs further
analysis. The industry must continue its efforts to identify the cultural impacts on
aviation safety.”33
As investigators are combing through debris and data recordings from the Asiana
214 crash, some are focusing on how Korean culture contributed to the crash.
Thomas Kochan, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, says
“The Korean culture has two features—respect for seniority and age, and quite
an authoritarian style.”34 In times of crisis, clear and effective communication
and decision-making are crucial. Three of the four pilots were in the Asiana 214
flight deck at the time of the crash, but did not communicate with one another
until seconds before the plane hit the SFO sea wall. Gregory Feith, investigator of
the 1997 Korean Air Flight 801 accident, insinuates that too many pilots in a flight

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deck may lead to confusion, stating, “You usually don’t fly with three captains.
You start [by] having senior in the cockpit, rather than a regular captain and a
regular first line officer, and maybe there’s not the same situational awareness,
the same checking [on] the other guy. You would suspect there had to be some
oversight issues.”35 Flying an aircraft requires camaraderie; flight crews need to
be able to work as a “team of equals, remaining unafraid to point out mistakes
or disagree with a captain.”36 Doug Moss, an aviation expert with AeroPacific
Consulting, is more understanding, but forthright, in discussing the effects of
Korean deference. He expresses that in the United States, “anyone in the flight
deck has the ability, authority, and responsibility to call for a go-around . . . that
has not filtered down to the Asian culture. There is still some resistance.”37 Even
Captain Lee, the trainee pilot, indirectly suggested that the Korean culture may
have had an immense effect. When asked if he, the flying pilot, had the authority
to initiate a go-around, Lee says, “Go-around thing. That is very important thing.
But the instructor pilot got the authority. Even I am on the left seat, that is very
hard to explain, that is our culture.”38 This quote represents the clear impact of
cultural factors on safety-related decision-making.
Communication issues may have been consequential because of the deferential
culture and submissive nature of Korean people that Captain Lee Kang-kook
mentioned earlier. South Korea’s aviation industry has been plagued with these
cultural issues, which can explain the relatively high number of deadly crashes
beginning in the 1980s, compared to other airlines. Author Malcolm Gladwell
engages this topic further in his book Outliers.39 Gladwell diagnoses possible
explanations behind the plane crashes of Korean Air Flight 801, from South Korea
to Guam in 1997, and the 1990 crash of Avianca Flight 052, from Colombia to

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Long Island, New York. In the case of Flight 801, the pilot was of Korean descent,
whereas the pilots of Flight 052 were of Colombian descent. In both scenarios,
the pilots, copilots, flight engineers, and/or first officers were too passive in
declaring emergencies.
In the case of Avianca Flight 052, the term “emergency” was never used to
describe their situation despite the plane not having enough fuel to make
an alternative approach. Rather than explaining that Flight 052 was in an
emergency and in need of assistance, the first officer remained passive,
suggesting that the flight was “running out of fuel.” This statement was
not sufficient to alarm Air Traffic Control (ATC), so ATC continued to act
conventionally. Furthermore, as the plane advanced towards its final approach,
ATC apprised the pilots of their distance to the airport and asked if the distance
was manageable for their fuel. The pilot remained cryptic, suggesting, “I guess
[we have enough fuel].”40 In analyzing Flight 052, Robert Helmreich contended
that: “Had air traffic controllers been aware of cultural norms that can influence
crews from other cultures, they might have communicated more options and
queried the crew more fully regarding the flight status . . . The possibility that
behavior on [this flight] was dictated in part by norms of national culture
cannot be dismissed . . . Finally, mistaken cultural assumptions arising from
the interaction of two vastly different national cultures [i.e., crew and ATC] may
have prevented effective use of the air traffic control system.”41
Another occurrence of passivity can be found in the crash of Korean Air Flight
801. In this instance, the captain’s fatigue contributed to the catastrophic
outcome of this flight. While preparing to land, the copilot and flight engineer

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attempted to convey the present weather dangers to the pilot by suggesting that
the weather earlier in the flight “helped [them] a lot.”42 The captain was unaware
of their implied worries, brushing them aside. When they finally got the captain’s
attention to the weather, it was too late to save the plane and its passengers.
Gladwell analyzes one of the Hofstede Dimensions: The Power Distance Index.
Hofstede’s Dimensions are known as being cross-cultural psychology paradigms.
The Power Distance Index (PDI) concentrates on cultural attitudes toward
hierarchy, or hierarchical figures. In Culture’s Consequences Geert Hofstede writes,
“In low-power distance index countries, power is something of which power
holders are almost ashamed and they will try to underplay.”43 Conversely, in highpower distance countries, superiors know of their senior status and “consider
subordinates as being of a different [inferior] kind.”44 Columbia was ranked as a
high-power distance country. Helmreich suggested, concerning Avianca Flight 52,
“The high-power distance of Colombians could have created frustration on the
part of the first officer because the captain failed to show the kind of clear decision
making expected in high-power distance cultures. The first and second officers
may have been waiting for the captain to make decisions, but still may have been
unwilling to pose alternatives.”45 In addition, Helmreich stated, “In a culture where
group harmony is valued above individual needs, there was probably a tendency
for the crew to remain silent while hoping that the captain would ‘save the day.’
Instances have been reported in other collectivist, high-power distance cultures
where crews have chosen to die in a crash rather than disrupt group harmony and
authority and bring accompanying shame upon their family and in-group . . .
High Uncertainty Avoidance may have played a role (in this accident) by locking the
crew into one course of action and preventing discussion of alternatives and review
of the implications of the current course of action [emphasis added].”46

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In Korean culture, seniority or ranking influences almost every aspect of life.
Gladwell quotes Korean linguist Ho-min Sohn, who writes, “All social behavior
and actions are conducted in the order of seniority or ranking; as the saying
goes, there is order even to drinking cold water.”47 There are a few instances,
such as piloting an airplane, where this type of attitude can be dangerous. In
fact, a chart measuring the power distance index of pilots around the world
indicated that South Korea had the second highest pilot PDI. To express this,
Gladwell says “high-power distance communication works only when the listener
is capable of paying close attention, and it works only if the two parties in a
conversation have the luxury of time, in order to unwind each other’s meanings.
It doesn’t work in an airplane cockpit on a stormy night with an exhausted pilot
trying to land at an airport with a broken glide slope.”48 Barring a few expressions
and details, the above passage describes the exact pilot behavior and situation
of Asiana Flight 214: an inexperienced pilot, with an inexperienced instructor
pilot, a broken glide slope, and a flight crew who struggled with trying to convey
a state of emergency. Captain Lee informed investigators that “any of the three
pilots on the plane could have decided to break off the approach, but he said
it was ‘very hard’ for him to do so because he was a ‘low-level’ person being
supervised by an instructor pilot.”49
Another cultural impediment is displayed when the captain indicated that, for a
moment, a light on the runway blinded him. This could have easily been avoided
by wearing sunglasses, but Lee suggests that in Korean culture, it is impolite to
wear sunglasses in the presence of a superior.50

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Also, what went on in the cockpit of Asiana 214 prior to its crash can also be
analyzed from new perspectives on the national cultures51 and “cultural influences
on errors.”52 In a 2011 study the authors contend, “Error in high-power-distance
cultures can occur when low-power members fail to communicate openly with
their superiors—a phenomenon that is a key defining feature of such cultures.”53
These human factors topics have dated back to 1996 when the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) released a report entitled The Interfaces Between
Flightcrews and Modern Flight Deck Systems. This report identified vulnerability
in the crew management of automation and situation awareness. The FAA
recommended further study into the effect of cultural and language differences.
Clearly, this needs to be readdressed all over the globe as similar scenarios
continue to be present, and possibly fatal, in the aviation industry. Moreover,
the importance of the cultural factors for automation in the aviation industry
has been further highlighted by several important studies. One study of national
culture and flight deck automation surveyed 5,705 pilots across 11 nations.
Based on the results, these researchers noted that: “the lack of consensus in
automation attitudes, both within and between nations, is disturbing.”54 They
concluded that there is a need for clear explication of the philosophy governing
the design of automation and noted that, “national differences were most notably
observed in the areas of command, the endorsement of rules and procedures,
and attitudes toward automation.”55
Discussion and Conclusion

Through discussions made throughout the NTSB’s investigation of the Asiana
Flight 214 crash, it has become clear that human factors in automation and

122

its impact on human (pilots) performance had a catastrophic impact on the
outcome of the flight. Advancements in cockpit automation have simplified
many pilot tasks, but may have led to this generation of pilots being too reliant
on technological assistance. The role of unchecked automation in this accident
would once more remind us of the perceptive words of Robert Helmreich, that
the onboard computer should be regarded as an “electronic crewmember” with
whom the crew must work, communicate, and coordinate. Above all, the crew
must be aware of the technology’s state of automation.56
The Honorable Christopher Hart, NTSB Acting Chairman, opened the final Asiana
214 hearing by quoting Professor James Reason when he said, “In their efforts to
compensate for the unreliability of human performance, the designers of control
systems have unwittingly created opportunities for new error types that can be
even more serious than those they were seeking to avoid.”57 As we observed in
the case of the Air France Flight 447 crash in June 2009, the issue of cockpit
automation is one of the most controversial, unresolved issues in aviation safety.
Asiana Flight 214 also proves that advancements in technological assistance have
become a dangerous advantage, making it absolutely necessary for an airplane’s
cockpit automation to be fully understood by the pilots. Chairman Christopher
Hart also went on record saying, “In this accident, the flight crew over-relied
on automated systems without fully understanding how they interacted.”
Hart states that though “automation has rendered flying safer, even in highlyautomated aircrafts, the human must be the boss.”58
Furthermore, the renowned, award-winning aviation writer Geoffrey Thomas
contends, “safety is increased with automation but automation may lend a

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false sense of security, particularly with inexperienced pilots.”59 In addition,
airplane manufacturers are under pressure to explain whether or not flight deck
automation has led to an increase in the probability of pilot error. There is no
right or wrong in flight deck automation and design. The support or critique
of an aircraft flight deck design and philosophy ultimately depends on the
pilot’s opinion and preferences. Humans are thought to be more flexible and
adaptable than automation and therefore better at responding to unpredictable
circumstances. As technology continues to progress, the growth of flight deck
automation and flight deck automation training needs to become even more
human-centric in order to eliminate mode error. Mode error should be seriously
considered by the aviation safety industry.
In addition to addressing these factors, the impact of cultural effects on planes
cannot be ignored. Over the years, there have been multiple flights where culture
played a large part in determining the outcome of the flight. As the seminal
study by the FAA Human Factors Team in 1996 recommended, understanding
how cultural tendencies affect the crew’s interactions with modern flight deck
systems and automation is critical for preventing or mitigating factors that would
adversely affect pilots’ information process behavior and their performance. In
light of the Air France 447 and Asiana 214 crashes, aviation systems designers, in
cooperation with pilots and regulatory bodies, should lead the strategic effort to
highlight the serious issues of cockpit automation, human factors and cultural
issues, including their interactions, which will certainly lead to better solutions
for safer flights.

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AcknowledgementS

We would like to thank the honorable Captain Robert Sumwalt, a board
member of the NTSB, for reading through our paper and providing informative
suggestions. We are thankful and lucky to have someone so close to the Asiana
Flight 214 investigation proofread our paper and ensure factual correctness.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the Honorable Christopher A.
Hart, the Vice and Acting Chair of the NTSB, for coming to the USC campus and
meeting with us and other students in a memorable roundtable discussion on
January 14, 2014. We gained lots of insights into transportation safety, which
are reflected in our paper, from Mr. Hart and his unique experience. We are
thankful to Thomas Anthony and Daniel Scalese of the USC Viterbi Aviation
Safety and Security Programs for their support and advice on the final draft of
this report. Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our professor,
Najmedin Meshkati, for his course Human Factors in Work Design (ISE 370),
which introduced us to human factors, cockpit automation, error causation,
safety culture, and more. We are also extremely thankful and appreciative
of his continuous support and advice, in and outside of the classroom. This
work, however, should not necessarily be construed as the above-mentioned
individuals’ representative position(s).

125

ENDNOTES
Robert L. Helmreich and Ashleigh C. Merritt, Culture at Work in Aviation and Medicine:
National, Organizational, and Professional Influences (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998), xiii.
2
R. Curtis Graeber, “Integrating Human Factors Knowledge into Automated Flight Deck
Design,” Presentation at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Flight Safety
and Human Factors Seminar, Amsterdam, May 18, 1994.
3
Robert A. Davis, “Human Factors in the Global Marktplace,” Keynote Address to the
Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Seattle, October 12, 1993.
4
Malcolm Gladwell, “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes,” in Outliers: The Story of Success
(New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008).
5
Ralph Vartabedian, Dan Weikel, and Laura J. Nelson, “Pilots’ Cockpit Actions Under
Review,” (9 July 2013), retrieved from articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/09/local/la-me-0709sfo-crash-probe-20130709.
6
Matthew L. Wald, “Airline Blames Bad Software in San Francisco Crash,” (31 March 2014),
retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/us/asiana-airlines-says-secondary-causeof-san-francisco-crash-was-bad-software.html.
7
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Transcript of the Public Hearing on Asiana
214 (11 December 2013), 67.
8
Ibid., 32.
9
Matthew L. Wald and Norimitsu Onishi, “In Asiana Crash Investigation, Early Focus Is on
the Crew’s Actions,” (8 July 2013), retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/us/inasiana-crash-investigation-early-focus-is-on-the-crews-actions.html.
10
Tom Watkins, Michael Pearson, and Mike M. Ahlers, “Asiana Flight 214 Was Traveling
Slower than Recommended on Landing,” (9 July 2013), retrieved from www.cnn.
com/2013/07/08/us/asiana-airlines-crash/index.html.
11
Ibid.
12
See note 7, 66.
13
Ibid., 14.
14
Ibid., 68.
15
Alex Davies, “A System Designed To Make Landings Safer Was Out Of Service When Asiana
Flight 214 Crashed,” (8 July 2013), retrieved from www.businessinsider.com/glide-slopenot-working-when-asiana-214-crashed-2013-7.
16
Geoffrey Thomas, “Coming Up Short: Asiana Crash Shows Continued Need for Vigilance
against CRM and Cultural Issues,” Australian Aviation (March 2014), 54.
17
Geoffrey Thomas and Jerome Greer Chandler, “Controversy in the Wake of NTSB’s Asiana
214 Findings,” (25 June 2014), retrieved from www.airlineratings.com/news.php?s&id=316.
18
Dan Nakaso and Pete Carey, “Asiana Flight 214 Pilot Turned off Plane’s Autopilot Despite
Concerns Landing at SFO,” (11 December 2013), retrieved from www.mercurynews.com/
nation-world/ci_24700728/sfo-asiana-flight-214-hearing-begins-prevent-repeat.
19
Ibid.
20
See note 16, 52.
21
Brian Palmer, “Boeing vs. Airbus: Is It Purely about Money? Or Do the Pilots Care?” (11
July 2011), retrieved from www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/07/
boeing_vs_airbus.html.
1

126

22
C. McAllister, Human Factors Issues in Cockpit Automation, unpublished report for
Professor Najmedin Meshkati on human factors in aviation safety (Los Angeles: University
of Southern California, 2007), 8.
23
Ibid., 4.
24
Thomas B. Sheridan, Humans and Automation: System Design and Research Issues
(Santa Monica: John Wiley, 2002), 2.
25
Najmedin Meshkati, “Why Your Flight Safety Is At The Mercy Of Cultural Factors,” Rivista
Tecnica dell’ANPAC (29 November 2000), 25–29.
26
Daniel Maurino, “Crosscultural Perspectives in Human Factors Training: Lessons from
the ICAO Human Factors Program,” The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, vol.
4, no. 2 (1994), 173–81.
27
Ibid., 174.
28
Neil Johnston, “CRM: Cross-Cultural Perspectives,” in Earl Wiener, Barbara Kanki, and
Robert Helmreich, eds., Cockpit Resource Management (San Diego: Academic Press,
1993), 367–97.
29
Ashleigh Merritt, “Cross-Cultural Issues in CRM Training,” invited presentation at the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Flight Safety and Human Factors Seminar,
Amsterdam, May 18, 1994.
30
See note 1.
31
Robert Helmreich, “Flightcrew Perspective on Automation: A Cross-Cultural
Perspective,” Report of the Seventh ICAO Flight Safety and Human Factors Regional
Seminar (Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization, 1994), 442–53.
32
Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group (BCAG), “Crew Factor Accidents: Regional
Perspective,” Proceedings of the 22nd Technical Conference of the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) on Human Factors in Aviation (Montreal, 1993), 58.
33
Ibid., 61.
34
Heesun Wee, “Korean Culture May Offer Clues in Asiana Crash,” (9 July 2013), retrieved
from www.cnbc.com/id/100869966.
35
See note 9.
36
Brian Clark Howard, “Could Malcolm Gladwell’s Theory of Cockpit Culture Apply
to Asiana Crash?” (July 2013), retrieved from news.nationalgeographic.com/
news/2013/07/130709-asiana-flight-214-crash-korean-airlines-culture-outliers/.
37
See note 18.
38
Ibid.
39
See note 4.
40
Ibid., 199.
41
Robert L. Helmreich, “Anatomy of a System Accident: The Crash of Avianca Flight 052,”
The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, vol. 4, no. 3 (1994), 282–83.
42
See note 4, 221.
43
Geert Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related
Values (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1980), 121.
44
Ibid., 122.
45
See note 4, 207.

127

See note 41.
See note 4, 215.
48
Ibid., 217.
49
Matthew L. Wald, “Pilots in Crash Were Confused About Control Systems, Experts Say,”
(11 December 2013), retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/us/asiana-airlinescrash-san-francisco-airport.html.
50
Ibid.
51
Michele Gelfand et al, “Differences between Tight and Loose Cultures: A 33-Nation
Study,” Science vol. 332, no. 6033 (27 May 2011), 1100–1104.
52
Michele J. Gelfand, Michael Frese, and Elizabeth Salmon, “Cultural Influences on Errors:
Prevention, Detection, and Management,” in David A. Hofmann and Michael Frese, eds.,
Errors in Organizations (New York: Routledge, 2011), 274.
53
Ibid.
54
See note 1, 14.
55
Ibid., 104.
56
Robert L. Helmreich, “Exploring Flight Crew Behavior,” Social Behavior, vol. 2, no. 2 (June
1987), 63–72.
57
Christopher A. Hart, “Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart Opening Statement—Crash of
Asiana Airlines Flight 214, San Francisco, California,” (24 June 2014), retrieved from www.
ntsb.gov/news/speeches/CHart/Pages/Hart_140624o.aspx.
58
See note 17.
59
Geoffrey Thomas, “Back To Basics,” Air Transport World, vol. 46, no. 6 (June 2009), 51.
46
47

Cyberstalking and Domestic Violence:
Developing and Defending a Policy Proposal
ANGEL DOMINGUEZ

School of Social Work
Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, Faculty Advisor

130

Overview

In an effort to raise awareness of cyberstalking in relation to domestic violence
in the healthcare arena, I have drafted a policy proposal for the implementation
of screening guidelines regarding cyberstalking and domestic violence. The
target audience is healthcare providers who work directly with victims, and
my objectives are to educate and provide tools to these providers in order to
effectively serve this population.
Bruce Jansson details an extensive six-step model for building a policy.1 In a
previous paper,2 I described the relevance of his first three steps, which were:
1) familiarize oneself with a specific healthcare problem or issue; 2) identify
three solutions to the healthcare problem or issue; and 3) compare the merits
of the three solutions. I limit the following discussion to steps four through six.
These steps are 4) draft a policy proposal; 5) identify supporters and potential
funders; and 6) identify the audience.
Step 4: Drafting a Policy Proposal

Establish a mission with objectives
Classified as a subcategory of stalking, cyberstalking, also known as cyberharassment, digital abuse, and digital harassment, is a newer form of violence
that abusers utilize to easily threaten, harass, control, and intimidate victims at
any moment of the day.3,4 Common devices and portals used by intimate partner
abusers to digitally abuse include: sending malicious or harassing text messages
or emails, installing cell phone applications linked to the victim’s phone,
utilizing global positioning system (GPS) and location services purposely placed
to track the victim’s whereabouts, installing surveillance cameras, planting

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email-tracking technology, hacking or harassing victim’s social media accounts,
installing computer and phone software and keystroke logging hardware,
and using computer and phone spy software to track the victim.5 This form of
victimization provides abusers the ability to violate, control, and instill fear in
their victim via intruding on their partner’s life or the lives of their partner’s
children, family and friends; thus, compared to say, online bullying, cyberstalking
is considered the most dangerous form of Internet harassment.6,7
Cyberstalking and digital abuse often impact the health and wellbeing of
victims of domestic violence.8 Cyberstalking, harassment, and intimidation
can negatively impact victims’ social, psychological, and emotional state.9
Adverse consequences of intimate partner violence due to cyberstalking can
impact the individual victim, community, and society. The Centers for Disease
Control found that victims and survivors of intimate partner violence are at risk
of experiencing biological, psychological, and social health-related issues and
distress.10 These stressors can perpetuate into symptoms of psychological trauma
such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidality.11,12
Social consequences experienced by victims include lack of access to services,
isolation from social networks, and strained relationships from family, friends
and healthcare providers.13 The consequences of intimate partner violence
include negative health behaviors such as substance use, alcohol use, suicide
attempts, illicit drug use, diet restriction, overuse of health services, and
underuse of health services. Recent studies note the lack of education and
screening regarding domestic violence and digital abuse among healthcare
professionals.14,15 A study assessing healthcare provider readiness to screen for
domestic violence victims found that healthcare providers are ill-equipped to

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assess, support, and treat victims of intimate partner violence.16 Clinicians,
physicians, and care providers often do not screen for domestic violence; thus,
victims are unidentifiable and lacking adequate resources. According to one
study, approximately 6% of physicians ask patients about domestic violence,
while 88% percent knew they were treating victims.17 Another study found that
48% of women supported routine domestic violence screening for all patients.18
These findings further assert the need for screening.
A systematic review of 33 screening questionnaires identifying victims of
domestic violence found that current screening tools present substantial
advantages and barriers.19 These researchers examined multiple assessment
tools including the Hurt, Insult, Threaten, and Scream (HITS), the Woman Abuse
Screening Tool (WAST), the Abuse Assessment, and the Partner Violence Screen
(PVS).20 Self-administration, face-to-face interviewing, and computer/audiotape
completion were the three most common methods of administration. These
researchers stated that computerized self-administration yielded the highest
rates of disclosure and domestic violence victimization.21
Researchers examined Kaiser Permanente’s integrated routine IPV screening tool
included in the electronic medical records, to attain a better understanding of
screening implementation.22 They found that this large healthcare organization
experienced a 600% increase of IPV identification after implementation of
the electronic medical records technology. This study clearly illustrates the
importance of routine screening.

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The comprehensive reviews and conducted studies assert the importance
of implementing cyberstalking and domestic violence screening within the
healthcare sector.23,24 The proposed screening tool would measure the behavioral
health of intimate partner violence victims. Screening activities must assess
the risks associated with current technology and social media practice that
allow hidden surveillance of victims. For example, many health professionals
and victims are often unaware of the risks of GPS tracking in shoes and phones.
Both the victims and their children may be targeted. Screening tools should be
amended to include inquiries in these areas. The California Department of Public
Health would monitor and enforce the implementation of the screening tool to
include the appropriate definition of intimate partner violence as it relates to
cyberstalking, determine the screening questions’ psychometric properties,
test the assessment tool in a medical setting, ensure that the tool is culturally
relevant for the intended audience, and have the assessment examined by a
panel of peers.
The need for effective, reliable, and generalizable intimate partner violence and
cyberstalking screening tools are imperative in the nongovernment health care
setting, as indicated by the presented research. The policy’s mission would be
to improve Californians’ lives by providing adequate and effective resources
available in an effort to end cyberstalking and domestic violence. The objectives
would emphasize the utilization of cyberstalking and domestic violence screening
tools available to healthcare providers. The policy would provide nongovernment
healthcare agencies with adequate training and education necessary to improve
the implementation and use of screening techniques.

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Design the structure of service
The knowledge attained from the Centers for Disease Control and World
Health Network guided the selection of the policy’s governing body. In order
to end cyberstalking and domestic violence in California, the proposed policy
would benefit from collaborating with and being overseen by California’s
Department of Public Health (CDPH), which established the Domestic
Violence Advisory Council.25
Funding for domestic violence prevention is provided through state and local
grant opportunities. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
implemented guidelines that covered domestic violence screening services,
thereby incentivizing domestic violence policies and services to collaborate
with healthcare providers.26 With the evolution of the ACA, the Blue Shield of
California Foundation27 expanded funding to new cross-sector partnerships,
including domestic violence services and healthcare organizations via Blue Shield
Against Violence grants. The Office of Violence Against Women, overseen by the
California Department of Justice, currently funds grant programs available for
policies and organizations that combat domestic violence in America.28 Utilizing
federal and state programs to support the monetary cost of the proposal via
grants would assist in implementing screening tools.
Planned extent of devolution
Primary prevention efforts currently available to curtail cyberstalking focus on
meeting comparative needs.29 The safety, housing, educational, and emotional
support of the victim are considered primary needs.30 Viable solutions to
improve prevention efforts via screening in the healthcare sector center in

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nongovernmental healthcare agencies would enhance cyberstalking prevention
efforts. Domestic violence and victim services are funded mostly through
federal block grants; thus cyberstalking prevention efforts provided by the
nongovernmental healthcare sector would be devolved with a federal tilt in
an effort to provide services at no cost to victims.31 Based on the history and
current guidelines of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, this organization
could serve as a possible option for providing monetary support. The funding for
the proposed policy would be provided by federal entities. The federal entities
have established grants to meet the enacted ACA and VAWA guidelines. The
funded grants specify how the monetary support received would be distributed.
According to the California Department of Justice, the proposal to implement
new screening techniques would qualify for the STOP Violence Against Women
Formula Grant Program.
Defined the content of the proposal’s services
The proposed policy necessitates the implementation and utilization of domestic
violence and cyberstalking screening tools among healthcare providers. The
Family Violence Prevention Fund found that the medical model, which is a
framework utilized by healthcare providers in America, does not view domestic
violence and intimate partner violence as fitting into traditional medical
screening paradigms.32 Additionally, the US Preventative Services Task Force
(USPSTF) has identified barriers of integrating intimate partner violence into the
traditional medical screening paradigm.33
The goal of the proposed screening is to identify victims of cyberstalking
and domestic violence, while measuring possible maladaptive interpersonal

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functions. The domestic violence and cyberstalking questions would assess
maladaptive psychological, social, and health symptomology characterized by
past and present intimate partner victimization in patients. Routine screening
of men and women would increase identification of victims. However, there
is no relevant evidence suggesting awareness of contemporary innovations
in cyberstalking screening interventions. Without valid statistical measures
available to assess the prevalence and relevance of cyberstalking, healthcare
professionals lack appropriate resources. Recent studies illustrate the growth
of digital abuse surrounding teens and college-aged individuals.34,35 One
study noted that the educational and psycho-educational programs aimed at
addressing cyberstalking, harassment, and abuse such as I-SAFE, are generally
oriented toward children, teenagers, and young adults.36 Additionally, they found
that I-SAFE, Missing program, and HAHASO address cyberstalking prevention
education, Internet safety, and Internet predator identification tactics collection
methods to develop more effective interventions and prevention resources.37
Routine computerized self-administered screening for male and female adult
patients would be implemented in nongovernment healthcare agencies to
increase the identification of domestic violence and cyberstalking victims.
After the assessment, the patient would receive resources indicative of their
assessment outcomes.
Domestic violence, cyberstalking, and cultural competency training would be
provided to individuals administering the screening tool. Additionally, trainees
must be cognizant of the health implications regarding domestic violence and
cyberstalking, and understand how to identify and respond appropriately to
victims. Responses to intimate partner victims are most efficient and effective

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when coordinated in an interdisciplinary manner and in collaboration with DV
advocates so that no single provider is responsible for the entire intervention.38
Physicians, nurses, and social workers on the interdisciplinary team would be
provided IPV and cyberstalking prevention and awareness training.
Proposal’s link to community
In an effort to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence and
cyberstalking, healthcare providers using the screening tool would collaborate
with community intimate partner violence victim resources to insure ample
knowledge of domestic violence issues and support services. Once a patient’s
scores have been collected and processed, the healthcare provider would assess
the need for resources. Research has shown that if properly applied, advocacy
is beneficial when working with victims of intimate partner violence.39 Advocates
and healthcare professionals who obtain training and education of domestic
violence and victim needs are better prepared to assist in crises.40 The same
study notes that information, education and referrals for resources increase
victims’ decision-making and self-efficacy.41 Thus, a firm understanding of
resources and awareness of domestic violence is essential.
The nongovernmental healthcare agency utilizing the assessment would obtain
knowledge and communication from in-agency and community cyberstalking and
domestic violence victim resources. These resources include domestic violence
victim advocates, domestic violence community shelters, and knowledge of
emergency responders. If the screening identifies a victim of cyberstalking and/
or domestic violence, the attending healthcare workers would discuss the results
of the screening with the team, which would prompt said individuals to gather
community and agency resources to meet the patient’s needs. The healthcare

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personnel would provide necessary referrals if the patient’s needs are out of the
provider’s scope of practice.
Implementation of proposal will be monitored
Based on current evidence regarding the feasibility of screening tools in the
healthcare setting, some recommend the enactment of a universal screening
method in the field of healthcare.42 Furthermore, this team’s continued research
is needed to address the lack of understanding regarding the screening tool’s
proposed determinates of success and failure.43 Furthermore, the feasibility of
implementation, monitoring, and execution of screening administration must
be considered. Due to the structure and function of the American healthcare
system, intimate partner violence screening tools should aim to be brief, yet
comprehensive.44
The prevalence of screening for domestic violence differs across varying
healthcare arenas. Due to the differentiation among screening tools, the
Institute of Medicine recommended the implementation of a universal
screening tool in 2011. Adopting this policy, the Human Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services
stipulated guidelines necessary for the enactment of screening.45 One study
noted how the healthcare environment might predict the prevalence in
screening. The researchers examining the integration of routine IPV screening
at Kaiser Permanente found that this large healthcare organization experienced
a 600 percent increase of IPV identification with the implementation of the
electronic medical records technology, which illustrates the importance of
routine screening.46

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Proposal’s services will be assessed
The evolution of intimate partner violence and cyberstalking screening tools
has been controversial. According to an article in the American Journal of
Preventative Medicine, medical organizations mandate assessments, but the
US Preventative Services Task Force provides insufficient evidence for the use
of screening.47 The California Department of Public Health would be a suitable
agency to oversee the proposed screening tool policy to ensure that the
cyberstalking and domestic violence screening tool includes the psychometric
properties of empirically tested assessment tools. The measuring tools would be
evaluated for behavioral-health outcomes and improvement in health outcomes
among victims.
Step 5: Identifying Supporters and Potential Funders

Bruce Jansson educates readers on the importance of key supporters.48 He
proposes that key supporters should clearly understand the issue, acknowledge
implications of the proposal, and have an interest in the target population. The
supporters of the proposal ideally would be influential advocates of domestic
violence and cyberstalking prevention efforts, as well as hospital administration
and healthcare workers providing direct patient care. For example, to implement
cyberstalking and domestic violence screening tools, it is essential to attain the
support of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the Family
Violence Prevention Fund. For decades, the National Health Resource Center
on Domestic Violence and the Family Violence Prevention Fund have partnered
with and supported practitioners involved in the advancement of policy
regarding victims of domestic violence. These organizations utilize publications,
educational programs, and outreach efforts, which emphasize the need for

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cyberstalking and domestic violence awareness, prevention, and education.
These efforts align with the mission and objectives of the proposed policy.
Based on information attained from the National Health Resource Center
on Domestic Violence 49 and the Family Violence Prevention Fund, 50 said
organizations could be key supporters and funders for the proposal. Their
previous and current efforts to curtail domestic abuse and interest in establishing
screening methods exhibit the necessary characteristics of a key supporter.
Domestic violence awareness and prevention efforts are funded by both
government and nonprofit organizations as mentioned in part four of the
proposal. Said agencies provide monetary funds as block grants, which have
specific guidelines for utilizing funds.51
In April 2014, the Foundation Center published information on the funders
and recipients of monetary resources for domestic violence issues in the
state of California. From 2009 to 2011, over $42 million in grants was given to
various organizations in California to address domestic violence. These grants
were created to address multiple systems involved in the intervention and
prevention of domestic violence such as healthcare, education, shelters, and
community improvement.
The largest foundation providing grants was Blue Shield of California Foundation,
who offered over 250 grants totaling almost $13 million. Their mission is to
end domestic violence by bridging the gap between healthcare and domestic
violence agencies. Blue Shield of California’s website asserts that the Affordable

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Care Act is the perfect opportunity for healthcare organizations to partner with
domestic violence organizations. Since the proposal aims to enrich the utilization
of screening tools in the healthcare sector, Blue Shield of California would be the
most influential funder.
The comprehensive document published by the Foundation Center52 illustrates
the large amount of grants available for efforts in this area; we feel confident that
a grant could be obtained through one of these foundations. The list also includes
the top fifty receiving organizations, six of which are in Los Angeles. It is within
our ability to gain the support of these local agencies that are already funded in
order to form strong partnerships and raise our chances of obtaining funding of
our own. A few of these agencies, which already have working relationships with
local hospitals as well, include Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles, Peace over
Violence, and various shelters.
Step 6: Identify Audience

For the purpose of this initiative, we identified social workers at local hospitals as
our first target audience. According to Jansson, social workers in local hospitals
are nongovernment healthcare providers.53 Our rationale for choosing this
audience stems from our own experiences working in domestic violence victim
services and hospital settings. Additionally, research suggests social workers and
other frontline workers in the healthcare setting are integral to the delivery of
appropriate healthcare and domestic violence services.54
Social workers have a positive impact on the experiences of victims of domestic
violence who seek help. Due to the unique training and education social workers

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receive, they can build rapport with patients to establish trusted and supportive
relationships with victims while providing needed resources and services. This
alliance allows social workers to facilitate conversations with the patient to
assess for cyberstalking, domestic violence, and abuse.
Patients, who seek medical attention from a hospital, may be under the care of
an interdisciplinary team. This team may be comprised of a physician, nurses,
pharmacists, and various health professionals, including a social worker. The
social worker often assesses the client for psychological, social, relational, and
emotional deficits, which may negatively impact the individual. It is within other
professionals’ ability to assess as well; however, as we see in various findings,
educating social workers bolsters their ability to assess patients and connect
victims with appropriate resources.55 With this understanding, the social worker
is the most effective individual to assess for domestic violence and cyberstalking
abuse. Once the patient has been assessed and screened, the interdisciplinary
team would collaborate to provide the most beneficial cyberstalking and
domestic violence services.
At a presentation detailing the topic of cyberstalking to a local hospital’s
department of social work, the social workers in attendance found the
presentation to be beneficial. Those present noted that before the presentation,
they had little knowledge of cyberstalking as a form of domestic violence; after
the presentation, they stated their insight increased. In order to present to
social workers the proposed policy regarding the implementation of screening
tools, we must establish a relationship with department administration,
thus seeking interaction and collaboration with members. Once a working

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relationship is established, facilitation of the proposal’s merits, mission, and
objectives would be discussed. Upon review, the administration would hopefully
view the proposal as beneficial to their agency. With the administration’s
permission, presentations to social workers at local hospitals would likely
widen our support network. After establishing and receiving adequate funding,
the proposed policy would be presented to more California hospitals. With the
feedback of local hospital social workers, we would refine our proposal and
present it to relevant California Department of Public Health audiences, and
domestic violence shelter staff and residents.
Summary

In an effort to enhance digital abuse prevention in nongovernmental healthcare,
agencies must implement cyberstalking and domestic violence screening
tools. Guided by an understanding of the research, administering routine
screening in nongovernment healthcare agencies would increase identification
of cyberstalking and domestic violence victims, thus allowing healthcare
professionals to appropriately attend to possible health needs.
The California Department of Public Health would be an appropriate agency to
oversee the proposed screening tool policy and ensure that the psychometric
properties of empirically tested assessment tools are included. Additionally, the
monetary funding for the proposal would be provided through government grants
in order to provide services at little to no cost to patients.
In addition to administering the cyberstalking and intimate partner violence
assessment tool, social workers would be educated to increase awareness of

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domestic violence and cyberstalking resources to bolster interactions and
support of victims. With adequate support and funding, the proposal would
be presented to California medical social workers and healthcare providers
to assert the need for implementing cyberstalking and domestic violence
screening tools.

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ENDNOTES
Bruce Jansson, Becoming An Effective Policy Advocate: From Policy Practice to Social
Justice (Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2011).
2
Angel Dominguez, “Cyberstalking and Domestic Violence: Policy Analysis of Health Care
Problems,” paper for fall 2014 course at USC: Policy in the Healthcare Sector.
3
Cindy Southworth and Sarah Tucker, “Technology, Stalking, and Domestic Violence
Victims,” Mississippi Law Journal, vol. 76, no. 3 (Winter 2007), 667–76.
4
Cynthia Southworth, Jerry Finn, Shawndell Dawson, Cynthia Fraser, and Sarah Tucker,
“Intimate Partner Violence, Technology, and Stalking,” Violence Against Women, vol. 13,
no. 8 (August 2007), 842–56.
5
Stalking Resource Center, “The Use of Technology to Stalk,” (2012), retrieved from www.
victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information/the-useof-technology-to-stalk#info.
6
National Conference of State Legislatures, “State Cyberstalking and Cyberharassment
Laws,” (2014), retrieved from www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-andinformation-technology/cyberstalking-and-cyberharassment-laws.aspx.
7
See note 4.
8
See note 5.
9
Ibid., 5.
10
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Intimate Partner Violence,” (2014),
retrieved from www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence.
11
Michele C. Black, Kathleen C. Basile, Matthew J. Breiding, Jieru Chen, Melissa T. Merrick,
Sharon G. Smith, Mark R. Stevens, Mikel L. Walters, The National Intimate Partner and
Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report (Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 2011).
12
See note 10.
13
Ibid.
14
Bruce Ambuel, L. Kevin Hamberger, Clare E. Guse, Marlene Melzer-Lange, Mary Beth
Phelan, Amy Kistner, “Healthcare Can Change from Within: Sustained Improvement in the
Healthcare Response to Intimate Partner Violence,” Journal of Family Violence, vol. 28, no.
8 (2013), 833–47.
15
World Health Organization, Preventing Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence against
Women: Taking Action and Generating Evidence,” (2010), retrieved from whqlibdoc.who.
int/publications/2010/9789241564007_eng.pdf.
16
World Health Organization, “Violence and Injury Prevention: The Economic Dimensions of
Interpersonal Violence,” (2014), retrieved from www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/
publications/violence/economic_dimensions/en.
17
See note 11.
18
Barbara Kass-Bartelmes and Margaret Rutherford, “Women and Domestic Violence:
Programs and Tools that Improve Care for Victims,” Research in Action, no. 15 (June 2004),
retrieved from archive.ahrq.gov/research/domviolria/domviolria.pdf.
19
Nasir Hussain, Sheila Sprague, Kim Madden, Farrah Naz Hussain, Bharadwaj Pindiprolu,
and Mohit Bhandari, “A Comparison of the Types of Screening Tool Administration Methods
Used for the Detection of Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis,” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, vol. 16, no. 1 (2015), 1–10.
1

146

Ibid.
Ibid.
22
Michele R. Decker, Shannon Frattaroli, Brigid McCaw, Ann L. Coker, Elizabeth Miller,
Phyllis Sharps, Wendy G. Lane, Mahua Mandal, Kelli Hirsch, Donna M. Strobino, Wendy
L. Bennett, Jacquelyn Campbell, and Andrea Gielen, “Transforming the Healthcare
Response to Intimate Partner Violence and Taking Best Practices to Scale,” Journal of
Women’s Health, vol. 21, no. 12 (2012), 1222–29.
23
Ibid.
24
See note 19.
25
California Department of Public Health, “Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence,”
(2014), retrieved from www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/injviosaf/pages/domesticViolence.
aspx.
26
US Department of Health and Human Services, “Women’s Preventive Services
Guidelines,” (2014), retrieved from www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines.
27
Blue Shield of California Foundation, “Domestic Violence and Health Care Partnerships,”
(2014), retrieved from www.blueshieldcafoundation.org/programs/sub-program/
domestic-violence-health-care-provider-partnerships.
28
US Department of Justice, “Domestic Violence,” (2014), retrieved from www.justice.gov/
ovw/domestic-violence.
29
See note 15.
30
Ibid.
31
Family Violence Prevention Fund, “Compendium of State Statutes and Policies on
Domestic Violence and Health Care,” (2010), retrieved from www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/
default/files/fysb/state_compendium.pdf.
32
Family Violence Prevention Fund, “National Consensus Guidelines on Identifying and
Responding to Domestic Violence Victimization in Health Care Settings,” (2004), retrieved
from www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Consensus.pdf.
33
US Department of Health and Human Services, “ASPE Policy Brief: Screening for
Domestic Violence in Health Care Settings,” (August 2013), retrieved from aspe.hhs.gov/
hsp/13/dv/pb_screeningDomestic.pdf.
34
Faye Mishna, Charlene Cook, Michael Saini, Meng-Jia Wu, M., Robert MacFadden,
“Interventions to Prevent and Reduce Cyber Abuse of Youth: A Systematic Review,”
Research on Social Work Practice, vol. 21, no. 1 (January 2011), 5–14.
35
See note 4.
36
See note 34.
37
Ibid.
38
See note 28.
39
Larry Bennett, Stephanie Riger, Paul Schewe, April Howard, and Sharon Wasco,
“Effectiveness of Hotline, Advocacy, Counseling, and Shelter Services for Victims of
Domestic Violence a Statewide Evaluation,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 19, no.
7 (July 2004), 815–29.
40
Ibid.
41
Ibid.
42
See note 19.
20
21

147

Ibid.
Rebecca F. Rabin, Jacky Jennings, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, and Megan H. Bair-Merritt,
“Intimate Partner Violence Screening Tools,” American Journal of Preventative Medicine,
vol. 36, no. 5 (2009), 439–45.
45
See note 22.
46
Ibid.
47
See note 44.
48
See note 1.
49
Futures Without Violence, “National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence,”
(2015), retrieved from www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health/national-health-resourcecenter-on-domestic-violence.
50
See note 31.
51
See note 27.
52
Foundation Center, “Foundation Funding to Address Domestic Violence in California,”
(2014), retrieved from foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/domestic_
violence2014.pdf.
53
See note 1.
54
See note 33.
55
Ibid.
43

44

The Ethical Implications of Full Immersion
in a Virtual World
JAKE GREEN

Viterbi School of Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Elisa Warford, Faculty Advisor

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Introduction

The term “virtual reality” (VR) can refer to a technology in which the user
experiences full immersion. In a fully immersive experience, the player truly
feels like they are in the virtual world, and not merely a casual observer. The fully
immersive experience allows the player to look around, reach out, and touch
different people and objects in the virtual world. Technologies such as a HeadMounted Display (HMD), essentially video goggles worn over the eyes, allow the
player to look 360 degrees around them in the virtual world. Other technologies
track the movements of the hands, arms, and legs, allowing the player to interact
with virtual objects by grabbing or touching them. Even more technologies have
the capability to transmit the feeling of touch to the player, increasing the sense
of immersion in the virtual world.
The increased sensory immersion that VR offers is the next evolution in the
consumer’s quest to find the ultimate experience: escape from the real world.
While this technology is currently unavailable to the average consumer, it quickly
will become available. Thus, important ethical issues must be discussed to fully
develop virtual reality, such as the definition of the self, the anonymity of the
player, player-on-player interaction, and player-on-game interaction.
As the virtual experience becomes more personal and real to the player,
questions arise as to what types of actions are permissible in the virtual world.
Since VR already emulates the real world so well, should the player act as if
they were in the real world? Should the player adhere to a strict set of rules? Is
it actually bad behavior if no real person is hurt? Does the player have a true
connection to the virtual world or are they simply observers?

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I will first analyze the definition of self and determine whether a person can
actually be attached to the virtual world and, thereby, feel recoil from virtual
actions. Later on, I will discuss what moral and ethical theories would apply
to virtual reality. I will then discuss the behavior of the individual in the virtual
world and whether their behavior should be subject to the moral and ethical
restrictions that are imposed on real-world behavior. This behavior analysis will
examine interaction between players, as well as interactions between the player
and Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). I will then conclude with a recommended
course of action regarding these revelations for future VR development.
The Four Parts of the Self

Robert Hanna, a philosophy teacher and researcher at the University of Colorado,
states that the self is a “rational human minded animal” in his paper, “What is the
Self?” A “minded animal” has to have four parts: consciousness, intentionality,
caring, and rationality.1 Furthermore, according to Hanna, “rational human
minded animals or real human persons” have the capability of emotion, selfreflection, reason, free choice, and responsibility.2 All of these traits, and more,
are part of what Hanna defines as the self. This theory suggests that the self is
tied to the action of the person. Intentionality, caring, and rationality all require
interaction with an external body. Thus, according to Hanna, even consciousness
is a result from action. Since the self acts and reacts to the environment, it is
logical to extend this relation further to virtual environments.
In any video game,3 the question is not whether the player interacts with the
game, but rather, how much of the player is actually in the game and how much
that affects how he or she should act. Using Hanna’s definition of self, all four of
his parts of the self can be applied to the virtual world and, in turn, VR.

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Consciousness

Hanna claims that consciousness is a capacity for embodied subjective
experience. In most video games, this is the only experience for the player. The
player controls one character and uses this character to interact with the world,
while processing all of the information from the world through a single viewpoint,
making the experience subjective by definition. VR takes this even further by
making the player feel even more embodied as the character by having the player
interact more directly with the world. This makes the experience more subjective
as the player uses methods of interaction from real life, such as hand gestures
and free range of motion. These methods allow the player to process the virtual
world through a more familiar viewpoint.
Intentionality

Intentionality is an aspect that can easily be integrated into the virtual worlds
of video games and VR. Hanna defines intentionality as the capacity “to form
mental directedness to intentional targets.” The entire purpose of a game is for
the player to interact with objects and characters and achieve a goal and/or some
sort of satisfaction, whether it be the satisfaction felt when socializing with other
people or any other interpersonal interactions. These qualities are not diminished
when compared with actions in the real world. In fact, video games may even
amplify the motivation for intentionally interacting with in-game characters or
other people. People who normally shy away from intentional interaction can be
more inclined to do so in virtual worlds and even more so in VR because of the
immersive environment, the added sense of realism, and the anonymity of the
virtual world.

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Caring

Caring is an interesting point in terms of video games and virtual worlds because
analysts debate how much players should care about others and how much
of themselves they should invest into a virtual world. One viewpoint is that
players should not care too much about the virtual world and the characters
that inhabit it, because it is not subject to real world emotions. However, some
people, including gamers, believe that the player puts their time and effort
into increasing the status of their character and being enveloped in a virtual
society and, therefore, deserves to care about the virtual world. Even though this
conversation can be applied to the whole discussion of morality in general, the
nature of this conversation is not about whether the player cares for anything in a
game; it is the degree to which the player cares, assuming that every player does
care at some point.
From a more technical analysis of the behavior of the player in the game, Hanna
states that caring is the capacity for conscious affect, desire, and emotion. In a
video game, the player consciously makes decisions that determine the outcome
of the game. For instance, if an enemy is firing at the player, and the player is low
on health, the player can either duck or get killed. Since being killed hinders the
player’s progress through the game, they want to avoid getting killed at all costs,
so they duck. The player cares about the time and effort he or she puts into the
game and about getting to the end, so they consciously make an effort to perform
certain actions in the game.
Emotion plays an equally important role for the player caring about a game.
People can connect to and become emotionally invested in movies, TV shows,

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novels, and plays—video games are no exception. Video games may even
be more emotionally engaging when the player is responsible for the fate of
the characters. If a reader is reading a book and the author kills off a favorite
character, the reader will probably be upset, but they have an external scapegoat
to blame. With video games, the creator of the game did make it possible for that
character to be killed, but unless there was no way to save the character, it was
the player’s fault for getting their favorite character killed and they have no one to
blame but themselves. This can be even more detrimental to the emotions of the
player than simply witnessing the death of the character. In VR, this immersion
would increase because in video games, there are cut-scenes that force the
player to stop playing the game and act as a passive observer. This is possible
by simply not allowing the player to input commands on their controller. With
VR, however, cut-scenes would be distracting for the player, so they will most
likely be used sparingly if at all. Thus, for every action the player performs, there
will be real-time results and no “cinematic” moments to save the player from
responsibility. This makes each decision harder for the player and deepens the
emotional impact.
Rationality

It is difficult to justify rationality in the virtual world; rationality thus is the largest
barrier to proving that the self truly does exist in the virtual world. After all, in
virtual worlds, the player does not feel the same consequences as in the real
world. A player can kill in a game and not only is allowed to, but is encouraged
to do so. The generally accepted definition of “rational thought” is someone
thinking and acting along socially acceptable lines.4 However, rationality as it
pertains to the self is different. Hanna describes rationality as “the capacity

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for self-conscious thinking according to principles and with responsiveness to
reasons, hence poised for justification.”5 In video games, the player still thinks
rationally. The player thinks about how events will affect an outcome and whether
their actions will help or hinder their progress toward a goal, regardless of the
morality involved in such actions. So, according to this more general definition of
rationality, a player can understand and interpret what goes on around him or her
and think logically about the next step.
In all four cases, the effects on the components of the self are upheld or surpassed
when comparing the virtual world to the real world. At least from this view of the
self, one definition of the self can exist in the virtual world. This can justify the
exploration of morality in virtual worlds, because all four of these points can also
contribute to morality. However, there are other definitions of the self that can
lend even more insight into morality in virtual worlds and virtual reality.
Other Philosophical Definitions of the Self

Clark and Chalmers, both professors of philosophy, also define the self,
specifically the topic of extending the self beyond the body. They argue that
people who depend on writing notes to remember important facts use the
external medium as a part of their internal memory. Because we use this
internal memory to develop our personality, that external medium, which
contributes to the internal memory, is considered part of the self.6 Therefore,
the self can be extended beyond the body into other objects and mediums,
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An additional indication that can be linked to the self is the ability for a person
to change how they act based on how they look. A study performed by Nick Yee,
Jeremy N. Bailenson, and Nicolas Ducheneaut details the relationship between
the player and the appearance of the avatar.7 They say that a person using a more
attractive avatar would be friendlier and someone using a taller avatar would
act more confident. They call this the “Proteus Effect.”8 If this is the case, then
the self is part of the avatar, because the changes to the avatar—an external
medium—directly affect the mindset and actions of the player’s internal memory.
Changes in behavior can be linked to the self through the caring part of Hanna’s
definition above, as well as the common-sense approach that says change in
behavior changes the person and therefore the self. If an individual who was
normally nice suddenly turned snobby and rude, and stayed that way, anyone
observing that person would believe that the individual is now a mean person.
The only way for anyone to judge an individual is by that person’s behavior. In VR,
the behavior of a player based on their looks in the virtual world is not as drastic
as in a normal video game virtual world. Because virtual reality is controlled
by the direct movements of the player, the proportions of the hand to arm and
the arm to the body need to be the same as the player in order for the avatar to
look realistic and not distorted. This proportionality makes it so the player can
accurately interact with their environment, but the player’s appearance in the
virtual world is limited by his or her proportionality in real life. That isn’t to say,
however, that a player can’t be 8 feet tall in a virtual world—the player cannot be
tall and skinny with long arms if his or her body is not proportioned so in reality.
Roland Wojak brings up a final point about the self in his master’s thesis about
virtual morality: the nature of interaction between two individuals. He points

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out that when two people interact, we say two people, not two bodies. The body
undergoes cellular change all throughout our lives; as we get older, we look
different than we did in the past. He states that because of this, we generally
consider a person to be comprised of something more than a body.9 This view
can be extended to fit with a player in a virtual world. Since the body changes in
real life, it is not an accurate description of the self. The body is used as a tool to
experience the world and to create knowledge and experience for the person. The
same can be said for virtual reality. The difference between VR and the real world
is that in VR, stimuli are artificially created. However, our ears still recognize the
artificial audio as sound; our eyes still recognize the artificial video as images and
characters. All of these stimuli are presented to the avatar in the game as if the
avatar was an actual individual in real life. Even though it is a different setting
with different characters and different objects, the player still has the same
experiences as in the real world with the same tasks.
All of these views indicate that many believe the self is part of the virtual world
to a certain degree. This consensus, while not unanimous among all scholars and
philosophers, is enough to begin investigation into the application of real world
principles on the virtual world. As VR extends this view of the self into the virtual
world, even more emphasis is placed on this application of ideals. Understanding
all the implications that technology offers is imperative to understanding how to
use it properly.
The Ethics of the Self

Now that the self has been established as having the ability to be a part of the
virtual world, the question is whether certain aspects of morality in the real world

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should be applied to the virtual world. Wojak provides good insight into the main
ethical theories that can apply to VR. The three main theories that he references
are deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics.
The deontological approach dictates that a person possesses rights and duties
that they should uphold, regardless of other factors involved. For example, if
killing is wrong, then no matter the circumstance or how many people it would
save by doing so, it is not permissible to kill. Kant is the most well-known
advocate for deontology. His main contribution to the field was his view that
people should always be treated as ends and never as means.10 This theory brings
up a few interesting points when applied to virtual worlds. In Kant’s view, he says
that people should never be treated as means. The terminology used suggests
that this is an absolute statement. In the real world, the definition of people
is not disputed. However, Kant was not around to consider the implications
of virtual people or people using avatars in a virtual world. His theory can
be applied to the virtual world as well, but the definition of people must be
extended. Players in the virtual world may feel like they are a part of their avatar,
but their avatar can be killed multiple times. So people cannot only consider the
avatars in the game; they must consider the players outside of the game as well.
However, killing is still a morally wrong act and from the deontological point of
view, should not be committed. So the meaning behind this absolute following of
a set of rules is rather vague and brings up a great deal of controversy as to the
meaning of the doctrine and the intent of those who came up with this theory, at
least if this theory was the only theory applied to VR.

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Consequentialism is another moral theory that can be applied to virtual worlds.
Consequentialism calls upon people to maximize the most good and minimize the
bad; essentially, the consequences are all that matter.11 In virtual reality, the only
real-world components that are used in virtual worlds are the players themselves
and perhaps some real-world money. Thus, consequentialism works beautifully
for one or multiple people against in-game enemies, monsters, or other people.
The conflict against these Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) is by real people
against lines of code that have no emotions and feel no pain. Since there is
virtually no pain, this is the ideal scenario from a consequentialist’s point of view.
The problem arises when the “enemy” is another player who does not want to
be the enemy. For instance, take a player, Player A, who has been playing the
game for a lot of hours. The time they spent has allowed them to gain wealth and
powerful items in the game. The rules of the game, however, are that if a player
dies, they lose everything they were carrying. One day, a modern-day Robin
Hood hacks into Player A’s computer and distributes the wealth to many different
players, each of whom are ecstatic to receive free items. According to this theory,
this would be a morally permissible action because the good that was done
outweighs the bad. More people had a greater total pleasure than Player A’s pain.
However, this action is wrong by anyone’s standards and it brings up the issue
of Player A’s rights. Determining whose pleasure or pain is greater is a matter of
theoretical interpretation and technicalities, and therefore not the best basis to
build a set of morals and ethics.
The last of the three main theories, Aristotelian virtue ethics, seems most
applicable to virtual worlds. Virtue ethics is “concerned with the development of
good character. By continually choosing virtuous actions and habituating them, one

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is able to achieve a state of human flourishing.”12 This theory focuses more on the
individual and less on the society or population as a whole. The theory is the best
out of the three to use with regard to virtual worlds because the actions performed
by the individual need not be with another individual; the actions only need to be
good in and of themselves. This also applies to interpersonal interactions, as a
player should still want to act in a way that improves their virtuous self.
However, just like in the real world, being a good person is not enough to prevent
crimes or other malicious acts. Laws and rules are needed to preserve people’s
pursuit of the virtuous self. In this particular case, the deontological approach
is the best out of the three to use because it focuses on a set standard of right
and wrong. If someone kills someone else, that killer was in the wrong and is
punished. They were not acting to better their virtuous self; it is the deontological
principles that determine what is right and what is wrong, and establish a system
of rules to help further that moral standard. These rules are essential to society,
and can be applied to player-on-player interaction. However, virtue ethics is still
needed to help define morals in a single-player world, where right and wrong
are much less clear. So, in practice, both theories are needed to some degree in
order to fully define a set of moral principles that apply to virtual worlds and VR.
Now that some of the moral principles that apply to VR have been determined, it
is necessary to look next at how these principles would be applied in VR.
The Mask of the Avatar

The avatar in a game essentially provides camouflage for the player, creating a
virtual identity that the player can explore and use. While this avatar can be used
to accurately mimic the look and behavior of the player as he or she is in real life,

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it is rarely used this way. Instead, players are drawn to the fact that they can be
anyone. Games like Halo and Mass Effect allow the player to be galactic heroes,
saving the galaxy from evil aliens and exploring a vast, unique world as that hero.
Other games like Second Life allow the player to be an average person, living a
normal life as someone else. In Second Life, a man could be a woman, an adult
could be a child, and vice versa. Games in general allow the player to be a wide
range of genders, species, and races that they could not be otherwise in the real
world. While this level of fantasy and allure of being someone else is what draws
gamers into video games to begin with, it also comes with ethical issues that have
the capability of ruining the gaming experience for everyone, such as anonymity
and BOTing.
Anonymity

Anonymity dates back to ancient civilizations, where tribes wore war paint into
battle. This paint strips the warriors of their individualism and makes it so that
they can become more aggressive, according to Robert I. Watson Jr., a researcher
who examines deindividuation in cultures.13 This separation from identity allows
the warriors to fight, maim, and kill in battle, even if it is seen as a cause of the
dehumanizing of enemies and violent behavior during war and even peace.
This anonymity can also be seen in the “mob mentality” of a group of people.
Each individual in a group of people adheres to the legal and moral restrictions
society puts on them, which keeps them from committing crimes, such as theft
and murder. Part of them realizes that such actions are inherently wrong and
by doing those actions, they will tarnish their reputation and their moral good
standing, while another part of them knows that if they did commit these types

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of actions, they would be punished by the government or society. These views
are all dependent on this individual being held responsible for their actions.
With a mob mentality, however, the identity as an individual is taken away. The
individual realizes that they cannot be blamed for their actions if everyone else is
doing the same. So, they cheat and steal and sometimes even hurt people, even
though normally they are a good individual.
Such anonymity can also be applied to games and can be associated with the
Online Disinhibition Effect. This effect’s inventor, John Suler, outlines six different
aspects that explain why an individual feels separated from his or her online
presence.14 While these six are generally applied to all forms of communication
on the internet, two of them (Dissociative Anonymity and Invisibility) can apply
directly to video games and, in turn, VR.
With dissociative anonymity, the player can assume any identity he or she wishes.
Any race, species, gender, or social class is available as a choice to players.
Players only see each other’s avatars. A player, in this case called Alpha, not
only can look like anyone or anything, but can also communicate as such. Alpha
can talk and play the game as an Elf or Goblin and speak as if he truly is that
creature. If he keeps this acting up, players online won’t know the true Alpha; the
one at the computer screen talking and playing the game. Alpha is then separate
from his “true self.” He does not own his behavior and therefore acts as if the
repercussions of his actions will not affect him.15 This also runs into the second
aspect Suler mentions: Invisibility.

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Invisibility, in this context, is the ability to not be seen by others in the game. This
is because avatars are used as a sort of intermediary. Avatars are the portals of
communication that the player uses to play the game. However, these portals
are only one way. Using the previous example, Alpha can speak into the game
and input controls for the avatar to perform. He can interact with the world
around him in a personal way but other players do not see Alpha’s face and can
only respond to Alpha’s avatar. So, Alpha can say and do whatever he wants
and get away with it because any retaliation given by the other players can
only be directed at Alpha’s avatar. This is the invisibility that Suler talks about
and is among the reasons that people tend to act more maliciously. These two
explanations of the thinking behind players give powerful insight into what
behavior occurs in virtual worlds and what behavior should occur.
BOTing

Invisibility is a major component of an individual’s behavior in the virtual world.
Because of this, other players have no idea who or what is behind the avatar. I
say “what” because there is a possibility of a program running an avatar. These
programs are called “BOTs” and the process of using them to control the avatar
is called “BOTing.”16 BOTs behave like a normal character and can even be
programmed to imitate how the player plays the game. For example, Alpha has
a certain method of playing a game. While attacking an enemy, he uses three
different attacks: attacks 1, 2, and 3. He is very consistent and always uses the
attacks in numerical order; first attacking with attack 1, then attack 2, and finally
attack 3. In this particular game, for every enemy Alpha kills, he gets experience
points, which he can use to get to a higher level. Instead of spending countless
hours killing countless enemies, he can just program a BOT to do it for him.

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So, Alpha may do other tasks, and not even be at his or her computer. In the
game, the avatar is still moving and performing all of the tasks that Alpha would
perform if he were in control. Apart from Alpha’s avatar not speaking to anyone,
it would seem that, from any other’s player viewpoint, Alpha was still playing.
So, the player is not completely necessary to control the avatar. This behavior is
banned in most games but nonetheless it shows how someone’s presence in the
virtual world can be misleading.
Both Anonymity and BOTing raise the questions of what moral principles should
be used in the gaming world. While these are significant questions in video games
in general, applying them to virtual reality is slightly different from applying them
to “typical” video games.
The Virtual Connection

Virtual reality seems to be just another method of interacting with a virtual
world: an advanced version of a controller or a mouse and keyboard. The player’s
movements are still inputted into the environment and a computing device still
processes these movements. However, taking away the intermediary of the
controller introduces different mechanics into the system. Traditionally, in order
to play a game, the player inputs commands on a controller or keyboard—the
intermediary—and the avatar performs those actions. For example, the player
presses the B button on a gamepad controller and the avatar hits an enemy.
With VR, there is no intermediary. Instead of every player having the avatar do
the same action when they hit the B button, the player itself is responsible for
the hitting. Instead of the avatar punching with the right hand (because it was
programmed to do that), the player can punch with the left hand, or use their

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elbow, or even kick the enemy. Because of this direct interaction, some of the
problems associated with virtual worlds are reduced, if not eliminated, such as
the aforementioned anonymity and BOTing.
BOTing in VR is difficult, if not nearly impossible, due to the complicated
programming needed to emulate the full range of motion of the limbs of an
individual. Each player has natural movements in everyday life, which would
have to be tracked and replicated by the computer. For example, when a person
talks in real life, sometimes they use hand gestures to aid in communication.
The BOT would have to pick up these hand gestures and re-create them. While
this is possible, it is a lot of trouble to have a computer play a player’s avatar.
Alternatively, there is a possibility of the BOT not replicating the player’s
movements, but instead just performing a basic movement, thereby decreasing
the amount of computation power and code needed. However, this method
would make the avatar look like it was being controlled by a computer. The
movements would not be as smooth and as varied as when a player is in control
and would make it apparent that the player is using a BOT. As a result, BOTs
would not be of much use, at least until technology advances to the point where
code could sufficiently imitate a person.
Because the VR system senses all of the movements of the players, and each
person has a unique way of moving, there is enhanced immersion for both the
player and for everyone observing the player. If Alpha, for instance, were to be
in a virtual world in a VR suit, he would walk around, gesture with his hands, and
present himself in a certain way. If he were leading a squad of players through
a battlefield and used hand gestures to signal with his team, those signals add

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to his virtual presence and make him unique in the virtual world. The choice of
how to engage other characters is entirely up to the player because there is no
restriction on what the player can do.
The heightened interaction between player and the VR world, as compared to
traditional games, makes it harder for the player to be another person. Imagine
a player being left-handed, but the player wanted his or her avatar to be righthanded. It would be extremely difficult for the player to perform tasks a righthanded player could do without looking strange. The player could learn how to
become right-handed or ambidextrous, but there would still be an awkwardness
associated with their movements. Even if the player made a conscious effort to
try and do every action with their right hand, certain reflexes are only done by
the dominant hand, such as catching a ball or writing on a surface. Therefore,
a great deal about the actual person is portrayed through the body movements
that the VR system captures, decreasing the anonymity of the player. Granted,
even though more of the actual player is translated to their avatar, other players
still do not know who that player is. This type of anonymity cannot be truly taken
away. However, the VR system severely reduces the capabilities of a player trying
to act like another gender or age.
The Reality of Virtual Reality

Analysts have praised virtual reality as the next step in gaming. Its enhanced realism
and direct control of the environment give the player a more personal experience and
a greater feeling of power. However, the problem lies in how real situations can be.

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Real Life Can Be Painful

One instance of a movie that can be too real is Saving Private Ryan. In one scene
in the movie, a German soldier is on top of an American soldier, slowly driving
a knife into the American soldier’s heart. The American resists until eventually
the German sticks the knife into the American’s heart, killing him. While this
takes place in a two-dimensional movie shown on a screen some distance away
from the viewer, the power and brutality of it can still be felt by the viewer. If the
distance between the screen and the viewer was eliminated and the scene played
out in three dimensions, that power and brutality would escalate tremendously.
Virtual reality eliminates this distance between the screen and the observer by
rendering the scene in three dimensions, allowing the player to perform actions a
normal person could in real life. VR can allow the player to slowly drive the knife
into a pleading victim or become the victim themselves. This has the potential to
be an extremely traumatic experience.
In virtual reality, anything from simply picking up an object to decapitating a
hostage is possible and in some cases, encouraged. The player can experience
a huge range of emotion. Anything is possible in VR and it allows the player to
experience situations that are either morally impermissible in the real world or
physically impossible.
The Game is No Longer in Control

Even if the player is not experiencing traumatic events on a daily basis, VR is still
more realistic than traditional games, and recognizing this realism is important to
understanding it. In regular video games, the designer can limit the interactions
that the player experiences. The player only has a certain number of buttons they

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can press to perform actions and interact with the world. Now, if the buttons
were pressed a short time from one another, a different action could occur.
Even with this addition, however, the amount of possible actions the avatar can
perform is still limited. The developer of the game has control over the types of
interactions based on the amount of actions the buttons can do. In virtual reality,
this controller layout is eliminated. The player can crouch to different heights,
peek around corners, dodge, roll, punch, and do anything that he or she can
do in real life. Theoretically, the capability to react to every action is available.
Thus, if the designer does not want the player to punch an innocent bystander,
then instead of taking away the ability to do so by not being able to press the
“hit” button, they either must tell the player not to hit them or just make it so
that the bystanders don’t respond to the hits (which significantly decreases the
realism felt by the player). In order to try to make as immersive an experience
as possible, the designers must allow freedom of motion, which will mean that a
majority of possible player actions will be accounted for in the game.
In video games, the player also experiences another instance that removes their
ability to interact with the virtual world: the cut-scene. The cut-scene adds a
more cinematic approach to the virtual world and in doing so, removes any
responsibility the player has for the events that occur. As the cut-scene plays
out, the player cannot interact at all with the world and is therefore helpless
against the changes that occur in the game. In VR, the cut-scene is still possible.
However, since the player truly feels like they are in the world, having a movie
play over the player’s vision can be extremely distracting and disjointing. In
order to keep the player feeling as if they are really in the world, players’ actions
must have repercussions at every point in the game. The player must be the sole

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person responsible for how the game progresses and how the characters interact
with the player.
This “do anything” capability is the double-edged sword that makes VR both
alluring and problematic. On one hand, ethics need to be applied to regulate the
player’s behavior and their interaction with others. On the other hand, the player
needs to be able to maintain the freedom that they expect from a fully immersive
virtual world. What are we to do with a system that has the capability for so much
enjoyment while at the same time so much capability for harm and malice?
How to Proceed with VR

Virtual reality is a puzzling concept. Everything it can do is an exact imitation of
reality, except it can put the player in any situation or world. It exhibits qualities
of both the real world and video games, necessitating a common ground between
the two in terms of morality. In games, there are two distinct aspects that need to
be examined: interactions between the player and other players (interpersonal)
and the interactions between the player and the virtual environment (interenvironmental). Each of these aspects has a different set of morals governing
them. In video games today, there is a similar separation of rules that can be
followed in both cases, with a few modifications.
Interpersonal (or Multiplayer) Interactions

When a player interacts with another player, the situation is almost identical to
a face-to-face confrontation. Even though avatars are used as a representation
of the player, the players’ voice, actions, and emotions are transmitted into the
virtual world. It would be the same as a conversation over the phone, except the

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player can move his or her avatar around.17 In VR, the same applies, except now
the player is fully represented in the virtual world. It is at this point where the
morality from the real world is the most useful.
Interacting with other players in a nonhostile18 environment is equivalent to
interacting with people in the real world. Games like The Sims and Second Life
are designed around anonymity and the idea of living a normal life as another
person. The “rules” or “laws” that a government might institute may not be in the
game, but the general rules about being a good person should. Aristotelian virtue
ethics calls for everyone to strive for a good and virtuous self and it seems to be
the best set of ethics to use in this case. VR is no different because the only real
change is how natural interactions with others are.
A hostile or competitive environment, on the other hand, needs a slightly
different guiding hand. In such competitive video games, actions are very
limited. In online shooters like Halo and Call of Duty, the player cannot drop
his or her gun and use Kung-Fu moves against an opponent. So players still
have to operate within the confines of the game and can only perform certain
actions. Now, with every game and situation that has rules, there are people
who try to find loopholes to exploit. Some of the time these loopholes can
be used to benefit a player, such as one that allows a player to get a lot of
in-game money. However, some people want to show off and disrespect
other players. Even though the game doesn’t explicitly allow this, players use
loopholes they find, such as “tea-bagging” or “spawn-killing.” Tea-bagging is
a sign of disrespect used by players on the body of the enemy they just killed.
The crouch button is tapped multiple times on the corpse of a recently killed

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enemy, showing disrespect to the other members of that enemy’s team, and
the specific enemy that was killed. This act is allowed by the mechanics of the
game (because it is only crouching multiple times), yet it is frowned upon by
the gamer community in general and can sometimes result in being banned
from that particular match or the game in general. Spawn-killing is also
allowed in the mechanics of the game. It does not manipulate the buttons on
a controller; rather, a player discovers where the enemy respawns after being
killed and continually aims right at the spawn point and keeps killing enemies
that spawn there. This is also looked down upon in the gaming community,
although it might not warrant a ban. Even though these actions are physically
allowed by the game, the gaming community has taken on a set of morals and
rules of its own accord that try and make gaming morally acceptable. In virtual
reality, however, there are more than just a “few loopholes.”
In VR, it is difficult, if not impossible, to limit the freedom that people have in a
VR suit. People can do more than just “spawn-kill” enemies; they can disrespect
the enemy in more ways and perform vulgar actions that are not possible in
normal video games. All hostile interactions within a VR game are essentially a
competition, so it would make sense to appeal to real-world competitions, such
as football and hockey. Within these two sports, physical contact is accepted and
encouraged. The penalty for fights in these sports is not jail time, but rather a
trip to the penalty box. In each of these games, violence is permissible and even
encouraged as long as it is within the confines of the game. Both sides agree on
the rules and agree to subject themselves to that kind of rough physical contact.
Outside of these games, however, this sort of rough contact and fighting is
unacceptable and results in some sort of punishment.

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This sort of conduct can be applied to video games as well. When a player
picks up a shooter game, they agree to the conduct of the game; in this case,
they agree to shoot other people and get shot at. They agree to work as a team
against another team to complete an objective. It is when behavior is outside the
context of the game that problems arise. In video games, any player caught using
behavior outside the rules of the game is kicked out of the game, as it makes
the game unfair to other players and subjects them to undesirable situations.
Responses to behavior such as this can also be applied to VR.
The amount of freedom in virtual reality brings a different kind of gameplay to
gaming. As long as players agree to the type of behavior that is acceptable in the
game, most types of behavior are allowed. However, the freedom of VR makes
adhering to a set of rules subject more to the players and less to the game itself.
Almost all major (real-life) sports implement a referee system. These referees
ensure the players cannot use their freedom as human beings to influence the
game in any way, by punishing violations of the rules. This type of system is
better than the current system in video games because it addresses the issue of
freedom of motion with which VR wrestles, while still allowing players to use that
freedom. Other methods could include tracking the movements of each player
and alerting the game if the player makes an illegal move, and programming
the game to ignore certain actions not allowed by the rules. All player-to-player
interactions can be thought of as an extension of the rules of everyday life into
the VR world. However, when the player is alone in a game, a different set of
moral principles applies.

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Inter-Environmental (or Single Player) Interactions

Single-player games bring up another set of moral issues because everything
in the world besides the player is not real. The player does not interact with
other live people and does not adhere to a set of established rules. None of the
characters in the game can feel actual pain. In normal video games, the player
can only perform actions the game allows them to perform. Games like Super
Mario only allow the player to jump, crouch, and use a few abilities, while games
such as Street Fighter allow the player to use numerous actions to defeat the
opponent. In VR, as discussed before, the controller is gone, leaving the player
total freedom when it comes to movement and actions. In order to achieve
maximum immersion, the player’s movements cannot be restricted by the game
in any way. Since VR has been established as re-creating reality, and the players
can act out any scenario, the question is whether players should be subjected to
the sort of violence and cruelty that is possible in VR.
This transition between modern games and VR games can be compared to the
transition from 8-bit games to modern games. Initially, 8-bit games were so
simple that blood, gore, sex, and violence could not be portrayed realistically,
which left games cartoony and unrealistic. As graphic capabilities improved,
games looked more realistic, leading to the development of the Entertainment
Software Rating Board (ESRB). ESRB ratings became necessary to make any
game credible and provided the consumer with knowledge as to what the
content of the game would entail. Each game would get (and continues to
get) an E, E10, T, M, or AO rating depending on how adult and/or graphic the
content was. This rating system allows the players to know and consent to
the content they were going to play in the game. Also, with games rated M or

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above, retailers became obligated to check IDs to make sure purchasers were
over 17. The ESRB rating system does not restrict the type of content that can
be published; it just makes the public aware of the content in the game and
puts a simple restriction on adult content.
The ESRB rating system used today is a perfect model to use for VR games
and VR systems of the future. The VR system itself is not inherently bad, but
the games that can be developed for the system can be extremely gory and
traumatic. Aristotelian virtue ethics is of most use in this case because it allows
each individual to develop their own virtuous self, rather than having an external
body regulate what is right and what is wrong for them. This self-governing of
moral values matches up perfectly with the rating system and can be used for
future VR games. Now, the ESRB rating system focuses more on the adult content
that the player will experience. The VR rating system will need to use a similar
approach, except the situations the user will be put in will need to be added. For
example, in a normal game, the player may experience a cut-scene that depicts
intense violence. For the rating of the game, this intense violence is spelled out
on the front cover, letting the player know what to expect. With VR, the player
might instead be subject to slowly killing another individual. This sort of personal
encounter needs more than just an “intense violence” label on the front cover.
It needs to truly inform the player of the severity of the actions they will be
performing, which will need a slightly different rating system than the current
one. Also, there should be age restrictions for those attempting to buy violent
games that utilize VR. The rating system is a good measure to limit the access
younger people have to more intense games while still being able to experience
the positive environments that VR can offer.

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Controversy

As video games have become more graphically intense and violent, controversy
has grown as to the amount of “morally inappropriate” behavior to which these
games are subjecting younger individuals. The bulk of this controversy is geared
toward violence in particular, saying that violent video games cause an increase
in violent behavior. This controversy can only be heightened by the addition of
VR. Virtual reality can subject the player to a real feeling of committing what
some consider morally wrong actions. Earlier in this paper, it was mentioned how
the self and the virtual world are connected. Thus, events in the virtual world
can translate to real-world harm.19 This line of thinking is very understandable
and there should be concern for the moral well-being of gamers. However, what
actions should be taken if VR has the capability of promoting bad behavior?
One method could be to stop VR from being developed for video games, but this
is a very narrow-minded viewpoint. VR has the capability to open the doors of the
entertainment industry and become the future of gaming. To deprive society of
this technological advancement and powerful experience would be a complete
turnaround from our innovation and creative drive as a species. Stopping the
development of VR would be like shutting off the Internet because it has the
capability to subject us to morally wrong behavior.
Since VR itself does not promote bad moral behavior, it should not be subject
to moral and ethical principles. VR can be likened to the Xbox or Playstation:
tools that translate the games made by developers into the world that the
consumer experiences. Instead, the people making the applications and
games for the VR systems, as well as consumers, should execute good

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judgment as to what type of moral principles they want to uphold. The
development of the virtuous self should be stressed for individuals, but cannot
be forced on people or used to regulate purchases or behavior. Standards
of morally wrong behavior in society should not be used for regulating the
purchase or playing of these VR games, but they may be used within the
games as a means of regulating the behavior of the players.
Conclusion

Virtual reality is a double-edged sword. It has great potential for the consumer,
giving them more of an in-depth experience of the virtual. However, it also has a
downside in that the heightened realism the player faces can result in a traumatic
experience for the player. To regulate this and understand how to handle
situations like these, it was first necessary to examine how much of the player
is invested in the virtual world. Looking at Hanna’s views of the self being made
up of consciousness, intentionality, caring, and rationality, as well as a few other
approaches, I determined that the self is at least partially invested in the virtual
world and therefore, morals may be applied.
Using virtue ethics and deontological viewpoints, VR games can be split up into
two separate sets of morals: those that govern interpersonal interactions and
those that govern inter-environmental ones. For interpersonal interactions,
in nonhostile situations, the morals that apply to normal people in a normal
society are sufficient. Since the goals of these are to promote social interaction
and mimic the interaction of the real world, real world ethics should be
applicable for any behavior outside the parameters of what the game requires.
For hostile (competitive) scenarios, a referee system should be used that

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reflects the deontological viewpoints of a set standard of moral rules everyone
must follow.
For inter-environmental interactions, virtue ethics is the most applicable form of
ethics to this situation. Since there is no one else to interact with, the player must
regulate his or her own behavior and be aware of the type of person the game can
turn them into. This also reflects their responsibility to understand the content of
the games they buy and play, as well as society’s responsibility to educate them
in this regard.
Overall, it is the job of society outside the game to educate gamers and
help them understand the moral and ethical implications of their actions.
After that, it is up to the players themselves to use good judgment and
build their own virtuous selves. While interacting with other people in the
virtual world, it is the responsibility of the players to play fair; similarly, it is
the responsibility of either the game creator or another player to regulate
behavior in order to promote fair gameplay.
Virtual reality is an emerging, powerful tool that allows the player to be immersed
in a limitless world. If used correctly and productively, this technology has the
potential to change the gaming industry and the world in general. Laying out
these guidelines is the first step to understanding the capabilities of virtual reality
and using it responsibly.

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ENDNOTES
According to Hanna, consciousness is a capacity for embodied subjective experience,
intentionality is the capacity for conscious mental representation and mental
directedness, caring is the capacity for conscious affect, desiring, and emotion, and
rationality is a capacity for self-conscious thinking according to principles and with
responsiveness to reasons, hence poised for justification. See for example, Robert Hanna,
“What is the Self?” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1234 (October 2011):
121–23.
2
Ibid.
3
A video game, in this paper, is defined as any interaction between a player and
environment that allows the player to engage in the environment and fulfill a sense of
purpose and responsibility. This can be in the form of goals and quests, as in action/
adventure games, or character interactions, in simulation games such as The Sims and
Second Life.
4
For example, if Jan is emotional about breaking up with her boyfriend (weeping and
unable to make clear, logical thoughts) and she wanted to drive somewhere, she would be
considered “irrational” because she is not making good choices and would be in danger if
she were driving. This definition of “rational” thought is more personal and subject to the
morals of society. It is essentially saying “any rational person wouldn’t drive, so, therefore,
Jan is being irrational.”
5
See note 1.
6
Roland Wojak, “Virtual Morality: The Moral Status of Virtual Actions” (master’s thesis,
Colorado State University, 2012), 20–26.
7
An avatar is essentially the representation of the player in the virtual world. In a lot
of games, players can customize their avatar to create a unique representation of
themselves. Usually this term is used to describe the character the player is playing in a
multiplayer environment. The term still applies to single player games, but it is rarely used
in this fashion.
8
See note 6, 26–28.
9
Ibid., 56–61.
10
Ibid.
11
Ibid.
12
Ibid.
13
Ibid., 50.
14
John Suler, “The Online Disinhibition Effect,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, vol. 7, no. 3
(2004): 321–26.
15
Ibid.
16
See note 6, 18.
17
Ibid., 15–16.
18
Nonhostile means any virtual environment in which the player interacts with other
players and is not trying to hurt or kill them. This ranges from social interactions to killing
enemies together.
19
Chuck Huff, Deborah G. Johnson, and Keith Miller, “Virtual Harms and Real
Responsibility,” W, vol. 22, no. 2 (summer 2003): 12–19.
1

Ce Chien Est Moi:
Why Virginia Woolf Was a Dog
RYAN KINDEL

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Department of English, Creative Writing
Anna Snaith, Faculty Advisor

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But, you may say, Virginia Woolf was not a dog. Didn’t Nicole Kidman play her
in that movie? You do know that Woolf is spelled with two o’s, right? I will try to
explain. I have been thinking about the subject of nonhuman animals in Woolf’s
writing. I was thinking about that subject today while sitting at a table outside
a café, when a dog padded up along the sidewalk and paused by my table. She
was chocolate black-brown and had what appeared to be a panty-liner stuck
to her right flank. The dog did not look at me but stretched on the sidewalk,
as if displaying the panty-liner, and I found myself wondering: Is she showing
me because she is proud of the garment and she wants me to admire her? Or
because she is humiliated and wants me to tear it away?
As the dog padded away, I realized: What questions for a vegan to ask himself!
I knew then that I had learned something from reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room
of One’s Own (1929) and Flush (1933), a very real and even useful lesson: I had
learned how to be animal.
Perhaps your first response to my epiphany, that I am animal, is: Why? Nobody
wants to be animal. But in A Room of One’s Own, as Woolf’s fictional narrator
shows, men make women into animals whether or not they want to be. “Are you
aware,” the fictional narrator asks her female audience, “that you are, perhaps,
the most discussed animal in the universe?”1 Later, the narrator describes a
centuries-old tendency in men’s artistic criticisms, in which the woman artist is
equated with a dog, and then:
here, I said, opening a book about music, we have the very words used
again in this year of grace, 1928, of women who try to write music. . . .
‘Sir, a woman’s composing is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is
not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.’2

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Male critics use the dog-woman simile to signify woman’s pathetic attempt to
do what only man can do. Jacques Derrida notes that “the list of what is ‘proper
to man’ always forms a configuration . . . it can never be limited to a single trait
and it is never closed.”3 For example, he argues that the animal’s inability to feel
ashamed of its own nakedness is at the center of one such configuration, i.e.,
“Man would be the only one to have invented a garment to cover his sex.”4 In
the above passage, the configuration of what is “proper to man” is artistic, and
because the dog cannot make art, the woman, being like a dog, is excluded from
man’s acceptance even before she makes art.
By beginning the passage with quotations from the past and then suddenly
returning to the contemporarily situated narrative—“here, I said, opening a
book about music”—Woolf suggests an eruption of the dog metaphor into the
narrator’s particular space. The sudden immediacy of that less-than-human
analogy makes the woman less than human. Briefly before this passage,
the narrator notes that women in past centuries, hearing and believing
misogynistic discourse, would have been weakened as artists: “Even if her
father did not read out loud these opinions, any girl could read them for
herself; and the reading . . . must have lowered her vitality, and told profoundly
upon her work.”5 With that eruption (“here”) of animalization into the 1928
woman’s space, the woman shows that her vitality, too, is lowered even before
she begins her work. Indeed, the narrator has said at the beginning of her
essay, “That collar I have spoken of, women and fiction . . . bowed my head
to the ground.”6 “Women and fiction” is, on one hand, the narrator’s topic of
discussion, but it is also her profession (she is a woman who writes fiction) and
so that it “bowed [her] head to the ground” implies that the narrator fears the

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failure which men predict. She fears becoming pathetic and domesticated, a
dog-woman walking on her hind legs.
This artistic self-doubt is still a fact of life for the woman in 1929. In A Room of
One’s Own, Woolf’s narrator elucidates this when she compares the man/woman
relationship with the man/lab animal relationship: “surely it is time that the
effect of discouragement upon the mind of the artist should be measured, as I
have seen a dairy company measure the effect of ordinary milk and Grade A
milk upon the body of the rat.”7 This experiment serves as a dual metaphor;
it is the narrator’s experiment—she will go on in the essay to examine how
discouragement makes women “timid and small” and how encouragement
makes them “glossy, bold, and big”8—but also an age-old grand experiment,
controlled by men, who have been meting out discouragement to the woman
and thereby leaving her “timid and small” as an artist. Hence, as the narrator
says at the end of A Room of One’s Own, the woman has not had “a dog’s chance
of writing poetry.”9
The concept that the animal is less than the human existed in ancient folklore,10
and was solidified in Western thought by Descartes’s “verdict of an unbridgeable
hiatus between humans and animals.”11 Moving forward to the nineteenth
century, we reach Darwin’s finding that the human is fundamentally animal,
which, as Warner notes, created tremendous unease; she says (writing in 1994),
“our evolutionary proximity to the apes caused horror in the last century.”12
Moving forward a few years in Woolf’s career to Flush (1933), we see how man’s
recognition of his own animal nature only complicates his attempts to position
others as his inferiors. Woolf’s narrator—described only as “the biographer”13—

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depicts character differences between people in terms of dog breeding, and
proposes a configuration of what should be components of the human animal.
The biographer argues that the “aristocracy” of spaniels is “founded upon better
reasons than ours.”14 While the spaniel aristocracy is founded upon discrete
physiological considerations, laid down by the “laws of the Spaniel Club,”15 there
is “No Club [that] has any such jurisdiction upon the breed of man.”16 Donald
Childs argues that Woolf was aware of and sympathetic to the ideas put forth
by eugenicists—he says, for example, that Woolf’s descriptions of literary
inheritance in A Room of One’s Own suggest a “eugenical logic of inheritance”17—
but in Flush, as Anna Snaith argues, the author “mocks the theories themselves
by relating them to dogs.”18
Indeed, by rephrasing the eugenics debate in animal terms, Woolf emphasizes
its triviality. The biographer says that Mitford’s “eyes were light; his ears were
curled; his head exhibited the fatal topknot. In other words, he was utterly
selfish, recklessly extravagant, worldly, insincere and addicted to gambling.”19
But in saying this, the biographer is implicitly admitting the impossibility of
eugenics; while humans presume to determine the quality of the cocker spaniel
from physiological features (eyes, ears, etc.), no such evaluation is possible for
the human being, because human faults (extravagance, worldliness, etc.) are
invisible. In Flush’s description of Whitechapel, Woolf’s biographer displays an
exaggerated disgust, saying, “In Whitechapel . . . poverty and vice had bred and
seethed and propagated their kind for centuries without interference.”20 The
terms “bred” and “propagated their kind” are highly biological, and so together
with “seethed,” which suggests boiled or stewed or fermented,21 the sentence

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describes a kind of organic growth, as if London’s underside has grown moldy
from lack of moral refrigeration (“interference”).
Moreover, that highly reproductive description implies that the miserable state
of Whitechapel is reducible to the genetics of its inhabitants rather than the
conditions in which they live. The biographer makes this explicit by animalizing
the inhabitants, saying: “Aptly enough, where the poor conglomerated thus, the
settlement was called a Rookery. For there human beings swarmed on top of
each other as rooks swarm and blacken treetops.”22 The narration here suggests
the harshness of conditions facing the neighborhood (whose inhabitants are
reduced to living like animals) and simultaneously embodies the indifference
of outsiders (whose indifference is why the inhabitants live like animals). Mr.
Beames, walking through Whitechapel, is said to realize that a disease might
break out in Whitechapel and spread to the nearby aristocrats: “The risk of
typhus was so great. The rich could not know what dangers they were running.”23
Because the poor are so deeply animal, so hopelessly nonhuman, their health is
considered only insofar as it affects the health of the rich.
But the animal in Woolf’s writing serves not merely as (what Carol Adams calls)
an “absent referent,” a metaphor behind which no actual animal exists.24 Woolf is
interested too in the position of animals per se. In A Room of One’s Own, animal’s
and woman’s shared position as “not man” leads the narrator to empathize with
the animal, to ask questions from the animal’s point of view. When the narrator,
staring idly through the window at the Oxbridge lunch party, sees the Manx cat
“without a tail . . . padding softly across the quadrangle,”25 we are reminded
that earlier in the text, a Beadle has instructed the narrator not to walk on the

185

same quadrangle. “Only the fellows and the scholars” are allowed on the grass,
the narrator tells us; “the gravel is the place” for women.26 But here the tailless
cat, neither a fellow nor a scholar, has intruded upon the path. We might expect
the narrator to envy the cat’s freedom. But rather she says: “as I watched the
Manx cat pause in the middle of the lawn as if it too questioned the universe,
something seemed lacking, something seemed different.”27 It is the cat’s pause
which implies to the narrator that the cat can question the universe. We might
here recall Descartes’s configuration of the animal, L’Animal-machine (“animalmachine”),28 a term for the animal which grants it movement and nothing
else. As Raymond Williams notes, “machine” refers to something that moves
without thinking, an “apparatus of interrelated or moving parts” or something
that can take “action without consciousness.”29 Ergo, when the cat confounds
the narrator’s expectation of animal-machinery by not moving, the narrator
disagrees with Descartes, granting that the cat is not merely moving parts, but
has consciousness.
That scene of gazing upon the Manx cat is much like a scene described decades
later by Derrida; noticing one morning how his cat stares at his naked body, he
contemplates the cat’s unknowable gaze, “a gaze behind which there remains
a bottomlessness . . . uninterpretable, unreadable, undecidable, abyssal and
secret.”30 Derrida comes to acknowledge that he can never know his cat’s
perspective of him. “To suppose,” he says, “that I, or anyone else for that matter,
could ignore that rupture, indeed that abyss, would mean . . . blinding oneself to
so much contrary evidence.”31 Like Derrida, the narrator gazing upon the Manx
cat never reduces the cat to an “animal-machine”—“something seen and not
seeing”32—but she does, albeit in a tentative way (“as though”), anthropomorphize

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the cat (“it questioned the universe”). The moroseness of the verb attributed to
the cat—questioning the universe, as if challenging or defying the universe33—
suggests that the narrator is projecting onto the cat her own sense of subjugation
under the patriarchy. And considering that, we might say that the narrator’s
anthropomorphism is justified; her subjugation is experienced by the cat.
The nonhuman animal, like the woman, is also subjected to humiliation. At one
point later in the text, the narrator recalls an
old gentleman who declared that it was impossible for any woman . . . to
have the genius of Shakespeare. . . . He also wrote to a lady who applied
to him for information that cats do not go to heaven, though they have,
he added, souls of a sort. How much thinking those old gentlemen used
to save one!34
In this passage, three kinds of denial—women cannot be Shakespeare, cats
do not go to heaven, women cannot think for themselves—are bound up in
one figure, a monolithic “old gentleman” dictating who can and cannot step
on his plot of grass. The narrator’s ironic exclamation at the end serves as a
rejection of the trickle-down philosophizing which denies women the chance
to be like Shakespeare or think for themselves, and also as a rejection of the
old gentleman’s presumption that nonhuman animals are spiritually inferior to
the human. The invocation of “heaven” here is a significant echo. Earlier in the
text, the narrator had said that after the Oxbridge meal, she feels as though
“We are all going to heaven.”35 After the women’s college meal, she feels as
though “We are all probably going to heaven [emphasis Woolf’s].”36 The meal
fed to dogs, by contrast, affords no salvation at all. “Women,” the narrator
says, “have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic

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and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”37
Animals serve the same purpose.
The narrator too has been made to accept that prejudice against animals; in the
midst of her earlier lunch party reverie, she suddenly starts laughing:
I burst out laughing, and had to explain my laughter by pointing at the
Manx cat, who really did look a little absurd, poor beast. . . . It is a
strange difference what a tail makes—you know the sort of things one
says as a lunch party breaks up.38
But the narrator is dissembling; she has not been laughing about the cat,
but rather the thought of “people humming . . . before the war.”39 Earlier, she
had been contemplating the cat not as a “poor beast,” etc., but as a being
“questioning the universe.” The narrator’s passive construction of the last
sentence, “you know the sort of things one says as a lunch party breaks up,”
suggests that the context of the “lunch party” has determined the content of the
preceding sentences. She has been pulled by her outburst of laughter into the
patriarchal indoor space—in which, e.g., even the “serving-man” is “the Beadle
himself perhaps in a milder manifestation.”40 In that space, just as she does not
voice her complaint about the relative squalor of the women’s college (which the
narrator holds in until her dinner at the women’s college),41 she does not mention
that cats might have consciousness.
By all this wriggling flotsam—dogs, cats, Beadles, Jacques Derrida, a flurry
of fake noses—we are buoyed up to the question of Flush. Critics in the field
of animal studies have rejected Flush as grievously anthropomorphic. Dan
Wylie writes, “Woolf displays a . . . desire to assimilate Flush to the human.”42

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And Jutta Ittner says that in Flush, “animal existence is diminished to an
anthropomorphized caricature.”43 Indeed, Woolf’s willingness to plunge into the
consciousness of a dog is at least puzzling. We have seen how hesitantly (“as if”)
the narrator entered the mind of the Manx cat. And in Jacob’s Room, the female
narrator waffles as to whether she will even follow Jacob into his room. “As for
following him back to his rooms, no—that we won’t do,” she says, and then
reneges: “But that, of course, is precisely what one does.”44 Jacob’s inaccessibility
to the narrator as a character is expressed in spatial/material terms. “Granted
ten years’ seniority and a difference in sex,”45 the narrator can never quite enter
Jacob’s interior life. In Flush, by comparison, the biographer bashes down the
door into Flush’s dogginess and sets about decorating.
But Flush is self-consciously anthropomorphic, raising questions about our ability
to understand animals’ inner lives even as it describes the inner life of an animal.
Ittner says that “The dog’s perspective provides a loving yet cleverly distorted
portrait of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s life,”46 but then, on the other hand,
Barrett-Browning’s perspective gives us a loving/distorted portrait of Flush’s life.
When she finds Flush looking at himself in the mirror: “‘He was a philosopher,’
she thought, meditating the difference between appearance and reality. ‘On the
contrary,’ the biographer tells us, ‘he was an aristocrat considering his points.’”47
The biographer undercuts Barrett’s anthropomorphic fancy by providing a
different anthropomorphic fancy; and tellingly, via Barrett’s thoughts, the text
draws our attention to “the difference between appearance and reality.” Later
on in the text, the biographer even admits his/her own failure to understand
Flush, saying, “To describe his simplest experience with the daily chop or biscuit
is beyond our power.”48 Paradoxically, by barging into the consciousness of her

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canine protagonist and imagining what goes on in there, the author is drawing
a firm boundary between the dog and the human, illustrating the extent
to which these humans (who, as his “companion,”49 and his “biographer,”
understand him better than any other humans) misunderstand this dog. These
moments of miscommunication between human and nonhuman animals (the
“vast gaps in . . . understanding”)50 pointed out by Woolf undercut Flush: A
Biography as a biography. Indeed, as the poet Robert Creeley notes, the root
bios in Greek “did not initially extend to animal life but was involved with
human only,” and so the book’s very title constitutes an admission of the
book’s anthropomorphic inaccuracy.51
This intentional inaccuracy has political ends. Woolf’s fictional narrator in A
Room of One’s Own complains that “biography is too much about great men,”52
and Flush as portrayed in Flush is not strictly a dog but a dog in whom a “great
man” lives. This allows Woolf to provide commentary on the generous depictions
of “great men” in biographies. Just as, for example, Shakespeare is said in A
Room of One’s Own to have had a child “rather quicker than was right,”53 Flush’s
biographer says:
Before he was well out of his puppyhood, Flush was a father. . . . Such
conduct in a man even, in 1842, would have called for some excuse from
a biographer; in a woman no excuse could have availed. . . . But the
moral code of dogs, whether better or worse, is certainly different from
ours, and there was nothing in Flush’s conduct that requires a veil now.54
The “veil” recalls the narrator’s claim in A Room of One’s Own that the
contemporary woman, because of the chastity long forced upon her, has a
“desire to be veiled”55 in anonymity. The claim that even a man would have

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needed some excuse from the biographer shows the extent to which men in
biographies were, like Shakespeare, comparatively easily excused for their
“conduct.” The biographer anthropomorphizes Flush (comparing him to “a man,”
imputing “a moral code” to dogs, and stiltedly calling his behavior “conduct”) but
emphasizes that his bad behavior is excused by the fact that he is a dog. Later,
the biographer, describing Flush’s struggle to accept life indoors with Elizabeth
Barrett, writes that to “suppress the most violent instincts of his nature” was “of
such portentous difficulty that many scholars have learnt Greek with less—many
battles have been won that cost their generals not half such pain.”56 According to
the biographer, Flush’s battle with his instincts is more difficult than the battles
faced by great men. These comparisons with great men raise questions about
the “great man.” Because Flush is a dog, he is excused for sexual indiscretions
and forced to suppress his violent instincts; but why is the “great man,” who
also has sexual indiscretions, excused? And does the great man, who also has
violent instincts (and is often literally a general) but never allows himself to be
domesticated, suppress those instincts?
In a passage from A Room of One’s Own, Woolf answers these questions, writing
that women:
will pass a tombstone or a signpost without feeling an irresistible desire
to cut their names, as Alf, Bert or Chas. must do in obedience to their
instinct, which murmurs if it sees a fine woman go by, or even a dog, Ce
chien est à moi [i.e., this is my dog]. And of course, it may not be a dog
. . . it may be a piece of land or a man with curly black hair.57
In her reading of this passage, Goldman notes that the dog here is working
metaphorical overtime, simultaneously representing women, slaves, and men

191

who, like “dogs pissing on tombstones and signposts,” want to claim ownership
over everything they see.58 But the passage itself does not merely animalize; it is
also about animalization. The syntactic joke played by the narrator—“murmurs if
it sees a fine woman go by, or even a dog, Ce chien est à moi”—addresses men’s
animalization of women and their denial of female education/genius/thought. The
man’s instinct is saying in equal parts, not just “This is mine” but also “This is a
dog.” The narrator’s self-correction, “it may not be a dog,” then, not only means,
the man may be claiming ownership of something else, but also: it may not really
be a dog (i.e., it may really be a “woman” or a “man with curly black hair”). The
portrayal of men as animal-machines acting “in obedience to their instinct” is a
redirection of man’s own reductive animalization onto man himself.
This was the nature of my café epiphany: a sense of affiliation with the whole
kingdom Animalia, a sense that despite my sex, I stand with the dogs and the
Woolves against the man-machine, that we will no longer allow ourselves to
be plastered with panty-liners (or, as the case may be, that we will display our
panty-liners with defiance). Here was I (call me Jacques, Virginia, Flush—it is not
important) joining the insurrection.

192

ENDNOTES
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), 35.
Ibid., 71.
3
Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am (New York: Fordham Univ. Press, 2008),
Kindle edition, 5.
4
Ibid.
5
See note 1, 70.
6
Ibid., 5.
7
Ibid., 68.
8
Ibid.
9
Ibid., 141.
10
Marina Warner, Managing Monsters (London: Vintage, 1994), Kindle edition, location
1133.
11
Eileen Crist, Images of Animals (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1992), 38.
12
See note 10, location 1135.
13
Virginia Woolf, Flush (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009), 86.
14
Ibid., 7.
15
Ibid.
16
Ibid., 8.
17
Donald Childs, Modernism and Eugenics (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), 58.
18
Anna Snaith, “Of Fanciers, Footnotes, and Fascism: Virginia Woolf’s Flush,” Modern
Fiction Studies, vol. 48, no. 3 (2002), 614–636; see especially p. 631.
19
See note 13, 9.
20
Ibid., 53.
21
“seethe, v.” OED Online, retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/174844.
22
See note 13, 53.
23
Ibid., 52.
24
Quoted in Jane Goldman, ‘“Ce Chien est á Moi’: Virginia Woolf and the Signifying Dog,” in
Woolfian Boundaries: Selected Papers from the Sixteenth Annual International Conference
on Virginia Woolf, ed. by Anna Burrells, Steve Ellis, Deborah Parsons, and Kathryn Simpson
(Clemson: Clemson Univ. Press, 2007), 100–107; see especially p. 101.
25
See note 1, 14.
26
Ibid., 7.
27
Ibid., 14 (my emphasis).
28
See note 3, 22.
29
Raymond Williams, Keywords (London: Fontana Paperbacks, 1976), Kindle edition,
location 3720.
30
See note 3, 12.
31
Ibid., 30.
32
Ibid., 13.
33
“question, v.” OED Online, retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/156344.
34
See note 1, 59.
35
Ibid., 14.
36
Ibid., 23.
1

2

193

Ibid., 45.
Ibid., 16.
39
Ibid.
40
Ibid., 13.
41
Ibid., 25.
42
Dan Wylie, “The Anthropomorphic Ethic: Fiction and the Animal Mind in Virginia Woolf’s
Flush and Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and
Environment, vol. 9, no. 2 (summer 2002), 115–131.
43
Jutta Ittner, “Part Spaniel, Part Canine Puzzle: Anthropomorphism in Woolf’s Flush and
Auster’s Timbuktu,” Mosaic, vol. 39, no. 4 (2006), 189.
44
Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008), 128.
45
Ibid.
46
See note 43.
47
See note 13, 23.
48
Ibid., 86.
49
Ibid., 26.
50
Ibid.
51
Robert Creeley, “Inside Out,” Collected Essays of Robert Creeley (Berkeley: Univ. of
California Press, 1989), 556.
52
See note 1, 142.
53
Ibid., 60.
54
See note 13, 12.
55
See note 1, 65.
56
See note 13, 25.
57
See note 1, 65.
58
See note 24, 104.
37

38

Long-Term, Comprehensive, Parent-Inclusive,
Sex Education (LCPSE) Curriculum Proposal
ANASA MATTHEWS

School of Social Work
Keck School of Medicine of USC, Master of Public Health Program

ASHLI McMILLER
School of Social Work

VERNICE WARD

School of Social Work
Keck School of Medicine of USC, Master of Public Health Program
Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, Faculty Advisor

196

Sex education has been a controversial topic within the public school system for
decades. For some individuals, teaching comprehensive sex education raises
moral and religious disputes. However, for others, teaching abstinence-only sex
education ignores the fact that the United States has some of the highest rates of
teen pregnancy and STD/STI rates among developed countries.1 Comprehensive
sex education is of growing interest based on emerging evidence of its success.
The authors offer the following policy-focused proposal for the Long-Term,
Comprehensive, Parent-Inclusive, Sex Education (LCPSE) curriculum as a possible
approach for middle school students, using a community-based platform.
Mission and Objectives

The LCPSE curriculum has been developed using research data from the
Guttmacher Institute (2014) and the US Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality
Education.2 The LCPSE curriculum mission is to address the varying sex
educational needs of school-age children in order to decrease adverse sexual
activity and behaviors in grades 4 through 12. To achieve this mission, the
following objectives have been developed for the LCPSE curriculum:

. Provide a comprehensive curriculum that will cover healthy relationships,
puberty, family planning, abstinence, sexual behavior, sexuality, sexual
health, values, and sex in society

. Utilize medically accurate information about the body, sex, pregnancy,
and STIs/STDs

. Provide comprehensive training to all teachers responsible for teaching
sex education

197

Structure of Services

The proposed comprehensive sex education curriculum will be overseen by
the school district of the selected schools. In many states, school districts are
responsible for the allocation of federal funds to individual schools as well as
issuing curriculum mandates.3 In a quasi-experimental research study on the
implementation of sex education curriculums,4 the researchers discussed that
the support of the school district was vital to the successful implementation of
the studied sex education curriculum.
The funding assigned to support the implementation of this curriculum should only
be provided to the schools in which the curriculum is being utilized and taught.
Extent of Devolution

Funding for the development, implementation, monitoring, and testing of
the LCPSE curriculum will be derived from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Initiative (TPPI). TPPI funds grants for implementing and evaluating programs
to community-based organizations that provide comprehensive sex education
(Sexuality Education and Information Council of the United States, 2012).5 Eligible
organizations for such funding range from for- and nonprofit organizations to
state and local governments.6
Program models of Tier 1 grantees include Aban Aya Youth Project, ¡Cuídate!,
and HIV Risk Reduction Among Detained Adolescents. Project AIM, a youth
development intervention designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors among youth, is
an example of a Tier 2 grantee.7

198

The funds granted under TPPI fall within the jurisdiction of the Office of
Adolescent Health (OAH). In the first fiscal year of TPPI funding, the OAH
partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue
grants for organizations that address the needs of the African American and
Latino populations on a community-wide basis. Grants within Tier 2 can
be granted directly from OAH or through the CDC (Sexuality Education and
Information Council of the United States). Based on the outlined structure of
the TPPI, the school district where the LCPSE curriculum is implemented would
apply for funding through the grants within TPPI Tier 2, and the population of
individual school districts would determine their eligibility for funding from
grants sponsored by the CDC.
Proposal Services

Services provided under the implementation of the LCPSE curriculum include
the delivery of the full and completed curriculum as well as the training of all
teachers responsible for sex education instruction.
LCPSE Curriculum
The full LCPSE curriculum will consist of outlined lesson plans, supporting
handouts, visual aids, web-based resources, and student and family homework
assignments. The lesson plans within the curriculum will be tailored to address
the specific cultural needs of a school’s population. By allowing the lesson plans
to be culturally adapted, the effectiveness of the curriculum can be increased.8
The curriculum includes web-based resources in order to address the upward
trend of Internet use among adolescents.9 Lastly, the inclusion of a student’s
parent/guardian reduces the likelihood of vaginal intercourse, specifically with

199

middle school adolescents.10,11 All three components of the LCPSE curriculum
have been shown to decrease sexual activity in school-aged youth.
LCPSE Training
In a cross-sectional, mailed survey of 7th and 8th grade health teachers, it was
reported that lack of training impacted the inclusion of comprehensive sex
education curriculums into classrooms.12 Training allows teachers to become
more comfortable with the content of the curriculum and increases the likelihood
that they will utilize all interactive components of the LCPSE curriculum.13
Teachers will be trained using a cascading training method that has been
effective in sex education training for teachers.14 This method starts with the
training of master trainers. The master trainers will be trained by the developers
of the LCPSE curriculum and the authors of this proposal. The training of the
master trainers will also include social workers who will train teachers to have
a person-in-environment perspective. As the implementation of the LCPSE
curriculum is expanded within the school district, the master trainers will train
other teachers.15
Associated Agencies and Community

Curriculum Committee
A committee of community members can ensure that characteristics and values
of the community can be incorporated with the sex education provided in
schools.16 A community also has a certain amount of control and influence that
can influence sex education within the schools.17 Within the framework of this
proposal, a volunteer curriculum committee would be created to ensure that

200

the curriculum adaptations accurately reflect the needs of the community. Any
member of the community, including representatives of local health agencies, is
eligible to sit on the curriculum committee. Within the LCPSE curriculum, areas
for adaptation are clearly identified. The committee will review the identified
areas and suggest changes to the school board. All final decisions, however, will
be that of the school board.
Proposal Monitoring and Assessment

In order to ensure accurate implementation and performance measurement,
the monitoring and assessment of the LCPSE curriculum will be conducted by a
third party agency. Implementation of a curriculum can vary across schools, as
well as among teachers in an individual school.18 A third party agency will ensure
continuity of implementation across the board. Having equity in implementation
also allows for more accurate measurement of performance and effectiveness.
Using a third party agency will provide unbiased and accurate information
needed for implementation of the LCPSE curriculum in remaining district schools.
Supporters and Funders

Funders
Taxpayer dollars have been funding abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM)
programs since 1981, and funding was to increase over the next two and a half
decades to over two billion dollars, as decided by the Bush administration.19
Despite the overwhelming evidence of AOUM programs not working, money was
still being put into that system until President Obama cut that stream of money
into two, with one stream funding comprehensive sex education (which includes
the LCPSE Curriculum) in the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). Within the ACA,

201

comprehensive sex education has been allotted $250 million, and the main
funders of these educational programs/curriculums are the federal and state
governments.20 Offices within the US Department of Health and Human Services,
such as the CDC, OAH, and Administration for Children and Families, allocate
funds toward the TPPI. The funds ($110 million) were first released in 2010 and
in FY 2013, TPPI was funded at $105 million. The allocation of these funds are
separated into three areas; $75 million is for organizations that utilize existing
evidence-based programs, $25 million for the development and measurement of
new programs, and $5 million for research and technical assistance.21 National
partners include Advocates for Youth, CAI Global, and the Healthy Teen Network;
Title X funding partners include the Alabama Department of Public Health, and
state- and community-based partners include AccessMatters, Southeastern
Pennsylvania, the Georgia Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and the
Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.22
Supporters
There is a wealth of individual tax payers who support comprehensive education
because the content is more culturally relevant, accurate, and preventative.
These individuals include parents, political figures such as President Obama
(as part of his implementation of the ACA to offer an alternative to AOUM), and
even students in the United States and other countries. Other organizations
that support comprehensive sex education and the LPCSE curriculum are
Thinkprogress.org, Advocates for Youth, American Association of Pro-Life
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Planned Parenthood, Society for Adolescent
Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

202

Audience

Lou Dantzler Middle School is an Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) public
charter school with a college-bound focus that stresses the importance of
dedication, hard work, and parent and community involvement in the educational
process.23 Principal Didi Watts and ICEF believe that students, parents, staff, and
community members should be lifelong learners with an education focusing on
the S.O.A.R. model.24 The S.O.A.R. principles are safety, ownership, acceptance,
and respect, which coincide with some aspects of the LCPSE curriculum. This local
school was chosen because of its communal values and parent involvement.25
Presenting the LCPSE curriculum to Director Didi Watts, who heads a school
strongly rooted in parent involvement, will allow us to receive the necessary
feedback and advice required for shaping the curriculum in order to further gain
the support of the stakeholders. We utilized our “Abstinence or Comprehensive
Sex? Overview and Solution to Current Education Issues in America” PowerPoint
presentation and a detailed handout to convey the gap in current sex education
curriculum and our proposed remedies for the situation. Ideally, the information
provided would be disseminated and discussed among parents and staff members
during one of the school’s Parent Involvement Meetings. The input of these
stakeholders would shape the curriculum and help to prepare the LCPSE proposal
for the ICEF’s Board of Trustees for school wide implementation.
Summary

The LCPSE curriculum is a possible solution that school districts can use to teach
comprehensive sex education. By implementing the proposed curriculum and
effectively training their teachers, a school district can address the sexual health
needs of their students and the surrounding community.

203

Appendix

This outlined proposal was presented to a principal of a LAUSD Preparatory
Middle School. The principal agreed to listen to the proposal and provide
feedback to the presenters in regard to both effectiveness of the proposal and
feasibility. The presentation lasted 16 minutes and was uninterrupted by Principal
Watts. She was attentive and took notes throughout the presentation. Upon
completion, the presenters and the principal discussed the presentation.
Overall, the principal thought that the presentation was well presented.
She identified two areas that would need further elaboration. Initially, the
principal explained that the district’s school board would require time frames in
association to the proposal. The term “long-term” was unclear and needed to be
clarified within the presentation. Funding for the proposal comprised the other
area of the principal’s concern. Presenters explained that the district is strict
with their funding and is hesitant to take on a proposal without fully knowing
the amount required to run the actual program both for the first year and for
subsequent years. The principal suggested that any proposal to a principal or
decision maker within the district would require potential financial numbers to
better illustrate the benefit and funding requirements of the successful program.

204

ENDNOTES
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Sexual Health of Adolescents and Young Adults in the United
States,” (20 August 2014), retrieved from kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/sexualhealth-of-adolescents-and-young-adults-in-the-united-states/.
2
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, Guidelines for
Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten through 12th Grade (2004), retrieved
from www.siecus.org/_data/global/images/guidelines.pdf.
3
Jocelyn Boryczka, “Whose Responsibility? The Politics of Sex Education Policy in the
United States,” Politics & Gender, vol. 5, no. 2 (June 2009), 185–210.
4
Michael C. Fagen, Jonathan S. Stacks, Emily Hutter, and Laura Syster, “Promoting
Implementation of a School District Sexual Health Education Policy through an AcademicCommunity Partnership,” Public Health Reports, vol. 125, no. 2 (March/April 2010), 352–58,
retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/41434790.
5
See the following: Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, “A
Brief History of Federal Funding for Sex Education and Related Programs,” retrieved from
(www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewPage&pageid=1341&nodeid=1); Sexuality
Information and Education Council of the United States, “FY 2015 Federal Funding Update,”
(June 2014), retrieved from (www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Feature.showFeatu
re&featureid=2358&parentid=478); Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
United States, “In Brief: Federal Funding Streams for Teen Pregnancy Sex Education, and
Abstinence-Only Programs,” retrieved from (www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.
viewpage&pageid=1350); and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United
States, “Fact Sheet: The President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative,” retrieved from
(www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=1190).
6
Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, “Federal Funding for Sex Education: Teen
Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI),” University of Chicago Medicine (2012), retrieved
from familyplanning.uchicago.edu/policy/publications-resources/TPPI%20Fact%20
Sheet%20FINAL.pdf.
7
Evelyn Kappeler, “Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Moving Forward, Making a Difference,”
(13 March 2012), retrieved from www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/oah-initiatives/ta/experience_
expertise_kappelertpp.pdf.
8
Verenice D’Santiago and Alycia M. Hund, “Culturally Sensitive Best Practices for Sex
Education Programs,” National Association of School Psychologists Communiqué,
vol. 40, no. 6 (March/April 2012), 18–20, retrieved from search.proquest.com/
docview/1014404024.
9
Ellen M. Selkie, Meghan Benson, and Megan Moreno, “Adolescents’ Views Regarding
Uses of Social Networking Websites and Text Messaging for Adolescent Sexual Health
Education,” American Journal of Health Education, vol. 42, no. 4 (July/August 2011), 205–
12, retrieved from search.proquest.com/docview/887726352.
10
Jennifer M. Grossman, Alice Frye, Linda Charmaraman, and Sumru Erkut, “Family
Homework and School-Based Sex Education: Delaying Early Adolescents’ Sexual Behavior,”
Journal of School Health, vol. 83, no. 11 (November 2013), 810–817.
11
Jennifer M. Grossman, Allison J. Tracy, Linda Charmaraman, Ineke Ceder, and Sumru
Erkut, “Protective Effects of Middle School Comprehensive Sex Education with Family
Involvement,” Journal of School Health, vol. 84, no. 11 (November 2014), 739–47.
1

205

G.W. Woo, R. Soon, J.M. Thomas, and B. Kaneshiro, “Factors Affecting Sex Education in
the School System,” Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, vol. 24, no. 3 (2011),
142–46.
13
Haribondhu Sarma, Mohammad Ashraful Islam, and Rukhsana Gazi, “Impact of Training
of Teachers on their Ability, Skills, and Confidence to Teach HIV/AIDS in Classroom: A
Qualitative Assessment,” BMC Public Health, vol. 13 (21 October 2013), 990–99.
14
Ibid.
15
Ibid.
16
Juping Yu, “Sex Education beyond School: Implications for Practice and Research,” Sex
Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, vol. 19, no. 2 (May 2010), 187–99.
17
Mary A. Ott, Maura Rouse, Jamie Resseguie, Hannah Smith, and Stephanie Woodcox,
“Community-Level Successes and Challenges to Implementing Adolescent Sex Education
Programs,” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 15, no. 2 (February 2011), 169–177,
retrieved from link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10995-010-0574-y.
18
See note 16.
19
Sara Lone, “Why Are We Still Fighting against Abstinence-Only Education?” (30
July 2014), retrieved from thehumanist.com/news/why-are-we-still-fighting-againstabstinence-only-education.
20
Erin D. Williams and C. Stephen Redhead, “Public Health, Workforce, Quality, and
Related Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Congressional
Research Service 7-5700, R40943 (24 March 2010), 55, retrieved from www.aamc.org/
download/130996/data/ph.pdf.pdf.
21
See note 6.
22
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Pregnancy Prevention,” (2013)
retrieved from www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/prevent-teen-pregnancy.
23
ICEF Public Schools, “Lou Dantzler Preparatory Middle School: About Us,” retrieved from
icefldpms.sharpschool.net/about_us.
24
Ibid.
25
Ibid. Parent involvement is so important at Lou Dantzler Preparatory Charter Middle
School that they are required to fulfill a forty-hour volunteer commitment to the
school.
12

Neither Rhyme Nor Reason: The Case of
James Hackman or Reason and the Passions
in Eighteenth-Century Britain
ENA NIELSEN

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Department of History
Lindsay O’Neill, Faculty Advisor

208

On the evening of 7 April 1779, two gunshots pierced the night air outside of
the Covent Garden Playhouse. James Hackman had just murdered Martha Ray.
Weeks of sensational news stories covering everything from the court case to the
intimate details of the love triangle at the center of the tragic incident followed.
Public interest fixated on Hackman’s mental state and his guilt or innocence.
Indeed, print culture utilized Hackman’s case as a forum for discussion about
the powers of the mental urges and emotional states that could cause insanity.
During this period, growing acceptance of Enlightenment ideas about the human
mind and human emotion created a philosophical battle between the powers of
reason and passion, especially with regard to how they affected human behavior.
For Mr. Hackman and others struck with sentimental forms of insanity, a growing
interest in the sensibilities and increased acceptance of public emotion was
a boon. As social attitudes within Britain grew to be more accepting of the
passions, people’s views on insanity evolved to incorporate this new view on
the passions. As the case of James Hackman demonstrates, the triumph of the
passions within society led to more sympathetic views on madness.
During the mid- to late-eighteenth century, British society began moving
away from Enlightenment ideas about the role of reason in human behavior.
Enlightenment ideas about reason and the passions tended to support the
rule of logic over emotion in dictating human behavior, although many writers
conceded that the passions (namely, the struggle one has with the passions)
were necessary in order to separate man from baser animals. In A Vindication
of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft asked, “in what does man’s preeminence over the brute creation consist? . . . in Reason. . . . For what purpose
were the passions implanted? That man by struggling with them might attain

209

a degree of knowledge denied to the brutes.”1 Both reason and the passions
were considered vital to human nature. However, propriety required that man
not allow his passions to overwhelm reason. Wollstonecraft herself argues that
“it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the
exercise of its own reason.”2 Thomas Hobbes went even further in Leviathan,
claiming that, “the light of humane minds is perspicuous words . . . reason is
the pace; increase of science, the way; and the benefit of mankind, the end.”3
For Enlightenment philosophers, emotions were necessary but could not be
mistaken for an actual method of understanding. Reason had to come first
in order to provide the understanding and knowledge that would allow the
passions to remain restrained.
Entering the end of the eighteenth century and the Romantic period, however,
new ideas about the role of passions began to emerge. In particular, people
began to question reason’s supremacy over the sensibilities in human
behavior. Even the Enlightenment writer David Hume conceded power to the
passions, saying “reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions,
and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”4
Thinkers of the time believed that virtue particularly suffered when the
passions and reasoning became unbalanced in the human mind. In his Theory
of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith argued that “the amiable virtues consist
in that degree of sensibility which surprises by its exquisite and unexpected
delicacy and tenderness. The awful and respectable, in that degree of
self-command which astonishes by its amazing superiority over the most
ungovernable passions of human nature.”5 Virtue required a balance between
the sensibilities and the reason necessary to overcome an excess of passion.

210

In extreme cases, as Smith notes, an imbalance in the passions resulted in
harsh judgment by society: “the propriety of every passion . . . must lie, it is
evident, in a certain mediocrity. . . . We denominate the excess, weakness and
fury: and we call the defect stupidity, insensibility, and want of spirit.”6 This is
a slight, but important, deviation from Enlightenment thought on the matter,
which pointed to reason as the sole source of virtue.7 Certainly, Smith agrees
that reason is a necessary part of virtue, but it is only a part. Its importance is
due to its limiting effect on excessive passion, not (as it was for Wollstonecraft
and other Enlightenment thinkers) as the entirety of virtue.
However, the passions had their dark side. Perhaps most importantly for those
like Mr. Hackman was the association of extreme sensibility with the manifestation
of madness. The imagination and all of its accompanying emotions had the
real potential of sending one into a fit of insanity.8 The mad were previously
stereotyped as animalistic and subhuman; their madness was a physical
manifestation of their moral shortcomings. This is quite evident from Dr. William
Black’s compilation of the causes of insanity for those admitted to Bedlam
between the years of 1772 and 1787. He claims that out of the 2829 admitted, 383
were the result of “misfortunes, troubles, disappointments, grief, vexation, losses,
crosses, jealousy, ill-usage, anxiety, despair, distress,” 136 were insane due to
“love,” and 23 out of “pride.” These 542 cases are all newly manifested within the
patients. 1205 of the 2829 cases were considered “relapses from all the preceding
causes.”9 So, out of the 1624 new cases, over one third of them were caused by
what seems to be an excess of emotion. Certainly, “grief . . . crosses, jealousy . . .
anxiety, despair,” “love,” and “pride” can be considered emotional catalysts.10

211

Those driven mad by emotion were viewed with more sympathy than in previous
eras. Enlightenment ideas about medicine, specifically regarding the intersection
of mind and body, were instrumental in bringing about this change in attitude
toward insanity. Without the scientific revolution that accompanied the British
Enlightenment, medical perspectives on madness would have continued to fixate
on the body rather than the mind. Even in the early eighteenth century, it was
believed that an imbalanced physical state could lead to an alienated mind.11 The
common people believed that an excess of certain humors, such as black bile,
could easily result in madness.12 In 1732, Dr. John Arbuthnot, in his comprehensive
essay on diseases, wrote that melancholy madness was caused primarily by “a
black viscous pitchy Consistence of the Fluids which . . . makes all Secretions
difficult and sparing.” In order to cure such madness, he recommended “to render
the Humours fluid, moveable . . . especially the Bile, which is viscous.”13 Similar
humor-based diagnoses were found throughout his text, with the subsequent
cures tailored to the imbalance of the various bodily fluids. Significantly, at this
time, the mind and all its accompanying nerves and notions were not considered
in any great detail in discussions on madness. The body was fundamentally
responsible for any imbalances in mental state.
Increasing interest in scientific thought during the Enlightenment, especially in
physiology, allowed for a more nuanced view of human health. Relevant for the
diagnosis of madness was the agreement that the mind was primarily responsible
for human behavior. Rene Descartes, in The Descriptions of the Human Body,
theorized that the soul, or mind, controlled the will: “our soul . . . is a substance
known to us only by the fact that it thinks, that is to say, that it understands, that
it wishes, that it imagines, that it remembers, and that it feels.” While pure bodily

212

functions, like the beating of the heart, were controlled by the body rather than
the soul, the soul could direct the body’s motions based on its understanding.14
Therefore, for medical practitioners, diseases of thought or imagination were
derived from a malfunction of Descartes’s “soul”—the mind.
Despite the heavy influence of the Enlightenment, the evolution of medical
thought was not immune to the widespread British obsession with the
sensibilities. As medical practitioners began to accept the mental basis for
insanity, they also began to theorize about the role that passion and reason
played in these diseases. As Dr. Arnold noted in his Observations, “some of the
most powerful causes of this kind of Insanity [passion] are–religion,–love,–every
species of luxury,–and all violent and permanent attachments whatever.”15
Erasmus Darwin, in his seminal work Zoonomia, argued that madness was
motivated by “our desires or aversions . . . and human nature seems to excel
other animals in the more facile use of this voluntary power, and on that account
is more liable to insanity than other animals.”16 Using these views, madness was
no longer caused by an imbalance of humors, but by an external environment
which allowed for the excessive expression of emotion and the imagination.
As madness came to be seen as a disease of an overly-emotional mind,
physicians began to alter the ways in which they discussed the various types
of insanity and their diverse set of symptoms. Even within attempts to analyze
disorders in a scientific manner, the effect of the passions can be seen through
the language used to describe insanity’s various manifestations. This is especially
evident in Darwin’s division of two types of madness. Beyond the frenzy caused by
pain, there is also “a pleasurable insanity . . . as the insanity of personal vanity,

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and that of religious fanaticism . . . a constant flow of agreeable voluntary ideas
. . . which when thus exerted in the extreme constitutes insanity.”17 His mention
of vanity, fanaticism, and pleasure all imply a sentimental undercurrent to
this type of insanity. While he later tries to shroud the emotional elements
with complex scientific deduction, it is undeniable that the passions play at
least a small role in this particular form of madness. Indeed, he describes the
workings of imagination as “the motions of our organs or sense, or ideas, that
were originally excited into action by irritation” and which are later excited when
“painful or pleasurable sensations possess us, as of love, anger, fear . . . the
ideas . . . now vividly recur before us.”18 Excessive imagination, it was thought,
was the primary cause of insanity. Darwin’s connection of imagination to the
emotions, then, cements the link between insanity and the sensibilities. Dr.
Arnold confirms this with his assessment of impulsive types of insanity, in which
the person is “impelled by the passion of anger, or resentment . . . such passion
being liable to be excited by the slightest and most trifling cause.”19 Phrenetic
insanity, too, occurs when “some particular affection is generally concerned,–as
love, avarice, fear, terror, and the like.”20 Thus, emotions that ran wild were seen
as both the symptoms and cause of insanity.
One of the most striking cases of excessive emotion to grip British society at this
time was the case of James Hackman and Martha Ray. As depicted in many of
the accounts of the period, the story of this murder begins with the introduction
of James Hackman, then a soldier in the British military, to the enchanting Miss
Martha Ray, the well-known mistress of the Earl of Sandwich. As John Miller
recounts in his tell-all novel concerning the events of Hackman’s life: “the first
moment he was struck with the charms of her person, but infinitely more so

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with those of her conversation, and other accomplishments.”21 This first meeting
is corroborated by numerous accounts of their affair. What occurred in the
following years, however, is more unclear. After the murder, rumors began to
circulate that Ray and Hackman had been carrying on a drawn-out affair that may
have escalated to the point of a marriage proposal.22 The truth of these accounts
is unverifiable, but it is clear that Hackman continued to pursue Ray, based on a
letter she sent to him through her friend Signora Galli just before her untimely
murder. In it, she requested that Hackman desist in his pursuit of her and cut
off all connection.23 Following this disappointing correspondence, Hackman
was sent into an excited state of despair and grief, and set out to confirm Ray’s
sentiments in person.24 He found her outside the Covent Garden Playhouse.
Seizing his opportunity, Hackman approached Martha Ray and shot her directly
through the forehead, killing her instantly. According to the testimony of a
nearby fruit seller, he then attempted to shoot himself, and upon missing,
proceeded to “beat himself violently over the head with his pistols, and desired
somebody would kill him.”25 Immediately following this astounding series of
actions, Hackman was taken into custody and secured until his trial at the Old
Bailey, where he pleaded guilty to the murder, but cited “a momentary phrensy”
as the reason for his deplorable actions.26 It is this combination of Hackman’s
insanity plea and the mysterious love story surrounding his actions which
captured so much public attention.
Hackman’s trial is instructive for how the war between reason and the passions
affected perceptions of madness. The court case, and the various opinion
pieces written in its aftermath, revolved around definitions of insanity. Those
who believed that Hackman was innocent based on his insanity plea used

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newer definitions of insanity, heavily influenced by the passions. Being driven
to madness, it seems, was a symptom of overwhelming sensibilities—an easily
dismissed sin. The Public Advertiser published the opinion of an anonymous law
student who desired “to know how the Jury can find the Rev. Mr. Hackman guilty
of Murder, . . . when they will be convinced from the whole of the Evidence, that
the unhappy assassin was instigated solely by an Excess of Affection.”27 Such an
opinion seems to be employing the medical perspective on the phrenetic insanity
presented by Dr. Arnold, which could be caused by everything from “weakness
of memory” to “indulgence of imagination,—depravity of will,—excess of
passion,”28 and which could arise suddenly from “some temporary feeling of
extreme distress.”29 Certainly “excess of affection” and “excess of passion”
seem to be grasping at the same idea. Therefore, in this instance, Hackman’s
insanity was a product of his passion for Martha Ray. For those who supported
the primacy of passion over reason in the control of human behavior, Hackman’s
depth of emotion was indicative of the emotions’ power. As David Hume had
argued, “[reason] can never oppose passion in the direction of will.”30
Those who dismissed the insanity plea and declared Hackman guilty, most
notably the judge and jury of his trial, utilized older definitions and stereotypes of
madness. The General Advertiser reported that:
Judge Blackstone . . . observed, that the letter read shewed the prisoner
was able to write calmly and collectedly; and the plea of sudden insanity
might, if allowed, be made by every murderer. He added, that if even a
man really and only designed to kill himself, and in the attempt should
kill another person, against whom, from not knowing the party, he could
have no premeditated malice, yet the law concludes that to be murder,
as the offender was about an unlawful act.31

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It is especially important to note that Blackstone made use of a generalization
that no mad man should be so calm as to write a letter detailing his impending
suicide and sorting out his affairs. However, in Darwin’s Zoonomia, he asserts
that in “madness . . . [the patient] is perfectly sensible to every thing external,
but has the voluntary powers of his mind intensely exerted on some particular
object of his desire or aversion.”32 Subscribing to this definition, it seems perfectly
reasonable that a madman would be able to write a lucid letter, especially if it is
concerning the object of his desire as was Hackman’s. It is difficult to effectively
utilize medical definitions in this case, though, because Hackman claimed to have
been seized by only a “momentary phrensy” caused by a combination of denied
love, jealously, and melancholy. Certainly, there are cases in which medical texts
corroborate the judge’s opinion of madmen, but they were only symptomatic
of long-term cases in which the patient was rarely able to speak or in very
specific forms of insanity. It seems more likely that Blackstone was referencing
a stereotype of insanity dating back to the pre-Enlightenment era. Under this
view, the mad were subhumans that acted strangely in all parts of life, from their
unusual manner of dress to their penchant for weird foods and unintelligible
gabbling.33 Such a stereotype took no notice of the contemporary diagnoses,
which transformed the madman into a pitiable character racked by overwhelming
internal emotions.
In the courts, reason and logic triumphed over the modern sensibilities and
Hackman was ruled guilty. But even after Hackman had been hanged, the debate
over his merits continued in almost all major London newspapers, which were,
in turn, frequently cited by smaller local papers. These debates utilized varying
definitions of insanity to reflect the more general conflict between the supremacy

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of reason or passion within society. Interestingly, the newspapers utilized a
largely neutral or anti-Hackman viewpoint, perhaps due to the influence of the
friends and family of Hackman and Ray.34 Negative articles tended to corroborate
Blackstone’s definition of insanity, judging Hackman to be subhuman. While
the authors ceded some power to the emotions, they endorsed the older
Enlightenment view that reason should always hold them in check. The Public
Advertiser took a particularly harsh view of Hackman, calling his actions “rash
and barbarous” and firmly diagnosing him with insanity. Rather than implying that
Hackman was somehow made innocent by extreme passion, this article insisted
he should have been “committed to Newgate or Bedlam . . . delivered over to the
Care of Dr. Monro.”35 It cannot be said that this newspaper took an unforgiving
view of Hackman—he was frequently described as “unfortunate”—but what is
important to note is the attitude taken toward his sentiments. Rather than trying
to raise sympathy for his plight, this paper firmly condemned his actions and laid
them squarely at the feet of a barbarous insanity induced by “excess of affection.”
It cited passions as the motivation for dreadful action.
However, despite their primarily neutral view, no journalist completely
dismissed the sentimental descriptions of Hackman which were so popular.
What is evident from the language of these articles is the extent to which the
criminal’s sensibilities affected public perception of the case. Lloyd’s Evening
Post described Hackman’s deportment at his trial with the remarks: “his sighs
and tears, added to his genteel appearance, made most people present give
way to the finest feelings of human nature.”36 The General Advertiser even went
so far as to declare that, “however we may detest the crime, a tear of pity will
fall from every humane eye on the fate of the un-happy criminal.”37 Hackman’s

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weeping, his grief-stricken countenance, and his genteel appearance are all
included as evidence of his heightened emotional state. Far from being repulsed,
the public embraced such emotional outpourings as signs of a pitiable character,
one straight out of the pages of a romantic novel. Hackman’s sadness softened
public perspective on his insanity, transforming it from something barbarous into
something pitiable. Emotion was a uniting factor, one which allowed those open
to the power of sentiment to connect with the sad murderer, even if they did not
forgive his detestable crime.
Outside of the newspapers, a small collection of authors publicly condemned
Hackman’s actions, especially with regard to how he allowed passion to
overwhelm his reason. Many in British society feared the gradual degradation
of morals by excessive exposure to the sensibilities. Too much sentiment, it was
thought, would cause increased suicide rates, more disappointments in love,
and a highly naive generation.38 Certainly, Hackman’s murder-suicide attempt
did nothing to assuage these fears. The author of The Malefactor’s Register took
a particularly derisive view toward Hackman’s passion, stating that “Love and
madness are often little better than synonymous terms, for had Mr. Hackman not
been blinded by a bewitching passion, he could never have imagined that Miss
Reay would have left the family of a noble Lord.”39 In one sentence, the author of
this tract condemns both sentiment and Mr. Hackman. Indeed, the writer seems
to believe that an excess of passion caused Hackman’s murderous madness.
This view was influenced simultaneously by modern medical perspectives, which
dictated that passion could cause insanity, and Enlightenment views on human
behavior, which asserted that reason should reign supreme in the human mind.
The Malefactor’s Register’s author, and perhaps others within British society,

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believed that the passions were not inherently bad, but they required careful
maintenance and control in order to prevent them from devolving into insanity.
Hackman’s case had the ability to destroy the growing acceptance of the
sensibilities. After all, he did claim that it was his passion for Martha Ray
which drove him to murder. However, literary works that took a negative view
of Hackman were exceedingly rare. In the realm of print, opinions of Hackman
trended largely toward the positive, with many writers painting him as a tragic
figure—a man spurned in love and driven to horrible insanity-induced acts. By
using their writing to demonstrate his truly pitiable and respectable nature, the
authors of these works were able to paint the passions as a force for good, and
his insanity as the regrettable sacrifice Hackman made for love. Despite their
questionable veracity, these novels were wildly popular,40 perhaps indicating the
extent to which the public was willing to accept the passions as a positive force
within society.
In The Case and Memoirs of the Late Rev. Mr. James Hackman, published by
George Kearsly shortly after Hackman’s death, the way in which Hackman’s
actions were described suggests that it was his passionate love for Martha Ray
that was particularly compelling to contemporary audiences. Kearsly not only
defends Hackman’s actions, but condemns Martha Ray for spurning him: “the
passion of love is headstrong; it sets reason at defiance; it gives to an artful
woman an opportunity which she seldom fails to embrace, of governing a fond
affectionate man in an arbitrary way.”41 The passions were not to be taken
lightly and were a general good, even when corrupted by horrible actions.
While Hackman’s seriousness in love forgave even his detestable actions,

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Martha Ray’s apparent flippancy to Hackman’s advances were enough to
condemn her after death.
However, the moral of the tract makes it clear that passions should not be taken
to an extreme, lest one descend into the same “rage, despair, and madness”42
as Hackman did. The author warns that this tale is “an ample proof that in love
there is as little philosophy as reason; either of which will teach us to overcome
the licentiousness of passion, and restrain us from violence.”43 The lesson,
again, is one of balance. This tract’s popularity, and the popularity of ones like
it, suggests that a large portion of the British public at this time appreciated the
expression of the sensibilities, especially when presented in a sensational form.
To some extent, they were even willing to forgive Hackman’s actions on the basis
of overrun emotions—essentially an insanity plea based on the “momentary
phrensy” cited in his trial. This sympathetic view of insanity is built upon the
increasing social acceptance of the emotions which were its catalyst. However,
the sensibilities were not given unlimited reign in society. Reason and logic
served as restraints. Apparently, not even die-hard supporters of the passions
were willing to accept widespread insanity as the price for heightened sentiment.
Hackman’s gunshots did far more than he originally intended. His crime brought
together all cross-sections of society, from the commoners who read about
the affair in local newspapers to the nobles who gossiped about the highly
prominent public figures involved. As a result, this case can serve as a sort of
Britain in miniature—representative of the debate over reason and passion that
raged in the transition period from the Enlightenment to the Romantic era. By
murdering his love interest, trying to commit suicide, and pleading love-induced

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insanity, Hackman sparked concerns over the proper role of the sensibilities
within society. An analysis of the public reaction to the murder demonstrates
how the British were moving toward an acceptance of public expressions of
sentiment and how that acceptance influenced perspectives on human behavior.
Acceptance of the sensibilities influenced everything from the abolitionist
movement to increasing education for all of Britain’s youth.44 Many in the upper
echelons of society saw the emotions as a force for good and for change, which
made them socially acceptable and built a bridge between the reformer and
those they wished to reform. Thus, acceptance of passion helped to catalyze
the transformation of Britain into a moral society. The evening of 7 April 1779
occurred at the beginning of this change, and discussion of Hackman and Ray
reflected the concerns of a society in flux.

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ENDNOTES
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Boston: Peter Edes, 1792),
retrieved from www.bartleby.com/144/1.html, Part I.
2
Ibid.
3
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth
Ecclesiastical and Civil (London: Andrew Cooke, 1651), retrieved from oregonstate.edu/
instruct/phl302/texts/hobbes/leviathan-a.html, Part V.
4
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (London, 1738), retrieved from www.gutenberg.
org/files/4705/4705-h/4705-h.htm, Part III, Chapter III.
5
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (London: A. Millar, 1790), retrieved from www.
econlib.org/library/Smith/smMS1.html, I.I.45.
6
Ibid., I.II.1.
7
See note 1, Part II.
8
Roy Porter, Mind-Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration
to the Regency (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1987), 58.
9
William Black, An Arithmetical and Medical Analysis of the Diseases and Mortality of the
Human Species (London: John Crowder, 1789), 133.
10
See note 8, 36.
11
Ibid., 45.
12
Ibid., 49.
13
John Arbuthnot, Practical Rules of Diet in the Various Constitutions and Diseases of
Human Bodies (London: J. Tonson, 1732), 374.
14
Rene Descartes, “The Description of the Human Body and All Its Functions,” in Descartes:
The World and Other Writings, ed. Stephen Gaukroger (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1998), 170.
15
Thomas Arnold, Observations on the Nature, Kinds, Causes, and Prevention of Insanity
(Leicester, 1782), 17.
16
Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia; Or, the Laws of Organic Life, Vol. 1 (London: J. Johnson,
1796), retrieved from www.gutenberg.org/files/15707/15707-h/15707-h.htm.
17
Ibid.
18
Ibid.
19
See note 15, 208.
20
Ibid., 75–76.
21
John Miller, The Genuine Life, Trial, and Dying Words of the Rev. James Hackman
(London: J. Miller, 1779), 3–4.
22
John Brewer, A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century (New
York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), 15.
23
See note 21, 4.
24
George Kearsly, The Case and Memoirs of the Late Rev. Mr. James Hackman (London: G.
Kearsly, 1779), 7.
25
“Trial of James Hackman,” Old Bailey Proceedings Online, retrieved from www.
oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t17790404-3-off14&div=t17790404-3.
26
Ibid.
27
Public Advertiser, April 12, 1779.
1

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See note 15, 69.
Ibid., 135.
30
See note 4.
31
General Advertiser, April 17, 1779.
32
See note 16.
33
See note 8, 35.
34
See note 22, 47.
35
Public Advertiser, April 12, 1779.
36
Lloyd’s Evening Post, April 9–12, 1779.
37
General Advertiser, April 17, 1779.
38
Paul Langford, A Polite and Commercial People (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 478.
39
Alex Hogg, The Malefactor’s Register; Or, the Newgate and Tyburn Calendar (London:
Alexander Hogg, 1779), 18.
40
See note 22, 73.
41
See note 24, 10.
42
Ibid., 28.
43
Ibid., 41.
44
See note 38, 493.
28

29

Theoretical Perspectives on Intermittent
Explosive Disorder
JOANNA L. TAVARES

School of Social Work
Kristen Zaleski, Faculty Advisor

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Introduction

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is defined as disruptive and repetitive
episodes of angry, violent, impulsive, and aggressive (either verbal or physical)
outbursts that result from reacting out of proportion to a situation, psychosocial
stressor, or provocation. IED is an inability to regulate aggressive impulses,
resulting in sudden, destructive outbursts that last for less than 30 minutes.
Some types of IED can be seen as temper tantrums, domestic violence, throwing
or breaking objects, and road rage.
During their outbursts, individuals with IED may cause property damage or
impulsively attack others—and even themselves.1 Diagnostic criteria for IED
include verbal aggression—such as tirades, tantrums, verbal or physical fights—
and physical aggression toward animals, individuals, or property. These events
must have occurred at least biweekly for three months. The aggressive outburst
must be out of proportion to the provocation. The outbursts must cause distress
and impede interpersonal and occupational functioning, possibly causing legal
or financial consequences. Intermittent explosive disorder can be preceded
or accompanied by increased energy, rage, racing thoughts, tingling, tremors,
palpitations, chest tightness, irritability, and a sensation of pressure in the head.
Fatigue, depression, or remorse may follow an episode.
In order to accurately diagnose intermittent explosive disorder, the individual
must be more than six years old or equivalent to a six-year-old developmentally.
Other mental disorders, medical conditions, or substances must be first ruled
out as the underlying cause of the outbursts.2 The prevalence of IED falls
between 3 percent and 4 percent of those diagnosed with IED. It appears early

227

in life, with an onset around 13 years old in males, and around 19 years old
in females.3 IED is typically considered a unique disorder, but can coexist
with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and/or depression. Initially, IED was thought
to be rare, but research now shows that IED can affect anywhere from three
to seven percent of the population.4 One study suggests a more accurate
estimate of 1.4 million individuals currently suffering from IED in the United
States and 10 million individuals with a history of IED in their lifetime.5
However, despite the prevalence of the mental disorder, there have been
few studies on lifetime prevalence of IED in the community.6 The exact cause
of IED is unknown, but biological and environmental factors are thought to
be major contributors. This paper will attempt to understand IED through
attachment theory and social learning theory; the paper will also discuss the
neurobiology and diversity of IED—and treatment options for those suffering
from it.
Social Learning Theory

Bandura’s social learning theory is vital in understanding how individuals
diagnosed with IED later in life often grew up in families where explosive
behaviors, verbal abuse, and physical abuse were common. Albert Bandura
proposed that behaviors, both good and bad, are learned via observational
learning. In society, children are surrounded by many influences, such as
family members, friends, and other people in their environment. These learned
behaviors are not limited to childhood exposure; the child’s behaviors and
personality continue to develop and change past childhood and into adulthood.
Bandura contends that like other behaviors, children learn aggression by
observing family, peers, and media displaying aggressive behaviors.7 When

228

these behavioral patterns are learned through direct observation or experience,
the information may become a part of their knowledge structure that can be
automatized with use and guides their behavioral response to their social
environment.8 As a child displays an increase in aggressive and/or violent
interactions with peers and community exposures, as either a victim or witness,
this further perpetuates and exacerbates problem behaviors such as aggression.9
Individuals with IED experience difficulty with emotional regulation, the
processes utilized to manage emotions, such as attention shifting, emotional
cognitions, and management of physiological responses such as anger,
rage, hostility or aggression. Families have a major impact on children and
adolescents’ emotional regulation since family members’ behaviors or reactions
set the precedent for the child’s reactions to aversive stimuli. Children learn
emotional regulation through observation and parenting practices. Additionally,
when children are confronted with stressful demands or emotional experiences,
parents and caretakers help to modulate those emotions. However, as children
develop, they rely less on others and begin to use the techniques they were
shown to regulate their own emotions. While emotions serve as a vital function
in expressing and communicating, emotions can also be maladaptive when they
do not match social demands.
Society also creates an environment in which aggression is learned. Children’s
repeated exposure to media violence produces aggressive behaviors stretching
into adulthood. A study on media violence and children conducted by UNESCO,
which included 5,000 pupils from 23 different countries, finds television was
found to be a major socialization factor in which aggressive behavior is rewarded.

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Aggression-related knowledge structures are reinforced due to development,
automatization, and reinforcement of aggressive behaviors. As aggressive behaviors
increase, interactions within the social environment deteriorate accordingly;
interactions with parents, teachers, and nonaggressive peers degenerate while
interactions with peers with similar aggressive behaviors increase.10
Attachment Theory

Understanding intermittent explosive disorder from an attachment theoretical
perspective can partially explain how attachment behaviors impact the inability
to regulate the strong emotional outbursts that characterize IED. John Bowlby
theorized that children’s experiences with their first caregivers shape their sense
of self and their self-defined role in subsequent relationships. Additionally,
their experiences with their caregivers mitigate later aggression.11 Allan N.
Schore contends that attachment communications are crucial to brain systems
responsible for emotion processing, stress modulation, and self-regulation.12
Early emotional learning affects early neural infrastructure, which is vital to
emotional regulation.13 The deprivation of suitable nurturing in early childhood
may lead to dysregulation of the neurobiological process which can result in the
violence and aggression inherent to intermittent explosive disorder.14
When an infant’s nervous system is alarmed, the baby relies on the caretaker
to be soothed. The appropriate responsiveness fulfills the baby’s biological
need. The mother’s actions, whether smiling, patting, caressing, frowning,
slapping, or yelling, leaves an imprint on the baby’s developing brain. When a
baby who has not learned to regulate his/her emotions is neglected and left to
cry, the baby experiences strong negative emotions such as rage and fear.15 The

230

baby and mother form a pattern of anticipated behavior, named the “internal
working model” by Bowlby, which will follow the child throughout subsequent
relationships.16 Because an infant’s cognitive capacities do not involve language
experiences, memories and perceptions of early interactions such as nonverbal
signals from a caregiver are imbedded in the infant’s amygdala and limbic
system.17 When a mother is unresponsive and displays anger by neglecting or
physically abusing a child, the imprint on the child’s amygdala and limbic system
is greater. This can result in under-regulation or dysregulation of aggression and
a lack of empathy.
Learning how to act appropriately when faced with provoking or negative
stimuli begins with a caretaker’s accurate and timely response to a child’s
distress. Nurturing through healthy attachments can help the child learn how
to behave appropriately in social situations and relate to others. While anger is
experienced by all children, behavioral tendencies can be modulated in infancy
and toddlerhood by caregivers to reduce overt conflict and decrease the chances
that the child will act out high levels of aggression.18 The internal working model
of the child is carried throughout school and into adulthood. These working
models in schools also correlate to school success or failure; school failure has a
strong correlation to violent and aggressive behaviors.19
In sum, by understanding IED through attachment theoretical perspectives,
a clinician can understand that the caretaker’s responses to a child’s cries,
needs, and behaviors are the basis of emotional regulation. An individual that
is not securely attached due to a less responsive caretaker can have difficulties
modulating and regulating their affect later in life. The inability to regulate and

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modulate emotions is a large factor in the impulsive aggressions that makes
up IED. If a caretaker does not teach the child emotional regulation skills at an
early age, the child may have disorganized efforts to regulate affect, resulting in
self-destructive behavior, explosive aggression, or freezing even into adulthood.20
Infant attachment patterns suggest that their early relational experiences create
a powerful impact on their physiological, cognitive, and affective structures.21
Neurobiology

Understanding neurobiological factors in individuals with IED is essential in
discovering the process by which the disorder develops, factors contributing
to the impulsive aggressive behavior, and possible methods to decrease or
eliminate such behaviors. The Harvard Mental Health Letter suggests that
IED is associated with abnormal activity of serotonin in parts of the brain that
assist in regulating and inhibiting aggressive behaviors. Impulsive behaviors are
associated with low serotonin levels and prefrontal cortex damage.22 Further,
evidence has been found that individuals diagnosed with IED come from families
in which explosive behaviors, aggression, violence, verbal and physical abuse
were common, explaining that IED can be due to learned behaviors, but also
possibly genetic factors.23
Aggression can be impulsive or premeditated, but individuals with intermittent
explosive disorder usually experience impulsive aggression. Aggression
(specifically impulsive and irritable aggression) is heritable. Genetic
susceptibility to aggression magnifies the effects of environmental factors.
Impulsive aggressive actions occur at a lowered threshold for activation of
motoric aggressive responses to an external stimulus; the responses would occur

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without appropriate reflection or a disregard of negative consequences to the
aggressive behavior.
The anterior cingulate cortex and orbital frontal cortex are responsible
for regulating and matching behaviors to social cues and predicting the
consequences, whether the result is punishment or reward. The limbic regions,
primarily the amygdala and insula, are also a major component of aggressive
behaviors. The limbic system, primarily the amygdala, is hyperactive when
exposed to anger-provoking stimuli. An imbalance between limbic drives and
the mechanisms of the prefrontal cortex may be responsible for aggressive
disorder that externally directs behaviors toward others. Further, in a brain that
is aggressive, greater activity is found in regions related to emotional, sensory,
and facial processing. In comparison, brains that did not have overly aggressive
behaviors had greater activity in the insula, which is responsible for visceral
emotional processing, and orsomedial/dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which
is responsible for cognitive processing. The activation of anomalous patterns
implies that when triggered, the cortical regions ineffectively suppress behaviors
with negative outcomes, resulting in an emotional outburst.24
Neurochemicals and neurotransmitters play a central role in modulating or
inhibiting aggression. Inflammatory markers suggest that they play a facilitatory
role in measuring aggression and impulsivity in intermittent explosive disorder.
Plasma C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 levels were significantly higher in
individuals with intermittent explosive disorder. The inflammatory markers
directly correlate to composite measures of aggressive behaviors, suggesting
that plasma inflammatory processes play a pivotal role in aggression in

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humans.25 The neurotransmitter serotonin facilitates prefrontal cortical regions
that regulate or suppress emerging behaviors of aggression by acting on
serotonin receptors in these regions. The result of serotonergic innervation
could explain the disinhibition of aggression when provoked. Further, individuals
with intermittent explosive disorder have diminished orbital frontal cortex and
adjacent ventral medial cortex activity.26
Diversity

In terms of diversity, culture and sex seem to contribute to the impulsive aggression
found in IED, which has a lower prevalence in regions such as Asia and the Middle
East, and a higher prevalence in the United States. However, a lower rate of IED
diagnosis in Asia and the Middle East may be due to cultural factors in which
aggressive behaviors are frowned upon. However, within the United States, IED
was more prevalent in individuals in the “other” category who do not identify as
black, white, or Hispanic. Education levels also contribute to intermittent explosive
disorder; those with fewer than twelve years of education have greater odds for the
disorder, compared to those with more education.27 Sex differences also contribute
to a difference in diagnoses between the sexes; males are more often diagnosed
with IED than females. This could be attributed to the socially learned and
accepted behavior of aggression and violence; females prefer indirect aggression
and males prefer direct aggression that can result in injury to others, themselves or
property. In today’s society, a man’s aggressive impulses are more acceptable than
a woman’s aggressive impulses, which would deem her unfriendly, unstable, and
violent. Developmental research suggests these differences between the sexes can
stem from different socialization experiences.28

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Treatment

Intermittent explosive disorder can be destructive if not treated appropriately.
However, individuals with IED may not seek treatment of their own volition.
Often, they are mandated to receive treatment for their impulsive rage
attacks.29 Fortunately, cognitive behavior therapy can teach individuals with
IED to identify their impulsive and aggressive behaviors. Identifying the bodily
sensations/signals of an impending outburst can also be used in the CBT
process. Once the aversive stimuli is identified, the client can use relaxation
training such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to decrease
the impulsive aggressive outbursts.
Furthermore, applying CBT in weekly sessions would provide a therapeutic
attachment to a clinician. The clinician could provide new attachment schemas,
and identify and modify dysfunctional thoughts to improve affect regulation.30
In the treatment session, the clinician should create a therapeutic holding
environment in which the client feels comfortable and safe to disclose thoughts,
wishes, impulses, violent projections, and rage.31 Cognitive behavioral therapy
to treat intermittent explosive disorder should combine coping skills training,
cognitive restructuring, and relaxation training to increase the efficacy of the
intervention.32
Because research suggests that aggression may stem from a variety of factors,
including genetics, levels of serotonin, and possible damage to the prefrontal
cortex, adjunctive psychopharmacology may be necessary to reduce aggression
and prevent rage outbursts.33 Antidepressant medications have shown
immense promise in treating intermittent explosive disorder.34 Subjects who

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received medications targeting reduction of aggression and prevention of rage
outbursts, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, mood stabilizers,
and antipsychotic drugs, saw a reduction in impulsive aggressive behaviors,
compared to those that did not receive drug treatment.35 Drug therapy,
particularly SSRIs, have been found to be the most effective in treating patients
with moderate aggression, whose serotonergic system is less compromised
than patients with high aggression.36 A 2009 study finds that the SSRI fluoxetine
(Prozac) shows an increase in activity within the prefrontal cortex.37 Further, a
statistically significant amount of individuals taking fluoxetine experienced a
decrease in impulsive and aggressive behaviors, compared to individuals that
took the placebo.38 Because deficiencies in serotonergic innervation and lower
serotonergic activity results in disinhibition of aggression, SSRIs have shown
to reduce impulsive aggression.39 However, fewer than half of patients taking
fluoxetine went into either a full or partial relapse of aggression when patients
received only drug treatment.40
These findings suggest that intermittent explosive disorder may best be treated
by cognitive behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication management.
Drug treatment may help to reduce the impulsivity and aggression from the
low serotonin activity and/or prefrontal cortex damage. Cognitive behavioral
therapy that may include coping skills training, relaxation training, and cognitive
restructuring can increase the success in treating aggressive and compulsive
behaviors.41 Furthermore, a clinician who provides psychotherapy can create
new attachment schemas that serve as an external regulatory circuit to help
individuals reestablish optimal flow of information and energy for emotional
regulation.42 Intensive therapeutic relationships can repair damage and aid in

236

developing an “earned secure” attachment that also expands the right brain
unconscious that is involved in self-regulation.43 The therapist can teach clients
how to self-regulate and work through problematic patterns.44
Conclusion

In sum, intermittent explosive disorder may stem from both genetic and
environmental factors. IED may be treated via psychotherapy that reshapes
insecure attachments by modifying the dysfunctional and impulsive thoughts
from affect dysregulation. The need for emotional regulation and reduction in
impulsivity can be attained through the combination of a healthy and therapeutic
relationship, as well as drug treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy.45 An
empathic clinician can regulate the arousal state and focus treatment on right
brain insecure internal working models, resulting in “earned secure” attachment
and enhancement of affect regulation.46 Addressing insecure attachments, in
either childhood or adulthood, can reduce or eliminate acting out.

237

ENDNOTES
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
5th ed. (Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013).
2
Ibid.
3
Harvard Mental Health Letter, “Treating Intermittent Explosive Disorder,” (April 2011),
retrieved from www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/
April/treating-intermittent-explosive-disorder.
4
Paul Latimer, “Intermittent Explosive Disorder Becoming More Common,” Kelowna
Capital News, (16 January 2014), retrieved from search.proquest.com/
docview/1477782612.
5
Ronald Kessler, Emil Coccaro, Maurizio Fava, Savina Jaeger, Robert Jin, and Ellen Walters,
“The Prevalence and Correlates of DSM-IV Intermittent Explosive Disorder in the National
Comorbidity Survey Replication,” Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 63, no. 6 (2006),
669–78.
6
Ibid.
7
Albert Bandura, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall, 1973).
8
Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman, “Human Aggression,” Annual Review of Psychology,
vol. 53, no. 1 (2002), 27–51.
9
Albert D. Farrell, Krista R. Mehari, Alison Kramer-Kuhn, and Elizabeth A. Goncy, “The
Impact of Victimization and Witnessing Violence on Physical Aggression Among High-Risk
Adolescents,” Child Development, vol. 85, no. 4 (2014), 1694–1710.
10
See note 8.
11
Robin Karr-Morse, and Meredith Wiley, Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of
Violence (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997).
12
Allan N. Schore, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum,
1994).
13
Louis Cozolino, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social Brain (New York:
W. W. Norton, 2010).
14
See note 11.
15
Ibid.
16
Ibid.
17
Jerrold Brandell and Shoshana Ringel, “Psychodynamic Perspectives on Relationship:
Implication of New Findings from Human Attachment and the Neurosciences for Social
Work Education,” Families in Society, vol. 85, no. 4 (2004), 549–56.
18
See note 11.
19
Ibid.
20
Ibid.
21
See note 17.
22
See note 3.
23
See note 5.
24
Larry J. Siever, “Neurobiology of Aggression and Violence,” American Journal of
Psychiatry, vol. 165, no. 4 (2008), 429–442.
25
Emil Coccaro, Royce Lee, and Mary Coussons-Read, “Elevated Plasma Inflammatory
Markers in Individuals with Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Correlation with
1

238

Aggression in Humans,” JAMA Psychiatry, vol. 71, no. 2 (February 2014), 158–65.
26
See note 24.
27
Emil Coccaro, “Intermittent Explosive Disorder as a Disorder of Impulsive Aggression
for DSM-5,” American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 169, no. 6 (June 2012), 577–88.
28
See note 8.
29
See note 3.
30
See note 13.
31
See note 17.
32
Michael McCloskey, Kurtis Noblett, Jerry Deffenbacher, Jackie Gollan, and Emil Coccaro,
“Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder: A Pilot Randomized
Clinical Trial,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 76, no. 5 (2008),
876–86.
33
Emil Coccaro, Royce Lee, and Richard Kavoussi, “A Double-Blind, Randomized, PlaceboControlled Trial of Fluoxetine in Patients With Intermittent Explosive Disorder,” Journal of
Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 70, no. 5 (2009), 653–62.
34
See note 4.
35
See note 3.
36
Emil Coccaro, “Intermittent Explosive Disorder: Taming Temper Tantrums in the Volatile,
Impulsive Adult,” Current Psychiatry, vol. 2, no. 7 (2003), 42–60.
37
See note 33.
38
Ibid.
39
See note 24.
40
See note 33.
41
See note 3.
42
See note 13.
43
Judith Schore and Allan Schore, “Modern Attachment Theory: The Central Role of Affect
Regulation in Development and Treatment,” Clinical Social Work Journal, vol. 36, no. 1
(2008), 9–20.
44
See note 17.
45
See note 3.
46
See note 43.

The Warsaw Autumn Festival: Redefining and
Rebuilding Polish Music After World War II
EMILY M. THEOBALD

Thornton School of Music
Bryan Simms, Faculty Advisor

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Poland has been a battleground for hundreds of years, situated as it is between
the powerful countries of Germany and Russia. During World War II, Poland was
overrun by the Nazis; after the war, it fell under the iron fist of Stalinism. While
the country has often been treated as a pawn among the world’s superpowers,
the Polish people always have striven to maintain their cultural and national
identity, especially in the field of classical music, which suffered greatly from
the war. Although musical composition revived during the Cold War, its relation
to the directions taken by modernist composers in the West was complex and
often ambiguous. A number of composers took it upon themselves to ensure
that Polish music did not suffer under foreign occupation by forming groups
committed to the preservation of Poland’s folk music, and others took this even
further by integrating folk music into contemporary compositions. While classical
music in Poland, like most other aspects of life, both artistic and otherwise, was
irreversibly impacted by the forced restrictions of Soviet ideals, even Stalin’s rule
could not prevent it from advancing and developing an original voice.
With the 1919 Treaty of Versailles marking the official end of World War I, Poland
became an independent state for the first time since 1795. In the mid-1930s,
Poland signed a nonaggression pact with Germany and the Soviet Union, an
agreement the latter two nations would ignore a few years later. With the country
under Nazi rule from 1939 to 1945 and Communist rule thereafter, the Polish
identity quickly became diluted, especially with regard to music. Anthony KempWelch notes that “Nazi occupation offered the population no prospect other
than subjugation or extermination,”1 leaving Polish life and culture at a standstill.
Under Soviet rule, liberties outlined during the 1945 Yalta conference removed a
level of fear from Polish life, allowing underground art and academia to emerge.2

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This paper addresses the state of classical music in Poland after World War II,
focusing on the events of the Warsaw Autumn festival. It analyzes the oppressive
effects that Nazi and Stalinist rule had on classical music in Poland, specifically
the works of Tadeusz Baird, Kazimierz Serocki, Grażyna Bacewicz, Witold
Lutosławski, and Krzysztof Penderecki. It examines the relationship between
political struggles and musical life while deciphering the differences between
pre- and postwar Polish composition. While looking closely at the successes of
the Warsaw Autumn festivals it ultimately answers the question: In what ways
did the German and Soviet occupations affect classical music in Poland, and
how were the Warsaw Autumn festivals successful in healing the political and
musical environment in the nation? Following a brief overview of music before
and after World War II, culminating in Penderecki’s resonance with the Warsaw
Autumn festival in the 1950s–1960s, the significance of the festival to today’s
contemporary music scene will be discussed.
Before World War II, classical music thrived in Poland. Musicologists generally
divide Polish music of the 19th and 20th centuries into three distinct yet broad
periods: the Chopin, Szymanowski, and postwar eras. Frédéric Chopin (1810–
1849) is one of the most celebrated composers of the early 19th century; he was
the first Polish composer to earn international acclaim and was responsible for
bringing to his homeland many of the world’s prominent performers.
The period following Chopin saw an expansion in the use of folk tunes in classical
composition, as an expression of national pride. While folk music was evident in
Chopin’s compositions, such as his mazurkas and collection of Polish folk songs,
his successors incorporated it into their work in an even greater way. Although

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less well-known than Chopin, Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937) composed works
that served as an important bridge between Chopin’s romantic-era music and the
20th century. Adrian Thomas categorizes the music of Szymanowski into three
periods of development, spanning a wide range of compositional aesthetics.3
His “traditional” period displayed “different melodic time and a complicated
technical structure, often reaching into the sphere of polyphony,”4 which was
not entirely revolutionary, yet still offered a slightly different aesthetic than the
compositions of his peers. His second phase showed a “shifting of his interest
towards musical impressionism,”5 perhaps showing a transition in his musical
inspiration from eastern European to French, a trend that is more prominent
among composers following World War II. However, Szymanowski is best known
for his integration of folk music into the latest iteration of his compositional
style. Jerzy Sulikowski describes Szymanowski’s revealing placement of folk
music within his own compositions: “He preserves the primitive, if often crude,
beauty of folk melody, and the natural pulsation of the folk rhythm.”6 A clear
presentation of such melodies is evident in Szymanowski’s mazurkas for piano,
which, while undoubtedly more harmonically advanced than Chopin’s, pay
homage to the free time of Polish folk music. Rarely is it possible to decipher
the time signature from listening alone. While at the time Szymanowski inspired
his fellow composers to advance themselves musically, he also set a precedent
of innovation with a nod to folklore that would intensify following the war.7 The
occurrence of folk music in his works is most likely linked to his disdain for the
hegemony of German music. Even before the onset of World War II, Szymanowski
pressured Polish composers not to look to German music for inspiration and
guidance, but instead to French and Russian compositions.8 Szymanowski’s
influence reached well beyond his own work, since many of the most influential

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composers of the postwar period and the Warsaw Autumn were either his
students or studied composition with his students.
Poland was conquered in September 1939, just weeks after Germany and the
Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in which the two countries
agreed to divide Poland between them. While other nations quickly surrendered to
Nazi forces, Poland resisted, exercising an active opposition on its western border,
which slowed the German advance. Adolf Hitler was reportedly so incensed by
this defiance he resolved that the Polish people would pay dearly for it. Under the
doctrine of Lebensraum (living space), the Germans expanded both physically
and culturally into Poland, displacing the people and putting most of the formally
independent nation under Nazi rule.9 With the eventual extermination of nearly
all of Poland’s Jewish population, as well as mass arrests and violence, it was
clear that “both the German and Soviet authorities directed their activities toward
liquidating the Polish state, its offices and administration.”10 Bernard Jacobson
explains that because of the ultimate Nazi goal to eliminate anything that was not
innately German, “The Nazi occupation obstructed access to any liberal tradition,
whether of art or of philosophy for all Poles.”11
In just a few months, the Nazis had completely infiltrated Polish lands, leaving
the nation’s musical culture in ruins. Bombings had destroyed the Warsaw
Philharmonic Hall, opera house, rare folk instruments, and most of Poland’s
archives of printed music.12 Additionally, the Department of Popular Education
and Propaganda, through its senior official Wilhelm Ohlenbusch, issued an order
to immediately shut down all musical institutions.13 The Nazi attack of Poland,
coupled with this order from Ohlenbusch, ensured the silencing of the Warsaw

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Philharmonic, Poland’s premiere classical ensemble since its foundation in 1901.
In addition to the destruction of the hall, nearly half of the orchestra’s members
were killed in either the initial raid on Warsaw or the occupation that followed.14
The Nazi forces also established ghettoes on the outskirts of cities and towns
for the relocation of the remaining Jewish population, most notably in Warsaw.15
Although the Polish people, especially those in Jewish camps, knew that any
celebration of their national identity was punishable by death, modest, playerassembled orchestras often performed in these ghettoes, as they did in the Nazi
concentration camps within Poland. Jacek Rogala explains that “the presence of
music in the concentration camps was an expression of the prisoners’ defiance,”16
a true testament to the degree to which the Polish people desperately wanted to
retain their identity during Nazi occupation.
Although artists and scholars alike knew that any participation in underground
societies could result in severe punishment, or death, an audacious few formed
societies to skirt the watchful German eye. Rogala explains, “Ordinances issued
by the Nazi governor, Hans Frank, were aimed at eliminating performances of
Polish works or those depicting the life of the Polish nation and reducing artistic
endeavor to the level of tasteless entertainment.”17 While the Nazis knew it
would be impossible to remove all musical activities from the country, they
focused mainly on eliminating contemporary classical music, as well as Polish
nationalistic music, especially in large performance settings. They believed that
by eliminating large performance groups such as the symphony orchestra in favor
of smaller chamber groups, Polish identity and culture could be suppressed.
Although the ultimate goal of the Nazi regime was to squelch Polish culture so as
to establish complete control over the nation and its people, Nazi officials could

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not possibly remove all expressions of Polish nationalism—especially since they
did not often recognize rebellion when they saw it.
Newly composed music was shared in unassuming environments—in a café,
for example, as opposed to a grand concert hall. In this relaxed setting, while
Polish insiders knew that they were experiencing a new composition, Nazi
watchmen would think nothing more of it than casual café entertainment.
Witold Lutosławski’s famed Variations on a Theme of Paganini premiered in a
disguised Warsaw café in 1941.18 Small groups, such as the Lutosławski-Panufnik
trio performed at Warsaw art galleries, most notably Boleslaw Woytowicz’s
gallery.19 The Nazis apparently had no idea that Panufnik and Lutosławski
deceptively composed more than two hundred works for this new performance
arrangement.20 These became the forerunners of contemporary Polish music
just a few years later. As an extra level of protection from the Nazis, Polish
musicians often submitted the program of a chamber music concert to the
Germans for approval, only to completely change it at the actual performance to
contain forbidden music, again leaving the German watchmen in the dark.21 This
underground concert activity was extremely risky, as the Nazis would not allow
the formation of any independent musical groups in Poland—even a request to
rebuild the national symphony orchestra of Warsaw was immediately “thwarted
by the German authorities.”22
In addition to the aforementioned underground concert activity in many of
Poland’s cities, established musicians such as Kazimierz Sikorski were busy
forming underground music education institutions. The Germans did not
want to remove all music from Polish life; instead, they sought to control its

246

education, composition, and performance, so that all music was in accordance
with Nazi ideals. The Germans, therefore, allowed the establishment of a
Staatliche Musikschule in Warsaw, or state music school, strictly for the
training of orchestral musicians to help spread German culture throughout
occupied Poland. For example, the Nazis championed the music of Wagner,
Strauss, and Bruckner, the performance of which required a large symphony
orchestra. Because the Nazis had demolished the Warsaw Philharmonic and
its hall, the creation of an orchestra to perform this music became a priority,
which ultimately led to the establishment of this state-sponsored music school.
In turn, Sikorski founded his “two-faced” music school.23 On the surface, his
Staatliche Musikschule offered only orchestral performance training for the sole
purpose of performing the aforementioned masterworks. Students at the school
studied academics, including theory and composition, but were also awarded a
diploma from the Warsaw Conservatory—an entirely underground establishment
free from Nazi control. In addition to this conservatory, composer Stanislaw
Kazuro founded a high school for music.24 While the Germans were aware of the
existence of these schools, they were clearly not aware of the potential impact
of these organizations—many of the students at these schools were involved in
strengthening the postwar reconstruction efforts through music composition,
performance, and education.
Following the international agreements reached at the 1945 Yalta Conference and
the subsequent collapse of the Nazi regime, Polish lands officially came under the
jurisdiction of the Soviet Union.25 While the new Stalinist regime was less violently
oppressive, Communist thought and propaganda seeped into Polish culture, and
quite notably into music. As described by historian and author Andrzej Szczyporski,

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“It was in the Stalinist era, for the first time in Polish history, that not only material
goods but also people were nationalized, and became, as it were, the property of the
apparatus of power, losing their identity and their dignity.”26 As Stalinism continued
to dissolve Poland’s identity, her people in turn became increasingly concerned about
maintaining their culture and art. Many artists noticed that “art was forced to become
the mouthpiece for certain ideas,”27 which often led to the removal of national identity
from art and music. The Soviets aimed to force Polish music into the “Dekadas”
system, in which each Soviet satellite had a festival to showcase its own art. The goal
of this system was the “development of national cultures within a Socialist society,”28
not allowing for folk music to be taken in the direction of an abstract, or “formalist”
style. Not surprisingly, Polish culture continued to steadily fade under Stalinism,
due to complete media control by the government, as well as displacement of the
population.29 While their music was represented at these Soviet showcases, the Polish
people were not allowed room for artistic expansion.
Despite widespread oppression from the Soviet-backed government, a number
of Polish musicians, writers, and visual artists were unwilling to submit to
the new regulations. The period of the late-1940s to the mid-1950s saw the
formation of resistance movements in the arts, including “Group 49” and the
Warsaw Autumn festival for contemporary music. Shortly after the onset of the
Soviet domination, one ensemble dedicated to the maintenance and progress of
Polish music came into the spotlight. Comprised of composers Tadeusz Baird,
Jan Krenz, and Kazimierz Serocki, Group 49 was devoted to bringing music back
to the public eye, with a “desire to re-establish contact with that listener, who,
today is becoming the chief consumer of culture.”30 This statement showed
the composers’ concern with not only creating new music, but music of broad

248

appeal for the Polish people. Although “the press tried to build them up as a
cohesive group,”31 the members of Group 49 began to hold and act upon sharply
contrasting opinions on the direction that music should take. While the work
of Krenz remained in the traditional vein, Baird and Serocki became widely
known for their abilities to combine nationalistic aspects of Polish music by
using rhythms and modes found in folk music. Much as Szymanowski had done
earlier, they combined this folk idiom with varying modern styles. These elements
of modernity would not have been tolerated in the aforementioned Soviet
“Dekadas.” Though Group 49 dissolved due to the composers’ differences, Baird
and Serocki later collaborated to create Poland’s most influential music festival.
A strong connection to French composers was also crucial to postwar
composition and education in Poland. This harks back to Szymanowski’s warning
to find influence not in German music, but in the music of France and Russian
lands.32 In the 1940s, the partially rebuilt Polish government began to award
scholarships for composers to travel to France and study with the worldrenowned composer and mentor Nadia Boulanger.33 Boulanger and her students
moved Polish composition strongly into the neoclassical style, which was
also evident in Szymanowski’s compositions before the war. Kazimierz Serocki
studied with Boulanger in Paris in the late 1940s, and he imported the French
neoclassical style into the first Warsaw Autumn festival. The opening statement
of his Sonata for Trombone and Piano (1954) exemplifies his adaptation of
the neoclassical style, seen in the rigid, metronomic pulse, changing meters,
prioritization of a diatonic collection of tones (Eb major) that quickly expands into
a more free chromaticism, and a tuneful, relaxed, and objective character.

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Kazimierz Serocki, Sonata for Trombone and Piano (1954). PMW Edition.

Grażyna Bacewicz also thrived musically under Boulanger’s tutelage. Bacewicz
was a virtuoso violinist who turned to composition and was awarded a number
of prizes while in Paris, including the French Competition for Young Composers.34
Bacewicz’s influence, as well as that of Serocki, would be important in the
forthcoming Warsaw Autumn festival.35 This connection to French neoclassical
style was most likely strengthened by the fact that government subsidies enabled
Polish composers to study with Boulanger, while they were simultaneously cut off
from the rest of European music almost entirely.
During the Stalinist period, a number of modern music festivals arose throughout
Europe. The Darmstadt Summer Courses in New Music quickly became a center
for the study and spread of twelve-tone and serialized music. Behind the Iron
Curtain, perhaps most notable was the first Prague Spring International Music
Festival, which commenced on May 12, 1946, the anniversary of the death of
v

Bedrich Smetana, the musical pride of the Czech people. This festival focused
not only on Czech music, but new directions in composition from elsewhere in

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Europe. Additionally, a small group of Polish composers collaborated in 1950 to
create the Zwiazek Kompozytorów Polskich, or Union of Polish Composers, an
organization whose name bears a striking resemblance to the “Union of Soviet
Composers.” Their Festival of Polish Music was intended to showcase, against
Soviet policy, the importance of folk culture within Polish music,36 and the use of
“formalist” elements in contemporary music. By 1953, festival organizers were
emboldened to discuss “governmental cultural policy in regard to music.”37 The
group demanded that the Soviet government release its hold on the Polish music
scene and allow the festival to share musical ideas beyond Poland’s borders.
With the death of Stalin in the spring of 1953, the period widely known as the
“Thaw” was triggered not only in Poland, but in all satellite nations of the Soviet
Union. The Thaw was a slow and cautious process, as Bernard Jacobson writes,
“In October 1956, after eight years out in the cold, Władysław Gomułka was
reinstated as First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party, to preside for a while
over as much liberalization as could be managed without provoking a Russian
crackdown.”38 It is likely no coincidence that the inaugural Warsaw Autumn
Festival for Contemporary Music was assembled in the same month as Gomułka’s
return. This liberalization was also evident in the Soviet Union itself, as Boris
Schwarz explains:
While Soviet literature tested cautiously the limits of the new
‘tolerance,’ music proceeded on its own course. In 1953—during the
summer following Stalin’s death—Shostakovich composed his Tenth
Symphony . . . It was a work of inner liberation, a human document
that astounded listeners . . . Its role in Soviet music is comparable
to Ehrenburg’s The Thaw in literature, and it caused almost as much
discussion. But ultimately, Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony was
accepted on its own terms.39

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While the Soviets were initially cautious of and perhaps even confused by this
sudden new liberalization following Stalin’s death, advancements throughout music
and the arts suggest an embracing of these long-overdue freedoms of expression.
Polish composer Tadeusz Baird was the driving force behind the creation of
the Warsaw Autumn festival. By the time of the inaugural festival in 1956,
Baird was no stranger to political unrest and rebellion. Arrested and sent to
a labor camp in 1944, he was rescued the following year by American forces.
After a period of teaching in Germany, he returned to Warsaw at the wishes
of his mother, where he studied with a student of Szymanowski at the Warsaw
Conservatory.40 A Polish musicologist and acquaintance of Baird described him
as “probably the only true heir to the ecstatic, ethereal and subtle tradition
of Szymanowski.”41 His alliance with the spirit of Szymanowski led him to meld
Polish folklore music with new compositional ideas. Baird’s greatest musical
influences were Debussy, Szymanowski, Mahler, and Berg.42 These models
are evident in Baird’s postromantic symphonic composition. His massive but
underplayed Symphony No. 1 (1950) offers a tribute to the romantic orchestral
style, with a large instrumentation, extensive development of musical ideas, and
highly expressive lines. Mahler’s expansive symphonic forms are also evident, as
this symphony consists of five movements. Following the first Warsaw Autumn,
Baird’s compositional style changed as he adopted a twelve-tone method, which
is clearly seen in his 1958 symphonic work Four Essays. Baird received numerous
composition awards throughout his career, most notably the first prize of the
Tribune International des Compositeurs of UNESCO.43 His wide-ranging musical
taste and close personal contacts with leading international composers allowed
Baird to acquire the breadth of knowledge needed to establish an international
music festival at such a formative time in Poland’s history.

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Kazimierz Serocki joined Baird in the foundation of the first Warsaw Autumn.
While Baird was hesitant in his approach to the postwar musical avantgarde,44 such as the serialist music of Anton Webern, Serocki quickly moved
from neoclassicism toward a twelve-tone and serial idiom.45 This fundamental
difference in early compositional styles between Baird and Serocki was likely
to blame for the dissolution of Group 49 a few years prior, although when Baird
himself turned toward serialist modernism, they renewed their collaboration.
Serocki’s Song Symphony was performed at the 1945 Festival of Polish
Contemporary Music—a less successful predecessor to the Warsaw Autumn—
which intended to showcase “the diversity of new Polish music.”46 The work
clearly contrasts with the more conservative music of composers like Baird.
After the 1945 Festival of Polish Contemporary Music, Serocki “introduced a
broad spectrum of colorful effects into his dodecaphonic works . . . sonority
becomes one of the chief means for revealing musical substance.”47 This
development was largely responsible for promoting his success as a twelve-tone
composer throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These later compositions, while still
twelve-tone, were more appealing to audiences because Serocki placed more
importance on sonority and color than structure alone. Serocki’s neoclassical
compositions were objective, light, and tonal, as is seen with his trombone
sonatina. His later works, with the introduction of twelve-tone techniques,
increased in complexity and added a level of experimentation in orchestration.
In this later period of his twelve-tone composition, Serocki specially emphasized
the use of extended percussion techniques in order to achieve a more complex
sonority, which is evident in his works such as Heart of the Night and Oczy
powietrza (Eyes of the Air).48 In Serocki’s 1956 Sinfonietta for Two String
Orchestras, he experiments with an unorthodox instrumentation,49 and thus a

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new color palette, as well as a twelve-tone framework. The collaboration of Baird
and Serocki, despite different compositional viewpoints, proved instrumental in
the success of the first Warsaw Autumn.
Polish music entered a second phase of postwar reconstruction in 1956 with the
first Warsaw Autumn.50 Founded by Group 49’s Baird and Serocki, the festival
initially sought to achieve what Group 49 was unable to do, that is, advance
and promote contemporary Polish composition not only within the country, but
throughout the rest of Europe and the world. Serocki and Baird understood the
massively detrimental effects that the war and Nazi occupation had on Polish
culture as well as the more recent impact of nearly a decade of Stalinism. Not
only had the Nazi regime tried to stop creative production within the borders
of Poland, but Stalinism then severed communication between Poland and
western Europe, thus stopping the exchange of ideas across international
borders. While composers like Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen,
and Arnold Schoenberg were changing the course of music in the 1950s
through the development of new compositional styles associated with serialism
and chance, Polish composers had gone more than a decade without any
knowledge of these fundamental developments. The twelve-tone and serialist
methods had been widely revived in the late 1940s and 1950s among western
European and American composers, but Stalinism artistically quarantined
most Soviet Bloc artists. Because of this, the first Warsaw Autumn was focused
largely on introducing both listeners and composers of Polish music to the
music of postwar modernism, in addition to showcasing the newest innovations
in Polish composition.

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The inaugural Warsaw Autumn took place October 10–21, 1956, with a name
reminiscent of the earlier Prague Spring Festival. The event stemmed from the
Contemporary Polish Music Festival held by the Polish Composers Union, whose
previous festivals “promoted Polish composers exclusively.”51 The vision of the
Warsaw Autumn festival was for an event dedicated solely to the performance
and exchange of contemporary music from around the world—not just from
Poland. Despite these parameters, the first Warsaw Autumn showcased both
Polish and international musicians, as well as genres other than contemporary
music. The main goals of the event were to bring Polish music into the new
era and to “stimulate Polish musicians to raise their level of performance.”52
Perhaps if Polish musicians were exposed to the high level of performance and
composition of new music that was standard throughout the rest of the world,
they would be inspired and challenged to play alongside those performers, as
well as write alongside those composers. This first Warsaw Autumn festival
represented the full spectrum of music—from the romantic symphonic greats,
to the French-influenced neoclassicists, to musical manifestations of Polish
nationalism through folk music.53
The first festival featured not only an amalgam of Polish and foreign composers,
but a surprising collection of both standard repertoire and more contemporary
works. Both Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5
were heard at the first festival, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic and the
USSR State Orchestra, respectively.54 This programming of romantic symphonic
works in a festival of contemporary music, as well as the choice of performers,
was largely controversial among those who attended. If Poland was looking to
break into contemporary European music culture, why program music that was

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composed nearly 80 years prior? The choice of a performance of a Russian work
by the USSR State Orchestra is understandable, given the lingering political
atmosphere. Perhaps founders Serocki and Baird were more concerned with an
accurate representation of an iconic Russian composer by a Russian orchestra
than rebellion against the Soviets’ present will. While the eventual goal of the
Warsaw Autumn festival was to advance Polish music and bring it closer to the
West, the inaugural event was aimed largely at both celebrating the rebuilding of
Poland post-Nazi occupation, and promoting symphonic music in general.
The music of female Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz was featured prominently
at the first Warsaw Autumn. Polish musicians performed her Concerto for String
Orchestra, Overture, and String Quartet No. 4 alongside the aforementioned
staples of the romantic orchestral repertoire.55 The largely neoclassical music of
Bacewicz was well-received overall, as her music was accessible, though often
infused with an unexpected added element of modernity (after all, neoclassicism
is a modernistic style, at least in the context of prewar Europe). The excerpt on
the opposite page, from her Concerto for String Orchestra, shows Bacewicz’s use
of neoclassical elements such as machine-like rhythms and stark, clean accents.
In typical neoclassical fashion, Bacewicz merges a classical four-movement
symphonic form with a more exploratory and expanded harmony.
In addition to Bacewicz’s music in the Warsaw Autumn festival, the original music
of composers Karol Szymanowski, Stephen Malinowski, Witold Lutosławski,
Bolesław Szabelski, and Michal Spisak represented Poland.56 Szymanowski’s
music served to represent the more conservative branch of prewar Polish music,
which clearly contrasted with the music of Lutosławski.

256

Grażyna Bacewicz, Concerto for String Orchestra (1962). Polski Wydawnictwo.

Lutosławski’s music was prominently presented at the 1956 Warsaw Autumn.
He “was actively involved in the running of the festival, together with its
initiators,”57 and his involvement in the festival earned his compositions
international acclaim. Lutosławski took piano lessons as a child, but entered
the Warsaw University to study mathematics, though he eventually decided to
pursue composition. Lutosławski was brought to fame by his 1939 Symphonic
Variations, and following the underground composition of the Paganini
Variations during the Nazi occupation of Poland, he took a hiatus from
composition for the remainder of the war. He became musically active again
immediately following the war, was named Secretary-Treasurer of the Union
of Polish Composers, and composed film scores for documentaries.58 Unlike
Bacewicz, Lutosławski did not compose in a neoclassical style like many of
his Polish colleagues of the 1940s and early 1950s. If Szymanowski’s music
represented the old school of Polish music, and that of Bacewicz some form
of musical centrality, then Lutosławski’s music lay at the opposite end of
the spectrum. Charles Bodman Rae suggests that Lutosławski’s music was

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advanced since his “formative years had been spent in the comparatively
liberal artistic climate of the prewar Polish Republic.”59 Lutosławski spent
his student years in Poland before sanctions began under Stalinism, thereby
enjoying greater artistic freedom than later Polish composers.
Lutosławski wrote extensively on the subject of music, often attempting to
account for the origins of contemporary music. Although never a student of
Boulanger like his contemporaries, Lutosławski nevertheless saw his own
innovations not as being inspired by Schoenberg, but by Debussy: “I am aware
of the two traditions that initiated twentieth-century music, that is Schoenberg
and Debussy; it is the latter that I feel prevails in my own compositional work.”60
Always wishing to keep his distance from postwar European modernism, as
symbolized by the Darmstadt school, Lutosławski’s music was far different and
more advanced than that of the other composers at the festival. He strove to
“catch up” to the level of musical innovation that had swept the rest of Europe,
although in a distinctive manner that allied him with a French tradition rather
than with the Darmstadt school’s German background. His reputation was
based on earlier work that captured Poland’s recent anguish. He was known, for
example, for his Suita Warszawska (Warsaw Suite), which depicts, with a nearromantic expressivity, the town’s devastation from the war.61 The music of the first
movement shows a destroyed city, the inner movements depict its slow regrowth,
and the sixth movement ultimately shows a healthy and advanced Warsaw. With
the composition of this work, Lutosławski created a musical account of the city’s
struggle for rebirth. At the time of the first Warsaw Autumn, Lutosławski felt
that that he, like many other Polish composers, had some catching up to do. So
“he made himself available to younger composers for help and advice,”62 and

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continued to have a large role and considerable influence in subsequent Warsaw
Autumn festivals, both as a composer and teacher.
While a substantial amount of modern Polish music was performed at the inaugural
Warsaw Autumn in 1956, the program was flexible. The first festival seemed to
be concerned with highlighting Polish music from before and after World War II,
as opposed to strictly contemporary music. The 1956 festival also presented
masterworks from the 19th century by composers from far and wide. Baird and
Serocki made the tactful decision to paint a picture of a great span of classical
music throughout the world. This not only indulged Polish musicians and listeners
with a taste of European music for the first time in almost a decade, but also helped
the festival gain international credibility. Music historian Maciejewski wrote that the
festival “has gone a long way towards diminishing tension between the East and the
West by bringing together musicians of so many countries.”63 This strong foundation
allowed the festival to occur again in 1958—and every year since, despite it
originally being intended to take place only biennially.
While the 1956 festival was an expansive celebration of classical music from
throughout Europe that did not target contemporary music, the 1958 festival offered
complete immersion into the world of contemporary music, both from Poland and
abroad. A distinctively Polish voice in music was now heard with an international
and highly modernistic accent. The program was not limited to Polish compositions,
but included pieces by those who were at the forefront of European and American
modernism. Instead of works by Brahms and Tchaikovsky, “the signal for change
was coming rather from Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and John Cage.”64
The French element was maintained in this second program in the emphasis on

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works in the electronic and concrète genres,65 again showing the desire of the
Poles to balance out the implicit Germanism of twelve-tone and serial music
with other modernistic ideas. Music by Edgard Varèse and Pierre Boulez, and
by the American John Cage, had an equal place alongside the serialism of
Stockhausen. In addition to works by prominent international composers,
Lutosławski’s Funeral Music was composed and performed to commemorate the
10th anniversary of Bela Bartók’s death.66 This work, like most of Bartók’s music,
merged folk music with modernistic harmony and form, and stood in contrast to
works by composers such as Stravinsky, who had banished the folk element. The
performance of Funeral Music underscored the continued rise of its composer
to international prominence while it also displayed the importance of folk music
in contemporary Polish compositions. The celebration of Bartók with this work
shows that the second festival, though advanced in many ways from the first,
was still dedicated to portraying the universality of music. This festival presented
composers with the opportunity to learn from their international colleagues, as
new ideas were “gradually absorbed into the store of technical devices,”67 a trend
which proved beneficial to Lutosławski, arguably Poland’s most prolific composer.
One of the new voices at the 1958 festival was that of composer Krzysztof
Penderecki. He composed in a conservative manner during his student years
relative to those works that premiered at the Warsaw Autumn festivals. His
first published work, Three Miniatures for Clarinet, sounds like Bartók’s earlier
music in its straightforward and often transparent incorporation of folk tunes.
In his later years, Penderecki began to search for a new style more attuned to
European modernism.68 His Threnody for 52 Strings, later titled Threnody for the
Victims of Hiroshima (1952), and Anaklasis (1960), were both works that revealed
his newly developed and highly unique style, one that had not previously been

260

apparent among Polish composers. In his graphic score to Anaklasis, Penderecki
requests numerous extended techniques from the performers, such as semitones
in the string parts and unorthodox uses of percussion instruments. In the
opening, Penderecki writes, “Each instrumentalist plays the tone allocated to his
instrument, so that the whole quarter-tone scale between the indicated lowest
and highest tones sounds simultaneously.”

Krzysztof Penderecki, Anaklasis (1960). Hermann Moeck Verlag.

This work was innovative by both Polish and international standards, since
this visual, or “graphic” type score was just beginning to emerge. This sort of
notation is comparable to Iannis Xenakis’s 1954 experimental work Metastasis,
as well as that of Hungarian composer György Ligeti. Wolfram Schwinger
describes Anaklasis as “timbre- or cluster-music whereby sounds and noises are
considered equally suitable as material for musical composition.”69 Penderecki’s
music premiered at numerous Warsaw Autumn festivals, quickly earning him

261

international acclaim. Penderecki journeyed from the compositional style of
Bartók to a completely personalized, innovative voice in less than a decade—
the same amount of time that Poland was cut off physically, politically, and
artistically from the rest of Europe. Penderecki enjoyed the largest audience
of any 20th-century Polish composer, and his journey from the Bartókian
compositional style to his much later neoromantic voice represents the huge
transformation that Polish music underwent from the end of World War II to the
early 1960s.
After the inaugural festival, it was evident that the Warsaw Autumn had
exceeded the founders’ initial goals. It not only introduced the Polish people to
international music after a decade of artistic isolation, it exposed the country’s
contemporary music to the rest of the world. Now, prominent composers like
Penderecki could develop their personal compositional styles with support from
the international community and could aspire to a long-denied acclaim. Into
the twentieth-first century, the Warsaw Autumn has continued to serve as an
international forum for composers, performers, and audiences to share their
discoveries and ideas concerning the world’s contemporary music. Although
Poland would continue to fight for her sovereignty well into the late 1980s, the
musical contributions and inventions of the Warsaw Autumn festival transcended
the political oppression felt throughout the Soviet satellites, creating a sense of
artistic freedom that had been absent since the time of Szymanowski.
While the early Warsaw Autumn festivals played an important role in the culture
of postwar Poland, they were more of a catalyst for musical advancement than
a sharp turning point. The war had caused a need for a major change in Polish

262

musical culture, one on the same level as the drastic changes occurring in
their nation. During the war, while the Nazis were bent on destroying Poland’s
identity, almost all artistic exchange between it and the rest of the world was
severed, forcing the Polish people to work underground. The slight loosening
from the Nazi to Stalinist regimes allowed more room for creativity, though it
was really Stalin’s death that finally enabled new ideas to emerge into the public
eye. Leading up to and during the Thaw, prominent composers like Lutosławski,
Bacewicz, and Penderecki were all formulating new musical identities, informed
by the French school and Nadia Boulanger. With the opening of the 1956 Warsaw
Autumn festival, Polish musicians could finally release their ideas to a willing
audience and learn from international composers—all while showing the Soviets
that the Poles had little respect for the parameters of Socialist Realism in art.
The composers of the first Warsaw Autumn enhanced their revolutionary ideas
of composition with information exchanged during the festival—giving a sense
of fluidity and connectivity to Polish contemporary music that endures today.
An editor of PWM Edition Polska recognizes that at the turn of the 21st century,
young Polish composers were allowed “the freedom to choose one’s own artistic
path, conscious of the advantages and risks following from this choice.”70 It is
this “choice” that was born of the creation of the Warsaw Autumn festivals, and
is now deeply rooted in the spirit of the Polish people and the flowering of Polish
contemporary music.

263

ENDNOTES
Anthony Kemp-Welch, Poland Under Communism: A Cold War History (Cambridge:
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008), 22.
2
More information regarding Poland in World War II can be found in: Halik Kochanski, The
Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War (New York: Allen Lane,
2012); Joseph Rothschild, Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe
Since World War II (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1989); and Paweł Machcewicz, Rebellious
Satellite: Poland 1956 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center, 2009).
3
Adrian Thomas, Polish Music Since Szymanowski (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
2005).
4
Jerzy Sulikowski, Polish Music (Liverpool: Northern Publishing Co., 1944), 28.
5
Ibid.
6
Ibid.
7
Stefan Jarocinski, Polish Music (Warsaw: PWN–Polish Scientific Publishers, 1965), 172.
8
Ibid.
9
Mikolaj Stanislaw Kunicki, Between the Brown and the Red (Athens, OH: Ohio Univ. Press,
2012), 56.
10
Jakub Kaprinski, Countdown: The Polish Upheavals (New York: Karz-Cohl, 1982), 3.
11
Bernard Jacobson, A Polish Renaissance (London: Phaidon, 1996), 9.
12
Anna Czekanowska, Polish Folk Music (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990), 61.
13
Tadeusz Ochlewski, An Outline History of Polish Music (Warsaw: Interpress, 1979), 140.
14
Warsaw Philharmonic, Some History. Available online: filharmonia.pl/historia.
15
Andrew Borowiec, Destroy Warsaw! Hitler’s Punishment, Stalin’s Revenge (Westport, CT:
Praeger, 2001), 186.
16
Jacek Rogala, “Concise History of Polish Music in the 20th Century,” Quarta, no. 5
(December 2004), 12.
17
See note 16, 10.
18
See note 3, 18.
19
See note 13, 141.
20
See note 3, 18.
21
See note 13, 140.
22
Ibid.
23
Ibid., 142.
24
See note 16.
25
For further information regarding Poland under the Stalinist regime, see note 1.
26
Andrzej Szczypiorski, The Polish Ordeal: The View from Within (London: Croom Helm,
1982), 52.
27
Lidia Rappoport-Gelfand, Musical Life in Poland: The Postwar Years 1945–1977 (New
York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 1991), 1.
28
Boris Schwarz, Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1917–1981 (Bloomington: Indiana
Univ. Press, 1983), 132.
29
For a primary view of life in Poland during the Stalinist regime, see Andrzej Szczypiorski,
The Polish Ordeal: The View from Within (London: Croom Helm, 1982).
30
See note 27, 2.
31
See note 3, 60.
32
See earlier discussion in this paper. Also see note 7.
33
Wolfram Schwinger, Krzysztof Penderecki: His Life and Work (London: Schott,
1

264

1989), 25.
34
B.M. Maciejewski, 12 Polish Composers (London: Allegro Press, 1976), 58.
35
Judith Rosen, Grażyna Bacewicz: Her Life and Works (Los Angeles: Univ. of
Southern California, 1984), 63.
36
See note 27, 2.
37
Ibid., 3.
38
See note 11, 85.
39
See note 28, 273.
40
See note 34, 135.
41
Ibid., 136.
42
Ibid., 139.
43
See note 11, 87.
44
William R. Martin and Julius Drossin, Music of the Twentieth Century (Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1980), 371.
45
Ibid., 370.
46
See note 13, 151.
47
See note 27, 58.
48
Ibid., 59.
49
The piece is scored for two separate string orchestras performing simultaneously.
50
See note 27, 3.
51
Lisa Jakelski, “New Music in Poland, Now and Then: Reflections on the History of
the Warsaw Autumn Festival,” Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/2013
(Warsaw: Adam Mickiewicz Institute, 2013), 75.
52
Ibid.
53
See note 27, 45.
54
See note 51, 76.
55
See note 35.
56
See note 7, 287.
57
See note 11, 85.
58
Charles Bodman Rae, The Music of Lutoslawski (London: Faber and Faber, 1994), 19.
59
Ibid., 47.
60
Witold Lutoslawski, Lutoslawski on Music (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), 271.
61
See note 58, 20.
62
See note 11, 87.
63
See note 34, 137.
64
See note 33.
65
See note 7, 187.
66
See note 34, 47.
67
See note 7, 186.
68
Ray Robinson, Krzysztof Penderecki: A Guide to his Works (Princeton: Prestige
Publications, 1983), 5.
69
See note 33, 136.
70
Daniel Cichy, ed. Generation 70 (Warsaw: PWM Edition, 2013), 1.

A Risk-Benefit Analysis
of Cultivating Pest-Resistant Corn
CHUKWUMAMKPAM UZOEGWU

Marshall School of Business
Elisa Warford, Faculty Advisor

266

Introduction

The United States has undergone an agricultural explosion in the last 115 years.
At the start of the twentieth century, the US’s net agricultural production index
was slightly above 70, but this figure doubled to more than 150 by the middle of
the century. Many factors played a role in this increase, but the use of improved
seeds had the greatest impact on the net agricultural production index in the first
half of the century.1
Genetic engineers made improvements to seeds during the first half of the
century by hybridizing plants with desirable traits.2 In the second half of the
century, scientists and engineers found increasingly precise, but also complex
methods of creating transgenic seeds with specific desirable traits. In particular,
scientists succeeded in creating pest-resistant corn, using genes from Bacillus
thuringiensis. As expected, American farmers widely adopted this pest-resistant
corn because it promised larger harvests.3
However, the increase in cultivation of transgenic seeds raises several concerns
about the environmental impact of pest-resistant corn. Ecologists are concerned
that the selective pressures the crops pose on pests may lead to the evolution of
resistant pests. Some fear that pest resistance may be conferred upon non-target
plants, resulting in “superweeds” that further diminish insect populations in the
area. Others are anxious that bacteria may also become pest resistant, resulting
in soil that is inhospitable to insect populations. Lastly, increasing cultivation of
pest-resistant corn could potentially lead to decreased biodiversity if the corn
were to invade the surrounding ecosystem.4

267

Although there is not enough evidence of immediate danger to cause panic
within the genetic engineering community, however, available data indicates
that there is enough risk to warrant investigations into the likelihood of these
dangers. Genetic engineers need to design measures to mitigate the risk of these
dangers coming to fruition. Because of the constant flux of environmental factors,
ecologists will also have to constantly reevaluate the level of risk associated with
planting pest-resistant corn, and ensure they are lower than the benefits.
This paper will examine the some of the history of modifying crops as well as
the technology used to create pest-resistant corn. It will then examine the
benefits of pest resistance and the ecological dangers posed by pest-resistant
corn. Subsequently, it will examine measures created by genetic engineers and
ecologists to mitigate these risks. The paper will conclude by proposing further
measures that could mitigate these risks.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS

Hybridization
Farmers have been manipulating plants for thousands of years. For most
of human history, hybridization was the preferred method of manipulating
crops. To create a hybrid plant, farmers would crossbreed two plants with
desirable features. This was the dominant form of hybridization until genetic
engineers began incorporating mutagenesis into hybridization at the start of
the 20th century.5
Mutagenesis
Genetic engineers used mutagenesis (exposing crops to various agents known
to cause mutations) to artificially manifest desirable traits in agricultural crops.

268

When a plant mutated desirable traits, the genetic engineer would hybridize the
plant with another plant in order to conserve both desirable genes. However,
hybridization through mutagenesis was limited because genetic engineers could
only derive variations that existed in nature and could not precisely control which
variations manifested. Genetic engineers developed transgenic plants to address
these hindrances.6
Transgenic Plants
Transgenic plants are plants created by fusing specific genes that code for
desirable traits into the plant’s genome. Unlike hybridization, scientists do not
have to wait for desirable traits to manifest naturally or through mutagenesis.
Further, the gene of interest does not have to naturally occur in the plant’s
species or even in the plant kingdom; instead, it can be derived from bacteria,
plants, or animals. The steps for genetically engineering plants usually involve
extraction, gene cloning, gene design, transformation, and gene detection.7
Genetic engineers use various commercially available kits during the extraction
process. These kits rupture the cells of the organism, and the contents spill into
a solution. Using special filters, genetic engineers filter DNA from the resulting
solution and then expose the extracted DNA to enzymes designed to cut the
gene of interest away from the rest of the filtered DNA.8 A genetic engineer may
choose to combine the gene of interest with other types of DNA that allow them
to control when and how the gene expresses itself.9
During the transformation process, the genetic engineer may insert the gene of
interest into the DNA (plasmid) of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a known plant
parasite, and then purposely infect their plants with the bacteria. During the

269

infection process, the bacteria transfers its plasmids, which contain the gene of
interest, into the plant.10 The plant incorporates the gene of interest into its DNA
to complete the transformation. Figure 1 shows how transgenic plants are created
in detail.

Figure 1. The gene of interest is inserted into Agrobacterium tumefaciens’ plasmids. These plasmids
are then transferred into the plant when infected by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and the gene of
interest is incorporated into the plant’s gene.11

Genetic engineers may also use tungsten or gold particles laced with the gene
of interest as an alternative to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. When fired at high
velocities, these particles penetrate deeply into the plant cell wall, and the plant
picks up the gene of interest and incorporates it into its DNA.12

270

PEST RESISTANCE CONFERRED BY BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS

Genetic engineers have succeeded in using transgenic technology to create corn
strains that are resistant to common corn pests. This section will examine the
mechanics and benefits of these traits, and the ecological challenges they pose.
Mechanism of Bt Toxins
Pests destroy 14-25% of total global agricultural production.13 For decades,
farmers used traditional chemical pesticides to fight them.14 In fact, many farms
still use this method.15 However, in the middle of the twentieth century, scientists
began looking at toxic crystal proteins produced by the bacteria Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt) as an alternative to chemical pesticides. These crystal proteins
were beneficial because they left no polluting residue and each variation of these
proteins targeted a specific pest. When a susceptible insect ingests Bt crystal
protein, the protein kills the insect by attacking its viscera. The protein inserts
itself into the lining of the insect’s mid-gut, which disrupts the osmotic balance
of the cells and causes the cells of the gut lining to burst. Bacillus thuringiensis
also produces another class of proteins known as vegetative insecticidal proteins
(Vips), which are also effective against specific insects. Vips also target the gut
of the insects by causing the cells in the lining to burst, paralyzing the creature.
Both proteins eventually cause death in the targeted pests.16

Initially, farmers sprayed crops with crystal proteins and Vips that were derived
directly from live Bt. However, doing so was less effective than traditional
chemical pesticides because each type of crystal protein and Vips was only
effective against a small range of insects. Therefore, multiple applications of
various types of the proteins were necessary. Second, the proteins had low

271

persistence on corn—they were washed off by heavy rain or degraded by
exposure to ultraviolet light. Third, sprays could only be applied to the corn’s
exterior, which left it susceptible to insects feeding inside the corn.17
Benefits of Bt Corn
The application of Bt genes in corn resulted in a reduction in the use of chemical
pesticides on farms that plant Bt corn.18 As a result, nontarget organisms benefit
from Bt strains of corn because Bt genes target a specific pest, unlike chemical
pesticides which indiscriminately kill all insects in the coverage area.19
Ecological Dangers Associated with Growing Bt Corn
A. Evolved Resistance in Target Pest Populations

There are concerns that Bt corn pests may develop resistance to crystal proteins
and Vips over time, although this concern remains an active area of debate within
the scientific and engineering community. Hypothetically, given that Bt corn
eliminates populations of moth larvae that are susceptible to crystal proteins
and Vips, the population of susceptible pests should decline over time and be
replaced by nonsusceptible individuals. Laboratory results have supported this
hypothesis by showing that when exposed to the crystal proteins and Vips, moth
populations evolve resistance to the toxins over time.20 Furthermore, some field
results have shown an increase in the number of species resistant to Bt toxins in
general, as shown in Figure 2.21 However, scientists debate the ability of the nonresistant strains to become permanent due to a phenomenon that reduces the
bacteria’s ability to survive after obtaining resistance to Bt, otherwise known as
the fitness costs.22

272

Figure 2. This chart shows a positive correlation between increased Bt crop farming and increased Bt
resistance in insects.23

B. Horizontal Transfer to Non-Bt Corn

In addition to concerns over pests obtaining resistance, there are concerns that
Bt genes may flow from corn populations to nontarget species. Gene transfer may
occur in the horizontal direction or vertical direction. In the horizontal direction,
genes would be transferred to other organisms that are not sexually compatible
or do not have close evolutionary relationships with corn. For instance, ecologists
fear that Bt genes may be transferred to bacteria in the soil, resulting in increased
crystal proteins and Vips concentrations in the soil.24 However, some studies have
shown that horizontal transfer is a rare event, and transfers between naturally
occurring Bt bacteria and soil bacteria are more likely than horizontal transfers.25
Even if gene transfer were to occur between Bt corn and soil bacteria, the soil

273

bacteria would have difficulty producing toxins because the Bt genes were
modified for plant usage.26
Vertical transfer of Bt genes is more feasible than horizontal transfer, which
concerns ecologists. Vertical transfer involves the movement of genes between
organisms that are closely related evolutionarily or sexually compatible.
Scientists fear that pollen from Bt corn may reach nearby nontransgenic corn or
weeds, resulting in “superweeds” that invade new habitats. Further, the spread of
“superweeds” may result in the extinction of susceptible pests in the areas these
weeds invade, leading to less ecological diversity and further repopulation of the
area by resistant pests.27
However, there are some biological safeguards that make this unlikely for now.
First, sudden genetic changes tend to cause weeds to lose some of their “weedy”
characteristics. Therefore, weeds with Bt genes may become less fit for survival
in the wild. Second, the potential for weeds to hybridize with Bt corn depends
on evolutionary relatedness and sexual compatibility. If the Bt corn succeeds in
transferring its genes to a weed, the resulting hybrid will be sterile if the corn and
weed are not the same species.28
There is still danger of gene transfer of Bt genes from domesticated Bt corn to
wild relatives of corn. Any ecological damage caused by such an event would
depend on the fitness of the resulting offspring.29 Scientists believe that the
possibility of this occurring is low due to fitness challenges that the offspring
would face.30 Therefore, the likelihood of creating a “superweed,” though low,
remains a possibility.

274

C. Loss of Biodiversity

In addition to invasive weeds, Bt corn may lead to loss of biodiversity due to
overreliance on high-yield crops.31 As Figure 2 shows, an increasing number
of Bt crops are being grown each year.32 If this trend continues, there will be
reduced diversity in the areas surrounding Bt corn farms as the corn invades the
surrounding area.33 However, an examination of past instances of agricultural
domestication suggests that such invasions may not have overly adverse effects
on diversity.34
MITIGATING RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH GROWING Bt CORN

Genetic engineers must develop strategies for mitigating the environmental
risk associated with growing Bt corn. First, the risk posed by Bt corn must be
quantified. This section will first examine how to quantify these risks and then
examine strategies genetic engineers have created to mitigate these risks.
Lastly, it will examine additional strategies that should be set in place.
Quantifying Risk
In order to quantify risk, genetic engineers must first identify the dangers posed
by Bt corn and then estimate the danger’s likelihood of occurrence. When
identifying these dangers, genetic engineers must precisely characterize the type
of danger by considering factors such as population, species and ecosystem
characteristics, location, and time of release. Therefore, any hypothesis
suggesting a new danger associated with cultivating Bt corn must be complex
enough to take the aforementioned factors into consideration.35

275

Once a hypothesis is in place, the genetic engineer must develop a plan for
testing the particular danger attributed to Bt corn. In the next step, the genetic
engineer must develop a measurable set of parameters that will be used to
quantify the level of risk associated with the danger.36
The final step is testing the danger hypothesis against the parameters the genetic
engineer created for the purpose. Testing usually follows a tiered format, which
seeks first to identify the most serious dangers and then elucidate smaller dangers
later.37 At Tier One, scientists expose organisms, soil, or any other factors of interest
to high concentrations of Bt toxin (usually about ten times the concentration in field
conditions). If there is little to no toxic effect on a factor at this concentration, then
Bt corn may be judged to pose minimal risk to that particular factor.38 If a factor does
show adverse effects at this concentration, Bt corn must be tested further in Tier
Two.39 At Tier Two, genetic engineers test the effect of Bt toxins within a laboratory
setting at concentrations similar to field conditions.40 If Bt corn is deemed too toxic
for a particular factor under these conditions, it is further examined at the third tier.41
At Tier Three, the effects of Bt corn on a particular factor are tested in the field. It is
only during field-testing that genetic engineers can fully quantify the risk that Bt corn
poses to a particular factor.42
However, quantifying these risks does not come without challenges. The first
challenge is determining proper baselines to which scientists can compare observed
risks. Though the aim is simple, the inherent biological and ecological variability in
the field makes it difficult to establish such a baseline. Therefore, genetic engineers
will often use the effect of naturally bred corn as the baseline for testing. Admittedly,
this is not a stable baseline, but they are currently the best means of testing

276

available and can be improved by increasing the knowledge base about natural
plants. However, the tiered approach is not applicable to all factors. Some factors,
such as soil, are simply too complex to be adequately tested in a laboratory setting,
and measurement techniques are not advanced enough to adequately test in the
field setting. Because of the constantly changing nature of the environment, multitier testing must be a continuous process until all dangers have been eliminated, or
until Bt corn is no longer grown.43
Mitigating Risk
Genetic engineers must take steps toward mitigating the risk associated with Bt
corn to ensure that it does not reach an intolerable level. The following section
will examine strategies genetic engineers utilize to address the ecological risk
associated with growing Bt corn.
A. Mitigating Resistance Risk

One method for reducing the risk of resistant pests evolving is to provide
susceptible ones with refuges. These refuges are areas of the farm that are
planted with normal corn that will not kill susceptible insects. The insects that
are susceptible to Bt toxins would then mate with those that are not susceptible,
ensuring that the population retains susceptibility in its gene pool.44

Alternatively, genetic engineers may choose to insert various strains of the Bt
toxin into corn, with each strain attacking a different area of the insect’s gut.
Because resistance to Bt toxins are only expressed in select areas of the insect’s
gut, attacking different areas of the insect’s gut increases the chances of killing
all targeted insects regardless of their level of resistance.45

277

B. Mitigating Risk of Gene Transfer

Genetic engineers may reduce the risk of gene transfer by utilizing buffer zones that
separate Bt corn from wild types. Since Bt corn pollen can only spread over a short
distance, the buffer zone does not have to be large. However, if Bt corn is planted
close to wild types, the buffer zone would need to be larger.46 As always, constant
testing is necessary for this strategy to be successful.
Genetic engineers may also choose to infuse Bt genes into the chloroplast of the
plant instead of its nucleus. Since chloroplasts are only maternally inherited,
the pollen will not have the Bt gene because it lacks chloroplasts. In addition,
infusing Bt genes into the chloroplast could be beneficial because each cell has
multiple chloroplasts that would create Bt toxins. In effect, having multiple Bt
chloroplasts would lead to more toxins per cell, leading to more concentrated Bt
within each plant.47
Alternatively, genetic engineers may attach infertility genes to Bt toxin genes. The
offspring of Bt corn that mixes with wild corn would then be sterile, resulting in
genes that are short-lived. However, there is a chance that the Bt toxin genes and
infertility genes may separate during pollen formation, resulting in the occasional
loss of this safeguard.48
Lastly, genetic engineers may choose to insert a gene attached to the Bt toxin
gene that would render the Bt toxin gene nonfunctional until a chemical is
sprayed on the plant. Such chemicals would not be present in the wild, so
expression of the Bt toxin gene would be unlikely even if Bt corn were to transfer
its genes to a wild species.49

278

C. Mitigating Risk of Reduction in Biodiversity

Scientists are currently creating models for identifying the areas that are most
susceptible to invasion by new species. These models would allow efficient use
of resources by ensuring that the areas with the greatest risk of invasion get the
most attention. However, this method remains in its earliest stages.50
Additional Measures
In this section, we will examine additional measures that genetic engineers
should consider in order to mitigate the risks associated with Bt corn.
A. Mitigating Resistance Risk

Genetic engineers should consider artificially increasing the populations of
natural pest predators in the area. If Bt corn eliminates only pests susceptible
to its toxin, the remaining pests should be those that are resistant to Bt toxins.
Increased populations of natural predators would eliminate the remaining
population, which would be comprised of resistant pests. However, this may lead
to ecological damage, since the introduction of additional species would have an
unpredictable impact on the surrounding ecology.
B. Mitigating Gene Transfer Risk

Genetic engineers may also choose to attach suicide genes to the Bt corn gene,
but prevent it from expressing itself in cultivated corn by using a chemical spray
on the corn. Therefore, if organisms in the wild were to cross-pollinate with Bt
corn, the resulting offspring would have the suicide gene. These offspring would
die in the absence of the chemical spray. This poses potential problems because
yields might be affected if the spray is not applied in adequate amounts. Further,

279

depending on the mechanism of the suicide gene, the corn’s quality may be
affected by such a gene.
C. Mitigating Reduction in Biodiversity Risk

To mitigate the risk of reducing biodiversity, the government should set limits on
the amount of acreage devoted to Bt corn farming. These acreage requirements
would be implemented like carbon credits, where farmers would be able to buy
additional Bt corn credits as necessary, but the overall acreage devoted to Bt
corn in the country would remain the same.
CONCLUSION

Transgenic technology has given genetic engineers greater control over which
desirable traits are present in their plants. One manifestation of this control was
the creation of Bt corn, which is pest resistant. While Bt corn confers benefits
such as increased crops yields and decreased pesticide use, the level of risk to
the environment must be examined. Ecologists have identified many dangers to
the environment, including evolved resistance in pest populations, potential gene
flow with adverse effects, and potential decrease in biodiversity due to Bt corn
invasions. While the risks of dangers remain low, genetic engineers must remain
cautious and continually test to foresee increases in risk. In the meantime, they
should consider incorporating some of the suggested safeguards in order to
mitigate the risks of these dangers coming to fruition.

280

ENDNOTES
Chauncy D. Harris, “Agricultural Production in the United States: The Past Fifty Years and
the Next,” Geographical Review, vol. 47, no. 2 (April 1957), 175–93.
2
Francis L. Smith, “Hybrid Corn: Resistant to Rot and Adapted to California Conditions
Possible through Science of Genetics,” California Agriculture, vol. 3, no. 12 (December
1949).
3
“Recent Trends in GE Adoption,” retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/
adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx#.
UngOSXVDuHY.
4
Willam Moar, Rick Roush, Anthony Shelton, Juan Ferré, Susan MacIntosh, B. Rogers
Leonard, and Craig Abel, “Field evolved resistance to Bt toxins,” Nature Biotechnology, vol.
26, no. 10 (October 2008), 1072–74.
5
ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications),
Agricultural Biotechnology: A Lot More than Just GM Crops (Manila: ISAAA, 2010), 1–18.
6
Iqrar Ahmad Khan, ed. Citrus Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology (Wallingford: CABI,
2007).
7
See note 6.
8
See note 5; also, William Mathieson and Gerry A. Thomas, “Simultaneously Extracting
DNA, RNA, and Protein Using Kits: Is Sample Quantity or Quality Prejudiced?” Analytical
Biochemistry, vol. 433, no. 1, (1 February 2013), 10–18.
9
See note 6.
10
Marcel J. A. de Groot, Paul Bundock, Paul J. J. Hooykaas, and Alice G. M. Beijersbergen,
“Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated Transformation of Filamentous Fungi,” Nature
Biotechnology, vol. 16, no. 9 (September 1998), 839–42.
11
Zora Svab, Peter Hajdukiewicz, and Pal Maliga, “Stable Transformation of Plastids in
Higher Plants,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of
America, vol. 87, no. 21 (November 1990), 8526–30.
12
Christine Case, “Biology 230: Genetic Engineering of Plants,” retrieved from www.smccd.
net/accounts/case/biol230/plantge1.html.
13
Santie M. DeVilliers and David A. Hoisington, “The Trends and Future of Biotechnology
Crops for Insect Pest Control,” African Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 10, no. 23 (1 June
2011), 4677–81.
14
See note 12.
15
Estibaliz Sansinenea, “Discovery and Description of Bacillus thuringiensis,” in Bacillus
thuringiensis Biotechnology (New Delhi: Springer Science, 2011), 3–18.
16
See note 15.
17
See note 4.
18
See note 15.
19
Gary Reed, Andrew Jensen, Jennifer Riebe, Graham Head, and Jian J. Duan, “Transgenic
Bt Potato and Conventional Insecticides for Colorado Potato Beetle Management:
Comparative Efficacy and Non-target Impacts,” Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata,
vol. 100, no. 1 (2001), 89–100.
20
See note 4.
1

281

Bruce Tabashnik, Thierry Brévault, and Yves Carrière, “Insect Resistance to Bt Crops:
Lessons from the First Billion Acres,” Nature Biotechnology, vol. 31, no. 6 (June 2013),
510–21.
22
See notes 12 and 21.
23
See note 21.
24
See note 4.
25
Nicholas P. Storer, Jonathan Babcock, Michele Schlenz, Thomas Meade, Gary D.
Thompson, James W. Bingm, and Randy M. Huckaba, “Discovery and Characterization of
Field Resistance to Bt Maize: Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Puerto
Rico,” Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 103, no. 4 (2010), 1031–38.
26
See note 4.
27
Ibid.
28
Ibid.
29
Ibid.
30
“Biopesticides Registration Action Document: Cry1Ab and Cry1F Bacillus thuringiensis
(Bt),” retrieved from www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/pips/cry1f-cry1ab-brad.pdf.
31
See note 4.
32
See note 19.
33
See note 4.
34
Mark van de Wouw, Theo van Hintum, Chris Kik, Rob van Treuren, and Bert Visser,
“Genetic Diversity Trends in Twentieth-Century Crop Cultivars: A Meta Analysis,”
Theoretical and Applied Genetics, vol. 120, no. 6 (2010), 1241–52.
35
See note 4.
36
Jeffrey D. Wolt, Paul Keese, Alan Raybould, Julie W. Fitzpatrick, Moisés Burachik,
Alan Gray, Stephen S. Olin, Joachim Schiemann, Mark Sears, and Felicia Wu, “Problem
Formulation in the Environmental Risk Assessment for Genetically Modified Plants,”
Transgenic Research, vol. 19, no. 3 (2010), 425–36.
37
See note 4.
38
Jian J. Duan, Debra Teixeira, Joseph Huesing, and Changjian Jiang, “Assessing the
Risk to Nontarget Organisms from Bt Corn Resistant to Corn Rootworms (Coleoptera:
Chrysomelidae): Tier-I Testing with Orius insidiosus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae),”
Environmental Entomology, vol. 37, no. 3 (2008), 838–44.
39
See note 4.
40
Jian J. Duan, Jonathan G. Lundgren, Steve Naranjo, and Michelle Marvier, “Extrapolating
Non-target Risk of Bt Crops from Laboratory to Field,” Biology Letters (9 September 2009).
41
See note 4.
42
See note 40.
43
See note 4.
44
Neil Tietz, “Bt Corn Refuges Harbor Controversy,” Soybean Digest, vol. 58, no. 10
(November 1998).
45
See note 4.
46
Julie Grisham, “New Rules for Bt Corn,” Nature Biotechnology, vol. 18, no. 133 (February
2000), 133.
21

282

See note 4.
Ibid.
49
Ibid.
50
Ibid.
47

48

PARTICIPATING OAPS INSTITUTIONS
CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY Thailand
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UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF TAIWAN Taiwan
TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY China
WASEDA UNIVERSITY Japan
XIAMEN UNIVERSITY China

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