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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Aleph (pronounced “ah-lef”) is UCLA’s undergraduate research journal for the humanities, social sciences, and behavioral sciences. Aleph publishes one issue each year in both print and open access formats. The journal reflects the quality and breadth of undergraduate research at UCLA, and is sponsored by the UCLA Undergraduate Research Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Issue cover


The Womb, Medicine, and Negativity: Poetic Portrayals of Menstruation and Greensickness in Early Modern England

This paper critically analyzes literary representations of greensickness and menstruation in Early Modern England, utilizing cultural perspectives of medical theory and socially acceptable practices to situate these ideas and frame the inquiry. Analyzed works include a significant number of primary sources such as poems, articles, and medical books ranging from fifteenth to seventeenth century England, as well as secondary academic articles that investigated similar topics to enrich the discussion. Menstruation was less frequently treated in the literary representations, here mainly poetry, compared to greensickness. However, mentions of both were comparatively high inmedical texts from this time period, suggesting many remedies and addressing menstrual issues in great depth. Poets indicate a preference for discussing greensickness in their works, as evidenced by the generally greater frequency of works found with references to this ailment, as compared to menstruation. This paper argues that greensickness was a more socially acceptable topic to discuss, since menstruation was considered polluted and polluting, private, and taboo thus reflecting essential beliefs, values,and ideas of the time.

LGBTQ Youth of Color in the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Freedom, Liberation, and Resistance

Abstract: Emergent research suggests Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth experience increased discipline in school, as well as increased exposure to the criminal justice system outside of school. Additionally, much has been written in recent years about the school-to-prison pipeline’s (StPP) impact upon large numbers of youth of color in the United States. However, a large portion of the existing research regarding the StPP often presumes heterosexuality in dealing with student populations. Further, what research exists on queer and transgender youth in schools often fails to address race in any meaningful way, thus misleading people to assume that the problems facing LGBTQ youth are racially neutral in nature. This paper seeks to synthesize some of the systemic factors that propel school pushout and student criminalization, and impact intersectionally-marginalized student populations like LGBTQ youth of color, as well as pose some possible critical pedagogical interventions in resisting the criminalization of these students under an increased neoliberal governmentality.

Re-engagement Through Restructuring: Expanding the Civic Learning Model

Abstract: This research explores how the civic learning model could be used to increase student engagement in all school subjects, given the lack of student interest and engagement in high school learning. The model of civic learning has been shown to be successful in increasing student interest in subject material and participation in the civic sphere. Three fundamental elements of the civic learning model can be adapted to other subjects in order to increase students’ general interest and rate of class participation. By showing how each aspect of the civic learning model has been implemented in the past, the current research shows that that this application of the civic learning model would increase overall student engagement and interest in high school education.

Virgins, Mothers, and Whores: Female Archetypes in Gabriel García Márquez's "Cien Años de Soledad" (1967) and Isabel Allende's "La Casa de los Espíritus" (1982)

Abstract: In “Literary Archetypes and Female Role Alternatives: The Woman and the Novel in Latin America,” Jane S. Jaquette divides the female characters in García Márquez’s Cien Años de Soledad into three archetypes: Mother, Witch/Mysterious Woman, and Wife/Concubine. Jaquette’s proposal is a departure from the traditional archetypes of women in Latin American literature of the Virgin, the Mother, and the Whore, all of which have their genesis in biblical literature. Unfortunately, Jaquette’s archetypal schema is inadequate, for only a few of Cien Años’s characters manage to fit into her three categories; she ignores important main characters that are neither mothers, nor witches, nor wives.

This paper explores the archetypes of the Virgin, the Mother, and the Whore, and how García Márquez applied and bent these traditional female roles in his classic Cien Años de Soledad (1967). This paper also explores how García Márquez’s novel laid the groundwork for Isabel Allende’s La Casa de los Espíritus (1982), which delved deeply into the psyche of these female archetypes—and broke them.

This year's staff

2016-2017 Aleph Staff

Aleph is a student-run journal publishing the research work of undergraduates at UCLA. Students wishing to join the staff or submit articles for review should visit our website at or email for details.