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The Aesthetic Goes Down With The Ship: How the Volatile Music Industry Has Undermined an Established Indie Aesthetic

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The project analyzes the history of indie music and culture, and how the aesthetic has been undermined by the modern music industry. The project discusses rhetorical theory on the nature of publics, including group identification through rhetorical discourse as expressed through indie culture.

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2013-05

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License to thrill: Bond girls, costumes, and representation

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The connection between Hollywood costume design and the films of the 007/James Bond franchise, especially in regards to the changing perspective of the “Bond Girl”, is an intricate relationship that has previously been little researched. In the most recent Bond

The connection between Hollywood costume design and the films of the 007/James Bond franchise, especially in regards to the changing perspective of the “Bond Girl”, is an intricate relationship that has previously been little researched. In the most recent Bond films, in particular, the female characters have become more powerful than the early characters and their roles within the narratives have changed with their characters taking on stronger and more integral roles. This thesis seeks to examine the films of the 007/James Bond franchise and how the rhetoric of the franchise’s costume design affects the representation of femininity and power in regards to the Bond Girls. After an overview of Bond history and costume theory, two films are analyzed as case studies: Dr. No (1962) which marks the beginning of the film franchise and Casino Royale (2006), which marks the more recent turn the films have taken. This thesis examines how the representations of Bond Girls and the use of costume design for their characters have changed over the course of the franchise from the days of Sean Connery to the recent reboot of the franchise with Daniel Craig as 007 James Bond. In addition to an examination of Bond Girl costume design, this thesis considers the role and influence of the costume designers. A designer’s vision of a character is derived from both the writing and the physical features of the actresses before them. Here this thesis considers how the rhetorical choices made by designers have contributed to an understanding of the relationship between femininity and power. Finally it shows how the costumes effect the power of the female characters and how the Bond Girls of today (Casino Royale) compare and/or contrast to Bond Girls of the past (Dr. No). This thesis combines the areas of feminist film theory and costume theory to provide an original rhetorical analysis of the Bond series in relation to costume design and examines the rhetorical statements made by the costume designers in their designs for the characters and how those statements influence the representations of the characters.

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2013

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Between Remembering and Forgetting: US Public Memory of the Frontier in Buildings, Objects, and Videogames

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This dissertation examines the “remembering-forgetting dialectic,” or a common assumption that remembering and forgetting are antithetical acts with opposing values in a public (Blair et al 18). More specifically, it examines this dialectic within the context of settler colonialism, which

This dissertation examines the “remembering-forgetting dialectic,” or a common assumption that remembering and forgetting are antithetical acts with opposing values in a public (Blair et al 18). More specifically, it examines this dialectic within the context of settler colonialism, which other scholars have noted is marked by the pervasive “forgetting” (Shotwell 37) and “erasure” (Stuckey 232) of the violent, genocidal acts that enabled a settler-colonial nation to develop. To examine this dialectic’s appearance and high stakes in that “forgetting” epistemic context, I analyzed US public memory of the Frontier, a historic space that references the United States’ settler-colonial westward expansion and a symbolic space that has lasting ties to hegemonic constructions of American civic identity. To do so, I ask, What does public memory of the Frontier suggest about the remembering-forgetting dialectic? To address this research aim, I analyzed three sites that engage in Frontier memory work: (1) the Foy Proctor Historical Park, an outdoor exhibit focused on ranching history at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas; (2) Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience, an exhibit at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona that documents the experiences of American Indian students who attended off-reservation boarding schools; and (3) The Oregon Trail, a videogame that simulates a mid-nineteenth century pioneer’s journey across the Frontier. In my analysis, I identified the site’s public memory narrative, discussed how the site rhetorically builds that narrative, and considered the site’s efforts to encourage visitors to identify with the portrayed history. My results show that: (1) the Foy Proctor Historical Park perpetuates a settler-colonial narrative through its rhetorical invention of a Frontier landscape, (2) Remembering Our Indian School Days challenges the “forgetting” and “erasure” of settler-colonial memory through extensive documentation efforts, and (3) The Oregon Trail reproduces an interactive, settler-colonial narrative by positioning players into role-playing as pioneers. I ultimately argue common assumptions about the functionality of remembering and forgetting in a public do not account for the epistemic complexity shown within these sites; the remembering-forgetting dialectic thus remains a significant topic in public memory studies.

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2021