Matching Items (17)
- All Subjects: Short Stories
- Creators: Department of English
Unauthorized confronts the relationship between technology and personhood in the modern world. More specifically, it addresses the personal and social effects of border politics within the frame of cyber crime. The short film takes place in the near future where a hacker can create citizenship for anyone she wants, effectively turning anyone into a legal person in the United States. This parallels the real life struggles of unauthorized immigrants trying to gain a new life this side of the border despite the overwhelming backlash from the conservative and xenophobic population. The main character's ability to grant citizenship forces the viewer to confront what being a person really means. The film also alludes to the popularized antics of modern day hackers and whistleblowers who are often turned into heroes for fighting the establishment despite their character flaws. The protagonist of Unauthorized struggles through underhanded sexism and blatant racism as well as her own personal struggles with drug addiction and failed relationships. These are very real struggles women face in technology jobs and life in general. The main character's actions ultimately destroy every relationship that she's established, including the connection to her own family. This film, in short, is about the walls people build between each other, both physical and social.
For this project, I have written a trilogy of interrelated short stories. The three stories are entitled "The Blue Bike," "Heartbeat," and "Elevators." Each of these three stories relate to each other both through the featured characters and the core themes. The little girl from the first story, Amy, is the little sister of the narrator Emma from the second story. The narrator from the third story is the son of Charles (Helen's husband) from the first story, who is also a major character in "Elevators." The gym in the second story also appears in the third story. On a thematic and poetic level, I have used the word "lift" as the inspiration behind and connecting thread between my stories. I have played with the various meanings of connotations of the word, using them to construct the plots of each story. For example, I have used it in the sense of face lifts in the first story, as well as alluded to the idea of planes lifting into the air through making Charles a pilot. There is also the idea of lifting a child into your arms, and lifting yourself or someone else up both physically and emotionally. In the second story, I use shop-lifting, weight-lifting, and the idea of giving someone a lift as in giving someone a ride. The idea of giving someone a lift also occurs in the last story, alongside the connotations of lift with elevators. There are a multitude of other instances in which I have tried to make the word "lift" resonate throughout these stories, though the over-arching theme for me would be the idea of lifting other people up. It is the exploration of meaningful connections between people and the way those connections can heal and "lift." This collection is thus an exercise in creative interconnectivity as well as an exploration of the way people can connect meaningfully to each other.
The Aesthetic Goes Down With The Ship: How the Volatile Music Industry Has Undermined an Established Indie Aesthetic
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.
Short fiction revolving around the Y2K scare, written from three perspectives. Explores the fear and uncertainty prevalent during the time and how it affected actions and relationships.
There are no words for the trauma of death when it strikes unexpectedly. What to say when a mother dies in childbirth? When a father figure contracts an unknown disease for no apparent cause? When a beloved pet, long mourned, may still be alive and hidden by estranged family? Generations may pass, and children may grow up, but the pain leaves marks that echo across time and the other borders we construct between our past and present. We may find strength on solitude, or prayer, or the words of a song written by someone else. In these four stories, spanning almost half a century, the marks of death and attempts to soothe or hide them are everywhere. Children on the cusp of adulthood grapple with the lives and the lies of their parents. Musicians examine the relationship of their music to the world. Legends and myths lurk in the shadows, tempting with false hope and rationalizing the unexplainable.
In “Playing the Changes,” we meet two men stranded in a small desert town in 1972, a time when their attraction to each other is still dangerous. Nile Walker is a jazz musician, running from a spurned lover and the law. Benji Garza is a once-devout Catholic, fixing cars and caring for his orphaned nephew, Hector. Walker and Garza’s affair will spin both lives and their heredity into sweeping tragedies that characters battle with lust and melody. Walker has a son he never meets, a drifter who finds connection with another lost soul at an airport in “La Petite Mort.” Hector is forced into early adulthood in “The Words,” when his ailing uncle’s health fails due to a mysterious disease not yet called AIDS. Later Tre—a young man struggling with the weight of his own lineage—meets him in “PHX.” These stories examine questions of death’s causes and its myriad effects, and offer this solution: Knowing that we cannot know everything, and living, loving, and singing anyway.
This creative project consists of three short stories with a common theme of release, letting go, and exhalation. Nymphal Instar is a story about Tommy, a young boy, and his encounter with his uncle, a troubled man who has just returned from war. The story explores the idea of growth and maturation, and the ability to move past and let go of trauma. A Cat Goes Away is about a young man, Richard, who is required to simultaneously deal with the loss of his cat and the suicide attempts of his sister. He also runs into his sister's ex-husband and is forced to deal with him. The story explores the difficulty in recognizing one's own emotions and the importance of knowing the difference between what one can change and what one cannot. Since Diagnosis is a story about Kate, a woman who has just been diagnosed with cancer and who is unable to tell her loved ones. The story explores acceptance and the idea that letting go can allow one to live more fully. Though the three stories are disparate in their characters and events, they share a commonality in their endings and in the final realizations of the characters. There is a focus on the importance of breath and breathing, and the essentiality of acceptance and release.
Three years ago, after skateboarding back from a calculus study session, Delaney Kranz was smushed by a car on the corner of Myrtle and University. This made her panic about the brevity of life, and, when she could walk again, she studied abroad three times, hitting eleven countries across Europe. A Typical American Manner is a record of Kranz’s sardonic and often-brutal view of the world. This collection of short stories shows the accounts of a young woman struggling to figure out her identity, to figure out the worth of introspective storytelling, and to figure what it means to be a traveler, or really, what it means to be a human being at all.
This collection was written throughout a four-year period and features stories from Arizona, England, Greece, Italy, Germany and smack-dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, California. The narrative style changes gradually over time as Kranz herself changes, notably becoming less of an edgy, angry shitlord and (a little) more of a polished writer. Kranz detests pretentiousness and is often self-admonishing to the max. She does, however, break the wall of dark humor and sarcasm to allow for a handful of tender moments of self-reflection and peace—always in bizarre settings, of course, like the middle of a Korean supermarket or in the El Paisano’s liquor and burrito store on Lemon Street. The moments are there nonetheless.
A Typical American Manner is Delaney’s story, or at least, one of them. If you read it, she hopes you like it. Or that you hate it. She hopes it makes you feel something—either way is good.
Immigration policy in the United States today is complex and far-encompassing. This project aims to present it in an easily accessible way: Through the eyes of those who have experienced its effects in a deeply personal manner. This online project, housed at http://immigrant-experience.com/, includes profiles of four people who have immigrated to the United States from other countries. The website includes graphics and multimedia elements, that help to tell their stories. It also provides information about immigration statistics, research and policy. The DREAMer who came to the country as a child, the young Mexican man on a seasonal visa, and the Eritrean refugee share in the immigrant experience, but the effects of U.S. policy on their lives are vastly different. Factors at play include age, education, country of origin and socioeconomic status. These factors are what shape the policy that dictates whether an immigrant can become an American citizen. They are also what make Gloria, Adrian and Azarya's stories so unique. It is a multitude of personal stories that collectively define the immigrant experience. These stories may be drastically different, depending on the country of origin and circumstances of each individual, but some aspects of the experience are shared. The difficulties inherent in uprooting oneself from a familiar community are common to "immigrants" of all shapes and sizes: students moving out of state for college, new hires moving to a new city, parents moving their children into a better neighborhood, etc. Through in-depth profiles of immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds, this project highlights those shared experiences while showing the diversity of personal stories, challenging contemporary stereotypes about immigrant populations.
Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at a 24-hour diner, a blind fair ride operator with a propensity for accidental murder, a hapless son of a clumsy dental assistant, a literary scholar stuck in an addiction to both Kafka and pornography, a kid who learns that writing is not a formula, and a high school death that nobody cares about. Some pieces unfold parts of 21st century culture that have been knotted in ambivalence, like how men raised on pornography reconcile with intimacy, while others are as simple as trying to encapsulate the experience of growing up in what is often perceived as an artless suburbia. The project aims at mixing prose with photography to create, as Ben Lerner describes it, “a constellation of language and image”—a complete artistic product. Using the work of a local Arizona photographer, the collection complicates a reader’s elementary notion of a “picture book” by forcing the reader to view photographs beyond exposition or symbolism. The title of the collection comes from a term used in comedic rhetoric that refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a statement or phrase reorients one’s understanding of the whole. Under this definition, the collection seeks to amend its author and reader’s orientation to Phoenix in a quest for empathy, giving pathetic characters a chance to speak without ever sacrificing a touch of humorous joy.