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Cyborg Feminism: Ambiguity and Hybridity of the Female Cyborg

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A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among

A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among women, cyborg feminism moves beyond naturalism and essentialism to acknowledge complex, individual, and ever-changing identity. Three films, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015), all offer such a vision of the female cyborg. In these films, the cyborg subject is a composite of machine and human—sometimes physical, dependent on the corporal mixing of flesh and machine, but just as often mental. Human sentiment, human memories, and human emotion merge with mechanical frames and electronic codes/coding to produce cyborgs. Importantly, every main cyborg in these films is coded as female. For each cyborg, a female body hosts preprogrammed sexuality and the emotions each creator thinks a woman should have, whether those are empathy, compassion, or submissiveness.

The cyborgs in these films, however, refuse to let categorizations like female, or even their status as human, alive, or real, restrict them so easily. As human-robot hybrids, cyborgs bridge identities that are assumed to be separate and often oppositional or mutually exclusive. Cyborgs reveal the structures and expectations reified in gender to suggest that something constructed can as easily be deconstructed. In doing so, they create loose ends that leave space for new understandings of both gender and technology. By viewing these films alongside critical theory, we can understand their cyborgs as subversive, hybrid characters. Accordingly, the cyborg as a figure subverts and fragments the coherency of narratives that present gender, technology, and identity in monolithic terms, not only helping us envision new possibilities but giving us the faculties to imagine them at all.

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2019-05

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The Effect of Gender, Education Level, and Field of Academic Study on Anti-Gay Bias

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Anti-gay bias is a prevalent aspect of traditional male gender norms that has negatively impacted the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, both in terms of mental and physical health. This study examined how anti-gay bias varies as a

Anti-gay bias is a prevalent aspect of traditional male gender norms that has negatively impacted the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, both in terms of mental and physical health. This study examined how anti-gay bias varies as a function of gender, education level, and field of study. We hypothesized that men will have more bias than women, that seniors in college will be less biased than freshmen in college, and that male students in sub disciplines of engineering that have relatively more women (e.g., biomedical engineering), will be less biased than those in more homogeneous, male-dominated fields (e.g., mechanical engineering). Past research has identified the implications of gender and education level in anti-gay bias; the current study looked to further such research and to investigate possible implications of the impact of settings that have a gender imbalance. A total of 303 undergraduate students from Arizona State University completed an online survey that measured attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and communities. Neither education level nor academic field of study were found to have influenced degree of bias. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.

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2017-05

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Cinderella and Her ""Faux Feminist"" Contemporary Retellings

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Fairy tale retellings have permeated literature, film, and media ever since the original stories emerged. New adaptations are constantly being released, and therefore new research must constantly be published. In this study, I analyze "Aschenputtel" by the Brothers Grimm, as

Fairy tale retellings have permeated literature, film, and media ever since the original stories emerged. New adaptations are constantly being released, and therefore new research must constantly be published. In this study, I analyze "Aschenputtel" by the Brothers Grimm, as well as various retellings of "Cinderella," including Andy Tennant's Ever After (1998), Mark Rosman's A Cinderella Story (2004), and Marissa Meyer's Cinder (2012). This selection includes a live-action historical film, a live-action contemporary film, and a science fiction novel, all with an intended audience of young adults. While the Brothers Grimm story and Ever After have already been analyzed in the context of gender representation (Zipes, Bottigheimer, Williams), prior academic research fails to adequately address the gender issues in A Cinderella Story and Cinder. Because Ever After, A Cinderella Story, and Cinder are more contemporary than the Grimms' "Aschenputtel," they are often thought to be more progressive (Gruner, Vera, Travers). However, I propose that they still have problematic implications, despite their publication in contemporary society. Jack Zipes, an acclaimed fairy tale scholar, argues that, "For the most part, the transformations [of contemporary Cinderella retellings] tend to be modern remakes with a faux feminist touch" ("The Triumph" 361). Similar to Zipes, I argue that, although the texts initially appear progressive and "feminist," they ultimately support problematic ideals related to gender. All three contemporary texts seem to ally themselves with an ethos of female empowerment through their protagonists' rejection of traditional femininity, but the inclusion of gender policing and the characters' eventual acceptance of hyperfemininity undermine this characterization, as does the ultimate heteronormative "happily ever after." Additionally, the use of competition (between Cinderella and her stepfamily, as well as new female characters) pits women against each other, often because of a man, which generally prevents the development of female camaraderie, other than with the fairy godmother. Further, rather than allying herself with female power (i.e. the mother), the protagonists in both Ever After and A Cinderella Story are defined by their relationship with the father, which minimizes their agency as it suggests a transfer of ownership from the father to the husband/prince. This framing of the protagonist by the father and prince (specifically as she works to "perfect" the prince) seems to relegate the female characters to a supplementary role, simply acting as a tool for the male characters' development.

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2018-05

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Vowel Normalization in Dysarthria

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In this study, the Bark transform and Lobanov method were used to normalize vowel formants in speech produced by persons with dysarthria. The computer classification accuracy of these normalized data were then compared to the results of human perceptual classification

In this study, the Bark transform and Lobanov method were used to normalize vowel formants in speech produced by persons with dysarthria. The computer classification accuracy of these normalized data were then compared to the results of human perceptual classification accuracy of the actual vowels. These results were then analyzed to determine if these techniques correlated with the human data.

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2013-05

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Gender Non-Normative Behaviors in the Predictors of Peer Victimization

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The main purpose of this thesis was to further explore factors that render particular children more susceptible to bullying and peer victimization. Race, age, and the activities that the children participated in were considered potential predictors of bullying and victimization.

The main purpose of this thesis was to further explore factors that render particular children more susceptible to bullying and peer victimization. Race, age, and the activities that the children participated in were considered potential predictors of bullying and victimization. Self- and peer-reported data were gathered on 437 first and third grade children (234 boys and 203 girls, M age = 7 years, 6 months), including the frequency of peer victimization and the extent of their engagement in gender-typed activities. Activities were identified as either masculine (e.g., watching sports on television, playing with tools) or feminine (e.g., playing house, cheerleading) according to which sex was mostly likely to engage in them. Mixed support was obtained for the hypothesis that boys are at greater risk for being targets of peer aggression. Specifically, while peer-reports of victimization supported this hypothesis, self-reports revealed no sex differences. Support was obtained for the hypotheses that engaging in cross gender-typed activities would be a stronger risk factor for peer victimization for boys than for girls.

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2013-05

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Female Agency in the Canterbury Tales and Telling Tales

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My thesis, titled Female Agency in the Canterbury Tales and Telling Tales, compares Geoffrey Chaucer’s fourteenth century work and Patience Agbabi’s modern adaptation in regards to their portrayal of female agency. While each work contained a whole selection of

My thesis, titled Female Agency in the Canterbury Tales and Telling Tales, compares Geoffrey Chaucer’s fourteenth century work and Patience Agbabi’s modern adaptation in regards to their portrayal of female agency. While each work contained a whole selection of tales, I focus on four tales, which were The Miller’s Tale, The Clerk’s Tale, The Physician’s Tale, and The Wife of Bath’s Tale. I also include relevant historical information to support and assist in the analysis of the literary texts, and secondary sources were also used supplementarily to enhance the analysis. I argue that female agency is irrationally believed to be dangerous, and the consequent attempts at protection manifest as limitations, which are themselves damaging. The paper is divided into two main sections, which are themselves separated into three smaller categories. The first of the two main sections concerns what actions and options are available to women influenced by a distinction of gender; this section is divided into female gender ideals, marriage, and occupation. The second of the two main sections addresses the entities or individuals enacting the limitations upon female agency, and its three subsections are society, men, and women. I ultimately conclude that not only is it irrational to believe that female agency is dangerous, but also that making gender-based judgment on the capacity of a group of people or an individual is inherently flawed.

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2021-05

Digital Representation: Race and Gender in Contemporary Video Games

Description

Video games are packed full of endless potential. They are the telling of impossible narratives with something for every type of person. So then why has the industry historically been one of the worst for representations of race and gender?

Video games are packed full of endless potential. They are the telling of impossible narratives with something for every type of person. So then why has the industry historically been one of the worst for representations of race and gender? In this thesis, I define "good" media representation and engage in the analysis of both Overwatch (2016) and Detroit Become Human (2018) to observe the ways these two video games, which so outwardly market their diversity, have failed marginalized groups. Accompanying the research paper is a video game poster representing a woman of color designed by the author which is meant to learn from the mistakes of its predecessors.

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2021-05

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Indigenous Advocacy and Gender Mainstreaming: Challenges and Recommendations for Women, Peace, and Security Practitioners

Description

Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) practitioners (including policymakers, scholars, and nonprofit leaders) in the U.S. and Canada have often focused their attention on the United Nations’ WPS initiative as a strategy for responding to conflicts abroad, particularly in the Global

Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) practitioners (including policymakers, scholars, and nonprofit leaders) in the U.S. and Canada have often focused their attention on the United Nations’ WPS initiative as a strategy for responding to conflicts abroad, particularly in the Global South. As a result of these limitations, black, Latino, and Indigenous advocates and peacebuilders in the U.S. and Canada remain largely unable to take advantage of WPS frameworks and resources. The subjectivity of the term “conflict” and the range of circumstances where it is used inspire this research. The selective application of the word “conflict” is itself a challenge to security, for conflicts can only be addressed once they are acknowledged and so named. Where does WPS intersect with contemporary Indigenous advocacy? A case study of the #noDAPL movement and the ways that nonviolence and women’s leadership emerged at Standing Rock, ND in 2016 provide a partial answer. Four challenges and recommendations are offered to WPS practitioners who seek to expand the availability of WPS resources to Indigenous peoples in the U.S. and Canada. These challenges and recommendations draw upon existing National Action Plans, legal and policy documents, and data from four interviews conducted with Indigenous women advocates in the U.S. and Canada in 2019. Above all, this paper seeks to encourage WPS practitioners to move beyond “gender mainstreaming” to consider not only how policies and practices impact women and men differently, but also how they may impact Indigenous people and settlers differently.

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2019-05

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Ex Queer Scientia | From the Queer, Knowledge: The Evolution of Queer Expressions of Gender & Sexuality in the Star Trek Universe

Description

This thesis is a series of essays on the evolution of queer expressions of gender & sexuality in the Star Trek Universe. This project spans the entire history of the franchise but focuses primarily on the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Discovery.

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2020-12