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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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Ekphrastic Science Fiction: Stories and Paintings Inspired by Art History

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The common human experiences depicted in classical paintings from art history are becoming less relatable due to the increasing influence and presence of technology in our day to day lives. This project contains two parts. The first part is a

The common human experiences depicted in classical paintings from art history are becoming less relatable due to the increasing influence and presence of technology in our day to day lives. This project contains two parts. The first part is a remixing of 3 classical works of art so that they include the presence of technology and communicate the possible evolution of human experiences as technology will be incorporated into them. The three remixed paintings are as follows: Eduoard Manet's Olympia, which showcases the human experience of relationships and gender dynamics; Edgar Degas' Dancers, which showcases the human experience of creation and learning; and Raphael's Madonna del Granduca, which showcases the human experiences of child-rearing, maternity, and childhood. The second part of the project utilizes the ekphrastic process, ekphrasis being the process of using the written word to give voice and explanation to a piece of visual art. In this part of the project, three short science-fiction stories were written, one in response to each of the classical paintings and its respective remix. The stories focus on themes of how technology will integrate itself into the common human experiences of parenting, entertainment, and intimate relationships, and the problems and solutions that may arise as a result. The stories are intended to be read alongside the paintings, however they can also be read separately without the context of the paintings from which they were drawn. Likewise, the paintings can be viewed separately from the short stories. The work is complimentary and builds on itself.

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2018-05

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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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Date Created
2018-05

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Integrating Visual Art & Music: Printmaking Processes & Lathe Cutting Vinyl Records

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For my creative project, I began an art press that produces small-run vinyl records and artist's books. Initially, the venture began as a means to circumvent record pressing facilities as a vinyl record-cutting service. By the end of this project,

For my creative project, I began an art press that produces small-run vinyl records and artist's books. Initially, the venture began as a means to circumvent record pressing facilities as a vinyl record-cutting service. By the end of this project, the focus shifted to encompass more visual art products than just vinyl records. The project began with vinyl records because I saw a need in the market; in the past decade, the industry has grown dramatically, but the dozen record pressing plants in the country cannot keep up with the demand. Because record pressing companies prioritize large orders, it is difficult for many small bands and independent record labels to produce work on this medium. This is due to the long lead times, high prices, and large minimum order sizes. I located a man in Germany, who invented a machine that makes high-quality, lathe-cut records. I named the project Blushing Soup, as homage to my father, who passed during my first semester of college. It is through his passing that I was able to secure funds to pursue this venture. I brought on a partner, who was more familiar with art and audio recording than myself. In the summer of 2015, we met with this inventor to learn how to use his machine. By October of 2015, a machine of our own had arrived. In early November, Blushing Soup won a grant from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. During this time, we released two vinyl records for local bands. For a culminating project, I coordinated a Record Store Day compilation album consisting of six bands featuring. After securing all of the music, the machine started having problems, which forced me to cancel this release. Recognizing the delicacy of the machine, prompted a shift in the aim of Blushing Soup. During this process, I started learning printmaking processes, and I realized that Blushing Soup could function as more than a record cutting service; we could be an art press. In the last few month of this project, I started making artist's books. By the end of April 2016, Blushing Soup will have released vinyl records for two bands, as well as produced four handmade books. This creative project centered around the process of creating art through lathe cutting and printmaking; the objective was not to maximize profits but rather refocus the consumption of art (in a sustainable practice).

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Date Created
2016-05

Iris

Description

An artistic film about a girl piecing together memories in search of meaning and hope.

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Date Created
2015-12

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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

Description

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

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Date Created
2015-12

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Creativity in Progress: An Analysis of Contemporary American Poetry

Description

This project focuses on techniques contemporary American poets use in their work. Ten different poetry collections are analyzed for dominant writing styles and techniques, which I then apply to my own poems, concentrating on modeling that particular poet. I then

This project focuses on techniques contemporary American poets use in their work. Ten different poetry collections are analyzed for dominant writing styles and techniques, which I then apply to my own poems, concentrating on modeling that particular poet. I then reflect on those poems through an evaluation of my writing process, how those techniques were implemented, and how they affected the poem. In addition to these reviews and reflections, I also wrote three articles about the literary community and what I've learned from my interactions in that community. All these materials are organized into a website, which shows the connections between the different writings via links and menus. Creating this website brings all the materials together to demonstrate my growth as a poet, writer, and designer. This heavy focus on poetry and analysis has helped sharpen my critical thinking skills and has better prepared me for a career in design and journalism.

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Date Created
2015-05

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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

Description

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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Date Created
2021-05