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The Alien Play: A Full-Length Play on Mental Illness, Spirituality, and Extra-Terrestrials

Description

The Alien Play, as posted here, is a placeholder name for this working draft of a full-length stage play that functions as part-science-fiction adventure, part-spiritual-parable. As the process of playwriting is a complex array of research, outlining, drafting, revising and

The Alien Play, as posted here, is a placeholder name for this working draft of a full-length stage play that functions as part-science-fiction adventure, part-spiritual-parable. As the process of playwriting is a complex array of research, outlining, drafting, revising and editing, the play is preceded by a craft essay detailing the playwright's inspiration, research, and narrative design. In order to complete this project, the playwright conducted research in the field of religious studies, focusing specifically on the phenomena of paranormal experiences through the lenses of psychology, sociology, and philosophy, asking questions such as: How and why do new religions arise? In what ways (narrative, content, structure, etc.) do these new religions reflect the spiritualist mythologies or religious institutions of the past? What do these similarities or differences say about the social, economic, or political atmospheres that give rise to such movements?

More specifically, this play works within the cross-section of religion/spirituality, mental illness, and UFO and other extra-terrestrial related anomalies to ask such questions as: What does it mean to be Human? What does it mean to be "alien" or Other? How do we internally and externally construct a binary between Humanness and Otherness, between Self and Other? How do we construct reality? In what ways does this anthropomorphize our conceptions of the Human or the Other? In what ways, specifically, may this affect our understanding or manifestation of mental illness, in ourself and others?

The play you see here is a final draft for the thesis, but is still in development elsewhere. Here is a brief log line (i.e. a short description of the general plot and conflict of a script) for the piece: Four sisters from a broken home must deal with the sudden discovery of their late father's communication with an extra-terrestrial race bearing a message of Love-and-Peace. When they, too, begin to communicate with the E.T.'s, they must juggle issues of mental illness, memory, and trauma all while outrunning a shadow government that will stop at nothing to uncover their secret.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Commodifying Asian Aesthetics and Eliminating Asian Bodies: Misrepresentations of Asianness in Science Fiction Film and Television

Description

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have progressive ideals at the center of their production choices, their works call on Techno-Orientalist and Orientalist tropes and divorce them from the Asian body, implicitly continuing the Orientalist argument of Western supremacy even in representing Asianness.

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Date Created
2017-05

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"Nobody leaves paradise": Testing the Limits of a Multicultural Utopia in Deep Space Nine

Description

This paper analyzes the television show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine within the context of the other Trek series, especially the original series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, with a particular focus on multiculturalism. Previous Trek series present an

This paper analyzes the television show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine within the context of the other Trek series, especially the original series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, with a particular focus on multiculturalism. Previous Trek series present an image of the United Federation of Planets that has evolved into a peaceful, cooperative, post-scarcity, multicultural utopia, but gloss over the difficulties the Federation governments must have faced in creating this utopia and must still face in maintaining it. I argue that DS9’s shift in focus away from exploration and towards a postcolonial, multicultural, stationary setting allows the show to interrogate the nature of the Federation’s multicultural utopia and showcase the difficulties in living in and managing a space with a plurality of cultures. The series, much more than those that precede and follow it, both directly and indirectly criticizes the Federation and its policies, suggesting that its utopian identity is based more in assimilation than multiculturalism. Nonetheless, this criticism, which is frequently abandoned and even undermined, is inconsistent. By focusing on three of the show’s contested spaces/settings—the space station itself, the wormhole, and the demilitarized zone—I analyze the ways in which DS9’s ambivalent criticism of the success of multiculturalism challenges the confidence of the Trek tradition.

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2016-05

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'Not quite like you. A little like us': An Analysis of Physical, Social, and Psychological Constructions of Non-Binary Gender in Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood

Description

This thesis examines how the physical construction of the ooloi Oankali aliens in Octavia Butler's trilogy Lilith's Brood enables the text to explore the limitations of a two-gender construct. It does so by positing the existence of other conscious organic

This thesis examines how the physical construction of the ooloi Oankali aliens in Octavia Butler's trilogy Lilith's Brood enables the text to explore the limitations of a two-gender construct. It does so by positing the existence of other conscious organic life with a third gender outside the scope of Earth-bound organisms. The ooloi must be understood by a definition of gender that takes into consideration socially constructed and performed roles. The physical bodies of the ooloi have a "boundary-crossing" identity that is unambiguous. Their transformative and healing abilities, physical characteristics, and place in the social structure of the Oankali makes them the targets of disgust and hatred by humans who fear difference. This thesis analyzes how Butler uses the ooloi to demonstrate the possibility that humans living on a future Earth can supersede their innately destructive qualities.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Sidekick: A Speculative Fiction Story

Description

In the future a Community struggles for survival on an uninhabitable Earth. A small faction of rebels, called Villains, put the lives of the entire Community at risk as they fight for domination of their home. Heroes and their Sidekicks

In the future a Community struggles for survival on an uninhabitable Earth. A small faction of rebels, called Villains, put the lives of the entire Community at risk as they fight for domination of their home. Heroes and their Sidekicks rise up from the population to fight the Villains and win back their world. As they complete their training and begin to enter the world of Heroes and Villains, Alyssa begins to struggle with her identity as a Sidekick, her new role in the Community, and whether she can really preserve all that matters most to her. This excerpt from the larger novel, Sidekick, tells the story of Alyssa's struggles to remain true to herself, and her best friend Jeremy, all the while being called to serve the Community and eradicate the threat the Villains pose to her way of life. I conceived Sidekick as a work of speculative fiction because I believe the genre is one of the most powerful tools for education in the present time. By freeing one's mind to wonder, the dull becomes an exciting thought experiment that can (and does) influence how individuals see their world. Reading pieces like Ender's Game and 1984 I have found my ways of thinking challenged and stretched, and ideas from these works of fiction have stuck with and changed me. One major goal of the work was identifying and integrating major academic and life lessons I have learned into the overall work, providing it an intellectual and emotional grounding in reality. Having its foundations in the real world, the setting of Sidekick becomes a stage for a fantastical story as well as the reader's own imagination and introspection.

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Date Created
2015-12

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The Comeback, A Novel

Description

A creative project that is the culmination of undergraduate studies in science fiction, young adult fiction, and literary fiction theory. A novel-length science fiction manuscript detailing the effects of a global catastrophe known as the Comeback, a planetary reaction to

A creative project that is the culmination of undergraduate studies in science fiction, young adult fiction, and literary fiction theory. A novel-length science fiction manuscript detailing the effects of a global catastrophe known as the Comeback, a planetary reaction to excessive pollution that results in hyper-accelerated plant growth and natural disasters; a story about the journey of a young girl growing up in a post-Comeback world.

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Date Created
2014-05

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

Description

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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Created

Date Created
2013-05