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Interdisciplinary Identity: An Exploration Through Poetry

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Identity is shaped through the integration of one’s beliefs, experiences, relationships, choices, and other such phenomena, and the resulting identity created by an individual continues to feed back into this process by influencing future identity formation. In consideration of

Identity is shaped through the integration of one’s beliefs, experiences, relationships, choices, and other such phenomena, and the resulting identity created by an individual continues to feed back into this process by influencing future identity formation. In consideration of the numerous factors contributing to identity, this Honors Thesis accumulates an interdisciplinary understanding of identity by pulling from 17 research disciplines and uses this knowledge to inform a collection of poems centered on the theme of my own identity exploration. The Repko (2008) model for interdisciplinary research was loosely followed and using this framework highlighted the interconnectivity of literature research and, from a broader perspective, knowledge in general. A second framework was chosen to further encapsulate this knowledge and apply it to my own identity. Marcia’s Identity Status Theory is a fluid model by which I was able to understand the different identity statuses I was illustrating through poetry (Marcia, 1966; Marcia et. al., 1980). The poetry component of this project included completion of a poetry workshop and creation of a twenty-eight-poem chapbook. Together, the interdisciplinary research and identity model offer insight into the identity connections presented in this collection of poems. However, the frameworks used in this project are limited in that they do not completely capture the true essence of identity. While many disciplines’ contributions to identity research were considered in this Honors Thesis, identity is such a large concept that it is difficult to completely capture my own identity, let alone the identities of others. While others may find research articles or poems they relate to and may possibly learn about themselves from what is presented in this document, identity is unique to each individual and a proper compilation of identity research would need to be far more extensive than the reach of this Honors Thesis.

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2019-05

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The Space Between Us

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Abstract The Space Between Us is a poetic project about the grieving process. Formally, the piece is seven sections of prose couched within a crown of seven sonnets. The first-person sections of prose allow for personal discussion in the confessional

Abstract The Space Between Us is a poetic project about the grieving process. Formally, the piece is seven sections of prose couched within a crown of seven sonnets. The first-person sections of prose allow for personal discussion in the confessional tradition of my own lived experience of grief, while the sonnets are a fictional conversation between David Bowie and Stephen Hawking in 1973. The claim of this piece is that death creates space. When a loved one passes away, what we inherit is a gap. What is the role of this gap in the world? How do we interact with it, see it, interpret it, or touch it? Can we put our hands on its form? Can we put it into words? And if the exploration of this space does lead us to words, should they be shared? The round form of the sonnet crown echoes the cyclical motion of questioning, and its allegorical themes: grieving as a black hole, the boundaries of language, the subjectivity of conversation, the limits of space, the dehumanization of obsession, the space between you and who you are perceived to be, and the clash between artistic desires and scientific discoveries.

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2015-05

Erosion: A Collection of Poems

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Erosion: A Collection of Poems consists of ten prose poems that explore the processing of trauma through a single lens. We follow the work’s main character as she navigates recovery following a medical trauma in Peru from which she ought

Erosion: A Collection of Poems consists of ten prose poems that explore the processing of trauma through a single lens. We follow the work’s main character as she navigates recovery following a medical trauma in Peru from which she ought to have died. The pieces challenge the readers to immerse themselves within her narrative to understand the isolation that trauma ushers in, as she struggles to know her own newfound aloneness.

While the poems illustrate the complexity of one’s experience with both PTSD and its stages of recovery (e.g., emergency, numbness, intrusive/repetitive, integration), they are anchored in the sensory, the concrete. Amidst the terror of the symptoms at the most basic, raw level, she attempts to reclaim selfhood, which involves wrestling with philosophical suicide, reconciling realities, numbness and the widening of a barrier, stunning intimacies, the craving to feel, and both the desire and the need to connect authentically without being able to satiate such inclinations.

Influenced by the works of Frank Bidart, Claudia Rankine, James Longenbach, and Carolyn Forché, the pieces rely heavily upon rhythm and spacing, imagery, and associative linkages throughout the work to craft a sense of physical, intellectual, and emotional movement within the space.

The collection focuses upon the narrative of one survivor of trauma, and though traumas may be experienced differently, and while PTSD may manifest itself in profoundly diverse ways, the pieces aim to capture the shared foundation of the experience — the isolation and the pure, unadulterated pain — in order to cast a universal veil onto the exploration, providing the audience with insight into one of trauma’s most important facets.

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2016-05

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Words I'd Say: A Poetic Autobiography

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Poetry serves as a window through which we can convey emotions and experiences otherwise difficult to access and express. This chapbook addresses the moments in life that have dramatic transformational effects and those moments and events we wish to deny.

Poetry serves as a window through which we can convey emotions and experiences otherwise difficult to access and express. This chapbook addresses the moments in life that have dramatic transformational effects and those moments and events we wish to deny. Through my poetry, I reveal the honest revelations of hurt and pain, and the raw emotions evoked from the things that have occurred throughout my life. In doing so, I confront these painful experiences from a place of conscious awareness of the way in which they have impacted my life, and I allow others access to my hurt, self-hatred, and imperfection acknowledged throughout. This chapbook symbolizes the movement from a place of denial to a place of awareness and finally to a place of transformation and growth. As my poetry transformed from weak poems only accessible on an abstract level to powerful poems of honest and tangible pain and hurt, I experienced my own transformation. Allowing myself to candidly share my experiences with others has enabled me to grow from these experiences.

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2014-12

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Claiming Impossible Bodies: A Poetry Collection Exploring Gender and Sexuality through Vampires in Folklore, Literature, and Pop Culture

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Claiming Impossible Bodies is a collection of poetry and collage exploring gender and sexuality through the lens of the vampire. For this project, I researched various representations of the vampires through folklore, classical and modern literature, film, and pop culture.

Claiming Impossible Bodies is a collection of poetry and collage exploring gender and sexuality through the lens of the vampire. For this project, I researched various representations of the vampires through folklore, classical and modern literature, film, and pop culture. The liminality of the vampire allows such figures to take different forms and identities, ranging from dark and grotesque creatures, such as the succubus or incubus from mythology, to modern sex-icons, like Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga. Considering this wide range of performances by vampiric figures throughout history, the poems in this manuscript seek to deconstruct the binaries that vampires live between and expose the liminality in social norms that attempt to define our identities and shape our performances.

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2021-05

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Emergency Medicine

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Poetry has served as my own personal emergency medicine throughout my entire life. Its ability to capture a moment in its entirety has allowed me to fully address my experiences so that I can use them as a source of

Poetry has served as my own personal emergency medicine throughout my entire life. Its ability to capture a moment in its entirety has allowed me to fully address my experiences so that I can use them as a source of personal growth rather than let them hinder me over time. For this same reason, I also believe poetry is the perfect medium to capture medical traumas. I based the poetry written in this collection on medical emergencies that I either personally experienced or witnessed firsthand shadowing the paramedics of the Anaheim Fire Department. Having the opportunity to witness medical emergencies from the perspective of first responders emphasized the uniqueness of professions in charge of handling emergency medical situations. One of the most important lessons learned from my experiences is that medical traumas are not rare, and an alarmingly high percentage of people will experience some sort of medical trauma in their lifetime. Therefore, it is incredibly important for people to be prepared to process the traumas and medical emergencies they will eventually encounter. The aim of Emergency Medicine is first and foremost to honor the individuals who are affected by medical emergencies and the first responders/emergency medical personnel who work tirelessly to preserve the lives of their patients. I also hope my poems serve as a reminder of the spontaneous nature of trauma and encourage readers to consider using poetry as a form of both healing and self-alignment. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who helped me complete this collection of poetry, however I am especially grateful for the direction given to me by Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski.

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2020-05

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Diagnosis: An Analysis of Human Behavior through Poetry

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Diagnosis is an analysis of human behavior, examined through several types of poetry. The project delves into how individuals act and re-act when put into stress-inducing situations, whether due to that situation, personality, traits, an interaction with another person, or mental illness.

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2013-05

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Death, Delight, and Destitution: What Sort of Epicurean was Palladas of Alexandria?

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Within the vast array of classical literature, many authors still have not been thoroughly examined. Among these, Palladas of Alexandria, a prominent epigrammatist in the Palatine Anthology, seems to import Epicurean themes. Based on the content and motifs of his

Within the vast array of classical literature, many authors still have not been thoroughly examined. Among these, Palladas of Alexandria, a prominent epigrammatist in the Palatine Anthology, seems to import Epicurean themes. Based on the content and motifs of his poetry, I argue that Palladas leaned on Epicurean philosophy as presented in Lucretius's De Rerum Natura to salvage pagan identity in the midst of Christianity's increased popularity.

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2014-05