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Cruising the Gay Canon: Examining Cornerstones of Gay American Fiction from 1945 to 1969

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In the mid-twentieth century, a number of vital and quietly revolutionary gay male writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and John Rechy, increasingly wrote about explicitly homosexual experiences and culture despite social and legal opposition. Both individually and

In the mid-twentieth century, a number of vital and quietly revolutionary gay male writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and John Rechy, increasingly wrote about explicitly homosexual experiences and culture despite social and legal opposition. Both individually and collectively, these four authors ultimately merged disjointed identities to establish a tradition of visibility and resistance in the United States. Divided into four main sections, this thesis examines each author’s portrayal of homosexual experiences and culture through his distinct approach with a close literary analysis of various works. The first section considers Christopher Isherwood and how milieu affects his depictions of homosexuality in The Berlin Stories (1945), Down There on a Visit (1962), and A Single Man (1964). The second examines Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar (1948) and the relationship between homosexuality and masculinity. The third section looks at how James Baldwin writes about the intersection of homosexuality, race, nationality, and class in both Giovanni’s Room (1956) and Another Country (1962). Finally, the fourth section considers the emergence of queer communities built around resistance in John Rechy’s City of Night (1963). In addition to these literary texts, original reviews of each novel published in The New York Times capture their reception and acceptance into a mainstream American readership. Through their distinct approaches, these four authors collectively present a varied, although somewhat limited, look at the homosexual experience in postwar, pre-Stonewall America.

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2019-05

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The Cultural Value of Bad Storytelling

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An investigation into the cultural phenomenon surrounding books and movies that are considered critical failures, but are nonetheless championed in popular culture. Stories are an essential part of American culture, and many people not only tolerate but truly enjoy those

An investigation into the cultural phenomenon surrounding books and movies that are considered critical failures, but are nonetheless championed in popular culture. Stories are an essential part of American culture, and many people not only tolerate but truly enjoy those stories that are shocking, confusing, and, in some cases, those that were created by storytellers with almost no talent at all. The continued production of these lackluster stories was considered, with an eye to the corporate influences on film studios and publishers. This paper also looked at two storytellers, the filmmaker Ed Wood and the author Stephen King, whose value as artists has been debated by passionate fans and their strongest critics. The sociological concepts of taste and cultural capital, as defined by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and the art movements of postmodernism and metamodernism, particularly the style of camp as defined by Susan Sontag and the value of bad taste in art as defined by John Waters, were investigated in regards to their connection to the popularity of bad films and novels. A brief investigation into the psychological effects of consuming bad stories, especially in children, was also included. From this foundation of the bad story as an important part of our culture's ideas about art and its consumption, the paper then addresses some of the popular methods of consumption of the bad story. For novels, the paper examines the trend of pulp fiction novels and of romance novels, going into depth on the role of E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey in popular culture. For film, the paper examines the impact of the midnight movie trend on the popularity of subversive, counter-culture films, the role of camp genre films like Sharman's The Rocky Horror Picture Show in our culture, particularly with an eye towards audience participation screenings, and the way in which other projects, like Joel Hodgson's Mystery Science Theater 3000, transform bad films into new, enjoyable entertainment. Overall, this paper investigates all of the positive aspects around a failed story that allow these missteps in writing and directing to still find success in our culture.

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2018-05

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ASU Eats: Utilizing Meal Plans to Feed Arizona State's Food Insecure

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The broke, hungry college student living off packaged noodles and cans of beans—it is the stereotype known across the country, and unfortunately for students it is all too accurate. According to current research, nearly half of all college students across

The broke, hungry college student living off packaged noodles and cans of beans—it is the stereotype known across the country, and unfortunately for students it is all too accurate. According to current research, nearly half of all college students across America are considered food insecure, meaning they have trouble acquiring healthy and filling food at some point during the year. Furthermore, problems with food access are often connected to other common issues students face including accessing affordable housing and employment opportunities. Food insecure students face educational consequences as well, including the inability to supply required course materials and even leaving their studies. Simultaneously, at Arizona State students lose thousands of dollars per year in unused meal plan funds, either in the form of meal swipes or Maroon & Gold dollars, and there is interest among students to utilize the funds to support their peers. This thesis explores existing organizations attempting to address student food insecurity both on campus and across the country, analyzing their limitations and benefits. It then proposes a new program, ASU Eats, which would allow students with excess meal plan funds to donate them to their food insecure peers through the creation of a central fund bank. It also discusses potential concerns from the University’s administration and the student body along with the structure this program would need to serve ASU’s continually growing campuses. This thesis concludes by stressing the importance of long-term food security, which ASU Eats would strive to achieve for all students who use the program.

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2018-05

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The Art of Humans Being: An Original Screenplay by Cassidy Graves

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"The Art of Humans Being" is a feature length screenplay in the same vein as an original Pixar animated script. The story takes place in New York City, and focuses on our heroine, 13-year-old high school senior and certifiable genius,

"The Art of Humans Being" is a feature length screenplay in the same vein as an original Pixar animated script. The story takes place in New York City, and focuses on our heroine, 13-year-old high school senior and certifiable genius, Lu, and our hero, 17-year-old high school senior of average smarts, Finn. We are first introduced to these characters as they struggle with fitting in both at school and in their lives at home. Lu and Finn feel a disconnect with their families, but both share a common appreciation for art and the escape it provides. Though her entire family is involved in artistic and creative pursuits, Lu has never painted a day in her life but dreams of one day being a great artist. Finn, on the other hand, has inherited his deceased mother’s immense talent with a paintbrush, but is hesitant to live in her shadow. Upon seeing their desire to paint, their high school art teacher—Miss Ro—encourages Finn and Lu to enter the world-renowned art competition Palette Parfaite, created by the famous French artist Madame Inès. In order to enter this art competition, contestants must dive inside a painting. As such, Lu and Finn are forced to literally enter the art world. Once inside the painting, they are introduced to colorful characters, stunning landscapes, and an entire studio of art materials that can only be described as every artists’ dream. However, the more time they spend inside the painting, the sooner Lu and Finn realize that this dreamlike world is not quite what it seems. "The Art of Humans Being" seeks to explore the world of art through the following questions: What happens to the forgotten art that has been discarded after being deemed “not good enough” to be finished? What happens to human beings who are treated the same? And finally, what happens when we accept people for who they are and what they create, even if they have flaws; even if they’re still works in progress?

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2018-05

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The Classroom Where it Happens: A Unit in Secondary English

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My topic is derived from my field of study of English, Secondary Education and will focus on the integration of the hit Broadway musical 'Hamilton: An American Musical' into a secondary education English curriculum. My compelling question is: How does

My topic is derived from my field of study of English, Secondary Education and will focus on the integration of the hit Broadway musical 'Hamilton: An American Musical' into a secondary education English curriculum. My compelling question is: How does 'Hamilton' affect diverse students’ perspectives on their individual potential? It is my belief that students will be changed after seeing the show, that they will feel empowered by the unique representation and modern casting of the musical. There is so much to learn from 'Hamilton' and its effects on the affective domain of learning. My interest in this topic lies not only in musical theatre and education, but more specifically in the intersection of the two. It is through the intentional casting decisions and strategic musical arrangements of 'Hamilton' that students will be impacted — decisions and arrangements that challenge all preconceived notions about musical theatre and American history. Having seen 'Hamilton' twice now, and having been equally moved each time, I am able to conceptualize the emotions of a diverse student body as they experience the show in any capacity. Seeing four of the most prominent men in American history in a room together, represented as men of color is powerful. Seeing sisters love and support each other despite their various skin colors and hair textures is powerful. Seeing children that don’t look like their parents is powerful. Hearing American history recounted through hip-hop verse is powerful. Casting the story of American-then as America-now is powerful. The main goal of my thesis is to help young, diverse minds understand that they have a voice, that they are important, that they can be anything they want to be. Young audience members see themselves represented in the diversity presented onstage in 'Hamilton,' an experience that is unique to the production of this musical. Through the lessons and curriculum I design, students will be able to measure what they believed about themselves and their situations before experiencing 'Hamilton,' and how those beliefs about themselves may have changed as a result of experiencing this life-changing show.

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2018-12

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The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century Fiction

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"The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction" examines Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar through the lens of tragedy. This thesis delves into how conflicts between

"The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction" examines Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar through the lens of tragedy. This thesis delves into how conflicts between internal and external identities can create a tragic individual, what kinds of success count toward achievement of the "American Dream," and whether the tragic "common man" is the socially normative one or the socially disenfranchised one. It raises a three-dimensional theoretical approach to American tragedy and, most importantly, considers the significance of tragic hope for American literature. This paper questions the construction of American identities across class, race, and gender according to social scripts. It seeks to uncover what forces these scripts exert on American cultural myths and rereads those myths through tragedy to explore Miller's idea of a noble common man. By moving from Miller to Ellison to Plath, this thesis traces the undercurrents of tragedy through some of the most identity-focused novels of mid-twentieth century American fiction to see how the overarching American narrative changed from 1940 to 1969 as the US underwent significant social changes domestically and image changes abroad. Ultimately, this paper concludes that tragedy in mid-twentieth century American fiction points toward a new idea of American success as a success that occurs beyond social scripts.

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2016-05

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

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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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2015-12

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Once Upon a Midnight Dreary: A Study of Cross-Cultural Gothic Fairytales

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In my thesis paper, I examine the gothic elements found in classical gothic fairy tales from European and Japanese tradition, particularly those works by the Brothers Grimm and Yei Theodora Ozaki. By examining the principle gothic elements that are unique

In my thesis paper, I examine the gothic elements found in classical gothic fairy tales from European and Japanese tradition, particularly those works by the Brothers Grimm and Yei Theodora Ozaki. By examining the principle gothic elements that are unique to both stories, and further analyzing the commonalities of story, plot, and other major tropes, a better understanding of the message meant to be imparted and other cultural nuances can be ascertained. Gothic literature creates an atmosphere of gloom and suspense, toying with concepts of dread and darkness by employing Gothic elements such as shadows, the supernatural, sinister buildings, and strong-willed villains, all of which affect the rational mind in an irrational way. Fairytales freely use such tropes to their advantage, playing with the many fears of children, while simultaneously painting an idealistic fantasy world. The degree of usage and the application of gothic elements is closely examined in the Grimm works, "Hansel and Gretel," and "The Robber Bridegroom," as well as the Japanese tales, "The Goblin of Adachigahra,""Kintaro the Golden Boy" and "The Monkey and the Crab." These stories have been chosen due for their usage of animal tricksters, themes of control, and aspects of isolation, supernatural entities, and substantial gothic imagery. The gothic elements of death, sinister older women, the supernatural, fears of abandonment, and cunning animals are akin to both Western and Eastern tales, while the concept of gothic setting and the type of monsters prepared to feast on men is significantly different for both cultures, similar lessons are intended to be gleaned by children from these tales, with the intention of generally producing positive results \u2014 while the means differ, the message is strikingly similar, yet there remain cultural differences in terms of central themes and character traits.The effect of re-introducing the darker, gothic elements of traditional fairy tales into modern literature and retellings of the original narratives has been profound.Today, whether it has been at the bequest of the public or simply a new-age movement by modern cinema audience for the "gritty and realistic," fairy tales are returning to their former gothic forms. "Snow White and The Huntsman" is one example of a film which has gone this route, opting for a more gothic, classic telling rather than the chip, cheery, rosy cheeked Disney versions. There is a tendency for most media nowadays to be far less censored and fantastical, aiming for a more realistic, grittier approach \u2014 this bleeds into film and literature likewise, and thus children are impacted by this shift as well. Children seem to be able to handle more, perhaps desensitized at younger and younger ages by the products of our widely consumerist society, or perhaps due to parents raising their children in such a way so that the darkness that tinges these tales doesn't disturb and derail but rather, emphasizes their meaning of teaching certain lessons. Tales such as these are still valuable, and will continue to be so long as we seek a reality greater than our own, where the evil of the world is wiped away, and we all live happily ever after.

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2015-05

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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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2015-05

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THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF TRANSLATION: UNCOVERING LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY AND INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT THROUGH THE TRANSLATION OF ANDRÉS BELLO’S “HISTORIA FÍSICA Y POLÍTICA DE CHILE POR CLAUDIO GAY"

Description

This honors thesis features a translation of Andrés Bello’s “Historia físicia y política de Chile por Claudio Gay” that had never before been reproduced in English, as well as a discussion of translation theories and a biographical sketch of Andrés

This honors thesis features a translation of Andrés Bello’s “Historia físicia y política de Chile por Claudio Gay” that had never before been reproduced in English, as well as a discussion of translation theories and a biographical sketch of Andrés Bello, a prolific Latin American author and philosopher. The goals of this thesis include promoting Latin American literature, bringing awareness to Bello’s contributions to Chile’s history, and promoting translation as a creative form of education.

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2015-05