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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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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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Miltonic Christology in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

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Often when considering John Milton's greatest work, Paradise Lost, the general public operates under a number of assumptions which are patently false. One of these assumptions is that Milton was an orthodox Christian when writing Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

Often when considering John Milton's greatest work, Paradise Lost, the general public operates under a number of assumptions which are patently false. One of these assumptions is that Milton was an orthodox Christian when writing Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. This thesis sheds light on the issue by examining his personal beliefs about the trinity in De Doctrina Christiana, defending the use of the treatise in analyzing the poems, and explaining how Milton uses veiled language in order to hide his heterodox beliefs. I contend that deriving an antitrinitarian mode of thought from De Doctrina Christiana and reading the poem with this antitrinitarian belief, the cognitive frame of reference in which Milton was when writing both poems, in mind is a more consistent reading of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained than reading both texts with a traditional, orthodox, Christian perspective. Examining a variety of selections from Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, I demonstrate the powerful nature of the antitrintarian reading of Milton. Many passages, for example the invocation in the opening lines of Book III of Paradise Lost, become much clearer with an antitrinitarian reading. Reading the texts with an antitrinitarian view reduces ambiguity in the text and clarifies a number of passages and details which, from a Trinitarian view, are left completely unanswered in Paradise Lost. In addition to clarifying confusing passages, an antitrinitarian reading demonstrates Milton's masterful use of 17th century English Protestantism "buzz-words" to mask his true beliefs without compromising his personal religious convictions about the second member of the Christian Triune Godhead.

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2016-12