Matching Items (30)

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War Trauma in American Literature

Description

This project is a critical analysis of the works of 6 American war veterans and how they demonstrate trauma in their narratives. The texts covered here are Philip Red

This project is a critical analysis of the works of 6 American war veterans and how they demonstrate trauma in their narratives. The texts covered here are Philip Red Eagle’s Red Earth (2007), John A. Williams’ Captain Blackman (1972), Roy Scranton’s War Porn (2016), Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (1990), Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961).

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  • 2021-05

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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

"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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Un acoma masacrado, unos hacendados proletarizados y tres muertos libertados: las tres épocas coloniales en la producción literaria y cultural chicana/méxicosudoesteña, 1610-1995

Description

Este trabajo examina la producción literaria y cultural chicana/méxicosudoesteña de las distintas épocas coloniales del sudoeste: la época colonial española (1521-1821), la época colonial angloamericana (1848-1965) y la época poscolonial

Este trabajo examina la producción literaria y cultural chicana/méxicosudoesteña de las distintas épocas coloniales del sudoeste: la época colonial española (1521-1821), la época colonial angloamericana (1848-1965) y la época poscolonial (1965-presente) para ver hasta qué punto siguen vigentes los legados coloniales dentro de un contexto contemporáneo. Avanzamos la hipótesis que, de la larga residencia histórica y geográfica de las personas hispanomexicanas en el sudoeste, se han producidos textos simbólicos donde se registran dos o más discursos residuos cuyo origen es una ideología dominante. El capítulo 1 plantea y detalla la hipótesis, reseña los numerosos estudios existentes, describe el marco teórico y da la división en capítulos. En el capítulo 2, se da de manera detallada el método crítico: la definición del colonialismo clásico según la teoría de Mario Barrera, la relación colonizador/colonizado aportada por Albert Memmi y los conceptos del tercer espacio híbrido, el mestizaje y el imaginario decolonial asociados con la época poscolonial como ofrecidos respectivamente por Homi Bhabha, Rafael Pérez-Torres y Emma Pérez. El capítulo 3 ofrece un análisis de la época colonial española vía dos obras nuevomexicanas: el poema épico Historia de la Nueva México (1610) de Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá y el drama Los comanches (c.1779) de anónimo. El capítulo 4 trata la colonización angloamericana en las obras The Squatter and the Don (1885) de María Amparo Ruiz de Burton y Dew on the Thorn (escrita en los 1940; publicada en 1997) de Jovita González de Mireles. El capítulo 5 examina la época poscolonial vía la obra Los muertos también cuentan (1995) de Miguel Méndez. Una lectura de la literatura chicana/méxicosudoesteña revela la presencia de varios personajes típicos asociados cada uno a una diferente época histórica desde el conquistador español hasta un mexicano recién inmigrado, quienes no han podido evadir la correspondiente presencia de un grupo dominante u colonizador. Con base en una investigación de las cinco obras seleccionadas, se muestra cómo las relaciones coloniales se forman y se transforman y luego se manifiestan en un contexto contemporáneo, desplazando por ende nuestro entendimiento de las relaciones coloniales como un simple proyecto binario de dominación y subordinación.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Too good to be true: discursive construction of the ideal girl in 20th century popular American girls' series

Description

This dissertation examines the discursive construction of the trope of the ideal girl in popular American girls' series in the twentieth century. Girls' cultural artifacts, including girls' literature series, provide

This dissertation examines the discursive construction of the trope of the ideal girl in popular American girls' series in the twentieth century. Girls' cultural artifacts, including girls' literature series, provide sites for understanding girls' experiences and exploring girlhood itself as a socially constructed identity, yet are often overlooked due to their presumed insignificance. Simple dismissal of these texts ignores the weight of their popularity and the processes through which they reach such status. This project challenges the derisive attitude towards girls' culture and begins with the assumption that these cultural texts do ideological work and therefore require consideration. The dissertation traces the development of the ideal and non-ideal girl over time, taking into account the cultural, political, and economic factors that facilitate the production of the discourses of girlhood. I include analysis of texts from six popular American girls' series as primary texts; visual elements or media productions related to the series; and supporting historical documents such as newspapers, "expert" texts, popular parents' and girls' magazines, film; and advertising. Methodological approach incorporates elements of literary criticism and discourse analysis, combining literary, historical, and cultural approaches to primary texts and supporting documents to trace the moments of production, resistance, and response in the figure of the ideal girl. Throughout the project, I pay particular attention to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality in the figure of the ideal girl and her non-ideal counterparts. I argue that girls' series, slipping under the radar as a denigrated cultural medium, capture and perpetuate cultural anxieties around heterosexuality, whiteness and American identity, appropriate gender roles, and class mobility. These texts discipline the non-ideal girl toward the ideal, always with the expectation of failure.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Oral tradition, activist journalism and the legacy of "Red power: indigenous cosmopolitics in American Indian poetry

Description

This dissertation explores how American Indian literature and the legacy of the Red Power movement are linked in the literary representations of what I call "Indigenous Cosmopolitics." This occurs by

This dissertation explores how American Indian literature and the legacy of the Red Power movement are linked in the literary representations of what I call "Indigenous Cosmopolitics." This occurs by way of oral tradition's role in the movement's Pan-Indigenous consciousness and rhetoric. By appealing to communal values and ideals such as solidarity and resistance, homeland, and land-based sovereignty, Red Power activist-writers of 1960s and 1970s mobilized oral tradition to challenge the US-Indigenous colonial relationship, speak for Native communities, and decolonize Native consciousness. The introductory chapter points to Pan-Indigenous practices that constructed a positive identity for the alienated and disempowered experience of Native Americans since Relocation. Chapter one examines the Red Power newspapers and newsletters ABC: Americans Before Columbus, The Warpath, and Alcatraz Newsletter among others. These periodicals served as venues for many Natives to publish their poems in collaborating with the politics of the Red Power movement. Among the poems considered is Miguel Hernandez's "ALCATRAZ," which supports the Native resistance and journey towards sovereignty during the Island's occupation. Chapters two and three explore the use of oral tradition in the journalism of Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), who was then working within the collaborative contexts of the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) and ABC: Americans Before Columbus, which represents the Indigenous cosmos and appeal to Indigenous peoples' cosmopolitical alliance and resistance throughout the hemisphere and across the world. The final chapter turns to the work of two poets, Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek), Wendy Rose (Hopi/Miwok), and a singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), showing their appropriation of storytelling modes and topics from within the inclusive functions of oral tradition - storyweaving, employing persona, and performing folk music. Harjo, Rose and Sainte-Marie push on the boundaries of the movement's rhetoric as they promote solidarity between colonized women in and beyond the US. The Red Power movement's cosmopolitics remains persistent and influential in Native nationalism, which stands as the master expression of the decolonizing process. The flexibility of oral tradition operates as a common ground for reciprocal, transformational, and inclusive interactions between tribal
ational identity and Pan-Indigenous identity, developing Native nationhood's interactions with the world.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Afrofuturism, science fiction, and the reinvention of African American culture

Description

Modern and contemporary African American writers employ science fiction in order to recast ideas on past, present, and future black culture. This dissertation examines Afrofuturism’s cultural aesthetics, which appropriate devices

Modern and contemporary African American writers employ science fiction in order to recast ideas on past, present, and future black culture. This dissertation examines Afrofuturism’s cultural aesthetics, which appropriate devices from science fiction and fantasy in order to revise, interrogate, and re-examine historical events insufficiently treated by literary realism. The dissertation includes treatments of George Schuyler, Ishmael Reed, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Nalo Hopkinson, and Chicana/ofuturism.

The original contribution of this research is to highlight how imagination of a posthuman world has made it possible for African American writers to envision how racial power can be re-configured and re-negotiated. Focusing on shifting racial dynamics caught up in the swirl of technological changes, this research illuminates a complex process of literary production in which black culture and identity have been continuously re-interpreted.

In the post-war and post-Civil Rights Movement eras African American writers began reflecting on shifting racial dynamics in light of technological changes. This shift in which black experience became mechanized and digitized explains how technology became a source of new African American fiction. The relationships between humans and their external conditions appear in such futuristic themes as trans-human anamorphosis, cyberspace, and digital souls. These thematic devices, which explore humanity outside its phenotypic boundaries, provide African American writers with tools to demystify deterministic views of race. Afrofuturism has responded to the conceptual transformation of humanity with a race-specific scope, locating the presence of black culture in a high-tech world.

Techno-scientific progress has provided important resources in contemporary theory, yet these theoretical foci too seldom have been drawn into critical race discourses. This discrepancy is due to techno-scientific progress having served as a tool for the legitimation of scientific racism under global capitalism for centuries. Responding to this critical lacuna, the dissertation highlights an under-explored field in which African American literature responds to techno-culture’s involvement in contemporary discussions of race. Rather than repeat nominal assumptions of Eurocentric modernity and its racist hegemony, this dissertation theorizes how modern techno-culture’s outcomes—such as information science, genetic engineering, and computer science—shape minority lives, and how minority groups appropriate these outcomes to enact their own liberation.

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  • 2017

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El barrio, espacio social y teatro Chicano: barrioización y barriología en la dramaturgia Chicana

Description

En contexto del desarrollo urbano culturalmente acrítico, el cual con la gentrificación amenaza el bienestar del barrio y sus habitantes, esta disertación interpreta la dialéctica barrioización y barriología como atmósfera

En contexto del desarrollo urbano culturalmente acrítico, el cual con la gentrificación amenaza el bienestar del barrio y sus habitantes, esta disertación interpreta la dialéctica barrioización y barriología como atmósfera dramática en la dramaturgia chicana. Como tropo de supervivencia social y ontológica en la producción cultural chicana, la recurrencia literaria del barrio también queda reflejada en la temática y las formas de numerosas obras de teatro chicano. De tal modo, el análisis de la conciencia espacial chicana en Bernabé (1971) y Heroes and Saints (1994) revela la significancia de un sentido de lugar colectivo y sitúa esta interpretación dramática del barrio en torno al matiz ideológico de la evolución de la conciencia espacial chicana. Manifestada como una dialéctica entre muerte y vida social y ontológica, la representación y representatividad del barrio en La trampa sin salida (1973), Water and Power (2009) y A Drunkard’s Tale of Melted Wings and Memories (2016) ilustra el efecto dramático de la dialéctica entre barrioización y barriología. Mientras algunos estudios precedentes a este han explorado la espacialidad chicana y el significado sociocultural del barrio, esta disertación es la primera en demonstrar concomitantemente la función temática y semiótica del barrio en la configuración de la atmósfera dramática en el teatro chicano. Más aún, la intersección entre barrio, espacio social y teatro no solo revelan la significancia semiótica de la atmósfera dramática, si no que también sostienen la urgencia de fomentar la (re)producción socioespacial urbana históricamente informada y culturalmente crítica.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Curating the Desert Southwest: Distortion as a Way of Knowing

Description

The Desert Southwest has no shortage of representations in literature, art, and film. Its aesthetics—open horizons, strange landscapes, and vast wilderness—inform and saturate the early Western films of John Ford,

The Desert Southwest has no shortage of representations in literature, art, and film. Its aesthetics—open horizons, strange landscapes, and vast wilderness—inform and saturate the early Western films of John Ford, the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, and continue in today’s popular imaginations. My work acknowledges such contributions and then it challenges them: why are those names more widely associated with the Southwest than Luis Alberto Urrea, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, or Pat Mora?

The project intersects the environmental humanities, critical theory, and cultural studies with the Desert Southwest. It explores the fullness of desert places with regard to cultures, borders, and languages, as well as nonhuman forces and intensities like heat, light, and distance. Dispelling the dominant notion of desert as void or wasteland, it sets a stage to suit the polyvocality of desert place. My work is interdisciplinary because the desert demands it. It begins with Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian in order to reorient readers towards the rupture of the US War With Mexico which helped set the national and cultural borders in effect today. I then explore Denis Villeneuve’s film Sicario to emphasize the correlation between political hierarchy and verticality; those who can experience the desert from above are exempt from the conditions below, where Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway and Gaspar de Alba’s Desert Blood take place. The novels expose the immanence and violence of being on the ground in the desert and at the lower end of said hierarchies. Analyzing Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World and Mora’s Encantado enables what I term a desert hauntology to produce a desert full of memory, myth, ancestors, and enchantment. Finally, the project puts visual artists James Turrell and Rafa Esparza in conversation to discover a desert phenomenology. The result is an instigation of how far is too far when decentering the human, and what role does place-based art play in creating and empowering community.

John Ford was from Maine. Georgia O’Keeffe, from Wisconsin. Edward Abbey, Pennsylvania. As someone born and raised in the Desert Southwest, I’ve written the project I have yet to encounter.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Intergenerational narratives: American responses to the Holocaust

Description

This dissertation examines U. S. American intergenerational witnesses to the Holocaust, particularly how addressees turned addressors maintain an ethical obligation to First Generation witnesses while creating an affective relation to

This dissertation examines U. S. American intergenerational witnesses to the Holocaust, particularly how addressees turned addressors maintain an ethical obligation to First Generation witnesses while creating an affective relation to this history for new generations. In response to revisionism and the incommunicability of the Holocaust, a focus on (accurate) First Generation testimony emerged that marginalizes that of intergenerational witnesses. The risk of such a position is that it paralyzes language, locking the addressee into a movement always into the past. Using examples of intergenerational witnesses (moving from close to more distant relationships), this project argues that there is a possibility for ethical intergenerational response. There are two major discussion arcs that the work follows: self-reflexivity and the use of the Banality of Evil as a theme. Self-reflexivity in intergenerational witnessing calls attention to the role of the author as transgenerational witness, an act that does not seek to appropriate the importance or position of the Holocaust survivor because it calls attention to a subjective site in relation to the survivor and the communities of memory created within the text. The other major discussion arc moves from traditional depictions of the Banality of Evil to ones that challenge the audience to consider the way evil is conceptualized after the Holocaust and its implications in contemporary life. In these ways, intergenerational witnesses move from addressee to addressors, continuing to stress the importance of this history through the imperative to pass Holocaust testimony onward into the future.

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  • 2012

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Women write the U.S. West: epistolary identity in the homesteading letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Elizabeth Corey, and Cecilia Hennel Hendricks

Description

ABSTRACT The early twentieth century saw changing attitudes in gender roles and the advancement of the "New Woman." Despite the decline in the availability of homesteading land in

ABSTRACT The early twentieth century saw changing attitudes in gender roles and the advancement of the "New Woman." Despite the decline in the availability of homesteading land in the US West, homesteading still offered a means for women to achieve or enact newfound independence, and the letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Elizabeth Corey, and Cecilia Hennel Hendricks offer a varied view of the female homesteading experience. This dissertation focuses upon the functionality of epistolary discourse from early twentieth century homesteading women within a literary and historical framework in order to establish the significance of letters as literary texts and examine the methodology involved in creating epistolary identities. Chapter one provides background on the history of the letter in America. It also as introduces a theoretical framework regarding life writing, feminism, and epistolary discourse that inform this study, by scholars such as Phillipe LeJeune, Leigh Gilmore, Janet Altman, Julie Watson, and Sidonie Smith. Chapter two delves into the published letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart and the way in which her writing, when situated within a US western literary framework, serves as a reaction to the masculine western hero. Chapter three considers the epistolary relationships evident in the letters of Elizabeth Corey and the construction of gender identity within epistolarity. Chapter four focuses upon Cecilia Hennel Hendricks and the historical and feminist context of her letters, with a particular emphasis upon the "love letter." The conclusion examines the progression of the letter in the twentieth century and forms of online discourse that can be directly linked to its evolution. Far from being simply a form of communication, these letters reveal the history of a time, a place, a people, function as narrative literary texts, and aid in developing identities. For readers and scholars they tell offer a glimpse into life for women in the early twentieth century and highlight the significance of letters as a literary form.

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Date Created
  • 2010