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Bandok Lul

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ASU student Bandok Lul (Nuer) rehearses a pitch for Refugee Coding Academy. “Lost Boys Found” is an ongoing, interdisciplinary project that is collecting, recording and archiving the oral histories of the Lost Boys/Girls of Sudan. The collection is a work-in-progress,

ASU student Bandok Lul (Nuer) rehearses a pitch for Refugee Coding Academy. “Lost Boys Found” is an ongoing, interdisciplinary project that is collecting, recording and archiving the oral histories of the Lost Boys/Girls of Sudan. The collection is a work-in-progress, seeking to record the oral history of as many Lost Boys/Girls as are willing, and will be used in a future book.

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2017-03-29

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Women rewriting scripts of war: contemporary U.S. novels, memoir, and media from 1991-2013

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines contemporary U.S. women writing about war, with primarily women subjects and protagonists, from 1991-2013, in fiction, memoir, and media. The writers situate women at the center of war texts and privilege their voices as authoritative speakers

ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines contemporary U.S. women writing about war, with primarily women subjects and protagonists, from 1991-2013, in fiction, memoir, and media. The writers situate women at the center of war texts and privilege their voices as authoritative speakers in war, whether as civilians and soldiers trying to survive or indigenous women preparing for the possibility of war. I argue that these authors are rewriting scripts of war to reflect gendered experiences and opening new ways of thinking about war. Women Rewriting Scripts of War argues that Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Almanac of the Dead juxtaposes an indigenous Story concept against a white industrialized national “Truth,” and indigenous women characters will resort to war if needed to oppose it. Silko’s and the other texts here challenge readers to unseat assumptions about the sovereignty of the U.S. and other countries, about the fixedness of gender, of capitalism, and of how humans relate to each other‒and how we should. I argue in Essay 3 that the script of “the body” or “the soldier” in military service can be expanded by moving toward language and concepts from feminist and queer theory and spectrums of gender and sexuality. This can contribute to positive change for all military members. In each of the texts, there are some similarities in connections with others. Connections enable solidarity for change, possibilities for healing, and survival; indeed, without connections with others to work together, survival is not possible. Changes to established economic structures become necessary for women in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible; I argue that women engaging in alternative modes of economy subvert the dominant economic constraints, gender hierarchies, and social isolation during and after war in the Congo. In Essay 5, I explore two fictional texts about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Helen Benedict's novel Sand Queen and Katey Schultz’s short story collection Flashes of War. The connections in these women’s texts about war are not idealized, and they function as the antithesis to the fragmentation and isolation of postmodern texts.

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2015

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Intersecting transnational English modernisms in interwar France

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This dissertation is a study of place and the ways that place plays a role in the stories we tell about ourselves and the ways we interact with the world. It is also the study of a moment in

This dissertation is a study of place and the ways that place plays a role in the stories we tell about ourselves and the ways we interact with the world. It is also the study of a moment in time and how a moment can impact what came before and all that follows. By taking on the subject of 1920s anglophone modernism in France I explore the way this particular time and place drew upon the past and impacted the future of literary culture. Post World War I France serves as a fluid social, political, and cultural space and the moment is one of plural modernisms. I argue that the interwar period was a transnational moment that laid the groundwork for the kind of global interactions that are both positively and negatively impacting the world today. I maintain that the critical work connected to the influence of 1920s France on Modernism deserves a more interstitial analysis than we have seen, one that expressly challenges the national frameworks that lead to a monolithic focus on the specific identity politics attached to race, gender, class and sexuality. I promote instead a consideration of the articulations between all of these factors by expanding, connecting and providing contingencies for the difference within the unity and the similarities that exist beyond it. I consider the way that the idea, history, social culture and geography of France work as sources of literary innovation and as spaces of literary fantasy for three diverse anglophone modernist writers: Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and William Faulkner. Their interaction with the place and the people make for a complex web of articulated difference that is the very core of transnational modernism. By considering their use of place in modernist fiction, I question the centrality of Paris as a modernist topos that too often replaces any broader understanding of France as a diverse cultural and topographical space, and I question the nation-centric logic of modernist criticism that fails to recognize the complex ways that language in general and the English language in particular function in this particular expatriate modernist moment.

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2016